Rick Warren is one of America’s most influential Christian ministers. He’s so popular that many folks call him “America’s Pastor.” Warren has earned a reputation as larger than life and until a couple of years ago he was large around the middle! Because of health concerns he decided to shed a few pounds. But why go it alone? After all, he had his own personal cheering section if he wanted it – Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California, an evangelical megachurch he started in 1980. Thirty-three years later Saddleback boasts over 20,000 weekly attendees. He felt sure that many folks would cheer him on while others would join him in his endeavor to achieve a healthier lifestyle. So he said No! to Jenny Craig and took on the daunting task of developing a weight loss program that, according to Rick Warren, is “God’s prescription for your health.”
Sound like a plan?
Well, yes, in fact he christened it “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.”
On January 15, 2011, over 6,000 people made the trek to Saddleback’s main campus to learn what the Bible allegedly says about getting healthy. Thousands more watched online at the other Saddleback campuses.
In order to achieve his lofty goal, he brought together “three of the leading health specialists in America.” But surprisingly the three doctors picked by the pastor were not Christians—not by a long shot. In fact, when you look into some of the things they’re into (more on this in a moment), it’s fair to say that all three of them are into New Age/New Thought spirituality.
Who are the doctors Rick Warren chose? 1) Mehmet Oz. Dr. Oz is a Sufi Muslim, a cardio vascular surgeon, and popular daytime talk show host. 2) Dr. Daniel Amen (pronounced A-mun). Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist. He’s also a practitioner of Tanta which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Dr. Amen is also a self-professed Christian. 3) Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman is a practitioner in alternative therapies in health and medicine and is a secular Jew.
Does this seem like a good fit too you? I mean, why didn’t he elicit the aid of three notable Christian specialists to create “God’s prescription for your health”?
Furthermore, why would a high-profile evangelical pastor choose doctors who are entrenched in New Age/New Thought (occult) spirituality, as well as questionable alternative health practices? Warren’s fully aware that Paul cautioned the church in Thessalonica to abstain from even the appearance of evil (1 Thes. 5:22).
In light of what the Bible clearly teaches, it’s surprising that a Christian minister, who understands what the Bible teaches (or at least he should), is unconcerned that some in his flock may not know that the New Age practices he purports are anti-biblical and that they might very well involve themselves in the sort of pagan practices that the above mentioned doctors promote, practices that are expressly forbidden in Scripture. God’s people are to be separate from the pagan nations. In 2 Cor. 6:14-15 Paul says this to the Church:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
When Pastor Rick chose the three doctors—specialists or not–to design a weight loss plan it was done in a way that would appeal to the sheep of his pasture, his audience. And of course many of them bought into their shepherd’s health plan, hook line and sinker.
But – why was he not concerned about his flock’s spiritual health? What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
The three doctors believe that practicing meditation on a regular basis is integral to health and fitness. This is known as contemplative prayer (CP). Rick Warren promotes CP even though he knows perfectly well that it’s a form of neo-Gnosticism that, sadly, Protestants/evangelicals have borrowed from the monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Meditation is recommended in the book. On the Daniel Plan website, Dr. Joseph Mercola demonstrates the 4-7-8 breathing exercise (here) that he learned from meditation proponent Dr. Andrew Weil while attending a presentation. Dr. Hyman wrote an article for the site, Six Ways I Changed My Life and How You Can Change Yours without once mentioning God. He did, however, recommend the Hindu practice of yoga. So as you can see, there’s a very good reason for sounding the alarm regarding the Daniel Plan book that’s set to be released December 3, 2013.
Tell me more…
What does CP involve? Without getting too far afield, practitioners choose a single word or short phrase from the Bible and repeat it over and over during breathing techniques that come from India. Doing breathing techniques is an attempt to “bind the mind with one thought.” The goal is to achieve an altered state of consciousness (empty the mind completely) and to attain to the “higher self” that New Age/New Thought devotees believe to be the divinity within each person. The popular term for this is Transcendental Meditation.
So, what’s the big deal about Christians involving themselves in Eastern meditation? Well, the big deal is that when a person attains an altered state of consciousness it may bring him/her into contact with “familiar spirits,” which is a way of saying neutral or benign spirits. More commonly the spirits are anything but benign; they’re demons! According to the Bible, demons are fallen angles – prideful angles that rebelled against God and as a result were banished from His kingdom. Scripture rightly refers to the banished angels as “spiritual forces of evil.” They remain in rebellion against God. The spirits often appear to humans as “angels of light” — but they’re masters of deceit! So they’re not the good guys they trick us into thinking they are. Trust me on this; evil spirits are your worst nightmare – far worse than Freddie Kruger! For this reason Paul forewarned of Satan’s fondness for fooling the flock:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:12-15)
Former New Ager Ray Yungen warns:
Many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation.
Doctors Amen and Hyman co-authored the Daniel Plan book but Dr. Oz didn’t participate. Here’s a bit of background info on the book’s co-authors excerpted from my 2011 column Rick Warren Introduces the “Devil Plan”:
Dr. Daniel Amen
Dr. Amen is a child and adult psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine. In addition he is a brain imaging specialist.
Dr. Amen teaches “techniques that will improve ‘brain health,’ claiming that poor brain health is associated with a host of problems from overeating to depression. … He includes meditation (and in fact this is his primary tool) as a way to have a healthy brain.”
Dr. Amen recommends a meditation called Kriya Kirtan which is from the Kundalini tradition:
“I teamed with Drs. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Nisha Money to study the impact of meditation on the brain. We chose a simple 12 minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan, that is easy for busy people to practice. It is based on the five primal sounds: Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa (aa being the fifth sound). Meditators [sic]say each sound as they consecutively touch their thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. The sounds and fingering are repeated for two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently, two minutes whispering and two minutes out loud.” (Online source)
Dr. Amen is also a practitioner of Tantric or tantric sex which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) reports:
“In a 6-CD set called Create a More Passionate Night, Dr. Amen has teamed up with advanced certified Tantra educator, T. J. Bartel. … Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.”
“Make no mistake about it” says LTR, “Reiki, meditation, tantric sex – these are very powerful mystical experiences that have the capability to delude and deceive those who are involved with it.”
For Christians who have read to this point, I hope you’re becoming alarmed.
Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman is editor-in-chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine which is said to be “the most prestigious journal in the field of integrative medicine, and the medical editor of Alternative Medicine, the Art and Science of Healthy Living.”
In her article, Alternative/ Blended/ Complementary/ Integrated Healing, Marcia Montenegro examines alternative therapies:
“It is called alternative because the technique/ drug/ herb has not been or cannot be adequately tested, or has been found ineffective or dangerous. If it were a safe, tested treatment, it would not be in the alternative category. Many cited studies to support these methods are flawed, short-term, based on anecdotal evidence, conducted by believers in the techniques, & often are not published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The terms complementary, blended, and integrated are now being used as well since alternative treatments are being combined with traditional medicine. This makes it more difficult to test the alternative methods or to know what is really working when the patient improves. It should be remembered that the placebo effect accounts for 30% or more for a person feeling better.”
Dr. Hyman claims he’s not into meditation but he does recommend yoga to create calm.
In my article Can A Pagan Practices Be “Christianized” I explain why Christians must avoid yoga:
“Christian apologists John Ankerberg and John Weldon maintain that, ‘The basic premise of yoga theory is the fundamental unity of all existence: God, man, and all of creation are ultimately one divine reality.’ To explain the basic premise, the authors quote from an editorial in the Yoga Journal: “We are all aware that yoga means ‘union’ and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north—all share the same essential [divine] nature.””
Dr. Hyman participated in a program called Yoga, Body & Spirit at Shambhala Mountain. The program included Susan Piver, who offered instruction in the ancient wisdom tradition of Buddhist meditation, and Richard Reoch who presented Golden Ball Chi Kung.
Dr. Hyman retails expensive supplements “critical for supporting lifelong health,” books and CDs in his “healthy living store” online. The UltraWellness Essentials Kit for Women costs $130 for a one month supply. For youngsters it’s a tad less. Only $47 per month because “Like adults, children need a purified source of essential fatty acids to help build healthy brain cells, support focus and attention, and optimize metabolism.”
This is UltraBunk!
Earth to Dr. Hyman! At your exorbitant cost for “high-quality multi vitamin and minerals” most families can’t afford to get healthy! (Visit Dr. Hyman’s store)
Why has this not dawned on Pastor Rick? In one of his promotional videos he held up each of the doctors’ books and urged his congregants to purchase them! This makes one wonder if Dr. Hyman’s books recommend the high priced vitamins, and if this is the case, who derives benefit from the sale of these products?
That an evangelical pastor would allow his sheep to be influenced by New Age ideas and questionable medical practices should give us pause. Christians should avoid becoming involved in any sort of assembly where we are powerless to address issues that come up which could cause us to compromise our biblical principles. Moreover, it should give us pause when the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ teams up with occultists!
I’ll close with a quote from John 10:7-13:
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling [hired hand], and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
New Age Spirituality–On Solid Rock Resources
Contemplative Prayer—On Solid Rock Resources
Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus—Berit Kjos and Sara Leslie
Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, and Spiritual Disciplines–By Ken Silva
Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Accelerates – Tells Followers to Practice 4-7-8 Hinduistic Meditation –By Lighthouse Trails Research
The only part of the government that really listens to what you have to say…
The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most caught my attention concerned “Sigint” – Signals intelligence, the term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:
“Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will not.”
What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security Agency – on moral principle – refuse to say or do?
I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all criticism of US foreign policy: “What would the United States have to do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would be too much?” I’ve yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I suspect it’s because the person is afraid that whatever they say I’ll point out that the United States has already done it.
The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo – 22 years in a row
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
|Year||Votes (Yes-No)||No Votes|
|1993||88-4||US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay|
|1995||117-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1996||138-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1997||143-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|2000||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2001||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2002||173-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2003||179-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2004||179-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2005||182-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2006||183-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2007||184-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2008||185-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2009||187-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2012||188-3||US, Israel, Palau|
Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.
Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.
However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:
“The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.”1
So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the police.
Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person?
As to “independent journalism” – what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?
The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba? The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.
How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 3 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.
The Cold War Revisited
I’ve written the Introduction to a new book recently published in Russia that is sort of an updating of my book Killing Hope. 4 Here is a short excerpt:
The Cold War had not been a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It had been a struggle between the United States and the Third World, which, in the decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, continued in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.
The Cold War had not been a worldwide crusade by America to halt Soviet expansion, real or imaginary. It had been a worldwide crusade by America to block political and social changes in the Third World, changes opposed by the American power elite.
The Cold War had not been a glorious and noble movement of freedom and democracy against Communist totalitarianism. It had typically been a movement by the United States in support of dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and corrupt oligarchies which were willing to follow Washington’s party line on the Left, US corporations, Israel, oil, military bases, et al. and who protected American political and economic interests in their countries in exchange for the American military and CIA keeping them in power against the wishes of their own people.
In other words, whatever the diplomats at the time thought they were doing, the Cold War revisionists have been vindicated. American policy had been about imperialism and military expansion.
Apropos the countless other myths we were all taught about the Soviet Union is this letter I recently received from one of my readers, a Russian woman, age 49, who moved to the United States eight years ago and now lives in Northern Virginia:
I can’t imagine why anybody is surprised to hear when I say I miss life in the Soviet Union: what is bad about free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment, guaranteed free housing? No rent or mortgage of any kind, only utilities, but they were subsidized too, so it was really pennies. Now, to be honest, there was a waiting list to get those apartments, so some people got them quicker, some people had to wait for years, it all depended on where you worked. And there were no homeless people, and crime was way lower. As a first grader I was taking the public transportation to go to school, which was about 1 hour away by bus (it was a big city, about the size of Washington DC, we lived on the outskirts, and my school was downtown), and it was fine, all other kids were doing it. Can you even imagine this being done now? I am not saying everything was perfect, but overall, it is a more stable and socially just system, fair to everybody, nobody was left behind. This is what I miss: peace and stability, and not being afraid of the future.
Problem is, nobody believes it, they will say that I am a brainwashed “tovarish” [comrade]. I’ve tried to argue with Americans about this before, but just gave up now. They just refuse to believe anything that contradicts what CNN has been telling them for all their lives. One lady once told me: “You just don’t know what was going on there, because you did not have freedom of speech, but we, Americans, knew everything, because we could read about all of this in our media.” I told her “I was right there! I did not need to read about this in the media, I lived that life!”, but she still was unconvinced! You will not believe what she said: “Yes, maybe, but we have more stuff!”. Seriously, having 50 kinds of cereal available in the store, and walmarts full of plastic junk is more valuable to Americans than a stable and secure life, and social justice for everybody?
Of course there are people who lived in the Soviet Union who disagree with me, and I talked to them too, but I find their reasons just as silly. I heard one Russian lady whose argument was that Stalin killed “30, no 40 million people”. First of all it’s not true (I don’t in any way defend Stalin, but I do think that lying and exaggerating about him is as wrong)*, and second of all what does this have to do with the 70s, when I was a kid? By then life was completely different. I heard other arguments, like food shortages (again, not true, it’s not like there was no food at all, there were shortages of this or that specific product, like you wouldn’t find mayo or bologna in the store some days, but everything else was there!). So, you would come back next day, or in 2-3 days, and you would find them there. Really, this is such a big deal? Or you would have to stay in line to buy some other product, (ravioli for example). But how badly do you want that ravioli really that day, can’t you have anything else instead? Just buy something else, like potatoes, where there was no line.
Was this annoying, yes, and at the time I was annoyed too, but only now I realized that I would much prefer this nuisance to my present life now, when I am constantly under stress for the fear that I can possibly lose my job (as my husband already did), and as a result, lose everything else – my house? You couldn’t possibly lose your house in Soviet Union, it was yours for life, mortgage free. Only now, living here in the US, I realized that all those soviet nuisances combined were not as important as the benefits we had – housing, education, healthcare, employment, safe streets, all sort of free after school activities (music, sports, arts, anything you want) for kids, so parents never had to worry about what we do all day till they come home in the evening.
* We’ve all heard the figures many times … 10 million … 20 million … 40 million … 60 million … died under Stalin. But what does the number mean, whichever number you choose? Of course many people died under Stalin, many people died under Roosevelt, and many people are still dying under Bush. Dying appears to be a natural phenomenon in every country. The question is how did those people die under Stalin? Did they die from the famines that plagued the USSR in the 1920s and 30s? Did the Bolsheviks deliberately create those famines? How? Why? More people certainly died in India in the 20th century from famines than in the Soviet Union, but no one accuses India of the mass murder of its own citizens. Did the millions die from disease in an age before antibiotics? In prison? From what causes? People die in prison in the United States on a regular basis. Were millions actually murdered in cold blood? If so, how? How many were criminals executed for non-political crimes? The logistics of murdering tens of millions of people is daunting. 5
Let’s not repeat the Barack fuckup with Hillary
Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire – despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior – is mankind’s last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and I’d like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Here’s what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:
Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?
“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.” 6
Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because … because she wants to be president … because she thinks it would be nice to be president … no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world … she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldn’t want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.
And she spoke the above words at the “Take Back America” conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.
Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldn’t care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has “succeeded”. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war “illegal” or “immoral”? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I haven’t studied. Hillary Clinton, however, I’ve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua. 7
Now we hear from America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.” 8
We also hear from America’s premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”. 9
Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.” 10
There’s much more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s conservative leanings, but if you need more, you’re probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that he’s “really good at killing people”. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?
I’m sorry if I take away all your fun.
- Democracy Now!, “U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly Against U.S. Embargo of Cuba”, October 30, 2013 ↩
- Huffingfton Post, May 3, 2012 ↩
- Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba (1991), p.885 ↩
- Copies can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org ↩
- From William Blum, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2005), p.194 ↩
- Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on Democracy Now!’s website ↩
- Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415 ↩
- National Review Online, May 1, 2007 ↩
- Fortune magazine, July 9, 2007 ↩
- Washington Post, October 25, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, November 1, 2013, review of “Double Down: Game Change 2012” ↩
“U.S. hopes of winning more influence over Syria’s divided rebel movement faded Wednesday after 11 of the biggest armed factions repudiated the Western-backed political opposition coalition and announced the formation of an alliance dedicated to creating an Islamist state. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, is the lead signatory of the new group.” 1
Pity the poor American who wants to be a good citizen, wants to understand the world and his country’s role in it, wants to believe in the War on Terrorism, wants to believe that his government seeks to do good … What is he to make of all this?
For about two years, his dear American government has been supporting the same anti-government side as the jihadists in the Syrian civil war; not total, all-out support, but enough military hardware, logistics support, intelligence information, international political, diplomatic and propaganda assistance (including the crucial alleged-chemical-weapons story), to keep the jihadists in the ball game. Washington and its main Mideast allies in the conflict – Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia – have not impeded the movement to Syria of jihadists coming to join the rebels, recruited from the ranks of Sunni extremist veterans of the wars in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, while Qatar and the Saudis have supplied the rebels with weapons, most likely bought in large measure from the United States, as well as lots of of what they have lots of – money.
This widespread international support has been provided despite the many atrocities carried out by the jihadists – truck and car suicide bombings (with numerous civilian casualties), planting roadside bombs à la Iraq, gruesome massacres of Christians and Kurds, grotesque beheadings and other dissections of victims’ bodies (most charming of all: a Youtube video of a rebel leader cutting out an organ from the chest of a victim and biting into it as it drips with blood). All this barbarity piled on top of a greater absurdity – these Western-backed, anti-government forces are often engaged in battle with other Western-backed, anti-government forces, non-jihadist. It has become increasingly difficult to sell this war to the American public as one of pro-democracy “moderates” locked in a good-guy-versus-bad-guy struggle with an evil dictator, although in actuality the United States has fought on the same side as al Qaeda on repeated occasions before Syria. Here’s a brief survey:
Afghanistan, 1980-early 1990s: In support of the Islamic Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”), the CIA orchestrated a war against the Afghan government and their Soviet allies, pouring in several billions of dollars of arms and extensive military training; hitting up Middle-Eastern countries for donations, notably Saudi Arabia which gave hundreds of millions of dollars in aid each year; pressuring and bribing Pakistan to rent out its country as a military staging area and sanctuary.
It worked. And out of the victorious Moujahedeen came al Qaeda.
Bosnia, 1992-5: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal declared:
It is safe to say that the birth of al-Qaeda as a force on the world stage can be traced directly back to 1992, when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic issued a passport in their Vienna embassy to Osama bin Laden. … for the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade. 2
A few months later, The Guardian reported on “the full story of the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamist groups from the Middle East designed to assist the Bosnian Muslims – some of the same groups that the Pentagon is now fighting in “the war against terrorism”. 3
In 1994 and 1995 US/NATO forces carried out bombing campaigns over Bosnia aimed at damaging the military capability of the Serbs and enhancing that of the Bosnian Muslims. In the decade-long civil wars in the Balkans, the Serbs, regarded by Washington as the “the last communist government in Europe”, were always the main enemy.
Kosovo, 1998-99: Kosovo, overwhelmingly Muslim, was a province of Serbia, the main republic of the former Yugoslavia. In 1998, Kosovo separatists – The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – began an armed conflict with Belgrade to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs. 4
However, when US-NATO forces began military action against the Serbs the KLA was taken off the US terrorist list, it “received official US-NATO arms and training support” 5 , and the 1999 US-NATO bombing campaign eventually focused on driving Serbian forces from Kosovo.
In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it. But the United States was the first to do so, the very next day, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory.
The KLA have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.
Nota bene: In 1992 the Bosnian Muslims, Croats, and Serbs reached agreement in Lisbon for a unified state. The continuation of a peaceful multi-ethnic Bosnia seemed assured. But the United States sabotaged the agreement. 6
Libya, 2011: The US and NATO to the rescue again. For more than six months, almost daily missile attacks against the government and forces of Muammar Gaddafi as assorted Middle East jihadists assembled in Libya and battled the government on the ground. The predictable outcome came to be – the jihadists now in control of parts of the country and fighting for the remaining parts. The wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, presumably CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Caucasus (Russia), mid-2000s to present: The National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House have for many years been the leading American “non-government” institutions tasked with destabilizing, if not overthrowing, foreign governments which refuse to be subservient to the desires of US foreign policy. Both NGOs have backed militants in the Russian Caucasus area, one that has seen more than its share of terror stretching back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s. 7
“Omission is the most powerful form of lie.” – George Orwell
I am asked occasionally why I am so critical of the mainstream media when I quote from them repeatedly in my writings. The answer is simple. The American media’s gravest shortcoming is much more their errors of omission than their errors of commission. It’s what they leave out that distorts the news more than any factual errors or out-and-out lies. So I can make good use of the facts they report, which a large, rich organization can easier provide than the alternative media.
A case in point is a New York Times article of October 5 on the Greek financial crisis and the Greeks’ claim for World War Two reparations from Germany.
“Germany may be Greece’s stern banker now, say those who are seeking reparations,” writes theTimes, but Germany “should pay off its own debts to Greece. … It is not just aging victims of the Nazi occupation who are demanding a full accounting. Prime Minister Antonis Samarass government has compiled an 80-page report on reparations and a huge, never-repaid loan the nation was forced to make under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1945. … The call for reparations has elicited an emotional outpouring in Greece, where six years of brutal recession and harsh austerity measures have left many Greeks hostile toward Germany. Rarely does a week go by without another report in the news about, as one newspaper put it in a headline, ‘What Germany Owes Us’.”
“The figure most often discussed is $220 billion, an estimate for infrastructure damage alone put forward by Manolis Glezos, a member of Parliament and a former resistance fighter who is pressing for reparations. That amount equals about half the country’s debt. … Some members of the National Council on Reparations, an advocacy group, are calling for more than $677 billion to cover stolen artifacts, damage to the economy and to the infrastructure, as well as the bank loan and individual claims.”
So there we have the morality play: The evil Germans who occupied Greece and in addition to carrying out a lot of violence and repression shamelessly exploited the Greek people economically.
Would it be appropriate for such a story, or an accompanying or follow-up story, to mention the civil war that broke out in Greece shortly after the close of the world war? On one side were the neo-fascists, many of whom had cooperated with the occupying Germans during the war, some even fighting for the Nazis. Indeed, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged in August 1946 that there were 228 ex-members of the Nazi Security Battalions – whose main task had been to track down Greek resistance fighters and Jews – on active service in the new Greek army. 8
On the other side was the Greek left who had fought the Nazis courageously, even forcing the German army to flee the country in 1944.
So guess which side of the civil war our favorite military took? … That’s right, the United States supported the neo-fascists. After all, an important component of the Greek left was the Communist Party, although it wouldn’t have mattered at all if the Greek left had not included any Communists. Support of the left (not to be confused with liberals of course) anywhere in the world, during and since the Cold War, has been verboten in US foreign policy.
The neo-fascists won the civil war and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency, named and modeled after itself, the KYP. For the next 15 years, Greece was looked upon much as a piece of real estate to be developed according to Washington’s political and economic needs. One document should suffice to capture the beauty of Washington’s relationship to Athens – a 1947 letter from US Secretary of State George Marshall to Dwight Griswold, the head of the American Mission to Aid Greece, said:
During the course of your work you and the members of your Mission will from time to time find that certain Greek officials are not, because of incompetence, disagreement with your policies, or for some other reason, extending the type of cooperation which is necessary if the objectives of your Mission are to be achieved. You will find it necessary to effect the removal of these officials. 9
Where is the present-day Greek headline: “What The United States Owes Us”? Where is the New York Times obligation to enlighten its readers?
The latest step in the evolution of America’s Police State
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”
So say many Americans. And many Germans as well.
But one German, Ilija Trojanow, would disagree. He has lent his name to published documents denouncing the National Security Agency (NSA), and was one of several prominent German authors who signed a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to take a firm stance against the mass online surveillance conducted by the NSA. Trojanow and the other authors had nothing to hide, which is why the letter was published for the public to read. What happened after that, however, was that Trojanow was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday, September 30. Without any explanation.
Trojanow, who was on his way to speak at a literary conference in Denver, told the Spiegel magazine online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the NSA. Germany’s Foreign Ministry says it has contacted US authorities “to resolve this issue”. 10
In an article published in a German newspaper, Trojanow voiced his frustration with the incident: “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free’.”11
Further irony can be found in the title of a book by Trojanow: “Attack on freedom. Obsession with security, the surveillance state and the dismantling of civil rights.”
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., who oversees the NSA and other intelligence agencies, said recently that the intelligence community “is only interested in communication related to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes.” 12
It’s difficult in the extreme to see how this criterion would apply in any way to Ilija Trojanow.
The story is a poignant caveat on how fragile is Americans’ freedom to criticize their Security State. If a foreigner can be barred from boarding a flight merely for peaceful, intellectual criticism of America’s Big Brother (nay, Giant Brother), who amongst us does not need to pay careful attention to anything they say or write.
Very few Americans, however, will even be aware of this story. A thorough search of the Lexis-Nexis media database revealed a single mention in an American daily newspaper (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch), out of 1400 daily papers in the US. No mention on any broadcast media. A single one-time mention in a news agency (Associated Press), and one mention in a foreign English-language newspaper (New Zealand Herald).
- Washington Post, September 26, 2013 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- The Guardian (London), April 22, 2002 ↩
- RT TV (Moscow), May 4, 2012 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2001 ↩
- New York Times, June 17, 1993, buried at the very end of the article on an inside page ↩
- Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post, “Barbarians at the Gate: Terrorism, the US, and the Subversion of Russia”, August 30, 2012 ↩
- Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, October 16, 1946, column 887 (reference is made here to Bevin’s statement of August 10, 1946) ↩
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1947, Vol. V (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 222-3. See William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 3 for further details of the US role in postwar Greece. ↩
- Associated Press, October 2, 2013 ↩
- Huffington Post, “Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA”, October 1, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, October 5, 2013 ↩
In a stern tone, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Wednesday not to indulge any one-sided military action against Syria amid increasing fears that Washington is preparing to put this sinister idea into practical shape in cahoots with regional puppet regimes.
In an interview with Channel One television, Putin clarified his stance on the issue, saying that only the “UN Security Council can give approval for the use of force against another state,” and warned against any such move which would be considered as an act of “aggression.”
“Any other ways to justify the use of force against another sovereign and independent state are unacceptable and cannot be qualified as anything other than aggression,” Putin said.
Yet, in a not-too-clandestine move, US Secretary of State John Kerry has formed a union with regional puppet regimes including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey and marshaled up their servile support for military action against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad with the express intention of sending Assad’s ‘regime’ straight to the morgue.
The realities on the ground clearly indicate that Washington’s former partners have been replaced by new ones in its warmongering pursuits. The vocal support of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar plus their dollar aids to those who persevere in fermenting chaos and commotion in Syria have sufficed to convince the Americans that they do not need to worry about the potentially colossal financial losses in case of a military strike as they would be taken care of. This fact, which strikes hard across the face of truth, was also reflected in the words of US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Key partners, including France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other friends in the region, have assured us of their strong support for US action,” Hagel said.
On Tuesday, the White House won backing for military action from two powerful Republicans e.g. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor.
In the midst of all this came a joint missile test by the US and Israel conducted on Tuesday in the eastern Mediterranean where they fired a missile from the sea toward the Israeli coast “to test the tracking by the country’s missile defense system.”
Strangely enough, the missile test fire was initially denied by the US. However, a statement released later by the Pentagon on Tuesday confirmed US involvement in the exercise.
Pentagon press secretary George Little told CBS that the US “provided technical assistance and support to the Israeli Missile Defense Organization flight test of a Sparrow target missile over the Mediterranean Sea.”
“The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region,” added Little.
Apart from the regional allies, France seems to be a stalwart supporter of aggression against the Arab country. In Paris, French President Hollande said, “A large coalition must therefore be created on the international scale, with the United States — which will soon take its decision — (and) with Europe … and Arab countries,” Hollande said.
Mitigating all irritating doubts, he made it clear that even a no-vote by the Congress would entail no changes in France’s attitude towards Syria.
If Congress votes no, France “will take up its responsibilities by supporting the democratic opposition (in Syria) in such a way that a response is provided,” he added.
In a naked lobbying effort, three pro-Israel groups i.e. by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) urged American lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria.
In the ADL’s statement, National Chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher and National Director Abraham Foxman said that “any nation that violates international norms and obligations which threaten the peace and security of the world must face the consequences of those dangerous acts.”
As a major beneficiary to an invasion of Syria, Tel Aviv may end up a bad loser in the eventuality of a war on Syria.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad has warned that it would lob rockets at Israel if it enters the war. A high-ranking official from Islamic Jihad told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Up until now, there has been no decision within Islamic Jihad to bomb Israel in response to an aggression on Syria. But that may happen in one circumstance: if Israel joins that war as a principal party.”
This warning aside, Israel will have to brook the ire of the entire Muslim world for partaking of the consequential chaos and for shedding the blood of innocent Muslim blood.
Despite all the intimidating techniques of the West and the lavish Zionist lobbying against the government of Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not appear to want to waver an inch from his position as he says he has acquired conviction that those who fight against his government are but al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and that he does not have the least intention of abandoning his country into the hands of those terrorists.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro published on Monday, Mr. Assad said, “In the beginning, the solution should have been found through a dialogue from which political measures would have been born.”
“That is no longer the case,” he said, repeating his constant refrain that 90 percent of the opposition fighters are terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda. “The only way to cope with them is to liquidate them,” he said. “Only then will we be able to discuss political measures.”
This collective effort to bring Syria down to its knees stems to a large extent from the fact that the country has always been viewed by the West as a hotbed for dramatic changes which could be geared towards the supremacy of imperialist powers if they ever seized their grasp upon the country. It is unfortunate to note that this goal is being advanced by some regional countries harnessed by the West in the course of time.
The bipolarization of the world into the West and the Rest is not a new story and an invasion of Syria is only to be seen as a continuation of that accursed legacy which has lingered since time immemorial.
A Growing Precariat Class…
I knew a man whose wife divorced him and who never remarried. He liked women and for the remainder of his life he had affairs with several. His exuberant intentions were good but he was blind to the preferences of the people he intended to help (usually women friends) and they often resisted his plans. He went through life intending to do good deeds that were often barely tolerated.
