US Collapse–the Spectacle of Our Time

Statue of Liberty© AP Photo / Richard Drew

US Collapse – the Spectacle of Our Time

Finian Cunningham

May you live in interesting times, goes the Chinese proverb. Few can doubt that we are indeed living in such an interesting time. Big changes are afoot in the world, it seems.

None more so than the collapsing of the American Empire.

The US is going through an historic “correction” in the same way that the Soviet Union did some 30 years ago when the latter was confronted with the reality of its unsustainable political and economic system. (That’s not meant to imply, however, that socialism is unviable, because arguably the Soviet Union had fatally strayed from its genuine socialist project into something more akin to unwieldy state capitalism.)

READ MORE: Uncle Sam Rolls in His Grave: US Youth Favor Socialism Over Capitalism

In any case, all empires come to an end eventually. History is littered with the debris of countless empires. Why should the American Empire be any different? It’s not. Only arrogant “American exceptionalism” deludes itself from the reality.

The notable thing is just how in denial the political class and the US news media are about the unfolding American crisis.

This is partly where the whole “Russiagate” narrative comes into play. Blaming Russia for allegedly destabilizing US politics and society is a cover for denial over the internal rot facing the US.

Some may scoff at the very idea of an “American Empire”. That’s something Europeans did, not us, goes the apologist for US power. The quick retort to that view is to point out that the US has over 1,000 military bases in more than 100 countries around the world. If that is not a manifestation of empire then what is?For seven decades since the Second World War, “Pax Americana” was the grandiose name given to US imperial design for the global order. The period was far from peaceful as the vainglorious name suggests. Dozens of wars, proxy conflicts and violent subversions were carried by the US on every continent in order to maintain its empire. The so-called “global policeman” was more often a “global thug”.

That US empire is now teetering at the cusp of an emerging multipolar world order led by China, Russia and other rising powers.

When US leaders complain about China and Russia “reshaping the global order” to reflect their interests what the American leaders are tacitly admitting is the coming end of Washington’s presumed hegemony.

Rather than accepting the fate of demise, the US is aggressively resisting by denigrating China and Russia’s power as somehow illegitimate. It’s the classic denial reaction of a sore loser.

So, what are the telltale signs that the US is indeed undergoing a seminal “correction” — or collapse?

The heyday of American capitalism is well passed. The once awesome productive system is a skeleton of its former self. The rise of massive social poverty alongside obscene wealth among a tiny elite is a sure sign that the once mighty American economy is chronically moribund. The country’s soaring $20 trillion national debt is another symptom of chronic atrophy.

Recent self-congratulatory whooping by President Trump of “economic recovery” is like the joy felt from looking at a mirage. The roaring stock market is an elite phenomenon which can just as easily slump over night.What the champagne bubbles can’t disguise is the structural failing of US capitalism to reverse exploding inequality and endemic poverty across America. The national prowess of US capitalism has been superseded by global capitalism where American corporations among others scour the planet for cheap labor and tax havens. There is no going back to a supposed golden age, no matter how much Trump crows about “America First”.

The other side of the coin from historic US economic demise is the concomitant rise in its militarism as a way to compensate for its overall loss of power.

It is no coincidence that since the end of the Cold War following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, US military interventions around the world have erupted with increased frequency and duration. The US is in a veritable permanent state of war actively deploying its forces simultaneously in several countries, particularly in the oil-rich Middle East.

Washington of course gives itself a fig leaf cover by calling its surge in militarism a “war on terror” or “defending allies”. But, increasingly, US war conduct is seen for what it plainly is — violation of international law and the sovereignty of nations for the pursuit of American imperial interests.

In short, the US is patently lashing out as a rogue regime. There’s no disguising that fiendish fact.

READ MORE: US Coalition Should Stop ‘Occupation Attitude’ in Syria — Russian Envoy to UN

In addition to waging wars, bombing countries, sponsoring terrorist proxies and assassinating enemies at will with drones, Washington is increasingly threatening others with military aggression. In recent months, North Korea and Iran have been openly threatened based on spurious claims. Russia and China have also been explicitly warned of American aggression in several strategic documents published by the Trump administration.

