IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PALESTINE, LIBYA–IN SHAMBLES AND CRUSHED BY U.S. IMPERIALISM: BUT THE WORLD IS TOLD TO FEAR CHINA (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

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(“STRING OF PEARLS” THE IMPERIAL ENCIRCLEMENT OF CHINA)

Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, … in Shambles & Crushed by US Imperialism: But the WORLD is Told to FEAR CHINA

Post Categories: Opinion > Andre Vltchek
Andre Vltchek / The 4th Media News | Sunday, June 2, 2013, 9:55 Beijing
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“The Irrational, Racist Fear of China”

Andre Vltchek-big

Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Libya are in shambles, crushed by the heavy boots of Western imperialism.

But we are told to fear China.

The entire nations of Indochina were bombed back to the stone age, because Western demi-gods would not tolerate, and felt they did not have to, tolerate, what some yellow un-people in Asia were really longing for. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos – millions of tons of bombs dropped on them from strategic B-52’s, from dive-bombers, and from jet fighters. The falling bombs rained on the pristine countryside, murdering children, women, and water buffalo – millions of people perished. No apologies, no admission of guilt, and no compensation came from the tyrant-nations.

Indonesia, the leader of the non-aligned world, with a huge constitutional Communist Party, was destroyed in the coup of 1965, through the alliance of Western governments, Indonesian fascist military and the elites, as well as religious bigots from the largest Muslim organization – NU. 2-3 million people died, including those belonging to the Chinese minority. Teachers, artists, thinkers – all killed or silenced. Here, imperialism created a submissive nation with almost no intellectual base; unable even to analyze its own downfall.

But now we are ordered to be conscious of China’s rise.

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Latin America: raped again and again, from Mexico to the Dominican Republic, from Cuba to Granada, Panama, Haiti, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile. For years, decades and centuries. Almost all the countries in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean, were ravaged at some point in history, by the racist and outrageous implementation of the “Monroe Doctrine”.

The latest coups against the progressive governments in Honduras and Paraguay were enacted under the ‘soft leadership’ of the liberal West’s supreme leader and ‘upholder of global democracy’ – President Barack Obama.

But it is China that has to be deterred, we are told! Not us – not the West – but China.

In the Middle East, entire kingdoms and emirates are bending over themselves, competing with each other over who will become the most subservient collaborator with Western business interests, who will place more US military bases on its soil, who will kill, arrest or torture more people – the opponents of global Western dictatorship.

But it is China, naturally, which is unacceptably endangering the European and North American’s inherited right, to reign over the world. Or to be precise, the ‘danger’ is shared among China, Russia and Latin America – three places that managed to wrestle themselves from Western shackles, and to embark on their own political, social, cultural and developmental paths. Whatever they are, but their own!

But China is the ‘worst’, because those Russkies and Latinos still look kind of white, or at least most of them do. But to imagine that the world’s most important country would be firmly placed in Asia would be unthinkable, unacceptable, and truly sacrilegious.

In Africa, which of course does not matter much, as it is, in the eyes of multi-nationals and the Western governments, inhabited by the lowest breed of ‘un-people’ (to borrow Orwell’s lexicon), entire enormous geographical areas and cultures had been plundered, divided, debilitated, virtually canceled. Ridiculous borders were erected, great people’s rulers like Patrice Lumumba of Congo, assassinated. Murderous maniacs such as Paul Kagame and Museveni were groomed in and by the West, armed and brought to power, then sent on various missions; to plunder and police on behalf of Western interests.

Congo lost some 10 million people during the reign of Belgian genocidal-king, Leopold II (now the national hero of Belgium, celebrated by countless statues all over Brussels). It is losing a similar amount of people now, as Washington and London’s military darlings from Rwanda and Uganda are invading freely, overthrowing governments and pillaging that vast and battered nation on their doorsteps.

Somalia is virtually no more – forcefully divided, and regularly invaded by Western allies – Kenya and Ethiopia. Europeans are dumping toxic waste near its coast and then appear to be outraged by the piracy – one more justification for the continuous militarization of the entire region. The proud ‘African Cuba’ – Eritrea – is being tortured by sanctions; while the country/military base called Djibouti has been glorified and pampered, standing as a polluted, frustrated and grotesque symbol of French and US militarism; of Western imperialism, in the region that gave birth to the human race.

In West Africa, in Algiers, in Angola and Namibia, in Congo and Somalia, and in dozens of other countries of Africa, tens of millions of people have been slaughtered by Western imperialists in the 20th and 21st Centuries. And the dreadful count was not any better in the preceding eras, with a direct holocaust against native populations, with genocides like the one performed by Germans in what is now Namibia, with slavery, torture, rape and the absolute disrespect for non-white human lives.

But would such a legacy make Western nations humble, reflective, and apologetic? Would there at least be some pathos of profound guilt that could give birth to hope for global reconciliation? No – far from that! There is no remorse in London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Washington, or in the French countryside, the US Midwest or South. Or if there is some, it is concentrated in small, mainly urban pockets, disconnected from the mainstream.

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But it is China, which is now blamed for ‘doing business with African dictators’! And it is China whose guilt is being manufactured, inflated and implanted in the brains of people all over the world, by the Western propaganda apparatus, and by local media outlets, owned and ‘trained’ in the West.

For instance, a mining accident in Zambia, whenever some Chinese company is involved, the situation gets overblown to tremendous proportions. The result is that dozens of people who died due to negligence are put on the same scale as dozens of millions who perished because of savage Western imperialism, the slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism.

The same propaganda tactics are used all over the world. For instance, the Goethe Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia, not long ago, arranged a photo exhibition of Polish workers in Gdansk clashing with police, in theSolidarity days. Few people died then. But the Goethe Institute arranges no exhibitions commemorating the millions of Communists, atheists, intellectuals and Chinese people who died in 1965 and later, in Indonesia! It is almost like saying: “You see, those 3 million Indonesian lives had to be sacrificed, to prevent the scenario in which 30 people were later killed in Poland.” Interesting logic. But supported by mountains of cash, and it works!

In Oceania – in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia – the British, US, French, Spanish, German and other colonial masters, smashed and then reshaped the complex universe that used to belong to the proud people inhabiting tens of thousands of islands, islets and atolls of the South Pacific.

The local inhabitants were then pushed into slavery, effectively; their kingdoms, their geopolitical entities were first divided into colonies, and then into nation-states. Their leaders were killed, sidelined, threatened, and finally corrupted and bought.

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Western nations fought battles over the islands, performed nuclear experiments on the local people, and then invented a so called ‘strategic deterrence doctrine’, making sure that no ‘enemy’ ships, no unsuitable ideas and anti-imperialist ideology would enter this tremendous universe, encompassed by an endless mass of water.

In the end, huge military bases were constructed; US, British and French; all sorts of toxic waste was dumped, and the pristine atolls like Kwajalein, were converted into missile testing grounds.

Waste, radiation, junk food; all led to countless medical emergencies, which became so great that only climate change and the consequent rising level of the seawater, could realistically be considered as a greater threat to the survival of the people and states of Oceania.

I lived in the South Pacific for more than 4 years, and I traveled and worked in all the countries there, except in Niue and Nauru. I wrote about the struggle of the islanders inhabiting the South Pacific in my non-fiction book Oceania.

Several countries – Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as the various islands and atolls now belonging to other states – are rapidly becoming uninhabitable. The seawater is rolling over their low-lying land, and the vegetation is dying.

The West, which is responsible for most of the pollution, the carbon dioxide emission and global warming, has been doing close to nothing to save these countries from vanishing.

The foreign aid the US, EU, Australia and New Zealand are donating, is often as damaging as the poisonous gasses themselves. It is habitually being used to corrupt local government officials; to fly them around the world, embedding the so called ‘per-diem mentality’. Tamed and corrupt, the local rulers don’t demand real compensation and real solutions for their suffering countries. ‘Foreign aid’ is also being used to pay for foreign experts to visit, to ‘analyze’ and to write countless and mostly futile reports. All that, just in order to create the perception that something is being done: and just to make sure that nothing ever will!

The people of Oceania do not want to be evacuated; most of them want to fight for the survival of their islands. I talked to them: in Kiribati, Tuvalu, FSM, RMI and elsewhere. But the West and local governments are insisting on idiotic evacuation schemes, for many unsavory reasons.

At one point, China began helping, in the spirit of internationalism; the way a socialist country should. It rolled up its sleeves and started to construct schools, hospitals, government buildings, roads, and stadiums, as well as protective walls and other heavy infrastructure, designed to defend endangered populated areas.

The West immediately attacked all those efforts, injecting nihilism, dragging through dirt everything pure and decent. The first stage of Western propaganda, the same that has been used in Africa and elsewhere, consisted of the barrage of negative messages that China does ‘nothing altruistically, ever’; it simply follows its dark self-interests and designs.

‘Philosophical’ and propaganda punch lines are predictable and simple: “If we are shits, if our culture sends us to plunder and enslave the world, then humanity should be convinced that others have the same essence as we do. This way, what we are doing would not be seen as extraordinary. We are all human, all the same!”

It is rubbish, of course, and even people like Gustav Jung saw Western culture as exceptionally aggressive, as some sort of pathology. But, as was proven many times by Western propagandists like Joseph Goebbels and Rupert Murdoch, if propaganda is repeated 1,000 times, and if we corrupt/pay enough people all over the world to repeat what we tell them to, the rubbish converts itself to shining diamonds of truth, and eventually to unchallengeable common wisdom.

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But back to China and Oceania:

When the blitzkrieg of discrediting China failed to work, or at least it failed in the countries benefiting from China’s assistance, the West invented a unique strategy: it went to Taipei and began ‘encouraging’ Taiwan’ to get ‘involved’. The Taiwanese were willing and ready, and began offering bribes to the leaders of Oceania, in exchange for the recognition of Taiwan as an independent country. Once Taiwan is ‘recognized’, something that even US or EU refuse to do, on most occasions China (PRC) retaliates by breaking diplomatic relations.

And that was, most definitely, the plan of the old sly colonial powers.

While countries that stuck with China, like Samoa, got their protective seawalls, stadiums and Parliament buildings constructed in solidarity and with socialist optimism, countries like Kiribati, a place that could be easily described as one of the true basket cases in Oceania, were flooded with Taiwan-inflicted nihilism. Cash flowed in, but not to the people; into the deep pockets of the government.

While entire small countries in Oceania are near extinction, their leaders, mostly groomed and trained in Australia and the US, are busy selling their UN votes: voting in support of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, in support of US invasions all over the world, or against the environmental resolutions that could have a direct and positive effect on the plight of their countries!

“One day I was besieged by an Israeli television crew”, I was told by a priest in the capital of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). “The Israeli public wanted to know: who are these creatures that are constantly voting in support of Israel, alongside the US and against the entire world?”

Well, the same ones that welcome Taiwanese battleships, and their crews that play national anthems on the beaches, and march all over the place like maniacs, holding flags!

***

And, by the way, those who think that China cannot act altruistically, should read Fidel Castro, and his powerful and grateful words, describing how Cuba got rescued by the Chinese nation, following Gorbachev’s fit of madness and Yeltsin’s Western-encouraged, glorified alcoholic orgy, with the destruction of the USSR and several dreadful years of unopposed plunder of the world by the Western Empire, as its aftermath.

***

When the Chinese media interviews me, I am often asked the same question: “What can China do to appease the West”.

And my reply is always the same: “Nothing!”

Western propaganda is not looking for objective ways to analyze China; it is not looking for China’s good-will. It is there, to twist and to harm any country that insists on its own development model, on serving its own people instead of submissively succumbing to the interests of the West, and those of multinational companies.

The West tries to destroy socialist China as it had been trying to destroy Vietnam, during what is called in Asia, “The American War”. As it expended a tremendous effort to ruin Moscow, right from the 1917 Revolution, till the very end. As it tried to destroy all the countries that insisted on their own principles: Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Chile, Nicaragua, Eritrea, and Iran before Shah, to name just a few.

Some, like North Korea, were first ravaged and then pushed to the extreme, forced to radicalize and then ridiculed and paraded on television screens as some freak example of Communist gaga-land.

What the West has in store for China is clear, and it is not much different from its designs during the Opium War. The perfect scenario would be a crippled, divided and submissive, West-admiring nation. The best ruler would be some Chinese Yeltsin who would agree to commit treason, break the country to pieces, open it to oligarchs and foreign interests, cancel all social aspirations and bomb the Parliament full of the people’s representatives that still believe in socialism.

Then we could ‘do business with China’, and give it full ideological and propaganda support.

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My usual advise to the Chinese media is: “Use numbers! Numbers are on your side.”

But it appears that China’s propagandist team is no match to Westernapparatchiks.

China is too timid, too soft, as actually almost the entire world is, compared to the Western political and economic gangsters.

In a series of deadly strokes, the West can bomb a country, poison its people with depleted uranium, impose sanctions that kill hundreds of thousand of defenseless women and children, then bomb the place once again, invade it, plunder it, and make sure that its own companies will make billions in a reconstruction process that actually shows no concrete results.

Such an approach cannot be matched by anybody; neither by China nor by the Soviet Union, which always made sure that its satellite states had higher standards of living than Moscow!

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***

If China doesn’t do it, let me do it, in brief. Let’s use numbers and show to the world, especially to those ‘concerned’ Western citizens, how China is really doing. Let’s compare. And let’s do it on a per capita basis, the only fair way.

How many people were murdered by the West beyond its boundaries, since WWII; in the Arab World, in Asia Pacific, in Africa, Latin America, Oceania; actually almost everywhere. I calculated, and my conservative estimate is between 50 and 60 million. Well over 200 million in indirect actions.

China – a few thousand, during its punitive and erroneous invasion of Vietnam, after Vietnam liberated Cambodia from Khmer Rouge. But that was the worst China ever did! And it withdrew rapidly. And it never bombed Vietnam to the stone-age!

So if, let’s say, the Chinese invasion took 10,000 lives, the West killed at least 5,000 times more people than China. Simple math, isn’t it?

How many governments that the West overthrew, including those that were elected through painstaking and enthusiastic democratic processes? I don’t have the patience to go through all of them: Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Iran, Zaire, Paraguay, and dozens of others. Basically, any government that Western companies and politicians did not approve of, went up in flames.

China: zero.

The West really gave the world great lessons in democracy!

But let’s continue our comparisons.

Who is vetoing UN resolutions on Palestine and on other key international issues?

Who puts itself out of the reach of international courts of justice, even threatening to invade Netherlands in case its citizens are brought to the international court in The Hague?

Who is the greatest polluter, on a per capita basis? China does not even match the Scandinavian nations, and it becomes the number two environmental threat, after US, only if the absolute numbers are applied, a totally bizarre way to utilize statistics. To use the same logic, one would conclude: ‘there are more people smoking in France than in Monaco’.

Even the former US Vice-President, Al Gore, hardly a China lover, wrote that China has tougher environmental laws than US.

But let’s return to defense, to that ‘threat’ which China is allegedly posing to the rest of the world.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI 2012 Yearbook), The United Sates, with a population of 315 million, spends (officially) approximately 711 billion dollars on military expenditure. Many analysts insist that the number is really over 1 trillion dollars; others say that the amount is even higher than that, but incalculable, because of a complex and non-transparent interaction between the government and private sector. But let us stick to official numbers and accept, for argument’s sake, the lowest estimate of 711 billion dollars.

Close allies of US are all great spenders as well; they all zealously shop for their nukes, missiles and jet fighters: The UK with 63 million people spends 62.7 billion dollars on ‘defense’. France with 65 million people spends 62.5 billion. Japan with 126 million people, forks out 59.3 billion, although, officially it does not even have an army. Two of the closest Western allies in the Middle East, are even more radical:

Saudi Arabia with 28 million people spends 48.2 billion dollars, and Israel with population of only 8 million, spends 15 billion, proportionally similar amounts.

China, the most populous country on earth, with 1,347 million people, spends 143 billion dollars, approximately as much as UK and France combined, but with over 10 times more people to defend!

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On a per capita basis, the US is spending over 21 times more on defense than China. UK more than 9 times and Saudi Arabia more than 16 times!

And one has to wonder: Who do France and the UK ‘defend’ themselves from? Could it be Andorra, Monaco or Ireland? Or maybe that outlying bit of Europe, Iceland?

In contrast, China, which was attacked on several occasions; which was occupied, colonized and plundered by Western powers, notably by the UK and France (whose barbarity in ransacking Beijing was legendary), now has hundreds of strategic bombers and nuclear missiles pointed at its face, from the directions of Okinawa and Guam, from the US fleets in the region, and from the bases in nearby former Soviet Central Asian Republics.

The US, in defiance of the constitution of the Philippines, is conducting military exercises at the Clark base and other military installations on the territory of its former colony. It has a heavy military presence in South Korea, just a stone’s throw from China, and is making overt and covert overtures towards Vietnam, trying to, bizarrely; lease some its old bases, which were last used during the war. And it is no secret that Mongolia is now one of the staunchest Western allies, with thousands of kilometers of a long border with China.

What justifies such contrasting military expenditures between the West and China?

The answer is – nothing! Like in the case of the “Monroe Doctrine”, the West does not need some silly justifications. Its presumption of racial and cultural superiority, unpronounced but assumed, seems to suffice in silencing all internal skeptics and critics.

The elites, ‘intellectuals’ and media in most of the world are trained and paid to kneel and bow to that obvious but unchallenged farce.

What I am doing here; asking all these questions, is not only unacceptable in Europe and US, it is considered impolite!

And China, many times a victim of Western aggressions, now finds itself on the defensive, accused of ‘flexing its muscle’, despite its disproportionally low defense budget and almost no history of invasions and imperialism.

***

China is portrayed as a threat, when shoulder-to-shoulder it stands with most of the progressive Latin American nations and with Russia, blocking UN resolutions designed to open the door to the Western invasion of Syria.

In the eyes of the Western regime, to try to prevent an invasion, amounts to a supreme crime, almost akin to terrorism. Countries that are standing in its way become vilified through the most vitriolic propaganda.

One has to recall that the same rhetoric was used by Nazi Germany, during the war. Members of any resistance, partisans, and opposing forces – were all called terrorists. And who can forget those colorful insults reserved for the nations that were about to be attacked! Or for the Soviet Union that faced Nazis, finally defeating them!

According to my investigations in the region, Western forces are training not only ‘Syrian opposition’, but also Saudi and Qatari jihadists and mercenaries, in so called ‘refugee camps’ in Turkey, near Hatay, and at the US air force base in Adana.

But who will forgive China, Russia and Latin America for trying to prevent yet another Libya-style, horror scenario?

And then, there are those Spratly Islands; that tour de force of Western propaganda!

The Spratly Islands could actually be the only proof that China is ‘flexing its muscle’, or that it is ready to defend its interests.

The Government of the Philippines, a former US colony, is at the fore-front of harsh criticism directed at China.

I went to talk to Philippine academia, to top scholars in Manila, and I managed to speak to several of them.

Opinions were generally similar, summarized by Roland G. Simbulan, Senior Fellow and Professor in Development Studies and Public Management at the University of the Philippines, explained:

“Frankly speaking, those Spratly Islands are not so significant to us. What’s happening is that our political elites are clearly encouraged by the US to provoke China, and there is also a big influence of the US military on our armed forces. I would say that the Philippine military is very vulnerable to such type of ‘encouragement’. So the US is constantly nurturing those confrontational attitudes. But to continue with this type of approach could be disastrous to our country. Essentially we are very close to China, geographically and otherwise.”

In Vietnam, the US clearly exploits old rivalries, pitching two socialist states against each other.

***

Then the human rights issue.

Again, let’s compare.

There are more people in jail in US than in China. Not just more, but incomparably more.

According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the US has the highest number of people in prisons, than anywhere in the world: 730 per 100,000 of population! Out of 221 countries and territories from which data was collected, China ranks 123th, with 121 prisoners per 100.000 of population. That’s six times less than the US, and even less than Luxembourg (ranks 120th with 124 prisoners per 100,000 of population) or Australia (ranks 113th with 129 prisoners per 100,000 population).

It is a known fact that in the US, many prisons are privatized and prisoners are basically held as free or cheap labor. If it is not a violation of human rights, to hold millions of people in jail, for minor offenses, just in order to keep the coffers of private companies full, then what is?

The use of torture is accepted and used by US interrogators all over the world.

China still executes more people than the US, even on a per capita basis, which is unfortunate, but the number of executions in China is decreasing, as is being reduced, the number of crimes punishable by death.

But while the death penalty in China is often mentioned in connection with human rights violations, it is rarely stated that the US is applying extra-judicial executions in several parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it uses so-called drones, to arbitrarily target terrorist suspects, including women and children.

And what about the main propaganda chip – Tibet? If we compare the situation there to that in the territories ruled by the Western allies, like Indonesia and India, we come to very uncomfortable conclusions.

Indian rule over Kashmir can only be described as outright carnage; Indonesian rule over Papua, with over 120,000 people killed (a very conservative estimate) is nothing short of genocide.

But India and Indonesia are never described as nations that should be deterred because of the record of gross violations of human rights. Nor are the Western nations for their endless crimes against humanity on all continents.

Are human rights only for those at home? Are 50, 60 or even 200 million that West murdered mostly in poor countries, not ‘human’?

*

To claim that there is no racism in the way China is perceived would be ludicrous.

I have friends, otherwise sensible and progressive men and women, who, when China is mentioned, close their ears and begin to scream: “No, I never want to go there. It is terrible!”

Communist, socialist, or capitalist, the success of Asian nations is never taken lightly in the West.

Who can ever forget the sarcasm and ‘mistrust’ directed towards Japan when it bypassed, economically and socially, most of the European nations. And until now, when someone mentions that Singapore has many social indicators that are better than those in Australia, he or she is immediately countered by derogatory outbursts, directed at the tropical city state.

Both Singapore and Japan are staunch Western allies and highly-developed market economies integrated in the global capitalist system.

China is different. It is developing its own model; it is clearing and creating its own path through unknown territory. It is unwilling to follow orders from others. It is too big, its culture too old.

In the past, like Japan, China was closed, living in its own realm, never externally aggressive, with no expansionist ambitions.

Westerners arrived and forced it to open. What followed were bloodbaths and deceits, confusion and a long period of national humiliation and stagnation.

Then came the struggle for independence, and revolution. Not easy, not smooth, but China once again grew, began rising to its feet, educating its people, housing and healing the poor.

It went its own way; a complex way of balancing between its own culture and global conditions, between socialism and the capitalist reality that is dominating the world.

It experienced some setbacks but many more accomplishments. And it did not really ‘rise’; it just began regaining its rightful place in the world, the place that was denied to it for so long, after years of plunder and debilitating invasions.

It is generally a benign nation inhabited by kind hearted people. Almost all those that know China, agree on that.

But it is also an extremely determined and proud nation. It is wise, and in search of harmony, always willing to compromise.

To try to corner it, to provoke it, to attack it, would be insane, and almost suicidal. This time China will not yield, not when essential issue are involved. There is still the fresh memory there, of what happened when it did.

The West, blinded by the fear that it could lose the privileges of the dictator, is doing the unthinkable: sticking an iron rod into the dragon’s mouth. Here in Asia, dragons are respected and loved – mythical creatures of great wisdom and power.

But dragons can also be fierce when good-will is broken, and invaders are threatening to ravage the nation.

***

China is growing and trying to understand the world, to interact with it. Its people are enthusiastic about what they see; they want to make friends.

The West is acting in the most antagonistic way: once again triggering an arms race, spreading the most vitriolic propaganda, corrupting entire nations in Asia and Oceania into adopting an anti-Chinese stand.

Understandably, the West did not sacrifice all those millions of people, all around the world, just to abandon its dictatorial and exclusive grip on power. It did not destroy dozens of freedom-seeking countries; it did not bomb tens of millions to oblivion, just to back up now.

In the future, confrontation cannot be excluded, and it is clear who will be at fault.

China will not abandon its course. There will be no Chinese Yeltsin. By standing firm, China is showing an example to the world.

As these words are being written, Latin America is resisting and winning. Russia is resisting while searching for its own direction. And others may join. Africa is dreaming about resisting, but still does not dare; still too damaged. Arab countries dare, but have yet to decide in which direction to place their dreams.

But discontent with the boots crashing freedom is growing. And China is not the one who is wearing them.

The irrationality and racism of the West may backfire.

Mr. Andre Vltchek who is one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific – Oceania – is published by Lulu. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear” (Pluto). After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website.

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Posted in 4th Media, Capitalism, CAPITALISM AND ENVIRONMENT, Capitalism and Psycho-Sociopathy, CAPITALISM AND RELIGION, China, China-U.S. Relations, Decline of the American Imperium, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, Genocide in and From America, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, Neoliberalism and Neoclassical Theory, Neoliberalism as Neoimperialism, New World Order, Nuremberg Precedents, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, U.S. Terrorism | 3 Comments

PENTAGON INCREASES AUTHORITY OVER USE OF FORCE IN CONUS (CONTINENTAL U.S.)

Pentagon Increases Authority Over Use of Force in CONUS
Post Categories: Israel
Andrei AKULOV | Saturday, June 1, 2013, 11:49 Beijing
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Worried about the legality of the armed drone program and some covert missions in places not covered by the text of the 2001 measure, US Senators are mulling over the prospects for either a new resolution or an update to the existing one. On May 13 the US Senate debated an expansion of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) so the U.S. can essentially engage any area in the world in the war on terror, including the territory of US itself.

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Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Sheehan told Congress that the AUMF authorized the US military to operate on a worldwide battlefield from Boston to Pakistan… According to him the executive power is authorized to put boots on the ground wherever it finds expedient.

During the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing perpetrators many noticed that it was hard to discern between fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military. The difference became even murkier at the hearings when it was revealed that some changes have been inserted into the U.S. «Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies» Code.

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The U.S. armed forces are prohibited from intervening in domestic affairs except the cases provided under Article IV of the Constitution when domestic violence that threaten the government of a state or the application of federal law. This provision was further amended by the Insurrection Act of 1807 and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (PCA).

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The Insurrection Act specifies the circumstances under which the president may convene the armed forces to suppress an insurrection against any state or the federal government. Consent of the state governor must be obtained prior to the deployment of troops.

Under the Insurrection Act the President may deploy armed forces domestically under extreme circumstances but Congress has to review the action every 14 days. The 1878 Posse Comitatus law forbids the military from being involved in domestic law enforcement «except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress».

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It made unauthorized employment of federal troops a punishable offense. Under the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the President cannot commit troops to an armed conflict for a period longer than 60 days without an authorization from Congress to use military force or a declaration of war.

With a revision to the Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies the US military has full authority to police the streets of America without consent from the state or local governments. The DOD instruction now allows the US servicemen to quell «civil disturbances» domestically without any Presidential authorization. The instruction was originally released in February yet has only come to light this May (1).

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A «civil disturbance» declared, «federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances». The military can intervene when:

(a) «Such activities are necessary to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order; or,

(b) When duly constituted Federal, State, or local authorities are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for Federal property or Federal governmental functions. Federal action, including the use of Federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect Federal property or functions».

It actually means that now a «commander» has the same power to authorize military force as the President in the event the head of state is somehow unable to access a telephone. The rule ignores the existing chain of authority in the event a sitting President is unavailable.

This isn’t, however, the Pentagon’s first attempt to expand its authority domestically in the last decade. Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for «homeland patrols» with one of their roles including helping with «civil unrest and crowd control». Preparations for CONUS civil unrest have been intensified under the incumbent Administration.

In 2009 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was redeployed from Iraq to domestic operations within the United States under the Northern Command (NORTHCOM). From September 2011 onwards, an expansion of NORTHCOM’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

A US Army Military Police training manual for «Civil Disturbance Operations» leaked in July last year outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest. The document outlines how military assets will be used to«help local and state authorities to restore and maintain law and order» in the event of mass riots, civil unrest or a declaration of martial law.

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The instruction in question has not appeared as a bolt from the blue. The regulations changes were actually substantiated by Army chief of staff General Raymond T. Odierno an article published last year by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). (2) In the May/June 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Odierno said the armed forces should address «challenges in the United States itself» in order to keep the homeland safe from domestic disasters, including terrorist attacks.

According to him, «Where appropriate we will also dedicate active-duty forces, especially those with niche skills and equipment, to provide civilian officials with a robust set of reliable and rapid response options». No doubt the Boston events constitute an «extraordinary emergency circumstance» justifying bringing in a «rapid response» force as described by the top General.

At the hearings Senator Angus King said at the hearing «This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today». 16 senators condemned the trend. Even such a hawk as John McCain came out to say the government has gone way beyond its authority.

Eric Freedman, a constitutional law professor from Hofstra University, calls the ruling «an unauthorized power grab». According to Freedman, «The Department of Defense does not have the authority to grant itself by regulation any more authority than Congress has granted it by statute». (3)

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Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, «a wanton power grab by the military,» and says, «It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control». (4)

In an article published in the Long Island Press, Jed Morey wrote that the US is witnessing «significant seizure of domestic police power by the Pentagon». (5)

* * *

The Senate hearing evokes fears related to the future of US political system. With the War on Terror defining the US agenda for over a decade, the attempts to expand the mission of the US military on the domestic front are obvious.

The recent evidence shows the government is moving to give the military unparalleled authority on US territory nullifying fundamental legislative acts. In essence, the military are granted the power to act domestically without approval from the President or Congress.

Andrei AKULOV | Strategic Culture Foundaiton

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/06/01/pentagon-increases-authority-over-use-of-force-in-conus.html

References:

1. (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://info.publicintelligence.net/DoD-CivilianLawEnforcement.pdf&chrome=true)
2. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137423/raymond-t-odierno/the-us-army-in-a-time-of-transition
3. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/the-pentagon-has-engaged-in-a-power-grab-against-the-civilian-leadership.html
4. http://topconservativenews.com/2013/05/military-given-the-power-to-unilaterally-invade-a-us-city/
5. http://www.longislandpress.com/2013/05/14/u-s-military-power-grab-goes-into-effect/)

Posted in 4th Media, Conspiracy against Rights and under Color of Law, Corruption and Intrigue in Government, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, Faces of Fascism, FALSE FLAGS, Fascism in America, FOUNDATIONS OF FASCISM IN AMERICA, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, International Law and Nuremberg Precedents, Mainstream Media (MSM) Shills, Masters of the Universe, Meme Warfare and Imperialism, New World Order, Nuremberg Precedents, Social Systems Engineering Campaigns, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, U.S. Terrorism | 1 Comment

JOHN MCCAIN: WAR HERO OR WAR CRIMINAL? (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

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McCain Strangelove

John McCain: War Hero Or War Criminal?
Post Categories: Debate
Philip Giraldi | Friday, May 31, 2013, 15:51 Beijing
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Two time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Major General Smedley Butler once said “war is a racket.” He might have added that while enriching the few it victimizes and degrades everyone else who is caught up in the meat grinder, soldiers as well as civilians.

Consider how accounts of soldiers who are captured and subsequently turn on their own country are as old as warfare. American soldiers taken prisoner are only supposed to provide their names, ranks, and serial numbers to their captors though in practice many find themselves agreeing with their interrogators or even signing confessions to avoid abuse or obtain better conditions in their prisons.

A number of American prisoners were described as having been “brainwashed” during the Korean War, the expression initially suggesting that they had been subject to psychological conditioning and indoctrination that made them question their loyalties and which subsequently produced episodes of aberrant behavior.

In some cases the psychological conditioning was combined with physical torture, but in most cases not. In nearly all cases the victims later recanted the confessions they provided to their captors, were despondent over what they had done and said while under North Korean and Chinese control, and sometimes had difficulty in readjusting to life in the United States.

Vietnam also produced its own crop of American prisoners of war, numbering perhaps as many as 2,000 when the Paris peace talks started in 1973. One of them was John McCain, now a reliably hawkish Senator from Arizona who has recently visited Syria in an attempt to jump start a new war in the Middle East.

While it is well known that McCain was a captive of the North Vietnamese for more than five years after his plane was shot down while bombing a power plant, considerably less well known is his behavior while a prisoner of war in Hanoi which has long been the object of some speculation due to allegations of possible cooperation with his captors.

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McCain, who was saved from drowning by a Vietnamese civilian and was treated at a Hanoi hospital for his wounds, was the son of the Admiral commanding the Pacific Fleet, so he was what might be referred to as a high value captive for the North Vietnamese regime.

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As such he received considerable attention from his captors, was referred to by his fellow prisoners as the “Crown Prince,” and was, by some accounts, handled with kid gloves.

And his connections may have ensured that he would receive additional high value treatment from the Pentagon upon his return to the U.S., he being awarded an astonishing Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his 22 missions spent bombing mostly civilian targets in North Vietnam.

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McCain’s own tale of his torture and the confession he recorded for the North Vietnamese comes largely from his book Faith of My Fathers, in which he describes his shame at cooperating with the enemy.

But some of McCain’s fellow prisoners, who were tortured and did not collaborate, have challenged his narrative, expressing their belief that McCain was not physically abused at all and that he was well treated. Others who were also in the prison camp dispute that claim.

But by McCain’s own account he may have begun cooperating with the North Vietnamese within three days of his capture and was fully on board within two weeks, providing specific intelligence on his aircraft carrier, its aircraft, and the support vessels attached to it, information that was later featured in North Vietnamese radio broadcasts.

One account that appeared on a wire service entitled “PW Songbird is Pilot Son of Admiral” reported that McCain may have gone beyond an acceptable level of collaboration in assisting the psychological warfare offensives aimed at American servicemen: “The broadcast was beamed to American servicemen in South Vietnam as a part of a propaganda series attempting to counter charges by U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird that American prisoners are being mistreated in North Vietnam.”

Douglas Valentine, in a 2008 article in Counterpunch, describes how “On one occasion, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the top Vietnamese commander and a nationalist celebrity of the time, personally interviewed McCain. His compliance during this command performance was a moment of affirmation for the Vietnamese. His Vietnamese handlers thereafter used him regularly as prop at meetings with foreign delegations.”

It has also been claimed by retired Army Colonel Earl Hopper, admittedly without any corroborating evidence apart from what might be contained in inaccessible Pentagon files, that

“McCain told his North Vietnamese captors, highly classified information, the most important of which was the package routes, which were routes used to bomb North Vietnam. He gave in detail the altitude they were flying, the direction, if they made a turn… he gave them what primary targets the United States was interested in…the information McCain provided allowed the North Vietnamese to adjust their air-defenses. As result…the US lost sixty percent more aircraft and in 1968 [and] called off the bombing of North Vietnam, because of the information McCain had given to them.”

If McCain indeed collaborated beyond the point that might have been understandable for any prisoner seeking to ameliorate his confinement it would be an intriguing tale, particularly if it could be plausibly demonstrated that it might have influenced his subsequent behavior as a senator cheerleading for the Pentagon while simultaneously covering up some of the more disgraceful by products of Vietnam.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sydney Schanberg, who was intrigued by the Vietnam POW issue, began pursuing the McCain story in the late 1980s. Schanberg, a former senior editor at the New York Times, is best known for his coverage of the war in Vietnam and his book The Killing Fields about Cambodia, which was made into an Oscar winning movie.

Schanberg was unable to find a mainstream paper or magazine interested in the story but he eventually completed a feature article on the Senator and the prisoners in Vietnam entitled “McCain and the POW Cover Up,” which first appeared on the website of The Nation Institute in September 18, 2008. The article was later replayed by The American Conservative in its July 2010 edition, together with critical commentary. ALSO SEE: ALSO SEE ALSO SEE: ALSO SEE:

Schanberg makes two key points: first that a number of American prisoners of war were left behind in Indochina in 1973 with the connivance of top levels in the U.S. government and second that John McCain has worked assiduously to obstruct any efforts to open Pentagon files and follow up on leads to determine the status of the POWs and the “missing in action.”

Admittedly, the prisoner of war issue is considerably more complicated than Schanberg represents it to be with many of the sightings and other evidence subject to challenge while his assumption that the Vietnamese were interested in exchanging their remaining prisoners for U.S. financial assistance is also somewhat speculative.

But it appears undeniable based on the statements of senior U.S. government officials cited in the article and accompanying commentary that at least some prisoners were left behind with the full knowledge of and even enablement by the White House and Congress.

Numerous elected and appointed officials subsequently lied to cover up their mendacity. It was a national disgrace, compounded through the fully documented case Schanberg makes for subsequent obstructionism by McCain and a number of other Senators who followed his lead, including current Secretary of State John Kerry, to impede any serious search for the missing in action and POWs.

One might reasonably infer that McCain’s cover up of Vietnam era POW sightings could well have been driven by fear that some released prisoners might have unpleasant things to say about his activities while at Hoa Lo prison.

But as the war is now long over and any remaining prisoners are surely dead, none of this would matter a great deal today realistically speaking except to the remaining POW families.

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But the past does shape the present and character surely does matter, particularly if one wants to become president and have the authority to send American soldiers to their deaths in support of questionable interventionist policies that might be rooted in a psychological need to fix what went wrong in Vietnam.

Though no longer a presidential candidate, John McCain is still a powerful voice in the Senate consistently advocating policies calling for the United States to use military force around the world.

He is a reliable hawk who contrary to all the evidence continues to embrace the Iraq fiasco as if it were an American triumph and who is now the most active senator agitating for direct U.S. military action against Syria and Iran. His recent visit to Syria to demonstrate support for the rebels is, in fact, a violation of the Logan Act which forbids the conduct of foreign policy by anyone outside the executive branch of government.

More troubling perhaps, McCain has consistently and irrationally advocated an undeviating hard line against Russia, the only country with the military capability to confront and destroy much of the United States through its nuclear armed ballistic missile forces.

McCain supports untouchable defense budgets, American Exceptionalism, and a proactive “defense” policy that is a holdover from the George W. Bush years. He constantly flouts his patriotism and war record, which have become essential parts of his political persona, and he might well be reasonably described as the leading advocate of militarism in the United States Senate.

Much of McCain’s chauvinistic bluster might indeed be explained by guilt over his long ago confession to the North Vietnamese, a failing for which he might be making atonement through doubling down to demonstrate his unwavering support of the military.

And there is also a darker side to him, possibly fed by guilt, evident in his frequently observed volcanic temper, which has been sometimes been directed against families of former prisoners who have raised the POW issue. It has been plausibly described as the side of a man who is not at peace with himself.

So who is the real John McCain? A credible case has been made that McCain may have crossed the line and collaborated extensively while a prisoner in North Vietnam. His subsequent actions to block any inquiry into the status of possible POWs have also been examined in some detail and quite reasonably questioned.

Many journalists and former government officials have long been aware of McCain’s possible misrepresentation of his deportment in Hanoi even if the story has not exactly made the front pages.

The Pentagon reportedly has recordings of McCain’s radio broadcasts, which could be released if the Senator allows the Department of Defense to do so. And there would also been an intensive intelligence debriefing after the return to the United States, an unredacted version of which has never been produced.

If the recordings were truly limited to an under duress script fabricated to satisfy McCain’s tormentors, as he states in his book, they would only have reinforced the image of war hero, so it raises the question of why that was not done in 2008 or when McCain made his first run for the presidency in 2000.

The president of the United States has his finger on the nuclear trigger, surely making his mental state and possible betrayal of his comrades while in military service legitimate lines of inquiry. The documents relating to McCain in the Pentagon archives would reveal one way or the other at least some of the truth about the man.

There are a number of possible reasons for the unwillingness within the media and among the public to seek the truth about John McCain, also noted most recently in the broader reluctance to confront the legacy of the war against Iraq on the tenth anniversary of the invasion.

No one likes to reopen old wounds, particularly since both Vietnam and Iraq were wars fought on lies and both are now widely viewed as major policy disasters.

And in post-9/11 America, government secrecy has created a situation in which information can easily be managed to both protect and benefit those in the White House and in Congress while embedded journalists increasingly become part of the story as they integrate seamlessly with policy makers.

This groupthink is largely driven by the intangible beltway consensus about the underlying American myth of “we are the good guys” that the public is inclined to support in an age when the country is falsely and deliberately perceived as drowning in a sea of terrorists and ungrateful foreigners.

Confidence in America’s public institutions can be criticized but must not be seriously damaged so there is a well understood line that must not be crossed.

If one were to read about a war hero Senator who turns out to be considerably less than that and who did his best to block the return of American prisoners it would undermine confidence in government and just might call into question the legitimacy of America’s wars since 1945.

But it is perhaps not too late to take another look at McCain and the post-Vietnam POW issue while many veterans of that conflict are still alive. It might also help to discredit the Senate’s leading warmonger. Either way, it would be a reckoning that is long since overdue.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a contributing editor to The American Conservative and executive director of the Council for the National Interest.


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35132.htm

This article was originally published at Antiwar

See also

McCain crosses paths with rebel kidnapper: U.S. Senator John McCain was photographed with a known affiliate of the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims one year ago, during a brief and highly publicized visit inside Syria this week.

Humor – Family Concerned After John McCain Wanders Into Syria: Members of Sen. John McCain’s family expressed deep concern Tuesday after receiving word that the aging legislator had wandered off into Syria. “Unfortunately, this has been happening a lot lately; he’ll walk out of the Capitol building, get disoriented, and then we get a call late at night saying that John is in Syria,” McCain’s wife Cindy said

Posted in 4th Media, Decline of the American Imperium, Faces of Fascism, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, International Law and Nuremberg Precedents, MIND CONTROL AND PROPAGANDA, Psyops, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

‘THE CULT OF CAPITALISM’:AMERICA BEING LED ASTRAY BY NARCISSISTS (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

The “Cult of Capitalism”: America Is Being Led Astray By Narcissists
FROM 4TH MEDIA
Post Categories: China
Paul B. Farrell | Friday, May 31, 2013, 17:19 Beijing
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Capitalism is now a cult, and Jamie Dimon is the self-appointed leader of the “cult of capitalism.”

