Sunday, October 18, 2015

(Divine Right of Wealth?) Dumb Enough To Buy Into the BS? Dumb Enough To Pay With Your Life  (Wall-Marted? TPP'd On?)  Recessed Country!  (Mesmerized by News Channels and Distracted by Status Quo-Supporting Hollywood Paradigm, Corporate Citizenry Firmly Believes Itself To Be Free and Safe)  More Wars Obama

My buddy, Dave Dubya, does the patriotic duty for us today.

Take a finger trip over to his blog and say "Thanks!" if you have the time. Just click on the link.

October 17, 2015

Short and Simple

Divine right of wealth has replaced divine right of kings.

As global corporatism takes over the planet, the howling masses on the far Right cry, "Socialism!"

"Freedom!" they howl, as they rig elections, suppress voters, and cheer the demise of democracy.

As Obama pushes for corporate-written trade agreements, he is still called a Marxist by the low information, and loudest, voters.

Since 9-11 more Americans have been killed by terrorist Right Wing extremists than by the Muslims they hate.

George Carlin was right. This country is finished.

I tend to be hesitant, almost a little bit shy sometimes, in sharing my political opinions with strangers.

Ralph is not.

Thank goodness for that.

Take it away, Ralph.


The Democrats’ Presidential Debates:  Underway and Underwhelming

Ralph Nader
Posted October 16, 2015
Who thought this up – Giving a private corporation (CNN) control of a presidential debate? In the most recent Democratic presidential debate, CNN controlled which candidates were invited, who asked what questions, and the location, Las Vegas – the glittering, gambling center of America.

This is a mirror image of the control "Fox News" exercised during their Republican candidates’ circus. Corporatism aside, the debate with Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee was not a debate. With few exceptions – most notably Hillary Clinton going after Bernie Sanders on gun control, about which she is reborn – the stage was the setting for a series of interview questions to each candidate by Anderson Cooper and his colleagues.
Granted, the quality of the questions was higher than has been the case with other debate spectacles in recent years. Yet CNN’s self-censorship – in part reflected in the content of the questions and the favored positioning given to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – was not obscured.

For example, our country has been plagued by a corporate crime wave from Wall Street to Houston. These crimes are regular occurrences, often with recidivist corporations such as giant oil, drug, auto, banking, munitions producers, and mining companies corrupting our politics. Such chronic violations are reported more often than they are properly prosecuted.

Corporate crimes affect American(s) as workers, consumers, taxpayers, and community residents. Unfortunately, corporate criminal law is woefully weak, prosecutions are minor, and enforcement budgets are scandalously tiny. Moreover, corporate lobbyists ensure that corporate privileges and immunities are preserved and expanded in corporate-occupied Washington, D.C.

Somehow, in presidential debate after presidential debate “corporate crime and punishment” or “law and order for corporations” almost never get mentioned either by questioner or candidate. Bernie Sanders – break this taboo in the next five scheduled Democratic debates.

Another perennial omission is the question of how the candidates plan to give more power to the people, since all of them are saying that Washington isn’t working. I have always thought that this is the crucial question voters should ask every candidate for public office. Imagine asking a candidate:  “How are you specifically going to make ‘we the people’ a political reality, and how are you going to give more voice and power to people like me over elected representatives like you?” Watch politicians squirm over this basic inquiry. 
The most remarkable part of the Democrats’ “debate” was how Hillary Clinton got away with her assertions and then got rewarded – though not in the subsequent polls, but by the pundits and malleable critics like the "Washington Post"’s usually cynical Dana Milbank who fell very hard for the Clintonian blarney.

Well-prepared and battle-tested in many political debates, Hillary knows how to impress conventional political reporters, while limiting their follow-up questions. She started with her latest political transformation early on. “I don’t take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive commitment….I’m a progressive.”

And the moon is made of blue cheese. Hillary Clinton, a progressive?

She is the arch Wall Street corporatist, who hobnobs with criminal firms like Goldman Sachs for $250,000 a speech, and goes around the country telling closed-door business conventions what they want to hear for $5,000 a minute!

As a senator, she did not challenge the large banks and insurance companies whose avarice, willful deceptions, and thefts set the stage for the economy’s collapse in 2008-2009. In fact she supported Bill Clinton’s deregulation of Wall Street with its resulting painful consequences for single mothers and children who suffered the most from the deep recession.

