THE ELITES WHO ARE JUST SO OVER HUMANITY

The depth of anti-humanist sentiment related by Douglas Rushkoff in his latest book, Survival of the Richest, is harrowing and illuminating.

By Chris Barsanti

Source: PopMatters

Some things can be horrifying even if unsurprising. One such moment is the opening anecdote in Douglas Rushkoff’s Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires. In 2017, Rushkoff was paid an exorbitant fee to travel to a remote high-end resort where (he thought) he would do his usual thing: Talk about the future to investment bankers looking for a way to game the next trend.

What happened was far stranger. Rather than give a speech, Rushkoff sat at a conference room table with five fantastically rich guys from “the upper echelon of the tech investing and hedge fund world” and tried to answer their questions about how they could survive the impending apocalypse.

The scene is comical, in a Dr. Strangelove way. Assuming the world is racing toward an inevitable societal collapse they called “the Event”, the men thought it best to talk survival tactics with a self-described “Marxist media theorist” and professor at Queens/CUNY. Rather than acting like masters of the universe, they were nervous about being caught out when the Event came. They worried whether New Zealand or Alaska was the right location for their doomsday bunker; could their security guards keep the hungry mobs at bay; if an all-robot staff could be better. Rushkoff explains what seemed to lie behind these unnamed One Percenter preppers’ anxieties:

Taking their cue from Tesla founder Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Palantir’s Peter Thiel reversing the aging process, or artificial intelligence developers Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether. Their extreme wealth and privilege served only to make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us.– Douglass Rushkoff

Rushkoff calls this thinking “the Mindset”. He defines it as an “atheistic and materialistic scientism” that launders a desire for control and conquest through quasi-religious adherence to digital code and the power of the market. Expanding on his original article from 2018 (Medium)—which ironically led to his being swamped by requests from disaster-related industries to get in touch with the anonymous five they thought needed their services—Rushkoff spends the rest of Survival of the Richest explaining where the Mindset came from, how dangerous it is, and what he thinks should replace it.

Nothing that Rushkoff writes in this clipped, angry book should surprise most readers. Nobody who has spent any time tracking the pronouncements and feuds of the more futurist-minded tech elites would think many had a high opinion of or interest in improving the daily lot of carbon-based life forms. Though predictable and at times a bit too broadly defined, the depth of anti-humanist sentiment related by Rushkoff is still harrowing and illuminating.

The phenomenon of powerful men thinking themselves separate from the great unwashed and unbound by common morality is as old as human history. Although this of-the-moment book contains little context dating back more than three decades, Rushkoff does not try to claim everything about the Mindset is new. He points instead to how illogical power fantasies have merged with an Ayn Randian cult of the solitary hero and been nurtured by the Web’s seductive capacity for self-aggrandizing mythmaking. Given how much he may have contributed to those seductions, he is the right messenger.

Among the first public intellectuals to grapple seriously with the digital revolution as it washed over society in the 1990s, Rushkoff remains a go-to expert for Internet prognostication. Unlike many tech evangelizers, though, he later had second thoughts. Some of the more revealing sections in Survival of the Richest come from when the author turns his focus on himself.

Readers of a mindset will likely feel a certain wistfulness as Rushkoff writes about the early punk years of cyberspace. Just as underground music was bursting into the mainstream and indie bands were making real money, outlaw hackers were suddenly at the forefront of a technological revolution. In 1994, Rushkoff published two books: The GenX Reader, a heady anthology of alt-cultural tropes (part of the Slacker screenplay, Dan Clowes and Peter Bagge comics) that could already see the commodification of generational rebellion to come; and Cyberia, a quasi-utopian paean about the psychedelia-inspired confluence of programmers, Deadheads, libertarians, Wiccans, and ravers who seemed to be leading the nascent Web towards a consciousness- and freedom-expanding future. The 1996 “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” announced ironically enough at the first ever World Economic Forum in Davos, proclaimed a borderless world where governments had no sovereignty.

Rushkoff looks back now with clearer eyes:

Deregulation sounded good at the time. We were just ravers and cyberpunks, paranoid about the government arresting us for drugs … We didn’t realize that banishing the government from the internet would create a free zone for corporate colonization. We hadn’t yet discovered that government and business balance each other out—a bit like fungus and bacteria. Get rid of one, and the other runs rampant.

In Rushkoff’s cultural history, the experimental tribal ethos of the Web’s heady early days was co-opted by business interests who saw a new frontier to monetize; less Mondo 2000, more AOL CD-ROMs. Online libertarianism seemed to evolve from a confederacy of rule-breaking rebels and pioneers to anger-prone grumps so dissatisfied with their fellow man that they started planning unintentionally funny “seasteading” ocean communities, taking their toys and leaving. Wealthy futurists imagine uploading themselves onto a cloud server, revealing a depressingly simplistic view of human consciousness and a grand view of themselves as transcendent immortals. As technology and behavioral science became more finely tooled at predicting consumer behavior, it also exacerbates hate and loneliness, assisting the all-too-easy COVID-19 pandemic pivot to increasingly tech-mediated relationships.

For the Mindset’s “tech titans and billionaire inventors”, per Rushkoff, there is no problem that technology cannot solve. And the problems are often human in form. Suppose that were true, and the world was spiraling towards a collapse (which the online tools superpowered by elites could be accelerating). In that case, the believers might wonder, why not use technology to scarper off to their Bond villain bunkers?

Rushkoff’s critique expands from what he calls this amoral “sociopathic” attitude toward the state of capitalism. Combining the digital-communitarian ethos of Cory Doctorow with the acerbic skepticism of Naomi Klein, Rushkoff does not trust that a more enlightened kind of capitalism can save the world. His argument against eternal economic growth has merit. But Rushkoff is on firmer ground when defining technological-sociological phenomena like the Mindset. That is not to say there is no case for a more sustainable economy, but Rushkoff breezes too quickly past the challenges resulting from that massive transition. Being necessary does not make a thing easy.

As with many jeremiads of this kind, Survival of the Richest loses some of its impact when delivering suggestions for how to push back (don’t give in to the inevitability of doom, buy local, fight for anti-monopoly laws). That is partly because it is difficult for them to seem equal to the magnitude of the problem. But for Rushkoff, the smallness of the solutions is part of the point: “We can still be individuals; we just need to define our sense of self a bit differently than the algorithms do.”

Posted in culture, Dystopia, Economics, elites, Inequality, media, Oligarchy, Philosophy, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, Technocracy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saturday Matinee: Call of Heroes

CALL OF HEROES: Old School Story, New School Style

By Alexander Miller

Source: Film Inquiry

Hong Kong has been making genre films for decades, and many of them adhere to the formulaic structure that has maintained their reputation as foremost purveyors of action movies. Benny Chan is one of the few noted Hong Kong directors to have transitioned from the early nineties action movies through the handover into current action films, from period wuxia films like Shaolin 2010, to contemporary actioners like the Gen X Cops, and Jackie Chan vehicles Who am I? and New Police Story. Although Benny Chan’s filmography might suggest that of a hired gun working amid the many cogs in the modicum of action films in Hong Kong, there’s a slightly transgressive and gritty tone throughout his career.

Taking place in 1914, Call of Heroes opens when our napping protagonist, an amiable rapscallion Ma Feng (Eddie Peng), pummels some thugs who try to rob a noodle bar in the country; did the bandits offend his sense of honor and propriety? Not really, it seems Ma Feng is more annoyed that they interrupted what should have been a peaceful lunch.

After the introductory clobbering, he meets a teacher, Ms. Pak (Jiang Shuying), who has narrowly escaped (with a group of children in tow) a military siege on her school led by the sinister Cao Shaolun, who murders with impunity being the son of a general.

Meanwhile, in the village of Pucheng, led by the honorable Sheriff Yang (Lau Ching-Wan), there is an area that has become a haven for refugees as a result of the murderous military campaigns going on through the lands. While Ms. Pak and her accompanying travelers are met with resistance, they are welcomed by the locals; however, the mysterious wanderer arrives around the same time as the nefarious Cao Shaolun, and our seemingly ambivalent loner is intertwined in the ensuing intrigue.

