Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Add Another 3,000 Murders to Obama's Tally

Obama, we've been told, has a bit of a mental itch. He's somewhat obsessive about his "place in history." One legacy he's been busily building during his term is murder. To be sure, he's murdered fewer people than his predecessor, Bush the Younger. And I'm not implying that every killing has been a murder. Some could be justified as killing combatants or their commanders in various (not officially declared) wars the U.S. is waging. Some have been flat-out murders, as the assassination of the son and nephews of al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.

Now there must be added to the tally of skulls on Obama's escutcheon over3,000 Yemeni civilians. (I'm excluding another 3,000 Yemenis who are Houthi tribesmen and alleged armed combatants.) These numbers are from the UN and from Human Rights Watch, and I haven't heard them contested. They were killed with U.S.-supplied bombs, including vicious cluster bombs, dropped from U.S.-supplied planes, on markets, on apartment buildings, on mosques, and on hospitals.The planes and bombs were purchased by Saudi Arabia and its fellow Arabian peninsula oiligarchies from the U.S. U.S. officers are stationed in Saudi military headquarters passing along target locations. U.S. aerial refueling tankers fly with the Arab warplanes so they can carry out their missions.

Obama has authorized the sale of tens of billions of dollars of munitions and weapons, including to feed the Saudi war machine's attack on Yemen.

This is one murderous legacy the U.S. media will be sure to ignore in the future. The only crime of a U.S. president that media is willing to acknowledge is the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., by Nixon's burglars, the so-called "plumbers," fascist CIA veterans. (Including one of the assassins of Nixon's hated predecessor and rival, John F. Kennedy, namely E. Howard Hunt.)

France Kicks the Leg Out From Under One Obama "Reason" For British Voters to Reject EU Exit

French President François Hollande* announced yesterday "As things stand in the international trade negotiations, the French position is 'no'," Hollande proclaimed in a speech in Paris. (That's non in French.) Hollande dressed the move up in the garb of high principle, namely the need to defend French culture. Other "principles" enumerated were protection of the environment and of French agricultural interests. (French farming probably wouldn't exist without protectionism. Notice how in the context of current U.S.-capitalist ideology, "protectionism" is a dirty word? Since when is protecting something bad? "Protecting American interests" on the other hand, is a GOOD thing. What's unsaid is that "American interests" consist of U.S. state power, and big corporate business interests, NOT the interests of most Americans. Maybe someday they will realize that.)

Earlier in the day, French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl signaled what was coming, saying a halt in the trade talks was likely. France has been complaining about the stubbornness and inflexibility of the U.S. position.

The move followed on the heels of the environmental activist group Greenpeace releasing 248 pages of the latest secret negotiating text of a trade deal the U.S. is trying to shove down the throat of the European Union. The proposed treaty is grandly titled the " Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership," or TTIP to political sophisticates. The documents show the U.S. predictably pressuring European countries to rip holes in their environmental and consumer protections, and to give giant corporations even more power during trade talks. They also expose yet another double-cross by Obama, who in public always claims he's interested in protecting workers, consumers, and the environment. [1]

The French public, already deeply dubious of a "free trade" treaty in the mold of the notorious predecessors NAFTA**, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and others of that ilk, were aroused  by the Greenpeace expose. Hollande doubtless behaved as a political weather vane, blowing with the prevailing winds of public opinion, rather than a stalwart defender of principle. Oh, did I mention there's a French election next year, and Hollande is very unpopular already? Not that it's relevant, oh no. [2]

So what has that to do with the upcoming June UK public referendum on exiting the European Union, so-called Brexit, or British exit? Obama, a few weeks ago when he was in Britain (according to him, he flew all the way there just to wish the "Queen" Happy Birthday- I suppose after he leaves the White House he'll be selling the Brooklyn Bridge to some suckers) writing a column (in the reactionary rag The Telegraph) and making public pronouncements and giving interviews urging the British public to stay in the EU, he make a bit of a threat, saying Britain would have to cool its heels at the back of the trade treaty line, after a deal was cut with the EU. [3]

Well, the EU just left the line.

That means that the country that apparently can't chew gum and walk at the same time can impose a bad trade deal to Britain. Unless the trade deal window is closed for lunch.

* Hollande's full name is actually François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande. I guess that's so in case he loses a few names, he'll have spares on hand.

** NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal between the U.S., Mexico, an Canada, crafted to put big corporations in the economic driver's seat, that has devastated workers in the U.S. and farmers in Mexico, and helped lead to the forced migration of millions of Mexicans to the U.S. to seek employment, driving down wages in America.

1] There's some irony in Greenpeace being the bearer of information to the French public that forced Hollande's hand, as in 1985 a previous French president with too many names, the horrid François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand, ordered French frogmen to blow up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which was interfering with French nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific, spreading radiation and thus vandalizing the human genome. The terrorist bombing murdered a young photographer and father of two young children, inflicting a lifelong psychic wound on them and their mother. See "Russia Outdoes U.S. Five-Fold In Bombing Hospitals," paragraph 3, and footnote 3.

2] The reactionary Wall Street Journal saw shades of the Munich sellout of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in Hollande's move: "Hollande: France Won’t Compromise Principles in Trans-Atlantic Trade Talks- A year ahead of presidential elections, Hollande is looking to appease many on the left suspicious of a trade deal," May 3, 2016. The word "appease" has a negative connotation in U.S. political discourse as the word appeasement is habitually used to make invidious comparisons to the infamous 1938 sellout of Britain and France to Hitler.

3] See "Obama Threatens Britons Over Leaving the European Union," and "Obama Gives Another Reason For Britons to Stay In the EU: The Better To Spy On Europeans."

 "Surely you Americains do not take us for fools!"

 

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Monday, May 02, 2016

Obama Gives Another Reason For Britons to Stay In the EU: The Better To Spy On Europeans

U.S. president Barack "DroneMan" Obama saw fit to stick his snout into domestic British politics by lobbying the British public on How To Vote in the upcoming referendum on continuing membership in the European Union (EU). British exit, referred to as "Brexit" for British exit, would be a big mistake, so Obama has been schooling the British public in media interviews, public statements, and guess columns in at least one British newspaper. [1]

Most of Obama's arguments were economic, along with a trade threat- namely that Britain would be at the back of the line in negotiating a trade deal with the U.S. (You see, the U.S. government, despite the trillions of dollars and millions of personnel at its disposal, cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Negotiate TWO trade deals at once? Clearly impossible! This is a sleepy bureaucracy. One at a time please.)

Then, in a BBC interview a few days ago, Obama gave another reason  why Britain must stay in the EU to make itself useful to the U.S.: to influence EU policy on surveillance and privacy.

The EU is slightly interested in protecting at least some privacy for its citizens, and has some weak, poorly enforced rules to that effect. Britain, on the other hand, is a privacy Holocaust-land, like the U.S. (London, like New York and other U.S. cities, is honeycombed with many thousands of surveillance cameras in a simulacrum of the nightmarish world of George Orwell's 1984.) And the UK is one of the so-called "Five Eyes," the five English-language Anglo-Saxon dominated nations that have electronic spying agencies tightly tied to the NSA, the so-called "National Security Agency," a military body. (The five are the U.S. Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.) Their targets include their own populations, and continental Europe's, as well as anyone and everyone on earth they can eavesdrop on.

Obama piously opined that he just wanted to make sure the EU struck the proper "balance" between "security" and "privacy." This is an act he has put on ever since Edward Snowden exposed Obama as one of the worst violators of privacy and the Bill of Rights "guarantees" in U.S. history. As so often with Obama, his actions are the exact opposite of his mendacious words. To him, the proper "balance" is 100% for state spying and zero for citizen privacy. That is his actual practice.

It is very obvious that American politicians, with only a small minority as exceptions, only care about increasing the power of the state, at the expense of the citizens, who are made ever more vulnerable and exposed to malevolent targeting by government apparatchiks. (I have over 40 years of personal experience in this regard, unfortunately.) The U.S. power system has done a good job of keeping its ubiquitous surveillance, and its victims, invisible. As long as the number of people who feel themselves directly impacted is a small proportion of the total population, those in power figure they can continue to get away with it. On the other hand, large U.S. tech companies are faced with a loss of overseas business, hence the public displays of pushback by the likes of Apple and other tech companies.

