Security Blanket: Western Democracy and the Strategy of Tension

Chris Floyd


Shoppers sprint through a department store on Saturday
as gunmen open fire in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

This article is originally from 24 November 2008.

The idea that a democratic government would deliberately create fake "extremist groups" then send them out to foment violence and terrorism -- in order to discredit legitimate opposition to elite rule and to "justify" authoritarian powers -- has long been derided in "serious" circles as that worst of modern heresies: "conspiracy theory." Anyone advancing such a preposterous notion is instantly relegated to the ranks of the "lunatic fringe," and dismissed with varying degrees of contempt and condescension.

And the woeful fact that millions of the ruminants out there in the vast public herd swallow these wild tales and believe that their betters are up to no good is also widely deplored in the higher circles of public discourse. As any fully-accredited, perk-laden, sinecured think-tanker can tell you, democratic governments are led by men and women devoted to public service. Sure, there can be fierce disputes over policies and approaches and outcomes and ideologies and competence. Sure, some people may step over a line here and there in their pursuit of what they believe is the nation's best interests. But just as western democracies do not torture, do not launch aggressive wars, do not spy upon their own people or imprison them by the millions, they most assuredly do not create and support extremist groups and instigate acts of terror and chaos to advance authoritarian agendas.


Moloch's Minions: Preparing More Slaughter in Syria

Chris Floyd

They are insane. They are stupid. They are enslaved to murderous power — so they will kill.

At some point in the next few hours or days, it is likely that deeply damaged collection of moral cretins known as "Western leaders" will sit down behind the gargantuan phalanxes of heavily armed security that keeps their well-wadded rumps safe and cozy and give the nod to some close-cropped flunky laden with medals for mendacious time-serving and relentless butt-covering to launch the airstrikes that will kill a large number of human beings who had absolutely nothing to do with the alleged chemical weapon attacks allegedly carried out by Syrian government forces.

That is to say, the leaders of the West, particularly the notoriously bloodthirsty nations of the United States and Great Britain, will murder a number of their fellow human beings for no reason whatsoever. What's more, they know this and admit it beforehand, speaking under oath, as the U.S. military chief did this week, of the inevitable "collateral damage" the coming attacks will cause. These Western leaders, primarily Barack Obama and the pathetic, feckless ex-PR shill David Cameron, will knowingly murder an unknown number of people while braying all the while of their own righteousness and the strict "legality" of their acts of mass murder.


Stop Doing the Vicious Work of the Ruling Class

Arthur Silber

Chris Floyd: All Systems Go: The Core of the Acquittal - The acquittal of George Zimmerman for his killing of Trayvon Martin has already sparked a torrent of fervid commentary -- millions of words -- and will no doubt produce many millions more in the days and weeks to come. But good sense and insight have been near-impossible to find in the roiling surges of this tsunami. One place where you can find these rare commodities is -- as you might expect -- Arthur Silber's blog. Silber has posted a powerful essay on the case and its implications, extending and deepening a likewise excellent piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, which Silber builds upon to striking effect. You should read the whole piece -- read the whole of both pieces -- but be prepared for some counter-intuitive conclusions, the chief of which is this: in the Trayvon Martin case, the system did not fail; the system worked, it did what it was supposed to do. The problem is that what it is supposed to do is to maintain and replicate the brutal, violent and, above all, dehumanizing injustice encoded in the core of the national culture. Trayvon Martin's life was broken on the hard, metallic spikes of this core; an unspeakable personal loss. But the travesty was not the case itself -- an inevitably ambiguous affair (an unwitnessed encounter between two men, one of them left dead) hobbled with a daunting burden of legal proof required to produce a guilty verdict. No, the real travesty is the system that produced the volatile circumstances of that fateful night, and all of the seething, hateful, fearful, alienating currents that lay behind the encounter. But read the eloquent insights of Silber and Coates for more.


A New Beginning Without Washington’s Sanctimonious Mask

Paul Craig Roberts

It is hard to understand the fuss that Washington and its media whores are making over Edward Snowden. We have known for a long time that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying for years without warrants on the communications of Americans and people throughout the world. Photographs of the massive NSA building in Utah built for the purpose of storing the intercepted communications of the world have been published many times.

It is not clear to an ordinary person what Snowden has revealed that William Binney and other whistleblowers have not already revealed. Perhaps the difference is that Snowden has provided documents that prove it, thereby negating Washington’s ability to deny the facts with its usual lies.

