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The Past 5 GOP Presidents Have Used Fraud and Treason to Steer Themselves to Electoral Victory

July 31, 2017

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The Past 5 GOP Presidents Have Used Fraud and Treason to Steer Themselves to Electoral Victory

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The deception started long before Donald Trump.


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People are wondering out loud about the parallels between today’s Republican Party and organized crime, and whether “Teflon Don” Trump will remain unscathed through his many scandals, ranging from interactions with foreign oligarchs to killing tens of thousands of Americans by denying them healthcare to stepping up the destruction of our environment and public lands.

History suggests — even if treason can be demonstrated — that, as long as he holds onto the Republican Party (and Fox News), he’ll survive it intact. And he won’t be the first Republican president to commit high crimes to get and stay in office.

In fact, Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president we’ve had in this country.

Since Dwight Eisenhower left the presidency in 1961, six different Republicans have occupied the Oval Office.

And every single one of them — from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump — have been illegitimate — ascending to the highest office in the land not through small-D democratic elections — but instead through fraud and treason.

(And today’s GOP-controlled Congress is arguably just as corrupt and illegitimate, acting almost entirely within the boundaries set by an organized group of billionaires.)

Let’s start at the beginning with Richard Nixon.

In 1968 — President Lyndon Johnson was desperately trying to end the Vietnam war.

But Richard Nixon knew that if the war continued — it would tarnish Democrat (and Vice President) Hubert Humphrey’s chances of winning the 1968 election.

So Nixon sent envoys from his campaign to talk to South Vietnamese leaders to encourage them not to attend an upcoming peace talk in Paris.

Nixon promised South Vietnam’s corrupt politicians that he would give them a richer deal when he was President than LBJ could give them then.

LBJ found out about this political maneuver to prolong the Vietnam war just 3 days before the 1968 election. He phoned the Republican Senate leader Everett Dirksen — here’s an excerpt (you can listen to the entire conversation here):

President Johnson:
Some of our folks, including some of the old China lobby, are going to the Vietnamese embassy and saying please notify the [South Vietnamese] president that if he’ll hold out ’til November the second they could get a better deal. Now, I’m reading their hand, Everett. I don’t want to get this in the campaign.
And they oughtn’t to be doin’ this. This is treason.

Sen. Dirksen: I know.
Those tapes were only released by the LBJ library in the past decade, and that’s Richard Nixon that Lyndon Johnson was accusing of treason.

But by then — Nixon’s plan had worked.

South Vietnam boycotted the peace talks — the war continued — and Nixon won the White House thanks to it. As a result, additional tens of thousands of American soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians, died as a result of Nixon’s treason.

And Nixon was never held to account for it.

Gerald Ford was the next Republican.

After Nixon left office the same way he entered it — by virtue of breaking the law — Gerald Ford took over.

Ford was never elected to the White House (he was appointed to replace VP Spiro Agnew, after Agnew was indicted for decades of taking bribes), and thus would never have been President had it not been for Richard Nixon’s treason.

The third was Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980.

He won thanks to a little something called the October Surprise — when his people sabotaged then-President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to release American hostages in Iran.

According to Iran’s then-president, Reagan’s people promised the Iranians that if they held off on releasing the American hostages until just after the election — then Reagan would give them a sweet weapons deal.

In 1980 Carter thought he had reached a deal with newly-elected Iranian President Abdolhassan Bani-Sadr over the release of the 52 hostages held by radical students at the American Embassy in Tehran.

Bani-Sadr was a moderate and, as he explained in an editorial for The Christian Science Monitor earlier this year, had successfully run for President on the popular position of releasing the hostages:

“I openly opposed the hostage-taking throughout the election campaign…. I won the election with over 76 percent of the vote…. Other candidates also were openly against hostage-taking, and overall, 96 percent of votes in that election were given to candidates who were against it [hostage-taking].”

Carter was confident that with Bani-Sadr’s help, he could end the embarrassing hostage crisis that had been a thorn in his political side ever since it began in November of 1979. But Carter underestimated the lengths his opponent in the 1980 Presidential election, California Governor Ronald Reagan, would go to win an election.

Behind Carter’s back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with the leader of Iran’s radical faction — Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini — to keep the hostages in captivity until after the 1980 Presidential election.

This was nothing short of treason. The Reagan campaign’s secret negotiations with Khomeini — the so-called “October Surprise” — sabotaged Carter and Bani-Sadr’s attempts to free the hostages. And as Bani-Sadr told The Christian Science Monitor in March of 2013:

“After arriving in France [in 1981], I told a BBC reporter that I had left Iran to expose the symbiotic relationship between Khomeinism and Reaganism.

“Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation, later known as the ‘October Surprise,’ which prevented the attempts by myself and then-US President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 US presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.

And Reagan’s treason — just like Nixon’s treason — worked perfectly.

The Iran hostage crisis continued and torpedoed Jimmy Carter’s re-election hopes.

And the same day Reagan took the oath of office — almost to the minute, by way of Iran’s acknowledging the deal — the American hostages in Iran were released.

And for that, Reagan began selling the Iranians weapons and spare parts in 1981, and continued until he was busted for it in 1986, producing the so-called “Iran Contra” scandal.

But, like Nixon, Reagan was never held to account for the criminal and treasonous actions that brought him to office.

After Reagan — Bush senior was elected — but like Gerry Ford — Bush was really only President because he served as Vice President under Reagan.

If the October Surprise hadn’t hoodwinked voters in 1980 — you can bet Bush senior would never have been elected in 1988. That’s four illegitimate Republican presidents.

And that brings us to George W. Bush, the man who was given the White House by five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court.

In the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 that stopped the Florida recount and thus handed George W. Bush the presidency — Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his opinion:

“The counting of votes … does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he [Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election.”

Apparently, denying the presidency to Al Gore, the guy who actually won the most votes in Florida, did not constitute “irreparable harm” to Scalia or the media.

And apparently it wasn’t important that Scalia’s son worked for the law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court (thus no Scalia recusal).

Just like it wasn’t important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife worked on the Bush transition team and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House if her husband stopped the recount in Florida…which he did. (No Thomas recusal, either.)

And more than a year after the election — a consortium of newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today did their own recount in Florida — manually counting every vote in a process that took almost a year — and concluded that Al Gore did indeed win the presidency in 2000.

As the November 12th, 2001 article in The New York Times read:

“If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won.”

That little bit of info was slipped into the seventeenth paragraph of the Times story on purpose so that it would attract as little attention as possible around the nation.

Why? because the 9/11 attacks had just happened — and journalists feared that burdening Americans with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation that was already in crisis.

And none of that even considered that Bush could only have gotten as close to Gore as he did because his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, had ordered his Secretary of State, Kathrine Harris, to purge at least 57,000 mostly-Black voters from the state’s rolls just before the election.

So for the third time in four decades — Republicans took the White House under illegitimate electoral circumstances. Even President Carter was shocked by the brazenness of that one.

And Jeb Bush and the GOP were never held to account for that crime against democracy.

Most recently, in 2016, Kris Kobach and Republican Secretaries of State across the nation used Interstate Crosscheck to purge millions of legitimate voters — most people of color — from the voting rolls just in time for the Clinton/Trump election.

Millions of otherwise valid American voters were denied their right to vote because they didn’t own the requisite ID — a modern-day poll-tax that’s spread across every Republican state with any consequential black, elderly, urban, or college-student population (all groups less likely to have a passport or drivers’ license).

Donald Trump still lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but came to power through an electoral college designed to keep slavery safe in colonial America.

You can only wonder how much better off America would be if six Republican Presidents hadn’t stolen or inherited a stolen White House.

In fact — the last legitimate Republican President — Dwight Eisenhower — was unlike any other Republican president since.

He ran for the White House on a platform of peace — that he would end the Korean War.

This from one of his TV campaign ads:

“The nation, haunted by the stalemate in Korea, looks to Eisenhower. Eisenhower knows how to deal with the Russians. He has met Europe leaders, has got them working with us. Elect the number one man for the number one job of our time. November 4th vote for peace. Vote for Eisenhower.”

Two of his campaign slogans were “I like Ike” and “Vote For Peace, Vote For Eisenhower.”

Ike was a moderate Republican who stood up for working people — who kept tax rates on the rich at 91 percent — and made sure that the middle class in America was protected by FDR’s New Deal policies.

As he told his brother Edgar in 1954 in a letter:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”

And Eisenhower was right — the only way Republicans have been able to win the presidency since he left office in 1961 has been by outright treason, a criminal fraud involving conflicted members of the Supreme Court, or by being vice-president under an already-illegitimate president.

And that’s where we are today, dealing with the aftermath of all these Republican crimes and six illegitimate Republican presidents stacking the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.

And this doesn’t even begin to tell the story of how the Republican majority in the senate represents 36 million fewer Americans than do the Democrats. Or how in most elections in past decades, Democrats have gotten more votes for the House of Representatives, but Republicans have controlled it because of gerrymandering.

This raises serious questions about the legitimacy of the modern Republican Party itself.

They work hand-in-glove with a group of right-wing billionaires and billionaire-owned or dominated media outlets like Fox and “conservative” TV and radio outlets across the nation, along with a very well-funded network of rightwing websites.

The Koch Network’s various groups, for example, have more money, more offices, and more staff than the Republican Party itself. Three times more employees and twice the budget, in fact. Which raises the question: which is the dog, and which is the tail?

And, as we’ve seen so vividly in the “debate” about healthcare this year, the Republicans, like Richard Nixon, are not encumbered by the need to tell the truth.

Whether it’s ending trade deals, bringing home jobs, protecting Social Security and Medicaid, or saving our public lands and environment — virtually every promise that Trump ran and won on is being broken. Meanwhile, the oligarchs continue to pressure Republican senators to vote their way.

Meanwhile, a public trust that has taken 240 years to build is being destroyed, as public lands, regulatory agencies, and our courts are handed off to oligarchs and transnational corporations to exploit or destroy.

The Trump and Republican campaign of 2016, Americans are now discovering, was nearly all lies, well-supported by a vast right-wing media machine and a timid, profit-obsessed “mainstream” corporate media. Meanwhile, it seemed that all the Democrats could say was, “The children are watching!”

Fraud, treason, and lies have worked well for the GOP for half a century.

Thus, the Democrats are right to now fine-tune their message to the people. But in addition to “A Better Deal,” they may want to consider adding to their agenda a solid RICO investigation into the GOP and the oligarchs who fund it.

It’s way past time to stop the now-routine Republican practice of using treason, lies, and crime to gain and hold political power.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. http://www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights,” “We The People,” “What Would Jefferson Do?,” “Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class,” and “Cracking The Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America�s Original Vision.”

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Things Russians Can Teach Americans

May 13, 2017

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I suppose the list is lengthy and includes dancing, comedy, karaoke singing, vodka drinking, monument building, diplomacy, novel writing, and thousands of other fields of human endeavor, in some of which Americans can teach Russians as well. But what I’m struck by at the moment in Russia is the skill of honest political self-reflection, as found in Germany, Japan, and many other nations to a great degree as well. I think the unexamined political life is not worth sustaining, but it is all we have back home in the not so united states.

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Here, as a tourist in Moscow, not only friends and random people will point out the good and the bad, but hired tour guides will do the same.

“Here on the left is the parliament where they make all of those laws. We disagree with many of them, you know.”

“Here on your right is where they are building a 30-meter bronze wall for the victims of Stalin’s purges.”

Moscow has a museum devoted exclusively to the history of the gulags as well.

A tour guide in the shadow of the Kremlin points out to us the spot where a political opponent of Vladimir Putin was murdered, and goes on to lament the delays and failures of the justice system in pursuing the case.

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When told about Lenin’s mausoleum you are as likely as not to have him presented to you as a thug. Yeltsin is likely to be described as the guy who was too dimwitted to figure out a better approach to the parliament than shooting at it.

A great many sites are “glorious.” Others elicit different adjectives. “The hideous buildings on your left were put up in the time of “.”

It may be that the length and diversity of history here helps. Jesus stares across a square at Lenin’s grave. Soviet constructions are loved and hated, just like Soviet history. Across the street from our hotel, a huge park is left over from an exhibition of economic achievements put up in the 1930s. It still creates pride and optimism.

Back in Washington, D.C., a Native American Museum and an African American museum have joined the endless parade of war memorials and the museum about genocide in Germany — that committed by Nazis in camps, not by the U.S. bombs that still pose a danger to this day. But there is no slavery museum, no North American genocide museum, no McCarthyism museum, no crimes of the CIA museum, no museum recounting the horrors inflicted on Vietnam or Iraq or the Philippines. There’s a news museum that criticises news from anywhere other than U.S. news corporations. Even a proposal to include a little fact-based commentary alongside the display of an airplane that dropped nuclear bombs on cities created an uproar.

Can you imagine a bus tour in Washington D.C. with a guide remarking over a sound system: “To your left are the monuments glorifying the destruction of Korea and Vietnam, with the giant temples and phallic symbols for the slave owners behind there, and up that street there’s a tiny little memorial that promises not to lock up Japanese Americans again, but mostly it praises a war. Our next stop is the Watergate; who can name the band of crooks that got caught there sabotaging this so-called democracy?”

It’s almost unimaginable.

When we Americans hear Russians tell us that Trump is right to fire anyone for disloyalty, we find such notions backward and uncivilized (even as Trump proudly announces them to the world). No, no, we think, there should be no following of illegal orders or of orders opposed by the people. Oaths are sworn to the Constitution, not to the executive charged with carrying out the laws of the Congress. Of course we’re living in a dream world that exists only in elementary school text books and tour guides. But we’re also denying recognition of the rigidly imposed demand for loyalty to the United States, its flag, its wars, and its foundational mythologies.

How many people did Stalin kill? A Russian can tell you an answer, even if it’s a range.

How many people has the U.S. military killed in recent wars? Most Americans are off by orders of magnitude. Not only that, but most Americans feel they are acting immorally in allowing the question into their brains at all.

In the end, both Russians and Americans allow love of their country to dominate. But one group does so in a more complex and informed way. Both are, of course, utterly and catastrophically misguided.

These two countries are leaders in the dealing of weapons to the world, with horrible bloody results. They are leaders in the development and holding of nuclear weapons, and in the proliferation of nuclear technologies. They are major producers of fossil fuels. Moscow has recovered from the economic destruction that the United States helped inflict on it in the 1990s, but done so in part by selling oil, gas, and weapons.

Of course, the U.S. leads the way in its own military spending and its consumption of fossil fuels. But what we need from the U.S. and Russia is leadership on disarmament and on transition to sustainable economies. Neither nation’s government seems particularly interested in the latter. And only the Russian government seems at all open to disarmament. This state of affairs is unsustainable. If the bombs don’t kill us, the environmental destruction will.

Muscovites are calling this current month “Maynovember” and proposing fur swimsuits. They’re used to warmth in May, not cold and snow. One hopes they are able to keep their sense of humor to the end.

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David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more…)

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The Coming War on China

February 10, 2017

DECEMBER 2, 2016

by JOHN PILGER

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When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the 20th century.

Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an “existential threat” to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.

To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, which meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one US strategist, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled, War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the cold war when RAND made notorious the catch cry of its chief strategist, Herman Kahn — “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

Today, his apocalyptic view is shared by those holding real power in the United States: the militarists and neo-conservatives in the executive, the Pentagon, the intelligence and “national security” establishment and Congress.

The current Secretary of Defense, Ashley Carter, a verbose provocateur, says US policy is to confront those “who see America’s dominance and want to take that away from us”.

For all the attempts to detect a departure in foreign policy, this is almost certainly the view of Donald Trump, whose abuse of China during the election campaign included that of “rapist” of the American economy. On 2 December, in a direct provocation of China, President-elect Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province of the mainland. Armed with American missiles, Taiwan is an enduring flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States,” wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international Affairs at George Washington University, “is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials, namely the White House and Congress.” This war would begin with a “blinding attack against Chinese anti-access facilities, including land and sea-based missile launchers … satellite and anti-satellite weapons”.

The incalculable risk is that “deep inland strikes could be mistakenly perceived by the Chinese as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into ‘a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma’ [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2015, the Pentagon released its Law of War Manual. “The United States,” it says, “has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons per se, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”

In China, a strategist told me, “We are not your enemy, but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.” China’s military and arsenal are small compared to America’s. However, “for the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack … This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy … Indeed, the nuclear weapon policies of the United States are the most prominent external factor influencing Chinese advocates for raising the alert level of China’s nuclear forces.”

Professor Ted Postol was scientific adviser to the head of US naval operations. An authority on nuclear weapons, he told me, “Everybody here wants to look like they’re tough. See I got to be tough … I’m not afraid of doing anything military, I’m not afraid of threatening; I’m a hairy-chested gorilla. And we have gotten into a state, the United States has gotten into a situation where there’s a lot of sabre-rattling, and it’s really being orchestrated from the top.”

I said, “This seems incredibly dangerous.”

“That’s an understatement.”

In 2015, in considerable secrecy, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War. This was Talisman Sabre; an armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB — blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is such a provocation, and the fear of a US Navy blockade, that has seen China feverishly building strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Last July, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claim of sovereignty over these islands. Although the action was brought by the Philippines, it was presented by leading American and British lawyers and could be traced to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that America’s former colony reopen the US military bases closed down in the 1990s following a popular campaign against the violence they generated, especially against Filipino women. She declared China’s claim on the Spratly Islands – which lie more than 7,500 miles from the United States – a threat to US “national security” and to “freedom of navigation”.

Handed millions of dollars in arms and military equipment, the then government of President Benigno Aquino broke off bilateral talks with China and signed a secretive Enhanced Defense Co-operation Agreement with the US. This established five rotating US bases and restored a hated colonial provision that American forces and contractors were immune from Philippine law.

The election of Rodrigo Duterte in April has unnerved Washington. Calling himself a socialist, he declared, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy” and noted that the United States had not apologized for its colonial atrocities. “I will break up with America,” he said, and promised to expel US troops. But the US remains in the Philippines; and joint military exercises continue.

In 2014, under the rubric of “information dominance” – the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion – the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world’s greatest trading nation, as a threat to “freedom of navigation”.

CNN led the way, its “national security reporter” reporting excitedly from on board a US Navy surveillance flight over the Spratlys. The BBC persuaded frightened Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands “to see how the Chinese would react”. None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese were building airstrips off their own coastline, or why American military forces were massing on China’s doorstep.

The designated chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, the US military commander in Asia and the Pacific. “My responsibilities,” he told the New York Times, “cover Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins.” Never was imperial domination described as pithily.

Harris is one of a brace of Pentagon admirals and generals briefing selected, malleable journalists and broadcasters, with the aim of justifying a threat as specious as that with which George W Bush and Tony Blair justified the destruction of Iraq and much of the Middle East.

In Los Angeles in September, Harris declared he was “ready to confront a revanchist Russia and an assertive China …If we have to fight tonight, I don’t want it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery … and all our partners with their artillery.”

These “partners” include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, ostensibly aimed at North Korea. As Professor Postol points out, it targets China.

In Sydney, Australia, Harris called on China to “tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea”. The imagery was front page news. Australia is America’s most obsequious “partner”; its political elite, military, intelligence agencies and the media are integrated into what is known as the “alliance”. Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the motorcade of a visiting American government “dignitary” is not uncommon. The war criminal Dick Cheney was afforded this honour.

Although China is Australia’s biggest trader, on which much of the national economy relies, “confronting China” is the diktat from Washington. The few political dissenters in Canberra risk McCarthyite smears in the Murdoch press. “You in Australia are with us come what may,” said one of the architects of the Vietnam war, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important US bases is Pine Gap near Alice Springs. Founded by the CIA, it spies on China and all of Asia, and is a vital contributor to Washington’s murderous war by drone in the Middle East.

In October, Richard Marles, the defence spokesman of the main Australian opposition party, the Labor Party, demanded that “operational decisions” in provocative acts against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that could mean war with a nuclear power should not be taken by an elected leader or a parliament but by an admiral or a general.

This is the Pentagon line, a historic departure for any state calling itself a democracy. The ascendancy of the Pentagon in Washington – which Daniel Ellsberg has called a silent coup — is reflected in the record $5 trillion America has spent on aggressive wars since 9/11, according to a study by Brown University. The million dead in Iraq and the flight of 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequence.

The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations, from which Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq have been attacked by the United States. Today, the principal target is China, with whom Okinawans have close cultural and trade ties.

There are military aircraft constantly in the sky over Okinawa; they sometimes crash into homes and schools. People cannot sleep, teachers cannot teach. Wherever they go in their own country, they are fenced in and told to keep out.

A popular Okinawan anti-base movement has been growing since a 12-year-old girl was gang-raped by US troops in 1995. It was one of hundreds of such crimes, many of them never prosecuted. Barely acknowledged in the wider world, the resistance has seen the election of Japan’s first anti-base governor, Takeshi Onaga, and presented an unfamiliar hurdle to the Tokyo government and the ultra-nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to repeal Japan’s “peace constitution”.

The resistance includes Fumiko Shimabukuro, aged 87, a survivor of the Second World War when a quarter of Okinawans died in the American invasion. Fumiko and hundreds of others took refuge in beautiful Henoko Bay, which she is now fighting to save. The US wants to destroy the bay in order to extend runways for its bombers. “We have a choice,” she said, “silence or life.” As we gathered peacefully outside the US base, Camp Schwab, giant Sea Stallion helicopters hovered over us for no reason other than to intimidate.

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary and World Heritage Site declared “an island of world peace”. On this island of world peace has been built one of the most provocative military bases in the world, less than 400 miles from Shanghai. The fishing village of Gangjeong is dominated by a South Korean naval base purpose-built for US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile system, aimed at China.

A people’s resistance to these war preparations has been a presence on Jeju for almost a decade. Every day, often twice a day, villagers, Catholic priests and supporters from all over the world stage a religious mass that blocks the gates of the base. In a country where political demonstrations are often banned, unlike powerful religions, the tactic has produced an inspiring spectacle.

One of the leaders, Father Mun Jeong-hyeon, told me, “I sing four songs every day at the base, regardless of the weather. I sing in typhoons — no exception. To build this base, they destroyed the environment, and the life of the villagers, and we should be a witness to that. They want to rule the Pacific. They want to make China isolated in the world. They want to be emperor of the world.”

I flew from Jeju to Shanghai for the first time in more than a generation. When I was last in China, the loudest noise I remember was the tinkling of bicycle bells; Mao Zedong had recently died, and the cities seemed dark places, in which foreboding and expectation competed. Within a few years, Deng Xiopeng, the “man who changed China”, was the “paramount leader”. Nothing prepared me for the astonishing changes today.

China presents exquisite ironies, not least the house in Shanghai where Mao and his comrades secretly founded the Communist Party of China in 1921. Today, it stands in the heart of a very capitalist shipping district; you walk out of this communist shrine with your Little Red Book and your plastic bust of Mao into the embrace of Starbucks, Apple, Cartier, Prada.

Would Mao be shocked? I doubt it. Five years before his great revolution in 1949, he sent this secret message to Washington. “China must industrialise.” he wrote, “This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict.”

Mao offered to meet Franklin Roosevelt in the White House, and his successor Harry Truman, and his successor Dwight Eisenhower. He was rebuffed, or willfully ignored. The opportunity that might have changed contemporary history, prevented wars in Asia and saved countless lives was lost because the truth of these overtures was denied in 1950s Washington “when the catatonic Cold War trance,” wrote the critic James Naremore, “held our country in its rigid grip”.

The fake mainstream news that once again presents China as a threat is of the same mentality.

The world is inexorably shifting east; but the astonishing vision of Eurasia from China is barely understood in the West. The “New Silk Road” is a ribbon of trade, ports, pipelines and high-speed trains all the way to Europe. The world’s leader in rail technology, China is negotiating with 28 countries for routes on which trains will reach up to 400 kms an hour. This opening to the world has the approval of much of humanity and, along the way, is uniting China and Russia.

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Barack Obama, evoking the fetishism of the 1930s. This modern cult of superiority is Americanism, the world’s dominant predator. Under the liberal Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, nuclear warhead spending has risen higher than under any president since the end of the Cold War. A mini nuclear weapon is planned. Known as the B61 Model 12, it will mean, says General James Cartwright, former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

In September, the Atlantic Council, a mainstream US geopolitical thinktank, published a report that predicted a Hobbesian world “marked by the breakdown of order, violent extremism [and] an era of perpetual war”. The new enemies were a “resurgent” Russia and an “increasingly aggressive” China. Only heroic America can save us.

There is a demented quality about this war mongering. It is as if the “American Century” — proclaimed in 1941 by the American imperialist Henry Luce, owner of Time magazine — has ended without notice and no one has had the courage to tell the emperor to take his guns and go home.

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Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War

November 30, 2016

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This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars. Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has been in a state of more or less permanent war in the Greater Middle East and northern Africa. In those years, it’s been involved in a kaleidoscopic range of activities, including full-scale invasions and occupations, large-scale as well as pinpoint bombing campaigns, drone strikes, special ops raids, advisory missions, training programs, and counterinsurgency operations. The U.S. military has fought regular armies, insurgencies, and terror groups of all sorts, Shiites as well as Sunnis. The first war of this era, in Afghanistan — a country Washington declared “liberated” in 2002 — is still underway 16 years later (and not going well). The second war, in Iraq, is still ongoing 13 years later. From Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Somalia, the U.S. military effort in these years, sometimes involving “nation building” and enormous “reconstruction” programs, has left in its wake a series of weakened or collapsed states and spreading terror outfits. In short, no matter how the U.S. military has been used, nothing it’s done has truly worked out.

Now, we are about to enter the Trump era in which a series of retired generals, previously involved in these very wars, may end up running parts of the government or directly advising the president-elect on what course to take in the world. As Trump said in his recent interview with the New York Times, speaking of appointing retired General James Mattis as secretary of defense, “I think it’s time maybe, it’s time for a general. Look at what’s going on. We don’t win, we can’t beat anybody, we don’t win anymore. At anything.”

Nonetheless, you don’t have to be either a genius or a general to draw a simple enough lesson from these last 15 years of American war, even if it’s not Trump’s lesson: don’t do it. Of course, the new crew (aka the old crew) will naturally have ideas about how to “utterly destroy ISIS” and fulfill the president’s other promises in ways different from those already used. They will undoubtedly convince themselves that, unlike their predecessors (who just happen to be them), they have answers to the conundrum of how to effectively prosecute the war on terror. They will not, in other words, have learned the obvious lesson of these years and will, in some fashion, once again apply U.S. military power to the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — and whatever they do, however successful it may look in its early moments, it’s a guarantee that further disaster will ensue sooner or later. Guaranteed as well: that vast region will be “greater” only in terms of the ever vaster expanses of rubble where cities and towns used to be; and our “empire of chaos” there will continue to blow back here as well. It will come home in expense, in frustration, and in god knows what other ways.

Rest assured of one thing, it won’t be pretty, either there or here, a point made by TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, while doing something that, strangely enough, has scarcely been done in all these years of war: evaluating the performance of America’s generals. Tom

Winning
Trump Loves to Do It, But American Generals Have Forgotten How
By Andrew J. Bacevich

President-elect Donald Trump’s message for the nation’s senior military leadership is ambiguously unambiguous. Here is he on 60 Minutes just days after winning the election.

Trump: “We have some great generals. We have great generals.”

Lesley Stahl: “You said you knew more than the generals about ISIS.”

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”

In reality, Trump, the former reality show host, knows next to nothing about ISIS, one of many gaps in his education that his impending encounter with actual reality is likely to fill. Yet when it comes to America’s generals, our president-to-be is onto something. No doubt our three- and four-star officers qualify as “great” in the sense that they mean well, work hard, and are altogether fine men and women. That they have not “done the job,” however, is indisputable — at least if their job is to bring America’s wars to a timely and successful conclusion.

Trump’s unhappy verdict — that the senior U.S. military leadership doesn’t know how to win — applies in spades to the two principal conflicts of the post-9/11 era: the Afghanistan War, now in its 16th year, and the Iraq War, launched in 2003 and (after a brief hiatus) once more grinding on. Yet the verdict applies equally to lesser theaters of conflict, largely overlooked by the American public, that in recent years have engaged the attention of U.S. forces, a list that would include conflicts in Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

Granted, our generals have demonstrated an impressive aptitude for moving pieces around on a dauntingly complex military chessboard. Brigades, battle groups, and squadrons shuttle in and out of various war zones, responding to the needs of the moment. The sheer immensity of the enterprise across the Greater Middle East and northern Africa — the sorties flown, munitions expended, the seamless deployment and redeployment of thousands of troops over thousands of miles, the vast stockpiles of material positioned, expended, and continuously resupplied — represents a staggering achievement. Measured by these or similar quantifiable outputs, America’s military has excelled. No other military establishment in history could have come close to duplicating the logistical feats being performed year in, year out by the armed forces of the United States.

Nor should we overlook the resulting body count. Since the autumn of 2001, something like 370,000 combatants and noncombatants have been killed in the various theaters of operations where U.S. forces have been active. Although modest by twentieth century standards, this post-9/11 harvest of death is hardly trivial.

Yet in evaluating military operations, it’s a mistake to confuse how much with how well. Only rarely do the outcomes of armed conflicts turn on comparative statistics. Ultimately, the one measure of success that really matters involves achieving war’s political purposes. By that standard, victory requires not simply the defeat of the enemy, but accomplishing the nation’s stated war aims, and not just in part or temporarily but definitively. Anything less constitutes failure, not to mention utter waste for taxpayers, and for those called upon to fight, it constitutes cause for mourning.

By that standard, having been “at war” for virtually the entire twenty-first century, the United States military is still looking for its first win. And however strong the disinclination to concede that Donald Trump could be right about anything, his verdict on American generalship qualifies as apt.

Never-Ending Parade of Commanders for Wars That Never End

That verdict brings to mind three questions. First, with Trump a rare exception, why have the recurring shortcomings of America’s military leadership largely escaped notice? Second, to what degree does faulty generalship suffice to explain why actual victory has proven so elusive? Third, to the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy bear directly on the outcome of our wars, how might the generals improve their game?

As to the first question, the explanation is quite simple: During protracted wars, traditional standards for measuring generalship lose their salience. Without pertinent standards, there can be no accountability. Absent accountability, failings and weaknesses escape notice. Eventually, what you’ve become accustomed to seems tolerable. Twenty-first century Americans inured to wars that never end have long since forgotten that bringing such conflicts to a prompt and successful conclusion once defined the very essence of what generals were expected to do.

Senior military officers were presumed to possess unique expertise in designing campaigns and directing engagements. Not found among mere civilians or even among soldiers of lesser rank, this expertise provided the rationale for conferring status and authority on generals.

In earlier eras, the very structure of wars provided a relatively straightforward mechanism for testing such claims to expertise. Events on the battlefield rendered harsh judgments, creating or destroying reputations with brutal efficiency.

Back then, standards employed in evaluating generalship were clear-cut and uncompromising. Those who won battles earned fame, glory, and the gratitude of their countrymen. Those who lost battles got fired or were put out to pasture.

During the Civil War, for example, Abraham Lincoln did not need an advanced degree in strategic studies to conclude that Union generals like John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joseph Hooker didn’t have what it took to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia. Humiliating defeats sustained by the Army of the Potomac at the Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville made that obvious enough. Similarly, the victories Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman gained at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, and in the Chattanooga campaign strongly suggested that here was the team to which the president could entrust the task of bringing the Confederacy to its knees.

Today, public drunkenness, petty corruption, or sexual shenanigans with a subordinate might land generals in hot water. But as long as they avoid egregious misbehavior, senior officers charged with prosecuting America’s wars are largely spared judgments of any sort. Trying hard is enough to get a passing grade.

With the country’s political leaders and public conditioned to conflicts seemingly destined to drag on for years, if not decades, no one expects the current general-in-chief in Iraq or Afghanistan to bring things to a successful conclusion. His job is merely to manage the situation until he passes it along to a successor, while duly adding to his collection of personal decorations and perhaps advancing his career.

Today, for example, Army General John Nicholson commands U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. He’s only the latest in a long line of senior officers to preside over that war, beginning with General Tommy Franks in 2001 and continuing with Generals Mikolashek, Barno, Eikenberry, McNeill, McKiernan, McChrystal, Petraeus, Allen, Dunford, and Campbell. The title carried by these officers changed over time. So, too, did the specifics of their “mission” as Operation Enduring Freedom evolved into Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Yet even as expectations slipped lower and lower, none of the commanders rotating through Kabul delivered. Not a single one has, in our president-elect’s concise formulation, “done the job.” Indeed, it’s increasingly difficult to know what that job is, apart from preventing the Taliban from quite literally toppling the government.

In Iraq, meanwhile, Army Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend currently serves as the — count ’em — ninth American to command U.S. and coalition forces in that country since the George W. Bush administration ordered the invasion of 2003. The first in that line, (once again) General Tommy Franks, overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime and thereby broke Iraq. The next five, Generals Sanchez, Casey, Petraeus, Odierno, and Austin, labored for eight years to put it back together again.

At the end of 2011, President Obama declared that they had done just that and terminated the U.S. military occupation. The Islamic State soon exposed Obama’s claim as specious when its militants put a U.S.-trained Iraqi army to flight and annexed large swathes of that country’s territory. Following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors Generals James Terry and Sean MacFarland, General Townsend now shoulders the task of trying to restore Iraq’s status as a more or less genuinely sovereign state. He directs what the Pentagon calls Operation Inherent Resolve, dating from June 2014, the follow-on to Operation New Dawn (September 2010-December 2011), which was itself the successor to Operation Iraqi Freedom (March 2003-August 2010).

When and how Inherent Resolve will conclude is difficult to forecast. This much we can, however, say with some confidence: with the end nowhere in sight, General Townsend won’t be its last commander. Other generals are waiting in the wings with their own careers to polish. As in Kabul, the parade of U.S. military commanders through Baghdad will continue.

For some readers, this listing of mostly forgotten names and dates may have a soporific effect. Yet it should also drive home Trump’s point. The United States may today have the world’s most powerful and capable military — so at least we are constantly told. Yet the record shows that it does not have a corps of senior officers who know how to translate capability into successful outcomes.

Draining Which Swamp?

That brings us to the second question: Even if commander-in-chief Trump were somehow able to identify modern day equivalents of Grant and Sherman to implement his war plans, secret or otherwise, would they deliver victory?

On that score, we would do well to entertain doubts. Although senior officers charged with running recent American wars have not exactly covered themselves in glory, it doesn’t follow that their shortcomings offer the sole or even a principal explanation for why those wars have yielded such disappointing results. The truth is that some wars aren’t winnable and shouldn’t be fought.

So, yes, Trump’s critique of American generalship possesses merit, but whether he knows it or not, the question truly demanding his attention as the incoming commander-in-chief isn’t: Who should I hire (or fire) to fight my wars? Instead, far more urgent is: Does further war promise to solve any of my problems?

One mark of a successful business executive is knowing when to cut your losses. It’s also the mark of a successful statesman. Trump claims to be the former. Whether his putative business savvy will translate into the world of statecraft remains to be seen. Early signs are not promising.

As a candidate, Trump vowed to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” destroy ISIS, “decimate al-Qaeda,” and “starve funding for Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah.” Those promises imply a significant escalation of what Americans used to call the Global War on Terrorism.

Toward that end, the incoming administration may well revive some aspects of the George W. Bush playbook, including repopulating the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and “if it’s so important to the American people,” reinstituting torture. The Trump administration will at least consider re-imposing sanctions on countries like Iran. It may aggressively exploit the offensive potential of cyber-weapons, betting that America’s cyber-defenses will hold.

Yet President Trump is also likely to double down on the use of conventional military force. In that regard, his promise to “quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS” offers a hint of what is to come. His appointment of the uber-hawkish Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as his national security adviser and his rumored selection of retired Marine Corps General James (“Mad Dog”) Mattis as defense secretary suggest that he means what he says. In sum, a Trump administration seems unlikely to reexamine the conviction that the problems roiling the Greater Middle East will someday, somehow yield to a U.S.-imposed military solution. Indeed, in the face of massive evidence to the contrary, that conviction will deepen, with genuinely ironic implications for the Trump presidency.

In the immediate wake of 9/11, George W. Bush concocted a fantasy of American soldiers liberating oppressed Afghans and Iraqis and thereby “draining the swamp” that served to incubate anti-Western terrorism. The results achieved proved beyond disappointing, while the costs exacted in terms of lives and dollars squandered were painful indeed. Incrementally, with the passage of time, many Americans concluded that perhaps the swamp most in need of attention was not on the far side of the planet but much closer at hand — right in the imperial city nestled alongside the Potomac River.

To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp.

Yet here’s what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war.

Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp — if he genuinely seeks to “Make America Great Again” — then he would extricate the United States from war. His liquidation of Trump University, which was to higher education what Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve are to modern warfare, provides a potentially instructive precedent for how to proceed.

But don’t hold your breath on that one. All signs indicate that, in one fashion or another, our combative next president will perpetuate the wars he’s inheriting. Trump may fancy that, as a veteran of Celebrity Apprentice (but not of military service), he possesses a special knack for spotting the next Grant or Sherman. But acting on that impulse will merely replenish the swamp in the Greater Middle East along with the one in Washington. And soon enough, those who elected him with expectations of seeing the much-despised establishment dismantled will realize that they’ve been had.

Which brings us, finally, to that third question: To the extent that deficiencies at the top of the military hierarchy do affect the outcome of wars, what can be done to fix the problem?

The most expeditious approach: purge all currently serving three- and four-star officers; then, make a precondition for promotion to those ranks confinement in a reeducation camp run by Iraq and Afghanistan war amputees, with a curriculum designed by Veterans for Peace. Graduation should require each student to submit an essay reflecting on these words of wisdom from U.S. Grant himself: “There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.”

True, such an approach may seem a bit draconian. But this is no time for half-measures — as even Donald Trump may eventually recognize.

Andrew J. Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular, is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His most recent book is America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Tom Engelhardt, who runs the Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch.com (“a regular antidote to the mainstream media”), is the co-founder of the American Empire Project and, most recently, the author of Mission Unaccomplished: Tomdispatch Interviews with American Iconoclasts and Dissenters (Nation Books), the first collection of Tomdispatch interviews.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Swamp of War Sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, Trump for the Defense As with so much of what Donald Trump has said in recent months, his positions on Pentagon spending are, to be polite, a bundle of contradictions.

Monday, November 21, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, No “New Normal” The night after the election, this long-time pacifist dreamed she shot a big white man carrying an arsenal of guns. He was wandering around a room full of people, waving a pistol and threatening to fire.

Thursday, November 17, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Mattea Kramer, You Don’t Leave Home Without It Not long before Election Day, but thousands of miles away in the Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari, 30 to 36 civilians died (including a significant number of children and infants).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, America, the Election, and the Dismal Tide It wasn’t to be, but had it been, Hillary Clinton would have become not only the first woman president, but the first president to enter the Oval Office as a lame duck.

Monday, November 14, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Through the Gates of Hell The one thing you could say about empires is that, at or near their height, they have always represented a principle of order as well as domination.

Monday, November 7, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Whose Finger on the Nuclear Button? Once upon a time, when choosing a new president, a factor for many voters was the perennial question: “Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button?”

Thursday, November 3, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Resurrecting My Parents From the Dead for Election 2016 To say that this is the election from hell is to insult hell.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump’s Open Carry Donald Trump grabbed a new lifeline. Speaking at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 15th, he raised a hand as if to take an oath and declared: “I am a victim!”

Monday, October 31, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nate Terani, One Veteran’s War on Islamophobia Recently, I was asked a question about Kill Anything That Moves, my history of civilian suffering during the Vietnam War. An interviewer wanted to know how I responded to veterans who took offense at the (supposed) implication that every American who served in Vietnam committed atrocities.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Too Big to Fail, Hillary-Style Of a Hillary Clinton presidency, so much less has been written and yet she’s the woman who never saw a bank CEO she couldn’t get a couple of hundred thousand dollars from for giving thoroughly unsurprising speeches.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, The Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism Here’s the strangeness of it all: America’s wars have been going badly for years in almost every way imaginable across the Greater Middle East and North Africa and yet, the Pentagon’s budget is already coming up roses and no matter who enters the Oval Office, it’s only going to get bigger.

Monday, October 24, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Gary Younge, America’s Deserving and Undeserving Dead Children On average, seven children a day, about 2,500 a year, are shot to death in this country. Given the availability of guns of every sort here, this should surprise no one.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Perpetual Killing Field Today’s TomDispatch post is a monumental piece of reporting from “the worst place on Earth” and, on a planet where, from Cambodia to Rwanda, people remember the grim slaughter grounds of our recent history, the least noticed “killing fields” around.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Sandy Tolan, The Death of the Two-State Solution The Obama administration just agreed to a 10-year military aid deal that will give Israel $38 billion dollars in, among other things, America’s most advanced weapons systems. The White House terms it “the largest single pledge of military assistance in U.S. history.”

Monday, October 17, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Finding Hope in Dismal Times Luckily, not everyone has been glued to the screen, eternally watching The Donald. From Black Lives Matter to the climate change movement, activists have, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon points out in a powerful (and powerfully upbeat) new post, never stopped working to make this a better world.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Slouching Toward the Apocalypse This piece suggests far wilder ways in which Trump couldn’t be more in that same grain, if what you have in mind is the Dr. Strangelovian current that runs through American life, involving evangelicals, apocalyptics, survivalists, and white racists; even his extremity, that is, couldn’t be more us — or, if you prefer, more U.S. This one is an original and definitely a must-read!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, Unipolar No More As Dilip Hiro points out in his TomDispatch post today, if you’ve noticed the growing assertiveness of China and Russia, you’ll know that we’re on an increasingly multipolar planet.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, This Is Not About Donald Trump I attempt to take a step back when it comes to the Trump phenomenon and look at what, despite the millions of words pouring out about him, is seldom said or thought much about: the ways in which, unique as this presidential election season may be, Trump himself couldn’t be more in the American tradition — as American, in fact, as a piece of McDonald’s baked apple pie.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The National Security Void You may have missed it. Perhaps you dozed off. Or wandered into the kitchen to grab a snack. Or by that point in the proceedings were checking out Seinfeld reruns. During the latter part of the much hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question.

Monday, October 3, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Karen Greenberg, What Actually Keeps Americans Safe We have a vast national security state that remains remarkably helpless when it comes to finding the terrorists in our American world. It is simply incapable of picking those unexpected needles out of the vast haystack of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump’s Future Piggy Bank, Our Country? As Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers points out in her latest TomDispatch piece on election 2016, there’s one thing Donald Trump is not prepared to do, whatever the political positions he may espouse: give up what’s best for Donald Trump.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (3 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Killing People, Breaking Things, and America’s Winless Wars America’s post-9/11 wars have been going on for years and it seems as if, in conflict after conflict, the U.S. military can’t get out of them and can’t win any of them either.

Monday, September 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Arresting Our Way to “Justice” More than 2.3 million people are in American jails and prisons at any moment, more than 11 million cycling through them each year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, War, Peace, and Absurdity Here’s my version of why, in war and peace, bombing and politics, the stories out of this country these days should boggle our minds.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Chip Ward, Peace Pipes, Not Oil Pipes With the return of Utah environmentalist Chip Ward to TomDispatch comes a vivid analysis of the latest dramatic oil pipeline battle in the West, the stand-off at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Monday, September 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Class of 2017 — So Sorry! Fifteen years after 9/11, war and possible war are embedded in our American way of life and the public is consumed with safety and security-related fears, of terrorism in particular, that have little basis in reality but have helped immensely to expand our national security state.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe Today, consider what TomDispatch’s invaluable energy expert Michael Klare has to say about the rise of versions of The Donald globally and what, in climate-change terms, that means for the health of our planet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, Deportations “R” Us Sometimes, as today at TomDispatch, what’s needed is a little history lesson to remind us that what seems unique in our moment — in this case, Donald Trump’s attitude toward immigrants (whether Mexican or Syrian) — is anything but unique to our time.

Monday, September 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Bill Moyers, Money and Power in America Bill Moyers on how the U.S. became a 1% society — and why democracy and plutocracy don’t mix.

Thursday, September 8, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, A 9/11 Retrospective: Washington’s 15-Year Air War I offer what I hope is a unique 9/11 retrospective for the 15th anniversary of that nightmare: a look at what’s been at the heart of events since that morning — a set of air wars that have gone on fruitlessly and destructively for 15 years and show no signs of ever ending.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, What the U.S. Military Doesn’t Know (and Neither Do You) What the Pentagon and the U.S. military do matters greatly on this conflicted planet of ours, which is why I regularly find it amazing, even unnerving, that, in a world of monster media organizations, covering what the U.S. military does in Africa — and it’s doing more and more there — has largely been left to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.

Monday, August 29, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Arlie Hochschild, Trumping Environmentalism TomDispatch takes you on a remarkable journey into the bayous of Louisiana, a world of Tea Party supporters, of an environmental disaster, and of the confounding contradictions of American political life in the midst of Election 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, “I Didn’t Serve, I Was Used” At TomDispatch today, a powerful piece on how, from Big Pharma to the Koch brothers, vets coming home from America’s wars have been taken to the cleaners.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Todd Miller, The Great Mexican Wall Deception Todd Miller reminds us, Trump supporters shouldn’t feel complete despair if, in the course of this election campaign, The Donald goes down in flames.

Monday, August 22, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Making Sense of Trump and His National Security State Critics Rebecca Gordon takes a clear-eyed look at the Republican national security luminaries who recently signed a letter declaring Donald Trump unfit for the Oval Office (and yes, indeed, he is unfit for office).

Thursday, August 18, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Best of TomDispatch: Andrew Bacevich, Pentagon, Inc. A writer who dares to revisit a snarky article dashed off five-plus years earlier will necessarily approach the task with some trepidation. Pieces such as the one republished below are not drafted with the expectation that they will enjoy a protracted shelf life. Yet in this instance, I’m with Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Judith Coburn, On the Mean Streets of America Step aside, Sam Spade. Move over, Philip Marlowe. You want noir? Skip the famed private eye novels and films of the 1930s and 1940s and turn to our present American world and to neighborhoods where the postman doesn’t ring even once, but the police are ready to shoot more than once, often on the slightest excuse.

Thursday, August 11, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, Why It’s So Hard for Members of the Military to Speak Out These days, who writes about how little public dissent or criticism of U.S. foreign policy and its disastrous wars comes from those who are at the heart of the process, who should know so much better than the rest of us? In all these years, I’ve seen next to nothing on the subject military dissent in particular.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, The Election From Hell Consider this post my attempt to make some sense of what we’re still calling an “election campaign,” although it has by now become more like an all-encompassing way of life and, despite its many “debates” (that now garner National Football League-sized audiences), is also what I label “the tao of confusion.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Pseudo-Election 2016 Andrew Bacevich takes a trip back to his childhood — to the 1956 election between Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson and offers a particularly clear-eyed look at how, over six decades, American politics at the national level descended into the pathological election campaign of the present moment.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The U.S. Military Pivots to Africa and That Continent Goes Down the Drain Things are not exactly going well militarily 15 years after 9/11. The Obama administration will hand over at least seven wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa to the next administration and from Afghanistan to Libya, Somalia, and Nigeria, things are just getting worse.

Monday, August 1, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Frida Berrigan, Guns for Tots Frida Berrigan uses her experiences as a mother with her three young children to explore, in a freewheeling and fascinating way, toy culture, toy guns, the NRA, the weapons industry, and kids (and what we adults can take from such subjects).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Hartung, How to Arm a “Volatile” Planet So here’s this morning’s puzzle for you: two major U.S. industries make things that go boom in the night: Hollywood and the arms business.

Monday, July 25, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Crimes Against the Future In this one, as befits my age, I imagine the world I will, sooner or later, be leaving behind: a destabilizing country and a planet filling with refugees, especially millions of children uprooted from their worlds and lives, deprived often of parents, education, and a childhood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Adam Hochschild, Letting Tarzan Swing Through History Adam Hochschild recently discovered that the latest reboot of the Tarzan movies, The Legend of Tarzan, was, bizarrely enough, in part based on his classic book King Leopold’s Ghost — on, that is, the colonial nightmare of the Belgian Congo.

Monday, July 18, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, How Extrajudicial Executions Became “War” Policy in Washington Rebecca Gordon’s new post is an eye-opening look at how two American administrations changed the nature of war, using the drone to bring extrajudicial executions — presidentially ordered assassinations — into the heartland of American foreign policy.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Fossil Fuels Forever Based on the latest yearly report from the U.S. Department of Energy, while renewable forms of energy are growing far faster than anyone expected, so — startlingly enough — is the use of fossil fuels. As a result, it looks like oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to expand and dominate the global energy landscape for decades to come.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, We Have Met the Alien and He Is Us When we go to the movies, we identify with the outgunned rebels, the underdogs, the liberators, against the alien invaders, the imperial stormtroopers, the Terminators. Here, however, is one retired Air Force lieutenant colonel’s hard won realization that we — the U.S. military in particular — may be the invading “aliens” in much of the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nomi Prins, Trump Wins (Even If He Loses) Nomi Prins turns to the billionaire who has taken possession of us all. Her focus: his frenetic version of “You’re fired!” this election season and how that’s played out with the Republican establishment, without whom (and without whose money) she doubts he can make it to the Oval Office.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Engelhardt, Where Did the American Century Go? Is this actually the American Century? And concludes that perhaps it’s not, despite the fact that we remain the globe’s “sole superpower.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Revolving Doors, Robust Rolodexes, and Runaway Generals Nick Turse offers a riveting look at what “retirement” means for top commanders in the U.S. military and believe me, if you don’t think public service pays big time, think again.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 (2 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Thomas Frank, Worshipping Money in D.C. Thomas Frank takes us on an eye-opening tour of the lobbying industry in Washington, a dimly lit corner of “corruption-free America,” a completely legal and remarkably unethical world that comes with its own guidebook: Influence, a newsletter chronicling daily dalliances involving money, alcohol, and political influence.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn, An Endless Cycle of Indecisive Wars As Patrick Cockburn points out in his TomDispatch post today, we have entered “an age of disintegration.” And he should know. There may be no Western reporter who has covered the grim dawn of that age in the Greater Middle East and North Africa.

Monday, June 27, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: John Feffer, Donald Trump and America B John Feffer focuses on the post-Cold War global economy and who it left behind, a group that has no name here but is known in Poland as “Poland B” and is now triumphantly represented in power by a rabid right-wing political party there.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Nick Turse, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics… and U.S. Africa Command Turse explores the way U.S. Africa Command has seemingly massaged its numbers in testimony to Congress and so evidently managed to disappear piles of its missions on that continent, obscuring the expansion of U.S. military operations there.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (4 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: William Astore, The End of Air Power? air power alone can’t be blamed for the sorry fates of the lands of the Greater Middle East, increasingly descending into chaos and terror, but let’s just say — as retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore does in his new post — that it has proven startlingly incapable of producing any positive results.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Andrew Cockburn, Victory Assured on the Military’s Main Battlefield — Washington Today, Andrew Cockburn, whose recent book, Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins (just out in paperback), is a devastating account of how U.S. drone warfare really works, suggests that such results are anything but. Quite the opposite, it represents strategic thinking and maneuvering of the first order and results in the Pentagon regularly taking the budgetary high ground in Washington.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Ann Jones, Donald Trump Has the Traits of a Wife Abuser and Women Know It Ann Jones makes sense of Donald Trump’s stunningly unfavorable polling numbers among women and why, thanks to what lies behind them, the only billionaire in the running may not, in fact, make it to the White House.

Noam ChomskyMonday, June 13, 2016 (1 comments) Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Tick… Tick… Tick… It’s no small horror that, on this planet of ours, humanity continues to foster two apocalyptic forces, each of which — one in a relative instant and the other over many decades — could cripple or destroy human life as we know it.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Washington Leads The World To War

October 6, 2016
OpEdNews Op Eds 10/5/2016 at 16:17:00

Washington Leads The World To War

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Who Is The Bigger Warmonger: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Who Is The Bigger Warmonger: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
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What must the world think watching the US presidential campaign? Over time US political campaigns have become more unreal and less related to voters’ concerns, but the current one is so unreal as to be absurd.

The offshoring of American jobs by global corporations and the deregulation of the US financial system have resulted in American economic failure. One might think that this would be an issue in a presidential campaign.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony is driving the US and its vassals into conflict with Russia and China. The risks of nuclear war are higher than at any previous time in history. One might think that this also would be an issue in a presidential campaign.

Instead, the issues are Trump’s legal use of tax laws and his non-hostile attitude toward President Putin of Russia.

One might think that the issue would be Hillary’s extremely hostile attitude toward Putin (“the new Hitler”), which promises conflict with a major nuclear power.

As for benefiting from tax laws, Pat Buchanan pointed out that Hillary used to her benefit a loss almost as large as Trump’s and during the Arkansas years Hillary even took a tax deduction for itemized pieces of used clothing donated to a charity, including $2 for one of Bill’s used underpants.

The vice presidential “debate” revealed that the Democratic Party’s candidate is so ignorant that he thinks Putin, who is democratically elected and has enormous public support, is a dictator.

Here is what we know about the two presidential candidates. Hillary has a long list of scandals from Whitewater and Vince Foster to Benghazi and violation of national security protocols. She is bought-and-paid-for by the oligarchs on Wall Street, in the mega-banks, and in the military-security complex as well as by foreign interests. The proof is the Clinton’s $120 million personal fortune and the $1,600 million in their foundation. Goldman Sachs did not pay Hillary $675,000 for three 20-minute speeches for the wisdom they contained.

What we know about Trump is that the oligarchic establishment cannot stand him and has ordered the Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the US media, to destroy him.

Clearly, Hillary is the candidate of the One Percent, and Trump is the candidate for the rest of us.

Unfortunately, about half of the 99 percent is too dumb to know this.

Moreover, if Trump were to end up in the White House, it doesn’t mean he could prevail over the oligarchy.

The oligarchy is entrenched in Washington with control over economic and foreign policy positions, think tanks and other lobbyists, and the media.

The people control nothing.

What does the world think when they see Donald Trump damned because he doesn’t want war with Russia or the American economy moved offshore?

Where in American politics do Washington’s European, British, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassals see leadership worthy of their sacrifice of sovereignty and independent foreign policy? Where do they even see a modicum of intelligence?

Why does the world look to the most stupid, vile, arrogant, corrupt and murderous government on the planet for leadership?

War is the only destination to which Washington can lead.

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http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/
Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here, and How America Was Lost, can be ordered here. His latest book, The Neoconservative Threat To International Order: Washington’s Perilous War For Hegemony, can be ordered here.http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/OpEdNews Member for 448 week(s) and 5 day(s)

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Who Is The Bigger Warmonger: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?Wednesday, October 5, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Washington Leads The World To War What must the world think watching the US presidential campaign? Over time US political campaigns have become more unreal and less related to voters’ concerns, but the current one is so unreal as to be absurd.

The New Cold WarFriday, September 30, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Bring Back The Cold War There can be no cooperation between the US and Russia over Syria, because the two government’s goals are entirely different. Russia wants to defeat ISIS, and the US wants to use ISIS to overthrow Assad. This should be clear to the Russians. Yet they still enter into “agreements” that Washington has no intention of keeping.

Russia moves rubWednesday, September 28, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? Putin is a careful and thoughtful leader of Russia, but he is not an economist. He has confidence in neoliberal Elvira Nabiulina, Washington’s choice to head the Russian central bank. Nabiuina believes that the assault on the ruble is due to impersonal “global market forces,” not to Washington’s financial clout.

U.S. Invades Syria And Warns Russia.Sunday, September 25, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
He Who Hesitates Is Lost And Russia Hesitated Russia had a victory for Syria and democracy in its hands, but Putin lacked the decisiveness of a Napoleon or a Stalin and let his victory slip away as a result of false hopes that Washington could be trusted. Now a Russian/Syrian victory would require driving the Turks and Americans out of Syria.

Vladimir PutinMonday, September 19, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Will Russia Surrender? If the Russian government has finally arrived at the conclusion that Washington is determined to destroy political stability in Syria and to replace it with chaos, it has taken a long time. The Russian government has studiously avoided this conclusion, because once diplomacy is acknowledged as useless, force confronts force. In today’s context that means thermo-nuclear war and the end of life on Earth.

Putin and ObamaSunday, September 18, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Russia Has No Partners In The West It is a mystery that the Russian government believes Washington and Moscow have any common interest in the outcome in Syria. Washington’s interest is to remove Assad and put Syria into the chaos that rules in Libya and Iraq. Russia’s interest is to stabalize Syria as a bulwark against the spread of jihadism. the Russian government thinks Washington is a “partner” with whom it has common interests. Go figure.

Media SelloutFriday, September 16, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Western Media Credibility In Free Fall Collapse As the print and TV media in the 21st century are firmly aligned with the government, the trust in government spills over into trust of the media that is serving the government. As the generation of Democrats enculturated with this mythology die off, Democratic trust rates will plummet toward Republican levels.

September 11, 2001Saturday, September 10, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
9/11: 15 Years Of A Transparent Lie 9/11 was used by the US government to launch wars that have destroyed in whole or part seven countries, killing millions of peoples and producing millions of refugees. 9/11 was also used to create an American police state, which is a far greater threat to freedom and democracy than Muslim terrorism.

Conspiracy theoriesWednesday, September 7, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Tide is Turning: The Official Story Is Now The Conspiracy Theory The US government has plentiful video evidence of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon but refuses to release the evidence that it says support its story. Similarly, the French federal government has prohibited Nice authorities from releasing the security camera videos of the Nice truck attack and has ordered the video evidence destroyed. How can we believe governments that refuse to show us the hard evidence?

Image created from image creditingMonday, September 5, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Labor Day? Today we have one party with two heads. The competition between the parties is about which party gets to be the prostitute for the capitalists for the next political term. As Democrats and Republicans swap the prostitute function back and forth, neither party has an incentive to do anything different.

New York Times Building, NYCFriday, September 2, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
About The Dumbed-Down New York Times When a country’s newspaper of record is only a propaganda organ, what becomes of public discourse? What happens to the ability of free speech to constrain the government and to hold government accountable to the truth? Obviously, these foundational principles of American democracy cannot be performed by a media that serves as a ministry of propaganda.

Image created from image creditingWednesday, August 31, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Are You a Mind-Controlled CIA Stooge? With the public mind programmed to ridicule “conspiracy kooks,” even in the case of suspicious events such as 9/11, the government can destroy evidence, ignore prescribed procedures, delay an investigation, and then form a political committee to put its imprimatur on the official story.

Paul Wolfowitz, September 11 mastermind, to vote for Hillary Clinton?Monday, August 29, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Can Americans Overthrow The Evil That Rules Them? That it was the Democrats — allegedly the party of the people — who first took the choice away from the people is astonishing. Much information indicates that Bernie Sanders actually won the Democratic presidential nomination but was denied it by vote fraud and “super delegates.” This is politics in America — totally corrupt. Chris Hedges might be right: nothing can change without revolution.

Dead NationFriday, August 26, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The US: A Dead Nation Walking It is in times of tension that false warnings are believed and miscalculations occur. In the interest of life on earth, Washington should be de-escalating tensions with Russia, not building them. So far there is no sign that the Neoconservatives are willing to give up their hegemonic agenda for the sake of life on earth.

Image created from image creditingTuesday, August 23, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Hats Off To Mother Jones Republicans learned to use libertarian “free market” ideologues in order to feather their own nests. Privatization, favored by libertarians, is the Republican way of turning public functions into million dollar businesses for themselves and their friends. In the case of the armed forces, the privatized parts of the US military are multi-billion dollar businesses.

Image created from image creditingMonday, August 22, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Genocide of a Land Justice is not a thriving characteristic of the Israeli government, US foreign policy, or the media. The United Nations has produced report after report documenting the extermination of a people, but is powerless to act because of Washington’s veto. Propaganda is turning truth-tellers into “conspiracy theorists” and “domestic extremists.”

The bloodied boy in SyriaSunday, August 21, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Aleppo Poster Child Let us not forget that Washington’s determination to overthrow the Syrian government has brought many deaths to Syrians of all age groups. Washington alone is responsible for the deaths. The evil Obama regime has stated over and over that “Assad must go” and is prepared to destroy the country and much of the population in order to get rid of him.

Vladimir PutinSunday, August 21, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Can Russia Survive Washington’s Challenge? Erdogan will not want to align with Russia if he thinks Russia is not up to Washington’s challenge. Erdogan sees Putin endlessly asking for Washington’s cooperation, and Erdogan understands that Washington sees this as a sign of Russian weakness. The real danger for Russia lies in Russia’s desire for Western acceptance. As long as Russians have this desire, they are a doomed people.

The American version of Left vs. RightFriday, August 19, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
What Became of the Left? Today we need a left-wing far more desperately than we did when we had one. Today governments considered democratic have the powers of a dictatorship. In the United States, for example, habeas corpus has been erased from both law and Constitution. Even worse, White House officials can create lists of citizens to be murdered without due process of law. These are the powers of a dictator.

Lion CubWednesday, August 17, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Will Human Evil Destroy Life On Earth? The environmental destruction, together with hunting or poaching by those who regard it as manly or profitable to kill a magnificent animal, is leading to the rapid extermination of this beautiful animal. Soon tigers will only exist as exhibits in zoos. The same is happening to lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, elephants, bobcats, wolves, bears, birds, butterflies, honey bees. You name it.

Are Russia-West tensions a "new Cold War"?Friday, August 12, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Rethinking The Cold War … and the new one Americans are Creatures of The Matrix created by their own propagandists. Americans see imaginary threats, not real ones. What the Russians and Chinese see are a people too brainwashed and ignorant to be of any support for peace. They see war coming and are preparing for it.

Vladimir Putin admits Western economic sanctions "severely" harmed the Russian ecoThursday, August 11, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Russia’s Weakness Is Its Economic Policy Despite these overt hostile moves against Russia, Russian neoliberals still believe that the economic policies that Washington urges on Russia are in Russia’s interest, not intended to gain control of its economy. Hooking Russia’s fate to Western hegemony under these conditions would doom Russian sovereignty.

America'Thursday, August 11, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Stench of Raw Propaganda In Iraq Washington was fighting ISIS, because ISIS was overthrowing Washington’s puppet in Iraq. However, in Syria Washington was supporting ISIS, often characterizing ISIS as “moderates” fighting to bring democracy to Syria. Now that ISIS is on the verge of total defeat in Syria, Washington’s whores among the “experts” want Russia punished for blocking Washington’s overthrow of Syria.

From dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-inflation-u-s-dollar-dollar-inflation-dollar-crash-dollar-crisis-vector-illustratWednesday, August 10, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
How Long Can Economic Reality Be Ignored? The reason that Americans have no income from their savings is that public authorities put the welfare of a handful of “banks too big to fail” above the welfare of the American people. The enormous liquidity created by the Federal Reserve has gone into the financial system where it has driven up the prices of financial instruments. There has been a stock market recovery but not an economic recovery.

July Jobs ReportSaturday, August 6, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Another Phony Jobs Report Even if we assume that 255,000 jobs were created in July, the news remains bad, because the jobs claimed are mainly lowly paid part time jobs without benefits and provide insufficient income to support an independent existence. This is why so many employed young people continue to live at home with their parents.

President ObamaFriday, August 5, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Behold, a Pale Horse; its Rider’s Name Was Death…and Hell Followed Him Where is the question: “Why, Mr. President, did Washington introduce 15 years of massive and ongoing violence into the Middle East and then expect us to believe that it was the fault of someone else?” If Helen Thomas were there, she would ask the relevant questions. But the American press corps are merely an audience that validates the false reality spun by Washington by accepting it without question.

Operation GladioThursday, August 4, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Fissures in the Empire Washington has raised the cost of being a member of its Empire too high. Vassals such as France and Germany are beginning to exercise independent policies toward Russia. Observing the cracks in its Empire, Washington has decided to bind its vassals to Washington with terror.

Image created from image creditingWednesday, August 3, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
American Horror Story: How Democrats Found A Russian Boogeyman In Hillary’s E-MailsDemocrats are looking for a boogeyman, for somebody to shift the blame away from them. They don’t even realize that their allegations make Russia look like a cyber superpower. Well, Russia may be a cyber superpower, but we all know that Clinton’s e-mails did not reach WikiLeaks via Russia. It’s just something Clinton operatives made up.

Torture -- America's ShameMonday, August 1, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Human Rights Watch Reports That US Government Tortured Children The “beacon of hope” is now recklessly and irresponsibly threatening two nuclear powers — Russia and China — with military encirclement justified with the most blatant and transparent lies. We hear the propaganda 24/7. Even the “liberal” NPR specializes in telling lies about Russia. Is it hopeful to convince two nuclear powers that the US is preparing to attack?

Democracy is deadFriday, July 29, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Democratic Party No Longer Exists How long can Russia, and China, wait before they conclude that they have to pre-empt the coming attack from Washington? Does anyone, even stupid Americans, think that once Russia and China are convinced that they are targets for attack that they will just sit there and await the attack?

Washington Money Buys PowerWednesday, July 27, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Is Europe Doomed By Vassalage To Washington? If the European peoples can come to their senses, free themselves from The Matrix that Washington has imposed on them, and revolt against Washington’s agents who control them, the European peoples can save their own lives and the lives of the rest of us.

Corrupt Money Corrupts EverythingTuesday, July 26, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Atlantic Council: The Marketing Arm of the Military/Security Complex The zionist neocons get away with their warmongering because it is profitable for the US military/security complex. Whereas the crazed neocons want real war, the military/security complex only wants the propaganda threat of war. In capitalist regimes everything is for sale: honor, integrity, justice, truth. Everything is reduced to the filthy lucre.

The Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Is Greater TodayMonday, July 25, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
30 Seconds To Midnight The mere existence of nuclear weapons means the nonexistence of life on earth. It will happen sooner or later. To raise the risk as the crazed American government is doing with irresponsible provocations of the Russians and Chinese is the ultimate criminal act. There is no greater threat to human rights than to endanger all life.

Armageddon approachesSunday, July 24, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Armageddon Approaches Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his frustration with Washington’s reliance on force and coercion instead of diplomacy. It is reckless for Washington to convince Russia that diplomacy is a dead end without promise. When the Russians reach that conclusion, force will confront force.

President John F. KennedyFriday, July 22, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
JFK Turned to Peace and Was Assassinated once in the Oval Office, Kennedy witnessed the extreme risks that US military leadership was willing to impose on American lives in behalf of a war than no one needed. He realized that the US military-security complex was as great a threat to life as the Soviets. He understood that tensions between the two nuclear powers had to be defused, not increased.

Nice attack: Government's "security breaches and lies."Friday, July 22, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
French Anti-Terrorist Police Demand Destruction Of Nice Evidence Whenever you see evidence withheld, destroyed, and demands for destruction of evidence as the French Anti-Terrorist police are demanding of city authorities in Nice, the safest conclusion is that the evidence is damning for the official story.

Who's to blame?Thursday, July 21, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Is the Saudi 9/11 Story Part Of The Deception? The official 9/11 story has taken too many hits to remain standing. The collapse of Building 7, which, if memory serves, was not mentioned at all in the 9/11 Commission Report, has been proven to have been a controlled demolition. Building 7 collapsed at free-fall acceleration, which can only be achieved with controlled demolition.

Tens of thousands march against police killingsTuesday, July 19, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Police Are Victimized By Their Training Killings by police have gone on too long. The killings are too gratuitous, and the police have largely escaped accountability for actions that, if committed by private citizens, would result in life imprisonment or the death penalty. There has been no accountability, because the police unions and the white community rush to the defense of the police.

'Bastille Day' Terror Attack in Nice, FranceMonday, July 18, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Nice Brings To Mind Operation Gladio It looks like a permanent state of martial law in France will be one consequence. This shutdown of society will also dispose of the protests against capitalist puppet Hollande’s repeal of France’s labor protections. Those protesting the take-back of their hard-earned rights will be closed down under the martial law.

Flag at half mast in Netherlands for flight MH17Sunday, July 17, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
MH-17: Russia Convicted By Propaganda, Not Evidence Only Washington, whose presstitutes can be relied on to control the explanations for Washington, and Washington’s vassal in Kiev had anything to gain from downing the airliner. Whether intentional or an accident, the downing of MH-17 was used to blacken Russia and to convince the EU to go along with Washington’s economic sanctions and military moves against Russia.

The 2016 Olympics About To StartSunday, July 17, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Washington Is Politicizing The Olympics Again Washington and its Canadian vassal are trying to use a Western media-created Russian athletic doping scandal to ban Russian participation in the Olympic games in Brazil. Washington and Canada are pressuring other countries to get on board with Washington’s vendetta against Russia. The vendetta is conducted under the cover of “protecting clean athletics.”

FBI DirectWednesday, July 13, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Gestapo America Comey wants the unconstitutional power to demand from the providers of telephone and Internet services all records and information about you. These demands are not to be subject to oversight by courts, and the communication companies that serve you are prohibited from telling you that all of your information has been given to the FBI.

Vladimir PutinTuesday, July 12, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Vladimir Putin Is The Only Leader The West Has Putin does not want war. He is doing everything in his power to avoid it. But Putin is not going to surrender Russia to Washington. The trip-point of World War III will be the installation of Washington’s missiles in Poland and Romania. Whatever the evil men and women in Washington who are gambling with the life of the planet think, Russia is not going to accept these missiles.

Image created from image creditingMonday, July 11, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Police Murder Because They Are Trained To Murder We know that the police have been, or are being, militarized. They are armed with weapons of war that hitherto have been used only on battlefields. We don’t know why police are armed in this way, as such weapons are not necessary for policing the American public and are not used in police work anywhere except in Israeli-occupied Palestine.

Police Brutality aSunday, July 10, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Why Dallas Happened Police violence is also out of control because of the revolution in police training which teaches police to protect themselves and to subdue the suspect regardless of cost. A number of former police officers have told me that the reason they gave up the occupation is that today police are being trained to be killers like soldiers.

Image created from image creditingFriday, July 8, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Are You Planning Your Retirement? Forget About It. You Won’t Survive To Experience It.After squandering many of Russia’s opportunities in hopes of diplomacy, Vladimir Putin now sees the West for what it is: An immoral, power-crazed entity that will destroy the planet before it gives up its goal of hegemony over the entirety of the Earth. Why should the “indispensable, exceptional people” settle for anything less than hegemony over the world?

From templeofyahvehatsmyrna.com/2015/09/25/wake-up-america-is-in-trouble-the-great-apostasy-did-you-know-that-the-propheThursday, July 7, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Voters Have Heavy Responsibility In November The Democratic Party, formerly a defender of the common man, now competes with the Republican Party as an agent of the One Percent. Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat, and Ronald Reagan the last Republican, whose concerns encompassed ordinary folks.

From newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast-with-asb/video/mikes-minute-the-chilcot-report-and-tony-blairs-legacThursday, July 7, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
More Obscuration From The British Establishment Sir John Chilcot’s assigned task under the guise of an “impartial inquiry” was to absolve former UK PM and war criminal Tony Blair not of all responsibility but of all responsibility deserving of prosecution. Sir John’s report is akin to FBI director Comey’s report on Hillary: They did it but they didn’t do it enough to be prosecuted.

A brain tumor had left Hannah blind in one eye, deaf in one ear and partially paralyzed, so when the guards grabbed eachSunday, July 3, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
This Is How They Protect Us! This is America today. We are forced to pay for our own brutilization by a criminal element that has taken refuge in “security” that “protects us.” We are in far more danger from the security forces allegedly protecting us than we are from terrorists. Indeed, the security forces are the terrorists.

Police Brutality and AbuseSunday, July 3, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
America Destroyed When I was young, America still existed. No more. Not even the blather from the 4th of July can hide the obvious fact. The young do not know that they have lost their country, because they are born into a time when the country is lost. To them that is normalcy. They are too busy texting, often intimately, on social media to be aware of the fate that awaits them, lost as they are in their insouciance.

Democracy lost ...Wednesday, June 29, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Collapse of Western Democracy The view now established in the West is that the people are not qualified to make political decisions. The position of the opponents of Brexit is clear: it simply is not a matter for the British people whether their sovereignty is given away to an unaccountable commission in Brussels. Martin Schultz, President of the EU Parliament, puts it clearly: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate.”

ItSaturday, June 25, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Despite the Vote, the Odds Are Against Britain Leaving the EU Enough of the British people resisted the brainwashing and controlled debate to grasp the real issues: sovereignty, accountable government, financial independence, freedom from involvement in Washington’s wars and conflict with Russia. The British people should not be so naive as to think that their vote settles the matter. The fight has only begun.

BRexit doorFriday, June 24, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
The Brexit Vote The coming attack on the British economy is the reason that Leave supporters such as Boris Johnson are mistaken in their belief that there is “no need for haste” in exiting the EU. The longer it takes for the British to escape from the authoritarian EU, the longer Washington and the EU can inflict punishment on the British people for voting to leave.

Brexit VoteWednesday, June 22, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Brexit: What Is It About? The intent of the EU is for the British, French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Spanish, and all the rest to disappear as peoples. Brexit is the last chance to defeat this hidden agenda, and apparently the British will vote tomorrow without having a clue as to what is at stake and what the vote is about.

Exposing the truth about our world.Tuesday, June 21, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Orlando Wrap-up We know that governments lie in order to serve their agendas. To mention only a few recent proven government lies: the Gulf of Tonkin North Vietnamese attack on a US Navy ship, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasion of Ukraine. These lies are monstrous. A government will lie on smaller scales as well, such as Orlando, Boston, San Bernandino.

Nuclear FutureMonday, June 20, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
If You Value Life, Wake Up! Washington is putting its nuclear missiles on Russia’s borders, conducting war games on Russia’s borders, and stationing its Navy off Russia’s coasts in the Black and Baltic seas. To cover up its reckless, irresponsible aggression toward a nuclear power, Washington accuses Russia of aggression.

Orlando nightclub shooting and the fight against terrorism.Tuesday, June 14, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Orlando Shooting: Still No Evidence Remember, our purpose is not to disprove the official story, but to find evidence in its behalf. So far all we have are official statements and testimony by what seem to be crisis actors. 103 people cannot be shot without there being real evidence. It has to be somewhere.

Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in OrlandoMonday, June 13, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Orlando Shooting What is most troublesome about these shootings is that the story seems already prepared by the government and is immediately set. We are fed the story before there is time for investigation by government or media. The media never investigate. The media just repeat the government’s story over and over until it is set in everyone’s mind. Contrary evidence is just discarded.

Political Promises and Other LiesSunday, June 12, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Frustrations of Telling the Truth All of my life I have confronted the vast bulk of humanity living in a false reality created by self-serving powerful interest groups and the government that they control. People believe the lies that define their reality, because they lack the education and the emotional and intellectual strength to confront the obvious lies.

Preparing For Battle With RussiaThursday, June 9, 2016      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Where Do Matters Stand? Ever since Russia stood up to Obama over Syria, the Russians have been experiencing hostile propaganda and military operations on their borders. These provocations are justified by Washington and its NATO vassals as a response to “Russian aggression.” What is the purpose of the lie other than to prepare the Western peoples for war with Russia?

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Go To Commenting

 

Okinawa Ex-American Soldier Observed

September 11, 2016

 

元アメリカ兵が高江ヘリパッド反対「人々にとってのテロリストはアメリカ兵だったイラク戦争」「そうした戦争のためのヘリパッド建設に加担する日本の警察官らは高江で何をしているのか」

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琉球朝日放送の2016年9月7日18時50分の報道です。(※今はネット上で観ることができますが、ずっと噛み締めたい内容でしたので記事と放送画面キャプチャをクリッピングさせていただきます

元アメリカ兵が見た高江

森の静けさを割く、叫び声。人々が体を張ってでも止めようとしているのは、ヘリパッド建設のために運び込まれる大量の土砂や資材です。

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この日、強制排除された人々の中に、アメリカ人たちの姿がありました。ウィル・グリフィンさん(31)。アフガニスタン、イラクに派兵された元陸軍兵。

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グリフィンさん「沖縄のみなさんを支援するために来ました」

国際平和団体、「ベテランズ・フォー・ピース(平和を求める元軍人の会)」。メンバーは、みな、ベトナム戦争やイラク戦争などの第一線で戦った元アメリカ兵たちです。

メンバーのひとり、マイク・ヘインズさん(40)。かつて県内のアメリカ軍基地に駐留する海兵隊員の一人でした。

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ヘインズさん「若い警察官たちを見ていたら昔の自分を思い出します。キャンプフォスター所属の19歳の海兵隊員だった頃は、疑問もなく命令に従っていました」

カリフォルニア州。サンディエゴ。アメリカ最大規模の海軍基地を抱えるこの街に、マイク・ヘインズさんは暮らしています。

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ヘインズさん「アメリカ人にとって軍隊は生活、文化、愛国心の一部です。軍隊を支持するのは当然だと教えられて育つのですから」

至るところに「ヒーロー」として掲げられた、戦場に行った若者たちの姿。ショッピングセンターの一角など、人々が集まる場所に置かれたアメリカ軍の採用所。この国の暮らしの中に、当たりまえのように軍隊の存在があります。

アメリカ西南部、ジョージア州で生まれ育ったヘインズさんは、18歳の時「国を守りたい」という愛国心から、海兵隊に入隊しました。

010011012

 

ヘインズさん「“ワンショット・ワンキル(一撃一殺)”と声を上げながら訓練する度に、頭に刷り込まれていくんです。13週間の新兵訓練を終える頃には命令で人を殺せる兵士に仕上がっていた」

そして、海兵隊の特別部隊として2003年に派兵された、イラク侵攻ではテロリスト掃討作戦の第一線に送られました。しかし・・・

013014

 

ヘインズさん「イラクでは家のドアを突き破り、銃口を向けながら家宅捜索しました。ほとんどの場合住んでいたのは普通の家族でした」

015016

 

ヘインズさん「“テロとの戦い”のために派兵されたのに実際は人々にとってのテロリストは私たちだったんです」

カリフォルニア州、バークレー市。毎年この時期に開かれるベテランズ・フォー・ピースの大会では、世界120を超える支部から元兵士たちが集まり、アメリカ軍の問題や、軍隊によらない平和な社会をつくる方法について議論が続きます。この日、沖縄の辺野古新基地建設に関する講演に、ヘインズさんの姿がありました。

017018019

 

ヘインズさん「辺野古新基地はまだ造られていない。今ならまだ止められる」

ヘインズさんの思いの原点は、辺野古にありました。去年12月。およそ20年ぶりに帰った沖縄で見た辺野古の新基地建設を止めようと、体を張って座り込む人々の姿でした。

020021022023024

 

ヘインズさん「沖縄の人たちは米軍基地はいらないと声を上げています。自分の土地を取り戻したいんです。米国という巨大な国家権力に押し潰されるのではなく、自分のことを自分で決めたい。ただそれだけです。辺野古新基地を止めましょう!平和のために!」

さらに、大会では注目を集める大きな動きがありました。

大矢記者「ベテランズ・フォー・ピースの全国大会では辺野古への新基地建設、そして高江へのヘリパッド建設に反対するふたつの議案が今まさに審議されています」

ベテランズ・フォー・ピースの沖縄県支部から提出されたこれらの議案は、全会一致で可決。沖縄が抱える問題が、世界レベルで協力し、取り組むべき問題として受け入れられた瞬間でした。

議案を提出した琉球沖縄国際支部のダグラス・ラミスさん「あんなに情熱的に通されるということは、ちょっとすごいと思いました。」

025

 

ベトナム戦争帰還兵「私の国が他国にしていることに怒っています。やりたい放題ですよ」

026027028

 

大会に参加した女性「基地を造るということは、植民地化されるということです。沖縄のために私も闘います。だって沖縄の人々には平和に暮らす権利がありますから」

かつて戦争に加担した者として、もう二度と間違いは繰り返さないと立ちあがった元アメリカ兵たち。沖縄にこれ以上、戦争のための基地は造らせないと、声を上げ続けています。

029030031

 

ヘインズさん「警察のみなさん、鏡で自分の姿を見てください。『私はここで何をしているんだろう』と。これは戦争のために造られるヘリパッドなのだから」

▼関連
アメリカ退役軍人が辺野古で新基地反対、「戦争がISを生んだ」「テロとの戦いの戦場でイラクの人々にとってのテロはアメリカ兵である私自身だった」

Fiddling while the Doomsday Clock ticks

August 8, 2016
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Birth of a New Day
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Last Jan. 26, unnoticed in the sound and fury of the presidential primary season, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that its famous Doomsday Clock would remain at 3 minutes to midnight (=global catastrophe): “As the signatories to this reportmake clear, the Earth remains perilously and inexcusably close to metaphorical midnight.”The Bulletin was first published in 1945 by scientists who had helped develop the atomic bomb. In 1947 The Bulletin began using the image of a Doomsday Clock to symbolize how close nuclear weapons technology had brought us to the destruction of civilization. They have since included the threat from human-induced global warming. The only other years the clock was this close to midnight were in 1949 when the Soviets acquired their atomic bomb, in 1953 when the U.S. and USSR acquired the hydrogen bomb, and in 1984 when cold-war tensions were at their peak.

The start of the Doomsday Clock signaled a new era in human history: one in which humans had acquired the power to destroy their planet but lacked the wisdom and institutions that would make its use unlikely. That’s why the clock was set from the start at the final minutes of the last hour, and since then never earlier than 17 minutes before midnight. What now alarms the Bulletin’s panel of scientific experts (including 16 Nobel Laureates ) is a combination of rising tensions among nuclear powers and the inadequate international response to accelerating climate change.

Climate Change

Seashore flooding and increasing weather extremes make it hard to ignore the threat from climate change. According to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society’s annual State of the Climate report, in 2015 greenhouse gases, global land and sea surface temperatures and global sea levels were the highest on record.

The latest international attempt to address global warming was the Paris Agreement signed on Earth Day by the leaders of 175 nations. Unfortunately, as the New York Times points out, the agreement will not have the legal force of a treaty because it would “be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill without the required two-thirds majority vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.” Of all the major political parties in the democratic world, only the GOP rejects climate science.

Republicans have nominated for President a climate-change denier who has shown himself to be a narcissistic man-child. They also want him to be commander-in-chief of U.S. nuclear forces. The GOP is a major threat to human survival.

Nuclear War

On August 6, 1945 the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It instantly killed 70,000 people, and 140,000 more died from radiation effects. The city of 310,000 was obliterated. A second atomic bomb on August 9 caused similar devastation in Nagasaki. The first bomb had an explosive power of 15 kilotons (=15,000 tons of TNT), while the second was 22 kilotons. The estimated totaldestructive force of the current nuclear arsenal is 570,000 kilotons (570 megatons) for the U.S. and 660+ megatons for Russia, equal to 38,000 and 44,000 Hiroshimas respectively.

According to the Arms Control Association, the world’s nuclear powers now possess a total of 15,300 nuclear warheads, 90% of which are held by the U.S. and Russia. About a third of these are retired and await dismantlement. Each nation has about 4500 warheads stockpiled for potential use. Russia has 1648 warheads deployed on ballistic missiles or heavy bombers, while the U.S. has 1538. Each side maintains a “nuclear triad” consisting of land-based ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and strategic bombers.

It’s a terrible irony that we nearly ended the threat of a nuclear doomsday 30 years ago at the 1986 Reykjavk summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Both offered to completely eliminate their nuclear arsenals, and then backed off. The obstacle was Reagan’s refusal to limit the development of his so-called Star Wars anti-ballistic missile system even though the elimination of the missiles would make the system unnecessary.

The kind of irrationality that led to the failure of the Reykjavk summit is now at work in U.S. foreign policy toward Russia. The immediate background of the current threat is the American-sponsored expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, incorporating many former Warsaw Pact countries. NATO even announced that Ukraine, despite its deep historic and economic ties with Russia, would be considered for membership.

As Noam Chomsky put it recently: “One can imagine how the United States would react if the Warsaw Pact were still alive, most of Latin America had joined, and now Mexico and Canada were applying for membership.”

In 2013 the U.S. supported a coup that ousted the democratically elected Ukrainian President Yanukovych, replacing him with a Western-leaning regime. This was the last straw for Russian President Putin. He responded by annexing Crimea, an ethnically Russian part of Ukraine that included port facilities for the Russian Black Sea fleet. He also supported a separatist insurrection in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine that continues today.

The American narrative from politicians and the mainstream media is that Russia is an aggressor that needs to be contained by economic sanctions and military threats. NATO is moving military forces close to the border with Russia, and Russia is responding with its own troop movements. There is a growing acceptance of a New Cold War.

Instead of urgently pushing for nuclear arms reduction, President Obama (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) has committed to a trillion-dollar renewal program for the U.S. nuclear triad. It envisions weapons and delivery systems that “move toward the small, the stealthy and the precise” ( NYT , 1/11/16). The Russians have noticed, and are scrambling to catch up. The Doomsday Clock is ticking.

 

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I’m a retired philosophy professor at Centre College. I also am a regular columnist for The Danville Advocate-Messenger,the local paper in what was my home town (I now live in Connecticut. My last book was Posthumanity-Thinking Philosophically (more…)

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As Wars Around the World Rage, Both Republicans and Democrats Speak of Muscle, Power, and Violence

January 6, 2016

Oliver Stone. (photo: Art Streiber/Sunday Magazine)
Oliver Stone. (photo: Art Streiber/Sunday Magazine)

By Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone’s Facebook Page

06 January 16

 

s the wars of the world rage on into 2016, the powder keg now appears to be ‘Syraq’ and not Ukraine. One day, perhaps too late, we as a country will recognize that some of our ‘friends’ are our ‘enemies,’ and some of our ‘enemies’ are really our allies. But as long as we pursue the politics of Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies, we’re squandering our life force in the creation of more and more chaos.

In this dangerous election cycle, Republicans and Democrats continue to talk loudly — of muscle, power, and the exercise thereof. But since Vietnam, it’s equally clear we’re scared of putting boots on the ground in any significant way (500,000 went to Vietnam), as casualties are anathema to the electorate, who prefer the Empire’s use of proxy armies, and covert/soft power.

But as long as Russia continues to maintain and refine its nuclear capabilities (at about 1/5th our cost), those who actually think must understand we can’t force them into submission where their national interests are concerned, i.e., Eastern Ukraine, their borders with Europe, and terrorism against Russia, etc. Without that nuclear capacity, there is no doubt Russia would’ve rendered Edward Snowden to the United States long ago.

Having suffered through two Chechen wars, the mass execution of schoolchildren at Beslan, the Moscow theatre attack, etc., and with the largest Muslim population in Europe, terrorism is a huge issue to Russia. How much closer is ‘Syraq’ to their borders than ours? Russia well knows the US has been supporting several of these terrorist groups against them, starting with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan back in the 1980s, and that we’re now supporting Turkey and Saudi Arabia and their proxy groups, including ISIS, as well as several other organizations. Throw in mercenary Chechens in several countries, fascist groups in Ukraine; as well as NATO-aided, right-wing groups in Poland, the Baltic Republics, etc. While we continue to play Red Riding Hood’s grandma-in-wolf’s-clothing, our media consistently denies we’re the Big Bad Wolf in this affair — ‘who me?’ In response, Russia, despite sanctions against it and a withering propaganda onslaught, has only hardened its muscle back to 1941 levels. They’re ready for the worst. This is so dangerous. Why?

Below are 5 excellent analyses showing us the details of a US strategy that allows us to understand the frightening stakes of USA/EU/NATO against Russia/Iran/Syria, reaching a tipping point in a gigantic battle for energy resources — the 21st century Mid-East resembling the 1914 Balkans; this could bloom, like a Ponzi scheme, into a war that ultimately engulfs the rest of the world.

The most unstable particle in this fury is this damned 2016 circus of an American election. Emotions are most easily excited, dumb things about our weaknesses and strengths are said and believed by the electorate. Nor has our media really given us insight into what the Russian point of view really is, although Putin has stated it on several occasions. We keep insisting it’s the restoration of the Cold War Russian Empire — which Putin has repeatedly condemned, saying it didn’t work THEN and it won’t work NOW. He’s deplored the fallacy of Communism. Meanwhile, we don’t seem to understand or empathize with the true size of the terrorist threat against Russia.

We should be remembering in a time of possible all-out war, when most people seem to have forgotten what war is like, that it’s not Russia, the EU, the Mid-East, or Ukraine which have the most to lose. It’s the USA — us. Most of us would lose our lives, and we’d certainly lose our economy, and generally a way of life that’s spoiled us since WW2. I keep wondering WHY do we keep pushing for “regime change” and dominion over other lands? We never back down, it seems. There’s no end to the zombie hunger for more control. Nothing changes in our system of ill will towards any resisters, going back to the Philippines in the early 1900s.

But am I naïve to think, as bad as our rhetoric and propaganda have gotten, that the military-industrial complex in our country is not so NUTS as to set off a real hot war — when we have the most to lose? Remember the senselessness of World War I. Will we be asking ourselves the same question about ‘Syraq’ one day? How did this start? Why?

In closing, I pray that I turn out to be as wrong as I was about Ukraine at the end of 2014, and that we’ll all still be communicating at this time next year. Let’s hope so… Let’s hope sanity prevails in 2016.

Pepe Escobar, “You Want War? Russia is Ready for War,” Counterpunch. http://bit.ly/1TAiOAb

Pepe Escobar, “NATO’s got a brand-new (Syrian) bag,” RT. http://bit.ly/1JpXgFX

Mike Whitney, “Putin Throws Down the Gauntlet,” Counterpunch. http://bit.ly/225osQw

Robert Parry, “A Blind Eye Toward Turkey’s Crimes,” Consortium News. http://bit.ly/1Ypk5jR

Ira Chernus, “Six Mistakes on the Road to Permanent War,” TomDispatch. http://bit.ly/1Ur5LB3

 

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December 9, 2015

Robert Reich via MoveOn.org Civic Action <moveon-help@list.moveon.org>

Dec 8 at 10:24 PM

 

Presentation for the 4th International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases

December 7, 2015

 

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Reprinted from Code Pink

Note: This speech was presented on November 25, 2015


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First, let me thank the World Peace Council (WPC) and the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples (MovPaz), Regional Coordinator of the WPC for America and the Caribbean, for planning and hosting the 4th International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases.

I am honored to speak at this conference specifically about the need to abolish United States military bases in the Caribbean, Central and South America. First, let me state on behalf the delegations from the United States, and particularly our delegation with CODEPINK: Women for Peace, we apologize for the continuing presence of the U.S. Naval Base here in Guantanamo and for the U.S. military prison that has put a dark shadow over the name of your beautiful city of Guantanamo.

We call for the closing of the prison and the return of the U.S. naval base after 112 years to the rightful owners, the people of Cuba. Any contract for use of land in perpetuity signed by a puppet government of the beneficiary of the contract cannot stand. The U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo is not necessary for U.S. defense strategy. Instead, it harms U.S. national defense as other nations and people see it for what it is — a knife in the heart of the Cuban revolution, a revolution the United States has attempted to overthrow since 1958.

I want to recognize the 85 members of the various delegations from the United States — 60 from CODEPINK: Women for Peace, 15 from Witness Against Torture and 10 from United National Anti-War Coalition. All have been challenging policies of the U.S. government for decades, particularly the economic and financial blockade of Cuba, the return of the Cuban Five and return of the land of the naval base of Guantanamo.

 

Secondly, I am an unlikely participant in today’s conference due to my near 40 years of working in the United States government. I served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. I was also a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and served in U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia.

However, in March 2003, I was one of three U.S. government employees who resigned in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq. Since then, I, as well as most everyone on our delegation, have been publicly challenging policies of the Bush and Obama administrations on a variety of international and domestic issues including extraordinary rendition, unlawful imprisonment, torture, assassin drones, police brutality, mass incarceration, and U.S. military bases around the world, including of course, the U.S. military base and prison in Guantanamo.

I was last here in Guantanamo in 2006 with a CODEPINK delegation that held a protest at the back gate of the US military base to close the prison and return the base to Cuba. Accompanying us was one of the first prisoners to be released, a British citizen, Asif Iqbal. While here we showed to almost one thousand persons in the large movie theater in Guantanamo city and to members of the diplomatic corps when we returned to Havana, the documentary movie “The Road to Guantanamo,” the story of how Asif and two others came to be imprisoned by the United States. When we asked Asif if he would consider coming back to Cuba on our delegation after three years of imprisonment, he said, “Yes, I would like to see Cuba and meet Cubans — all I saw when I was there were Americans.”

The mother and brother of a still imprisoned British resident Omar Deghayes joined our delegation, and I will never forget Omar’s mother looking through the fence of the base asking: “Do you think Omar knows we are here?” The rest of the world knew she was as international TV broadcasting from outside the fence brought her words to the world. After Omar was released a year later, he told his mother that a guard told him that his mother had been outside the prison, but Omar, not surprisingly, didn’t know whether to believe the guard or not.

After nearly 14 years of imprisonment in Guantanamo prison, 112 prisoners remain. 52 of them were cleared for release years ago and are still held, and incomprehensibly, the U.S. maintains that 46 will be imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial.

 

Let me assure you, many, many of us continue our struggle in the United States demanding a trial for all prisoners and the closing of the prison in Guantanamo.

The sordid history of the past 14 years of the United States imprisoning 779 persons from 48 countries on a U.S. military base in Cuba as a part of its global war “on terror” reflects the mentality of those who govern the United States — global intervention for political or economic reasons, invasion, occupation other countries and leaving its military bases in those countries for decades.

Now, to speaking about other U.S. bases in the Western Hemisphere — in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The 2015 U.S. Department of Defense Base Structure Report states that the DOD has property in 587 bases in 42 countries, the majority located in Germany (181 sites), Japan (122 sites), and South Korea (83 sites). The Department of Defense classifies 20 of the overseas bases as large, 16 as medium, 482 as small and 69 as “other sites.”

These smaller and “other sites” are called “lily pads” and are generally in remote locations and are either secret or tacitly acknowledged to avoid protests that might lead to restrictions on their use. They usually have a small number of military personnel and no families. They sometimes reply on private military contractors whose actions the U.S. government can deny. To maintain a low profile, the bases are hidden within host country bases or on the edge of civilian airports.

In the past two years I made several trips to Central and South America. This year, 2015, I travelled to El Salvador and Chile with School of the Americas (SAO) Watch and in 2014 to Costa Rica and earlier this year to Cuba with CODEPINK: Women for Peace.

 

As most of you know, School of the Americas Watch is an organization that has documented by name many graduates of the U.S. military school initially called School of the Americas, now called the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), who have tortured and murdered citizens of their countries who opposed their governments’ oppressive policies-in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina. Some of the most notorious of these murderers that sought asylum in the United States in the 1980s are now being extradited back to their home countries, particularly to El Salvador, interestingly, not because of their known criminal acts, but for violations of U.S. immigration.

Over the past 20 years, SOA Watch has held an annual three-day vigil attended by thousands at the new home of SOA at the U.S. military base at Fort Benning, Georgia, to remind the military of the horrific history of the school. Additionally, SOA Watch has sent delegations to countries in Central and South America asking that the governments stop sending their military to this school. Five countries, Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua have withdrawn their military from the school and due to extensive lobbying of the U.S. Congress, SOA Watch came within five votes of the U.S. Congress closing the school. But, sadly, it is still open.

I want to recognize 78-year-old JoAnn Lingle who was arrested for challenging the School of the Americas and sentenced to two months in U.S. federal prison. And I would also like to recognize everyone in our U.S. delegation who has been arrested for peaceful, non-violent protest of U.S. government policies. We have at least 20 from our delegations who have been arrested and gone to jail for justice.

This year the SOA Watch delegation, in meetings with the President of El Salvador, a former FMLN Commandante, and the Minister of Defense of Chile, asked that those countries stop sending their military personnel to the school. Their responses highlight the web of U.S. military and law enforcement involvement in these countries. The President of El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, said that his country was slowly reducing the number of military sent to U.S. schools, but he could not totally cut ties to the U.S. school due to other U.S. programs on combating drugs and terrorism, including the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) built in El Salvador, after public rejection of the facility being housed in Costa Rica.

ILEA’s mission is “combating international drug trafficking, criminality, and terrorism through strengthened international cooperation.” However, many are concerned that aggressive and violent police tactics so prevalent in the United States would be taught by U.S. instructors. In El Salvador, police approaches toward gangs is institutionalized in the “mano duro or hard hand” approach to law enforcement which many say has backfired on police with gangs becoming more and more violent in a response to police. Tactics. El Salvador now has the reputation of “murder capital” of Central America.

Most do not know that a second U.S. law enforcement facility is located in Lima, Peru. It is called the Regional Training Center, and its mission is “expanding the long-term liaison relationships among foreign officials to combat international criminal activity and by supporting democracy by stressing the rule of law and human rights in international and domestic police operations.”

On another trip with SOA Watch, when we visited Jose Antonio Gomez, the Minister of Defense of Chile, he said had received many requests from other human rights groups to sever ties with the U.S. military school and that he has asked the Chilean military to provide a report on the need to continue sending personnel to it.

However, the overall relationship to the U.S. is so important that Chile accepted $465 million from the United States to build a new military facility called Fuerte Aguayo purportedly to enhance training in military operations in urban areas as a part of peacekeeping operations. Critics say that the Chilean military already had facilities for peacekeeping training and that the new base is to give the U.S. larger influence in Chilean security issues. Chileans hold regular protests at this facility and our delegation joined in one of those vigils.

 

Reacting to the Fort Aguayo installation, the Chilean NGO Ethics Commission against Torture wrote about the U.S. role in Fuerte Aguayo and Chilean citizens’ protest against it: “Sovereignty rests with the people. Security cannot be reduced to protection of the interests of the trans-nationals… The armed forces are supposed to protect national sovereignty. Its bending to the dictates of the North American army constitutes treason to the homeland.” And, “People have the legitimate right to organize and to demonstrate publicly.”

The annual military exercises the United States conducts with most countries in the Western Hemisphere should be added to the issue of foreign military bases as the exercises bring large numbers of U.S. military to the region for long periods using on a “temporary” basis the military bases of the host countries.

In 2015 the U.S. conducted six major regional military exercises in the Western Hemisphere. When our delegation was in Chile in October, the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington, a mobile U.S. military base itself with dozens of aircraft, helicopters and landing craft, and four other U.S. warships were in Chilean waters practicing maneuvers as Chile hosted the annual UNITAS exercises. The navies of Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand and Panama were also participating.

Long term individual contacts between military leaders, active duty and retired, is another aspect of military relationships we must consider along with the bases. While our delegation was in Chile, David Petraeus, retired U.S. four star general and disgraced head of the C.I.A., arrived in Santiago, Chile for meetings with the head of the Chilean Armed Forces underscoring the continuous relationships from the military to retired officers who have become private military contractors and informal messengers of U.S. administration policies.

Another aspect of U.S. military involvement is its civic action and humanitarian assistance programs in road, school construction and medical teams providing health services in hard to reach locations in many Western Hemisphere countries. Seventeen U.S. State National Guard units have long-term military-to-military partnerships with defense and security forces in 22 nations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America. This U.S. National Guard State Partnership Program focuses in great measure on civic action projects that happen so frequently that U.S. military are continuously in countries, using host country military bases as their own during the projects.

 

U.S. military bases in the Western Hemisphere

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — Of course, the most prominent U.S. military base in the Western Hemisphere is in Cuba, several miles from here — the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Station which has been occupied by the U.S. for 112 years since 1903. For the past 14 years, it has housed the infamous Guantanamo military prison in which the U.S. has imprisoned 779 persons from around the world. Only eight prisoners of the 779 have been convicted — and those by a secret military court. And, 112 prisoners remain of which the U.S. government says that 46 are too dangerous to try in court and will remain in prison without trial.

Other U.S. military bases in the Western Hemisphere outside the United States include:

Joint Task Force Bravo — Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The U.S. has intervened or occupied Honduras eight times–in 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919,1920, 1924 and 1925. The Soto Cano Air Base was built by the United States in 1983 as a part of the network of the CIA-military support to the Contras, who were attempting to overthrow the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. It is now used as a base for U.S. civic action and humanitarian and drug interdiction projects. But it has the airfield used by the Honduran military in 2009 coup from which to fly the democratically elected President Zelaya out of the country. Since 2003, Congress has appropriated $45 million for permanent facilities. In two years between 2009 and 2011, the base population grew by 20 percent. In 2012, the U.S. spent $67 million in military contracts in Honduras. There are more than 1,300 U. S. military and civilians on the base, four times larger than the 300 person Honduran Air Force Academy, the nominal host of the American military “guests.”

The U.S. has increased military aid to Honduras despite the increase in police and military violence in the deaths of tens of thousands in Honduras.

Comalapa — El Salvador. The naval base was opened in 2000 after the U.S. military left Panama in 1999 and the Pentagon needed a new forward operating location for maritime patrol to support multi-national counter illicit drug trafficking missions. Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa has a staff of 25 permanently assigned military personnel and 40 civilian contractors.

Aruba and Curacao — The two Dutch territories in the Caribbean islands have U.S. military bases that are tasked with combating narco-ships and aircraft and which originate in South America and subsequently pass through the Caribbean to Mexico and the U.S. The Venezuelan government has argued that these bases are utilized by Washington to spy on Caracas. In January 2010 a U.S. surveillance P-3 aircraft left Curacao and trespassed Venezuelan airspace.

Antigua & Barbuda — The U.S. operates an Air Station in Antigua that has housed the C-Band radar that tracks satellites. The radar is to be moved to Australia, but the U.S. may continue to have a small air station.

Andros Island, Bahamas –The Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) is operated by the U.S. Navy on six locations in the islands and develops new naval military technology, such as electronic warfare threat simulators.

Colombia — Two US DOD locations in Colombia are listed as “other sites” and on page 70 of the Base Structure Report and should be considered as remote, isolated “lily pads.” In 2008, Washington and Colombia signed a military agreement in which the U.S. would create eight military bases in that South American nation to combat drug cartels and insurgent groups. However, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that it was not possible for non-Colombian military personnel to be permanently stationed in the country, but the U.S. still has U.S. military and DEA agents in the country.

Costa Rica — One US DOD location in Costa Rica is listed as “other sites” on page 70 of the Base Structure Report — another “other site” “lily pad,” even though the Costa Rican government denies a U.S. military installation.

 

Lima, Peru — A U.S. Naval Medical Research Center #6 is located in Lima, Peru at the Peruvian Naval hospital and conducts research on and surveillance of a wide range of infectious diseases that threaten military operations in the region, including malaria and dengue fever, yellow fever, and typhoid fever. Other overseas U.S Naval Research Centers are located in Singapore, Cairo and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

To close my presentation, I want to mention one other part of the world where the U.S. is increasing its military presence. In December, I will be a part of a Veterans for Peace delegation to Jeju Island, South Korea and to Henoko, Okinawa where new military bases are being constructed for the U.S. “pivot” to Asia and the Pacific. As join with citizens of those countries to challenge their governments’ agreement to allow their land to be use to expand the worldwide U.S. military footprint, we acknowledge that besides violence toward humans, military bases contribute strongly to violence toward our planet. Military weapons and vehicles are the most environmentally dangerous systems in the world with their toxic leaks, accidents, and deliberate dumping of of hazardous materials and dependence on fossil fuels.

Our delegation thanks the conference organizers for the opportunity to be with you and others from around the world who are deeply concerned about foreign military bases and we pledge our continued efforts to see the closing of the U.S. Naval Base and prison in Guantanamo and U.S. bases around the world.

 

http://www.voicesofconscience.com

Ann Wright is a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 (more…)

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