Secretary of State John Kerry: “There is no doubt that Saddam al-Assad has crossed the red line. … Sorry, did I just say ‘Saddam’?”
A US drone has just taken a photo of Mullah Omar riding on a motorcycle through the streets of Damascus. 1
So what do we have as the United States refuses to rule out an attack on Syria and keeps five warships loaded with missiles in the eastern Mediterranean?
Only 9 percent of Americans support a US military intervention in Syria. 2
Only 11% of the British supported a UK military intervention; this increased to 25% after the announcement of the alleged chemical attack. 3
British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote August 29 endorsing military action against Syria 285-272
64% of the French people oppose an intervention by the French Army. 4 “Before acting we need proof,” said a French government spokesperson. 5
Former and current high-ranking US military officers question the use of military force as a punitive measure and suggest that the White House lacks a coherent strategy. “If the administration is ambivalent about the wisdom of defeating or crippling the Syrian leader, possibly setting the stage for Damascus to fall to Islamic fundamentalist rebels, they say, the military objective of strikes on Assad’s military targets is at best ambiguous.” 6
President Obama has no United Nations approval for intervention. (In February a massive bombing attack in Damascus left 100 dead and 250 wounded; in all likelihood the work of Islamic terrorists. The United States blocked a Russian resolution condemning the attack from moving through the UN Security Council)
None of NATO’s 28 members has proposed an alliance with the United States in an attack against Syria. NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he saw “no NATO role in an international reaction to the [Syrian] regime.” 7
The Arab League has not publicly endorsed support of US military action in Syria; nor have key regional players Saudi Arabia and Qatar, concerned about a possible public backlash from open support for US intervention. 8
We don’t even know for sure that there was a real chemical attack. Where does that accusation come from? The United States? The al-Qaeda rebels? Or if there was such an attack, where is the evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator? The Assad regime has accused the rebels of the act, releasing a video showing a cave with alleged chemical-weapon equipment as well as claiming to have captured rebels possessing sarin gas. Whoever dispensed the poison gas – why, in this age of ubiquitous cameras, are there no photos of anyone wearing a gas mask? The UN inspection team was originally dispatched to Syria to investigate allegations of earlier chemical weapons use: two allegations made by the rebels and one by the government.
The United States insists that Syria refused to allow the UN investigators access to the site of the attack. However, the UN request was made Saturday, August 24; the Syrian government agreed the next day. 9
In rejecting allegations that Syria deployed poison gas, Russian officials have argued that the rebels had a clear motivation: to spur a Western-led attack on Syrian forces; while Assad had every reason to avoid any action that could spur international intervention at a time when his forces were winning the war and the rebels are increasingly losing world support because of their uncivilized and ultra-cruel behavior.
President George W. Bush misled the world on Iraq’s WMD, but Bush’s bogus case for war at least had details that could be checked, unlike what the Obama administration released August 29 on Syria’s alleged chemical attacks – no direct quotes, no photographic evidence, no named sources, nothing but “trust us,” points out Robert Parry, intrepid Washington journalist.
So, in light of all of the above, the path for Mr. Obama to take – as a rational, humane being – is of course clear. Is it not? N’est-ce pas? Nicht wahr? – Bombs Away!
Pretty discouraging it is. No, I actually find much to be rather encouraging. So many people seem to have really learned something from the Iraqi pile of lies and horror and from decades of other American interventions. Skepticism – good ol’ healthy skepticism – amongst the American, British and French people. It was stirring to watch the British Parliament in a debate of the kind rarely, if ever, seen in the 21st-century US Congress. And American military officers asking some of the right questions. The Arab League not supporting a US attack, surprising for an organization not enamored of the secular Syrian government. And NATO – even NATO! – refusing so far to blindly fall in line with the White House. When did that last happen? I thought it was against international law.
Secretary of State John Kerry said that if the United States did not respond to the use of chemical weapons the country would become an international “laughingstock”. Yes, that’s really what America and its people have to worry about – not that their country is viewed as a lawless, mass-murdering repeat offender. Other American officials have expressed concern that a lack of a US response might incite threats from Iran and North Korea. 10
Now that is indeed something to laugh at. It’s comforting to think that the world might be finally losing the stars in their eyes about US foreign policy partly because of countless ridiculous remarks such as these.
United States bombings, which can be just as indiscriminate and cruel as poison gas. (A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.)
The glorious bombing list of our glorious country, which our glorious schools don’t teach, our glorious media don’t remember, and our glorious leaders glorify.
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
El Salvador 1980s
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular no-fly-zone basis)
Iraq 2003-2011 (Second Gulf War)
Afghanistan 2001 to present
Pakistan 2007 to present
Somalia 2007-8, 2011 to present
Yemen 2009, 2011 to present
The above list doesn’t include the repeated use by the United States of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other charming inventions of the Pentagon mad scientists; also not included: chemical and biological weapons abroad, chemical and biological weapons in the United States (sic), and encouraging the use of chemical and biological weapons by other nations; all these lists can be found in William Blum’s book “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”.
A story just released by Foreign Policy magazine, based on newly-discovered classified documents, reports how, in 1988, the last year of the 8-year Iraq-Iran War, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks by Iraq far more devastating than anything Syria has seen. 11 Indeed, during that war the United States was the primary supplier to Iraq of the chemicals and hardware necessary to provide the Saddam Hussein regime with a chemical-warfare capability. 12
Now, apparently, the United States has discovered how horrible chemical warfare is, even if only of the “alleged” variety.
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stopthis “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a Serbian reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:
… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation.
On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that sort.
But the propaganda version is already set in marble.
If you see something, say something. Unless it’s US war crimes.
“When you sign a security clearance and swear oaths, you actually have to abide by that. It is not optional.” – Steven Bucci, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, speaking of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley) 13
Really? No matter what an individual with security clearance is asked to do? No matter what he sees and knows of, he still has to ignore his conscience and follow orders? But Steven, my lad, you must know that following World War II many Germans of course used “following orders” as an excuse. The victorious Allies of course executed many of them.
Their death sentences were laid down by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, which declared that “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”
Nuremberg Principle IV moreover states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
Manning, and Edward Snowden as well, did have moral choices, and they chose them.
It should be noted that Barack Obama has refused to prosecute those under the Bush administration involved in torture specifically – he declares – because they were following orders. Has this “educated” man never heard of the Nuremberg Tribunal? Why isn’t he embarrassed to make this argument again and again?
I imagine that in the past three years that Manning has had to live with solitary confinement, torture and humiliation, adding mightily to her already existing personal difficulties, the thought of suicide has crossed her mind on a number of occasions. It certainly would have with me if I had been in her position. In the coming thousands and thousands of days and long nights of incarceration such thoughts may be Manning’s frequent companion. If the thoughts become desire, and the desire becomes unbearable, I hope the brave young woman can find a way to carry it out. Every person has that right, including heroes.
The United States and its European poodles may have gone too far for their own good in their attempts to control all dissenting communication – demanding total information from companies engaged in encrypted messaging, forcing the closure of several such firms, obliging the plane carrying the Bolivian president to land, smashing the computers at a leading newspaper, holding a whistle-blowing journalist’s partner in custody for nine hours at an airport, seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists, threatening to send a New York Times reporter to jail if he doesn’t disclose the source of a leak, shameless lying at high levels, bugging the European Union and the United Nations, surveillance without known limits … Where will it end? Will it backfire at some point and allow America to return to its normal level of police state? On July 24, a bill that would have curtailed the power of the NSA was only narrowly defeated by 217 to 205 votes in the US House of Representatives.
And how long will Amnesty International continue to tarnish its image by refusing to state the obvious? That Cheleas Manning is a Prisoner of Conscience. If you go to Amnesty’s website and search “prisoner of conscience” you’ll find many names given, including several Cubans prominently featured. Can there be any connection to Manning’s omission with the fact that the executive director of Amnesty International USA, Suzanne Nossel, came to her position from the US Department of State, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations?
A phone call to Amnesty’s office in New York was unable to provide me with any explanation for Manning’s omission. I suggest that those of you living in the UK try the AI headquarters in London.
Meanwhile, at the other pre-eminent international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, Tom Malinowski, the director of HRW’s Washington office, has been nominated by Obama to be Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Is it really expecting too much that a high official of a human rights organization should not go to work for a government that has been the world’s leading violator of human rights for more than half a century? And if that designation is too much for you to swallow just consider torture, the worst example of mankind’s inhumanity to man. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of torture centers in much of the world, kidnaping people to these places (“rendition”), solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!
One of the reactions of the United States to Russia granting asylum to Edward Snowden was reported thus: “There was a blistering response on Capitol Hill and calls for retaliatory measures certain to infuriate the Kremlin. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), long one of the Senate’s leading critics of Moscow, blasted the asylum decision as ‘a slap in the face of all Americans’ and called on the administration to turn up the pressure on Moscow on a variety of fronts, including a renewed push for NATO expansion and new missile-defense programs in Europe.” 14
But we’ve long been told that NATO expansion and its missiles in Europe have nothing to do with Russia. And Russia has been told the same, much to Moscow’s continuous skepticism. “Look,” said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO in 2001, “this is a military organization. It’s moving towards our border. Why?” 15 He subsequently described NATO as “the stinking corpse of the cold war.” 16
We’ve been told repeatedly by the US government that the missiles are for protection against an Iranian attack. Is it (choke) possible that the Bush and Obama administrations have been (gasp) lying to us?
America’s love affair with Guns
Adam Kokesh is a veteran of the war in Iraq who lives in the Washington, DC area. He’s one of the countless Americans who’s big on guns, guns that will be needed to protect Americans from their oppressive government, guns that will be needed for “the revolution”.
On July 4 the 31-year-old Kokesh had a video made of himself holding a shotgun and loading shells into it while speaking into the camera as he stood in Freedom Plaza, a federal plot of land in between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. This led to a police raid of his home and his being arrested on the 25th for carrying a firearm outside his home or office. The 23-second video can be seen on YouTube. 17
I sent Kokesh the following email:
“Adam: All your weapons apparently didn’t help you at all when the police raided your house. But supposedly, people like you advocate an armed populace to protect the public from an oppressive government. I’ve never thought that that made much sense because of the huge imbalance between the military power of the public vs. that of the government. And it seems that I was correct.”
I received no reply, although his still being in jail may explain that.
Kokesh, incidentally, had a program on RT (Russia Today) for a short while last year.
The three preceding jokes are courtesy of my friend Viktor Dedaj of Paris ↩
Just like a broken clock, it tells correct time twice a day. Barack Hussein Obama’s promise to have Congress vote upon his Syria’s strike force plans is a first since the historic constitutional betrayal in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Even the feeble attempt in The War Powers Act of 1973, to place accountability on Imperial Presidents, routinely ignored by other POTUS, struck new heights of arrogance and abuses under this infamous Nobel Peace Prize President.The War Powers Resolution, generally known as the War Powers Act, was passed by Congress over President Nixon’s veto to increase congressional control over the executive branch in foreign policy matters, specifically in regard to military actions short of formally declared war. Its central provision prohibited the President from engaging in military actions for more than sixty days, unless Congress voted approval.
The key Section 1541(c) reads:
(c) Presidential Executive Power as Commander-in-Chief; Limitation The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
The proposed authorization approval in both bodies of Congress on extending permission for unwarranted aggression against Syria promises to be the most significant vote on foreign policy in the last half century. How many false flag cons can a war weary public endure from the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? The answer becomes clear, every measure of pain and suffering that the fifth column Zionists can extract.
“Greater Israel” requires the breaking up of the existing Arab states into small states.
“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation… This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme.” (Yinon Plan, see below)
Viewed in this context, the war on Syria is part of the process of Israeli territorial expansion. Israeli intelligence working hand in glove with the US, Turkey and NATO is directly supportive of the Al Qaeda terrorist mercenaries inside Syria.
The Zionist Project also requires the destabilization of Egypt, the creation of factional divisions within Egypt as instrumented by the “Arab Spring” leading to the formation of a sectarian based State dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The rabid sociopathic jingoism of the NeoCons is not in defense of the United States or the American people. No, their allegiance is to Zionism. The destructive foreign policy of the last four administrations is a strategic departure from post World War II objectives. Since an open debate about the harmful consequences, stemming out of a blind support for Israel is nearly nonexistent on Capital Hill, the task of setting the record straight falls upon a Canadian journalist, Joshua Blakeney to explain why Israel and client states want nobody to rule Syria.
“It ought to be kept in mind that the post-WWII US military doctrine for the Middle East was the Eisenhower Doctrine which promoted the fomentation of stability in the region to facilitate the flow of oil to Americans. This was fine if you were safely ensconced in Houston or Dallas with your oil companies raking in profits from Middle East oil fields but for Israel this policy was disastrous. The funneling of petro-dollars to Israel’s adversaries like Saddam Hussein, who fired scud missiles at Israel in 1991, and to the likes of President Assad was intolerable. Therefore a schism in the Empire soon emerged and two distinct US-Zionist visions for the Middle East crystallized.
From the perspective of anti-neocon Realists, such as Walt (Stephen Walt, professor of International Relations at Harvard), the US has a vested interest in propping up Arab strongmen (like President Assad) who can create stability in their countries thus making them potentially hospitable for US corporations. For Zionist-neocons and their evil twin brothers, Liberal Interventionists, it is Israel’s regional dominance rather than US commerce which is of primary importance.”
When Congress voices their will, their true colors will show. Mournfully, most beltway tools are dual loyalists, no matter what their heritage. Just who will be making the decision? AIPAC must be burning up multi IOU’s. When representative ”pols” see only white and blue in their flag and forget the red tint that stands for the sacrifice of patriotic blood on foreign soil, the country is betrayed.
Mr. Blakeney continues on the danger of relinquishing a pro America First foreign policy:
“The Israeli-neocon 9/11 coup d’état allowed the pro-destabilization, Zionist faction of the US elite to seize the reins of power. Since then we’ve seen the implementation of the Destabilization Doctrine, which, as stated, is the polar opposite of the less malignant post-WWII Eisenhower Doctrine. The now notorious Oded Yinon plan, authored by the Israeli geostrategic analyst in 1982, offers the clearest manifesto for the Israeli destabilization of the Middle East. Yinon argued the following:
“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shia Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.”
Many Americans are chumps when they think Israel is our ally. When will the anti-war progressives mount an Occupy Wall Street style effort to avoid another dangerous and avoidable involvement? Norman Solomon writing in antiwar.com warns. “The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.”
Pat Buchanan has it correct as usual. “The idea that we would launch unilaterally a war against a country that has not attacked us or threatened us without the authorization of the Congress, which has the power to declare war — it seems to me is an act of almost insanity.”
A record of indisputable conduct proves that the foreign policy establishment routinely operates against the best interests of the nation. Just how many citizens realize that the Yinon Plan is actually the operational context under which stratagem functions?
