Posts Tagged ‘foreign policy’

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Good article on propaganda from Eric Zuesse today.

Media Lies and The Propaganda War about Ukraine

The public in the West are being played for fools, and it’s now becoming so blatant, even worse than the lies that produced the scandalously vile invasion of Iraq (which our aristocratically controlled media also fooled the masses into supporting), so that the result will be either masses in “democratic” countries who really are fools, and who don’t at all hold the press to account for having raped their minds, or else it will be mass boycotts of the major “news” media, to protest it, and to change it — so as to restore democracy to America.

If boycotts of the press don’t soon start, democracy has already ended here, because, ever since we invaded Iraq in 2003, we’re already way past the time when there should be a mass boycott by Americans of their major “news” media — media that lie to them so brazenly, and so repeatedly, for so long.

 

Mideast Iraq

 

From the “no shit” department…

 

Sunni caliphate has been bankrolled by Saudi Arabia

From Aleppo in northern Syria almost to the Iraqi-Iranian border, the jihadists of Isis and sundry other groupuscules paid by the Saudi Wahhabis – and by Kuwaiti oligarchs – now rule thousands of square miles.

Now a little reality check.

For many years little old me has been writing on the US deals with the devils, from the Saudis to dictators all around the earth. The debacle in Syria, next door to Iraq, has been one of the most glaring and despicable events in modern history.

Under Bush the “redirection” decided to partner up with Sunni regimes in the Middle East in order to finish off the allies of Russia and Iran and to some degree China as well. Empire games. Grand chessboard.  Death squads.

Libya was bombed. Arms and money poured in to rile up the so-called “Arab Spring” and to guide it in directions that the US and its partners preferred (main partner with the deep pockets being Saudi). That meant anyone who would go kill or blow themselves up near America’s targeted enemies was no longer considered a “terrorist,” and that the long-hyped “war on terror” was a fraud, a gimmick, a sham for the uninformed.

In Libya America became “Al Qaeda’s Air Force” according to Representative Kucinich, and the Al Qaeda flag wound up flying over the court house in Benghazi.

Syria would be many times worse than the carnage in Libya. America’s allies: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and many others, had Syria surrounded on all sides. They trained, armed, funded, coordinated thousands upon thousands in terrorist militias to take over the Syrian countryside, and to create fake pretexts for sending in even more direct military aid.  The Syrian terror brigades had their own public relations arm, known to the western media world as “activists,” but in reality these were the propagandists of that illegal war, a foreign-sponsored war and “Jihad.”

Thousands of civilians were killed in order to take pictures of their bodies and to claim that Assad had done it, when in reality it was the terrorists themselves.  The criminal complicity of western media, repeating bald lies with flimsy evidence, actually ENCOURAGED more war crimes, massacres of children with nerve gas, etc.

The western media could be relied upon to spin just one story: everything bad was Assad’s fault, no matter what the facts were.

But you know, it’s pointless trying to tell you people the truth.  You don’t give a flying fuck. No one is blowing up your neighborhoods, and you have the morality of an insect nest.

Heck of a job there in Iraq.  Let’s all cry patriotic tears staring at the national rag…

 

 PS

To the entire political and media class: Fuck you.

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by William Blum

Edward Snowden

Is Edward Snowden a radical? The dictionary defines a radical as “an advocate of political and social revolution”, the adjective form being “favoring or resulting in extreme or revolutionary changes”. That doesn’t sound like Snowden as far as what has been publicly revealed. In common usage, the term “radical” usually connotes someone or something that goes beyond the generally accepted boundaries of socio-political thought and policies; often used by the Left simply to denote more extreme than, or to the left of, a “liberal”.

In his hour-long interview on NBC, May 28, in Moscow, Snowden never expressed, or even implied, any thought – radical or otherwise – about United States foreign policy or the capitalist economic system under which we live, the two standard areas around which many political discussions in the US revolve. In fact, after reading a great deal by and about Snowden this past year, I have no idea what his views actually are about these matters. To be sure, in the context of the NBC interview, capitalism was not at all relevant, but US foreign policy certainly was.

Snowden was not asked any direct questions about foreign policy, but if I had been in his position I could not have replied to several of the questions without bringing it up. More than once the interview touched upon the question of whether the former NSA contractor’s actions had caused “harm to the United States”. Snowden said that he’s been asking the entire past year to be presented with evidence of such harm and has so far received nothing. I, on the other hand, as a radical, would have used the opportunity to educate the world-wide audience about how the American empire is the greatest threat to the world’s peace, prosperity, and environment; that anything to slow down the monster is to be desired; and that throwing a wrench into NSA’s surveillance gears is eminently worthwhile toward this end; thus, “harm” indeed should be the goal, not something to apologize for.

Edward added that the NSA has been unfairly “demonized” and that the agency is composed of “good people”. I don’t know what to make of this.

When the war on terrorism was discussed in the interview, and the question of whether Snowden’s actions had hurt that effort, he failed to take the opportunity to point out the obvious and absolutely essential fact – that US foreign policy, by its very nature, regularly and routinely creates anti-American terrorists.

When asked what he’d say to President Obama if given a private meeting, Snowden had no response at all to make. I, on the other hand, would say to Mr. Obama: “Mr. President, in your time in office you’ve waged war against seven countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria. This makes me wonder something. With all due respect, sir: What is wrong with you?”

A radical – one genuine and committed – would not let such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass by unused. Contrary to what his fierce critics at home may believe, Edward Snowden is not seriously at war with America, its government or its society. Does he have a real understanding, analysis, or criticism of capitalism or US foreign policy? Does he think about what people could be like under a better social system? Is he, I wonder, even anti-imperialist?

And he certainly is not a conspiracy theorist, or at least keeps it well hidden. He was asked about 9-11 and replied:

The 9/11 commission … when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed … to detect this plot. We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.

Whereas I might have pointed out that the Bush administration may have ignored the information because they wanted something bad – perhaps of unknown badness – to happen in order to give them the justification for all manner of foreign and domestic oppression they wished to carry out. And did. (This scenario of course excludes the other common supposition, that it was an “inside job”, in which case collecting information on the perpetrators would not have been relevant.)

The entire segment concerning 9/11 was left out of the television broadcast of the interview, although some part of it was shown later during a discussion. This kind of omission is of course the sort of thing that feeds conspiracy theorists.

All of the above notwithstanding, I must make it clear that I have great admiration for the young Mr. Snowden, for what he did and for how he expresses himself. He may not be a radical, but he is a hero. His moral courage, nerve, composure, and technical genius are magnificent. I’m sure the NBC interview won him great respect and a large number of new supporters. I, in Edward’s place, would be even more hated by Americans than he is, even if I furthered the radicalization of more of them than he has. However, I of course would never have been invited onto mainstream American television for a long interview in prime time. (Not counting my solitary 15 minutes of fame in 2006 courtesy of Osama bin Laden; a gigantic fluke happening.)

Apropos Snowden’s courage and integrity, it appears that something very important has not been emphasized in media reports: In the interview, he took the Russian government to task for a new law requiring bloggers to register – the same government which holds his very fate in their hands.

Who is more exceptional: The United States or Russia?

I was going to write a commentary about President Obama’s speech to the graduating class at the US Military Academy (West Point) on May 28. When he speaks to a military audience the president is usually at his most nationalistic, jingoist, militaristic, and American-exceptionalist – wall-to-wall platitudes. But this talk was simply TOO nationalistic, jingoist, militaristic, and American-exceptionalist. (“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.”) To go through it line by line in order to make my usual wise-ass remarks, would have been just too painful. However, if you’re in a masochistic mood and wish to read it, it can be found here.

Instead I offer you part of acommentary from Mr. Jan Oberg, Danish director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research in Lund, Sweden:

What is conspicuously lackingin the President’s West Point speech?

  1. Any reasonably accurate appraisal of the world and the role of other nations.
  2. A sense of humility and respect for allies and other countries in this world.
  3. Every element of a grand strategy for America for its foreign and security policy and some kind of vision of what a better world would look like. This speech with all its tired, self-aggrandising rhetoric is a thin cover-up for the fact that there is no such vision or overall strategy.
  4. Some little hint of reforms of existing institutions or new thinking about globalisation and global democratic decision-making.
  5. Ideas and initiatives – stretched-out hands – to help the world move towards conflict-resolution in crisis areas such as Ukraine, Syria, Libya, China-Japan and Iran. Not a trace of creativity.

Ironically, on May 30 the Wall Street Journal published a long essay by Leon Aron, a Russia scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington. The essay took Russian president Vladimir Putin to task for claiming that Russia is exceptional. The piece was headed:

“Why Putin Says Russia Is Exceptional”

“Such claims have often heralded aggression abroad and harsh crackdowns at home.”

It states: “To Mr. Putin, in short, Russia was exceptional because it was emphatically not like the modern West – or not, in any event, like his caricature of a corrupt, morally benighted Europe and U.S. This was a bad omen, presaging the foreign policy gambits against Ukraine that now have the whole world guessing about Mr. Putin’s intentions.”

So the Wall Street Journal has no difficulty in ascertaining that a particular world leader sees his country as “exceptional”. And that such a perception can lead that leader or his country to engage in aggression abroad and crackdowns at home. The particular world leader so harshly judged in this manner by the Wall Street Journal is named Vladimir Putin, not Barack Obama. There’s a word for this kind of analysis – It’s calledhypocrisy.

“Hypocrisy is anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.” – Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi, (1828-1910) Russian writer

Is hypocrisy a moral failing or a failing of the intellect?

The New Cold War is getting to look more and more like the old one, wherein neither side allows the other to get away with any propaganda point. Just compare any American television network to the Russian station broadcast in the United States – RT (formerly Russia Today). The contrast in coverage of the same news events is remarkable, and the stations attack and make fun of each other by name.

Another, even more important, feature to note is that in Cold War I the United States usually had to consider what the Soviet reaction would be to a planned American intervention in the Third World. This often served as a brake to one extent or another on Washington’s imperial adventures. Thus it was that only weeks after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the United States bombed and invaded Panama, inflicting thousands of casualties and widespread destruction, for the flimsiest – bordering on the non-existent – of reasons.  The hostile Russian reaction to Washington’s clear involvement in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in February of this year, followed by Washington’s significant irritation and defensiveness toward the Russian reaction, indicates that this Cold War brake may have a chance of returning. And for this we should be grateful.

After the “communist threat” had disappeared and the foreign policy of the United States continued absolutely unchanged, it meant that the Cold War revisionists had been vindicated – the conflict had not been about containing an evil called “communism”; it had been about American expansion, imperialism and capitalism. If the collapse of the Soviet Union did not result in any reduction in the American military budget, but rather was followed by large increases, it meant that the Cold War – from Washington’s perspective – had not been motivated by a fear of the Russians, but purely by ideology.

Lest we forget: Our present leaders can derive inspiration from other great American leaders.

White House tape recordings, April 25, 1972:

President Nixon: How many did we kill in Laos?

National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen [thousand] …

Nixon: See, the attack in the North [Vietnam] that we have in mind … power plants, whatever’s left – POL [petroleum], the docks … And, I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?

Kissinger: About two hundred thousand people.

Nixon: No, no, no … I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?

Kissinger: That, I think, would just be too much.

Nixon: The nuclear bomb, does that bother you? … I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes.

May 2, 1972:

Nixon: America is not defeated. We must not lose in Vietnam. … The surgical operation theory is all right, but I want that place bombed tosmithereens. If we draw the sword, we’re gonna bomb those bastards all over the place. Let it fly, let it fly.

“Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” – Michael Ledeen, former Defense Department consultant and holder of the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute

Help needed from a computer expert

This has been driving me crazy for a very long time. My printer doesn’t print the document I ask it to print, but instead prints something totally unrelated. But what it prints is always something I’ve had some contact with, like an email I received or a document I read online, which I may or may not have saved on my hard drive, mostly not. It’s genuinely weird.

