It Must Happen Here

Tariq Ali: The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution

By Chris Hedges/ Truthdig/ March 1, 2015

PRINCETON, N.J.—Tariq Ali is part of the royalty of the left. His more than 20 books on politics and history, his seven novels, his screenplays and plays and his journalism in the Black Dwarf newspaper, the New Left Review and other publications have made him one of the most trenchant critics of corporate capitalism. He hurls rhetorical thunderbolts and searing critiques at the oily speculators and corporate oligarchs who manipulate global finance and the useful idiots in the press, the political system and the academy who support them. The history of the late part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century has proved Ali, an Oxford-educated intellectual and longtime gadfly who once stood as a Trotskyist candidate for Parliament in Britain, to be stunningly prophetic. 

The Pakistani-born Ali, who holds Pakistani and British citizenships, was already an icon of the left during the convulsions of the 1960s. Mick Jagger is said to have written “Street Fighting Man”after he attended an anti-war rally in Grosvenor Square on March 17, 1968, led by Ali, Vanessa Redgrave and others outside the U.S. Embassy in London. Some 8,000 protesters hurled mud, stones and smoke bombs at riot police. Mounted police charged the crowd. Over 200 people were arrested. 

Ali, when we met last week shortly before he delivered the Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture at Princeton University, praised the street clashes and open, sustained protests against the state that erupted during the Vietnam War. He lamented the loss of the radicalism that was nurtured by the 1960s counterculture, saying it was “unprecedented in imperial history” and produced the “most hopeful period” in the United States, “intellectually, culturally and politically.” 

“I cannot think of an example of any other imperial war in history, and not just in the history of the American empire but in the history of the British and French empires, where you had tens of thousands of former GIs and sometimes serving GIs marching outside the Pentagon and saying they wanted the Vietnamese to win,” he said. “That is a unique event in the annals of empire. That is what frightened and scared the living daylights out of them [those in power]. If the heart of our apparatus is becoming infected, [they asked] what the hell are we going to do?” 

This defiance found expression even within the halls of the Establishment. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings about the Vietnam War openly challenged and defied those who were orchestrating the bloodshed. “The way that questioning was conducted educated a large segment of the population,” Ali said of the hearings, led by liberals such as J. William Fulbright. Ali then added sadly that “such hearings could never happen again.”

“That [spirit is what the ruling elite] had to roll back, and that they did quite successfully,” he said. “That rollback was completed by the implosion of the Soviet Union. They sat down and said, ‘Great, now we can do whatever we want. There is nothing abroad, and what we have at home—kids protesting about South America and Nicaragua and the contras—is peanuts. Gradually the dissent decreased.” By the start of the Iraq War, demonstrations, although large, were usually “one-day affairs.” 

Revolution Love

“It was an attempt to stop a war. Once they couldn’t stop it, that was the end,” he said about the marches opposing the Iraq War. “It was a spasm. They [authorities] made people feel there was nothing they could do; that whatever people did, those in power would do what they wanted. It was the first realization that democracy itself had been weakened and was under threat.”

The devolution of the political system through the infusion of corporate money, the rewriting of laws and regulations to remove checks on corporate power, the seizure of the press, especially the electronic press, by a handful of corporations to silence dissent, and the rise of the wholesale security and surveillance state have led to “the death of the party system” and the emergence of what Ali called “an extreme center.” Working people are being ruthlessly sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit—a scenario dramatically on display in Greece. And there is no mechanism or institution left within the structures of the capitalist system to halt or mitigate the reconfiguration of the global economy into merciless neofeudalism, a world of masters and serfs. 