In concert with the cultural influence, what with John Ford inspiring Kurosawa, whose samurai epics were later remade into westerns in Hollywood and Italy, Call of Heroes has the dirty look of a Cinecittà production, with the twangy electric guitar echoing Ennio Morricone as a tasteful homage.

Old School, New School

Does this incidental hybrid of east-west convey an entertaining action yarn? Considering some edges that need sanding off, Call of Heroes is a fun trip to the dusty plains of both samurai and western movies, with the now prototypical stray dog hero. Here Eddie Peng’s Ma Feng is equal parts Toshiro Mifune’s Sanjuro character with Clint Eastwood’s laconic ‘Man With No Name’ and a hint of Elliott Gould’s iteration of Phillip Marlowe – Benny Chan’s film isn’t shy about its modernist mashup, and we’re all the better for it too, because the action is fun and the drama feels genuine.

This crossover of revisionist platitudes retains its accumulative power while sturdily fitting the wuxia formula; there’s good versus bad, and the moral boundaries are clearly drawn. Its black and white ethics are a perfect fit for this handsome little epic of quality, and in the past few years Hong Kong has gotten closer to reclaiming their throne as the foremost purveyors of fun action films. Not in the bullet ballets of John Woo and Ringo Lam, but in the period dramas that have populated the Chinese film market in their post-handover era. Benny Chan’s latest is just as much a return to form as it is a continuation of (relatively) recent hits like 7 AssassinsBrotherhood of Bladesand Bodyguards & Assassins.

“A Hero is Only as Good as His Villain”

Call of Heroes has an air of familiarity in its execution, but plays towards a more mature demeanor. Koo’s performance of Cao Shaolun is more than a mustache-twirling baddie; he’s homicidal, sadistic and it shows as he mercilessly guns down man, woman, and child. The film doesn’t shy from the nasty bits of his bastardly demeanor.

Veteran actor Koo might seem hammy, but he succeeds in filling out the archetypal story, and in concert with the rest of the leading cast who are delivering top-notch work. Johnnie To mainstay Lau Ching-Wan, (who starred in LifelineMad Detective, and Running out of Time) is powerful as the Pucheng village chief, but it’s baby-faced Eddie Peng who steals the show as the unkempt defender of the innocent; rightfully so, he’s funny, charming, and convincingly tough.

Influence of International Action

Deviating from the “cleaner” titles before it, Call of Heroes is as much a full-blooded action film as it is a martial arts movie; the blood flow makes the tenor of Chan’s feature feel more developed. Instead of anonymous henchman (who cease to be when they’re kicked out of frame), swords, bullets, spikes, fists and spears injure people, and violence has consequence.

The fight choreography, courtesy of martial arts guru Sammo Hung, employs a handful of fighting styles, from blunt punches and kicks, gravity-defying swordplay, as well as classic hand-to-hand combat. Call of Heroes might not have any headline martial artists such as Jackie Chan or Donnie Yen, but there’s no shortage of carefully choreographed action. Eddie Peng, under the tutelage of Sammo Hung, carries the film with stalwart Lau Ching-Wan doing some heavy lifting as well. Men, women, and children get in on the collective ass kicking, during some of the film’s exciting group brawls.

For the gravitas offered throughout, Hung and director Chan aren’t trying to mask the fantastical wire work, and in the spirit of high-flying fun it works to the film’s advantage; it’s the myth of heroism that we romanticize, and that comes off the screen every time someone trapezes themselves during the many scenes of combat.

Conclusion

What we are presented with is a thoroughly modern and satisfyingly self-aware action film; both classic, old fashioned, and authentically exciting. Fight sequences are plentiful and inventive; some standout moments include a waterside skirmish with walls of wooden spikes, a moonlit brawl with weaponized baskets and cookware; capped with a knockout finale involving Peng and accomplished martial artist Wu Jing duking it out with a mountain of clay pots.

I’d like to think of this inventive set piece as a nod to the 1976 John Woo/Jackie Chan vehicle Strike of Death (aka Hand of Death, choreography thanks to Sammo Hung), but this might be wishful thinking on my part.

Evolution in action films might take the form of stoic warriors abiding by Buddhist mantras in Jean-Pierre Melville’s heist films, or the operatic violence hyperbolized in the westerns of Sergio Leone. At the risk of evoking a cliché, action speaks every language and the more international cross pollinating that occurs the better off we all are; Hollywood’s been drawing from the eastern well for decades, and seeing the inverse in Call of Heroes is a pleasure.

Watch Call of Heroes on Hoopla here: https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11726006

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

Never Let A Good Crisis Go to Waste

Relentless Ukraine reporting helps conceal other conflicts

By Philip Giraldi

Source: Information Clearing House

It is astonishing how many observers of war in Ukraine who should know better have been inclined to take at face value the assertions of “sources” that clearly originate among the various governments that are involved in the conflict. Those leaders who are engaged in the inexorable march by the US and its allies to turn the Ukraine crisis into World War 3 surely have learned the lesson that managing the narrative of what is taking place is the greatest weapon that the war hawks have in their possession. One recalls how post-9/11 and leading up to the Iraq War the George W. Bush White House and the neocons in the Pentagon lied about nearly everything to convince the public that Saddam Hussein was a terrorist supporting megalomaniac armed with weapons of mass destruction, inevitably describing him as a man in some ways comparable to Adolf Hitler. Nevertheless, many observers of what was occurring were not fooled and there were large scale demonstrations in a number of cities prior to the invasion in March 2003, which, of course, were rarely reported in the mainstream media in order to control the message.

Iraq in some ways was a learning experience for those in government and also for those in the media who did the heavy lifting by propagating the deception to a largely unsuspecting public. What we are seeing now relating to Ukraine and Russia, however, makes the Iraq experience look like child’s play in terms of the sheer audacity of the alleged information that makes it, or does not make it, into the news. I note particularly the recent terrorist car bombing of Russian activist journalist Dalya Dugina by a Ukrainian assassin made the news for roughly forty-eight hours before disappearing, but not before the lie that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was responsible was firmly planted in a number of places in the mainstream media.

Now that Joe Biden is about to designate a two or three star general to head the Ukraine campaign and has pledged billions of dollars more in aid, Ukraine will be all the news all the time. The US involvement will also feature a catchy name. I would suggest Operation Empty Wallets, which is what Americans will soon be experiencing due to government bailouts and other profligate spending, or maybe Operation Give Me a Break. And it will also create a new dimension to the narrative-shaping in that Ukraine reporting’s domination of what comes out of the newsrooms already is effectively killing much of what else might otherwise be appearing on TV or in the newspapers. That selective management of information provides cover for neglecting stories that might prove embarrassing for those in power. It in effect means that there has been plenty of room for the usual players to engage in business as usual with hardly any scrutiny by the public over what is going on outside Ukraine in secondary theaters like the Middle East and Africa.

All of which leads one to examine what the two countries that have unilaterally declared themselves to be rules makers and enforcers have been up to. Those two countries are perhaps not surprisingly the United States and Israel. The US is, in fact, increasing its combat role in Africa featuring airstrikes in Somalia, all of which have taken place since US President Joe Biden approved the redeployment of hundreds of special forces troops to that country in May, reversing a decision by former President Donald Trump to reduce troop levels in AFRICOM. The two latest attacks killed at least twenty Somalis, all of whom were of course described as “terrorists” by the US command. Independent sources state that US forces have bombed Somalia at least 16 times under Biden, killing between 465 and 545 alleged al-Shabaab militants, including no less than 200 individuals in a single drone plus ground forces strike on March 13th.