Whatever the reason for Washington’s blather, it certainly is not doing the US government any good. Far more interesting than Snowden’s revelations is the decision by governments of other countries to protect a truth-teller from the Stasi in Washington. Hong Kong kept Snowden’s whereabouts secret so that an amerikan black-op strike or a drone could not be sent to murder him. Hong Kong told Washington that its extradition papers for Snowden were not in order and permitted Snowden to leave for Moscow. The Chinese government did not interfere with Snowden’s departure. The Russian government says it has no objection to Snowden having a connecting flight in Moscow. Ecuador says the traitor is Washington, not Snowden. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino responded to Washington’s threats with a statement that the Ecuadorian government puts human rights above Washington’s interests. Foreign Minister Patino said that Snowden served humanity by revealing that the Washington Stasi was violating the rights of “every citizen in the world.” Snowden merely betrayed “some elites that are in power in a certain country,” whereas Washington betrayed the entire world.

With Hong Kong, China, Russia, Ecuador, and Cuba refusing to obey the Stasi’s orders, Washington is flailing around making a total fool of itself and its media prostitutes.


Pay in Blood: May Day and Modern Politics

Chris Floyd

Here's a really weird "alternative history" thought experiment on this day set aside to celebrate workers around the world. Try to imagine a President of the United States standing up before Congress and saying something like this:

"There is one point … to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. … Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

Isn't that wild? Of course, it's the kind of thing only some ignorant goober from the sticks -- or maybe even from some other century -- would come out with. Today, fortunately, we know that people who work for wages are just moochers and takers: parasites feeding on the noble blood of their bosses and betters. Being advanced, savvy and modern, we now know that Labor deserves no 'consideration' at all (much less a higher one!): no safe work places, no job security, no secured pensions, no bargaining rights, no privacy, no decency, no dignity. Labor should be glad and grateful to give whatever it takes (and take whatever they give) to serve the interests of our precious elites -- our crusading corporate chieftains, our visionary venture capitalists, our wise shepherds of inherited wealth -- who graciously provide their beasts of burden with store of provender.

Unless, of course, the provender provisioning threatens to cut into the nobles' bloated profit margins too much. In that case, of course, the higher considerations of capital must take precedence, and the jobs have to go. And when that happens, Labor should humbly bow its head, without complaint, without whining, and quietly, meekly, accept its fate, in accordance with the ruling principle that governs our glorious modern world. And what is that principle?


Echoes in the Aftermath: Remembering the Victims of Violence

Chris Floyd

All condolences are due to the victims of the Boston bombing and their families ― and to all those victimized by violence around the world today.

This includes the 37 people killed in bomb attacks across Iraq, a commonplace occurrence since American invaders destroyed the country and deliberately sowed bloody sectarian strife there.

And the families of the 20 people killed by a bombing Sunday in Somalia, a country whose fragile peace was shattered by an American-backed foreign invasion, which included American bombings, American renditions and American death squads sowing ― what else? ― bloody sectarian strife.

And the captives in Guantánamo Bay being beaten and brutalized by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who is keeping dozens of men cleared for release even by the twisted, draconian "rules" of the gulag itself ― while he continues to kill people around the world ― without charges, trial, evidence, defense or warning ― by his own unchallengeable, merciless diktat.


Blues for Tammuz: This is not the Age of Defeat

Chris Floyd

As millions around the world mark the death of a god this weekend, let us add our voice to the chorus on this theme with a little number laid down back in ancient times (i.e., the last decade): End Times.

THIS IS NOT THE AGE OF DEFEAT ― This is the age of loss, not the age of defeat.

Drone strikes, kill lists, murderers and torturers approved for high office. Austerity for the poor, record profits for the rich. Truthtellers shackled, liars lauded, ignorance exalted, cruelty and callousness gilded with righteous piety. Everywhere, goodness is driven to its knees, and this brutality is not decried but celebrated.

As in that age of iron that lowered over our forbears during dark night of the Thirties, you see faces once thought kind and kindred turn suddenly feral. Fear is behind it, but not just fear: also a self-hatred for what fear has turned them into, a self-hatred that cannot be borne and so is turned outward, thrown outward, into harsh projections of hatefulness, violence and desolation.

The avid embrace of what was once denounced, or the sad but “savvy” acceptance of the “lesser evil”: this is what we see at every turn today among ourselves, among those we thought were our own, and sometimes, maybe – when the lowering is darkest, heaviest – in mirrors as we pass. When the lowering is darkest, when the soul is lost. In them. In us. This is the age of loss – but it is not the age of defeat.


Truth Is Offensive

Paul Craig Roberts


Where is the good to rise up against the evil?

In America truth is offensive. If you tell the truth, you are offensive.

I am offensive. Michael Hudson is offensive. Gerald Celente is offensive. Herman Daly is offensive. Nomi Prins is offensive. Pam Martens is offensive. Chris Hedges is offensive. Chris Floyd is offensive. John Pilger is offensive. Noam Chomsky is offensive. Harvey Silverglate is offensive. Naomi Wolf is offensive. Stephen Lendman is offensive. David Ray Griffin is offensive. Ellen Brown is offensive.

Fortunately, many others are offensive. But how long before being offensive becomes being “an enemy of the state”?

Throughout history truth tellers have suffered and court historians have prospered. It is the same today. Gerald Celente illustrates this brilliantly in the next issue of the Trends Journal.

Over the past 35 years I have learned this lesson as a columnist. If you tell readers what is really going on, they want to know why you can’t be positive. Why are you telling us that there are bad happenings that can’t be remedied? Don’t you know that God gave Americans the power to fix all wrongs? What are you? Some kind of idiot, an anti-American, a pinko-liberal-commie? If you hate America so much, why don’t you move to Cuba, Iran or China (or to wherever the current bogyman is located)?

The ancient Greeks understood this well. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the prophetess who no one believed despite her 100 percent record of being right. Telling the truth to Americans or to Europeans is just as expensive as telling the truth to the Greeks in ancient mythology.


A Low, Dishonest Decade: New Details for the Iraq War Crime Mosaic

Chris Floyd

The truth-telling of the imprisoned Bradley Manning continues to bear rich fruit, even as he faces a lifetime in prison for acting on principle to save innocent lives and prevent his country from staining itself further with war crimes. This week, the Guardian released a special investigation into the hideous regime of torture that the United States imposed and empowered during its years-long rape of Iraq.

The Guardian report draws on the trove of documents that Manning gave to Wikileaks (and the now diplomatically "sequestered" Julian Assange) to provide new details on the direct links of America's highest officials -- including the bipartisanly adored and now much mourned retired apparatchik David Petraeus -- to the torture of tens of thousands of Iraqis.

In many ways, of course, it's hardly a revelation that American forces were deeply involved in torture during the "extraordinary achievement" (B. Obama) in Iraq.


Obama and torture

Bill Van Auken

After hearing passionate arguments from the Obama Administration, the Supreme Court acquiesced to the president's fervent request and, in a one-line ruling, let stand a lower court decision that declared torture an ordinary, expected consequence of military detention, while introducing a shocking new precedent for all future courts to follow: anyone who is arbitrarily declared a "suspected enemy combatant" by the president or his designated minions is no longer a "person." They will simply cease to exist as a legal entity. They will have no inherent rights, no human rights, no legal standing whatsoever -- save whatever modicum of process the government arbitrarily deigns to grant them from time to time, with its ever-shifting tribunals and show trials. ~ Chris Floyd (December 2009)

Conscious that its policy of imposing the full burden of the crisis on the backs of working people will provoke revolutionary upheavals, the ruling establishment is preparing the framework for a police dictatorship. The working class must make its own preparations.

As the Obama administration prepares to begin its second term, with its liberal and “left” apologists speculating on prospects for progressive action, events have once again made clear that the Democratic president is continuing and deepening the crimes of his predecessor.

In his first four years in office, Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, worked aggressively to shut down all investigations into CIA torture and other crimes committed in the name of the “war on terrorism.” It intervened in case after case to quash lawsuits seeking to hold accountable those who had illegally abducted and tortured thousands of individuals. It sought dismissal of legal actions seeking to uncover information about these crimes by invoking state secrecy.

The result of this sordid policy is that the torturers and those who gave them orders, from the CIA interrogators all the way to the White House, have enjoyed complete immunity. This is the foul political climate in which a fascistic film like Zero Dark Thirty, implicitly justifying torture and implicating the entire American people in this crime, can receive multiple awards and critical acclaim.


:: Next >>

buy viagra online
online casino
buy cialis online
buy viagra online