Perpetual Fear under Empire

Jacob G. Hornberger

Lots of Americans are extremely upset about ISIS. They’re not sleeping well, and they’re pacing the floors. They are convinced that ISIS is coming to get them, drag them from their homes, cart them away to some Arabian desert, and behead them.

There is something important to keep in mind about all this: This is the way of life under an empire, especially one whose foreign policy is based on hundreds of military bases in foreign countries, meddling in the political and economic affairs of other countries, support of and partnerships with foreign dictatorships, foreign aid, invasions, wars of aggression, occupations, kidnappings, torture, and other such things.

Once you realize that chaos, crises, conflicts, tensions, and wars are an inherent part of imperial life, you don’t tend to get so upset over the latest crisis. You instead say to yourself: Well, here we go again—another official enemy who is the gravest threat to “national security” in the history of the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto our governmental system after World War II. Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.


"Russia was always elected to be the enemy"

Ruth Schneider interviews Ray McGovern

On the eve of the NATO summit earlier this month, CIA veteran Ray McGovern, NSA whistleblower William Binney and five other intelligence colleagues sent an open letter to Angela Merkel, "briefing" her about the situation in Ukraine: reminding the German chancellor of the precedent of the Iraq War 12 years ago, they urge her not to trust the "fixed intelligence" presented by the US State Department and NATO officials. There is no evidence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As the civil war rages on killing hundreds of civilians and displacing thousands of others, the self-dubbed Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity point out that the US and NATO are stoking the flames of a new confrontation with Russia through shameless media propaganda, reminiscent of a time they know something about: the Cold War.

McGovern served as a CIA analyst under seven presidents from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush, and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Ronald Reagan's most senior national security advisers from 1981 to 1985. Fluent in German and Russian, he was stationed in West Germany as a CIA liaison officer.


"Islamic State": Pretext for US attack on Syria?

Kevin Barrett

According to the corporate media, the US is leading the fight against ISIL, the un-Islamic terror group posing as "Islamic State." Yet American leaders' words and actions raise questions about their real goals.

In his speech last week Obama said: "I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq." But then on Monday night, senior administration officials suggested that the real target of US intervention in Syria would be the government of President Bashar al-Assad – ISIL's number one enemy!

Last night's Associated Press story headlined "US would hit back against Assad attack" begins:

"The United States would retaliate against Syrian President Bashar Assad's air defenses if he were to go after American planes launching airstrikes in his country, senior Obama administration officials said Monday."

These "senior officials" delivered an explicit threat against Assad. They said that any Syrian attempt to enforce that nation's sovereignty would provoke US attacks on Syrian air defenses.

This is precisely the scenario desired by Zionist neoconservatives, who have spent years plotting to use the US Air Force to overthrow the government of Syria. These warmongers tried to trick the US into bombing Syria last year by staging the false-flag chemical weapons incident at al-Ghouta. They were stymied by Presidents Obama and Putin, who worked together to defuse the situation and avoid a potential World War III scenario.


The Hushed-Up Hitler Factor in Ukraine

Dovid Katz

Behind the Ukraine crisis is a revision of World War II history that seeks to honor eastern European collaborators with Hitler and the Holocaust by repackaging these rightists as anti-Soviet heroes, a reality shielded from the U.S. Public.

Would America support any type of Hitlerism in the course of the State Department’s effort to turn the anti-Russian political classes of Eastern Europe into paragons of PR perfection that may not be criticized, howsoever mildly?

It was frankly disconcerting to see Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, embracing the leader of Ukraine’s far right, anti-Semitic, pro-fascist Svoboda party last December. It was disturbing to learn of the neo-Nazi elements that provided the “muscle” for the actual Maidan takeover last February (BBC’s Newsnight was among the few major Western outlets to dare cover that openly).

Most disturbing of all has been the mainstream Western media’s almost Soviet-grade wall somehow erected against critical mention of the far-right component of Ukraine’s 2014 history, rendering any such thought as worthy of ridicule on New York Times opinion pages last spring. [Also] hilarious was the Times’s May 2014 publication of an (obviously ghost-written, State Department-scripted) op-ed by Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia V. Tymoshenko which quotes Churchill writing to Roosevelt, “Give us the tools, as we will finish the job,” rumbling on about “the just and open democracy that is America’s greatest bequest to the world.”


The belief in America’s good intentions...

William Blum

Talk given at a Teach-In on US Foreign Policy, American University, Washington, DC, September 6, 2014

Each of you I’m sure has met many people who support American foreign policy, with whom you’ve argued and argued. You point out one horror after another, from Vietnam to Iraq. From god-awful bombings and invasions to violations of international law and torture. And nothing helps. Nothing moves this person.

Now why is that? Are these people just stupid? I think a better answer is that they have certain preconceptions. Consciously or unconsciously, they have certain basic beliefs about the United States and its foreign policy, and if you don’t deal with these basic beliefs you may as well be talking to a stone wall.

The most basic of these basic beliefs, I think, is a deeply-held conviction that no matter what the United States does abroad, no matter how bad it may look, no matter what horror may result, the government of the United States means well. American leaders may make mistakes, they may blunder, they may lie, they may even on the odd occasion cause more harm than good, but they do mean well. Their intentions are always honorable, even noble. Of that the great majority of Americans are certain.

Frances Fitzgerald, in her famous study of American school textbooks, summarized the message of these books:

“The United States has been a kind of Salvation Army to the rest of the world: throughout history it had done little but dispense benefits to poor, ignorant, and diseased countries. The U.S. always acted in a disinterested fashion, always from the highest of motives; it gave, never took.”


Ukraine – Truce or Trojan Horse: Retreat, Re-Armament and Relaunch

James Petras

The NATO proxy war in the Ukraine started with the violent US-EU-sponsored overthrow of the elected government via a mob putsch in February 2014. This was well financed at $5 billion, according to President Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.

The result was a junta, composed of neo-liberal puppets, rightist nationalists and fascists, which immediately proceeded to purge the Ukrainian legislature of any politicians opposed to the coup and Kiev’s submission to the European Union and NATO. The NATO-sponsored client regime then moved swiftly to extend its control by centralizing power and overturning the official policy of bilingualism (Russian and Ukrainian) in the southeastern regions. It was preparing to break its long-standing agreement over the huge Russian naval base in Crimea and renege on its massive debts to Russia for gas and oil imports.

These extremist measures by a violent coup regime amounted to a radical break with existing economic, cultural and political institutions and, naturally, provoked a robust response from large sectors of the population. The overwhelmingly Russian speaking majority in Crimea convoked a referendum with 90% voter participation: 89% voted to secede and rejoin Russia. The ethnic Russian and bilingual, industrialized southeast regions of Ukraine organized their own referenda, formed popular militias and prepared for an armed response from what they viewed as an illegal junta in Kiev. Threatened by the new measures against their language and traditional and economic ties with Russia, the resistance drew its fighters from the vast reservoir of skilled industrial workers, miners and local business people who understood that they would lose thousands of jobs and access to the Russian markets as well as cultural and family links under the boot of the EU-NATO puppet in Kiev.


Ukraine and neo-Nazis

William Blum

Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.

On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet. [1]


US prepares for “generational” war in the Middle East

Peter Symonds

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey set the stage for a massive and protracted expansion of US military operations in Iraq and Syria.

“This will require a sustained effort over an extended period of time. It is a generational problem,” Dempsey told the committee.

In his opening testimony, Dempsey contradicted President Obama’s pledge last week that there would be no American troops engaged in combat in Iraq or Syria. “To be clear,” he stated, “if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] targets, I will recommend that to the president.”

Obama has already authorised the deployment of 1,600 American military personnel in Iraq, including the placement of US troops with Kurdish peshmerga militia and Iraqi army forces fighting ISIL, more commonly known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Speaking on behalf of the US military hierarchy, Dempsey made clear that such advisers could not be confined to headquarters, but would be needed to provide “close combat advising” in complex operations such as dislodging ISIS from urban areas like Mosul.

In remarks bordering on insubordination, Dempsey implicitly criticised Obama when he explained that the president had already turned down the recommendation of Central Command chief, General Lloyd Austin, to deploy American troops as spotters to call in air strikes during last month’s offensive to retake the Mosul Dam from ISIS. Dempsey’s public disagreement points to tensions with the White House and the degree to which the military and intelligence apparatus are calling the shots in the new US-led war in the Middle East. The real purpose of the military intervention, a revival of plans shelved last year, is the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This will necessarily require a far greater American military commitment than currently acknowledged.


Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine Without End

Stephen Lendman

It's longstanding Israeli policy. Palestinians aren't wanted. Israel considers them subhuman. It wants them eliminated. It wants Jewish exclusivity. It wants maximum Jews and minimum Arabs. Israel's entire history is blood-drenched. Depravity defines it. It's longstanding genocidal war on Palestine reflects it. In 1985, then Israeli president Chaim Herzog said:

"We are certainly not willing to make partners of the Palestinians in any way in a land that was holy to our people for thousands of years. There can be no partner with the Jews of this land."

Former Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan urged treating Palestinians like dogs.

They're denied fundamental human and civil rights. Israel spurns peace and stability. Militarized occupation harshness persists. Rule of law principles don't matter. War without mercy is waged preemptively whenever Israel wishes. Victims are blamed for its crimes.

Imagine living in limbo under a foreign occupier. Imagine being denied self-determination. Imagine having no control over your daily life. Imagine living in constant fear. Imagine being economically strangled. Imagine being collectively punished. Imagine being denied free expression and movement. Imagine Gaza's suffocating blockade. Imagine isolated West Bank population centers. Imagine closed borders, curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, and separation walls. Imagine daily Kristallnacht in Palestine. Imagine hellish state terror. Imagine normal life denied. Imagine torture as official Israeli policy. Imagine mass arrests and imprisonments. Imagine thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israel's gulag. Imagine their brutal treatment. Imagine it for wanting to live free on their own land in their own country. Imagine land and resource theft, targeted assassinations, and diaspora Palestinians prevented from returning to land rightfully theirs. Imagine Israeli security forces given authority to kill, brutalize, and otherwise collectively punish Palestinians with impunity. Imagine them taking full advantage. Imagine them being promoted, decorated or otherwise honored for cold-blooded murder and brutality. Imagine justice denied. Imagine Western leaders supporting Israeli genocide.


Listening to Lavrov giving up on the West

The Saker

Yesterday, I watched with interest a talkshow called "The Right to Know" which featured an hour long interview with Sergei Lavrov (those who understand Russian can watch it here). It was an interesting exchange between Lavrov and five Russian reporters. It was not important enough to warrant translating it all into English, but I want to share with you something which I had noticed in the past but which was powerfully expressed during this conversation.

Predictably, the topics included the civil war in the Ukraine, the status of the investigation about the shooting down of MH17, sanctions against Russia, the expansion of NATO, the negotiations in Minsk and Russia's engagement with the BRICS countries.

All all these topics, the Q&A had a similar format. One of the reporters asked Lavrov to comment on what appeared to be a dead-end situation and Lavrov confirmed saying "we tried our best, but to our great regret, that had no effect". What was so interesting is that while the reporters were expressing bafflement that things had gone so far, Lavrov's reaction was "yes, you are right, this is truly hopeless". The overall effect was one of a PTA meeting discussing some hopelessly stupid and incapable student. Except the "student" in this case was the entire West.


Washington’s War Against Russia

Paul Craig Roberts

The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions.

The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence. Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.

The real question is the purpose of the sanctions. My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe’s economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result. Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington’s tool.


NATO Loses Ukraine

Margaret Kimberley

“Peace is the last thing that
the Nobel Peace Prize winning
president wants to see.”

The United States and NATO attack on the Russian Federation has failed. The Ukrainians who refused to accept the legitimacy of the West’s puppet government emerged victorious on the battlefield. If there is any doubt on that point, Ukraine’s decision to sign the Minsk Protocol cease fire agreement is proof. President Poroshenko seemed like a man in the cat bird seat when western nations chose sides in a civil war and kicked out his predecessor. The road to hell was paved with very bad intentions.

One wouldn’t know it from reading and viewing the corporate media, but the western gambit has been disastrous. More than 1 million people have been displaced (most fled to Russia), the economies of many countries have been damaged by sanctions, and atrocities such as the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 would have been avoided if there had been any grown ups at work in the western capitals.

The talking heads should be telling us about the failing effort to prop up the empire, but instead they parrot the words of the losing side. After destroying Libya and killing president Gaddafi the evil empire concluded that they had found a winning formula.

Fortunately for humankind, Bashir al Assad hangs on in Syria and all that NATO has to show for its misadventures is ISIS, which grows stronger by the day, beheads American journalists on video, and attacks the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia and the other gulf monarchies who worked hand in hand on the imperial project.


The Cost of Challenging the American Police State

John W. Whitehead

Police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. With varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.” — Kristian Williams, activist and author

If you don’t want to get probed, poked, pinched, tasered, tackled, searched, seized, stripped, manhandled, arrested, shot, or killed, don’t say, do or even suggest anything that even hints of noncompliance. This is the new “thin blue line” over which you must not cross in interactions with police if you want to walk away with your life and freedoms intact.

The following incidents and many more like them serve as chilling reminders that in the American police state, “we the people” are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.”

For example, police arrested Chaumtoli Huq because she failed to promptly comply when ordered to “move along” while waiting outside a Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant for her children, who were inside with their father, using the bathroom. NYPD officers grabbed Huq, a lawyer with the New York City Public Advocate’s office, flipped her around, pressed her against a wall, handcuffed her, searched her purse, arrested her, and told her to “shut up” when she cried out for help, before detaining her for nine hours. Huq was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Oregon resident Fred Marlow was jailed and charged with interfering and resisting arrest after he filmed a SWAT team raid that took place across the street from his apartment and uploaded the footage to the internet. The footage shows police officers threatening Marlow, who was awoken by the sounds of “multiple bombs blasting and glass breaking” and ran outside to investigate only to be threatened with arrest if he didn’t follow orders & return inside.


Amnesty International Fronts for Power

Stephen Lendman

Amnesty International (AI) is an imperial tool. It fronts for power, wealth and privilege. It receives generous corporate foundation donations. According to Francis Boyle:

Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns.

To be sure, if you are dealing with a human rights situation in a country that is at odds with the United States or Britain, it gets an awful lot of attention, resources, man and woman power, publicity, you name it. They can throw whatever they want at that.

But if it's dealing with violations of human rights by the United States, Britain, Israel, then it's like pulling teeth to get them to really do something on the situation. They might, very reluctantly and after an enormous amount of internal fightings and battles and pressures, you name it. But you know, it's not like the official enemies list.


The war for regime-change in Syria

Barry Grey

It will become increasingly clear that the central aim of the new war launched by the Obama administration is the overthrow of the pro-Iranian, pro-Russian regime in Syria and installation of a US puppet government. The campaign against ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is camouflage for a decision to implement the war against Damascus that was called off last September and, at the same time, consolidate American control of Iraq.

ISIS, a creation of US imperialist intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria, has provided a new pretext for US aggression in the Middle East. The coalition of states being organized by Washington is directed against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and its ally Iran—a fact underscored by the declaration on Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry that the US would seek to exclude both Iran and Syria from diplomatic talks scheduled in Paris on Monday.


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