The grounds for American belligerence are baseless. As noted, the real motive is to do with compensating for its own inherent political, economic and social crises. That then amounts to American leaders inciting conflicts and wars, which is in itself a grave violation of international law — a crime against peace, according to Nuremberg principles.

The American Empire is failing and flailing. This is the spectacle of our time. The Western mainstream news media are either blind, ignorant or complicit in denying the historic collapse. Such media are indulging reckless fantasies of the US political class to distract from the potential internal implosion. Casting around for scapegoats to “explain” the deep inherent problems, the political class are using Russia and alleged Russian “interference” as a pretext.

READ MORE: ‘Collapse’ but ‘Favorable Contact’: Kremlin Spokesman Talks US Relations

World history has reached a foreboding cross-roads due to the collapsing of the American Empire. Can we navigate a safe path forward avoiding catastrophic war that often accompanies the demise of empires?

A lot, it seems, depends on ordinary American people becoming politically organized to challenge their dysfunctional system run by and for the elites. If the American people cannot hold their elites to account and break their corrupt rule, overhauling it with something more equitable and democratic, then the world is in peril of being plunged into total war. We can only but wish our American brothers and sisters solidarity and success.

American Belligerence–The Imperium Has Been Scripted

Barack Obama’s speech to announce a strategy to destroy Islamic State had a familiar ring to it because it followed the script of the past half-century. EPA/Saul Loeb/pool 

A few years back, an honours student in linguistics at Macquarie University did a small study of American presidential oratory. The student chose four speeches, in which four different American presidents explained why they were taking America off to, or deeper into, “war”.

He started with Richard Nixon’s “Vietnamisation” speech in 1969 and ended with Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s “surge” speech 40 years later, in 2009. Along the way, he took a look at George H. W. Bush’s 1991 call to arms and George W. Bush’s rallying of the troops for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The research showed that across party lines and geopolitical eras, the abiding characteristic of American belligerence is how familiar the script is. It’s as familiar as re-runs of I love Lucy, as predictable as two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

The latest in this homogenised, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all speechifying is Obama’s announcement of his “strategy” for “degrading and ultimately destroying” ISIL. On location from the Oval Office, Obama flapped his lips and said what presidents always say to justify just a bit more American killing.

President Barack Obama announces a strategy to ‘degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL’. 

If you wake up one day as a speechwriter for an American president, on the eve of a new act of American aggression, there’s a stock-standard set of memes perfect for the occasion.

First of all, mention that someone or other’s freedom is at stake. And that the foreign enemy is threatening not just his or their own people, but the peace of the region and the security of the world. And while the “domino theory” is out of fashion, you need to say something along the lines of “if we don’t fight them over there, we’ll have to fight them over here”.

Make sure you say how much America loves peace. Like really really totally loves it. Loves it so much America will even fight for peace.

Richard Nixon announces ‘a plan which will end the war and serve the cause of peace’ in 1969. 

Don’t worry if this means saying things Kafka would have baulked at. Nixon in 1969 said he could end the Vietnam war in one of two ways: by withdrawing American troops immediately, or by keeping them there. Then he explained how keeping American troops in Vietnam was obviously the better option for ending the war.

Make sure you say just how evil the enemy is. Mention that they don’t abide by national or international laws, something like: “In this conflict, America faces an enemy that has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality.” Mention that they kill people, including women and children. And it’s best if you can say they “slaughter” or “murder” them.

George W. Bush declares war on ‘an enemy that has no regard … for the rules of morality’ in 2003. 

Don’t hold back here. Make up stuff if you need to. Remember in Gulf War 1, we had Iraqi soldiers pulling premmie Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. And who could forget Saddam’s “human shredding machine”in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion? (Let’s not forget weapons of mass destruction too.)

You may even say that the latest mob are “unique” in their brutality, although Obama has just used this line. Next time round the enemy may have to be even more unique in their brutality.

This next bit sounds tricky, but I assure you it’s not: write the speech like America can defy Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Way, way back in 1687, Newton wrote that every action produced an equal and opposite reaction.

But American presidents are above that law. They know that whatever they do – invading countries with thousands of troops, dropping lots of nice big bombs, sending their ships to distant bays and ports – there’ll be no blowback. Things will turn out just the way they planned.

President Obama commits another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the ‘surge’ speech of 2009. 

Don’t be afraid that some expert might go on the news and contradict the President’s strategy. The “military experts” are in fact the President’s chorus line, so up to their eyeballs in conflicts of interest that they couldn’t care less whether the “objectives” or the “strategy” even make sense.

And happily, even experienced public broadcast journalists just love a man in uniform. So, you don’t have to worry about what the latest round of “taking decisive action” could lead to.

But make sure you mention the consequences of “doing nothing”. In case you didn’t know, “doing nothing” here means not killing some people and not bombing stuff. Seeking alternatives to the use of military force comes under the heading of “doing nothing”, also called “standing idly by”, or occasionally “appeasement”.

George H.W. Bush explains why force is the only option against Iraq in 1991. 

Something like “we must weigh the cost of action, against the price of inaction” goes down very well.

If you’re in the midst of a war, or about to start one when the last one is hardly over, then don’t forget to mention the families who’ll “bear the heaviest burden of this decision”. You could mention that the President has, with a heavy heart, personally signed condolence letters to the family of “each American who gives their life in these wars”.

Finally, don’t forget the bit about how America is just really great, like really basically the greatest ever, and how on earth would the world get along if America sat on its hands?

President Bill Clinton launches missile strikes on Iraq in 1998. 

You could say something like “America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope”, or “this is American leadership at its best” or even: “It is our responsibility to preserve world peace because no one else can do it.”

And to round it off nicely, try this: “Our cause is just, our resolve unwavering.”

The ingredients for a great American call to arms, while not fresh, turn out a winning combination every time. Why do these presidents, Republican and Democrat, all sound the same? Because they’re just the sidekicks to America’s greatest ventriloquist: the military industrial complex.

And what about the prime ministers of the Land Down Under? Just the puppets of the ventiloquist’s dummy.

The road to peace runs through Tehran

The Iranian card could help India enhance its role in stabilising Afghanistan

Even if an American military pullout from Afghanistan is on the cards, the U.S. will want to leave behind a stable country. And any peace settlement in Afghanistan will stand a better chance of staying on the rails if it is supported by regional powers. In other words, ties between Afghanistan and its neighbours, including Iran, will impact the security of southern and western Asia. Like India, Russia, China and the U.S., Iran would want to see a steady hand at the helm in Afghanistan. While lacking military influence, India can build on its good ties with the U.S. and Iran to secure Afghanistan.

Iranian continuity

Iran is not a newcomer to regional diplomacy in Afghanistan. First and foremost, India should try to dissuade the U.S. from dealing with Iran, Russia and China as enemies. In fact, U.S. President Donald Trump’s perception of all three as foes is at odds with America’s earlier engagement with them to end its military campaign in Afghanistan. For instance, from 2014 to 2016, Washington and Moscow quietly arranged talks on the Afghan peace process. The meetings, known as the 6+1 group, included representatives from Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, and the U.S. The 6+1 process assumed that each of these countries was essential to the achievement of a political settlement in Afghanistan. Moreover, last November, the U.S. and the Taliban joined for the first time the Russia-hosted conference in the hope of promoting a negotiated solution to achieve peace and national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Regional powers could put their weight behind a negotiated settlement that will ensure Afghanistan’s stability. Iran, Russia and China — and the Central Asian states with which India and Afghanistan wish to cooperate in countering terrorism — fearf that continued instability in Afghanistan could spill over into their countries. India will also be adversely affected if negotiations break down. In that event, extremist exports from Pakistan to Afghanistan or India would probably increase.

It could be worthwhile for India to explore the Iranian diplomatic options to secure Afghanistan. On good terms with Tehran, New Delhi would gain by developing the Chabahar port in southern Iran. And looking beyond Chabahar, India, Iran and Russia were the founding countries of the International North-South Transport Corridor project — as long ago as 2002. The corridor is intended to increase connectivity between India, Iran, Russia, landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia — and Europe. It would also advance their trading interests.

India could remind Washington about the past coincidence of American and Iranian interests on Afghanistan. Together with the U.S. and India, Iran supported the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. In the international negotiations which followed in Bonn that year, Iran supported the installation of Hamid Karzai as President and favoured the exclusion of the Taliban from his government.

Admittedly, U.S.-Iran ties have often been fractious. As the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran after 2005, Iran saw the Taliban countering American influence on its borders and gave them arms. Iran continues to oppose the U.S.’s presence in Afghanistan, largely because it fears that American troops in Afghanistan could be used against it. To allay Iranian fears, Afghanistan recently said that it would not allow the U.S. to use its bases in the country to conduct any act of aggression against Iran.

Last December, Iran also held talks with the Taliban with the knowledge of the Afghan government. But it should assure Kabul of its good intentions. In recent months Afghan officials have accused Iran, which the U.S. says is trying to extend its influence in western Afghanistan, of providing the Taliban with money, weapons and explosives. Iran denies the charge.

The U.S. and Iran could be advised of the mutual, and regional, advantages of improving ties. Such advantages could range from stability in Afghanistan, and beyond, to increased trade prospects, especially in South and West Asia.

Win-win prospects

Iran could gain by strengthening trading ties with a secure Afghanistan. In 2017 it supplanted Pakistan as Afghanistan’s largest trading partner. At a time when Iran’s economy is weighed down by American sanctions, it would want to build up trade ties with neighbouring states.

The U.S. would also gain. After all, Iran is the geopolitical hub connecting South, Central and West Asia and the Caucasus. The Strait of Hormuz, that crucial conduit, links Iran westwards to the Persian Gulf and Europe, and eastwards to the Gulf of Oman, South and East Asia. Moreover, an improvement in U.S.-Iran relations would be welcomed by America’s European allies, who are opposed to Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Iran.

The U.S. should not lose the chance to act in concert with Iran to improve Afghanistan’s security. And, as the U.S. airs the idea of withdrawal from Afghanistan, now is the right time for India to act as the honest broker between them and to play a larger role in regional security. The status of India and Iran as regional powers as well as the stability of South, Central, and West Asia would simultaneously be enhanced. It is to be hoped that Mr. Trump’s display of America’s “superpower” in opposition to Iran — and Russia and China — will not block such an opportunity to stabilise Afghanistan.

Anita Inder Singh is Founding Professor, Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in New Delhi

America’s Colombian Death Squads Still Active After All These Years


Plan Colombia not over

Colombia’s Recovery from American-Inspired Death Squads

Colombia/Us Tip-Toeing Past that Whole Death Squads Thing

All part of a plan? Study throws light on social leader killings in Colombia


‘The killing of civilian leaders is a tradition here. Something which in other countries would be considered a huge scandal is somehow normalised in Colombia,’ says author of report.

Social leader muders
July 2018: Colombians join a vigil for assassinated social leaders. 
Photo: Adrián Villa

The rate of murders of social leaders is peaking again, with the state seemingly unable – or uninterested – in stopping the gruesome toll. In the first four weeks of 2019 at least 20 leaders were killed.

The Colombian state has so far proven ineffective in bringing the perpetrators to justice. In fact, until recently public prosecutors refused to acknowledge any common pattern to these killings or links to decades-long struggles over land and resources, often between vulnerable rural communities and business interests with links to armed gangs.

A long-term monitor of the situation has been Bogotá-based human rights NGO Comisión Colombiana de Juristas. This month the CCJ publishes a report of its detailed investigation of 257 killings committed in the 18-month period to July 2018, which it says clearly shows a pattern to the killings, and suggests they are linked to a ‘paramilitary phenomenon’ to paralyse community activism.

The study was coordinated by the CCJ’s Camilo Bonilla, whom The Bogotá Post sat down with this week to ask about the groundbreaking report.

The BP: Hello Camilo, and thanks for talking to us. According to your study, what defines a ‘social leader’ in Colombia?

A social leader is someone recognised by his or her community as a coordinator, or supporter, of collective activities that improve lives within the community, or that constructs the social tissues that interconnect the community. These are persons whose activities are geared towards creating a more just and equal society, a more dignified one.

Often, they are living in poor rural or peri-urban conditions, and might hold an official position, such as leader or member of the local council Junta Accion Communal (JAC) or might simply be someone charismatic that the community recognises as a problem solver. Many come from indigenous and ethnic communities.

The BP: Can you explain to our readers, some of whom may be new to the country, why the situation is so alarming?

The killing of civilian leaders is a tradition here. Something which in other countries would be considered a huge scandal is somehow normalised in Colombia. These deaths have huge impact on communities and are currently a growing problem.

Related: WOLA: Peace, community killings and unlocking the JEP

The BP: The study you coordinated focuses on establishing patterns in these killings. Why is that important?

The state has tried hard to cover up the political nature of these crimes. Often the official investigators confuse the pattern by claiming that these killings are random and unconnected, then re-victimise the victim by spreading false stories that the person was ‘involved in the drug trade’, ‘in a crime of passion’ or somehow mixed up in criminal activity. Thus, the killing is written off as ‘just another murder’.

The state does this for a reason: declaring the killings as systematic would invite international scrutiny under an international legal framework of human rights.

The BP: The state prosecutor recently acknowledged some pattern to these killings: that many victims belonged to local community councils, such as JACs. Is this a step forward?

The recognition that many victims are from JACs should suggest a pattern and open doors and help international organisations to investigate. There should now be interest from the UN, the International Criminal Court, and some effort to brake the tendency.

The BP: What does your study show about these killings? What is it that these activists are doing that is putting them in danger – and who from?

Our investigations show a systematic and continued targeting of leaders designed to sow fear and break social systems. From examining cases we have discovered a common pattern of the killers – or the people behind them – doing their own meticulous research into communities to identify key leaders. These attacks are calculated and carefully planned.

Some leaders are involved in land restitution cases, trying to get their land back that was taken by force as part of the conflict. Others are prominent in human rights cases against state forces or trying to protect the environment from big business and megaprojects. Others have been members of political movements like the Marcha Patriotica.  The study also found that killings are higher in areas that voted ‘yes’ in the peace plebiscite in 2016.

But in some cases, leaders are simply organising and improving where they live, bringing dignity to poor areas. Their targeting suggests that community organisers are regarded as a threat by the economic, political or armed power-brokers in the regions, and actors linked to the powerful political families that dominate the Colombian business and state. This triggers a reaction in the form of threats and violence, often carried out by a third party.

The BP: To what degree is the state behind these killings?

It’s not a centralised plot, rather a paramilitary phenomenon involving individuals within power structures that link government, regional government, big business and sometimes criminal enterprises: which in reality are often the same group.

 The BPIt seems that many victims are killed by expert assassins, often on motorbikes. What does this tell us about the perpetrators?

The killings are often undertaken by sicarios, paid hitmen, or by organised armed groups, and these people are rarely captured. This in itself is a sign that the murders are systematic. But behind the actual killers are the intellectual authors, even less likely to be detected and, therefore, captured.

The BP: Are these cases properly investigated by state authorities?

No, because elements within the state structure are complicit in the crimes. Of the killings we studied, there was impunity in 95% of the cases. Witnesses are scared to come forward because they don’t always trust the investigators. In cases we reported members of the army were directly responsible for 11 killings, and the police in three.

The BP: What are the ways that the state could investigate more effectively (i.e. special task force, witness protection programs). Could this reduce the killings?

There are some good people on the ground, such as some workers of the Ombudsman’s Office, but their bosses are often politically appointed. And at the top level the country’s leaders are not condemning the killings. There is a lack of willpower all around.

The BP: Why does the phrase ‘social leader’ imply a connection or sympathy with left-wing causes and guerrilla groups for some Colombians?

Politicians and senior military frequently use language that stigmatizes social leaders and human rights defenders as undesirable. Army recruits are trained that social leaders, and even groups such as academics should be seen as ‘internal state enemies’, an indoctrination that opens the door to abuses.

Armed groups like the ELN and AGC also use the killings of social leaders as part of their own propaganda, in part to justify their own violent acts. And remember, the ELN are also killing social leaders.

The BP: What about the demobilised FARC – is there evidence that they are being targeted?

Our study did not include former FARC, but the UN has looked at this group as part of its monitoring of the peace process and yes, a similar pattern is emerging: some 90 ex-combatants of the FARC have been killed since the peace agreement was signed between the state and the former FARC-EP guerrillas.

The BP: The geographical areas of these killings seem to coincide with zones of high coca production. What is the link between coca cropping and the targeting of social leaders?

There is a vicious cycle of violence between cocaine production and conflict. The areas overlap and civil communities are often caught up in the violence. Often impunity is higher in these zones because corrupt elements of state forces can be partnering with criminal gangs.

The highly profitable cocaine trade also requires chaos and conflict as a smokescreen, and killing social leaders adds to that scenario. Creating conflict also ensures the continuity of Colombia’s large armed forces: maintain chaos then offer security and control.

The BP:  What changes do you hope the CCJ report will achieve?

To increase political willingness to recognise the phenomenon and take measures to change the trend. But this requires a major shift in policy, unlikely at present.

The BP: What can visitors to Colombia do?

Highlight the problem and help raise the issue with the public and politicians in their home countries. What could make changes here is international pressure, for example ensuring that trade agreements or financial aid to Colombia is tied to improvements on the ground, meaning more protection for vulnerable civilians. Sadly, these days, many countries are more interested in business deals than human rights.

Interview by Steve Hide

Readers can download the full Comisión Colombiana de Juristas report: ‘¿Cuáles son Las Patrones? Asesinatos de Líderes Sociales en el Post Acuerdo’.

Sometimes Our Secret Police State Raises Its Ugly Head For All To See

[Reminds me of my one and only pot bust, back in the early seventies…7 cruisers and more than a dozen armed thugs in the middle of the night…one of them even stuck a shotgun in my Dad’s gut.  For as long as I can remember, the secret Police State lurked just below the surface.]

It sounded like it came out of a movie plot.  In the early morning hours, federal agents stormed a home to make an arrest.  They had to be after some major drug lord or a sought-after terrorist. There were 29 agents all wearing military gear and carrying weapons.  High powered assault rifles were involved. Seventeen SUVs and two armored vehicles surrounded the home with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  It must be a really dangerous dude.

In a nearby canal, amphibious watercraft charged the home filled with more federal agents.  A helicopter hovered in the sky with long range weapons focused on the home. As agents approached the house with battering rams, they demanded that the accused immediately open the door and surrender.  The attack on Osama Bid Laden had fewer Navy Seals involved then the number of agents who were sent to arrest this dangerous villain. Was this the seizure of an anti-government leader in Venezuela? Had El Chapo escaped from prison and his capture was about to take place?  Had the feds found Bin Laden’s successor? CNN had been tipped off and broadcast the whole attack live. What was going on?

lt was none of these, but merely a longtime Trump friend Roger Stone.  He was being arrested for making false statements to a congressional committee.  And he was treated like a terrorist? Stone is an American citizen and has lived in south Florida for a number of years.  He does not have a current passport. He has known about this investigation for months, and his lawyers said he would be glad to self-surrender if he were charged with a crime. If Stone had documents to hide or destroy, he would have had plenty of time in the months preceding his arrest. He has never been accused of any crimes and has no violent history.

After his arrest, the judge let Stone out on his personal signature without having to put up any property or money.   It was obvious that Stone was no threat and should have been allowed to appear on his own. So what gives? Have we been turned into a jackboot democracy?

Here was Stone’s response.  “They could simply have called my lawyers and I would have turned my myself in. I’m 66 years old. I don’t own a firearm. I have no previous criminal record. My passport has expired. The special counsel’s office is well aware of the fact that I’m represented. I was frog-marched out the front door barefooted and shackled.  It’s an attempt to poison the jury pool. These are Gestapo tactics.”

Some in the press speculated that the special prosecutor and the FBI were sending a message. They sure were. It’s a message of terror, and fear that no citizen can trust their government. It’s a message that your government is not above using police state tactics, and that the justice system responds, not based on evidence, but based on threats. When thugs come into intimidate, it sends a message that you may not be living in a democracy anymore but a banana republic. It sends a message that no, you are no longer considered innocent until proven guilty in a system that operates in such a dictatorial fashion.

The story gets worse.  Stone’s indictment accuses him of making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee, but the testimony is classified so Stone is prohibited from seeing what he supposedly lied about. How is he supposed to defend himself if he cannot even read what he supposedly said?  What has happened to the supposed constitutional guarantee of being able to confront your accuser and challenging their evidence?

It matters not whether you are a liberal or a staunch conservative, this is not how justice is supposed to operate in America.  Many Americans will feel that if it is not happening to them then why should they care. But unfortunately, what happened to Roger Stone could happen to anyone.  Are we not a better country than this?

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at