Describing the paucity of reporting on the issue, Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, a senior adviser at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, observed “If you were unaware that we were bombing Somalia, don’t feel bad, this is a completely under-the-radar news story, one that was curiously absent from the headlines in all of the major newspapers…”

And then there is Syria, where a paucity of information in the media reflects White House policy. The United States, which has possibly as many as a dozen illegal bases in Syria, has a major airbase located in the al-Omar oil field in Syria’s northeastern Deir Ezzor province. Several weeks ago, three US soldiers were reportedly slightly wounded in rocket attacks directed at the base by alleged “Iranian-backed militants.” The US responded to the claimed attacks by launching strikes from Apache helicopters against three vehicles belonging to an Afghan Shia militia, killing between six and ten “militants,” and there are reports that more tit-for-tat exchanges of fire are likely. CENTCOM afterwards claimed that President Joe Biden personally ordered the strikes in “self-defense” and justified them by citing Article II of the US Constitution. But the Constitution was never intended to cover illegal activity in a foreign land where US forces are occupying a country with which it is not at war and which has a functioning government that opposes the American presence. The US reportedly has its illegal bases mostly located in the oil producing and agricultural bread basket of the country. Both the grain and oil are routinely stolen by the US and much of the oil winds up in Israel.

So, one inevitably comes to Israel, which has used the cover provided by Ukraine not only to bomb Syria frequently but also to kill Palestinians both in Gaza and on the occupied West Bank. Recently the pace has accelerated with the Israeli Army and police killing on average several Palestinians every day, very little of which is reported in the US media, a fatality rate five times higher than that which prevailed in 2021. It is clearly a deliberate policy to step up the pressure on the Palestinians and a vital part of the process is to let it happen with minimal scrutiny by the media and public, so Israel is widely publicizing the support it is giving to Ukraine to draw attention away from what it does locally.

In short, Israel is increasing efforts to make the historic Palestine Palestinian-free by rendering life so miserable that many Arabs will decide to leave. The use of selective violence and constant harassment is all part of that effort and Palestinians have found that describing Israel as an “apartheid” state does not accurately describe the intensity of the indiscriminate punishments and killings by soldiers which have become all too common.

Israel meanwhile is also doing its best to delegitimize Palestinian national identity by labeling Arab human rights groups as “terrorists.” Israeli police recently raided the offices of seven such groups, confiscated their office equipment and communications, and ordered the premises to be shut down completely. Ironically, a CIA assessment of the groups determined that they were not in any way terrorist linked. The Joe Biden administration characteristically responded to the development by indicating that it was “concerned” but did not condemn the Israeli action.

So, if you open a newspaper or turn on the television and watch or read the international news, you will be told what to think about what is going on in Ukraine. And it will be from the Ukrainian/US government point of view. If you are interested in what the US and Israel are up to in the Middle East, you will most often be out of luck as “defending democracy” in Ukraine while also demonizing Russia is providing cover for Washington and Jerusalem to get into all kinds of mischief. It is a reality derived from how the media and government work collectively to shape policies that in no way benefit the American public. Instead, powerful interest groups with plenty of cash drive the process and are the ones who gain still more power and money through it. It is the sad reality of what has happened to our “land of the free and home of the brave.”

Posted in Authoritarianism, black ops, corporate news, Deep State, Empire, Geopolitics, imperialism, media, Media Literacy, news, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, Technocracy, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NATO prolongs the Ukraine proxy war, and global havoc

With diplomacy thwarted, the US and its allies plan for “open-ended” military and economic warfare against Russia, no matter the costs at home and abroad.

(US Dept. of Defense)

By Aaron Maté

Source: Aaron Mate Substack

Russia has announced plans to mobilize an additional 300,000 troops for the war in Ukraine. In his speech unveiling the expanded war effort, Vladimir Putin vowed to achieve his main goal of the “liberation of Donbas,” and issued a thinly veiled nuclear threat in the process. The move comes days ahead of planned referendums in breakaway Ukrainian areas to formalize Russian annexation.

Russia’s escalation ensures that the fighting is entering an even more dangerous phase. While Russia bears legal and moral responsibility for its invasion, recent developments underscore that NATO leaders have shunned opportunities to prevent further catastrophe and chosen instead to fuel it.

Putin’s announcement comes just after the Ukrainian military’s routing of Russian forces from Kharkiv, which relied extensively on US planning, weaponry and intelligence, sparked triumphant declarations that the tide has turned.

According to The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum, “Americans and Europeans need to prepare for a Ukrainian victory,” one so overwhelming that it may well bring “about the end of Putin’s regime.”

Beyond the chorus of emboldened neoconservatives, Western officials are less sanguine.

“Certainly it’s a military setback” for Russia, a US official said of the Kharkiv retreat to the Washington Post. “I don’t know if I could call it a major strategic loss at this point.” Germany’s defense chief, General Eberhard Zorn, said that while Ukraine “can win back places or individual areas of the frontlines,” overall, its forces can “not push Russia back over a broad front.”

Whether or not it marked a major strategic loss for Russia, the battle in Kharkiv is already a major victory for NATO leaders seeking to prolong their proxy war in Ukraine and economic warfare next door.

Ukraine’s expulsion of Russian forces in the northeast, the New York Times reports, has “amplified voices in the West demanding that more weapons be sent to Ukraine so that it could win.”

“Despite Ukrainian forces’ startling gains in the war against Russia,” the Washington Post adds, “the Biden administration anticipates months of intense fighting with wins and losses for each side, spurring U.S. plans for an open-ended campaign with no prospect for a negotiated end in sight.”

As has been apparent since the Ukraine crisis erupted, US planning for open-ended proxy warfare against Russia has led it to sabotage any prospect of a negotiated end.

The US rejection of diplomacy around Ukraine has been newly substantiated by former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill. Citing “multiple former senior U.S. officials,” Hill reports that in April of this year “Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement.” Under this framework, Russia would withdraw to its pre-invasion position, while Ukraine would pledge not to join NATO “and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.”

In confirming that US officials were aware of this tentative agreement, Hill bolsters previous news that Washington’s junior partner in London was enlisted to thwart it. As Ukrainian media reported, citing sources close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Kiev in April and relayed the message that Russia “should be pressured, not negotiated with.” Johnson also informed Zelensky that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on [security] guarantees with Putin,” his Western patrons “are not.” The talks promptly collapsed.

In his speech announcing the expanded war effort, Putin invoked this episode. After the invasion began, he said, Ukrainian officials “reacted very positively to our proposals… After certain compromises were reached, Kyiv was actually given a direct order to disrupt all agreements.”

Having undermined the prospect of a negotiated peace in the war’s early weeks, proxy warriors in Washington are openly celebrating their success.

“I like the structural path we’re on here,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham recently declared. “As long as we help Ukraine with the weapons they need and the economic support, they will fight to the last person.”

Graham’s avowed willingness to expend every “last person” in Ukraine to fight Russia is in line with a broader US strategy that views the entire world as subordinate to its war aims. As the Washington Post reported in June, the White House is willing to “countenance even a global recession and mounting hunger” in order to hand Russia a costly defeat. In Ukraine, this now means also countenancing the threat of nuclear disaster, as the crisis surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has laid bare.

The prevailing willingness to sacrifice civilian well-being extends to the US public, as National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has newly made clear. Appearing at the Aspen Security Conference, Sullivan was asked if he is worried about the “American people’s staying power” on the Ukraine proxy war, amid “criticism that we’re spending billions and billions to support Ukraine, and not spending it here.”

 “Fundamentally not,” Sullivan responded. “It’s very important for Putin to understand what exactly he’s up against from the point of view of the United States’ staying power.” That staying power, Sullivan explained, was cemented in the $40 billion war funding measure overwhelmingly approved by Congress (including every self-identified progressive Democrat) in May.

“That can go on, just on the basis of what we have already had allocated to us and resources for a considerable period of time,” Sullivan vowed. “And then, I strongly believe that there will be bipartisan support in the Congress to re-up those resources should it become necessary.”

To policymakers like Sullivan, there is not only an endless pool of money to “re-up” the war, but a “fundamentally” indifferent posture toward the taxpayers footing the bill.

Despite Biden’s reported scolding of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for admitting that the US goal in Ukraine is to leave Russia “weakened,” Sullivan – speaking before a friendly Beltway crowd — also forgot to stick to the script.

The US “strategic objective” in Ukraine, Sullivan explained, is to “ensure that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine… is a strategic failure for Putin,” and that “Russia pay a longer-term price in terms of the elements of its national power.” This would teach a “lesson,” he added, “to would-be aggressors elsewhere.”

