Shame on the U.S., Shame on Us


If you think the United States is just wonderful, always well-meaning, and the paragon of righteousness, read some of the material below to get another perspective...

 

"The United States spends over $87 billion conducting a war in Iraq while the United Nations estimates that for less than half that amount we could provide clean water, adequate diets, sanitations services and basic education to every person on the planet. And we wonder why terrorists attack us." - John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

"Iniquity, committed in this world, produces not fruit immediately, but, like the earth, in due season, and advancing by little and little, it eradicates the man who committed it. ...justice, being destroyed, will destroy; being preserved, will preserve; it must never therefore be violated." Manu 1200 bc

"The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements. I had no idea until then that you could not rely on [them]": James W. Fulbright: US senator who initiated the international exchange program for scholars, 1905-1995

"The only security for the American people today, or for any people, is to be found through the control of force rather than the use of force" : Norman Cousins: American essayist and editor, long associated with the Saturday Review, 1912-1990

"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts -- not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." Abraham Lincoln

Wages

[Note from Colby: On the contrary, I think the cuts--$1 trillion and more--should come from the outrageously bloated military budget and military-industrial complex.]

U.S. Should Ship Statue of Liberty Back to France By Eric Zuesse February 05, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "SCF"

This monument for compassion, and against bigotry, is now merely a metaphorical sore thumb here.


A Sham

If U.S. Cared About Muslims, They Would Stop Killing Them by the Millions By Glen Ford [BAR executive editor] February 02, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "BAR"

“Since 2001, war has been normalized in the U.S. -- especially war against Muslims.”

Trump’s current ban on travelers affects nations that were already targeted by President Obama, “a perfect example of the continuity of U.S. imperial policy in the region.” The memo from State Department “dissenters” contains “not a word of support for world peace, nor a hint of respect for the national sovereignty of other peoples.”

Neither outburst of dissent was directed against the U.S. wars and economic sanctions that have killed and displaced millions of people in the affected countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In neither memo is there a word of support for world peace, nor a hint of respect for the national sovereignty of other peoples -- which is probably appropriate, since these are not, and never have been, “core American and constitutional values.”

Trump orders military to prepare for world war By Tom Eley [Freelance journalist. Lives in Nottingham, England] 28 January 2017, WSWS.org

During a visit to the Pentagon on Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive action calling for stepped up violence in Syria and a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to prepare for war with “near-peer competitors”—a reference to nuclear-armed China and Russia—and “regional challengers,” such as Iran.

The US currently spends approximately $600 billion on its military annually—excluding expenditures on the intelligence agencies and Veterans Administration— more than the next nine largest military spenders combined. American “defense” spending accounts for, by itself, over one third of all global military spending, and it consumes the great majority of the federal discretionary budget.

Increases in military spending, coupled with Trump’s promises to drastically lower taxes on corporations and the rich, must inevitably be paid for by cuts to education, health care and infrastructure, and by plundering Social Security and Medicare.

US Is No Longer A Full Democracy, EIU Warns By Nyshka Chandran January 25, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "CNBC" 1/25/17

The U.S. has been demoted from a full democracy to a flawed democracy for the first time, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Every year, the firm's Democracy Index provides a snapshot of global democracy by scoring countries on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Nations are then classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

America's score fell to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, below the 8.00 threshold for a full democracy, the EIU announced in a report on Wednesday. That put the world's largest economy on the same footing as Italy, a country known for its fractious politics.

A flawed democracy is a country with free elections but weighed down by weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, according to the EIU. Other flawed democracies in 2016 included Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India, the report said.

However, Washington can't point fingers at President Donald Trump for the nation's downgrade.

"The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years, and even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its score would have slipped below 8.00," the report explained. Instead, dwindling trust in government, elected representatives and political parties is to blame.

The increasing role played by non-elected technocrats, increased voter abstention and curbs on civil liberties are among the main symptoms of this global malaise, the EIU said, noting that almost half of the 167 countries covered by its index registered a decline in overall scores between 2006 and 2016.

Norway topped the EIU's list of full democracies last year, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark; Canada and Ireland tied for sixth place.


U.S. Shields Its Torturers and War Criminals, Now Officially Honors Them By Glenn Greenwald [a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law] December 07, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept"

As vice president, Dick Cheney was a prime architect of the worldwide torture regime implemented by the U.S. government (which extended far beyond waterboarding), as well as the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused the deaths of at least 500,000 people and more likely over a million. As such, he is one of the planet’s most notorious war criminals.

President Obama made the decision in early 2009 to block the Justice Department from criminally investigating and prosecuting Cheney and his fellow torturers, as well as to protect them from foreign investigations and even civil liability sought by torture victims.

Obama did that notwithstanding a campaign decree that even top Bush officials are subject to the rule of law and, more importantly, notwithstanding a treaty signed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan requiring that all signatory states criminally prosecute their own torturers. Obama’s immunizing Bush-era torturers converted torture from a global taboo and decades-old crime into a reasonable, debatable policy question, which is why so many GOP candidates are now openly suggesting its use.

But now, the Obama administration has moved from legally protecting Bush-era war criminals to honoring and gushing over them in public. Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a marble bust of former Vice President Cheney, which — until a person of conscience vandalizes or destroys it — will reside in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

Yesterday, the U.S. government unambiguously signaled to the world that not only does it regard itself as entirely exempt from the laws of wars, the principal Nuremberg prohibition against aggressive invasions, and global prohibitions on torture (something that has been self-evident for many years), but believes that the official perpetrators should be honored and memorialized provided they engage in these crimes on behalf of the U.S. government. That’s a message that most of the U.S. media and thus large parts of the American population will not hear, but much of the world will hear it quite loudly and clearly.

Docs Show US Wanted to Rig Election in Ecuador to Prevent Left-Wing Victory By teleSUR December 17, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "teleSur"

While leftist Jaime Roldos Aguilera went on to become Ecuador's president, he was later killed in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances.

Previously classified documents released earlier this week on Operation Condor have shed further light on how the U.S. controlled and meddled in Latin America politics in the 1970s, showing how the U.S. was tossing up the idea of “tinkering” with the outcome of elections in Ecuador as the victory of a left-wing president appeared likely.

The latest release of the Cold War-era documents detailed intelligence from July 24, 1978, where the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency looked into committing fraud in Ecuador’s 1979 election after left-wing candidate Jaime Roldos Aguilera won the most votes in 1978 but not enough to avoid a second runoff election scheduled for April 1979.

Showing Washington's clear disdain for left-wing candidates, the intelligence report states that “a DIA summary sees some possibility of tinkering the outcome for the second slot in the run-off since Huerta would have a better chance of defeating Roldas than the current apparent second place candidate Duran.”

Yet Roldos won the runoff election and become president in August 1979, the country’s first freely elected president without a background in the military. His campaign was built on a populist platform on human rights and labor reforms. During his tenure he brought in a number of important labor measures such as increasing the minimum wage and capping the country’s workweek to 40 hours.

He was well known for his advocacy of human rights around Latin America and pushed other Andean countries develop a charter of universal rights built on social justice and in particular non-intervention - something that did not sit well with the U.S. amid the fear of communism spreading during the cold war.

Roldos also supported a number of left-wing movements around the region, again ruffling feathers within Washington. Roldos also declined Ronald Reagan’s presidential inauguration in 1981.

Roldos died in a plane crash in May 1981, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination. Panama President Omar Torrijos, who also was critical of the U.S. role in the region and was known for his human rights leadership, died two months later in a plane crash, raising similar accusations.

After a CIA document was released in 2014, revealing that Ecuador was a part of Operation Condor, Ecuador’s attorney general’s office opened an investigation into his death.

The 2014 document states that Ecuador became part of Operation Condor in 1978, joining dictatorships of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Ecuador's intelligence services and its armed forces agreed to share information with other countries and to take part in surveillance and psychological warfare, according to files.

The Smear Campaign Against Keith Ellison Is Repugnant but Reveals Much About Washington By Glenn Greenwald December 05, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept"

Ever since he announced his candidacy to lead the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison, the first American Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has been the target of a defamation campaign that is deceitful, repugnant, and yet quite predictable. At first expressed in whispers, but now being yelled from the rooftops by some of the party’s most influential figures, Ellison is being smeared as both an anti-Semite and enemy of Israel — the same smears virtually any critic of the Israeli government reflexively encounters, rendered far worse if the critic is a prominent American Muslim.

Three days ago, the now ironically named Anti-Defamation League pronounced Ellison’s 2010 comments about Israel “deeply disturbing and disqualifying.” Other Israel advocates have now joined in. What are Ellison’s terrible sins? He said in a 2010 speech that while he “wanted the U.S. to be friends with Israel,” the U.S. “can’t allow another country to treat us like we’re their ATM.”

But that insanity is par for the course in Washington, where anyone who even questions U.S. policy toward Israel is smeared in this way — from James Baker to Howard Dean to Bernie Sanders and even Donald Trump. So pernicious is this framework that the U.S. Senate just passed legislation expressly equating what it regards as unfair criticism of the Israeli government with “anti-Semitism.” And when one is an American Muslim, ugly stereotypes and pervasive Islamophobia are added to this toxic brew to make the smears worse by many magnitudes.

Obama extends global reach of US Special Operations death squads In major actions reported only briefly by the establishment press, President Obama has given vast new scope to the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), authorizing it to carry out assassinations across the globe.

Obama has approved a proposal to give JSOC independent authority to operate outside the regional commands, essentially as a globalized assassination force. JSOC units will bypass the regional commanders and report directly to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the Pentagon.

According to the Washington Post, “The missions could occur well beyond the battlefields of places like Iraq, Syria and Libya, where Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has carried out clandestine operations in the past.


comments

When finalized, it will elevate JSOC from being a highly-valued strike tool used by regional military commands to leading a new multi-agency intelligence and action force.”

The mandate of the new formation, to be called the “Counter-External Operations Task Force,” or Ex-Ops in Pentagon jargon, will embrace the entire planet. This means US military death squads could be sent to virtually any location, from European cities to South American jungles, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES ITSELF.

The Religious Fervor of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem by Lucy Steigerwald, September 17, 2016

First, all patriotic actions are the same. The National Anthem, with its bombastic third stanza about killing slaves, is equal to the Pledge of Allegiance, a robotic, moldy 19th century socialist loyalty oath that children in public school say most often.

Waving a flag is cheering a soldier, and if we stop any of it, Brooks is concerned that our nation will stop improving itself. He has written a mildly interesting act of pundit contortionism, but that’s it. At its core, the piece is merely New York Times-speak for pure tribalism. If you do not stand, you are not in the in-group, and therefore cannot help to make that group better. It’s "you can’t sit with us" dressed up as deep thoughts.

A common, confused critique of actions like Kaepernick’s is that darn it, soldiers died so he would have the freedom to not stand for the National Anthem. Pretending that that statement is itself factual (somehow), it is still unsatisfying. Were we as Americans not supposed to exercise the rights to protest and free speech that the troops reportedly died for? And why is critiquing America while being free to do so in a way you might not be in other nations, again, intended to be an argument against that act of protest?

To cheer the military at sporting events, even at millions of dollars of cost to the taxpayer? (Yep, the NFL and college football both get paid by the military for patriotism, which offends even the ostensibly pure of heart politicians who love flag. Now nobody’s happy.)

Americans don’t just forget wars quickly, or atrocities on their nation’s collective head. We even forget how much we forgot. Nobody wants to remember how the Dixie Chicks nearly lost their careers for speaking out against President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war (talk about conservatives needing safe spaces).

Symbolism is either important, or it isn’t. Some people argue that standing for the Pledge, or the National Anthem doesn’t translate to support for everything the US has ever done. But it’s intended to be a show of tribalism, isn’t it? Just as Brooks said, it’s supposed to say that we’re all in this together. Not as human beings, but as residents of the same state, who are supposed to react to soldiers as if they’re Christ dying for their America-centric sins; who should treat America’s freedoms as an excuse not to exercise them, for fear we offend the gods.

U.S. One of Three Countries to Vote Against a U.N. Resolution Condemning the Glorification of Nazism Nov 18, 2016

UNITED NATIONS — The United States was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism on Thursday, citing freedom of speech issues and concerns Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.

"Rebuilding America's Defenses" – A Summary Blueprint of the PNAC Plan for U.S. Global Hegemony Some people have compared it to Hitler's publication of Mein Kampf, which was ignored until after the war was over.

Obama: Americans Too 'Lazy' to Know Anything About the Rest of the World

President Barack Obama said Americans can be "lazy" because we are so big we think "We don't have to know anything about other people."

Federal Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years Even as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Standing Rock has galvanized Native Americans across the U.S., a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Utah Republican Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz seeks to take 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies.

The proposed bill also seeks to remove protection from 18 million acres of land in eastern Utah and prevent President Obama from designating the Bears Ears area a national monument.

Adjoining Canyonlands National Park and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Bears Ears is an unprotected culturally significant region that contains more than 100,000 Native American archeological sites. These sacred sites are subject to continual looting and desecration. More than a dozen serious looting cases were reported between May 2014 and April 2015.

The area has been inhabited for at least 11,000 years. Many Southwestern tribes have longstanding connections to this land, including Navajo, Ute and Paiute peoples. The Navajo Nation and the White Mesa Ute Reservation border Bears Ears. Rock paintings and petroglyphs are found throughout the area.

You Must be Kidding! Adventures in an American World of Frustration By Tom Engelhardt September 23, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Tom Dispatch"

Here are a few recent examples from the world of American-style war and peace. Consider these as random illustrations, given that, in the age of Trump, just about everything that happens is out-of-this-world absurd and would serve perfectly well. If you’re in the mood, feel free to shout out that line with me as we go.

Nuking the Planet: I’m sure you remember Barack Obama, the guy who entered the Oval Office pledging to work toward “a nuclear-free world.” You know, the president who traveled to Prague in 2009 to say stirringly: “So today, I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons… To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same.”

That same year, he was awarded the Nobel Prize largely for what he might still do, particularly in the nuclear realm. Of course, that was all so 2009!

Almost two terms in the Oval Office later, our peace president, the only one who has ever called for nuclear “abolition” – and whose administration has retired fewer weapons in our nuclear arsenal than any other in the post-Cold War era – is now presiding over the early stages of a trillion-dollar modernization of that very arsenal. (And that trillion-dollar price tag comes, of course, before the inevitable cost overruns even begin.) It includes full-scale work on the creation of a “precision-guided” nuclear weapon with a “dial-back” lower yield option.

And that brings me to the September 6th front-page story in the New York Times that caught my eye. Think of it as the icing on the Obama era nuclear cake. Its headline: “Obama Unlikely to Vow No First Use of Nuclear Weapons.” Admittedly, if made, such a vow could be reversed by any future president. Still, reportedly for fear that a pledge not to initiate a nuclear war would “undermine allies and embolden Russia and China… while Russia is running practice bombing runs over Europe and China is expanding its reach in the South China Sea,” the president has backed down on issuing such a vow. In translation: the only country that has ever used such weaponry will remain on the record as ready and willing to do so again without nuclear provocation, an act that, it is now believed in Washington, would create a calmer planet.

Plain Old Bombing: Recall that in October 2001, when the Bush administration launched its invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. was bombing no other largely Islamic country. In fact, it was bombing no other country at all. Afghanistan was quickly “liberated,” the Taliban crushed, al-Qaeda put to flight, and that was that, or so it then seemed.

On September 8th, almost 15 years later, the Washington Post reported that, over a single weekend and in a “flurry” of activity, the U.S. had dropped bombs on, or fired missiles at, six largely Islamic countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. (And it might have been seven if the CIA hadn’t grown a little rusty when it comes to the drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal borderlands that it’s launched repeatedly throughout these years.)

Meanwhile, President Obama has personally helped pioneer a new form of warfare that will not long remain a largely American possession. It involves missile-armed drones, high-tech weapons that promise a world of no-casualty-conflict (for the American military and the CIA), and adds up to a permanent global killing machine for taking out terror leaders, “lieutenants,” and “militants.” Well beyond official American war zones, U.S. drones regularly cross borders, infringing on national sovereignty throughout the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, to assassinate anyone the president and his colleagues decide needs to die, American citizen or otherwise (plus, of course, anyone who happens to be in the vicinity).

The president is now not just commander-in-chief but assassin-in-chief, a role that no imaginable future president is likely to reject. Assassination, previously an illegal act, has become the heart and soul of Washington’s way of life and of a way of war that only seems to spread conflict further.

The Well-Oiled Machinery of Privatized War: And speaking of drones, as the New York Times reported on September 5th, the U.S. drone program does have one problem: a lack of pilots. It has ramped up quickly in these years and, in the process, the pressures on its pilots and other personnel have only grown, including post-traumatic stress over killing civilians thousands of miles away via computer screen.

Selling Arms As If There Were No Tomorrow: In a recent report for the Center for International Policy, arms expert William Hartung offered a stunning figure on U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia. “Since taking office in January 2009,” he wrote, “the Obama administration has offered over $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia in 42 separate deals, more than any U.S. administration in the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The majority of this equipment is still in the pipeline, and could tie the United States to the Saudi military for years to come.” Think about that for a moment: $115 billion for everything from small arms to tanks, combat aircraft, cluster bombs, and air-to-ground missiles (weaponry now being used to slaughter civilians in neighboring Yemen). Of course, how else can the U.S. keep its near monopoly on the global arms trade and ensure that two sets of products – Hollywood movies and U.S. weaponry – will dominate the world’s business in things that go boom in the night? It’s a record to be proud of, especially since putting every advanced weapon imaginable in the hands of the Saudis will obviously help bring peace to a roiled region of the planet. (And if you arm the Saudis, you better do no less for the Israelis, hence the mind-boggling $38 billion in military aid the Obama administration recently signed on to for the next decade, the most Washington has ever offered any country, ensuring that arms will be flying into the Middle East, literally and figuratively, for years to come.)

You must be kidding! Of course, I could go on. I could bring up a Congress seemingly incapable of passing a bill to fund a government effort to prevent the Zika virus from spreading wildly in parts of this country. (You must be kidding!)

I could discuss how the media fell face first into an SUV – NBC Nightly News, which I watch, used the video of Hillary Clinton stumbling and almost falling into that van, by my rough count, 15 times over four nights – and what it tells us about news “coverage” these days. (You must be kidding!)

Wards of the Nanny State Protecting America’s Children from Police State Goons, Bureaucratic Idiots and Mercenary Creeps

By John W. Whitehead September 22, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Rutherford Institute"

It’s not easy being a parent in the American police state.

When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ [Hitler] said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’”—As reported by historian William L. Shirer

Out on the streets, you’ve got the menace posed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later. In the schools, parents have to worry about school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.

In your neighborhoods, you’ve got to worry about the Nanny State and its network of busybodies turning parents in for allowing their children to walk to school alone, walk to the park alone, play at the beach alone, or even play in their own yard alone.

And now in the last refuge for privacy—one’s home—parents are being put through the grinder, their actions scrutinized and judged by government goon squads armed with outrageous, overreaching, egregious laws that subject families to the hyped-up, easily offended judgment of the Nanny State.

