Saturday, December 5, 2015

Getting Rid of ISIS/L  (Dancing Arabs Or Israelis?)  Greek Bankster Lies  (Capitalism At Work?)  Do You Believe Tax Cuts for Business Will Make America Great Again?  (Or Is Donald Trump Faking His Way Into the Presidency With MSM Aid?)  4 USAF Drone Whistleblowers Punished

Get Rid of ISIS/L Using This One Weird Trick  (Non-Intervention) No Kidding!

Do Mass Killings Bother You?

American Nightmare:  the Depravity of Neoliberalism

And no matter how rich these psychopaths become.

They always see room in their investment portfolio for "taxpayer funds."

Funny how that works out.

Gates’ Nuclear Folly:  the Breakthrough We Really Need is Fast Implementation of Renewables

The first question that crossed my mind when reading about the latest Bill Gates investment venture was “is this a cover to divert yet more money into nuclear energy?” Gates unveiled his Breakthrough Energy Coalition at the start of the COP21 climate talks in Paris with much fanfare but few details, including the size of the financial commitment.

My suspicions were triggered not only by Gates’ already public commitment to nuclear energy research, but by the name selected for this collection of 28 of the world’s richest people (mainly men.) The Breakthrough Institute, after all, is the name of the pseudo-green nuclear energy front group whose people promoted and starred in the 2013 nuclear power propaganda film, "Pandora’s Promise." But so far the Breakthrough Institute is lying low on the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, although I suspect not for long.

If you believe this a "real" war (and not just an incredibly easy gouge for profits), then . . .

This is a Dumb War

A little-known US senator named Barack Obama said in 2002:  “I don’t oppose all wars. […] What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. […] A war based not on reason but on passion.” Americans were angry after 9/11 and President George Bush Jr chose to channel their anger not against Saudi Arabia (most of the Al-Qaida terrorists involved came from there), but against Iraq, which the US invaded six months later. The media wanted the war and most Democratic senators, including Hillary Clinton, favoured it too. But the invasion of Iraq created the chaos that produced so-called Islamic State (ISIS). 
The Paris killings of 13 November are about to help realise ISIS’s two main objectives. The first is to create a coalition of “apostates”, “infidels” and “Shia renegades” who will come to fight it in Iraq and Syria, then in Libya. The second is to make the majority of westerners believe that their Muslim compatriots could be a fifth column hiding in the shadows, a “domestic enemy” in the service of the jihadists.
War and fear — even an apocalyptic objective contains a grain of rationality. The jihadists have calculated that the “crusaders” and “idolaters” may launch airstrikes on Syrian cities or patrol Iraqi provinces intensively but will never manage to occupy an Arab country for long. ISIS also hopes that its attacks in Europe will stir up mistrust of western Muslims, and lead to heavy policing of them. This will breed resentment, and some will want to join the “caliphate”; only a very few, but then the followers of Salafist jihad aren’t trying to win an election. In fact, an anti-Muslim party win would advance their cause.
. . . Will Obama persist in opposing Hollande’s “dumb” war? The pressure on Obama is all the stronger because ISIS wants the same thing as Hollande. As Pierre-Jean Luizard, a researcher at France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), says, it was at first “as if ISIS had consciously made a list of everything that would disgust popular opinion in the West:   infringing the rights of minorities and of women, particularly through forced marriage, executing homosexuals, reinstating slavery, […] beheadings and mass executions” (1). When this macabre catalogue was not enough, ISIS cut the throat of an American hostage, posting a video of it, then carried out deadly shootings in Paris. At this point, ISIS expected the “crusaders” to respond.

. . . During the Gulf war in 1991, US hawks criticised George Bush Sr for not ordering the troops that had just freed Kuwait to go on to Baghdad. Four years later, chief of staff General Colin Powell justified their relative restraint:  “From the geopolitical standpoint, the coalition, particularly the Arab states, never wanted Iraq invaded and dismembered. […] It would not contribute to the stability we want in the Middle East to have Iraq fragmented into separate Sunni, Shia, and Kurd political entities. The only way to have avoided this outcome was to have undertaken a largely US conquest and occupation of a remote nation of twenty million people.

[…] It is naïve however, to think that if Saddam had fallen, he would necessarily have been replaced by a Jeffersonian in some sort of desert democracy where people read the Federalist Papers along with the Koran. Quite possibly, we would have wound up with a Saddam by another name” (2). In 2003 George Bush Jr completed his father’s military project. The neocons hailed in him a new Churchill, courage, even democracy. But Powell had forgotten to read his own book, as the fears he had once expressed came true under the president he was serving as secretary of state.