By “would-be aggressors elsewhere”, Sullivan naturally precludes the US and its allies, whose aggression is not only permitted but promoted under the US-led “rules-based international order.”

President Biden has made that clear by abandoning his pledge to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state, notwithstanding its murderous (US-backed) aggression in Yemen. The regular aggression by US ally Israel against Gaza and Syria also continues unabated. The United Nations just reported that an Israeli strike on the Damascus international airport in June – one of hundreds of Israeli bombings on Syria that go largely ignored — “led to considerable damage to infrastructure” and “meant the suspension of U.N. deliveries of humanitarian assistance” to Syrians in need for nearly two weeks. As of this writing, the latest Israeli strike killed five Syrian soldiers, eliciting no Western media and political protest. It is more accurate to describe Israeli aggression on Syria as a joint Israeli-US effort, given that the US reviews and approves the strikes.

Allied NATO leaders are also vocally countenancing the Ukraine proxy war’s costs on their domestic populations. In response to the European sanctions, Russia has now halted gas deliveries to the EU via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Having previously relied on Russia for close to 40 percent of its gas needs, European industries are facing layoffs, factory closures, and higher energy bills that “are pushing consumers to near poverty,” the Financial Times reports.

“People want to end the war because they cannot bear the consequences, the costs,” the EU’s Josep Borell observed this month. While ending the war might appeal to some, it does not interest the EU’s top diplomat. “This mentality must be overcome,” Borell declared. “The offensive on the northeastern front helps with that.”

Europe, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg recently wrote, may even face “civil unrest,” as economies contract and temperatures drop, but “for Ukraine’s future and for ours, we must prepare for the winter war and stay the course.”

“No matter what my German voters think, I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told a conference in Prague last month. During the upcoming winter, Baerbock acknowledged, “we will be challenged as democratic politicians. People will go in the street and say ‘We cannot pay our energy prices’.” While pledging to help people “with social measures,” Baerbock insisted that the European Union’s sanctions on Russia will remain. “The sanctions will stay also in wintertime, even if it gets really tough for politicians,” she said.

Whereas Western leaders appear confident they can manage civil unrest at home, they face additional resistance abroad. In Africa, a leaked report from the European Union’s envoy to the continent warns that African nations are blaming the EU’s Russia sanctions for food shortages. The report also cautions that “the EU is seen as fueling the conflict,” in Ukraine, “not as a peace facilitator.”

Rather than address these African concerns, the envoy’s office proposes a “more transactional… approach” in which the EU makes “clear” that its “willingness” to “maintain higher levels” of foreign aid “will depend on working based on common values and a joint vision,” – in short, on Africa falling in line.

That is undoubtedly the US policy, as UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made clear last month. After promising a “listening tour,” Thomas-Greenfield instead came to Africa with a dictate and an outright threat. “Countries can buy Russian agricultural products, including fertilizer and wheat,” she decreed. But “if a country decides to engage with Russia” and break US sanctions, “they stand the chance of having actions taken against them.” That Africa faces a food security crisis, with hundreds of millions going hungry, is apparently of lower importance.

While Western sanctions on Russia wreak havoc worldwide, the architects in Washington seem only perturbed by their failure, so far, to inflict the intended levels of suffering on Russian civilians. “We were expecting” that US sanctions “would totally crater the Russian economy” by now, a disappointed senior US official told CNN.

Other US officials are leaving room for hope. “There’s going to be long-term damage done to the Russian economy and to generations of Russians as a result of this,” CIA Director William Burns told a cybersecurity conference this month. Burns’ long-term forecast of harming “generations of Russians” is based on extensive planning. As one US official explained it to CNN, when the sanctions were designed, Biden officials not only “wanted to keep pressure on Russia over the long term as it waged war on Ukraine,” but also “wanted to degrade Russia’s economic and industrial capabilities.” Accordingly, “we’ve always seen this as a long-term game.”

The “long-term game” of trying to destroy Russia’s economy and immiserate “generations” of its citizens is accompanied by increasing plans for a long-term fight. The Biden administration plans to formally name the US military mission in Ukraine – such as in prior campaigns like Operation Desert Storm — while also appointing a general to oversee the effort. The naming, the Wall Street Journal observes, is “significant bureaucratically, as it typically entails long-term, dedicated funding.”

The US plan for a long-term military and economic campaign against Russia is being implemented despite the awareness that Ukraine could face far worse.

“Some American officials express concern that the most dangerous moments are yet to come,” the New York Times reports. To date, “Putin has avoided escalating the war in ways that have, at times, baffled Western officials.” Unlike US military campaigns in Iraq, Russia “has made only limited attempts to destroy critical infrastructure or to target Ukrainian government buildings.”

“The current moment draws attention to a tension that underlies America’s strategy for the war,” the Washington Post observes, “as officials channel massive military support to Ukraine, fueling a war with global consequences, while attempting to remain agnostic about when and how Kyiv might strike a deal to end it.”

These rare admissions not only contradict the typical portrayal of a genocidal Russia that is used to justify the proxy war, but capture the underlying policy driving it. More than six months in, US officials are aware that Russia has “avoided escalating the war” and targeting “critical infrastructure,” – to the point where these same officials are “baffled” by Russian restraint. Despite this, their policy centers on “fueling” this same war, while remaining “agnostic” about ending it.

War being fluid – and US-led military support for Ukraine ever-expanding – it is of course possible that Ukraine will continue to defy expectations and drive out the invading Russian forces.

What the latest developments on and off the battlefield make undoubtedly clear is that NATO states are willing to use Ukraine for as long as it takes to achieve the stated aim of leaving Russia “weakened” or even achieving regime change, no matter the damage knowingly inflicted on Ukrainians, Russians, the Global South, and their own citizens.

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The Drumbeats of War and US-NATO Propaganda: “China is Bad” and “They are Coming to Enslave Us”

The Truth about China’s Imperial Ambitions, the Uyghurs and What the West Really Fears

By Timothy Alexander Guzman

Source: Silent Crow News

Western media outlets are playing the drumbeats of war by warning the public that a new Chinese empire is going to develop into an unstoppable force capable of ruling the world with an iron fist.  They claim that under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), they will control every country and human being on earth.  Overall, it’s an absurd claim.  It is fair to say that China under the leadership of the CCP has several issues that concerns the Chinese public with a social credit score system, Zero Covid policy rules and a nation-wide surveillance system that is Orwellian to say the least.  China also had a one child policy that has led to a decline in its population which was and still is problematic for its future when it comes to their labor force and economy, but they ended that policy in 2016.  Whatever faults China has, it is not looking to rule the world despite what Western countries claim especially the United States who say that Beijing’s policies reflect a growing appetite for imperial expansion.  On May 25th, 2017, Reuters published ‘China says new Silk Road not about military ambitions’ reported on what China’s Defense ministry had said about China’s future “China’s ambition to build a new Silk Road is not about seeking to expand its military role abroad nor about seeking to set up foreign bases.” The Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a regular monthly news briefing conference that China’s Silk Road was not expanding militarily nor setting up bases in any sovereign country and that the accusations were “groundless.” Guoqiang said that “the new Silk Road is about cooperation and trade” and that “The Belt and Road initiative has no military or geostrategic intent. China is not seeking the right to guide global affairs, or spheres of influence, and will not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.”