The latest slap in the face comes from the Arizona Supreme Court whose 3-2 ruling in Arizona v. Holle paves the way for parents to be charged as child molesters or sexual abusers for such innocent acts as changing their children’s diapers or taking baths with their kids.

The message is chillingly clear: your children are not your own but are, in fact, wards of the state who have been temporarily entrusted to your care. Should you fail to carry out your duties to the government’s satisfaction, the children in your care will be re-assigned elsewhere.

This doesn’t even touch on what happens to your kids when they’re at school—especially the public schools—where parents have little to no control over what their kids are taught, how they are taught, how and why they are disciplined, and the extent to which they are being indoctrinated into marching in lockstep with the government’s authoritarian playbook.

The harm caused by attitudes and policies that treat America’s young people as government property is not merely a short-term deprivation of individual rights. It is also a long-term effort to brainwash our young people into believing that civil liberties are luxuries that can and will be discarded at the whim and caprice of government officials if they deem doing so is for the so-called “greater good” (in other words, that which perpetuates the aims and goals of the police state).

Clearly, the schools should be educating children about their duties as citizens and how to protect their constitutional rights. Instead, government officials are molding our young people into compliant citizens with no rights and subjecting them to invasive questioning, searches of their persons and property, and random drug testing, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Franklin D. Roosevelt observed, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

Syria: Attack on Aid Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group? By Felicity Arbuthnot September 22, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Global Research"

Handle With Care: American Psycho System A 'Co-worker Of God' By Finian Cunningham September 22, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "RT"

US President Barack Obama made his eighth – and final – address to the United Nations General Assembly this week. What a relief, not to be subjected to any more florid speeches filled with vacuous, psychopathic lies.

Unfortunately, his successor – whoever that is – will pontificate more of the same. For the American psycho power-system is delusional about being a force for good.

As usual, Obama delivered another one of his soaring rhetorical pirouettes. The American Conjurer-in-Chief presented a sweeping vista of history that was a travesty of reality. Sweeping American global crimes under a carpet of lies.

What is nauseating about an American president standing up in front of the world’s nations at the opening of the UN annual assembly is not merely having to tolerate listening to such venal verbiage. It is an insult to common human intelligence to witness such brazen falsification of world conflicts – and specifically the sickening self-exoneration of American responsibility.

Obama even had the gall to quote Martin Luther King by calling on nations to join with the United States as “co-workers of God”.

US In Denial Over Sponsoring Terrorism Is Why War On Syrian Rages On By Finian Cunningham September 08, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "RT"

How can a solution be found when one of the parties is part of the problem?

Cutting through diplomatic jargon, the fundamental problem is that the US remains in denial about its criminal role in fueling the war.

It is this role by the US and various foreign allies in supporting illegally armed groups that ensures the continuance of the conflict, which has been running for nearly six years with hundreds of thousands killed.

Washington and its allies – in particular this week Turkey – claim to be fighting terrorism. But the myriad global networks of weapons, cash, oil smuggling and military intelligence all testify to systematic state sponsorship of terrorism in Syria – in spite of random apparent anti-terror operations by these same sponsor-states.

America the Illiterate By Chris Hedges September 04, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Truth Dig"

We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth.

The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture. It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and clichés. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection.

This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.

The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology. Political campaigns have become an experience. They do not require cognitive or self-critical skills. They are designed to ignite pseudo-religious feelings of euphoria, empowerment and collective salvation.

The illiterate and semi-literate, once the campaigns are over, remain powerless. They still cannot protect their children from dysfunctional public schools. They still cannot understand predatory loan deals, the intricacies of mortgage papers, credit card agreements and equity lines of credit that drive them into foreclosures and bankruptcies. They still struggle with the most basic chores of daily life from reading instructions on medicine bottles to filling out bank forms, car loan documents and unemployment benefit and insurance papers.

Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent, sincere or honest. They only need to appear to have these qualities. Most of all they need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts. The consistency and emotional appeal of the story are paramount.

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book. The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information. American political campaigns, which have learned to speak in the comforting epistemology of images, eschew real ideas and policy for cheap slogans and reassuring personal narratives. Political propaganda now masquerades as ideology.


Watch first:

US Military - A Cancer [video]

How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home Making America Pain-Free for Plutocrats and Big Pharma, But Not Vets By Ann Jones

"I Didn't Serve, I Was Used"

A friend of mine, a Vietnam vet, told me about a veteran of the Iraq War who, when some civilian said, “Thank you for your service,” replied: “I didn’t serve, I was used.” That got me thinking about the many ways today’s veterans are used, conned, and exploited by big gamers right here at home.

Andrew Bacevich writes:

“Some individuals and institutions actually benefit from an armed conflict that drags on and on. Those benefits are immediate and tangible. They come in the form of profits, jobs, and campaign contributions. For the military-industrial complex and its beneficiaries, perpetual war is not necessarily bad news.”

Bacevich is certainly right about war profiteers, but I believe we haven’t yet fully wrapped our minds around what that truly means. This is what we have yet to take in: today, the U.S. is the most unequal country in the developed world, and the wealth of the plutocrats on top is now so great that, when they invest it in politics, it’s likely that no elected government can stop them or the lucrative wars and “free markets” they exploit.

How We Know ISIS Was Made In The USA By Roger Stone August 20, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - "Lew Rockwell"

Judicial Watch proved it. Under a Freedom of Information Act request, Judicial Watch was able to obtain a (heavily redacted) copy of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) directive that initiated the creation of ISIS in 2012. the DIA report states,

“THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION . . . [SUPPORT] ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA . . . IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME . . .”.

Not even Judicial Watch seems to have appreciated the significance of this document, where its press release focused on the Benghazi attack. Recent releases of Hillary’s emails, moreover, confirm that taking out Assad has nothing to do with his alleged abuse of the Syrian people but because it will help Israel.

Just in case it has slipped anyone’s mind, Hillary was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Barack was inaugurated in 2008 and steps down in 2016. It happened on their watch. It could not have happened without their approval. They really did create ISIS!

Modern America: The Empire of Lies By Martin Berger August 20, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - "NEO"

It’s a sad fact that today the absolute majority of Washington’s policies along with the foundation of so-called “American democracy” are built upon blatant lies.

But honestly, what does one expect from the likes of Hillary Clinton if even the Washington Post wouldn’t hesitate to present a video filled with her lies and “shifting positions?” Her ideas on Bosnia, healthcare, Wall Street, NAFTA are ever-shifting, since she’s convinced that Americans are unable to memorize basic facts or recall even recent American history.

US War Crimes or ‘Normalized Deviance’ By Nicolas J S Davies August 15, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - "Consortium News"

Sociologist Diane Vaughan coined the term “normalization of deviance” as she was investigating the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986. She used it to describe how the social culture at NASA fostered a disregard for rigorous, physics-based safety standards, effectively creating new, lower de facto standards that came to govern actual NASA operations and led to catastrophic and deadly failures.

Vaughan published her findings in her prize-winning book, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance at NASA, which, in her words, “shows how mistake, mishap, and disaster are socially organized and systematically produced by social structures” and “shifts our attention from individual causal explanations to the structure of power and the power of structure and culture – factors that are difficult to identify and untangle yet have great impact on decision making in organizations.”

The normalization of deviance has since been cited in a wide range of corporate crimes and institutional failures, from Volkswagen’s rigging of emissions tests to deadly medical mistakes in hospitals. In fact, the normalization of deviance is an ever-present danger in most of the complex institutions that govern the world we live in today, not least in the bureaucracy that formulates and conducts U.S. foreign policy.

The normalization of deviance from the rules and standards that formally govern U.S. foreign policy has been quite radical. And yet, as in other cases, this has gradually been accepted as a normal state of affairs, first within the corridors of power, then by the corporate media and eventually by much of the public at large.

Once deviance has been culturally normalized, as Vaughan found in the shuttle program at NASA, there is no longer any effective check on actions that deviate radically from formal or established standards – in the case of U.S. foreign policy, that would refer to the rules and customs of international law, the checks and balances of our constitutional political system and the experience and evolving practice of generations of statesmen and diplomats.

It is in the nature of complex institutions infected by the normalization of deviance that insiders are incentivized to downplay potential problems and to avoid precipitating a reassessment based on previously established standards. Once rules have been breached, decision-makers face a cognitive and ethical conundrum whenever the same issue arises again: they can no longer admit that an action will violate responsible standards without admitting that they have already violated them in the past.

This is not just a matter of avoiding public embarrassment and political or criminal accountability, but a real instance of collective cognitive dissonance among people who have genuinely, although often self-servingly, embraced a deviant culture. Diane Vaughan has compared the normalization of deviance to an elastic waistband that keeps on stretching.

Within the high priesthood that now manages U.S. foreign policy, advancement and success are based on conformity with this elastic culture of normalized deviance. Whistle-blowers are punished or even prosecuted, and people who question the prevailing deviant culture are routinely and efficiently marginalized, not promoted to decision-making positions.

For example, once U.S. officials had accepted the Orwellian “doublethink” that “targeted killings,” or “manhunts” as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called them, do not violate long-standing prohibitions against assassination, even a new administration could not walk that decision back without forcing a deviant culture to confront the wrong-headedness and illegality of its original decision.

Then, once the Obama administration had massively escalated the CIA’s drone program as an alternative to kidnapping and indefinite detention at Guantanamo, it became even harder to acknowledge that this is a policy of cold-blooded murder that provokes widespread anger and hostility and is counter-productive to legitimate counterterrorism goals – or to admit that it violates the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the use of force, as U.N. special rapporteurs on extrajudicial killings have warned.

Underlying such decisions is the role of U.S. government lawyers who provide legal cover for them, but who are themselves shielded from accountability by U.S. non-recognition of international courts and the extraordinary deference of U.S. courts to the Executive Branch on matters of “national security.” These lawyers enjoy a privilege that is unique in their profession, issuing legal opinions that they will never have to defend before impartial courts to provide legal fig-leaves for war crimes.

Seymour Hersh on White House Lies About bin Laden's Death, Pakistan and the Syrian Civil War By Mark Karlin August 15, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Truth Out"

In The Killing of Osama bin Laden, Seymour Hersh offers a compelling alternative version to the details that led to bin Laden's death. He also investigates unproven assertions justifying the US's thus far disastrous involvement in the Syrian civil war. Truthout recently interviewed Hersh about the book.

Mark Karlin: I found your narrative based on research and informants very persuasive. Your version of how Osama bin Laden came to be killed was ridiculed by the White House, the intelligence communities and the military. Why do you think the mainstream press -- and even The Guardian -- marginalized your sourced account as conspiratorialist?

Seymour Hersh: The mainstream press relies on access. The reporters covering beats -- most notably national security beats -- must be able to get calls returned and interviews when needed. This does not mean that the reporters on those beats are incompetent or in the hands of the White House -- it is just a fact of life that those who cross boundaries, as defined by the White House, do not get the same treatment as those who faithfully reflect the view of the President and his minions. It is especially so when it comes to crisis reporting -- an airplane tragedy, a battlefield victory or defeat. Thus, the White House controlled all details of the story from the moment President Obama announced the kill, and it did all -- as White Houses will -- to glorify the President’s action and shape the story in ways that would help in Obama’s re-election the next year.

Once the narrative was set, any significant change in the story had to be resisted by the White House, and especially by those who wrote the initial stories. The scapegoat in my revisionist approach to the bin Laden killing was my reliance on anonymous sources, as if anyone on the inside who deviated from the official script could survive in their job if their name became known. Most journalists, especially those in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where I worked with a lot of prize-winning success in the 1970s, were especially angered at my reporting. Their position, in my view, defies common sense

Berta Cáceres's Name Was On Honduran Military Hitlist, Says Former Soldier By Nina Lakhani in Mexico City 6/23/16

A unit trained by US special forces was ordered to kill the environmental activist who was slain in March, according to an ex-member who now fears for his life.

Lists featuring the names and photographs of dozens of social and environmental activists were given to two elite units, with orders to eliminate each target, according to First Sergeant Rodrigo Cruz, 20.

Cruz’s unit commander, a 24-year-old lieutenant, deserted rather than comply with the order. Cruz – who asked to be identified by a pseudonym for fear of reprisal – followed suit, and fled to a neighbouring country. Several other members of the unit have disappeared and are feared dead.

There is No U.S. War Against ISIS; Instead, Obama is Protecting His “Assets” By Glen Ford [Glen Ford has been a journalist and political activist – a provider of “information for liberation,” as he puts it – for over 40 years. Host of The Black Agenda Radio. Co-published BlackCommentator.com (2002) and BlackAgendaReport.com (2006). Ford has served as a White House, Capitol Hill and State Department correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief] June 03, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "BAR"

Two years ago, President Obama said he had no strategy to combat the Islamic State. The U.S. is still not waging war against ISIS or “jihadists of any brand in Syria.” The international jihadist network is a U.S. imperial asset. “The general aim of the Obama administration’s jihadist policy, now deeply in crisis, is to preserve the Islamic State as a fighting force for deployment under another brand name, under new top leadership.”

The U.S. claim that it is waging a global “war on terror” is the biggest lie of the 21st century, a mega-fiction on the same historical scale of evil as Hitler’s claim that he was defending Germany from an assault by world Jewry, or that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a Christianizing mission. In reality, the U.S. is the birth mother and chief nurturer of the global jihadist network – a truth recognized by most of the world’s people, including the 82 percent of Syrians that believe “the U.S. created the Islamic State.” (Even 62 percent of Syrians in Islamic State-controlled regions believe this to be true.)

Only “exceptionalism”-addled Americans and colonial-minded Europeans give Washington’s insane cover story the slightest credibility. However, it is dangerous in the extreme for any country to state the fact clearly: that it is the United States that has inflicted Islamic jihadist terror on the world. Once the charade has been abandoned; once there is no longer the international pretense that Washington is not the Mother Of All Terror, what kind of dialogue is possible with the crazed and desperate perpetrator? What do you do with a superpower criminal, once you have accused him of such unspeakable evil?

It’s actually a desperate effort to balance U.S. interests in preserving ISIS as a American military asset, while also maintaining the Mother Of All Lies, that the U.S. is engaged in a global war on terror, rather than acting as the headquarters of terror in world. To maintain that tattered fiction, at least in the bubble of the home country, requires the maintenance of a massive and constant psychological operations apparatus. It’s called the corporate news media.

US Terrorizes Europe for NATO Scam By Finian Cunningham June 08, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Sputnik"

The US has succeeded at last with its audacious con-job. The lead NATO member has managed to orchestrate a huge turnaround for increased military spending among its European allies.

And at the heart of this scam is the hysterical anti-Russia propaganda campaign.

Over the past two years there has been a quickening drumbeat out of Washington and certain European capitals, warning of “Russian aggression” and “security threat”.

Bombastic accusations of Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea and “destabilizing” Ukraine – with the skimpiest of evidence – have all been thrown into a propaganda cauldron, stirred up and ladled out on the Western public by corporate and government-controlled “news” media.

It’s so corny, it’s unbelievable. But shamefully the Big Lie has worked its way into accepted policy.

The upshot is the dramatic deterioration in relations between Moscow and the West and the inculcated notion that Russia is a menace to the security of Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.

That, in turn, has driven calls – mainly by the Americans – for increased spending on NATO military forces. And that is the key to understanding this whole collective derangement.

When the US-led military alliance holds its big summit in Warsaw next month, the 28-member states will be told that years of declining military expenditure have been reversed.

“Defence spending by Europe’s NATO states is set to rise for the first time in nearly a decade,” reported the Financial Times.

U.S. Expands Secret Wars In Africa By Justin Yun June 04, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Chimes"

The secret expansion of U.S. military bases and special operations in Africa has initiated a new and lightweight style of warfare and welcomes the next phase of American military imperialism. Unlike the highly publicized U.S. military “pivot to Asia,” the proliferation of drones, special ops, mercenary spies, classified bases, proxy fighters and cyber warfare constitute what the journalist Nick Turse calls a “new light-footprint Obama doctrine”

On any day, elite U.S. forces conduct covert missions in an estimated 70 to 90 countries. According to Turse, special forces have been sent to an unprecedented 147 countries — 75 percent of the world’s nations last year alone. This is a 145 percent increase from the rate of operations conducted under the Bush administration.

Wars conventionally fought by large infantry forces and full-scale invasions of foreign countries have made way for a new style of fighting — one that has become increasingly dependent on special forces, drones and private defense contractors. Because of the confidential nature of special ops, the Pentagon can essentially keep foreign military involvement secret from the American public.

JSOC — a clandestine organization that carries out kill/capture missions. JSOC has been called “an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine” by counterinsurgency advisor John Nagl and many have described it as the president’s “private assassination squad.” The group reports directly to the White House. It is the military’s secret military.

With military presence in 53 of 54 of Africa’s nations, the American empire has emerged to pick up where the former European colonial powers have left off.

Made In America: How The US Dominates The World Arms Trade By JP Sottile June 04, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "AntiMedia"

Who says nothing is made in the USA anymore?

Certainly not the well-heeled denizens of the State Department’s diplomatic corps. And they should know. That’s because they’re stationed on the frontlines of the ongoing battle to preserve Uncle Sam’s dominant market share of the global weapons trade.

Not only was America the world’s leading arms dealer in 2014 with $36.2 billion in sales, but it topped that 35% surge in sales over 2013.

As Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) determined in its recent report on the global arms trade, the United States maintains a commanding “33% share of total arms exports” and is the world’s top seller for five years running. And its customer base includes “at least” 96 countries, which is nearly half of the world’s nations. A robust 40% of those exports end up in the Middle East.

Assad Must Go...... Americans Go On Swallowing The Wrong Pill By Paul Edwards May 30, 2016 "Information Clearing House" America leads the world in weapons production, public debt, and bullshit.

It’s no news the world has grown used to--and bored with---the pompously dingbat pronouncements with which those smarmy horses asses, our sorry “leaders”, have serially embarrassed us, if not themselves.

The turgid effluent of hogwash Obama and Kerry have emitted about our “mission” in Syria exactly matches the imbecility of U.S. actions there. One shining example: CIA jihadis actually fought Special Forces jihadis recently, Aunt Sam funding both. There never was, and can never be, justification for our villainy in that death-stinking charnel house our arrogance created.

The Speech Obama Should Have Given in Hiroshima By Matt Peppe May 28, 2016 "Information Clearing House"

Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to visit Hiroshima on Friday, more than seven decades after the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped a 10,000-pound atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city whose military value was far less than that of Tampa to the United States. More than 70,000 people were instantly killed, and virtually the entire city was flattened. Many survivors would suffer prolonged and unimaginably painful aftereffects of radiation, which would cost at least 100,000 more people their lives. The effects of radiation would harm people for years and decades after the initial explosion.

Obama stood at a podium with the epicenter of the blast, the Genbaku Domu, in the background and said that he had "come to mourn the dead." While Obama mourned, there was one thing he did not do: apologize.