Bush Jr was criticised for the childish, almost criminal naivety of his war on terror. He seems to have found his true heirs in Paris. “Let’s put it simply,” France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, talking down to us like a teacher to a class of small children. “ISIS are monsters, but there are only 30,000 of them. If all the countries in the world are unable to eliminate 30,000 people who are monsters, then nothing makes sense any more” (3).

Let’s try to explain it to him:  the 30,000 monsters have widespread support in the Sunni regions of Iraq and Syria, where the armies they face are often seen as instruments of Shia dictatorships, themselves responsible for many massacres. That is why ISIS was able to capture some cities without any fighting, when the soldiers holding them fled, abandoning their weapons and uniforms. The US has tried funding the training and equipment of more than 4,000 “moderate” Syrian fighters but, according to the Americans, only four or five are operational — and the unit cost has been several million dollars.

At Mosul, 30,000 Iraqi troops were defeated by 1,000 ISIS fighters, who captured more than 2,000 armoured vehicles and hundreds of millions of dollars from the vaults of local banks. At Ramadi, the jihadists defeated 25 times their number of Iraqi troops. Syria’s armed forces are exhausted by four years of war. And the Kurds are not prepared to die for territory they do not claim. “In reality,” Luizard observed, “ISIS is only strong because its opponents are weak, and is flourishing on the ruins of institutions that are in the process of collapsing” (4).

It’s the same in Libya. Under the influence of strong emotions and led by the shock team of Nicolas Sarkozy and Bernard-Henri Lévy, France made an important contribution to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. It imagined that getting a dictator lynched would be enough to bring about a western-style liberal democracy. But Libya has fallen apart and ISIS controls several cities from which it attacks neighbouring Tunisia.

France’s defence minister has admitted:  “I am very concerned about Libya. Daesh [ISIS] has moved in, taking advantage of internal clashes between Libyans,” but “if Tobruk and Tripoli were to work together, Daesh would no longer exist” (5). That problem had presumably been solved, three years ago, when Lévy explained:  “Contrary to what the Cassandras predicted, Libya has not split into three confederate entities. […] Tribal law has not prevailed over the sense of national unity. […] Compared to Tunisia and Egypt, Libya appears to have achieved a successful [Arab] Spring — and those who helped it can be proud of themselves (6). Proud indeed:  apart from Bernard Guetta, who broadcasts the French foreign ministry’s viewpoint (7), nobody is better at tall stories.

Hollande now wants “a grand and unique coalition” against ISIS. This would include Assad. But Assad has already replied: “You cannot fight Daesh and still be allied with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are arming the terrorists” (8). President Vladimir Putin feels that Turkey, another presumed member of the coalition, has stabbed Russia in the back by shooting down one of its planes on 24 November. As soon as the motley coalition that France is trying to cobble together had won the war, it would face the question of what next, under even more difficult conditions than in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. US neocons have already forgotten all these failures (as has Hollande), and are demanding that 50,000 troops be sent into the ISIS-occupied zone (9).

In "Foreign Affairs," Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson, experts on the Middle East, list the conditions for a sustainable western military success on territory currently controlled by ISIS:  “the support of the American public; a large cadre of deployable civilian experts in reconstruction and stabilisation; deep knowledge of the society for whose fate a victorious United States would take responsibility; […] a sustained military force to provide security for populations and infrastructure […] local constituents or clients, or indeed allies, to assist.” They point out that “if this sounds familiar, it is because it is the same list of things that Washington wasn’t able to put together the last two times it launched major military interventions in the Middle East [Iraq and Libya]. […] The United States would likely lose another war in the Middle East for all the same reasons it lost the last two” (10).

France, already heavily engaged in Africa, cannot win a war in the Middle East. The fact that ISIS is trying to draw it into this trap should not lead Hollande to rush into it, taking with him a coalition of countries that are often more cautious. Terrorism kills civilians, but so does war. The intensification of western airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, which will create as many jihadist fighters as they kill, will not restore the territorial integrity of those countries, nor the legitimacy of their governments in the eyes of their peoples.

A lasting solution will depend on the peoples of the region, on a diplomatic solution, not on former colonial powers or the US, which are disqualified both by their support for the worst policies of Israel and by the disastrous results of their military adventurism — disastrous from their own viewpoint too, since by invading Iraq in 2003, after supporting Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran (which killed more than a million) for eight years, they turned Iraq into an ally of Iran. And states that sell arms to the oil dictatorships of the Gulf, propagators of Salafist jihad, are not qualified to talk of peace, or to teach Arabs the virtues of pluralist democracy.

Historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote in Globalization, Democracy & Terrorism that when they operate in stable states with stable regimes and do not have significant support from a section of the population, small groups of terrorists are a police problem, rather than a military one. He added that it is understandable that such groups make the population very nervous, especially in major western cities, and especially when government and media are working together to create a climate of fear (11).

This creation of a climate of fear, and repeated denigration of those who refuse to face up to reality, make it possible to stifle the voices of those who reject the accumulation of repressive measures that are not only ineffective but threaten civil rights. Xenophobic measures (as demanded by the National Front) have been added to the mix, such as revoking the French nationality of some citizens with dual nationality. The declaration of a state of emergency was approved almost unanimously by French parliamentarians, and, as if this was not enough, the prime minister asked them not to refer to the constitutional council the legally shaky measures he wanted them to approve.

Obama told Bush in 2002:  “You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to make sure that […] the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe. […] Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East […] stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality […] so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.” Obama has not taken his own advice, and neither have other heads of state. Hence, the situation we are in today. ISIS attacks and France’s disastrous foreign policy have led to a new “war”, solely military and therefore already lost.

Dancing Arabs?


Seems like there's an ongoing conversation floating around about both, delimiting The Donald's ingenuousness.

And it's pretty persuasive.

After all, he can't be as dumb as he comes across in the mainstream media.

He has made a great deal of money fooling people in deals we have heard so much about from the media.

After he graduated from a military academy (which supposedly taught him discipline and self control) and later from the Wharton School of Finance.

This story should make us once again consider the level of intelligence of those in the Republican Party and the rest of the conservative-identified electorate.

From Mondoweiss:
David Doppler
November 26, 2015
I ask again, is Trump mis-remembering? or is he goading AIPAC and Sheldon Adelson, who are not supporting his campaign. He also derided his opponent Marco Rubio about Sheldon Adelson grooming him to be a perfect little puppet. He knows about buying politicians. He knows about media. He knows about power and negotiations. He knows finance. He doesn’t need AIPAC’s money, but, if he’s going to win and govern, he will need to have a working relationship with such a media and political power base, which so far is not on his side.

By launching this issue in the wake of the Paris attacks, he may just be another stupid, anti-Muslim racist, or, he may be a very savvy right-wing politician, focused like a laser on winning and then effectively wielding power, showing through indirection that Israel has a lot to lose by alienating a guy like him. It’s like an astute move in chess, opening up multiple lines of attack with a single move. He’s feeding the right-wing mob raw, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant red meat, while subtly warning Netanyahu through AIPAC not to get in his way, not to dismiss him, not to oppose him, not to think that he will toady to them as Obama does, but someone potentially worth dealing with on his terms.

Dismissing him as stupid is pretty dangerous, especially given his past membership in the Democratic Party, suggesting that his right-wing appeals may just be politics to win in the primary.

The politics of the right-wing is very dangerous, but then, the current Israeli government has very clearly adopted that path, and will not stop in its drive toward catastrophe until forced from power.
November 26, 2015
Those happy Israelis didn’t pass the polygraphs. So months before 9/11 a wide-spread Israeli spy ring was conducting espionage operations in the U.S. and they didn’t know 9/11 was going to happen.

So these Israeli movers were there to record something they didn’t know anything about. And they were smiling and hi-fiving each other over a tragedy they supposedly didn’t know was going to happen. And they didn’t know it was going to happen, why? If it was because they didn’t think those Saudis could pull it off, they sure were a little too excited with the outcome!

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck…it sure isn’t the hippo they pretend our lying eyes see.

So the ADL rushed in to condemn Trump, but maybe Trump was just baiting and predictably they took the bait (methinks they doth protest too much over supposed Arabs celebrating an American tragedy.) So for now, maybe Trump stated Arabs were celebrating 9/11 just to see how skittish Zionists might get that he dared to bring this topic up and test how far AIPAC might jump.

I kinda wish Trump could take this torment a little further with Zionist nervous nellies by threatening to take a peek inside the classified Pandora’s box, I mean banker’s box…marked Israel:  Top Secret.

Our "nuttiest" professor provides the missing international links.

Capitalism At Work

Paul Craig Roberts
"Zero Hedge" reports a story from “Keep Talking Greece” that first appeared in the "Times."
According to the story, the plummeting living standards forced on the Greek people by German chancellor Merkel and the European banks have forced large numbers of young Greek women into prostitution. The large increase in the supply of women offering sexual services has dropped the price to 4 euros an hour. That’s $4.24, enough for a cheese pie or a sandwich, the value that bankster-imposed austerity has placed on an hour’s use of a woman’s body. The half hour price is $2.12. They don’t even get the minimum wage.