According to a report from September 23rd, 2020, by the National Herald India titled ‘China will never seek expansion, has no intention to fight either ‘Cold War’ or ‘hot war’, says Xi Jinping’ as Xi Jinping declared in a pre-recorded video sent to the United Nations meeting that “We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation” he continued “We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.”   The report also mentioned India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to the Ladakh region a few months prior where he said that “the era of expansionism is over and that the history is proof that “expansionists” have either lost or perished” in what the report described as a “clear message” to China.  “Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China and the Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese military, said his country will not pursue development behind closed doors.” Xi made it clear that a new plan for development for growth domestically and internationally will create more opportunities for China’s economy.  Xi said the following:

Rather, we aim to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. This will create more space for China’s economic development and add impetus to global economic recovery and growth

The report also mentioned that during the Covid-19 pandemic, US President, Donald Trump ramped up tensions with China and “demanded that China, where the coronavirus emerged, be held accountable for failure to control the virus and for allowing it to spread across the world” he continued, “As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China”.  Trump’s rhetoric including his administration slapping tariffs on China’s goods surely increased tensions between Washington and Beijing.  The National Herald India quoted what Xi had said about China’s own decisions that will benefit its own economy and path of development and that it should be respected, “one should respect a country’s “independent choice of development path and model.”  Xi made a point that the world is diverse, and that it can inspire human advancements:

The world is diverse in nature, and we should turn this diversity into a constant source of inspiration driving human advancement. This will ensure that human civilisations remain colourful and diversified

Conflicts and Disagreements: China, India, and the Soviet Union

The history between China and India involved conflicts over border issues.  In 1962, China had a dispute with India over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh borders.  The conflict was mostly among ground troops of both sides which did not involve any Air force or Naval forces.  What started the conflict was China’s construction of a road that connected the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.  However, Aksai Chin was claimed by India.  So, in the months of October and November the Sino-Indian War began.  Several violent conflicts also occurred between China and India after the 1959 Tibetan uprising due to India’s recognition of the Dalai Lama, or who is known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people.  In an important note to consider, the Dalai Lama was supported by the CIA for many years.  The CIA financially supported the Dalai Lama from the late 1950s until the mid-1970s with more than $180,000 a year for the CIA’s Tibetan program to support anti-China activities and to create foreign offices within Tibet to lobby for international support which was a concern for China. 

In 1960, India had constructed a defensive policy to disrupt China’s military patrols and its logistics in what was called Forward Policy  that placed Indian outposts along the borders in the north of the McMahon Line, the eastern portion of the Line of Actual Control.   However, China did try to implement diplomatic settlements between 1960 and 1962, but India rejected the proposal allowing China to abandon diplomacy and became aggressive along the disputed borders. China defeated Indian forces in Rezang La in Chushul in the west and Tawang in the east.  China declared a ceasefire on November 20th, 1962.  The war ended as China withdrew to its areas claimed in the ‘Line of Actual Control.’  Matters became complicated when the Soviet Union sold MiG fighter aircrafts to India in a show of support since the US and the UK refused to sell arms to India.  However, tensions between China and the Soviet Union were also high during that time which was known as the ‘Sino-Soviet split’ over ideological differences in Marxist-Leninist theories during the Cold War.  There were various agreements between China and India with no progress for peace until 2006.   Although Indian officials were concerned with China’s growing military power and its relationship with Pakistan (India’s main rival), China’s Silk Road opened the doors for peace between both nations.  In October of 2011, China and India formulated border mechanisms regarding the Line of Actual Control as both resumed bilateral army exercises between China and Indian troops by early 2012.  In 2013, what was known as the Depsang standoff, India had agreed to demolish and remove several ‘live-in bunkers’ in the Chumar sector along with the removal of observation posts built along the border among other things that made the resolution of the dispute a success, so the Chinese military withdrew it forces, ending the dispute in May 2013.  Although there are some disagreements between both countries still exist over their borders policies, today China and India are part of the BRICS coalition.

The Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979

On December 21st, 1978, Vietnam launched an attack on the Khmer Rouge.  After more than 10 years of fighting, Vietnam had successfully defeated the Khmer Rouge ending Pol Pot’s reign of terror.  Then in February 1979, China had declared war with Vietnam over its borders.  Now Vietnam was facing a two-front war. China’s invasion was a surprise to the world because China supported Vietnam with its wars against France and the US.  From 1965 until 1969, China had more than 300,000 troops in the Vietnam war with more than 1,000 members from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who were killed with 4,300 wounded. 

However, it all changed due to China’s domination of Vietnam for centuries which created animosity among the Vietnamese government and its people towards Beijing thus creating tensions between both countries.  Conflicts on the border also developed between China and the Soviet Union in 1969 during the Sino-Soviet split, so Vietnam had a dilemma, it had to choose one of them as an ally.  On November 3, 1978, Vietnam signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union that offered security assurances.  Since tensions were high at the time, more than 150,000 Chinese who were living in Vietnam had fled. Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and CCP officials viewed Vietnam as ungrateful and traitorous.  The Chinese saw the treaty as a threat since the Soviets had a similar treaty with Mongolia which in a way allowed the Soviets to surround China.  On December 7, 1978, China’s Central Military Commission decided to launch a “limited war” along their borders and at the same time, Vietnam had invaded Cambodia to destroy the Khmer Rouge.

Since Vietnam had border clashes with the China-backed Khmer Rouge in Cambodia along with Beijing’s decision to cut aid to Hanoi, it decided to partner with Moscow.  On January 29th, 1979, for the first time, Chinese Vice-premier Deng Xiaoping went to the US and reportedly told President Jimmy Carter that “The child is getting naughty, it is time he got spanked.”   A couple of weeks later, on February 15th, China terminated the 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance and Xiaoping declared that China was going to attack Vietnam to support its ally, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia among other reasons including the plan to reclaim the Vietnamese occupied Spratly Islands.  China wanted to prevent the Soviet Union from intervening on Vietnam’s behalf, so Xiaoping warned the Soviets that China’s forces were prepared for war.  Declaring an emergency, China deployed all of the PLA forces along the Sino-Soviet border and set up a military command station in Xinjiang, they also evacuated more than 300,000 civilians from the area.

China eventually suffered a defeat by the Vietcong since its military was not prepared to fight an experienced fighting force who previously defeated two Western powers, France, and the US.  It was reported that experienced Vietnamese ‘tank-killing teams’ destroyed or damaged more than 280 tanks and armored vehicles during the war.  China avoided the use of its Air Force and Navy since it promised the Soviets and Americans a limited war against Vietnam.  China also knew that Vietnam had an experienced military as well as having one of the best anti-air capabilities in the world.  After two short weeks of fighting, China began withdrawing its troops.  By March 16, Chinese troops had a ‘scorched-earth campaign’ in Vietnam destroying bridges, factories, mines, farms, and crops.  It is estimated that China had between 7,900 to 26,000 troops killed and between 23,000 to 37,000 wounded.  Vietnam had between 20,000 to 50,000 troops and civilians killed and wounded.  China clearly had a difficult time with Vietnam. 

China’s history with its neighbors shows that it may be difficult even today if they decided to become an imperialist power subjugating the world to its demands because it would face an uphill battle that will become economically and politically costly and that will collapse its economy and society.  Before the US became a global empire, they made sure they contained and controlled its own backyard and that was the Caribbean and Latin America after the Spanish-American War of 1898.  China would have to control its own backyard against several nations including Russia, India, Vietnam, and others.  China understands that imperial projects to dominate the world is a risk not worth taking. 

Remember, China was on the receiving end of Japanese Imperialism that practically destroyed its society.  In 1931, Imperial Japan had invaded the Chinese province of Manchuria for raw materials to fuel its industries, and by 1937 they controlled many areas of China.  The Imperial Japanese war crimes mounted against the Chinese people.  China understands the consequences of war because it sees what has happened to the US and its military adventures which has led to its decline.  It knows it will not benefit anyone, in fact wars can destabilize regions, destroy economies, and disrupt societal norms and China is not at all interested in any of that.  They want to rebuild their civilization.      

The age of empires is over.  A new multipolar world is needed now more than ever before where no single entity or centralized power could rule over any country who wants to remain sovereign.  That would start an era of lasting peace around the world.  Of course, there are no guarantees that total peace would prevail in a multipolar world because there will be bad actors who will prefer a globalized world order over countries who want sovereignty, but in a multipolar world order, wars can be avoided.  It would be a good start where sovereign countries would respect each other’s boundaries and work out their differences.  That’s the way it should be instead of a group of globalist psychopaths making geopolitical and economic decisions to change the social fabric of every country on the planet.         

Inside China: The Surveillance State

China’s internal problems is a stain on its reputation.  China’s surveillance state is indeed problematic.  In 2018, the CCP installed more than 200 million surveillance cameras with an increase in facial recognition technology nationwide.  Surveillance cameras and facial recognition networks would add to the social credit system already in place that gives Chinese citizens a score based on their “social behaviors.”  Going back to 2003, China began its Smart City pilot programs to track and analyze air quality, traffic, wastewater disposal systems, social behaviors of its residents and other areas of urban life.  We can fairly say that China’s surveillance state is rather extreme and unnecessary.  The Chinese people will increasingly voice their concerns to the CCP’s leadership in the future to scrap its surveillance capabilities because it can get out of control, but the question is, will it happen?  Only time will tell.   

