“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 ↩
Four Decades after the Tishrin…
Damascus — In Damascus and many other areas of Syria this weekend, citizens will celebrate the accomplishments of the October 6, 1973 – 19 day war jointly launched by Syrian and Egyptian armies to regain Arab land illegally occupied since 1967.
Syrians will honor the 6,000 (Syrians) who died during battle. Many events are planned including special television broadcasts which will revisit the conflict; also numerous art exhibits, plays, films, concerts, rallies, and wreath-laying ceremonies. Public and government officials will appear at the monument, located atop Qasioun Mountain in Damascus, mindful of the many sacrifices being made today. In Egypt, October 6 is Armed Forces Day, commemorating the Egyptians’ role in that October War.
For both peoples, breaking Israel’s sense of invincibility after its 1967 aggression was victory enough. The results of the battle were mixed as history records, but the political and military effects are still indelible, as Zionist leaders exhibit a certain bi-polarization. Many analysts and pro-Zionist “think tanks” are holding seminars on the subject in occupied Palestine and some in the US as well, with many attendees still gnashing their teeth over what went wrong forty years ago. For many Israelis, the surprise battle that killed nearly 3000 Israeli soldiers threatened to destroy the so-called ‘Third Temple’ thus eliminating the last 19th century colonial enterprise. “Academic” seminars, in “professional” strategic forums – even IDF and intelligence fora are planned just as they have been organized every year since 1973.
Many Israelis are still condemning their political leaders at the time, particularly then Prime Minister Golda Meir and military ‘heroes’ from the 1967 aggression as incompetents derelict in their military duties including lack of preparedness. The adulation for General Moshi Dayan resulting from 1967 turned ugly in October of 1973 as many families picketed and chanted “murderer” for the killing of their sons and daughters. The repentance appears to intensify each year over the “Yom Kippur fiasco,” the outcome of the “blindness” and the “smugness and arrogance following the conquests of the Six-Day War,” as many claim.
The Israeli military has never denied that General Dayan urged the use of Chemical weapons during the October war. But chemical weapons are not all that Dayan wanted permission to use. Writing in the 10/3/13 issue of the New York Times, Avner Cohen, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies discusses an interview he had in 2008 with Mr. Arnan Azaryahu who was a senior political insider and trusted aide and confidant to Yisrael Galili, a minister without portfolio and Golda Meir’s closest political ally. Writes Cohen, “Mr. Azaryahu was privy to some of Israel’s most fateful decisions. In the early afternoon of Oct. 7, as a fierce battle with Syrian forces raged and the Israeli Army appeared to be losing its grasp on the Golan Heights.” Mr. Azaryahu further reported that Dayan sought from Golda Meir, during the cabinet meeting which Mr. Azaryahu attended, “an immediate authorization of preparatory steps for a nuclear blast that he claimed would save precious time and allow the order to detonate a bomb to be executed rapidly should the need arise.”
Cohen continues, “Siding with her two senior ministers, the prime minister told Mr. Dayan to “forget it.” He responded by saying that he remained unconvinced but that he respected the prime minister’s decision.” Dayan sought but was refused authority to use either chemical or nuclear weapons.
One of the lessons from that October war still being discussed is that the hubris from the 1967 aggression concerning the “invincible Israeli army” was simple propaganda for domestic consumption – as were the many battles in South Lebanon during 22 years of occupation and the 33 day 2006 war illustrate. That war clearly established beyond peradventure that the Israeli army cannot defend the Zionist colony unless it has massive American military supplies and blank check funding. During the Tishri battle, the American government, without input from Pentagon or public, provided the Israeli military with planeloads of weaponry, including 9 types of US cluster bombs that were taken from supplies at Subic Bay, Philippines, causing the local US commander to resign claiming that “emptying those warehouses put thousands of US troops in Vietnam at risk.” Yet, President Nixon caved to pressure from PM Golda Meir so that many hundreds of those old cluster bombs, thirty years past their shelf life were used as recently as during the July 2006 war in Lebanon.
The Nixon administration also provided Israel with something far more important – intelligence. Documents relating to the American spy-plane, the ‘SR-71 Blackbird’, show that the Israelis knew where major concentrations of Arab forces were as they were supplied with this information as a result of SR-71 overflights of that war zone. With such knowledge, Israelis knew where to deploy their forces for maximum effect. Whatever dreams of self-sufficiency in weapon development and production were entertained in Israel before the war, were abandoned. Tel Aviv learned that it needs close support, strategic weapons and funding from Washington to survive.
Following the October war, the Arab oil boycott turned Israel into a pariah; fewer countries had diplomatic relations with the Jewish state than with the PLO, which didn’t pretend to seek anything but Palestine’s liberation and the full right of Return. The UN General Assembly gave a standing ovation to Yasser Arafat and shortly thereafter the UN passed the Zionism is Racism resolution. Last month’s embarrassing Netanyahu spectacle at the UN General Assembly where he presented himself as some sort of sociopathic racist, led reportedly, to one European delegate saying after that speech ‘if a snap vote was held on the 1975 Zionism is Racism Resolution (GAR 3379) it would pass again–but by a larger margin than the 11/10/75 vote of 72 to 35.’
Ehud Barak, Israel’s former defense minister claims at pep rallies and AIPAC type gatherings that “states much larger than ours and supposedly much stronger collapsed within weeks under surprise attack and we were totally victorious in 1973.”
Think tanks, such as the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and the Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, have become bolder participants in the national security debates and have offered alternatives to Netanyahu-Lieberman governmental policies. Gen. Isaac Ben Israel, a specialist on strategic affairs, wrote recently in the small right-wing publication Ha-Umma that “Israel’s achievement was great for revealing to its enemies their inability to overwhelm Israel’s Defense Forces” even in the most favorable circumstances.
Both gentlemen delude themselves and fail to understand the growing global resistance to the occupation of Palestine and opposition to confiscation of Jerusalem by misstating what happened forty years ago this month. More realistic is the statement made last week by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon at a meeting with top defense officials: “One of the causes of our failure at the beginning of the conflict came from a feeling of superiority that we held after the 1967 victory. Israel had “too much confidence, arrogance and lack of caution.”
Every October, bereavement becomes a major element of the Israeli ethos, and a dominant national display of trauma. It is to blame, some claim, for Zionist doubts about facing the future of their enterprise in Palestine. And even among many Israelis awareness about the very right of the Apartheid Jewish state to exist. Israel once again feels vulnerable to surprise attack.
The shock of the October War left deep scars on the national psyche that affect Israelis even today. Foremost among them, according to the Jaffee Center, is a gnawing anxiety that the national leadership is so locked into a “conceptzia” — a shared strategic concept that determines the leaders’ worldview — that they may be misreading reality and ignoring opportunities for peace.
Commenting on the report’s claim that Israel is now better off strategically than at any time in its history, the military analyst for the Ma’ariv newspaper, Amir Rapaport, observed wryly that “the last time we boasted that things were never better was in the autumn of 1973.”
Harold Wilson was right: A week is a long time in politics. The one just behind us—the longest of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far—has provided a mix of drama, bravado, mendacity and stupidity unseen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
That crisis was a more serious affair than Obama’s Syrian gambit—thermonuclear war was a real possibility—but there are interesting parallels concerning the adversaries’ decision-making skills and strategies. It would be wrong, however, to compare Obama to John F. Kennedy. In fact the roles between Moscow and Washington were reversed last week. It was Obama who acted recklessly when he painted himself into the corner; and it was Putin who offered Obama an exit strategy, much in the manner of JFK offering the Soviets a face-saving formula 51 years ago.
Back then the American red line—the naval quarantine around Cuba—was upheld. The Soviets backed down and agreed to dismantle their missiles on the island in exchange for two U.S. commitments: not to invade Cuba, and to remove American medium-range Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy. Those concessions were cost-free for the Administration: after the Bay of Pigs no invasion remained on the cards, while Jupiter missiles were obsolete and slated for removal even before the crisis.
It was likewise no real sacrifice for the Russians to offer the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arsenal. He has no pressing military need of those weapons, in any event he cannot use them without risking American attack, and he will therefore observe the Geneva agreement reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Bashar cannot afford to alienate Russia, whose continued supplies of conventional weaponry are a matter of life and death for his government; and the terms of the agreement leave little room for ambiguity, contrary to the warmongers’ claims.
Kennedy emerged victorious from the Cuban affair and his crisis management skills enhanced his reputation at home and abroad. Khrushchev was fatally wounded and less than a year later his colleagues on the Politburo had him removed from power. One of their criticisms concerned his “erratic” behavior, a veiled reference to the risky and ultimately untenable Soviet position during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Obama will not be impeached, but his standing is now much weakened by the manner in which he was refused Congress’s share of the responsibility for the attack and had to grab the Russian lifeline. His speech to the nation last Tuesday, full of distortions and half-truths, was arguably his least successful such performance to date. His grimaces were bizarre. His assurances that he opposes excessive executive power (“after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president … while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force”) should enter the annals of presidential hypocrisy, coming from the man who waged a seven-month air campaign against Libya two years ago without congressional authorization and who claimed constitutional authority to do so “in the best interest of American foreign policy and national security goals.”
Obama has avoided the consequences of his blunder by accepting Russia’s return to the table as a key Middle Eastern player for the first time since the era of Gorbachev. He should use that presence to look for the means of managing the Syrian civil war, rather than “ending” it. The United States and Russia have a joint interest in preventing a jihadist victory in Syria. That interest is more pronounced in Russia, which does not want yet another extremist hotbed in the proximity of the Caucasus, but a Syria controlled by al-Qaeda affiliates would also threaten stated U.S. interests by destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq immediately and Jordan eventually. Contrary to the arguments used by Netanyahu’s friends in Washington in their campaign in favor of the air strikes, a jihadist victory in Syria would also present a real, albeit more long-term threat to Israel.
In his April 12 address, Obama said he was working with U.S. allies to “provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition and to shape a political settlement” for ending the war in Syria. The first and the last of those three objectives are incompatible with the middle one. Instead of helping the elusive “moderate opposition” Obama should consider the possibility of a protracted freeze on the battle lines, with neither side able to secure outright victory. It is worth exploring, now that returning to the option of air strikes at a later date is unlikely. Seasoned realists like Putin and Lavrov may find it interesting.
“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers . . . . The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.” ~ Aldous Huxley
Hello, welcome, come on in. Please find a seat. I’m excited to be here with you today; we will take a look at how public opinion is so easily molded by promoters of the state. Many of us use the word “propaganda” a lot and it’s helpful to understand some basics about what propaganda is and how it is used. Messages released through traditional media organs can now be more effectively challenged directly by interested persons from outside the media priesthood, thanks to the Internet. Until we do this more effectively there will continue to be a trend of hyperactivity towards the police state at home and abroad and the serial-warring will continue. So, here we are; let’s get to it.
The word “propaganda” is often used when trying to explain how the state has been able to maintain such a powerful stranglehold over the collective imagination. Propaganda walks the fine line between what is known and what is purposely hidden while appealing to base emotions of fear and loyalty. Americans have been conditioned to react to this word by associating it with words like Nazi, Fascist, Communist and Terrorist. Basically, propaganda is what Bad Guys do, not Good Guys. Why would Good Guys do anything but tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
You see, Good Guys don’t control the media and good old capitalist media hacks are just giving the people what they want. Right? So, when you say “propaganda,” many people will immediately think that there is no way “our professional journalists” and “our politicians” could possibly do anything so awful to the good people of the United States of America as to inseminate the seed of propaganda into the Red, White and Blue body politic. No sir-ree, only conspiracy theorists believe stuff like that. Only Bad Guys do that and “we,” by definition, are the Good Guys. Now back to reality.
The traditional media machine is sold as being a necessary social institution, completely outside of the state (except for licenses – but don’t mind them), that wields a mighty pen with righteous indignation at political scandals and as giving The People a “voice.” The Third Rail of politics is used to “keep them honest” or “keep their feet to the fire,” for noble purposes, of course, like, say Social Security, Health Care, the Drug War or bombing foreigners. Because these trained and certified journalists had to work their way up the corporate ladder, honing their integrity, sense of honesty and desire to speak truth to power! But, gasp, people today look to the Internet and read ideas written by people who didn’t study in the media education mills or learn to kiss the right spots on the behinds of the right people! The self-serving glorification of mainstream media persons can only be surpassed by politicians themselves. The good news is that liberty has a golden opportunity today because this monopoly on the communication of ideas to the masses controlled by the melded interests of the state and big corporations has been disrupted by new technology.
The manipulation of messages to promote favorable outcomes for a messenger when interpreted by those receiving the message is as old as the first handshake. But how that message is delivered has changed profoundly a few notable times, including the most recent iteration over the past 150 or so years. The written word, developed thousands of years ago, changed communication with the masses from a very personal event with lots of shouting to a non-personal event that put the focus of thought onto the words themselves. It changed everything in society, some good and some not so good. The elite always have used their influence to promote conditions that ensure and/or expand their positions and advantages, often at the expense of the common man. This is not new; however, it has become more complex over the ages.
When the printing press came along in the Middle Ages, it allowed for many copies of written ideas to be distributed simultaneously; this changed how society organized again. The world gets smaller with each advance in communication technology. The most recent step with computers is a continuation of the electronic communications revolution started in the mid to late-1800s. The inventions of telegraph, telephone, radio and television communications made distances literally disappear for people spreading ideas far and wide. The computer has combined all of these technologies into one platform. Now there is a race between liberty and the state seeking to squelch the freedom of ideas in society with laws, regulations, licenses and official messages crowding out the truth.
The term propaganda has its roots in the writings of the Medieval Catholic Church priests wishing to propagate their faith to wider audiences using the new technology: the printing press. Machiavelli wrote a popular book for monarchists that incorporated some age-old theocratic tactics and strategies for modern (at the time) use. Hitler is often given credit for the modern resurgence of propaganda with his use of rituals, including nighttime rallies, fire, symbolism, loudspeakers, mass printing of pamphlets, film distribution, and radio transmissions as well as his autobiographical best-selling book Mein Kampf. But it is Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and the man known as the “father of public relations” in the United States that deserves the real credit for modern propaganda. I don’t have the time today to go into a detailed history, so please do a search for Edward Bernays for a little interesting homework on the man who inspired the use of modern propaganda.
I want to spend the rest of our limited time looking at a recent article in the mainstream media as a case study in how crude propaganda is passed off of as serious journalism. It goes on everyday in every country, hidden in plain sight. Lies implying the “why” mixed-in with the hard, cold facts of who, what, where and when told by messengers posturing as journalists simply reporting impartial facts to We the People; their agendas hidden behind the façade of good intentions and given legitimacy by official blessings. These statist scribes are the perpetrators of never-ending war as they advertise a continuum of ridiculous propaganda phrases like “Making the World Safe for Democracy,” “World’s Policeman” and “War on Terror.”
First and foremost, propaganda must maintain the veil of legitimacy by speaking with authority. Power (of Authority) is to be reckoned with is the theme of all primary communications. Further, the faithful must always kneel to the powerful or society will fall apart is the subtext to all statist propaganda. Authority must be seen as the savior of society, so the people will ignore the universal faults of the state’s all too human agents. A good example of this in the run-up to the “strike” on Syria using “precision bombing” is the recent piece by Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent called “The White House Walk-and-Talk That Changed Obama’s Mind on Syria.” I didn’t choose this example because it is exceptional, quite the contrary, it is all too typical and you have probably read countless versions of the same message in all of the mainstream media organs.
First, a picture is inserted showing the powerful, wise leaders in deep thought as they weigh the fate of the world on the scales of justice. This helps to establish the authority of the words that follow. Then it’s simply the Hegelian Dialectic writ large. Party A’s political agenda (thesis) is reported and discussed along with the opposing political agenda of Party B (anti-thesis). Then what results is not the clear triumph of either argument, it is the advancement to a “superior” argument C (synthesis). Position C was the elite objective all along and now the process starts over again. This is how each step on the path to perpetual war is so seamless no matter who occupies the chairs at the table of authority. Both sides are allowed occasional meaningless victories to shore up their base and stay in the game, but true victory is ever elusive and defeat always on the horizon. This is the futile system of organizing society we have inherited and glorify; a system based on lies and obfuscation to ensure elite control of the debate. We can do better.
Here is the link to the whole article published on August 31, 2013 at NBCNews.com.
Here is the picture of the official deciders provided by official photographers and released by official spokespersons with caption, by-line and intro:
President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisers in the White House Situation Room on Saturday to discuss strategy in Syria. Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is fourth from right.
By Chuck Todd, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent
A stroll around the White House grounds with his top adviser on Friday evening changed President Barack Obama’s mind about getting Congress to sign off on a military strike in Syria, senior White House officials told NBC News.
Obama had been leaning toward attacking Syria without a congressional vote for the past week, the officials said. Obama was convinced he had the evidence to back up a strike and as a result dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry to make a passionate case for U.S. action. But only hours after Kerry called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “a thug and a murderer” and accused his regime of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people, Obama changed his mind as he walked across the South Lawn with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, the officials said.
NBC’s Chuck Todd says up front these powerful wise men met to “discuss strategy in Syria,” but it is really to discuss strategy for how to get away with bombing Syria. The strategy of bombing Syria is de facto assumed from the start: the leader of the little state on the other side of the world is “a thug and a murderer,” so therefore, the leader of the big state must bomb the people of the little state until they overthrow their leader. Isn’t that the definition of terrorism? State murder is referred to as a strategy, while independent murder is terrorism.
Todd then describes the political process for seeking congressional authorization for a strike on Syria, and says that the president’s decision to wait on Congress is a departure from 30 years of strengthening executive branch power. Thus, Our Fearless Leader is not afraid to go his own way to do the right thing and is a Man of the People.
Obama’s National Security Council had believed since last weekend that requiring a vote was not even on the table and that “consultation” in the form of congressional briefings and behind-the-scenes conversation was all that would be needed before a strike. One senior official noted that no key leaders in Congress had specifically requested a vote on military intervention.
Officials said that after the president met with national security advisers on Aug. 24, they determined the evidence showed Syria’s Assad regime had used chemical weapons in an attack earlier this month. At that time, the president indicated he was leaning toward a strike.
Note the use of institutional words describing mere mortal men to give these deciders the anointing of authority to “strike” at the enemy. These experts “determined the evidence” does indeed support their agenda, as if it could have been any other way. Our Fearless Leader was only “leaning toward a strike.”
But a growing number of Congressional members were beginning to question the administration’s strategy by the end of the week. And an NBC News poll released Friday morning showed that nearly 80 percent of Americans agreed that the president should seek approval in advance of taking military action.
Ah, so the legitimacy of initiating violence and raining bombs upon foreign peoples who are not a threat to this politician’s constituency is undermined by his constituency opposing his attack. Our Allies seem to be having the same problem; this is nasty business in a purported democracy, but just a speed bump for the propagandist to navigate. Note that the article doesn’t say that Congress questioned the President’s strategy of bombing Syria, just his strategy of how to accomplish this already determined goal by selling that agenda.
While Obama’s advisers argued Friday night in private that the humiliating defeat for Cameron starkly illustrated the risks of asking for congressional input, the president responded that the vote in Parliament demonstrated exactly why he should seek a vote on this side of the Atlantic, senior officials told NBC News.
And, the president insisted, seeking legislative backing was the approach most consistent with his philosophy. While debate within the administration continued into late Friday, by Saturday morning the senior advisers acquiesced.
President Obama says the nation should and will take action against the Syrian government, but not without congressional approval.
So President Obama has already made up his mind to bomb Syria, but he wants Congress to publicly back his decision so that when the action goes bad, he can spread the blame around. Congress, on the other hand, wants Obama to order the missile attack on Syria, but is afraid of the voters and doesn’t want to go on record endorsing it. It’s all “legal,” you know, for the emperor to bomb whoever he wants whenever he wants, but it would just be more “consistent with his philosophy” if he had some public support. This entire session was over the timing of the attack with the major concern being getting re-elected, not doing the right thing.
The president also noted, “while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective.”
White House aides said they are fairly confident that Congress will grant them the authority to launch a strike, although they maintain that Obama would be acting within his constitutional authority even if Congress rejects the authorization and Obama orders military intervention.
There’s an upside to that cooling-off period too, aides said. The delay gives Obama time to make his case to Congress and to keep pushing for international support.
This is the purpose of the article: to “make the case” for a strike. Notice again how the article is careful not to frame the decision as being one between attacking and not attacking Syria, but of how to sell a decision that has already been made. The only question is timing. The rest of the article is pure hypocrisy and emotional appeals seeking to give the impression that killing Syrians is the moral thing to do. Pure theater of the absurd promulgated by a willing hack posing as a “journalist.”
Now, is there some apparatchik sitting in a US Ministry of Propaganda giving orders to NBC newsmen or any other mainstream media hacks about what to write and publish? No, there doesn’t have to be, which is worse, because dribble like the above article is seen as “independent” and “just reporting the news.” And it is well written for accomplishing its purpose. However, does it even hint that there is a case for non-intervention? No. Does it ever mention that the “rebels” being supported by Obama and his minions are “thugs and murderers”? No. Does it say that evidence has been provided indicating that the surrogate terrorists seeking to overthrow the Syrian leader have used chemical weapons, originally started the conflict and are mostly from other Arab countries allied with the US? Of course not, because that does not promote the official agenda.
The fact that this attack has not yet occurred is testament to the power of the Internet and how it affects public opinion. Even just ten years ago, the emperor could send out some trumped up evidence (e.g. yellow cake purchases) against the hated dictator-of-the-month who stopped being useful to their CIA handlers and these lap dog journalists would fight over who could exaggerate the official propaganda the most. Today it is common knowledge that the US government and its surrogates have been backing “thugs and murderers” in Syria and that they have not been successful. Since these agents of death and mayhem are failing at their assignment to overthrow the Syrian dictator, the US government felt compelled to escalate the killing by becoming directly involved.
Ten years ago, the missiles would already be raining down on the water, sewer and electric plants of Syria in “precision strikes,” causing even greater human misery. You see, these brilliant strategic thinkers believe that the way to “save” people from their dictators is to destroy their society and its infrastructure, thus starving the people that aren’t directly killed by missiles and bombs. This then necessitates an occupation with “boots-on-the-ground” (that will be denied will ever happen right up to the time they “must” be sent in) to help them partially rebuild what was destroyed, also to be paid for by US taxpayers. And, of course, this requires giant embassies and military bases to be built by government contractors around the country. How long this game plan can be delayed is hard to foresee, but I doubt that it can be avoided for long, given the sociopathic powers that be. Still, this delay reveals that the elite recognize their grip on popular opinion is waning.
In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted here that President Obama really didn’t make this decision himself, as it was made years ago by his superiors in the so-called military-industrial-complex. Obama is just the current Puppet-in-Chief trying to sell more wars to the American public. Just listen to this short excerpt from an interview of General Clark. Here is the main point:
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: …I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”
Well, there you go. That’s all we have time for today and I’m afraid I’ve already gone long. I hope that when you read and listen to “the news” or “official statements” that you remember to use your propaganda filter and take it with a grain of salt. Challenge official lies whenever and however you can. And when these shameless liars start waving the flag to inspire you to give up more treasure and blood for big corporations and their political machines, don’t fall for it. Remember, real Good Guys don’t need propaganda if they are doing the right thing. So stand up to the powerful media mavens and be heard because your voice is just as legitimate as any journalist’s. Speaking truth to power is essential if we are to break the cycle of endless war. Thank you for coming.
Source: Mark Davis | Strike the Root
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”–Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The definition of what makes an “enemy” may vary from person to person. But I would say that, generally, an enemy is one who has an active ability to do irreparable harm to you or your essential values. He is motivated by destruction, the destruction of all that you hold dear. He is capable and unrelenting. He is a legitimate threat. He will not compromise. He will not waver. He will do anything to wound you. He will not stop. He is possessed.
Americans have spent the better part of a century being told who their enemies are with very little explanation or substantiation. We have blindly rallied around our patriotic prerogative without knowing the root cause of the conflict or the nature of the target we are told to annihilate. We have been suckered into war after war, conjured by international interests in order to lure us into accepting greater centralization and concentrated globalism. As a culture, I’m sorry to say, we have been used. We are a tool of unmitigated doom. We are the loaded gun in the hand of the devil.
This paradigm has done irreparable harm to our standing in the eyes of the peoples of the world. But until recently, it has done very little harm to us as a society. We have allowed ourselves to be used like a bloody club, but we have not yet felt the true pain or the true cost. We have been insulated from consequence. However, this comfortable situation is quickly coming to an end.
When one applies the above definition of “the enemy” to Syria, one comes away with very little satisfaction. The Syrian government poses absolutely no immediate threat to the United States. In fact, the civil war that now rages within its borders has been completely fabricated by our own government. The insurgency has been funded, armed, trained and ultimately directed by the U.S. intelligence community. Without U.S. subversion, the civil war in Syria would not exist.
So, the question arises: If Syria is not the real enemy, who is?
I point back to the core issue. That is to say, I would examine who pose a legitimate threat to our country and our principles. The Syrian government under Bashar Assad clearly has no capability to threaten our freedom, our economic stability, our social stability, or our defensive capabilities. There is, though, a group of people out there who do, in fact, pose a significant threat to the American way of life on every conceivable level. These people do not live on the other side of the world. They do not wear foreign garb or speak another language. Most of them do not have pigmented skin or Asian features. They look just like you and I, and they live in Washington D.C.
If the so-called “debate” over a possible military strike in Syria has done anything, it has certainly brought the American public’s true enemies frothing to the surface like so much sewage. Men who posed as liberal proponents of peace not long ago now salivate over the prospect of bloodshed. Men who once posed as fiscal conservatives now clamor for more Federal funding to drive the U.S. war machine. Men who claimed to represent the citizenry now ignore all calls for reason by the public in the pursuit of global dominance.
I have warned of the considerable dangers of a war in Syria for years — long before most people knew or cared about the Assad regime. Being in this position has allowed me to view the escalating crisis with a considerable amount of objectivity. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, if you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose, the progression of events becomes transparent, and the strategy of the actual enemy emerges.
So what have I observed so far?
If you want to know who has malicious intent toward our Constitutional values, simply move your eyes away from the Mideast and focus on our own capital. The ill will toward liberty held by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties is obvious in the Congressional support of the banker bailouts, the Patriot Acts, the National Defense Authorization Act, the President’s domestic assassination directives, the hands-off approach to National Security Agency mass surveillance, etc. But even beyond these litmus tests, the Syrian debate has unveiled numerous enemies of the American people within our own government.
The catastrophe inherent in a Syrian strike is at least partially known to most of the public. We are fully aware that there will be blowback from any new strike in the Mideast (limited or unlimited), economically as well as internationally. So if the average American with little political experience understands the consequences of such an action, the average politician should be more than educated on the dangers. Any representative who blatantly ignores the calamity ahead is either very stupid or has an agenda.
I find it fascinating that politicians and bureaucrats from both sides of the aisle are now coming out of the woodwork to cheerlead alongside each other for war and the state.
For those who are predominantly preoccupied with Barack Obama as the source of all our ills, I would gladly point out that Republican leader and House Speaker John Boehner has also thrown his support behind a Syrian strike, even before the U.N. investigative report on Syrian chemical weapons use has been released.
In the meantime, self-proclaimed Republican stalwarts like John McCain (R-Ariz.) have argued that Obama’s “limited strike” response is “not enough.” This is the same man, by the way, who has been instrumental in the monetary and military support of Al Qaeda in Syria. McCain has recently called for avid pursuit of the new Russian proposal for chemical disarmament in Syria, not because he wants to find a peaceful solution to the situation, but because he believes the deal can be used as a bargaining chip to convince Congress to VOTE FOR military force, in order to “keep pressure on Assad”.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who not long ago ran for President on the platform of being an anti-war Democrat, now regularly begs the American people to back further war based on the same dubious evidence for which he once criticized the George W. Bush Administration. In fact, Kerry has made it clear that even if Congress votes “no” against a strike, he believes Obama has the right to set one in motion anyway.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), the man who openly admits in mainstream interviews that he believes the President has the right to indefinitely detain or assassinate American citizens without trial or oversight, has loudly indicated his support for a war on Syria. His criticisms parallel McCain’s in that he believes the Obama Administration should have attacked without Congressional approval or should commit to an all-out military shift into the region. That is to say, he believes the goal of the White House should be invasion and regime change, not just disarmament. Graham consistently fear mongers in the mainstream media, often warning that without a hard, immediate strike against Syria, catastrophe will befall Israel, and chemical andnuclear weapons will rain on America.
All I have to say to Graham is, if chemical or nuclear weapons are used against the American people, it will be because the establishment ALLOWED it to happen — just as it has allowed numerous attacks in the past to occur in order to facilitate pretext for a larger war. (The Gulf of Tonkin is a fitting example considering the many similarities between the Syrian debacle and Vietnam, the only difference being that this time the establishment is throwing its support on the side of the insurgency, rather than the prevailing government).
For those out there in the movement who are hoping for reason and logic to prevail during a Congressional debate on the Syrian issue, I would suggest that they do not hold their breath. This vote was decided before Obama ever allowed it to go to the Hill. The vote has been cast. The debate is a sideshow designed to make the American people feel as if their system of government still functions as it should. Remember, no Congress in the history of the United States has ever refused the request of a President to make war.
The more than 150 Congressmen who demanded a vote on the Syrian crisis did so because they wanted to be included in the process, not because they necessarily opposed a war. That leaves nearly 300 representatives who had NO PROBLEM whatsoever with Obama attacking Syria unilaterally without any checks or balances. The Senate panel that initiated the voting process on the strike plan passed the initiative 10-7. I have no doubt that Obama has the votes to confirm the use of force, even with all the talk of uncertainty in evidence or planning.
The Russian offer of organizing chemical disarmament has barely made a dent in the White House’s war rhetoric, as was evident in Barack Obama’s address to the nation yesterday. When asked in an interview with NBC if he has made up his mind whether or not he will forge ahead with military action if Congress votes his proposal down, Obama stated:
“It’s fair to say that I haven’t decided…”
Putting on the airs of a Roman Emperor, Obama’s thumb remains in the neutral position over the gladiator pit of Syria, but as he clearly points out, he can give the thumbs down anytime he chooses. If anything, the White House and the elitist machine are simply using the next few weeks (the approximate time being discussed for chemical disarmament) to establish further precedent, or conjure new atrocities, in order to garner a minimal public backing for violent action in the region.
And, let’s not forget our friendly enemies in the mainstream media. The MSM is in rare form the past week, fabricating numerous arguments as to why the average American “just doesn’t get the Syrian situation”. The latest disinformation campaigns seem to be revolving around generating alternative motivations for a strike -
Obama’s “red line” was crossed and we must strike in order to save face amongst our allies.
A refusal to strike Syria will “embolden Iran” and lead them to use their own WMD’s in terrorist acts (WMD’s which are still not proven to exist).
And my favorite argument: That refusing to strike would mean “abandoning” the Syrian rebelsin their war on Assad. You know, the same rebels permeated with psychopathic Al Qaeda operatives that our government trained and funded.
The mainstream media steamroller is barreling forward, searching for ANY talking point that will hook the American populace into rationalizing an attack. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pencil-necked weaklings call for so much blood. The strategy seems to be an attempt to shift America’s attention away from the alleged chemical attack alone, and discombobulate us with multiple sales pitches of death in case Congressional support turns sour (which I doubt).
But let’s say Obama does not get his Congressional approval; as stated earlier his office has asserted on numerous occasions that he has the authority to trigger war regardless. A “no” vote in Washington means nothing today due to war powers granted after 9/11. The probable scenario, though, is the most common scenario. Congress will likely authorize the “use of limited military force” without directly declaring war on the Assad regime. This is exactly what Congress did in the wake of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There was no evidence of an Al Qaeda support structure and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction, but war exploded nonetheless. Congress gave Bush a blank check to do whatever he saw fit, and I believe Congress will do the same for Obama.
America is being set up to look like the bad guy or the fool, but why?
Our political leadership is devoted to the ideology of globalization, not sovereignty or U.S prosperity. A Syrian strike places the United States in tremendous peril, the likes of which have not been seen since the Cuban missile crisis. Syria itself is a vacuum of suffocating calamity; a black hole swirling in a void of economic and sociological interdependency. Where the United States enters, so follows Iran, so follows Israel, so follows Saudi Arabia, so follows Lebanon, so follows Jordan, so follows Egypt, so follows Russia, so follows China and on and on.
In my analysis of Syria over the years, I have exposed this domino effect of war as well as the possible calamities of an economic chain reaction. Escalating conflict in Syria will eventually lead to the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the collapse of the U.S. financial system. Knowing that this is the ultimate result of a strike in the region, many people would ask WHYthe White House and so many prominent figures in Congress would be so hell-bent on setting such wheels in motion. I would stand back from the chaos and ask what I always ask: Who gains the most from the disaster?
The demise of American currency dominance and the degradation of the American spirit do indeed benefit a select few. For the most part, central banks and globalists have taken a hands-off approach to the Syrian debacle. Perhaps that’s because doing so makes it easier for them to survey the inevitable collapse from a distance and swoop in later as our “saviors,” ready to rebuild the world according to their own ideals. Having a debased and desperate U.S. populace certainly makes the transition to total globalization and centralization much easier.
My original query was: Who is the real enemy? No matter what happens in the coming months and years, never forget that question. Who poses the greatest threat to our freedom: Syria or the political ghouls trying to convince us to decimate Syria?
Who claims the power to take everything we have? Who claims the power to take our liberty and our lives at a whim? Who claims the power to kill innocents in our name? Who disregards the checks and balances of Constitutionalism at every turn? Who truly threatens our future and the future of our children?
Do not be distracted by stories of foreign monsters far away when the real monsters lurk so quietly under your bed. Even if we can find a successful strategy to pressure Congress into avoiding a Syrian conflict, I say remain vigilant. America is one global hiccup away from oblivion. And if this is what the establishment wants, they will find a way to make it happen. The threat of continuous U.S. catastrophe will only end when the poison is removed from our very veins, and that process of purification begins with the removal of the criminal political structures and banking structures in Washington.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Washington has been at war for 12 years. According to experts such as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, these wars have cost Americans approximately $6 trillion, enough to keep Social Security and Medicare sound for years. All there is to show for 12 years of war is fat bank balances for the armament industries and a list of destroyed countries with millions of dead and dislocated people who never lifted a hand against the United States.
The cost paid by American troops and taxpayers is extreme. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Erik Shinseki reported in November 2009 that “more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Many thousands of our troops have suffered amputations and traumatic brain injuries. At the Marine Corps War College Jim Lacey calculated that the annual cost of the Afghan war was $1.5 billion for each al-Qaeda member in Afghanistan. Many US and coalition troops paid with their lives for every one al-Qaeda member killed. On no basis has the war ever made sense.
Washington’s wars have destroyed the favorable image of the United States created over the decades of the cold war. No longer the hope of mankind, the US today is viewed as a threat whose government cannot be trusted.
The wars that have left America’s reputation in tatters are the consequence of 9/11. The neoconservatives who advocate America’s hegemony over the world called for “a new Pearl Harbor” that would allow them to launch wars of conquest. Their plan for conquering the Middle East as their starting point was set out in the neoconservative “Project for the New American Century.” It was stated clearly by Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and also by many neoconservatives.
The neocon argument boils down to a claim that history has chosen “democratic capitalism” and not Karl Marx as the future. To comply with history’s choice, the US must beef up its military and impose the American Way on the entire world.
In other words, as Claes Ryn wrote, the American neoconservatives are the “new Jacobins,” a reference to the French Revolution of 1789 that intended to overthrow aristocratic Europe and replace it with “Liberty, equality, fraternity,” but instead gave Europe a quarter century of war, death, and destruction.
Ideologies are dangerous, because they are immune to facts. Now that the United States is no longer governed by the US Constitution, but by a crazed ideology that has given rise to a domestic police state more complete than that of Communist East Germany and to a warfare state that attacks sovereign countries based on nothing but manufactured lies, we are left with the irony that Russia and China are viewed as constraints on Washington’s ability to inflict evil, death, and destruction on the world.
The two pariah states of the 20th century have become the hope of mankind in the 21st century!
As Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick prove in their book, The Untold History of the United States, the American government has never deserved its white hat reputation. Washington has been very successful in dressing up its crimes in moralistic language and hiding them in secrecy. It is only decades after events that the truth comes out.
For example, on August 19, 1953, the democratically elected government of Iran was overthrown by a coup instigated by the US government. Sixty years after the event declassified CIA documents detail how the secret CIA operation overthrew a democratic government and imposed Washington’s puppet on the people of Iran.
The declassified documents could not have spelled it out any clearer: “The military coup that overthrew Mossadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/19/politics/cia-iran-1953-coup
In the 21st century Washington is attempting to repeat its 1953 feat of overthrowing the Iranian government, this time using the faux “green revolution” financed by Washington.
When that fails, Washington will rely on military action.
If 60 years is the time that must pass before Washington’s crimes can be acknowledged, the US government will admit the truth about September 11, 2001 on September 11, 2061. In 2013, on this 12th anniversary of 9/11, we only have 48 years to go before Washington admits the truth. Alas, the members of the 9/11 truth movement will not still be alive to receive their vindication.
But just as it has been known for decades that Washington overthrew Mossadeq,
we already know that the official story of 9/11 is hogwash.
No evidence exists that supports the government’s 9/11 story. The 9/11 Commission was a political gathering run by a neoconservative White House operative. The Commission members sat and listened to the government’s story and wrote it down. No investigation of any kind was made. One member of the Commission resigned, saying that the fix was in. After the report was published, both co-chairmen of the Commission and the legal counsel wrote books disassociating themselves from the report. The 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail,” they wrote.
NIST’s account of the structural failure of the twin towers is a computer simulation based on assumptions chosen to produce the result. NIST refuses to release its make-believe explanation for expert scrutiny. The reason is obvious. NIST’s explanation of the structural failure of the towers cannot survive scrutiny.
There are many 9/11 Truth organizations whose members are high-rise architects,
structural engineers, physicists, chemists and nano-chemists, military and civilian airline pilots, firemen and first responders, former prominent government officials, and 9/11 families. The evidence they have amassed overwhelms the feeble official account.
It has been proven conclusively that World Trade Center Building 7 fell at free fall which can only be achieved by controlled demolition that removes all resistance below to debris falling from above so that no time is lost in overcoming resistance from intact structures. NIST has acknowledged this fact, but has not changed its story.
In other words, still in America today official denial takes precedence over science and
known undisputed facts.
On this 12th anniversary of a false flag event, it is unnecessary for me to report the voluminous evidence that conclusively proves that the official story is a lie. You can read it for yourself. It is available online. You can read what the architects and engineers have to say. You can read the scientists’ reports. You can hear from the first responders who were in the WTC towers. You can read the pilots who say that the maneuvers associated with the airliner that allegedly hit the Pentagon are beyond their skills and most certainly were not performed by inexperienced pilots.
You can read David Griffin’s many books. You can watch the film produced by Richard Gage and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 truth. You can read the 9/11 Toronto Report, International Hearings on 9/11. http://www.amazon.com/9-11-Toronto-Report/dp/1478369205/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376960447&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Toronto+Report You can read this book: http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9319:hijacking-americas-mind-on-911-counterfeiting-evidence&catid=66:oped&Itemid=151
Actually, you do not need any of the expert evidence to know that the US government’s story is false. As I have previously pointed out, had a few young Saudi Arabians, the alleged 9/11 hijackers, been capable of outwitting, without support from any government and intelligence service, not only the CIA and FBI, but all sixteen US intelligence services, the intelligence services of Washington’s NATO allies and Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Traffic Control, and defeat Airport Security four times in one hour on the same morning, the White House, Congress, and the media would have been demanding an investigation of how the National Security State could so totally fail.
Instead, the President of the United States and every government office fiercely resisted any investigation. It was only after a year of demands and rising pressure from the 9/11 families that the 9/11 Commission was created to bury the issue.
No one in government was held accountable for the astonishing failure. The national security state was defeated by a few rag tag Muslims with box cutters and a sick old man dying from renal failure while holed up in a cave in Afghanistan, and no heads rolled.
The total absence from the government for demands for an investigation of an event that is the greatest embarrassment to a “superpower” in world history is a complete give-away that 9/11was a false flag event. The government did not want any investigation, because the government’s cover story cannot stand investigation.
The government could rely on the mega-media corporations in whose hands the corrupt Clinton regime concentrated the US media. By supporting rather than investigating the government’s cover story, the media left the majority of Americans, who are sensitive to peer pressure, without any support for their doubts. Effectively, the American Ministry of Propaganda validated the government’s false story.
Common everyday experiences of Americans refute the government’s story. Consider, for example, self-cleaning ovens. How many American homes have them? Thirty million? More? Do you have one?
Do you know what temperature self-cleaning ovens reach? The self-cleaning cycle runs for several hours at 900 degrees Fahrenheit or 482 degrees Celsius. Does your self-cleaning oven melt at 482 degrees Celsius. No, it doesn’t. Does the very thin, one-eighth inch steel soften and your oven collapse? No, it doesn’t.
Keep that in mind while you read this: According to tests performed by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), only 2% of the WTC steel tested by NIST reached temperatures as high as 250 degrees Celsius, about half the temperature reached by your self-cleaning oven. Do you believe that such low temperatures on such small areas of the WTC towers caused the massive, thick, steel columns in the towers to soften and permit the collapse of the buildings? If you do, please explain why your self-cleaning oven doesn’t weaken and collapse.
In Section E.5 of the Executive Summary in this NIST reporthttp://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=101019 it says: “A method was developed using microscopic observations of paint cracking to determine whether steel members had experienced temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C. More than 170 areas were examined . . . Only three locations had a positive result indicating that the steel and paint may have reached temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C.” Analysis of steel “microstructures show no evidence of exposure to temperatures above 600 degrees C for any significant time.”
In section 3.6 of the NIST report http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=860495NIST states: “NIST believes that this collection of steel from the WTC towers is adequate for purposes of the investigation.”
How did these truths get out? My explanation is that the NIST scientists, resentful of the threat to their jobs and future employment opportunities and chaffing under the order to produce a false report, revealed the coerced deception by including information that their political masters did not understand. By stating unequivocally the actual temperatures, NIST’s scientists put the lie to the coerced report.
The melting point of steel is around 1,500 degrees C. or 2,600 degrees F. Steel can lose strength at lower temperatures, but the NIST scientists reported that only a small part of the steel was even subjected to moderate temperatures less than those obtained by the self-cleaning oven in your home.
If you need to think about this a bit more, obtain a copy of The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Have a look at the streetcar in photo 108. The caption reads: “The Hiroshima fireball instantly raised surface temperatures within a mile of the hypocenter well above 1,000 degrees F.” Is the streetcar a melted lump of steel? No, it is structurally intact, although blackened with burnt paint.
Washington would have you believe that steel that survived intact the atomic bomb would melt from low temperature, short lived, isolated office fires. What do you think of a government that believes that you are that stupid?
Who would support a government that lies every time it opens its mouth?
The three WTC buildings that were destroyed were massive heat sinks. I doubt that
the limited, short-lived, low temperature fires in the buildings even warmed the massive steel structures to the touch.
Moreover, not a single steel column melted or deformed from softening. The columns
were severed at specific lengths by extremely high temperature charges placed on the columns.
On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, ask yourself if you really want to believe that temperatures half those reached by your self-cleaning oven caused three massive steel structures to crumble into dust.
Then ask yourself why your government thinks you are so totally stupid as to believe such a fairy tale as your government has told you about 9/11.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
The frantic spin of the millisecond is that the White House is taking a ‘hard look’ at the Russian proposal for Bashar Assad to place Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal under UN control, thus at least postponing another US war in the Middle East.
Oh, the joys of the geopolitical chessboard; Russia throwing a lifeline to save US President Barack Obama from his self-spun ‘red line’.
True diplomats are supposed to prevent wars – not pose as warmongers. American exceptionalism is of course exempted. So just as Secretary of State John Kerry had the pedal on the metal selling yet another war in a London presser, his beat up Chevy was overtaken by a diplomatic Maserati: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
This was Kerry’s slip: “… [Assad] could turn over any single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over. All of it. And without delay and allow the full and total accounting for that. But he isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done obviously.”
It can be done, obviously, as Lavrov turned Kerry’s move against him – forwarding a two-step proposal to Damascus; Syria turns its chemical weapons to UN control and later agrees with their destruction, as well as joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem took no time to agree. The devil, of course, is in the fine print.
Somebody help me! What’s the message?
Predictably, all hell broke loose at the State Department. Dammit! Darn Russki peacenik! A Kerry spokeswoman characterized it as a “rhetorical argument”. It was just “talk”. Damascus and Moscow have a horrible track record. This was just a “stalling tactic.” Washington could not trust Assad. And even if there was a “serious” proposal that would not delay the White House’s push to sell its war in the US Congress.
Yet two hours later, closet future US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saw it as… a serious proposal, “suggested by Secretary Kerry and the Russians.” And she made clear she was for it after meeting with Obama himself.
Meanwhile, the batshit crazy department kept the pedal on the metal, with National Security Adviser Susan ‘Wolfowitz’ Rice busy warning that chemical attacks in Syria are a “serious threat to our national security” including to “citizens at home.” What, no ‘mushroom cloud’?
Yet just as ‘on message’ was up in smoke, magically, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf and Hillary herself started talking in unison (somebody forgot to brief Rice). And the White House decided to take its ‘hard look’. Sort of. Because expectations are not that high. And the push to war in the US Congress is bound to continue.
Not even hardcore Beltway junkies have been able to keep track in real time of the Obama administration’s ever-shifting ‘policy’. This is how it (theoretically) stands. “Assad is responsible for the gas attack.” Translation; he did not order it, directly (no one with half a brain, apart from the Return of the Living Dead neo-cons, believes the current White House “evidence” sticks). But he’s still “responsible”. And even if Al-Nusra Front did it – with ‘kitchen sarin’ imported from Iraq, as I proposed here, Assad is still “responsible”; after all he must protect Syrian citizens.
In his Monday TV Anschluss, Obama, clinging to the lifeline, was quick to steal Lavrov’s credit, saying he had “discussed” the broad outlook of what Russia announced directly with Putin at the G20 summit last week. This has not been corroborated by Moscow.
Obama told CNN this was a “potentially positive thought.” And he was keen to stress it only happened not because his Designated War Salesman slipped, but because of a “credible military threat.” To NBC, he kept peddling what Kerry defined as an “unbelievably small” attack; the US “can strike without provoking a counter-attack.” Yet to CNN he admitted, “the notion that Mr. Assad could significantly threaten the United States is just not the case.”
So why the need for the “unbelievably small” kinetic whatever? That’s too much of a metaphysical question for US journalism.
You have the right to remain inspected
Now for the fine print. Everybody knows what happened to Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi after they gave up their deterrence. Assuming both Washington and Damascus accept Lavrov’s proposal, this could easily be derailed into an Iraqi-style ultra-harsh inspection regime. At least in theory, no US Air Force will attack UN inspectors at Syrian chemical weapons depots. As for false flags, don’t underestimate Bandar Bush’s deep pockets.
Still, considering Washington won’t abandon its real agenda – regime change – Obama might eventually be re-presented with his full emperor hand to ‘supervise’ the chemical weapons handover and ‘punish’ any infringement, real or otherwise, by Damascus, facilitated by the usual spies infiltrated into the inspectors mechanism. As in, “if you complain, we bomb.”
The key point in all this, though, is that for Damascus chemical weapons are just a detail – they are worthless in the battlefield. What matters is the 250,000-strong Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as military support by Iran and especially Russia – as in badass missiles of the Yakhont variety or S-300 (even 400) systems. Destroying the weapons – assuming Damascus agrees – is a very long-term proposition, measured in years; even Russia and the US have not destroyed theirs. By then, the myriad gangs of the “Un-Free” Syrian Army may have been thoroughly defeated.
Obama may have read the writing on the (bloody) wall; forget about convincing the US Congress to bomb Damascus when there’s a real diplomatic way out on the table. Yet nothing changes in the long run. Those who are paying or cheering in the sidelines for this operation – from Bandar Bush to Tel Aviv – want by all means to smash Damascus, for the benefit of Israel in terms of strategic balance, and for the benefit of the House of Saud in terms of isolating Iran in the Middle East.
So Lavrov’s chess move is not a checkmate; it is a gambit, meant to prevent the United States from becoming Al-Qaeda’s Air Force, at least for now. The quagmire would then move to a negotiating table – which would include those chemical weapons inspections.
No wonder assorted Western-weaponized psychos and jihadists on the ground in Syria don’t like this one bit. It’s happening just as more damning circumstantial evidence of false flags galore surface.
RT has been informed that the ‘rebels’ may be planning a monster false flag on Israel, to be launched from Assad-controlled ground.
And then there’s the release of two former hostages detained for five months by the ‘rebels’ in appalling conditions; Domenico Quirico, a correspondent for La Stampa, and Belgian historian Pierre Piccinin. Here is a shortened version of Quirico’s story, in English.
I talked to a very close friend at La Stampa who spoke directly with Quirico. He confirmed that Quirico and Piccinin overheard a Skype conversation between a ‘rebel’ speaking very bad English, who introduced himself as an ‘FSA General’, and somebody speaking very good English on the other side of the line. It was clear from the conversation that the Assad government was NOT responsible for the gas attack in Ghouta. So Quirico is admitting exactly what Piccinin told Belgian TV. It may not be conclusive; yet as proof goes, it certainly beats the Israeli-fed White House intel.
Unlike Piccinin, Quirico cannot tell the whole true story; most of all because La Stampa, a newspaper owned by the Agnelli family, very close to Henry Kissinger, is staunchly pro-‘rebel’.
Here’s a translation of what Piccinin said; “It’s a moral duty that we have, Domenico and myself, to say it was not the government of Bashar Assad that used sarin gas or other nerve agent, in the Damascene suburb of Ghouta. We are certain about this, it’s a conversation that we captured, even if it pains me to say it; I ferociously support the Free Syrian Army, and its fair struggle for democracy.”
Needless to say, none of this crucial development is being fully reported by US corporate media.
The Anschluss continues. Obama is addressing US public opinion this Tuesday night. Don’t expect him to announce yet another twist to the ‘Obama Doctrine’ – criminalizing ‘evil’ dictators who use Agent Orange, napalm, white phosphorous and depleted uranium against other people.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
“The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter, shamelessness and corruption.”
It only took the rest of the world 300 years to catch on to the evil that masquerades as “western civilization,” or perhaps it only took the rise of new powers with the confidence to state the obvious. Anyone doubtful of America’s responsibility for the evil needs to read The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
The “New American Century” proclaimed by the neoconservatives came to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US government attacks Syria without UN authorization.
Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack was “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.” In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington–the axis of evil.
China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself “outside of law.”
In other words, if you defy the world, obama, you are a war criminal.
The entire world is waiting to see if the Israel Lobby can push obama into the role of war criminal. Many are betting that Israel will prevail over the weak american president, a cipher devoid of all principle. A couple of decades ago before the advent of the american sheeple, one of the last tough Americans, Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly declared that “no US president can stand up to Israel.” America’s highest ranking military officer could not get an honest investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.
We are yet to see an american president who can stand up to Israel. Or, for that matter, a Congress that can. Or a media.
The obama regime tried to counter its smashing defeat at the G20 Summit by forcing its puppet states to sign a joint statement condemning Syria. However the puppet states qualified their position by stating that they opposed military action and awaited the UN report.
Most of obama’s bought-and-paid-for “supporters” are impotent, powerless. For example obama counts the UK as a supporting country because of the personal support of the discredited UK prime minister, david cameron, despite the fact that cameron was repudiated by the British Parliament in a vote that prohibits British participation in another of Washington’s war crimes. So, although cameron cannot bring the British people and the British government with him, obama counts the UK as a supporter of obama’s attack on Syria. Clearly, this is a desperate count of “supporting countries.”
The Turkish puppet government, which has been shooting its peacefully demonstrating citizens down in the streets, with no protest from obama or the Israel Lobby, supports “holding Syria accountable,” but not itself, of course, or Washington.
The puppet states of Canada and Australia, powerless countries, neither of which carry one ounce of world influence, have lined up to do the bidding of their Washington master. The entire point of having the top government job in Canada and Australia is the payoff from Washington.
The obama cipher also claims the support of Japan and the Republic of Korea, another two countries devoid of all diplomatic influence and power of any kind. Helpless Japan is on the verge of being destroyed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for which it has no solution. As the radiation leaks spread into the aquifer upon which Tokyo and surrounding areas rely, Japan is faced with the possibility of having to relocate 40 million people.
Saudi Arabia, implicated in the transfer to al-Nusra rebels of the chemical weapons used in the attack, supports Washington, knowing that otherwise its tyranny is toast. Even the neoconservatives headed by obama’s shrill National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, want to overthrow the Saudis.
Obama claims also to have support from France and Germany. However both Hollande and Merkel have stated clearly that a diplomatic solution, not war, is their first choice and that the outcome rests on the UN.
As for Italy and Spain’s support, both governments are hoping to be rewarded with the Federal Reserve printing enough dollars to bail out their indebted economies so that both governments are not overthrown in the streets for their acquiescence to the looting of their countries by international banksters. Like so many Western governments, those of Italy and Spain, and, of course, Greece, support the international banksters, not their own citizens.
The president of the European Commission has declared that the European Union, the central overlord over Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, does not support a military solution to the Syrian Crisis. “The European Union is certain that the efforts should be aimed at a political settlement,” Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters at the G20 meeting. The EU has the power to issue arrest warrants for the heads of EU governments that participate in war crimes.
What this reveals is that the support behind the liar obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.
The West has been destroyed by its own governments, who have told too many self-serving lies, and by its capitalist corporations, who offshored the West’s jobs and technology to China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, depriving the Western governments of a tax base and the support of its citizens.
It is difficult to know whether citizens in the West hate their corrupt governments any less than do Muslims, whose lives and countries have been devastated by Western aggression, or than do citizens of third world countries who have been impoverished by being looted by predatory First World financial organizations.
The idiot Western governments have pissed away their clout. There is no prospect whatsoever of the neoconservative fantasy of US hegemony being exercised over Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, South America, Iran. These countries can establish their own system of international payments and finance and leave the dollar standard whenever they wish. One wonders why they wait. The US dollar is being printed in unbelievable quantities and is no longer qualified to be the world reserve currency. The US dollar is on the verge of total worthlessness.
The G20 Summit made it clear that the world is no longer willing to go along with the West’s lies and murderous ways. The world has caught on to the West. Every country now understands that the bailouts offered by the West are merely mechanisms for looting the bailed-out countries and impoverishing the people.
In the 21st century Washington has treated its own citizens the way it treats citizens of third world countries. Untold trillions of dollars have been lavished on a handful of banks, while the banks threw millions of Americans out of their homes and seized any remaining assets of the broken families.
US corporations had their taxes cut to practically nothing, with few paying any taxes at all, while the corporations gave the jobs and careers of millions of Americans to the Chinese and Indians. With those jobs went US GDP, tax base, and economic power, leaving Americans with massive budget deficits, a debased currency, and bankrupt cities, such as Detroit, which once was the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
How long before Washington shoots down its own homeless, hungry, and protesting citizens in the streets?
Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague upon the American people and a plague upon the world.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
The trail to TechWise begins with the recent disclosure of anonymously hacked military emails that were posted to Pastebin, involving conversations between Colonel Anthony MacDonald (now retired) and a shadowy DoD employee named Eugene Furst, as well as communications between MacDonald’s wife, Jennifer and a friend.
These emails show insider knowledge of the chemical attacks in Syria. The MacDonald/Furst emails show Furst congratulating MacDonald on 8/22 of his “success” in a recent operation then linking to a Washington Post article on the Syrian chemical attack. The emails are copied here:
From: AJMacDonald [mailto: email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 2:31 PM
To: Furst, Eugene P CIV (US)
Subject: Re: Follow-up, 20130820
As you see I’m far from this now, but I know our guys did their best.
I enjoyed catching-up with you. Hope to see you soon again.
On Aug 22, 2013, at 2:14 PM, “Furst, Eugene P CIV (US)”
You’re exactly right. We have to work with both theater on the requirement
and the organization that owns the contract to ensure we don’t have too few
or too many contractors.
CITP – Rock Island Contract
CIAT – DIA Contract
By the way, saw your latest success, my congratulations. Good job.
The emails between MacDonald’s wife, Jennifer and a friend named Mary Shapiro show Jennifer MacDonald reassuring her friend that her husband “comforted her,” telling her that the (Syrian) “kids weren’t hurt, it was done for cameras.”
The exchange is copied here:
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2013 14:59:42 -0700
Subject: Re: Let’s talk
I saw it either and got afraid very much. But Tony comforted me. He said the kids weren’t hurt, it was done for cameras. So you don’t worry, my dear.
That’ll be nice to get down to NC to see your Dad and Lee. If you feel like a road trip about 1/2 hour down the road, go visit the “resort” and have Molly give you a tour of campus. She’d love to see you guys since she didn’t get to PA for Steve’s COC.
Would love to see you during the 7-11 October visit. Ugh, my birthday! We need to go to FL instead of you coming here! I’m trying to forget that day…..But seriously, it would be great to see you anytime.
I will have time to chat this week. Can’t believe Tuesday is the Stallion Stampede. Grace’s first FH game is Wednesday. She has had 2 scrimmages so far and they have won both of them.
From: mary shapiro
To: jennifer macdonald
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 1:30 PM
Subject: RE: Let’s talk
Everytime I hear about HighPoint…it sounds like a place that I want to live! I hope all goes well in MA. I know its difficult for Pat without you living nearby.
Thank you for you offer to visit over Labor Day, however we are going to my Dad’s house over that weekend. Its going to be a tight turn around, but if we don’t go then it may be a while before we can head down there.
I am going to be joining Steve at his Capstone class 7-11 October so we should be able to meet for dinner then. Also I would like to try and come down during the day in September to celebrate your bday. So we can start thinking about a few dates.
You know, I can’t stop thinking about that terrible gas attack in Syria now. Did you see those kids? I was really crying. They were poisoned, they died. When is it over? I see their faces when in sleep. What did Tony say you about this?
WHO IS ANTHONY JAMES MACDONALD?
MacDonald’s resume includes experience as Chief of Staff for the Defense Intelligence Operations Coordination Center and extensive experience in the theater of war, including intelligence. A sample from his CV follows:
According to Lt. Colonel Don Peters of Army Public Affairs, MacDonald retired in July of this year.
In some of the hacked emails, we see MacDonald, who goes by “Jamie,” actively looking for other employment. On August 6, 2013, he emailed Robert Cox, a civilian with the DIA, stating “I am applying for jobs and learning stuff.”
MacDonald was introduced to Tony Abati with TechWise by US Army Colonel Laura Potter. In one of the hacked emails, she wrote to both of them stating that “I have the utmost respect for both of you and you’d make a great team!”
Abati was clearly courting MacDonald. A series of emails under the header “Linking up Great Professionals,” indicates that a potential hiring conversation was taking place. On June 14, 2013, Abati wrote Potter: “I look forward to speaking with Jamie and discussing current and future opportunities with him.” Following this were emails back and forth between Abati and MacDonald resolving the best time for a skype call.
Attached to Abati’s emails to MacDonald were two job descriptions — one for a Battlestaff Training and Education Program Advisor and one for a Primary Doctrine Writer (Intelligence Doctrine).
Both job descriptions begin with the following:
Techwise Global is conducting a Capabilities Enhancement Project for a military client in the UAE. The project is sanctioned by the US government and supports national security objections in the Middle East. This project involves multiple aspects, including developing enhanced training capabilities and comprehensive doctrine that are required for a full spectrum operation in a joint, combined interagency environment.
TechWise was founded in the mid nineties by Shawnee Huckstep. In 2008, Huckstep was honored as SBA Person of the Year. A televised 2008 interview with Huckstep has her stating that the company now maintains a research lab. In 2012, TechWise received $26 million in defense contract allocations and subsequently set up an office in Dubai.
TechWise Executive VP Rivet Daigre declined to answer if MacDonald was subsequently employed by TechWise. He also declined to answer if there were any TechWise employees in Syria on or around August 21, the date of the alleged chemical attack. Huckstep is reportedly in Dubai and was unable to be reached.
Neither Anthony MacDonald, Jennifer MacDonald nor Mary Shapiro responded to requests for comment.
Lt. Colonel Don Peters of the Pentagon issued a terse statement concerning MacDonald and the implications of the emails:
We are aware of this situation and it is under investigation. We don’t comment on ongoing investigations.
Peters was not able to provide any details as to what sort of work Eugene Furst does for the Department of Defense.
Tony Abati was reached in Abu Dhabi and asked if Techwise hired MacDonald. He declined to answer the question, saying:
We are talking about a man who has given his life for his nation and I don’t understand why people are saying the things that they are saying about him. I don’t want anything to do with it.
The ”responsibility to protect” (R2P) doctrine invoked to legitimize the 2011 war on Libya has just transmogrified into ”responsibility to attack” (R2A) Syria. Just because the Obama administration says so.
On Sunday, the White House said it had ”very little doubt” that the Bashar al-Assad government used chemical weapons against its own citizens. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry ramped it up to ”undeniable” – and accused Assad of ”moral obscenity”.
So when the US bombed Fallujah with white phosphorus in late 2004 it was just taking the moral high ground. And when the US helped Saddam Hussein to gas Iranians in 1988 it was also taking the moral high ground.
The Obama administration has ruled that Assad allowed UN chemical weapons inspectors into Syria, and to celebrate their arrival unleashed a chemical weapons attack mostly against women and children only 15 kilometers away from the inspectors’ hotel. If you don’t believe it, you subscribe to a conspiracy theory.
Evidence? Who cares about evidence? Assad’s offer of access for the inspectors came ”too late”. Anyway, the UN team is only mandated to determine whether chemical weapons were deployed – but not by who, according to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman.
As far as the Obama administration and UK Prime Minister David ”of Arabia” Cameron are concerned – supported by a barrage of corporate media missiles – that’s irrelevant; Obama’s ”red line” has been crossed by Assad, period. Washington and London are in no-holds-barred mode to dismiss any facts contradicting the decision. Newspeak – of the R2A kind – rules. If this all looks like Iraq 2.0 that’s because it is. Time to fix the facts around the policy – all over again. Time for weapons of mass deception – all over again.
The Saudi-Israeli axis of fun
The window of opportunity for war is now. Assad’s forces were winning from Qusayr to Homs; pounding ”rebel” remnants out of the periphery of Damascus; deploying around Der’ah to counterpunch CIA-trained ”rebels” with advanced weapons crossing the Syrian-Jordanian border; and organizing a push to expel ”rebels” and jihadis from suburbs of Aleppo.
Now, Israel and Saudi Arabia are oh so excited because they are getting exactly what they dream just by good ol’ Wag the Dog methods. Tel Aviv has even telegraphed how it wants it: this Monday, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper headlined with ”On the Way to Attack” and even printed the ideal Order of Battle. (see photo)
Months ago, even AMAN, the Intelligence Directorate of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded that Assad was not a fool to cross Obama’s chemical weapon ”red line”. So they came up with the concept of ”two entwined red lines”, the second line being the Syrian government ”losing control of its chemical weapons depots and production sites”. AMAN then proposed different strategies to Washington, from a no-fly zone to actually seizing the weapons (implying a ground attack).
It’s now back to the number one option – air strikes on the chemical weapons depots. As if the US – and Israel – had up-to-the-minute intelligence on exactly where they are.
The House of Saud had also telegraphed its wishes – after Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush, was appointed by King Abdullah as head of Saudi General Intelligence. Abdullah’s hard on is explained by his mother and two of his wives coming from an influential, ultra-conservative Sunni tribe in Syria. As for Bandar Bush, he has more longevity than Rambo or the Terminator; he’s back in the same role he played in the 1980s Afghan jihad, when he was the go-to guy helping the CIA to weaponize president president Ronald Reagan’s ”freedom fighters”.
Jordan – a fiction of a country totally dependent on the Saudis – was easily manipulated into becoming a ”secret” war operation center. And who’s in charge? No less than Bandar’s younger half-brother, and deputy national security adviser, Salman bin Sultan, also known as ”mini-Bandar”. Talk about an Arab version of Dr Evil and Mini Me.
Still, there are more CIA assets than Saudis in the Jordanian front.
The importance of this report cannot be overstated enough. It was initially leaked to Lebanon’s Al-Safir newspaper. Here’s Bandar’s whole strategy, unveiled in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, already reported by Asia Times Online. After trying – for four hours – to convince Putin to drop Syria, Bandar is adamant: ”There is no escape from the military option.”
Mix Kosovo with Libya and voila!
Former president Bill Clinton resurfaced with perfect timing to compare Obama’s options in Syria to Reagan’s jihad in Afghanistan. Bubba was right in terms of positioning Bandar’s role. But he must have inhaled something if he was thinking in terms of consequences – which include everything from the Taliban to that mythical entity, ”al-Qaeda”. Well, at least al-Qaeda is already active in Syria; they don’t need to invent it.
As for that bunch of amateurs surrounding Obama – including R2P groupies such as Susan Rice and new Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, all of them liberal hawks – they are all suckers for Kosovo. Kosovo – with a Libya add-on – is being spun as the ideal model for Syria; R2P via (illegal) air strikes. Right on cue, the New York Times is already frantically parroting the idea.
Facts are, of course, absent from the narrative – including the blowing up of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade (a remix in Syria with the Russian embassy?) and getting to the brink of a war with Russia.
Syria has nothing to do with the Balkans. This is a civil war. Arguably the bulk of the Syrian urban population, not the country bumpkins, support Damascus – based on despicable ”rebel” behavior in places they control; and the absolute majority wants a political solution, as in the now near-totally torpedoed Geneva II conference.
The Jordanian scheme – inundating southern Syria with heavily weaponized mercenaries – is a remix of what the CIA and the Saudis did to AfPak; and the only winner will be Jabhat al-Nusra jihadis. As for the Israeli solution for Obama – indiscriminate bombing of chemical weapons depots – it will certainly result in horrendous collateral damage, as in R2A killing even more civilians.
The prospects remain grim. Damn another coalition of the willing; Washington already has the British and French poodles in the bag, and full support – in air-con safety – from the democratic Gulf Cooperation Council petro-monarchies, minion Jordan and nuclear power Israel. This is what passes for ”international community” in the newspeak age.
The Brits are already heavily spinning that no UN Security Council resolution is needed; who cares if we do Iraq 2.0? For the War Party, the fact that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said Syrian ”rebels” could not promote US interests seems to be irrelevant.
Washington already has what it takes for the Holy Tomahawks to start flying; 384 of them are already positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean. B-1 bombers can be deployed from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. And bunker-busting bombs will certainly be part of the picture.
What happens next requires concentric crystal balls – from Tomahawks to a barrage of air strikes to Special Ops commandos on the ground to a sustained air campaign lasting months. In his long interview to Izvestia, Assad gives the impression he thinks Obama is bluffing.
What’s certain is that Syria won’t be a ”piece of cake” like Libya; even depleted on all fronts, Gaddafi resisted for eight long months after NATO started its humanitarian bombing. Syria has a weary but still strong army of 200,000; loads of Soviet and Russian weapons; very good antiaircraft systems; and full support from asymmetrical warfare experts Iran and Hezbollah. Not to mention Russia, which just needs to forward a few S-300 air defense batteries and relay solid intelligence.
So get used to how international relations work in the age of newspeak. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s army in Egypt can kill hundreds of his own people who were protesting against a military coup. Washington couldn’t care less – as in the coup that is not a coup and the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath.
No one knows for sure what exactly happened in the chemical weapons saga near Damascus. But that’s the pretext for yet another American war – just a few days before a Group of 20 summit hosted by Putin in St Petersburg. Holy Tomahawk! R2A, here we go.
Source: Pepe Escobar | Asia Times
America believes war is peace. It’s part of the national culture. Eventually it’s self-destructive. Today’s super-weapons make the unthinkable possible.
Hyman Rickover knew. He knew decades ago. He founded America’s nuclear navy. In 1982, he told Congress:
“I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. Then you might ask me why do I have nuclear powered ships?”
“That is a necessary evil. I would sink them all. I am not proud of the part I played in it. I did it because it was necessary for the safety of this country.”
That’s why I am such a great exponent of stopping this whole nonsense of war. Unfortunately limits – attempts to limit war have always failed.”
“The lesson of history is when a war starts every nation will ultimately use whatever weapon it has available.”
“Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years.”
“I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”
In his Der Ring des Nibelungen operas (The Ring of the Nibelungen), Richard Wagner portrayed his apocalyptic version. He did so musically. Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods) prophesied the end of the world.
Einstein feared it. He didn’t know what WW III weapons would be used. He said “World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Bertrand Russell was an Einstein contemporary. He knew. He warned. No one listened. He asked:
“Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war.” It’s the only way to live in peace. The alternative is annihilation.
The choice is clear. The wrong one assures disaster. America’s heading humanity toward it. A slow-motion train wreck looms. The big one. There’s no second chance. There’s no coming back.
Historian Harry Elmer Barnes (1889 – 1968) once said:
“If trends continue as they have during the last fifteen years, we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace.”
Historian Arnold Toynbee worried about WW III. Only pigmies in remote jungles, apes and ants might be left to carry on “the cultural traditions of mankind,” he said.
According to HG Wells:
“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
Mushroom shaped cloud finality threatens humanity. Enough of them cause nuclear winter. They block out sun for years. Doing so ends life on Earth. It’s possible. It’s chilling. It’s not science fiction. It’s real. It bears repeating. There’s no coming back.
America wages permanent wars. It does so against enemies it creates. During the Cold War, Active Defense and AirLand Battle prepared strategies for how America would fight.
Soviet Russia was targeted. Today’s it’s modern day Russia. It’s China. AirSea Battle targets both countries. More on that below.
In 1998, US Space Command: Vision for 2020 discussed America’s grand strategy.
In 2000, DOD Joint Vision 2020 called for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems.
It did so with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary. Nuclear and other mass destruction weapons would be used preemptively.
In 1961, General Curtis LeMay believed nuclear war with Soviet Russia was inevitable. He wanted thousands of missiles launched preemptively.
He called retaliation against major US cities a small price to pay.
At the same time, General Lyman Lemnitzer urged a surprise nuclear attack strategy.
Jack Kennedy expressed disgust. He walked out of a National Security Council meeting. He wanted none of it. He told Secretary of State Dean Rusk: “And we call ourselves the human race.”
Secretary of Defense McNamara categorically rejected LeMay and Lemnitzer. He should have fired them on the spot. Other extremists then and later urged the same lunacy.
Crazies have great influence today. Today’s weapons make earlier ones look like toys. Armageddon could happen.
Life on Earth could end in a day. It’s possible. It’s frightening. Rogue states can’t be trusted. America most of all.
Eisenhower warned “against the acquisition of unwarranted influence.” He named the military-industrial complex. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist,” he stressed.
Militarism writ large is the national pastime. It’s a national addiction. The business of America is war. It’s multiple wars. It’s permanent ones. It’s ravaging one nation after another.
It’s doing so for wealth, power, resource control, and unchallenged global dominance.
America never was the “land of the free and home of the brave.” It’s a war on humanity society. It’s a “let ‘em eat cake” one.
It’s an out-of-control rogue state. It’s ideologically over-the-top. It spends more on militarism and wars than the rest of the world combined.
Doing so lets war profiteers gorge themselves at the public trough. Doing so makes peace impossible. Warrior nations eventually self-destruct. Nations that live by the sword die by it. America’s no exception.
According too Navy Live, Air-Sea Battle (ABS) “is designed to develop force over the long-term. (It) seeks to provide decision makers with a wide range of options to counter aggression from hostile actors.”
It targets China and Russia. It “reflects the US commitment to maintaining escalation advantage during conflict and sustaining security and prosperity in the global commons.”
It’s “interoperable air and naval forces that can execute networked, integrated attacks-in-depth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat enemy anti-access area denial capabilities.”
Paul Craig Roberts quoted Amitai Etzioni. He asked, “Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?”
“The Pentagon has concluded that the time has come to prepare for with China, and in a manner well beyond crafting the sort of contingency plans that are expected for with a wide range of possible confrontations,” he said.
It’s a “momentous decision.” It hasn’t received proper attention. America’s posture is largely Pentagon driven.
It “stands out even more prominently because (a) the change in military posture may well lead to an arms race with China, which could culminate in a nuclear war; and (b) the economic condition of the United States requires a reduction in military spending, not a new arms race.”
“The start of a new term, and with it the appointment of new secretaries of State and Defense, provides an opportunity to review the United States’ China strategy and the military’s role in it.”
“This review is particularly important before the new preparations for war move from an operational concept to a militarization program that includes ordering high-cost weapons systems and forced restructuring.”
“History shows that once these thresholds are crossed, it is exceedingly difficult to change course.”
In September 2001, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). It did so for “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”
Carte blanche war-making authority was granted. America’s war on terror began. It’s waged on humanity. It does so out of control. It targets manufactured enemies at home and abroad.
It calls independent nations existential threats. Russia and China are targeted. They represent America’s final battleground. Challenging them risks WW III.
Obama’s no peacemaker. He’s a cold-blooded warrior. He threatens humanity’s survival. His 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) reflects Bush-era strategy.
It’s old wine in new bottles. It “reserves the right” to use nuclear weapons preemptively. America’s only enemies are ones it invents. Peace is verboten. So is disarmament. They’re both non-starters.
Washington targets more nations to destroy. It invents reasons for doing so. It threatens humanity in the process. Preemptive nuclear war assures it.
America’s lunatic fringe may launch what cooler heads deplore. Elements in it have mushroom-shaped cloud delusions.
Nuclear war assures turning planet Earth into an uninhabited wasteland. Toxic proliferation already is destroying life slowly. In a generation or decade perhaps only beetles, bacteria, fungi, and other microoganisms will remain.
Ernst Mayr (1904 – 2005) was a noted evolutionary biologist. He called human intelligence no guarantee of survival. No species ever destroyed itself. Humans may be the first. Planet Earth’s increasingly contaminated.
Eventually a threshold of no return is crossed. It may be closer than most believe. Mushroom shaped finality may arrive sooner.
Higher intelligence does more harm than good. Imagine ending life on Earth for wealth, power and dominance. Imagine what no one should risk.
Imagine the unthinkable. Imagine ending life on Earth. America’s rage for war makes it possible. It’s as simple as ready, aim, bombs away.
I recently read a column by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts that was so good I wish I had written it. First, a little bit about Roberts. This is from his official web site: “Dr. Roberts has held academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, Stanford University where he was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, George Mason University where he had a joint appointment as professor of economics and professor of business administration, and Georgetown University where he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
His bio continues: “Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.”
And one more paragraph about Paul Craig Roberts: “President Reagan appointed Dr. Roberts Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and he was confirmed in office by the U.S. Senate. From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. After leaving the Treasury, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
See Paul’s web site at:
I realize that anyone who dares to contradict accepted politically correct dogma is demonized as being “radical,” “extremist,” or racist,” and some people have tried to characterize Dr. Roberts in that vein. But it should be obvious to any honest and objective person that Paul Craig Roberts has one of the most distinguished resumes of anyone in America today.
Paul recently wrote a column entitled, “Humanity Is Drowning In Washington’s Criminality.” I realize it is difficult for most Americans to conceive the idea that their federal government could actually be criminal, but the case Roberts makes in his column cannot be tossed aside as the ranting of some right-wing nut (as if there are no left-wing nuts).
Roberts writes, “Americans will soon be locked into an unaccountable police state unless US Representatives and Senators find the courage to ask questions and to sanction the executive branch officials who break the law, violate the Constitution, withhold information from Congress, and give false information about their crimes against law, the Constitution, the American people and those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Congress needs to use the impeachment power that the Constitution provides and cease being subservient to the lawless executive branch. The US faces no threat that justifies the lawlessness and abuse of police powers that characterize the executive branch in the 21st century.
“Impeachment is the most important power of Congress. Impeachment is what protects the citizens, the Constitution, and the other branches of government from abuse by the executive branch. If the power to remove abusive executive branch officials is not used, the power ceases to exist. An unused power is like a dead letter law. Its authority disappears. By acquiescing to executive branch lawlessness, Congress has allowed the executive branch to place itself above law and to escape accountability for its violations of law and the Constitution.
“National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.
“If an American citizen lies to a federal investigator, even if not under oath, the citizen can be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Yet, these same federal personnel can lie to Congress and to citizens with impunity. Whatever the American political system is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with accountable government. In Amerika [Roberts’ spelling] no one is accountable but citizens, who are accountable not only to law but also to unaccountable charges for which no evidence is required.”
Roberts is one hundred percent right. While everyone seems to be caught up in debating all kinds of remedies to Washington’s ills, hardly anyone seems to notice that the power to put a stop to all of this unconstitutional (not to mention criminal) conduct on behalf of the executive branch of the federal government rests squarely in the laps of the 535 men and women who comprise the US House of Representatives and US Senate. Granted, impeachment has been seldom used by the legislative branches in Washington, but what was that again about desperate times calling for desperate measures? Besides, impeachment is not a desperate measure; it is a constitutionally-required measure. When the executive branch of the federal government is run amuck in foul play, it is the duty of Congress to protect both the American citizenry and the US Constitution.
Roberts rightly asks, “The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated. Why? Does the US government have an undeclared agenda for which the ‘terrorist threat’ is a cover?
“What is this agenda? Whose agenda is more important than the US Constitution and the accountability of government to law? No citizen is secure unless government is accountable to the Constitution and to law. It is an absurd idea that any American is more threatened by terrorism than by unaccountable government that can execute them, torture them, and throw them in prison for life without due process or any accountability whatsoever. Under Bush/Obama, the US has returned to the unaccountable power of caesars, czars, and autocrats.”
Roberts is exactly right. The modern-day burgeoning police state, under the rubric of “national security,” is the biggest threat to our liberties since the British marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775. And, unfortunately, when it comes to the destruction of civil liberties, Republicans are as culpable as Democrats.
Roberts writes, “American conservatives regard civil liberties as mere excuses for liberal judges to coddle criminals and terrorists. Never expect a conservative Republican, or more than two or three of them, to defend your civil liberty. Republicans simply do not believe in civil liberty. Democrats cannot conceive that Obama–the first black president in office, a member of an oppressed minority–would not defend civil liberty. This combination of disinterest and denial is why the US has become a police state.
“Civil liberty has few friends in government, the political parties, law schools, bar associations, or the federal judiciary. Consequently, no citizen is secure. Recently, a housewife researched online for pressure cookers looking for the best deal. Her husband was searching for a backpack. The result was that a fully armed SWAT team appeared at the door demanding to search the premises and to have questions answered.”
When it comes to creating the modern-day police state, the left-right paradigm that most people are consumed with means absolutely nothing. NOTHING! As Roberts notes, for the most part, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Christians and heathens seem to see nothing wrong with the dismantlement of the Bill of Rights if the stated reason is to keep us “secure.”
Beyond that, so many Americans seem to have the attitude, “I don’t care if the government is spying on me; I haven’t done anything wrong.” To this, Roberts writes, “I am always amazed when someone says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong. I have nothing to fear.’ If you have nothing to fear from the government, why did the Founding Fathers put the protections in the Constitution that Bush and Obama have stripped out? Unlike the Founding Fathers who designed our government to protect the citizens, the American sheeple [Roberts’ word] trust the government to their own demise.”
And exactly who are the real terrorists, anyway? Roberts answers:
“Terrorism seldom comes from outside. The source almost always is the government in power. The Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to blame and arrest labor agitators. The Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to decimate the communists and assume unaccountable power in the name of ‘public safety.’ An alleged terrorist threat is a way of using fear to block popular objection to the exercise of arbitrary government power.
“In order to be ‘safe from terrorists,’ the US population, with few objections, has accepted the demise of their civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, which reaches back centuries to Magna Carta as a constraint on government power. How, then, are they safe from their government? Americans today are in the same position as the English prior to the Great Charter of 1215. Americans are no longer protected by law and the Constitution from government tyranny.
“The reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution was to make citizens safe from their government. If citizens allow the government to take away the Constitution, they might be safe from foreign terrorists, but they are no longer safe from their government.
“Who do you think has more power over you, foreign terrorists or ‘your’ government?”
“The constitutional principle of freedom of speech is being redefined as treason, as aiding an undefined enemy, and as seeking to overthrow the government by casting aspersions on its motives and revealing its secret misdeeds. The power-mad inhabitants of Washington have brought the US so close to Gestapo Germany and Stalinist Russia that it is no longer funny. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to see the difference.
“The neoconservatives have declared that Americans are the ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable people.’ Yet, the civil liberties of Americans have declined the more ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ that Americans become. We are now so exceptional and indispensable that we no longer have any rights.
“And neither does the rest of the world. Neoconservatism has created a new dangerous American nationalism. Neoconservatives have given Washington a monopoly on right and endowed its military aggressions with a morality that supersedes the Geneva Conventions and human rights. Washington, justified by its ‘exceptionalism,’ has the right to attack populations in countries with which Washington is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen. Washington is using the cover of its ‘exceptionalism’ to murder people in many countries.”
Roberts also rightly observes, “Washington is always morally right, whatever it does, and those who report its crimes are traitors who, stripped of their coddling by civil liberties, are locked away and abused until they confess to their crimes against the state. Anyone who tells the truth, such as Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, are branded enemies of the state and are ruthlessly persecuted.”
See Paul Craig Roberts’ column at:
Sadly, everything Dr. Roberts stated above is absolutely true.
Many previous administrations most certainly pushed the envelope of federal usurpation of power from time to time, but the administrations of G.W. Bush and Barack Obama have (and are) literally taken America to the very precipice of a police state. With the advent of the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, USNORTHCOM, etc., all of the laws and military apparatus which would be necessary to enact a police state within the continental United States are in place.
Plus, grassroots Americans throughout the country are abuzz with both rumors and truthful eyewitness testimony to the strange movement of military supplies and personnel and the construction of large, unmarked and undeclared facilities. All over America, large containment-looking facilities are being built. Most of these structures are large, fenced (with the fences designed to keep people IN not OUT), in rural areas, near train tracks, and are completely unmarked and inaccessible.
Granted, for every substantiated fact there seems to be a dozen meritless rumors out there. I will absolutely give you that. But, there are simply too many reports by extremely credible eyewitnesses (including military and police personnel) to simply ignore as mere conspiracy theories. Concerned federal agents (yes, MANY federal agents love freedom and the Constitution just as much as we do) continue to leak information regarding unusual training, equipment purchases, procedural instructions, etc., to their fellow citizens.
Could some of this strange and unconfirmed information be government propaganda and disinformation designed to embarrass and marginalize patriot-minded citizens? Absolutely. But the old adage is still true, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” And right now, this is a HUGE amount of smoke.
Paul Craig Roberts has spent a lifetime in the upper echelons of economics, journalism, and politics. His assertion that Washington, D.C., is awash in “criminality” cannot be taken lightly.
A cornered rat has a deadly bite, or so says the lore from the 19th century, when rat baiting was common sport. The same is true of a cornered empire today. Every hour that goes by presents the evidence. It’s getting absolutely dangerous out there for anyone who dares to stand up against the empire and for basic human rights, which is to say that it is dangerous to corner the rat.
Recall the NSA’s Edward Snowden blockbuster revelations that the U.S. national security state has been data-mining all email, cell calls, chat and other communications and routinely investigates the results without any authority of law whatsoever. Seeing this all around him, Snowden came forward because he was disgusted by the practice, but also because the whole operation was taking place without any public knowledge, much less congressional approval.
Now, you might think that this information would be a terrible embarrassment to the agencies involved, and to the president who is supposed to be overseeing them. You might think there would be a scramble to find a fall guy, and maybe even a pullback on the part of the bureaucracies themselves. Under normal conditions — where the law matters and government was actually accountable to the governed — exposure on this level might cause the bad guys to do damage control.
But these are not normal conditions. The national security state is too well developed and too habituated to the perception of itself as the final ruler and the arbiter of all law. It believes itself to be above Congress, above any appointed official, and above the court system too, even the military court system. It is a government unto itself and it gets its way.
Snowden had only behaved as a patriot should, but he then found himself on the run from the law, trying to find safe haven somewhere in the world where the U.S. did not have control. The safe haven he found was the old Cold War enemy of Russia — a deeply embarrassing reality for those of us who cheered the U.S. victory in the Cold War.
But that was just the beginning. The national security state is out there right now trying to settle all family business, Godfather style, taking down anyone and everyone who might have assisted him in his deeds.
The fate of the email provider Lavabit is an example. This is the small company, run out of a Dallas apartment by one Web developer and a few friends, that has provided encrypted email. It is widely believed that this is the service that Snowden used to communicate with reporters.
Well, Lavabit was hit with an order from some agency within the state apparatus. It demanded access to all records and, most probably, a direct pipeline to the company’s own servers. In the past, Lavabit had complied with specific requests for information whenever it seemed reasonable. But this one was different. It was a demand for sweeping access.
Lavabit took the principled stand and shut down its own thriving business rather than go along.
This was a real act of courage. When an order like this comes from Homeland Security, it comes with a demand that the recipient not speak to anyone about the demand, on penalty of law. What about business partners? The order says no one. What about spouses? No one. What about attorneys? Again, no exceptions. You are laid bare and totally captured. It’s not different from jail. One wrong move and your life is over.
(Having been on the receiving end of one of these orders myself, I’m still reluctant to talk about it. I completely understand what it is like.)
“I could be arrested for this action,” Ladar Levison told NBC News. Indeed. In interviews, he chooses his words very carefully, fully aware that one misplaced bit of information would lead him out of compliance with the order from Homeland Security and cause him to spend untold amounts of time in prison.
Just so we are clear here, this totally arbitrary attack occurred after the Snowden revelations, in seeming and shameless retribution. And it was not the only attack. An Internet service called Silent Circle, which specializes in private communications, saw the writing on the wall and pre-emptively shut down its email service. Now the company tells its customers that email is not and cannot be secure. It is focusing entirely on cell coverage and text messaging.
These are just the two attacks we know about. Many other services that advertise secure email have most likely been approached. It wouldn’t be surprising if they failed to mention this to their subscribers. Again, this is the nature of the orders the government issues.
They say comply immediately and tell no one, or else. Maybe you think you would do the principled thing and refuse, but anyone who believes that has not been on the receiving end of such demands. There are few things more terrifying in this world than to have the imperial spotlight suddenly hit your face.
Continuing on with Homeland’s family business, a remarkable thing happened to Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who revealed Snowden’s NSA leaks. His domestic partner, who is not even a reporter, was arbitrarily detained at Britain’s Heathrow Airport on route from Germany to Brazil. The authorities took his computer, files, and even his cellphone, so that he couldn’t even communicate with those who were expecting to meet him at the airport.
He was detained without explanation for a full nine hours, which is the maximum that British law allows. The purpose of the law, of course, is to stop terrorism, but here we see how it is really used. It is used in an attempt to intimidate someone close to a journalist who leaked the Snowden stories — a clear aping of old mob tactics of going after loved ones.
It’s all part of the great drama called “the empire strikes back.”
The beauty here was that the secret of his detention came out super fast. Greenwald himself wrote a blog post for The Guardian, and within minutes, the story was all over the Internet and world press. Indeed, the next day, The New York Times featured a detail report about the detention. It was yet another black eye on the national security state, and more indication that it is on the fast track toward being enemy No. 1.
This kind of behavior seems counterproductive in every way. No private-sector business that was caught bilking its customers would respond by ramping up the rip-off. Not even politicians can get away with this sort of thing. But the FBI, the NSA, and Homeland Security believe that they are invulnerable and don’t have to obey anything or anyone, and especially not public opinion. At the same time, they want to operate in secret.
What they do not understand is that in a world of freely flowing information, nothing they do is a secret anymore. There’s no turning back: What the NSA and Homeland have done to citizens of the world, people are now doing to NSA and Homeland.
The rat is cornered. The empire is panicked and behaving exactly as we might expect, complete with nasty hissing and biting and victims all around. But this is not a sign of its strength. It is a sign of its desperation to preserve its power and privilege in world that is moving beyond these search-and-destroy tactics. The national security state has its data-mining centers, but the institution called the Internet is working daily to bring accountability to their egregious tactics.
Source: Jeffrey Tucker | Laissez Faire Today
“On the August 6 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Dr. Ron Paul responded to this very straightforward statement which appeared in a recent New York Times article:
“‘Some analysts and Congressional officials suggested Friday that emphasizing a terrorist threat now was a good way to divert attention from the uproar over the N.S.A.’s data-collection programs, and that if it showed the intercepts had uncovered a possible plot, even better.’
“‘Well, it’s not amazing that this is the truth,’ Paul said in response. ‘It’s amazing, I think, that the New York Times would admit it.’
“Paul went on to say that the NSA’s claim of saving Americans from dozens of terrorist attacks is simply rhetoric to prove that the agency’s massive spying on Americans is a good thing.
“‘Their (the NSA officials) claimed successes are all built on lies,’ Paul said.
Paul referred to NSA Deputy Director John Inglis’ admission that the agency’s warrantless wiretapping only prevented maybe one terrorist plot and even that one is questionable, which contradicts the NSA’s earlier claim of 54 thwarted plots.
“‘It’s all based on lies and I think this is probably a benefit to us because most Americans now are being very, very leery of what our government tells us,’ Paul continued. ‘This is a terrible thing to have to go through… who wants to have to give up on their country?’
“‘We don’t want to give up on our country but I think it’s high time we gave up on a lot of our politicians and the way our government is being run.’”
See the report at:
What is even more amazing than the New York Times reporting such a story is the fact that some of Barack Obama’s biggest Hollywood supporters are beginning to recognize the evil machinations of Obama’s domestic spying.
Breitbart.com covered the following story:
“Actor Matt Damon told Black Entertainment Television (BET) that President Barack Obama ‘has some explaining to do:’
“‘There are a lot of things that I really question–the legality of the drone strikes, these NSA revelations. Jimmy Carter came out and said we don’t live in a democracy. That’s a little intense when an ex-president says that. So you know, he’s got some explaining to do, particularly for a constitutional law professor.’
“When asked his opinion of the President’s second term, Damon chuckled and said, ‘He broke up with me.’
See the report here:
Damon is not the only one in Hollywood angry over the NSA’s domestic spying. Included in the list are Alec Baldwin, Judd Apatow, Steve Martin, Rob Schneider, Patton Oswalt, John Cusack, Janine Turner, and even (Egad!) Michael Moore.
To read the actors comments, go here:
Here is my problem: how is it that liberal actors in Hollywood can see, and are willing to speak out against, the unconstitutional citizen spying apparatus that Barack Obama is implementing against the American people and our country’s pastors and Christian leaders neither see it nor have spoken out against it? What the heck is going on? You mean to tell me that actors in Hollywood care more about freedom than the men standing behind America’s pulpits? Creepers, Batman!
Plus, neither let us forget that it was George W. Bush who put all of the infrastructure, policies, and laws in place which created the machinery for everything that Obama’s NSA is currently using against the American citizenry. This is NOT a political issue. Both Republican and Democrat administrations and congresses have collaborated to eviscerate the Bill of Rights and turn America into a giant surveillance society.
What is it about people (including Christians and Republicans) that cause them to be infatuated with a police state? All one has to do is say that some law, no matter how egregiously oppressive it might be, is in the interest of “national security,” and, presto, everyone blindly supports it. Yes, yes, I realize that not everyone supports it. Ron Paul and a few others oppose this slippery slope; but the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats, pastors and Christians, liberals and conservatives, the media elite and journalists, do support it.
With all of this love and infatuation that so many people have with the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the NDAA, the NSA, etc., why don’t these same people love Nazi Socialism? After all, the surveillance society created by G.W. Bush and Barack Obama makes Hitler’s spy apparatus look amateurish by comparison.
Does anyone really not know that the NSA is lying to us? Does anyone really believe that the surveillance society is about protecting the American people from a few thousand Sand People?
The last report I read on the topic said that the TSA now has almost ONE MILLION people on the no-fly watch list. Almost one million! Al Qaeda has never numbered more than a few thousand people (not to mention that Al Qaeda is a contrivance of our own CIA). And at the rate we keep killing their “number two” guys, it is questionable just how many of them are truly left. Let’s put it this way: there are far more people on the TSA watch list than there are Al Qaeda members worldwide. But it really doesn’t matter how many or few of them there are; they justify America’s politicians turning the United States into a giant police state–for our own protection, or course. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!
Researcher Joel Skousen quotes a Reuters news report saying, “Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigation trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.
“A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manuel instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA’s Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.”
Reuters broke another report about the way the government lies to us entitled, “U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans.” From the report: “‘I have never heard of anything like this at all,’ said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.
“‘It is one thing to create special rules for national security,’ Gertner said. ‘Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.’”
See the report at:
Ron Paul knows the NSA is lying to us; Alex Jones knows they are lying to us; Stewart Rhodes knows they are lying to us; Joel Skousen knows they are lying to us; Matt Damon knows they are lying to us; Alec Baldwin knows they are lying to us; the New York Times knows they are lying to us; Reuters news knows they are lying to us; even Michael Moore knows they are lying to us. So, why don’t America’s pastors and Christian leaders know they are lying to us?
On July 3, President Mohamed Morsi was ousted. Coup authority replaced him. It did illegitimately. His supporters want him reinstated. They’ve been camped out in Cairo for weeks. SCAF threatened to roust them.
Tensions remained high. Morsi supporters have been repeatedly attacked. Hundreds died earlier. Many others were injured. Scores are imprisoned. Arrests follow regularly.
Ahead of Wednesday’s action, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said:
“Law and order has to be in place, and people need to have access to their homes and work and so on.”
“Ultimately, this situation has to be resolved very soon.” He claimed efforts to end sit-ins would be “consistent with the law.” He lied saying so. More on that below.
Interim President Adly Mansour convened an emergency National Security Council meeting. Top SCAF and civilian officials attended.
Crackdowns were planned. Muslim Brotherhood officials urged Morsi supporters to join sit-ins. They called on Egyptian security forces to remain nonviolent, saying:
“We remind our sons and brothers from the great Egyptian army and the men of the Interior Ministry to not attack their peaceful brothers or besiege them or shed their blood.”
Morsi’s under house arrest. He’s at an unknown location. State agency Mena said he’s charged with conspiring with Hamas, killing prisoners and officers “deliberately with prior intent,” kidnapping officers and soldiers, spying, attacking public buildings, and setting fire to Wadi el-Natroun prison.
It claimed doing so helped him escape. During 2011 anti-Mubarak protests, he and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and detained. Morsi said local residents freed them.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, SCAF threatened to “turn its guns” on pro-Morsi supporters, saying:
“We will not initiate any move, but will definitely react harshly against any calls for violence or black terrorism from Brotherhood leaders or their supporters.”
Its officials warned of civil war. What follows Wednesday’s crackdown remains to be seen.
On August 14, AP headlined “Egypt police storm 2 Pro-Morsi Camps in Cairo,” saying:
“Egyptian security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, swept in Wednesday to clear two sit-in camps of supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out at both sites.”
Numbers killed and injured aren’t confirmed. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spokesman Walid Al-Haddad said 600. Another 9,000 were wounded, he added. Scores were arrested.
Another MB spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad claimed up to 2,000 killed and 10,000 injured. Intensive gunfire was heard. Official reports downplay numbers. Bodies were taken to makeshift morgues.
Senior MB leader Mohammed el-Beltagy estimated 300 deaths. He called on police and military forces to rebel. He urged Egyptians to protest publicly, saying:
“Oh, Egyptian people, your brothers are in the square. Are you going to remain silent until the genocide is completed?”
Hours later he was arrested. Witnesses said security forces used live fire on Morsi supporters. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said:
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying. We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution, and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Most EU countries are NATO members. Belligerence and other forms of violence are official policy. Ashton’s concern for Egyptian lives lacks credibility.
She, other EU leaders and Washington don’t give a damn about SCAF ruthlessness. They care plenty about it making world headlines.
They want reports of state-sponsored violence suppressed. They want business as usual continued. They want it out of sight and mind abroad.
They want Israeli interests addressed. They include destroying Gaza’s tunnel economy, keeping Rafah crossing closed, and joint IDF/SCAF attacks on Sinai-based pro-Morsi Islamists.
Days earlier, SCAF promised to roust Morsi supporters. Around 7AM, they acted. Clashes occurred in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Assiut, Minya, and other cities nationwide.
By mid-morning, state television said security forces finished breaking up Cairo sit-ins. Bulldozers began clearing makeshift camps.
Major roads into Cairo are blocked. Railway authority officials said trains in and out of the city were stopped. So are others serving major cities nationwide. It’s “for security reasons to prevent people from mobilizing,” they said.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces have “total control” over Nahda Square. “Police forces removed most tents.”
Access to the area was blocked. Egypt’s major state daily Al Ahram said the interim government warned “it would react sternly to acts of sabotage and attacks against state institutions.”
An official statement said:
“In accordance with government instructions to take necessary measures towards the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda, and for the safety of the country, security forces started taking measures to disperse the sit-ins early Wednesday.”
“The government insists on moving forward with the future roadmap in a way that guarantees that no faction will be excluded from participating in the political process which will achieve a democratic transition.”
It bears repeating. Egypt’s no democracy. Junta power rules. Appointed President Adly Mansour and other interim officials serve at its pleasure.
Events are fast moving. Egypt’s central bank ordered commercial banks to close branches in conflict areas. Some had power shut off.
The Ministry of Antiquities ordered Giza Pyramids closed to visitors. Cairo’s Egyptian museum was closed. MB officials are charged with inciting violence and/or conspiring to kill protesters.
MB’s London office said:
“The world cannot sit back and watch while innocent men, women and children are being indiscriminately slaughtered. The world must stand up to the military junta’s crime before it is too late.”
Egypt’s a tinderbox. Cairo’s a virtual war zone. Ousting Morsi along with unaddressed major grievances has millions nationwide enraged.
Blaming victims is policy. Egypt’s government made baseless accusations, saying:
“The government holds (MB) leaders fully responsible for any spilt blood, and for all the rioting and violence going on.”
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed it intercepted phone calls calling on supporters to attack police stations. Planned assaults were foiled, it added.
MB officials were arrested. Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb urged restraint. He did so on state television. He opposed Morsi. He backed his ouster. He comments lack credibility.
Clashes erupted across Egypt. Minya, Assiut and Sohag Christian Coptic Churches were torched.
In Bani Suef south of Cairo, police cars were set ablaze. Clashes threaten to continue.
Interim President Mansour said diplomacy ended. SCAF gloves are off. Egyptian security forces are notoriously hardline.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, Robert Fisk asked:
“Why does the Egyptian crisis appear so simple to our political leaders yet so complicated when you actually turn up in Cairo?”
State media create “fantasies.” They claim SCAF “follow(ed) the will of the people” ousting Morsi. They exaggerated opposition crowds. They called them “the largest political demonstration(s) in history.”
Numbers reported suggested over half the adult working age population turned out. Unlike early 2011, “the country kept running.”
John Kerry claimed SCAF intervened to restore democracy. “Thank God for the Egyptian army,” Fisk added. He did so with tongue in cheek.
Le Monde’s Alain Gresh headlined his latest article “Shadow of the army over Egypt’s revolution,” saying:
The Muslim Brotherhood “faced a destabilisation campaign by the former regime, with the dissolution of the elected parliament, the police refusing to maintain public order and protect its premises (significantly the interior minister was reinstated in office after 30 June), and the courts acquitting former Mubarak officials.”
Media pluralism didn’t follow Morsi’s ouster, said Gresh. Some TV stations were banned. Journalists were arrested.
Ruling officials are hostile to critical foreign media. Interim leaders maintain “a ministry of information.” Doing so’s not a good sign.
State media ignore pro-Morsi demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands participate nationwide.
“A textbook example is the coverage of the repression of a sit-in organised by the Brotherhood on 8 July outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, during which at least 50 people were killed,” said Gresh.
“Army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali told the Associated Press: ‘What excessive force? It would have been excessive if we killed 300.’ ”
“The English-language website Madamasr has posted damning witness statements, especially one by a cameraman working for an opposition television station, which showed images of soldiers shooting at the crowd, for no reason.”
Interim President Mansour has links to the Mubarak regime and Saudi Arabia. He worked there for over a decade.
He published a constitutional declaration. It gives him full executive and legislative powers for six months. It does so ahead of elections.
Egypt’s government is dominated by neoliberal hardliners. They force-feed austerity on millions of poor people. They have added pain in mind. Doing so risks turning a tinderbox into a raging inferno.
Observers wonder “whether Egypt will ever see pluralist elections again, now that its first democratically elected president has been overthrown,” said Gresh.
Mansour and other interim officials remain silent about MB repression. Ignoring it means support.
Mohamed ElBaradei’s an apparent exception. He resigned saying:
“(T)he beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups.”
“It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
ElBaradei wants to be Egypt’s president. Perhaps he believes resigning now makes it possible later. Allying with state-sponsored repression assures rejection.
Gresh wonders what’s next for Egypt. “How long will it be before people are put on trial for having demanded Mubarak’s resignation in 2011,” he asked?
“Perhaps the aim is to provoke the Brotherhood into resorting to violence, so as to allow a reinstatement of the state of emergency in the name of the war on terror.”
“Or the excuse may be the instability of the Sinai region, which predates Morsi.”
All sides vying for power and influence must “learn from their failures.” They must “abandon their secretive culture.”
Shutting MB and other Islamists out risks “pushing them on to a radical path that could cost Egypt dear(ly),” Gresh concluded.
On Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared. Martial law’s in effect. Major city 7:00PM – 6:00AM curfews were imposed. It’s effective until further notice.
MB supporters won’t back down. They pledged to die rather than quit. One Morsi protester perhaps spoke for others, saying:
“We don’t care about death. We believe in one thing. When your time to die comes, you will die.”
“So will you die as a courageous martyr, or as a coward? That’s the point: we want to die as martyrs.”
They want Morsi reinstitated. Civil war’s possible follow. MB spokesman Gehad El-Haddad twittered:
“8 hours of mass killings & not a single sane person in Egypt or in world 2 stop this!! Over 2,000 killed and & over 10,000 injured & world watches.”
Egypt’s a virtual war zone. Anything ahead is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Obama didn’t initiate conflict to end it. At issue now is what’s next. Insurgent invaders are no match for Syria’s superior military. Guerrilla fighting can continue interminably.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned about America embroiled “in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain commitment.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey said:
“Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”
At the same time, he outlined multiple options. They’re not cheap, he stressed. At least 1$ billion monthly’s required, he said.
They include limited air strikes, no-fly zone implementation, involvement of “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers,” as well as “thousands” of US troops.
Some Pentagon sources believe about 70,000 are needed. According to Dempsey, controlling Syria’s chemical weapons requires “thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces…to assault and secure critical sites.”
At the same time, whatever’s tried may fail, he said. The entire effort may backfire. Syria’s a cauldron of violence and instability. It’s much like post-Gaddafi Libya. It’s spilling cross-borders. The entire region’s threatened.
William Kristol co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The Foreign Policy Initiative’s its new incarnation. It’s just as belligerent. Kristol’s one of four board members.
They’re neocon extremists. They’re ideologically over-the-top. They support permanent wars. They urge them to advance America’s imperium.
On August 9, Kristol headlined ”Feebleness in the Executive,” saying:
“(T)wo years ago (Obama said) Assad must go. He hasn’t gone. President Obama said a year ago that if Assad crossed certain red lines there would be ‘enormous consequences.’ There have been no consequences.”
Kristol wants full-scale war on Syria. Violence and instability rage throughout parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia.
Kristol’s mindless about making a bad situation worse. He blames Obama for “limit(ed use) of American power.” He made the wrong choice, he said.
“We need to resist it for the next three and a half years,” said Kristol. “We need to reverse if on January 20, 2017.”
William Inboden headed George Bush’s National Security Council strategic planning. He held senior State Department positions.
He co-edits Foreign Policy magazine’s Shadow Government initiative. It contributes opinion pieces. On August 8, he headlined ”The Obama Administration’s Diplomatic Deficit,” saying:
“Obama’s past hollow threats and ‘red lines’ on Syria have eroded American credibility and now regrettably make a diplomatic solution to that war all but impossible.”
In other words, war is the only solution.
Washington Post editors urge “robust” US intervention in Syria. “(I)t’s time for Mr. Obama to recognize that the war in Syria threatens vital US interests,” they say.
They urge direct US intervention. They’ve done so all along. They’re mindless of potential consequences. They may get their wish.
On August 12, the Defense Department said Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel. It’s his first stop before heading to Jordan.
He’ll meet with senior Israeli and Jordanian officials. He’ll “discuss the unwavering US commitment to Israel’s security, in addition to potential threats from Iran, the ongoing civil war in Syria and uncertainty in the Sinai.
“In Jordan, (he) plans to visit US troops and to gain a richer understanding of how the conflict in Syria is affecting Jordan and the region.”
Pentagon air defense missiles are deployed in Jordan. US F-16 pilots patrol its airspace and Syrian border.
On August 13, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined ”Dempsey in Israel, Jordan, to tie last ends before Obama decides finally on US military action in Syria.”
Dempsey’s meeting with Netanyahu, Defense Secretary Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz. Parallel talks in Jordan will follow.
According to DF, he came “to lay the ground ahead of (Obama’s) final decision to embark on limited US military (Syrian) intervention.”
His plan “involve(s) Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Israel, Jordan and possibly Turkey.” DF claims it includes:
(1) US, UK, French, Saudi and UAE no-fly zone implementation “over central and southern Syria.” Israeli and Jordanian border areas as well as Damascus will be patrolled.
(2) Israeli warplanes will provide “air cover from Syrian air space.”
(3) “A 40-kilometer deep military buffer zone will be drawn from the Jordanian-Israeli borders up to the southern and western outskirts of Damascus.”
“The military units controlling this zone will hold the entire area of the capital within artillery range.”
(4) Washington’s war on Syria began in Deraa. It’s in southern Syria. It’ll “be declared capital of Liberated Syria.”
(5) US troops won’t be deployed in buffer zone areas. Anti-Assad insurgents will instead.
(6) Forces will consist of around 3,000 US-trained fighters. Jordanian special forces will direct them. They’ll operate under US control.
(7) The Pentagon built a “huge (Jordanian) training camp and logistical system.” Weapons and equipment for war are readied there.
(8) US Brig. General John Wright’s in charge. He heads America’s Amman-based Syrian operational command center. He’s an Afghanistan/Iraq/Libyan combat veteran.
(9) US warplanes are positioned for no-fly zone implementation. They’re in various regional locations. They’re ready to act on 36 hours notice.
(10) A special “Druze unit” will be a “key (insurgent force) component.”
(11) Regional US forces will be readied for possible reprisals.
Whether DF’s right remains to be seen. Know the source. It’s reports are mixed. Some are credible. Others aren’t.
Nothing good can come from direct US intervention. Doing so assures escalated regional conflict. It promises greater mayhem than already.
Bush and Obama belligerence bear testimony to imperial arrogance writ large. It reflects failed policy initiatives.
Afghanistan is America’s longest war. It rages. It shows no signs of ending. Things get worse, not better.
Iraq’s a cauldron of violence. Multiple car bombings throughout the country occur daily. In July, nearly 1,000 died. Many others were injured.
Libya’s a nation state in name only. Conditions are anarchic. They’re out-of-control. Fear and panic grip the country. It’s up for grabs. Gun battles, bombings and assassinations occur daily.
Libya’s so-called government deployed dozens of armored vehicles to protect Tripoli. Chances of success are slim to none.
Egypt’s in turmoil. Civil war perhaps is possible. Bahrainis have been struggling against Al Khalifa despotism for over two and half years. They show no signs of quitting.
Tunisians want justice. Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi’s July 25 assassination unleashed a wave of protests.
Tens of thousands chant “We have to topple the government.” Political deadlock shows no signs of ending.
Jordanians are restless. Protests occur intermittently. Longstanding grievances are unaddressed.
Jordanians want Americans out. Signs read “No to the presence of American forces in Jordan.” Egypt’s coup heightened tensions.
Intermittent protests rock Saudi Arabia. They’ve been ongoing for over two years. Little gets reported. Whether they’ll escalate further remains to be seen.
Brutal crackdowns try to prevent it. On August 12, Russia Today headlined “Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts.’ ”
Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud spoke to RT. He did so from Dusseldorf, Germany. He confirmed reports of extreme repression.
Tens of thousands of political prisoners languish in Saudi’s gulag. They face torture and other forms of abuse.
Khaled Bin Farhan “accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent.”
No independent judiciary exists. Evidence is fabricated. Defense attorneys are prohibited. Guilt by accusation is policy. No one the regime targets is safe inside or outside the country.
People take so much before exploding. Saudi’s monarchy risks day of reckoning justice. Some observers predicted it for years.
Major grievances can’t go unaddressed forever. It’s true throughout the region. US intervention exacerbates things.
War on Syria assures no good ending. Attacking Iran reflects madness. Whether Obama’s willing to risk it remains to be seen.
His permanent war policy makes anything possible. The price of his imperial arrogance may be greater than humanity can bear.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.