War Against ISIS: Here We Go Again

By Arlen Grossman/ The Big Picture Report

Daily Beast

Reuters, via Landov

It is easy to predict what will happen as the United States chooses to start another overseas war. It’s easy because we’ve done it so many times before and once more choose to ignore the lessons of our previous foreign invasions. Here are eleven predictions we can count on:

1) Our military will kill a lot of people, a great many of whom will be civilians.

2) Citizens of the territories we invade will hate us for it and we will make new enemies, many of whom will be easy fodder for terrorist recruitment.

3) Many American soldiers will die or be traumatized by war and come home broken in body and spirit. We will be paying for their care (and aberrant behavior) for many decades.

4) The wars will cost more than they are supposed to and will deplete the U.S. treasury of billions–if not trillions–of dollars.

5) Despite the cost, certain segments in our society–weapons manufacturers, the Pentagon, security companies, cable news networks among them–will profit greatly.

6) The weapons we provide to our friendly rebels will eventually be used against us.

7) We will have other nations as allies, but the U.S. will provide more than 95% of the fighting and funding.

8) The American people will be lied to and manipulated with fear, thus giving the government further opportunities to spy upon or restrict the Constitutional rights of its citizens.

9) If we eventually provoke a terrorist counterattack on our soil, Americans can kiss their remaining freedoms goodbye.

10) Our stated objectives will fail to be accomplished.

11) Government propagandists and supporters of the war will try to convince us that we are succeeding.

You can count on these predictions coming true, because they always do when we start wars overseas–Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq being prime examples. But the massive military-industrial-security-media complex and their cheerleaders cannot resist. So here we go again.

Published in OpEd News (Headline Status) September 27, 2014 
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Iraq Déjà Vu

the-strip-slide-1Q7L-jumboBrian McFadden
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Doomsday

A Different D-Day

doomsday250

By Gary Brumback/ OpEdNews/ August 18, 2014

 

America’s military speak of D- Day as the day when a major military action is to be started. The D-Day most familiar to Americans happened over 70 years ago when the Western Allies recklessly invaded Normandy during WWII. Ike’s troops wading through the shore off of Omaha Beach were sitting ducks for the waiting Germans, but enough managed to get through and continue on into the heart of Germany, getting there before Russia did, which was the political intent of the invasion. Eisenhower, in overruling his British counterpart, who had wanted to launch the operation by crossing the English Channel, sacrificed some 2500 men for an essentially non-military objective.

America’s regimes have always had ulterior motives for their militaristic imperialism that has led over the course of her history to the deaths and sufferings of millions, with one-half or more on average being noncombatant fatalities. [1] Today, most of the world’s inhabitants see America as the greatest threat to world peace. [2]

America is paying a heavy price to indulge her addiction to warring with a much heavier price yet to come unless and until she starts making friends instead of enemies on foreign soil. I call that heavier price “a different D-Day.” It means “doomsday,” and it will very likely show itself in the decades to come in one or more of these different forms; a nation beyond a failed state, armed revolution, escalating blowbacks, Armageddon, and other global calamities. They are not necessarily sequential. Some or all of them might happen at about the same time. Let’s briefly look into the future at each of them.

Failed State and Beyond

The NGO, Fund for Peace (FFP), regularly ranks the nations of the world on its “failed state index.” [3] Over 100 nations are put into the “alert” and “warning” categories. That the U.S. is not among them is to be expected since its biggest funders are the U.S. federal government, corporations, and foundations.

Putting the FFP’s list aside, I believe there is ample evidence summarized in the list of “sadtistic” below to suggest that America is indeed a failed state or close to becoming one.

America Today

” Corpocracy instead of democracy

” Endless wars and other military interventions

” Excessive deterioration of public infrastructures

” Expelled from the U.N. Human Rights Commission

” Frequent domestic gun violence and fatalities

” Government’s disregard for international accords/treaties

” Government’s failure to promote the common welfare

” Government’s inhibition of dissent

” Government lawlessness and unaccountability

” Government’s surveillance of all citizens

” Government’s use of torture

” Huge income inequality

” High unemployment rate

” High rate of poverty

” Large population of homeless

” Large prison population

” Low life expectancy

” Militarized police

” Millions of financial hardships from medical bills

” Six deaths a day from lack of health insurance

” Privatization of public services

_____________________________________________

Any one of those conditions would move America closer to becoming a failed state. Taken together they ought to put America there now. What waits beyond it could be an armed revolution.

