Friday, September 02, 2016

That Trade Treaty Negotiation "Queue" that Obama Sent Britain To the Back Of, Just Got Shorter

Remember that threat Obama made before the UK vote on leaving the EU, the so-called "Brexit"? He said he'd sent Britain to the "back of the queue" (the line in U.S. English- guess Obama was Going Native when he spoke) for negotiating a trade treaty with the U.S. and vowed it would take ten years to reach an agreement. His threat wasn't scary enough to win the day for the global elites opposed to a renewal of British national independence and self-determination (portrayed as racism and xenophobia by the corporate propaganda systems of the UK and U.S.- and they're still at it! [1]).

Well, it looks like Britain just moved up two places in the "queue."

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations have been declared a failure by top figures in the German and French governments.

As for Obama's secret Trans Pacific Partnership, it is hanging in limbo. Congress will not ratify it before Obama is finally out of the White House this coming January, and the two candidates the two-party dictatorship are offering us as his replacement, Donald "The Narcissist" Trump and Hillary "The Conniver" Clinton, claim to be against it. Trump of course is completely untrustworthy, as is Clinton, and Clinton had to do a complete reversal of her previous support for the malign deal. (All these "free trade" treaties are in fact global corporate hegemony treaties. They are all written to give supremacy of corporations over national governments and supercede national laws. They leave the populations of the countries sold out by their politicians at the mercy of pollutors, labor exploiters, etc.) [2]

Whatever happens, there will at least need to be some renegotiating to disguise the double-cross and betrayal of the campaign promise by the next president.

The Man With The Golden Tongue: The Magic Has Just About Worn Off. At Last.

1]  The Brexit referendum was on June 23, and here it is, over two months later, and the U.S. media are still running anti-Brexit propaganda, such as this op-ed by some limey (no American is named "Sebastian") in the Los Angeles Times, "Britain’s post-Brexit warning for Americans seduced by Trump," September 1, 2016.

2]  For a concise critique from a European Green of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which applies equally to the TPP and NAFTA, the notorious North American Free Trade Agreement foisted on people by Hillary's husband and partner in political crime, Bill Clinton, see
"To Free, Or Not To Free," The European, November 26, 2013.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Clinton's Media Allies Used Blatant Double Standard to Force Trump to Jettison Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort is one of those types referred to variously as a "lobbyist" or a "political strategist" or a "consultant." Whatever you call them, this class of creatures are parasitic leeches embedded in the corrupt U.S. political system of corporate oligarchic rule, a system manifested domestically in repression and exploitation, and abroad in imperialism, war, and various crimes against humanity, and recognizes no rights anywhere, just excessive privileges for those in the elite in-crowd. They basically function as fixers, shills, and influence-peddlers for clients, whether corporate or governmental, seeking advantages within the U.S. power structure. Sometimes they give political advice to foreign rulers about handling their affairs in their home country. This is what Manafort apparently did for the former president of Ukraine.

Manafort was attacked by much of the U.S. establishment media for selling his services in years past to the U.S.-ousted former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yauokovych, whom he helped elect. The fact that Yanukovych was the legal and democratically-elected president was irrelevant. The crime is he was "Russian-backed." (Not quite. The Russians had to pressure him to opt out of a trade pact with the EU that deliberately excluded Russia. And they didn't intervene to save him from having to flee for his life from the violent fascist rabble that the U.S. egged on to overthrow him, similarly to what they did in Iran in 1953.) [1]

Those of Manafort's ilk typically sell their services to various foreign governments, including despotic and tyrannical ones. No one raises an eyebrow over American shills promoting Saudi Arabia here, one of the most repressive and medieval regimes on earth. And Manafort couldn't gaze into the future to see that the U.S. would decide to overthrow his client and retroactively label that client an official Bad Guy. (We don't know if the U.S. was even then covertly moving against Yanukovych. Maybe someday WikiLeaks can tell us. The U.S. government certainly will never voluntarily tell. That's called "transparency" in the Orwellian language of U.S. political elites.)

But the successful assault on Manafort was more than just a case of singling out someone who is typically treated with discretion and respect by the establishment propaganda system. In fact it's the height of chutzpah. Because this was done on behalf of Hillary Clinton, and it just so happens that another member of Manafort's class of hustler, Lanny Davis, is a moral leper, propagandist for tyrants, P.R. man for the Honduran coup supported by Clinton and Obama, and a close associate of the Clintons, former special counsel to the last president Clinton. So where do the media allies of Clinton and those merely desperate to Stop Trump At All Costs get off with such a blatant double standard?

Davis charged a cool $100,000 a month to defend Ivory Coast dictator Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to leave office at the end of his term and murdered people to cling to power. (Unlike Yanukovych who offered to step down early to try and mollify the fascist mob that was setting cars, buildings, and policemen on fire in the streets. (Go watch the youtube videos- they literally lit policemen ablaze.) He also sold his services to the dictator of Equatorial Guinea. And there was his assiduous shilling for the Honduran coup. For pay, of course .[2]

One useful conclusion we can draw about Trump from his willingness to throw Manafort overboard is this: contrary to the image he tries to project as a fearless tough guy who never backs down, we see that he is indeed susceptible to pressure, and willing to reverse course. More evidence of that are his verbal about-faces and two-steps when he gets a certain amount of heat for his statements. I predict that if he becomes president, the very powerful "national security" state- that is, the military-secret police combine- will be able to twist him like to pretzel to serve their goals.

After all, Trump has no real interest in foreign policy, no principles, and no goals except his own increased self-aggrandizement. So no impediments will be placed in the way of the Pentagon or the massive, multi-tentacled secret police apparatus (euphemistically called "the intelligence community").

But then, there are barely any limits placed on them now. And with all the rich blackmail material the secret police must have on Hillary, there won't be limits under a restoration of the Clinton reign either.

  Paul Manafort gets tripped up.

 Lanny Davis. "Money is my God. You got a problem with that?"

1] Not that Manafort has democratic scruples. He also worked for U.S.-backed Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and CIA-supported Angolan terrorist leader Jonas Savimbi. But maybe his worst crime was working for Reagan. For background on Manafort from an establishment media viewpoint, see. "Paul Manafort has guided dictators and strongmen, but can he manage Donald Trump?," Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2016. Notice how precipitately was Manafort's fall, coming soon after this piece.

For Manafort defrauding a Russian businessman out of $19 million, plus more on Trump and links to articles, see Swindler Trump's Presidential Campaign Run By a Swindler- U.S. Media Acts As Accomplices
July 27, 2016.

2] You can watch Davis speciously justifying his propaganda work for Honduran anti-democrats on Democracy Now! For the charge sheet against Davis see" Loathsome Lanny Davis Has More Blood On His Hands," December 28, 2010.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Last Time the FARC Disarmed, Thousands of its Members Were Slaughtered. Is That About To Happen Again?

Sometimes history doesn't repeat as farce, but as yet another tragedy. Of course, one person's tragedy can be another's cause for celebration. (The Nazis and the Jews- and hopefully now most of the rest of humanity- had very different feelings about the Holocaust, for example.)

You wouldn't know it from establishment media "reporting," but the just-announced ceasefire between the Colombian rulers ("government") and the rebel force FARC, under which FARC will disarm and become a political party and presumably participate in elections, is the second time we've been here.

