ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

State Terrorism Is State Terrorism, Even When It Is Made By America

[This is a blast from the past, one of the first articles posted on No Sunglasses, 8-19-2008.  The message remains the same,

war criminals
even though Barack Obama has since replaced the Bush dictatorship and multiplied US state terrorism exponentially. 

When read in tandem with the following piece, the message seems highly relevant today (SEE: Escaping The Age Of Mass Delusion—Humanity’s Only Hope).]

If We Could Speak to the People, What Would We Say?

Peter Chamberlin

If we could reach beyond the news filter that keeps real news from the
American people, what would we say? If we figured-out how to get one message
out to the people, what could we say that would actually motivate them to
take a stand for themselves, for their families, for their country and their
world?

The same studies that power the social planners claim that barely 10% of any
group of people follow reason, meaning they cannot be reasoned with. The
same studies also predict that a clear majority of any targeted population
will respond to fear in a shock scenario. We might try reasoning with the
sleeping sheeple, but we would have better odds if we tried to scare them
awake. If we can convey a true image of the evil being done with our
consent, then we might shock the people into the harsh light of reality.

Our leaders are about to allow the economic collapse of the United States,
without telling you beforehand, or helping American citizens to make
emergency preparations.

Their solution to the problem is to seize control of the post-collapse world
militarily, eliminating everyone who gets in the way. This military solution
accepts a very large loss of human lives as necessary “collateral damage” to
the brave plan to take control of the world. When the American people are
overwhelmed by the economic catastrophe, they will hardly notice large
planned population reductions.

All of this is an acceptable solution to our government. For those who try
to protest after the “hammer goes down,” there are hundreds of detention
camps, capable of holding thousands of dissidents, waiting to accept your
silent screams.

But until we get to that point of no return, steps are being taken to reduce
and eventually eliminate all protests to governmental violence.
The Constitution is being reduced piecemeal to a powerless piece of paper.
The courts are bowing down to executive decrees.

Mankind is being kept in check by his own fear. In the face of fear we react
like herd animals, bunching together in search of elusive safety, making us
easily manipulated by those who have mastered the psychology of fear.

Terror is a key element of American politics. Votes are obtained by
frightening the people into your corner, or away from your “unsafe”
opponent. Candidacies are won and lost by negative campaigns of lies and
half-truths that paint your opponent as an unreasonable madmen and yourself
as a heroic messianic figure. US leaders depend upon political terrorism to
get their way in the world, from the local level of “Homeland Insecurity,”
to the international arena, where acts of bloody terrorism are routinely
committed to frighten the locals into political compliance.

“Terrorism–n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a
person or an organized group against people or property with the intention
of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological
or political reasons.”

State terrorism has been an integral part of American government for many
decades. Beginning with the terror campaign of carpet-bombing and
fire-bombing of civilian centers in Germany at the end of World War II (and
the a-bombs), American and British scientists have studied the psychology of
mass fear. This wholesale terror campaign was a new type of warfare,
targeting civilians, instead of concentrating on government centers. The aim
was political terrorism, to turn the citizens of Germany into political
tools to be used to force the German government into submission. By studying
the socio-economic repercussions of the fire-bombing, the American and
British psychologists and sociologists learned how to herd entire
populations through the tactics of fear.

Acts of violent terrorism for political and economic gains have continued
since “the Great War,” against both friend and foe.
Historically, American terror operations like “Operation Gladio” have been
aimed at our allies in Europe even more than against our enemies.
In “Gladio,” (as in all American terror campaigns committed under the banner
of “democracy”), public figures and officials are assassinated, attacks are
carried-out upon police and military forces of sympathetic governments,
trains are bombed with great loss of life, and “madmen”
go on public shooting sprees, all for the sake of scaring European national
opinion into America’s corner.

As always, American terror is hidden by the use of proxies and mercenary
forces, who are blamed for attacks committed covertly by our military and
intelligence agencies. The “war on terror” itself is probably the world’s
longest-running terrorist operation, intended to create the impression that
American-sponsored terror attacks are really the work of a new non-existent,
highly-organized global terrorist adversary. In simpler terms, the United
States government
is the center of world terrorism. Our own government, our
“defender”
against terrorism, is responsible for most terrorist attacks upon innocent
people in the world, that thousands of American troops are defending
against. American-trained forces are killing American soldiers who then
retaliate further against innocent civilian populations where the terrorists
choose to hide.

“Our government” is not really ours at all, having long ago surrendered our
national sovereignty to a consortium of global financiers through the
Federal Reserve System that controls the US.

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.”
Mayer Amschel Rothschild

In the process of bringing the US under the control of the international
financiers, represented by the Rothschild interests centered in Europe,
American industry has been destroyed (except for the military-industrial
complex
, needed to pound the recalcitrant world into submission), while the
sham called “democracy” was constructed to create the impression amongst the
unruly people that they actually have power. When the self-appointed
American aristocracy allowed the common man the “right” to vote, it was done
to stave-off more violent opposition and to deceive with the impression of
shared power. Today, decent folk, believing in the illusion of “fair
elections,” remain a real obstacle to saving American freedom from the
hidden dictatorship, which owns all the candidates produced in the
“two-party” system. As long as the majority believes in the system and
continues to empower its candidates, the dictatorship can remain hidden. In
order to expose the hidden machinations of the secret dictators we have to
burst the bubble of illusory democratic power.

At the same time, the fact that the dictatorship wishes to remain hidden,
playing the game of democracy, pretending to seek the counsel of the people,
then they are vulnerable. If they choose to continue the charade of
democratic government, then they have to limit their actions to those which
appear to be “freely” granted by the people through their “representatives.”
As long as those representatives hold the seats of power given them by the
overlords, they will answer only to them. But if enough people call the
representatives to task for failing American democracy they can at least be
forced to publicly answer the charges of failure. If the masses put the fear
of democracy and righteous retribution into the minds of the Congressional
slaves of the money-powers, then they too will begin to retreat from their
open support for measures calling for more war and less freedom. If the
people fully use the First Amendment powers to make democracy work then we
can turn the tide against the center.

They cannot openly carry-out the violent measures required for creating a
world dictatorship and a permanent state of war, taking the brazen violent
steps that have been planned, such as launching nuclear first strikes, or
using biologic attacks to “cull the herd.” As long as the real terrorists
are pretending to be democrats they must act accordingly. Until the world
rises-up against the American imperialist forces in sufficient numbers to
frighten the American people into becoming willing participants in the
genocide of half the earth, other lesser, though equally as threatening,
provocations will continue to be found to frighten us into authorizing the
slaughter.

By placing the will of the people into their formula, they have created a
time lag between cause and effect, where the planned actions must be
preceded by a provocation that motivates the people into consenting to their
own destruction. By incorporating a basically moral people into a completely
immoral plan for world domination, the master controllers have constructed a
flawed plan that depends upon a scientific effort to change good people into
bad. In a country as religious-natured as this one, the great leaders may
have falsely calculated that they can make a nation fear so much for its
life that it would sell its soul for a little peace of mind.

American state terrorism has also been directed against the citizens of the
United States themselves, through more subtle “silent weapons.”
For the entire duration of American terrorist operations against the world,
our government has waged war upon the minds of its loyal citizens through an
arsenal of psychological, economic, and legislative weaponry. The purpose of
these attacks has always been to destroy the American economy and the minds
of the people, while using the economic destruction to justify the full use
of the American military power against the rest of the world.

American leaders consistently work against American interests, while
enriching themselves and their wealthy sponsors who reap opportunity from
our Nation’s demise. In order for these anti-American power-brokers to force
the world into a global dictatorship with them at the helm, they have to
play the “democracy” card, while simultaneously undermining it. Our leaders
have to persuade us into allowing them to destroy democracy in the name of
preserving it. We the People have to be persuaded to peacefully allow the
planned destruction to take place before it can take place. We have to
accept our bleak fates, before it can become our fates.

But the scary truth about the American state terrorist acts that have been
committed so far is that they have provided the needed practice for the
despicable acts that are yet to come. The American war upon the human race
will utilize every weapon in our arsenal, once the way for their use has
been cleared. Weapons of mass destruction come in many forms. In a war for
control of the earth’s resources it would seem more logical to use the
weapons that kill, such as biological weapons, as opposed to those which
merely destroy everything. Instant Death is about to enter the world through
American hands.

The tragedy of our time, perhaps the ultimate tragedy of all time, is
roaring down the highway of life right at us, or is the greater tragedy the
weakness of the mind of man which is allowing this to happen? If we have the
power of change within us and we do nothing, inaction is an act of suicide.

We have to overcome this innate human weakness to prepare our fellow man for
the things that are about to befall this battered planet. So many things are
avoidable in this existence through the use of foresight; if only it was a
common human trait. Any sane person who sees oncoming danger will
automatically step out of its way. As a rule, we humans rarely choose to
step out of the way. Mankind has never been called “sane,” by anyone’s
definition. We must secretly harbor a deep desire to become “road kill” on
the cruel highway of life.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Escaping The Age Of Mass Delusion—Humanity’s Only Hope

“Human rebellion and dissent cannot be forever suppressed: ‘They await only one breath of freedom in order to awake once more.’”

[How about uniting the non-delusional thinkers around the idea of impeaching our dictator?  (SEE: Bringing Barack Obama To Justice For War Crimes Committed and Crimes In Progress).]

How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion

How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion

the federalist

Stella Morabito

By

Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive free expression. That’s why the First Amendment’s a target.

Nearly 100 years ago, Walter Lippmann wrote about “the manufacture of consent” in his classic work, “Public Opinion.” On the heels of that book, Edward Bernays penned a little volume called “Propaganda,” in which he stated that an elite would always be responsible for making the public aware of “new ideas” which the public would then act upon as the elite nudged them into it. Related, but more in-depth is Jacques Ellul’s 1962 book, “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.”

Political propaganda aims to mobilize the masses to move an agenda forward. That’s most effectively done when the masses are unaware of the process. It’s what “community organizers” work towards, whether they know it or not. Once the masses are mobilized to push for a cause, the propagandists’ goals can be put into law.

In fact, many newly propagandized ideas seem to have taken America by storm just in the past decade or so. Same-sex marriage is only one of those ideas. Transgenderism is now eclipsing that notion, and its propaganda techniques—wrapped in the language of civil rights—are getting Americans on board with the idea of erasing all sex distinctions in law, including their own. It’s as though Americans are buying into a fast-talking sales pitch without being allowed to read the print, whether it’s large print or small.

There’s more on the horizon: a singles’ rights movement that promises to end legal recognition of all marriage. Then there is transhumanism, which includes a push to end “fleshism” by enacting laws that protect non-biological entities from discrimination.

Propaganda Is Directing Us Leftward

American conservatives are by and large clueless about propaganda methods and tactics. And it shows. There are virtually no conservative social psychologists around. You’d think once a liberal social psychologist hits the public over the head with this fact some on the Right would take notice and at least try to get clued in.

American conservatives are by and large clueless about propaganda methods and tactics. And it shows.

Meanwhile, the Left has been employing social psychology and depth psychology on the masses for decades. President Obama’s campaign staff was filled with social psychologists. In this context, those who believe conservatives can subsist on reason and logic alone are kidding themselves. It’s no wonder GOP leaders are caving on so many principles, and being absorbed so easily into the Left’s machine.

A lot of people are scratching their heads today, wondering how life got to be so surreal, so fast in the United States of America. Based on the silencing tactics revealed by the LGBT lobby, many observers are likely now thinking: “Gee, I thought marriage equality was merely a gay rights movement. I didn’t realize that fascism was part of that package.” The Great Unraveling continues at a rapid clip when slipping on a pronoun in these days of transgender rule could cost you your career or earn you massive social media rallies chanting “hater” at you.

Even benign reminders of the First Amendment—embodied in Religious Freedom Restoration Acts—are quickly dispatched by mob hysteria. One day a supposedly principled leader like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence promotes the RFRA, and the next day he folds and essentially signs on with the mob.

Even benign reminders of the First Amendment are quickly dispatched by mob hysteria.

There seem to be few independent thinkers left. But even they don’t seem to know what hit them. A woman gets banned by her gym and labelled a bigot because she told management that a man—who she only later learned “identified as female”—entered the locker room while she was getting undressed. Comedians who dare tread into trans territory are shut down. Never before have the media and pop culture dictated in such a draconian manner how each and every one of us is supposed to think about identity. Our own identity.

The list goes on. The unrest and rioting from Ferguson to Baltimore seem to be happening on cue also, with media propaganda that urges it on. There is no real debate on the merits of policies that depend on a blind faith in man-made global warming: those who disagree are labelled “deniers.”

Our Age of Mass Delusion and Logicide

But it was all so predictable.

One of the best books that cracks the code on what we are living through was written by Dutch psychiatrist Joost A. M. Meerloo about 60 years ago. Mull over the first line of his book’s forward, and you will think he is writing about today: “This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine – a transformation which can be brought about by some of the cultural undercurrents in our present-day society as well as by deliberate experiments in the service of a political ideology.”

When it comes to understanding the inner workings of social psychology and political correctness, we seem to be at a loss.

That’s from “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing” (1956). There is indeed a war on the private mind, as Kevin Williamson explained in a recent National Review column. Unfortunately, too many Americans have been sleeping through most of its propaganda battles, and for a very long time. When it comes to understanding the inner workings of social psychology and political correctness, we seem to be at a loss.

Meanwhile, the power elites who now control the media, academia, and Hollywood seem to understand social psychology well enough to exploit it on a massive scale. They have engaged in psychological warfare against the private mind by inducing “collective belief formation.” There’s really nothing new here. Conditioning and nudging the masses into groupthink is a very old trick of all wannabe dictators. The bloody twentieth century is filled to the gills with examples.

Yet it feels like we’ve awakened to an ambush. A lot of Americans watched in shock while cultish mobs suddenly attacked the RFRA that Pence initially defended. But the groundwork for mass hysteria like this was stealthily laid for decades, and the minefields sown.

The groundwork for mass hysteria like this was stealthily laid for decades, and the minefields sown.

Family breakdown led to community breakdown, which we can see in the decline of trust in society. Ignorance was cultivated in the schools through political correctness and squashing free debate. The academy’s disparaging of western civilization virtually wiped out respect for any serious study of history and civics, as well as for the Socratic method and the rules of civil discourse. Political correctness sewed confusion into the language, particularly regarding identity politics. Youth are now set to be programmed for conformity through the K-12 “Common Core” curriculum mandates.

All of that and more promotes the semantic fog that allows for mind rape. It amounts to an act of “logicide,” to borrow a term from Meerloo, whom I will continue to quote below. To kill logic and reason that might stand in their way, wannabe dictators “fabricate a hate language in order to stir up mass emotions.” Leaders in Indiana, Arkansas, and Louisiana have been unable to understand this tactic and are grossly unprepared to deal with it. So they simply surrendered. In effect, they joined the mob, further endangering everybody’s freedom.

The Link Between Crowds and Power

The whole image of such mass delusion in America is surrealistic, especially to comfortably insulated Americans who believe our first freedoms could never really be thrown away in the face of such a full-frontal, PC-induced attack. Most cannot grasp that such mobs are mentally detached from reality. And participants in the mob action cannot comprehend that they are actually cutting off their own freedom of expression, as well as everybody else’s.

Why would anyone want to build such a culture of coercion? In a word, power.

Why would anyone want to build such a culture of coercion? In a word, power. “Equality” is not the reason for what is happening with such mobs. It is the pretext for what they are doing. Like all such deceptions, its sole purpose is as a vehicle to transfer power from individuals to an increasingly centralized state. The fuel, as usual, is the emotional blackmail of people of goodwill, the uses of mass mobilization to exploit that goodwill, then, finally, to render all such goodwill meaningless.

Most who protest the RFRA laws are more likely pawns than true believers. Like the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd, they tend to be atomized individuals who are drawn to the psychic thrill of being part of a mobilized mass that feeds on emotions and can feel a sense of righteousness in the stated pretext. (In the RFRA case, it’s the semantic device of “marriage equality,” but it’ll just as easily be something else tomorrow.) “The ecstatic participation in mass elation is the oldest psycho drama in the world,” wrote Meerloo.

Crowds and Power,” by Elias Canetti, is a classic work that explores in detail the draw of the crowd for human beings. With the continued chipping away of the organic family of mother-child-father, human relationships inevitably become diluted and more subservient to a mass state. This detachment cultivates human alienation, which draws more people to answer to the call of the mass state’s mob.

Detachment cultivates human alienation, which draws more people to answer to the call of the mass state’s mob.

Such protesters and their scores of clueless apologists in the media are also utterly detached from the reality of the meaning of laws such as an RFRA. The RFRA only clarifies that the government doesn’t get to coerce us in private thought or to dictate what we are allowed to feel, believe, think, and express. In other words, the First Amendment is not negotiable if we are to have any semblance of freedom in this country.

But the emotional stew in which we are now boiling doesn’t allow logic or reason to prevail. We can never fight back as long as we are in the dark about how our minds can be manipulated. So we absolutely must try to fully understand the methods and tactics of mental coercion and share that knowledge with others as much as possible.

Brainwashing—Mind Rape—Is for Real

Meerloo published “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide and Brainwashing” in 1956 after years immersed in the study of social psychology and countless interviews with victims of mental coercion, including Nazi officers and American prisoners of war in Korea. This treasure of insights was written for the layman. It is an absolute must-read for anyone who hopes to uphold the dignity of the individual. The book offers the psychic defenses so lacking among those who submit to logicide.

‘The transformation of the free human mind to an automatically responding machine’ is essentially the story of the transformation of the United States.

“The transformation of the free human mind to an automatically responding machine” is essentially the story of the transformation of the United States of America we are watching in real time today. Delusion is an important element, because tyrannies do not stand up to logic. It seems very sudden, but it’s not. We’re only at this tipping point because we let our defenses down. In fact, if the First Amendment collapses, it would simply indicate a return to humanity’s tribal default position, in which a sort of Nietzschean “Will to Power” rules the day.

Mass delusion is an important tool of oppressors because they can’t survive where free exercise of expression and association is practiced. Unfortunately, delusion can be induced anywhere.

“It is simply a question of organizing and manipulating collective feelings in the proper way. If one can isolate the mass, allow no free thinking, no free exchange, no outside correction and can hypnotize the group daily with noises, with press and radio and television, with fear and pseudo-enthusiasms, any delusion can be instilled.”

Free Speech Is the Only Antidote to Mass Delusion

“The Rape of the Mind” could have served as a terrific manual to inoculate many against political correctness and groupthink, had it not collected so much dust since it was published in 1956. More of us could have learned how free speech is essential to preventing mass delusion.

Free expression is always the prime target of tyrants because it promotes logic, the search for truth, and friendship.

Free expression is always the prime target of tyrants because it promotes logic, the search for truth, and friendship. America is exceptional precisely because it rejects the tyrants’ rule.

Yet as our speech becomes more restricted, we end up more separated from one another and more susceptible to mass delusions. As Meerloo wrote: “Where thinking is isolated without free exchange with other minds, delusion may follow.” He added, chillingly, “Is this not what happened in Hitler Germany where free verification and self-correction were forbidden?”

In his book, Meerloo also shows immense compassion for our human frailties. He understood just how difficult it is to push back against the social pressures to conform. When it comes to brainwashing, every one of us has our breaking point. But we absolutely must push back once we understand those tactics: “The totalitarian potentate, in order to break down the minds of men, first needs widespread mental chaos and verbal confusion, because both paralyze his opposition and cause the morale of the enemy to deteriorate – unless his adversaries are aware of the dictator’s real aim.”

Of course, it’s really hard for control freaks to do their work on us if we are speaking freely with one another in friendship, and especially if we all understand what they are up to and can call them on it in one voice. So their first order of business is to separate us. A sense of enforced isolation is a cruel and effective tool for instilling loneliness and then delusion in people.

According to Meerloo, manipulators accomplish this through the knowledge that “far below the surface, human life is built up of inner contradictions.” Our hopes and fears and longing to avoid social rejection are exploited through the dictates of political correctness, which is the tool that separates people today, especially in that one place where ideas and ideals are supposed to be tested most vigorously in adulthood: the university.

A sense of enforced isolation is a cruel and effective tool for instilling loneliness and then delusion in people.

By squashing free thought in the one place where it is supposed to be especially respected, political correctness circumvents Meerloo’s warning that “the only way to strengthen one’s defenses against an organized attack on the mind and will is to understand better what the enemy is trying to do to outwit him.”

Of course, the fear of isolation isn’t always enough to silence some people. So manipulators repeat lies and sloganeer endlessly to condition their subjects to repress unauthorized speech and thought: “The techniques of propaganda and salesmanship have been refined and systematized; there is scarcely any hiding place from the constant visual and verbal assault on the mind. The pressures of daily life impel more and more people to seek an easy escape from responsibility and maturity.”

It’s sobering to realize that the above words predate the Internet by nearly half a century. They describe perfectly how transgenderism has become such a “thing” and why so few are willing to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

Love and Laughter Dissipate Delusion

As more people succumb to PC conditioning and cede their freedom of thought, it becomes more difficult for the rest of us to maintain integrity of mind. Our audience shrinks. As we encounter more and more drone-like personalities in daily life, the world seems to sink into surrealism, like so many in Rod Serling’s old “Twilight Zone” episodes.

‘The totalitarian mind does not observe and verify its impressions of reality; it dictates to reality how it shall behave, it compels reality to conform to its fantasies.’

Meerloo testified to this feeling of disorientation: “Many victims of totalitarianism have told me in interviews that the most upsetting experience they faced in the concentration camps was the feeling of loss of logic, the state of confusion in which they had been brought – the state in which nothing had any validity.”

That’s because in the mass centralized state, “peaceful exchange of thoughts in free conversation will disturb the conditioned reflexes and is therefore taboo.” On a hopeful note, Meerloo writes that “love and laughter break through all rigid conditioning.”

I think the reason there is so little “comedy” that’s funny today is the genre itself has been hijacked by the humorless PC crowd. Why is their humor so unamusing and so dependent upon mean-spiritedness? Consider this possibility: “The totalitarian mind is like the schizophrenic individual; it has a contempt for reality. Think for a moment of Lysenko’s theory and its denial of the influence of heredity. The totalitarian mind does not observe and verify its impressions of reality; it dictates to reality how it shall behave, it compels reality to conform to its fantasies.”

Along these lines, Meerloo offers a prescription: “We must learn to treat the demagogue and aspirant dictator in our midst just as we should treat our external enemies in a cold war – with the weapon of ridicule. The demagogue himself is almost incapable of humor of any sort, and if we treat him with humor, he will begin to collapse. Humor is, after all, related to a sense of perspective. If we can see how things should be, we can see how askew they can get, and we can recognize distortion when we are confronted with it.”

Freedom Requires Self-Awareness

Before human beings can preserve true freedom, they must first be aware of their individual inner contradictions: “Democracy, by its very nature will always have to fight against dictatorship from without and destructiveness from within. Democratic freedom has to battle against both the individual’s inner will to power and his urge to submit to other people . . . Essentially, democracy means the right to develop yourself and not to be developed by others. Yet to develop yourself is impossible without the duty of giving your energy and attention to the development of others.”

Freedom means cultivating the art of friendship, boldly exercising our rights to free association and to communicate our thoughts to others.

So, in the end, freedom truly depends upon breaking down the walls of separation that tyranny builds. It means cultivating the art of friendship, boldly exercising our rights to free association and to communicate our thoughts to others. It means cultivating knowledge instead of cultivating ignorance.

After all, political correctness is primarily a tool for crushing people’s ability to have open conversations in friendship and mutual respect. In this context, it seems very much like a tool to bring all personal relationships under state control. And it shouldn’t surprise us that this is being done today in the name of equality for certain kinds of personal relationships. Tyrannies always pretend to promote the very thing they seek to destroy.

Resistance Is Not Futile

So, where do we go from here? We need to take philosopher George Santayana’s warning to heart, that those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. We need to remind leaders who are tempted to cave in to mob hysteria that resistance to tyranny is not as futile as submission to tyranny.

Resistance to tyranny is not as futile as submission to tyranny.

Nearly 60 years ago, Meerloo warned his readers that we absolutely must equip ourselves for this war on the private mind: “In the future, as our psychological understanding grows, leading politicians will have to be better educated in the principles of modern psychology. Just as a soldier must know how to handle his physical weapons, so the politicians must know how to face and handle the mental strategy of human relationships and diplomacy. He will have to become aware of the pitfalls in all human communication and the frailties of his own mind.”

In retrospect, it’s tragic that virtually all well-positioned people of goodwill seem to have been unaware of that warning, or able to effectively act on it. Worse, many end up caving to tyrants because they are unaware of the tactics on the propaganda battlefield.

Our hope, as Meerloo concluded, is in the reality that human rebellion and dissent cannot be forever suppressed: “They await only one breath of freedom in order to awake once more.”

The Impulse Towards Fascism and the Homogenized Society

Why aren’t we living in H.G. Wells’ scientific dictatorship?

IEET


Rick Searle

By Rick Searle
Utopia or Dystopia

 

One of the more depressing things to come out of the 2008 financial crisis was just how little it managed to effect our expectations about the economy and political forms of the future. Sure, there was Occupy Wall Street, and there’s been at least some interesting intellectual ferment here and there with movements such as Accelerationist Marxism and the like, but none have really gone anywhere. Instead what we’ve got is the same old system only now with even more guarantees and supports for the super rich. Donald Trump may be a blowhard and a buffoon, but even buffoons and blowhards can tell the truth as he did during last Thursday’s debate when he essentially stated that politicians were in the pocket to those with the cash, such as himself, who were underneath it all really running the show.

The last really major crisis of capitalism wasn’t anything like this. In the 1930’s not only had the whole system gone down, but nearly everyone seemed convinced that capitalism, (and some even thought the representative democracy that had emerged in tandem with it) was on the way out.

Then again, the political and economic innovation of the early 20th century isn’t the kind of thing any of us would wish for. Communists, which to many born after 1989 may seem as much like antiquated creatures from another world as American revolutionaries in powdered wigs, was by the 1930’s considered one of the two major ways the society of the future would likely be organized, and its’ competitor over the shape of the future wasn’t some humane and reasoned alternative, but the National Socialism of Hitler’s dark Reich.

things to come

If one wants to get a sense of the degree to which the smart money was betting against the survival of capitalism and democracy in the 1930’s one couldn’t do much better than that most eerily prescient of science-fiction prophets – H.G. Wells. In many ways, because he was speaking through the veneer of fiction Wells could allow himself to voice opinions which would have led even political radicals to blush. Also, because he was a “mere” fiction author his writings became one of the few ways intellectuals and politicians in liberal societies could daydream about a way out of capitalism’s constant crises, democracy’s fissiparousness and corruption, and most importantly for the survival of humanity in light of the nation-state’s increasingly destructive wars.


Well’s 1933 The Shape of Things to Come,

published not long after the Nazis had come to power in Germany, is perhaps his best example of a work that blurs the boundaries between a work of fiction and a piece of political analysis, polemic, and prediction. In the guise of a dream book of a character who has seen the future of the world from the 1930’s to the middle of the beginning of the 22nd century, Wells is able to expound upon the events of the day and their possible implications- over a century into the future.

Writing six years before the event takes place Well’s spookily imagines World War II beginning with the German invasion of Poland. Also identifying the other major aggressor in a world war still to come, Wells realizes Japan had stepped into a quagmire by invading China from which much ill would come.

These predictions of coming violence (Wells forecast the outbreak of the Second World War to be 1940- one year off) are even more chilling when one watches the movie based upon the book, and know that the bombings of cities it depicts is not some cinematographer’s fantasy, but will no doubt have killed some of those who watched the film in theaters in 1936- less than five years later.

Nevertheless, Wells gets a host of very important things, not only about the future but about his present, very wrong. He gets it ass backwards in generally admiring the Soviet Union and seeing its’ problem not being the inhuman treatment by the Communist regime of its citizens, but the fact that they have wed themselves to what Well’s believes is an antiquated, dogmatic theory in Marxism.

Indeed, Wells will build his own version of dictatorship in The Shape of Things to Come (though versions of it can be seen in his earlier work) using the ideas of two of Soviet communism’s founders- Trotsky’s idea of a global revolutionary movement which will establish a worldwide government and Lenin’s idea of an intellectual nucleus that will control all the aspects of society.

Nor, did Wells really grasp the nature of Nazism or the strange contradiction of a global alliance of fascist regimes that ostensibly worship the state. Wells saw Hitler as a throwback to a dying order based on the nation-state. His only modernity being

“…control by a self-appointed, self-disciplined élite was a distinct step towards our Modern State organization.” (192)

Wells therefore misses the savagery born of the competition between world shaping ideologies and their mobilization of entire societies that will constitute the Second World War and its aftermath.

Ironically, Wells mistakenly thinks WWII will be short and its fatalities low because he gets his technological predictions right. He clearly foresees the role of the importance of the tank, the airplane, and the submarine to the future war and because of them even anticipates the Nazi idea of blitzkrieg. At one point he seems to have a glimmer of the death spirit that will seize over humankind during the war when he compares the submarine to a sacrificial altar:

The Germans supplied most of the flesh for this particular altar; willing and disciplined, their youngsters saluted and carried their kit down the ladder into this gently swaying clumsy murder mechanism which was destined to become their coffin. (70)

Nevertheless, he fails to see that the Second World War will unleash the kinds of violence and fanaticism formerly only seen in religious wars.

Two decades after Wells’ novel many would think that because of the introduction of nuclear weapons wars would be reduced to minutes. Instead conflict became stretched out across multiple decades. What this is should teach us is that we have no idea how any particular technology will ultimately affect the character of war – especially in terms of its intensity or duration- thus those hoping that robotic or cyber weapons will return us to short decisive conflicts are likely seeing a recurrent mirage.

Wells perhaps better understood than other would be revolutionaries and prophets of the time just how robust existing societies were despite their obvious flaws. The kind of space for true political innovation had seemingly occurred only during times of acute stress, such as war, that by their nature were short lived. A whole new way of organizing society had seemingly revealed itself during World War I in which the whole industrial apparatus of the nation was mobilized and directed towards a particular end. Yet the old society would reassert itself except in those societies that had experienced either defeat and collapse or Pyrrhic victory (Italy, Japan) in the conflict.

Wells thus has to imagine further crises after economic depression and world war to permanently shatter Western societies that had become fossilized into their current form. The new kind of war had itself erased the boundary between the state and the society during war, and here Wells is perhaps prescient in seeing the link between mass mobilization, the kinds of wars against civilians seen in the Second World War and insurgency/terrorism. Yet he pictures the final hammer blow not in the form of such a distributed conflict but coming in the form of a global pandemic that kills half of the world’s people. After that comes the final death of the state and the reversion to feudalism.

It is from a world ruled by warlords that Wells’ imagined “Air Dictatorship” will emerge. It is essentially the establishment of global rule by a scientific technocracy that begins with the imposition of a monopoly over global trade networks and especially control over the air.

To contemporary ears the sections on the Air Dictatorship can be humorously reminiscent of an advertisement for FedEx or the US Navy. And then the humor passes when one recalls that a world dominated by one global straddling military and multinational corporations isn’t too far from the one Wells pictured even if he was more inspired by the role of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages, the Hanseatic League or the what the damned Bolsheviks were up to in Russia.

Oddly enough, Wells foresaw no resistance to the establishment of a world-state (he called it The Modern State) from global capitalists, or communists or the remnant of the security services of the states that had collapsed. Instead, falling into a modernist bias that remains quite current, Wells sees the only rival to the “Modern State” in the form of the universal religions which the Air Dictatorship will therefore have to destroy. Wells’ utopians declare war on Catholics (Protestants oddly give no resistance) forcefully close Mecca and declare war on Kosher foods. And all this deconstruction to be followed by “re-education” Wells thinks could be done without the kinds of totalitarian nightmares and abuses which are less than two decades away from when he is writing The Shape of Things.

I am not particular fan of the universal confusion called post-modernism, but it does normally prevent most of us from making zingers like Wells’ such as this:

They are going to realize that there can be only one right way of looking at the world for a normal human being and only one conception of a proper scheme of social reactions, and that all others must be wrong and misleading and involve destructive distortions of conduct. (323)

Like any self-respecting version of apocalypse, Wells imagines that after a period of pain and violence the process will become self sustaining and neither will be required, though most honorably for the time Wells thinks this world will be one of racial equality that will never again suffer the plague of extreme want.

Analogous to the universal religions, after the establishment of the Modern State all of humankind will become party to ultimate mission of the scientific endeavor which the protagonist in the movie version sums up manically in this crazy speech at the end of the film:

For man, no rest, he must go on. First this little planet and its’ winds and ways, and then all of the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets above and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he conquers all the depths of space and all of time still he will not be finished.

All the universe or nothing! Which shall it be?

(As a side note Ken Stanley Robinson seems to think this modernist’s dream that the destiny of humanity is to settle the stars is still alive and kicking. In his newest novel he is out to kill it. Review pending. )

To return to our lack of imagination and direction after 2008: we, unlike Wells, know how his and similar modernist projects failed, and just how horribly they did so. Nevertheless, his diagnosis remains largely sound. It might take a crisis the scale none of us would wish for to engender real reform let alone the taking of radically new directions. Given historical experience such crises are much more likely to give rise to monsters than anything benign.

Anarchists seem to grasp the shape of the time but not its implications. In a globalized world power has slipped out of the grasp of democratic sovereignty and into the hands of networked organizations- from multinational corporations, to security services, to terrorists and criminal groups able to transcend these borders. Yet it is tightly organized “machine like” organizations rather than decentralized/anarchic ones that seem to thrive in this feudal environment, and whereas that very feudalism and its competition makes achieving a unified voice in addressing urgent global problems even more difficult, and where despite our current perceptions, war between the armed groups that represent states the gravest existential threat to humanity, we, unlike Wells, know that no one group of us has all the answers, and that it is not only inhumane but impossible to win human unity out of the barrel of a ray gun


Rick Searle, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, is a writer and educator living the very non-technological Amish country of central Pennsylvania along with his two young daughters. He is an adjunct professor of political science and history for Delaware Valley College and works for the PA Distance Learning Project.

imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information

Russia vs. US: Total War is the Obliteration of Reality

fort russ blog
By: Joaquin Flores
When the methods of Information War in Fourth Generation Warfare are used in Total War, it results in a war upon the psyche, a war upon cognition, a war upon our very conception and understanding of reality.  This will be an increasing feature of our relationship with reality.
As global conflict increases qualitatively and quantitatively, it is important to understand the new methods of warfare in which the conflict in Ukraine serves as an excellent case study.  Understanding these methods, in combination with a syncretic approach to various competing schools and across several otherwise or previously unrelated fields, has been the key to our ability to accurately forecast any number of events and dynamics in the situation in Ukraine.
The struggle between the Atlanticist and Eurasianist spheres not only acquires forms in the traditional areas of diplomacy, trade, intelligence, and military strength – but also in the increasingly dominating realm of synthetic, manufactured hyper-reality.  These are important elements of fourth generation warfare (4GW) in the realm of information war and also what is termed ‘hybrid warfare’ – a feature of 4GW which blurs the lines between civilian and military groups, and allows power groups to dissemble the reality of their role in support.  This creates the element of plausible deniability, that power groups are not involved when in fact they are.
Following the various media reports and statements from the various official spokespeople of the groups involved in the Ukrainian conflict, it is problematic to take these at face value and equate statements about their role or position as being the actual role or position.
In a manner similar to ISIS or Al Qaeda – which are largely US-Saudi-Israeli joint projects, it is typical to hear statements from the Pravy Sektor that they oppose NATO, imperialism (whether US or Russian), and propose instead other elements of platform which confuse the discourse and disguise their actual supporters.  Of course, like with ISIS and the like, most all of the commanders and all of the rank and file supporters and fighters completely believe they are opposed to the very power groups which support them.  It only requires one or two decision makers at the very top to align the actual activities with US control or influence.
Naturally like ISIS, Pravy Sektor and similar are also developed to be self-sustaining projects to a large extent, can subsist for long periods of time using the standard methods of apparent self-funding, including organized crime or the seizure of businesses and enterprises. They can also, as we have written previously, be used and swayed by other actors not including the US, and in certain moments may act – willingly or unwillingly – against the US’s actual interests (not just stated interests).  This may occur for reasons which are complex but imaginable.
US and Russian approaches to the conflict in Ukraine are based in discernible desired positions, but the strategies change in various stages based upon real-world changes and results, push-back, and the actions of the other players. Thus, strategies are employed in relation to changes, and tactics evolve in real-time.   This is why many contingency plans are built into general planning.  Indeed, the various and even contradictory contingencies themselves should be considered ‘the plan’.
The US exerts degrees of control and influence upon several distinct power groups in Ukraine, such as various volunteer battalions, the government itself, mainstreamed opposition to that government, and Pravy Sektor related groups up to and including Yarosh himself.  These wane and wax in relation either to the US’s need or to the US’s ability to exert its power.  These are not unidirectional; US attempts to exert influence or control do not necessarily result in a success in that endeavor: the targets of influence and control may be compelled to act – either in an instance or in a general pivot – contrary to the needs of the US for reasons of their own survival, and/or as a result of Russian successes to exert influence and control.
Difficulties in assessing the situation then arise from this: an established method in 4GW as it works through media and new-media (information war) is to dissemble actual reality, and to manufacture a new reality.  The US can exert fluctuating degrees of influence and control over its proxies.
It is difficult to use language to describe reality because words have definitions which often exclude that which they are contrasted with. Reality on the other hand is fluid and real situations can be simultaneously described by more than one word, even if such words when counterpoised to each other may seem to have opposite meanings.  Reality can morph into conditions that are better described by some words, only to shift at any time later into a condition which is better described otherwise.  Thus, without special care, a syllogistic or axiomatic approach will usually fail.
**
In October of 2014, we wrote:
“From the syncretic work we have produced on this subject, drawing from numerous schools such as Baudrillard’s post-structuralism and Kuhn’s theory of the structure of scientific revolutions […] we have attempted to explain both some features of the information war and how the present schema or paradigm is constructed, and how that construct contains certain features which can be manipulated and exploited through the use of simulacrum and hyper-reality.”
“More to the point, we have based much of our understanding on the premise that societies composed of managers and the managed must create a paradigm which has exploitable features for the purpose of social control.  The Ukraine civil war is the first war in history in which both actual sides (US and Russia) struggle for supremacy using similarly derived theories of new media and their connection to 4GW.  While the use of proxies has long been a feature of war, that both sides use proxies in the sense of 4GW doctrines, and that the ‘stories’ being told extend from new media, is a new phenomenon.”
“There are some problems, however, for both the US and Russian information and reality managers.  Being able to create hyper-reality does not, in the first place, require having a solid footing in the actual reality.  In many ways, ‘actual reality’ may be an ever-elusive thing which can never fully be grasped.  We are, as human beings, a species which is already born into a reality comprised of the previous generation’s interwoven combination of actual reality and hyper-reality.”
“Our society, a social construct, is an outgrowth of our genetic potential.  The creation of various primitive forms of hyper-reality is as natural to humanity as the bird constructing its nest.  But just as the invention of the train or automobile changed forever our relationship with distance, and even the relative size of the earth, the invention of new media has changed our relationship with actual reality and the kinds of reality and hyper-reality we construct. “
“It is not difficult, then, for even the agent of social control, working at the think tank, to lose sight of reality itself.  What was that individual’s origin point?  Everyone working today on these projects was already born into a world of machines, production of the means of creation and destruction, automated wars, electricity, and mass media.”
“From an analytic point of view, this creates a conundrum.  Analysis, discourse, map-drawing etc. are themselves a form of hyper-reality creation.  Analysis is done in the mind of the analyst, and is drawn from, at best primary sources, but are generally not the primary source itself.  It must go through the medium of language and contrived/presented imagery (photos, etc.) before it gets to the analyst.  Additionally, even when the analyst is the witness percipient, their interpretations and written or spoken analysis reflect their prior biases, beliefs, prejudices, and thought processes; which in short can be described as defective by way of their subjectivity.”
“Thus from the analyst:  all words, language; things signifying and signified; which pertain to actual reality, are themselves indistinguishable from hyper-reality.  Analysis based on interpreting actual reality and analysis based in interpreting the simulacrum are both, in many ways, hyper-real presentations.  The map is not the terrain.”
“To problematize ‘objective’ reporting and analysis, is really to lay-out the problems with the concept of objectivity, which leaves us with only a remaining intersubjective agreement [20].  Therefore we can see the power of new-media (which is based on the echoing of information through many subjects, peer to peer), and the transformation of the simulacrum from being a distinct hyper-reality unto itself, into a totalizing entity which subsumes, devours, and overtakes reality into itself.  It becomes, then, within the liberal, emotional state, of the Popperian ‘critical rationalist’ paradigm, most appropriate and ‘reasonable’ to uphold the hyper-reality as the actual reality [21]. “
**
In conclusion, we might imagine a ‘nuclear war’ of information. The fall-out also contaminates information managers and builders.  In an increasing way, even the reality and information managers themselves are suffering from the ‘radiation poisoning’ of information war; they can no longer distinguish between the reality they are creating, or that was created by their opponent, from the reality which they began to work from.  It increasingly becomes one and the same.
If this is true for them, who have access to much more real information than we do, then it is even more true for us; we who have all along been working largely with information which by definition is manufactured and itself is a social construct.
Understanding the world then becomes increasingly difficult and creates very real epistemic problems.
Liberalism and its sub-ideology of pragmatism is steeped in anti-intellectualism and a misuse of Ockham’s razor or lex parsimoniae (law of parsimony).  It is wrongly used as an arbiter between two theories, in which the simplest theory is viewed as more accurate even when not accounting for all the information, as opposed to a heuristic technique in the development of a model.
It is an attractive idea that the complexities of war and strategy can be explained away as being the product of random accidents; that the divergence between stated aims and actual results are a product of blunder and incompetence and not intrigue and dissemblance.
Analyzing the motives of conscious actors is not like observing other phenomena in a few important ways; conscious actors may have a strong motivation to conceal their real aims or methods, whereas basic physical, chemical, or biological processes can be observed empirically and claims made about these are falsifiable.
Rather, we must look at circumstantial and other non-physical evidence; known theories, past practice, the body of scholarly work on the subject, and instead approach the questions from a prosecutorial perspective.
To understand one epistemic dilemma in the use of Ockham’s Razor to describe phenomena, let us look at these well known quotes about this heuristic tool.
“Entities should not be multiplied without necessity.” (William of Ockham)
“Nature operates in the shortest way possible.” (Aristotle)
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (Albert Einstein)
Warfare does not generally operate on the basis of ‘nature’ in the sense that Aristotle describes – as there are consciously acting players being observed who do not want to be accurately observed, nor upon the economy of modeling that Ockham proposes.
In warfare, most entities should be multiplied and made as complex as possible for a number of reasons.  One radar tower may cover an entire area, but many radar towers for a single area are preferable because then radar coverage is not lost when the opponent successfully neutralizes one of them.
Likewise in strategy:  a simple strategy may at first seem preferable in terms of viability and execution,  but in the context of a conscious opponent, the complexity of a strategy will aid tremendously in keeping it from being understood and unraveled.  In that sense, as with the radar example, more layers are better.
The science of economy and efficiency takes on entirely different applications in the context of a struggle between strategic players.  One aspect of victory in a war is production, but not only physical production of soldiers and hardware, but in the production of complex strategy, relying on more virtual resources, theories, etc.  The side which can afford more inefficiencies has a strategic advantage in any number of scenarios.
We must not approach reality at face value, but as a consciously created illusion itself which is constructed specifically with the aim of pursuing a long-term strategic objective, one that includes both the accidental and intentional creation of a false, distorted, manufactured hyper-reality built upon layers of both real and hyper-real foundations.
**
Joaquin Flores is a Mexican-American expat based in Belgrade. He is a full-time analyst and director at the Center for Syncretic Studies, a public geostrategic think-tank and consultancy firm, as well as the co-editor of Fort Russ news service, and President of the Berlin based Independent Journalist Association for Peace. His expertise encompasses Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and he has a strong proficiency in Middle East affairs. Flores is particularly adept at analyzing ideology and the role of mass psychology, as well as the methods of the information war in the context of 4GW and New Media. He is a political scientist educated at California State University. In the US, he worked for a number of years as a labor union organizer, chief negotiator, and strategist for a major trade union federation.

