Bulletin N° 637
Subject: ON THE BOURGEOIS OWNERS OF PRODUCTION WHO, NOW TOWARDS THE END OF THEIR HISTORIC CAREER, ARE BLINDED BY FEAR, ANGER, AND FRUSTRATION.
9 December 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The world famous sociologist, E. Franklin Frazier, wrote Black Bourgeoisie at the end of World War II. It was first published in French in 1955 and the original English edition appeared only two years later in the United States. Frazer, a Black man, had been run out of Atlanta, Georgia in 1927, after publishing a sociological profile of the White Southerner. Zinn recounts listening to Frazer when he returned to Atlanta as a guest lecturer in 1957.
[He] persistently criticized the Negro middle class, charging that its bourgeois manners and traditional religion were a cloak for intellectual sterility. This artifice, Frazier said, was borrowed from the white middle class, which was itself intellectually and culturally barren. The Negro should look to his own heritage; create his own future, free from the encumbrances created for him by white society. . . .
His lecture at Spelman was typically blunt. The Negro, Frazer told his predominantly Negro audience, was not doing enough to take his place in the modern world. Blighted by centuries of subjugation, never taken seriously by the white man and never taking himself seriously enough, he had much to overcome, and he’d better hurry. The failing of the Negro, he emphasized, are not peculiar to him; they are the failings of human beings, neither to be concealed nor derided, but to be removed by deliberate action. The poor and uneducated Negro was no special phenomenon; he was a peasant, like peasants everywhere in the world. And it is characteristic of the peasant to see himself as the helpless victim of fate. When peasants are asked how many children they want, Frazier pointed out, their response was the same in very country: ‘As many as the Lord sends.’ The difference between a peasant and a civilized person is that the civilized person ‘tries to determine his own destiny.'(pp.122-123)
Zinn’s early book, The Southern Mystique, was written in 1959, and like so many of his later works it is a major achievement in understanding historical dialectics, not only as a science but as an applied technology. When Howard Zinn dropped Freudian scientific theories as being outdated and took up Kurt Lewin’s “Field Theory,” he outlined in typical Zinn fashion his reasons for doing so. He was teaching courses in western civilization and US history at the elite Black school, Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia where the Civil Rights movement literally came knocking at his door. He quickly adopted the idea of integrating his history classes into present-day events, thereby endowing the study of history with a practical purpose, i.e. to understand the who, what, where, when, and why of events happening in the Southern states in the late 1950s.
Orthodox Freudianism, placing a heavy emphasis on biological heritage and early childhood as determinants of later behavior, made a revolutionary contribution to scientific thought. But as with Newtonian physics and Marxist economics, the tremendous act of creating a new vocabulary led too many to believe that the last word had been said. Persistent emphasis on the psychological heritage from the distant past made it difficult to see the immense possibilities for individual change under the impact of immediate circumstance. With recent social psychological theory, we are getting closer, I believe, to an explanation of human behavior in the real world, as opposed to the world of the laboratory and the library.
Kurt Lewin, a refugee from Hitler who set up a Research Center for Group Dynamics in this country before his death in 1947, took from physics the concept of a ‘field theory.” Instead of trying to abstract, from the distant past of an individual, an expected general behavior pattern, he concentrated on the entire field of influence acting on an individual in a real situation at a particular real moment. He wrote in Field Theory in Social Science: “According to field theory, behavior depends neither on the past nor on the future but on the present field.” He did not ignore the influence of either past events or future expectations on the actions of individuals, but only rigorously excluded from consideration all influences except those operative at the given moment.(p.27) . . .
Lewin’s work was continued by Dorwin Cartwright, who did laboratory experiments and field studies as part of the work in ‘group dynamics.’ In a 1951 article in Human Relations, Cartwright noted that the same kinds of people showed marked variations in behavior depending on what group they were in at the time. Aggressiveness and troublemaking changed dramatically depending on the ‘field’ of human influence around at the moment, regardless of what had been noted as the ‘personality’ of the individual whose behavior was being observed. Cartwright did not claim that a group setting was totally responsible for an individual’s behavior, but ‘it is remarkable to what an extent a strong, cohesive group can control aspects of a member’s behavior traditionally thought to be expressive of enduring personality traits.’ We can be more optimistic, field theory suggests, about change in Southern whites’ behavior, if we begin to think about it not as the inevitable result of a fixed set of psychological traits, but as the response to a group atmosphere which is susceptible to manipulation.
