Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Attack: Winners and Losers

Winner: Charlie Hebdo

A tawdry, nasty magazine that existed to poke people in the eyes with adolescent ridicule, it clung to existence. Now it’s sold 5 million copies of its latest issue (it usually sells 30,000-60,000 copies), thanks to the solidarity of the French public in the wake of the attack. It’s even selling copies in other countries in other languages. Another 2 million copies on the way. (Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of Americans turning out into the street in the wake of an attack on some little U.S. publication? Well, if you have a very wild imagination, I guess you could.) Plus donations of money are pouring in. So to make a completely cold calculus, in a way this is by far the best thing that ever happened to Charlie Hebdo.

Loser: Charlie Hebdo

Obviously. Ten staff members shot dead, including the chief editor. 

Winner: Islamofascism

Islamofascism both generally, and specifically the Yemeni branch, which claims responsibility for the attack. This inflates their image and attraction to potential jihadists, acting as a recruitment magnet and inspirational example to martyr-wannabes.

Loser: Islamofascism
Of course this provokes a violent military reaction against them, and a repressive police reaction. It also galvanizes Western public opinion in support of the “war on terrorism” and its attendant military campaigns and increased domestic repression.

Winner: Secret police agencies

They get more power of course, and more money. (Already France has announced plans to spend an additional $425 million euros over the next several years for “counterterrorism” and police equipment. There will be more police, more secret police, more prosecutors, more judges, more jailers.

Loser: 

NOT the French secret police, although they SHOULD have egg on their faces for allowing the attack to occur. These two losers were known terrorists. The excuse has been planted in the media that “it takes 20 police to surveil one person around the clock.” Oh, make that 30 police, they also said. This is nonsense, of course. It may take a large number to physically follow someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with different teams so the target doesn’t spot the tails, but this is hardly necessary to keep someone under very close watch. In the U.S., mere dissidents have hidden microphones and tiny cameras planted in their homes. All their mail is read, all their email and phone messages are surreptitiously seized and stored and monitored. I’m sure the French have the same technology. The French could have had an informer befriend these guys. (Which they may have- it’s very possible that the French secret police deliberately allowd the attack on Charlie Hebdo, precisely to get a big increase in their budget and power. Charlie Hebdo, after all, was a thorn in the side of the French establishment anyway, so it hardly would have bothered them if a bunch of the staff there were killed.)

And the French police reap sympathy over the murders of three police (two in the Charlie Hebdo attack, and a policewoman murdered by the third terrorist who attacked the Jewish Kosher market, killing four hostages before being killed by the police). (The French government is showing its belated concern for its defenders by announcing plans to buy all the cops bullet-resistant vests.)

Winner: Breast-beating politicians

They climbed on their soapboxes en masse, scores of them standing shoulder to shoulder “in solidarity with France” against terror and for free speech. Including ones that are fountains of terror, like Saudi Arabia, and that tolerate NO free speech, like, well, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Arabia just sentenced a blogger to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes, to be administered  before a mob of gawkers in a sado-masochistic spectacle. His crime was criticizing the regime. His lawyer got 15 years for daring to defend him. I mean “insulting the judiciary.”)

Winner: Claptrap ideology

We were told incessantly by the various propaganda systems of Western nations that this was all about “free speech,” a “value” allegedly held near and dear by Western power structures. (The reality is quite different, of course, as countless thousands of examples make clear). But no matter. The occasion of the attack on Charlie Hebdo provided a golden opportunity to administer another booster shot of this mendacious propaganda to the publics immersed in Western propaganda systems.  

Loser: Actual free speech

In the days following the attacks, France arrested 54 people for various speech “crimes,” such as saying favorable things about the terrorists. There will be more of that. In recent years the U.S. has already sentenced two people to prison terms of 17 and 12 years, respectively, for speech crimes.

Winner: Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy of the rankest sort, actually. People who wage war on journalists, like Obama, Netanyahu, and numerous other “world leaders” (country bosses) got to pose as stalwart Defender Knights of Free Speech. (Israel has a decades-long policy of closing down Palestinian media outlets and imprisoning and murdering Palestinian journalists, as they just did again in their third assault in six years on the Gaza concentration camp.)

Loser: Honesty and moral clarity

And finally, it’s worth repeating…

Winner: “World Leaders” (country bosses) who beat their chests in faux righteous moral indignation and got to pose as guardians of free speech (when in fact virtually all of them are enemies of free speech and oppressors of dissidents).

Losers: The people ruled by these venal political cynics. We who are all subject to ever-increasing repression in the name of “fighting terrorism” and, with no irony intended, “defending our values.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

They’ll Stop Jabbering About Obama’s State of the Union Address By Tomorrow



There’s an annual political ritual in the U.S. called the State of the Union Address. The president delivers a speech ghostwritten by a staff of speechwriters which is calculated to the nth degree. Every single word is parsed in advance for the political effect it might have. 

For a day or two leading up the Big Speech, and the evening and day after, the U.S. political Jabberariat flap their tongues nonstop about the alleged meaning of the speech. It’s like listening to baseball fanatics dissect a game play-by-play. Much ado about almost nothing. Like baseball fans, they are totally engrossed in this nearly meaningless event.

The professional political propaganda establishment media members seems oblivious to the fact that the vast majority of Americans have no interest in this ritual and could not tell you one single thing any president said in any such speech the day after. (I challenge the system’s pollsters to test this, without prompting those they poll. Just ask “can you name something the president said in his State of the Union speech last night? What was it?” I’ll bet money less than 10% could name a single specific.)

There is no reason to take anything Obama says seriously. He is a known con man and serial prevaricator. Even more than most politicians, every word out of his mouth is designed to manipulate, not honestly communicate. The only time you can believe him is when he’s promising to do something evil.

His speech hit on the usual “populist” tropes the Democratic Party trots out from time to time, posing as fierce advocates for the middle class and low-wage workers (while behind the backs of those struggling masses they work assiduously for the interests of their corporate masters and high finance). Recall that upon taking office Obama immediately appointed Wall Street’s men in the key power positions, venal conspirators like Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, Rahm Emanuel, and their ilk. Obama raised more money from the barons of high finance than any politician in history in 2008.
Obama presented a sort of political wish-list. The only things that will pass the GOP-controlled Congress are the bad ones, like a call for a disguised declaration of war against ISIS (the nihilistic terrorist “Islamic State” and self-declared caliphate) and passage of yet another anti-worker “free trade” treaty.

Obama is a habitually insincere man with a years-long history of making false promises and proclamations. (Search “Obama” in the search box for this page next to the orange symbol and you’ll find plenty of examples.) He also has a penchant for talking out of both sides of his mouth at once. Here he is in 2009, answering a question about possible prosecutions for Bush-era torture.

“Nobody is above the law. And if there are clear instances of wrongdoing, that people should be prosecuted, just like any ordinary citizen. But that generally speaking, I am more interested in looking forward than I am in looking backwards.”

Of course Obama is obligated under the Torture Convention treaty that the U.S. signed and ratified to prosecute American government torturers. [1]

Ralph Nader incisively and succinctly exposed much of the bogusness in Obama’s latest blather in an interview on Democracy Now. Host Amy Goodman posed a question on “the whole issue of tax cuts and taxing the rich?” Nader replied:

Well, he was too vague on that. What he should have done is said that Ronald Reagan supported capital gains and dividend taxes like ordinary income, so there wasn’t this split where the rich get lower tax on their capital gains or dividend. And he didn’t tie in any idea of revenues for the public works program that he touted.

You know, Amy, State of the Union speeches are signaling presentations. They signal by what they say, how they say it and what they don’t say. And on that criteria, it wasn’t a very coherent speech. He stressed civil liberties and never mentioned what he’s going to do about the renewal of the notorious PATRIOT Act provisions. He said that there should be more oil and gas production, and then he warned about climate change. He said there should be strengthening unions and voices of workers, and then he took it away with the Trans-Pacific trade agreement, which exports jobs, and he wants to ram through Congress a voiceless fast track that prohibits amendments and labor from having a role in that deliberation.

And he didn’t even mention the hundreds of billions of dollars of commercial fraud on Medicare and Medicaid and patients in the private sector—hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate crime he never mentioned. He could have done a convergence with the Republicans on auditing the Pentagon, which sounds dull, but it’s a huge issue that the rank and file on both sides support, in contrast to the leadership in Congress. He could have easily converged, because as senator, Senator Obama teamed up with Senator Coburn, the Republican, to put the full text of hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate contracts online, so competitors, taxpayers, the media, the academia can analyze and prune the huge waste, fraud and corruption.

Also notice that he said again, "Close down Gitmo." We’ve heard that song before. Again, he didn’t mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all.

And I think what is most troubling is what he avoided saying, like he desperately needs funding for his programs, like day care and so on. And he didn’t mention the squeeze on the IRS budget by the Republicans, so the IRS now cannot begin to collect what they say is $300 billion of evaded taxes every year. That’s $300 billion of evaded taxes, not avoided taxes, which David Cay Johnston will be talking about.

So, I think he missed a lot of opportunities. And it was not specific enough. It was not coherent enough. And he could have gone for more convergence with the Republicans, as I point out in great detail in my book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Coalition to Dismantle the Corporate State.” [2]

Well, that’s a bit na├»ve at the end. Missed opportunities? That’s like saying Hitler missed opportunities to make peace. Obama’s ends aren’t Nader’s. One shouldn’t be fooled by Pied Pipers and con men.

 

2]Ralph Nader on What was Missing in President Obama’s State of the Union Address,” Jan. 21, 2015.

Monday, January 19, 2015

“Remembering” Martin Luther King, Jr., While Forgetting Who Murdered Him

Namely the CIA, and a U.S. military sniper, aided and abetted in the conspiracy by the FBI and Memphis Police, and by the U.S. corporate media, both before the fact (by hostile propaganda against King, especially after he came out publicly against the U.S.’ genocidal war in Indochina) and after the fact, by assiduously hewing to the fanciful cover story about the assassination.

Shamefully, “left-wing” media are participating in this never-ending cover-up and Bodyguard of Lies that protect the guilty institutions and individuals.  They too are silent on the assassination. Meanwhile the establishment smothers history in gauzy, kitschy, treacly sentimentality. Their murder victim has been turned into a plaster saint.

As to the murderers: some of the guilty are dead. Like the notorious FBI secret police boss J. Edgar Hoover,  Richard Helms,the CIA boss at the time, and president Lyndon Johnson, who either is guilty of ordering or permitting the murder, or if he was kept in the dark, guilty of criminal negligence and dereliction of duty for not properly overseeing and controlling the agencies which he was legally in charge of and was supposed to command.

Another thing that won’t be remembered today is how Katherine Graham’s Washington Post planted the kiss of death on King a year before his liquidation with a scathing editorial attack on him for daring to voice his opposition to the criminal Vietnam War.

By the time this pest was eliminated, King had three strikes against him. The movement against the dehumanization and vicious repression of African-Americans was despised by the U.S. ruling class. Bad enough that King was a galvanizing leader of that movement. Then he started denouncing the vicious U.S. war against Vietnam. Topping it off, King became an important voice for workers’ rights. A stirring orator, the prospect of this troublesome “rabble-rouser” bringing together three streams of opposition to establishment power (civil rights, anti-war, and labor activism) was a fearful nightmare to the reactionary rulers of America.

Little wonder that Hoover publicly branded King “the most dangerous man in America.” From the perspective of the gangster U.S. rulers, that was probably accurate. Reason enough for them to murder him. As with the disposal of the Kennedy brothers, the hit was a job for the CIA, specialists in “termination with extreme prejudice,” to quote their sinister euphemism, of major public figures, domestic and foreign.

The U.S. media and politicians and various tame house leftists also won’t be “remembering” that today.

King was in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting striking city sanitation workers (who just coincidentally were black) who were savagely exploited by the racist Southern city government when the CIA did the evil deed. Under capitalist law, the strike was “illegal,” and the workers were forbidden from unionizing. Meaning they had NO RECOURSE but to withhold their labor as leverage to get humane treatment and a half-decent wage. Even more desperate workers were hired as scabs.

King called for a general strike just weeks before assassination. No doubt this helped motivate the gangster U.S. state to kill him ASAP for this “crime” of trying to foment “class warfare.”
After bumping King off, the U.S. power system finds him useful as an icon and symbol for preaching non-violence to the victims of their repression and exploitation. Better these international gangsters should practice non-violence themselves. Their violence is a thousandfold that of their victims, inside and outside the empire’s homeland.

Notes: Tavis Smiley just wrote an illuminating book about the forces arrayed against King. [Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year.] One important revelation is how hostile the black elites were to King. And 55% of blacks were anti-King before his death (75% of whites were). King was politically isolated, making him a ripe target for state assassination.

