Archive | December 15th, 2015

Pentagon Task Force Spent Nearly

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https://theintercept.com/2015/12/03/pentagon-task-force-spent-nearly-150m-on-villas…

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is asking why a small Department of Defense task force charged with developing the Afghan economy spent nearly $150 million on private villas, security guards and luxury meals. In a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter … SIGAR chief John Sopko wrote that members of the Defense Department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) could have used accommodations available on local military bases and other U.S. government facilities.

Former TFBSO employees told SIGAR investigators thatthe $150 million … supported “no more than 5 to 10” employees. Triple Canopy is one of the firms that have financially benefited the most from post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning roughly $2.2 billion in government contracts since 2003.

The company has continued to receive lucrative government contracts despite being at the center of several controversies related to the killing of civilians in Iraq by its employees and providing falsified documents for its private security guards. The decision to hire the contractors is believed to have originated with former deputy undersecretary of defense and TFSBO director Paul Brinkley. In 2007, he was investigated by the military on allegations of financial mismanagement and personal misconduct while based in Iraq, but continued serving in government until 2011.

Note: By mid-2014, the US had spent more money on Afghanistan’s “reconstruction” than it spent on the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe following WWII. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.

 

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The 158 Families Who Are Buying American Democracy

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http://www.newsweek.com/158-families-who-are-buying-american-democracy-403807

Half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates – $176 million – has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control. Who are these people? According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools. Most send their kids and grand kids to elite private schools rather than public schools.

They fly in private jets and get driven in private limousines rather than rely on public transportation. They don’t have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes. It’s doubtful that most of these 158 are contributing to these campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts.

They’re largely making investments, just the way they make other investments. And the success of these investments depends on whether their candidates get elected, and will lower their taxes even further, expand tax loopholes, shred health and safety and environmental regulations so their companies can make even more money, and cut Social Security and Medicare and programs for the poor – and thereby allow these 158 and others like them to secede even more from the rest of our society. These people are, after all, are living in their own separate society. They want to elect people who will represent them, not the rest of us.

Note: This essay was written by former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.

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Comrade Isabel Crook: 100 years old and still fighting for communism

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Issued by: CPGB-ML

Today, 15 December 2015, Comrade Isabel Crook, Honorary President of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGB-ML) celebrates her 100th birthday.

On this occasion, our entire party, along with Red Youth, extends its warmest best wishes and militant greetings, offering a heartfelt Red Salute to this outstanding communist, veteran proletarian revolutionary and not simply a friend of the Chinese people, but a staunch soldier of the Chinese revolution. Happy birthday to you, our dear Comrade Isabel!

Isabel Brown was born on 15 December 1915 in China’s Sichuan province, the daughter of Canadian missionaries, and grew up in China. In the 1930s, she went to Canada to continue her education, and obtained a master’s degree in 1938.

She returned to Sichuan and went to the village of Xinglong to conduct anthropological research work. There she met David Crook, the man who was to become her lifelong companion until his death in 2000 at the age of 90.

Speaking of Xinglong many decades later, Isabel said: “I love the place, mainly because I met a real communist here (referring to David), who helped me to know the society and the significance of the Chinese revolution.”

Comrade David Crook was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) who had fought fascism in Spain in the ranks of the International Brigade. Whilst there, he was able to read Edgar Snow’s classic account of the Chinese revolution, Red Star Over China, and immediately saw the connection between the anti-fascist struggle in Spain and China’s fight against Japanese aggression.

In 1938, David was recruited to work directly for the Communist International and was sent to do important revolutionary work in Shanghai. Returning to London, David and Isabel were married in 1942, and Isabel, too, became a member of the CPGB.

Isabel was active as a party member, organising her fellow workers in the factory where she worked in the Finsbury Park area of north London. After the war, she and David opposed the revisionist trends that were beginning to emerge in the party – for example, the tendency to downplay organising at the place of work in favour of a primarily electoral strategy.

In 1947, the Crooks returned to China. Armed with a letter of introduction from the CPGB to the Communist Party of China (CPC), they evaded the blockade imposed by the reactionary Kuomintang government to reach the communist-led liberated areas of north China.

They settled in the village of Shilidian (Ten Mile Inn), and in one year completed their initial book reporting on the land reform being undertaken by the peasants under the CPC’s leadership. The Crooks not only engaged in research and writing, they shared the lives of the local people and joined fully in revolutionary work and political study together with CPC comrades.

They wrote Ten Mile Inn partly in the hope that it might also help the people of other poor countries such as India to make revolution – and it has, in fact, become a handbook of experience and technique for agricultural workers struggling to bring socialist organisation to their own countries.

