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What Passes for Journalism and Opinion in America

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

By Steve Lendman

What Passes for Journalism and Opinion in America

On the 10th 9/11 anniversary, a September 9 Washington Post editorial highlights what readers hungry for news and information face. Titled, “Ten years after Sept. 11: The gains outweigh the mistakes,” it says:

“(C)onventional wisdom (suggests) “We will be hit again” to “Osama bin Laden won by provoking us into a decade of overreaction.”

Fact check

Bin Laden had nothing to do with a US state-sponsored attack. Criminal militarists, in fact, planned permanent war on humanity “overreaction.”

America “made big mistakes over the past decade…But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon alerted Americans to genuine dangers that only a relative few had previously noticed.”

Fact check

Americans only are endangered by rogue government elements, not “crazed Arabs” wanting to harm them.

“The overreaction argument holds that al Qaeda goaded the nation to curtail civil liberties and construct a monstrous homeland security apparatus while bungling into adventures abroad that birthed new enemies….”

Fact check

Clinton’s 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act followed the 1995 false flag Oklahoma City bombing.

Air Force General Benton K Partin (a noted explosives and ordnance expert) revealed that high-grade military explosives, detonators, and proper internal placements heavily damaged the Murrah building and 300 others within a sixteen-block radius.

The 300 + page USA Patriot Act was written well in advance of 9/11 as were plans to establish a “monstrous homeland security apparatus” now in place.

Moreover, “adventures abroad” weren’t “bungl(ed) into.” They were planned months or years in advance, ready to be launched at a chosen moment.

“The United States went to war in Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence.”

Fact check

US lies became pretexts for wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other nonbelligerent states. Lies launch all wars, not “faulty intelligence.”

With America at war, “(t)here’s a danger that the nation will, once again, withdraw too soon from the challenges. Al Qaeda (is) a well-organized, capable organization intent on causing America mortal harm.”

Fact check

America’s wars create problems. They never solve them.

In the 1980s, Al Qaeda was a US creation to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan called them “freedom fighters.” Today they’re “terrorists.”

“Confronted with those realities, (Bush and Obama) accepted the same strategic truths: the United States must protect itself at home as much as it sensibly can while taking the fight to its enemies overseas….”

Fact check

America’s had no enemies since Japan surrendered in August 1945, except manufactured ones to justify permanent wars, because the business of America is war.

“Given the scope of the challenge, the country should give itself some credit for what it has achieved.”

Fact check

America’s “achieve(ments)” can be simply explained. They’re lawless, preemptive, permanent imperial wars on humanity, causing millions of deaths and injuries, as well as vast destruction.

On this 9/11 day or any other, it’s hardly a legacy to exude pride. It’s far worse than shame. It monstrously describes the rotting stench of out-of-control imperialism, ravaging planet earth to achieve hegemony.

“There was in fact no large-scale assault on personal freedoms – no equivalent to the Supreme Court-sanctioned roundup of Japanese Americans, no repeat of the Red Scare infringements on freedom of speech and association.”

Fact check

A monstrous police state apparatus followed 9/11, including repressive legislation, presidential directives and executive orders, a total surveillance society, and virtual war on democratic freedoms.

Muslims and so-called undocumented immigrants (mainly Latinos) are today’s Japanese!

Latinos are persecuted, detained, then deported for needing work to support their families back home because NAFTA destroyed their livelihoods.

Muslims have been targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, and convicted on bogus charges.

Afterwards they’ve been incarcerated for extra harsh treatment as political prisoners in segregated Communication Management Units (CMUs), in violation of US Prison Bureau regulations and the Supreme Court’s February 2005 Johnson v. California decision.

That’s police state harshness, also unleashed ruthlessly against other designated domestic and foreign targets.

“The Patriot Act enabled a modest, mostly court-supervised expansion of law enforcement vigilance.”

Both Bush and Obama administrations insisted “that the US war (is) not against Islam.

And though it took too long, (political Washington) eventually made clear that torture is not acceptable.”

The editorial’s concluding comment praised those “who have fought and worked to keep the country safe.”

Fact check

The Patriot Act eroded four Bill of Rights Freedoms, including due process; free expression, association and assembly; legal representation; and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Moreover, state-sponsored Islamophobia rages, and torture is official US policy. It continues out of sight and mind in numerous prison hellholes, including in America.

That’s today’s state of the nation, but it didn’t happen by chance. It was well-planned long in advance and carefully implemented. As a result, in America’s post-911 world, no one anywhere is safe, including at home.

Fundamental international and constitutional laws are in tatters, replaced by out-of-control rampaging to advance America’s imperium.

As a result, the nation never has been less safe or free, and the worst is yet to come.

The Post editorial can be summarized in two words – disgraceful and scandalous.

But what else could be expected from a leading US broadsheet, infamous for publishing managed news, commentaries and opinions, especially about what’s most important.

A September 9 New York Times editorial matched the Post’s reinterpretation of hard truths neither paper will address. Headlined “A New Start for Libya,” it says:

It “would be unrealistic to expect a smooth transition in the early days of Libya’s post-Qaddafi era.” However, “(t)here are also signs of progress on military, diplomatic, economic and political fronts.”

Fact check

Dozens of previous articles explained reality on the ground in Libya, described as:

— a Nuremberg level crime;

— US/NATO state terror on a ferocious scale;

— NATO called a killing machine;

— initiated was months of planned bloodbath;

— the genocidal rape of Libya;

— NATO’s latest charnel house;

— besieging and terror bombing cities;

— carving up the Libya corpse for profit;

— Libya, Inc.: coming waste, fraud and other forms of plunder on a grand scale; and

— American and Western media cheerleading war and its fallout, inflicting daily crimes and atrocities on a massive still ongoing scale.

Libya pre-March 19 no longer exists. It’s been laid waste by US-led NATO terror bombing and paramilitary killers on the ground.

They were enlisted, armed, funded, and licensed to slaughter, maim, terrorize and loot. They’ve taken full advantage.

As a result, minimally over 100,000 Libyans were killed, multiples that number injured, and many more aggrieved family members affected.

Moreover, war keeps ravaging Libya, inflicting many more daily casualties.

With a population 50 times Libya’s, if America experienced a similar catastrophe, the toll would be five million dead, perhaps another 25 million injured, and multiple numbers of aggrieved family members.

It would be an unprecedented disaster.

Imagine if a foreign journalist or opinion writer called it “a new start.”

The Times said “there is reason to be encouraged,” despite migrant African workers being terrorized and slaughtered, while admitting “(m)uch hard work remains.”

Two late August Times op-eds were just as disgraceful. On August 29, Roger Cohen headlined, “Score One for Intervention.” He compared Libya’s “successful Western invention” with its 1990s Balkan wars and 1999 Serbia/Kosovo terror bombing.

From March 24 – June 10, NATO’s “success” included around 600 aircraft flying about 3,000 sorties. They dropped thousands of tons of ordnance plus hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles. To that time, the attack’s ferocity was unprecedented, given the destructiveness of modern weapons and technology.

Nearly everything was struck, causing massive destruction and disruption. Included were known or suspected military sites and targets; power plants; factories; transportation; telecommunications facilities; roads, bridges, rail lines, and other infrastructure; fuel depots; schools; a TV station; China’s Belgrade Embassy; hospitals; government offices; churches; historical landmarks; and more in cities and villages throughout the country.

An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. The humanitarian disaster was horrific. Environmental contamination was extensive. Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost their livelihoods. Many their homes and communities, and for most their futures from what America planned and implemented jointly with NATO.

They replicated it in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

“Score One for Intervention.”

For years, Cohen’s produced numerous pro-war trash pieces like other corporate media scoundrels, selling their souls for a buck.

On August 31, so did Nicholas Kristof in his op-ed titled, “Thank You, America!” claiming fake Tripoli celebrations portray Americans and NATO partners as “heros.”

He, in fact, was there and knows, but lied, calling it “a historic moment….a rare military intervention for humanitarian reasons….a model (for future) intervention(s).”

Ignoring reality on the ground, he claimed “no looting (and) little apparent retaliation,” despite Tripoli streets strewn with corpses and its residents cowering inside homes in fear.

Instead, he hailed “great progress in the last few days. Tripoli now feels reasonably safe….Pro-Americanism now is ubiquitous.”

His contempt for civil values and intellectual dishonesty didn’t even match the level of a B horror movie script.

A previous article said corporate media scoundrels like him prostitute themselves daily, making street whores, pimps, and dope peddlers look respectable by comparison.

They indeed reveal the shocking state of America’s journalism and opinion.

Another article imagined freedom from all managed news and commentaries. Avoid them and make it happen.

Final 9/11 Comments

On September 9, a Washington Blog.com posting headlined:

“High-Level Officials Eager to Spill the Beans About What REALLY Happened on 9/11….But No One in Washington or the Media Want to Hear”

“9/11 Commission Admits it Never Got the Facts….But No One Wants to Hear From the People Who Know What Happened”

9/11 Commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton said:

“I don’t believe for a minute we got everything right,” adding that the commission was set up to fail.

Commission member Bob Kerrey said:

“There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version,” adding commission members didn’t have access to important information.

Other commission members also expressed frustration because key facts were suppressed, misrepresented, and military officials lied.

Commission member Max Cleland resigned in disgust, calling the inquiry “a national scandal.”

Senior Commission counsel John Farmer said “At some level of the government, at some point in time….there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened,” adding:

“I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described.” A “culture of concealment” describes the spin that became the official story.

All Commission members and various other present and past government officials knew that 9/11 mythology substituted for full disclosure.

To this day, nothing changed as Americans commemorate what’s best described as “The Big Lie of Our Time.”

As a result, the price they keep paying is incalculable.