It's a sad day when the most consequential resistance to the repressive U.S. state comes from large corporations! The interests of the corporate sector and the U.S. state are usually in sync, or when not, the government defers to the corporations. The Supreme Court commonly sides with large corporations in cases versus the U.S. government. Right now, the secret police sector, led by the FBI and their nominal master, the Department of "Justice" (the FBI-DO"J" relationship is often one of the tail wagging the dog), is pushing to make tech companies subservient to the secret police. The recent trumped-up case over an Apple iPhone 5, used by one of the San Bernardino mass murderers, was a salvo in that campaign. (The FBI pretended it needed Apple to create an encryption-breaking tool, which was false. Politicians and media stooges of the secret police sector all attacked Apple. Even the "progressive" mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, piled on Apple.)

Some other Big Lies of Obama and the U.S. political and media classes are worth mentioning in this context, in the interest of promoting mental hygiene.

-Snowden could and should have worked within proper channels:

Numerous whistleblowers who did just that have been crucified during the Obama regime, including NSA veterans William Binney, who for his troubles got an FBI raid on his home complete with an FBI agent sticking a gun in his face while in the shower, and Thomas Drake, indicted with the use of government-forged documents.

-Spying is overseen by Congress and the courts, as well as by the executive branch:

This was one of Obama's lines. Well of course Obama conspired to keep it secret, and approved the expansion of the massive police state. The "judicial oversight" consists of the rubber-stamp "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" (FISA) "court," which are hand-picked reactionary judges whose sole function is to rubber-stamp warrants. (They've granted over 40,000, and rejected about a dozen that had paperwork errors. Even that "court" grumbled that the NSA went far beyond what the court's warrants granted.)

The Congressional "oversight" consists of just those Congresspeople on the "Intelligence" committees of the House and Senate, who are legally prohibited from informing the rest of Congress about what's going on, as it's all "classified." Furthermore, they are in the dark and even blatantly lied to, as Obama's "Director of National Security" James Clapper notoriously did (you can view him lying to the committee on youtube.com) and NSA bosses Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden. Furthermore, the various secret police agencies spy on the committees, such as whe the CIA broke into the computers of committee staffers reviewing the CIA's torture program. So who is overseeing whom?

-Only metadata is collected by the NSA:

This lie is assiduously and relentlessly repeated not only by all the awful politicians of both parties, from Obama on down, but by the mendacious U.S. corporate media. The 30-year NSA veteran William Binney has said numerous times in public forums that the NSA is collecting the content of phone calls, emails, etc., not just metadata. Not that we need him to tell us. The fact that the NSA just built a gigantic storage center in Utah, that can store data equivalent to 100,000 Libraries of Congress, and is now building another storage center, makes it obvious that they aren't just storing metadata, which take up no more room than a small text file per message.

-It's all "legal:"

Well, if the criminals are the ones "interpreting" the law.

The U.S. Constitution is the basic law of the land, the foundation of all other laws. At least that's what they claim. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is quite specific:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

 Clearly, sweeping up every single communication of millions of people at once, not to mention rummaging through the bank, medical, library, and every other kind of record, ( the FBI alone has seized hundreds of thousands of those types of records using the "PATRIOT" Act as an excuse- are there really so many "terrorists" here?) turns the Fourth Amendment "guarantee" into confetti.

 "The Free World" should surely be recognized by now as the cynical Orwellian slogan that it is.

1] See "Obama Threatens Britons Over Leaving European Union," April 22.


U.S. Reporter Detects "Momentum" For Donald Trump

NPR "national political correspondent" Don Gonyea says Trump might have "momentum" going into the Indiana party primary, as he leads Ted Cruz by 15 percentage points.

So with Trump on the verge of either obtaining a majority of delegates to the party convention or nearly so, a U.S. reporter uses the "M" word. (NPR is the domestic radio propaganda network started by the U.S. government and funded in part by corporate advertising.)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Dogs That Aren't Barking. Why Are U.S. Media Chatterers Silent On Trump's "Momentum"?

One of the hackneyed, dubious propaganda tropes of U.S. corporate media hacks, reliably trotted out during presidential election seasons, is "momentum," or "Big Mo." The idea is that a candidate who wins, or "wins" (does better than projected to do by polls) in this or that state caucus or primary, will do better and better because of "momentum," like  a rock or a snowball rolling down a hill, picking up speed and size as it goes.

More often than not, "momentum" turns out to be ephemeral in the instances when "the" media ballyhoos it. Not that they ever admit that.

"Momentum" is applied to candidates the corporate propaganda system wishes to promote. (Meanwhile, candidates like Ralph Nader, who filled Madison Square Garden in New York City with people who paid for the privilege of attending, are blacked out by the media. In this election, Bernard Sanders was virtually ignored until recently, even though he was getting more votes than Donald Trump. Trump, of course, of omnipresent in the U.S. media.)

You'd think, given the U.S. media's Trump-obsession, and the fact that Trump obviously IS going from strength to strength, that this more than anything would be a "momentum" moment.

But no, not at all. Even though in the last 5 primaries, Trump got from 54% to 65% of the vote! (So much for the wishful line saying most Republicans didn't vote for Trump, therefore they're against him.)

The reason for this is that the U.S. elites are increasingly alarmed by the prospect of a Trump candidacy (or in the "worst" case, a Trump presidency). This is because Trump has proven disruptive of the established political order. Not because he's a revolutionary. Because he says things out loud that are supposed to be tacit, to avoid causing class and race conflicts to burst into flame, instead of kept smoldering under the surface, allowing deniability.

Trump also is "unreliable" on "foreign policy," as he does not faithfully hew to U.S. imperialist scripts. Here again, his statements incite conflict, with China, and with U.S. "allies" (satraps and clients and lackeys). Were he to act on his claimed intentions, it would upset a number of apple carts.

And he even praised Russian Bogeyman Putin!! Doesn't he know Putin's a Bad Guy?

Clearly Trump is unschooled in "foreign policy," and says "irresponsible" things. To keep the American people brainwashed in the ideological catechisms of the moment of U.S. imperialism, it is necessary to create the illusion that the propaganda describes reality. The illusion is potentially spoiled when someone highly visible says the wrong "message."


U.S. Chatterariat Overlooks Trump's Big Mo

 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Obama Threatens Britons Over Leaving the European Union

U.S. emperor Obama has weighed in yet again on the upcoming British referendum two months hence, on leaving or remaining in the European Union (EU). Butting into other people's business is an old habit with the imperialist U.S., so no surprise there.

In typical fashion, Obama spoke out of both sides of his mouth, saying it was up to Britons to decide, while telling them how they should vote if they knew what was good for them. He told them brusquely that they'd be at the back of the line if they wanted to make a trade treaty with the U.S. if they voted to exit the EU, the so-called "Brexit" (short for British exit). Pretty rude.

Obama said, in coded language, that Britain will have the most pull if it continues to be the U.S.' stooge within the EU. Speaking as a "friend," Obama hinted that Britain's usefulness to the U.S. would be significantly diminished if it were to drop out of the EU, where it can act as a agent of U.S. interests inside that would-be superstate.

British prime minister David "Big Toff" Cameron chimed in, saying people should listen to their "friends," a reference to the U.S. nation-state. Cameron was forced against his will, after years of stalling and broken promises, to finally allow some democracy in Britain and let the people vote on continuing to be absorbed into the EU.

British elites are themselves divided on the issue- hence the referendum. Cameron's own party, the Conservatives, is split. And the self-promoting, showboating mayor of London, Boris Johnson, like Cameron a Tory, has come out for Brexit. Miffed at Obama's interference British internal affairs, he penned an irate piece in response, carping that Obama removed a bust of the glorious British imperialist Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, or somewhere in the White House. Obama replied that he passed by another Churchill head every day. So there.

It seems to me that there will neither be catastrophe nor great advantage to Britain if it exits the EU. There will be additional hoops to jump through for Brits wishing to work in Europe. Britain will have increased sovereignty in terms of domestic law. It will be free to deny social benefits to foreign workers, as well as limit their numbers. Trade might become a bit more cumbersome. As Britain never jettisoned its own currency, the pound, for the euro, nothing changes monetarily. The need to exchange currencies for trade and travel that already existed will be the same. The idea that Britain somehow swings greater weight on the global stage within the EU is based on the fallacy that the EU is something more than a U.S. appendage in international affairs, or else a passive body that cannot agree among its constituent nations on any decisive action. In the Ukraine matter, the U.S. has put Europe in the position of making sacrifices to punish Russia. The U.S. made the policy ("and fuck the EU," in the immortal words of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in her infamous, unguarded phone call to U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt) and the EU suffered the economic consequences by imposing trade sanctions on Russia as per U.S. diktat. (The ever-dutiful and obedient German chancellor Angela "The Iron Mouse" Merkel, the actual boss of the EU, carried out her Master Obama's instructions.)