David and Isabel had intended to stay in China for one year. However, CPC leaders, pointing out to them that the founding of the People’s Republic of China was not far away, and that the New China would urgently need to train a cadre of English-speaking officials for diplomatic and other work, asked them to stay on. They did so, and China has remained their home for the rest of their lives.

They became teachers at the Nanhaishan Foreign Affairs School in June 1948 and, together with their colleagues and students, entered Beijing with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) when the city was liberated. Once in Beijing, they helped establish what became the Beijing Foreign Studies University, on whose campus Isabel still lives.

In 1960, they planned to return to live in Britain, as David had been offered a professorship at Leeds University. However, at that time, China was going through a difficult economic period, which was then compounded by the actions of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who unilaterally ended Soviet aid to China and withdrew all the USSR’s experts from the country.

When they learned of the treachery of the Khrushchevite revisionists, David and Isabel resolved that they could not possibly leave China at that time. In fact, during the years of hardship, they insisted on their own salaries being cut in order to share weal and woe with their comrades and the Chinese people as a whole.

Likewise, the Crooks’ faith in communism and in the Chinese revolution was not swayed in the slightest when they were subject to false charges during the Cultural Revolution.

At the age of 100, Comrade Isabel Crook continues to have full confidence in humanity’s bright communist future. She follows events in China and in the wider world, not only through books, newspapers and television, but also through internet and email.

She displays the same great sense of responsibility in her work as she has done throughout her life. In 2013, her book Prosperity’s Predicament Identity, Reform, and Resistance in Rural Wartime China, on which she had worked intermittently for decades, was published. Each Chinese New Year, she is one of a select group of foreign experts who are invited to meet the Chinese premier and to offer opinions and advice

Through her long and rich revolutionary life, Comrade Isabel has learned the truth of the Chinese maxim, “The future is bright, the road is tortuous.” In June 1949, a few months after the Crooks had arrived in Beijing with the liberating communist forces, Comrade Mao Zedong gave a speech at an event celebrating the party’s 28th birthday. Much to the surprise of many, he declared that “the victory is just the first step of a long march of 10,000 miles”, and added, “building socialism will take a long time”.

Looking back on this a few years ago, Isabel commented: “David and I both thought Chairman Mao was too modest in saying that, but now I see he is right. Ninety years have passed since the founding of the party, and the long march is not ended yet. There are still a lot of things that need to be done.”

Having joined the CPGB-ML, Comrade Isabel was unanimously elected as our Honorary President at our 2012 congress.

In the book, David and Isabel Crook in China (published in China in 1995), Hua Guodong, who was taught by David and Isabel after fighting in the ranks of the Chinese People’s Volunteers during the Korean War, wrote as follows:

“David and Isabel have lived and taught in China … sharing the common fate with the Chinese people. They have never showed any regret or made any complaint. They have won our tribute and admiration by setting brilliant examples to us.

“No other words than those written by Mao Zedong in his article In Memory of Norman Bethune can be a better comment on David and Isabel’s devotion to English teaching in China:

“What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism, from which every Chinese communist must learn.

“Yes, I have learned from them not only English, but the revolutionary spirit as well.”

Long live Comrade Isabel Crook!

Watch a short interview with Comrade Isabel, filmed for China Daily in 2011.

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Inside the nuclear power game with former U.S. Navy advisor Theodore Postol

Theodore A. Postol
The Nuclear End of the World never happened. When the Cold War finally ended, the whole world sighed in relief as the threat of total annihilation seemingly passed. And yet, 25 years later, both the US and Russia once again are pumping up their nuclear arsenal, and the Doomsday Clock shows it’s just three minutes before midnight. Is nuclear destruction looming once again over humankind? And, even if no state is actually ready to press the button – could Atomic Armageddon happen by accident? We ask these and many other questions to a specialist on nuclear technology, a professor from MIT and a former adviser to the US Chief of Naval Operations. Dr. Theodore Postol is on Sophie&Co.Sophie Shevardnadze: Dr. Theodore Postol, former advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, a professor at MIT, nuclear technology expert, welcome to the show, it’s great to have you with us – so, Ted, President Obama came into the White House calling for “Global Zero” – now, there are plans to spend a trillion dollars on an overall of entire nuclear arsenal. Why is this happening?

Dr. Theodore Postol: I think this is a consequence of the domestic politics. You can never understand the foreign policy of a country without understanding its domestic situation, and in this case, the domestic politics has caused Mr. Obama to decide – frankly, I think, incorrectly – that he has to modernize the U.S. arsenal in order to avoid being criticized for not being concerned about the defence of the country.

SS: Now, do you believe the U.S. is readying its nuclear forces for direct confrontation with Russia? Do you think nuclear war is possible now? At any scenario, do you see that?