The Uyghurs: China’s Problem with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)

One issue that has been mainly ignored in recent years by the Western mainstream media is the terrorism committed in China by the Uyghurs. Why? The Western view of China’s human rights abuses when it comes to the Uyghurs has two sides of the story.  First it benefits the Military-Industrial Complex and its future of selling arms to its allies throughout Asia including Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.  Second, it’s the demonization of China to gain support among the American people for a future war with China because they are “bad.”  Former US President Barack Obama supported his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her ‘Pivot to Asia’ agenda that she had published in Foreign Policy magazine titled ‘America’s Pacific Century.’ Clinton made it clear that the US goal is to remain a global hegemonic power especially in the Asia-Pacific region:

As secretary of state, I broke with tradition and embarked on my first official overseas trip to Asia. In my seven trips since, I have had the privilege to see firsthand the rapid transformations taking place in the region, underscoring how much the future of the United States is intimately intertwined with the future of the Asia-Pacific. A strategic turn to the region fits logically into our overall global effort to secure and sustain America’s global leadership. The success of this turn requires maintaining and advancing a bipartisan consensus on the importance of the Asia-Pacific to our national interests; we seek to build upon a strong tradition of engagement by presidents and secretaries of state of both parties across many decades. It also requires smart execution of a coherent regional strategy that accounts for the global implications of our choices.

What does that regional strategy look like? For starters, it calls for a sustained commitment to what I have called “forward-deployed” diplomacy. That means continuing to dispatch the full range of our diplomatic assets — including our highest-ranking officials, our development experts, our interagency teams, and our permanent assets — to every country and corner of the Asia-Pacific region. Our strategy will have to keep accounting for and adapting to the rapid and dramatic shifts playing out across Asia. With this in mind, our work will proceed along six key lines of action: strengthening bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers, including with China; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights

FOX News is one of the US mainstream media outlets that jumps into the defense of the Uyghurs when it comes to the CCP and its alleged abuses.  However, FOX News ignores the daily abuses of the Israeli regime against the Palestinians or the abuses by the Saudis against the people of Yemen who have been bombarded with US-made weapons since 2015.  To be fair, not only FOX News demonizes China, but so does the liberal media such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times that includes the BBC and others throughout Europe.   

One situation that is rarely discussed in the West is the terrorism incidents caused by certain groups and individuals in the Uyghur community not only against the CCP, but also against the Han Chinese, the largest ethnic majority in China.  In Violent Separatism in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment by James Millward from the East-West Center based in Honolulu, Hawaii and Washington D.C. documented terrorist activities since the early 1990’s that accelerated after the September 11th attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Millward wrote the following concerning terror groups originating out of the Xinjiang region in China:

Since the 1990s, concerns about Uyghur separatism have received increasing official and media attention. These concerns have heightened since the events of 9-11 with the advent of a more robust U.S. presence in Central Asia and Chinese attempts to link Uyghur separatism to international jihadist groups. A steady flow of reports from the international media—as well as official PRC releases (a document on “East Turkistan” terrorism, a white paper on Xinjiang, and a list of terrorist groups)—have given the impression of an imminent separatist and terrorist crisis in the Xinjiang region

Some of the terror attacks that were documented occurred in as early as 1992: 

February 5, 1992: Urumqi Bus Bombs. Three were killed and twenty-three injured in two explosions on buses in Urumqi; the PRC’s 2002 document claims that other bombs were discovered and defused around the same time in a cinema and a residential building. Five men were later convicted in this case and reportedly executed in June 1995.

February 1992-September 1993: Bombings. During this period there were several explosions in Yining, Urumqi, Kashgar, and elsewhere; targets included department stores, markets, hotels, and centers of “cultural activity” in southern Xinjiang. One bomb in a building of the Nongji Company (apparently a firm concerned with agricultural equipment) in Kashgar on June 17, 1993, killed two and injured six. One bomb went off in a wing of the Seman Hotel in Kashgar, though no one was hurt in this explosion. The PRC’s 2002 document claims that in the 1993 explosions two people were killed and thirty-six injured overall

On March 9th, 2008, Reuters published an account on what took place during an attempted terrorist attack on a passenger jet on its way to Beijing China foils attempted terror attack on flight.’  The report said that “China foiled a bid to cause an air disaster on a passenger jet en route to Beijing and the plane made a safe emergency landing, an official said on Sunday, in what state media called an attempted terrorist attack.”  According to Reuters sources, “The China Southern flight originated in Urumqi, capital of the restive far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where militant Uighurs have agitated for an independent “East Turkestan.”  On September 8th, 2011, the BBC reported that a militant Islamic group was behind a terrorist attack in the Xinjiang region that resulted in dozens of people dead.  The BBC report Islamic militant group ‘behind Xinjiang attacks said the following:

A militant Islamic group has released a video saying it was behind recent attacks in China’s Xinjiang region which left dozens of people dead, a US internet monitoring group says.  The video was made by a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party.  The group, which is fighting against Chinese control of Xinjiang, says the attacks were revenge against the Beijing government.

One of the deadliest attacks experienced in China occurred on March 1st, 2014 in the Kunming Railway Station in Kunming which is located in the Yunnan province.  The BBC reported on the incident and said that ‘China separatists blamed for Kunming knife rampage’ and said that “Chinese officials have blamed separatists from the north-western Xinjiang region for a mass knife attack at a railway station that left 29 people dead and at least 130 wounded” and that “a group of attackers, dressed in black, burst into the station in the south-west city of Kunming and began stabbing people at random.”  The report also said that “Images from the scene posted online showed bodies lying in pools of blood” and that the “State news agency Xinhua said police shot at least four suspects dead.”  There were other terrorist attacks that involved the Uyghurs that only pushed the CCP to move forward with facial recognition and a social credit system associated with a criminal offending database.  By 2021, the CCP’s surveillance system expanded in the southern city of Guangzhou that allowed incoming passengers to walk through a biometric security checkpoint. 

In Xinjiang, security checkpoints and identification stations were in many places where people must show proof of ID with their faces being scanned at the same time by various cameras before they enter any supermarket, train stations or any other public place.  China’s security concerns do go beyond what is needed to protect themselves from terrorism. 

However, I do not justify any form of police state tactics against any population despite China’s extreme measures that resembles George Orwell’s 1984, however, at the same time, there are legitimate concerns involving the Uyghur population and their use of terrorism that has caused numerous deaths and injuries of innocent people.

From China to Syria: ETIM joins Al-Qaeda and the Syrian “Moderate” Rebels

One piece of information the Western media usually ignores is the fact that since 2013, there have been thousands of Uyghurs who have traveled to Syria and joined terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, the Syrian “Moderate Rebels” and others to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army.  One western media news agency reported on the Uyghurs in Syria and their affiliation with US-backed terrorists who were trying to overthrow or kill Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and that was the Associated Press (AP) who published an Exclusive story Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China admits a fact about the Uyghurs and their ties to terrorist groups from the Middle East and Africa and how they are using their experiences to fight China:

Since 2013, thousands of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority from western China, have traveled to Syria to train with the Uighur militant group Turkistan Islamic Party and fight alongside al-Qaida, playing key roles in several battles. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops are now clashing with Uighur fighters as the six-year conflict nears its endgame

The AP mentioned a Uyghur by the name of Ali who said, “We didn’t care how the fighting went or who Assad was,” said Ali, “we just wanted to learn how to use the weapons and then go back to China.”  That’s what Chinese officials needed on their hands, Uyghurs traveling to Syria to learn how Al-Qaeda and others use terrorist tactics and techniques then bring that knowledge back to China.  The CCP had its hands full with the threat of terrorism on Chinese soil.  The AP outlined the facts that the Uyghurs have committed numerous crimes in China over the years: 

Uighur militants have killed hundreds, if not thousands, in attacks inside China in a decades-long insurgency that initially targeted police and other symbols of Chinese authority but in recent years also included civilians. Extremists with knives killed 33 people at a train station in 2014. Abroad, they bombed the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan in September last year; in 2014, they killed 25 people in an attack on a Thai shrine popular with Chinese tourists

In a report from June 2016 by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission titled China’s Response to Terrorism’ by Murray Scot Tanner and James Bellacqua clarifies what China has been facing when it comes to terrorism:

While tracking the nature and magnitude of China’s terrorist challenges is difficult, it is clear that China faces some level of domestic terrorist threat, and that its citizens have been victims of terrorist attacks both at home and abroad.

