Here’s an unavoidable fact: we are now in a Brexit world. We are seeing the first signs of a major fragmentation of this planet that, until recently, the cognoscenti were convinced was globalizing rapidly and headed for unifications of all sorts. If you want a single figure that catches the grim spirit of our moment, it’s 65 million. That’s the record-setting number of people that the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates were displaced in 2015 by “conflict and persecution,” one of every 113 inhabitants of the planet. That’s more than were generated in the wake of World War II at a time when significant parts of the globe had been devastated. Of the 21 million refugees among them, 51% were children (often separated from their parents and lacking any access to education). Most of the displaced of 2015 were, in fact, internal refugees, still in their own often splintered states. Almost half of those who fled across borders have come from three countries: Syria (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), and Somalia (1.1 million). Despite the headlines about refugees heading for Europe – approximately a million of them made it there last year (with more dying on the way) – most of the uprooted who leave their homelands end up in poor or economically mid-level neighboring lands, with Turkey at 2.5 million refugees leading the way. In this fashion, the disruption of spreading conflicts and chaos, especially across the Greater Middle East and Africa, only brings more conflict and chaos with it wherever those refugees are forced to go. And keep in mind that, as extreme as that 65 million figure may seem, it undoubtedly represents the beginning, not the end, of a process. For one thing, it doesn’t even include the estimated 19 million people displaced last year by extreme weather events and other natural disasters. Yet in coming decades, the heating of our planet, with attendant weather extremes (like the present heat wave in the American West) and rising sea levels, will undoubtedly produce its own waves of new refugees, only adding to both the conflicts and the fragmentation. As Patrick Cockburn points out today, we have entered “an age of disintegration.” And he should know. There may be no Western reporter who has covered the grim dawn of that age in the Greater Middle East and North Africa – from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria to Libya – more fully or movingly than he has over this last decade and a half. His latest book, Chaos & Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the Struggle for the Middle East, gives a vivid taste of his reporting and of a world that is at present cracking under the pressure of the conflicts he has witnessed. And imagine that so much of this began, at the bargain-basement cost of a mere $400,000 to $500,000, with 19 (mainly Saudi) fanatics, and a few hijacked airliners. Osama bin Laden must be smiling in his watery grave. Read the entire article
The European Union is a political construct meant to complement the NATO military alliance: as an institution it was created and continues to function for the sole purpose of keeping Russia out of the European continent. And now that it has been repudiated in Britain, the globalists of the West are nervous that NATO itself may be coming apart – as indeed it is. With the Republicans’ presumptive presidential nominee calling it “obsolete,” and its mounting costs – borne, of course, by the US – a drain on an increasingly squeezed economy, this pillar of US hegemony is cracking at its very foundations. And that has the War Party scared. Which is why the elite backlash against Brexit is taking on such a viciously antidemocratic tone: British Labor MP David Lammy is outright calling for Parliament to defy the electorate and nullify the referendum. A largely faked petition calling for a second vote is being promoted by the Remainers. And former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff reflects elite opinion by averring that “The idea that somehow any decision reached anytime by majority rule is necessarily ‘democratic’ is a perversion of the term.” Now that the people have rejected Rogoff and his claque of economic planers, “It’s time to rethink the rules of the game.” The globalists never imagined that their carefully constructed campaign to erase national boundaries would meet with such opposition – a global rebellion against globalism. They’ve been caught off guard, and it’s glorious to witness their panic and fear as the peasants with pitchforks demolish their tyrannical abstractions one after the other. That rebellion is spreading to every corner of the world, and most importantly it is rising up right here in the United States. The British people have declared for “Britain First,” and what the “elites” fear most of all is that the victory of America First can’t be far behind. One final point needs to be made: the more "understanding" anti-Brexiters on the left blame the vote results on the way the elite have overlooked the suffering of the poor downtrodden proles outside of London who supposedly been trampled on by "neoliberalism" (i.e. capitalism), while the pro-EU yuppies are living on Easy Street. This framing of the issue in purely economic terms is typical of Marxists and other leftists, but in this case it makes no sense. Read the entire article
