Friday, May 30, 2014

"Give Us The Head of Eric Shinseki!"

So demanded a howling mob of politicians, elements of the media, and "veterans' organizations," calling for the resignation of the Veterans' Administration boss, former Army General Eric Shinseki. Why? Because of secret waiting lists for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals and a coverup by the local administrators which kept Shinseki in the dark. So a scapegoat was needed.

This little scandal-du-jour went through the standard lifespan of such scandals. At first the Obama regime tried damage control. Obama vowed that the "problems" would be "fixed." He expressed confidence in Shinseki. Even an enemy, the Republic Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, said Shinseki shouldn't resign. Of course, that was two days ago.

The furor didn't die down. Reactionaries with media platforms kept the pot boiling. So today Obama "accepted Shinseki's resignation." He claimed, obviously falsely, that this was Shinseki's decision entirely. (Again, they always say that when someone is ousted under duress.) A new VA boss will be duly chosen and will duly vow to "clean house" and "fix the problems."

But the problem is the large number of damaged cannon fodder, which in turn is a direct result of the aggressive militarism of U.S. imperialism, which constantly attacks other nations. That, and an obviously shortage of required medical staff. [1]

The bureaucrats down the ladder in turn practice "cya;" "cover your ass," which is standard for all members of all large organizations, public or private.

Since nothing fundamental will be changed, a scapegoat is needed, as has been human practice since time immemorial, for the group to displace its sins onto an innocent victim and expiate those sins by killing the scapegoat (in this case, merely firing him). Shinseki will land a comfortable sinecure somewhere, and perhaps further feather his nest with "consulting" fees, speaking fees, article fees, maybe a book deal. Members of the upper political elite never suffer actual harm. (See the post-scandal career of one David Petraeus.)

1]  See, for example: "Doctor Shortage Is Cited in Delays at V.A. Hospitals," New York Times, May 29, 2014.

Monday, May 26, 2014

U.S. Using Slave Labor on a Massive Scale: What, You Don’t Believe It? Read On..

It was on the top of page one of the Sunday New York Times May 25th, so why the skepticism? No, the Times didn’t use words like “slave,” “slavery,” “slave labor,” but that is what it described. The Times is an inveterate user of euphemisms to sugar-coat the crimes of the system that it is in large part a mouthpiece for. So let’s take a look at the article. [1]

The headline reads, “Using Jailed Migrants As a Pool of Cheap Labor.” Very, very, very cheap, in fact. So cheap as to be no different from slavery. But you have to figure that out for yourself. Which is easy to do, if you just read the subhead: “Detainees Resist a U.S. Program That Puts Them to Work for $1 a Day or Less.” Note the sugar-coated euphemism for prisoner, “detainee.” A “detainee” is someone held for a brief time. But starting with its use as a euphemism for the permanent prisoners in the U.S. military gulag at Guantanamo Bay (on occupied Cuban territory) the word has been perverted in an Orwellian way so it no longer denotes a temporary holding of a person, but actual imprisonment. The U.S. government and propaganda system don’t want to admit they have untried and unconvicted prisoners, I guess, so they pretend their captivity is brief and temporary by misusing the word “detainee.” [2]

According to the Times, in county jails no money at all is paid. Instead the prisoners are “paid” with candy bars and soda. Like the way you would “pay” a donkey or an ox. But those are the lucky ones. Some prisoners in the awful county jails of the U.S. work “free,” says the article. So no qualification at all is necessary for the word, “slave.” A word the Times assiduously avoids.

There are tens of thousands of these slave laborers, captured non-citizens in the clutches of the U.S. government (and its partners in oppression, county jails which are run by local sheriffs’ departments, and private companies in the prison business) held every year in involuntary servitude. The Federal government pays the sheriffs and private prison corporations to “house” (imprison) the bulk of the “detainees” (prisoners). The Times says there were 60,000 slave laborers in this particular slave labor “program” last year.

Now. these aren’t convicts. Of course there’s also a massive system of slavery in American prisons for citizens. This story is about “illegal immigrants,” “civil detainees” the Times calls them, swept up in the massive Obama roundup that has been going on for five and a half years now (2 million captured and counting), who are awaiting adjudication of their fate by immigration courts. According to the Times, “roughly half” of those who appear in court “are ultimately permitted to stay” in the U.S. (But not all go to court. Some “agree” to be deported to get it over with, to escape their imprisonment and separation from their families who they cannot support while imprisoned.) And that statement by the times doesn’t strike me as accurate. Most immigration prisoners have no attorneys to represent them, for one thing. [3]

One case the article highlights was a chef, forced to cook for a dollar a day, who was in the U.S. legally but was imprisoned for 19 months as a slave anyway! Seems his work visa was canceled because of a “clerical error.” 19 months imprisoned as a slave laborer because of a clerical error. That’s the kind of story that Americans would cluck their tongues at if it happened in a “backward” country like India.

The cook, interestingly, is from Guatemala, a country turned into a fascist hellhole by the U.S. coup in 1954 ordered by Eisenhower, that destroyed democracy in that country and has been a terror state ever since. For Guatemalans, there is no freedom in the “Free World.” It’s the terrible economic and political conditions in their homelands, mainly Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, that drive these immigrants to the U.S.

Both the U.S. Government and private “contractors” that now run prisons use immigrant slave labor. In some private prisons, the victims have organized resistance by refusing to work and by hunger strikes. Their corporate oppressors have responded by throwing them into solitary, which is not only a vicious punishment and attempt to break their spirits, but cuts them off from those outside trying to draw attention to the plight of the slaves. [4] (Democracy Now! reported this before the NY Times did. The Times rarely breaks news, by the way. Sometimes they refuse to report news for years and years, as in the case of 30,000 Argentines murdered by the military junta there.)

