Saturday, June 28, 2014

Armed U.S. Drones Over Baghdad Precursor to More Atrocities Against Iraqis

It has just been revealed by the Pentagon via the U.S. “news” media that armed (killer) drones have been flying over Baghdad as of several days ago “to protect Americans.” To one who remembers the history of the U.S. “intervention” in Iraq, that is chilling. In the name of preventing U.S. casualties, a value of zero was placed on Iraqi life. Thus numerous civilians were butchered, including at “checkpoints” where their cars would be shot up, killing and maiming the drivers and passengers on the chance that they might be suicide bombers. The U.S. military’s “rules of engagement” were designed to minimize risk of U.S. casualties which meant maximizing Iraqi civilian ones. [1]

And the New York Times let slip in the last paragraph of an editorial, inside parentheses, that on top of the 300 American “advisers” Obama sent into Iraq, (who will be calling in airstrikes, among other duties, and directing Maliki’s troops on who to kill) the U.S. emperor is also sending what the Times misleadingly calls “private security guards” to bodyguard the “advisers.” [2]

Well, these no doubt aren’t the guys hired to stand at the doors in mall stores to deter shoplifters. These are those “private security contractors” that the U.S. has long used as a shadow army in Iraq. Like the Blackwater Butchers of the Nisur Square massacre in Baghdad, a notorious mass murder. Accompanying State Department officials they were bodyguarding, the Blackwater Butchers apparently were impatient with a traffic jam and so opened fire in a murderous frenzy on the Iraqis helplessly trapped in their cars, killing 17, including children, and wounding others. The Iraqi traffic police on the scene had to run for their lives. The U.S. Army arrived on the scene of the massacre after the Blackwater Butchers had fled, and concluded that no one had fired on the Blackwater/State Dept. convoy.

Another example of the U.S. “warriors’” attitude towards Iraqis was revealed by the infamous video of the U.S. Army helicopter assault on the Reuters’ crew walking in the street in Baghdad, and then the firing on a civilian van whose driver stopped to help the dying men. The helicopter crew makes callous cracks about the children in the van who they wound, sneering that the driver shouldn’t have brought children into a “combat zone.” (Of course the U.S. turned every square inch of Iraq into a “combat zone.”) The only soldier ever punished for that wanton atrocity and war crime was the soldier who exposed it by sending the helicopter video to WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years in military prison for his awful crime of revealing the murders. [3]

The Times editorial feeds the reader this standard U.S. government guff: “Obama administration officials have said any strikes will depend on factors like support from Iraq’s political leaders and intelligence that identifies precise ISIS targets.” [Emphases added.]

Yeah, right. they’re so “precise.” Why, their bombs and missiles are downright “surgical,” they claim. So does that mean that all those civilians you blow to pieces were deliberately slaughtered, America?

We’ve had numerous examples over the past 13 years of how reliable U.S. “intelligence” is, from the bogus “intel” used as a pretext to invade Iraq, to the random civilians (some bought with bounty money from the Pakis and from Afghan marauders) murdered in U.S. captivity or sent to rot at Guantanamo Bay, to the cruise missile and drone attacks that have repeatedly slaughtered villagers and wedding parties, to the night raids like the one in Gardez, Afghanistan in which U.S. “Special Forces” (death squad) troops murdered the local police commander and two pregnant women, then blamed it on the Taliban.

In Yemen, the corrupt Yemeni rulers have bumped off political rivals, including government officials, by whispering in the U.S.’ ear that their cars were terrorist caravans. (The Wall Street Journal exposed this years ago on its front page, describing a specific example at the time the loathsome Ali Abdullah Saleh was “president.”)

Then there’s just the general bloodthirstiness of U.S. “elite” troops and “private security contractors” like the cutthroats of Blackwater. (Now called Academi, after cycling through other name changes like Xe designed to flee from its murderous reputation. Here’s a suggestion to its boss, the fanatical reactionary and ex-Navy SEAL Eric Prince, for his next corporate disguise: just call yourselves John Doe Inc.)

Since American life is precious (well, as long as they’re Americans in good standing with the Imperialist-Corporate state; the lives of people like Michael Hastings, or Rachel Corrie, or Americans foolish enough to try and sail humanitarian supplies to Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza strip aren’t worth bupkis) and the lives of Third Worlders like Iraqis, or Vietnamese, or Salvadoreans, or Angolans, aren’t just expendable, but are treated as having negative value, like trash or a form of insect life, slaughter is deemed reasonable under the “rules of engagement” that are crafted to keep U.S. casualties to an absolute minimum.

This has a political dimension, based on the knowledge that the U.S. public doesn’t give a rats’ ass how many non-Americans the U.S. kills, it only cares about “our side” losing bodies. That’s how they keep score. As the rulers learned during the Vietnam War, American body bags = more opposition to war. (Oh, how happy everyone was when the U.S. conquered Grenada! And iraq too, until the going got rougher.) With 5,000 Americans at the world’s largest U.S. embassy in Baghdad, there will be plenty of opportunities to kill Iraqis “just to be on the safe side.”

Warning to Iraqis: Stay as far away from Americans as you can!

1] For a good overview of the toll the U.S. military took on Iraqi civilians, see “DISPATCHES: IRAQ'S SECRET WAR FILES,” on youtube.com.

2] “While Iraq Burns,” New York Times, 6/28/14.

3] There are many copies of the “collateral murder” video on youtube.com, released by WikiLeaks in 2010, including a full length one The murders occurred in 2007. See “Original Wikileaks 'Collateral Murder' Video.” You can hear these vicious killers saying things like “C’mon, let us shoot!” to their controllers back at their base. They falsely claim to be shooting armed insurgents.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Israel Seizes 370 Palestinian Hostages and Slays 6 in Retaliation for 3 Missing Teenage Colonists

That’s the latest cumulative tally as Israel continues to rampage in the West Bank, furious over what it calls the “kidnapping” of three Israeli Jewish teenage colonists who went missing while hitchhiking several weeks ago. No one has issued any messages claiming to have seized them, or issued any demands. Israel vociferously asserts that Hamas kidnapped them, which Hamas denies. [1]

The toll of dead and newly-imprisoned Palestinians added to Israel’s permanent cache of thousands of Palestinian prisoners (most of whom are never charged with a crime, much less tried and convicted, which makes them state hostages) will continue to grow, as Israel goes berserk over the three missing Jewish teenage colonizers of the West Bank (“Judea and Samaria” in official Israeli rhetoric); kicking down the doors to people’s homes, ransacking them, breaking the stealing Palestinians’ possessions and carting off “suspects” without explanation, leaving families terrorized and traumatized. (The condition Israel has employed much violence over the years to put Palestinians in, starting with the violent ethnic cleansing of 1948 as a key, premeditated part of the much-lauded creation of the State of Israel.)

In reaction to the disappearance of their boys, Israel has already killed twice as many Palestinians (teens and young men) as the number of Jewish teenaged colonists whose disappearance it is avenging. And there will be more killed and imprisoned. The moral perversion, not just in Israel but in those nations that back it, is that the colonizers are the moral ones and the colonized who resist their dispossession are the evil ones. That’s not an endorsement of kidnapping or violence. Violence is always ugly, and kidnapping is ruthless. So is demolishing tens of thousands of people’s homes with bulldozers, uprooting their orchards, imprisoning them to crush their political organizing, shooting and beating demonstrators, and bombing refugee camps and hospitals. If anything, the seizing of three Israeli colonizers, tragic as it is for the kidnapped and their families, is a feeble response to all the Palestinians, now imprisoned in their nascent Bantustans, have endured for 66 years with no end in sight.

It seems to me that Israel’s violent response makes it more likely that whoever presumably seized the 3 teenagers are now going to feel more pressure to kill them, if they haven’t already, since they will fear being captured and Israel is making it harder to move their prisoners around. Israel would have been better off offering a reward for their safe return, or a prisoner swap. But that would be “weak” and “only encourage more kidnappings,” in the mindset of the tough guys who run the Israeli state. Making the political point that Palestinian resistance is intolerable is the Israelis’ imperative, and thus any act by Palestinians contrary to Israeli demands, whether constructing a home, a peaceful demonstration, lobbing a homemade rocket onto Israeli soil, or seizing or killing Israeli Jews, will be met with the mailed fist. Forcing the Palestinians to knuckle under, and “proving” to them the futility of resistance, takes precedence over the safe return of the 3 teens.

1] My guess is that if a Palestinian political group did seize them, it would have been one of the smaller, more extreme groups, not Hamas. Hamas has just entered into a political unity government with the “Palestinian Authority” run by Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas. They wouldn’t want to destabilize it just weeks after its formation. Israel is using the boys’ disappearance as a wedge to try and pry apart the new unity between the two main Palestinian factions to once again keep the Palestinians divided and even weaker than they are. Once again Netanyahu is issuing thunderous demands that Hamas be thrown out of the Palestinian “government,” such as it is.

