Archive for December, 2013

Done in the good name of . . . US !

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Former Air Force Analyst:

Drone Pilots Can’t Tell


The Difference Between

A Shovel And A Weapon

December 30, 2013 by Sam Rolley

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when you’re piloting a lethal drone, everyone looks like a dangerous militant. That is, according to a former employee of the U.S. drone program.

In a commentary published in Sunday’s The Guardian, former U.S. Air Force imagery analyst Heather Linebaugh offers a firs-hand account of the moments of uncertainty drone pilots face as they decide whether the people on their computer screens will live or die.

Drone operators and analysts routinely make life or death decisions while sitting thousands of miles away from targets that they cannot always clearly identify even under the best operating conditions, according to Linebaugh. The former drone analyst contends, despite the claims of politicians and military officials, that civilian casualty rates from drone strikes are high because the pilots are often unable to get a clear picture of the targets they kill.

She writes: “What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is not usually clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day with limited cloud and perfect light. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: ‘The feed is so pixelated, what if it’s a shovel, and not a weapon?’ I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if we killed the right people, if we endangered the wrong people, if we destroyed an innocent civilian’s life all because of a bad image or angle.”

Linebaugh says that the underreported shortcomings of drones have disastrous consequences not only for the civilians killed in strikes but also for the people operating the drones.

“UAV troops are victim to not only the haunting memories of this work that they carry with them, but also the guilt of always being a little unsure of how accurate their confirmations of weapons or identification of hostile individuals were,” she writes.

“Of course, we are trained to not experience these feelings, and we fight it, and become bitter. Some troops seek help in mental health clinics provided by the military, but we are limited on who we can talk to and where, because of the secrecy of our missions,” Linebaugh continues. “I find it interesting that the suicide statistics in this career field aren’t reported, nor are the data on how many troops working in UAV positions are heavily medicated for depression, sleep disorders and anxiety.”

A report released in October by Human Rights Watch titled “Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda: The Civilian Cost of US Targeted Killings in Yemen” examined six U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, one from 2009 and the rest from 2012-2013. The report found that two of the drone strikes killed civilians indiscriminately in clear violation of the laws of war. The other strikes, according to the report, targeted people who were not legitimate military targets and caused avoidable civilian deaths. The Human Rights Watch report also provided grisly details and firsthand accounts of botched U.S. drone operations in the region in which it says at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians. One 2009 attack noted in the report claimed the lives of 41 civilians.

Wow! ….

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Ignored Reality Is Going


To Wipe Out


the Human Race —


Paul Craig Roberts


October 28, 2013 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: ignoring reality, | Print This Article Print This Article

Ignored Reality Is Going To Wipe Out The Human Race

Paul Craig Roberts

To inform people is hard slugging. Everything is lined up against the public being informed, or the policymakers for that matter. News is contaminated by its service to special interests and hidden agendas. Many scientists or their employers are dependent on federal money. Even psychologists and anthropologists were roped into the government’s torture and occupation programs. Economists tell lies for corporations and Wall Street. Plant and soil scientists tell lies for agribusiness and Monsanto. Truth tellers are slandered and persecuted. However, persistence can eventually win out. In the long-run, truth sometimes emerges. But not always. And not always in time.

I have been trying to inform the American people, economists, and policymakers for more than a decade about the adverse impacts of jobs offshoring on the US economy. The word has eventually gotten out. Last week I was contacted by 8th grade students competing for their school in CSPAN’s StudentCam Documentary Contest. They want to interview me on the subject of jobs offshoring for their documentary film.

America is a strange place. Here are eighth graders far ahead of the economics profession, the President, the Congress, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, and the financial press in their understanding of one of the fundamental problems of the US economy. Yet, people say the public schools are failing. Obviously, not the one whose students contacted me.

Is it too late? I know much, but not all. So this is not the final word. I think it might be too late. When skilled jobs are sent abroad, the skills disappear at home. So do the supply chains and the businesses associated with the skills. Things close down, and abilities are lost. Why take a major in college for a job that is offshored. A culture disappears.

But we can start them back up, right? Perhaps not. When a First World country exports its technology and know-how abroad to a Third World country in order to benefit from lower cost labor, how does the First World country get the work back? Living standards and the cost of living in Third World countries are much lower than in First World countries. The populations of First World countries cannot pay their mortgages, car payments, student loans, medical care, and grocery bills with the wages of Third World countries.