When one reads a story such as this, one hopes it is a parody or a caricature. Although the "London Times" has fallen a long way, it is not yet the kind of newspaper that can be purchased at grocery store checkout counters.

The story gains credence from the websites in the US on which female university students advertise their availability as mistresses to men who have the financial means to help them with their expenses. From various news reports, mistress seems to be a main occupation of female students at high-cost universities such as NYU.

The NYU girls have it far better than the Greek ones. The mistress relationship is monogamous and can be long-lasting and loving. Prudes make an issue of the disparity in ages, but disparity in age was long a feature of upper class marriages. Prostitutes have large numbers of partners, each possibly carrying disease, and they receive nothing in return except cash. In Greece, if the report is correct, the payment is so low that the women cannot survive on the money beyond lunchtime.

This is capitalism at work. In the US the hardship comes from escalating tuition costs, with 75% of the university budget spent on administration, rather than on faculty or student aid, and from the lack of jobs available to graduates that pay enough to service the student loans. These days your waiter in the restaurant might be an adjunct or part-time university professor hoping to get a full-time job as an actor. As mistresses, the NYU girls will be doing better.

In Greece the hardship is imposed from outside the country by the European Union, which Greece foolishly joined, giving away its sovereignty in exchange for austerity. The banksters and their agents in the EU and German governments claim that the Greek people benefitted from the loans and, therefore, are responsible for paying back the loans.

But the loans were not made to the Greek people. The loans were made to corrupt Greek governments who were paid bribes by the lenders to accept the loans, and the proceeds often were used for purchases from the country from which the loan originated. For example, Greek governments were paid bribes to borrow money from German or other foreign banks in order to purchase German submarines. It is through this type of corruption that the Greek debt grew.

The story told by the financial media and neoliberal economists who shill for the banksters is that the Greek people irresponsibly borrowed the money and spent it on welfare for themselves, and having enjoyed the fruits of the loans don’t want to repay them. This story is a lie. But the lie serves to ensure that the Greek people are looted in order to make good the banks’ own mistakes in overlending. The banks got both the loan fees and the kickbacks from the submarine producers. (I am using submarine producers as a generic for the range of outside goods and services on which the loans were spent.)

In Greece the loans are being paid by money “saved” by cutting Greek pensions, education and social services, and public employment, and by money raised from selling off public assets such as ports, municipal water systems and protected islands. The cutbacks in pensions, education, social services and employment drain money from the economy, and the sale of public assets drains money from the government’s budget. Michael Hudson tells the story brilliantly in his new book, Killing The Host.

The result is widespread hardship, and the result of the hardship is that young Greek women have to sell themselves.

It is just as Marx, Engels, and Lenin said.

One would think that people everywhere would be outraged. But to most of those who commented on "Zero Hedge" it is just something to make crude jokes about — “think about it, Viagra costs 4x the cost of pussy.” “Sure beats dating and taking a girl to dinner.” Those who represent the vaunted “Western Values” see nothing to be outraged about.

The percentage of pro-Western Russians who look to the West for leadership must be rapidly approaching zero.

What’s more important? The dignity of women or another billion dollars for the banksters?
Western “civilization” has given its answer:  Another billion dollars for the banksters.

"This is putting your ducks in a wood chipper."

- Carlie/Carmela (Cameron Diaz) in "The Other Woman"

I was in a different part of the park on 9/11 morning, alone except for two young Israelis with very expensive cameras, carrying phony New Jersey press credentials, who claimed to be Polish but spoke Hebrew to each other. The two young men were giddy with joy at the destruction that the three of us were observing across the Hudson River.

Later that day, I learned from local and national news outlets about the five Israelis who were dancing with delight about a mile upriver from me and the two other Israelis. Articles about Israelis celebrating 9/11 would have come up in any search to correct Donald Trump’s tall tale – but the corporate media kept that part of the story from the public. They censored their own correction of Donald Trump. So, who is the biggest liar? Trump, who lies to advance his own personal interests, or the U.S. corporate media, who lie to the people on behalf of the State of Israel, and Zionism.

But there's no truth to the rumor that it was Israelis and not angry Arabs.


Sad to say but I saw the original report on TV about the celebrating Arabs and then the correction about the "dancing Israelis."

But it's all an illusion.


And no one even remembers what they saw or heard at the time mostly due to the decade-long media blitz.

And you might give a few thoughts to the fact that Dan Rather eventually had his job unceremoniously taken away from him, and he never spoke about what he witnessed on 9/11 again - publicly.

But, of course, he also had a few other problems with the Bush/Cheney administration, and even now on his own cable show, he never ventures off his scripted format.