A progressive would not have waited year after year, while receiving the entreaties of women’s and children’s assistance groups to endorse a modest minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years by her own Democratic Party in Congress. She finally took the plunge and endorsed it in April 2014, during a speech to the United Methodist Women in Boston.

If the Democratic lovefest were a real debate, Bernie Sanders, who voiced domestic progressive positions all evening long, would have intervened and sent her packing. What everlasting hubris do the Clintons exude! (See Peter Schweizer’s new book, Clinton Cash:  The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped make Bill and Hillary Rich. Harper Collins, 2015)

As an embedded militarist, during her tenure as Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton never saw a boondoggle, obsolete weapons system, or boomeranging war she didn’t like. She delivered belligerent speeches against China, and scared Secretary of Defense Robert Gates by overruling his opposition through her White House contracts to overthrow the Libyan dictator. This illegal war opened up the savage chaos, bloodshed, and havoc in Libya that continued to spread into huge areas of central Africa.

Hillary’s war didn’t seem to interest anyone on stage except former Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) – an anti-war stalwart – who was promptly marginalized despite making much sense in his brief declarations.

Senator Bernie Sanders missed opportunities to highlight Hillary Clinton’s true corporatist and militarist identity. Most unfortunately, she placed him on the defensive with the socialist/capitalist questioning. Next time, Bernie Sanders should tell the millions of voters watching the “debates” that local socialism is as American as apple pie, going back to the 18th Century, by mentioning post offices, public highways, public drinking water systems, public libraries, public schools, public universities, and public electric companies as examples.

He then could add that global corporations are destroying competitive capitalism with their corporate state or crony capitalism, despised by both conservatives and progressives.

There was one question – “Which enemy are you most proud of?” – that Hillary Clinton did not anticipate and had about a minute to ponder. Her answer:  “Well in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians.” Iranians? An entire people, her enemy? Is this what her self-touted, foreign affairs experience has taught her?

For more information on what debates could be, visit
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Or worse?

What happens to the Wal-Marted communities who've already lost their small businesses and its accompanying jobs (not to mention all the big-business industrial jobs already offshored for good) when the TPP cowboys ride into the OK corral and start taking names?

Wal-Mart’s Worst Stock Crash In 27 Years Is Another Sign That The Economy Is Rapidly Falling Apart

By Michael Snyder, on October 14th, 2015
Now that a major global recession has begun, you would expect major retailers like Wal-Mart to run into trouble as consumer spending dries up, and that is precisely what is happening. On Wednesday, shares of Wal-Mart experienced their largest single day decline in 27 years after an extremely disappointing earnings projection was released. The stock was down about 10 percent, which represented the biggest plunge since January 1988.

Over 21 billion dollars in shareholder wealth was wiped out on Wednesday, and this was just the continuation of a very bad year for Wal-Mart stockholders. Overall, shares had already declined by 22 percent so far in 2015 before we even got to Wednesday. Here is more on this stunning turn of events from "Bloomberg"

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. suffered its worst stock decline in more than 27 years after predicting a drop in annual profit, underscoring the giant retailer’s struggles to reignite growth.
Earnings will decrease 6 percent to 12 percent in fiscal 2017, which ends in January of that year, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said at its investor day on Wednesday. Analysts had estimated a gain of 4 percent on average, according to data compiled by "Bloomberg."
If it was just Wal-Mart that was having trouble, that would be bad enough. But the truth is that signs that the U.S. economy has entered another major downturn are popping up all around us. Just consider the following list of economic indicators that Graham Summers recently put out

The Fed has now kept interest rates at zero for 81 months.

This is the longest period in the history of the Fed’s existence, lasting longer than even the 1938-1942 period of ZIRP.

And the US economy is moving back into recession. Consider that…

1)   Industrial production fell five months straight in the first half of 2015. This has never happened outside of a recession.
2)   Merchant Wholesalers’ Sales are in recession territory.
3)   The Empire Manufacturing Survey is in recession territory.
4)   All four of the Fed’s September Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) readings (Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, and Kansas City) came in at readings of sub-zero. This usually happens when you are already 4-5 months into a recession. (H/T Bill Hester)

Another huge red flag is the fact that month after month fewer products are being shipped around the country compared to last year.

If less stuff is being shipped around by truck, rail and air, is it a sign that the economy is getting better or is it a sign that the economy is getting worse?