It is certainly likely that the puppet president will just lie his way out of another box of his own creation. However, what is it gonna take for the public to break with the incompetent buffoon, who sits on the nuclear codes?
Syria is a target for the reason Buchanan cites. “The neocons realize that if they can get us to attack Syria and there’s a real possibility that there will be retaliatory attacks on Americans or attacks on Israel which will then cause the Israelis or the Americans to attack Syria’s allies in Iran — Syria is the backdoor to war with Iran.”
Almost sounds like the Yinon Plan is following the script that the Zionists provided to their U.S. benefactors.
Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR
Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
The rats are jumping ship. Obama’s strongest allies can’t stomach the stench of lies that are the foundation of the war effort against Syria. Even England, whose entire foreign policy is reduced to asking “how high?” when the U.S. says “jump,” opted to stay grounded for Obama’s war drive.
The Arab League, too, having long been considered a puppet show by U.S. foreign policy, has cut its strings. The UN Security Council — after having learned not to trust Obama in Libya — also refuses to give permission for an attack. Which leaves France — the former colonial master of Syria — to fill England’s shoes as the token “important” European nation to give the attack a thin coat of “international” support. But England’s insolence will surely make an impression on the French public, who voted in a “socialist” president, presumably not to act as a warmonger.
While foreign nations instantly recognized Obama’s war song as a plagiarism of President Bush’s lyrics used to attack Iraq, sections of the American public have been fooled by Obama’s mellowing tone. The soft, reassuring sound of “limited strikes” that will last “hours, not days” has a calming effect on the nerves of the American public, who are essentially being told that Syria needs a light slap on the wrist for being “bad,” after which everything will return to normal; no U.S. troops need die. No big deal, really.
But, of course, any military action in the Middle East is a big deal. With each new war the U.S. wages in the region tensions rise, self defense preparations are made, and regional alliances are readied to act as deterrents. The nations not aligned with U.S. foreign policy — and there are many — are desperate to stop the U.S.’ bloody march across the Middle East.
Americans don’t understand how the Iraq war fundamentally changed the Middle East. The U.S. Government is deeply hated by the vast majority of people in the region for having destroyed Iraq, once viewed by many as a proud Arab nation. Attacking another nation in the heart of the Middle East — that millions of Arabs have an equally strong affinity for — will create massive “blowback.”
No matter how “limited” the strike, bombing a foreign nation is a major act of war. In fact, after WWII the Nuremberg trial concluded that the Nazis’ “supreme international crime” was not genocide or holocaust, but waging aggressive war, since all other war crimes were spawned from this original sin. Of course, Obama’s aggressive war plans involve more than tossing a couple of missiles at some Syrian tanks. That is why he’s moved five Navy destroyers into the region.
It has widely been speculated that the real intention of attacking Syria is to prop up Obama’s ailing rebels, who have received massive U.S. support in the form of guns, training, and money, for —according to The New York Times — almost two years now, and possibly longer. It’s an undisputed fact that Islamic extremists militias are the most powerful fighting forces in the opposition to Assad; if he falls then they will be in power.
If only a tiny bombing campaign is launched, then it’s certain that more bombings will take place at a later date because the U.S.-backed extremist rebels need much more assistance than that to have any hope of beating Assad. To change the balance of forces between Obama’s essentially beaten rebels and the Syrian government will require a massive bombing campaign, along the lines of Libya.
One shouldn’t forget the chain of events in Libya: After the U.S.-backed Libyan rebels were facing defeat, Obama exploited the UN’s “naivety” by claiming that “immediate action” had to be taken to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Libyans. The UN stupidly agreed to a vague resolution about “protecting civilians,” which Obama immediately used as a pretext to wage aggressive war and regime change, dropping thousands of bombs on Libya via fighter jets that attacked both military and civilian targets, tearing apart the nation’s seams in the process. Vijay Prashad’s excellent book, “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter” covers the conflict in depth.
After the Libyan example, the UN is immune to Obama’s lies. So now the hardest part about waging war against Syria is starting it. And after the war foot is in the door, the logic of war immediately takes over, which instantly creates new, unforeseen dynamics, usually in the direction of expansion. It’s very possible that this “unforeseen” element of war is exactly what Obama is planning on.
For example, any sane military analyst expects Syria to defend itself. And Syria is much more capable of doing so than Libya or Iraq were. The American public isn’t prepared for this, since it essentially has been told that Syria would submissively accept its punishment, perhaps after throwing a loud tantrum.
But Syria has advanced weapons systems, and it would be perfectly legal and reasonable for Syria to defend itself by — for example, by bombing a U.S. Navy destroyer, or perhaps targeting Israel, who will certainly be involved in the assault on some level, and therefore is a legitimate military target. Israel has bombed Syria several times in the last six months.
It’s very possible that Obama is trying to provoke a strong reaction from Syria to give the U.S. public a “real” reason to escalate the war. Any attack on Syria also has the possibility of bringing Iran into the conflict, since Iran and Syria have a mutual defense pact. And this may be the ultimate goal: to provoke Iran into getting involved militarily, so that the U.S. would have a justification to expand the war into Iran, which has been in the U.S. crosshairs for years.
If international and domestic pressure force Obama to merely launch a “symbolic” strike that Syria doesn’t retaliate against, then it will be a historic humiliation for US foreign policy, showing the decline of US international power. But even a “surgical” strike sets a very dangerous precedent, opening the door wider to future strikes which will inevitably be re-opened in the near future. A weak war effort this time will make the Obama Administration all the more war hungry next time, since empires don’t simply fade away into oblivion.
If Obama attacks Syria at this point, he’ll have fewer allies than did Bush in Iraq. Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, had the audacity to soil the ground where Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke 50 years earlier at the 1963 March on Washington; Obama sang the praises of the great peacemaker as he planned war against Syria.
Obama has very quickly ruined his integrity in Bush-like fashion. He’s jailed whistle-blowers like Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning — whose only crime was exposing war crimes — while now preparing an even bigger war crime against Syria. His presidency is going down in flames with impressive speed, and has the potential to drag down the rest of the country. On Saturday, August 31st, there is an international day of protest against a war with Syria. A large anti-war showing in the U.S. will convince more pro-war rats to jump ship, and an especially large showing could possibly sink the war ship in one shot.
After then-Congressman Joe Scarborough convinced me to endorse the neocon Bob Dole for President back in 1996, I vowed to myself that I would never vote for “the lesser of two evils” again. I haven’t; and I won’t.
Almost anytime one hears someone talking about voting for the lesser of two evils, it always means voting for a Republican instead of a third party or independent candidate. The argument is always the same: he or she (the third party candidate) cannot win. Therefore, voting for someone you presume cannot win is “wasting” your vote. I used to believe that, too, but no more.
One could even make the argument that voting for an unprincipled neocon Republican is actually voting for the greater evil, not the lesser. It seems we lose far more liberties under Republican administrations than under Democrat ones. That does not mean that Democrat presidents care more for the Constitution and limited government than Republican presidents. It simply means when Republicans occupy the White House, rank and file conservatives and freedomists go fast asleep. I mean deep sleep. I mean extended hibernation. The two administrations of G.W. Bush are prime examples.
In terms of foreign policy and the burgeoning police state at home, there is no distinguishable difference between Bush and Barack Obama. None! Except for the fact that with a Democrat in office, conservatives, Christians, and freedomists are much more alert and quick to oppose the administration’s draconian policies, whereas, with a Republican in office, those same people sit back and totally ignore identical policies. Yes, sometimes voting for a Democrat might be voting for the lesser of two evils.
I personally witnessed an election in which a vote for the Republican was not just a vote for the lesser of two evils; it was a vote for a politically evil candidate over a politically righteous candidate. I use the words “evil” and “righteous,” not in the true spiritual sense, of course, but in the overall political result of the two candidate’s positions on the issues.
I’m talking about the US Senate race in South Carolina in 2008. The Republican candidate was the pro-war, pro-police state, pro-big government, anti-Constitution incumbent Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham is the personification of everything that is wrong with Washington, D.C. Mind you, Graham is a US Senator from South Carolina. There are probably more evangelical Christians, more Christian schools, and more Christian influence per capita and per square mile in South Carolina than in any State in the country. Bar none! And Lindsey Graham is the best that South Carolina can send to Washington, D.C.? Egad!
In 2008, I was running for POTUS as the Constitution Party candidate. I spent some quality time in South Carolina during that campaign. I had previously spent time in the Palmetto State campaigning for Congressman Ron Paul. What I’m saying is I spent quite a bit of time in South Carolina that year.
While I was in South Carolina, I was introduced to the US Senate Democrat candidate Bob Conley. I spent much time getting to know Bob. I could not find one issue over which he and I disagreed. Bob was as straight as a gun barrel politically speaking. He was an awesome candidate. So, while I was in South Carolina, I was happy to publicly endorse Bob for that US Senate seat. In that race, a vote for the Republican candidate was to vote for the only “evil” candidate in the race. Yet, conservatives and Christians by the tens of thousands cast their vote for Graham simply because he was a Republican. You see, voting for the “lesser of two evils” does not apply to anything except voting for a Republican.
We had a similar situation here in Montana in 2012 for a State office race when there was only a choice between a liberal Democrat and a Libertarian Party candidate. No Republican was in the race. Without question, the “lesser of two evils” vote (in the jargon of so-called conservative Republicans) would have been cast for the Libertarian Party candidate. But what happened? A sizeable percentage of Republicans didn’t vote at all. They refused to vote for “the lesser of two evils.” This proves, once again, that the issue is not about voting for the “lesser of two evils,” it is only about voting for Republicans.
Obviously, there are numerous people who treat Democrat candidates the same way. It doesn’t matter one whit how unfaithful the person might be to Democrat positions, if there is a “D” behind the name, they will vote for him or her. President George Washington was right: this kind of loyalty to any political party is a bane of freedom.
Back to the aforementioned 1996 Presidential campaign: after leaving the airport where Scarborough and I had appeared alongside Bob Dole, I felt sick to my stomach. My radio talk show at that time was on a meteoric rise and I had enthusiastically campaigned for Pat Buchanan. I even hosted a major event for him in the Florida Panhandle during that campaign. I knew Bob Dole was no conservative; I knew he would never be faithful to the principles that I felt so deeply about. But, in the name of defeating Bill Clinton, I allowed Joe Scarborough to talk me into throwing my support behind Dole. As I walked away from that press conference, I vowed to myself, “Never again will I vote for the lesser of two evils.”
Now, that cliché, the lesser of two evils, means different things to different people. So, for sake of clarity, let me tell you what it means to me. I have a six-point litmus test. I don’t care whether the candidate is male or female, black or white, Democrat of Republican, conservative or liberal, Christian or pagan, if he or she violates fidelity to one of more of these principles, I will not vote for him or her; I don’t care how “evil” the opponent might be.
I will not vote for someone who would support or facilitate the legalization of abortion–a Republican candidacy notwithstanding. If neither major party candidate is pro-life, I will vote for someone else in the race that is, or I will leave my ballot blank on that race. I have done that numerous times. I will not vote for anyone who supports the killing of innocent unborn babies. Period!
I will not vote for a candidate (from any political party) who would support the attempt to redefine marriage as being between anyone except between a man and a woman. Marriage is a divine institution and our Creator has already defined it. Government didn’t invent marriage; and government cannot re-invent it. To tell you the truth, I don’t think government has any business being involved in marriage to any degree.
Mind you, I’m not talking about civil unions. That is another matter altogether. I have my opinions on that subject, but that issue does not rise to the level of marriage. And I most certainly am not talking about granting power to the government to invade people’s privacy. I don’t want government in the bedroom, living room, kitchen, or closet.
The Warfare State
Ever since World War II, and the advent of the United Nations, America’s foreign policy has been the antithesis of the principles of liberty and independence. Foreign interventionism, nation-building, and wars of aggression are the enemies of freedom. The vision of America’s founders was one of free trade and good will with all and foreign entanglements with none. Modern American leaders have completely inverted that concept. Now, it is foreign entanglements with all and free trade (the so-called “free trade” agreements in modern times are not free trade at all but government-manipulated trade) and good will with none.
The so-called “war on terror” (along with the “war on drugs”) is the cornerstone of all of the infringements upon the liberties of the American people at home and the excuse given to justify all sorts of military aggression abroad. The “war on terror” is actually a war on the liberties of the American citizenry. The “war on terror” has made us less free and less safe. And if it continues unabated, it will result in the enslavement of the American people.
Therefore, I will not vote for any candidate for public office, regardless of political party, that does not understand the evilness of the Warfare State and that will not aggressively oppose it. This includes those who support sending US military forces around the globe to fight undeclared, unprovoked wars, those who support the use of drones for the purpose of military assassination, and those who support interfering in the internal affairs of foreign countries without due process as prescribed by the US Constitution.
The Police State
The burgeoning police state currently being built in this country is the result of the Warfare State. Legislation that authorized such things as the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, the DHS, USNORTHCOM, etc., tramples the Bill of Rights into the ground. For all intents and purposes, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth amendments to the Constitution have been thoroughly and absolutely shredded by every administration and congress of the Twenty First century.
I absolutely refuse to vote for any candidate of any political party that would facilitate the burgeoning police state. That would be like asking me to vote for the lesser evil of, say, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, or like asking me to choose between Nero and Caligula. No thanks.
The New World Order
Now, use this term and all kinds of ideas pop into people’s minds. To some, it means a “Jewish conspiracy.” To others, it means a “Catholic conspiracy.” To still others it means a “Masonic conspiracy.” Ad infinitum.
However, to me it simply means there are elitists within government, business, religion, private groups, etc., (from virtually any and every brand or type) who truly desire to strip countries (especially the United States) of their independence and sovereignty. This is nothing new. Its roots go back to the Tower of Babel.
There have always been rich and powerful individuals who have attempted to accrue riches and power unto themselves. And the best way to accomplish this is to erase national borders. It is always about money. Always. Sovereign nations are an encumbrance to a global anything, but especially to a global financial market. Trade restrictions, imposts, tariffs, regulations, etc., are anathema to global merchants. Therefore, in order to erect a global economy or global financial market, one must create some sort of global government to control it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the New World Order.
I believe the United Nations is a tool of globalists to pave the way for global government. I believe certain internationalist organizations were created to facilitate global government. Some of these organizations probably include the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, etc.
But from a political perspective, I refuse to vote for any candidate for public office, regardless of political party, that would support any legislation that would cede even the slightest bit of American sovereignty to any supranational or international body. Most of the so-called “free trade” deals fall into this category. The creation of any facsimile of a European or North American Union or North American Community (call it what you will) falls into this category; asking US armed forces to serve under, or at the behest of, the United Nations falls into this category; and legislation that would facilitate illegal immigration certainly falls into this category.