When First World wages drop, mortgage, car, credit card, and student loan payments do not drop. Americans cannot live on Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian wages. Once the technology and know-how is transferred, the low wage country has the advantage in the absence of tariff protection.

For America to revive, our economy would have to be walled off with high tariffs, and subsidies would have to be provided in order to recreate US industry and manufacturing. But many corporations now produce offshore, and America is broke. The government has been $1 trillion dollars in the hole each year for the last 5 years.

Jobs offshoring diminished the US tax base. When a job is sent abroad, so is that job’s contribution to US GDP and tax base. When millions of jobs are sent abroad, US GDP and tax base cannot support government spending levels. To the extent that there are any replacement jobs, they are in lowly paid domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks, and hospital orderlies. These jobs do not provide a tax base or consumer spending power comparable to manufacturing jobs and tradable professional services such as software engineering and information technology.

Republicans and increasingly Democrats, as both parties are dependent on the same sources of campaign contributions, blame “entitlements.” By entitlements they mean welfare.

In fact, entitlements consist of Social Security and Medicare. Entitlements are funded by the payroll tax, approximately 15% of payroll. The fact that a person pays the payroll tax all his working life is why the person is entitled to Social Security and Medicare if they live to retirement age. Welfare, such as food stamps and housing subsidies, are a small part of the federal budget and are not entitlements.

Ever since President Reagan was betrayed three decades ago by Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, both of whom sold out to Wall Street and raised the Social Security payroll tax above what was needed to pay Social Security benefits in order to protect Wall Street’s stock and bond portfolios from exaggerated deficit fears, Social Security payroll tax revenues have exceeded Social Security payments. As of today, Social Security revenues exceed payments to beneficiaries by an accumulated $2 trillion. The money was used by the federal government to pay for its wars and other spending programs. The Social Security Trust Fund holds non-marketable IOUs from the Treasury. These IOUs can only be made good from an excess of tax revenues over expenditures or by the Treasury selling $2 trillion in bonds, notes, and bills and paying off its IOUs to the Social Security Trust Fund. This is not going to happen.

The Federal Reserve could not care less about the US population. The Fed was established for the purpose of protecting and aiding banks. Currently, the Fed, as if America were a Banana Republic which America appears to be becoming, is printing one thousand billion dollars per year in order to support the banks and to finance the federal deficit.

This is bad news for Americans, as it means that their fiat money is being created at a far greater rate than the demand for the dollar. The implication for our future is a drop in the dollar’s value. As there are no jobs, a drop in the dollar’s value means high inflation on top of unemployment and double the misery of the Great Depression.

As bad as this is, it is minor compared to the destruction of the planet’s environment. Online information shows that the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is in crisis after the BP spill and use of Corexit, a dispersant used to hide, not clean up, the spilled oil. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Gulf-ecosystem-in-crisis-a-by-Dahr-Jamail-Corporation-BP_Ecosystems_Gulf-Oil-Spill-Disaster_Gulf-Shrimping-Industry-131020-15.html

The Fukushima catastrophe has hardly begun. Yet already the radioactive water pouring into the Pacific Ocean has made fish dangerous to eat unless a person is willing to accept a higher risk of cancer.

Fukushima has the potential of making Japan uninhabitable and of polluting the air, water, and soil of the US with radioactivity. Yet the crisis is seldom mentioned in the US media. In Japan the government just passed a law that could be used to imprison Japanese journalists who report truthfully on the dire situation.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the online information about Fukushima.. According to the presstitute media, Americans face threats from Iran and Syria and from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden. The real threats are simply not in the news.

If you search Fukushima, you will find information that the presstitute media hides from you. See for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/28-signs-that-the-west-coast-is-being-absolutely-fried-with-nuclear-radiation-from-fukushima/5355280

There are a number of other threats to the environment on which our lives depend. One is the effort to extract more productivity from the soil by use of GMOs. Monsanto has altered the genes of several crops so that the crops can be sprayed with RoundUp to eliminate weeds. The results have been to deplete the soil of nutrients, to destroy the micro-biology of the soil so that new plant diseases and funguses are activated, and to produce superweeds that require heavier doses of the glyphosate in RoundUp. The heavier dose of RoundUp worsens the aforementioned problems. US agricultural soil is losing its potency.

