Can The World Survive Washington’s Hubris?

Paul Craig Roberts

Hubris Corpulentus is a state of obscene, overweening pride that
produces monstrous realities out of the stupor of irrationality.

When President Reagan nominated me as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, he told me that we had to restore the US economy, to rescue it from stagflation, in order to bring the full weight of a powerful economy to bear on the Soviet leadership, in order to convince them to negotiate the end of the cold war. Reagan said that there was no reason to live any longer under the threat of nuclear war.

The Reagan administration achieved both goals, only to see these accomplishments discarded by successor administrations. It was Reagan’s own vice president and successor, George Herbert Walker Bush, who first violated the Reagan-Gorbachev understandings by incorporating former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire into NATO and taking Western military bases to the Russian frontier.

The process of surrounding Russia with military bases continued unabated through successor US administrations with various “color revolutions” financed by the US National Endowment for Democracy, regarded by many as a front for the CIA. Washington even attempted to install a Washington-controlled government in Ukraine and did succeed in this effort in former Soviet Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin.

The President of Georgia, a country located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, is a Washington puppet. Recently, he announced that former Soviet Georgia is on schedule to become a NATO member in 2014.

Those old enough to remember know that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was an alliance between Western Europe and the US against the threat of the Red Army overrunning Western Europe. The North Atlantic is a long, long ways from the Black and Caspian Seas. What is the purpose of Georgia being a NATO member except to give Washington a military base on the Russian underbelly?

The evidence is simply overwhelming that Washington–both parties–have Russia and China targeted. Whether the purpose is to destroy both countries or merely to render them unable to oppose Washington’s world hegemony is unclear at this time. Regardless of the purpose, nuclear war is the likely outcome.

Duplicitous Human Rights Council Report on Syria

Stephen Lendman

On June 27, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) discussed conflict conditions in Syria. Truth took a back seat. Some present denounced its absence. Pre-scripted, its conclusions were predictable. Washington calls the shots. Most HRC members salute and obey.

Syrian HRC representative Faisal Khabbaz al-Hamwi denounced the proceedings. Calling them useless and politically biased, he said its report reflects a "disinformation war against Syria." He walked out of the session, saying:

"We will not participate in this flagrantly political meeting."

He had good reason to leave. Before doing so he said national reconciliation can only happen when

"foreign powers stopped inciting violence. The crisis in Syria (is) genuine war and a criminal operation involving destruction of property."

It's not about "legitimate demands for reform." It's about lawlessly supporting regime change. It's to replace Assad with a pro-Western puppet. Washington had that in mind for years. Independent governments aren't tolerated. America has longstanding plans to oust them for subservient vassal ones. Syria's insurgency is supported and financed from abroad. It promotes anarchy and disorder. It ignores how Israel persecutes Arabs and Turkey wages war on Kurds. It avoids discussing Gulf states' crimes against their own people and involvement in Washington's war on Syria.

"A war of minds and bombs is taking place. Gunmen have been carrying out terrorist acts on Syrian cities. Such activities by gunmen and terrorists is being fed with money and weapons from abroad," he explained. "How could some sides pretend to be worried about the Syrian people and at the same time arming the terrorists and conspiring against the Syrians." "Had these sides been honest, they would have supported Annan's plan and urged all sides to hold a constructive national dialogue," he added.

Banks, Generals, & Churches are Stealing Egyptian Revolution

Charles E. Carlson

Egypt's central bank cut its reserve requirement on local currency
deposits to 12 per cent from 14 per cent (20 March 2012), in a
move to provide banks with more cash to lend to the government
and business.
(Photo: Bloomberg. Caption:

Part I: Egypt’s Mysterious Central Bank

The joyful celebrations in Cairo sadden me because I know what Egyptians are up against. If you don’t, you need to read this series and understand it. I have spent 15 years championing lost causes. Sadly, Egypt seems to be one more. I would remind those who feel this, too, that Jesus did not call disciples to win, but to follow and be faithful. Unless you are prepared to be on the losing side, you cannot engage with the world in which you live.