Here's what he could have said:

Seventy-one years ago, on a bright cloudless morning, an American warplane unleashed the most horrific and inhuman weapon ever invented, immediately imperiling the survival of the entire human species. This act of terrorism was the ultimate crime: a crime of mass murder, a crime of war, and a crime against humanity.

The victims, those who died incinerated in a flash, and those who died slowly and painfully over years from chemical poisoning, were never able to see justice served. Sadly, there is no way the criminals who carried out this heinous and barbaric act will ever face justice for their crimes.

I cannot change that. But, there is one thing I can do as the leader of the nation in whose name the bombing of Hiroshima was carried out: I can tell you, residents of Hiroshima and the rest of Japan, that I am sorry. I am sorry on behalf of my government and my country.

There is no justification for the bomb. Period.

The truth is that by August 6, 1945 Japan was defeated and had been seeking a conditional surrender for months. And American war planners knew this. They knew it because they had cracked the Japanese code and were intercepting their messages.

Japan was willing to surrender under the condition that their Emperor, who was seen as a God among the Japanese people, be allowed to maintain his throne and not be prosecuted for war crimes. The Emperor himself called for "a plan to end the war" six weeks before the fateful day. [2] After so much unspeakable death and destruction, this reasonable offer should have been met with ecstatic celebration and relief.

Instead, U.S. officials disregarded it. They decided that it was necessary not just to defeat Japan, but to leave them utterly humiliated and disgraced. They wanted to demonstrate to their public that they could force another country to lay prostrate in front of them in complete submission. This is the mindset of terrorists, torturers, and sadists.

Silencing the United States as It Prepares for War By John Pilger May 27, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "teleSur"

Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party's rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.

The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America's victims in faraway places.

The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington's boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal – Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it “never happened …Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. It didn't matter … “. Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called “a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

Take Obama. As he prepares to leave office, the fawning has begun all over again. He is “cool”. One of the more violent presidents, Obama gave full reign to the Pentagon war-making apparatus of his discredited predecessor. He prosecuted more whistleblowers – truth-tellers – than any president. He pronounced Chelsea Manning guilty before she was tried. Today, Obama runs an unprecedented worldwide campaign of terrorism and murder by drone.

In 2009, Obama promised to help “rid the world of nuclear weapons” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. No American president has built more nuclear warheads than Obama. He is “modernising” America's doomsday arsenal, including a new “mini” nuclear weapon, whose size and “smart” technology, says a leading general, ensure its use is “no longer unthinkable”. James Bradley, the best-selling author of Flags of Our Fathers and son of one of the US marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, said, “[One] great myth we're seeing play out is that of Obama as some kind of peaceful guy who's trying to get rid of nuclear weapons. He's the biggest nuclear warrior there is. He's committed us to a ruinous course of spending a trillion dollars on more nuclear weapons. Somehow, people live in this fantasy that because he gives vague news conferences and speeches and feel-good photo-ops that somehow that's attached to actual policy. It isn't.” On Obama's watch, a second cold war is under way. The Russian president is a pantomime villain; the Chinese are not yet back to their sinister pig-tailed caricature – when all Chinese were banned from the United States – but the media warriors are working on it. In Asia, the Pentagon is sending ships, planes and special forces to the Philippines to threaten China. The US already encircles China with hundreds of military bases that curve in an arc up from Australia, to Asia and across to Afghanistan. Obama calls this a “pivot”. As a direct consequence, China reportedly has changed its nuclear weapons policy from no-first-use to high alert and put to sea submarines with nuclear weapons. The escalator is quickening. It was Hillary Clinton who, as Secretary of State in 2010, elevated the competing territorial claims for rocks and reef in the South China Sea to an international issue; CNN and BBC hysteria followed; China was building airstrips on the disputed islands. In its mammoth war game in 2015, Operation Talisman Sabre, the US practiced “choking” the Straits of Malacca through which pass most of China's oil and trade. This was not news. Clinton declared that America had a “national interest” in these Asian waters. The Philippines and Vietnam were encouraged and bribed to pursue their claims and old enmities against China. In America, people are being primed to see any Chinese defensive position as offensive, and so the ground is laid for rapid escalation. A similar strategy of provocation and propaganda is applied to Russia. Clinton, the “women's candidate”, leaves a trail of bloody coups: in Honduras, in Libya (plus the murder of the Libyan president) and Ukraine. The latter is now a CIA theme park swarming with Nazis and the frontline of a beckoning war with Russia. It was through Ukraine – literally, borderland -- that Hitler's Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, which lost 27 million people. This epic catastrophe remains a presence in Russia. Clinton's presidential campaign has received money from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies. No other candidate comes close.

Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton's illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama's terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez – like him, a social democrat – “a dead communist dictator”. He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated. The election of Trump or Clinton is the old illusion of choice that is no choice: two sides of the same coin. In scapegoating minorities and promising to “make America great again”, Trump is a far right-wing domestic populist; yet the danger of Clinton may be more lethal for the world. Western Aggression: The Highest Form of Terrorism EDWARD S. HERMAN USA POLITICS, WAR ZONES FEBRUARY 4, 2016

Aggression is arguably the highest form of terrorism as it invariably includes the frightening of the target populations and their leaders as well as killing and destruction on a large scale. The U.S. invaders of Iraq in 2003 proudly announced a “shock and awe” purpose in their opening assault, clearly designed to instill fear; that is, to terrorize the victim population along with the target security forces. And millions of Iraqis suffered in this massive enterprise. Benjamin Netanyahu himself defined terrorism as “the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends.”

How do the responsible U.S. and Israeli leaders escape this designation? One trick is the disclaiming of any “deliberateness” in the killing of civilians. It is “collateral damage” in the pursuit of proper targets (Iraqi soldiers, Hamas, etc.) This is a factual lie, as there is overwhelming evidence that in both the Iraq and Gaza wars the killing of civilians was on a large scale and often not comprehensible in terms of genuine military objectives.

But even if the killings were only collateral damage, the regular failure to avoid killing civilians, including a built-in carelessness and/or reliance on undependable sources of information, is both a war crime and terrorism. Recall that the Geneva Conventions state that combatants “shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and, accordingly, shall direct their operations only against military objectives” (Part IV, Chap. 1, Article 48).

France and US killed Qaddafi for his gold and oil Perkins points out that the attack on Libya, like the attack on Iraq, has to do with power and control of resources, not only oil, but gold. Libya has the highest standard of living in Africa. “According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults,” Perkins wrote.

NATO went there like modern Barbary Coast Pirates – to loot Libya’s gold. The Russian media, in addition to Perkins, reported that the Pan-Africanist Qaddafi, the former President of the African Union, had been advocating that Africa use the gold so plentiful in Libya and South Africa to create an African currency based on a gold dinar.

“It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the U.S. and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro.

The U.S. Military Budget Is the Work of True Scam Artists The United States is on track to spend more than $600 billion on the military this year—more, that is, than was spent at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War military buildup, and more than the military budgets of at least the next seven nations in the world combined. And keep in mind that that’s just a partial total. As an analysis by the Straus Military Reform Project has shown, if we count related activities like homeland security, veterans' affairs, nuclear warhead production at the Department of Energy, military aid to other countries, and interest on the military-related national debt, that figure reaches a cool $1 trillion.

As the only major federal agency that can’t pass an audit, the Department of Defense (DoD) is the poster child for irresponsible budgeting.

It’s not just that its books don’t add up, however. The DoD is taking active measures to disguise how it is spending the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars it receives every year—from using the separate “war budget” as a slush fund to pay for pet projects that have nothing to do with fighting wars to keeping the cost of its new nuclear bomber a secret. Add in dozens of other secret projects hidden in the department’s budget and the Pentagon’s poorly documented military aid programs, and it’s clear that the DoD believes it has something to hide.

Examining American Exceptionalism By Stephen J. Bergstrom May 25, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Saker"

The Great Leap Backward: America’s Illegal Wars on the World Can we face it in this election season? America is a weapons factory, the White House a war room, and the president the manager of the neoliberal conspiracy.

Americans: A Conquered People: The New Serfs By Paul Craig Roberts May 23, 2016 "Information Clearing House"

As readers know, I have seen some optimism in voters support for Trump and Sanders as neither are members of the corrupt Republican and Democratic political establishments. Members of both political establishments enrich themselves by betraying the American people and serving only the interest of the One Percent. The American people are being driven into the ground purely for the sake of more mega-billions for a handful of super-rich people.

The optimism that I see is that the public’s support of outsiders is an indication that the insouciant public is waking up. But Americans will have to do more than wake up, as they cannot rescue themselves via the voting booth. In my opinion, the American people will remain serfs until they wake up to Revolution.

The optimism that I see is that the public’s support of outsiders is an indication that the insouciant public is waking up. But Americans will have to do more than wake up, as they cannot rescue themselves via the voting booth. In my opinion, the American people will remain serfs until they wake up to Revolution.

We know that Killary is a liar, a crook, an agent for the One Percent, and a warmonger.

Reform or Revolution By Chris Hedges May 23, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Truth Dig"

The political, cultural and judicial system in a capitalist state is centered around the protection of property rights. And, as Adam Smith pointed out, when civil government “is instituted for the security of property, [it] is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.” The capitalist system is gamed from the start.

Capitalism searches the globe to exploit cheap, unorganized labor and pillages natural resources. It buys off or overthrows local elites. It blocks the ability of the developing world to become self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, workers in the industrialized world, stripped of well-paying jobs, benefits and legal protections, are pushed into debt peonage, forced to borrow to survive, which further enriches global speculators.

An economy built on credit, Luxemburg foresaw, transforms a regular series of small economic crises into an irregular series of large economic crises—hence two major financial dislocations to the U.S. economy in the early part of the 21st century—the dot-com collapse of 2000 and the global meltdown of 2008. And we are barreling toward another. The end result, at home and abroad, is serfdom.

We who seek to build radical third-party movements must recognize that it is not about taking power now. It is about taking power, at best, a decade from now. Revolutions, Luxemburg reminded us, take time.

In an understanding that eludes many Bernie Sanders supporters, Luxemburg also grasped that socialism and imperialism were incompatible. She would have excoriated Sanders’ ostrichlike refusal to confront American imperialism. Imperialism, she understood, not only empowers a war machine and enriches arms merchants and global capitalists. It is accompanied by a poisonous ideology—what social critic Dwight Macdonald called the “psychosis of permanent war”—that makes socialism impossible.

The nation, in the name of national security, demands the eradication of civil liberties. It defines dissent as treason. It creates a centralized system of power that ultimately—as has happened in the United States—serves the dictates of empire rather than democracy.

A population finally rises up against a decayed system not because of revolutionary consciousness, but because, as Luxemburg pointed out, it has no other choice. It is the obtuseness of the old regime, not the work of revolutionaries, that triggers revolt.

The consequences of not carrying out a revolution against corporatism are catastrophic. This makes Luxemburg vital. She warns us that in a crisis, the liberal elites become our enemy. She cautions against terror and gratuitous violence. She urges us to maintain open, democratic structures to ensure that power rests with the people. She keeps us focused on the ultimate savagery of capitalism. She understands the danger of imperialism. And she reminds us that those of us committed to socialism, to building a better world, especially for the oppressed, must hold fast to this moral imperative.

Time for Counter-Coups in Latin America? – and Europe? By Peter Koenig May 18, 2016 "Information Clearing House"

What Happens when the accuser of terrorism are themselves the terrorists? – Namely the supra-national corporations and financial oligarchs acting in their own profit-driven interest, but under the direction of Washington and the protection of the US – NATO killer armies? Fear and confusion happens. Fear is the weapon of choice of the real terrorists, those who make us believe they are spreading and defending democracy.

In Brazilian cities millions are in the streets protesting against the illegal takeover of the Presidency in defiance of 54 million voters, by a corrupted parliament, and even worse, by vice-President, Michel Temer, who himself is accused of corruption and who would be ineligible to stand for election for any public office in Brazil during at least the next 8 years; and still worse, Michel Temer, who, as just release by WikiLeaks, has been for years a CIA informant... Temer is ready to sell Brazil to the money vultures, Wall Street, FED, IMF, World Bank and he has ‘promised’ to privatize vital social and public services, so that the oligarchs get richer and the Brazilians have to fight again for their survival.

In Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernández came to power through a Washington instigated and supported coup in 2009 (now even admitted by Killery) against left-leaning President Zelaya, who was the clear front-runner for the upcoming elections. Under Orlando Hernandez’s tyranny, always protected by Washington, the crime and murder rate, already the highest in Central America, is increasing drastically. Oppression of free speech and political expression is rampant. The environment, natural resources, like forests (illegal logging) and water (privatization), gold and other minerals, is rabidly raped. Environmental protesters are being chased and gunned down.

In Ecuador and Bolivia, destabilizing CIA directed Washington trained groups and ‘NGOs’ are at work, buying support among indigenous people. In Bolivia they are recruiting (‘buying’) ‘street kids’ to form anti-government protest groups to be infiltrated into the heartland of the pluri-national state of Bolivia, comprising some 36 cultures based on the number of indigenous languages.

In the case of Ecuador, the very people made unhappy by Rafael Correa’s concession to oil giants, concessions he had to make under US pressure, are now being ‘destabilized’, mobilized against the government by the CIA and its local handlers.

In Europe, the real terrorists, the Unites States of war Crimes and its vassal, the European Union with its non-transparent sub-layers of corrupt institutions, the so-called, but miss-named European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC – a non-elected dishonest and secretive sub-layer of the EU), the IMF – have wreaked economic and humanitarian havoc in the southern fringe states which they call humiliatingly “PIGS” – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

In Greece people are succumbing to famine, lacking health care and are suffering extreme and seemingly unstoppable plunder of public assets and social services – plunder of Life Capital. People die by the thousands from mal-nutrition, lack of medical attention, and outright famine, all induced by endless and merciless austerity programs imposed by – and seemingly uncontested by the ruling so-called leftwing Syriza party – the inhuman, criminal troika (EC, ECB, IMF) – all driven by the Anglo-Zionist-owned and directed FED and Wall Street. It is amazing how the rest of Europe of this rotten European Union, corrupt to the bones, is just on-looking, hapless and spineless as they are, dreaming that it will never happen to them.

In Spain, the Movement 15 (M15 – a consolidated movement of the ‘indignados’, the ‘outraged’, that started in Madrid on 15 May 2011) celebrated its 5th Anniversary, prompting millions of outraged people to march on 500 cities throughout the world, in a coordinated and solidary effort to fight the neoliberal assault on humanity – an onslaught that uses three types of weapons: tanks and bombs; media lie-propaganda and slander; and financial strangulation and subordination through debt.

The UK – is in a class by itself – with a strong people’s movement towards BREXIT. It reflects the popular discontent with the EU and with PM David Cameron’s submission to the non-transparent rules of the EU and its unelected European Commission. This video http://subterrnews.blogspot.com/2016/05/brexit-movie-full-film.html illustrates fairly well what the EU has promised but is actually doing to the UK; not much different from what the EU technocracy is doing to the rest of Europe.

If the Brits succeed against the will of the Masters in Washington and Brussels to vote for exiting the EU – and if the vote is actually accepted – then dynamics of European discontent may well bring about a collapse of the European Union and its fake, unbacked and unsustainable currency, the euro. That in itself would be an enormous blow to the US empire – a blow it may not survive. The consequences might be tremendous, including a disintegration of NATO which could and might and hopefully would be a death knell for the US hegemon.

This criminal universal onslaught of the US-NATO forces is also engulfing the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe with foreign-bread wars and armed proxy conflicts, causing millions and millions of refugees in the region – refugees that are eventually seeking a new life, of all places, in the countries of their hangmen – Europe. And Europe – still the colonialists of hither-day – rejects them miserably, prevents their entry with walls, yes walls – remember the Berlin Wall? – and barbed wires, chasing them away with tear gas and rubber bullets, mothers with babies and small kids. Some are hurt, some are even killed. The media of course does not report on them. Once they become refugees they are forgotten souls.

NATO, armed to the teeth, despite all the promises to the contrary after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is rapidly expanding eastward, encircling Russia, including occupying Ukraine. Ukraine has been for hundreds of years an integral part of Russia, but it is a crucially strategic and economic piece of land for the West to dominate on its journey towards world hegemony. Therefore, US-NATO instigated a bloody coup in February 2014, installed a Nazi-Government in Kiev, committing heinous war crimes in the eastern Donbass Region of Ukraine – a civil war massacre for which the ruthless west is blaming Russia. Naturally, with accusations fabricated by the bought presstitute media.

Murder Is Washington’s Foreign Policy By Paul Craig Roberts March 04, 2016 "Information Clearing House"

Washington has a long history of massacring people, for example, the destruction of the Plains Indians by the Union war criminals Sherman and Sheridan and the atomic bombs dropped on Japanese civilian populations, but Washington has progressed from periodic massacres to fulltime massacring. From the Clinton regime forward, massacre of civilians has become a defining characteristic of the United States of America.

Washington is responsible for the destruction of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and part of Syria. Washington has enabled Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen, Ukraine’s attack on its former Russian provinces, and Israel’s destruction of Palestine and the Palestinian people.

The American state’s murderous rampage through the Middle East and North Africa was enabled by the Europeans who provided diplomatic and military cover for Washington’s crimes. Today the Europeans are suffering the consequences as they are over-run by millions of refugees from Washington’s wars.

Mattea Kramer points out that Washington has added to its crimes the mass murder of civilians with drones and missile strikes on weddings, funerals, children’s soccer games, medical centers and people’s homes. Nothing can better illustrate the absence of moral integrity and moral conscience of the American state and the population that tolerates it than the cavalier disregard of the thousands of murdered innocents as “collateral damage.”

The US defense establishment can be considered victorious in one sense only: it has conquered and subdued the people of the United States. [Dmitry Orlov]

America’s Role in the Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Trade and How to Stop It America plays a crucial role in the fight against wildlife trafficking. Wildlife trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of illegal activity, with an estimated annual global value of $7 billion to $23 billion. The United States is generally accepted as one of the largest consumers of illegal wildlife and wildlife products worldwide. In fact, much of the world’s trade in illegal wildlife is either driven by U.S. consumers or passes through U.S. ports on its way to other destinations.p> We found that meat was by far the type of wildlife product in highest demand. Over 3.3 million pounds of meat was discovered in the ten years of data, mostly mollusk meat. Other products in high demand were fins (1.5 million pounds), medicinal products (889,000), feathers (884,000), and products made from shells (556,000).

Consumer demand remains the most important driver of wildlife trafficking. Thus, raising awareness amongst consumers and even non-consumers is important in helping people wake up to the unpleasant truth: illegal wildlife is offered for sale in the United States. Pointing out wildlife products that are frequently imported illegally helps educate consumers and empower them to ask for documentation before purchasing.

10 New Ways Other Countries Are Actually Solving Problems—and Kicking Our Ass Apparently for some, American exceptionalism means exceptional stupidity.

