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Good article on TAC:
How long will the people permit it?
There was an excellent article on Tom Dispatch on this very question.
What Does It Mean When War Hawks Say, “Never Trump”?
The Enemies of My Enemy May Be War Criminals
By Rebecca Gordon
…we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men — and a few women — who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.
They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer “lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.”
That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. The letter’s signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice’s legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush’s CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the “global war on terror,” this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.
Their letter continues, “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.”
There’s a sentence that could use some unpacking.
What Is The “Free World”?
Let’s start with the last bit: “the leader of the free world.” That’s what journalists used to call the U.S. president, and occasionally the country as a whole, during the Cold War. Between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “free world” included all the English-speaking countries outside Africa, along with western Europe, North America, some South American dictatorships, and nations like the Philippines that had a neocolonial relationship with the United States.
The U.S.S.R. led what, by this logic, was the un-free world, including the Warsaw Pact countries in eastern Europe, the “captive” Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, the People’s Republic of China (for part of the period), North Korea, and of course Cuba. Americans who grew up in these years knew that the people living behind the “Iron Curtain” were not free. We’d seen the bus ads and public service announcements on television requesting donations for Radio Free Europe, sometimes illustrated with footage of a pale adolescent man, his head crowned with chains.
I have absolutely no doubt that he and his eastern European countrymen were far from free. I do wonder, however, how free his counterparts in the American-backed Brazilian, Argentinian, Chilean, and Philippine dictatorships felt.
The two great adversaries, together with the countries in their spheres of influence, were often called the First and Second Worlds. Their rulers treated the rest of the planet — the Third World — as a chessboard across which they moved their proxy armies and onto which they sometimes targeted their missiles. Some countries in the Third World refused to be pawns in the superpower game, and created a non-aligned movement, which sought to thread a way between the Scylla and Charybdis of the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
Among its founders were some of the great Third World nationalists: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, along with Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito.
Other countries weren’t so lucky. When the United States took over from France the (unsuccessful) project of defeating Vietnam’s anti-colonial struggle, people in the U.S. were assured that the war that followed with its massive bombing, napalming, and Agent-Oranging of a peasant society represented the advance of freedom against the forces of communist enslavement. Central America also served as a Cold War battlefield, with Washington fighting proxy wars during the 1980s in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, where poor campesinos had insisted on being treated as human beings and were often brutally murdered for their trouble. In addition, the U.S. funded, trained, and armed a military dictatorship in Honduras, where John Negroponte — one of the anti-Trump letter signers — was the U.S. ambassador from 1981 to 1985.
The Soviet Union is, of course, long gone, but the “free world,” it seems, remains, and so American officials still sometimes refer to us as its leader — an expression that only makes sense, of course, in the context of dual (and dueling) worlds. On a post-Soviet planet, however, it’s hard to know just what national or geographic configuration constitutes today’s “un-free world.” Is it (as Donald Trump might have it) everyone living under Arab or Muslim rule? Or could it be that amorphous phenomenon we call “terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism” that can sometimes reach into the “free world” and slaughter innocents as in San Bernardino, California, Orlando, Florida, or Nice, France? Or could it be the old Soviet Union reincarnated in Vladimir Putin’s Russia or even a rising capitalist China still controlled by a Communist Party?
Faced with the loss of a primary antagonist and the confusion on our planet, George W. Bush was forced to downsize the perennial enemy of freedom from Reagan’s old “evil empire” (the Soviet Union) to three “rogue states,” Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, which in an address to Congress he so memorably labeled the “axis of evil.” The first of these lies in near ruins; the second we’ve recently signed a nuclear treaty with; and the third seems incapable of even feeding its own population. Fortunately for the free world, the Bush administration also had some second-string enemies to draw on. In 2002, John Bolton, then an undersecretary of state (and later ambassador to the U.N.), added another group “beyond the axis of evil” — Libya, Syria, and Cuba. Of the three, only Cuba is still a functioning nation.
And by the way, the 50 Republican national security stars who denounced Donald Trump in Cold War terms turn out to be in remarkably good company — that of Donald Trump himself (who recently gave a speech invoking American Cold War practices as the basis for his future foreign policy).
“He Weakens U.S. Moral Authority…”
After its twenty-first century wars, its “black sites,” and Guantánamo, among other developments of the age, it’s hard to imagine a much weaker “moral authority” than what’s presently left to the United States. First, we gave the world eight years of George W. Bush’s illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as CIA torture sites, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and a program of quite illegal global kidnappings of terror suspects (some of whom proved innocent of anything). Under President Obama, it seems we’ve traded enhanced interrogation techniques for an “enhanced” use of assassination by drone (again outside any “law” of war, other than the legal documents that the Justice Department has produced to justify such acts).
When Barack Obama took office in January 2009 his first executive order outlawed the CIA’s torture program and closed those black sites. It then looked as if the country’s moral fiber might be stiffening. But when it came to holding the torturers accountable, Obama insisted that the country should “look forward as opposed to looking backwards” and the Justice Department declined to prosecute any of them. It’s hard for a country to maintain its moral authority in the world when it refuses to exert that authority at home.
Two of the letter signers who are so concerned about Trump’s effect on U.S. moral authority themselves played special roles in “weakening” U.S. moral authority through their involvement with the CIA torture program: John Bellinger III and Michael Hayden.
June 26th is the U.N.’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. To mark that day in 2003, President Bush issued a statement declaring, “Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture, and we are leading this fight by example.”
The Washington Post story on the president’s speech also carried a quote from Deputy White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to the effect that all prisoners being held by the U.S. government were being treated “humanely.” John Rizzo, who was then the CIA’s deputy general counsel, called John Bellinger, Condoleezza Rice’s legal counsel at the National Security Council, to express his concern about what both the president and McClellan had said.
The problem was that — as Rizzo and his boss, CIA director George Tenet, well knew — many detainees then held by the CIA were not being treated humanely. They were being tortured or mistreated in various ways. The CIA wanted to be sure that they still had White House backing and approval for their “enhanced interrogation” program, because they didn’t want to be left holding the bag if the truth came out. They also wanted the White House to stop talking about the humane treatment of prisoners.
According to an internal CIA memo, George Tenet convened a July 29, 2003, meeting in Condoleezza Rice’s office to get the necessary reassurance that the CIA would be covered if the truth about torture came out. There, Bellinger reportedly apologized on behalf of the administration, explaining that the White House press secretary had “gone off script,” mistakenly reverting to “old talking points.” He also “undertook to [e]nsure that the White House press office ceases to make statements on the subject other than [to say] that the U.S. is complying with its obligations under U.S. law.”
At that same meeting, Tenet’s chief counsel, Scott Muller, passed out packets of printed PowerPoint slides detailing those enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, so that Bellinger and the others present, including Rice, would understand exactly what he was covering up.
So much for the “moral authority” of John Bellinger III.
As for Michael Hayden (who has held several offices in the national security apparatus), one of his signature acts as CIA Director was to approve in 2005 the destruction of videotapes of the agency’s waterboarding sessions. In a letter to CIA employees, he wrote that the tapes were destroyed “only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries.”
Of course destroying those tapes also meant that they’d never be available for any future legislative or judicial inquiry. The letter continued,
“Beyond their lack of intelligence value… the tapes posed a serious security risk. Were they ever to leak, they would permit identification of your CIA colleagues who had served in the program, exposing them and their families to retaliation from al-Qaeda and its sympathizers.”
One has to wonder whether Hayden was more concerned with his CIA colleagues’ “security” from al-Qaeda or from prosecution. In any case, he deprived the public — and any hypothetical future prosecutor — of crucial evidence of wrongdoing.
Hayden also perpetuated the lie that the Agency’s first waterboarding victim, Abu Zubaydah — waterboarded a staggering 83 times — was a crucial al-Qaeda operative and had provided a quarter of all the information that the CIA gathered from human subjects about al-Qaeda. He was, in fact, never a member of al-Qaeda at all. In the 1980s, he ran a training camp in Afghanistan for the mujahedin, the force the U.S. supported against the Soviet occupation of that country; he was, that is, one of Ronald Reagan’s “freedom fighters.”
Bellinger later chimed in, keeping the Abu Zubaydah lie alive by arguing in 2007 on behalf of his boss Condoleezza Rice that Guantánamo should remain open. That prison, he said, “serves a very important purpose, to hold and detain individuals who are extremely dangerous [like] Abu Zubaydah, people who have been planners of 9/11.”
“He Appears to Lack Basic Knowledge About and Belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Laws, and U.S. Institutions…”
That’s the next line of the open letter, and it’s certainly a fair assessment of Donald Trump. But it’s more than a little ironic that it was signed by Michael Hayden who, in addition to supporting CIA’s torture project, oversaw the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 secret surveillance program. Under that program, the government recorded the phone, text, and Internet communications of an unknown number of people inside and outside of the United States — all without warrants.
Perhaps Hayden believes in the Constitution, but at best it’s a selective belief. There’s that pesky 4th Amendment, for example, which guarantees that
“[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Nor does Hayden appear to believe in U.S. laws and institutions, at least when it comes to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which established the secret courts that are supposed to issue exactly the sort of warrant Hayden’s program never requested.
John Negroponte is another of the signers who has a history of skirting U.S. laws and the congress that passes them. While ambassador to Honduras, he helped develop a murderous “contra” army, which the United States armed and trained to overthrow the government of neighboring Nicaragua. During those years, however, aid to the contras was actually illegal under U.S. law. It was explicitly prohibited under the so-called Boland Amendments to various appropriations bills, but no matter. “National security” was at stake.
Speaking of the Constitution, it’s instructive to take a look at Article 6, which states in part that “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” Such treaties include, for example, the 1928 Kellogg-Briand non-aggression pact (whose violation was the first charge brought against the Nazi officials tried at Nuremberg) and Article 51 of the U.N. charter, which permits military action only “if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.”
In 1998, Robert Zoellick, another of those 50 Republicans openly denouncing Trump, signed a different letter, which advocated abrogating those treaties. As an associate of the Project for a New American Century, he was among those who urged then-President Bill Clinton to direct “a full complement of diplomatic, political, and military efforts” to “remove Saddam Hussein from power.” This was to be just the first step in a larger campaign to create a Pax Americana in the Middle East. The letter specifically urged Clinton not to worry about getting a Security Council resolution, arguing that “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.”
“He Is Unable or Unwilling to Separate Truth From Falsehood…”
So says the letter, and that, too, offers a fair characterization of Trump, who has often contended that President Obama has never proved he was born in the U.S.A., and has more than once repeated the long-disproved legend that, during the 1899-1913 Morro Rebellion in the Philippines, General John J. Pershing used bullets dipped in pig’s blood to execute Muslim insurgents. (And that’s barely to scratch the surface of Donald Trump’s remarkable unwillingness to separate truth from falsehood.) What, then, about the truthfulness of the letter signers?
Clinton never bit on the PNAC proposal, but a few years later, George W. Bush did. And the officials of his administration began their campaign of lies about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, yellow cake uranium from Niger, and “smoking guns” that might turn out to be “mushroom clouds” (assumedly over American cities), all of which would provide the pretext for that administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq.
The Bush administration didn’t limit itself to lying to the American people. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte was dispatched to the Security Council to lie, too. Security Council Resolution 1441 was the last of several requiring Iraq to comply with weapons inspections by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Some members of the Council, especially Russia and France, were hesitant to approve 1441, fearing that the U.S. might interpret it as a license to invade. So, in the discussions before the vote, Negroponte assured the Security Council that “this resolution contains no ‘hidden triggers’ and no ‘automaticity’ with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions.” The British ambassador used almost identical words to reassure the Council that, before attacking Iraq, the United States and Britain would seek its blessing.
That, of course, is hardly what happened. On February 24, 2003, Washington and London did bring a resolution for war to the Security Council. When it became apparent that two of its permanent members, France and Russia, would veto that resolution if it came to a vote, Bush (in consultation with British Prime Minister Tony Blair) decided to withdraw it. “We all agreed,” he wrote in his memoir, that “the diplomatic track had reached its end.”
And so the U.S. was on its foreordained path to war and disaster in Iraq, the path that after much winding, much failure, and much destruction would lead to Donald Trump.
So much for keeping promises and separating “truth from falsehood.”
====end of excerpt====
Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books). Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Did this Tunisian/French guy, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, do this “terrorist” attack because of geopolitical reasons? I really don’t know. First, nothing in his profile presents any direct link to ISIS or any other specific political group. Second, he was not part of a mosque or of Islam. Third, as any sane person, I don’t believe a word of what French authorities say until independent proof is furnished.
Let me first say that I was surprised the French police just didn’t find the guy’s passport right next to the driver’s wheel, just misplaced there by oversight, with a refugee status stamp, with the date of the photograph taken the next day of the attack, if you catch my drift.
And now that “the usual suspects” have been rounded up (and taken into arrest – as if that were necessary – but in a police state, you know where fundamental legal rights lie: in the trash can), we find all weird things about the state of mind of the guy, but nothing, nothing that says he was wired into politics or “terrorism”. So he was a loner, and sometimes aggressive, and had been nasty to his ex-wife. OK, there are millions of people with this profile who aren’t political terrorists. Many millions.
And, ISIS, of all people, didn’t claim right away it was any of their doing. Nor did any other group. It took ISIS a long time to finally come out and state that the guy was a “soldier” for them. Big red flag. If he had directly been one of them, ISIS would have been screaming the fact even before people had finished running from the scene.
The problem here is that ISIS would have all the interest in the world to pretend this guy was one of them, even if he wasn’t, because it serves wonderful propaganda purposes for them – given the very successful and smart attack. And the French government, who wants to continue its mass murder and plunder of Africa and the Middle East, and needs to cover up its evil deeds with a phony claim of “war on terror”, would want to also lie and make this into another ISIS/terrorist/Islamic attack even if it wasn’t one.
Now, of course, maybe Bouhlel decided to do this attack for political ME/ISIS reasons. And he simply kept quiet about all his plans and just shuffled along until the final day. Maybe he was angry about French society, but not geopolitics in particular. Maybe he was suicidal and angry regarding his personal life, and wanted to be remembered as he took his own life, so he decided to take many people with him. Maybe his attack had to do with French politics regarding Tunisia – not ISIS. There are so many possibilities. One thing is clear, in the hypothesis that this was some other kind of suicide, both the French authorities and ISIS have lots of reasons to lie that his was an ISIS-related act. Therefore, we will probably never know the truth. At least not until real proof surfaces.
Here is the best article so far on the Sanders’ sell-out to criminal, vile Clinton:
The worst disservice Sanders has done to his supporters, other than to lead them on a wild goose chase for real change, is to virtually ignore his rival’s vaunted “experience.” He need not have mentioned Hillary Clinton’s Senate record, since there was nothing there; her stint as law-maker was merely intended to position her for a run for the presidency, according to the family plan. But there was a lot in her record as Secretary of State.
As she recounts in her memoir, she wanted a heftier “surge” in Afghanistan than Obama was prepared to order. Anyone paying attention knows that the entire military mission in that broken country has been a dismal failure producing blow-back on a mind-boggling scale, even as the Taliban has become stronger, and controls more territory, than at any time since its toppling in 2001-2002.