?

Armed Revolution

Every generation needs a new revolution.

—Thomas Jefferson

Whether America’s second warrior-in-chief meant a real revolution like the bloody first one that defeated the British is unclear. America had to wait several generations before waging her second, very deadly revolution, the Civil War.

All of the conditions listed exist today. They are not conjectures about what might happen in the future. What might happen is the very real possibility that if her course is not reversed America may later this century experience widespread public unrest and violence that precipitates an armed revolution (just think of the number of gun carrying citizens in America). If it were to happen it would turn into a bloodbath with thousands of the regime’s tanks in the streets, drones overhead, storm troopers, and thuggish, militarized police. The few protestors’ deaths during the Vietnam War would be multiplied by the millions.

The revolution would probably be followed by a dictatorship, which in turn would eventually deteriorate into a state of dystopia and ultimate collapse. That has happened to a few nation states in the history of civilization and there is no guarantee it won’t happen to America.

External, Escalating Blowbacks

America was born in the womb of war

Will she die in its arms

—The author

There are two sources of blowbacks, or retaliatory actions, one internal involving citizens against their own government, as in an armed revolution, and the other external involving actions against a nation by sources outside of it. Both sources produce blowbacks varying in size, intensity, and harm done. By “escalating blowbacks” I mean repeated retaliations against the same target(s) that increase in size, intensity, and harm done.

If you agree with the view that the U.S. provoked Japan into bombing Pearl Harbor then that “day in infamy” was the most monumental blowback on America ever carried out by another nation—so far. More external blowbacks were to follow years later, some on American soil, some on Americans in foreign countries: the Beirut barracks bombings in 1983, the 1988 bombing of PAA Flight 103 over Lockerbie; the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; the downing of TWA Flight 800 in 1996; the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; the “9/11″ attack; the Baltimore marathon bombing in 2013.

Unless and until America’s warring habit is kicked more blowbacks are inevitable. Common sense tells us that. It’s simply a form of retributive justice, “an eye for an eye,” or in today’s world, a mass of bodies for a mass of bodies.” Here’s what Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon official and fighter aircraft designer had to say about the matter: “—what happens on the ground is for every one of those impacts [drone strikes] you get five or ten times as many recruits for the Taliban as you’ve eliminated. [4]

(CONTINUED/ READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)

Submitters Bio:

I am a retired (1995)organizational psychologist who has since concentrated on the subjects of the collusion between government and corporations and matters of war and peace. I have just finished writing my final book (final because I am staring 80 in the face), tentatively titled America’s Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying. If those two chronic habits, started when America started, aren’t broken they spell eventual doomsday.

 

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Puppets are people, my friend

1201ckCOMIC-pinocchio-inc

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NIXON’S “TREASON”

The Heinous Crime Behind Watergate

Exclusive: The mainstream media’s big takeaway from Richard Nixon’s Watergate resignation is that “the cover-up is always worse than the crime.” But that’s because few understand the crime behind Watergate, Nixon’s frantic search for a file on his 1968 subversion of Vietnam peace talks, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry/ConsortiumNews/ August 9, 2014

To fully understand the Watergate scandal, which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation 40 years ago, you have to know the back story starting in 1968 when candidate Nixon took part in a secret maneuver to scuttle the Vietnam peace talks and salvage a narrow victory over Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

In essence, what Nixon and his campaign team did was to contact South Vietnamese leaders behind President Lyndon Johnson’s back and promise them a better deal if they stayed away from Johnson’s Paris peace talks, which President Nguyen van Thieu agreed to do. So, with Johnson’s peace talks stymied and with Nixon suggesting that he had a secret plan to end the war, Nixon edged out Humphrey.