Here are 10 examples of problems being solved everywhere but in America:

1. Peru: free solar-powered electricity for the poor.

2. Iceland: white-collar criminals go to jail.

3. France: stop throwing away food.

4. Sweden: the six-hour workday.

5. Portugal: decriminalize drugs.

6. Ireland: drug addiction is a health issue.

7. Japan: make children self-sufficient.

8. Sweden (again!): we are all feminists.

9. Israel: water can be managed. [The solution was three-pronged. The government mandated limited use of water, even limiting the length of showers. The limits resulted in cutting water use by one-fifth. Recycling of water became public policy, with more than three-fourths of the country’s wastewater recycled and used for agricultural purposes (compare this with the U.S., which recycles only 1% of its water). The third prong was the construction of desalinization plants, which drew saltwater from the sea and produced drinkable water.]

10. England: Domestic abuse isn’t always physical.

We’re Never Winning These Wars: America Has Zero to Show For Its Decades of Bloodshed in the Middle East Armed conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond hasn't brought anything close to lasting peace. Quite the opposite.

10 Signs That America Is the Most Corrupt Nation

US Military - A Cancer [video]

Class War Films We have one mission: to expose, explain, attack, and dismantle the myth of American Exceptionalism, the mask and disguise of Predatory Capitalism.

President Kennedy and His Brother Were Murdered By The Military-Security Complex By Paul Craig Roberts. February 13, 2016 "Information Clearing House" [Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.]

Presstitute Media, such as the UK Telegraph, spend a lot of energy debunking exposes of government conspiracies. For example, the thousands of highrise architects, structural engineers, physicists, nano-chemists, demoltion experts, first responders, military and civilian pilots, and former government officials who have provided vast evidence that the official story of 9/11 is a made-up fairy tale at odds with all evidence and the laws of physics are dismissed by presstitutes as “conspiracy theorists.” Similarly, those, such as James W. Douglass, who have proven beyond all doubt that President John F. Kennedy was not assassinated by Oswald but by his own paranoid anti-communist military-security complex, are dismissed as conspiracy theorists. The 9/11 Commission Report and the Warren Commission Report were cover-ups. VP Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives he sponsored needed a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to begin their military assaults on the Middle Eastern countries that had independent foreign policies instead of being US/Israeli vassals. 9/11 was their orchestrated “new Pearl Harbor,” and this fact had to be covered up when 9/11 families persisted in their demands for an investigation and could not be bought off for large sums of money. Similarly, the Warren Commission had no choice but to cover up that a popular American president, John F. Kennedy, had been murdered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the Secret Service, because he was believed by paranoid anti-communists to be “soft on communism” and thereby a threat to the security of the United States. The cold war was on, and the Warren Commission could not hold those responsible accountable without destroying the public’s confidence in the American military and security services. Nevertheless everyone aware of the forged case against Oswald knew what had happened. One of these people was Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother. This was confirmed to me years ago by a distinguished journalist and documentary film maker who was standing just behind Robert Kennedy when he was shot. He told me that he felt the bullet that hit Kennedy go by his ear and saw its impact. He wrote a full report for the FBI and despite his credentials was never contacted by the investigation. Now, last Wednesday, 48 years later, Paul Shrade has presented ironclad evidence at the parole hearing of the now 71 year old Sirhan Sirhan that Robert Kennedy was shot by someone else from the rear, not from the front where Sirhan Sirhan was standing. You can read Paul Shrade’s statement here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44184.htm Anyone who thinks that democratic governments would not kill their own citizens is uninformed beyond belief. If, dear reader, you are one of these gullible people, please go to the Internet and become familiar, for example, with Operation Northwoods and Operation Gladio. Deep State’s Draconian Measures to Criminalize Citizens By Joachim Hagopian [Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field with abused youth and adolescents for more than a quarter century. In recent years he has focused on his writing, becoming an alternative media journalist. His blog site is at http://empireexposed.blogspot.co.id/.] January 12, 2016 "Information Clearing House"

A fire in Alaska started by the US military during a live training exercise against the local fire chief’s recommendation and without seeking BLM permission burned over 85,000 acres of federal land, destroyed multiple buildings, caused many residents to evacuate and endangered their health and lives along with millions of dollars’ worth of damage, yet because it was the military at fault, no prosecutions followed.

The far bigger issue here is that since 9/11 Washington has usurped individual citizen rights and nearly overnight turned the government from a once democratic republic into a fascist totalitarian police state and the oppressed, abused American people are fast reaching the breaking point of armed rebellion, all by carefully plotted federalist/globalist design.

The central powers’ sinister game has been to intentionally push fed up Americans over the edge with each passing year its militarized police force continuing to terrorize and murder mounting numbers of unarmed Americans (over a thousand in 2015 alone), launching an all-out war against its own citizens of every political persuasion on both left and right by lumping them together to identify the whole lot as so called “radicalized extremists.”

This long awaited, plotted scenario sets the stage for the next major false flag crisis to break out, giving more than ample enough excuse for the feds to use deadly force to quell the citizen uprising and subsequently spread civil disturbance across the nation in order to declare martial law that will readily pave the way toward one world government and ultimately formalize a New World Order slavery over the entire human species on this planet.

.. the very same international crime cabal led by central banks and a handful of globalist families like the Rothschilds and Rockefellers have been calling the shots causing Western wars at will and controlling Western history for centuries.

Over the last decade the expanding parameters of who gets targeted as “radicalized” has evolved literally into anyone who in any way opposes the federal government tyranny.

Criminalizing citizens can now be applied to homeowners who choose to grow vegetables and fruits on their own front or backyard property or neighbors who elect to collect rainwater with an open barrel. Increasingly it’s unlawful to conserve rainwater collected on your own land for your own personal use even in such drought-stricken Western states as California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Colorado as well as Florida. Or now being a Good Samaritan desiring to feed the homeless in a local public park is becoming a lawbreaker in many municipalities.

One key strategy employed by the ruling elite facilitating totalitarian tyranny can be observed in the unholy union between Big Pharma’s push to manipulate and control psychiatry and the medical establishment by “psychopathologizing” virtually every man, woman and child with some diagnostic label that deems them mentally ill and/or mentally incompetent... another sinister, pathological means of population control...

those of us who still practice critical thinking skills and exhibit nonconforming behavior are increasingly viewed and judged by diagnosticians as mentally ill. “Oppositional Defiant Disorder” is the label attached to anyone who dares to challenge authority or is a free thinker refusing to succumb to the growing pressures to conform to the mindless herd.

To see how far over the edge the populace has become as controlled automatons, look around at any international airport and notice over 90% of the people are all mesmerized by their electronic button-pushing toys. Empirical studies show that such chronic enrapture with radiation spewing, mind control boxes are posing serious health hazards from actually changing the DNA structure and damaging the human brain, drastically reducing male sperm count, to causing rising cancer rates, and in effect dumbing down Americans in both test scores and capacity to think freely and critically. Of course all this is by diabolical grand design too.

drugs are used for sinister social engineering, control purposes, the mental health system as largely practiced in the West has long been an embedded, disgracefully destructive institution. And with Obama’s recent calls for more gun control combined with this fast descending culture of medical tyranny within the totalitarian matrix, all this has frighteningly deep state implications for rampant horror and abuse. Wanton violation of privacy, consent and lack of due process combined with arbitrary misjudgment by an abusive medical-statist authoritarianism smacks of yet more Orwellian nightmare.

When you realize that 70% of US citizens are now regularly drugged, taking highly addictive, potentially lethal prescription medications on a daily basis that merely smother symptoms rarely if ever actually healing the underlying malady’s causes, it’s not surprising that we’re dying younger. To compound the matter, just look at all the slow kill methods the ruling elite has in its ever-expanding arsenal – fluoride, mercury, vaccines, chemtrails, Monsanto’s pervasive glyphosate poisoning and its GMO’s, nutrition-dead processed radiated foods, radiated oceans, the toxic, cumulative buildup that’s been destroying our very living habitat for more than a century

Whenever he fails to gain congressional support as in his OCD gun control obsession, Obama simply makes his own laws which amidst the 2014 Ebola scare outbreak included rounding up of individuals suffering from respiratory ailments. Under Obama’s watch the roundup of the homeless has also begun. His across-the-boards, thinly veiled agenda is again to grant the deep state Luciferian authority to deem anyone mentally unfit, certifiably crazy, deviant, infirm or otherwise undesirable, thus branding virtually anyone and everyone as suitable candidates for institutional lockup at their local FEMA prison camp.

For many decades the ruling elite has been executing a not so secret eugenics plan to drastically reduce the global population by 90% through a WMD arsenal of both hard and soft kill methods. UN Agenda 2030 , UN Agenda 21 and America 2050 all foretell how under the NWO buzzword “sustainability,” deep state (since the US will no longer be a sovereign nation) will herd the diminishing American population into “stack and pack” hi-risers in 11 controlled bicoastal urban living zones and 50% land grab all private property from the vast interior, no longer inhabited designated wilderness sections of North America in order to extract whatever valuable natural resources remain under its topsoil. The one world slave system of absolute control permeates all the UN’s euphemistic lies

While the FDA regularly allows harmful pharmaceuticals on the market before undergoing any rigorous clinical research trials, in effect permitting Big Pharma that owns the FDA a free pass much to public detriment and harm, the absorbent fines, unfair legal regulations that legislators and FDA impose on small health businesses and the perpetual harassment with their criminal Gestapo tactics are designed to eliminate once again consumer choice and any and all Big Pharma competition. But then all of this is simply the heinous machinations of a fascist international crime cabal government in bed with transnational corporations churning out nation-killing TPP and TTIP while dancing to the marching order tunes of the oligarchs. The obvious fast track intent is to destroy America and all national sovereignty globally in order to install its long plotted one world government.

American Empire Exposed

Why WWIII Is On The Horizon By Paul Craig Roberts [Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments.]; December 29, 2015

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 gave birth to a dangerous American ideology called neoconservativism. The Soviet Union had served as a constraint on US unilateral action. With the removal of this constraint on Washington, neoconservatives declared their agenda of US world hegemony. America was now the “sole superpower,” the “unipower,” that could act without restraint anywhere in the world.

The staggering unipolar power that history has given to Washington has to be protected at all costs. In 1992 top Pentagon official Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz penned the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which became the basis for Washington’s foreign policy.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine states that the “first objective” of American foreign and military policy is “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat [to US unilateral action] on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.” (A “hostile power” is a country sufficiently strong to have a foreign policy independent from Washington’s.)..

With this background, we can understand that the dangerous situation facing the world is the product of the neoconservative’s arrogant policy of US world hegemony. The failures of judgment and the dangers in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts are themselves the consequences of the neoconservative ideology...

Russia and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, have been demonized by neoconservatives and their puppets in the US government and media. For example, Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, declared Putin to be “the new Hitler.” A former CIA official called for Putin’s assassination. Presidential candidates in both parties are competing in terms of who can be the most aggressive toward Russia and the most insulting toward Russia’s president.

The effect has been to destroy the trust between nuclear powers. The Russian government has learned that Washington does not respect Washington’s own laws, much less international law, and that Washington cannot be trusted to keep any agreement. This lack of trust, together with the aggression toward Russia spewing from Washington and the presstitute media and echoing in the idiotic European capitals, has established the ground for nuclear war. As NATO (essentially the US) has no prospect of defeating Russia in conventional war, much less defeating an alliance of Russia and China, war will be nuclear.

The European governments, especially Germany and the UK, are complicit in the move toward nuclear war. These two American vassal states enable Washington’s reckless aggression toward Russia by repeating Washington’s propaganda and supporting Washington’s sanctions and interventions against other countries. As long as Europe remains nothing but an extension of Washington, the prospect of Armegeddon will continue to rise.

At this point in time, nuclear war can only be avoided in two ways. One way is for Russia and China to surrender and accept Washington’s hegemony. The other way is for an independent leader in Germany, the UK, or France to rise to office and withdraw from NATO. That would begin a stampede to leave NATO, which is Washington’s prime tool for causing conflict with Russia and, thereby, is the most dangerous force on earth to every European country and to the entire world. If NATO continues to exist, NATO together with the neoconservative ideology of American hegemony will make nuclear war inevitable.

Noam Chomsky: Murder, Theft, Exploitation: How American Imperialism and Neoliberal Economics Conquered Latin America By Noam Chomsky / Haymarket Books December 12, 2015

The following is an excerpt from the book Year 501 by Noam Chomsky, part of a series of twelve new editions of Chomsky's classic works recently published by Haymarket Books:

A novel idea was implemented in Colombia, where security guards of a medical school murdered poor people and sold the bodies to the school for student research; reports indicate that before they were killed, organs that could be sold on the black market were removed.

These practices, however, scarcely make a dent in one of the worst human rights records in the continent, compiled by security forces that have long benefited from US training and supply and have now become one of the hemisphere's top recipients of US military funding. As elsewhere, the main targets for mutilation, torture, and murder are priests, union activists, political leaders and others who try to defend the poor, form cooperatives, or otherwise qualify as "subversives" by interfering with the neoliberal economic model implemented under instructions from the US and the World Bank...

Top 10 Signs the U.S. Is the Most Corrupt Country in the World Posted on Dec 13, 2015 By Juan Cole

Those ratings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly “corrupt” always imply that the United States is not corrupt.

While it is true that you don’t typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America’s political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $16 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands.

1. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. A nonentity like Donald Trump got filthy rich via tax loopholes, and is now trying to buy the presidency. The way the Supreme Court got rid of campaign finance reform and allowed open, unlimited buying of elections is the height of corruption. Note that despite his supposed “populism,” Trump never talks about the unfairness of our current tax system, instead dividing and ruling working and middle class Americans by stirring racial and religious hatreds.

2. Money and corruption have seeped so far into our media system that people can with a straight face assert that scientists aren’t sure human carbon emissions are causing global warming. Fox Cable News is among the more corrupt institutions in American society, purveying outright lies for the benefit of the billionaire class. The US is so corrupt that it is resisting the obvious urgency to slash carbon production. Even our relatively progressive president talks about exploiting all sources of energy, as though hydrocarbons were just as valuable as green energy and as though hydrocarbons weren’t poisoning the earth.

Even Qatar, its economy based on natural gas, freely admits the challenge of human-induced climate change. American politicians like Jim Inhofe are openly ridiculed when they travel to Europe for their know-nothingism on climate.

3. Instead of having short, publicly-funded political campaigns with limited and/or free advertising (as a number of Western European countries do), the US has long political campaigns in which candidates are dunned big bucks for advertising. They are therefore forced to spend much of their time fundraising, which is to say, seeking bribes. All American politicians are basically on the take... Former House Majority leader John Boehner has actually just handed out cash on the floor of the House from the tobacco industry to other representatives.

4. That politicians can be bribed to reduce regulation of industries like banking (what is called “regulatory capture”) means that they will be so bribed. Billions were spent and 3,000 lobbyists employed by bankers to remove cumbersome rules in the zeroes. Thus, political corruption enabled financial corruption (in some cases legalizing it!) Without regulations and government auditing, the finance sector went wild and engaged in corrupt practices that caused the 2008 crash.

5. That the chief villains of the 2008 meltdown (from which 90% of Americans have not recovered) have not been prosecuted is itself a form of corruption.

6. The US military budget is bloated and enormous, bigger than the military budgets of the next twelve major states. What isn’t usually realized is that perhaps half of it is spent on outsourced services, not on the military. It is corporate welfare on a cosmic scale.

7. The US has a vast gulag of 2.2 million prisoners in jail and penitentiary. There is an increasing tendency for prisons to be privatized, and this tendency is corrupting the system. It is wrong for people to profit from putting and keeping human beings behind bars.

8. The National Security Agency’s domestic spying was a form of corruption in itself, and lends itself to corruption. With some 4 million government employees and private contractors engaged in this surveillance, it is highly unlikely that various forms of insider trading and other corrupt practices are not being committed. If you knew who Warren Buffett and George Soros were calling every day, that alone could make you a killing.

9. As for insider trading, it turns out Congress undid much of the law it hastily passed forbidding members, rather belatedly, to engage in insider trading (buying and selling stock based on their privileged knowledge of future government policy).

10. Asset forfeiture in the ‘drug war’ is corrupting police departments and the judiciary.

So don’t tell the Philippines or the other victims of American corruption how corrupt they are for taking a few petty bribes. Americans are not seen as corrupt because we only deal in the big denominations. Steal $2 trillion and you aren’t corrupt, you’re respectable.

Capitalism’s Cult of Human Sacrifice Posted on Dec 13, 2015 By Chris Hedges

HOUSTON—Bryan Parras stood in the shadows cast by glaring floodlights ringing the massive white, cylindrical tanks of the Valero oil refinery. He, like many other poor Mexican-Americans who grew up in this part of Houston, struggles with asthma, sore throats, headaches, rashes, nosebleeds and a host of other illnesses and symptoms. The air was heavy with the smell of sulfur and benzene. The faint, acrid taste of a metallic substance was on our tongues. The sprawling refinery emitted a high-pitched electric hum. The periodic roar of flares, red-tongued flames of spent emissions, leapt upward into the Stygian darkness. The refinery seemed to be a living being, a giant, malignant antediluvian deity.

Parras and those who live near him are among the hundreds of millions of human sacrifices that industrial capitalism demands. They are cursed from birth to endure poverty, disease, toxic contamination and, often, early death. They are forced to kneel like bound captives to be slain on the altar of capitalism in the name of progress. They have gone first. We are next. In the late stages of global capitalism, we all will be destroyed in an orgy of mass extermination to satiate corporate greed.

Murder And Mayhem In The Middle East By Chris Martenson. December 06, 2015

To understand what’s happening in Syria right now, you have to understand the tactics and motivations of the US and NATO -- parties sharing interwoven aims and goals in the Middle East/North African (MENA) region.

While the populations of Europe and the US are fed raw propaganda about the regional aims involved, the reality is far different.

Where the propaganda claims that various bad dictators have to be taken out, or that democracy is the goal, neither have anything at all to do with what’s actually happening or has happened in the region.

For starters, we all know that if oil fields were not at stake then the West would care much much less about MENA affairs.

But a lot of outside interests do care. And their aims certainly and largely include controlling the region’s critical energy resources. There’s a lot of concern over whether Russia or China will instead come to dominate these last, best oil reserves on the planet.

Further, we can dispense with the idea that the US and NATO have any interest at all in human rights in this story. If they did, then they’d at least have to admit that their strategies and tactics have unleashed immeasurable suffering, as well as created the conditions for lots more. But it would be silly to try and argue about or understand regional motivations through the lenses of human rights or civilian freedoms -- as neither applies here.

Divide And Conquer

Instead, the policies in the MENA region are rooted in fracturing the region so that it will be easier to control.

But to get a handle on the level of depravity involved, I think it useful to examine what happened in Libya in 2011 when NATO took out Muamar Gaddafi and left the country a broken shell -- as was intended...

Statement and Appeal from the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity The people of Venezuela and its Bolivarian Revolution are in combat against the intense dirty war carried out by the opposition in that country, orchestrated by the regional right, old European right-wingers, and the United States.

The current situation represents a new escalation against the Bolivarian process of Venezuela, promoted by the right allied to the transnational oligarchy. They are preparing a new provocation and interference plans essentially aimed to destroy and eliminate the revolution and therefore the integration and unity of Latin American.

The Parliamentary elections in Venezuela on December 6 will decide the future of the Revolution and at the same time the rest of the progressive countries of Latin America.

The Bolivarian revolution is not alone. It attained the respect and affection of all our peoples under the leadership of the ever-present Commander Hugo Chavez, which President Nicolas Maduro today gives continuity in very difficult conditions.

Ensuring the continuity of the Bolivarian process is of vital importance to the sovereignty of the region, maintain regional integration and curb the hegemonic and subversive campaign that the United States has established for Latin America.

The US Military's Best-kept Secret By Nick Turse. 11/17/15. For years, American military expansion in Africa has gone largely unnoticed, thanks to a deliberate effort to keep the public in the shadows.

See also, David Vine, author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.

In the shadows of what was once called the “Dark Continent,” a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that was by design. But look hard enough and—north to south, east to west—you’ll find the fruits of that effort: a network of bases, compounds, and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent.. ? In remote locales, behind fences and beyond the gaze of prying eyes, the US military has built an extensive archipelago of African outposts, transforming the continent, experts say, into a laboratory for a new kind of war.


US military outposts, port facilities, and other areas of access in Africa, 2002-2015

In the years since, the United States has embarked on nothing short of a building boom—even if the command is loath to refer to it in those terms. As a result, it’s now able to carry out increasing numbers of overt and covert missions, from training exercises to drone assassinations.

“AFRICOM, as a new command, is basically a laboratory for a different kind of warfare and a different way of posturing forces,” says Richard Reeve, the director of the Sustainable Security Programme at the Oxford Research Group, a London-based think tank. “Apart from Djibouti, there’s no significant stockpiling of troops, equipment, or even aircraft. There are a myriad of ‘lily pads’ or small forward operating bases…so you can spread out even a small number of forces over a very large area and concentrate those forces quite quickly when necessary.”

This combination of manpower, access, and technology has come to be known in the military by the moniker “New Normal.”

The camp, which also serves as the forward headquarters for Task Force 48-4, a hush-hush counterterrorism unit targeting militants in East Africa and Yemen, has seen personnel stationed there jump by more than 400 percent since 2002.

In the same period, Camp Lemonnier has expanded from 88 acres to nearly 600 acres and is in the midst of a years-long building boom for which more than $600 million has already been awarded or allocated.

Top 10 Reasons Governors are Wrong to Exclude Syrian Refugees By Juan Cole. November 17, 2015

Some half of US governors have announced their opposition to their states taking in Syrian refugees after the Paris attacks.. anyway, here are the reasons for which these announcements are a form of political hysteria and not grounded in any rational policy considerations:

1. The attackers in Paris were European nationals. The Syrian passport found near one of them was a fake. So are the governors opposed to Belgian immigration into the United States?

2. The attackers were not refugees. They were born in Europe.

3. There is no rational reason to bar Syrian refugees but accept refugees from other conflict areas.

4.These refugees undergo at least 18 months of background checks, contrary to what Sen. Mario Rubio (whose parents were Cuban immigrants to the US) has alleged.

5. The Economist points out that since 2001, the US has admitted roughly 750,000 refugees and none, zero, nada have been accused of involvement in domestic terrorism aimed at the US .

6. The need is urgent. Of the some 22 million Syrians, a good half are homeless. Winter is arriving and the refugees have no proper shelter, clothing or nourishment. The US has to step up in the face of one of the world’s great humanitarian crises.

7. Syrian refugees are not guerrilla fighters or terrorists. They are fleeing the oppression of the Bashar al-Assad government or the brutality of Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) or al-Qaeda. They are the victims of America’s enemies.

8. The US owes these refugees. Without the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, there would have been no al-Qaeda in that part of the world, and no al-Qaeda offshoots like Daesh/ ISIL. Why do the governors (most of whom supported the invasion of Iraq) think the US can go around the world sowing instability and being responsible for creating the conditions that lead to millions of refugees but then can avoid the responsibility of ameliorating those broken lives?

9. Some US politicians, such as Ted Cruz, have spoken of taking in only Christian refugees. That step would be unconstitutional. But let’s remember that such a policy would have excluded Albert Einstein from coming to the US in 1933, after the Nazis seized his property in Germany.

10. Cruz’s call for Christian refugees to be given special privileges reminds us of the the racist Chinese Exclusion Act, which derived in part from Christian American dislike of those they called “heathens.” Religion is often an element in the construction of ethnicity, so the privileging of Christianity has a long history of being a stealth form of racism.

Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions By Andre Vltchek. November 17, 2015

Our Planet Earth is heading straight towards the most dangerous collision in its history. It is not a collision with some foreign body, with an asteroid or a comet, but with the most brutal and selfish chunk of its own inhabitants: with people who proudly call themselves “members of the Western civilization.”

Again and again it is clearly demonstrated that Western culture, which the paramount psychologist Carl Jung used to call “pathology”, couldn’t be trusted.

This “culture” had already mercilessly slaughtered several hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the world; it enslaved entire continents, and plundered all that had any value, whether it was located above or under the surface of earth.

They also demonstrated utmost ignorance and the highest level of indoctrination!

For centuries, citizens of France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and other Western nations were staring at the battle ships leaving their shores, sailing towards Asia, Latin America and Africa ... Mouths open wide; they were pretending that they did not really know what horrors these ships were going to spread. When the ships returned, packed with slaves and unimaginable booty, they shut down their brains, claimed ignorance once again, attributing thriving of their cities and states to some “Western ingenuity, enterprising spirit and hard work,” but definitely not to terror, rape and appalling plunder of the world.

Throughout the history, holocausts have been performed, again and again, all over Africa, in the Middle East, in Latin America, Caribbean, sub-Continent, and Asia Pacific, even in Oceania.

The Westerners never lifted a finger to stop crimes that their states have been committing! As long as they were getting fat, why should they? Their servile and cowardly intellectuals are still refusing, with some tiny exceptions that do not constitute even 1 percent, to depict gruesome destruction, humiliation and torment of “the others”.

Christianity (even its non-religious forms called “secularism” or “atheism”) has been spreading intolerance, bigoted dogmas, exclusivism and complexes of superiority. It offered justification; it even inspired the crusades, colonial expansionism, mass murder as well as destruction of entire local cultures.

And yet, the same bandit nations, the same cowardly but sadistic culture, the same perverse religion, are still clinging to power, still torturing and murdering the millions.

War after war, genocide after genocide, the Westerners are still playing dumb! They refuse to acknowledge whet they are doing to the world.

When over 100 French people died during a bizarre recent string of attacks in Paris (who was behind them? West’s allies - jihadists, or maybe their own establishment?), Europeans began mourning their own victims – and pointing fingers at “the others”. People all over the world, either too scared to say “no” or too brainwashed as well, began expressing solidarity with the French nation.

After all, refugees were only escaping their countries that were ruined and plundered by both Europe and the United States!

But this is not how a common European was instructed to see the world.

The common European and North American is much more submissive to the regime, than a common inhabitant of any other part of the world. He or she learns what is required to be learned, listens attentively what the media/propaganda people digest and serve. Debates are almost always within the permitted framework.

The dumber they, the Westerners, are, the more self-assured and arrogant their worldview. You see people like this in a pub, but you also see them controlling all international organizations, even the UN agencies. Those big, beefy, tall Germans, Scandinavians, North Americans, Brits - speaking with air of a stone superiority to those “agile Asians, clumsy Africans and insecure Arabs”!

No apologies, no remorse, no grand plan for how to reverse the flow, how to return at least some part of what had been stolen and how to stop murdering.

Yes, over 100 people died in Paris. Right before that, almost 50 died in Beirut, Lebanon. While thousands are dying in Yemen, every month... While 17,000 already vanished in Iran – victims of West-sponsored terrorism... While hundreds of thousands have been dying in Libya and Syria... While millions have been dying in Somalia and Iraq... While some 10 millions already died in a looted and raped DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo) … All of them victims of Western assaults and banditry or of Western-sponsored terrorism directly!

Can this planet be entrusted to those who watch crap on their television screens, day after day – both Hollywood propaganda production, and news propaganda briefings?

Can anything that comes from the West be taken seriously, after centuries of lies and murder?

Who is killing whom, lately? Who is behind what?

Ex-World Bank chief economist exposes “failure” of austerity, deregulation Nafeez Ahmed. Joseph Stiglitz, a senior OECD expert, slams OECD’s own policies to prevent global slowdown

In a little-known speech at the United Nations University, renowned Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz criticised Western approaches to addressing the global economic crisis for being obsessed with market solutions that cannot work.

Describing standard neoclassical and behavioural models of economics as “wrong” on the basis of new advances in economic research, Stiglitz blamed ongoing economic stagnation on the so-called “Washington Consensus”?—?a set of neoliberal policies advocated most strongly by the US and Britain.

The Washington Consensus (WC) consists of a string of interlinked policies requiring reductions in public spending; rampant deregulation to reduce restrictions on banks, corporations and other financial actors; extensive privatisation of social and public services; and liberalisation based on reducing taxes, tariffs and non-tarrif barriers to trade.

All this is believed to drive growth and enhance the distribution of wealth.

In reality, as Stiglitz told an audience at the UN University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research, it has done the opposite.

“War Is a Racket” James Albertini – TRANSCEND Media Service. 19 Oct. 2015

The U.S. military receives more funding than the rest of the 10 largest militaries in the world combined (China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, U.K., France, Japan, India, Germany & South Korea): $1.3 trillion dollars per year.

These figures do not include additional military-related spending by the VA, CIA, Homeland Security, Energy, Justice or State Departments, nor interest payments on past military spending, which combine to raise the true cost of U.S. militarism to about $1.3 trillion per year, or one thirteenth of the U.S. economy.

War Is A Crime: Record U.S. Military Budget

Syria

That the United States got involved in Syria in 2006 is revealed in WikiLeaks. That the Pentagon was intent on overthrowing the Syrian government in 2001 is revealed by the Donald Rumsfeld memo shown to Wesley Clark, and by Tony Blair in 2010.

That misdirection also facilitates leaving out of the story the U.S. brushing aside of a peace process proposed by Russia in 2012.

Quoting Obama on a 2013 proposal for a "targeted military strike" blatantly avoids Seymour Hersh's report on the massive bombing campaign Obama had planned.

At least as early as 2001, the United States had the Syrian government on a list of governments targeted for overthrow.

In 2003, the United States threw the Middle East into a whole new sort of turmoil with its invasion of Iraq. It created sectarian divisions, and fueled and armed and facilitated the organization of violent groups.

At least as early as 2006, the United States had people in Syria working for the overthrow of the government.

The U.S. response to the Arab Spring, and the U.S.-led overthrow of the Libyan government made matters worse. ISIS was developing long before it burst into the news, its leaders organizing in U.S. prison camps in Iraq. The region was heavily armed with weapons from outside the region, primarily from the United States.

In 2012, Russia proposed a peace-process that would have included President Bashar al-Assad stepping down, but the U.S. brushed the idea aside without any serious consideration, suffering under the delusion that Assad would be violently overthrown very soon, and preferring a violent solution as more likely to remove the Russian influence and military -- and perhaps also due to the general U.S. preference for violence driven by its weapons industry corruption.

Seymour Hersh would later reveal that the U.S. plan had been for a massive bombing campaign. And Robert Parry, among others, would report on the debunking of White House lies about the chemical weapons attack. While Syria might have been guilty, the White House almost certainly did not know that, and the U.S. public seemed to recognize that even such guilt would not justify entering the war.

What compelled Obama to accept diplomacy as the last resort in 2013 was the public's and Congress's refusal to allow war. But Obama went right on arming and training fighters in the Syrian war, and sending more troops back into Iraq.

When ISIS burst onto the scene it openly begged the United States to attack it, viewing this as a huge recruitment opportunity. The United States obliged, attacking ISIS from the air in Iraq and Syria (and getting numerous allies to do so as well), in addition to continuing its arming and training operations -- now supposedly aimed at both ISIS and Assad. ISIS thrived, as did various anti-Asad groups. Turkey joined in by attacking Kurds rather than ISIS or Assad. Russia joined in by bombing ISIS and anti-government groups in Syria. This dangerously increased already high tension between Russia and the United States, as Russia intends to keep the Syrian government from being overthrown, and the United States intends to overthrow it

Mass Killing is the American Way What Obama and others in the Washington political establishment appear oblivious to is the profound nature of state violence in the US. America is a state whose official use of mass violence is endemic. The heinous targeting of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, is testament to that.

However, what about the thousands of innocent people who are killed each year around the world from American warplanes and aerial drones? In the bombing of the Kunduz hospital by US forces this week, the medical staff said they had repeatedly phoned through to the American military to tell them that the hospital had been hit. But the air strikes continued for another 30 minutes, repeatedly. The United Nations has since condemned the attack as a war crime.

Obama has previously even bragged that his military forces have bombed seven countries since he took office. They include Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya where American military have killed tens of thousands of civilians in a so-called “war on terror” over the past 14 years.

Obama has arrogated the executive power to draw up assassination targets in any part of the world. Under his orders and without any judicial oversight, US drones have killed hundreds of terror “suspects” in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Many of the victims have been later found to be innocent civilians.

Chris Hedges: What It Means to Be a Socialist Chris Hedges gave this speech Sunday at a Santa Ana, Calif., event sponsored by the Green Party of Orange County.

We live in a revolutionary moment. The disastrous economic and political experiment that attempted to organize human behavior around the dictates of the global marketplace has failed. The promised prosperity that was to have raised the living standards of workers through trickle-down economics has been exposed as a lie. A tiny global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth, while the engine of unfettered corporate capitalism plunders resources, exploits cheap, unorganized labor and creates pliable, corrupt governments that abandon the common good to serve corporate profit.

The relentless drive by the fossil fuel industry for profits is destroying the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species. And no mechanisms to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault are left within the structures of power, which have surrendered to corporate control. The citizen has become irrelevant. He or she can participate in heavily choreographed elections, but the demands of corporations and banks are paramount.

We will, as Friedrich Engels wrote, make a transition to either socialism or barbarism. If we do not dismantle global capitalism we will descend into the Hobbesian chaos of failed states, mass migrations—which we are already witnessing—and endless war. Populations, especially in the global South, will endure misery and high mortality rates caused by collapsing ecosystems and infrastructures on a scale not seen since perhaps the black plague. There can be no accommodation with global capitalism. We will overthrow this system or be crushed by it. And at this moment of crisis we need to remind ourselves what being a socialist means and what it does not mean.

First and foremost, all socialists are unequivocal anti-militarists and anti-imperialists. They understand that there is no genuine social, political, economic or cultural reform as long as the militarists and their corporatist allies in the war industry continue to loot and pillage the state budget, leaving the poor to go hungry, workingmen and -women in distress, the infrastructure to collapse and social services to be slashed in the name of austerity.

The psychosis of permanent war, which infected the body politic after World War I with the internal and external war on communism, and which today has mutated into the war on terror, is used by the state to strip us of civil liberties, redirect our resources to the war machine and criminalize democratic dissent.

We have squandered trillions of dollars and resources in endless and futile wars, from Vietnam to the Middle East, at a time of ecological and fiscal crisis. The folly of endless war is one of the signs of a dying civilization. One F-22 Raptor fighter plane costs $350 million. We have 187 of them. One Tomahawk cruise missile costs $1.41 million. We fired 161 of them when we attacked Libya. This missile attack on Libya alone cost us a quarter of a billion dollars. We spend an estimated $1.7 trillion a year on war, far more than the official 54 percent of discretionary spending, or roughly $600 billion. If we don’t break the back of the war machine, profound change will be impossible.

The human cost has been horrendous. Over 1 million dead in Iraq. Millions more are displaced or are refugees. Iraq will never be reconstituted as a unified state. And it was our war industry that created the mess. We attacked a country that did not threaten us, and had no intention of threatening its neighbors, and destroyed one of the most modern infrastructures in the Middle East. We brought not only terror and death—including the Shiite death squads we armed and trained—but power outages, food shortages and the collapse of basic services, from garbage collection to sewer and water treatment. We dismantled Iraq’s institutions, disbanded its security forces, threw its health service into crisis and engineered massive poverty and unemployment. And out of the chaos rose insurgents, gangsters, kidnapping rings, jihadists and rogue paramilitary groups—including our hired mercenaries, like [the current army of] Iraq.

Foreign battlefields are laboratories for the architects of industrial slaughter. They perfect the tools of control and annihilation on the demonized and the destitute. But these tools eventually make their way back to the heart of empire. As the corporatists and the militarists disembowel the nation, rendering our manufacturing centers boarded-up wastelands and tossing our citizens into poverty and despair, the methods of subjugation familiar to those on the outer reaches migrate back to us—wholesale surveillance, indiscriminate use of lethal force in the streets of our cities against unarmed citizens, a stripping away of our civil liberties, a dysfunctional court system, drones, arbitrary arrest, detention and mass incarceration.

Democracy is snuffed out. As the German socialist Karl Liebknecht said during the First World War: “The main enemy is at home.” We will destroy the engines of endless war and shut down the war profiteers or we will become the next victims; indeed many in our marginal communities already are its victims.

You cannot be a socialist and an imperialist. You cannot, as Bernie Sanders has done, support the Obama administration’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and be a socialist. You cannot, as Sanders has done, vote for every military appropriations bill, including every bill and resolution that empowers and sanctions Israel to carry out its slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people, and be a socialist. And you cannot laud, as Sanders has done, military contractors because they bring jobs to your state. Sanders may have the rhetoric of inequality down, but he is a full-fledged member of the Democratic Caucus, which kneels before the war industry and their lobbyists. And no genuine grass-roots movement will ever be born within the bowels of the Democratic Party establishment, which is currently attempting to shut down Sanders to make sure its anointed candidate is the nominee. No elected official dares to challenge any weapons system, no matter how costly or redundant. And Sanders, who votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time, steers clear of confronting the master of war.

There is a reason no establishment politician, including Sanders, dares say a word against the war industry. If you do, you end up like Ralph Nader, tossed into the political wilderness. Nader was not afraid to speak this truth. And it is in the wilderness, I am afraid, that real socialists must for the moment reside. Socialists understand that if we do not dismantle the war industry, nothing, absolutely nothing, will change; indeed, things will only get worse.

War is a business. Imperial wars seize natural resources on behalf of corporations and ensure the profits of the arms industry. This is as true in Iraq as it was in our campaigns of genocide against Native Americans. And, as A. Philip Randolph said, it is only when it is impossible to profit from war that wars will be dramatically curtailed, if not stopped.

War, wrapped in the cant of nationalism and the euphoria that comes with the giddy celebration of power and violence, is used by ruling elites to thwart and destroy the aspirations of workingmen and -women and distract us from our disempowerment.

Eugene V. Debs--“I have been accused of obstructing the war,” Debs said in court. “I admit it. I abhor war. I would oppose war if I stood alone.”

