Putin’s Next Move Is Crucial…
The plunge of the Russian currency this week is the drastic outcome of policies implemented by the major imperialist powers to force Russia to submit to American and European imperialism’s neo-colonial restructuring of Eurasia. Punishing the Putin regime’s interference with their plans for regime change in countries such as Ukraine and Syria, the NATO powers are financially strangling Russia.” Alex Lantier, Imperialism and the ruble crisis, WSWS
“The struggle for world domination has assumed titanic proportions. The phases of this struggle are played out upon the bones of the weak and backward nations.” Leon Trotsky, 1929
Russian President Vladimir Putin suffered a stunning defeat on Tuesday when a US-backed plan to push down oil prices sent the ruble into freefall. Russia’s currency plunged 10 percent on Monday followed by an 11 percent drop on Tuesday reducing the ruble’s value by more than half in less than a year. The jarring slide was assisted by western sympathizers at Russia’s Central Bank who, earlier in the day, boosted interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent to slow the decline. But the higher rates only intensified the outflow of capital which put the ruble into a tailspin forcing international banks to remove pricing and liquidity from the currency leading to the suspension of trade. According to Russia Today:
“Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has ordered a vote on a parliamentary investigation into the recent activities of the Central Bank and its alleged role in the worst-ever plunge of the ruble rate…
“I suggest to start a parliamentary investigation into activities of the Central Bank that has allowed violations of the citizens’ Constitutional rights, including the right for property,” the RIA Novosti quoted Tarlo as saying on Wednesday.
The senator added that according to the law, protecting financial stability in the country is the main task of the Central Bank and its senior management. However, the bank’s actions, in particular the recent raising of the key interest rate to 17 percent, have so far yielded the opposite results.” (Upper House plans probe into Central Bank role in ruble crash, RT)
The prospect that there may be collaborators and fifth columnists at Russia’s Central Bank should surprise no one. The RCB is an independent organization that serves the interests of global capital and regional oligarchs the same as central banks everywhere. This is a group that believes that humanity’s greatest achievement is the free flow of privately-owned capital to markets around the world where it can extract maximum value off the sweat of working people. Why would Russia be any different in that regard?
It isn’t. The actions of the Central Bank have cost the Russian people dearly, and yet, even now the main concern of RCB elites is their own survival and the preservation of the banking system. An article that appeared at Zero Hedge on Wednesday illustrates this point. After ruble trading was suspended, the RCB released a document with “7 new measures” all of which were aimed at protecting the banking system via moratoria on securities losses, breaks on interest rates, additional liquidity provisioning, easier credit and accounting standards, and this gem at the end:
“In order to maintain the stability of the banking sector in the face of increased interest rate and credit risks of a slowdown of the Russian economy the Bank of Russia and the Government of the Russian Federation prepare measures to recapitalize credit institutions in 2015.” (Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector, Zero Hedge)
Sound familiar? It should. You see, the Russian Central Bank works a lot like the Fed. At the first sign of trouble they build a nice, big rowboat for themselves and their dodgy bank buddies and leave everyone else to drown. That’s what these bullet points are all about. Save the banks, and to hell the people who suffer from their exploitative policies.
Here’s more from RT:
“Earlier this week a group of State Duma MPs from the Communist Party sent an official address to Putin asking him to sack (Central Bank head, Elvira) Nabiullina, and all senior managers of the Central Bank as their current policies are causing the rapid devaluation of ruble and impoverishment of the majority of the Russian population.
In their letter, the Communists also recalled Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly in which he said that control over inflation must not be in the way of the steady economic growth.
“They listen to your orders and then do the opposite,” the lawmakers complained.” (RT)
In other words, the RCB enforces its own “austerity” policy in Russia just as central bankers do everywhere. There’s nothing conspiratorial about this. CBs are owned and controlled by the big money guys which is why their policies invariably serve the interests of the rich. They might not call it “trickle down” or “structural adjustment” (as they do in the US), but it amounts to the same thing, the inexorable shifting of wealth from working class people to the parasitic plutocrats who control the system and its political agents. Same old, same old.
Even so, the media has pinned the blame for Tuesday’s ruble fiasco on Putin who, of course, has nothing to do with monetary policy. That said, the ruble rout helps to draw attention to the fact that Moscow is clearly losing its war with the US and needs to radically adjust its approach if it hopes to succeed. First of all, Putin might be a great chess player, but he’s got a lot to learn about finance. He also needs a crash-course in asymmetrical warfare if he wants to defend the country from more of Washington’s stealth attacks.
In the last 10 months, the United States has executed a near-perfect takedown of the Russian economy. Following a sloppy State Department-backed coup in Kiev, Washington has consolidated its power in the Capital, removed dissident elements in the government, deployed the CIA to oversee operations, launched a number of attacks on rebel forces in the east, transferred ownership of Ukraine’s vital pipeline system to US puppets and foreign corporations, created a tollbooth separating Moscow from the lucrative EU market, foiled a Russian plan to build an alternate pipeline to southern Europe (South Stream), built up its military assets in the Balkans and Black Sea and, finally–the cherry on the cake–initiated a daring sneak attack on Russia’s currency by employing its Saudi-proxy to flood the market with oil, push prices off a cliff, and trigger a run on the ruble which slashed its value by more than half forcing retail currency platforms to stop trading the battered ruble until prices stabilized.
Like we said, Putin might be a great chess player, but in his battle with the US, he’s getting his clock cleaned. So far, he’s been no match for the maniacal focus and relentless savagery of the Washington powerbrokers. Yes, he’s formed critical alliances across Asia and the world. He’s also created competing institutions (like the BRICS bank) that could break the imperial grip on global finance. And, he’s also expounded a vision of a new world in which “one center of power” does not dictate the rules to everyone else. That’s all great, but he’s losing the war, and that’s what counts. Washington doesn’t care about peoples’ dreams or aspirations. What they care about is ruling the world with an iron fist, which is precisely what they intend to do for the next century or so unless someone stops them. Putin’s actions, however admirable, have not yet changed that basic dynamic. In fact, this latest debacle (authored by the RCB) is a severe setback for the country and could impact Russia’s ability to defend itself against US-NATO aggression.
So what does Putin need to do to reverse the current trend?
The first order of business should be a fundamental change in approach followed by a quick switch from defense to offense. There should be no doubt by now, that Washington is going for the jugular. The attack on the ruble provides clear evidence that the US will not be satisfied until Russia has been decimated and reduced to “a permanent state of colonial dependency.” (Chomsky) The United States has launched a full-blown economic war on Russia and yet the Kremlin is still acting like Washington’s punching bag. You can’t win a war like that. You have to take the initiative; take chances, be bold, think outside the box. That’s what Washington is doing. The rout of the ruble is perhaps the most astonishingly-successful asymmetrical attack in recent memory. It involved tremendous risks and costs on the part of the perpetrators. For example, the lower oil prices have ravaged important domestic industries, created widespread financial instability, and sent markets across the planet into a nosedive. Even so, Washington persevered with its audacious strategy, undeterred by the vast collateral damage, never losing sight of its ultimate objective; to deprive Moscow of crucial oil revenues, to crash the ruble, and to open up Central Asia for imperial expansion and US military bases. (The pivot to Asia)
This is how the US plays the game, by keeping its “eyes on the prize” at all times, and by rolling roughshod over anyone or anything that gets in its way. That is why the US is the world’s only superpower, because the voracious oligarchs who run the country will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Does Putin have the grit to match that kind of venomous determination? Has he even adjusted to the fact that WW3 will be unlike any conflict in the past, that jihadi-proxies and Neo Nazi-proxies will be employed as shock troops for the empire clearing the way for US special forces and foot soldiers who will hold ground and establish the new order? Does he even realize that Barbarossa 2 is already underway, but that the Panzer divisions and 2 million German regulars have been replaced with high-powered computers, covert ops, color-coded revolutions, currency crises, capital flight, cyber attacks and relentless propaganda. That’s 4th Generation (4-G) warfare in a nutshell. And, guess what? The US attack on the ruble has shown that it is the undisputed master of this new kind of warfare. More important, Washington has just prevailed in a battle that could prove to be a critical turning point if Putin doesn’t get his act together and retaliate.
You mean nukes?
Heck no. But, by the same token, you can’t expect to win a confrontation with the US by rerouting gas pipelines to Turkey or by forming stronger coalitions with other BRICS countries or by ditching the dollar. Because none of that stuff makes a damn bit of difference when your currency is in the toilet and the US is making every effort to grind your face into the pavement.
There’s an expression is football that goes something like this: The best defense is a good offense. You can’t win by sitting on the sidelines and hoping your team doesn’t lose. You must engage your adversary at every opportunity never giving ground without a fight. And when an opening appears where you can take the advantage, you must act promptly and decisively never looking back and never checking your motives. That’s how you win.
Washington only thinks in terms winning. It expects to win, and will do whatever is necessary to win. In fact, the whole system has been re-geared for one, sole purpose; to beat the holy hell out of anyone who gets out of line. That’s what we do, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. So, if you want to compete at that level, you’ve got to have “game”. You’re going to have to step up and prove that you can run with the big kids.
And that’s what makes Putin’s next move so important, crucial really. Because whatever he does will send a message to Washington that he’s either up to the challenge or he’s not. Which is why he needs to come out swinging and do something completely unexpected. The element of surprise, that’s the ticket. And we’re not talking about military action either. That just plays to Uncle Sam’s strong hand. Putin doesn’t need another Vietnam. He needs a coherent gameplan. He needs a winning strategy. He needs to takes risks, put it all on the line and roll the freaking dice. You can’t lock horns with the US and play it safe. That’s a losing strategy. This is smash-mouth, steelcage smackdown, a scorched-earth event where winner takes all. You have to be ready to rumble.
Putin needs to think asymmetrically. What would Obama do if he was in Putin’s shoes?
You know what he’d do: He’d send military support to Assad. He’d arm rebel factions in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria and elsewhere. He’d strengthen ties with Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador providing them with military, intelligence and logistical support. He’d deploy his NGOs and Think Tank cronies to foment revolution wherever leaders refused to follow Moscow’s directives. He would work tirelessly to build the economic, political, media, and military institutions he needed to impose his own self-serving version of snatch-and-grab capitalism on every nation on every continent in the world. That’s what Obama would do, because that’s what his puppetmasters would demand of him.
But Putin must be more discreet, because his resources are more limited. But he still has options, like the markets, for example. Let’s say Putin announces that creditors in the EU (particularly banks) won’t be paid until the ruble recovers. How does that sound?
Putin: “We’re really sorry about the inconvenience, but we won’t be able to make those onerous principle payments for a while. Please accept our humble apologies.” End of statement.
Moments later: Global stocks plunge 350 points on the prospect of a Russian default and its impact on the woefully-undercapitalized EU banking system.
Get the picture? That’s what you call an asymmetrical attack. The idea was even hinted at in a piece on Bloomberg News. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Sergei Markov, a pro-Putin academic, wrote in a column on Vzglyad.ru. “Since the reasons for the ruble’s fall are political, the response should be political, too. For example, a law that would ban Russian companies from repaying debts to Western counterparties if the ruble has dropped more than 50 percent in the last year. That will immediately lower the pressure on the ruble, many countries have done this, Malaysia is one example. It’s in great economic shape now.” (Is Russia ready to impose capital controls? Chicago Tribune)
Here’s more background from RT:
“Major banks across Europe, as well as the UK, US, and Japan, are at major risk should the Russian economy default, according to a new study by Capital Economics. The ING Group in the Netherlands, Raiffeisen Bank in Austria, Societe General in France, UniCredit in Italy, and Commerzbank in Germany, have all faced significant losses in the wake of the ruble crisis…
Overall Societe General, known as Rosbank in the Russian market, has the most exposure at US$31 billion, or €25 billion, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts. This is equivalent to 62 percent of the Paris-based bank’s tangible equity, Bloomberg News reported.
Following the drop, Raiffeisen, which has €15 billion at risk in Russia, saw its stocks plummeted more than 10 percent. Raiffeisen also has significant exposure in Ukraine, which is facing a similar currency sell-off as Russia.” (Russia crisis leaves banks around the world exposed by the billions, RT)
So Putin defaults which nudges the EU banking system down the stairwell. So what? What does that prove?
It proves that Russia has the tools to defend itself. It proves that Putin can disrupt the status quo and spread the pain a bit more equitably. “Spreading the pain” is a tool the US uses quite frequently in its dealings with other countries. Maybe Putin should take a bite of that same apple, eh?
Another option would be to implement capital controls to avoid ruble-dollar conversion and further capital flight. The beauty of capital controls is that they take power away from the big money guys who run the world and hand it back to elected officials. Leaders like Putin are then in a position to say, “Hey, we’re going to take a little break from the dollar system for while until we get caught up. I hope you’ll understand our situation.”
Capital controls are an extremely effective of avoiding capital flight and minimizing the impact of a currency crisis. Here’s a short summary of how these measures helped Malaysia muddle through in 1998:
“When the Asian financial crisis hit, Malaysia’s position looked a lot like Russia’s today: It had big foreign reserves and a low short-term debt level, but relatively high general indebtedness if households and corporations were factored in. At first, to bolster the ringgit, Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim pushed through a market-based policy with a flexible exchange rate, rising interest rates and cuts in government spending. It didn’t work: Consumption and investment went down, and pessimism prevailed, exerting downward pressure on the exchange rate.
So, in June 1998, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad… appointed a different economic point man, Daim Zainuddin. In September, on Daim’s urging, Malaysia introduced capital controls. It banned offshore operations in ringgit and forbade foreign investors to repatriate profits for a year. Analysts at the time were sharply critical of the measures, and Malaysia’s reputation in the global financial markets inevitably suffered.
According to Kaplan and Rodrik, however, the capital controls were ultimately effective. The government was able to lower interest rates, the economy recovered, the controls were relaxed ahead of time, and by May 1999 Malaysia was back on the international capital markets with a $1 billion bond issue.” (Is Russia ready to impose capital controls, Chicago Tribune)
Sure they were effective, but they piss off the slacker class of oligarchs who think the whole system should be centered on their “inalienable right” to move capital from one spot to another so they can rake-off hefty profits at everyone else’s expense. Capital controls push those creeps to the back of the line so the state can do what it needs to do to preserve the failing economy from the attack of speculators. Here’s a clip from a speech Joseph Stiglitz gave in 2014 at the Atlanta Fed’s 2014 Financial Markets Conference. He said:
“When countries do not impose capital controls and allow exchange rates to vary freely, this can give rise to high levels of exchange rate volatility. The consequence can be high levels of economic volatility, imposing great costs on workers and firms throughout the economy. Even if they can lay off some of the risk, there is a cost to doing so. The very existence of this volatility affects the structure of the economy and overall economic performance.”
That sums it up pretty well. Without capital controls, the deep-pocket Wall Street banks and speculators can simply vacuum the money out of an economy leaving the country broken and penniless. This nihilistic decimation of emerging markets via capital flight is what the kleptocracy breezily refers to as “free markets”, the unwavering plundering of civilization to fatten the coffers of the swinish few at the top of the foodchain. That’s got to stop.
Putin needs to put his foot down now; stop the outflow of cash, stop the conversion of rubles to dollars, force investors to recycle their money into the domestic economy, indict the central bank governors and trundle them off to the hoosegow, and reassert the power of the people over the markets. If he doesn’t, then the speculators will continue to peck away until Russia’s reserves are drained-dry and the country is pushed back into another long-term slump. Who wants that?
And don’t think that Putin’s only problem is Washington either, because it isn’t. He’s got an even bigger headache in his own country with the morons who still buy the hogwash that “the market knows best.” These are the fantasists, the corporate toadies, and the fifth columnists, some of whom hold very high office. Here’s a clip I picked up at the Vineyard of the Saker under the heading “Medvedev declares: more of the same”:
(Russian Prime Minister) “Medvedev has just called a government meeting with most of the directors of top Russian corporations and the director of the Russian Central Bank. He immediately announced that he will not introduce any harsh regulatory measures and that he will let the market forces correct the situation. As for the former Minister of Finance, the one so much beloved in the West, Alexei Kudrin, he expressed his full support for the latest increase in interest rates.”
This is lunacy. The US has just turned Russia’s currency into worthless fishwrap, and bonehead Medvedev wants to play nice and return to “business as usual”??
No thanks. Maybe Medvedev wants to be a slave to the market, but I’ll bet Putin is smarter than that.
Putin’s not going to roll over and play dead for these vipers. He’s got to much on the ball for that. He’s going to beat them at their own game, fair and square. He’s going to implement capital controls, restructure the economy away from the west, and aggressively look for ways to deter Washington from spreading its heinous resource war to Central Asia and beyond.
He’s not going to give an inch. You’ll see.
In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds.
That’s how they handle such matters in what used to be called The Third World. In the First World, however, they have no need for such legal niceties. In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.
So now, with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, we have further depressing revelations about US foreign policy. But do Americans and the world need yet another reminder that the United States is a leading practitioner of torture? Yes. The message can not be broadcast too often because the indoctrination of the American people and Americophiles all around the world is so deeply embedded that it takes repeated shocks to the system to dislodge it. No one does brainwashing like the good ol’ Yankee inventors of advertising and public relations. And there is always a new generation just coming of age with stars (and stripes) in their eyes.
The public also has to be reminded yet again that – contrary to what most of the media and Mr. Obama would have us all believe – the president has never actually banned torture per se, despite saying recently that he had “unequivocally banned torture” after taking office.
Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”
The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, amongst other torture centers employed by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business, as is the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.
Moreover, the key Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?
The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions, amongst other charming examples of American Exceptionalism.
After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ … But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”
The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely and solely because they were willing and able to torture them.
Four months after Obama and Panetta took office, the New York Times could report that renditions had reached new heights.
The present news reports indicate that Washington’s obsession with torture stems from 9/11, to prevent a repetition. The president speaks of “the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era”. There’s something to that idea, but not a great deal. Torture in America is actually as old as the country. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of international torture centers, kidnaping people to these places, solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!
In 2011, Brazil instituted a National Truth Commission to officially investigate the crimes of the military government, which came to an end in 1985. But Mr. Obama has in fact rejected calls for a truth commission concerning CIA torture. On June 17 of this year, however, when Vice President Joseph Biden was in Brazil, he gave the Truth Commission 43 State Department cables and reports concerning the Brazilian military regime, including one entitled “Widespread Arrests and Psychophysical Interrogation of Suspected Subversives.”
Thus it is that once again the United States of America will not be subjected to any accountability for having broken US laws, international laws, and the fundamental laws of human decency. Obama can expect the same kindness from his successor as he has extended to George W.
“One of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.” – Barack Obama, written statement issued moments after the Senate report was made public.
And if that pile of hypocrisy is not big enough or smelly enough, try adding to it Bidens’ remark re his visit to Brazil: “I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future.”
If the torturers of the Bush and Obama administrations are not held accountable in the United States they must be pursued internationally under the principles of universal jurisdiction.
In 1984, an historic step was taken by the United Nations with the drafting of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (came into force in 1987, ratified by the United States in 1994). Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back. If today it’s deemed acceptable to torture the person who supposedly has the vital “ticking-bomb” information needed to save lives, tomorrow it will be acceptable to torture him to learn the identities of his alleged co-conspirators. Would we allow slavery to resume for just a short while to serve some “national emergency” or some other “higher purpose”?
If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.
Cuba … at long, long last … maybe …
Hopefully, it’s what it appears to be. Cuba will now be treated by the United States as a country worthy of at least as much respect as Washington offers to its highly oppressive, murdering, torturing allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis, and even more abroad, but Cuba needs to do it. Maybe the Cubans can civilize the Americans a bit.
Let’s hope that America’s terrible economic embargo against the island will go the way of the dinosaurs, and Cuba will be able to demonstrate more than ever what a rational, democratic, socialist society can create. But they must not open the economy for the Yankee blood-suckers to play with as they have all over the world.
And I’ll be able to go to Cuba not as a thief in the night covering my tracks and risking a huge fine.
But with the Republicans taking over Congress next month, all of this may be just a pipe dream.
Barack Obama could have done this six years ago when he took office; or five years ago when American Alan Gross was first arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. It would have been even easier back then, with Obama’s popularity at its height and Congress not as captured by the Know-Nothings as now.
So, Cuba outlasted all the punishment, all the lies, all the insults, all the deprivations, all the murderous sabotage, all the assassination attempts against Fidel, all the policies to isolate the country. But for many years now, it’s the United States that has been isolated in the Western Hemisphere.
Reason Number 13,336 why capitalism will be the death of us.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – the “superbugs” – if left unchecked, could result in 10 million deaths a year by 2050. New drugs to fight the superbugs are desperately needed. But a panel advising President Obama warned in September that “there isn’t a sufficiently robust pipeline of new drugs to replace the ones rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance.”
The problem, it appears, is that “Antibiotics generally provide low returns on investment, so they are not a highly attractive area for research and development.”
Aha! “Low returns on investment”! What could be simpler to understand? Is it not a concept worth killing and dying for? Just as millions of Americans died in the 20th century so corporations could optimize profits by not protecting the public from tobacco, lead, and asbestos.
Corporations are programmed to optimize profits without regard for the society in which they operate, in much the same way that cancer cells are programmed to proliferate without regard for the health of their host.
Happy New Year. Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2015.
- January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
- February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
- February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
- February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
- February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
- March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
- April 30: The Department of Homeland Security announces plan to record the DNA at birth of every child born in the United States.
- May 19: The Supreme Court rules that police may search anyone if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person has pockets.
- May 27: The Transportation Security Administration declares that all airline passengers must strip completely nude at check-in and remain thus until arriving at their destination.
- June 6: White police officer in Oklahoma City tasers a 7-month-old black child, claiming the child was holding a gun; the gun turns out to be a rattle.
- July 19: Two subway trains collide in Manhattan. The United States demands that Moscow explain why there was a Russian citizen in each of the trains.
- September 5: The Democratic Party changes its name to the Republican Lite Party, and announces the opening of a joint bank account with the Republican Party so that corporate lobbyists need make out only one check.
- September 12: White police officer in Alabama shoots black newborn, confusing the umbilical cord for a noose.
- November 16: President Obama announces that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba all possess weapons of mass destruction; have close ties to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Taliban; are aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine; were involved in 9-11; played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor; are an imminent threat to the United States and all that is decent and holy; and are all “really bad guys”, who even (choke, gasp) use torture!
- November 21: The United States invades Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
- December 10: Barack Obama is awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize
- December 11: To celebrate his new peace prize, Obama sends out drones to assassinate wrong-thinking individuals in Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
- December 13: Members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties, which hold several high positions in the US-supported government, goose-step through the center of Kiev in full German Storm Trooper uniforms, carrying giant swastika flags, shouting “Heil Hitler”, and singing the Horst Wessel song. Not a word of this appears in any American mainstream media.
- December 15: US Secretary of State warns Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of wanting to re-create the Soviet Union.
- December 16: White police officer shoots a black 98-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair, claiming the man pointed a rifle at him. The rifle turns out to be a cane.
- December 28: The Washington Redskins football team finish their season in last place. The White House blames Vladimir Putin.
- Associated Press, December 11, 2014
- New York Times, December 11, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
- New York Times, February 6, 2009
- New York Times, May 24, 2009
- Washington Post, December 11, 2014
- National Security Archive’s Brazil Documentation Project
- Washington Post, December 10, 2014
- See note 7
- Washington Post, December 13, 2014
As our society bounces down ward, flowing this way now and that way a little later, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is happening until it has already overwhelmed us.
Almost everyone now knows that football stars Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are guilty of violence within their families; a video shows Rice knocking his wife unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator. Pictures of Adrian Peterson’s ten year of son with red switch welts on his back and legs have been widely circulated. Both are being disciplined by the National Football League.
Another one that still sticks in my mind happened way back in 1988, Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos (Jimmy the Greek Snyder), a popular 12 year employee of the CBS network was fired for contending at a lunch with TV reporter Ed Hoteling that African Americans were superior athletes because during slavery they had been bred to produce superior physical characteristics.
In July 2002 Phil Donahue, following a record 26 year stint of staring in his own show, returned to TV on MSNBC. His show was an immediate success but was terminated in slightly over six months ostensibly for opposing the Iraq War.
In 2003, Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Arnett was fired by NBC for spreading factual information about the Iraq war.
In 2004, Paul Craig Roberts was banned from the mainstream media for the crime of being critical of the George W. Bush Administration and the war in Iraq.
On January 26, 2009 Juan Williams was separated from National Public Radio for making this comment about First Lady Michelle Obama, “Michelle Obama, you know, she’s got this Stokely Charmichael in a designer dress thing going. If she starts talking…her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I’m the victim. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas and she’ll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross”.
In 2007, Don Imus, pre-eminent New York radio shock-jock, for a flippant racial reference to a Rutgers Women’s Basketball player was fired in the syrupy sweet jargon of the lily white president of CBS, Leslie Moonves, who intoned “From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.”
In 2010, Lebanese journalist Octavia Nasr, a 20 year employee of CNN was fired for expressing admiration for fellow Lebanese Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah after she read his obituary.
In 2013 Paula Deen, a popular chef on the Food Channel, was summarily dismissed. A law suit by a Black employee for sexual harassment and discrimination resulted in her admission that she had used racial slurs in the past. Perfuse apologies were useless.
Crystal Dixon was dismissed from her job at the University of Toledo for expressing this bit of sound logic in a letter to the editor of a local paper. “I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ Here’s why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman,” she wrote. “I am genetically and biologically a black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few.”
In 2014, Bob Eschliman, a Christian, lost his job as editor of the Newtown Daily News, an Iowa periodical, for criticizing the Queen James Bible Website. He was fired and publically castigated for expressing his opinion.
Additional examples of politically incorrect dismissals abound.
Some of these excoriations were at least partially a result of other behavior that offended the power structure. Jimmy the Greek once punched Brent Musburger in the face for calling him stupid. They were bitter enemies. He also brought Phyllis George to tears by insulting her husband. As popular as he was he did not fit into the media social structure.
Roger Goodell is a lonely Gentile in the midst of major sport commissioners. There may be an effort to replace him by criticizing his performance. Adrian Peterson is a professing Christian Any Christian is fair game.
When Phil Donahue joined NBC in 2002 Chris Matthews fancied himself the heart of the station. Matthews did not like the Donahue Show – it drew a larger audience and pursued peace. He was pro-war and also enjoyed and ethnic advantage.
Peter Arnette was just too honest to survive in the media sea of deception.
Paul Craig Roberts is a thinker, writer, and researcher. He is one of our nation’s most talented individuals but the American Media is monolithic and does not allow deviation from its unwritten and unacknowledged laws. Criticizing war and seeking peace when they support war and death is an affront to their superior agenda.
Juan Williams may have touched on a hidden truth with a conservative type statement. Either or both are no, nos. He is Black and is working again but if a White man had made the same statement he would be banned for life.
Don Imus referred to the Rutgers lady basketball players as “nappy-headed hos”, a racial slur against a race that is sacrosanct in press and media circles. He had friends that got him his job back.
Octavia Nasr expressed admiration for an enemy of the power elite. We must love what they love and hate what they hate.
Paula Deen’s situation was similar to that of Jimmy the Greek. Though she had a popular show and was herself a success story her family was a bit crude for the elite social structure.
Homosexuality is an idol of a high order in the educational hierarchy. Even though Crystal Dixon is Black, pointing in clear logic to the absurdity of comparing civil rights for Blacks to civil rights for homosexuals was unacceptable to the meritocratic humbugs at her university. Of course her reference to and tacit support of Christian organizations is damnable all by itself.
Christians are still naïve about the hate their religion engenders in those that control our press and media. Bob Eschliman found out.
When the powerful purveyors of news and entertainment forsook the Law given them by erstwhile religion they opened the door to the tyranny of their own power. They are now the determiners of good and evil within their sizeable dominions. Morality is now an arbitrary doctrine enforced by raw power.
We might blame the leadership which owns and controls most of the world’s press and media but that leadership is being supported by millions of American Christians and validated by others who support Zionism.
Humanism is the religion of the day. The oligarchs think of themselves as a superior race endowed with authority to exert their will on the world with physical force. They will use Evangelicals who support their wars but they will not abide God’s legal structure.
Questioning the authenticity of 9/11 or the validity of the War in the Middle East is not allowed. Conspiracy talk is squelched as is criticism of Blacks, Jews, The Media, the Iraq War, homosexuality and lesbianism. Christianity can be lambasted but never extolled or promoted. Even if the dismissal is a result of other behavior the elite power structure will look for one of the key “no noes” to re-enforce fear of future infractions.
Law is what the power elite say it is. Justice is a result of abiding by the immutable Law of our Creator – it has vanished from most of the earth. War and chaos have replaced justice and peace.
“To Learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” Attributed to Voltaire
Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.
On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet.
On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.
Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia. On this question Putin has stated:
The Crimean authorities have relied on the well-known Kosovo precedent, a precedent our Western partners created themselves, with their own hands, so to speak. In a situation absolutely similar to the Crimean one, they deemed Kosovo’s secession from Serbia to be legitimate, arguing everywhere that no permission from the country’s central authorities was required for the unilateral declaration of independence. The UN’s international court, based on Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the UN Charter, agreed with that, and in its decision of 22 July 2010 noted the following, and I quote verbatim: No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to unilateral declarations of independence.
Putin as Hitler is dwarfed by the stories of Putin as invader (Vlad the Impaler?). For months the Western media has been beating the drums about Russia having (actually) invaded Ukraine. I recommend reading: “How Can You Tell Whether Russia has Invaded Ukraine?” by Dmitry Orlov
And keep in mind the NATO encirclement of Russia. Imagine Russia setting up military bases in Canada and Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Remember what a Soviet base in Cuba led to.
Has the United States ever set a bad example?
Ever since that fateful day of September 11, 2001, the primary public relations goal of the United States has been to discredit the idea that somehow America had it coming because of its numerous political and military acts of aggression. Here’s everyone’s favorite hero, George W. Bush, speaking a month after 9-11:
“How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic countries there is vitriolic hatred for America? I’ll tell you how I respond: I’m amazed. I’m amazed that there’s such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am – like most Americans, I just can’t believe it because I know how good we are.”
Thank you, George. Now take your pills.
I and other historians of US foreign policy have documented at length the statements of anti-American terrorists who have made it explicitly clear that their actions were in retaliation for Washington’s decades of international abominations. But American officials and media routinely ignore this evidence and cling to the party line that terrorists are simply cruel and crazed by religion; which many of them indeed are, but that doesn’t change the political and historical facts.
This American mindset appears to be alive and well. At least four hostages held in Syria recently by Islamic State militants, including US journalist James Foley, were waterboarded during their captivity. The Washington Post quoted a US official: “ISIL is a group that routinely crucifies and beheads people. To suggest that there is any correlation between ISIL’s brutality and past U.S. actions is ridiculous and feeds into their twisted propaganda.”
The Post, however, may have actually evolved a bit, adding that the “Islamic State militants … appeared to model the technique on the CIA’s use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
Talk given by William Blum at a Teach-In on US Foreign Policy, American University, Washington, DC, September 6, 2014
Each of you I’m sure has met many people who support American foreign policy, with whom you’ve argued and argued. You point out one horror after another, from Vietnam to Iraq. From god-awful bombings and invasions to violations of international law and torture. And nothing helps. Nothing moves this person.
Now why is that? Are these people just stupid? I think a better answer is that they have certain preconceptions. Consciously or unconsciously, they have certain basic beliefs about the United States and its foreign policy, and if you don’t deal with these basic beliefs you may as well be talking to a stone wall.
The most basic of these basic beliefs, I think, is a deeply-held conviction that no matter what the United States does abroad, no matter how bad it may look, no matter what horror may result, the government of the United States means well. American leaders may make mistakes, they may blunder, they may lie, they may even on the odd occasion cause more harm than good, but they do mean well. Their intentions are always honorable, even noble. Of that the great majority of Americans are certain.
Frances Fitzgerald, in her famous study of American school textbooks, summarized the message of these books: “The United States has been a kind of Salvation Army to the rest of the world: throughout history it had done little but dispense benefits to poor, ignorant, and diseased countries. The U.S. always acted in a disinterested fashion, always from the highest of motives; it gave, never took.”
And Americans genuinely wonder why the rest of the world can’t see how benevolent and self-sacrificing America has been. Even many people who take part in the anti-war movement have a hard time shaking off some of this mindset; they march to spur America – the America they love and worship and trust – they march to spur this noble America back onto its path of goodness.
Many of the citizens fall for US government propaganda justifying its military actions as often and as naively as Charlie Brown falling for Lucy’s football.
The American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don’t want to know, but then wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window.
This basic belief in America’s good intentions is often linked to “American exceptionalism”. Let’s look at how exceptional US foreign policy has been. Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
- Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
- Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
- Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
- Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
- Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
- Led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American teachers, especially in Latin America.
This is indeed exceptional. No other country in all of history comes anywhere close to such a record.
So the next time you’re up against a stone wall … ask the person what the United States would have to do in its foreign policy to lose his support. What for this person would finally be TOO MUCH. If the person mentions something really bad, chances are the United States has already done it, perhaps repeatedly.
Keep in mind that our precious homeland, above all, seeks to dominate the world. For economic reasons, nationalistic reasons, ideological, Christian, and for other reasons, world hegemony has long been America’s bottom line. And let’s not forget the powerful Executive Branch officials whose salaries, promotions, agency budgets and future well-paying private sector jobs depend upon perpetual war. These leaders are not especially concerned about the consequences for the world of their wars. They’re not necessarily bad people; but they’re amoral, like a sociopath is.
Take the Middle East and South Asia. The people in those areas have suffered horribly because of Islamic fundamentalism. What they desperately need are secular governments, which have respect for different religions. And such governments were actually instituted in the recent past. But what has been the fate of those governments?
Well, in the late 1970s through much of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a secular government that was relatively progressive, with full rights for women, which is hard to believe, isn’t it? But even a Pentagon report of the time testified to the actuality of women’s rights in Afghanistan. And what happened to that government? The United States overthrew it, allowing the Taliban to come to power. So keep that in mind the next time you hear an American official say that we have to remain in Afghanistan for the sake of women’s rights.
After Afghanistan came Iraq, another secular society, under Saddam Hussein. And the United States overthrew that government as well, and now the country is overrun by crazed and bloody jihadists and fundamentalists of all kinds; and women who are not covered up are running a serious risk.
Next came Libya; again, a secular country, under Moammar Gaddafi, who, like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him but could in important ways be benevolent and do marvelous things for Libya and Africa. To name just one example, Libya had a high ranking on the United Nation’s Human Development Index. So, of course, the United States overthrew that government as well. In 2011, with the help of NATO we bombed the people of Libya almost every day for more than six months. And, once again, this led to messianic jihadists having a field day. How it will all turn out for the people of Libya, only God knows, or perhaps Allah.
And for the past three years, the United States has been doing its best to overthrow the secular government of Syria. And guess what? Syria is now a playground and battleground for all manner of ultra militant fundamentalists, including everyone’s new favorite, IS, the Islamic State. The rise of IS owes a lot to what the US has done in Iraq, Libya, and Syria in recent years.
We can add to this marvelous list the case of the former Yugoslavia, another secular government that was overthrown by the United States, in the form of NATO, in 1999, giving rise to the creation of the largely-Muslim state of Kosovo, run by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA being armed and trained by al-Qaeda, in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs of Yugoslavia. Washington’s main concern was dealing a blow to Serbia, widely known as “the last communist government in Europe”.
The KLA became renowned for their torture, their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts; another charming client of the empire.
Someone looking down upon all this from outer space could be forgiven for thinking that the United States is an Islamic power doing its best to spread the word – Allah Akbar!
But what, you might wonder, did each of these overthrown governments have in common that made them a target of Washington’s wrath? The answer is that they could not easily be controlled by the empire; they refused to be client states; they were nationalistic; in a word, they were independent; a serious crime in the eyes of the empire.
So mention all this as well to our hypothetical supporter of US foreign policy and see whether he still believes that the United States means well. If he wonders how long it’s been this way, point out to him that it would be difficult to name a single brutal dictatorship of the second half of the 20th Century that was not supported by the United States; not only supported, but often put into power and kept in power against the wishes of the population. And in recent years as well, Washington has supported very repressive governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Indonesia, Egypt, Colombia, Qatar, and Israel.
And what do American leaders think of their own record? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was probably speaking for the whole private club of our foreign-policy leadership when she wrote in 2000 that in the pursuit of its national security the United States no longer needed to be guided by “notions of international law and norms” or “institutions like the United Nations” because America was “on the right side of history.”
Let me remind you of Daniel Ellsberg’s conclusion about the US in Vietnam: “It wasn’t that we were on the wrong side; we were the wrong side.”
Well, far from being on the right side of history, we have in fact fought – I mean actually engaged in warfare – on the same side as al Qaeda and their offspring on several occasions, beginning with Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s in support of the Islamic Moujahedeen, or Holy Warriors.
The US then gave military assistance, including bombing support, to Bosnia and Kosovo, both of which were being supported by al Qaeda in the Yugoslav conflicts of the early 1990s.
In Libya, in 2011, Washington and the Jihadists shared a common enemy, Gaddafi, and as mentioned, the US bombed the people of Libya for more than six months, allowing jihadists to take over parts of the country; and they’re now fighting for the remaining parts. These wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, apparently CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Then, for some years in the mid and late 2000s, the United States backed Islamic militants in the Caucasus region of Russia, an area that has seen more than its share of religious terror going back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s.
Finally, in Syria, in attempting to overthrow the Assad government, the US has fought on the same side as several varieties of Islamic militants. That makes six occasions of the US being wartime allies of jihadist forces.
I realize that I have fed you an awful lot of negativity about what America has done to the world, and maybe it’s been kind of hard for some of you to swallow. But my purpose has been to try to loosen the grip on your intellect and your emotions that you’ve been raised with – or to help you to help others to loosen that grip – the grip that assures you that your beloved America means well. US foreign policy will not make much sense to you as long as you believe that its intentions are noble; as long as you ignore the consistent pattern of seeking world domination, which is a national compulsion of very long standing, known previously under other names such as Manifest Destiny, the American Century, American exceptionalism, globalization, or, as Madeleine Albright put it, “the indispensable nation” … while others less kind have used the term “imperialist”.
In this context I can’t resist giving the example of Bill Clinton. While president, in 1995, he was moved to say: “Whatever we may think about the political decisions of the Vietnam era, the brave Americans who fought and died there had noble motives. They fought for the freedom and the independence of the Vietnamese people.” Yes, that’s really the way our leaders talk. But who knows what they really believe?
It is my hope that many of you who are not now activists against the empire and its wars will join the anti-war movement as I did in 1965 against the war in Vietnam. It’s what radicalized me and so many others. When I hear from people of a certain age about what began the process of losing their faith that the United States means well, it’s Vietnam that far and away is given as the main cause. I think that if the American powers-that-be had known in advance how their “Oh what a lovely war” was going to turn out they might not have made their mammoth historical blunder. Their invasion of Iraq in 2003 indicates that no Vietnam lesson had been learned at that point, but our continuing protest against war and threatened war in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere may have – may have! – finally made a dent in the awful war mentality. I invite you all to join our movement. Thank you.
- NBC News, “German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers”, September 6 2014
- BBC, March 18, 2014
- Information Clearinghouse, “How Can You Tell Whether Russia has Invaded Ukraine?”, September 1 2014
- Boston Globe, October 12, 2001
- See, for example, William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower(2005), chapter 1
- Washington Post, August 28, 2014
- Foreign Affairs magazine (Council on Foreign Relations), January/February 2000
Imagine: you are dressed up for a night on Broadway, but your neighbours are involved in a vicious quarrel, and you have to gun up and deal with the trouble instead of enjoying a show, and a dinner, and perhaps a date. This was Putin’s position regarding the Ukrainian turmoil.
The Russians have readjusted their sights, but they do not intend to bring their troops into the two rebel republics, unless dramatic developments should force them.
It is not much fun to be in Kiev these days. The revolutionary excitement is over, and hopes for new faces, the end of corruption and economic improvement have withered. The Maidan street revolt and the subsequent coup just reshuffled the same marked deck of cards, forever rotating in power.
The new acting President has been an acting prime minister, and a KGB (called “SBU” in Ukrainian) supremo. The new acting prime minister has been a foreign minister. The oligarch most likely to be “elected” President in a few days has been a foreign minister, the head of the state bank, and personal treasurer of two coups, in 2004 (installing Yushchenko) and in 2014 (installing himself). His main competitor, Mme Timoshenko, served as a prime minister for years, until electoral defeat in 2010.
These people had brought Ukraine to its present abject state. In 1991, the Ukraine was richer than Russia, today it is three times poorer because of these people’s mismanagement and theft. Now they plan an old trick: to take loans in Ukraine’s name, pocket the cash and leave the country indebted. They sell state assets to Western companies and ask for NATO to come in and protect the investment.
They play a hard game, brass knuckles and all. The Black Guard, a new SS-like armed force of the neo-nazi Right Sector, prowls the land. They arrest or kill dissidents, activists, journalists. Hundreds of American soldiers, belonging to the “private” company Academi (formerly Blackwater) are spread out in Novorossia, the pro-Russian provinces in the East and South-East. IMF–dictated reforms slashed pensions by half and doubled the housing rents. In the market, US Army rations took the place of local food.
The new Kiev regime had dropped the last pretence of democracy by expelling the Communists from the parliament. This should endear them to the US even more. Expel Communists, apply for NATO, condemn Russia, arrange a gay parade and you may do anything at all, even fry dozens of citizens alive. And so they did.
The harshest repressions were unleashed on industrial Novorossia, as its working class loathes the whole lot of oligarchs and ultra-nationalists. After the blazing inferno of Odessa and a wanton shooting on the streets of Melitopol the two rebellious provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms and declared their independence from the Kiev regime. They came under fire, but did not surrender. The other six Russian-speaking industrial provinces of Novorossia were quickly cowed. Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa were terrorised by personal army of Mr Kolomoysky; Kharkov was misled by its tricky governor.
Russia did not interfere and did not support the rebellion, to the great distress of Russian nationalists in Ukraine and Russia who mutter about “betrayal”. So much for the warlike rhetoric of McCain and Brzezinski.
Putin’s respect for others’ sovereignty is exasperating. I understand this sounds like a joke, — you hear so much about Putin as a “new Hitler”. As a matter of fact, Putin had legal training before joining the Secret Service. He is a stickler for international law. His Russia has interfered with other states much less than France or England, let alone the US. I asked his senior adviser, Mr Alexei Pushkov, why Russia did not try to influence Ukrainian minds while Kiev buzzed with American and European officials. “We think it is wrong to interfere”, he replied like a good Sunday schoolboy. It is rather likely Putin’s advisors misjudged public sentiment. « The majority of Novorossia’s population does not like the new Kiev regime, but being politically passive and conservative, will submit to its rule”, they estimated. “The rebels are a small bunch of firebrands without mass support, and they can’t be relied upon”, was their view. Accordingly, Putin advised the rebels to postpone the referendum indefinitely, a polite way of saying “drop it”.
They disregarded his request with considerable sang froid and convincingly voted en masse for secession from a collapsing Ukraine. The turnout was much higher than expected, the support for the move near total. As I was told by a Kremlin insider, this development was not foreseen by Putin’s advisers.
Perhaps the advisors had read it right, but three developments had changed the voters’ minds and had sent this placid people to the barricades and the voting booths:
1. The first one was the fiery holocaust of Odessa, where the peaceful and carelessly unarmed demonstrating workers were suddenly attacked by regime’s thugs (the Ukrainian equivalent of Mubarak’s shabab) and corralled into the Trade Unions Headquarters. The building was set on fire, and the far-right pro-regime Black Guard positioned snipers to efficiently pick off would-be escapees. Some fifty, mainly elderly, Russian-speaking workers were burned alive or shot as they rushed for the windows and the doors. This dreadful event was turned into an occasion of merriment and joy by Ukrainian nationalists who referred to their slain compatriots as “fried beetles”. (It is being said that this auto-da-fé was organised by the shock troops of Jewish oligarch and strongman Kolomoysky, who coveted the port of Odessa. Despite his cuddly bear appearance, he is pugnacious and violent person, who offered ten thousand dollars for a captive Russian, dead or alive, and proposed a cool million dollars for the head of Mr Tsarev, a Member of Parliament from Donetsk.)
2. The second was the Mariupol attack on May 9, 2014. This day is commemorated as V-day in Russia and Ukraine (while the West celebrates it on May 8). The Kiev regime forbade all V-day celebrations. In Mariupol, the Black Guard attacked the peaceful and weaponless town, burning down the police headquarters and killing local policemen who had refused to suppress the festive march. Afterwards, Black Guard thugs unleashed armoured vehicles on the streets, killing citizens and destroying property.
The West did not voice any protest; Nuland and Merkel weren’t horrified by this mass murder, as they were by Yanukovich’s timid attempts to control crowds.
The people of these two provinces felt abandoned; they understood that nobody was going to protect and save them but themselves, and went off to vote.
3. The third development was, bizarrely, the Eurovision jury choice of Austrian transvestite Conchita Wurst for a winner of its song contest.
The sound-minded Novorossians decided they want no part of such a Europe.
Actually, the people of Europe do not want it either:
It transpired that the majority of British viewers preferred a Polish duo, Donatan & Cleo, with its We Are Slavic. Donatan is half Russian, and has courted controversy in the past extolling the virtues of pan-Slavism and the achievements of the Red Army, says the Independent.
The politically correct judges of the jury preferred to “celebrate tolerance”, the dominant paradigm imposed upon Europe.
This is the second transvestite to win this very political contest; the first one was Israeli singer Dana International.
Such obsession with re-gendering did not go down well with Russians and/or Ukrainians.
The Russians have readjusted their sights, but they do not intend to bring their troops into the two rebel republics, unless dramatic developments should force them.
Imagine: you are dressed up for a night on Broadway, but your neighbours are involved in a vicious quarrel, and you have to gun up and deal with the trouble instead of enjoying a show, and a dinner, and perhaps a date. This was Putin’s position regarding the Ukrainian turmoil.
A few months ago, Russia had made a huge effort to become, and to be seen as, a very civilized European state of the first magnitude. This was the message of the Sochi Olympic games: to re-brand, even re-invent Russia, just as Peter the Great once had, as part of the First World; an amazing country of strong European tradition, of Leo Tolstoy and Malevich, of Tchaikovsky and Diaghilev, the land of arts, of daring social reform, of technical achievements, of modernity and beyond — the Russia of Natasha Rostova riding a Sikorsky ‘copter. Putin spent $60 billion to broadcast this image.
The old fox Henry Kissinger wisely said:
Putin spent $60 billion on the Olympics. They had opening and closing ceremonies, trying to show Russia as a normal progressive state. So it isn’t possible that he, three days later, would voluntarily start an assault on Ukraine. There is no doubt that… at all times he wanted Ukraine in a subordinate position. And at all times, every senior Russian that I’ve ever met, including dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky, looked at Ukraine as part of the Russian heritage. But I don’t think he had planned to bring it to a head now.
However, Washington hawks decided to do whatever it takes to keep Russia out in the cold. They were afraid of this image of “a normal progressive state” as such Russia would render NATO irrelevant and undermine European dependence on the US. They were adamant about retaining their hegemony, shattered as it was by the Syrian confrontation. They attacked Russian positions in the Ukraine and arranged a violent coup, installing a viciously anti-Russian regime supported by football fans and neo-Nazis, paid for by Jewish oligarchs and American taxpayers. The victors banned the Russian language and prepared to void treaties with Russia regarding its Crimean naval base at Sebastopol on the Black Sea. This base was to become a great new NATO base, controlling the Black Sea and threatening Russia.
Putin had to deal quickly and so he did, by accepting the Crimean people’s request to join Russian Federation. This dealt with the immediate problem of the base, but the problem of Ukraine remained.
The Ukraine is not a foreign entity to Russians, it is the western half of Russia. It was artificially separated from the rest in 1991, at the collapse of the USSR. The people of the two parts are interconnected by family, culture and blood ties; their economies are intricately connected. While a separate viable Ukrainian state is a possibility, an “independent” Ukrainian state hostile to Russia is not viable and can’t be tolerated by any Russian ruler. And this for military as well as for cultural reasons: if Hitler had begun the war against Russia from its present border, he would have taken Stalingrad in two days and would have destroyed Russia in a week.
A more pro-active Russian ruler would have sent troops to Kiev a long time ago. Thus did Czar Alexis when the Poles, Cossacks and Tatars argued for it in 17th century. So also did Czar Peter the Great, when the Swedes occupied it in the 18th century. So did Lenin, when the Germans set up the Protectorate of Ukraine (he called its establishment “the obscene peace”). So did Stalin, when the Germans occupied the Ukraine in 1941.
Putin still hopes to settle the problem by peaceful means, relying upon the popular support of the Ukrainian people. Actually, before the Crimean takeover, the majority of Ukrainians (and near all Novorossians) overwhelmingly supported some sort of union with Russia. Otherwise, the Kiev coup would not have been necessary. The forced Crimean takeover seriously undermined Russian appeal. The people of Ukraine did not like it. This was foreseen by the Kremlin, but they had to accept Crimea for a few reasons. Firstly, a loss of Sevastopol naval base to NATO was a too horrible of an alternative to contemplate. Secondly, the Russian people would not understand if Putin were to refuse the suit of the Crimeans.
The Washington hawks still hope to force Putin to intervene militarily, as it would give them the opportunity to isolate Russia, turn it into a monster pariah state, beef up defence spending and set Europe and Russia against each other. They do not care about Ukraine and Ukrainians, but use them as pretext to attain geopolitical goals.
The Europeans would like to fleece Ukraine; to import its men as “illegal” workers and its women as prostitutes, to strip assets, to colonise. They did it with Moldova, a little sister of Ukraine, the most miserable ex-Soviet Republic. As for Russia, the EU would not mind taking it down a notch, so they would not act so grandly. But the EU is not fervent about it. Hence, the difference in attitudes.
Putin would prefer to continue with his modernisation of Russia. The country needs it badly. The infrastructure lags twenty or thirty years behind the West. Tired by this backwardness, young Russians often prefer to move to the West, and this brain drain causes much damage to Russia while enriching the West. Even Google is a result of this brain drain, for Sergey Brin is a Russian immigrant as well. So are hundreds of thousands of Russian scientists and artists manning every Western lab, theatre and orchestra. Political liberalisation is not enough: the young people want good roads, good schools and a quality of life comparable to the West. This is what Putin intends to deliver.
He is doing a fine job of it. Moscow now has free bikes and Wi-Fi in the parks like every Western European city. Trains have been upgraded. Hundreds of thousands of apartments are being built, even more than during the Soviet era. Salaries and pensions have increased seven-to-tenfold in the past decade. Russia is still shabby, but it is on the right track. Putin wants to continue this modernisation.
As for the Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states, Putin would prefer they retain their independence, be friendly and work at a leisurely pace towards integration a la the European Union.
He does not dream of a new empire. He would reject such a proposal, as it would delay his modernisation plans.
If the beastly neocons would not have forced his hand by expelling the legitimate president of Ukraine and installing their puppets, the world might have enjoyed a long spell of peace.
But then the western military alliance under the US leadership would fall into abeyance, US military industries would lose out, and US hegemony would evaporate. Peace is not good for the US military and hegemony-creating media machine. So dreams of peace in our lifetime are likely to remain just dreams.
What will Putin do?
Putin will try to avoid sending in troops as long as possible. He will have to protect the two splinter provinces, but this can be done with remote support, the way the US supports the rebels in Syria, without ‘boots on the ground’. Unless serious bloodshed on a large scale should occur, Russian troops will just stand by, staring down the Black Guard and other pro-regime forces.
Putin will try to find an arrangement with the West for sharing authority, influence and economic involvement in the failed state. This can be done through federalisation, or by means of coalition government, or even partition. The Russian-speaking provinces of Novorossia are those of Kharkov (industry), Nikolayev (ship-building), Odessa (harbour), Donetsk and Lugansk (mines and industry), Dnepropetrovsk (missiles and high-tech), Zaporozhe (steel), Kherson (water for Crimea and ship-building), all of them established, built and populated by Russians. They could secede from Ukraine and form an independent Novorossia, a mid-sized state, but still bigger than some neighbouring states. This state could join the Union State of Russia and Belarus, and/or the Customs Union led by Russia. The rump Ukraine could manage as it sees fit until it decides whether or not to join its Slavic sisters in the East. Such a set up would produce two rather cohesive and homogeneous states.
Another possibility (much less likely at this moment) is a three-way division of the failed Ukraine: Novorossia, Ukraine proper, and Galicia&Volyn. In such a case, Novorossia would be strongly pro-Russian, Ukraine would be neutral, and Galicia strongly pro-Western.
The EU could accept this, but the US probably would not agree to any power-sharing in the Ukraine. In the ensuing tug-of-war, one of two winners will emerge. If Europe and the US drift apart, Russia wins. If Russia accepts a pro-Western positioning of practically all of Ukraine, the US wins. The tug-of-war could snap and cause all-out war, with many participants and a possible use of nuclear weapons. This is a game of chicken; the one with stronger nerves and less imagination will remain on the track.
Pro and Contra
It is too early to predict who will win in the forthcoming confrontation. For the Russian president, it is extremely tempting to take all of Ukraine or at least Novorossia, but it is not an easy task, and one likely to cause much hostility from the Western powers. With Ukraine incorporated, Russian recovery from 1991 would be completed, its strength doubled, its security ensured and a grave danger removed. Russia would become great again. People would venerate Putin as Gatherer of Russian Lands.
However, Russian efforts to appear as a modern peaceful progressive state would have been wasted; it would be seen as an aggressor and expelled from international bodies. Sanctions will bite; high tech imports may be banned, as in the Soviet days. The Russian elites are reluctant to jeopardize their good life. The Russian military just recently began its modernization and is not keen to fight yet, perhaps not for another ten years.
But if they feel cornered, if NATO moves into Eastern Ukraine, they will fight all the same.
Some Russian politicians and observers believe that Ukraine is a basket case; its problems would be too expensive to fix. This assessment has a ‘sour grapes’ aftertaste, but it is widespread. An interesting new voice on the web, The Saker, promotes this view. “Let the EU and the US provide for the Ukrainians, they will come back to Mother Russia when hungry”, he says. The problem is, they will not be allowed to reconsider. The junta did not seize power violently in order to lose it at the ballot box.
Besides, Ukraine is not in such bad shape as some people claim. Yes, it would cost trillions to turn it into a Germany or France, but that’s not necessary. Ukraine can reach the Russian level of development very quickly –- in union with Russia. Under the EC-IMF-NATO, Ukraine will become a basket case, if it’s not already. The same is true for all East European ex-Soviet states: they can modestly prosper with Russia, as Belarus and Finland do, or suffer depopulation, unemployment, poverty with Europe and NATO and against Russia, vide Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Georgia. It is in Ukrainian interests to join Russia in some framework; Ukrainians understand that; for this reason they will not be allowed to have democratic elections.
Simmering Novorossia has a potential to change the game. If Russian troops don’t come in, Novorossian rebels may beat off the Kiev offensive and embark on a counter-offensive to regain the whole of the country, despite Putin’s pacifying entreaties. Then, in a full-blown civil war, the Ukraine will hammer out its destiny.
On a personal level, Putin faces a hard choice. Russian nationalists will not forgive him if he surrenders Ukraine without a fight. The US and EU threaten the very life of the Russian president, as their sanctions are hurting Putin’s close associates, encouraging them to get rid of or even assassinate the President and improve their relations with the mighty West. War may come at any time, as it came twice during the last century – though Russia tried to avoid it both times. Putin wants to postpone it, at the very least, but not at any price.
His is not an easy choice. As Russia procrastinates, as the US doubles the risks, the world draws nearer to the nuclear abyss. Who will chicken out?
(Language editing by Ken Freeland)
I just went to hear Mother Agnes-Mariam, a Syrian nun dressed in a serious nun outfit, give a talk on the horrible situation that her country finds itself in today — and I ended up with ten pages of notes on the shocking details of what she said. However, the main gist of her talk can be summed up in just a few words. “[Western neo-colonial] powers have been engineering chaos in Syria — and they need to stop this disruptive behavior right now so that peace and reconciliation can safely proceed.”
According to Mother Agnes-Mariam, these Western powers-that-be have been “engineering chaos” in Syria quite successfully over the last three years. But I would also like to add that Western neo-cons haven’t just been engineering chaos in Syria — oh no. They’ve also been doing it everywhere that they can, all across the Middle East. And then it also suddenly dawned on me that said neo-cons have been following a similar step-by-step pattern all over the world, not just in the Middle East:
Step 1: Find yourself a resource-rich country where a percentage of the population is unhappy — for whatever reason (and if you can’t find any unhappy people there, then just make some up).
Step 2: Begin to foment revolution in the name of “Freedom and Democracy”. Make F&D sound really really good!
Step 3: Start the killing — or “Shock and Awe” or whatever you want to call it. Use terms like “freedom fighters” and “rebels” and “no-fly zones” and “humanitarian relief”. And also be sure to throw in scare-words like “WMDs” and “Chemical Weapons” and “Nuclear Proliferation” whenever humanly possible. But it doesn’t really matter what you call anything as long as chaos results. Or another Benghazi. Or another Maiden Square.
Step 4: The most imperative goal in Step 4 is to make sure that an impressive number of civilians are killed (See Step 3)
Step 5: Disassemble the mechanisms of state. Bomb the hospitals. Bump off the water supply. Destroy the infrastructure. Blow up city hall. Replace the strong-arm guy who is holding the country together with a thousand factional groups who all hate each other and everyone else — and are willing to kill to prove it too. Think Iraq. Think Libya. Think Yugoslavia.
Step 6: Move into the void that’s created and steal land and resources to your heart’s content. “Good job, Brownie!”
But enough of this. Let’s get back to Mother Agnes-Miriam’s talk. She spoke for over an hour on peace and reconciliation in Syria — by and for Syrians. It was a hopeful speech; sadly informative but also rational and inspiring.
And then suddenly five or six people popped up from the audience as if on cue and started shouting at Mother Agnes. “What about the use of chemical weapons! What about that dictator Assad!”
I at first thought that the ushers at the venue had over-reacted a bit by telling those guys to either be quiet or leave. But later I learned that these same guys have been following Mother Agnes-Miriam all around America and trying to disrupt all of her talks.
And at another one of her talks, I later found out, Mother Agnes had welcomed their participation and attempted to answer their questions — only to discover that they had no valid evidence, no real POV and nothing really to say.
These guys were simply trying to “engineer chaos” too!
And afterwards, outside on the front steps, one of these guys (wearing a really expensive-looking suit) handed me his card. He was from Washington DC, of course. That figures.
For those of you who still want to soldier on and read more about what Mother Agnes-Mariam had to say, here are some of the quotes that I wrote down. I think I copied most of them correctly, but I was writing pretty fast:
“In Syria today, the horrendous reality is of thousands and thousands of mercenaries who enter historic city complexes to turn them into battlefields. They are terrorists and bandits who spread agony among the residents.
“Sponsored by foreign powers, these ‘Tafiri’ [self-appointed inquisitionists] ‘liberate’ towns by forcing the residents out of them. The majority of Islamic clerics throughout the world denounce the Tafiri, however.
“Syria is a cauldron of chaos — designed to dismantle a country. It is engineered by neo-colonials to divide and reign — and to dismantle and gain.
“All of Syria used to be middle-class. No homeless people in Syria. And now they are obliged to beg; living in slums where the violence has followed them. Mosques, churches and synagogues are also being systematically destroyed. Factories, hospitals, residences. Homs now looks like Stalingrad. Apocalyptic. The economic and production heart of Syria has also been destroyed. The engineers of chaos destroyed it.
“A young woman wakes up with no legs. And her friend is now blind. In some places, only 3% of the population remain — and the Takfiri ‘rebels’ still shell them. We are living among vampires — where beheading is getting very normal. We are seeing heads everywhere. They play football with them. One Takfiri leader is said to have beheaded 350 people.
“What happened to the Arab Spring? That striving for freedom and democracy has been highjacked by the engineers of chaos. The Free Syrian Army lacks money, its members are starving. But the Takfiri faction is receiving all kinds of money and weapons. The Takfiri are in direct opposition to reconciliation. They come from 80 countries — and Syrians are their victims.
“There are seven million refugees inside of Syria and two more million outside of the country. They are starving. Out of a population of just 22 million, each day 9,500 more civilians are forced to leave their homes. Soon all 22 million will be displaced. We are back to the barbarian era.
“When you see something like this in your city — thousands beheaded, children pushed off roofs, people roasted in ovens — there will be more and more violence. But there is a third way. We have to build bridges. That is the challenge of reconciliation among Syrians. We have to develop trust. We have a lot of martyrs [to the non-violent cause], but we will not stop because the bloodshed must stop!
“Saddam was killed. Gaddafi was killed. Has it gotten any better? If Assad is gone, who will take his place? The 2000 factions? No. How can I reconcile with a group who wants to behead me? We are now talking to former [FSA] fighters who go back to protect their neighborhoods from the Takfiris. The FSA is willing to talk. Even Syria’s Al Qaeda is upset that ISIS Takfiri are killing everyone and burning factories.
“We are accused continuously, especially by people in the US, of being political. This is preposterous. We are talking only out of a position to stop the bloodshed. Alternative media can now go deeper and not just repeat mainstream media [brainwashing] ad nauseam. Go and hear everyone. I am not an oracle — but do not put me to death if I disagree. This is not the way to truth.
“If a solution to Syria’s problems is imposed from outside, we will be worse off than before. We must be free from foreign intervention. Change will not come from violence. Violence has just strengthened [Assad’s] regime. All the Takfiris have done is to get rid of the infrastructure of the state instead. The state itself is the sole hope for Syria. That, and a dialogue of symbiosis and reconciliation among Syrians themselves.”
It is being widely reported that CNN is ending Piers Morgan’s prime time television program. Here is how the story is covered in The New York Times:
“There have been times when the CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t seem to like America very much–and American audiences have been more than willing to return the favor. Three years after taking over for Larry King, Mr. Morgan has seen the ratings for ‘Piers Morgan Live’ hit some new lows, drawing a fraction of viewers compared with competitors at Fox News and MSNBC.
“It’s been an unhappy collision between a British television personality who refuses to assimilate–the only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt–and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial. After all, the people who tune into a cable news network are, by their nature, deeply interested in America.
“CNN’s president, Jeffrey Zucker, has other problems, but none bigger than Mr. Morgan and his plum 9 p.m. time slot. Mr. Morgan said last week that he and Mr. Zucker had been talking about the show’s failure to connect and had decided to pull the plug, probably in March.”
See the Times report here:
What I am about to say, I rarely, if ever, say about anyone–even those folks with whom I vehemently disagree. I’ve never allowed myself to let my portion of the public debate get personal. But in the case of Piers Morgan, I am willfully backsliding.
Piers Morgan is an oaf of the highest order. He is a boorish braggart, a wanna-be tyrant, and an overall pompous ass. It was British snobs like Piers Morgan that incited the Colonists to revolt. Just looking at Morgan–as he smugly peered down his nose at us freedom-loving Americans–made me want to go to war with Great Britain all over again.
Now it appears that Piers Morgan will be off the airwaves soon–at least during primetime on CNN. All I can say is GOOD RIDDANCE. I also find it amusing that while Piers Morgan is riding off into the sunset, Alex Jones continues to broadcast all over the place. The Colonists won again. Oohrah!
My comments on Alec Baldwin are going to be much softer (to the surprise of some folks). But if regular readers will think about it, they have not seen me say a whole lot–one way or another–about entertainers–although I did inform my Facebook followers that I am going to miss Jay Leno.
To read my frequent posts, just “Like” my Facebook page at:
In my opinion, Jay Leno was a cut above the rest of the late night television talk show hosts. For one thing, Jay and his wife have been married for over thirty years–and there has been no hint of a sexual dalliance. What a rarity that is among celebrities. Jay doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke. While his jokes were sometimes crude, I never heard one that was irreverent to the things of Christianity or faith in general–unlike his CBS counterpart, David Letterman, whose personal and stage life are both filled with filth.
Leno was also the most fair and balanced comedian on late night television. He dished it out to Barack Obama and liberal Democrats as much as he did to G.W. Bush and conservative Republicans. He even dished it out to his host network, NBC. Plus, he seemed to genuinely respect Congressman Ron Paul; and Ron was a guest on Jay’s “Tonight Show” more than once.
See this Breitbart.com report on Jay Leno:
It seems that NBC executives have had it in their minds to get rid of Leno for quite a while. As you recall, they tried once before, replacing Leno with Conan O’Brien–which was a miserable failure. Now, NBC has truly pulled the trigger and replaced Jay with the likeable and funny (albeit a man who possesses a patented liberal bias, which will reveal itself more and more as he continues hosting “The Tonight Show”) Jimmy Fallon. I can’t help but believe that Leno truly incensed the network brass at NBC with his objectivity and balanced joke-telling. The media and entertainment industry leaders in this country are as about as close to a jihad mentality as you will find in America.
Normally, I don’t spend much time discussing the entertainment industry, because entertainers are–well, entertainers. It has been a long, long time since the American people expected much of anything in terms of honor and character from its movie stars. In fact, most of today’s movie star groupies don’t even know the names of such movie giants as Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Clayton Moore. And while there are still several clean and wholesome men and women in the movie and entertainment industries, the media would far rather keep us up-to-date on the morally shipwrecked Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus than point the spotlight on those talents that might actually provide the American people with a role model.
Yes, everyone knows Alec Baldwin is a liberal; everyone knows he had a loud and angry shouting match over the phone with his daughter during which he said some very cruel and hurtful things; and everyone knows he has been a strong supporter, financially and otherwise, of the Democrat Party. But is there anything in the above that wouldn’t apply to the vast majority of Hollywood entertainers? For that matter, I know of a lot of professing Christians who have a host of personal and family issues, not to mention being supporters of a plethora of organizations that are equally sinister and problematic. The only difference is, they are not famous and, therefore, nobody knows or cares about it.
Alec Baldwin (no relation to this writer) recently wrote a column that initially appeared in the February 24, 2014, edition of New York Magazine. In his remarks, he gave a very honest and trenchant analysis of the corrupt and ethically-bankrupt national media.
Remember, Alec Baldwin wrote as an entertainment insider. He is one of the most successful movie stars in the world. He is a liberal. He knows the media and entertainment worlds as well as anyone. No matter. The media and entertainment elite are treating Alec Baldwin like he is public enemy number one. And to many of these folks, he is.
MSNBC dumped him; friends abandoned him; and reporters and photographers have done their best to destroy him. Why? What did Alec Baldwin do to incur the wrath of all of these folks–people who have readily recognized him to be one of the outstanding talents in the industry? Why did they turn on him? Because Alec Baldwin didn’t bow down to the god of political-correctness.
In the politically-correct temple, in which the media and entertainment elite worship, one does not dare say anything–even of a personal nature–that could be construed as being uncomplimentary of certain people who are considered untouchable. In the politically-correct world of the media and entertainment elite, anyone who is an African-American, Jew, or homosexual is absolutely out-of-bounds and may not be touched. Anyone else is fair game. To criticize or condemn a white guy, a Christian, or a heterosexual is not only admissible, but to do so only enhances one’s credibility and popularity with these worshippers of political correctness. It seems that the media elite have forgotten the words of their hero, Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” If the media elite truly believe that people are to be judged as individuals–regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation–how is it that political correctness can even exist? How is it that certain entertainers are singled out to be pilloried and ostracized?
For example, take a look at Mel Gibson. Without a doubt, Mel Gibson is one of the most successful Hollywood actors of all time. His accomplishments on the silver screen are legendary. But the media and entertainment elite now consider Gibson to be damaged goods. For the most part, they won’t touch him. What he has done of late, he has produced himself. Fortunately, for him, he has the resources to do this. Few in Hollywood have his resources.
Gibson’s troubles began when he refused to apologize to a group of homosexuals who were offended at a scene in his blockbuster movie, “Braveheart.” Then there was Mel Gibson’s production of the most politically-incorrect movie of all, “The Passion of The Christ,” which was very much a reverent and respectful (and, yes, graphic) portrayal of Christ’s death on the cross. (I suppose the only other film that could be regarded as more politically-incorrect than “The Passion of The Christ” would be Ron Maxwell’s masterpiece, “Gods and Generals,” starring Stephen Lang as General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. In my opinion, Lang should have received an Oscar for his performance. It was outstanding!) And the nail in the coffin (proverbially speaking) was when Gibson was supposedly drunk and, when in the custody of a police officer, went into an anti-Jewish rant. That was it. Mel Gibson had touched the “third rail.” Of course, had Mel gone into an anti-Christian rant, no one within the media or entertainment elite would have thought one thing about it.
For sure, Alec Baldwin always spoke his mind–and many times Alec was his own worst enemy. No doubt about it. But when Alec tore into a tirade in which what he said could be interpreted (wrongly) as being anti-gay, Alec had also touched the “third rail.” That was it. Alec Baldwin is now being compared to Mel Gibson; and the media elite are doing everything they can to ruin the man.
Baldwin’s column shines the light of day on the sinister, shadowy world of America’s national media. The national media is more than biased; it is more than liberal; it is more than Big Government. The national media is obsessed with political correctness. At the highest levels, they are evangelists of the ministry of propaganda, and they relish their role as Grand Inquisitors.
I caution readers: Alec Baldwin’s column contains no small usage of profanity. But it also reveals an even greater vulgarity: the blatant wickedness of a dishonest and dastardly national media. And, unfortunately, there is not a major network or major media outlet (including the so-called “conservative” FOX News) that is exempt from the dark side of this dragon.
Yes, in typical liberal fashion, Baldwin rants against conservative outlets such as Breitbart.com, but he also torches liberal icons such as Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper along with media opportunists such as Joe Scarborough.
Alec Baldwin has gotten a taste of the harsh realities of political correctness. He has, no doubt, grown up in liberalism and knows little else. However, it would appear that Alec Baldwin has a degree of honesty about him and is willing to call a spade a spade (as he understands it) even when his fellow liberals are in the crosshairs. I think he is reachable with the truth. I am praying for him.
Read Alec Baldwin’s column here:
Piers Morgan deserved to get sacked. No one wants someone from a foreign country looking down their nose at them and telling them how stupid they are. My personal opinion is Jay Leno was not, and will not be, equaled as a late night television comic. I believe he is genuine–a rarity in entertainment. Mel Gibson is one of my all-time favorite actors. His movies, “Braveheart,” “The Patriot,” and “Conspiracy Theory” are especially outstanding. I believe Mel is among a small handful in Hollywood who truly understands the New World Order and is vehemently opposed to it. Alec Baldwin has never been one of my favorite actors, although I do honestly acknowledge his extraordinary talent. Obviously, I do not share hardly any of his political views. However, Alec Baldwin, like Mel Gibson, is the victim of an out-of-control media jihad that intends to cut the head off of anyone who will not bow the knee to their god of political correctness.
“Washington and Brussels … used a Nazi coup, carried out by insurgents, terrorists and politicians of Euromaidan to serve the geopolitical interests of the West.” — Natalia Vitrenko, The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine
The United States helped defeat Nazism in World War 2. Obama helped bring it back.
As you probably know by now, Obama and Co. have ousted Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, with the help of ultra-right, paramilitary, neo-Nazi gangs who seized and burned government offices, killed riot police, and spread mayhem and terror across the country. These are America’s new allies in the Great Game, the grand plan to “pivot to Asia” by pushing further eastward, toppling peaceful governments, securing vital pipeline corridors, accessing scarce oil and natural gas reserves and dismantling the Russian Federation consistent with the strategy proposed by geopolitical mastermind, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski’s magnum opus–”The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and it’s Geostrategic Imperatives” has become the Mein Kampf for aspiring western imperialists. It provides the basic blueprint for establishing US military-political-economic hegemony in the century’s most promising and prosperous region, Asia. In an article in Foreign Affairs Brzezinski laid out his ideas about neutralizing Russia by splitting the country into smaller parts, thus, allowing the US to maintain its dominant role in the region without threat of challenge or interference. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski,“A Geostrategy for Eurasia”)
Moscow is keenly aware of Washington’s divide and conquer strategy, but has downplayed the issue in order to avoid a confrontation. The US-backed coup in Ukraine means that that option is no longer feasible. Russia will have to respond to a provocation that threatens both its security and vital interests. Early reports suggest that Putin has already mobilized troops to the East and –according to Reuters “put fighter jets along its western borders on combat alert.” Here’s more from Reuters:
“The United States says any Russian military action would be a grave mistake. But Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Moscow would defend the rights of its compatriots and react without compromise to any violation of those rights.” (Reuters)
There’s going to be a confrontation, it’s just a matter of whether the fighting will escalate or not.
In order to topple Yanukovych, the US had to tacitly support fanatical groups of neo-Nazi thugs and anti-Semites. And, even though “Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchynov has pledged to do everything in his power to protect the country’s Jewish community”; reports on the ground are not so encouraging. Here’s an excerpt from a statement by Natalia Vitrenko, of The Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine that suggests the situation is much worse than what is being reported in the news:
“Across the country… People are being beaten and stoned, while undesirable members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are subject to mass intimidation and local officials see their families and children targeted by death threats if they do not support the installation of this new political power. The new Ukrainian authorities are massively burning the offices of political parties they do not like, and have publicly announced the threat of criminal prosecution and prohibition of political parties and public organizations that do not share the ideology and goals of the new regime.” (“USA and EU Are Erecting a Nazi Regime on Ukrainian Territory”, Natalia Vitrenko)
Earlier in the week, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a Ukranian synagogue had been firebombed although the “Molotov cocktails struck the synagogue’s exterior stone walls and caused little damage”.
Another article in Haaretz referred to recent developments as “the new dilemma for Jews in Ukraine”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“The greatest worry now is not the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents but the major presence of ultra-nationalist movements, especially the prominence of the Svoboda party and Pravy Sektor (right sector) members among the demonstrators. Many of them are calling their political opponents “Zhids” and flying flags with neo-Nazi symbols. There have also been reports, from reliable sources, of these movements distributing freshly translated editions of Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Independence Square.” (“Anti-Semitism, though a real threat, is being used by the Kremlin as a political football”,Haaretz)
Then there’s this, from Dr. Inna Rogatchi in Arutz Sheva:
“There is no secret concerning the real political agenda and programs of ultra-nationalist parties in Ukraine – there is nothing close to European values and goals there. One just should open existing documents and hear what the representatives of those parties proclaim daily. They are sharply anti-European, and highly racist. They have nothing to do with the values and practices of the civilized world…
Ukrainian Jewry is facing a real and serious threat….To empower the openly neo-Nazi movements in Europe by ignoring the threat they pose is an utterly risky business. People should not have to pay a terrible price – again – for the meekness and indifference of their leaders. As Ukraine today has become the tragic show-case for all of Europe with regards to breeding and allowing race-hatred to become a violent and uncontrollable force, it is impertive to handle the situation there in accordance with existing international law and norms of civilization.” (“Tea With Neo-Nazis: The Violent Nationalism in Ukraine“, Arutz Sheva)
Here’s a little more background on the topic by progressive analyst Stephen Lendmen from a February 25 post titled “New York Times: Supporting US Imperial Lawlessness”:
“Washington openly backs fascist Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok…In 2004, Tyahnybok was expelled from former President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction. He was condemned for urging Ukrainians to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.”
In 2005, he denounced “criminal activities” of “organized Jewry.” He outrageously claimed they plan “genocide” against Ukrainians.”…
Tyahnybok extremism didn’t deter Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. On February 6, she met openly with him and other anti-government leaders.
In early January, 15,000 ultranationalists held a torchlight march through Kiev. They did so to honor Nazi-era collaborator/mass murderer Stepan Bandera. Some wore uniforms a Wehrmacht Ukrainian division used in WW II. Others chanted “Ukraine above all” and “Bandera, come and bring order.” (Steve Lendman blog)
Of course, the US media has downplayed the fascistic-neo-Nazi “ethnic purity” element of the Ukrainian coup in order to focus on– what they think — are more “positive themes”, like the knocking down of statues of Lenin or banning Communist party members from participating in Parliament. As far as the media is concerned, these are all signs of progress.
Ukraine is gradually succumbing to the loving embrace of the New World Order where it will serve as another profit-generating cog in Wall Street’s wheel. That’s the theory, at least. It hasn’t occurred to the boneheads at the New York Times or Washington Post that Ukraine is rapidly descending into Mad Max-type anarchy which could spill over its borders into neighboring countries triggering violent conflagrations, social upheaval, regional instability or–god-help-us– WW3. The MSM sees nothing but silver linings as if everything was going according to plan. All of Eurasia, the Middle East and beyond are being pacified and integrated into one world government overseen by the unitary executive who defers to no one but the corporations and financial institutions who control the levers of power behind imperial shoji-screen. What could go wrong?
Naturally, Russia is worried about developments in Ukraine, but is unsure how to react. Here’s how Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev summed it up the other day:
“We do not understand what is going on there. A real threat to our interests (exists) and to the lives and health of our citizens. Strictly speaking, today there is no one there to communicate with … If you think that people in black masks waving Kalashnikovs (represent) a government, then it will be difficult for us to work with such a government.”
Clearly, Moscow is confused and worried. No one expects the world’s only superpower to behave this irrationally, to hop-scotch across the planet creating one failed state after another, fomenting revolt, breeding hatred, and spreading misery wherever it goes. At present, the Obama team is operating at full-throttle trying to topple regimes in Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, and god-knows where else. At the same time, failed operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have left all three countries in dire straights, ruled by regional warlords and armed militias. Medvedev has every right to be concerned.
Who wouldn’t be? The US has gone off the rails, stark raving mad. The architecture for global security has collapsed while the basic principals of international law have been jettisoned. The rampaging US juggernaut lurches from one violent confrontation to the next without rhyme or reason, destroying everything in its path, forcing millions to flee their own countries, and pushing the world closer to the abyss. Isn’t that reason enough to be concerned?
Now Obama has thrown-in with the Nazis. It’s just the icing on the cake.
Check out this blurb from Max Blumenthal’s latest titled “Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?”:
“Right Sector is a shadowy syndicate of self-described ‘autonomous nationalists’ identified by their skinhead style of dress, ascetic lifestyle, and fascination with street violence. Armed with riot shields and clubs, the group’s cadres have manned the front lines of the Euromaidan battles this month, filling the air with their signature chant: ‘Ukraine above all!’ In a recent Right Sector propaganda video the group promised to fight ‘against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, for traditional national morality and family values.’
With Svoboda linked to a constellation of international neo-fascist parties through the Alliance of European National Movements, Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on “a great European Reconquest.” (“Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?—Exposing troubling ties in the U.S. to overt Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine“, Max Blumenthal, AlterNet)
“Family values”? Where have we heard that before?
It’s clear, that Obama and his brainiac advisors think they have a handle on this thing and can train this den of vipers to click their heels and follow Washington’s directives, but it sounds like a bad bet to me. These are hard-core, died-in-the-wool, Nazi-extremists. They won’t be bought-off, co-opted or intimidated. They have an agenda and they aim to pursue that agenda to their last, dying breath.
Of all the dumb plans Washington has come up with in the couple years, this is the dumbest.
Yesterday marked the 41st anniversary of the infamous US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, which, in effect, legalized abortion-on-demand nationwide. The aftermath of this tragic ruling is the deaths of over 55 million innocent unborn babies. It is no hyperbole to say abortion-on-demand is America’s national holocaust. Think about it, every American citizen today, 41 years old or younger, has never known a country that respected and protected innocent human life in the womb.
Consider this, too: when Hitler’s Third Reich was at its zenith, the abortion rate in Germany was 40%. Guess what? The abortion rate in America today is right at 40%. In fact, statistically speaking, the most dangerous place to be in America is not in an automobile without wearing a seat belt, or on a commercial airliner with a potential terrorist on board, but in the womb of one’s mother.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson once headed America’s largest abortion clinic in New York City. He admitted superintending over the killing of 75,000 unborn babies. He later recanted his pro-abortion activity and wrote what may be the quintessential book defending an unborn child’s right to life, “Aborting America.” Dr. Nathanson said, “There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.”
Dr. Mildred Jefferson was a surgeon at Boston University Medical Center, a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery with many honors and awards. She said, “Many people try to hide behind the confusion of not knowing what happens before a baby is born. But we do not have to be confused. We in medicine and science have a different name for every stage of the development of the baby, but it does not matter at all whether you know those names or not. When a young woman has not had much opportunity to go to school and she becomes pregnant, no one has to tell her that she is going to have a baby.
“I became a doctor in the tradition that is represented in the Bible of looking upon medicine as a high calling. I will not stand aside and have this great profession of mine, of the doctor, give up the designation of healer to become that of the social executioner. The Supreme Court Justices only had to hand down an order. Social workers only have to make arrangements, but it has been given to my profession to destroy the life of the innocent and the helpless.
“Today it is the unborn child; tomorrow it is likely to be the elderly or those who are incurably ill. Who knows but that a little later it may be anyone who has political or moral views that do not fit into the distorted new order? To that question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ I answer ‘Yes.’ It is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard and preserve life. A child is a member of the human family and deserves care and concern.”
How many physicians, scientists, teachers, artists, musicians, pastors, missionaries, statesmen, musicians, businessmen, tradesmen, engineers, and notable contributors to society have been murdered in the womb since abortion-on-demand was legalized in this country? Millions, I’m sure.
At this point, I can hear someone interrupting, “What about cases involving rape or incest?”
While these cases number less than 1% of pregnancies, consider this case history: a 12-year-old girl was raped and became pregnant. “Get an abortion,” you say? Congratulations! You just killed Ethel Waters. The manner in which a baby was conceived in no way diminishes the human worth of the baby. Since when do we kill children for the sins of one parent?
And as Dr. Jefferson said, just where does the acceptance of abortion lead? Does anyone remember Baby Doe in Bloomington, Indiana?
A little baby was born April 9, 1982, with Down’s syndrome in a Bloomington, Indiana, hospital. The parents refused to allow a doctor to correct a defect in the esophagus that prevented eating, because the child was born with Down’s. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the parents’ right to make this decision. When news of this atrocity got out, adoption offers came in from all over America. Several members of the medical staff who were aghast that such a thing could happen in their hospital resigned over the incident. An appeal was quickly started, but Baby Doe died of starvation on April 15, 1982. There is no doubt that this case, and many others similar to it, are directly related to the Roe v Wade decision that, in effect, makes babies nothing more than the property of the state with no human rights ascribed to them.
Add to this blatant disrespect for human life the new socialized, mandated government-run health care system now in effect–complete with cost-related rationing of medical treatments–and one can only imagine how the value of human life will continue to decline in this country. We are already hearing multiple reports of people who are not able to have surgical procedures because of all of the government red-tape and the uncertainty of physicians and hospitals as to whether the government will authorize payment.