The psychologists Harry Stack Sullivan, a contemporary of Lewin, also departed from Freud’s stress on sex instinct and libido. He believed that people behave the way they do mainly as a result of their interaction with other people, that they are not so bound by early experiences as the orthodox Freudians seem to believe. Sullivan posed the idea (derived from George Herbert Mead’s notion of a ‘generalized other’) of ‘significant others.’ Those ‘others’ are people to whom a person consciously or unconsciously adjusts his behavior and whose power over that behavior is greater than the psychological heritage of infancy.
It was logical therefore that Sullivan should consider the psychoanalyst –who at the moment of contact with the patient was certainly one of the ‘significant others --as not merely an observer but a ‘participant observer,’ who would not just passively study the patient, but have a deliberate effect on him. Thi is directly relevant to public policy in the area of race relations, for if both scholars and policy makers were to recognize that they themselves are ‘significant others,’ then their prescriptions could take into account the new situation crated by their own participation. Specifically, for the South, a national government that foresees the results of its own activity as a ‘significant other’ affecting white behavior might map much bolder policies than one that bases its moves on the passive situation represented by public opinion polls.
Freud’s preoccupation with infantile sexual influences, with deep-rooted instinctual characteristics such as ‘the death wish,’ the ‘castration complex,’ the ‘totem’ of father fixation, and the ‘taboo’ of incest, let to a pervasive pessimism about man and society. it perpetuated the notion of fixity of human behavior, an idea to which men easily fall prey precisely because they \live in a limited time-space capsule, in which the historical repetition of tragedy and despair suggests an inescapable ‘human nature.’(pp.28-30)
Sullivan was more optimistic. He wrote in The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry:
'So far as I know, most of the ways in which one goes about being a human being could be very different from anything we have ever
heard of. In other words, the human organism is so extraordinarily adaptive that not only could the most fantastic social rules and
regulations be lived up to, if they were properly inculcated in the young, but they would seem very natural and proper ways of life.'(p.30)
Nearly ten years after Zinn wrote this in his theoretical introductory essay for The Southern Mystique (1959), the famous anti-psychiatrist, David Cooper, published ten principle addresses which had been delivered at the historic two-week Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation, which was held in London from July 15 to July 30, 1967. In his introduction to this collection of essays, that were published by The Institute of Phenomenonological Studies, Dr. Cooper wrote :
This book is centrally concerned with the analysis destruction –destruction in two senses: firstly, the self-destruction of the human species by racism (Carmichael), by greed (Gerassi on Imperialism), by the erosion of our ecological context (Bateson, Goodman), by blind, frightened repression of natural instinctuality (Marcuse), by illusion and mystification (Laing and myself); secondly, closely interwoven with the first sense, these essays study the human conditions under which men destroy each other (Jules Henry’s essay on ‘Psychological Preparation for War’ in particular explored this subject). So it is a book about mass suicide and mass murder and we have to achieve at least a minimal clarity about the ‘mechanisms’ by which these processes operate before we begin to talk about liberation. However, in each of the essays I have included there are at least strong hints as to how this liberation might be achieved.
It seems to me that a cardinal failure of all past revolutions has been the dissociation of liberation on the mass social level, i.e. liberation of whole classes in economic and political terms, and liberation on the level of the individual and the concrete groups in which he is directly engaged. If we are to talk of revolution today our talk will be meaningless unless we effect some union between the macro-social and micro-social, and between ‘inner reality’ and ‘outer reality’. We have only to think back about the personal factor in Lenin that made it possible for him to ignore so much of the manoeuverings of the super-bureaucrat Stalin until it was too late. We have only to consider the limited personal liberation achieved in the ‘Second World’ (The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe). Then we get the point that a radical debourgeoisification of society has to be achieved in the very style of revolutionary work and is not automatically entailed by the seizure of power by an exploited class. We must never forget that conditions of scarcity inhibit –though not necessarily prohibit—personal liberation in this sense. But in the First World we have conditions of potential affluence which must be grasped and realized. . . .
At the Congress we were concerned with new ways in which intellectuals might act to change the world, ways in which we might move beyond the ‘intellectual masturbation’ of which Stokely Carmichael accuses us. We recognized that radical groups in the First World had been conventionally split –not only ideological but on personal lines. There is always some sort of spurious messiah who arouses hope and then disappoints hope. This is not the ‘fault’ of the ‘messiah’ –it is the fault of ‘hope’. Hope has to have another appointment. Not now and not then, but some other time, its own time –which is our time.
We have to take over time and own it.(To Free A Generation, The Dialectics of Liberation, 1967, pp.9-10)
From different directions, we see these two prolific intellectuals attempt to interact in a meaningful way with the historical moment in which they lived. Intuitively, both Zinn and Cooper understood the deep paralysis into which society had slipped. Surface appearances could not explain the contradictions where had become palpable in the 1960s, and playing the role of social intellectuals they joined a long tradition of activism which led them to a deep appreciation of social class relationships and a level of wisdom which was rarely attained in modern consumer society during the years of the Cold War. Nevertheless, it was the Stokley Carmichael, the 25-year-old Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who at this London Conference on Dialectics brought a totally new element to the meeting. He had just been released from a US prison in time to attend this international event in London.
Now since I’ve been at the Congress from Saturday I’ve been very confused, because I’m not a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, I’, a political activist and I don’t deal with the individual. I think it’s a cop out when people talk about the individual.* What we’re talking about around the US today, and I believe around the Third World, is the system of international white supremacy coupled with international capitalism. And we’re out to smash that system. And people who see themselves as part of that system are going to be smashed with it –or we’re going to be smashed.
So that I’m not going to center on the individual –I’m not even going to talk about him at all. I want to talk about the system. I want to use some quotes to back up my feeling about talking of the system, and the first one comes from one of my patron saints: Franz Fanon. His quote is that,
'Freud insisted that the individual factor be taken into account through psychoanalysis. It will be seen that the black man’s alienation is not an individual question. It is a question of socio-diagnostics. The Negro problem does not resolve itself into the problem of Negroes living among white men, but rather of Negros exploited, enslaved despised by the colonialist, capitalist society that is only accidently white.'
But since it is accidently white, that’s what we talk about –white western society. . . . (pp.150-151)
Carmichael went on to distinguish between two types of racism: individual racism and institutional racism.
The first type consists of overt acts by individuals, with usually the immediate result of death of victims, or the traumatic and violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded on TV cameras and can frequently be observed in the process of commission.
The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts, but is no less destructive of human life. The second type is more the overall operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus does not receive the condemnation that the first type receives.
He then gave examples to illustrate the difference: when white terrorists bomb a black church in Birmingham, Alabama and kill five black children, everyone deplores the ‘heinous crime’; but when, in that same city, 500 black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because to these same conditions, that is institutional racism and very little notice taken by society in general.
Carmichael went on to cite three more intellectual influences at this prestigious meeting of progressive intellectuals of international status. He framed his presentation early by saying he would first speak about the importance of definitions; then focus on how cultural integrity is different from cultural imposition.
I want to start off with definitions by using a quote from one of my favorite books, which is Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. In this book there’s a debate between Humpty Dumpty and Alice around the question of definitions. It goes like this:
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘It means just what I choose it to mean. Neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so may different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, “who is to be master. That is all.’
Now I think that Lewis Carroll is correct. Those who can define are the masters. And white western society has been able to define, and that’s why she has long been the master. (pp.152-153)
Carmichael went on to tell the group how important it was for oppressed people to learn to question the basic assumptions of the classes ruling over them. He illustrated this by citing two more authors who had influence his thinking:
Frederick Douglass, the great black leader of the 1800s, said that when a slave stops obeying a master, then and only then does he seek his liberation. Camus said the same thing 100 years later on the first page of The Rebel, when he said that when a slave stops accepting definitions imposed upon him by his master, then and only then does he begin to move and create a life for himself. That’s very important, because what the people of the Third World are going to have to do today is to stop accepting the definitions imposed on them by the West. (p.153)
In the context of this 1967 Conference on Dialectics, Carmichael’s participation constituted a challenge to the psychologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists assembled, for he hurled a challenge at the very foundations of their disciplines, the assumptions upon which their theories had been constructed: Is the legitimate object of study the individual or is it society? Or put another way, does the study of the individual necessarily protect the social status quo?
*[For a remarkable investigation into this question, CEIMSA readers are invited to view Part III of the important documentary film, The Century of the Self : “There is a Policeman Inside All of Our Heads, He Must Be Destroyed”. It includes Gestalt therapy sessions with radical groups in the 1960s, such as Feminists, Black Nationalists, and Student Radicals, who were part of a new political movement that sought to free people from the capitalist system.]
The 10 items below offer CEIMSA readers a look at 21st-Century realities, and the violent perversions today which are increasingly necessary to keep the capitalist system operating a little longer….
Item A., from Counter Punch, is an article by Diana Johnstone on the EU’s declaration of war against Russia.
Item B., from Mark Crispin Miller, founder of News from the Underground, is an exposé of the congressional cinema of ‘Cowboys and Indians Redux.’
Item C., from, Information Clearing House, is an article by Ron Paul the USA’s declaration of war against Russia.
Item D., from Democracy Now!, is a report on the kill ratio in Drone warfare is: 'unknown victims to targets = 28 to 1.'
Item E., from, Information Clearing House, is an article by Pepe Escobar on Russia vs. EU, Round Two: the oil market.
Item F., from Edward S. Herman, is an article by Glenn Greenwald on Obama’s appointment of Mr. Warmonger and how it affects the rest of us. . . .
Item G., from Democracy Now!, is a report from the U.N. Climate Summit in Peru on the murdered of Indigenous Rainforest Defenders and the demand for justice by their widows.
Item H., from, Information Clearing House, is an article by Pepe Escobar on NATO’s ‘The Empire of Chaos’ strategy and Ukraine.
Item I., from Information Clearing House, is a video of German MP Sahra Wagenknecht sharply criticizing Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy.
Item J., from Daily Kos, is an essay analyzing the strange behavior of police officers after ‘the kill.’
An finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to watch
The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther
December 4 marks the 45th anniversary of the death of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. On December 4, 1969, Chicago police raided Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed. Watch our 2009 interview with Jeffrey Haas, author of
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From Counter Punch :
Date : 9 December 2014
Subject: Frack the EU!
Frack the EU! Washington’s Frozen War Against Russia
by Diana Johnstone
For over a year, the United States has played out a scenario designed to (1) reassert U.S. control over Europe by blocking E.U. trade with Russia, (2) bankrupt Russia, and (3) get rid of Vladimir Putin and replace him with an American puppet, like the late drunk, Boris Yeltsin.
The past few days have made crystal clear the perfidy of the economic side of this U.S. war against Russia.
It all began at the important high-level international meeting on Ukraine’s future held in Yalta in September 2013, where a major topic was the shale gas revolution which the United States hoped to use to weaken Russia. Former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson was there to make the pitch, applauded by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Washington hoped to use its fracking techniques to provide substitute sources for natural gas, driving Russia out of the market. This amounts to selling Europe a pig in a poke.
But this trick could not be accomplished by relying on the sacrosanct “market”, since fracking is more costly than Russian gas extraction. A major crisis was necessary in order to distort the market by political pressures. By the February 22 coup d’état, engineered by Victoria Nuland, the United States effectively took control of Ukraine, putting in power its agent “Yats” (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) who favors joining NATO. This direct threat to Russia’s naval base in Crimea led to the referendum which peacefully returned the historically Russian peninsula to Russia. But the U.S.-led chorus condemned the orderly return of Crimea as “Russian military aggression”. This defensive move is trumpeted by NATO as proof of Putin’s intention to invade Russia’s European neighbors for no reason at all.
Meanwhile, the United States’ economic invasion has gone largely unnoticed.
Ukraine has some of the largest shale gas reserves in Europe. Like other Europeans, Ukrainians had demonstrated against the harmful environmental results of fracking on their lands, but unlike some other countries, Ukraine has no restrictive legislation. Chevron is already getting involved.
As of last May, R. Hunter Biden, son of the U.S. Vice President, is on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer. The young Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and contribute to its “international expansion”.
Ukraine has rich soil as well as shale oil reserves. The U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill is particularly active in Ukraine, investing in grain elevators, animal feed, a major egg producer and agribusiness firm, UkrLandFarming, as well as the Black Sea port at Novorossiysk. The very active U.S.-Ukraine Business Council includes executives of Monsanto, John Deere, agriculture equipment-maker CNH Industrial, DuPont Pioneer, Eli Lilly & Company. Monsanto plans to build a $140 million “non-GMO corn seed plant in Ukraine”, evidently targeting the GMO-shy European market. It was in her speech at a Chevron-sponsored meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council a year ago that Victoria Nuland mentioned the five billion dollars spent by the U.S. in the last twenty years to win over Ukraine.
On December 2, President Poroshenko swore in three foreigners as cabinet ministers: an American, a Lithuanian and a Georgian. He granted them Ukrainian citizenship a few minutes before the ceremony.
U.S. born Natalie Jaresko is Ukraine’s new Finance Minister. With a Ukrainian
family background and degrees from Harvard and DePaul universities, Jaresko went from the State Department to Kiev when Ukraine
gained independence from the Soviet
Union, in order to head the economic department of the newly opened U.S. embassy. Three years later she left the U.S. Embassy to head the U.S. government-financed Western NIS Enterprise Fund. In 2004 she established her own equity fund. As a supporter of the 2004 Orange Revolution, she served on “Orange” victor President Viktor Yushchenko’s Foreign Investors Advisory Council.
Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius is the new Economy Minister, putting government economic policy clearly under U.S. influence, or rather control.
The new Health Minister, Aleksandr Kvitashvili from Georgia, is U.S.-educated and does not speak Ukrainian. He had served as health minister in his native Georgia, when U.S. puppet Mikheil Saakashvili was President.
The U.S. grip on Ukraine’s economy is now complete. The stage is set to begin fracking, perhaps transforming Hunter Biden into Ukraine’s newest oligarch.
Nobody is mentioning this, but the controversial trade agreement between the E.U. and Ukraine, whose postponement set off the Maidan protests leading to the U.S.-steered February 22 coup d’état, removes trade barriers, allowing free entry into E.U. countries of agricultural exports produced in Ukraine by U.S. corporations. The Ukrainian government is deeply in debt, but that will not prevent American corporations from making huge profits in that low-wage, regulation-free and fertile country. European grain producers, such as France, may find themselves severely damaged by the cheap competition.
The Russophobic Kiev government’s assault on Southeastern Ukraine is killing the country’s industrial sector, whose markets were in Russia. But to Kiev’s rulers from Western Ukraine, that does not matter. The death of old industry can help keep wages low and profits high.
Just as Americans decisively took control of the Ukrainian economy, Putin announced cancellation of the South Stream gas pipeline project. The deal was signed in 2007 between Gazprom and the Italian petrochemical company ENI, in order to ensure Russian gas deliveries to the Balkans, Austria and Italy by bypassing Ukraine, whose unreliability as a transit country had been demonstrated by repeated failure to pay bills or syphoning of gas intended for Europe for its own use. The German Wintershall and the French EDF also invested in South Stream.
In recent months, U.S. representatives began to put pressure on the European countries involved to back out of the deal. South Stream was a potential life-saver for Serbia, still impoverished by the results of NATO bombing and fire-sale giveaways of its privatized industries to foreign buyers. Aside from much-needed jobs and energy security, Serbia was in line to earn 500 million euros in annual transit fees. Belgrade resisted warnings that Serbia must go along with E.U. foreign policy against Russia in order to retain its status as candidate to join the E.U.
The weak link was Bulgaria, earmarked for similar benefits as the landing point of the pipeline. U.S. Ambassador to Sofia Marcie Ries started warning Bulgarian businessmen that they could suffer from doing business with Russian companies under sanctions. The retiring president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso from Portugal, who used to be a “Maoist” back when “Maoism” was the cover for opposition to Soviet-backed liberation movements in Portugal’s African colonies, threatened Bulgaria with E.U. proceedings for irregularities in South Stream contracts. This refers to E.U. rules against allowing the same company to produce and transfer gas. In short, the E.U. was attempting to apply its own rules retroactively to a contract signed with a non-EU country before the rules were adopted.
Finally, John McCain flew into Sofia to browbeat the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, to pull out of the deal, leaving South Stream out in the Black Sea without a point of entry onto the Balkan mainland.
This is all very funny considering that a favorite current U.S. war propaganda theme against Russia is that Gazprom is a nefarious political weapon used by Putin to “coerce” and “bully” Europe.
The only evidence is that Russia has repeatedly called on Ukraine to pay its long-overdo gas bills. In vain.
Cancellation of South Stream amounts to a belated blow to Serbia from NATO. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic bewailed the loss of South Stream, noting that: “We are paying the price of a conflict between big powers”.
Italian partners to the deal are also very unhappy at the big losses. But E.U. officials and media are, as usual, blaming it all on Putin.
Perhaps, when you are repeatedly insulted and made to feel unwelcome, you go away. Putin took his gas pipeline project to Turkey and immediately sold it to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. This looks like a good deal for Russia, and for Turkey, but the whole affair remains ominous.
Russian oil as a means of coercion? If Putin could use Gazprom to get Erdogan to change his policy on Syria, and drop his determination to overthrow Bachar al Assad, in order to defeat the Islamic State fanatics, that would be an excellent outcome. But so far, there is no sign of such a development.
The switch from the Balkans to Turkey deepens the gulf between Russia and Western Europe, which in the long run is harmful to both. But it also sharpens the economic inequality between Northern and Southern Europe. Germany still gets gas deliveries from Russia, notably from Gerhard Schroeder’s co-project with Putin, Nord Stream. But Southern European countries, already in deep crisis caused largely by the euro, are left out in the cold. This turn of events might contribute to the political revolt that is growing in those countries.
As voices were being raised in Italy complaining that anti-Russian sanctions were hurting Europe but leaving the United States unscathed, Europeans could take comfort in kind words from the Nobel Peace Prize winner in the White House, who praised the European Union for doing the right thing, even though it is “tough on the European economy”.
In a speech to leading CEOs on December 3, Obama said the sanctions were intended to change Putin’s “mindset”, but didn’t think this would succeed. He is waiting for “the politics inside Russia” to “catch up with what’s happening in the economy, which is why we are going to continue to maintain that pressure.” This was another way of saying that stealing Russia’s natural gas market, forcing Europe to enact sanctions, and getting Washington’s bigoted stooges in Saudi Arabia to bring down petroleum prices by flooding the market, are all intended to make the Russian people blame Putin enough to get rid of him. Regime change, in short.
On December 4, the U.S. House of Representatives officially exposed the U.S. motive behind this mess by adopting what must surely be the worst piece of legislation ever adopted: Resolution 758. The Resolution is a compendium of all the lies floated against Vladimir Putin and Russia over the past year. Never perhaps have so many lies been crammed into a single official document of that length. And yet, this war propaganda was endorsed by a vote of 411 to 10. If, despite this call for war between two nuclear powers, there are still historians in the future, they must judge this resolution as proof of the total failure of the intelligence, honesty and sense of responsibility of the political system that Washington is trying to force on the entire world
Ron Paul has written an excellent analysis of this shameful document. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/December/04/reckless-congress-declares-war-on-russia/ and http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2014/12/05/reckless-congress-declares-war-on-russia/#.VILpR1Ost4I.gmail
Whatever one may think of Paul’s domestic policies, on international affairs he stands out as a lone – very lone – voice of reason. (Yes, there was Dennis Kucinich too, but they got rid of him by gerrymandering his district off the map.)
After a long list of “Whereas” lies, insults and threats, we get the crass commercial side of this dangerous campaign. The House calls on European countries to “reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries” and “urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries”.
The Congress is ready to risk and even promote nuclear war, but when it comes to the “bottom line”, it is a matter of stealing Russia’s natural gas market by what so far is a bluff: shale gas obtained by U.S. fracking.
Worse Than Cold War
The neocons who manipulate America’s clueless politicians have not got us into a new Cold War. It is much worse. The long rivalry with the Soviet Union was “Cold” because of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. Both Washington and Moscow were perfectly aware that “Hot” war meant nuclear exchanges that would destroy everybody.
This time around, the United States thinks it already “won” the Cold War and seems to be drunk with self-confidence that it can win again. It is upgrading its nuclear weapons force and building a “nuclear shield” on Russia’s border whose only purpose can be to give the United States a first strike capacity – the ability to knock out any Russian retaliation against a U.S. nuclear attack. This cannot work, but it weakens deterrence.
The danger of outright war between the two nuclear powers is actually much greater than during the Cold War. We are now in a sort of Frozen War, because nothing the Russians say or do can have any effect. The neocons who manufacture U.S. policy behind the scenes have invented a totally fictional story about Russian “aggression” which the President of the United States, the mass media and now the Congress have accepted and endorsed. Russian leaders have responded with honesty, truth and common sense, remaining calm despite the invective thrown at them. It has done no good whatsoever. The positions are frozen. When reason fails, force follows. Sooner or later.
Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book, Queen of Chaos: the Foreign Policy of Hillary Clinton, will be published by CounterPunch in 2015. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Mark Crispin Miller :
Dates: 7 December 2014
Subject : Congress gives Apache lands to foreign mining company.
Congress gives Native American lands to
foreign mining company with new NDAA
Congress is poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department.
This week, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees quietly attached a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would mandate the handover of a large tract of Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining company Rio Tinto, which co-owns with Iran a uranium mine in Africa and which is 10-percent-owned by China.
The “Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015” - named after the retiring chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services panels - includes the giveaway of Apache burial, medicinal, and ceremonial grounds currently within the bounds of Tonto. News of the land provision was kept under wraps until late Tuesday, when the bill was finally posted online.
The land proposed to be given to Resolution Copper, in exchange for other lands, includes prime territory Apaches have used for centuries to gather medicinal plants and acorns, and it is near a spot known as Apache Leap, a summit that Apaches jumped from to avoid being killed by settlers in the late 19th century.
Lands included in the plan will stop 1,500 feet short of Apache Leap and will not initially include an area known as Oak Flats, though, when it comes to the oaks, contradictory legal parameters are but a minor hurdle for a company like Resolution Copper to eventually drill there.
The House may vote on the NDAA as soon as this week with rules included that would bar the Senate from amending the legislation. On Wednesday night, a last-minute effort to strip the land provision from the NDAA failed in the House Rules Committee, which voted to give one hour for debate over the NDAA in the House.
Terry Rambler, chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, told The Huffington Post he was saddened by news of the proposal, yet not all that surprised.
“Of all people, Apaches and Indians should understand, because we’ve gone through this so many times in our history,” Rambler said.
“The first thing I thought about was not really today, but 50 years from now, probably after my time, if this land exchange bill goes through, the effects that my children and children’s children will be dealing with,” Rambler added.
“Since time immemorial people have gone there. That’s part of our ancestral homeland," Rambler said. "We’ve had dancers in that area forever - sunrise dancers - and coming-of-age ceremonies for our young girls that become women. They’ll seal that off. They’ll seal us off from the acorn grounds, and the medicinal plants in the area, and our prayer areas.”
Arizona Sen. John McCain was instrumental in adding to the NDAA the land deal that had been pursued by Rio Tinto for a decade, according to HuffPo. Some in Congress were reportedly concerned with the deal, but it ultimately materialized thanks to economic assurances. Rio Tinto claims mining in Tonto will generate $61 billion in economic activity and 3,700 direct and indirect jobs over 40 years.
Rambler said whether Rio Tinto’s economic assertions are true or not, it may not matter.
“It seems like us Apaches and other Indians care more about what this type of action does to the environment and the effects it leaves behind for us, while others tend to think more about today and the promise of jobs, but not necessarily what our creator God gave to us,” he said.
Rambler said he was particularly concerned with long-term ramifications, including the company’s intent to use “block cave” mining, which means digging under the ore, causing it to collapse.
“What those mountains mean to us is that when the rain and the snow comes, it distributes it to us,” Rambler said. “It replenishes our aquifers to give us life.”
Resolution Copper has said its mining plan for the area has been filed with the National Forest Service and that it will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that supposedly protects federal lands.
But Rambler said NEPA is no match for Resolution Copper’s intent.
“This is what will happen - the law in one area says there will be consultation, but the law in another area of the bill says the land exchange will happen within one year of enactment of this bill,” Rambler said. “So no matter what we’re doing within that one year, the consultation part won’t mean anything after one year. Because then it’s really theirs after that.”
Basically, NEPA will only protect lands that remain in federal hands. The rest is fair game, according to federal law.
“We would only have to do NEPA on any activity that would take place on remaining federal land,” said Arizona Bureau of Land Management official Carrie Templin.
The 2015 NDAA contains other land deals, including one that would subject 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging and another provision that would give 1,600 acres from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State for purposes of industrial development, a plan that has spurred tribal protest.
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From Information Clearing House :
Date : 6 December 2014
Subject: US Congress Declares ‘War’ on Russia.
The US House passed what I consider to be one of the worst pieces of legislation ever.
From Democracy Now! :
Date : 3 December 2014
Subject: Drone Warfare and the Murder Machine.
A new report finds U.S. drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that strikes targeting 41 people in Yemen and Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 other, unnamed people. In its attempts to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri alone, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults; al-Zawahiri remains alive. We are joined by Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve and author of the new report, "You Never Die Twice: Multiple Kills in the U.S. Drone Program."
A "Precise" U.S. Drone War? Report Says 28 Unidentified Victims Killed
for Every 1 Target
From Information Clearing House :
Date : 6 December 2014
Subject: The Historic Russia-EU Battle for Oil Markets.
The House of Saud’s lethal game in Syria always boiled down to regime change so a Saudi-sponsored oil pipeline from Syria to Turkey might be built.
From Edward S. Herman :
Date : 9 December 2014
Subject: Washington Agrees on Nothing? Ask the Banks.
With the appointment of Ashton Carter Obama resuscitates completely the policy drift of the reactionary trio Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeldt. This creepy appointment, of a man apparently always in favor of military action, makes even more serious wars highly likely.
Washington Agrees on Nothing? Ask the Banks (who fund our wars)
From Democracy Now! :
Date : 8 December 2014
Subject: Outlaw Logging Companies Murder Indigenous Ecologists Protesting in Peru.
Widows of Peru’s Murdered Indigenous Rainforest Defenders Demand Justice at U.N. Climate Summit
From Information Clearing House :
Date : 1 December 2014
Subject: NATO Madness Producing European Chaos?
Washington/Wall Street elites are now deep into nuclear war paranoia.
Will Russia, Germany Save Europe From War?
by Pepe Escobar
From Information Clearing House :
Date : 6 December 2014
Subject: The Historic Russia-EU Battle for Oil Markets.
Deputy Head of the Left Party's faction Sahra Wagenknecht sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy toward Russia.
From: Daily Kos
Date 8 December, 2014
Subject: About the strange behavior of officers after they killed Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner
About the strange behavior of officers after they killed Akai Gurley,
Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner
by Shaun King