Another Distraction from the Elites: Claims of sexual harassment against Brett Kavanaugh and the selection of a Supreme Court Justice are highly relevant. But as the media’s obsessive focus remains fixed on these developments, it is always important to keep in mind the other, all-encompassing power structures that continue to forge ahead full throttle, from war to geopolitical developments (and, sometimes, even good news).Read More
Media giant Facebook recently announced it would combat “fake news” by partnering with two propaganda organizations founded and funded by the US government: the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). The social media platform was already working closely with the NATO-sponsored Atlantic Council think tank.
That a single corporation has such a monopoly over the flow of worldwide news is already problematic, but the increasing meshing of corporate and US government control over the means of communication is particularly worrying. All those who believe in free and open exchange of information should oppose Facebook becoming a tool of US foreign policy.
It might seem cavalier for an academically credentialed anthropologist to assert political influence on the population he is supposed to be studying; however, Goette-Luciak’s activities fit within a long tradition. As author David Price illustrated in several book-length studies on what he called “dual use anthropology,” many American anthropologists were supported during the Cold War by private foundations and even the CIA to conduct activities on behalf of their government. More recently, the Pentagon weaponized the field of study through programs like its Human Terrain System, which lured newly graduated anthropologists with lucrative salaries to assist U.S. military counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.Read More
We are living in the west in a pyramid monetary fraud – that only wars can sustain, until – yes, until, a different, honest system, based on real economic and peaceful output, will gradually replace the dollar’s hegemony and its role as a world reserve currency. It’s happening as these lines go to print. Eastern economies, like the Chinese, with China’s gold-convertible Yuan, and a national debt of only about 40% of GDP, is gradually taking over the international reserve role of the US dollar.
The US of A, therefore, will do whatever she can to continue, demonizing Russia and China, provoke them into a hot war, because dominating, and outright ‘owning’ the Eurasian landmass is the ultimate objective of the killer Empire.
“Baseless accusations of interference in the domestic affairs of particular countries are made while simultaneously engaging in an open campaign to undermine and topple democratically elected governments,” said Lavrov.
“[W]e see the desire of a number of Western states to retain their self-proclaimed status as ‘world leaders’ and to slow down the irreversible move toward multipolarity that is objectively taking place,” Lavrov continued. “To this end, anything goes, up to and including political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force. Such illegal actions devalue international law, which lies at the foundation of the postwar world order.”
China, meanwhile, dished out far more restrained criticism of their largest trading partner – with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi defending its trade practices, and stating that China “will not be blackmailed or yield to pressure.”
The French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his classic book “On Suicide” examined the disintegration of social bonds that drive individuals and societies to personal and collective acts of self-destruction. He found that when social bonds are strong, individuals achieve a healthy balance between individual initiative and communal solidarity, which he called a “life-sustaining equilibrium.” These individuals and communities have the lowest rates of suicide. The individuals and societies most susceptible to self-destruction, he wrote, are those for whom these bonds, this equilibrium, have been shattered.
If we do not restore the social bonds shattered by predatory corporate capitalism, when the next financial crisis arrives—and it will arrive—this collective anomie will explode. Frightening demons, harnessing these dark, self-destructive pathologies, will rise from the depths of the ruleless morass.
Suharto 32-year tenure was marred by corruption and nepotism, as his family members and cronies built massive business empires, incorporating elements of the economy from toll roads to television stations. Transparency International has accused Soeharto of embezzling up to $35bn, which would make him one of the world’s most corrupt leaders.
His oppressive rule also saw the killing and disappearance of democracy activists. According to Amnesty International, up to half a million people, mostly his political opponents, were arrested and only about 1,000 were ever brought to trial.
Despite two decades of democracy, the political landscape is still dominated by the surviving old guard of Soeharto’s government who found new vehicles within new democratic institutions. For example, Wiranto, the former defence minister who founded the People’s Conscience (Hanura) party in 2006, was a Soeharto loyalist until he was forced to resign in 1998.