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

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Why Causing Homelessness is a War Crime

By Jon Bourn
Editor Jericho Rendezvous Blog

According to a Twelve Year Study by Wanda Gray “The face of homelessness has drastically changed and alarmingly increased.” If you search this topic you will find the corporate state at work attempting to paint pictures that downplay the severity of this dilemma. In Sarasota Florida, they have actually removed the seats from Selby Five Points Park to prevent all people from using them (see here). Even though this is completely ignorant, it reveals the attitude of the corporate state which is the cause of the banking scandal of bailing out corporate buddies at the expense of the American public.

This details a significant change in the overall consensus that is derived from the security state manifested out of the bogus ‘war on terror’ and combined with the idea that economics is no longer an integral part of ecological sustainability. In fact, this new ‘war on people,’ and anyone who does not abide by the intrusion, is considered politically incorrect from both political parties. Just over the last two months the following articles reveal how bad the situation has become, and covering it up will become much more difficult.

Homelessness — A Twelve Year Study by Wanda Gray

Houston’s homeless population jumps 25 percent in one year and services struggle to keep up

Survey: Longmont’s homeless population up by 35 percent

New survey reveals age and the number of new homeless is rising in SF

Hawaii’s homeless rate is third worst in the nation.

Oregon Homeless Population Increases Again

Brevard schools see surge in homeless, at-risk students

Jobless rate increases ranks of Memphis homeless by 20 percent

Report Finds Homeless People on the Rise in San Mateo County

Homelessness on the rise, shelters say

Temecula Homeless Double in Two Years

646 homeless students in New Hanover County

As was stated above, this is an act of war on the middle class, and annihilation for anyone who is already suffering. It reminds us of a third world country where statistics already show that the U.S. has fallen in practically every category known to man.

The combination of false flag wars, Zionist security thinking, and the complete fabrication of economic stability, formulate a war game being played out before our very eyes. One that will likely leave the Earth barren if not stopped. By slipping funds into the hands of the U.S. and foreign banks, it is an obvious failure that can only be supported by the false security ploy which in turn depends on the Zionist idea that you are chosen to defend this false religious flag.

You know how it works, the question to ask yourself is ‘what should I do?’ Spreading the word alone will not suffice, or giving in to the enemy as was recently experienced in Texas, you may have to think like a Zionist to defeat them. We must understand how the phenomena is manifested and detail its implementation methods. This methodological activity clearly reveals what is happening, and how big-city mayors up to governors, quietly play their role almost seemingly oblivious implying their denial and rub that prevails.

All this leaves an empty hole that is in the story, but no one seems to be able to understand. It was an inside job. Trying to cover it up by removing the evidence will only make it worse. It is like releasing the beast. Let’s find a cure before it is too late.

According to many who research the past, this has been going on for a long time.

Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

In conclusion, it may even exist as a type of verbal overshadowing that must be continually propagated over the air waves to be sustained and held together by the implicit comparisons created on 09/11/2001. It operates completely in the dark, moving into areas left both from environmental and economical destruction buying up schools and businesses, increasing its power and control. All that it does destroys what has long been created that truly verbalizes our world.

The West Is Trapped In Its Own Propaganda

By Paul Craig Roberts

The West Is Trapped In Its Own Propaganda

One of the wishes that readers often express to me came true today (May 11). I was on the mainstream media. It was a program with a worldwide reach–the BBC World Service. There were others on the program as well, and the topic was Hillary Clinton’s remarks (May 10) about the lack of democracy and human rights in China.

I startled the program’s host when I compared Hillary’s remarks to the pot calling the kettle black. I was somewhat taken aback myself by the British BBC program host’s rush to America’s defense and wondered about it as the program continued. Surely, he had heard about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo detainees, CIA secret torture prisons sprinkled around the world, invasion and destruction of Iraq on the basis of lies and deceptions, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya. Surely, he was aware of Hillary’s hypocrisy as she demonized China but turned a blind eye to Israel, Mubarak, Bahrain and the Saudis. China’s record is not perfect, but is it this bad? Why wasn’t the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs criticizing America’s human rights abuses and rigged elections? How come China minds its own business and we don’t?

These questions didn’t go down well. None of the other interviewees or guests thought that Hilary had made a good decision, but even the Chinese guests were not free of the common mindset that frames every issue from the standpoint that the West is the standard by which the rest of the world is judged. By pointing out our own shortcomings, I was challenging that standard. The host and other guests could not escape from the restraints imposed on thought by the role of the West as world standard.

What has happened to the West is that it can see itself and others only through the eyes of its own propaganda. There was a great deal of talk about China’s lack of democracy. As the BBC program was being broadcast, the news intruded that Greeks had again taken to the streets to protest the costs of the bailout of the banks and Wall Street–the rich–being imposed on ordinary people at the expense of their lives and aspirations. The Irish government announced that it was going to confiscate with a tax part of the Irish people’s pension accumulations. It simply did not occur to the host and other guests that these are not democratic outcomes.

It is a strange form of democracy that produces political outcomes that reward the few and punish the many, despite the energetic protests of the many.

Political scientists understand that US electoral outcomes are determined by powerful monied interests that finance the political campaigns and that the bills Congress passes and the President signs are written by these interest groups to serve their narrow interests. Such conclusions are dismissed as cynicism and do not alter the mindset.

While the program’s host and guests were indulging in the West’s democratic and human rights superiority, the American Civil Liberties Union was sending out a bulletin urging its members to oppose legislation now before Congress that would give the current and future Presidents of the United States expanded war authority to use, on their own initiative, military force anywhere in the world independently of the restraints imposed by the US Constitution and international law.

In other words, in the great American “democracy,” the president is to become a Caesar.

Revisiting Israel’s Terror War on Gaza

By Steve Lendman

Revisiting Israel’s Terror War on Gaza

Despite no legitimate provocation, Israel began terror bombing Gaza on December 27, 2008. Invasion followed, attacking innocent civilian men, women and children for over three weeks, using missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction ensued.

Brazen crimes of war and against humanity were committed. No culpable officials were held responsible. Security Council no-fly zone protection wasn’t ordered. International community leaders approved or were silent. Washington was complicit by supplying Israel with weapons, munitions, and encouragement. Obama acts the same as Bush, waging a quartet of lawless wars and using proxies in others.

Operation Cast Lead remains one of history’s greatest crimes. Yet Israel was green-lighted to wage it with impunity, what it’s done numerous times in its history, besides terrorizing Palestinians by:

— illegal military occupation;

— collective punishment and intimidation;

— air and ground attacks;

— isolating Gaza illegally under siege;

— intermittently bombing and shooting its residents, including noncombatant farmers, fishermen and children;

— regular residential neighborhood incursions;

— bulldozing homes;

— dispossessing residents;

— land seizures;

— arbitrary arrests;

— torture as official policy, including against women and children;

— targeted assassinations;

— denying refugees their right of return;

— movement and free expression restrictions;

— violence, not peaceful coexistence;

— confrontation, not diplomacy;

— war, not peace; and

— denying Palestinian sovereignty, as well as equal justice, human rights and civil liberty protections.

Israel is a rogue terror state, a democracy in name only affording rights solely to Jews. Remember Cast Lead, one of history’s greatest crimes. Justice Richard Goldstone documented them convincingly in his 575 page report titled, “Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.”

It covered Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza siege, the impact of Israel’s West Bank military occupation, and much more, including:

— events between the “ceasefire” period from June 18, 2008 to Israel’s initiated hostilities on December 27, 2008;

— applicable international law;

— Occupied Gaza under siege;

— an overview of Cast Lead;

— obligations of both sides to protect civilians;

— indiscriminate Israeli attacks on civilians, causing many hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries;

— “the use of certain weapons;”

— attacking “the foundations of civilian life in Gaza: destruction of industrial infrastructure, food production, water installations, sewage treatment plants and housing;”

— using Palestinians as human shields;

— detention and incarceration of Gazans during the conflict;

— the IDF’s objectives and strategy;

— impact of the siege and military operations on Gazans and their human rights;

— the detention of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit;

— internal Gaza violence – Hamas v. Fatah;

— the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem;

— Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank, including excessive or lethal force during demonstrations;

— Palestinians in Israeli prisons;

— Israeli violations of free movement and access rights;

— Fatah targeting Hamas supporters in the West Bank, and restricting free assembly and expression;

— rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli civilians;

— repression of dissent, access to information, and treatment of human rights defenders in Israel;

— Israeli responses to war crimes charges;

— proceedings by Palestinian authorities;

— universal jurisdiction;

— reparations; and

— conclusions and recommendations.

It collected enough information “of a credible and reliable nature….to make a finding in fact.” It established clear evidence of crimes, determining they were deliberate or reckless. An accompanying press release said:

“(T)here is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.”

It explained that Israel falsely used the pretext of rocket attacks to attack “the people of Gaza as a whole” illegally.

A detailed discussion of Goldstone’s findings can be accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2009/09/goldstone-commission-gaza-conflict.html

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Report Remembers Cast Lead

In its December 2010 report titled, “The Illegal Closure of the Gaza Strip: Collective Punishment of the Civilian Population,” the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) remembered Cast Lead, saying it exacerbated isolation:

— killing over 1,400 Gazans, mostly civilians;

— injuring thousands more, many seriously; and

— causing “extensive destruction of houses and civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and industry.”

Moreover, Israel violated Security Council Resolution 1860 (January 8, 2009), calling for “full withdrawal of Israeli forces,” as well as “unimpeded humanitarian assistance” for Gazan victims. As a result, deepening crisis ensued.

On April 1, Richard Goldstone’s Washington Post op-ed headlined, “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes,” saying:

“Our report found evidence potential war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity by both Israel and Hamas.” The latter ones, in fact, were minor by comparison, responding only to Israeli provocations.

Israel’s, however, “were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where….evidence (pointed to no) other reasonable conclusion.”

Goldstone, however, softened his initial condemnation by commending Israel’s Cast Lead inquiry, ignoring how all its internal investigations whitewash crimes of war and against humanity – most recently the Gaza and May 2010 Freedom Flotilla massacres.

According to PCHR:

“Rather than uphold the rule of law, the Israeli investigative and judicial system is artfully manipulated to provide an illusion of investigative and judicial rigour, while systematically perpetuating pervasive impunity” for crimes too extreme to ignore.

Whitewash Examples

On April 29, 2009, IDF Chief of Staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi authorized publication of the findings of five military investigate teams. Unsurprisingly, they concluded that:

“(T)throughout the fighting in Gaza, the IDF operated in accordance with international law. The IDF maintained a high professional and moral level while facing an enemy that aimed to terrorize Israeli civilians whilst taking cover amidst uninvolved civilians in the the Gaza strip and using them as human shields.”

It continued at some length justifying brazen Israeli crimes of war and against humanity. In contrast, a year after hostilities ended, Human Rights Watch called Israeli attacks “indiscriminate, disproportionate (and) at times seemingly deliberate, in violation of the laws of war,” condemning IDF investigations as no “substitute for impartial and thorough investigations into laws-of-war violations” they whitewashed.

In his April 1 op-ed, Goldstone failed to explain and denounce them. Instead, he defended the indefensible.

Netanyahu’s (Jacob) Turkel commission investigation of Israel’s Freedom Flotilla massacre also produced lies, distortions, omissions, false conclusions, and exoneration of cold-blooded murder, ordered by top government and military officials who got off scot-free like Cast Lead criminals.

Specifically, it concluded that Israel’s (illegal siege) does not break international law….(and) there were clear indications that the flotilla intended to break the naval blockade….By clearly resisting capture, the Mavi Marmara had become a military objective,” despite on board activists having no weapons and offering no resistance. Saying so was a lie.

In contrast, an independent UN Human Rights Council investigation “concluded that a series of violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, were committed by the Israeli forces during the interception of the flotilla and during the detention of passengers in Israel prior to deportation.”

It added that Israel’s attack:

“was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive and inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers.”

Also that at least six of the dead were killed by “extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions,” some shot multiple times in the head at close range.

Moreover, similar tactics were used before, during, and after Cast Lead, facts Richard Goldstone knows and should have explained instead of suggesting civilians may not have been “intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”

Indeed they always are under Israel’s “Dahiya Doctrine,” targeting civilians as official policy. Named after the Beirut suburb IDF attacks destroyed in the 2006 Lebanon war, it’s how all Israeli wars are waged. IDF Northern Commander Gabi Eisenkot explained, saying:

“What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force at the heart of the enemy’s weak spot (civilians) and cause great damage and destruction. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages (towns or cities), they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved.”

It also prioritizes damaging or destroying assets, economic interests, and centers of civilian power, requiring long-term reconstruction even though international law prohibits attacking civilians and non-military related targets. Israel spurned international law in Cast Lead, against humanitarian Flotilla activists, and in all its belligerent confrontations.

Instead of condemning this policy, Goldstone softened his criticism, contradicting his detailed findings, replicated by other reputable human rights studies, unequivocally accusing Israel of crimes of war and against humanity.

A Final Comment

On March 25, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, urging the General Assembly address Israel’s Cast Lead impunity by asking the Security Council to request investigation, action and resolution by the International Criminal Criminal Court (ICC).

For over two years, justice for thousands of Palestinian victims has been denied. Gaza remains illegally under siege. Meaningful action is demanded. Crimes this great can’t be tolerated.

Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council can request ICC action. Washington’s veto, of course, looms. Nonetheless, it’s high time other members demanded, shamed, and did whatever it takes to assure long-suffering Palestinians justice. Then do it for other victims of injustice instead of authorizing war on Libya when it should have acted resolutely to prevent it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

American Interventionism: Protecting the Profit Machine

March 24, 2011: By Richard William Posner

American Interventionism: Protecting the Profit Machine

Why America is really so concerned about the push for democracy in the Middle East.

A Brief Refresher Course

America is the spawn of empire building and from the start has itself engaged heavily in that activity. In nearly all cases it has shown a preference for bribery, coercion, intimidation and force over diplomacy and cooperation.

As a nation founded on invasion, occupation and genocide, America has maintained its empire by those means to this day.

Although Spain began the slaughter with the voyages of Columbus, the British colonies that became the United States continued it with a vengeance.

On October 26, 1606, King James I of England granted a royal charter to establish The London Company, a for-profit, joint stock venture that was also known as the Charter of the Virginia Company of London. The company’s purpose was the colonization, for profit, of North America.

From the Start; Murdering the Real Americans

In 1607 the British arrived in Jamestown and, shortly thereafter, began the calculated extermination of the indigenous population. By 1890 an estimated 90,000,000 people, in North, Central and South America had been systematically slaughtered in the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny.

The overt genocide in North America was curtailed after the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream. And I, to whom so great a vision was given in my youth, — you see me now a pitiful old man who has done nothing, for the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead. —

Black Elk, Oglala Holy Man on the aftermath of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, December, 1890. The United States Army Seventh Cavalry used Gatling guns to slaughter 300 helpless Lakota children, men and women.

Although efforts at limited, selective genocide have continued, they have become much more clandestine.

Lee Brightman, United Native Americans President, estimates that of the Native population of 800,000 (in the US), as many as 42% of the women of childbearing age and 10% of the men…have been sterilized… The first official inquiry into the sterilization of Native women…by Dr. Connie Uri…reported that 25,000 Indian women had been permanently sterilized within Indian Health Services facilities alone through 1975…

No one actually knows how many native women were sterilized during the seventies. You may rest assured that the eugenics movement, although out of sight, is not extinct.

Motivation for Mass Murder

Throughout most of American history, the primary motivation for innumerable annexations, invasions, occupations, coups, assassinations and the installation of genocidal dictators has been to advance the agenda of capitalist globalization and to protect the privatized profit machine wherever footholds have been established.

Whatever the nature of the “business” that has entrenched itself in any sovereign nation, it can count upon the protection of its private security company; the U.S. government.

Chiquita Banana Republic?

Jacobo Arbenz became the democratically elected president of Guatemala in 1951, winning 65% of the vote. In 1952 Arbenz announced an Agrarian Reform Program which threatened to nationalize the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Banana). Faced with the reforms of a socialist democracy, the corporation sought American intervention. (emphasis added)

The democratically elected, progressive government of Guatemala was overthrown in 1954 by a CIA-organized and funded coup. The pretense for this assault on democracy was the alleged, ubiquitous threat of Soviet takeover when, in fact, Russia had no interest in the country. They did not even maintain diplomatic relations. (emphasis added)

This act of U.S. terrorism resulted in one of the most inhumane chapters of the 20th century. A forty year reign of terror ensued, eight years of which was supported by the Reagan administration. This was a period of torture, military-government death squads, mass executions, disappearances and inconceivable cruelty resulting in the extermination of at least 200,000 civilians.

In 1982 Reagan went to visit General Efrain Rios Montt, possibly the worst of the military dictators, who had slaughtered the Guatemalan Indians and peasants indiscriminately. Montts’ actions had won him global condemnation. After meeting with the butcher, Reagan stated that the general was getting “a bad deal”.

This is but a single example among many. To gain further knowledge, try What Uncle Sam Really Wants by Noam Chomsky and Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions since World War II by William Blum.

Also visit Serendipity for some rather stark and ghastly revelations.

Ronnie Strikes a Blow for “Democracy”

In Nicaragua the proxy army of Ronald Reagan, AKA the Contras, was formed from the vicious National Guard of Somoza, a mercilessly repressive, U.S.-friendly dictator.

From 1981-1989 the Contras waged all-out war, on behalf of Washington, against the Sandinistas. Their goal was to destroy progressive government social and economic programs, which were not favorable to the capitalist “free market” agenda.

The civilian death toll was well over 13,000.

John Stockwell, 13-year veteran of the CIA and former U.S. Marine Corps major, had this to say about the American method of “spreading democracy”.

They go into villages. They haul out families. With the children forced to watch, they castrate the father. They peel the skin off his face. They put a grenade in his mouth, and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch, they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes, for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these things to the children.

These are the activities done by the Contras. The Contras are the people President Reagan called ‘freedom fighters.’ He said: ‘they are the moral equivalent of our founding fathers’.

Source

The Addicted Empire

Venezuela is the largest oil producer in South America.

In 2002, a U.S. backed coup in Venezuela became a U.S. back-fired coup. The democratically elected Hugo Chavez was temporarily ousted and replaced by the Bush-approved businessman Pedro Carmona. The outraged response from the people of Venezuela, including most of the military, was so overwhelming that the U.S. puppet was forced to give up his stolen prize after less than 48 hours. He fled Venezuela after he was placed under house arrest pending trial for his part in the failed coup, sought and was granted asylum by Colombia and later turned up in Miami. (emphasis added)

The American instigators/enablers of this recent “intervention” were appointees to the Bush administration whose careers were established orchestrating the dirty wars of Ronald Reagan.

The reason this coup was attempted and why Chavez has a target painted on his back by America can be summed up in a single word: oil. That’s probably the single most important commodity on Earth today, though water may soon overtake it, but that’s another discussion. America’s petroleum industry wants global control of oil production and the profits from it. They don’t want to share those profits with the People of Venezuela or anyone else, but that’s exactly what they’ve been forced to do by the Chavez government.

Since Venezuela is a democracy — in fact, and not in name only like the U.S. — there is a much stronger social component. That is to say, the government attempts to act in the best interests of the majority of the citizens rather than in service of powerful special interests.

The social democracy of Venezuela is hindering the capitalist profit machine in its impossible quest for infinite growth. That the filthy peasants of some back-water Third World country should have their lives improved at the expense oil company stockholders and billionaire CEOs is simply unacceptable.

The U.S. is attempting to do in Venezuela what it did when it came to the rescue of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala. Hugo Chavez is a marked man. I’m surprised he’s still alive. Then again, look how many assassination attempts Fidel Castro has survived.

Go East Young Empire!

The U.S. planned an invasion of Afghanistan well before the conveniently timed “attack” of September 11th. There are strong economic and strategic interests, centered on the control of oil reserves in Central Asia, which are the true motivation for the occupation of Afghanistan.

The U.S. is eying those reserves in the Caspian and Central Asia as an alternative to oil from the unstable Persian Gulf region. Afghanistan is the preferred gateway to and delivery route for the oil, for which American oil companies have acquired rights to as much as 75 percent. Big Oil wants a pipeline through Afghanistan to the Pakistani port of Karachi on the Arabian Sea.

It seems apparent however, that there is little enthusiasm for such a project from whatever powers may be in Afghanistan. In order for the pipeline to become a reality, an obedient puppet regime, enabling U.S. remote control of the country, is required.

The slaughter taking place in Afghanistan has little to do with “the war on terror”, which is nothing more than a pretext for escalating American aggression, and much to do with advancing the agenda of the capitalist profit machine. It’s simply a variation on a theme.

Don’t Mess With the Dollar!

Saddam Hussein made a fatal error when he became the first OPEC member to demand payment for oil in euros rather than dollars. A shift from petrodollar to petroeuro would have a catastrophic effect on the American economy.

Continued American control of Iraqi oil is the reason for the illegal invasion and occupation of that sovereign nation. Anyone who was paying the least attention knew long before the attack was launched; there were no weapons of mass destruction and no connection with Al Qaeda.

One of the first things done after the invasion was to put Iraq back on the petro-dollar. America was largely in control of the inputs and outputs of Iraqi throughout the 1990s. Payment for the oil was in petrodollars, and there was no invasion. No sooner was the switch made to petroeuros than incontrovertible evidence of imminent danger from Saddam’s awesome military might and close ties with Al Qaeda were discovered (invented) and used as a pretext for invasion and occupation.

Once again the capitalist enforcer, U.S. military might, was brought in to ensure that “business as usual” would not be interrupted. In the years following the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, big oil is making the highest profits of any industry in the history of the world.

War profiteering and weapons sales have also been very profitable.

The Peasants are Revolting!

At least that’s how the globalist elite feel.

Suddenly, as if some multi-lingual epiphany has simultaneously struck in several places, common people in the Middle East and elsewhere are getting uppity. They are demanding democracy and insisting that their human rights be recognized. They are taking inspiration from each other and, hopefully, a chain reaction has begun that will lead to a better world for all.

Even in America, lowly, insignificant, middle-class blue collar laborers are emerging from a long sleep of indoctrinated complacency and demanding their civil liberties be returned and their human rights honored. Could things get any worse for our masters?

I certainly hope so. Imagine if you will, several OPEC nations suddenly being transformed from capitalist-friendly monarchies and dictatorships into social democracies like those that are beginning to emerge in Central and South America.

Envision the peoples of Third World countries all over Earth coming to the understanding that the internal strife in their societies, which is often fomented and exaggerated by outside forces, is allowing those same forces to steal their resources and heritage, destroy their culture and environment and deprive them of their dignity, integrity and humanity.

It’s one thing for America and its “allies” to bring in the enforcers and abort one or two isolated, nascent, “socialist” experiments. It would be quite another to deal with a global flare-up of societies, especially those in oil producing nations, suddenly awakened and enraged by the injustices they have endured for centuries at the hands of a cadre of parasitic, psychopathic, self-proclaimed rulers.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!” — R.E.M.

Could it be possible that we are about to witness, even participate in, a global, societal sea change? Is there a chance that homo sapiens are beginning to access their species consciousness, awakening their potential to embrace the reality of a single human family?

Perhaps the would-be rulers of the world have finally pushed too far, hard and wide in their quest for supremacy over all. Their actions, made so highly visible today by the nearly instantaneous global spread of information, may become the catalyst that will initiate the disintegration of their dystopian dream. Their lust for power and control and the ruthless pursuit of them may be about to backfire.

The technological “shrinking” of our world, the sudden ability of practically everyone to know what is happening, almost everywhere, nearly in real time, is making us all more aware of each other and our shared humanity than ever before in history. That awareness also brings the recognition of the injustice, oppression and exploitation we are all being subjected to.

If sufficient numbers of people realize they ultimately share the same goal; if they instinctively work toward that single, identical purpose, however independently, nothing will stop them from achieving it.

If it’s true that the darkest hour is just before dawn, then the sun is just about to rise.

Richard Posner is a writer, computer graphics and image editor, and is skilled at electronic music applications.  The full range of his political and ideological views, and the background for those, can be found on his own site.  Richard can be contacted directly at coldwarbaby@gmail.com

Mubarak’s Thirty-Year Dictatorship

February 8, 2011 1 comment

By Steve Lendman

Mubarak’s Thirty-Year Dictatorship

Throughout decades of brutal rule, Mubarak remained a steadfast US ally. As a result, Washington rewarded him generously. US administrations also ignored his crimes, corruption, and lawlessness, as late January released WikiLeaks cables reveal, showing Obama knew he kept power through ruthless state terror.

On January 15, 2009, ambassador Margaret Scobey called security force brutality “routine and pervasive,” saying:

“(P)olice using force to extract confessions from criminals (is) a daily event. (US informants) estimate there are literally hundreds of torture incidents every day in Cairo police stations alone.”

Political activists and opponents are also targeted, Scobey adding:

“(T)he GOE (government of Egypt) is probably torturing (an April 6 activist) to scare other….members into abandoning their political activities.” It also referred to the “sexual molestation of a female ‘April 6 activist,’ ” and that another victim’s torture only stopped “when he began cooperating.”

Moreover, “standing orders from the Interior Ministry between 2000 and 2006 (instructed) the police to shoot, beat and humiliate judges in order to undermine judicial independence.”

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What Corruption and Force Have Wrought in Egypt

AP / Ben Curtis

January 30, 2011: By Chris Hedges

What Corruption and Force Have Wrought In Egypt

The uprising in Egypt, although united around the nearly universal desire to rid the country of the military dictator Hosni Mubarak, also presages the inevitable shift within the Arab world away from secular regimes toward an embrace of Islamic rule. Don’t be fooled by the glib sloganeering about democracy or the facile reporting by Western reporters—few of whom speak Arabic or have experience in the region. Egyptians are not Americans. They have their own culture, their own sets of grievances and their own history. And it is not ours. They want, as we do, to have a say in their own governance, but that say will include widespread support—especially among Egypt’s poor, who make up more than half the country and live on about two dollars a day—for the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic parties. Any real opening of the political system in the Arab world’s most populated nation will see an empowering of these Islamic movements. And any attempt to close the system further—say a replacement of Mubarak with another military dictator—will ensure a deeper radicalization in Egypt and the wider Arab world.

The only way opposition to the U.S.-backed regime of Mubarak could be expressed for the past three decades was through Islamic movements, from the Muslim Brotherhood to more radical Islamic groups, some of which embrace violence. And any replacement of Mubarak (which now seems almost certain) while it may initially be dominated by moderate, secular leaders will, once elections are held and popular will is expressed, have an Islamic coloring. A new government, to maintain credibility with the Egyptian population, will have to more actively defy demands from Washington and be more openly antagonistic to Israel. What is happening in Egypt, like what happened in Tunisia, tightens the noose that will—unless Israel and Washington radically change their policies toward the Palestinians and the Muslim world—threaten to strangle the Jewish state as well as dramatically curtail American influence in the Middle East.

The failure of the United States to halt the slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel has consequences. The failure to acknowledge the collective humiliation and anger felt by most Arabs because of the presence of U.S. troops on Muslim soil, not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but in the staging bases set up in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, has consequences. The failure to denounce the repression, including the widespread use of torture, censorship and rigged elections, wielded by our allies against their citizens in the Middle East has consequences. We are soaked with the stench of these regimes. Mubarak, who reportedly is suffering from cancer, is seen as our puppet, a man who betrayed his own people and the Palestinians for money and power.

The Muslim world does not see us as we see ourselves. Muslims are aware, while we are not, that we have murdered tens of thousands of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We have terrorized families, villages and nations. We enable and defend the Israeli war crimes carried out against Palestinians and the Lebanese—indeed we give the Israelis the weapons and military aid to carry out the slaughter. We dismiss the thousands of dead as “collateral damage.” And when those who are fighting against occupation kill us or Israelis we condemn them, regardless of context, as terrorists. Our hypocrisy is recognized on the Arab street. Most Arabs see bloody and disturbing images every day from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, images that are censored on our television screens. They have grown sick of us. They have grown sick of the Arab regimes that pay lip service to the suffering of Palestinians but do nothing to intervene. They have grown sick of being ruled by tyrants who are funded and supported by Washington. Arabs understand that we, like the Israelis, primarily speak to the Muslim world in the crude language of power and violence. And because of our entrancement with our own power and ability to project force, we are woefully out of touch. Israeli and American intelligence services did not foresee the popular uprising in Tunisia or Egypt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, Israel’s new intelligence chief, told Knesset members last Tuesday that “there is no concern at the moment about the stability of the Egyptian government.” Tuesday, it turned out, was the day hundreds of thousands of Egyptians poured into the streets to begin their nationwide protests.

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