The U.S. government and media love to carry on and on about how oppressive adversary countries are. And those countries certainly are in some cases (but not others, like Venezuela and Ecuador, which are demonized because of the social and economic policies adopted by popular leaders there). But the U.S. is actually a very repressive country itself. Quick Quiz: what nation has the world’s largest prisoner population? Why, it’s the Land of Freedom, the USA. The closest competitor is CHINA, with over FOUR TIMES the population of the U.S. Well, that’s one objective measure of oppressiveness. Four percent of the world’s population, with 25% of the world’s prisoners. Amazing. And one out of nine of state prisoners are doing life, a third of those without the possibility of parole. (Most prisoners are prisoners of one of the 50 states, not Federal prisoners, which number roughly 10% of total inmates.) The U.S. has thousands of prisoners doing life for non-violent “offenses,” typically “drugs” (outlawed inebriants).

The U.S. is a country where people have been sentenced to life in prison for, among other trivial crimes: shoplifting a pair of socks; shoplifting a t-shirt; stealing a slice of pizza. (All three cases, and numerous similar ones, occurred in “liberal” California under that state’s draconian “three strikes” law, mandating a sentence of life for a third criminal conviction. Under that law, the most common “crime” resulting in a life sentence has been marijuana possession. What, the U.S. is a repressive country? What kind of anti-American propaganda is that? And California isn’t the only state with such a law. In many states, words considered “hate speech” or “terroristic threats” can land one in jail for a decade, for example.)

Actually there are many ways in which, viewed objectively, the U.S. is one of the most repressive countries on earth. The massive size of the prison population. The percentage of the adult population imprisoned. The draconian penalties under its laws- and many of the laws themselves being unjust. Selective prosecution of the “lower” classes and of political dissidents. Massive surveillance of the population. Total lack of personal privacy. Institutionalized use of torture, not just by the CIA and military, but of civil prisoners, including solitary confinement for years and even decades. Routine use of police perjury and fabricated evidence to convict people of crimes. Murder of journalists, both overseas and inside the U.S. (Danny Casolaro, Michael Hastings, and possibly Gary Webb, to name some killed stateside.)

But not to worry. After quadrupling its prison population in the last few decades, part of the media (including the NY Times) are informing us that the “trend” of “increasing incarceration” is reversing, or about to reverse, or is set to reverse, or is being “rethought.” I feel better already. Of course, the millions of people branded felons can barely get a job, are legally barred from many professions, cannot vote in many states, cannot live in public housing (so they can’t rejoin their families in many cases), cannot get public benefits like food stamps, or student loans, and on and on with a lengthy list of lifetime punishments. Whatever. They can always curl up into big balls and just die, I guess.

Maybe this awful system of power is what needs to die.

1] The online version is “Using Jailed Migrants as a Pool of Cheap Labor,” posted a day earlier, May 24, and is mostly the same as the print version.

2] Other sugar-coating euphemisms in this vein are “detention facility” for prison, “corrections” for punishment, and of course the notorious “enhanced interrogation techniques” for torture, sometimes rendered with a whiff of disapproval as “harsh interrogation techniques,” a term that still shields the torturers from the proper moral opprobrium that is due.

[3] Just to be clear, the word “court” is a bit misleading. These are not independent judicial forums. The “judges” are actually administrators. You can guess which side usually wins. Hell, in actual Federal courts, the government wins over 90 of cases it tries. Similarly in state courts, prosecutors win at a similar rate. The “courts” are actually part of the Department of “Justice.” That is, the prosecutors and the “judges” are part of the same organization.

The so-called Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an office of the United States Department of “Justice” and is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. EOIR oversees immigration “courts” in the United States through the Office of the Chief Immigration “Judge,” a “Justice” Department employee. Additionally, the Board of Immigration Appeals, which hears appeals from immigration “courts,” is part of EOIR. The establishment then pretends that this gigantic sham constitutes a fair and impartial judicial process. In fact it’s just an administrative process by the prosecutorial arm of the U.S. Government, the Do”J.”

The chief function of EOIR is to conduct removal proceedings, which are administrative proceedings to determine the “removability” (euphemism for deportation) of individuals in the United States. Removal proceedings are conducted in immigration “courts.” As of 2008, there were fifty-two immigration “courts” throughout the U.S.

[4] While the slaves aren’t doing so well, the corporations and their shareholders are holding up ok. The stock of “Corrections [sic] Corporation of America” has risen in from $3 a share to $30 over the past decade, a tenfold increase, or a 900% rise. Investing in repression is a smart investment!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Strategic Blunder by Arrogant, Stupid U.S. Empire Drives Russia and China Together

Day by day, it becomes ever more clear how lame-brained the U.S.’ ill-advised aggression and subversion in Ukraine is.

Russia and China have just signed a 400 BILLION dollar deal for Russia to supply natural gas to China for the next 30 years. This is a direct result of U.S. aggression in Ukraine and the last several months of threats of economic warfare against Russia by the U.S. (with its European lackeys in tow). One line we hear over and over is how “Europe must cut its dependence on Russian oil and gas.” The Russians have ears too.

