A government whistleblower, disclosing classified secrets, risks criminal charges. Defining restricted material usually includes a broad scope of information that casts officials or agencies in a compromising embarrassment. The idea that public servants may be engaged in violating laws is no excuse for blowing the whistle on such abuses if it involves “National Security”. This protect the state attitude at all cost argument, is the very definition of institutional cover-up. In war, truth is the first casualty, so said Aeschylus.
So throwing the book at Bradley Manning comes as no surprise. Why should anyone be concerned about the intentional dissemination of raw evidence about war crimes, committed in the name of the War of Terror? Most would fail to be moved by the motivations of a stoic prisoner, who uploaded secured computer files to WikiLeaks. Many would cheer his interminable incarceration for disclosing military records.
Yet, before you slam the jail shut, reflect upon the Secretly Recorded Audio Leaked of Bradley Manning’s Court Statement. Listen to the Full Statement.
Also, view the YouTube video, Bradley Manning Tells Court Public Have the Right to Know About US War Crimes.A cogent reaction from another renowned whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers fame, carries the weight of a brave man from another era.
“It’s important to remember through all this that Manning has already pled guilty to ten charges of violating military regulations (few of which, if any would be civilian crimes) and faces twenty years in jail. Yet the prosecutors are still going ahead with the absurd charge of “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, of which the prosecutors are asking for life in prison.
Nixon could have brought that charge against me too. I was revealing wrongdoing by our government in a public way, and that information could have been read by our enemies in Vietnam. Of course, I never had that intent and Manning didn’t either. We both leaked information to provoke a domestic debate about military force and government secrecy. And to say we did so to aid the enemy is absurd.”
In any political trial, the spirit of the law is sacrificed for the expediency of protecting a debased regime. Balance in prosecution is a concept unknown to a government consumed with punishing any perceived enemy of the state.
Attorney Floyd Abrams and Professor Yochai Benkler provide a thoughtful perspective and legal opinion in The New York Times editorial - Death to Whistle-Blowers?
“Under the prosecution’s theory, because Private Manning knew the materials would be published and that Al Qaeda could read them once published, he indirectly communicated with the enemy. But in this theory, whether publication is by WikiLeaks or The Times is entirely beside the point. Defendants are guilty of “aiding the enemy” for leaking to a publishing medium simply because that publication can be read by anyone with an Internet connection.
Private Manning’s guilty plea gives the prosecution an opportunity to rethink its strategy. The extreme charges remaining in this case create a severe threat to future whistle-blowers, even when their revelations are crystal-clear instances of whistle-blowing. We cannot allow our concerns about terrorism to turn us into a country where communicating with the press can be prosecuted as a capital offense.”
No such mercy from the imperial empire, Manning must suffer the supreme wrath for his transgressions. His admissions acknowledge expected official sanctions, but the sentiment of Daniel Ellsberg reflects the standpoint of many Manning supporters.
“…For the third straight year, Manning has been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize by, among others, Tunisian parliamentarians. Given the role the WikiLeaks cables played in the Arab Spring, and their role in speeding up the end of the Iraq War, I can think of no one more deserving who is deserving of the peace prize.
He’s also deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor. This medal, awarded by Congress-and not the executive branch-is given to military personnel, who during wartime, do what they should do for their country and their comrades, at the greatest risk to themselves.”
Another target of recrimination, seen in the Sibel Edmonds dismissal is a classic example of punishing the whistleblower. Edmonds took a job as a translator at the FBI shortly after 9-11. Her story, stated in the YouTube interview, The Government Is Raping You: Sibel Edmonds, is compelling.
“Edmonds found at the FBI translation unit almost entirely two types of people. The first group was corrupt sociopaths, foreign spies, cheats and schemers indifferent to or working against U.S. national security. The second group was fearful bureaucrats unwilling to make waves. The ordinary competent person with good intentions who risks their job to “say something if you see something” is the rarest commodity. Hence the elite category that Edmonds found herself almost alone in: whistleblowers.”
This characterization of morally challenged federal employees is a direct consequence of a system that protects the cover-ups, while punishing disclosure of conflicting evidence of outright corruption. The silent culture of concealment or the worse incentive system of collusion runs the governing bureaucracies.
The presstitutes in the establishment media enable the warmongering protection racket as a condition of employment. Their lack of investigative reporting is only superseded by their ominous distortion of real patriotic loyalty. Whistleblowers function as detectives doing the job that reporters abdicate. Woefully, so few citizens of conscience are willing to jeopardize their individual circumstance for the courage of genuine national security.
The always insightful, William F. Jasper of the New American writes in Sibel Edmonds’ “Classified Woman”.
“Unfortunately, most of Edmonds’ contributing editors at BoilingFrogs are decidedly left of center, and their anti-globalist, anti-war, anti-police-state arguments and analyses tend to range from the “progressive” to the Marxoid. However, when she went public and came under attack, it wasn’t Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh who came to her defense; it was the anti-Bush Left that rallied to her aid. In fact, the faux conservatives at FOX, National Review, and the radio talk show universe alternately ignored and attacked her; they were busy cheerleading George W. Bush’s unconstitutional wars abroad and his unconstitutional police-state measures at home. Sympathetic coverage for Edmonds from alternative media on the Right has been woefully lacking, with a few exceptions.
In April 2011, Sibel Edmonds submitted her manuscript for Classified Womanto the FBI for review, as required by terms of her employment agreement. Under that agreement, the FBI has 30 days to approve and/or require deletions and revisions. After waiting over 340 days with no response from the bureau, Edmonds took the path that few others have taken; she published anyway. However, with every publisher afraid to touch it, she was forced to publish it on her own. She knows that any day now the Obama administration, which has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, may come after her.”
Forget about the false left-right paradigm. The “War of Terror” being waged by the imperium empire is designed to crush whistleblowers, and keep the brain dead in a zombie trance. Just consider the impact on the Afghanistan campaign if the FBI acted upon the evidence unclosed by Sibel Edmonds that cuts to the heart of the 911 myth assumptions.
The military-industrial-security-intelligence complex closes ranks to protect their “Splendid Little Wars“. The whistleblowers that expose the lies out of the War Party establishment are only a minor distraction, as long as the public sleeps in their self-induced coma. The Army Times item, Hagel to order review of drone medal precedence, is one such interlude, while the control and command structure continues to aim their weapons at imaginary threats.
Who would doubt that the Bradley Mannings and Sibel Edmonds, squealers of state secrets, would be prime quarries for the hunt to eliminate enemies of the state? The only good government snitch is a Gitmo captive. So goes the claims of the governance prosecutors.
How many people have actually examined the information in the Manning WikiLeak disclosures or read the Edmonds account of 911-treason complicity? Oh no, the discomfort of confronting the fake reality of the official story of make believe is too disturbing for most people.
Loyalty of country is a very dangerous attitude, when your government sponsors state terrorism as a normal activity. The fear to face up to the horrors of administration deceit is the prime activity of the flag waving drones that cheer for more carnage.
When Edmonds describes the traitors within the national security structure, the fearful bureaucrats facilitate the ongoing treachery that passes for nationalism. When Manning exposes the documents that prove a genocide policy is in effect, the penalty demanded by the bellicose command is his execution.
An honorable whistleblower is a citizen hero. Disobeying dishonest laws is true patriotism. In the end, A Different Philosophy of Civil Disobedience, is needed. Complacency is the countrywide disease of choice. Real patriots oppose jingoistic orders. Stand down.
Washington knows no heresy in the Third World but genuine independence. In the case of Salvador Allende independence came clothed in an especially provocative costume – a Marxist constitutionally elected who continued to honor the constitution. This would not do. It shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower is built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. There could be only one thing worse than a Marxist in power – an elected Marxist in power.
There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run “United States, Inc.” wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez. He was worse than Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about US imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-US-Empire blocs.
Long-term readers of this report know that I’m not much of a knee-reflex conspiracy theorist. But when someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances. Unremitting cancer, intractable respiratory infections, massive heart attack, one after the other … It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace. I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.
Back in December 2011, Chávez, already under treatment for cancer, wondered out loud: “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” The Venezuelan president was speaking one day after Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was after three other prominent leftist Latin America leaders had been diagnosed with cancer: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know,” Chávez said, referring to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, both leading leftists.
Chávez said he had received words of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots. “Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.” 1
When Vice President Nicolas Maduro suggested possible American involvement in Chávez’s death, the US State Department called the allegation absurd. 2
Several progressive US organizations have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA, asking for “any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”
I personally believe that Hugo Chávez was murdered by the United States. If his illness and death were NOT induced, the CIA – which has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, many successfully 3 – was not doing its job.
When Fidel Castro became ill several years ago, the American mainstream media was unrelenting in its conjecture about whether the Cuban socialist system could survive his death. The same speculation exists now in regard to Venezuela. The Yankee mind can’t believe that large masses of people can turn away from capitalism when shown a good alternative. It could only be the result of a dictator manipulating the public; all resting on one man whose death would mark finis to the process.
It’s the end of the world … again
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recent convention in Washington produced the usual Doomsday talk concerning Iran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons and with calls to bomb that country before they nuked Israel and/or the United States. So once again I have to remind everyone that these people – Israeli and American officials – are not really worried about an Iranian attack. Here are some of their many prior statements:
In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 4
2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington”, reported the Washington Post (March 5), asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.”
In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
January 2012: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 5
Later that month we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts – the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz – all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”
Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:
Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?
Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.
In an April 20, 2012 CNN interview Barak repeated this sentiment: “It’s true that probably [Iranian leader] Khamenei has not given orders to start building a [nuclear] weapon.” 6
And on several other occasions, Barak has stated: “Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.” 7
Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a January 2012 report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead.8
So why, then, do Israeli and American leaders, at most other times, maintain the Doomsday rhetoric? Partly for AIPAC to continue getting large donations. For Israel to get massive amounts of US aid. For Israeli leaders to win elections. To protect Israel’s treasured status as the Middle East’s sole nuclear power.
Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America’s most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:
The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.” … And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 9
Osama bin Laden, Bradley Manning, & William Blum
Bradley Manning has the charge of “Aiding the enemy” hanging over his head. This could lead to a sentence of life in prison. As far as can be deduced, the government believes that the documents and videos that Manning gave to Wikileaks, which Wikileaks then widely distributed to international media, aided the enemy because it put US foreign policy in a very bad light.
Manning’s attorneys have asked the prosecution more than once for specific examples of how “the enemy” (whoever that may refer to in a world full of people bitterly angry at the United States because of any of many terrible acts carried out by the US government) has been “aided” by the Wikileaks disclosures. Just how has the enemy made use of the released material to harm the United States? The government has not provided any such examples, probably because what really bothers Washington officials is the embarrassment they have experienced before the world resulting from the documents and videos; which indeed are highly embarrassing even to genuine war criminals; filled with violations of international law, atrocities, multiple lies to everyone, revelations of gross hypocrisy, and much more.
So our splendid officials are considering putting Bradley Manning in prison forever simply because they’re embarrassed. Hard to find much fault with that.
But now the prosecutors have announced that a Navy Seal involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden is going to testify at the court martial that bin Laden possessed articles about the Wikileaks documents that Manning leaked. Well, there must be a hundred million other people in the world who have similar material on their computers. The question remains: What use did the enemy make of that?
The Iraqi government made use of the material, inducing them to refuse immunity to US troops for crimes committed in Iraq, such as the cold-blooded murders revealed by the Wilileaks videos; this in turn led the US to announce that it was ending its military engagement in Iraq. However, Manning was indicted in May 2010, well before the Iraqi decision to end the immunity.
In January, 2006 bin Laden, in an audio tape, declared: “If Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book ‘Rogue State’ [by William Blum], which states in its introduction … ” He then went on to quote the opening of a paragraph I wrote (which appears actually in the Foreword of the British edition only, that was later translated to Arabic), which in full reads:
“If I were the president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize – very publicly and very sincerely – to all the widows and the orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would then announce that America’s global interventions – including the awful bombings – have come to an end. And I would inform Israel that it is no longer the 51st state of the union but – oddly enough – a foreign country. I would then reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings and invasions. There would be more than enough money. Do you know what one year of the US military budget is equal to? One year. It’s equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus Christ was born.
“That’s what I’d do on my first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I’d be assassinated.”
Thus, Osama bin Laden was clearly making use of what I wrote, and the whole world heard it. And I was thus clearly “aiding the enemy”. But I was not prosecuted.
The United States would like to prove a direct use and benefit by “the enemy” of the material released by Wikileaks; but so far it appears that only possession might be proven. In my case the use, and presumed propaganda benefit, were demonstrated. The fact that I wrote the material, as opposed to “stealing” it, is irrelevant to the issue of aiding the enemy. I knew, or should have known, that my criticisms of US foreign policy could be used by the foes of those policies. Indeed, that’s why I write what I do. To provide ammunition to anti-war and other activists.
The Department of Justice and socialism
For many years when I’ve been asked to explain just what I mean by “socialism” I’ve usually replied simply: “Putting people before profits”. There are a thousand-and-one details that would have to be considered in a transformation from a capitalist society to a socialist society, but rather than going into all that it’s much simpler to leave it with just that motto, which expresses theessence of my socialist society. In any event, in that glorious future world things will evolve in ways that could not be wholly predicted. The structure could take any one of many forms, but the essence must remain the same if it’s going to be called socialist.
Thus was I both surprised and amused in reading a news article about the current trial in New Orleans which is attempting to determine, amongst other things, the extent of blame of various companies, particularly BP, involved in the 2010 historic accident which took the lives of 11 workers and dumped an estimated 172 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Justice Department attorney declared in his opening statement: “The evidence will show that BP put profits before people, profits before safety and profits before the environment.” 10
Well, imagine that. The Justice Department certainly captured the essence of corporate behavior. The attorney chose such words because he knew that the sentiments expressed would appeal to the average American sitting on a jury. The members of the jury would understand that BP had blatantly ignored and violated certain cherished ideals like people, safety and the environment. Prosecuting the corporation would sound fair and just to them.
Yet, when someone like me expresses such sentiments – and I have used the exact same words on occasion – I run the risk of being written off as an “extremist”, a “radical”, and other bad-for-you labels; not long ago it was “commie”.
The irony runs even deeper. If a corporation flagrantly ignores putting profits before everything else, stockholders can sue the executives.
This just in! The real reason the Pope resigned!
He’s losing his mind.
In January, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Pope Benedict XVI to receive his blessing. Afterward, Panetta said the pontiff told him, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe.” 11
The precious art of assassinating legally
Obama hopeium addicts can soon be expected to call for support of the president’s increasing use of drones for assassination on the ground of their being good for the environment. My White House agent informs me that Obama is going to announce that all American drones will soon be composed 85% of recyclable material and will be solar-powered. And each drone missile will have the following painted on its side: “He was a bad guy. Just take our word for it!”
- The Guardian (London), December 29, 2011 ↩
- Huffington Post, March 7, 2013 ↩
- http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm ↩
- Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26 ↩
- “Face the Nation”, CBS, January 8, 2012 ↩
- Washington Post, August 1, 2012 ↩
- Iran Media Fact Check, “Does Israel Consider Iran an ‘Existential Threat’?” ↩
- The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012 ↩
- Political Correction, “American Enterprise Institute Admits The Problem With Iran Is Not That It Would Use Nukes” ↩
- Associated Press, February 26, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, January 17, 2013 ↩
With all the caustic New World Order climate change and land use plans, and in spite of public outrage stemming from the global warming fraud, the bureaucratic juggernaut rolls on. Especially in New York State, the home of the sinister United Nations, the plotters against rational conservation, efficient energy policy and prudent economic growth, are destroying the very nature of sound environmentalism. Hard at work are the brain dead toady bureaucrats and the “true believers” in total denial meltdown mode. Turning the concept of ‘self-sufficiency’ into a dirty word – ‘sustainability’ – is the new catch phrase to distinguish vogue ignorance, in order to save the planet you need to destroy it, crowd.