Now we come to chemtrails, branded another “conspiracy theory.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory However, the US government’s efforts to geo-engineer weather as a military weapon and as a preventative of global warming appear to be real. The DARPA and HAARP programs are well known and are discussed publicly by scientists. See, for example, http://news.sciencemag.org/2009/03/darpa-explore-geoengineering Search Chemtrails, and you will find much information that is kept from you. See, for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/chemtrails-a-planetary-catastrophe-created-by-geo-engineering/5355299 and http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org

Some describe chemtrails as a plot by the New World Order, the Rothchilds, the Bilderbergers, or the Masons, to wipe out the “useless eaters.” Given the amount of evil that exists in the world, these conspiracy theories might not be as farfetched as they sound.

However, I do not know that. What does seem to be possibly true is that the scientific experiments to modify and control weather are having adverse real world consequences. The claim that aluminum is being sprayed into the atmosphere and when it comes to earth is destroying the ability of soil to be productive might not be imaginary. Those concerned about chemtrails say that weather control experiments have deprived the western United States of rainfall, while sending the rain to the east where there have been hurricane level deluges and floods.

In the West, sparse rainfall and lightning storms without rain are resulting in forests drying out and burning down. Deforestation adversely affects the environment in many ways, including the process of photosynthesis by which trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. The massive loss of forests means more carbon dioxide and less oxygen. Watershed and species habitat are lost, and spreading aridity further depletes ground and surface water. If these results are the consequences of weather modification experiments, the experiments should be stopped.

In North Georgia where I spend some summers, during 2013 it rained for 60 consecutive days, not all day, but every day, and some days the rainfall was 12 inches–hurricane level–and roads were washed out. I received last summer 4 automated telephone warnings from local counties not to drive and not to attempt to drive through accumulations of water on the highways.

One consequence of the excess of water in the East is that this year there are no acorns in North Georgia. Zilch, zero, nada. Nothing. There is no food for the deer, the turkeys, the bear, the rodents. Starving deer will strip bark from the trees. Bears will be unable to hibernate or will be able only to partially hibernate, forced to seek food from garbage. Black bears are already invading homes in search of food.

Unusual drought in the West and unusual flood in the East could be coincidental or they could be consequences of weather modification experiments.

The US, along with most of the world, already had a water problem prior to possible disruptions of rainfall by geo-engineering. In his book, Elixir, Brian Fagan tells the story of humankind’s mostly unsuccessful struggle with water. Both groundwater and surface water are vanishing. The water needs of large cities, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix, and the irrigation farming that depends on the Ogallala aquifer are unsustainable. Fagan reminds us that “the world’s supply of freshwater is finite,” just like the rest of nature’s resources. Avoiding cataclysm requires long-range thinking, but humanity is focused on immediate needs. Long-range thinking is limited to finding another water source to deplete. Cities and agriculture have turned eyes to the Great Lakes.

Los Angeles exists because the city was able to steal water from hundreds of miles away. The city drained Owens Lake, leaving a huge salt flat in its place, drained the Owens Valley aquifer, and diverted the Owens River to LA via aqueduct. Farming and ranching in the Owens Valley collapsed. Today LA takes water from the Colorado River, which originates in Wyoming and Colorado, and from Lake Perris 440 miles away.

Water depletion is not just an American problem. Fagan reports that “underground aquifers in many places are shrinking so rapidly that NASA satellites are detecting changes in the earth’s gravity.”

If the government is experimenting with weather engineering, scientists are playing God when they have no idea of the consequences. It is a tendency of scientists to become absorbed by the ability to experiment and to ignore unintended consequences.

Readers have asked me to write about Fukushima and chemtrails because they trust me to tell them the truth. The problem is that I am not qualified to write about these matters with anything approaching the same confidence that I bring to economic, war and police state matters.

The only advice I can give is that when you hear the presstitute media smear a concern or explanation as “conspiracy theory,” have a closer look. The divergence between what is happening and what you are told is so vast that it pays to be suspicious, cynical even, of what “your” government and “your” presstitute media tell you. The chances are high that it is a lie.

About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

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. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

It’s up to … US …

Friday, December 20th, 2013

The Arithmetic of War

The Pentagon plans ahead …

For those with the courage to look ahead …

The US explained in 7 minutes …

Thanks to … BRASSCHECK …

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/war-is-a-racket-1/the-arithmetic-of-war.html

Thank you for … the truth !

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Shalom Report

Mandela, the Jews, & the Future: 

WHICH Jews?

Seeking Peace or Refusing in 1990,

Seeking Peace or Refusing Now

Last week, the NY Times ran an article called “In The Day a Newly Freed Mandela Came to New York” which glorified New York City’s welcome to Nelson Mandela in 1990.

But the Times overlooked an empty chair at the welcome table.  Not a single “mainstream” Jewish organization in New York was willing to meet with Mr. Mandela during that 1990 visit.
That was because he had criticized the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

This abject ethical failure by the “official” line-up of Jewish organizations was a rejection of the broadest human ethical standards, as well as a denial of the prophetic tradition at the heart of Torah from the resistance to Pharaoh forward.

Perhaps more important, it was not only a blemish upon the New York Jewish community thirteen years ago, but raises some continuing profound questions about the stance of the American Jewish community today.

For the same reasons Jewish “officialdom” shunned Mandela’s pursuit of peace and justice 13 years ago, today it is shunning the search for peace and security today – peace and security for and among Israel, Iran, and the USA today.

At the end of this essay, The Shalom Center and I are asking you to act on behalf of the Torah’s command to “seek peace and pursue it.”  To walk step by step along the path that we honor Mandela for learning to walk.

Back in 1990, some 50,000 people waited at Kennedy International Airport and along the motorcade route. About 100,000 crowded the streets in Brooklyn as Mandela approached a high school for an appearance; 400,000 packed the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan as the ticker-tape parade passed by; and 200,000 jammed the ceremony outside City Hall.

But New York’s Jewish organizations were absent — except for one small Jewish school named for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and committed to his prophetic values, whose faculty and students marched in the ticker-tape parade. You can see them in this photo provided us by Rabbi Jonah  Geffen, who was then himself a young student at the Heschel School:

Heschel School in Mandela parade, 1990, NYC

In response to this failure of official Jewry, an ad hoc group of progressive Jews emerged, and not only responded to Mandela but went on to create a vigorous organization, “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ).”

JFREJ remains vital and important in NYC. It has, for example, been deeply involved in the struggle to end the NY Police Department’s racially oppressive practice of “stop and frisk.”

Outside New York as well, the strand of prophetic Judaism continues to grow.  The Shalom Center, of course, which opened in 1983, continues to define ourselves in exactly those terms, trying to live up to that vision –

  • in the activist path of the ancient prophets like Amos, Isaiah, and Jeremiah;
  • in the ancient rabbis —  Akiba, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel , Rabbi Yishmael the High Priest, and seven others who were tortured to death by the Roman Empire for teaching and doing Torah;
  • in Rabbi David Einhorn who in the 1850s was driven out of Baltimore by his own congregants because he called for the abolition of slavery;
  • in Martin Buber and Abraham Heschel, who in the 20th century struggled against oppression of the Jews and oppression by the Jews.

But the “sha shtill” syndrome – “Keep quiet!” – still afflicts some major elements of American Jewish life. Not only did the New York Times fail to mention this space that the official Jewish world left empty in 1990; so did the Forward, America’s leading Jewish newspaper.

The Forward honored Mandela’s memory and celebrated the warm relationship that emerged –- but only after the end of Apartheid –  between him as President of South Africa and the South African Jewish community.

The Forward even published an article by Judge Richard Goldstone, one of the few Jewishly focused South Africans who struggled against Apartheid, reminding us that till Apartheid collapsed most of the organized Jewish community there supported it or stood silent.

But the Forward failed to mention, let alone analyze, the 1990 failure of the American Jewish community.

And it is the analysis that is important. For the past is not only the past; it is really the present and future as well.

What is the analogous issue today? Not Mandela, of course: since he succeeded in leading the transformation of South Africa by peaceful means, official American Jewish organizations today are glad to honor him.

Today the analogous issue is Iran.

That is, the possibility of a peaceful arrangement with Iran’s new government that makes certain Iran’s nuclear research is for civilian and peaceful purposes, while step by step ending sanctions against Iran and welcoming Iran into the peaceful circle of international community.

The grass roots of flesh and blood American Jews support the diplomacy that is reaching for that kind of peaceful settlement.

But some powerful American Jewish organizations are actively opposing it, and others are standing silent.

Why? Because the Israeli Prime Minister has publicly and fiercely attacked the negotiations, poured contempt on the new Iranian president, and continues to talk of war – though his own military and intelligence-apparatus leaders publicly say this policy is daft.

In the US, the question now comes down to whether American Jews inflame and support  – or oppose – Congressional efforts to impose still more draconian sanctions on Iran. Most US diplomats think that such sanctions would signal to the Iranians that negotiations will never satisfy an America anxious not to make peace with them but to destroy them. So worse sanctions instead of fuller negotiations would lead to a greater chance of war.

Yet some of the most important American Jewish organizations – AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, even the Jewish Council on Public Affairs  –-  choose to follow the Prime Minister of Israel rather than either the best Israeli military/security planners or the Torah’s command to “seek peace and pursue it.” Of course, in a democracy they have the right to be wrong, foolish, and destructive. – But is it wise?

Because of them, it is important to support the 118 Rabbis and other Jewish clergy who have called for a policy of “Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran” – shalom for Israel, for the US, for the region, and for Iran.

This statement was initiated by The Shalom Center, but these Rabbis represent something deeper, older, newer, ever renewed – the Prophetic impulse that rises in every Jewish generation. They are today what JFREJ was in 1990 – an ad hoc Jewish group emerging when the “official” Jewish world has failed to carry forward the Jewish mission.
We appeal to our Jewish members and readers to support these rabbis in their practical wisdom, their pursuit of shalom rather than yet one more immoral and self-destructive war. We ask you to click to  –

https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1 and join 118 Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish clergy to sign the statement: “Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran.” We will make sure this statement reaches some key members of Congress and the broader public.

Nelson Mandela was not always committed to the path of nonviolence, peace, and reconciliation. He grew into that path.

If we truly honor him, we should also be growing into that path.

Please click now: https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1

Shalom, salaam, solh, peace –  Arthur

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Believe it … or !!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Anti-Empire Report #122

By William Blum – Published November 7th, 2013

National Security Agency – The only part of the government that really listens to what you have to say

The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most caught my attention concerned “Sigint” – Signals intelligence, the term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:

“Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will not.”

What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security Agency – on moral principle – refuse to say or do?

I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all criticism of US foreign policy: “What would the United States have to do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would be too much?” I’ve yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I suspect it’s because the person is afraid that whatever they say I’ll point out that the United States has already done it.

The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo – 22 years in a row

For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):

Year

Votes (Yes-No)

No Votes

1992

59-2

US, Israel

1993

88-4

US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay

1994

101-2

US, Israel

1995

117-3

US, Israel, Uzbekistan

1996

138-3

US, Israel, Uzbekistan

1997

143-3

US, Israel, Uzbekistan

1998

157-2

US, Israel

1999

155-2

US, Israel

2000

167-3

US, Israel, Marshall Islands

2001

167-3

US, Israel, Marshall Islands

2002

173-3

US, Israel, Marshall Islands

2003

179-3

US, Israel, Marshall Islands

2004

179-4

US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau

2005

182-4

US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau

2006

183-4

US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau

2007

184-4

US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau

2008

185-3

US, Israel, Palau

2009

187-3

US, Israel, Palau

2010

187-2

US, Israel

2011

186-2

US, Israel

2012

188-3

US, Israel, Palau

2013

188-2

US, Israel

Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.

Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.

However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:

“The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.” 1

So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the police.

Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person?

As to “independent journalism” – what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?

The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba? The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.

How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 3 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.

The Cold War Revisited

I’ve written the Introduction to a new book recently published in Russia that is sort of an updating of my book Killing Hope. 4 Here is a short excerpt:

The Cold War had not been a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It had been a struggle between the United States and the Third World, which, in the decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, continued in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

The Cold War had not been a worldwide crusade by America to halt Soviet expansion, real or imaginary. It had been a worldwide crusade by America to block political and social changes in the Third World, changes opposed by the American power elite.

The Cold War had not been a glorious and noble movement of freedom and democracy against Communist totalitarianism. It had typically been a movement by the United States in support of dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and corrupt oligarchies which were willing to follow Washington’s party line on the Left, US corporations, Israel, oil, military bases, et al. and who protected American political and economic interests in their countries in exchange for the American military and CIA keeping them in power against the wishes of their own people.

In other words, whatever the diplomats at the time thought they were doing, the Cold War revisionists have been vindicated. American policy had been about imperialism and military expansion.

Apropos the countless other myths we were all taught about the Soviet Union is this letter I recently received from one of my readers, a Russian woman, age 49, who moved to the United States eight years ago and now lives in Northern Virginia:

I can’t imagine why anybody is surprised to hear when I say I miss life in the Soviet Union: what is bad about free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment, guaranteed free housing? No rent or mortgage of any kind, only utilities, but they were subsidized too, so it was really pennies. Now, to be honest, there was a waiting list to get those apartments, so some people got them quicker, some people had to wait for years, it all depended on where you worked. And there were no homeless people, and crime was way lower. As a first grader I was taking the public transportation to go to school, which was about 1 hour away by bus (it was a big city, about the size of Washington DC, we lived on the outskirts, and my school was downtown), and it was fine, all other kids were doing it. Can you even imagine this being done now? I am not saying everything was perfect, but overall, it is a more stable and socially just system, fair to everybody, nobody was left behind. This is what I miss: peace and stability, and not being afraid of the future.

Problem is, nobody believes it, they will say that I am a brainwashed “tovarish” [comrade]. I’ve tried to argue with Americans about this before, but just gave up now. They just refuse to believe anything that contradicts what CNN has been telling them for all their lives. One lady once told me: “You just don’t know what was going on there, because you did not have freedom of speech, but we, Americans, knew everything, because we could read about all of this in our media.” I told her “I was right there! I did not need to read about this in the media, I lived that life!”, but she still was unconvinced! You will not believe what she said: “Yes, maybe, but we have more stuff!”. Seriously, having 50 kinds of cereal available in the store, and walmarts full of plastic junk is more valuable to Americans than a stable and secure life, and social justice for everybody?

Of course there are people who lived in the Soviet Union who disagree with me, and I talked to them too, but I find their reasons just as silly. I heard one Russian lady whose argument was that Stalin killed “30, no 40 million people”. First of all it’s not true (I don’t in any way defend Stalin, but I do think that lying and exaggerating about him is as wrong)*, and second of all what does this have to do with the 70s, when I was a kid? By then life was completely different. I heard other arguments, like food shortages (again, not true, it’s not like there was no food at all, there were shortages of this or that specific product, like you wouldn’t find mayo or bologna in the store some days, but everything else was there!). So, you would come back next day, or in 2-3 days, and you would find them there. Really, this is such a big deal? Or you would have to stay in line to buy some other product, (ravioli for example). But how badly do you want that ravioli really that day, can’t you have anything else instead? Just buy something else, like potatoes, where there was no line.

Was this annoying, yes, and at the time I was annoyed too, but only now I realized that I would much prefer this nuisance to my present life now, when I am constantly under stress for the fear that I can possibly lose my job (as my husband already did), and as a result, lose everything else – my house? You couldn’t possibly lose your house in Soviet Union, it was yours for life, mortgage free. Only now, living here in the US, I realized that all those soviet nuisances combined were not as important as the benefits we had – housing, education, healthcare, employment, safe streets, all sort of free after school activities (music, sports, arts, anything you want) for kids, so parents never had to worry about what we do all day till they come home in the evening.

* We’ve all heard the figures many times … 10 million … 20 million … 40 million … 60 million … died under Stalin. But what does the number mean, whichever number you choose? Of course many people died under Stalin, many people died under Roosevelt, and many people are still dying under Bush. Dying appears to be a natural phenomenon in every country. The question is how did those people die under Stalin? Did they die from the famines that plagued the USSR in the 1920s and 30s? Did the Bolsheviks deliberately create those famines? How? Why? More people certainly died in India in the 20th century from famines than in the Soviet Union, but no one accuses India of the mass murder of its own citizens. Did the millions die from disease in an age before antibiotics? In prison? From what causes? People die in prison in the United States on a regular basis. Were millions actually murdered in cold blood? If so, how? How many were criminals executed for non-political crimes? The logistics of murdering tens of millions of people is daunting. 5

Let’s not repeat the Barack fuckup with Hillary

Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire – despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior – is mankind’s last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and I’d like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Here’s what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:

Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?

“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.” 6

Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because … because she wants to be president … because she thinks it would be nice to be president … no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world … she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldn’t want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.

And she spoke the above words at the “Take Back America” conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.

Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldn’t care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has “succeeded”. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war “illegal” or “immoral”? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I haven’t studied. Hillary Clinton, however, I’ve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua. 7

Now we hear from America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.” 8

We also hear from America’s premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”. 9

Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.” 10

There’s much more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s conservative leanings, but if you need more, you’re probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that he’s “really good at killing people”. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?

I’m sorry if I take away all your fun.

http://williamblum.org/aer/read/12285

Notes

  1. Democracy Now!, “U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly Against U.S. Embargo of Cuba”, October 30, 2013
  2. Huffingfton Post, May 3, 2012
  3. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba (1991), p.885
  4. Copies can be purchased by emailing kuchkovopole@mail.ru
  5. From William Blum, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2005), p.194
  6. Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on Democracy Now!’s website
  7. Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415
  8. National Review Online, May 1, 2007
  9. Fortune magazine, July 9, 2007
  10. Washington Post, October 25, 2013
  11. Washington Post, November 1, 2013, review of “Double Down: Game Change 2012”

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

Issue #121

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William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. Read more

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Thanks, Nathanael !!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Who Runs … the US ?

4 Point Plan To Stop AIPAC
By Brother Nathanael Kapner
Copyright 2013

While the world welcomed peace with Iran, the attack dogs of Aipac fanned out through Capitol Hill to bring the hacks into subjection.

It’s an ‘in your face’ operation. And they’re right up front about it too showing the shills just who’s boss.

[Clip: “To see so many people who love Israel coming all together at one time is an amazing thing to see.”

“Where else can you see Prime Ministers and Presidents, Secretaries of State, Leaders of Congress? The only place that you can see that is here at AIPAC policy conference.”

“For the first time in AIPAC history we’ll be holding Lobbying meetings with all one hundred Senators and every single member of the House of Representatives.”

“This is democracy at work.”]

Their mission? To force Congress into enacting even more sanctions against Iran.

Just last week Aipac poster boy Chuckie Schumer promised his synagogue buddies that “ratcheting up the sanctions” is Jewry’s top goal next to military action where only the Goys die young.

[Clip: “Bibi Netanyahu says nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel, and must, must, must, be avoided at all costs.

“So we are putting as much pressure as we can on the Secretary of State not to give up on sanctions, to keep ratcheting them up and hopefully when we get back to Congress…we’re going to break for Thanksgiving tomorrow…when we get back we will actually pass legislation that will increase the sanctions.

“We hope we won’t have to use military action, that sanctions are preferable, but we cannot, cannot, cannot allow a nuclear Iran not only for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of the United States.”]

And it’s no surprise that Senator Menendez joins the attack seeing Aipac keeps his campaign coffers overflowing with ‘vote Jewish’ money. The ’suck up’ starts here.

[Clip: “Thank you to AIPAC for the warm welcome you have always given me at every event that I have attended. I appreciate your advocacy.”]

He appreciates their money too.

They all got the message a long time ago when Senator Charles Percy got bounced for pursuing an America-First policy as head of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1985.

Jewish ‘Money and Media’ won the day replacing Percy with yes-man Simon. If you don’t play ball with the Jewish Lobby then you can kiss your political career goodbye.

But I’ve got a 4 Point Plan to stop Aipac once and for all.

1. Require AIPAC to register as a foreign agent and thus cut off their political contributions.

2. Jews with dual-citizenship—like many in Aipac—must choose one or the other.

If they remain Israeli citizens they must not be allowed ‘constitutionally’ to hold office nor be allowed to vote.

3. Jews who choose US citizenship must sign a loyalty oath based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1953 which requires “renunciation” of allegiance to a foreign country.

With this in place, Aipac could no longer draft Israel-First legislation for all their ‘bought’ hacks to pass.

4. All Synagogues issuing Appeals to financially support Israel must also register as foreign agents or lose their tax deduction status.

No Church is allowed to do this, much less plot the overthrow of governments and establish a country of their own through theft, fraud, murder and war.

But Jews get away with murder here in America…the murder of our democratic process via the intrigues of the political beast…Aipac.

It’s time we slay the beast.

My 4 Point Plan wields the blow and breathes new life into our once-free America.

My 4 Point Plan is a WORKABLE, LEGAL, CONSTITUTIONAL, PRACTICAL Plan to STOP the Jews from MURDERING our democratic process here in Jewmerica.

Like the shill said in the clip at the AIPAC Conference:

“This is democracy at work”…that is…BRIBING, BLACKMAILING, INTIMIDATING every single Senator and every single Congressman to do the will of Freedom-Hating Jews.

My 4 Point Plan To Stop AIPAC SLAYS the BEAST Once & For All!
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A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

And MANY THANKS to ALL OF YOU for your Readership and Viewership.

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