Debs, who would spend 32 months in prison, until 1921, also delivered to many a socialist credo at his sentencing after being found guilty of violating the Espionage Act:

“Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

The redirecting of national frustrations and emotions into the struggle against a common enemy, the cant of patriotism, the endemic racism that is the fuel of all ideologies that sustain war, the false bonding that comes with the sense of comradeship, seduces those on the margins of society. They feel in wartime that they belong. They feel they have a place. They are offered the chance to be heroes. And off they march like sheep to the slaughter. By the time they find out, it is too late.

“War,” as Randolph Bourne wrote, “is the health of the state.” It allows the state to accrue to itself power and resources that in peacetime a citizenry would never permit. And that is why the war state, like the one we live in, has to make certain that we are always afraid.

The manufacturing of weapons systems and the waging of war is today the chief activity of the state. It is no longer one among other means of advancing the national interest, as Simone Weil pointed out, but has become the sole national interest.

The radicals, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or Wobblies, founded by Mother Jones and Big Bill Haywood in 1905, were destroyed by the state. Department of Justice agents in 1912 made simultaneous raids on 48 IWW meeting halls across the country and arrested 165 IWW union leaders. One hundred one went to trial, including Big Bill Haywood, who testified for three days. One of the IWW leaders told the court:

"This war is a business man’s war and we don’t see why we should go out and get shot in order to save the lovely state of affairs that we now enjoy."

The Wobblies once led strikes involving hundreds of thousands of workers and preached an uncompromising doctrine of class warfare. It went the way of the passenger pigeon. The Socialist Party by 1912 had 126,000 members, 1,200 officeholders in 340 municipalities, and 29 English and 22 foreign-language weeklies, along with three English and six foreign-language dailies. It included in its ranks tenant farmers, garment workers, railroad workers, coal miners, hotel and restaurant workers, dock workers and lumberjacks. It too was liquidated by the state. Socialist leaders were jailed or deported. Socialist publications such as The Masses and Appeal to Reason were banned. The assault, aided later by McCarthyism, has left us without the vocabulary to make sense of our own reality, to describe the class war being waged against us by our corporate oligarchs.

We will regain this militancy, this uncompromising commitment to socialism, or the system the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism” will establish the most efficient security and surveillance state in human history and a species of neofeudalism. We must stop pouring our energy into mainstream political campaigns. The game is rigged.

We will rebuild our radical movements or become hostages to the capitalists and the war industry. Fear is the only language the power elite understands. This is a dark fact of human nature. It is why Richard Nixon was our last liberal president. Nixon was not a liberal [personally]. He was devoid of empathy and lacked a conscience. But he was frightened of movements. You do not make your enemy afraid by selling out. You make your enemy afraid by refusing to submit, by fighting for your vision and by organizing. It is not our job to take power. It is our job to build movements to keep power in check. Without these movements nothing is possible.

“You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you’ll do anything to get your freedom; then you’ll get it,” Malcolm X said. “When you get that kind of attitude, they’ll label you as a ‘crazy Negro,’ or they’ll call you a “crazy nigger”—they don’t say Negro. Or they’ll call you an extremist or a subversive, or seditious, or a red, or a radical. But when you stay radical long enough, and get enough people to be like you, you’ll get your freedom."

The New Deal—which as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a charter member of the oligarchic class, said—saved capitalism, was put in place because socialists were strong and a serious threat. The oligarchs understood that with the breakdown of capitalism—something I expect we will again witness in our lifetimes—there was a real possibility of a socialist revolution. They were terrified they would lose their wealth and power.

In other words, Roosevelt went to his fellow oligarchs and said hand over some of your money or you will lose all your money in a revolution. And his fellow capitalists complied. And that is how the government created 15 million jobs, Social Security, unemployment benefits and public works projects. The capitalists did not do this because the suffering of the masses moved them. They did this because they were scared. And they were scared of radicals and socialists.

George Bernard Shaw got it right in his play “Major Barbara.” The greatest crime is poverty. It is the crime every socialist is dedicated to eradicating.

We must stop looking for our salvation in strong leaders. Strong people, as Ella Baker said, do not need strong leaders. Politicians, even good politicians, play the game of compromise and are too often seduced by the privileges of power. Sanders, from all I can tell, began his political life as a socialist in the 1960s when this was hardly a bold political statement, but quickly figured out he was not going to have a seat at the table if he remained one. He wants his seniority in the Senate. He wants his committee chairmanships. He wants his ability to retain his seat unchallenged. This was no doubt politically astute. But in this process he sold us out.

Integrity and courage are powerful weapons. We have to learn how to use them. We have to stand up for what we believe in. And we have to accept the risks and even the ridicule that comes with this stance. We will not prevail any other way.

As a socialist I am not concerned with what is expedient or what is popular. I am concerned with what is right. I am concerned with holding fast to the core ideals of socialism, if for no other reason than keeping this option alive for future generations. And these ideals are the only ones that make possible a better world.

If you will not call for an arms embargo along with the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, you are not a socialist. If you will not demand we dismantle our military establishment, which is managing the government’s wholesale surveillance of every citizen and storing all our personal information in perpetuity in government computer banks, and if you will not abolish the for-profit arms industry, you are not a socialist.

If you will not call for the prosecution of those leaders, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who engage in aggressive acts of pre-emptive war, which under post-Nuremberg laws is a criminal act, you are not a socialist. If you will not stand with the oppressed across the globe you are not a socialist.

Socialists do not pick and choose whom among the oppressed it is convenient to support. Socialists understand that you stand with all the oppressed or none of the oppressed, that this is a global fight for life against global corporate tyranny. We will win only when we stand together, when we see the struggle of workingmen in Greece, Spain and Egypt as our own struggle.

If you will not call for full employment and unionized workplaces you are not a socialist. If you will not call for inexpensive mass transit, especially in impoverished communities, you are not a socialist. If you will not call for universal, single-payer health care and a banning of for-profit health care corporations you are not a socialist. If you will not raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour you are not a socialist.

If you are not willing to provide a weekly income of $600 to the unemployed, the disabled, stay-at-home parents, the elderly and those unable to work you are not a socialist. If you will not repeal anti-union laws, like the Taft-Hartley Act, and trade agreements from NAFTA to the TPP and CAFTA, you are not a socialist. If you will not guarantee all Americans a pension in old age you are not a socialist.

If you will not support two years of paid maternity leave, as well as shorter workweeks with no loss in pay and benefits, you are not a socialist. If you will not repeal the Patriot Act and Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act as well as halt government spying on citizens, along with mass incarceration, you are not a socialist.

If you will not put into place laws that prohibit all forms of male violence against women and criminalize the trafficking and pimping out of prostituted girls and women, while not criminalizing the exploited girls and women, you are not a socialist. If you do not support a woman’s right to control her own body you are not a socialist. If you do not support full equality for our GBLT community you are not a socialist.

If you will not declare global warming a national and global emergency and divert our energy and resources to saving the planet through public investment in renewable energy and an end to our reliance on fossil fuels you are not a socialist. If you will not nationalize public utilities, including the railroads, energy companies and banks, you are not a socialist. If you will not support government funding for the arts and public broadcasting to create places where creativity, self-expression and voices of dissent can be heard and seen you are not a socialist.

If you will not terminate our nuclear weapons programs and build a nuclear-free world you are not a socialist. If you will not demilitarize our police, meaning that police no longer carry weapons when they patrol our streets but rely on specialized armed units that have to be authorized case-by-case to use lethal force, you are not a socialist.

If you will not support government training and rehabilitation programs for the poor and those in our prisons, along with the abolition of the death penalty, you are not a socialist.

If you will not grant full citizenship to undocumented workers you are not a socialist. If you do not declare a moratorium on foreclosures and bank repossessions you are not a socialist.

If you will not provide free education from day care to university, and forgive all student debt, you are not a socialist. And if you will not provide free, state-run mental health care, especially for those now caged in our prisons, you are not a socialist. If you will not dismantle our empire and bring our soldiers and Marines home you are not a socialist.

Socialists do not sacrifice the weak and the vulnerable, especially children, on the altars of profit. And the measure of a successful society for a socialist is not the GDP or the highs of the stock market but the right of everyone, especially children, never go to bed hungry, to live in safety and security, to be nurtured and educated, and to grow up fulfill his or her potential. Work is not only about a wage, it is about dignity and a sense of self-worth.

I am not naive about the forces arrayed against us. I understand the difficulty of our struggle. But we will never succeed if we attempt to accommodate the current structures of power. Our strength lies in our steadfastness and our integrity. It lies in our ability to hold fast to our ideals, as well as our willingness to sacrifice for those ideals. We must refuse to cooperate.... We must rebel.

I cannot promise you we will win. I cannot promise you we will even survive as a species. But I can promise you that an open and sustained defiance of global capitalism and the merchants of death, along with the building of a socialist movement, is our only hope. I am a parent, as are many of you. We have betrayed our children. We have squandered their future. And if we rise up, even if we fail, future generations, and especially those who are most precious to us, will be able to say we tried, that we stood up and fought for life. The call to resistance, which will require civil disobedience and jail time, is finally a call to the moral life. Resistance is not about what we achieve, but about what it allows us to become. In the end, I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.

A combination of imperial hubris and ignorance has led Washington to believe it could overthrow any government that was disobedient or uncooperative.

President Bashar Assad Is No Great Satan The Syrian war began almost five years ago by the US, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Syria’s Iranian and Russian-backed government. The result so far: 250,000 dead, 9.5 million refugees flooding Europe and Syria shattered.

This is nothing new: the first CIA coup attempt to overthrow a Syrian ruler Gen. Husni Zaim was in 1949.

A combination of imperial hubris and ignorance has led Washington to believe it could overthrow any government that was disobedient or uncooperative. Syria was chosen as the latest target of regime change because the Assad regime – a recognized, legitimate government and UN member –was a close ally of America’s Great Satan, Iran.

A highly effective propaganda war waged against Syria and Russia by the US, French and British media has so demonized Syria’s President Assad that Washington will find it very difficult to negotiate or include him in a peace deal. The US made the same stupid mistake with Afghanistan’s Taliban and now is paying the price.

President Bashar Assad is no Great Satan. He was a British-trained eye specialist forced into the dynastic leadership of Syria by the car crash that killed his elder brother. The Assad regime has plenty of nasty officials but in my long regional experience Syria is no worse than such brutal US allies as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Uzbekistan.

Vlad Putin keeps his game tightly under control. I’m not so sure about the Obama White House and its confused advisors. Better make a deal with Assad, a natural US ally, and end this crazy war before Sen. John McCain and his Republican crusader pals really do start World War III.

Washington refuses Russia any legitimate sphere of influence in Syria, though Moscow has had a small base in Tartus on the coast for over 40 years. This Russian logistics base is now being expanded and guarded by a ground force estimated at a reinforced company.

Howls of protest are coming from Washington and its allies over Russia’s military intervention. Don’t we hate it when others do exactly what we do. The US has over 800 bases around the globe. French troops operate in parts of Africa. Both nations stage military interventions when they see fit.

Video: The Truth About Refugees

A Refugee Crisis Made in America Will the U.S. accept responsibility for the humanitarian consequences of Washington-manufactured wars?

I thought to myself, “What kind of monsters have we become.” And in truth we had become monsters. Bipartisan monsters wrapped in the American flag. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said that killing 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions was “worth it.” She is now a respected elder statesman close to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Overwhelmed by thousands of would-be travelers, Hungary suspended train service heading towards Western Europe while countries like Serbia and Macedonia deployed their military and police along their borders in a failed attempt to completely block refugees. Italy and Greece have been overwhelmed by migrants arriving by sea. Germany, to its credit, is intending to process up to 800,000 refugee and asylum applications, mostly from Syria, while Austria and Sweden have also indicated their willingness to accept many more. Immediate neighbors of the zone of conflict, notably Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are hosting more than three million of those who are displaced, but the wealthy Arab Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia have done little or nothing to help.

Many of the would-be migrants are young men looking for work in Europe, a traditional enterprise, but most of the new arrivals are families escaping the horrors of war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Their plight has been described in the media in graphic terms, families arriving with nothing and expecting nothing, fleeing even worse conditions back at home.

The United States has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem, possibly realizing that allowing in a lot of displaced foreigners at a time when there is an increasingly heated debate over immigration policy in general just might not be a good move, politically speaking. But it should perhaps be paying some attention to what caused the problem in the first place, a bit of introspection that is largely lacking both from the mainstream media and from politicians.

Indeed, I would assign to Washington most of the blame for what is happening right now. Since folks inside the beltway are particularly given to making judgements based on numerical data they might be interested in the toll exacted through America’s global war on terror. By one not unreasonable estimate, as many as four million Muslims have died or been killed as a result of the ongoing conflicts that Washington has either initiated or been party to since 2001.

Significantly, the countries that have generated most of the refugees are all places where the United States has invaded, overthrown governments, supported insurgencies, or intervened in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq created a power vacuum that has empowered terrorism in the Arab heartland. Supporting rebels in Syria has piled Pelion on Ossa. Afghanistan continues to bleed 14 years after the United States arrived and decided to create a democracy. Libya, which was relatively stable when the U.S. and its allies intervened, is now in chaos, with its disorder spilling over into sub-Saharan Africa.

Though I recognize that the refugee problem cannot be completely blamed on only one party, many of those millions would be alive and the refugees would for the most part be in their homes if it had not been for the catastrophic interventionist policies pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States.

It is perhaps past time for Washington to begin to become accountable for what it does. The millions of people living rough or in tents, if they are lucky, need help and it is not satisfactory for the White House to continue with its silence, a posture that suggests that the refugees are somehow somebody else’s problem. They are, in fact, our problem. A modicum of honesty from President Barack Obama would be appreciated, perhaps an admission that things have not exactly worked out as planned by his administration and that of his predecessor. And money is needed. Washington throws billions of dollars to fight wars it doesn’t have to fight and to prop up feckless allies worldwide. For a change it might be refreshing to see tax money doing some good, working with the most affected states in the Middle East and Europe to resettle the homeless and making an honest effort to come to negotiated settlements to end the fighting in Syria and Yemen, both of which can only have unspeakably bad outcomes if they continue on their current trajectories.

Cuba's health system Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has achieved health outcomes that are the envy of the Third World. It has one of the lowest infant and young child (under age 5) mortality rates and longest life expectancies in the Americas, outperforming the U.S. on all three of these indicators[6] (although the maternal mortality rate is still considerably higher than that in rich countries[7]). This year, Cuba also became the first nation in the world that, according to the World Health Organization, had eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.[8] How has a Third World country, subjected to decades of economic sanctions, accomplished this?

Part of the answer lies in the post-revolutionary government’s establishment of a comprehensive, universal health care system — structured around primary and preventive care — with a network of physicians, nurses and home health workers generally living in the same community as their patients.

To ensure adequate staffing for this initiative, the government invested heavily in medical education, which resulted in Cuba having nearly three times as many physicians per capita as the U.S.[10] This also enabled the country to send a self-reported total of 130,000 of its own health professionals to provide low- or no-cost medical care to patients in other Third World countries, with nearly 37,000 working in 70 countries as of 2008.[11] Cuba was among the first to respond to the past year’s Ebola epidemic, sending more doctors to Sierra Leone than any country besides Great Britain.

The country’s universal vaccination programs eradicated many previously commonplace childhood and tropical diseases, including polio, measles and diphtheria.[13] Many of the vaccines, as well as other medications, are manufactured by a domestic pharmaceutical industry that was developed, in part, in response to the U.S. embargo. This biotechnology sector employs about 10,000 people and manufactures most of the medicines used in the country, including 33 vaccines, 33 cancer drugs, 18 drugs to treat cardiovascular disease and seven drugs for other diseases.[14],[15] At one point, Cuba was the leading provider of pharmaceuticals to Latin America and also supplied medicines to several Asian countries.[16] Its medical infrastructure is also relatively advanced, with 22 medical campuses and academic journals in all of the major medical specialties.

Much of the progress made in improving the well-being of the Cuban population also traces back to policies independent of the health care sector, including universal education, guaranteed nutrition, clean drinking water and modern sanitation.[18] Perhaps more important were the Cuban government’s egalitarian economic policies that dramatically reduced the wealth inequalities that had existed prior to the revolution.[19] An extensive body of research shows that income inequality is closely associated with, and likely a critical determinant of, population health, and Cuba is no exception.

What makes Cuba’s health advancements all the more remarkable is that they were achieved under more than five decades of a stifling economic embargo. In 1962, three years after the Cuban revolution, the U.S. instituted the embargo to cripple Cuba’s economy,[21] in the hope that the pain inflicted on the Cuban people would spur them to overthrow the government. (The embargo was just one of several methods employed by the U.S. to do away with the Cuban government; see text box below for more details.)

In a comprehensive 1997 report documenting the impact of the U.S. embargo of Cuba, the American Association for World Health (AAWH) observed that it was “one of the few embargoes of recent years … that explicitly include[d] foods and medicines in its virtual ban on bilateral commercial ties.”[22] The report found that the tightening of the embargo during the 1990s had resulted in shortages of drugs, water treatment supplies and food, leading to malnutrition and waterborne diseases, among other problems.[23] The AAWH concluded that “[a] humanitarian catastrophe [resulting from the embargo] has been averted only because the Cuban government has maintained a high level of budgetary support for a health care system designed to deliver primary and preventive health care to all of its citizens.”

Amnesty International followed the AAWH report with its own 2009 analysis of how the embargo had affected the “economic and social rights” of the Cuban people.[25] The report documented numerous instances in which Cuba was unable to import a range of medical supplies, including HIV and psychiatric medicines, vaccines and syringes, medical devices, diagnostic equipment, condoms, and pediatric nutritional products.

The U.S. has long been isolated from the rest of the world on its policy towards Cuba. Every year since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly (188-2 was last year’s tally) in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. to end the embargo.[27] Nevertheless, The New York Times claimed in an editorial last year that it was not the U.S. but Cuba that suffered from a “beleaguered international standing.”

Puerto Rico: a US debt colony hounded by hedge funds On August 1 [2015], Puerto Rico defaulted on part of its enormous $72 billion debt, paying back only $628,000 on a $58 million loan that was due at the start of the month. The default, which marks the most serious credit event in US state and municipal bond markets since the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013, has led many to draw obvious comparisons to Greece – and understandably so.

Like Greece, Puerto Rico has been mired in a protracted recession that has seen unemployment rise, living standards fall and countless people leave their homeland in search of better life opportunities abroad. Like Greece, Puerto Rico is buckling under an unsustainable debt load that its leaders claim “cannot be paid.” And like Greece, Puerto Rico is effectively a ward of the larger union of which it is a part: Greece of the Eurozone and Puerto Rico of the United States.

But for all these obvious similarities, there is one puzzling difference: while Puerto Rico was allowed to default on its debts without drawing much ire – or interest – from the US government, Greece has not been able to do the same. Why was Puerto Rico allowed to default while Greece was not? The answer is simple: first follow the rules, then follow the money – and you will see.

