We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Friday, March 29, 2019
She explains one weapon that the Empire directs against us by examining their efforts via their wholly controlled media to smear Julian Assange. This effort is only one example of the power to control us by controlling the narrative of any subject.
I agree with his argument that recent attacks, and earlier ones which also included various modes of regime change, against nations that tried to pursue too independent actions from the interests of the US/Anglo/Zionist transnational capitalist Empire. But I part company from him over his downgrading of capitalism as a role in these actions. He substitutes capitalism with the abstract term "culture" as the root cause of imperialism. Hence, he argues that Western culture is responsible for the sufferings of most people in the world.
Capitalism is a fundamental system that enables tiny capitalist ruling classes to align all institutions (hence "culture") of societies under their control to conform to their interests of profit and power. It seems so obvious to me that I won't belabor the argument.
That the “final stronghold” of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) resides in US occupied territory in Syria says it all.Cartalucci tells it like it is in contrast to other writers in alternative media who still hedge this insight behind rather obscure, oblique (def.) words. I have at least 25 posts, many from US corporate media, that support his view about the US, and its allies in the Middle East, which were involved in creating and supporting terrorist armies in an effort to effect regime change in Syria:
From US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memos dating back to 2012 noting efforts to create a “Salafist” [Islamic] “principality” [State] in eastern Syria precisely where ISIS rose and now clings to its “final stronghold,” to the obvious fact that ISIS’ fighting capacity was only possible through extensive state sponsorship – it was already clear that the US and its partners in regime change against Syria had been using terrorists including ISIS as proxy ground forces.
Now the US claims it has cornered and is on the verge of defeating ISIS – despite the terrorist group having been cleared out of virtually every other corner of the nation by Syrian, Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces long ago.
US and Europe in 'major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb' - Telegraph Dept of Defense cites west support of Syrian rebels C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Rebels - The New York Times Al Qaeda Funded by Royal Sauds, U.S. Gov’t. Documents – The Greanville Post Bulgarian-NATO weapons reportedly end up in hands of mercenary-terrorist jihadists in Syria | the real Syrian Free Press M of A - US Empire's history of funding terrorist groups, now Syria Syrian Army Captures US Weapons Cache in Aleppo ISIS--US and allies fund them: Biden-Dempsey General Dempsey acknowledges US Arab allies | User Clip | C-SPAN.org Pentagon report says West, Gulf states and Turkey foresaw emergence of ‘IS’ | Middle East Eye Pentagon report reveals West’s support for ISIS Medium 2012 DIA ‘Islamic State’ Report Enters National Discourse after New York Times Coverage – Levant Report Mutual suspicion frays historic US-Saudi ties - FT.com (quote from late Prince Saud al-Faisal re ISIS.) M of A - Todenhöfer: Interview With Al-Nusra Commander "The Americans stand on our side" The Covert Origins of ISIS by the Empire Three Green Berets killed by ISIS infiltrator after CIA ignored warnings | SOFREP U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels - The New York Times Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East | World news | The Guardian In Shift, Saudis Are Said to Arm Rebels in Syria - The New York Times Making a Killing: The 1.2 Billion Euros Arms Pipeline to Middle East | Veterans Today US contractors used: Spies-for-Hire Now at War in Syria BREAKING: At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime” – Levant Report Surviving Capitalism: 2012 DIA ‘Islamic State’ Report Enters National Discourse after New York Times Coverage Former DIA Chief Michael Flynn Says Rise of Islamic State was “a willful decision” and Defends Accuracy of 2012 Memo – Levant Report IMPORTANT DIA UPDATE: Former Defense Intelligence Director Michael Flynn Comments Publicly on 2012 DIA Islamic State Report – Levant Report WikiLeaks - The Podesta Emails New Revelations in the Syrian War | New Eastern Outlook Rise of Islamic State was ‘a willful decision’: Former DIA Chief Michael Flynn | Foreign Policy Journal Over 2,500 ISIS members transferred from Syria to Afghanistan - CSTO Pentagon report says West, Gulf states and Turkey foresaw emergence of ‘IS’ | Middle East Eye
Explained: Why Julian Assange & Chelsea Manning hold key to Free Press [updated with an additional post.]