Public television recently ran a documentary on the Rockefeller family. My friend and the Rockefeller family had a common goal of bettering the lives of others whether they like it or not. David Rockefeller promotes the new world order because he sincerely believes world government benefits mankind. He and other like minded individuals seem to have the power to move their goal forward but they are meeting heavy resistance from multitudes who cherish freedom, hate tyranny and prefer to make their own choices.
Competition is a fitting impetus to a healthy business environment. But competition produces winners and losers. Unfortunately, all men are not created equal. (Jefferson’s claim in the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding). Some men have superior abilities, allowing them an advantage over their fellows. Men who win in the money war become wealthy while losers become relatively poor. The libertarian nature of the early American business culture provided a realistic example of the outcome of free Capitalism. Several families accumulated massive fortunes and were able to shelter their wealth allowing an extended influence on the culture.
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937). was raised in poverty by a Christian mother. His father was often absent. The family lived in Ohio during the birth of the oil industry. He was an astute competitor who successfully used the freedom of Capitalist system to gain control of a majority of the industry. In spite of government intervention he preserved the family fortune allowing his descendents to wield the power of great wealth through successive generations.
J. P. (John Pierpont) Morgan (1837-1913) was a key recipient of the bounty of Capitalism. A Connecticut banker Morgan gained control over much of the country’s manufacturing base. He formed U. S. Steel Corporation and on at least two occasions (one with Rothschild help) bailed out the U. S. government.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) came to the United States from Scotland in his early teens. He was an astute businessman who enjoyed success in several different enterprises. Ultimately he became extremely wealthy by creating the world’s largest steel mill. The mill was finally sold to J. P. Morgan and became a major part of U. S. Steel Corporation.
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an uneducated farm boy of Dutch and English extraction, his thrifty ways allowed him to prosper by moving goods by steamship around New York City. As the railroads took over the freight moving business he used his profits to invest in the railroads. Though uncouth in manner he was astute in business.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) made his fortune in a later era. He reduced manufacturing costs and made products available to the general population by using an assembly line to mass produce automobiles. Mass production was the crown of the industrial revolution making its benefits available to everyone.
Bill Gates (1955 - ) a contemporary “robber baron” started and nurtured software giant Microsoft into the world’s pre-eminent producer of computer software. He was criticized for his business practices and called before congress but he warded off the government wolves and saved his company. He and his wife Melinda are now busy managing their Foundation. .
Hundreds of fortunes have been made in the United States. These six are well known. All had the advantage of living in times when the conduct of their businesses was largely unencumbered and they could garner great riches from a wealthy nation. They were criticized for cutting prices and buying up competition but both of these practices are legal in a free Capitalist system; they did it better than their competitors.
Corporations and Foundations are stores of wealth and power. They are artificial entities that function as individuals. They can and often do grow into quasi-monopolies that can be controlled with a small percentage of the outstanding stock. Real Estate appreciation and the steep rise in value of hard assets produces riches but the primary source of great wealth is the huge increase in value of the stock of a successful company. Foundations are usually spawned with shares of stock. They depend upon profits from stocks for their income. Stocks are a store of wealth.
Bill Gates became one of the wealthiest men in the world through ownership of stock in Microsoft Corporation, a company he nurtured to greatness. Using that stock he and his wife Melinda have formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest in United States and second largest in the world.
The stock market uncouples the cost of a stock from its real value as an ownership unit and allows speculation to determine value. In a bull market a popular stock, as a fractional unit of owner ship, might have a real value of $10.00 but sell on the market for $100.00. Owners of successful business enterprises who retain or purchase large blocks of stock can enjoy a massive increase in wealth that has no relation to value or effort.
We see this principle play out in the price of gasoline. The real cost of oil at the well head might be $10.00 a bbl. but on the commodities market it sells for $100.00. Consumers pay the inflated market price and the well owners enjoy a massive increase in income.
Before the revolution English Corporations had exploited the colonies and in its early years the United States government was wary of corporate power. . For decades, until the Civil War, corporations were strictly regulated.
The Internet page Reclaiming Democracy provides this information:
- Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
- Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
- Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
- Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
- Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
- Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
The Civil War brought an end to restrictions on corporate power. Corporate agents infested both state and federal governments; they bribed officials, enjoyed huge profits, gained limited liability, more autonomy, and extended charters. The corporate demon was loosed!
Most Americans know of Foundations but few know much about them. Foundations are tax-free instruments that allow the winners of the money war to protect their wealth from taxation and exert some control over how it is used According to “The Non-Profit Times” private foundations have at least four characteristics:
- It is a charitable organization and thus subject to the rules applicable to charities generally;
- Its financial support came from one source, usually an individual, family, or company;
- Its annual expenditures are funded out of earnings from investment assets, rather than from an ongoing flow of contributions; and,
- It makes grants to other organizations for charitable purposes, rather than to its own programs
Foundations have few restrictions. They are not dogged by the media or overseen by congress. Wealthy donors are seldom confronted by elected officials who might at some point seek their donations.
Billions of dollars are sheltered by Foundations and the income earned is frequently used to support an elite agenda. The world is often impacted and sometimes altered by the organizations these Foundations support but people are usually unaware of the source of the change. Foundations are big supporters of world government; they supported the Feminist Movement and donate heavily to woman’s rights, the homosexual agenda enjoys large grants, as does Planned Parenthood, there are also big efforts to influence other nations. The Global Fund for women is a relatively new foundation but their U. S. giving provides a glimpse of the humanist agenda supported by the Foundation culture.
Writing in “Intelligence and National Security” (Vol. 18, No. 2, 2003) Valerie Aubourg contends that the Bilderberg meetings were organized by European Elites with help from American sources as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the CIA.
The Foundation Center lists some past foundation grants, “dissidents and intellectuals in Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, funded legal challenges to apartheid in South Africa starting in the 1970s, and helped human rights groups in Latin America in the 1970s and 80s. Foundations supported work on AIDS at home and abroad when those with the disease were stigmatized; they pushed for public policies to address climate change when the U.S. federal government denied there was a problem of global warming; and they established a dialogue with Iran when the U.S. and Iranian governments were not talking directly to each other. Building on the early vision and practice of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford, today’s foundation leaders see these problems in global, not just American terms; seek to address them on a worldwide scale; and directed considerable resources around the world to that end.”
In the Washington Post, Michael McFaul, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, describes Foundation interventions: “Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.”
Large amounts of U. S. Foundation money go to organizations located in Switzerland and England. Open the link, (wait for it to load) click on Switzerland and England and note the number of grants to International organizations. While American citizens sign petitions and hold rallies, powerful U. S. Foundations often finance the programs concerned citizens groups are trying to prevent.
The Rockefeller Foundation is one of three funds supported by the Rockefeller family. The other two are The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund. The Rockefellers are famous for supporting studies on Eugenics. here and here They are also big supporters of Globalism and according to Andrew Gavin Marshall one of the most powerful families in the world. He describes the breadth of Rockefeller influence: “Initially through the Standard Oil empire, which was broken up into corporations we now know as ExxonMobil, Chevron and others, Rockefeller influence was prominent in universities (notably the University of Chicago and Harvard), in finance, with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase), in the creation and maintenance of major foundations (Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund) and in the establishment and leadership of major think tanks (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg), all of which created access to political and social power that shaped institutions, ideologies and individuals on a vast scale.”
The Financial Times reported in May of 2012,”Two of the best-known business dynasties in Europe and the US will come together after Lord Jacob Rothschild’s listed investment trust and Rockefeller Financial Services agreed to form a strategic partnership, with the Rothschild-owned RIT Capital Partners purchasing a 37% stake in the Rockefeller family’s ‘wealth advisory and asset management group.’This ‘transatlantic union’, noted the Financial Times, ‘brings together David Rockefeller, 96, and Lord Rothschild, 76 – two family patriarchs whose personal relationship spans five decades.’”
I could not find a Foundation for the descendents of J. P. Morgan but Jamie Dimon, CEO of J. P. Morgan Chase, the world’s largest bank ($13 trillion assets), describes their current philosophy this way, “Diversity is a cornerstone of our global corporate culture, and we continue to build upon it by: Linking management rewards to progress in achieving diversity; identifying top talent and building development plans accordingly; seeking a diverse slate of candidates for all key job openings; building a pipeline for diverse talent by working closely with universities and key industry groups; actively involving our people – through employee networking groups, annual forums, open discussions with senior leaders, seeking input on multicultural marketing efforts, and partnering on community activities; and, offering a comprehensive set of policies, programs and benefits to meet the changing needs of a wide spectrum of individuals”
The Carnegie Foundation lists many of its recipients in this database: Most of the big Foundations support world peace and feminism. Many make donations to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The boards of directors of the large foundations and the major international corporations are made up of individuals who know each other, have a common agenda and often serve together on more than one board.
I did not find a contemporary Foundation for the Vanderbilt Family. The Vanderbilt fortune suffered losses during the Twentieth Century but the family is still prominent; Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, Anderson Cooper, are well known descendents.
The Ford Foundation has an interesting history. John J. McCloy became president of the Ford Foundation in 1954. McCloy, a consummate insider, used the foundation as a cover for CIA agents making it almost a subsidiary of the U. S. Government. Henry Ford exposed the Talmudist Jewish conspiracy and when the Foundation gave some support to the Palestinians it was excoriated as an anti-Semitic organization. It repented and ceased supporting Paletinian causes. The Ford Foundation provides serious support for National Public Radio and like many others it helps finance the Council on Foreign Relations. Both the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Ford Foundation support the Third Wave Foundation, a fast growing, fifteen year old organization that “supports young people creating new models of leadership that strengthen community efforts to resist oppression and ensure justice, that are led by and for young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth and queer youth of color.”
Please take time to click on the Foundation links and look over the recipients of grants. A short study will help you understand the nature of the organizations they support. Foundations hold billions of dollars in assets. The common interests of those that control these assets allow them to support programs outside and sometimes against the governments of the nations of the world. Not only can they go around governments but they can and often do control them. They are a powerful force for the privileged one percent.
The addiction to wealth often culminates in a quest for power. This hunger to control has become more evident in the Twenty-First Century as the world’s neo-Feudal Lords have begun to exert their power for world dominance in the public realm. They have succeeded in gaining control of the world’s most powerful nation and are using it to insert their tentacles into all corners of the Globe. The theft of knowledge has succeeded through control of public education and the theft of wealth is well underway. Failure to curtail the centralization of power has exposed the world to the domination of an amoral, cruel and Godless oligarchy that is well on the way to enslaving mankind.
World corporations have become fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger. International corporations benefit from globalization by acquiring multiple new marketing opportunities. Wealthy corporations and foundations exert influence on the governments of the nations of the world. Their leaders are members of the secret elite groups that meet and determine policy. So far David Rockefeller’s dreams are progressing at a formidable rate.
It is not unusual for Christians to ignore significant scriptures. The Law of the Sabbath Year has been significantly neglected for centuries. It is doubtful that even ancient Israel practiced it properly. The Bible describes the year of Jubilee like this: “You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.” Land is to be returned to its original owners, debts are to be forgiven, and slaves are to be freed!
God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. Sunday, the Sabbath, is a day of rest. God also applies this principle to years. We are to plant and harvest for six consecutive years and on the seventh year the land is to lay fallow. Jubilee is to be celebrated in the year following seven Sabbaths of years – the fiftieth year.
There are several important principles contained in the 25th Chapter of Leviticus: God makes a distinction between the people He has chosen and others. He supports competition but does not want permanent, burgeoning inequities of wealth among His people. Benevolent slavery is condoned but His people are to be freed at jubilee. Foreigners do not enjoy the provisions of jubilee. They can be used as slaves until their debts are paid. Usury is forbidden among God’s people but not among foreigners.
Erroneous interpretations of scripture often nullify important principles. Arminianism and modern methods of evangelism urge people to choose God destroying the Biblical doctrine of selection. God’s chosen people are granted legal benefits that are lost in the doctrine of universal atonement. The Bible teaches that Christians are a chosen people who have special legal rights that are not afforded to others.
Jubilee is God’s remedy for the inordinate accumulation of wealth and power. It is a resource to correct the inequities that develop in a competitive society without depending on the arbitrary, emotion driven policies of frivolous politicians.
Today, in the United States the disparity between the wealthy and the remainder of our population is greater than ever before. One percent of our population own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Turn on your speakers, watch and listen to this video. The Middle Class is being destroyed and a permanent underclass is growing. In the 1970s the upper 1 percent received 8 percent of the nation’s income, in 2010 that figure had risen to 21 percent. The 400 wealthiest Americans own more than the bottom 150 million. According to Andrew Gavin Marshall almost all of the wealth gains over the previous decade went to the top 1%. In the mid-1970s, the top 1% earned 8% of all national income; this number rose to 21% by 2010.
We have ignored the Word of God and are in the process of suffering the consequences. God provided The Law of Jubilee to protect His people from human tyranny. There is a righteous way of rectifying the imbalance of wealth that results from a competitive economy. God’s Law always trumps the imagination of His creatures.
Christians are often described as followers of Jesus. This definition is inadequate because Jesus is a servant to His Father. He sits on the right hand of His father and judges the world. Those who truly follow Jesus follow the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This concept brings the entire Bible into focus and sets up legal standards for Christian behavior.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – - Voltaire (1694-1778)
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.”
The compulsion of the Neoconservatives toward belligerent intervention never serves the interests or enhances the security of the American citizenry. So when China Joins Russia, Orders Military To Prepare For World War III, what is really behind the rhetoric?
“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.”
The YouTube US Now Determined Highest Priority To Nuclear First Strike China, provides details and perspective on a provision in NDAA authorization.
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.
Max Hastings in the MailOnline article, Will World War III be between the U.S. and China?, correctly concludes.
“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.
The dirty little secret is out as Chuck Hagel warns: Troops are ‘close to the breaking point’.
“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?
“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.
No question, we are a culture that loves to be entertained. Even churches have caught on to the public’s desire for 24/7 entertainment. As a consequence, a large number of evangelical churches are now driven by a need to fulfill this desire in their congregants. And what better way to pack the house in ginormous auditoriums than to offer a 90 minute stage show enhanced with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video systems.
Lights, camera, action!
To boost the mood for the Praise and Worship segment of the service, a large number of churches feature a worship leader and several backup singers accompanied by a live band. I’ve been in services where the Praise Band could be the opening act for Switchfoot!
To help spice up worship, a team of want-to-be actors treat the audience to a short skit that ties in with the message (sermon). As the lights dim and the actors scurry off stage, a hip cool pastor wearing skinny jeans, a logo T-shirt, and a five o’clock shadow ambles out to preach the “new” Good News. Hip cool pastors aren’t your average run of the mill ministers. Some of these guys are genuine entertainers loaded with talent! They’re bona fide performers. True showmen. And some of them are comics! In fact, most hip cool pastors could walk off the church stage onto a Las Vegas stage and feel right at home. No really, they’re that good!
By in large, hip cool pastors’ main aim is to see that the folks find God, because once they find Him, they’ll find themselves and then…drum roll please….they’ll find their real “purpose” in life!
Now, I’m not attacking Church entertainment per say. I’m simply pointing out that in an effort to grow their churches many ministers adopt worldly methods such as the church growth model, a consumer oriented marketing strategy developed to attract the unchurched. And let’s be honest. For some pastors it’s not about saving souls, it’s about becoming the CEO of a thriving “megachurch.” Trying to attract large numbers of people, some pastors go way overboard. The end result is that the house of God has become like the world.
Warning: Adopting secular marketing techniques has risks. Often the Gospel becomes compromised when we adapt it to the culture.
Hellywood’s Influence On The Church
Many people are movie-goers…TV-viewers…music lovers…concert-attendees…
That Christians enjoy the same sort of entertainment as those who walk in darkness is revealing.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:5-7)
In this day and age it’s rare to find a movie or TV program that’s fit for Christian consumption. Hedonism, sexual explicitness and perversion, violence, occult themes and vile language aside, very few movies refrain from abusing God’s holy Name.
Have you ever noticed that Hollywood’s elite go out of their way not to offend ethnic groups, homosexuals, environmentalists, abortion providers, radical feminists, illegal immigrants, even Muslim terrorists? Yet evangelical Christians, Catholics and Mormons—especially those with conservative values—are all fair game.
It’s an undisputed fact that the entertainment industry is made up of liberals. Why should this matter to Christians? I answered this question in my column Sexually Transmitted Diseases Are A Result of Liberalism:
For most liberals right is wrong and wrong is right. Good is bad and bad is good. Normal is abnormal and abnormal is normal. Whatever advances their cause is what counts. “We must remember that liberalism is not just a system of bad ideas. It is a religion with its priests, creeds, confessions, and dogmas. Liberals worship the system, their church. They gladly sacrifice themselves and anyone else, friend or foe, who gets in the way of the cause. They are more religious than most Christians. They are more dedicated than most Christians.” (Liberal’s Are Evil, Wrong and Nuts!)
In the liberal’s way of thinking pretty much anything goes. Liberals view themselves as tolerant of the behaviors of others. They’re broad-minded. Generous. Untraditional. Unorthodox. Progressive.(Source)
Most Hollywood liberals don’t try to hide their disdain for conservatives — especially if they happen to be conservative Christians! And liberals don’t try to hide their blatant disrespect for the Lord Jesus Christ and for any of His followers who hold to biblical values.
So with this in mind, why do a large number of Christians tolerate Tinseltown’s deliberate abuse? Moreover, why do we cower when we’re labeled hateful, bigoted, mean-spirited, homophobic and worse? And why do we lay down our hard earned money at theater box offices when those in the entertainment industry (the same folks who make big bucks off of us) do not give a hoot that they’re dishonoring God’s Name?
While I’m on the subject of disrespect, I must mention that in churches all across America a number of pastors–especially younger pastors—have sunk to the level of using crude language and R-rated stories to “make a theological point.” Would profane pastors deliver a sermon laced with rough language to a church packed to the rafters with God’s holy elect angels? Of course not! Which makes one wonder, where are the deacons and elders – the so-called Church leadership? Why do they fail to roundly rebuke profane pastors? And when did the Church become Comedy Central?
Consider this also. Many professing Christians use God’s Name in vain and think nothing of it. For instance, you hear Christians utter “Oh G–!” and “Oh my G–!” all the time. How has it escaped them that they’re in violation of the 1st Commandment? The Bible explicitly says:
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exodus 20:7).
Clearly, anyone who misuses the Name of the LORD will be held accountable.
Returning to Tinseltown, people who work in entertainment expose young and old alike to gratuitous violence and vile language in films…DVDs…TV…music, especially gangsta rap and grunge! Even pornography, including child pornography, is pushed on society in a myriad of ways through the marvels of modern technology. TV networks have dropped the few remaining standards of decency for prime time telecasts. Those who happen to be TV fans know full well that producers/writers/actors/
Welcome to the anything goes world of moral relativism, where pretty much nothing is off limits anymore and nothing is sacred – including God’s Name.
What’s In A Name?
God’s Name is special. His Name carries His personal identity. So why are followers of Jesus Christ not incensed when they hear someone misusing His Name whether it’s in a movie, on TV, or from the lips of one of your friends or business associates?
Look at it this way, Christian: If someone close to you, say a parent, spouse or child, is called a vile name for no good reason, you’d come to his or her defense, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would!
So the next time someone drags God’s Name through the mud in your presence, why not turn to the person and say something like: “I’m a Christian, so I’m offended when you take God’s Name in vain.”
Many Christians will spend two hours viewing a movie that’s peppered with language so profane that they readily admit they wouldn’t dream of inviting Jesus to watch with them — because they know perfectly well He’d turn down the invite!
Some believers I know offer some of the most flimsy excuses for putting up with hearing God’s Name misused. For example, when it comes to seeing a movie that tickles their fancy they deem using the Lord’s name in vain acceptable if it’s not overused.
Whenever I broach this subject, I receive a slew of emails from so-called believers providing me with excuses for their viewing habits. The top 4 are:
1) We are under grace not under the law; therefore we mustn’t maintain a pharisaic attitude.
2) The Holy Spirit hasn’t convicted me.
3) Christians can do what is right in their own minds.
4) It doesn’t bother me.
Clearly, some Christian moviegoers think they’re excused from the moral example God has set forth for His people. Those who fall into this category should consider this: Hollywood is using your hard earned money (God’s money) to mock your Savior and to advance a morally bankrupt ideology.
Consider, also, that leftist entertainers use the money they rake in to further an anti-Christian agenda which includes removing all mention of God from the public square; abortion on demand; normalizing every sort of sexual perversion; advancing same-sex “marriage”; and environmental extremism.
What does this tell you about biblical discernment?
What it says to this writer is that far too many followers of the Lord Jesus Christ hold a worldview that is more aligned with Secular Humanism than with biblical Christianity.
The sad fact is that many believers participate in a number of things that the Bible deems inappropriate, immoral, and even toxic to the soul.
Do God’s people’s viewing and listening habits really matter all that much to Him? I mean, we’re under grace not under law, right? Listen to the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:22-23:
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be filled with darkness.
A “good eye” should be fixed on the Person who made our eyes!
Would Jesus Invite His followers To A Service Such As This?
At the beginning of this article, I discussed churches that have gone astray and, in an effort to “keep people coming,” focus largely on creating a “fun” and “relevant” environment that will draw the seeker in. To that end, hip cool pastors dumb down their sermons in an effort not to offend anyone, church doctrines are disregarded, the gospel is glossed over, worldly music is the norm—some of it with unbiblical lyrics! Sadly, when people raise holy hands to the God they say they adore, their demonstration of praise and worship comes, not from the heart; it’s merely inspired by the music–especially if it has a good beat.
What Would Jesus Have You Do?
First of all, there’s no perfect church. In choosing one, a good rule of thumb is to see that you’re in a Bible teaching church that holds to the authority of Scripture. If your current pastor gives a “feel good” message that includes a few Scripture verses with good stories and applications but has no biblical basis, consider shopping for a church with solid Bible teaching. In other words, find a church where, for the most part, the pastor teaches one verse at a time and rightly divides the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)
When it comes to entertainment, the professing Christian need only ask: Would I invite Jesus to sit down next to me during a movie or TV program or while I browse the Net…email…text…comment or “like” something on Facebook? Would I want my Lord to hear the music stored on my iPod? Would I offer Him the best-selling book I just finished reading? As I glance through a magazine would it make me a tad uncomfortable to have Jesus looking over my shoulder? If the answer to any of the above is in the negative, then hightail it out of the theater…turn off the TV…log off the computer…delete the music…close the book!
Two-thirds of disease would vanish if society could revert to the way it did certain things just 100 years ago. The emphasis on faulty genes is misplaced and a misguided attempt to cast blame on a culture that has lost its way in terms of survival. Genes are not the problem since their products are largely dependent on lifestyle choices. Our quality of food, activity levels and family structure is essentially killing this generation of human beings.
Our food supply has been completely adulterated over the past few decades alone, more drastically than during any other time in history. Although our genes have hardly changed, our culture has been transformed almost beyond recognition during the past ten thousand years, especially in the last century. We have strayed so far from our ancestral diets and lifestyles that the human metabolism has been unable to adapt and modern diseases have flourished.
Food is the raw material for our cells and even our very thoughts could not have arisen without these building blocks. Food even controls the very expression of our genes. We are connected to our food and where it comes from in ways that we have not yet fathomed. The ‘prophylactic’ removal of of body parts due to what is considered faulty genes is a disturbingly popular trend, and despite the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this approach, it is increasingly being celebrated in the mainstream media and medical establishments as a reasonable choice. But genes are not the problem…it’s the food!
Ancient peoples and even isolated hunter-gatherer cultures that still exist today ate wild, fresh foods in their natural state with minimal processing and certainly without synthetic chemicals. Their lifestyles were also very different from ours. They cooperated as family units to source and prepare food and with that came a level of activity that does not exist today. They did not suffer the same rates of degenerative diseases that plague modern society.
The majority of food we spend our money on is packaged, processed, sweetened, chemically-altered and genetically modified foods. It may resemble food, but it certainly is not real food. It is virtually devoid of nutrients. Food manufacturers oftentimes must add vitamins and minerals that have been lost during the processing back into the food. Enriched flour is really just refined flour that has had a few nutrients re-added to it, but not enough to make any food made from this nutritionally worthy. Enriched vitamins and minerals are artificial and unrecognizable by the body as nutrients that can be assimilated.
These synthetic vitamins and minerals, usually isolated from their natural forms, act more like anti-nutrients than nutrients in these foods, adding to the body’s chemical burden. Modern methods of food preparation and processing have effectively depleted many nutrients and co-factors necessary for the absorption and utilization of foods that in order for the body to process these modern foods, it must use its own store of nutrients.
When talking about our food system, we are referring to everything from the farm to the plate–food production, harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. Industrialization describes the increasing tendency of economists, policymakers and agribusiness companies to treat farms as rural factories, with off-farm inputs (energy, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seed) marshaled in the service of producing caloric energy (feed corn and starches, soybeans and refined flour). Industrialization also describes a system in which economic return is paramount–more important than concern for the public’s health, the potential health effects of pesticide exposure, the long-term resilience of the land where crops are grown, and the methods by which food is processed and delivered.
Most of the calories we consume come from the added fats, sugars and refined grains commonly found in highly processed foods and junk foods. These specific types ofl calories have overwhelmingly come from genetically modified sources including corn (corn starches, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, feed corn fed to livestock), soybeans (soy proteins, vegetable oils, salad oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and fryer oils in fast-food restaurants) and wheat (refined flour) which has been defined as the perfect chronic poison by experts. These three crops account for the vast majority of crop acreage planted in the United States.
Factory farms and monoculture are responsible for most of the food that makes it to your plate. Consider factory farms — the animals from these operations are given massive doses of drugs not only to stave off disease in such conditions but to increase their growth as well. They are fed unnatural diets and have little or no access to their natural environment leaving them prone to disease and suffering. Their meat is unhealthy and should not even be considered fit for human consumption. Agriculture has been around for thousands of years, but the way it exists now is a far cry from what has existed before this modern age. Intensive farming and monoculture has left our soil depleted resulting in poor quality plant foods, which then affect the nutrient composition of animal foods. Also, with today’s technology, we are able to manipulate the genes of plants and animals, something that nowhere near resembles selective breeding techniques used by our ancestors.
The hallmark of any system is that–for better or for worse–it functions as a complex whole, making it impossible to easily divorce one part from another. The plethora of problems in and related to our food system do not exist in isolation. They are intimately connected. Put another way, the healthfulness of our food, the health of the natural world (the soil, water, bacteria and genetic resources that gives rise to it), and the health of our patients cannot be considered apart from one another.
More than 60% of disease would vanish if we would start focusing on food as our medicine. We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to even though there are natural counterparts to almost every prescribed drug in the world. At one time, it was thought that cancer was a “disease of civilization,” belonging to much the same causal domain as “neurasthenia” and diabetes, the former a nervous weakness believed to be brought about by the stress of modern life and the latter a condition produced by bad diet and indolence. It turns out all may be true since our food convenience is at the root of our health woes.
But we cannot place all the blame on food manufacturers because we play a part in the food system. We demand convenience and cheaper foods and that’s what we got. We must examine the cultural and socio-economic factors that spurred the demand for convenience foods. For example, considering the busy lives most people have nowadays, it often becomes difficult to prepare homemade meals for the family (much less yourself) every breakfast, lunch and dinner. It ultimately boils down to our priorities. If we place high priority on our health and understand that what we eat determines and shapes not just our physical characteristics but also our personalities as well, we’d all take what we eat much more seriously.
We have an abundance of food that is easily accessible at any time of the day whereas our ancestors did not have this luxury. They hunted and gathered their food and farmed later on, allowing nature to do most of the work but they also expended a certain amount of energy in food preparation. The family meal may be more important than ever and mothers play a critical role. Researchers speculate that maternal attitudes towards the importance of family meals may reflect a broader respect for good nutrition. This might extend to practices such as keeping healthy foods in the house or limiting the amount of times their children can eat “junk food.” People who are more concerned about family meals are also more concerned about nutrition.
We have lost the family connection at it all starts there. A higher incidence of family meals is associated with a better nutrient intake and healthier meals. If we want to reverse the disease trend and stimulate a health trend, we must transform the food supply to one that relies on fresh nutrient dense foods free from chemical alteration, from start to finish, and place a greater emphasis on family which fosters a dependence on health rather than sickness.
About the Author
Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.
Source: Waking Times
Often a phenomenon of bad marriages, “selective deafness” is when one hears only what is convenient. The same failing manifests itself in government when politicians and judges hear the Constitution talk only when it sings their tune. Worse still, sometimes these people behave as if the document says things it doesn’t. This is the equivalent of hearing things.
And Kansas governor Sam Brownback heard something recently. He received a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder stating that Kansas’ newly enacted legislation prohibiting government agents from enforcing federal gun laws in the state “directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional.” Unconstitutional, Eric? My, how antebellum of you.
Meanwhile, the South Carolina House just passed a law criminalizing the enforcement of ObamaCare within its state, a move that critics will also attack with talk of the Supremacy Clause.
Speaking of supremacy, AG Holder also told Brownback that the feds would litigate if necessary “to prevent the State of Kansas from interfering with the activities of federal officials enforcing federal law,” which means that the case would end up before the Supreme Court.
So now the administration that created ObamaCare, refuses to enforce immigration law, illegally bypassed the Senate to make recess appointments, and has a DOJ that won’t offer whites voting-rights protections cites constitutionalism in defense of its agenda. This is a bit like serial-killing abortionist Kermit Gosnell seeking to avoid the death penalty by preaching the sanctity of life.
For Brownback’s part, he defended Kansas’ law by pointing out that the right to bear arms is enshrined not only in the US Constitution but also the Kansas Bill of Rights. This is true, but as Cicero learned 2000 years ago and hate-speech apparatchiks insist today, the truth isn’t always a defense. And the truth is, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. We now live in a place where the rule of law has been supplanted by the rule of lawyers.
G.K. Chesterton once noted that “[t]here are only two ways of governing: by a rule and by a ruler.” We should note that in our nation it increasingly is the latter and that the pretense of constitutionality is now often used as a pretext for unconstitutional designs. The contemporary left’s attitude is much like that of the Jim Carrey lawyer character in Liar Liar who, subject to a spell that precluded his lying for 24 hours, responded to a judge’s question about why he objected to an argument in court by saying “Because it’s devastating to my case!” While the left is never that honest, their definition of a proper legal argument is similar: whatever works for them at the moment. Unfortunately, they have also managed to appoint many judges who work for them.
Thus, when leftists such as Eric Holder say, “We’ll see you in court,” our response should be, “I’ll see your court and raise you a state executive branch.” After all, how else do you respond when dealing with a stacked-deck Supreme Court that, using the greasiest of lawyer-craft, rubber stamps blatantly unconstitutional ObamaCare? How can the High Court be ascribed deific infallibility when it reads the same document in different times and draws different conclusions?
First remember here that the Supreme Court is only meant to be supreme among courts. And what of judicial review, the principle that courts shall be the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution’s meaning for all branches of government?
It is found nowhere in the Constitution.
It originated with the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision in which Chief Justice John Marshall declared the right for the Court.
In other words, the Supreme Court was given big-kahuna powers by…the Supreme Court. So George Washington refuses to be made king, and shortly afterwards, like Napoleon crowning himself emperor, the Court makes itself an oligarchy. And we abide by this…why?
If thus characterizing the Court smacks of typical modern hyperbole, note that Thomas Jefferson warned that an oligarchy is precisely what the institution would become if judicial review were accepted. He said about the branches of government that it wasn’t correct to give “one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others…” and that if Justice Marshall’s opinion held sway, “then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se” — this means a suicide pact.
Yet there is an even larger point. I am a staunch constitutionalist, but this is much like saying you’re an avid boxer: you can only indulge your passion with the cooperation of others. If your opponents refuse to abide by Queensbury rules, “boxing” becomes impossible as you’re reduced to a no-holds-barred, outlaw fight. And then insistence on unilaterally abiding by the rules only ensures painful defeat. Likewise, what happens when you play by constitutional rules despite your opponents’ subscribing to no-holds-barred, outlaw governance?
The point is that our constitution is the contract the American people have with one another. But when a party subject to a contract repeatedly violates its terms for the purposes of benefitting itself and disadvantaging the other parties, that contract is rendered null and void. For it has then become a suicide pact — especially for those who insist on fighting fair with barbarians.
This can be illuminated further by expanding on the boxing analogy, with the rules of boxing being the Constitution, your opponent representing the feds’ interests, boxing’s ruling body being the legislature, and the ringside judges being the Court. While the ruling body makes the rules, the judges’ role is to simply apply them, and your opponent has an obligation to follow them. But what if your opponent consistently violates them to gain an advantage? What happens when the judges, operating with an idea that the rules are “living,” only apply them in a way that suits whatever rooting interest they have at the time? Furthermore, what if your opponent has a majority of the judges in his pocket and they will ensure his victory? You’d have to be punchy to even step into that ring.
A prerequisite for any civilized endeavor — be it a game or government — is the necessary degree of civility on the part of those involved. Barring this, the wise move is to walk away and, in no uncertain terms, serve notice that you won’t play until there is agreement to follow the rules. And if your opponents are so intent on domination that they follow you outside the ring to fight, then you know it’s a back-alley brawl and proceed accordingly. Remember that when people will yield to neither reason nor law, there is only one thing left that can make them yield.
What we often forget when preaching constitutionalism is that the principle is conditional. As our second president John Adams explained, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” “Moral and religious” describe neither the leftists controlling our federal government nor those voting them into power. So love it though we may, our constitution is no more suited to much of modern America than it is to the Taliban. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we’ll free ourselves from the shackles of the left’s selective law just as it long ago freed itself from the guide rails of all law.
Today we’re hearing a lot about Spiritism or Spiritualism, not to be confused with spiritual or spirituality, as in “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual,” or “I’m into spirituality.” The term Spiritism has replaced what was once called animism and other religious practices involving the invocation of spiritual beings.
Some religions meld Spiritualism with Christianity. For example, a blend of Christian and African folk beliefs that originated in Brazil is now practiced in the U.S. Spiritualism is much the same as Spiritism only it has adopted Christian rites and prayers. People visiting Spiritualistic services can be misled into thinking they’re Christian churches. The problem is Christianity cannot be melded with any other religion or practice.
One of the major tenets of Spiritism is reincarnation. The classic form of reincarnation originated in India in the 9th century BC. Reincarnation has become a hot topic in our post-modern culture.
There are a whole host of beliefs about reincarnation. The most widely touted belief is that upon death one’s spirit exits the body in search of another body to inhabit. Believing in reincarnation gives hope for continuing one’s existence in further lives to work off one’s karma. Karma is broadly defined as the consequences of one’s actions.
Ask professing Christians as they flow through the doors of a Sunday worship service if they believe in reincarnation, some will give you a cavalier “Yes,” as if it’s no big deal for believers to mix Christianity with mystical beliefs. However, believing in reincarnation is a very big deal for the serious Christian. For example, reincarnation is a central tenet within Hinduism, not Christianity!
The thing Christians need to come to terms with is that belief in reincarnation goes against what the Bible teaches regarding the soul’s final judgment by a holy God. What Jesus Christ clearly taught is that unrepentant sinners are condemned to an eternity in hell. Jesus never mentioned reincarnation – not once!
Hebrews 9:27 reveals what occurs when human beings die:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Listen to what Paul says happens when we die:
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.(2 Cor. 5:8)
It is imperative that serious Christians view mysticism as evil. When Paul came face to face with the Jewish mystic Elymas, he charged him with being a child of the devil and an enemy of righteousness. Moreover, he accused the mystic of perverting the right ways of the Lord. (Acts 13:10) Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul caused him to go blind. Not only did he put out the sorcerer’s eyes, he also put him out of a job! When it came to confronting evil, Paul never backed down, never hesitated, wavered or vacillated. He had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer when it came to evildoers.
God forbids any sort of participation in paganism for our own protection. His reason is simple: its roots are steeped in pagan idolatry and drug use. The occult world is an open door to Satan’s world. Those who enter find themselves on a quest for ‘hidden wisdom’ or ‘deeper truth.’ And, not surprisingly, the sought after ‘hidden wisdom’ is not meant for everyone, it’s meant for a select few such as New Age disciples and gurus.
We call those who possess supernatural power (power’s what it’s all about) shamans, witchdoctors, clairvoyants, trance channelers, spiritists, and the list goes on. So, how does a spiritist go about getting in contact with the spirit world? By receiving radiation, frequencies or vibrations from the dead. “Communication from the spirit world manifests itself in psychical phenomena (e.g., telepathy, clairvoyance, trance speaking, and apparitions) and in physical phenomena (e.g., levitation, automatic writing, and poltergeist and ectoplasmic activities).” (Source)
The Bible tells us that it is God who instigates communication, not man. Generally the Lord will use angels as His envoys to humans. We know very little about angels, either the elect or the fallen. However, the scriptures inform us that on occasion the Lord sent a holy elect angel to Earth to deliver messages. And He also sent angles to minister to people, to protect them, and also to execute His judgment. The angels have one purpose: to glorify God’s holy Name and to carry out His will.
There are also fallen angels – the rebellious ones! The most notorious of the lot is Lucifer aka Satan. The Bible refers to the fallen angels as demons, spirits of darkness and evil spirits. The ones that rebelled against God fell from grace. Consequently, they were hurled out of heaven, lock stock and barrel. Bible expositor John MacArthur elucidates what happened next:
At that point, Satan gained the rulership of the world, and the term world took on a third meaning: the evil system opposed to God that now dominates this planet. The system that Satan began will continue to develop up to the time period known as the Great Tribulation.
As I have made clear, Christianity and Spiritism have nothing in common whatsoever. I mean, think about it. Can you trust God and Satan at the same time? Here’s what Paul said:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the uncleanthing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6:14-18)
Satan is known as the “father of lies.” Even those who are guided by an “inner voice” can be deceived, warns occultist Nicholas Weeks:
Channels such as [Alice] Bailey are sincere and convinced that their inner voices and visions are real Masters. Unhappily, sincerity is no protection from delusion. In 1884 Master KH wrote to a psychic of that time, giving an explanation for the befuddling of a channel or seer. ‘Since you have scarcely learned the elements of self-control, in psychism, you must suffer bad consequences. You draw to yourself the nearest and strongest influences “often evil” and absorb them, and are psychically stifled or narcotised by them. The airs become peopled with resuscitated phantoms. They give you false tokens, misleading revelations, deceptive images. Your vivid creative fancy evokes illusive Gurus and chelas [disciples], and puts into their mouths words coined the instant before in the mint of your mind, unknown to yourself. The false appear as real, as the true, and you have no exact method of detection since you are yet prone to force your communications to agree with your preconceptions. (Source)
And to think, many Christians are now engaged in magical mystical practices such as contemplative prayer that can give the practitioner misleading revelations and deceptive images, where the false may appear real. (See a column I wrote on contemplative prayer here.)
Keep in mind that the spirits that speak through the mouths of the willing are demons. People who get themselves into a mind-altering trance with the purpose being to channel a benevolent spirit may end up becoming demon possessed! Granted, some channelers are really nothing more than convincing actors who write the script as they go along. These are the charlatans who do it for money or fame – or both. However, there are many dupes that allow their bodies to be used by spirit entities that use the occasion to spew anti-Christian propaganda!
The Bible tells us to, “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 John 4:1). We’re also told to flee (run like a maniac) from the devil who “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Now, picture a lion hiding in the brush to pounce on an unsuspecting wildebeest. The devil’s like the hungry lion, only he’s waiting to pounce on Christ’s sheep! Unfortunately many Christians fail to obey God’s command to resist the devil, which is one of the reasons Christianity’s in the sorry state it’s in today.
Far too many followers of Jesus Christ are unaware that our Lord quite literally detests all forms of sorcery. There are no exceptions! Sorry to be a wet blanket, but even astrology is banned. And it doesn’t matter if it’s done “just for fun.” One cannot be a Presbyterian on Sunday and a spiritist the other six days of the week.
This brings me to two blogs I stumbled on. Both male bloggers declare their love for Christ and state that the Bible is the standard by which they live their lives. One studies apologetics; the other is a youth pastor. They both have their Zodiac signs on display. That way if you land on aspiring apologist’s blog, you’ll know that he’s a Gemini; likewise, if you land on youth pastor’s blog, you’ll discover that he’s a Virgo. One can only assume that these young men have not yet read Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Exodus 22:18 and other similar passages where God commands His people to steer clear of sorcery. And yet these so-called Bible believers find time to read up on astrology?
Christians who are confronted with an evil practice must lace up their trusty running shoes and high tail it out of there, pronto! Keep away from horoscopes (astrology), numerology, séances, tarot cards, tealeaves, palm reading, crystal balls, talking boards, omens or signs. Moreover, do not get involved in wizardry, witchcraft, the study of Kabbalah, nature religion (Wicca), and the practice of yoga (its sole purpose is purely spiritual). Believers must flee from any and all pagan customs and practices. Those who are currently involved in any of the above must bring it to an end today!
Since dabbling in sorcery is a sin against God, repentance is of paramount importance. So if you’ve been dabbling, repent! And never return to any sort of evil practice — even if it’s “just for fun.”
Bear in mind that the demonic powers operating in the realm of the occult are very real. These spirits are stronger and more dangerous than people realize. The Bible warns us to “regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 19:31).
The Apostle Paul understood all too well that evil forces are ever present in the “heavenlies.” Hence, he admonished followers of Christ to wear the “armor of God” to protect against familiar spirits that prey on gullible humans. He even gave specific instructions to the Church in Ephesus:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:1-12).
Christian — take Paul’s instructions to heart and daily put on the full armor of God to protect against the rulers of the darkness of this world.
The Old Serpent and the Slacker—an allegory on the “Armor of God” By Marsha West
Are You Armed for Battle? By Marsha West
Occult – On Solid Rock Resources
Angels – On Solid Rock Resources
New Age Movement – On Solid Rock Resources
Contemplative Prayer – On Solid Rock Resources
Christian Yoga? – On Solid Rock Resources
I think, at the very least, YouTube should censor them. Well, wait a minute. Not censor, but put up a notice on all their videos:
“It’s come to our attention that these three characters are as annoying as a bad case of fleas. Caution: watch and listen at your own risk.”
The three stooges. Three schmucks in the fountain. Send in the clowns, don’t bother, they’re here.
If people are beginning to get the idea I’m waging a war against against elite media, they’re right.
At the same time, I’m fascinated. How do these anchors do it? How do they lie so consistently, and with such aplomb, day in and day out, without going up in puff of smoke and vanishing?
The Big Three anchors are a miracle, in the sense that they need a whole construction company to build the walls that permanently separate them from the truth…so they can sit in a television studio in New York and believe they’re in the wheelhouse of Real News.
When you see the Big Three are discussing their own footage, but you find visual clues as big as the moon that their analysis is 180 degrees away from actual fact—as has been happening from Aurora to Sandy Hook to Boston—and the Stooges just sit there and drone on…well, that’s a CSI or a Law&Order you just can’t get if you pay the best scriptwriters in the world to come up with it.
“The bomb was a pressure cooker.”
Right, and the Twin Towers went down because two planes flew into them.
Because the Web has been alive and humming, media coverage of every major catastrophe since 9/11 has been rejected by extraordinary numbers of people.
The elite network anchors have been trying to hold the fort, but they’re failing.
Their long-running stage play is closing down.
Despite their traditional skills and technological backup, they’re coming across like cartoon hacks.
These days, it’s better to be a marginally believable doofus like Diane Sawyer, who chooses to affect a persona based on depression, than to be the eternal boy wonder, Brian Williams. Williams, the smoothest of the smooth, comes across like the biggest liar, because he’s the most dedicated of the lot when it comes to defending the indefensible.
And Scott Pelley is Scott Pelley, the hospital doctor you’d least like to show up at your bedside. He might tell you you need an amputation just because he’s having a bad day.
“Who do we need for the most important anchor’s job in the world?”
“How about Pelley? He’s utterly convinced the lies we feed into the propaganda machine are the last word.. He’s sold. He couldn’t look outside the box if we drilled holes in it and let him see a mountain of gold bars and 50,000 naked bureaucrats running down Broadway at high fucking noon.”
The Big Three strut their stuff on the evening news, executing well-oiled, high-priced transitions from one completely false/basically deceptive story to another completely false/basically deceptive story.
Recall the often-quoted George Burns pearl? “In acting, sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” But suppose the sincerity isn’t faked? Then, the schmuck becomes king.
My late friend and colleague, hypnotherapist Jack True, described the television-news audience: “Mind control is accepting what you know to be false. You do it because you think the only other alternative is a vacuum: you either buy the news or you’re left with nothing.”
Once in a while, you can see cracks. Scott Pelley, stewing in his juices, looks like he’s ready to pull his uncle’s old revolver out of his pocket and fire a few rounds at the teleprompter.
Diane Sawyer appears to be on the verge of sagging to her right and collapsing out of her chair, on her way to a fit of copious weeping.
Brian Williams wants to say, more than anything, “Live From New York, it’s Saturday night!” Then a few coiled springs pop out of the top of his head and he winds down and stops moving.
Subliminally, the three stooges are announcing: “We’re showing you the most important stories of our time, and each one has a television lifespan of ninety seconds, after which they no longer exist.”
Television news is really all segue all the time. That’s what it comes down to.
The word “segue,” pronounced “segway,” refers to a transition from one thing to another, a blend.
Ed McMahon once referred to Johnny Carson as the prince of blends, because Carson could tell a clunker of a joke, step on it three times, and still move to the next joke without losing his audience.
Television news is very serious business. A reporter who can’t handle segues is dead in the water. He’s a gross liability.
The good anchors can take two stories that have no connection whatsoever and create a sense of smooth transition.
Brian Williams can say, “The planes were recalled later in the afternoon. And a man was castrated in a horrific accident in Idaho today…” And no one says, WHAT? WAIT!
You take an elevator up to the 15th floor in an office building. The door opens and you step into a medieval dungeon. That doesn’t compute in real life, but it does on the news.
The networks basically have, on a daily basis, fragmented stories, and they need an anchor who can do the blends, the segues, and get away with it, to promote the sense of one continuous flow.
So the audience doesn’t say, “This is just an odd collection of crap.”
The news is all segue all the time.
Not just nationally. On the local level, too. The pounding lead-in music at the top of the show is a segue, to prepare the audience. A) Music. B) “Tonight, our top story: a man ate a hot dog and died …”
The voice of the anchor is the non-stop blending machine that ties all news stories together. That’s why the elite network stars earn their paychecks.
Good segue people are stage magicians. They can move the viewer’s attention from item A to item B without a tremor or a doubt.
It’s often been said of certain actors, “He could read from the phone book and you’d listen.” Well, an elite anchor can hold the viewer’s mind as he reads a sentence from the phone book, another one from a car-repair manual, a third from a cookbook, and a fourth from a funeral-home brochure. Without stopping.
And afterward, the viewer would have no questions.
The news is surreal because the stories are mostly fool’s gold to begin with; and they’re unrelated. They’re rocks lying around on the floor. The anchor picks them up and invents the illusion of One Flowing Stream.
This is what the audience wants. It feels like a story. It feels like unity. It feels like a stage play or a movie. It feels, when all is said and done, good.
The anchor (as his title suggests) holds the fragments together in one place. For the audience, he’s the focus. He’s the maestro. The hypnotist.
You can’t pull anyone off the street and have him describe car crashes, murders, storms, threats of war, political squabbles, 300 cats living in a one-room apartment, a new piece of Medicare legislation, genitalia picture tweets, and the dedication of a library, while placing and keeping millions of people in a light trance.
Katie Couric couldn’t do it. People were waiting for her to break out into an attack of Perky and giggle and cross her legs. Diane Sawyer does it poorly. She seems to be affecting somber personal grief as her basic segue-thread. Scott Pelley is competent, but he sits like a surgeon ready to signal the anesthesiologist to clamp a mask on your face, before he cuts into your stomach.
Brian Williams is the current king of segue. He does smooth-serious-affable-employee-of-the-month-I-know-all-the-news-is-true.
None of these elite anchors can hold a candle to Cronkite or Chet Huntley, the past masters. Ed Murrow was the first star-practitioner of the television-news form. He was working a kind of sepulchral spin-off of Hemingway prose.
Murrow got his first break, right out of college, working for the Institute of International Education, a pathetic front for what they used to call “internationalists” (aka globalists). Elihu Root founded the organization. Root was also founding chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In other words, one world together actually meant: all you peons down there and we wise men on top…
Anyway, all anchors can do segue. They are dedicated to The Blend. They put their souls, such as they are, into transitions.
“What do you want to do when you grow up, Brian?”
“I want to take people from A to B.”
Whereas, a true version of the news would go something like this: “Today, in fact just now, I moved from a tornado in Kansas to the removal of restrictions on condom sales, and I’m blending into penguins in Antarctica. I’m doing Salvador Dali and you’re not noticing a thing.”
What does all this tell us? The news, if it were taken apart into its component pieces, would look quite surreal. And the anchor, by blending, manufactures a hypnotic illusion of interconnection.
The audience wants to be put in a trance. Even a several-day event, like the Boston bombing, with all its twists and turns, doesn’t mitigate that basic big sleep. Television news, with a good anchor, with the television screen itself, with the electromagnetic emissions and frequencies, can attain and hold the hypnotic state.
Therefore, the content of the news sinks in below the level of the rational mind.
But with each shift in story line, with each new breaking bit of revelation, with each disturbing image, the anchor must be there to execute the segues.
He is basically saying to the audience, “I’m a few feet inside your personal landscape, your mind, feeding you all the turns in the river, and I’ll always be here, so things are all right…”
Elite anchors invent and maintain certain tones of voice, certain rhythms, certain cadences, certain variations of musical pitch, throughout the stage play, in order to sustain the sense of continuity.
They’re mechanics of voice.
They use their skills to report the false facts handed down to conceal ops and staged events.
They need to believe in what they’re doing. They need to be that stupid. Talent search: 130 IQ, inherently stupid.
They can know they’re actors on television, but they have to believe they’re acting out the truth. Ends justify the means. Of course, “truth” often means to them: that which will bind us all together.
What is the role they’re cast in? It’s: Normal. It’s a heavy part in the play, because this joke of a society has a prime-cut value called Normal.
“Okay, look,” the Broadway director says to the veteran actor he’s interviewing for the lead, in a billion-dollar production. “This may sound strange, but you’re going to have to do Normal as it’s never been done before. That’s what the audience wants. You’ve got to come across as very, very smart and very, very Normal. Get it? I mean, you can emit a few rays of Elite here and there, but you have to do that Normal dance. The audience has to believe you somehow fit in with being a solid American, whatever the hell that is. You can be the news boy down the street, riding his bike, tossing papers on front porches (Brian Williams), wholesome as Wonder Bread, or you can be a socialite on the Upper East Side teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown (Diane Sawyer), or you can be a doctor moving briskly through his morning hospital rounds telling the interns trailing behind him what incompetent assholes they are (Scott Pelley)…but it has to be Normal at the same time. You’re the brain of every other brain. You’re the conscience of every other conscience. You’re just as walled off from the conspiracy to own every inch of America and grind down the people into dust-bowl hell as all Americans are walled off from knowing about it. You know as little as they do. You’re just as clueless as the great unwashed, but you put your stupidity on display with some measure of grace and style. Got it? You’re clean, sanitary, loyal as a dog, dumb as fog but very smart. You spew absolute nonsense every second of your time on stage, but it sounds plausible, and again, Normal. You constantly change subjects, and the subjects are in no way related to each other, but you make it all seem sensible. It’s a joke. But you’re serious. And you have to Believe, as if you’ve always believed, from the moment you emerged out of your mother’s body.
“And if you need a model for all this, just watch the news every night on the three major networks and focus on these geniuses.”
See the bomb exploding, the one that emits a puff of smoke straight up in the air? The one that was built in a pressure cooker? The bomb that didn’t tear the flags to pieces and didn’t shred the blue canopy right next to it? The bomb that didn’t cause the men in yellow jackets standing in front of it to even blink? That bomb vectored at a very low angle and took out people’s legs in the Boston street. That right, America. It did. I swear it did.
See the purple and pink pigs flying over the White House? They’re bringing food from Mars for all the bureaucrats who push paper in the city every day, the people who can’t be fired during the Sequester, while flights all over the country are delayed. That food from Mars keeps the paper pushers going. It does. It has special vitamins in it. See how fat the pigs in the sky are? How do you think they got that way? They ate the food. It’s so healthy. It’s mystical and magical. It’s just part of the largesse coming to you from your eternal government. Wait a little while longer. It’ll be here. There are lots more flying pigs. They’ll drop off little bags of Martian tasties on your street any week now. It’s the new Normal. Get used to it. We know what you want, and we’re going to give it to you.
We know what you want and we’re going to give it to you.
If you have any doubts and need more information and assurance, just watch Brian, Scott, and Diane every night. They’re narrating the Days of Our Lives. They’re from Mars. They’re the advance scouts for the pigs.
Brian’s the happy pig. Diane’s the sad pig. Scott’s the cold pig.
They’re America. The best of America.
This is why the Colonies fought a revolution against the British. So you could suck up stories, like a vacuum cleaner, from the three little pigs.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Source: Jon Rappoport’s Blog
On April 4 the Pentagon announced that it was sending a mobile missile defense system to Guam as a “precautionary move” to protect the island from the potential threat from North Korea. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) comprises ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, as well as naval vessels capable of shooting down missiles.
On the same day, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that North Korea posed a “real and clear danger” to the island, to U.S. allies in the region, and even to the United States. Its leaders have “ratcheted up their bellicose, dangerous rhetoric,” Hagel told the National Defense University in Washington. Areas at risk include South Korea and Japan, he added, as well as Guam, Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. “We have to take those threats seriously,” he said.
It is the job of defense secretaries to take all threats seriously, but there is less than meets the eye to this one. While media coverage of tensions with North Korea makes it appear that its recent threats in response to the ongoing “Foal Eagle” U.S.-South Korean military exercises came unexpectedly, Pyongyang has a long history of objecting vehemently to such war games. North Korea is using bizarre rhetoric—as it has done many times before—but there is no “real and present danger,” because the country’s nuclear and missile delivery capabilities are rudimentary now and will remain so for years to come. Its three nuclear tests thus far—in 2006, 2009 and on February 12 of this year—amounted to a total yield of around 10 kilotons, or less than one-half the power of the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki in August 1945. At least two, and possibly all three, of those tests used plutonium as the fissile material. Crude and bulky, plutonium devices cannot be fitted onto a missile.
North Korea’s claims to have miniaturized its latest device are unproven and probably untrue: no tell-tale isotopes indicative of weapons-grade uranium have been detected. In addition, at the moment, its uranium-enrichment facilities are not producing requisite quantities of highly-enriched uranium (HEU). The Yongbyon site—the country’s main nuclear facility—has been limited to electricity generation for the past five years, as part of a disarmament-for-aid deal signed in September 2005. The agreement’s implementation was always wrought with difficulties, however. Last month, the regime vowed to restart all facilities at Yongbyon—presumably including uranium enrichment to weapons-grade levels (HEU). They have the technical ability to do this, but even if the enrichment program proceeds immediately North Korea will be several years away from producing a deliverable device on a reliable missile.
In the final months of Kim Jong-il’s life it appeared that the talks with the U.S. on the control of North Korea’s nuclear facilities would be restarted. After he died in December 2011, his young son and successor Kim Jong-un soon shifted emphasis from hoped-for cooperation to confrontation. In February 2012, Pyongyang unexpectedly announced that it would suspend nuclear activities and observe a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests in return for American food aid. That agreement was suspended after North Korea unsuccessfully launched a rocket carrying a satellite a year ago, which caused major embarrassment to the regime. A successful launch came last December, swiftly followed by the tightening of international sanctions in January (this time supported by China), a third nuclear test in February, and the ongoing escalation of warlike rhetoric since early March.
That rhetoric is a mix of bluster and bravado. Even if it had the theoretical wherewithal to threaten the United States—which it does not have—North Korea could not do it credibly: a single missile, or two, or five, would be fairly easy to intercept and destroy, and the ensuing retaliation would turn much of the People’s Democratic Republic into a parking lot. In the fullness of time the North may develop a device capable of fitting into a warhead, but it will have no guidance system necessary for accuracy and no re-entry technology to bring an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) back to Earth. According to the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, North Korea has something that can hit American shores, but a “functioning nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile is still at least several years away.”
Even if it were to miniaturize a half-dozen nuclear weapons and perfect some form of functioning delivery system, North Korea would not be able to use them as a means of blackmail to alter the regional balance of power. The U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel have possessed nuclear weapons for decades. None of them has ever been able to change the status quo in its favor by threatening to use the bomb. The possession of nuclear weapons by one of the parties did not impact the outcome in Korea in 1953, or Suez in 1956, or prevent the two superpowers’ defeats, in Vietnam and Afghanistan respectively. It makes no difference to China’s stalled efforts to bring Taiwan under its control. South Africa had developed its own nuclear arsenal in the 1980s—it has been dismantled since—but this did not enhance its government’s ability to resist the pressure to dismantle the Apartheid in the early 1990’s. The political effect of a country’s possession of nuclear weapons has been to force its potential adversaries to exercise caution and to freeze the existing frontiers. There is no reason to think that North Korea will be an exception to the rule.
The root causes of North Korea’s apparently reckless behavior are predominantly domestic, as usual. Kim Jong-un, the third absolute ruler in the dynasty established by his late grandfather Kim Il-sung, is young (29), untested and insecure. When his father Kim Jong-il died on December 17, 2011, the military and Party leadership accepted his third son as the designated successor, but it was not immediately clear whether Jong-un would in fact take full power right away. A cult of personality started developing right away. With no track record of achievement and no sign of outstanding talent, he was hailed as the “great successor to the revolutionary cause,” “outstanding leader of the party, army and people,” “respected comrade identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il,” even as “a great person born of heaven”—an eccentric metaphor for a society nominally based on the teaching of dialectical materialism. The titles followed: within days of his father’s death, Kim Jon-un was declared Supreme Commander of the Korean Peoples Army, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, and “supreme leader of the country.” In March of last year, he was appointed first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea; three months later, he was awarded the rank of a field marshal.
The plethora of titles does not mean that Kim Jong-un automatically commands the same level of authority and unquestioning obedience enjoyed by his father and grandfather before him. According to a psychological profile put together by U.S. intelligence, Kim Jong-un may feel compelled to prove just how tough he is in order to make up for his inexperience. One of the CIA’s former top experts on North Korea, Joseph DeTrani, regards him as a young man insufficiently well prepared for the position, with limited foreign exposure, who has the urge to prove his toughness to his own military by emulating his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. But the heir is unlikely to start a general war, which he knows he cannot win, and in which China—his often reluctant backer—would likely remain aloof. “It would probably mean his defeat, and his defeat would probably mean the downfall of his regime and, very probably, the end of him as well,” according to the Telegraph’s David Blair. “Assuming that he’s not suicidal, he is very unlikely to start a general conflagration.” The danger remains, however, that North Korea, having ratcheted up the rhetoric for so long and having issued so many blood-curdling threats, feels that it has to do something.
My hunch is that in the end Kim the Third will do nothing. South Korea refrained from retaliation when one of its naval vessels was sunk under mysterious circumstances in disputed waters in March 2010, or when North Korea bombarded the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in November of that year. This time the leaders in Seoul appear determined to respond to any hostile act. While China is urging all sides to tone it down, its warnings are primarily directed at North Korea. Beijing has conveyed a warning to Pyongyang that any incident would subject the North to swift and vigorous retaliation. It is noteworthy that there are no significant troop movements along the 38th parallel, and the feverish tone of North Korea’s state media appears to have abated in recent days. The specific warnings that preceded the Yeonpyeong attack are now absent. The regime is well aware of North Korea’s inadequacies in the nuclear and missile technologies. Economically it is a mess. According to the CIA economic assessment issued last month, North Korea’s industrial and power output have receded to pre-1990 levels, while frequent crop failures since the catastrophic 1995 famine have produced chronic food shortages and malnutrition. Its people depend for survival on international food aid deliveries, mainly from China.
Once this latest teacup storm is over, a coherent long-term American response should address the question as to why North Korea feels it needs nuclear weapons in the first place. This is not because Kim Jong-un plans to reunify the peninsula by force—that he cannot do, with or without the bomb—but because Pyongyang regards the United States as a real threat. North Korea is one of the tightest despotisms in existence, but ever since it was designated the eastern pivot of the “Axis of Evil” in President George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address its leaders have rational grounds to feel threatened. According to President Obama, the nuclear test offered only an illusion of greater security to North Korea. This is incorrect. The possession of nuclear weapons, far from providing an “illusion” of greater security, is the only reliable insurance policy to those states that Washington may deem fit for regime change. Had Serbia had the bomb in 1999 or Iraq in 2003, they would not have been subjected to illegal American attacks on patently spurious grounds.
Some imagination is needed in Washington, including a rethink of the old orthodoxy that nuclear proliferation is inherently dangerous. It is not. Since 1945, there have been many wars, but no catastrophic ones on par with 1914-1918 or 1939-1945. This long peace—lasting for close to seven decades thus far—is due almost entirely to the existence of nuclear weapons and to their possession by an expanding circle of powers. Contrary to the will of the United States—whose leaders do not want other countries to possess what America has possessed, and used, since 1945—nuclear proliferation has been a major factor in the preservation of peace. The “Balance of Terror” is a grim term which denotes a comforting reality, and its logic applies to the lesser powers, such as India and Pakistan, which went to war three times after the Partition—in 1947, 1965, and 1971—but not since then. On previous form, the violence in Kashmir in March 2008 and the Pakistani-linked terrorist attacks in Bombay in November of that year would have reignited the conflict—but they did not. The possession of nuclear weapons by both adversaries has been a major war-inhibiting factor for over four decades, and it will likely remain so for many years to come.
What is valid for the Subcontinent should apply to the North Korean peninsula. Sanctions or no sanctions, Pyongyang will not give up its bomb. For the sake of regional peace and stability, South Korea should acquire one as well—and there is no reason for Japan not to follow suit. Back in the 1970’s, the Ford Administration induced South Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program in return for not withdrawing American soldiers. Now is the time to reverse the sequence. Washington should grant a free nuclear hand to Seoul in return for the mutually agreed U.S. troop withdrawal. The latest crisis strengthens the case for the long-overdue withdrawal of the remaining 28,000 American troops from the Korean peninsula. It is high time to let the countries directly affected by Pyongyang’s actions—South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia—deal with North Korea themselves, to the best of their abilities.
Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day. They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup – an organization of eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” – and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts. What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money. So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails. And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk? What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.
So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.
But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.
If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy.
If they lose on their bets, they know that the politicians won’t let the banks fail. They know that they will get bailed out one way or another.
And who pays?
Either our tax dollars are used to fund a government-sponsored bailout, or as we have just witnessed in Cyprus, money is directly confiscated from our bank accounts.
And then the game begins again.
People need to understand that the precedent that has just been set in Cyprus is a game changer.
The next time that a major bank fails in Greece or Italy or Spain (or in the United States for that matter), the precedent that has been set in Cyprus will be looked to as a “template” for how to handle the situation.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has even publicly admitted that what just happened in Cyprus will serve as a model for future bank bailouts. Just check out what he said a few days ago…
“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’. If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders”
Dijsselbloem insists that this will cause people “to think about the risks” before they put their money somewhere…
“It will force all financial institutions, as well as investors, to think about the risks they are taking on because they will now have to realise that it may also hurt them. The risks might come towards them.”
Well, as depositors in Cyprus just found out, there is a risk that you could lose 40 percent (and that is the best case scenario) of your money if you put it in the bank.
Why would anyone want to take that risk – especially in a nation that is already experiencing very serious financial troubles such as Greece, Italy or Spain?
As if that was not enough, Dijsselbloem later went in front of the Dutch parliament and publicly defended a wealth tax like the one that was just imposed in Cyprus.
Dijsselbloem is being widely criticized, and rightfully so. But at least he is being more honest that many other politicians. His predecessor as the head of the Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, once said that “you have to lie” to the people in order to keep the financial markets calm…
Mr. Dijsselbloem’s style contrasts with that of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister, who spoke in a low mumble at news conferences and was expert at sidestepping questions. Mr. Juncker once even advocated lying as a way to prevent financial markets from panicking—as they did Monday after Mr. Dijsselbloem’s comments.
“When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” Mr. Juncker said in April 2011. “If you have pre-indicated possible decisions, you are feeding speculation in the financial markets.”
But Dijsselbloem is certainly not the only one among the global elite that is admitting what is coming next. Just check out what Joerg Kraemer, the chief economist at Commerzbank, recently told Handelsblatt about what he believes should be done in Italy…
“A tax rate of 15 percent on financial assets would probably be enough to push the Italian government debt to below the critical level of 100 percent of gross domestic product”
They are telling us what they plan to do.
They are telling us that they plan to raid all of our bank accounts when the global financial system fails.
And calling it a “haircut” does not change the fact of what it really is. The truth is that when they confiscate money from our bank accounts it is outright theft. Just check out what the Daily Mail had to say about the situation in Cyprus…
People who rob old ladies in the street, or hold up security vans, are branded as thieves. Yet when Germany presides over a heist of billions of pounds from private savers’ Cyprus bank accounts, to ‘save the euro’ for the hundredth time, this is claimed as high statesmanship.
It is nothing of the sort. The deal to secure a €10 billion German bailout of the bankrupt Mediterranean island is one of the nastiest and most immoral political acts of modern times.
It has struck fear into the hearts of hundreds of millions of European citizens, because it establishes a dire precedent.
And when you cause paralysis in the banking system, a once thriving economy can freeze up almost overnight. The following is an excerpt from a report from someone that is actually living over in Cyprus…
As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).
Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.
Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of whats going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.
Would similar things happen in the United States if there was a major banking crisis someday?
That is something to think about.
In any event, the problems in the rest of Europe continue to get even worse…
-The stock market in Greece is crashing. It is down by more than 10 percent over the past two days.
-The stock markets in Italy and Spain are experiencing huge declines as well. Banking stocks are being hit particularly hard.
-The Bank of Spain says that the Spanish economy will sink even deeper into recession this year.
-The latest numbers from the Spanish government show that Spain’s debt problem is rapidly getting worse…
“The central government’s interest bill surged 15 percent last year to 26 billion euros, while tax receipts slumped 21 percent. The cost of servicing debt represented 30 percent of the taxes collected at the end of December, up from 20 percent a year earlier.”
-The euro took quite a tumble on Thursday and the euro will likely continue to decline steadily in the weeks and months to come.
For a very long time I have been warning that the next major wave of the economic collapse is going to originate in Europe.
Hopefully people are starting to see what I am talking about.
As this point, the major banks in Europe are leveraged about 26 to 1, and that is close to the kind of leverage that Lehman Brothers had when it finally collapsed. As a whole, European banks are drowning in debt, they are taking risks that are almost incomprehensible and now faith in those banks has been greatly undermined by what has happened in Cyprus.
Anyone that cannot see a crisis coming in Europe simply does not understand the financial world. A moment of reckoning is rapidly approaching for Europe. The following is from a recent article by Graham Summers…
At the end of the day, the reason Europe hasn’t been fixed is because CAPITAL SIMPLY ISN’T THERE. Europe and its alleged backstops are out of money. This includes Germany, the ECB and the mega-bailout funds such as the ESM.
Germany has already committed to bailouts that equal 5% of its GDP. The single largest transfer payment ever made by one country to another was the Marshall Plan in which the US transferred an amount equal to 5% of its GDP. Germany WILL NOT exceed this. So don’t count on more money from Germany.
The ECB is chock full of garbage debts which have been pledged as collateral for loans. If anyone of significance defaults in Europe, the ECB is insolvent. Sure it can print more money, but once the BIG collateral call hits, money printing is useless because the amount of money the ECB would have to print would implode the system.
And then of course there are the mega bailout funds such as the ESM. The only problem here is that Spain and Italy make up 30% of the ESM’s supposed “funding.” That’s right, nearly one third of the mega-bailout fund’s capital will come from countries that are bankrupt themselves.
What could go wrong?
Right now, close to half of all money that is on deposit at banks in Europe is uninsured. As people move that uninsured money out of the banks, the amount of money that will be required to “fix the banks” will go up even higher.
It would be wise to try to avoid the big banks at this point – especially those with very large exposure to derivatives. Any financial institution that uses customer money to make reckless bets is not to be trusted.
If you can find a small local bank or credit union to do business with you will probably be better off.
And don’t think that this kind of thing can never happen in the United States.
One of the key players that was pushing the idea of a “wealth tax” in Cyprus was the IMF. And everyone knows that the IMF is heavily dominated by the United States. In fact, the headquarters of the IMF is located right in the heart of Washington D.C. not too far from the White House. When I worked in D.C. I would walk by the IMF headquarters quite a bit.
So if the United States thought that confiscating money from bank accounts was a great idea in Cyprus, why wouldn’t they implement such a thing here under similar circumstances?
The global elite are telling us what they plan to do, and the game has dramatically changed.
Move your money while you still can.
Unfortunately, it is already too late for the people of Cyprus.
Source: The Economic Collapse
US and UK Drowned Iraq in Blood…
All forms of political media — in print, on line, on the air — have been awash in recent weeks with retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Amidst the mountainous heap of drivel and falsehood such an occasion inevitably produces among the vast and vapid army of analysts who happily spend their days chewing the cud of whatever happens to be the conventional wisdom of the day, there have been a few outstanding pieces that put this continuing war crime in stark perspective.
One of the better short pieces I’ve seen on the subject comes from — of all people — an actual Iraqi. Sami Ramadani, a dissident forced into exile by Saddam, has been one of the most insightful observers — and vociferous opponents — of the atrocities inflicted on his country by Western elites and their local collaborators (including, of course, for many decades, Saddam Hussein). From the Guardian:
Ten years on from the shock and awe of the 2003 Bush and Blair war – which followed 13 years of murderous sanctions, and 35 years of Saddamist dictatorship – my tormented land, once a cradle of civilisation, is staring into the abyss.
Wanton imperialist intervention and dictatorial rule have together been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people since 1991. And yet, according to both Tony Blair and the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the “price is worth it”. Blair, whom most Iraqis regard as a war criminal, is given VIP treatment by a culpable media. Iraqis listen in disbelief when he says: “I feel responsibility but no regret for removing Saddam Hussein.” (As if Saddam and his henchmen were simply whisked away, leaving the people to build a democratic state). It enrages us to see Blair build a business empire, capitalising on his role in piling up more Iraqi skulls than even Saddam managed.
As an exile, I was painfully aware of Saddam’s crimes, which for me started with the disappearance from Baghdad’s medical college of my dearest school friend, Hazim. The Iraqi people are fully aware, too, that Saddam committed all his major crimes while an ally of western powers. On the eve of the 2003 invasion I wrote this for the Guardian:
“In Iraq, the US record speaks for itself: it backed Saddam’s party, the Ba’ath, to capture power in 1963, murdering thousands of socialists, communists and democrats; it backed the Ba’ath party in 1968 when Saddam was installed as vice-president; it helped him and the Shah of Iran in 1975 to crush the Kurdish nationalist movement; it increased its support for Saddam in 1979…helping him launch his war of aggression against Iran in 1980; it backed him throughout the horrific eight years of war (1980 to 1988), in which a million Iranians and Iraqis were slaughtered, in the full knowledge that he was using chemical weapons and gassing Kurds and Marsh Arabs; it encouraged him in 1990 to invade Kuwait…; it backed him in 1991 when Bush [senior] suddenly stopped the war, exactly 24 hours after the start of the great March uprising that engulfed the south and Iraqi Kurdistan…”
But when it was no longer in their interests to back him, the US and UK drowned Iraq in blood.
…We haven’t even counted the dead yet, let alone the injured, displaced and traumatised. Countless thousands are still missing. Of the more than 4 million refugees, at least a million are yet to go back to their homeland, and there still about a million internal refugees. On an almost daily basis, explosions and shootings continue to kill the innocent. … Lack of electricity, clean water and other essential services continues to hit millions of impoverished and unemployed people, in one of the richest countries on the planet. Women and children pay the highest price. Women’s rights, and human rights in general, are daily suppressed.
And what of democracy, supposedly the point of it all? The US-led occupying authorities nurtured a “political process” and a constitution designed to sow sectarian and ethnic discord. Having failed to crush the resistance to direct occupation, they resorted to divide-and-rule to keep their foothold in Iraq. Using torture, sectarian death squads and billions of dollars, the occupation has succeeded in weakening the social fabric and elevating a corrupt ruling class that gets richer by the day, salivating at the prospect of acquiring a bigger share of Iraq’s natural resources, which are mostly mortgaged to foreign oil companies and construction firms.
Warring sectarian and ethnic forces, either allied to or fearing US influence, dominate the dysfunctional and corrupt Iraqi state institutions, but the US embassy in Baghdad – the biggest in the world – still calls the shots. Iraq is not really a sovereign state, languishing under the punitive Chapter VII of the UN charter.
Yes, it has certainly been, as Barack Obama memorably characterized it, a “remarkable achievement.” It is also, more and more, a forgotten “achievement.” America’s amnesia regarding the war crime in Iraq and its continuing ramifications — not only the repression and death still going on there, but also the catastrophic impact of this atrocity on America itself, including the tsunami of suicide, homelessness and PTSD among its soldiers, and the back-breaking costs of this orgy of corruption and war-profiteering — is indeed remarkable. It is no longer a reality — a living, anguished, ongoing human tragedy — but simply fodder for commentary, for partisan point-scoring, for barroom blather. This has always been the case with our misbegotten wars of imperial domination (for an especially acute and egregious example of our chronic amnesia, see this review of Nick Turse’s new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam), going back to the 19th century. And the “paradigm-changing” iadvent of the internet has done nothing to change that; despite today’s easy access to unprecedented levels of information about the realities of the Iraq war (and other high crimes and atrocities), the amnesia and willful ignorance remains as profound as ever.
So here we are. Ten years on from the frenzied paroxysm (or was it an orgasm?) of mass violence — which was itself the culmination of years of the bipartisan war-by-sanctions that American officials have openly acknowledged killed more than half a million Iraqi children — what is the central “moral” issue of our national politics today? This once-unimaginable, horribly depraved and obscene question: Should the president be allowed to murder any American citizen he chooses, or should there perhaps be be some kind of secret Congressional oversight of the secret killing program? (The idea of restricting the president’s power to kill any filthy foreignerhe chooses is not in question anywhere in our national politics, of course; Rand Paul wasn’t filibustering against that idea. No, any debate on the “ethics” of state murder is restricted to its application to Americans, who, as we know, are the only fully human beings on the face of the earth.)
Given the current trajectory of our plunge into barbarism, I predict that in just a few years we’ll be “debating” whether the president has the right to stick the severed heads of “terrorists” on spikes outside the White House, or if the heads should be passed around discreetly to members of the relevant Senate committees before being dumped in the ocean.
Source: Empire Burlesque
Damascus – Iran is expected to meet with other world powers in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss its nuclear program. Discussions that the occupiers of Palestine fervently hope will not be successful. It is toward this end that their key demand this week to the US Congress, the White House and the European Union is “to cast responsibility on the Iranians by blaming them for the talks’ failure in the clearest terms possible.”
According to the Al-Monitor of 3/19/13, Israel also demands that the countries meeting in Kazakhstan “make it perfectly clear that slogans such as ‘negotiations can’t go on forever’ are their marching orders to the White House, and they want the Kazakhstan attendees to act “so severely that the Iranians realize that they face a greater threat than just Israeli military action.” “The message must be that this time the entire west, behind Israel’s leadership, is contemplating the launch of a massive military action.” Unsaid is that “the entire West” is expected to confront Iran militarily while Tel Aviv’s forces will mop up Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Syria if necessary.