But it’s typical for Israel to blame Hamas first. Israel always blames Hamas whenever some tiny Palestinian sect lobs an explosive onto Israeli soil. So there’s a pattern here.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Obama Regime Supporting Egyptian Repression of Journalists

As I previously wrote about, three journalists working for Al-Jazeera, the Qatari-owned news organization, were convicted in an Egyptian kangaroo court of “broadcasting false information” for the “terrorist” Muslim Brotherhood. Two were sentenced to 7 years, and the third got an extra 3 years for the “crime” of possessing an empty bullet shell casing he had as a souvenir. (Come to think of it, the same thing could happen in the U.S., particularly if you’re a black or leftist.)

Nine other journalists (among 20 other defendants) have been sentenced to 10 years in absentia, including a Dutch journalist who had to flee the country with the help of her embassy in Cairo. None of these people dare travel to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, or the “United Arab Emirates” (a collection of medieval Arab monarchs), for those three are paymasters of the Sisi dictatorship in Egypt an despise the Muslim Brotherhood. Nor can they now travel anywhere in Africa, as the gang of African rulers have welcomes the Egyptian regime into their fold, and are bound to hand over Egyptian convicts to Egypt should any land in their territories. Here is another example of human beings held hostage to the vagaries of the politics of national rulers. We are like corks in the ocean, tossed about by forces much larger than ourselves.

New Egyptian military dictator Abdel Fattah El-Sisi hates Qatar for supporting the government he overthrew, the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi. (Who Sisi threw in prison after his coup.) The imprisonment of Al-Jazeera is Sisi’s petty, vindictive way to last out at Qatar. Except it doesn’t hurt Qatar, just the journalists and their families. (Similarly, Bill Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq didn’t hurt Saddam Hussein, but they sure hurt the over half a million Iraqi children Clinton thereby murdered, and their families.)

Secretary of State John “I’m a Hawk Now!” Kerry had a congenial meeting with military dictator
Sisi the day before the “verdict.”

The Obama regime has cleared $575 million worth of military armaments for the Egyptian military dictatorship, strengthening its repressive hold on that country. Apache attack helicopters are being delivered for use inside Egypt (since Egypt is not going to attack any external enemies, nor be invaded by any) against any rebellious Egyptians. Since actions speak louder than words, and what a military dictatorship craves above all else is weapons and munitions, we can discount whatever hypocritical, cynical, phony, insincere “expressions of concern” the Obama regime will emit. It’s just the usual U.S. guff.

But to be fair to Obama, he supports regimes that are a lot more repressive towards journalists than Egypt is. So why can’t he back Egypt’s repression too? Obama supported the Honduran coup, and supports the government there, which MURDERS journalists (and many other people also). He of course supports the Guatemalan permanent fascist military government, which murders journalists (and many others) routinely. He’s a big fan of the Colombian rulers, who murder many journalists (and union organizers and others). Why not Egypt? All they did was imprison some journalists- and ones working for the hated-by-the-U.S. Al-Jazeera, to boot.

And Obama himself imprisons journalists. So you could say he’s avoiding being hypocritical (for once) by not opposing Sisi for doing what Obama does. (Although saying that would be a bit perverse. Or ironic, if you prefer.) Obama has imprisoned an Al-Jazeera employee in his military gulag torture center at Guantanamo Bay in U.S.-occupied Cuban territory. He ordered the U.S.-client regime in Yemen to imprison the reporter who dared expose a drone attack atrocity by the U.S. He criminally investigates U.S. journalists, such as the Fox “News” reporter who was targeted. (Numerous Fox phone lines were tapped in that “investigation.”) He surreptitiously obtained voluminous AP phone records to track down and persecute an unauthorized leaker. He is trying to force New York Times reporter James Risen to testify in a criminal persecution of a former government employee in another unauthorized leak case. (Risen faces imprisonment if he refuses to testify- the Supreme Court just rejected his last attempt to quash the subpoena demanding his testimony.) [1]

Obama’s lawyers reserved the right in court to imprison journalists (and anyone else) in a military gulag, indefinitely, without charges, under the section of the “National Defense Authorization Act” that he sneakily signed into law on the last day of 2012 (New Year’s Eve, trying to sneak under the media radar). Obama’s lawyers did this in the course of defending against a lawsuit brought by American dissidents (including Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky) challenging the Constitutionality of this totalitarian law.

So no one should expect Obama or his henchmen like Skull and Bonesman Kerry to man the ramparts for journalistic freedom. People like that use the media to plant their propaganda, but despise it for acting independently.

1] Here is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! with journalist Jeremy Scahill and filmmaker Rick Rowley about their film “Dirty Wars.” It starts with a description of a U.S. military death squad raid on the home of an Afghan police chief (which was a “mistake,” apparently) and the murder of the chief and several pregnant women during a family celebration. This occurred in Gardez. The soldiers then conspire to concoct a cover story, digging bullets out of their victims’ bodies. (Rowley subsequently obtained cellphone videos shot surreptitiously by survivors in the house recording the voices of the soldiers and showing their hands tampering with the corpses.) NATO then put out a cover story blaming the butchery on the Taliban. However one journalist acted as an actual journalist instead of as a stenographer for official propaganda. He was then branded a liar and his character assassinated.

Scahill then discusses the case of a Yemeni journalist who exposed Obama atrocities against Yemeni villagers, blowing the Yemeni government’s lies that it was their own airstrikes against “terrorist training camps,” not U.S. cruise missile and drone attacks which massacred civilians. (In one case the target was a retired veteran of the U.S.-backed jihadist war against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, who could have easily been arrested in the village where he lived.) Obama had this journalist imprisoned to silence him.

Scahill then returns to the Gardez case.






Monday, June 23, 2014

His Grip on Iraq Tottering, al-Maliki Resorts to What He Knows Best: Committing Atrocities

As U.S.-installed dictator of Iraq Nuri Kamal al-Maliki loses his grip on more of Iraq, including the last border crossing with Syria, to the “Islamic State In Syria and Iraq” and other Sunni armed groups, including Baathists, he is falling back on the only thing he knows, besides blatant theft: namely murder.

A cryptic report on the BBC said that 70 “terrorist prisoners” were killed “in transit” when “gunmen” attacked. No guards reported killed, no gunmen reported killed, no explanation of who they were or why they attacked and killed prisoners, and why they were allowed to. No skepticism by BBC towards this extremely dubious claim by the Maliki regime.

One of two things happened: Maliki had the (Sunni political) prisoners killed by those transporting them, or it was arranged for a Shiite “militia” or some Malaki-regime U.S.-trained death squad to rendezvous with the guards and murder the prisoners.

And Maliki’s helicopters attacked civilian cars lined up at a gas station. (No doubt the pilots were Shiites, who wanted to kill Sunnis, any Sunnis.) Maliki’s regime called the victims “terrorists.” No word on BBC, NPR, et al. I only heard this on “alternative” (non-establishment) Democracy Now today, (Democracynow.org.)

Meanwhile Secretary of State John “I’m a Hawk Now!” Kerry flew into Baghdad to jawbone Maliki about being more “inclusive,” a joke almost as sick as Kerry’s “peace process” with Israel and the Palestinian “Authority.” At the same time, the Obama regime keeps dropping hints that maybe it would be better if someone else became “prime minister” of Iraq now. Typical Hamlet-like behavior by Obama.

On the other hand, Iran is clear and decisive (as in Syria too, also in contrast with the dithering, indecisive U.S.) The real boss of Iran, the Big Ayatollah, says Maliki must stay in power. This is a reflection of the fact that Maliki evolved into more of an Iranian client than a U.S. one, even though U.S. weapons, and training in murder and mayhem, still props up Maliki’s venal and cruel regime.

The U.S. has had similar relationships with Maliki, with Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and with the Pakistani military. In all three cases, the clients somehow seem to have had the upper hand in the relationships. The U.S. propped up, funded, and armed all of them, in return for consistent kicks in the teeth by Karzai and the Pakis, and cozying up to hated U.S. enemy and bete noire Iran in the case of Maliki. Perhaps the U.S. got into the bad habit of being others’ bitch from it relationship with Israel. [1]

If I were a U.S. media propagandist, I’d be tempted to resort to a superficial pop psychology explanation, as they do with Putin and leftist opponents, among others. One could liken the U.S. to a powerful man, a plutocrat or politician, with a hidden submissive sex life, who patronizes dominatrixes in secret. But I won’t, because that’s silly (if amusing). I think the actual explanation is complex, with many political factors, both domestic and international, exerting influences. A political analysis, not a psychological one, especially not a shallow and glib pop-psychological one, is what is called for here. Perhaps I will provide one at another time.