“This extreme center, it does not matter which party it is, effectively acts in collusion with the giant corporations, sorts out their interests and makes wars all over the world,” Ali said. “This extreme center extends throughout the Western world. This is why more and more young people are washing their hands of the democratic system as it exists. All this is a direct result of saying to people after the collapse of the Soviet Union, ‘There is no alternative.’ ”

The battle between popular will and the demands of corporate oligarchs, as they plunge greater and greater numbers of people around the globe into poverty and despair, is becoming increasingly volatile. Ali noted that even those leaders with an understanding of the destructive force of unfettered capitalism—such as the new, left-wing prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras—remain intimidated by the economic and military power at the disposal of the corporate elites. This is largely why Tsipras and his finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, bowed to the demands of European banks for a four-month extension of the current $272 billion bailout for Greece. The Greek leaders were forced to promise to commit to more punishing economic reforms and to walk back from the pre-election promise of Tsipras’ ruling Syriza party to write off a large part of Greece’s sovereign debt. Greece’s debt is 175 percent of its GDP. This four-month deal, as Ali pointed out, is a delaying tactic, one that threatens to weaken widespread Greek support for Syriza. Greece cannot sustain its debt obligations. Greece and European authorities will have to collide. And this collision could trigger a financial meltdown in Greece, see it break free from the eurozone, and spawn popular upheavals in Spain, Portugal and Italy. 

The cost of open defiance, which, Ali pointed out, is our only escape route from corporate tyranny, will at least at first be painful. Our corporate masters do not intend to release their death grip without a brutal fight. 

Ali recalled that even his late friend Hugo Chavez, the firebrand socialist president of Venezuela, was not untouched by intimidation from Establishment forces. “I remember talking to Chavez many times and saying, ‘Comandante, why do you stop there?’ ” Ali said. “He said it is not realistic to do it at the present time. We can regulate them, make life difficult for capitalism, use oil money for the poor, but we can’t topple the system.”

Ali added, “The Greeks and the Spanish are saying the same.”

“I don’t know what Syriza thought,” he said. “If it thought we can divide the European elite, we can make a big propaganda campaign in Europe and they will be forced to make concessions, that was foolish. This European elite, led by the Germans, doesn’t crack easily. They have walked all over the Greeks. The Greek leaders should have said to their own people, ‘We are going to try and get the best possible conditions—if not we will report to you what has happened and what we need to do.’ Instead, they fell into the European trap. The Europeans made virtually no concessions that mattered.” 

The clash between the Greeks and the corporate elites that dominate Europe, Ali said, is “not economic.”

The European Union is “prepared to pour billions into fighting Russians in the Ukraine,” he said. “It’s not a question of the money. They can throw away the bloody money, as they are preparing to do and are doing in the Ukraine. With the Greeks they pretend it is economic, but it’s political. They are fearful that if the Greeks pull it off, the disease will spread. There are elections in December in Spain. If Podemos [Spain’s left-wing party] wins with Greece already having won and proceeding, however modestly, on a different path, the Spanish will say the Greeks have done it. And then there is the Irish waiting patiently with their progressive parties, saying, ‘Why can’t we do what Syriza has done? Why can’t we unite and take on our extreme center?’ ”

Ali said he was “shocked and angry about all the hopes that were invested in Obama by the left.” He lambasted what he called the American “obsession with identity.” Barack Obama, he said, “is an imperial president and behaves like one, regardless of the color of his skin.” Ali despaired of the gender politics that are fueling a possible run for the White House by Hillary Clinton, who would be the first woman president.

“My reply is, ‘So bloody what?’ ” he said. “If she is going to bomb countries and put drones over whole continents, what difference does her gender make if her politics are the same? That is the key. The political has been devalued and debased under neoliberalism. People retreat into religion or identity. It’s disastrous. I wonder if it is even possible to create something on a national scale in the United States. I wonder if it would be better to concentrate on big cities and states to develop some movements where they can have an influence in Los Angeles, New York or in states such as Vermont. It may be wiser to concentrate on three or four things to show that it can be done. I can’t see the old way of reproducing a political party of the left, modeled on the Republican and Democratic structures, as working. These people only work with money. They do not even speak with very many ordinary people. It is credit-card democracy. The left cannot and should not emulate this. America is the hardest nut to crack, but unless it is cracked we are doomed.”