This is a no compromise, no negotiation-issue with me. I absolutely will not vote for any candidate, regardless of political party, that supports any additional gun control. We already have too many egregiously enslavish gun control laws on the books. If anything, our lawmakers should be expunging gun control laws, not adding new ones.
Friends, have you ever noticed the wording of the Second Amendment carefully? The Second Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that is said to be “necessary.” The only thing, the ONLY thing, that the Constitution says is “necessary” is the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t say that the Supreme Court is necessary, or that the US Congress is necessary, or that even the President is necessary. It says that the right of citizens to keep and bear arms is necessary. (A big word of thanks to my good friend, Dr. Ed Vieira, for recently pointing this out to me.)
I don’t care if a candidate for public office is a Democrat, Republican, or Whig, if he or she supports or facilitates in any way any further gun control, I absolutely and positively will not vote for them–regardless of how more “evil” their political opponent might be.
There you have it. These are the six criteria I use when I say I will not vote for the lesser of two evils. I don’t expect a candidate for public office to be perfect; I don’t expect to agree with them on every issue; I don’t expect them to be of my religious persuasion. I can differ with them on a wide array of issues. But these six issues are not negotiable. On these issues, there is no lesser of two evils. Transgression of any one of these issues means I will not vote for them–party affiliation notwithstanding. I concur with the words of John Quincy Adams, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” And these are the six principles upon which I will either vote or not vote with the “sweetest reflection.”
Dear reader, I sincerely hope that you are not one of these folks who blindly support a political party with no regard to position or principle. A man or woman who has no principles they will not compromise has no principles at all. And if we need anything in the voting booth today, it is fidelity to principle–especially the principles of liberty upon which our freedoms rest.
Chuck Baldwin is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
Only a public relations genius would roll out a news channel in the domestic American TV market with the name Al Jazeera. Sparing no expense, this new leap into sober journalism has not been seen since the formation of regional news bureaus in the days when CNN was a serious network. The Current TV purchase, financed by the Qatar government, shows that money can buy glitz and glamour, when reporting from the trenches of global conflicts or personal tragedies. Notwithstanding, hiring known retreads or celebrity has-beens, the cast of characters that will present this new version of reality, needs to earn creditability for the public to overlook the image of the corporate logo.
RT suffers from the same baggage, when Russia Today broadcasts within the shadow of the Kremlin. Can these patron sponsors be trusted to provide objective information? Having Larry King do his stick on RT, while David Frost joins the Al Jazeera net, is supposed to soften the transition to a world viewpoint outside the American lamestream media.
Al Jazeera America has a comprehensive web site that show off the range of their mission. Undoubtedly, the targeted viewer is less concerned about the Middle East news than domestic reports. However, the added emphasis on international affairs is a sharp departure from the under reporting to the virtual black out from the pro-Zionist establishment media. Offering a choice, deemed a threat to the prevailing ”Bellum Americana” military-media, has never been a rating getter in the Neilson rankings.
The difference between aggressive advocacy and propaganda misinformation should be clear to the sophisticated observer. Nevertheless, no one can correctly assert that the American public is highly developed or attentive to the real significance of current events. The distinction that separates factual reporting and drawing a particular political conclusion is a gap that is usually determined by the respective ideology of the viewer.
This standard also applies to such venues as varied as Link TV to Glenn Beck’s Blaze. With the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera America, the Young Turks now become a Muslim Nationalist. At least that will be the perception bias of the average television view, which in all probability will never turn on the channel to make up their mind about the accuracy in reports.
The rub comes when a peculiar autonomist viewpoint comes into conflict with the prevailing foreign policy of the NeoCon and DespotLib establishment. A red flag appears in The Daily Caller article, Media Matters still hearts Al-Jazeera.
“Media Matters for America doesn’t often find much time in its busy schedule of incessantly attacking Fox News to praise other news outlets, so it is noteworthy that it took a moment Wednesday to give a slobbering electronic kiss to Al-Jazeera.
“During its first day on the air, Al Jazeera America gave climate change nearly half as much coverage as network news programs did during the year 2012, all while avoiding common pitfalls like providing false balance to those that deny the science and leaving the crisis’ manmade origins ambiguous,” Media Matters’ Max Greenberg wrote of Al-Jazeera’s latest creation, which launched Tuesday.
“The fledgling network’s first climate report comprised the entirety of Tuesday’s edition of Inside Story, a half-hour news discussion program that promises to ‘take an in-depth look at the story behind the headlines.’ Indeed, the inaugural show featured a meaningful dialogue on — in guest Heidi Cullen’s words — ‘coming to terms with the fact that we’re all part of the problem … [and] the solution’ to manmade global warming, and discussed consequences like extreme weather and rising sea levels.”
“Bottom line: this was a great start,” Greenberg concluded.”
Was the editorial decision to cover the bogus climate change scam an intentional image builder to attract the bleeding heart NPR crowd, or just an effort to conceal the underlying political message that will be inserted into future reports? Maybe it was part of a payoff to Al Gore and part of the purchase agreement. Time will tell, but if the public never makes the attempt to review the Al Jazeera America news presentation, their present propaganda programming from network TV will just ignore an alternative voice.
Now take a close look at the RT style that has been on air for some time. Any channel that plays the Rawhide theme cannot be all bad. Well, if you never experience watching, you will not get the point. No link on this one, just ask Max Keiser. Yes, RT has a political link that reads Russian politics. Surely, the old Soviet Block would demand a tight rein on the herd if past practices were in play. Yet, what you actually get is a surprisingly fresh approach that covers events that directly applies to the policy-making landscape in the United States.
Watching one episode of Abby Martin on Breaking the Set makes you think you are reading a BREAKING ALL THE RULES column. Is that proof evident that RT is pure propaganda or is it true that the indoctrination you are constantly being fed from the pressitude media is the real newspeak?
“Reporter James Kirchick was kicked off the air of the RT network Wednesday after he refused to talk about Bradley Manning and instead spoke about the Russian government’s anti-gay laws.
RT, formerly Russia Today, is funded by the Russian government, which recently passed a sweeping law that bans the public discussion of gay rights and relationships in the presence of children.
As Kirchick continued to speak about the laws and the government’s funding of the network, one RT host insisted to Kirchick, “You have to come over here and see for yourself.”
“You have 24 hours a day to lie about America, I am going to tell the truth with my two minutes,” Kirkchick went on to say after RT hosts tried to cut him off.”
The sentiment ‘you have to watch to see what the coverage is all about’ holds true to the skeptics that think that international news is inadequate in interpreting American developments. For the Fox News warmongering Sean Hannity junkies to the Reverend Al Sharpton hate mongering racists on MSNBC, there is little room in their minds that allows for a different and challenging standpoint.
The Kirkchick incident may be an on air interview for a slot in the bootlicker “TC” media that has no room for moral values or traditional civilization.
Both Al Jazeera America and RT are challengers to the constant drumbeat from the pro-Israel monopoly. For this reason alone, they provide a valuable substitute from the half-truths to the downright lies. Designed to keep the globalist agenda on track, the electronic media pushes a visual, stylistic and emotional guilt trip. The pysops of mass population control is at the essence of the Totalitarian Collectivist culture.
Serious journalists are so rare on television that rational, judicious and responsible news seekers have abandoned the medium. Many display a mute TV broadcast while listening to talk radio. The influence of internet citizen journalism is gravely under attack because it is decentralized and independent of a “PC” editorial filter.
If government sponsorship for Al Jazeera America and RT were smart, they would spin off the managerial authority into a fully autonomous enterprise. State control of any media is Orwellian by nature.
“A recently passed law now permits radio and television broadcasts produced by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks to be carried by U.S. broadcasters. Previously they could only be viewed or heard abroad on the grounds that they represented American propaganda. A spokeswoman for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the government-funded outlets, has told Foreign Policy magazine that it is not fare to suggest that they merely broadcast programs that support U.S. policies. According to Lynne Weil, the outlets “don’t shy away from stories that don’t shed the best light on the United States.”
Isn’t it not nice and reassuring that the American brainwashing can be brought home for domestic consumption as if it wasn’t already all around us all the time. So what is the material difference between Al Jazeera America and RT broadcasting their variant of foreign policy from what the U.S. government does? Actually the imperial message in jingoistic disinformation out of the federal agencies and think tanks, are far less credible than the reporting by the international press.
However, most people avoid getting their news from written accounts. The trend for foreign interests acquiring or starting a television network on satellite or cable will accelerate. Only distribution over the internet will grow faster. Let’s hope the message will be worth viewing, since all news is a form of propaganda.
Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR
Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
Junta power runs Egypt. Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) generals decide policy. Interim officials serve at their pleasure.
On July 3, President Mohamed Morsi was ousted. Coup authority replaced him. It did illegitimately. His supporters want him reinstated. They’ve been camped out in Cairo for weeks. SCAF threatened to roust them.
Tensions remained high. Morsi supporters have been repeatedly attacked. Hundreds died earlier. Many others were injured. Scores are imprisoned. Arrests follow regularly.
Ahead of Wednesday’s action, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said:
“Law and order has to be in place, and people need to have access to their homes and work and so on.”
“Ultimately, this situation has to be resolved very soon.” He claimed efforts to end sit-ins would be “consistent with the law.” He lied saying so. More on that below.
Interim President Adly Mansour convened an emergency National Security Council meeting. Top SCAF and civilian officials attended.
Crackdowns were planned. Muslim Brotherhood officials urged Morsi supporters to join sit-ins. They called on Egyptian security forces to remain nonviolent, saying:
“We remind our sons and brothers from the great Egyptian army and the men of the Interior Ministry to not attack their peaceful brothers or besiege them or shed their blood.”
Morsi’s under house arrest. He’s at an unknown location. State agency Mena said he’s charged with conspiring with Hamas, killing prisoners and officers “deliberately with prior intent,” kidnapping officers and soldiers, spying, attacking public buildings, and setting fire to Wadi el-Natroun prison.
It claimed doing so helped him escape. During 2011 anti-Mubarak protests, he and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and detained. Morsi said local residents freed them.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, SCAF threatened to “turn its guns” on pro-Morsi supporters, saying:
“We will not initiate any move, but will definitely react harshly against any calls for violence or black terrorism from Brotherhood leaders or their supporters.”
Its officials warned of civil war. What follows Wednesday’s crackdown remains to be seen.
On August 14, AP headlined “Egypt police storm 2 Pro-Morsi Camps in Cairo,” saying:
“Egyptian security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, swept in Wednesday to clear two sit-in camps of supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out at both sites.”
Numbers killed and injured aren’t confirmed. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spokesman Walid Al-Haddad said 600. Another 9,000 were wounded, he added. Scores were arrested.
Another MB spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad claimed up to 2,000 killed and 10,000 injured. Intensive gunfire was heard. Official reports downplay numbers. Bodies were taken to makeshift morgues.
Senior MB leader Mohammed el-Beltagy estimated 300 deaths. He called on police and military forces to rebel. He urged Egyptians to protest publicly, saying:
“Oh, Egyptian people, your brothers are in the square. Are you going to remain silent until the genocide is completed?”
Hours later he was arrested. Witnesses said security forces used live fire on Morsi supporters. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said:
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying. We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution, and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Most EU countries are NATO members. Belligerence and other forms of violence are official policy. Ashton’s concern for Egyptian lives lacks credibility.
She, other EU leaders and Washington don’t give a damn about SCAF ruthlessness. They care plenty about it making world headlines.
They want reports of state-sponsored violence suppressed. They want business as usual continued. They want it out of sight and mind abroad.
They want Israeli interests addressed. They include destroying Gaza’s tunnel economy, keeping Rafah crossing closed, and joint IDF/SCAF attacks on Sinai-based pro-Morsi Islamists.
Days earlier, SCAF promised to roust Morsi supporters. Around 7AM, they acted. Clashes occurred in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Assiut, Minya, and other cities nationwide.
By mid-morning, state television said security forces finished breaking up Cairo sit-ins. Bulldozers began clearing makeshift camps.
Major roads into Cairo are blocked. Railway authority officials said trains in and out of the city were stopped. So are others serving major cities nationwide. It’s “for security reasons to prevent people from mobilizing,” they said.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces have “total control” over Nahda Square. “Police forces removed most tents.”
Access to the area was blocked. Egypt’s major state daily Al Ahram said the interim government warned “it would react sternly to acts of sabotage and attacks against state institutions.”
An official statement said:
“In accordance with government instructions to take necessary measures towards the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda, and for the safety of the country, security forces started taking measures to disperse the sit-ins early Wednesday.”
“The government insists on moving forward with the future roadmap in a way that guarantees that no faction will be excluded from participating in the political process which will achieve a democratic transition.”
It bears repeating. Egypt’s no democracy. Junta power rules. Appointed President Adly Mansour and other interim officials serve at its pleasure.
Events are fast moving. Egypt’s central bank ordered commercial banks to close branches in conflict areas. Some had power shut off.
The Ministry of Antiquities ordered Giza Pyramids closed to visitors. Cairo’s Egyptian museum was closed. MB officials are charged with inciting violence and/or conspiring to kill protesters.
MB’s London office said:
“The world cannot sit back and watch while innocent men, women and children are being indiscriminately slaughtered. The world must stand up to the military junta’s crime before it is too late.”
Egypt’s a tinderbox. Cairo’s a virtual war zone. Ousting Morsi along with unaddressed major grievances has millions nationwide enraged.
Blaming victims is policy. Egypt’s government made baseless accusations, saying:
“The government holds (MB) leaders fully responsible for any spilt blood, and for all the rioting and violence going on.”
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed it intercepted phone calls calling on supporters to attack police stations. Planned assaults were foiled, it added.
MB officials were arrested. Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb urged restraint. He did so on state television. He opposed Morsi. He backed his ouster. He comments lack credibility.
Clashes erupted across Egypt. Minya, Assiut and Sohag Christian Coptic Churches were torched.
In Bani Suef south of Cairo, police cars were set ablaze. Clashes threaten to continue.
Interim President Mansour said diplomacy ended. SCAF gloves are off. Egyptian security forces are notoriously hardline.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, Robert Fisk asked:
“Why does the Egyptian crisis appear so simple to our political leaders yet so complicated when you actually turn up in Cairo?”
State media create “fantasies.” They claim SCAF “follow(ed) the will of the people” ousting Morsi. They exaggerated opposition crowds. They called them “the largest political demonstration(s) in history.”
Numbers reported suggested over half the adult working age population turned out. Unlike early 2011, “the country kept running.”
John Kerry claimed SCAF intervened to restore democracy. “Thank God for the Egyptian army,” Fisk added. He did so with tongue in cheek.
Le Monde’s Alain Gresh headlined his latest article “Shadow of the army over Egypt’s revolution,” saying:
The Muslim Brotherhood “faced a destabilisation campaign by the former regime, with the dissolution of the elected parliament, the police refusing to maintain public order and protect its premises (significantly the interior minister was reinstated in office after 30 June), and the courts acquitting former Mubarak officials.”
Media pluralism didn’t follow Morsi’s ouster, said Gresh. Some TV stations were banned. Journalists were arrested.
Ruling officials are hostile to critical foreign media. Interim leaders maintain “a ministry of information.” Doing so’s not a good sign.
State media ignore pro-Morsi demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands participate nationwide.
“A textbook example is the coverage of the repression of a sit-in organised by the Brotherhood on 8 July outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, during which at least 50 people were killed,” said Gresh.
“Army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali told the Associated Press: ‘What excessive force? It would have been excessive if we killed 300.’ ”
“The English-language website Madamasr has posted damning witness statements, especially one by a cameraman working for an opposition television station, which showed images of soldiers shooting at the crowd, for no reason.”
Interim President Mansour has links to the Mubarak regime and Saudi Arabia. He worked there for over a decade.
He published a constitutional declaration. It gives him full executive and legislative powers for six months. It does so ahead of elections.
Egypt’s government is dominated by neoliberal hardliners. They force-feed austerity on millions of poor people. They have added pain in mind. Doing so risks turning a tinderbox into a raging inferno.
Observers wonder “whether Egypt will ever see pluralist elections again, now that its first democratically elected president has been overthrown,” said Gresh.
Mansour and other interim officials remain silent about MB repression. Ignoring it means support.
Mohamed ElBaradei’s an apparent exception. He resigned saying:
“(T)he beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups.”
“It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
ElBaradei wants to be Egypt’s president. Perhaps he believes resigning now makes it possible later. Allying with state-sponsored repression assures rejection.
Gresh wonders what’s next for Egypt. “How long will it be before people are put on trial for having demanded Mubarak’s resignation in 2011,” he asked?
“Perhaps the aim is to provoke the Brotherhood into resorting to violence, so as to allow a reinstatement of the state of emergency in the name of the war on terror.”
“Or the excuse may be the instability of the Sinai region, which predates Morsi.”
All sides vying for power and influence must “learn from their failures.” They must “abandon their secretive culture.”
Shutting MB and other Islamists out risks “pushing them on to a radical path that could cost Egypt dear(ly),” Gresh concluded.
On Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared. Martial law’s in effect. Major city 7:00PM – 6:00AM curfews were imposed. It’s effective until further notice.
MB supporters won’t back down. They pledged to die rather than quit. One Morsi protester perhaps spoke for others, saying:
“We don’t care about death. We believe in one thing. When your time to die comes, you will die.”
“So will you die as a courageous martyr, or as a coward? That’s the point: we want to die as martyrs.”
They want Morsi reinstitated. Civil war’s possible follow. MB spokesman Gehad El-Haddad twittered:
“8 hours of mass killings & not a single sane person in Egypt or in world 2 stop this!! Over 2,000 killed and & over 10,000 injured & world watches.”
Egypt’s a virtual war zone. Anything ahead is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
“Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”
At the same time, he outlined multiple options. They’re not cheap, he stressed. At least 1$ billion monthly’s required, he said.
They include limited air strikes, no-fly zone implementation, involvement of “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers,” as well as “thousands” of US troops.
Some Pentagon sources believe about 70,000 are needed. According to Dempsey, controlling Syria’s chemical weapons requires “thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces…to assault and secure critical sites.”
At the same time, whatever’s tried may fail, he said. The entire effort may backfire. Syria’s a cauldron of violence and instability. It’s much like post-Gaddafi Libya. It’s spilling cross-borders. The entire region’s threatened.
William Kristol co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The Foreign Policy Initiative’s its new incarnation. It’s just as belligerent. Kristol’s one of four board members.
They’re neocon extremists. They’re ideologically over-the-top. They support permanent wars. They urge them to advance America’s imperium.
On August 9, Kristol headlined ”Feebleness in the Executive,” saying:
“(T)wo years ago (Obama said) Assad must go. He hasn’t gone. President Obama said a year ago that if Assad crossed certain red lines there would be ‘enormous consequences.’ There have been no consequences.”
Kristol wants full-scale war on Syria. Violence and instability rage throughout parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia.
Kristol’s mindless about making a bad situation worse. He blames Obama for “limit(ed use) of American power.” He made the wrong choice, he said.
“We need to resist it for the next three and a half years,” said Kristol. “We need to reverse if on January 20, 2017.”
William Inboden headed George Bush’s National Security Council strategic planning. He held senior State Department positions.
He co-edits Foreign Policy magazine’s Shadow Government initiative. It contributes opinion pieces. On August 8, he headlined ”The Obama Administration’s Diplomatic Deficit,” saying:
“Obama’s past hollow threats and ‘red lines’ on Syria have eroded American credibility and now regrettably make a diplomatic solution to that war all but impossible.”
In other words, war is the only solution.
Washington Post editors urge “robust” US intervention in Syria. “(I)t’s time for Mr. Obama to recognize that the war in Syria threatens vital US interests,” they say.
They urge direct US intervention. They’ve done so all along. They’re mindless of potential consequences. They may get their wish.
On August 12, the Defense Department said Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel. It’s his first stop before heading to Jordan.
He’ll meet with senior Israeli and Jordanian officials. He’ll “discuss the unwavering US commitment to Israel’s security, in addition to potential threats from Iran, the ongoing civil war in Syria and uncertainty in the Sinai.
“In Jordan, (he) plans to visit US troops and to gain a richer understanding of how the conflict in Syria is affecting Jordan and the region.”
Pentagon air defense missiles are deployed in Jordan. US F-16 pilots patrol its airspace and Syrian border.
On August 13, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined ”Dempsey in Israel, Jordan, to tie last ends before Obama decides finally on US military action in Syria.”
Dempsey’s meeting with Netanyahu, Defense Secretary Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz. Parallel talks in Jordan will follow.
According to DF, he came “to lay the ground ahead of (Obama’s) final decision to embark on limited US military (Syrian) intervention.”
His plan “involve(s) Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Israel, Jordan and possibly Turkey.” DF claims it includes:
(1) US, UK, French, Saudi and UAE no-fly zone implementation “over central and southern Syria.” Israeli and Jordanian border areas as well as Damascus will be patrolled.
(2) Israeli warplanes will provide “air cover from Syrian air space.”
(3) “A 40-kilometer deep military buffer zone will be drawn from the Jordanian-Israeli borders up to the southern and western outskirts of Damascus.”
“The military units controlling this zone will hold the entire area of the capital within artillery range.”
(4) Washington’s war on Syria began in Deraa. It’s in southern Syria. It’ll “be declared capital of Liberated Syria.”
(5) US troops won’t be deployed in buffer zone areas. Anti-Assad insurgents will instead.
(6) Forces will consist of around 3,000 US-trained fighters. Jordanian special forces will direct them. They’ll operate under US control.
(7) The Pentagon built a “huge (Jordanian) training camp and logistical system.” Weapons and equipment for war are readied there.
(8) US Brig. General John Wright’s in charge. He heads America’s Amman-based Syrian operational command center. He’s an Afghanistan/Iraq/Libyan combat veteran.
(9) US warplanes are positioned for no-fly zone implementation. They’re in various regional locations. They’re ready to act on 36 hours notice.
(10) A special “Druze unit” will be a “key (insurgent force) component.”
(11) Regional US forces will be readied for possible reprisals.
Whether DF’s right remains to be seen. Know the source. It’s reports are mixed. Some are credible. Others aren’t.
Nothing good can come from direct US intervention. Doing so assures escalated regional conflict. It promises greater mayhem than already.
Bush and Obama belligerence bear testimony to imperial arrogance writ large. It reflects failed policy initiatives.
Afghanistan is America’s longest war. It rages. It shows no signs of ending. Things get worse, not better.
Iraq’s a cauldron of violence. Multiple car bombings throughout the country occur daily. In July, nearly 1,000 died. Many others were injured.
Libya’s a nation state in name only. Conditions are anarchic. They’re out-of-control. Fear and panic grip the country. It’s up for grabs. Gun battles, bombings and assassinations occur daily.
Libya’s so-called government deployed dozens of armored vehicles to protect Tripoli. Chances of success are slim to none.
Egypt’s in turmoil. Civil war perhaps is possible. Bahrainis have been struggling against Al Khalifa despotism for over two and half years. They show no signs of quitting.
Tunisians want justice. Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi’s July 25 assassination unleashed a wave of protests.
Tens of thousands chant “We have to topple the government.” Political deadlock shows no signs of ending.
Jordanians are restless. Protests occur intermittently. Longstanding grievances are unaddressed.
Jordanians want Americans out. Signs read “No to the presence of American forces in Jordan.” Egypt’s coup heightened tensions.
Intermittent protests rock Saudi Arabia. They’ve been ongoing for over two years. Little gets reported. Whether they’ll escalate further remains to be seen.
Brutal crackdowns try to prevent it. On August 12, Russia Today headlined “Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts.’ ”
Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud spoke to RT. He did so from Dusseldorf, Germany. He confirmed reports of extreme repression.
Tens of thousands of political prisoners languish in Saudi’s gulag. They face torture and other forms of abuse.
Khaled Bin Farhan “accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent.”
No independent judiciary exists. Evidence is fabricated. Defense attorneys are prohibited. Guilt by accusation is policy. No one the regime targets is safe inside or outside the country.
People take so much before exploding. Saudi’s monarchy risks day of reckoning justice. Some observers predicted it for years.
Major grievances can’t go unaddressed forever. It’s true throughout the region. US intervention exacerbates things.
War on Syria assures no good ending. Attacking Iran reflects madness. Whether Obama’s willing to risk it remains to be seen.
His permanent war policy makes anything possible. The price of his imperial arrogance may be greater than humanity can bear.
When thespians become caricatures of a popular culture that accelerates the demise of civilization, the routine loses all comic relief. The dramaturge of classic theater, relegated to the standing room galley or the cheap seats, creates a void in context and meaning. Today the promenade of audience interaction merges with the performance of a surreal life play. Looking into the rabbit hole applauds an adventure in the wonderland of narcissism by adopting the cult of celebrity.
“We live in a world that celebrates image over substance and because of this we have lost sight of who we are. We are bombarded daily with images that celebrate vanity, debauchery, and acts of senselessness. Through the corporate mass media we are subliminally told what to think, how to interpret the way society operates, what is “right,” what is “cool,” and how to keep from looking old and unhip.”
It is said that the only thing funny about Henny Young jokes is his violin. Such quips like “My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.” – seems downright dim-witted. However, the passé humor of your grandparent’s generation is benign and harmless when weigh against the licentiousness of the actual lifestyles of the celeb sect. By comparison, George Carlin appears tame. The political innuendo in his humor, “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” approaches the wisdom of the Greek proverb, ”Either dance well or quit the ballroom.”
The entertainment industry does not qualify as being a cynic since their value culture never came near to being noble-minded. When they perform on stage their boogie moves and trip the light fantastic toe of their kinky art, Fred Astaire turns in his grave. Their lack of class to exit the theater and perform on the streets, set afire from the relativism of their decadent imagery, causes the pop culture to sink further into the sewer of Hollywood excess.
Gone are the days of Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and Jack Benny. Ethnic humor, now banned from the airwaves, replaced with hip-hop, and rap music, prompts the next class in the School of the Arts to do the hood boogie-woogie. Clowns like the tame Red Skelton or the risqué Benny Hill were mild showmen judged against the likes of the Showtime staple of vulgarism. Bob Newhart’s wit replaced with Kathy Griffin’s filth is analogous about the state of mind in today’s society.
The folksy humor of Will Rogers, rides into the sunset as the “Cowboy Way”, replaced by the broke back way of life roundup, spread across the plains. Where is the humor in the eviction from the “Little House on the Prairie”?
That familiar Three Stooges carnival has become the Barak Obama circus. The spotless reflection of presidential shame, exhibited with each Leno appearance, razz the faithful follower fools. A pre-presidential appearance on Saturday Night Live video has the touchy feely and future fearless leader geared up to bring in a new era. Somehow, the skits of Moe, Larry and Curley give more confidence than the nauseating charms of the current joke POTUS.In the NeoCon publication FrontPage, Mark Tapson gives a damaging account of Actor Steven Weber Proves That ‘Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.’
“Weber, a self-described “wise-ass” (he got that half-right anyway), posted a painfully unfunny political rant there entitled “ Comedy Relief.” As near as I can decipher it, the piece asserts that conservatives are a big joke, what with their insistence on sabotaging this country and demonizing the genius President Obama despite all the good he has accomplished.Weber clearly amuses himself, but when it comes to savagely funny and incisive political commentary, the man is no Mark Steyn. Here’s an example of his wit and insight into current events: “Bin Laden’s been gone, Qaddafi’s ka-dead, and the Arab Spring’s been sprung.” Weber actually cites these as examples of Obama’s “real foreign policy victories.”
Weber is right about his vague statement that Obama has the American people “aroused and assembling.” Yes, millions of Americans are aroused and assembling – not in support of Obama, but in opposition to his dismantling of our Constitutional rights, our military, our economy, our borders, our very exceptionalism.”
While Weber is an insignificant celebrity, his essay in the Huffington Times reinforces the gonzo ignorance of glorified groupies exhorting their devotion to political correctness. The history of Hollywood disdain towards Free Speech is legendary, when practiced by traditional conservative Christians. The political affiliation of the Screen Actors Guild members is well known.
“There are well-known conservative actors—including Gary Sinise, Tom Selleck, Patricia Heaton, James Woods, Robert Davi, James Belushi, Dennis Miller, and Sylvester Stallone—but according to Morris, their numbers are far fewer than those in the left-wing camp and, more important, they simply don’t have the clout. “If you think even for one instance Stallone can get the same press as Clooney, you’re nuts,” he said. “Clooney is a media darling. If he says something he’s taken seriously. If Stallone says something, it’s ‘Look what the asshole said.’ “
Well, “That’s Entertainment” in the world of star power mania.
“Andrew’s message that culture is upstream from politics could be heard loud and clear Friday during a panel of Hollywood heavy hitters who implored to directly engage the entertainment industry.
John Sullivan, director of 2016: Obama’s America, told the crowd the biggest deficit conservatives face today isn’t at the ballot box. The “cultural deficit” remains staggering, Sullivan said, estimating about $4 billion is being spent “working against conservative values” when one considers the total money spent on movies and television product.
“Republicans will come into an election year, and they’ll match the Democrats in political campaign contributions and pat themselves on the back on doing a good job,” Sullivan said, ignoring the culture imbalance.”
Now the clowns that control the organization apparatus in both criminal political parties really despise Will Rogers the moralist.
“Before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Mort Sahl and Lewis Black, Americans fell in love with a cowboy comedian who told it like it was, plain and simple.
Will Rogers was famous for his lariat and rope tricks, his aw-shucks way, his common touch. Everything he knew he read in the newspapers, he said.
But in his day, Will Rogers, homespun comic, was a much bigger draw than Oprah, and a political powerhouse. His humor moved the nation.”
“He was the most incisive political commentator of his era who, beneath his humor, provided his countrymen a critically honest appraisal of American politics and world affairs. Few men touched the American moral and political conscience more deeply than Rogers. His astute observations, his ability to go straight to the heart of the matter and then put that into words that resonated with his listeners, propelled him to a level of influence unequaled in American history. When the witty one-liners are stripped away from Rogers’s message, a sobering and powerful view of his political clout appears. A closer look at whom he met, where he traveled, and the subjects of his writings and speeches reveals not so much a comedian but a true political insider with the power to shape public opinion and ultimately influence public policy.”
The intense cultural imbalance that Mr. Sullivan asserts did not exist back in the day of Will Rogers. Although the reappearance of the American innocence of nearly a century ago will never return, the character of traditional principles and values remain intact for the remnant of faithful loyalists, who adhere to the spirit of limited government and individual liberty.
Corporatists and authoritarians, of all persuasions and ideologies are essentially anti (small r) republicans. There is no humor coming out of the camps of these culturally deprived “true believers”. The achievement of crowd ignorance is significantly a product of mass media distortion and deception. Entertainment artists are not a privileged class, contrary to their own self-pronouncement.
The stupidity that Will Rogers speaks of, intentionally designed to cast a tragic play for the country, is a national pandemic. Buffoons that use comedic lingo to push a repressive agenda are not funny. Actors who lionize tyrannical outlaws and insert subliminal messages in the recital of their play-acting are wretched role models.
Emphatically, the public needs to have the last laugh. An old fashion boycott is in order. Lost generations that swallow the poison from popular culture icons need a sanity intervention. Stop the support of your own ruin. Artists are naturally insecure. Make sure their fear becomes a permanent proviso every time they betray our heritage. Shut off the tube, turn the volume to zero and regain a healthy perspective on your own well-being.
Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR
Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
Secret agents are supposed to be secret but their existence is common knowledge. We know that they exist, but most people don’t know what they get up to, what they actually do. The main reason for this is that the conventional news media coverage of intelligence agencies focuses almost exclusively on them gathering information, portraying them as passive observers of the shadowy underworlds that surround our ‘civilisation’. Their active role in covertly wielding influence on both a small and large scale is essentially ignored.
The vacuum left by the absence of real-life news media reporting on the actions of the secret services is filled with spy-fi, or spy fiction. The world’s most famous spy, James Bond, has been aped across the world, the US versions even sometimes bearing the same initials – Jack Bauer from 24 and Jason Bourne from the Bourne films are simple examples. Throughout the decades it has largely been British authors – Somerset Maugham in the 1930s, Ian Fleming in the 1950s, John le Carré and others since then - who set the tone and standards for spy-fi authors. Most of these people were themselves spies for the British security services – Maugham worked for MI6 during WW1, Fleming ran a naval intelligence commando unit during WW2, le Carré was MI5 and MI6.
It was in Fleming’s James Bond novels in the 1950s that the CIA, at that time an agency whose existence was not officially admitted, were first named and portrayed. As recent research by Dr Christopher Moran has shown, Fleming was friends with then-CIA director Allen Dulles, who was ‘fascinated’ by the Bond novels and in particular the gadgetry. Over time the two became closer friends, to the extent that Dulles even asked Fleming to use his popular books to help portray the CIA in a positive light. Similarly, it was British filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock who largely created the spy thriller genre in cinema in the inter-war period. It was in Hitchcock’s late-50s film North by Northwest that Hollywood first named and depicted the CIA. In both print and on the screen it was left to British creative talent to break the ground of public portraits of the CIA.
However, unlike Fleming and others, there is no evidence that Hitchcock himself ever worked for the security services, though he was spied on for a time by the FBI. This included one incident in the early 1960s where an FBI mole at Revue Studios told the Bureau that a character in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents was an ‘improper portrayal of an FBI agent’. The Feds applied pressure and the character was watered down to being a private detective who used to work for the Bureau.
Much the same process continues today. The former head of MI5 Stella Rimington is writing popular spy-fi, the British security services provided ‘former’ officers as advisors on the hugely popular TV show Spooks and the CIA is deeply involved in Hollywood. In my previous article for this site I outlined how the CIA’s first official entertainment industry liaison Chase Brandon recruited actress Jennifer Garner to appear in a CIA recruitment ad. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Chase Brandon was a technical consultant on the show Alias, which launched Garner to stardom. He was also a consultant on The Sum of All Fears (2002) and The Recruit (2003), both immediate post-9/11 films that depicted the CIA in an extremely favourable light. Just like the pre-9/11 Enemy of the State (1998) the images and stories in these films and TV shows are a synthesis of high-value production with the glory of the security state. Sexy young things run about and look confused for our amusement, while advanced technology spies on everything to provide the watching audience with a near-omniscient perspective. Two spectacles for the price of one, you might say.
One particular interesting nexus of connections is worthy of greater scrutiny. The Sum of All Fears starred Ben Affleck in the ‘sexy young thing running about’ role. Not long after, Affleck and Garner met while co-starring in the film Daredevil (2003) and they fell in love and got married in 2005. This is perhaps not at all surprising as they had a lot in common: they were born in the same year, were both rising stars, and had both worked on CIA-assisted productions. Since they met Garner appeared in a CIA recruitment ad (2004) and more recently Ben Affleck directed and starred in the Academy Award-winning film Argo (2012) which tells the largely true story of the CIA setting up a fake film company as the cover for a black operation. It is fair to say that they are not only one of Hollywood’s favourite couples, they are one of the CIA’s favourites too.
The links don’t stop there. One of Argo’s producers was George Clooney, who made Syriana (2007), based on former CIA officer Bob Baer’s experiences in the Middle East. Clooney is also a listed member of the Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the most influential foreign policy think tank in the US. Before he got involved in CIA productions Affleck also starred in Armageddon (1998) andPearl Harbour (2001), two action-disaster films that some people see as predictive programming for 9/11, the ‘new Pearl Harbour’. Both films were made by whizz-bang closeupwobblecam merchant Michael Bay, and both were produced with assistance from the Pentagon.
If all this is making you wonder whether Hollywood is largely populated by CIA agents and whether Affleck himself is a CIA agent then you aren’t alone. Fortunately, someone actually felt the need to ask Affleck about these issues:
That’s right, according to Affleck ‘Probably, Hollywood is full of CIA agents’ that we don’t know about. However, it is perhaps more pertinent to focus our attention on the ones we do know about, such as Chase Brandon’s replacement Paul Barry. He told Dr Tricia Jenkins that in his view, ‘Most Americans are content to accept Hollywood’s message. Very few ever conduct any research to determine the truth. This is reinforced to us by the public e-mail we receive. In most instances, Hollywood is the only way the public learns about the Agency and Americans frequently shape their judgments about us based on films.’
What can we do about this? For one, by spotting the spooks in Hollywood we can show those people who do shape their judgments about the CIA based on films that they are being duped, and deliberately so. The CIA is not a heroic, patriotic institution that wants to protect the lives of ordinary Americans and help spread peace and freedom, no matter how many Chase Brandon-aided films put phrases like that in their dialogue. If they were such an institution then they wouldn’t have to employ people like Brandon and Barry to massage their image and weaponise the dream factories. The very existence of people like Brandon and Barry tells us there’s a problem within the CIA, a problem Hollywood cannot solve. For another, the likes of Affleck and Garner are not celebrities we should look up to, but are the pawns of professional deceivers and therefore probably deserve our pity. At the very least we could stop paying for our own deception, and encourage others to stop paying for theirs.
Tom Secker is a British based writer, researcher and filmmaker who specialises in terrorism, the security services and declassified history. He has been writing on the philosophy and politics of fear since 2008. He also periodically contributes here on SmellsLikeHumanSpirit.com, and previously appeared on the Podcast in Episodes 12, 45, and 78. Below is his latest article, ‘The CIA’s role in Hollywood’
A row between the US and Moscow over Snowden’s extradition has reached a new level of tension after Barack Obama canceled a long-planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, again showing the adherence of US to double-standard politics.
This goes back to Putin finally deciding to give temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, specifically ignoring Obama’s personal directive that Snowden should be handed over to the US. With this measure, Putin echoes Russia’s and the world’s growing weariness with America’s hegemonic carrot-and-stick strategy, and its double talk.
Both presidents had agreed to hold a summit in Moscow next month to discuss bilateral issues but, reading between the lines, one can clearly sense the increasing frustration the US and its key global allies feel towards Russia and China, the only two major powers that can stand up to them, bringing some measure of traditional balance-of-power to today’s world; even if uneasy and fragile
As with Julian Assange, the case involving Edward Snowden is well-known around the world: both men were in a position to access credible behind-the-curtain information, together with the documentation backing it up, and they both came out boldly disclosing it to the public.
If the proof is in the pudding, then America’s rage and ire, as well as that of its allies’, are proof that these disclosures are in fact true, which is why such a large portion of global public opinion hail Snowden and Assange as true heroes and freedom fighters.
For when it comes to assessing the true motives and unconfessable activities and goals behind much of US, UK and Israeli foreign and domestic policies, millions of modern-day Hamlets can smell that there is definitely something very rotten and not precisely in the State of Denmark.
If, as we believe, the supranational global power elites are embedded deep inside the public and private power structures of key nations – notably the United States and the United Kingdom – then clearly their Achilles Heel is any and all disclosure of their crimes, their meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, their direct or indirect involvement in false-flag attacks, their support of genocidal regimes when it serves their purpose, their murderous invasions and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Libya, and their obscene funding and support of terrorists, guerrillas and mafias in Syria and elsewhere, under the PsyOps cover of ‘Arab Spring’.
Now, if giving temporary asylum to a disgruntled 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) operative like Snowden has such impact on the US power structure – so much so that it led the president of the United States to cancel a key summit with the President of Russia – then one can only wonder at the fear and trembling they must feel when assessing potentially much more serious ‘security breaches’.
What if a really organized group of truly powerful insiders-turned-outsiders were to decide to confront Washington, New York, London and Tel-Aviv with unquestionable evidence and proof of their crimes and their criminal perpetrators? What if, say, somebody comes up with total and undisputable proof on the truth behind 9/11? Or Iraq and Libya? Or Wall Street in 2008? Or London 7/7…?
Russia and China: America’s 21st-century foes
Naturally global hegemons abhor anyone standing up to them, which is clearly what Russia has been doing for the past decade. At the UN, where Russia had been more accommodating to many US interests, after the US-backed monstrous assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on live TV and the rape of Libya in 2011, its appears Moscow got really fed up.
Assassinating global leaders to the chuckling of Hillary Clinton on CBS News is definitely not on Moscow’s agenda.
A key change in Russian foreign policy can thus be clearly seen in the cases of Iran and, more significantly, in Syria – a traditional Russian ally.
The US, UK and Israel know full well that even if they continue to finance the worst terrorists, mafias, murderers, arms-dealers and Al-Qaeda operatives – whom they collectively dub as ‘freedom fighters’ - against the legitimate government of Bashar Assad, Russia just won’t budge.
Putin’s message is clear: the West will not have its way in Syria. Period.
Many readers are probably asking, what about China? Isn’t China supposed to be the key Pentagon target in the years to come because it continues to grow and grow, and its economy will soon surpass that of the US?
Yes, but that’s just the economy and, yes, China does hold almost $2 trillion in US Treasury Bills, which gives them the potential to wreak havoc on the US by just liquidating them short-term in the major global financial markets. China could, if it wanted, send the US Dollar crumbling down like the World Trade Center twin towers did in 2001.
But the US knows China will not do that; not now, anyway, as they have much more to lose from a US financial collapse than they have to win. China knows that triggering the mass devaluation of those Treasuries would backfire and explode in their own face.
Besides, China has never had, nor has today, global hegemonic aims. China seems quite happy to be and remain the undisputed power in South East Asia and the Western Pacific, something that is in sharp contrast with the US/UK/Israel, which together insist on running the whole world: politically, territorially, financially, even trying to impose its courts and laws.
In addition, China has few issues for open conflict: Tibet, Taiwan, a couple of disputed islands with Japan, perhaps, but that’s basically it. Their struggle lies on the economic and resources stage.
Now, compare that to the permanent conflicts the US and its allies stir up in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Central Europe etc.
China does not really need to be contained; it is self-contained. The US and its allies, however, must be contained and, seeing the way things are going, in the long run they must be stopped.
Russia might have far less economic clout than the US, however the Kremlin has always had clear long-term geopolitical objectives; intelligently designed and planned ever since the times of the tsars, later under the Bolsheviks, and today under its mature, coherent and consistent leadership.
For Russia not only has global aims, Russia understands the world and its multicultural complexities far better than the US. On this, Russia is only rivaled by Britain… and China.
So is the US now slipping back into ‘Evil Empire’, Russia-standing-in-the-way-of-‘democracy’; Russia-supporting-the-bad-guys rhetoric?
The truth is that Russia is helping to unmask American social and political decadence, financial weakness, and psychopathic imperial overdrive.
When Russia stands up to America, it shows strength, personality and self-respect. The world looks on and applauds.
On August 7, Obama appeared on Jay Leno’s popular ‘Tonight Show’, whining and complaining about Putin, accusing Moscow of slipping back into “Cold-War mode”. He listed US grievances against Russia: missile defense and arms control, trade relations, global security, human rights, civil society… and advising President Putin not to look at the past but to “think about the future as there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate.”
Obama doesn’t seem to understand that to think correctly about the future, requires learning from the experience of the past. Addressing the Snowden Affair in isolation is but another example of US double-standards and double talk.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald of London’s The Guardian newspaper reminded his readers on that same day, whilst Obama and the mainstream media today express so much distress over Snowden’s Russian asylum, they seem to forget past cases where the tables were turned, and which did not involve a young, mild-mannered whistleblower, but rather where the US protected the worst criminals and murderers.
For instance, the US refused to heed an extradition request from Italy for two CIA agents indicted in the alleged 2003 abduction of an Egyptian cleric in Milan (New York Times, February 28, 2007); later, when CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady was released in Panama, he was flown back to the US to avert the possibility he might be extradited to Italy (Washington Post, July 19, 2013).
Then we have America’s refusal to extradite former CIA-supported Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada – who for all practical purposes was given US asylum – so he could stand trial for genocide and war crimes in Bolivia (The Guardian, September 9, 2012). Or the case of Luis Posada Carriles, whose extradition to Venezuela was also refused by the US, over his alleged role in the 1976 terror bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people (El Paso Times, December 30, 2010).
The list does not stop there. In recent years, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil filed repeated requests and legal summons asking the US to give up one Sir Henry A. Kissinger, wanted for questioning over his decades-long involvement with CIA-backed military regime murders in those countries during the 1970s, under a mass genocide strategy which later became known as ‘Plan Condor’.
But again, the Global Power Elite always stands behind its problem children like Sir Henry to the very end. Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón went so far as to ask Interpol to arrest Kissinger for questioning during a visit to London but – Alas! – to no avail.
And we won’t even mention the repeated extradition requests filed by Belgian Courts against former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his war crimes and crimes against humanity, filed by Lebanese victims of his 2001 killing sprees.
The list is far too long. But the double standards are glaringly obvious, which does not seem to unduly bother the Global Hegemons, for they are far too used to always having their way.
And even when they do take some risk they use their overpowering leverage to play their game safely, as if saying “let’s flip a coin: heads we win; tails you lose”.
Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina
The US empire’s illusion of benign omnipotence has been broken by the heroic acts of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden writes Neil Harrison…
The grotesque climax to the manifest destiny dream. Invisible in the sky, malevolent and capricious, an Old Testament-style god rains arbitrary, brutal fate upon unsuspecting civilians.
On that Baghdad street, on that day, god existed. The Reuters journalist and his driver, gunned down for carrying an extended camera lens; the father killed taking his children to school; his children – injured and forced to witness their father’s abject death. For all of these people and more, god existed that day and his name was America.
Of course, this was the footage which finally convinced the troubled Private Bradley Manning to begin a campaign of, in his own words, “shattering the fantasy.” Thanks to Manning, no serious observer of this video, or of USA foreign policy in general, could now continue to indulge in the fantasy of America as the world’s friendly policeman, not without excercising some serious double-think. Especially not while listening to the Apache helicopter’s crew gloat and laugh as they kill and maim innocents (it somehow gets worse the more you see it).
Arguably, the video was the most important thing that Bradley Manning leaked before his arrest and incarceration. Footage of other Apache helicopter attacks in Iraq were already available on Youtube, transcripts from the attack had already been printed elsewhere in a book and the world already knew that the Reuters journalists had been killed by American forces, but images and sounds have a visceral impact which mere words often lack. A worldwide, large-scale audience was, for this particular video, guaranteed by the involvement of Wikileaks – Julian Assange’s flair for understated drama publicly piled up embarassment for the US military. Headline status meant that millions could now no longer continue with the ‘fantasy’ anymore than they could ‘unsee’ the footage. Therefore, by the time Manning’s subsequent leaks (including the war logs and the notorious diplomatic cables) came to light, they were being registered by a global public already primed with enlightened eyes and a deep sense of scepticism.
The convergence of a multitude of factors provided Manning with motive and opportunity to inflict one of the biggest clusterfucks in the American god-machine’s history of propaganda war- US government paranoia post 9/11 meant that, due to their insistence on inter-department ‘sharing,’ anyone with clearance could access virtually all government information. Manning’s genius with computers allowed him to trawl for his quarry with ease. Moreover, he felt desperately isolated. In the Mesopotamian desert, thousands of miles from home, among unsympathetic colleagues – it was far from the perfect situation for a very young man suffering deep personal turmoil. Most importantly of all, however, and the thing we should remember above all else, is that Private Bradley Manning cared.
He cared that he may have been complicit in a regime which employed (or contracted out) torture, “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against…” He cared that his fellow Americans were deliberately being kept ignorant of the true nature of their government’s foreign policy, “I want people to see the truth…without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” Manning cared enough to risk pissing off a god.
As this week’s verdict of guilty on twenty counts (though, symbolically, not ‘aiding the enemy,’ which begs the question – if no ‘enemy’ was ‘aided’ where the hell is the crime?) could potentially result in over 130 years jail time for him, and bearing in mind the dreadful incarceration he has already endured, this god is at pains to ensure few follow suit.
The American god-machine sent its son to the Middle-east. Once there, he made a stand for truth and human compassion. For his sacrifice he is now being symbolically martyred. Does this sound familiar? You would be forgiven for finding these comparisons somewhat contrived (put it down to artistic licence). However, before dismissing the notion entirely, consider a couple of further examples.
Firstly, thanks to the actions of another brave whistleblower, Edward Snowden, we now know something of American pretensions to omnipotence. America’s National Security Agency, it is becoming ever more apparent, are now able to read private emails and listen in on telephone conversations not only in the US. but across the globe. For reasons of security, in order to protect you, the NSA needs to be able to hear your weekly takeaway order. America-god knows your favourite pizza toppings. Feel safer?
‘…suck up a daily influx of one billion dollars from other nations to pay for its consumption and is, as such, the universal Keynesian consumer that keeps the world economy running. (So much for the anti-Keynesian economic ideology that seems to predominate today!) This influx, which is effectively like the tithe paid to Rome in antiquity (or the gifts sacrificed to the Minotaur by the Ancient Greeks), relies on a complex economic mechanism: the US is “trusted” as the safe and stable center, so that all the others, from the oil-producing Arab countries to Western Europe and Japan, and now even the Chinese, invest their surplus profits in the US. Since this trust is primarily ideological and military, not economic, the problem for the US is how to justify its imperial role – it needs a permanent state of war, thus the “war on terror,” offering itself as the universal protector of all other “normal” (not “rogue”) states.’
Herein lies the truth of the matter. America is not a god, it simply wears this diguise of ‘justification,’ therefore maintaining the inflated faux-capacity, to attempt to behave like one. In truth, the US is becoming increasingly desperate to appease and control its own economic god.
But who benefits from this global arrangement? The American people? Maybe we should ask the citizens of Detroit that one?
If we in the ‘liberal’ West really are benefitting from this international tithe-paying/war-making economic regime, then at least now, thanks to Manning and Snowden, we can appreciate the true cost it incurs. Perhaps we may yet glimpse our own future therein, because the only people who have ever genuinely benefitted, who will ever benefit, from the system Zizek describes, are in a tiny and exclusive minority. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, they are:
The Dirty Rich.
Describing the way in which “emancipatory politics,” such as socialism or feminism, work “by reaching for a future,” Terry Eagleton invokes  a useful image:
“[They insert] the thin end of the wedge of the future into the heart of the present. They represent a bridge between present and future , a point where the two intersect.”
This is exactly what Manning and Snowden have achieved. They have given us a brief view of a future in which no state can be unaccountable for its actions, however clandestine, however obscure its motives – not even the most powerful on Earth.
Our immediate task for the future is to continue forcing the ‘wedge,’ to ensure that the illusion continues to be shattered. Let no motive of those who would make war go uninterogated. Let no action of those who hoard wealth at the expense of the pain, suffering and even the lives of others go unchallenged. This is how best to honour the bravery and sacrifices of Manning, Snowden and others like them. This is how we will display our solidarity with them as they face uncertain futures. This is how we will consign the gods to history.
Final arguments were presented last week. Judge Col. Denise Lind adjourned for the weekend. Tuesday 1PM EDT was verdict day and time.
It didn’t surprise. Earlier she refused to dismiss aiding the enemy charges. She let multiple Espionage Act violations stand. She did so disgracefully. Manning faces possible life in prison.
We’ll know once sentence is imposed. We’ll know more if it holds on appeal. We know plenty now. Lind threw the book at Manning except entirely.
She exonerated him of aiding the enemy. She convicted him of 20 of 22 charges. They include five Espionage Act counts. Expect sentencing to be harsh. Manning faces longterm imprisonment. He may never be free again.
According to Brennan Center for Justice Liberty and National Security Program co-director Elizabeth Goitein:
“Manning is one of very few people ever charged under the Espionage Act (prosecuted) for leaks to the media. The only other person who was convicted after trial was pardoned.”
“Despite the lack of any evidence that he intended any harm to the United States, Manning faces decades in prison. That’s a very scary precedent.”
Lind is chief judge, 1st Judicial Circuit, US Army Trial Judiciary. She served in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps for 25 years.
Her service includes 4 years as a military judge in Europe, Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Washington, DC.
She’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University Assistant Professor of National Security Studies.
She’s chief counsel, US Army Government Appellate Division, general counsel, Fort Belvoir, VA.
She’s Army Joint Service Committee on Military Justice working group member.
She’s supervisory defense counsel, senior prosecutor, and special assistant US attorney. She’s a New York Bar member.
“In an ominous sign for (judicial fairness), military judge Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of verdict.”
“In so doing, defense attorney David Coombs explained, ‘The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety.’ ”
” ‘If the Government meant information, it should have charged information.’ ”
“Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The Defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact.”
“Army private Bradley Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks, to expose US criminality in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and further abuses around the world.”
“Never in the history of American military law has a person been charged with Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Law, ‘Aiding the Enemy,’ for providing information to the media in the public interest.”
“However, Manning faces life in prison tomorrow if convicted of this charge alone – despite all evidence to the contrary.”
” ‘I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the informationâ¤|this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general,’ Manning said in a February statement.”
A sentencing hearing’s scheduled for Wednesday. Expect it unless postponed. It could last weeks. Each side plans calling numerous witnesses.
Obama pronounced Manning guilty by accusation. He did so before trial proceedings began. He acted callously and unconscionably. Media scoundrels piled on. They still do.
Lead prosecutor Capt. Ashden Fein called Manning an anarchist/hacker/traitor. He “knew exactly what he was doing,” he said. His actions represented “general evil intent.”
“He was not a whistleblower. He was a traitor, a traitor who understood the value of compromised information in the hands of the enemy and took deliberate steps to ensure that they, along with the world, received it.”
In February, Manning pled guilty to 10 lesser charges. They’re punishable up to 20 years in prison.
Aiding the enemy and other Espionage Act violations could put him away for life.
After sentencing, it’s reviewed. It’s Major General Jeffrey Buchanan’s responsibility. He heads Washington’s Military District.
He may or may not order leniency. It’s unlikely. Expect tokenism at best. Obama wants his head. So do media scoundrels.
No military or civil judge will countermand the president and commander-in-chief. None dares challenge court of public opinion sentiment.
If bad conduct discharge is ordered, a dishonorable one, or imprisonment for a year or more (on top of time served), further review is required.
It’s the Army Court of Criminal Appeals responsibility. It can go higher. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is its highest judicial authority.
Manning can appeal to the Supreme Court. It’s nearly always unsympathetic. Petitions for hearings are summarily rejected. A one-sentence comment does so, saying: “Petition for writ of certiorari denied.”
“The Defense submits that the Government has made an utter mess of the section 641 offenses by pursuing one charge (that PFC Manning stole databases) and at the last minute pursuing a different charge (that PFC Manning stole information).”
“The Defense did not know that ‘database’ or ‘records’ meant ‘information’ and has suffered irreparable prejudice as a result.”
“Under RCM 915, a military judge may declare a mistrial when ‘manifestly necessary in the interest of justice because the circumstances arising during the proceedings which cast substantial doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings.’ ”
Prosecutorial charges against Manning reflect injustice. He exposed serious war crimes. He’s victimized for doing so. Claiming he aided the enemy flies in the face of reality.
According to Duke Law School Professor Scott Silliman:
“Most of the aiding-the-enemy charges historically have had to do with POWs who gave information to the Japanese during World War II, or to Chinese communists during Korea, or during the Vietnam War.”
According to visiting University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Frakt:
Convicting Manning on this charge “would essentially create a new way of (doing so) in a very indirect fashion, even an unintended fashion.”
Prosecutors cited Union soldier Henry Vanderwater’s 1863 court martial. He was convicted of aiding the enemy. He gave an Alexandria, VA newspaper command roster information it published.
Coombs said Civil War-era cases involved coded messages. Advertisements disguised them. All modern cases involve military personnel giving aid and comfort to the enemy directly.
Convicting Manning sends a chilling message to whistleblowers. Do the right thing and be criminalized. Do it above and beyond the call and it’s longterm or life.
On July 28, the Bradley Manning Support Network discussed altering charges ”to assist Gov’t ahead of verdict.”
Coombs calls doing so “push(ing) this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety.”
Altering charges isn’t “semantic,” he said. “Legally, it’s substantially different than the original charges, and more to the point, it comes long after the government rested its case, precluding the defense from going back to question witnesses differently.”
It’s an unprecedented hostile act. No legitimate judge would allow it. Manning faces kangaroo court justice. Irreparable damage doesn’t matter.
Nor does rule of law compliance. Manning was pronounced guilty before proceedings began. Defense council’s blamed for prosecutorial misconduct.
Manning’s trial was a travesty of justice. Conviction came on the same day Washington first protected whistleblowers. Congressional members did so unanimously.
On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress declared it the “duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by an officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”
Crimes then paled by comparison to today’s. They continue daily. Congress supports them. It does so by funding illegal wars.
It permits torture and other forms of abuse. It’s silent about witch-hunt justice. It’s in bed with Wall Street, war profiteers, and other corporate crooks.
It supports America’s worst. It ignores persecution of its best. It’s guilty of crimes charged against others. It’s the best government money can buy.
Whistleblowers are heroes. They’re public enemy number one. Doing the right thing risks prison hell. It’s the American way.
It’s not easy being a flag-waving American nationalist. In addition to having to deal with the usual disillusion, anger, and scorn from around the world incited by Washington’s endless bombings and endless wars, the nationalist is assaulted by whistle blowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who have disclosed a steady stream of human-rights and civil-liberties scandals, atrocities, embarrassing lies, and embarrassing truths. Believers in “American exceptionalism” and “noble intentions” have been hard pressed to keep the rhetorical flag waving by the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s last gleaming.
That may explain the Washington Post story (July 20) headlined “U.S. asylum-seekers unhappy in Russia”, about Edward Snowden and his plan to perhaps seek asylum in Moscow. The article recounted the allegedly miserable times experienced in the Soviet Union by American expatriates and defectors like Lee Harvey Oswald, the two NSA employees of 1960 – William Martin and Bernon Mitchell – and several others. The Post’s propaganda equation apparently is: Dissatisfaction with life in Russia by an American equals a point in favor of the United States: “misplaced hopes of a glorious life in the worker’s paradise” … Oswald “was given work in an electronics factory in dreary Minsk, where the bright future eluded him” … reads the Post’s Cold War-clichéd rendition. Not much for anyone to get terribly excited about, but a defensive American nationalist is hard pressed these days to find much better.
At the same time Team USA scores points by publicizing present-day Russian violations of human rights and civil liberties, just as if the Cold War were still raging. “We call on the Russian government to cease its campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption, and to ensure that the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of all of its citizens, including the freedoms of speech and assembly, are protected and respected,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary. 1
“Campaign of pressure against individuals and groups seeking to expose corruption” … hmmm … Did someone say “Edward Snowden”? Is round-the-clock surveillance of the citizenry not an example of corruption? Does the White House have no sense of shame? Or embarrassment? At all?
I long for a modern version of the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954 at which Carney – or much better, Barack Obama himself – is spewing one lie and one sickening defense of his imperialist destruction after another. And the committee counsel (in the famous words of Joseph Welch) is finally moved to declare: “Sir, you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” The Congressional gallery burst into applause and this incident is widely marked as the beginning of the end of the McCarthy sickness.
US politicians and media personalities have criticized Snowden for fleeing abroad to release the classified documents he possessed. Why didn’t he remain in the US to defend his actions and face his punishment like a real man? they ask. Yes, the young man should have voluntarily subjected himself to solitary confinement, other tortures, life in prison, and possible execution if he wished to be taken seriously. Quel coward!
Why didn’t Snowden air his concerns through the proper NSA channels rather than leaking the documents, as a respectable whistleblower would do? This is the question James Bamford, generally regarded as America’s leading writer on the NSA, endeavored to answer, as follows:
I’ve interviewed many NSA whistleblowers, and the common denominator is that they felt ignored when attempting to bring illegal or unethical operations to the attention of higher-ranking officials. For example, William Binney and several other senior NSA staffers protested the agency’s domestic collection programs up the chain of command, and even attempted to bring the operations to the attention of the attorney general, but they were ignored. Only then did Binney speak publicly to me for an article in Wired magazine. In a Q&A on the Guardian Web Snowden cited Binney as an example of “how overly-harsh responses to public-interest whistle-blowing only escalate the scale, scope, and skill involved in future disclosures. Citizens with a conscience are not going to ignore wrong-doing simply because they’ll be destroyed for it: the conscience forbids it.”
And even when whistleblowers bring their concerns to the news media, the NSA usually denies that the activity is taking place. The agency denied Binney’s charges that it was obtaining all consumer metadata from Verizon and had access to virtually all Internet traffic. It was only when Snowden leaked the documents revealing the phone-log program and showing how PRISM works that the agency was forced to come clean. 2
“Every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs and national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said recently. “All I know is that it is not unusual for lots of nations.” 3
Well, Mr. K, anti-semitism is not unusual; it can be found in every country. Why, then, does the world so strongly condemn Nazi Germany? Obviously, it’s a matter of degree, is it not? The magnitude of the US invasion of privacy puts it into a league all by itself.
Kerry goes out of his way to downplay the significance of what Snowden revealed. He’d have the world believe that it’s all just routine stuff amongst nations … “Move along, nothing to see here.” Yet the man is almost maniacal about punishing Snowden. On July 12, just hours after Venezuela agreed to provide Snowden with political asylum, Kerry personally called Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua and reportedly threatened to ground any Venezuelan aircraft in America’s or any NATO country’s airspace if there is the slightest suspicion that Snowden is using the flight to get to Caracas. Closing all NATO member countries’ airspace to Venezuelan flights means avoiding 26 countries in Europe and two in North America. Under this scenario, Snowden would have to fly across the Pacific from Russia’s Far East instead of crossing the Atlantic.
The Secretary of State also promised to intensify the ongoing process of revoking US entry visas to Venezuelan officials and businessmen associated with the deceased President Hugo Chávez. Washington will also begin prosecuting prominent Venezuelan politicians on allegations of drug trafficking, money laundering and other criminal actions and Kerry specifically mentioned some names in his conversation with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister.
Kerry added that Washington is well aware of Venezuela’s dependence on the US when it comes to refined oil products. Despite being one of the world’s largest oil producers, Venezuela requires more petrol and oil products than it can produce, buying well over a million barrels of refined oil products from the United States every month. Kerry bluntly warned that fuel supplies would be halted if President Maduro continues to reach out to the fugitive NSA contractor. 4
Wow. Heavy. Unlimited power in the hands of psychopaths. My own country truly scares me.
And what country brags about its alleged freedoms more than the United States? And its alleged democracy? Its alleged civil rights and human rights? Its alleged “exceptionalism”? Its alleged everything? Given that, why should not the United States be held to the very highest of standards?
American hypocrisy in its foreign policy is manifested on a routine, virtually continual, basis. Here is President Obama speaking recently in South Africa about Nelson Mandela: “The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom; [Mandela’s] moral courage; this country’s historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me. It has been an inspiration to the world – and it continues to be.” 5
How touching. But no mention – never any mention by any American leader – that the United States was directly responsible for sending Nelson Mandela to prison for 28 years. 6
And demanding Snowden’s extradition while, according to the Russian Interior Ministry, “Law agencies asked the US on many occasions to extradite wanted criminals through Interpol channels, but those requests were neither met nor even responded to.” Amongst the individuals requested are militant Islamic insurgents from Chechnya, given asylum in the United States. 7
Ecuador has had a similar experience with the US in asking for the extradition of several individuals accused of involvement in a coup attempt against President Rafael Correa. The most blatant example of this double standard is that of Luis Posada Carriles who masterminded the blowing up of a Cuban airline in 1976, killing 73 civilians. He has lived as a free man in Florida for many years even though his extradition has been requested by Venezuela. He’s but one of hundreds of anti-Castro and other Latin American terrorists who’ve been given haven in the United States over the years despite their being wanted in their home countries.
American officials can spout “American exceptionalism” every other day and commit crimes against humanity on intervening days. Year after year, decade after decade. But I think we can derive some satisfaction, and perhaps even hope, in that US foreign policy officials, as morally damaged as they must be, are not all so stupid that they don’t know they’re swimming in a sea of hypocrisy. Presented here are two examples:
In 2004 it was reported that “The State Department plans to delay the release of a human rights report that was due out today, partly because of sensitivities over the prison abuse scandal in Iraq, U.S. officials said. One official … said the release of the report, which describes actions taken by the U.S. government to encourage respect for human rights by other nations, could ‘make us look hypocritical’.” 8
And an example from 2007: Chester Crocker, a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, and formerly Assistant Secretary of State, noted that “we have to be able to cope with the argument that the U.S. is inconsistent and hypocritical in its promotion of democracy around the world. That may be true.” 9
In these cases the government officials appear to be somewhat self-conscious about the prevailing hypocrisy. Other foreign policy notables seem to be rather proud.
Robert Kagan, author and long-time intellectual architect of an interventionism that seeks to impose a neo-conservative agenda upon the world, by any means necessary, has declared that the United States must refuse to abide by certain international conventions, like the international criminal court and the Kyoto accord on global warming. The US, he says, “must support arms control, but not always for itself. It must live by a double standard.” 10
And then we have Robert Cooper, a senior British diplomat who was an advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair during the Iraq war. Cooper wrote:
The challenge to the postmodern world is to get used to the idea of double standards. Among ourselves, we operate on the basis of laws and open cooperative security. But when dealing with more old-fashioned kinds of states outside the postmodern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the nineteenth century world of every state for itself. 11
His expression, “every state for itself”, can be better understood as any state not willing to accede to the agenda of the American Empire and the school bully’s best friend in London.
So there we have it. The double standard is in. The Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is out.
The imperial mafia, and their court intellectuals like Kagan and Cooper, have a difficult time selling their world vision on the basis of legal, moral, ethical or fairness standards. Thus it is that they simply decide that they’re not bound by such standards.
Here is Alan Dershowitz, prominent American lawyer, jurist, political commentator and fervent Zionist and supporter of the empire, speaking about journalist Glenn Greenwald and the latter’s involvement with Edward Snowden: “Look, Greenwald’s a total phony. He is anti-American, he loves tyrannical regimes, and he did this because he hates America. This had nothing to do with publicizing information. He never would’ve written this article if they had published material about one of his favorite countries.” 12
“Anti-American” … “hates America” … What do they mean, those expressions that are an integral part of American political history? Greenwald hates baseball and hot dogs? … Hates American films and music? … Hates all the buildings in the United States? Every law? … No, like most “anti-Americans”, Glenn Greenwald hates American foreign policy. He hates all the horrors and all the lies used to cover up all the horrors. So which Americans is he anti?
Dershowitz undoubtedly thinks that Snowden is anti-American as well. But listen to the young man being interviewed:
“America is a fundamentally good country. We have good people with good values who want to do the right thing.”
The interviewer is Glenn Greenwald. 13
Is there any other “democratic” country in the world which regularly, or even occasionally, employs such terminology? Anti-German? Anti-British? Anti-Mexican? It may be that only a totalitarian mentality can conceive of and use the term “anti-American”.
“God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America’s Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist.” – John LeCarré, London Times, January 15, 2003
White House Press Briefing, July 18, 2013 ↩
Washington Post, June 23, 2013 ↩
Reuters news agency, July 2, 2013 ↩
RT television (Russia Today), July 19, 2013, citing a Spanish ABC media outlet ↩
White House press release, June 29, 2013 ↩
William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, chapter 23 ↩
Reuters, July 22, 2013 ↩
Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004 ↩
Washington Post, April 17, 2007 ↩
Hoover Institute, Stanford University, Policy Review, June 1, 2002 ↩
With the constant drumbeat that Armageddon is imminent, it is easy to dismiss the geopolitical threats that pose a realpolitik danger. The prospects that definite weapons of mass destruction will engulf the planet in a nuclear winter are upon us once again. After the collapse of the Soviet evil empire, the Reagan – Gorbachev détente provided the world with one of its last hopes for restoring rational international relations. Regretfully, the last superpower used the defeat of the Marxist model of tyranny to impose their Pax American version of a global New World Order. The military machine of NATO, furnished with DARPA technology, would implement the NeoCon policy based upon the interest of the true masters behind the kosher approved empire. Justin Raimondo poses the question: Are We On the Brink of World War III?
“The end of the cold war did not lead to a “unipolar world,” as Charles Krauthammer and his fellow neocons celebrated it in the early 1990s. Instead of the “benevolent global hegemony” envisioned by Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan in their nineties foreign policy manifesto, we are back to the pre-WWI era of old-fashioned inter-imperialist rivalry. Instead of the “end of history,” we stand at the beginning of a new era of nationalism, religious fanaticism, and ideologically-driven violence. Combined with the structural incentives for conflict inherent in our system of alliances and the built-in dangers of a policy of “collective security,” this is a recipe for another world war.”
“Hu’s call for war joins Chinese Rear Admiral and prominent military commentator Zhang Zhaozhong who, likewise, warned this past week that: “China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a Third World War,” and Russian General Nikolai Makarov who grimly stated last week: “I do not rule out local and regional armed conflicts developing into a large-scale war, including using nuclear weapons.”
From the Trenches attempts to answer this question in the article, Is China gearing up to start World War III?“My take on this is that China’s latest foray into international threat-mongering is indicative of two factors: a desire on the part of the Chinese government to be prepared for any eventuality — and that could include war — and a desire to warn the West that they’re willing to be prepared for any eventuality — and that could include war.”
With this backdrop in mind, the buzz from the seminal Paul Craig Roberts essay, The Two Faux Democracies Threaten Life On Earth, lays out the hubris that underpins this updated vision in the MAD doctrine of victory. Deterrence be dammed, mutually assured destruction is pointless, when preempted aggression has the war machine of absolute annihilation under your command. Dr. Roberts concludes:
“The post World War II wars originate in Washington and Israel. No other country has imperial expansionary ambitions. The Chinese government has not seized Taiwan, which China could do at will. The Russian government has not seized former constituent parts of Russia, such as Georgia, which, provoked by Washington to launch an attack, was instantly overwhelmed by the Russian Army. Putin could have hung Washington’s Georgian puppet and reincorporated Georgia into Russia, where it resided for several centuries and where many believe it belongs.
For the past 68 years, most military aggression can be sourced to the US and Israel. Yet, these two originators of wars pretend to be the victims of aggression. It is Israel that has a nuclear arsenal that is illegal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable. It is Washington that has drafted a war plan based on nuclear first strike. The rest of the world is correct to view these two rogue unaccountable governments as direct threats to life on earth.”
This chilling first strike war plan, disclosed in the frightening report - Who Authorized Preparations for War with China? – has to send shivers up the spine of any thinking person. “The United States is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress. This important change in the United States’ posture toward China has largely been driven by the Pentagon.”
While the author of this paper, Amitai Etzioni, states, “I am not arguing that the U.S. military is seeking out war or intentionally usurping the role of the highest civilian authorities”, the intentional preparation for a pre-empt Dr. Strangelove nuke attack is absurd on its face.
However, placing the blame for this switch in strategic targeting that have China in the cross hair alignment has a direct connection to the Zhang Zhaozhong comments in defense of Iran. If you take away anything from this assessment heed the reality of Zionist dominance and foremost influence on American foreign policy that Paul Craig Roberts identifies so clearly.
China does not want an apocalyptic war with the United States. They are content to wage economic and financial warfare. Notwithstanding the trade dependency that the globalist cabal originated by the Nixon-Kissinger tools with the Red Communists, the authoritarian People’s Republic of China, are winning the financial battle.
“Beyond mere sabre-rattling, China is conducting increasingly sophisticated cyber-warfare penetration of American corporate, military and government computer systems. For now, their purpose seems exploratory rather than destructive.
But the next time China and the United States find themselves in confrontation, a cyber-conflict seems highly likely. The potential impact of such action is devastating, in an era when computers control almost everything.”
If the actual existential national security of the United States is at stake from a Chinese military combat threat, one had better remember the faithful wisdom of General Douglas MacArthur ”Never Fight a Land War in Asia“. Could the lesson of the failed Iraqi and Afghanistan wars finally be sinking in? Surely, the military-industrial-complex ignored the cogent field marshal’s insight in Viet Nam. Heretofore, the foreign affairs and armed forces geniuses preparing their Sino war plans must be looking to their robot drone battalions for their sneak Amerikan “Pearl Harbor” mission.
“Our people are strong and resilient after 12 years of war, but they are under stress — and so are the institutions that support them.”
“Strengthening readiness will ultimately demand that we address unsustainable growth in personnel costs, which represent half of the department’s budget and crowds out vital spending on training and modernization,” he said. “If trends continue, we could ultimately be left with a much smaller force that is well-compensated but poorly trained and equipped. That would be unacceptable.”
Logical, is it not? Just push a few buttons and use those Trident missiles, while you have the advantage. How else can a dying empire survive unless by waging war?
How outrageous and idiotic this government has become for even having a discussion on starting a nuclear war. Before his railroading and incarceration, Edgar Steele wrote the essay, World War 3.
“The world economy is so broken due to plundering by International bankers and other Zionist elite that Depression II is inevitable. Just like WWII and Depression I, WWIII will be the only way to distract people from their impending economic misery, mask the effects of Depression II and get economies going again. Just like WWII and Depression I, international bankers and other Zionist elite will be the real beneficiaries by loaning and selling to all sides and once again scooping up small businesses, farms and residences for one-tenth their value.”
Another major war is on the horizon, but whether it will be a global conflagration is yet, proven. Revelations final conflict will come to pass, but the time of its occurrence is not known to man. How ironic and ludicrous those planners are looking to copy a disastrous Yamamoto strategy and have the arrogance to believe that they are omniscient.
A useful analogy compares the Daleks, a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British TV Doctor Who series, with the satanic globalist death merchants that thrive on human suffering and ruin. This tribe of moneychangers, bent on universal conquest and destruction, has brought down countless societies.
The Chinese capitalists’ nouveau riche never lost their repressive attitude and undemocratic culture towards their ‘coolie class”. That is a trait, which coincides with their globalist gangster partners. Allowing a Hiroshima radiation of Chinese joint venture assets does not advance the final subjugation of the planet, for the fascist corporatists. Ever since Zionism conquered the United States, this country has been ruled under Talmud precepts that only benefit the NWO master plan.
Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR
Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
NYT: “The Obama administration made common cause with the House Republican leadership”
One of the most vocal supporters of the Obama White House’s position on yesterday’s NSA debate: GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
One of the worst myths Democratic partisans love to tell themselves – and everyone else – is that the GOP refuses to support President Obama no matter what he does. Like its close cousin – the massively deceitful inside-DC grievance that the two parties refuse to cooperate on anything – it’s hard to overstate how false this Democratic myth is. When it comes to foreign policy, war, assassinations, drones, surveillance, secrecy, and civil liberties, President Obama’s most stalwart, enthusiastic defenders are often found among the most radical precincts of the Republican Party.
The rabidly pro-war and anti-Muslim GOP former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King, has repeatedly lavished Obama with all sorts of praise and support for his policies in those areas. The Obama White House frequently needs, and receives, large amounts of GOP Congressional support to have its measures enacted or bills its dislikes defeated. The Obama DOJ often prevails before the US Supreme Court solely because the Roberts/Scalia/Thomas faction adopts its view while the Ginsburg/Sotomayor/Breyer faction rejects it (as happened in February when the Court, by a 5-4 ruling, dismissed a lawsuit brought by Amnesty and the ACLU which argued that the NSA‘s domestic warrantless eavesdropping activities violate the Fourth Amendment; the Roberts/Scalia wing accepted the Obama DOJ’s argument that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because the NSA successfully conceals the identity of which Americans are subjected to the surveillance). As Wired put it at the time about that NSA ruling:
The 5-4 decision by Justice Samuel Alito was a clear victory for the President Barack Obama administration, which like its predecessor, argued that government wiretapping laws cannot be challenged in court.”
The extraordinary events that took place in the House of Representatives yesterday are perhaps the most vivid illustration yet of this dynamic, and it independently reveals several other important trends. The House voted on an amendment sponsored by Justin Amash, the young Michigan lawyer elected in 2010 as a Tea Party candidate, and co-sponsored by John Conyers, the 24-term senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. The amendment was simple. It would de-fund one single NSA program: the agency’s bulk collection of the telephone records of all Americans that we first revealed in this space, back on June 6. It accomplished this “by requiring the FISA court under Sec. 215 [of the Patriot Act] to order the production of records that pertain only to a person under investigation“.
The amendment yesterday was defeated. But it lost by only 12 votes: 205-217. Given that the amendment sought to de-fund a major domestic surveillance program of the NSA, the very close vote was nothing short of shocking. In fact, in the post-9/11 world, amendments like this, which directly challenge the Surveillance and National Security States, almost never get votes at all. That the GOP House Leadership was forced to allow it to reach the floor was a sign of how much things have changed over the last seven weeks.
More significant than the closeness of the vote was its breakdown. A majority of House Democrats supported the Amash/Conyers amendment, while a majority of Republicans voted against it:
The full roll call vote is here. House Speaker John Boehner saved the Obama White House by voting against it and ensuring that his top leadership whipped against it. As the New York Times put it in its account of yesterday’s vote:
Conservative Republicans leery of what they see as Obama administration abuses of power teamed up with liberal Democrats long opposed to intrusive intelligence programs. The Obama administration made common cause with the House Republican leadership to try to block it.
In reality, the fate of the amendment was sealed when the Obama White House on Monday night announced its vehement opposition to it, and then sent NSA officials to the House to scare members that barring the NSA from collecting all phone records of all Americans would Help The Terrorists™.
Using Orwellian language so extreme as to be darkly hilarious, this was the first line of the White House’s statement opposing the amendment: “In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens” (i.e.: we welcome the debate that has been exclusively enabled by that vile traitor, the same debate we’ve spent years trying to prevent with rampant abuse of our secrecy powers that has kept even the most basic facts about our spying activities concealed from the American people).
The White House then condemned Amash/Conyers this way: “This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.” What a multi-level masterpiece of Orwellian political deceit that sentence is. The highly surgical Amash/Conyers amendment – which would eliminate a single, specific NSA program of indiscriminate domestic spying – is a “blunt approach”, but the Obama NSA’s bulk, indiscriminate collection of all Americans’ telephone records is not a “blunt approach”. Even worse: Amash/Conyers – a House bill debated in public and then voted on in public – is not an “open or deliberative process”, as opposed to the Obama administration’s secret spying activities and the secret court that blesses its secret interpretations of law, which is “open and deliberative”. That anyone can write a statement like the one that came from the Obama White House without dying of shame, or giggles, is impressive.
Even more notable than the Obama White House’s defense of the NSA’s bulk domestic spying was the behavior of the House Democratic leadership. Not only did they all vote against de-funding the NSA bulk domestic spying program – that includes liberal icon House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who voted to protect the NSA’s program – but Pelosi’s deputy, Steny Hoyer, whipped against the bill by channeling the warped language and mentality of Dick Cheney. This is the language the Democratic leadership circulated when telling their members to reject Amash/Conyers:
“2) Amash/Conyers/Mulvaney/Polis/Massie Amendment – Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act (as codified by Section 501 of FISA) to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who may be in communication with terrorist groupsbut are not already subject to an investigation under Section 215.”
Remember when Democrats used to object so earnestly when Dick Cheney would scream “The Terrorists!” every time someone tried to rein in the National Security State just a bit and so modestly protect basic civil liberties? How well they have learned: now, a bill to ban the government from collecting the telephone records of all Americans, while expressly allowing it to collect the records of anyone for whom there is evidence of wrongdoing, is – in the language of the House Democratic Leadership – a bill to Protect The Terrorists.
None of this should be surprising. Remember: this is the same Nancy Pelosi who spent years during the Bush administration pretending to be a vehement opponent of the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program after it was revealed by the New York Times, even though (just as was true of the Bush torture program) she was secretly briefed on it many years earlier when it was first implemented. At the end of June, we published the top secret draft report by the Inspector General’s office of the NSA that was required to provide a comprehensive history of the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly ordered by Bush in late 2001. That report included this passage:
“Within the first 30 days of the Program, over 190 people were cleared into the Program. This number included Senators Robert Graham and Richard Shelby, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Counsel to the Vice President David Addington, and Presidential Assistant I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby.”
So the history of Democratic leaders such as Nancy Pelosi isn’t one of opposition to mass NSA spying when Bush was in office, only to change positions now that Obama is. The history is of pretend opposition – of deceiving their supporters by feigning opposition – while actually supporting it.
But the most notable aspect of yesterday’s events was the debate on the House floor. The most vocal defenders of the Obama White House’s position were Rep. Mike Rogers, the very hawkish GOP Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Echoing the Democratic House leadership, Bachmann repeatedly warned that NSA bulk spying was necessary to stop “Islamic jihadists”, and she attacked Republicans who supported de-funding for rendering the nation vulnerable to The Terrorists.
Meanwhile, Amash led the debate against the NSA program and repeatedly assigned time to many of the House’s most iconic liberals to condemn in the harshest terms the NSA program defended by the Obama White House. Conyers repeatedly stood to denounce the NSA program as illegal, unconstitutional and extremist. Manhattan’s Jerry Nadler said that “no administration should be permitted to operate beyond the law, as they’ve been doing”. Newly elected Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, an Iraq War combat veteran considered a rising star in her party, said that she could not in good conscience take a single dollar from taxpayers to fund programs that infringe on exactly those constitutional rights our troops (such as herself) have risked their lives for; she told me after the vote, by Twitter direct message, that the “battle [was] lost today but war not over. We will continue to press on this issue.”
In between these denunciations of the Obama NSA from House liberals, some of the most conservative members of the House stood to read from the Fourth Amendment. Perhaps the most amazing moment came when GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner - the prime author of the Patriot Act back in 2001 and a long-time defender of War on Terror policies under both Bush and Obama – stood up to say that the NSA’s domestic bulk spying far exceeds the bounds of the law he wrote as well as his belief in the proper limits of domestic surveillance, and announced his support for Amash/Conyers. Sensenbrenner was then joined in voting to de-fund the NSA program by House liberals such as Barbara Lee, Rush Holt, James Clyburn, Nydia Velázquez, Alan Grayson, and Keith Ellison.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, Democrat Ron Wyden continues to invoke unusually harsh language to condemn what the NSA is doing under Obama. Here is some of what he said in a speech this week at the Center for American Progress, as reported by the Hill:
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday urged the United States to revamp its surveillance laws and practices, warning that the country will ‘live to regret it’ if it fails to do so.
“‘If we do not seize this unique moment in our constitutional history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we will all live to regret it . . . The combination of increasingly advanced technology with a breakdown in the checks and balances that limit government action could lead us to a surveillance state that cannot be reversed,’ he added. . . .
“The government has essentially kept people in the dark about their broad interpretations of the law, he said. Wyden tells constituents there are two Patriot Acts: One they read online at home and ‘the secret interpretation of the law that the government is actually relying upon.’
“‘If Americans are not able to learn how their government is interpreting and executing the law then we have effectively eliminated the most important bulwark of our democracy,” he said. . . .
“‘This means that the government’s authority to collect information on law-abiding American citizens is essentially limitless’, he said.”
Wyden’s full speech – in which he makes clear that it is solely the disclosures of the last seven weeks that have enabled this debate and brought about a massive shift in public opinion – is remarkable and can be read here. That’s a senior Democrat and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee sounding exactly like Edward Snowden – and the ACLU – in denouncing the abuses of the American Surveillance State. Meanwhile, as soon as the House vote was over, Rep. Rush Holt, a long-time Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee,introduced ”The Surveillance State Repeal Act” that would repeal the legislative foundation for this massive spying, including the once-and-now-again-controversial Patriot Act, which the Obama administration in 2011 successfully had renewed without a single reform (after Democrat Harry Reid accused opponents of its reform-free renewal of endangering the Nation to The Terrorists).
To say that there is a major sea change underway – not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties – is to state the obvious. But perhaps the most significant and enduring change will be the erosion of the trite, tired prism of partisan simplicity through which American politics has been understood over the last decade. What one sees in this debate is not Democrat v. Republican or left v. right. One sees authoritarianism v. individualism, fealty to The National Security State v. a belief in the need to constrain and check it, insider Washington loyalty v. outsider independence.
That’s why the only defenders of the NSA at this point are the decaying establishment leadership of both political parties whose allegiance is to the sprawling permanent power faction in Washington and the private industry that owns and controls it. They’re aligned against long-time liberals, the new breed of small government conservatives, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, many of their own members, andincreasingly the American people, who have grown tired of, and immune to, the relentless fear-mongering.
The sooner the myth of “intractable partisan warfare” is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Peolsi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.
Closing arguments in the Court Martial proceedings of the United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning are scheduled for July 25th in Ft. Meade, MD.
Those closing statements will then determine Manning’s guilt or innocence in “Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, and theft of government property.”
Manning has pled guilty to 10 lesser charges relating to misusing classified information, stating “I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information… this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy.”
The Defense contends that Manning was focused to seize the opportunities on the World Wide Web exclusively to get the information to the American public because The Media was not following those stories.
Witnesses for the Defense, Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler, explained the value of Manning’s actions was toward open journalism and democracy.
The MacBride Peace Prize is created from disarmed and recycled nuclear weapon systems.
In the email announcement War to Peace noted:
“Bradley Manning exemplifies what St Francis of Assisi said in his wonderful prayer.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, light.
The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War and they campaign mainly for disarmament and other reductions of military expenditures.
IPB’s Co-President Tomas Magnusson stated, “IPB believes that among the very highest moral duties of a citizen is to make known war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is within the broad meaning of the Nuremberg Principles enunciated at the end of the Second World War.
“When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty”.
It is also for this reason that Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Noble Laureate Mairead Maguire wrote:
I am delighted to confirm that the international Peace bureau has awarded its 2013 Sean McBride Peace Prize to USA whistleblower Private Bradley Manning.
I offer my congratulations to him on receiving this well deserved prize.
I believe by his courageous whistleblowing actions of revealing vital information on US Government war crimes he has saved many lives, given people hope and has made an enormous contribution to a more peaceful future for our world. We are already seeing other brave whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, following his example and telling the truth about his government’s illegal spying on its Citizens and others.
What finally decided Bradley Manning to ‘blow the whistle’ was when he was asked to arrest 15 Iraqi civilian protesters and to send them to the Iraqi police for torture. Their crime was to ask ‘where has all the money gone’ referring to money received by contractors involved in post-war construction. When Bradley expressed his concern that this was unethical behaviour for a soldier, he has told to go and get 15 more.
I have also nominated private Bradley Manning for the Nobel peace prize because he has followed his conscience, fulfilled his moral responsibility, and saved many lives by revealing the war crimes and crimes against humanity being carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan by the US military. It is they who should be accountable for their criminal activities and Bradley, as a conscientious objector, allowed to go free.
However, tragically I believe we are witnessing the US Government operating not according to its Constitution based on justice and democracy, but as a ‘police state’ which labels its whistleblowers as traitors, journalists as enemies (as with the case of Julian Assange) and peaceful protesters and citizens as suspected terrorists who are spied upon, arrested without warrant, and detained indefinitely.
Bradley Manning has been tortured by his own government, has sacrificed his freedom to awaken both American and world citizens to the great dangers we all face to our peace, liberty and freedom and for this we must all be grateful to him. Above all we must not be afraid and be intimidated into silence, but act by peaceful and nonviolent means to protect all our rights and freedom, least Bradley Manning’s great act of courage and sacrifice be in vain.
I therefore hope Judge Lind, in Bradley’s military tribunal will recognize him as a conscientious objector, as a man of integrity and courage with deep moral and ethical values, a young man American should be proud of who upheld his military oath to protect people by refusing to kill them or see them killed or tortured. He has earned his immediate freedom and we all hope Judge Lind will have the courage to grant it.
Eileen Fleming is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
Eileen Fleming, Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”