When it comes to the rules, part of the answer surely lies in the peculiar institutional arrangement Puerto Rico finds itself in. As a commonwealth – or a de facto colony – of the United States, Puerto Rico and its public corporations can neither turn to the IMF for a bailout loan, as nominally “sovereign” nations like Greece and Portugal have done in recent years, nor file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the US, as state municipalities like Detroit and Stockton, CA. have...

What most Puerto Rican savers and pensioners did not know was that their island’s awkward legal status under US law had allowed the big players on Wall Street to effectively turn their homeland into a casino. Because Puerto Rico’s government was in dire need of external financing, and because its public bonds are governed by a so-called “triple-exemption rule” that makes interest paid on them free of all city, state and federal taxes in the mainland United States, the banks saw a potential boom market...

Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, and many others rushed to underwrite massive loans in the form of bond purchases in order to then turn around and sell those bonds to hedge funds and other investors in the US and around the world, thereby raking in tremendous profits on the underwriting fees.

10 Things Europe Does Way Better Than America Europe is way ahead of the United States. From health care to civil liberties to sexual attitudes, one can make a strong case for “European exceptionalism.”

1. Lower Incarceration Rates--Benjamin Franklin famously said that those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

2. Less Violent Crime Than the U.S.--in 2012, the U.S. had a homicide rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people compared to only 0.3 per 100,000 in Iceland, 0.7 per 100,000 in Sweden, 0.8 per 100,000 in Denmark and Spain, 0.9 per 100,000 in Italy, Austria and the Netherlands, 1.0 per 100,000 in France, and 1.2 per 100,000 in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland.

3. Better Sex Education Programs, Healthier Sexual Attitudes--European countries with comprehensive sex-ed programs and liberal sexual attitudes actually have lower rates of teen pregnancy and STDs.

4. Anti-GMO Movement Much More Widespread--in Europe, GMO restrictions are much more widespread. France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Greece are among the countries that have either total or partial bans on GMOs. And in Italy, 16 of the country’s 20 regions have declared themselves to be GMO-free when it comes to agriculture.

5. Saner Approaches to Abortion-- in many European countries, most politicians are smart enough to share Bill Clinton’s view that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” And the ironic thing is that European countries that tend to be sexually liberal also tend to have lower abortion rates.

6. More Vacation Time-- the U.S. has no federal law mandating any time off. And that’s quite a contrast to Europe: CEPR reported that government-mandated paid vacation time in Europe includes 35 days off in Austria, 31 days off in Italy and France, 34 days off in Germany and Spain, 30 days off in Belgium and 29 days off in the Republic of Ireland.

7. Universal Healthcare--every developed country in Western Europe has universal health care.

8. Greater Life Expectancy-- in McDowell County [Virginia], the average male dies 18 years younger than the average male in Switzerland.

9. Mass Transit Systems--Europe, however, has some of the best, most extensive public transportation systems in the world. And there are many advantages to that: less congestion, reduced air pollution, health benefits (walking is great exercise), a vibrant street scene/sidewalk culture and more productivity in the workplace, and reduces the no. of DUIs.

10. Europeans More Likely to Speak Foreign Languages--[Americans are provincial, narrow minded, and stupid.]

And, that is not including free higher education.

US Weapons Exporters Lead World in War Profiteering finds that the United States is behind one-third of all equipment and weapons exports world-wide... in 2014, global "defense" trade surpassed $64.4 billion

The Shocking Tax Loophole for Corporations that Commit Crimes This is how taxpayers end up subsidizing corporate criminals. Jim Hightower

Video: 9/11 Exposed - 2nd Edition (2015) Full Documentary Film

A Quaker Perspective on the Possibility of U.S. Strikes in Syria the Quaker testimonies-- simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship... When one of the children asked me about Syria after meeting, I told her that there had been an extreme civil conflict going for more than two years and that many people were losing their homes and being killed. She asked me, “Why would America choose to destroy even more instead of trying to help?”

Robert Reich: 3 Biggest Myths Blinding Us to Economic Truth The “job creators” are CEOs, corporations and the rich, whose taxes must be low in order to induce them to create more jobs... The critical choice is between the “free market” or “government.”... We should worry most about the size of government


TORTURE, U.S. Abu Ghraib et al.
Iraq & Empire, Why? full explanation of why the U.S. is willing to go to war over oil
U.S. War Crimes


""The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not an isolated episode," writees Kinzer. "It was the culmination of a 110-year period during which Americans overthrew fourteen governments that displeased them for various ideological, political, and economic reasons" (Amitabh Pal. "From the Halls of Montezuma..." The Progressive, Sep 2006: 41-44).


".. more than 50 of [Mexico's] nationals [are] on U.S. death rows.. Late last month, the World Court in the Hague found that the United States violated the rights of these nationals and ordered American authorities to provide meaningful review of the sentences" (Patrick Timmons. "The Politics of Death." Texas Observer, 4/9/04, 18)


"Washington has resorted to two shameful initiatives [in Iraq]: First it reactivated a U.S. Army reconnaissance unit accued of war crimes during the Vietnam War to hunt down and kill suspected saboteurs; second, it hired a South African security firm with ties to apartheid-era death squads to manage a pipeline-protection service.

"Both of these efforts are part of a campaign known as Task Force Shield, intended to stop sabotage of the 300-mile pipeline carrying crude oil from fields near Kirkuk in norther Iraq to the Turkish border...

"...the Tiger Force.. snipers flew over the pipelines in.. Black Hawk helicopters and fired at suspected saboteurs from distances of more than 1.5 miles... questionalbe practice of shooting people before they can be identified" (Michael T. Klare. "Fighting for Oil--Still." The Nation, Apr. 19, 2004, 23).


"On February 29 [2004], Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first democratically elected president of Haiti, was deposed... by a U.S.-backed military force...

"The interim national government in Port-au-Prince has been handpicked by the U.S. government... including Colonel Henry Robert Marc-Charles, who was indicted for mass murder..." (Alan Pogue. "Haiti After the Coup." Texas Observer, 7/30/04: 16).


"...the "embedded" journalists joy-riding across the Kuwaiti border... their adrenaline-heavy, totally irrelevant reportage... the wowie-zowie enthusiasm of the "embeds"...

"...Al Jazeera has simply come much closer to doing its job as a news organizations than have CNN and all the rest... the American response to Al Jazeera... our military's killing of journalists from Al Jazeera and Dubai, and ..its attack on the hotel which was widely known to house journalists..." (David Theis. "The View From Doha." Texas Observer, 7/30/04: 24-25).


"American dereliction of duty in Iraq [has given] world terrorists recruiting posters... numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses that were part of systemic and illegal abuse inflicted on the detainees by American troops...

"...military commanders took months to begin their own investigation and then did little to end the abuses...

"...Rumsfeld's strategy... encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners...

"Neither Amnesty International nor Human Rights Watch has been allowed to enter and inspect Iraqi prisons under American control...

"...the Bush administration's excuse that the torturing of Iraqi prisoners by enlisted troops was the sin of "a few bad apples" reflected the "low regard for the law" that has marked every chapter of its war on terror" ("American Dereliction of Duty in Iraq Gives World Terrorists Recruiting Posters." Washington Spectator, June 1, 2004: 1-3).


"American Indians and Alaska Natives have higher mortality rates than the white population... have a higher death rate than the general population from alcoholism (770%), diabetes (420%), and suicide (190%)... the IHS [Indian Health Service] spends $1,600 per person per year for comprehensive health services... roughly 50 percent below per person expenditures by public and private health insurance plans (2003). The federal government spends more than $5,200 on each veteran... $3,803 for federal prisoners..." ("Health Status Should Lead to Hill Action." FCNL Indian Report, Spring, 2004: 1).


7 deadly spins:

Spin #1: The Sleeping Giant: The U.S. minds its own business, but the sleeping giant is eventually provoked.

Spin #2: Good Wars: Once forced into war, the U.S. only does so in the name of Democracy and justice.

Spin #3: U.S. vs. Them: Terrorists, evildoers and more-the U.S. has faced off against the worst humanity has to offer.

Spin #4: Support the Troops: No matter what we think, we all unite behind our troops once the fighting starts.

Spin #5: The Devil Made U.S. Do It: During war, even the U.S. has to play a little rough.

Spin #6: Surgical Strikes: Those billion-dollar weapons can differentiate between the guilty and the innocent.

Spin #7: Only Losers Commit War Crimes: Enemies of the U.S. must be brought to justice. (from the book The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda, By Mickey Z).


"How, they ask, can human rights violations in Kosovo justify the bombing of civilian targets while the trampling of those same rights in China, Russia or Palestine is deemed unworthy even of trade sanctions? It's a good question" (Paul Hockenos. "German Greens and Pax Europa." The Nation, July 19, 2004: 26).


"...The pattern of corruption is a very old one, well-known to the Founders of this nation, who had carefully studied the example of Rome: A powerful republic gives birth to an empire, which in turn destroys the republic. The emperor who rules by force abroad develops a taste for ruling his own people in the same manner.

"The [Bush] Administration's across-the-board hostility to the constraints of law, domestic and international, is not accidental. The constitutional structure that is the backbone of the republic is a stumbling block to the empire. The republic requires a single standard, to which all are subject -- the law. But the empire requires a double standard -- one set of regulations for others, and another set, or none, for the imperial ruler. In the imperial conception, "law" is a set of rules dictated by the ruler for everyone else to obey. In this conception, other countries are not permitted weapons of mass destruction, but the United States may have them (and use them to stop the others from getting them). Other countries' troops must obey the Geneva Conventions, but the United States is exempt. Other countries must wage war only defensively; the United States may do so pre-emptively" (Jonathan Schell. "Empire Without Law." The Nation, May 31, 2004: 7).


"...(Kerry did engage in some historical distortion, however, when he said the United States has a "time-honored tradition" of fighting wars of necessity. How about the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, and the first Gulf War, just to name a few?)" (Matthew Rothschild. "Kerry's Mistake." The Progressive, Sep. 2004: 4).


"The problem has its roots in a long-term American forgetfulness, going back to the acid fog in which the United States ended World War II. There was never a complete moral reckoning with the harsh momentum of that conflict's denouement -- how American leaders embraced a strategy of terror bombing, slaughtering whole urban populations, and how, finally, they ushered in the atomic age with the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Scholars have debated those questions, but politicians have avoided them, and most citizens have pretended they aren't really question at all. America's enduring assumptions about its own moral supremacy, its own altruism, its own exceptionalism, have hardly been punctured by consideration of the possibility that we, too, are capable of grave mistakes, terrible crimes...

""The past is never dead," William Faulkner said. "It isn't even past." How Americans remember their country's use of terror bombing affects how they think of terrorism" (James Carroll. "The Bush Crusade." The Nation, Sep. 20, 2004: 14-22).


"...US occupation powers have been unabashed in their efforts to steal money that is supposed to aid a war-ravaged people. The State Department has taken $184 million earmarked for drinking water projects and moved it to the budget for the lavish new US Embassy in Saddam's former palace... he is robbing Iraq's people, who, according to a recent study by Public Citizen, are facing "massive outbreaks of cholera, diarrhea, nausea and kidney stones" from drinking contaminated water...

"...if financial scandals made you blush, the entire reconstruction of Iraq would be pretty mortifying. From the start... it was treated as an ideological experiment in privatization...

"As a result, the reconstruction was seen not as a recovery from war but as an extension of the occupation, a foreign invasion of a different sort...

"...quoted on NPR's Marketplace, "At least 20 percent of US spending in Iraq is lost to corruption"...

"Rather than models of speed and efficiency, the contractors look more like overbilling, underperforming, lumbering beasts, barely able to move for fear of the hatred they have helped generate. The problems goes well beyond the latest reports of Halliburton drivers abandoning $85,000 trucks on the road because they don't carry spare tires. Private contractors are also accused of playing leadership roles in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib...

"...Senate Republicans just defeated an attempt to bar private contractors from interrogating prisoners and also voted down a proposal to impose stiffer penalties on contractors who overbill. Meanwhile, the White House is also trying to get immunity from prosecution for US contractors in Iraq..." (Naomi Klein. "Shameless in Iraq." The Nation, July 12, 2004: 14).


George W. Bush's September 21 speech to the United Nations, marked by an air of unreality and hypocrisy, was insulting to many other nations. Bush presented the United States as the world's premier social worker, leading the fight against AIDS, poverty, child trafficking, human cloning and genocide in Darfur. At best, the Administration has a mixed record in these areas, while the United States continues to give less overseas aid as a percentage of gross national income than any other industrialized country. Moreover, the Administration has focused virtually nonstop on terrorism and Iraq, even when other countries have wanted to talk about trade, economic development and other issues...

"The President's speech, with its grandiose claims of bringing liberty and democracy to the world, contrasted sharply with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's emphasis on the rule of law. "Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it," Annan said in remarks before Bush's speech, an implicit criticism of US actions. Annan's approach is far more likely to create the foundations for an international order that makes possible the spread of democracy than is a self-determined and selective American crusade" ("Bush Spins at the UN." The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 3).


"Imagine the scandal if a foreign government had for years funneled millions of dollars to political groups in the United States in an attempt to affect the outcome of a U.S. election. Even worse, what if some of the groups that received money had been involved in a failed coup attempt against a democratically elected U.S. president? Would the U.S. public not have a right to be outraged at the attempt to manipulate our political process?

"Of course we would -- which is why the people of Venezuela have a right to be outraged at the U.S. government's ongoing attempts to meddle in the electoral process in Venezuela" (Robert Jensen. "U.S. Supports Anti-democratic Forces in Venezuela Recall." http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-01.htm. 8-12-04).

"Hugo Chavez drives George Bush crazy. Maybe it's jealousy: Unlike Mr. Bush, Chavez, in Venezuela, won his Presidency by a majority of the vote.

"Or maybe it's the oil: Venezuela sits atop a reserve rivaling Iraq's. And Hugo thinks the US and British oil companies that pump the crude ought to pay more than a 16% royalty to his nation for the stuff. Hey, sixteen percent isn't even acceptable as a tip at a New York diner.

"Whatever it is, OUR President has decided that THEIR president has to go...

"Justice offered up to $67 million, of our taxpayer money, to ChoicePoint in a no-bid deal, for computer profiles with private information on every citizen of half a dozen nations. The choice of which nation's citizens to spy on caught my eye. While the September 11th highjackers came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the Arab Emirates, ChoicePoint's menu offered records on Venezuelans, Brazilians, Nicaraguans, Mexicans and Argentines...

"What do these nations have in common besides a lack of involvement in the September 11th attacks? Coincidentally, each is in the throes of major electoral contests in which the leading candidates -- presidents Lula Ignacio da Silva of Brazil, Nestor Kirschner of Argentina, Mexico City mayor Andres Lopez Obrador and Venezuela's Chavez -- have the nerve to challenge the globalization demands of George W. Bush...

"Here's what it comes down to: The Justice Department averts it's gaze from Saudi Arabia but shoplifts voter records in Venezuela. So it's only fair to ask: Is Mr. Bush fighting a war on terror -- or a war on democracy?" (Greg Palast. "Will The Gang That Fixed Florida Fix the Vote in Caracas this Sunday?" http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-02.htm. 8-12-04).


"The most deadly weapons in the world today are legal, accessible and dirt cheap. And the United States is spreading them around the world"...

"The AK-47, the M-16 and other so-called "small arms" are responsible for the deaths of half a million people each year. About 300,000 people – mostly civilians – are killed in wars, coups d'etat and other armed conflicts each year by small arms. Another 200,000 people are killed each year in homicides, suicides, unintentional shootings and shootings by law enforcement officers using these weapons. In addition to those killed, an estimated 1.5 million people are wounded by small arms annually. If we take into account their cumulative impact, small arms are truly weapons of mass destruction.

"These lethal weapons are cheap, portable and easily concealed, making them ideal weapons for terrorists. They are hard to destroy and so simple to operate that even an eight-year old can carry and use them.

"The United States has the dubious honor of being the largest exporter, with $741.4 million in sales in 2003, which accounts for 18 percent of the market. The U.S. also purchased $602.5 million in small arms and munitions in 2003, making it the largest importer of small arms, as well.

"The failure of nations like the United States to curb the manufacture of these deadly weapons has a devastating impact on human rights, development and the war against terrorism." (Mass Destruction in Small Packages, by Frida Berrigan, World Policy Institute)


"Deep in the psyche of the American mind is the myth of exceptionalism: that we are the greatest country on earth, a shining beacon on a hill, placed here by God himself. This is the American superiority complex, a profound affliction that distorts our perceptions and enables manipulative Presidents to give the marching orders" ("The Meaning of Defeat." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 8-10).


"Imagine the scandal if a foreign government had for years funneled millions of dollars to political groups in the United States in an attempt to affect the outcome of a U.S. election. Even worse, what if some of the groups that received money had been involved in a failed coup attempt against a democratically elected U.S. president? Would the U.S. public not have a right to be outraged at the attempt to manipulate our political process?

"Of course we would -- which is why the people of Venezuela have a right to be outraged at the U.S. government's ongoing attempts to meddle in the electoral process in Venezuela" (Robert Jensen. "U.S. Supports Anti-democratic Forces in Venezuela Recall." http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-01.htm. 8-12-04).

"Hugo Chavez drives George Bush crazy. Maybe it's jealousy: Unlike Mr. Bush, Chavez, in Venezuela, won his Presidency by a majority of the vote.

"Or maybe it's the oil: Venezuela sits atop a reserve rivaling Iraq's. And Hugo thinks the US and British oil companies that pump the crude ought to pay more than a 16% royalty to his nation for the stuff. Hey, sixteen percent isn't even acceptable as a tip at a New York diner.

"Whatever it is, OUR President has decided that THEIR president has to go...

"Justice offered up to $67 million, of our taxpayer money, to ChoicePoint in a no-bid deal, for computer profiles with private information on every citizen of half a dozen nations. The choice of which nation's citizens to spy on caught my eye. While the September 11th highjackers came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the Arab Emirates, ChoicePoint's menu offered records on Venezuelans, Brazilians, Nicaraguans, Mexicans and Argentines...

"What do these nations have in common besides a lack of involvement in the September 11th attacks? Coincidentally, each is in the throes of major electoral contests in which the leading candidates -- presidents Lula Ignacio da Silva of Brazil, Nestor Kirschner of Argentina, Mexico City mayor Andres Lopez Obrador and Venezuela's Chavez -- have the nerve to challenge the globalization demands of George W. Bush...

"Here's what it comes down to: The Justice Department averts it's gaze from Saudi Arabia but shoplifts voter records in Venezuela. So it's only fair to ask: Is Mr. Bush fighting a war on terror -- or a war on democracy?" (Greg Palast. "Will The Gang That Fixed Florida Fix the Vote in Caracas this Sunday?" http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0811-02.htm. 8-12-04).


WMD, Nuclear Weapons, Shameful U.S. Acts, Veterans

"U.S./British Forces Continue Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons Despite Massive Evidence of Negative Health Effects" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 57).

"British and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq.. flouting a U.N. resolution that classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction...

"Our own soldiers in the first Gulf War were often required to enter radioactive battlefields unprotected and were never warned of the dangers.. In effect, George Bush Sr. used weapons of mass destruction on his own soldiers" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 58).


Africa, Shameful U.S. Acts

"During the Cold War years (1950-1989), the U.S. sent $1.5 billion in arms and training to Africa thus setting the stage for the current round of conflicts.. These U.S.-funded wars have been responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans and the subsequent displacement, disease, and starvation of many millions more" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 64).

"The U.S... the IMF, World Bank, and G8.. Structural Adjustment programs (SAPs).. require that governments reduce public spending (especially on health, education, and food/storage).. creating a domino effect of disasters (prolonged famine, conflict, abject poverty, and environmental exploitation) linked to an estimated 21 million deaths and, in the process, transferring hundreds of billions of dollars to the West" (65).

"The U.S. has created a holocaust in Africa by backing wars and imposing structural adjustment programs.." (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 66).

see..

Asad Ismi "The United States government is the greatest purveyer of violence in the world" -Martin Luther King, Jr.


"The April, 2002, military coup in Venezuela was supported by the United States government.. the CIA actively organized the coup.. Venezuela is the fourth largest oil-producing nation" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 71).

See..

Venezuela's Electronic News
Narco News reporting on the drug war and Democracy from Latin America


"The world's largest polluter, the U.S. military, generates 750,000 tons of toxic waste material annually, more than the five largest chemical companies in the U.S. combined. This pollution occurs globally, as the U.S. maintains bases in dozens of countries.. it's poisoning the land.. resulting in increased rates of cancer, kidney disease, birth defects, low birth weight, and miscarriage" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 79).


"During the first Gulf War, the United States deliberately bombed Iraq's water system... a direct violation of the Geneva Convention" (139).

"[If this action were taken against the] U.S. civilian population. It would be called terrorism, or worse, genocide... International law on this matter is unambiguous -- depriving people of life-sustaining resources is a war crime" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 140).


"Bush Appoints Former Criminals to Key Government Roles:

"John Poindexter [head of the Information Awareness Office].. found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and the destruction of evidence...

"Elliot Abrams [National Security Council (NSC)] plead guilty to withholding evidence from Congress... active in covering up some of the worst [war] atrocities...

"John Negroponte [Ambassador to the U.N.].. is known for his role in the cover-up of human rights abuses by CIA trained paramilitaries...

"Otto Reich [assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs].. was instrumental in the failed Venezuelan coup.. censured by Congress for "prohibited covert propaganda activities".." (147).

"John Poindexter is barred from Costa Rica for drug trafficking... convicted of five felony counts of lying to Congress" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 149).


"[The] CIA kidnaps suspects for overseas torture and execution.. suspects are denied legal counsel and detained without specific charges" (154).

"Amnesty International.. makes clear that the U.S. is in violation of numerous human rights and war laws..." (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 156).


"The controversy ought to be over the unconscionable silence in the United States about the military's repeated killing of journalists in Iraq...

"...Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Ayyoub... a US warplane swooped in and fired a rocket at Al Jazeera's office...

"At noon on April 8, a US Abrams tank fired at the Palestine Hotel, home and office to more than 100 unembedded international journalists operating in Baghdaad at the time. The shell smashed into the fifteenth-floor Reuters office, killing two cameramen, Reuters's Taras Protsyum and Jose Couso of Spain's Telecinco... "Pentagon officials, as well as commanders on the ground in Baghdad, knew that the Palestine Hotel was full of international journalists"...

"..."...the American... military--do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work... this is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity."

"The US military has yet to discipline a single soldier for the killing of a journalist in Iraq... the killing of Reuters cameraman Mazen Dana, shot near Abu Ghraib prison... the killing of Al Arabiya TV's Mazen al-Tumeizi, blown apart by a US missile... on Baghdad's Haifa Street...

"...at US military checkpoints... March 2004 shooting deaths of Ali Abdel-Aziz and Ali al-Khatib of Al Arabiya.... Reuters freelancer Dhia Najim was killed by US fire...

"...tortured by the US military... Salah Hassan and Suheib Badr Darwish of Al Jazeera... and three Reuters staffers...

"... journalists were reporting on places or incidents that the military may not have wanted the world to see" (Jeremy Scahill. "Shooting the Messenger." The Nation, March 7, 2005: 4-6).


"To a growing number of Europeans, however, it is America that is in trouble and the "American way of life" that cannot be sustained. The American pursuit of wealth, size, and abundance - as material surrogates for happiness - is aesthetically unpleasing and ecologically catastrophic. The American economy is built on sand (or, more precisely, other people's money). For many Americans the promise of a better future is a fading hope. Contemporary mass culture in the US is squalid and meretricious...

"America's cultural peculiarities (as seen from Europe) are well documented: the nation's marked religiosity, its selective prurience,[1] its affection for guns and prisons (the EU has 87 prisoners per 100,000 people; America has 685), and its embrace of the death penalty...

"(of the world's developed countries only the US and South Africa offer no universal medical coverage). According to the World Health Organization the United States is number one in health spending per capita - and thirty-seventh in the quality of its service.

"As a consequence, Americans live shorter lives than West Europeans. Their children are more likely to die in infancy: the US ranks twenty-sixth among industrial nations in infant mortality, with a rate double that of Sweden, higher than Slovenia's, and only just ahead of Lithuania's...

"...a recent study suggests that for every dollar the US spends on education it gets worse results than any other industrial nation. American children consistently under-perform their European peers in both literacy and numeracy...

"The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights promises the "right to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child" and every West European country provides salary support during that leave. In Sweden women get sixty-four weeks off and two thirds of their wages. Even Portugal guarantees maternity leave for three months on 100 percent salary. The US federal government guarantees nothing. In the words of Valgard Haugland, Norway's Christian Democratic minister for children and family: "Americans like to talk about family values. We have decided to do more than talk; we use our tax revenues to pay for family values."...

Foreign aid... "The US is the meanest of all the rich countries on the OECD's Development Assistance Committee. The Europeans are by far the most generous...

"There is more. The US contains just 5 percent of the world's population (and falling), but it is responsible for 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gas output per annum. Each year our atmosphere has to absorb twenty metric tons of carbon dioxide for every American man, woman, and child; but just nine tons for every European. And the American share continues to grow, even as the Bush administration blocks any international action on pollution or global warming...

"Abolition of the death penalty is a condition for EU membership, whereas the US currently executes prisoners on a scale matched only in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Congo. American opposition to an International Criminal Court has been supported in the UN and elsewhere by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, and Egypt. The American doctrine of "preventive war" now finds its fraternal counterpart in Muscovite talk of "preventive counterrevolution."...

"As things now stand, boundary-breaking and community-making is something that Europeans are doing better than anyone else. The United States, trapped once again in what Tocqueville called its "perpetual utterance of self-applause," isn't even trying" (Tony Judt. "Europe vs. America." The New York Review of Books, 10 February 2005 Issue; http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/012305L.shtml, accessed June 7, 2005).


"...called "global strike"... In a shocking innovation in American nuclear policy, recently discolsed in the Washington Post by military analyst William Arkin, the Administration has created and placed on continuous high alert a force where by the President can launch a pinpoint strike, including a nuclear strike, anywhere on earth with a few hours' notice...

"These actions make operational a revolution in US nuclear policy... targeting of, among others, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libra... grew out of Bush's broader new military strategy of pre-emptive war...

"The incorporation of nuclear weapons into the global strike option, casting a new shadow of nuclear danger over the entire planet, raises fundamental questions. Perhaps the most important is why the United States, which now possesses the strongest conventional military forces in the world, feels the need to add to them a new global nuclear threat. The mystery deepens when you reflect that nothing could be more calculated to goad other nations into nuclear proliferation" (Jonathan Schell. "A Revolution in American Nuclear Policy." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 12).


"...what they don't like about the United States... summarized... "The US is a selfish, individualistic society devoted to commerce, profit, and the despoliation of the planet. It is uncaring of the poor and sick and it is indifferent to the rest of humankind. The US rides roughshod over international laws and treaties and threatens the moral, environmental, and physical future of humanity. It is inconsistent and hypocritical in its foreign dealings, and it wields unparalleled military clout. It is, in short, a bull in a global china shop"...

"...most Europeans are appalled by the death penalty..." (Reid, T.R. The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy: p. 14)


Maureen Dowd. New York Times: "America is once more plunged into a snake pit of anarchy, death, looting, raping, marauding thugs, suffering innocents, a shattered intrastructure, a gutte police force, insufficient troop levels and criminally negligent government planning. But this time it's happening in America...

"It is a chilling lack of empathy combined with a stunning lack of efficiency that could make this administration implode... Who are we if we can't take care of our own?"

Independent: "Hurricane Katrina has revealed some uncomfortable truths about the world's richest and most powerful nation. The catastrophe in New Orleans exposed shocking inequalities--both of wealth and race--and also the relative impotence of the federal authorities when faced with a large-scale disaster. Many Americans are beginnint to ask just what sort of country they are living in... The more information emerges, the more irresponsible the federal authorities appear" ("The Week." Guardian Weekly, Sep. 9, 2005: 2).


"Now the debacle in New Orleans has underlined again the competence deficit inside the Bush administration.

"The stories about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would be comical if their results had not been so tragic. Shipment of supplies were held up, sometimes only a few miles from their destination, because FEMA officials insisted that the donors had not filled in the right forms.

"FEMA ordered the Red Cross not to enter New Orleans, lest it provide a reason for residents to remain, even though thousands of people were by then trapped in the city's Superdome and convention centre. FEMA officials claimed not to have been aware, more than four days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, that the convention centre had become a humanitarian nightmare for 20,000 people--suggesting they had neither been watching television nor talking to the local police" (Julian Borger. "Bush's competence deficit." Guardian Weekly, Sep. 16, 2005: 7).


"...leaving the US for Canada is done with no enormous regret. Behind you lies the weight of American touchiness and hysteria, the radio shock jocks, the twerpish, bow-tied TV pundits, the religious nuts who deny evolution with the phrase "intelligent design." and the madness that descants on the ills of passive smoking, yet allows a tax break on SUVs. This is to say little of a president who seems only confident when he is standing at a podium as commander-in-chief with bristling military types behind him talking about "Amraaaka".

"But one must not exaggerate. America is not in some proto-fascist statte and, actually, there is much I still love about the place, but the country is in a very weird mood. So much of its decency, cordiality, wit and thoughfulness is drowned out by strident chaps wearing flags in their lapels and the babbling hatred that pours from the Fox Network. When you get to Canada, the clamour stops. Suddenly you find yourself in the place that America should be and once was, though it would offend every American to think that Canada has anything the US should want.

"Canada is the lame, slow-talking cousin up north where people say "golly", "cripes" and "geeezzz". The origin of the name is held to be significant: it is commonly thought to derive from a Spanish cartographer who wrote on an early map "Aca-Nada", or "nothing here".

"If only on the grounds of Canada's economic success, Americans should take more notice. Last month the Liberal government announced that it would cut C$30bn ($26bn) out of the budget because of the enormous fiscal surplus, running at about C$13.4bn a year. Just over C$5bn is to be given back to Canadians on taxes collected this year. And in future some of the surplus will be spent on training the settling of immigrants and student grants...

"The main point, which you never hear in Britain or the US, is that Canada alone among G7 countries is balancing its budget. When you compare its performance with the Bush Administration's (the US trade deficit is $706bn), it's a wonder Canadians aren't a bit more cocky" (Henry Porter. "It's Great Up North." Guardian Weekly, Jan 13, 2006: 22).


"...the scorched earth policy in Fallujah removed any doubt that this was not a benign occupation. ON Bush's orders, the US military went into Fallujah to avenge the killing of four US mercenaries working for Blackwater Security. A friend of Glantz's, a British filmmaker, returns from Fallujah with video and indignation: "Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. Your people are butchers. I have to find the technical definition of genocide because your government may be committing one." US snipers were shooting innocent women and children in the neck and firing on ambulances, she reported" (Matthew Rosthchild. "The Iraq Debacle." The Progressive, Nov. 2005: 48-52).


"Chavez has sold the discounted oil in two US markets, New York and Massachusetts... bought 12m gallons at a steep discount after US oil companies ignored its plea for help. Similar oil deals are in the works elsewhere.

"On the second scow day in the Bronx, it did not escape the notice of tenants that a foreign government stepped in after Congress did not...

"Last week Citgo bought full-pagge ads in the Washington Post and the New York Times, lauding Venezuela's role in heating the homes of the nation's poor" (Michelle Garcia. "Bronx warmly receives Venezuelan oil." Guardian Weekly, Dec. 16, 2005: 7).


Still No Coherent and Effective Strategy for Defeating ISIS By Alan Hart, 11/19/15

Way back in July I wrote an article with the headline No sign of a coherent strategy for defeating perverted and barbaric Islamic fundamentalism. Four months and several jihadist atrocities on, and with still no sign, my conclusion is that Western leaders do not have the will to do what is necessary to put ISIS and its affiliates out of business because they don’t want to come to grips with the bottom line truth.

It can be summarised as follows.

ISIS and its affiliates are empowered by the hurt, humiliation, anger and despair of many who make up the Arab and other Muslim masses. It follows that the only way to erode support for ISIS and its affiliates and eventually put them out of business is by addressing this hurt, humiliation, anger and despair.

As I wrote previously, there are two prime causes of it.

One is American-led Western foreign policy for the Arab and wider Muslim world including its double standard as demonstrated by refusal to call and hold Israel to account for its defiance of international law and denial of justice for the Palestinians.

The other prime cause of Arab and other Muslim hurt, humiliation, anger and despair is the corruption, authoritarianism and repression of most if not all Arab and other Muslim regimes. (In most cases they are regimes supported/endorsed by American-led Western foreign policy).

It also follows that addressing these two prime causes is something that can’t be done with bombs and bullets. They only play into the hands of ISIS and its affiliates.

What could American-led Western governments actually do to if they were willing to play their necessary part in addressing Arab and other Muslim hurt, humiliation, anger and despair?

As a priority that could endtheir double standard with regard to Israel by putting the Zionist state on notice that it will be isolated and sanctioned if it continues to demonstrate nothing but contempt for international law and its lack of interest in justice for the Palestinians.That really would give Western foreign policy a degree of credibility and respect and by doing so assist the process of eroding support for ISIS. and its affiliates.

But the single most important thing Western governments could and should dois use their leverage to persuade Arab and other Muslim leaders that it really is time for authoritarianism to give way to something approaching democracy. If Arab and other Muslim leaders agreed (no matter how reluctantly), this would rob ISIS and its affiliates of their most persuasive argument – that the Arab and other Muslim masses have nothing to gain from politics and non-violent demands for change.

Why, really, are Western governments unwilling to do what is necessary to put ISIS and its affiliates out of business?

I can think of two answers.

One is that governments are not free agents. They are prisoners of powerful vested interests including and especially the Military Industrial Complex and the Zionist lobby in all of its manifestations. (In America this lobby has the assistance of those organizations which represent and promote deluded, mad, Christian fundamentalism),

The other answer is short-termism – the art of politics in which decision-making is determined by what has to be said and done for short-term gain and winning the next election.

In my view this short-termism is the cancer at the heart of politics throughout the Western world because it provides no space and time for consideration of what has to be done over 10, 15, 20 and more years if a whole range of problems which threaten the wellbeing of all of humankind (the threat posed by ISIS and its affiliates is only one of many) are to be solved.

So it’s not only the Arab and other Muslim nations which desperately need new politics. We all do.

States of Terror By Chris Hedges — We waded into conflicts in the Middle East we did not understand, propelled forward by fantasy. And our folly spawned a death spiral of political, social and economic collapse, widespread poverty, massive displacement, misery and radical jihadism.

Could Veganism End World Hunger? The World Health Organization calls malnutrition "the silent emergency", and says it is a factor in at least half the 10.4 million child deaths which occur every year.

If you’re concerned about animal rights, water conservation, clean air and health then you may already be on the road to becoming vegan – so why not take five minutes and find out how veganism could end world hunger?

There is more than enough food being produced to feed everyone in the world twice over.

The problem is, our meat-based diet means that land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead.

70% of U.S. grain production is fed to livestock.

One-third of the world's fish catch is fed directly to livestock.

In cycling our grain through livestock, we waste 90% of its protein and 96% of its calories.

An acre of cereal can produce five times more protein than an acre devoted to meat production. Legumes [beans] can produce ten times as much.

"Those who consume livestock products and fish are competing directly with those who need grain for food." (Lester Brown, president of Worldwatch)

The truth can no longer be dodged. Livestock farming gobbles up agricultural land, water and energy that could be far more efficiently devoted to growing food for people.

The cost of an 8 ounce steak will fill 45 to 50 bowls with cooked cereal grains.

Livestock now outnumber humans by almost three to one. In the last 40 years, the number of cattle has doubled and the fowl population has trebled.

The meat and dairy industry is also putting a huge strain on our water supply.. it is unsustainable.

"The American fast food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry" [Dr. Waldo Bello].

It would take just 40 million tons of food to eliminate most world hunger, yet a staggering 760 million tons of grain will be used to feed farmed animals this year.

An individual can make a huge difference. They can stop supporting the meat, fish, egg and dairy industries. They can become vegan.

In the U.S., 64% of cropland produces feed for animals, while only 2% grows fruit and vegetables.

It takes about 300 gallons of water per day to produce food for a vegan, and more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce food for a meat-eater.

Fact: You save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you do by not showering for an entire year.

Veganism is about wanting something better.. for the future of our children and the world as a whole.

Veganism is about making the world we live in a better place for people and animals alike.

Diet and Global Warming If one takes the threat of global warming seriously, the most powerful personal step you can take may well be choosing a vegetarian diet.

This is How Corrupt Our Political System Is--Video Bribery Lets Lobbyists Write The Law

ALEC corrupts the system in every capitol across the country. It's legalized bribery that allows corporations and lobbyists to write our nation's laws.

America’s & NATO’s Outrageous Behavior, Greatest Threat that Exists By Eric Zuesse [] May 19, 2016

On May 18th, two top people at NATO, one being its current Secretary General — the very top person — laid out in preliminary form the case for war against Russia, which presumably will be presented in more detail at the NATO Summit to be held in Poland on 8-9 July this year.

As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s the matter reported by Bryan Cloughly at Strategic Culture, headlining on May 19th, “Surging Towards yet Another War”, where he pointed out that “The United States has no territorial rights of any sort, in the South China Sea which is 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometres) from its west coast. There is nothing in international law that justifies its unilateral military ‘challenge’ to China’s presence” there, in that area which is contested between five countries: China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei. The American government, which has no authority to speak for the entire world regarding international law — of which the U.S. itself has been perhaps the most frequent violator during the past 16 years — isn’t “policeman of the world,” certainly not judge and jury and executioner (well, maybe executioner) of the world, but instead it’s merely an aspiring global thug.

“The Pentagon declared on 10 May that China’s ‘excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise’.” Cloughly points out that the U.S. “refuses to ratify the Law of the Sea Convention — while ordering every other country to abide by it.”


Colby Glass, MLIS