Hillary Clinton – War Criminal, Racist, Psychopath

By Stephen Lendman

Clinton appears unstoppable for her party’s nomination. Americans should be terrified about the possibility of a power-crazed lunatic as president – her finger on the nuclear trigger.

Possible global war with her in charge with weapons able to kill us all should scare everyone. Forget her gender. She’s a Wall Street supported war goddess, the most recklessly dangerous US presidential aspirant in modern memory.

Francis Boyle calls her “a certified psychopath and a war criminal.” Electing her president is unthinkable. She supports endless wars of aggression, Wall Street looting the nation’s wealth and ripping off investors, as well as unrestrained predatory crony capitalism.

She’s ideologically opposite what people should support – anti-populist, anti-labor, anti-rule of law principles and anti-democratic values.

African Americans should reconsider their support. As first lady in the 1990s, she called Black youths “super predators (with) no conscience, no empathy.”

She called for the FBI making “a very concerted effort (to) bring them to heel.” She supported “deporter-in-chief” Obama’s agenda to deport so-called undocumented Latinos en masses – separating husbands from wives, parents from children.

As first lady, she advocated racist get tough on crime laws, more police, more prisons, harsher sentences – an agenda directed at Blacks and Latinos “to keep them off the streets…for as long as it takes.”

She has a notorious history of extremist views, her public persona on the stump concealing her viciousness.

A previous article said among an array of despicable duopoly power presidential aspirants, Clinton is the most sinister of the bunch.

Her agenda reflects pure evil. She’s a Wall Street/war-profiteers dream, shamelessly indifferent to human suffering, a menace threatening world peace, a machine for the manufacture of full-blown homeland tyranny.

If elected president, expect her to continue Obama’s rogue agenda on steroids, surrounding herself with likeminded neocon lunatics, gangsters threatening humanity’s survival.

Bipartisan criminals run America. Clinton represents everything voters should reject.

World peace and what remains of fundamental freedoms already hang in the balance. A Clinton administration would be catastrophic for humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”


Sign the Petition to Declassify Missing 28 Pages on 9/11 Attacks

A new petition is asking the White House for the declassification of the 28 pages of the U.S. government report on 9/11 which remain classified.

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by September 25th for the Whitehouse to consider responding to it.

The 28 pages are from a joint congressional 9/11 inquiry and have been kept hidden from the American people. They are reported to describe indications of foreign government financing of the attacks.

Rep. Thomas Massie called the pages “shocking” and said, “I had to stop every couple pages and try to rearrange my understanding of history.” Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired the inquiry that produced the 28 pages, says there’s no national security reason for hiding them.

Every American deserves to know what foreign nation(s) financed the hijackers, and 9/11 family members desperately need this information to achieve courtroom justice. A promised review of the pages for declassification has already taken longer than the entire inquiry that produced them.

Mr. President, declassify them now. We the people have a right to know.

You can sign the petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/declassify-28-pages-foreign-government-financing-911-hijackers

The petition is sponsored by 28 Pages

Do Onion Farmers Hate the Arctic?


Peel off the layers of the National Onion Association and you will find an organization that wants to despoil the Arctic with drilling for oil and gas, or maybe they just aren’t very smart and really believe that drilling for oil in the Arctic can be safe, just like fracking doesn’t frequently contaminate groundwater and emit massive amounts of methane and deepwater drilling didn’t result in the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon spill.

Earlier this year the National Onion Association, being the experts in Arctic ecology they are, expressed their “strong support for oil and gas development in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)” by sending a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recommending that drilling in the Arctic be approved.

The letter was provided to them by Shell Oil’s lobbying and lying organization “Consumer Energy Alliance”.

Maybe the onion-heads truly believe in the old dirty energy industry lies that the climate is not really changing and even if it was, it is just a natural variation in weather.  Or maybe their leadership is just corrupt and took money from the dinosaurs in the fossil fuel industry to lobby the feds.

Maybe it is time to boycott onions.

Please feel free to call the onion-heads at 970-353-5895 and let them know that you will be eating fewer onions in reaction to their stupidity and malice.


Some CIA-Vatican Killers Charged in Death of Victor Jara

It has taken almost 42 years for a small measure of justice for Víctor Jara.  42 years to overcome some of the evil, fear, stupidity and apathy infecting the nation of Chile and finally indict some of the lower-level men who tortured and murdered Víctor Jara and thousands more.

This week, Chilean Judge Miguel Vázquez Plaza announced homicide and kidnapping charges against 10 former military officers involved in Jara’s death.

Jara’s widow, Joan Turner Jara, told reporters that the development offers a “message of hope,” and “we’re pushing forward in demanding justice for Víctor with the hope that justice will follow for everyone.”

On the morning of 12 September, 1973, thousands of Chile’s best and brightest men and women (and even some children) were rounded up and taken to the Chile National Stadium where they were brutally tortured and killed.  This occurred after the CIA orchestrated Coup that forcibly replaced Chile’s democratically elected and popular President, Salvador Allende, with a military dictatorship headed by Augusto Pinochet.

Víctor Jara was certainly one of Chile’s best and brightest. He was a beloved teacher, folk singer, playwright, and social activist who believed in democracy and human rights.

Victor Jara - teacher,  song-writer, playwright, musician and social leader.
Victor Jara – teacher, song-writer, playwright, musician and social leader.

Víctor Jara was born in poverty in 1932 to Manuel Jara and Amanda Martínez. By the age of 6, Víctor was already working in the fields. His abusive father left the family to fend for itself when Víctor he was a young child and his mother died when he was 15.

After the death of his mother, Víctor joined the Redemptorist Seminary of San Bernardo. Quickly disillusioned with the church, he left as soon as was old enough to survive on his own.

In 1957 he entered the School of Theater of the University of Chile. In 1960 he was made theater director and joined the board of the Theatre Institute. He directed several plays and won the Golden Laurel Award for best director of the year. In 1967 he was invited to Britain, where he received another award for his stage direction.

In September 2003, the thirtieth anniversary of the military coup, the Chilean government renamed the stadium where Jara was killed with the name of Víctor Jara National Stadium.

One of the major forces behind the coup  was German Jew Henry Kissinger, who urged President Richard Nixon to overthrow the democratically elected Allende government immediately after the election of Allende in 1970.

A serial war-criminal, Kissinger had been warned by National Security Council deputy Viron Vaky, that overthrowing Chile’s government would be “immoral” and that it would lead to “widespread violence and even insurrection.”

Not a fan of democracy or human rights, Kissinger told Nixon “the election of Allende as president of Chile poses for us one of the most serious challenges ever faced in this hemisphere”. By us, Kissinger meant multinational criminal corporations and their rabid right-wing politicians, not the American people.

Mass murderers Henry Kissinger and Augusto Pinochet.
Mass murderers Henry Kissinger and Augusto Pinochet.

A month after Victor Jara’s body was dumped in the street of a shanty town in Santiago, Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace prize his role in America’s war against the people of Vietnam, which killed more than 3 million Vietnamese and 50,000 Americans.

While the coup that overthrew Chile’s democratically elected and popular government was funded by the CIA and international corporations, the primary architects of the coup and subsequent fascist regime was the catholic cult Opus Dei.  The coup was planned by the Opus Dei think tank Institute for General Studies (IGS).  After the coup, many IGS technocrats became cabinet members and advisors to the ruling military junta.

Dictator Pinochet was a devout catholic and when confronted with his crimes in 2005 said “I suffer for these losses, but God does the deeds; He will pardon me if I exceeded in some, which I don’t think I did.”

The Vatican support of the coup and the subsequent Opus Dei reign of terror was not an anomaly or a case of a few bad apples within the church.  Following Pinochet’s arrest in 1998, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano, on behalf of the pope, sent a letter to the British government demanding the general’s release.  Monsters such as Pinochet, or even Hitler, were never excommunicated by the church, while many of those advocating human rights and democracy were.

Pope John Paul, II welcoming mass murder Augusto Pinochet to the Vatican.
Pope John Paul, II welcoming mass murder Augusto Pinochet to the Vatican.

For more information about the many crimes of the Vatican and CIA please read the 2015 book “Operation Gladio” by Professor Paul L. Williams.  It is a must read for anyone who wants to better understand the recent past and current events.

Víctor Jara may have been killed but his songs and message live on, memorialized by artists and musicians across Latin America and around the world. He is also remembered by his wife in her book Victor: An Unfinished Song.

In “Manifesto,” the last song he wrote before he was murdered, Jara declared:

I don’t sing for love of singing
or to show off my voice
but for the statements
made by my honest guitar
for its heart is of the earth
and like the dove it goes flying….

Yes, my guitar is a worker
shining and smelling of spring
my guitar is not for killers
greedy for money and power
but for the people who labor
so that the future may flower.
For a song takes on a meaning
when its own heart beat is strong
sung by a man who will die singing
truthfully singing his song.

Consciousness Does Not Compute, Says Korean Scientist

Within some circles in the scientific community, debate rages about whether computers will achieve technological singularity (TS) or strong artificial intelligence (AI)–in other words, self-recognition or human consciousness within a computer–within the next few decades. Now, however, a Korean quantum physicist has shown that computers will never be able to duplicate human consciousness or be programmed to do so, because they lack the fundamental . . . well, humanity. And his research may finally answer questions that have long stymied brain science researchers.

In his paper, “Non-computability of Consciousness,” Daegene Song proves human consciousness cannot be computed. Song arrived at his conclusion through quantum computer research in which he showed there is a unique mechanism in human consciousness that no computing device can simulate.

“Among conscious activities, the unique characteristic of self-observation cannot exist in any type of machine,” Song explained. “Human thought has a mechanism that computers cannot compute or be programmed to do.”

And therein lies the kernel of truth that could resolve two problems researchers have until now been unable to resolve: First, that no approach to brain research had ever been able to precisely represent consciousness; and second, that no one actually understood how a network of neurons, also known as the human brain, could somehow give rise to consciousness.

“Non-computability of Consciousness” documents Song’s quantum computer research into TS. Song was able to show that in certain situations, a conscious state can be precisely and fully represented in mathematical terms, in much the same manner as an atom or electron can be fully described mathematically. That’s important, because the neurobiological and computational approaches to brain research have only ever been able to provide approximations at best. In representing consciousness mathematically, Song shows that consciousness is not compatible with a machine.

Song’s work also shows consciousness is not like other physical systems like neurons, atoms or galaxies. “If consciousness cannot be represented in the same way all other physical systems are represented, it may not be something that arises out of a physical system like the brain,” said Song. “The brain and consciousness are linked together, but the brain does not produce consciousness. Consciousness is something altogether different and separate. The math doesn’t lie.”

Help Needed to Save Apache Sacred Site

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity will join San Carlos Apache leaders and other activists on Sunday April 19 at Cyclovia Tucson’s Street Party in an event to raise awareness and support for the campaign to stop the U.S. government from trading away Oak Flat, an Apache sacred site in central Arizona, to a foreign mining company.

What: Oak Flat Street Party, a celebration of Apache resistance and rally to save Oak Flat, Apache sacred ground, from devastation by a proposed copper mine.

Who: Leaders of the Oak Flat resistance from the San Carlos Apache tribe will attend, along with Center for Biological Diversity staff and supporters and other organizations working to oppose the giveaway of Oak Flat to international mining giant Rio Tinto. Indigenous bands and musicians will provide entertainment.

Where: The first block of 26th Street west of 4th Avenue will be closed to automobile traffic and filled with a stage, tables, vendors, etc. This is an officially sanctioned way station along the Cyclovia Tucson route.

When: Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.-3p.m.

Foreign mining giant Rio Tinto has been pushing to develop a massive copper mine in the Oak Flat area about five miles east of Superior, Ariz. for more than 10 years, despite a presidential order withdrawing the area from mining 60 years ago. At the end of 2014, the U.S. Congress approved a land swap that would allow Rio Tinto’s subsidiary, Resolution Copper Co., to obtain private control of the land and evade important environmental regulation in developing and operating the mine. The legislation was pushed through in a last-minute rider on an unrelated spending bill.

The Oak Flat area is sacred to San Carlos Apache and home to a diverse array of wildlife. An endangered wild ocelot was found dead on Highway 60 very close to Oak Flat several years ago, and there may be others in the area. The mine would use vast amounts of water in a time of ongoing, severe drought in the Southwest and is likely to destroy groundwater resources in the area and dry up nearby streams and springs.

Sign the petition at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/676/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17267

Twenty Years Later: Unreported Facts About the OKC Bombing

Next week will mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people including 19 children. The mainstream media will undoubtedly focus its attention on Timothy McVeigh, who was put to death in June 2001 for his part in the crime. They might also mention Terry Nichols, who was convicted of helping McVeigh plan the bombing and is serving a life sentence without parole.

There will be less discussion about how the FBI spent years hunting for a man who witnesses say accompanied McVeigh on the day of the bombing. They called this accomplice John Doe #2 and theories about his identity range from an Iraqi named Hussain Al-Hussaini, to a German national described below, to a neo-nazi bank robber named Richard Guthrie. The Justice Department finally gave up its search and said it was all a mistake— that there was never any credible evidence of a John Doe #2 being involved.

That reversal demonstrates a pattern of cover-up by authorities and limited media coverage in the years since the crime. This week, accounts will not repeat early reports of secondary devices in the building, or reports of the involvement of unknown middle-eastern characters. There will also be little if any mention of the extensive independent investigation into the crime that was conducted by leading members of the OKC community. Here are seven more facts that will probably not see much coverage on the 20th anniversary.

  1. Attorney Jesse Trentadue began investigating the case after his brother Kenney was killed in prison, apparently having been tortured to death by the FBI in its search for John Doe #2. Trentadue’s investigation led to a federal judge nearly finding the FBI in contempt of court for tampering with a key witness. Trentadue now says, “There’s no doubt in my mind, and it’s proven beyond any doubt, that the FBI knew that the bombing was going to take place months before it happened, and they didn’t stop it.”
  1. Judge Clark Waddoups, who presided over the case brought by Jesse Trentadue, ruled in 2010 that CIA documents associated with the case must be held secret. These documents show that the CIA was involved in the OKC bombing investigation and the prosecution of McVeigh. This means that foreign parties were involved because the CIA is prohibited from interfering in purely domestic investigations.
  1. Andreas Strassmeir, a former German military officer, was suspected of being John Doe #2. Strassmeir became close friends with McVeigh and they were both associated with a neo-nazi organization located in Elohim City, OK. A retired U.S. intelligence official claimed that Strassmeir was “working for the German government and the FBI” while at Elohim City. Mainstream reports about the OKC bombing typically avoid reference to Strassmeir.
  1. Larry Potts was the FBI supervisor who was responsible for the tragedies at Ruby Ridge in 1992, and Waco in 1993. Potts was then given responsibility for investigating the OKC bombing. Terry Nichols claimed that McVeigh—who allegedly had been recruited as an undercover intelligence asset while in the Army—had been working under the supervision of Potts.
  1. Terry Yeakey, an officer of the OKC Police Department, was among the first to reach the scene and he was heralded as a hero for rescuing many victims. Yeakey was also an eyewitness to conversations and physical evidence that convinced him that there was a cover-up of the bombing by federal agents. Yeakey was committed to getting to the truth about what happened but a year after the bombing he was found dead off the side of a rural road. His death was ruled a suicide despite overwhelming evidence that he was murdered. Authorities reported that Yeakey, “slit his wrists and neck… then miraculously climbed over a barbed wire fence… walked over a mile’s distance, through a nearby field, and eventually shot himself in the side of the head at an unusual angle.” No weapon was found, no investigation was conducted, no fingerprints were taken, and no interviews were conducted. His family continues to fight for the truth about his death.
  1. Gene Corley, the engineer who was hired by the government to support its claims about the structural fire at the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, was brought in to investigate the destruction of the Murrah Building. Corley brought along three other engineers: Charles Thornton, Mete Sozen, and Paul Mlakar. Their investigation was conducted from half a block away—where they could not observe any of the damage directly—yet their conclusions supported the pre-existing official account. A few years later, within 72 hours of the 9/11 attacks, these same four men were on site leading the investigations at the Word Trade Center and the Pentagon.
  1. There are many other links between OKC and 9/11. For example, the alleged hijackers visited the OKC area many times and even stayed in the same motel that was frequented by McVeigh and Nichols. After both the OKC bombing and 9/11, building monitoring videos went missing, FBI harassment of witnesses was seen, and officials ignored evidence that did not support the political story. Additionally, numerous oddities link the OKC area to al Qaeda. In 2002, OKC resident Nick Berg was interrogated by the FBI for lending his laptop and internet password to alleged “20th hijacker” Zacarias Moussoui. Two years after this interrogation, Berg became world famous as a victim of beheading in Iraq. Investigators looking for clues about these connections will be particularly interested in two airports in OKC, the president of the University of Oklahoma, and the CIA leader who both monitored the alleged hijackers in Germany and was hired at the university just before 9/11.

On April 19, 2015, at the 20th anniversary of one of the worst terrorist attacks in history, citizens should be reminded that we don’t know what happened that day. We don’t know because officials have covered-up the crime for unknown reasons and most media sources will not challenge that cover-up.

From http://digwithin.net/2015/04/12/okc-bombing/

Sea Shepherd Concludes Epic Southern Ocean Campaign, Operation Icefish

On April 10, 2015, the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker anchored in Tema, Ghana, concluding anti-poaching campaign, Operation Icefish.

Crew of the Sam Simon
Crew of the Sam Simon hauled 72 kilometres of illegal gillnet abandoned by the Thunder in Antarctic waters. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Giacomo Giorgi

The campaign has drawn world-wide attention to the issue of poaching vulnerable Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish and has led the way for an unprecedented level of international cooperation in the fight against illegal fishing in the world’s oceans.

In early December 2014, two Sea Shepherd ships, the Bob Barker Captained by Peter Hammarstedt of Sweden, and the Sam Simon, Captained by Sid Chakravarty of India, departed Australia and New Zealand respectively to patrol the Southern Ocean shadowlands. The ships were in search of the six remaining toothfish poaching vessels – which Sea Shepherd calls the “Bandit 6” – known to operate illegally in the waters of Antarctica.

On December 17 2014, the Bob Barker intercepted the most notorious of the poaching vessels, the Interpol-wanted Thunder, on the Banzare Bank, Antarctica. In the four-and-a-half months that followed, the Sea Shepherd ship engaged in a world record-breaking pursuit of the poaching vessel, covering approximately 11,533 nautical miles, from the Southern, to the Indian and finally ending in the Atlantic Ocean.

On December 25 2014, the Sam Simon commenced a four week-long operation to remove 72 kilometres of illegal fishing gear abandoned by the Thunder when it first fled from the Bob Barker. The confiscated gear was later handed over to local authorities in Mauritius, initiating the first ever investigation into a fishing vessel issued with an Interpol Purple Notice.

On February 2, the Sam Simon intercepted another two of the “Bandit 6” vessels, the Kunlun and the Yongding, in Australian waters west of the Ross Sea, and subsequently pursued the Kunlun out of its Southern Ocean hunting grounds.

In March, the Kunlun and another of the “Bandit 6” vessels, the Viking, both of which have been issued with Interpol Purple Notices, were detained by authorities in South East Asia. Investigations into their crimes are currently underway.

The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon in pursuit of the Thunder
The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon in pursuit of the Thunder. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager

On Monday, in an unexpected turn of events, the Thunder was scuttled in the waters of Sao Tome and Principe off the West African coast, following 110 days of pursuit by the Bob Barker. Sea Shepherd believes that the sinking was an intentional act of sabotage by the ship’s captain and officers who were attempting to hide evidence of the vessel’s illegal fishing activity.

The Sea Shepherd ships were able to rescue the entire crew of 40, including the captain, officers, and deck crew, who all disembarked to life rafts before the Thunder sank.

Thunder, sinks
The most notorious of the poaching vessels, Thunder, sinks after being scuttled by its own captain and officers. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager

The Thunder’s crew was received by the Sam Simon, who delivered the rescued men to the Sao Tome and Principe coast guard later that evening. The crew of the Thunder have been detained in Sao Tome while investigation into the sinking of their vessel continues.

Captain of the Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedt, said, “As always, we measure our success by the numbers of lives we save. Through Operation Icefish, Sea Shepherd has not only saved the lives of countless toothfish, but we have also succeeded in protecting the many other marine creatures that would otherwise have fallen prey to the indiscriminate killing of these illegal fishers. We have cost the poachers millions of dollars in lost profits and have sent a very clear message to those that remain – poaching will not be tolerated in the waters of Antarctica.”

Captain Hammarstedt will continue to liaise with Interpol to hand over the final pieces of evidence collected from the Thunder.

Captain of the Sam Simon, Sid Chakravarty, said “The international cooperative efforts that Operation Icefish has spawned have paved the way for a new approach to fighting international fishing crimes. Spearheaded by the efforts of Sea Shepherd, and coordinated by the specialised Environmental Crimes Unit of Interpol, the governments of the world have sprung into action. It has been a truly inspiring experience and an honour to lead our dedicated crews in this campaign.”

Captain Chakravarty will continue to liaise with authorities in Sao Tome and Principe regarding the crew of the Thunder. Sea Shepherd will also be available to assist should the Yongding try to make port in the coming weeks.

Operation Icefish was Sea Shepherd’s first campaign to target Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fishing of toothfish in the waters of Antarctica, and the organisation’s longest, continuous at-sea campaign to date.

William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report for April

In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”

On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Press writer Matthew Lee:

Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to – and not wanting them to allow – you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?

Psaki: Well, just to be clear – and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again – it’s – our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]

Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?

Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it – as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.

Lee: Okay. Well, you – I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time.

Psaki: Sure, there are.

Lee: So you don’t want Russian planes flying there, but it’s okay for U.S. planes to fly there? I mean, I just – it gets to the point where you – the suggestion is that everything the Russians are doing all the time everywhere is somehow nefarious and designed to provoke. But you can’t – but you don’t seem to be able to understand or accept that American planes flying all over the place, including in that area, is annoying to the Chinese, for one, but also for the Russians. But the suggestion is always that the American flights are good and beneficial and don’t cause tension, and that other people’s flights do cause tension. So can you explain what the basis is for your concern that the Russian flights there in the Southeast Asia area are – raise tensions?

Psaki: There just aren’t more details I can go into.

Cold War 2.0, part II

On Saturday, the Obama administration released a series of satellite images that it said showed the Russian army had joined the rebels in a full-scale assault to surround troops in the area around the city. Russia has denied that it is a party to the conflict, and it was impossible to verify the three grainy black-and-white satellite images posted to Twitter by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to the United States, the images, commissioned from the private Digital Globe satellite company, showed artillery systems and multiple-rocket launchers Thursday in the area near Debaltseve.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist, systems,” Pyatt tweeted. (Washington Post, February 15, 2015)

When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list. Numerous examples like the above can be given. If I were still the jingoistic nationalist I was raised to be I think I would feel somewhat embarrassed now by the blatant obviousness of it all.

For a short visual history of the decline and fall of the American Empire, see the video “Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes).

During Cold War 1.0 the American media loved to poke fun at the Soviet media for failing to match the glorious standards of the Western press. One of the most common putdowns was about the two main Russian newspapers – Pravda (meaning “truth” in Russian) and Izvestia (meaning “news”). We were told, endlessly, that there was “no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.”

