Freedom Rider: U.S. Pushes Russia Towards War

russia_wants_war_look_how_closely_they_put_country_to_our_military_bases

By Margaret Kimberly

Source: Black Agenda Report

The United States has intervened in too many countries without paying a high enough price.”

This columnist recently said that “Russia Wins” in its handling of America’s attempt to eviscerate its influence and its economy. At the time those words were written Secretary of State John Kerry met with Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. The meeting appeared to be an admission that the imperial power grab was not working out as Washington hoped. Among other things, Kerry was concerned that the Ukrainian tail was starting to wag the American dog.

In a public statement he warned Ukrainian president Poroshenko, who threatened to retake Crimea and the Donbass. “We would strongly urge him to think twice not to engage in that kind of activity, that that would put Minsk [accords] in serious jeopardy. And we would be very, very concerned about what the consequences of that kind of action at this time may be.” Barack Obama promptly tossed Kerry under the bus upon his return home.

Kerry’s subordinate Victoria Nuland and the United Nations ambassador Samantha Power repeated the very words that Kerry warned against and contradicted everything he said. Power went to Kiev to sing the praises of the Ukrainians in person. She didn’t have to mention Kerry by name, her presence alone said that he and any talk of diplomacy were on the outs. Of course the meeting between Kerry and Putin had to have been approved by president Obama, but just one month later it appears to have been a figment of the world’s imagination.

Russia has every right to arm its own territory.”

In the battle to stay on top of the world and remain in control of it, Washington inevitably lurches back and forth in its policy decision making. Now they and their scribes in corporate media have settled back into comfortable territory, simultaneously vilifying the Russian government and endlessly repeating anti-Russian propaganda.

A recent New York Times editorial with the grandiose title, “The Fantasy Mr. Putin is Selling,” claimed that president Putin has a “willingness to brandish nuclear weapons.” There was no mention of America’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002. Not content to tell one lie the Times then criticized Putin for “aggressive behavior, including pouring troops and weapons into Kaliningrad, a Russian city located between NATO members Lithuania and Poland.” Of course, Russia has every right to arm its own territory. The Times also neglected to mention that the American military are positioning weapons and holding training exercises in Ukraine, Poland, Romania and the Baltic states that border Russia. It seems that those provocations are not deemed worthy of mention.

The New York Times and its counterparts always play this role. They cozy up to president Obama as they have with all his predecessors and support any and all of their mischief. Far from being a voice of information for the public, they do the bidding of the powerful and are accessories to their crimes.

Antagonizing Russia is riskier than paying jihadists to take over Libya.”

The Obama administration is in the process of killing the Minsk accords which were shepherded by France and Germany. This is the only process which can defang the beast, and that is why it is being sabotaged. The United States has intervened in too many countries without paying a high enough price. It is like a serial criminal who remains at large and thus thinks of himself as invincible. This county is responsible for carnage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria and that is the list of victims only since 2001.

One has to ask where and when the straw will break the camel’s back. American military power has allowed it to run rough shod over humanity, but antagonizing Russia is riskier than paying jihadists to take over Libya.

Not only does the United States have the most and the biggest guns but it has the corporate media at its disposal, parroting every word as if they were gospel truth. Americans who think of themselves as well informed will be in for a shock if Moldova turns out to be the flash point for open warfare that was instigated by their government.

Russia will never be beholden to America.”

Everyone knows that an assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 pushed the world into war. In 2015 the signs are ominous that something terrible may happen because of an incident in Transnistria or Donetsk or some other locale Americans know nothing about.

The process of marginalizing Russia began as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed. While the Warsaw Pact disbanded, NATO grew at Russia’s expense. But Russia will never be beholden to America. There is no puppet they can place in the Kremlin. These fantasies have put the world on the brink.

Obama and his friends in NATO may not want to start a war but they may get one all the same. Of course the president is concerned about his legacy. He ought to be. If he continues as he has done since 2009, his legacy may be that he was head inmate in the asylum when the last war began.