The U.S. faces only one serious potential rival in the coming decades: China. With more than four times the population and a rapidly growing economy (still over 7% a year vs. the U.S.’ anemia 2% or so), China presents a major strategic “challenge” (problem or threat) to U.S. dominance not just in the Far East, but elsewhere. Already China is an important economic presence in Africa and is moving into Latin America.

The obvious response for the U.S. is to create a “balancing coalition” of nations including itself and nations around China (Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines- which just signed a military base deal with the U.S., plus India and Taiwan). Instead it is behaving hostilely towards Russia and now even driving it into a hug with China!

An imperialist with a brain knows that a fundamental principle of power politics is to keep adversaries divided, not united. So here’s the USA, driving two of its main adversaries into each others’ arms. Smart. And this emperor, Obama, is supposed to be the intelligent one, unlike the last emperor!

This is not the sole idiocy the U.S. power-controllers have pulled in recent history- far from it. The invasion of Iraq, the diving into the sinkhole of Afghanistan without a realistic plan, the invasion of Vietnam (and Cambodia), and tacitly inviting North Korea to invade South Korea in 1950 are other examples of dumb moves- dumb in terms of the interests of the U.S. imperialists! But because it is so powerful, and has no powerful neighbors that can threaten it, the U.S. can get away with insane crap that would gravely weaken or even destroy another different nation. Now matter what strategic blunders the U.S. makes, it STILL always comes out on top! It’s almost like the cartoon character the Roadrunner.

Besides, the U.S. usually knows what moves others are planning- since it spies on everything and everyone.

The policy of petty spiting of Russia by stealing the assets of businessmen who have ingratiated themselves with Putin (imagine if some nation tried to steal the money of businessmen close to Obama? The U.S. media and politicians would have a shit-fit!), denial of travel visas, and threats of economic warfare by boycotting Russian fuel reminds one of another fictitious animal character: the Big Bad Wolf that threatens to huff and puff and blow your house down. Ironically, while Western yakkers like to ignorantly speculate about Putin “doing this for domestic political reasons,” Obama is in fact driven in part by domestic political considerations- the fear of being attacked by the GOP and looking “weak.”

Just once, I’d like to see a U.S. President call out that bullshit macho-baiting and explain that power has limits, that the U.S. isn’t the boss of the world, that other nations have interests, and stop living in terror of “attacks from the right.” In other words, LEAD.

But leaders don’t become presidents in America. In fact, sometimes they get assassinated, like Martin Luther King, Jr. The system in America systematically prevents the rise of true leaders. True leaders are a threat to the status quo. The U.S. needs cynical con men and actors to playact “leadership,” spouting hypocritical rhetoric.

Oh well, it won’t last forever. Nothing ever does.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Myth Stronger Than Arithmetic: The “Stolen” 1960 Election

There’s a myth about the U.S. presidential election of 1960: that Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election by “stealing” Illinois. (Specifically that the Richard Daley Democratic political machine, which controlled Chicago, the most populous city in Illinois, cheated.)

People as varied as the reactionary numbskull playwright David Mamet, to disillusioned former CIA officer John Stockwell, believe this myth: Mamet out of ideological fanaticism, and Stockwell I assume out of carelessness. [1]

But this myth is ludicrously easy to refute, namely with simple arithmetic.

People hear this myth so often, it probably never occurs to them to check the most obvious fact on which it must rest- that if Illinois' electoral votes were given to Nixon instead of to Kennedy, Nixon would have won. But simple arithmetic shows this isn’t so. All one has to do is perform a mathematical exercise that a first grader could perform: subtract Illinois’ electoral votes from Kennedy’s original total and add it to Nixon’s, and see which number is larger. The larger number is the winner.

So let’s do what the U.S. media has apparently lacked the resources to do in 54 years.

You can confirm these numbers yourselves very easily online. Kennedy’s electoral college total was 303. Nixon’s was 219. Illinois had 27 electoral votes that year, all of them going to Kennedy. Now concentrate, here comes the tricky part: 303 MINUS 27 EQUALS 276. So if Kennedy had “really” lost Illinois, he would have had 276 electoral college votes. Now ADD 27 to Nixon’s 219, and you get 246.
Now here’s the really hard part. 276 is a BIGGER NUMBER than 246. Since the person with the BIGGER NUMBER has MORE VOTES, that person WINS. So Kennedy with 276 STILL BEATS Nixon with 246.

David Mamet, Richard Nixon’s skeleton, all you right-wing conspiracy theorists, and corporate media parrots who uncritically repeat rightwing political agitprop: go back to first grade and retake elementary arithmetic.

The people who started this myth must have either been extremely cynical, or kindergarten drop-outs.

It probably never occurs to people that mythmakers would be so brazen as to fabricate such an obviously fictive claim. Who would have the nerve? But reactionaries follow the Hitler-Stalin method: nothing is too brazen; in fact, the more whopping the lie, the better, because small lies meet with more skepticism than big ones. People assume that a whopping lie must be true, because no one would dare try to pull such a thing. [2] Also, most people could never see how completely unscrupulous Nixon was- thanks to the U.S. corporate propaganda system consistently covering for him, even after the Watergate burglary, or rather the one Watergate burglary (it wasn't the first one the “Plumbers” committed against the practically unguarded Democratic National Committee offices- not even an alarm? or did the CIA-trained burglars, including JFK assassin E. Howard Hunt, disarm an alarm?)