There is a parallel with “South” Vietnam, a U.S.-created artificial nation that came into being when the U.S. sawed Vietnam in half after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. That battle ended the attempt of imperialist France to reconquer its erstwhile Indochinese colonies, which Imperial Japan had seized in World War Two. (France wheezed another last gasp of its formal imperialism in Algeria, where through massive torture by the French army, the Algerian independence movement was temporarily suppressed.) At the ensuing Geneva, Switzerland, conference to decide Vietnam’s fate, China sold out the Vietnamese so-called “communists” and went along with a U.S. scheme to “temporarily” divide Vietnam in half, with elections to follow in two years, at which point the country would be “reunited.” Since Ho Chi Minh was projected to win 80% of the vote in a nationwide election, U.S. president Dwight “Watch Out For the Military-Industrial Complex!” Eisenhower made sure to subsequently kill the election and set up a permanent client regime in the southern half of the country. When two decades later, after slaughtering millions of Vietnamese, committing innumerable atrocities and war crimes, dropping three times the tonnage of bombs on Vietnam as it dropped in World War II, and poisoning the land with dioxin, creating a toxic legacy that produces thousands of birth defects to this day from permanent damage to the human gene pool, the U.S. was forced to pull out its expeditionary force, the “South” Vietnamese army collapsed like a house of cards in a few weeks in 1975 when the northern half’s army launched an offensive. [2]

Likewise the “Iraqi” army of Nuri al-Maliki, 350,000 strong, built up at a cost of $42 billion in the last three years alone, is incapable of even fighting, much less defeating, a few thousand fanatical Islamofascist terrorists. Because, as in the “South” Vietnamese army’s case, conscripts won’t risk their lives fighting for a venal dictator for whom loyalty and service are one-way streets.

1] If one wanted to blame a single person for foisting both Karzai and Maliki on the United States, the culprit would be Bush family henchman Zalmay Khalilzad. As U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan under the regime of Bush the Younger, Khalilzad tapped Karzai to be installed as president there. Later, when Bush moved him to the ambassador role in Iraq, he recommended Maliki to Bush as prime minister of Iraq. O for two, Zalmay.

Here’s a portion of an interview on Democracy Now! with Harper’s magazine Washington editor Andrew Cockburn that is packed with information on Khalilzad and is a good description of the relevant history in a nutshell:

[ANDREW COCKBURN]: “Maliki is in power, really, thanks to the—thanks to the U.S. Zalmay Khalilzad, then the ambassador to Baghdad, in 2006 selected Maliki, much to everyone’s surprise, including Maliki’s. When Khalilzad said, "How would you like to be prime minister?" Maliki said, "Are you serious?" So, and then that was reaffirmed again in 2010 when Maliki had basically lost an election, and the U.S. and Iran, for that matter—further ironies here—really got—really rammed him back down the throats of the Iraqi people. So, now to be saying, you know, Maliki has to go, as I say, is rich with irony.

[JUAN GONZÁLEZ]: “And your article on Khalilzad also talks about his influence in Afghanistan, as well. Could you talk a little bit about his history?

[ANDREW COCKBURN]: “Well, Khalilzad, yeah, he’s been a sort of longtime foot soldier in the neocon, neoconservative, movement. I mean, he has a sort of pretty grisly pedigree. He, early on—I mean, he’s an Afghan, and then made his way to the U.S. as a young man, as a bright student. And from there, he fell under the influence of Albert Wohlstetter, who was a character in Chicago who was very influential in the movement, who also mentored Richard Perle.

“And then you see Khalilzad—from the beginning of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, he’s very much in the mix. He claims now to have been instrumental in sort of directing the whole policy, which I don’t think is really the case. But anyway, there he was signing all the resolutions, calling for war with—overthrowing Saddam, and so forth.

“And his moment came in 2001, or after 2001, when we, you know, successfully toppled the Taliban regime, and Khalilzad was really only the Afghan or sort of pretty much the only Muslim any of these people knew, and so they appointed him the overseer of the post-Taliban Afghanistan, from which position he selected one Hamid Karzai—again, much to the subsequent grief of U.S. administrations—really with the view of—a lot of Afghans I talked to at the time thought, well, Karzai was a fairly weak figure, and Khalilzad’s idea was that he, Khalilzad, would be the real ruler of Afghanistan and behave like that, really. He was bossing all them, and he restored—he fostered all these ghastly warlords and strongmen, with himself really as the biggest warlord of all. He’d threaten them with airstrikes and so forth. [U.S. power attracts gangsta wannabe types as imperialist apparatchiks- JZ.]

“So, after he had pretty much ensured that no stable settlement would emerge in Afghanistan, and really his actions had led to the revival of the Taliban, he failed upwards and was moved to Iraq, where the U.S. was trying to sort of put in place some kind of government that they could entrust Iraq to. And as I said, they didn’t like the man they had, a prime minister called Jaafari. And Khalilzad looked around and selected this character, al-Maliki, who was a fairly comparatively obscure figure in the—had been in the exiled opposition. He had lived in Damascus for most of his adult life, running a butcher shop. And suddenly, as I say, he called in al-Maliki.

“And, actually, I know quite a lot about the scene. He was with the British ambassador, and they started talking. And when the ambassador realized, the British ambassador realized that, my god, this character Maliki was being offered the job of leading Iraq, he started to protest, whereupon Khalilzad kicked him out of the room and then turned to Maliki and said, "Would you like to be prime minister?" And as I said earlier, Maliki said, "Are you serious?" And it turned out he was.

“So, there was Maliki in power, having made all sorts of promises, like they’re demanding now, that he would reach out to the Sunni minority, that he would respect human rights, he would stand up to Iran, and so forth—all of which promises, of course, he immediately broke. And, you know, he’s just a very narrow-minded, very sectarian, very paranoid character.”

- “Iraq’s Next PM? Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False WMDs, Meets U.S. Officials as Maliki Falters,” Democracy Now!, June 20, 2014. Oh yeah, there’s talk of bringing back mega-embezzler and disinformation specialist Chalabi to take over Iraq. Just how bankrupt can U.S. policy get?

But that’s only if we believe the New York Times report on Chalabi meeting with U.S. officials, which Chalabi himself may have planted there, Cockburn speculates. You would HOPE that the NY Times, having made itself a platform for Chalabi-originated disinformation on Iraq in 2002-3 to provoke a U.S. invasion, would do some verification of a story from Chalabi, but knowing the Times, one never knows.

2] Here’s in part the version of the Office of the Historian of the U.S. State Department of the Geneva deal and what the U.S. did afterwards. It’s rather revealing:

“In the wake of the French defeat, the French and Vietnamese, along with representatives from the United States and China, met in Geneva in mid-1954 to discuss the future of Indochina. They reached two agreements. First, the French and the Viet Minh agreed to a cease-fire and a temporary division of the country along the 17th parallel. French forces would remain in the South, and Ho Chi Minh’s forces would control the North. The second agreement promised that neither the North nor the South would join alliances with outside parties, and called for general elections in 1956. Laos and Cambodia were to remain neutral.

“The United States did not sign the second agreement, establishing instead its own government in South Vietnam. As the French pulled out, the United States appointed Ngo Dinh Diem to lead South Vietnam. Like Bao Dai, Diem was an unpopular choice in Vietnam as he had waited out the nationalist struggle against France abroad. Diem had also collaborated with the Japanese occupation, but his Catholicism appealed to the Western powers. The United States also supported the formation of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, designed to respond if there was an armed attack on any nation in the region.” [Emphases mine.]

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Unbearable Chutzpah of the U.S. Reactionary Elite

The current “crisis” in Iraq is directly a result of the acts of the regime of Bush the Younger. Yet not only have elected politicians and media mouthpieces of the political party of that regime, the Republican Party, been shamelessly attacking (and blaming) the Democratic Party president of the U.S. for the teetering regime of sectarian dictator Nuri al-Maliki, but amazingly, actual architects of the current “crisis” are making the rounds of reactionary media (and that includes ALL the major media organs in the U.S., in whole or in large part) to beat their chests and attack Obama.

So for example the sinister Richard Cheney, Bush the Younger’s Vice President and eminense grise, has been on television to opine. Of course it was the U.S. invasion of Iraq, masterminded by Cheney and War Secretary Donald “The Infallible” Rumsfeld, that destabilized Iraq and brought the ethnic and religious fissures to the fore. It was also the Bush regime that anointed Maliki boss of Iraq, an absolutely absurd choice. (Although no more absurd than their original choice, the embezzler, con man, and peddler of disinformation Ahmed Chalabi- whose name is now being bruited about as a replacement for Maliki! Never mind the past, never mind U.S. accusations that he was an Iranian agent, after they eventually fell out with him.) [1]

Then we’ve also been treated by the arch-reactionary Wall Street Journal (the main ideological organ of finance capital in the U.S.) to the opinions of L. Paul Bremer, invited to have an op-ed piece under his name in that rag. Bremer is the Bush family crony and spoiled rich boy who was made proconsul of Iraq with absolute powers after the U.S. conquest and occupation. In that role, he was unfailingly unable to make a correct decision. One of his biggest blunders, which went against the advice of even the U.S. military, was the total disbandment of the Iraqi army. That led to much grief in the following years and is cited today by experts as a reason for the current mess. (Peter Dale Scott cites an author who claims that Cheney ordered Bremer to disband the Iraqi army.)

For good measure, Bush’s Poodle, the loathsome, oleaginous Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of (not) “Great” Britain, immediately popped up like a Jack-in-the-Box to insist that “we” don’t “blame ourselves” for the breakdown in Iraq. (“We” meaning him.) The British propaganda system dutifully did its part, broadcasting his crudely self-serving exhortation while ignoring how he was exposed and totally discredited as a man who “fixed” the “intel” (Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Tenet-style) to lie his country into war as the loyal parrot on the shoulder of the U.S. pirate. (Is there any country the U.S. would invade that the British, the Australians, and the Canadians won’t contribute troops to? The Canadians did beg off in the Vietnam war, but still...) Blair is now piling up millions of dollars (or pounds or euros or whatever he’s paid in) flacking and shilling for various awful dictators, why cynically spouting off about “human rights” and “freedom” and “democracy,” all the buzzwords of Western politician-hustlers, assiduously debasing the language by rendering the meaning of those words hollow.

How do they get away with it? Because the U.S. media (and this is largely true in Europe and in Latin America too) is overwhelmingly reactionary, to such an extent that these sleazy, dishonest, immoral criminals are treated with respect and allowed to make absurd claims and have their numerous lies go unchallenged. In fact, it’s so bad in the U.S. that Bush himself is allowed to get away with the outrageous lie that Saddam Hussein “wouldn’t allow [UN weapons’ inspectors] into Iraq.” In fact the inspectors returned to Iraq, and Bush forced them out and then attacked and invaded the country. But the corporate propaganda system would like as many people as possible to have false history planted in their brains. Yet they insist on pretending they are “news” organizations and their propagandists are “objective journalists” who report “facts” and seek “truth.” Sorry, when you transmit blatant lies to millions of people without pointing out the falsity, you are “journalists” and that isn’t “news.” It is propaganda and brainwashing.


What one sees in Bushies is a dangerous combination of the following traits: mediocrity, utter lack of modesty, overweening self-confidence, inability to experience shame or remorse. You can see how those traits are linked and mutually-reinforcing.

The explanation for the existence of these malign character traits is “breeding.” That is, the life experience of these members of the power-controlling class is that they are born into great wealth and privilege. They are the spawn of a self-perpetuating class of oligarchs.

Chris Hedges gave an interesting description of the psychology of these creatures in an interview with Paul Jay. Here’s the excerpt from the interview:

                                                                         

1] And just to make sure we don’t forget, Cheney became vice president after Bush appointed him to head a “search committee” to find the “best person” to be vice president, and Cheney reported back to Bush that the best man for the job was none other than Cheney himself! And Bush agreed!!

Cheney of course never stopped considering Nelson Mandela a “terrorist.” Cheney is a lifelong operative of the U.S. fascist deep state, and as such is a conspirator in many dark crimes and plots, including the demolition by nano-thermite explosives of the three (not two) buildings that suddenly collapsed at the World Trade Center in New York City This is not my opinion. This is the finding of over 1,000 architects, structural engineers, demolition experts, and others. And there were numerous witnesses who heard the explosions. See “9/11: Explosive Evidence -- Experts Speak Out (Full),” on youtube.com. 


Cheney, in addition to the 9/11 plot and the invasion of Iraq conspiracy, is a key figure in the covert military-police state euphemistically called “Continuity Of Government,” or COG for short. Peter Dale Scott has a number of talks and interviews on this topic. See for example “Peter Dale Scott 2010 ‘Continuity of Government,’" on youtube.com. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Moving Decisively, Obama Pledges "Up To" 300 U.S. Troops to Prop Up Tottering Iraqi Regime

Yeah, that should do a lot to shore up the venal Maliki regime. Let's see, four out of fourteen of Maliki's army divisions melted like butter when confronted by a few thousand terrorists. I guess 300 American soldiers should turn the tide.

Since one of their tasks will be to "advise" the Iraqi military, may I suggest that a good piece of advice is, At the first sign of the enemy, don't tear off your uniform, throw down your weapon, and run away. (Which is what actually happened.) And it's been reported that Iraqi troops in Baghdad are wearing civvies under their uniforms, just in case.

Well, at least the Kurds have their act together. The idea that the northern Kurdish region of Iraq is still part of "Iraq" is nothing but a legal fiction at this point.

However, Baghdad is safe from conquest by the Islamofascist ISIS.. It is too large, and there are thousands of armed Shiite militia volunteers there, for the Sunni terrorists of the "Islamic State of of Iraq and Syria" (aka ISIS) to conquer. In fact, it would be a good thing if they tried, since a bunch of them would get killed. But I'm afraid they're too cunning for that.

However, they have been seizing towns around Baghdad, which presents a threat of possibly cutting off supplies to the city. And they've mostly seized the main oil refinery in the country, although apparently Maliki's strategy there is to set it ablaze to deny the terrorists its use.

Endless destruction is the sorry fate of Iraq since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in 1980, it seems.

Obama keeps prattling about "protecting American interests." As is customary whenever a politician or the media invokes "American interests," we are never told just what those "interests" are. We the citizens are treated like small children, without the capacity or maturity to understand such adult things,

Of course the real reason is that these cynical imperialist bastards don't want the public to understand the world as it really is. Hell, they might even have a harder time getting "patriotic" idiots to be their cannon fodder/killers for them, if that happened!

But eventually the Sunnis will be forced to turn on these terrorists again, just as happened during the U.S. occupation, when they were calling themselves "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." Even then, the original Al-Qaeda had a problem with their savagery and tried to rein them in. Now Al-Qaeda has disavowed this descendant of AQIM. But the U.S. media, and politicians up to and including Obama, will ignore that fact. They need to keep pretending it's all "Al-Qaeda" ("and associated forces," a little legalistic clause Obama habitually adds, to cover himself for whoever he wants to kill), to keep it black and white. This is the "war on terrorism," remember, one of those endless wars, like the "war on drugs," or the 70 year "war on communism." Imperialists are like shyster salesmen peddling junk- they need a good story to sell their crap to people.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

U.S.-Installed Dictator Urges U.S. to Bomb His Country

U.S.-installed Iraqi dictator Nuri al-Maliki (Bush picked him) is once again urging the U.S. to bomb his country since he is so despised even by his fellow majority Shiites that he can't even prevent a few thousand Sunni Islamofascist fanatics of "the Islamic State In Syria and Iraq" from taking over larger swaths of Iraq.

Now the terrorists have seized the country's largest oil refinery. In response, one of Maliki's helicopter gunships fired a missile into an oil storage tank, sparking a conflagration. Way to go! Now Iraqis can breathe more polluted air, in addition to their other numerous health woes- like the skyhigh rate of grotesque birth defects in places like Fallujah, caused by U.S. depleted uranium munitions (radiation damages DNA, creating hereditary damage to the human genome, a crime against our species), maimed bodies from the U.S. invasion and internecine warfare and sectarian terrorism, and the effects of malnutrition and disease from years of cruel U.S. sanctions imposed by Bush the Elder and Clinton.

Obama is once again doing some serious mulling over what to do. Meanwhile, the usual chorus of reactionaries and militaristic imperialist fanatics are yelling at him to Attack Attack Attack! And blaming him for the mess Bush created because he didn't ram a permanent occupation force down Iraq's throat and somehow force Maliki to grant the U.S. troops immunity to commit crimes freely, which is why Obama pulled the troops out. (As usual, the Democrats are too lame to push back forcefully against the Republicans.)

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, an ignorant hack GOP politician from Ohio who is known for playing golf and not much else, has weighed in to warn Obama against cooperating with Iran in any way, shape or form to beat back the Sunni terrorists in Iraq, despite Iranian feelers. Boehner says Iran is beyond the pale because it "supports terrorism" in Syria, Lebanon, "and in Israel." Funny how other nations stubbornly keep trying to help the U.S., even though the U.S. never reciprocates and is always ungrateful. You'd have thought Iran would have learned that lesson right after 9/11/01, when they helped the U.S. against the Taliban and were repaid for their aid by being branded by Bush the Younger as part of a mythical "Axis of Evil" along with the Iranians' arch-enemy, the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, and North Korea (sic!).

Obama's War Secretary Chuck "Wagon" Hagel repeated the Obama regime's line that the solution was political, not military. Somehow Maliki, who has persecuted the Sunni leadership of the country relentlessly, is supposed to be more "inclusive" now. As I've written before, this is idiotically far behind the curve. Rather like "restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process." You can't breathe life into long-dead political corpses. Perhaps Obama's nickname should be Dr. Frankenstein. Only Frankenstein was effective.

Israel Seizes 60 More Palestinian Hostages

That brings the total to 260. 50 of the newly-seized hostages were recently freed prisoners. Israel routinely reimprisons Palestinians they've previously released in various swaps with the Palestinians, whether to free an Israeli captured by Palestinians, or to get the Palestinian "leadership" to go along with the cruel charade of "peace talks." So the Israeli are replenishing their hostage bank, Now with about 90 Palestinian prisoners seized for each of the 3 Israeli teenagers gone missing in the occupied West Bank and presumed kidnapped, there is plenty of bartering tender- not to mention the thousands of Palestinians already in Israeli captivity at any given time, the majority political prisoners not tried or convicted of any alleged offense.

But for now, the Israelis are using the hostages to try and extract information, and as a way to put pressure on the Palestinian community to give up information about the Israeli teens.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Israel Takes 200 Palestinian Hostages in Retaliation for Disappearance of 3 Jewish Teenage Colonizers

In a frenzy over the disappearance and presumed kidnapping of 3 Jewish teenage West Bank colonizers, Israel has seized over 200 Palestinians as hostages, including the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, and killed one Palestinian (so far).  But this Nazi-style response doesn't trouble the U.S. media. Israeli Jews are humans "like us." To the U.S. media, Palestinians are a faceless mob, angrily chanting fanatical jibberish, subhumans, terrorists, not people.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already blamed Hamas for the putative kidnappings (Hamas denies it) and threatened Palestinian "Authority" "President" Mahmoud Abbas, saying Abbas is responsible for the safe return of the teens. (As if any political boss is omnipotent in the area they hold political authority over. Of course Abbas doesn't even really have authority there, Israel does.)

I think Israeli Jews would be a lot safer behind the wall they built (which stole a bunch of Palestinian farm land outside the so-called "Green Line," which is the actual legal, internationally-recognized border of Israel) instead of relentlessly absorbing more land where other people already live. They've been driving Palestinians out of their homes- and they've bulldozed tens of thousands of those homes in recent decades with armored bulldozers purchased with U.S. tax dollars from a U.S. corporation, Caterpillar. They used one of those 'dozers to murder an American, Rachel Corrie. Not the first American murdered by Israel (see the attack in the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, best recounted in the book by a U.S. naval officer who survived the lengthy daylight attack, Assault on the Liberty) and won't be the last, in all probability. (A dual-U.S.-Turkish citizen was one of the 10 people killed in the last Israeli attack on a relief flotilla that tried to defy the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is the U.S. TRYING to Destabilize Pakistan?

It’s actions sure LOOK like it is.

Days after Pakistani Taliban terrorists attacked the Karachi international airport, and followed up with an attack on the airport security guard training center, the U.S. stirred the pot by launching two drone strikes on Pakistani territory, killing 14. This marks the end of a “pause” in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan that was in effect since last December, when the Paki civilian government asked the U.S. to stop the aerial terror campaign while the government negotiated with the Paki Taliban.

If the U.S. wanted to inflame the situation in Pakistan, they couldn’t have picked a more effective act than these latest assassinations.

In fact, in taking credit for the airport attack, the Paki Taliban cited as a reason the U.S. drone assassination of their leader Hakimullah Mehsud, last year. So now the U.S. doubles down on provocation. What it hopes to gain by repeatedly throwing stones at a beehive is truly inscrutable. [1]

You’d think the U.S. had a deliberate policy of trying to help Islamofascists take over Pakistan, a country with an arsenal of nuclear weapons!

If the idea is to force the Paki army to fight the Islamofascists, the Obama regime should leak word of that strategy through “unnamed White House officials” or whoever to the Washington Post or the New York Times, those two bulletin boards for U.S. government messages to the American bourgeois elite. So far, nothing.

Here’s an idea: instead of violently meddling in the affairs of other nations, let the people there sort things out. If the goal is to prevent an Islamofascist takeover of Pakistan, making the Pakistani people hate the U.S. more and more with a drone terror campaign, while also exposing the Paki government as impotent to protect them from foreign aerial attack, is exactly the WRONG way to go about it!

Every tactical victory won by bumping off a terrorist leader, who is immediately replaced by a new leader, is another nail hammered into the coffin of U.S. strategic defeat against the jihadist fanatics. As in Vietnam, the U.S. is losing a war while winning every battle. More of the world is under the sway of Islamofascists now than when Obama started his dirty work. I think failure speaks for itself. The time to come up with a strategy, instead of turning professional assassins loose and calling it a policy, is long past. [2]

And how’s this for a bitter irony: part of Obama’s pitch in replacing Bush was that he would, to use the verbiage we were fed, “restore America’s standing in the world,” in other words, fix the U.S’s image. And Obama’s erstwhile Secretary of State, the lifelong relentless self-promoter and manipulator Hillary Clinton, is currently promoting a book written for her by her drones (but with her name on the cover as the ostensible author) in which she brags about the great job she did improving the view foreigners hold of the U.S.

This practice of duping world opinion with U.S. national propaganda and brainwashing operations is euphemistically labeled “public diplomacy” by those who commit it. It is aimed at everyone on earth, both Americans and non-Americans. [3]

But of course all that could only ever be a con job, given that the U.S. had no intention of reforming itself and not being an imperialist power anymore, ending its support for horrible tyrannies around the world, and refraining from committing atrocities and crimes against humanity. Since those necessary changes were never in the cards, what was inevitable was a grand public relations ploy, which is what we got from the Obama regime, along with greater repression, the continued perfection of the American Total Police State, and the making routine of a program of global assassination, which is now a permanent feature of this planet, thanks to Barack Hussein Obama. We now have institutionalized state assassination on a weekly basis by the most terrifyingly powerful nation on earth. Thus has this egregious political hustler Obama reversed progress towards a human civilization.

1] Mehsud was killed in November 2013, just as the Pak civilian government was trying to start peace talks with the Paki Taliban- probably a futile endeavor, judging by past agreements with the medieval terrorist movement and its overall fanaticism and intolerance.

The other reason the terrorists offered as justification for the airport attack was retaliation for military operations in North Waziristan by the Pak military. The airport attack occurred on June 9th. On
June 10th, the terrorists attacked the airport police academy and the Pak military launched airstrikes on the Northwest tribal regions. The U.S. should leave the (immoral and counterproductive) bombings of civilian areas to the Pakis. If the Pak military wants to bomb Pakistani civilians because they don’t trust their soldiers to fight on the ground, at least the U.S. isn’t committing the war crimes and discrediting itself further.

2] Obama currently has ongoing drone assassination programs running against at least three countries: Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in these attacks. The Obama regime deals with this fact in various ways: 1) ignoring the fact; 2) denying it; 3) minimizing the number of civilians killed, while refusing to name a number, address specific cases, or pay compensation; 4) constantly emphasizing the “precision” and “care” of the strikes; 5) saying nothing at all, and pretending the whole matter is “secret.” Yes, these all contradict each other, but that’s what you get with con men- a lot of contradictory blather and lies.

It’s an obvious lie to pretend they are killing exactly who they want to kill, and they know who they’re killing in every case. Many times people are killed on the basis of appearance alone. These are called, in CIA-euphemism, “signature strikes.” “Signature” means “they look like terrorists to us.” How might people in civilian garb in a tribal area “look like” civilians? Well, if they’re a group of men (women are kept indoors, as chattel, by these tribes.) Maybe they have guns, as do many men in these areas. (As do many groups of men on the ground in America- hunters, target shooters, “gun enthusiasts.” Millions of American men would be deemed “terrorists” and killed if the same criteria were to be applied here.)

As the Obama regime has never admitted to a single error in its drone “war,” can we then conclude that they deliberately blew up wedding parties, as has happened repeatedly in Afghanistan and Yemen? Or they meant to blow up a grandmother in a field? Or the 16 year old son of Anwar al-Alaki, and the son’s cousin, sitting outside a cafe in Yemen? If Obama and his regime won’t say these were mistakes, then we MUST conclude they were wanton murders. They’ve had enough time to answer for these crimes, and since they haven’t pleaded error, we are compelled to call them deliberate acts of murder. Let’s have no more mealy-mouthed circumlocutions offered up by people “questioning” the drone strikes. It’s past time for denunciation, not “questioning.”

A few year ago the Wall Street Journal revealed on its front page that the then-dictator of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was getting the U.S. to bump off his political rivals, even government officials, by telling the U.S. they were “terrorists” and passing along targeting information. The U.S. media ignored that aspect of the “drone program” after that one article. Lately we learned, thanks to Edward Snowden, that the NSA passes along cellphone data to be used to kill whoever happens to be holding the phone. (Better not view any jihadi websites on your phones, people!)

As I have observed before, part of this is how Obama compensates himself for his impotence in other areas. The power of life and death is a rush for those who lust after power. Obama even bragged that he was a good killer, in his capacity as weekly reviewer of the kill list- a boast he saw fit to have planted in the media by one of his minions. Guess he thought it would be good for his (gangster) image. If he thought the reactionaries and militarists, whose political vehicle is the Republican Party, would warm up to him, he was naïve about their fanatical partisanship. His fondness for “special ops” recalls a predecessor- Kennedy. Kennedy was smitten by the idea of U.S. state terrorism, and took the various “special operations” units of the military under his wing and expanded them. He also instituted a torture training program under the cover of the “Alliance for Progress,” an alleged program of social progress for Latin America which was just a cynical program of shoring up U.S. imperialist dominance against the Castro “threat.” Inside that program was something called the “Office for Public Safety,” which sent U.S. torture trainers like the notorious Dan Mitrione to Latin America to train fascists there in torture techniques to be used on progressives rounded up after the CIA gave them the victims’ names. (So much for “Kennedy liberalism” and “Camelot”!) Former CIA operations officer John Stockwell has revealed many details of Mitrione’s sickening crimes. His talks are widely available, such as on youtube.com, and he has authored books on the CIA.

Obama is an example of how power corrupts, morally. Not that he was ever moral- he’s an amoral hustler with the cunning to climb to the top of the slippery pole of the U.S. political system and snag the top prize. After he leaves office he will become a multimillionaire, and impose insufferably pompous, smug, and hypocritical rhetoric on us. [MORE ON DRONES BELOW.]

3] Organized brainwashing by the U.S. government goes back to at least the regime of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), an evil, virulent racist and the man who begat the modern U.S. police state. In order to whip up public war fever to enter World War One (after he ran for reelection in1916 on a peace platform, a double-cross repeated by his Democratic successors Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and Barack Obama in 2008) he created the Creel Commission, a group of professional manipulators and indoctrinators. Wilson is also responsible for the so-called “Espionage Act,” a repressive law he used to imprison war opponents, and now used by Barack Hussein Obama to persecute whistleblowers and government employees who talk out of turn.

Here are some samples of what the U.S. government and media keep hidden under the rug, namely the price paid by civilians in the regions under surveillance and attack. But as with corporate pollution, the perpetrators don’t care because it isn’t them who pay the price. The only “cost” the U.S. cares about, maybe, a little, is dents to its own image.

Hidden reality of drone attacks in Pakistan:




Hidden reality of drone attacks in Yemen:



U.S. Drone Atrocities as of November 2013:


Also see for example, “Turning a Wedding Into a Funeral - US Drone Strike in Yemen Killed as Many as 12 Civilians,” Democracy Now!, February 21, 2014.

There are various organizations that attempt to track U.S. drone attacks. And in September 2012, legal clinics at the Stanford University and NYU Law Schools issued a copiously documented report, “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan.” Click on the “Stanford/NYU Report” link just below the page title for the report. There are also links to other reports farther down that page.







Bush Regime Chickens Come Home to Roost in Iraq

The Islamofascist movement sure doesn’t look like it’s losing in the “war on terror” vs. the U.S. and its various lackeys, clients, satrapies and allies-of-convenience (and Frenemies like Pakistan). Suddenly the Iraqi regime of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has lost its grip on the Sunni regions of Iraq. This has occasioned quiet panic in the Imperialist corridors of Washington, D.C.

As well it might, since it is far too late to salvage this situation, and application of U.S. military power will only add more war crimes to the U.S.’ record while at best only buying time for Maliki. At this point the only way to minimize the suffering of the Iraqi people is partition of that artificial nation cobbled together by British and French imperialists long ago. But Maliki will opt for civil war to try and maintain his malign grip on the nation.

Obama is rushing arms to al-Maliki. Using his U.S.-supplied munitions, al-Maliki repeatedly bombed the hospital in Fallujah. Just like his U.S. patrons did before him, al-Maliki committed war crimes in that city as a matter of policy.

Obama says the seizure of Mosul and thousands of square miles of territory by the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” is a “wake up call” for al-Maliki. Vice President Joe “Anita Hill is a Lying Slut” Biden, Jr. even called Maliki to tell him this. [1]

Al-Maliki has been asking Obama for the past month to bomb Iraq for him. Imagine, a country’s ruler asking a foreign power to bomb his own country. Obama, so far, has declined. But he’s sending an aircraft carrier and missile-armed escort ships towards Iraq in case he changes his mind. [2]

Maliki has ordered F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. How his non-existent air force could fly and maintain these complex, advanced warplanes hasn’t been explained. Obviously Americans would have to be the ground crews, at a minimum. And I doubt if there are any Iraqi pilots trained on F-16s.

Obama has sent Maliki hundreds of Hellfire missiles, which are used by the U.S. in assassination operations by drones, and can be fired from other “platforms, which the New York Times claim the Maliki regime has strapped to the wings of small Cessna propeller planes! No explanation of how that works. [3]

U.S. officials, from Obama on down, are squeaking advice to Maliki in public, consisting of such fatuous remarks as “he needs to be more inclusive,” “he needs to form a unity government,” “only the Iraqis can sort this out,” and so on. It’s rather late for all that. Maliki has systematically persecuted the Sunni population, imprisoned them, arrested and forced their politicians and government officials to flee, purged the government of Sunni officials, cashiered competent Sunni generals and replaced them with incompetent Shiite cronies, brutally repressed Sunni protests, arrested and tortured Sunnis on a large scale, and generally behaved like Saddam Hussein’s mirror image. He started down this path as soon as GEORGE W. BUSH (remember him?) chose Maliki to be Iraq’s boss. Maliki was boosted into power BY the U.S. Maliki and his gang have embezzled billions of dollars and arrested any officials who objected.

It shouldn’t be a surprise (yet the U.S. imperialists seem surprised nonetheless) that the Iraqi army has turned out to be like the South Vietnamese army- a sham, a paper tiger, that has no motivation to fight. Four of its fourteen divisions evaporated like water on a hot tarmac before a mere 4,000 or so Islamofascist “fighters.” They shucked off their uniforms and threw away their weapons. And why not? They knew they lacked leadership and logistical support. Die for the dictator al-Maliki? No way!

But the Islamofascists won’t take Baghdad. That is bluster on their part. The city is far too huge, is largely Shiite now, and thousands there are breaking out their Kalashnikovs and joining ad hoc militias. The Sunni Islamofascists would meet their Waterloo if they were foolish enough to enter Baghdad. Unfortunately they aren’t foolish. They consistently show great tactical and strategic savvy, sad to say. This is true in Syria as in Iraq. At least the Kurds have officially taken over Kirkuk, so those oil resources won’t fall to the Islamic Terror State. (The Islamofascists are already murdering police and government workers in the cities they’ve seized. It’s as if Christian Identity terrorists took over a U.S. city and murdered postal workers who were Baptists.)

Meanwhile incessant blowhard militarist John “Permanent POW” McCain is attacking Obama for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. (Obama couldn’t get Bush-installed Iraqi boss Nuri al-Maliki to give immunity to U.S. troops for crimes they would be sure to commit, thus Obama withdrew U.S. military forces on the timetable set by Bush. The GOP doesn’t seem to “remember” this. And the Democrats are too craven to remind them. And of course the U.$. media won’t tell people, except for a mention in the 20th paragraph of a single story- literally the only mention I’ve come across.) No word from any Democrats blaming Bush for installing al-Maliki. Instead we have lame Obama regime advice to al-Maliki to “be more politically inclusive.” Is that a joke? Maliki has systematically persecuted the Sunnis for several years now, including even branding the erstwhile Sunni Vice President a “terrorist,” arresting his bodyguards and forcing the VP to flee. He has waged virtual war (and now actual war) on the Sunnis, gunning down Sunni protesters, and with the uprisings of Sunnis he provoked (which the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” Islamofascists have taken advantage of) Maliki has been bombarding Sunni cities, especially targeting the hospital in Fallujah for the past six months, waging U.S.-style war against the civilian populace.

The U.S. military laid the groundwork for a regime of secret police torture and repression when they occupied Iraq. A former Colonel by the name of James Steele, a sinister, Gestapo-like character, was brought in by the U.S. commander in Iraq, General David “My Mistress is My Biographer!” Petraeus. Petraeus knew Steele from El Salvador in the 1980s, where Steele was in charge of training Salvadorean military death squads. Steele brought his methods to Iraq, setting up and supervising Shiite terror units that rounded up Sunni “suspects” for torture. Steele reported directly to Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld. The gory story is told in a (non-U.S., naturally, since U.S. media don’t practice journalism, they practice propaganda) documentary available on youtube.com. So the “democratic” government of “respect for human rights” that the U.S. claimed to be installing in Iraq was just another brutal torture dictatorship, as per the usual U.S. habit. The U.S. is very experienced in setting up such regimes. [4]

Hence it is extremely disingenuous for U.S. officials, from Obama on down, to prattle about “inclusiveness” and “respect for all groups” and yada yada yada. Obama’s latest cynical bit of propaganda is his statement that U.S. troops invaded Iraq so the Iraqis could have a better future. If you go back to Colin Powell’s pack-of-lies UN speech before the Iraq invasion, and all the fear-mongering anti-Saddam diatribes by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc., claiming Iraq was an imminent threat to the American populace, you get a reading on the deep sea depths of Obama’s mendacity. And considering the numerous, documented atrocities by the U.S. against defenseless Iraqi civilians, and the huge Iraqi death toll, Obama’s absurd claim is stomach-churning.

In any event, Al-Maliki hasn’t been content with packing the military hierarchy with unqualified cronies and loyalists and purging the so-called “security forces” of Sunnis. In addition to being “Prime Minister,” he also appointed himself Minister of Defense, Minister of the Interior, and National Security Adviser. So he’s a one-man band of repression, controlling the men with the guns- the army and secret police (aka “security forces” in the parlance of contemporary political euphemism). But silly Americans lecture him about “inclusivity” and “unity.” That’s as fatuous as intoning “Assad must go.” Or saying Israeli “settlement” building is “unhelpful” to an imaginary “peace process.” Or slamming Russia for “destabilizing Ukraine” when it was the U.S. that helped overthrow the government there, causing a schism in the country. Who are such ridiculous rhetorical shows supposed to fool? The U.S. political elite increasingly performs for itself in its own Theater of the Absurd.

The U.S. media is wringing its hands over the “loss” of the city of Fallujah, which the U.S. regards as a U.S. “victory.” (“Part of American military history” the anchor of CBS TV “news” intoned reverentially June 12th. Actually part of the history of U.S. military war crimes, the destruction of a city, systematic attacks on hospitals etc., and the attempted extermination of all males in their teens and older, what the U.S. calls “military age males.” This in retaliation for the killing of four Blackwater Company goons. So the U.S. outdid the vengeance the Nazis took on the Czechs for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich, the wiping out of the small town of Lidice and its entire population. That was only a few hundred deaths.) We’re also getting stories about how hard it is on American soldiers who invaded and wrecked Iraq (and killed a minimum of over 100,000 Iraqis) to see their effort go down the drain. Pity the poor imperialist warriors.

CBS reported Obama “has been presented with a range of options” for bombing or invading Iraq (which would be the third U.S. invasion of Iraq in 23 years). Obama put on his Hamlet act again, as he did with Syria, saying “all options are on the table.” Simultaneously talking out of the other side of his mouth, Obama rules out a U.S. ground invasion. I guess it depends on what “all” means, like his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton once said it depends on what “is” means. Most people know what these words mean- sorry that these two products of elite Ivy League universities (and a Rhodes scholar in Clinton’s case) don’t.

Instead of teasing the militarists in America with hints of attacks he has no intention of launching, which only makes them madder, it would be nice if Obama would be honest for a change and say “there’s not much we can do.” But that would be “weak.” American presidents are expected to pound their chests and bellow like He-Men, because America is the Most Powerful Nation on Earth. American jingoists- and there are millions of them, contrary to the delusions of leftists- refuse to recognize that American power has limits, that being able to blow up the world or put men on the moon does not mean one’s nation is omnipotent. Oh, and they believe the Vietnam War was lost because of a stab-in-the-back by the pro-Commie U.S. media, with an assist from traitorous draft dodgers.

1] Reported by U.S. Gov’t radio propaganda network NPR, June 12th.

2] The missiles on the ships are Tomahawk cruise missiles, highly accurate ground attack weapons the U.S. has used to blow up such targets as the only pharmaceutical plant in Sudan (Bill Clinton committed that crime) various other civilian and military targets, and “terrorists.”

The U.S. broadcast media has repeatedly blared the news that the “aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush” is being sent. U.S. propaganda media usually don’t state the names of the carriers when they announce that U.S. carriers are being sent somewhere. I don’t know what grotesque motive they have here. That Bush is Bush the Elder, who attacked Iraq, as his son did after him. The U.S. corporate propaganda media also just told us that Bush the Elder went skydiving. This is part of an ongoing propaganda campaign to put a rosy glow around him, as they have already done with the fascist mass murderer Reagan.

The elder Bush is a career criminal, deeply involved in U.S. terror operations in Central America and Colombia, a key figure in the Reagan regime’s criminal Iran-Contra conspiracy as vice president, and who later as president issued pardons to his co-conspirators to block their prosecution by special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, whose outrage over the pardons was and is mostly blacked out by the U.$. media.

There is voluminous evidence of the criminal history of the Bush clan, documented in books such as one by Kevin Phillips, and video documentaries available on youtube.com. The Bush family stole two presidential elections, surely a historically significant fact. The two Bushes who (so far) became presidents are both members of the sinister ruling class secret society Skull and Bones, based at Yale University (CIA U.), as is John Kerry. (Thus did the bourgeoisie, in 2004, give the American people a choice between two members of the same secret ruling class cabal for president. Heads they win, tails we lose. They must have loved that coin toss.) Yet another Bush, Jeb, who as Florida governor oversaw the theft of Florida for his brother George in the 2000 presidential election, is now being bruited about as presidential material for 2016. Greg Palast has extensively exposed the criminal machinations of the GOP in Florida in that election.

Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush’s father (the last president Bush’s grandfather) was up to his eyeballs in financial dealings with the Nazis. The Bush family then was quite racist also. Again, well-documented by others.

One more important thing to mention: the elder Bush was also CIA Director, before he was VP. In that role, he helped the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet murder Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt with a car bomb in Washington, D.C. He helped smuggle the bomb maker, an American fascist terrorist, Michael Vernon Townley, into the U.S. A week after the murder, the CIA planted a piece in Newsweek, that revolting criminal rag, “clearing” Pinochet of the murder. (This was in Newsweek’s “Periscope” column and attributed to the CIA.) Of course that was a lie- and not even plausible that one week after the murders the CIA could know for sure it wasn’t the obvious suspects who did it. There was also a Pinochet scheme to murder then-Congressman Edward Koch (later a right-wing mayor of New York City) for annoying him. The CIA knew about the plot and deflected it, but never told Koch or the FBI etc. that the Chilean fascists were trying to murder him, telling Koch only that he should be careful.

3] The NY Times calls this “a short-term fix” by the U.S. “U.S. Airstrikes Could Help in Reversing Insurgent Offensive, Experts Say,” June 14, 2014, page A10.


4] See the revealing Guardian/BBC Arabic documentary “James Steele: America's mystery man in Iraq,” at youtube.com, for a peek at the fascist underbelly of U.S. imperialism that the U.S. media blacks out. The story of Steele’s crimes against humanity in El Salvador and Iraq are detailed therein.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Did Afghan “Police” Sell Bowe Bergdahl to the Taliban?

That seems very likely if we credit as accurate the account in a Wall Street Journal article on the Army Sergeant (neé Private before two promotions given him while in captivity as an apparent sop to his parents) traded after five years in the Taliban’s talons for five ranking Taliban officials and commanders who were imprisoned in the U.S. military gulag at Guantanamo Bay, occupied Cuban territory. [1]

Promoting Bergdahl to Sergeant was perhaps also a way to help justify swapping five “high-value detainees” for him, as opposed for a trade for a lowly Private. Maybe they should have made him a General. [2]

The Wall Street Journal account, based on interviews with members of the Army unit Bergdahl lived with on the outpost in Afghanistan he walked away from, states that Bergdahl frequently went outside the American base to hang out with Afghan “police” at a nearby outpost, and mused to his comrades about living among the Afghans. One soldier says of Bergdahl: “I remember him asking me what I thought it would be like to be with these people, how he could see himself living in a culture like this, how it would be an adventure to be like they are, running through the mountains.”

A very telling quote. Bergdahl seems typical of a certain type of young man, restless and full of energy, bored with the routine existence of societies not in upheaval, seeking excitement. He was also an emotional extremist, in the article’s telling, swinging from wanting to kill Taliban to apparently romanticizing at least Afghans generally if not the designated foe. Just before deployment to Afghanistan he asked his squad leader if he could cut off the face of the first Taliban he killed and wear it as a mask. (The squad leader’s reply isn’t reported. I hope he told him no.) The article describes his schizoid swings from exasperation at what he viewed as a too-soft U.S. military strategy towards the Taliban to disenchantment with the war.

But here’s the key fact: the soldiers say that on the same day Bergdahl disappeared, two of the Afghan “policemen” he fraternized with at the outpost “mysteriously fled.” This leads to the obvious suspicion that he asked them about blending into Afghan society or perhaps even joining the Taliban, and they delivered him into Taliban captivity, probably for money. [3]

This fact isn’t in the military report on Bergdahl’s disappearance. On the other hand, while the U.S. government has put it about that Bergdahl had a habit of wandering off, his erstwhile comrades from Afghanistan had no recollection of this, at least the ones the WSJ interviewed, who presumably would know, as this was a small outpost near the Pakistan border, not a major base. [4]

Could this be another Benghazi-type Obama regime deception? In the Benghazi, Libya, killing of the U.S. ambassador and three U.S. security guards there, the Obama regime rushed out with the false story that the attack on the U.S. consulate was a spontaneous reaction by an unorganized mob who were angry over a dopey anti-Muslim video made in America by a Federal parolee with mysterious funding. That story was put out to try and stave off anticipated political pain from the true story. It could be that similar disinformation about Bergdahl merely being a guy with chronic wanderlust is being told to try and deflect or blunt criticism over the great deal the Taliban got in the swap. So much better than Bergdahl being seen as a deserter or traitor. (Which I’m not saying he is, just that he looks more like that when one deletes the “prior wandering offs” from the story. Personally I think he was an emotionally volatile, immature young flake. But an empire can’t be too choosy about who it enlists as its hired killers. Just look at the criminal scum the French Foreign Legion welcomes with open arms- and provides with pseudonyms to help hide them! That’s a more extreme example to make the point. Look, is wanting to kill and maim normal, for human beings?)

The thesis of there being another Obama spin operation going on is buttressed by the fact that Bergdahl is being held incommunicado in a U.S. military hospital in Germany. Bergdahl would be likely to say something that undermines the Obama regime’s “narrative,” especially around the circumstances of his “disappearance.” [5]

Various media reports (e.g. NPR, New York Times, the Daily Beast) have stated that Bergdahl said he was held in a cage in total darkness for several weeks following his two escape attempts from them. (Hey, that’s a U.S. torture method too! So the U.S. and the Taliban have something in common! Nothing like common ground for bringing enemies together.) (See footnote #5 below.)

But whatever Obama would have done or not done, the Republicans and their media allies would be attacking him. If he left Bergdahl in the Taliban’s clutches, he’d be condemned by these same cynical partisans for “abandoning an American soldier to terrorists.” And reportedly those Taliban prisoners have been damaged by their twelve years in captivity (mostly in solitary) at the tender mercies of the CIA and U.S. military. One doesn’t recognize people he used to know (the former Taliban deputy chief of “intelligence”). Apparently they’re in pretty bad mental shape, and no doubt have physical and brain damage from their years of torture and abuse. So there should be no problem for Qatar to keep them on ice for the agreed-upon one year. It’ll take them longer than that to psychologically recover from their ordeal, if they ever do. [6]

So in a sense, the “war on terror” is a war of Sadists vs. Sadists. Gee, which side should we root for?

1] “Bergdahl’s Views Shifted After First Taste of War,” Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2014, p.1. You can’t read it online unless you pay. Rupert Murdoch instituted that policy after he bought the corporation that owns the WSJ, Dow Jones, from a family that sits on the top tier of the U.S. class system, the Bancrofts.

2] The New York Times, in the next to last paragraph of a story, referred to the two promotions as “automatic,” without explanation. If American POWs are automatically promoted, I never heard of it before. “As Soldier Heals, Details Emerge Of His Captivity,” NY Times, Sunday, June 8, 2014, pgs. 1 and 12.

3] I put “policemen” in quotes not because I believe they were imposters, but because what passes for “police” in Afghanistan does not meet a reasonable definition of the word. Which is increasingly the case in the U.S. too. “Corrupt gunmen” would be more accurate in the Afghan case. Come to think of it, in the U.S. case too, given their penchant for theft under the guise of “asset forfeiture,” and their increasing tendency to murder and repress.

4] The New York Times also reported that soldiers stationed with him in Afghanistan “said they were unaware that he had previously wandered off the base, as the internal Army review reported.” Maybe they were “unaware” because it didn’t happen, huh Times? But the Times leaves it at that, in one short, hidden paragraph, the 23rd paragraph of a 30 paragraph story. Most of the time, the Times bends over backward to protect the U.S. government and its institutions. That’s why it’s so often tardy or entirely AWOL in reporting scandals, ignoring them until they are widely reported elsewhere and it has no choice but to weigh in, to manipulate people’s attitudes and soften the blow to the establishment power structure, as well as retain its own credibility as a newspaper.
Paragraph 22 consists of a single, false sentence: “Just how and why Sergeant Bergdahl disappeared remains a mystery to his fellow soldiers.”

If the Times had only said “some of his fellow soldiers,” that might arguably be true. There’s no “mystery” to those of his erstwhile colleagues who believe, rightly or wrongly, that he deserted. And this evident attempt to protect the Obama regime is undercut four paragraphs later in the same story by a quote of Bergdahl’s provided by a Gerald Sutton, who the Times identifies as someone “who knew Sergeant Bergdahl from spending time together on their tiny outpost.” This is the quote Sutton attributes to Bergdahl: “What would it look like if I got lost in the mountains? Do you think I could make it to China or India on foot?” To this Sutton adds “I genuinely thought he was just kidding.” A reasonable if possibly mistaken assumption. “Bergdahl Was In Unit Known For Its Troubles,NY Times, Sunday, June 8, 2014, pgs. 1 and 12.


5] Besides describing the torture inflicted by the Taliban, The New York Times reported on its front page that Bergdahl objects to being addressed as “sergeant” in the military hospital in Germany where he is currently being held in isolation. He’s being held there in part to insulate him from the harsh attacks on Obama for exchanging five important Taliban prisoners for him, and from the charges of desertion that some of his former comrades and various media and political poohbahs are leveling at Bergdahl himself. The Times reports that he has received a letter from his sister but has not replied. His family is being kept away from him, with the excuse that his mental state prevents them from seeing him- a dubious rationale. He is said to be physically well enough to travel. Obviously he is being held virtually incommunicado in Germany for political reasons. He is only allowed to speak to staff assigned to “treat” (and sneakily interrogate) him. His family can’t even call him. Buried in the third to last paragraph of a seventeen paragraph story the Times casually drops this stunner: “At some point, he will speak by phone with his family, and be reunited with them.” At some point he will speak with! Check the disingenuous passive sense! He’s being held incommunicado. His next stop, we are told, will be another Army “medical facility” in Texas, where his family will be allowed to see him, supposedly. (The Times phrased it as Bergdahl will “be reunited with them.”) NY Times, As Soldier Heals,op cit.

6] Details on the former Taliban prisoners’ condition was reported by the BBC, and picked up by NPR, June 8.

Let’s let the very funny and incisive cartoonist Brian McFadden have the last word for today:





Saturday, June 07, 2014

Obama's Insane Ultimatum To Putin

The latest on the U.S.-created Ukraine "crisis:" Obama now demands that Putin make the eastern Ukrainians surrender to the coup government and disarm them! Or else  Russia will be hit with tougher sanctions. The Eurolackeys supposedly are going along with this.

I say insane because it is insane to demand that Russia attack its own national interests and help the U.S. take over a country on its border. But that's what the U.S. is doing.

Maybe Putin should have demanded that Obama disarm the fascist rioters who were killing police before they overthrew the elected Ukrainian president. That at least would have been a reasonable demand, if unrealistic considering what an aggressive nation the U.S. is.

The top organ of U.S. establishment propaganda, the New York Times, used these phrases to describe the latest U.S. diktat: "President Obama effectively set a one-month deadline for Moscow to reverse its intervention in Ukraine and help quash a pro-Russian separatist uprising or else he said it would face international sanctions far more severe than anything it had endured so far;" "demanded that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia recognize and negotiate directly with the newly elected leader of Ukraine, stop the flow of fighters and arms across the border and press separatists to disarm, relinquish seized public buildings and join talks with the central authorities in Kiev;" "'Russia continues to have a responsibility to convince them to end their violence, lay down their weapons and enter into a dialogue with the Ukrainian government,' Mr. Obama said at a news conference alongside Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain after a meeting of leaders of the Group of 7 industrial powers. 'On the other hand, if Russia’s provocations continue, it’s clear from our discussions here that the G-7 nations are ready to impose additional costs on Russia.'” [1]

In other words, Russia is being required to aid the U.S. takeover of Ukraine! Now whatever one thinks of that U.S. takeover, it is insane to demand that Russia stab itself in the back and help the U.S. cause major damage to Russian interests. This is the demand of an international extortionist. And I don't write this as a friend of Russia or the authoritarian Putin, just as a person who isn't crazy from drinking the propaganda Kool-Aid of the Western media and governments. That stuff must be laced with some powerful hallucinogens!

 1]  "With Group of 7 Backing, Obama Gives Russia One-Month Ukraine Deadline," New York Times, June 5, 2014.