Dr.TP: I do think that an accidental nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia is possible. I don’t know how likely it is – anyone who says they know how likely it is, has no idea what they’re talking about, so… But, I think any possibility is too high, and in that sense, I do think we are in danger. I think the current political confrontation between Russia and the West and, particularly, the U.S. is potentially dangerous too. Both sides are very aware of the catastrophic consequence of nuclear weapons being used by one or the other, so I think both will be very cautious – but I think the danger does exist, yes.

SS: But, nuclear weapons have worked as a deterrent against war with the risks, like you say, “way too high” for all sides involved. Has the mutually assured destruction doctrine being forgotten? Has the defenition been changed, maybe?

Dr.TP: No, I don’t think the definition has changed, and certainly, the reality has not changed, and I think, an understanding of the reality is very important if you’re not going to make a mistake that leads to nuclear use – on either side. I believe, from what I’ve seen on both sides, that the concern about the potential for the complete destruction of each country and the world is still very high. The problem is that as long as forces are on alert, at a high level, there’s always the possibility of a series of unexpected accidents that could lead to nuclear exchange, and I think, that’s the real danger.

SS: What happens, hypothetically, if there is a nuclear war? Will a doctrine like a mutual destruction doctrine ever work again?

Dr.TP: I think, anybody who is rational and understand pretty much, in a dim way, the consequences of nuclear weapons, would not rationally use nuclear weapons. The problem is that if you have a crisis situation when one or both sides have no understanding of what is actually happening on the other side, and people are exhausted because it was going on over time, and somebody makes a bad decision with incomplete information, which is almost certainly what happens in the real world – information is never complete – you could have a massive use of nuclear weapons, and that, of course, would end civilization as we know it and might, although we can’t be sure, but might actually end human life on the planet.

SS: You know, you’ve mentioned earlier that the nuclear war as it is, is unlikely, but there’s always a threat of an accident. And I’ve spoken to many political leaders, newsmakers like Noam Chomsky, Mikhail Gorbachev, and they also agree that the nuclear war is something nobody’s willing to risk right now, but there is a danger of an accident involving nuclear weapons. What kind of accident can occur?

Dr.TP: I can give you a concrete example, and then expand on it. In 1955 there was, what’s called a “sounding rocket” launched off an island that is on off the NW coast of Norway. Now, this “sounding rocket” was different from other “sounding rockets” that had been launched at that time. It went to much higher altitudes than had previously occurred, and it passed through the radar search-fan of an early warning radar at Olenegorsk in Russia, and set off an alarm that led to Yeltsin at that time being brought into the command loop. Now, I do not believe that Russia or the Russian military forces were put on high alert or would have done anything that could have led to an accident at that time, but if you had an accident like this which occurred for example, during the crisis between Russia and the U.S., where both sides had been at loggerheads for quite a while and both sides were exhausted, very concerned about military action happening – it could have led to an alert and possibly even a launch of Russian or U.S. forces. So, there’s a concrete situation where an accident that really, must be looked at as benign, given the circumstance under which it occurred, could have been fatal under different circumstances. Now, the likelihood of something like that happening is low, because you need this accident to occur at the time of extreme crisis and you need the overlap, but the consequences, of course, would be horrendous.

Comment: Consider also the scenario presented by Victor Clube and Bill Napier: a Tunguska-like overhead detonation in either country that takes out a city or two could easily be mistaken for a nuclear “first strike”. It’s all downhill from there.

SS: Now, Ted, tell me something. Explain to an amateur, to me, how does one launch a nuclear weapon? Is it as easy as pressing a button? How long does it take for a nuclear missile to reach its target?

Dr.TP: Well, typically what the U.S. and Russia have are several kinds of what are called “ballistic missiles” – they, in the case of both Russia and the U.S. we have land-based ballistic missiles which are in fortified underground missile silos, so they are protected to some extent from nuclear attack, or on submarines, in the holds of submarines. The ballistic missile could be fired, basically, within 50 or 60 seconds, more or less, after alert being given to the operators.The warning could take minutes to occur – that is, the Russian government or the American government, could believe that an attack is underway, they could access the situation, and then, collect information and then make a decision whether or not to launch. That could take 10 or 15 minutes. In the case of actually launching a rocket, that would take 40-60 seconds, more or less, depending on procedures – which are easily changed. The rocket will then ignite, it would fly out of its silo or its launch hall in the submarine, it would typically undergo powered flight for about… between 150 and 300 seconds, depending on whether or not the rocket is what’s called a “solid-propellant” or “liquid propellant”, so in one case 5 minutes, in other cause, maybe, 2,5 minutes – and then it would release warheads. The warheads would float in the near vacuum of space under the influence of gravity and momentum, and in about 20-28 minutes would arrive at their targets, re-enter the atmosphere and explode. So the world could be, basically, finished off in anywhere from half hour to an hour upon the arrival of these warheads. People who think about these things generally expect – nobody really knows what to expect – but if you have a massive exchange, most nuclear warheads would be delivered in a very short time, probably within half hour or an hour interval.

SS: Now, the bombs that Russia and the U.S. have in their arsenal right now – they are 100 times more powerful than the ones that were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. How devastating would be the aftermath of the nuclear explosion be today?

Dr.TP: They are more than 100 times more powerful. Typical warhead from a Russian missile like what we call the SS-18, the one of these warheads – this rocket can carry up to 10 warheads – one of these warheads, detonated over New York city, for example – one! – would essentially destroy all of Manhattan, most of Staten Island, probably all of it, basically. Large parts of New Jersey to the west. Basically, the borough of Brooklyn and most of Queens and the Bronx out to a range range of, maybe, anywhere from, I’d say, 10 kilometers range from the central area where it exploded. If you had a similar warhead from the U.S. over Moscow, it would destroy, again, most of the city. It would, again, destroy a 150 square kilometers of the city easily and that’s only one warhead. There would be many warheads targeted on each of these great cities by the other side.

SS: Now, you wrote that there’s a lack of quality stuff in the American nuclear forces. Are you saying nuclear arsenal is not being looked after properly, or is it safe?

Dr.TP: I think, there are very serious problems with the nuclear arsenal at the current time. Basically, what is going on is there is a catastrophic falling of morale among the troops. This is not hard to understand, and, in fact, to some degree… well, to high level, predictable. The reason is that the nuclear forces had an enormously high status in American military organisation for a long time. At the end of the Cold War, there was a giant change in the status accorded to the U.S. military forces that were doing nuclear weapons control. The net result of that is that younger officers who are seeking advancement in their career and who are more talented and more upwardly mobile, more promotable, did not want to choose to go into the nuclear forces. So, the net result was you got people of less capability and less motivation populating the forces. This has been a real problem. A second aspect of this problem is that the interest in the American Pentagon in maintaining the current forces at a proper level has not been as high as it should’ve been. So, modernisation does not take place when it should. Let me give you an example. If you have computers that are extremely old – in our case, these computers are, in some cases, 40 or 50 years old, which is a very long time in computer technology. Now, the advantage of the older computers is that you know what you have. The problem with newer computers is that there’s more… when you’re moving over to a newer system there’s always a danger created by moving over to a newer system, because things are unpredictable on some level.

SS: Is that why you guys are sticking to the old computers?

Dr.TP: I can’t explain why that’s happening. I think, it would be very wise to actually modernise these systems. They are modernizing them in some ways, but they’re modernizing them in ways that are in my view not helpful. Let me give you an example: they modify the computer navigation system on our Minuteman Intercontinental ballistic missiles, so that we can the targets that we shoot at more rapidly and hold more targets, be able to select targets in Russia or other places more quickly, and select more targets. Well, that’s only useful if you’re planning to fight and win a nuclear war. If you think that by moving the targets on one missile to take advantage of some damage you’ve already done somewhere else, like you would your artillery in a conventional war – if you think that is a good idea, the way it looks to other people – for example, Russian military planners – it looks like you’re trying to prepare to fight and win a nuclear war against Russia.

SS: Is it even possible to win a nuclear war? Is there such thing as winning a nuclear war?

Dr.TP: Of course, it’s not possible to win a nuclear war. There’s no outcome that you can predict associated with the facts of nuclear weapons that would lead to any definition that is at all meaningful of “winning” a nuclear war. The problem is, if you have another adversary, you’re a military person, you’re evaluating the actions of the other adversary, and you see the adversary doing things that look like they believe that they can fight and win, it makes you concerned, it raises concerns that they might actually believe that, or, in a crisis, they might actually exercise options created by these technical changes. So, it’s a dangerous, double-edged sword.

SS: Russia recently announced 40 new ballistic missiles to boost its military arsenal. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the move “unjustified, destabilizing and dangerous”. Now, in light of this American nuclear rearmament we were talking about – do you think it’s unjustified?

Dr.TP: I think it’s unjustified from a technical point of view. From a political point of view, I have no real judgement, but I can see how the political leadership in Russia believes that it has to respond to what it sees as America’s continued encroachment and planning to intimidate. Whether that’s the intent of the U.S. or not – I have no way of knowing. But I can understand why they think that such an action makes sense. From a purely technical point of view, it in no way enhances Russia’s security – and it could detract from it, because of an American overreaction.

SS: Also, remember NATO’s plans for a missile defence shield in Europe, they were also supported by the U.S. and its allies. It was supposed to be protection against possible Iran nuclear program. Now, a deal with Iran is in place, a deal that, as you say, has unprecedented verification measures. Why is NATO still going forward with these plans?

Dr.TP: I’m not a total… I’m more of a technical than a political person, but I don’t want to make fake claims, I am unsophisticated politically…

SS: Sure, but you surely have your opinions and observations on that – I mean, it’s a huge topic…

Dr.TP: I think it’s going forward because the leadership of the U.S. has domestic – again, I want to underscore this, domestic political, not international, political commitments to doing missile defence. The Congress is deeply committed to it. I think, the big defence companies that do the work wanted to keep their contracts and the American Congress is strongly influenced by the ability of these companies to influence elections through their money. I think the President has not behaved…has not shown leadership in this particular area. He has backed away from his original scepticism, which was well-justified, about the value of these missile defences in terms of their technical capability, and…

SS: Okay, but, as you say, domestic policies usually play out, internally, they play out to be foreign policies. In this case, does Russia have evidence to believe it’s not a security threat for it?

Dr.TP: I would say that the Russian military, the informed military, the technically well-informed military, have to understand that the American missile defence is not viable – that’s to say, it does not have any capability. However, I want to underscore – however, they cannot treat this missile defence as if it has no capability. This is because they do not know what will happen next. The U.S. has vast industrial power, vast wealth. It has shown that it is more than able to engage in irrational military activities, and the Russian military cannot be assured that the U.S. won’t make some kinds of changes in some unforeseen future scenario to this missile defence. So you can have a missile defence, like the Americans have, which technically speaking is a joke – I want to underscore it, it’s a technical joke in terms of what it can do – but, the Russian military has almost no choice but to treat it as if it is a serious concern. So you get the worst of both worlds. Even from the American point of view – a missile defence that doesn’t work, but is treated by the Russian side as if it works.

SS: Ted we have time for just one more question…

Dr.TP: Is that too convoluted?

SS: No, it sounds pretty simple to me. I don’t know why people up there don’t understand it.

Dr.TP: Okay.

SS: Now, states that embark on a nuclear weapons program, they actually do it because they feel it’s the only way to ensure their security. Can you say they are wrong? I mean – look at Libya, it gave up its nuclear weapons, and in the end, it was little to stop a NATO bombing campaign in 2011. We just have one more minute left for this question.

Dr.TP: I think it’s a double-edged sword, and it depends on who you are and your circumstances. Unfortunately, and I’m not comfortable saying this, I want to be clear, this is not a comfortable thing to say, if I were in a situation of some nuclear states, I would not give up my nuclear weapons. In the case of other nuclear states, I think not only it is a good idea to give up your nuclear weapons, but in fact you shouldn’t get them. Let me give you an example. If I were Japanese I would not want to have nuclear weapons. The reason is, I’m under the protection of the U.S., and if I get nuclear weapons, it will cause me to be a target of the Chinese, it will cause the South Koreans to become extremely concerned, to the point that they might react in a bad way, and my overall security situation would be worse. But, if I’m alone, and I think I need nuclear weapons, for example, if I’m Russia, and the Americans have a nuclear monopoly – I would want nuclear weapons, because I’m not dependant on another nuclear power to offset the American threat. So, it’s a political judgement, not a technical one.

SS: Thanks, Ted. Unfortunately that’s all the time that we have, but thanks a lot for this very interesting and sometimes scary insight into the world of nuclear power game. We were talking to Theodore Postol, former advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval operations, professor of technology and international security at MIT, nuclear expert. We were talking on the current state of nuclear arsenals across the world and the ominous possibility of a nuclear catastrophe. That’s it for this edition of Sophie&Co, I will see you next time.

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Why ISIS may very well end up endorsing Donald Trump for President

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Donald and Daesh Join Forces Against the ‘Gray Zone’

Since ISIS rose to conquest in Syria and Iraq, then turning its deadly attention westward, it (with the help of its government and media accomplices) has unleashed a fresh flood of terror, which the people of the West have, unresisting, let wash over them.

In America, Donald Trump has tapped that terror to fuel the flames of Islamophobic hate, which he hopes will propel his rise to Presidential power.

“When can we get rid of ’em?” asked a supporter at a rally before the Paris attacks. “We are going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump assured him. After Paris, he told a reporter:

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule. (…) And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”

The “certain things” Trump has publicly contemplated have included surveilling and shutting down mosques, forcing Muslims to register themselves in a databasebanning Muslims from entering the country, and combatting Islamic extremists by “taking out” their families.

As Archer might tell the Donald: Do you want terrorists? Because that’s how you get terrorists. That is not to say that the average Muslim will resort to terrorism in response to such policies. The vast majority will continue to endure such persecution peacefully, with courage and resilience.But all change for good or evil happens on the margin. Oppression and atrocity has already driven some Muslims over the edge to indiscriminate vengeance. Decades of Western and Israeli crimes against Iraqis and Palestinians have been major contributors to extremist recruitment and self-radicalization. Additional oppression and atrocity will only drive some who are now on the margin over the edge as well.

The leadership of ISIS is fully aware of this cause-and-effect. And according to its official magazine, that is precisely what they are striving to instigate with their terror attacks. ISIS wants to shrink what it calls the “gray zone” of co-existence and civilization between Westerners and “true” Muslims. To this end, ISIS launches brutal attacks to provoke terror and hate that drive brutal Western reactions (oppression and atrocity) which, in turn, provoke terror and hate among Muslims, driving some of them to extremism. Thus western warmongers and Islamophobes become useful-idiot recruiters for the terrorists.

ISIS’s ultimate aim, in the tradition of its forefather Osama bin Laden, is eliminating the gray zone altogether by polarizing the whole world into two warring camps (the “Camp of (Salafist) Islam” and the “Crusader Camp”) locked in what the neocons call a “Clash of Civilizations.” Many neocons want this too. The only difference between the neocons and ISIS is that each thinks its side will be the one to emerge victorious from this apocalyptic clash.

Trump is no neocon (indeed he can be an effective critic of them). Nonetheless, his divisive rhetoric and endorsements of anti-Muslim oppression and atrocity play right into the extremists’ hands by helping them dwindle the gray zone and polarize the country and world.

Indeed, even without yet achieving political power, his demagogic influence over his followers is already yielding discord and violence. And even the Muslim-massacring Pentagon warned that a Muslim ban like the one Trump proposes would “bolster” ISIS’s narrative, “pit” the US against the Muslim faith, and thus be “contrary to national security.”

With every Islamophobic blathering that tumbles out of his mouth, Trump stumps for ISIS. ISIS may end up cheering Trump’s election, just as Bin Laden cheered Bush’s.

Yet all the establishment office holders and seekers (both Democrat and Republican) fainting at Trump’s scandalous utterances must not be taken too seriously. As Glenn Greenwald has detailed, Trump’s policies are in practical terms not very different from their own. And as Noah Millman has pointed out, Trump’s “fascism,” aside from the added dangers of it being expressed in populist form, is basically in line with the fascistic direction this country has been heading down for a decade and a half.

Trump expresses the same kind of ugliness that the US establishment perpetrates every day. The main difference is that Trump doesn’t mince words or drape his cruelties with euphemism. This is yet another Trump/ISIS parallel. ISIS is no less murderous than the US government. It just prefers to trumpet and broadcast its atrocities over LiveLeak, while Washington strives to mask and hide the civilian carnage of its bombs.

Moreover, Trump, like ISIS, is not some spontaneous blight out of the blue. Both owe their rise to the establishment policies of the past 14 years. ISIS was seeded in Bush’s Iraq War and blossomed out of Obama’s Syrian jihad. And Trump’s grassroots support was planted with the yield of Washington’s terrorist-proliferating foreign policy as well as blue-collar frustration (unjustly taken out on immigrants) with an economy made moribund by Washington’s prodigious spending, bailouts, endless monetary expansion, and other forms of crony capitalism.

Trump and ISIS are both creatures of the very Washington establishment that now denounces them. They are just as much symptoms as they are pathogens. The underlying disease is our own statist ideology that lets our government run rampant, engendering the emergence of such fiends.

To truly address the threats posed by Trump and ISIS, it is not enough to denounce them as fascists and Islamo-fascists. We must also renounce the semi-fascist statism our entire society harbors, or we will never be free of more blatant fascists seeking to divide and conquer.

Posted in USAComments Off on Why ISIS may very well end up endorsing Donald Trump for President

The neocon psychopaths are driving the world towards extinction

NOVANEWS
Paul Craig Roberts

© Wikimedia Commons

My warning that the neoconservatives have resurrected the threat of nuclear Armageddon, which was removed by Reagan and Gorbachev, is also being given by Noam Chomsky, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry, and other sentient observers of the neoconservatives’ aggressive policies toward Russia and China.

Daily we observe additional aggressive actions taken by Washington and its vassals against Russia and China. For example, Washington is pressuring Kiev not to implement the Minsk agreements designed to end the conflict between the puppet government in Kiev and the break-away Russian republics.

Washington refuses to cooperate with Russia in the war against ISIS. Washington continues to blame Russia for the destruction of MH-17, while preventing an honest investigation of the attack on the Malaysian airliner. Washington continues to force its European vassals to impose sanctions on Russia based on the false claim that the conflict in Ukraine was caused by a Russian invasion of Ukraine, not by Washington’s coup in overthrowing a democratically elected government and installing a puppet answering to Washington.

The list is long. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), allegedly a neutral, non-political world organization, has been suborned into the fight against Russia. Under Washington’s pressure, the IMF has abandoned its policy of refusing to lend to debtors who are in arrears in their loan payments to creditors. In the case of Ukraine’s debt to Russia, this decision removes the enforcement mechanism that prevents countries (such as Greece) from defaulting on their debts. The IMF has announced that it will lend to Ukraine in order to pay the Ukraine’s Western creditors despite the fact that Ukraine has renounced repayment of loans from Russia.

Michael Hudson believes, correctly in my view, that this new IMF policy will also be applied to those countries to whom China has made loans. The IMF’s plan is to leave Russia and China as countries who lack the usual enforcement mechanism to collect from debtors, thus permitting debtors to default on the loans without penalty.

In other words, the IMF is presenting itself, although the financial media will not notice, as a tool of US foreign policy. 

What this shows, and what should concern us, is that the institutions of Western civilization are in fact tools of American dominance. The institutions are not there for the noble reasons stated in their founding documents. 

The bottom line is that Western Capitalism is simply a looting mechanism that has successfully suborned Western governments and all Western “do-good” institutions.

As in George Orwell’s ‘1984’, the IMF is dividing the world into warring factions — the West vs. the BRICS.

To avoid the coming conflict that the neoconservatives’ pursuit of American hegemony is bringing, the Russians have relied on fact-based, truth-based diplomacy. However, neocon Washington relies on lies and propaganda and has many more and much louder voices. Consequently, it is Washington’s lies, not Russia’s truth, that most of the Western sheeple believe.

In other words, Russia was misled by believing that the West respects and abides by the values that it professes. In fact, these “Western values” are merely a cover for the unbridled evil of which the West consists.

The Western peoples are so dimwitted that they have not yet understand that the “war on terror” is, in fact, a war to create terror that can be exported to Muslim areas of Russia and China in order to destabilize the two countries that serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral, hegemonic power.

The problem for the neocon unilateralists is that Russia and China-although misinformed by their “experts” educated abroad in the neoliberal tradtion, people who are de facto agents of Washington without even knowing it-are powerful military powers, both nuclear and conventional. Unless Russia and China are content to be Washington’s vassal states, for the neoconservatives, who control Washington and, therefy, the West, to press these two powerful countries so hard can only lead to war. As Washington is not a match for Russia and China in conventional warfare, the war will be nuclear, and the result will be the end of life on earth. 

Whether ironic or paradoxical, the US is pushing a policy that means the end of life. Yet, the majority of Western governments support it, and the insouciant Western peoples have no clue.

But Putin has caught on. Russia is not going to submit. Soon China will understand that US dependency on China’s workforce and imports is not a protection from Washington’s aggression. When China looks beyond its MIT and Harvard miseducated neoliberal economists to the writing on the wall, Washington is going to be in deep trouble.

What will Washington do? Confronted with two powerful nuclear militaries, will the crazed neocons back off? Or will their confidence in their ideology bring us the final war?

This is a real question. The US government pays many Internet trolls to ridicule such questions and their authors. To see the people who sell out humanity for money, all you have to do is toread the comments on the numerous websites that reproduce this column.

Nevertheless, the question remains, unanswered by the Western presstitute media and unanswered by the bought-and-paid-for stooges in the US Congress and all Western “democracies.”

Indications are that Russia has had enough of American arrogance. The Russian people have elevated a leader as they always do, and which Western countries seldom, if ever, do. The West has triumphed by technology, not by leadership. But Vladimir Putin is Russia’s choice of a leader, and he is one. Russia also has the technology and a sense of itself that no longer exists in the diversified West.

There is nothing like Putin anywhere in the West, over which presides a collection of bought-and-paid-for-puppets who report to private interest groups, such as Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and the extractive industries (energy, mining, timber).

At the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations (September 28), Putin, backed by the President of China, announced that half of the world no longer accepts American unilateralism. Additionally, Putin said that Russia can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world that results from Washington’s pursuit of hegemony.

Two days later Putin took over the fight against ISIS in Syria.

Putin, still relying on agreements with Washington, relied on the agreement that Russia would announce beforehand its attacks on ISIS installations in order to prevent any NATO-Russian air encounters. Washington took advantage of this trust placed in Washington by Russia, and arranged for a Turkish jet fighter to ambush an unsuspecting Russian fighter-bomber.

This was an act of war, committed by Washington and Turkey, and thereby Washington’s European NATO vassal states against a nuclear power capable of exterminating all life in every one of the countries, including the “superpower US.”

This simple fact should make even the American super-patriots, who wear the flag on their sleeve, wonder about the trust they place in “their” government and in Fox “news,” CNN, NPR, and the rest of the presstitutes who continually lie every minute of every broadcast.

But it won’t. Americans and Europeans are too insouciant. They are locked tightly in The Matrix, where the impotent creatures are content to live without understanding reality.

Realizing that it is pointless to attempt to communicate to the Western sheeple, who have no input into their government’s policy, Putin now sends his message directly to Washington.

Putin’s message is loud and clear in his order directed against any US/NATO operations against Russia in its Syrian operations against ISIS:

Any targets threatening the Russian groups of forces or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed.

Putin followed up this order with another order to the Russian Defense Ministry Board:

Special attention must be paid to strengthening the combat potential of the strategic nuclear forces and implementing defense space programs. It is necessary, as outlined in our plans, to equip all components of the nuclear triad with new arms.

© SOTT.net

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported at the Defense Ministry meeting that 56 percent of Russia’s nuclear forces are new and that 95 percent are at a permanent state of readiness. The few Western news sources that report these developments pretend that Russia is “saber-rattling” without cause.

To make it clear even for the insouciant Western populations, everything that Reagan and Gorbachev worked for has been overthrown by crazed, demented, evil American neoconservatives whose desire for hegemony over the world is driving the world to extinction.

These are the same bloodthirsty war criminals who have destroyed seven countries, murdered, maimed, and displaced millions of Muslim peoples, and sent millions of refugees from the neocon wars into Europe. None of these war criminals are protected from terrorist attack. If the alleged “Muslim threat” was real, every one of the war criminals would be dead by now, not the innocent people sitting in Paris cafes or attending parties in California.

Neocons are the unhumans who created on purpose the “war against terror” in order to gain a weapon against Russia and China. You can witness these unhumans every day on talk TV and read them in the Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the British, German, Australian, Canadian, and endless Western newspapers.

In the West lies prevail, and the lies are driving the world to extinction. An expert reminds us that it only takes one mistake and 30 minutes to destroy life on earth.

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‘Murderers’: Thousands in Montenegro protest against NATO membership

NOVANEWS

Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

He added that Montenegro’s ascension into NATO is strange, because “in 1999 NATO attacked Yugoslavia [and] bombs fell on Montenegro as well.”

“It’s impossible to erase such [actions] with an apology,” he said as quoted by Sputnik, adding that by letting his country in, NATO simply wants to have “a few more soldiers against Russia.”

The protesters chanted “Russia” as well as “NATO Murderers” in reference to NATO’s war in 1999 against the former Yugoslavia, which took the lives of many civilians in the alliance’s nationwide bombing raids against what was called military targets.

One of the placards raised by the protesters showed the faces of six civilians – including children – who died in NATO’s airstrike on the small Montenegrin village of Murino in May 1999. The village had no military significance, nor did it host any troops at that time. The bombing added further to the so-called “collateral damage” log of NATO’s war against the former Yugoslavia. No official apology or inquiry followed that incident.

Montenegro was offered NATO membership at the alliance’s summit on December 2. It was pushed forward by the current pro-Western President Milo Djukanovic. Montenegro remained part of a union with Serbia until 2006 and has since been actively integrating in EU and NATO structures. According to recent polling by the Podgorica-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights, 37 percent of surveyed Montenegrins oppose NATO membership, with 36 percent welcoming it. The country is home to 600,000 people.

Another anti-NATO protest took place in Montenegro’s capital earlier in October, involving as many 5,000 people who clashed with police after demanding President Djukanovic step down due to his pro-alliance stance.

Posted in EuropeComments Off on ‘Murderers’: Thousands in Montenegro protest against NATO membership

European MP claims U.S. buying stolen oil from Daesh terrorists

NOVANEWS

European MP claims U.S. buying stolen oil from Daesh terrorists using Turkey as a middleman

Turkey is buying oil from Daesh terrorists at half the price and resells it to third countries, a Polish member of the European parliament said Friday, adding that the US shows a great deal of interest in the oil supplied by the terrorists.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke said that the United States was “doing business” on buying stolen oil from Daesh terrorists using Turkey as a middleman.

“I have information from America. America is doing business. Turkey is buying oil from the Caliphate [Daesh] at half the price and America is showing a great deal of interest in this oil,” the European MEP emphasized, adding that this information had been confirmed by top government officials in Lebanon.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke also said that Russia should step in and “undo such schemes.”

Moscow has repeatedly stated that Ankara is the main consumer of illegal oil from Syria and Iraq, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of direct involvement in the oil business of the ISIL group, which is outlawed in Russia.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, ISIL earns around $2 billion annually selling oil from the occupied territories, spending these funds on hiring militants from around the world and equipping them with weapons.

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