The American Way

Stephen Lendman

Past and present leaders reveal the soul of their nations. Arguably America never had one. Current domestic and foreign policies provide convincing evidence. Police state harshness targets defenders of right over wrong everywhere. National resources go for militarism, belligerence, and making super-rich elites richer. Corporations are licensed to steal, exploit, and plunder. Wars ravage one country after another. Humanity is ruthlessly destroyed. Battlefields shift from one theater to another. Gangsterism writ large reflects official policy.

Syria is ground zero. Months of Western generated violence left thousands dead, many more injured, and countless numbers displaced. Nothing deters America's war machine madness. Bloodlust defines it. Dominance matters most. Body counts mount. Rule of law principles and democratic values are considered quaint and out of date.

Stomping on people is policy. Concern for human and civil rights is off the table. Winning hearts and minds was never America's game. Crushing the will to resist is more important. Repression enforces the message harshly. Death squad diplomacy eliminates non-believers. Where it ends, who knows! Despite ongoing direct and proxy wars, hawkish US lawmakers want more. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are three of America's worst. Peace they believe is abhorrent.

Death squad massacres in Syria aren't enough. As a 2008 presidential candidate, McCain's advocated bombing Iran. "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran," he sang on his "Straight Talk" tour to the tune of a popular Beach Boys song. Lunatics like this run America. Now McCain wants more. So do Graham and Lieberman. They're not alone.

A law unto themselves

Barry Grey

The role of the government in shielding the financial mafia shatters all claims that the financial system can be reformed.

On August 9, the US Justice Department announced it was ending a criminal investigation into allegations that Goldman Sachs committed securities fraud in its underwriting and marketing of mortgage-backed securities in the months leading up to the Wall Street crash of September 2008. The department said it would not file charges against the bank or any of its employees.

As a special favor to Goldman, the Obama administration’s Justice Department took the unusual step of making a public announcement that it had cleared the bank of wrongdoing.

The allegations stemmed from a detailed, 640-page report on the financial crisis issued in April of 2011 by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The report, based on a two-year investigation and 56 million pages of evidence, documented rampant fraud and criminality by major banks and the complicity of credit rating firms and federal bank regulators. In releasing the report, the chairman of the committee, Senator Carl Levin, said the panel’s two-year probe had uncovered “a snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest and wrongdoing.”

Rumblings in Sinai

Philip Giraldi

The recent killing of 16 Egyptian military police by militants in Sinai, part of an unsuccessful attempted penetration of the nearby Israeli border using a captured armored personnel carrier, appears to have been carried out by jihadi groups from the north of the peninsula along with Palestinians infiltrated from Gaza.

But is the accepted narrative true? For a number of years both Egypt and Israel have been having problems with Bedouin tribes in Sinai and across the border inside the Jewish state. The tribesmen, generally regarded as bandits, have carried out kidnappings, sabotage, and have killed Egyptian officials when the opportunity has arisen. Recently, the situation in Sinai has deteriorated due to a weakening of security in general as a consequence of the Arab Spring.

Al-Qaeda affiliated militants carried out a spectacular attack on hotels in the southern resort area of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2005, but there is some legitimate skepticism as to whether the group has much of a permanent presence in Sinai. It is particularly interesting to note that the attackers in the latest incident, eight of whom were reported killed by the Israelis, have not been identified, while no one has claimed responsibility.

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