The End.




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

U.S. Media Focus Mainly on Putin In Panama Papers Theft, Though He Isn't Named In Them, Lets Western Stooges Off Easy

The massive document theft from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca doesn't name Putin. But it names an alleged friend of his, a cellist. That fact has been enough for the U.S. media to take the ball and run with it. Putin is Culprit Number One in the U.S. media's coverage of the stolen documents. [1]

Meriting mostly mere mentions, or no mention at all, are two other "world leaders" (country bosses) who actually have hidden accounts themselves as revealed in the documents: Petro Poroshenko, the president-by-violent-street-riots of Ukraine, and Mauricio Macri of Argentina, who just ripped off his own country for billions of dollars handed over to U.S. hedge fund extortionists. Poroshenko is the U.S.-EU-approved successor to the ousted Yanukovych, said to deserve being violently ousted because he was "corrupt." (But the referendum by which the people in Crimea voted by over 90% to reunite with Russia was dismissed by Western imperialists as "illegitimate," "illegal," "invalid," even "fake"- by Joseph Nye, a career U.S. imperialist apparatchik. What a luxury it is to write your own rules and the rules for everyone else also!) The "King" of Saudi Arabia has also been discreetly unmentioned prominently (or at all) in the U.S. media.

British prime minister David Cameron also got a pass in U.S. media. The most said about him was when he finally stopped stonewalling on Day 6 of the furor and announced that all taxes had been paid on the account in question, which he inherited from his father and which was closed prior to Cameron attaining the premiership. His family successfully avoided a lot of taxes that way. That didn't stop the BBC (the UK government's propaganda network) from putting on a reactionary propagandist from the rightwing British rag the Telegraph to insist that Cameron did nothing wrong and it would all blow over. (In fact it hasn't blown over, even though the BBC has been doing its best to effect that outcome.)

For the first few days, the insignificant nation of Iceland also was useful as a way to virtually ignore the U.S. collaborators Poroshenko and Macri. The Icelandic president was forced out of office as a result of trying to hide his money. You'd think Iceland was a major nation from the play it got, again especially on the BBC. (Bullshit Broadcasting Corporation. Or is it Bombastic Blather Corruption? I forget.)

It probably escaped most people's attention, even though there have been pro forma acknowlegments in passing in the deluge of media shaming, is the fact that "hidden" and "secret" doesn't equal illegal, and that it is unknown how many of those whose financial privacy has been stripped away evaded taxes. In the public mind, offshore has been equated with tax evasion. (As we know from the example of Mitt Romney, and the U.S. corporations that have $2 trillion socked outside the U.S. to avoid paying taxes- legally.)

1] And not just U.S. media. Here's who the leftish Guardian (UK) shines the spotlight on in its central story on the Panama Papers:


Even the left-leaning Guardian (UK) put Putin front-and-center in its coverage of the Panama Papers. Note implication: It's all Putin's money. That's unlikely.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
https://panamapapers.icij.org/

High Level U.S. Apparatchik Visits Scene of a Crime 71 Years Later

In 1945, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the undefended Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For nearly three-quarters of a century, U.S. government officials have avoided those war crime scenes like the plague. [1]

Now U.S. Secretary of State John "Skull and Bones" Kerry, a made member of the U.S. nomenklatura, has visited Hiroshima (but not Nagasaki- poor Nagasaki has always played second fiddle to Hiroshima, or been forgotten entirely, in the pantheon of Atomic Bomb Victim Cities).  [2]

Kerry delivered remarks that were both anodyne and deeply cynical. (Or if you want to give Kerry "the benefit of the doubt" and assume that he truly believes the guff he bloviates, deeply hypocritical.) They are completely forgettable boilerplate, not worthy of quotation. You can look them up if you like, the U.S. State Department website archives such propaganda. (I suggest using the Tor browser and a VPN if you don't want to endanger yourself by visiting such a risky website. Who knows what kind of malign spyware will be planted on your device.)

Kerry spoke of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. The need to eliminate nuclear weapons... .at the same time his boss has put in motion a 30, TRILLION dollar program to add NEW nuclear weapons to the U.S. arsenal! (Kerry, do you have any shame at all? I guess not. Nor do you have any respect for our intelligence, to insult us in such a blatant fashion.) [3]

It seems to me (as it would to any even semi-rational observer) that you and Obama and the U.S. are hardly serious about "eliminating nuclear weapons."

Kerry is right at home in the extremely mendacious Obama regime. Nixon and Clinton had nothing on Obama when it comes to slippery deception and con artistry. Every year for 6 years now, Obama has called a "summit" in the Empire's capital, Washington, D.C., to which he has summoned other "world leaders" (including from China and Europe) to lecture them on nuclear weapons disarmament. They listen politely and play the game. All want to con their publics about their good intentions and benign natures. All are sickening shysters.

What Obama is actually doing to building out an arsenal that includes all new weapons for all three "legs" of the U.S. nuclear "strategic triad," plus more. This "triad" consists of the U.S. Navy's nuclear strategic submarines, which carry SLBMs (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles), each missile carrying multiple warheads that can each be dropped on a separate target; and the U.S. Air Force's bomber fleet carrying nuclear bombs and cruise missiles, and the land-based ICBMs (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles), which like the Navy's subs, each carrying multiple warheads.

Obama also thinks the U.S. needs something called the "long range standoff weapon," a new cruise missile with a nuclear "payload." This can be fired from hundreds of miles away, will fly low, under radar defenses, and thus is a first strike weapon. Obama wants to put new nuclear bombs in Europe, the "B-6H2" guided bomb.

There will be all kinds of new nukes, more precision ones, ones with "dial a yield" capacity, to pick the explosive force- as if this crap is necessary.

Having spend trillions on "defense" since 1945, the U.S. is committed ad infinitum to gigantic war budgets in perpetuity, for which it taxes its people, while depriving them of decent social services. Remember, this trillion is just for new nuclear weapons. There's a half trillion dollar white elephant of a new fighter jet, inferior in every respect to the planes it is replacing, the F-35, a pure boondoggle for the military-industrial complex. And much more. Not to mention "off-budget" wars that they don't count, but that someone has to pay for. (Guess who?)

It's just like the Cold War never ended!

Because you see, the "Cold War" was just a cover and an excuse for U.S. imperialism, something that began in 1789.

1] The deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime, period. And the motive for the attack is irrelevant. For decades, the U.S. propaganda line, drilled into the heads of every American, is that these war crimes caused Japan to surrender and saved 50,000, or 100,000, or 250,000, or 1,000,000 American lives. (Yes, the number kept going up over the years- all fictive.) But committing war crimes in order to try and win a war does not "legalize" the crime.

And even the claimed result, Japan's surrender, turns out to be false. Recent historiography proves conclusively that it was the Soviet Union's entry into the war against Japan that induced Japanese capitulation. The Japanese Emperor and military oligarchy was so deluded that they believed the Soviets could be used to broker a deal with the U.S. and UK for an end to the war on terms acceptable to Japan. Instead the Japanese rulers were completely stunned and shocked by the Soviet attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria in August. (The atomic bombings were also in August.) Before the atomic bomb attacks destroyed two cities, another 68 Japanese cities had already been largely destroyed by firebombs dropped by B-29s under the command of the psychopath General Curtis LeMay. (Who later in life, as head of the Strategic Air Command- the arm of the U.S. Air Force that controlled U.S. nuclear-armed bombers and the ICBMs, Inter-Continenal Ballistic Missiles with nuclear warheads- was straining at the leash to nuke the Soviet union, and nuke Vietnam.) The fact that two more cities were incinerated logically wouldn't have changed the attitude of the Japanese military dictators. In fact, even after the Soviet entry into the war and the atomic bombings, one member of the Emperor's war cabinet still wanted to fight on!