The answer, of course, is self-evident. With that in mind, please read the following excerpt which comes from a recent article by Wolf Richter

It has been crummy all year:  With the exception of January and February, the shipping volume has been lower year-over-year EVERY MONTH!
The index is broad. It tracks data from shippers, no matter what carrier they choose, whether truck, rail, or air, and includes carriers like FedEx and UPS.
Evidence keeps piling up in the most unpleasant manner that something isn’t quite right in the real economy. The world is now in an inexplicable slowdown – “inexplicable” for central bankers who’ve cut interest rates to zero or below zero years ago, and who’re still dousing some economies with QE even as governments are running up big deficits. And yet, despite seven years of this huge monetary and fiscal stimulus, the global economy is deteriorating.
Okay, so is there anyone out there that still believes that the U.S. economy is in good shape?

The Obama administration will probably not admit it for a very long time, but the truth is that the numbers very clearly tell us that we are in a recession.

Anybody out there, whether an “expert” or just someone you happen to know, that tells you that everything is just fine is either completely ignorant or they are purposely lying to you.

And just like in 2008, state and local governments are starting to get into tremendous financial trouble as the real economy sputters.  For example, the governor of Illinois has told reporters that “we are out of money now” and that pension fund payments will be delayed as a result…

Illinois will delay payments to its pension fund as a prolonged budget impasse causes a cash shortage, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said.
The spending standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders has extended into its fourth month with no signs of ending. Munger said her office will postpone a $560 million retirement-fund payment next month, and may make the December contribution late.
This decision is choosing the least of a number of bad options,” Munger told reporters in Chicago on Wednesday. For all intents and purposes, we are out of money now.”
When these sorts of things started happening in 2008, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Bush administration went into full-blown denial mode. They kept telling all of us not to worry and that everything would be okay, and that just made things worse in the end.

The same thing is happening now. The Obama administration and the mainstream media keep talking about an “economic recovery” even in the face of numbers such as I have discussed in this article.

Perhaps things are going well for you personally at the moment, and that is great. But now is not the time to buy lots of new toys. Nor is it the time to accumulate more debt.

Instead, now is a time to position yourself for a period of difficulty that could stretch on for years.

The next recession is here, and it is going to grow progressively worse.

The wise will take heed and make preparations, but the foolish will just keep on doing what they have been doing until it is far too late.
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Hard words to ready us for hard times?

There are prophets and there are profits.

Sometimes you're the bug.

And sometimes you're the windshield.

The TPP is here.

And some of us have been wondering since 2008 what the price really was for the first black president? (And there's not a trace of racism in this judgment - just a Hillary as Secretary of State/Summers/Geithner/Goldman Sachs/Morgan Chase deep-state right in our faces sober observation.)

If the U.S. weren’t sick with Corporatism, this man wouldn’t be on that podium lying to us all. Advanced symptoms of the disease are apparent, as corporations dominate nearly every aspect of society, and government serves them as a tool to consolidate their power ever further. A Corporate State has a Corporate Government, which enacts Corporate Laws, pushes for a Corporate Economy, and then provides Corporate Jobs (aka McJobs), Corporate Education, and Corporate Healthcare to a Corporate Citizenry.

It's not fair.

But it is here.

And we are the ones who have to figure out how to live with it now.

October 15, 2015

The Stooge and the Statesman

Guest Column by Christian B. Malaparte
"The Voice of Idaho"
Dear friends, the article by Christian B. Malaparte, reprinted here with permission from "The Voice of Idaho," is an outstanding comparision of the American and Russian presidents on the basis of their speeches to the UN on September 28, 2015.

The article could not be written more truthfully. The unavoidable conclusion is that the United States has no political leadership worthy of the name, and Russia is overflowing with outstanding leadership.

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If your bubble has burst, you can hardly listen to [Obama] through to the end. And if you somehow succeed you will develop an increased awareness of his deception. And of your own disgust.

Over 4,700 words that perfectly fit the narrative that the mainstream media daily foist off on the public. Indeed MSM has failed us all countless times, and though deception was revealed, no retraction followed. Yet this man persists. Dour mug, focused eye, a measured declaring, as of one who bears upon his shoulders fathomless commitments – we had gotten used to it. Patently, there’s an impressive number of people who actually believe [that the world rests on America’s shoulders.]

A Corporate State is a Corporation-Ruled State

In a Corporate State no one but a stooge will stand as President. No matter whether in charge is a bubba from Arkansas, a sham cowboy, a sissy black, or a warmongering harebrained bitch:  a stooge bears no responsibility. However indecent or heinous he might be, as long as he’s doing his Corporate Bidding, he’ll brazenly beat the rap. The rise of dissenting voices will remain offstage; unheard, ineffective. A Corporate State holds power over the citizens through the Corporate Media apparatus, which spreads scourge by shaping opinion.

Mesmerized by News channels and distracted by status quo-supporting Hollywood paradigm, Corporate Citizenry firmly believes itself to be free and safe, while shamelessly parroting events and statements it was indoctrinated to, proudly saluting its flag, listening to and thanking the Stooge-in-Chief.

At the UN General Assembly on September 28, U.S. President Barack Obama praised the founding, 70 years ago, of the institution and its achievements, acknowledging unparalleled advances in human liberty and prosperity, diplomatic cooperation, a buttress to global economy, and the lift of a billion people from poverty. Despite many notches scored by the UN, his administration bypassed it entirely when it was time to invade Libya, and is currently doing the same in Syria, where it is bombing with no UN Security Council mandate or invitation by the duly-elected government.

In his speech, Obama called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a tyrant who dropped barrel bombs on children, but the attacks in East Ghouta on August 2013 shortly afterwards turned out to be a false flag operation, with no shred of evidence against Syrian government forces. Indeed, it was to serve as pretext for another U.S. humanitarian invasion, but Russian warships were promptly deployed off the Syrian coast
Obama said that a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent, and enslaves women. Those are the moderate rebels that his administration funded, the CIA trained, and its counterparts in the Mideast facilitated the rise, in order to create a strategic asset to use for regime change in Syria. Assad is fighting against them.

Obama purported to remind us how the Syrian mess began:  “Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that, in turn, created the environment for the current strife.” Before 2011, Syria was the only country in the Mideast with no domestic conflicts. Assad had, and still has, the support of the overwhelming majority of the population.

The Syrian fake revolution began with attacks during pro-government rallies perpetrated by armed groups against demonstrators and police – the same plot as in Libya and Ukraine. Operations were masterminded by Western Intelligence services and triggered a civil war waged by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. The truth is Syria is the only Mediterranean country with a state oil company and the only Arab country not indebted to IMF. Here’s what created the environment for a strife.

A truly frightening thing Obama said was, “We know that ISIL depends on perpetual war to survive.” Truly scary for those whose bubble has burst indeed, since they know that after WW2 in the U.S. even (the) Defense Industry merged with Corporatism – a Corporate Defense to profit from war.

Likewise he referred to Gaddafi, without naming him, as a tyrant. Gaddafi’s 40-year long rule turned Libya into the richest African country, which provided its citizens free healthcare, free education including University, free electricity, no interest loans, exceptional welfare state, and much more. In addition to this, Gaddafi was engaged in a project of de-dollarization in African natural resources trade, and the creation of an African bank system to free the continent from the clutches of Western corporations. A good reason to make a tyrant out of him.

Amazingly, Obama claimed the military intervention prevented a slaughter. Actually, it’s estimated that 30,000 Libyans were killed by NATO and its rebels.

Then he recalled Russia’s annexation of Crimea, pointing out Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. Even Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine General Viktor Muzhenko stated they have no evidence of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil. French Intelligence and the OSCE observers claimed the same.

German authorities revealed that the ‘Russian invasion’ issue was an invention of U.S. mainstream media. Yet still some idiots yack about it – the Stooge-in-Chief along with them. Why does a referendum stir up plenty of bile to Obama? Were the Crimeans to use firebombs and batons, like the neo-Nazis in Kiev, to please him?

He went on to state that the U.S. has few economic interests in Ukraine. Possibly it’s unknown to him that Hunter Biden, the cocaine addict son of U.S. VP Joe Biden, is on the board of directors of a company engaged in partnership with Shell in fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing) in East Ukraine, aka Donbass? A 50-year production sharing deal between Shell and Ukraine was signed on January 2013. It’s worth $10 billion and is the largest foreign direct investment ever for Ukraine. Then, why did Senator Insane McCain and other U.S. and EU officials cheer up anti-government protesters in Kiev?

By the way, none of them appealed to the mob to eschew violence. And why did Assistant Secretary of State V. Nuland discuss with U.S. Ambassador G. Pyatt who should or shouldn’t be in the next Ukrainian government? And most of all, why did puppet-president Poroshenko – a CIA insider in Ukraine since 2006 – sign the law on Ukraine’s abandonment of its non-aligned policy?

The Stooge said, “Imagine if Russia had engaged in true diplomacy.” Let’s say, “Imagine if Russia had deployed some hundreds bases in Mexico, Canada, and all over the Caribbean.”

He praised the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that will open markets, while protecting the rights of workers. Of course, a deal comparable to a gift to workers is way better to be negotiated in secrecy?

He blathered on about a nation of immigrants, international law, Ebola, future generations, free media. Free media in a country where six corporations control 90% of the media – is a Corporate State! His administration has been brutal in targeting whistleblowers, guilty of leaking real information to the press.

A Pentagon document, the "Law of War Manual," states that journalists may be treated like ‘unprivileged belligerents’, and allows the military to detain and question them. "World Press Freedom Index" ranked the U.S. at 49th place, lower than several African and South American countries. Obama said, “You can jail your opponents, but you can’t imprison ideas.” He should have said, “I can detain indefinitely without trial, as well as torture, and kill whomever I please within the U.S. and abroad.”

And again, “You can try to control access to information, but you cannot turn a lie into truth.” Meanwhile his administration paid for CNN content to run propaganda. Trumped-up stories were to look like news and adverse ones were to be deleted – it was the Amber Lyon Show!

He mentioned social media, but not to say that Facebook and Google, along with U.S. spy agencies, are part of Big Brother, which intercepts all data communication of Americans and the colonized Europeans – including Merkel and Hollande.

Then, he rejected the wall to keep out migrants in Hungary – but the one built by Israelis is cool, right? According to him, for 50 years the U.S. pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cubans. Improving lives by imposing an embargo, I wonder? What an idea! Let’s say the U.S. is increasingly isolated in Latin America, losing ground in favor of Russia, and this compelled him to end hostile policies.

And again he said, “We can be patriotic without demonizing someone else.” So, were those compliments, when addressing Assad, Putin, Gaddafi? Lately, wasn’t he saying even Venezuela has turned into a threat to American security? Wasn’t a Chinese aggression undergoing in the South China Sea?

After having violated the Constitution in any possible way, he dared to cite George Washington! And more minor gibberish, unsubstantiated claims likely ridiculous even to the debt-bloated penpusher who wrote that filth on his behalf.

Obama’s speech included just a couple of sentences not to be labeled as pitiful lies. It was about Iran:  “The Iranian people have a proud history, and are filled with extraordinary potential. But chanting Death to America does not create jobs, or make Iran more secure."

True. Neither do sanctions create jobs. Nor does surrounding Iran with U.S. military bases make it secure. By the way, how many jobs were created by chanting Death to Gaddafi? And has that made Libya more secure?

Iran has never owned nukes. Sanctions were imposed against them to harm a competitor rich in resources and noncompliant with a U.S.-vetted government in office, and they were lifted because circumstances were changing to its benefit:  with or without their removal, Russia, China, and even the EU were to re-engage Iran.

Drawing to a close, Obama found a way to insert a veiled threat:  “Catastrophes, like what we are seeing in Syria, do not take place in countries where there is genuine democracy and respect for the universal values this institution is supposed to defend.”

It means any country whose government from the Western point of view is not deemed democratic, aka neoliberal/pro-U.S., runs the risk of facing violent uprisings and a raise of terrorist formations aiming at overthrowing the government in office. It’s the export of colored revolutions, a destabilize/invade/plunder program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

By the end of a self-complacent, [self-]damning, lengthy performance, the message handed over was:  all in all, the Good Guys have done a good job, and American exceptionalism is here to stay.

“We can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.”

These words bashed [the UN] audience into a fraught silence. Russian President Vladimir Putin put matters straight in 23 minutes and nailed whomever it may concern to their responsibilities without having to mention [their names].

Policies perpetrated by a sole center of dominance, based on conviction in its exceptionalism and impunity, may lead to the collapse of international relations, and give rise to a world ruled by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, with protectorates controlled from outside rather than independent states.

No nation should be forced to conform to a single development model that somebody has declared the right one. Still, some prefer to export so-called “democratic” revolutions. In the Mideast and North Africa, the unleashed violence has destroyed government institutions and local lifestyle, bringing about poverty, social disaster, and total disregard for human rights, including the right to life.

“I’m urged to ask those who created this situation:  do you at least realize now what you’ve done?”

Vacuums of power resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. Members of the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition get arms and training by the West, then defect to the Islamic State, which does not come from nowhere, for it was initially developed as a weapon against ‘undesirable’ secular regimes. It’s hypocritical and irresponsible to warn against the threat of terrorism and then turn a blind eye to its funding channels.

Stop playing games with terrorists to achieve political goals. Create a broad anti-terrorism coalition based on UN Charter. Fix the Mideast to fix the refugee crisis. Restore statehood in Libya, strengthen government institutions in Iraq, provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government of Syria – President Assad’s troops along with Kurdish militia are the only forces truly fighting terrorists in Syria. Any assistance to sovereign nations is to be offered rather than imposed, in strict compliance with the UN Charter.

It’s been NATO expansionism to Post-Soviet countries to spark off a major geo-political crisis in Ukraine. Sole way out of the dead end is full implementation of the Minsk agreement. No integrity can be ensured by threats or military force, and the rights and choices of Donbass citizens must be respected.

Unilaterally imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter serve political objectives and aim to eliminate market competition.

Trade rules are to be discussed within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO, and the G20, not rewritten behind closed doors to accommodate the interests of a privileged few.

Once [Putin’s] speech was over, it was clear who was in charge.

While Obama delivered the crude, deceptive propaganda to the assembly, Putin presented a stark foreign policy agenda, and eventually stood up as the man to take over and put an end to chaos. Putin has faced terrorism all his political career long. He fixed Dagestan. He fixed Chechnya. He fixed South-Ossetia. He’s got skills to fix Syria and Iraq as well.

When he rose to power, Russia was falling apart after the disastrous policies of the [alcohol] soaked-puppet Yeltsin, with no real budget, rampant inflation, low foreign exchange reserves, high crime rate and unemployment, public asset looted by foreign companies and crook oligarchs, and deeply indebted. Fifteen years after, Putin has re-built the country into a superpower reasserting its stance on the global political chessboard, leading major trade partnerships and an impressive military. This makes him a true Statesman.

Needling Obama for More Wars

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

17 October 15
Rather than encourage a healthy, wide-ranging debate on world affairs, the mainstream U.S. news media prevents any serious deviation from Official Washington’s war-loving “group thinks,” a task undertaken by CBS’ Steve Kroft in a hostile interview with President Obama, reports Robert Parry.

s demonstrated by Steve Kroft of CBS’ “60 Minutes” in his contentious interview with Prer warmongering “group think” dominates Official Washington, such as today’s perceived need to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria and hit back against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Not to excusident Barack Obama, a key role for the mainstream news media is to enforce whatevese Obama or any other politician for caving into this kind of pressure, but it is daunting to confront a solid wall of “conventional wisdom” – posed as hostile questions – that almost always favors militaristic solutions to international problems. On the other hand, a politician can almost never go wrong by adopting the most belligerent positions, by posing as the “tough guy” or “tough gal,” by making sure not to get labeled “weak.”

In that way, the mainstream media reflects the views of what some analysts call the “deep state,” i.e., the underlying assumptions of the ruling elite that are profoundly influenced by decades of massive investments in what President Dwight Eisenhower famously termed “the military-industrial complex.” Also shaping the “group think” is the pressure from well-entrenched lobbies, such as those representing Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Thus, on Sunday evening, Kroft castigated Obama on behalf of those interests, badgering the President of the United States to intervene more aggressively in the Syrian conflict in line with the desires of the Saudis and the Israelis who have both adopted an intensely hostile position vis a vis the so-called “Shiite crescent,” the string of Shiite-led governments and political movements from Iran through Iraq to Syria and southern Lebanon.

On “60 Minutes,” there was no debate as to why the United States should jump in on one side of a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites dating back to the Seventh Century — or whether U.S. national interests ally with either Saudi support for the Wahhabi fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam or Israel’s opportunistic teaming-up with Saudi Arabia. In Kroft’s world, it is just taken as a given that Obama should do what the Saudis and Israelis want.
# Thomas Martin 2015-10-17 18:58

We nominally have a democracy in our country – but until we figure out that the governments we’ve been electing have been corrupted by kowtowing to the very rich, who’ve paid for their favorites being elected largely in order to increase the already offensive wealth that they, the very rich, already hold … and until we realize that the press we’ve been influenced by has been kowtowing to our “representative s” who’ve been successfully elected (by kowtowing to the very rich), then our democracy isn’t worth much – in fact, it’s proving to be destructive throughout the world. We need to recognize this, and then care enough do something about it – otherwise, democracy will only be an ideal, unsupported by the reality of an uninformed and uncaring electorate.

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