Ordinary citizens need to rally and put an end to central control government. Start with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation efforts in there, Sustainability Plan Guidance A Regional Plan. This outline adopts the objectives of imposing an Agenda 21 program as official NYS policy. “The core of the plan is the regional focus that enables a consortium of municipalities to create a shared vision and then pool their resources towards achieving that vision.”
Efforts and criticism from the like of John W. Wallace need to multiply across the state and caution their neighbors. Now is the time to stop, GOVERNOR ANDREW COUMO TO IMPLEMENT UNITED NATIONS’ AGENDA 21 IN NEW YORK STATE VIA REGIONAL PLANNING GROUPS.
“Of course, the county and local government officials are unaware that by signing an agreement to participate in this new regional program, that they have actually signed onto Agenda 21 and that their town, city, village or county will now appear on the ICLEIwebsite. Most local residents will remain unaware of the implications of the new comprehensive plan and Agenda 21 until after it is promulgated in their own backyards in the form of a regional draft comprehensive plan that is intended to supersede local planning boards and zoning laws.”
In order to appreciate the scope and intrusion into local communities, the destructive role of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, NYSERDA becomes required understanding. A recent case study assessment provides a firsthand testimonial of an attendee at a regional gathering. Please review the source links for supporting evidence.
The following is the summary of activist Mary Kay Barton.
On January 26, 2012, I attended the final meeting in Batavia, NY for the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan” - part of NYSERDA’s $10,000,000 expenditure state-wide to have regional Planning Departments orchestrate plans that coincide with the “sustainability” initiative described in NYSERDA’s “Cleaner, Greener Communities” Program. Following is my take on what is going on in regard to this extensive plan in the works across New York State.
As those who have done their homework regarding the United Nation’s ‘Agenda 21′ plan are very well-aware, “Sustainability” is a key buzzword that is part and parcel of the UN’s ‘Agenda 21′. There is no doubt that the “Sustainability” Plan currently being devised by Planning Departments across the state, who are acting “under NYSERDA’s thumb” (as one Planner phrased it at their first meeting in Batavia), IS ’Agenda 21′ in the works (think carbon taxes, ‘green’ energy transfer-of-wealth schemes, and one-world governance).
While at the “open-house style” meeting in Batavia last evening, folks were asked to read the poster boards relevant to each part of the overall plan: Land Use, Water Use, Agriculture, Forestry, Waste Management, Economic Development, and Energy — and to then use sticky notes to post their comments on the boards for each particular segment of the plan.
Many will say they see nothing wrong with developing a good overall plan like this, and there certainly are many aspects of the extensive plan that look good at first glance. However, as they say – the devil is in the details.
The fact that NYSERDA is the bureaucracy over-seeing this process is the tell-tale warning sign, as the development of renewable energy across the state and ways to regulate carbon emissions is the overarching goal in each area of the plan. This should leave everyone very wary about the remaining $90,000,000 – that came from RGGI ratepayer dollars, that will be offered as ‘grants’ (the proverbial ‘carrots’ used to lead the sheep) to guide our communities into “compliance” with the overall underlying agenda – that of ‘Agenda 21′. Who knows where the money will come from for Governor Cuomo’s proposed $BILLION dollar “Green Bank”, and $1.5 Billion dollar Solar fund? One thing is for sure — Who needs Cap & Trade legislation when these kinds of “Sustainability Plans” are in the works!
One of the biggest warning flags I noted last evening (besides the obvious HUGE “green” energy push and carbon regulation goals) was on the chart regarding ‘Land Use’. I noted one line that said, “Home Rule” interferes with inter-municipal cooperation…” The obvious subliminal message here is that “Home Rule” is a BAD thing.
Our municipalities’ long-held, Constitutional-right to “Home Rule” is being progressively undermined in this whole process of State-led planning. We are unwittingly, slowly and methodically giving over total control to unelected bureaucrats and planners who are devising these “green”, “sustainability” plans — which are part and parcel of ‘Agenda 21′ (which many officials and bureaucrats say they still know nothing about).
The sad reality – that most of these planners are not at all educated about energy and power, became evident just as I was getting ready to leave the meeting. One of the FL Planners asked me what I had thought of the display. I told him straight out that the obvious push for “Unreliables” (what the ‘greens’ refer to as ‘renewables’) like wind is a complete waste of our tax- and rate-payer dollars. I told him that while I am certainly all for scientifically-vetted, economically-sound energy-innovation, industrial wind was the biggest scam to ever come down the pike. Not surprisingly, he did not like my response.
Sadly, he responded with the decades-old propaganda line, “Well, we have to do something. Oil is responsible for so much of our pollution.”
I responded, “I’m not talking about oil – which is used for transportation. I’m talking about unreliable wind power – which is used for electricity!”
He tried to argue that eventually we would end up going to all electric vehicles. I just laughed, and said, “Sir, I’m afraid you’ve drank the Kool-Aid! I couldn’t even make it home and back in an electric car.” Thankfully, a local guy who does get it, stepped in and said that even if electric vehicles became more prevalent, they could never be used to do the kind of heavy work required on our farms.
As our conversation proceeded, we had the attention of the entire small crowd that was in the room – which played out great, as the facts totally destroyed this planner’s entire argument.
Not one of the five planners who were there knew what “Capacity Value” was, nor that wind provided virtually NONE. I told him that wind is NOT the future, and in all actuality,there is a direct correlation between RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE power, and increased health and longevity in this country, which he could verify by doing a little research.
I ended up leaving a copy of The Wind Farm Scam and Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future with one of the head planners there. Hopefully, they will actually read them.
What is transpiring in New York State regarding the push for United Nation’s recommended “Sustainability” plans by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his cohorts at NYSERDA, is described by Dr. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance in the article, “Is your church bowing to the ‘Green Dragon’?” Dr. Beisner discusses how “Environmentalism” has become the world’s new religion. Global Warming Alarmism and the push for all things “green” is all about worshiping the earth and protecting the earth from evil men — rather than worshiping and trusting in God and being good stewards of the earth in order to better serve all mankind, as God intended it to be. Dr. Beisner is exactly right!
NYSERDA is a scalawag outfit that does harm to New York State residents. It is a government agency based upon deceit and pseudo energy research, corrupt cronyism and fake environmentalism. The article, Agenda 21 in New York State – Home Rule and Article X, provides relevant details on the way the technical process of administrative agencies erode the basic property rights of landowners and authority of local communities.The limited powers and narrow influence of elected representatives on the actual governance by bureaus is the worst of all worlds. The globalist master deceivers, game and work the system to circumvent traditional safeguards and legitimate home rule jurisdiction.
The value of insights gained from attending such meetings as the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan”, clearly document and expose, the true intent and consequences of Agenda 21. Sustainability really means sustain instability for the consumer, while enriching the benefactors of the Cap and Trade rip off scheme.
There are many forms of government subsidies. Ambitious politicians ingeniously design schemes to expand their power and repay their donor patrons. Opportunist corporate enterprises beg for favor to fund projects or guaranteed loans. The role of government venture capitalism has produced a much-sordid record for the taxpayer. The sheer concept of picking winners and losers is a pure political play that defies pragmatic prudence. In spite of this, actuality, the rush to squander public money is one of the few growth industries. The pitiful results of the predictable bankruptcy are the common fate of this flawed business model.
The latest outrage has Buyers Circle Around Ailing Fisker Automotive. Yet, some critics of this assessment would have you believe that Fisker Automotive is in a sharp contrast to competitor Tesla Motors.
“But the fact that potential buyers are from China is already raising alarms about Fisker, which raised $1.2 billion in venture capital and spent about $192 million in federal loans to build a factory. “Technology developed with American taxpayer subsidies should not be sold off to China,” Republican senator Charles Grassley told Bloomberg. He compared it to the acquisition of A123 Systems by China-based auto parts company Wanxiang Group.
By contrast, Tesla Motors, which also received a DOE loan to build its factory, is crossing into higher volume production. Yesterday, Tesla announced that it expects to be profitable this quarter and is making its Model S at a rate of 400 a month, which will allow it to hit its annual target and meet demand for the electric sedan. (See, Tesla’s Explosive Revenue Suggests a Bright Future.)
One crucial difference between Tesla and Fisker, which is well known for its bold designs, has been Tesla’s manufacturing expertise. Fisker may well still go public and be a successful EV supplier. But for energy-related startups to go the route of Tesla rather than Fisker, they’ll need innovative technology, access to capital, supportive policies, and great business execution.”
The Obama environmental cult would argue that it is largely appropriate to spend public resources to fund private technological businesses. Some will be successful while others will fail. However, the partnership role with government in this new state/capitalist prototype is necessary to achieve the greater good of a fossil free ecosystem. Expensive cars, not designed for the commuter, are now joint venture public finance missions, in order to curtail gas fumes.
Henry Ford is rolling in his grave and Enzo Ferrari is searching for the electric switch.
The notorious “Green” sector has vivid examples of bribery, theft, incompetence and high-priced inefficient technology. The Foundry publishes a most informative list ofPresident Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures. “So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy.” Examine the specific site links for expanded details.
|1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*||12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*||23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*|
|2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*||13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*||24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*|
|3. Solyndra ($535 million)*||14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*||25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*|
|4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*||15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)||26. GreenVolts ($500,000)|
|5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)||16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)||27. Vestas ($50 million)|
|6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)||17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)||28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)|
|7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)||18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*||29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*|
|8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)||19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)||30. Navistar ($39 million)|
|9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*||20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*||31. Satcon ($3 million)*|
|10. Amonix ($5.9 million)||21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*||32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*|
|11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)||22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*||33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)|
Now expand the creativity of the subsidy culture to the bankruptcy constituency. The report, Union That Bankrupted Hostess to Receive Generous Government Subsidies, will push you over the edge.
“Last year, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union refused to accept concessions that would have kept Hostess in business. The company had tried to cut costs as it faced high labor expenses, rising ingredient costs, and decreasing sales. The Teamsters union accepted the concessions, but the Bakery union would not, choosing to strike. Unable to continue operating, Hostess filed for bankruptcy.
Now those who helped bring down an American icon will receive generous, taxpayer-funded benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. These generous benefits come in addition to existing unemployment insurance, job placement, and job training programs. TAA benefits include:
• Up to two years of job training in an approved training program,
• Up to 52 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowances for workers in job training,
• Job search and relocation allowances,
• A refundable “health care tax credit” that covers 65 percent of a worker’s health insurance premiums in qualifying health plans, and
• A two-year wage insurance program that partly replaces workers’ earnings if they accept lower-paying jobs.”
The civic grant philosophy is not just for corporatists. Union goons prefer that their rank in file lose their livelihood, so that they can enjoy the welfare stipends of the state-run insolvent society. The prospects of a Mandarin logo on a Fisker vehicle are hardly on the same scale of transferring innovative technology to Cantonese creditors. However, the common practice of squandering national treasure for dubious purposes seems to be the primary product of the political careerists.
Leave it to the progressives over at The American Prospect, for an unintended analogy, in the essay The Twinkie Defense - the unions made us do it. “Hostess Brands is classic case of private equity engineers and executives looting a viable company, loading it up with debt, and then asking the employees to make up the difference.”
Regretfully, but with no remorse; the political class plays the role of private equity engineers, as the government plunders our economy, through crony spending and swelling of the debt, while saddling the taxpayer with the bill.
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts, according to the New York Times
600,000 food stamp recipients will be cut from the program
Massive education cuts. According to President Obama: Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. “
$12 billion in Medicare cuts (more to come after 2013)
Federal funds to state governments will be cut, creating even more deficits for states and municipalities, and thus more localized cuts (the states have already made austerity cuts of $337 billion!)
Also, 700,000 jobs are expected to be loss, while 70,000 kids are also expected to be kicked off of Head Start
And this is just for 2013. The current plan for the austerity “sequester” cuts is $100 billion of federal cuts every year for ten years, equaling massive cuts to jobs, Medicare, education, and completely destroying federally funded social programs.
Will it actually happen this time? The New York Times reports:
In private, Capitol Hill staff members and members of Congress have admitted that there are no viable plans on the horizon to delay or offset the cuts.
The finger pointing in Washington, D.C. has already reached a crescendo, with the perverted logic being that, if both parties are to blame, it’s really no one’s fault. In reality Democrats and Republicans created these “sequester” cuts, and they can just as easily undo them with a snap of the finger.
Both parties are choosing not to delete the cuts. They just don’t want political responsibility for the fallout, which many economists have predicted will push the U.S. economy over the edge into official recession.
Obama has predictably blamed the Republicans for this mess, even though he personally began this process by creating the “deficit reduction commission” that helped shape the cuts (keep in mind there is zero debt crisis that calls for such drastic measures).
Obama could also just as easily appeal to the American public — over the heads of congressmen — to demand that the cuts be shelved forever. Instead, he’s proposing a “grand bargain” deal that he knows the Republicans won’t go for.
What’s in Obama’s grand bargain deal? According to the White House website:
$130 billion in “savings” [cuts] to Social Security, by implementing a “superlative CPI”
$35 billion in “savings” [cuts] to the retirement of federal employees
$400 billion in health care “savings” [cuts], much of it Medicare cuts.
Obama cynically fails to mention the words Social Security or Medicare in the above plan, choosing instead to write in code (“superlative Consumer Price Index”). Obama’s plan to avoid the March 1st cuts still assumes that $500 billion in cuts will be implemented over the next ten years, as opposed to $1trillion.
But his plan is just a distraction. Obama knows his plan has no chance of being passed by March 1st. He’s falsely portraying his plan as the only alternative to the March 1st cuts, even though a far better idea — the one preferred by a vast majority of Americans — is to simply to shelve the sequester cuts forever. To not put forth this option makes Obama complicit in the cuts.
Many pundits have speculated that Congress will allow the cuts to go into effect for three weeks, since March 27th marks a fiscal deadline that will pressure Congress to maneuver anew. This might trigger a new round of haggling over a new “grand bargain” that again targets “entitlement programs” and re-packages the massive cuts into a prettier box. The party that does the most effective finger pointing after the March 1st cuts will be in the best position to dictate matters post-March 27th, so say the pundits.
Whatever the actual result, the Democrats and Republicans share similar enough visions that massive cuts to cherished social programs appear to be inevitable. Much of the made-for-TV bickering is pure political posturing, meant to fool the working people most affected by these cuts into believing it’s “the other party” that’s responsible.
Politicians have been able to get away with this disgusting behavior because there are very few independent voices telling the truth about what’s happening. Many labor and progressive groups are consciously lying about the dynamic, placing blame squarely on the Republicans, thus allowing the Democrats not to be held accountable for their pandering to the corporate elite’s demand to use austerity to attack the social safety net. In reality both parties are jointly attacking working and poor people via austerity, on a city, state, and national level.
If Labor and community groups united in a demand of ‘No Cuts, Tax the Rich’ and organized massive mobilizations, there would be a very different public debate happening right now. It’s not too late for these groups to tear themselves from the jaws of their attackers.
If you wonder, why the world is so confused and incoherent, look no further then the concept that All Truth Is Local. “Cultural Relativism is the view that moral or ethical systems, which vary from culture to culture, are all equally valid and no one system is really “better” than any other. This is based on the idea that there is no ultimate standard of good or evil, so every judgment about right and wrong is a product of society. Therefore, any opinion on morality or ethics is subject to the cultural perspective of each person. Ultimately, this means that no moral or ethical system can be considered the “best,” or “worst,” and no particular moral or ethical position can actually be considered “right” or “wrong.”
This viewpoint is patently absurd on face value. Yet much of humanity uses “words like “pluralism,” “tolerance,” and “acceptance” in a loose way in which modern society defines these ideas has made it possible for almost anything to be justified on the grounds of “relativism.”
The article by Gene Howington, Ethical Relativism: A Good Idea or a Path to Anarchy? – cites a compelling example of an indisputable immorality performed that resulted in the deaths of innocents.
“One of the strongest arguments against ethical relativism comes from the assertion that universal ethical and/or moral standards can exist even if some practices and beliefs vary among cultures. In other words, it is possible to acknowledge cultural differences and still find that some of these practices and beliefs are wrong. Consider that although the Aztec had a society that was in some ways more advanced that their contemporary European counterparts, that their practice of human sacrifice is simply wrong.”
Most people seldom analyze their personal behavior in light of such extreme historic atrocities. However, many live a life of individual relativism. The OBJECTIVITY, SUBJECTIVITY, AND MORAL VIEWS site poses the danger of accepting a situation ethics and the risk of adopting the dead end captivity of iconoclasm.
“Individual relativism is close to, but should not be confused with, moral nihilism. An individual relativist takes standards seriously perhaps even by going so far as establishing a strict, or burdensome moral code for himself or herself. Under this position, we view the code as binding only for that one person. A nihilist, on the other hand, believes that morality is an illusion. Nothing is really binding, even a code one establishes for oneself. Nihilism about any subject is difficult to overcome, if overcoming it means giving a nihilist reasons adequate to change his or her belief, because the nihilist can continually reject the basis for our reasoning. We may claim that an objective moral code is needed for proper social function, to avoid harm, to do good, to preserve integrity. The nihilist keeps telling us that all of this is an illusion or that each involves an imposed standard.”
Is there really a difference between a personally devised ethical system, which inescapably descends into an abstruseness of conflict and indiscriminate conduct, and the nihilistic delusion that no moral behavior is attainable? Admittedly, each act of moral conscience is individual, but when society promotes a cultural relativism mystique, in order to establish an egalitarian moral neutral acceptance, the glue that binds civilization together breaks apart.
The conventional basis that philosophers acknowledge as foundational for any culture that accepts a deity, is natural law. The University of Tennessee provides an impressive summary of moral thought, in MORAL PHILOSOPHY THROUGH THE AGES.
The traditional underpinnings that apply Aristotle’s precepts, to Christian teachings are found in Aquinas Natural Law Theory. Aquinas’s account of natural law appears in his “Treatise on Law,” a section of his several thousand page Summa Theologica (1a2ae q. 90-144).
“In short, for Aquinas, all moral laws are ultimately grounded in God’s unchanging eternal law, and we discover general rules of natural law through intuition. Legal experts then deduce more specific rules of human law from these, and in scriptural divine laws we find examples of both general and specific rules. Since we don’t have access to the complete list of eternal law, from our limited human perspectives morality begins with a search for the general rules of natural law. But where do we begin looking for the general rules of natural law? Aquinas says that we must look to human nature as a guide:
… [each human being] has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. [Summa Theologica, 1a2ae 90:2]
According to Aquinas, when God created us he gave us natural instincts that reflect the general moral principles of natural law. There are two distinct levels of morally-relevant instincts. First, God implanted in us an instinctive intuition that we should pursue our proper human end. Second, God implanted in us a series of instincts that define our proper end as living, reproducing, and rational creatures.”
Now the relevance of submitting yourself unto the authority of divine design is rare in an age of godless cultural relativism. Without a willful acceptance of inspired purpose and rules for prescribed conduct, the barbarism of immoral nihilism is inevitable. Politically, the rages of wicked government repression become institutionalized, and a much greater cruelty, than most cleric domination abuses. One need not be a defender of any particular faith to accept the fundamental inherent autonomy of your being within the world. Your plight is often proportional to your circumstance, but your morality or lack thereof; is directly tied to the nature of your created soul.
The ontogeny of every individual is a product of social environment, mortal will and providential inspiration. Most of temporal society is geared to combating political disputes or fostering phony promises. Personages cope according to their singular talents and determination to compete. Many reject, from this equation, the role and influence of the muses consorting with your own mythology. Notwithstanding, the very mention of obedience to Almighty God and the submission to His natural law, bears the risk of being burned at the stake of the cultural relativist.
Thinking About Obscurity suggests: “Obscurity is the idea that when information is hard to obtain or understand, it is, to some degree, safe.” Alas, this seems to be the current condition of embracing natural law in an age of cultural relativism. Asking for divine inspiration that seeks eternal reason or using your natural instincts to discover everlasting principles, is hidden from the nihilist and their relativist cousins. Their condescending attacks against religion stems from their own inadequacies, while they spend their energy on convincing themselves of the illusion that a world without God is safe for their own form of Nahuatl liturgy sacrifices.
Dr. Edward Younkins provides a strong defense of Western Civilization in his essay, “Why the World is the Way It Is: Cultural Relativism and It’s Descendents”. By including, “Multiculturalism, racism, postmodernism, deconstructionism, political correctness, and social engineering are among cultural relativism’s “intellectual” descendents”, into this mistaken value system, the stage is set for his valid conclusion.
“In reality, the superiority of Western culture can be objectively demonstrated when cultures are appraised based on the only befitting standard for judging a society or culture—the extent to which its core values are life affirming or antilife. Prolife culture recognizes and honors man’s nature as a rational being who needs to discern and produce the circumstances that his survival and flourishing require. Such a culture would promote reason, man’s natural rights, productivity, science, and technology. Western culture, the prime example of this type of culture, exhibits levels of freedom, opportunity, health, wealth, productivity, innovation, satisfaction, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in history.
Western civilization represents man at his best. It embodies the values that make life as a man possible—freedom, reason, individualism, and man’s natural rights; capitalism, self-reliance, and self-responsibility based on free will and achievement; the need for limited, republican representative government and the rule of law; language, art, and literature depicting man as efficacious in the world; and science and technology, the rules of logic, and the idea of causality in a universe governed by natural laws intelligible to man. These values, the values of Western civilization, are values for all men cutting across ethnicity, geography, and gender.”
That so many pseudo intellectuals not only reject this timeless assessment and actually rebel against the natural order of society, demonstrates why the world is such a mess. Diversity of ethnical relativism cries out for a methodical demise. The cultural suicide of civilization is really a crisis in valid moral values.
There is little safety left on a planet that surrenders it individual responsibility to the collective and forgoes any duty to fulfill ones natural purpose. The progressive slough that society proceeds upon only demeans the whole. Abandoning the quest for universal ethics denies our instinctive intuition. In order to fulfill our nature as a rational creature, humanity must believe that rightful moral principles are ubiquitously applicable.
When President Obama speaks, most Americans hear what he wants them to hear: lofty rhetoric and a “progressive” vision. But just below the surface the president has a subtly-delivered message for the 1%, whose ears prick up when their buzzwords are mentioned. Obama’s state of the union address was such a speech – a pro-corporate agenda packaged with chocolate covered rhetoric for the masses; easy to swallow, but deadly poisonous.
Much of Obama’s speech was pleasant to the ears, but there were key moments where he was speaking exclusively to the 1%. Exposing these hidden agenda points in the speech requires that we ignore the fluff and use English the way the 1% does. Every time Obama says the words “reform” or “savings,” insert the word “cuts.”
Here are some of the more nefarious moments of Obama’s state for the union speech:
“And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms [cuts]…”
“On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms [cuts] that will achieve the same amount of health care savings [cuts] by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms [cuts] proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.”
This ultra-vague sentence was meant exclusively for the 1%. What are some of the recommendations from the right-wing Simpson-Bowles commission? Obama doesn’t say. Talking Points Memo explains:
- Force more low-income individuals into Medicaid managed care.
- Increase Medicaid co-pays.
- Accelerate already-planned cuts to Medicare Advantage and home health care programs.
- Create a cap for Medicaid/Medicare growth that will force Congress and the president to increase premiums or co-pays or raise the Medicare eligibility age (among other options) if the system encounters cost overruns over the course of 5 years.
There were many other subtly-delivered attacks on Medicare in Obama’s speech, all ignored by most labor and progressive groups, who clung tightly to the “progressive” smoke Obama blew in their face.
Obama’s speech also included a frightening vision of a national privatization scheme to previously publicly owned resources. But it was phrased so inspirationally that only the 1% seemed to notice:
“I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital [wealthy investors] to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children…we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers [corporations]…”
Obama’s proposal plans to “rebuild America” in the image of the wealthy and corporations, who only put forth their “private capital” when it results in a profitable investment; resources that previously functioned for the public good will now be channeled into the pockets of the rich, to the detriment of everyone else.
Allowing the rich to privatize and profit from public education and publicly owned infrastructure (ports and pipelines, etc.) has been a right-wing dream for years. This will result in massive user fees for the rest of us, while further dismembering public education, which Obama’s ill-named Race to the Top education reform is already successfully accomplishing.
Obama’s speech also put forth two massive pro-corporate international free trade deals, which would further drive down wages in the United States:
“We intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership [a massive free trade deal focused mainly on Asian nations]. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [free trade deal] with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
While praising free trade Obama disarmed labor and progressive groups by throwing in the meaningless word “fair.”
Lastly, Obama’s drone assassination policy was further enshrined in his speech. Drone assassinations are obvious war crimes — see the Geneva Convention — while also ignoring that pesky due process clause — innocent until proven guilty — of the constitution.
But Obama said that these programs will be “legal” and “transparent,” apparently good enough to keep most progressive groups quite on the issue.
There were plenty of other examples of sugar-coated poison in Obama’s speech. It outlined a thoroughly right-wing agenda with no plan to address the jobs crisis — sprinkled with pretty words and “inspiring” catchphrases.
Some labor leaders and “progressive” groups seem dazzled by the speech. President of the union federation, AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, praised Obama’s anti-worker speech:
“Tonight President Obama sent a clear message to the world that he will stand and fight for working America’s values and priorities. And with the foundation he laid, working families will fight by his side to build an economy that works for all.”
And here is the real problem; as President Obama follows in the footsteps of President Bush, labor and progressive groups have found their independent voice stifled. The close ties between these groups and the Democratic Party have become heavy chains for working people, who find themselves under assault with no leadership willing to educate them about the truth, let alone organize a national fightback to win a massive jobs-creation program, prevent cuts to social programs, and fully fund public education. Obama’s second term will teach millions these lessons via experience.
Throughout history, citizen disarmament generally leads to one of two inevitable outcomes: Government tyranny and genocide, or, revolution and civil war. Anti-gun statists would, of course, argue that countries like the UK and Australia have not suffered such a result. My response would be – just give them time. You may believe that gun control efforts are part and parcel of a totalitarian agenda (as they usually are), or, you may believe that gun registration and confiscation are a natural extension of the government’s concern for our “safety and well-being”. Either way, the temptation of power that comes after a populace is made defenseless is almost always too great for any political entity to dismiss. One way or another, for one reason or another, they WILL take advantage of the fact that the people have no leverage to determine their own cultural future beyond a twisted system of law and governance which is, in the end, easily corrupted.
The unawake and the unaware among us will also argue that revolution or extreme dissent against the establishment is not practical or necessary, because the government “is made of regular people like us, who can be elected or removed at any time”.
This is the way a Republic is supposed to function, yes. However, the system we have today has strayed far from the methods of a Free Republic and towards the machinations of a single party system. Our government does NOT represent the common American anymore. It has become a centralized and Sovietized monstrosity. A seething hydra with two poisonous heads; one Democrat in name, one Republican in name. Both heads feed the same bottomless stomach; the predatory and cannibalistic pit of socialized oligarchy.
On the Republican side, we are offered Neo-Con sharks like George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who argue for “conservative” policies such as limited government interference and reduced spending, all while introducing legislation which does the exact opposite. The recent passage of the “Safe Act” in New York with extensive Republican support proves that Republicans cannot be counted on to defend true conservative values.
The Democrats get candidates like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, who claim to be anti-war and against government abuse of civil liberties, and yet, these same “progressive and compassionate” politicians now froth at the mouth like rabid dogs sinking their teeth into the flesh of the citizenry, expanding on every tyrannical initiative the Republicans began, and are bombing more civilian targets in more foreign countries than anyone with a conscience should be able to bear.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the government is not our buddy. It is not our ally or friend. It is not a “part of us”. It is now a separate and dangerous entity. A parasite feeding off the masses. It has become a clear threat to the freedoms of average Americans. It is time for the public to grow up, snap out of its childish delusions, and accept that there is no solace or justice to be found anymore in Washington D.C.
Once we understand this fact, a question then arises – What do we do about it? If we cannot redress our grievances through the election process because both parties favor the same authoritarian direction, and if our street protests are utterly ignored by the mainstream media and the establishment, and if civil suits do nothing but drag on for years with little to no benefit, then what is left for us? Is the way of the gun the only answer left for the American people at this crossroads?
I cannot deny that we are very close to such a conclusion. Anyone who does deny it is living in a candy coated fantasy land. However, there are still certain options that have not been exhausted, and we should utilize them if for no other reason than to maintain the moral high ground while the power elite continue to expose their own despotic innards.
State And County Nullification
The assertion of local authority in opposition to federal tyranny is already being applied across the country. Multiple states, counties, and municipalities are issuing declarations of defiance and passing legislation which nullifies any future federal incursions against 2nd Amendment protections. For instance, the Gilberton Borough Council in PA in conjunction with Police Chief Mark Kessler has recently adopted a resolution defending all 2nd Amendment rights within their municipal borders up to and including the denial of operations by federal officers:
Approximately 283 county Sheriffs and multiple police officers have taken a hard stand, stating that they will either not aid federal enforcement officials with gun control related activities, or, that they will not allow such activities within their county, period:
This trend of dissent amongst law enforcement officials debunks the nihilistic view promoted by disinformation agents that “no one in law enforcement will have the guts to stand up to the government no matter how sour it turns”. It has also shaken the Obama Administration enough that the White House is struggling to counter it by wining and dining police unions and sheriffs departments in order to form their own “coalition of the willing”. Obama seems to believe that holding press conferences using children or police as background props will somehow earn him political capital in the battle for gun rights, but I have my doubts:
Multiple states have legislation on the table to nullify as well, and it would seem that the violent push by the establishment to extinguish the 2nd Amendment has actually sharply rekindled the public’s interest in States Rights and the 10th Amendment.
This does not mean, though, that we should rely on nullification alone. While the gun grabbers are stumbling into severe resistance at the national level, some representatives are attempting to supplant gun rights at the state level, including New York, California, Washington State, and Missouri. The goal here is obvious; counter states rights arguments by using anti-gun legislators to impose federal controls through the back door of state legislation.
They will claim that if we support states rights, then we have to abide by the decisions of regions like New York when they ban and confiscate firearms. It’s sad how gun grabbers lose track of reality. Neither federal authority, nor state authority, supplants the legal barriers of the Constitution itself, meaning, no federal or local authority has the right or power to remove our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly, our freedom of privacy, OR our freedom to own firearms (including firearms of military utility). The Constitution and the Bill of Rights supersede all other legal and political entities (including treaties, as ruled by the Supreme Court). At least, that’s what the Founding Fathers intended when they established this nation. The point is, a state is well within its rights to defy the Federal Government if it is enacting unconstitutional abuses, and the people are well within their rights to defy a state when it does the same.
There is actually a fantastic economic opportunity to be had by states and counties that nullify gun control legislation. Many gun manufacturers and retail businesses are facing financial oblivion if the establishment has its way, and moving operations outside the U.S. is not necessarily practical for most of them (gun manufacturing is one of the last business models we still do better than the rest of the world). Municipalities could offer safe haven to these businesses, allowing them to continue producing firearms and high capacity magazines, fulfill expanding public demand, and create a surging cash flow into their area while at the same time giving the federal government the finger.
This strategy does not come without dangers, though. Many states and counties are addicted to federal funding, and some would go bankrupt without it. The obvious first response by the feds to protesting local governments will be to cut off the river of cash and starve them into subservience.
This brand of internal financial warfare can be countered by local governments by nullifying a few other unconstitutional regulations, including those issued by the EPA and the BLM. States and counties could easily disable federal land development restrictions and begin using resource development as a means to generate supplemental income. North Dakota is essentially doing this right now in the Bakken Oil Fields, becoming one of the few states in America that is actually creating legitimate high paying jobs (instead of part time wage slave jobs), and growing more prosperous every year.
This tactic is not limited to state governments either. Counties also have the ability, with the right officials involved, to regain control of their economic destinies anytime they want. All it takes is the courage to rock the establishment boat.
Refuse All Registration Schemes
National firearms registration and gun databases are almost always followed by full gun confiscation. The process is usually done in a standardized manner: First demand extensive registration and cataloging of gun owners. Second, ban more effective styles of weaponry, including semi-automatics and high capacity rifles (Let the sport hunters keep their bolt actions for a time, and lure them onto your side with the promise that they will get to keep their .270 or their 30-06). Then take all semi-auto handguns. Then, ban high powered magnum style bolt actions by labeling them “sniper rifles”. Then demand that the gun owners that still remain allow official “inspections” of their home by law enforcement to ensure that they are “storing their weapons properly”. Then, force them to move those weapons to a designated “warehouse or range”, locked away for any use other than recreational shooting. Then, when the public is thoroughly disconnected from their original right to bear arms, take everything that’s left.
Keep in mind that the federal government and certain state governments are acting as if they would like to skip ALL of the preliminary steps and go straight to full confiscation. I am not discounting that possibility. But, they may feign certain concessions in the near term in order to get the one thing they really want – full registration.
Registration must be the line in the sand for every single gun owner in this country, whether they own several semi-automatics, or one pump action shotgun. Once you give in to being registered, fingerprinted, photographed, and tracked wherever you decide to live like a convicted sexual predator, you have shown that you have no will or spirit. You have shown that you will submit to anything.
After a full registration has been enacted, every gun (and maybe every bullet) will be tracked. If confiscation is utilized, they know exactly what you have and what you should not have, and exactly where you are. Criminals will still acquire weapons illegally, as they always have. The only people who will suffer are law abiding citizens. It’s a recipe for dictatorship and nothing more.
Gun Barter Networks
The retail firearms and ammo markets are Sahara dry right now, and will probably remain that way in the foreseeable future. Anything that is available for purchase is usually twice the price it was last year. Extremely high demand is removing retail from the picture before any legislation is even passed. Enter barter…
Cash will remain a bargaining tool for as long as the dollar remains the world reserve currency and holds at least some semblance of value (this will end sooner than most people think). That said, as gun items become scarce, the allure of cash may be supplanted. The signs of this are already evident.
Gun owners are now looking more to trade firearms and accessories for OTHER firearms and accessories, because they know that once they sell an item, they may never see it again, and the usefulness of cash is fleeting. Gun Barter is not only a way for firearms enthusiasts to get what they need, it is also a way for them to move around any future gun sale restrictions that may arise. Private gun sales are legal in some states, but do not count on this to last. Barter leaves no paper trail, and thus, no traceable evidence of transaction. For those who fear this idea as “legally questionable”, all I can do is remind them that an unconstitutional law is no law at all. If it does not adhere to the guidelines of our founding principles, our founding documents, and our natural rights, then it is just a bunch of meaningless words on a meaningless piece of paper signed by a meaningless political puppet.
3D Printing And Home Manufacturing
3D Printing is now available to the public and for those with the money, I recommend they invest quickly. Unless the establishment wants to make the possession of these printers illegal, as well as shut down the internet, there will be no way to stop data streamers from supplying the software needed to make molds for every conceivable gun part, including high capacity mags. This technology has been effectively promoted by the Wiki Weapons Project:
According to current ATF law, the home manufacture of gun parts is not technically illegal, as long as they are not being produced for sale. But in a state or county where federal gun laws have been nullified, what the ATF says is irrelevant.
Home manufacturing of gun parts and ammo would be a highly lucrative business in such safe haven areas. And, the ability to build one’s own self defense platform is a vital skill in a sparse market environment. The ultimate freedom is being able to supply your own needs without having to ask for materials or permission from others. It should be the goal of every pro-gun activist to reach this independence.
Force The Establishment To Show Its True Colors
While some in the general public may be incensed by the trampling of our freedoms by government, many (including myself) would view direct action and aimless French Revolution-style violence as distasteful and disastrous. The moral high ground is all that any dissenting movement has. It will be hard enough to keep this ground with the constant demonization of liberty minded people that is being espoused by propaganda peddlers like the SPLC and numerous media outlets. We do not need to help them do their jobs.
Now, to be clear, I have NO illusions that the above strategies will defuse a confrontation between those who value freedom, and those who desire power. The hope is that enough people within our population will refuse to comply, and that this will make any future despotism impossible to construct. However, it is far more likely that these acts of defiance will elicit a brutal response from the government. And in a way, that is exactly what we want…
The Founding Fathers went through steps very similar to those I listed above and more to counter the tightening grip of the British Empire during the first American Revolution. The idea is simple:
Peacefully deny the corrupt system’s authority over your life by supplying your own needs and your own security, rather than lashing out blindly. Force them to show their true colors. Expose their dishonor and maliciousness. Make them come after you like the predators they are, and then, once they can no longer play the role of the “defending hero” in the eyes of the public, use your right to self defense to send them a message they won’t forget.
Skeptics will claim that physical defense is useless against a technologically advanced enemy. They will claim that we need a “majority” we do not have in order to prevail. These are usually people who have never fought for anything in their lives. They do not understand that the “odds” are unimportant. They mean nothing. No revolution for good ever begins with “majority support”. Each is fought by a minority of strong willed and aware individuals. When all other methods of protest have been dismantled, the system leaves us with only two options: stand and fight, or kneel and beg for mercy. All you need to know is what YOU would do when faced with that choice.
There is no other culture on earth that has the capacity, like Americans currently do, to defeat centralists, defend individual liberty, and end the pursuit of total global power in this lifetime. We are the first and last line. If freedom is undone here, it is undone everywhere for generations to come. This is our responsibility. This is our providence. There can be no complacency. There can be no compromise. There can be no fear. It ends on this ground. One way, or another.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Two important events took place this week. One was President Obama’s call for a higher minimum wage, which got a lot of attention. The other was a new report which showed just how much of our nation’s wealth continues to be hijacked by the wealthiest among us.
That didn’t get much attention.
There’s a Great Robbery underway, although most of its perpetrators don’t see themselves as robbers. Instead they’re sustained by delusions that protect them from facing the consequences of their own actions.
Heads I Win …
An updated report from economist Emmanuel Saez details the loss of income suffered by 99 percent of Americans, and the parallel gains made by the wealthiest among us. Its most startling finding may be this: The top 1 percent has captured 121 percent of the increases in income since the worst of the financial crisis, while the rest of the country has continued to fall behind.
If you thought the rich recovered from the crisis just fine but everybody else got the short end of the stick, relax: You’re not crazy. And since the financial crisis was caused by members of the 1 percent – not all of them, of course, just the ones we spent so much to rescue – it’s understandable if the injustice still rankles you.
You rescued them. Now they’re drinking your milkshake.
Tails You Lose
But this wealth shift is not a new phenomenon. As Saez notes in his paper, “After decades of stability … the top decile share has increased dramatically over the last twenty-five years.” In fact, the top 10 percent’s share of our national income is higher than it’s been since 1917 - and maybe longer. (The figures don’t go back any farther than that.)
Although it began during the Reagan years, to a certain extent this wealth shift has been a bipartisan phenomenon. During the Clinton boom years (more of a bubble, actually; Dean Baker has the details) the top 1 percent saw their real income grow by 98.7 percent, while the other 99 saw a smaller increase of 20.3 percent. They lost more during the recession that followed – a little over 30 percent, as opposed to 6.5 percent for everyone else – but more than made up the difference again during the Bush years.
The same thing happened during the Great Recession: The top 1 percent lost more during the initial shock, but they’re rapidly making up the difference now. Government policy’s been designed to help them. (Meanwhile, underwater homeowners still don’t have the help they need.)
The disparities are even greater when you include capital gains. (Saez uses pre-tax income for his figures. Given the generous tax breaks for capital gains and the many loopholes used by the wealthy,the after-tax differences could be even greater.) There’s even economic injustice at the top. Gains for the one percent have far outstripped those of the top five and top ten percent.
As the old song says: Them that has, gets.
If you can remember the sixties you weren’t there … or can’t afford to remember
The minimum wage has been falling since 1968. As John Schmitt notes in his paper, “The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn Low,” “By all of the most commonly used benchmarks – inflation, average wages, and productivity – the minimum wage is now far below its historical level.”
It’s currently $7.25. What would it have been if it had been tied to a commonly-used benchmark? Schmitt ran the numbers:
Consumer Price Index (CPI-I): $10.52
Current CPI methodology (CPI-U-RS): $9.22
As a percentage of average production worker’s earnings: $10.01
And if it had been tied to productivity gains the minimum wage would be $21.72 today. But that cream was skimmed off at the top.
There’s a myth in this country that enormous wealth doesn’t come from anywhere or anyone, that it’s self-creating and self-sustaining, thriving on pure oxygen like an epiphyte or a garden fairy. In reality, highly concentrated wealth is caused by actions – human actions with human consequences.
Saez: “A number of factors may help explain this increase in inequality, not only underlying technological changes but also the retreat of institutions developed during the New Deal and World War II – such as progressive tax policies, powerful unions, corporate provision of health and retirement benefits, and changing social norms regarding pay inequality.”
Wealth inequity is created whenever an employer lowers his employees’ wages, replaces a full-time worker with several part-timers, busts a union, cuts corners on workplace safety, or pays a lobbyist to change the rules.
It’s created whenever a job is shipped overseas, and when investments are shifted from job-producing industries to the non-productive financial sector. It’s created when GE outsources its manufacturing operation and gets into the banking (read, “gambling with taxpayers’ money”) business. Or when AIG stops insuring risk and starts betting on it.
And the process isn’t slowing down. In fact, it seems to be accelerating.
As Saez says, “We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable and, if not, what mix of institutional and tax reforms should be developed to counter it.”
President Obama’s proposal is modest, and there’s no reason not to enact it immediately. For those who believe that businesses “can’t afford” to pay higher wages, some key facts:
Most low-wage workers work for large corporations, not Mom-and-Pop businesses.
A Data Brief from the National Employment Law Project finds that 66 percent of low-wage employees work for companies with more than 100 employees. A handful of very large corporations collectively employ nearly 8 million low-wage employees.
There’s no evidence minimum wage increases mean fewer jobs.
Opponents say a higher minimum wage means fewer jobs. But the official U.S. unemployment rate in 1968, when the real minimum wage was highest, was 3.6 percent. Today it’s 7.8 percent – and the unofficial numbers are even worse. At the state level, the Fiscal Policy Institute recently concluded that “states with minimum wages above the federal level have had faster small business and retail job growth.”
Ninety-two percent of the 50 largest low‐wage employers in the country were profitable last year.
As the NELP notes, big corporations more than recovered from the recession: 75 percent are collecting more revenue, 63 percent are earning higher profits, and 73 percent have higher cash holdings than they did before the crisis.
Bringing It All Back Home
The real “job creators” aren’t the ultra-wealthy. If they could create jobs with all their added wealth, they would have done it already. The real job creators are working people with jobs.
They don’t invest their money in hedge funds or stash it in offshore accounts. They spend it: on food, transportation, their kids’ education, maybe a night at the movies … And then other people get jobs making those things possible.
We have a working model to follow: The USA in the 35 years after World War II. As Paul Krugman says, “To the extent that people say the economics is confusing or uncertain, that’s overwhelmingly because people want it to be.” We know how to do this.
Raising the minimum wage is a start. A maximum wage would help, too, by reducing CEOs’ incentives to emphasize quarterly gains over long-term growth and leaving more to be shared with employees.
We also need a national strategy for regaining the more reasonable distribution of income this country had in the 1950s. We need to ensure that the door of opportunity, which is closing every day for millions of young people, is opened again. And we need to ask the wealthiest to really pay their fair share – at something closer to the top tax rates of the 1950’s or 1960’s. (Elvis Presley’s manager “Colonel” Tom Parker once said “I consider it my patriotic duty to keep Elvis in the ninety percent tax bracket.”)
Most of all, we need to educate those around us so they understand what’s happening. That includes the well-intentioned well-to-do, who might do more to end the problem if they knew it existed. After all, you can’t stop a robbery until you know it’s happening.
Hollywood And The Past…
History is commonly regarded as an attempt to produce a structured account of the past. It proclaims to tell us what really happened, but in most cases it fails to do that. Instead it is set to conceal our shame, to hide those various elements, events, incidents and occurrences in our past which we cannot cope with. History, therefore, can be regarded as a system of concealment. Accordingly, the role of the true historian is similar to that of the psychoanalyst: both aim to unveil the repressed. For the psychoanalyst, it is the unconscious mind. For the historian, it is our collective shame.
Yet, one may wonder, how many historians really engage in such a task? How many historians are courageous enough to open the Pandora Box? How many historians are brave enough to challenge Jewish History for real? How many historians dare to ask why Jews? Why do Jews suffer time after time? Is it really the Goyim who are inherently murderous, or is there something unsettling in Jewish culture or collectivism? But Jewish history is obviously far from being alone here: every people’s past is, in fact, as problematic. Can Palestinians really explain to themselves how is it that after more than a century of struggle, they wake up to find out that their current capital has become a NGO haven largely funded by George Soros’ Open Society? Can the Brits once and for all look in the mirror and explain to themselves why, in their Imperial Wars Museum, they erected a Holocaust exhibition dedicated to the destruction of the Jews? Shouldn’t the Brits be slightly more courageous and look into one of the many Shoas they themselves inflicted on others? Clearly they have an impressive back catalogue to choose from.
The Guardian vs. Athens
The past is dangerous territory; it can induce inconvenient stories. This fact alone may explain why the true Historian is often presented as a public enemy. However, the Left has invented an academic method to tackle the issue. The ‘progressive’ historian functions to produce a ‘politically correct’, ‘inoffensive’ tale of the past. By means of zigzagging, it navigates its way, while paying its dues to the concealed and producing endless ad-hoc deviations that leave the ‘repressed’ untouched. The progressive subject is there to produce a ‘non- essentialist’ and ‘unoffending’ account of the past on the expense of the so-called ‘reactionary’. The Guardian is an emblem of such an approach, it would, for instance, ban any criticism of Jewish culture or Jewishness, yet it provides a televised platform for two rabid Zionist so they can discuss Arab culture and Islamism. The Guardian wouldn’t mind offending ‘Islamists’ or British ‘nationalists’ but it would be very careful not to hurt any Jewish sensitivities. Such version of politics or the past is impervious to truthfulness, coherence, consistency or integrity. In fact, the progressive discourse is far from being ‘the guardian of the truth’, it is actually set as ‘the guardian of the discourse’ and I am referring here to Left discourse in particular.
But surely there is an alternative to the ‘progressive’ attitude to the past. The true historian is actually a philosopher – an essentialist – a thinker who posits the question ‘what does it mean to be in the world and what does it take to live amongst others’? The true historian transcends beyond the singular, the particular and the personal. He or she is searching for the condition of the possibility of that which drives our past, present and future. The true historian dwells on Being and Time, he or she is searching for a humanist lesson and an ethical insight while looking into the poem, the art, the beauty, the reason but also into the fear. The true historian is an essentialist who digs out the concealed, for he or she knows that the repressed is the kernel of the truth.
Leo Strauss provides us with a very useful insight in that regard. Western civilization, he contends, oscillates between two intellectual and spiritual poles – Athens and Jerusalem. Athens — the birthplace of democracy, home for reason, philosophy, art and science. Jerusalem — the city of God where God’s law prevails. The philosopher, the true historian, or the essentialist, for that matter, is obviously the Athenian. The Jerusalemite, in that regard, is ‘the guardian of the discourse’, the one who keeps the gate, just to maintain law and order on the expense of ecstasies, poesis, beauty, reason and truth.
Spielberg vs. Tarantino
Hollywood provides us with an insight into this oscillation between Athens and Jerusalem: between the Jerusalemite ‘guardian of the discourse’ and the Athenian contender – the ‘essentialist’ public enemy. On the Left side of the map we find Steven Spielberg, the ‘progressive’ genius. On his Right we meet peosis itself, Quentin Tarantino, the ‘essentialist’.
Spielberg, provides us with the ultimate sanitized historical epic. The facts are cherry picked just to produce a pre meditated pseudo ethical tale that maintains the righteous discourse, law and order but, most importantly, the primacy of Jewish suffering (Schindler’s List and Munich). Spielberg brings to life a grand epic with a clear retrospective take on the past. Spielberg tactic is, in most cases, pretty simple. He would juxtapose a vivid transparent binary opposition: Nazis vs. Jews, Israeli vs. Palestinians , North vs. South, Righteousness vs. Slavery. Somehow, we always know, in advance who are the baddies and who are the goodies. We clearly know who to side with.
Binary opposition is indeed a safe route. It provides a clear distinction between the ‘Kosher’ and the ‘forbidden’. But Spielberg is far from being a banal mind. He also allows a highly calculated and carefully meditated oscillation. In a universalist gesture of courtesy he would let a single Nazi into the family of the kind. He would allow the odd Palestinian to be a victim. It can all happen as long as the main frame of the discourse remains intact. Spielberg is clearly an arch guardian of discourse – being a master of his art-form, he will certainly maintain your attention for at least 90 minutes of a historic cinematic cocktail made of factual mishmash. All you have to do is to follow the plot to the end. By then the pre-digested ethical message is safely replanted at the hub of your self-loving narcissistic universe.
Unlike Spielberg, Tarantino is not concerned with factuality; he may even repel historicity. Tarantino may as well believe that the notion of ‘the message’ or morality are over rated. Tarantino is an essentialist, he is interested in human nature, in Being and he seems to be fascinated in particular in vengeance and its universality. For the obvious reasons, his totally farfetched Inglorious Bastards throws light on present Israeli collective blood thirstiness as being detected at the time of Operation Cast lead. The fictional cinematic creation of a revengeful murderous WWII Jewish commando unit is there to throw the light on the devastating contemporary reality of Jewish lobbies’ lust for violence in their relentless push for a world war against Iran and beyond. But Inglorious Bastards may as well have a universal appeal because the Old Testament’s ‘eye for and eye’ has become the Anglo American political driving force in the aftermath of 9/11.
Abe’le vs. Django
What may seem as a spiritual clash between Jerusalemite Spielberg and Athenian Tarantino is more than apparent in their recent works.
The history of slavery in America is indeed a problematic topic and, for obvious reasons, many aspects of this chapter are still kept deeply within the domain of the concealed. Once again Spielberg and Tarantino have produced a distinctively different accounts of this chapter.
In his recent historical epic Lincoln, Spielberg, made Abraham Lincoln into a Neocon ‘moral interventionist’ who against all (political) odds, abolished slavery. I guess that Spielberg knows enough American history to gather that his cinematic account is a crude Zigzag attempt, for the anti slavery political campaign was a mere pretext for a bloody war driven by clear economical objectives.
As one may expect, Spielberg peppers his tale with more than a few genuine historical anecdotes. He is certainly paying the necessary dues just to keep the shame shoved deep under the carpet. His Lincoln is cherished as a morally driven hero of human brotherhood. And the entire plot carries all the symptoms of contemporary AIPAC lobby assault within the Capitol. Being one of the arch guardians of the discourse, Spielberg has successfully fulfilled his task. He added a substantial cinematic layer to ensure that America’s true shame remains deeply repressed or shall we say, untouched.
Needles to mention that Spielberg’s take on Lincoln has been cheered by the Jewish press. They called the president Avraham Lincoln Avinu (our father, Hebrew) in The Tablet Magazine. ‘Avraham’, according to the Tablet, is the definitive good Jew. “As imagined by Spielberg and Kushner, Lincoln’s Lincoln is the ultimate mensch. He is a skilled natural psychologist, an interpreter of dreams, and a man blessed with an extraordinarily clever and subtle legal mind.” In short, Spielberg’s Lincoln is Abe’le who combines the skills, the gift and the traits of Moses, Freud as well as Alan Dershowitz. However, some Jews complain about the film. “As an American Jewish historian, writes Lance J. Sussman, “I’m afraid I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with the latest Spielberg film. So much of it is so good, but it would have been even better if he had put at least one Jew in the movie, somewhere.”
I guess that Spielberg may find it hard to please the entire tribe. Quentin Tarantino, however, doesn’t even try. Tarantino is, in fact, doing the complete opposite. Through a phantasmic epic that confesses zero interest in any form of historicity or factuality whatsoever, he manages, in his latest masterpiece Django Unchained, to dig out the darkest secrets of Slavery. He scratches the concealed and judging by the reaction of another cinematic genius Spike Lee, he has clearly managed to get pretty deep.
By putting into play a stylistic spectacle within the Western genre Tarantino manages to dwell on every aspect we are advised to leave untouched. He deals with biological determinism, White supremacy and cruelty. But he also turns his lens onto slaves’ passivity, subservience and collaboration. The Athenian director builds here a set of Greek mythological God like characters; Django (Jamie Fox), is the unruly king of revenge and Schultz (Christoph Waltz) the German dentist turned bounty hunter is the master of wit, kindness and humanity with a giant wisdom tooth shining over his caravan. Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the Hegelian (racist) Master and Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) is the Hegelian Slave, emerging as the personification of social transformation. To a certain extent, the relationships between Candie and Stephen could be seen as one of the most profound yet subversive cinematic takes on Hegel’s master-slave dialectic.
In Hegel’s dialectic two self-consciousness’ are constituted via a process of mirroring. In Django Unchained, Stephen the slave, seems to convey the ultimate form of subservience, yet this is merely on the surface. In reality Stephen is way more sophisticated and observant than his master Candie. He is on his way up. It is hard to determine whether Stephen is a collaborator or if he really runs the entire show. And yet in Tarantino’s latest, Hegel’s dialectic is, somehow, compartmentalized. Django, once unchained, is clearly impervious to the Hegelian dialectic spiel. His incidental liberation induces in him a true spirit of relentless resilience. When it comes to it, he kills the Master, the Slave and everyone else who happens to be around, he bends every rule including the ‘rules of nature’ (biological determinism). By the time the epic is over, Django leaves behind a wreckage of the Candie’s plantation, the cinematic symbol of the dying old South and the ‘Master Slave Dialectic’. Yet, as Django rides on a horse towards the rising sun together with his free wife Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington), we are awakened to the far fetched cinematic fantasy. In reality, I mean the world out of the cinema, the Candie’s plantation would, in all likelihood, remain intact and Django would probably be chained up again. In practice, Tarantino cynically juxtaposes the dream (the cinematic reality) and reality (as we know it). By doing so he manages to illuminate the depth of misery that is entangled with the human condition and in Black reality in America in particular.
Tarantino is certainly not a ‘guardian of the discourse.’ Quite the opposite, he is the bitterest enemy of stagnation. As in his previous works, his latest spectacle is an essentialist assault on correctness and ‘self-love’. Tarantino indeed turns over many stones and unleashes many vipers into the room. Yet being a devout Athenian he doesn’t intend to produce a single answer or a moral lesson. He leaves us perplexed yet cheerful. For Tarantino, I guess, dilemma is the existential essence. Spielberg, on, the other hand, provides all the necessary answers. After all, within the ‘progressive’ politically-correct discourse, it is the answers that determine, in retrospective, what questions we are entitled to raise.
If Leo Strauss is correct and Western civilization should be seen as an oscillation between Athens and Jerusalem, truth must be said – we can really do with many more Athenians and their essentialist reflections. In short, we are in a desperate need of many more Tarantinos to counter Jerusalem and its ambassadors.
Arbitrated disagreement is being used in the courts to determine guilt or innocence The United States political system evolved into two parties that compete for the power to govern. Americans are avid fans of sporting events that pit skilled individuals and team players against each other. Businesses compete for market share and employees for promotions. Children compete for their parent’s affection. Nations compete for power and prestige and in our time there are even false flag competitions created by tyrannical governments to accomplish nefarious goals.
Libertarians have made a demi-god of competition by deifying the market while tyrants have learned they can accumulate power by murdering the competition. In 1950, UCLA Bruins football coach Henry (Red) Sanders said this, “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything” pause “Men, it’s the only thing!” Sports writers attributed the same statement to Vince Lombardi at his opening meeting with the Green Bay Packers. Many of our Christian leaders enjoy “broadening their phylacteries” by occupying a seat of honor at dinner, appearing on television, having the largest congregation or being seen as an authority. Competition is keen in Christian circles. Though little is accomplished for Christ’s Kingdom winners accumulate power and prestige while losers get the spoils.
Political parties quickly followed the drafting of the United States Constitution. George Washington, our first President, had no party affiliation but the division between the Federalists and anti-Federalists set the stage for political factions and parties resulted. Thomas Jefferson formed the first formal political party called the Democratic-Republicans. The name was intended to describe the will of the people restrained by the rule of law.
In 1828 President Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic Party which was intended to be a party of the people as opposed to the Democratic-Republicans which was the party of the elite. In the interests of the people as opposed to the elite, Jackson was noted for a successful battle against the money interests and their quest for a Central Bank.
Two political parties have controlled politics throughout United States history. Until recently both have maintained some regard for their oath to abide by the Constitution but as Executive Orders have given the President kingly powers congress has forsaken the Constitution and the good of the nation in favor of party affiliation and personal gain.
Political parties distort the intent of government by overlaying each consideration with a regard for the party. Religious affiliations are similar. Catholics in particular often refer to their religion as Catholic when Christian should be the proper term. We refer to our representatives as Democratic representative so and so or Republican representative so and so. Political parties and religious denominations create obstructions.
Political competition has deteriorated the concept of right and wrong by replacing the absolute with compromise. Compromise always produces something less than the best and over time results in national deterioration.
With the vigorous effort of Evangelical Christian polemics to find evidence of Christianity in the roots of our nation it is curious that if Christianity was uppermost in the minds of the Founders they did not encode it in the Constitution.
History records scant periods of freedom for the majority of the human race. Without an emphasis on individual responsibility governments become cancerous and freedom is lost.
For the most part the world lives under Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Individuals compete with each other within nations and nations compete with each other on the world stage. The winner accumulates more power resulting in progressive centralization.
At its founding the United States of America understood this principle and devised a governmental document that supported a diffusion of power to each individual state. When the secretive Philadelphia Convention was convened in 1787 its stated purpose was to amend the Articles of Confederation but powerful forces had already devised a Constitution that would be substituted as the centerpiece of the convention.
The duplicity involved at the Philadelphia meeting is obscured by substituting the word “Constitutional” for “Philadelphia”. This distortion tends to hide the manipulation. It is similar to the word Democracy, a misnomer almost universally used to describe our form of government. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy and it was the Philadelphia Convention not the Constitutional Convention.
When the Philadelphia Convention was convened the nation was over ninety-five percent Christian. Yet, the Constitution defied the Biblical pattern of dispersion by creating a document that centralized power.
The evil forces that control the United States of America have been working to destroy our country for at least a hundred years and since the Constitution forbids a religious affiliation it has allowed them free reign.
Family government can be seen in the structure of God’s creation; it is basic to the Biblical pattern. Keeping the family paramount defuses power and helps the federal government maintain its role as servant to society.
Not long ago someone sent me some interesting pictures of women factory workers producing munitions during WWII. The wide spread practice of women working outside the home struck a devastating blow to the family. When women are loosed into industry and the military they require the additional protection of laws against harassment that were not required when they were in charge of their own families. Women are often smarter than men but they are seldom stronger. A proper social order involves men being protectors of their wives and families; attempts to change this order are a foolish defiance of reality.
The problems that afflict our society cannot be fixed with Band Aids; additional framing will not stabilize a house built on sand. Education of children is a family responsibility and efforts to fix it at the public level will not succeed. Neighborhood schools controlled by the families that use them provide the bestpattern. A high quality private higher educational system is necessary but the government should not be involved in education.
If the Biblical pattern had been used to form the legal basis of our new nation it would have had a much better chance of survival. A Christian oath would have helped prevent the slide into humanism. Obedience to the oath might have tended to deteriorate but the immutable requirements of the Creator would provide a stark comparison.
Think of what change the Biblical law requiring honest weights and measures would make in our merchandising and political systems. Ignoring that Biblical standard has resulted in a nation that is afloat in lies, deception, and propaganda.
The family was formed and is still substantially used to procreate and nurture. Homosexuality has always existed but for much of history it has been restrained. It is illegal in Biblical law because it works against God’s basic family pattern. Feminism distorts the role of males and females in the creation and results in increased divorces and single parent homes.
Human ingenuity has produced an agricultural age, a mechanical age, and now an electronic age. The family structure was supported by a close association with the land. Mechanical inventions of the Industrial Revolution injured the family structure by making children a liability rather than an asset. God designed us for physical labor to be used in populating and subduing the creation. Today in the Western world, we waste our energies on treadmills, murder our children for convenience and limit our families with contraceptives. Separating families from the land has resulted in a loss of the strategic relationship between land and population. While third world nations multiply quickly Western civilization is failing to replace itself.
We are creating a disaster by distorting the proper use of what God has given us through abortion, war, birth control, and homosexuality. Instead of supporting the proper family structure and relating it to the earth, our only source of sustenance, we are working toward consolidating and centralizing. Centralizing power and tyrannizing the world population cannot result in the peace and justice God seeks for His creation.
Centralization results in wars and wars result in weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are a result of centralized power. Families do not develop atomic weapons, chemical weapons, foreign wars, genocide, drones, torture, invasions, murders, and mass propaganda. Neither will governments that serve the people instead of seeking the siren of power.
If we had made the One True God our King instead of a pagan government we would not be facing incipient tyranny.
“History’s verdict is that by defining marriage as monogamy and making extramarital sex immoral, the Biblical tradition laid down a foundation for stable families, strong women, children, economy, and society. By keeping his vows to a woman, made before God and community, a man learns to keep his word in other situations. When keeping one’s word becomes a strong cultural value, then trust becomes the foundation for social life.” Indian Christian, Vishal Mangalwadi. The Book That Made Your World” Pg. 294
The military has transformed warfare into a deadly computer game with drone weapons. Media programs like Weaponology or Future Weapons on the Military Channel provide detailed examples of the lethalness of autonomous technology. The use of drones as the preferred method of carnage is well established. Seldom do moral questions come into the discussions of eliminating enemies of the state. The rules of engagement vested in international law and the Geneva Convention, either ignored or rewritten for high-tech 21st Century combat, becomes the foundational tactic to maintain the killing force of the grand empire.
The video, Remote Control War, is an informative summary of the capabilities and uses of a drone air force. After viewing the range of aftermaths from GPS targeting, ponder the role of perpetual DARPA conflict. The distress from invented terrorism is used against the American public as a tool to incrementally relinquish basic rights and individual liberties. Matt K. Lewis offers up this assessment in an item published by This Week, Obama, drones, and the blissful ignorance of Americans.
“And here’s the ugly truth: Obama is giving us what we want . . .
Americans, it turns out, don’t really have the stomach for the unseemly business of taking prisoners, extracting information from prisoners, and then (maybe) going through the emotional, time consuming, and costly business of a trial.
American citizens want someone who will make the big, bad world disappear. Problems only exist if we have to confront them. Obama has made warfare more convenient for us — and less emotionally taxing.”
Beware of the unseen predators over foreign lands for the blowback is the real source of the instability and a root cause of hatred for American hegemony. What you are witnessing is the imbalance between Legislature and the Presidency. The war powers responsibility of Congress, long surrendered to the imperial commander and chief of killing incorporated is a national tragedy.
In another TW article, Peter Weber raises an essential question, Will Congress curb Obama’s drone strikes?, provides a mainstream assessment that seems lacking within the federal government.
“Since at least the 9/11 attacks, Congress has been less than confrontational with the White House over presidential powers to conduct war and anti-terrorism operations, to the dismay of civil libertarians. So we had President George W. Bush’s warrantless domestic wiretaps retroactively green-lighted by Congress, torture only officially nixed by a change in presidents, and a big ramping-up of lethal drones being used to kill terrorism suspects under President Obama. But Obama’s decision to kill at least two Americans working for al Qaeda in Yemen in 2011, and the legal justification that emerged in a leaked white paper (read below) this week, has caused a big, unusual outcry from both the Left and Right.”
The esteemed New York Times, part of the Obama fawning media, continues to carry water for the administration in Congress to See Memo Backing Drone Attacks on Americans.
“This week, NBC News obtained an unclassified, shorter “white paper”that detailed some of the legal analysis about killing a citizen and was apparently derived from the classified Awlaki memorandum. The paper said the United States could target a citizen if he was a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda involved in plots against the country and if his capture was not feasible.”
One might be accused of NYT bashing if you dare point out that their reporting resembles a briefing session from White House press secretary, Jay Carney. The use of warbots on home soil is a short step from spreading terminal sanctions of homeland security.
“Both the progressive American Civil Liberties Union and the libertarian Rutherford Institute cheer legislative efforts to place strict limits on unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. And, prodded by privacy groups, state lawmakers nationwide-Republicans and Democrats alike-have launched an all-out offensive against the unmanned aerial vehicles.
The prospect of cheap, small, portable flying video surveillance machines threatens to eradicate existing practical limits on aerial monitoring and allow for pervasive surveillance, police fishing expeditions and abusive use of these tools in way that could eliminate the privacy Americans have traditionally enjoyed in their movements and activities,” the bill’s author, Sen. Robyn Driscoll, a Democrat from Billings, testified.”
The ACLU presents a list of provisions that the Civil Liberties organization advocates. Also Read the ACLU’s full report on domestic drones. “Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to change airspace rules to make it much easier for police nationwide to use domestic drones, but the law does not include badly needed privacy protections. The ACLU recommends the following safeguards:
USAGE LIMITS: Drones should be deployed by law enforcement only with a warrant, in an emergency, or when there are specific and articulable grounds to believe that the drone will collect evidence relating to a specific criminal act.
DATA RETENTION: Images should be retained only when there is reasonable suspicion that they contain evidence of a crime or are relevant to an ongoing investigation or trial.
POLICY: Usage policy on domestic drones should be decided by the public’s representatives, not by police departments, and the policies should be clear, written, and open to the public.
ABUSE PREVENTION & ACCOUNTABILITY: Use of domestic drones should be subject to open audits and proper oversight to prevent misuse.
WEAPONS: Domestic drones should not be equipped with lethal or non-lethal weapons.”
Relying on Rutherford Institute Model Resolution, Charlottesville Becomes First U.S. City to Limit Police Drones; TRI Calls on Rest of Country to Follow Suit.
“In a 3-2 vote, members of the Charlottesville City Council adopted a resolution drafted by The Rutherford Institute which urges the Virginia General Assembly to prevent police agencies from utilizing drones outfitted with anti-personnel devices such as tasers and tear gas and prohibit the government from using data recorded via police spy drones in criminal prosecutions. In so doing, Charlottesville has become the first city in the country to limit the use of police spy drones, providing momentum and inspiration for other cities across the country to follow suit.
The passage of the resolution, which also places a two-year moratorium on the use of drones within city limits, coincides with a Department of Justice memo leaked to the media which outlines the Obama administration’s rationale for assassinating U.S. citizens via drone strike. With at least 30,000 drones expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020, John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, has called on government officials at the local, state, and federal level to do their part to safeguard Americans against the use of drones by police. Rutherford Institute attorneys have drafted and made available to the public language that can be adopted at all levels of government in order to address concerns being raised about the threats posed by drones to citizens’ privacy.”
When was the last time that a civil liberty issue developed an alliance of purpose to oppose the despotism of the totalitarian murder regime?
The Judge Napolitano YouTube: Killing Americans with Drones is Nowhere Justifiable Under The Constitution, goes unheeded as the country sinks into a zombie trance of public acquiescence. The compliant society is rooted in denial and disbelief.Even so, some of the more perceptive state legislatures are waking up to the danger of domestic drone operations. Texas “Anti Drone” Laws Would be Toughest in USA, and “prohibit federal law enforcement or federal officials from flying drones over Texas to spy on random citizens. Only individuals who are suspected with reasonable cause could be the target of drone surveillance, and only with a warrant issued by a judge of an open and public court.”
Politico details, “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has not decided whether he will sign a bill barring state and local agencies from using drones for two years — the first legislation of its kind in the country that passed through the state’s General Assembly Tuesday with bipartisan support.”
The National Defense Authorization Act is the latest unconstitutional measure that targets domestic citizens for punitive punishment. Due process, now reduced to “Due or Die” is the harbinger of the use of domestic drone capitulation. What will it take to awaken submissive citizens that the capability of foreign deployed drones easily can be weaponized for local operations?
The Obama administration has demonstrated an eagerness to trump up a bogus domestic terrorist threat that requires a surrender of our Bill of Rights. Reaper drones are a much greater peril than just a violation of privacy. A technology that is rapidly expanding and designed to militarize the police state into a killing field of reputed rebellious Americans – violates true national security.
“Making warfare more convenient and less emotionally taxing” is the direct opposite of the horror of battle. When a false flag surgical strike targets your location and your person, it will not be an episode in a computer simulation.
Over the past four decades, of all the reasons people over a certain age have given for their becoming radicalized against US foreign policy, the Vietnam War has easily been the one most often cited. And I myself am the best example of this that you could find. I sometimes think that if the war lovers who run the United States had known of this in advance they might have had serious second thoughts about starting that great historical folly and war crime.
At other times, however, I have the thought that our dear war lovers have had 40 years to take this lesson to heart, and during this time what did they do? They did Salvador and Nicaragua, and Angola and Grenada. They did Panama and Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan and Iraq. And in 2012 American President Barack Obama saw fit to declare that the Vietnam War was “one of the most extraordinary stories of bravery and integrity in the annals of military history”. 1
So, have they learned nothing? When it comes to following international law, is the United States like a failed state? The Somalia of international law? Well, if they were perfectly frank, the war lovers would insist that the purpose of all these interventions, and many others like them, was to keep the atheists out of power – the non-believers in America’s god-given right to rule the world – or to at least make life as difficult as possible for them. And thus the interventions were successful; nothing to apologize for; even the Vietnam War achieved its purpose of preventing that country from becoming a good development option for Asia, a socialist alternative to the capitalist model; precisely the same reason for Washington’s endless hostility toward Cuba in Latin America; and Cuba has indeed inspired numerous atheists and their alternatives for a better world.
If they were even more honest, the war lovers might quote George Kennan, the legendary State Department strategist, who wrote prophetically during the Cold War: “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.” 2
But after all these years, after decades of American militarism – though not a day passes without some government official or media acolyte expressing his admiration and gratitude for “our brave boys” – cracks in the American edifice can be seen. Some of the war lovers, and their TV groupies would have us believe that they have actually learned something. One of the first was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in February 2011: “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”
And here’s former Secretary of State George Shultz speaking before the prestigious Council of Foreign Relations last month (January 29): “Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be the template for how we go about” dealing with threats of terrorism.
A few days earlier the very establishment and conservative Economist magazine declared: “The best-intentioned foreign intervention is bound to bog its armies down in endless wars fighting invisible enemies to help ungrateful locals.”
However, none of these people are in power. And does history offer any example of a highly militaristic power – without extreme coercion – seeing the error of its ways? One of my readers, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote to me recently:
It is my opinion that the German and Japanese people only relinquished their imperial culture and mindset when they were bombed back to the stone age at the end of WWII. Something similar is the only cure for the same pathology that now is embedded into the very social fabric of the USA. The USA is a full-blown pathological society now. There is no other cure. No amount of articles on the Internet pointing out the hypocrisies or war crimes will do it.
So, while the United States is busy building bases and anti-missile sites in Europe, Asia and Africa, deploying space-based and other hi-tech weapons systems, trying to surround Russia, China, Iran and any other atheist that threatens American world hegemony, and firing drone missiles all over the Middle East I’m busy playing games on the Internet. What can I say? In theory at least, there is another force besides the terrible bombing mentioned above that can stop the American empire, and that is the American people. I’ll continue trying to educate them. Too bad I won’t live long enough to see the glorious transformation.
Afghanistan: Manufacturing the American Legacy
“A decade ago, playing music could get you maimed in Afghanistan. Today, a youth ensemble is traveling to the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. And it even includes girls.”
Thus reads the sub-heading of a Washington Post story of February 3 about an orchestra of 48 Afghan young people who attended music school in a country where the Taliban have tried to silence both women and music. “The Afghan Youth Orchestra is more than a development project,” the article informs us. For “the school’s many international donors, it serves as a powerful symbol of successful reconstruction in Afghanistan. And by performing in Washington and New York, the seats of U.S. political and financial power, the orchestra hopes to showcase what a decade of investment has achieved.”
“The U.S. State Department, the World Bank, the Carnegie Corporation and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education have invested heavily in the tour. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul awarded nearly $350,000 footing most of the estimated $500,000 cost. For international donors, the tour symbolizes progress in a country crippled by war.”
The State Department’s director of communications and public diplomacy for Afghanistan and Pakistan declares: “We wanted Americans to understand the difference their tax dollars have made in building a better future for young people, which translates into reduced threats from extremists in the region.”
“There’s a lot of weariness in the U.S. and cynicism about Afghanistan,” said William Harvey, an American violinist who teaches at the school, where 35 of 141 students are girls. “What are we doing there? What can be achieved? These concerts answer those questions in the strongest way possible: Cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community has made it safe for young girls and boys to learn music.”
There can be no question that for the sad country of Afghanistan all this is welcome news. There can also be little doubt that a beleaguered and defensive US foreign policy establishment will seek to squeeze out as much favorable publicity as possible from these events. On the issue of the severe oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan, defenders of the US occupation of that desperate land would have you believe that the United States is the last great hope of those poor females. However, you will not be reminded that in the 1980s the United States played an indispensable role in the overthrow of a secular and relatively progressive Afghan government, one which endeavored to grant women much more freedom than they’ll ever have under the current Karzai-US government, more probably than ever again. Here are some excerpts from a 1986 US Army manual on Afghanistan discussing the policies of this government concerning women:
- “provisions of complete freedom of choice of marriage partner, and fixation of the minimum age at marriage at 16 for women and 18 for men”
- “abolished forced marriages”
- “bring [women] out of seclusion, and initiate social programs”
- “extensive literacy programs, especially for women”
- “putting girls and boys in the same classroom”;
- “concerned with changing gender roles and giving women a more active role in politics”. 3
The US-led overthrow of this government paved the way for the coming to power of Islamic fundamentalist forces, which led directly to the awful Taliban. And why did the United States in its infinite wisdom choose to do such a thing? Because the Afghan government was allied with the Soviet Union and Washington wanted to draw the Russians into a hopeless military quagmire – “We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War”, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser. 4
The women of Afghanistan will never know how the campaign to raise them to the status of full human beings would have turned out, but this, some might argue, is but a small price to pay for a marvelous Cold War victory.
People on the left never tire of calling for the closing of the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The fact that President Obama made the closing a promise of his 2008 campaign and repeated it again in the White House, while the prison still remains in operation, is seen as a serious betrayal. But each time I read about this I’m struck by the same thought: The horror of Guantánamo is not its being open, not its mere existence. Its horror lies in its being the site of more than 10 years of terrible abuse of human beings. If the prison is closed and all its inmates are moved to another prison, and the abuses continue, what would have been accomplished? How would the cause of human rights be benefitted? I think that activists should focus on the abuses, regardless of the location.
The War on Terror – They’re really getting serious about it now
For disseminating classified materials that exposed war crimes, Julian Assange is now honored as an official terrorist as only America can honor. We Shall Never Forget 9/11, Vol. II: The True Faces of Evil – Terror, a graphic coloring novel for children, which comes with several pages of perforated, detachable “terrorist trading cards”. Published by Really Big Coloring Books Inc. in St. Louis, the cards include Assange, Timothy McVeigh, Jared Lee Loughner, Ted Kaczynski, Maj. Nidal Hasan, Bill Ayers, and others. 5
Superpower – the film
Starring Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Michel Chossudovksy, Karen Kwiatowski (Pentagon “defector”), William Blum, Sergei Khrushchev (son of Nikita), Kathy Kelly, and many others:https://vimeo.com/55141496 (enter password when prompted: barbarasteegmuller) – 2 hours long.
New Book and talk
The eagerly awaited (I can name at least three people) new book by William Blum is here at last. “America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else” is made up of essays which are a combination of new and old; combined, updated, expanded; many first appeared in one form or another in the Anti-Empire Report, or on my website, at various times during the past ten years or so.
As mentioned in the book, activists like myself are sometimes scoffed at for saying the same old things to the same old people; just spinning our wheels, we’re told, “preaching to the choir” or “preaching to the converted”. But long experience as speaker, writer and activist in the area of foreign policy tells me it just ain’t so. From the questions and comments I regularly get from my audiences, via email and in person, I can plainly see that there are numerous significant information gaps and misconceptions in the choir’s thinking, often leaving them unable to see through the newest government lie or propaganda trick; they’re unknowing or forgetful of what happened in the past that illuminates the present; or knowing the facts but unable to apply them at the appropriate moment; vulnerable to being led astray by the next person who offers a specious argument that opposes what they currently believe, or think they believe; and, perhaps worst of all, many of them suffer pathetically from an over-abundance of conspiracy thinking, often carrying a justified suspicion or idea to a ridiculous level; virtually nothing is taken at face value.
The choir needs to be frequently reminded and enlightened to be better able to influence others, to be better activists.
To order a signed copy directly from me you can go to my website: http://killinghope.org.
I’ll be speaking about the new book at Politics and Prose bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, in Washington, DC, Saturday, March 2 at 1 pm.
- May 28, 2012, speaking at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington ↩
- George Kennan, Wikipedia entry ↩
- US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), pp.121, 128, 130, 223, 232 (Library of Congress Call Number DS351.5 .A34 1986) ↩
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Wikipedia entry ↩
- View the press release; see the cards ↩
And The Genre of American Society…
“We are no more free citizens in modern nations; for there are no nations and no free citizens. We are just grey and febrile pawns, volatile and nervous ants and cyber-cockroaches – name it as you want – lodging in a big technological concentration camp named the American matrix. An individual will be by no mean himself, for the old Christian subject is dead. For our ruling elites, who always lament the Russian resilience and threaten strangulated Iran, there are no nations, no races, no spirituality and no soul: there is just a cyber-personality in search of an ergonomic perfection and a global network of electronic prisons and ecological surveillance. As foresaw Job, the current man is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks upon a snare” Nicolas Bonnal, Pravda.
Many Americans are adamant about obedience to the United States Constitution. Our beloved country which is feeling the encumbrance of the elite power structure clamors for Constitutionalism and seeks redress in the courts. When Christians support a document that forbids allegiance to The One True God and ignores His writing they invite His wrath. The Constitution opens wide the door for pagan government by forbidding a Christian oath and making it legal for infidels to rule over the nation.
When I expressed doubts about the efficacy of the United States Constitution I was shunned by some of my readers. Many thought I had become a disciple of Reverend Ted Weiland (He has done excellent work in analyzing the pernicious nature of the United States Constitution.) or had forsaken R. J. Rushdoony. Neither is true. I began to question the Constitution when I learned who supported it, who wrote it, the secrecy and duplicity that was involved in the Philadelphia Convention and the tragic results of some of its content.
The wickedness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is at least to some extent a result of the failure of the United States Constitution to set forth proper moral restraints. Diane Spignola writes: “The CIA’s activities, per the official government directive, included the following: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including industrial sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrilla and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist or now anti-nationalist elements in countries around the world. Such operations should not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.” She claims that, ”At least six million people had perished by 1987 as a result of the CIA’s covert operations. Not only is the CIA not an intelligence agency, it distorts information and perpetuates misinformation and disinformation to justify its own goals. This wide-range deception has resulted in organized terrorism throughout the world. Using the CIA, our government routinely dismisses or ignores national and international laws under the guise of ‘national security.’”
Wall Street and the money interests had their hand in the formation of the CIA. According to Kai Bird’s biography “The Chairman”, in1941 John J. McCloy asked Attorney General Robert Jackson for authorization to use wire taps to ferret out potential saboteurs. Jackson was against unauthorized snooping on private citizens and turned him down. McCloy actually envisioned an even more extensive organization that would operate secretly dispensing propaganda, collecting intelligence, and manipulating people and governments. He said, “I am somewhat obsessed with the necessity of establishing a propaganda or information bureau for our defense….It is more essential than artillery”.
McCloy’s request for wire tap authorization was backed by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An attempt to get congressional approval was defeated by a vote of 154 to 146. At about the same time William J. Donovan who had first-hand experience with the British intelligence system and the ear of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was appointed Coordinator of Information (A name Bird attributes to McCloy.) a new function described as a means of bringing together the variety of intelligence gathering functions of the FBI, Army, Navy, and U. S. Department of State. The coordination effort met with considerable resistance but the organization provided a platform for another intelligence organization called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Both John J. McCloy and William Donovan were bright, industrious men from poor families; McCloy from Philadelphia and Donovan from Buffalo. Both were Wall Street lawyers. Both were studious and both were amoral.
Donovan played football in high school and was a star at Columbia University where he was known as “Wild Bill Donovan”. His undergraduate and law degree were both from Columbia. He was a war hero and a revered leader who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. President Roosevelt, a sports fan, admired Donovan’s athletic ability and his war record. He gave Donovan wide authority in forming a new intelligence organization. In 1914 Donovan married Ruth, a member of the wealthy Rumsey family. He was seldom home and his dalliances became so common that his hosts often provided him with women.
President Bush, the younger, was not the first high ranking politician to refer to the Constitution as “just a piece of paper”, McCloy did it first. When McCloy and Robert Lovett worked for War Secretary Henry Stimpson he referred to them as the “Imps of Satan”. McCloy visited Adolph Hitler and for a time was an advisor to Benito Mussolini. He graduated from Harvard Law School and launched his career from the powerful law firm of Cravath, Henderson & de Gersdorff. Cravath’s partners included Otto H. Kuhn; Jacob Schiff’s son, Mortimer; Jerome J. Hanauer; Paul M. Warburg, married to Solomon Loeb’sdaughter, Nina; and Felix M. Warburg, married to Jacob Schiff’s daughter, Frieda. Paul Cravath, the firm’s founder, was an Anglophile internationalist who became a director and vice-president of the newly formed Council on Foreign Relations. Ultimately McCloy left the Cravath law firm and became a partner in Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The Milbank firm was associated with the Rockefellers who were friends since his days at Harvard Law. Throughout his life McCloy maintained a close relationship with powerful Jewish bankers.
Allen Dulles was a third key figure in the CIA. Dulles headed the organization from 1953 to 1961 and under his direction it began to conform to the image Donovan and McCloy envisioned. Dulles began MK Ultra, a secret organization that makes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein look like child’s play. With extensive CIA financing it did experiments in torture and mind control that truly boggle the mind. He also financed Operation Mockingbird that successfully influenced the content of 25 or more strategic news sources.
Dulles was a libertine who was famous for his extramarital affairs. Under his leadership the governments of sovereign nations were disrupted with propaganda and economic sabotage. Democratic elections were disrupted, leaders were assassinated, military coups were launched, governments were undermined, genocide, scorched earth, and torture were all part of a frenzy of illegal activity.
In 1975 the Church Committee succeeded In reigning in some of the CIA excesses but the power to gain control over country after country was too good to be relinquished and other secret organizations were formed that took them up.
The brutal, Satanic policies carried out by the CIA mark the tenor of the elite money powers who are slowly bringing the world under their control. McCloy and Donovan were agents of those powers as is our President, our media, and many of our politicians. The United States of America and the War on Terror is being used as a tool to bring the remaining independent nations under the reigning world financial straight jacket. Our nation is being purposely destroyed in the process.
When comparing the conduct of our society with God’s legal requirements it is difficult to know where to start. Dishonesty is the main ingredient of our everyday life. Our personal conversations are inhibited by deception; our media distorts and edits the news; businesses regularly deceive customers with phony sales, exorbitant prices, and inferior merchandise; our political leaders lie to us, deceive us, and betray us. Our preachers describe a god that doesn’t exist and fail to mention the One that does. Our schools teach a debilitating humanism while we live, breathe, and have our being in a sea of mendacity with little effort to correct it.
Justice has vanished. It is a fearful experience to come before our courts. Receiving justice is like playing the lottery. Without the immutable anchor of God’s Law, justice is absent. Human law is always a product of diverse opinion and is enforced by power. Our legal system is as badly deteriorated as our honesty. God cannot be honored when crimes are against the State instead of against His Divine Majesty and justice is never served when restitution is forsaken. An adversarial system that ignores God’s Law cannot produce a just result. Adversity must be between behavior and His Law.
R. J. Rushdoony wrote: “All law is based upon morality, and morality is itself based upon religion. Therefore, when the religion of a people is weakened, so also is its morality undermined. The result is a progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society. Men, though, see law as a limitation on their liberty, and Christianity is held to be the most restrictive with its emphasis upon Biblical law as the foundation for morality and liberty. Humanistic man wants total liberty, but he does not realize that total liberty leads only to total anarchy, and that leads to the death of law and liberty. Unless every man’s liberty is limited by law, no liberty is possible for anyone.”
This is where we are going. We are slowly being brought under the control of the elite money powers and in the process our liberty is being lost in increments.
We need to take a personal inventory. Following is a shocking excerpt from a book by Nick Turse about atrocities our soldiers too often committed during the Vietnam War:
“The company stumbled upon an unarmed young boy. ’Someone caught him up on a hill, and they brought him down and the lieutenant asked who wanted to kill him…’ medic Jamie Henry later told army investigators. A radioman and another medic volunteered for the job. The radioman… ’kicked the boy in the stomach and the medic took him around behind a rock and I heard one magazine go off complete on automatic…’
“A few days after this incident, members of that same unit brutalized an elderly man to the point of collapse and then threw him off a cliff without even knowing whether he was dead or alive…
“A couple of days after that, they used an unarmed man for target practice…
“And less than two weeks later, members of Company B reportedly killed five unarmed women…
“Unit members rattled off a litany of other brutal acts committed by the company… [including] a living woman who had an ear cut off while her baby was thrown to the ground and stomped on…”
This is a weeping wound of sin in our nation, the sin of our soldiers, and the sin of our people. We support the savagery and murder that is fostered by unnecessary war. Soldiers are taught to be callus and cruel and the uncertainties of combat require they kill or be killed. As long as we don’t see it and our finger is not on the trigger we are happy to support murder’s macho image. Our women slither into abortion clinics and with impunity murder their helpless, unborn babies. We sanction murder in the name of selfishness. Our young men are urged to join the army and assist in the torture and mass murder that is part of modern warfare.
The United States Constitution allows men and women of disobedient character to be elected to leadership and not surprisingly these disobedient men and women disobey the law they have sworn to uphold. We protest disobedience to our Constitution but make no protest against disobedience to God’s Commandments. We go to church on Sunday; pray for our soldiers, profess the greatness of our nation, and wonder why we are losing our freedoms and why our leaders lie to us.
We have been deceived. Mendacity has invaded every nook and cranny of our nation. We live a lie in a sea of lies.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From the Word of God.
The vocal smear coming out of the orchestrated Zionist media and corridors of orthodox foreign policy on Chuck Hagel, leaves bare the myth that the Israel-First proponents have the best interests of our country at heart. Obscene attacks on the former Senator provide refreshing validation that the establishment is nervous, because the sacred canons of their imperial strategy might be questioned. Such panicky concern gives sustenance to the cause for a rational and self-interest national defense policy. The hideous Neoconservatives maintain their diabolical alliance with the Neoliberal internationalists that work for a global dominance, which serves the interests of the financial elites, while sacrificing the blood and future of another generation of American youth.
Chuck Hagel, delivered these words at the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration.
“Assuring that these returning veterans are productively integrated back into society with the appreciation and recognition befitting a great nation. As we have painfully learned from the tragic misadventure of Vietnam, society must always separate the war from the warrior. We do not celebrate the Vietnam War. We commemorate and historically recognize it. As I said at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ground breaking on a cold windy March day in 1982, “there is no glory in war, only suffering.” Life is always more about the people then the event. Events are stages upon which individuals change the world. And today we celebrate those individuals who changed our country for the better… our Vietnam veterans and their families.”
The entire NeoCon agenda denigrates the agonies of naive jingoists who want to serve their country, but are duped into becoming trained assassins. Their expendability is inevitable under the command of chicken hawks and dual loyalists. The bipartisan nature of globalist foreign policy prescribes that the armed forces are directed to implement targeted violence that only benefits the powers behind the systematic destruction of the country.
Chuck Hagel: “I’m a United States Senator, not an Israeli Senator”, states the obvious. Yet, such honesty has no tolerance for the NeoCon purist. Fifth columnists create the “political correct” culture that purges any loyal dissenters. Even a lefty collectivist like Robert Reich has the insight to point out why Senator Hagel is a potential threat in the article, The Neocons vs. Chuck Hagel.
“Yes, it was dumb for Hagel to use the term “Jewish lobby” instead of “Israel lobby,” but that alone shouldn’t disqualify him. Everyone in official Washington knows how much power is wielded in that city by the Sheldon Adelsons of American politics who think Israel can do no wrong.”
Up until now, the outcry against the Hagel nomination ignores his viewpoints on the Iraq War and the disaster of the Viet Nam misadventure. In A Conversation with Senator Chuck Hagel on The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, the forbidden is spoken. Challenging the warmongering of the “War Party” in Congress is taboo, as the NeoCons are all too eager to point out.
“The Iraq war should not be debated in the United States on a partisan political platform. This debases our country, trivializes the seriousness of war and cheapens the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. War is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The casualties of war are from both parties. The Bush Administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. Suggesting that to challenge or criticize policy is undermining and hurting our troops is not democracy nor what this country has stood for, for over 200 years. The Democrats have an obligation to challenge in a serious and responsible manner, offering solutions and alternatives to the Administration’s policies.
Vietnam was a national tragedy partly because Members of Congress failed their country, remained silent and lacked the courage to challenge the Administrations in power until it was too late. Some of us who went through that nightmare have an obligation to the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam to not let that happen again. To question your government is not unpatriotic—to not question your government is unpatriotic. America owes its men and women in uniform a policy worthy of their sacrifices.”
An effort to dispute the expected media attacks countered in a list published by the Washington Times, Chuck Hagel’s Record: Myths and Facts, offers another point of view.
Myth #1: Senator Hagel is not supportive of Israel
Myth #2: Senator Hagel is soft on Iran
Myth #3: Senator Hagel has been soft on Hezbollah and Hamas
Myth #4: Senator Hagel would weaken our nuclear deterrent
Myth #5: Senator Hagel would gut the defense budget
Myth #6: Senator Hagel lacks management experience
While some of the arguments in this list have a tone of an apologetic advocacy for a besieged friend, the basic impression is that he is competent and qualified to be Secretary of Defense.
Where is the balance? Regretfully, the RINO elements in the Republican Party are nowhere to be found in the defense of one of their own. Once again, the accuracy of analysis comes from the Progressive Left, Democracy Now. Regretfully, their scrutiny falls far short on their social agenda, but hits the mark on Hagel’s Middle East positions. Watch the video, Chuck Hagel Faces Tough Confirmation from Senate Hawks for Rejecting Party Line on Israel and Iran.
Skepticism about Hagel from the political elites is understandable, but objectivity on his record deserves a review of his own statements. Steve Clemons provides some historical clips of speeches by and interviews with Chuck Hagel from the C-Span video library files, on 100 Minutes on Chuck Hagel.
Again, the left leaning Huffington Post seems to be willing to state what Republicans seek to forget, in the article Neocon nightmare: The truth behind the attacks on Chuck Hagel.
“Of course, the reason the opposition to Hagel is so desperate and so focused on side-issues or made-up charges is because they don’t want a debate that would shine a spotlight on their spectacular and disastrous failure in Iraq. “This is the neocons’ worst nightmare,” says Richard Armitage, who was deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell, “because you’ve got a combat soldier, successful businessman and senator who actually thinks there may be other ways to resolve some questions other than force.”
The direction of American Foreign Policy needs a comprehensive reset away from the policeman of the world. Woefully, the internationalists and their global agenda demands drone bombardment redundancy. The entire world is in the crosshairs of smart weapons. Boots on the ground are now called Special Forces because of their force multiplier capacity.
Having a DOD secretary that does not place the trigger button on automatic is problematic for the bellicose enthusiasts that view the U.S. Empire as a necessary enforcement of New World Order power.
Finally, the anti-war publication Alert.net provides a succinct summary in How the Chuck Hagel Brawl Exposes Neocons and Reveals the Limits of American Power.
“After the Obama administration floated the trial balloon of a Hagel nomination several weeks ago, various neoconservative publications and pundits have waged unremitting attacks on the pick. The campaign began when The Weekly Standard quoted an anonymous Senate aide calling Hagel anti-Semitic, and gained steam when the Wall Street Journal’s Brett Stephens echoed similar, albeit more diplomatic, sentiments. Bill Kristol’s side-PAC (he is the editor of the Standard), the Emergency Committee for Israel, bought ad time in the greater DC television market criticizing Hagel’s opposition to unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran. The Washington Post editorial board insinuated he was far too dovish for the post, citing his voting record on Iran sanctions and statements about Pentagon bloat.
These criticisms were soon buttressed by several seemingly progressive critiques of the former Senator in a not-so-odd alliance between liberals and neoconservatives against the pick (more on that below). The nomination seemed all but torpedoed until several former friends and staffers of Hagel’s fired reciprocal volleys in support, while the Obama administration observed from the sidelines, until today. Hagel’s allies outside the press read like a who’s-who of establishmentarians, from Bush Sr. National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft to former Reagan Secretary of Defense (and Carlyle Group chairman) Frank Carlucci.”
The NeoCons personal attack on Chuck Hagel is necessary because they have lost the high moral ground because of their bloodthirsty policies. The Israeli-First elements and sympathizers are a prime reason why the American government is hated as a global purveyor of war crimes. The real terror that threatens our nation comes not from foreign military aggression, but from homespun despotism. NeoCon psychopaths will settle for nothing less than a suicidal destruction of our society and the Republic. Changing the foreign policy is a prerequisite for a confirmed Hagel to be an effective Secretary of Defense.
Apparently, it’s a no-brainer. Mali holds 15.8 million people – with a per capita gross domestic product of only around US$1,000 a year and average life expectancy of only 51 years – in a territory twice the size of France (per capital GDP $35,000 and upwards). Now almost two-thirds of this territory is occupied by heavily weaponized Islamist outfits. What next? Bomb, baby, bomb.
So welcome to the latest African war; Chad-based French Mirages and Gazelle helicopters, plus a smatter of France-based
Rafales bombing evil Islamist jihadis in northern Mali. Business is good; French president Francois Hollande spent this past Tuesday in Abu Dhabi clinching the sale of up to 60 Rafales to that Gulf paragon of democracy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The formerly wimpy Hollande – now enjoying his “resolute”, “determined”, tough guy image reconversion – has cleverly sold all this as incinerating Islamists in the savannah before they take a one-way Bamako-Paris flight to bomb the Eiffel Tower.
French Special Forces have been on the ground in Mali since early 2012.
The Tuareg-led NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), via one of its leaders, now says it’s “ready to help” the former colonial power, billing itself as more knowledgeable about the culture and the terrain than future intervening forces from the CEDEAO (the acronym in French for the Economic Community of Western African States).
Salafi-jihadis in Mali have got a huge problem: they chose the wrong battlefield. If this was Syria, they would have been showered by now with weapons, logistical bases, a London-based “observatory”, hours of YouTube videos and all-out diplomatic support by the usual suspects of US, Britain, Turkey, the Gulf petromonarchies and – oui, monsieur – France itself.
Instead, they were slammed by the UN Security Council – faster than a collection of Marvel heroes – duly authorizing a war against them. Their West African neighbors – part of the ECOWAS regional bloc – were given a deadline (late November) to come up with a war plan. This being Africa, nothing happened – and the Islamists kept advancing until a week ago Paris decided to apply some Hollandaise sauce.
Not even a football stadium filled with the best West African shamans can conjure a bunch of disparate – and impoverished – countries to organize an intervening army in short notice, even if the adventure will be fully paid by the West just like the Uganda-led army fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia.
To top it all, this is no cakewalk. The Salafi-jihadis are flush, courtesy of booming cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe via Mali, plus human trafficking. According to the UN Office of Drugs Control, 60% of Europe’s cocaine transits Mali. At Paris street prices, that is worth over $11 billion.
General Carter Ham, the commander of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM, has been warning about a major crisis for months. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what’s really going on in what the New York Times quaintly describes as those “vast and turbulent stretches of the Sahara”?
It all started with a military coup in March 2012, only one month before Mali would hold a presidential election, ousting then president Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup plotters justified it as a response to the government’s incompetence in fighting the Tuareg.
The coup leader was one Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who happened to have been very cozy with the Pentagon; that included his four-month infantry officer basic training course in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2010. Essentially, Sanogo was also groomed by AFRICOM, under a regional scheme mixing the State Department’s Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership program and the Pentagon’s Operation Enduring Freedom. It goes without saying that in all this “freedom” business Mali has been the proverbial “steady ally” – as in counterterrorism partner – fighting (at least in thesis) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Over the last few years, Washington’s game has elevated flip-flopping to high art. During the second George W Bush administration, Special Forces were very active side by side with the Tuaregs and the Algerians. During the first Obama administration, they started backing the Mali government against the Tuareg.
An unsuspecting public may pore over Rupert Murdoch’s papers – for instance, The Times of London – and its so-called defense correspondent will be pontificating at will on Mali without ever talking about blowback from the Libya war.
Muammar Gaddafi always supported the Tuaregs’ independence drive; since the 1960s the NMLA agenda has been to liberate Azawad (North Mali) from the central government in Bamako.
After the March 2012 coup, the NMLA seemed to be on top. They planted their own flag on quite a few government buildings, and on April 5 announced the creation of a new, independent Tuareg country. The “international community” spurned them, only for a few months later to have the NMLA for all practical purposes marginalized, even in their own region, by three other – Islamist – groups; Ansar ed-Dine (“Defenders of the Faith”); the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO); and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Meet the players
The NMLA is a secular Tuareg movement, created in October 2011. It claims that the liberation of Azawad will allow better integration – and development – for all the peoples in the region. Its hardcore fighters are Tuaregs who were former members of Gaddafi’s army. But there are also rebels who had not laid down their arms after the 2007-2008 Tuareg rebellion, and some that defected from the Malian army. Those who came back to Mali after Gaddafi was executed by the NATO rebels in Libya carried plenty of weapons. Yet most heavy weapons actually ended up with the NATO rebels themselves, the Islamists supported by the West.
AQIM is the Northern African branch of al-Qaeda, pledging allegiance to “The Doctor”, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Its two crucial characters are Abu Zaid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, former members of the ultra-hardcore Algerian Islamist outfit Salafist Group for Predication and Combat (SGPC). Belmokhtar was already a jihadi in 1980s Afghanistan.
Abu Zaid poses as a sort of North African “Geronimo”, aka Osama bin Laden, with the requisite black flag and a strategically positioned Kalashnikov featuring prominently in his videos. The historical leader, though, is Belmokhtar. The problem is that Belmokhtar, known by French intelligence as “The Uncatchable”, has recently joined MUJAO.
MUJAO fighters are all former AQIM. In June 2012, MUJAO expelled the NMLA and took over the city of Gao, when it immediately applied the worst aspects of Sharia law. It’s the MUJAO base that has been bombed by the French Rafales this week. One of its spokesmen has duly threatened, “in the name of Allah”, to respond by attacking “the heart of France”.
Finally, Ansar ed-Dine is an Islamist Tuareg outfit, set up last year and directed by Iyad ag Ghali, a former leader of the NMLA who exiled himself in Libya. He turned to Salafism because of – inevitably – Pakistani proselytizers let loose in Northern Africa, then engaged in valuable face time with plenty of AQIM emirs. It’s interesting to note in 2007 Mali President Toure appointed Ghali as consul in Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. He was then duly expelled in 2010 because he got too close to radical Islamists.
Gimme ‘a little more terrorism’
No one in the West is asking why the Pentagon-friendly Sanogo’s military coup in the capital ended up with almost two-thirds of Mali in the hands of Islamists who imposed hardcore Sharia law in Azawad – especially in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, a gruesome catalogue of summary executions, amputations, stonings and the destruction of holy shrines in Timbuktu. How come the latest Tuareg rebellion ended up hijacked by a few hundred hardcore Islamists? It’s useless to ask the question to US drones.
The official “leading from behind” Obama 2.0 administration rhetoric is, in a sense, futuristic; the French bombing “could rally jihadis” around the world and lead to – what else – attacks on the West. Once again the good ol’ Global War on Terror (GWOT) remains the serpent biting its own tail.
There’s no way to understand Mali without examining what Algeria has been up to. The Algerian newspaper El Khabar only scratched the surface, noting that “from categorically refusing an intervention – saying to the people in the region it would be dangerous”, Algiers went to “open Algerian skies to the French Mirages”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria last October, trying to organize some semblance of an intervening West African army. Hollande was there in December. Oh yes, this gets juicier by the month.
So let’s turn to Professor Jeremy Keenan, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University, and author of The Dark Sahara (Pluto Press, 2009) and the upcomingThe Dying Sahara (Pluto Press, 2013).
Writing in the January edition of New African, Keenan stresses, “Libya was the catalyst of the Azawad rebellion, not its underlying cause. Rather, the catastrophe now being played out in Mali is the inevitable outcome of the way in which the ‘Global War on Terror’ has been inserted into the Sahara-Sahel by the US, in concert with Algerian intelligence operatives, since 2002.”
In a nutshell, Bush and the regime in Algiers both needed, as Keenan points out, “a little more terrorism” in the region. Algiers wanted it as the means to get more high-tech weapons. And Bush – or the neo-cons behind him – wanted it to launch the Saharan front of the GWOT, as in the militarization of Africa as the top strategy to control more energy resources, especially oil, thus wining the competition against massive Chinese investment. This is the underlying logic that led to the creation of AFRICOM in 2008.
Algerian intelligence, Washington and the Europeans duly used AQIM, infiltrating its leadership to extract that “little more terrorism”. Meanwhile, Algerian intelligence effectively configured the Tuaregs as “terrorists”; the perfect pretext for Bush’s Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative, as well as the Pentagon’s Operation Flintlock – a trans-Sahara military exercise.
The Tuaregs always scared the hell out of Algerians, who could not even imagine the success of a Tuareg nationalist movement in northern Mali. After all, Algeria always viewed the whole region as its own backyard.
The Tuaregs – the indigenous population of the central Sahara and the Sahel – number up to 3 million. Over 800,000 live in Mali, followed by Niger, with smaller concentrations in Algeria, Burkina Faso and Libya. There have been no less than five Tuareg rebellions in Mali since independence in 1960, plus three others in Niger, and a lot of turbulence in Algeria.
Keenan’s analysis is absolutely correct in identifying what happened all along 2012 as the Algerians meticulously destroying the credibility and the political drive of the NMLA. Follow the money: both Ansar ed-Dine’s Iyad ag Ghaly and MUJAO’s Sultan Ould Badi are very cozy with the DRS, the Algerian intelligence agency. Both groups in the beginning had only a few members.
Then came a tsunami of AQIM fighters. That’s the only explanation for why the NMLA was, after only a few months, neutralized both politically and militarily in their own backyard.
Round up the usual freedom fighters
Washington’s “leading from behind” position is illustrated by this State Department press conference. Essentially, the government in Bamako asked for the French to get down and dirty.
And that’s it.
Not really. Anyone who thinks “bomb al-Qaeda” is all there is to Mali must be living in Oz. To start with, using hardcore Islamists to suffocate an indigenous independence movement comes straight from the historic CIA/Pentagon playbook.
Moreover, Mali is crucial to AFRICOM and to the Pentagon’s overall MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) outlook. Months before 9/11 I had the privilege to crisscross Mali on the road – and by the (Niger) river – and hang out, especially in Mopti and Timbuktu, with the awesome Tuaregs, who gave me a crash course in Northwest Africa. I saw Wahhabi and Pakistani preachers all over the place. I saw the Tuaregs progressively squeezed out. I saw an Afghanistan in the making. And it was not very hard to follow the money sipping tea in the Sahara. Mali borders Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Guinea. The spectacular Inner Niger delta is in central Mali – just south of the Sahara. Mali overflows with gold, uranium, bauxite, iron, manganese, tin and copper. And – Pipelineistan beckons! – there’s plenty of unexplored oil in northern Mali.
As early as February 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T Moeller wassaying that AFRICOM’s mission was to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”; yes, he did make the crucial connection to China, pronounced guilty of ” challenging US interests”.
AFRICOM’s spy planes have been “observing” Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara for months, in thesis looking for AQIM fighters; the whole thing is overseen by US Special Forces, part of the classified, code-named Creek Sand operation, based in next-door Burkina Faso. Forget about spotting any Americans; these are – what else – contractors who do not wear military uniforms.
Last month, at Brown University, General Carter Ham, AFRICOM’s commander, once more gave a big push to the “mission to advance US security interests across Africa”. Now it’s all about the – updated – US National Security Strategy in Africa, signed by Obama in June 2012. The (conveniently vague) objectives of this strategy are to “strengthen democratic institutions”; encourage “economic growth, trade and investment”; “advance peace and security”; and “promote opportunity and development.”
In practice, it’s Western militarization (with Washington “leading from behind”) versus the ongoing Chinese seduction/investment drive in Africa. In Mali, the ideal Washington scenario would be a Sudan remix; just like the recent partition of North and South Sudan, which created an extra logistical headache for Beijing, why not a partition of Mali to better exploit its natural wealth? By the way, Mali was known as Western Sudan until independence in 1960.
Already in early December a “multinational” war in Mali was on the Pentagon cards.
The beauty of it is that even with a Western-financed, Pentagon-supported, “multinational” proxy army about to get into the action, it’s the French who are pouring the lethal Hollandaise sauce (nothing like an ex-colony “in trouble” to whet the appetite of its former masters). The Pentagon can always keep using its discreet P-3 spy planes and Global Hawk drones based in Europe, and later on transport West African troops and give them aerial cover. But all secret, and very hush hush.
Mr Quagmire has already reared its ugly head in record time, even before the 1,400 (and counting) French boots on the ground went into offense.
A MUJAO commando team (and not AQIM, as it’s been reported), led by who else but the “uncatchable” Belmokhtar, hit a gas field in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, over 1,000 km south of Algiers but only 100 km from the Libyan border, where they captured a bunch of Western (and some Japanese) hostages; a rescue operation launched on Wednesday by Algerian Special Forces was, to put it mildly, a giant mess, with at least seven foreign hostages and 23 Algerians so far confirmed killed.
The gas field is being exploited by BP, Statoil and Sonatrach. MUJAO has denounced – what else – the new French “crusade” and the fact that French fighter jets now own Algerian airspace.
As blowback goes, this is just the hors d’oeuvres. And it won’t be confined to Mali. It will convulse Algeria and soon Niger, the source of over a third of the uranium in French nuclear power plants, and the whole Sahara-Sahel.
So this new, brewing mega-Afghanistan in Africa will be good for French neoloconial interests (even though Hollande insists this is all about “peace”); good for AFRICOM; a boost for those Jihadis Formerly Known as NATO Rebels; and certainly good for the never-ending Global War on Terror (GWOT), duly renamed “kinetic military operations”.
Django, unchained, would be totally at home. As for the Oscar for Best Song, it goes to the Bush-Obama continuum: There’s no business like terror business. With French subtitles, bien sur.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at email@example.com
Source: Asia Times Online