Ali said he fears that should Americans become politically conscious and resist, the corporate state will impose naked forms of militarized repression. Government’s reaction to the 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon stunned him. Authorities “closed down an entire city with the support of the population.” He said that the virtual declaration of martial law in Boston was “a dress rehearsal.”

“If they can do it in Boston they can do it in other cities,” he said. “They needed to try it on in Boston to see if it would work. That frightened me.”

(CONTINUED–READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)

Posted in economy, inequality, Occupy, politics, protest, protests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Move Along, Nothing to See Here

President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets

Exclusive: Despite promises of “openness,” President Obama has treated information that could inform American democracy like Tolkien’s character Gollum coveted his “precious” ring. Obama is keeping for himself analyses that could change how the public sees the crises in Syria and Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry/ Consortium News/ February 16, 2015

gollum_395_394-300x300

President Barack Obama promised a “transparent” administration, reviving democracy by letting Americans see into the inner workings of their government as much as possible, an implicit criticism of the excessive secrecy of his predecessor, George W. Bush. But instead Obama’s presidency has been one of the most opaque and deceptive in modern history.

Not only has Obama continued to wrap the carry-over anti-terrorism wars in maximum secrecy but he has taken unprecedented steps to shut down leaks by prosecuting whistleblowers who talk to the press. And, he has left standing his administration’s misleading rushes to judgment on key issues after U.S. intelligence analysts have refined or reversed the first impressions.

Whether on the Syrian sarin attack in 2013 or pivotal incidents in the Ukraine crisis – who was behind the sniper attacks in Kiev last Feb. 20 and who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last July 17 – Obama has withheld evidence developed by U.S. government analysts rather than undercut the propaganda value of the initial accusations.

In the sarin incident, Secretary of State John Kerry and others rushed to blame President Bashar al-Assad’s government – bringing the U.S. military to the brink of war – and similarly the State Department exploited the two most iconic events of the Ukraine crisis by blaming then-President Viktor Yanukovych for the sniper killings and Russia and ethnic Russian rebels for shooting down MH-17 killing all 298 people onboard.

After the State Department had squeezed out the propaganda value of those accusations, U.S. intelligence analysts came to more detailed conclusions with their findings conflicting with the hasty finger-pointing after the events. But instead of refining or correcting the record, the Obama administration typically went silent, leaving the initial impressions in place even when the President knew better.

In the context of Ukraine, I asked one senior administration official about this behavior and he responded that Russia held most of the advantages there by nature of proximity and history but that one advantage the United States wielded was “information warfare” – and it made no sense to surrender that edge by withdrawing accusations that had put Russian President Vladimir Putin on the defensive.

Thus, in this Orwellian world that seems to have swallowed America’s major institutions, what mattered most was how “information” – including false or misleading propaganda – could be deployed for geopolitical purposes even if it also involved deceiving the U.S. public. Or, one might say, especially if it deceived the U.S. public.

‘Perception Management’

This attitude toward manipulating rather than informing the American people has a long and grim history. For instance, President Lyndon Johnson won congressional support for his disastrous Vietnam War escalation by citing the Tonkin Gulf incident, a false claim about North Vietnamese aggression which has since been debunked but still is used historically by the Defense Department to justify the millions killed in that conflict.

After the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, President Ronald Reagan set up inter-agency task forces devoted to the concept of “perception management,” essentially how to get the American people to “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” and get back into line behind U.S. military interventions abroad, a CIA-inspired campaign that proved stunningly successful. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Victory of ‘Perception Management.’”]

Last decade, the American people got their perceptions managed once more regarding Iraq’s non-existent WMD, leading to another catastrophic war which continues to spread chaos and death across the Middle East to this day. One might think that with that bloody history, President Obama would want to fulfill his promises of “transparency.”

According to a memorandum instructing Executive Branch department heads, Obama wrote: “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Instead, Obama has clamped down more than ever on openness and transparency, including the prosecution of more government whistleblowers than all the previous presidents combined and sitting on U.S. intelligence reports that would change how Americans understand major international crises.

By and large, Obama has continued the excessive secrecy of President George W. Bush, including withholding from the American people 28 pages of the 2002 congressional investigation into the 9/11 attack that relate to Saudi financing for al-Qaeda terrorists.

Obama also has refused to give the U.S. public access to the updated intelligence analyses of more current crises, including the near American military entry into the Syrian civil war in 2013 and the potential nuclear showdown with Russia over Ukraine in 2014. So, even when American lives are being put at risk by rushes to judgment, Obama doesn’t believe that the people have a right to know the facts.

(CONTINUED–Read Entire Article Here)

 

Posted in Barack Obama, foreign policy, government, politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A RADICAL PLAN TO CURB TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE WEST

By Arlen Grossman

 

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.         

John Lennon “Imagine”

 

The West worries about terrorist attacks for good reason. The United States and other Western powers are angering a generation of Muslims, and some of them want revenge. Muslims all over the world are understandably angry at the interference, militarily, politically, and economically, of Western Christian nations in the affairs of Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.

There are a number of reasons for anger among the Muslim population, but Western interference in their lands is probably the most important. Sharif Kouashi, one of the brothers involved in the Charlie Hebro attack in Paris, attributed his radicalization to the Iraq war and “the torture at Abu Ghraib prison. Osama Bin Laden cited among his grievances that led to 9/11: the sanctions on Iraq, the plight of the Palestinians and the occupation of Saudi soil by U.S. troops. Not much has changed since then, and in the intervening years there have been invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as bombings and drone strikes in other Muslim countries, killing thousands, many of them civilians.

Nobody expects Western nations to be leaving the Muslim world anytime in the near future. The West has economic and strategic interests they are unwilling to give up. Since Muslim countries are no match for Western Christian nations militarily, blowback has taken the form of terrorist attacks by various groups and individuals.

All of this is very costly to America and its allies. A 2013 report by Harvard researcher Linda Bilmes places the eventual cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq between $4 and $6 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans. That translates to as much as $75,000 for every American household. And Brown University’s Costs of War Project (2014) estimated over 350,000 people–armed forces on all sides, contractors, civilians, etc–have died as a direct result of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Very grim numbers indeed. But lo and behold, there is a solution. Imagine what would happen if the United States took all the personnel and money currently used for military action against the Muslim world and put all of it to use helping and building up those same countries. Think of a super-sized Marshall Plan for the Muslim world.

Imagine what the average Muslim would think if Western nations, instead of invading their countries militarily, came to their lands to help them–building schools, providing health care, and building (or rebuilding) roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Americans and other Western countries would send thousands of non-combat soldiers and citizens invested in making the Muslim world more modern, secure and friendly.

bilde

                            Building a school in Afghanistan (Burlington Free Press)

They might be suspicious at first, but once real assistance was in place, Muslims would start to look at Western powers in a different way: as friends. Terrorism, for good reason, would dissipate. There would no longer be a compelling reason to seek revenge on the West. It would be a win-win scenario for everybody.

Sadly, there is little likelihood of this happening in today’s world. Too many Americans and other Westerners are making enormous sums of money combating terrorism. The military-industrial-security complex (as well as news networks) rakes in billions fanning the fears of a terrorist attack within our borders. They are not about to willingly give up this lucrative cash cow.

That leaves it to the people to demand it. If motivated and war-weary citizens, in America and around the world, organized and took to the streets, demanding a peaceful end to this murderous cycle of perpetual violence, advocating a radical shift in thinking aimed at helping our former adversaries, everything would change. Imagine a more peaceful world with a significantly decreased threat from terrorist attacks. Call me a dreamer, but it really is possible.

Also published at OpEd News, February 8, 2015 

 

.

 

 

 

 

.