 

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

Posted in anti-war, corporate news, Empire, Geopolitics, History, propaganda, society, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Upheaval Dialogues: 2012 Reconsidered

2012_1

By Christopher Knowles

Source: The Secret Sun

Before my trip to New Hampshire I was working on a post arguing that the 2012 prophecies were not incorrect but simply premature. That 2012 seemed to mark a turning point of a sort, a distinct change in the worldwide weather, if you will. You can point to to 2012 and see a number of trends that have metastasized since then, in the geopolitical situation, but also in our politics, in the economy, in social relations.

A lot of this is cynical manipulation, a reaction to the legitimate threat once posed by the Occupy movement. We’re seeing a lot of gamesmanship at work, a lot of people being given the rope with which to hang themselves. That will become more apparent by this time next year. Politics at every level is all smoke and mirrors today- believe nothing you see.

But there’s something much deeper at work. We’re seeing mass die-offs of wildlife, particularly that of sealife, all over the world. Most troubling are the mass die-offs of bees, animals that our food supply is so dependent on. Whether through carbon emissions or through geoengineering, we’re also seeing dangerous levels of pollen on the increase and the attendant increase in respiratory illness.

And there have been attendant signs in the sky- the Sun seems to have gone quiet, perhaps presaging a long and difficult period of solar inactivity, one that could presage a mini-ice age. After years of mocking “believers,” scientists are once again recognizing that there are two giants beyond Pluto (one may be a brown dwarf)*.

What effect they might have on our planet is debatable (some claim they are the source of all the invaders we’ve come to worry so much about; asteroids, meteors, etc), there’s no shortage of “Nibiru” scare mongers on the Internet preaching apocalypse one minute, then selling “survival” trinkets and gimcracks in order to stave off your doom the next.

We’ve also seen strange signs on the earth- a rise in earthquake and volcanic activity (a major volcano could block out the Sun for many parts of the world, causing famine), an increase in gigantic sinkholes (massive hollowing out of the surface layer of the earth) and in the Pacific, violent typhoons. Hurricane season in the Atlantic has been relatively quiet since 2012’s Superstorm, but that might be the literal calm before the storm.

And of course, there is the endless drumbeat of war. There is the endless slaughter and massive displacement in the Middle East (with ancient Gnostic sects such as the Druze, Yazidi and Alawites targeted for genocide by Jihadists) and the growing tension in Eastern Europe. There’s also the uptick in terrorism in Europe (Charlie Hebdo, the attack in France today), although intolerable is not even a speck of the carnage people elsewhere in the world suffer on a daily basis, especially as struggles between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims escalate to global proportions. Syria, Yemen, Pakistan…the list of sectarian carnage is mind-numbing.

Toothless NATO protectorates like Sweden are easy targets for the Sino-Russian ascendancy, which is why the US is moving heavy artillery in the area. But the state of constant war is such that drone pilots are reporting record levels of stress and burn-out.

Poltical and social tensions have increased in this country, though in comparison to what’s going on in the rest of the world it seems like a footnote (certainly the endless political bickering on the ‘Net does). On a personal level, I’m seeing so many people I care about under serious stress. It’s as if the entire solar system is in convulsions, from the macrocosm to the microcosm.

As many of us warned about, the corporate Christianity of the 80s and 90s has sparked an enormous backlash, with many young people walking away from religion (and pretty much everything else) entirely. Church leaders are now realizing the error of their shotgun wedding to partisan politics, even as Christianity rises in ways once unimagined in Africa, Russia and China.

But the collapse of religious faith especially among vulnerable working class populations has left a huge void, one which pandemic drug abuse is filling.

A deep and abiding nihilism has gripped the entire world– not just the West– and all of the chaos and upheaval we are seeing now is a symptom of that. 

What is going to heal that?

Science is increasingly proving itself to be corrupt and compromised. Transhumanism (now just a fading dream, despite some of the hysteria you still see) won’t fill the void, virtual reality (which never has and probably never will live up to its hype) won’t fill the void, forcing the world in a Borghive will just make magnify the problem, just as the Internet can turn a quiet, Type B “nice guy” or “nice girl” into a raging, misanthropic troll.

So was 2012 the turning point? The beginning of a period of upheaval? Hollywood sells us the myth of overnight apocalypse (“The Day After Tomorrow”) but history teaches us that periods of upheaval are slow in getting started, so much so that they are hardly recognized as such until it’s too late.

History also teaches us that chaos has its own genius and often turns on the men who seek to unleash it for their own benefit. We’re not seeing true chaos on a worldwide scale yet, but the beast is straining at its leash, that’s for certain.

And you can also bet the farm that we’ll see what Jacques Vallee calls the “Control System” awake from its slumber. It already has, though that too has largely gone unnoticed. But not for much longer.

You will live in interesting times…

UPDATE: Speaking of which, are you watching what’s going on in the Chinese Stock Market?

UPDATE: The weaponization of space is proceeding apace, ostensibly to counter threats from China and Russia. There are strange linguistic undertones in the press release, however….

 

*The reason I don’t pay any attention to astronomers’ bold claims of distant solar systems is that they have no friggin’ idea what’s floating around in ours. Or they do and are lying about it. Either way.

Posted in consciousness, culture, Empire, Environment, History, society, Spirituality, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saturday Matinee: King of Devil’s Island

King_of_Devil's_Island

“King of Devil’s Island” (2010) is a Norwegian drama directed by Marius Holst based on a true story. Benjamin Helstad stars as Erling, a new arrival at Bastøy youth prison who befriends Olav (Trond Nilssen). When Olav witnesses a horrible crime committed by the Housefather against a fellow prisoner the friends must struggle against overwhelming odds for justice. The film combines elements of classic prison/student rebellion films and “Lord of the Flies” and features a memorably atmospheric soundtrack by Johan Söderqvist and Sigur Rós.

(Note: May not work on some portable devices.)

Posted in Art, culture, Film, Saturday Matinee, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There are No Easy Solutions for White Terrorism

 

White Christians are not termed terrorists by media

By Jason Lee Byas

Source: Center for a Stateless Society

On June 17th, a white man named Dylann Roof murdered nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (EAME). I mention race because it was not a coincidence – this was an act of terrorism in the service of white supremacy.

Understandably, people are scrambling for an easy solution, and most proposals involve some show of state force. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are no easy solutions, and most suggestions would only make things worse.

For example, many have used the shooting to push for stronger gun control measures. This is a non-starter.

Roof’s bloodbath was less than ten miles away from where white police officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott, a black man who was running away. Slager’s case is unique in that we actually know about it, and that he was actually charged. Police kill countless Americans every year, and blacks are most likely to be their victims.

Black people — not just in Charleston, but throughout the United States — experience the police as occupiers, not protectors. Centralizing firearm ownership in the hands of the police will not protect people of color, because the police are the exact group most likely to terrorize people of color.

Furthermore, the actual effect of gun control laws has been to incarcerate black Americansat a rate more disproportionate than any other federal statute, including drug-related offenses. It is not just that gun control leaves disadvantaged communities dependent upon those most likely to terrorize them. Gun control itself is often the pretext of that terrorism.

Many who resist calls for gun control instead point to “doing something” about mental illness. This convenient narrative forgets that people deemed mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators.

It also forgets that Roof’s problems were ideological, not psychological. Instead of just shrugging and saying “you can’t fix crazy,” we should confront Roof’s actual motive, white supremacy.

Finally, there is one almost universally endorsed response to Roof’s crime: his punishment. Some have also urged South Carolina to enact hate crime legislation, so that future Dylann Roofs can be punished even more harshly.

This, too, will only make things worse. No one will be made better off by Roof’s punishment, and the punitive focus of our legal system will rob survivors and victims’ loved ones of what restitution and restoration could have been made instead.

In Roof’s case, survivors and victims’ loved ones have publicly forgiven him, pleading that he repent. That is their desire. Our legal system’s desire, by contrast, is the satisfaction of public bloodlust.

If we are truly interested in fighting racism and violence against marginalized populations, punishment — and its expansion through hate crime legislation — is extremely counterproductive. The same groups “protected” by these statutes are the ones most likely to be harmed.

This is why the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (which specializes in protecting transgender and gender non-conforming people) staunchly opposes hate crime laws. As their powerful statement explains:

[H]ate crime laws … expand and increase the power of the … criminal punishment system. Evidence demonstrates that hate crime legislation, like other criminal punishment legislation, is used unequally and improperly against communities that are already marginalized in our society. These laws increase the already staggering incarceration rates of people of color, poor people, queer people and transgender people based on a system that is inherently and deeply corrupt.

By saying that there are no easy solutions, I am not saying that there are no solutions. The point isn’t “do nothing,” and it isn’t “wait around until we have a justice system based on restitution and restoration.”

What we should do instead is develop solutions from below, and step out of the way so those solutions can take effect. EAME, and other black churches like it, have historically been one such solution. They facilitated black self-empowerment, and in 1822, EAME’s founder even plotted a slave revolt.

The response of the white community was to burn down EAME. EAME’s response was to rebuild.

Now, the black community must rebuild again. White Americans must now work to ensure they don’t burn down those rebuilding efforts.

Many black Americans, such as the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, have begun to arm themselves for protection. When our white-dominated government seeks to burn that down by disarming them, it must be stopped.

Beyond just getting out of the way, white Americans must also work to question their own racism and the racism of their white peers.

None of these solutions are quick, and none of them are easy. But they are also the ones that will actually work.

Posted in civil disobedience, culture, divide and conquer, Law, Militarization, police state, Racism, Social Control, society, State Crime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Congress Approves Greater Corporate Predation

2013-08_cartoon

By Stephen Lendman

Source: Steve Lendman Blog

On June 18, House members narrowly approved fast track Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – using procedural gimmicks, bribes and heavy pressure, the usual way corrupt politicians operate.

On June 23, Senate members followed suit. A cloture motion to end debate passed – clearing the way for a Wednesday vote expected to support TPA.

Public Citizen President Robert Weissman commented saying:

The usual “legislative contortions an gimmicks…hand(ed) (corporate predators) their top priority” – the right to ram through Congress with minimal debate and no amendments anti-consumer rapacious trade deals no responsible societies would tolerate.

Overwhelming public opposition doesn’t matter. So-called “free” trade deals are hugely unfair.

People know “these deals will means more export of jobs, more downward pressure on wages,” said Weissman – plus more environmental destruction and loss of consumer protections.

Proposed TPP and TTIP trade bills are corporate scams – designed to rip off populations for maximum profits, no matter the cost to human lives and welfare.

They’ll wreck public healthcare. They’ll make it unaffordable for growing millions. They’ll undermine food safety. They’ll advance environmental destruction. Their secret provisions if made public would cause mass outrage.

Weissman struck a positive note saying when “the American people see what (are) actually in (these) agreements, they are going to force their representatives in Washington to vote (them) down.”

Environmental organization 350.org executive director May Boeve expressed “outrage that Congress…voted to fast track pollution, rather than the job-creating clean energy we need to address climate change.”

“It’s clear this deal would extend the world’s dependence on fracked gas, forbid our negotiators from ever using trade agreements in the fight against global warming, and make it easier for big polluters to burn carbon while suing anyone who gets in the way.”

“That’s why we’re so disappointed President Obama has taken up the banner for ramming this legislative pollution through the halls of Congress, in a way he never pushed for a climate bill.”

Food and Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter said “(s)enators who who provided the margin of Fast Track victory will face angry voters in their next elections.”

“Constituents will hold them accountable for putting the interests of transnational corporations ahead of the public.”

Monied interests run things. Whatever they want, they get. Congressional support for fast track and nightmarish trade deals to follow alone show why America is unfit to live in.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Posted in Corporate Crime, Corruption, culture, Empire, Energy, Environment, Financial Crisis, Labor, Law, news, Recession, Social Control, society, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Techno-Financial Capital & Genocide of the Poorest of the Poor

imagesBy Dr. James Petras

Source: Boiling Frogs Post

Total war from above and the outside breeds total war from the inside and below

Today, the ‘poorest of the poor’ are superfluous to empire and thus the policy of genocide. The current world war between the classes has become a war between exterminators and those who would fight to survive!

‘The war and its results have turned Yemen back a hundred years, due to the destruction of infrastructure . . . especially in the provinces of Oden, Dhalea and Taiz.’- Izzedine al-Asbali, Yemeni Human Rights Minister

‘Yemen is devastated. There are no roads, water or electricity. Nobody’s left but thieves.’- A resident of Sana (Yemen)

The Euro-American and Japanese ruling classes, as well as their collaborators in the Afro-Asian and Latin American countries, have accumulated vast profit. This has occurred through a complex stratified system re-concentrating the world’s wealth through: 1. The exploitation of labor in the First World (North America and Western Europe); 2. super-exploitation of labor in the Second World (China, ex-USSR); 3. dispossession of peasants, native communities and urban dwellers to grab resources, land and real estate in the Third World; and 4. wars of genocide against the poorest of the poor in the ‘Fourth World’. Besides all the forms of brutal exploitation and dispossession, which enrich the Euro-US ruling classes, by far the most sinister and threatening to humanity is the concerted worldwide effort to literally exterminate the poorest-of-the poor, the hundreds of millions of people no longer essential for the accumulation and concentration of imperial capital today.

This essay will begin by mapping the genocidal wars against ‘the wretched of the earth’, identifying the geography of genocide, the countries and subjects under attack, and the trajectory, which has been chosen and executed by the leaders of the Euro-American regimes.

Then we will examine the reason for genocide within the dynamics and forms of contemporary capitalism. In particular, we will develop the genocide hypothesis: that imperial genocide of the poorest of the poor is a deliberate policy to reduce the growing surplus labor, which is no longer needed or wanted for wealth accumulation but is increasingly feared as a potential political threat.

In the last section, we will discuss how the ‘wretched of the earth’ are responding to this policy of imperial genocide and what is to be done.

Mapping Genocide Against the Poorest of the Poor

It is no coincidence that the most violent assaults and invasions by the Euro-American powers have taken place against the poorest countries in each region of the world. In the Western hemisphere, the Euro-US regimes have repeatedly invaded the absolutely poorest country, Haiti, overthrowing the popularly elected Aristide government, decimating the population via a cholera epidemic spread by UN mercenary ‘peace-keepers’, killing tens of thousands of poor Haitians and rounding up thousands of protestors. The occupation continues. Honduras, the second poorest country in the region, experienced a US-backed coup d’état deposed their recently elected president and imposed a terrorist puppet regime, which regularly assassinates dissidents and landless rural workers. Peasants are dispossessed; the economy and society are in shambles with tens of thousands of Hondurans (especially children) fleeing the violence.

Today, the Euro-American powers actively support the absolutist regime of Saudi Arabia as it bombs and slaughters thousands of Yemeni civilians and resistance fighters. Yemen is the poorest country in the Gulf region.

In South Asia, the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan; its coalition of puppets and NATO allies have massacred and displaced millions of poor farmers and civilians. Afghanistan is the poorest of the poor countries in the region.

In Africa, the Euro-American powers and their local collaborators have invaded, bombed and occupied Somalia, Chad and Mali – among the poorest of sub-Sahara countries.

After the US-NATO campaign of destruction against Libya, 1.5 million sub-Saharan Africans and black citizens of Libya lost their stable employment and became the victims of ethnic slaughter. Their attempts to escape the violence and starvation by fleeing to Europe are blocked by the leading powers (the same powers that destroyed the Libyan economy and society). Those, who do not drown in their flight, are detained and returned to their devastated countries and early deaths.

In Western Europe, millions of Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese, inhabiting the poorest countries in the region, have faced massive job losses, widespread impoverishment and spiraling suicides – all induced by austerity programs designed to pillage their economies and enrich their Euro-US creditors.

In the United States, 1.5 million black (mostly male) Americans, are ‘missing’ – products of early death, industrial-scale incarceration and police assassinations. American Indian communities are subject to depredations and early death from the policies of the Federal and State governments. Their lands have been handed over to mining (and now fracking) to serve the interests of the mining and agro-business elite. Throughout the US Latino agricultural workers are increasingly viewed as ‘expendable’ with technology and the effects of global climate change (such as the severe drought in California) depriving them of livelihood.

In the Levant, Palestinians, now the poorest of the poor and the most disenfranchised, face continued Israeli land grabs, pillage and violence in the West Bank and genocidal attacks in Gaza. Iraq and Syria have experienced millions of deaths and displacements, reducing previously prosperous, educated and sophisticated multi-ethnic populations into impoverished, uprooted and desperate people deliberately driven backwards to tribal loyalties.

Why Imperialism ‘Genocides the Poorest of the Poor’

With the exception of Iraq and Syria, all of the violated countries have been poor in resources and markets, and possess large unskilled labor. The people are targeted and savaged because they no longer serve as ‘labor reserves’ – they are now excess-surplus labor – in Nazi racial hygiene terminology, they have become ‘useless mouths to feed’. This has intensified as crisis engulfs the West and the least productive sectors of capitalism, finance, real estate and insurance (FIRE), have become the leading sectors of capital. ‘Cheap labor’ is less needed, least of all overseas labor from conflictual regions.

The ‘poorest of the poor’ countries under attack lack rich resources ripe for plunder; their populations do not exist among the priorities of the multi-national bankers – except when seen as ‘obstacles’. In the colonial past, sectors of these populations would have been recruited by imperial countries to submit, obey and serve as imperial mercenaries or coolie labor. They would have been transported and employed by empire for ‘dirty’, dangerous and poorly paid jobs in other colonized countries – like the millions of Indians scattered throughout the former British Empire. Today, such coolies have no value.

The genocidal nature of the wars against the ‘poorest of the poor’ is best demonstrated by the actual targets and primary victims of these wars: Millions of civilians, families, women, children and heads of households have suffered the worst. These ‘targets’ represent the most stable and essential elements responsible for family reproduction and security. The ‘poorest of the poor’ communities are being destroyed. Genocidal bombing has overwhelmingly targeted the essential factors for survival: cohesive households, communal settings, subsistence food growing regions and access to clean water. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that marriage ceremonies and traditional social gatherings have been ‘mistaken targets’ of missiles and drone strikes. Despite the denials from the White House, the geographic extent and nauseating number of such attacks demonstrate that according to the ‘genocide hypothesis’ there is ‘nowhere to hide’: The targeted populations will have no marriage celebrations, no social life, no increase in children among the poorest of the poor, no protection for the elders, no social fabric and no communal organizations – there will be no survival networks left for the superfluous of empire.

The ‘genocide hypothesis’ underlies the practice of ‘total war’. The practice includes massive attacks on non-military targets (‘Shock and Awe’) and the use of high tech weaponry to target collectives of the poorest of the poor – repeatedly, over long periods of time and wide geographic regions.

If, as the apologists of genocidal wars claim, the bombings of weddings and slaughter of school children are ‘collateral’ in the ‘Global War on Terror’ why are they happening everywhere in the fourth world and virtually everyday?

The genocide hypothesis best explains the data. Even the terminology and claims made by imperialist experts regarding their weapons systems support the genocide hypothesis. These weapons, we are told, are ‘intelligent, precise and highly accurate’ in targeting and destroying ‘the enemy’. By their own admission, then, the poorest of the poor have become ‘the enemy’, as imperial weapons makers support ‘intelligent’ genocide with ‘precision’.

When liberals and leftists criticize how imperial drone strikes kill civilians, instead of ‘armed terrorists’, they are missing the essential point of the policy. The prime purpose of the wars and the imperial weapons of mass destruction is to kill the largest number of the very poorest in the shortest time.

No member of the financial-high tech capitalist class has ever complained about the mass killing of the ‘poorest of the poor’ anywhere or at any time because the victims are, for the purpose of accumulating imperial profit and concentrating wealth superfluous. The poorest don’t figure into the formulae of profit and productivity; they don’t ‘make or take’ markets. On the other hand, their continued existence is a potential liability. They are aesthetically unappealing on the outskirts of luxury resorts. To the rich, they represent a desperate criminal element and they may pose a real or imagined ‘terrorist’ threat. For these reasons, the rich would ‘prefer’ that they would quietly cease to exist, or if the warlords have to dispose of them, the world will be a safer and more attractive place to accumulate wealth. ‘Let them kill each other, as they have done for millennia’, the empire piously opines and the bankers and their high tech allies can use their military and mercenaries without soiling their own hands. The elite ignore the mass immiseration while the militarists bomb ‘the problem’ out of existence.

Today genocide occurs in once vibrant living and working communities, not hidden in ‘concentration camps’. The secret ovens and gas chambers have been replaced by an ‘open range’ of incendiary weapons that end lives, burn neighborhoods and workshops, devastate livestock and crops. Those who survive the bombing are starved, enclosed, malnourished and inflicted with disease. Eminent doctors tell us that the misery is ‘self-inflicted’ and that the poorest of the poor are ignorant and lack healthy habits. Recurrent epidemics from HIV to cholera to Ebola are quintessential ‘4th world diseases’. Even though the Caribbean had not seen cholera for over a century, its introduction into Haiti via the bowels of imperial mercenary troops (UN peacekeepers from Nepal) was blamed on the Haitians’ lack of access to clean water! Not since the small pox blankets passed out by the US Army to freezing Native Americans in their concentration camps of the 19th century have we heard such apologists for genocide!

The truth about genocide is that all this is known, repeatedly documented and forgotten. White workers in the First World cannot even register these ‘facts’ under their own noses, let alone express any form of solidarity. Imperial genocide, committed by proactive militarists and ‘passive’ rich elites, are no secret even if they deny their complicity. The key word here is ‘mission’. ‘Mission Accomplished’ was the celebratory banner over the total destruction of Iraq. The warlords claim rewards for successfully completing ‘the mission’. Yemenis are dying under US-supplied Saudi bombs; Somalis are scattered in tens of thousands of tents to the four corners of the earth; Haitians continue to enjoy the ‘gift of cholera’ from UN ‘peacekeepers’ and rot in massive open air prison-slums – their leaders imprisoned or assassinated.

The Poorest of the Poor Respond

In the face of genocide and their irrelevance to the profit motive of modern high tech and finance capital, the poorest of the poor have chosen multiple responses: (1) Mass out-migration, preferable to the First World, where they won’t be bombed, raped or starved as they had been at ‘home’; (2) Internal migration to the cities, under the illusion of an ‘urban safe haven’ when in fact their concentration in slums makes it easier for the bombers; (3) return to the countryside and subsistence farming or the mountains and subsistence herding, but the missiles and drones relentlessly follow them; (4) mass flight to a neighboring country where the local gendarmes will ‘herd’ them into camps to rot and (5) finally resistance. Resistance takes various forms: There are spontaneous upheavals when the scope of abuse exceeds all endurance. This form involves attacking the local collaborators and gendarmes and authorities and sacking food warehouses. Such action burns briefly and dies (many times literally). Some choose to join armed resistance bands, including gangs of brigands, political ethno-religious rivals and terrorists who retaliate against authors of their genocide and its collaborators with their own version of justice and material and celestial rewards.

Total war from above and the outside breeds total war from the inside and below. The rebellion of the ‘wretched of the earth’ in the 21st century is far different from that portrayed by Franz Fanon in the middle of the last century. Fanon described a revolt against colonialism and neo-colonialism. Today the revolt is against deracination and genocide. During colonialism, the ‘wretched’ needed to be subdued to better exploit their labor and resources. Today, the ‘poorest of the poor’ are superfluous to empire and thus the policy of genocide. The current world war between the classes has become a war between exterminators and those who would fight to survive!

# # # #

Professor James Petras, Boiling Frogs Post contributing analyst, is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. Dr. Petras received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. You can visit his website here.

Posted in culture, Economics, Empire, Geopolitics, History, Racism, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two for Tuesday

Rebel Diaz

Posted in Activism, Art, culture, Music Video, Two for Tuesday, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

US Empire: American Exceptionalism Is No Shining City On a Hill

american-arrogance

By Gilbert Mercier

Source: News Junkie Post

The concept of American exceptionalism is as old as the United States, and it implies that the country has a qualitative difference from other nations. This notion of being special gives Americans the sense that playing a lead role in world affair is part of their natural historic calling. However there is nothing historically exceptional about this: the Roman empire also viewed itself as a system superior to other nations and, more recently, so did the British and the French empires.

On the topic of American exceptionalism, which he often called “Americanism”, Seymour Martin Lipset noted that “America’s ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. The revolutionary ideology, which became American creed, is liberalism in its eighteenth and nineteenth-century meaning. It departed from conservatism Toryism, statist communitarianism, mercantilism and noblesse-oblige dominant in monarchical state-church formed cultures.” Naturally identifying America’s system as a unique ideology, just like calling its successful colonial war against Britain a revolution, is a fallacy. For one, America was never based on social equality, as rigid class distinctions always remained through US history.

In reality, the US has never broken from European social models. American exceptionalism implies a sense of superiority, just like in the case of the British empire, the French empire and the Roman empire. In such imperialist systems, class inequality was never challenged and, as matter of fact, served as cornerstone of the imperial structure. In American history, the only exception to this system based on social inequality was during the post World War II era of the economic “miracle”. The period from 1945 to the mid 1970s was characterized by major economic growth, an absence of big economic downturns, and a much higher level of social mobility on a massive scale. This time frame saw a tremendous expansion of higher education: from 2.5 million people to 12 million going to colleges and universities, and this education explosion, naturally, fostered this upward mobility where the American dream became possible for the middle class.

Regardless of  real domestic social progress made in the United States after the birth of the empire in 1945, for the proponents of American exceptionalism — this includes the entire political class — the myth of the US being defined as a “shining city on a hill” has always been a rationale to justify the pursuit of imperialism. For example, when President Barack Obama addressed the nation to justify the US military intervention in Libya, he said that “America is different”, as if the US has a special role in history as a force for good. In a speech on US foreign policy, at West Point on May 28, 2014, Obama bluntly stated: “In fact, by most measures, America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away are misreading history. Our military has no peer….  I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.”

In his book, Democracy In America, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville was lyrical in his propaganda-like adulation of American exceptionalism, defining it almost as divine providence. “When the earth was given to men by the Creator, the earth was inexhaustible. But men were weak and ignorant, and when they had learned to take advantage of the treasures which it contained, they already covered its surface and were soon obliged to earn by the sword an asylum for repose and freedom. Just then North America was discovered, as if it had been kept in reserve by the Deity and had risen from beneath the waters of the deluge”, wrote de Tocqueville.

This notion, originated by the French author, and amplified ever since, which defined the US as the “divine gift” of a moral and virtuous land, is a cruel fairy tale. It is mainly convenient to ease up America’s profound guilt. After all, the brutal birth of this nation took place under the curse of two cardinal sins: the theft of Native American lands after committing a genocide of their population; and the hideous crime of slavery, with slaves building an immense wealth for the few, in a new feudal system, with their sweat, tears and blood.

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