A telling bit of evidence about the assassination itself that has been buried concerns the fall-guy James Earl Ray. When Ray was captured, he had identification documents in the names of four different Canadian men who physically resembled him. The media didn’t dig much into how this petty criminal lowlife managed to obtain them. Some years later Rolling Stone spoke to the retired resident CIA officer in Canada, who related how he was given an assignment to obtain these false documents (without being told what their purpose was- compartmentalization and need to know are critical elements of deep state criminal conspiracies). More (ignored) evidence of CIA guilt that I haven’t seen mentioned again.

As for the Memphis sanitation strike, the local rulers refused the slightest concessions. Local newspapers viciously attacked the workers for voting to unionize.  The Memphis city council double-crossed the workers, after promising to hold hearings, instead voted to support the Mayor and scurried out of their meeting. The Mayor then unleashed the thugs- aka “police”- to gas and club the striking sanitationmen.

The strike was precipitated by the accidental deaths of two of the workers. With no insurance, no compensation, and no death benefits, their families were left destitute. American capitalism, especially in its racist manifestations, is nothing if not ruthless.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Requiem For A Political Con Man: Mario Cuomo Dies

A lie is being perpetuated even unto death. The Big Lie that Mario Cuomo, former 3-term New York State Governor (and father of current NYS governor Andrew Cuomo) was a "liberal." Make that Liberal, the way the establishment tells it.

To be sure, Cuomo the Elder spouted "liberal" (according to the U.S. definition) rhetoric. But as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And actions are what people (and nations too) should be judged by.

Mario Cuomo's only lasting accomplishment as governor was building more prisons and increasing the inmate population of New York State. He did not ease the draconian Rockefeller drug laws. He had a horrible environmental record. For example, he was utterly passive about General Electric's refusal to clean up its massive pollution of the Hudson River with PCBs. He did nothing for poor people. (In fact he helped imprison many more of them, as mentioned.) He was no friend of tenants.

Apparently the sole substantive basis for labeling him "liberal" was his opposition to the death penalty (which NY State doesn't have), which he and his media chorus spun as somehow courageous. As if no other politicians are against it, especially in the "liberal" northeast of the U.S. [1]

Cuomo was an unctuous, pseudo-philosophical politician with an inflated sense of himself. He liked to play the philosopher-king and lecture us peons in high-handed fashion. He enjoyed teasing people about whether he would run for president, even whether he would accept an appointment to the Supreme Court from Bill Clinton. In both cases, he punked out.

I was on to Cuomo from the first time I ever heard his blather. Oh, he delivers a fine speech. And naive or credulous people can swallow it hook, line and sinker. But Cuomo was always a political fixer. He first made himself useful to the power structure by pouring calming oil on racial conflict. He's a master at holding his cards close to his chest.

Then we had a Cuomo copycat burst onto the scene in 2004- a hustler named Barack Obama. Remember that 2004 Democratic Convention Speech? It was pure Cuomoism. Just full of phony Democratic Party rhetoric. Sure enough, Obama proved to be a phony through and through who lied about every good thing he promised. (I was never taken in and never voted for him. I was baffled by the millions of stooges who were hypnotized by this con artist merely intoning the words "Hope" and "Change." Who knew a hypnotic trance could be so easily induced?)

Now we have to put up with revolting propaganda apotheosizing Mario "Maximum Unction" Cuomo.
The New York Times put his death on top of the front page January 2nd, with a posed photo of Cuomo aping the Rodin sculpture The Thinker, his chin on one hand, the other hand gripping his knee, looking off into the distance oh-so-thoughtfully. The background is all black, and the photographer artfully lit Cuomo's face so he looks like the subject of a Dutch masters' portrait. (The photo is 20 years old, by the way.)

The title of the article, suitable for carving on a grand mausoleum, repeats the Big Lie: "Governor, Governor's Father And an Eloquent Liberal Beacon." (A Pied Piper would be more like it, misleading people into a dead end. Which is a recurring crime of the Democratic Party.) I'll just quote the first paragraph in its entirety, which pretty well captures the hagiographic, press release nature of the article:

"Mario M. Cuomo, the three-term governor of New York who commanded the attention of the country [did he really? Bullshit.] with a compelling public presence, a forceful defense of liberalism [only in the abstract, rhetorically, and even his rhetoric was often centrist or conservative- he loved having things both ways] and his exhaustive ruminations about whether to run for president, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82."

Well, "compelling" is like beauty, I suppose. It's in the eye of the beholder.

The author of this dreck is the reliably noxious Adam Nagourney.

The NY Times wasn't alone is releasing a flock of propagandist angels to accompany the Great Man on his ascent to Bourgeois Heaven. The main New York City "public" radio station, WNYC, treated his death like the passing of a Pope.

Even the BBC got in on the act, claiming Cuomo had "strong liberal views." Really? Only if you think being against the death penalty is somehow "leftist." Why is that a left-right issue? (In fact the death penalty was the only evidence the BBC adduced for its claim of Cuomo having liberal views.)
If mass incarceration is "conservative," which I think there is common agreement it is, then Cuomo was a conservative, not a liberal.

"Speak not ill of the dead," those offended by this essay might say. Oh? So I can't criticize Adolf Hitler either? People are not entitled to more respect just because they no longer exist. In fact, one could argue the opposite. You might want to spare their feelings while they're alive. If one cannot speak honestly at long last after they're dead, then when?

1] Cuomo's opposition to the death penalty was in fealty to Catholic Church dogma, which links opposition to the death penalty with opposition to abortion, in what the Church bosses call a "seamless" moral web. However they never threaten pro-death penalty politicians with excommunication (getting kicked out of their church) or denial of communion (some stupid religious ritual) as they do to pro-abortion rights politicians. On the abortion issue, Cuomo was very clever. He was "personally opposed" to it, but "supported" the law in New York State making it legal. In other words, he was against it, but wouldn't try to stop women from being able to get abortions. So he could have his cake and eat it too, politically. But that's morally defensible in terms of "not imposing one's beliefs on others."

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mandatory Grieving For Two Dead Cops In New York City (And Shut Up About Police Murders of Black Men)

That's the order of the day for the time being in NYC. According to Mayor Bill deBlasio and all media, EVERYONE in New York is stricken by grief at the killing of two policemen in their car two days ago by a "madman" who came from Baltimore to avenge (so he said in Internet postings) the police killings (murders, actually) of Eric Garner on July 17th (choked to death on Staten Island by Officer Daniel Panteleo) and of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, August 9th.

The Mayor demanded that all protests against police brutality and continual unpunished murders by police be suspended while funerals are held for the dead officers and their families grieve. (As grieving can last years, that could be awhile.)

And yet the boss of the police patrolmen's union, Patrick Lynch (an appropriate name for this character) angrily blamed the Mayor for the assassinations of the two officers, saying "many people have blood on their hands" "starting with" the Mayor's office. Not merely an absurd, demagogic claim, one that threatens to politically destabilize the city by putting police into open rebellion against city government, but a classic example of reactionary inversion of reality and psychological projection. In fact, "many" have the blood of Eric Garner (and other victims of New York police murders) on their hands, namely all the police who support killer cops, and the prosecutors' offices and courts and politicians.

Eric Garner's daughter spoke out in support of the slain officers, a generosity of spirit that is the diametrical opposite of the fascistic, violent Lynch and his followers.

The family of Michael Brown has also condemned the killings of the NY policemen.

So far, no police or their families have condemned the murders of Brown and Garner- or of the numerous other people murdered by police, EVER. (And I'm not implying that all police homicides are murders. Clearly there are circumstances in which police use of deadly force is justified.)

Lynch's cops have taken to turning their back on deBlasio when he visits wounded officers in hospital. Lynch called on police families to tell the Mayor he wasn't welcome at the funerals of slain officers. Earlier this month he had a form distributed to his union members to fill out saying if they were killed, they didn't want deBlasio to come to their funeral.

Lynch squarely blames the protests against the recent police murders for the act of a mentally unbalanced man. (The killer has a history of mental illness, and shot her ex-girlfriend in Baltimore before coming to New York to kill the cops. His girlfriend wasn't killed and she alerted police, who found threats to kill cops online by the killer, Ismaaiyl Brinsley.)

Worse, deBlasio's police commissioner, William Bratton, also blamed the killings of the two cops on the protests. Well, that's what deBlasio gets for appointing Bratton, a professional oppressor.

Apparently the police require the Mayor to applaud the murders of black men by police in order to merit their support, or at least not attacks. But deBlasio has supported the police- just not so far as to alienate large segments of the population.

Here's the anodyne statement deBlasio issued after the Staten Island District Attorney finished engineering the clean bill of health for killer cop Daniel Panteleo:

“His death was a terrible tragedy that no family should have to endure. This is a subject that is never far from my family’s minds — or our hearts. And Eric Garner’s death put a spotlight on police-community relations and civil rights — some of most critical issues our nation faces today…Today’s outcome is one that many in our city did not want. Yet New York City owns a proud and powerful tradition of expressing ourselves through non-violent protest. We trust that those unhappy with today’s grand jury decision will make their views known in the same peaceful, constructive way. We all agree that demonstrations and free speech are valuable contributions to debate, and that violence and disorder are not only wrong — but hurt the critically important goals we are trying to achieve together.” New York Mayor DeBlasio, Dec. 3rd.

Notice, no hint that the non-indictment was wrong, no call for reinvestigation, special prosecutor, firing the cop, putting him on modified duty- just telling everyone sure, we'll let you march around, make sure YOU don't get violent. Later, trying to discourage more protests, it was announced that some cops would start wearing cameras. (An insult, given that the murder of Garner was recorded by a bystander with a cellphone, so the issue isn't a lack of video. That person, for his troubles, was later arrested by the police, as were his girlfriend, and both have been subjected to constant police harassment and intimidation, meaning the police are committing additional crimes of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.)

The only mayor in recent years the NYPD has liked was Rudolph Giuliani. Every time the police committed an outrageous murder, Giuliani would verbally piss on the still warm body of the victim by publicly excoriating the dead as scum.

The truth is, American police are only willing to submit to the authority of reactionary political bosses. Otherwise they are attack dogs not on any leash. This is similar to the situation on the national level, where secret police agencies and the military only submit to presidential authority if the president basically lets them do what they want. (In the worst case scenario, they will kill the president if he tries too hard to pull them in a direction they don't want to go, as happened in 1963.)

As with the GOP, there can be no compromising with Lynch and his goons, because they demand that everyone support them completely, including supporting their murders. They will not give an inch. Under former Mayor David Dinkins in fact the police were almost in open rebellion. (Giuliani, during his second campaign for Mayor in which he unseated the black Dinkins, incited a police riot on the steps of City Hall.)

This is what fascists do when they aren't in complete control. They attack established authority in order to supplant it.

The killing of the two cops couldn't have come at a better time for the NYPD and its political and media supporters to mount a counteroffensive against the grassroots demand for reform. [1]

There will be no reform. People are going to have more brutality and police murders shoved down their throats.

As the Chinese curse goes, May you live in interesting times. Indeed these are scary times.

1]  Just prior to the killings, Bratton and his gang ginned up a phony "attack" on police by protesters. The video that allegedly shows the "attack" only shows cops and demonstrators harmlessly tussling. Yet the media took this as "evidence" for the "assault" and joined in with the police in a hunt for the culprits. A lawyer observer was even accused of assault (just like in China, criminalize lawyers with the "wrong" clients).

Friday, December 19, 2014

Which Nation Will The U.S.-Saudi Oil Price Offensive Destabilize First;? Russia, Venezuela, Or Iran?

Answer: None of the above.

It will be Nigeria.

Rather ironic, that, since the U.S. doesn’t want to overthrow the Nigerian government, like it does those other three. 

Of those four nations, the Nigerian regime is the least stable and most threatened internally by far. It is also the most corrupt, inept, and feckless.

75% of Nigerian government revenue is from oil. The free-fall in oil prices, partially engineered by Saudi Arabia as a favor to their U.S. partners in crimes, is wreaking havoc on the Nigerian “government’s” budget. And this at a time when Boko Haram goes from triumph to triumph and the Nigerian army is ineffectual and reliant on civilian vigilantes to check the Islamofascist terrorists. Not a great time for belt-tightening.

Will the U.S. end up facing yet another front in its “War On Terror,” in addition to Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Kenya? (It left Mali to the French, mostly.) The danger is far from trivial. But hey, it’ll be another country Obama can add to his drone target list! (Too bad it’ll be virtually impossible to locate valid targets. Notice the U.S. and other foreign intel and military personnel have been unable to find those hundreds of schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped months ago for their harem and slave trade.)

Of course, the Nigerian government may survive. But it is the most vulnerable of the nations hard-hit by the steep fall in the price of oil. (Crude oil has fallen about 50% in the past six months.)

If Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa (its population is larger than Russia’s), does disintegrate, I guess the U.S. will brush it off as “collateral damage” in its economic warfare. Just another innocent bystander victim trampled underfoot by the Righteous Imperialist Superpower, America, as it pursues its “interests.”

