Last Tuesday’s sudden capture of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city (population 1.8 million), by a coalition of Sunni forces led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was swiftly followed by the fall of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town. By Thursday morning the insurgents were reported to have advanced to the city of Samarra, only 80 miles north of Baghdad. Their lightning success has thrown the U.S. policy in the region into disarray. It creates a new global flashpoint at a time when the Obama administration has its hands full trying to manage regional emergencies, mostly of its own making, in Ukraine and in the Far East.
The most remarkable feature of the ongoing rebel offensive is that the Iraqi army and police units, although superior to the attackers in numbers and equipment, are melting away without a fight. The collapse of their morale, and especially the apparent inability of the government in Baghdad to maintain any semblance of command and control, is without precedent in an even semi-functional modern state. (Mali comes to mind, but sub-Saharan Africa is in a dysfunctional league of its own.) In Mosul, the insurgents captured a vast treasure-trove of U.S.-supplied arms abandoned by the Iraqi army soldiers as they fled. Last January’s fall of Falluja and Ramadi – for which hundreds of U.S. Marines gave their lives in the first decade of this century – now appears to have been a mere dress rehearsal for Mosul. After hundreds of taxpayer billions and thousands of American lives wasted on the war in Iraq before the withdrawal, it is now evident that the additional $14 billion that the United States has spent on arming, training and equipping the Iraqi security forces since December 2011 were also wasted. Even before the latest rebel advance the Iraqi army was ineffective and plagued by mass desertions, especially among its Sunni soldiers. Now that army can be seen for what it is: a sectarian Shi’ite militia, very well armed and equipped but atrociously trained and even worse led. Its top brass is uninterested in defending Sunni-majority areas in the northwest of the country, and its rank-and-file is deeply divided along sectarian lines. Unable and unwilling to develop any sense of loyalty or common purpose among its non-Shia recruits, NCOs and officers, the Iraqi army effectively does not exist.
It is equally noteworthy that Islamic militants have now joined forces with the Baathist leaders and military commanders from Saddam’s era (“Former Regime Elements,” FREs). Most prominently they include former vice-president Izzat al-Douri, who has evaded capture by the “Coalition” and by the Iraqi government for over a decade. Prior to 2003, people like al-Douri – a Baathist secularist – and various hard-core jihadist movements trying to undermine Saddam’s regime were mortal enemies. Their present ability to join forces is entirely due to their shared disdain for the sectarian Shia government in Baghdad. Of course they will not be able to offer a joint “vision” for a Sunni state carved out of what remains of Iraq, but they are eminently able to ensure that one-third of this once-prosperous Arab state will no longer be controlled from the center. The majority-Shia regions – approximately one-half of the territory and two-thirds of the population – will become even more closely linked to Iran, thus making a mockery of Geroge W. Bush’s post-WMD rationale for starting the war.
Particularly ironic is the fact that ISIS is the main fighting force battling Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The ISIS-affiliated jihadists in Aleppo and Raqqa (under whatever temporary label) are to this day aided and abetted by the U.S. government. The arms and equipment shipped via Turkey and Jordan and meant for the elusive Syrian “moderates” invariably end up in extremist hands. Across the border, in Iraq, these same people are the enemy of America and her chosen regime in Baghdad. All along, the group’s ideology and objectives are the same. They are openly proclaimed: there is nothing secretive about the ISIS goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and southeastern Turkey.
There is no coherent U.S. strategy in Iraq, or by inevitable association, in Syria. Both have been pushed to the back-burner in recent months, and both have been based either on wishful thinking or on pig-headed mendacity. The current chaos in Iraq reminds us of the extent to which U.S. interventions abroad are bad in principle if no vital American security and economic interests are involved. Malaki has asked for American air strikes, and even the return of boots on the ground, but this must not happen. No American interest is at stake in the ongoing Iraqi mess, and therefore no U.S. involvement is justified. It never was. Foreign intervention becomes inexcusable if its likely outcome is worse than the status quo. In Iraq the U.S. should not become an active ally of the sectarian Shia regime that cannot and will not either co-opt or corrupt its Sunni co-nationals. In Syria, it is clear that the only likely alternative to Bashar is a nosedive into terrorist jihadist mayhem. Both outcomes would be far worse from the vantage point of U.S. interests, geopolitically as well as morally, than letting things be as they are. The Bush administration, the U.S. government was a problem in creating the bloody Iraqi mess in 2003 and managing it thereafter. Washington’s evil and insane “foreign policy community” cannot be a solution to Iraq’s problems now, and never will be.
The Bill of Rights is not an accumulation of mere words that have become expendable, when the government finds them inconvenient. The Fourth Amendment is especially an example of a promise of protecting natural rights, long ignored and often violated. While much of court precedents involve policing powers, these decisions have profound application to NSA metadata mining. With the first anniversary of the Edward Snowden disclosures, no government official or agency can continue to deny the existence of the total surveillance state.
The NSA’s “General Warrants”: How the Founding Fathers Fought an 18th Century Version of the President’s Illegal Domestic Spying, provides an indispensible example of the fundamental conflict that always exists, when magistrates envision their duty as the maintenance of government supremacy over the inherent autonomy of individuals.
“It is “familiar history,” the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Payton v. New York, that “indiscriminate searches and seizures conducted under the authority of ‘general warrants’ were the immediate evils that motivated the framing and adoption of the Fourth Amendment.” When James Madison drafted the Fourth Amendment, he relied heavily on the Massachusetts Constitution, which forbade warrants that did not specify the “persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure.”
Since the post World War II era, the radical shift from the remnants of the former Republic, into a global authority, where the meaning of the law has no correlation to the intent of original constitutional conviction, is undeniable. What was enemy signals interception became complete domestic scrutiny and monitoring. Lost for all practical legal purposes was The Central Meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Tracey Maclin provides a historic account and judicial context on how the constitution was perverted.
“The Court’s rational basis model essentially asks whether the police have acted irrationally while intruding upon the Fourth Amendment rights of individuals. The Court’s model rarely requires warrants authorizing searches, disfavors vigorous judicial oversight of police searches, and prefers deference to police procedures as the mode of constitutional decision-making.
Most importantly, a rational basis model severely diminishes our rights under the Fourth Amendment. As the private container cases demonstrate, a rational basis model does not subject police searches to vigorous judicial check. In many instances, the police are free to undertake unsupervised and suspicionless searches, even when less intrusive means are available to serve the state’s interests. In other contexts, warrantless searches are permitted when the only justification for such a search is police convenience.
In the end, the Court finds that all of these searches are reasonable because they rationally serve legitimate state interests. This degree of deference to police searches is at odds with the central purpose of the Fourth Amendment, which is distrust of discretionary police power. The Fourth Amendment was not inserted in the Bill of Rights so that judges could meekly defer to government intrusions of privacy; rather, the amendment was designed to control such intrusions.”
The NSA purports that national security not only encompasses data mining on all citizens, but also allows for effective total immunity from oversight and accountability. This mindset expands the ordinary boundaries of maintaining the peace into a tyrannical police state. The commitment to Open Government and Transparency is as believable as the fairy tale that anyone can become President.
Abdication of judicial responsibility is so blatant that the century old decision by Justice William R. Day, Weeks v. United States (1914), U.S. Supreme Court, has no substantive application when the NSA deems that its ECHELON monitoring systems require that a PRISM be kept on everyone person. Also, watch the video, One Year Of Leaks That Turned Surveillance Conspiracy Theory to FACT!
“The point of the Fourth Amendment which often is not grasped by zealous officers is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate, instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime. Any assumption that evidence sufficient to support a magistrate’s disinterested determination to issue a search warrant will justify the officers in making a search without a warrant would reduce the Amendment to a nullity, and leave the people’s homes secure only in the discretion of police officers. Crime, even in the privacy of one’s own quarters, is, of course, of grave concern to society, and the law allows such crime to be reached on proper showing. The right of officers to thrust themselves into a home is also a grave concern, not only to the individual, but to a society which chooses to dwell in reasonable security and freedom from surveillance. When the right of privacy must reasonably yield to the right of search is, as a rule, to be decided by a judicial officer, not by a policeman or government enforcement agent.
There are exceptional circumstances in which, on balancing the need for effective law enforcement against the right of privacy, it may be contended that a magistrate’s warrant for search may be dispensed with. But this is not such a case. No reason is offered for not obtaining a search warrant except the inconvenience to the officers and some slight delay necessary to prepare papers and present the evidence to a magistrate. These are never very convincing reasons and, in these circumstances, certainly are not enough to bypass the constitutional requirement. No suspect was fleeing or likely to take flight. The search was of permanent premises, not of a movable vehicle. No evidence or contraband was threatened with removal or destruction, except perhaps the fumes which we suppose in time will disappear. But they were not capable at any time of being reduced to possession for presentation to court. The evidence of their existence before the search was adequate and the testimony of the officers to that effect would not perish from the delay of getting a warrant.
If the officers in this case were excused from the constitutional duty of presenting their evidence to a magistrate, it is difficult to think of a case in which it should be required.”
The cyber environment of digital existence does not void the need for probable cause. However, the NSA does not observe such constitutional needs when the personal computer is the depository of your private papers. Other than advancements in technological communications and archiving, the precedent of the “exclusionary rule”, established in this case, is the ubiquitous causality from NSA collection that vacuums up every byte of data, using the presumption that everyone is a criminal. Even if not charged for an offense at this time, the information awaits future prosecutorial discretion.
So, when in the case Klayman v. Obama, “On December 16, Richard J. Leon of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the metadata collection program violates the Fourth Amendment”, hopes were high that at least one federal judge had the courage to uphold the constitution. Metadata and the Fourth Amendment then cites that soon thereafter, the weight and magnate of the intelligence snooping force felt the usual letdown, when American Civil Liberties Union v. Clapper was decided.
“On December 27, Judge William H. Pauley III came to the opposite conclusion. Contrary to Judge Leon’s belief that the metadata program has not been effective, Judge Pauley argued that the program could potentially have stopped the 9/11 attacks. However, the crux of his determination was that the Smith precedent applies and that no Fourth Amendment claim can be made out for Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the metadata related to their phone calls.”
Note the bizarre endorsement of this absurdly twisted legal logic that conveniently destroys the intentional importance of preserving essential privacy that corrupt courts want to make conditional.
“Among the requirements for a successful Fourth Amendment claim is establishing that a reasonable expectation of privacy was violated. On this point, the most relevant precedent to the metadata cases is 1979’s Smith v. Maryland, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the telephone numbers they call, for that information is freely provided to telephone companies and it is generally known that telephone companies keep this information in their records.”
Abolishing the expectation of privacy is not subject to the redefining of what are reasonable restrictions that the government places upon its agencies. The reason why the NSA is so dangerous stems from the total lack of observing that the spying on ordinary citizens is a profound repudiation of basic and inalienable rights of each individual.
Such systematic and surreptitious gathering also has No Fourth Amendment right in metadata embedded in posted photo, so say the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before long, this parade of government inspection and retention will subject even the hermit and the deliberate recluse to a profile third degree. It is a never-ending process until snatching your individual identity is the ultimate outcome.
The snoops view you as an enemy of the state, unless you can prove differently, whereas the reality is that The Strange World of NSA Mind Control is the true foe of the liberty of people and a free nation.
“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” – Militia Captain John Parker at the Battle Of Lexington
Just a couple days ago, two armed assailants, a married couple purported by the mainstream media to be “white supremacists” and “conspiracy theorists,” ambushed two police officers at a CiCi’s Pizza in Las Vegas, killing the officers after screaming, “This is a revolution!” The suspects then reportedly covered one officer’s body with a Gadsden Don’t Tread On Me flag and then fled to a Walmart, where they killed another man with a CCW who attempted to reason with them, then committed suicide. Yes, it reads like a Southern Poverty Law Center fantasy story; and in many ways, it is.
As we all predicted the MSM has followed the pattern they have always followed, which is to equate the actions of one or two psychotics with the beliefs and principles of the liberty movement in general.
I remember when Jared Loughner fired into a crowd of people near Tucson, Ariz., killing numerous Federal and State employees; the immediate response by the media was to attempt to tie him to the liberty movement. In the end, he turned out to be a raving leftist. I remember the Boston Marathon bombing and the automatic reflex by the media to accuse “right-wing extremists” of the crime. So far, we have seen NO hard evidence to implicate anyone specific in that atrocity, including the Tsarnaev brothers. Of all the violent crimes dumped in the lap of the liberty movement over the years, how many have actually been committed or endorsed by the liberty movement? I can’t think of any.
This has not prevented the establishment media from doing everything in their power to associate criminal action with political ideals. Efforts to sully the success of the Bundy Ranch stand-off were swift, with Jared and Amanda Miller’s visit to Bunkerville splashed across the headlines. Luckily, the sound judgement of organizations like Oath Keepers led founder Stewart Rhodes to personally ask the two future shooters to leave the property. I can only imagine the weight of the slander if they had been allowed to stay.
When an activist movement holds the moral high ground against a repressive establishment power structure, the establishment’s primary recourse is to target the character of its principles. The secondary recourse is direct confrontation. If a dissenting organization is not mindlessly vicious in its methods, then simply make it APPEAR vicious. If it is not hateful in its rhetoric, then artificially tie it to people who are. And if a government really needs to kick-start a crackdown, it can engineer its own man-made calamities and blame the groups that most threaten its authority.
This was achieved to great effect in Europe from the 1950s until the 1990s by the CIA working in tandem with multiple European governments under a covert project called Operation Gladio.
Gladio was essentially a secret army of operatives and stooges, handlers and puppets, used to create false-flag terrorist shootings and bombings across Europe that were blamed on “left-wing extremists.” In reality, NATO alphabet agencies were behind the entire facade. The goal was to terrorize the citizenry through a nonstop campaign of indiscriminate death, blamed on a convenient scapegoat, so that individuals would hand over more freedom and more power to the central governments. The point is, whether real or staged, I believe such events are going to escalate within the U.S. today on an incredible scale and that, regardless of evidence, they will be blamed on “right-wing extremists.” In case you were wondering, that label will be foisted on most if not all of us.
That said, I think an important truth needs to be stated here: Whether the beliefs of the attackers in Las Vegas were actually liberty movement-oriented or not is ultimately irrelevant. To shoot random police and civilians and then commit suicide is an act of pure insanity, a product of mental instability that has nothing to do with political philosophy, and mental instability trumps belief and association anytime. Mentally unstable people exist within ALL belief systems and political groups.
At bottom, I do not care what their beliefs were. Their actions do not represent the values I hold dear, nor do I think they represent the values most of us hold dear. The shooting is a tragedy, but in the grand scheme of things, it means nothing, and I have little doubt it will be forgotten within weeks.
I relate the story because I do, in fact, agree with one thing: that a “revolution,” a second American Revolution, is inevitable. But I think I speak for the vast majority of the movement when I say that this revolution will not begin with the deaths of innocents or random government employees on our hands, and it certainly won’t begin at the doorstep of a CiCi’s Pizza.
The Bundy ranch incident, which occurred only a short drive from Las Vegas, has been a revelation for many people. Mistakes were made, provocateurs reared their ugly heads, and lessons were learned. But overall, America has been fundamentally changed, even if the average person does not realize it yet. The information war came within a razor’s edge of evolving into a shooting war, with the establishment in retreat, licking its wounds while planning how it can gain back its composure and carefully crafted image of “invincibility”.