Pending the above arrangements, Israel this week is further demanding that the Obama White House issue another Executive Order dramatically ratcheting up the US-led Sanctions against Iran and Syria while it prepares for a hoped for “ game changing international economic blockade, including no-fly zones enforced by NATO.
To achieve yet another lawyer of severe sanctions, and at the behest of AIPAC, a “legislative planning” meeting was called by Congressman Eliot Engel, who represents New Yorks 17th District (the Bronx) and who is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (Florida’s 27th District), Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. The session was held in a posh Georgetown restaurant and participant’s included representatives from AIPAC, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain plus half a dozen Congressional staffers.
Congressman Engel has co-sponsored virtually every anti-Arab, anti-Islam, anti-Palestinian, anti-Iran, and anti-Syrian Congressional broadside since he entered Congress a quarter-century ago. His campaign literature last fall stated: “I am a strong supporter of sanctions against those who repeatedly reject calls to behave as responsible nations. (Israel excepted-ed). I have authored or helped author numerous bills which have been signed into law to impose sanctions against rogue states including Iran and Syria.” Ros-Lehtinen and Engel led all members with AIPAC donations on the House side in last fall’s Congressional elections. They are ranked number one and two respectively as still serving career recipients of Israel-AIPAC’s “indirect” campaign donations.
Some Congressional operatives accuse Rep. Ros-Lehtinen of being a bit lazy and neglecting the bread and butter needs of her Florida constituents. But others argue that it depends on which constituents one has in mind. Her election mailings and her Congressional website claim that the Congresswoman “led all Congressional efforts tirelessly to generate votes to block what she views as anti-Israel resolutions offered at the former UN Commission on Human Rights.”
A big fan of US-led sanctions against Iran and Syria, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Iran Freedom Support Act on January 6, 2005, which increased sanctions and expanded punitive measures against the Iranian people until the Iranian regime has dismantled its nuclear plants. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also introduced H.R. 957, the Iran Sanctions Amendments Act, which she claims “will close loopholes in current law by holding export credit agencies, insurers, and other financial institutions accountable for their facilitation of investments in Iran and sanction them as well.” In addition, H.R. 957 seeks to impose liability on parent companies for violations of sanctions by their foreign entities. She also co-sponsored H.R 1357 which requires “U.S. government pension funds to divest from companies that do any business with any country that does business with Iran.” Her campaign literature states that, “She was proud to be the leading Republican sponsor of H.R. 1400, the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act. This bill applies and enhances a wide range of additional sanctions.”
In addition, last year Illeana introduced H.R. 394, which enlarges US Federal Court Jurisdiction regarding claims by American citizens their claims in U.S. courts. Unclear is whether she realizes that one consequence of her initiative would be to open even wider US courtroom doors to Iranian-Americans and Syria-Americans who today are being targeted and damaged by the lady’s ravenous insatiable craving for civilian targeting economic sanctions.
But Ileana and Elliot appear to be fretting.
So is Israel.
The reasons are several and they include the fact that the US-led sanctions have failed to date to achieve the accomplishments they were designed to produce. These being to cripple the Iranian economy, provoke a popular protest among the Iranian people over inflation and scarcity of food and medicines, weaken Iran as much as possible before adopting military measures against it, and, most essentially, achieving regime change to turn the clock back to those comfortable days of our submissive, compliant Shah.
Zionist prospects for Syria aren’t any better at the moment. Tel Aviv’s to intimidate the White House into invading Syria have not worked. Plan A has failed miserably according to the Israeli embassy people attending the Engel-Ros Litinen’s informal conflab. Neither did the “how about we just arm the opposition” plan that originated last year with David H. Petraeus and was supported by Hillary Clinton while being pushed by AIPAC. The goal was to create allies in Syria that the US and Israel could control if Mr. Assad was removed from power. Moreover, the White House believes that there are no good options for Obama. It has vetoed 4 recent Israeli proposals including arming the rebels and is said to believe that Syria is already dangerously awash with “unreliable arms.”
The recent shriveling of Israeli prospects for a dramatic Pentagon intervention in Syria reflect White House war weariness. And also Israel’s predilection to bomb targets itself in Syria, as it did recently to assassinate a senior Iranian officer in the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Hassan Shateri. Contrary to the false story that Israel attacked a missiles convoy, some unassembled equipment was damaged but that was not the primary target according to Fred Hof, a former U.S. State Department official. Gen. Shateri was.
Making matters worse for Tel Aviv, the Israeli military is reportedly becoming skittish due to its deteriorating political and military status in the region and its troops have recently completed subterranean warfare drills to prepare them for a potential clash with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, the Jerusalem Post reported on 2/20/13. “Today during training, we simulated a northern terrain, that included what we might encounter,” Israeli Lt. Sagiv Shoker, commander of a military Reconnaissance Unit of the Engineering Corps, based at the Elikim base in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon explained. Shoker added that his units spent a week focused on how to approach Hezbollah’s alleged underground bunkers and tunnels in South Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley quietly and quickly. Israeli forces commander Gantz has been complaining recently to the Israeli cabinet that Hezbollah Special Forces are gaining much valuable experience in Syria fighting highly skilled and motivated al Nusra jihadists and his troops may not be prepared to face them on the battlefield if a conflict erupts. It has been known since 2006 that Israeli soldiers “are having motivation deficits” as Gantz and others have complained.
Ordinary citizens in Iran and Syria with whom this observer met recently, including some with whom he has shared lengthy conversations while posing many questions, cannot ignore the burden of the US-led sanctions in various aspects of their lives. Nor can the Iranian or Syrian governments or their economic institutions. At the beginning of the summer of 2010, and even more so since the summer of 2012, the US-led civilian targeting sanctions imposed were significantly tightened by the Obama administration and its allies. The administration realized that the sanctions imposed on Iran until then were ineffective and understood that Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear power capability would quickly leave the US with no alternative than the acceptance of a nuclear Iran. But the administration, according to former State Department official Hof, believed that unless it took more drastic measures against Iran, Israel would launch a military strike against Iran which would likely destroy Zionist Israel- a prospect not every US official and Congressional staffer privately laments. Congressional sources report that the White House now feels that Iran has achieved deterrence and that Israel would be dangerously foolhardy to attack the country.
While Israel advocates an economic blockade of Iran and Syria, under binding rules of international and US law, economic blockades are acts of war. They are variously defined as surrounding a nation with hostile forces, economic besieging, preventing the passage in or out of a country of civilian supplies or aid. It is an act of naval warfare to block access to a country’s coastline and deny entry to all vessels and aircraft, absent a formal declaration of war and approval of the UN Security Council.
All treaties to which America is a signatory, including the UN Charter, are binding US law. Chapter VII authorizes only the Security Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, or act of aggression (and, if necessary, take military or other actions to) restore international peace and stability.” It permits a nation to use force (including a blockades) only under two conditions: when authorized by the Security Council or under Article 51 allowing the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”
As International law Professor Francis Boyle reminds us, Customary International Law recognizes economic blockades as an act of war because of the implied use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade. Writes Boyle, “Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare.” America approved these Declarations, thereby are became binding US law as well “as part of general international law and customary international law.” US presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy, called economic blockades acts of war.
So has the US Supreme Court.
In Bas v. Tingy (1800), the US Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of fighting an “undeclared war” (read extreme economic sanctions). It ruled the seizure of a French vessel (is) an act of hostility or reprisal. The Court cited Talbot v. Seaman (1801) in ruling that “specific legislative authority was required in the seizure. In Little v. Barreme (1804), the Court held that “even an order from the President could not justify or excuse an act that violated the laws and customs of warfare. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that a captain of a United States warship could be held personally liable in trespass for wrongfully seizing a neutral Danish ship, even though” presidential authority ordered it.
“The Prize Cases” (1863) is perhaps the most definitive US Supreme Court ruling on economic blockades requiring congressional authorization. The case involved President Lincoln’s ordering “a blockade of coastal states that had joined the Confederacy at the outset of the Civil War. The Court….explicitly (ruled) that an economic blockade is an act of war and is legal only if properly authorized under the Constitution.”
Iran and Syria pose no threat to the US or any peaceful law abiding nation. Imposing a blockade against either violates the UN Charter and settled international humanitarian laws as well as US law. It would constitute an illegal act of aggression that under the Nuremberg Charter is the designated a “supreme international crime” above all others. It would render the Obama administration and every government of other participating nations criminally liable.
Contrary to what the occupiers of Palestine may fantasize, if the White House wants an economic blockade of Iran or Syria it must declare war, letting the American people be heard on the subject and convince the UN Security Council to pass a UNSCR under Chapter 7.
The White House cannot legally, morally or consistently with claimed American humanitarian values continue to target civilian populations with economic sanctions on the cheap.
To quote the immortal line in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, as filmed by John Huston, “Let’s talk about the black bird” – let’s talk about a mysterious bird made out of gold. Oh yes, because this is a film noir worthy of Dashiell Hammett – involving the Pentagon, Beijing, shadow wars, pivoting and a lot of gold.
Let’s start with Beijing’s official position; “We don’t have enough gold”. That leads to China’s current, frenetic buying spree – which particularly in Hong Kong anyone can follow live, in real time. China is already the top gold producing and the top gold importing nation in the world.
Gold accounts for roughly 70% of reserves held by the US and Germany – and more or less the same for France and Italy. Russia – also on a buying spree – is slightly over 10%. But China’s percentage of gold among its whopping US$3.2 trillion reserves is only 2%.
Beijing is carefully following the current shenanigans of the New York Federal Reserve, which, asked by the German Bundesbank to return the German gold it is holding, replied it would take at least seven years.
German financial journalist Lars Schall has been following the story since the beginning, and virtually alone has made the crucial connection between gold, paper money, energy resources and the abyss facing the petrodollar.
Whenever Beijing says it needs more gold, this is justified as a hedge “against risks in foreign reserves” – aka US dollar fluctuation – but especially to “promote yuan globalization”. As in, suavely, having the yuan compete with the US dollar and the euro “fairly” in the “international market”.
And here’s the (elusive) heart of the matter. What Beijing actually wants is to get rid of the US dollar peg. For that to happen, it needs vast gold reserves. So here’s Beijing pivoting from the US dollar to the yuan – and trying to sway vast swathes of the global economy to follow the path. This golden rule is Beijing’s Maltese Falcon: “The stuff dreams are made of”.
Have drone, will travel
Qatar also does pivoting – but of the MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) kind. Doha has been financing Wahhabis and Salafis – and even Salafi-jihadis – as in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rebels in Libya, Free Syrian Army gangs in Syria, and the pan-Islamic gang that took over northern Mali.
The State Department – and later the Pentagon – may have woken up to it, as in the arrangement brokered by Doha and Washington together to spawn a new, more palatable Syria “coalition”. But still very potent are those dangerous liaisons between the francophile Emir of Qatar and the Quai d’Orsay in Paris – which gathered plenty of steam already during the reign of King Sarko, aka former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Every informed geopolitical observer has tracked leak after leak by former French intelligence operatives to the deliciously wicked satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine, detailing Qatar’s modus operandi. It’s a no-brainer. Qatar’s foreign policy reads as Muslim Brotherhood Here, There and Everywhere (but not inside the neo-feudal emirate); this is Qatar’s Maltese Falcon. At the same time Doha – to the delight of French elites – is an avid practitioner of hardcore neoliberalism, and a top investor in France’s economy.
So their interests may coalesce in promoting disaster capitalism – successfully – in Libya and then – still unsuccessfully – in Syria. Yet Mali is something else; classic blowback – and that’s where the interests of Doha and Paris diverge (not to mention Doha and Washington; at least if one does not assume that Mali has been the perfect pretext for a renewed AFRICOM drive.)
Algerian media is awash in outrage, questioning Qatar’s agenda (in French). Yet the pretext – as predicted – worked perfectly.
AFRICOM – surprise! – is on a roll, as the Pentagon gets ready to set up a drone base in Niger. That’s the practical result of a visit by AFRICOM’s commander, General Carter Ham, to Niger’s capital Niamey only a few days ago.
Forget about those outdated PC-12 turbo props that have been spying on Mali and Western Africa for years. Now it’s Predator time. Translation: chief-in-waiting John Brennan plans a Central Intelligence Agency shadow war all across the Sahara-Sahel. With permission from Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, it’s time to start humming a remixed hit: “I see a grey drone/ and I want it painted black”.
AFRICOM does Niger is indeed sweeter than cherry pie. Northwest Niger is the site of all those uranium mines supplying the French nuclear industry. And it’s very close to Mali’s gold reserves. Imagine all that gold in an “unstable” area falling into the hands of … Chinese companies. Beijing’s Maltese Falcon moment of finally having enough gold to dump the US dollar peg would be at hand.
The Pentagon even got permission for all its surveillance gear to refuel in – of all places – crucial Agadez. The French legion may have been doing the hard work on the ground in Mali, but it’s AFRICOM which will ultimately reap the profits all across the Sahara-Sahel.
Don’t you know about the (Asian) bird?
And that brings us to that famous pivoting to Asia – which was supposed to be the number one geopolitical theme of the Obama 2.0 administration. It may well be. But certainly alongside AFRICOM pivoting all over the Sahara/Sahel in drone mode, to Beijing’s growing irritation; and Doha-Washington pivoting in their support of the former “terrorist” turned “freedom fighter”, and vice-versa.
And we did not even mention the non-pivoting involved in this noir plot; the Obama 2.0 administration keeping its appalling embrace of the medieval House of Saud and “stability in the Arabian peninsula”, as recommended by an usual suspect, a mediocre – yet influential – “veteran intelligence official“.
Play it again, Sam. In that outstanding Maltese Falcon scene at the start of our plot between Humphrey Bogart (let’s say he plays the Pentagon) and Sydney Greenstreet (let’s say he plays Beijing), the official is the goon, the third guy in the picture. The pivoting to Asia is essentially a product of Andrew Marshall, an allegedly Yoda-like totem of US national security.
Marshall has been behind the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) – all of you Donald Rumsfeld freaks know about it – failed Shock and Awe (which only served to destroy Iraq almost beyond repair, even with disaster capitalism involved); and now the concept calledAir Sea Battle.
Air Sea Battle’s premise is that Beijing will attack US forces in the Pacific, which is, frankly, ridiculous (even with help from a monster false-flag operation). The US would then retaliate via a “blinding campaign” – the naval equivalent of Shock and Awe. Both the US Air Force and the US Navy loved the concept because it implies a lot of hardware spending to be stationed in plenty of sophisticated Pacific bases, and in the high seas.
So even as David Petraeus-style counterinsurgency has pivoted to John Brennan’s CIA shadow wars, the real deal is the pivoting to Asia; a pseudo-strategy, concocted to keep the Pentagon budget at exorbitant levels, promoting a new cold war with China. “They will never amass enough gold to impose their evil plans”, one could hear Marshall say about China (without Bogart or Greenstreet’s aplomb, of course). Hammett would be appalled; Marshall’s Maltese Falcon is the stuff (war) dreams are made of.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2008). He may be reached at email@example.com.
Source: Asia Times