As cynical as I’ve been for years about the American mainstream media’s treatment of ODE (Officially Designated Enemies), current news coverage of Russia exceeds my worst expectations. I’m astonished every day at the obvious disregard of any kind of objectivity or fairness concerning Russia. Perhaps the most important example of this bias is the failure to remind their audience that the US and NATO have surrounded Russia – with Washington’s coup in Ukraine as the latest example – and that Moscow, for some odd reason, feels threatened by this. (Look for the map online of NATO bases and Russia, with a caption like: “Why did you place your country in the middle of our bases?”)

Cold War 2.0, part III

Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase US support to human rights activists in Russia.

So it went … all over the West.

Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:

  • January 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.
  • February 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.
  • February 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.
  • February 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.
  • February 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.
  • February 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.
  • March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.

The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”

We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding. A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.

Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Senator McCain?

Torture via sanctions

Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.

Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.

In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

Even if Iran makes a superior effort to satisfy IAEA and Washington’s demands on all issues, it would remain questionable to what extent and how rapidly the sanctions would be removed, particularly under a Republican-controlled Congress. Iran specialist and author Gareth Porter recently wrote that “the United States and its allies have made no effort to hide the fact that they intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun. Last November, administration officials explained that US sanctions would only be removed after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that ‘Tehran is abiding by the terms of a deal over an extended period of time’ in order to ‘maintain leverage on Iran to honour the accord’.”

To appreciate the extraordinary degree of pressure and extortion the United States can impose upon another country we should consider the case of Libya in the decade-plus following the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988 over Scotland. To force Libya to “accept responsibility” for the crime, Washington imposed heavy sanctions on the Gaddafi regime, including a ban on international flights to Libya and payment of billions of dollars to the families of the victims. Libya eventually did “accept responsibility” for the crime, although it was innocent. As difficult as this may be to believe, it’s true. Read my account of it here.

Even after Libya accepted responsibility it still took years for the US to wipe out the sanctions, and it’s not clear that at the time of Gaddafi’s death in 2011 all of them had been removed. Once a nation becomes an Officially Designated Enemy of the empire the methods of torture can be exquisite and endless. Cuba is presently negotiating the end of US sanctions against Havana. They will need to be extremely careful.

“Like others of his ilk – such as David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens – he learned too much in college and too little since.” Sam Smith

I’ve never been too impressed by what college a person went to, or even if they attended college at all. Gore Vidal did not attend any college; neither did H. L. Mencken; nor did Edward Snowden, who has demonstrated a highly articulate and educated mind. Among the many other notables who skipped a college education are George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Then we have graduates from Ivy League colleges like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Tom Cotton. I don’t have to present the case for Bush’s less-than educated mind; we’re all only too familiar with its beauty. But Obama has matched Georgie Boy for stupidity and inanity time and time again. My favorite, which he’s used on at least five occasions, is his reply to questions about why his administration has not prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al for torture and other war crimes: “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant. Picture Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers using this argument. Picture the reaction to this by Barack Obama, who has become the leading persecutor of whistleblowers in American history.

Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement intellectually over George W. Bush? Probably two types still think so: (1) Those to whom color matters a lot; (2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.

And now we have Mr. Cotton, Senator from Arkansas and graduate of Harvard undergraduate and law schools. He’ll be entertaining us for years to come with gems like his remark on “Face the Nation” (March 15): “Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”

Heavens, Iran controls Tehran! Who knew? Next thing we’ll hear is that Russia controls Moscow! Sarah Palin, move over. Our boy Cotton is ready for Saturday Night Live.

  1. Washington Post, February 15, 2015, “Amid doubts, truce in Ukraine appears to take hold
  2. RT, March 12, 2015, “EU lawmakers demand international investigation into Nemtsov’s death
  3. John McCain website, Press Release, “Senators John Mccain And Lindsey Graham Introduce Resolution Condemning Murder Of Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov
  4. Research for this section was done by a person who was raised in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States.
  5. Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015, “Sanctions and the fate of the nuclear talks

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