The same agreement was made back in 1984, the so-called La Uribe Agreement, FARC disarmed and came out into the open. The following year, FARC got together with various leftist and communist groups to create a  new political party, the Union Patriótica (Patriotic Union, UP). The UP sought terribly evil political reforms, such as a revised constitution, democratic local elections, political decentralization, and most unforgivably, an end to the hegemony over Colombian politics by the Liberal and Conservative parties. They called for desperately needed health and education spending, favored nationalization of foreign businesses, Colombian banks, and transportation, and public access to the oligarchy's media. They even had the effrontery to pursue land redistribution! (Hundreds of thousands of rural families were rendered landless by people like Alvaro Uribe, father of the fascist death squads and the previous president of Colombia before the current one.)

Needless to say, all this was unacceptable, so the rulers unleashed their death squads, which dutifully murdered not just one, but two UP presidential candidates, numerous UP public office-holders and officials, and as many as 6,000 people all told between 1986 and 1990. In 1989 a single landholder had over 400 UP members murdered. (Notice that rich Colombians all have an individual license to kill.) And in 1990, every single presidential candidate from all the center-left parties were assassinated. Apparently merely stealing an election is too humdrum for the Colombian "elite." (Most of the UP ranks were not from FARC, but from socialist and labor groups.)

Will this time be any different? Given the bloodthirsty history of the Colombian ruling class and its military and auxiliary fascist death squads (euphemistically referred to in Western media as "right-wing paramilitaries," when they're mentioned at all), there is reason for grave concern. This new Colombian ceasefire may well  be a prelude to yet another ruling class extermination campaign against its class enemies.

You would think this very germane antecedent would bear at least a mention, but no. This part of history conflicts with the propaganda narrative of Western media, so it is simply ignored completely, as if it never happened. [1]

Instead, we are now being fed false and grossly misleading propaganda like this from the U.S. Government's NPR, and the British Government's BBC (every half hour around the clock from the BBC): "historic ceasefire," as if it's a first; the ceasefire is "to put an end to five decades of war..." (if you don't count the years 1984-1990- although I guess in a sense most of those years was a war, if a one-sided one, like the "war on drugs," or the Nazi "war against the Jews) "...and turn them [FARC] into a legal political movement;" FARC will become a party and "will try to gain political power in Colombia through democratic means," as if they never tried that before. As if the problem is violent leftists who don't believe in democracy, not a ruling class that doesn't allow the vast majority of people to participate except to rubber-stamp two ruling class parties!

And the same aforementioned propaganda outfits keep telling us that 220,000 or 260,000 people were "killed in the conflict." That neatly sidesteps the fact that the vast majority of those killed were unarmed civilians slaughtered by the government's military and the rulers' death squads. It also avoids mentioning the mass grave found outside at least one army base, of local civilians murdered for bounties. The government had the brilliant idea of paying bonuses for dead "guerrillas." So grab a poor peasant and murder him- easy money!

The BBC put on an American polemicist and unreconstructed imperialist named Steven Pinker, a hustler originally from Canada who now bills himself as a "cognitive scientist" and wrangled a perch for himself in the psychology department of Harvard University, a school that is sort of a Ground Zero for U.S. imperialist ideology. Pinker instructed that the Colombian civil war (bourgeois media never call it a civil war) "is the last remnant of the Cold War," which can only mean that FARC was a cat's paw of the Soviet Union, part of the "International Communist Conspiracy," the alibi U.S. imperialists long used to justify their coups, invasions, and imposition of fascistic military dictatorships and various repressive regimes designed to quash democracy and social progress in its sphere of influence- a sphere which they believe ultimately should rightly include the entire planet, the dream of every imperialist who ever lived.

Ask yourself this: in the quarter century since the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991, has U.S. behavior changed one bit? To the contrary, NATO, which was created, it was claimed, to defend against a Soviet invasion of western Europe, has since been expanded right up to Russia's borders, and assigned new missions helping fight the U.S.'s wars in far-flung lands. The U.S. is still aiding and abetting coups against democratically-elected governments, as in Honduras, Egypt, Venezuela, and Brazil. It is committed to a relentless expansion of its power. Through the NSA, it attempts to spy on all communications everywhere. It has put in train a trillion dollar buildup of nuclear weapons.

And what about the period before the Soviet Union came into existence in 1917? Over a century earlier, the U.S. invaded British Canada to try and annex those lands for itself. In 1846 it attacked Mexico, ultimately forcing Mexico to cede over half (55%) of its entire national territory to the U.S. (including Texas), with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1998 it started a war with the decrepit Spanish empire to seize Spain's colonies, even the Philippines, on theother side of the globe. (The Filipinos had the crazy notion that they were entitled to self-determination and independence, so the U.S. had to beat that notion out of them with the usual methods of torture and mass killing.) The U.S. invaded various Caribbean and Central American nations numerous times in the first decades of the twentieth century. And so on.

Cold War my eye.

Steven Pinker. Even a clown can spout imperialist propaganda.

Let's briefly review how FARC came into existence in the first place. It's not some inexplicable derangement of innately evil people.

In 1948, the ruling classes inaugurated a decade of mass murder with the assassination of popular politician  Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Over the next ten years, a period called La Violencia, (The Violence,), over 300,000 people were murdered, overwhelmingly peasants and poor laborers. Then in 1958, the bourgeois elites of the "Liberal" and "Conservative" Parties, in cahoots with the ever-reactionary Catholic Church and big businessmen, set up a two-party dictatorship they christened the National Front. The two parties would take turns ruling, irrespective of actual election results. "Radical" were frozen out of political life. This oligarchic arrangement, a political monopoly of the upper classes enforced by state repression and violence, lasted until 1990.

In 1959, the U.S. sent a crew of its state terrorists ("counterinsurgency experts") down to Colombia to assess the situation and craft a state terror campaign to crush any reaction to the slaughter of the preceding decade.. The U.S. Army "Special Forces" (aka Green Berets) recommended that  "in order to shield the interests of both Colombian and US authorities against 'interventionist' charges any special aid given for internal security was to be sterile and covert in nature," which beneath the jargon is quite sinister. Then in 1962 another "Special Warfare" [i.e. state terrorism] team from Fort Bragg  paid a return visit, led by the Special Warfare Center commander himself, one General William P. Yarborough. He recommended to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (notice the high level this conspiracy is operating on) the formation of a "paramilitary" force to carry out sabotage and terrorism against "communists." This plan was duly implemented. The criminal conspiracy was dubbed Plan Lazo.

Under this plot, the U.S. goaded the Colombian government to attack villages that tried to arm themselves for self-defense. In one such operation, 16,000 Colombian troops, backed by U.S. might, attacked the village of Marquetalia, a community of 1,000 souls, 48 of whom were armed. These armed men managed to escape, and led by Manuel Marulanda Vélez, one of their number, founded FARC, which grew from that beginning.

If Colombia had ever been a democracy, if the rulers of Colombia weren't murderous thugs, if they didn't systematically assassinate popular leaders and slaughter hundreds of thousands of people, would the FARC even exist in the first place? No.

The propaganda systems of "Western" nations like to paint FARC as evil and the source of all violence in Colombia. This is a grotesque distortion of the actual history of Colombia, which makes clear that FARC was formed in response to the hyper-violence of the "upper" classes in Colombia against the "lower" classes. Members of the victim classes in fact were forced to take up arms.

Western propagandists also enjoy portraying FARC as a gang of degenerate kidnappers and drug lords. What's rarely mentioned is that they aren't the only ones using drugs as a source of funds. The corrupt Colombian government has plenty of officials involved in protecting the drug trade. The "paramilitaries" partake of cocaine money. And the CIA has profited from drug trafficking almost from its inception. So the high moral dudgeon of Western media rings a tad hollow to an objective person's ear.

The FARC was basically forced into accepting the current dangerous deal, even though it may well be walking into the same deadly trap as it was lured into in 1984, again, thanks to the U.S. Because of massive U.S. military and "intelligence" aid to the Colombian regime, FARC has been crippled and diminished. Under two Democratic Party presidents, Bill "Golden Tongue" Clinton and Barack "The Drone Assassin" Obama, sinister U.S. operatives from the CIA and military, and large amounts of weapons, were sent in to fight on the side of the regime against the rebellious sectors of its populace. Under Obama, FARC leaders were located and then assassinated. FARC was strategically trapped in a downward spiral of the U.S.' design. So now tell me again, all you "progressive" fellow-travelers, why we should vote for the Democrats!

So under Obama, U.S. "policy" in Latin America has consisted of: a coup attempt in Venezuela, then the probable murder of Hugo Chavez by the CIA; a coup in Honduras; imprisoning women and children fleeing U.S.-created violent hellholes in Central America; approval of a coup by corrupt legislators in Brazil; and a vicious "counterinsurgency" campaign in Colombia that has killed thousands. Oh, but he reestablished relations with Cuba, the better to subvert the established order there. (Cuba does need changes, by the way. Say, that "naval base" in Guantanamo Bay, you ever gonna get the hell out of there, U.S.?)

None dare call them imperialists!

The very respectable Alvaro Uribe, Godfather of Death Squads, President of Colombia 2002-2010

1]  I've only ever come across one mention of the 1985-90 extermination campaign in the establishment's media that I can remember. It was buried about two-thirds of the way down in a lengthy New York Times article, consisting of a short paragraph or two, very matter-of-fact, and then the article returned to FARC-demonization, as all NY Times articles dealing with FARC do. So is it not correct to call the NY Times imperialist propaganda? That's not a polemical statement, it's a factual one.

"History of FARC," Wikipedia, August 29, 2016.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Trump Hires Christie Hatchetman/Fall Guy For His Presidential Campaign

Former henchman to New Jersey Republican Governor and corrupt bully Chris Christie, Bill Stepien, who became one of Christie's fall guys when it was revealed that the Christie regime vindictively caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee, NJ, has been hired by demagogic narcissist Donald Trump to a top position in Trump's campaign for president.

Stepien is to be the Trump campaign's national field director.

Stepien was one of the Christie soldiers who ordered traffic lanes leading from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge to New York City blocked for several days, causing traffic blockages and a possible death due to a delayed ambulance response to an emergency. This was done because the Democratic mayor of the town declined to endorse Republican Christie for reelection as Governor. (Talk about a totalitarian mindset! Even the rival party has to endorse the Emperor of New Jersey.) Christie scapegoated his underlings to save his own political hide when the conspiracy was revealed. A criminal trial is pending, but Stepien has not been indicted, oddly. Nor are the two defendants, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly, being threatened with long prison sentences in order to move up the chain to Christie, a common practice in the U.S. when dealing with the non-elite. [1]

Stepien is the latest in a series of recent unsavory hires by Trump to his campaign, including the editor/executive chairman of the racist, dementedly reactionary, and libelous website, Stephen Bannon, as chief executive of the campaign. [2]

And the New York Times reported that sex fiend and arch reactionary propaganda czar Roger Ailes would help Trump prepare for debating Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee for president. Ailes is a master of demagogically attacking opponents "weak points." He and Trump should make a good fit. (The Trump campaign denied the Times' report, but he and his campaign have a history of issuing false denials.) Rupert Murdoch just paid his former Fox "News" boss Ailes $40 million to go away after Ailes' despicable history as a grotesque sexual extortionist finally exploded into public view after decades hidden under the rug. (You can do an Internet search if you want the details.)

 One important note about the U.S. broadcast media especially has hidden the nature of this "news" site, by never accurately describing its content and employing deceptive euphemisms like "conservative" or the anodyne, meaningless "alt-right." The purpose is to make it seem legitimate and respectable. This is vile. As most Americans are too lazy to make an effort to get information from written sources and instead merely absorb what they see and hear from broadcast media, this practice of camouflaging the actual nature of various dementedly reactionary and even fascist organizations and individuals is particularly malign. Whereas they take the reverse attitude toward "leftists" who actually challenge the power system politically or ideologically, smearing them as "radical," "extremist," "pro-communist" or sympathetic to/supportive of "terrorism."

The Utterly Loathsome Stephen K. Bannon

 Hard core GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) Apparatchik Bill Stepien

Sex fiend Roger Ailes in photomontage with serial rapist and cloyingly unfunny ex-comedian Bill Cosby. 

1]  See "Key Player in Bridgegate Scandal Hired by Donald Trump Campaign," WNYC radio (New York City), August 26, 2016.

2]  "Trump Campaign Hires Breitbart Chief Stephen Bannon," Slate, August 17, 2016. A former Breitbart editor-at-large describes Bannon as a bully and a totalitarian type. For more detail on the tawdry behavior of Bannon and staff defections his abusive ways have caused, see "The G.O.P.’s Civil War Comes to Breitbart: A staff rebellion at Breitbart suggests all is not well in Trumpworld," Vanity Fair, .March 14, 2016. Bannon infamously abandoned one of his own female reporters who was assaulted by Trump minion Cory Lewandowski (subsequently hired by the execrable, ethics-free CNN as a "commentator" and "analyst" of the presidential race!).


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Taboo Ironies In Clinton's VP Choice

Hillary Clinton bestowed the Democratic Party's vice presidential nomination on Tim Kaine, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia. This political product launch had three themes, which campaign operatives put on their communications transmission belt to "the" media in the form of talking points. These were duly pointed out to the public by said media. The themes were Kaine's alleged devotion to what in the U.S. are called "civil rights," meaning equal "rights" for citizens designated as "black;" his "missionary" work in Honduras in 1980 (less than a year), and the fact that he speaks fluent Spanish. (All Hispanics must now vote for him, I suppose.)

I say "black" because I don't like classifying people by color. People aren't jellybeans or M & M's.

I say "the" media, because it is not the one-and-only media, nor is it this objective thing, like the earth or sun, that just exists and has immutable properties. It is a particular media. In the U.S. that media called "the" media are the megaphones and mouthpieces of a corporate oligarchy that indoctrinates the populace with the values and ideology of corporate capitalism (misleadingly called "free enterprise"). It is completely a bourgeois class interest (although it masquerades in some instances as working class or "middle" class, the better to gain the trust of and to dupe "target audiences," a very telling term in itself).

Now, as to Kaine being presented as some great civil rights activist years ago. Of course he never was. But that is a good distraction from Hillary's anti-civil rights activities at the same time. She was a Goldwater Girl in college, head of the campus GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) students' group at Wesleyan University. Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate in 1964, was an ardent foe of civil rights, opposed legislation to allow blacks to vote in the South, and so on.

Then there's that "missionary work" by Kaine in Honduras. Honduras. The country where a U.S.-backed coup destroyed democracy and has instituted a regime of chaotic death-squads, murdering hundreds of activists. Clinton boasted in her most recent book, a sort of autohagiography, about how she protected and legitimized the coup, running interference against objections by other nations.

The third Honduran grassroots environmental activist opposing a hydroelectric project murdered in the last few months, Lesbia Janeth Urquia, was savagely hacked to death with a machete at the beginning of August. She was a 49-year old mother of three.

Another mother, Berta Cáceres, the first of those victims, avowed that Clinton and the U.S. bore responsibility for the existence of the current Honduran state terrorist regime, The regime has cynically tried to pin the murders on family members and fellow activists.

The three activists, extremely brave, poor people, were all members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, indicating a systematic, murderous targeting of the group.

This is the regime, and policy of gangster-style repression, that Obama-Clinton-Democratic Party imposes on Honduras.

"Lesser evil" my ass.

Kaine, apparently a very clever politician, uses the scant nine months he spent in Honduras 36 years
ago as a three-way political bank shot. In the words of The Nation magazine, "Kaine, who has been talking about his time in Honduras at least since the early 2000s, when he was mayor of Richmond, uses his nine-month stay as a kind of platitudinous catch-all, to prove he is a true Christian to Virginia conservatives, to court the Latino vote, and, now, to convince rank-and-file Democrats he’s a progressive." [1]

Religious "missionaries" have for centuries been the pilot fish and advance guard of European and U.S. Imperialists. Starting with the Spanish empire, and right through to the current use of religious front men and women by the CIA, the missionary is the recon scout of imperialism.

As it turns out, the Selfless Missionary Timothy Michael Kaine, a Good Catholic, isn't as pure as the driven snow. When he was Governor of the state of Virginia, he took a number of bribes (called "gifts" in U.S. political parlance) from corporations in return for his official acts on their behalf. But in yet another example of the extremely arbitrary and capricious nature of U.S. "justice," he hasn't been prosecuted, while other politicians have been prosecuted and even convicted in much more attenuated cases of alleged bribery (U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who is being prosecuted for vacationing with a longtime friend he helped out, and whose case is currently in process; and former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, whose convictions were just overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds that the actions McDonnell took in return for gifts were not official acts and thus did not come under bribery laws- why his wife got convicted in the first place is a mystery- as an accessory?) or outright frame-ups, like the case of former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, outrageously railroaded by the local GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) power establishment and sentenced to a draconian seven years in prison, for appointing a contributor to a ballot initiative to an unpaid post on some planning board. (So why isn't every U.S. president guilty of bribery for appointing their campaign contributors to plum ambassadorships, which are paid, prestigious jobs and should go to experience State Department veterans? [2]

And Kaine speaks Spanish. He speaks Spanish. He proved it in his convention speech. Kaine speaks Spanish.

He speaks Spanish.

The Kaines were happy in Honduras. Too bad Hondurans can't be.

Berta Cáceres

Lesbia Janeth Urquia

Just two more victims (of millions) of U.S. "policies."

1]  "Eat, Pray, Starve: What Tim Kaine Didn’t Learn During His Time in Honduras," The Nation, July 27, 2016. A must-read article summarizing the situation Kaine was immersed in in Honduras, with an overview of the Reagan-Bush atrocities in the region. Although keep in mind that their predecessor Carter initiated the "policy" of multi-state terrorism, and their successor Clinton transferred it to Colombia.

The Nation is the left boundary of Establishment media. It's the border between being part of the system and resistance/opposition to the power structure. The Nation is reformist, but not too reformist. Its idea of reform is jawboning the Democratic Party to do things that Party has proven it will never do. And every four years, the magazine puts on its cowboy hats and rounds up progressives to herd them into the Democratic Party corral. Their assaults on Ralph Nader for daring to run for president (and "stealing" Democratic votes) was relentless, nasty, and revealing of the bankruptcy of their politics. Anyone who really wants pro-human change has to realize that the two-party corporate capitalist imperialist dictatorship is the enemy, Instead The Nation and its ilk aids and abets the Democratic Party's politics of extortion, forcing people to vote for the allegedly "lesser evil." 

Which has brought us to our current state of greater repression and greater grotesque concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority (euphemised as "inequality,") with institutionalized global assassinations and a Perfect Surveillance State brought to you by Barack Obama, Democrat.

Expect more of the same poison under a second Clinton reign.

2]  "As Pick for No. 2, Tim Kaine Sees Gifts Come Under Scrutiny," New York Times, July 24, 2016.

On Don Siegelman, a concise summary of the outrageous facts of the case is at "Why Obama Should Pardon Don Siegelman," New Yorker, January 14, 2015, by former Federal prosecutor and Edward Snowden hater Jeffrey Toobin. (Even reactionary establishment barnacle George Will thinks Siegelman got a raw deal.)

In another example of what a coward Barack Obama is, that even after over 100 former state attorneys general [!] sent a letter to Obama seeking a pardon for Siegelman, Obama ignored them. 
["Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman seeks pardon from President Obama," Alabama Media Group website of Alabama newspapers, April 13, 2016.]

In fact, after the Washington Post quoted Siegelman in an article on the Supreme Court exoneration of Bob McDonnell, Obama's Bureau of Prisons transferred Siegelman to solitary confinement in a Louisiana Federal prison, obviously to silence him and as punishment. It's the second time Siegelman has been thrown into the hole after giving a media interview. ["Former Alabama governor Don Siegelman sent to solitary confinement," Washington Post, April 29, 2016.]

To be "fair" and "balanced," I'll mention that the Bureau of Prisons denied that they threw Siegelman into solitary as a punishment. (I hear solitary is actually great fun.) The 70-year-old Siegelman, a Kung Fu Master and trained ninja, has escaped from some of the world's most escape-proof prisons, and thus is a high-security-risk prisoner.... Um, well, that's partly true. He is 70.

This is a Democratic president doing this to a framed-up Democrat. What kind of amoral creeps are Democrats that they accept this kind of party "leadership"? 

The big puzzle is why even the Democrats in the power structure are insistent on heaping injustice upon Siegelman. The Federal appeals court has upheld his conviction, and the Supreme Court refused to even allow him a hearing, completely blowing off a brief signed by 116 former attorneys general in support of Siegelman's exoneration.. ["More than 100 former attorneys general ask US Supreme Court to review Siegelman sentence," Alabama Media Group website of Alabama newspapers, October 22, 2015.

(One of Obama's Supreme Court appointees, Elena Kagan, was Obama's solicitor general, in which role she participated in the persecution of Siegelman. ["Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman seeks pardon from President Obama," Alabama Media Group, op cit.])

The Obama regime has been playing a shell game with Siegelman, moving him from prison to prison in states far away from his family and friends,such as Oklahoma, to try and isolate him, break his spirit, and punish his supporters by stealing their time and money when they attempt to visit him in prison. Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his streak of cruelty, as in the murder of 16 year old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, his teenage cousin, and five other civilians while they were dining, blown up by an Obama drone; arranging the breaking of Medea Benjamin's arm by Egyptian secret police goons to punish her for heckling him during one of his unctuous, oleaginous, sanctimonious, speeches; and the persecution of whistleblowers, activists and dissidents under his rule. A coward and a bully- not an attractive combination. One thing you can say about the likes of Putin and Erdogan: they're bullies but no cowards. Somehow that makes them less contemptible than Obama.

The treatment of Siegelman reminds one that the U.S. power establishment is a deadly nest of vipers, a collection of scorpions that are even dangerous to one another, not just to all the rest of us on this planet. There is no guarantee of personal security as a member of a criminal gang.

Of course, Siegelman got off easy compared to two of the Kennedys.

The perfect VP pick: Doglike Kaine trots closely behind his political master.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Swindler Trump's Presidential Campaign Run By a Swindler- U.S. Media Acts As Accomplices

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is a known swindler who stole $19 million from a Russian businessman. The businessman has been trying to get his money back for eight years now. He had to hire a private investigator just to try and find out where Manafort was hiding.

This is not some crazy "Internet rumor" or "conspiracy theory" from "a blogger sitting in his parents' basement in his underwear," as establishment propagandists like to sneer when they want to discredit (as distinct from disproving) some inconvenient information. This is from the Washington Post, an organ that sits at the apex of the U.S. bourgeois propaganda system. [1]

According to an article in the Post, Manafort and an accomplice, Richard Gates, swindled the Russian businessman, Oleg Deripaska, by tricking him into "investing" with them. Manafort's mark has been futilely trying to get is money back. In fact, the victim can't even get an explanation of where his money is from the thief Manafort. [2]

Manafort has long been involved with state criminals such as Reagan, Bush the Elder, U.S.-backed Philippine tyrant Ferdinand Marcos, and the recently-ousted pro-Russian Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. You would have thought that this last bit of unsavory business would have occasioned loud denunciations in U.S. media, but naaah. What coverage there is is quizzical and faintly admiring. (Tells you something abut the moral and ethical sewer the U.S. elites inhabit.) Manafort was also a helpmate to Jonas Savimbi's terrorist UNITA, a U.S.- favored Angolan group trying to overthrow the government there until Savimbi finally met his maker. [3]

The curious- and damning- thing is, that despite the prominence and "respectability" of the Washington Post, the rest of the propaganda system has virtually ignored the story. This despite all the hand-wringing about what a disaster a Trump presidency would be. (One must wonder, given how the corporate propaganda system, which likes to call itself "the media," has been doing a bit of hand-wringing over the prospect of a Trump presidency, mainly over his unpredictability, and his failure to get on board the Hate Russia bandwagon. To the contrary, he apparently is quite favorably inclined towards Putin, and is suspected of having prospective business dealings in Russia. The leaking of Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks, proving that Hillary Clinton's handpicked hit-woman, DNC chair and Florida Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman-Schultz, deliberately orchestrated a campaign of sabotage against Senator Bernard Sanders' campaign for the party's presidential nomination, has been blamed, so far without any evidence presented- unless you consider the opinions of unnamed "experts" to be evidence, the few identified ones hedging their identification of Russia as the "culprit,"- this outing of information we are all entitled to, as it affects our lives, by being blamed on Russia, is adduced as more proof that Trump is somehow in Putin's pocket. [4]

It's quite natural that Manafort should wind up at Trump's side. Manafort is a scoundrel with a history of service to corrupt reactionaries, and Trump, even with his idiosyncracies, certainly qualifies as one of those. And both Manafort and Trump are rip-off artists, although from what we currently know, Trump is much more accomplished as one.

There's Trump "University," There's using Polish immigrant construction workers at a fraction of the normal pay, without even providing them hard hats. There's cheating his casino workers out of overtime pay. He didn't pay contractors who built his casinos, causing some of them to go out of business. (Great job creator you are, Trump!) There's fleecing banks by taking out loans and not repaying them.

Trump brags about his numerous bankruptcies. He presents this as a savvy business practice, gaming the system. In other words, he plotted in advance to go heavily into debt and declare bankruptcy,

That means he planned to rip people off by "legally" stiffing them for what they were owed. Contractors, workers, banks, and business "partners."

Trump almost never uses his own money. He started out using his father's money, then went on to using the money of saps who "invest" with him, and of dumb bankers. Conniving, corrupt politicians grant him favorable tax "abatements" (exemptions from what by law he would otherwise pay) and various regulatory preferences.

Trump doesn't even make his own charitable contributions. Others fund his "foundation," and his own "donations" over the years have consisted of letting people use his golf courses gratis for charity events, which he then takes a tax write-off on! He had the chutzpah a few months ago to loudly bray about a million dollar donation to veterans' organizations which he then didn't make, until the Washington Post forced his hand by exposing him. (Naturally he excoriated the Post for this terrible terrible deed they did!)

What I always found most stunning over the decades was how the New York City media relentlessly promoted this obvious egomaniacal hustler. The only exception was the weekly paper the Village Voice, which consistently practiced actual journalism and reported on his scams. [5]

There have long been creeps, immoral con men (Clinton, Obama), and reactionaries feigning a human face (Reagan, Nixon, the Bushes) in U.S. politics, but Trump is new in that he doesn't even wear a mask. The fact that millions of people are drinking his obviously rancid, poisonous Kool-Aid forces one to the conclusion that there are far too many imbeciles in America for comfort.

And America is a nation that threatens the whole world.

Slipping in and out of the shadows: Election manipulator 
and swindler Paul Manafort.

Paul is the PERFECT guy for me! 

1]  I am writing this from my very own home, and I'm not wearing underwear, I'm BUCK NAKED! Take THAT, bourgie propagandists!

The Washington Post has long been in a permanent rivalry with the New York Times to be at the very top of the media pecking order in terms of status and influence. As it is based in the capital city of the U.S. empire, Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), it is also a sort of hometown paper for the the imperialist nomenklatura and national political elite.

Its editorial stance is consistently quite reactionary, unlike the New York Times, which is "liberal" mostly and reactionary partly. Its reporting is frequently quite ideological. The people who write it would probably be too self-conscious to do so naked, especially if they knew there were hidden cameras observing them.

2]  "Inside Trump adviser Manafort’s world of politics and global financial dealmaking," Washington Post, April 26, 2016.

3]  "Mystery man: Ukraine's U.S. fixer," Politico, March 5, 2014. The article bemusedly describes Manafort's disappearance, apparently to avoid Deripaska's lawyers, process servers, and investigator.

4]  An ideologue/apparatchik by the name of Anne Applebaum pushed this line very hard yesterday on "The Takeaway," a "public" radio show on government network NPR, hosted by John Hockenberry. Applebaum was miffed that people were paying any attention at all to the content of the emails instead of piling on Putin and leaving the Clinton machine out of it. How unfair that Wasserman-Schultz should be targeted. To Applebaum, the only story here is Russian subversion of a U.S. election.

Applebaum is an unreconstructed, career Cold Warrior, as her official bio on the Washington Post website makes clear. The way people like her have dealt with the disappearance of the organizing principle of their lives, the Evil Soviet Union, is by substituting Russia for the SU. Problem solved!

For an example of Hockenberry's journalistic ethics, see "John Hockenberry Illustrates Lying By Omission." To be fair, Hockenberry isn't all bad. He's more of a mixed bag. He "balances" normal, even humane journalism with reactionary crap and power-sycophancy.

5]  There are hundreds of articles on the Village Voice website exposing Donald Trump. And Wayne Barrett, who reported for the Voice for many years, wrote an important book about Trump, as have a few other authors. David Cay Johnston has also been on Trump's tail.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkish Strongman Erdoğan Easily Crushes Inept Military Coup: Last Gasp of Secularism in Turkey?

Autocratic Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has quickly crushed a badly organized military coup, apparently instigated below the general staff level. The rebellious army units neglected the first rule of any successful coup- immediately neutralize the ruler you're trying to overthrow. That's Job One. Erdoğan was vacationing in southern Turkey, and it should have been easy to seize him as he was far from the capital, Ankara, or Istanbul.

Instead the coupists fired on the Parliament with tanks- not sure what the point of that was. They managed to kill about a hundred civilians, and it's reported by the regime that 105 coup troops were killed, and 1,500 taken into captivity. It's claimed that police units were able to defeat units of the coup attempt. A coup helicopter was shot down, and one flew to Greece with officers of the coup seeking asylum. (Greece and Turkey have a hostile relationship, for historical and contemporary reasons, the contemporary ones centering around the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Both are members of the U.S.-bossed military alliance, NATO, making them uncomfortable bedfellows at the same time.)

Erdoğan called on his followers to turn out in the streets and confront the coup elements, requiring them to defy coupist instructions to the population to stay indoors. Apparently thousands heeded Erdoğan's call, complicating matters for the coup side.

Erdoğan, true to his temperament, vowed that the "traitors" would "pay a heavy price." (Mass executions, anyone?)

Torture of prisoners has long been routine in Turkey, both in political and non-political cases.

Military coups have been common in Turkey since World War II. They are generally done in the name of protecting the secular nature of the Turkish Republic. [1]

Erdoğan, an Islamist who leads an Islamist party, and whose base is the religiously-oriented segment of the populace, a segment that has been growing both in numbers and in religious conservatism in Turkey, has been gradually eroding that secular aspect of the Turkish state. His rise to power represented in part the liberation of the religious from the suppression they suffered under the Ataturk legacy.

So the handy defeat of this coup may well spell the end of secular power in Turkey.

The so-called "Western democracies" all rushed to back Erdoğan, predictably, since they want to stay in his good graces for their own reasons (and they have sensitive power-sensing antennae, so they could detect which way the wind was blowing on his coup attempt). The Europeans have a deal with the regime for Turkey to act as a garbage bag for unwanted refugees from Syria and elsewhere. The U.S. is running military air operations out of Incirlik air base in Turkey. [2]

Which brings me to a second big mistake of the coup plotters. They didn't clear their plot with the U.S. first.

1]  The contemporary state of  Turkey was founded on secularist principles by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a revolutionary army officer, and first president of the new nation he is credited with founding, the Republic of Turkey, (the core of the Turkish Ottoman Empire). After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I (1914-18, during which time the Turks conducted the Armenian genocide under cover of war), Ataturk led a successful war against the Allies from 1919-22 to create the new Turkish nation.  The name "Ataturk" was bestowed on him by Parliament in 1934 and means "Father of the Turks." By law no other Turk may use the name.

Ataturk abolished the Caliphate and sharia courts in 1924. A failed assassination plot against him in 1926 provided him an opportunity to hang various political opponents.

2]  U.S. Secretaryt of State John "Skull and Bones" Kerry issued noises supporting Erdoğan, German Chancellor Angela "The Iron Mouse" Merkel did likewise, and newly-anointed British Foreign Secretary Boris "BoJo" Johnson called the Turkish Foreign Minister to give him a verbal pat on the back.

Birds of a Feather: Erdoğan and Obama, Two Ruthless Rulers.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

China Joins U.S. As Outlaw Nation

China’s claims over huge swaths of the South China Sea are illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

So ruled the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands. [1]

China is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and thus is legally obligated under that treaty to abide by decisions of the Court. [Fat chance.]

In reaction to the Court's ruling, China's government and media (which is part of the government) have gone into paroxysms of denunciation and hysterical vows to ignore the ruling. Even before the official ruling, Chinese propagandists were issuing crazed rants, for example a front-page editorial spewed out the day before the Court issued its decision, by the so-called People’s Daily, blaring a conspiracy theory line that the case was a US and Philippine plot against China, a sneaky trap set by the US and the Philippines with the Court acting as an accomplice.

[I might interject here that, contrary to my somewhat misleading title, China isn't just now becoming an outlaw nation. Its invasion and absorption of Tibet was a criminal act also. And it has long been guilty of numerous, severe abuses of human rights. Oh, and it invaded Vietnam in 1979, an act of unprovoked aggression. (Actually the "provocation" was that Vietnam had the temerity to overthrow the mass murdering Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The U.S. was also mad at Vietnam for doing that.)]

China did not defend itself in the Court, obviously because it knew it didn't have a leg to stand on legally or factually, and it had already determined in advance that it would ignore the Court's decision. China claims, absurdly, that most nations support its illegal position on the series of disputes in the South China Sea.

The other nations whose feet China has been stomping on regarding their territorial claims and rights of free navigation and fishing, are Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Taiwan (which China insists is a mere "province" of China), and Vietnam, that last one a country China has repeatedly invaded over the centuries, including in 1979 with the connivance of the Carter regime of the U.S.  [2]

China is a lovely neighbor, eh?

Only the Philippines had the guts to bring suit (so far) against China. It filed the case last year.
China is trying to grab undersea oil and gas, as well as hog the fish in the area. It has been caught illegally fishing in the territorial waters of other nations in the region. In return, its navy chases the fishing boats of other countries out of international waters, which it illegally claims as Chinese territorial waters.

Part of China's scheme has been creating artificial islands, reinforced with military runways and bases, around which it then claims territorial waters. The Court rejected this tawdry scam in its ruling.  [3]

But the Court, lacking a navy, has no enforcement powers over China, It can't even freeze Chinese assets or bar China from the international financial system -only the U.S. has those powers.

There is a superceding law over all the formal laws and treaties in "international relations." It's an unwritten law; The Law of the Jungle. The principle of that "law" is, Might Makes Right.

In other words, as long as you can get away with it, it's "legal." Because you just declare it so.
Put another way, the powerful decide what the rules are, regardless of what's written down on some piece of paper they solemnly signed and ratified (aka a "treaty").

Such as when the regime of Bush the Younger declared U.S. torture wasn't torture, merely "enhanced interrogation techniques," a smarmy, slimy euphemism persisted in to this day by the U.S. corporate propaganda system, known by the opaque and evasive term, "the media."

And invading Iraq on a trump-up, transparently fraudulent pretext wasn't criminal aggression. (But the U.S. has been invading places since 1812. It's a tradition, you see.)

Speaking of the U.S, so far the U.S. response to China's contemptuous spitting on its international obligations under the treaty it signed, has been quite muted. Nothing from Obama, or even John "Skull and Bones" Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State. Just an anodyne, milquetoast burp from State Department chief mouthpiece John Kirby, saying, while not being able to comment yet on the merits of the case, the U.S. supports the rule of law and peaceful efforts to resolve maritime disputes. (The merits were already decided, Kirby, by the body empowered to decide them! And the Court vote was 5-0. Sounds pretty definitive to me.)

Highlights of the absurd, evasive, head-ducking press release from State Department Chief Flack Kirby:

"The United States strongly supports the rule of law. " [Actually it only supports it when it's in the U.S. "interest." Otherwise fuck the law. See for example invasion of Iraq, torture, subversion and overthrow of "hostile" government, assassinations, gross human rights violations domestically and abroad, etc. In fact, the U.S. doesn't even respect its own domestic laws or Constitution. Its police are virtually above the law, for example. Its police and secret police routinely violate the "guaranteed" rights of the Constitution, and always have. Officials break numerous laws all the time with impunity. If a big enough scandal erupts from lawbreaking, such as Reagan's criminal Iran-contragate conspiracy, a price is paid- namely "embarrassment." Man, if "embarrassment" were the only penalty for crimes, I'd be a bank robber! (Not really. Unlike the people in power here, some of us have a moral compass.)]

More from Kirby:

“In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions,” he said, splitting the non-existent difference. Now you all behave yourselves.

"We are still studying the decision and have no comment on the merits of the case... As provided in the Convention, the Tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines. The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations." [My emphases. So even-handed! The ruling went almost totally against China. And why does the U.S. "have no comment on the merits of the case"? The merits have been decided, you just effectively admitted, Kirby.]

In fact, much of the statement is written as if the Court decided nothing. It urges the parties to "clarify" their claims and "work together to manage and resolve their disputes." Well they tried that already, that's why the Philippines went to Court! China is openly defying the ruling of the Court, despite the fact that they signed a treaty agreeing to accept dispute resolution through the Court. Now what's the U.S. gonna do about it?  [4]

It has alliances, official and unofficial, with most of the countries on that list that China is pushing around. China has declared, quite furiously, that it intends to push ahead with its absorption of the various islands, reefs, rocks, and vast ocean area it claims as its property. The other nations cannot successfully confront China's military unless the U.S. military backs them up.

Best case scenario is that Obama steps up to the plate, and China backs down in a confrontation. But what happens in a decade or two, when China's military is stronger, maybe much stronger?

But there's no reason to assume Obama will even risk a confrontation at present. His punking out when Assad, the Butcher of Syria, crossed Obama's "red line" over using chemical weapons, does not inspired confidence. Obama is good at attacking the weak. Confronting even the somewhat strong is too risky for his taste. Backing down from China will be a green light for increasing Chinese aggressiveness.

They've thrown down the gauntlet to the U.S. So far the U.S. is pretending not to notice.

1]  The Court issued a press release and the judgment, which they call an "Award," as English .pdfs, July 12. Click on the indicated links for those. The judgment is 501 pages, by the way.

2]  I remember well how the Chinese dictator at the time in 1979, Deng Xiaoping, came to the U.S. to be officially feted by president "Jimmy" Carter, and immediately after Deng left, China invaded Vietnam. Being a "cynic," that is, someone who isn't brainwashed by the crap in this country, I thought at the time that there was probably some connivance between the U.S. and China, given the timing, and the grudge the U.S. held against Vietnam for not surrendering after the U.S. killed at least 3 million Vietnamese, dropped 6 million tons of bombs on Vietnam (three times the tonnage the U.S. dropped in World War II), permanently poisoned the land with defoliants contaminated with carcincogenic, neurotoxic, and DNA-damaging dioxins, and the commisions of numerous war crimes and atrocities. Carter said the U.S. didn't owe Vietnam any apology (much less reparations) because "the destruction was mutual." (Yeah, the U.S. bombed Vietnam, and Vietnam shot down some of the bombers. So it's even.)

The Carter regime of course lied through their teeth and denied they'd had the slightest inkling of the impending invasion. (And this with the massive U.S. global surveillance system. Even if the Chinese couldn't resist sharing their plan with the U.S. so they could mutually gloat in advance, U.S. communications intercepts and satellite and airplane surveillance couldn't possibly have missed the military build-up on Vietnam's borders and the preparations for invading.) As it turned out, the Vietnamese beat back the Chinese invaders.

Some years later, the sinister Count Dracula lookalike, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Russian-hating Pole who was Carter's eminence grise as head of the "National Security Council," couldn't resist boasting about how Deng had told the American rulers of the impending invasion. The Carter regime imperialists couldn't have been happier.

Brzezinski, by the way, successfully plotted to lure the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan, another crime he unwisely boasted about. [See Brzezinski in his own words, from Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, although I can't vouch for the English translation. Also "THE STRATEGIC MIND OF ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: HOW A NATIVE POLE USED AFGHANISTAN TO PROTECT HIS HOMELAND," whose author interviewed Brzezinski, former CIA Director Robert Gates, who oversaw an operation to arm violent Afghan religious fanatics, the so-called Muhajideen, "Holy Warriors," starting six months before the Soviet invasion,  high government apparatchiks Walter Slocombe, David Aaron, Dennis Ross, Leslie Gelb, leading Democratic Party operative Bob Shrum,  Jim Mowrer, and journalist Hedrick Smith.

There are brief summaries of Brzezinski's anti-Soviet plot, which eventually culminated in the Afghanistan we have today, at "Brzezinski Vision to Lure Soviets into ‘Afghan Trap’ Now Orlando’s Nightmare," Huffington Post, June 10, 2016.

Here's Brzezinski's flippant dismissal of the immense "blowback" the U.S. and much of the rest of the world has suffered from the policy he sold to his stupid boss, president Carter:

“What was more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold war?”
("Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's Vietnam," Aljazeera, April 23, 2003.)

Carter was and has often been sold to the U.S. public as a "peanut farmer," but more pertinently he was a career naval officer who served on atomic missile submarines. He was steeped and marinated in the culture of U.S. imperialism and anti-Soviet ideology. He increased the military budget by 50% during his single four-year term in office, a fact that is never mentioned in the U.S.

Carter also initiated the contra terrorist war against Nicaragua. And before that, to get around Congress, he secretly had Israel supply arms to the dying regime of the evil dictator Somoza. On top of  that, Carter declared that the Shah of Iran, rated as the worst dictator in the world by Amnesty International when he was in power, as a "good friend." As with Somoza, he tried to save him (and was considered a weakling by U.S. fascists when that proved impossible).

Jimmy Carter, getting to live to a ripe old age in his 90s, unlike so many of his victims, has reinvented himself (with U.S. media help) as some kind of Great Humanitarian. Yeah, right.
By the way, Deng Xiaoping ordered the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Hey, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few thousand eggs! (The "omelet" being the continual rule of bastards in power.)

3]  See for example, "China has reclaimed 3,200 acres in South China Sea, Pentagon says," PBS NewsHour, May 13, 2016. PBS is the Public Broadcasting Service, set up by the U.S. government and funded in part by large corporations and a slew of major haute bourgeois foundations, plus U.S. government money and viewer donations.

4]  I've reprinted the entire State Department press release here, so you don't have to have your ip address snatched up by the U.S. government and spyware planted on your computer.  But if you insist on verifying the accuracy of it, click on the title below:

Decision in the Philippines-China Arbitration
Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
July 12, 2016

The decision today by the Tribunal in the Philippines-China arbitration is an important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea. We are still studying the decision and have no comment on the merits of the case, but some important principles have been clear from the beginning of this case and are worth restating.

The United States strongly supports the rule of law. We support efforts to resolve territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea peacefully, including through arbitration.

When joining the Law of the Sea Convention, parties agree to the Convention’s compulsory dispute settlement process to resolve disputes. In today’s decision and in its decision from October of last year, the Tribunal unanimously found that the Philippines was acting within its rights under the Convention in initiating this arbitration.

As provided in the Convention, the Tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both China and the Philippines. The United States expresses its hope and expectation that both parties will comply with their obligations.

In the aftermath of this important decision, we urge all claimants to avoid provocative statements or actions. This decision can and should serve as a new opportunity to renew efforts to address maritime disputes peacefully.

We encourage claimants to clarify their maritime claims in accordance with international law -- as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention -- and to work together to manage and resolve their disputes. Such steps could provide the basis for further discussions aimed at narrowing the geographic scope of their maritime disputes, setting standards for behavior in disputed areas, and ultimately resolving their underlying disputes free from coercion or the use or threat of force.

Hooboy! This China thing is gonna be sticky! State Department 
Flack-in-Chief John Kirby. Maybe he should have taken the day off.

Self-fancied Master of International Intrigue Zbigniew Brzezinski.

"Peace and Love, Everybody!" James Earl "Jimmy" Carter.

Deng Xiaoping, erstwhile paramount ruler of China, 
finally deceased after a long, destructive life

Friday, July 08, 2016

American Political Dissidents Must Brace for Wave of Vicious Repression After Shooting of 12 Cops in Dallas, Texas

The sniper attack on police in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter Rally yesterday is going to result in revenge attacks against progressive activists, especially BLM activists, as surely as night follows day. There will also be more random police violence as police adopt a "defensive" mode of preemptive violence.

In the preceding two days before the sniper incident in Dallas, two black men were murdered in two U.S. cities. First in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man whose "crime" was selling CDs on the street to support his five children, was tackled by police, pinned to the ground, and then shot five or six times in the chest. The police cannot lie their way out of this only because a bystander recorded a cellphone video. Of course, they will still get away with it. Sterling allegedly had a pistol in his pocket- perfectly legal in Louisiana, a state that boasts of having the laxest gun laws in the U.S., no permit needed to carry a gun.

The next day, another black man, Philando Castile, was shot dead in his car over a broken taillight. This occurred in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, named Falcon Heights. (Perhaps the police there see themselves as birds of prey, swooping down on hapless "blacks.") Castile informed the cop that he had a licensed gun, and when the cop asked for his driver's license, Castile reached for it and the cop filled him full of lead. Again, if a passenger in the car, Castile's girlfriend, hadn't been recording on her cellphone, the usual cover-up would have succeeded. As it is, the police seized her cellphone on the spot and treated her as an armed and dangerous criminal, but her phone was live streaming the video to her Facebook account. The police immediately deleted her account (which they have no right to do, but in the U.S., the police do whatever they want to certain categories of people, categories that increasingly include most of the population). However, others had already copied the video feed.  [1]

The snipers in Dallas shot 12 cops, killing 5, and two civilians. Two suspects were arrested because they were seen driving rapidly from the scene. The police have refused to identify them, or say whether rifles were recovered in their car. Doubtless they are being brutally tortured right now. A third suspect was cornered, allegedly made incriminating remarks, and while police "negotiated" with him, sent a bomb-carrying robot in his space and blew him up. Apparently their thirst for vengeance was so powerful that they couldn't wait him out and thus have the opportunity to interrogate him.

Initially disinformation was put out that this alleged sniper shot himself to death after being cornered. The first hint that this wasn't so came from Wade Goodwyn, one of the few honest NPR reporters. (NPR being the U.S. government's national radio network, which is partly sponsored by corporations and listener donations.) This morning Goodwyn didn't toe the "suicide" line but said the man died.

The establishment media has been quite mendacious about the murders of Sterling and Castile, including the British government propaganda network, the BBC. I will have some analysis of that forthcoming.

Meanwhile, the police, who are already permitted to continue killing people with impunity, and much more, will now ramp up their brutality and killings, and the general repression of dissent, especially dissent against police violence, will rise to a more intense level.

1] After her escape from the clutches of the police, Castile's girlfriend and witness to his murder, Diamond Reynolds, spoke emotionally to a crowd of sympathizers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Chickens Come Home To Roost In Saudi Arabia With 3 Suicide Bombings

The feudalistic regime of the House of Saud, which arrogated to itself the right to claim ownership of an entire country constituting most of the land area of the Arabian peninsula, just experienced some blowback for its spreading globally of a noxious, intolerant, extremist religious ideology, Wahhabism. The blowback came in the form of three suicide bombers, who struck in three separate Saudi cities near the end of the "holy" month of Ramadan.

One bomber took out four Saudi security guards with him, and wounded five more, outside "the prophet's mosque" in Medina, "the second holiest city in Islam," as the catechism goes. Another bomber, a Pakistani man who came to Saudi Arabia 12 years ago to work as a driver, according to the Saudi regime, blew himself up outside the U.S. consulate in Jiddah, wounding two guards. The third bomber targeted a mosque in the predominantly Shiite city of Qatif. (Wahhabism and its terrorist spawn are Sunni. Both the Saudi regime and ISIS persecute Shias. The regime executed a leading Shiite cleric in January for leading protests for more rights and democracy, and ISIS considers Shiites "apostates," abandoners of Islam, and worthy of death.)

This is far from the first time people even more extreme than the Saudis have violently attacked the regime. There have been other attacks on religious sites, shootouts with state security, and assassinations.

So repression, even the extreme repression of a Saudi Arabia, cannot totally suppress attacks by determined zealots willing to sacrifice themselves or take great risks. This is one reason the eventual overthrow of vicious regimes does not result in humane new orders. It is the fanatics who have the gumption, will, and commitment to fight repressive regimes. The decent, moral people are cowed, imprisoned, driven into exile, or killed.

All across the world, cancerous offspring of Wahhabism have sprouted. First came Al-Qaeda, then various Taliban organizations and movements in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, whose military aided and abetted the creation of terrorist organizations to use against India, and provides a haven for the Taliban, policies that in recent years have come back to bite them. (Frankenstein's monster slipping out of the control of the creator.)

In the Philippines there is Abu Sayyef, founded by a veteran of the U.S.-Saudi-Pakistai anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan instigated by Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski and vigorously pursued by the Reagan regime in the 1980s.

Another of the numerous Sunni jihadist organizations is Jemaah Islamiyah, which also operates in the Philippines, and in Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Indonesia, the major country in that region, is also the site of Islamist terrorist activities, such as the Bali nightclub bombings of 2002 that targeted Australian and other tourists and killed 202 people. (A lot fewer than the approximately one million Indonesians murdered in the CIA-inspired anti-communist military pogrom of 1965.) Members of Jemaah Islamiyah were convicted in the bombings.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram has wreaked havoc. (The brutality of the various Nigerian military regimes led directly to radicalizing Boko Haram.)

In Libya there is a war on against ISIS by Libyans fighting back.

In Bangladesh, the regime's tolerance of Islamofascists murdering bloggers, writers, and secularists by hacking them to death with machetes has suddenly come with a price tag, as Islamofascists just attacked foreigners in a restaurant. This is not only scaring off tourists, but is causing foreign clothing companies to consider taking their production business out of the country to saver slave-wage states.

Other attacks in just the last few days include a truck bombing in Baghdad that slaughtered over 200 people so far, and the first attack in Malaysia credited to ISIS, a grenade lobbed at a club that wounded 8 people. [1]

Egypt's tourism industry has been devastated by Islamofascist attacks there, including the destruction of two airliners in flight so far, first a Russian one, then an Egyptian.

In Turkey, the most recent bombing there, in the Istanbul airport by armed suicide bombers, is being blamed on ISIS, even though ISIS hasn't boasted its responsibility, which they usually do. (NPR and other media have been claiming the attack "has the hallmarks of ISIS" or even "all the hallmarks of ISIS." No it doesn't. Which doesn't mean ISIS didn't do it, of course.)

So while ISIS is being systematically squeezed geographically in Iraq, where it declared its "caliphate," and is being fought by the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq, fanatics inspired by it have been undertaking attacks on civilians around the world.

We can expect this situation to last for years. Which is great news for the U.S. political elites of both parties, and the secret police/military combine. That combine sought and deliberately created a never-ending "war on terrorism" in order to gain huge increases in both funds and powers. They initiated this operation, with malice aforethought, by arranging to allow al-Qaeda operatives to hijack planes on September 11, 2001. In order to create "another Pearl Harbor," in the words of one of the seminal planning documents for this criminal enterprise, agents of the U.S. deep state planted demolition charges in three steel structures at the World Trade Center and detonated them on that day, as has been proven beyond doubt by Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, an organization of 2,000 experts.

Thus the program to Create a More Perfect Police State continues, under both Democratic and Republican regimes.

1]  "Toll climbs to more than 200 in Islamic State’s worst-ever bomb attack on civilians," Washington Post, July 4, 2016.  "Islamic State launches first successful attack in Malaysia," CNN, July 4, 2016.

Suicide bomber goes up in cloud of smoke in Medina, presumably ascending to paradise and his reward of an orgy with waiting virgins.