For all one’s doubts about Trump, his main appeal is that of restraining Washington’s war machine. As my friend Ron Maxwell, producer of two great war movies, writes, “Trump may be the only off ramp from non-stop wars of choice we’re likely to see in our lifetimes.” The establishment Republican leadership that Trump is challenging is virtually addicted to perpetual war, while Democrats are so afraid of being called wimpy that they too end up supporting more wars. Just consider how many nations Obama now bombs. Yet Hillary Clinton would be even worse; it was she who pushed Obama into attacking Libya and was an architect of his Syria policy. Now she supports R2P—Responsibility to Protect—a doctrine that leads to new wars whenever any foreign government oppresses its own people. She also supports unilateral American attacks even though the UN document specifically states that only the United Nations Security Council may order such interventions. Although Trump’s foreign-policy talk is all over the map, he dared to attack the Republican establishment’s consensus support for the Iraq War and, alone among major Republicans, talked of restraint in launching new wars. The vicious attacks upon him by Washington’s dominant hawkish neoconservatives corroborate the belief that Trump opposes new imperial wars. Trust their judgment about whom they oppose. Trump also was attacked by the discredited Republican 121 “foreign policy elites,” those who created, propagandized, and helped sustain our disastrous wars. This reaction to Trump shows how much Washington elites fear him. Trump’s sheer joy for life, his instinct for “making deals” with enemies, and his desire for rapprochement with Russia would all check the establishment’s dangerous belligerence. He’d least of all want to risk nuclear war. Support for him among younger evangelicals has also fractured our own “Armageddon Lobby,” those who constantly want more Mideast wars because they believe they help bring about the “end times.” Read the entire article
Putin: ‘We know when US will get new missile threatening Russia’s nuclear capability’
The US anti-missile defense systems being installed near Russia’s borders can be “inconspicuously” transformed into offensive weapons, Vladimir Putin has said, adding that he knows “year by year” how Washington will develop its missile program. Talking about NATO’s ballistic missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, Russia’s president said that the Americans are now deploying their missiles at these military complexes. “The missiles are put into a capsule used for launches of sea-based Tomahawk missiles. Now they are placing their antimissiles there, which are capable of engaging a target at a distance of up to 500 kilometers [310 miles]. But technologies are developing, and we know around what year the Americans will get a new missile, which will have a range not of 500 kilometers, but 1,000, and then even more – and from that moment they will start threatening our nuclear capability,” Putin said at a meeting with the heads of international news agencies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday. “We know year by year what will happen, and they know that we know,” he said, adding that Western officials “pull the wool over [their news outlets] eyes,” who in turn misinform their audiences. The main problem, according to the Russian president, is that people do not understand how potentially dangerous the situation really is. “The world is being pulled into a completely new dimension, while [Washington] pretends that nothing’s happening,” Putin said, adding that he has been trying to reach out to his counterparts, but in vain. Read the entire article
Neoliberalism and The Globalization of War. America’s Hegemonic Project
The world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states. America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms on indebted countries as well the manipulation of financial markets, the engineered collapse of national currencies, the privatization of State property, the imposition of economic sanctions, the triggering of inflation and black markets. The economic dimensions of this military agenda must be clearly understood. War and Globalization are intimately related. These military and intelligence operations are implemented alongside a process of economic and political destabilization targeting specific countries in all major regions of World. Neoliberalism is an integral part of this foreign policy agenda. It constitutes an all encompassing mechanism of economic destabilization. Since the 1997 Asian crisis, the IMF-World Bank structural adjustment program (SAP) has evolved towards a broader framework which consists in ultimately undermining national governments’ ability to formulate and implement national economic and social policies. Read the entire article
As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force is now recruiting students and teachers to spy on each other and report anyone who appears to have the potential to be “anti-government” or “extremist.” Using the terms “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that could distinguish an individual as a potential domestic terrorist. For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:
The survey of 2,000 people by ORB found that 55 per cent believe the UK should leave the EU (up four points since our last poll in April), while 45 per cent want it to remain (down four points). These figures are weighted to take account of people’s likelihood to vote. It is by far the biggest lead the Leave camp has enjoyed since ORB began polling the EU issue for The Independent a year ago, when it was Remain who enjoyed a 10-point lead. Now the tables have turned.