Being the World’s Only Superpower means never having to say you’re sorry.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obama Extorts Concessions From Cuba in Return for a U.S. Embassy in Havana: Give That Man Another Nobel Peace Prize!

Obama cut a deal with Cuban president Raul Castro. It's considered quite a big deal, but it only seems that way because U.S. policy towards Cuba has been locked in ice for over 50 years so any movement seems radical.

There's a lot less here than meets the eye.

Many people have the false impression that the trade embargo on Cuba has been lifted. NOT SO. In the words of the U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR, Obama is “relaxing trade and travel restrictions.” Relaxing them, not removing them. [1]

Obama is allowing some bank connections so Americans going to Cuba can use their credit cards there. And there will be a slight trickle of trade allowed.

It's said that Obama “can't” lift the trade embargo. Congress wrote laws enforcing an embargo, with criminal penalties, and only Congress “can” lift the embargo, through legislation. The president can change the regulations regarding the embargo.

But the reason I put “can't” in quotes is because Bush the Younger, by executive fiat, overrode U.S. anti-torture law and the anti-torture treaty the U.S. signed and ratified and was legally obligated to observe. So how come one president can overrule laws and even treaties by executive fiat, and another one can't? (And treaties have a higher status than laws passed by Congress in the U.S. as they have the status of the U.S. Constitution itself, which is “the supreme law of the land.”

The answer is, Because it Depends. It depends on power. In the U.S., the power structure is overwhelmingly reactionary. So Bush can “authorize” torture.

Obama can assassinate people at will, but can't override an embargo. You see how very little “law” has to do with it, contrary to the elaborate political Kabuki dances that are typically performed with much arguing about what's legal and what isn't. [2]

And there was a prisoner swap. The U.S. is getting back its undercover agent Alan Gross. Gross was sent by USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to smuggle in communications equipment so people in Cuba could covertly communicate outside Cuba via the Internet. Turns out he'd done about a half dozen such missions before getting caught. USAID has been caught running several CIA-type operations in Cuba, including setting up a fraudulent twitter-type service. Gross was sentenced to 15 years but Cuba agreed to release him immediately after he's served a mere five years of his sentence. (The U.S. sentenced one of the Cuban counter-terrorism officers to two life sentences, one not being enough.) 

The U.S. refused to swap the Cuban counter-terrorism officers it has imprisoned in the U.S. (the “Cuban Five,” 3 of whom were still in prison) whom Obama churlishly characterized as enemy spies in his announcement of the Cuba deal, for Gross. It insists Gross was sneaking around doing humanitarian work- covertly. So Cuba had to agree to the fiction that Gross was being released on “humanitarian” grounds. (The same reason the    Sandinista government of Nicaragua used when it freed terror pilot Eugene Hasenfus, who was shot down flying a resupply plane to the contra terrorists. Hasenfus should have been executed. If he'd been committing acts of terror against the U.S., like the Boston Marathon bombers, for example, he'd be executed, maybe after being tortured first.)

The U.S. has stubbornly refused for years to exchange Gross for its anti-terrorist prisoners. To win the release of their counter-terrorism officers who had infiltrated exile fascist terror groups in Miami, the Cubans had to release a “U.S. agent,” whom Obama hailed as a hero, the worst kind of traitor, a Cuban intelligence agent who provided information to the U.S. on the counter-terrorism operation in Miami. This man worked to aid and abet terrorist attacks on his own country. Maybe driving a hard bargain with Cuba over freezing brave counter-terror officers is Obama's way of compensating for trading five top Taliban terrorist leaders to get back a U.S. Army deserter Sergeant, Beau Bergdahl. That was some sweet deal for the Afghan Taliban!

The other Big Deal Breakthrough is the U.S. is going to plant one of its spy and subversion nests right in Havana: The U.S. agreed to open an embassy in Havana. That's a “gift” I sure wouldn't want if I were Cuba.

U.S. embassies are nests of espionage, subversion, coup conspiracies and terrorism. It's hardly a privilege to have one planted in one's midst if the U.S. considers you an enemy state. When the Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, they discovered overwhelming evidence of spying and subversion. They even published the documents- many were painstakingly reconstructed after being shredded- and you can buy them in Tehran. But not in the U.S. Here they're samizdat, subject to seizure.

Millions of lives have been blighted by regimes installed after coups organized from U.S. embassies.
Thus after decades of strangling the Cuban economy, coercing other nations and their businesses to cancel deals with Cuba, blocking loans to Cuba from international financial institutions, sponsoring hundreds if not thousands of acts of terrorism against Cuba (including blowing up a Cuban airliner, the perpetrators of which were treated as heroes in Miami and protected by the Bush family), destroying Cuba's crops and pigs with infectious organisms, and even sponsoring the assassination of a Cuban diplomat in New York, the U.S. got Cuba to agree to open itself to easier U.S. subversion attempts.

Of course, there are no promises to stop the terrorism. No promise to prosecute murderers like Luis Posada Carriles, who actually bragged to a reporter about arranging the bombing of a Havana hotel, killing a young Italian tourist. He also arranged the bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976, killing everyone on board. Later he turned up running CIA terror ops in Central America. And reparations for all the terrorism, sabotage, and destruction the U.S. has wreaked over the years? That is literally unthinkable. Hell, the U.S. won't even clear out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuban territory it occupies and uses as a military torture and murder center.

Let's see what an expert imperialist has to say about this fabulous “thaw.” P. J. Crowley used to be Obama's State Department spokesman until he was cashiered for calling the treatment of Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning “stupid.” He made it very clear in a BBC interview today that what the U.S. is doing is trying another way of pressuring and subverting the Cuban regime. Of the new “opening” he said It's going to put far more pressure on Cuba” than before. FAR MORE. And “it's going to put significant pressure on the Cuban government to deliver in ways it hasn't been able to.” He made the exact same point at least three times. Of course he was approving. He also compared the role of the current Roman Catholic “Pope,” Francis, in brokering the deal to that of “Pope” John Paul in Poland working with Solidarity to subvert and ultimately destroy the Bolshevik socialist regime there. What could be clearer?

Yet leftists are hailing the deal, the same way they were once duped by Obama when he ran for president in 2008. Perhaps they're taking their cues from Raul Castro, who obviously wanted the deal. Or the hopeful Cuban populace who want some economic improvements in their lives.. (Unfortunately they've had no experience with foreign capitalist exploitation. Far better if Raul Castro had loosened the restrictions on small entrepreneurs in Cuba.)

Maybe leftists should strive for at least as much perspicacity as their enemies. (At least, they should regard imperialist apparatchiks as their enemies. Certain that's how the imperialists regard leftists!)
The skunk at the party was Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a rabid reactionary, who denounced the deal in the most hypocritical terms, going on and on about freedom and human rights. (Guess how many fascist dictators this creep ever denounced? Zero, of course. And the Cuban dictatorship has been by far the least awful in Latin America- no death squads, no state terror, no mass murder, no torture. Repression and a one-party dictatorship, yes.) Rubio is getting wall to wall coverage in U.S. media, given numerous platforms to spew his rants against the deal. You'd think he was someone important.

And here's the icing on the cake. Cuba is one of only four nations currently on the ultimate U.S. Shitlist, the State Department's “state sponsors of terrorism” list. (Yeah, I know, the irony is sick. Cuba “sponsors” no “terrorism;” rather it has been the victim of U.S.-sponsored terrorism for decades.) It's still on that list. Reagan put Cuba on the list in 1982. Reagan. The fascist who sponsored terrorism in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mozambique, and elsewhere.

U.S. elites have no sense of irony.

1] “Morning Edition,” NPR, December 18.

2] And right now the Republicans and their media chorus are screeching that Obama is violating the law by issuing instructions in the form of an executive order to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (commonly referred to by the chillingly-appropriate acronym ICE- like I said, our elites here have no sense of irony) to go easier on deporting harmless “illegal aliens” and concentrate on the “criminal” ones- an instruction he claims to have previously given several years back, to no discernible effect. He's the Deportation King among presidents, holding the record for deportations at over 2 million and counting. He has smashed up countless families this way over the years. Some Republicans even mutter about impeaching him for this.

ICE is an all-too-appropriate name because of the cruelty, callousness, and utter heartlessness of those goons, who raid workplaces, round up non-citizen workers without official permission to be in the U.S., and summarily imprison and deport them. Doesn't matter if they have wives and children here, who are thrown into panic and despair. Standard procedure is to rob the deportees on the way out.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sensing Blood, Obama Moves In For The Kill Against Russia

Just as the Russian economy appears ready to crack wide open, with the ruble plunging (in turn causing inflation- the ruble has fallen about 50% so far this year), oil prices dragged way down with the connivance of Saudi Arabia, inflation rising, Russian citizens panic-buying as the value of their currency craters, and forecasts for a contracting economy, the U.S. is tightening its economic vise on Russia still further.

The U.S. Congress voted for additional sanctions to cut off more Russian enterprises from the external financial system, blocking access to finance needed for trade. Russian companies that owe external debts denominated in dollars or Euros will be hard hit as it takes more of their rubles to convert into foreign currencies to make debt payments. Some will be forced into bankruptcy. Obama is set to sign the latest punitive measures into law, ratcheting-up economic warfare against Russia. [1]

Check out this smug gloat from one Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (an official body of ideological priests): "I mean, if I was chairman of President Putin’s Council of Economic Advisers, I would be extremely concerned. They are between a rock and a hard place in economic policy. The combination of our sanctions, the uncertainty they’ve created for themselves with their international actions and the falling price of oil has put their economy on the brink of crisis." Yeah, take THAT! That's what you get for crossing the U.S.! We want Ukraine, and we're taking Ukraine, Russia! So BACK the HELL OFF!

I think that's a reasonable translation.

Obama's top official mouthpiece, press secretary Josh “I Kid You Not!” Earnest, blamed the pain in Russia caused by the U.S.-led economic warfare on Putin: “It’s a sign of the failure of Vladimir Putin’s strategy to try to buck up his country. Right now, he and his country are isolated from the broader international community.” (That's what you call Blaming the Victim.)

And a sinister long-time U.S. apparatchik, R. Nicholas Burns, weighed in: “Given Russian military resupply of the separatists in Ukraine during the last month, the U.S. had to raise the economic costs to Putin for his outright aggression,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former diplomat and. “Combined with the collapse of the ruble, sanctions will hit Putin’s government where it is most vulnerable — its very shaky economy.” (Burns last official government job was undersecretary of state during the regime of George W. Bush (the stolen presidency, 2001-2009).

Speaking of “military resupply,” the law Congress just passed provides $350 million in military supplies to the Kiev cabal to continue its artillery and aerial devastation of eastern Ukraine and finally crush the separatists. Weapons to be provided include antitank weapons, tactical surveillance drones and counter-artillery radar, to help the Kiev cabal's forces destroy the separatists' artillery, allowing the West's client regime to better reduce eastern cities to rubble as it will enjoy impunity. (Russia is also constantly attacked for “violating the truce,” when in fact the Kiev cabal never honored it and continued its shelling regardless.)

On the other side, Russian foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov sounded a defiant, if a tad overly-optimistic note: “Russia will not only survive but will come out much stronger,” he blustered on France 24 television network. “We have been in much worse situations in our history, and every time we have got out of our fix much stronger.” I guess that's a reference to World War I, the Bolshevik-White Russian civil war, World War II, and the economic catastrophe wrought by Yeltsin, which the West hailed Yeltsin for.

It's true that Russians are inured to suffering. And it's true that Russia-the Soviet Union-Russia has gone through much worse- like over 20 million people slaughtered by the fascists and much of the country physically devastated. Eventually they recovered (“came out stronger”), but it didn't last, as the U.S. empire, like an anaconda slowly strangling its prey, helped destroy the Soviet Union. (An unworkable economic system and social and ideological sclerosis played major roles too, contrary to the triumphalism of American reactionaries who worship at the altar of the Reagan Cult.)

In terms of Russia's geopolitical position and power in the world, which is the point, I wouldn't bet on Russia at this point. Here's the U.S. bloc, pressed right up against Russia's border, threatening the vital Black Sea naval base on the Crimean peninsula, while at the same time crushing Russia's economy.

The fact is, the U.S. has such a vast “toolkit” of imperialist weaponry at its disposal, so many assets and options. Look at the role of Saudi Arabia. By having a close relationship with a feudal monarchy, which is cunning and ruthless and unprincipled and willing to do favors for the U.S., the U.S. is able to drive down the price of oil to hammer Russia- and as a bonus, hammer the other enemy states of Iran and Venezuela simultaneously! It's not necessarily cost-free- U.S. oil corps will make less money, and shale oil and fracking drillers will be squeezed, but those are minor costs, and eventually will reverse at some future date when the price of oil is allowed to go back up. Notice the Saudis are willing to screw their fellow OPEC members to help out U.S. foreign policy. (The Saudi autocracy is so cynical that their secret police have covert relations with Mossad, the Israeli external secret police/assassination agency, while the Saudis pretend to be on the Palestinians' side.)

Lavrov also opined that he sensed a plot to overthrow Putin on the part of the U.S. Well, it's no secret that the Western powers don't like Putin. Over the years the attitude has mostly ranged from skeptical, to frosty, to hostile. And it's NOT because he's an autocrat. (He is.) The U.S. and the other “western democracies” have cordial relations with far worse rulers (like the aforementioned Saudis, or Guatemala, and Honduras, and any number of despots and dictators, an endless number in fact, in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, over the years). And certainly in terms of suppression of dissent, China is far worse (and the U.S. itself about as bad or worse). But while they wag their fingers at China's human rights misdemeanors, there's no question of trying to punish China, including for the seizure of islands property claimed by neighboring nations. Indeed, there is huge trade and commerce with China, despite China's very aggressive cyberespionage against the U.S. government, military weapons manufacturers, major media, and other targets. (By the way, China's worst human rights crimes, like the oppression of the Tibetans and the slow genocide being committed against them, or the persecution of Falun Gong adherents, including their torture, execution, and harvesting of their organs for transplantation, are mostly ignored in western media. They prefer to focus on the comparatively minor harassment of the millionaire artist Ai Wei Wei, who gets major and ongoing play in the New York Times, for example, the most influential U.S. newspaper, and other such smaller acts of repression.)

But the new law could have been worse. Before it was passed, Obama had Congress remove a provision that would have barred the lifting of sanctions until Russia gets out of Moldova and Georgia. Now Russia only has to abandon Ukraine for the sanctions to be lifted. (Does that mean Russia has to vacate the Black Sea naval base to get the West's foot off its economic windpipe? The U.S. media has maintained a total blackout on even mentioning the fact that Russia has a key naval base in Crimea.)

Let's give the last word to the corrupt New Jersey politician Robert Menendez, of the Democratic Party, a supporter of Cuban exile terrorists and one of New Jersey's two U.S. Senators (each state gets two Senators): “President Putin bears responsibility for any outcomes that flow from his actions and breach of the international order,” said Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who was a prime mover of the sanctions along with the committee's senior Republican, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. “The United States Congress stands with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,” Mr. Menendez said. So whatever the U.S. does to Russia is Russia's fault. Duly noted, Robert.




U.S. Turns Up The Heat on Russia: Obama Determined To Break Putin.



1] The new law has a typically propagandistic name, the “Ukraine Freedom Support Act.” It passed the U.S. Senate 100-0. In the House of Representatives there were 10 dissenters in a body of 435 members that supposedly represents the entire American people- 315 million people- in all their diversity of opinion. (The near-totalitarian nature of U.S. society is often on display in matters of “national security,” that is, imperialism and domestic repression.

Other U.S. laws with sinister, even Orwellian names, are the notorious USA PATRIOT Act, which cemented the U.S. as a police state, and the Bank Secrecy Act, which in fact stripped all privacy from people's bank accounts.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

U.S.-EU-Imposed Sanctions Making the Russian Economy Scream

But mainly it's the U.S.' good buddies the Saudis who are squeezing Russia in a vise, by engineering a collapse in global oil prices.

Russia gets half its government revenue from oil sales. Two-thirds of Russian exports are oil.

The Russian Central Bank raised interest rates 6.5% today, to 17%, in an attempt to stop the ruble from continuing its sharp fall. Most likely this will only temporarily pause the plunge in the ruble.

The Russian stock market is in a deep bear market.

Inflation has been rising. And worst of all, the Russian economy looks set to go into a recession, estimated to contract 4.5% next year. And it could be much worse.

All this is designed to make Putin cry "Uncle!" and abandon the breakaway eastern Ukraine.

Speaking of eastern Ukraine, the Kiev cabal put in power with help from subversion operations by the U.S. and EU has cut off most supplies to the east. The population in the eastern part of Ukraine is facing a cold and hungry winter, under continued artillery and aerial bombardment by the U.S.-EU client regime.

There's about a million and a half refugees inside and outside eastern Ukraine.

Doesn't matter how many people suffer, or die. As long as the U.S. gets its way.

Pakistan Reaping the Whirlwind From Terrorists It Created

Seven Taliban terrorists, dressed as Pakistani Frontier Guards, attacked a primary school run by the Pakistani army in Peshawar, killing about 141 people, mostly schoolchildren and teachers, until they were finally liquidated over eight hours later. The school has 2,500 pupils aged 4 to 16. (Girls in school? UnIslamic!) As usual, the terrorists were well-armed with military-grade weapons, and included a suicide bomber. (Oh what joy, to blow oneself up and get to sleep with 76 virgins!)

The dead are said to include 132 children. Over 100 other people were wounded. [1]

To even get much attention in Western media, these terrorists have to commit more and more spectacular and grotesque atrocities. They've killed thousands of Pakistanis a year in their terrorist attacks.

The Pakistani Taliban, "Tehreek-e-Taliban," in claiming responsibility for the attack, said it was to avenge an army offensive against them. They complained of their women and children being killed by the army.  “We selected the army’s school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females,” said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani. “We want them to feel the pain.”

In retaliation, the Pak army is launching airstrikes within Pakistan. The army chief of staffed tweeted that “massive air strikes” had been carried out in the Khyber region even as the school was still being cleared. Perhaps he exaggerated the "had" already part. Clearly the intent is to bomb in retaliation for the retaliation. No doubt killing more women and children. For which the Taliban will retaliate. [2]

The Pakistani establishment is denouncing the terror attack. I guess that's progress for them.

This is a good time to review something the Pakistanis themselves won't do- how it has come to pass that a vicious, large scale and deeply entrenched terrorist army (actually several terrorist armies) exist inside the country with apparent free rein?

The answer, of course, is that the dominant institutions of Pakistan created these Frankenstein monsters themselves.

The genesis of this goes back at least to the anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan undertaken by Pakistan under the vicious military dictator Zia ul-Haq, Saudi Arabia, and of course most importantly the U.S., which provided the weaponry- especially Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-tank infantry weapons- and billions of dollars to the "cause." [3]

Zia ul-Haq was one of Ronald Reagan's favorite dictators. (Another Reagan favorite was the "Christian" butcher of Guatemala, General Rios Montt, whom Reagan insisted was getting a "bum rap."

The three main members of the anti-Soviet alliance in Afghanistan had various reasons for wanting to keep Afghanistan mired in the 9th century. The U.S. was reflexively anti-Soviet, so the best interests of the Afghan people was of no consideration. (A pattern we see in every country where the U.S. imposes its imperialist will.) Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are both nations that strive to promote a medieval version of Islam. In addition, Pakistan regards Afghanistan as its backyard, and strove to create a client regime there, which it eventually did when the Afghan Taliban took over.