I suggest that everyone start taking care of themselves and trying to stay healthy, because, under Obamacare, illness could become a death sentence–not because of the illness, but because of the lack of proper medical treatment due to the rationing of health care by government-imposed financial stipulations.
Plus, if you want to do some personal research that will really send chills up your spine, start investigating the fact that many scientists and researchers are seriously discussing genetic manipulation and genetic engineering. Our own government and military are already culpable in grotesque medical experimentation on both civilian and military personnel.
Our own Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has admitted to using military personnel as human guinea pigs for medical, biological, and mental experimentation under various programs associated with the now-infamous title, MK-ULTRA. CIA officials say the programs have all been scrapped. Don’t you believe it.
In addition, consider the testimony of Dr. Carolyn Gerster, a physician specializing in internal medicine and cardiopulmonary diseases. She obtained her medical degree from the University Of Oregon Medical School in Portland.
Dr. Gerster told Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, “I was asked to become a member of the American College of Physicians many years ago. It’s an honorary society of internal medicine. I was very proud right up until the day that the society gave the James D. Bruce Award for Medical Research to Dr. Saul Krugman for the following experiment. Dr. Krugman had taken living hepatitis virus MS2 and injected this living virus into 25 retarded children in Willowbrook Home for the Retarded in upstate New York. This was defended on the basis that they would probably get the hepatitis virus anyway.”
Consider, too, that contrary to what most people assume, the vast majority of physicians graduating from medical school today no longer take a Hippocratic-type oath–an oath that binds physicians to the following: “I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary [medical device] to cause an abortion.”
As Schaeffer and Koop pointed out in their book, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” “The Declaration of Geneva (adopted in September 1948 by the General Assembly of the World Medical Organization and modeled closely on the Hippocratic Oath) became used as the graduation oath by more and more medical schools. It includes: ‘I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception.’ This concept of the preservation of human life has been the basis of the medical profession and society in general. It is significant that when the University of Pittsburgh changed from the Hippocratic Oath to the Declaration of Geneva in 1971, the students deleted ‘from the time of conception’ from the clause.”
Today, the ageless principles that had guided the medical profession throughout Western Civilization have been expunged from a majority of our physicians’ training and practice. And the Roe Supreme Court decision had much to do with it.
What is especially irritating about the whole abortion debate is the way the subject has been used as a political football by those on both the right and the left of the political aisle. While the national Democratic Party proudly touts itself as being “pro-choice,” it has been the so-called “pro-life” Republican Party that is mostly to blame for legalized abortion being left as the law of the land for over four decades.
Think of it: the GOP has dominated US Supreme Court appointments for the 41 years since the Roe decision. In fact, the 1973 court that released the Roe decision was a Republican-appointed court by a 6-3 margin. The same GOP-dominated court also rendered the Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decision reaffirming Roe.
Consider still: the “pro-life” Republican Party controlled the entire federal government from the election of 2000 to the election of 2006: six long years of GOP domination of both houses of Congress, the White House, and the US Supreme Court. And in all of that time, not one single unborn baby’s life was saved. Not one!
And, yet, each year, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) would introduce the Sanctity of Life Act. And each year, the bill would sit in the document room of the Capitol Building and gather dust. What would Rep. Paul’s bill have done? (1) It would have defined unborn babies as persons under the law. (2) Under the authority of Article. III. Section. 2. of the US Constitution, it would have removed abortion from the jurisdiction of the court. Had the “pro-life” Republican congress passed Dr. Paul’s bill, and the “pro-life” President, G. W. Bush, signed it into law, Roe v. Wade would have been effectively overturned.
So, why didn’t President Bush trumpet the bill? Where was the Republican leader in the Senate? Where was the Republican Speaker of the House? Where was Orrin Hatch? Where was John McCain? Where was Lindsey Graham? Where was the National Right to Life Committee? Where were the tens of thousands of “pro-life” pastors and Christians?
Not only that: these same “pro-life” pastors, church members, and conservatives refused to support Congressman Ron Paul for President in 2008, and again in 2012, because he was not “conservative” enough. Actually, they opposed him because he opposed the war in Iraq, which means they would rather support a politician who promotes taking America into unconstitutional wars–and who will do nothing to overturn Roe v Wade and save the lives of unborn babies–than support a man who insisted that the Constitution be followed, and actually had a constitutional plan to overturn Roe v Wade and end abortion-on-demand as a national “right.” No wonder Jesus noted that unbelievers often have it over believers in the brains department. (See Luke 16:8.)
I remind you that securing life and liberty is the primary purpose of government (read the Declaration of Independence). Should it surprise us that the same government that feels no responsibility to protect the lives of innocent unborn children would feel any responsibility to protect our liberties? No wonder this government seems hell-bent on destroying our personal liberties: the wanton slaughter of 55 million unborn babies has seared its conscience.
Worse yet is the manner in which our pastors and churches seem completely unsympathetic to the silent screams of the slaughtered unborn. How many pastors will even mention Roe v Wade in their pulpits this week? Most Christians will go through this week and never even give a second thought to the plight of the millions of unborn babies being legally murdered in this country. And, furthermore, their conscience will certainly not be pricked by anything they hear from the pastors in their pulpits this week–or any other week, for that matter.
Legalized abortion is a national holocaust; an affront to our national character; a contradiction of established principles subscribed to from the beginning of Western Civilization; an insult to the principles of our Declaration of Independence; a bane of our national spirit; and a stench in the nostrils of Almighty God. That we have allowed it to continue for 41 years now stands as an indictment against this generation of Americans (especially America’s Christians) and bodes ominously for the well-being of our posterity.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, the highly anticipated Senate Intelligence Committee report on the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans was released. The primary investigative report, including redactions, consists of 42 pages with an additional 16 pages of appendices and another 25 pages of additional “majority views.” While the report validates much of what I’ve written well in advance of media reports, it also appears to be deliberately deficient in a number of critical areas.
The report acknowledges that there were no protests over an obscure internet video at this facility in Benghazi, which was neither an embassy nor a consulate. As I initially exposed, the report confirms on page seven that the Benghazi facility was an undercover CIA compound. It was only somewhat known to be a U.S. asset in the region, but had no U.S. flag flying anywhere on the property, and did not serve any diplomatic operational function as would an embassy or consulate. Therefore, no one “in the know” could reasonably believe or even suspect that this location would be the site of any protests about an obscure internet video. Yet, the deliberate mischaracterization of not only the site of the attacks, but the reason behind them, continued to be shamelessly peddled by the politicians and media alike. It was not only a lie, but a contemptible lie.
The critical issue of the actual function that CIA compound served remains the “third rail” of our elected leaders and their obedient media. The report focuses on accountability for the lack of security and later, the lack of response to a critical incident. However, it fails to address that the U.S., under the direction of Barack Hussein Obama in the Executive branch, and Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Secretary of State, were spearheading a weapons running operation to arm the anti-Assad factions in Syria by way of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. As I detailed on November 5, 2012, reasonable estimates suggest that between 30-40 million pounds of missiles, guns and even chemical weapons (gas) had been confiscated in Libya and shipped to various prepositioning locations in Turkey and directly into Syria for use by anti-Assad “rebels.”
The function of this compound was far different than the legitimate function of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. The compound in Benghazi served as a logistics hub to arrange the crisscrossing supply lines of Gadaffi’s weapons, under the control of Muslim Brotherhood factions, to the Libyan port city of Dernah, the chokepoint of the arsenals. This was appropriately named the “Ho Chi Minh Trail of Muslim Brotherhood supply lines” as referenced in an October 5, 2012 article by Michael Reagan titled “Building on a kernel of truth.” Despite this exposure, senate and congressional investigators, whose job it is to uncover the truth, still don’t seem willing to ask the correct questions. Why?
While the political pundits and the corporate media will continue to shamelessly play political football with not only the bodies of four dead Americans, but with the future of all Americans and everyone in the West, Obama and his operational staff of globalists will continue to advance the U.S., and the world, on a certain course that will take us headlong into World War III. By not addressing the core issues of the larger agenda, the attention of the American people continues to be held captive by a single act of a larger play. As I’ve written before, the lies are much bigger.
As I have consistently maintained, the attacks in Benghazi were proxy attacks at a nation-state level in response to our arming the anti-Assad terror organizations. They were not the result of an angry protest over an Internet video, although understanding how that video was used provides insight into the role of the CIA and certain other key players in the cover-up. You will find that the video is directly tied to a CIA operation that was to be used as cover at an appropriate moment.
They were also not the result of some false flag operation with plans to kidnap an American ambassador to swap him for the blind sheikh, although kidnapping did played a role in the attacks as I previously detailed. The kidnapping to which I refer, of course, is related to the abduction of seven Iranian-citizen ICRC workers in Benghazi on July 31, 2012. At least that incident earned a footnote in the Senate report. The curiosity regarding the number of attacks on September 11, 2012, combined with the withholding of heavy artillery suggests that the attackers were looking to rescue their compatriots that were held captive until their mysterious release after the attacks.
Even as the merits of this report are debated in the fictional right-left paradigm and the captive press, the agenda for which this CIA compound served continues. The glee shown by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2011 when she laughed about the murder of Gaddafi and the destabilization of Libya will likely be absent when Assad falls. Syria remains the target of this game of Risk among the globalists.
The recent actions of new Secretary of State John Kerry are as insidious as his predecessor’s, although perhaps not as overt or easily identifiable in this hall of mirrors of Middle East politics. By stating that the U.S. would not militarily intervene in the take-over by al Qaeda and related terror groups of the Al Anbar Province of Iraq, where many Americans died for the ostensible cause of freedom for the Iraqi people, he has given them a green light to open another front against Syria. The opening a front to the southeast of Syria via Iraq is actually one of many contingency plans, as blaming the use of chemical weapons on Assad did not work as planned as enough people saw that for what it was.
As I have written many times, the goal has always been Syria. Now, if someone thinks that the Russians, Iranians and Syrians are going to be fooled about who’s actually behind this proxy eastern front being opened up against Assad, I’d like to ask now, a year-and-a-half later, do you think they were ever fooled about who was behind the arms running operation out of Benghazi and eastern Libya where this all started? No and HELL NO. This latest front, just as the first and now failed fronts in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, is all about plausible deniability, or PD as it’s known in the tradecraft. It’s the magic act where sleight of hand and deception rule the day in “the hall of mirrors” that is Mideast politics, a reference again to the aforementioned article written by Michael Reagan.
Syria will not implode and it will not succumb to some rag-tag army of militants. The anti-Assad operation needs Western and external assistance. Putin is aware of our machinations, as are other leaders. So, when all of this comes unraveled, and it will, look for it to explode eastward into Saudi Arabia, into the Arab sea, north into Iran and all the way to the Strait of Hormuz. And when, not if it does, that attack will not just damage shipping and the free flow of oil into Western markets, it will crush the dollar and with it the hopes and dreams not just of the U.S., but western civilization itself.
If you continue to sleep now America, sleep well. Because when you do wake up, it just might be a long while before you sleep well again. The prematurely darkening sky you see is not just the announcement of evening in America. Those are blustering storm clouds, and the claps of thunder will be along shortly. And they will most likely be hard to miss.
Source: Douglas J. Hagmann
How do you sum up 2013 as a year for the United States and her citizens? What criteria do you use? Good, bad and ugly? As Clint Eastwood said, “A man’s got to know his limitations. Well, do ya’ punk?” The same could be said for our country. Do we understand our limitations?
On the immigration front, 20 million illegal aliens “itched” to get themselves legalized so they could continue their “Aztlan Reconquista” of the four southwestern states. Spanish co-equals English in America because Congress runs from any sense of responsibility to our immigration laws and the English language that built America. As their numbers grow, illegal migrants march toward their goal with the help of President Barack Obama, himself a non-citizen, the ACLU, and 535 Congressional critters that refuse to enforce our Constitutional laws.
After 11 years replete with $1 trillion wasted, our military men and women remain in the Islamic insane asylum of Afghanistan doing nothing but pouring money and lives down the rat-hole. The military industrial complex works its wonders with Obama and Congress to start a war with Iran. The bankers and moneychangers lick their chops at the thought of endless and meaningless wars overseas. As General Smedley Butler said in his memoirs, “War is a racket for bankers and politicians.”
Psychologists expect anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 young men will commit suicide from their senseless service in the Islamic nuthouse of the Middle East. Endless forms of PTSD cause broken marriages, fatherless families, alcoholic & drug addicted soldiers and nonstop misfortune for our military veterans.
For a 5th straight year, Barack Obama proves himself an inept, incompetent and totally lackluster president of the United States. Food stamp recipients charged from 36 million at the beginning of his first term to 48.1 million subsisting on food stamps today. He drove the federal deficit from $12 trillion in 2008 to its current $18 trillion in 2013. More blacks suffer unemployment, poverty, incarceration and welfare than under any other president.
While 14 million Americans remained unemployed and 7 million under employed, Obama and Congress imported over 2.0 million legal and illegal immigrants into America in 2013. Obama and Congress failed to create jobs for the 48.1 million Americans living on food stamps, but they increased section 8 housing, “free” school lunches, medical care and ESL courses for illegal foreign children.
Because the U.S. continues as the third largest and fastest growing country because of immigration, we also accelerate global carbon footprint with millions of added car exhausts, chimneys and factories that acidifies our oceans and causes such horrific weather changes that create Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan. With the expected 100 million additional immigrants in the next 36 years, we can expect Mother Nature to respond commensurately.
On the sociological front, we saw Hispanic George Zimmerman kill one young thug named Trayvon Martin that created national headlines while 1,400 black Americans killed another 1,400 black Americans—but no one at the national level, the Black Caucus or Al Sharpton made a mention of blacks slaughtering blacks. Meanwhile, the mainstream media made not one mention of “Black Flash Mobs” or “Black Knockout Games” where American blacks run around killing whites for the fun of it. Three blacks in Oklahoma killed a white Australian college baseball player, “For the fun of it.”
If you look at the dropout/flunkout rates in our educational systems such as a 76 percent high school dropout rate in Detroit, Michigan to 60 percent flunkout rate in Mexican-dominated Los Angeles, we continue on our downward spiral of a “functionally illiterate” civilization where dumb people outnumber educated people, but enjoy endless welfare, food, cell phones, medical care and housing on the backs of those of us who study, work and contribute.
On the federal level, we see a culture of corruption in the Obama White House and Congress that gave us incompetence, malfeasance and covered up the Benghazi murders, Fast and Furious gun running, NSA spying, 22 Islamic jihad compounds now operating in America and imported tens of thousands of Muslims via legal immigration that will end up undermining our country’s culture, language and laws.
Sharia Law charges into our country as fast as their numbers grow. Obama features eight Islamic staff working full time in the White House. In the next three years, we will see countless tens of thousands of Muslims imported into America to bring “hope and change” for Islam in America. At some point, Muslims will bomb our electrical grid with multiple-coordinated teams, which will make 9/11 look like a garden party. Few of us realize our vulnerability, and remember, when jihad warriors succeed, they enjoy 72 virgins in Islamic heaven.
On the health-care front, Obamacare stumbled, faltered and fell on every level. Ironically, Americans show they don’t care about their health, as over half of our population grows intolerably obese. Fifty millions Americans smoke, 10 million alcoholics abound while diabetes became a national epidemic. Cancer continues as the number one killer, but few connect it to our contaminated air, water and soil via endless chemicals injected into our biosphere.
On the trade front, China owns us. They buy U.S. companies, land and entire office districts here in the USA. By the time they get done, they will dictate what we do, who we are and how we operate.
As we transform and deform into a polyglot, chaotic, multi-lingual and multicultural society, we continue to watch the Middle Class degrade into non-existence. We watch the American flag become the Mexican flag, the Middle Eastern flag and hundreds of other flags from immigrants that could care less about America.
On the international front, no one suspects or reports on the growing radioactive plume originating from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown. That radio-active water circulates into all the oceans—contaminating every living creature below the waters around the world—and contaminating all the fish and marine life we use for food. That event will prove the greatest ecological debacle for humanity for all of history. Cancers, destroyed eco-systems, degraded oceans and much worse await humanity.
What’s amazing about 2013? Men wasted 29 hours weekly watching the idiot box as to football, baseball, hockey and basketball. For the Americans with jobs, we partied, played and ordered pizza. We drove around without the faintest clue as to what Congress and Obama continue accomplishing: utterly and completely ignoring our sacred Constitution and Bill of Rights.
As we dance into 2014, I can only appreciate that our country faces financial collapse, sociological degradation, environmental deterioration, accelerated immigration numbers to 2.0 million annually, millions of jobless whites, blacks and Hispanics, energy exhaustion, environmental breakdown and resource depletion.
Will 2014 get better? This should foreshadow the answer as Mark Twain said, “Suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress; ah, but I repeat myself.”
Another Facebook writer said, “Obama is what you get when you allow idiots, illegals and welfare recipients to vote.”
I remember as a young child that the key to winning a lot of the neighborhood games in football and basketball was all about who got picked first. If you were lucky enough to get Michael on your team, then you knew you were going to win. If you were in a foreign park playing against kids you did not know, Michael was the great equalizer. I also knew that getting the right kids on my side helped in spelling bees and walking home from the movies so I didn’t get beat up. Learning how to organize my team with the right people, served me well when I became a men’s college head basketball coach in terms of winning the recruiting wars. I always felt the April recruiting wars was the deciding factor in many games in the following December.
America is in the choosing sides phase of the coming civil war. To use a college recruiting phrase, it is accurate to state that the letters of intent to join one side or another side, have mostly been signed and the commitments offered. However, there is one big uncommitted piece, but very soon the sides will be drawn.
The Chess Pieces of Civil War
What is going on today in America is all about choosing sides. There are clear lines being formed in the United States. The recruiting pool consists of the Department of Homeland Security, the American military, local law enforcement, the Russian troops pouring into the United States, the trickle of Chinese troops coming into the country through Hawaii and, of course, the poor, the middle class and elite. This is the recruiting pool which will form the chess pieces of the coming American Civil War.
The Contextual Background for Civil War
Even if all parties in this country wanted the country to continue, even in its present mortally wounded state, it would be foolish to believe that it could continue for much longer.
There are three paramount numbers that every American should be paying attention to and they are (1) national deficit ($17 trillion dollars), (2) the unfunded liabilities debt ($238 trillion dollars), and (3) the derivatives/futures debt (one quadrillion dollars which is 16 times the entire wealth of the planet. The net result of these staggering numbers can only end one way, and that is with a financial collapse, followed by a bank holiday, rioting in the streets and the full roll out of martial law. These financial numbers guarantee that the party cannot continue much longer.
Since America, in her present form, cannot continue much longer without experiencing a cataclysmic shift, we would be wise to realize what resources are going to be the impetus for civil war. When you play the board game, Monopoly, the properties on Boardwalk are among the most coveted. It is no different in real life. The biggest prize of the coming conflict is real estate. Homes, office buildings and shopping malls are the most coveted prize. The MERS mortgage fraud continues unabated as millions of homes have been confiscated through mortgage fraud. When the dollar is worthless and is awaiting its replacement (e.g. the Amero or the Worldo), real estate will be more valuable than gold.
Other big game that is being hunted by both sides in the coming civil war will be bank accounts, which must be looted before the dormant computer digits we call money, can be converted into hard assets. That is why my advice is, and has been, convert your cash into tangible assets which can enhance your survivability in the upcoming crash.
Also, your pensions, your 401K’s and your various entitlement programs are also at risk as evidenced by Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew’s “borrowing” from various Federal retirement accounts in order to increase the debt ceiling fight that will resurface in Congress, again, early next year.
Again, my advice is to convert your assets in tangible items which will aid in getting you through some very dark days coming up in the near future. Before the cognitive dissonance crowd rears their ugly heads and accuses me of fear mongering, ask yourself what the elite did prior to the crash of the economy in 1929. For example, Joseph Kennedy took his money out of the stock market the day BEFORE it crashed. Rockefeller, Westinghouse, et al., all took their money out just prior to the crash, leaving the ignorant masses unaware of what was coming. Don’t make the same mistake.
Barring a false flag event, US martial law will have a trigger event, which will lead to martial law, that will be a financial collapse and it will naturally occur as we are already on a collision course with destiny. I am not ruling out other events, but the economic crash scenario is easily the most likely event.
Building Fences Around the Ignorant
Please allow me to ask you an ignorant question. If you knew that a virus was coming to your neighborhood which would infect much of the local canine population, wouldn’t it be prudent to build a fence around all of the dogs in the neighborhood in order to isolate any potentially infected dogs? Well, this is how the elite view you.
Many of us, devoid of financial resources, will soon become like a pack of rabid dogs and we must be contained. As I have written about recently, it is becoming very difficult to get your money out of the country. Banks, such as JP Morgan Chase and HSBC have already imposed withdrawal limits. If you withdraw more than $10,000 cash, you run a good chance of being investigated by the IRS. One layer of fencing has already been placed around you and your assets.
The NDAA constitutes another big fence being built around the people in which all due process will soon be gone. The NDAA will allow the administration the “legal” right to secretly remove any burgeoning leadership of citizen opposition forces. The second provision which will allow this country to quickly transition to martial law is Executive Order (EO) 13603 which allows the President to take control over any resource, property and even human labor within the United States. This EO gives the President unlimited authority including the ability to initiate a civilian draft as well as a military draft. In short, this spells the potential enslavement of the American people. For those of you who still have your blinders on, research the NDAA and EO 13603 and then when you realize that I am correct in my interpretation, ask yourself one question; If the powers that be were not going to seize every important asset, then why would the government give itself the power to do just that? And while you are at it, remember the Clean Water Act gives the EPA to control all private property as well as the precious resources of all water. And then of course, the FDA and the conflicts with local farmers is escalating. And if this is not enough to convince the sheep of this country that the storm clouds are overhead, then take a look at HR 347 which outlaws protesting and takes away the First Amendment. This unconstitutional legislation makes it illegal to criticize the President and the government, as a whole, in the presence of Federal officials. I have news for you, there are Federal officials in every town, city and county in America. If one violates HR 347, they will be immediately arrested and charged with a felony.
I just saw the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, and this is eerily similar to what I saw in a lot of movies in that the people are being provoked to revolution. In fact, in the TV show, Revolution, the most evil entity in the series is the re-emergence of the United States government and the heroes of the show are rebelling against the abuse. It seems like everywhere we turn in the media, the people are being encouraged to rise up now and challenge authority. I am sure the establishment would rather confront a small group of dissidents and squelch the rebellion now, before the numbers can become significant and overwhelming to the establishment and this theme is being carried out in the media on a large scale.
Along these same lines, Obama has done nothing but agitate the middle class. I like to ask Obama supporters, can you name one thing Obama has done, on behalf of the establishment elite, to improve the plight of the American middle class? I can’t think of even one thing.
The fences have been built around the soon-to-be rabid dog population, so when the infected dogs go crazy, the pieces will have been put in place to deal with the uprisings that will surely follow the loss of everything. Containment is nearly complete. The final action will consist of gun confiscation and one side of the coming conflict is attempting to position themselves to do that in the near future and that would be the DHS, the Russians and the Chinese. I cannot think of another legitimate reason which would describe why these foreign troops are here.
Cognitive dissonance only relieves some of psychological distress for so long.
I have told you what is at risk before the inevitable economic crash. Now it is time to take stock of the sides of this coming civil war and a very clear picture is emerging.
The poor have no resources other than their food stamps which are already under attack. The middle class and their resources are the target for the coming conflict. And most of the middle class has no idea that they have been targeted. Soon the divide and conquer strategies will lose their effectiveness and the poor and the middle class will be on the same team because they will both have lost everything.
As most of you know, I have been screaming from the roof tops that the “Russians are coming, the Russians are coming”, in reference to a bilateral agreement signed between the Russian military and FEMA. Well, the Russians are not coming, they are here and so are the Chinese. As most of you also know the Russians are Chinese have threatened to nuke the United States over Iran and Syria in the past several months. Yet, this administration thinks it is a good idea to include the Russians and Chinese in participating in highly secure operations with profound national security implications in such drills as Grid EX II and the upcoming RIMPAC war games which we used to use to fight against the imaginary Chinese and Russian forces. This is insanity, however, in athletic parlance, one side conducted a trade and is now receiving the services of their once arch-rival.
The sides of the coming civil war looks like this. On one side, we find the evil empire consisting of the elite, their government puppets, the DHS the Chinese, the Russians and perhaps the military. The other side, for the moment consists of the middle class and now the poor as they move towards having their entitlements incrementally taken away. Unless the military and the police can be swayed to the side of the people, the people are going to lose badly.
There is one big prize and its allegiance has not yet been determined and that is the American military and it is a game changer.
Carving Up the Military Like a Thanksgiving Turkey
Obama is purging the military like no president has ever done. Bush fired two Generals. Obama has fired hundreds of command level officers. Why? Because the military leadership is the key to the coming civil war. Who will the military support? Will the military support an out of control administration who would use foreign military assets against the people? Or, will they support the people that they are sworn to defend?
Obama has the Russians and the Chinese military coming into the country because our military cannot be trusted to do what needs to be done when the economic crash occurs. They are needed to confiscate the guns. Obama knows that the military is conditioned to protect the people. He is hoping that he can change the entire structure of the military and thus, change its mission through changing its leadership.
I personally do not think Obama can change the rank and file of the military. I think he can only have a minimal effect on the leadership of the military. If Obama’s purge of the military is anything but for the purpose of commandeering its services for the upcoming civil war, I would really like to hear another explanation, because, for the life of me, I cannot see another purpose to Obama’s house cleaning of the military. .
Obama needs to be impeached and convicted for treason.
Commanding Military Officers Terminated By Obama
-General John R. Allen-U.S. Marines Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] (Nov 2012)
-Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013)
-Major General Michael Carey (2 Star)-U.S. Air Force Commander of the 20th US Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Oct 2013)
-Colonel James Christmas-U.S. Marines Commander 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Commander Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit (July 2013)
-Major General Peter Fuller-U.S. Army Commander in Afghanistan (May 2011)
-Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus-U.S. Marine Corps Regional Commander of SW and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan (Oct 2013)
-General Carter F. Ham-U.S. Army African Command (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon (3 Star), Jr.-U.S. Army 58th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY (2013)
-Command Sergeant Major Don B Jordan-U.S. Army 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (suspended Oct 2013)
-General James Mattis-U.S. Marines Chief of CentCom (May 2013)
-Colonel Daren Margolin-U.S. Marine in charge of Quantico’s Security Battalion (Oct 2013)
-General Stanley McChrystal-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (June 2010)
-General David D. McKiernan-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (2009)
-General David Petraeus-Director of CIA from September 2011 to November 2012 & U.S. Army Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan [USFOR-A] (Nov 2012)
-Brigadier General Bryan Roberts-U.S. Army Commander 2nd Brigade (May 2013)
-Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant-U.S. Marine Corps Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command & Commander of Aviation Wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (Sept 2013)
-Colonel Eric Tilley-U.S. Army Commander of Garrison Japan (Nov 2013)
-Brigadier General Bryan Wampler-U.S. Army Commanding General of 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command [TSC] (suspended Oct 2013)
Nearly 160 Majors through the rank of Colonel have been let go by Obama.
Commanding Naval Officers Terminated by Obama
-Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette-U.S. Navy Commander John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Three (Oct 2012)-Tried to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens but was arrested during the attempt.
-Vice Admiral Tim Giardina(3 Star, demoted to 2 Star)-U.S. Navy Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command, Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10 (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant Commander Kurt Boenisch-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Rear Admiral Ron Horton-U.S. Navy Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific (Mar 2011)
-Lieutenant Commander Martin Holguin-U.S. Navy Commander mine countermeasures Fearless (Oct 2011)
-Captain David Geisler-U.S. Navy Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain (Oct 2011)
-Commander Laredo Bell-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 2011)
-Commander Nathan Borchers-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Stout (Mar 2011)
-Commander Robert Brown-U.S. Navy Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA (Aug 2011)
-Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore (Apr 2011)
-Captain Robert Gamberg-Executive Officer carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (Jun 2011)
-Captain Rex Guinn-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan (Feb 2011)
-Commander Kevin Harms- U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (Mar 2011)
-Commander Etta Jones-U.S. Navy Commander amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Captain Owen Honors-U.S. Navy Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Jan 2011)
-Captain Donald Hornbeck-U.S. Navy Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego (Apr 2011)
-Commander Ralph Jones-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Green Bay (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jonathan Jackson-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 134, deployed aboard carrier Carl Vinson (Dec 2011)
-Captain Eric Merrill-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Emory S. Land (Jul 2011)
-Captain William Mosk-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Station Rota, U.S. Navy Commander Naval Activities Spain (Apr 2011)
-Commander Timothy Murphy-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA (Apr 2011)
-Commander Joseph Nosse-U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky (Oct 2011)
-Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL (Sep 2011)
-Commander John Pethel-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock New York (Dec 2011)
-Commander Karl Pugh-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 141 Whidbey Island, WA (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jason Strength-U.S. Navy Commander of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN (Jul 2011)
-Captain Greg Thomas-U.S. Navy Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard (May 2011)
-Commander Mike Varney-U.S. Navy Commander attack submarine Connecticut (Jun 2011)
-Commander Jay Wylie-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Momsen (Apr 2011)
Forty one more were fired in 2012. One hundred and fifty seven were fired in 2013.
Source: The Common Sense Show
In 1899 the great libertarian scholar William Graham Scholar of Yale University delivered a speech in which he warned that the Spanish-American War was a crossing-the-Rubicon event in the nation’s history that had finally transformed the nation from a constitutional republic to an empire. Empire was what the Pilgrims escaped from, and the American Revolution was fought against, for in an empire the average citizen is viewed by his rulers as nothing more than a tax slave and cannon fodder. Americans would soon become, he warned, exactly what their country was founded to oppose.
The speech was entitled “The Conquest of the United States by Spain” to denote the fact that the Spanish-American war, an imperialistic war of conquest, was no different from the types of aggressive wars that the old empires of Europe had been waging for centuries. Having devoted his adult life to scholarly pursuits in the field of political economy (among others), William Graham Sumner was prescient in his predictions about what America would become once it embarked on the road to empire. Among his observations were the following:
The Spanish-American War, like future American wars of imperialism, was “justified” by a string of “sensational assertions” that are easily proven to be untrue. Spain never threatened any American “interests,” and would have been the last to have an incentive to sabotage the Battleship Maine, the calamity that stoked war fever and got the masses (“Boobus Americanus” in H.L. Mencken’s words) behind the short “war.” Scholars like Sumner may have easily seen through the government’s lies, but not the rationally-ignorant masses.
“Where is the statesmanship” in lying and manipulating the public into an aggressive war, Sumner asked rhetorically. This of course had become the new definition of “statesmanship” ever since Lincoln manipulated the Northern-state-public into acquiescing in his waging of total war on their fellow American citizens in the Southern states so that the “duties and imposts” could be collected there, as he promised in his first inaugural address. To this day, Republican Party propaganda mills like the Claremont Institute and Hillsdale College pretend to offer courses of study in “statesmanship” of the sort that was mocked and ridiculed by Sumner.
If “self-government” for people of the Spanish empire was the ostensible purpose of the war, why was the American public not involved in any way in instigating the war?, asked Sumner. There was not even an opinion poll taken, he pointed out. This point echoes the words of Randolph Bourne in his famous essay, “War is the Health of the State,” in which he pointed out that the public never has anything to do with the preparations for war. It is always a dozen or so connivers and schemers in the executive branch of government, hidden even from elected members of congresses and parliaments, who plot and plan forwars.
Was the war merely a public school civics class writ large? Sumner also mocked the idea promoted by the war party that Americans are merely interested in teaching Filipinos about democracy and self-government, and then we will leave. Sumner did not believe that “we” would ever leave the Philippines. We are still there today.
The struggle for world domination (imperialism) is destructive of democracy. Although American military interventionism was being sold to Boobus Americanus as a means of spreading democracy, Sumner pointed out that such tactics had led Spain into monarchy and bankruptcy, but such facts were simply ignored by the American war party.
Why do Americans believe they have a “civilizing mission,” Sumner asked. The answer to this rhetorical question lies in the deification of Abe Lincoln by the Republican Party, which in effect was the entire federal government, in the previous thirty-five years. Lincoln’s deification led to the deification of the presidency in general, and to the federal government as well. As Robert Penn Warren wrote in his outstanding book, The Legacy of the Civil War, the Republican Party in the post-war years claimed to possess a “treasury of virtue” that supposedly justified anything and everything the government did anywhere on earth by virtue of the fact that it was the American government that was doing it. This is what “justified” American entry into World War I, for instance, wrote Robert Penn Warren. It was given the obnoxious name “American exceptionalism.” Sumner noted the absurdity of employing Lincoln’s “all men are created equal” rhetoric from the Gettysburg Address to argue that it is somehow “liberating” for people of other countries to be governed by us.
William Graham Sumner warned that “a matter of mind” that views other peoples as “less human” than you would lead to “cruelty and tyranny” by the American government, as was the case with all other governments in history that ruled over empires. This of course was always the way of empires. Southerners were demonized to “justify” the mass murder of tens of thousands of civilian women, children, and old men, and the bombing and burning of entire cities like Atlanta and Richmond during the “Civil War.” The Plains Indians were dehumanized as “savages” while the brave men of the U.S. Army murdered tens of thousands of Indian women and children from 1865 to 1890. Now it was the Filipinos’ turn. At least 200,000 Filipinos were eventually murdered by the U.S. government for resisting becoming a part of the American empire. According to historian Joseph Stromberg, only about 15,000 of them were actual combatants.
“We must devise a government” for other peoples is another piece of war propaganda that Sumner found to be intolerably arrogant and hypocritical. This argument has been used over and over again by generations of American warmongering and imperialistic politicians. A recent example would be Obama’s September 25, 2012 speech before the United Nations in which he praised the dead CIA operative Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack on the American “embassy” in Benghazi, Libya, after being sent there as Obama’s “representative.” He was sent there, said Obama, to “craft a vision for a future” for Libya and Libyans.
The next time you witness a large American flag covering the entire football field before an NFL game; or the flyover of fighter jets before a sporting event; or people wearing American flag shirts and pants while watching the “President’s Cup” golf tournament (which this year featured a naked female streaker carrying a large American flag); or listen to drunks at a bar cheering and shouting “USA! USA!” while watching American bombs dropped on someone in a foreign country on the bar’s boob tube; or attend a church service decorated with flags and listen to a sermon that thanks “our heroes” for murdering people in foreign countries, think of this comment by William Graham Sumner: “The thirst for glory is an epidemic which robs people of their judgment, seduces their vanity, cheats them of their interests, and corrupts their consciences.”
The “essence of militarism,” Sumner observed, is to despise constitutions, to sneer at parliaments, and to look with contempt at civilians. All the neocon talking heads, from Limbaugh to Hannity and Levin and others, adopted the slogan, “9/11 changed everything” every time someone like Judge Andrew Napolitano would argue that the government was acting in contempt of the Constitution with its warrantless wiretaps, internet and cellphone spying, the PATRIOT Act, etc. All American presidents have simply ignored Congress, for the most part, in instigating wars; and of course all politicians at all times (with one or two exceptions) look with absolute contempt at the average citizen.
Sumner wrote of how the war party of his day was making the “the times have changed” argument for war. This was reminiscent of Lincoln’s similar argument that “we must think anew and act anew,” by which he also meant “to hell with the Constitution.”
Militarism destroys capitalist prosperity, Sumner also warned. He observed that all during the late nineteenth century most Europeans were busy working, investing, starting businesses, and improving their standards of living peacefully under a growing capitalist system with little attention being paid to militarism. Such behavior is absolute poison to the state, however, which considers it to be a mortal enemy. So when European war parties began to militarize, Sumner wrote of how government military spending was crowding out private sector growth so much that European capitalism was being “arrested, diverted, and crippled.” This is always the effect of the growth of militarism in particular and of government in general, and in Sumner’s time America was about to embark on the very same economically-destructive path as the Europeans had so foolishly done.
How will we know when we have become like the Old European empires?, Sumner asked. His answer was that America would become awash in “war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand-government system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish expenditures, and political jobbery – in a word, imperialism.” This has been a textbook definition of American society for quite a long time now, and becoming more and more so by the day.
“The great foe of democracy is plutocracy,” Sumner declared, and militarism always fuels plutocracy. It does so trough “jobbery” (i.e., crony capitalism), diverting the public’s attention from their real economic problems, large government expenditures that benefit a few well-connected defense contracting corporations, and large government expenditures and debt that make the strong stronger and the weak weaker.” This of course is a precise definition of how the American warfare/welfare state, funded by the Fed, has so greatly enriched the “one percenters” at the expense of almost everyone else, as documented in great detail by David Stockman in his book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, and by Hunter Lewis’s Crony Capitalism in America. This is also a major theme of my books, The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked; Hamilton’s Curse; and How Capitalism Saved America.
In light of all this, it is understandable why an acquaintance of mine who is a Yale graduate recently remarked that of all the paintings and photographs of famous Yale professors and alumni that adorn the Yale libraries and other buildings on campus, the image of William Graham Sumner cannot be found.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, How Capitalism Saved America,Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
Source: Thomas DiLorenzo | LewRockwell.com
Contrary investing used to be a profitable endeavor. Things have changed. The doom business is in full swing as many financial prognosticators seek to hedge their normally ecstatic outlooks in order to sell their advice. When tragedy becomes a consensus sentiment, it used to be the time to buy. Now that formula has to factor in a different set of risks. Namely the incoherent political intrusions and stimulus-austerity gyrations has to head the list. Has forecasting become a lost art or did it evolve into an algorithm supercomputer project? In either case, the doom factor is sure to continue to be a stable from the Cassandra circle as long as an economic recovery allures the former members of the middle class.
Nevertheless, the bulls want you to believe that economic indicators are guardedly improving. The Global Economic Intersection boldly portends.
“Our September 2013 Economic Forecast shows a change of trend. Many portions of our economic model started to expand over the previous month’s baseline.
We continue to warn that consumer spending increases are expanding at a much faster pace than income – and that eventually either a jump in income or a fall in consumption must occur to close this gap. This remains an economic headwind for 3Q2013.”
Surely, equities are back in vogue as spending flows. Yet, Tom Stevenson writing in The Telegraph recommends Take forecasts with a pinch of salt…or move to Omaha, for those who have the courage to bet their money on picking particular stocks.
“The problem for investors is that very often, at the individual stock level, good news is not built into valuations for some time after it has become publicly available.
This means that contrary to markets as a whole, where it can be better to travel than to arrive, good company news can trigger sustained outperformance as investors slowly accept the improved outlook.
This might sound like a counsel of despair for investors, but it shouldn’t. Awareness of the limitations of knowledge is actually strangely liberating when it comes to managing your investments.”
Woe is me, what opportunities are missed by sitting on the sidelines? Almost moves one to subscribe to some of those pricy newsletters. But before you brush off the dust on your wallet, heed the lesson that Ian R. Campbell references when he asksEconomic forecasting – how credible?
“Frequently in this Newsletter I have said I believe that many economists wrongly advance a theoretical forecast framework based on irrelevant history when reaching conclusions on what is prospectively going to happen in any particular economy at any given point in time – and hence many economists inherently are doomed to get things wrong before they put pen to paper.”
The prediction record of most experts is dismal at best. Therefore, when Charles Colgan, former chair of Maine’s Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission is cited in On economic forecasting as a ‘forlorn hope’. He “humbly admitting he’s botched the past several annual forecasts, Colgan compared himself to Charlie Brown, ever the optimist, who repeatedly tries to kick the football being held by his friend Lucy.”
Yes, the small investor is just as dimwitted as Charlie Brown. The fate of most plays in the M A R K E T S, are sealed before they get started. In a corporatist economy, the balance sheets of companies swell, but the return on equity to stockowners often falls short.
One needs to admit, before placing funds in the hands of Wall Street money managers, that the game is speculation, not investing. Fortunes are made by knowing the insider decisions before the public is even aware of the news that a stock is in play. Even bigger sums are extracted from shorting a vulnerable public company as the vultures sense a ripe carcass.
Any thinking citizen with even a modest understanding of economics and commerce must conclude that the consumer patience is still gravely ill. Sophistication in interpreting trend forecasts is not necessary when CNNMoney provides the evidence. “The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has reached an all-time high of 11.4 years, according to the market research firm Polk. And that average age is sure to keep climbing, the firm said.”
If the financial sages deem the consumer superfluous and define a healthy economy by a growing public sector, the prospects for a doomed system are inevitable.
For those who reject this analysis and want to be informed about the latest perspective from The Economist, signup for the Global Forecasting Service. Get unrestricted access to full, updated and interactive coverage of our world economic outlook, including projections of key indicators and analysis of developed and emerging markets.
Reading such international financial establishment pronouncements usually provide a reassuring crutch even when countries are going bankrupt. Telling as it is for the spin you are meant to accept, the forecast for personal success in the investment jungle is wrath with predators of all species.
Now all this caution is moot if the global economy enters into a new golden age. Duplicating the prosperity of the industrial revolution with a cyber collection matrix that digitally spies on propitiatory business secrets is not exactly the formula that generates wealth, which is shared by the masses.
The incomparable Paul Craig Roberts is the best political and economic forecaster. In his 2011 article, How the Economy was Lost, Doomed by the Myths of Free Trade, he explains the basic reason for the doomed forthcoming financial meltdown end game.
“As the issuers of swaps were not required to reserve against them, and as there is no limit to the number of swaps, the payouts could easily exceed the net worth of the issuer.
This was the most shameful and most mindless form of speculation. Gamblers were betting hands that they could not cover. The US regulators fled their posts. The American financial institutions abandoned all integrity. As a consequence, American financial institutions and rating agencies are trusted nowhere on earth.”
This is the forecast that you can bank on.
American presidents, starting with Kennedy-Johnson in Vietnam to Bush-Obama, pushed America into deadly, costly, disastrous and pointless wars in the last 50 years. Millions of people died while the American “Silent majority” sat quietly watching the slaughter on the evening news. As Walter Cronkite said, “And that’s the way it is.”
At this moment, Barack Obama races toward a bombing campaign on the Syrian people. He mandates death, destruction and mayhem on a country and people struggling in their own civil war. He uses an excuse like Assad “gassing” his own people.
Harry Truman used the “Domino Effect” to stop communism from conquering Korea. We lost 33,000 young men and killed thousands more of their troops. Countless civilians died. Korea solved nothing because it proved to be a civil war. It has cost over $1 trillion for troop deployment and logistics for the past 60 years.
Lyndon Baines Johnson used the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” to justify sending 58,319 young American kids to their deaths and killing over 2.1 million Vietnamese soldiers, men, women and children. He poisoned their land with Agent Orange that still kills and disfigures into 2013.
Then came 9/11 to give George W. Bush justification to bomb the hell out of a goat-herder third world country like Afghanistan into little pieces. Never mind that nearly all 19 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Ten years later, after killing bin Laden, we still haven’t “conquered” Afghanistan, but we lost 1,400 American kids to ugly deaths and another 1,500 who committed suicide from the insanity of that war.
A special note: I followed an M.D.’s book about Vietnam whereby 175,000 to 200,000 American combat troops that left Vietnam in one piece—later committed suicide. Countless tens of thousands suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and drank or drugged themselves into their own private hells after the torture of Vietnam. Predications for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as to American suicides: estimated at over 200,000 suicides will ultimately manifest by our returning troops. Hundreds and thousands will suffer a lifetime of PTSD.
Out of nowhere, George W. Bush dreamed up “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and his “shock and awe” bombing rampage into Iraq. He killed over a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children. He used bunker-busting bombs with depleted uranium that poisons the soils of Iraq for centuries. He killed 4,400 of our finest young men and women and left 35,000 hideously wounded.
Today, Barack Obama, a man who never served in the U.S. armed forces, who instead, smoked a lot of dope and snorted drugs, and who knows nothing of the horrors of war—stands ready to send bombers into Syria because he thinks he’s going to stop Assad from gassing his people.
“Nothing is so important as that America shall separate herself from the systems of Europe, and establish one of her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are distinct. The principles of our policy should be so also. All entanglements with that quarter of the globe should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice shall be the polar stars of the American societies.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Correa de Serra, 1820.
Obama, enjoys the unearned and unwarranted Nobel Peace Prize of 2009, yet threatens to expand his ever widening “War on Everything” from Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Al-Awlaki and his son and nephew, Snowden, Manning, Assange, Rosen and now Syria.
I must ask you Mr. Obama, is killing everything but the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens football team the answer?
Finally, what about our feckless U.S. Congress? The Constitution mandates that all war choices must be agreed by the House and Senate. Instead, we let LBJ, Bush II and now, Obama, wage wars they cannot justify and, in the end, will kill a lot of people, but do nothing good in the world nor will they accomplish anything good. Additionally, the president has no legal authority to attack Syria absent congressional and United Nations Security Council approval.
What about each American citizen who cannot be bothered to participate, but watches by the sidelines as the 21st century “Silent Majority”? How many more innocent, brain-washed kids must die, not in service to America, but in service to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the bankers—who provoke, guide and determine wars? Plus, make a lot of money on our mechanized military violence!
John Lennon sang, “Give peace a chance.” If we citizens take action by stopping our government from waging useless, insane and meaningless wars—a lot of our children will be able to live their lives instead of being sacrificed like sheep to the slaughter.
Hey FANS, are you ready for more football? How much do you know about the business end of your favorite entertainment addiction, the NFL? The revenue stream from media contracts, ticket sales, official NFL products and products, government stadium subsidies and syndication rights has reached enormous levels. The pie has grown from a sandlot clubhouse hobby to a billionaire jet set club. Now that fantasy football is in full swing, the beleaguered but rabid buff, sticks with their voyeurism as they act out their heroism celebration. Devotees of the noble sport seek the thrill of victory, but experience the agony of defeat in their pocketbook.
The NFL (not for long) article, Fantasy is the Current Test of Reality, shows that escapism is preferable for most athletic enthusiasts.
“NFL Football is the national sport. It more closely resembles the evolving social trends than any other indicator. Our society is a mirror of a game that once encompassed the essence of the human struggle against the elements of nature and competing warriors. The symbol of this era was the spent sacrifice of an average quarterback who achieved miracles. The famous photo of an exhausted Y.A Tittle captures the meaning of the game that each fan treasured in their heart and desired to know for themselves. The America of this period was not that long ago, but now seems to be from a different century.”
Now that the purity of a game is but a mere memory, the business is all about theBenjamins. Forbes notes in The Most Valuable NFL Teams, that the “NFL’s 32 teams are worth, on average, $1.17 billion, 5% more than last year. The Cleveland Browns, a lousy team for years in a midsize market, sold for almost $1 billion last year.”The last agreement with the players association produced a new contract that “included a provision that gives players between 46 percent and 48 percent of league revenues. That’s down from the previous agreement’s 50-50 split.” Even the causal bystander must admit that the owners are wielding the hammer in free agency. If the marketing machine is geared to extract more revenue out of a hooked public, just what does the future hold?The vision from NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell in another Forbes article, reports:
This year revenues for the National Football League will be somewhere just north of $9 billion, which means the league remains the most lucrative in the world.
He has stated that he wants to reach $25 billion in annual revenues for the league by the year 2027. Here’s how the NFL can get there:
1) The first—and most significant step—will be the renegotiation of the league’s television rights deals.
2) A new labor deal. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement ends in 2020.
3) The NFL has mastered the art of dividing up its rights. In other words when, say, CBS gets the TV rights deal, it does not get the live-streaming Internet rights.
4) The NFL is in initial discussions about forming its own mobile network.
5) The NFL’s fantasy game, at 3 million players, is still well behind ESPN and Yahoo, which have an estimated 14 million and 12 million players, respectively.
This ambitious plan is looking to up the ante. Merchandising will not boost an additional 16 billion out of cash strapped fanatics. Maybe selling NFL uniforms to the military or running a bookmaking network with an anti-trust exemption might get permanent seating in skyboxes for elitist politicians, but it does nothing to bring relief to the lowly stadium season ticketholder. Soon with enhanced and intrusive security measures, many fans will just be content to be tailgaters.
Relying upon the referees to umpire a fair playing field might bring back the perception of an honesty game, but doubts linger that the point spread is often more important than the final score. The Drunk Never Knows When To Leave The Bar, might offer a better option than havingJimmy Haslam or Eddie John DeBartolo Jr. in change of public relations.
“Now you say, what is wrong with the fox guarding the hen house? Surely, you are not saying that this compares to the NFL Players Association passing judgment on all new referees, writing the rule book and picking only from their own ranks every new candidate for the job?”
Looking to the players for that wholesome image has its own pitfalls. Review the NFL Arrests Database.
“These are arrests and citations involving NFL players since 2000 that were more serious than speeding tickets. U-T San Diego reviewed hundreds of news reports and public records in compiling it. The list cannot be considered comprehensive in part because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive. Increased media coverage of incidents also probably accounts for more incidents listed in recent years.”
It seems that the poster boys are running a campaign to rename the NFL to the Aaron Hernandez league. Ownership flack, when Tim Tebow Says Football Comes After Faith and Family, illustrates that selling the NFL vision of Jerry Jones is the way to the $25 billion super bowl.At some point, the public will become played out. Their satisfaction with the NFL experience will never approach the dignity of Y.A Tittle. An aficionado of the sport likeHoward Cosell would tell it like it is. “Don’t you remember the $28 million dollar judgment against the NFLPA and its affiliated marketing company (of which $21 million was punitive) for breaching their fiduciary duty to retired players?”
Players, players almost sounds like playoffs, playoffs . . . playoffs !
Soon the virtual reality of a smart phone app will provide the excitement of a two-minute drill without the cost of admission. The NFL marketing machine owes more toNFL films than to the collective wisdom of the players or the owners. The business of the end zone dance rests upon the good will of the fans.