And Nixon, true to his utterly cynical nature, actually put it about for years afterwards that he didn’t challenge the election results for the good of the country! Chutzpah, forevermore thy name is Richard Milhous Nixon. And notice how his slimy move served a dual political function. He deflects right-wingers who might be angry at him for “caving in,” and he presents himself to everyone else as noble, high-minded, self-sacrificing for the good of the nation, a man so loyal he let himself be cheated out of the presidency to serve the higher purpose of protecting the stability and perceived legitimacy of the political power structure! Nixon, one of the most selfish men who ever lived! A man who spent his life playing every angle for self-advancement and self-aggrandizement. The cynicism is supremely ironic.

Meanwhile, the Zombie Myth of the Stolen 1960 Presidency will never die, it seems. The U.$. media is assiduous about heaping ridicule on true conspiracy accounts, such as the assassinations of the Kennedys and King, and the 9/11 attacks, but this one gets a pass, as do most right-wing conspiracy theories. None Dare Call It Bias and Hypocrisy.

1] Not too many years ago, the idiot reactionary Mamet was given space in the Village Voice (an allegedly “alternative” weekly paper) to spout this impossible conspiracy theory. I sent the Voice a letter pointing out the math, but the “leftist” paper didn’t run it, nor did they run a correction so their readers wouldn’t be disinformed by the falsehood.

2] Hitler explicitly stated that a big lie was better than a small one because the average person wouldn’t imagine that anyone would be so brazen as to tell such an obvious untruth, whereas they are more suspicious of small lies because these are the kind they’re familiar with (and that they themselves tell). But he didn’t mean HE lied. He said JEWS used this technique to evade responsibility for losing World War I for Germany. You see, the Jews were guilty of blaming the German General Staff. Ironically, Hitler’s example of the Big Lie technique was itself a big lie.

From James Murphy's translation of Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”):

“But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.

“All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”

—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Western-Installed Cabal in Ukraine Tries to Glue Shattered Country Under Its Rule by Force

The Kiev cabal, installed by the U.S. and a violent mob spearheaded by fascists, is now launching murderous assaults on easterners resisting its rule. It has a newly-formed “National Guard” which in an apparent slip the New York Times said was composed of members of the mob that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine. This force is launching sporatic attacks, including with heavy weapons, on checkpoints and strongpoints of separatists and gradually besieging eastern cities. On Sunday, yesterday, the day of the referendum being staged by easterners to vote on independence (NOT on unify with Russia), these fascist goons murdered some civilians in retaliation for the referendum being held. (The U.S. and its Eurolackeys haven't uttered a peep in denunciation or opposition to these murderous attacks, while demanding daily that Putin order the separatists to disarm themselves and submit to the rule of the cabal- which is now officially fronting for the World Bank and its “austerity” economic program assaulting the Ukrainian populace.) [1]

In Ukraine now, we see the Maoist dictum, “political power flows out of the barrel of a gun” in practice. There is no legitimate authority, just people exercising power by direct physical force. The U.S., with its Eurolackeys, is directly responsible for creating this situation by its ill-advised, illegitimate subversion and overthrow of the elected president (Viktor Yanukovych) and his replacement by a World Bank apparatchik (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) whose mission is to deliver Ukraine into the hands of U.S.-bossed Western imperialism.

The U.S. and its Eurolackeys fractured Ukraine with its ill-advised, imperialist, and very aggressive coup and seizure. The U.S. apparently thought it could rip Ukraine completely out of Russian influence, as if Russia has no political gravitational force at all, and bleed its people via the World Bank implanting a needle directly into its economic artery and draining the country. For some strange reason, Russia refuses to play ball by playing dead. Instead, Putin, who is “out of touch with reality” (we are told by the New York Times, which told us a secret White House source told it Angela Merkel told Obama about Putin- still no word directly from Merkel if she said it, but if she did, she's an ass and an obsequious, sycophantic servant to U.S. power- which, actually, she truly is.[2])

U.S.-Ukrainian cabal-appointed “Interior Minister,” the fascist Arsen Avakov who now controls the Ukrainian police, and apparently the army too, boasted on Facebook of killing 20 “terrorists” in another attack in the east on those defying the seizure of the country by the Western-installed clique. The attack occurred in Mariupol, on a police station taken over by armed and unarmed dissidents who reject Western domination and favor, variously, autonomy within Ukraine, independence, or unification with Russia. As in Odessa, where around 40 resisters were burned alive in a building set on fire, the police station was set ablaze. Apparently this sadistic tactic is becoming standard operating procedure for the fascist forces that have been set loose to crush the opposition to the Western-satrap regime.

This three-way division among the opposition to the Western-imposed cabal that seized power in Kiev through violence thus renders simplistic and misleading the label “pro-Russian” for the opposition, and certainly puts the lie to the cabal's propaganda, echoed in much Western media by hack propagandists, professional imperialist polemicists, and pseudo-”experts,” that says it's all Russian agents and/or Russian agitation that's the problem. The old “outside agitators are responsible” line, beloved of Southern white racists in the U.S. who claimed their terrorized “niggers” were happy and content, and of LBJ, who demanded that the CIA discover how the Soviet Union controlled the anti-Vietnam war movement, which it created. Nuts, I know. But pathological mass murderers are nuts, aren't they.

Of course, the propagandists and “respectable” pontificators are following the lines of the “leadership,” namely Obama, Kerry, their European stooge politicians, et al, who say that all would be peace and harmony in Ukraine after their forcible seizure of it if not for Russian “agitation,” “aggression,” “destabilization,” and the alleged threat of “another Russian invasion.”

And the sickest irony? While Western propagandists subject their publics to a daily barrage of mendacious, twisted propaganda, one of their propaganda themes is “Russian propaganda distorts the situation” in Ukraine. Funny, that Russian propaganda hews a lot more closely to reality then the demented imperialist ravings force-fed into people's brains in the West.

1] The loathsome U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR phrased the news of this murder of unarmed civilians by the fascist National Guard like this: “Violence broke out when Ukrainian National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd,” killing people. Violence broke out. What a sleazy evasion. This phraseology avoids putting moral responsibility on the murderers. Then NPR ran a report from one of its propagandists in Ukraine, Cory Flintoff, who dismissed the delusion by the easterners that the new so-called government “is run by fascists and neo-Nazis.” As if known fascists don't in fact now occupy key posts in the new “government,” controlling the military forces.

2] Merkel bleats a little about U.S. spying on Germany, but this is strictly so she doesn't lose credibility with the German public. Obama has stonewalled her on the German demand-proposal-plea for a “no-spying-on-allies” pact, which the U.S. won't even agree to, even though if they ever DID make such a deal, they'd just double-cross the Germans and everyone else by continuing their compulsive electronic surveillance anyway, but the U.S. won't even PRETEND to stop spying. So this is adding insult, indeed humiliation, to injury. But like the old saw goes: “The Germans; they're either at your feet or at your throat.” They are authoritarians par excellance, which means psychologically they embody the two-sided coin of dominance-submission.

One big reason the U.S. can fuck European nations up their asses is that the so-called “security services” of those nations are controlled by neo-fascists, who naturally ally themselves with their counterparts in the U.S. secret police agencies which they regard as their Big Brothers. (I don't use the mendacious Establishment euphemisms “law enforcement” and “intelligence.” These very terms are lies.) So the European (and Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand, and numerous other nations' too) secret police are in effect traitors to their own nations and are the tools of a foreign power, the U.S. This has been factually proven in many cases, and in the German (and UK and French) case by the Snowden documents, as reported in Der Spiegel, for example. In fact, the U.S. couldn't do what it does without the aiding and abetting of the traitorous, criminal secret police organizations of the victim nations. (In the Third World, of course, it's even worse, as secret police and militaries make war against their domestic populations at U.S. direction, under U.S. tutelage, with U.S.-supplied lists of victims, and with U.S. funding, training, and arms. Europe only suffered some terrorist bombings under the Gladio program, which killed “only” around a hundred people in total, and Australia a bloodless coup that overthrew the Whitlam government. Whitlam was overthrown with the help of Australian secret police/military agencies. See for example “ChasingNugan Hand: Whitlam, the CIA, and Nugan Hand.”)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

U.S. Political Elites Refuse to Accept Russia's Legitimacy

If you refuse to accept another nation's legitimate interests, you in effect refuse to accept that nation's legitimacy.

If one accepts that Russia is a legitimate nation, then it inexorably follows that it must have legitimate interests. Surely its interest in Ukraine is legitimate, if it is to have any interests at all that the U.S. and the lackey states of the American imperium recognizes.

But apparently just as it used to be in America that no black man had any rights that a white man was bound to respect, Russia has no interests that America will deign to recognize.

Yet again, the Sunday morning political propaganda shows on U.S. television, populated with the inbred elite of the capital city of the U.S. empire, treated the public to more hysterical bashing of Russia and Putin over Ukraine. George F. Will, a reactionary fixture of the U.S. propaganda system, opined authoritatively (the only way he ever opines) that war has already been started by Russia in Ukraine. Putin's evil “aggression” was much denounced by all on every channel.

What are Russia's interests in Ukraine?

1) Ukraine is on Russia's border.

2) The Crimea peninsula of Ukraine provides Russia's only sea access in its west that is below the Arctic Circle. Russia was now a landlocked nation along its entire thousands-miles long southern border before the Crimeans voted to reunify with Russia (of which Crimea had been a part for centuries until the half-Ukrainian Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev impulsively gifted the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic- part of the Soviet Union- with it in 1954).

3) Ukrainian factories produce key parts for strategic Soviet weapons.

4) Russia has an interest in preventing a hostile military alliance, NATO, from continuing to gobble up the nations on Russia's western border and farther west. NATO has absorbed all but a handful of Russia's western neighbors. Ukraine is one of the last holdouts.

I don't believe in nation states. But the people who rule the world, who fancy themselves “global leaders,” do. So then the question is: is Russia a legitimate nation-state? Well, let's compare it to its two current leading foes, the U.S. and Germany. Russia has been a nation for centuries longer than either of those two, so it has seniority. By that measure, Russia is more legitimate than either of those two.

Well, how about its historical behavior? Rotten, sure. So is Germany's. (Ever hear of a guy named Adolf Hitler? How about World War I and World War II? There's more, but that should suffice.)

As for America, it's founded on the twin pillars of genocide and slavery. It is one of the most rapidly expanding empires in history. And contrary to its propaganda, it isn't very democratic. Never has been. It has only been in the last 90 years of its history that most adults were even legally permitted to vote in its elections. Today it is a corporate oligarchy fronted by a two-party dictatorship. Nothing to write home about.

We can talk about domestic policy, specifically repression. Presumably a nation that represses its own people is illegitimate. (Which would mean that MOST nations on earth are illegitimate, but never mind.) Russia is far from the most repressive regime on earth, and a LOT less repressive than various U.S. “friends” like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Colombia, to name but three. Much is made of political murders in Russia (despicable, to be sure), but they are on the same order of magnitude as U.S. political murders. Far more political murders are committed in Mexico and Colombia, both of which the U.S. is tight with. (But notice which of these nations gets obsessive U.S. media coverage about its repressiveness- only Russia.) [1]

In fact, the U.S. is more repressive than Russia, if one uses objective measures. The U.S. has the world's largest prison population- far larger than Russia's, and about the same as China's, a country with over four times the population of the U.S. The U.S. conducts the most extensive secret police surveillance of its population of any nation on earth, with the possible exception of North Korea.

The U.S. now has institutionalized torture.

Putin pardoned and freed 1,000 prisoners at the end of last year. Obama? 8. And unlike Putin, who freed the two imprisoned Pussy Riot members still in prison before their sentences were up, Obama freed not a single political prisoner. In fact, he made some of those he “freed” serve months more time in prison before being released, just to be even more grudging about it, it seems.

“Thug” Putin is ultimately responsible for a handful of political killings. Murders. Obama is proud to have killed thousands of “terrorists,” including children, grandmothers, rescue workers, medical personnel, and a 16 year old American son of a “terrorist propaganda.”

But all this doesn't really matter. The U.S. recognizes Russia as a legal nation. Russia is a UN member, and holds a permanent seat on the UN “Security” Council. If the U.S. admits that Russia is a legitimate nation, it has to admit it has legitimate interests. It would be impossible for a nation to NOT have interests, as it would be impossible for a person to not have interests.

If having a friendly Ukraine on its border, and preserving a vital naval base and the military output of Ukrainian factories aren't vital, legitimate interests, what are?

ANY half-competent and RESPONSIBLE Russian ruler would HAVE to defend these vital national interests! Apparently the U.S. was spoiled by Boris Yeltsin, a grossly incompetent, criminally irresponsible drunkard who sold his nation down the road to the U.S. Yeltsin's reign was incredibly destructive for Russia. No wonder the U.S. loved him. Apparently only rulers who will betray their own countries to benefit the U.S. are acceptable to the U.S.

For trying to protect his nation's immediate border, Putin is daily accused in the West of trying to “recreate the Soviet Union” and “restarting the Cold War.” What hogwash. These polemicists, propagandists, politicians and apparatchiks of the U.S. bloc should just come right out and say that they don't accept Russia's right to even have interests- which means it really has no right to exist.

I'm not surprised that a lot of Russians- and a good number of Ukrainians too- disagree with that. I wonder why idiot Western elites are surprised.

1] A couple of thousand people were just sentenced to death in Egypt after two one-hour “trials,” arising from the death of a single cop. In Colombia, labor organizers are routinely assassinated by fascist death squads, which Obama and the U.S. media look the other way and shovel military and secret police aid to the regime and directly help the regime murder leaders of FARC. Mexico is a carnival of the most lurid violence and state corruption, and the police are simply criminal organizations themselves. But oh man, Russia is so corrupt and criminal! Double standard, anyone?
With a side order of hypocrisy and cynicism; coming right up!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

German Government Reaffirms Status as BootlickingToady to U.S.

The regime of Chancellor Angela Merkel has barred Edward Snowden from coming to Germany to testify before a Parliamentary committee. This despite the fact that Snowden revealed not just massive spying on German citizens by the NSA, with the help of the German secret police, but deliberate targeting of Merkel's own cellphone, starting before she became Chancellor.

Her regime apparatchiks informed the committee in writing that allowing Snowden in to testify would "run counter to the political interests of the Federal Republic" and "put a grave and permanent strain" on US-German relations. Unlike tapping their Chancellor's phone, apparently. Which speaks volumes about Germany's relationship to the U.S., and the hollowness of German “democracy,” since a parliamentary committee can be stymied in its work in this high-handed fashion.

Merkel has been summoned to the capital of the Empire, Washington, D.C., to “confer” about forcing Russia to abandon Ukraine, and to get Europe to agree to a trade deal to the U.S.' liking. (The U.S. has the upper hand in such negotiations not only because of its superior power, but because it knows exactly what the other side in the negotiations are thinking, strategizing, and the minimums they'll accept, thanks to the NSA tapping and bugging all European governments' and pan-European institutions' computers, phones, and offices, which we also know now thanks to Edward Snowden.) Apparently they don't trust phones so they need to speak in person. And notice who goes to see who. The subservient one is summoned into the presence of the superior one.

The U.S. has even refused to agree to stop spying on allies like Germany, as Germany has asked.

To add insult to injury, it only took a mere U.S. Assistant Secretary of State to bar Germany's pick for Ukrainian leader from even entering the puppet government (the boxer Vitali Klitschko), as we know from the infamous “Fuck the EU” phone call between the imperious Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador in Ukraine, the smarmy Geoffrey Pyatt. [See “U.S. Enlisted UN Stooges in Ukraine Subversion.]

The Green Party leader, Simone Peter, had this to say of Merkel: "Merkel is displaying cowardice towards our ally America. We owe the Americans nothing in this respect. The government must at least make a serious effort to safely bring Snowden to Germany and let him give evidence here. But Merkel doesn't want that."

Merkel will do as she's told about Ukraine. A Good German, she is an authoritarian who obeys superiors. And the U.S. president is clearly her superior. The only opposing force is the economic interests of German business that is invested in Russia, trades with Russia, buys fuel supplies from Russia. That puts her in a squeeze between opposing forces.

The mystery is why the German people chose to be ruled by this dull matron. There is a Green Party, and a Left Party, whose members in parliament were miffed by the blocking of Snowden from appearing to help parliament do its job. They were overruled by the government, a coalition of the right-wing “Christian Democratic” party (Merkel's party) and the fake-liberal “Social Democrats.”

Of course, Snowden can still testify from Russia by remote video connection, for example. That will enable the NSA to record the testimony in real time. Another victory for America! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Ukraine Satraps Launch Murderous Military Assault on Eastern Ukrainians to Provoke Russian Invasion

The puppet Ukrainian regime chosen by the U.S. and installed by a violent, fascist-dominated mob financed by the U.S. (and by American billionaire Pierre Omidyar) is taking off the gloves and launching a full-scale military assault on eastern Ukrainians who refuse to bow to its ersatz authority. The city of Donetsk is the first target. The satrapy regime is targeting government buildings in the east that were taken over by armed citizens there, in an ironic reversal. Remember, this Western stooge regime seized power by seizing government buildings. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the new rulers are moving decisively to crush rebellion, as the elected government they overthrew fatally failed to do. And the U.S. and its Eurolackey stooges has also done a neat reversal. When they were overthrowing the elected former president Viktor Yanukovych, they demanded that security forces retreat in the face of murderous cop-killing mobs. Now they demand the opposite, that people seizing buildings surrender.

You couldn't design a better provocation to get Russia to send in troops to protect sympathetic Russophile Ukrainians and ethnic-Russian Ukrainian citizens then an armed military attack on them. At the same time, western media and politicians and apparatchiks issue threats daily against Russia, telling it not to “invade” Ukraine and screeching loudly about Russian “aggression” and “subversion.” Moldova is said to be a victim of Russian “aggression” (because of a breakaway region), and the Georgian-Russian war is invoked as part of a pattern. (Never mentioned is the fact that Georgia started the war, stupidly calculating that NATO would start a war with Russia to rescue Georgia. Seems the Ukrainian satraps may be making the same dumb miscalculation.) In Odessa in western Ukraine, 30 Russophile Ukrainians have just been burned to death when the building they were occupying was set on fire.

Preparing for civil war to control ALL of Ukraine, “President” Oleksandr V. Turchynov has just announced the imposition by his personal fiat of a military draft for those 18 to 25 years old, for unspecified terms of “service.” (Western media refer to him, and to Victoria Nuland's pet “Prime Minister” Arseniy “Yatz” Yatsenyuk, as “interim” or “acting” president and pm, not “unelected” or “U.S.-installed.” You can bet if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be “Russian-installed, unelected,” “illegitimate,” “installed by force,” and so on.) [For Nuland designating “Yatz” as PM-to-be, see “U.S. Enlisted UN Stooges in Ukraine Subversion”]

Conscription by personal ukase- just like a Tsar! So who is trying to “return to the past”? Putin? He's not the only authoritarian around, apparently. (But not even Putin personally reviews a weekly murder list, which has so far eliminated thousands of “enemies,” or has the power to indefinitely imprison people in a military gulag without trial or charges. Guess who has that power? The “Leader of the Free World.”TM) Turchynov The Interim also whined about police and military personnel “defecting” to the anti-Kiev cabal cause. So this is shaping up to be quite a messy civil war. Expect U.S. military “special operations” assassins to be added to the mix. And the CIA is already there- in fact the head of the CIA, John “Torture & Kill 'Em” Brennan himself was just in Kiev, plotting god knows what sinister mayhem.

Turchynov makes a point of consistently referring to the eastern resisters to him and his cabal as “terrorists.” That term makes clear the intent to use violence, not negotiations or reconciliation, to cement the rule of his cabal.

And while conducting this military assault on the east, the Kiev cabal will stage a “presidential election” later this very month, under the tutelage of their Western puppet-masters. Which will give Western politicians, apparatchiks, and propagandists another chance to wax hypocritical, as they will no doubt be hailing this snap election as a paragon of democracy, unlike the “illegitimate,” “illegal,” “Unconstitutional” Crimea referendum “held under Russian guns” in which Crimeans voted 93% to reunite with Russia (called “Russian annexation” in Western media). [1]

Meanwhile, U.S. and Eurolackey regimes and media pile higher the stinking pile of hypocritical rhetoric. There's no end to talk of Russia “subverting” and “destabilizing” Ukraine, when it was the U.S. grab for Ukraine and overthrowing of the elected government that did precisely those things. We hear that Russia is “on the march,” and Putin is “starting the Cold War again,” “grabbing territory,” and “trying to recreate the Soviet Union.” For example- and there are hundreds by now- U.S. government propaganda radio network NPR is talking about “growing Russian aggression against Ukraine.” (But interestingly, this time phrasing it as “what they [Germany and Britain] see as Russian aggression.”) [NPR, Noon EST, May 2.]

Actually, all Russia is doing to desperately trying to preserve the status quo, as the waters of a hostile military alliance (NATO) rise higher and higher around it. Now it's just trying to preserve the vital naval base in Crimea, and access to the output of factories in eastern Ukraine, which produce key military parts for Russian ICBMs and other weapons. Seizing Ukraine is like aiming a dagger at Russia's strategic heart. No surprise Russia is stirred to react. Instead we are told this is all part of some expansionist scheme by “thug” Putin, not breathtaking western aggression and subversion.

Russia has been mostly passive, contrary to hysterical western agitprop, as the U.S. reneged on the agreement made with Gorbachev that in return for a total retreat from eastern Europe, the U.S. wouldn't expand NATO eastwards. Now NATO is lapping on Russia's very borders, and Russia is expected to roll over and play dead as it loses its only warm water port in the west and access to strategic industries.

The double standard that the U.S. empire and its lackeys insist on imposing is mind-bending. A group of pro-Russian Ukrainians released some western spies- oh, excuse me, “observers”- military officers sent by the OCSE (yet another western imperialist organization) without obtaining freedom for prisoners they originally demanded. (The western media called the officers “hostages.”) This while the satrapy regime is waging war on resisters to their rule. Yet daily the U.S. and its toady stooge governments demand that Russia force the resisters to surrender, as they “agreed to do” at Geneva. But those governments aren't stopping the Ukraine coup regime from starting a civil war.

The Obama regime seems determined to press on with this deranged crusade, ratcheting up unjust sanctions against Russian government officials for doing their jobs, Russian businessmen who are guilty-by-association with Putin, and Ukrainians who haven't hopped on the coupists' bandwagon. [2]
The U.S. and Europe are trying to cut all Ukrainian ties to Russia, which are extensive and critical for Ukrainian well-being. (The standard, draconian International Monetary Fund “program” for the Ukrainian people has just been unveiled. It is revealing and will be the subject of a future essay.)

Of course, even if Obama started a nuclear war, it probably wouldn't be “strong” enough for the likes of John “Permanent POW” McCain, and the Republican Party, whose policy is Nothing a Democrat Can Do Is Any Good. Which has never stopped Obama from trying to appease them, whether it's the destruction of ACORN, the summary defenestration of Shirley Sherrod, passing a health care scheme taken straight from the Reaganite Heritage Foundation (now called “Obamacare”), crushing of domestic dissent, and a never-ending global campaign of mass assassination to “fight terrorism.”

There was a slogan during the Vietnam war; “Two, Three, Many Vietnams.” The idea was that the more “conflicts” the U.S. got embroiled in, the better (except for those murdered by the U.S., and the maimed, and the other survivors who have to live in devastated, destroyed lands poisoned by dioxin, depleted uranium, and other deadly substances U.S. imperialism has brought to the world). The theory is the U.S. would be spread thin, perhaps to the breaking point. So maybe we should hope that the arrogant, hyper-aggressive create more “crises” in more “troublespots” of their own making.

Well, I don't think two, three, many Ukraines will break the U.S. Just as the Iraq war didn't, merely weakened it in some ways- at terrible cost to Iraqis. The question is, how stupidly can the U.S. Goliath behave before it seriously catches up to it? Its hostility to Russia runs smack against the strategic imperative to construct a balancing coalition against China. Any such coalition will have a gaping hole without Russia. Obama just returned from an errand in Asia where he was trying to knit together just such a coalition among small Asian powers like the Philippines and Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, plus Japan, and India down the road. I wonder if the thought of this contradiction ever even occurred to him.

Not that I want to help him. I don't work for U.S. imperialism, in case you hadn't noticed. And I've personally experienced worse repression under his regime than under his predecessor Bush the Younger. So much for the “lesser evil” argument for voting for the Democratic Party!

1] Oddly, even though periodic, passing references are made to this “presidential election” in western media (but nothing at all by the western politicians!) there's been no “coverage” of any campaigning, no mention even of who the “candidates” in this “election” are! I'm guessing it's be Turchynov The Temporary President vs. A Bunch of No-Names Nobody Has Heard Of. That'll be real fair. The people have spoken!

2] Guilt by association is a long-standing actual principle of U.S. power practice, contrary to their wonderful-sounding, high-minded proclaimed principles. Currently it is employed massively in the “war on terror.” The NSA is creating “terrorist links” by seeing who calls who calls who calls who. So if a “suspected terrorist” called someone who called someone who called YOU, for example, your life gets inexplicably harder. That's called “three hops” tracing by the secret police. They have their own secret lingo for things, which makes them feel special.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Obama: “I'm a Big Believer in Conning People”

No, he didn't say that. He said “I'm a big believer in net neutrality. I campaigned on this, I continue to be a strong supporter of it,...” And he is referring in this 2010 interview to the then FCC Commissioner. The current Obama-appointed Chair of the FCC is industry lobbyist Tom “Wheeler-Dealer” Wheeler.

So from at least 2007 to at least 2010, Obama presented himself publicly as a staunch supporter of net neutrality. Now, without any public notice, he is sneakily moving to “destroy one of the best things about the Internet,” to quote the man himself.


But then, Obama tries to conduct most of his evil in secret. From massive, omnipresent NSA surveillance, to assassinations, to draconian laws, to organized repression of protest in the U.S., to supporting some of the worst dictatorships in the world (like Egypt), Obama tries to keep what he does hidden, while trumpeting verbiage designed to dupe. Immigration is a prime example of the glaring contradiction between his words and deeds. While deporting record numbers of people from the U.S. (2 million and counting), smashing to bits tens of thousands of struggling families in the process, and unleashing a violent, murderous Border Patrol, when the political heat from average people starts to rise, he spouts “immigration reform” rhetoric, while doing nothing to push Congress to act. He announces ameliative programs with great fanfare, which in practice remain virtually dormant. (That happened with “mortgage foreclosure relief” too.) The actual programs he pursued with vigor are for greater repression, such as the Orwellian-named “Secure Communities” program, which turn local police into arms of the Immigration Police. This turns immigrant communities into fearful, Insecure places where people cannot report crimes because they will in effect be turning themselves in for summary imprisonment and deportation.

The larger reality to grasp is that the Democratic Party is just as repressive as the Republican Party, and there is plenty of evidence for this, from every Democratic regime form Woodrow Wilson to the current one, as I have described in previous essays in detail.