Even when the findings are not weighted for turnout, Leave is on 53 per cent (up three points since April) and Remain on 47 per cent (down three). The online poll, taken on Wednesday and Thursday, suggests the Out camp has achieved momentum at the critical time ahead of the 23 June referendum.
1787: Constitution Crafted in Secret. What Would a Similar Rule Produce at a Modern-Day Con-Con?
Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago last week, the representatives of the states who had gathered in Philadelphia from May 25 to September 17 of 1787 got down to the business of deliberating on core issues of statecraft. As was their habit, the 50 or so men attending the convention did not meet on the Sabbath. In fact, many of them attended church together in Philadelphia, worshiping at churches of any denomination whatsoever, so long as the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached. June 3 was one such Sunday. Although there was no business carried on at the State House, newspapers reported on the first few days of the convention, several of them highlighting a controversial control imposed on the individual members: absolute secrecy. The secrecy provision mandated "That no copy be taken of any entry on the journal during the sitting of the House, without leave of the House. That nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise published or communicated without leave.” Several newspapers throughout the United States carried the following dispatch sent from Philadelphia regarding the secrecy rule: Such circumspection and secrecy mark the proceedings of the Federal Convention that the members find it difficult to acquire the habits of communication even among themselves; and are so cautious in defeating the curiosity of the public that all debate is suspended on the entrance of their own inferior officers. Though we readily admit the propriety of excluding an indiscriminate attendance on the discussion of this deliberative council, it is hoped that the privacy of this transaction will be an additional motive for despatch, as the anxiety of the people must be necessarily increased by every appearance of mystery in conducting this important business. Read the entire article
Presidential contender Hillary Clinton has warned that if her Republican rival Donald Trump makes it to the White House, it’s time to kiss goodnight to the world. Paradoxically, it is Hillary “the voice of reason” Clinton who is the proven warmonger and who would more likely be a bigger threat to world security. Less Commander-in-Chief, and more Commander-in-Grief. That the Western mainstream media can invert that fact shows how twisted and unreliable their “information” is. Democrat Clinton came out rhetorical guns blazing this week, excoriating the billionaire property tycoon for espousing “dangerously incoherent” ideas on foreign policy; and that his “bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies” would spark a nuclear war. Read the entire article
We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely dangerous collision course with the Russian Federation, as well as with China. Many respected, patriotic Americans, such as Paul Craig Roberts, Stephen Cohen, Philip Giraldi, Ray McGovern and many others have been issuing warnings of a looming a Third World War. But their voices have been all but lost among the din of a mass media that is full of deceptive and inaccurate stories that characterize the Russian economy as being in shambles and the Russian military as weak—all based on no evidence. But we—knowing both Russian history and the current state of Russian society and the Russian military, cannot swallow these lies. We now feel that it is our duty, as Russians living in the US, to warn the American people that they are being lied to, and to tell them the truth. And the truth is simply this:
If there is going to be a war with Russia, then the United States will most certainly be destroyed, and most of us will end up dead. Read the entire article
GOVERNMENTS TURN TO COMMERCIAL SPYWARE TO INTIMIDATE DISSIDENTS
A number of companies in the United States are training foreign law enforcement and intelligence officials to code their own surveillance tools. In many cases these tools are able to circumvent security measures like encryption. Some countries are using them to watch dissidents. Others are using them to aggressively silence and punish their critics, inside and outside their borders. “There’s no substantial regulation,” said Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, who has been tracking the spread of spyware around the globe. “Any government who wants spyware can buy it outright or hire someone to develop it for you. And when we see the poorest countries deploying spyware, it’s clear money is no longer a barrier.” This is a menacing trend, and one which I do not see getting any better soon. But intelligent people need to be made to understand that you never blog, email, or communicate with your cell phones, unless that communication is absolutely vanilla, because despotic governments (including that of the US) will use anything you type or say against you, to further and perpetuate their own ends. Read the entire article