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That message is gleaned from a Huffington Post column by Mark Gongloff, whose headline stated that not only is the J.P. Morgan CEO and chairman a cult leader but a “very dangerous” one. Why? Because apparently shareholders have signed “a billion-year contract” to join the cult, notwithstanding portrayals of Dimon as a greedy egomaniac and poster boy for everything wrong with capitalism.

His is a monster of a cult: Warren Buffett is a member. So is CNBC’s Jim Cramer. Says Gongloff, who labels Cramer a “shouty man”: “Cramer joined Warren Buffett and many more VIPs in singing Dimon’s praises and warning of the woe that would befall shareholders” if they split his roles. Still, “the media played along, helping … Dimon keep both of his jobs” as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s chief executive and chairman.

Dimon, meanwhile, was doing what any self-respecting egomaniac under such a threat would do: acting like a petulant teenager and threatening to quit.

Today, reconfirmed as leader of the cult of capitalism, Dimon could serve as the perfect example of what psychologist Ernest Becker wrote about in his Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, “The Denial of Death,” a favorite from my years at Morgan Stanley. Dimon fits the cult-leader profile: charismatic narcissist, uncompromising, manipulating and threatening to his co-conspirators in the “cult of capitalism” and to the masses marching to the drumbeat of his destiny, off another economic cliff, bigger than 2008’s.

The destiny of this cult of capitalism is also driven by historical trends that Dimon cannot see, trends beyond his control, beyond his leadership talents. Why? He is blinded, incapable of seeing the mega-billion-dollar danger Gongloff claims to have spotted dead ahead.

Is the new capitalism is destroying America’s morals?

Earlier, Dimon revealed himself as a doomsdayer with a self-destructive streak. I first wrote of this back in 2011. After Dimon spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the headlines shouted: “Jamie Dimon Worries Financial Regulation Will Doom Banks Forever.” Reports followed: Dimon attacked Dodd-Frank as “the nail in the coffin of big American banks.” Doom? Coffin? No, over the top.

In analyzing this behavior, it does fit the diagnosis in Becker’s “The Denial of Death,” a classic analysis of why America is led by narcissists wired to self-destruct.

We now see what John Bogle call a “mutant” capitalism that no longer resembles Adam Smith’s inspiring economic principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This type of capitalism has turned into an out-of-control virus destroying America’s moral values from within.

Missing is an sense of honor and love of democracy that made me proud as a U.S. Marine sergeant. Missing is a balance of conservative free-market principles with liberal compassion. All that has vanished in the blind ideologies of today’s Ayn Rand clones demanding a return to a world that mimics the Wild West.

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Wall Street narcissists and their blinding ‘denial of death’

When I was first at Morgan Stanley, I read a wide assortment of books, from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and “The Theory of Moral Sentiments” to “Supermoney” and “Powers of Mind.” Becker’s “Denial of Death” still haunts me. It took many readings over the years — plus a Ph.D. in psychology and later work as an interventionist with hundreds of executives, physicians, actors, rock stars, athletes, politicians, royalty and other celebrities — to fully comprehend its power.

Today Becker’s message seems obvious: Wall Street insiders really are their own worst enemies. Once again, as in 2000 and 2008, a million blind insiders are self-destructing.

Instead of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” we now have many hands of narcissistic egomaniacs driving this new cult of capitalism. The philosopher Sam Keen, author of “Hymns to an Unknown God,” wrote a great summary of Becker’s worldview in “Denial of Death.” Here are seven steps in the rise and demise of the cult of capitalism:

1. The world is terrifying, hostile and unsafe

Wall Street insiders, playing with billions, all face the same, deep angst in their souls. An inner war rages every day from birth. This world is “not Disneyland,” says Keen: “Mother Nature is a brutal bitch, red in tooth and claw, who destroys what she creates,” brutishly “tearing others apart with teeth of all types — biting, grinding flesh.” This is our reality from birth until death. Both Hollywood and Wall Street remind us of it every day.

2. Fear of death haunts all humans, creating intense anxieties

The world “out there” is filled with mortal enemies. Our basic human motivation is a “biological need to control our basic anxiety, to deny the terror of death.”

We adapt, enduring the pain of existence in a cruel world, anxious, “helpless, abandoned in a world where we are fated to die.” We live, relates Keen, in “terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression — and with all this yet to die.” Yes, it sounds like an endless summer of Hollywood blockbusters, repeating on an endless loop in our brains.

3. So we invent clever ways to quiet our anxiety, deny our fears

Every day, we try to deny this reality, block the fears from our minds: to survive, raise a family, be productive.

Denial is the “first line of defense that protects us from the painful awareness of our helplessness.” So, writes Keen, “we hide in our phony defense mechanisms” to “feel safe … able to pretend that the world is manageable.” As do all capitalists. “But the price we pay is high,” Keen continues. “We repress our bodies to purchase a soul that time cannot destroy; we sacrifice pleasure to buy immortality,” but “life escapes us while we huddle within our defended fortress.”

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4. Our goal: Escape death, be an immortal hero saving the world

Here’s where the human brain is at its most brilliant, most evident with cult leaders: “Society provides the second line of defense against our natural impotence,” says Keen. For all cultures create “a hero system that allows us to believe we transcend death by participating in something of lasting worth. We achieve ersatz immortality by sacrificing ourselves to conquer an empire, to build a temple, to write a book, to establish a family, to accumulate a fortune, to further progress and prosperity, to create an information-society and global free market.”

And not just individuals but “corporations and nations may be driven by unconscious motives that have little to do with their stated goals.” Each driven by leaders whose unconscious motives have more to do with overcoming their anxieties about death as a hero. In fact, the motivations of leaders “making a killing in business or on the battlefield frequently have less to do with economic need or political reality than with the need for assuring ourselves that we have achieved something of lasting worth,” while, deep inside, they remain our cult leaders, selfish, self-seeking, little narcissistic egomaniacs.

5. Our heroic ventures create enemies, backfire, counterattack

This is the final act for capitalists and for capitalism. As Keen puts it, “our heroic projects aimed at destroying evil have the paradoxical effect of bringing more evil into the world.” America vs. China, Republicans vs Democrats, etc. But the real war is always within us. Each of us projects our inner demons onto the real world. To distract us from our fear of death. And in our denials we convince ourselves we are immortal. In our minds we become as gods. And yet deep inside every hero quest to save the world are buried childhood fears, ancient terrors. And eventually this shadow world turns real, the game backfires, and old fears resurface, fighting back.

6. Our denial-of-death quest creates a blind hero

In Becker’s psychological reality we soon discover that “one of the key concepts for understanding man’s urge to heroism is the idea of narcissism.” Freud “discovered that each of us repeats the tragedy of the mythical Greek Narcissus.” We are “hopelessly absorbed with ourselves.” And 2,500 years of history has “not changed man’s basic narcissism.” In fact, “most of the time … practically everyone is expendable except ourselves.” We are indispensible. Forever. Immortal. We know best, for greed is always good in the cult of capitalism.

7. Escape into enlightenment? Sorry, but it gets worse

You ask: Is there hope for becoming a hero? Happy endings? Solutions? New strategies to get rich in recessions and bear markets? No.

As with Sartre’s existentialism, Becker sees no escape, “no exit” from the human condition — our denial of death, our destiny, our self-inflicted hell.

You’re trapped in a no-win drama: Even if you do get enlightened, your new enlightened state you will suffer a new awareness — that the cult of capitalism continues unenlightened, blind, driven to self-destruct by forces unseen and uncomprehended until it’s too late.

And unfortunately that leaves 300 million Americans trapped in the cult’s drama, where Wall Street’s greedy narcissists are unwittingly sabotaging the economy, lost in their silent conspiracy, controlling the invisible hand, in a costly war that will again lead, as in 2000 and 2008, to the fulfillment of the death wish of the cult of capitalism.

Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWFarrell.

Tags: capitalism death Jamie Dimon Wall Street
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UNDER THE GUISE OF THE ‘BATTLE AGAINST TERRORISM’: THE U.S., BRITAIN AND FRANCE SUPPORT ‘AL QAEDA IN SYRIA’–WHY? (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

Under the Disguise of the “Battle against Terrorism”: The US, Britain and France Support the “Al Qaeda in Syria,” WHY?Post Categories: France

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Phil Greaves | Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:00 Beijing48 viewsComments(1)
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The UK’s intransigence in the EU show’s the West’s true intentions in Syria

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The UK Foreign secretary William Hague, and his French counterpart Lauren Fabius, are leading an isolated charge within the EU to lift a supposed arms embargo to self-described ‘rebels’, hitherto destroying Syria for over two years. Several underlying factors need to be addressed before these diplomatic (some would say military) manoeuvres are put into context.

Firstly, the most obvious issue with allowing the UK and France to freely arm ‘rebels’ of their choosing inside Syria is that this policy is against all international law, and will, as proven already to be the case, continue to vastly exacerbate the growing death toll and displacement in Syria. As the head of arms control at Oxfam noted:

“Transferring more weapons to Syria can only exacerbate a hellish scenario for civilians. If the UK and France are to live up to their own commitments – including those set out in the new arms trade treaty – they simply must not send weapons to Syria.”

Acting under the auspices, or “consultation” of Western intelligence services, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and non-state actors sending thousands of tonnes of arms and funds to extremist militants in Syria; is directly synonymous with both a huge increase in casualty numbers and civilian displacement; and the huge rise and proliferation of extremist militants operating in Syria. This highlights, as previous conflicts in the region have shown; that further Western military intervention is not about to bring peace and harmony to a nation already engulfed in the throes of war (much of which western powers promoted and enabled).

But peace and harmony are not on either France, nor the UK’s list of priorities in the region; removing President Assad and weakening the state of Syria, Iran’s staunch ally, most certainly are. It seems the less Imperial-minded states of the EU, and indeed, those less attached to US militarism and designs for the Middle East, were incensed by Hague and Fabius’ stubborn attempts to stifle the popular opinion within the EU that sending yet more military equipment to a disparate melee of extremist rebels may be of dire consequence. Hague, with his vast intellect, failed to acknowledge this most obvious of pitfalls, and seems more eager than war-mongerer/profiteer US Senator John McCain is to feed into the western public the idea that ‘moderate’, or ‘secular’ minded ‘rebels’ in Syria actually exist.

To quote an equally moral and intelligent Western statesman, the UK is acting on the policy of “unknown unknowns”. Hague et al claim to know of ‘moderate’ and ‘secular’ fighting forces wishing to take up arms against the Syrian Government; yet literally no one in Syria or analysing the conflict from afar is able to find them. As the weapons flow increased and the funds from Gulf donors magnified, it has been the most extreme sectarian elements of militia that have been bolstered by such support, and indeed, further encouraged by Western diplomatic cover and the dutiful Western mainstream media’s glowing appraisals of freedom fighters and ‘rebel’ propaganda.

This has only enabled the Jihaddi/Salafist elements hell-bent on sectarian violence and destruction to gain in recruits and popularity. As in Central America, Afghanistan, Libya, Serbia, Kosovo, etc: these extremist elements form the ‘Shock Troops’ of a Western designed subversion model; used to great effect by Western powers to enable the social and structural destruction of a nation “outside the West’s sphere of influence”, in order to bring about regime change.

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Al-Qaeda offshoots emerge in chaotic environments

Libya, again, provides us with a recent, and very much relevant example of how the UK and France are free to manipulate what are, when first employed, supposedly ‘humanitarian’ measures to fit their own military and Imperial advantage.

When the No Fly Zone resolution over Libya was first passed in the UN, it was designed to enable ‘rebel’ forces in Libya to “protect the civilian population” from air and armour attacks from the Libyan Army.

What ensued almost immediately after the resolution passed was nothing of the sort: the UK and France – under US direction – took it upon themselves, in almost 10,000 airstrike sorties within six months, to not only destroy all of Libya’s meagre air-force and armour, but destroy the vast majority of the infrastructure Gaddafi had built.

This ran alongside a targeted assassination campaign against Gaddafi himself to bring about the desired regime change, which just by chance, also happens to be completely against international law. The results of which were neither in the interest of civilians or humanitarianism. As former MI5 officer Annie Machon put it:

“They’ve had free education, free health, they could study abroad. When they got married they got a certain amount of money. So they were rather the envy of many other citizens of African countries. Now, of course, since NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the infrastructure of their country has been bombed back to the Stone Age,”

This “bombing back to the stone age” is what Imperialist apologists might term: holding down the competition. As previously noted by many a statesman and scholar, the last thing any Western government desires is the self-determination and independence of resource-rich, strategically placed nations.

Furthermore, as candidly revealed by Hague himself, the UK and France’s pressure to lift the embargo is solely designed to pressure the Assad government to meet their demands, stating: (my emphasis)

“[it is] important for Europe to send a clear signal to the Assad regime that it has to negotiate seriously, and that all options remain on the table if it refuses to do so”.

One thing is certain, Hague does not speak for Europe. 25 of the 27 European nations were against the lifting of the embargo. The French and British refusal to accept the popular consensus meant that no decision or required extension of the current embargo could be made, resulting in its expiration.

This in turn allows EU states to act as they please, as Hague said himself, this was the exact outcome the UK was hoping for. Once more, Hague is speaking with no authority, only 16% of the UK population agree to sending arms to ‘rebels’ in Syria: UK democracy in action.

The desired outcome of the lifting of the EU embargo will be increased military support to what the CIA, and NATO aligned governments describe as “vetted moderate” rebel forces. Which for all intents and purposes, simply don’t exist.

The more likely outcome will be to create further reluctance of the Syrian ‘opposition’ elements within the SNC to negotiate with the Assad Government; further encouraging them and the extremist elements on the ground in Syria to continue their futile quest for a military solution.

This policy will embolden extremist rebels fighting the Syrian Army in the hope they are to receive further Western support, with the ultimate desire of Western intervention just around the corner.

As Hague warns of “conflict spread”, which is evidently already occurring in Northern Lebanon, and inextricably linked to increased sectarian strife in Iraq; his Orwellian mindset seems unable to realise that adding more arms to this conflict ridden region will result in anything other than further destabilization.

Surely Western powers cannot uphold this pretence any longer, it is glaringly obvious to many that Western involvement and “concern” over Syria has nothing to do with the civilian population and everything to do with regime change by all means necessary, including the tacit arming, funding and diplomatic support of extremist Al Qaeda affiliated ‘rebels’.

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Furthermore, while the UK was desperate to lift the arms embargo on Syrian ‘rebels’. It was at the forefront of attempts to uphold the crippling economic sanctions put in place against the Syrian Government.

These sanctions, as applied to devastating effect many times before, are again, solely designed to punish the civilian population in attempts to create civil unrest and discord against the Syrian government to bring about regime change, a wholly illegal act in itself. Hague, in another world-class show of diplomatic cognitive dissonance, candidly admitted the failure of these sanctions as a reason to lift the arms embargo, stating: “The EU arms embargo must be lifted because the current economic sanctions regime is ineffective.”

If the economic sanctions aren’t working, yet evidently punishing the civilian population, why is the EU keeping them in place? Simply as a tool to further pressurize the Syrian Government and push the civilian population into chaos, poverty and revolt.

Whilst the UK government declares a “battle against terrorism” on its own soil, its Foreign Policy willfully follows the Western trend of fomenting, arming and supporting the very same ideologues abroad.

All to suit the pernicious Western establishment agenda of economic and military dominance throughout the Greater Middle East and beyond.

Phil Greaves is a UK based writer/analyst, focusing on UK/US Foreign Policy and conflict analysis in the Middle East post WWII. http://notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/

By Phil Greaves, notthemsmdotcom.wordpress.com/

Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/under-the-disguise-of-the-battle-against-terrorism-the-u-s-britain-and-france-support-al-qaeda-in-syria/5336683

Posted in 4th Media, CIA past, CIA Terrorism, Faces of Fascism, FALSE FLAGS, Fascism in America, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, International Law and Nuremberg Precedents, iNTERVIEWS ON CRITICAL ISSUES OF THE TIMES, JSOC and SOC, Meme Warfare and Imperialism, MEMEONOMICS: Economics and EconomistS;: Capitalism and its Theories, MIND CONTROL AND PROPAGANDA, Nuremberg Precedents, Psyops, Social Systems Engineering Campaigns, U.S. Govt and Al Qaeda, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, U.S. Terrorism | Leave a comment

PSYCHOPATHS RULE THE WORLD

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Barack-Obama-applauds-Ton-003Our Assessment: Psychopaths Rule The World

MAY 29, 2013 BY 21 WIRE LEAVE A COMMENT
21st Century Wire says…They often gravitate towards positions of power and wealth…

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The mental health profession is diagnosing millions of people per year with various conditions, but what happens when those same clinical psychologists turn their clipboards towards of politicians, lawyers and CEO’s?

Real scientific psychological profiling has revealed in recent years that much of the so-called ‘leadership’ we the people empower with the right to rule – carry all the traits of a clinically diagnosed psychopath.

All we are left to do is sit back in shock and awe as captains of industry, social engineers and politicians “gaslight” the population into an unnatural state of over-compliance and social mediocrity. Psychopaths will try to make the unacceptable seem normal, the illegal seem legal, and the most horrific acts seem necessary.

They are what’s known as “low empathy individuals”…

Brasscheck TV

The Devaluation of Human Life

They claim to act on our behalf, but they do not answer to us. They kill in the interests of the state, not the people. They rationalize it. They convince themselves of obvious contradictions and shrug it of without the slight bit of irony.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner being hailed as a promoter of unity and peace even as he supports the overthrow and execution of a head of state by terrorists and extremists.

It is a good deal more than hypocrisy, when psychopaths rule the world…

They claim to act on our behalf, but they do not answer to us. They kill in the interests of the state, not the people. They rationalize it. They convince themselves of obvious contradictions and shrug it of without the slight bit of irony.

A Nobel Peace Prize winner being hailed as a promoter of unity and peace even as he supports the overthrow and execution of a head of state by terrorists and extremists.

It is a good deal more than hypocrisy, when psychopaths rule the world…

Related Articles:

Ayn Randists and Psychopathy

Tricks of the Psychopath’s Politician’s Trade

Posted in 4th Media, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, Faces of Fascism, Masters of the Universe, MIND CONTROL AND PROPAGANDA, New World Order, Psychopaths and Sociopaths in Politics, Psychopaths in Management, Psyops, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BUSH’S INVASION OF IRAQ WAS CRIMINAL: OBAMA IS ABOUT TO DO THE SAME THING IN SYRIA

What "Liberation" and "Regime Change" under Imperialism are really about

What “Liberation” and “Regime Change” under Imperialism are really about

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This would be a more appropriate and truthful greeting for new immigrants especially those seeking a quickest path to citizenship via military "service" in the American Imperium using their language and other skills for the Neocon Project of the "New American Century" [of global domination]

This would be a more appropriate and truthful greeting for new immigrants especially those seeking a quickest path to citizenship via military “service” in the American Imperium using their language and other skills for the Neocon Project of the “New American Century” [of global domination]

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Bush’s Invasion of Iraq was Criminal: Obama’s About to Do the Same Thing In Syria
Post Categories: Israel
The Washington’s Blog | Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 21:52 Beijing
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Bush Launched the Iraq War For Oil … Obama Is Launching the Syrian War for Natural Gas

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The former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest ranking military officer in the United States – said that the Iraq war was “based on a series of lies”.
Many high-ranking military officials, top Republican leaders and key architects of the Iraq war said that the war was really about oil. And yet the American people haven’t seen any benefit … top oil economists have said that the Iraq war substantially raised the price of oil.

The American government sold the Iraq war under false pretenses.

Indeed, the American government planned the Iraq war long before 9/11. Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. In 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.” And see this and this. Indeed, neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq 20 years ago.National security experts – including both hawks and doves – agree that waging war against Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries has weakened America’s national security and increased terrorism risks. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

In fact, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until the U.S. invaded in 2003:

Similarly, neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria 20 years ago.

And carrying out acts of violence and blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change – i.e. false flag terror – was discussed over 50 years ago by British and American leaders.And Western governments want regime change in Syria because of gas:

Syria is an integral partof the proposed 1,200km Arab Gas Pipeline:

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Here are some additional graphics courtesy of Adam Curry:

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Syria’s central role in the Arab gas pipeline is … a key to why it is now being targeted.

Just as the Taliban was scheduled for removal after they demanded too much in return for the Unocal pipeline, Syria’s Assad is being targeted because he is not a reliable “player”.

Specifically, Turkey, Israel and their ally the U.S. want an assured flow of gas through Syria, and don’t want a Syrian regime which is not unquestionably loyal to those 3 countries to stand in the way of the pipeline … or which demands too big a cut of the profits.

A deal has also been inked to run a natural gas pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria (with a possible extension to Lebanon).

And a deal to run petroleum from Iraq’s Kirkuk oil field to the Syrian port of Banias has also been approved:

Turkey and Israel would be cut out of these competing pipelines.

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No wonder Turkey and Israel are both launching military strikes against Syria.

On the other hand, Russia’s giant natural gas industry would be threatened if Syria’s current regime is toppled … no wonder Israel and Russia are getting into it over Syria.

And the monarchies in Qatar and Saudi Arabia would also benefit as competitors in the gas market if Syria’s regime is taken out … so they’re backing the “rebels” as well.

And the U.S. is heavily backing backed Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria. (even the New York Times reports that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorists.)

Indeed, the U.S. has been arming the Syrian opposition since 2006.

And the U.S. is now considering imposing a no-fly zone over Syria … which was also the opening move in the wars against Iraq and Libya.

Bush launched the Iraq war under false pretenses … similarly, the war in Syria is really being launched by Obama and natural gas players in the region who want to cut Syria and Russia out of the game.

Postscript: If the corporate media were reporting more accurately on Syria than they did on Iraq, the American people would realize that there is grave doubt about who is most responsible for the violence, and who really used chemical weapons in Syria.

Not that Assad is a saint, but he poses no danger to the United States, and shouldn’t be demonized and turned into a threat to American national security man any more than Saddam Hussein.

The Iraq war will end up with a final price tag of between $5-6 trillion dollars. We simply can’t afford to get involved in another war … especially with Russia and Iran actively aligned against us.

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A related article from The Washington’s Blog

Obama Makes More Empty Promises: Lays Groundwork for Expanded WarfareObama Is a Skilled Speaker … But He Doesn’t Fulfill His Promises
After many liberals – and constitutional experts – started saying that Obama is even worse than Nixon, Obama made a speech on foreign policy filled with soothing promises to try to reassure the country.

But as Glenn Greenwald notes:

McClatchy’s Leslie Clark and Jonathan Landay astutely noted that Obama’s formulation for when drone strikes should be used was broader than past government statements, which meant he “appeared to be laying groundwork for an expansion of the controversial targeted killings“.

The Brookings Institution’s Benjamin Wittes similarly observed that Obama’s speech seemed written to align the president “as publicly as possible with the critics of the positions his administration is taking without undermining his administration’s operational flexibility in actual fact.” In other words, said Wittes (summarizing the vintage Obama rhetorical device), “the president sought to rebuke his own administration for taking the positions it has — but also to make sure that it could continue to do so.” Slate’s national security writer Fred Kaplan observed this morning that “the speech heralded nothing new when it comes to drone strikes.” In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Jeremy Scahill argued this about the Obama speech:

[I]t really is sort of just a rebranding of the Bush era policies with some legalese that is very articulately delivered from our constitutional law professor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning president. But effectively, Obama has declared the world a battlefield and reserves the right to drone bomb countries in pursuit of people against whom we have no direct evidence or who we’re not seeking any indictment against.”

The national security reporter Michael Hastings said much the same thing on MSNBC over the weekend (“That speech to me was essentially agreeing with President Bush and Vice President Cheney that we’re in this neo-conservative paradigm, that we’re at war with a jihadist threat that actually is not a nuisance but the most important threat we’re facing today”), while Carnegie Mellon Professor Kiron Skinner on the same show said that “there was a lot of George W. Bush in that speech“, as Obama spoke as though we are in a “long-term ideological struggle in a way that he’s not talked about radical Islam before . .. where he’s going will take him away from his liberal base.”

Where’s the change?.

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Until die-hard Obama supporters (I voted for Obama in 2008, but quickly became disillusioned as soon as he appointed cabinet members who were firmly in the status quo) realize that Obama is just are packaged Bush, war no matter what it’s called – will go on and on.

WashingtonsBlog
Tags: Bush Iraq Natural Gas Obama

Posted in 4th Media, CIA Terrorism, Decline of the American Imperium, Dialectics, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, Faces of Fascism, FALSE FLAGS, Fascism in America, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, International Law and Nuremberg Precedents, JSOC and SOC, Logic of Capitalism and Imperialism, Mainstream Media (MSM) Shills, Masters of the Universe, Meme Warfare and Imperialism, MEMEONOMICS: Economics and EconomistS;: Capitalism and its Theories, MIND CONTROL AND PROPAGANDA, MSM Mainstream Media Sycophancy, Neoliberalism as Neoimperialism, New World Order, Nuremberg Precedents, Psyops, Social Systems Engineering Campaigns, Theorists and Meme Merchants, U.S. Govt and Al Qaeda, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, U.S. Terrorism | 3 Comments

‘DON’T INTERACT, DON’T TALK, THEY ARE NOT HUMANS’: GITMO GUARD’S BASIC ORDERS

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‘Don’t interact, don’t talk, they are not humans’ – Gitmo guard’s basic orders

FROM RT NEWS

Get short URL Published time: May 22, 2013 03:21
Edited time: May 23, 2013 21:41

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One of the methods used to extract information from Muslim inmates in Guantanamo was to apply sexual interrogation techniques, Terry Holdbrooks, former guard at the camp has told RT.

Such a degradation methods, the former US soldier said, were used on innocent men. Holdbrooks, who wrote a book about GITMO prisoners, claims that it is the inmates’ religious perseverance in the face of pain and humiliation made him convinced that US was not fighting for the right cause.

Follow RT’s day-by-day timeline of the Gitmo hunger strike.

RT: What did you experience at the detention camp that changed you?

Terry Holdbrooks: To be honest with you I would not even know where to begin with that. Initially seeing religion practiced the way that the detainees practice Islam is a really life changing experience in itself. I have not really seen any kind of any serious devotion, the faith like that growing up in the US.

The torture and information extraction methods that we used certainly created a great deal of doubt and questions in my mind to whether or not this was my America. But when I thought about what we were doing there and how we go about doing it, it did not seem like the America I signed up to defend. It did not seem like the America I grew up in, I grew to believe in. And that in itself was a very disillusioning experience. There was a great deal of personal growth that took there as well.

RT: Could you describe the relationship between the guards and detainees at Guantanamo back when you were serving (and how has it changed since then)?

TH: I suppose that if we’re going to take a stroll down the memory lane, Brandon Neely was there first. He was there when it was camp x-ray. It was essentially dog cages, nothing more. It was dog kennels, I suppose you can say. When I was there camp Delta was in full swing. Delta housed about 612 men that would be the general population of the camps.

RT: Were you given any orders as how to treat the inmates?

TH: Our interaction with the detainees was such that we were told not to talk to them, not to treat them as humans, to not engage in conversation with them whatsoever. And the army sort of made a mistake by allowing somebody who is inclined to sociology and to studying people by leaving me with individuals from all over the world unsupervised for eight hours. I was very low in rank so I was delegated all the work, while those who were higher in rank were sitting in the air-conditioned shacks, nurturing their hangovers. So the instructions I was given were simple – don’t interact, don’t talk, they are not humans.

RT: There have been reports of torture and other human rights violations happening at the prison camp. Could you tell us what you saw?

TH: We can begin with experiences I had the pleasure of having. Myself, Eric Sarr and another Guantanamo guard were involved in this. Eric was a linguist and he was working with an interrogator.

We took the detainee into interrogation and throughout the interrogation the interrogator took off her clothing. She essentially gave the detainee a lap dance, tried to arouse him and then let him believe that he had menstrual blood on him. We then took the detainee back to his cell and were told that he was not allowed to have shower privileges nor fresh water for days. The idea behind this being that if he could not clean himself he would not be able to pray, if he could not pray, he could not practice Islam. Essentially it was an idea to break him down spiritually.

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Detainees participate in an early morning prayer session at Camp IV at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base (Reuters / Deborah Gembara)

Omar Khadr and a number of other detainees, I remember hearing just few moments ago Shaker Aamer, they were privileged to something we called the frequent flyer program, where we would essentially move them every two hours. Whether we were moving them from camp Delta to camp Echo or moving them from Bravo block to Charlie block, be it a little move or a big move, the idea is that every two hours they would be moved and they would not be able to sleep. This was essentially to wear down their psyche and make them more probable to give out their information during interrogation.

But what has questioned me ever since I first saw it, it seemed that most of these men were innocent and as numbers are starting to show, we’ve sent over 600 of them home, so they must have been innocent; if we knew that we were purchasing men that were innocent, why were we trying to interrogate innocent men? What were we hoping to get from them?

Some of the tactics I saw practiced in Guantanamo, I just want to never want to relive again and then a great deal of regret takes place and then I did not take the most productive use of some years after Guantanamo. I tried to drown away some of those memories and that is something you cannot do. You have to confront it.

Holdbrooks has written a book, entitled “Traitor?”, to be published in the Summer of 2013

Posted in 4th Media, CIA past, CIA Terrorism, Conspiracy against Rights and under Color of Law, Corruption and Intrigue in Government, Decline of the American Imperium, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, eXTRAORDINARY, EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS, Faces of Fascism, FALSE FLAGS, Fascism in America, GITMO AND TORTURE, IMPERIAL HUBRIS AND INTRIGUE, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, International Law and Nuremberg Precedents, iNTERVIEWS ON CRITICAL ISSUES OF THE TIMES, JSOC and SOC, MIND CONTROL AND PROPAGANDA, New World Order, Nuremberg Precedents, Theorists and Meme Merchants, U.S. Govt and Al Qaeda, U.S. IMPERIAL DECLINE, U.S. Terrorism | Leave a comment

WHO OWNS THE WORLD BY NOAM CHOMSKY: US, ‘THE SECOND MOST DANGEROUS NATION AFTER ISRAEL’, SECRETLY DEPLOYED NUCLEAR MISSILES TO OKINAWA AIMED AT CHINA (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

US, “the second most dangerous nation after Israel,” Secretly Deployed Nuclear Missiles to OKINAWA Aimed at CHINA
Post Categories: Afghanistan
The 4th Media News | Monday, October 29, 2012, 15:06 Beijing
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Who Owns the World?

In a recent speech, Chomsky examined topics largely ignored or glossed over during the presidential campaign: China, the Arab Spring, global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the military threat posed by Israel and the U.S. versus Iran.

He reflects on the Cuban missile crisis, which took place 50 years ago this week and is still referred to as “the most dangerous moment in human history.”

He delivered this talk last month at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst at an event sponsored by the Center for Popular Economics. Chomsky’s talk was entitled “Who Owns the World?”

Posted October 27, 2012

Transcript

NOAM CHOMSKY: When I was thinking about these remarks, I had two topics in mind, couldn’t decide between them—actually pretty obvious ones. One topic is, what are the most important issues that we face? The second topic is, what issues are not being treated seriously—or at all—in the quadrennial frenzy now underway called an election?

But I realized that there’s no problem; it’s not a hard choice: they’re the same topic. And there are reasons for it, which are very significant in themselves. I’d like to return to that in a moment. But first a few words on the background, beginning with the announced title, “Who Owns the World?”

Actually, a good answer to this was given years ago by Adam Smith, someone we’re supposed to worship but not read. He was—a little subversive when you read him sometimes. He was referring to the most powerful country in the world in his day and, of course, the country that interested him, namely, England.

And he pointed out that in England the principal architects of policy are those who own the country: the merchants and manufacturers in his day. And he said they make sure to design policy so that their own interests are most peculiarly attended to. Their interests are served by policy, however grievous the impact on others, including the people of England.

But he was an old-fashioned conservative with moral principles, so he added the victims of England, the victims of the—what he called the “savage injustice of the Europeans,” particularly in India. Well, he had no illusions about the owners, so, to quote him again, “All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” It was true then; it’s true now.

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history.

Britain could only aspire to be its junior partner as the British foreign office ruefully recognized. At that point, 1945, the United States had literally half the world’s wealth, incredible security, controlled the entire Western Hemisphere, both oceans, the opposite sides of both oceans. There’s nothing—there hasn’t ever been anything like that in history.

And planners understood it. Roosevelt’s planners were meeting right through the Second World War, designing the post-war world. They were quite sophisticated about it, and their plans were pretty much implemented.

They wanted to make sure that the United States would control what they called a “grand area,” which would include, routinely, the entire Western Hemisphere, the entire Far East, the former British Empire, which the U.S. would be taking over, and as much of Eurasia as possible—crucially, its commercial and industrial centers in Western Europe.

And within this region, they said, the United States should hold unquestioned power with military and economic supremacy, while ensuring the limitation of any exercise of sovereignty by states that might interfere with these global designs.

And those were pretty realistic plans at the time, given the enormous disparity of power. The U.S. had been by far the richest country in the world even before the Second World War, although it wasn’t—was not yet the major global actor.

During the Second World War, the United States gained enormously. Industrial production almost quadrupled, got us out of depression. Meanwhile, industrial rivals were devastated or seriously weakened. So that was an unbelievable system of power.

Actually, the policies that were outlined then still hold. You can read them in government pronouncements. But the capacity to implement them has significantly declined. Actually there’s a major theme now in foreign policy discussion—you know, journals and so on. The theme is called “American decline.”

So, for example, in the most prestigious establishment international relations journal, Foreign Affairs, a couple of months ago, there was an issue which had on the front cover in big bold letters, “Is America Over?” question mark.

That’s announcing the theme of the issue. And there is a standard corollary to this: power is shifting to the west, to China and India, the rising world powers, which are going to be the hegemonic states of the future.

Actually, I think the decline—the decline is quite real, but some serious qualifications are in order. First of all, the corollary is highly unlikely, at least in the foreseeable future.

China and India are very poor countries. Just take a look at, say, the human development index of the United Nations: they’re way down there. China is around 90th. I think India is around 120th or so, last time I looked.

And they have tremendous internal problems—demographic problems, extreme poverty, hopeless inequality, ecological problems. China is a great manufacturing center, but it’s actually mostly an assembly plant.

So it assembles parts and components, high technology that comes from the surrounding industrial—more advanced industrial centers—Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Europe—and it basically assembles them.

So, if, say, you buy one of these i-things—you know, an iPad from China—that’s called an export from China, but the parts and components and technology come from outside. And the value added in China is minuscule. It’s been calculated. They’ll move up the technology ladder, but it’s a hard climb, India even harder.

Well, so I think one should be skeptical about the corollary.

But there’s another qualification that’s more serious. The decline is real, but it’s not new. It’s been going on since 1945. In fact, it happened very quickly. In the late 1940s, there’s an event that’s known here as “the loss of China.”

China became independent. That’s a loss of a huge piece of the grand area of Asia. And it became a major issue in American domestic policy. Who’s responsible for the loss of China?

A lot of recriminations and so on. Actually, the phrase is kind of interesting. Like, I can’t lose your computer, right? Because I don’t own it. I can lose my computer.

Well, the phrase “loss of China” kind of presupposes a deeply held principle of kind of American elite consciousness: we own the world, and if some piece of it becomes independent, we’ve lost it.

And that’s a terrible loss; we’ve got to do something about it. It’s never questioned, which is interesting in itself.

Well, right about the same time, around 1950, concerns developed about the loss of Southeast Asia. That’s what led the United States into the Indochina wars, the worst atrocities of the post-war period—partly lost, partly not.

A very significant event in modern history was in 1965, when in Indonesia, which was the main concern—that’s the country of Southeast Asia with most of the wealth and resources—there was a military coup in Indonesia, Suharto coup.

It led to an extraordinary massacre, what the New York Times called a “staggering mass slaughter.” It killed hundreds of thousands of people, mostly landless peasants; destroyed the only mass political party; and opened the country up to Western exploitation.

Euphoria in the West was so enormous that it couldn’t be contained. So, in the New York Times, describing the “staggering mass slaughter,” it called it a “gleam of light in Asia.” That was the column written by James Reston, the leading liberal thinker in the Times.

And the same elsewhere—Europe, Australia. It was a fantastic event.

Years later, McGeorge Bundy, who was the national security adviser for Kennedy and Johnson, in retrospect, he pointed out that it probably would have been a good idea to end the Vietnam War at that point, to pull out.

Contrary to a lot of illusions, the Vietnam War was fought primarily to ensure that an independent Vietnam would not develop successfully and become a model for other countries in the region.

It would not—to borrow Henry Kissinger’s terminology speaking about Chile, we have to prevent what they called the—what he called the “virus” of independent development from spreading contagion elsewhere.

That’s a critical part of American foreign policy since the Second World War—Britain, France, others to a lesser degree. And by 1965, that was over. Vietnam was—South Vietnam was virtually destroyed.

Word spread to the rest of Indochina it wasn’t going to be a model for anyone, and the contagion was contained.

There were—the Suharto regime made sure that Indonesia wouldn’t be infected. And pretty soon the U.S. had dictatorships in every country of the region—Marcos on the Philippines, a dictatorship in Thailand, Chun in South—Park in South Korea. It was no problem about the infection.

So that would have been a good time to end the Vietnam War, he felt. Well, that’s Southeast Asia.

But the decline continues. In the last 10 years, there’s been a very important event: the loss of South America. For the first time in 500 years, the South—since the conquistadors, the South American countries have begun to move towards independence and a degree of integration.

The typical structure of one of the South American countries was a tiny, very rich, Westernized elite, often white, or mostly white, and a huge mass of horrible poverty, countries separated from one another, oriented to—each oriented towards its—you know, either Europe or, more recently, the United States.

Last 10 years, that’s been overcome, significantly—beginning to integrate, the prerequisite for independence, even beginning to face some of their horrendous internal problems.

Now that’s the loss of South America. One sign is that the United States has been driven out of every single military base in South America. We’re trying to restore a few, but right now there are none.

AMY GOODMAN: MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. Coming up, he discusses global warming, nuclear war and the Arab Spring, in a minute.

NOAM CHOMSKYJcr7f1J-xALkXsMR_V3iEDl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ

AMY GOODMAN: We’re on the road in Portland, Oregon, part of our 100-city tour. Today, though, we’re spending the hour with world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author, MIT Professor Noam Chomsky. As Election Day comes closer, Chomsky examines topics largely ignored or glossed over during the presidential campaign, including the threat posed to U.S. power by the Arab Spring.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, moving on to just last year, the Arab Spring is another such threat. It threatens to take that big region out of the grand area. That’s a lot more significant than Southeast Asia or South America.

You go back to the 1940s, the State Department recognized that the energy resources of the Middle East are what they called “one of the greatest material prizes in world history,” a spectacular source of strategic power; if we can control Middle East energy, we can control the world.

Take a look at the U.S-British coup in Iran in 1953. Very important event. Its shadows cast over the world until today.

Now that was—it was a pretense that it was a part of the Cold War; it had nothing to do with the Cold War. What it had to do with was the usual fear: independent nationalism.

And it wasn’t even concerned with access to oil or profits. It was concerned with control, control of the oil resources of Iran and, in fact, of the region.

And that’s a theme that runs right through policy decisions. It’s not discussed much, but it’s very important to have control, exactly as State Department pointed out—advisers pointed out in the ’40s. If you can control the oil, you can control most of the world.

And that goes on.

So far, the threat of the Arab Spring has been pretty well contained. In the oil dictatorships, which are the most important ones for the West, every effort to join the Arab Spring has just been crushed by force.

Saudi Arabia was so extreme that when there was an effort to go out into the streets, the security presence was so enormous that people were even afraid to go out.

There’s a little discussion of what goes on in Bahrain, where it’s been crushed, but eastern Saudi Arabia was much worse. The emirates totally control. So that’s OK. We managed to ensure that the threat of democracy would be smashed in the most important places.

Egypt is an interesting case. It’s an important country, not an oil producer—it is a small one. But in Egypt, the United States followed a standard operating procedure. If any of you are going into the diplomatic service, you might as well learn it.

There’s a standard procedure when one of your favorite dictators gets into trouble.

First, you support him as long as possible. But if it becomes really impossible—say, the army turns against him—then you send him out to pasture and get the intellectual class to issue ringing declarations about your love of democracy, and then try to restore the old system as much as possible.

There’s case after case of that—Somoza in Nicaragua, Duvalier in Haiti, Marcos in the Philippines, Chun in South Korea, Mobutu in the Congo, over and over. I mean, it takes genius not to see it.

And it’s exactly what was done in Egypt and what France tried to do, not quite with as much success, in Tunisia.

Well, the future is uncertain, but the threat of democracy so far is contained. And it’s a real threat. I’ll return to that. It’s also to—important to recognize that the decline over the past 50 years is, to a significant extent, self-inflicted, particularly since the ’70s. I’ll go back to that, too.

But first let me say a couple of things about the issues that are most important today and that are being ignored or not dealt seriously—dealt with seriously in the electoral campaigns, for good reasons. So let me start with the most important issues.

Now there are two of these. They’re of overwhelming significance, because the fate of the species depends on them. One is environmental disaster, and the other is nuclear war.

I’m not going to take much time reviewing the threats of environmental disaster. Actually, they’re on the front pages almost daily. So, for example, last week the New York Times had a front-page story with the headline, “Ending Its Summer Melt, Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Low That Leads to Warnings.”

The melting this summer was far faster than was predicted by the sophisticated computer models and the most recent United Nations report. It’s now predicted that the summer ice might be gone by 2020. It was assumed before that it may be 2050.

They quoted scientists who said this is “a prime example of the built-in conservatism of [our] climate forecasts.

As dire [the warnings are] about the long-term consequences of heat-trapping emissions … many of [us] fear [that] they may still be underestimating the speed and severity of the impending changes.”

Actually, there’s a climate change study program at MIT, where I am. They’ve been warning about this for years, and repeatedly have been proven right.

The Times report discusses, briefly, the severe attack—the severe impact of all of this on the global climate, and it adds, “But governments have not responded to the change with any greater urgency about limiting greenhouse emissions.

To the contrary, their main response has been to plan for exploitation of newly accessible minerals in the Arctic, including drilling for more oil.”

That is, to accelerate the catastrophe.

It’s quite interesting. It demonstrates an extraordinary willingness to sacrifice the lives of our children and grandchildren for short-term gain, or perhaps an equally remarkable willingness to shut our eyes so as not to see impending peril—these things you sometimes find with young infants: something looks dangerous, close my eyes and won’t look at it.

Well, there is another possibility. I mean, maybe humans are somehow trying to fulfill a prediction of great American biologist who died recently, Ernst Mayr. He argued years ago that intelligence seems to be a lethal mutation. He—and he had some pretty good evidence.

There’s a notion of biological success, which is how many of you are there around. You know, that’s biological success. And he pointed out that if you look at the tens of billions of species in human—in world history, the ones that are very successful are the ones that mutate very quickly, like bacteria, or the ones that have a fixed ecological niche, like beetles.

They seem to make out fine. But as you move up the scale of what we call intelligence, success declines steadily.

When you get up to mammals, it’s very low. There are very few of them around. I mean, there’s a lot of cows; it’s only because we domesticate them.

When you get to humans, it’s the same. ‘Til very recently, much too recent a time to show up in any evolutionary accounting, humans were very scattered.

There were plenty of other hominids, but they disappeared, probably because humans exterminated them, but nobody knows for sure.

Anyhow, maybe we’re trying to show that humans just fit into the general pattern. We can exterminate ourselves, too, the rest of the world with us, and we’re hell bent on it right now.

Well, let’s turn to the elections. Both political parties demand that we make the problem worse. In 2008, both party platforms devoted some space to how the government should address climate change. Today, the—in the Republican platform, the issue has essentially disappeared.

But the platform does demand that Congress take quick action to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. So let’s make sure to make it worse.

And it also demands that we open the Alaska’s Arctic Refuge to drilling—I’m quoting now—in order to take “advantage of all of our American God-given resources.”

You can’t disobey God, after all. On environmental policy, the program says, “We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research.”

All that’s a code word for climate science: stop funding climate science. Romney himself says there’s no scientific consensus, so we should support more debate and investigation within the scientific community, but no action, except to act to make the problems worse.

Well, what about the Democrats? They concede that there’s a problem and advocate that we should work toward an agreement to set emissions limits in unison with other emerging powers.

But that’s it. No action.

And, in fact, as Obama has emphasized, we have to work hard to gain what he calls a hundred years of energy independence by exploiting domestic or Canadian resources by fracking or other elaborate technologies.

Doesn’t ask what the world would look like in a hundred years. So, there are differences. The differences are basically about how enthusiastically the lemmings should march towards the cliff.

Let’s turn to the second major issue: nuclear war. That’s also on the front pages daily, but in a way that would seem outlandish to some independent observer viewing what’s going on on earth, and in fact does seem outlandish to a considerable majority of the countries of the world.

Now, the current threat, not for the first time, is in the Middle East, focusing on Iran. The general picture in the West is very clear: it’s far too dangerous to allow Iran to reach what’s called “nuclear capability.”

That is, the capability enjoyed by many powers, dozens of them, to produce nuclear weapons if they decide to do so.

As to whether they’ve decided, U.S. intelligence says it doesn’t know. The International Atomic Energy Agency just produced its most recent report a couple weeks ago, and it concludes—I’ll quote it: it cannot demonstrate “the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

Now, that is, it can’t demonstrate something which cannot—a condition that can’t be satisfied.

There’s no way to demonstrate the absence of the work—that’s convenient—therefore Iran must be denied the right to enrich uranium, that’s guaranteed to every power that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Well, that’s the picture in the West. That’s not the picture in the rest of the world.

As you know, I’m sure, there was just a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement—that’s large majority of the countries in the world and representing most of the world’s population—a meeting in Tehran.

And once again, not for the first time, they issued a ringing declaration of support for Iran’s right to enrich uranium, right that every country has that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pretty much the same is true in the Arab world. It’s interesting. I’ll return to that in a moment.

There is a basic reason for the concern. It was expressed succinctly by General Lee Butler. He’s the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command, which controls nuclear weapons and nuclear strategy.

He wrote that “It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East,” one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which may inspire other nations to do so.

General Butler, however, was not referring to Iran; he was referring to Israel, the country that ranks highest in European polls as the most dangerous country in the world—right above Iran—and, not incidentally, in the Arab world, where the public regard the United States as the second most dangerous country, right after Israel.

In the Arab world, Iran, though disliked, ranks far lower as a threat—among the populations, that is, not the dictatorships.

With regard to Iranian nuclear weapons, nobody wants them to have them, but in many polls, majorities, sometimes considerable majorities, have said that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons, to balance those of their major threats.

Now, there’s a lot of commentary in the Western media, in journals, about Arab attitudes towards Iran.

And what you read, commonly, is that the Arabs want decisive action against Iran, which is true of the dictators. It’s not true of the populations.

But who cares about the populations, what are called, disparagingly, the Arab street? We don’t care about them.

Now that’s a reflection of the extremely deep contempt for democracy among Western elites—I mean, so deep that it can’t be perceived.

You know, it’s just kind of like reflexive.

The study of popular attitudes in the Arab world—and there is very extensive study by Western polling agencies—it reveals very quickly why the U.S. and its allies are so concerned about the threat of democracy and are doing what they can to prevent it.

Just take—they certainly don’t want attitudes like those I just indicated to become policy, while of course issuing rousing statements about our passionate dedication to democracy. Those are relayed obediently by reporters and commentators.

Well, unlike Iran, Israel refuses to allow inspections at all, refuses to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has hundreds of nuclear weapons, has advanced delivery systems.

Also, it has a long record of violence and repression. It has annexed and settled conquered territories illegally, in violation of Security Council orders, and many acts of aggression—five times against Lebanon alone, no credible pretext.

In the New York Times yesterday, you can read that the Golan Heights are disputed territory, the Syrian Golan Heights. There is a U.N. Security Council resolution, 497, which is unanimous, declaring Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights illegal and demanding that it be rescinded.

And in fact, it’s disputed only in Israel and in the New York Times, which in fact is reflecting actual U.S. policy, not formal U.S. policy.

Iran has a record of aggression. too. In the last several hundred years, it has invaded and conquered a couple of Arab islands. Now that was under the Shah, U.S.-imposed dictator with U.S. support.

That’s actually the only case in several hundred years.

Meanwhile, the severe threats of attack continue—you’ve just been hearing them at the U.N.—from the United States, but particularly Israel.

Now there is a reaction to this at the highest level in the United States.

Leon Panetta, secretary of defense, he said that we don’t want to attack Iran, we hope that Israel won’t attack Iran, but Israel is a sovereign country, and they have to make their own decisions about what they’ll do.

You might ask what the reaction would be if you reverse the cast of characters.

And those of you who have antiquarian interests might remember that there’s a document called the United Nations Charter, the foundation of modern international law, which bars the threat or use of force in international affairs.

Now, there are two rogue states—United States and Israel—for whom—which regard the Charter and international law as just a boring irrelevance, so, do what they like.

And that’s accepted.

Well, these are not just words; there is an ongoing war, includes terrorism, assassination of nuclear scientists, includes economic war. U.S. threats—not international ones—U.S. threats have cut Iran out of the international financial system.

Western military analysts identify what they call “weapons of finance” as acts of war that justify violent response—when they’re directed against us, that is.

Cutting Iran out of global financial markets is different.

The United States is openly carrying out extensive cyber war against Iran. That’s praised.

The Pentagon regards cyber war as an equivalent to an armed attack, which justifies military response, but that’s of course when it’s directed against us.

The leading liberal figure in the State Department, Harold Koh—he’s the top State Department legal adviser—he says that cyber war is an act of war if it results in significant destruction—like the attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities.

And such acts, he says, justify force in self-defense. But, of course, he means only attacks against the United States or its clients.

Well, Israel’s lethal armory, which is enormous, includes advanced submarines, recently provided by Germany.

These are capable of carrying Israel’s nuclear-tipped missiles, and these are sure to be deployed in the Persian Gulf or nearby if Israel proceeds with its plans to bomb Iran or, more likely, I suspect, to try to set up conditions in which the United States will do so.

And the United States, of course, has a vast array of nuclear weapons all over the world, but surrounding the region, from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, including enough firepower in the Persian Gulf to destroy most of the world.

Another story that’s in the news right now is the Israeli bombing of the Iraqi reactor in Osirak, which is suggested as a model for Israeli bombing of Iran.

It’s rarely mentioned, however, that the bombing of the Osirak reactor didn’t end Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. It initiated it. There was no program before it.

And the Osirak reactor was not capable of producing uranium for nuclear weapons. But, of course, after the bombings, Saddam immediately turned to developing a nuclear weapons program.

And if Iran is bombed, it’s almost certain to proceed just as Saddam Hussein did after the Osirak bombing.

AMY GOODMAN: MIT professor and author, Noam Chomsky, continues in a moment. If you’d like a copy of today’s show, you can go to our website at democracynow.org. Professor Chomsky will next look at nuclear weapons race, as this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, often referred to as “the most dangerous moment in human history.” Back in a moment.

NOAM CHOMSKYJcr7f1J-xALkXsMR_V3iEDl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJ

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. We’re on a 100-city tour, today in Portland, Oregon. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our hour today with world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author, and professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Noam Chomsky. His recent talk entitled “Who Owns the World?”

NOAM CHOMSKY: In a few weeks, we’ll be commemorating the 50th anniversary of “the most dangerous moment in human history.” Now, those are the words of historian, Kennedy adviser, Arthur Schlesinger.

He was referring, of course, to the October 1962 missile crisis, “the most dangerous moment in human history.”

Others agree. Now, at that time, Kennedy raised the nuclear alert to the second-highest level, just short of launching weapons. He authorized NATO aircraft, with Turkish or other pilots, to take off, fly to Moscow and drop bombs, setting off a likely nuclear conflagration.

At the peak of the missile crisis, Kennedy estimated the probability of nuclear war at perhaps 50 percent. It’s a war that would destroy the Northern Hemisphere, President Eisenhower had warned.

And facing that risk, Kennedy refused to agree publicly to an offer by Kruschev to end the crisis by simultaneous withdrawal of Russian missiles from Cuba and U.S. missiles from Turkey. These were obsolete missiles. They were already being replaced by invulnerable Polaris submarines.

But it was felt necessary to firmly establish the principle that Russia has no right to have any offensive weapons anywhere beyond the borders of the U.S.S.R., even to defend an ally against U.S. attack.

That’s now recognized to be the prime reason for deploying missiles there, and actually a plausible one.

Meanwhile, the United States must retain the right to have them all over the world, targeting Russia or China or any other enemy. In fact, in 1962, the United—we just recently learned, the United States had just secretly deployed nuclear missiles to Okinawa aimed at China.

That was a moment of elevated regional tensions.

All of that is very consistent with grand area conceptions, the ones I mentioned that were developed by Roosevelt’s planners.

Well, fortunately, in 1962, Kruschev backed down. But the world can’t be assured of such sanity forever.

And particularly threatening, in my view, is that intellectual opinion, and even scholarship, hail Kennedy’s behavior as his finest hour.

My own view is it’s one of the worst moments in history.

Inability to face the truth about ourselves is all too common a feature of the intellectual culture, also personal life, has ominous implications.

Well, 10 years later, in 1973, during the Israel-Arab War, Henry Kissinger called a high-level nuclear alert.

The purpose was to warn the Russians to keep hands off while he was—so we’ve recently learned—he was secretly informing Israel that they were authorized to violate the ceasefire that had been imposed jointly by the U.S. and Russia.

When Reagan came into office a couple of years later, the United States launched operations probing Russian defenses, flying in to Russia to probe defenses, and simulating air and naval attacks, meanwhile placing Pershing missiles in Germany that had a five-minute flight time to Russian targets.

They were providing what the CIA called a “super-sudden first strike” capability.

The Russians, not surprisingly, were deeply concerned.

Actually, that led to a major war scare in 1983. There have been hundreds of cases when human intervention aborted a first-strike launch just minutes before launch.

Now, that’s after automated systems gave false alarms.

We don’t have Russian records, but there’s no doubt that their systems are far more accident-prone. Actually, it’s a near miracle that nuclear war has been avoided so far.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war several times, and the crises that led to that, especially Kashmir, remain.

Both India and Pakistan have refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, along with Israel, and both of them have received U.S. support for development of their nuclear weapons programs, actually, until today, in the case of India, which is now a U.S. ally.

War threats in the Middle East, which could become reality very soon, once again escalate the dangers.

Well, fortunately, there’s a way out of this, a simple way. There’s a way to mitigate, maybe end, whatever threat Iran is alleged to pose. Very simple: move towards establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.

Now, the opportunity is coming again this December. There’s an international conference scheduled to deal with this proposal. It has overwhelming international support, including, incidentally, a majority of the population in Israel. That’s fortunately.

Unfortunately, it’s blocked by the United States and Israel.

A couple of days ago, Israel announced that it’s not going to participate, and it won’t consider the matter until there’s a general regional peace.

Obama takes the same stand. He also insists that any agreement must exclude Israel and even must exclude calls for other nations—meaning the U.S.—to provide information about Israeli nuclear activities.

The United States and Israel can delay regional peace indefinitely. They’ve been doing that for 35 years on Israel-Palestine, virtual international isolation. It’s a long, important story that I don’t have time to go into here.

So, therefore, there’s no hope for an easy way to end what the West regards as the most severe current crisis—no way unless there’s large-scale public pressure.

But there can’t be large-scale public pressure unless people at least know about it.

And the media have done a stellar job in averting that danger: nothing reported about the conference or about any of the background, no discussion, apart from specialist arms control journals where you can read about it.

So, that blocks the easy way to end the worst existing crisis, unless people somehow find a way to break through this.

AMY GOODMAN: MIT Professor Noam Chomsky spoke on September 27th of this year at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. His talk was entitled “Who Owns the World?”

Democracy Now

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UNDER EMPIRE ALL LIFE IS EMPERILED: CAPITALISM’S COLONIZATION OF THE LIFE WORLD (FROM 4TH MEDIA)

Under Empire, All Life is IMPERILED: Capitalism’s COLONIZATION of the Life-World
Post Categories: France

JAVIER SETHNESS CASTRO / The 4th Media News | Saturday, May 25, 2013, 14:37 Beijing
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“After the catastrophes that have happened, and in view of the catastrophes to come, it would be cynical to say that a plan for a better world is manifested in history and unites it.” – Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics

Channeling Adorno, it would I think prove difficult today to characterize the prevailing world-situation as anything other than highly negative. Such an interpretation is arguably seen most readily in reflection on environmental matters—specifically, the ever-worsening climate emergency, not to mention other worrying signs of the ecological devastation wrought by the capitalist system.

Perhaps a short summary of key recent findings on the state of the environment is here in order. Less than two weeks ago, the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawai’i confirmed that the average global carbon dioxide concentration had reached 400 parts per million (ppm)—more than 50 ppm higher than James Hansen and the eponymous 350.org movement claim to be a safe level, and approximately 120 ppm higher than pre-industrial (or pre-capitalist) concentrations.

According to the Guardian,such CO2 concentrations have not been seen on Earth for the last 3-5 million years, during the Pliocene geological era, which saw an ice-free Arctic, savannahs in northern Africa (where currently the Sahara resides), and sea levels between 25 and 40 meters higher than those which obtain today.

In Professor Andrew Glikson’s estimation, the annual rise of 3 ppm in atmospheric CO2 seen last year (2012-2013) is entirely unprecedented during the past 65 million years; as he writes, “regular river flow conditions such as allowed cultivation and along river valleys since about 7000 years ago, and temperate Mediterranean-type climates allowing extensive farming, could hardly exist under the intense hydrological cycle and heat wave conditions of the Pliocene.”

This should hardly be surprising, given that such atmospheric CO2 levels as those we suffer today have never been seen in the entire history (and prehistory) of Homo sapiens sapiens, though our ancestral Homo habilis arguably did endure them.

Indeed, the Earth’s current average global temperature—a slightly different matter than the atmospheric CO2level, given lags in the latter’s contribution to the former, in addition to the masking effect of aerosols (SO2 et al.) emitted by industry—has recently been found to surpass 90% of all average global temperatures experienced since the emergence of agriculture some 12,000 years ago—and hence also of “civilization.”

Arguably most worrying is Nafeez Ahmad’s recent citation of a 2011 Science paper which projects that, given the current, unprecedented rate of increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, global average temperatures could rise a full 16°C by the end of the century—that is to say, nearly three times the worst-case scenario considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2007 report (a 6°C increase).

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Such considerations are no doubt horrific; they are nonetheless reality.

Some other truths manifested of late that can be associated with these trends include the following climatological news and reports:

the 260,000 persons, half of them young children, who the UN recently announced to have perished during the 2011 famine in Somalia, itself catalyzed by the region’s worst drought in the past 7 decades;

the hundreds of millions who Lord Stern has recently reported can soon be expected to be forcibly displaced from their homelands due to unchecked global warming;

the millions who will face starvation in Africa and Asia as agriculture withers under unprecedented heat;

the numerous people of Bangladesh who are losing access to freshwater as rising sea levels cause saltwater to intrude into aquifers, or the millions of Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Burmese, and Rohingya threatened by cyclones like Mahasen;

the innumerable species, plant and animal, that face destruction and extinction under the projected average global temperature increases promised by climate catastrophe… The nauseating list goes on indefinitely.

Consideration of these problematics is the focus of my Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe, published a year ago now by AK Press in collaboration with the Institute for Anarchist Studies.

Strangely enough, this one-year anniversary of publication is, unlike the case with more joyous occasions, hardly one to be celebrated, for the problems considered within the volume unsurprisingly have only worsened over that time, in keeping with the laws of physics and chemistry.

I would nonetheless continue to vouch for the work’s conclusions: its “diagnosis, prognosis, and remedies,” as mentioned in the preface by my editor Paul Messersmith-Glavin, stem from a social anarchist, anti-systemic perspective on the ecological crisis that I believe to be rational and helpful—insofar as such standards have a place today within political and environmental thought, as I should hope they might.

In structural terms, it should be clear to all honest observers that the climate crisis is the result of the dominance of the capitalist mode of production over the entirety of planet Earth; basing itself fundamentally on ceaseless expansion, the imperatives of capital profoundly contradict the modes of living—cooperative and competitive—observed throughout the world’s various ecosystems.

Capital’s “grow-or-die” maxim resembles that of the cancer cell or a deadly virus more than it does human, animal, or plant life, as theorists from Murray Bookchin to John McMurtry have rightly noted.

As against liberal analyses, then, the State has proved itself to be a mere facilitator of capital’s ecocidal project: consider Obama’s recent profession of enthusiasm for the “development” of the substantial hydrocarbon resources that are believed to reside below the Arctic ice cap, once capitalism has melted that away entirely.

In this vein, David Schwartman is right to cite Michael Klare in his formulation of the U.S. military as constituting the “oil protection service” of transnational capital: imperialism’s long and sordid history of accommodation with its autocratic Gulf petrol-enablers—and its various intrigues and interventions targeting those, from Mossadegh to Qadhafi, who might seek alternative uses of such resources—is well-known. Recall the Iraq War.

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So we cannot look to the State for meaningful assistance in the struggle to overturn the trends which are delivering humanity and Earth’s systems into ruin—as John Holloway notes rightly, the State is “their organization,” referring to the capitalist class. What of the putative non-governmental organizations which espouse environmental concerns?

Clearly, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and company rightly merit the label of “Gang Green,” in light of their toxic incrementalism and their related willingness to accommodate the very structures which are perpetuating environmental destruction.

Similarly, Cory Morningstar has recently written a legitimate denunciation of Bill McKibben and 350.org on these pages, declaring McKibben’s world-famous yet entirely reformist and thus inadequate organization to represent little more than the “soma of the 21st century,” given its papering over of any critique of capitalism, productivism, militarism, or imperialism.

Essentially, then, what we are faced with is the omnicidal steamroll of the capitalist machine as oiled by the world’s rich and their State, and then the anemic responses from the official “opposition” which has taken it upon itself to attempt to resolve the various environmental crises by doing essentially nothing of substance to achieve those ends.

Thankfully, of course, the story does not end there. Humanity, as I write in the penultimate paragraph of Imperiled Life, cannot be reduced to the forms of capital and the State; these “do not have the final word.” We are, then, on a desperate search for radical groupings among the subordinated, or l@s de abajo (“those from below”).

In strategic terms, it would seem that generally to diffuse anti-systemic ecological analyses—assuming these be tied together with humanistic, emancipatory concern for social oppression—remains a crucial task at the present juncture: the counter-hegemonic war of position today retains all of its relevance!

As should be self-evident, of course, efforts seeking merely to “raise consciousness” and metaphorically arm the populace with critical perspectives on the present multi-dimensional crisis should hardly be taken as the end of organizing; rather, such should serve as means to the “happy end” (Ernst Bloch) of a world freed from capitalist and State control, and the attendant looming risk of climate apocalypse. How these two trends might inter-relate—and whether we can even theoretically hope that they will, this late in the game—is the question on everyone’s minds (or, at least, it should be).

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As Allan Stoekl closes his recent review of Adrian Parr’s The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics, summing up the struggle to achieve a post-capitalist ecological society: “But how to get from here to there?” The question is a burning one. In this vein, we can turn to Max Horkheimer’s obvious yet crucial point that “[t]he revolution is no good” insofar as it “is not victorious.”[1]

Horkheimer is right: it would indeed seem problematic for thought merely to appeal to airy philosophical abstractions amidst the decidedly pressing matter of capital’s destruction of the world—to speak of the promise of the Hegelian Geist, say, or the inevitable triumph of the proletariat, as managed by an enlightened Leninist vanguard—but I would argue that Hannah Arendt’s conception of natality could prove particularly useful at the present moment.

As I understand, she first introduces this idea at the close of her Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), when she counterposes the possibilities of birth to inherited tradition and history, particularly of the imperialist and fascist varieties: “With each new birth, a new beginning is born into the world, a new world has potentially come into being […]. Freedom as an inner capacity of [humanity] is identical with the capacity to begin.”[2]

Arendt expands upon these fragmentary comments on interruption and beginning in her 1958 magnus opus The Human Condition. Largely repudiating the repressive, fatalistic philosophy of her former mentor Martin Heidegger, she writes the following:

“If left to themselves, human affairs can only follow the law of mortality, which is the most certain and the only reliable law of a life spent between birth and death. It is the faculty of action that interferes with this law because it interrupts the inexorable automatic course of daily life, which in its turn, as we saw, interrupted and interfered with the cycle of the biological life process. The life span of man [sic] running toward death would inevitably carry everything human to ruin and destruction if it were not for the faculty of interrupting it and beginning something new, a faculty which is inherent in action like an ever-present reminder that [humans], though they must die, are not born in order to die but in order to begin. Yet just as, from the standpoint of nature, the rectilinear movement of [humanity]‘s life-span between birth and death looks like a peculiar deviation from the common natural rule of cyclical movement, thus action, seen from the viewpoint of the automatic processes which seem to determine the course of the world, looks like a miracle […]. The miracle that saves the world, the realm of human affairs, from its normal, ‘natural’ ruin is ultimately the fact of natality, in which the faculty of action is ontologically rooted. It is, in other words, the birth of new [people] and the new beginning, the action they are capable of by virtue of being born. Only the full experience of this capacity can bestow upon human affairs faith and hope.”[3]

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This hope for new beginnings—essentially, for a multiplicity of interventions which, à la Albert Camus and his Rebel, assert to power that it has transgressed vital bright lines, and hence cannot be allowed to continue on its path of destruction (“thus far, and no further”)—accords well with Walter Benjamin’s vision of a “leap into the open sky of history,” or Adorno’s contemplation of “a praxis which could explode the infamous continuum.”[4]

Each of us likely has similar visions, whether waking or unconscious—“fuck the police,” “world peace,” “fire to Babylon,” “there is no planet B.” It is crucial that we somehow coalesce these anti-systemic passions into a generalized movement to overthrow the totalitarian systems that degrade and abuse humanity and, in a most final sense, threaten to destroy future human generations as well as much of the rest of life—millions of species—on the only planetary system that we know is amenable to its emergence and evolution. Hope today, then, is not passivity and sedation (as with religion) but rather radical struggle (as in revolution).

While there indeed have been positive signs in the past few years in the direction of the development of what dissident historian George Katsiaficas terms a “global people’s uprising,” clearly such developments have met with distressing limitations, many of them indeed emanating from constituted power—think of the police’s dismantling of the Occupy/Decolonize encampments in the U.S., or the various imperial manipulations of and interventions against the numerous uprisings in the Arab-majority world.

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The preferred approach, in my view, remains what György Lukács saw as a “mass rising on behalf of reason,” an idea he took from the 500 million signatures to the 1950 Stockholm Agreement calling for unconditional nuclear disarmament—a tradition we have seen well-illustrated throughout the streets and squares of much of the world in recent memory.[5]

The point, in sum—as well as the hope—is to radicalize and intensify these encouraging social strides from below against the system, to help along the birth of the new—or, as Bloch termed it, the “Not-Yet.” It is past time to sound the tocsin, whether physically like Jean Paul Marat did to defend the Great French Revolution, or musically like Dmitriy Shostakovich did in defense of the memory and future promise of the 1905 Russian Revolution (as well as other revolutions).

The alarm must be continuous, not so that we grow accustomed to it, but rather so that we never lose sight of the substantial tasks with which we are confronted today, and the anarchist means by which we would most likely best respond to these.

Positively and concretely, I would here reiterate some of the proposals for action made by my comrade Cristian Guerrero nearly a year ago in the run-up to planned counter-protests against the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, México: agitation, indignation, mobilization, direct action, occupation, blockade of capital, popular assembly.

Particularly promising, I would say, is the Industrial Workers of the World’s new conception of the ecological general strike, whereby environmental sanity is to be achieved through the disruption of capitalism’s colonization of the life-world and its replacement with participatory economic models.

Javier Sethness Castro is author of Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe and For a Free Nature: Critical Theory, Social Ecology, and Post-Developmentalism. His essays and articles have appeared in Truthout, Climate and Capitalism, Dissident Voice, MRZine, Countercurrents, and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. He is currently working on writing a political and intellectual biography of Herbert Marcuse.


http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/24/under-empire-all-life-is-imperiled/

[1] Max Horkheimer, Dawn and Decline: Notes, 1926-1931 and 1959-1969, trans. Michael Shaw (New York: Seabury Press, 1978), 39.

[2] Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (San Diego: Harvest, 1968 [1951]), 465, 473.

[3] Ibid, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958), 246-7.

[4] Theodor W. Adorno, Prisms (trans. Samuel and Shierry Weber, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1967), 117.

[5] György Lukács, The Destruction of Reason (Torfaen, Wales: Merlin Press, 1980), 850.

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