The odds of the Egyptians finding freedom is about the same as our own odds of keeping our freedoms. Why? Because we and the Egyptians have the same half-hidden enemies.

According to Reuters, Mohammed Morsi, “Egypt’s first freely elected president, whose powers have already been curbed by the army, began work on a coalition Monday, after touring his new palace, once home of Hosni Mubarak who banned his movement for three decades.” Reuters is right, but they only cover one-third of the problem: the military.

On Choseness and Kosher Independence

Gilad Atzmon

Last week the Canadian Jewish Independent decided to look into the notion of “choseness” only to find that Jewish supremacy is actually “kosher” since everyone else also wants to be chosen. “Is there any religion on earth that does claim its adherents are chosen as God’s special children?” asks this Jewish outlet. So, rather than look into the mirror, the Jewish Independent simply blames the Goyim for wanting to be Jews “Our (Jewish) ancient ancestors may have trademarked the term, but when we look at the theology and behavior of other major religions, it is they, as much or more so than Jews, who behave as if they are God’s chosen.”

The Jewish Independent writes: “In both Islam and Christianity, entrance to heaven is available only to those who adhere to the word of the earthly messengers of the divine.” But for some reason, the Jewish outlet fails to inform its readership that unlike Judaism that is tribal, uniquely nationalist and racially exclusive, Christianity and Islam are inclusive, universal and open to all.

But it isn’t just Judaism that the Canadian Jewish Independent is there to vindicate. After all, the Jewish Independent is also a devoted Zionist outlet. For the sake of defending Israel, the Jewish paper would slander every nation on the face of our planet. “Nations too, are founded on a form of choseness, a chauvinism that manifests in forms ranging from harmless football rivalries to war. And yet, who gets the guff for being uppity? Oh yeah, this century, like others, it’s still the Jews.”

It seems as if, for some peculiar reason, the Jewish Independent has failed to notice that the Zionism and the ‘Jews-only state’ have been celebrating Jewish choseness at the expense of the Palestinians and Arabs for more than a century. However, In case independent Canadian Jews fail to notice, I must remind them that seven million Palestinian refugees are still waiting for the Jewish state to allow them to return to their homes, villages, cities and land.

The Jewish outlet doesn’t even attempt any new or original analysis of choseness. Instead, it offers the same, old, recycled explanation - everybody is equally bad, but the Goyim always ‘pick on us’, the Jews. “Everyone else might exhibit the same characteristic, but the world notices it most in Jews. The basis of stereotyping is the application to one people of an exaggerated version of a human characteristic.” There you go - the Jews are picked out only because they are actually ‘uniquely human’. It continues: “Jews, it has been said, are like everyone else only more so. In other words, characteristics that are innately human are perceived by others to be exaggerated in Jews.”

Abe Foxman in Search of Enemies

Philip Giraldi

Foxman sees prejudice against Jews everywhere he looks, but has trouble seeing bias within himself.

Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, would be unemployed if he couldn’t demonstrate that the world is awash in anti-Semitism. In his latest foray in self-justification, he was interviewed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on June 12.

Foxman states that 30% of Americans believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the United States. He does not cite the evidence for that statement and fails to indicate how exactly the question was phrased or the poll conducted. There are many possible ways to frame the issues related to the connection that American Jews feel with the state of Israel. Was the query really “Are Jews more loyal to Israel than to the United States?” That is a question that deliberately elicits an answer without any nuance.

One wonders why anyone should be asking these types of questions anyway and to what purpose, and it might well be that Foxman himself commissioned the polls to keep support for his organization at a high level. If anything has become clear over the past several years, it is that there is a diversity of Jewish opinion, most particularly about the relationship of Jews to the state of Israel. Many Jews do not relate to Israel at all, while others, like Foxman, are unbalanced in how they regard it. I suspect that if Foxman’s poll had been conducted with questions that were more nuanced, a large majority of Americans generally would agree that most American Jews put U.S. national interests first even if some do not, and the polling might also reveal that most understand that there is no such thing as a monolithic Jewish viewpoint on the subject of Israel.

Commemorating Anti-Torture Day

Stephen Lendman

Anti-torture protestor aims her message at UC Berkeley
professor John Yoo.
(Photo: B. Patterson/Berkeleyside)

Annually on June 26, The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture remembers and honors victims, survivors, and family members.

On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment took effect. The Convention defines 'torture' as:

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain and suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...."

Torture is prohibited at all times, under all conditions with no allowed exceptions.

Fighting breaks out in Syrian capital as Turkey, NATO threaten war

Joseph Kishore

A picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) and his
father, the late president Hafez, is seen at the site of an ex-
plosion in a police building in Damascus.
(Kh. al-Hariri)

Any military conflict with Syria could quickly involve its principle allies—Iran, Russia and China. American imperialism is creating the conditions for a global catastrophe.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared Tuesday that the country was in a state of war as intense fighting erupted in the capital Damascus between the government and opposition forces that are backed by the US. There were also reports of British special operations forces entering the country from neighboring Turkey.

The fighting came the same day as a belligerent speech by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the Turkish parliament, threatening a military response to any Syrian troop movements near the border of the two countries. This followed a meeting of NATO members, including Turkey and the US, to discuss a coordinated response to the downing of a Turkish jet by Syria late last week.

“We will not fall into the trap of warmongers,” Erdogan said, “but we will not stay silent in the face of an attack made against our plane in international airspace.” Turkey’s “wrath is fierce and intense when it needs to be,” he added.

Erdogan also said that Turkey would provide “all possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” i.e., to assist opposition forces in overthrowing the Assad government.

Downed Turkish fighter jet is result of NATO aggression, not Syrian action

Finian Cunningham

The NATO furor over the downing of a Turkish warplane by Syria says more about the members of the Atlantic military alliance than it does about the Assad government in Damascus.

The facts concerning the incident in which a Turkish fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defences last week have yet to be proven. However, what we can say is that the warplane was brought down in Syrian territorial waters. Its two pilots are believed to have ejected and are uninjured, although they have not yet been located since Friday’s crash.

Damascus claims that the military aircraft violated its airspace, thus giving it the right to shoot it down. Istanbul has admitted that the RF-4E Phantom jet did enter Syrian airspace “for a short time” but that it exited before being hit. The fact so far that the wreckage was subsequently located in the Mediterranean Sea within Syrian territorial waters tends to support the claim of legitimate defensive action by Syria. The precedent for such Syrian action is well established.

Last year, for example, Iran shot down an American spy drone that had violated the Islamic Republic’s airspace. No one then argued against Iran’s right to take defensive measures on that occasion. Even hawkish American politicians, who regularly condone the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, were muted on Iran’s downing of prized Pentagon technology - underscoring the legitimacy of defensive action by a nation whose territorial space is violated.

Moreover, one doesn’t have to imagine too hard how Washington, London or other NATO members would respond if an Iranian or Syrian military aircraft were to cross into their territories. Yet the American-led NATO alliance has leapt to condemn Syria over the downed Turkish warplane.

New evidence of US operation against Julian Assange

Richard Phillips

Todos Somos Julian Assange - We're all Julian Assange...

If Assange’s conflict is purely with the Swedish government, then why is his asylum application of such concern in Washington?

While the Obama administration and its allies continue to deny the existence of a sealed US Grand Jury indictment against Julian Assange, further information has come to light about the extent of Washington’s operation against the founder of the WikiLeaks web site.

Assange, who is fighting extradition to Sweden on dubious sexual assault allegations, is seeking political asylum in Ecuador and remains inside its embassy in London. He has good reason to fear that if he is extradited to Sweden, Washington will intervene, extraditing him to face a Grand Jury trial on espionage charges.

According to WikiLeaks, special task forces have been established by US intelligence agencies, and subpoenas have been issued compelling WikiLeaks associates to appear before a Grand Jury. The US Justice Department has served subpoenas on ISPs and online services for the Twitter accounts and other private data of WikiLeaks staff and supporters.

Further preparations emerged at recent pre-trial hearings of Army Private Bradley Manning, who is accused of disclosing classified military data—later published on WikiLeaks as Cablegate, the Afghan War Diaries, the Iraq War Logs and the Collateral Murder video footage. Manning has been incarcerated for more than 760 days without facing trial.

Recent prosecution testimony indicates that the case against Manning is only a small element in a massive FBI investigation. US Army Major Ashden Fein, the lead prosecution counsel, told hearings this month that the FBI file on the case, most of it classified, totalled 42,135 pages or 3,475 documents. “Manning is a piece of the FBI file,” Fein said, and only accounted for “8,741 pages or 636 different documents.”

Policy and Analogy

Justin Raimondo

Which historical analogy fits the present moment?

We hear cries of “another Munich” with very little provocation: it’s the War Party’s pat response to any attempt to negotiate or otherwise engage our alleged enemies. It was a favorite neoconservative trope during the cold war era, one that greeted every diplomatic approach to the reds, from Nixon’s China trip to Reagan at Reykjavik. This analogy persisted long after the Soviets landed in history’s dustbin: indeed, its use has increased over the years, with every Enemy of the Moment, from Slobodan Milosevic to Saddam Hussein, routinely likened to Hitler and the Nazis. With the Israelis conjuring visions of a second Holocaust at Iranian hands, ghosts from the 1930s haunt the current foreign policy debate: in the unlikely event the ongoing negotiations with Tehran generate an agreement, odds are it will be characterized as “another Munich” by All the Usual Suspects.

Yet as Pat Buchanan was the first to point out in the run up to the first Gulf War, Saddam was no Hitler: the German leader conquered Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals, while Saddam’s “empire” consisted of the tiny enclave of Kuwait. Hitler commanded the mighty Wehrmacht, while the best of Saddam’s army, the Republican Guards, melted away before the American assault.

As a historical analogy for the present moment, the 1930s are a natural reference point for neoconservative intellectuals, the original authors and most vocal advocates of the series of Middle Eastern wars that have kept us preoccupied since the end of the cold war. After all, neoconservatism was itself born in that tumultuous era of war and depression, in Alcove 1 at the City College cafeteria, or, at least, its seeds were sown. World War II was the defining moment of a whole generation of leftist intellectuals, whose storied journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the neoconservative right has been lovingly chronicled by themselves in endless memoirs.

US seeks casus belli: Downed Turkish jet pretext for new provocations against Syria

Joseph Kishore

Led by the United States, the major powers have issued a series of bellicose statements and threats after Syria shot down a Turkish F4 Phantom jet that had entered its airspace. Backed by the Obama administration, the Turkish government has taken actions that mark a major step in the direction of all-out war.

Representatives of NATO countries will participate today in a meeting called under Article 4 of the alliance convention, which provides for discussion between members on joint action against a threat.

While the meeting is not being held under Article 5, which calls for military action of all NATO members, Turkey said on Monday it would press NATO to consider Article 5 at the meeting. It is also the first time Article 4 has been invoked since Turkey did so against Iraq in February 2003—one month before the US-led invasion.

After speaking with the US over the weekend, Turkey shifted from its initially more measured tone. “It was an act of war,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said Monday. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc added that Turkey will use “all rights granted under international law until the end. This also includes self-defense. This also includes retaliation many-fold.”

Behind the scenes, the United States is employing a well-tested modus operandi: engage in a series of provocative measures that amount to acts of war, then reply with extreme belligerence to any response, using it to justify even more provocative measures.

For months, the US has been engaged in stoking civil war in Syria, funneling arms with the help of several Gulf monarchies. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia announced, with the approval of the US, that it would begin paying the salaries of members of the opposition Free Syrian Army, effectively bankrolling (with payment in dollars or euros) anyone fighting against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

The Silent Ethnic Cleansing: A Glimpse Into the Plight of an “Invented” People

Budour Hassan

Fighting back the tears, Sawsan showed me the rubble of her demolished home. “I felt like an olive tree that was violently uprooted.” She said with agony. “The Israelis want all of us to leave Mfaggara and go to Yatta, but I would never leave my village even if I had sleep on the street.”

“Yes, Israel does violate international law and is far from perfect,” concedes the “enlightened liberal Zionist, “But it is nowhere near as brutal or contemptible as the Assad regime.” The notion that Israel is somehow more tolerable than Arab tyrannies just because it does not bomb Palestinians in the West Bank or (gasp!) does not mass-murder demonstrators is virtually universal. This assumption, however, underlines a disturbing lack of understanding of the Israeli military occupation and the system of racial segregation governing the occupied west Bank. It goes without saying that those repeating this mantra have never lived under military occupation and have never experienced the constant fear of being abducted from their bedrooms and arrested without warrant, charges or trial.

In an attempt at refuting this notion, it’s necessary to explain the reasons for this shockingly pervasive ignorance. The vast majority of Israelis consistently and unashamedly clasp the charade that Israel is a democracy even if that means living in perpetual frugality, shrugging off horrendous crimes as singular incidents that do not represent the “most moral army in the world” and defending the indefensible under the guise of security. For a colonial society that thrives on a counterfeit sense of moral, intellectual and cultural superiority over an “invented” people, admitting culpability or complicity in the systematic annihilation of a defenseless, far less privileged community is unthinkable. So profound is the sense of denial enveloping Israelis that they take great offence at the very labeling of Israel as an apartheid state or, God forbid, condemning it in the same breath as Arab dictatorships. There is little to no outrage by Israelis about Israel’s atrocities because, remember, they are unrepresentative, rare – and for many they do not exist – no state is “perfect” and because human rights organizations are “biased” against Israel and want to wipe away the island of democracy surrounded by an ocean of oppressive, vulgar third world tribes.

Syria Blamed for Turkish Provocation

Stephen Lendman

On June 22, two Turkish warplanes provocatively entered Syrian airspace low and fast. Doing so showed hostile intent. The Obama administration's dirty hands are all over this incident. Washington and Ankara wanted a reaction and got it. Expect what's ahead to unfold as planned. Turkish officials claim Syria downed its aircraft in international waters. They lied.

A previous article said the Istanbul-based Hürriyet daily reported that "wreckage of a Turkish jet shot down by Syria (was found) in Syrian waters....Turkish news channels reported (it) on Sunday, without citing a source." Doing so refutes claims that Syria acted in international waters.

On June 24, the UK government controlled BBC sent mixed messages. On the one hand, it reported high-level British and US condemnations. Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague called Syria's act "outrageous." He stressed "how far beyond accepted behavior the Syrian regime has put itself." Hillary Clinton said the following:

"The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security." "We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable."

Ten paragraphs into its online report, BBC also said:

"The Turkish foreign ministry said it knew the coordinates of the jet, which was in Syrian territorial waters at a depth of 1,300m (4,265ft)..."

At the same time, it quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying:

"According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles (24km) from Syria."

Territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from coastlines. Downed aircraft, at depths of 4,265 feet at the bottom of the Mediterranean, don't move on their own one nautical mile (6,076 feet) in a matter of hours.

Davutoglu was caught red-handed in a bald-faced lie. BBC highlighted his comments. It noted the truth on three lines buried well into a detailed report. It featured misinformation, not truth and full disclosure.

Grand Tradition: Obama Does it the Old-Fashioned Way in Honduras

Chris Floyd

Honduran Villages Caught in Drug War’s Cross-Fire: Clara Wood
Rivas, right, at the grave of her 14-year-old son, who was killed in
a recent drug raid.
(Photo: Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press/NYT)

Overthrow the constitutionally elected democratic government. Install willing stooges, backed by local oligarchs, in its place. Send in your own troops to take part in the crusade du jour (anti-communism, anti-terrorism, the "War on Drugs") and establish your iron dominion over the lesser breeds south of the border. Repeat as often as necessary.

It's a tried-and-true formula, a traditional remedy, as American as apple pie, Chevrolet and murdering wedding guests and funeral-goers by remote control from a comfy chair in a secure fortress 10,000 miles away. And Barack Obama -- who is nothing if not a genuine American Traditionalist -- is carrying on the grand tradition of America's always extra-special relationship with the nations of Central America.

Last Saturday, the Obama Administration finally came clean on its "commando-style" operations in Honduras -- the country whose government Obama helped overthrow in the rosy dawn of his progressive presidency. A "commando" of the Drug Enforcement Agency shot and killed a man in a group of alleged drug smugglers who had surrendered after a raid. As the New York Times reports:

During the operation,[U.S. embassy spokesman Stephen] Posivak said, the government agents told a group suspected of smuggling to surrender. Four of the suspects did so and were arrested, but a fifth reached for a holstered weapon. The American agent shot him before he could fire.

“The suspect, instead of surrendering, reached for his firearm,” Mr. Posivak said. “The other suspects surrendered, but this guy went for his gun.”

Well, that's what Mr. Posivak said, so it must be true. It may even be as true as the story of Osama bin Laden going for his gun when he [allegedly] was shot down unarmed in his bed. Or maybe the "guy" in Honduras was reaching for his holstered weapon in order to surrender it, as ordered. Who knows? But if the story changes tomorrow or next week, we should not be surprised -- nor should it make us doubt the words of our leaders and their Posivaks as they try their darndest to give us the true facts through the ever-present "fog of war."

White House unveils strategy for Africa: intensified militarization and "war on terror"

Glen Ford

"Obama withheld food from Somalia in order to weaken the Shabaab resistance, which set the stage for an even worse famine in 2011, killing hundreds of thousands.”

The White House has put in writing its policies for sub-Saharan Africa. The problem is, there’s hardly a word of truth in the document, and not a single mention of AFRICOM, the U.S. military command on the continent. The presidential paper repeats Obama’s 2009 lecture to Africans on “good governance.” He also warned that they avoid the “excuses” of blaming “neocolonialism” and “racism” for their problems. Meanwhile, AFRICOM is “positioning the U.S. to launch coups at will against African civilian, or even military, leaders that fall out of favor with Washington.”

President Obama, that imperialist son-of-a…um, Kenyan, last week unveiled what he described as a “new” U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The White House report does not once mention AFRICOM, the U.S. military command that has pushed aside the State Department as the primary institution of U.S. policy and power in sub-Saharan Africa. The report comes three years after Obama’s trip to Ghana, when he declared that Africa’s biggest problems were “corruption and poor governance,” rather than five centuries (and still counting) of Euro-American predation. African complaints about “neo-colonialism, or [that] the West has been oppressive, or racism” are mere “excuses,” said Obama, in a performance that scholar Ama Biney described as “imperialist lecturing” and “Obama-speak.”

Having effectively abandoned even the pretense of competing with China, India, Brazil and other rising economic powers in Africa, the Obama regime has turned the continent into a battleground, where AFRICOM is the principle interlocutor with the region’s governments and peoples.

In addition to conducting year-round military maneuvers with nearly every nation on the continent, AFRICOM handles much of U.S. food distribution and medical aid to the region, while the CIA monitors Africa’s vast expanses with a network of secret airstrips and surveillance aircraft.

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