In 1964, the Brazilian military, in a US-designed coup, overthrew a liberal (not more to the left than that) government and proceeded to rule with an iron fist for the next 21 years. In 1979 the military regime passed an amnesty law blocking the prosecution of its members for torture and other crimes. The amnesty still holds.
That’s how they handle such matters in what used to be called The Third World. In the First World, however, they have no need for such legal niceties. In the United States, military torturers and their political godfathers are granted amnesty automatically, simply for being American, solely for belonging to the “Good Guys Club”.
So now, with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, we have further depressing revelations about US foreign policy. But do Americans and the world need yet another reminder that the United States is a leading practitioner of torture? Yes. The message can not be broadcast too often because the indoctrination of the American people and Americophiles all around the world is so deeply embedded that it takes repeated shocks to the system to dislodge it. No one does brainwashing like the good ol’ Yankee inventors of advertising and public relations. And there is always a new generation just coming of age with stars (and stripes) in their eyes.
The public also has to be reminded yet again that – contrary to what most of the media and Mr. Obama would have us all believe – the president has never actually banned torture per se, despite saying recently that he had “unequivocally banned torture” after taking office.
Shortly after Obama’s first inauguration, both he and Leon Panetta, the new Director of the CIA, explicitly stated that “rendition” was not being ended. As the Los Angeles Times reported at the time: “Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.”
The English translation of “cooperate” is “torture”. Rendition is simply outsourcing torture. There was no other reason to take prisoners to Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Somalia, Kosovo, or the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, amongst other torture centers employed by the United States. Kosovo and Diego Garcia – both of which house large and very secretive American military bases – if not some of the other locations, may well still be open for torture business, as is the Guantánamo Base in Cuba.
Moreover, the key Executive Order referred to, number 13491, issued January 22, 2009, “Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”, leaves a major loophole. It states repeatedly that humane treatment, including the absence of torture, is applicable only to prisoners detained in an “armed conflict”. Thus, torture by Americans outside an environment of “armed conflict” is not explicitly prohibited. But what about torture within an environment of “counter-terrorism”?
The Executive Order required the CIA to use only the interrogation methods outlined in a revised Army Field Manual. However, using the Army Field Manual as a guide to prisoner treatment and interrogation still allows solitary confinement, perceptual or sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, mind-altering drugs, environmental manipulation such as temperature and noise, and stress positions, amongst other charming examples of American Exceptionalism.
After Panetta was questioned by a Senate panel, the New York Times wrote that he had “left open the possibility that the agency could seek permission to use interrogation methods more aggressive than the limited menu that President Obama authorized under new rules … Mr. Panetta also said the agency would continue the Bush administration practice of ‘rendition’ … But he said the agency would refuse to deliver a suspect into the hands of a country known for torture or other actions ‘that violate our human values’.”
The last sentence is of course childishly absurd. The countries chosen to receive rendition prisoners were chosen precisely and solely because they were willing and able to torture them.
Four months after Obama and Panetta took office, the New York Times could report that renditions had reached new heights.
The present news reports indicate that Washington’s obsession with torture stems from 9/11, to prevent a repetition. The president speaks of “the fearful excesses of the post-9/11 era”. There’s something to that idea, but not a great deal. Torture in America is actually as old as the country. What government has been intimately involved with that horror more than the United States? Teaching it, supplying the manuals, supplying the equipment, creation of international torture centers, kidnaping people to these places, solitary confinement, forced feeding, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Chicago … Lord forgive us!
In 2011, Brazil instituted a National Truth Commission to officially investigate the crimes of the military government, which came to an end in 1985. But Mr. Obama has in fact rejected calls for a truth commission concerning CIA torture. On June 17 of this year, however, when Vice President Joseph Biden was in Brazil, he gave the Truth Commission 43 State Department cables and reports concerning the Brazilian military regime, including one entitled “Widespread Arrests and Psychophysical Interrogation of Suspected Subversives.”
Thus it is that once again the United States of America will not be subjected to any accountability for having broken US laws, international laws, and the fundamental laws of human decency. Obama can expect the same kindness from his successor as he has extended to George W.
“One of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.” – Barack Obama, written statement issued moments after the Senate report was made public.
And if that pile of hypocrisy is not big enough or smelly enough, try adding to it Bidens’ remark re his visit to Brazil: “I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future.”
If the torturers of the Bush and Obama administrations are not held accountable in the United States they must be pursued internationally under the principles of universal jurisdiction.
In 1984, an historic step was taken by the United Nations with the drafting of the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” (came into force in 1987, ratified by the United States in 1994). Article 2, section 2 of the Convention states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Such marvelously clear, unequivocal, and principled language, to set a single standard for a world that makes it increasingly difficult for one to feel proud of humanity. We cannot slide back. If today it’s deemed acceptable to torture the person who supposedly has the vital “ticking-bomb” information needed to save lives, tomorrow it will be acceptable to torture him to learn the identities of his alleged co-conspirators. Would we allow slavery to resume for just a short while to serve some “national emergency” or some other “higher purpose”?
If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.
Cuba … at long, long last … maybe …
Hopefully, it’s what it appears to be. Cuba will now be treated by the United States as a country worthy of at least as much respect as Washington offers to its highly oppressive, murdering, torturing allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras, Israel, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
It’s a tough decision to normalize relations with a country whose police force murders its own innocent civilians on almost a daily basis, and even more abroad, but Cuba needs to do it. Maybe the Cubans can civilize the Americans a bit.
Let’s hope that America’s terrible economic embargo against the island will go the way of the dinosaurs, and Cuba will be able to demonstrate more than ever what a rational, democratic, socialist society can create. But they must not open the economy for the Yankee blood-suckers to play with as they have all over the world.
And I’ll be able to go to Cuba not as a thief in the night covering my tracks and risking a huge fine.
But with the Republicans taking over Congress next month, all of this may be just a pipe dream.
Barack Obama could have done this six years ago when he took office; or five years ago when American Alan Gross was first arrested and imprisoned in Cuba. It would have been even easier back then, with Obama’s popularity at its height and Congress not as captured by the Know-Nothings as now.
So, Cuba outlasted all the punishment, all the lies, all the insults, all the deprivations, all the murderous sabotage, all the assassination attempts against Fidel, all the policies to isolate the country. But for many years now, it’s the United States that has been isolated in the Western Hemisphere.
Reason Number 13,336 why capitalism will be the death of us.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – the “superbugs” – if left unchecked, could result in 10 million deaths a year by 2050. New drugs to fight the superbugs are desperately needed. But a panel advising President Obama warned in September that “there isn’t a sufficiently robust pipeline of new drugs to replace the ones rendered ineffective by antibiotic resistance.”
The problem, it appears, is that “Antibiotics generally provide low returns on investment, so they are not a highly attractive area for research and development.”
Aha! “Low returns on investment”! What could be simpler to understand? Is it not a concept worth killing and dying for? Just as millions of Americans died in the 20th century so corporations could optimize profits by not protecting the public from tobacco, lead, and asbestos.
Corporations are programmed to optimize profits without regard for the society in which they operate, in much the same way that cancer cells are programmed to proliferate without regard for the health of their host.
Happy New Year. Here’s what you have to look forward to in 2015.
- January 25: 467 people reported missing from a university in Mexico. US State Department blames Russia.
- February 1: Military junta overthrows President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Washington decries the loss of democracy.
- February 2: US recognizes the new Venezuelan military junta, offers it 50 jet fighters and tanks.
- February 3: Revolution breaks out in Venezuela endangering the military junta; 40,000 American marines land in Caracas to quell the uprising.
- February 16: White police officer in Chicago fatally shoots a 6-year old black boy holding a toy gun.
- March 6: Congress passes a new law which states that to become president of the United States a person must have the surname Bush or Clinton.
- April 30: The Department of Homeland Security announces plan to record the DNA at birth of every child born in the United States.
- May 19: The Supreme Court rules that police may search anyone if they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person has pockets.
- May 27: The Transportation Security Administration declares that all airline passengers must strip completely nude at check-in and remain thus until arriving at their destination.
- June 6: White police officer in Oklahoma City tasers a 7-month-old black child, claiming the child was holding a gun; the gun turns out to be a rattle.
- July 19: Two subway trains collide in Manhattan. The United States demands that Moscow explain why there was a Russian citizen in each of the trains.
- September 5: The Democratic Party changes its name to the Republican Lite Party, and announces the opening of a joint bank account with the Republican Party so that corporate lobbyists need make out only one check.
- September 12: White police officer in Alabama shoots black newborn, confusing the umbilical cord for a noose.
- November 16: President Obama announces that Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba all possess weapons of mass destruction; have close ties to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the Taliban; are aiding pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine; were involved in 9-11; played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attack on Pearl Harbor; are an imminent threat to the United States and all that is decent and holy; and are all “really bad guys”, who even (choke, gasp) use torture!
- November 21: The United States invades Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, North Korea, Sudan, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba.
- December 10: Barack Obama is awarded his second Nobel Peace Prize
- December 11: To celebrate his new peace prize, Obama sends out drones to assassinate wrong-thinking individuals in Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
- December 13: Members of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi parties, which hold several high positions in the US-supported government, goose-step through the center of Kiev in full German Storm Trooper uniforms, carrying giant swastika flags, shouting “Heil Hitler”, and singing the Horst Wessel song. Not a word of this appears in any American mainstream media.
- December 15: US Secretary of State warns Russia to stop meddling in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of wanting to re-create the Soviet Union.
- December 16: White police officer shoots a black 98-year-old man sitting in a wheel chair, claiming the man pointed a rifle at him. The rifle turns out to be a cane.
- December 28: The Washington Redskins football team finish their season in last place. The White House blames Vladimir Putin.
- Associated Press, December 11, 2014
- New York Times, December 11, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2009
- New York Times, February 6, 2009
- New York Times, May 24, 2009
- Washington Post, December 11, 2014
- National Security Archive’s Brazil Documentation Project
- Washington Post, December 10, 2014
- See note 7
- Washington Post, December 13, 2014
Scoundrel media editors find new ways to embarrass themselves. They mock legitimate news and opinion.
They suppress it. They violate fundamental journalistic standards doing so.
They suck up to power. They support monied interests. They deplore popular ones. They endorse Western aggression. They do it repeatedly.
They blame victims for horrific US crimes committed against them. They condemn Putin for responsibly defending the safety and security of endangered Russian nationals.
Thank heavens he’s around. He’s the one world leader challenging the damn fool in the White House responsibly.
He’s our best hope for world peace. He deserves worldwide support. His best efforts may not be enough.
Neocons infest Washington. They threaten everyone. The damn fool in the White House risks starting WW III.
His damn fool Secretary of State John Kerry said “we’re now discussing all of the options.”
He outrageously accused Russia of “aggression.” No nation commits it more often against more nonbelligerent nations than America.
It wages one lawless war after another. It ravages and destroys countries doing so. Kerry is an unindicted war criminal. So is the damn fool in the White House.
They threaten world peace. They risk potential armageddon. Media scoundrels cheerlead what demands condemnation.
They denounce what demands praise. When America goes to war or plans one, they march in lockstep. They do it disgracefully.
New York Times editors stand out. They masquerade as legitimate journalists. They feature managed news misinformation rubbish.
They endorsed Ukrainian putschists. They ousted a democratically elected government. They did so with well-planned US help.
Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff called their coup the most overt one since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome. It’s no exaggeration. Nothing in recent memory matches their brazenness.
Times editors are mindless of mob rule governance. Fanatical putschists run things. They scare hell out of everyone paying attention.
Times editors turn a blind eye. Journalism the way it’s supposed to be is verboten. On March 2, they headlined “Russia’s Aggression.”
They outrageously accused Putin of “exploit(ing) the Ukrainian crisis to seize control of Crimea (as well as) any other power grab he may be hatching.”
They ludicrously claimed “an immediate threat to Ukrainian Russians is empty.” Crimean self-defense volunteers already put down an attempt by Kiev infiltrators to seize government buildings.
Times editors ignore what refutes their arguments. They lied claiming Ukrainians in Crimea are endangered.
They have nothing to fear from responsible governance. Democrats in charge prioritize public safety.
Times editors wrongfully accused ousted President Viktor Yanukovych of coup plotter killings.
They murdered civilians in cold blood. They gunned down Kiev security forces. They did so in Independence Square.
Neo-Nazi snipers fired from rooftops. They operated from windows in nearby buildings. Everything that happened was well choreographed in advance.
Washington’s dirty hands manipulated things. Obama bears full responsibility. He partnered with fascist thugs. He’s got another imperial trophy.
Keeping it is another matter entirely. Ukrainians nationwide won’t likely tolerate what’s planned for them. Perhaps real revolutionary fervor will erupt.
Times editors are consistent. They’re on the wrong side of history. They ignore facts. They bury them.
They make stuff up. They lie for power. They do it to defend the indefensible.
They lied claiming Putin wants “control over Crimea.” He wants to “humiliate Ukraine,” they said.
They want Obama, NATO and EU leaders challenging Putin “if (he) escalates his intervention in Ukraine.”
He supports its sovereign independence. He opposes Washington’s direct role in replacing democratic Ukrainian governance with mob rule fascists. Don’t expect Times editors to explain.
Neocon Washington Post editors want more direct US intervention. They support ousting Syria’s Assad forcibly. They endorse fascists usurping power in Ukraine.
They headlined “President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.” They bashed Assad, China’s Xi Jinping and Putin.
They want Obama confronting them more aggressively. If he “doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else” will for him, they said.
They claimed “the tide of democracy in the world” is “retrenching.” They ignored Washington’s direct role in subverting it at home and abroad.
In previous editorials, they barely stopped short of urging direct US intervention. They support Ukrainian fascists retaining power.
David Ignatius is one of many WaPo neocon columnists. He has longstanding close US intelligence ties. He’s no journalist. He’s a propagandist.
He openly favors arming anti-Assad death squads. He reports what Washington bullies want stressed.
Inconvenient facts are dismissed. Lies, damn lies and misinformation substitute. On March 2, he headlined “Putin’s error in Ukraine is the kind that leads to catastrophe.”
He lied claiming he “invad(ed) Crimea.” He did no such thing. He’ll deploy military forces to protect Russian nationals if needed. Any responsible leader would do the same thing.
Ignatius turned facts on their head. He claimed “former Soviet satellites” are “prosperous” EU members.
He ignored deepening poverty, unemployment and deprivation throughout its member states.
He ludicrously claimed countries making up the former Yugoslavia “emerged as strong democracies.” Pro-Western puppet governments run them.
He blamed Yanukovych for fascist street thug crimes. They “courageous(ly) braved the cold and police brutality to protest,” he said.
They committed cold-blooded murder. They ousted Ukraine’s democratically elected government. They rule by brutal force. Don’t expect Ignatius to explain.
He ludicrously envisions “a cascading chain of error that brings Russian troops deeper into Ukraine and sets the stage for civil war.”
Putin wants it avoided. He’s going all-out for stability and security. Fascist coup plotters will bear full responsibility if internal conflict erupts.
Ignatius is militantly hawkish. Obama “would be wise to seek to deter Russian aggression without specifying too clearly what the US ladder of escalation might be,” he urged.
His commentary excluded what’s most important for readers to know. Truth was systematically suppressed.
Wall Street Journal editors match the worst of outrageous opinion writers. Rupert Murdoch rules apply. On March 2, they headlined “Putin Declares War.”
They lied saying he “seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by force (and) now has his sights on the rest of his Slavic neighbor.”
“(B)razen aggression,” they screamed. War threatens Europe’s heartland “for the first time since the end of the Cold War,” they claimed.
Post-WW II, it never once did until now. Washington’s orchestrated coup ups the stakes. Obama threatens world peace.
Putin is the world’s best chance to preserve it. Whether he’s able deter possible US aggression remains to be seen.
Journal editors turned truth on its head. It’s hard imagining more convoluted rubbish. They accused Putin of “moving to carve up Ukraineâ¤|”
They claim “a popular democratic uprising” toppled Yanukovych. They ignored a US-orchestrated fascist coup d’etat.
They called Russia’s parliament “rubber-stamp.” They lied accusing its members of “approv(ing) military intervention anywhere in Ukraine, which is nothing less than a declaration of war.”
They called Obama’s full responsibility for crisis conditions in Ukraine “made entirely in Moscow.”
Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are world class diplomats. They’re democrats. They’re polar opposite Western fascists.
They’re worthy Nobel Peace Prize nominees. They’re more deserving than any other world leaders.
Nobel Committee members have their own system. They honor war criminals. Peacemakers needn’t apply.
Journal editors write what responsible ones wouldn’t touch. They claimed Putin seeks “entrench(ed) authoritarianism in client states.”
He wants them “prevent(ed) from joining free Europe,” they said. Freedoms in Western dominated areas are fast disappearing.
Neoliberal harshness is official policy. Ordinary people are ruthlessly exploited. Don’t expect Journal editors to explain.
They lied claiming Russia’s upper house Federation Council “approved (a) declaration of war.”
They lied again calling Kiev’s coup d’etat parliament democratic. They quoted Obama lying. He called Moscow’s legitimate defense of Russian nationals a “breach of international law.”
Journal editors urge aggressive anti-Russian measures. They want their officials targeted. They want Sixth Fleet warships patrolling Black waters close to Crimea.
Imagine their howls if Russian naval vessels entered the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine likely Washington countermeasures.
They want other NATO countries confronting Moscow. “Mr. Obama and the West must act,” they said. They must do more “than merely threaten…”
They absurdly called Ukraine “a casualty of Mr. Obama’s failure to enforce his ‘red line’ on Syria.”
“Ukrainians can’t be left alone to face Russia, and the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea can’t be allowed to stand,” they said.
They called Putin “the leading edge of what could quickly become a new world disorder.”
Journal editors and commentators specialize in reinventing history. Their rubbish doesn’t wash. They consistently turn truth on its head.
They suppress what readers most need to know. They disgrace themselves in the process.
A previous article quoted former Chicago columnist Mike Royko (1932 – 1997) saying: “No respectable fish would (want to) be wrapped in” a Murdoch paper. It’s more than ever true now.
Ongoing crisis conditions persist. War winds threaten to become gale force. Potential East/West conflict is real.
Obama bears full responsibility if it erupts. Bellowing scoundrel media liars share it.
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.
It’s no secret that the world is on the brink of a significant paradigm shift. With the economy in shambles and the United States, Europe, China and Russia vying for hegemony over global affairs, it is only a matter of time before the powder keg goes critical.
As was the case with World Wars I and II, the chess pieces are being positioned well in advance. It’s happening on all levels – monetary, financial, economic, geo-political. Lines are being drawn. Alliances are being cemented.
We know that a widespread depression is sweeping across just about every nation on earth. The complete collapse of the world we have come to know as it relates to commerce and consumption is a foregone conclusion. We may not know exactly when or how the final nail is driven into the coffin, but we know it’s happening right before our eyes.
Throughout history, when countries have fallen into destitution and despair, their leaders have often resolved their domestic plights by finding foreign scapegoats. This time will be no different – for all parties involved.
The trigger is clear. What will follow is nothing short of thermo-nuclear warfare on a massive scale.
The trigger event has to be North Korea… North Korea is the most rogue element in the world and yet it’s been given a pass by the U.S… We don’t do anything to stop its nuclear progress, unlike Iran.
Russia and China… it’s too early… they’re not ready to go to a third world war over Iran…
When you see a North Korean launch against the South… and they do some minor military attack every year, so you’ve got to be careful not to confuse those with a major artillery barrage on Seoul. If this ever starts you know you’re days away from nuclear war. People ought to get out of major cities that are major nuclear targets.
There has to be a reason why North Korea has been preserved… It can only be because the globalists know that they are the puppets of China and that they will be the trigger.
Here’s how I think it’s going down. I think there will be an attack against South Korea. The North Koreans have over two million troops… 20,000 artillery… they can level Seoul in a matter of three or four days. The only way the U.S. can stop that attack is using tactical nuclear weapons.
And that would give China the excuse to nuke the United States. U.S. is guilty of first-use, the U.S. is the bully of the world, Russia and Chinese unite to launch against U.S. military targets. Not civilian targets per say. There will be about 12 or 15 cities that are inextricably connected with the military that are going to get hit that I mentioned in Strategic Relocation… you don’t want to be in those cities.
You may have two days notice when that attack in Korea starts, before China launches on the United States.
And if you ever see everything blackout, because both Russia and China will use a preemptive nuclear EMP strike to take down the grid… before the nukes actually fall… anytime you see all electricity out, no news, nothing at all… that’s the time you need to be getting out of cities before the panic hits.
In his documentary Strategic Relocation, Skousen notes that the reason Russia and China have yet to take action is because they are not ready. But as current events suggest, they are making haste. Iran has apparently deployed warships near US borders and China has continually balked at internationally established air zones, encroaching on U.S. interests. North Korea continues to do whatever it wants, even after sanctions issued again their nuclear development plans by the United Nations. And, given President Obama’s refusal to attend the Olympic games with other world leaders that include Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, it should be obvious that the relationship between the world’s super powers are strained.
No one is willing to back down. And as we saw in the 20th century, that kind of diplomacy ends with the deaths of millions of people.
No one believed it could happen in the early 1910′s and again in the late 1930′s.
And with a Nobel Peace Prize winner at the helm of the freest nation on earth, not many Americans think it can happen in today’s modern and interconnected world.
But what if history rhymes once again?
Are we really to dismiss the warnings of Joel Skousen simply because it is such an outlier that it is impossible to imagine for most? Or do we look at history, see how such situations have unfolded over the last 5,000 years, and conclude that it is, in fact, possible that it happens again?
The lives of hundreds of millions of people are in the balance. That’s a sobering thought for average people, but mere chess pieces to the elite who sit behind the curtains with their fingers on the buttons.
As before, when the circumstances suit them and the time is right, they will invariably push those red buttons as their predecessors did before them.
Those in target cities in the U.S., Russia, China and Europe will become nothing more than statistics for the history books.
But if you know the warning signs, then perhaps at the very least, you stand a chance.
If you ever wake up one morning and your TV doesn’t work, the internet is down, and your cell phone is off, then you need to assume that your city or region was hit by asuper EMP weapon, such as those being developed and tested in North Korea, Russia and China.
As Skousen warns, in such a scenario you’ll have about two days to get out of major cities to a safe location outside of the blast radius. We recommend a number of resources, including Skousen’s Strategic Relocation and Holly Deyo’s Prudent Places, both of which outline safe areas in the United States based on various factors like population density, location of thoroughfares and resource availability.
When it starts all avenues for obtaining critical supplies will be unavailable. Therefore, wherever you are, prepare for the worst by stockpiling reserve food and water. Given the scenario outlined by Skousen, nations may well engage in conventional warfare after the nukes drop, meaning that you’ll need to be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and know, at the very least, basic military strategies and tactics to evade, defend and attack.
It’s an outlier to be sure. But it’s one that has been experienced by every second or third generation on this planet since the dawn of human civilization.
It may well be our turn very soon.
Adam Smith said governments are “instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor.” Wars are waged to make them richer.
Howard Zinn called war “terrorism magnified a hundred times.” Make it many thousands of times.
Michael Parenti said “the best way to win a Nobel Peace Prize (is) to wage war or support those who wage (it) instead of peace.”
In his book titled “The Face of Imperialism,” he discusses a richly financed military/industrial complex. Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff call it the “military-industrial media complex.”
Waging wars requires selling them. Public support is needed. Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky call it “Manufacturing Consent.”
Propaganda works as intended. Minds are manipulated to support war. Truth is suppressed. Fear is stoked. Patriotism, national security, and democratic values are highlighted.
Longstanding US policy facilitates earning obscene amounts from militarism, wars, homeland security, and related operations.
Doing so has nothing to do with external or internal threats. It’s unrelated to spreading democracy. It isn’t about humanitarian intervention.
It about advancing America’s imperium. Parenti calls the process “the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries. (It) “carves up whole continents.”
“(T)he dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.”
Capitalist imperialism differs from earlier forms. It dominates other economies and political systems. It accumulates enormous amounts of wealth.
It uses money to make more of it. It gains market control. It exploits resources and labor.
According to Marx and Engels:
Bourgeois capital “chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere…It creates a world after its own image.”
Societies are destroyed and remade to do it. Nations are pillaged for profit. Populations become disenfranchised. Workers become serfs. Local cultures become mass-market consumer ones.
Agribusiness replaces local farming. Competitive industries are eliminated. Foreign investment crowds out local capital.
Dominance legitimizes capital’s divine right. Plunder assures obscene profits. Capital accumulation demands more. Profiteering becomes a be-all-and-end-all.
Businesses price according to what the market will bear. Profiteers take advantage of emergency or other out-of-ordinary conditions to cash in excessively.
WikiLeaks calls profiteering “a pejorative term for the act of making profit by methods considered unethical.”
Price fixing is illegal. Price gouging reflects grabbing all you can. It’s charging more than what’s considered reasonable and fair.
War profiteers are in a class by themselves. They thrive on war. They depend on it. Their businesses require conflicts and instability to prosper. The more ongoing, the greater the potential profits.
Lot of players profit from wars. Companies develop technologies with military applications. Black marketeers cash in.
Politicians taking campaign contributions, special favors or bribes benefit handsomely. Nations do by acquiring control over territory, resources and exploitable people.
Private military contractors include companies offering a wide range of services. They provide everything from tactical combat to security to consulting to logistics to technical support.
In his book titled “Halliburton’s Army: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War,” Pratap Chatterjee describes a company tainted by sweetheart deal no-bid contacts, bribes, kickbacks, inefficiency, shoddy work, corruption, fraud, gross overcharging, worker exploitation, and other serious offenses.
Other companies operate the same way. Military spending is hugely wasteful. Fraud and abuse are rampant. War is extremely profitable. Why else would so many be waged.
Mercenaries are guns for hire. They’re for sale to the highest bidder. They’re in it for the money. They’re unchecked, unaccountable and unprincipled.
Arms and munitions companies benefit most. Amounts spent are mind-bogging.
Bloomberg says defense budgets “contain hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, tanks that even the Army says it doesn’t need and combat vehicles too heavy to maneuver in desert sands or cross most bridges in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.”
According to BusinessWeek, redundancy wastes lots of money. “One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see” it.
Why doesn’t Congress trim fat? Because politicians want lots of pork for constituents. It’s a great vote-getter.
BusinessWeek explained more, saying:
“Why is sensible military budgeting so difficult? Because lawmakers, including small-government Republicans, protect defense business in their home states with the ferocity of Spartans.”
“Even if the Pentagon offered up (sensible) cuts…Congress would almost certainly reject them.”
“The senators and representatives don’t have the political courage to face voters and tell them that the republic simply does not need the weapon under construction in their hometown.”
Trillions of dollars are spent. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta once said DOD “is the only major federal agency that cannot pass an audit today.”
Even during October’s 16 day shutdown, huge amounts of wasteful spending continued.
Ralph Nader calls now the time to address bloated military spending. Let’s “start shutting down the waste and fraud in our military budget,” he stresses.