President Richard Nixon, trying to head off impeachment over Watergate, releases edited transcripts of his Oval Office tapes on April 29, 1974. (Photo credit: National Archives)

After his election, Nixon learned from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that President Johnson had amassed a detailed file on what Johnson called Nixon’s “treason,” but Nixon couldn’t locate the file once he took office and ordered an intensive search for the material that explained why the Paris peace talks had failed. But the material stayed missing.

Nixon’s worries grew more acute in mid-June 1971 when the New York Times and other major U.S. newspapers began publishing the Pentagon Papers leaked by former Defense Department official Daniel Ellsberg. Though the Pentagon Papers – covering the years 1945 through 1967 – exposed mostly Democratic deceptions, Nixon knew something that few others did, that there was a potential sequel that could be even more explosive than the original.

By mid-1971, an increasingly angry and radical anti-war movement was challenging Nixon’s continuation of the conflict. In early May, a series of demonstrations had sought to shut down Washington. Some 12,000 protesters were arrested, many confined at RFK Stadium in a scene suggesting national disorder.

In June, the Pentagon Papers further fueled the anti-war fury by revealing many of the lies that had led the nation into the bloody Vietnam quagmire. So, Nixon recognized the political danger if someone revealed how Nixon’s pre-election maneuvers in 1968 had prevented President Johnson from bringing the war to an end. Nixon became desperate to get his hands on the missing report (or file) about the failed peace talks.

In a series of tape-recorded meetings beginning on June 17, 1971, Nixon ordered a break-in (or even a fire-bombing) at the Brookings Institution where some Nixon insiders believed the missing material might be hidden in the safe.

“I want it implemented,” Nixon fumed to his senior aides, Henry Kissinger and H.R. “Bob” Haldeman. “Goddamnit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”

(Continued/Read Entire Article Here)

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We’re Number One!

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Prescient President

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address should be seen by every American every year……

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How True Is This!

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But You Knew That

US-oligarchy


The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researcher Martin Gilens and Northwestern researcher Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.

For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.

It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.

That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.

This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think, as mapped by these graphs from the Center On Budget and Policy Priorities:

 

 

 

 

Piketty and Saez also calculated that as of September 2013 the top 1% of earners had captured 95% of all income gains since the Great Recession ended. The other 99% saw a net 12% drop to their income. So not only is oligarchy making the rich richer, it’s driving policy that’s made everyone else poorer.

What kind of oligarchy? As Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan explains, Gilens and Page’s findings provide support for two theories of governance: economic elite domination and biased pluralism. The first is pretty straightforward and states that the ultra-wealthy wield all the power in a given system, though some argue that this system still allows elites in corporations and the government to become powerful as well. Here, power does not necessarily derive from wealth, but those in power almost invariably come from the upper class. Biased pluralism on the other hand argues that the entire system is a mess and interest groups ruled by elites are fighting for dominance of the political process. Also, because of their vast wealth of resources, interest groups of large business tend to dominate a lot of the discourse.

In either case, the result is the same: Big corporations, the ultra-wealthy and special interests with a lot of money and power essentially make all of the decisions. Citizens wield little to no political power. America, the findings indicate, tends towards either of these much more than anything close to what we call “democracy” — systems such as majoritarian electoral democracy or majoritarian pluralism, under which the policy choices pursued by the government would reflect the opinions of the governed.

Nothing new: And no, this isn’t a problem that’s the result of any recent Supreme Court cases — at least certainly not the likes FEC v. Citizens United or FEC v. McCutcheon. The data is pretty clear that America has been sliding steadily into oligarchy for decades, mirrored in both the substantive effect on policy and in the distribution of wealth throughout the U.S. But cases like those might indicate the process is accelerating.

“Perhaps economic elites and interest group leaders enjoy greater policy expertise than the average citizen does,” Gilens and Page write. “Perhaps they know better which policies will benefit everyone, and perhaps they seek the common good, rather than selfish ends, when deciding which policies to support.

“But we tend to doubt it.”

 

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A Drop in the Bucket

Citigroup: The Original Gangsta

By Robert Scheer/ Truthdig/ July 14, 2014

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