There were non-medieval resistance forces that the U.S. could have supported, such as those that later became the Northern Alliance against the Taliban tyranny, but the U.S. went along with its Paki and Saudi accomplices wishes and backed the fanatical fundamentalists, whose agenda included rolling back girls' education and all women's rights, which the "oppressive" Soviet-backed regime had instituted, among other hated impositions of modernity.

The secret police organ of the Pakistani military, the so-called "Inter Intelligence Service," or ISI, has over the years created a number of terrorist organizations, which it arms, trains, and directs, to commit atrocities in Indian Kashmir and in India proper, such as the numerous terrorist bombing and suicide attacks on Mumbai, India's financial center. (India has shown super-human forbearance by not retaliating. I can just imagine what would happen if Canada or Mexico sponsored a terrorist attack on Wall Street!) [4]

Another root cause of Islamofascist terrorism in Pakistan is the criminal negligence of the Pakistani elites. By not providing an educational system for the poor, they provide an opening for the religious fanatics to recruit children for their madrassas (funded all over the world by Saudi Arabia- them again!). These brainwashing centers masquerading as "religious schools" produce the raw material for suicide bombers and "holy warriors" (jihadists). Additionally, the government long ago ceded control of the so-called "tribal regions" to the local religious fundamentalists, in effect creating a Talibanistan inside Pakistan's nominal borders.

But even as its home-grown terrorists work to tear the country apart, Pakistan STILL won't stop sponsoring terrorism against India, in Indian Kashmir, and in Afghanistan.

Obviously the decent people in Pakistan don't deserve to live under this internal terrorist threat. For that matter, they don't deserve the corrupt civilian rulers and oppressive military apparatus that is imposed on them either.

The Pakistani media also plays a venal role, brainwashing the public instead of striving to enlighten it. The plutocratic owners of the media pursue their own selfish personal goals, using their media properties as their own toys. Additionally, journalists have to worry about terrorists killing them if they displease the terrorists with "negative" (that is, accurate) coverage. (An example of the tawdry nature of Pak media is their shabby treatment of hero teenage advocate of girls' education and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, whom the Taliban tried to murder on her schoolbus a few years ago with a bullet in the brain. A young woman who should be a national heroine and source of pride is instead trashed.)

And with honest journalists subject to ISI beatings, torture, and murder, the prospect for responsible news and commentary taking root in the country labors under the additional handicap of state terrorism.

By now, the problem seems insoluble, except to let the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan form their own nation. It would be a horrible, backward, oppressive country. Women will be treated barely better than animals, as is their "tradition" and "customs." At this point, unless the Pakistani army occupies the entire tribal areas and forcibly disarms every male, and then imposes some kind of normal civil society, continued violent conflict is unavoidable- notwithstanding the Paki army's chief vow today to exterminate "all" the "terrorists." Good luck with that.

And that leaves the problem of Afghanistan, where the Taliban are showing they are not at all defeated, and are stepping up their assaults and effectively taking control of more territory. Obama's plan to counter this is night raids by Special Forces assassination squads. That will hardly suffice to turn the tide. As with his various drone wars, it operates on the fallacious notion that killing "leaders" will destroy these entrenched religiously-based militant movements. (Maybe because neutralizing leaders of dissident movements works so well in U.S. domestic repression, they think it can work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and wherever.)



Relatives grieving for 15 year old Mohammed Ali Khan, murdered in school attack. There is an endless river of tears ahead in Pakistan.

1] Contradictory numbers have been reported on the number of attackers and victims. Some reports said there were nine attackers. A Pakistani party leader was reported in Dawn (Pakistan) saying 146 were killed, almost 140 being children.

2] See "Pakistan responds to Peshawar school massacre with strikes on Taliban," Guardian, 12/16/14.

The U.S. has also used air attacks on civilians within its own borders. Or rather local "authorities" have, as when the city government of Philadelphia dropped a plastic explosive bomb on the home of the MOVE group, burning down over 60 homes in a black neighborhood ion 1985. (The Mayor at the time was black, Wilson Goode, an ex-military policeman. Philadelphia has a long history of racist police repression, which Goode shamefully continued.) In 1921 whites used aircraft to burn down the black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was the wealthiest black neighborhood in the U.S. A total of 35 city blocks were burned to the ground. [See for example Tulsa race riot on Wikipedia, among other sources. This particular white pogrom is well-documented historically.]

3] I said "goes back at least to the Afghan war" because one could argue the root of the problem is traceable to the very establishment foundations of Pakistan itself by religious zealots with a hatred of Hindus.

4] See for instance "2008 Mumbai attacks," Wikipedia, "2011 Mumbai bombings," Wikipedia, "Mumbai Terror Attacks Fast Facts," CNN Library, November 19, 2014.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Some More Islamofascist Terrorism

Boko Haram in Nigeria just blew up a mosque. Must have been one for heretic Muslims.

A Taliban blew himself up in an audience at a high school performance in Kabul, Afghanistan. Can’t allow anyone to enjoy life or be safe anywhere. The Koran forbids all enjoyment, I guess. (Funny, the Saudi rulers, who spread this noxious anti-life crap, Wahhabism, live pretty high on the hog themselves. No wonder Osama bin Laden had a falling-out with them. He took their bullshit seriously, and they didn’t. (Except they impose it on others- indirectly by violence if necessary.)

Islamofascists and tribalists are taking over Yemen, in large part because of bone-headed U.S. policies there. (The U.S. did its usual thing of expediently supporting whatever dictator was handy. The result of not promoting democracy in the long term always leads to unhappy results in the end, but our oligarchs are too blind to ever see that.)

In Pakistan, well there’s the usual daily terror campaign. On a related note, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl (now a young woman) who was shot in the head on her schoolbus by a Paki Islamofascist terrorist a couple of years ago (for the very good reason that she asserted her and all girls’ right to be educated), and who is the youngest recipient of the Prize ever, at age 17, isn’t a source of national pride in her homeland (where it is too dangerous for her and her family to live anymore), isn’t accorded a place of honor there, certainly isn’t protected, and is treated as disreputable if not outright scum by the Paki press. Maybe someday the Paks will pull their own heads out of their asses if they ever get tired of the smell.

[For more on the shooting of Malala, seeTaliban Clears Up Misunderstanding Over Why They Shot 15-Year-Old-Schoolgirl in the Head,” July 18, 2013.]