It's true that Japan committed many war crimes, many atrocities against civilians. But the fact that one's adversary commits war crimes does not "legalize" one's own crimes. To use a criminal law analogy, if someone murdered a member of your family, and you retaliated by murdering a member of theirs, you would still be liable to a charge of murder. Or in common sense terms, "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right."

2] Skull and Bones is a secret society at Yale University, one of the "elite" so-called Ivy League universities, whose membership is limited to students whose families are members of the U.S. upper class. Membership is retained for life. Skull and Bones thus comprises a network within the permanent power structure of the U.S., new members of which are inducted in college. Kerry is a member, as is George Bush and his father, and his grandfather. It dates to 1832, meets in a concrete mausoleum-style building called the "Tomb," and has bizarre rituals.

Prescott Bush, grandfather of George Bush (father of George H.W. Bush), was one of four "Bonesmen," who robbed the grave of native American warrior Geronimo in 1918, spiriting away the skull and some bones to the Skull and Bones lair. Later, when Geronimo's descendants sued to get the bones returned, the FBI tried to quash the case. Jonathan Bush, H.W.'s brother, was involved in parrying the descendants in sham "negotiations." Bottom line- the "Bonesmen" retain their war trophies. See here for details.
Some, however, believe the Bonesmen just pretended to have Geronimo's bones, for example Cecil Adams. Either way, the whole thing is a minor aspect of the Skull and Bones story, the importance of which is that this secret society is a vehicle for perpetuating ruling class power by internal cohesion and forming bonds of personal and group loyalty to a power elite.

3] There is voluminous information on Obama's gargantuan, aggressive nuclear weapons buildup. Here is the result of an Internet search using duckduckgo.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

That Overrated New Yorker Fact-Checking Department

Read at propagandaanalysis.blogspot.com

archive URL:
http://propagandaanalysis.blogspot.com/2016/03/that-overrated-new-yorker-fact-checking.html

Compulsive Liars of FBI Blatantly Lie Again- Media Doesn't Notice

You may recall that for the last month or so, the FBI has been insisting that the only way they can get into the encrypted data on an iPhone used by one of two Islamofascists who committed a massacre in San Bernardino, California, is if the Apple Corporation creates a software program to break its own encryption on the phone. [1]

Well whaddaya know, turns out it's not so. The U.S. Department of "Justice" is dropping its court case to compel Apple to make cracker software for the FBI. The FBI, after a full-court press in the media for a month, claiming that the terrorists were going to destroy "National Security" if Apple didn't submit, said Never Mind. They "found" a company that can do the job. Surprise surprise.

Actually it was always obvious that the FBI could break into the iPhone of the dead killer without forcing Apple to create software that the FBI, contrary to its oh-so-innocent protestations, would then use routinely and in secret to break into the phones of whomever it doesn't like. (People like me. Although I personally don't have an iPhone.) For one thing, there's this outfit called the NSA (National Security Agency) that most certainly already has methods to defeat iPhone security. And the FBI has free access to the NSA's databases and can call on them for assistance. (They just don't want to admit it in open court.)

For another thing, there's an entire industry devoted to data retrieval. Edward Snowden even pointed this out weeks ago. So the FBI is availing itself of the services of a company that specializes in this.

It had already been pointed on tech websites that various means exist to get past the Apple encryption, such as merely copying the contents of the flash storage as many times as needed and trying out password possibilities on the copies until one worked. (That's called a brute force attack.) There was much repetition of the claim that after 10 wrong password attempts, all th date would be deleted and gone forever. Not so, according to some tech experts. The password would be deleted.

The point is, the FBI's original claim was bogus, knowingly false. But the U.S. media will never, ever, point out an FBI lie, no matter how obvious. (The BBC won't either, I've noticed.)

But in the meantime, we were subjected to a month of media attacks on Apple for selfishly putting profits ahead of "National Security" and Protecting the American People from Terrorism. (Funny, I thought corporate profits were the whole point of this system! That's the reason they overthrow governments and slaughter millions of people, to make the world safe for corporate profits.) As part of this propaganda offensive to aid and abet yet another FBI power grab, the media trotted out the usual suspects, giving a platform to various secret police poohbahs and the political enablers of the secret police state. Some of whom you might not have expected in such a role, such as the "progressive" mayor of New York City, that alumnus of the Clinton cabal, Bill "My Deeds Contradict My Words" de Blasio, who scolded Apple and lectured them on the necessity of "protecting" people's "safety" rather than worrying about their image and profits. His hand-picked police Commissioner, Bill "The Velvet Repressor" Bratton, chimed in likewise.

Apple, for self-interested reasons, dug in its heels. Other tech companies verbally backed them. But this is only a defeat for the secret police leviathan in the sense that a grab for still more repressive power was stymied. The principle that corporations have to act as accomplices to the secret police in making cracker software was temporarily staved off. But no legal precedent was set, since the case was dropped. In practice however the secret police still strip all of us naked of any privacy every second of every day. And the tech companies, and especially the phone companies, are still almost fully cooperative with the secret police, as they have been ever since the invention of the telephone. (The telegraph too, for that matter.)

We'll see what repercussions, if any, will be visited on Apple CEO Tim Cook for his effrontery. Remember what happened to the head of Qwest Communications, Joseph Nacchio, when at the beginning of the regime of Bush the Younger, the NSA went around to all the telecoms to tap into their networks illegally. Nacchio said Sure, just show us the warrant. He was the ONLY telecom exec to require a warrant. The NSA said Never Mind, and the next thing that happened was the Federal government found an excuse to indict Nacchio on a insider trading charge and he was socked with a 6 year stretch in prison.

By the way, the NSA was setting up this massive illegal spying in February 2001. That's 7 months before September 11, when agents of the U.S. Deep State, acting on the orders of Richard Cheney, blew up those three buildings at the World Trade Center, which has ever since been used as a justification for every state crime under the sun.

1] The San Bernardino massacre occurred December 2 of last year. The attack was carried out by a married ethnic Pakistani couple, who targeted an office party for the husband's co-workers, killing 14 of them. For details and background on the San Bernardino killers, see "Last Days: Preparing for the apocalypse in San Bernardino," New Yorker, February 22, 2016. For an interesting insight into how extremists go unnoticed by people who know them, see "San Bernardino and the Mechanics of a Double Life," New Yorker, December 16, 2015. This also refutes the demagogues who insist that the Muslim "community" shelters and hides terrorists.We just heard it again from the U.S. demagogues, including Donald Trump and the "talk" radio stormtrooper ranters, saying that the Muslims in Belgium "had to know" the terror suspects were among them. Like everybody knows who's hiding in a given apartment! It's called hiding for a reason.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Still Smearing the Anti-War Movement After All These Years

The spontaneous grassroots movement against the monstrous war on the three Indochinese nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, was one of the noblest occurrences in U.S. history. The power establishment reviled it at he time, simultaneously fearing and hating it. The view of those who rule was- and is- that the proper role of the citizenry is to be docile and obedient and willingly offer themselves up as cannon fodder in whatever imperialist war the masters decided on. It was certainly not to meddle in “policy decisions” made by the Wise Ones, and it was most certainly not to protest such policies. And attempting to reverse those evil policies was regarded as depraved and diabolical. [1]

Lest you think that “elite” attitudes have changed, today on a U.S. government-hosted propaganda show, “Fresh Air,” presented by Terry Gross and aired on the U.S. domestic radio network NPR, one Elaine Kamarck, a minor made member of the U.S. nomenklatura, casually tossed off the following slander with no demurral from the program host; that the anti-war movement “were out rioting” during the 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago, Illinois. [2]

Actually, what really happened was “a police riot” that went on for a week! Those are the words of the official government-appointed commission that reviewed the matter! But inconvenient history is routinely tossed down the memory hole and replaced with lies by the U.S. commentariat. The Chicago police, under the rule of the corrupt, iron-fisted political boss Mayor Richard Daley, brutally attacked protesters assembled in a park and on the street, tear-gassed the delegates of the anti-war candidate Senator Eugene McCarthy in their hotel (the CIA had assassinated Robert Kennedy in June, who otherwise would have won the nomination and the election against Nixon), and even punched CBS reporter Dan Rather in the stomach on the convention floor on live television. [3]

But pseudo-scholar Kamarck tells us it was a “riot” by protesters.[4]

Anyway, that cheap shot was just a gratuitous sideswipe. Kamarck was brought on to explain to us how the electoral primary process works. And who better to give an objective explanation than a Hillary Clinton superdelegate, which is what Kamarck is! Kamarck is also the perfect person to tell us why superdelegates are necessary, which she proceeds to do. (Clinton started with over 500 superdelegates before the first primary. It's like a race with one person having a hundred yard- or meter- headstart.)

You see, when the grip of rightwing corporatist party bosses, the kind who are aggressive imperialists, was broken after Senator George McGovern managed to get the party's presidential nomination in 1972, the result was, according to Kamarck, “a lot of uncertainty and chaos.” Chaos! And horror of horrors, machine hack pols weren't going to the convention as delegates! And they were sorely needed as “leaders,” according to both Kamarck and Gross. So in 1982 something called the Hunt Commission was formed, to reempower the machine party hacks. Oh, by the way, Kamarck was a member of the Hunt Commission. Just an irrelevant coincidence. I'm sure it in no way biases her version of history and contemporary politics.

Look, if you're interested in the rest of the Democratic Party establishment propaganda that party machine apparatchik Kamarck spoon-fed to Terry Gross's audience, you can go online and listen to it. Obviously she is not a reliable source for an objective picture of reality.

Kamarck is one of these barnacles who is permanently attached to institutions of power. She was a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where the curriculum can be summed up as How To Rule. Currently she is ensconced at the Brookings Institution, where she is the director of a thing called the “Center for Effective Public Management.” She was a “Senior Policy Advisor” to rightwing Democratic Leadership Council politician Albert Gore when he was vice president under the first (and hopefully only) Clinton regime, and also during his 2000 presidential campaign, which he and the Democratic Party allowed to be stolen by the Gang Of Plunderers (GOP).

Which reminds me of another piece of Democratic Party “history,” namely their canard that Ralph Nader cost Gore the election. Absurd bullshit in so many ways.

Clinton, whose power circle Kamarck belongs to, helped commit much evil as co-president with her husband from January 1993 to January 2001. They helped spur a massive increase in the prison population. They gutted welfare, imposing a 5-year lifetime limit on aid, among other things. When Bill Clinton's war secretary, Les Aspin, wanted to intervene to stop the genocidal ethnic cleansing being carried out by the Serbs, Hillary stopped her. Her political and personal partner Bill is responsible for three mass murders: the killing of thousands in Haiti by Fraph, a CIA-controlled terrorist organization; the deaths of thousands for lack of medicines when Clinton blew up the just-completed first and only pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, pretending it was an “Al-Qaeda biological warfare factory;” and blocking the UN from sending requested reinforcements to the peacekeepers in Rwanda just before the ensuing massacre of hundreds of thousands.

As Obama's Secretary of Sate, Clinton helped protect the Honduran military coup that overthrew the elected president Manuel Zelaya and instituted the current reign of terror, under which hundreds have been murdered, most recently two environmental activists. Clinton brags of her role in legitimizing the coup with a sham election and blocking EU interference in her recent book.

As is obvious from just this brief synopsis of her crimes, Hillary Clinton is evil, and anyone allied with her and helping her in her quest for power, is aiding and abetting evil.


1] Lyndon Johnson literally believed that the anti-war movement was the creation of Moscow, and ordered the CIA to uncover the “links” to prove it. As if millions of Americans were marching in the streets against U.S. barbarism on the command of the Kremlin! This mad conspiracy theory is never ridiculed, whereas establishment polemicists and media hacks regularly ridicule those speaking true facts about the Kennedy assassinations or the demolition of three buildings at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan on September 11 of 2001, for example.

2]The Mind-Boggling Story Of Our Arcane And Convoluted 'Primary Politics',” NPR, “Elections.” As I said, the show is called “Fresh Air,” and is hosted by Terry Gross. The day's segment is described thusly: “Author Elaine Kamarck explains superdelegates, the difference between caucuses and primaries, what happens in a brokered convention and how the rules of primaries can sometimes change.”

Conveniently, NPR and Gross arranged things so you can buy Kamarck's book directly from a link on top of the NPR/Fresh Air program page. In case you still didn't purchase a copy, there's also a link on top of her bio page at Brookings. The book is “Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.” So you don't need to think. She'll tell you “everything you need to know.”
Or rather, what she and her ilk want you to believe.

Both the book and Kamarck's and Gross' dog and pony show are junior high school civics class-style propaganda aimed at adults. Apparently one can have cushy career spushing such pablum.

The underlying gimmick of Fresh Air is typical of NPR; appearing to be “thoughtful” and “in depth” and giving off a vaguely liberal odor, while in fact often being quite reactionary. The day before, Gross had on Fred Kaplan, a reactionary who is more subtle than most U.S. reactionaries, the better to brainwash people in his hawkish ideology. Both a militarist and a supporter of police state powers, Kaplan feigns neutrality and objectivity. (Not exactly an original ploy.)

3] National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, aka The Walker Report. The commission was chaired by Milton Eisenhower, brother of former president and general Dwight David Eisenhower. Its over 200 members interviewed more than 1,400 witnesses and reviewed film and FBI documents. Here are excerpts:

“The nature of the [police response] response was unrestrained and indiscriminate police violence on many occasions, particularly at night. That violence was made all the more shocking by the fact that it was often inflicted upon persons who had broken no law, disobeyed no order, made no threat. These included peaceful demonstrators, onlookers, and large numbers of residents who were simply passing through, or happened to live in, the areas where confrontations were occurring.”

“Newsmen and photographers were singled out for assault, and their equipment deliberately damaged. Fundamental police training was ignored; and officers, when on the scene, were often unable to control their men. As one police officer put it: “What happened didn’t have anything to do with police work.”

In other words, standard U.S. police procedure in treating protesters (and bystanders) whose message the power structure despises. Something we've seen many times before and since.

4] Kamarck's bio on the Brookings Institution website presents her thusly:

'Elaine C. Kamarck is a senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at Brookings and the director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings. ['Effective Public Management' being a euphemism for How To Rule, like 'governance.'] She is a public sector scholar with wide experience in government, academia and politics. Kamarck is an expert on government innovation and reform [sic! Anti-reform, reaction against reform more like it!] in the United States, OECD countries and developing countries. In addition, she also focuses her research on the presidential nomination system and American politics and has worked in many American presidential campaigns. Kamarck is the author of 'Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates.'"

She is listed as “Founding Director” of that Center.

Senior Fellow at Brookings, Senior Policy Advisor to Al Gore, past Senior Fellow at the Progressive [sic] Policy Institute, Senior This, Senior That- are there any Junior Fellows at these joints? I've never come across one. Apparently they aren't allowed out in public. (They might upstage the Senior ones, I guess. Can't let that happen.)

Brookings is considered “liberal” in the U.S., even though it is pro-U.S. imperialism and corporatist to its core, simply because it isn't rabidly reactionary like the Heritage Foundation or numerous other propaganda mills are. The business of these propaganda mills is to traffic in “expertise” designed to influence government policy in the desired direction. They are political pressure groups disguised as centers of scholarship. (Brookings website actually uses the .edu suffix, reserved for educational institutions. How presumptuous. You ain't no school, Brookings.)



Elaine C. Kamarck

Don't worry your pretty little heads trying to figure out politics, folks. I'll tell you what to think.




Terry Gross. That's odd, she looks “liberal.”




Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trump vs. Clinton Means Democrats Once Again Force You To Vote For Them As Lesser Evil

Well, another presidential election, another electoral extortion by the Democrats coming up. Every four years Americans who have decent instincts (and in some cases are politically conscious and non-deranged) have the same choice- Evil or Worse Evil. Vote for imperialism, reductions in government programs that serve human needs, and a more repressive police state, or vote for possibly even more aggressive imperialism (although given the Democrats war record going back to World War I, through Korea, Vietnam, Carter's instigation of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan and beginning the assault on Nicaragua and sanguinary repression in El Salvador- by the way Carter also increased the military budget 50% in just four years, contrary to the "hollowing out" of the military under Carter you may have been led to believe by the GOP and U.S. media- and now Obama's numerous wars, force one to wonder whether the GOP, notwithstanding their louder barking, actually has a worse bite), more savage assaults on human services, and a more repressive police state. This stark choice is used every time to repress arguments for the need to break decisively with the two-party dictatorship that fronts for the corporate oligarchy of America, and offer a real alternative. More importantly, it smothers in the cradle the necessary building of a political movement to actually change things fundamentally in the U.S. [1]

This endless postponement of creating a true opposition movement (with the party-building that must be part of such a movement to give it coherence, institutional continuity, and strategic direction) means nothing really changes in the U.S., except for the worse. As the U.S. has relentlessly moved rightward over the past few decades, the populace increasingly feels confused, trapped, angry, and demoralized.

On the right this manifests in the schizophrenic extremism of the Tea Party mentality. The narcissistic demagogue Donald Trump sensed his opportunity here and has seized it. That's what good opportunists do- take advantage of circumstances in ways that only serve themselves.

On the left, once again a figure has arisen to raise false hopes, later to be dashed. In 2008 it was Barack Hussein Obama, a product of the Daley machine of Chicago, a hustler and con man whose first job out of college was with a CIA-front company, and who then became an infiltrator of grass roots progressive movements in Chicago (getting close to ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers in the process) as a "community activist." In 2016 it's Bernard Sanders, an independent allied with the Democratic Party, another Pied Piper whose ultimate role will be to urge his followers to vote for the mega-corrupt, two-faced political chameleon Hillary Clinton.

Well, at least this is more interesting than the originally-scheduled choice between the Clinton and Bush dynasties.

Clinton will probably prevail, although it is no sure thing. Trump will suddenly deny he ever said anything bad about Mexicans (he has a habit of saying an outrageous thing one day and the next day bluntly denying saying what he said, and the corporate propaganda system- aka "the media"- let him get away with it every time. [2] One should not underestimate Trump's flexibility. He feels not the slightest compunction to respect consistency. He changes his words as easily and often as his underwear. And his fealty to accuracy and truth is obviously zero. Presumably Clinton will hammer on his self-contradictions, but most people are too intellectually lazy to keep track of facts, and the skillful demagogue Trump will parry the attacks and counterattack with lines that change the subject to Clinton's email server, the attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three American staffers, and whatever else, plus the usual juvenile insults and put-downs. (Maybe instead of vulgar references to menstruation, he'll mock Clinton as menopausal.)

Still, if I were to bet on the outcome, I'd bet on Clinton prevailing. it will be a slough for her. But she's used to that. And have you noticed something? She's become a much better politician. Her speeches, while predictably mendacious and misleading (she's bellowing progressive rhetoric at her primary victory rallies for example), are effective and have the proper emotional affect. She sounds passionate about things she has no intention of doing, just like Obama.

Of course, her husband, a natural politician/con man, has had years to tutor her.

1] As best I can tell, the only real difference between the two oppressor parties is on abortion. Democrats pay lip service to the right of women to control their own bodies and not be forced to bear offspring against their will, like some breeding animal, but precious little beyond lip service, while the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) fight relentlessly to strangle the right to death- with great success so far. In practice, they are eliminating or greatly impeding the option of abortion for millions of women in states like Texas, and Mississippi (down to one clinic, clinging to existence by its fingernails under relentless state assault).

And this year, with the blessed death of Supreme Court "Justice" Antonin Scalia, and the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate announcing that Barack Obama will not be allowed to appoint a successor, the Democrats can play their Supreme Court card yet again, dangling the prospect of "losing" the right to abortion if we don't vote for them. This cynical ploy relies on people not knowing various fact as to how the Court became so reactionary in the first place- Democrats had to allow the placement of every single reactionary on the high court, as even the minority party in the Senate can block confirmation through various parliamentary mechanisms.

For example; Scalia was put on the court with the aid of every single Democratic Senator (the vote to confirm was 98-0). And Joseph Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was instrumental in ramming through the confirmation of sex-harasser Clarence "Silent Cal" Thomas. His venal, dishonest role is what made Thomas' ascension possible. (He actually tried to keep the evidence provided by Anita Hill secret from other Senate Democrats, and then told them that Hill was not to be believed; he also quashed supporting evidence of Thomas' vulgar behavior towards women.) [See the book The Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, 1994. In 1994 both authors were employed by the right-wing Wall Street Journal. Mayer went on to The New Yorker, Abramson became the top editor at The New York Times (until she was cashiered and character-assassinated in a quasi-defamatory media campaign by the sexist male Times' hierarchy, led by publisher Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, who inherited the job from his daddy and whose family controls the corporation). So both have eminent establishment credentials and unimpeached credibility over the years. Some of the damning facts about the evil Biden are on pages 248-50, 268-71, and 277. By the way, on page 248 is a description of Thomas lying to the FBI, a felony for which he was never indicted, and which in no way impeded his elevation to the exalted "highest court in the land."

2] And not just Trump. Other outrageously brazen GOP liars like Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina were given the same extreme deference. A particularly disgusting example was when Fiorina claimed during one of the GOP presidential candidate "debates" (Sept. 17, 2015) that she watched a surreptitious ambush video, shot trying to entrap Planned Parenthood in fetal tissue malfeasance, that showed a baby lying on a table, kicking and screaming, before having its organs harvested. No such video exists. When this was pointed out to Fiorina by Chris Wallace (one of Rupert Murdoch's minions) on Fox "News" Sunday, the show he hosts, Fiorina loudly told the same lie again, yelling that this imaginary video showed a crying baby pre-disembowelment. And Wallace cravenly retreated! He let her get away with asserting the blatant lie as truth.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

North Korea Losing Friend

That's correct. "Friend" singular. How many friends did you think North Korea has?

Just one. China.

Of course, nations don't actually have friends. They have "interests," yet another euphemism. We can translate "friend" as "close ally."

What happened was, China apparently is finally losing patience with the obstreperous behavior of its bratty client. The latest military provocation by North Korea (another scary missile test- scaring others being the intent) prompted the UN Security Council to vote new sanctions on the crazed cult nation.

The Security Council vote was unanimous; and China is a permanent member of the SC. [1]

The new sanctions are being described as the "toughest yet" in news accounts. The main points are: mandatory inspection of all cargo going in and out of North Korea (sort of like a prisoner having to undergo a strip-search when entering or leaving his cell); a ban on small-arms and light weapons sales and transfers to the exasperating nation; and expulsion of North Korean diplomats who engage in "illicit activities." (Hey, U.S. diplomats do that too, especially the CIA officers masquerading as "diplomats." Other nations' diplomats similarly do "undiplomatic" things. But North Korea is probably more egregious than most. One irritating thing it does is counterfeit other nations' currencies. Such Bad Boys!)

In reaction to the new sanctions, North Korea threw a mini-tantrum, firing rockets into the sea, according to South Korea. Take that, ocean! (Probably killed some innocent bystander sealife.)

North Korea's strategy of intimidation and extortion of concessions has become less effective over time, as was inevitable. But as its rulers are trapped inside their own mental straitjackets, it is unlikely they will come up with a creative new approach in dealing with the rest of the world. Like maybe trying to get along with other nations. For sure, South Korea bent over backwards for the North, investing in an industrial park in the North, paying the wages of North Korean workers there (wages mostly confiscated by the NK regime), allowing tourists to travel North (at least one of whom was murdered by a North Korean soldier on duty).

The cult regime of the north has consistently bitten the hands that feed it, except China's. Contrary to the wishful thinking of some establishment commentators, I don't believe this represents the start of a major shift in China's relation with NK. Rather, it is the application of a little discipline to its long-misbehaving ward.

1] The Security Council has five permanent members, designated as victors in World War II. There are another ten seats which other UN member nations take turns filling, by election to two-year terms. Each year five are elected to replace those whose terms expire. Resolutions are passed by majority vote of the 15-members, assuming no permanent member exercises a veto.

Each of the permanent members has a veto, by which any one of them can block a Security Council action. The U.S. has been by far the most prolific user of this veto power, mostly to block resolutions that criticize its master, Israel. (Or maybe "Bitch Mistress" better describes what Israel is to the U.S.)

The Security Council is the only UN body with real power. The approximately 200 members of the UN, a club for national governments, constitute the General Assembly, which can pass toothless resolutions expressing opinions. This underlines the inordinate power of the five permanent Security Council members: the U.S., Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and Scotland and Wales- how do those whitey-white people tell each other apart anyway?).

Monday, February 15, 2016

Russians Take After U.S. and Saudis, Bomb Doctors Without Borders Hospital

Man, Médecins Sans Frontières can't catch a break. First the U.S. attacks their hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, four times in an hour, paying special attention to destroying the surgical facilities. Then the Saudis attack their facilities in Yemen, among over 70 medical sites bombarded by Saudi flying terrorists in their U.S.-supplied jets, dropping the cluster bombs and other munitions Obama gladly sells to them. (Presumably the Saudis are satisfied customers.) Actually that's not quite right. Obama has to allow U.S. "defense" manufacturers to make the sales.

And  now Russia has destroyed yet another MSF facility, in Syria, in several strikes from the air.

Russia, being no more moral or punctilious about observing international law then the U.S. or Saudi Arabia, has been helping their semi-client Bashar al-Assad cling to power (the power to terrorize, anyway) by using their air power to pummel both combatants and civilians. (Which, come to think of it, is starting to look a lot like the standard of warfare, beginning with the Nazi bombardment of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, then the destruction of cities by aerial bombardment in World War II, which the U.S. did more than any other nation, then on through Vietnam, and the Russian razing of Grozny, Chechnya, and now the Saudis over Yemen and the autodestruction of Syria by the Syrian "government."

I think it's time for MSF to heed my previous advice, and give their enemies WRONG GPS coordinates for their locations! They're only providing them targeting information as it stands. These are no "accidents,"(or "mistakes," as the mendacious U.S. government and media claimed the obviously deliberate attack on the Kunduz hospital was). That attack deprived an entire Afghan province of a trauma center, and was followed up by a U.S. tank crashing through the gate in a blatant act of intimidation. (Obama has a pattern of such thuggery, including the murder of the teenage son and nephews of Anwar al-Awlaki, the breaking of the arm of Medea Benjamin, and the intensifying assaults I have been experiencing at the hands of U.S. "intelligence."

For more on Russian war crimes against medical facilities in Syria, see "Russia Outdoes U.S. Five-Fold In Bombing Hospitals," October 27, 2015.

For the story of the deliberate U.S. attack on the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, see
Why Did the U.S. Launch a Sustained Aerial Bombardment of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital?, October 5th; "U.S. Military Changes Its Story- Again- On Bombing Doctors Without Borders Hospital," October 6th;  "WikiLeaks Invites Obama to Bomb It," October 8th; and "What Happens When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another Nobel Peace Prize Winner?" Oct. 9th.


Anti-Democratic Election Stealer Scalia Hailed as Great Man, Deep Thinker

The good news of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a lifelong fanatical enemy of human rights, is tempered by the spewing of tributes to the deceased reactionary. The flood of grotesque propaganda hailing this evil creature spoils the pleasure his victims are entitled to take from his demise. [1]
 
Scalia, an arch-reactionary, is being lionized in death, even by the Democratic Party president Barack Obama, who inexplicably deemed him a "great thinker," based on no evidence whatsoever. Scalia's opinions were just that- the opinions of an extremist. But in the U.S., being a right-wing extremist qualifies one as a serious intellectual, it would seem. (See for example William F. Buckley, Jr, a fascist, racist, and gay-hater who had a penchant for threatening "left-wing" guests on his talk show with physical violence.) [2]

Scalia's "doctrine," in fact was mere rhetorical assertion. He presented himself as some kind of legal fundamentalist, who "interpreted" the Constitution "literally." In fact, Scalia started from his preferred outcomes, then crafted legerdemain and polemics to claim "originalist" Constitutional justification. Increasingly his "legal decisions" were heavily larded with insults directed at his colleagues on the bench.

Scalia was a fierce enemy of women, racial "minorities," and gay people, dedicating himself to relentless assaults on their attempts to at least be treated equally to relatively privileged white male heterosexuals.
Scalia also was part of the reactionary gang on the high court that greatly increased the political power of billionaire plutocrats by ruling that their wealth was “speech” that Congress had no right to put limits on. (Too bad American dissidents get no protection for their actual speech.) I refer of course to the notorious Citizens United case.

Scalia's “place in history” is assured by his notorious role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election, arguably the most consequential of his “judicial” (political) acts. As part of a cabal of five GOP agents on the high court, he and they illegally stopped the Florida vote recount, handing the election to their party's man, Bush the Younger. (2004 was stolen too, in Ohio.) The result was the destruction of the three buildings in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, a plot between the Saudis, Bush, Cheney, and fascist deep state operatives, using al-Qaeda as foils to take the blame for the awesomely photogenic collapsing towers (which al-Qaeda was eager to do, as the plotters correctly calculated). Then the long-planned Iraq invasion, the ramming through of overt police state legislation (“the PATRIOT Act was the law I proposed!” cried Joe Biden in vindication) and the ramping up of a global kidnapping network that was actually initiated by Bill Clinton, followed by the far-flung Houses of Horror of the U.S.' own gulag archipelago.

Oh, how much we owe Scalia. He did his part.

Scalia's carcass was barely cold before Republican Senators were threatening to refuse to allow Obama to appoint a successor, as is the president's right and duty. Instead they want to keep the seat vacant for the next 11 months on hopes of the next president being a member of their party who will appoint another arch-reactionary, instead of a conservative, as Obama will do. (One of the Big Lies of U.S. establishment discourse, which is mindlessly adopted by foreigners and domestic progressives who should know better, is that the Supreme Court is split between "conservatives" and "liberals." This is nonsense. The split is between reactionaries, who want negative change, greater repression, increased power for police and large corporations and impunity for them, and conservatives, who want to preserve the status quo. Reducing discrimination, or allowing someone a right that others already have, like the right to marry, isn't really "liberal." It's recognizing what is already mandated in theory, that everyone supposedly has equal rights. That's another Big Lie, of course.)

As the Gang Of Plunderers (GOP) currently controls the U.S. Senate, which must approve Federal judicial nominations, it would seem that they have the power to keep the Scalia seat vacant until after the November presidential election. That leaves the court with 8 members, divided between four conservatives (called “liberals”) 3 reactionaries (“conservatives” in the grossly misleading parlance) and a “swing vote,” Anthony Kennedy, who is pretty reactionary but just not as consistently as the harder core ones.

Of course Obama should nominate a replacement for Scalia. Presidents have nominated Supreme Court justices 17 times in their last year in office, including in 1988, by Bush the Elder. But starting with Clinton, the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) has regarded Democratic presidents, and indeed the Democratic Party, as illegitimate. This has intensified with Obama. So they regard any exercise of power by a Democratic president as illegitimate. Thus the attacks on Obama's executive orders, and recess appointments, which have been routine until the GOP cabal on the Supreme Court just ruled Obama isn't allowed to make recess appointments. [3]

Or maybe it goes back to the assassination of JFK. Obviously HE was illegitimate if he needed to be removed by force. (At least in the minds of the fascists at the heart of U.S. power, in this case people like J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles. And their fellow travelers like Nixon and Bush the Elder.)
Looks like if the right of women to control their own bodies and terminate pregnancies isn't to be eliminated in most of the U.S., the Democrats will have to win a third presidential election in a row. And then nominate a justice who is strong on abortion rights. (Unlike Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia's “best friend” and fellow opera buff, as the establishment media never tires of reminding us, who thinks Roe v. Wade was a bad decision.)


1] A couple of examples of the fawning guff being lathered thickly onto Scalia's posthumous image, like pancake makeup on a corpse:

First words out of the mouth of David Greene, one of the hosts of U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR, on the morning “news” show, Morning Edition, starting at 5 A.M. Washington, D.C., time capital of the empire from where it originates:

“A legal titan. Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls him best buddy. Filling the very big shoes of...” blah blah. Actually should be easy to “fill his shoes.” Reactionary ideologues, polemicists, and political hitmen like Scalia are a dime a dozen in the U.S. And if you need one with a law degree, just go to the Federalist Society, a cabal of far right-wing lawyers dedicated to seizing control of the Federal judiciary through gradual infiltration.

By noon, however, NPR was saying “a partisan dispute is intensifying” over who gets to appoint Scalia's successor. (I mean, pick someone to fill those very big shoes.)

Remember, the guy only died two days ago.. That “partisan dispute” sure is intensifying rapidly.

Female hostess on Michael Bloomberg Billionaire's radio station, just before 3 P.M.:

“What do you make of Justice Scalia's legacy. Everyone [sic] says he's larger than life.”

I guess I must be nobody.

But I know one thing: Scalia is smaller than life now. Now he's nothing. Literally. It's called death.

Makes sense for one of Bloomberg's propagandists to gush over Scalia. Given Scalia's ferocious 
dedication to increasing the power of billionaires, Bloomberg has reason to be appreciative.

2] The Democratic Party habitually acts as the handmaiden of reaction, by legitimizing it and treating it as respectable. Notice that the reactionaries, including their party, the Republicans, don't return the favor. The Democrats are partners in domestic repression and external imperialism with the Republicans.

3] A recess appointment occurs when the president makes an executive branch appointment that ordinary requires Congressional approval, while Congress isn't in session. The appointments are temporary.

Comedian Andy Borowitz milks the GOP drive to emasculate Obama for a laugh at the New Yorker. “G.O.P. Warns Obama Against Doing Anything for Next Three Hundred and Forty Days,” February 15, 2016. His political humor eases the pain of U.S. politics a bit.







Turkey Bombards America's Kurds in Syria

The wars in the Middle East are looking more and more like a free-for-all. What a Pandora's Box the Bush-Cheney regime recklessly ripped open when it invaded Iraq!

The would-be Sultan of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has dreams of Ottoman Empire glory, has been attacking armed Kurds wherever he can find them. First he restarted the war of extermination against the PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla organization that arose as a reaction to the extreme repression of Kurds in Turkey. (For decades, Turkey sought to eliminate Kurdish identity completely, which is to say, the Kurds were subjected to a genocidal assault under the legal definition of genocide. There is a popular misunderstanding that genocide necessarily means physical extermination. It actually is defined as destroying a people by whatever means, or attempting to.) Then he extended his war over the border into both Syria and Iraq. The Iraqi government has feebly protested the invasion of Iraq by Turkish troops attacking Kurdish forces. Those Kurds have been the main bulwark against the advance of the hated ISIS, the self-styled Islamic State, reviled for their Saudi-style beheadings.

The latest Turkish attacks against the Kurds is the aerial and artillery attacks on Kurdish forces in Syria. The BBC, and thus we can assume by extension the British government, supports, given today's reporting, which was sympathetic to the Turkish position. For exanple, they hauled on air a woman from the reactionary U.S. Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, to say that the PKK and the other Kurds the Turks are now attacking are birds of a feather. [1] Of course, the Kurds the Turks are now trying to destroy in Syria are also the main U.S. proxy ground forces against ISIS in Syria.

So Obama gave his vice president, Joseph Biden, an errand, to ask Erdoğan to please stop bombing the U.S.' Kurds. Erdoğan, predictably, refused to comply. Which Obama probably foresaw and sought to avoid being humiliated, thus the delegation of the task to Biden.

So where do we stand? The U.S. and whoever it can get is fighting ISIS. The U.S. is also against the Assad regime, but isn't fighting him and doesn't want its proxies to fight him. ISIS is fighting Assad. The Russians are fighting "terrorists," using the Assad regime definition of that word- namely anyone opposing Assad or even living in areas not under regime control. The U.S. is fighting "terrorists," namely ISIS, the al-Nusra front, and the always-mentioned-but-never specified "associated forces." (Being vague gives the U.S. the freedom to attack anyone they suddenly decide they don't like.)

The Iranians are fighting everyone Assad and the Russians are fighting, in Syria. So they're a U.S. Enemy in Syria, even though they're fighting ISIS.

In Iraq, the Iranians are allied with the same government the U.S. is backing, and against ISIS. But they're still an Enemy.

U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey is hosting U.S. warplanes that are bombing targets in Syria and Iraq, in support of the Kurds that Turkey is bombing and shelling.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oiligarchies support Sunni extremists like al-Nusra. But they're U.S. allies, and Saudi Arabia has supposedly offered to contribute "special forces" (commandos) to fight in Syria against- well, the Sunni extremist ISIS. They've even contributed a few warplanes to bombing. (Most of their forces are tied up destroying Yemen at the moment.) Britain, France, all the usual suspects, are pitching in with bombing and/or aerial surveillance, although Canada, under a new liberal regime, will no longer drop bombs, just help look for targets. (The new prime minister Trudeau is apparently a peacenik.)

Is that all clear now?

I didn't think so.



1] The Wilson center is named for a former extremely racist president of the U.S., who inaugurated the modern U.S. police state with the Espionage Act (under which people who spoke against Wilson's entry into the First World War were imprisoned, First Amendment "free speech rights" be damned), the Palmer raids, in which thousands of leftists were rounded up without any judicial involvement- carried out by one J. Edgar Hoover, heading the precursor of the FBI, which he went on to run as the top secret police chief in America- and other depredations against human rights. The actual history of Wilson's regime- which is to say, truth- has been replaced by an absurd myth of Wilson as a noble idealist and liberal who believed in self-determination for people! Thus is the power of propaganda manifested yet again.

The lady "scholar" from the Wilson Center made sure to carry out her political and ideological duties by cueing us in on which side is the Good Guys and which the Bad in the Turkish bombing of Kurds. The Kurds have been fighting "a NATO army" for a decade, she gratuitously put in. I suppose that's one (twisted) way to look at it. Or the Turkish army waged a vicious "counterinsurgency" campaign against the Kurds for a decade, "disappearing" people, torturing them, razing villages, and killing tens of thousands of people. People who would have settled for being allowed to speak their own language, publish their own newspapers, broadcast in their own tongue, and just allowed to be Kurds. But that was asking too much, various Turkish regimes decreed. The BBC forgot to mention the reality of Turkish state oppression of the Kurds. And commonly the death toll is blamed on the PKK, or on "the conflict," even though it was Turkish state forces that killed theoverwhelming majority of the now-dead.

By the way, that NATO army also invaded Cyprus and imposed its will on the Greek inhabitants there, supposedly to aid Turkish residents. Greece is in NATO too.






Monday, February 08, 2016

Woman Who Helped Murder Half a Million Children Reserves "Special Place in Hell" For Women Who Don't Vote for Clinton

"There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."

Thus spake Madeleine Albright, directing her comment at female supporters of Bernard Sanders, Hillary Clinton's rival for the Democratic Party nomination for president of the U.S., trying to morally blackmail women into voting for Clinton on the basis of vaginal-solidarity, I suppose.

This happens to be the same Madeleine Albright who in 1996 was asked point-blank on television if the deaths of half a million Iraqi children was "worth it."

Albright's answer: Yes. [1]

No one in the U.S. media- or any media I'm aware of- has asked the obvious rhetorical question: how did killing their children "help" the mothers of those victims? Were not those mothers women?

Is there a special place in hell for someone who helped murder them, maybe even more special than the place for women who don't vote for Hillary Clinton? (Whose husband, by the way, killed most of those children, with the help of his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.)

Former CIA infiltrator Gloria Steinem, Official Establishment (read: safe) Feminist, also went to bat for Hillary C., by sneering on comedian Bill Maher's show that young women who support Sanders are just looking for boys. Maher went Whoa, if I said that, but Steinem brushed off the obvious (and ironic) sexism of her comment. (Perceiving it soon after as a political goof, Steinem later "apologized," like she could just erase what she revealed about her own cynical attitude.) [2]

Of course, where does a "progressive" like Steinem get off campaigning for a right-wing imperialist warmonger, vicious class warrior, and recipient of millions of dollars in "speaking fees" from oligarchs appreciative of her servie to their class interests? (And how much did the Clinton's assault on the crumbs dribbled down to poor women "helped" those women. Some people actually resigned from Bill Clinton's regime as a result, and it takes a lot for political types to give up a government gig.)

Hopefully those with a larger audience than I will take up the nauseating cynicism of mass murderer Madeleine.

1] View the video clip of Albright on "60 Minutes" with Leslie Stahl.

2] The feminist collective Redstockings long ago documented Steinem's CIA work in India. Even the New York Times reported it one day, back in the 1970s. Later Steinem and her ally Bella Abzug got the publisher of the Redstockings' book to suppress the information in later editions. On a rare moment when she wasn't relying on establishment media to make knowledge of her CIA work go away, Steinem said “In my experience the agency was completely different from its image: it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”

Right. It's just a smear that the CIA has directed the torture and murder of literally millions of people around the world.

See, for example, "A Word From Our Sponsor," New York Times Sunday Book Review, January 20, 2008.