All journalists and publications, be they mainstream or alternative, must step up now or risk losing these freedoms permanently.
This short segment with Patrick Henningsen (21WIRE) and Mike Robinson (UK Column) explains why it’s absolutely crucial and in the public interest to support Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks, as all three of these represent fundamental pillars of democracy – the right to publish, the rights of whistleblowers, and a free press. Watch:
Because I had contacted a number of left British websites regarding the importance of British activists to get involved in freeing Julian Assange and have to date received no response, I was especially interested in the reactions of Mike Robinson. I was disappointed that Robinson chose not to respond.
(You may also be interested in an insightful article entitled "Freedom Rider: Julian Assange and Robert Mueller" by Margaret Kimberley from Black Agenda Report.)
This organization has been battling for nearly a decade to obtain information from government investigative agencies, especially the FBI, to disclose all the information they have regarding what happened on 9/11. They have initiated a lawsuit forcing the FBI to disclose information related to the death of a particular individual, Bobby McIlvaine, who died on that day as a result of the events of 9/11.
If you had to pick one example to best encapsulate the mainstream media bias and censorship that have contributed significantly to suppressing the truth about 9/11 for nearly two decades, it would have to be the extraordinary actions of Courthouse News Service earlier this week.I've often wondered why the government under the control of the capitalist class's Deep State has permitted this lawsuit to go forward. Now it appears that their control of information--unless it was a simple mistake--through all institutions, both privately owned media and government, will be sufficient ability to prevent US citizens to learn about this legal action. Expunging the article from the Courthouse News may well be the first example of that control in this important legal case. From the website of Courthouse News we learn:
... other news organizations are increasingly relying on Courthouse News new litigation reports to help guide their news coverage, putting Courthouse News in a position similar to that of a pool reporter. All told, Courthouse News provides coverage of more than 2,000 courts around the country, spanning all 50 states.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
- In recognizing Israel’s conquest of Golan, Trump reveals the truth about the United States’ relationship with its beachhead in the Middle East by Stephen Gowans from his blog What's Left.
- The EU bows to ‘systemic rival’ China: Slowly but surely, the EU is shifting its priorities to the East by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times (based in Hong Kong).
- Rendition Plane, Increased Police Presence Raise Fears for Assange by Elizabeth Vos from Consortium News.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
The author argues that Russia, China, and other such states are socialist because they use central planning by their governments, have nationalized key industries, and allocated significant resources to acquire technological expertise. I would not identify them as socialist, but mixed economies. Also these countries have failed to take major steps to prevent the destabilization of the climate, but they are vigorously challenging a uni-polar world with the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire as the dominant power. Perhaps it can be argued that it was impossible to do both.
However, this may be an issue only of semantics. Otherwise his argument that these mixed ("socialist") economies perform much better than neoliberal economies, that is, the advanced capitalist economies that make up the Empire or that of former governments in eastern Europe that used central planning, sounds convincing. Regarding the latter, he writes:
In eastern Europe, capitalism, not socialism, brought about an economic collapse. As free market policies swept the region, the results were utterly catastrophic. Governments sold off state enterprises and let Wall Street and London set up shop. The result was mass unemployment; mass starvation accompanied a drastic rise in crimes such as the drug trade and human trafficking. However, amid the failure, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund thundered that “free markets” and neoliberalism were the only way forward. Milton Friedman and Jeffrey Sachs became the respected voices, and their policies of deregulation and economic plunder expanded far beyond the former Eastern Bloc. In South and Central America, and in Africa, the promises of free market capitalism creating prosperity and abundance never materialized.His main thesis that the Empire fears the success of DPRK's economy is well argued.
(His reference to Jim Roger (sic) should have a link to Jim Rogers.)
I encountered this article on Monday the 25th of March, but I didn't realize the full significance that it had. It appears to me that Crooke sees a series of bumbling attempts by the Trump administration that risks calamitous consequences for the Empire in their strategy to weaken Iran. Poised against this strategy is the China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Characterizing BRI as a "far-reaching geopolitical strategy" is perhaps an understatement as to its ultimate effects.