Hillary wanted to impose regime change on Syria in 2011, by stepping up assistance to armed groups whom (again) anyone paying attention knows are in cahoots with al-Nusra (which is to say, al-Qaeda). In an email dated Nov. 30, 2015, she states her reason: “The best way to help Israel…is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”
In her memoir she criticizes Obama for not doing more to oust the secular Assad regime. She has repeatedly stated during her campaign that she favors a no-fly zone over Syria, like the one she advocated for Libya. That means conflict with Russia, which is bombing sites in Syria, with the permission of its internationally recognized government, under what Russia’s leaders (and many rational people) consider to be terrorists’ control.
Sanders–sorry, I cannot call him “Bernie” anymore, since he has become precisely as avuncular as Dick Cheney–could have effectively attacked Hillary the Skjaldmær (Old Norse for “Shield-maiden,” referring to an often berserk warrior-woman) for her role in the destruction of Libya. But no! Always referring to her deferentially as “Secretary Clinton”—as though her actions in that role merit respect—he rarely alluded to her greatest crime at all. That’s unforgivable.
(Yes, in one debate he mentioned Libya in passing—timidly, and with no follow-up. While he repeatedly mentioned how The Secretary had voted for the Iraq War and he hadn’t, he hardly exuded moral outrage about that or any other Clinton decision. His campaign was all about her Wall Street ties and well-paid, secret talks, the transcripts of which he once wanted to see but has now apparently lost interest. It was never about “foreign policy,” which is supposedly her forte. He may call himself a “socialist,” but he’s no anti-imperialist. He has voted in favor of every “defense spending” bill, supported the NATO assault on Serbia in 1999, supported Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014, etc.)
He could have attacked Clinton savagely—with the savagery of mere matter-of-fact honesty—by citing those emails exchanged between Clinton and her vicious confidant and former adviser Anne-Marie Slaughter, in which the latter—under the subject line “bravo!”—congratulates her on engineering Obama’s agreement for the bombing of Libya. (On March 19, 2011, as the bombing of Libya began, Slaughter wrote: “I cannot imagine how exhausted you must be after this week, but I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you. Turning [Obama] around on this is a major win for everything we have worked for.”
He could have quoted that email from Sidney Blumenthal, that Svengali figure who has long been Clinton’s unofficial mentor (along with Henry Kissinger and others): “No-fly! Brava! You did it!” (Brava, if you’re interested, is the feminine form of Bravo.)
He could have repeatedly used that damning clip that reveals Hillary’s joy at the grotesque murder of Moammar Gadhafy—-who had become a friend of Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi, and the CIA as of 2011—at the hands of Islamist thugs, who rammed a stick and knife up his anus on camera just to make it more humiliating. His ads could have started with some appropriately edited version of this. And ended with this. And left the people to draw their own conclusions.
He could have asked, “Why the hell did you appoint Dick Cheney aide Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Eurasia, and support and fund that coup in Ukraine in 2014 in your goddamn ambition to expand NATO?”
But no. He didn’t have it in him. And now he wants his youthful erstwhile followers to transfer their support to someone who is not only the embodiment of Wall Street, with all its blood-sucking and all its crookedness, but the personification of U.S. imperialism in an era when its depth of crisis has produced a state of perpetual war.
Savvy people in Syria and elsewhere surely understand what the Sanders endorsement means: Syria is the next Libya.
Hillary in the Oval Office, Binyamin Netanyahu at her side, will laugh as Assad gets her knife up his ass, chaos deepens, the draft is re-instated, and boys and girls—of all ethnicities, gay and straight together—march off to fight the Brava Wars drastically reducing youth unemployment and making legions more eligible for the GI Bill.
Even if Sanders doesn’t vote for the war (and why should there be a vote, after all, in this post-constitution era?), he will share responsibility.
Shame! And shame on any once “Bernie” supporter who follows him into his moral morass.
* * *
Feel the burn. The burn of the rigged system. Why be drawn into it—the object of Hillary’s praise, for switching so readily from him to her (for the sake of “unity”)?
What is there to unite with, but more corruption, exploitation, and wars based on lies?
The votes that matter are the votes on the street. Either Trump or Clinton will provoke mass upheaval. The key contribution of the Sanders campaign has been to lay bare for idealistic youth the magnitude of the rot in the system itself, while raising (however dishonestly) the prospect of “political revolution.”
It’s the hope Sanders has sold out. But yes, that’s what we need. Social, economic, and political revolution. Too bad he’s chosen the other side.
Barney Frank, the nasty homosexual pig and darling of the homosexual agenda honchos of the Democratic Party, and former Massachusetts Rep., has attacked Sanders in an interview especially designed for this purpose by Bloomberg Businessweek, since Sanders has refused to become another corrupt Clinton minion. At least, we are told, until next week. MSM, and you know how reliable they are, are already announcing that Sanders is scheduled to get behind the putrid Clinton machine as early as next week! Et tu, Sanders? Is it really the end? A few more days and we will see.
But back to Frank.
“He’s not bending backwards and licking Hillary’s boots, like a good Democrat (or homosexual slime)!!!” Frank screamed in the interview. “He’s making MANY of us corrupt, perverted, sold-out Democrats angry!!” “He is still going on about integrity and social justice!!” “He continues to care about the little people, the working class!!”
“Like, it’s time for him to shut up and endorse Clinton, the corruption, the wars, the mass murders, her mafia-like Foundation, and the glory of the most sexually perverted minds around – like myself, Bill Clinton and his pal Jeffrey Epstein, and the whole LGBT ‘community’ of sexuality turds!!!”
“The Democratic Party is a cesspool but he’d better get behind it – because otherwise, otherwise there’s… Trump and the Republicans!”
If it weren’t for homosexual turds like Frank, however, it could have been between Trump and Sanders.
Let us remember that Sanders has foolishly and ignorantly normalized homosexuality. So, if, in the end, he must compromise every shred of principle he has managed to hang on to so far, because the corrupt Democratic Party will now move into Sanders Demolition Mode Phase 2, it will be also thanks to all the grubby and putrid LGBTs like Frank that swarm the Party.
And in that respect, and only in that respect, I can say, it serves you right, Sanders.
It was interesting and awful to see how each political faction in the US tried to spin the Orlando attack to blame whatever group they hate.
Amusingly, liberals were on a roll with their gay victim media fest when the news came out that maybe Mateen had a homosexual problem himself. A little Mastercard moment, you have to admit. For a moment, the shouts of “We told you! We told you! Conservatives are all evil and homosexuals are all darlings” hushed down a bit and were replaced by “It doesn’t matter if he was a homosexual, snap, it matters that homos were killed, we must always ignore when homosexuals perpetrate violence and just scream about them being victims”.
Trump seized the attack to inflame the fears and racism of his supporters, “I told you we need a Muslim ban, I told you, I told you, we need to protect our borders, the wall, the wall, and the Mexicans, Afghans, Paraguayans, Kurds, whatever, ban, ban, ban” – completely overlooking the fact that the alleged shooter is American and was born in the US.
Trumpinites were yelling off their heads about the evil Muslims and ISIS and terrorists attacking innocent Americans on American soil – you know, the fatherland, I mean heartland – when all of a sudden the news came out that at least three of the homosexual victims were illegals. Oops – a little wrench right into the Mexicans and the wall and the terrorists.
Right-wingers were screaming hysterically “Ahhh! Terrorists! Terrorists! Be afraid, afraid, be very afraid! We need more bombings, more wars, more arms sales, more killings, more destruction of other countries so our corrupt political puppets can be instituted in a corrupt democratic system or we can put in place a nice old fashioned dictator that we control”. Well, they didn’t actually say the second part and just screamed “Terrorists! Terrorists!” hysterically – the rest will follow so naturally, why waste one’s breath telling the truth to the sheeple?
There was a lot more shouting and spun angles. Every political faction in the US though ignored what I found the most important thing Mateen declared to the media (if true): he did this shooting to avenge and to call attention to US’ mass killings of women and children in Afghanistan – apparently where his family came from.
So this isn’t just some evil person who is killing others because of no reason – he is very much protesting US warfare and the killing of thousands of innocent people and the protracted destruction of an entire country (just one of many).
But you wouldn’t know this from many of the comments to several news articles on the shooting. One that stood out to me was a guy asking: what makes an individual pick up a rifle and just go out and kill people? What sort of an deranged person would do that?
He was genuinely puzzled and asking the question.
One could also ask: what makes a group of Americans get on a plane and just go and kill and kill people? Thousands and thousand of men, women, and children. What makes the US, the UK, and France, among others, go terrorize millions of people abroad, to destroy their families, their homes, their countries, their lives, their psychological structure, their hopes and dreams?
Well, we know – evil greed and the desire to make a buck, in other words, savage capitalism, the US’, the UK’s, and France’s specialty. At this time, it’s the desire to rob other people of oil, gas, minerals, and other sought-after materials, control markets abroad, use international financial systems in the most corrupt ways, turn everyone into mindless consumers, in short, old neo-colonialism now covered with a high-tech face.
I had seen this movie before. I remember being speechless when I heard Pres. Hollande proclaim on national television after the November attacks that “France is now at war.”
Really? And what was France in before – when it took its military aircraft and all its other vicious weapons and joined the US and the UK in multiple killing sprees of thousands and thousands of innocent people – the poorest of the poor – in Africa and in the Middle East? Is now mass murder a form of peace for France, the UK, and the US?
The arrogance, the sheer Nazi arrogance that is needed to think that when Americans and Brits and the French kill other people, this is a non-event, and it’s not terrorism either – even though millions of innocent people are forever terrorized and traumatized by this – that is, those who survive the barbarity of war.
How many days have gone by when the US, the UK, and France killed 50 people in some
region of the world? We don’t even know, it’s so frequent in all these wars. But these are
nameless people because they are poor people. They are of color in many ways, not just regarding their skin. The most important is not having the current Nazi citizenship du jour – therefore their lives are completely dispensable and their killing is not to be even accounted for. Americans have no feelings when they murder people abroad. Neither do the French. Murder, especially mass murder, is a seen as a right.
LGBT pigs also didn’t waste a second to trot out the “Oh look, the terrorist is from one of those evil conservative countries where they throw off gays from buildings.” Yes, and the LGBT pigs are from countries where they use high-tech to commit mass murder, including of children. Glass houses and all that.
Who is the greater evil?
Then we had a large number of pols and pundits solemnly declaring, “Sheeple, the ignominy, this was an attack on America – what America stands for!” I would have paid money for someone to add, “Yes, an attack on sodomy – the cornerstone of America, what our forefathers fought and died for.” Alas, all I heard was, “The gays, the gays, stop the hatred, victims, victims, crying, crying, the evil terrorists, it’s all so awful.”
This site reports that “about 92,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001. More than 26,000 of those killed have been civilians. Nearly 100,000 people have been injured since 2001.”
Almost a hundred thousand Afghan dead. Contrast that to 50 homos in Orlando.
And what are Americans wailing and grieving about?
Then, in total American mode of let’s hear all the measures we shall take after another horrible crisis, the corrupt US media invited all these “experts” to tell the public how terrorism can be prevented – which everybody knows in a country of 320 million is impossible. Never mind that. “Experts” were in overdrive telling us that we need more surveillance, more police, more spending, more intel, more this, more that. Not one suggested that maybe, just maybe if Americans didn’t go murder other people then other people might not want to murder Americans. Not that difficult.
And this is why, the most brilliant political phrase that I came across recently was Henry Adams’ “politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds”.
Et voilà, and here we have another grotesque episode of it, in overkill fashion.
Counterpunch really throws a punch here:
Hillary has accepted massive bribes in the form of speaking fees from financial organizations and corporations. She is under investigation for misuse of classified data, an offense for which a number of whistleblowers are in prison. Hillary has survived the bombing of Libya, her creation of a failed Libyan state that is today a major source of terrorist jihadists, and the Benghazi controversy. She has survived charges that as Secretary of State she arranged favors for foreign interests in exchange for donations to the Clintons’ foundation. And, of course, there is a long list of previous scandals: Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate. Diana Johnstone’s book, Queen of Chaos, describes Hillary Clinton as “the top salesperson for the ruling oligarchy.”
Hillary Clinton is a bought-and-paid-for representative of the big banks, the military-security complex, and the Israel Lobby. She will represent these interests, not those of the American people or America’s European allies.
The Clintons’ purchase by interest groups is public knowledge. For example, CNN reports that between February 2001 and May 2015 Bill and Hillary Clinton were paid $153 million in speaking fees for 729 speeches, an average price of $210,000.
According to rootsactionteam.com, multi-million dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation include Saudi Arabia, Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, Kuwait, Exxon Mobil, Friends of Saudi Arabia, James Murdoch, Qatar, Boeing, Dow, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the International Business Times, “Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments had given millions to the Clinton Foundation.”
And this woman is a main candidate for the United States presidency? Seriously, Bush in drag. The United States has become what Nazi Germany wanted to be. I have no doubt that the Nazis, had they won the war, and had they succeeded in being the empire to rule Europe, after a few decades, they could well have instituted more voting on in internal and local level, and have called themselves a democracy. And Germans would be yelling how wonderful their country and their system was, because it brought them material profit.
And then you see all these famous lefty boomer women going wild about Hillary.
What an ugly spectacle.
The inevitable and most plain fact about the Panama Papers leak is starting to be grasped by a few folks. Contrary to what the leak seems to confirm at first glance “it’s those horribly corrupt third world countries that are at their shenanigans again”, the fact is the richest countries in the world are the greatest offenders – since they were the ones who set up this corrupt financial and fiscal system in the first place.
Their legislators and politicians are the ones who crafted it, at the behest of the elites which they serve, often through various kinds of disguised bribes and political quid pro quos.
Their militaries are the ones who move in and murder and plot and bomb any time anyone in a developing country tries to elect into power someone with ethics who is intent on really fighting the destructive, corrupt, crony capitalism that is imposed by the sword on their suffering populations.
And so, among the greatest offenders of fiscal and financial corruption, who do we find? Why, surprise, surprise, the US and Europe (which has a particular nefarious member, the UK).
Thus RT’s article: Britain is the heart and soul of tax evasion by Dan Glazebrook.
The British government’s claim to be tackling tax evasion is about as credible as Al Capone claiming to be leading the fight against organized crime. In fact, Britain is at the heart of the global tax haven network, and continues to lead the fight against its regulation.
For whilst corruption exists in every country, what enables that corruption to flourish and become institutionalized is the network of secretive financial regimes that allow the world’s biggest criminals and fraudsters to escape taxation, regulation and oversight of their activities. And this network is a conscious creation of the British state.
Of the 215,000 companies identified in the Mossack Fonseca documents, over half were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, one single territory in what tax haven expert Nicholas Shaxson calls a “spider’s web” of well over a dozen separate UK-controlled dens of financial chicanery.
In addition, the UK was ranked number two of those jurisdictions where the banks, law firms and other middlemen associated with the Panama Papers operate, only topped by Hong Kong, whose institutional environment is itself a creation of the UK. And of the ten banks who most frequently asked Mossack Fonseca to set up paper companies to hide their client’s finances, four were British: HSBC, Coutts, Rothschild and UBS.
HSBC, recently fined $1.9bn for laundering the money of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels, used the Panamanian firm to create 2,300 offshore companies, whilst Coutts – the family bank of the Windsors – set up just under 500.
That Britain should emerge as central to this scandal is no surprise. For as Nicholas Shaxson, a leading authority on tax havens put it when I interviewed him in 2011, “The City of London is effectively the grand-daddy of the global offshore system.” Whilst there are various different lists of tax havens in existence, depending on how exactly they are defined, on any one of them explains Shaxson, “you will see that about half of the tax havens on there, of the ones that matter, are in some way British or partly British.” Firstly, are “Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man: the crown dependencies. They’re very fundamentally controlled by Britain.” Then there are the Overseas Territories, such as the Caymans, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands, in which “all the things that matter are effectively controlled by Great Britain.”
Of course, it suits the British government to portray all these territories as ‘autonomous’ or ‘self-governing’ in order to provide itself with plausible deniability about what they are doing. But the reality is they are run by a governor appointed by the Queen on the British government’s advice.
Obviously the British government, as well as American and European Union financial and fiscal authorities all know how this system works. They know it perfectly well because they were the ones who crafted it down to every detail:
Casey Gill, one of the earliest lawyers specializing in offshore operations explained how legislation was devised in the Caymans: tax experts and accountants would fly in from all over the world “and say ‘these are the loopholes in our system’. And Caymans legislation would be designed accordingly,” often by a conglomerate run by Gill, before being sent to the British Foreign Office for approval. Shaxson asked Gill if Britain, who had the power to veto such legislation, ever raised any objections. “No,” he said, “Not ever. Never.”
The entire UK-controlled web is home to offshore deposits estimated in 2009 to be worth $3.2 trillion, 55 percent of the global total: equivalent to roughly $500 for every man, woman and child on the planet.
Another point underscoring what a failure our so-called modern democracies are. A democratic system cannot work if both its people and its respective authorities are corrupt to the core, which is what we see in the US, the UK, and France, just to name three of the greatest offenders.
What we have is corruption run amok, backed by state or private repression, whenever necessary.
Not only that, this system, as Glazebrook explains so clearly, is the same old, same old colonialism of the past now disguised in a shameless fraudulent cover of independence.
This web emerged In the 1960s. Whilst ostensibly involved in a process of ‘decolonization’, in fact the UK hung on to a large global network of small, sparsely-populated islands: “The British empire”, Shaxson wrote, “had faked its own death.” These islands were to serve the same imperial purpose the empire had always had: the projection of British power and the channeling of African, Asian and Latin American wealth into Britain.
Nicholas Shaxson is a leading authority on tax havens, interviewed by Glazebrook. And:
In Shaxson’s words, the role of these tax havens is to “capture passing foreign business and channel it to London just as a spider’s web catches insects” whilst also acting as a “money laundering filter that lets the City get involved in dirty business while providing it with enough distance to maintain plausible deniability.”
When you see pictures of millions suffering starvation and misery, lack of health care and education in African and Latin America, this system provides a part of the key.
In 2008, Global Financial Integrity estimated that flows of illicit money out of developing countries into tax havens were running at about $1.25 trillion per year, roughly ten times the total value of aid given to developing countries by the rich world. Whilst those such as Cameron are more interested in handwringing about ‘corrupt African governments’ than in examining the system that enabled and promoted this corruption, tax havens are facilitating the plunder, by the London banks, of African wealth. And they are doing so because this is what they were designed to do – to continue the extortion of colonialism, just at the moment Britain was forced to give up the bulk of its formal empire.
Notice that UK and American MSM papers and news producers are not admitting any of this, and continue to spin the story in a way that serves to hide the big picture of Western plunder and corruption.
Let us hope, however, that with the Internet there is a bit of a chance for more people to understand that the root causes for global corruption lie in the West, those with the greatest power. Local corrupt governments in other parts of the world, while also guilty, are only dancing to their masters’ tune. Merely putting a few corrupt third world leaders in prison or carrying out assassinations, as the West is so fond of doing now and then, won’t change a thing in the overall scheme.
A lucid comment – in French – left regarding a presentation in France, by a lawyer called Damien Viguier, on the subject of the French government’s responsibility in the chaos in the Middle East. (Damien Viguier : « Chaos au Proche-Orient : les responsabilités du gouvernement français »). The clip from the presentation posted, although quite short, is quite good as well.
Conférence donnée samedi 19 mars 2016 au colloque de CIVITAS : « De la guerre au Proche-Orient à l’immigration et au terrorisme en Europe » (more clips from the conference here)
As Mr. Viguier underscores, the problem we have in the world today is that we have terrorist governments. I would add that the so-called terrorist groups like ISIS are like mosquitoes compared to the horror and the scale of crimes that terrorist governments are carrying out. Three of the most barbaric terrorist governments are the US, the UK, and France.
From a legal perspective, another of his points is very interesting – he says we must judge Laurent Fabius for murder, the murder of countless innocent people in the Middle East. (Fabius was France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs until recently). And we must avoid trying to frame the crimes of France in these wars as “war crimes”. He advocates trying them within the standard legal and internal apparatus of each country, in this case, France.
To which, a commenter added this little manual:
Petit manuel de déstabilisation d’un régime hostile
1°) Être une puissance impériale
2°) Financer tout mouvement d’opposition, aussi minuscule soit-il, revendiquant une démocratie à l’occidentale.
3°) Repérer les futurs possibles leaders et organiser des stages de formation à l’agitation à leur intention
4°) Donner un retentissement international à toute manifestation de l’opposition grâce aux médiats aux ordres.
5°) Mettre en exergue la répression brutale que ne manquera pas de commettre le régime en place.
6°) Placer quelques snipers sur les parcours des manifestants, et tirer à la fois sur la foule et les forces de l’ordre en place.
7°) Dénoncer la barbarie de la répression.
8°) Armer clandestinement des groupuscules étrangers extrémistes animés par une idéologie suicidaire, les appeler rebelles et combattants de la liberté.
9°) Présenter ces groupuscules comme un mouvement populaire.
10°) Organiser aux frontières du pays des bases d’entrainement à la guérilla qui seront présentées comme des camps de réfugiés.
11°) Organiser le blocus de toute voix dissidente par une censure de fait.
12°) Organiser des coordinations d’opposants dans une capitale étrangère, et n’accepter que les informations provenant de cette source.
13°) Bombarder, si le contexte international le permet, l’armée régulière, tout en affirmant qu’il s’agit de protéger la population de la répression du dictateur qui menaçait de massacrer son peuple.
Logiquement, le pouvoir en place tombe à plus ou moins court terme, le chaos s’installe pour de longues années, vous avez atteint votre objectif : vous n’avez plus de pouvoir fort face à vous, vous pouvez piller sans vergogne les richesses du pays, il vous suffira d’entretenir les conflits internes (ethniques, religieux…) en organisant un attentat suicide de temps en temps. Toute couverture médiatique est maintenant superflue.
Toute ressemblance avec une quelconque situation actuelle est évidemment fortuite.
La première victime d’une guerre, c’est la vérité.
Read more at http://www.medias-presse.info/damien-viguier-chaos-au-proche-orient-les-responsabilites-du-gouvernement-francais/51479#KDryuwvycpr9UMkw.99
WASHINGTON — A message from Hillary Clinton’s private email server reveals that France and the United Kingdom both sought to control Libya’s oil in the days after the U.S.-backed coup in 2011.
An email sent on Sept. 16, 2011 to Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, from journalist and family friend Sidney Blumenthal, shows that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron each traveled to Tripoli about one month after Moammar Gadhafi’s government fell in order to assert their claim on Libya’s energy reserves.
They made these demands, Blumenthal wrote, during meetings with the country’s National Transitional Council, a de facto government which formed with Western support in the aftermath of the coup:
The United States, France, U.K. and other NATO allies backed rebel forces in Libya that ousted Gadhafi in August 2011, in what was widely reported to be a “humanitarian intervention” against a government with a history of severe human rights abuses.
So, if they all knew he was a monstrous dictator, why did they all support him for decades, do business with him, and then arm him to his teeth?
Mar. 11: Libya: lessons in controlling the arms trade – by Pieter D. Wezeman
In the current military air strikes against Libyan forces, nations that once supported Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime are now—based on sanction by the United Nations—attacking the forces they were marketing and delivering arms to only weeks before. As the violence escalates and the international community examines how to respond to internal conflict and human rights violations, arms supply should be analysed as it implicates the international community as complicit in the violence it is now trying to end.
UK approved £2.3bn in arms exports over 21 months
Successive governments ‘misjudged the risk’ [What baloney!]
Heavily armed: The British government approved £61.3million in arms exports to Gaddafi’s regime since 2009
Britain sold weapons to Libya and other dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East just four months before Colonel Gaddafi’s regime slaughtered hundreds of protesters, a damning report reveals today.
The British, you know, these people who claim to be for “freedom and democracy”, did they object ? Did they stop the arms sales and the terror they unleashed?
No, they continued doing their monstrous deeds, while most of the British population looked the other way and while all these dictators continue to terrorize and kill millions of children and adults. And with their bloody British hands, they pocketed the money. So did France and the US.
As long as the US, the UK, and France can rob a country of its resources by putting in place, supporting, and arming a dictator that will sell to them what they want, while keeping the population in a horrible state of poverty and oppression, they will do so. And they don’t even bother to do it very covertly, given how corrupt their populace is. Should any of these dictators outlast their use or start to make demands or not agree to be such a puppet, then it’s time to play the “Oh! We’ve just discovered so and so is a horrible dictator! Now we must topple him! And now our corporations must move in and directly control the natural resources that don’t belong to us! Three cheers fo freedom and democracy – Hitler-style!”
Either the US, the UK, and France rob poor countries through instituting and arming a monstrous dictator, or they do it through a sham of a corrupt “democratic” government, where their corporations move in and rob directly. Either way, the people of any such country remain in horrible poverty, suffering, and are robbed of their own country’s resources.
And after all of this, Americans, British, and French, all exclaim, “Isn’t the democratic governments you see in our own respective countries wonderful? Isn’t capitalism wonderful?”
Hitler died, but his ideology and tactics were fully taken up by the US, the UK, and France – not that it was new to the imperialist powers to continue to oppress millions and rob poor countries all over the world.
Kill, rob, kill, rob, kill, rob – corporations are the “legitimacy” wrapper that the Nazi-like military of the US-UK-France cover themselves with.