Obama To Disarm Disabled SS Recipients with “Representative Payees” As “Mental Defectives”

Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security

latimes

US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-GUN VIOLENCERelatives of gun violence victims and gun control advocates held a news conference in Washington on Dec. 10, 2014, two years after the Sandy Hook shooting, to urge lawmakers to expand background checks. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)
By Alan Zarembo

 

Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.

The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.

A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”There is no simple way to identify that group, but a strategy used by the Department of Veterans Affairs since the creation of the background check system is reporting anyone who has been declared incompetent to manage pension or disability payments and assigned a fiduciary.

If Social Security, which has never participated in the background check system, uses the same standard as the VA, millions of its beneficiaries would be affected. About 4.2 million adults receive monthly benefits that are managed by “representative payees.”

The move is part of a concerted effort by the Obama administration after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., to strengthen gun control, including by plugging holes in the background check system.

But critics — including gun rights activists, mental health experts and advocates for the disabled — say that expanding the list of prohibited gun owners based on financial competence is wrongheaded.

Though such a ban would keep at least some people who pose a danger to themselves or others from owning guns, the strategy undoubtedly would also include numerous people who may just have a bad memory or difficulty balancing a checkbook, the critics argue.

“Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe,” said Dr. Marc Rosen, a Yale psychiatrist who has studied how veterans with mental health problems manage their money. “They are very different determinations.”

Steven Overman, a 30-year-old former Marine who lives in Virginia, said his case demonstrates the flaws of judging gun safety through financial competence.
State police lead students from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., after a shooting. The Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at the school left 26 people, including 20 children, dead. (Shannon Hicks / Newtown Bee)

After his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury that weakened his memory and cognitive ability.

The VA eventually deemed him 100% disabled and after reviewing his case in 2012 declared him incompetent, making his wife his fiduciary.

Upon being notified that he was being reported to the background check system, he gave his guns to his mother and began working with a lawyer to get them back.

Overman grew up hunting in Wisconsin. After his return from Iraq, he found solace in target shooting. “It’s relaxing to me,” he said. “It’s a break from day-to-day life. It calms me down.”

Though his wife had managed their financial affairs since his deployment, Overman said he has never felt like he was a danger to himself or others.

“I didn’t know the VA could take away your guns,” he said.

The background check system was created in 1993 by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, named after White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was partially paralyzed after being shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The law requires gun stores to run the names of prospective buyers through the computerized system before every sale.

The system’s databases contain more than 13 million records, which include the names of felons, immigrants in the U.S. illegally, fugitives, dishonorably discharged service members, drug addicts and domestic abusers.

State agencies, local police and federal agencies are required to enter names into the databases, but the system has been hampered by loopholes and inconsistent reporting since its launch.

The shortcomings became clear in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people. Cho had been declared mentally ill by a court and ordered to undergo outpatient treatment, but at the time the law did not require that he be added to the databases.

Someone can be incapable of managing their funds but not be dangerous, violent or unsafe. They are very different determinations. – Dr. Marc Rosen, Yale psychiatrist

Congress expanded the reporting requirements, but Social Security determined it was not required to submit records, according to LaVenia LaVelle, an agency spokeswoman.

After 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, 20 children and six school staffers in Newtown in 2012, President Obama vowed to make gun control a central issue of his second term.

The effort fell flat. Congress ultimately rejected his proposals for new gun control legislation.

But among 23 executive orders on the issue was one to the Department of Justice to ensure that federal agencies were complying with the existing law on reporting to the background check system.

One baseline for other agencies is the VA, which has been entering names into the system since the beginning. About 177,000 veterans and survivors of veterans are in the system, according to VA figures.

The VA reports names under a category in gun control regulations known as “adjudicated as a mental defective,” terminology that derives from decades-old laws. Its only criterion is whether somebody has been appointed a fiduciary.

More than half of the names on the VA list are of people 80 or older, often suffering from dementia, a reasonable criterion for prohibiting gun ownership.

But the category also includes anybody found by a “court, board, commission or other lawful authority” to be lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” for a wide variety of reasons.

The agency’s efforts have been criticized by a variety of groups.

Rosen, the Yale psychiatrist, said some veterans may avoid seeking help for mental health problems out of fear that they would be required to give up their guns.

Conservative groups have denounced the policy as an excuse to strip veterans of their gun rights.

Republicans have introduced legislation in the last several sessions of Congress to change the policy. The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act, now under consideration in the House, would require a court to determine that somebody poses a danger before being reported to the background check system.

Social Security would generally report names under the same “mental defective” category. The agency is still figuring out how that definition should be applied, LaVelle said.

About 2.7 million people are now receiving disability payments from Social Security for mental health problems, a potentially higher risk category for gun ownership. An addition 1.5 million have their finances handled by others for a variety of reasons.

The agency has been drafting its policy outside of public view. Even the National Rifle Assn. was unaware of it.

Told about the initiative, the NRA issued a statement from its chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, saying: “If the Obama administration attempts to deny millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights by executive fiat, the NRA stands ready to pursue all available avenues to stop them in their tracks.”

Gun rights advocates are unlikely to be the only opponents.

Ari Ne’eman, a member of the National Council on Disability, said the independent federal agency would oppose any policy that used assignment of a representative payee as a basis to take any fundamental right from people with disabilities.

“The rep payee is an extraordinarily broad brush,” he said.

Since 2008, VA beneficiaries have been able to get off the list by filing an appeal and demonstrating that they pose no danger to themselves or others.

But as of April, just nine of 298 appeals have been granted, according to data provided by the VA. Thirteen others were pending, and 44 were withdrawn after the VA overturned its determination of financial incompetence.

Overman is one of the few who decided to appeal.

He is irritable and antisocial, he said, but not dangerous. “I’ve never been suicidal,” he said. “To me that solves nothing.”

More than a year and a half after Overman filed his challenge, the VA lifted its incompetence ruling, allowing his removal from the background check system before the VA ever had to determine whether he should be trusted with a gun.

Overman, who hasn’t worked since leaving the military, said he and a friend are now thinking of opening a gunsmith business.

alan.zarembo@latimes.com

Clinton’s General Wesley Clark Calls For Mass-Arrests of “Radicalized Youth”

Ex-NATO commander suggests WWII-style camps for radicalized Americans

Russia-Today

Military photo portrait of Wesley Clark. © Wikipedia
Retired US General Wesley Clark suggested that radicalized youth in America and other Western nations should be segregated the way Nazi sympathizers were held in camps during World War II.

America and its allies need to get tougher on young men, who may become radical Islamists, said Clark, who is best known for leading NATO troops during the Kosovo war. The former Democratic presidential candidate made the comments in an interview on MSNBC in response to the shooting at a recruitment camp in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that left four Marines killed.

“We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,” the retired general said. “I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists.

“In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war,” he said. “If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine, that’s their right. And it’s our right and our obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”

Clark added that “not only the United States but our allied nations like Britain, Germany and France are going to have to look at their domestic law procedures.”

The suggested heavy-handed solution that implies punishing people not for criminal acts but for upholding radical beliefs came in contrast to Clark’s earlier criticisms of the excesses of the Bush administration response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, such as the torture of terror suspects.

He also spoke against “the politics of fear” in dealing with the threat of foreign fighters coming home from Middle East conflicts.

The interview sparked outrage on social media, which the former general called “blogosteria” on his Twitter account. He reiterated that “US Citz who choose #ISIS are spies, enemy combatants or both. Govt should separate them from the rest of us.”

 

American Police State Needs More Easy-Bake-Terrorists

FBI Tracked Chattanooga Shooter’s Family for Years

land destroyer

July 17, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Once again, another convenient shooting has helped supercharge anger, hatred, fear, and division across the Western World after an alleged “Islamist extremist” opened fire on and killed 4 US Marines at a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Without any knowledge of how the US has in fact created Al Qaeda and its many global affiliates, including vicious terrorist groups plaguing Southeast Asia, and the most notorious to date, the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS), the American public will predictably react in a manner that will simply further justify America’s meddling across the globe amid its self-created and perpetuated “War on Terror.” It will also help in efforts to further tighten control over the American public itself, with increased justifications for expanding police state measures and future pushes to disarm the American people.

Yahoo News would report in their article, “Shootings at Chattanooga military facilities leave 4 Marines, gunman dead; act called ‘domestic terrorism‘,” that:

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that Abdulazeez had not been on the radar of federal law enforcement before Thursday’s shooting. 

But also added:

His father had been investigated several years ago for “possible ties to a foreign terrorist organization” and added to the U.S. terrorist watch list, according to a report in the New York Times, but that probe did not surface information about Abdulazeez, the paper said.

This means that yet another case of “domestic terror” has involved someone either investigated by the FBI, entrapped by an active FBI operation where FBI investigators posed as terrorist leaders and walked a patsy through every step of a terrorist attack before arresting them and thus “foiling” the attack, or linked directly to someone the FBI was investigating.

Ironically, the immense omnipresent police state the West has erected to combat the so-called “terrorist” threat, including the total surveillance of all communications online and across all telecommunication networks, at home and abroad under the National Security Agency (NSA) will only expand, despite it once again apparently failing, and despite attempts by special interests on Wall Street and in Washington to claim this latest attack “again” somehow circumvented these already sweeping measures.

Meanwhile, The US Continues Supporting Extremists Abroad

And while this latest attack is passed off as a “domestic terrorist attack” and the result of “Islamic extremists,” rather than a false flag event, the US continues to openly support the very “terrorists” it claims threatens its homeland and has inspired these sort of attacks.

Just recently, the Washington Post literally allowed a spokesman of Al Qaeda to defend his faction’s role in the fighting in Syria, and his condemnation of the United States for not rendering more aid for the cause of overrunning and destroying the Syrian nation – a goal the US itself is likewise pursuing.

Labib Al Nahhas, “head of foreign political relations” for terrorist organization Ahrar al-Sham, wrote in his Washington Post op-ed titled, “The deadly consequences of mislabeling Syria’s revolutionaries,” that:

Stuck inside their own bubble, White House policymakers have allocated millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to support failed CIA efforts to support so-called “moderate” forces in Syria. But these “moderate” groups have proved to be a disappointment on nearly every count, not least of all in confronting the Islamic State.

He also states:

That question should prompt Washington to admit that the Islamic State’s extremist ideology can be defeated only through a homegrown Sunni alternative — with the term “moderate” defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves.

Essentially, the Washington Post afforded a terrorist organization space to make an appeal to the American public for military support. Ahrar al-Sham regularly coordinates with and fights within operations led by Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front, a US State Department designated terrorist organization from which ISIS itself sprung.

Al Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham are described as the “closest” of allies by Western think-tanks and media reports. It is also revealed that Ahrar al-Sham worked along side ISIS itself.

A Stanford University report under “Mapping Militant Organizations” explained (emphasis added):

Ahrar al-Sham quickly became one of the largest military organizations operating in Syria, and it has been active in efforts to unite the Islamist opposition under a single banner. It rejects the idea of Western intervention but sometimes works alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. It routinely cooperates with al-Nusra and, until relations soured in 2013, also worked with ISIS. In February 2014, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence called Ahrar al-Sham one of the three most effective rebel groups in Syria.

The Washington Post isn’t the only voice in the Western media promoting Al Qaeda. Foreign Policy in 2012 abhorrently proclaimed, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.” As much as an admission that the US is backing what is essentially terrorism in Syria, the Foreign Policy article attempted even then to promote the alleged “pragmatism” of supporting Al Qaeda to eliminate America’s foreign enemies.

Image: 100’s of trucks a day pass over Turkey’s border with Syria, destined for ISIS territory. NATO literally is supplying ISIS with an endless torrent of supplies, weapons, and fighters meaning that no matter how many token airstrikes the US carries out, many times more fighters and materiel will fill the void. 

And while Foreign Policy and terrorists writing in the pages of the Washington Post demand more weapons and support from the West, it is already a documented fact that immense and constantly flowing supply convoys are streaming out of both NATO-member Turkey and US-ally Jordan’s territory, into Syria and Iraq, for the purpose of resupplying ISIS. This explains ISIS’ otherwise inexplicable ability to not only maintain its impressive fighting capacity as it simultaneously wages war against both the Syrian and Iraqi armies, but to expand its fighting to all fronts opposed to US regional hegemony.

This includes Yemen, Libya, and even Egypt where ISIS most recently managed to hit an Egyptian naval vessel with a missile. Foreign Policy would again weigh in. Their article, “Islamic State Sinai Affiliate Claims to Have Hit Egyptian Ship With Missile,” states:

The use of a guided missile to strike an Egyptian ship represents a higher level of technological sophistication than what has been previously observed in Sinai attacks. It is unclear, however, exactly what kind of missile was used in the attack, beyond the militant group’s claim that it was a guided munition.

Militant groups in the region have in the past used guided missiles to attack government ships in the Mediterranean. During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian anti-ship missile fired by the militant group struck the Israeli warship Hanit, badly damaging the vessel and killing four crew members.

Of course, Foreign Policy and others across the Western media will be quick to point out that Hezbollah is a state-sponsored militant organization which receives its weapons from Syria and Iran. The question then becomes how ISIS replicated this level of “technological sophistication,” and which state-sponsors put the missiles into their hands.

The US supporting Al Qaeda is not really news. Al Qaeda was initially a joint US-Saudi venture to create a mercenary army to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980’s. This mercenary army would again fight Russian interests in Serbia and Chechnya before eventually being used as the pretext for US invasions and occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 onward. In 2007, it was revealed that the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel sought to use the terrorist organization to raise a proxy military front to overthrow Syria and Iran. The resulting bloodbath in Syria beginning in 2011 is the operational execution of this documented conspiracy.

Al Qaeda and its various affiliates serve both as a proxy mercenary front to strike where Western forces cannot, and a pretext to invade abroad. It also serves as a constant justification for increased tyranny at home. With the most recent shooting carried out by yet another target of the FBI’s “investigations,” and the predictable divisive backlash that will follow, it is assured that the American public will be further blinded to the fact that this so-called “Islamic extremism” was born in Washington and on Wall Street, in Riyadh and Tel Aviv, not in a mosque or springing forth from the pages of the Qu’ran.

In fact, the vast majority of the world’s Islamic people are locked in mortal combat with the West’s mercenary terrorist forces, with tens of thousands of them having shed their blood fighting Al Qaeda everywhere from Libya to Egypt, to Iraq and Syria. While the US attempts to pose as the leading power in the fight against extremism, its token airstrikes deep within Syrian territory are quickly undone by the torrent of supplies it itself oversees flooding into Syrian territory. For every fighter killed by a US airstrike, 10 more are being trafficked in through US and NATO-run networks stretching as far afield as Xinjiang, China.

The US presence in Iraq and Syria serves simply as one of several planned stepping stones to eventually and directly intervene militarily in toppling either or both governments, before moving on to Tehran.

The “War on Terror” is a fraud, and each “terrorist attack” a carefully orchestrated means of further perpetuating that fraud.

FACING A POWER THAT CAN MAKE YOU BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

Mankind cannot evolve until we confront the evil which overpowers us with our own fears.

THERE IS NO WAR ON TERROR, THERE IS ONLY US TERRORIZING THE WORLD.  IF WE COULD DO THIS TO OURSELVES, THEN IMAGINE WHAT WE HAVE PLANNED FOR THE REST OF MANKIND.

COLLECTIVE EVOLUTION–911

9/11 Firefighters Reveal Bombs Destroyed WTC lobby

Newly obtained video that was reluctantly released by NIST after a lawsuit by the International Center for 9/11 Studies shows two firefighters on 9/11 discussing how secondary explosions occurred immediately before the collapse of the twin towers, providing damning new evidence that explosive devices were used to bring down the buildings. Firemen discuss how bombs were going off in the lobby of WTC1 as they were staging to move up the building. They explain how the building had already been hit by the plane and fires were already burning. After two explosions in the lobby, a third went off and the whole lobby collapsed. I’m sorry 9/11 truth deniers, you now have another smoking gun that you can’t deny!

NATO’s Never-Ending War Games On Russian Border Since 2014

THIS IS NOT RUSSIAN FORCES STAGING PROVOCATIVE WAR GAMES ON THE MEXICAN OR CANADIAN BORDER, IT IS AMERICANS TRYING TO PUSH-IN RUSSIA’S FRONT DOOR.

AMERICANS WANT MORE WAR, MORE KILLERS TO BE PROUD OF AND TO MOURN.

..WE CANNOT LIVE WITH OURSELVES WITHOUT IT.

NATO PROVOCATIONSSOURCE

THE AMERICAN POLICE STATE–we don’t need no stinking prison walls

[SEE:  THEY LIVE, We Have No Special SUNGLASSESJuly 14, 2008, 2nd article on There Are No Sunglasses website]

Prisons Without Walls: We’re All Inmates In The American Police State

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Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free—to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. . . . To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.”—Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World Revisited

Free worlders” is prison slang for those who are not incarcerated behind prison walls.  Supposedly, those fortunate souls live in the “free world.” However, appearances can be deceiving.

“As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” writes former prison employee Marlon Brock, “it began to dawn on me that the security practices we used in the prison system were being implemented outside those walls.” In fact, if Brock is right, then we “free worlders” do live in a prison—albeit, one without visible walls.

In federal prisons, cameras are everywhere in order to maintain “security” and keep track of the prisoners. Likewise, the “free world” is populated with video surveillance and tracking devices. From surveillance cameras in stores and street corners to license plate readers (with the ability to log some 1,800 license plates per hour) on police cars, our movements are being tracked virtually everywhere. With this increasing use of iris scanners and facial recognition software—which drones are equipped with—there would seem to be nowhere to hide.

Detection and confiscation of weapons (or whatever the warden deems “dangerous”) in prison is routine. The inmates must be disarmed. Pat downs, checkpoints, and random searches are second nature in ferreting out contraband.

Sound familiar?

Metal detectors are now in virtually all government buildings. There are the TSA scanning devices and metal detectors we all have to go through in airports. Police road blocks and checkpoints are used to perform warrantless searches for contraband. Those searched at road blocks can be searched for contraband regardless of their objections—just like in prison. And there are federal road blocks on American roads in the southwestern United States. Many of them are permanent and located up to 100 miles from the border.

Stop and frisk searches are taking place daily across the country. Some of them even involve anal and/or vaginal searches. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved strip searches even if you are arrested for a misdemeanor—such as a traffic stop. Just like a prison inmate.

Prison officials open, search and read every piece of mail sent to inmates. This is true of those who reside outside prison walls, as well. In fact, “the United States Postal Service uses a ‘Mail Isolation Control and Tracking Program’ to create a permanent record of who is corresponding with each other via snail mail.” Believe it or not, each piece of physical mail received by the Postal Service is photographed and stored in a database. Approximately 160 billion pieces of mail sent out by average Americans are recorded each year and the police and other government agents have access to this information.

Prison officials also monitor outgoing phone calls made by inmates. This is similar to what the NSA, the telecommunication corporation, and various government agencies do continually to American citizens. The NSA also downloads our text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and so on while watching everything we do.

Then there are the crowd control tactics: helmets, face shields, batons, knee guards, tear gas, wedge formations, half steps, full steps, pinning tactics, armored vehicles, and assault weapons. Most of these phrases are associated with prison crowd control because they were perfected by prisons.

Finally, when a prison has its daily operations disturbed, often times it results in a lockdown. What we saw with the “free world” lockdowns following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the melees in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, mirror a federal prison lockdown.

These are just some of the similarities between the worlds inhabited by locked-up inmates and those of us who roam about in the so-called “free world.”

Is there any real difference?

To those of us who see the prison that’s being erected around us, it’s a bit easier to realize what’s coming up ahead, and it’s not pretty. However, and this must be emphasized, what most Americans perceive as life in the United States of America is a far cry from reality. Real agendas and real power are always hidden.

As Author Frantz Fanon notes, “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

This state of denial and rejection of reality is the essential plot of John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live, where a group of down-and-out homeless men discover that people have been, in effect, so hypnotized by media distractions that they do not see their prison environment and the real nature of those who control them—that is, an oligarchic elite.

Caught up in subliminal messages such as “obey” and “conform,” among others, beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards, and the like, people are unaware of the elite controlling their lives. As such, they exist, as media analyst Marshall McLuhan once wrote, in “prisons without walls.” And of course, any resistance is met with police aggression.

A key moment in the film occurs when John Nada, a homeless drifter, notices something strange about people hanging about a church near the homeless settlement where he lives. Nada decides to investigate. Entering the church, he sees graffiti on a door: They live, We sleep. Nada overhears two men, obviously resisters, talking about “robbing banks” and “manufacturing Hoffman lenses until we’re blue in the face.” Moments later, one of the resisters catches Nada fumbling in the church and tells him “it’s the revolution.” When Nada nervously backs off, the resister assures him, “You’ll be back.”

Rummaging through a box, Nada discovers a handful of cheap-looking sunglasses, referred to earlier as Hoffman lenses. Grabbing a pair and exiting the church, he starts walking down a busy urban street.

Sliding the sunglasses on his face, Nada is shocked to see a society bombarded and controlled on every side by subliminal messages beamed at them from every direction. Billboards are transformed into authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is replaced with the words “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”

What’s even more disturbing than the hidden messages, however, are the ghoulish-looking creatures—the elite—who appear human until viewed them through the lens of truth.

This is the subtle message of They Live, an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state. These things are in plain sight, but from the time we are born until the time we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our good. The truth, far different, is that those who rule us don’t really see us as human beings with dignity and worth. They see us as if “we’re livestock.”

It’s only once Nada’s eyes have been opened that he is able to see the truth: “Maybe they’ve always been with us,” he says. “Maybe they love it—seeing us hate each other, watching us kill each other, feeding on our own cold f**in’ hearts.” Nada, disillusioned and fed up with the lies and distortions, is finally ready to fight back. “I got news for them. Gonna be hell to pay. Cause I ain’t daddy’s little boy no more.”

What about you?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the warning signs have been cautioning us for decades. Oblivious to what lies ahead, most have ignored the obvious. We’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.

As Rod Serling warned:

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard, into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance. Then we become the grave diggers.

The message: stay alert.

Take the warning signs seriously. And take action because the paths to destruction are well disguised by those in control.

This is the lesson of history.

Baltimore Wasn’t The First City To Burn, And It Won’t Be The Last

[SEE; Valdosta, Georgia — a racial powder keg?  ; In Pittsburgh, racial strife simmers in uneasy calm]

Baltimore Wasn’t The First City To Burn, And It Won’t Be The Last

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A police officer walks by a blaze, Monday, April 27, 2015, during unrest following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a Baltimore Police Department van. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Our cities have burned before. The broken spines of the Freddie Grays have, before, been the last straw, the flame to the powder keg. And before, the riots have been followed by congressional studies, journalistic reports and community healing projects. Often, public dollars have been pumped into stricken neighborhoods to spur renewal. And yet we cannot seem to pull the curtain on this four-part play.

The famed sociologist Kenneth B. Clark was one of the first witnesses to appear before the Kerner Commission that was convened in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to study the urban riots of the mid-1960s. Clark’s words then bear study now:

I read that report. . . of the 1919 riot in Chicago, and it is as if I were reading the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’35, the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of ’43, the report of the McCone Commission on the Watts riot. . . . It is a kind of Alice in Wonderland–with the same moving picture reshown over and over again, the same analysis, the same recommendations, and the same inaction.

In July 1919, 17-year-old Eugene Williams was stoned and drowned in Lake Michigan because he sought to swim in a whites-only area. Protests broke out in Chicago’s black neighborhoods when police refused to arrest Williams’ assailant, and after eight anarchic days, 38 people lay dead.

In the summer of 1943, Robert Bandy, an African-American soldier, was shot when he tried to protect a woman from police harassment. Though Bandy was not fatally wounded, Harlemites rampaged for two days, shattering the windows of clothing stores on 125th Street and littering the sidewalks with their white mannequins.

The broken spines of the Freddie Grays have, before, been the last straw, the flame to the powder keg … And yet we cannot seem to pull the curtain on this four-part play.

On a hot August night in 1964, a traffic stop in Philadelphia went awry when an angry officer pulled Odessa Bradford out of her car and handcuffed her. Word spread that the officer had beaten the woman, whereupon the city exploded for three days.

And in 1967, two Detroit servicemen just back from Vietnam were being feted at a bar in the city’s oldest and poorest neighborhood when the vice squad closed the place down and arrested 82 customers. The riot was on, and it was a week before the fires were extinguished and the gunfire quelled.

When our president despairs because he’s “seen this movie before,” he is referring not just to the violent rebellions that scarred Watts, Newark and now Baltimore, but also to the seemingly uninterruptible cycle of loss, burial, mourning and helplessness generated by police brutality and civilian mistrust. He is reminding us that these iterative assaults, superficially distinct and historically specific, are connected in an existential, corporeal sense to the extractive atrocity of slavery.

Black critical memory conjoins the 1919 murder of 17-year-old Eugene Williams with the 2012 murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, integrating the assaults into an intractable, inevitable, intergenerational process of subordination and rebellion. When he refers to decades of inequality and neglect, Barack Obama is reminding us of the link between structural violence and the performed violence on black bodies, and urging us to observe the ties between social division and economic inequity on the one hand and historic violence on the other.

I do part company with Obama when, seeking to cast blame elsewhere, he claims he cannot federalize every state and local police department. While that may literally be true, until the 1990s, the Justice Department generally failed to use readily available tools, or to seek from Congress new remedies to control the kind of wide scale police lawlessness that has apparently plagued cities like Baltimore.

The absence of political will, not constitutional authority, explains the longstanding federal absence from the most charged arena of race relations in our national history.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts in New Orleans, and more recently in Ferguson, to enforce constitutional standards have marked a welcome break from a century of inattention to the plight of police victims. At the historic 1963 March on Washington, Representative John Lewis pleaded for inclusion in the civil rights bill, provisions that would enhance federal power against police abuse, but the Justice Department rejected the proposals.

In 1991, Congress failed to pass a Police Accountability Act, which would have conferred power on Justice to enjoin police wrongdoing. It was only 20 years ago, in 1994, that Congress specifically authorized federal investigations of pervasive misconduct by state and local law enforcement.

The absence of political will, not constitutional authority, explains the longstanding federal absence from the most charged arena of race relations in our national history. Obama has the gravitas and voice to structure our conversation about policing black communities, but he should also acknowledge that the fault lines leading to Baltimore passed through our capitol.

The Family Curse–John Ellis “Jeb” Bush

George W. Bush acknowledges family name will hurt Jeb’s 2016 campaign

 

Barbara Believes America Has Enough President Name Bush

Barbara Believes America Has Enough President Name Bush

 

https://therearenosunglasses.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/bald-bush-2.jpg

“My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos.”

 

 

Obama Clumsily Exposes Israeli/Jewish Control of American Govt, With Iranian Nuke Gambit

[SEE: Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States]

[BREAKING—White House gives in to Congress on right to reject any Iran nuclear pact ; Israel happy at compromise deal on Iran between Congress-Obama: minister ]

[Here we have the Iranian President Rouhani asserting one fact–that the Iran nuke negotiations are with six nations, NOT JUST THE UNITED STATES–followed by the Congress demonstrating another fact–that the US Congress represents the Israeli government, NOT the American people, quickly followed by a third fact, that the American President is also a puppet of these wealthy foreign interests. 

The American govt. is pounding the US Constitution into a fine parchment powder right here for the whole world to see, as it answers its true masters, the International Jewish elite.]

In-Charge1 source

Iran leader: We are in talks with ‘the major powers,’ not the U.S. Congress

Washington_Post_Logo

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran was negotiating a comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers, not the U.S. Congress, and called a Senate committee’s vote to give Congress the power to review any potential deal a domestic U.S. matter.

The Iranian leader, speaking in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, also repeated earlier statements that his country will not accept any comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers unless all sanctions imposed against it are lifted.

“We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,” Rouhani said, Iranian state television reported. Rouhani said the U.S. Congress’ power to review a nuclear deal with Iran was a domestic U.S. matter, the Reuters news agency reported.

He said Iran wanted to end its isolation from the world by constructing “constructive interaction with the world and not confrontation.”

Rouhani’s comments came one day after a Senate committee voted unanimously to give Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 negotiating deadline, in a compromise with the White House that allows President Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the pact before it can be completed.

Homeland Security Stockpiling Lots of “Less Lethal Specialty Munitions”

Are They Arming for Riots Across America? Homeland Stockpiling “Less Lethal Specialty Munitions”

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Mac Slavo

tear-gas-riot-crowds

One of the biggest stories for years in the alternative media was the mysterious and foreboding purchase by Homeland Security of more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.

Thanks to coverage on prominent sites like DrudgeReport, the story reached into mainstream media, prompting official spin and downplaying of the purchase.

Now, a new Homeland Security purchase order listed on FedBizOpps  also raises an eyebrow or two, given the heated and divided political and social climate at hand. Just look at what happened in Ferguson…

A request for “less lethal specialty munitions” for use by Homeland Security dated March 23, 2015 reads:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to solicit responses to Request for Information (RFI) 20082225-JTC for Less Lethal Specialty Munitions (LLSM) for use by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP is interested in incorporating commercial and industry practices that support this type of procurement. To accomplish this, CBP intends to make industry a partner in all facets of the acquisition process, specifically by considering existing market capabilities, strengths and weaknesses for the acquisition of this commodity.

FedBizOpps-Homeland-Less-Lethal4.14-PM

Over the course of 9 pages (PDF), the technical requirements call for an arsenal of specialized weaponry for training and deployment against crowds.

On top of a wide range of gas and chemical grenades, rubber bullets and other riot rounds, the purchase calls for “controlled noise and light distraction devices,” including flash bangs which set off a 175 dB sound with 6 – 8 million candelas light bursts in 10 milliseconds.

So why are the Feds prepping to take on crowds?

Officially, the request is put through Customs and Border Patrol, a subset of the Department of Homeland Security, but it is unlikely that the equipment will be used to protect the border and keep out illegal aliens. But the riot gear and crowd control devices have many potential uses.

Perhaps, the equipment for use in instances like last year, when protesters in Murrieta confronted Customs and Border Patrol agents and blocked buses carrying a wave of illegal immigrants from Central America?

The requested equipment includes:

Hand Delivered Pyrotechnic Canisters, including

  • Smoke Canister for Training (Reduced Toxicity)
  • Continuous Discharge Large Smoke Canister (Operations)
  • Continuous Discharge CS Canister
  • Orange Colored Smoke Canister
  • Green Colored Smoke Canister
  • Pocket Tactical Smoke Canister
  • Pocket Tactical CS Canister
  • Three Part Sub-Munitions CS Canister
  • Non-Burning Internal Canister OC Grenade

Non-Pyrotechnic Indoor/Outdoor Use

  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (OC)
  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (CS)
  • Flameless Expulsion Grenade (Inert)

Hand Delivered Rubber Ball Grenades

  • Rubber Ball Grenade
  • Rubber Ball Grenade (CS)

40mm Launched Specialty Impact Munitions

  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge
    40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (OC)
  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Marking)
  • 40mm Direct Impact Sponge Cartridge (Inert)
  • 40mm Sponge Training Rounds

Crowd Management Projectile Cartridges

  • 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (OC)
  • 40mm Smokeless Powder Blast (CS)
  • 40mm Long Range Canister (CS)
  • 40mm Long Range Canister (Smoke)
  • 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (CS)
  • 40mm Cartridge Four Part Sub-Munitions (Smoke)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (100 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (200 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions (300 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (100 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (200 Meters)
  • 40mm Aerial Warning Munitions OC (300 Meters)

Controlled Noise And Light Distraction Devices

  • Distraction Device Compact
  • Distraction Device
  • Distraction Device Reloadable Steel Body
  • Distraction Device Reload
  • Command Initiated Distraction Device Reload
  • Distraction Device Training Fuse
  • Distraction Device Training Body
  • Multiple Detonation Distraction Device
  • Low Profile Distraction Device
  • Command Initiator

Ferret Rounds

  • 40mm Ferret Round (OC Powder)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (OC Liquid)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (CS Powder)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (CS Liquid)
  • 40mm Ferret Round (Inert Powder)

The ferret rounds are designed to penetrate barriers and deliver debilitating or disrupting chemicals:

“The projectile shall be designed to penetrate barriers of glass, particle board, and interior walls. Upon impact of the barrier, the nose cone will rupture and instantaneously deliver the OC liquid on the other side of the barrier. “

The collection of equipment provides a diverse range of toys with which authorities could push back crowds and potentially intimidate free speech as well.

Are there more riots coming? Is widespread civil unrest only a matter of time? Is it related to martial law exercises like Jade Helm 15?

What do the Feds know that we don’t?

They are getting ready… are you?

 

Related Reading:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: Prepare For Any Disaster

If Martial Law Comes to America “Dissidents and Subversives Would Be Rounded Up”

The 17 Elements of Martial Law

US Policy Is Driving Force Behind the Call To Jihad

[A very strong case is made that it is US foreign policy which fuels Islamist anger and drives the call to “jihad.”  American policy has been humiliating to every Muslim since 2001, in particular, the policies of torture, secret renditions and drone assassinations, all of which have been designed to destroy the collective psyche of all Muslim males.  

Murder by drone and rendition have demonstrated to every Muslim family that none of them are safe in their beds, or in their homes anymore.  What more reason would a sensible young man need than this, to drive him to take-up arms against the American aggressors?   Yemen hosted a US drone/counter-insurgency base, allegedly used to “hunt al-Qaeda,” which was probably the driving force in Yemen’s destabilization.  The more the US and the Saudis bombed Yemen, the greater grew the unrest of all sectarian derivations. 

The ease of recruitment for ISIS (and the Middle Eastern radicals in general) is a pretty direct measure of the effectiveness of US psychological warfare.  The more we humiliate Muslims, the more jihadis answer the call to battle. 

But, I would argue that that has been the objective of the entire war on terror since its inception…find those who would be jihadis and kill them all.  It doesn’t matter to the Pentagon/CIA that they are feeding the cycle that they have been fighting to stop?  Instead of trying to kill the Muslim world to get all the survivors to “LIKE” us, we should try to disengage long enough for the Arabs to fight among themselves and settle their tribal/religious feuds which we had no right to interfere with, at all.]

Smith College religion professor, historian says US should stay out of Middle East battles

MASS live

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By Diane Lederman | dlederman@repub.com

 

Smith College religion professor Suleiman A. Mourad believes the United States should not be involved in the Middle East. (Diane Lederman/The Republican)

 

NORTHAMPTON – This week, Saudi Arabia took on rebels in Yemen, the latest action in the escalating conflict in the Middle East. It’s a confusing muddle of alliances.

As the New York Times reports the United States is supporting the Saudi campaign to dislodge Iranian-backed Houthi rebels but in Iraq and Syria, the United States is on the same side as Iran in the fight against the Islamic State.

And while some Congress debate whether to send in ground troops, Smith College religion professor Suleiman A. Mourad believes the United States should not be involved.

In fact anger against the United States is fueling the antagonism and serves as a recruiting tool for Isis and other extremists.

Mourad, who also studies jihad, explained some of the roots of the conflict and the reasons he believes that it needs to play out there without United States intervention.

He doesn’t think the warring parties are ready or able to talk to each other nor does he see any diplomat in the United States able to bring the parties to the table.

In fact, he said the United States is hated abroad. A native of Lebanon he returned recently and said the level of animosity between Sunnis and Shia towards the United States was extreme.

Middle Eastern leaders don’t trust or respect the United States.

The wars between Sunnis and the Shia – different sects within the Muslim community with different customs – have both modern and historical roots.
According to the BBC, most of the Muslims are Sunnis – estimates suggest the figure is somewhere between 85 to 90 percent.

Historically, Sunnis consider themselves as the orthodox or traditional form of Islam where the Shia the political faction, according to the BBC.

“There are historical grievances historical reasons that speak to the current grievances,” Mourad said, much in the way slavery here is linked to issue of race in America.

He said at the same time, some Shia are aligned with some Sunnis and vice versa. Also he said Shias in Yemen are different than the Shias of Iran. “They don’t have a common history. There’s much animosity.”

Each political leader has his own agenda and uses the rebel groups to support that just as long they don’t topple their own regime. “Every dictator has interests.”

While the Middle East was under the control of such leaders as Saddam Hussein, the militant factions were squelched but as those leaders were toppled the militant groups were able to emerge.
And what makes the modern conflict unprecedented is how widespread the uprisings are. The battle “across the Muslim world is unprecedented.”

He said the modern day Sunni militant movements began in the 1960s-1970s with the ideas of Sayyid Qutb of Egypt and Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi of Pakistan being put into practice.

They believed that Muslims rulers “were in the pockets of the West.:” And he said those militant ideologues were in “pursuit of a great Islam” and urged Muslims to jihad and unity.

Later there was a split where one group wanted a less militant approach and instead advocated for activism. The idea was “to just do activism to take control of the Sunnis. Teach ideas to ultimately unify Islam.”

But with such things as the overthrow of the Shah in Iran and Ayatollah Khomeini becoming the supreme leader and the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, these militants groups realized they had power and could demonstrate that militarism could achieve their goals.

Isis too feels like it has power with the attention it garners with the beheadings of Americans or its connection to attacks in France at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine in January.

“(In their minds) It puts them on equal footing with the west,” Mourad said. And if “we are equal to the West, we can defeat the West.”

Each regime, meanwhile, in the Middle East has its own agenda but leaders are not able or willing right now to talk about what that is and how to meet their needs. Some take advantage of groups like Isis to push for their respective interests and agendas.

So the wars have to play out until they are willing to talk. Meanwhile he said, “We have no business being (there.)”

He said the Iranians during the overthrow of the Shah said, “America is Satan” and wanted to destroy the country. That hatred has only worsened as the United States has gotten more involved in the battles of the countries in the Middle East.

How the CIA made Google

How the CIA made Google

Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet— part 1

Medium .net Medium News

By Nafeez Ahmed

INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’

The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world. The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet.

THIS IS PART ONE. READ PART TWO HERE.


This exclusive is being released for free in the public interest, and was enabled by crowdfunding. I’d like to thank my amazing community of patrons for their support, which gave me the opportunity to work on this in-depth investigation. Please support independent, investigative journalism for the global commons.


In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, western governments are moving fast to legitimize expanded powers of mass surveillance and controls on the internet, all in the name of fighting terrorism.

US and European politicians have called to protect NSA-style snooping, and to advance the capacity to intrude on internet privacy by outlawing encryption. One idea is to establish a telecoms partnership that would unilaterally delete content deemed to “fuel hatred and violence” in situations considered “appropriate.” Heated discussions are going on at government and parliamentary level to explore cracking down on lawyer-client confidentiality.

What any of this would have done to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks remains a mystery, especially given that we already know the terrorists were on the radar of French intelligence for up to a decade.

There is little new in this story. The 9/11 atrocity was the first of many terrorist attacks, each succeeded by the dramatic extension of draconian state powers at the expense of civil liberties, backed up with the projection of military force in regions identified as hotspots harbouring terrorists. Yet there is little indication that this tried and tested formula has done anything to reduce the danger. If anything, we appear to be locked into a deepening cycle of violence with no clear end in sight.

As our governments push to increase their powers, INSURGE INTELLIGENCE can now reveal the vast extent to which the US intelligence community is implicated in nurturing the web platforms we know today, for the precise purpose of utilizing the technology as a mechanism to fight global ‘information war’ — a war to legitimize the power of the few over the rest of us. The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google.

Google styles itself as a friendly, funky, user-friendly tech firm that rose to prominence through a combination of skill, luck, and genuine innovation. This is true. But it is a mere fragment of the story. In reality, Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex.

The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation.

The shadow network

For the last two decades, US foreign and intelligence strategies have resulted in a global ‘war on terror’ consisting of prolonged military invasions in the Muslim world and comprehensive surveillance of civilian populations. These strategies have been incubated, if not dictated, by a secret network inside and beyond the Pentagon.

Established under the Clinton administration, consolidated under Bush, and firmly entrenched under Obama, this bipartisan network of mostly neoconservative ideologues sealed its dominion inside the US Department of Defense (DoD) by the dawn of 2015, through the operation of an obscure corporate entity outside the Pentagon, but run by the Pentagon.

In 1999, the CIA created its own venture capital investment firm, In-Q-Tel, to fund promising start-ups that might create technologies useful for intelligence agencies. But the inspiration for In-Q-Tel came earlier, when the Pentagon set up its own private sector outfit.

Known as the ‘Highlands Forum,’ this private network has operated as a bridge between the Pentagon and powerful American elites outside the military since the mid-1990s. Despite changes in civilian administrations, the network around the Highlands Forum has become increasingly successful in dominating US defense policy.

Giant defense contractors like Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International Corporation are sometimes referred to as the ‘shadow intelligence community’ due to the revolving doors between them and government, and their capacity to simultaneously influence and profit from defense policy. But while these contractors compete for power and money, they also collaborate where it counts. The Highlands Forum has for 20 years provided an off the record space for some of the most prominent members of the shadow intelligence community to convene with senior US government officials, alongside other leaders in relevant industries.

I first stumbled upon the existence of this network in November 2014, when I reported for VICE’s Motherboard that US defense secretary Chuck Hagel’s newly announced ‘Defense Innovation Initiative’ was really about building Skynet — or something like it, essentially to dominate an emerging era of automated robotic warfare.

Read PART 1 and PART 2 HERE

Obama’s “al-CIA-da” Strategy–Fight ISIS To Give Al-Nusra Time To Grow Strong

[Al Golani is a creation of the intelligence agencies (SEE: The layers of fiction surrounding Al Nusra chief Abu Mohammed Al Jolani).  He is credited with leading one of the currents generated by the break-up of Al-Qaida In Iraq, the same terrorist outfit which has been holding Lebanese soldiers hostage, after beheading 4 of them.  Nusra is fighting a holding action on the Leb. Army, giving ISIS time to lay in supplies the mountains of the east, preparing for an anticipated major assault upon Lebanon from Qalamoun in Syria.  Lebanon is expected to join a US anti-ISIS coalition, while it fights al-Nusra without proper weapons. 

Truth be told, Lebanon is expected to fold-up and play dead in the face of a sustained assault by the offspring of al-Q In Iraq.  Both ISIS  and al-Nusra are “al-CIA-da.”]

Nusra Front Quietly Rises in Syria as Islamic State Targeted

daily star LEB

W460

The Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate, is consolidating power in territory stretching from the Turkish border to central and southern Syria, crushing moderate opponents and forcibly converting minorities using tactics akin to its ultraconservative rival, the Islamic State group.

But while the Islamic State group gets most of the attention largely because its penchant for gruesome propaganda, the Nusra Front quietly has become one of the key players in the four-year civil war, compromising other rebel groups the West may try to work with while increasingly enforcing its own brutal version of Islamic law.

Its scope of influence now abuts the Golan Heights bordering Israel, and its membership largely composed of Syrian nationals refuse any negotiations with the government of embattled President Bashar Assad, further complicating the brutal conflict.

“The Nusra Front will most likely outlast ISIS in Syria, and will represent a severe and existential threat to the aspirations of the Syrian people in terms of a pluralistic, democratic society,” said Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.

The Islamic State group helped create the Nusra Front, providing financing, manpower and military hardware in 2012. But the group and its patron eventually had a falling out in 2013 for ideological as well as strategic reasons. The Nusra Front, while loyal to al-Qaida, has cooperated with other Syrian rebel factions in the fight to oust Assad.

In recent months, the group has overrun rebel strongholds in Syria’s Idlib province, trouncing two prominent, U.S.-backed rebel factions, Harakat Hazm and the Syria Revolutionaries Front. Following the deadly clashes, SRF leader Jamal Maarouf fled to Turkey and Hazm announced it was dissolving.

A Middle East-based Western diplomat said the Nusra Front began its attacks on moderate, U.S.-backed rebel factions after the American-led coalition began airstrikes in September targeting both the Islamic State group and the Khorasan group, which Washington says is a special cell within Nusra plotting attacks against Western interests. U.S. officials last week said airstrikes have hit as many as 17 separate targets connected to the Khorasan group.

The Nusra Front responded with a series of spectacular attacks targeting moderate rebel groups and forces loyal to Assad in northwestern Syria, the diplomat said.

It “has now created coherent control of a strategic area between Idlib and Hama (provinces) in northwestern and central Syria,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists.

At the same time, the group has become increasingly aggressive toward local populations. In January, members of the group reportedly shot a woman dead in front of a crowd in Idlib after they accused her of being a prostitute. The group also has carried out public lashings, crucifixions and kidnappings — though it has not publicized the atrocities like the Islamic State group.

Activists in southern Syria say the Nusra Front was behind the January bombing that destroyed the shrine of a 13th century Muslim scholar. The Nusra Front issued a statement denying it was involved but activists say its members were seen placing the bombs.

“They’re trying to come across as rational, moderate, more dynamic,” Gerges said. “They don’t celebrate savagery in the same way like the Islamic State group.”

Residents say among the group’s most worrisome action so far is forcing members of the minority Druze sect living in Idlib’s Jabal al-Summaq region to convert to Sunni Islam.

The Druze, a 10th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, made up about 5 percent of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million people. In addition to Syria, Lebanon and Israel have large Druze communities.

“The Druze in Idlib are being subjected today to religious persecution. The Nusra Front carried out shameful acts. They have dug graves and damaged shrines,” said former Lebanese Cabinet minister Wiam Wahhab, a Druze politician with close ties to the community in Syria.

Activists estimate several hundred Druze have been forced to convert. A purported Nusra Front document, posted online and dated Feb. 1, outlined an agreement that saw Druze in 14 villages in Idlib convert. Under the deal, the Druze will implement Islamic laws, destroy tombs, impose Islamic dress on women and stop having mixed-sex schools. Idlib-based activist Asaad Kanjo said many Druze there have fled.

“You are likely to see this sort of behavior from Nusra in Idlib province because they are increasingly the dominant party in this part of Syria, and are in the midst of a concerted effort to eliminate rivals there,” said Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. “Nusra ultimately wants to rule Syria.”

An opposition activist in Kafranbel, a town in Idlib, said the group has established an elaborate network of social services and Shariah courts and rules uncontested. Remaining rebel groups in the province operate only with Nusra’s approval, he said.

However, the group’s increasingly belligerent approach toward other rebel groups is starting to alienate former allies, said the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The main Western-backed Syrian group, the Syrian National Coalition, which in the past has been wary not to criticize Nusra, has changed its tune.

“We are concerned over Al Nusra’s latest actions and abuses against civilians and (Free Syrian Army) fighters,” said spokesman Salem al-Meslet, adding that the abuses were akin to the Islamic State group and Syrian government forces’ “criminal behavior.”

The criticism has led the Nusra Front to issue a rare statement defending itself, saying its target are only those proven to have committed “crimes” against Muslims and fighters.

“It was not our intention on any day to spread influence and expand and control the worshippers and the country,” the statement from its Al-Manara Al-Bayda media arm said. “Rather, our goal and aim is to lift injustice from the oppressed, and push away every enemy that attacks the honor, religion, and sanctities of the Muslims.”

Western Financial System Is Driving It to War

Western Financial System Is Driving It to War

russia insider

Leading Russian intellectual Starikov believes the unsustainable nature of amoral finance capitalism is driving western countries to a catastrophic war, which he sees as an existential threat to peace for Russia and the rest of the world

To Russian eyes the west is on a war footing
In the course of life today, we’ve grown accustomed to using terms whose meaning we might not fully understand. We throw them around casually, not realizing that they lose their meaning and sometimes even come around to stand for their exact opposite. This is precisely why the sense has arisen today in society that there is a need to determine in a clear and understandable manner exactly what is happening on the global chessboard in front of all of our eyes – the Big Story, written online.

Even those people the very furthest from politics are feeling the need for understanding and explaining to themselves the reasons for the things they encounter even just moving through their own lives. Why have prices in stores started to go up? What’s the reason for the fact that, quietly and nearly unnoticed, belief in a brighter tomorrow is slipping? When and why did talk about a possible war stop being speculative and distant? These and dozens of other questions have driven millions of yesterday-apolitical citizens to seek answers. They feel the need to find those answers and to construct a new worldview in which what-comes-tomorrow is not simply a lottery ticket, but a predictable and logical continuation of today. Predictable and, hopefully, not frightening.

This atmosphere, unfortunately, is a breeding grounds for attempts to brainwash our citizens and to stuff their heads with ideas which will be devastating to them personally. But this devastation will come hidden within banal attempts stubbornly do good. So let’s try to dissect the methods and means of manipulating the people’s conscience which we have already started to encounter. And, which will grow in direct proportion to the problems being encountered by our geopolitical opponents.

1. THE ROOTS AND SOURCE OF TODAY’S ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL CRISIS.

Today, the world is in a situation that can be characterized as a dead end that the liberal financial-oriented world economy drove itself into after remaining the dominant economic system following the collapse of the USSR. Not going into much more detail on that theme, since doing so would require a whole other in-depth discussion, I will simply point out that, as historical experience and logical consideration confirm, this economic system cannot work without theft. On its own, without infusions from outside, it is not able to sustain itself, therefore a long period in which no one goes to war and no one is robbed, for countries sitting at the top of the liberal “food chain”, will always mean a crisis of the economic system itself. The need for war or theft is a matter of life and death for many (if not for all) countries of the West. The danger for the West today is that “potential victims” are nowhere to be found. In the world of today, the approximate parity of strength is like it was before two world wars, which itself increases many times over the risk of a new world conflict. A classical conflict, as during the previous two world wars, or as a hybrid, hidden beneath a large number of local conflicts (the main goal of which will be not to allow the nuclear weapons deterrent to be used!) together with informational and economic aggression.

What goals are the wars’ organizers aiming for? 

First and foremost is a breaking of established economic ties, a deepening everywhere of the economic slide, except for in agreed-upon “economic growth spots”. In the First and Second World Wars this zone was the USA and once again they are trying to repeat this scenario. In addition, a goal of starting wars is the nullification or depreciation of “pre-war” debts and a restart of the world economy. An analysis of the upcoming conflict’s probable zones of destruction and (or) thievery which will permit the world economy to be restarted while preserving the existing economic model and the currently-constituted “economic food chain” for the existing financial elites shows that the level of accumulated contradictions can only be resolved at the expense of Russia and her demolition. The situation in the disparate and ailing enclaves of Europe and Asia, surrounded by the raging chaos that will come from the destruction of our country, will allow the United States to retain for itself the role of regulator of the world’s economy, island of stability, and the source point for new growth. Growth for itself, for Europe, and for Asia under the USAs security guarantees, paid for by the robbery of our country and our people.

How do the interests balance in the quadrilateral: USA, Europe, Russia, and China? 

The USA and Russia in this are antagonists. Why? Because retaining the privileged role of the USA is only possible at the expense of Russia, and under the circumstances of a weakened China and Europe. That being the case, such aspirations make it very unlikely that there will be an “amicable” consensus between Russia and the USA without a change (or a solidifying via Russia’s defeat) in the established order of things. That means that in the absence of a “Neo-Gorbachevism” we will inevitably be forced to stand against the States — just to be able to survive and retain ourselves. This is unavoidable. Europe in this case is the sole ally of the United States. Today’s “European submissiveness” to the will of the USA is the result of deeper causes, and unlikely solely due to “bought and blackmailed” leadership. Europe, lacking its own combat-capable armed forces and its own independent financial system capable of providing a sufficient level of financial sovereignty, is forced to follow in America’s wake. Which, for better or worse, is providing her both the first and the second.

Is this situation final and irrevocable? It seems to me that it isn’t. Europe will cry, but will eat the cactuses like the mice in the joke, for just as long as the USA is able to guarantee her safety and economic stability (though maybe in lesser amounts). The threat of losing all of this can flip Europe from the USA’s side in search of new guarantors of its separate and privileged position. In the event of a “fall of Russia”, Europe will become “frontline” territory at whose borders there will be aggressive instability. Europe will be most satisfied with Russia in a “USSR variant”, where the state, in “Gorbachev’s manner”, withdraws and enthusiastically permits itself to be robbed like a masochist. But the variant where Russia resists, and from this the country springs up as, not a “zone of robbery”, but a “zone exporting aggressive instability” (like today in the former Ukraine) will not please Europe. In sum, we will have a situation where Europe supported the USA in its attempted “blitzkrieg” against Russia as the better of its available courses. However, continuing Russian resistance changes the situation and in the future will inevitably lead to Europe, though with numerous reservations and attempts to negotiate preferential treatment, having to distance itself from the American policies directed towards the destruction of Russia. China in this quadrilateral (USA-Europe-Russia-China) is our natural and situational ally in its own opposition to the collective West. After all, today it is becoming a competitor to China in the economic as well as the political sphere. Any kind of strengthening of Russia will automatically result in a weakening of the West as a competitor to China. Therefore, so long as China can trust that it will no longer have to run up against Khrushchev-Gorbachev-Yeltsin-type “wiggly” unpredictable policies from Moscow, we can count on the economic and political support of China. Let’s sum it up. We are dealing with opposition between the USA and Russia, in which Europe and China play the part of tactical (within certain bounds) allies of the battling sides as they pursue their own goals in the confrontation. Therefore, neither Europe nor China is interested – unlike the USA – in the total destruction of Russia. After all, in that event both Europe and China would be weakened and would stand alone against a strengthened USA, as well as surrounded territorially by Eurasian chaos.

The USA needs Russia to die quickly. Europe was ready for a blitzkrieg under the management of the USA, but Europe is not ready for a drawn-out, long, and “expensive” conflict. China is prepared for a “game of debts” and is prepared to weaken both the USA and Europe in economical and political support of Russia, but is not prepared in this conflict to “take the bit between their teeth”, since it is still not ready to throw its entire weight into opposition, burdened as it is with its own problems and a worries due to the “Gorbachev effect”.

Given the shortage of time, the only path to survival for the USA is to demolish Russia from within and have her collapse. Either that, or a radical change of power in Russia which would abruptly turn the country’s ship of state around and permit the subsequent chaos and war. This would, in turn, give the States the necessary conditions for breaking the financial and economic channels of interaction in Eurasia and the weakening of both Europe and China, but at the “fault” of the new Russian government. We have a situation where the organization of an internal explosion in Russia displacing the legal government is for the USA a question of its own survival.

2. INFORMATION WARFARE IN RUSSIA – A QUESTION OF SURVIVAL FOR THE USA.

In the beginning of the article I mentioned that the current situation is forcing Russian citizens to actively seek answers to many questions. This pursuit of information, this struggle between various points of view, opinions and ideas opens a “window of opportunity” for those attempting to influence foreign policies of the country by influencing internal political situation. Chaos and war are once again becoming the one and only weapon of choice for the dollar. Russia, despite being subject to Western economic and information aggression, still:

  • continues to strengthen its economy;
  • continues its shift towards East;
  • retains the role of an economic and political bridge between Europe and Asia;
  • preserves its leading military and political position on the continent;
  • possesses decisive energy, scientific and manufacturing potential;
  • continues to adapt to hostile economic and political relations with a certain part of the world;

Such Russia is not in the interests of the USA. Stronger Russia will play a stronger stabilizing role in the world. Not only it is not going to become the source of chaos and war in Eurasia, it also has a high potential to distance Europe from the “leading and directing” role of the USA, which is totally unacceptable for America. Hence the question – what can US do in this situation?

First, US needs to instill chaos and war in the minds of Russian citizens, to have this chaos reach the “critical mass” needed to enable them to either influence the actions of the government on international stage or, which would be even “better”, tear down the government altogether, similar to how it was done in February of 1917 or August of 1991. Today, citizens of Russia have many questions, which is a great opportunity to provide answers which will lead them to actions that would ultimately be in US interests.

And such “answers” have already been prepared by the all-knowing well-wishers…

3. CAUTION: MANIPULATION!

Let’s reiterate that this is very important. In order to survive and preserve its leading role on international stage, US desperately needs to plunge Eurasia into chaos, to cut economic ties between Europe and APR (Asia-Pacific Region). The States need to turn the territory that lies between them (Russia, Central Asia, Middle East) into a zone with local armed conflicts, falling economies, deficient governments and general instability. Middle East is already very close to a state of total chaos, US-created ISIL is working to further complicate the situation in that region. Central Asia is a potentially very unstable region and it has been “farmed out” to the revived Taliban, but so far it has kept the appearance of stability. Russia is the only territory within this potential zone of instability that is capable of resistance. It is the only state that is ready to confront the Americans. Undermining Russia’s political will for resistance, shifting its foreign policy – is a vitally important task for America.

How can this be achieved given that the will of the President of Russia can be clearly defined as anti-American and the ability to realize this will is as strong as ever, thanks to the stability of the ruling establishment? The only way to achieve this is to drag the leadership of the country into a long and debilitating stand-off with its own people.

Liberal scenario (ineffective) 

In the long term, the unity of Russian people and their leadership can be broken by providing liberal answers to questions that are important for the apolitical majority. To achieve this, long forgotten “weathered soldiers” of ideological battles, who were not part of the events of 2011-12, have been brought out of nonexistence (Stankevich, Nadezhin and others). They are working to convince the Russian society that today’s Russia is “in over its head”. In other words, Russia, by protecting its geopolitical interests and by breaking every imaginable international rule, is behaving in a way that is unacceptable for a “gas station” country. Therefore, not having the required economic potential and sufficient international weight, Russia is bound to end up in international economic and political isolation. This will impact the lives of average citizens by significantly lowering their standard of living, the government will lose control over the state affairs and, ultimately, the state itself will be torn apart. Of course the proposed remedy for all these ailments is this: “fold” to US, recognize the leading role of US in the world and generally follow in the footsteps of American policies. This means that Russia must give up its national geopolitical interests, return Crimea, take on the burden of supporting Ukraine and then, just like in the 90’s, follow directions of Western advisors who will determine the path of political and economic development of the country.

Today, the level of “immunity” of Russian society against this liberal scenario is quite high. The nineties and the “liberal shift” attempt in 2011-12 served well to create a stable “anti-liberal” sentiment within Russian society. That’s why realization of this scenario is not possible in the short term, but our Anglo-Saxon enemies always plan well ahead. This liberal point of view will be kept alive and will be cultivated among a certain type of urban intellectuals who are traditionally aligned with Western values. And, in case society becomes fed up with patriotism, these intellectuals will be the ones to present Russian society with a point of view that will be in line with Western interests.

Patriotic scenario (main) 

The States don’t really care what particular scenario will sink the territory of Eurasia (Russia – Customs Union) into chaos or what will cut the strong economic ties along the EU-Russia-Customs Union-China line. Whether Russia follows the liberal scenario described above, dissolves the way USSR did or willingly plunges into chaos and localized armed conflicts – makes no difference to US. If Russia starts throwing its weight around and using force to assert its own views and interpretations of international rules of co-existence, the US will just as well reach its intended goals. The important expression here is “using force”. That will result in chaos and war in Eurasia, which is all US needs.

Russian society has overcome the virus of liberalism and is not ready to become infected with it again, and that is exactly why instead of the “liberal scenario of voluntary dissolution” they are being offered the “patriotic scenario” that instills in their minds an arrogant faith in success. In practice, this translates into certain public figures, who are consistently viewed as being patriotic, persistently offering… scenarios which require use of force in future developments in Eurasia. They are also interpreting past events using assumptions that every event was dealt with from the position of force, position of power. These interpretations are exactly what US needs. As a matter of fact, these interpretations, and the part of Russian society that is behind them, are so closely aligned with US interests that Western political and public figures have been focusing solely on this particular part of Russian society, using them in propaganda and diplomatic efforts directed against the current leadership of the President in the Russian Federation. It is possible to assert that a certain part of those who consider themselves to be patriots of Russia willingly or unwillingly are working in the interests of Western aggressors. Interpreting the events of 2014 as “Russia using force to apply pressure on Ukraine”, calling for a wider and more profound use of force in Ukraine in the future and accusing Russian leadership of not providing sufficient military and technical support for Donbass militia, they are allowing Western diplomats to interpret all their statements as “proof of Russian aggression”. And a very valuable proof at that, because, according to Western views and practice of legal precedents, a witness account of Russian use of force in Ukraine, coming from those who took part in the events (Strelkov-Girkin), is an indisputable and necessary proof that the USA and the collective West are acting appropriately against “aggressor Russia”. This is a case of remedy being more dangerous than the ailment. This “proof of Russian aggression” is allowing Washington to justify sanctions and cutting relations with Moscow. The logic of confrontation with Russia includes mechanisms designed to rupture Eurasian economic ties, which will inevitably lead to chaos across the entire Eurasian continent. And that is exactly what the US is trying to achieve.

Russian “patriots”, who are, in reality, defending US interests (regardless of what they themselves think), in fact… are probing the Russian society to figure out just how possible it is to organize mass protests in the country. With today’s strong leadership that is stirring Russia towards absolute sovereignty, this task seems nearly impossible. But if their point of view starts affecting the mindset of the majority of Russian citizens, an attempt to use “street democracy” to push Russia towards “use of force” scenario in Ukraine can be made. And that will be a 100% American victory over Europe and China. Therefore, we can safely conclude that “street democracy” using popular “patriotic” slogans instead of the unpopular liberal ones is the most desired development within Russia for the USA. So desirable that the States will nurture and support (financially, using media and PR) those “patriotic” Russian figures who, willingly or unwillingly, are acting in line with American interests. Impartial analysis of information and media shows that this is exactly how events are unfolding in Russia.

How can this be fought and how can the ill-fated path of 1914-style “destructive patriotism” be averted? The victory over the minds and hearts of Russian citizens can only be achieved by spreading the truth and disclosing the methods of manipulation used by Russian “patriots” who are currently helping our eternal enemies in their information war against Russia.

Some Examples of Manipulation. 

The mass manipulation of consciousness, in the first-order is the implicit substitution of desires from genuine goals to manufactured goals. Any conscious ‘exposure’ of this process, even though it identifies these first-order manufactured goals, is itself manufactured (‘second order’) on the very basis of this ‘exposure’. The methodolical manufacture of this second order phenomenon logically enables a pure inversion of genuine desires and thus by direct implication, reality.

For example, those ‘ultra-patriotic’ chaps working, doubtlessly part-time, for the U.S. State Department will state that ‘We should militarily intervene in the Ukraine. Working on an emotional level (the most commonly applied method of ‘softening up’ for manipulation) they will tell us of the unspeakable ordeals endured by the people of the Donbass. It is surely the healthy reaction of any human being to wish to give assistance and support. An example would be the incursion of Russian troops into the Ukraine with the aim of averting a humanitarian catastrophe and putting a halt to the genocide of the Russian population. Moreover, we can confirm that this incursion cannot be dangerous for Russia insofar as Russia is already under the most onerous sanction regime imaginable which the Russian people bear unjustly. Simultaneously the public is ‘calmed’ by the belief that NATO will under no circumstances allow itself to be drawn into armed conflict with Russia, in possession of nuclear weapons which can be used as a ‘trump card’ in any negotiations. Strelkov-Girkin has developed the knack of projecting a statesmanly wisdom. He endlessly affirms that those speaking of peace are in denial about the ongoing war scares Russians with the spectre of NATO forces. These self-same NATO forces, in turn, simply swallow any half-baked statements and perceive any movement of Russian forces as having the goal of overthrowing the regime in Kiev. Why? Because it allegedly can’t directly oppose Russia because of her well supplied army and her nuclear forces.

So how do we apply, to the current situation, the concept of the implicit substitution of desires to manufactured goals? Well the point is that instead of the actual escalating Hybrid war, being fought with the aim of exhausting the enemy, using the full spectrum of potential threats with the exception of Nuclear weapons, we see that the public is presented with the traditional threat of a second world war confrontation (replete with Nazis and Swastikas).

Such wars can be characterized by opponents openly trying to destroy each other mainly by military confrontation. In such conflicts, the aim is simply to destroy or take control of the opposition center of political decision making by military means. This was sufficient as it destroyed the ‘brain’ of the enemy. In modern hybrid war the political decisions will be taken in the Western Centers remote from the military conflict (Brussels, Washington). The military conflicts will be delegated to peripheral centers (the Kievan ‘Junta’; the Donbass ‘Novorossiya’; ISIS (Islamic State) active in the North Caucasus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, perpetrating terrorist activities in the Volga region; the Taliban active in Central Asia, the Urals and the far east of Russia). Correspondingly, economic aggression will be applied from the financial bloc controlled by the West. Engaging militarily in the Donbass, Russia in the short term will be on the receiving end of a series of strikes in the above regions and in its urban centers. Countering these blows (dependent on the scale of the territory destabilized) will demand the dramatic strengthening of the Russian military including the special services and the transformation of the economy as well as everyday life onto a war footing, which of course is neglected in the patriotic narrative projected by the ‘manipulators’. Such ‘surprises’ for the Russian society, who are simply geared up for a “small victorious war in the Donbas” under the current patriotic narrative will incline public opinion towards direction the liberal activists, those supporters of the “peaceful dissolution” of Russia. Such appeals will sound repeatedly to “rest under the wing” under the American world order and the popularity of such ideas will dramatically grow. In summary, we witness the re-emergence of the provocateurs of the sort we had in 1914, these ‘Hurray Patriots’ who paved the way for the provocateurs of February 1917.

These same liberal capitalists are ready for the widest possible cooperation with the West on its terms in the ordering of Russian life. However, even if against the odds, Russia will pull off another “Russian miracle” and be able resolve, through military means, the numerous military conflicts both along its borders and within its territory, even this great victory will not destroy the Western center of decision-making. Washington and Brussels will remain out of reach of the Russian army, as they are not directly participating in any of these conflicts.

While Russia will face outside the military and terrorist aggression forming an existential threat to the state, Europe without an efficient army, dogged by controversy and lack of a single center of decision-making will be in no better straites. Europe will be forced, against the background of a Russia “which is on fire,” to simply forget about their own geopolitical interests and stand in line with the Americans. At the same time, Europeans will be forced to acquiesce to a significant decline in their living standards, and be subordinated to all the other American adventures. As a direct consequence, economic cooperation through Europe – Russia – Trans-Siberian will decline to an absolute minimum, if it survives at all.

China, similarly faced with instability in its own underbelly in Central Asia and facing growing aggression from NATO allies in Taiwan and Japan, will be forced to limit its military, political and economic support to Russia, awaiting the outcome of the confrontation and eventually breaking its ties with the United States. As a result, we see the realization of the US plan: economic cooperation between Europe – Russia – TC – China, minimized or neutralized, and the existence between China and Europe of zone of global instability and local wars. Russia will have to exert all its strength to survive, which will eliminate its opportunities for political maneuver and peace-building and economic development.

4. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?

Firstly, we need to look objectively, without emotions at the root cause of the issue. Collectively, the West enslaved by its ineffective liberal, finance oriented economic model, will inevitably be forced to engage in local or planetary plunder to fulfil its own dynamic requirements for existence. A suitable metaphor would be a car running out of fuel with the engine running. Any delay will dramatically increase the chances of the engine ‘seizing up’ which will render further motion impossible. The driver of the car facing such threats is prone to panic and make mistaken decisions when trying to refuel. Assuming that one is not inclined to help the driver the natural course of action would be to let the driver make all these mistakes and for the engine to be allowed to seize up.

Russia’s actions in the contemporary situation should be based on several principles: 

First, we must understand that every day we delay the onset of full scale hybrid war strengthens us and weaken our enemies. Each day of delay – allows us to establish economic ties to the Eurasian space, making Russia less vulnerable. Each day of delay – it is an additional burden on the “western car” and its fuel consumption.

Today, the West and the United States are incurring significant costs maintaining its hybrid “War Infrastructure” (the junta in Kiev, Islamic State, the Taliban, 5th Columns inside China and Russia), but it is still investing without accruing dividends. Each day of delay signifies a new weapon for the Russian army, new production in Russia and an increase in readiness for difficult times.

Secondly, using the tactics of “viscous defense” when every new step on the occupied territory carries obvious loss for the occupier, Russia increases the chance of a split in the “Euro-Atlantic Coalition” The weak point of the West is that it is not monolithic. I.e. the “slaves” are always ready to betray the “masters” if the cost / risk associated with coalition leads to an unjustified increase in the level of risk. Today, the West is stuck in Ukraine. “Blitzkrieg” failed. The original plan to separate the Ukraine from Russia, reorientation its markets to Europe, while maintaining the previous level of Russian economic support for Ukraine, is now firmly in the past. For the US the Ukraine forms and outstanding catalyst for Eurasian Chaos. However for Europe, Ukraine is a “White Elephant” with severe and infectious behavioral issues which has kindly donated by the Americans to them. For the sake of countering “Russian Aggression” Europe is ready to consolidate and bear hardships, but to preserver Poroshenko and Co., still less, for the sake of geopolitical dispute between Russia and the United States, the willingness to bear hardships becomes a lot less.

Thirdly, we must remember that the advantage in war is to those who choose their time and terrain. This is critical. Start a war when we see the result will not be to win these peripheral conflicts i.e. the Kievan ‘Junta’, the Islamic state or the Taliban, but rather to achieve victory over the “center of real political decision making” in Washington. A war should be fought for this goal and none other.

On the basis of the above, we can see that every victory of Assad in Syria, and every victory of the militia of the Donbass and Lugansk Republics saves lives of Russian soldiers and Russian territory from ruin. We see a unique situation, the first time in Russian history, when the forces of aggression against Russia are based on the distant outskirts of our country. Russia is obliged, according to her own interests, to furnish every assistance and support, to weaken the Western Coalition, thus expanding the cracks of various interests in the allegedly monolithic Euro-American unity.

5. CONCERNING “PATRIOTIC” MANIPULATORS.

On January 28, 2015 in St. Petersburg, the Russian party “Great Society” organized a cultural gathering with the writer, essayist and translator Dmitry Y. Puchkov as keynote speaker. Dmitry Y. was predictably humble, consumed by his own thoughts and interests, which were genuinely, without excessive sophistication, quite profound. I was unfortunately unable to attend this meeting, as due to a business trip in Nizhny Novgorod.

However, when I watched recordings of the proceedings, I was immediately struck by the savage accuracy of the metaphor of the Russian intelligentsia, worshiping the West, with the liberal intelligencia playing the role of “Evil Shepherds”, leading their flock of sheep to the slaughter. The allegory is devastatingly accurate. The West have maintained their dominance by the means of murder and robbery on a planetary scale. They “manufacture their image” in the eyes of future victims, using these “evil shepherds” from the intelligentsia. Without these “Evil Shepherds”, any potential victim from the Soviet Union to Ukraine today, could be saved from plunder and mobilize their own self-preservation instinct. It is only the conscious and pro-active manipulation that these, “intellectuals” practice, performing the role of administrators of “spiritual chloroform”, which has allowed public opinion to be so manipulated.

Events of the last year and especially the last few months have unfortunately led me to be convinced that that the existence of the “Evil Shepherds” may not only be among those enthralled by the west, but also among those administrating “patriotic” rhetoric to the public.

However, I am deeply convinced that our Russian society, representatives of all the peoples of our country have a sufficient high level of consciousness to counter this pseudo-patriotic manipulation which works for the benefit of the United States. After all, our people were able to emerge from the liberal manipulation of a few years earlier. The memory “of Greeks bearing gifts” battered us in the 90s, battered us until our pores wept sweat and blood.  As for me, I will, to the best of my ability, resist these new attempts to deceive our society under the renewed and pseudo-patriotic slogans.

 

Nikolai Starikov is Russian writer, political activist and influential public intellectual. For a wider introduction see here.

Right or wrong, he is an indicator of what thousands or millions of Russians believe.

This article originally appeared at the author’s blog. It was translated by: DzhMM, Mikhael and Gideon at The Vineyard of the Saker 

Heavily-Armed Venezuelan Civilian Militias Prepare For Potential US Invasion

“I can’t imagine why Venezuela needs 100,000 AK-47s,” Rumsfeld told reporters

“In 2012…equipment acquired by Caracas from the Russian defense industry at $4.4 billion…includes…100,000 AK-103 machine guns…and 5,000 SVD sniper rifles.”

Massive military drills in Venezuela as govt stands up to perceived US threat (VIDEO)

Russia-Today

Executive Order – Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela

white house

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

BLOCKING PROPERTY AND SUSPENDING ENTRY OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-278) (the “Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act”) (the “Act”), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela’s erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and

(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:

(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have participated in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to Venezuela:

(1) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions; 2

(2) significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a serious abuse or violation of human rights, including against persons involved in antigovernment protests in Venezuela in or since February 2014;

(3) actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or peaceful assembly; or

(4) public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Venezuela;

(B) to be a current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

(C) to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela;

(D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:

(1) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(2) an activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section; or

(E) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.

Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons, except where the Secretary of State determines that the person’s entry is in the national interest of the United States. This section shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, or other applicable international obligations. 3

Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 4. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:

(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;

(d) the term “Government of Venezuela” means the Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Venezuela.

Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.

Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and 4

section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, other than the authorities contained in sections 5(b)(1)(B) and 5(c) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order, with the exception of section 2 of this order, and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, the INA, and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, including the authorities set forth in sections 5(b)(1)(B), 5(c), and 5(d) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of State may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.

Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 12. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 13. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 9, 2015.

BARACK OBAMA

POLL–US Trust In Government and Its Lapdog Media Flatline

[There is a simple explanation for this trend…Most Americans have learned the hard way that government and US media only deal in lies. Government officials spoon-feed us the lies in “soundbite” format, while media expands upon govt. lies, fleshing-out the fabricated details of the latest “news” that they want us to believe. Neither can be trusted, yet the govt. keeps on making even bigger mistakes on our behalf, while the media creates the false narrative that is used to steer us all away from any real truth. We need citizens investigative committees to out the liars and correct the false “history” that they have been able to construct.]

US trust in govt, media at record low – poll

Russia-Today
Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

Reuters / Shannon Stapleton

Americans are less confident in the government than ever before and consider it a bigger problem than the economy and unemployment, according to a comprehensive social survey for 2014 and a just-released Gallup poll.

Only 10 percent of Americans consider the nation’s job situation to be the top problem. Eleven percent are most worried about the economy, according to a Gallup poll published Thursday. Meanwhile, 18 percent say the government is the biggest problem the country is facing.

‘Analysis of the General Social Survey for 2014,’ published Wednesday by the Associated Press, indicates that confidence in the government is at an all-time low. Only 11 percent of adult Americans interviewed had high confidence in the executive branch, and a record-high 44 percent said they had “hardly any confidence at all.”

AP-NORC Center and GSS

AP-NORC Center and GSS

Confidence in the US Supreme Court is at 23 percent, while only five percent are confident in Congress. Both are historical lows since the GSS survey was first conducted in 1972 by the NORC Center for Public Affairs at the University of Chicago.

While confidence in the White House tends to vary depending on party affiliation, the new survey reveals that confidence among Democrats decreased from 25 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2014.

Over half of Americans express hardly any confidence at all, while only 7 percent of Democrats, 5 percent of independents and 3 percent of Republicans have a great deal of confidence in Congress,” said the analysis by AP and NORC.

Though confidence in the US military is dropping, it remains above 50 percent.

AP-NORC Center and GSS

AP-NORC Center and GSS

Trust in the media is low as well. Only seven percent of Americans polled have a large amount of confidence, while 44 percent have hardly any at all. Only three percent of Republicans and 10 percent of Democrats have a lot of confidence in the press. Only one in 10 Americans has a lot of confidence in television.

While only 10 percent are confident in organized labor, more Americans trust banks and financial institutions than before – 15 percent now, up from an all-time low of 11 percent in 2010. Only 10 percent have a lot of confidence in organized labor.

Not everything seems bleak, however. Thursday’s Gallup poll showed that 31 percent of Americans are satisfied with the country’s direction – a small drop from 33 percent during the 2012 presidential campaign. The all-time low was seven percent during the financial crisis in 2008, and the all-time high was in February 1999, during the dot-com boom.

Gallup polled 1,025 adults between March 5-8. The General Social Survey was based on interviews with a representative sample of 2,538 adults, conducted between March and October 2014.

Bemoaning the Human Tragedy of Syria, Without Blaming Obama For It

[The US military has created so many new wars throughout the region that it should have fully absorbed the lessons of those wars by now, in particular, the grieveous human cost of ill-advised, or outright foolish military adventurism. Unleashing tnunamis of war refugees is a bi-product of all war, contingencies should have been prepared years ago (before starting new wars) to humanely deal with the refugees in surrounding countries. Blaming any of this upon ISIS should be unacceptable since it was the US/Saudi sponsorship of Islamists within Syria that created the monster in the first place. The ISIS/refugee problems which arose offer proof that the Pentagon either suffers from a total lack of foresight or the slightest degree human compassion. It is no wonder that so many returning war vets suffer from PTSD. Any legislation passed to deal with the refugee crisis now, should have already been enacted after the first regime-change disaster in Iraq, or before the consecutive disasters in Libya, Syria, Yeman, and Ukraine (?).]

npr
Syrian girls, carrying school bags provided by UNICEF, walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light compared to four years ago.

Syrian girls, carrying school bags provided by UNICEF, walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings on their way home from school on March 7 in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. So many people have fled the city and so much of its infrastructure has been destroyed that nighttime satellite images show 97 percent less light compared to four years ago.  Zein al-Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

 

The conflict in Syria is entering its fifth year, and two new reports suggest it just keeps getting worse for civilians there.

One United Nations agency says life expectancy has plummeted by 20 years in the once-developed nation, while another new study based on nighttime satellite imagery finds that, in the past four years, 83 percent of the country’s lights have gone off.

And that’s just the average, says Michael Klosson, vice president for policy at aid group Save the Children. In areas like Aleppo, where much of the populace has fled and infrastructure has been pulverized, researchers found that light has been reduced as much as 97 percent.

Klosson says he thinks the satellite images illustrate that the hopes for Syria’s children — his aid group’s focus — are darkening.

“You’ve got 5.5 million kids who need humanitarian assistance — that’s equivalent to the population of the entire state of Maryland,” he says. “That’s a lot of kids in need.”

Meanwhile the U.N. report says life expectancy has fallen from nearly 76 years to under 56 in Syria, that the nation’s education system has collapsed and that the country is descending into poverty.All that despite a UN Security Council resolution passed last year to open up aid routes. Activists say it’s had little impact.

“The U.N. and the world have failed, and things have gotten worse for civilians,” says Gawain Kripke, director of policy and research at Oxfam America. “Our ability to provide assistance has been limited, and there are more people in places that are hard to reach now, than there were before the U.N. took action.”

Aid groups can’t get to about 4.8 million people in Syria, Kripke says, 2.5 percent higher than in 2013. The rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State certainly plays a role, but Kripke says Washington has been too focused on that.