Though the corruption detailed in the newly leaked document took place decades ago, it highlights how lucrative arms deals are often enough incentive for governments to bend the rules in order to keep weapons and cash flowing, no matter the consequences. France today – despite the gravity of the Yemen conflict and the clear involvement of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in committing war crimes – continues to supply the UAE/Saudi coalition with weapons, even though doing so violates its own laws. Indeed, a recent report published by French law firm Ancile Avocat asserted that France’s continued sale of weapons to the two Gulf countries responsible for the carnage and chaos in Yemen was a violation of France’s status as a signatory of the International Arms Trade Treaty, ratified in 2014.
Since the conflict in Yemen began, France’s government has argued that the UAE and the Saudis are using those weapons for “defensive purposes,” despite clear evidence to the contrary, suggesting that the French government is willing to turn a blind eye to the atrocities in Yemen in order to keep the weapons — and cash – flowing.
Ordinary Americans, too, can find reasons to welcome the decline of the American empire. As Chomsky noted in the late 1960s: “The costs of empire are in general distributed over the society as a whole, while its profits revert to a few within.”
The Pentagon system functions as a great form of domestic corporate welfare for high-tech “defense” (empire) firms like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon—this while it steals trillions of dollars that might otherwise meet social and environmental needs at home and abroad. It is a significant mode of upward wealth distribution within “the homeland.”
The biggest costs have fallen on the many millions killed and maimed by the U.S. military and allied and proxy forces in the last seven decades and before. The victims include the many U.S. military veterans who have killed themselves, many of them haunted by their own participation in sadistic attacks and torture on defenseless people at the distant command of sociopathic imperial masters determined to enforce U.S. hegemony by any and all means deemed necessary.
The United States is violating international law, and escalating its aggression. All wars and acts of aggression by the United States since 1928 have violated the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter since it was signed in 1945. Yet, the United States has a long history of threatening aggression and using military force to remove governments it opposed and install friendly ones. Illegal attacks by the US since World War II have resulted in 20 million people being killed in 37 nations.Read More
It seems that ISIS is not the only danger to the national security of Indonesians. The pirates on the Indonesian (gold) coast are not from the Middle East but rather from Phoenix Arizona, the location of the head quarters of mining company “Freeport McMoRan.” An American multinational that made incredibly huge profits from mining gold on West Papua.
To conclude: let us reflect on what it means when Western intelligence services offer Indonesia assistance in fighting the war on terror. The new Freeport deal may be a milestone from historical perspective; it remains a deal with the devil. Nationalizing Western multinationals has never been without risk.
Authored by Paul Street via Truthdig “Insubordinate elites,” as the distinguished American foreign policy historian Alfred W. McCoy calls them, have long been a problem for the United States empire. …Read More
One of the great existential crises of our time is to understand how bleak the world is, and resist anyway. But pretending that it’s not bleak feeds the mania for unreal hope that exists within American culture that I don’t share. That’s our exit door—it allows us to find excuses not to react with the militancy that we must embrace if we’re going to ultimately survive. There is a moral dimension to fighting radical evil. Most rebels throughout history do not succeed. But you don’t succeed without them, and the situation truly is hopeless if we do nothing. If we resist we have hope, however marginal and impossible that hope may seem. If we don’t resist, you can’t use the word hope.Read More
SECRETARY OF STATE Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to U.S. support for the war in Yemen from State Department staff, according to a recent report. The staffers had become concerned by the rising civilian death toll in the war being carried out by Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — not only owing to bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Those concerns, however, were overruled after Pompeo discussed the matter with the State Department’s legislative affairs team. The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, argued that restricting U.S. support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a U.S. weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
We know that they are lying to us, just like they lied to us about Vietnam, Iraq, and Libya. If there were a legitimate reason for military interventionism, they wouldn’t need to lie about it. There is no legitimate reason for any military force to be in Syria without the invitation of the Syrian government. Get out, you murderous bastards. Get out now.Read More