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Governments Are Pushing Their Agenda By Using Terrorism
The Russian Bear steps in as the American Empire Unravels in the Middle East
US power in the Middle East is in decline, and American allies in the region are beginning to think of new alternatives to Washington. The Cold War never ended for America’s leaders. There should be no illusions about it, the United States has strategically worked to contain and weaken both the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. The American strategy in the Middle East and Washington’s hostilities against both the Iranians and the Syrians has been part and parcel of the American line of attack against Moscow and Beijing. In spite of Washington’s efforts, the lines that it had a part in carving in the sands of the volatile Middle East after 1945, tortured by consistent foreign meddling and the bitter rivalries of regional dynasties and powers, are shifting yet again. The winds are erasing the old lines, while regional and global events are drawing new ones to take their places. Pax Americana, the so-called American Peace, is dead. It was never much of a peace anyway. In context of the Middle East, the term itself signifies a period of US dominance that arose after the Second World War and reached its zenith in 1978. Then in 1979 came along the Iranian Revolution. A few decades later, the monumental blunders of the US government of George W. Bush Jr. cast the dye for the steady decline of American influence.
Steady Decline of the US in the Middle East
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was so sure in 2006 that American domination in the broader Middle East would expand. She triumphantly declared amidst Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon that the map of the Middle East would forever change to the profit of the United States. It did not, and Israel lost the war too. US influence began eroding, while the influence of its rivals began increasing. Read the entire article
Glenn Greenwald "We're On MSNBC Now Where Close To 24 Hours A Day Obama's Agenda Is Promoted!"
Edward Snowden Christmas Message
Hi, and Merry Christmas.
I'm honored to have the chance to speak with you and your family this year.
Recently, we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide mass surveillance, watching everything we do.
Great Britain's George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information. The types of collection in the book -- microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us -- are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go.
Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person. A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves -- an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that's a problem, because privacy matters. Privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.
The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
For everyone out there listening, thank you, and Merry Christmas.
Top of the Trifecta Christmas Wish List: The Obama Scandals Commemorative Plates!
Iran Sanctions Bill Big Test of Israel Lobby Power
This week’s introduction by a bipartisan group of 26 senators of a new sanctions bill against Iran could result in the biggest test of the political clout of the Israel lobby here in decades.
The White House, which says the bill could well derail ongoing negotiations between Iran and the U.S. and five other powers over Tehran’s nuclear programme and destroy the international coalition behind the existing sanctions regime, has already warned that it will veto the bill if it passes Congress in its present form.
The new bill, co-sponsored by two of Congress’s biggest beneficiaries of campaign contributions by political action committees closely linked to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), would impose sweeping new sanctions against Tehran if it fails either to comply with the interim deal it struck last month in Geneva with the P5+1 (U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) or reach a comprehensive accord with the great powers within one year.
To be acceptable, however, such an accord, according to the bill, would require Iran to effectively dismantle virtually its entire nuclear programme, including any enrichment of uranium on its own soil, as demanded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The government of President Hassan Rouhani has warned repeatedly that such a demand is a deal-breaker, and even Secretary of State John Kerry has said that a zero-enrichment position is a non-starter.
New country in Mideast? Kurds aim to create own state amid conflicts
China vs US 'sea-to-shining-sea'
It happened now and it will happen again: a near-collision between an American and a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea. The USS Cowpens, a 10,000-ton guided-missile cruiser, got "too close" to a drill involving the Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier, and its carrier task force, according to the Global Times. The US Pacific Fleet stressed that the cruiser had to take emergency measures to avoid a collision. Yet the Global Times accused the cruiser of "harassing" the Liaoning formation by taking "offensive actions". The paper spelt it loudly; "If the American navy and air force always encroach near China's doorstep, confrontation is bound to take place." Finally, China's Defense Ministry intervened to clarify that the vessels had "met" each other in the South China Sea but the worst was avoided via "effective and normal communication". Communication had better be damned "effective" from now on as China asserts itself as a rising sea power and it's obviously unclear who can really do what in the South as well as the East China Sea, not to mention the oceans beyond. It's a fact that China's still booming economy is directly dependent on its complex maritime lines of supply (and demand) - mostly over the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. But that does not mean that China is trying to control its surrounding seas by imposing a sino-version of the 19th century Monroe Doctrine, which was essentially a continental strategy of hemispheric domination (ask any informed Latin American about it). Read the entire article
McGovern: Unconstitutionality of NSA Phone Call Collection is Indisputable
Is Putin One of Us?
Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative? In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us? While such a question may be blasphemous in Western circles, consider the content of the Russian president’s state of the nation address. With America clearly in mind, Putin declared, “In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered.” “They’re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil.” Translation: While privacy and freedom of thought, religion and speech are cherished rights, to equate traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is to equate good with evil. No moral confusion here, this is moral clarity, agree or disagree. President Reagan once called the old Soviet Empire “the focus of evil in the modern world.” President Putin is implying that Barack Obama’s America may deserve the title in the 21st century. Read the entire article
AIPAC Explained for Goyim
Goliath: The Book That May Delegitimize Israel’s Apartheid State
Thanks to the Israel lobby’s slander campaign against Max Blumenthal and his new book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, I not only learned things about the Jewish state that I never knew, I also made a wonderful discovery – but more about that later. I confess I probably wouldn’t have read Goliath if not for the controversy it has generated: those squeals of pain coming from Israel’s apologists had to mean something, I figured. Either the book was egregiously unfair to the Jewish state or else a brilliant chronicle of its depredations against ordinary human decency. I had to read it in order to find out – and what I discovered both shocked and uplifted me, furthering my understanding not only of the Jewish state and its people but also of my own philosophy of libertarianism. Goliath is an easy read on a subject that makes many very uneasy: although it’s fairly long, it consists of many short vignettes told in the first person, chronicling Blumenthal’s travels across the length and breadth of the Holy Land – and the story it tells is alarming, especially for those who count themselves among Israel’s friends. For years, the Israeli body politic has been moving rightward – i.e. toward militarism, ultra-nationalism, and religious fundamentalism – to such a degree that it seems unrecognizable to those of us who belong to the older generation. We remember – or think we remember – the Israel of Exodus, the brave little upstart that defied the odds and, surrounded by enemies on every side, made the desert bloom with the verdant fields of a liberal democracy. Goliath proves that liberal democracy is now, for all intents and purpose, defunct: indeed, it may have never existed in the first place. The book demonstrates this on every page with brutal real-life firsthand reporting. Starting off slowly, Blumenthal paints a portrait of a society living in a bubble, with the Israeli Ashkenazi aristocracy on top, the Mizrahi drone-workers charged with police work and other non-elite tasks near the bottom, and the Palestinian helots on the lowest rung, eking out a problematic existence with all the legal and economic factors pointing to their eventual expulsion from Israeli society. As the rightist wave engulfs what had been the dream of socialist Zionists to build an egalitarian society, and turns it into a bastion of religious nationalism and outright racism, Blumenthal moves through this society-in-transition with the unforgiving eye of a born documentarian, mercilessly exposing the hypocrisy, mendacity, and criminality of a country that is coming unhinged. Read the entire article
John B. Wells on Mandela's Tyranny
An obsessive’s documenting of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon can show us how the West lost respect for international law
Odd Karsten Tveit was always a very obsessional chap. Every story he covered,
he always wanted to dig deeper, study further, hear one more tale of horror, one
more joke, one more historical fact. We all covered the story of Israel’s wars
in Lebanon, in 1978, in 1982, in 1996, in 2006. Over the years, I covered the
story of Israel’s torturers in Khiam jail in southern Lebanon, the massive Ansar
prison camp in 1982, the frightful interrogation of Lebanese and Palestinian
But Karsten has put together a
book of immense research which will remain the volume on Israel’s shame in
Lebanon and its historical defeat. That’s the title of the English edition –
Goodbye Lebanon: Israel’s First Defeat. His detailed questioning of
torture victims – hanged by their arms, electrocuted, in one case apparently
raped and in another mistreated in an Israeli hospital – have an unstoppable
power to convince. Not only did he cover the events on the ground in southern
Lebanon, he interviewed Israeli veterans in Israel itself.
He reported constantly on
Norwegian television and radio; he wanted to learn so much of the vicious Israeli-Hezbollah guerrilla war that he actually took time off
to serve in the Norwegian UN battalion n southern Lebanon, wearing the blue
beret. Now that is obsession for you.
It is a terrible tale, stories which upset many of the UN
peacekeepers, especially military doctors, as evidence mounted of the Israeli
brutality on prisoners in Lebanon and inside Israel itself. One Norwegian
officer even left Lebanon via Tel Aviv with a typed report on torture taped to
his chest for the eyes of a Norwegian government minister.
Prisoners at Ansar were grossly mistreated. Outside the walls
of Khiam prison, I visited a post of UN unarmed truth supervisors who told me
they could hear the screams of tortured men and women at night. Karsten did the
same. Israeli interrogators were present, Karsten says. Israel denied
responsibility, saying Khiam was under the control of their local Lebanese
militia. The UN did not believe it.
“Let’s not forget that Mandela called Castro’s Communist revolution ‘a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people,’”
“Mandela was a communist trained by the KGB who sings racial hate songs…and now, the South Africa is a worst country for both whites and blacks,”
“Ted, long before you were born, his reputation was the complete opposite. He was, in fact, a terrorist and a criminal, he persecuted and killed Zulus. All the apartheid BS you hear in today’s media is all lies.”
Amazon, Domino’s and Big Brother: Drones flying the not-so-friendly surveillance skies
Imagine a robot hovering overhead as you go about your day, driving to and from work, heading to the grocery store, or stopping by a friend’s house. The robot records your every movement with a surveillance camera and streams the information to a government command center. Whether you make a wrong move, or appear to be doing something suspicious, even if you don’t do anything suspicious, the information of your whereabouts, including what stores and offices you visit, what political rallies you attend, and what people you meet will be recorded, saved and easily accessed at a later date. As I document in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this scenario is inching ever closer to becoming our reality as corporations and government agencies alike prepare for their part in the coming drone invasion. The online retailer Amazon is designing its own pilotless delivery drones, octocopters, which would be used to deliver products under five pounds within a 10-mile range and with a 30 minute turnaround. The Domino’s pizza chain has also been looking to unmanned drones to give it an edge on its competitors. The “DomiCopter” is being developed to deliver two Domino’s pizzas in the company’s Heatwave bags. Not to be outdone, there’s also a TacoCopter drone—for delivering tacos—in the works. And then, of course, there’s the government, which will rely on drones for everything from border control and aerial surveillance to traffic enforcement, crowd control and fighting forest fires. Needless to say, whatever you can imagine, it will not be long before there is a drone suited to every purpose under the sun. As Americans will soon discover firsthand, drones—unmanned aerial vehicles—come in all shapes and sizes, from nano-sized drones as small as a grain of sand that can do everything from conducting surveillance to detonating explosive charges, to middle-sized copter drones that can deliver pizzas to massive “hunter/killer” Predator warships that unleash firepower from on high. Once used exclusively by the military to carry out aerial surveillance and attacks on enemy insurgents abroad, these remotely piloted, semi-autonomous robots have been authorized by Congress and President Obama for widespread use in American airspace starting in 2015. It is estimated that at least 30,000 drones will be airborne by 2020, all part of an $80 billion industry that is already creating a buzz in the atmosphere. In fact, there are already nine states “poised to dominate the drone economy,” those being California, Washington, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Alabama. Read the entire article
Presidential Powers And The Constitution
Republicans Will Embrace Iran Diplomacy—If They’re Smart
When, after the massacres at Newtown and the Washington Navy Yard, Republicans refused to outlaw the AR-15 rifle or require background checks for gun purchasers, we were told the party had committed suicide by defying 90 percent of the nation. When Republicans rejected amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, we were told the GOP had just forfeited its future. When House Republicans refused to fund Obamacare, the government was shut down and the Tea Party was blamed, word went forth: The GOP has destroyed its brand. Republicans face a wipeout in 2014. It will take a generation to remove this mark of Cain. Eight weeks later, Obama’s approval is below 40 percent. Most Americans find him untrustworthy. And the GOP is favored to hold the seats it has in the House while making gains in the Senate. For this reversal of fortunes, Republicans can thank the rollout of Obamacare—the website that does not work, the revelation that, contrary to Obama’s promise, millions are losing health care plans that they liked, and the reports of soaring premiums and sinking benefits. Democrats, however, might take comfort in the old maxim: If you don’t like the weather here, just wait a while. Read the entire article
Ellen Brown on Bail-ins (the Big Disaster Coming), GMO Foods, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)