“We’re spending a lot of time, money and resources focusing on parts of the problem — like ISIS — but it’s not a comprehensive solution to the conflict,” he says. “And it’s ignoring the suffering that’s going on.”

The problem is so enormous — former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday said, “What is happening on the ground in Syria is a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe of the first order” — that some worry people may decide it’s a lost cause.

“It has the danger of people switching off, because it’s hard to imagine what can be done,” says Nigel Pont, who is stationed in Beirut for Mercy Corps. “While we are not able to put an end to this war, and while we can’t alleviate everyone’s suffering, we are able to help millions of people a year.”

Save the Children’s Klosson also worries that the world’s attention is shifting away, and is urging the U.S. and other world powers to step up humanitarian assistance and work harder to find a solution the conflict.

“That’s how you get the lights back on,” he says.

Dumb-Ass Republican Leadership Frothing At the Mouth For MORE WAR!

[SEE:  Half of the US Senate Publicly Undermines and Embarasses the President of the United States (Cotton and 46 Fellow Senators to Send Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran)]

GOP’s New Foreign Policy Hero Is a Surveillance-Loving Interventionist Nightmare

reason

In soviet America, Cotton picks you! |||
Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton wants to invade Iran and Syria, jail journalists and whistleblowers, eavesdrop on Americans, and keep the ‘savages’ locked up in Gitmo.

Matt Welch

He’s “the star of the 2014 Senate class,” proclaims The Washington Post. A “conservative superstar,” deems The Atlantic. The “leading GOP national security hawk,” says The Washington Post again. Even a “dark horse” 2016 candidate for president, says The New Republic. So just who exactly is the new letter-writing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, and what does his prominence say about the contemporary GOP?

Beyond being a Harvard-educated Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol’s biggest new political protégé, and also a target of sustained affection from National Review, Cotton is a politician who has already taken plenty of policy positions. Among them:

* That the U.S. should pre-emptively invade Iran, topple the mullahs, and ensure “replacement with [a] pro-western regime.”

* That “we should be proud for the way we treated these savages at Guantanamo Bay,” and that “the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is that there are too many empty beds.”

* That we should keep at least 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the forseeable future to finally get the job done there.

* That the U.S. should deploy ground troops against ISIS.

* That President Barack Obama should have taken “decisive, effective military action” against Syria after the regime crossed the administration’s “red line” in 2013.

* That the National Security Agency needs to be able to collect bulk metadata on unsuspecting Americans, because “Folks, we are at war. You may not like that truth … Do not take this tool away from our warriors on the front lines.”

* That Edward Snowden is a “traitor.”

* That defense spending needs to be jacked up: “We need to restore money not only cut by the sequester but the $1 trillion [reduced before that].”

* That, “Far from restraining the use of drones […] through unwise and unconstitutional mechanisms, we should continue and probably expand their use in our war against radical Islam.”

* That Iraq was a “just and noble war.”

* That, concerning pre-emptive military intervention, “George Bush largely did have it right, that we can’t wait for dangers to gather on the horizon, that we can’t let the world’s most dangerous people get the world’s most dangerous weapons, and that we have to be willing to defend our interests and the safety of our citizens abroad even if we don’t get the approval of the United Nations.”

* That ending President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran “is very much an intended consequence” of Cotton’s efforts in the Senate; “a feature, not a bug.”

* That, concerning the Obama administration’s November 2013 agreement with Iran in Geneva, “I fear that future generations may view what happened in Geneva as we have viewed Munich for 75 years. What makes this moment worse is that the West appeased Hitler at Munich out of fear and weakness. President Obama capitulated at Geneva even though we were in a position of strength given the sanctions regime. One can only imagine the thinking behind this grievous, historic mistake.”

Cotton first came to prominence as an Army lieutenant in Iraq in 2006, when he wrote a soon-to-be-viral open letter to then-New York Times executive editor Bill Keller and reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau criticizing the paper’s investigative piece about administration efforts to disrupt terrorist financing. The letter closes with a desire to see the journalists deprived of their freedom:

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others — laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.

It is no wonder that neoconservatives such as Washington Free Beacon founder Michael Goldfarb wish “there were 20 Tom Cottons.” The open question, as it pertains to the new GOP majority, is whether Goldfarb is correct in his assessment that “At the end of the day, the Republican base is for bombing bad people.”

 

2009 German Analysis Documenting US Plan To Unleash Civil War In Ukraine

Imperial Geopolitics: Ukraine, Georgia and the New Cold War between NATO and Russia

IMI german

von: Martin Hantke | Veröffentlicht am:

1. Januar 2009

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand current and future U.S., EU and NATO policy. Over ten years ago the former National Security Advisor gave a graphic description of the imperatives of imperial geopolitics. He argued that the U.S.A.’s position of supremacy should be preserved under all circumstances. To this end NATO, acting as a “bridgehead” of the U.S.A., should expand into Eurasia and take control of geostrategically important regions so as to prevent Russia’s resurgence as a powerful political force.

Brzezinski had in mind two countries or regions in particular: “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south.” […] “However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”1 Brzezinski argued further that there was an imperative need to gain control of the southern Caucasus, i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, on Russia’s southern flank. The past master of U.S. geopolitics set out the aim and purpose of NATO policy with impressive clarity: “The United States and the NATO countries – while sparing Russia’s self-esteem to the extent possible, but nevertheless firmly and consistently – are destroying the geopolitical foundations which could, at least in theory, allow Russia to hope to acquire the status as the number two power in world politics that belonged to the Soviet Union.”2

In the years that followed, these words were systematically put into political practice with NATO taking its eastward expansion right up to Moscow’s borders. Furthermore, active Western support for the “colourful revolutions” in Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004) led to the sitting pro-Russian or neutral governments and presidents being ousted by pro-Western candidates.3 Russia regarded NATO’s policy as crossing the “red line”. As the war between Russia and Georgia in the summer of 2008 showed, Russia is no longer prepared to stand idly by in the face of further attempts at expansion. Nevertheless, the Western military alliance is doggedly pursuing its escalation policy, in which Ukraine and Georgia are now being offered NATO membership as a means of safeguarding the “successes” that have been scored. U.S. President Barack Obama is also in favour of these two countries joining NATO.4 The announcement that Michael McFaul, a hardliner on policy towards Moscow, is to be appointed senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council gives little cause for hope that Washington under its new president will abandon its aggressive, anti-Russian policy. This amounts to tacit acceptance that the New Cold War between NATO and Russia, invoked so frequently of late, will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ukraine: “On someone else’s arse”

Even now, the approach to Ukraine is evidently still determined by Brzezinski’s recipes from the devil’s workshop of geopolitics. NATO accession and Europe’s energy supply are issues that are closely intertwined. Writing in Handelsblatt, Peter Zeihan from Strategic Forecast, the think-tank often referred to as the “shadow CIA”, described the complex geopolitical situation as follows: “On the one hand, the ‘orange’ revolution of 2004 led to the installation of a Ukrainian government hostile to Russia’s objectives. President Viktor Yushchenko would like to integrate his country into the European Union and NATO. For Russia that would be the kiss of death. Most of the infrastructure linking Russia with Europe – from pipelines to railway lines and high-voltage cables – is located in Ukraine. Industry and agriculture in both countries are closely interlinked. There are more Russians living in eastern Ukraine than anywhere else in the world outside Russia. The Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol because there are no reasonable alternatives. Ukraine stretches so far into southern Russia that a hostile power in the country could pose a threat to Moscow. Moreover, the country stretches so far eastwards that an antagonistic government there could even threaten Russia’s connections with the Caucasus. In a nutshell, if Ukraine slips out of Russia’s sphere of influence Russia will be forced completely onto the defensive in strategic terms. Vice versa, if Russia regains control in Kiev, the country could set itself up as a regional – and perhaps even a global – power.”5 It was to obviate such a scenario that Washington engaged in a further round of frenzied activity shortly before the end of U.S. President George W. Bush’s period in office. This activity was aimed at advancing Ukraine’s future membership of NATO. Martin Luther’s words to the effect that “Riding through a fire is easy on someone else’s arse” might perhaps have flashed through the mind of the then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as she walked up with Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Volodymyr Ohryzko, to sign the United States-Ukraine Charta on Strategic Partnership on 19 December 2008. Rice said: “The United States supports Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures. And in that regard, I want to assure you that the declaration at Bucharest which foresees that Ukraine will be a member of NATO when it can meet those standards is very much at the center of our policy.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister set great store by a strengthening of the presence of the United States in Ukraine, in particular through a diplomatic mission on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea.6

In addition to a programme of enhanced security cooperation intended to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership, agreement was reached on close collaboration on energy issues. It was resolved inter alia that “In recognition of the importance of a well functioning energy sector, the parties intend to work closely together on rehabilitating and modernizing the capacity of Ukraine’s gas transit infrastructure.”7 This Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed against the backdrop of the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Given Ukraine’s failure to pay its debts and the lack of any new agreement on deliveries of gas to Ukraine, supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine were stopped as of 1 January 2009. Within a few days the dispute began to have an effect on energy supplies throughout Europe. On 6 January 2009, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia reported that deliveries through the Ukrainian transit pipelines had come to a halt. Supplies to Austria fell by 90%. There are a number of indications that Ukraine’s actions can only be explained by reference to the support it received from the U.S.A. That was the Russian view too: “The Russian gas company Gazprom has pinned responsibility for the gas dispute with Ukraine on the U.S.A. Gazprom declared on Tuesday that Ukraine’s actions are being directed by the U.S. government. Despite the deployment of EU observers the Ukraine is again removing gas from the transit pipelines. Russia is therefore unable to deliver supplies to the EU countries. Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Russian energy giant, has accused the U.S.A. of fuelling the conflict.”8

In the case of both Georgia and Ukraine there is a close link between the gas dispute and support for their admission to NATO. In April 2008 the Bertelsmann Foundation concluded that Ukraine and Georgia were already closely integrated into “NATO’s working processes”. “Ever since it was founded in 1994, both countries have been part of the Partnership for Peace programme of the North Atlantic Alliance which is intended to promote individual cooperation between NATO and non-NATO countries. Cooperation has subsequently been extended. […] In their bilateral cooperation agreements with NATO both countries see far-reaching domestic reforms as a means of moving closer to the defence alliance. Such reforms principally concern the consolidation of internal democratic structures, but priority is also given to the fight against global terrorism and support for the operations and missions of the North Atlantic Alliance. The latter was one reason why U.S. President George W. Bush emphasized his efforts to have Ukraine and Georgia included in the Membership Action Plan. The progress made in integration into NATO’s defence structures puts into perspective the question that arose at the Bucharest summit about the steps Ukraine and Georgia will take after the provisional ‘no’ to their admission to the Membership Action Plan. Their path will inevitably take them into NATO.”9

Germany is playing a double role here. On the one hand it has joined France in rejecting an accelerated accession procedure for Ukraine, which the U.S.A. favoured; on the other hand it is playing a risky game by not placing any obstacles in the path of fundamental approval of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. The German Foreign Office has itself provided an apt description of this double role: “At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008 Ukraine was in principle given the prospect of membership (‘We agreed today that these countries (i.e. Ukraine and Georgia) will become members of NATO’). Ukraine was not granted a Membership Action Plan (MAP); instead, a comprehensive review process was initiated.”10 This granting of prospective membership to Ukraine for the first time, combined with Georgia’s aggression shortly afterwards against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, proved the last straw for Moscow.

Georgia: a geopolitical prize

A look at the map quickly makes it clear why the Southern Caucasus is so important. Georgia provides the only opportunity of supplying Europe with gas and oil from the resource-rich countries of Central Asia and of transporting goods and products to Europe by land from China and Kazakhstan. The Nabucco pipeline project is intended to help reduce Europe’s “dependence” on Russian gas imports, which currently account for 40% of its supplies and are expected to climb to even higher levels. According to the European press service EurActiv, “The US has long been pushing for the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines from the Caspian basin that would bypass Russia, especially via Georgia.”11 The project is a top priority for the European Union, too. During his period as representative of the EU Council President in 2006 the Austrian Minister of Economics Martin Bartenstein said: “[The] Nabucco pipeline is Europe’s most important energy project.”12

For both the EU Member States and the NATO countries Georgia provides the geographical terrain that is essential to cutting Russia off from the purchasers of its energy exports. Russia’s countermeasures include three pipeline projects – Nord Stream (Baltic Sea pipeline), South Stream (Russian-Italian gas pipeline through the Black Sea via Varna in Bulgaria) and Blue Stream (from Russia through the Black Sea into Turkey) – as well as the building of direct energy lines to western and southern Europe to ensure the unobstructed export of energy free from any checks or controls by former Eastern Bloc states very favourably disposed to the U.S.A. This was why the U.S.A., in particular, played the Georgian card in the hope of containing Russia’s political influence in Europe and preventing its rise to the status of an industrial power.

Western support for the war

Germany continues to play a significant part in the arming of Georgia. The Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) mostly train Georgian officers as part of the general staff training course which includes participants from other countries. Over the past few years the Bundeswehr has been host to a steady stream of high-ranking military delegations from Georgia. In addition, G 36 rifles manufactured by Heckler & Koch have been delivered to Georgia. The bulk of the training has been carried out by the U.S.A., however. The U.S. Army has trained Georgian soldiers “to bring the armed forces of Georgia, a loyal ally of Washington, up to NATO standards as an outpost in the Caucasus.”13 In 2006 alone, says the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the U.S.A. supported Georgia to the tune of 80 million U.S. dollars, 13 million of which went on the payment of “military supplies and services” as well as the training of soldiers. In addition the U.S.A. has helped Georgia by regularly modernising its fleet and delivering helicopters free of charge.14 The considerable extent of U.S. military assistance, which has “enabled the Pentagon to overhaul Georgia’s forces from bottom to top”, is described by the New York Times as follows: “At senior levels, the United States helped rewrite Georgian military doctrine and train its commanders and staff officers. At the squad level, American marines and soldiers trained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle.”15
All told, therefore, the Georgian armed forces have over five infantry brigades each numbering 2,000 men. In addition there are the reservist units whose level of training is far inferior. The Georgian government talks officially of 37,000 soldiers and 100,000 reservists. Since Mikhail Saakashvili took office, Georgia’s military spending has increased significantly: “In 2003 it amounted to 52 million lari (24 million U.S. dollars), whereas in 2006 that figure had tripled to 139 million lari (78 million U.S. dollars). Real expenditure is much higher, however. Anyone liable to be called up for military service, for example, can buy themselves out of the army – four-fifths of the money goes straight to the ministry.”16

There is also brisk cooperation between Georgia and NATO. In July 2008, a joint manoeuvre was held as part of the Partnership for Peace Programme in which a total of 1,630 military personnel, including 1,000 Americans and 600 Georgians, took part.17 In addition, the Georgian army has been – and still is – prominently involved in the war in Iraq, which is in contravention of international law, as well as in Afghanistan and Kosovo. In 2008, Georgia had 2,000 solders in Iraq, the third-largest contingent of the “Coalition of the Willing”. However, after the Georgian army had been repulsed in South Ossetia in August 2008, the U.S. Air Force flew the Georgian units stationed in Iraq back to the home front to provide help while the fighting was still in progress. Given the massive campaign undertaken by the U.S.A. and its allies to build up the country’s military, it is barely credible that, while the U.S.A. might not actually have given the green light, it was not fully informed of the pending attack and subsequently kept silent about it.

At any rate, the Russians are certain that the attack took place with support from Washington. The Russian ambassador to NATO, Dimitri Rogozin, made a statement to the effect that Saakashvili agreed the attack with his “backers”. It is clear to whom he was referring.18 Vladimir Vasilyev, Chairman of the Duma Security Committee, summed up the Russian point of view as follows: “The longer the matter goes on, the better the world will come to understand that Georgia would never have been capable of it [the attack on South Ossetia] without the United States”.19 In an interview for the German TV station ARD the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his views of the U.S.A.’s behaviour perfectly clear: “One cannot help thinking that the American leadership knew of the planned action and, indeed, participated in it […] in order to organise a small-scale but successful war. And, if things went wrong, to force Russia into the role of the enemy.”20

Russia’s counter-attack

It is, indeed, hard to believe that the Georgian attack took place without any prior consultation with the U.S.A. Yet it must have been clear to the U.S. government that the Georgian army would be crushed in battle, which was precisely what happened. The question arises, therefore, as to Washington’s motives. Did it simply miscalculate in assuming that Russia would quietly accept the Georgian advance? It is hard to imagine but conceivable nonetheless. The other explanation is that the primary objective was to stir up a conflict with Russia so as to make the European Union toe an even more anti-Russian line and that Saakashvili came in handy here in the role of useful idiot, albeit at the expense of the people in the region. The matter cannot be clarified with any degree of certainty, although the latter explanation would appear more plausible.

At all events, the calculation backfired, because Russia seized the opportunity provided by the Georgian attack to improve its own position in the Caucasus. It is also very hard to imagine that Moscow was not informed of Georgia’s invasion plans. It was evidently well prepared for such an eventuality. In July, 8,000 Russian soldiers carried out an exercise simulating the repulsion of a Georgian attack. That might also explain why the Georgian troops were halted within 24 hours and the Russian troops gained the upper hand relatively quickly. Hence to describe Georgia’s war of aggression as the result of President Saakashvili stumbling into a Russian trap is not very convincing. Whether the Russians were well prepared or not, the fact of the matter is that Georgia engaged in a war of aggression.

In the course of the conflict Russia succeeded in shattering confidence in Georgia’s reliability as a transit country for future Caspian energy supplies. Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili himself said that “one of the main reasons for the Russian attack was that Georgia already has the Baku-Tblissi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), which has been laid one metre underground from end to end. This is intended to circumvent Russia.”21 That suspicion is not as mistaken as it might seem. After all, the opening of the BTC pipeline in May 2006, over which Washington and Moscow had wrangled bitterly for almost a decade, was one of the biggest geopolitical successes in the U.S.A.’s plans to roll back Russian influence in the region. “The Georgian security adviser, Alexander Lomaia, says that the Russians dropped six bombs but failed to hit the pipeline. If that is true, it would indicate that Russia’s military action was conducted in pursuit of other, more far-reaching strategic goals than merely preventing a humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia.”22

The Nabucco project was also dealt a heavy blow. According to Ed Chow from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Russia has raised serious doubts in the minds of Western lenders and investors […] as to whether a pipeline through Georgia is safe from attacks or beyond the control of the Kremlin.”23 Nevertheless, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs attempted to give an assurance that the EU was sticking to its plan to build the Nabucco pipeline through Georgia despite the Caucasus conflict: “This infrastructure is needed”, Piebalgs said.24

For the first time since the end of the (old) Cold War Russia has thus ended a Western attempt at expansion by military means. That alone is sufficient to underline the dimensions of the Russian-Georgian war. At the same time the invasion of Georgia is a clear signal to the West that in future Russia will once again have to be taken into account in international power politics. A Strategic Forecast analysis says: “Russia has demonstrated three things with its operation in South Ossetia. Firstly, its army can carry out successful operations, which foreign observers have doubted. Secondly, the Russians can defeat forces trained by U.S. military instructors. Thirdly, Russia has shown that the U.S.A. and NATO are not in a position that would enable them to intervene militarily in this conflict.”25

Astonishing one-sidedness

It is hardly surprising that the Russian response to the Georgian invasion was fiercely criticised by the U.S., which almost unreservedly took Georgia’s side. Zbigniew Brzezinski was vociferous in his response, comparing Putin’s actions with those of Hitler. He went on to say that Moscow’s behaviour “can lead to exclusion and economic and financial sanctions. If Russia continues down this road it must ultimately be isolated within the community of states.”26
The European Union adopted an equally one-sided stance: “The European Council is gravely concerned by the open conflict which has broken out in Georgia, by the resulting violence and by the disproportionate reaction of Russia.”27 These were the words used by the European heads of state and government on 1 September in commenting on the events in the Caucasus. They failed to mention, let alone criticise, the fact that Georgia’s aggression was clearly what had unleashed the war. The statement continues by severely criticising Russia alone. Thus the heads of state and government “strongly condemn Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” In stark contrast to the policy of recognizing Kosovo that was pursued by the vast majority of EU Member States, the European Council “recalls that a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity recognised by international law, the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations Security Council resolutions.”27

There were occasional vehement demands for even more drastic action against Russia. The Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP), advocated an EU position that is “tougher than that of NATO.”28 The fact that the hardliners were not able to have their way entirely has to do with the specific constellation of interests that have made this appear inopportune, particularly from a German perspective. On the one hand there is a desire to show Moscow who is in charge in Europe but, on the other, there is a wish not to spoil things completely with Russia, because business there is simply too profitable.29 Nevertheless, Germany is in almost full accord with NATO’s escalation policy.

(Energy) NATO is put into position

In November 2006 U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a leading NATO strategist, literally went on the offensive. On the fringes of the NATO summit in Riga he criticised Moscow for its attempts to use oil as a “weapon” against the West and proposed the setting up of an “Energy NATO”. The underlying idea is that in future NATO should treat any interruption of oil and gas supplies as it would a military attack (see article by Tobias Pflüger).

In January 2008, five high-ranking NATO generals published a position paper that was specifically introduced into the debate in the form of a catalogue of requirements for the forthcoming updating of NATO’s strategic concept, the idea being that it could serve as a blueprint for the NATO summit on 3/4 April 2009: “ There will be an increase in global competition for scarce resources, and this will certainly be the case for fossil fuel, which will swell the possibility of suppliers abusing their position and their leverage.. […]Dependency on oil and gas is a vulnerability that some governments will seek to exploit – the Gazprom crisis demonstrated how easily demand can be manipulated. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is – and is likely to remain – a mechanism for keeping the price of oil artificially high, and recently Russia and the United Arab Emirates have been exploring the idea of setting up a ‘Gas OPEC’. […] For this reason, it might well be worth considering using NATO as an instrument of energy security.”30

Shortly afterwards, in June 2008, Richard Lugar, who for a time was under discussion as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State for Defense, repeated his threats against Russia at a hearing of the Senate and vigorously advocated the building of the Nabucco pipeline.31 At the same hearing the new U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden expressly praised Lugar’s work on energy policy and emphasised the importance of the conflicts in the Caspian region: “The stakes involve hundreds of billions of dollars in oil and infrastructure, the resurgence of Russia, and the energy security of Europe.. […] Russians love chess. Our strategic response on the chess board of Central Asia must be to establish a presence on parts of the board they do not yet control. That means laying down new pipelines that add alternatives […] to the monopoly Russia has enjoyed.”32

Biden is therefore likely to have welcomed one of the last major security policy initiatives launched by the Bush administration which aimed at drawing Georgia further into the Western orbit by means of a joint declaration on partnership: “The United States and Georgia officially became “strategic partners” under a charter signed by the two governments on January 9 [2009]. […] Few details have been publicized about the charter, which was signed four months after Georgia’s disastrous war with Russia. It has been widely reported, however, that the Georgian pact resembles a strategic partnership charter signed by the United States and Ukraine in December.”33 Like the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership the agreement with Georgia is likely to comprise intensified military cooperation and measures to expedite Ukraine’s membership of NATO. On 15 September 2008 NATO resolved to set up a commission to deepen relations with Georgia. This is intended “to coordinate Alliance efforts to assist Georgia in recovering from the recent conflict”.34

Cold War as a self-fulfilling prophecy

The aim of the policy pursued by the U.S.A. in Ukraine and Georgia is to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Russia is to be challenged by a policy of pinpricks involving “colourful revolutions”, energy blockades, NATO expansion and the stationing of missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic. By disrupting economic relations with Western Europe Washington aims to contain Russia’s global political influence and thwart its advance as a new industrial power. Should this scenario turn out to be a success, it would simultaneously ensure that the NATO allies in Western Europe are tied into a joint strategy of escalation and have to become even more heavily involved in projects designed to secure energy supplies.
Since this strategy has thus far proved successful and it cannot, unfortunately, be assumed that there will be a move away from a policy of U.S. confrontation under President Obama, there is a renewed threat of bloc confrontation. At the height of the Georgian war Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sent out a clear message to the West: “We are not afraid of anything, not even the prospect of a Cold War.”35 The anti-war movement will have to adjust to the realities of the New Cold War. The strategy of imperialism pursued by NATO and the EU must be opposed here and now in a calm and collected fashion.

Endnotes

1 Brzezinski, Zbigniew: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York 1997, p. 24 (Seitenangabe in der englischen Fassung unsicher)
2 ibid., p.27 (s.o.)
3 On Western support for the “colourful revolutions” cf. Chauvier, Jean-Marc: Westlich werden und östlich bleiben, Le Monde diplomatique, 14 January 2005
4 Carpenter, Ted: Worse than Bush? National Interest Online, 11 July 2008
5 Zeihan, Peter: Moskau wird Kiew nie dem Westen überlassen [Moscow will never leave Kiev to the West], Handelsblatt, 20 January 2009
6 United States, Ukraine Sign Security Charter, America.gov, 19 December 2008
7 United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, 22 December 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/agqc4k
8 Befeuern die USA den Gasstreit? [Is the U.S. fuelling the gas dispute?], heute.de, 13 January 2009
9 Isic, Mirela: Ein „Vielleicht” für die Ukraine und Georgien [A “maybe” for Ukraine and Georgia], Center for Applied Policy Research, CAP News, 10 April 2008
10 Auswärtiges Amt [German Foreign Office]: Ukraine, Stand: Oktober 2008 [Ukraine, status as of October 2008], URL: http://tinyurl.com/b3gvbg
11 Nabucco: ‘Pie in the sky’ after Georgia crisis?, EurActiv, 25 August 2008
12 ibid.
13 Friedmann, Matti: Sie waren nicht bereit für den Krieg mit Russland [They weren’t prepared for war with Russia], AP, 19 August 2008
14 Schröder gibt Saakaschwili die Schuld [Schröder puts the blame on Saakashvili], Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
15 Grey, Barry: Bush escalates confrontation with Russia over Georgia, World Socialist Web Site, 13 August 2008
16 Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
17 Georgien stockt Armee mit Blick auf NATO-Beitritt deutlich auf [Georgia boosts its army with a view to NATO membership], russland.ru, 16 July 2008
18 Nuclear Nightmares: The Return of M.A.D., Huffington Post, 19 August 2008
19 Chin, Larry: South Ossetia: superpower oil war, Online Journal, 13 August 2008
20 This and many other critical remarks made by Putin were cut out of the ARD broadcast. A full transcript of the interview can be found at http://www.spiegelfechter.com/wordpress/392/das-interview
21 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
22 Rosenbaum, Kaspar: Südossetien: Der Westen in der Propagandaschlacht [South Ossetia: The West in a propaganda battle], ef-online, 11 August 2008
23 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
24 Energie-Agentur sagt wachsende EU-Abhängigkeit von Importen voraus [Energy agency predicts growing EU dependence on imports], Yahoo News Finanzen, 4 September 2008
25 Stratfor: Russland hat Stärke gezeigt und wird nur auf Stärke hören [Russia has shown its strength and will only respond to strength], RIA Novosti, 11 August 2008
26 “Russlands Vorgehen ähnelt dem von Hitler” [Russia’s actions resemble those of Hitler], Die Welt, 11 August 2008
27 Extraordinary European Council, Brussels, 1 September 2008, 12594/08
28 Pflüger, Tobias: EU eskaliert den Konflikt mit Russland weiter [EU escalates the conflict with Russia], IMI-Standpunkt 2008/052
29 On Germany’s role cf. Hantke, Martin: The Georgian War and Imperial Geopolitics, in: AUSDRUCK (October 2008).
30 Naumann, Klaus et al.: Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership, URL: http://tinyurl. com/5buj19, p. 47 et seq.
31 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Richard G. Lugar Opening Statement for Hearing on Oil, Oligarchs and Opportunity: Energy from Central Asia to Europe, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/df7tg8
32 BIDEN: We Need to Confront Russia’s Oil Dominance with Aggressive, High Level Diplomacy, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/crjhol
33 Corso, Molly: Georgia: Washington and Tbilisi sign Strategic Pact sure to irk the Kremlin, Eurasia Insight, 9 January 2009
34 Framework document on the establishment of the NATO-Georgia Commission, Tbilisi, 15 September 2008
35 Dimitri Medvedev raises spectre of new Cold War, The Times Online, 26 August 2008

Gen.”Strange”-love (Breedlove) Sabotaging Minsk Deal With “false claims and exaggerated accounts”

Breedlove’s Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine

der spiegel

By SPIEGEL Staff

Top NATO commander General Philip Breedlove has raised hackles in Germany with his public statements about the Ukraine crisis.Top NATO commander General Philip Breedlove has raised hackles in Germany with his public statements about the Ukraine crisis.

 

US President Obama supports Chancellor Merkel’s efforts at finding a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. But hawks in Washington seem determined to torpedo Berlin’s approach. And NATO’s top commander in Europe hasn’t been helping either.

It was quiet in eastern Ukraine last Wednesday. Indeed, it was another quiet day in an extended stretch of relative calm. The battles between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russian separatists had largely stopped and heavy weaponry was being withdrawn. The Minsk cease-fire wasn’t holding perfectly, but it was holding.

On that same day, General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, stepped before the press in Washington. Putin, the 59-year-old said, had once again “upped the ante” in eastern Ukraine — with “well over a thousand combat vehicles, Russian combat forces, some of their most sophisticated air defense, battalions of artillery” having been sent to the Donbass. “What is clear,” Breedlove said, “is that right now, it is not getting better. It is getting worse every day.”German leaders in Berlin were stunned. They didn’t understand what Breedlove was talking about. And it wasn’t the first time. Once again, the German government, supported by intelligence gathered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, did not share the view of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR).

The pattern has become a familiar one. For months, Breedlove has been commenting on Russian activities in eastern Ukraine, speaking of troop advances on the border, the amassing of munitions and alleged columns of Russian tanks. Over and over again, Breedlove’s numbers have been significantly higher than those in the possession of America’s NATO allies in Europe. As such, he is playing directly into the hands of the hardliners in the US Congress and in NATO.

The German government is alarmed. Are the Americans trying to thwart European efforts at mediation led by Chancellor Angela Merkel? Sources in the Chancellery have referred to Breedlove’s comments as “dangerous propaganda.” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier even found it necessary recently to bring up Breedlove’s comments with NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

The ‘Super Hawk’

But Breedlove hasn’t been the only source of friction. Europeans have also begun to see others as hindrances in their search for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict. First and foremost among them is Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department. She and others would like to see Washington deliver arms to Ukraine and are supported by Congressional Republicans as well as many powerful Democrats.

Indeed, US President Barack Obama seems almost isolated. He has thrown his support behind Merkel’s diplomatic efforts for the time being, but he has also done little to quiet those who would seek to increase tensions with Russia and deliver weapons to Ukraine. Sources in Washington say that Breedlove’s bellicose comments are first cleared with the White House and the Pentagon. The general, they say, has the role of the “super hawk,” whose role is that of increasing the pressure on America’s more reserved trans-Atlantic partners.

A mixture of political argumentation and military propaganda is necessary. But for months now, many in the Chancellery simply shake their heads each time NATO, under Breedlove’s leadership, goes public with striking announcements about Russian troop or tank movements. To be sure, neither Berlin’s Russia experts nor BND intelligence analysts doubt that Moscow is supporting the pro-Russian separatists. The BND even has proof of such support.But it is the tone of Breedlove’s announcements that makes Berlin uneasy. False claims and exaggerated accounts, warned a top German official during a recent meeting on Ukraine, have put NATO — and by extension, the entire West — in danger of losing its credibility.

There are plenty of examples. Just over three weeks ago, during the cease-fire talks in Minsk, the Ukrainian military warned that the Russians — even as the diplomatic marathon was ongoing — had moved 50 tanks and dozens of rockets across the border into Luhansk. Just one day earlier, US Lieutenant General Ben Hodges had announced “direct Russian military intervention.”

Senior officials in Berlin immediately asked the BND for an assessment, but the intelligence agency’s satellite images showed just a few armored vehicles. Even those American intelligence officials who supply the BND with daily situation reports were much more reserved about the incident than Hodges was in his public statements. One intelligence agent says it “remains a riddle until today” how the general reached his conclusions.

Much More Cautious

“The German intelligence services generally appraise the threat level much more cautiously than the Americans do,” an international military expert in Kiev confirmed.

At the beginning of the crisis, General Breedlove announced that the Russians had assembled 40,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and warned that an invasion could take place at any moment. The situation, he said, was “incredibly concerning.” But intelligence officials from NATO member states had already excluded the possibility of a Russian invasion. They believed that neither the composition nor the equipment of the troops was consistent with an imminent invasion.

The experts contradicted Breedlove’s view in almost every respect. There weren’t 40,000 soldiers on the border, they believed, rather there were much less than 30,000 and perhaps even fewer than 20,000. Furthermore, most of the military equipment had not been brought to the border for a possible invasion, but had already been there prior to the beginning of the conflict. Furthermore, there was no evidence of logistical preparation for an invasion, such as a field headquarters.

Breedlove, though, repeatedly made inexact, contradictory or even flat-out inaccurate statements. On Nov. 18, 2014, he told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were “regular Russian army units in eastern Ukraine.” One day later, he told the website of the German newsmagazine Stern that they weren’t fighting units, but “mostly trainers and advisors.”

He initially said there were “between 250 and 300” of them, and then “between 300 and 500.” For a time, NATO was even saying there were 1,000 of them.

The fact that NATO has no intelligence agency of its own plays into Breedlove’s hands. The alliance relies on intelligence gathered by agents from the US, Britain, Germany and other member states. As such, SACEUR has a wide range of information to choose from.

Influencing Breedlove

On Nov. 12, during a visit to Sofia, Bulgaria, Breedlove reported that “we have seen columns of Russian equipment — primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops — entering into Ukraine.” It was, he noted, “the same thing that OSCE is reporting.” But the OSCE had only observed military convoys within eastern Ukraine. OSCE observers had said nothing about troops marching in from Russia.

Breedlove sees no reason to revise his approach. “I stand by all the public statements I have made during the Ukraine crisis,” he wrote to SPIEGEL in response to a request for a statement accompanied by a list of his controversial claims. He wrote that it was to be expected that assessments of NATO’s intelligence center, which receives information from all 33 alliance members in addition to partner states, doesn’t always match assessments made by individual nations. “It is normal that not everyone agrees with the assessments that I provide,” he wrote.

He says that NATO’s strategy is to “release clear, accurate and timely information regarding ongoing events.” He also wrote that: “As an alliance based on the fundamental values of freedom and democracy, our response to propaganda cannot be more propaganda. It can only be the truth.”

The German government, meanwhile, is doing what it can to influence Breedlove. Sources in Berlin say that conversations to this end have taken place in recent weeks. But there are many at NATO headquarters in Brussels who are likewise concerned about Breedlove’s statements. On Tuesday of last week, Breedlove’s public appearances were an official item on the agenda of the North Atlantic Council’s weekly lunch meeting. Several ambassadors present criticized Breedlove and expressed their incredulity at some of the commander’s statements.

The government in Berlin is concerned that Breedlove’s statements could harm the West’s credibility. The West can’t counter Russian propaganda with its own propaganda, “rather it must use arguments that are worthy of a constitutional state.” Berlin sources also say that it has become conspicuous that Breedlove’s controversial statements are often made just as a step forward has been made in the difficult negotiations aimed at a political resolution. Berlin sources say that Germany should be able to depend on its allies to support its efforts at peace.

Pressure on Obama

German foreign policy experts are united in their view of Breedlove as a hawk. “I would prefer that Breedlove’s comments on political questions be intelligent and reserved,” says Social Democrat parliamentarian Niels Annen, for example. “Instead, NATO in the past has always announced a new Russian offensive just as, from our point of view, the time had come for cautious optimism.” Annen, who has long specialized in foreign policy, has also been frequently dissatisfied with the information provided by NATO headquarters. “We parliamentarians were often confused by information regarding alleged troop movements that were inconsistent with the information we had,” he says.

The pressure on Obama from the Republicans, but also from his own political camp, is intense. Should the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine not hold, it will likely be difficult to continue refusing Kiev’s requests for shipments of so-called “defensive weapons.” And that would represent a dramatic escalation of the crisis. Moscow has already begun issuing threats in anticipation of such deliveries. “Any weapons deliveries to Kiev will escalate the tensions and would unhinge European security,” Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s national security council, told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on Wednesday.

Although President Obama has decided for the time being to give European diplomacy a chance, hawks like Breedlove or Victoria Nuland are doing what they can to pave the way for weapons deliveries. “We can fight against the Europeans, fight against them rhetorically,” Nuland said during a private meeting of American officials on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of February.

In reporting on the meeting later, the German tabloid Bild reported that Nuland referred to the chancellor’s early February trip to Moscow for talks with Putin as “Merkel’s Moscow stuff.” No wonder, then, that people in Berlin have the impression that important power brokers in Washington are working against the Europeans. Berlin officials have noticed that, following the visit of American politicians or military leaders in Kiev, Ukrainian officials are much more bellicose and optimistic about the Ukrainian military’s ability to win the conflict on the battlefield. “We then have to laboriously bring the Ukrainians back onto the course of negotiations,” said one Berlin official.Nuland Diplomacy

Nuland, who is seen as a possible secretary of state should the Republicans win back the White House in next year’s presidential election, is an important voice in US policy concerning Ukraine and Russia. She has never sought to hide her emotional bond to Russia, even saying “I love Russia.” Her grandparents immigrated to the US from Bessarabia, which belonged to the Russian empire at the time. Nuland speaks Russian fluently.

She is also very direct. She can be very keen and entertaining, but has been known to take on an undiplomatic tone — and has not always been wrong to do so. Mykola Asarov, who was prime minister under toppled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, recalls that Nuland basically blackmailed Yanukovych in order to prevent greater bloodshed in Kiev during the Maidan protests. “No violence against the protesters or you’ll fall,” Nuland told him according to Asarov. She also, he said, threatened tough economic and political sanctions against both Ukraine and the country’s leaders. According to Asarov, Nuland said that, were violence used against the protesters on Maidan Square, information about the money he and his cronies had taken out of the country would be made public.

Nuland has also been open — at least internally — about her contempt for European weakness and is famous for having said “Fuck the EU” during the initial days of the Ukraine crisis in February of 2014. Her husband, the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, is, after all, the originator of the idea that Americans are from Mars and Europeans, unwilling as they are to realize that true security depends on military power, are from Venus.

When it comes to the goal of delivering weapons to Ukraine, Nuland and Breedlove work hand-in-hand. On the first day of the Munich Security Conference, the two gathered the US delegation behind closed doors to discuss their strategy for breaking Europe’s resistance to arming Ukraine.

On the seventh floor of the Bayerischer Hof hotel in the heart of Munich, it was Nuland who began coaching. “While talking to the Europeans this weekend, you need to make the case that Russia is putting in more and more offensive stuff while we want to help the Ukrainians defend against these systems,” Nuland said. “It is defensive in nature although some of it has lethality.”

Training Troops?

Breedlove complemented that with the military details, saying that moderate weapons aid was inevitable — otherwise neither sanctions nor diplomatic pressure would have any effect. “If we can increase the cost for Russia on the battlefield, the other tools will become more effective,” he said. “That’s what we should do here.”

In Berlin, top politicians have always considered a common position vis-a-vis Russia as a necessary prerequisite for success in peace efforts. For the time being, that common front is still holding, but the dispute is a fundamental one — and hinges on the question of whether diplomacy can be successful without the threat of military action. Additionally, the trans-Atlantic partners also have differing goals. Whereas the aim of the Franco-German initiative is to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is Russia that concerns hawks within the US administration. They want to drive back Moscow’s influence in the region and destabilize Putin’s power. For them, the dream outcome would be regime change in Moscow.

A massive troop training range is located in Yavoriv in western Ukraine near the Polish border. During Soviet times, it served as the westernmost military district in the Soviet Union. Since 1998, though, it has been used for joint exercises by Ukrainian forces together with the United States and NATO. Yavoriv is also the site where US soldiers want to train members of the Ukrainian National Guard for their future battle against the separatists. According to the Pentagon’s plans, American officers would train the Ukrainians on how to use American artillery-locating radar devices. At least that’s what US Army in Europe commander Lt. Gen. Hodges announced in January.

The training was actually supposed to start at the beginning of March. Before it began, however, President Obama temporarily put it on hold in order to give the ceasefire agreement reached in Minsk a chance. Still, the hawks remain confident that they will soon come a step closer to their goal. On Tuesday, Hodges said during an appearance in Berlin that he expects the training will still begin at some point this month.

By Matthias Gebauer, Christiane Hoffmann, Marc Hujer, Gordon Repinski, Matthias Schepp, Christoph Schult, Holger Stark and Klaus Wiegrefe

America’s ‘Full-Spectrum’ Failure

[Outstanding analysis.  It’s Russian, but it it is a mirror of many of my own observations (SEE:  The Planned Collapse of America–Part 1 and Part 2 ; The Ideological Struggle of the Twenty-first Century).  Anyway, thanks Dmitry Orlov, for this fine opinion piece.]

