Archive | November 23rd, 2016

Unbridled Global Capitalism: People Wake Up! Time is Running Out!


Washington has shown us again on 8 November that they offer only the choice between risking nuclear annihilation of humanity and total corporate privatization of our lives and our live services that we, the people, have created. The latter means impoverishment and enslavement to corporations for the majority of the population. It is a choice between the Satan and Lucifer.

Here are just a few examples of what the establishment gets away with and nobody protests.

The UN Human Rights Commission Expels Russia

On 28 October 2016, the UN kicked Russia out of the UN Human Rights Commission, but keeps Saudi Arabia and of course the US in the HRC – both of which are the largest, most audacious human rights abusers of our planet.

This is the first time in HRC’s history that a member of the Security Council was voted out. The reasons given by the western vassals was Russia’s involvement in Syria, “bombing hospitals and civilians, and supporting the atrocities of the Assad regime”, when exactly the contrary is true.

There is ample evidence that the US/NATO supported ISIS forces and the US / NATO / France / UK themselves are responsible for these deadly bombing raids on Aleppo, executed so that they can blame Russia. It is a ridiculous farce.

Image Saudi King Salman

By now the world knows that the US, NATO and Washington’s Gulf puppets are responsible for devastating the entire Middle East – but nobody objects. The empire – alias the Deep State behind the empire – calls the shots based on flagrant lies. The Deep State, some call it the Illuminati, others the ‘elusive super elite’, is a semi-secretive clan of a few obscenely rich and powerful Zionist-dominated families that since several hundred years have gradually taken over the world which today is at the verge of falling – or has already fallen – under the aegis of the New World Order (NWO).

Baron Nathan Rothschild said already around the year 1700,

“I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”

These words are today as true as they were 320 years ago.

The President of the United States literally boasts about international capital crimes he commits and which nobody condemns – the extra-judiciary drone killings which he personally approves have killed at least 4,700 innocent people, according to official Washington statistics. The real number is at least triple or quadruple that amount. He is wiping out children, women, men, entire families, and nobody beeps.

All those bought western US puppet-UN members, who were compelled to vote against Russia, of course know the truth; they know in their innermost selves – which they are denying – that Russia is actually the only country seriously attempting to bring stability to the Middle East, that the real culprits for the three decades of bloodshed in the Middle East (including the first Gulf War, the Iran-Iraq war, the destabilization of Somalia, the destruction of South Sudan and the West Sudan Region of Darfur – and counting) are the United States and her corrupted vassals, the Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf States that are at the mercy of the empire. By now they also know that the CIA created the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) from Saddam Hussein’s elite forces, that they were trained, funded and armed by the US, Israeli, NATO, French and British secret services. They all obey the orders of the Empire for FEAR, are afraid of sanctions, of bombs and invasions and regime change; they fear of being deprived of Washington’s favors. Fear is the weapon of cowards and against cowards.

The world just looks on, as Russia, one of the few defenders of peace, justice and stability in the Middle East, is expelled from the Human Rights Commission, while the United States is allowed to remain; the country currently involved in seven wars and counting – which has the record in extra-judiciary drone killings (this is a MUST read: “I don’t know how many people I have killed”, says a US drone pilot  – and which is responsible for 10 to 12 million people killed in wars and conflicts directly initiated by Washington, or by proxies, in the last 15 years.

Crisis in Crimea

On 15 November 2016, a UN special committee approved a resolution condemning Russia’s “temporary occupation of Crimea and reaffirming the United Nations’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty over the Black Sea peninsula.” The resolution was approved by 73 to 23 with 76 abstentions. The resolution will most likely be adopted by the 193-member assembly. Most leaders of the world know the truth, but don’t protest against the lies, for fear – what else? – Another horrendous farce!

The US instigated in February 2014 the coup d’état in Ukraine – which prompted the Maidan massacre, actually directed from the US Embassy in Kiev, followed by an atrocious civil war, supported and nurtured by Washington, the European Union and NATO. The autonomous authorities of Crimea, of which more than three quarters of the population are Russians, decided they didn’t want to remain part of the newly western implanted Nazi regime in Kiev. They launched on 16 March 2014 a referendum to rejoin Russia. It was approved by over 95% of Crimean. The Duma (Parliament) of the Russian Federation accepted integrating Crimea into the Russian Federation. Crimea was not annexed, as the western propaganda apparatus likes its audience to believe. The Crimea peninsula was reintegrated at her own request.

In 1783, through an agreement with the Ottoman Empire, Russia took over Crimea. In 1942 Crimea was briefly occupied by Nazi Germany, but soon retaken by the Soviet Union. In 1954, President Nikita Khrushchev, who had Ukrainian roots, for no apparent reason, transferred Crimea to Ukraine. However, the Soviet Union and later Russia under a 1997 agreement between Ukraine and Russia continued to station part of its Black Sea fleet in Sebastopol, the Crimean Black Sea port. This agreement has since been extended until at least 2042. These legitimate Russian troops in Crimea are called by the presstitute MSM, ‘Russian occupation troops’; a complete lie.

The UN now wants to send a team of human rights inspectors to Crimea to report on Russian occupation and Russian human rights abuses. This is nothing more than a shabby show of propaganda, to make believe that human rights are being abused. For the western brainwashed public, its sufficient that the UN says it sends observers. The public doesn’t even care whether the observers are actually sent, or if they are, what the result is. The sheer fact that the UN is ‘suspicious’, is already an indication of Russian guilt. – Who is the UN anyway? – Lamentably it has become a mere instrument of the US and its western vassals to manipulate public opinion, to bully whoever doesn’t want to bend to the demands of Washington, and to facilitate provocations of conflicts and wars – and lend them legitimacy. There is no Russian occupation and there are no human rights abuses. It’s the typical Russia / Putin bashing propaganda.

Media Propaganda

Do not just accept what the mainstream media tells you! – Get the news from alternative media, on internet, if the national communication authorities prevent you from acceding alternative broadcasting stations, such as RT (Russia Today – English, French, Spanish, German), TeleSur (broadcast in Spanish and English), Chinese CCTV (broadcast in many, including European languages), PressTV, Iran (English, French, Spanish); and websites and journals, like Global Research (English and French), Information Clearing House (ICH), Voltaire Net (many languages), CounterPunch, NEO (New Eastern Outlook), KenFM (German); and many more. Be informed, before it is too late. Tomorrow maybe youare trying to flee from war zones, just to find out that there is nowhere to go. The planet is demolished into smoldering ashes from wars and conflicts everywhere – which We, the People, allowed to happen.

Unbridled Capitalism

In the neoliberal world, where unbridled capitalism reigns, syndicates throughout the west, report that the private sector in general and especially the construction industry (a key economic indicator) is massively firing long-term workers and employees, just to rehire them the next day as part-time workers, with none or drastically reduced social benefits. Corporations increase their profit margins and transfer more public and social capital from the people, the workers, to an ever-smaller elite. The pressure of massive unemployment, the result of western imposed austerity (FED, IMF, World Bank, European Central Bank – ECB), deprives the workers of their dignity and power to resist. They have to fight for their and their families’ sheer survival and are thus, vulnerable for exploitation and abuse. It is western colonization of their own people. No scruples, no moral, no conscience – and foremost, no solidarity. Ever increasing unemployment is what Marx called the capitalists’ cushion on which wages can be suppressed to a minimum for mere survival.

Cartoon David Simonds

‘If you are not happy with working for less, no problem, we’ll outsource your jobs to cheap labor countries. There are plenty’. So, the blackmail goes. And so, oppression is swallowed. And so, the caviar left is whining (and dining) over what can be done to soften the blow, but in no case will they cause any significant risk to the established order, lest they might be next in line for falling between the cracks.

And don’t be fooled, the decaying US infrastructure President-elect Trump wants to rebuild, will be rebuilt by the typical public-private partnership farce – the capital comes from the state – your taxes – and the private sector will take over its exploitation, i.e. you pay twice – first the capital, then the private operator’s profit in the form of fees he will levy on the reconstructed bridges, roads and railways. Another transfer from the poor to the rich.

People, wake up!  There is no longer a ‘left’, since it has been decimated by the CIA led operation GLADIO (an elaborate series of false flags) of the 1960s and 1970s throughout Europe.

Left and right are long-gone concepts our conditioned minds still try to hang on to. They are old fixtures from our ‘democratic’ past, and now they have become part of our delusionary existence. They have long ago yielded to globalized neoliberalism that makes no distinction between left and right, but uses these defunct terms to confuse the public into believing that their vote still means what they believed it once did.

Just look at Greece – where the ‘leftist’ elite allows that their ‘socialist’ Syriza government ruins the lives of 90% of their citizens and compatriots. What they are doing is facilitating crime after crime after crime, as in successive ‘rescue packages’, i.e. debt, and steadily increasing and suffocating austerity. With a declining GDP – (yes, austerity does this to the economy) and an ever-increasing debt, now reaching close to 300% of GDP, it is obvious that Greece can never pay back its debt. Never. Most economists see eye to eye on this. Even the IMF does, if asked off the record, but they too are a mere tool of the Rothschild-led banking establishment, of the world’s Deep State – that has decided that Greece must go the path of no return, as a warning to others who may be intent to no longer bend to the master’s demands. And this is helped because the Greek elite is in connivance with them. They don’t want to leave the Eurozone, as their accumulated (and stolen) wealth is lodged in European banks. They know as well as internationally renowned economists do, that the only rescue for Greece and their compatriots in dire misery is to do a GREXIT, leaving the euro and leaving the EU.

On 16 September 2016, the Greek Parliament rush-approved a Brussels made legislation, written in English (not translated into Greek!), of 7,500 pages. The Parliament was unable to read it, for time and language; and even if they would have read it, they were obliged to sign off on it fast and without squabble. The legislation essentially transferred all public assets to the “European Stability Mechanism” (ESM), and this for 99 years, including infrastructure, sea and airports, public beaches, natural resources – you name it. The ESM, a supranational undemocratic entity will sell off these assets to private people or corporations, as they see fit. Greece has no saying. The ESM does not report to any elected parliament. With this 7,500-page legislation, the Greek Parliament also abrogated its own authority to pass any sovereign Greek fiscal legislation, transferring it quietly to Brussels and signing away Greek sovereignty. The last time a similar event happened was in 1933, when the German Reichstag (Parliament) transferred its legislative authority to Hitler.

How many Greek are aware of this? And nobody is screaming. This is equal to murder of a nation.

People wake up! – What’s happening to Greece can happen tomorrow to anyone of the European countries, starting with the southern Mediterranean nations.

It has already happened in a ‘softer form’, as a parliamentary coup to Spain. And nobody seems to have noticed.

Parliamentary coups coupled with election fraud appear to become the weapon of choice for ‘regime change’, or ‘regime continuation’ (Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain – to name just a few), as best suits the empire. Remarkably, shortly after Obama’s farewell visit to Berlin, where he had intense talks with Madame Merkel and named her the new leader of Europe, Angela Merkel declared on 21 November that she will run for a fourth term during the elections in the Fall of 2017. It will be interesting to see, what Obama promised her on how to ‘convince’ and trick a majority of Germans who are opposed to Mme. Merkel into voting for her anyway. Sputnik reports that two thirds of Germans, according to a YouGov poll, do no longer support her.

Return to national currencies.

There is nothing that can be done, short of abolishing the system altogether, short of accelerating the dismantling of the European (non-)Union, the fall of the Euro, disengagement from NATO – and finally, but most importantly, short of detaching from the fraudulent dollar based pyramid monetary system. For those who are afraid of what might happen when the euro bites the dust – no worries. First, European countries ahve happily (and better) lived without the euro and with their own currencies until only 15 years ago; and second, it may take only a few months to maximum a year for a country to prepare and revert to her own national currency.

A looming banking collapse.

After the election of Donald Trump and perhaps in response to his critique of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve (image right) has announced that it may increase the target range from 0.25%-0.50% to 0.50%-0.75%. This, after it was increased last December for the first time in nearly a decade.

With much of the banking sector – especially the TBTF (too-big-to-fail) banks overstretched and over-speculated to the brink, the slightest interest hike could trigger an avalanche that makes the 2008 crisis look like a walk in the park.

Don’t just swallow another manufactured crisis that transfers the money from your savings, your pension funds, your homes, to the elusive elite behind the banksters and corporations.

GMO Food: We are subject to food monopolies.

A handful of food corporations control more than two thirds of the food we consume.

Image: GMO chemicals

Be sure, they don’t work for your health, they work for their profit which means cutting costs on farming and production processes – and inserting GMOs everywhere. Genetically modified food can be engineered to reduce fertility (already happened as a Monsanto trial with poor farmer families in India in the 1990s), or to carry long-gestation germs of debilitating or deadly diseases, so that when years after ingestion they evolve into epidemies, they may be untraceable to GMOs.

Yet, they serve their purpose, helping massive population reduction, so that a small elite may maintain their lush lifestyle longer with the finite resources of Mother Earth. Population reduction is the key dictum of the Rockefeller-led Bilderberg Society. Henry Kissinger, a Bilderberger ‘scholar’, infamously said already in the seventies, “who controls the food, control the people”.

The machinery moves relentlessly forward on all fronts towards our civilization’s demise. And we don’t even notice it.

People wake up! Humanity’s Intrinsic Values

We need a change, as in redesigning our society according to humanity’s intrinsic values of justice and solidarity. May we follow the little spark of consciousness with which we were all born. It remains in all of our minds, despite the neo-fascist doctrine we are made to live day-in and day-out on an increasing intensity for the last 30-some years. If we do not wake up to this innermost call of conscience, we, as a society, may simply extinct ourselves. And like in times past, the wisdom of indigenous people may survive and carry our human genes forward for a new civilization to emerge – with a new conscience, perhaps increased by a tiny nudge – perhaps.

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As Trump Assembles a War Cabinet, the Kremlin Hopes for Better Relations

Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin has welcomed the election of Donald Trump in the hope that his administration will de-escalate tensions between Moscow and Washington and allow for a rapprochement on the basis of joint action in “the war on terror.” At the same time, there is widespread recognition in Russia of what is commonly described as the “unpredictable” character of the future Trump government, which has already brought onboard right-wing figures associated with the anti-Russian line pervasive in US ruling circles.

According to the Kremlin, in a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump last week, both sides agreed on the “absolutely unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations,” the need to “normalize relations,” and the importance of “constructive cooperation.”

“There is a common political understanding” between the two, said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Friday in Lima, Peru at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. “After Donald Trump officially takes the reins of power in his hands, the goal is to transform this spirit into the language of practical affairs,” he added.

Lavrov expressed disappointment at President Barak Obama’s call for Trump to continue Washington’s current policy towards Russia, saying relations between the two countries have “never been worse.”

In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s victory, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev declared his government’s respect for the “sovereign choice of the American people.” The same day, online news agency described the election as a blow to the “wave of anti-Kremlin material” put out by the mainstream US press, which had accused Russia of “destabilizing the situation in the US.” Social media outlets in Russia, the newspaper reported, were declaring, “On Wednesday (November 9), Russians woke up in a different country.”

According to the polling agency VTsIOM, 46 percent of the Russian population expects an improvement in relations with the US as a result of Trump’s victory. The semi-fascist Republican candidate was promoted in the Russian media as a figure friendly to the country, hostile to the interventionist policies of the current Obama and a future Clinton administration, and sympathetic to the right-wing social ideology embraced by the Kremlin.

The Russian government hopes that the coming to power of Trump will lead to a shift in US policy in Syria, potentially halting the proxy war aimed at overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s only Arab ally. The Islamist forces cultivated by the US as an instrument of imperialist policy are also active in Russia’s Caucasus and in Russia-allied Central Asian states.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Committee on International Relations in Russia’s upper parliamentary house, recently told the newspaper Izvestia: “The United States’ strategic interests regarding Syria are about to change, because until now their priority was not in suppressing terrorism, but in displacing the country’s government. Such changes are in line with Donald Trump’s electoral rhetoric. He has said that the US would stop intervening in the internal affairs of foreign nations. If this really takes place, I see no problems whatsoever that could prevent Russia and the United States from being in the same coalition–one that would base its actions strictly on the norms of international law.”

At the same time, the Kremlin believes it can benefit from the possible weakening of NATO, which Trump criticized during the election campaign. The expansion of the military alliance up to Russia’s borders is understood as an existential threat by Moscow. Monday’s announcement that the Kremlin would be stationing S-400 surface-to-air missiles and the nuclear-capable Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad, the Russian territory situated within the boundaries of Europe, is intended to signal Moscow’s readiness to militarily oppose NATO.

The Kremlin sees new political possibilities in the dismay in European capitals over the US election result and the rifts emerging between Washington and Europe. The Russian ruling elite, notwithstanding its military saber- rattling, is a weak and venal social class, entirely dependent on the global economy for the preservation of its wealth. It attempts to secure its position by seeking an accommodation with the imperialist powers and navigating between their conflicting interests.

In addition, the Russian elite hopes that the incoming Trump administration, with its openly chauvinist and anti-democratic outlook, will cease exerting pressure on Moscow over human rights violations related to Russia’s treatment of gays, immigrants, national minorities and other segments of the population. The Obama administration has used these issues in its campaign against Russia, in a cynical and hypocritical fashion, to portray its imperialist policy as driven by a desire to secure the well-being of oppressed peoples.

The conflict between Russia and the US is not simply the product of the whims of particular sections of the American ruling class, however. It is an expression of the desperate efforts of US capitalism to reestablish its global hegemony through conquest. This mad project objectively places it on a collision course with Russia, whose domination of much of the Eurasian land mass is viewed by the US as an intolerable limitation on its ability to control markets, resources and trade routes.

Any belief that the incoming Trump administration will provide a life-line for the Russian regime is delusional. The president-elect has already given or is considering giving top government appointments to figures known for their virulently anti-Russian positions.

Mitt Romney, with whom Trump met over the weekend to discuss taking on the post of secretary of state, attacked the Obama administration for being insufficiently tough with Russia. As the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, he described the country as “without question our number one geopolitical foe.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another contender for the job, recently observed, “Russia thinks it’s a military competitor. It really isn’t. It’s our unwillingness under Obama to even threaten the use of our military that makes Russia so powerful.”

Mike Pompeo, Trump’s choice for CIA director, is similarly considered an anti-Russia hawk. He has declared the idea that Russia wants to defeat ISIS in Syria to be a “fundamentally false narrative,” and insists that Moscow aims to reassert itself in the Middle East. Like Romney, he thinks President Obama has been too soft on Russia. His positions put him in line with much of the US military and intelligence community.

Powerful sections of the Republican Party, like the Democrats, are similarly hostile to Moscow. Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Trump last week against any effort to improve relations with Russia. “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections,” he said.

Despite the positive response of the Kremlin to Trump’s election, political figures and media commentators in Russia, as well as the US, describe future relations between the two countries as unpredictable and conflict-ridden.

In his remarks on Trump’s victory, Prime Minister Medvedev sounded a cautious note when he observed that a great deal depended on the degree to which the president-elect “is able to preserve those priorities about which he spoke during the election campaign.”

General-Major Aleksandr Vladimirov, president of the Colleagues of War Experts of Russia, insisted that the most that could be hoped for was a return to nuclear arms control and “backing away from the edge of an armed conflict.”

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Invasion of Syria by NATO Member State: Turkey Establishes Second Military Base in Syria.


Turkey has set up a military base in Akhtarin in the province of Aleppo, according to local media activists. The Turkish army, Special Forces and intelligence agencies are expanding their presence in northern Syria amid ongoing clashes between pro-Turkey militant groups and the SDF over the possibility to seize from ISIS the key town of al-Bab. 

On November 21, Kurdish forces attacked pro-Turkey militant groups in Sheikh Nasir and seized the village.

Earlier this year, reports appeared that the Turkish Armed Forces set up a military base south of al-Rai.

A map on the topic from a pro-Turkey map

A map on the topic from a pro-Turkey map

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Obama Administration Pressures European Leaders to Accuse Moscow of “Russian Aggression” against the EU


It’s too early to know if Trump will diverge from longstanding US policy toward Russia, wanting regime change – pro-Western puppet governance replacing its sovereign independence.

EU leaders and parliamentarians bow to US pressure, time and again absurdly calling Russia a threat, harming their own self-interest in the process.

Sanctions were imposed and renewed. EU leaders and European parliamentarians said they’ll remain in place as long as (nonexistent) “Russian aggression” continues, and the overwhelming will of Crimeans to rejoin the Russian Federation is reversed.

The European Parliament, Council of the European Union and European Commission share EU legislative functions separate from individual member states’ right of initiative power to propose and enact new laws for their respective countries.

In October, the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee endorsed a document titled EU Strategic Communication to Counteract Propaganda Against It by Third Parties.”

Without supporting evidence, it accused Moscow of spreading “disinformation and propaganda seeking to maintain or increase (its) influence to weaken and split the EU.”

 Without justification, it claimed “a large part of the Kremlin’s hostile propaganda is aimed at describing some European countries as belonging to ‘Russia’s traditional sphere of influence,’ thereby undermining their sovereignty and deeply rooted European identity, which in the past has been undermined by communist regimes.”

It nonsensically said “Russian backing of anti-EU forces in the EU with regard, in particular, to extreme-right parties, populist forces and movements…den(ies) the basic values of liberal democracies.”

It  added Russia’s “main strategy is to circulate and impose an alternative narrative, often based on a manipulated interpretation of historical events and aimed at justifying its external actions and geopolitical interest.”

EU parliamentarians are currently considering a resolution aimed at “tackl(ing) Russian and ISIS propaganda.”

It calls for “respond(ing) to information warfare by Russia and Islamist terrorists with more positive messaging, awareness raising, and education in information literacy” – along with adopting “stronger counter measures.”

The current debate follows shameless anti-Russia accusations made in the document discussed above.

Saying EU nations face “growing pressure from disinformation (from Russia and other countries, along with) non-state actors like ISIS” and other terrorist groups, as well as legitimate news sources like RT and Sputnik News, “challeng(ing) democratic values and (serving to) divide Europe” is pure nonsense.

Russia threatens no one. Western media scoundrels lack legitimacy. RT and Sputnik News represent what good journalism is supposed to be.

America and its EU allies support ISIS and other terrorist groups, using its fighters as imperial foot soldiers, ignoring their atrocities.

Deplorable Cold War mentality persists. It remains to be seen if Trump intends changing things or continuing dirty business as usual. A lot rides on his geopolitical intentions.

A Final Comment

Commenting on EU policies toward Russia, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(i)t is difficult to make conclusions on pre-election statements.”

“What is more important is manifestation of those intentions the current government is already trying to implement. So far one cannot speak about changing trends in the policy of the current heads of the European countries. There are still many issues which can be solved and which are difficult to solve.”

“So far we see that the current leaders are incapable of solving those problems, which could be solved in the near future, by using equitable dialogue and taking into account interests of each other.”

“(W)e have serious disagreements but we should not block the development of our relations in those areas where they are possible, where it is necessary in the interests of people of our countries.”

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The Dems and the GOP. Two Uncle Sams: A Profoundly Sick Society


“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“With a total of 7,100 US nuclear warheads as of August 2016 and an estimate reported two years ago of 2,150 operationally deployed nukes, America could destroy itself four times over while Russia’s 7,300 nuclear weapons would likely carry the same tremendous overkill power.” (Joachim Hagopian, Neocon Insanity, Global Research, November 2016)

Once upon a time, when choosing a new president, a factor for many voters was the perennial question: “Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button?” (Michael Klare, Who’s finger on the Nuclear Button, November 7, 2016

Anthony Freda
Citation Edits, M. Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor

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Selecting the Next US Secretary of State


In the aftermath of his victory, US President-elect Donald Trump has come under scrutiny in his cabinet appointments. Across the political spectrum, concern has been raised over his reported choices for the top diplomatic position of secretary of state.

Public relations wise, Trump benefits by having a lengthy and diverse selection process – something that appears relatively evident. His reported consideration for John Bolton and Mitt Romney could be construed as a message of accommodation to those with neocon leanings. As US president, Trump has to deal with what his predecessors have faced – trying to reach out to the opposition, while not drifting too far away from the stated counter preferences.

For sure, the appointment of Romney as secretary of state, will be seen as a backtracking from Trump’s inclination to seek improved US-Russian ties. Trump and Romney had harsh things to say of each other. Their recent meeting, serves the optical impression of both men putting aside their differences out of respect for the country and its highest office. Whether they’ve actually buried the hatchet to the point of having Romney as secretary of state is questionable.

Selecting the Next US Secretary of State

During the transition period to the presidency, Trump has conferred with Henry Kissinger and (as reported) is considering long-time Republican California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, for the secretary of state position. From a constructively critical, pro-Russian realist perspective, Rohrabacher seems like the best candidate under reported consideration. He has an extended Capitol Hill background in addressing foreign policy issues. In the last few years, Rohrabacher has shown (when compared to his congressional peers) an objective enough understanding of Russia’s position.

In comparison to some of the other reported secretary of state candidates (notably Bolton and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani), Rohrabacher should have an easier timer in getting Senate confirmation approval for the position in question. Bolton is viewed in some influential circles as having an overly aggressive foreign policy stance. Giuliani’s business ties outside the US and his degree of substantive foreign policy experience have been questioned. He is perhaps better suited for a spot dealing with domestic matters. Giuliani’s support base, close ties to Trump and interest in the secretary of state job, improves the New Yorker‘s odds in getting that position.

Rohrabacher’s long standing pro-Israeli Reagan Republican persona makes him compatible with much of the American political establishment. In the 1990s, he supported a hardline stance against Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro). More recently, he has advocated wooing Russia away from China. This latter advocacy appears difficult. Ideally, the Kremlin seems to seek improved ties with the West, without hindering its relationship with Beijing. Rohrabacher has suggested that recognizing Kosovo’s independence is a basis for considering Crimea’s changed territorial status. (Along with some others, neocons and neolibs assert that Kosovo’s independence is legit unlike Crimea’s reunification with Russia. If anything, I believe the reverse to be true. This is a subject worthy for a lengthy high profile debate.)

In their coverage of the secretary of state opening, the three main US cable TV news stations (Fox, MSNBC and CNN) have had little, if any mention of Rohrabacher being considered for that spot – instead focusing on the other candidates. Trump is known to detest (what he sees) as flawed aspects of the media. His selection of Rohrabacher would serve the purpose of sticking it to the media, as well as choosing an acceptable enough individual by mainstream standards.

Besides Rohrabacher, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, is the other reported secretary of state candidate, who is currently in elected office, with establishment foreign policy experience. Corker’s foreign policy views don’t match Trump’s perspectives as well as Rohrabacher’s.

For the purpose of cozying up to the establishment, the selection of Corker or Romney would be Trump’s best bet. On that score, Rohrabacher arguably falls somewhere between them and the options of Bolton or Giuliani. The establishment’s main sticking point against Rohrabacher, pertains to some of his Russia related views.

For now, the constructively critical, pro-Russian realist position should not be too hung up over the likes of former CIA head James Woolsey, involved with Trump’s transition. Granted, that Woolsey’s personal opinions on Russia leave something to be desired, as evident during a recent RT Worlds Apart Show. (Concerning that particular show, too bad there was not more follow-up on some of his comments. Contrary to Woolsey, anti-Russian bigotry has been regretfully present in instances that include the bigoted influence of the Captive Nations Committee and the hypocritically flawed effort to get Russia banned from the Olympics.) Notwithstanding, Woolsey exhibits some flexibility in his stating the possibility for improved US-Russian relations.

Jared Kushner is said to be quite influential with his father-in-law Donald. To the dismay of some Russia unfriendly elements, Kushner’s New York Observer owned publication (recently renamed as Observer) has featured the politically incorrect commentary of Mikhail Klikushin. There’s of course Trump himself, who has pointedly gone against some of the establishment biases against Russia.

Let’s see how all of this plays out.

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Trump’s Election Overshadows Asia-Pacific Summit. Will Trump Discard the TPP Trade Agreement?


The uncertainty, instability and political recalibrations being produced in governments around the world by Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential election were on display at this weekend’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru.

Formally, the US was represented by its lame duck president, Barack Obama, but Trump’s election cast a long shadow over the gathering of 21 government leaders. There was a clear sense of growing pessimism as the incoming Trump administration adopts a more nakedly protectionist, nationalist and militarist policy.

With his threats of imposing 45 percent tariffs on Chinese and other imports, supposedly to protect “American jobs,” Trump has cast aside the pretences of “free trade” through which previous administrations sought to maintain the US post-World War II economic domination of the region.

Following Trump’s win, Obama dumped his previous commitment to use his lame duck period to seek US congressional ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Far from representing “free trade,” this pact was itself an aggressive American-led trade bloc that sought to exclude China and establish unchecked US economic power over the region.

As Obama repeatedly stated, the TPP was the economic arm of his administration’s “pivot” to Asia to combat Beijing’s rising influence. Via the TPP, the US would write the rules of global trade, not China, he declared. Trump’s “America First” protectionism, however, dispenses with the fig leaf of “free trade” and “open markets” and belligerently asserts US interests over all its rivals, especially China.

Throughout the protracted US election campaign, Trump sought to deflect intense domestic working-class discontent and alienation from the US corporate and political establishment by declaring he would “make America great again” by protecting “American jobs” at the expense of US rivals, notably China and Japan.

Trump’s blunt assertion of US interests is compelling every other government to re-position itself for direct economic conflict.

In a speech at the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping assertively promoted a Chinese-led Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which would include India but exclude the US and other North and South American members of APEC.

For diplomatic reasons, Xi depicted the RCEP as a step toward a broader Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) that would cover all 21 APEC members. In return for support for China’s plans, Xi promised to further open up China’s markets and its cheap labour force to be exploited by transnational corporations.

“We will give greater access to foreign investment and continue to set up high-standard pilot free trade zones in China,” Xi said. “China’s investment climate will be more open, favorable and transparent, thus allowing foreign companies to share in China’s growth opportunities.”

His pitch escalated Beijing’s efforts to woo former US allies away from their enlistment in the US “pivot” against China by promising investment and commercial opportunities. In recent weeks, such largesse has been showered on Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

While still publicly holding out hopes of reviving the TPP, Australia and New Zealand warned that they could be forced to follow China’s lead if those hopes were dashed. Both countries are caught in an intensifying dilemma: they depend heavily on exports to China but they have relied upon military and strategic alliances with the US since World War II.

Speaking of the RCEP, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters: “It’s not as far-reaching as the TPP but the more access we can get to more markets for our exports, the better.” On his way to the APEC summit, Turnbull sought a meeting with Trump, but his request was denied, intensifying the angst in Canberra about the implications of the new president-elect.

Likewise, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the US was an important partner in the region but China would fill the void if the Trump administration backed away from so-called free trade. Key spoke of the “tremendous despair” triggered by Trump’s trade views.

Japan’s ruling elite faces an acute crisis. One of the Beijing regime’s most stridently nationalistic outlets, the Global Times gloated over the impact of Trump’s policies on Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government had counted heavily on the TPP as a means of reversing the country’s long economic stagnation.

“Trump’s claims that he will discard the TPP and pressure Japan to pay for American military stationed in Japan have left Abe uneasy and have placed Japan’s strategy of relying on the US to contain China at risk of bankruptcy,” a Global Times editorial stated. It asserted: “China is more capable of shaping Asia-Pacific geopolitics.”

The Japanese government, which still heads the third largest global economy, may seek to refashion the TPP as a Japanese-led bloc to assert its own imperialist interests. According to the Japan Times, the leaders of the 12 TPP states agreed on Saturday to step up efforts to ratify the agreement domestically. It quoted Abe saying: “If we stop our domestic procedures, the TPP will be completely dead.”

On his way to the APEC summit, Abe made a hastily-organised trip to New York to meet Trump, reflecting the concern in Tokyo over the implications of Trump’s policies. While that meeting produced empty statements reiterating the importance of the US-Japan alliance, Abe also used the APEC gathering to attempt to strengthen Tokyo’s ties with other governments, including Russia, South Korea and the Philippines, as a means of offsetting the US shift and countering China.

The APEC summit concluded with a token statement committing all 21 members to “keep our markets open” despite the “rising skepticism over trade.” In the pages of the corporate media, however, different conclusions are being drawn.

Writing in Murdoch’s Australian today, Henry Ergas forecast that Trump’s protectionism could provoke “trade wars that would be enormously costly for Australia and the world.” Whereas some political and media pundits have peddled illusions that, once in office, Trump may soften his aggressive policy, Ergas warned that the “pain” of further job losses in the US “Rust Belt” would make it “harder and harder for Trump to back away from the anti-trade rhetoric that dominated his campaign.”

As in the 1930s, trade war leads inexorably to military war. Trump has vowed to expand the US army to 550,000 and the navy to 350 ships—a decision that one of his advisers, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, last week declared would ensure that “China can’t match us in the Pacific.”

The disarray generated by Trump’s victory is a prelude to explosive and potentially catastrophic economic and military conflicts over which ruling elite will dominate the Asia-Pacific.

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Dakota: Police Blast #NoDAPL Activists With Water Cannons in Sub-Freezing Temperature

dakota access pipeline

Law enforcement unleashed percussion grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures on peaceful water protectors battling the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota late Sunday.

An activist’s drone captured the onslaught:

And Native American news outlet showed the scene from the ground, with water protectors peacefully standing and chanting “water is life” as they were soaked by a water cannon:

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department’s assault came in response to Indigenous activists’ attempts to clear away the husks of two burned-out cars on Highway 1806, which leads to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s main protest camp, said the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Dallas Goldtooth:

Independent outlet Unicorn Riot, which had reporters on the ground throughout the six-hour standoff, said that over 160 people were injured. Those injured included a 13-year-old-girl who was shot in the face by rubber bullets, two people who suffered cardiac arrest, and multiple cases of hypothermia as a result of the water cannons, the outlet reported.
“Water cannons. Rubber bullets. Mace. Flash grenades. It’s an army vs. unarmed people who only want to protect their water and graves,” commented Indian Country Today writer Ruth Hopkins.

Water protectors and supporters posted photos and updates from the scene on Twitter throughout the night:

The astonishing show of force was only the latest in a series of violent assaults from law enforcement targeting the peaceful Indigenous activists taking a stand to protect their drinking water and sacred sites.

And this latest attack “comes at a difficult time for Indigenous activists at the camps,” as the Guardian writes.

“We have a very harsh day coming up now,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II told the newspaper. “In my family we never celebrated Thanksgiving. It was always a day of mourning for the day that genocide began on this continent. This all just goes to prove what we’re talking about.”

Despite the sustained protest and violence from law enforcement, the pipeline construction company is still refusing to consider rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline. “There’s not another way. We’re building at that location,” Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren told CBS News.

Activists and environmental groups are calling on President Barack Obama to step in and take action—before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Greenpeace spokesperson Mary Sweeters said Tuesday: “Law enforcement put people’s lives in danger last night as water protectors attempted to clear a path for emergency services to reach the camp. President Obama must step in to stop the pipeline and end the violence immediately. This is about standing up for Indigenous people’s rights and sovereignty. This is about ensuring Standing Rock’s survival by protecting its water supply and land. It is time to do the right thing before more damage is done.”

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Movement at Marrakech: Climate Change in the Shadow of Denial. “The Trump Electoral View”


While it was all but obscured in the course of the US presidential excitement, negotiators at the climate change conference in Marrakech were busy attempting to hammer out the means to implement the Paris Climate Agreement.

The long and confusing shadow cast over the negotiations was considerable. Donald Trump has made no bones about climate change as a plot conjured up by other interests, specifically Chinese ones. “The concept of global warming,” he tweeted in 2012, as is his wont, “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

During the election, Trump became the spokesperson for dirty industries, fossil fuels and lost dreams, lauding the virtues of coal and mocking strategies and policies directed to alternative energy. The latter, or so he positioned himself, was the stance of the chatting class do-gooders. Embracing coal, oil and gas was a means of embracing the disenfranchised, a true fit of muscled nostalgia.

This Trump electoral view (governing may be more complicated) is cosmically different from the stance taken by the Obama administration, which has made it a point to come to some agreement with China to harmonise ambitious climate change policies and the push towards decarbonisation.

To that end, the negotiations were taking place as theatre rather than substance, a grand contingency. US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of “the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the United States, who know climate change is happening and who are determined to keep our commitments that were made in Paris”.

While the front displayed by member states in attendance was one of comity and the firm common ground, the background note was shrill: tribalism and populism hovering with menace, environmental agencies fearing a slash in their funding.

As Gernot Wagner and David Keith note in Foreign Affairs (Nov 21), “Global warming is a near-perfect example of the tragedy of the commons, as it is a problem that no individual action, no single country can resolve on its own.” Trump, pulling the plug on the effort, might well propel the stage towards greater fractiousness and self-interest.

The other facet of this is to assume that any damage will be minimised by technological efforts and factors that are not within the control of the White House. The private sector, for instance, has been moving in the direction of alternative energy for years.

There are also logistical issues, the paperwork nightmare about withdrawal. The length of time it will take to disentangle the US from the machinery of the climate change framework would take up to four years.[1] A better option there would simply be non-enforcement and foot dragging.

Should the United States withdraw, others will step in. China has already indicated its enthusiasm in taking over should the US step back. This is bound to prove bruising for American pride, and it is a point the advisors will be wise to keep in mind.

As for the conference itself, there was continued emphasis on the problem of squaring the gap between National Determined Contributions (NDCs), otherwise known as the government’s climate commitments, and the overall aim of keeping the global temperature rise significantly below 2 degrees centigrade.

One way of doing so has been advanced by Markku Markula, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR). “The EU,” suggested Markula, “must take the lead and incorporate cities’ and regions’ carbon emission achievements in time for the next NDC revision period that starts in 2018” (EU Committee of the Regions, Nov 21).[2]

Initiatives such as the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Change and the 2050 Pathways Platform, both designed to mesh the cooperative mechanism between all levels of government, were also launched. This is not merely a case of State intervention, but that of the city and the region. Across cities and regions in the United States, “green” initiatives are also being undertaken. Not all hands of endeavour, destructive or otherwise, stem from the White House.

Given the nature of his unruly mind, there is nothing to suggest that Trump would not relent on the issue of climate change limits, provided he sees business running through it. The word to repeat here is competitiveness, even if that aspect retains a distinct hollowness to it. What comes into the boardroom of that particular reality show is bound to vary.

As a case in point, the president-elect, ever unpredictable, now claims there is “some connectivity” between human agency and climate change. As for the 2015 Paris climate accord? “I’m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it.”[3]

Not that the mind is so open, if the appointments to the transition team is anything to go by. Mryon Ebell, senior fellow at the Competitive Research Institute, has the Environmental Protection Agency in his sights. On the surface, the appointment resembles, in its comic dimensions, the appointment by President George W. Bush of John R. Bolton to the post of UN Ambassador.

The recipe for administrative chaos is being followed, and the point of concern will be specific to such matters as the Clean Air Act or a reduction of funding for such bodies as the National Science Foundation. While Trump is not an ideologue, some of his appointees are.

For the moment, much of what took place in Morocco may well be a dead letter once the president-elect storms his way onto the international stage. The greatest concern will the anti-climate change zeal from those ideologues clinging in eager anticipation to Trump’s coattails.


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