Now, before I print anything, I close all other windows in my word processor (Word Perfect/Windows 7); I go offline; I specify printing only the current page, no multiple page commands. Yet, the printer usually still finds some document online and prints it.

At one point I cleared out all the printer caches, and that helped for a short while, but then the problem came back though the caches were empty.

I spoke to the printer manufacturer, HP, and they said it can’t be the fault of the printer because the printer only prints what the computer tells it to print.

It must be the CIA or NSA. Help!

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Notes
  1. William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 50
  2. Jonah Goldberg, “Baghdad Delenda Est, Part Two”,National Review, April 23, 2002

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

 

iraq-war

The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War: Rationale and Competencies

“Since the end of World War II, there have been 248 armed conflicts in 153 locations around the world. The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq.  

 

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Vincent Harding wrote the Beyond Vietnam speech

Remembering Vincent Harding, the Civil Rights Activist Who Wrote MLK’s Speech Against Vietnam War

“By the last years of his life, [King] was saying that America had to deal with what he called triple evils: the evil of racism, the evil of materialism and the evils of militarism,” 

 

quietposter

While reckless warmongers in the White House and in the Oped pages hype the myriad supposed global threats, Americans want a far more isolationist foreign policy…

[N]early half of those surveyed want the U.S. to be less active on the global stage, with fewer than one-fifth calling for more active engagement—an anti-interventionist current that sweeps across party lines.

Pew/USA Today poll conducted over the weekend found that Americans  oppose – by a 2-1 margin – any U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

YouGov poll conducted last month found that only 14 percent of Americans said the U.S. has “any responsibility” to get involved in Ukraine, and only 18 percent think the U.S. “has any responsibility to protect Ukraine if Russia were to invade.”

35% of all Americans support the Afghanistan war

63% of Americans think that we should stop mandatory prison terms for drug law violations

54% are in favor of marijuana legalization

67% say the government should focus more on providing treatment for people who use drugs like cocaine and heroin, and only 26% think the focus should be more on prosecuting people who use such drugs

Anthony-Freda-War-Box

 

Lies on Urkaine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia

Intelligence regarding Syria is arguably being manipulated even more blatantly than intelligence on Saddam and Iraq.

Media coverage of Syria and Ukraine is as bad as it was of the Iraq war … or worse.

Indeed, it is largely the same knuckleheads in government and in media who are pushing the lies.

 

More from George Washington:

America Is Running the World’s Largest Terrorist Operation

 

robocop_poster_p_2013

Indeed one of the most unnecessary remakes of all time, this one has five times the ammunition with much less of the cinematic punch.

I could grind my teeth over getting there early and being subject to advertiser cliches and Hollywhore bimbos hawking TV shows, Coca Cola, cell phones and the rest of the corporate mindless culture we all know and despise. But I’m pretty clear where I stand on that, and it may have given me the dose of blinding anger I needed to get on board an anti-corporate crime film.

If only they’d played Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic instead, where black comedy is understood, where shots are framed and held for more than two seconds.

Joel-kinnaman-suits-up-for-robocop-reshoots-17

I thought of hating the new Robo, all the choices made that were lesser than the original, particularly his transformation. But, this was a distinctly different take on the world, a man/drone for a more fascistic America, a post-9/11 lobotomized America.

The first problem that tipped me off about the tone deafness was in the opening sequence. We’re supposedly in Tehran, Iran, as part of a right wing propagandist’s TV show. The idea was to push the robot warriors so that America would demand robot police across the land here. Only, when we get to the occupied Iranians, who are they?

They’re generic Hollywood “suicide bombers” from whereveristan. With suicide vests, they launch an attack on the invading ED-209s, and are pretty much wiped out in the process. The reason America’s lethal invader robots are marching through Tehran in the first place is irrelevant. Who the occupied people are is irrelevant. Nothing here is black comedy, and nothing here is done well to rise to the level of actual drama.

