Friday, November 15, 2013

Will the U.S. Congress Once Again Show Itself As Slavish Servant of Israel?

Probably. Congress has a bill in the works to heap yet more punitive economic sanctions on Iran (in practice, on the Iranian people, since they are the ones who suffer- already Iranians are dying of cancer thanks to the U.S.-led economic warfare, which has resulted in shortages of medicines). Obama has had to plead with Congress- a humiliating position for the U.S. president- to hold off on them so as not to kill the ongoing negotiations between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council [1] and Germany on the one side, and Iran on the other, for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict. Secretary of State John Kerry was dispatched to Congress to try and cajole them not to sabotage the talks. (Kerry also had to scurry to Israel, the U.S.' apparent boss, to make the case for the negotiations, including in “briefings” for Israeli journalists from which American journalists were excluded, an amazing incident which elicited barely a mention from the American media, always protective of Israel and thus needing to obfuscate its pampered status from the American public's view.)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin (the correct spelling, not “Benjamin,” as U.S. media habitually misrepresent it) Netanyahu brushed aside an International Atomic Energy Agency report that says Iran has slowed its nuclear activities for the last three months as irrelevant because Iran “already possesses the necessary infrastructure for building a nuclear weapon.” [2] That's probably true, more or less. Which doesn't mean Iran is going to build nuclear weapons. It DOES mean that if Israel and/or the U.S. attack Iran, Iran COULD build them. Basically the U.S. and Israel insist on the freedom to bomb Iran, assassinate its scientists and officials, sponsor terrorism against Iran, and continue to try and overthrow the regime. This freedom would be impaired if Iran were to build a nuclear arsenal, as it would constraint U.S. and Israeli attacks on Iran to some degree, if only because those two aggressor states would feel more cautious. (And of course the surest way to provoke Iran to making nuclear weapons would be to bomb the country- an irony lost on the bullet-brained Netanyahu and American militarists.)

What Netanyahu wants is a totally dismantling of all Iranian nuclear capabilities, peaceful or not, closely monitored or not. His preferred route to that goal is the usual Israeli way- by violence, in this case by bombing. (They've also assassinated Iranian scientists and blown stuff up in Iran.)

Taking his cue from the Israeli head of state, not the American one, GOP Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois said of Kerry's briefing to Senators like him: “The pitch was very unconvincing. It was fairly anti-Israeli.” [3]

Anti-Israeli. Right. Kerry probably called for the destruction of Israel or something.

Kirk's demented, extremist attitude was treated as unremarkable by the U.S. media and its resident commentariat. This is symptomatic of the capture of the U.S. elites by the State of Israel, mainly via its fifth column in the U.S.

To fully describe the long history of the U.S. Congress' sycophantic obeisance to the State of Israel would fill a book. For now, I'd like to just toss out three possible motives behind a jackass like Mark Kirk making such an asinine statement, one showing contempt for the Secretary of State of his own nation.

  1. The power of the organized Israeli lobby in the U.S., including media power and money power.
  2. Ideological affinity, which for right-wingers like Kirk means admiring repressive regimes as long as they aren't “socialist.” (“Liberals” have a different, somewhat deluded, ideological affinity.)
  3. Religious fanaticism of the “Christian” variety. The Christians' “Bible” is a Jewish-written tome which mostly deals with glorifying the ancient Hebrews and their genocidal conquests. (Odd that Christians hated Jews for a couple of millennia- some still do, of course.)
  4. Racial affinity: “white” Israel oppresses “brown” Arabs, especially Palestinians.
  5. Vicarious imperialism: enjoying “Western, democratic” Israel kick “third world” butt.
  6. Israeli “aid” to the U.S., such as providing crucial military and “security” assistance to the apartheid regime of South Africa, to the Somoza dictatorship of Nicaragua, to the Guatemalan fascist regime, to the Argentine junta, and so on, at moments when it would have been politically awkward for the U.S. to do so.

So Obama and Kerry's fawning to the Israelis and their puppet American Congresspeople is barely holding the line against the attempt to suffocate the infant negotiations in its cradle. Should even more sanctions be enacted against Iran now, the Iranian hardliners will have additional leverage to force the new Prime Minister of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to abandon his “moderate” (or “cunning,” as Netanyahu et al see it) path of compromise. Of course, compromise is the last thing the “hawks” want. They want Iran's total surrender, or the violent destruction of its nuclear program. Just as during the cold war, their kind (some of the same people in many cases) viewed detente as near treason (or as actual treason, for which they made JFK pay with some bullets fired from a grassy knoll in Dallas, Texas, in 1963). For them, “there is no substitute for victory.” Every conflict is all-out war for these demons and calls for total destruction of the Enemy.

One last note for the benefits of simpletons with a manichean world view. I'm not “on Iran's side.” Iran is ruled by oppressive theocrats who are guilty of numerous human rights violations against Iranians. They support the Assad dictatorship in Syria, one of the world's worst. They are allied with religious fanatics Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. I hope some day the Iranian people can rid themselves of these creeps who hijacked the Iranian revolution of 1979, much as Lenin and his gang took advantage of the fall of the Tsar in 1917 Russia to install themselves in power.

On the other side, Israel has been a constant violator of human rights since its founding in 1948. Their current allies of convenience against Iran, Saudi Arabia and its satellite oil sheikdoms of the Arabian peninsula, are all very repressive countries. Saudi Arabia in fact is much more repressive than Iran is, enforced by religious “police.” Only a few years ago these “police” forced schoolgirls to be burned to death in a school fire because the girls didn't have their hair covered as they were trying to escape the flames, for one example. And the regime executed people by beheading, Taliban/Al Qaeda style. For that matter, the Saudis were accomplices in the 9/11 attacks that the U.S. has used as pretext for a new era of U.S. aggression around the world and a systematic attack on human rights. Today Saudis fund jihadist terrorists in Syria who fight not just Assad's forces but the indigenous Syrian rebels. The Saudis Gulf satellite states are also awful. For example Bahrain's rulers have been oppressing the majority of the population there for years.

Then there is the U.S., a nation founded on the twin pillars of genocide and slavery, a nation that has waged expansionist wars over the years against both of its contiguous neighbors (1812 against present-day Canada, which didn't work out so well for them, and 1848 against Mexico, in which the U.S. scored fully half of Mexico's national territory, which it absorbed) and farther afield too, as when it seized Spain's “possessions” including the Philippines, half a world away. In its ruthless history, the U.S. has killed millions of civilians and installed or backed military/fascist dictatorships in scores of countries.

The bottom line is, this is no Good Guys vs. Bad Guys situation. There are only Bad Guys here. Far too many seemingly intelligent people (not to mention the simple-minded majority) go astray either because of their ideological devotion (which trumps fealty to facts and reality) or to intellectual and moral laziness, and take simplistic kneejerk positions on one side or the other. There is also the innate tendency of people to self-align with power, like little iron filings in a magnetic field.

Objectivity is the duty of the morally and intellectually honest human. In this case objectivity leads us to conclude that all these nations are basically bags of shit worthy of condemnation. Within that reality, we can hope for less harmful outcomes. In this case the desired outcome for humans isn't clear. On the one hand the fewer nuclear weapons and nuclear armed states in the world, the better for humanity, as a general principle. On the other hand, A nuclear armed Iran would be a counterweight to the oppressive power of the U.S., Israel, and the loathsome Wahhabi-spreading Saudis. (Wahhabism is a mental disease that leads to terrorism.) Just as the Soviet Union had the virtue of being a counterweight and check on the U.S., even though it itself was evil and oppressive, so Iran to a smaller degree could be. Which doesn't make Iran “good.” All it means is that the world, and life, is complex, a fact that people evade with simplistic, ideological thinking.

1] The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, designated “victors” in World War II (even though two of them were occupied by the Axis powers, and one, France, having been totally defeated and occupied, and numerous other nations on the Allied side did not get a permanent, cushy seat on the Council that comes with a veto) are the U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia (which inherited the Soviet Union's seat). China took Taiwan's place when Taiwan could no longer pretend to be “China,” as it had done with U.S. power behind it.

2] “Iran has slowed nuclear expansion in past three months, says IAEA,” Financial Times, November 15, 2013, p.1.

3] Ibid.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Living Like There's No Tomorrow...

Means there won't be. The way the seas are being “harvested” (stripped) of fish is one example.
Massive burning of fossil fuels, causing the planet's temperature to rise, is an even more dire example.

Wiping out sealife, destroying land habitat of numerous species, raising the temperature (and sea level) of our home planet- how stupid can you be, humankind?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Real Pakistan Government Pulls Rug Out From Under Nominal Pakistan Government

A few days ago, the Pakistani military issued a bogus number for civilians killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan- 67. This figure defies credulity, contradicts all the counts by reputable international human rights organizations and media tabulations, and most significantly, contradicts the toll given by the official Pakistani government. [1] This as the Pakistani “prime minister,” Nawaz Sharif, met Obama in Washington to gripe about drone strikes, which he claims to oppose. [2]

And now the U.S. just bumped off the current boss of the Pakistani Taliban (terrorist cousins of the Afghan Taliban who wrecked Afghanistan when they ruled it and have been given sanctuary by their Pakistani military backers to launch terrorist attacks on Afghanistan since they were chased out of power by the U.S. and Northern Alliance in 2001), Hakimullah Mehsud.

Before continuing, let me say that no human being should shed a tear for this loathsome fanatic's demise. He insisted on imposing crushing, dehumanizing, lifelong repression on everyone in Pakistan, especially on females, using mass murder in the form of bombings of civilians and other acts of terror to compel compliance with his demented demands. He represented the anti-humanism of a barbaric Islamic sect. [3]

What's interesting politically here is that Mehsud was knocked off by a U.S. drone (and it's a good guess that the Pakistani military supplied info on his whereabouts to the U.S. in order to enable this assassination- Pakistani military intel confirmed the successful hit, as did Mehsud's Taliban henchmen) at the very moment the nominal civilian government of Pakistan was embarking on negotiations with this terrorist hoodlum, with a delegation on their way to meet with Mehsud. So within just a few days the real power in Pakistan, the military, undercut and sabotaged the putative (civilian) government twice, first with the bogus lowball number of civilian drone deaths, and now with this. The Paki Interior Minister even described the U.S. assassination as a calculated blow on the now-stillborn attempt to initiate a peace process.

The effect of the hit was akin to throwing a rock at a hornet's nest. “Our revenge will be unprecedented!” howled Taliban terrorist commander “Abu Omar.” He blamed the “fully complicit” Paki government: “We know our enemy very well.” Pakistanis braced themselves for the bloody vengeance to come. A RAND corporation specialist saw such a result as likely. (RAND stands for Research And Development. A so-called “think tank,” it was set up originally by the U.S. Air Force as a nest for military-industrial complex plotters and “analysts.” Among other things, it generates “research” used to justify prying ever-larger sums of money out of Congress to shovel into the insatiable maw of the military and its associated parasitic corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Grumman, and numerous others.)

Paki “officials” said CIA drones fired four or more missiles at the target in a small village in North Waziristan, the effectively-autonomous region of Pakistan that has been de facto ceded to the terrorists. Their detailed knowledge points to close collaboration on the hit. [4]

The CIA relied on one of their bedrock principles: “payback's a bitch.” Mehsud's group is blamed for the suicide bomber who killed 7 CIA employees in Afghanistan in 2009. The CIA was duped into believing that the bomber was an informer they have recruited to infiltrate the terrorists. Outfoxed at their own game of duplicity, the CIA thirsted for revenge, getting the U.S. government to put a $5 million bounty on Mehsud's head. The CIA has been gunning for Mehsud ever since.

Of course the CIA won't be paying the price for the latest killing of a Mehsud. Pakistani civilians will. The Paki Taliban will be delivering the bill, denominated in blood, to hapless and helpless Pakistanis who are bystanders in their own country.

So in just a couple of weeks, the U.S. has sabotage two governments' attempts to deal with the Pakistan Taliban in their own way. Before the Mehsud hit, the U.S. military waylaid a convoy of Afghan intelligence officers in Afghanistan and kidnapped a Pakistan Taliban representative they were escorting. The Afghans had a plan to provide aid to the Paki Taliban as a counterweight to Pakistani support for the Afghan Taliban, to retaliate for Paki-sponsored terrorist attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan, and to have a bargaining chip to get the Pakis to back off their support for Afghan Talibs. Thus does the U.S. undercut other governments, exposing them as impotent in their own countries. In the Afghan case, the Afghan regime was totally humiliated: imagine a foreign military squad intercepting an FBI convoy and seizing someone they're escorting, inside the U.S. Thus the arrogance of the self-proclaimed “indispensable nation.” Thanks, Uncle Indispensable. [5]

Of course, the Pak military also undercut the nominal Paki government, killing the attempt at negotiations. So the military doesn't want a rapproachement with the “militants.” The timing of the killing makes this seemingly obvious. Yet it won't go in and fight them. Once again, they are playing a twisted, sick, immoral game. Playing with fire seems to be their favorite pastime. Perhaps they feel a high level of domestic terrorism is in their interest. Perhaps they figure it discredits the civilian government. Perhaps they are planning on playing the “saving the nation”card and overthrowing the nominal government at some point, as they have done before (and as all military coupists everyway and always do, pretending to be rescuing the nation they are enslaving).

Whether any true peace could have come about from negotiations by the Pak government with their indigenous terrorists is highly debatable. In the past, deals have been cut with these cutthroats, only to be immediately dishonored by the terrorists. The attempts by the Pakistani establishment to appease the monster created by the Pak military have all proved futile. Instead the terrorists launched aggressive military offensives to take over more territory, and in the last few years have used bombs to slaughter thousands of Pakistani civilians. I have in the past noted the parallels between the Islamofascists and the European fascists of the World War Two era. Some similarities are utter untrustworthiness, utter ruthlessness, extreme violence, an uncompromising attitude towards achieving their desired ends, and a record of breaking deals whenever it suits them. But that does not give the Pak military and the U.S. the right to sabotage the attempt by the legal government of Pakistan to deal with its internal problem in its own way. [See: “Are Islamic Jihadists Fascist?”]

Then again, the U.S. is delusional if it thinks that just by killing each replacement leader of a particular gang of terrorists, they are winning. If ten Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a row were each killed, would the U.S. military collapse? If ten FBI or CIA directors in a row were taken out with bombs, would the FBI and CIA cease to exist? Get my point? These are not small organizations that can be eliminated with assassinations. These are broad-based movements with millions of sympathizers around the world, which provide a deep well from which to recruit. [6]

Let's look at the scorecard: the U.S. has assassinated thousands of putative terrorists, including most of the main leaders, even Osama bin Laden, the arch-villain in the U.S. propaganda narrative. And what has the result been? The terrorists are waxing powerful in Pakistan. They are growing ever-stronger in Iraq, openly building training camps and bases in the western part of the country and setting off terror bombs almost daily. They are becoming increasingly active in the Syrian civil war. They recently look over half of Mali, and were about to take over the other half, requiring a French invasion to push them back into the desert, where they survive. Northern Nigeria is an ungoverned land of terror thanks to Boko Haram and the murderous and ineffective Nigerian army. Al-Shabab is seemingly ineradicable in Somalia, from where they just launched a headline-grabbing assault on the main shopping mall in Kenya (and repulsed a U.S. Navy SEAL retaliation raid a few weeks ago). In Yemen U.S. missile strikes on villagers have created more recruits for the local franchise of Al-Qaeda. The Wahhabi ideology is spreading in the Far East, in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the former U.S. colony of the Philippines. It seems that the U.S. is barely holding the jihadist movement at bay, and may even be strategically losing. Drones may be necessary in the fight, but they are clearly not sufficient, not for victory, and maybe not even for a stalemate.

1] The official Paki government is really just a nominal government. It provides virtually no services to the population, and has historically been a vehicle for the corrupt Paki civilian elite to enrich itself. Past presidents and prime ministers of Pakistan were infamous for massive self-enrichment as they engorged themselves like giant leeches sucking at the body politic while in office. The real government is the deep state that consist of the military and its secret police/terrorism arm, the so-called “Inter Services Intelligence,” universally abbreviated in U.S. media as ISI. Pakistan has been a military dictatorship or oligarchy since its founding, sometimes using corrupt civilian governments as a beard to hide behind, sometimes dispensing with the disguise entirely.

2] Sharif may really oppose the drone attacks on his country. But it's irrelevant, because the nominal civilian government of Pakistan does not even control the Pakistani military and cannot issue orders to it. The Pakistani military is a state within a (sham) state.

3] On the other hand, a foreign government firing missiles into a sovereign country to kill a criminal and political gangster is hardly desirable. The right way to do it would be for the government of that country to assert control over its own territory, apprehend the criminal, and put him on trial. (A real trial, not a show trial.) Then, if he is convicted, in this case to execute him. The way things are, we have the U.S. killing hundreds of civilians in the course of killing a couple of thousands of presumed jihadists. And the U.S. military and secret police decide who is “guilty” and act as judge, jury, and executioner. This is what Eric Holder Jr., the top legal officer of the U.S., insists is “due process” under the U.S. Constitution. No U.S. court objects to this. Thus is the U.S. Constitution and the U.S.' alleged love of rights revealed yet again, as it has been over and over in U.S. history, to be a sham.

However, as a practical matter this is a “dirty war.” The Pakistanis will not or can not control their own territory at this point- perhaps the Frankenstein's Monster created by the ISI has grown too extensively, the cancer spread too far, for that. Besides, the Paki military would rather dream about war with India instead of dealing decisively with the genuine threat to Pakistan, the menace within that the military itself created and nurtured.

We could go into the fact that the U.S. itself fundamentally created this problem of jihad, along with its buddies the Saudis and the Pakistani military (erstwhile buddies in the latter case) when it decided to back the most primitive religious revanchists during the Soviet attempt to impose a semi-modern client regime in Afghanistan. But that's a whole other essay, and is ground that others have tilled already. (The CIA shorthand for the negative boomerang effect of U.S. actions is “blowback.”) It should be common knowledge by now how the U.S. watered the noxious weed of jihadism with money, weapons, and training, yet Americans manage to pretend not to know it. Anyone who tries to mention it is intimidated by the insinuation of being “pro-terrorist.” Just as anyone who tries to talk about how Israel has the U.S. establishment by the testicles is called “anti-Semitic,” a very effective silencing technique which causes people to censor themselves, making the task of the self-appointed political-ideological commissars all the easier. Indeed, their task of policing the public sphere would be impossible without the complicity of all those who self-censor.

4] U.S. Drones Said to Kill Leader of Pakistani Taliban, Dealing Militants Major Blow,” New York Times, November 2, 2013, p. A13. “One Pakistani official, citing intelligence reports,” also informed the NYT that Mehsud's uncle and a bodyguard were killed with Mehsud, as was Mehsud's deputy, Abdullah “I Love Beheadings!” Behar, plus two others were wounded. Pretty detailed information, I'd say. So it seems the CIA isn't the only American organization with close ties to Paki “intel.”

The NYT says that Behar took the place of Latif Mehsud, the commander who was just kidnapped from the Afghans by the U.S. (The NYT, in the aforementioned articles, opaquely refers to the kidnapping this way: “Latif Mehsud...who was detained [SIC] by American forces in Afghanistan last month.” No mention hint that he was seized from the Afghans.

And true to form, the Obama regime once again acted with irritating coyness, as it so often does. White House mouthpiece Caitlin M. Hayden put out a statement claiming the Obama regime was in no position “to confirm reports of Mr. Mahsud's death,” in the NYT's words. But the Times got “two [ANONYMOUS] American defense officials with knowledge of the strike” to confirm that their prey was enjoying his virgins in paradise.

5] It's worth mentioning that the big recent pusher of the “indispensable nation” conceit is one Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under William Jefferson Clinton, who said, when confronted by Leslie Stahl on CBS' 60 Minutes TV program about half a million Iraqi children dying because of Clinton's murderous sanctions on Iraq and asked “was it worth it” by Stahl, responded, after some orotund smoke-blowing, “We think it was worth it.” What exactly was gained in return for killing 500,000 Iraqi children wasn't explained. Remember, the U.S. didn't manage to overthrow Saddam Hussein until the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld invasion of 2003. Stahl, at least in what was broadcast by CBS, didn't follow up on Albright's shockingly callous and cold-blooded reply. Albright evinced not the slightest discomfort at the question and uttered her reply with complete self-assurance and authority. This woman, who ironically descends from Jewish background, could have been an apparatchik in Hitler's Final Solution with that attitude.

6] Now, the fact that millions are potential jihadi recruits might sound like justification for massive NSA spying on the world's population- including all Americans who use a phone or access the Internet. Well it might be, if the U.S. government were willing to admit that there are millions of terrorist sympathizers out there. But for political and ideological reasons they are petrified to say that. It makes it plain that their “war on terror” is an endless tunnel with no light at the end. It also shows them up as deceivers who have presented the enemy as small bands of fanatics, not fish swimming in a sea of millions of ideologically-attuned populations. And it makes the current strategy of limited military and violent CIA actions appear hopeless inadequate, indeed Sisyphean, to the task of eliminating the jihadist crusade.

In fact, there is good evidence that trying to stamp out terrorism aimed at the U.S. by drone assassinations in distant lands causes such terrorism. Right after the U.S. assassinated Hakimullah Mehsud's predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, the group tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, in the heart of Manhattan. (And see how well the decapitation strategy is working to eliminate these organizations? Haircut strategy would be a better analogy. Just keep cutting the hair as it keeps growing back.) Luckily the bomb was a dud. Bystanders spotted it and alerted police- yet another example of the superfluousness of the police state in protecting against terrorism. (The NSA had the gall to take credit for foiling the Times Square bombing attempt. What shameless liars. Yet U.S. media still dutifully transmits their lies to the public as if they had any credibility whatsoever.) The same thing happened with the “underwear bomber,” whose father alerted U.S. officials to his radicalization, who bought a one-way ticket and flew without luggage, yet had no trouble boarding a plane to the U.S. (Unlike dissidents, Green party members, and other political victims put on the No-Fly list by the vindictive FBI and other repressive organs.) Passengers on the plane stopped this Nigerian jackass from detonating his crotch on the plane. And none of the 9,000 soldiers and cops hunting the surviving Boston Marathon bomber found him- a homeowner did.

Of course, the “counterterrorism” careerists love such events as the Times Square dud car bomb, as it provides a booster shot of Terror Scare propaganda to keep the public going along with the never-ending War On Terror, which keeps the money and power flowing to the professional secret policemen and hitmen of the massive U.S. “security” apparatus. There is a symbiotic relationship between the jihadists and the U.S. “security” establishment. The blows each strikes against the other side provides grist for their respective propaganda mills and reinvigorates their violent crusades.

Another reason the justification would be invalid is the fact that the military and secret policemen of the U.S. deep state, while claiming to only be protecting all us poor helpless damsels in distress from the big bad scary terrorists, in fact use their ever-increasing power to repress dissent. These people and organizations have a century-long history now of massive surveillance of American progressives, dissidents, and “uppity” blacks who refused to accept their status as “niggers,” that is, as subhumans subject to random violence, murder, exploitation, and every kind of personal humiliation and denial of jobs, services, fairness, even seats on buses. We have just seen them murder the journalist Michael Hastings. They helped smother the Occupy Movement, that challenged the corporate and financial oligarchy. They systematically use their surveillance to gather and them launder “evidence” used against people. These people cannot be trusted with such power. They know that Islamic terrorism is no fundamental threat to their system. In fact, periodic attacks serve their interests, by justifying their relentless grabbing of more and more repressive power inside America, with the acquiescence of a population conditioned to be frightened and submissive to being treated more and more like a prison population.

In addition, Congress has given them carte blanche, with sham “oversight,” willingly kept in the dark by the repressive deep state, and “judicial review” consists of a secret “court” that rubber-stamps all the warrant requests of the surveillance apparatus, a mere paperwork exercise.

In fundamental ways there isn't much new here. The same deep state took out the president of the U.S., their nominal commander, in 1963 when they disapproved of his policies.