For one more bit of on-the-scene commentary:

Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11

By Glen Ford

November 28, 2015
The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day.

Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center came down on 9/11. Every corporate news outlet in the country rushed to debunk Trump’s fictitious account. The "Washington Post" offered psychological theories for why Trump gets away with telling fantastic lies. The "New York Times" said there was no evidence that Jersey City Muslims cheered the destruction on 9/11. CNN said it never happened. And, they were right.

However, by making only a partial correction of Donald Trump’s prevarication, the corporate media were telling their own lie about what happened on 9/11. There was, in fact, celebration in Jersey City on that fateful morning, and the incident did, briefly, make a major news splash. But the people doing the cheering weren’t Muslims:  they were five young Israelis in a white moving van, who were observed in Liberty Park ecstatically taking pictures of themselves framed against the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers. As ABC News reported, the five were later arrested at gunpoint near the New Jersey Giants football stadium. Most U.S. intelligence sources believed the men were Israeli spies, and that their “moving company” was an Israeli intelligence cover. They were detained for a while, and then deported.

“Who is the biggest liar?”

In the year before 9/11 scores of young Israelis posing as “art students” were arrested after penetrating U.S. Defense Department and other classified sites. Both stories made national news. The corporate media could not have avoided running across articles on the “cheering Israelis” when they set about debunking Donald Trump’s “cheering Muslims” account. But, not one of them dare to mention that, yes, some people were seen celebrating 9/11 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

I was in a different part of the park on 9/11 morning, alone except for two young Israelis with very expensive cameras, carrying phony New Jersey press credentials, who claimed to be Polish but spoke Hebrew to each other. The two young men were giddy with joy at the destruction that the three of us were observing across the Hudson River.

Later that day, I learned from local and national news outlets about the five Israelis who were dancing with delight about a mile upriver from me and the two other Israelis. Articles about Israelis celebrating 9/11 would have come up in any search to correct Donald Trump’s tall tale – but the corporate media kept that part of the story from the public. They censored their own correction of Donald Trump.

So, who is the biggest liar? Trump, who lies to advance his own personal interests, or the U.S. corporate media, who lie to the people on behalf of the State of Israel, and Zionism.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

Obama’s War on Truth

By Craig Murray

November 28, 2015

The four USAF military drone operators who recently blew the whistle and exposed the callousness and complete lack of concern for civilian casualties of the US drone assassination programme, (and received very little mainstream media exposure), yesterday found their bank accounts and credit cards all blocked by the US government. The effects of that on daily life are devastating. My source is their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, through the Sam Adams Associates (of which we are both members).

No criminal charges have been brought against any of the men, despite numerous written threats of prosecution. Their finances appear to have been frozen by executive action under anti-terrorist legislation. This is yet a further glaring example of the use of “anti-terror” powers against people who are not remotely terrorist.

More whistleblowers have been jailed under Obama than under all previous US Presidents combined. Even so, the US authorities seem wary of the publicity that might surround prosecution of these servicemen, who only spoke of the effect upon their own health of having repeatedly to carry out heartless and often untargeted killings.

So their lives are being destroyed in other ways. You will forgive me for recalling that I know how they feel because I have been through just the same thing myself.

When I blew the whistle on UK complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition, I received numerous written threats from the FCO under the Official Secrets Act, and for a while I lived in daily expectation of arrest. Still more hurtful were the constant denials from Jack Straw and his repeated assertion that the UK was never complicit in torture, that there was no such thing as extraordinary rendition, together with the frequent imputations to journalists and politicians that I was in poor mental health and an alcoholic. I never had my bank account suspended, but there were interventions with prospective employers that prevented my getting another job.

Still, I had it easy. Chelsea Manning will celebrate her birthday in jail on 17 December.

It is worth recalling what these drone operators told us:

Bryant said the killing of civilians by drone is exacerbating the problem of terrorism. “We kill four and create 10 [militants],” Bryant said. “If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”

The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to keep details of the drone program secret, but in their statements today the former operators opened up about the culture that has developed among those responsible for carrying it out. Haas said operators become acculturated to denying the humanity of the people on their targeting screens. “There was a much more detached outlook about who these people were we were monitoring,” he said. “Shooting was something to be lauded and something we should strive for.”

The deaths of children and other non-combatants in strikes was rationalized by many drone operators, Haas said. As a flight instructor, Haas claimed to have been non-judicially reprimanded by his superiors for failing a student who had expressed “bloodlust,” an overwhelming eagerness to kill.

Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said that he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.

(Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.)

To cap off your weekend (or holiday reading), don't miss this incredible tale:

Undoing the Demos:  Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution

No comments: