Bulletin N° 790
“Masters of War”
Subject : Trumping Class Struggle with Nationalist Wars.
21 March 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
One hundred years ago, millions of ordinary Europeans slaughtered each other in a four-year blood-let over the capitalist competition for Imperial expansion, and in the end Germany was deprived of all of its colonial possessions. Twenty years later, the imperialist war was rekindled, and before the conflagration was over, tens of millions of men, women and children around the world were killed or mutilated, either directly or indirectly by disease and starvation. Had these wars not sought to increase private profits for capitalist investments they would not have been fought; had the owners of corporate capital been obliged to risk their own lives in battle, there would have been no battles, no casualties.
The necessary structures to prevent catastrophic war will not be created until war itself is no longer profitable to the owners of capital. Until that day, human sacrifice on the Altar of Private Profits will be “normal” behavior and with predictable regularity corresponding to the economic cycle of “bust and boom.” These murderous activities continue today, and the usual victims are those who remain caught in the web of a political economy created for the predatory practices of private corporate interests.
The 32 items below offer CEIMSA readers perspectives on capitalist strategies, tactics and logistics in today’s war economy, where the voices of the victims are routinely displaced by corporate propaganda and psychological warfare, programmed to colonize the minds of those who might feel an urge to resist ruling class hegemony and imperial conquest.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find:
by Andrew Levine
Why is the American political class so intent on reviving the Cold War? Why does Israel have it in for Iran?
These are complicated questions; many factors are involved. But there is “a fact of life,” as it were, that bears on the answers to both questions: that to keep their regimes – their distinctive ways of organizing cultural, economic, and political institutions — going, the United States and Israel need enemies, and the ones most readily at hand no longer seem up to the task. One reason why Russia has again become America’s enemy, and Iran Israel’s, is that good enemies are hard to find.
When the Soviet Union imploded, America’s political and economic elites found themselves facing a problem that they had not seen coming: how to make do without a rationale that had served them well for as long as anybody could remember. Almost from the moment World War II ended, Americans were made to understand that an Evil Empire threatened the Land of the Free. That implacable foe, the Soviet Union was, by any reckoning, a worthy antagonist, and an enemy for all seasons — of limitless scope and world-class capabilities.
The science of satire and lies: Watching Colbert
can fight right-wing brain rot
by Sophia A. McClennen
The mainstreaming of lies in the Trump era is hurting our cognitive abilities. Research says satire can save us
In a National Rifle Association (NRA) TV ad from February of this year a man stands in front of a TV screen that airs a series of clips. Among them is a shot of John Oliver saying the words “National Rifle Association” and another of Alec Baldwin impersonating Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. The rest of the shots are of talk shows, pundits or cable news reporting. As the clips roll, the man takes a sledgehammer to the TV and smashes it. Then a slogan appears: “The truth is our greatest weapon.”
It is a stunningly stupid ad. And it helps explain why the right keeps going after comedians.
Going Down With the Bad Ship U.S.A.
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
by Bruce E. Levine
I have never spoken with a school shooter, but I’ve talked with many teenage boys and young men who—though behaviorally nonviolent themselves—emotionally connect with the anger, alienation, and hopelessness of school shooters. Regardless of whether they received poor or excellent grades, these teenage boys and young men all tell me that high school was an oppressive experience. When we talk about Trump’s support for arming school teachers, they make caustic remarks such as: “Prison experts have long known that it’s a bad idea for prison guards to carry guns.”
Cynical about virtually all societal institutions, these young people tell me that NRA leaders care only about the NRA and gun profits and couldn’t care less about them. And they have no hope that gutless politicians’ gun control laws will decrease school shootings. These teenage boys and young men are acutely sensitive to the variety of ways adults try to coerce compliance, and they dislike both self-identified “conservatives” and “liberals.” For these young people, conservatives’ religion and militarized society and liberals’ schools and shrinks are different faces of the same oppressive box.
Kim Dotcom: The Deep State, WikiLeaks, and Seth Rich
"The government is not really for the people anymore. The government is for commercial interests, it's all about business, it's all about their donors"
From: Bill Blum
Sent: Thursday, 15 March, 2018
Subject: Anti-Empire Report #156, March 16, 2018
Anti-Empire Report #156, March 16, 2018
The “Pimps”, “Whores” and “Johns” of the Military Industrial Empire
by Philip A Farruggio
We have regressed as a nation, as a culture, so quickly that even the 60s, 70s and 80s look like ‘the good old days’… and they weren’t. This Military Industrial Empire is run by the Pimps. They push their Whores, the political system and the mainstream media, out into the streets of our great nation, where they proposition the Johns, the majority of our populace.
The biggest Lie that they con the Johns with is that we are a Democracy, and that their vote matters. Of course, what they fail to inform the Johns of is that only the Two Party/One Party system is what counts. The second biggest Lie is that we live in a ‘Free Enterprise system’ where any John can rise to the top of the economic ladder with both hard work and diligence. Then the Lie continues by saying that people have a right to earn as much as they can, and that ‘The rich pay all the taxes and deserve a break.’ Tell that to the millions of Johns at the gas pump each day, by asking them to look at how much of each gallon of gas goes for taxes.
You channel surf on the boob tube and see what the so called ‘News channels’ are covering. The Democratic leaning channels (CNN and MSNBC to name a few) are all over this Russia gate, ready to fan the fires of a new Cold War. Hours and hours of this, and let me ask you this, was what was leaked by whomever during the 2016 campaign actual TRUTH? If so, then who in the hell cares who leaked it! When you go to the right wing Republican leaning channels, they continually defend this ‘Reality Star President’ and his far right ‘Think tank’ regressive policies and plans to continually aid the ‘Less than 1 % of us’. Of course, the Whores of media, as well as the elected Whores, will bang the drum for more military spending and more of the ‘Big Stick’ mentality worldwide… which is already bankrupting our cities and destroying our moral compass!
Lies Can Lead To War
by Paul Craig Roberts
Notice that the governments of the US, UK, France, and Germany did not require any evidence to decide that the Russian government used military-grade nerve gas to attack two people on an English park bench and a UK policeman. It makes no sense. There is no Russian motive.
The motive lies in the West. It is the latest orchestration in the ongoing demonization of Russia. The demonization is a huge boost to the power and profit of the military/security complex and prevents President Trump from normalizing relations. The military/security’s budget and power require a major enemy, and Russia is the designated enemy and will not be allowed to escape that assigned role.
UK Scientists Refused Government Pressure To Say
Nerve Agent Was Made By Russia
by Craig Murray
Boris Johnson Attempt to Refute My Sources on Porton Down the Most Hilarious Fail
Don't Push Russia
by the Saker
Hold my Beer And Watch This!
If cornered or attacked Russia will strike back -- hard! The terrifying truth is the west does not understand that.
Guardian Rips-Off Goebbels - Fascist Propaganda For Better Anti-Russian Smears
by Moon Of Alabama
Just recently the Rothschild organ The Economist depicted the Russian president Putin as a dangerous octopus.
The idea was not original at all. Russia has been the favored target of this denigrating comparison for more than a century.
War Is On The Horizon
by Paul Craig Roberts
Have Washington and its British vassal set a stage for testing whether Russia has the stomach for war?
How else do we interpret the announcement by General Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, that “we have reliable information at our disposal that US instructors have trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of At-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare agents in southern Syria. They are preparing a series of chemical munitions explosions. This fact will be used to blame the government forces. The components to produce chemical munitions have been already delivered to the southern de-escalation zone under the guise of humanitarian convoys of a number of NGOs. The provocations will be used as a pretext by the United States and its allies to launch strikes on military and government infrastructure in Syria.”
‘Not proxy’: Lavrov says US, British, French special forces ‘directly involved’ in Syria war
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has condemned the illegal presence of US coalition troops in Syria, saying the Western forces deployed on the ground amount to “a direct involvement in the war.”
“There are special forces on the ground in Syria from the US – they no longer deny it – the UK, France and a number of other countries,” Lavrov said in an interview to the Kazakh state broadcaster published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website on Saturday. “Thus, it’s not so much of a ‘proxy war,’ but rather a direct involvement in the war,” the diplomat stressed.
Sent: Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Some urgent truths about whatever—and whoever—killed Sergej Skripal
Please send this far and wide.
Doubts about “Novichoks”
The following briefing note is developed from ongoing research and investigation into the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria conducted by members of the Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political crisis that is now developing. We welcome comments and corrections.
Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue and Professor Piers Robinson (email@example.com/+447764763350)
Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda (syriapropagandamedia.org).
Novichoks and the Salisbury poisoning:
In the House of Commons on 12 March the Prime Minister stated that:
It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. It is part of a group of nerve agents known as Novichok. Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, our knowledge that Russia has previously produced this agent and would still be capable of doing so, Russia’s record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russia views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations, the Government have concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
The Prime Minister said if there is no “credible response” by the end of Tuesday 12 March, the UK would conclude there has been an “unlawful use of force” by Moscow.
Summary of key issues that need to be addressed
1) There are reasons to doubt that these compounds are military grade nerve agents or that a Russian “Novichok” program ever existed. If they were potentially usable as chemical weapons, people on the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board who were in a position to know the properties of these compounds would have recommended that they be added to the list of Scheduled Chemicals. They have never been added.
2) Synthesis at bench scale of organic chemicals such as the purported “Novichoks” is within the capability of a modern chemistry laboratory. Porton Down itself must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. The detection of such a compound does not establish Russian origin.
(1) Doubts about the history of the “Novichok” Programme
The history of the alleged “Novichok” program remains unclear. The original source for the story that a new class of organophosphate compounds was developed as chemical weapons under the name Novichok in the Soviet Union during the 1970s and 1980s is from Vil Mirzayanov, a defector in the 1990s. Mirzayanov described the chemical structures of these compounds and stated that the toxicity of an agent named Novichuk-5 “under optimal conditions exceeds the effectiveness of VX by five to eight times”. Mirzayanov alleged that Russian testing and production had continued after signing the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993.
However, a review by Dr Robin Black, who was until recently head of the detection laboratory at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Porton Down), emphasizes that there is no independent confirmation of Mirzayanov’s claims about the chemical properties of these compounds:
In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, ‘Novichoks’ (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the ‘Foliant’ programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published. (Black, 2016)
The OPCW’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) appeared to doubt the existence of “Novichoks”, and did not advise that the compounds described by Mirzayanov, or their precursors, should be designated as Scheduled Chemicals that should be controlled under the Chemical Weapons Convention:-
[The SAB] emphasised that the definition of toxic chemicals in the Convention would cover all potential candidate chemicals that might be utilised as chemical weapons. Regarding new toxic chemicals not listed in the Annex on Chemicals but which may nevertheless pose a risk to the Convention, the SAB makes reference to “Novichoks”. The name “Novichok” is used in a publication of a former Soviet scientist who reported investigating a new class of nerve agents suitable for use as binary chemical weapons. The SAB states that it has insufficient information to comment on the existence or properties of “Novichoks”. (OPCW, 2013)
The Scientific Advisory Board included Dr Black, and several other heads of national chemical defence laboratories in western countries. These labs would have presumably made their own evaluation of Mirzayanov’s claims and specifically would have done their own experiments to determine if compounds with the structures that he described were of military grade toxicity. Such studies can be done quickly and efficiently in vitro using methods developed for drug discovery (combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening). It is reasonable to assume that if these labs had found that these compounds were potentially usable as chemical weapons, the Scientific Advisory Board would have recommended adding them to the list of Scheduled Chemicals as the Chemical Weapons Convention requires.
Until independent confirmation of Mirzayanov’s claims about the toxicity of these compounds is available, and there is an adequate explanation of why the OPCW Scientific Advisory Board did not recommend that the compounds purported to be “Novichoks” and their precursors be designated as scheduled chemicals, it is reasonable to question whether these compounds are military grade nerve agents, or that a Russian “Novichok” programme ever actually existed.
(2) Who Could Have Synthesized the ‘Novichok’ Compounds?
The Prime Minister stated that:
There are, therefore, only two plausible explanations for what happened in Salisbury on 4 March: either this was a direct act by the Russian state against our country; or the Russian Government lost control of their potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others.
However, Mirzayanov originally claimed that the Novichok agents were easy to synthesize:-
One should be mindful that the chemical components or precursors of A-232 or its binary version novichok-5 are ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides. (Mirzayanov, 1995).
Soviet scientists had published many papers in the open literature on the chemistry of such compounds for possible use as insecticides. Mirzayanov claimed that “this research program was premised on the ability to hide the production of precursor chemicals under the guise of legitimate commercial chemical production of agricultural chemicals”.
As the structures of these compounds have been described, any organic chemist with a modern lab would be able to synthesize bench scale quantities of such a compound. Indeed, Porton Down must have been able to synthesize these compounds in order to develop tests for them. It is therefore misleading to assert that only Russia could have produced such compounds.
Vil S. Mirzayanov, “Dismantling the Soviet/Russian Chemical Weapons Complex: An Insider’s View,” in Amy E. Smithson, Dr. Vil S. Mirzayanov, Gen Roland Lajoie, and Michael Krepon, Chemical Weapons Disarmament in Russia: Problems and Prospects, Stimson Report No. 17, October 1995, p. 21. https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/105521/Report17.pdf
OPCW: Report of the Scientific Advisory Board on developments in science and technology for the Third Review Conference 27 March 2013. https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/CSP/RC-3/en/rc3wp01_e_.pdf
Robin Black. (2016) Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents. Royal Society of Chemistry. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/chapter/bk9781849739696-00001/978-1-84973-969-6
Maria Zakharova blows apart poisoning hoax:
US should “be put under question”
by Alex Christoforou
“Novichok” nerve agent most likely originated in the UK, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden.
US training Syria militants for false flag chemical attack as basis for airstrikes – Russian MoD
Russia’s Defense Ministry says “US instructors” are training militants to stage false flag chemical attacks in south Syria. The incidents are said to be a pretext for airstrikes on Syrian government troops and infrastructure.
“We have reliable information at our disposal that US instructors have trained a number of militant groups in the vicinity of the town of At-Tanf, to stage provocations involving chemical warfare agents in southern Syria,” Russian General Staff spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy said at a news briefing on Saturday.
“Early in March, the saboteur groups were deployed to the southern de-escalation zone to the city of Deraa, where the units of the so-called Free Syrian Army are stationed.”
“They are preparing a series of chemical munitions explosions. This fact will be used to blame the government forces. The components to produce chemical munitions have been already delivered to the southern de-escalation zone under the guise of humanitarian convoys of a number of NGOs.”
The planned provocations will be widely covered in the Western media and will ultimately be used as a pretext by the US-led coalition to launch strikes on Syria, Rudskoy warned.
Syria Preparing for a
Major US Military Attack
by Mohammad Ayesh
Russian troops have already been deployed to 'critical locations' to deter Washington
Damascus has taken a series of measures to prepare for an anticipated US military strike, Western diplomats told Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
US Planning to Launch Attack Against Syrian Army 'Very Soon' - Source
In late 2017, troops from the Syrian Army and other allied ground forces liberated parts of the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, effectively reestablishing a land route stretching from Iran to Syria and Lebanon, where the formidable Hezbollah political party and militia is based.
Speaking to Sputnik reporter Suliman Mulhem, a Syrian analyst reported that a largescale US military operation is set to be launched against the Syrian Army near the Syria-Iraq border "very soon."
US plans to remain in Syria ‘for a long time,
if not forever’ – Lavrov
Some fficials in Washington are aiming to maintain a foothold in Syria for a long time, “if not forever,” using chemical weapons provocations to achieve this objective, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. There are no grounds “to doubt the willingness of some US officials to keep a foothold [in Syria] for a long time, if not forever, and contribute to the collapse of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.
“Various methods” are being used, including “information revealed via [Russia’s] Defense and Foreign Ministries, which says that other provocations involving chemical weapons are being prepared,” the foreign minister said, noting that one such “staging” might take place in Eastern Ghouta.
On March 5, Lavrov said Russia had evidence that the US involvement in Syria had nothing to do with combatting terrorism. Speaking during a visit to Namibia, the foreign minister asserted that Washington is willing to keep the Al-Nusra Front terrorist group as a “plan B” to change the leadership in Damascus, according to Interfax.
Some policymakers in the American capital, he said, are “harboring plans to disintegrate the Syrian state.” In February, Lavrov told Euronews that “the US clearly has a strategy that, I think, consists of stationing its armed forces in Syria forever.”
The US pursues the same goal in Iraq and Afghanistan “despite all of its earlier promises.” The Americans are working “to cut a huge chunk of Syrian territory from the rest of the country” while setting up puppet local authorities in that area and “trying in every way to establish an autonomous entity under Kurdish authority,” Lavrov said.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Wednesday, 14 March, 2018
Subject: [MCM] Now Mother Jones is telling us that RUSSIA is behind the "myth" that GMOs are bad for us
Shades of Operation CHAOS, 1967-74.
From Dick Atlee:
I shouldn't have been gob-smacked when I received the daily Mother Jones notification of food-related articles. I KNOW Mother Jones is pretty pathetic on the issue of GMOs, as well as on the current suicidal Russia-baiting frenzy. But I honestly didn't think I'd see them combined:
It is the exact analog of what I had to go through in the 50s-60s, of
being called a Communist because I was part of the peace movement, and the
Russians kept talking about Peace. Now it's the Russian-related press talking
negatively about GMOs, while the all-knowing American press's articles are
overwhelmingly positive -- so it's obvious the Russians are trying to
manipulate us poor Americans in yet another arena.
And again, as with the 2016 Russian-meddling "intelligence estimate," RT and Sputnik are being trotted out as prime candidates. As we all know, the vast majority of Americans spend most of their time glued to their monitors and TVs, watching RT and Sputnik and being brainwashed, just as that vast majority of Americans were brainwashed to vote for Trump.
I suppose it's going to be vaccines next. And maybe supplements?
Please feel free to forward the article reference to any GMO-interested people who you think might need protection from those devilish Russkies.
Dick's letter to Amy Thomson, the "journalist" who wrote that article.
Hi, Ms. Thomson,
I read with interest your piece on allegations of a link between Russian propaganda and growing American distrust of GMOs.
MoJo's (particularly Tom Philpott's) dismissal of GMO dangers was the principal reason for my parting company with the magazine a number of years ago. I've been working on the issue for quite a few years (http://dickatlee.com/gmo), and there's a widespread understanding in the world that GMOs and their associated pesticides are a bad deal on a broad range of issues -- environmental, health, legal, geopolitical, and others. The U.S. is one of the few places where public awareness of the problem has only recently been catching up.
There is plenty of solid research on the potential and actual dangers of GMOs (alone or due to glyphosate, dicamba, etc). However, most of this research has been done outside the U.S. because of the well-documented literally vicious attacks by Monsanto and other ag-chem entities on such research and researchers. So it is no surprise that there might be much less negative coverage of GMOs within the U.S. than outside it. Oddly, you have chosen to focus the locus of negative coverage on the Russians, rather than other non-U.S. sources.
For me, this is personal. I grew up in the peace movement in the 50's and early 60's. My classmates would call me a Communist because, after all, the Russians were always talking about peace. The exact same dynamic is in play now and, as it did in those days, it is narrowing our society dangerously. You can't say anything the Russians are saying without being accused of being a Russian propagandist, or at least stooge.
The wording of the intelligence community anti-Russian statements never involves actual public proof. It is always "Such and such is CONSISTENT with Russian statements/behavior," just like my peace-advocating "Communist" behavior 60 years ago was. This has spread from the evidence-free (so far) accusations of Russian hacking of the DNC to advocates of peace in Syria to advocates for vaccine safety, and now, with your help, it looks like the canard is being pushed all the way to GMOs.
Before mainlining the Russians-did-it (everything) narrative, it might be worth sitting back and looking at where the power to control the media lies before concluding (or even implying) that anything different from what the American media says must be Russian-related. I'm sure you're well aware of the influence of the pharmaceutical and ag-chem industries. But look back also at Watergate-famous Carl Bernstein's 1977 Rolling Stone exposé on how the "intelligence community" fits into that picture:
and the CIA's original weaponization of the term "conspiracy theory"
At the very least, it's wise to take with a grain of salt the "intelligence community" assertions that are keeping this Russia meme afloat.
For 20 years after the fall of the USSR we lived in relative nuclear safety, with no stupid head-butting with the Russians. We got along fine. However, the resurgence of that insanity has returned us to hair-trigger nuclear alert and assertions of a U.S. right to a nuclear first strike that would in the end kill us all. Your article is just another click in that ratchet. I hope you'll think about it in this larger context.
From: Jim O'Brien
Sent: Thu, 15 Mar 2018
Subject: [H-Pad] H-PAD Notes 3/15/18: H-PAD broadsides on the Verso Press blog; links to recent articles of interest
Note: Verso Books has begun posting H-PAD "Broadsides for the Trump Era" in its blog. So far the following have appeared in the blog: Ellen Schrecker's McCarthyism 1947-1960, Jeremy Kuzmarov's The U.S. War on Drugs from its Origins to the Age of Trump, and Linda Gordon's https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3688-broadside-for-the-trump-era-the-ku-klux-klan-of-the-1920s
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By William J. Astore, TomDispatch.com, posted March 15
The author, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, taught history for fifteen years at military and civilian schools.
By Aviva Chomsky, TomDispatch.com, posted March 13
The author teaches history at Salem State University.
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, posted March 12
By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network, posted March 11
The author is an emeritus professor of history at SUNY Albany.
By Shashi Taroor, Washington Post, posted March 10
By James Carroll, TomDispatch.com, posted March 8
Provides detailed comparisons with the original Crusades
By Stephen F. Cohen, The Nation, posted March 7
The author is an emeritus professor of history at Princeton University and New York University.
By Alex Wagner, The Atlantic, posted March 6
By Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect, posted March 6
By Peter Dreier, Portside.org, posted March 2
Thanks to Rusti Eisenberg and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles that are included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In memory: Rachel Corrie - Death of an Idealist
Watch - Channel 4 Documentary
Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace protestor who was crushed to death by Israeli occupation forces.
50 Years After My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Revisiting the Slaughter the U.S. Military Tried to Hide
Fifteen Years After Iraq Invasion, Torture Has a New Address
by William Rivers Pitt
“I would bring back waterboarding, and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”
—Donald Trump, 02/16/2016
Fifteen years ago this week, George W. Bush and his pack of unprosecuted murderers transformed the city of Baghdad into a bowl of fire, "Shock & Awe," in what was a massive war crime right there on live television. I call it a war crime justly: It was an act based entirely on lies founded in greed and lust for power, for which not one person has been called to account.
Millions of human beings have been butchered, maimed, displaced and undone in those 15 years since the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. The war there has actually been going on in one form or another for 27 years now. Yet no one is held accountable even as we slog, year after year, through the drifting ashes of aftermath.
We simply don't talk about it.
We are allowed, within the narrow confines of permissible debate, to rub our collective woes together and wonder how so much could go so wrong so fast. The physical shock of September 11 doesn't explain it, but the manner in which that day was used against us certainly fills in the blank spaces. They used it to start a war that has now become several wars, and a few people you'll never meet continue to swim in the profits.
Paul Craig Roberts:
“World War 3 Is Approaching”
“In a nuclear war the “collateral damage” would be the life of all humanity.” – Fidel Castro
by Alex Christoforou
Map Shows Why Russia Developed
Mike Maloney explains how NATO/USA has eaten away at Russia's defenses.
The Implications of Russia's
New Weapon Systems
by Andrei Martyanov
During the August 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the operations of Russia’s 58th Army were termed as “coercion into peace”. It is an appropriate term once one recalls what truly was at stake then. Russians did win that war and, indeed, coerced Georgia into a much more peaceful mood. In Clausewitzian terms the Russians achieved the main object of the war by compelling the enemy to do Russia’s will. Russians, as the events of the last 19 years showed, have no illusions anymore about the possibility of any kind of reasonable civilized conduct from the combined West, least of all from the United States which still continues to reside in her bubble which insulates her from any outside voices of reason and peace. The American global track record of the last few decades does not require any special elaborations—it is a record of military and humanitarian disasters.
Sunday, 18 March
France said on Sunday it would not recognize Russia's election in the Crimea peninsula, four years to the day after Russia formally annexed the territory from Ukraine in a move slammed by the West as illegal. "Challenging borders by force is contrary to international law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation," the French foreign ministry said in a statement. "France does not recognize the organization of Russia's presidential election in Crimea today," it added as Russians vote in an election overshadowed by a furious row with Britain and its allies over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England. Sunday marks exactly four years since President Vladimir Putin, who is seen as a virtual certainty for a fourth term, signed a treaty declaring Crimea part of Russia after taking control of the former Soviet territory following the ouster of a Russian-backed president in Ukraine's capital Kiev. It is Russia's first presidential election since the annexation, which prompted pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to take up arms against the state, sparking a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.
“We Don’t Even Know if a Novichok Program Existed!”
Are 'Novichok' Poisons Real? - May's Claims Fall Apart
The British government claims that 'Novichok' poisons, developed 30 years ago in the Soviet Union, affected a British double agent. But such substances may not exist at all. The British government further says that the Russian government is responsible for the incident and has announced penalties against the country. A comparable incidents happened in 2001 in the United States. Envelopes with Anthrax spores were sent to various politicians. Some people died. The White House told the FBI to blame al-Qaeda but the Anthrax turned out to be from a U.S. chemical-biological weapon laboratory. The case is still unsolved.
The 'whistle-blower' Vil Mirzanyanov who 'revealed' the 'Novichok' program and its poisons published chemical formulas that should enable any decent laboratory to reproduce them. But neither the existence of the claimed program nor the existence of the alleged substances were ever accepted by the scientific community. The Russian government says it does not know the program nor the alleged poisons.
by Paul Craig Roberts
Russians are having a difficult time comprehending their Western enemy or even understanding that Russia has an enemy that seeks the destruction of Russia.
Has it occured to Russia that it is very strange that the UK, a country of no military significance, a country that could be completely destroyed forever in a few minutes by Russia, would concoct false charges against the Russian government, announce these charges publicly without providing any evidence whatsoever, bring the unsupported charges to the UN, issue an ultimatum to Russia, dispel Russian diplomats and seize Russian assets on the basis of mere allegations, all the while refusing any evidence and any cooperation with Russia, as required by law, in the investigation of the charges?
Russians, both government, media and youth brainwashed by American propaganda and the Washington-funded NGOS that the Russian government permits to operate against itself in Russia, seem to think that the many accusations and threats issued against Russia are some kind of mistake that can be rectified by recourse to evidence and law. Apparently, after all these years the Russians still do not understand that Washington and its vassals have no interest whatsoever in facts or law.
by The Saker
Assuming mankind finds a way not to destroy itself in the near future and assuming that there will still be historians in the 22nd or 23rd centuries, I bet you that they will look at the AngloZionist Empire and see the four following characteristics as some of its core features: lies, willful ignorance, hypocrisy, and hysterics. To illustrate my point I will use the recent “Skripal nerve-gas assassination” story as it really encompasses all of these characteristics.
The Empty Piety of the American Press
by Chris Hedges
The press, giddy with its newfound sense of mission and purpose, is carrying out a moral crusade against Donald Trump. The airwaves and print have shed their traditional claims of “impartiality” and “objectivity.” They fulminate against Trump, charging—falsely—that he was elected because of Russian interference and calling him a liar, ignorant and incompetent. They give airtime to his bitterest critics and bizarre associates, such as Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a onetime star of “The Apprentice” and now a fired White House aide, and Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who says she had a sexual relationship with Trump. It is great entertainment. It is great for ratings. It is great for profits. But it is not moral, and it is not journalism.
The empty piety is a mask for self-interest. It is accompanied by the veneration of the establishment politicians, generals, intelligence chiefs, corporate heads and hired apologists who carried out the corporate coup d’état that created our system of “inverted totalitarianism.” The corporate structures that have a stranglehold on the country and have overseen deindustrialization and the evisceration of democratic institutions, plunging over half the country into chronic poverty and misery, are unassailable. They are portrayed as forces of progress. The criminals on Wall Street, including the heads of financial firms such as Goldman Sachs, are treated with reverence. Free trade is equated with freedom. Democratic politicians such as Barack Obama—who assaulted civil liberties, transferred trillions of dollars upward to reigning oligarchs, expanded the drone wars to include targeted assassinations of American citizens, and used the Espionage Act to silence investigative journalism—are hailed as champions of democracy. Deference is paid to democratic processes, liberties, electoral politics and rights enshrined in our Constitution, from due process to privacy, that no longer exist. It is a vast game of deception under the cover of a vacuous morality.
Those cast aside by corporate capitalism—Noam Chomsky calls them “unpeople”—are rendered invisible and reviled at the same time. The “experts” whose opinions are amplified on every issue, from economics to empire and politics, are drawn from corporate-funded think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, or are former military and intelligence officials or politicians who are responsible for the failure of our democracy and usually in the employ of corporations. Cable news also has the incestuous habit of interviewing its own news celebrities. Former CIA Director John Brennan, one of many former officials now on the airwaves, has morphed into a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC. Brennan was the architect of the disastrous attempt to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria, oversaw the huge expansion of our drone wars and instigated the canard that Russia stole the last U.S. presidential election. The most astute critics of empire, including Andrew Bacevich, are banished, as are critics of corporate power, including Ralph Nader and Chomsky. Those who decry the waste within the military, such as MIT Professor Emeritus Ted Postol, who has exposed the useless $13 billion anti-ballistic missile program, are unheard. Advocates of universal health care, such as Dr. Margaret Flowers, are locked out of national health care debates. There is a long list of the censored. The acceptable range of opinion is so narrow it is almost nonexistent.
by William Astore
While we meddle overseas, our homeland crumbles.
Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared
by Ray McGovern
With former CIA Director John Brennan accusing President Donald Trump of “moral turpitude” for his “scapegoating” of Andy McCabe, it remains to be seen whether a constitutional crisis will be averted, writes Ray McGovern.
An information apocalypse is coming. How can we protect ourselves?
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