America’s ‘Full-Spectrum’ Failure

Military success is unimportant, because failure is even better than success for stirring up panic and justifying Draconian ‘security’ measures

Dmitry Orlov

The US military posture is designed to insure America’s full spectrum dominance over the entire planet.

This article originally appeared at Club Orlov 


Scanning the headlines in the western mainstream press, and then peering behind the one-way mirror to compare that to the actual goings-on, one can’t but get the impression that America’s propagandists, and all those who follow in their wake, are struggling with all their might to concoct rationales for military action of one sort or another, be it supplying weapons to the largely defunct Ukrainian military, or staging parades of US military hardware and troops in the almost completely Russian town of Narva, in Estonia, a few hundred meters away from the Russian border, or putting US “advisers” in harm’s way in parts of Iraq mostly controlled by Islamic militants.

The strenuous efforts to whip up Cold War-like hysteria in the face of an otherwise preoccupied and essentially passive Russia seems out of all proportion to the actual military threat Russia poses. (Yes, volunteers and ammo do filter into Ukraine across the Russian border, but that’s about it.) Further south, the efforts to topple the government of Syria by aiding and arming Islamist radicals seem to be backfiring nicely. But that’s the pattern, isn’t it? What US military involvement in recent memory hasn’t resulted in a fiasco? Maybe failure is not just an option, but more of a requirement?Let’s review. Afghanistan, after the longest military campaign in US history, is being handed back to the Taliban. Iraq no longer exists as a sovereign nation, but has fractured into three pieces, one of them controlled by radical Islamists. Egypt has been democratically reformed into a military dictatorship. Libya is a defunct state in the middle of a civil war. The Ukraine will soon be in a similar state; it has been reduced to pauper status in record time—less than a year. A recent government overthrow has caused Yemen to stop being US-friendly. Closer to home, things are going so well in the US-dominated Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that they have produced a flood of refugees, all trying to get into the US in the hopes of finding any sort of sanctuary.

Looking at this broad landscape of failure, there are two ways to interpret it. One is that the US officialdom is the most incompetent one imaginable, and can’t ever get anything right. But another is that they do not succeed for a distinctly different reason: they don’t succeed because results don’t matter. You see, if failure were a problem, then there would be some sort of pressure coming from somewhere or other within the establishment, and that pressure to succeed might sporadically give rise to improved performance, leading to at least a few instances of success. But if in fact failure is no problem at all, and if instead there was some sort of pressure to fail, then we would see exactly what we do see.

In fact, a point can be made that it is the limited scope of failure that is the problem. This would explain the recent saber-rattling in the direction of Russia, accusing it of imperial ambitions (Russia is not interested in territorial gains), demonizing Vladimir Putin (who is effective and popular) and behaving provocatively along Russia’s various borders (leaving Russia vaguely insulted but generally unconcerned). It can be argued that all the previous victims of US foreign policy—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, even the Ukraine—are too small to produce failure writ large enough to satisfy America’s appetite for failure. Russia, on the other hand, especially when incentivized by thinking that it is standing up to some sort of new, American-style fascism, has the ability to deliver to the US a foreign policy failure that will dwarf all the previous ones.

Analysis have proposed a variety of explanations for America’s hyperactive, oversized militarism. Here are the top three:

1. The US government has been captured by the military-industrial complex, which demands to be financed lavishly. Rationales are created artificially to achieve that result. But there does seem to be some sort of pressure to actually make weapons and field armies, because wouldn’t it be far more cost-effective to achieve full-spectrum failure simply by stealing all the money and skip building the weapons systems altogether? So something else must be going on.

2. The US military posture is designed to insure America’s full spectrum dominance over the entire planet. But “full-spectrum dominance” sounds a little bit like “success,” whereas what we see is full-spectrum failure. Again, this story doesn’t fit the facts.

3. The US acts militarily to defend the status of the US dollar as the global reserve currency. But the US dollar is slowly but surely losing its attractiveness as a reserve currency, as witnessed by China and Russia acting as swiftly as they can to unload their US dollar reserves, and to stockpile gold instead. Numerous other nations have entered into arrangements with each other to stop using the US dollar in international trade. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t take a huge military to flush one’s national currency down the toilet, so, once again, something else must be going on.

There are many other explanations on offer as well, but none of them explain the fact that the goal of all this militarism seems to be to achieve failure.

Perhaps a simpler explanation would suffice? How about this one:

The US has surrendered its sovereignty to a clique of financial oligarchs. Having nobody at all to answer to, this American (and to some extent international) oligarchy has been ruining the financial condition of the country, running up staggering levels of debt, destroying savings and retirements, debasing the currency and so on. The inevitable end-game is that the Federal Reserve (along with the central banks of other “developed economies”) will end up buying up all the sovereign debt issuance with money they print for that purpose, and in the end this inevitably leads to hyperinflation and national bankruptcy. A very special set of conditions has prevented these two events from taking place thus far, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t, because that’s what always happens, sooner or later.

Now, let’s suppose a financial oligarchy has seized control of the country, and, since it can’t control its own appetites, is running it into the ground. Then it would make sense for it to have some sort of back-up plan for when the whole financial house of cards falls apart. Ideally, this plan would effectively put down any chance of revolt of the downtrodden masses, and allow the oligarchy to maintain security and hold onto its wealth. Peacetime is fine for as long as it can placate the populace with bread and circuses, but when a financial calamity causes the economy to crater and bread and circuses turn scarce, a handy fallback is war.

Any rationale for war will do, be it terrorists foreign and domestic, Big Bad Russia, or hallucinated space aliens. Military success is unimportant, because failure is even better than success for maintaining order because it makes it possible to force through various emergency security measures. Various training runs, such as the military occupation of Boston following the staged bombings at the Boston Marathon, have already taken place. The surveillance infrastructure and the partially privatized prison-industrial complex are already in place for locking up the undesirables. A really huge failure would provide the best rationale for putting the economy on a war footing, imposing martial law, suppressing dissent, outlawing “extremist” political activity and so on.

And so perhaps that is what we should expect. Financial collapse is already baked in, and it’s only a matter of time before it happens, and precipitates commercial collapse when global supply chains stop functioning. Political collapse will be resisted, and the way it will be resisted is by starting as many wars as possible, to produce a vast backdrop of failure to serve as a rationale for all sorts of “emergency measures,” all of which will have just one aim: to suppress rebellion and to keep the oligarchy in power. Outside the US, it will look like Americans blowing things up: countries, things, innocent bystanders, even themselves (because, you know, apparently that works too). From the outside looking into America’s hall of one-way mirrors, it will look like a country gone mad; but then it already looks that way. And inside the hall of one-way mirrors it will look like valiant defenders of liberty battling implacable foes around the world. Most people will remain docile and just wave their little flags.

But I would venture to guess that at some point failure will translate into meta-failure: America will fail even at failing. I hope that there is something we can do to help this meta-failure of failure happen sooner rather than later.

Exporting Sectarian Civil War–Pioneered By Bush, reported to the deaf by Hersh

Hersh: Bush administration arranged support for militants attacking Lebanon

raw story

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday May 22, 2007

In an interview on CNN International’s Your World Today, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh explains that the current violence in Lebanon is the result of an attempt by the Lebanese government to crack down on a militant Sunni group, Fatah al-Islam, that it formerly supported.

Last March, Hersh reported that American policy in the Middle East had shifted to opposing Iran, Syria, and their Shia allies at any cost, even if it meant backing hardline Sunni jihadists.

A key element of this policy shift was an agreement among Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, whereby the Saudis would covertly fund the Sunni Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon as a counterweight to the Shia Hezbollah.

Hersh points out that the current situation is much like that during the conflict in Afghanistan in the 1980’s � which gave rise to al Qaeda � with the same people involved in both the US and Saudi Arabia and the “same pattern” of the US using jihadists that the Saudis assure us they can control.

When asked why the administration would be acting in a way that appears to run counter to US interests, Hersh says that, since the Israelis lost to them last summer, “the fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute.”

As a result, Hersh implies, the Bush administration is no longer acting rationally in its policy. “We’re in the business of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia. … “We’re in the business of creating … sectarian violence.” And he describes the scheme of funding Fatah al-Islam as “a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger, broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia world, and it just simply — it bit us in the rear.”

HALA GORANI: Well, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported back in March that in order to defeate Hezbollah, the Lebanese government supported a Sunni militant group, the same ones they’re fighting today. Seymour joins us live from Washington. Thanks for being with us. What is the source of the financing according to your reporting on these groups, such as Fatah al-Islam in these camps of Nahr el Bared, for instance? Where are they getting the money and where are they getting the arms?

SEYMOUR HERSH: The key player is the Saudis. What I was writing about was sort of a private agreement that was made between the White House, we’re talking about Richard — Dick — Cheney and Elliott Abrams, one of the key aides in the White House, with Bandar. And the idea was to get support, covert support from the Saudis, to support various hard-line jihadists, Sunni groups, particularly in Lebanon, who would be seen in case of an actual confrontation with Hezbollah — the Shia group in the southern Lebanon — would be seen as an asset, as simple as that.

GORANI: The Senora government, in order to counter the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon would be covertly according to your reporting funding groups like Fatah al-Islam that they’re having issues with right now?

HERSH: Unintended consequences once again, yes.

GORANI: And so if Saudi Arabia and the Senora government are doing this, whether it’s unintended or not, therefore it has the United States must have something to say about it or not?

HERSH: Well, the United States was deeply involved. This was a covert operation that Bandar ran with us. Don’t forget, if you remember, you know, we got into the war in Afghanistan with supporting Osama bin Laden, the mujahadin back in the late 1980s with Bandar and with people like Elliott Abrams around, the idea being that the Saudis promised us they could control — they could control the jihadists so we spent a lot of money and time, the United States in the late 1980s using and supporting the jihadists to help us beat the Russians in Afghanistan and they turned on us. And we have the same pattern, not as if there’s any lessons learned. It’s the same pattern, using the Saudis again to support jihadists, Saudis assuring us they can control these various group, the groups like the one that is in contact right now in Tripoli with the government.

GORANI: Sure, but the mujahadin in the ’80s was one era. Why would it be in the best interest of the United States of America right now to indirectly even if it is indirect empower these jihadi movements that are extremists that fight to the death in these Palestinian camps? Doesn’t it go against the interests not only of the Senora government but also of America and Lebanon now?

HERSH: The enemy of our enemy is our friend, much as the jihadist groups in Lebanon were also there to go after Nasrullah. Hezbollah, if you remember, last year defeated Israel, whether the Israelis want to acknowledge it, so you have in Hezbollah, a major threat to the American — look, the American role is very simple. Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, has been very articulate about it. We’re in the business now of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia, against the Shia in Iran, against the Shia in Lebanon, that is Nasrullah. Civil war. We’re in a business of creating in some places, Lebanon in particular, a sectarian violence.

GORANI: The Bush administration, of course, officials would disagree with that, so would the Senora government, openly pointing the finger at Syria, saying this is an offshoot of a Syrian group, Fatah al-Islam is, where else would it get its arms from if not Syria.

HERSH: You have to answer this question. If that’s true, Syria which is close — and criticized greatly by the Bush administration for being very close — to Hezbollah would also be supporting groups, Salafist groups — the logic breaks down. What it is simply is a covert program we joined in with the Saudis as part of a bigger broader program of doing everything we could to stop the spread of the Shia, the Shia world, and it bit us in the rear, as it’s happened before.

GORANI: Sure, but if it doesn’t make any sense for the Syrians to support them, why would it make any sense for the U.S. to indirectly, of course, to support, according to your reporting, by giving a billion dollars in aid, part of it military, to the Senora government — and if that is dispensed in a way that that government and the U.S. is not controlling extremist groups, then indirectly the United States, according to the article you wrote, would be supporting them. So why would it be in their best interest and what should it do according to the people you’ve spoken to?

HERSH: You’re assuming logic by the United States government. That’s okay. We’ll forget that one right now. Basically it’s very simple. These groups are seeing — when I was in Beirut doing interviews, I talked to officials who acknowledged the reason they were tolerating the radical jihadist groups was because they were seen as a protection against Hezbollah. The fear of Hezbollah in Washington, particularly in the White House, is acute. They just simply believe that Hassan Nasrallah is intent on waging war in America. Whether it’s true or not is another question. There is a supreme overwhelming fear of Hezbollah and we do not want Hezbollah to play an active role in the government in Lebanon and that’s been our policy, basically, which is support the Senora government, despite its weakness against the coalition. Not only Senora but Mr. Ahun, former military leader of Lebanon. There in a coalition that we absolutely abhor.

GORANI: All right, Seymour Hersh of “The New Yorker” magazine, thanks for joining us there and hopefully we’ll be able to speak a little bit in a few months’ time when those developments take shape in Lebanon and we know more. Thanks very much.

HERSH: glad to talk to you.

Netanyahu Addresses His Sheep–US CONGRESS (Israeli subsidized)

[It is only natural that Netenyahu would address the Congress, which has been bought and paid-for by AIPAC, Israel’s arm in America (he first stopped by AIPAC to thank them for their hard work).  Congress represents the Zionist state, in all matters.  Along with the White House, Congress has faithfully carried-out Net’s “Clean Break” strategy throughout North Africa and the Middle East, bringing ruin for the region and for the American and global economies.  It is only right that such a noted crowd as this bow in submission before their master, or at least their “paymaster.”  Congress has been bought and the United States has been sold to that piss-ant shit-hole, which other paid-for politicians planted in Palestine, NOT ISRAEL.  God does not protect the Israeli abomination, the Pentagon does. 

Their God is Money…PERIOD.]

Congress gave Netanyahu right to veto American policy

haaretz logo

If Netanyahu succeeds in foiling an accord and attacks Iran’s nuclear installations, who will bear the responsibility for the destruction wreaked by this armed confrontation?

netanyahu and his sheepPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress on March 3, 2015. Photo by AFP
By Jonathan Lis

The speech is over, with applause duly resounding on Capitol Hill, and negotiations with Iran ahead of a framework agreement continue. Criticism of the Israeli spectacle in the United States capital addressed all there was to be said, and critics will now start to gauge the temperature of the cold shoulder the U.S. administration will show toward Israel.

During the entire noisy exchanges that took place the responsibility of one person, House Speaker John Boehner, never came up for discussion. He was the one who invited Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of the representatives of the American people. The argument is not over Boehner’s right to invite whoever he wants to, just as Netanyahu is far from being an unwilling captive. Netanyahu initiated the invitation, he coordinated the timing and his political goals are plainly in sight.

However, it is precisely the U.S. Congress, which is so friendly toward Israel and so concerned about its security and well-being, that could have been expected to remove an obstacle before the blind, especially when he is driving under the influence.

A demonstration meant to shame the speaker, staged by a few dozen Democrats who stayed away, is no substitute for good advice, especially since it was only part of the partisan political struggle in the U.S. The voice of close friends, who unconditionally ratify the annual aid package to Israel – larger than that given to any other country receiving U.S. aid – should have been heard loud and clear. It should have stated that “Netanyahu’s appearance is dangerous to Israel. It will damage strategic relations with the Administration and may insult a large part of the American public which foots the bill for the aid, and if Netanyahu doesn’t understand this we must him help do so.”

The Congress doesn’t need Netanyahu to explain the essence of the accord with Iran. It has the authority to legislate laws that will foil its signing. It can impose new sanctions on Iran and withhold increasing the budget required for the monitoring system that will supervise Iran’s nuclear installations, thus voiding the accord of any content. However, when it invites Netanyahu to deliver a speech it makes Israel a partner in decision-making over the future of Iran’s nuclear program, making the U.S. a negotiator on behalf of Israel.

The Congressmen who applauded him gave him “power of attorney,” enabling him to determine that the accord shaping up is “bad,” even though its details have yet to be worked out. Moreover, members of Congress, led by Boehner, will use Netanyahu to prove that the accord, when it is signed, endangers Israel and the world. They thereby gave Netanyahu a right to veto American policy.

There could be no greater and more important political victory than the status granted to Netanyahu. However, this victory is fraught with danger. Members of Congress did not ask him, nor did he offer an answer to the question of what happens if no deal is reached. They already know the answer, since Tuesday they gave him approval to use the “Israeli option” if he doesn’t succeed in thwarting the accord.

Netanyahu’s Israel will not wait to see if Iran attains nuclear weapons. The very existence of a nuclear program is the real threat in its view. Let’s assume that Netanyahu succeeds in foiling the reaching of an accord and Iran continues with its uranium enrichment program and Israel decides to attack its nuclear installations. Who will bear the responsibility for the destruction wreaked by this armed confrontation? John Boehner, who only provided the stage for Netanyahu’s rhetoric? Members of Congress who rose to their feet but didn’t warn him or Israel of the calamity that might befall Israel as a result of the sweeping success of the speech? They were only being polite.

Will anyone be able to complain that the Administration is not cooperating with Israel in its war with Iran after Netanyahu vetoed an accord?

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. TERRY L. LOEWEN—the FBI builds another fake bomb plot

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. TERRY L. LOEWEN

Terry Lee Loewen…a clearcut example of FBI entrapment and leading the individual into terrorist activity.  Loewen may have been self-radicalized, but it took FBI agents to radicalize the suspect to a new level of militant committment which didn’t exist prior to their radicalization efforts.  Terry was just another insignificant, disillusioned, middle-age, middle-class, American worker, with a broken marriage, who paid close attention to national news on the terror war. 

This was what originally motivated (“radicalized”) him into hating the American terror war, filling him with shame for the great pain we were inflicting upon the Muslim world.   Terry was known by his wife and son as a mild-mannered, quiet family guy.  His family does not know this other guy, the one who experienced a moment of epiphany, finally understanding the war and its ultimate cost inflicted upon the Muslim world.

Until baited by FBI seducers into taking part in an imaginary crime, Terry Loewen would have been no different than a lot of us.  Like most of the “bomb plots” busted here in the US since the start of the war, the FBI, once again, was the instigator of this terrorist plot to build a bomb facsimile and to draw clueless suckers to it.   There was no crime before the FBI created one, except for being another malcontent.  The man admitted himself, that he would not have been likely to follow his violent fantasies to fruition without “FBI agent 1” and “FBI agent 2” to supply a bomb for him.

Terry Lee Loewen first became “radicalized” on YouTube, where he came to closely follow the rantings of a group of three disillusioned Americans, who called themselves Revolution Muslim (even though the leader is Jewish).  All three of these flakes supposedly converted to Islam and adopted Muslim names after listening to the rhetoric of a Jamaican “Imam,” Abdullah el-Faisal

Loewen learned about Islam from a Jamaican Internet preacher and three East Coast deadbeats who were fronting a probable Mossad operation (the Jewish dude spent years in an Israeli rabbinical seminary).   He never met any real AQAP terrorists.

Zachary Adam Chesser, a.k.a., Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee and Jesse “Younes Abdullah Muhammad” Morton were the two “terrorists” who threatened South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker over anti-Islamic depictions of Mohammed.

Peter Chamberlin

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Terry-Lee-LoewenTerry Lee Loewen

Feds say man ‘well on his way’ to becoming violent terrorist

kake news

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport was “well on his way” to becoming a violent terrorist before authorities began investigating him.

A heavily redacted government filing Monday seeks to counter defense arguments that an undercover FBI agent radicalized Terry Loewen. The defense contends the government conduct in the operation was entrapment and that terrorism-related charges against Loewen should be dismissed.

But prosecutors argued it would have been outrageous for the FBI to leave Terry Loewen to his own devices, trolling the internet for someone to help him.

Loewen was arrested in December 2013 when the former avionics technician tried to bring a van filled with inert explosives onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport.

Loewen has pleaded not guilty.

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen, rabbinical studies in Israel, Revolution Muslim Leader Who Threatened Jews Pleads Guilty–ADL

Al-Khattab, a.k.a. Joseph Leonard Cohen2

Jesse Younes Abdullah Muhammad Morton and  Zachary Abu Talhah Chesser
Jesse “Younes Abdullah Muhammad” Morton & Zachary “Abu Talhah” Chesser
Morton spent time in Saudi

Chasidic Man Who Converted To Islam Admits Making Threats Against Jewish Groups

yeshiva world

alkA New Jersey man who co-founded a radical Islamic website has pleaded guilty to using the Internet to make threats against Jewish groups.

Forty-five-year-old Yousef Mohamid al-Khattab of Atlantic City started the Revolution Muslim website in 2007 with partner Jesse Curtis Morton.

Al-Khattab, who converted from Judaism and was previously known as Joseph Cohen, is the third person connected with Revolution Muslim to be convicted in federal court in Alexandria. Morton and another man, Zachary Chesser, admitted using the site to deliver thinly veiled threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show for perceived insults to the prophet Muhammad.

Al-Khattab’s guilty plea, announced Thursday, does not mention the “South Park” threats. In court documents, al-Khattab admits encouraging readers to “deal with” Jewish leaders or take other actions.

US v. Chesser, Zachary

ipt

[EDVA] Zachary Adam Chesser (a/k/a Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee) was arrested on charges that he provided material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Chesser admitted to federal agents that he attempted on two occasions to travel to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab as a foreign fighter. According to the affidavit, Chesser maintained several online profiles dedicated to extremist jihad propaganda. These profiles were allegedly used by Chesser to post pro-jihad messages and videos online. In October 2010, Chesser pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal indictment that included charges of communicating threats against the writers of the “South Park” television show, soliciting violent jihadists to desensitize law enforcement, and attempting to provide material support to Al-Shabaab. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in February 2011.

In May 2011, Jesse Curtis Morton, (aka Younus Abdullah Mohammad) is charged with communicating threats in the “South Park” episode. Morton helped run a website, RevolutionMuslim, with Zachary Chesser. In a jointly drafted statement for the group Revolution Muslim, convicted terrorist Zachary Chesser and Morton, threatened “South Park” producers with murder over illustrated depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Morton pleaded guilty to his role in threatening the producers of “South Park” for their depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and related charges. He was sentenced to 138 months for using the Internet to solicit murder and encourage violent extremism. In October 2013, Yousef Mohamid al-Khattab (a.k.a. Joseph Cohen) of Atlantic City, NJ, pleaded guilty to using the Internet to support violent jihad and threaten Jewish organizations. Al-Khattab helped Morton found the Revolution Muslim website in 2007.

Obama, The Devil, Is Luring the World Over the Nuclear Threshold In Ukraine

Peter Chamberlin

So many of us are still so childlike in our belief in “America,” the ideal, that we continue to sit in silent awe on the sidelines, waiting for someone, anyone, to explain to us how it is that our America consistently produces presidents who eagerly tear through the world like bulls in china shops, destroying heirloom governments without hesitation, in their zeal to create new, subservient mini-states.

Did George Washington and Abraham Lincoln have similar war ambitions?  Would they have exported war and instigated artificial revolutions to destroy nations, in order to control their energy markets (SEE: Cold War-style confrontation between US and Russia focuses on energy rather than military)?

Would the founding fathers have admired Obama and Bush as they have so outrageously used and abused the nearly sancrosanct ideals of Democracy and “human rights,” using them as “war-bait” (a set-up for war) for luring unhappy, but unwarring nations onto the path of destruction?

There was no war in Iraq, nor in Yemen, in Syria, Lebanon, Libya, nor in Ukraine, before Bush and Obama created them from thin air and unstable populations.  Were these “Noble Acts” on America’s part?

Do you think the citizens of those countries, who participated in Obama’s insurrections regret their actions?

Is there more or less terrorism in those countries now, or in the world in general, than there was before American hands created all of these conflicts?

By trusting the world into American hands all of these years, the world has been put into a very bad, very dangerous position.  All national economies, except for those of the OPEC countries, have been run into the ground, with most of the world operating solely upon the power of inflation and pure speculation.  The power of imagination can only get you so far, before someone has to stop and take stock of the reality of the situation.  You can see that reflection being expressed today by regretful diplomats and spies, like former US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who once served as Obama’s regime-change ax-man, only to recently denounce those policies as “singularly unsuccessful.”

Those faulty policies are still in place, still doing more damage, still pushing and prodding to turn Syria into some type of regional war.  Escalation of existing hostilities in either Syria or Libya will endanger and damage Europe, just as it would the entire Middle East.  The flow of refugees from the burgeoning war zones emptying into Europe would quickly turn into floods, or tsunamis of starving, dark-skinned refugees, into a weary, frightened, white European populace (SEE: THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS).

Why is it that American forces cannot stop chasing the rabbit of terrorism all over the globe for just a short while, long enough to give all of us a chance to catch our breath?  Why must the US Congress hurriedly pass another war authorization for an entirely new war against ISIS (which we helped the Arabs to create)?  What is it about Barack Obama which compels him to seek, or to create new conflicts wherever American forces can demonstrate their superiority over all other forces?

For those with eyes to see, it is plain to see that Obama is pushing one European country after another into dispute with Russia, with the intention of forcing Putin’s hand and pushing Russia into open warfare with its former satellite nations.  This is being done with obvious malice, under a design which risks igniting nuclear war in Europe, which could never be contained just to Europe and Russia.

Obama is gambling with all of our lives, risking nuclear war over oil, nuclear and natural gas markets…and that is really all that ALL OF THIS is about…Who will provide the gas to heat European homes…who will supply nuclear power to light European homes.

Using national armies to sieze markets is a crime against humanity…Supporting the use of national armies to seize energy markets is a moral sin against our species and our Creator.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 

British Prime Minister Cameron Anxious To Send British Troops To Jumpstart World War III.

Cameron commits troops and ‘non-lethal aid’ to Ukraine

Russia-Today
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (Reuters / Russell Cheyne)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (Reuters / Russell Cheyne)

Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain will not supply Ukraine with lethal weaponry in the fight against rebels in the East of the country, but UK troops will support Ukrainians with tactical intelligence, training and logistics.

Speaking to the Liaison Select Committee, David Cameron said UK support would be given “well away from the area of conflict,” adding that the purpose of aid would be to improve Ukraine’s tactical advantage.

He was further questioned on the capability of the UK to defend its airspace after RAF jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers last week for the second time in 2015.

He said the Russians were probably trying to make “some sort of point,” but added that he didn’t know what that point was.

Cameron said Britain should be confident in its defensive strengths against Russia.

EU and US leaders accuse Russia of supporting the militias in Donbass. The claims have been repeatedly denied by Russian officials.

He added that should Russian President Vladimir Putin risk destabilizing the Baltic states with a cyber-attack, or similar, he would risk confrontation with NATO.

“We are committed to their collective defense,” Cameron said, but he did not give an indication of what a “red line” might be, in terms of intervention.

He said the UK must continue to work with Russia on matters other than Ukraine, despite the country not “behaving like a strategic partner to Europe,” saying it was important to join efforts to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister, however, also advocated deeper sanctions against Russia, adding that the Baltic States and Poland were likely to agree.

Cameron’s actions go against those of French and German leaders Hollande and Merkel who are pushing for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the conflict. The leaders orchestrated the Minsk peace talks, where a ceasefire was agreed, though there have been reports of continued clashes since the deal was reached.

Last week the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to approve a Russian-drafted resolution to support the Minsk agreements, reached by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

The resolution was submitted to the UNSC by Russia on February 13, a day after the Minsk deal was agreed. It is aimed at endorsing and executing the Minsk agreements. The document also expresses concern over the continuing violence in eastern Ukraine, and stresses the importance of resolving the conflict peacefully.

“After the unprecedented diplomatic efforts last week, Ukraine has a chance to turn a dramatic page in its history,” said Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, who expressed “gratitude” towards the other parties for endorsing the document.

It was revealed in early February the US is considering sending arms to Ukraine.

Cameron is facing a general election on May 7. His tough stance on international tensions between Russia and the West is informed with this in mind.

RAGE—because there is no rage

[The following was sent by a reader of the site.  I sympathize with Al, but, for a man with his varied political interests, one would think that his disillusionment with the left would have set in during Obama’s first term.  I have two suggestions–stop reading anyone related to the London School, and look for different sources (Chossudofsky banned me from Global Research years ago).  You have been officially marginalized.  You will have zero chance of being heard, unless you manage to arrange a very public heckling arrest.  If that happens, let me know and I will let others know.    Peter]

RAGE—because there is no rage

-al perry

NEWS FROM THE STREET #2
(february 16, 2015)
wow…what a night…i found out a few days ago that world-renowned leftist and co-editor of new left review (a publication i subscribed to for 10 years) tariq ali was to appear at a bookstore on the lower east side…i’m a long time fan but have never met him or heard him speak in public…ever since 2000 or 2001 i’ve occasionally provided links from my band’s website to his essays and articles…one particular article he wrote, a scathing critique of obama’s first term, i must have read over 10 times…so i was excited to hear he’d be in new york today….
i packed a bottle of water, a used marcuse book to read on the journey, and a whole bunch of cd’s of my, now defunct, folk rock band, “losing touch”…our cd was entitled”with time” and was released in 2002…i have quite a few left gathering dust and figured i can hand some out for free to friends i may make, including possibly tariq, along the way…my band and i performed a few gigs in manhattan and new jersey at the time but i hated performing (i’m the singer and acoustic guitarist) so we got nowhere…well, actually we were played several times on a commercial rock station in n.j., wdha…quite a feat for an unsigned band…we also received kudos from some big names like neal casal (of the chris robinson brotherhood), evan dando of the lemonheads, and even actress ally sheedy…i know this may seem like i’m trying to brag or something, but i’m not…i feel i have to get in a quick bio because many on the left, it seems, think i’m some kind of informant…or maybe agent provocateur…nothing could be further from the truth…true, i do not disguise my rage but a cold hard look at today’s political climate should have ANY sensitive individual GOING INSANE!…
 i’m a lifelong chronic depressive and anti-depressants, and even medical marijuana!, have unpleasant effects on me – they don’t work…in 2005 i moved to tucson, arizona and became more of a recluse…luckily my mother moved out there too so by the time i left and returned to the east coast my social circle was composed of 2 people…3 if you count me…i had to leave tucson – the police didn’t like my one man protesting with my guitar…they even locked me up a couple of times…i decided to protest in the rich part of town…one time they followed me with a crime chopper!…
well, i returned to the east coast, after some failed attempts at trying to feel better in n.j. and killorglin, ireland…the state i was raised in, n.j., was way too expensive for a guy like me to live in…i had to stop working in 2010…i couldn’t function even as a night security guard…food stamps and family charity – the feds won’t give me cash assistance and i’ve been waiting for years now for disability assistance but nada…i guess they don’t like radicals…having an outstanding warrant for my arrest in the state of arizona, i guess, doesn’t help…it’s only a misdemeanor so it’s not extradictable…i refused to leave the entrance of a church because they locked the door on me and wouldn’t tell me why they wouldn’t let me in…the police told me to move along but i refused until i received a proper reply…shockingly, it was not forthcoming!…the religious hypocrites would rather have me in jail than answer any questions!…i didn’t show up at the trial…the state already wanted me badly and i know when i’m being railroaded…this all involved my exposing of the pax americana…and 911…my one friend chuck aubrey, himself a rabble rouser, was often there for support…he’s got a clip on youtube where he’s interviewing richard gage of 911 truth…
my chronic depression and overwhelming desire for isolation has gotten progressively worse over the years…my sister helen took her own life on feb. 1, 2007…she was living in gouda, holland…tragedy hit again with superstorm sandy…i’ve been a life long collector of vinyl records and books…i lost over 1,000 books and 1,500 vinyl records…the passaic river in new jersey overflowed and most of what i owned in storage was underneath dirty river water for several days…i also lost all my recording equipment, my stereo system and musical instruments…most of my cd’s were salvageable…i’m 47 years old…that was a lifetime of collecting i lost…i’ll never be able to afford or find most of those records again…i don’t care about the recording equipment…
i’m living now in easton, pennsylvania…i’ve contacted my band members for a possible  reunion…but, unfortunately, they’re not quite interested…my new songs are incorrigibly very angry and they, having spouses, children, etc. don’t seem to want any trouble…they’re involved in other “safer” musical projects…

although a recluse, rage always seems to get me out of the house…rage at war…rage at imperialism…rage at innocents dying…rage at drone warfare…rage at lies…rage at compromise with the pax americana…etc….can rage be therapeutic?…i however have never hurt anyone physically whilst enraged…verbally, but not physically…i am confrontational, however, and am afraid of NO ONE…
well, today i had a 100 bucks to spend so i boarded a bus for 45 dollars at the easton station and arrived at the new york port authority bus terminal a couple hours later…i had some time to kill so i went to the “revolution” book store on west 26th street…i purchased two cheap used books by harry magdoff…(i used to subscribe to monthly review a few years ago – around the time harry passed away)…the elderly gentleman who was at the register, who’s name escapes me now, was extremely friendly…he too had lost a lot of books, records, photographs, etc. when his basement flooded years ago…i can’t believe i forgot to mention my music and i didn’t give him a free cd of mine…after all, i’m trying to get rid of them…next time…he did put me on the bookstore’s mailing list…here’s hoping the compromising, scared, disrespectful, machiavellian left doesn’t get to him…
i then walked a few blocks to the “democracy now” studio on west 25th…the security guard told me i needed an appointment to visit…”no problem”, i told him…i watch the program religiously and have emailed them quite often…sometimes to encourage them and sometimes to criticize them…i’ve never received a response but i’m sure they get tons of emails…i’ve been pretty persistent however when criticism is warranted but always in a spirit of respect…i thought i’d drop by today, introduce myself to whoever was there…(it was a little before 5p.m.)…and drop off some free cds…and tell them they could criticize me if they wanted…all in good fun…oh well, “next time”, i thought…
i then headed south through the streets of manhattan…surprised at all the changes…i used to work and commute into the city back in the nineties…and used to go to the shops until i moved to arizona…i performed with my band at a venue called “kenny’s castaways” on bleeker st. back in 2002…springsteen’s new york debut venue i was told at the time…sadly it’s no longer there…the “bottom line” tragically is also gone…it used to be on e. 4th…i saw and met john martyn there a few times!…tom rush…jorma kaukonen…dino valenti…etc….legends!…it’s nice to know “other music” is still there…i had some pizza on 2nd ave…and a pint of guinness on houston…
i arrived at the bookstore a couple minutes early…the place was packed…standing room only…all the chairs were taken…i stood near the entrance…i didn’t have much choice…it was basically an interview with tariq conducted by someone from “jacobin” magazine…tariq first spoke about the greek syriza party and then discussed the events in spain dealing with the “podemos” party…i have an estranged father who is living in portugal near the spanish border so lately i’ve been a bit curious about what’s been going on over there…when tariq seemed to conclude the spanish topic, i innocently raised my hand…i was going to ask him if the catalan and basque independence movements in spain are complicating the “podemos” situation…are these break away movements merely populist capitalist or do they have their own political factions?…i was ignored and rightly so because the question session was reserved for the end of the interview…however, i realized i was getting some ugly looks from some people…including what seemed like to me from the jacobin interviewer….i quickly shrugged it off thinking i’m paranoid and, of course, i should get out more…
tariq then discussed the topic of his recent book, the “extreme center”…a clipboard was passed around and i entered my name and email address…a money jar was also passed around (though they did make it clear that a contribution was not necessary)…i threw a 20 dollar bill in the jar…(once again, not bragging – just trying to make clear my pure intentions)…
when the audience question session started, i didn’t raise my hand right away (feeling a bit embarrased about raising it prematurely earlier)…i did, however, raise my hand after the first question was asked and answered…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…and i raised it again…the jacobin interviewer looked straight at me every time…i soon realized that my initial discomfort was actually well founded…people who had only raised their hand ONCE were getting chosen!…even one girl standing right next to me!…i persisted and while LOOKING RIGHT AT ME, the interviewer stated there would be no more questions taken…i came a long way to get a chance to ask tariq a question…i intended to purchase his book and if possible say hi, give him a free cd, and maybe get an autographed copy…i also wanted to MEET other leftists and sort of network…remember, this is not exactly easy for me…my only visitor in easton is my mother! who lives nearby in bethlehem…i’m coming off a decade of a 2 person social circle!…while raising my hand six or seven times, i was debating whether to address the spanish issue or the extreme center issue…
after raising my hand one last time, and being told again “no more questions”, i immediately realized that i was singled out right from the beginning!…some of them knew who i was…particularly the interviewer…they couldn’t have made it any clearer…i have been sending constructive criticism to many “left” outlets for a couple of years now…WELL WARRANTED CRITICISM…AND THEY KNOW THAT!…yes, i’m al perry…the guy who knows fires cannot pulverize concrete and steel and bring down steel high rises into their own footprint at freefall speed…yeah, al, the guy who feels the rage of the 911 victim’s family members, and thousands of demolition experts, pilots, firefighters, construction engineers, etc. who want answers…yeah, al perry, the guy who doesn’t believe the bullshit “beheading” videos presented by the zionist s.i.t.e. intelligence group to justify war where thousands are killed by satanic drone warfare which violates international law…yes, the al perry that’s completely flabberghasted as to why there are no major war protests!…why so called leaders of the left ignore these issues without TELLING US WHY and INSULT those who RIGHTFULLY are ENRAGED!!!
they think they know who i am and are afraid i might bring up a topic they didn’t want to discuss…maybe if they had showed some respect and spoken to me respectfully beforehand OR ANSWERED the myriad amounts of emails i’ve sent throughout the years, they would have known who i really am…
i have gotten NO RESPONSE throughout the years from “democracy now”, monthly review, new left review, the intercept, greenwald, scahill, klein, the nation…the list goes on and on…literally hundreds of emails asking perfectly valid questions and many times i offered words of ENCOURAGEMENT…NO REPLY AT ALL…
who have responded to my emails?…short list…tom hayden! (i was shocked…the godfather of protest!)…he understood my rage!…russell brand who tolerates my angry posts on his site…mike davis, who i emailed directly and although extremely busy, answered a few of my questions in detail…i’ll never bother him again out of respect and appreciation…
after realizing that i’ve been set up to look like public enemy number one, i became very angry and did something COMPLETELY UNPLANNED…COMPLETELY IMPROMPTU…ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT…AND I FELT EXHILIRATED!…
as half the audience was getting ready to leave, i suddenly shouted “SO I GUESS WE’RE NOT GONNA HEAR ABOUT 911 TONIGHT!…I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU TRAVEL TO NEW YORK CITY AND DON’T BRING UP 911!…AND WHAT ABOUT THE FAKE BEHEADINGS PROVIDED BY THE S.I.T.E. INTELLIGENCE GROUP?!……AND WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS?!!!…THERE’S A WAR GOING ON, YOU FUCKS!!!..THERE’S A WAR TO PROTEST!!!…HIT THE STREETS!!!…WHERE ARE THE PROTESTS…PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!…” and other words to that effect…i was then asked by an employee of the bookstore to leave…i was already on my way out…i hadn’t intended the night to end this way so i left…when outside, still enraged, i slammed my backpack on the storefront window…
I FELT GREAT!…TARIQ, YOU HAD IT COMING…PERHAPS I’VE EVEN STATED..YELLED…THINGS YOU’D LIKE TO SAY BUT FIND YOURSELF FOR SOME REASON UNABLE TO UTTER…
IT’S OBVIOUS THAT MANY ON THE LEFT ARE ENGAGED IN A CONCERTED EFFORT NOT TO MENTION CERTAIN TOPICS…THEY’VE AVAILED THEMSELVES OF MACHIAVELLIAN STRATEGIES WHICH THEY OBVIOUSLY THINK THE RABBLE WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!!!…….BUT WHEN THEY DESIST FROM PROTESTING  WAR…THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS…DRONE WARFARE…THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR!!!…OFTEN, THESE LEFT OUTLETS SHAMEFULLY ECHO NEWS I HEAR ON THE MAINSTREAM WITHOUT QUESTIONING IT!!!…MAKING THEMSELVES BLOODGUILTY!!!!!…AND AREN’T THEY SUPPOSED TO BE ORGANIZING PROTESTS?!…SHOULDN’T THEY TELL US WHERE THE FUCK TO MEET?!…
AND I’M SICK AND TIRED OF FUCKING WORDS!!!…HIT THE STREETS!!!!…SCARE THE STATUS QUO!!!!…..I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW EASY IT HAS BEEN FOR THE PAX AMERICANA TO RAMPAGE THROUGHOUT THIS EARTH THESE LAST FEW YEARS!!!…MOST OF THE LEFT IS EITHER SCARED OR COMPROMISING AND LYING!!!!……THAT’S RIGHT, LYING!!!…BEING DISINGENUOUS IS LYING!!!!!!!!…..AND THOUSANDS ARE DYING BECAUSE OF THIS BULLSHIT!!!!!….YOU’RE GONNA REGRET IT!…MARK MY WORDS!!!….
IF ANYONE OUT THERE WANTS FEARLESS, UNCOMPROMISING REPORTING GO TO THE GLOBAL RESEARCH WEBSITE RUN BY MICHEL CHOSSUDEVSKY AND BARRY ZWICKER IN CANADA…THEY ARE TRULY NOT BLOODGUILTY…and i’m sure would let me ask any question i like…
i now realize there’s a david and goliath situation in this country…if any of you authentic leftists want to protest war and drones this year, you’ll probably be alone…don’t worry…THINK OF BRIAN HAW!!!…that always gets me going…print some leaflets and signs…even if you’re alone, you can be very effective…there are courageous leftists out there organizing…for example, i was involved recently with the lepoco group of pennsylvania…a month ago 53 of us showed up at a drone command center in horsham, pa. to protest…it will soon be a monthly event…most cars driving by that reacted to the protest honked their approval…you can even go door to door in your neighborhood alerting people about what’s really going on in their world and what the scared left is afraid to mention…
i do not regret what i did tonight…it should’ve been done a long time ago…and i’m just getting started…
– al perry

The Obama Dictatorship Orders Schools and Churches To Interrogate the Little Extremists You Are Raising

Is Your Child a Terrorist? U.S. Government Questionnaire Rates Families at Risk for Extremism

the intercept

Featured photo - Is Your Child a Terrorist? U.S. Government Questionnaire Rates Families at Risk for Extremism

Are you, your family or your community at risk of turning to violent extremism? That’s the premise behind a rating system devised by the National Counterterrorism Center, according to a document marked For Official Use Only and obtained by The Intercept.

The document–and the rating system–is part of a wider strategy for Countering Violent Extremism, which calls for local community and religious leaders to work together with law enforcement and other government agencies. The White House has made this approach a centerpiece of its response to terrorist attacks around the world and in the wake of the Paris attacks, announced plans to host an international summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18th. 

The rating system, part of a 36-page document dated May 2014 and titled “Countering Violent Extremism: A Guide for Practitioners and Analysts,” suggests that police, social workers and educators rate individuals on a scale of one to five in categories such as: “Expressions of Hopelessness, Futility,” “Talk of Harming Self or Others,” and “Connection to Group Identity (Race, Nationality, Religion, Ethnicity).” The ranking system is supposed to alert government officials to individuals at risk of turning to radical violence, and to families or communities at risk of incubating extremist ideologies.

Families are judged on factors such as “Aware[ness] of Each Other’s Activities,” as well as levels of “Parent-Child Bonding,” and communities are rated by access to health care and social services, in addition to “presence of ideologues or recruiters” as potential risk factors.

A low score in any of these categories would indicate a high risk of “susceptibility to engage in violent extremism,” according to the document. It encourages users of the guide to plot the scores on a graph to determine what “interventions” could halt the process of radicalization before it happens.

“The idea that the federal government would encourage local police, teachers, medical and social service employees to rate the communities, individuals and families they serve for their potential to become terrorists is abhorrent on its face,” said Mike German, a former FBI agent who is now with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. German called the criteria used for the ratings “subjective and specious.”


Arun Kundnani, a professor at New York University, said that enlisting communities in the way the administration suggests in the guide, “leads a range of non-policing professionals to cast particular suspicion on Muslim populations and profile them for behaviors that have no real connection to criminality.”

Kundnani also questioned the science behind the rating system. “There’s no evidence to support the idea that terrorism can be substantively correlated with such factors to do with family, identity, and emotional well-being,” he said.

The guide itself notes that the effects of Countering Violent Extremism programs are “not easy to quantify.”

The U.S. government isn’t alone in its attempts to spot youth allegedly at risk of becoming terrorists. The government of France recently issued a widely mocked graphic demonstrating ostensible warning signs of radicalization, which suggested that abrupt diet or lifestyle changes are correlated with proclivities for violent extremism. (White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco last April warned parents and community members to look out for “subtle” signs, like “sudden personality changes in their children at home—becoming confrontational.”)

The British government has put forward a plan to begin monitoring signs of radicalization at the pre-school level, and in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, children in France as young as eight years old have been detained and questioned by police for allegedly espousing radical views.

Experts have suggested that intervention by law enforcement or other branches of the government in individuals’ lives, particularly young people, based solely based on the views they express, can potentially criminalize constitutionally protected behavior.

In some cases, as The Intercept has reported, community outreach from law enforcement has also crossed the line into intelligence gathering.

Most of the document is a review of the literature on a  variety of approaches to dealing with the threat of radicalization. Examples given include a community policing program in Lewiston, Maine (population 36,000), and Saudi Arabia’s rehabilitation program for former jihadists, including Guantanamo detainees.

Though the White House has insisted that Countering Violent Extremism is not directed at any specific group, the NCTC guide only cites examples drawn from Muslim communities.

It is obvious that, in practice, [this] would mostly only be applied to Muslim communities,” said Kundnani, the NYU professor.

A public affairs officer for the National Counterterrorism Center declined to answer questions about the rating system, the methodology behind it, or why the document was marked For Official Use Only.

See the full document here (or download it as a PDF.)

 Photo:  Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Obama Moves NATO’s Threshold Right Up To Putin’s Front Door

[With this latest news about new US air bases in Eastern Europe, who can still have any doubts that this is why the Pentagon and State Dept have intentionally engineered the Ukrainian civil war in the first place, in order to reignite the “COLD WAR” and to give them back their Russian “BAD GUYS”?  By embroiling Russia in a hot war, they have reintroduced the idea of a “RUSSIAN THREAT” and renewed hope that the US MILITARY will be our SAVIORS, as they kill their way towards “WORLD PEACE.”  Through careful maneuvering, the CIA’s psywarriors have managed to so inflame Ukraine’s social tensions, as to ignite outright civil war.  Their next trick will be causing open hostilities between Ukraine and Russia.]

NATO jet
A Portuguese Air Force fighter F-16 patrols over Baltics air space, from the Zokniai air base near Siauliai November 20, 2014. Ints Kalnins/Reuters

‘Biggest NATO Reinforcement Since Cold War’ Sets Frontlines Against Russia

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NATO has ranked Russia as its greatest threat, according to defence experts, as the alliance announced its plans to staff six new European bases in what its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is calling “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War”.

The plan will see NATO’s rapid reaction units grow to 30,000 soldiers from 13,000, and six stations will be set up in the alliance’s easternmost member states – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, all of whom either border Russia or share the Black Sea with annexed Crimea.

According to general Charles Wald, former-deputy commander of U.S. European Command, the move marks the “continuum of a wake-up call that is the threat of Russia in Ukraine”.

“It is a much bigger deal than it appears on paper,” Wald says. “The question for Europe is: is Putin creeping further and further west? Is this a precursor to Russia moving into Moldova? Nagorno Karabakh has been bubbling up and the Georgia issue is still unresolved.”

“NATO has essentially set these bases in its frontline states,” Wald says, referring to the countries’ proximity to Russian territory.

“What they will do is they will have the infrastructure to guide NATO’s forces to where they will have to go, supply them with equipment, intelligence apparatus and whatever they will need for supply chains, in the case of an attack on NATO territory.”

According to Ward, Poland and the Baltic states are the NATO member states “most nervous” of potential pro-Russian violence breaking out on their territories, as it has in Ukraine. The rapid response strategy is intended to prevent a spillover of pro-Russian violence into NATO and possibly deter violence from spreading in Ukraine.

“It is a little different with Ukraine because they are not part of NATO, but they are part of Europe and they are under attack,” Ward explains.

“The Ukrainians are never going to beat the Russians but they can at least fight them off their territory. Our belief is that we need to help the Ukrainians make it a bad trade off for Russia to continue expanding west,” Wald adds.

Yesterday NATO members Poland and Lithuania also agreed to form a joint military battalion with Ukraine, in a bid to further strengthen the military partnership between the West and Kiev.

According to Michael Clarke director general of the Royal United Services Institute which studies global defence and security, the move symbolises the return of Russia as NATO’s biggest security threat.

“The spearhead force is all part of NATO’s infrastructure plan,” Clarke says. “We are not adding any new units or putting any new spending into this, but rather we are reallocating existing units to be ready in eastern Europe from other parts of the world such as Belize,”

“They are there as skeleton staff at this point, but the point is that if they were activated it would enable reinforcements to arrive and act much more quickly as part of the NATO reinforcement plan,” Clarke says.

“NATO ranks Russia as its highest threat,” Clarke adds, but explains that for obvious reasons the governments of some NATO members are more immediately concerned by Russia’s actions than others.

“At this point in time the strategy is to show that NATO is a collective alliance, which shares risks, but if anything kicks off the facilities will be more than capable of dealing with the threat,” adding that Poland and the Baltic countries are among those most worried about a Russian advance.

“It is in the UK’s interest to reinvigorate NATO. Russia is a more fundamental danger, as opposed the Middle East.”

“If you press UK policy makers they will also probably admit that Russia poses the most serious security threat globally, but because it is below the level of open conflict in Ukraine, they are more reluctant to say that,” Clarke says.

According to Clarke’s colleague at RUSI, former Royal Navy officer Michael Codner, security has taken a back seat to the UK government’s agenda as the upcoming election has brought other issues such as the economy, healthcare and the threat of homegrown terrorism.

“It should be a top level issue, but it has been swept under the rug” Codner says.

Charles Wald echoes Clarke and Codner’s words but believes that the UK’s influence in NATO operations is crucial.

“Poland and the Baltic states are the most nervous about Russia, but the UK is the major player in Europe if anything goes down in NATO,” he says.

“They are being cautious with involvement, because they have their own economic issues but with regard to the moral initiative to act, if the US does something the UK will be right behind it.”

The announcement of the new spearhead force has not been received warmly by Russia, with Alexander Lukashevich a spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defence holding a special press briefing where he warned NATO’s latest move would “inform Russia’s subsequent military planning”.

“This plan is in and of itself very disturbing, because it is about raising NATO capabilities on our borders.”

“The so called plan to reinforce the eastern flank of NATO is nothing other than an increase in the battle readiness of the alliance,” Lukashevich added.

In a speech today Jens Stoltenberg played down speculation NATO’s eastern reinforcement signified concern that Russia will mount a western advance, but highlighted the move did come as a result of the “sharply escalated’ violence in eastern Ukraine, caused by “Russian-backed separatists”.

The plan will see NATO’s rapid reaction units grow to 30,000 soldiers from 13,000, and six stations will be set up in the alliance’s easternmost member states – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, all of whom either border Russia or share the Black Sea with annexed Crimea.

According to general Charles Wald, former-deputy commander of U.S. European Command, the move marks the “continuum of a wake-up call that is the threat of Russia in Ukraine”.

The Perversely Bestial, Inhuman Nature of CIA Guantanamo Torturers

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Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag

cnn

Samir Naji is a Yemeni accused of serving in Osama bin Laden’s security detail and has been imprisoned for nearly 13 years without charge in Guantanamo Bay. He was cleared for release in 2009, but remains in detention. The following first-person testimony, recorded during his most recent meeting with lawyers from the international human rights organization Reprieve, has just been released by prison censors. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.


Also see
: Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (CNN)I’ve heard that the Senate report on CIA torture is 6,000 pages long. My story, though, takes place elsewhere: in Guantanamo, away from the CIA program that the report covers. The 6,000 pages of the Senate report are just the start of what Americans have to accept happened in their name.

It starts and ends in the silence of a tiny, freezing cold cell, alone. That’s when you hold yourself in a ball, and fight to ignore the confusion of what has just happened to you, and the fear of what might be coming next. Or the fear that comes when you realize that no one is coming to help; that the life, family and friends you knew are all far, far away.

The cell door opens. The next session, seemingly the 100th in a row. I think my first period of interrogation lasted three full months. Two teams of interrogators running shifts, day and night.

Each session begins with shouting, to wake me up. Then they hit me on the face and the back. I am so desperate for sleep, my head is swimming. There are photographs of faces stuck all around the walls of this room. They demand that I identify the individuals, but I can barely focus to see if I might know them. The shouting and the insults get louder, and then they nod to a man in the corner. He injects me twice in the arm with some unknown substance. It’s the last thing I know.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards enter, making awful honking noises, like wild animals.

I tried to refuse to eat the little food they bring me, in protest at all this. The interrogator laughs at me, but then turns angry; he swears loudly, and pours an army meal pack over my head. They tell the man in the corner to start feeding me intravenously. He inserts the tube in two different places on my arm and makes it bleed.

Closing Guantanamo: Who’s left and what’s in the way

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. This time the guards push me on the floor and take turns trampling over my back.

I tell the interrogators that I can’t face not eating any more. They throw food on the floor of the room and tell me to eat like a pig. They won’t let me go to the restroom. They watch as it gets more painful, and laugh as they get the translator to describe how they will rape me if I pee in my pants.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. They make me stand and salute the American flag.

I’m in a sort of cinema room, where I have to watch videos of other prisoners being abused. Then they tell me that I have to dance for them, and run in circles whilst they pull on my chains. Every time I try and refuse, they touch me in my most private areas.

The freezing cold cell. The cell door opens. It has rained, and there are muddy puddles everywhere. I’m shackled, so I can’t really walk; they deliberately drag me through the muddy puddles.

Now it’s the pornography room. Awful pictures everywhere. There is one with a man and a donkey. I’m stripped naked and have my beard shaved, in a gratuitous insult to my religion. I’m shown pornographic pictures of women. I’m told to make the noises of different animals, and when I refuse, they just hit me. It ends with them pouring cold water all over me.

Hours later in my cell, I am discovered, nearly frozen. The doctor tells them to bring me urgently to the clinic, where I am given a blanket and treatment. Over the next hours, they observe me as I warm up. They are just waiting for the moment that they can sign off on my return to interrogation.

Four years ago, six U.S. government security agencies sat together and reviewed my case. Their conclusion? That I was innocent of any crime and should be released. The dirty and sadistic methods I endured — which were then taken directly to Abu Ghraib — achieved nothing, except to shame that American flag hanging in the prison corridor, which I was made to salute.

One hundred and thirty-six prisoners are still being held at Guantanamo, whilst the politicians squabble over how to black out the Senate report. America cannot keep hiding from its past, and its present, like this. Our stories, and our continued detention, cannot be made to disappear.

READ: CIA misled public on torture, Senate report says

Obama Waging Lawyer’s War To Brand Putin As “WAR CRIMINAL” Without Implicating Himself

[From the selection of news headlines given below, it is apparent that Obama’s war against Putin has taken a new, even riskier path.  Instead of continuing to simply threaten, bribe and browbeat the EU allies into closing ranks behind his scheme to isolate Putin, he intends to attempt to charge Putin with “WAR CRIMES” in the UN Security Council, branding him a “ROGUE,” Russia an “AGGRESSOR STATE” and the Novo-Russians (Eastern Ukrainian) as “TERRORISTS,” terms which Obama himself has already been branded with hundreds of times on the battlefield of the free Internet. 

Thanks to Obama a battle for a “Free Europe” will be settled upon the “Ukrainian battlefield,” by “Good Guys,” who are really “Bad Guys” of the worst sort, expecting us to believe and support them, as they turn Europe into a new tinderbox, for no good reason.  When it all boils down, there is no reason for the division and animosity between Ukraine and Russia, except for the pain left over from mistakes that are now past and the universal Ukrainians unwillingness to pay the real cost of keeping their homes warm in the wintertime.]

Ukrainian MPs call on UN, NATO & PACE to recognize Russia as ‘aggressor state’

Russia Is Turning Into a Rogue State

US Official:’ A Free Europe Rises or Falls With Ukraine’

Pro-Russian rebels officially labelled terrorists by Ukraine government

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on

recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state”

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The people’s deputies adopted the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the United Nations, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and international parliaments on recognizing the Russian Federation the aggressor state.

271 people’s deputy voted in favor.

 

 

 

“ISIS” Fighters In Standard Issue “Desert Storm” Boots and Fatigues

ISIS DESERT STORM SOURCE

Remember When There Was A Commie Under Every Bed?–those days are back

As usual, Hollywood is actively assisting the latest fraud to be perpetuated upon the American people, a false revival of the anti-communist “malaria” from the Reagan era, which normally prevails in the brainwashed sheep.  Hollywood has been providing entertainment and audio/visual support to the various fascist administrations who have followed the path of world aggression since at least, WWII.
Their latest task is to vilify Putin and everything Russian, in support of the drive towards WWIII.

 

THE AMERICANS
The Americans Centers on Russian sleepers operating in the United States in the 1980s.

 

Allegiance Series Trailer – New TV Series 2015

A rookie CIA analyst doesn’t know that members of his family are part of a Russian sleeper cell.

NSA–“Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment.”

The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle

der spiegel

By Jacob Appelbaum, Aaron Gibson, Claudio Guarnieri, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, , Leif Ryge, and

Photo Gallery: 'Controlled Escalation' Photos
DPA

The NSA’s mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars — a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway.

Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain, the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, “looking for interns who want to break things.”

Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it’s operated by the NSA’s digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers.Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to “remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware.” Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to “remotely brick network cards.” With programs like Berserkr they would implant “persistent backdoors” and “parasitic drivers”. Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would “erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments.”

An intern’s tasks might also include remotely destroying the functionality of hard drives. Ultimately, the goal of the internship program was “developing an attacker’s mindset.”

The internship listing is eight years old, but the attacker’s mindset has since become a kind of doctrine for the NSA’s data spies. And the intelligence service isn’t just trying to achieve mass surveillance of Internet communication, either. The digital spies of the Five Eyes alliance — comprised of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — want more.

The Birth of D Weapons

According to top secret documents from the archive of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seen exclusively by SPIEGEL, they are planning for wars of the future in which the Internet will play a critical role, with the aim of being able to use the net to paralyze computer networks and, by doing so, potentially all the infrastructure they control, including power and water supplies, factories, airports or the flow of money.

During the 20th century, scientists developed so-called ABC weapons — atomic, biological and chemical. It took decades before their deployment could be regulated and, at least partly, outlawed. New digital weapons have now been developed for the war on the Internet. But there are almost no international conventions or supervisory authorities for these D weapons, and the only law that applies is the survival of the fittest.

Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan foresaw these developments decades ago. In 1970, he wrote, “World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.” That’s precisely the reality that spies are preparing for today.

The US Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force have already established their own cyber forces, but it is the NSA, also officially a military agency, that is taking the lead. It’s no coincidence that the director of the NSA also serves as the head of the US Cyber Command. The country’s leading data spy, Admiral Michael Rogers, is also its chief cyber warrior and his close to 40,000 employees are responsible for both digital spying and destructive network attacks.

Surveillance only ‘Phase 0’

From a military perspective, surveillance of the Internet is merely “Phase 0” in the US digital war strategy. Internal NSA documents indicate that it is the prerequisite for everything that follows. They show that the aim of the surveillance is to detect vulnerabilities in enemy systems. Once “stealthy implants” have been placed to infiltrate enemy systems, thus allowing “permanent accesses,” then Phase Three has been achieved — a phase headed by the word “dominate” in the documents. This enables them to “control/destroy critical systems & networks at will through pre-positioned accesses (laid in Phase 0).” Critical infrastructure is considered by the agency to be anything that is important in keeping a society running: energy, communications and transportation. The internal documents state that the ultimate goal is “real time controlled escalation”.

One NSA presentation proclaims that “the next major conflict will start in cyberspace.” To that end, the US government is currently undertaking a massive effort to digitally arm itself for network warfare. For the 2013 secret intelligence budget, the NSA projected it would need around $1 billion in order to increase the strength of its computer network attack operations. The budget included an increase of some $32 million for “unconventional solutions” alone.

In recent years, malware has emerged that experts have attributed to the NSA and its Five Eyes alliance based on a number of indicators. They include programs like Stuxnet, used to attack the Iranian nuclear program. Or Regin, a powerful spyware trojan that created a furor in Germany after it infected the USB stick of a high-ranking staffer to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Agents also used Regin in attacks against the European Commission, the EU’s executive, and Belgian telecoms company Belgacom in 2011.Given that spies can routinely break through just about any security software, virtually all Internet users are at risk of a data attack.

The new documents shed some new light on other revelations as well. Although an attack called Quantuminsert has been widely reported by SPIEGEL and others, documentation shows that in reality it has a low success rate and it has likely been replaced by more reliable attacks such as Quantumdirk, which injects malicious content into chat services provided by websites such as Facebook and Yahoo. And computers infected with Straitbizarre can be turned into disposable and non-attributable “shooter” nodes. These nodes can then receive messages from the NSA’s Quantum network, which is used for “command and control for very large scale active exploitation and attack.” The secret agents were also able to breach mobile phones by exploiting a vulnerability in the Safari browser in order to obtain sensitive data and remotely implant malicious code.

In this guerilla war over data, little differentiation is made between soldiers and civilians, the Snowden documents show. Any Internet user could suffer damage to his or her data or computer. It also has the potential to create perils in the offline world as well. If, for example, a D weapon like Barnfire were to destroy or “brick” the control center of a hospital as a result of a programming error, people who don’t even own a mobile phone could be affected.

Intelligence agencies have adopted “plausible deniability” as their guiding principle for Internet operations. To ensure their ability to do so, they seek to make it impossible to trace the author of the attack.

It’s a stunning approach with which the digital spies deliberately undermine the very foundations of the rule of law around the globe. This approach threatens to transform the Internet into a lawless zone in which superpowers and their secret services operate according to their own whims with very few ways to hold them accountable for their actions.

Attribution is difficult and requires considerable forensic effort. But in the new documents there are at least a few pointers. Querty, for example, is a keylogger that was part of the Snowden archive. It’s a piece of software designed to surreptitiously intercept all keyboard keys pressed by the victim and record them for later inspection. It is an ordinary, indeed rather dated, keylogger. Similar software can already be found in numerous applications, so it doesn’t seem to pose any acute danger — but the sourcecode contained in it does reveal some interesting details. They suggest that this keylogger might be part of the large arsenal of modules that that belong to the Warriorpride program, a kind of universal Esperanto software used by all the Five Eyes partner agencies that at times was even able to break into iPhones, among other capabilities. The documents published by SPIEGEL include sample code from the keylogger to foster further research and enable the creation of appropriate defenses.‘Just a Bunch of Hackers’

The men and women working for the Remote Operations Center (ROC), which uses the codename S321, at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, work on one of the NSA’s most crucial teams, the unit responsible for covert operations. S321 employees are located on the third floor of one of the main buildings on the NSA’s campus. In one report from the Snowden archive, an NSA man reminisces about how, when they got started, the ROC people were “just a bunch of hackers.” Initially, people worked “in a more ad hoc manner,” the report states. Nowadays, however, procedures are “more systematic”. Even before NSA management massively expanded the ROC group during the summer of 2005, the department’s motto was, “Your data is our data, your equipment is our equipment.”

The agents sit in front of their monitors, working in shifts around the clock. Just how close the NSA has already gotten to its aim of “global network dominance” is illustrated particularly well by the work of department S31177, codenamed Transgression.The department’s task is to trace foreign cyber attacks, observe and analyze them and, in the best case scenario, to siphon off the insights of competing intelligence agencies. This form of “Cyber Counter Intelligence” counts among the most delicate forms of modern spying.

 

ISIS is NOT ‘Blowback’ from Western Foreign Policy; It is Western foreign policy

wahhabi

“THE ORIGIN OF ISIS”

ISIS is not ‘Blowback’ from Western Foreign Policy;

They ARE Western Foreign Policy

empire strikes black
By the Editor.

Notice that ISIS are sworn enemies of Syria, Hizbu’llah, and Iran. This in itself gives a most obvious clue as to the identity of the group’s benefactors.

A prevalent liberal cliché is the “blowback” theory – the theory that ISIS terror attacks, and indeed the group’s very existence, are somehow in retaliation to US/Western/”Israeli” foreign policy actions.

This is a disingenuous theory that is disseminated in order to keep the empire’s citizens on side. Crucially, it distracts from a key truth.

Western and “Israeli” intelligence has historically effected deep infiltration of ‘jihadist’ terror cells throughout the Arab world and the West; these groups are used literally as foot-soldiers (see Afghanistan throughout the 1980s) to achieve Western and “Israeli” military and strategic objectives. The “blowback” theory distracts from this key fact.

ISIS aren’t retaliating against Western foreign policy; they are Western foreign policy. These very people were mobilized against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya’s bogus ‘revolution’ of 2011, as with Syria in the same year.

In moving across the Syrian-Iraqi border, ISIS – Zionism’s foot-soldiers – underwent a magical media transformation into the ‘bad guys’. The ‘war against ISIS’ is a con, a total scam. It is a pretext for a war against the resistance axis: chiefly Syria, Hizbu’llah, Iran, and the Palestinian resistance. It is a pretext to kick the ‘Yinon plan’ – the plan to balkanise the Arab world to ensure “Israeli” hegemony – into high gear

The WMD lies of 2003 never went away; they simply got re-packaged for the liberal crowd in the post-Bush era.

The Yinon Plan, “Greater Israel”, Syria, Iraq, and ISIS: the Connection

TIMES OF POL

The Zionist Plan for the Middle East, also known as the Yinon Plan, is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

Reach of a "Greater Israel"

 “Greater Israel” consists in an area extending from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates.

When viewed in the current context, the war on Iraq, the 2006 war on Lebanon, the 2011 war on Libya, the ongoing war on Syria, not to mention the process of regime change in Egypt, must be understood in relation to the Zionist Plan for the Middle East. The latter consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of an Israeli expansionist project. (READ HERE)

 

GET ARRESTED PROTESTING AT THE WAR CRIMINALS’ HOMES

CheneyWanted2011Posterwanted


THE CHENEY MANSION–1126 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA


G W BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, CRAWFORD RANCH

[SEE:  A decent nation would have impeached Bush and Obama ]

Two anti-torture protesters arrested at Dick Cheney’s house

Reuters

(Reuters) – Two protesters were arrested at the McLean, Virginia, home of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday after 20 demonstrators, some in orange prison jumpsuits, walked onto his property to mark the 14th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay prison.

The protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink walked up to the house before police arrived and asked them to leave, said Fairfax County police spokesman Roger Henriquez. Two members who refused to go were arrested on trespassing charges, he said.

Police identified the two as Tighe Barry, 57, and Eve Tetaz, 83, both of Washington DC. The pair face misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said.

Another Code Pink group demonstrated without incident outside the home of CIA Director John Brennan, also in the Washington, D.C. suburb of McLean, as part of its “Guantanamo Anniversary Weekend Torturers Tour.”

A U.S. Senate report last month said the CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged.

Cheney has defended the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in the aftermath of al Qaeda’s hijacked plane attacks, which killed more than 3,000 people in New York and Washington.

The prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was opened in January 2002 to house suspected militants and still holds 127 detainees, despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to close the facility. Obama continues to face obstacles posed by Congress to the goal of emptying the prison before he leaves office, not least of which is a ban on transfer of prisoners to the U.S. mainland.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 

Obama’s High-Stakes Gamble Handing Domination Of Global Oil Market To Saudis

Obama’s, Saudi Arabia’s beheading of U.S. oil will exact a heavy toll

pesonal liberty

oil pricesThe price of oil is sinking faster than the Titanic. The influence on it is Saudi Arabia, which has opened up the spigots, forcing down the price of oil to $50 per barrel compared to $110 last summer. The big winner in the crude sweepstakes is Saudi Arabia, which is increasing its world market share. The big losers are U.S. petroleum and shale oil producers who can no longer turn a profit. And the man with the sword in his hands is President Barack Obama.

Obama opposed U.S. petroleum drilling even before he took office. Yet he eagerly bows to the Saudi monarch, the ailing King Abdullah. Obama has provided enormous military hardware to the Saudis even as Saudi Arabia continues to fund Sunni terrorists, including the Islamic State (ISIS). Equally startling is that Obama has set the stage for a commodity price collapse, which could cause the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression.

Oil insiders believe that the credit Obama has received for the stunning rebound in U.S. petroleum production is contemptible. While the president did promise to open up new areas for exploration, he also clamped down on the offshore drilling following the BP oil spill in April 2010. Obama suspended offshore drilling leases and authorized an investigation of 29 oil rigs in the Gulf. Later, his administration ordered a six-month offshore drilling moratorium enforced by the U.S. Department of the Interior. That ended only when a federal judge lifted the moratorium, finding it too broad, arbitrary and unjustified.

A Forbes headline in March 2012 declared, “President Obama Has An Oil Problem.” The writer, Robert Bradly Jr., wrote: “In addition to dragging its feet on existing oil sources, the Obama administration has taken blatantly anti-oil actions.”

At the same time, the Obama administration has provided enormous support to Riyadh. In 2010, the Obama administration pulled off the largest arms deal ever. It was a $60.5 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of weapons with offensive capabilities.

Now with Obama’s blessing, Saudi overproduction of crude is in full swing. Last year, petroleum prices underwent their second largest annual decline in history. That has been great news for American drivers. But the cost of Saudi oil dominance cannot simply be measured at the gas pump. ConocoPhillips, a major player in the U.S. shale industry, has announced that it will “defer significant investment” in U.S. shale oil until returns look more promising. That isn’t likely until oil prices recover to more than $65 per barrel.

 

Deflation: The coming collapse of commodity prices

The global impact of crashing crude is what worries me most. Last month, Goldman Sachs reported nearly $1 trillion in investments in future oil projects will not happen at today’s prices. That was after looking at what was to be the development of 400 of the world’s largest planned oil and gas fields, not including U.S. shale projects. Factor those, and thousands of good-paying American jobs will disappear.

Obama is playing a dangerous game conspiring with Saudi Arabia. If crude prices continue to fall, as I believe they will, to below $40 per barrel, it will have a crippling impact on the commodity markets. We are almost certain to see Obama’s trickle “down” economics to do far more than just cripple the budding U.S. oil shale industry. I predict that in 2015 every resource industry from agriculture to mining is going to begin a serious decline that may last until the end of this decade.

Last year, billionaire and Obama confidante Warren Buffet was purchasing up wind farms. Buffet is shrewd. In five years, wind farms may be the only farms worth owning. I witnessed it before in the early 1980s when crashing oil prices crippled not only oil-dependent states like Texas and Alaska but also farm and mining states like Nebraska, Iowa and Idaho.

I saw the farming crisis firsthand when I was 22 and writing for a cattle magazine. I already had a general understanding of the boon years of the 1970s and the enormous correction that was occurring then, in the early ’80s, because my uncle owned a 2,000-acre mixed farm. He was lucky to sell out near the top, but many of our family’s friends who knew of no other way of life were bankrupted.

During those first years as a young writer, I would sometimes be driving through farm country. I saw the devastation.

According to Neil E. Harl, an Iowa State economics professor, more than three percent of the 2.4 million farmers in the U.S. left the farm each year in the early 1980s. In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net farm income fell by nearly one-third during the first half of that decade. As farm commodity values declined, farmland values plunged. And that broke the backs of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers.

 

Saudi Arabia and Barack Obama: A sinister alliance?

At my next job as an investment writer, I saw the same havoc in the mining industry. The Idaho Silver Valley, which had provided so many jobs to miners in the ’70s, was abandoned in the ’80s. Those families that stayed on were mostly impoverished as mine upon mine shut down. Today, the region — including surrounding cities like Spokane, Washington, and Great Falls, Montana — is a remnant of what it was during the boon in the ’70s.

It seems Obama is providing too much to Saudi Arabia where Christianity is illegal and where weekly beheadings draw large audiences. Even more disturbing is that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest financial backer of the worst jihadist groups, including ISIS. WikiLeaks disclosed a 2009 State Department communication by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which read, “[D]onors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

So even as Obama promises to fight Islamic extremism, he is backing the very kingdom that is backing the crazies who want to kill Americans. Others agree, including Larry Klayman, whose article was published last Saturday by WND:

Indeed, under the “leadership” of our “Black-Muslim in Chief” — who favors all things African and Islamic over the rest of us — it is likely that the nation and the world is about to explode at any moment. Things have simply been simmering along for too long for this not to occur at some point.

Obama continues to put America more at risk each passing month. His close relationship with Saudi Arabia should alone have him impeached but of course he is almost untouchable because of his heritage and his powerful friends in and out of government. As we begin 2015, the nation faces an impending deflationary collapse.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers

John Myers is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

NED (National Endowment for Revolution) NGOs In Ukraine

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AHALAR Center for Humane Technologies
NGO Strengthening
$35,230
Furthering Ukraine’s Democratic Transition
To increase civil society’s influence on Ukraine’s democratic transition by facilitating cooperation between NGOs and the media. AHALAR will organize three training seminars for 60 representatives from the media and civil society, a four-day study trip to Warsaw for 12 participants focusing on successful examples and best practices of cooperation between civil society and the media in the Polish context, a small grants competition and an online networking platform at http://www.activarte.org.ua.

Alliance Center
Accountability
$24,758
Promoting Accountability in Eastern Ukraine
To increase the accountability of local governments in eastern Ukraine. The Donetsk-based Alliance will conduct four workshops and convene eight working groups to strengthen the capacity of newly formed local civic councils. The events will focus on using tools and strategies for networking, monitoring and advocacy campaigns to help the councils be more effective in engaging and influencing local government activities. Alliance will also develop and maintain a resource library to disseminate information and best practices and hold a three-day final conference for 30 council members.

Association of Ukrainian Law Enforcement Monitors
Human Rights
$38,334
Monitoring Human Rights Compliance by Law Enforcement Agencies
To promote Ukraine’s adherence to international human rights standards. The Association will conduct three trainings in Ukraine’s regions for a total of 60 NGO activists, monitor human rights violations by the police, and publish the results in its annual report, as well as develop recommendations to prevent future abuses. The Association will also print and distribute 300 copies of the report in Ukrainian and English.

Center for International Private Enterprise
Developing Market Economy
$357,707
Building Advocacy Momentum
To build the capacity of Ukrainian business associations and improve the entrepreneurial climate through coalition-based advocacy. CIPE will build the skills of reform-minded business leaders through training seminars, workshops and small grants designed to stimulate advocacy on targeted issues. CIPE will also support partner business associations to advocate for improvements in the entrepreneurial environment with a focus on reducing corruption and improving public-private dialogue.

Center for Research on Social Perspectives in the Donbas
Freedom of Information
$34,995
Supporting Independent Regional Media
To continue disseminating independent information about and for Ukraine’s regions. The Center will maintain its popular news website, OstriV (www.ostro.org). NED support will cover the costs of three correspondents, including two in the Donetsk region and one in Kyiv, who will produce more than 100 analytical and 5,000 informational items for the website. Assistance will also be used to cover a portion of the Center’s basic operating costs.

Center for Society Research
Human Rights
$24,850
Promoting Freedom of Assembly
To promote greater awareness of the freedom of assembly. As part of a larger, national advocacy campaign, the Center will monitor freedom of assembly throughout the country, including the reaction of the authorities, and disseminate the results of its monitoring via a website.

Center UA
Accountability
$22,600
Promoting the Accountability of Public Officials
To increase the accountability of public figures in Ukraine. The Center UA will continue to operate its unique interactive website, Vladometr.org (Powermeter), which monitors, documents and assesses promises made by politicians, officials and prominent public figures.

Cherkasy Regional Organization of Committee Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$22,000
Promoting Civic Activism and Government Accountability in Central Ukraine
To promote civic activism and government accountability in the Cherkasy region. The Cherkasy CVU will hold five workshops for activists and local councilors on increasing cross-sectoral communication, improving interaction between voters, civil society and local government, and working with the public to solve pressing local issues. The CVU will also conduct a campaign to monitor local councilors, MPs and mayors of major cities from the region that will analyze pre-election platforms of those elected officials and assess their performance since the elections. Results will be posted on a special section of the CVU’s website, deputat.ck.ua.

Chernihiv City Youth Organization Educational Center “Initiative”
NGO Strengthening
$28,270
Promoting Local Activism in Chernihiv Region
To strengthen civil society in the northern Ukrainian region of Chernihiv. The Initiative will organize a series of nine workshops and trainings for NGO representatives, journalists and members of district councils from seven districts in the Chernihiv region to resolve local problems through inter-sectoral cooperation. Following the trainings, six teams of participants will receive small grants to address local challenges. The Initiative will also publish seven issues of its newspaper and convene a final conference.

Chernivtsi Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$33,650
Promoting Accountability in Southwestern Ukraine
To foster government accountability and transparency in southwestern Ukraine. The Chernivtsi CVU will monitor the activities of city council deputies in the Chernivtsi and Khmelnytsky regions, produce four monitoring reports and publish them in its Krok Zakhid newspaper with a print run of 1,600 copies. It will hold seven roundtables to advocate for creating legal norms on public participation in self-governing bodies and to foster relations between deputies and the public. The CVU will also convene seven training seminars and produce 600 copies of an advocacy manual for deputies, and launch an information campaign to promote public participation in local communities. During the campaign, the CVU will survey 2,000 people and disseminate 1,500 copies of a “how to” booklet on civic activism.

Chernivtsi Society “Ukrainian People’s House in Chernivtsi”
NGO Strengthening
$25,020
Enhancing Civic Journalism and NGO Cooperation
To develop the communication skills of youth activists and enhance cooperation of NGOs in the Chernivtsi and Kirovohrad regions. The Society will organize a four-month course in civic journalism and a media competition for 70 youth leaders, as well as produce a website, guidebook and two issues of its Toloka (Community) newspaper. The NGO will also organize a study tour for the eight most promising participants and bring together 100 activists for a final conference.

Coalition of Cherkassy Youth NGOs “Moloda Cherkaschyna”
NGO Strengthening
$31,855
Promoting Youth Activism in Central Ukraine
To strengthen youth involvement in civil society by enhancing a network of activists and organizations in central Ukraine. The Coalition will organize two networking seminars and a six-day training for approximately 50 youth activists in four regions of central Ukraine: Kremenchug, Cherkassy, Kirovohrad and Poltava. The Coalition will also conduct an information and monitoring campaign on youth policy in the four regions, along with four civic actions developed by participating young activists

Dniprovsky Center for Social Research
Freedom of Information
$23,830
Promoting Freedom of Information and Accountability in Dnipropetrovsk
To increase access to independent news and information in Ukraine’s eastern region of Dnipropetrovsk. The Center will continue producing its online newspaper Novyi Format (www.nf.dp.ua), which features regional news and analysis in Ukrainian and Russian. The Center will monitor the activities of elected officials, conduct an opinion poll, and convene three roundtables to strengthen the professionalism of 20 journalists and NGO representatives. The Center will also maintain and update its website on NGO developments in the region at http://www.dcsi.dp.ua.13-880

Donetsk Press Club
Freedom of Information
$38,000
Fostering Freedom of Information in Eastern Ukraine
To increase the capacity of journalists and improve the professionalism of media in eastern Ukraine. The Press Club will organize 20 meetings covering important national and regional issues for journalists and media outlets throughout the Donetsk region. It will also convene six online workshops on solving pertinent local problems for 60 representatives of Donetsk-based NGOs, media, local authorities and experts.  All activities will be publicized on the Club’s website at http://pclub.dn.ua.

Donetsk “Committee of Voters of Ukraine”
Freedom of Information
$49,440
Promoting Civic Journalism in Eastern Ukraine
To promote civic journalism in the eastern Donetsk region. The Donetsk CVU will develop an online platform for civic journalism by holding a new media barcamp for bloggers and conducting a four-month school of multimedia journalism for 20 civic journalists. Twelve of the most promising participants will be selected to intern for six months at the CVU’s portal, NGO.donetsk.ua. The CVU will also hold a public competition for reporting by civic journalists and bloggers on the “Unexpected Donbass.”

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF)
Democratic Ideas and Values
$41,298
Stimulating Dialogue on Transition Processes
To stimulate informed debate and dialogue among civil society, government and the general public on issues relating to Ukraine’s transition to democracy. Through three national polls, eight expert surveys, 10 roundtables, monthly bulletins and a quarterly scholarly journal, DIF will help ensure that Ukraine’s leaders are informed about public opinion, while at the same time making the public aware about important policy debates.

Independent Association of Broadcasters
Human Rights
$44,875
Promoting Youth Human Rights Awareness
To raise awareness of human rights, protect freedom of speech, and educate youth about the role of media in democratic society. The Association will organize its fourth annual Kinomedia Festival, which will include film screenings and public lectures at universities in nine Ukrainian cities. The Association will also conduct a short film contest, focusing on media freedom, democracy and human rights, for students and young professionals from throughout Ukraine.

Institute of Mass Information
Freedom of Information
$36,450
Monitoring Freedom of the Media in Ukraine
To analyze current and pending legislation on the media and monitor violations of press freedom and attacks on journalists in Ukraine. The Institute will conduct independent field investigations into cases of extreme pressure or intimidation against journalists, publish an annual report on its monitoring, and disseminate the findings to media outlets and the public though three press conferences and its website, http://imi.org.ua.

Institute of Political Education
Accountability
$38,500
Strengthening Local Democracy
To foster democratic local and regional government in Ukraine. The Institute will conduct three-day training seminars in the Lviv, Chernihiv, Donetsk and Kyiv regions for 125 newly elected local and regional councilors. The trainings will promote a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of an elected official and how to best address local needs.

Institute of the Republic
Human Rights
$32,609
Promoting Freedom of Assembly
To promote of freedom of assembly. As part of a larger, national advocacy campaign to defend and advance this human right following the 2012 parliamentary elections, the Institute will conduct two training sessions for 24 campaign activists, organize six roundtables and six lectures in the regions on proposed legislation regulating freedom of assembly in Ukraine and the country’s international commitments, convene three press conferences in Kyiv, and print and distribute 15,000 leaflets publicizing campaign events.

International Republican Institute
Accountability
$275,000
Fostering Good Governance
To promote democratic governance practices in Ukraine. IRI will expand an innovative project model that has increased the capacity of the Cherkasy municipality to implement best practices in good governance. IRI will expose new municipalities to the innovative reform ideas currently being implemented in Cherkasy, and mentor the administrations in Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk during the reform process, bolstering existing demand for democratic reform amongst the citizenry, and developing the advocacy capacity of civil society to channel that demand.

Journal Krytyka Ltd.
Freedom of Information
$33,304
Promoting Media Sustainability
To strengthen independent media and democratic ideas and values. The Journal will launch an online version of its prominent intellectual publication, which contains analytical pieces on important political, economic and social issues related to Ukraine’s democratic transition. The new website, Krytyka Online, will also serve as a networking platform, attracting a new generation of readers and contributing to the journal’s sustainability strategy. Endowment funds will be used to support the re-design and re-launch of the Krytyka website and networking platform at http://krytyka.com.

Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHRPG)
Human Rights
$32,717
Providing Information and Analysis on Human Rights Issues
To promote and safeguard human rights. During a year in which Ukraine’s human rights behavior will come under scrutiny while it holds the OSCE chairmanship, the KHRPG will produce a series of publications on human rights in Ukrainian, Russian, and English; maintain a virtual human rights library on its website http://www.khpg.org; and operate a separate website documenting and assisting victims of human rights abuses. It will also continue monitoring draft legislation and providing recommendations to lawmakers. Finally, the KHRPG will organize a School for Human Rights Leaders, enabling 40 activists from human rights organizations to develop management and financial skills.

Kherson City Association of Journalists “South”
Human Rights
$31,195
Promoting Human Rights through a Documentary Film Festival
To cover the partial costs of its 10th annual human rights film festival, Docudays UA. The theme of this year’s anniversary festival is ‘Vybor – Yest!’ (There is a Choice!). The unique event will again feature domestic and international human rights documentary films and will include public discussions and debates led by human-rights NGO representatives and experts. Endowment support will be used to cover part of the festivals’ seven-day inauguration in Kyiv in March 2013.

Kherson City Association of Journalists “South”
Human Rights
$42,429
Promoting Human Rights through a Traveling Film Festival
To raise public awareness of human rights. The Association will organize the traveling version of its 10th annual human rights film festival, Docudays UA, in 24 regions of Ukraine. The traveling festival will feature 25 domestic and international human rights documentary films and will include over 260 public discussions, seminars, performances and debates led by human rights activists and NGO representatives.

Kherson Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Accountability
$40,310
Promoting Government Accountability in Southern Ukraine
To monitor the work of local and regional councils in southern Ukraine. The Kherson CVU will track the implementation of local election platforms and promises in the Kherson region. Focus groups in Kherson, Novokakhovsk, Kakhovsk, Tsurupynsk and Skadovsk will inform local citizens and officials about the monitoring program. The CVU will produce an analytical report, online postings, two special editions of a newspaper, and a summary booklet for distribution during four seminars, a roundtable and press conference.

Kherson Regional Charity and Health Foundation
Accountability
$24,540
Fostering Accountability and Transparency in Southern Ukraine
To increase the accountability of local and regional authorities in the southern region of Kherson. The Foundation, which publishes the popular regional newspaper Vgoru, will increase citizens’ access to information about the activities of local and regional governments by conducting and publishing a bimonthly newspaper supplement titled ‘People and the Authorities.’ The supplement will include columns focusing on different aspects of government performance and the activities of elected officials, as well as four in-depth investigative journalism pieces on pressing issues in the region’s rural areas. All materials will be available online on the newspaper’s website, http://www.vgoru.org.

Lion Society
NGO Strengthening
$48,084
Promoting Local Activism
To continue promoting cooperation and local activism in central, southern and eastern Ukraine. The Society will organize 14 seminars for up to 220 local activists and representatives of local authorities to promote best practices in engaging local governments to resolve local issues, Sixteen promising participants from NGOs will take part in two, four-day study tours in western Ukraine, including two seminars in Lviv. The Society will also publish three brochures containing the seminar materials in print runs of 300 copies each and distribute them to local activists, community leaders, local government representatives and the media.

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
NGO Strengthening
$371,000
Building Capacity for Domestic Election Monitoring
To build the capacity of an indigenous monitoring initiative in Ukraine and promote a freer and fairer May 2014 presidential election. NDI will assist Opora in improving the governance, management, communications, strategic planning, and technical aspects of its election observation work by implementing a series of recommendations from an NDI-administered assessment.-020GG

New Generation Youth Organization
NGO Strengthening
$33,879
Strengthening Local Civil Society in Rural Communities
To increase the capacity of civic initiatives in rural regions of southern Ukraine. The organization will hold two, three-day trainings, one in each of the neighboring Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, for 25 representatives of local NGOs. New Generation will work with 10 of the best participants to carry out work plans to strengthen their local organizations. To assist local groups with solving problems in their communities, New Generation will award eight mini-grants of up to $700. A conference, bringing together all 50 participants, will be convened at the end of the project to facilitate an exchange of lessons learned and further collaboration.

Odesa Committee of Voters of Ukraine
Political Processes
$44,085
Monitoring Local Government in Southern Ukraine
To monitor the work of local elected officials in southern Ukraine. The Odesa CVU will conduct two training seminars on monitoring for 10 activists. It will continue to monitor regional and local councils in Odessa, Kotovsk, Rozdilnya, Bilhorod-Dnistrovsk, Izmail, Pozdilnya Izmail, and Reni. To disseminate its findings, the CVU will produce and distribute 6,000 copies of the preliminary monitoring results and 12,000 copies of the final monitoring results in its bulletin IzbirKom, regularly publish related articles through local online and print media, including its website at http://www.izbirkom.od.ua, and convene three roundtable discussions.

Open Society Foundation (OSF) – Ukraine
Accountability
$33,980
Promoting Legislative Accountability
To continue monitoring and publicizing the activities of deputies and political parties represented in the Ukrainian parliament. The OSF will publish quarterly monitoring reports, prepare two versions of its annual monitoring report, and a series of regionally-focused quarterly reports all of which focus on the performance of elected officials. All the reports will be available online at the OSF’s website, http://www.deputat.org.ua, and distributed electronically to parliamentarians, NGOs and the media. It will also conduct nine regional public roundtables on the program for elected officials and NGO  representatives.

Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Research
Accountability
$20,000
Improving the Accountability Skills of Journalists
To increase the analytical skills of journalists so they can hold accountable deputies in the Chernihiv region. Polissya will conduct three trainings focusing on new media and analytical journalism for 12 local journalists. Each journalist will create a blog to monitor the fulfillment of electoral promises by local deputies. In addition, Polissya will produce and distribute an analytical report and convene two press conferences on the project.

Public Organization Telekritika
Freedom of Information
$58,250
Promoting a Pluralistic and Balanced Media Environment in Ukraine
To foster transparency and promote the professionalism of the media sector. While serving as an independent resource to assist journalists, Telekritika will continue to monitor Ukraine’s media outlets for censorship, restrictions on freedom of the press, and harassment and physical attacks against journalists. The monitoring results will be published on Telekritika’s website (www.telekritika.kiev.ua) and in its print journal, Telekritika.

Regional Press Development Institute (RPDI)
Accountability
$50,000
Promoting Government Transparency
To promote government transparency and accountability by improving the quality and responsiveness of government-run websites and e-governance initiatives. RPDI will monitor the effectiveness of 56 government websites, disseminate the findings of its monitoring, and work with government bodies on improving the sites’ contents and performance. To mark the end of the three-year project, RPDI will produce a comprehensive analytical report and present it at a press conference in Kyiv.

School for Policy Analysis of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Democratic Ideas and Values
$52,650
Promoting Constitutional Reform
To promote constitutional reform. Building on previous NED-supported projects, which developed a series of proposals for constitutional reform, the organization will deepen public engagement and broaden debate on the issue by conducting a nation-wide poll, publishing a set of online informational resources, producing 1,500 copies of a brochure and a series of monthly articles, and convening a roundtable with 30 experts, government officials and NGO representatives.

Sumy Regional Committee of Youth Organizations
NGO Strengthening
$49,866
Promoting Civic Activism in Northeastern Ukraine
To foster the development of civil society in rural areas of northeastern Ukraine. The Committee will work with its network of over 30 NGOs to increase civil society initiatives in the Sumy and Kharkiv regions. It will hold three trainings for 60 NGO activists, maintain its website at http://www.molod.sumy.ua, publish seven issues of its bulletin Spalakh, support five local initiatives through a mini-grants competition, and convene a regional conference for 30 activists. 2013-88

Ukrainian Catholic University
Human Rights
$32,740
Promoting Religious Freedom
To promote freedom of conscience through an informed analysis of religious rights and obstructions to religious freedom. The Ukrainian Catholic University will continue to operate its Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU), an online news agency (www.risu.org.ua) that covers issues of church-state relations, religious rights, and conflicts between Ukraine’s various faith-based communities. NED support will cover the costs of staff salaries, website development and maintenance, news correspondents, and two roundtables. The unique website will publish more than 2,000 articles and analyses during the coming year.

Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Research Named After Oleksandr Razumkov
Democratic Ideas and Values
$26,660
Analyzing Ukraine’s Democratic Development
To continue publishing National Security and Defense, one of the most widely read policy journals in Ukraine. NED support will be used to produce two issues in 2013. Each issue, to be published in an edition of 3,000 copies in Ukrainian and 800 copies in English, will provide a thorough examination of issues of particular importance to Ukraine’s democratic transition.

Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR)
Political Processes
$79,250
Promoting Transparency in Political Processes
To promote public discussion on democracy-related topics in Ukraine. UCIPR will conduct nine research projects on various aspects of democratic development. The think tank will organize four focus groups bringing together representatives of civil society and the authorities, three roundtables, two in the country’s regions and one in Kyiv, and a conference. This year, UCIPR will focus on political party transparency and reform as well as examine the state of local democracy. Two studies, on local democracy and political party communications, will be published in 500 copies each.

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Human Rights
$49,960
Promoting Human Rights
To raise awareness about human rights in Ukraine. The Union will produce the 2012 edition of its annual report on the country’s human rights situation, publish 1,500 copies in Ukrainian and 300 copies in English, prepare 300 copies on compact disc, and make the document available on its website at http://www.helsinki.org.ua. The Union will also organize a press conference and a roundtable to highlight the report’s findings.

Ukrainian Youth Association of Ukraine (SUM)
NGO Strengthening
$40,070
Strengthening Civil Society in Central and Eastern Ukraine
To strengthen youth civil society organizations in the Chernihiv, Donetsk, Zaporizha and Kirovohrad regions of Ukraine. SUM will conduct three training seminars for 30 potential civic leaders in the Zaporizha region as well as one seminar for 30 NGO leaders from all four regions; organize four working meetings for 35 NGO leaders and a two-day conference for 40 participants and hold a mini-grant competition that will provide funding for six local civic initiatives.

Vinnytsia Regional Committee of Youth Organizations
NGO Strengthening
$33,170
Mobilizing Communities in the Vinnytsia Region
To develop the skills of local civil society leaders to more effectively mobilize communities and engage them in solving pertinent local problems. The program will include four trainings and three study visits for local activists, as well as a mini-grant program that will provide support to five community activism projects. The Committee will produce five video clips and three interviews about successfully implemented projects and publicize them through local websites, radio and TV stations and a press conference.

Youth Alternative
Democratic Ideas and Values
$68,170
Preparing Ukraine’s Future Leaders
To promote youth activism and engagement in government processes. Youth Alternative will continue and expand its government internship program. The organization will select 35 students from leading Kyiv universities to serve eight-month fellowships in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s national legislature. In addition, it will select 140 students to serve five-month fellowships at local councils in 20 regions. Interns will participate in 47 related events, including orientation, training seminars and roundtables. They will also produce educational booklets, with a total print run of 500 copies.

Zhytomyr Youth Civic Organization “Modern Format”
Democratic Ideas and Values
$39,962
Promoting Civic Engagement Among Youth in Northern Ukraine
To engage youth in the process of strengthening and implementing democratic ideas and values in their communities. Modern Format will organize two, parallel, year-long schools that will present the core ideas and values of democracy and human rights through two different perspectives. One school will target journalists; the other will be for civic activists. A total of 100 youth people in the Zhytomyr region will take part in the program.

Accountability
$31,293
Strengthening Transparency in Northeastern Ukraine
To promote transparency and accountability in the use of public funds in northeastern Ukraine. The organization will train civic activists to identify corruption in local governments. It will also produce a final report to be disseminated through press conferences.

Freedom of Information
$21,139
Strengthening Investigative Journalism and Intersectoral Cooperation
To boost the capacity for investigative journalism and increase cooperation between journalists and civil society. The organization will hold basic trainings and advanced workshops for journalists and support a series of investigative pieces. It will also work with local community councils to monitor the impact of the investigative articles and produce a final report on best practices and lessons learned from the program.

$36,882
Analyzing Regional Security
To stimulate public discussion on and policy responses to threats to democracy in Ukraine’s regions. The organization will identify and foster debate on key issues while developing and advocating for policy responses. It will organize roundtables, print and distribute its bulletin, and publish articles in regional newspapers.

$13,674
Promoting Civic Journalism
To stimulate civic journalism among youth. The organization will trainings in for youth activists from local communities and NGOs. Young people will learn how to develop and create content focusing on issues that affect the lives of citizens for social media. The most active participants will be selected to take part in a master class with a well-known Ukrainian journalist.

Human Rights
$20,287
Defending Human Rights
To educate and inform youth about defending their basic civil rights. The organization will conduct seminars and trainings on recognizing, addressing and resolving day-to-day civic rights violations. To inform and educate a wider audience, the organization will produce and post a series of online training videos and informational materials, as well as publish 1,000 copies of a legal handbook.

$40,892
Promoting Awareness of Rights and Freedoms in Southern Ukraine
To raise awareness of legal and human rights in southern Ukraine. The organization will maintain a legal clinic providing free legal aid to the public and organize a series of events drawing attention to rights abuses, including roundtables for representatives of the local authorities, roundtables for the NGO community, and public lectures on legal rights. It will also conduct an extensive advertising campaign on rights issues, including leaflets and other materials, billboards, banners and TV spots. It will also publish bimonthly columns in local newspapers and disseminate a monthly e-bulletin on legal and human rights.

$30,000
Fostering Human Rights Networks
To strengthen a network of human rights organizations. The organization will convene a training for representatives of human rights NGOs and initiative groups, conduct trainings in towns and villages, and operate and publicize a human rights hotline and reception centers that will provide free legal assistance to citizens.

$21,790
Promoting Human Rights
To promote human rights. The organization will conduct a training for regional activists to improve human rights monitoring. Following the training, the organization will organize volunteer groups of training participants, lawyers, elected officials and other activists to monitor human rights abuses. These groups will track reported cases and utilize the information for broader advocacy campaigns.

NGO Strengthening
$29,469
Fostering Intersectoral Cooperation in Central Ukraine
To inform, educate and activate civil society. The organization will organize trainings on proposal writing, project development, and community and civil society development projects, as well as on project implementation, to foster civil society.

$19,920
Promoting Community Activism in Southern Ukraine
To stimulate civic activism in southern Ukraine. The organization will conduct trainings in villages and towns to facilitate the implementation of local projects targeting community problems, and convene a roundtable webinar with community representatives to present project outcomes and lessons learned for representatives from Ukrainian and international NGOs.

$19,507
Strengthening the Capacity of Youth NGOs
To strengthen youth activism. The organization will support a network of youth organizations and initiative groups through a series of trainings to increase members’ capacity and professionalism. It will provide informational and technical support for the youth organizations’ events and activities. The organization will promote the network by holding a press conference and disseminating a booklet highlighting the organizations’ activities to local government offices, media, schools, and other NGOs.

Grant descriptions are from the 2013 NED Annual Report.

National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004 / (202) 378-9700
info@ned.org

The Generational American Covert War Against the European Left

Basic reasons for which the US deep state will try to prevent the rise of the Left in Europe

failed revolution

by system failure
It is certain that various US think tanks will be monitoring right now the rise of the Left in Greece with the radical-Left party SYRIZA, as well as Podemos in Spain and other countries in Europe (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/11/signs-of-resistance-against-neoliberal.html).
It’s quite remarkable that the US political system, especially after Clinton administration, has been adopted by Europe, with the transformation of the Social-democrats. A characteristic example is Greece, as the Socialist party PASOK under Kostas Simitis, implemented the neoliberal perception of the free market and the financialization of nearly every aspect of economic activity.
However, as in the US the Left was demonized for decades and totally vanished from the political scene, Europe was meant to be the field of the new Leftist political powers, after the latest global financial crisis. Inevitably, any possible change will start from Europe and follow a reverse direction of that of neoliberalism in the early 90s.
Therefore, a first potential consequence would be that such a possibility could become a good example of an alternative political solution against the bipolar plutocratic political establishment in the US, which was enhanced rapidly after Clinton administration in the early 90s, secured big capital’s interests and left no choice to the majority of the American people to vote for their interests.
A second consequence for the US deep state would be the loss of Europe in the new Cold War. Except from Britons, who have traditional deep ties and common interests with the US, the rest of Europe could slip to the Sino-Russian bloc which grows rapidly in the military and economic field and increasingly gaining independence from the Western economic system, attracting other countries too. (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/08/a-perfect-timing-for-argentina-to.html)
A third consequence would be the abrupt termination of the Greek experiment and its deployment in Europe and the US. This could trigger a reverse situation against the accelerated expansion of the neoliberal doctrine* in its most extreme version as a forerunner for the new global Feudalism.
Plutocrats will do whatever necessary to buy more time. The war already started in Europe. The systemic establishment in Greece try to present SYRIZA as a non-serious political power and downgrade the rapid change of the Greek and the European political scene especially after the latest euro-elections. At the same time, current government is ready to collapse and therefore already tries to force the Left to compromise and agree on the catastrophic measures imposed by Troika. SYRIZA, of course, refused to do this and asks for immediate elections.
Post-WWII history shows that the United States tried to prevent the rise of the Left in Europe during the whole period of the Cold War, because of the fear of the Soviet further expansion. This was done through provocative operations against Leftist organizations (Gladio in Italy) (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/10/an-example-of-provocative-operations-in.html), or, by supporting dictatorial regimes (junta in Greece) (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/04/black-anniversary.html), etc. Surely, the US deep state will try to prevent a domino of rise of the Left in Europe, for one more time, as this will probably bring serious trouble to the economic elites both in the US and Europe. The propaganda by the mainstream media already started.
All these scenarios, however, could also make neocons even more anxious to impose their lunatic plans to provoke a general conflict with Russia as the only alternative against the dramatic shift of the global geopolitical balance, unless we see a fast creation of a corresponding political power in the US inspired by the European Left. It would be even better if such a power could rise from the movements in the streets (Occupy movement, etc.), like Podemos in Spain.
A unified Left could trigger rapid changes globally against the neoliberal expansion, destroying plutocracy’s plans for total domination. Of course this would require to remain ideologically pure, not to be transformed and absorbed by the neoliberal perception like Social-democrats. Οtherwise, the new political gap could trigger unprecedented and uncontrolled, chaotic situations, in the absence of any other political alternative that could fill it.
* According to these plans, the ultimate goal would be probably to dissolve the vast Russian territory in future and bring in power Western-friendly puppet regimes, in order not only to conquer the valuable resources, but also to impose permanently the neoliberal doctrine on “unexplored” regions and populations.

EU Leadership Still Self-Blind To US Evil Intentions for Europe and Russia

[SEE:  West wants to end confrontation with Russia over Ukraine – EU foreign policy chief ]
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini…rejected the idea that the EU’s position on the crisis differs from that of the US.
“It is not true that there is a soft Europe stance, which opposes the US hardline position.”
Mogherini said that Washington’s views on Russia match those of Europe…“everyone wants to get out of the logic of confrontation.”

‘F**k the EU’

Victoria Nuland: US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt: United States Ambassador to Ukraine

Biden says US ’embarrassed’ EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

Russia-Today
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion, US Vice President Joe Biden revealed during a speech at Harvard.

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

Those costs deemed behind the ruble’s historic plunge not only forced America’s ExxonMobil to retreat from Russia’s Arctic shelf, but also provoked counter-measures from Moscow, which suspended certain food imports from the EU.

Russia’s counter-sanctions have hit many of the EU’s agricultural states. EU members, particularly those close to Russia, were the most affected by the loss of the Russian market.

For instance, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products – is set to lose 300 million euro annually from canceled business with Russia, as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of Dutch exports of vegetables, fruit, and meat.

At the same time, Poland was hit hard by the Kremlin’s sanctions, as its food exports to Russia totaled $1.5 billion in 2013.

Spain, a large exporter of oranges to Russia, is estimated to miss out on 337 million euro ($421 million) in food and agriculture sales, while Italy has estimated its losses at nearly 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion).

Following pressure from local farmers, a 125 million euro EU Commission Common Agricultural Policy fund was established, from which the growers are expected to get some cash, while Amsterdam is willing to cover the cost of transporting excess produce to eight food banks across Holland.

Overall, Moscow’s one-year food embargo against the EU, the US, Norway, Australia, and Canada will block an estimated $9 billion worth of agricultural exports to Russia.

With European countries now at a loss with apple and dairy surplus, it is not exactly clear whether EU producers will be able to return to the Russian markets after the one-year ban expires.

However, this is no secret to the US, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland remarked on Thursday.

“Implementing sanctions isn’t easy and many countries are paying a steep price. We know that. But history shows that the cost of inaction and disunity in the face of a determined aggressor will be higher,” Nuland said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Nuland’s reference to necessary action against the “aggressor” might be taken with a grain of salt by the Europeans, as the “F**k the EU” leak is still fresh in their memory.

The four-minute video – titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital – was uploaded by an anonymous user to YouTube.

Nuland was recorded as saying the notoriously known phrase during a phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were seemingly discussing a US-preferred line-up of the Ukrainian government. It apparently referred to Washington’s policy differences with those of the EU on ways of handling the Ukrainian political crisis, with Nuland suggesting to “glue this thing” with the help of the UN and ignore Brussels.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the “reported comments.”

Exec. Order for U.S. Department of Hasbara

[SEE: A Guide To HASBARA TROLLS ]

white house

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13584 –Developing an Integrated Strategic Counterterrorism Communications Initiative

EXECUTIVE ORDER

DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED STRATEGIC COUNTERTERRORISM COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE AND ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY ORGANIZATION TO SUPPORT CERTAIN GOVERNMENT-WIDE COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES DIRECTED ABROAD

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 2656 of title 22, United States Code, and section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States is committed to actively countering the actions and ideologies of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, other terrorist organizations, and violent extremists overseas that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. These efforts take many forms, but all contain a communications element and some use of communications strategies directed to audiences outside the United States to counter the ideology and activities of such organizations. These communications strategies focus not only on the violent actions and human costs of terrorism, but also on narratives that can positively influence those who may be susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by terrorist organizations.

The purpose of this Executive Order is to reinforce, integrate, and complement public communications efforts across the executive branch that are (1) focused on countering the actions and ideology of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, and other international terrorist organizations and violent extremists overseas, and (2) directed to audiences outside the United States. This collaborative work among executive departments and agencies (agencies) brings together expertise, capabilities, and resources to realize efficiencies and better coordination of U.S. Government communications investments to combat terrorism and extremism.

Sec. 2. Assigned Responsibilities to the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications.

(a) Under the direction of the Secretary of State (Secretary), the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (Center) that has been established in the Department of State by the Secretary shall coordinate, orient, and inform Government-wide public communications activities directed at audiences abroad and targeted against violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, with the goal of using communication tools to reduce radicalization by terrorists and extremist violence and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. Consistent with section 404o of title 50, United States Code, the Center shall coordinate its analysis, evaluation, and planning functions with the National Counterterrorism Center. The Center shall also coordinate these functions with other agencies, as appropriate.

Executive branch efforts undertaken through the Center shall draw on all agencies with relevant information or capabilities, to  prepare, plan for, and conduct these communications efforts.

(b) To achieve these objectives, the Center’s functions shall include:

(i) monitoring and evaluating narratives (overarching communication themes that reflect a community’s identity, experiences, aspirations, and concerns) and events abroad that are relevant to the development of a U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States;

(ii) developing and promulgating for use throughout the executive branch the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narratives and public communications strategies to counter the messaging of violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents;

(iii) identifying current and emerging trends in extremist communications and communications by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents in order to coordinate and provide thematic guidance to U.S. Government communicators on how best to proactively promote the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative and policies and to respond to and rebut extremist messaging and narratives when communicating to audiences outside the United States, as informed by a wide variety of Government and non-government sources, including nongovernmental organizations, academic sources, and finished intelligence created by the intelligence community;

(iv) facilitating the use of a wide range of communications technologies, including digital tools, by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and extending best practices;

(v) identifying and requesting relevant information from agencies, including intelligence reporting, data, and analysis; and

(vi) identifying shortfalls in U.S. capabilities in any areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(c) The Secretary shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Secretary on the  operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 6 months. The Steering Committee shall be chaired by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. The Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the Department of State shall serve as Vice Chair. The Coordinator of the Center shall serve as Executive Secretary. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by the head of each of the following agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Broadcast Board of Governors, and the Agency for International Development. Other agencies may be invited to participate in the Steering Committee at the discretion of the Chair.

Sec. 3. Establishment of a Temporary Organization.

(a) There is established within the Department of State, in accordance with section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, a temporary organization to be known as the Counterterrorism Communications Support Office (CCSO).

(b) The purpose of the CCSO shall be to perform the specific project of supporting agencies in Government-wide public communications activities targeted against violent extremism and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, to audiences abroad by using communication tools designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States.

(c) In carrying out its purpose set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the CCSO shall:

(i) support agencies in their implementation of whole-of-government public communications activities directed at audiences abroad, including by providing baseline research on characteristics of these audiences, by developing expertise and studies on aspirations, narratives, information strategies and tactics of violent extremists and terrorist organizations overseas, by designing and developing sustained campaigns on specific areas of interest to audiences abroad, and by developing expertise on implementing highly focused social media campaigns; and

(ii) perform such other functions related to the specific project set forth in subsection (b) of this section as the Secretary may assign.

(d) The CCSO shall be headed by a Director selected by the Secretary, with the advice of the Steering Committee. Its staff may include, as determined by the Secretary: (1) personnel with relevant expertise detailed on a non-reimbursable basis from other agencies; (2) senior and other technical advisers; and (3) such other personnel as the Secretary may direct to support the CCSO. To accomplish this mission, the heads of agencies participating on the Steering Committee shall provide to the CCSO, on a non-reimbursable basis, assistance, services, and other support including but not limited to logistical and administrative support and details of personnel. Non-reimbursable details shall be based on reasonable requests from the Secretary in light of the need for specific expertise, and after consultation with the relevant agency, to the extent permitted by law.

(e) The CCSO shall terminate at the end of the maximum period permitted by section 3161(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code, unless sooner terminated by the Secretary consistent with section 3161(a)(2) of such title.

Sec. 4. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 9, 2011.

Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick/The Brotherhood of the Bell


JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick 


The Brotherhood of the Bell

Obama Is Starting A Bigger War That Every Living Human Will Come To Regret

A Cyber War with North Korea and an Economic War with Russia

war is crime

we are the bloodthirsty warmongers

Villain or victim? Vladimir Putin in aggressive form - but we may be pushing him too far
PETER HITCHENS: Forget ‘evil’ Putin – we are the bloodthirsty warmongers 

daily mail

This is a time of year for memories, and the ones that keep bothering me are from my childhood, which seemed at the time to be wholly happy and untroubled.

Yet all the adults in my life still dwelt in the shadow of recent war. This was not the glamorous, exciting side of war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry aspect.

My mother, even in middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn’t throw away an eggshell without running her finger round it to get out the last of the white. No butcher dared twice to try to cheat her on the weights.

Haunted all her life by rationing, she would habitually break a chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She had also been bombed from the air in Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to cope with the nightly danger of being blown to pieces, shocking to me then and since.

I am now beset by these ingrained memories of shortage and danger because I seem surrounded by people who think that war might be fun. This seems to happen when wartime generations are pushed aside by their children, who need to learn the truth all over again.

It seemed fairly clear to me from her experiences that war had in fact been a miserable affair of fear, hunger, threadbare darned clothes, broken windows and insolent officials. And that was a victory, more or less, though my father (who fought in it) was never sure of that.

Now I seem surrounded by people who actively want a war with Russia, a war we all might lose. They seem to believe that we are living in a real life Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous artists in Moscow, who have noticed this, have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of Sauron on a Moscow tower.

We think we are the heroes, setting out with brave hearts to confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.

This is all the most utter garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed aggressor, has – without fighting or losing a war – peacefully ceded control over roughly 180 million people, and roughly 700,000 square miles of valuable territory.

The EU (and its military wing, Nato) have in the same period gained control over more than 120 million of those people, and almost 400,000 of those square miles.

Until a year ago, Ukraine remained non-aligned between the two great European powers. But the EU wanted its land, its 48 million people (such a reservoir of cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal and its wheat.

So first, it spent £300 million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian ‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.

Then EU and Nato politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy and descended on Kiev to take sides with demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine align itself with the EU.

PUTIN: The crisis should be resolved at some point

Fall: There is a complacent joy about the collapse of the rouble. Above, the dollar-rouble rate on Friday

Imagine how you’d feel if Russian politicians had appeared in Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to vote for independence, or if Russian money had been used to fund pro-independence organisations.

Then a violent crowd (20 police officers died at its hands, according to the UN) drove the elected president from office, in violation of the Ukrainian constitution.

During all this process, Ukraine remained what it had been from the start – horrendously corrupt and dominated by shady oligarchs, pretty much like Russia.

If you didn’t want to take sides in this mess, I wouldn’t at all blame you. But most people seem to be doing so.

Taking sides: Britain and the US have backed the Gulf states' desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria. While Russia has been a major obstacle

There seems to be a genuine appetite for confrontation in Washington, Brussels, London… and Saudi Arabia.

There is a complacent joy abroad about the collapse of the rouble, brought about by the mysterious fall in the world’s oil price.

It’s odd to gloat about this strange development, which is also destroying jobs and business in this country. Why are the Gulf oil states not acting – as they easily could and normally would – to prop up the price of the product that makes them rich?

I do not know, but there’s no doubt that Mr Putin’s Russia has been a major obstacle to the Gulf states’ desire to destroy the Assad government in Syria, and that the USA and Britain have (for reasons I long to know) taken the Gulf’s side in this.

But do we have any idea what we are doing? Ordinary Russians are pretty stoical and have endured horrors unimaginable to most of us, including a currency collapse in 1998 that ruined millions. But until this week they had some hope.

If anyone really is trying to punish the Russian people for being patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible. It was the destruction of the German mark in 1922, and the wipeout of the middle class that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.

Stupid, ill-informed people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may find out what a Russian Hitler is really like. And that a war in Europe is anything but fun.

So, as it’s almost Christmas, let us sing with some attention that bleakest and yet loveliest of carols, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, stressing the lines that run ‘Man at war with man hears not the love song which they bring. Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing’.

Or gloat at your peril over the scenes of panic in Moscow.

Kill the Banker

Kill the Banker

vice

Aftermath of the Wall Street bombing of 1920. Photo by New York Daily News via Getty Images 

A little violence can sometimes work to defend against predatory bankers. Consider the farmers of Le Mars, Iowa. The year was 1933, the height of the Great Depression.

A finance bubble on Wall Street had crashed the economy, the gears of industrial production had ground to a halt, and 13 million Americans had lost their jobs. Across the Corn Belt, farmers couldn’t get fair prices for milk and crops, their incomes plummeted, and their mortgages went unpaid. Seeing opportunity, banks foreclosed on their properties in record numbers, leaving the farmers homeless and destitute.

So they organized. Under the leadership of a boozing, fist-fighting Iowa farmer named Milo Reno, who had a gift for oratory, several thousand farmers across the Midwest struck during 1933, refusing to sell their products. “We’ll eat our wheat and ham and eggs” went the popular doggerel of the movement. “Let them”—the bankers—”eat their gold.”

They called it a farmers’ holiday and named their group the Farmers’ Holiday Association. In speeches across the Midwest, Reno inveighed against “the destructive program of the usurers”—by which he meant, of course, the ruinous policies of Wall Street and the banking industry. Farmers, he said, had been “robbed by a legalized system of racketeering.” He said that the “forces of special privilege” were undermining “the very foundations of justice and freedom upon which this country was founded.” He compared the farmers’ fight to that of the Founders, who had taken up arms. He warned that the farmers might have to “join hands with those who favor the overthrow of government,” a government that he considered a servant of corporations. “You have the power to take the great corporations,” he said, and “shake them into submission.” One of his deputies in Iowa, John Chalmers, ordered FHA men to use “every weapon at their command.” “When I said weapons,” Chalmers added, “I meant weapons.”

In Le Mars, the weapon of choice was the hanging rope. On April 27, 1933, in a series of incidents that would become national news, hundreds of farmers descended on a farm that was being foreclosed under the eye of the local sheriff and his deputies. They smacked the lawmen aside, stopped the foreclosure, and dragged the sheriff to a ball field in town, where they brandished their noose. Instead of hanging the sheriff, however, they went for a bigger prize: the county judge, Charles C. Bradley, who was presiding over the foreclosures.

Bradley was seized at his bench, dragged from the courtroom, driven into the countryside, dumped on a dusty road, stripped naked, “beaten, mauled, smeared with grease and jerked from the ground by a noose as [the] vengeful farmers shouted their protests against his foreclosure activities,” reported the Pittsburgh Press. According to one account, the mob “pried his clenched teeth open with a screwdriver and poured alcohol down his throat.” An oily hubcap was placed on his head, the oil running down his face as the farmers smashed Iowa dirt into his mouth. “That’s his crown,” they said.

The judge was hauled into the air on the hanging rope, until he fell unconscious, and was then hauled up again. When he revived, the farmers told him to pray. “Only a prayer for Divine guidance which Judge Bradley uttered as he knelt in the dust of a country road sobered the mob,” reported the Pittsburgh Press, decrying the event as a harbinger of “open revolution.”

The farmers, knowing they were about to involve themselves in murder, spared Bradley. He was bloodied, covered in filth, humiliated, and this was enough.

The threat of continued unrest fomented by Reno and the FHA had its intended effect: State legislatures across the Midwest enacted moratoriums on farm foreclosures. By 1934, the country was seething with revolt. Industrial laborers in Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; dockworkers across the West Coast; and textile workers from Maine to the Deep South mounted strikes and protests demanding fair pay, worker protections, and union representation. They encountered brute force at the hands of local authorities and thugs in the pay of business interests. The strikers in Toledo and Minneapolis responded not by peaceably dispersing but by fighting back with clubs and rocks. According to the newspapers, a savage battle unfolded between autoworkers and the militia of the Ohio National Guard in Toledo, with the tear-gassed strikers unleashing their own gas barrage against the authorities, “matching shell for shell with the militiamen.” Truck drivers fought in bloody hand-to-hand combat against the enforcers of the pro-business Citizens’ Alliance in the streets of Minneapolis. A prominent corporate leader in the city was said to have announced, “This, this—is revolution!”

Indeed, it was in part the specter of violent revolution during the 1930s that spurred Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress to legislate the historic reform of capitalism called the New Deal. The government protected labor from the cruel abuses of big business, legalized unions, established the social security system, and put the usurers on Wall Street under the thumb of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal watchdogs, locking them in the regulatory cage where they belonged. The people had spoken and forced the government to listen.

Milo Reno of the Farmers’ Holiday Association speaking at Cooper Union in New York City in 1934. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Following the Wall Street crash of 2008, which sent the country into the debacle of the Great Recession, I began writing a futurist novel inspired by my readings about the Le Mars revolt. I titled it Kill the Banker, in honor of William “Wild Bill” Langer, two-time governor of North Dakota during the 1930s, US senator from 1941 to 1959, and staunch supporter of the Farmers’ Holiday Association. During a campaign stop at the height of the Depression, he told voters, “Shoot the banker if he comes on your farm. Treat him like a chicken thief.” We don’t have politicians like Wild Bill anymore.

In the novel I imagined a cabal of terrorists who wage a campaign against Wall Street. Like the Red Army Faction—Marxist maniacs who from the 1970s through the 90s spread terror across Europe—my terrorists, who call themselves the Strangers, assassinate members of the elite banking class who have escaped justice. The Strangers go after Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse. They bomb the New York Stock Exchange. They have no ideology except slaughter of their perceived enemy, killing for the sake of killing, much as a man makes money for the sake of money—as an expression of power.

The Strangers take their hapless captives from Bank of America to a basement in the mountains of upstate New York, where they hold mock trials that they post to YouTube, passing judgment before the American masses: death by torture. The Wall Streeters protest their innocence as mere cogs in the machine. The Strangers strap them to a steel chair bolted to the floor, piss in their mouths, tear off their fingernails, spear out their eyes, smash their testicles with a ball-peen hammer, remove their intestines with a pair of pliers, string their guts like Christmas lights, and behead the sobbing victims with a rusty saw.

It was a lousy novel from the start, more agitprop than storytelling, and I abandoned the project after 30,000 words of gore, concluding that terrorists are as tediously predictable in fiction as they are loathsome in real life. The farmers of Le Mars would have wanted nothing to do with the Strangers.

Part of my research for the book was the historical precedent of terrorism against Wall Street. Until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—eclipsed only by the attacks of 9/11—the Wall Street bombing of September 16, 1920, was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil. At noon, a horse and buggy, laden with 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of cast-iron sash weights for shrapnel, pulled up in front of 23 Wall Street, the offices of J. P. Morgan, the richest, most powerful, most ruthless investment banker of his time. Morgan had manipulated the national economy to his benefit, exploited workers, and destroyed lives. He was, like our current crop of financiers, a vicious bastard, and he was the likely target of the bomb.

The driver fled, and minutes later there was a terrible explosion. A “mushroom-shaped cloud of yellowish, green smoke,” said one observer, “mounted to a height of more than 100 feet, the smoke being licked by darting tongues of flame,” as “hundreds of wounded, dumb-stricken, white-faced men and women” fled in panic. Instantly, bodies were “blown to atoms”; a woman’s head, hat still on, was sent hurling into a concrete wall, where it stuck; and “great blotches of blood appeared on the white walls of several of Wall Street’s office buildings.”

Thirty-eight people were killed, 143 wounded. No group ever claimed responsibility, and the crime was never solved. It was likely the work of Italian socialist revolutionaries who had been on a bombing campaign across the US during the previous year, hitting elected officials and law enforcement. The Wall Street bombing was supposed to be their finest hour. Mostly they killed clerks, stenographers, and brokers—lowly office workers. J. P. Morgan wasn’t even in town that day. The attack, which caused $2 million in damage (about $24 million in today’s money), produced in the public only fear and revulsion and a newfound sympathy for Wall Street.

The ideology of revolutionary terrorism targeting big finance in the US originated with a Bavarian-born immigrant named Johann Most, who, upon his arrival in New York in 1882, observed—as accurately then as today—that “whoever looks at America will see: the ship is powered by stupidity, corruption, or prejudice.” He denounced Wall Street and the ruling class as “the reptile brood.” He wrote that “the existing system will be quickest and most radically overthrown by the annihilation of its exponents. Therefore, massacres of the enemies of the people must be set in motion.” In 1885 he published a book, Revolutionary War Science, to bring on the massacre. It had a helpful subtitle: A Little Handbook of Instruction in the Use and Preparation of Nitroglycerine, Dynamite, Gun-Cotton, Fulminating Mercury, Bombs, Fuses, Poisons, Etc.

Most was a deformed runt, his days spent in a fever of resentment, and in the end, though he traveled the country making speeches and fostering hatred, he didn’t throw a single bomb. He did, however, inspire others to eliminate the reptile brood. In 1892, Alexander Berkman, an anarchist agitator, tried to kill Henry Frick, partner of Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company, which was notorious for its maltreatment of workers. Later, Berkman was allegedly involved in the failed 1914 plot to kill industrialist John D. Rockefeller, who had presided over massacres of his striking employees. It was a catalogue of failures, whose sole result, perversely, was to turn public opinion in favor of the enemies of the people.

In the 1970s, carrying the banner of revolutionary destruction, the Weather Underground, a radical offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society, bombed a Bank of America branch as part of an anti-capitalist campaign whose targets included military installations, courthouses, corporate headquarters, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Capitol building. The Weathermen, as they were known, were gentlemanly in their attacks: Prior to detonation, they often issued an anonymous warning to evacuate the targeted site, in order that no person would be harmed. The scores of bombings in the 70s proved totally ineffective in achieving the Weathermen’s main goal: “the creation of a mass revolutionary movement” for the overthrow of the US government.

An unidentified man stands in the blown-out doorway of a downtown Oklahoma City business after the bombing in 1995. Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP 

On September 29, 2009, a 64-year-old Phoenix resident named Kurt Aho, who was suffering from cancer, stood outside his foreclosed home with a .357 Magnum and shot out the tires of two trucks sitting in his driveway. It was three years after the bursting of the housing bubble, and almost exactly one year after the onset of the Great Recession. Millions of homeowners, desperate and fearful, without jobs or revenue, couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments. And the banksters came calling to kick them out.

The cars belonged to two real estate investors who said they had purchased Aho’s home out of foreclosure from Bank of America. Now they wanted to see their new property. Aho was in shock. He had lived in the house for 29 years, had raised his children there.

According to his daughter, Tammy Aho, he was experiencing financial troubles. He was a construction contractor. Unable to find enough work, he was living off credit and struggling with his illness. In June 2009, Aho had contacted Bank of America to ask for a loan modification. Bank representatives told him—”not directly,” said Tammy, “but in a roundabout way”—that he needed to fall behind on his payments. “They told him that if you get six months behind on your mortgage they will help you modify the loan.”

It would be a strategic default. He followed the advice. Bank of America assured him the modification was being processed. They assured him of this up to the very minute the property was sold at auction on September 29, when Aho found the two investors standing on his lawn.

Aho asked the investors for proof of ownership, but they had none at hand. They claimed the paperwork was still being completed. He told them to get off the property. They refused. That’s when the gun came out and the tires went flat and the two men fled. Aho, for the moment, had stopped the taking of his home.

Aho was responding not simply to his own personal crisis but to the widespread perception that the banks were coming after everyone. Starting roughly in 2000, more than a dozen financial institutions, Bank of America most prominently, colluded with mortgage lenders to extend home loans to anyone who could fog a mirror—basically a long line of suckers who were told they could own a big house with only a waitress’s tips. These risky loans, pooled into mortgage-backed securities that the banks knew to be lousy investments, were marketed as AAA-rated bonds and sold to institutional investors worldwide for trillions of dollars.

The banks, flush with cash, pumped more money into more shoddy home loans, with the lenders on the Street scamming to get more warm bodies to sign on the line. Real estate prices skyrocketed in the largest financial bubble in history. And when it burst, producing this country’s most severe housing-market collapse ever—worse than during the Great Depression—homeowners like Aho were left holding overpriced mortgages on houses whose real value had plummeted.

Between 1990 and 2014, the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors spent $3.8 billion lobbying Congress, and it was during those years that lawmakers in both parties increasingly did the bidding of their buyers by massively deregulating the finance industry. Congress overturned FDR’s banking reforms of the 1930s, allowing mega-mergers of banking, securities, and insurance companies. It relaxed the laws governing the operations of the mega-banks and opened financial markets to the abuses of instruments like mortgage-backed securities. And in the revolving door of corporatocracy and government, by the mid 1990s the bankers themselves had nailed jobs heading up the very institutions—the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the Department of the Treasury—mandated to enforce what few laws remained to keep the industry from preying whole-hog on the public.

Bank of America eventually settled at least 21 lawsuits from investors and regulators over securities fraud related to its peddling worthless mortgage-backed securities. The gamut of its frauds ranged from the obscene sophistication of junk mortgage bonds to the paper-pushing thuggery of predatory lending and unlawful foreclosure. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bank of America was among five mega-banks that organized the infamous “robo-signing” of illegal foreclosure affidavits, producing forged and fabricated documents to speed the eviction of homeowners so that the properties could be re-sold for more profit.

The bank played cruel games with homeowners, routinely promising them loan modifications—as in the case of Kurt Aho—only to claim to lose the paperwork, bullying ahead with the foreclosure. A class-action suit settled last February found the bank engaged in a “kickback scheme inflating the cost of insurance that homeowners were forced to buy.” The Department of Justice reported that one of the bank’s subsidiaries “wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.” According to investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, the totality of Bank of America’s corruption and venality meant rigged bids in 2008’s multitrillion municipal bond market, dubious arbitration disputes with its credit-card holders, and rampant charging of account holders with bogus overdraft fees, robbing its own customers of $4.5 billion.

And this is just Bank of America. At least a dozen other large banks and mortgage lenders have been implicated in similar frauds.

Instead of handing out prison sentences, the government gave bailouts to Bank of America and its allies. The company would have flushed itself down the shitter after the 2008 crash if the Department of the Treasury hadn’t stepped in with a $45 billion infusion of cash in 2009. By 2011, according to Taibbi, the Federal Reserve had put taxpayers on the hook for as much as $55 trillion of the bank’s bad investments.

The tens of billions of dollars in fines forced by federal regulators on Bank of America and a dozen other financial behemoths were pittances measured against the real cost to the economy of the bank-created bubble and crash, which the US Government Accountability Office has conservatively estimated at $12.8 trillion. The government nevertheless crowed victory over a chastised Wall Street. Congress’s own specially appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found that executives at the highest level likely knew about—and possibly even condoned—the frauds committed by their companies. Yet only one executive went to jail. In a nation whose government has been captured by its bankers, this farce of enforcement, effectively a legalized system of racketeering, is the accepted norm.

Liberty Plaza in New York City on September 11, 2001. Photo by Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Yet those who fought back against Wall Street did go to jail, or worse. In May 2009, for example, Daniel Gherman defended his home in Riverside, California, by booby-trapping it with phony bombs after it had been foreclosed. The bombs were ineffectual, but the homeowner was charged with four counts of possessing facsimile explosives.

In July 2010, a homeowner facing foreclosure drove his car to a PNC bank branch in Illinois late one evening and ignited a bomb, destroying the car and shattering the windows of the bank. No one was hurt, and the homeowner, David Whitesell, waited across the street for the cops to arrive. It’s been reported that his intention was to make a political statement. He was charged with arson and criminal damage to property with an incendiary device.

In February 2011, a man named Elias Mercado, of San Marcos, California, drove his car into the front door of a Bank of America branch at 4 AM. According to news reports, he plowed through two sets of glass double doors and hit a coffee table, a wall, a cubicle, a teller counter, and several plants. He backed up two times, hitting more furniture, and departed via the newly created exit where the double doors had stood. His car left a trail of bank parts, and he was later caught and charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.

In April 2012, a man named James Ferrario, armed with an assault rifle, gunned down and killed a sheriff’s deputy and locksmith in Modesto, California, as the two men served an eviction on his apartment. And so on. A man in Florida, charged with arson and attempted manslaughter, set his home on fire when it was foreclosed. Another Florida man bulldozed his home to the ground before the bank could seize it. A California man fearing homelessness and suffering from a fatal illness robbed a Bank of America of $107,000 to fund his 17 percent mortgage.

It’s a depressing litany. No citizens came to their aid, no farmers with a rope rallied at their door, no Homeowners’ Holiday Association had their backs. The acts of defiance were rabid, isolated, hopeless, and ultimately meaningless.

Foreclosure #2, St. George, Utah, 2007. Photo by Steven B. Smith

In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street erupted on the scene. Here was a movement that held out the promise of uniting against the banking industry. I spent a good deal of time at Zuccotti Park—the protesters’ headquarters—as a reporter, though I was also a believer in the movement. When I saw a young woman holding a sign that said WALL STREET: THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY, I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her about Milo Reno and Wild Bill Langer.

The postmortem offered by the media was that the movement’s inability to formulate tangible goals, its lack of demands, its steadfast adherence to the principles of “non-hierarchy,” its refusal to elect or bow to a leadership, its unwillingness to embrace the traditional system of interest-group politics—all resulted in its self-destruction. Occupy, we were meant to believe, committed suicide because of its untenable framework.

This was not the whole story, of course. A movement that vowed to undo Wall Street was undone, at least in part, by federal and state and local governments bent on protecting Wall Street. We know this because of the work of the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which in 2012 obtained a ream of documents from the US Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security—memos, emails, briefings—detailing how Occupy was targeted for destruction. The documents show that the FBI, the DHS, and local police departments coordinated to surveil, infiltrate, and undermine Occupy encampments across the nation.

“From its inception the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF. Anti-terrorist branches of the FBI swung into action to deal with the threat of the Occupiers—who, it should be remembered, avowed and practiced a philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. The heavily redacted documents even state that members of the Occupy movement in New York, Seattle, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, were targeted for assassination by a person or persons the FBI refused to identify. According to the documents, “[ name redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.” The FBI never informed Occupiers of the danger.

According to Verheyden-Hilliard, instead of protecting citizens from possible assassination, federal law enforcement ended up as “a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” And when the final blow came, as journalist Dave Lindorff reported, the FBI and DHS helped local law enforcement plan and execute the raids on the encampments that drove out the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park and in dozens of other cities. Those raids were characterized by a terrific show of force. Beating, tear-gassing, mass arrest of peaceful protesters: This is how Occupy came to an end. The Occupiers offered no organized resistance. They scattered like leaves.

Sociologist Max Weber once observed that “the modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination. It [seeks] to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination.” This monopoly on violence is the distinguishing characteristic of the modern nation-state, according to Weber. But Weber warns that the state’s use of physical force comes with a caveat: The state must prove its legitimacy by protecting the interests of the public—say, when police defend a crowd against a gun-wielding maniac.

The maniacs on Wall Street, of course, have friends at the highest rungs of government—a bought-and-sold government whose work as a servant of the wealthy and the powerful is unexcelled, but whose legitimacy as a protector of the public interest looks increasingly suspect. The people have a moral right to rise up against such a government and, ultimately, to question its monopoly on violence; this is the imperative of revolution. Good luck with that in the age of crowd-control devices, militarized police units, Hellfire drones, mass-surveillance systems, and the panoply of domestic laws that render even peaceful protest a potentially criminal act. The apparatus of state domination has grown ever larger, more powerful, complex, effective, and terrifying—at the same time, the domination of the state by corporate interests has been perfected as never before. One doubts the farmers of Le Mars these days would survive ten minutes with their pathetic length of hanging rope.

Police arrest demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Photo by Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos

When Kurt Aho shot out the tires of the cars of the two investors, a swarm of Phoenix police officers descended on his residence, including an armored-car unit, a SWAT unit, and sniper teams on adjacent rooftops. According to police, Aho was told to come out of the house, drop his weapon, and approach the armored car with his hands over his head. He appeared in his doorway, half-dressed, pistol in one hand, a beer in the other. There was a round of negotiations. Aho refused to depart from the premises. “You’re gonna have to kill me,” he said.

Tammy Aho raced to her father’s house and pleaded with officers to let her talk with him. She had recently lost her own house to foreclosure, and she was in the process of moving in with her father. “Not only would he be homeless if we lost this place,” Tammy told me—”my kids and I would be homeless.”

The cops rebuffed her. “I told the police, if you’re gonna shoot him, shoot him in the knees—buckle his knees. But they didn’t listen.”

An hour passed in the standoff. Kurt drank his beer. What happened next is disputed. Police claimed that Kurt opened fire, and the police answered with rubber bullets, hitting him in the arm and knocking him down. Tammy Aho says the cops fired without provocation, and that only then did Aho squeeze off several rounds, hitting the armored car. A well-placed bullet in his chest killed him instantly on his front lawn. “After they killed him,” Tammy told me, “the cops sat around eating pizza and taking pictures of each other and laughing like it was no big deal.”

Obama Finds the Man Most Eager To Initiate Govt. Behavioral Control and Makes Him Surgeon Gen.

[If you are a smoker, overweight, a diabetic, or own a gun, then you are now a special project for the new Surgeon General.  Whatever it is that makes you such a cigarette-smoking, fat slob, who doesn’t eat properly, while twirling your unlocked gun on your finger and bouncing little “what’s his name” on your knee, then Obama’s new man is out to get you.  In other words, Obama is going to change the behavior of all American redneck, “white trash” and whoever copies their bad habits.  Look for your medical care to steer you through the nightmare world of psychiatry, if you want to continue receiving any health care at all. 

And you thought that our world was FUCKED-UP before this.]

The Covert Dictatorship Called “Obamacare”   ;  The rise of the Psychiatric State under Obamacare ;  ROTHSCHILDS HIDDEN BEHIND obama AND THE GENOCIDAL OBAMACARE ?  ;  Obama To Save Medicare By Killing-Off the Sick and the Elderly  ; Americans Slowly Waking-Up To Harsh Reality of the Unaffordable Nature of “Affordable Care Act”Obamacare Is A Bureaucratic Cyber-Weapon—“Stuxnet” for Healthcare Plans 

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on obesity, medical marijuana, vaccines—and, yes, guns

QUARTZ

 

Vivek Murthy is the new Surgeon General of the United States, after a hard-won confirmation by the Senate yesterday. Murthy, whose position that guns are a health-care issue in the US earned him the ire of the country’s powerful gun lobby, will serve a four-year term as the nation’s top doctor and public health advocate. The position has lacked a permanent director since July 2013.

Murthy co-founded Doctors for America, a group of 16,000 physicians and medical students that sent a strongly-worded letter (pdf) last year to the Congress, urging politicians to take stricter measures to stop gun violence. That earned him the ire of the National Rifle Association, slowing his confirmation, but may have also been one of the factors that ultimately helped him win the support of dozens of politicians, medical groups, and universities.

The letter proposed attempting to cut gun deaths in half by 2020, by banning assault weapons, tightening safety regulations, funding research on gun violence, and repealing laws that ban physicians from discussing gun safety with patients. It said:

The circumstances and causes of gun-related injuries and death are diverse–mass shootings, suicides, individual disputes, robberies, and accidents. There is no single provision that will stop these tragedies from happening, so we must approach the issue from all available angles, just as we have successfully approached other threats to public health such as motor vehicle accident deaths and deaths from fire and drowning.

During his February 2014 opening remarks (pdf) in front of a Senate nominating committee, Murthy stressed the US’s other health problems, saying if he was nominated he hoped to “marshal partnerships across the country to address the epidemics of obesity and tobacco-related disease, to reduce the crippling stigma of mental illness, to roll back the resurgence of vaccine preventable disease” and to address many other issues.

During that nearly tw0-hour hearing, senators questioned him about his track record on public-health management, what he thinks of medical marijuana (he’s heard of “anecdotal evidence” but believes “more information” is needed to safely prescribe it), and, predictably, guns.

“I do not intend to use the Surgeon General’s Office as a bully pulpit for gun control,” Murthy said, in response to a question from a Republican senator:

My concerns with regards to issues like gun violence have to do with my experience as a physician, seeing patients in emergency rooms who have come in with acute injuries; but also seeing many patients over the years who are dealing with spinal cord injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, and other chronic complications from gun violence.

In his May 2014 address to graduates of Harvard Medical School, he first thanked the crowd for not opposing him as commencement speaker, saying that “it’s nice to be out of the line of fire, for a change.” He then delivered a speech that stressed the courage necessary to be doctor when medicine is facing “crises with costs, quality, and coverage,” and “critical public health challenges.”

Murthy called on the students to follow in his footsteps and become public-health advocates:

We can no longer remain within our exam rooms and ignore what happens in our communities. As physicians and dentists, we must have a presence in both places. Our sacred responsibility is both to help the patient in front of us and also to safeguard the health of the nation.

At 4:52 a.m. EST, Congress Laid the Russian War Resolution On Obama’s Desk

Senate Sends Obama Legislation Authorizing Weapons for Ukraine

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Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at an earlier meeting. (AP Photo, File)

 

(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart on Sunday, hours after the U.S. Senate sent President Obama legislation authorizing him to supply anti-tank and other weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces to use against Russian-backed separatists in the east.

After meeting with Kerry in Rome, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on his ministry’s Facebook page that he had told Kerry relations must be pursued on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and that attempts to exert pressure on Russia were hopeless.

The administration has resisted calls through the year to provide lethal assistance to the Ukrainians, but on Saturday night the Senate gave final approval by unanimous consent to legislation that authorizes him to do so, specifically listing anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, surveillance drones and other items.

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act also provides for sanctions beyond those imposed thus far by the U.S. or European allies.

The bill, which received initial Senate and House approval last week, now heads to the president’s desk.

Obama on Thursday voiced opposition to any toughening of sanctions that could strain unity between the U.S. and European Union.

“Where Putin will succeed is if it creates a rift in the transatlantic relationship,” he said during an Export Council meeting at the White House. “If you start seeing Europe divided from the United States that would be a strategic victory.  And I’m intent on preventing that.”

The legislation includes provisions targeting a major Russian entity, the Rosoboronexport arms exporter.

Also in the crosshairs is the Gazprom gas giant, which the measure says must be sanctioned if the president determines it is withholding significant amounts of gas from members of NATO or from Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova – all former Soviet states which Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to dissuade from aligning with the West..

Russia, which has the world’s biggest reserves of natural gas, has periodically used its energy resources for political leverage, with Gazprom limiting or cutting supply to Europe by pipeline through Ukraine, generally around winter.

Shortly before the Kerry-Lavrov meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov accused the U.S. of trying to “impose its will” on Russia and the entire world, and warned that the Russian response would be “radical.”

He told the Itar-TASS news agency the new legislation caused “deep concern,” adding that “those who are behind it have not had any comprehension of what is going on in the world.”

US Makes Huge Investment In Propaganda and Destabilization Programs

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on the current budget negotiations in Washington on December 9, 2014.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on the current budget negotiations in Washington on December 9, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

“At least US$236 billion of the $1.1 trillion budget bill is allocated to destabilization and intelligence campaigns around the world.”

U.S. congressional leaders approved on Tuesday $1.1 trillion spending package for the fiscal year 2015. The package includes aid for programs to destabilize Cuba, restrictions on aid to immigration agencies, and increased support for other military-intelligence activities around the world.

In a statement released on Tuesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, some $64 billion is destined to “Overseas Contingency Operations.”

Another $60 billion will go to fund the C.I.A. and 17 other federal agencies, according to the International Committee of the Fourth International (I.C.F.I.).

The committee suggests that nearly half of all “non-military” spending, some $236 billion, is actually directed to sustaining U.S. military-intelligence capabilities.

$2.6 billion will go toward “Economic Aid Packages” for various countries, some of which is earmarked for activities in Cuba.

The U.S. will also invest directly in international communication systems. $726 million is slated for “International Radio Broadcasting Operations,” with $4.8 million going directly toward maintaining, construction, and transmission of digital radio in Cuba. Another  $27.1 million will go to the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

US $30 billion will be awarded to the “Fund for Democracy” meant to “promote democracy around the world.” This includes organizations like U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), whose political actions in Latin America and Africa has been highly criticized, will receive $55 million of those funds.

An additional $10.7 million will be designated for vaguely termed “Global War against Terrorism.” And finally, another general fund of US $20 million will be allocated to support other programs in foreign countries, like Venezuela.

Due to pressure by the Republican-held Congress, the US $1.1 trillion bill will fund all government agencies until September 2015 – except the agency which handles immigration, the Department of Homeland Security that will only receive funding until February 2015. The Republicans want to be able to control the agency that is responsible for implementing President Barack Obama’s immigration order.

House interferes with Obama’s immigration plan

 

 

 

Americans Don’t Have the Balls To Torture the Truth

CIA boosters weigh in: Man up, America

sf gate

Report On CIA Interrogations To Be Released By Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne FeinsteinThe Senate torture report has inspired reams of reporting, most of it supportive or at least non-critical. An tide of editorials here, here and here have matched the tone of our own. Sen Dianne Feinstein is the hero of the hour to long time observers.
But now on Day Two the defenders have emerged to criticize the report and explain the past on their preferred terms. Three past CIA directors who presided over the torture years explained their actions in the friendly opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, which added its own hardline editorial. The basic answer: torture –wait, make that enhanced interrogation techniques — worked, thousands of livers were saved, and the temperature at the time demanded tough stuff. Democrats back then wanted bold action, and who are they to complain now?

Present CIA director John Brennan — once Obama’s national security adviser — added his own toned down criticism. His take: mistakes were made, but we no longer do this stuff.
Then there’s the minority report from Republicans on the Democrat-dominated Intelligence Committee that produced the door-stopper 6,000 page still-secret report and the publicly released versions that’s created all the news. The GOP members picked at perceived flaws and noted that no interviews with CIA employees past or present were included to flesh out the claims built on e-mails, memos and printed communications.
Other voices are now surfacing. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, a liberal Democrat who spent eight years on the Senate intelligence panel, doesn’t think it does any good to release the report without a unified forward action, which won’t happen now. Bush-era legal beagle John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped write justifications for water boarding and the like, weighed in critically.
John McCain, the only member of Congress actually tortured after capture in North Vietnam, offered his thoughts too. He’s a longtime critic of torture, believing it has little value and taints the country’s image. He was the only Republican to speak out in favor of the Senate report’s dismal findings.

It’s hard to know what impact the graphic and gruesome Senate report will have on public opinion. Polls have repeatedly showed a majority of Americans support torture in the terrorism fight. Maybe this time that perception will change.

Pleading With the Conscience Of A Nation With No Soul

Washington Post Op-ed: CIA report shows need for national conscience

Our belief in the national image is astonishingly resilient. Over more than two centuries, our conviction that we are a benign people, with only the best of intentions, has absorbed the blows of darker truths, and returned unassailable. We have assimilated the facts of slavery and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, and we are still a good people; we became an empire, but an entirely benevolent one; we bombed Southeast Asia on a scale without precedent, but it had to be done, because we are a good people.

Even the atrocities of Abu Ghraib have been neutralized in our conscience by the overwhelming conviction that the national image transcends the particulars of a few exceptional cases. And now the Senate torture report has made the unimaginable entirely too imaginable, documenting murder, torture, physical and sexual abuse, and lies, none of them isolated crimes, but systematic policy, endorsed at the highest levels, and still defended by many who approved and committed them.

Again, it has become a conversation about the national image, this phoenix of self-deception that magically transforms conversations about what we have done into debates about what we look like. The report, claimed headlines, “painted a picture of an agency out of control,” and “portrays a broken CIA devoted to a failed approach.” The blow to the U.S. reputation abroad was seen as equally newsworthy as the details themselves, and the appalling possibility that there will never be any accountability for having broken our own laws, international law and the fundamental laws of human decency.

The national image is essentially a metaphor, and that metaphor operates differently in the United States than outside. Today, when we speak of how we are perceived in the wider world, we don’t seem to mean a coherent set of ideals about what America represents, or even an image at all, but rather something like a stock ticker that registers upticks and downdrafts in the value of our international brand. What people envision when they think about America isn’t really knowable, and in any case, it’s far easier to simply poll for the favorable and unfavorables. In April, a Gallup poll gave us the latest news from the market: up in Asia, recovering (after the spying scandals) in Europe, flat in South America, falling off peak in Africa. Expect a bear market in coming months.

The idea of a national image as essentially like a marketplace is an appealing one, especially in a country so in love with the market, so convinced they always rise, always recover, always recalibrate. America is always right, and markets are always right, so any deviation from a high-value assessment of the American brand is necessarily temporary. This conviction helps us keep at bay the thought that in many parts of the world, the national image includes scenes of waterboarding, of Americans smashing heads, forcing men to stand on broken limbs, killing by hypothermia and “rectal feeding,” which is rape.

At home, our sense of ourself is more psychologically constructed, like an amalgam of individual pictures. We bring to it the deep love of the lives we lead, so it becomes a composite, made of innumerable images of family and friends, of grandfathers who fought in the war, Thanksgiving dinners and the nice people from church who tend to the soup kitchen. It is a mostly stable image that comprises sepia-toned data points and the sentimental soft colors of Polaroid snapshots of picnics, beaches and candles on the birthday cake. This is who we are.

But that is not at all who we are. As long as the crimes done in our name remain unpunished, they remain our crimes. The lives we love — as many apologists for torture now openly claim — are purchased at the cost of extreme violence and brutality perpetrated on other people, many of them innocent, none of them deserving of torture.

We have come to a critical moment in the debate about torture. It’s no longer possible, as it was when the images of Abu Ghraib emerged in 2004, to pretend that these events were rare, exceptional or the work of a few rogue agents. Nor will it be easy to assimilate them into that beloved average image of our national goodness. We are confronted with our own barbarity, as we have been confronted with the barbarity of the Islamic State. We torture, they behead. We beat men senseless, slam their heads into walls, strip them naked and leave them to die, while they march men into a field and put bullets in their heads. We might still cling to the idea that our crimes are not quite so bad as theirs. But to quibble over the degree of cruelty we tolerate is to acknowledge that cruelty is now standard practice. Unless we punish the guilty, we can have no more illusions that there is anything fundamental about who we are, how we are governed or what religion we practice, that distinguishes us from the worst in the world.

How does the national image survive this? The usual forces will struggle to resist the new information. Some will wear blinders; others will see things selectively. But what do the rest of us do, everyone one of us who woke up, yesterday, to a powerful feeling of helplessness and shame? If the report leads to no further investigation, no indictments or prosecution, does it then just lay there, on the side of history, as something that can’t be assimilated, while the national image slowly comes back to its usual, gauzy, soft focus on our own unquestionable goodness?

If no one in public life is capable of punishing the guilty, if nothing comes of this but more denials and obfuscations, if the CIA is indeed more powerful than the president, the Congress and the Constitution, what is left of our beloved and benign national image?

Moral revolution begins at home, with a revolution in one’s own values. If you are horrified by what has happened, then you must remake your own mental picture of America, in yourself, in your own mind, ruthlessly and mercilessly, until it conforms to the truth of who we are. The first duty is not to look away.

But the crimes are so horrible, the injustice so vast, that it must go further than that. We should take our cues from a species of painting made throughout the Renaissance, vanitas images, which were a type of still life laden with reminders of death: skulls and hourglasses, guttering candles and fruit going bad. Vanitas elements, which also occurred in other kinds of paintings, reminded the living of the inexorable fact of death and Christians of the inevitable day of judgment. They compelled the faithful to see the skull always under the skin.

We are all, to some degree, narcissists, in love with our lives. But we must re-envision those lives with the hard truth of vanitas paintings. We must have the discipline to see the extent of our national depravity. We must bring it home to the very texture of the lives we lead. When you look at your children, remember dead children, torn to shreds by our smart bombs. When you sit by a warm fire, remember the windowless dungeons we made to break our enemies — and not infrequently innocent men accidentally caught up in our wars. When you fall asleep in your bed, remember the sleep deprivation “for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”

If you can, if only for a day, or an hour, let every comforting thought be infected with the truth of what we have done.

And will that right the national image? Will it correct its contours, average in a little ugliness? Perhaps not. But we must atone. And we must learn that the national image is a hollow conceit. What we desperately need is a national conscience.

Embracing Struggle In the New World Order

[Austerity measures and social upheaval without end, fit in very neatly with an endless terror war.]

Sisyphean

A Sisyphean task

ekathimerini

By Nikos Xydakis

The most likely outcome of the government’s ongoing negotiations with the troika is that Greek Parliament will vote through all the proposed measures and that the budget which was drafted without the prior approval of the international lenders will be amended to meet their demands. These include reforms adding the unbearable burden of an additional 2.5-3 billion euros’ worth of measures on a population that is exhausted from austerity and an economy that had been bled dry. They include a hike in the value-added tax on medicines, books, the press, tourism services, rural parts of the country and islands, no pensions before the age of 62 and the abolition of a recently approved scheme for overdue debts to the state to be paid in 100 installments.

The troika, in short, is forcing the Greek coalition government to stand before the citizens of this country and tell them that all the sacrifices they have made over the past four years have failed to yield the desired results, that they have fallen short and that more cutbacks will be required despite the fact that there can be no guarantees that the end is anywhere in sight.

Unfortunately, the core of these measures are outlined in the midterm fiscal program and the memorandum, two agreements that were ratified by the country’s MPs but were not studied by the ministers signing them; not at the time and not now either. And again, yet another Greek government is being called upon to lead another tax raid, basically to switch off the light at the end of the tunnel. It is as if four-and-a-half years have not passed since that day when then PM George Papandreou announced in an address to the nation that Greece would be signing a memorandum of understanding with the EU, ECB and IMF.

More than the material cost of the stringent austerity Greece has had to pursue, the greatest toll on the people has been on their morale as they have seen the promise of a decent and viable future dashed. The bailout program is seen by Greeks more like an endless Sisyphean task and it now comes to threaten the country’s social cohesion by distorting the meaning of terms such as “reforms” and “acquis communautaire” to stir violent reactions.

In Cyprus, the bail-in brought back memories of the 1974 invasion. This is how collective conscience works, by drawing correlations that can be extremely powerful. In this context, how can a lengthening of the Sisyphean martyrdom and the annulment of future prospects be perceived? What kind of collective conscience will be formed? It is as though our lenders/partners are pushing the so-called Greek, but actually European problem, into a vicious cycle, transforming it into a black hole.

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Obama’s Russian War Resolution Passes By 411 to 23

H.Res. 758: PASSED

411 YEA
10 NAY
13 NOT VOTING

congress.gov

H.Res.758 – Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.113th Congress (2013-2014)

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 758 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under
President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression
against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic
domination.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 18, 2014

Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois submitted the following resolution; which was
referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

RESOLUTION

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under
President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression
against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to “reset” relations with the Russian Federation, which was
described by former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as
a policy to “engage with Russia to seek agreement on common interests”, which included the negotiation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in which the United States agreed to major reductions in its nuclear forces;

Whereas the Russian Federation has responded to this policy with openly anti-
American rhetoric and actions and with armed aggression against United
States allies and partner countries, including Ukraine and the Republic
of Georgia;

Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its
domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on,
Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty,
independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of
Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and
other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;

Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;

Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend
its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian
Federation and by separatist forces;

Whereas the terms of the ceasefire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was
signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of
Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-backed separatists in
the eastern area of the Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;

Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select
their candidates for office in free and fair elections;

Whereas, on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held
fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;

Whereas the Russian Federation has recognized the results of the illegal
elections and continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;

Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full
withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the government’s control over all of the country’s international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia’s use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs;

Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided by the Russian Federation to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;

Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive
economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;

Whereas military forces of the Russian Federation and of the separatists it
controls have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement
announced on September 5, 2014;

Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the
Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal
separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the countries and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by
the Russian Federation constitutes a violation of the INF Treaty;

Whereas, on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its
report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, “[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles”;

Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has
repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;

Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and
other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;

Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic
Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that “an armed attack against one or more” of the treaty signatories “shall be considered an attack against them all”;

Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a
means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;

Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives
in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the
ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;

Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and
obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;

Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;

Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL),
Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;

Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target
populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and

Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in
the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions:

Now, therefore,be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, full control of its international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;

(2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;

(3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;
(4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine–

(A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;
(B) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of
force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and
(C) poses a threat to international peace and security;

(5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict
accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;
(6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;
(7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;
(8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the ceasefire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;
(9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation
of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;
(10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;
(11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;
(12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian
Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;
(13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;
(14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of
collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;
(15) urges the President to hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance
with the Treaty;
(16) urges the President to conduct a review of the utility of the INF Treaty in securing United States interests and the consequences for the United States of withdrawing from the Treaty if the Russian Federation does not return to compliance with its provisions;
(17) calls on Ukraine, the European Union, and other countries in Europe to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and
economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries;
(18) urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries;
(19) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with
significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;
(20) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with
host governments on appropriate responses;
(21) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and
(22) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.

H.Res. 758: PASSED

Vote Party Representative District
Alabama
Yea   R   Byrne, Bradley AL 1st
Yea   R   Roby, Martha AL 2nd
Yea   R   Rogers, Mike AL 3rd
No Vote   R   Aderholt, Robert AL 4th
Yea   R   Brooks, Mo AL 5th
Yea   R   Bachus, Spencer AL 6th
Yea   D   Sewell, Terri AL 7th
Alaska
Yea   R   Young, Don AK
Arizona
Yea   D   Kirkpatrick, Ann AZ 1st
Yea   D   Barber, Ron AZ 2nd
Yea   D   Grijalva, Raúl AZ 3rd
Yea   R   Gosar, Paul AZ 4th
Yea   R   Salmon, Matt AZ 5th
Yea   R   Schweikert, David AZ 6th
Yea   D   Pastor, Ed AZ 7th
Yea   R   Franks, Trent AZ 8th
Yea   D   Sinema, Kyrsten AZ 9th
Arkansas
Yea   R   Crawford, Eric AR 1st
Yea   R   Griffin, Tim AR 2nd
Yea   R   Womack, Steve AR 3rd
Yea   R   Cotton, Tom AR 4th
California
Yea   R   LaMalfa, Doug CA 1st
Yea   D   Huffman, Jared CA 2nd
Yea   D   Garamendi, John CA 3rd
Yea   R   McClintock, Tom CA 4th
Yea   D   Thompson, Mike CA 5th
Yea   D   Matsui, Doris CA 6th
Yea   D   Bera, Ami CA 7th
Yea   R   Cook, Paul CA 8th
Yea   D   McNerney, Jerry CA 9th
Yea   R   Denham, Jeff CA 10th
Nay   D   Miller, George CA 11th
Yea   D   Pelosi, Nancy CA 12th
Yea   D   Lee, Barbara CA 13th
Yea   D   Speier, Jackie CA 14th
Yea   D   Swalwell, Eric CA 15th
Yea   D   Costa, Jim CA 16th
Yea   D   Honda, Mike CA 17th
Yea   D   Eshoo, Anna CA 18th
Yea   D   Lofgren, Zoe CA 19th
Yea   D   Farr, Sam CA 20th
Yea   R   Valadao, David CA 21st
Yea   R   Nunes, Devin CA 22nd
Yea   R   McCarthy, Kevin CA 23rd
Yea   D   Capps, Lois CA 24th
Yea   R   McKeon, Buck CA 25th
Yea   D   Brownley, Julia CA 26th
Yea   D   Chu, Judy CA 27th
Yea   D   Schiff, Adam CA 28th
Yea   D   Cárdenas, Tony CA 29th
Yea   D   Sherman, Brad CA 30th
No Vote   R   Miller, Gary CA 31st
Yea   D   Napolitano, Grace CA 32nd
Yea   D   Waxman, Henry CA 33rd
Yea   D   Becerra, Xavier CA 34th
No Vote   D   Negrete McLeod, Gloria CA 35th
Yea   D   Ruiz, Raul CA 36th
Yea   D   Bass, Karen CA 37th
Yea   D   Sánchez, Linda CA 38th
Yea   R   Royce, Ed CA 39th
Yea   D   Roybal-Allard, Lucille CA 40th
Yea   D   Takano, Mark CA 41st
Yea   R   Calvert, Ken CA 42nd
Yea   D   Waters, Maxine CA 43rd
Yea   D   Hahn, Janice CA 44th
Yea   R   Campbell, John CA 45th
Yea   D   Sanchez, Loretta CA 46th
Yea   D   Lowenthal, Alan CA 47th
Nay   R   Rohrabacher, Dana CA 48th
Yea   R   Issa, Darrell CA 49th
Yea   R   Hunter, Duncan CA 50th
Yea   D   Vargas, Juan CA 51st
Yea   D   Peters, Scott CA 52nd
Yea   D   Davis, Susan CA 53rd
Colorado
Yea   D   DeGette, Diana CO 1st
Yea   D   Polis, Jared CO 2nd
Yea   R   Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
Yea   R   Gardner, Cory CO 4th
Yea   R   Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
Yea   R   Coffman, Mike CO 6th
Yea   D   Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th
Connecticut
Yea   D   Larson, John CT 1st
Yea   D   Courtney, Joe CT 2nd
Yea   D   DeLauro, Rosa CT 3rd
Yea   D   Himes, James CT 4th
Yea   D   Esty, Elizabeth CT 5th
Delaware
Yea   D   Carney, John DE
Florida
Yea   R   Miller, Jeff FL 1st
Yea   R   Southerland, Steve FL 2nd
Yea   R   Yoho, Ted FL 3rd
Yea   R   Crenshaw, Ander FL 4th
Yea   D   Brown, Corrine FL 5th
Yea   R   DeSantis, Ron FL 6th
Yea   R   Mica, John FL 7th
Yea   R   Posey, Bill FL 8th
Nay   D   Grayson, Alan FL 9th
Yea   R   Webster, Daniel FL 10th
Yea   R   Nugent, Richard FL 11th
Yea   R   Bilirakis, Gus FL 12th
Yea   R   Jolly, David FL 13th
Yea   D   Castor, Kathy FL 14th
Yea   R   Ross, Dennis FL 15th
Yea   R   Buchanan, Vern FL 16th
Yea   R   Rooney, Thomas FL 17th
Yea   D   Murphy, Patrick FL 18th
Yea   R   Clawson, Curt FL 19th
Nay   D   Hastings, Alcee FL 20th
Yea   D   Deutch, Theodore FL 21st
Yea   D   Frankel, Lois FL 22nd
Yea   D   Wasserman Schultz, Debbie FL 23rd
Yea   D   Wilson, Frederica FL 24th
Yea   R   Diaz-Balart, Mario FL 25th
Yea   D   Garcia, Joe FL 26th
Yea   R   Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana FL 27th
Georgia
Yea   R   Kingston, Jack GA 1st
Yea   D   Bishop, Sanford GA 2nd
Yea   R   Westmoreland, Lynn GA 3rd
Yea   D   Johnson, Hank GA 4th
Yea   D   Lewis, John GA 5th
Yea   R   Price, Tom GA 6th
Yea   R   Woodall, Rob GA 7th
Yea   R   Scott, Austin GA 8th
Yea   R   Collins, Doug GA 9th
Yea   R   Broun, Paul GA 10th
Yea   R   Gingrey, Phil GA 11th
Yea   D   Barrow, John GA 12th
Yea   D   Scott, David GA 13th
Yea   R   Graves, Tom GA 14th
Hawaii
Yea   D   Hanabusa, Colleen HI 1st
Yea   D   Gabbard, Tulsi HI 2nd
Idaho
Yea   R   Labrador, Raúl ID 1st
Yea   R   Simpson, Mike ID 2nd
Illinois
Yea   D   Rush, Bobby IL 1st
Yea   D   Kelly, Robin IL 2nd
Yea   D   Lipinski, Daniel IL 3rd
Yea   D   Gutiérrez, Luis IL 4th
Yea   D   Quigley, Mike IL 5th
Yea   R   Roskam, Peter IL 6th
Yea   D   Davis, Danny IL 7th
No Vote   D   Duckworth, Tammy IL 8th
Yea   D   Schakowsky, Jan IL 9th
Yea   D   Schneider, Bradley IL 10th
Yea   D   Foster, Bill IL 11th
Yea   D   Enyart, William IL 12th
Yea   R   Davis, Rodney IL 13th
Yea   R   Hultgren, Randy IL 14th
Yea   R   Shimkus, John IL 15th
Yea   R   Kinzinger, Adam IL 16th
Yea   D   Bustos, Cheri IL 17th
Vote Party Representative District
Yea   R   Schock, Aaron IL 18th
Indiana
Yea   D   Visclosky, Peter IN 1st
Yea   R   Walorski, Jackie IN 2nd
Yea   R   Stutzman, Marlin IN 3rd
Yea   R   Rokita, Todd IN 4th
Yea   R   Brooks, Susan IN 5th
Yea   R   Messer, Luke IN 6th
Yea   D   Carson, André IN 7th
Yea   R   Bucshon, Larry IN 8th
Yea   R   Young, Todd IN 9th
Iowa
Yea   D   Braley, Bruce IA 1st
Yea   D   Loebsack, David IA 2nd
Yea   R   Latham, Tom IA 3rd
Yea   R   King, Steve IA 4th
Kansas
Yea   R   Huelskamp, Tim KS 1st
Yea   R   Jenkins, Lynn KS 2nd
Yea   R   Yoder, Kevin KS 3rd
Yea   R   Pompeo, Mike KS 4th
Kentucky
Yea   R   Whitfield, Ed KY 1st
Yea   R   Guthrie, Brett KY 2nd
Yea   D   Yarmuth, John KY 3rd
Nay   R   Massie, Thomas KY 4th
Yea   R   Rogers, Hal KY 5th
Yea   R   Barr, Andy KY 6th
Louisiana
Yea   R   Scalise, Steve LA 1st
Yea   D   Richmond, Cedric LA 2nd
Yea   R   Boustany, Charles LA 3rd
Yea   R   Fleming, John LA 4th
Yea   R   McAllister, Vance LA 5th
Yea   R   Cassidy, Bill LA 6th
Maine
Yea   D   Pingree, Chellie ME 1st
Yea   D   Michaud, Michael ME 2nd
Maryland
Yea   R   Harris, Andy MD 1st
Yea   D   Ruppersberger, A. Dutch MD 2nd
Yea   D   Sarbanes, John MD 3rd
Yea   D   Edwards, Donna MD 4th
Yea   D   Hoyer, Steny MD 5th
Yea   D   Delaney, John MD 6th
Yea   D   Cummings, Elijah MD 7th
Yea   D   Van Hollen, Chris MD 8th
Massachusetts
Yea   D   Neal, Richard MA 1st
Yea   D   McGovern, Jim MA 2nd
Yea   D   Tsongas, Niki MA 3rd
Yea   D   Kennedy, Joseph MA 4th
Yea   D   Clark, Katherine MA 5th
Yea   D   Tierney, John MA 6th
No Vote   D   Capuano, Michael MA 7th
Yea   D