Billions get tossed around mindlessly. Profiteers never had it better. Government watchdogs identify hundreds of billions of potential savings from unneeded weapons, defective ones, no-bid excess, overpayments, and outright fraud.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) conducts research on security, war and peace.
“A world in which sources of insecurity are identified and understood, conflicts are prevented or resolved, and peace is sustained,” it says.
It reports on “recent trends in military expenditure(s).”
Amounts spent are huge. In 2012, nominal global military spending exceeded $1.7 trillion. It’s around historic highs.
In real terms, it exceeds peak amounts spent during the Cold War. Post-9/11, spending increased sharply. America led the way.
In 2012, 15 nations accounted for over 80% military spending. SIPRI lists them as follows:
- America: $682 billion – 39%
- China: $166 billion – 9.5%
- Russia: $90.7 billion – 5.2%
- Britain: $60.8 billion – 3.5%
- Japan: 59.3 billion – 3.4%
- France: $58.9 billion – 3.4%
- Saudi Arabia: $56.7 billion – 3.2%
- India: $46.1 billion – 2.6%
- Germany: $45.8 billion – 2.6%
- Italy: $34 billion – 1.9%
- Brazil: $33.1 billion – 1.9%
- South Korea: $31.7 billion – 1.8%
- Australia: $26.2 billion – 1.5%
- Canada: $22.5 billion – 1.3%
- Turkey: $18.2 billion – 1%
- Others 18%
SIPRI calculates nominal military spending. Amounts America spends far exceeds annual defense authorizations.
Other allocations are for the Energy Department, State Department, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Treasury, NASA, military construction, various categories related to security, and interest attributable to past defense outlays.
Black intelligence, Pentagon and other budgets add many tens of billions more. So do supplemental military allocations. Foreign aid is mostly military related.
The Library of Congress listed the top 10 2012 recipients and amounts as follows:
Israel: $3.075 billion
Note: Israel gets special benefits provided no other nations.
They include annual $3 billion + direct appropriations, undisclosed additional amounts, state-of-the-art weapons and technology, billions in loan guarantees, military loans as grants, privileged contracts for Israeli companies, trade exemptions, and more.
Special allocations are buried in various agency budgets. Low or no-interest loans are provided. Some are never repaid. Most often, whatever Israel wants it gets.
- Afghanistan: $2.327 billion
- Pakistan: $2.102 billion
- Iraq: $1.683 billion
- Egypt: $1.557 billion
- Jordan: $676 million
- Kenya: $652 million
- Nigeria: $625 million
- Ethiopia: $580 million
- Tanzania: $531 million
US defense related spending exceeds $1.5 trillion annually. It’s half or more what other nations spend in total.
Militarism defines America. So do permanent wars. They’re a national addiction. They’re part of the national culture.
Violence is the American way. Wars are glorified. Pacifism is considered sissy. Peace is deplored. Conflicts persist with no end.
War profiteers gorge themselves at the public trough. Their operations thrive on war. They depend on it.
They’re waged for profit and dominance. They continue without end. Peace is verboten. It’s a convenient illusion.
Howard Zinn once asked “(h)ow can you have a war on terrorism when war itself is terrorism?”
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
Why most Americans put up with it they’ll have to explain. Doing so lets Washington get away with mass murder and then some. It lets war profiteers benefit at our expense.
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.
The only part of the government that really listens to what you have to say…
The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most caught my attention concerned “Sigint” – Signals intelligence, the term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:
“Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will not.”
What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security Agency – on moral principle – refuse to say or do?
I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all criticism of US foreign policy: “What would the United States have to do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would be too much?” I’ve yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I suspect it’s because the person is afraid that whatever they say I’ll point out that the United States has already done it.
The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo – 22 years in a row
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
|Year||Votes (Yes-No)||No Votes|
|1993||88-4||US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay|
|1995||117-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1996||138-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1997||143-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|2000||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2001||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2002||173-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2003||179-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2004||179-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2005||182-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2006||183-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2007||184-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2008||185-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2009||187-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2012||188-3||US, Israel, Palau|
Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.
Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.
However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:
“The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.”1
So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the police.
Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person?
As to “independent journalism” – what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?
The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba? The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.
How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 3 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.
The Cold War Revisited
I’ve written the Introduction to a new book recently published in Russia that is sort of an updating of my book Killing Hope. 4 Here is a short excerpt:
The Cold War had not been a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It had been a struggle between the United States and the Third World, which, in the decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, continued in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.
The Cold War had not been a worldwide crusade by America to halt Soviet expansion, real or imaginary. It had been a worldwide crusade by America to block political and social changes in the Third World, changes opposed by the American power elite.
The Cold War had not been a glorious and noble movement of freedom and democracy against Communist totalitarianism. It had typically been a movement by the United States in support of dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and corrupt oligarchies which were willing to follow Washington’s party line on the Left, US corporations, Israel, oil, military bases, et al. and who protected American political and economic interests in their countries in exchange for the American military and CIA keeping them in power against the wishes of their own people.
In other words, whatever the diplomats at the time thought they were doing, the Cold War revisionists have been vindicated. American policy had been about imperialism and military expansion.
Apropos the countless other myths we were all taught about the Soviet Union is this letter I recently received from one of my readers, a Russian woman, age 49, who moved to the United States eight years ago and now lives in Northern Virginia:
I can’t imagine why anybody is surprised to hear when I say I miss life in the Soviet Union: what is bad about free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment, guaranteed free housing? No rent or mortgage of any kind, only utilities, but they were subsidized too, so it was really pennies. Now, to be honest, there was a waiting list to get those apartments, so some people got them quicker, some people had to wait for years, it all depended on where you worked. And there were no homeless people, and crime was way lower. As a first grader I was taking the public transportation to go to school, which was about 1 hour away by bus (it was a big city, about the size of Washington DC, we lived on the outskirts, and my school was downtown), and it was fine, all other kids were doing it. Can you even imagine this being done now? I am not saying everything was perfect, but overall, it is a more stable and socially just system, fair to everybody, nobody was left behind. This is what I miss: peace and stability, and not being afraid of the future.
Problem is, nobody believes it, they will say that I am a brainwashed “tovarish” [comrade]. I’ve tried to argue with Americans about this before, but just gave up now. They just refuse to believe anything that contradicts what CNN has been telling them for all their lives. One lady once told me: “You just don’t know what was going on there, because you did not have freedom of speech, but we, Americans, knew everything, because we could read about all of this in our media.” I told her “I was right there! I did not need to read about this in the media, I lived that life!”, but she still was unconvinced! You will not believe what she said: “Yes, maybe, but we have more stuff!”. Seriously, having 50 kinds of cereal available in the store, and walmarts full of plastic junk is more valuable to Americans than a stable and secure life, and social justice for everybody?
Of course there are people who lived in the Soviet Union who disagree with me, and I talked to them too, but I find their reasons just as silly. I heard one Russian lady whose argument was that Stalin killed “30, no 40 million people”. First of all it’s not true (I don’t in any way defend Stalin, but I do think that lying and exaggerating about him is as wrong)*, and second of all what does this have to do with the 70s, when I was a kid? By then life was completely different. I heard other arguments, like food shortages (again, not true, it’s not like there was no food at all, there were shortages of this or that specific product, like you wouldn’t find mayo or bologna in the store some days, but everything else was there!). So, you would come back next day, or in 2-3 days, and you would find them there. Really, this is such a big deal? Or you would have to stay in line to buy some other product, (ravioli for example). But how badly do you want that ravioli really that day, can’t you have anything else instead? Just buy something else, like potatoes, where there was no line.
Was this annoying, yes, and at the time I was annoyed too, but only now I realized that I would much prefer this nuisance to my present life now, when I am constantly under stress for the fear that I can possibly lose my job (as my husband already did), and as a result, lose everything else – my house? You couldn’t possibly lose your house in Soviet Union, it was yours for life, mortgage free. Only now, living here in the US, I realized that all those soviet nuisances combined were not as important as the benefits we had – housing, education, healthcare, employment, safe streets, all sort of free after school activities (music, sports, arts, anything you want) for kids, so parents never had to worry about what we do all day till they come home in the evening.
* We’ve all heard the figures many times … 10 million … 20 million … 40 million … 60 million … died under Stalin. But what does the number mean, whichever number you choose? Of course many people died under Stalin, many people died under Roosevelt, and many people are still dying under Bush. Dying appears to be a natural phenomenon in every country. The question is how did those people die under Stalin? Did they die from the famines that plagued the USSR in the 1920s and 30s? Did the Bolsheviks deliberately create those famines? How? Why? More people certainly died in India in the 20th century from famines than in the Soviet Union, but no one accuses India of the mass murder of its own citizens. Did the millions die from disease in an age before antibiotics? In prison? From what causes? People die in prison in the United States on a regular basis. Were millions actually murdered in cold blood? If so, how? How many were criminals executed for non-political crimes? The logistics of murdering tens of millions of people is daunting. 5
Let’s not repeat the Barack fuckup with Hillary
Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire – despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior – is mankind’s last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and I’d like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Here’s what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:
Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?
“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.” 6
Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because … because she wants to be president … because she thinks it would be nice to be president … no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world … she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldn’t want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.
And she spoke the above words at the “Take Back America” conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.
Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldn’t care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has “succeeded”. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war “illegal” or “immoral”? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I haven’t studied. Hillary Clinton, however, I’ve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua. 7
Now we hear from America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.” 8
We also hear from America’s premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”. 9
Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.” 10
There’s much more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s conservative leanings, but if you need more, you’re probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that he’s “really good at killing people”. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?
I’m sorry if I take away all your fun.
- Democracy Now!, “U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly Against U.S. Embargo of Cuba”, October 30, 2013 ↩
- Huffingfton Post, May 3, 2012 ↩
- Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba (1991), p.885 ↩
- Copies can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org ↩
- From William Blum, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2005), p.194 ↩
- Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on Democracy Now!’s website ↩
- Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415 ↩
- National Review Online, May 1, 2007 ↩
- Fortune magazine, July 9, 2007 ↩
- Washington Post, October 25, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, November 1, 2013, review of “Double Down: Game Change 2012” ↩
In 2009, Jim Rickards, a lawyer, investment banker and adviser on capital markets to the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, participated in a secret war game sponsored by the Pentagon at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The game’s objective was to simulate and explore the potential outcomes and effects of a global financial war. At the end of the war game, the Pentagon concluded that the U.S. dollar was at extreme risk of devaluation and collapse in the near term, triggered either by a default of the U.S. Treasury and the dumping of bonds by foreign investors or by hyperinflation by the private Federal Reserve.
These revelations, later exposed by Rickards, were interesting not because they were “new” or “shocking.” Rather, they were interesting because many of us in the field of alternative economics had ALREADY predicted the same outcome for the American financial system years before the APL decided to entertain the notion. At least, that is what the public record indicates.
The idea that our government has indeed run economic collapse scenarios, found the United States in mortal danger, and done absolutely nothing to fix the problem is bad enough. I have my doubts, however, that the Pentagon or partnered private think tanks like the RAND Corporation did not run scenarios on dollar collapse long before 2009. In fact, I believe there is much evidence to suggest that the military industrial complex has not only been aware of the fiscal weaknesses of the U.S. system for decades, but they have also been actively engaged in exploiting those weaknesses in order to manipulate the American public with fears of cultural catastrophe.
History teaches us that most economic crisis events are followed or preceded immediately by international or domestic conflict. War is the looming shadow behind nearly all fiscal disasters. I suspect that numerous corporate think tanks and the Department Of Defense are perfectly aware of this relationship and have war gamed such events as well. Internal strife and civil war are often natural side effects of economic despair within any population.
Has a second civil war been “gamed” by our government? And are Americans being swindled into fighting and killing each other while the banksters who created the mess observe at their leisure, waiting until the dust settles to return to the scene and collect their prize? Here are some examples of how both sides of the false left/right paradigm are being goaded into turning on each other.
Conservatives: Taunting The Resting Lion
Conservatives, especially Constitutional conservatives, are the warrior class of American society. The average conservative is far more likely to own a firearm, have extensive tactical training with that firearm, have military experience and have less psychological fear of conflict; and he is more apt to take independent physical action in the face of an immediate threat. Constitutional conservatives are also more likely to fight based on principal and heritage, rather than personal gain, and less likely to get wrapped up in the madness of mob activity.
What’s the greatest weakness of conservatives? It’s their tendency to entertain leadership by men who claim exceptional warrior status, even if those men are not necessarily honorable.
Constitutional conservatives are the most substantial existing threat to the establishment hierarchy because, unlike dissenting groups of the past, we know exactly who the guiding hand is behind economic and social calamity. In response, the overall conservative culture has come under relentless attack by the establishment using the Administration of Barack Obama as a middleman. The goal, I believe, is to misdirect conservative rage toward the Democratic left and away from the elites. The actions of the White House have become so absurd and so openly hostile as of late that I can only surmise that this is a deliberate strategy to lure conservatives into ill-conceived retaliation against a puppet government, rather than the men behind the curtain.
Department of Defense propaganda briefings with military personnel have been exposed. These briefings train current serving soldiers to view Tea Party conservatives and even Christian organizations as “dangerous extremists.” Reports from sources within Fort Hood andFort Shelby confirm this trend.
The DOD has denied some of the allegations or claimed that it has “corrected” the problem; however, Judicial Watch has obtained official training documents through a Freedom of Information Act request that affirm that extremist profiling is an integral part of these military briefings. The documents also cite none other than the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a primary resource for the training classes. The SPLC is nothing more than an outsourced propaganda wing for the DHS that attacks Constitutional organizations and associates them with terrorist and racist groups on a regular basis. (Check pages 32-33.)
This indoctrination program has accelerated since January 2013, after Professor Arie Perliger, a member of a West Point think tank called Combating Terrorism Center (and according to the sparse biographical information available, a man with NO previous U.S. military experience), published and circulated a report called “Challengers From The Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right” at West Point. The report classified “far right extremists” as “domestic enemies” who commonly “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government , believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional right.” The profile goes on to list supporting belief in “civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government” as the dastardly traits of evil extremists.
Soldiers have been told that associating with “far right extremist groups” could be used as grounds for court-martial. A general purge of associated symbolism has ensued, including new orders handed down to Navy SEALs that demand that operators remove the “Don’t Tread On Me” Navy Jack patch from their uniforms.
The indoctrination of the military also follows on the heels of a massive media campaign to demonize Constitutional conservatives who fought against Obamacare in the latest debt ceiling debate as “domestic enemies” and “terrorists.” I documented this in my recent article “Are Constitutional Conservatives Really the Boogeyman?”
Obama and his ilk have been caught red-handed in numerous conspiracies, including Fast and Furious, which shipped American arms through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. And how about the exposure of the IRS using its bureaucracy as a weapon to harass Tea Party organizations and activists? And what about Benghazi, Libya, the terrorist attack that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton allowed to happen, if they didn’t directly order it to happen? And let’s not forget about the Edward Snowden revelations, which finally made Americans understand that mass surveillance of our population is a constant reality.
To add icing to the cake, a new book called Double Down, which chronicles the Obama campaign of 2012, quotes personal aides to the President who relate that Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, when discussing his use of drone strikes, bragged that he was “really good at killing people.”
Now, my question is, why would the Obama Administration make so many “mistakes,” attack conservatives with such a lack of subtlety, and attempt to openly propagandize rank-and-file soldiers, many of whom identify with conservative values? Is it all just insane hubris, or is he serving his handlers by trying to purposely create a volatile response?
Liberals: Taking Away The Cookie Jar
Many on the so-called “left” are socially oriented and find solace in the functions of the group, rather than individualism. They seek safety in administration, centralization and government welfare. Wealth is frowned upon, while “redistribution” of wealth is cheered. They see government as necessary to the daily survival of the nation, and they work to expand Federal influence into all facets of life. Some liberals do this out of a desire to elevate the poverty-stricken and ensure certain educational standards. However, they tend to ignore the homogenizing effect this strategy has on society, making everyone equally destitute and equally stupid. Their faith in government subsidies also makes them vulnerable to funding cuts and reductions in entitlements. The left normally fights only when their standard of living and comfort to which they have grown accustomed plummets below a certain threshold, and mob methods are usually their fallback form of retaliation.
Austerity cuts, which the mainstream media calls the “sequester,” are beginning to take effect. But, they are being applied in areas that are clearly meant to create the most public anger. Reductions in welfare programs are also being implemented in a way that will certainly agitate average left-leaning citizens. The debt debate itself revolved around those who want the government to spend within its means versus those who want the government to spend even more on welfare programs no matter the consequence. The loss of subsidies is at bottom the greatest fear of the left.
A sudden and inexplicable shutdown of electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT cards or food stamps) occurred in more than 17 States while the debt debate just happened to be climaxing. This month, cuts to existing food stamp funds have taken effect, and food pantries across the country are scrambling against a sharp spike in demand.
Remember, about 50 million Americans are currently dependent on EBT welfare in order to feed themselves and their families. The response to the relatively short EBT shutdown last month was outright fury. Imagine the response in the event of a long-term shutdown, or if extraneous cuts were to occur? And where would that anger be directed? Since the entire debt debacle has been blamed on the Tea Party, I suspect conservatives will be the main target of welfare mobs.
The left, once just as opposed to government stimulus and banker bailouts as the right, is now unwittingly throwing its support behind infinite stimulus in order to cement the continued existence of precious Federal handouts. The issue of Obamacare has utterly blinded liberals to fiscal responsibility. Universal healthcare, perhaps the ultimate Federal handout, is a prize too titillating for them to ignore. Democrats will now go to incredible lengths to defend the Obama White House regardless of past crimes.
They are willing to ignore his offenses against the 4th Amendment and personal privacy. They are willing to look past his offenses against the 1st Amendment, including the Constitutional right to trial by jury for all Americans, and Obama’s secret war against the free speech of whistle-blowers. They are willing to shrug off his endless warmongering in the Mideast, his attempts to foment new war in Syria and Iran, and his support for predator drone strikes in sovereign nations causing severe civilian collateral damage. They are willing to forget Snowden, mass surveillance and executive assassination lists — all for Obamacare.
And the saddest thing of all? It is likely that Obamacare was never meant to be successful in the first place.
Does anyone really believe that the White House, with billions of dollars at its disposal, could not get a website off the ground if it really wanted to? Does anyone really believe that Obama would launch the crowning jewel of his Presidency without making certain that it was fully operational, unless this was part of a greater scheme? And how about his promise that pre-existing health care plans would not be destroyed by Obamacare mandates? Over 900,000 people in the state of California alone are about to lose their health care insurance due to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Why would Obama go back on such a vital pledge unless he WANTED to piss off constituents?
Already, liberal websites and forums across the blogosphere are abuzz with talk of sabotage of the Obamacare website by “the radical right” and the diabolical Koch Brothers (liberals had no idea who they were a year ago, but now, they the go to scapegoat for everything). Once again, conservatives are presented as the culprits behind all the left’s troubles.
As I have stated in the past, Obamacare is designed to fail. The government has no capacity to fund it, and never will. Its only conceivable purpose is to further divide the country and excite both sides of the false paradigm into attacking each other as the reason the system is failing, when both sides should be questioning whether the current system should exist at all.
As the situation stands today, at least 50 million welfare recipients and who knows how many others exist as a resource pool for the establishment to be used to wreak havoc on the rest of us. All they have to do is take away the cookie jar.
Who Would Win?
Who would prevail in a second American civil war? Tactically speaking, conservatives have the upper hand and are far better prepared. Food rioters wouldn’t last beyond three to six weeks as starvation takes its toll, and mindless mobs would not last long against seasoned riflemen. The military, though suffering purges by the White House, still contains numerous conservatives within its ranks. Outside influences, including NATO or the United Nations, are a possibility. There are numerous factors to consider. But I would point out that the most dangerous adversary Constitutional conservatives face is not the left, Obama, or a Federal government gone rogue. Rather, our greatest adversary is ourselves.
If lured into a left/right civil war, would most conservatives be able to see beyond the veil and recognize that the fight is not about Obama, or the Left, or tyrannical government alone? Could we be co-opted by devious influences disguised as friends and compatriots? Will we end up following neocon salesmen and military elites who materialize out of the woodwork at the last minute to “lead us to victory” while actually leading us towards globalization with a slightly different face?
If a civil conflict has been war gamed by the establishment, you can bet they have contingency plans regardless of which side attains the upper hand. In the end, if we do not make the fight about the bankers and globalists, the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, the Council On Foreign Relations, etc., then everyone loses. Who wins in a new American civil war? If we become blinded by the trespasses of a certain White House jester, only the globalists will win.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
A talk at Rhodes Forum, October 5, 2013…
First, the good news. American hegemony is over. The bully has been subdued. We cleared the Cape of Good Hope, symbolically speaking, in September 2013. With the Syrian crisis, the world has passed a key forking of modern history. It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. It will take some time until the realisation of what we’ve gone through seeps in: it is normal for events of such magnitude. The turmoil in the US, from the mad car chase in the DC to the shutdown of federal government and possible debt default, are the direct consequences of this event.
Remember the Berlin Wall? When it went down, I was in Moscow, writing for Haaretz. I went to a press-conference with Politburo members in the President Hotel, and asked them whether they concurred that the end of the USSR and world socialist system was nigh. I was laughed at; it was an embarrassing occasion. Oh no, they said. Socialism will blossom, as the result of the Wall’s fall. The USSR went down two years later. Now our memory has compacted those years into a brief sequence, but in reality, it took some time.
The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships. Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination.
It was claimed by a Lebanese newspaper quoting diplomatic sources that the missiles were launched from a NATO air base in Spain and they were shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system. Another explanation proposed by the Asia Times says the Russians employed their cheap and powerful GPS jammers to render the expensive Tomahawks helpless, by disorienting them and causing them to fail. Yet another version attributed the launch to the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim.
Whatever the reason, after this strange incident, the pending shoot-out did not commence, as President Obama stood down and holstered his guns. This was preceded by an unexpected vote in the British Parliament. This venerable body declined the honour of joining the attack proposed by the US. This was the first time in two hundred years that the British parliament voted down a sensible proposition to start a war; usually the Brits can’t resist the temptation.
After that, President Obama decided to pass the hot potato to the Congress. He was unwilling to unleash Armageddon on his own. Thus the name of action was lost. Congress did not want to go to war with unpredictable consequences. Obama tried to browbeat Putin at the 20G meeting in St Petersburg, and failed. The Russian proposal to remove Syrian chemical weaponry allowed President Obama to save face. This misadventure put paid to American hegemony , supremacy and exceptionalism. Manifest Destiny was over. We all learned that from Hollywood flics: the hero never stands down; he draws and shoots! If he holsters his guns, he is not a hero: he’s chickened out.
Afterwards, things began to unravel fast. The US President had a chat with the new president of Iran, to the chagrin of Tel Aviv. The Free Syrian Army rebels decided to talk to Assad after two years of fighting him, and their delegation arrived in Damascus, leaving the Islamic extremists high and dry. Their supporter Qatar is collapsing overextended. The shutdown of their government and possible debt default gave the Americans something real to worry about. With the end of US hegemony, the days of the dollar as the world reserve currency are numbered.
World War III almost occurred as the banksters wished it. They have too many debts, including the unsustainable foreign debt of the US. If those Tomahawks had flown, the banksters could have claimed Force Majeure and disavow the debt. Millions of people would die, but billions of dollars would be safe in the vaults of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. In September, the world crossed this bifurcation point safely, as President Obama refused to take the fall for the banksters. Perhaps he deserved his Nobel peace prize, after all.
The near future is full of troubles but none are fatal. The US will lose its emission rights as a source of income. The US dollar will cease to serve as the world reserve currency though it will remain the North American currency. Other parts of the world will resort to their euro, yuan, rouble, bolivar, or dinar. The US military expenditure will have to be slashed to normal, and this elimination of overseas bases and weaponry will allow the US population to make the transition rather painlessly. Nobody wants to go after America; the world just got tired of them riding shotgun all over the place. The US will have to find new employment for so many bankers, jailers, soldiers, even politicians.
As I stayed in Moscow during the crisis, I observed these developments as they were seen by Russians. Putin and Russia have been relentlessly hard-pressed for quite a while.
- The US supported and subsidised Russia’s liberal and nationalist opposition; the national elections in Russia were presented as one big fraud. The Russian government was delegitimised to some extent.
- The Magnitsky Act of the US Congress authorised the US authorities to arrest and seize the assets of any Russian they deem is up to no good, without a recourse to a court.
- Some Russian state assets were seized in Cyprus where the banks were in trouble.
- The US encouraged Pussy Riot, gay parades etc. in Moscow, in order to promote an image of Putin the dictator, enemy of freedom and gay-hater in the Western and Russian oligarch-owned media.
- Russian support for Syria was criticised, ridiculed and presented as a brutal act devoid of humanity. At the same time, Western media pundits expressed certainty that Russia would give up on Syria.
As I wrote previously, Russia had no intention to surrender Syria, for a number of good reasons: it was an ally; the Syrian Orthodox Christians trusted Russia; geopolitically the war was getting too close to Russian borders. But the main reason was Russia’s annoyance with American high-handedness. The Russians felt that such important decisions should be taken by the international community, meaning the UN Security Council. They did not appreciate the US assuming the role of world arbiter.
In the 1990s, Russia was very weak, and could not effectively object, but they felt bitter when Yugoslavia was bombed and NATO troops moved eastwards breaking the US promise to Gorbachev. The Libyan tragedy was another crucial point. That unhappy country was bombed by NATO, and eventually disintegrated. From the most prosperous African state it was converted into most miserable. Russian presence in Libya was rather limited, but still, Russia lost some investment there. Russia abstained in the vote on Libya as this was the position of the then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev who believed in playing ball with the West. In no way was Putin ready to abandon Syria to the same fate.
The Russian rebellion against the US hegemony began in June, when the Aeroflot flight from Beijing carrying Ed Snowden landed in Moscow. Americans pushed every button they could think of to get him back. They activated the full spectre of their agents in Russia. Only a few voices, including that of your truly, called on Russia to provide Snowden with safe refuge, but our voices prevailed. Despite the US pressure, Snowden was granted asylum.
The next step was the Syrian escalation. I do not want to go into the details of the alleged chemical attack. In the Russian view, there was not and could not be any reason for the US to act unilaterally in Syria or anywhere else. In a way, the Russians have restored the Law of Nations to its old revered place. The world has become a better and safer place.
None of this could’ve been achieved without the support of China. The Asian giant considers Russia its “elder sister” and relies upon her ability to deal with the round-eyes. The Chinese, in their quiet and unassuming way, played along with Putin. They passed Snowden to Moscow. They vetoed anti-Syrian drafts in the UNSC, and sent their warships to the Med. That is why Putin stood the ground not only for Russia, but for the whole mass of Eurasia.
There were many exciting and thrilling moments in the Syrian saga, enough to fill volumes. An early attempt to subdue Putin at G8 meeting in Ireland was one of them. Putin was about to meet with the united front of the West, but he managed to turn some of them to his side, and he sowed the seeds of doubt in others’ hearts by reminding them of the Syrian rebel manflesh-eating chieftains.
The proposal to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons was deftly introduced; the UNSC resolution blocked the possibility of attacking Syria under cover of Chapter Seven. Miraculously, the Russians won in this mighty tug-of-war. The alternative was dire: Syria would be destroyed as Libya was; a subsequent Israeli-American attack on Iran was unavoidable; Oriental Christianity would lose its cradle; Europe would be flooded by millions of refugees; Russia would be proven irrelevant, all talk and no action, as important as Bolivia, whose President’s plane can be grounded and searched at will. Unable to defend its allies, unable to stand its ground, Russia would’ve been left with a ‘moral victory’, a euphemism for defeat. Everything Putin has worked for in 13 years at the helm would’ve been lost; Russia would be back to where it was in 1999, when Belgrade was bombed by Clinton.
The acme of this confrontation was reached in the Obama-Putin exchange on exceptionalism. The two men were not buddies to start with. Putin was annoyed by what he perceived as Obama’s insincerity and hypocrisy. A man who climbed from the gutter to the very top, Putin cherishes his ability to talk frankly with people of all walks of life. His frank talk can be shockingly brutal. When he was heckled by a French journalist regarding treatment of Chechen separatists, he replied:
“the Muslim extremists (takfiris) are enemies of Christians, of atheists, and even of Muslims because they believe that traditional Islam is hostile to the goals that they set themselves. And if you want to become an Islamic radical and are ready to be circumcised, I invite you to Moscow. We are a multi-faith country and we have experts who can do it. And I would advise them to carry out that operation in such a way that nothing would grow in that place again”.
Another example of his shockingly candid talk was given at Valdai as he replied to BBC’s Bridget Kendall. She asked: did the threat of US military strikes actually play a rather useful role in Syria’s agreeing to have its weapons placed under control?
Putin replied: Syria got itself chemical weapons as an alternative to Israel’s nuclear arsenal. He called for the disarmament of Israel and invoked the name of Mordecai Vanunu as an example of an Israeli scientist who opposes nuclear weapons. (My interview with Vanunu had been recently published in the largest Russian daily paper, and it gained some notice).
Putin tried to talk frankly to Obama. We know of their exchange from a leaked record of the Putin-Netanyahu confidential conversation. Putin called the American and asked him: what’s your point in Syria? Obama replied: I am worried that Assad’s regime does not observe human rights. Putin almost puked from the sheer hypocrisy of this answer. He understood it as Obama’s refusal to talk with him “on eye level”.
In the aftermath of the Syrian stand-off, Obama appealed to the people of the world in the name of American exceptionalism. The United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional”, he said. Putin responded: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” This was not only an ideological, but theological contradistinction.
As I expounded at length elsewhere, the US is built on the Judaic theology of exceptionalism, of being Chosen. It is the country of Old Testament. This is the deeper reason for the US and Israel’s special relationship. Europe is going through a stage of apostasy and rejection of Christ, while Russia is deeply Christian. Its churches are full, they bless one other with Christmas and Easter blessings, instead of neutral “seasons”. Russia is a New Testament country. And rejection of exceptionalism, of chosenness is the underlying tenet of Christianity.
For this reason, while organised US Jewry supported the war, condemned Assad and called for US intervention, the Jewish community of Russia, quite numerous, wealthy and influential one, did not support the Syrian rebels but rather stood by Putin’s effort to preserve peace in Syria. Ditto Iran, where the wealthy Jewish community supported the legitimate government in Syria. It appears that countries guided by a strong established church are immune from disruptive influence of lobbies; while countries without such a church the US and/or France give in to such influences and adopt illegal interventionism as a norm.
As US hegemony declines, we look to an uncertain future. The behemoth might of the US military can still wreck havoc; a wounded beast is the most dangerous one. Americans may listen to Senator Ron Paul who called to give up overseas bases and cut military expenditure. Norms of international law and sovereignty of all states should be observed. People of the world will like America again when it will cease snooping and bullying. It isn’t easy, but we’ve already negotiated the Cape and gained Good Hope.
(Language edited by Ken Freeland)
Winston Churchill said, “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force (religion) exists in the world.”
Barack Hussein Obama spent some of his early formative years in Muslim mosques in Africa and Indonesia with his adopted or possible stepfather, a man named Soetero. Gathering evidence shows Barack Obama’s biological father to be Frank Marshal Davis and not the Kenyan Barack Obama, Sr.? Davis proved to be a communist sympathizer and journalist who lived in the USA from 1905 to 1987.
After election, Barack Obama hired the most powerful cadre of lawyers to seal all his records from public view. Thus, no one knows his birth place, his real father or his chosen religion. His Social Security Card number definitely stems from fraud because the initial “247” prefix shows he received it from Connecticut, a state he never lived in or visited. He never worked for any money, but enjoyed unlimited financial ability to attend Columbia and Harvard universities.
At some point, history will expose Barack Obama’s real father, his real birth certificate, his real Social Security number (fraudulent) and where he received the money to attend such expensive universities—no matter how much obfuscation, lies or cover-up. Ironically, more and more evidence shows Obama never registered with his U.S. draft board. But no top journalists or Main Stream Media outlets will investigate Obama’s numerous mysteries. This video gives a clue—to Barack Obama’s real father:
After having done no verifiable work as a lawyer in Chicago, he jumped into a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. He voluntarily relinquished his law license in the State of Illinois because authorities breathed on him legally for some kind of lawless behavior on Obama’s part.
Nonetheless, with a silvery tongue and no experience of any kind that would qualify him for becoming a U.S. president, Obama reached the White House. Immediately, the guardians of the Nobel Peace Prize gave him the award as an “Affirmative Action” reward to anoint the first black U.S. President with the highest achievement for peace in the world. However, Obama accomplished nothing to warrant it.
Right now, Obama harnesses his silvery tongue to “persuade” Congress to rain bombs and missiles down on Syria to stop Syrian dictator Assad from gassing more people when the Muslim rebels will commit even greater atrocities if they come into power. Muslims annihilate any other religious people within their realm. Again, as Churchill said, “…no greater retrograde force (religion) exists in the world.”
We know that Muslims kill gay people, arrange marriages for 12 year old girls to 40 year old men, force multiple wives, kill their wives and daughters for contrived rule-breaking via “honor killings”, throw acid in women’s faces to keep them terrified and compliant, cut off their noses as shown in a front page issue of Time Magazine over a year ago, and continue with the “retrograde” activity of female genital mutilation in the 21st century. That 6th century barbaric surgery, FGM, totally destroys a woman’s ability to enjoy intimate gratification of any kind.
As it stands, Obama hired eight hard-core Muslims who now counsel him in the White House as to what actions he should be taking.
- Asst. Sec. for Policy Development for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Sarif Alikhan;
- Homeland Security Advisor Mohammed Elibiary;
- Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, Rashad Hussian;
- Obama’s advisor, founder of Muslim Public Affairs Council who is also its Executive Director, Salam al-Marayati;
- Obama’s “Sharia Czar,” Islamic Society of North America, Imam Mohamed Magid;
- Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, Eboo Patel;
- And newly converted to Islam, non-other than the Head of the CIA, John Brennan.
Writer Nicholas Purpura said, “Despite the fact that this country was founded on religious freedom, it would be idiotic to argue the First Amendment grants all religions the right to practice their faith. Those religions which would interfere with others, for certain and constitutionally, would not be granted such rights. Here’s the problem, Islam decrees their followers hate, murder, and terrorize all people that refuse to submit and convert to Islam, with no exceptions. Therefore, it stands to reason Islam cannot coexist in any civilized nation which supports religious freedom. Case closed, as should be our borders to Muslims.”
Yet, no top journalists or Congress or the media will report on the underbelly of what Americans face if Obama starts a new war in Syria.
While George W. Bush may be proven one of the most incompetent presidents in history with his “Shock and Awe” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lie and invasion of Iraq, Barack H. Obama may take the trophy for the greatest con-artist ever to hit the American scene in the history of this country.
If he gets his way, and he wages war on Syria, he takes responsibility for thousands of deaths for America’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. More war, more atrocities, more of what Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq represented: lies, death, destruction and the futility of war in the Muslim world. Fact: Muslims represent the craziest, most barbaric and most war-like people in the world. Every major terrorist activity since 1972 in the Olympics—pertains to Muslims.
Why do so few journalists see the inconsistencies and why aren’t the American people calling for impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama? Why do we keep fighting wars in the lands of that “retrograde” religion that subjects its people to total subservience, illiteracy, loss of critical thinking, loss of personal freedom, loss of women’s rights, loss of choice and loss of free speech? Why do we continue importing hundreds of thousands of Muslims into our country against all reason?
Congress and the president continue useless wars that raise our $16.5 trillion debt while they disregard schools, infrastructure and jobs for American citizens. Have we lost our will to vote, speak and stand up for integrity, the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution? Have we lost the will to maintain our sovereignty, culture, language and way of life?
Just like a broken clock, it tells correct time twice a day. Barack Hussein Obama’s promise to have Congress vote upon his Syria’s strike force plans is a first since the historic constitutional betrayal in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Even the feeble attempt in The War Powers Act of 1973, to place accountability on Imperial Presidents, routinely ignored by other POTUS, struck new heights of arrogance and abuses under this infamous Nobel Peace Prize President.The War Powers Resolution, generally known as the War Powers Act, was passed by Congress over President Nixon’s veto to increase congressional control over the executive branch in foreign policy matters, specifically in regard to military actions short of formally declared war. Its central provision prohibited the President from engaging in military actions for more than sixty days, unless Congress voted approval.
The key Section 1541(c) reads:
(c) Presidential Executive Power as Commander-in-Chief; Limitation The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
The proposed authorization approval in both bodies of Congress on extending permission for unwarranted aggression against Syria promises to be the most significant vote on foreign policy in the last half century. How many false flag cons can a war weary public endure from the neoconservatives and liberal interventionists? The answer becomes clear, every measure of pain and suffering that the fifth column Zionists can extract.
From Before It is News, the Hacked Email of US Intelligence Colonel Shows Pentagon’s Involvement In Chemical Attack In Syria article concludes that this documentation proves that the chemical attack was indeed a false flag operation.
James Corbett provides a compelling summary in the YouTube video, Who Is Really Behind the Syrian War? He references an even more alarming analysis of the “Oded Yinon Plan” from Global Research. Their report “Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East, by Michel Chossudovsky is a most significant account.
“Greater Israel” requires the breaking up of the existing Arab states into small states.
“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation… This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme.” (Yinon Plan, see below)
Viewed in this context, the war on Syria is part of the process of Israeli territorial expansion. Israeli intelligence working hand in glove with the US, Turkey and NATO is directly supportive of the Al Qaeda terrorist mercenaries inside Syria.
The Zionist Project also requires the destabilization of Egypt, the creation of factional divisions within Egypt as instrumented by the “Arab Spring” leading to the formation of a sectarian based State dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The rabid sociopathic jingoism of the NeoCons is not in defense of the United States or the American people. No, their allegiance is to Zionism. The destructive foreign policy of the last four administrations is a strategic departure from post World War II objectives. Since an open debate about the harmful consequences, stemming out of a blind support for Israel is nearly nonexistent on Capital Hill, the task of setting the record straight falls upon a Canadian journalist, Joshua Blakeney to explain why Israel and client states want nobody to rule Syria.
“It ought to be kept in mind that the post-WWII US military doctrine for the Middle East was the Eisenhower Doctrine which promoted the fomentation of stability in the region to facilitate the flow of oil to Americans. This was fine if you were safely ensconced in Houston or Dallas with your oil companies raking in profits from Middle East oil fields but for Israel this policy was disastrous. The funneling of petro-dollars to Israel’s adversaries like Saddam Hussein, who fired scud missiles at Israel in 1991, and to the likes of President Assad was intolerable. Therefore a schism in the Empire soon emerged and two distinct US-Zionist visions for the Middle East crystallized.
From the perspective of anti-neocon Realists, such as Walt (Stephen Walt, professor of International Relations at Harvard), the US has a vested interest in propping up Arab strongmen (like President Assad) who can create stability in their countries thus making them potentially hospitable for US corporations. For Zionist-neocons and their evil twin brothers, Liberal Interventionists, it is Israel’s regional dominance rather than US commerce which is of primary importance.”
The prevailing attitude out of Israel regarding Syria is most revealing. The Jerusalem Post reports, Israelis want US, Europe to attack Syria, but against IDF intervention. “The US and European countries should attack Syria, but Israel should not be involved in the assault, two polls in weekend Hebrew newspapers found.”
When Congress voices their will, their true colors will show. Mournfully, most beltway tools are dual loyalists, no matter what their heritage. Just who will be making the decision? AIPAC must be burning up multi IOU’s. When representative “pols” see only white and blue in their flag and forget the red tint that stands for the sacrifice of patriotic blood on foreign soil, the country is betrayed.
Mr. Blakeney continues on the danger of relinquishing a pro America First foreign policy:
“The Israeli-neocon 9/11 coup d’état allowed the pro-destabilization, Zionist faction of the US elite to seize the reins of power. Since then we’ve seen the implementation of the Destabilization Doctrine, which, as stated, is the polar opposite of the less malignant post-WWII Eisenhower Doctrine. The now notorious Oded Yinon plan, authored by the Israeli geostrategic analyst in 1982, offers the clearest manifesto for the Israeli destabilization of the Middle East. Yinon argued the following:
“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shia Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.”
Many Americans are chumps when they think Israel is our ally. When will the anti-war progressives mount an Occupy Wall Street style effort to avoid another dangerous and avoidable involvement? Norman Solomon writing in antiwar.com warns. “The administration is about to launch a ferocious propaganda blitz that will engulf a wide range of U.S. media. And as a fallback, the president is reserving the option of attacking Syria no matter what Congress does.”
Pat Buchanan has it correct as usual. “The idea that we would launch unilaterally a war against a country that has not attacked us or threatened us without the authorization of the Congress, which has the power to declare war — it seems to me is an act of almost insanity.”
A record of indisputable conduct proves that the foreign policy establishment routinely operates against the best interests of the nation. Just how many citizens realize that the Yinon Plan is actually the operational context under which stratagem functions?
It is certainly likely that the puppet president will just lie his way out of another box of his own creation. However, what is it gonna take for the public to break with the incompetent buffoon, who sits on the nuclear codes?
Syria is a target for the reason Buchanan cites. “The neocons realize that if they can get us to attack Syria and there’s a real possibility that there will be retaliatory attacks on Americans or attacks on Israel which will then cause the Israelis or the Americans to attack Syria’s allies in Iran — Syria is the backdoor to war with Iran.”
Almost sounds like the Yinon Plan is following the script that the Zionists provided to their U.S. benefactors.
The rats are jumping ship. Obama’s strongest allies can’t stomach the stench of lies that are the foundation of the war effort against Syria. Even England, whose entire foreign policy is reduced to asking “how high?” when the U.S. says “jump,” opted to stay grounded for Obama’s war drive.
The Arab League, too, having long been considered a puppet show by U.S. foreign policy, has cut its strings. The UN Security Council — after having learned not to trust Obama in Libya — also refuses to give permission for an attack. Which leaves France — the former colonial master of Syria — to fill England’s shoes as the token “important” European nation to give the attack a thin coat of “international” support. But England’s insolence will surely make an impression on the French public, who voted in a “socialist” president, presumably not to act as a warmonger.
Obama has offered zero evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for the most recent chemical weapons attack. UN investigator Carla Del Ponte blamed the U.S.-backed rebels for a previous chemical weapons attack, so if one were to presume guilt, it would flow towards the rebels.
While foreign nations instantly recognized Obama’s war song as a plagiarism of President Bush’s lyrics used to attack Iraq, sections of the American public have been fooled by Obama’s mellowing tone. The soft, reassuring sound of “limited strikes” that will last “hours, not days” has a calming effect on the nerves of the American public, who are essentially being told that Syria needs a light slap on the wrist for being “bad,” after which everything will return to normal; no U.S. troops need die. No big deal, really.
But, of course, any military action in the Middle East is a big deal. With each new war the U.S. wages in the region tensions rise, self defense preparations are made, and regional alliances are readied to act as deterrents. The nations not aligned with U.S. foreign policy — and there are many — are desperate to stop the U.S.’ bloody march across the Middle East.
Americans don’t understand how the Iraq war fundamentally changed the Middle East. The U.S. Government is deeply hated by the vast majority of people in the region for having destroyed Iraq, once viewed by many as a proud Arab nation. Attacking another nation in the heart of the Middle East — that millions of Arabs have an equally strong affinity for — will create massive “blowback.”
No matter how “limited” the strike, bombing a foreign nation is a major act of war. In fact, after WWII the Nuremberg trial concluded that the Nazis’ “supreme international crime” was not genocide or holocaust, but waging aggressive war, since all other war crimes were spawned from this original sin. Of course, Obama’s aggressive war plans involve more than tossing a couple of missiles at some Syrian tanks. That is why he’s moved five Navy destroyers into the region.
It is also presumably why — as reported by the French daily Le Figaro — hundreds U.S. Special Forces and “trained militant fighters” entered Syria on August 17.
It has widely been speculated that the real intention of attacking Syria is to prop up Obama’s ailing rebels, who have received massive U.S. support in the form of guns, training, and money, for —according to The New York Times — almost two years now, and possibly longer. It’s an undisputed fact that Islamic extremists militias are the most powerful fighting forces in the opposition to Assad; if he falls then they will be in power.
If only a tiny bombing campaign is launched, then it’s certain that more bombings will take place at a later date because the U.S.-backed extremist rebels need much more assistance than that to have any hope of beating Assad. To change the balance of forces between Obama’s essentially beaten rebels and the Syrian government will require a massive bombing campaign, along the lines of Libya.
One shouldn’t forget the chain of events in Libya: After the U.S.-backed Libyan rebels were facing defeat, Obama exploited the UN’s “naivety” by claiming that “immediate action” had to be taken to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Libyans. The UN stupidly agreed to a vague resolution about “protecting civilians,” which Obama immediately used as a pretext to wage aggressive war and regime change, dropping thousands of bombs on Libya via fighter jets that attacked both military and civilian targets, tearing apart the nation’s seams in the process. Vijay Prashad’s excellent book, “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter” covers the conflict in depth.
After the Libyan example, the UN is immune to Obama’s lies. So now the hardest part about waging war against Syria is starting it. And after the war foot is in the door, the logic of war immediately takes over, which instantly creates new, unforeseen dynamics, usually in the direction of expansion. It’s very possible that this “unforeseen” element of war is exactly what Obama is planning on.
For example, any sane military analyst expects Syria to defend itself. And Syria is much more capable of doing so than Libya or Iraq were. The American public isn’t prepared for this, since it essentially has been told that Syria would submissively accept its punishment, perhaps after throwing a loud tantrum.
But Syria has advanced weapons systems, and it would be perfectly legal and reasonable for Syria to defend itself by — for example, by bombing a U.S. Navy destroyer, or perhaps targeting Israel, who will certainly be involved in the assault on some level, and therefore is a legitimate military target. Israel has bombed Syria several times in the last six months.
It’s very possible that Obama is trying to provoke a strong reaction from Syria to give the U.S. public a “real” reason to escalate the war. Any attack on Syria also has the possibility of bringing Iran into the conflict, since Iran and Syria have a mutual defense pact. And this may be the ultimate goal: to provoke Iran into getting involved militarily, so that the U.S. would have a justification to expand the war into Iran, which has been in the U.S. crosshairs for years.
If international and domestic pressure force Obama to merely launch a “symbolic” strike that Syria doesn’t retaliate against, then it will be a historic humiliation for US foreign policy, showing the decline of US international power. But even a “surgical” strike sets a very dangerous precedent, opening the door wider to future strikes which will inevitably be re-opened in the near future. A weak war effort this time will make the Obama Administration all the more war hungry next time, since empires don’t simply fade away into oblivion.
If Obama attacks Syria at this point, he’ll have fewer allies than did Bush in Iraq. Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, had the audacity to soil the ground where Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke 50 years earlier at the 1963 March on Washington; Obama sang the praises of the great peacemaker as he planned war against Syria.
Obama has very quickly ruined his integrity in Bush-like fashion. He’s jailed whistle-blowers like Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning — whose only crime was exposing war crimes — while now preparing an even bigger war crime against Syria. His presidency is going down in flames with impressive speed, and has the potential to drag down the rest of the country. On Saturday, August 31st, there is an international day of protest against a war with Syria. A large anti-war showing in the U.S. will convince more pro-war rats to jump ship, and an especially large showing could possibly sink the war ship in one shot.
American presidents, starting with Kennedy-Johnson in Vietnam to Bush-Obama, pushed America into deadly, costly, disastrous and pointless wars in the last 50 years. Millions of people died while the American “Silent majority” sat quietly watching the slaughter on the evening news. As Walter Cronkite said, “And that’s the way it is.”
At this moment, Barack Obama races toward a bombing campaign on the Syrian people. He mandates death, destruction and mayhem on a country and people struggling in their own civil war. He uses an excuse like Assad “gassing” his own people.
Harry Truman used the “Domino Effect” to stop communism from conquering Korea. We lost 33,000 young men and killed thousands more of their troops. Countless civilians died. Korea solved nothing because it proved to be a civil war. It has cost over $1 trillion for troop deployment and logistics for the past 60 years.
Lyndon Baines Johnson used the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” to justify sending 58,319 young American kids to their deaths and killing over 2.1 million Vietnamese soldiers, men, women and children. He poisoned their land with Agent Orange that still kills and disfigures into 2013.
Then came 9/11 to give George W. Bush justification to bomb the hell out of a goat-herder third world country like Afghanistan into little pieces. Never mind that nearly all 19 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Ten years later, after killing bin Laden, we still haven’t “conquered” Afghanistan, but we lost 1,400 American kids to ugly deaths and another 1,500 who committed suicide from the insanity of that war.
A special note: I followed an M.D.’s book about Vietnam whereby 175,000 to 200,000 American combat troops that left Vietnam in one piece—later committed suicide. Countless tens of thousands suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and drank or drugged themselves into their own private hells after the torture of Vietnam. Predications for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as to American suicides: estimated at over 200,000 suicides will ultimately manifest by our returning troops. Hundreds and thousands will suffer a lifetime of PTSD.
Out of nowhere, George W. Bush dreamed up “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and his “shock and awe” bombing rampage into Iraq. He killed over a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children. He used bunker-busting bombs with depleted uranium that poisons the soils of Iraq for centuries. He killed 4,400 of our finest young men and women and left 35,000 hideously wounded.
Today, Barack Obama, a man who never served in the U.S. armed forces, who instead, smoked a lot of dope and snorted drugs, and who knows nothing of the horrors of war—stands ready to send bombers into Syria because he thinks he’s going to stop Assad from gassing his people.
“Nothing is so important as that America shall separate herself from the systems of Europe, and establish one of her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are distinct. The principles of our policy should be so also. All entanglements with that quarter of the globe should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice shall be the polar stars of the American societies.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Correa de Serra, 1820.
Obama, enjoys the unearned and unwarranted Nobel Peace Prize of 2009, yet threatens to expand his ever widening “War on Everything” from Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Al-Awlaki and his son and nephew, Snowden, Manning, Assange, Rosen and now Syria.
I must ask you Mr. Obama, is killing everything but the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens football team the answer?
Finally, what about our feckless U.S. Congress? The Constitution mandates that all war choices must be agreed by the House and Senate. Instead, we let LBJ, Bush II and now, Obama, wage wars they cannot justify and, in the end, will kill a lot of people, but do nothing good in the world nor will they accomplish anything good. Additionally, the president has no legal authority to attack Syria absent congressional and United Nations Security Council approval.
What about each American citizen who cannot be bothered to participate, but watches by the sidelines as the 21st century “Silent Majority”? How many more innocent, brain-washed kids must die, not in service to America, but in service to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the bankers—who provoke, guide and determine wars? Plus, make a lot of money on our mechanized military violence!
John Lennon sang, “Give peace a chance.” If we citizens take action by stopping our government from waging useless, insane and meaningless wars—a lot of our children will be able to live their lives instead of being sacrificed like sheep to the slaughter.
He represents the worst of rogue leadership. He heads America’s coup d’etat government. It “lacks constitutional and legal legitimacy,” said Paul Craig Roberts.
Washington’s ruled by “usurpers,” he added. “An unconstitutional government is an illegal government.” Regimes operating extrajudicially have no legitimacy. America’s by far the worst.
State terror is official policy. So is rogue state lawlessness. It operates at home and abroad. Tyranny’s the law of the land. Diktat power rules.
FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, other repressive government agencies, and militarized local police collude. They’re America’s Gestapo. They operate extrajudicially.
US special forces death squads infest over 120 countries. They operate openly and covertly. CIA agents operate everywhere. They do so destructively.
America’s no fit place to live in. It’s unsafe. Its long arm is repressive. Police state laws target nonbelievers. Rule of law principles don’t matter.
Democracy’s an illusion. It’s a convenient fiction. Equity and justice are four-letter words. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. It’s practically gone already.
Supporting right over wrong is criminalized. Espionage and other charges follow. Kangaroo court justice awaits. Bradley Manning’s victimized. He’s a world hero. He’s a 2013 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He faces possible life in prison.
Edward Snowden’s a wanted man. He connected the dots for millions. He told them what they need to know. He’s heroic for doing so. He’s a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He can’t go home again.
He’ll be imprisoned, tortured, and abused. He’ll be denied all rights like Manning. America honors its worst. It persecutes its best. It bullies other countries. Obey or else.
On Thursday, Senate Appropriation Committee members unanimously approved sanctions on nations offering Snowden help. Doing so is lawless. It doesn’t matter.
Russia’s targeted. So are Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. More on Russia below. According to Venezuela Analysis, Washington has more than sanctions in mind.
VA headlined ” ‘Overwhelming’ Evidence of Plot to Assassinate Venezuela’s Maduro,” saying:
National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello has “hard evidence of assassination attempts.” He and Maduro are targeted.
“We know who they are, what they are, what they want, and we will find them,” said Cabello. Maduro calls them “fascist” groups. They have “crazy plans.” Washington backs them.
“I have appointed Diosdado Cabello as (ruling PSUV political head) to find the truth of how they have prepared for attacks against me for months,” said Maduro.
If either leader is killed, “the wrath of god and the people would be unstoppable,” he added.
Lindsey Graham (R. SC) represents the worst of Washington. He’s a right wing extremist. He’s a neocon rogue. He sponsored the Senate measure. It’s an appropriations bill amendment.
It’s a work in progress. It requires imposition of sanctions. It targets countries helping Snowden.
It directs John Kerry “to consult with the appropriate congressional committees on sanction options against any country that provides asylum to Mr. Snowden, including revocation or suspension of trade privileges and preferences.”
According to Graham:
“I don’t know if he’s going to stay in Russia forever. I don’t know where he’s going to go.”
“But I know this: That the right thing to do is to send him back home so he can face charges for the crimes he allegedly committed.”
Graham represents the worst of US ruthlessness. On July 19, his joint press release headlined “Graham, Schumer Resolution Encourages Russia to Turn Over Edward Snowden to American Authorities,” saying:
Both senators “introduced a partisan resolution.” It’s typical American bullying. It demands Russia hand over Snowden. Obey or else.
“The Russian Federation’s continued willingness to provide shelter to Edward Snowden is negatively impacting the US-Russia relationship.”
“Russia should immediately turn Edward Snowden over to the appropriate United States authorities so he can stand trial in the United States.”
“President Obama should consider other options, including recommending a different location for the September 2013 G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, should Russia continue to allow shelter for Mr. Snowden.”
According to Graham:
“On multiple fronts, Russia is becoming one of the bad actors in the world.”
“Russia continues to provide cover to the Iranian nuclear program and sell sophisticated weapons to the Assad regime in Syria to butcher tens of thousands of its own citizens.”
“For Russia to grant temporary asylum to Mr. Snowden on top of all this would do serious damage to our relationship.”
“It is past time we send a strong message to President Putin about Russia’s actions and this resolution will help accomplish that goal.”
Schumer is AIPAC’s man in Washington. He’s no democrat. He represents Israel. He supports its worst crimes. He backs Obama’s war on humanity. He’s a war criminal multiple times over.
“Time and time again,” he said, “President Putin is too eager to stick a finger in the eye of the United States – whether it is arming the murderous Assad regime in Syria, supporting Iran’s nuclear development or now providing shelter and Russian state protection to Edward Snowden.”
“Enough is enough. It’s time to send a crystal clear message to President Putin about Russia’s deplorable behavior, and this resolution will do just that.”
Washington targets independent countries. Sanctions have no legitimacy. America imposes them ruthlessly. They’re unjustly punitive.
They used to intimidate and bully nations into compliance. They don’t work. Russia’s strong enough to retaliate. It values good bilateral relations. It won’t sacrifice its sovereignty. It’s not for sale.
America’s a Big Brother society. It’s no longer fiction. It’s real. It’s institutionalized. It’s universal. It’s lawless. It doesn’t matter. It’s hard-wired.
Manufactured national security threats override fundamental freedoms. Anyone can be monitored for any reason or none at all.
Privacy rights are lost. Patriot Act legislation authorized unchecked government surveillance powers. Everyone’s potentially watched. There’s no place to hide.
Obama bears fully responsibility. He targets fundamental freedoms. He does so ruthlessly. He’s done it throughout his tenure.
Constitutional rights don’t matter. America’s High Court supports him. So do congressional leaders.
On Wednesday, House members defeated a Defense Department appropriations bill amendment. It prohibited NSA from collecting bulk telephone metadata.
It “requir(ed) the FISA court under (the Patriot Act’s) Sec. 215 to order the production of records that pertain only to a person under investigation.”
Voting was close. The measure nearly passed. It had bipartisan support. It was defeated 217 – 205. Obama strongly opposed it.
Heavy-handed administration tactics demanded congressional compliance. Ahead of the vote, NSA head General Keith Alexander met with congressional leaders.
He did so secretly. He was dispatched to bully and pressure. He got enough support to win. A White House press release was typical Obama.
Doublespeak duplicity headlined. Lies, damn lies, and ObamaSpeak said:
“In light of the recent unauthorized disclosures, the President has said that he welcomes a debate about how best to simultaneously safeguard both our national security and the privacy of our citizens.”
“The Administration has taken various proactive steps to advance this debate including the President’s meeting with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, his public statements on the disclosed programs, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s release of its own public statements, ODNI General Counsel Bob Litt’s speech at Brookings, and ODNI’s decision to declassify and disclose publicly that the Administration filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”
“We look forward to continuing to discuss these critical issues with the American people and the Congress.”
“However, we oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools.”
“This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.”
“We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.”
In other words, Obama demands continued lawless NSA spying. House members approved. For sure Senate ones would. According to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Kurt Opsahl:
“This amendment reflected the deep discomfort of Americans who don’t want the government collecting data on them indiscriminately.”
“This type of surveillance is unnecessary and unconstitutional, a needless return to the general warrants that our country’s founders fought against.”
EFF’s Rainey Reitman added:
“We were heartened by the many supporters from across the country who called their representative to support the amendment, laying the foundation for further Congressional action to investigate the NSA spying and enact greater privacy protections.”
The fight for justice continues. First Unitarian v. NSA pursues it. EFF represents plaintiffs. Nineteen organizations, Los Angeles Unitarian Church groups and others filed suit.
NSA’s charged with violating First, Fourth and other constitutional rights. In early July, Northern District of California federal Judge Jeffrey White ruled for EFF.
He rejected Obama’s secret privilege claims. Doing so permits EFF’s Jewel v. NSA and Shubert v. Obama suits to proceed.
According to EFF’s Cindy Cohn:
“The court rightly found that the traditional legal system can determine the legality of the mass, dragnet surveillance of innocent Americans and rejected the government’s invocation of the state secrets privilege to have the case dismissed.”
“Over the last month, we came face-to-face with new details of mass, untargeted collection of phone and Internet records, substantially confirmed by the Director of National Intelligence.”
“Today’s decision sets the stage for finally getting a ruling that can stop the dragnet surveillance and restore Americans’ constitutional rights.”
In his ruling, Judge White said the heart of EFF’s suit isn’t a state secret. Classified details can be litigated. FISA Act provisions apply.
“Congress intended for FISA to displace the common law rules such as the state secrets privilege with regard to matter within FISA’s purview,” he explained.
EFF suits target lawless NSA spying. Millions of ordinary Americans are affected. Government officials remain unaccountable. Hard evidence document’s what’s intolerable.
“We will continue to push Congress to rein in unconstitutional surveillance,” said EFF. It’s Stopwatching.us campaign continues.
It targets police state lawlessness. It persists. It’s worse than ever. It threatens freedom everywhere. Occupy Wall Street is right. The only solution is world revolution.
Regime change begins at home. It’s a national priority. It’s essential. The stakes are too high. Challenging extrajudicial authority’s essential.
Electoral politics doesn’t work. It never did. It doesn’t now. Monied interests rule. Politicians are bought like toothpaste. Duopoly power runs America. Vital change is necessary.
Popular struggles matter. Sustained commitment works. Collective activism has power. What better time to use it than now.
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.
Those closing statements will then determine Manning’s guilt or innocence in “Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, and theft of government property.”
Manning has pled guilty to 10 lesser charges relating to misusing classified information, stating “I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information… this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy.”
The Defense contends that Manning was focused to seize the opportunities on the World Wide Web exclusively to get the information to the American public because The Media was not following those stories.
Witnesses for the Defense, Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler, explained the value of Manning’s actions was toward open journalism and democracy.
The MacBride Peace Prize is created from disarmed and recycled nuclear weapon systems.
In the email announcement War to Peace noted:
“Bradley Manning exemplifies what St Francis of Assisi said in his wonderful prayer.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, light.
The International Peace Bureau is dedicated to the vision of a World Without War and they campaign mainly for disarmament and other reductions of military expenditures.
IPB’s Co-President Tomas Magnusson stated, “IPB believes that among the very highest moral duties of a citizen is to make known war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is within the broad meaning of the Nuremberg Principles enunciated at the end of the Second World War.
“When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty”.
It is also for this reason that Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Noble Laureate Mairead Maguire wrote:
I am delighted to confirm that the international Peace bureau has awarded its 2013 Sean McBride Peace Prize to USA whistleblower Private Bradley Manning.
I offer my congratulations to him on receiving this well deserved prize.
I believe by his courageous whistleblowing actions of revealing vital information on US Government war crimes he has saved many lives, given people hope and has made an enormous contribution to a more peaceful future for our world. We are already seeing other brave whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, following his example and telling the truth about his government’s illegal spying on its Citizens and others.
What finally decided Bradley Manning to ‘blow the whistle’ was when he was asked to arrest 15 Iraqi civilian protesters and to send them to the Iraqi police for torture. Their crime was to ask ‘where has all the money gone’ referring to money received by contractors involved in post-war construction. When Bradley expressed his concern that this was unethical behaviour for a soldier, he has told to go and get 15 more.
I have also nominated private Bradley Manning for the Nobel peace prize because he has followed his conscience, fulfilled his moral responsibility, and saved many lives by revealing the war crimes and crimes against humanity being carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan by the US military. It is they who should be accountable for their criminal activities and Bradley, as a conscientious objector, allowed to go free.
However, tragically I believe we are witnessing the US Government operating not according to its Constitution based on justice and democracy, but as a ‘police state’ which labels its whistleblowers as traitors, journalists as enemies (as with the case of Julian Assange) and peaceful protesters and citizens as suspected terrorists who are spied upon, arrested without warrant, and detained indefinitely.
Bradley Manning has been tortured by his own government, has sacrificed his freedom to awaken both American and world citizens to the great dangers we all face to our peace, liberty and freedom and for this we must all be grateful to him. Above all we must not be afraid and be intimidated into silence, but act by peaceful and nonviolent means to protect all our rights and freedom, least Bradley Manning’s great act of courage and sacrifice be in vain.
I therefore hope Judge Lind, in Bradley’s military tribunal will recognize him as a conscientious objector, as a man of integrity and courage with deep moral and ethical values, a young man American should be proud of who upheld his military oath to protect people by refusing to kill them or see them killed or tortured. He has earned his immediate freedom and we all hope Judge Lind will have the courage to grant it.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate. 23.7.2013 PeacePeople.com
Is Obama Backing ElBaradei?
Beirut — According to well-connected Washington sources, one being a Congressional staffer whose job description includes following political events in Egypt, it did not take Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, the Sharia legal scholar, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and for 12 years the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (1997-2009), very long at all to contact the Washington, DC law firm of Patton Boggs on 7/2/13. That is once it became evident that Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi might well be ousted by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The next day, ElBaradei’s representatives reportedly also made contact with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations  which claims to represent the 52 largest US based largest Jewish groups.
ElBaradei, perhaps the current front-runner to replace his long-time nemesis, Mohammad Morsi, moved fast to organize some key allies in Cairo and Washington to pick-up where his earlier failed Presidential campaign left off shortly before the 1/25/2011 Egyptian Presidential election. Patton Boggs, the K Street, NW Washington DC law firm, which last year had 550 lawyers and 120 lobbyists and is arguably the firm closest to the White House in terms of securing for its clients what they want from the approximately 5000 key decision makers in the US Capitol. The other nearly 11,800 federally registered lobbyists in Washington (there were only 300 as recently as when Lyndon Johnson was US President) lag far behind Patton Boggs in terms of political influence.
Patton Boggs new client wants the Pentagon and the White House to squeeze Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who deposed President Morsi and arrange for himself to be appointed the interim President of Egypt pending early elections.
ElBaradei wants the same thing from Israel and its US lobby, the former having developed close relations under Morsi similar to what Israel enjoyed under Mubarak.
What ElBaradei’s representatives are reportedly offering the White House in exchange for Obama’s discrete assistance, is that it that the 1979 Camp David Accord, including all its elements will be observed and that in addition, additional guarantees will be given to Israel with the Zionist regime occupying Palestine will be given prime estate for its Embassy. In addition, Egypt under ElBaradei can be expected to toughen its stance on Iran’s nuclear program with altering and adjusting publicly some of his pre-2012 comments on Iran that the White House and Israel criticized as being “soft on the Islamic Republic.”
Israel is also being promised by ElBaradei’s agents, major security cooperation with Egypt, under which they also pledge to the White House, will continue to grow stronger. ElBaradei’s objective is to secure Barack Obama’s personal support during his jockeying for the White House imprimatur for the expected soon to be held Egyptian presidential election and before.
Once again, the Obama administration was caught by surprise as the enduring “Arab spring”, still in its infancy, increasingly portends ill for Western installed potentates in artificially Sykes-Picot style created “countries”.
Barack Obama reportedly has some doubts according to Congressional contacts and dear readers will likely recall his praise of Morsi after the two former University Professors had a chance to sit together and get to know one another. “I like this man”, Obama was reported to have told some staff members, “he thinks like me” as his wife Michele reportedly rolled her eyes and deeply exhaled.
When Morsi was deposed, Obama lamented: “We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”
Meanwhile, the SCAF, at the urging of ElBaradei’s team, is paying Washington and its ally’s sweet lip service regarding Obama’s expressed concerns. Shortly before the words were uttered by SCAF’s interim appointee, the State Department received a copy of the speech with the first paragraph high-lighted to assuage Obama. The first words of Sisi’s 7/1/13 statement read, “The armed forces will not interfere in the realm of politics or governance and will not overstep the role that it is assigned in a democracy, which stems from the desire of the people.” Those words sound good also in Foggy Bottom.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Arab neighbors have expressed support for the military coup, but not Africa, where it has been reported that the African Union will suspend Egypt from all activities, following the unconstitutional power change.
Patton Boggs talking points to the Congress and Obama Administration include, but are not limited to, the following:
President Morsi had more than a year to show progress to the Egyptian people, with both institutional political legitimacy derived from their election victories and also strong popular support when they assumed full power from the armed forces in June 2012.
ElBaradei’s team is emphasizing that the Morsi government failed badly and the new government, hopefully led by ElBaradei, will now act more efficiently to move the country towards credible and legitimate institutions of governance.
ElBaradei’s campaign, as reported in the 4/4/13 edition of the New York Times also worked hard to convince the White House of what he called the necessity of forcibly ousting President Morsi, presenting several arguments that included documentation that Morsi had bungled the country’s transition to an inclusive democracy and wasted a year without following thru on any of his pledges or addressing the problems of:
Some Congressional analysts believe that one of Morsi’s biggest mistakes resulted from a deliberate policy of accommodation and not, as is commonly believed, confrontation.  He allowed the military to retain its corporate autonomy and remain beyond civilian control. Furthermore, he included in his cabinet a large number of non-Muslim Brotherhood figures who abandoned him within months when the going got tough, thus presenting to the public an image that the government was on the verge of collapse. Some have suggested that Morsi should have brought the military to heel soon after he assumed power and was at the height of his popularity, just as the military was at its lowest point in public perception. Monday morning quarter backing is now rampant to explain Morsi’s failures.
What the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammad Morsi’s supporters do in the coming days at Tahir Square and across Egypt will likely determine the route and the ultimate success of ElBaradei growing juggernaut.
Meanwhile, as of 7/5/13, it appears that President Barack Obama may well help usher Mohammad ElBaredei into Egypt’s Presidential Palace. If the Obama administration has success there will be joy in Tel Aviv and at Patton Boggs victory party where a good number of the invited guests will almost certainly be carefully vetted by AIPAC.
Edward Joseph Snowden follows a noble tradition. Others before him established it. Daniel Ellsberg called his NSA leak the most important in US history. More on him below.
Expressions of patriotism can reflect good or ill. Samuel Johnson said it’s the last refuge of a scoundrel. Thomas Paine called dissent its highest form. So did Howard Zinn.
According to Machiavelli:
“When the safety of one’s country wholly depends on the decision to be taken, no attention should be paid either to justice or injustice, to kindness or cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy or ignominious.”
“In our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering; and consequently, this feeling should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men.”
Philosophy Professor Stephen Nathanson believes patriotism involves:
special affection for one’s own country;
a sense of personal identification with the country;
special concern for the well-being of the country; and
willingness to sacrifice to promote the country’s good.
Socrates once said:
“Patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does, and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.”
The best involves strict adherence to the highest legal, ethical and moral standards. Upholding universal civil and human rights is fundamental. So is government of, by and for everyone equitably. Openness, accountability and candor can’t be compromised.
When governments ill-serve, exposing wrongdoing is vital. It takes courage to do so. It involves sacrificing for the greater good. It includes risking personal harm and welfare. It means doing what’s right because it matters. It reflects patriotism’s highest form.
Daniel Ellsberg, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are best known. So is Mordechai Vanunu. More on him below. Few remember Peter Buxtun. He’s a former US Public Health Service employee.
He exposed the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. About 200 Black men were infected. It was done to watch their progression. They were left to die untreated. Whistleblowing stopped further harm.
A. Ernest Fitzgerald held senior government positions. In 1368, he exposed a $2.3 billion Lockheed C-5 cost overrun. At issue was fraud and grand theft. Nixon told aides to “get rid of that son of a bitch.”
Defense Secretary Melvin Laird fired him. Fitzgerald was a driving force for whistleblower protections. He fought for decades against fraud, waste and abuse. He helped get the 1378 Civil Reform Act and 1389 Whistleblower Protection Act enacted.
Gregory Minor, Richard Hubbard and Dale Bridenbaugh are called the GE three. They revealed nuclear safety concerns. So did Arnold Gundersen, David Lochbaum and others. At issue then and now is public safety over profits.
Mordechai Vanunu was an Israeli nuclear technician. He exposed Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. He paid dearly for doing so.
He was charged with espionage and treason. In 1386/87, he was secretly tried and sentenced. He was imprisoned for 18 years. He was confined in brutalizing isolation. He’s been harassed and deprived of most rights since.
Daniel Ellsberg called him “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era.” In July 2007, Amnesty International (AI) named him “a prisoner of conscience.” He received multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
Vanunu said “I am neither a traitor nor a spy. I only wanted the world to know what was happening.” People have every right to know.
Mark Whitacre was an Archer Daniels Midland senior executive. He exposed price-fixing, wire and tax fraud, as well as money laundering.
He had his own cross to bear. He was prosecuted and imprisoned. He lost his whistleblower immunity. After eight and a half years, he was released on good behavior.
Jeffrey Wigand was Brown & Williamson’s research and development vice president. He went public on 60 Minutes. He exposed deceptive company practices. He was fired for doing so.
B & W enhanced cigarette nicotine content. It was done without public knowledge. At issue was increasing addiction. Wigand told all. He received death threats for doing so. He now lectures worldwide and consults on tobacco control policies.
Gary Webb was an award-winning American journalist. His investigative work exposed CIA involvement in drugs trafficking. His book “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” told what he knew.
New York Times, Washington Post, and other media scoundrels assailed him. They did so wrongfully and viciously. Then and now they support CIA crimes. They abhor truth and full disclosure. They ruined Webb’s career. They did so maliciously.
In December 2004, Webb was found dead at home. He died of two gunshot wounds to the head. Reports called it suicide. Critics believe otherwise. Two wounds suggest murder. Doing the right thing involves great risks. Webb paid with his life.
Swiss lawyer Marc Hodler was International Ski Federation president and International Olympic Committee member.
In 1398, he exposed 2002 Salt Lake City winter games bid-rigging. Olympism profiteering, exploitation and corruption is longstanding.
Deceptive hyperbole promotes good will, open competition, and fair play. Olympism’s dark side reflects marginalizing poor and other disenfranchised groups, exploiting athletes and communities, as well as sticking taxpayers with the bill for profit.
Harry Markopolos exposed Bernie Madoff’s hedge fund operations. He called them fraudulent. He obtained information firsthand. He got them from fund-of-fund Madoff investors and heads of Wall Street equity derivative trading desks.
He accused Madoff of operating “the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.” Large perhaps but not the largest.
Wall Street firms make money the old fashioned way. They steal it. They do so through fraud, grand theft, market manipulation and front-running. They scam investors unaccountably. They bribe corrupt political officials. In return, they turn a blind eye.
Compared to major Wall Street crooks, Madoff was small-time. Others mattering most control America’s money. They manipulate it fraudulently for profit.
Coleen Rowley’s a former FBI agent. She documented pre-9/11 Agency failures. She addressed them to Director Robert Mueller. She explained in Senate Judiciary Committee testimony. She now writes and lectures on ethical decision-making, civil liberty concerns, and effective investigative practices.
Joseph Wilson’s a former US ambassador. He exposed Bush administration lies. He headlined a New York Times op-ed “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”
“Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq,” he asked?
“Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
Bush administration officials accused Wilson of twisting the truth. So did Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other scoundrel media editors. They front for power. Wilson explained what people have a right to know. He was unjustifiably pilloried for doing so.
Wendell Potter was a senior CIGNA insurance company executive. He explained how heathcare insurers scam policyholders. They shift costs to consumers, offer inadequate or unaffordable access, and force Americans to pay higher deductibles for less coverage.
Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI translator. She founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). She did so to aid “national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods.”
The ACLU called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States.” She knows firsthand the consequences of secret, unaccountable government operations.
Her memoir is titled “Classified Woman: the Sibel Edmonds Story.”
Previous articles discussed Mark Klein. He’s a former AT&T employee turned whistleblower. He revealed blueprints and photographs of NSA’s secret room inside the company’s San Francisco facility. It permits spying on AT&T customers.
Karen Kwiatkowski’s a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel. She exposed Defense Department misinformation and lies. She discussed how doing so drove America to war.
Ann Wright’s a former US Army colonel/State Department official. In 1397, she won an agency award for heroism.
She’s more anti-war/human rights activist/person of conscience than whistleblower. In 2003, she resigned from government service. She did so in protest against war on Iraq.
Edward Joseph Snowden continues a noble tradition. On June 8, London’s Guardian headlined “Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower: ‘I do not expect to see home again.’ ”
He leaked information to The Guardian and Washington Post. He exposed unconstitutional NSA spying. He served as an undercover intelligence employee.
Asked why he turned whistleblower, he said:
“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.”
“If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things.”
“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
NSA spies globally, he said. Claims about only doing it abroad don’t wash. “We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians,” he said.
Previous articles said NSA works with all major US telecom companies. They do so with nine or more major online ones. They spy on virtually all Americans.
They target everyone they want to globally. NSA capabilities are “horrifying,” said Snowden. “You are not even aware of what is possible.”
“We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify (it). You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”
Asked what he thought might happen to him, he said “Nothing good.”
He left America. He moved to Hong Kong. He fled for his safety. He knows he can’t hide. If US authorities want him targeted, they’ll act no-holds-barred.
If they want him arrested, they’ll find him. If they want him disappeared, imprisoned and tortured, he’s defenseless to stop them. It they want him dead, they’ll murder him. Rogue states operate that way. America’s by far the worst.
DNI head James Clapper accused Snowden of “violat(ing) a sacred trust for this countryâ¤|.I hope we’re able to track whoever is doing this,” he said.
These type comments expose America’s dark side. So does unconstitutional NSA spying and much more. Washington flagrantly violates fundamental rule of law principles. It does so ruthlessly. At stake is humanity’s survival.
Snowden fears recrimination against his family, friends and partner. He’ll “have to live with that for the rest of (his) life,” he said.
“I am not going to be able to communicate with them. (US authorities) will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”
Asked what leaked NSA documents reveal, he said:
“That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America.”
America “hacks everyone everywhere.” he said. “(W)e are in almost every country in the world.”
“Everyone, everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten – and they’re talking about it.”
On June 9, London Guardian editors headlined “Edward Snowden: more conscientious objector than common thief,” saying:
What’s next is certain. US authorities “will pursue Snowden to the ends of the earth.” America’s “legal and diplomatic machinery is probably unstoppable.”
Congress should eagerly want to hear what Snowden has to say, said Guardian editors. They should “test the truth of what he is saying.”
They know full well. Many or perhaps most congressional members are fully briefed on what goes on. They’re condone it. So do administration and judicial officials.
Obama could stop it with a stroke of his pen. So can congressional lawmakers. Supreme Court justices could uphold the law.
Lawlessness persists. Moral cowardice pervades Washington. America’s dark side threatens everyone. There’s no place to hide.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Whatever happened to that 14-year-old Asian golf phenom who aspired to play the PGA Tour? She made tens of millions of dollars based on hype, and he became the youngest player to ever make a tour cut. No, that’s not a typo.
He is Guan Tianlang, the Chinese golf sensation who just made the cut in the Masters — one of the world’s most prestigious and competitive golf tournaments — and now made the cut again in his very next appearance, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. She is Michelle Wie, the erstwhile phenom who was hailed and then failed, never making a PGA cut despite talking bigger than Tianlang’s accomplishment. And their different treatment by the media speaks volumes about the left’s hold on society.
When the 6’1”, 14-year-old Wie hit the scene around 2004, she was lauded as an Amazon sports-womyn for the ages who would break sex barriers in golf and show the boys a thing or two. The media just loved the narrative, providing exposure that made her famous beyond golf’s fan base and leading to endorsement contracts of which most adult professional golfers can only dream. This, despite her having won only one women’s amateur tournament of note and nothing professionally even on the women’s tour; it was sort of like Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize based only on being black and “there,” even though there was no there there. Heck, it was like Obama winning the presidency itself as a result of the media portraying him as a political phenom whose oratory and policy were always 300 yards down the middle. The difference is that popularity alone doesn’t translate into golf success — you actually have to perform.
In contrast, the 5’8”, 140-pound Tianlang has already shattered records. Becoming the youngest player to make a Masters cut was impressive enough, but following it up the next time out by becoming the youngest to ever make an official PGA Tour cut amounts to possibly the greatest accomplishment ever by a young teenage athlete. Yet Tianlang’s exposure is a 20-handicap to Wie’s scratch.
Some of the reasons for this are legitimate. Wie is an American, Tianlang is a foreigner, and it always adds another newsworthy dimension to a story when a girl is trying to compete in men’s sports. And Wie certainly fed the media delusion, making statements such as “My favorite player is Tiger Woods. I think I can beat Tiger when I’m 20. It’s a life goal” and “If I ever get bored with golf, I’m going to start over and play left-handed.” But as to that life goal, perhaps Wie believes in reincarnation and was talking about her next life (with a different chromosome configuration?), as she is now already 23 and hasn’t even dominated the women’s tour. She has never won a women’s major, has captured only two LPGA events in eight years as a professional, and finished 2012 at 62 in the rankings. And the hype is history as there has been precious little good news on the Wie front — except that she won’t have to worry about getting bored with golf.
But only one reason fully explains why Wie was so ridiculously over-hyped and overrated: cultural affirmative action. This is when, as I once defined it, “people in the market and media privilege others — sometimes unconsciously — based upon the latter’s identification with a ‘victim group.’” It isn’t just that the media had an interesting man-bites-dog story; it’s that, as is often the case, they were cheerleaders. They had a would-be Amazon they thought would neuter those patriarchal male dogs, and they so, so badly wanted it to happen. It’s the same phenomenon Rush Limbaugh alluded to (and doing so cost him his NFL commentary position) when opining that quarterback Donovan McNabb was over-hyped because the “media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”
And what of Tianlang being a “minority” himself? Irrelevant. Like whites, Asians are discriminated against via even actual affirmative action because they’re often high achievers. But being female as is Wie or black as is McNabb is a another matter; then the exact species of cultural affirmative action may be different — feminism in one case and black privilege in the other — but the result is identical: people receiving undeserved benefits.
This phenomenon just may make Hillary Clinton our next president, too. And after our current cultural-affirmative-action bogey man, that would be the political equivalent of hitting a ball into the woods, taking a penalty stroke, and then shanking the next one into the water. So, no, folks, America won’t be making the cut.