Then we’re onto Murphy, the new tough undercover Murphy who’s out on a limb, a loose cannon, a hot headed son of a bitch with a badge dodging 8,000 assault rifle rounds with ease. Someone should have told them that each bullet fired diminishes the impact of the one before. Here the bullets are nothing more than light shows, flickering props.

But onto RoboMurphy. The difference here is with the doctor assigned to the Robocop development project. Now we have a doc who’s essentially the protagonist and Murphy his Frankenstein’s monster. An odd choice, but the relationship between Robo and his support team is perhaps more feasible than in the original. How long could a few slabs of meat remain alive without intensive care?

Also Murphy’s wife gets more lines. But is she going to become a generic damsel by film’s end? How could she not?

I had a serious problem with Robo torturing suspects as some kind of routine now. There’s a lot of fascist imagery, but not all of it intentional it seems. Now, I do recall a scene in Robocop 2 where Murphy beats up a dirty cop who sold out the police and set them up for assassination. That was an uncomfortable scene, and perhaps I’m in the minority pulling that one out for mention. Here we live in the cops as torturers world. Torture doesn’t merit a second thought. The idea of selling torture to young people, but hiding behind a PG-13 rating, like this is an acceptable version of violence, really irks me.

RoboCop-Alex-Murphy-Unhelmeted

We’re at a point where our society is slipping into medieval barbarism, more and more each year. In the original Robocop, Murphy was meticulous about responding to situations with only the appropriate level of force. Here, I don’t think this was as big a concern. It isn’t so much about the law, morality, what is justified or any of those concerns. It’s more about which action sequences look cool with half a million bullets flying for almost no reason – a video game. Video games have corrupted drama, and that’s how they did it. They replaced mindless shooting for meaning and character development.

We get a last opportunity to rewrite the Tehran / foreign policy question at the very end. I can’t see the redneck slobs in my theater actually getting it though. Maybe I’m underestimating someone. That’s possible. It’s a sticky situation, calling out US foreign policy and global bullying, to Americans.  It seems they wanted to try and please everyone, for marketing’s sake — for Mammon’s sake — and ended up pleasing no one.

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cia

 

CIA Director Held ‘Secret Consultations’ in Kiev

CIA director John Brennan had a secret meeting with Ukrainian officials in Kiev before they began operations against separatist forces that had taken over buildings in the country’s east.”

 

CIA Role Behind the Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela

She has toured a series of countries in the world where very similar situations have occurred, like what she tried to do in Venezuela. And when you analyze Venezuela, and what has happened nowadays and the way in which she has acted, I think that in Venezuela, the characteristic that has been that they are tremendously aggressive in the manipulation of the information. Tremendously aggressive. To the point where you say it’s a blunder, because there are images which are so obviously not from Venezuela. I saw a very famous one, in which a soldier appears with a journalist, with a camera.They are Koreans. It’s an image from Korea. They’re Asian. They don’t look like Venezuelans at all. Also, the uniforms they wear. They’ve been very aggressive with that image which has projected what’s going on in Venezuela to the world. The greater part of the world’s people, this image is the one they’re seeing, of what they’re trying to say.

 

syria1-articleLarge

 

There is criticism of the Seymour Hersh “Rat Line” article.

The BFP Roundtable Takes on NATO, Russia, Turkey and the “New Cold War”

 

In this edition of the BFP Roundtable, Peter B. Collins, Guillermo Jimenez, James Corbett and Sibel Edmonds discuss the latest moves in the formation of a so-called “new cold war” between NATO and Russia. We also tackle Seymour Hersh and his recent article in the London Review of Books examining Turkish involvement in the Syrian chemical weapons attack in Ghouta last year.

For more information on these stories, please visit BoilingFrogsPost.com.

 

ZP

 

Heartfelt desperation from investigative reporter Andre Vitchek.  All the facts and truth in the world can’t sway western ignorami into doing the right thing.  Perhaps it’s going to get a lot worse.

The Indoctrinated West