Posted in government, Iraq war, military, politics, protest, protests, Terrorism, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Perpetual War

War Is the New Normal: 7 Deadly Reasons Why America’s Wars Persist

By William Astore/ TomDispatch/ February 1, 2015

It was launched immediately after the 9/11 attacks, when I was still in the military, and almost immediately became known as the Global War on Terror, or GWOT. Pentagon insiders called it “the long war [4],” an open-ended, perhaps unending, conflict against nations and terror networks mainly of a radical Islamist bent. It saw the revival of counterinsurgency doctrine, buried in the aftermath of defeat in Vietnam, and a reinterpretation [5] of that disaster as well. Over the years, its chief characteristic became ever clearer: a “Groundhog Day [6]” kind of repetition. Just when you thought it was over (Iraq [7], Afghanistan [8]), just after victory (of a sort) was declared, it began again [9].

Now, as we find ourselves enmeshed in Iraq War 3.0, what better way to memorialize the post-9/11 American way of war than through repetition. Back in July 2010, I wrote an article for TomDispatch on the seven reasons [10] why America can’t stop making war. More than four years later, with the war on terror still ongoing, with the mission eternally unaccomplished, here’s a fresh take on the top seven reasons why never-ending war is the new normal in America. In this sequel, I make only one promise: no declarations of victory (and mark it on your calendars, I’m planning to be back with seven new reasons in 2019).

1. The privatization of war: The U.S. military’s recourse to private contractors [11] has strengthened the profit motive for war-making and prolonged wars as well. Unlike the citizen-soldiers of past eras, the mobilized warrior corporations [12] of America’s new mercenary moment — the Halliburton [13]/KBRs (nearly $40 billion [14] in contracts for the Iraq War alone), the DynCorps [15] ($4.1 billion to train 150,000 Iraqi police), and the Blackwater/Xe/Academis [16] ($1.3 billion in Iraq, along with boatloads of controversy [17]) — have no incentive to demobilize. Like most corporations, their business model is based on profit through growth, and growth is most rapid when wars and preparations for more of them are the favored options in Washington.

“Freedom isn’t free,” as a popular conservative bumper sticker puts it, and neither is war. My father liked the saying, “He who pays the piper calls the tune,” and today’s mercenary corporations have been calling for a lot of military marches piping in $138 billion in contracts for Iraq alone, according to [18] the Financial Times. And if you think that the privatization of war must at least reduce government waste, think again: the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan estimated in 2011 that fraud, waste, and abuse accounted for up to $60 billion [19] of the money spent in Iraq alone.

To corral American-style war, the mercenaries must be defanged or deflated. European rulers learned this the hard way during the Thirty Years’ War of the seventeenth century. At that time, powerful mercenary captains like Albrecht von Wallenstein [20] ran amok. Only Wallenstein’s assassination and the assertion of near absolutist powers by monarchs bent on curbing war before they went bankrupt finally brought the mercenaries to heel, a victory as hard won as it was essential to Europe’s survival and eventual expansion. (Europeans then exported their wars to foreign shores, but that’s another story.)

2. The embrace of the national security state by both major parties:Jimmy Carter was the last president to attempt to exercise any kind of control over the national security state. A former Navy nuclear engineer who had served under the demanding Admiral Hyman Rickover [21], Carter cancelled the B-1 bomber and fought for a U.S. foreign policy based on human rights. Widely pilloried for talking about [22] nuclear war with his young daughter Amy, Carter was further attacked for being “weak” on defense. His defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980 inaugurated 12 years of dominance by Republican presidents that opened the financial floodgates for the Department of Defense. That taught Bill Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council [23] a lesson when it came to the wisdom of wrapping the national security state in a welcoming embrace, which they did, however uncomfortably. This expedient turn to the right by the Democrats in the Clinton years served as a temporary booster shot when it came to charges of being “soft” on defense — until Republicans upped the ante by going “all-in” on military crusades in the aftermath of 9/11.

Since his election in 2008, Barack Obama has done little to alter the course set by his predecessors. He, too, has chosen not to challenge Washington’s prevailing catechism of war [24]. Republicans have responded, however, not by muting their criticism, but by upping the ante yet again. How else to explain House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in March [25]? That address promises to be a pep talk for the Republicans, as well as a smack down of the Obama administration and its “appeasenik [26]” policies toward Iran and Islamic radicalism.

Serious oversight, let alone opposition to the national security state by Congress or a mainstream political party, has been missing in action [27] for years and must now, in the wake of the Senate Torture Report fiasco (from which the CIAemerged [28] stronger, not weaker), be presumed dead. The recent midterm election triumph of Republican war hawks and the prospective lineup of candidates for president in 2016 does not bode well when it comes to reining in the national security state in any foreseeable future.

3. “Support Our Troops” as a substitute for thought. You’ve seen them everywhere: “Support Our Troops [29]” stickers. In fact, the “support” in that slogan generally means acquiescence when it comes to American-style war. The truth is that we’ve turned the all-volunteer military into something like aforeign legion [30], deploying it again and again to our distant battle zones and driving it into the ground [31] in wars that amount to strategic folly. Instead of admitting their mistakes, America’s leaders have worked to obscure them by endlessly overpraising [32] our “warriors” as so many universal heroes [33]. This may salve our collective national conscience, but it’s a form of cheap grace [34] that saves no lives — and wins no wars.

Instead, this country needs to listen more carefully to its troops, especially the war critics who have risked their lives while fighting overseas. Organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War [35] and Veterans for Peace [36] are good places to start.

4. Fighting a redacted war. War, like the recent Senate torture report [37], is redacted in America. Its horrors and mistakes are suppressed [38], its patriotic whistleblowers punished [39], even as the American people are kept in a demobilized state. The act of going to war no longer represents the will of the people [40], as represented by formal Congressional declarations of war as the U.S. Constitution demands. Instead, in these years, Americans were told togo to Disney World [41] (as George W. Bush suggested in the wake of 9/11) and keep shopping. They’re encouraged not to pay too much attention [42] to war’s casualties and costs, especially when those costs involve foreigners with funny-sounding names (after all, they are, as American sniper [43] Chris Kyle so indelicately put it in his book, just “savages”).

Redacted war hides the true cost of a permanent state of killing from the American people, if not from foreign observers. Ignorance and apathy reign, even as a national security state [44] that is essentially a shadow government [45]equates its growth with your safety.

5. Threat inflation: There’s nothing new about threat inflation. We saw plenty of it during the Cold War (nonexistent missile [46] and bomber gaps [47], for example). Fear sells and we’ve had quite a dose [48] of it in the twenty-first century, from ISIS to Ebola. But a more important truth is that fear is a mind-killer, a debate-stifler.

Back in September, for example, Senator Lindsey Graham warned that ISIS and its radical Islamic army was coming to America to kill us all [49]. ISIS, of course, is a regional power with no ability to mount significant operations against the United States. But fear is so commonplace, so effectively stoked in this country that Americans routinely and wildly [50] exaggerate the threat posed by al-Qaeda or ISIS or the bogeyman du jour.

Decades ago, as a young lieutenant in the Air Force, I was hunkered down inCheyenne Mountain [51] during the Cold War. It was the ultimate citadel-cum-bomb-shelter, and those in it were believed to have a 70% likelihood of surviving a five-megaton nuclear blast. There, not surprisingly, I found myself contemplating the very real possibility of a thermonuclear exchange with the Soviet Union, a war that would have annihilated life as we knew it, indeed much of life on our planet thanks to the phenomenon of nuclear winter. You’ll excuse me for not shaking in my boots at the threat of ISIS coming to get me. Or of Sharia Law coming to my local town hall. With respect to such fears, America needs, as Hillary Clinton said in an admittedly different context, to “grow a pair [52].”

6. Defining the world as a global battlefield: In fortress America [53], all realms have by now become battle spheres. Not only much of the planet, the seas, air, and space [54], as well as the country’s borders [55] and its increasingly up-armored police forces [56], but the world of thought, the insides of our minds. Think of the 17 [57] intertwined intelligence outfits in “the U.S. Intelligence Community” and their ongoing “surge” for information dominance across every mode of human communication, as well as the surveillance of everything. And don’t forget the national security state’s leading role in making cyberwar [58] a reality. (Indeed, Washington launched the first cyberwar in history by deploying the Stuxnet computer worm [59] against Iran.)

Think of all this as a global matrix that rests on war, empowering disaster capitalism [60] and the corporate complexes that have formed around the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and that intelligence community. A militarized matrix doesn’t blink at $1.45 trillion dollars devoted to the F-35 [61], a single under-performing jet fighter, nor at projections of $355 billion [62] over the next decade for “modernizing” the U.S. nuclear arsenal, weapons that Barack Obama vowed [63] to abolish in 2009.

7. The new “normal” in America is war: The 9/11 attacks happened more than 13 years ago, which means that no teenagers in America can truly remember a time when the country was at peace. “War time” is their normal; peace, a fairy tale.

What’s truly “exceptional” in twenty-first-century America is any articulated vision of what a land at peace with itself and other nations might be like. Instead, war, backed by a diet of fear, is the backdrop against which the young have grown to adulthood. It’s the background noise of their world, so much a part of their lives that they hardly recognize it for what it is. And that’s the most insidious danger of them all.

How do we inoculate our children against such a permanent state of war and the war state itself? I have one simple suggestion: just stop it. All of it. Stop making war a never-ending part of our lives and stop celebrating it, too. War should be the realm of the extreme, of the abnormal. It should be the death of normalcy, not the dreary norm.

It’s never too soon, America, to enlist in that good fight!

Boldface added by BPR Editor
Posted in Barack Obama, Democratic Party, foreign policy, government, military, politics, Republican Party, war | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NOTHING HAS CHANGED

BPR QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“It is a government of the people by the people for the people no longer; it is a government of corporations by corporations for corporations.”

Rutherford B. Hayes

Hayes

Posted in corporations, economy, government, inequality, politics, Quotations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Osama Bin Laden Death Hoax–The Latest Chapter?

Another Fake Bin Laden Story

By Paul Craig Roberts/ PaulCraigRoberts.org/ November 7, 2014

 

5679285034_e7b8ff3b7d_n

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead – WE GOT HIM!
(image by zennie62)

RT, one of my favorite news sources, has fallen for a fake story put out by the Pentagon to support the fantasy story that a SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden, who died a second time in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a decade after his first death from illness and disease. http://rt.com/usa/202895-navy-seal-shot-binladen/

This fake story together with the fake movie and the fake book by an alleged SEAL team member is the way the fake story of bin Laden’s murder is perpetrated. Bin Laden’s alleged demise at the hands of a SEAL team was a propaganda orchestration, the purpose of which was to give Obama a hero’s laurels and deep six Democratic talk of challenging his nomination for a second term.

Osama bin Laden died in December 2001 of renal failure and other health problems, having denied in his last recorded video any responsibility for 9/11, instead directing Americans to look inside their own government. The FBI itself has stated that there is no evidence that Osama bin Laden is responsible for 9/11. Bin Laden’s obituary appeared in numerous foreign and Arabic press, and also on Fox News. No one can survive renal failure for a decade, and no dialysis machine was found in the alleged Abbottabad compound of bin Laden, who allegedly was murdered by SEALs a decade after his obituary notices.

Additionally, no one among the crew of the ship from which the White House reported bin Laden was buried at sea saw any such burial, and the sailors sent messages home to that effect. Somehow a burial was held onboard a ship on which there are constant watches and crew on alert at all hours, and no one witnessed it.

Additionally, the White House story of the alleged murder of bin Laden changed twice within the first 24 hours. The claim that Obama and his government watched the action transmitted live from cameras on the SEALs’ helmets was quickly abandoned, despite the release of a photo of the Obama regime intently focused on a TV set and alleged to be watching the live action. No video of the deed was ever released. To date there is no evidence whatsoever in behalf of the Obama regime’s claim. Not one tiny scrap. Just unsubstantiated self-serving claims.

Additionally, as I have made available on my website, witnesses interviewed by Pakistan TV reported that only one helicopter landed in Abbottabad and that when the occupants of the helicopter returned from the alleged bin Laden compound, the helicopter exploded on takeoff and there were no survivors. In other words, there was no bin Laden corpse to deliver to the ship that did not witness a burial and no SEAL hero to return who allegedly murdered an unarmed bin Laden. Moreover, the BBC interviewed residents in Abbottabad, including those next door to the alleged “bin Laden compound,” and all say that they knew the person who lived there and it was not bin Laden.

Any SEAL who was so totally stupid as to kill the unarmed “Terror Mastermind” would probably have been courtmartialed for incompetency. Look at the smiling face of the man Who Killed Bin Laden. He thinks that his claim that he murdered a man makes him a hero, a powerful comment on the moral degeneracy of Americans.

So what is this claim by Rob O’Neill about? He is presented as a “motivational speaker” in search of clients. What better ploy among gullible Americans than to claim “I am the one who shot bin Laden.” Reminds me of the western movie: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. What better way to give Rob O’Neill’s claim validity than for the Pentagon to denounce his revelation for breaking obligation to remain silent. The Pentagon claims that O’Neill by claiming credit has painted a big target sign on our door asking ISIS to come get us

What unbelievable nonsense. ISIS and anyone who believed Obama’s claim to have done in bin Laden already knew, if they believed the lie, that the Obama regime claimed responsibility for murdering an unarmed bin Laden. The reason the SEAL team was prevented from talking is that no member of the team was on the alleged mission,

Just as the ship from which bin Laden was allegedly buried has no witnesses to the deed, the SEAL unit, whose members formed the team that allegedly dispatched an unarmed Terrorist Mastermind rather than to take him into custody for questioning, mysteriously died in a helicopter crash when they were loaded in violation of procedures in an unprotected 1960s vintage helicopter and sent into a combat zone in Afghanistan shortly after the alleged raid on “bin Laden’s compound.” 

For awhile there were news reports that the families of these dead SEALS do not believe one word of the government’s account. Moreover, the families reported receiving messages from the SEALs that suddenly they felt threatened and did not know why. The SEALs had been asking one another: “Were you on the bin Laden mission?” Apparently, none were. And to keep this a secret, the SEALs were sent to their deaths.

Anyone who believes anything the US government says is gullible beyond the meaning of the word.

Related BPR Articles:

Osama Bin Dead?

The Osama bin Laden Death Hoax

The Osama bin Laden Death Hoax-Theory #2

 


Posted in Barack Obama, foreign policy, government, media, military, scandals, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It Happens Every Time

Election_Day

Image | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

Praise the Planet

10404212_395575720589875_1166389452865582378_n

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A Living Wage: In Denmark, They Have It Their Way

Living Wages, Rarity for U.S. Fast-Food Workers, Served Up in Denmark

By Liz Alderman and Steven Greenhouse/ New York Times/ October 27, 2014

That is because he earns the equivalent of $20 an hour — the base wage for fast-food workers throughout Denmark and two and a half times what many fast-food workers earn in the United States.

“You can make a decent living here working in fast food,” said Mr. Elofsson, 24. “You don’t have to struggle to get by.”

With an eye to workers like Mr. Elofsson, some American labor activists and liberal scholars are posing a provocative question: If Danish chains can pay $20 an hour, why can’t those in the United States pay the $15 an hour that many fast-food workers have been clamoring for?

Posted in Economics, economy, government, inequality | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Killing the Messenger

Truthdig

The Myth of the Free Press

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_the_free_press_20141026/

Posted on Oct 26, 2014

Posted in government, media, protest, scandals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment