The Devil’s Milkshake

The water’s just fine!

By Tarence Ray

Source: The Baffler

YOU’VE SEEN IT BEFORE. An industrial disaster poisons a town’s food or water supply. Residents get angry. Public officials try to dispel that anger through a public act of self-sacrifice, of reassurance. They convene a press conference, whereupon some hapless courtier brings forth a chalice of the supposedly poisoned material. And then, in front of God and the television cameras, the public official imbibes.

Examples from recent history abound. In 2019, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe ate possibly irradiated rice balls from Fukushima to demonstrate the progress made toward rebuilding the prefecture since its 2011 nuclear meltdown. In 2013, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper claimed he drank fracking fluid to assuage his constituents’ concerns around natural gas drilling. (Not “tasty,” he said.) And, most famous of all, in 2016 Barack Obama took a sip of (filtered) water from the lead-poisoned water supply of Flint, Michigan, to prove it was safe. (“This is not a stunt,” he noted of the stunt.)

Officials are already lining up to drink the forbidden poison issuing from East Palestine, Ohio. When a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed there earlier this month, producing an airborne toxic event of hazardous chemicals, concerns about the water inevitably arose. Enter one Troy Nehls, a Republican congressman from Texas, who became the first intrepid soul through the breach. On February 16, Nehls—who was inexplicably in Ohio, some fourteen hundred miles away from his district—posted a video to Twitter to get word out that the water was safe. To prove it, Nehls slurped it up. This was promptly followed by a video from Ohio lieutenant governor Jon Husted, wherein a group of public officials huddled together and threw back shots of supposed tap water like they were freshman college students out on the town.

But Nehls and Husted were just the undercard features. On February 21, following reports that Norfolk Southern had funded preliminary tests declaring the water totally safe, Ohio’s Republican governor Mike DeWine and a merry caravan, including an EPA official and a congressman, stalked around East Palestine with news cameras, gamely drinking from residents’ taps. (“That’s good,” the EPA official gushed. “That’s really cold coming from the tap.”) The photos and videos from this danse macabre mirrored Husted’s, but on a grander scale—half a dozen people standing around, toasting and clashing cups together like they were at a medieval banquet. If these dizzying trends hold, it’s probably a matter of time before Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, or even President Biden, follows suit.

Years ago, I surveyed the literature looking for a name or term to describe this phenomenon of consuming potentially tainted materials. After all, it seemed to be increasing in frequency, and I’d even started witnessing it at the level of local politics. But if there was a name, I couldn’t find it. So I gave it one: the Devil’s Milkshake.

The Devil’s Milkshake is bipartisan. Neither Democrats nor Republicans hold monopoly on it. Which means it can be multiple things, depending on who wields it. To some, it’s cynical political theater, meant to make the politician look invincible and brave. To others, it can be a genuine—yet transparently phony—attempt at showing solidarity. And to others still, it abets a kind of mass hysteria, in which public officials feel increasingly pressured to outdo each other for attention and admiration.

The Devil’s Milkshake can also be an effective way for a public official to shirk any commitment to doing something about the conditions that gave rise to the disaster in the first place. One time I was at a town hall in Martin County, Kentucky, where the water system has been degraded by years of coal mining, corruption, and neglect. Residents were getting sick, and they’d convened the town hall to demand action from the local government. But instead of committing to any substantive action, one local official ran to the front of the hall and demanded a glass of that sweet local tap, so he could drink it right there on the spot, and thus prove that nothing needed changing. A few awkward minutes passed, wherein the crowd grew uncomfortable with the prospect of witnessing a man poison himself in public. So they talked the official down. To this day, Martin County’s water is still unsafe to drink.

It’s likely the Devil’s Milkshake is a modern phenomenon. After all, medieval rulers used to employ taste testers precisely in order to avoid being poisoned. But historical examples are nonetheless difficult to track down because the phenomenon has been heretofore unnamed. So I’ve had to crowdsource its history. It’s clear, reviewing this data, that public officials have had to tweak, refine, and workshop the spectacle; it developed over time through a process of trial and error.

A PhD student at Indiana University, Justin Hawkins, sent me what is perhaps the earliest historical example. In the 1850s, New York City was in the middle of an adulterated milk scandal. Across the country, thousands of infants were dying every year from milk cut with “swill”—excess mash from nearby distilleries, whitened with plaster and drained of nutrients. Tammany Hall sent an Alderman named Michael Tuomey to investigate. But Tuomey vigorously defended the dairy owners and their milk supply. While visiting one dairy, Tuomey threw back some whiskey with the farmers, concluded the milk was perfectly safe, and slandered anyone who thought otherwise as “prejudice[d].” But, as Hawkins points out, it’s unclear whether or not Tuomey’s stunt was performed before a crowd. This highlights a crucial ingredient in the Devil’s Milkshake formula: for it to be a proper Devil’s Milkshake, it must be performed in public, or at least in front of cameras.

The second criteria of the Devil’s Milkshake is that one must actually go through with it. This example came to me by way of a researcher friend, Jack Norton. It’s the story of New York governor Hugh Carey who, in 1981, volunteered to drink a big glass of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, from a contaminated state office building in order “to satisfy the unions” that the building was safe. Carey, however, was warned that doing so might actually make him sick, and so he reportedly did not follow through. He nonetheless displayed a curious willingness to put his body on the line for the sake of scoring political points.

Occasionally, the Devil’s Milkshake can be fobbed off on the inferiors or family members of the elected official trying to harness its powers. To illustrate this, we turn to our cousins across the pond. In 1990, four years after the fatal mad cow disease was discovered in Britain’s beef supply, the nation’s agriculture minister, John Selwymn Gummer, carted his four-year-old daughter before news cameras and tried to feed her an “absolutely delicious” hamburger. Six years later, researchers confirmed humans could be infected with the degenerative neurological disease—and in 2007, the daughter of a Gummer family friend died of it. Perhaps Gummer’s logic was that of a hostage taker: if his audience saw his craven recklessness, they, too, might be willing to put their lives on the line to make beef sales go up.

But perhaps the grimmest example of the Devil’s Milkshake is that of Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori and his fisheries minister, Felix Alberto Canal Torres. This story was sent to me by Twitter user @JimmyFalunGong. In 1991, cholera was spreading throughout Peru by way of raw fish, resulting in massive profit losses to the Peruvian fishing industry. In order to get the industry back on its feet, President Fujimori and Minister Torres chowed down on some raw fish live on television, hoping to encourage the public to do the same. Unfortunately, the epidemic wore on for months, eventually killing over three thousand people, and Minister Torres reportedly wound up hospitalized with cholera, no doubt acquired from the raw fish.  

The Gummer and Fujimori-Torres debacles show that, from the very beginning, the Devil’s Milkshake was always just that: a deal with the devil. A gamble. One that, if successful, could pay enormous dividends. But, if unsuccessful, could be very embarrassing. Perhaps that’s why nowadays, the Devil’s Milkshake is most likely just a stage trick. When that aide brings out the chalice, whatever’s inside almost certainly isn’t poison. It’s something harmless that is meant to look poisonous. (Someone on Twitter even pointed out that the officials taking shots of East Palestine’s water in lieutenant Governor Husted’s video had neglected to hide their bottle of Smart Water.) Besides, even if President Obama really did drink lead-poisoned water in Flint, his stunt missed the point: prolonged, chronic exposure is what leads to severe impairment, not a single sip. Race, class, and geography are the major determinants of environmental harm. Most people know this, which is why many Flint residents viewed Obama’s theatrics with skepticism.

Yet I would argue that leaders like President Obama are, like the constituents they seek to deceive, fully aware of this structural truth. It’s what makes the Devil’s Milkshake so strange. The stunt seems to be a tacit acknowledgement by the ruling class that they know the general public doesn’t trust them. (Only 19 percent of Americans believe they can trust the government “most of the time.”) Its recent proliferation must be seen as proof of a ruling class desperate to uphold the illusion of democracy. It is the last gasp of a dying order, drinking and eating its way to the grave, restrained or unwilling to fix anything, and thus doomed to play act a fantasy before klieg lights and newscasters. The dizzying amount of Devil’s Milkshake footage issuing from East Palestine only proves their desperation: these people could not be more unlike you. In fact, the only thing you have left in common with them is the fact that they, too, still have to eat food and drink water to stay alive. That’s it. The Devil’s Milkshake is a measure of the gaping chasm between you and them.

The sad thing is that, sometimes, the water or food in question is actually safe to consume. Watersheds can be hard to wrap your head around. A lot of hysterical and paranoid information leeched into the ether following the East Palestine toxic event. People upstream from the Ohio River worried that they, too, were at risk of exposure. Were boil water advisories fifty miles southeast in Pittsburgh related to the derailment—even though local officials said otherwise? Were birds dying in Kentucky because of the crash? All these places probably are under threat, but from other things entirely: chemical plants, microplastics, algae blooms, air pollution, you name it.

The public has by now seen so many of these large-scale pollution events that they well understand no one will be held accountable; that the clean-up will be, at best, half-assed; and that we’re just going to bide our time until the next one occurs. (Indeed, in the weeks since the East Palestine incident, a commercial tanker truck full of chemicals crashed outside Tucson, killing the driver and releasing a plume of nitric acid into the air; a train derailed in Texas, killing one; another train carrying coal derailed in Nebraska; and on and on.) People, naturally, have lost trust in their leaders to keep them safe. No amount of poisonous water consumed by governors, congressmen, or EPA officials will restore that trust.

This is why the Devil’s Milkshake is ultimately an insult to your intelligence. The point isn’t to give you actionable information about what’s going on. If it was, public officials would just do that, instead of histrionically parading around in front of the cameras to show off the sacrifice they’re making. Nor is the point to rebuild trust in institutions. After all, these figures could just fix the problems, and make our natural and infrastructural environments responsive to crises and safe to navigate.

No, the point of the Devil’s Milkshake is to arrest further complaint. To recycle anger back into “acceptable” forms of discourse and mechanisms of accountability. To move on, forget it ever happened. It’s almost as if, through this act of symbolic consumption, a public official telegraphs their willingness to die for corporate America’s sins. That, because they’re willing to literally metabolize the issue, it’s been addressed, processed, and fixed.

The problem with this is that no one ever forgets. People remember it all. Not just the fear and terror of seeing a black pillar of smoke towering over their community. Not just the health scares and medical bills, the family members and friends and pets dying before their time. Not just the agonizing mystery of it all, of wondering which recent toxic event is responsible for their debilitating sickness, or if they’re crazy for even having that thought.

They’ll also remember the most terrifying, mind-bending thing of all: that their leaders sacrificed them at the almighty altar of profit, and then mocked them for daring to question it. They’ll wake up in the middle of the night, their minds retracing the choreographed ritual of power known as the Devil’s Milkshake, their gleeful leaders sending up veritable toasts to the fact they were getting away with it all. And this remembering brings on a final realization: that the next time may be even worse.

Posted in Corporate Crime, Corruption, culture, Economics, elites, Empire, Environment, Health, media, Media Literacy, news, Oligarchy, propaganda, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saturday Matinee: Stranger at the Gate

How Many Strangers Are At the Gate?

By David Swanson

Source: Let’s Try Democracy

Spolier Alert: if you want to watch an excellent 30-minute film without knowing what happens, scroll down and watch it before reading any of these words.

We’ve long known that U.S. mass-shooters are disproportionately trained in shooting by the U.S. military. I don’t know whether the same applies to those who kill in the U.S. with bombs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the connection were even greater.

The Oscar-nominated short film Stranger at the Gate tells the story of a man who went from a difficult childhood straight into the U.S. military at 18.

When learning to shoot at paper targets, he had concerns about killing actual people. He recounts being given the advice that if he could look at those he would kill as anything other than human he would have no problems. So, that, he says, is what he did.

But, of course, conditioning people to thoughtlessly kill doesn’t provide them with any way of being unconditioned again, of comfortably ceasing to be self-deceptive murderers.

This guy went off to U.S. wars where he killed people he thought of as Muslims. The characterization of the people killed as belonging to an evil religion, was largely a game of military propaganda. The actual motivations of those picking the wars tended to have more to do with power, global domination, profits, and politics. But bigotry has always been used to sucker the rank and file into doing what’s desired.

Well, this good soldier did his job and returned to the United States believing that he had done his job, and that that job had been to kill Muslims because of the evil of Muslims. There was no Off switch.

He was troubled. He was drunk. The lies didn’t rest easily. But the lies had a tighter grip than the truth. When he saw that there were Muslims in his hometown, he believed he needed to kill them. Yet he grasped that he would no longer be praised for it, that he would now be condemned for it. Even so, he still believed in the cause. He decided that he would go to the Islamic Center and find proof of the evil of the Muslims that he could show everyone, and then he would blow the place up. He hoped to kill at least 200 people (or non-people).

The men and women at the Islamic Center welcomed him and transformed him.

In the United States today one may want to rewrite this line:

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

in this way:

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained would-be mass-murderers without knowing it.”

How many?

Nobody knows.

Posted in anti-war, Art, culture, Film, Saturday Matinee, Video, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silicon Valley Bank Crisis: The Liquidity Crunch We Predicted Has Now Begun

A worker, middle, tells customers that the Silicon Valley Bank headquarters is closed on Friday, March 10, 2023, in Santa Clara, California. Silicon Valley Bank was shut down on Friday morning by California regulators and was put in control of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS)

By Brandon Smith


There has been an avalanche of information and numerous theories circulating the past few days about the fate of a bank in California know as SVB (Silicon Valley Bank). SVB was the 16th largest bank in the US until it abruptly failed and went into insolvency on March 10th. The impetus for the collapse of the bank is tied to a $2 billion liquidity loss on bond sales which caused the institution’s stock value to plummet over 60%, triggering a bank run by customers fearful of losing some or most of their deposits.

There are many fine articles out there covering the details of the SVB situation, but what I want to talk about more is the root of it all. The bank’s shortfalls are not really the cause of the crisis, they are a symptom of a wider liquidity drought that I predicted here at Alt-Market months ago, including the timing of the event.

First, though, let’s discuss the core issue, which is fiscal tightening and the Federal Reserve. In my article ‘The Fed’s Catch-22 Taper Is A Weapon, Not A Policy Error’, published in December of 2021, I noted that the Fed was on a clear path towards tightening into economic weakness, very similar to what they did in the early 1980s during the stagflation era and also somewhat similar to what they did at the onset of the Great Depression. Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke even openly admitted that the Fed caused the depression to spiral out of control due to their tightening policies.

In that same article I discussed the “yield curve” being a red flag for an incoming crisis:

…The central bank is the largest investor in US bonds. If the Fed raises interest rates into weakness and tapers asset purchases, then we may see a repeat of 2018 when the yield curve started to flatten. This means that short term treasury bonds will end up with the same yield as long term bonds and investment in long term bonds will fall.”

As of this past week the yield curve has been inverted, signaling a potential liquidity crunch. Both Jerome Powell (Fed Charman) and Janet Yellen (Treasury Secretary) have indicated that tightening policies will continue and that reducing inflation to 2% is the goal. Given the many trillions of dollars the Fed has pumped into the financial system in the past decade as well as the overall weakness of general economy, it would not take much QT to crush credit markets and by extension stock markets.

As I also noted in 2021:

We are now at that stage again where price inflation tied to money printing is clashing with the stock market’s complete reliance on stimulus to stay afloat. There are some that continue to claim the Fed will never sacrifice the markets by tapering. I say the Fed does not actually care, it is only waiting for the right time to pull the plug on the US economy.”

But is that time now?  I expanded on this analysis in my article ‘Major Economic Contraction Coming In 2023 – Followed By Even More Inflation’, published in December of 2022. I noted that:

This is the situation we are currently in today as 2022 comes to a close. The Fed is in the midst of a rather aggressive rate hike program in a “fight” against the stagflationary crisis that they created through years of fiat stimulus measures. The problem is that the higher interest rates are not bringing prices down, nor are they really slowing stock market speculation. Easy money has been too entrenched for far too long, which means a hard landing is the most likely scenario.”

I continued:

In the early 2000s the Fed had been engaged in artificially low interest rates which inflated the housing and derivatives bubble. In 2004, they shifted into a tightening process. Rates in 2004 were at 1% and by 2006 they rose to over 5%. This is when cracks began to appear in the credit structure, with 4.5% – 5.5% being the magic cutoff point before debt became too expensive for the system to continue the charade. By 2007/2008 the nation witnessed an exponential implosion of credit…”

Finally, I made my prediction for March/April of 2023:

Since nothing was actually fixed by the Fed back then, I will continue to use the 5% funds rate as a marker for when we will see another major contraction…The 1% excise tax added on top of a 5% Fed funds rate creates a 6% millstone on any money borrowed to finance future buybacks. This cost is going to be far too high and buybacks will falter. Meaning, stock markets will also stop, and drop. It will likely take two or three months before the tax and the rate hikes create a visible effect on markets. This would put our time frame for contraction around March or April of 2023.”

We are now in the middle of March and it appears that the first signs of liquidity crisis are bubbling to the surface with the insolvency of SVB and the shuttering of another institution in New York called Signature Bank.

Everything is tied back to liquidity. With higher rates, banks are hard-pressed to borrow from the Fed and companies are hard-pressed to borrow from banks. This means companies that were hiding financial weakness and exposure to bad investments using easy credit no longer have that option. They won’t be able to artificially support operations that are not profitable, they will have to abandon stock buybacks that make their shares appear valuable and they will have to initiate mass layoffs in order to protect their bottom line.

SVB is not quite Bear Stearns, but it is likely a canary in the coal mine, telling us what is about to happen on a wider scale. Many of their depositors were founded in venture capital fueled by easy credit, not to mention all the ESG related companies dependent on woke loans. That money is gone – It’s dead. Those businesses are quietly but quickly crumbling which also conjured a black hole for deposits within SVB. It’s a terribly destructive cycle. Surely, there are numerous other banks in the US in the same exact position.

I believe this is just the beginning of a liquidity and credit crisis that will combine with overt inflation to produce perhaps the biggest economic crash America has ever seen. SVB’s failure may not be THE initiator, only one among many. I suspect that in this scenario larger US banks may avoid the kind of credit crash that we saw with Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in 2008. But, contagion could still strike multiple mid-sized banks and the effects could be similar in a short period of time.

With all the news flooding the wire on SVB it’s easy to forget that all of this boils down to a single vital issue: The Fed’s stimulus measures created an economy utterly addicted to easy and cheap liquidity. Now, they have taken that easy money away. In light of the SVB crash, will the central bank reverse course on tightening, or will they continue forward and risk contagion?

For now, Janet Yellen and the Fed have implemented a limited backstop and a guarantee on deposits at SVB and Signature. This will theoretically prevent a “haircut” on depositor accounts and lure retail investors with dreams of endless stimulus.  It is a half-measure, though – Central bankers have to at least look like they are trying. 

SVB’s assets sit at around $200 billion and Signature’s assets are around $100 billion, but what about interbank exposure and what about the wider implications?  How many banks are barely scraping by to meet their liquidity obligations, and how many companies have evaporating deposits?  The backstop will do nothing to prevent a major contagion.

There are many financial tricks that might slow the pace of a credit crash, but not by much.  And, here’s the kicker – Unlike in 2008, the Fed has created a situation in which there is no escape. If they do pivot and return to systemic bailouts, stagflation will skyrocket even more. If they don’t use QE, then banks crash, companies crash and even bonds become untenable, which puts the world reserve status of the Dollar under threat. What does that lead to? More stagflation. In either case, rapidly rising prices on most necessities will be the consequence.

How long will this process take? It all depends on how the Fed responds. They might be able to drag the crash out for a few months with various stop-gaps. If they go back to stimulus then the banks will be saved along with equities (for a while) but rising inflation will suffocate consumers in the span of a year and companies will still falter. My gut tells me that they will rely on contained interventions but will not reverse rate hikes as many analysts seem to expect.

The Fed will goose markets up at times using jawboning and false hopes of a return to aggressive QE or near-zero rates, but ultimately the trend of credit markets and stocks will be steady and downward.  Like a brush fire in a wind storm, once the flames are sparked there is no way to put things back the way they were.  If their goal was in fact a liquidity crunch, well, mission accomplished.  They have created that exact scenario.  Read my articles linked above to understand why they might do this deliberately.

In the meantime, it appears that my predictions on timing are correct so far. We will have to wait and see what happens in the coming weeks. I will keep readers apprised of events as new details unfold.  The situation is rapidly evolving.

Posted in Corporate Crime, Dystopia, Economics, elites, Empire, Financial Crisis, Oligarchy, Recession, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, State Crime, Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In a Multipolar World, the Idea of a New World Order Dies

By Timothy Alexander Guzman

Source: Silent Crow News

When former US President and war criminal George W. Bush and his neocon regime launched their anti-terrorism campaign after the September 11th attacks, he declared that “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”  Western threats against the Global South continues today.  In the recent Munich Security Conference 2023, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that “Neutrality is not an option, because then you are standing on the side of the aggressor,” she continued “and this is a plea we are also giving next week to the world again:  Please take a side, a side for peace, a side for Ukraine, a side for the humanitarian international law, and these times this means also delivering ammunition so Ukraine can defend itself.”  Most of the world does not agree with Western leaders that Russia is the aggressor in this conflict.  Ukraine goal is to become a member of NATO which would be a threat to Russia’s security concerns right on its borders.  As history shows, it was Ukraine who has bombed the Donbas region for more than 8 years which includes the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk killing more than 8,000 people with the help of US-NATO forces whose sole purpose is to destroy Russia.  This is the work of the Western powers who want nothing more than to contain Russia’s rise as a major player on the world stage.        

Not only Russia has been a victim of Western aggression, many countries in the Global South has also witnessed endless wars, coups and regime change operations with western-backed color revolutions since the end of World War II.  Since the war started in Ukraine, it is only now that the mainstream media is starting to take notice that the Global South is starting to rebel against Western powers on many levels at least according to, ‘Ukraine war exposes splits between Global North and South’ reflects on the current situation that “a tectonic chasm appears to have split the Global North from the Global South. Confronted with the sort of aggression and territorial expansionism that the postwar world order was designed to avert, the Western alliance, also called the Global North, has overcome competition and rivalries to maintain unity.” The West defeated their “competition and rivalries” by bombing countries back to the stone age like they did to Iraq and Libya.  It is well known that Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi wanted to change course in how their countries conducted business with the rest of the world by abandoning the use of US dollars in favor of other currencies.  In the case of Iraq, the US and its allied partners were also doing Israel a favor in destroying an adversary.  So, a shift has taken place with “more than 70 years after the end of World War II, several countries of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America that were “emerging” for decades have essentially emerged on the world stage” forming what is now known as the ‘Global South.’

The war in Ukraine has changed everything for the globalists insane vision for humanity, now they accuse Russia of being the aggressor for expanding its footprint in Ukraine but ignoring the 8-year bombing campaign in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian forces with NATO’s assistance.  Did the US and in most cases their NATO allies “avert” their own “aggressive” wars against Vietnam, Iraq, or Libya?  As for “territorial expansion” doesn’t the US, France, and other Western powers still have colonies around the world?  The US also illegally occupies northern Syria and Iraq with military bases, and that is a form of territorial expansion. 

Newsweek published an interesting opinion piece by Michael Gfoeller and David H. Rundell, ‘Nearly 90 Percent of the World Isn’t Following Us on Ukraine | Opinion’ says that there is a growing anti-Western sentiment in the Global South:

Alliances that were created in part to counter Western economic and political influence are expanding. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have announced their interest in joining the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The Shanghai Cooperative Organization currently links China, Russia, India, and Pakistan, among others. Iran plans to join this month while Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are likely to become “dialogue partners,” or candidate members.

Additionally, China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative is tying many African nations to Beijing with cords of trade and debt. Russia is also reaching out in the form of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who recently addressed his 22 Arab League counterparts in Cairo before touring a number of African countries.

If that’s not enough to give the West pause, Moscow is again on the offensive in Latin America, strengthening its military relationships with Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba. The two powerhouses of that region, Brazil, and Mexico, have pointedly refused to back Western sanctions against Russia

Gfoeller and Rundell admit on a mainstream media news magazine that dollarsare tools of economic warfare from imposing crippling sanctions to asset seizures on countries who don’t follow Washington’s orders, but it is only an opinion piece, obviously not an article that will make the front-page news:  

The dollar’s reserve currency status remains a pillar of the global economic order, but trust in that order has been damaged. Economic sanctions have weaponized parts of the international banking and insurance sectors including the SWIFT fund transfer system. Assets have been seized and commodity contracts canceled. Calls for de-dollarization have become louder. When Russia demanded energy payments in rubles, yuan or UAE Dirhams, China and India complied.

These concerns are generating considerable anti-Western sentiment across much of the Global South. While a nuclear-armed Russia shows no willingness to end a war its leaders cannot afford to lose; the West is rapidly losing the rest and thus undermining the very rules-based international order it has sought to create. Our most promising solution to this dilemma is likely to be some sort of diplomatic compromise

Yes, it’s true the dynamics of the world order has changed dramatically since the day US President George H.W. Bush (whose father Prescott Bush, a founder of the Union Banking Corporation, an investment bank that had ties to a German businessman, Fritz Thyssen who supported the Nazis) gave a speech on the invasion of Iraq on January 16th, 1991.  Here is part of what he said:

This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order—a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful—and we will be—we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders

They had passed the test then, today, it’s a different story, the world is tired of Western hypocrisy, of its continuous wars and CIA-backed coups against their governments who don’t always agree with their prescriptions for democracy.  However, the idea of a new world order did not begin with Bush Sr, it began after the creation of the League of Nations after World War I when US President Woodrow Wilson called for a new world order to enhance global security and democracy.  But the idea of forming a new world order or globalist empire to impose a rules-based order should be a forgone conclusion, they don’t work, and they are destructive.  Globalist power structures or empires eventually destroy themselves from within, so, is it worth it for the regime in power?  Some people would also say that Russia and China want to rule the world.  They don’t, they know managing an empire is immoral, extremely costly, and incredibly ridicules to rule a world full of different ideas, cultures, ethnicities, and languages.  They know that diplomacy, respect, and trade is a better option for the sake of humanity.  Now, does it mean that in a multipolar world, future wars will be prevented? Not necessarily, but at least it’s worth a try given the fact that the US and its Western allies have created nothing but wars and chaos since the end of World War II and now we are at a point that this world order-based system is about to unleash a devastating war involving nuclear weapons.    

Since World War II, it has been the US at the forefront who has been building a world order based on its hegemonic projections to control every nation on earth.  China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to take the gloves off and publish, ‘US Hegemony and Its Perils’ which exposes how the US has used its superpower status including its economic, financial, political, and military machine to create their ‘hegemonic playbook:

The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage “color revolutions,” instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a “rules-based international order.”

This report, by presenting the relevant facts, seeks to expose the U.S. abuse of hegemony in the political, military, economic, financial, technological, and cultural fields, and to draw greater international attention to the perils of the U.S. practices to world peace and stability and the well-being of all peoples

China is not seeking to become the next empire as the mainstream media is warning about especially FOX news and others.  In 2018, Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, a Malaysian political scientist and activist wrote ‘China, A New Imperial Power? asked in his introduction “Is China a new imperial power threatening some of the developing economies in Asia and Africa?”  He said that “this is a perception that is being promoted through the media by certain China watchers in universities and think-tanks mainly in the West, various politicians and by a segment of the global NGO community.”  One of the red flags for US and European media networks was that China was offering unpayable loans to poor countries in what was and still is considered a “debt trap” at least to the China war hawks in Washington.  Dr. Muzaffar explains why the West is wrong about China’s debt trap concerning one of the countries who accepted a loan and that is Pakistan:

Pakistan has taken loans from China for projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The US 50 billion CPEC is a network of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan that will connect China’s Xinjiang province with Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. A number of these projects will strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector which is vital for its economic growth. They will help to reduce its severe trade deficit. Debt servicing of CPEC loans which will only start this year amounts to less than 80 million.

Pakistan’s largest creditors are not China, but Western countries and multilateral lenders led by the IMF and international commercial banks. Its foreign debt “is expected to surpass 95 billion this year and debt servicing is projected to reach 31 billion by 2022-2023.” There is evidence to show that its creditors “have been actively meddling in Pakistan’s fiscal policies and its sovereignty through debt rescheduling programs and the conditionalities attached to IMF loans”

He also says that the majority of Africa’s long-term debt has been managed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank but says that “many African states have Chinese debt. This in itself is not a problem — provided loans are utilized for the public good. In this regard, infrastructure financing under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — building ports, railways and fiber-optic cables — appears to be a major component of China’s involvement in Africa.” 

Djibouti had excepted 1.4 billion from China that allowed China to build its first military base.  Western bureaucrats and military officials claimed that China is expanding its empire in Africa according to a report by the US Naval Institute (USNI) on what U.S. Africa Commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend told the House Armed Services Committee back in April 2021 “that the People’s Liberation Army was expanding its existing naval installation adjacent to a Chinese-owned commercial deep-water port and also seeking other military basing options elsewhere on the continent” and that “Their first overseas military base, their only one, is in Africa, and they have just expanded that by adding a significant pier that can even support their aircraft carriers in the future. Around the continent they are looking for other basing opportunities.” Dr. Muzaffar reminds us that “It should be noted at the same time that Djibouti also hosts the largest US military base in Africa” However, he also makes the case that China’s rise is economic in nature while the West continues its neocolonial agenda:

Djibouti aside, Chinese ventures in Africa have been almost totally economic. The quid pro quo for the Chinese it is true has been access to the continent’s rich natural resources. But it is always access, never control. Control over the natural resources of the nations they colonised was the driving force behind 19th century Western colonialism. Control through pliant governments and, in extreme cases, via regime change continues to be a key factor in the West’s — especially the US’s — quest for hegemony over Africa and the rest of the contemporary world.

It is because China’s peaceful rise as a global player challenges that hegemony that the centres of power in the West are going all out to denigrate and demonise China. Labelling China as a new imperial or colonial power is part of that vicious propaganda against a nation, indeed a civilisation that has already begun to change the global power balance. It is a change — towards a more equitable distribution of power — that is in the larger interest of humanity. For that reason, the people of the world should commit themselves wholeheartedly to the change that is embracing all of us

China understands what invading empires are capable of since they were invaded themselves by Japan’s Imperial forces during World War II which was a horrible occupation that led to the countless deaths and the destruction of Chinese society.  The Soviets also lived through the horrors of Hitler’s invading forces.  Maintaining an empire is immoral and costly, so rising powers such as China, Russia or India are not interested in controlling and occupying any sovereign countries for their political or economic gain.   

A Multipolar World is Inevitable as the UN Vote to Condemn Russia Invasion Fails  

Western nations and their allies including the US, European Union, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and other puppet governments represent more than 1 billion people which has been held together under a rules-based unipolar world order, as for the Global South, it accounts for more than 6 billion people.  Regarding the war in Ukraine, many countries who are part of the Global South abstained from voting for a UN General Assembly on March 2nd, 2022, to condemn Russia’s invasion including 17 African countries.  The East African ‘17 African countries abstain from UN vote to condemn Russia invasion’ said that more than 35 countries had decided to abstain from voting to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “Some 35 countries abstained from the vote, including Russia and China, and African states – Burundi, Senegal, South Sudan, South Africa, Uganda, Mali and Mozambique.”  Algeria, Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, South Africa, and Vietnam also Abstained shows that the tide is turning against the West.  Those who voted against the resolution was Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, and Syria.  Times are changing indeed. 

The European branch of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace or published an article by Senior fellow Stefan Lehne ‘After Russia’s War Against Ukraine: What Kind of World Order?’ began his piece with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell and his comments on the difference between Europe and the rest of the world or as Borrell called the “jungle” earned protests and was criticized for it.  Borrel said that “the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that humankind has been able to build” as he compared Europe to the Global South by saying that “most of the world is a jungle and the jungle could invade the garden.”  Lehne tried to justify Borrell’s comments by saying that “this was likely a reference to Robert Kagan’s 2018 book, The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World.” Lehne said that Kagan’s book “amounts to a stark warning about the consequences of a U.S. retreat from its global responsibilities. Kagan writes that without determined American leadership, nations would revert to traditional patterns of behavior and the world would relapse into disorder, darkness, and chaos.”  So according to the European establishment and evidently, Robert Kagan who is the husband of Victoria Nuland who supported the coup in Ukraine back in 2014, only Europe and the US can lead the global population into a just, prosperous future even though they are responsible for many of the problems the world faces today.  The fact is that Western powers support and sometimes participate in continues wars, maintain colonial possessions, impose economic and political sanctions against those who did not follow orders to offering poor nations loans from globalist institutions such as the World Bank or the IMF that can never be repaid to organizing regime change and coups against governments they don’t like.  This is not to say that there are a handful of countries in the Global South who will betray their people for political or economic gain who will join the West if the opportunity arises such as the Brazilian president, Lula De Silva.  Overall, it is the West who has created most of the disorder, darkness, and chaos around the world in the first place. 

As for Russia, Lehne says that “Russia turned into an aggressive revisionist power.”  But he fails to mention that the actions by US-NATO forces politically and militarily caused Russia to become aggressive.  “As demonstrated by Russia’s war in Georgia in 2008, its annexation of Crimea and intervention in the Donbas in 2014, and its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the leadership in Moscow is determined to reverse some of the losses of the 1990s, increase Russia’s territory, and establish robust zones of influence.”  So now Russia wants to expand its territory?  So after, Ukraine the Russians will invade Poland, Finland, perhaps Italy, maybe Spain?    

I disagree with Lehne’s conclusion that “Globalization has slowed but will not be completely reversed.”  The Global South is already reversing the stranglehold of Western powers on many levels.  One good example is what is happening in the African country of Burkina Faso as the government demanded that French troops withdraw from the country during rising tensions between both governments according to an in a recent article ‘Burkina Faso confirms demanding France to withdraw troops’ reported that “The Burkina Faso government clarified on Monday that it has asked ex-colonial ruler France to pull its troops out of the insurgency-hit country within a month.”  France has more than 400 special forces troops in what is called the junta-ruled nation.  Spokesman Jean-Emmanuel Ouedraogo told Radio-Television du Burkina that“We are terminating the agreement which allows French forces to be in Burkina Faso,” government.”  He said that diplomatic relations will not end despite increasing tensions between both governments, but that is just one example.  Stepan Lehne believes that economic interdependence and international communications will need Western institutions and that is why he believes that the “the current multilateral system inherited from the postwar period will therefore survive.”  Lehne does see the reality that the world order is becoming irrelevant in the years to come “But the commitment to its rules will continue to diminish, and power politics and transactional dealmaking will often prevail.” 

The US-NATO Agenda: Balkanize Russia and Then Go to War Against China

As we all know, the US-NATO alliance is waging a proxy war in Ukraine to destabilize Russia. The ultimate goal is to balkanize Russia as they did to the former Yugoslavia.  Washington’s war hawks both Democrat and Republican, long dreamed of breaking up Russia to prevent it from becoming a rising political and economic power on the world stage.  Russia hater Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US national security advisor to President, Jimmy Carter, a professor at Columbia University and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Bilderberg group wrote ‘The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives’ which was published in 1998 clearly stated that “It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America.”

As for the rise of China, the US is in the stages of planning for a war.   On January 28th, 2023, Reuter’s published ‘U.S. four-star general warns of war with China in 2025’ that “A four-star U.S. Air Force general said in a memo that his gut told him the United States would fight China in the next two years” General Mike Minihan, who heads the Air Mobility Command said, “I hope I am wrong,” he continued “My gut tells me will fight in 2025.”  The bottom line is that the US and European bureaucrats, international bankers, corporations, intelligence agencies and their Military-Industrial Complex known as the MIC all fear a multipolar world and that’s why the talk of war with Russia and China is a major part of their agenda. 

A joint statement between Russia and China was released on February 4th, here is part of the statement:

The sides support the deepened strategic partnership within BRICS, promote the expanded cooperation in three main areas: politics and security, economy and finance, and humanitarian exchanges. In particular, Russia and China intend to encourage interaction in the fields of public health, digital economy, science, innovation and technology, including artificial intelligence technologies, as well as the increased coordination between BRICS countries on international platforms. The sides strive to further strengthen the BRICS Plus/Outreach format as an effective mechanism of dialogue with regional integration associations and organizations of developing countries and States with emerging markets

The West fears the BRICS coalition and their potential to draw in the rest of the Global South.  Speaking of the Global South, an interesting analysis by the Bennet Institute for Public Policy’ sponsored by the University of Cambridge called the ‘War in Ukraine widens global divide in public attitudes to US, China and Russia – report’ suggests that the Global South and their support for China, Russia or both has increased significantly: 

However the report also identifies a zone of illiberal and undemocratic societies, stretching from East Asia through the Middle East and out towards West Africa, characterised by the exact opposite trend: populations that have steadily increased support for China, Russia, or both, in recent years. 

Among the 1.2 billion people who inhabit the world’s liberal democracies, three-quarters (75%) now hold a negative view of China, and 87% a negative view of Russia, according to the report, published today by the University’s Centre for the Future of Democracy (CFD).

Yet among the 6.3 billion who live in the world’s remaining 136 countries, the opposite is the case – with 70% of people feeling positively towards China and 66% towards Russia.  The analysis includes significant public opinion data from emerging economies and the Global South, and suggests this divide is not just economic or strategic but based in personal and political ideology

Is the Idea of a New World Order Dead?  

The Multipolar world is becoming a reality for Washington, Brussels, and the rest of their allies as their relevance is starting to diminish in the coming years, but Washington and its NATO lapdogs are willing to launch World War III against Russia and China and whoever they consider an enemy even if it means starting a nuclear war so that their world order remains relevant.  Is the West willing to risk a nuclear war for the sake of their world order even if it kills them in the process?  In the case of a nuclear war, where will the Western bureaucrats, bankers, corporate leaders, and their families run to?  Patagonia, Argentina? perhaps to one of the small islands in the pacific, maybe Fiji?  These Western leaders do not care about their citizens, they are psychopaths who are power hungry, and they will do anything they can to remain in power even if it means that their own lives will be at risk in the event of a nuclear war between the east and the west.  

Hopefully, the West will come to its senses and try to make peace with the rest of the world and abandon its idea of globalism, but from what we see in the war in Ukraine and their saber-rattling with China over Taiwan, they won’t.  Globalist David Rockefeller once said that “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the Nations will accept the New World Order!” well, Rockefeller must be rolling in his grave because the world is experiencing a different kind of crisis that is challenging the economic, political, and military landscape that has been in place for centuries.    

Will there be problems and conflicts in a Multipolar world? maybe, anything is possible, but it is fair to say that the world needs something different because from what has happened in the last 500 years with Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands and centuries later, the US as global rulers, they only led the world to endless wars and bloodshed, so it’s time for a change.  What the world needs a new system where diplomacy, respect, and trade is the rule of law rather than wars, regime change, economic sanctions, interfering in foreign elections, biological warfare, and political assassinations.  A Multipolar world has the chance to establish a balanced landscape where no Western power can dictate its rules-based order to its former colonies and to the rest of the planet, a new landscape where even the thought of a nuclear war becomes unthinkable, and that’s the kind of world we all want. 

Posted in Authoritarianism, black ops, CIA, culture, Deep State, Empire, Geopolitics, imperialism, Militarization, NATO, Neocons, news, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, Technocracy, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lords of Chaos

The politicians and shills in the media who orchestrated 20 years of military debacles in the Middle East, and who seek a world dominated by U.S. power, must be held accountable for their crimes.

We’re Number One – by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

Source: The Chris Hedges Report

Two decades ago, I sabotaged my career at The New York Times. It was a conscious choice. I had spent seven years in the Middle East, four of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief. I was an Arabic speaker. I believed, like nearly all Arabists, including most of those in the State Department and the CIA, that a “preemptive” war against Iraq would be the most costly strategic blunder in American history. It would also constitute what the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime.” While Arabists in official circles were muzzled, I was not. I was invited by them to speak at The State Department, The United States Military Academy at West Point and to senior Marine Corps officers scheduled to be deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the invasion.

Mine was not a popular view nor one a reporter, rather than an opinion columnist, was permitted to express publicly according to the rules laid down by the newspaper. But I had experience that gave me credibility and a platform. I had reported extensively from Iraq. I had covered numerous armed conflicts, including the first Gulf War and the Shi’ite uprising in southern Iraq where I was taken prisoner by The Iraqi Republican Guard. I easily dismantled the lunacy and lies used to promote the war, especially as I had reported on the destruction of Iraq’s chemical weapons stockpiles and facilities by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspection teams. I had detailed knowledge of how degraded the Iraqi military had become under U.S. sanctions. Besides, even if Iraq did possess “weapons of mass destruction” that would not have been a legal justification for war.

The death threats towards me exploded when my stance became public in numerous interviews and talks I gave across the country. They were either mailed in by anonymous writers or expressed by irate callers who would daily fill up the message bank on my phone with rage-filled tirades. Right-wing talk shows, including Fox News, pilloried me, especially after I was heckled and booed off a commencement stage at Rockford College for denouncing the war. The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial attacking me. Bomb threats were called into venues where I was scheduled to speak. I became a pariah in the newsroom. Reporters and editors I had known for years would lower their heads as I passed, fearful of any career-killing contagion. I was issued a written reprimand by The New York Times to cease speaking publicly against the war. I refused. My tenure was over.

What is disturbing is not the cost to me personally. I was aware of the potential consequences. What is disturbing is that the architects of these debacles have never been held accountable and remain ensconced in power. They continue to promote permanent war, including the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, as well as a future war against China

The politicians who lied to us — George W. BushDick CheneyCondoleezza RiceHillary Clinton and Joe Biden to name but a few — extinguished millions of lives, including thousands of American lives, and left Iraq along with Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen in chaos. They exaggerated or fabricated conclusions from intelligence reports to mislead the public. The big lie is taken from the playbook of totalitarian regimes. 

The cheerleaders in the media for war — Thomas FriedmanDavid RemnickRichard CohenGeorge PackerWilliam KristolPeter BeinartBill KellerRobert KaplanAnne ApplebaumNicholas KristofJonathan ChaitFareed ZakariaDavid FrumJeffrey GoldbergDavid Brooks and Michael Ignatieff — were used to amplify the lies and discredit the handful of us, including Michael MooreRobert Scheer and Phil Donahue, who opposed the war. These courtiers were often motivated more by careerism than idealism. They did not lose their megaphones or lucrative speaking fees and book contracts once the lies were exposed, as if their crazed diatribes did not matter. They served the centers of power and were rewarded for it.

Many of these same pundits are pushing further escalation of the war in Ukraine, although most know as little about Ukraine or NATO’s provocative and unnecessary expansion to the borders of Russia as they did about Iraq. 

“I told myself and others that Ukraine is the most important story of our time, that everything we should care about is on the line there,” George Packer writes in The Atlantic magazine. “I believed it then, and I believe it now, but all of this talk put a nice gloss on the simple, unjustifiable desire to be there and see.”

Packer views war as a purgative, a force that will jolt a country, including the U.S., back to the core moral values he supposedly found amongst American volunteers in Ukraine.

“I didn’t know what these men thought of American politics, and I didn’t want to know,” he writes of two U.S. volunteers. “Back home we might have argued; we might have detested each other. Here, we were joined by a common belief in what the Ukrainians were trying to do and admiration for how they were doing it. Here, all the complex infighting and chronic disappointments and sheer lethargy of any democratic society, but especially ours, dissolved, and the essential things — to be free and live with dignity — became clear. It almost seemed as if the U.S. would have to be attacked or undergo some other catastrophe for Americans to remember what Ukrainians have known from the start.”

The Iraq war cost at least $3 trillion and the 20 years of warfare in the Middle East cost a total of some $8 trillion. The occupation created Shi’ite and Sunni death squads, fueled horrific sectarian violence, gangs of kidnappers, mass killings and torture. It gave rise to al-Qaeda cells and spawned ISIS which at one point controlled a third of Iraq and Syria. ISIS carried out rape, enslavement and mass executions of Iraqi ethnic and religious minorities such as the Yazidis. It persecuted Chaldean Catholics and other Christians. This mayhem was accompanied by an orgy of killing by U.S. occupation forces, such as as the gang rape and murder of Abeer al-Janabi, a 14-year-old girl and her family by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne. The U.S. routinely engaged in the torture and execution of detained civilians, including at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca

There is no accurate count of lives lost, estimates in Iraq alone range from hundreds of thousands to over a million. Some 7,000 U.S. service members died in our post 9/11 wars, with over 30,000 later committing suicide, according to Brown University’s Costs of War project. 

Yes, Saddam Hussein was brutal and murderous, but in terms of a body count, we far outstripped his killings, including his genocidal campaigns against the Kurds. We destroyed Iraq as a unified country, devastated its modern infrastructure, wiped out its thriving and educated middle class, gave birth to rogue militias and installed a kleptocracy that uses the country’s oil revenues to enrich itself. Ordinary Iraqis are impoverished. Hundreds of Iraqis protesting in the streets against the kleptocracy have been gunned down by police. There are frequent power outages. The Shi’ite majority, closely allied with Iran, dominates the country. 

The occupation of Iraq, beginning 20 years ago today, turned the Muslim world and the Global South against us. The enduring images we left behind from two decades of war include President Bush standing under a “Mission Accomplished” banner onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier barely one month after he invaded Iraq, the bodies of Iraqis in Fallujah that were burned with white phosphorus and the photos of torture by U.S. soldiers. 

The U.S. is desperately attempting to use Ukraine to repair its image. But the rank hypocrisy of calling for “a rules-based international order” to justify the $113 billion in arms and other aid that the U.S. has committed to send to Ukraine, won’t work. It ignores what we did. We might forget, but the victims do not. The only redemptive path is charging Bush, Cheney and the other architects of the wars in the Middle East, including Joe Biden, as war criminals in the International Criminal Court. Haul Russian President Vladimir Putin off to The Hague, but only if Bush is in the cell next to him. 

Many of the apologists for the war in Iraq seek to justify their support by arguing that “mistakes” were made, that if, for example, the Iraqi civil service and army were not disbanded after the U.S. invaded, the occupation would have worked. They insist that our intentions were honorable. They ignore the hubris and lies that led to the war, the misguided belief that the U.S. could be the sole major power in a unipolar world. They ignore the massive military expenditures spent annually to achieve this fantasy. They ignore that the war in Iraq was only an episode in this demented quest. 

A national reckoning with the military fiascos in the Middle East would expose the self-delusion of the ruling class. But this reckoning is not taking place. We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.

The celebration of our national “virtue” by pumping weapons into Ukraine, by sustaining at least 750 military bases in more than 70 countries and by expanding our naval presence in the South China Sea, is meant to fuel this dream of global dominance.

What the mandarins in Washington fail to grasp is that most of the globe does not believe the lie of American benevolence or support its justifications for U.S. interventions. China and Russia, rather than passively accepting U.S. hegemony, are building up their militaries and strategic alliances. China, last week, brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish relations after seven years of hostility, something once expected of U.S. diplomats. The rising influence of China creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for those who call for war with Russia and China, one that will have consequences far more catastrophic than those in the Middle East.

There is a national weariness with permanent war, especially with inflation ravaging family incomes and 57 percent of Americans unable to afford a $1,000 emergency expense. The Democratic Party and the establishment wing of the Republican Party, who peddled the lies about Iraq, are war parties. Donald Trump’s call to end the war in Ukraine, like his lambasting of the war in Iraq as the “worst decision” in American history, are attractive political stances to Americans struggling to stay afloat. The working poor, even those whose options for education and employment are limited, are no longer as inclined to fill the ranks. They have far more pressing concerns than a unipolar world or war with Russia or China. The isolationism of the far right is a potent political weapon.

The pimps of war, leaping from fiasco to fiasco, cling to the chimera of U.S. global supremacy. The dance macabre will not stop until we publicly hold them accountable for their crimes, ask those we have wronged for forgiveness and give up our lust for uncontested global power. The day of reckoning, vital if we are to protect what is left of our anemic democracy and curb the appetites of the war machine, will only come when we build mass anti-war organizations that demand an end to the imperial folly threatening to extinguish life on the planet. 

Posted in anti-war, Authoritarianism, black ops, CIA, culture, Deep State, Dystopia, Empire, Geopolitics, imperialism, media, Media Literacy, Militarization, military spending, NATO, Neocons, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, State Crime, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two for Tuesday

Aka Wave

Harry Belafonte and Petula Clark

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. empire is collapsing.


By Eric Zuesse

Source: The Duran

The U.S. empire was initiated, on 25 July 1945, by U.S. President Harry Truman, upon the advice of his hero Dwight Eisenhower, but the U.S. empire — the only empire that remained after WW II — has been successfully hidden from its publics, never self-acknowledged, despite now having 900 foreign U.S. military bases in its colonies (‘allies’) around the world, and despite having become, by now, by far and overwhelmingly, the largest empire that has ever existed, in all of world history. (And those 900 foreign military bases are in addition to America’s 749 domestic U.S. military bases.)

But, now, this largest-ever empire in world history is finally in the process of collapsing. This collapse will be documented here, first of all by documenting how extreme the lies by the empire’s rulers (“The Emperor has no clothes” that are true — that actually exist) have become, and the desperateness of those persons’ fabrications of ‘news’, and consequently of ‘history’, because it is by means of their lies that we can truthfully understand whom and what they actually are.

On 9 December 2016, the great independent war journalist, Eva Bartlett, addressed the U.N., representing only herself as an independent journalist who had been to Syria many times, not representing any of the war’s combatants. And here was her 19-minute presentation, which is stunning to watch, and which is 100% true (as I know it to be, on the basis of my own independent sources):

“Western media lies about Syria exposed (Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett)”

VIDEO, 19 mins., Eva Bartlett, 10 December 2016, U.N., NYC

That’s an archived youtube, not the original youtube, because youtube had forced its uploader/owner to remove it from each one of its postings at youtube:  FORCED OFF BY YOUTUBE  Saved in archive.  FORCED OFF BY YOUTUBE Saved in archive.  FORCED OFF BY YOUTUBE  Saved in archive.

The site’s owner explained, on 1 February 2023, that he had been forced by youtube to cancel his videos:; so, I several times archived his explanation, in case youtube will force that video (his explanation) to become removed, too:

(I have previously explained some of the techniques that the U.S. Government and its allies have employed in order to reduce the size of my own audience.)

There’s lots more about the U.N.’s knowledge that the U.S. Government has been hiring proxy-forces to destroy Syria unless the U.S. Government will succeed in placing the Saud family into control over Syria. And even when the U.N. was presented conclusive evidence that the U.S. had suborned perjury to declare Syria’s Government a violator of chemical-weapons bans, that evidence was simply ignored by U.N. officials.

And the war in Ukraine is at least as much lied-about by the U.S. Government and its colonies (colonies other than the post-2013 U.S.-coup-controlled Ukraine itself, which the U.S. Government is using as the main battleground for its war since 1945 to conquer Russia). And, of course, the U.S. Government is calling “fiction” American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh’s report on how the U.S. President Joe Biden ordered and (in coordination with Norway’s Government) blew up and destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines of Russian gas into Germany.

And, also, America’s entirely lie-based war against Iraq in 2003 was another example of the U.S. Government and its ‘news’-media constantly lying to and treating with unlimited contempt its own population.

There are so many other similar examples, such as the U.S. Government’s having signed to agreements with China’s Government that Taiwan is a part of China, versus the same U.S. Government sending weapons and troops to Taiwan in order to encourage that Chinese province’s local government to declare itself NOT to be a part of China.

There is apparently no limit to the absurdity and profusion of U.S. Government (and its ‘news’-media’s) lies, which are its war against the global public. This is how desperate they now are. Are they desperate enough to launch a nuclear war against Russia and/or China on the basis of their lies? That is the question.

Posted in black ops, censorship, corporate news, culture, Deep State, Dystopia, Empire, Geopolitics, History, imperialism, internet freedom, media, Media Literacy, Militarization, Neocons, news, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, Technocracy, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

East Palestine, Ohio and the Oligarchy

By Margaret Kimberley

Source: Black Agenda Report

A freight train derailment brought environmental catastrophe to a small Ohio town. While the circumstances are somewhat unique, events followed a predictable pattern in a country run by and for the ruling class.

The U.S. is an oligarchy. Stating this fact explains events that may seem mysterious if this simple truth is not spelled out. The ruling class are fully in control and ensure that their needs are met. They disregard the public good and any claims of democracy are easily exposed as a cruel hoax. Americans have no representation in congress or the white house and the corporate media are also part of the oligarchic class. They expose nothing that their partners in crime want to hide. Governmental action and inaction if the wake of a freight train derailment exemplify all of these dynamics.

On February 3, 2023 a 150-car Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. Twenty of those cars were carrying chemicals such as vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylene glycol, isobutylene, and ethylhexyl acrylate. One doesn’t need to be a scientist to figure out that none of these should be in the air or water.

Despite photographic and video evidence of an environmental catastrophe, the accident initially received little media attention. Nothing is covered unless the Biden administration wants it to be and East Palestine didn’t make the cut when there was war propaganda about Ukraine to stir up. In addition, Biden had already made clear that the railroads are in the class of corporate untouchables who are to be placated. They are among those who were promised that “nothing would fundamentally change” and he kept his promise to them by giving the derailment little attention. However he did give these corporations all the attention they demanded. 

When railroad unions rejected a contract that didn’t include paid sick leave provisions the Biden administration forbade them to strike. There was a phony show among “progressives” about having made a good deal but they were lying. Barack Obama excluded the railroads from a requirement that federal contractors provide paid sick leave. Biden could have issued an executive order changing that policy. But he had no intention of doing anything that might upset the oligarchs, and the Democratic Party succeeded in presenting a false narrative.

Pete Buttigieg is Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and is responsible for overseeing railroad safety. But he has made it clear that he follows his boss’s dictate to change nothing that would upset their oligarchic bosses.

As DOT Secretary, Buttigieg has the ability to regulate corporations such as airlines in regard to their public service. When a series of Southwest airlines snafus left thousands of passengers stranded during the holiday season, Buttigieg made a great show of saying his hands were tied. Of course he is the one person who can direct the airlines or levy large fines. Buttigieg was a no-show when the people needed him to act.

It took Buttigieg three weeks to show up in East Palestine and he only did so after Donald Trump visited. The town residents may have been better off without him. When he arrived he whined about railroad companies, “fighting us every time we try to do a regulation.” It is hard to believe that Buttigieg makes any effort to fight back when corporate chieftains tell him what to do.

The duopoly worked together to cover up their mess. Ohio’s republican governor Mike DeWine and Biden’s EPA Administrator Michael Regan took a page out of Barack Obama’s Flint, Michigan book by dramatically drinking East Palestine water . Fortunately the U.S. still has plenty of lawyers, and one of many lawsuits filed in recent days specifically names the stunt as having made a “mockery of Ohio citizens.”

The back and forth over freight train regulations isn’t complicated. Trump undid regulations that Obama enacted but Biden didn’t undo what Trump had done. But even worse, regulations currently on the books allowed Norfolk Souther to get away with not labeling the train as carrying hazardous materials because it also carried wheat and vegetables. All over the country trains go through residential areas carrying hazardous materials but the law doesn’t require anyone to be informed of the dangers. And yes, the oligarchs like it that way.

The Biden administration is siding with Norfolk Southern in a case before the Supreme Court . A worker claims to have developed cancer as a result of exposure to carcinogens without having had the proper protective equipment. Norfolk Southern wants to restrict plaintiffs from choosing the venue in which they file suits, a practice known as forum shopping. Corporations are the biggest proponents of forum shopping, for themselves, but want to restrict where they can be sued. The Biden administration filed a brief in favor of Norfolk Southern. It doesn’t matter if the presidents are democrats or republicans, at the end of the day they end up doing what the oligarchs want.

Next year in 2024 the people will be subjected to the quadrennial political hoax, i.e., a presidential election. Let’s tell the truth before the theater begins anew. The power doesn’t rest with the presidency. It rests with the people who do the presidential hiring, and they don’t care about railroad workers or any other workers or people who have hazardous chemicals traveling through their communities. Should an accident happen, their hirelings will just drink water for the camera.

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