As we saw yesterday in Escobar's article and commentary I posted yesterday, President Xi of China is in meetings with the presidents of France and Germany to clear away their objections to BRI. It is also very clear that both Macron and Merkel are very concerned about the tempting incentives presented by BRI for their own European capitalists. Thus, the meetings are critically important in this giant struggle for the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire to maintain their dominant position in the world. (See also an article by Deena Stryker.)
If President Xi should succeed, it will have a number of very adverse consequences for the Empire's anti-Iran strategies. Iran, as Crooke points out, is a key participant in China's BRI. Thus the Empire's transnational capitalist class would not only incur a devastating setback in its project to punish Iran, but far worse. China's BRI would link up Asia, Russia, and Europe and thus consolidate a victory for a multipolar world. Keep in mind that the Empire has already suffered a defeat in its Syrian campaign which struggle was really against Russian efforts to link Europe's economy with that of Russia.
Muddying this picture is the US Deep State's concern about their long favorable relationship with Saudi Arabia following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an important Saudi citizen employed by the Washington Post, a key Empire newspaper. As Crooke points out, there is a section of the Deep State that is very worried about their longstanding relationship with Saudi Arabia which has been essential to supporting the US dollar as the primary world's currency following the Vietnam War when USA went off the gold standard.
Thus, Crooke concludes his article with this insightful statement:
Well, the pivot for countering this unfavourable US conjuncture rests on one man: MbS. America’s entire foreign policy, and that of its ally, Israel, has pivoted around this erratic, highly-flawed, psychologically-impaired figure. The NYT leak from CIA officials, with its unqualified endorsement through a NYT board editorial, suggest that the CIA and MI6 have concluded that US global interests cannot be left in such unreliable, unsafe hands.
What this ultimately might mean is unclear, but such a leak would suggest that it stems from a concerted CIA professional assessment (i.e. that it is not just a partisan party warfare). Trump may not concur, or like it much, but the CIA when it does form such a definitive view, is no force to be lightly trifled with.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Trump recognizes Israeli annexation of Golan Heights: Green light for global war by Bill Van Auken from World Socialist Web Site.
- Discrediting the Yellow vests: why Macron will not resign so easily from United World International.
- How to sell a massacre: NRA's playbook revealed by Peter Charley from Al Jazeera.
She gives many people some valuable lessons on critical thinking when reading (listening, viewing, etc.) reports from corporate and so-called public media controlled by the ruling capitalist classes. They use such deceptions, along with censorship and false-flag events, as a major weapon to manipulate us into supporting their interests.
The question still remains, though: what the hell happened? How did a fact-free conspiracy theory come to gain so much traction among mainstream Americans? How were millions of people persuaded to invest hope in a narrative that anyone objectively analyzing the facts knew to be completely false?
I debated long and hard about posting this article because it argues for "non-violence" as a principle to guide any activity opposed to the "global elite managers", his description of the capitalist ruling classes throughout the world. But because the first third of the article (down to "So why does all of the above happen?") accurately describes the world, I've decided to post it. The rest of it is a pitch for non-violence.
In the above three sections, I explained the importance of a sound analysis, strategic focus and an appropriate timeframe as well as the importance of telling the truth, in developing and implementing an effective nonviolent strategy.But I don't see any strategy of a social nature. He does advocate that we abide by individual pledges (which are all in bold print) to avoid behaviors that contribution to pollution, boycotting banks which supply loans to polluting corporations, and avoiding following news from mainstream sources. He does throw in references to other strategies, but these appear also to promote the principle of non-violence and obligatory references to Gandhi. But that's all! This argument is neatly wrapped up in a startling package he calls "truth"!
I'm always suspicious when someone advocates non-violence in the context of revolutionary change. Ruling classes always make sure that they have sufficient means of violence to put down any opposition. Likewise they have never hesitated to use violence against their adversaries. So, we must expect violence from them, and we need to protect ourselves. If this is not a sufficient reason to meet your objections, read my counter-arguments to this principle of non-violence in the commentary of my post entitled "On Contact: Extinction Rebellion". Then when he emphasized an individually oriented strategy, my hackles of suspicion rose even more.
So, I recommend reading the first part in which he gives a summary of history of the development of ruling classes, a very apt description of our present state of geopolitical affairs, and his endorsement of Giants: The Global Elite.
All (silk) roads do lead to Rome, as this Saturday Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will sign a memorandum to adhere to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).China's President Xi arrival yesterday (Monday, 3/25/2019) in France to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Channel NewsAsia reports on this visit so far today. This must be causing apoplexy (def.) for the Empire's Deep State (of which Macron is a member).
Afterward, Xi becomes a magnanimous version of The Sicilian, visiting the port of Palermo, with Beijing intent on investing in local infrastructure.
Atlanticist hysteria has been raging wildly – with the simplistic narrative focused on the fact that Italy is a G7 member, at the heart of the Mediterranean “mare nostrum”, and crammed with NATO bases. Thus, it cannot “sell out” to China.
Conte and diplomats in Rome have confirmed that this is strictly about economic cooperation, and signing a memorandum is non-binding. Italy has, in fact, been informally aligned with the Belt and Road scheme since 2015 when it became one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which finances scores of BRI projects.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday (Mar 26) stressed the growing convergence between Beijing and the European Union on global issues from climate change to trade, urging the two sides to overcome their "suspicions."
Monday, March 25, 2019
- Rachel Maddow Reacts To Collapse Of Russiagate on the Jimmy Dore Show via YouTube.
- Alan “Israel Did 9/11” Sabrosky: Most Censored Man in America by Kevin Barrett from The Unz Review.
- Rethinking some dominant approaches to climate change by Richard Fidler from his blog Life on the Left.
What can you expect with the heavily promoted Youth for Climate and Swedish climate girl Greta Thunberg by capitalist ruling classes other than greenwashing? I'm sure that they have already appointed the leadership to insure that the organization doesn't interfere with "business as usual". The author points out one very obvious contradiction--no mention of wars, and I think that there are many more contradictions that will be revealed in the days to come.
On March 15, the Day of the Popular March for Climate, tens of thousands of young people from several countries, followers of the Swedish student Greta Thunberg, showed their indignation at the indifference of world leaders towards climate change. Since last August, 16-year-old Greta demonstrates every Friday before the Swedish Parliament calling for greater commitment in the fight against the alarming deterioration of the oceans and glaciers.
Surprising (or not) that while environmental activists of the stature of the Honduran Berta Cáceres or the Iranian professor Kavous Emami who have been killed for their struggle against the powers that benefit from the destruction of the environment, the Swedish teenager is presented as leader of the fight to save the planet.
This is what I expect from scientists in capitalist controlled countries: they underplay the threat of man-made climate destabilization.
"We found that the main message from the reports—that our society is in climate emergency—is lost by overstatement of uncertainty and gets confused among the gigabytes of information," says lead author Dr. Salvador Herrando-Pérez, from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
I regard him as an expert on the subject of Zionism and the Zionist influence over the Empire's policies and actions. I also regard Zionism as a Jewish version of fascism because they combine virulent racism (Jewish nationalists über alles), capitalism, and violence against those who differ. The phenomenon has historical roots in Christendom's ban on their followers engaging in any kind of usury. Thus, this was relegated to Jews who are now an important part of the financial elites and an integral part of the Deep State that controls the US/Anglo/Zionist Empire.
After WWII the US capitalist class joined their efforts with the weak British imperialists, and Zionist Jews to create an Empire that has become such a dominant force in the world. This empire sees threats to their dominance from independent actors like Russia and China, and pursue policies to undermine their influence. Such policies, that include regime change, vast military expenditures, and aggressive propaganda campaigns against their opponents, are dangerous to all people, that is, the vast majority of people who are not major capitalists.
Although the author emphasizes the threat to world peace as being due to the Empire's policies and imperialist actions, he underplays the capitalist nature of the driving force behind such policies. He also hasn't expressed any threat of global warming that the capitalist system necessarily poses to our planet and to a habitat that supports humans and other species. That is where he and I differ.
(You might also be interested in this article entitled "'Tip of the spear': The US Christian movement praying for Trump and Israel" from Middle East Eye.net.)