What frightens the establishment most, I think, is that the American people have become active participants in their own national environment once again. At Bundy ranch, they stopped asking for mercy, they stopped begging the system to police itself, they stopped waiting for the rigged elections, and they stopped relying on useless legal avenues to effect change. Rather, they took matters into their own hands and changed the situation on the ground on their own. For oligarchy, this development is unacceptable, because one success could lead to many.
Already, we are beginning to hear whispers of possible Federal retribution against those who participated in the confrontation.
This has been cemented within the efforts of a new task force against “domestic terrorism” organized by none other than Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder.
After the recent exposure of Barack Obama’s Department of Defense Directive 3025.18, we now know that since at least 2010, the White House has been setting the stage for the use of military force against “domestic threats.” That is to say, for at least the past four years our government has been quietly maneuvering toward martial law. It’s been happening for much longer if you count George W. Bush’s Presidential Decision Directive 51, which has yet to befully declassified.
The exposure of Directive 3025.18 also came with information that the Obama Administration considered using it as a way to activate military forces and drones against the Bundy ranch. The burning question is, of course, why didn’t it? The Federal government is not known for its diplomacy in the face of a defiant citizenry. Waco and Ruby Ridge made that clear. I believe that it was not necessarily the people on the ground at Bunkerville, Nev., that they were most worried about. The terrain is admittedly a terrible place to mount a defense against a mechanized horde of jackboots.
No, what the White House feared was a larger response to such an attack. It feared the millions of patriots who would swarm down from all sides if it committed to a Ruby Ridge-style siege. It feared the reality that this time, Americans were not going to sit back and watch another family be slaughtered on national television. It feared the fact that it didn’t have the moral high ground in the public eye and that a kinetic failure on its part would be met with cheers, rather than tears, from much of the populace.
So where does this leave us? With the Bundy success besmirching the Feds, the next strategic program will likely include an unprecedented effort to demonize the liberty movement perhaps to the point of a Gladio-type false-flag campaign, leading to the eventual detention of activists as domestic security threats. It’s not going to end with shootings in pizzerias and slobbering hit pieces from the SPLC. Expect a landslide of violent acts. Expect another engineered large-scale calamity like the Oklahoma City Bombing. Expect dozens of Timothy McVeighs to be trotted out in the media. Expect the Liberty Movement’s name to be buried in an avalanche of bullshit. Mark my words; it’s going to get much worse from here on.
And this is where I will add my warning.
Before the Bundy ranch became a possible battleground, I stated in my article “Real Americans Are Ready To Snap” that the liberty movement was going to draw a line in the sand over Bureau of Land Management abuses in Bunkerville, and I was right.
It seems to me that time is growing short. As tyrants become more bold, so too must the citizenry; otherwise, we shrivel up and die. We cannot allow the movement’s momentum to be shattered and driven underground as the militia movement was after Oklahoma City. We know what is coming, and we must drive forward. We know we will be labeled as terrorists and villains, and ultimately, we must realize that such eventualities do not matter. The Liberty Movement is not going away. In fact, future clashes with our criminal government are only going to become more frequent.
The next family threatened, the next activist individual or group arrested or black-bagged without legitimate cause, the next major false flag, the next use of military forces as civil law enforcement, the next unConstitutional misstep, and I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that a revolt will erupt. It’s not about making grand predictions; it’s about examining the logical odds, and the odds are high. The knowledge that the establishment is considering using the full force of its military apparatus against the people has not dissuaded anyone. Bundy ranch was a very near miss. I do not expect a peaceful resolution the next time around. I also do not expect the government as it exists now to stop clamoring for more control or less corruption. If recent events have proven anything, they have proven that a second American Revolution is inevitable; and all we can do is ready ourselves.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
“This deployment of strategic bombers provides an invaluable opportunity to strengthen and improve interoperability with our allies and partners.”
– Admiral Cecil Haney, commander, US Strategic Command on the deployment of B-2 stealth bombers to Europe.
“Against stupidity, no amount of planning will prevail.” – Carl von Clausewitz
Less than 24 hours after Ukraine’s new president Petro Poroshenko announced his determination to retake Crimea from Russia, US Admiral Cecil Haney confirmed that the US Air Force had deployed two B-2 stealth bombers to Europe to conduct military exercises. The addition of the multipurpose B-2, which is capable of delivering nuclear weapons, is intended to send a message to Moscow that the United States is prepared to provide backup for Ukraine’s fledgling government and to protect its interests in Central Asia. News of the deployment was reported in the Russian media, but was excluded by all the western news outlets.
The B-2 announcement was preceded by an inflammatory speech by Poroshenko at the presidential “swearing in” ceremony in Kiev. In what some analysts have called a “declaration of war”, Poroshenko promised to wrest control of Crimea from Russia which annexed the region just months earlier following a public referendum that showed 90 percent support for the measure. Here’s part of what Poroshenko said:
“The issue of territorial integrity of Ukraine is not subject to discussion…I have just sworn ‘with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,’ and I will always be faithful to this sacred promise…
“Russia occupied Crimea, which was, is and will be Ukrainian soil…Yesterday, in the course of the meeting in Normandy, I told this to President Putin: Crimea is Ukraine soil. Period. There can be no compromise on the issues of Crimea, European choice and state structure…” (New York Times)
On Thursday, the day before Poroshenko was sworn in, “President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron set a deadline for Russia to comply with its demands or face harsher economic sanctions that would be imposed by members of the G-7. Once again, the threat of new sanctions was largely ignored by the western media but was reported in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“To avoid even harsher sanctions.. Putin must meet three conditions: Recognize Petro Poroshenko’s election as the new leader in Kiev; stop arms from crossing the border; and cease support for pro-Russian separatist groups concentrated in eastern Ukraine.
“If these things don’t happen, then sectoral sanctions will follow…”
Obama said the G-7 leaders unanimously agree with the steps Cameron outlined.” (Haaretz)
The United States is ratcheting up the pressure in order to widen the conflict and force Russian president Vladimir Putin to meet their demands. It’s clear that the threat of sanctions, Poroshenko’s belligerent rhetoric, and the steady buildup of military assets and troops in the region, that Obama and Co. still think they can draw Putin into the conflict and make him look like a dangerous aggressor who can’t be trusted by his EU partners. Fortunately, Putin has not fallen into the trap. He’s resisted the temptation to send in the tanks to put an end to the violence in Donetsk, Lugansk and Slavyansk. This has undermined Washington’s plan to deploy NATO to Russia’s western border, assert control over the “bridgehead” between Europe and Asia, and stop the further economic integration between Russia and the EU. So far, Putin has out-witted his adversaries at every turn, but there are still big challenges ahead, particularly the new threats from Poroshenko.
If Poroshenko is determined to take Crimea back from Moscow, then there’s going to be a war. But there are indications that he is more pragmatic than his speeches would suggest. In a private meeting with Putin at the D-Day ceremonies in France, the Ukrainian president said he had a plan to “immediately stop the bloodshed”
Here’s how Putin summarized his meeting with Poroshenko:
“Poroshenko has a plan in this respect; it is up to him to say what kind of plan it is… I cannot say for sure how these plans will be implemented, but I liked the general attitude, it seemed right to me, so, if it happens this way, there will be conditions to develop our relations, in other areas, including economy.
“It’s important to stop the punitive actions in the southeast without a delay. That’s the only way to create conditions for the start of a real process of negotiations with the supporters of federalization. No one has yet said anything concrete to the people (living in the southeast of Ukraine) and nothing practical has been offered to them. People there simply don’t understand how they’ll live in the future and what the parameters of the new Constitution will look like.” (Poroshenko tells Putin of plan to immediately stop bloodshed in Ukraine, Itar-Tass)
If the report is accurate, then there’s reason to hope that Poroshenko is moving in Russia’s direction on most of the key issues which are; greater autonomy for the people in East Ukraine, Constitutional provisions that will protect them from future abuse by Kiev, and an immediate end to the violence. Putin has sought assurances on these issues from the very beginning of the crisis. Now it looks like he might get his way. Of course, it is impossible to know, since Poroshenko is sending mixed messages.
So why is Poroshenko sounding so conciliatory in his private meetings with Putin, but so belligerent in public?
It could be any number of things, but it probably has a lot to do with Monday’s scheduled tripartite meetings of representatives from the European Union, Ukraine and Russia. These meetings will have incalculable impact of Ukriane’s economic future. They will resolve the issues of price for future gas purchases as well as a plan for settling all previous claims. (Russia says that Ukraine owes $3.5 billion in back payments for natural gas.)
On April 1, Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s discount and raised the price of gas to 485.5 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters nearly doubling the rate of payment. (It had been $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters) It is impossible to overstate the impact this will have Ukraine’s economy. Even Ukrainian hardline Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was candid in his dire assessment of the situation. He said, “I could have made a populist statement but it is not true. We cannot refrain from using Russian gas.”
If Poroshenko sounds conciliatory, this is why.
Putin refused to discuss the gas issue with the media, but implied that political developments in Ukraine would factor heavily into any decision by Gazprom.
“Russia will be compelled to enact economic protection measures to defend its market if Ukraine signs the association agreement with the EU. “As soon as that accord is signed, we’ll start taking measures to defend our economy,” Putin said. (Itar-Tass)
In other words, if Ukraine doesn’t play ball, it’s going to have to go-it-alone. Kiev cannot expect “most favored trade partner-status”, gas discounts, or other perks if they’re going to stab Moscow in the back and jump into bed with the EU. That’s just not the way things work. Putin is merely warning Poroshenko to think about what he’s about to do before taking the plunge. ( “Average gas prices for Ukrainian households began rising by more than 50 percent in May, and heating prices are expected to climb by about 40 percent, starting in July.” World Socialist Web Site)
This is a much more important issue that most analysts seem to grasp. Many seem to think that IMF, EU and US loans and other assistance can buoy Ukraine’s sinking economy and restore it to health. But that’s a pipedream. In a “must read” report by the Brookings Institute, authors Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes spell it out in black and white, that is, that “Ukraine is a prize that neither Russia nor the West can afford to win.” Here’s a clip from the text:
“It is clear to most observers that the West would not be able to defend Ukraine economically from a hostile Russia…The simple fact is that Russia today supports the Ukrainian economy to the tune of at least $5 billion, perhaps as much as $10 billion, each year…
When we talk about subsidies, we usually think of Russia’s ability to offer Ukraine cheap gas — which it does when it wants to. But there are many more ways Russia supports Ukraine, only they are hidden. The main support comes in form of Russian orders to Ukrainian heavy manufacturing enterprises. This part of Ukrainian industry depends almost entirely on demand from Russia. They wouldn’t be able to sell to anyone else…
If the West were somehow able to wrest full control of Ukraine from Russia, could the United States, the other NATO nations, and the EU replace Russia’s role in eastern Ukraine? The IMF, of course, would never countenance supporting these dinosaurs the way the Russians have. So the support would have to come in the way of cash transfers to compensate for lost jobs. How much are we talking about? The only known parallel for the amount of transfer needed is the case of German reunification. The transfer amounted to 2 trillion euros, or $2.76 trillion, over 20 years. If Ukraine has per capita income equal to one-tenth of Germany’s, then a minimum estimate is $276 billion to buy off the east. (In fact, since the population size of eastern Ukraine is larger than East Germany’s, this is an underestimate.) It is unthinkable that the West would pay this amount.” (Ukraine: A Prize Neither Russia Nor the West Can Afford to Win, Brookings)
The authors go on to show that “a NATO-affiliated Ukraine — is simply impossible under any real-world conditions” because it assumes that Russia will either “become an enthusiastic EU and NATO member itself” (or) “will it return to being the bankrupt, dependent, and compliant Russia of the 1990s.” In other words, the Obama administration’s strategic objectives in Ukraine do not jibe with economic reality. The US cannot afford to win in Ukraine, that’s the bottom line. Even so, we are convinced the aggression will persist regardless of the presumed outcome. The train has already left the station.
At the D-Day ceremonies, Putin and Poroshenko also met briefly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande although the content of their discussions was not revealed. Public support for the two leaders’ Ukraine policy is gradually withering as the fighting continues in the East without any end in sight. An article in the popular German newspaper Die Zeit indicates that elite opinion in Europe is gradually shifting and no longer sees Washington’s Ukraine policy as being in its interests.
Here’s a brief summary from the WSWS: “It goes on to argue that Washington’s aggression is laying the foundations for a Chinese-Russian-Iranian axis that “would force the West to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy to secure its access to important but dwindling raw materials such as oil.” In opposition to this, the commentary insists that Germany’s independent interests lie “with preserving and deepening Europe’s relations with Russia,” while pursuing similar ties with Iran.” (D-Day anniversary: Commemorating the Second World War and preparing the Third, World Socialist Web Site)
This is an important point and one that could put a swift end to US aggression in Ukraine. Washington’s objectives are at cross-purposes with those of the EU. The EU needs a reliable source of energy and one, like Russia, that will set its prices competitively without resorting to coercion or blackmail. Washington, on the other hand, intends to situate itself in this century’s most prosperous region, Eurasia, in order to control the flow of oil from East to West. This is not in Europe’s interests, but promises to be a source of conflict for the foreseeable future. Case in point: Just last week Bulgaria’s prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, “ordered a halt to work on Russia’s South Stream pipeline, on the recommendation of the EU. The decision was announced after his talks with US senators.”
According to RT News, Oresharski stopped construction after meeting with John McCain, Chris Murphy and Ron Johnson during their visit to Bulgaria on Sunday.
McCain, commenting on the situation, said that “Bulgaria should solve the South Stream problems in collaboration with European colleagues,” adding that in the current situation they would want “less Russian involvement” in the project.
“America has decided that it wants to put itself in a position where it excludes anybody it doesn’t like from countries where it thinks it might have an interest, and there is no economic rationality in this at all. Europeans are very pragmatic, they are looking for cheap energy resources – clean energy resources, and Russia can supply that. But the thing with the South Stream is that it doesn’t fit with the politics of the situation,” Ben Aris, editor of Business New Europe told RT.” (Bulgaria halts Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline project, RT)
Once again, we can see how US meddling is damaging to Europe’s interests.
Western elites want to control the flow of gas and oil from East to West. This is why they’ve installed their puppet in Kiev, threatened to levy more sanctions on Moscow, and moved B-2 stealth bombers into the European theater. They are determined to succeed in their plan even if it triggers a Third World War.
In the past week, we discovered that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Islamic Al-Qaeda’s only prisoner of war, deserted his post while serving with his unit in Afghanistan. Instead of a hero’s welcome, he can expect a court martial with hard time.
In addition, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama, broke the law by not conferring with Congress by giving 30 days notice when he bartered five mastermind Muslim terrorists back into their own ranks. Obama remains in contempt of the U.S. Constitution with a new status: he faces charges of aiding and abetting the enemy.
Both Bergdahl and Obama face hard questions on what it means to be serving our country. Both clearly think themselves above the law. Both clearly broke the law. Both need to face a court of justice.
“Yes, we resented Bergdahl,” said Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former Army team leader. “And we were upset with the fact that we were looking for this guy who we knew walked away.”
After Bergdahl deserted, six Army soldiers lost their lives trying to recover a man who walked away from his post. When the dust settles, Bergdahl faces a court martial for desertion. He faces hard time in a military prison.
Before he deserted, he emailed his parents this final note: “The US Army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools and bullies.”
His father, a Muslim, wrote back, “Dear Bowe, In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore one’s conscience.”
Three days later, at 5:30 a.m., a fellow soldier tried to awaken Bergdahl for guard duty. His body armor and weapon remained, but Bergdahl vanished.
A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that the evidence proved incontrovertibly that Bergdahl walked away from his unit. If Army brass fulfills their command duties, Bergdahl faces prison for desertion. He faces the wrath of the families of six other Army soldiers who lost their lives trying to recover the deserter.
On top of that intrigue on the world stage, Mr. Barack Obama, already shredding the U.S. Constitution with his “Fast and Furious” gun running, Benghazi cover-up, granting amnesty unlawfully, his lack of a valid Social Security number, sealing all his records to conceal his very questionable past, lack of enforcing our immigration laws, suing states to stop them from enforcing their immigration laws—and the list grows—now faces “aiding and abetting” the enemy by turning over, not just five Muslim ground grunts, but five of the biggest masterminds of the Islamic terrorist network. Those guys return to planning the next 9/11. How stupid would that make Barack Obama, himself a Muslim by his own admission? Answer: pretty smart! He captured the White House and now he aids the Islamic enemy by returning their best mastermind killers.
Additionally, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (R-OK), wrote in a statement, “Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”
The President broke the law by releasing the five GITMO terrorists. The law requires our sitting president to notify Congress at least 30 days in advance before transferring any prisoner out of GITMO. He gave no notification. He made a unilateral decision. There needs to be a full investigation and consequences – articles of impeachment, for starters.
What questions does this entire fiasco in our foreign policy bring to mind? Who runs our government if not a mob of madmen? What will history report on this myopic, misguided and dishonest president?
Why do we remain in Afghanistan for 12 years of killing, social insanity and over $1 trillion wasted on a goat-herder Islamic society? What kinds of minds drive such stupid, insidious and mindless wars like Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do we “educated and freedom-loving” Americans allow such stupidity to continue? Why do we allow our own government to carry on “private wars” with a volunteer army for the profits of corporations and bankers?
Is Bergdahl guilty of desertion or did he wake up to America’s war-prone insanity? Is Obama a sagacious president or a chronic liar?
We citizens of this Constitutional Republic need to ask ourselves if we want to continue our apathy that allows such pathetic leadership or engage in electing leaders who truly work for the intelligent future of America. If we elect more Obama’s, Harry Reid’s, Charles Schumer’s, John McCain’s, Mark Udall’s, Orrin Hatch’s, Barbara Boxer’s, Diane Feinstein’s and the like—we shall endure more Afghanistan’s with all the insanity created by endless wars and incompetent decisions by incompetent presidents.
Thanatos hangs over America, a death-wish based on the inner rotting of conscience predicated on the constant need for supremacy in the world as a test, indeed validation, of the nation’s moral virtue, to be achieved through military power—a greatness no longer assumed and, because of inner decay setting in, cause for fatalistic entropic reaction. Circa 1950: Better dead than red. Circa 2014: Better dead than descend from the pinnacle of global hegemony—and why not bring everyone else with us? Paul Craig Roberts’s article in CounterPunch, Are You Ready For Nuclear War?, (June 3), may perhaps seem unduly alarmist to the uninitiated, but even without Obama-Team national security advisers thoroughly capable of and attuned to such planning, there are indications inhering in Obama’s studied moves aimed toward direct confrontation with Russia and China that carry intentionally the eventuality of a nuclear showdown.
Both on the Pacific Rim and European trips, closely integrated in time and purpose, Obama sounds like—and is scripted to be—the Avenger against a doubting world, not sufficiently appreciative of America the Land of Freedom (subtext throughout, of course, capitalism the sole legitimate world system replicating America’s own political-economic structure and ideological values). Comparing his statements wherever he appeared on those journeys of confidence-building, all to the end of confrontation with China and Russia, respectively, yet tacitly as though enemies-joined-at-the-hip, he sounded like nothing so much as a broken 78 rpm recording, stand shoulder to shoulder, stand shoulder to shoulder, stand shoulder… ad infinitum. Poland, South Korea, Latvia and Lithuania, Philippines—the more the merrier, coupled with checks (the monetary kind) for military hardware, promises of American protection, assurances, backed by military bases, training programs, joint exercises, membership in the extant alliance system (an attack on one is an attack on all), the foregoing packaged with the ascription of Russia and China as expansion-minded and out to do harm to its neighbors (i.e., our “friends and allies”). Chuck Hagel, interviewed on BBC, invoked Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the one for all, all for one provision, stating that “Russia was a threat” to Europe (June 5). Nothing could be clearer.
And then we have Obama in Brussels, same day, demanding of Putin, in a time frame “over the next two, three, four weeks,” complete disengagement—in Peter Baker’s words, from his New York Times article, “With Group of 7 Backing, Obama Gives Russia One-Month Ukraine Deadline, “ (June 5)—from Ukraine, that is, “to reverse its intervention…and help quash a pro-Russian separatist uprising or else…it would face international sanctions far more severe than anything it had endured so far.” Beyond a time frame, actually an ultimatum, Obama stated that “if Russia’s provocations continue, it’s clear from our discussions here that the G-7 nations are ready to impose additional costs on Russia.” No compliance after the time period (“and if he remains on the current course”), watch out Putin, for “we’ve already indicated what kinds of actions that we’re prepared to take.”
G-7 on banners, rostrums, a deliberate flaunting of exclusion, along with D-Day Observance plans to prevent an Obama-Putin head-to-head, calculated further to enhance antagonism, this choreographed trip is a prelude to bolder demands directed to the EU itself to speak with one voice, that of America’s, in viewing Russia as an enemy bent on invasion of the West. Rather than hysteria, the mood favors an incremental rise in tensions, at each step, the concretization of war readiness, naval forces in the Black Sea, a larger US troop presence in Poland, the steady movement eastward to the Russian border of NATO troops, anti-ballistic missile installations ringing Russia, a hostile environment, to say the least, for a peaceful accommodation, one the US and the EU, by their actions, appears not to want.
I am tempted to explain these developments as the psychopathology of capitalism as a system, thanatos the upshot of the desensitization of human feeling when the commodity structure defines the individual as alienated from social relations of equality and justice, in favor of a pervasive solipsism, driven by fear, introjecting the values of ruling groups as compensation for empty lives, turning on one another to rise in the social hierarchy, in the last analysis, killing without compunction, as in Obama’s signature, drone assassination vaporizing a fellow human being so that no reminder of his/her existence remains. But such an explanation is too simple by half; policy trumps psychology, or rather invites a particular mental-set in order to reach fruition. Thanatos is consequence, not cause. Policy is about market penetration, market fundamentalism, market hegemony, to which must be appended the full-scale militarization of political economy, value system, how order is maintained and reinforced.
Mass surveillance in America is less if at all about counterterrorism than about the artificial props which are necessary to keep society from disintegrating in the face of animalistic greed (apologies to animals for the reference), ethnocentric and racial assumptions, the uneven structure of wealth, an underlying repression insinuated into the fabric of status, power, and wealth for purposes of the stabilization of privilege and recognition. America enjoyed world prestige for so long that a decline of any sort is catastrophic. My way or the highway works only so long; as this realization sinks in, America becomes more dangerous. These provocative moves to mount a massive counterrevolution are failing, whether Putin or Xi or both, the counterweight is fast forming its leadership coming from the people themselves with Russia and China the historical vanguard for creating a world system where no single power is able to dominate and unilaterally shape the destinies of humankind.
My New York Times Comment on the Baker article, same date, follows:
I am delighted by Obama’s rhetoric emanating out of Warsaw and Brussels. It confirms my sense of him as global WARMONGER No. 1. His threats, boasts, needling are an accurate reflection of his and the US’s character. We hear rumors now of a veritable cottage industry in Washington of policy wonks working out nuclear first-strike paradigms against Russia and China. Fitting, because the impulse for destruction is present. Obama is far more dangerous with or without preemptive war than any POTUS perhaps ever.
Does saying that make me a red-pinko-commie? No. Until America puts its own house in order, which may well be never again, criticism is justified without necessarily praising those declared to be adversaries and worse.
How square peace with massive domestic surveillance? with the largest military budget in the world? with the use of counterterrorism to violate civil liberties at home, mount unjustified aggression abroad?
Times readers may scream (one yesterday said of my post on Warsaw, Go back to Russia–I’ll donate to your travel)! That’s perfect, the ratcheting up of Reaction, frighteningly similar to McCarthyism–even more pervasive–that I remember in my youth.
As for a Putin-Poroshenko meeting, it will come about soon. As for Obama’s threat of sectoral sanctions, this will backfire, as Germany and France will not go along. It is fitting Obama has Cameron as his new pal–two peas in a pod. Others however will resent the crass bullying. We deserve Obama.
Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Edward Snowden a radical? The dictionary defines a radical as “an advocate of political and social revolution”, the adjective form being “favoring or resulting in extreme or revolutionary changes”. That doesn’t sound like Snowden as far as what has been publicly revealed. In common usage, the term “radical” usually connotes someone or something that goes beyond the generally accepted boundaries of socio-political thought and policies; often used by the Left simply to denote more extreme than, or to the left of, a “liberal”.
In his hour-long interview on NBC, May 28, in Moscow, Snowden never expressed, or even implied, any thought – radical or otherwise – about United States foreign policy or the capitalist economic system under which we live, the two standard areas around which many political discussions in the US revolve. In fact, after reading a great deal by and about Snowden this past year, I have no idea what his views actually are about these matters. To be sure, in the context of the NBC interview, capitalism was not at all relevant, but US foreign policy certainly was.
Snowden was not asked any direct questions about foreign policy, but if I had been in his position I could not have replied to several of the questions without bringing it up. More than once the interview touched upon the question of whether the former NSA contractor’s actions had caused “harm to the United States”. Snowden said that he’s been asking the entire past year to be presented with evidence of such harm and has so far received nothing. I, on the other hand, as a radical, would have used the opportunity to educate the world-wide audience about how the American empire is the greatest threat to the world’s peace, prosperity, and environment; that anything to slow down the monster is to be desired; and that throwing a wrench into NSA’s surveillance gears is eminently worthwhile toward this end; thus, “harm” indeed should be the goal, not something to apologize for.
Edward added that the NSA has been unfairly “demonized” and that the agency is composed of “good people”. I don’t know what to make of this.
When the war on terrorism was discussed in the interview, and the question of whether Snowden’s actions had hurt that effort, he failed to take the opportunity to point out the obvious and absolutely essential fact – that US foreign policy, by its very nature, regularly and routinely creates anti-American terrorists.
When asked what he’d say to President Obama if given a private meeting, Snowden had no response at all to make. I, on the other hand, would say to Mr. Obama: “Mr. President, in your time in office you’ve waged war against seven countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria. This makes me wonder something. With all due respect, sir: What is wrong with you?”
A radical – one genuine and committed – would not let such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass by unused. Contrary to what his fierce critics at home may believe, Edward Snowden is not seriously at war with America, its government or its society. Does he have a real understanding, analysis, or criticism of capitalism or US foreign policy? Does he think about what people could be like under a better social system? Is he, I wonder, even anti-imperialist?
And he certainly is not a conspiracy theorist, or at least keeps it well hidden. He was asked about 9-11 and replied:
The 9/11 commission … when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed … to detect this plot. We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.
Whereas I might have pointed out that the Bush administration may have ignored the information because they wanted something bad – perhaps of unknown badness – to happen in order to give them the justification for all manner of foreign and domestic oppression they wished to carry out. And did. (This scenario of course excludes the other common supposition, that it was an “inside job”, in which case collecting information on the perpetrators would not have been relevant.)
The entire segment concerning 9/11 was left out of the television broadcast of the interview, although some part of it was shown later during a discussion. This kind of omission is of course the sort of thing that feeds conspiracy theorists.
All of the above notwithstanding, I must make it clear that I have great admiration for the young Mr. Snowden, for what he did and for how he expresses himself. He may not be a radical, but he is a hero. His moral courage, nerve, composure, and technical genius are magnificent. I’m sure the NBC interview won him great respect and a large number of new supporters. I, in Edward’s place, would be even more hated by Americans than he is, even if I furthered the radicalization of more of them than he has. However, I of course would never have been invited onto mainstream American television for a long interview in prime time. (Not counting my solitary 15 minutes of fame in 2006 courtesy of Osama bin Laden; a gigantic fluke happening.)
Apropos Snowden’s courage and integrity, it appears that something very important has not been emphasized in media reports: In the interview, he took the Russian government to task for a new law requiring bloggers to register – the same government which holds his very fate in their hands.
Who is more exceptional: The United States or Russia?
I was going to write a commentary about President Obama’s speech to the graduating class at the US Military Academy (West Point) on May 28. When he speaks to a military audience the president is usually at his most nationalistic, jingoist, militaristic, and American-exceptionalist – wall-to-wall platitudes. But this talk was simply TOO nationalistic, jingoist, militaristic, and American-exceptionalist. (“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.”) To go through it line by line in order to make my usual wise-ass remarks, would have been just too painful. However, if you’re in a masochistic mood and wish to read it, it can be found here.
Instead I offer you part of a commentary from Mr. Jan Oberg, Danish director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research in Lund, Sweden:
What is conspicuously lacking in the President’s West Point speech?
- Any reasonably accurate appraisal of the world and the role of other nations.
- A sense of humility and respect for allies and other countries in this world.
- Every element of a grand strategy for America for its foreign and security policy and some kind of vision of what a better world would look like. This speech with all its tired, self-aggrandising rhetoric is a thin cover-up for the fact that there is no such vision or overall strategy.
- Some little hint of reforms of existing institutions or new thinking about globalisation and global democratic decision-making.
- Ideas and initiatives – stretched-out hands – to help the world move towards conflict-resolution in crisis areas such as Ukraine, Syria, Libya, China-Japan and Iran. Not a trace of creativity.
Ironically, on May 30 the Wall Street Journal published a long essay by Leon Aron, a Russia scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington. The essay took Russian president Vladimir Putin to task for claiming that Russia is exceptional. The piece was headed:
“Why Putin Says Russia Is Exceptional”
“Such claims have often heralded aggression abroad and harsh crackdowns at home.”
It states: “To Mr. Putin, in short, Russia was exceptional because it was emphatically not like the modern West – or not, in any event, like his caricature of a corrupt, morally benighted Europe and U.S. This was a bad omen, presaging the foreign policy gambits against Ukraine that now have the whole world guessing about Mr. Putin’s intentions.”
So the Wall Street Journal has no difficulty in ascertaining that a particular world leader sees his country as “exceptional”. And that such a perception can lead that leader or his country to engage in aggression abroad and crackdowns at home. The particular world leader so harshly judged in this manner by the Wall Street Journal is named Vladimir Putin, not Barack Obama. There’s a word for this kind of analysis – It’s called hypocrisy.
“Hypocrisy is anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.” – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi, (1828-1910) Russian writer
Is hypocrisy a moral failing or a failing of the intellect?
The New Cold War is getting to look more and more like the old one, wherein neither side allows the other to get away with any propaganda point. Just compare any American television network to the Russian station broadcast in the United States – RT (formerly Russia Today). The contrast in coverage of the same news events is remarkable, and the stations attack and make fun of each other by name.
Another, even more important, feature to note is that in Cold War I the United States usually had to consider what the Soviet reaction would be to a planned American intervention in the Third World. This often served as a brake to one extent or another on Washington’s imperial adventures. Thus it was that only weeks after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the United States bombed and invaded Panama, inflicting thousands of casualties and widespread destruction, for the flimsiest – bordering on the non-existent – of reasons. The hostile Russian reaction to Washington’s clear involvement in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in February of this year, followed by Washington’s significant irritation and defensiveness toward the Russian reaction, indicates that this Cold War brake may have a chance of returning. And for this we should be grateful.
After the “communist threat” had disappeared and the foreign policy of the United States continued absolutely unchanged, it meant that the Cold War revisionists had been vindicated – the conflict had not been about containing an evil called “communism”; it had been about American expansion, imperialism and capitalism. If the collapse of the Soviet Union did not result in any reduction in the American military budget, but rather was followed by large increases, it meant that the Cold War – from Washington’s perspective – had not been motivated by a fear of the Russians, but purely by ideology.
Lest we forget: Our present leaders can derive inspiration from other great American leaders.
White House tape recordings, April 25, 1972:
President Nixon: How many did we kill in Laos?
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen [thousand] …
Nixon: See, the attack in the North [Vietnam] that we have in mind … power plants, whatever’s left – POL [petroleum], the docks … And, I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?
Kissinger: About two hundred thousand people.
Nixon: No, no, no … I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?
Kissinger: That, I think, would just be too much.
Nixon: The nuclear bomb, does that bother you? … I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.
May 2, 1972:
Nixon: America is not defeated. We must not lose in Vietnam. … The surgical operation theory is all right, but I want that place bombed to smithereens. If we draw the sword, we’re gonna bomb those bastards all over the place. Let it fly, let it fly.
“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” – Michael Ledeen, former Defense Department consultant and holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute
- William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 50
- Jonah Goldberg, “Baghdad Delenda Est, Part Two”, National Review, April 23, 2002
The experience of humanity is driven and defined by our own consciousness, which is a product of our sophisticated brain functions. We are consciousness in every way shape and form. Control of this miracle of consciousness is sought by a few individuals who are actually suffering from a mental (disconnect) disorder. What psychiatrists sometimes refer to as the psychopathic mind. Unfortunately, one of the characteristics of being a psychopath is that the individual exhibiting the psychopathic behavior has little to no insight into their own actions. In this example, we can say that the “consciousness” is missing from the equation.
This insight to one’s own behavior is also a reference for distinguishing who might be considered “normal” and who might be considered schizophrenic “impaired” or “abnormal” This might lend perspective as to why groups of people (as opposed to individuals), such as governments and corporations, are capable of acting and speaking as a group in ways that are destructive to consciousness and mental and spiritual expansionof our species. Ironically, when an individual acts the same way, he may be considered impaired; but groups, however, will get a pass thus allowing (immune) group entities to implement such damage on the species.
One could measure this phenomenon scientifically by documenting physiological body changes that occur when humans are exposed to images or ideas that reflect “non-consciousness” related items (images of war, government oppression) versus measurable body changes seen when exposed to consciousness related items (love, compassion, human rights issues, etc). Basic vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure, also brain wave spikes readings, magnetic or tomography images are all factors and signs that might be measured to compare the human physiological responses to the concepts of non-consciousness-related reality versus consciousness and higher purpose.
Government would have us think that it is protecting humanity from itself. This non-conscious force we call government gets its life-force from an artificial set of rules called the legal system which non-conscious government would have you think is the script that your reality is not only based on but controlled entirely by. This is like someone walking into a room and notifying everyone in the room that their consciousness and state of awareness of existence doesn’t exist any more. What? You can take someone’s money and belongings, and even forcefully do harm to them and imprison them, but how can you steal someone’s consciousness? Government’s answer to this? By eliminating it or ignoring its existence.
This is one of the prime realities about the concept of government and any group efforts that robs the individual human being of his/her natural state of conscious equilibrium. This is a crime like any other crime, being committed on that individual human being. This can only be appreciated from the standpoint of third party looking down on the species as a whole. When you consider it in this context it is then easy to appreciate this reality. It then becomes easy to see how non-conscious government concepts act as a cancer to the species.
With humanity now swimming in knowledge about itself thanks to technology and the Internet – knowledge which can no longer be ignored – we are only now beginning to see the early results of what happens when truth, awareness and consciousness is triggered by a massive pulse of lies which jolts the consciousness of the species.
Edward Bernays (Propaganda) Effect Now Backfiring?
With the current global awakening now accelerating at speeds that must not be pleasing to the globalist gangsters, it is reasonable to reflect back on the concept of propaganda, groupthink and group manipulation for the purposes of a certain agenda. I would like to suggest that it is possible that the global awakening we are seeing may partially and indirectly have been contributed to by Edward Bernays himself. After all, it was Bernays who admitted openly how these mass mind control techniques were A: Real; B: They worked; C: They worked on the masses because they worked on the individual in a perceived group setting. Bernays showed us that humans responded to clever timing, images and messages that appealed to our subconscious urges, imagination and thoughts. Can it be that we are seeing the culmination of many of these factors backfiring against the original CIA/U.S./NWO plans?
They hoped to continue to fool everyone with their propaganda. They planned and executed false flag operations and reinforced them with their planned propaganda, precisely timed talking points, images and sensationalism. But did they ever consider that the propaganda effect would actually wear out after so many decades of continued obvious lies and hypocrisy? Perhaps they did, and perhaps that is why there is so much talk about depopulation as seen in their own Georgia Guidestones. Perhaps the talk by Zbigniew Brzezinski about how much “easier” it is to kill a million people than control them is an admission that they know humanity will factually wake up as a whole and thus a last resort for the psychopath globalists before they must face their doom.
I believe this is all the end result of hundreds of years of propaganda now fully exposed due to the information age. One thing I’ll say about Bernays is that he never hid what he was doing. He told you straight forward what he was doing, even writing several books about it.
The global political events we are seeing exposed in real-time are a first of its kind. Because of all the released information and knowledge, and because of the Internet, we can track globalist mafia crimes in real-time in a rather exciting way which has led to the alternative or “New Media.” What started off as a truth movement with many little cousin movements all around the world has morphed into one big freedom and consciousness movement. Thankfully, many of the lines that separated us have blurred as humans recognize that they need to come together more than anything else.
Humanity is responding to this non-consciousness force we call government, by coming together and slowly ignoring our political, religious and philosophical differences and instead focusing on the common enemy which is now emerging as the forces that represent non-consciousness that we call governmental control systems. This is at the root of all of our struggles. We hear TV pundits tell us that humans must be controlled by a federal and global unchallenged government. Many of the script-reading advocates for the big government top-down control system just happen to have significant voices in the mainstream media.
No one at mainstream media dare stands for freedom and individual sovereignty. Anyone who does ends up getting fired or being asked to quit. Hollywood TV shows as well as the educational system are all supporting the paradigm of big government. Obama’s primary message to Americans seems to be about not listening to those (lunatics? radicals?) that stand for individual freedoms. Obama may actually be the only U.S. president warning America not of tyranny and the need to stand for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but instead he’s warning his sheep to beware of those warning of tyranny. One of the things the globalists have accomplished is they’ve made it easy to identify those who are with us and those who are not.
Given the current global awakening in light of all the information and spiraling propaganda mentioned above, we can now simplify the battlefield in such a way that it is easy to identify the enemies of freedom. We can now ask anyone the simple question: Power to the state or power to the people, which one do you choose? Will you side with those that demand freedom and sovereignty from government or will you side with those that feel the people are the property and responsibility of big government, and those who rebel are terrorists? The state or the individual? Choose one and take sides now.
We know where NBC stands, and CNN and all the left-wing Obama supporters. Despite their attempts to sound pro-America, we know where Fox News and the Republicans stand also. When measured with this simple question of State versus Individual it is easy to see that both Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same. They are both controlled by criminal elements in the .1 percent class who want their one world government. It is then easy to see how the human element of humanity that is living and breathing, is now fully awakening to this non-consciousness element we’ve been calling government.
Now we can observe how humanity will deal with this force that has cycled its way into an over-sized oppressive control mechanism. Humanity is now realizing that freedom is more a realization than anything else. Yes, realizing something is an expression of consciousness and learning or integration of knowledge and the awareness of this newly acquired knowledge.
With humanity now realizing that government is a useless obstacle in the way of human thriving and freedom, I expect we will witness phenomenal things in the coming months and years. I see humanity now actually slowly but surely pulling together in an all-out effort to save itself from government.
I never thought of this concept myself until recently and I don’t see any other way to articulate it. This is where we are. We are now seeing the expression of this reality in many freedom lovers world wide. This was essentially the very same spirit behind the founding of America. This was the spirit behind the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the primary meme of those initial years when America was founded. It doesn’t mean that the founding fathers were saints or any of that, it means that the spirit of freedom that drove them to do what they did is back, in fact this modern-day rekindling of freedom is and will be much more intense than what the founding fathers imagined. Humanity is now realizing it didn’t finish the job. There is already a track record for getting this freedom thing done, and this track record is serving as a precious guideline for those of us who are new at this.
Let freedom ring, and I look forward to witnessing the end result of this focused effort now closing in on government. No, no one was injured in the writing of this article. Not a shot fired. Consciousness knows no violence, and the desire to thrive and be free is a realization. This battle is strictly mental warfare (as Bernays would have told you) and the transition from rooting for big government to control the people, to empathizing with your own species and connecting with other humans in a conscious way to exercise and celebrate your individual freedom from government is seamless.
Awakening from the matrix cannot be measured with blood, bullets, drones or violence. It (the individual’s awakening) can only be delayed with fear – external, engineered, artificial, government-crafted fear. This awakening is being triggered by the realization that the fear of tyranny is much greater than any artificial fears the government can come up with.
The human awakening has thus triggered a long-awaited re-prioritizing of fear within the species, which is rendering the globalists primary weapon of mass deception obsolete. To think, we need only overcome their engineered fears to render the concept of over-controlling big government obsolete. Once we reach this point (and we are very close) we can then focus more on officially implementing all the solutions to the new world order at a mass scale. Till then, mass knowledge of solutions are now spreading globally as part of the awakening despite the fact that many of the solutions are still being contained by government using fear and intimidation.
The day is soon coming when these barriers of fear will dwindle as more and more people resort to being the change they want to see in the world. It’s already happening and it’s a wonderful thing to see.
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titled The Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.
Source: Bernie Suarez | Waking Times
The Robber Barons of the 19th and 20th century had nothing over the elites of today’s globalist transnational financial conglomerates. The Richest Americans, listed in Forbes conceals the real power that controls the economy. Net worth is deficient in gauging dominance in financial commercialism and monetary preeminence. The Top 50 Highest-Paid CEOs as reported by ABC News ties into Michael Hiltzik’s account that CEO-to-worker pay gap is obscene, “The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio in 2012 was about 350 to 1.” Yet the divide in pay does not exemplify the exact lose in a livable standard of living for the ordinary staffer.If corporate multinationals were really about creating actual wealth, the pay of inspirational leadership and senior management talent, that executes the business plan, would be incidental if the employees were sharing in affluence. Those who demand higher minimum wage compensation do not understand how business works. The inordinate wealth divide, cannot and will not be reduced, until genuine economic prosperity is achieved.
Analyze the idiocy of a naive Undergraduate Research Fellow, Brian Chesley in 3 Ways to Reduce the Wealth Gap.
1. Open higher education to everyone.
2. Increase the minimum wage.
3. Increase taxes on the rich.
Such ignorant and illiterate attitudes demonstrate that institutions of higher learning encourage an atmosphere of social collectivism that plays directly into the hands of the new tyrannical tycoons.
The New York Times OP-ED piece by Daniel Altman (an adjunct associate professor of economics at the New York University Stern School of Business and a former member of the New York Times editorial board), proposes a foolish mindset and proposal in To Reduce Inequality, Tax Wealth, Not Income.
“In 1992, the top tenth of the population controlled 20 times the wealth controlled by the bottom half. By 2010, it was 65 times. Our graduated income-tax system redistributes a small amount of money every year but does little to slow the polarization of wealth.”
American household wealth totaled more than $58 trillion in 2010. A flat wealth tax of just 1.5 percent on financial assets and other wealth like housing, cars and business ownership would have been more than enough to replace all the revenue of the income, estate and gift taxes, which amounted to about $833 billion after refunds. Brackets of, say, zero percent up to $500,000 in wealth, 1 percent for wealth between $500,000 and $1 million, and 2 percent for wealth above $1 million would probably have done the trick as well.”
Absent in redistribution of wealth schemes is that the method of authentic free enterprise is never understood. Nor is there ever an effort to reestablish the principles of real business competition. The marketplace of voluntary and mutually beneficial commercial transactions, destroyed by the systemic Corporatocracy model, is the ultimate reason why wealth disparity is so great. The literal legacy of the Robber Barons is the internationalist financial system of central banking that predetermines the outcomes of selective patrons from calculating crony capitalism.
Public companies, once established to develop, produce and sell innovative goods or services are rare in an environment where financial manipulation is the primary vehicle to riches. Equity exchanges, based upon raising capital for industrious and constructive ventures, seldom function for this utilitarian purpose. The global economy, in reality, has perfected an anti-free enterprise filter that stamps out initiative and penalties upstarts that are not part of the cartels.
With the insolvency of the world-banking system an inescapable fact, the prospects for even more concentration of real assets into the hands of the financial elites, posed for the final wealth confiscation, of resources not already in their hands, is upon us.
When the internationalist financial system implodes and business screeches to a halt, a populist movement to clawback century long fraudulent gains of the hidden stashes from the interlocked illuminati families is the only coherent alternative to establish a fiscally sound financial future.
“The 2014 Bilderberg meeting is another example of those “blurred lines” between government, big oil and the financial sector, the three pillars of war. According to some reports, the topics of discussion at this year’s meeting will include the situation in Ukraine and the Russia-NATO relationship, as well as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an agreement which, according to Stop TTIP, “is in fact a corporate coup that will take us to a ‘corporatocracy’, a corporate-run world.”
The mental confusion that blocks out the way the world fundamentally functions prevents focusing upon any essential debate as to substitute economic parameters for an equitable stake and remuneration for productive contributions to the success of any commercial venture.
The term Robber Barons, should not be substituted for every prosperous risk taker or self-made entrepreneur. The corruption within the cabal economy is rooted in the very nature of the favorable treatment given to participants in the criminal corporatist syndicate.
As Ms. Lévesque correctly describes the methods and operations of this New World Order neo-feudalism, the only structure that offers any prospects for an economic renaissance must target and strip the political influence of the globalists as much as the confiscation of their vast holdings.
Do not be deceived, by communist or socialist newspeak. Sharing the wealth is not the objective. The goal is imposing an unconditionally surrender upon the banksters, which is serious business. Start with the elimination of the Rehypothecation of Collateral. Lawful business has no room for coexistence with derivatives and swaps.Holding the body politic accountable and committed to breaking up the banksters’ monopoly requires compliance regulatory resistance from within the business community. It is just as important as customer and buyer rejection of the corporate induced consumer society. Sadly, most people simply are uninformed about the principles of sound business.
Most CEO’s are not businesspersons, but are globalist enablers and often are outright thieves. The needed business revolution will not be lead by their ilk.
Real competition can never be encouraged until inventive and audacious risk-takers have practical alternatives to fund their enterprises. Only then, will the wealth ratio narrow as affluence, that is more tangible, expands and the fortunes of the oligarchy diminish.
“Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge, which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible…” – George Orwell, 1984
Nations, cultures and populations are best controlled through the use of false paradigms. This is a historically proven tactic exploited for centuries by oligarchs around the world. Under the Hegelian dialectic (the very foundation of the Marxist and collectivist ideology), one could summarize the trap of false paradigms as follows:
If (A) my idea of freedom conflicts with (B) your idea of freedom, then (C) neither of us can be free until everyone agrees to be a slave.
In other words: problem, reaction, solution. Two sides are pitted against each other in an engineered contest. Each side is led to believe that its position is the good and right position. Neither side questions the legitimacy of the conflict, because each side fears this will lead to ideological weakness and disunity.
The two sides go to war, sometimes economically, sometimes militarily. Both governments demand that individuals relinquish freedom, independence and self-reliance, a sacrifice that “must be made” so that victory can be achieved. In the end, neither nation nor society has truly won. The only winners are the oligarchs, who sing words of loyalty to their respective camps, while acting in league from the very beginning. The oligarchs, who never intended to target each other in the first place. Their target, their ONLY target, was the citizenry itself — the dumbfounded masses now mesmerized with shock, awe and terror.
The false paradigm method and the Hegelian dialectic are in full force today. Only a few years ago, Russia, China and the United States were considered close economic and political allies. Today, those alliances are being quickly scrapped in order to make room for conflict, a conflict useful only to a select international elite. As I have outlined in numerous articles, includingRussia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too and False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency, when one looks beyond all the theatrical rhetoric being thrown around between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, the ultimate reality is that the relationship of both governments to the global banking elite is the same.
During both of Obama’s Presidential terms, he has flooded his cabinet with current and formeremployees of Goldman Sachs, a longtime proving ground for elitist financiers with globalist aspirations.
And who is the primary economic adviser to Vladimir Putin and the Russian state? WhyGoldman Sachs, of course!
U.S. and European elites have been calling for a centralization of economic power under the control of the International Monetary Fund, as a well as a new global currency.
Not surprisingly, Putin also wants a new global currency under the control of the IMF.
Obama is closely advised by globalists like Zbigniew Brzezinski, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and cofounder of the Trilateral Commission, who in his book Between Two Ages: America’s Role In The Technetronic Era states:
“The nation-state is gradually yielding its sovereignty …[F]urther progress will require greater American sacrifices. More intensive efforts to shape a new world monetary structure will have to be undertaken, with some consequent risk to the present relatively favorable American position…”
“In the end, the political and economic systems can be harmonized in only one of two ways: by creating an international political regulatory system with the same reach as that of the economic world; or by shrinking the economic units to a size manageable by existing political structures, which is likely to lead to a new mercantilism, perhaps of regional units. A new Bretton Woods kind of global agreement is by far the preferable outcome…”
Both Kissinger and Brzezinski refer to this harmonized global economic and political structure as the “New World Order.” The fact that the political leaders of Russia and the United States are clearly being directed by such men should not be taken lightly.
China, too, has made demands for a restructuring of the global monetary system into acentralized currency basket under the dominance of the IMF.
China’s ties to the banking elite of London are well documented.
The call on both sides for a new monetary system and the end of the dollar as world reserve seems to greatly contradict the fantasy that the East and West are fundamentally at odds. The progression towards a world currency and/or economic governance also appears to be growing along with the consolidation of economic and military ties between Eastern nations. This would suggest that the rise of the East and the crippling of Western elements is actually advantageous to global bankers in the long term.
While disinformation agents and media shills have attempted to downplay any danger to the strength of America and the dollar, Eastern governments have been swiftly establishing alliances and decoupling from U.S. influence.
The historic 30-year Russia/China gas deal has, of course, been finalized. This deal is already eating up market space and influencing the way in which the energy trade traditionally behaves.
China and Russia have also expanded on their bilateral agreements made in 2010, which remove the dollar as the reserve currency in transactions between the two nations.
China’s thirst for gold continues, while the country is now building its own gold exchange to rival the U.S. Comex.
Russia has recently established what Putin calls the “Eurasian Economic Union,” a deal which includes Kazakhstan and Belarus, two countries that hold large, freshly discovered oil fields.
In response to the engineered conflict over Ukraine, as well as the “Asian-Pacific Pivot” by the U.S., China has openly called for a new security pact with Russia and Iran.
Let’s also not forget that China is set to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy by 2016, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
While the rise of the East is being painted in Western circles as a threat to U.S. and NATO dominance, the bigger picture is being hidden from view. Yes, indeed, the consolidation of the East is a considerable threat to the dollar and the U.S. economy — most importantly in the event that China refuses to accept dollars as payment on exports and debts. With the world’s largest exporter/importer refusing to take dollars as a reserve, most nations will inevitably follow their lead. The argument against this development is, of course, that there is no rational trigger for such a violent fiscal attack. I would remind skeptics that there was no rational trigger for the current strengthened relations between Russia and China until the Ukraine crisis. Is anyone really foolish enough to bet against another direct or indirect conflict between NATO and the East? And is anyone really ignorant enough to assume that said event would not be used as an excuse to cut the legs out from under the dollar completely?
The New World Order players have positioned the East and West for just such a scenario. Why? In my article Who Is The New Secret Buyer Of U.S. Debt?, I give evidence indicating that the Bank of International Settlements and the IMF are preparing the financial world for a new global monetary system, brought into existence by a second Bretton Woods conference. The debasement of the dollar and the rise of the East are NOT obstacles to this plan. Rather, they are required factors. There can be no truly global economic system without “harmonization”, the demise of the dollar’s world reserve status, and the end of sovereign economic governance.
For those who doubt this scenario, read Paul Volcker’s latest statement, as reported by Zero Hedge.
Volcker, the same man who was directly involved in the destruction of the first Bretton Woods agreement and the final death rattle of the gold standard, is now promoting a NEW Bretton Woods-style agreement in which currencies are pegged to a controlled market system — in essence, a centralized international monetary system. Volcker also suggests that a single nation-based reserve currency like the dollar may be a danger to overall fiscal health.
Volcker is right. The dollar-dominated forex casino and fiat fraud is a danger to the world. Volcker helped make it that way! And what a surprise, the former Federal Reserve chairman has a solution on a silver platter for the American people — all we need is GLOBALcentralization and bureaucratic oversight.
The propaganda is being carefully planted within the mainstream. Christine Lagarde of the IMF now spends the whole of her media interviews inserting the phrase “global economic reset” without explaining exactly what that would entail, while central banking elites like Volcker suggest a Bretton Woods II conference leading to a global monetary authority. In the meantime, Russian government-funded media outlets like RT produce pieces accusing the U.S. of being a nuclear menace while we Americans get to watch manipulative Hollywood films like “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” which depicts a Russian plot to collapse the U.S. economy. China and U.S. representatives squabble with each other at geopolitical meetings fueling fears of diplomatic breakdown, while the Pentagon “suggests” they may have to revamp their military strategies in consideration of yet another World War. Just as in Orwell’s book, 1984, old enemies become allies and then enemies once again, and at the top of the pyramid, it’s all a farce.
The best lies contain elements of truth. The truth here is that the East is forming alliances in opposition to the West, the West is involved in underhanded covert operations all over the planet, and both “sides” are in fact on the verge of a catastrophic battle for supremacy. The great lie is that important details have been left out of our little story. Both sides are merely puppet pieces in a grand game of global chess, and any conflict will ultimately benefit the small group of men standing over the board. They include the international financiers who have influenced the very policy fabric of each government toward a climactic crisis which they hope will finally give them the “New World Order” they have always dreamed of.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
President Barack Obama delivered his most belligerent and menacing speech to date at the US Military Academy at West Point. Aside from the lofty rhetoric we’ve come to expect in every Obama presentation, the president’s commencement address was a defiant restating of the Bush Doctrine of unilateral intervention, executive authority and endless warfare. The speech contained no new initiatives or surprises, but emphasized Obama’s unwavering support for the policies which have plunged large parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Eurasia into civil conflict, economic collapse and war. Obama defended US aggression on the grounds of “American exceptionalism”, the dubious idea that Americans are special and cannot be held to the same standards as others. The theory implies that Washington’s relentless war-mongering and killing of civilians cannot be prosecuted under international law because the US is a law unto itself.
“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” said Obama. “But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”
Obama’s statement is deliberately misleading. As the president knows, the Bush administration notified U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the US would withdraw from the International Criminal Court Treaty in May 2002 just prior to the invasion of Iraq claiming that the ICC treaty put U.S. service members and officials at risk of prosecution by a court that is “unaccountable to the American people.” In retrospect, we can see that Bush and his lieutenants wanted to remove themselves from any accountability for the atrocities and crimes against humanity they planned to perpetrate in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thus, exceptionalism does not affirm Washington’s willingness to comply with “international norms and the rule of law” as Obama says, but to absolve US leaders from any responsibility for their habitual war-making. As policy analyst Noam Chomsky has said many times, “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”
Here’s Obama again: “Let me repeat a principle I put forward at the outset of my presidency: The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it… International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland or our way of life.”
In other words, the United States will do whatever the hell it wants to and if you don’t like it: “Too bad”. This is the Bush Doctrine verbatim. The West Point oration proves that the new administration has simply modified the Bush credo to suit Obama’s pretentious speaking style. Strip out the visionary formulations, the grandiose bloviating, and the sweeping hand gestures and the ideas are virtually identical; unilateralism, preemption, and exceptionalism, the toxic combo that has spurred 13 years of war, occupation, regime change, black sites, extra-judicial assassinations, drone attacks, and hyperbolic state terror most of which has been directed at civilian populations whose only fault is that they occupy regions where vast petroleum reserves have been discovered or which have some fleeting strategic importance to Washington’s war planners. Here’s an excerpt from an article in the World Socialist Web Site titled “Obama’s West Point speech: A prescription for unending war” by Bill Van Auken:
“Obama is not elaborating here a policy of defensive war to be waged only in response to an attack or the threat of an imminent attack. He is spelling out that the US reserves the right to intervene militarily wherever it believes its “core interests”—i.e., the access of its corporations and banks to markets, raw materials, cheap labor and profits—are involved.
When he speaks of “our livelihoods” and “our way of life,” he is referring not to the ever-declining living standards of the American worker, but to the eight-figure compensation packages of American CEOs, whose fortunes are founded on the exploitation of the working populations and resources of the entire planet…
Everything put forward by Obama is a repudiation of international law and an endorsement of the policy of aggressive war practiced by the Nazis three-quarters of a century ago.” (Obama’s West Point speech: A prescription for unending war, Bill Van Auken, WSWS)
Here’s Obama again defending his malignant foreign policy in terms of “leadership”:
“America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership.”
Obama finds it easy to praise the people who fight his wars, even while he stealthily carries out a plan to privatize the Veterans Administration. Check out this blurb from an article titled “VA secretary resigns amid push to privatize US veterans’ health care”:
“Obama and members of Congress have responded to the VHA scandal with a breathtaking level of cynicism and hypocrisy, even by Washington standards … according to many lawmakers, the answer to this crisis is not the appropriation of funds to hire new doctors and other medical professionals, but the dismantling of the government program in order to provide a profit windfall to private insurers and health industry firms. The result of this policy will be less care at greater cost to veterans…
Under the “Veterans Choice Plan” being promoted by Rep. Andy Harris (Republican of Maryland), veterans could either choose to continue receiving care through the VHA or go to a private provider of their choosing. In what amounts to a voucher system, the federal government would cover the cost of insurance premiums and some out-of-pocket costs, depending on a veteran’s priority ranking…
The moves to privatize veterans’ health care underscore the hypocrisy of the bipartisan glorification of soldiers and veterans. It also sets a precedent for privatizing Medicare and Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor.” (VA secretary resigns amid push to privatize US veterans’ health care, WSWS)
Is there any doubt that Obama forced General Eric Shinseki to step down so he could start to dismantle the VA? And if Obama cares so much about veterans, then why hasn’t he spoken out before about other veteran-related issues like the epidemic of suicides, rapes, traumatic brain injury or PTSD? Obama’s phony outrage is just a headline-grabbing gimmick to conceal what’s really going on, which is the VA is being handed over to America’s insatiable health care tycoons on a silver platter.
Obama again: “For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism, but a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable. I believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy, drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.”
Obama’s comment absurdly implies that the US has learned from its past mistakes and has fine-tuned the art of counterterrorism so it doesn’t involve the squandering of valuable resources. What a joke. It’s like listening to a Mafia hit-man boast that he ‘s learned how to save money on ammo by strangling his victims with his bare hands. This is also a good example of how the Dems think they’re more effective (and discreet) in executing the elitist/corporate agenda than their rivals in the GOP. As if that was the purpose of the party!
Obama also made a few perfunctory remarks about closing Guantanamo, ending indefinite detention and taking steps to address climate change. But clearly these had nothing to do with the main thrust of the speech which was to announce his intention to expand the wars abroad. Citing hotspots in Syria, Ukraine and the South China Sea, Obama promised to “lead” with the military, asserting, by implication, dominion over these regions where the US claims to have “national interests”. Obama is as committed as his predecessor, Bush, to rule by force of arms even though his current adversaries (Russia and China) are not ragtag militias in sandals, but nuclear-armed nation-states who could level the better part of the planet with a flip of the switch. Even so, Obama is determined to pursue the same provocative strategy whatever the risks increasing the probability of a miscalculation that ends in a mushroom cloud.
During my youth, I grew up as a “Service Brat.” My dad served 27 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. I respected God, the Stars and Stripes, America and our presidents without question. I loved my mom’s apple pie!
However, credible researches discovered that President Franklin D. Roosevelt “let” Pearl Harbor occur to draw public support to jump the United States into World War II.
Our kids fought the Korean War because somebody in Harry S. Truman’s circle decided we needed to stop communism over 10,000 miles from our shores. The best bet on who started the Korean War: a banker, a corporation head or anyone hoping to make enormous gains off mass deaths.
By the time Vietnam conscripted and killed a lot of my friends, as well as my own time in the U.S. Army, I learned about lies, corruption, bankers and the real reason for Vietnam. I learned that presidents lie. They think nothing of sacrificing young men in ridiculous wars such as Lyndon Baines Johnson’s onslaught of Southeast Asia. He killed over 2.3 million Vietnamese and 58,319 of our young men. He ruined millions of lives, families and the environment with Agent Orange.
Years later, George W. Bush “created” the Iraq War on his lies and deceptions of “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” He destroyed an entire functioning civilization, brought endless death and misery to God knows how many people. We’re still fighting and dying in Afghanistan over a year since bin Laden died at the hands of Navy Seals.
Highly decorated U.S. General Smedley Butler, upon retiring, wrote a book that every American should read: War is a Racket. The only people who benefit from war: bankers, munitions manufacturers, clothing and food producers and corporations. They make a lot of money off death of our citizen soldiers.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the “Military Industrial Complex” that engineers wars, global tensions and anything to shove our kids into uniform and battles. Congress and presidents shoved our noses into everybody else’s business for decades.
We didn’t listen to Butler. We “supported” all those wars via massive “advertising” that a “threat” awaited us. Those wars made a lot of CEOs filthy rich.
In 1971, defense expert Daniel Ellsberg presented the Pentagon Papers exposing the incredible corruption and widening of the Vietnam War by Nixon and Johnson before him—all based on lies.
Last week, NBC’s Brian Williams interviewed “whistleblower” intelligence officer Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency’s incredible spying on American citizens. I watched the entire interview: Snowden showed himself to be incredibly honest, forthright, concerned, all-American, he honors the U.S. Constitution and he is a man of principles. He chronicled his work in the government that opened him to the corruption at the highest offices in our government.
Secretary of State Kerry called Snowden a “Traitor, coward and should come home to face the music.”
Daniel Ellsberg responded, “Kerry’s remarks are despicable!”
I agree. We need 10,000 Edward Snowden’s. In America today, we face incredible corruption in our Congress and Mr. Obama himself. The list grows: Fast and Furious, won’t enforce our immigration laws, phony Social Security number, Benghazi killings, suing states from enforcing their own laws, continue to fund 10 year wars when they know they are futile, and on and on. The corruption in Congress runs wide, deep and sickening from 20 and 30 year career Senators and Congressmen swimming in lies, cheating and playing the American people. Insider military trading on the stock market, paid off by corporations to NOT enforce our immigration laws and another 100 crimes against the American people.
“So many things we are told are untrue,” said Snowden. “The Iraq War was launched on false premises. We were led by false statements to go into Iraq.”
I can stand with Snowden because I know we marched into Vietnam on the same false statements such as the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident.”
When he tried to notify superiors, they said, “You should stop asking questions.”
I faced the same thing when I served as an officer in the U.S. Army. I learned to never question orders. If I did, command officers ridiculed me. I learned quickly to follow the military protocol.
Snowden said, “I watched the government’s dishonesty. What was going on needed to be told to the public. I did nothing to harm the citizens or soldiers of America.”
Williams asked, “Why won’t you come home and face the music?”
“The Espionage Act states that you cannot have a defense,” said Snowden. “The music is not an open court or fair trail.”
“Are you blameless,” asked Williams.
“The most important idea is that what is right may not be legal,” said Snowden.
I can attest to that fact. Once the man or “group” who gained George Bush’s ear turned the crank to initiate the Iraq War, no sane, rational or reasoning man could stop it.
“We are seeing an erosion and obstruction of our rights as citizens under the NSA,” said Snowden. “I felt that I was/am serving my country and protecting my fellow citizens. Even one of the U.S. Senators said that bulk surveillance is unacceptable. We see senior officials taking powers they don’t warrant. In the end, I did the right thing.”
I applaud Snowden. If more Snowden’s stood up in the face of withering criticism or “following the power elites” that create wars or spy on our own citizens or recklessly endanger our country—none of our kids would have died in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Desert Storm or Afghanistan.
Look to career U.S. Senators like Feinstein, Boxer, Reid, Udall, Bennet, McCain, Kyle, Schumer, Levin, Kerry, Durbin, Kennedy, Hatch, Graham and dozens of other senators for their complicity in driving this country into needless wars, not defending our borders, slamming us into $18 trillion debt and putting all of us at risk. For example: the current S744, passed by the Senate last year, guarantees our country spirals into the demographic, cultural and linguistic toilet. Yet, the damned fools passed it. I recall Mark Twain’s sage words, “Suppose you are an idiot and suppose you are a member of Congress…ah but I repeat myself.”
We should welcome Edward Snowden home as a national hero, and, at the same time shouting out to Secretary of State John Kerry, “You’re despicable beyond measure.”
Ever wonder why nobody (except Kareem Serageldin) went to jail for all the crimes committed during the financial bubble that popped in 2008?
If you think back to the 2000-era bubble, lots of people went to jail for the fraud perpetuated at Enron, Tyco, Adelphia, and other firms. Plus, the law back then destroyed a whole accounting firm — Arthur Andersen, you may remember — and 28,000 jobs along with it, in the wake of the bust.
Yet post-2000, firms with far more brazen crimes got off by paying a mere fine.
Its U.S. subsidiary committed, as Taibbi writes, “an astonishing list of crimes — a laundry list that included pretty much every kind of crime a bank can possibly be charged with.”
- Laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia
- Washing money for terrorist-connected organizations in the Middle East
- Allowing “rogue states” under formal sanctions by the U.S. to move billions freely through the bank
- Helping Russian mobsters wash money under an elaborate traveler’s check scheme
And what was the penalty for all this?
At the time, it was the biggest fine in history. But in context, for a firm that made $22 billion per year, it was not much at all. In fact, looked at in a cold calculating light, the message clearly is: Crime pays.
Note there was no jail time for anybody. Everybody at HSBC got paid. Well, HSBC agreed to partially — partially, mind you – defer (!) bonus payments to its top executives.
Oh, and HSBC had to say it was sorry. “We are profoundly sorry,” said CEO Stuart Gulliver.
But how did we get here?
Matt Taibbi explores the reasons in his book The Divide. Taibbi used to write for Rolling Stone. He was the guy who famously called Goldman Sachs a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” (I wish I had written that line.)
He’s a very good investigative reporter and a fine writer. He’s mellowed out a bit in this book and you won’t find much of the usual Taibbi name-calling and profanity. Taibbi, for good or ill, plays this one straight.
He covers a lot of ground, but the central thesis is one most people will intuitively grasp: If you are rich and powerful, you can get away with almost anything. Rights exist on a sliding scale. And if you are on the bottom, you can do time for loitering.
“The cleaving of the country into two completely different states — one a small archipelago of hyper acquisitive untouchables, the other a vast ghetto of expendables with only theoretical rights — has been in the works a long time.”
But to answer the question posed up top about why nobody’s going to jail, there’s more to the story. You have to go back to a memo written by Eric Holder, the current attorney general, back in 1999, when he was an official in the Clinton White House.
He articulated a concept called “collateral consequences.”
It meant, in essence, that the government could take into account all kinds of factors like job losses and such in deciding whether to press criminal charges against a big company. “If the math isn’t there,” Taibbi writes summing things up, “hold the charges. Seek other forms of justice instead. Fines. Civil sanctions. Cease and desist orders. Deferred prosecutions. There are other ways, Holder wrote, to get the job done.”
In other words, there would never be another Arthur Andersen. Firms had new ways to wiggle out of criminal charges. Hence, we have the monster we have today. Companies too big to jail.
Meanwhile, in other aspects of life, a culture approximating a police state grows apace. Taibbi points to the record levels of incarcerations in the U.S. “Our prison population, in fact, is now the biggest in the history of human civilization,” Taibbi writes. The U.S. has more people behind bars today “than there were at any time in Stalin’s gulags.”
The story here is nasty. He tells the story of private prisons, such as those of Corrections Corp. of America. They get, “depending on whom you believe,” upward of $166 per day from the federal government per inmate. This is four times what it cost back when the government took care of its own detainees.
“The big influx of cash impressed investors on Wall Street,” Taibbi writes. From 2000-2011, CCA’s stock went up 34-fold. Sales went from $300 million to $1.7 billion by 2011. “Overall, the corrections industry is one of the soundest stock/equity bets in the world, with soaring revenues — the industry as a whole pulled in more than $5 billion in America in 2011.”
Needless to say, that didn’t just happen. CCA and others donate generously to politicians. They support anything that might lead to more people spending time in their cells. They particularly like anti-immigrant bills. And Taibbi has harrowing tales about the mistreatment of immigrants in this country. He calls Hispanic immigrants “one of America’s last great cash crops.”
“And someone else wins, too,” Taibbi writes. “Wall Street. Some of the biggest investors in private prison companies are, you guessed it, the too-big-to-fail banks.”
Taibbi writes about an analysis from Zacks that gleefully revels in the lack of economic sensitivity in the business. And then cites a chart with shows a hockey stick increase in the number of incarcerated Americans.
So the country is turning more and more into a dragnet… but only for the poorest. There is no HSBC banker sitting in a CCA cell. It is symbolic of the kind of economy we have today:
“Like too-big-to-fail banking itself, private prisons are an industry that depends not on the unpredictable economy but upon political connections. It’s the perfect kind of business in the oligarchical capitalism age, with guaranteed profits to provide a low-cost public insurance against the vagaries of the market.”
The economy is riddled with corruption like this, a marriage between big business and Big Government. And a recurring theme in this book is the offspring this marriage creates: a relentless, insatiable bureaucratic force that grinds up individuals fed into its maw.
“These bureaucracies accomplish just two things,” Taibbi writes. “They make small piles of money smaller and big piles of money bigger… It just relentlessly creates and punishes losers, who get to sit beneath an ever-narrowing group of winners, who may or may not stay on top for long.”
Legal rights are not absolute. Those with money who can tirelessly throw lawyers and lawsuits and counterlawsuits at any problem can survive almost anything. For the rest, it’s a matter of attrition. And those at the bottom have no chance.
I can’t do justice to all the journalistic fieldwork and stories Taibbi has put in his 416-page book. It is a gripping read and will infuriate you and frighten you, and maybe even make you sad for what’s happened to the “Land of the Free.”
The book does not have a happy ending. The good guys don’t win in the end. But I encourage you give it a read. What it describes is life in these United States. Those of us who cherish liberty have quite a job ahead of us.
Chris Mayer studied finance at the University of Maryland, graduating magna cum laude. He went on to earn his MBA while embarking on a decade-long career in corporate banking. Chris is the editor of Capital and Crisis and Mayer’s Special Situations, a monthly report that unearths unique and unconventional opportunities in smaller-cap stocks. In 2008, Chris authored Invest Like a Dealmaker: Secrets From a Former Banking Insider.
Source: Laissez Faire
President Barack Obama’s commencement address at West Point on May 28 managed to displease pretty much everyone in the nation’s commentariat. Before making an overall assessment of its significance, it is necessary to examine the validity and implications of Obama’s individual statements.
“[B]y most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise – who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away – are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.”
This key assertion, made at the beginning of the President’s address, does not stand to empirical scrutiny. In economic terms, America was far stronger vis-à-vis the rest of the world in 1945 than she is today. In more recent times, U.S. share of world GDP peaked in 1985 with just under 33 percent of global GDP (nominal). Between 2004 and 2014, United States’ share of global gross domestic product (GDP) adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) has fallen from 22.5 percent to 18.5 percent, and it is expected to continue falling. By the end of this year China will overtake the United States in gross domestic product, which had originally been projected to happen by the end of this decade. Analysts concede will gradually shift the ability to confer advantages or disadvantages on other countries – in other words, power – in China’s favor.
In military terms, while America enjoyed the nuclear monopoly in 1945-49, her period of undisputed unipolar dominance was between 1991 (the collapse of the USSR) and 2008 (Russia’s counterattack in South Ossetia). Although the Pentagon budget will drop from $600 billion this year to $500 billion in 2015, it will continue to account for over a third of the global total. The unsatisfactory outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan and dented America’s image of military invincibility. As the Economist commented on May 3, “The yawning gap between Uncle Sam and his potential foes seems bound to shrink.” The prevailing view among most critical analysts is that over the past decade the U.S. has suffered military reverses, and now faces severe global competition.
As for the “global leadership,” it is unclear what exactly Obama had in mind. Russia and China are creating a powerful Eurasian counterweight to what they rightly perceive as Washington’s continuing bid for the global hegemony. India’s new prime minister is a potential partner at best, and certainly loath to acknowledge America’s “leadership.” In the Islamic world, Obama’s attempts at appeasement – which started with the Cairo speech in 2009 – have not worked: The U.S. is now even more unpopular in the Muslim world than it was under George W. Bush. America is heartily disliked even in Turkey and Jordan, presumably our allies, not least because of the continuing drone strikes. American influence in Latin America is weaker now than at any time since Theodore Roosevelt, as manifested in the unanimous rejection of Washington’s efforts to effect a regime change in Venezuela. Members of the American elite class are hard pressed to name a single country with which the U.S. has better relations today than five years ago. The NSA global spying network has infuriated even some otherwise reliable American friends in Western Europe. Most “Old Europeans” are remarkably resistant to U.S. pressure to agree to serious sanctions against Russia.
On balance it appears that Barack Obama is the one misreading history and engaging in partisan politics.
“Meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on Earth, our businesses the most innovative.”
In reality, by most value-neutral parameters the American economy is chronically weak and insolvent:
- Far from growing, the economy contracted in the first three months of this year at the annualized rate of one per cent, and it is unclear where future growth would come from. Gross domestic income is also falling sharply, for the first time in years.
- There are fewer workers, they are less efficient than a decade ago, and new employment is mostly in low-paying part-time jobs. Labor force participation (the percentage of Americans at work) is low, at levels not seen since the stagnant economy of the 1970s. One-fifth of 80 million American families do not have a single employed member.
- Government dependence has reached epidemic levels: the number of Americans getting money or benefits from the federal government exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million. Welfare spending and entitlement payments account for 69 percent of the federal budget.
- One-third of all American households are living hand-to-mouth, one paycheck from poverty. The median annual income is 7.5 percent lower than in January 2008.
- The inflation-adjusted S&P500 is back to where it was in 2007. The single biggest buyer of stocks are the companies of the S&P500 itself. At $4 trillion, stock buybacks account for one-fifth of the total stock market value. The biggest buyback in market history added zero productive value to the companies concerned.
- The mountain of debt is nearing $17.5 trillion. The drivers of growing deficits and debt in the future are unfunded entitlement programs that are designed to transfer resources from working people to retirees. When the government pension and health care commitments which are missing from official budget figures are accounted for, the total national debt is nearly $95 trillion, more than seven times the published figure.
- The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is almost over. Russia and China have joined forces in “de-dollarization” of their mutual transactions and are looking for a more productive and safe use for their monetary reserves. Their recent gas deal is the beginning of the end for the petrodollar. Eventually Washington will have to choose between an outright default and hyperinflation, and the rest of the world is waking up to that fact.
Some “dynamism,” some “innovation”…
“America continues to attract striving immigrants.”
Obama’s statement is correct. It does not illustrate America’s alleged strength as was his intent, however; it underscores this country’s major weakness. Illegal immigration is spiraling out of control, the Border Patrol is overwhelmed. If the influx continues at current high levels, the U.S. population will increase to almost half a billion in 2060 – more than a 50 percent increase. New immigrants – mostly from the Third World, unskilled, uneducated, and a net drain on American resources – and their descendants will account for over one hundred million of that increase. On current form, English-speaking Americans of European origin will become a minority in their own country four decades from now. They will inhabit an increasingly overpopulated, polluted, lumpenproleterized, permanently impoverished country. America unfortunately does continue “to attract striving immigrants,” mostly illegal ones and of poor quality. This is far greater threat to the survival of the United States in a historically or culturally recognizable form than terrorism or any conceivable alliance of foreign powers. Barack Obama does not understand this, or does not care, or – just as likely – cherishes the prospect.
“The values of our founding inspire leaders in parliaments and new movements in public squares around the globe.”
By “public squares” Obama was probably alluding to Kiev’s Maidan. Indeed, it has propelled some “new movements” to global prominence, such as the Svoboda party and the Right Sector. The Founding Fathers would be horrified to learn that, in the opinion of the President of the United States, their values have inspired Messrs. Tyahnybok, Yarosh, and other blood-soaked heirs to Stepan Bandera. This is on par with Senator Joseph Lieberman saying, “The United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”
“And when a typhoon hits the Philippines, or schoolgirls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine, it is America that the world looks to for help.”
Obama is mixing apples (natural disasters) and pears (man-made ones). The problem of Islamic terrorism in Nigeria was exacerbated by the refusal of the Department of State under Hillary Clinton to place Boko Haram (“Secular Education is Sinful”) on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen Senators and Congressmen. The de facto protection thus given to Boko Haram has enabled it to morph into a state-within-the-state with an estimated 300,000 followers.
It would be ironic if “the world” were to look to America for help in Ukraine (which in any event it does not), since the course of crisis there has been, overwhelmingly, of Washington’s own making, as manifested in Victoria Nuland’s famous phone call to Ambassador Pyatt. The new Drang nach Ostenmakes sense from the point of view of the liberal globalist-neoconservative duopoly: there is no better way to ensure U.S. dominance along the European rimland in perpetuity than drawing Europe back into NATO (i.e. U.S.) security orbit in general and subverting the Russo-German rapprochement in particular. The “masked men” in buildings are a direct consequence of American meddling.
“So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century past, and it will be true for the century to come.”
It has never been true, it is not true now, and it never will be true. Madeleine Albright’s famous dictum was an arrogant statement by an immigrant ignorant of American history and a sign of her well-attested instability. It was reiterated in Bill Clinton’s 1996 speech, where he explained why he intervened, disastrously, in Bosnia: “The fact is America remains the indispensable nation. There are times when America, and only America, can make a difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression, between hope and fear.” That Obama has chosen to recycle such rubbish is a sign of intellectual and moral bankruptcy. “Indispensable” to whom, exactly? It is unimaginable for the leader of any other country in the world – Vladimir Putin, say, or Xi Jinping – to advance such a claim. It is tasteless at best and psychotically grandomaniac at worst, a latter day “Manifest Destiny” on steroids. The problem is that such hubristic delusions easily translate into non-negotiable foreign policy objectives. Resisting the will of the “indispensable nation” is ipso facto evil: Susan Rice’s condemnation of Chinese and Russian vetoes of the U.S.-supported UN Security Council resolution on Syria as “disgusting,” “shameful” and “unforgivable” comes to mind.
“Russia’s aggression towards former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors.”
Quite apart from the genesis of the crisis in Ukraine, to which “Russia’s aggression” hardly applies, Obama’s use of the term “former Soviet states,” plural, implies that in his opinion Ukraine is not the only “victim of Russia’s aggression.” Presumably he means Georgia, the only “former Soviet state” with which Russia has had a conflict since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If so, and there is no other explanation for his turn of his phrase, Obama has a dangerously flawed understanding of the August 2008 Georgian crisis.
Georgian then-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s order to attack South Ossetia’s capital, Tskhinvali, was a breathtakingly audacious challenge to Russia, to which she was bound to react forcefully. That response was promptly exploited, for the first time since Gorbachev, by the American mainstream media machine and the foreign-policy community in Washington to paint Russia as a rogue power that is not only dangerous but intrinsically malignant. The vehemence of that rhetoric exceeded anything ever said or written about jihad, before or after September 11. To be fair, Saakashvili was led to believe that he was tacitly authorized to act as he did. President George W. Bush had treated Georgia as a “strategic partner” ever since the Western-engineered “Rose Revolution” five years earlier, and in early 2008 he strongly advocated NATO membership for Georgia. Washington had repeatedly supported Georgia’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” which implied the right to use force to bring South Ossetia and Abkhazia to heel, just as it is supporting “resolute action” in Donetsk and Lugansk today. Saakashvili may be forgiven for imagining that the United States would have bailed him out if things went badly. It is noteworthy that he was not disabused of such notions. The calculus in Washington appears to have been based on a win-win scenario, not dissimilar to the current Ukrainian strategy. Had Georgian troops occupied South Ossetia in a blitzkrieg operation modeled after Croatia’s “Operation Storm,” while the Russians remained hesitant or ineffective, Moscow would have suffered a major strategic and (more importantly) psychological defeat after almost four years of sustained strategic recovery. If Russia intervened, however, she would be duly demonized and the U.S. would push for NATO consolidation with new vigor. “Old” Europeans – the Germans especially – would be pressed to abandon their détente with Moscow. A resentful Georgia would become chronically anti-Russian, thus ensuring a long-term American presence in the region.
In the event, like the Ukrainian army today, the Georgian army performed so poorly that a military fait accompli was out of its reach. Excesses against Ossetian civilians – just like the shelling of schools in Slavyansk today – made the “victim of aggression” narrative hard to sell, Obama’s “aggression” rhetoric notwithstanding.
“The question we face… is not whether America will lead but how we will lead, not just to secure our peace and prosperity but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.”
It is unclear how, if at all, America will secure her own “peace and prosperity” in the years and decades to come, let alone how she can extend it “around the globe.” If this is a statement of Obama’s grand strategy, it is flawed in principle and unfeasible in detail. In this statement there is not a hint of an overall blueprint for action that matches our country’s resources to her vital interests. A sound grand strategy enables a state to deploy its political, military, economic, and moral resources in a balanced and proportionate manner, in order to protect and enhance its security and promote its well-being, never mind “the globe.” In Obama’s universe, however, there are no brains behind “indispensable,” heavy-handed diplomacy and military power. Obama creates a false dilemma (“the question we face”) unsupported by facts. China, India, Russia, the Muslim world and Latin America do not want to be “led,” quite the contrary. Old Europe is reluctant at best. Subsaharan Africa is an irrelevant mess. The question we face is not global leadership, but national survival.
“Regional aggression that goes unchecked, whether in southern Ukraine or the South China Sea or anywhere else in the world, will ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military. We can’t ignore what happens beyond our boundaries.”
This simultaneous dig at Russia and China reflects a hubristic world view that is unmatched by conflict-management resources. A sane American relationship with Moscow demands acceptance that Russia has legitimate interests in her “near-abroad.” Obama’ four-nation tour of East Asia last Aprilescalated existing U.S. military commitments to the region, created some new ones, deeply irritated China, and emboldened American allies and clients to play hardball with Beijing. Obama does not understand that it is extremely dangerous for a great power to alienate two of its nearest rivals simultaneously. The crisis in Ukraine is going on, but the situation in Asia is potentially more volatile. Dealing with both theaters from the position of presumed strength and trying to dictate the outcomes is perilous, as many would-be hegemons (Philip II, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler), blinded by arrogance, have learned to their peril. Obama has continued the hegemonist habit of instigating crises at different spots around the world, even though the resources are scarce and the strategy is fundamentally faulty. An overtly anti-U.S. alliance between Russia and China is now in the making. U.S. overreach led to the emergence of a de facto alliance in the Eurasian Heartland, embodied in the gas deal signed in Shanghai. Russia and China are not natural allies and they may have divergent long-term interests, especially in Central Asia, but they are on the same page when it comes to resisting U.S. hegemony, pardon, “leadership.” In the early 1970’s Dr. Henry Kissinger wisely understood the benefits of an opening to Beijing as a means of pressuring Moscow on the Cold War’s central front. Back then the USSR was far more powerful than the People’s Republic. Today, by contrast, China is much more economically and demographically powerful than Russia, and for the United States the optimal strategy would dictate being on good terms with the weaker party in the triangle. America does not have a policymaker of Kissinger’s stature today, who would understand the potential of a long-term understanding with Moscow as a tool of curtailing Chinese ambitions along the Pacific Rim.
“America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership.”
The notion that “the world stage” demands a “leader” is flawed. It is at fundamental odds with the balance-of-power paradigm, which has historically secured the longest periods of peace and unprecedented prosperity to the civilized world. Today’s world is being multipolarized, whether Obama the Exceptionalist likes that or not. The very idea of the self-awarded “world leadership” would appear absurd in the days of Bismarck or Metternich. Washington has neither the resources nor the minds for such a role, even if it were called for.
“The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it — when our people are threatened; when our livelihoods are at stake; when the security of our allies is in danger.”
None of the above applied in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya… but enough of Obama. There was more rhetoric at West Point, including an ode to American exceptionalism and further references to America’s global leadership, but it just as tedious, vacuous and intellectually wanting as the first ten minutes of his address.
Overall, it is evident that the United States in Barack Obama’s final term has not given up the hegemonist habit of instigating crises at different spots around the world, even though the management resources are scarce and the strategy is fundamentally faulty. An overtly anti-U.S. alliance between Russia and China is now in the making. It will be a belated equivalent of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1893 – the predictable result of an earlier great power, Wilhelm’s Kaiserreich, basing its strategy on hubristic overestimation of its capabilities. U.S. overreach has led to the emergence of a de facto alliance in the Eurasian Heartland, embodied in last month’s energy agreement signed in Shanghai. Russia and China are not natural allies and they may have divergent long-term interests, especially in Central Asia, but they are on the same page when it comes to resisting U.S. hegemony.
In the early 1970’s Dr. Henry Kissinger wisely understood the benefits of an opening to Beijing as a means of pressuring Moscow on the Cold War’s central front. Back then the USSR was far more powerful than the People’s Republic. Today, by contrast, China is much more economically and demographically powerful than Russia, and for the United States the optimal strategy would dictate being on good terms with the weaker party in the triangle. It is unfortunate that America does not have a policymaker of Kissinger’s stature today, who would understand the potential of a long-term understanding with Moscow as a tool of curtailing Chinese ambitions along the Pacific Rim.
Judging by the West Point address, for the remaining two and a half years of Obama’s term U.S.-initiated global confrontations will continue as before. Instead of de-escalating the bloody mess to which she has made a hefty contribution, Victoria Nuland will continue encouraging her blood-soaked protégés in Kiev to seek a military end-game in the East. Instead of calming the South China Sea, Washington will continue encouraging its clients to be impertinent. And Putin and Xi will draw their conclusions: that they do have a powerful common enemy, a rogue regime not amenable to reason or rational calculus.
It cannot be otherwise, considering the Obama Administration’s 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, which is but a rehash of the strategic assumptions of the Bush era. In Obama’s words from two years ago, our “enduring national interest” is to maintain the unparalleled U.S. military superiority, “ready for the full range of contingencies and threats” amid “a complex and growing array of security challenges across the globe.” The Guidance itself asserts that the task of the United States is to “confront and defeat aggression anywhere in the world.” This is not a grand strategy but a blueprint for disaster—especially when combined with the interventionists’ urge to “confront and defeat” not only aggression as such but also “aggression” resulting from internal conflicts irrelevant to the American interest (Syria, Ukraine) and putative threats to regional stability (Iran).
Obama is a more reluctant interventionist than McCain or Romney would have been, but he, too, does not recognize the limits of American power and does not correlate that power with this country’s security and prosperity. He fails to balance military and nonmilitary, short and long-term capabilities. He rejects the fact that the world is becoming multipolar again, while the relative power of the United States is in steady decline. Obama’s absence of a viable grand strategy produces policies that are disjointed, nonsensical, and self-defeating. He is prone, no less than his predecessor, to equate any stated political objective in some faraway land with America’s vital interests, without ever offering a coherent definition of those “vital” interests.
On both sides of the duopoly, the ideology of American exceptionalism and the doctrine of global dominance reign supreme. At a time of domestic economic weakness and cultural decline, foreign policy based on the American interest requires prudence, restraint, and a rational link between ends and means. Abroad, it demands disengagement from distant countries of which we know little; at home, a sane immigration policy.
It will not happen.
Memorial Day is when we commemorate our war dead. Like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day is being turned into a celebration of war.
Those who lose family members and dear friends to war don’t want the deaths to have been in vain. Consequently, wars become glorious deeds performed by noble soldiers fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Patriotic speeches tell us how much we owe to those who gave their lives so that America could remain free.
The speeches are well-intentioned, but the speeches create a false reality that supports ever more wars. None of America’s wars had anything to do with keeping America free. To the contrary, the wars swept away our civil liberties, making us unfree.
President Lincoln issued an executive order for the arrest and imprisonment of northern newspaper reporters and editors. He shut down 300 northern newspapers and held 14,000 political prisoners. Lincoln arrested war critic US Representative Clement Vallandigham from Ohio and exiled him to the Confederacy. President Woodrow Wilson used WWI to suppress free speech, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt used WWII to intern 120,000 US citizens of Japanese descent on the grounds that race made them suspect. Professor Samuel Walker concluded that President George W. Bush used the “war on terror” for an across the board assault on US civil liberty, making the Bush regime the greatest danger American liberty has ever faced.
Lincoln forever destroyed states’ rights, but the suspension of habeas corpus and free speech that went hand in hand with America’s three largest wars was lifted at war’s end. However, President George W. Bush’s repeal of the Constitution has been expanded by President Obama and codified by Congress and executive orders into law. Far from defending our liberties, our soldiers who died in “the war on terror” died so that the president can indefinitely detain US citizens without due process of law and murder US citizens on suspicion alone without any accountability to law or the Constitution.
The conclusion is unavoidable that America’s wars have not protected our liberty but, instead, destroyed liberty. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.”
Southern secession did pose a threat to Washington’s empire, but not to the American people.Neither the Germans of WWI vintage nor the Germans and Japanese of WWII vintage posed any threat to the US. As historians have made completely clear, Germany did not start WWI and did not go to war for the purpose of territorial expansion. Japan’s ambitions were in Asia. Hitler did not want war with England and France. Hitler’s territorial ambitions were mainly to restore German provinces stripped from Germany as WWI booty in violation of President Wilson’s guarantees. Any other German ambitions were to the East. Neither country had any plans to invade the US. Japan attacked the US fleet at Pearl Harbor hoping to remove an obstacle to its activities in Asia, not as a precursor to an invasion of America.
Certainly the countries ravaged by Bush and Obama in the 21st century–Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen posed no military threat to the US. Indeed, these were wars used by a tyrannical executive branch to establish the basis of the Stasi State that now exists in the US.
The truth is hard to bear, but the facts are clear. America’s wars have been fought in order to advance Washington’s power, the profits of bankers and armaments industries, and the fortunes of US companies. Marine General Smedley Butler said, “ I served in all commissioned ranks from a second Lieutenant to a Major General. And during that time, I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.”
It is more or less impossible to commemorate the war dead without glorifying them, and it is impossible to glorify them without glorifying their wars.
For the entirety of the 21st century the US has been at war, not war against massed armies or threats to American freedom, but wars against civilians, against women, children, and village elders, and wars against our own liberty. Elites with a vested interest in these wars tell us that the wars will have to go on for another 20 to 30 years before we defeat “the terrorist threat.”
This, of course, is nonsense. There was no terrorist threat until Washington began trying to create terrorists by military attacks, justified by lies, on Muslim populations.
Washington succeeded with its war lies to the point that Washington’s audacity and hubris have outgrown Washington’s judgment.
By overthrowing the democratically elected government in Ukraine, Washington has brought the United States into confrontation with Russia. This is a confrontation that could end badly, perhaps for Washington and perhaps for the entire world.
If Gaddafi and Assad would not roll over for Washington, why does Washington think Russia will? Russia is not Libya or Syria. Washington is the bully who having beat up the kindergarden kid, now thinks he can take on the college linebacker.
The Bush and Obama regimes have destroyed America’s reputation with their incessant lies and violence against other peoples. The world sees Washington as the prime threat.
Worldwide polls consistently show that people around the world regard the US and Israel as the two countries that pose the greatest threat to peace. http://www.ibtimes.com/gallup-poll-biggest-threat-world-peace-america-1525008 and
The countries that Washington’s propaganda declares to be “rogue states” and the “axis of evil,” such as Iran and North Korea, are far down the list when the peoples in the world are consulted. It could not be more clear that the world does not believe Washington’s self-serving propaganda. The world sees the US and Israel as the rogue states.
The US and Israel are the only two countries in the world that are in the grip of ideologies. The US is in the grip of the Neoconservative ideology which has declared the US to be the “exceptional, indispensable country” chosen by history to exercise hegemony over all others. This ideology is buttressed by the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines that are the basis of US foreign policy.
The Israeli government is in the grip of the Zionist ideology that declares a “greater Israel” from the Nile to the Euphrates. Many Israelis themselves do not accept this ideology, but it is the ideology of the “settlers” and those who control the Israeli government.
Ideologies are important causes of war. Just as the Hitlerian ideology of German superiority is mirrored in the Neoconservative ideology of US superiority, the Communist ideology that the working class is superior to the capitalist class is mirrored in the Zionist ideology that Israelis are superior to Palestinians. Zionists have never heard of squatters’ rights and claim that recent Jewish immigrants into Palestine–invaders really–have the right to land occupied by others for millenniums.
Washington’s and Israel’s doctrines of superiority over others do not sit very well with the ”others.” When Obama declared in a speech that Americans are the exceptional people, Russia’s President Putin responded, “God created us all equal.”
To the detriment of its population, the Israeli government has made endless enemies. Israel has effectively isolated itself in the world. Israel’s continued existence depends entirely on the willingness and ability of Washington to protect Israel. This means that Israel’s power is derivative of Washington’s power.
Washington’s power is a different story. As the only economy standing after WWII, the US dollar became the world money. This role for the dollar has given Washington financial hegemony over the world, the main source of Washington’s power. As other countries rise, Washington’s hegemony is imperiled.
To prevent other countries from rising, Washington invokes the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines. To be brief, the Brzezinski doctrine says that in order to remain the only superpower, Washington must control the Eurasian land mass. Brzezinski is willing for this to occur peacefully by suborning the Russian government into Washington’s empire. ”A loosely confederated Russia . . . a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” In other words, break up Russia into associations of semi-autonomous states whose politicians can be suborned by Washington’s money.
Brzezinski propounded “a geo-strategy for Eurasia.” In Brzezinski’s strategy, China and “a confederated Russia” are part of a “transcontinental security framework,” managed by Washington in order to perpetuate the role of the US as the world’s only superpower.
I once asked my colleague, Brzezinski, that if everyone was allied with us, who were we organized against? My question surprised him, because I think that Brzezinski remains caught up in Cold War strategy even after the demise of the Soviet Union. In Cold War thinking it was important to have the upper hand or else be at risk of being eliminated as a player. The importance of prevailing became all consuming, and this consuming drive survived the Soviet collapse. Prevailing over others is the only foreign policy that Washington knows.
The mindset that America must prevail set the stage for the Neoconservatives and their 21st century wars, which, with Washington’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine, has resulted in a crisis that has brought Washington into direct conflict with Russia.
I know the strategic institutes that serve Washington. I was the occupant of the William E.Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, for a dozen years. The idea is prevalent that Washington must prevail over Russia in Ukraine or Washington will lose prestige and its superpower status.
The idea of prevailing always leads to war once one power thinks it has prevailed.
The path to war is reinforced by the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Paul Wolfowitz, the neoconservative intellectual who formulated US military and foreign policy doctrine, wrote among many similar passages:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere [China], that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
In the Wolfowitz Doctrine, any other strong country is defined as a threat and a power hostile to the US regardless of how willing that country is to get along with the US for mutual benefit.
The difference between Brzezinski and the Neoconservatives is that Brzezinski wants to suborn Russia and China by including them in the empire as important elements whose voices would be heard, If only for diplomatic reasons, whereas the Neoconservatives are prepared to rely on military force combined with internal subversion orchestrated with US financed NGOs and even terrorist organizations.
Neither the US nor Israel is embarrassed by their worldwide reputations as the two countries that pose the greatest threat. In fact, both countries are proud to be recognized as the greatest threats. The foreign policy of both countries is devoid of any diplomacy. US and Israeli foreign policy rests on violence alone. Washington tells countries to do as Washington says or be “bombed into the stone age.” Israel declares all Palestinians, even women and children, to be “terrorists,” and proceeds to shoot them down in the streets, claiming that Israel is merely protecting itself against terrorists. Israel, which does not recognize the existence of Palestine as a country, covers up its crimes with the claim that Palestinians do not accept the existence of Israel.
“We don’t need no stinking diplomacy. We got power.”
This is the attitude that guarantees war, and that is where the US is taking the world. The prime minister of Britain, the chancellor of Germany, and the president of France are Washington’s enablers. They provide the cover for Washington. Instead of war crimes, Washington has “coalitions of the willing” and military invasions that bring “democracy and women’s rights” to non-compliant countries.
China gets much the same treatment. A country with four times the US population but a smaller prison population, China is constantly criticized by Washington as an “authoritarian state.” China is accused of human rights abuses while US police brutalize the US population.
The problem for humanity is that Russia and China are not Libya and Iraq. These two countries possess strategic nuclear weapons. Their land mass greatly exceeds that of the US. The US, which was unable to successfully occupy Baghdad or Afghanistan, has no prospect of prevailing against Russia and China in conventional warfare. Washington will push the nuclear button. What else can we expect from a government devoid of morality?
The world has never experienced rogue states comparable to Washington and Israel. Both governments are prepared to murder anyone and everyone. Look at the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and the dangers thereof. On May 23, 2014, Russia’s President Putin spoke to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a three-day gathering of delegations from 62 countries and CEOs from 146 of the largest Western corporations.
Putin did not speak of the billions of dollars in trade deals that were being formalized. Instead Putin spoke of the crisis that Washington had brought to Russia, and he criticized Europe for being Washington’s vassals for supporting Washington’s propaganda against Russia and Washington’s interference in vital Russian interests.
Putin was diplomatic in his language, but the message that powerful economic interests from the US and Europe received is that it will lead to trouble if Washington and European governments continue to ignore Russia’s concerns and continue to act as if they can interfere in Russia’s vital interests as if Russia did not exist.
The heads of these large corporations will carry this message back to Washington and European capitals. Putin made it clear that the lack of dialogue with Russia could lead to the West making the mistake of putting Ukraine in NATO and establishing missile bases on Russia’s border with Ukraine. Putin has learned that Russia cannot rely on good will from the West, and Putin made it clear, short of issuing a threat, that Western military bases in Ukraine are unacceptable.
Washington will continue to ignore Russia. However, European capitals will have to decide whether Washington is pushing them into conflict with Russia that is against European interests. Thus, Putin is testing European politicians to determine if there is sufficient intelligence and independence in Europe for a rapprochement.
If Washington in its overbearing arrogance and hubris forces Putin to write off the West, the Russian/Chinese strategic alliance, which is forming to counteract Washington’s hostile policy of surrounding both countries with military bases, will harden into preparation for the inevitable war.
The survivors, if any, can thank the Neoconservatives, the Wolfowitz doctrine, and the Brzezinski strategy for the destruction of life on earth.
The American public contains a large number of misinformed people who think they know everything. These people have been programmed by US and Israeli propaganda to equate Islam with political ideology. They believe that Islam, a religion, is instead a militarist doctrine that calls for the overthrow of Western civilization, as if anything remains of Western civilization.
Many believe this propaganda even in the face of complete proof that the Sunnis and Shi’ites hate one another far more than they hate their Western oppressors and occupiers. The US has departed Iraq, but the carnage today is as high or higher than during the US invasion and occupation. The daily death tolls from the Sunni/Shi’ite conflict are extraordinary. A religion this disunited poses no threat to anyone except Islamists themselves. Washington successfully used Islamist disunity to overthrow Gaddafi, and is currently using Islamist disunity in an effort to overthrow the government of Syria. Islamists cannot even unite to defend themselves against Western aggression. There is no prospect of Islamists uniting in order to overthrow the West.
Even if Islam could do so, it would be pointless for Islam to overthrow the West. The West has overthrown itself. In the US the Constitution has been murdered by the Bush and Obama regimes. Nothing remains. As the US is the Constitution, what was once the United States no longer exists. A different entity has taken its place.
Europe died with the European Union, which requires the termination of sovereignty of all member countries. A few unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels have become superior to the wills of the French, German, British, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Greek, and Portuguese peoples.
Western civilization is a skeleton. It still stands, barely, but there is no life in it. The blood of liberty has departed. Western peoples look at their governments and see nothing but enemies. Why else has Washington militarized local police forces, equipping them as if they were occupying armies? Why else has Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, and even the Postal Service and Social Security Administration ordered billions of rounds of ammunition and even submachine guns? What is this taxpayer-paid-for arsenal for if not to suppress US citizens?
As the prominent trends forecaster Gerald Celente spells out in the current Trends Journal, “uprisings span four corners of the globe.” Throughout Europe angry, desperate and outraged peoples march against EU financial policies that are driving the peoples into the ground. Despite all of Washington’s efforts with its well funded fifth columns known as NGOs to destabilize Russia and China, both the Russian and Chinese governments have far more support from their people than do the US and Europe.
In the 20th century Russia and China learned what tyranny is, and they have rejected it.
In the US tyranny has entered under the guise of the “war on terror,” a hoax used to scare the sheeple into abandoning their civil liberties, thus freeing Washington from accountability to law and permitting Washington to erect a militarist police state. Ever since WWII Washington has used its financial hegemony and the “Soviet threat,” now converted into the “Russian threat,” to absorb Europe into Washington’s empire.
Putin is hoping that the interests of European countries will prevail over subservience to Washington. This is Putin’s current bet. This is the reason Putin remains unprovoked by Washington’s provocations in Ukraine.
If Europe fails Russia, Putin and China will prepare for the war that Washington’s drive for hegemony makes inevitable.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest books are, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and How America Was Lost. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/
What is now called the Tea Party began in 2007 as a loosely-organized yet highly-motivated grassroots support effort for Congressman Ron Paul’s bid for the White House. Since those early days, a lot has happened to the Tea Party.
For one thing, the Tea Party is now much larger and broader than any one person’s political candidacy. And though a Tea Party candidate has not yet obtained the White House (Ron Paul was the lone Tea Party Republican candidate in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections), a host of Tea Party candidates have won several elections in the US House and Senate–as well as many State and local races. And to win these elections, Tea Party candidates have had to repel the attacks against them from the Republican establishment. In fact, the GOP establishment is far and away the Tea Party’s biggest enemy.
Republican leaders such as John Boehner, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Peter King, etc., have made one of their missions in life to defeat Republican Tea Party candidates–even if those candidates are incumbents. This is for good reason: the establishment Republican Party is diametrically opposed to the goals and principles of the Tea Party.
Based on the positions of most Tea Party candidates (which is all we have to go on as the Tea Party is not a real political party but only a grassroots activist effort being conducted mainly within the Republican Party), the goals and objectives of the Tea Party can be summarized generally as follows:
- They support a non-interventionist foreign policy.
- They support the Constitution and recognize the current attacks against the Constitution, especially against the Second, Fourth, and Tenth Amendments.
- They oppose the NSA spying on the American citizenry (including the use of drones for such purposes).
- They oppose the Patriot Act and the militarization of the Department of Homeland Security as well as local and State law enforcement agencies.
- They oppose the Import-Export Bank.
- They oppose the Federal Reserve Bank.
- They oppose CISPA.
- They oppose the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA.
- They support ending the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
- They support limited government spending–especially at the federal level.
One can easily see that many, if not most, of these goals and objectives are diametrically opposite the goals and objectives of the establishment Republican machine. And more than anything else, the Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., wants GOP congressmen and senators to be “team players.” Of course, by “team players” they mean good little Republican robots that will not buck party leadership.
Since Representative Ron Paul retired, the Tea Party leader in the U.S. House is Justin Amash of Michigan. And working side-by-side Rep. Amash is Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky. In the U.S. Senate, the Tea Party is being led by men such as Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas. There are several other Tea Party supporters in both the U.S. House and Senate, of course. It is no accident or coincidence that each of these congressmen and senators has incurred (and continue to incur) the wrath of establishment Republican leaders.
Congressman Peter King (R-NY) reserves his harshest rhetoric, not for any Democrat, but for Senator Rand Paul. King said that Rand Paul “disgraced his office,” he “doesn’t deserve to be in the U.S. Senate,” and he “tells absolute lies.” Karl Rove has repeatedly lambasted Justin Amash. House Speaker Boehner has spearheaded well-financed opposition to Amash’s reelection campaign this year. Senator John McCain (the GOP standard bearer in 2008) recently called Amash, Paul, and Cruz “wacko birds.” So much for Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment to not speak evil of fellow Republicans. It would appear that commandment only applies to not criticizing the GOP establishment, while Republicans espousing Tea Party convictions are open-season for Republican leaders to lampoon and lambast without mercy.
Earlier this month, the GOP establishment spent over $1 million in a single House district race in an attempt to defeat 20-year Republican incumbent Walter Jones. The reason? Jones has a history of voting against the wishes of the party establishment–especially concerning the freedom issues listed above. Thankfully, they failed.
But all over the country, in national, State, and local elections, the GOP establishment is working feverishly to keep Tea Party candidates out of office or to defeat incumbent Republicans who support the Tea Party agenda. In fact, one way I can tell whether a candidate deserves my support or not is by the support or opposition he or she receives from the GOP establishment. If the Republican establishment supports him or her, I can pretty much know that I should vote for someone else.
The reason that Boehner, Karl Rove, and other big-government Republican leaders are trying so hard to defeat Justin Amash in particular is due to the fact that Amash has quietly but effectively spearheaded the momentum of small-government conservatives on Capitol Hill. Since the retirement of Ron Paul, Amash has successfully formed a potent coalition of constitutionally-minded Republicans within the Tea Party movement. He calls his coalition the “House Liberty Caucus.” Of course, most of the framework for this caucus was put together by former Congressman Ron Paul.
Since Justin Amash was elected to the House and Rand Paul was elected to the Senate in 2010, eight of the eleven Ron Paul-endorsed congressional candidates won elections in 2012, including Senator Ted Cruz. All of these folks had significant Tea Party support. Boehner and Rove have reason to be worried. No wonder Amash’s establishment-endorsed opponent has over $1 million to spend trying to oust him. No wonder the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (a long-time establishment organization) has unveiled a $50 million war chest designed to defeat Tea Party congressmen nationwide.
And please know this, too: the establishment has done its best to infiltrate the Tea Party so as to dilute its message and weaken its effectiveness. In fact, some Tea Parties around the country are now mostly dominated by establishment neocons. Thank God, many, if not most, of the Tea Parties around the country are still mostly comprised of strong, constitutionally-minded, non-establishment folks who refuse to bow to the GOP hierarchy. But we must be aware of the neocon infiltration that has taken place among many Tea Parties.
In virtually every political race this year–including national, State, county, and city–the establishment will be working tirelessly to elect their hand-picked neocons. When you hear Tea Party-type candidates being lampooned as “wacko” or “far right,” etc., when you hear their critics and detractors say, “He can’t win,” please understand that you are listening to an establishment elitist whose job is to undermine the candidacies of those folks who refuse to go along with the establishment. Many of these critics will call themselves “conservatives.” They will say they are simply being “pragmatic” and “reasonable.” Hogwash! What they are doing is trying to ensure that non-establishment candidates never get elected.
The future of the Republican Party–or even if there is a Republican Party in the future–depends on the next few elections and whether or not the establishment will be able to bully and buy-off the votes of the American people. When John Boehner, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, Karl Rove, etc., demand that Congress provide amnesty for illegal aliens, when they try to ram their elitist, big-government agenda down the throats of congressmen and senators, when they spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to defeat Tea Party Republicans, you can rest assured that they are not seeking the welfare of the country or even of the Republican Party.
The big-government establishment doesn’t give a flip about freedom, the Constitution, or even the constituent back home. What they care about is THEM. They have become part of a wealthy and powerful cabal of miscreants who are going to be well-taken-care-of NO MATTER WHAT. They are themselves the pawns of evil power-brokers; and in order to survive, they must make sure that there are other pawns coming to Washington, D.C., to keep the power base intact.
This is a war. It is not only a political war; it is a spiritual war. It is a war for both the soul of the Republican Party (which at present, there isn’t much of one left) and the soul of the country. It would really help if our pastors and churches could awaken to this war and help us fight it. The establishment knows it’s a war; and they are fighting it with every ounce of energy in their collective being. And they have declared the Tea Party as public enemy number one.
What started as one congressman’s presidential bid back in 2007 has now become a full-blown assault on the big-government establishment in Washington, D.C.–and around the country. The result is there is now a small army of Ron Pauls on Capitol Hill.
I urge you to ignore the shills of the establishment and go to the polls in the primaries this year and elect as many non-establishment candidates as you possibly can. Let’s give Karl Rove and John Boehner something to really worry about.