Between 2012 and 2015, China suffered multiple domestic terrorist attacks. Reported incidents became more frequent during this period, and they also became more dispersed geographically, with major incidents occurring in Beijing and other eastern cities, in addition to China’s mostly Muslim western regions. Several of these incidents were also targeted at high-traffic urban areas, resulting in indiscriminate injury or death to civilians

In an unusual fashion, in what they call a backgrounder, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a bi-partisan establishment think tank based in New York City published ‘The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM)’ explained who and what is ETIM and its longtime affiliations with terrorists: 

Reportedly founded by Hasan Mahsum, a Uighur from Xinjiang’s Kashgar region, ETIM has been listed by the State Department as one of the more extreme separatist groups. It seeks an independent state called East Turkestan that would cover an area including parts of Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). After Mahsum’s assassination by Pakistani troops in 2003 during a raid on a suspected al-Qaeda hideout near the Afghanistan border, the group was led by Abdul Haq, who was reportedly killed in Pakistan in 2010. In August 2014, Chinese state media released a report stating that Memetuhut Memetrozi, a co-founder of ETIM who is serving a life sentence in China for his involvement in terrorist attacks, had been indoctrinated in a madrassa in Pakistan. The report, which said Memetuhut had met Mahsum in 1997 and launched ETIM later that year, marked a rare public admission of Pakistani ties to Uighur militancy. 

Some experts say ETIM is an umbrella organization for many splinter groups, including ones that operate in Pakistan and central Asia. The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), for instance, is one of the most prominent groups, formed in 2006 by Uighurs who fled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1990s. That group took credit for a series of attacks in several Chinese cities in 2008, including deadly bus explosions in Shanghai and Kunming. According to U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor, the TIP’s “claims of responsibility appear exaggerated, but the threat TIP poses cannot be ignored.” Stratfor also said that the TIP had expanded its presence on the Internet, issuing videos calling for a jihad by Uighurs in Xinjiang. Ben N. Venzke, head of the U.S.-based independent terrorism-monitoring firm IntelCenter, says it is unclear whether the TIP is separate from ETIM, but notes that the groups’ objectives are both Islamist and nationalist

In the last year of the Trump administration, despite the proof from various reports including those produced by the US and its think tanks that ETIM committed multiple terrorist attacks in mainland China, the US government removed ETIM from its terror list.  According to Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) US removes separatist group condemned by China from terror list reported that The United States said it would no longer designate a Chinese Uighur separatist group as a “terrorist organization” on Friday, sparking sharp condemnation from Beijing.”  This was a clear indication that Washington is doing everything it can to destabilize China.  It is a move that will allow newly trained Uyghurs to use their newly acquired skills to cause more chaos in China.  It’s basically a slap in the face:    

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was removed from Washington’s terror list, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a notice posted in the Federal Register.

“ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist,” a State Department spokesperson said, news agency AFP reported

This is a typical turn of events for Washington and its long-term objective of destabilizing China by whatever means necessary to try stop its rise to power. The New World Order is becoming a multipolar world order with China, Russia and others who will compete with declining Western powers who are basically responsible for many of the wars, economic exploitation, and the colonization of the global south and that’s what Washington and its European allies are afraid of. 

US Government Propaganda on China’s Internment Camps for the Uyghurs

In an important investigation by Ben Norton and Ajit Singh of The Grayzone ‘No, the UN did not report China has ‘massive internment camps’ for Uighur Muslims starts off with an introduction on how mainstream media propaganda has claimed that China has imprisoned more than 1 million Uyghurs in designated “internment camps” but as the facts makes itself clear, it is a fabrication by the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that is funded by Washington’s armchair warriors:

A spokesperson from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed in a statement to The Grayzone that the allegation of Chinese “camps” was not made by the United Nations, but rather by a member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That member happened to be the only American on the committee, and one with no background of scholarship or research on China.

Moreover, this accusation is based on the thinly sourced reports of a Chinese opposition group that is funded by the American government’s regime-change arm and is closely tied to exiled pro-US activists. There have been numerous reports of discrimination against Uighur Muslims in China. However, information about camps containing 1 million prisoners has originated almost exclusively from media outlets and organizations funded and weaponized by the US government to turn up the heat on Beijing

On August 10, 2018, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination conducted a review for 179 countries who were signed on to the convention which is a process that takes place annually which also included a review for China’s compliance.  “On the day of the review, Reuters published a report with an explosive headline: “U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.”  From CNN, FOX News to the New York Times, all echoed the same propaganda that the UN had investigated China’s actions against the Uyghurs and accused Beijing of genocide, but it was all a lie.  The UN did conduct any investigation into the Uyghur internment camps “and this committee’s official website makes it clear that it is “a body of independent experts,” not UN officials.”  One individual that The Grayzone report focused on is Gay McDougall, a member of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):

What’s more, a look at the OHCHR’s official news release on the committee’s presentation of the report showed that the only mention of alleged re-education “camps” in China was made by its sole American member, Gay McDougall. This claim was then echoed by a Mauritanian member, Yemhelhe Mint Mohamed.

During the committee’s regular review of China, McDougall commented that she was “deeply concerned” about “credible reports” alleging mass detentions of millions of Uighurs Muslim minorities in “internment camps.” The Associated Press reported that McDougall “did not specify a source for that information in her remarks at the hearing.” (Note that the headline of the AP news wire is much weaker than that of Reuters: “UN panel concerned at reported Chinese detention of Uighurs”)

The Grayzone received an email from the OHCHR spokesperson Julia Gronnevet “confirmed that the CERD was not representative of the UN as a whole.”  She said that “You are correct that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an independent body,” Gronnevet wrote. “Quoted comments were made during public sessions of the Committee when members were reviewing State parties.”  The report confirmed that McDougall’s claims were false:

Thus the OHCHR implicitly acknowledged that the comments by McDougall, the lone American member of an independent committee, were not representative of any finding by the UN as a whole. The report by Reuters is simply false

The mainstream media has tried to cover up McDougall’s lies with an “Activist group” called ‘Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), but the problem with this network is that it is supported by US regime-change operators based in, you guessed it, Washington D.C:

In addition to this irresponsible misreporting, Reuters and other Western outlets have attempted to fill in the gaps left by McDougall, referring to reports made by so-called “activist group” the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

Conveniently left out of the story is that this organization is headquartered in Washington, DC and funded by the US government’s regime-change arm.  CHRD advocates full-time against the Chinese government, and has spent years campaigning on behalf of extreme right-wing opposition figures

CHRD is supported by one of the most notorious organizations involved in Regime-Change operations around the world, and that is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

However, tax documents uncovered by The Grayzone show that a significant portion of this group’s budget comes from the US government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-linked soft-power group that was founded by the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s to push regime change against independent governments and support “free markets” around the world.

In 2012, the NED gave the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders $490,000. In 2013, it got a $520,000 grant from the NED

The list of funds given to CHRD from the NED continued in 2015 with $496,000, and another $412, 300 was added to its budget in 2016. 

Behind the CHRD is its international director, Renee Xia who is an anti-China activist who in the past has called upon Washington to impose sanctions on CCP officials.  She is an advocate for the release of a neoconservative Chinese dissident by the name of Liu Xiaobo:  

While Liu Xiaobo became a cause celebre of the Western liberal intelligensia, he was a staunch supporter of colonialism, a fan of the most blood-soaked US military campaigns, and a hardcore libertarian. 

As writers Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong reported in The Guardian in 2010, Liu led numerous US government-funded right-wing organizations that advocated mass privatization and the Westernization of China. He also expressed openly racist views against the Chinese. “To choose Westernisation is to choose to be human,” Liu insisted, lamenting that traditional Chinese culture had made its population “wimpy, spineless, and fucked up.”

While CHRD described Liu as an “advocate of non-violence,” he practically worshiped President George W. Bush and strongly supported the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq, as well as the war in Afghanistan. “Non-violence advocate” Liu was even a fan of America’s wars in Korea and Vietnam, which killed millions of civilians

The Grayzone mentioned an article published by The Guardian in 2010, Do supporters of Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo really know what he stands for?’ written by Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong state the fact that Liu supports Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians and has claimed that they are the provocateurs:

Liu has also one-sidedly praised Israel’s stance in the Middle East conflict. He places the blame for the Israel/Palestine conflict on Palestinians, who he regards as “often the provocateurs”

Overall, the accusations by the CHRD against China and its imprisonment of the Uyghurs is brought to you by the CIA and its propaganda news networks from around the world:

A look at the sourcing of the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders’ research raises many doubts about its legitimacy. For one, the most-cited source in the CHRD report, accounting for more than one-fifth of the 101 references, is Radio Free Asia, a news agency created by the CIA during the Cold War pump out anti-China propaganda, and still today funded by the US government.

Even The New York Times has referred to Radio Free Asia as a “Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the CIA.” Along with Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio y Televisión Martí, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Asia (RFA) is operated by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a federal agency of the US government under the supervision of the State Department. Describing its work as “vital to U.S. national interests,” BBG’s primary broadcasting standard is to be “consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States.”  The near-total reliance on Washington-linked sources is characteristic of Western reporting on Uighurs Muslims in China, and on the country in general, which regularly features sensational headlines and allegations

China’s Threat to the ‘New World Order’ is the Multipolar World Order

The US and its European allies are afraid of China’s economic growth and of its political influence on the world stage, not of its supposed “imperial agenda” they consistently claim.  China is becoming part of a multipolar world where more than one country has the economic and diplomatic influence instead of the Old-World Order where a unified Western power structure led by the US and its European allies that has brought nothing more than death and destruction to most of the global south.  Their imperial expansion accelerated after World War II to become a global empire, but the world is tired of the same old political establishment from the West telling the rest of the world what to do and who they can become allies with.  China is a target of the West, but China will protect its sovereignty at all costs.  China is ready for a war. 

China will be a force economically for centuries to come with their Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that was introduced in 2013 as a global investment project to develop an economic infrastructure strategy to invest and trade with more than 150 countries who participate in the project.  The US is worried about that, so, like spoiled children, the US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and then later on, fellow Democrat Senator, Ed Markey from Massachusetts and other Democrat Representatives including John Garamendi and Alan Lowenthal from California, and Don Beyer of Virginia with Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa, who is a Republican with more politicians to follow suit in the future, all defiantly went to Taiwan in an effort to antagonize China to see how far will the CCP go knowing that the One-China Policy is what Beijing takes seriously, in fact, it’s the red line for them.  It was an insult, but China did not take any serious actions against the move that would have led to a world war.     

China has human rights issues and to be fair, so does the US government, for example, the US has more people in prison than any other country on the planet.  There is no doubt that the CCP has serious issues when it comes to its internal security policies, but hopefully the Chinese people and their government will work something out in the future when the threat of terrorism and other security issues are no longer a problem.  Perhaps a new beginning can emerge that will benefit China’s society.  But one thing is certain, China and its people will not be bullied by the West.  They experienced an invasion by Imperial Japan during World War II, so it is guaranteed that China will not allow something like that to happen again especially if the US planned to install a military base in Taiwan.    

China was and still is a great civilization.  China had periods of history where they flourished, for example under the Tang Dynasty (618-907), although not a perfect example because there were internal conflicts and rebellions for political reasons, but it was considered China’s golden age.  Under the Tang Dynasty, China had a rich, highly educated society that was well-governed. The Tang Dynasty has a rich history of poetry and numerous innovations with political and cultural influences throughout Asia.  China has the potential to become a great civilization once again.  

Today, China is not a threat to world peace.  What the West fears is China’s rise as an economic powerhouse along with its Russian counterpart and others who challenge US and European hegemony.  Now the rest of the world (especially the global south) can pick and choose who they trade with and who they choose as an ally.  In other words, most countries around the world will now have a choice.  They don’t have to listen to Washington anymore, they can choose whoever they want that will benefit them the most without giving up their sovereignty in doing so.  The US and Europe as a partner is risky, especially for smaller countries who in some cases, have natural resources but don’t have a formidable military that can protect themselves from western powers.  However, China, Russia and Iran have that power to challenge the West, and now the global south sees what is happening geopolitically and they feel more optimistic about the future.  A future without Uncle Sam waving his big stick and telling governments what to do will be a new start for the world.  The era of empires is over with a multipolar world order is on the horizon and that’s a fact the West is not willing to accept. 

We are closer to World War III than ever before, but the question is, where would it begin?  In the South China Sea, in the Middle East or in Eastern Europe? I believe that World War III will begin in the Middle East between Israel and Iran, but it’s hard to tell at this point, but one thing is guaranteed, China will be involved in the next world war.  They want China to become another puppet state that they can control and dominate economically and politically forever and that’s not an exaggeration.  The US and its European allies have been the dominant power on the global stage for centuries and they are not willing to give that up anytime soon, but there is a new multipolar world emerging and that would end the threat of Western hegemonic powers that has only brought misery and pain around the world.  

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Two for Tuesdays

DiNunzio Brothers

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The American Kleptocracy: A Government of Liars, Thieves and Lawbreakers

By John & Nisha Whitehead

Source: The Rutherford Institute

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.”—H. L. Mencken

The American kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves) continues to suck the American people down a rabbit hole into a parallel universe in which the Constitution is meaningless, the government is all-powerful, and the citizenry is powerless to defend itself against government agents who steal, spy, lie, plunder, kill, abuse and generally inflict mayhem and sow madness on everyone and everything in their sphere.

Think about it.

Almost every tyranny being perpetrated by the U.S. government against the citizenry—purportedly to keep us safe and the nation secure—has come about as a result of some threat manufactured in one way or another by our own government.

Cyberwarfare. Terrorism. Bio-chemical attacks. The nuclear arms race. Surveillance. The drug wars. Domestic extremism. The COVID-19 pandemic.

In almost every instance, the U.S. government (often spearheaded by the FBI) has in its typical Machiavellian fashion sown the seeds of terror domestically and internationally in order to expand its own totalitarian powers.

Who is the biggest black market buyer and stockpiler of cyberweapons (weaponized malware that can be used to hack into computer systems, spy on citizens, and destabilize vast computer networks)? The U.S. government.

Who is the largest weapons manufacturer and exporter in the world, such that they are literally arming the world? The U.S. government.

Which country has a history of secretly testing out dangerous weapons and technologies on its own citizens? The U.S. government.

Which country has conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins? The U.S. government.

What country has a pattern and practice of entrapment that involves targeting vulnerable individuals, feeding them with the propaganda, know-how and weapons intended to turn them into terrorists, and then arresting them as part of an elaborately orchestrated counterterrorism sting? The U.S. government.

Are you getting the picture yet?

The U.S. government isn’t protecting us from terrorism.

The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror.

Consider that this very same government has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests—GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.—and used it against us, to track, control and trap us.

So why is the government doing this? Money, power and total domination.

We’re not dealing with a government that exists to serve its people, protect their liberties and ensure their happiness. Rather, these are the diabolical machinations of a make-works program carried out on an epic scale whose only purpose is to keep the powers-that-be permanently (and profitably) employed.

Case in point: the FBI.

The government’s henchmen have become the embodiment of how power, once acquired, can be so easily corrupted and abused. Indeed, far from being tough on crime, FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government, or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work.

It’s a diabolical plot with far-reaching consequences for every segment of the population, no matter what one’s political leanings.

As Rozina Ali writes for The New York Times Magazine, “The government’s approach to counterterrorism erodes constitutional protections for everyone, by blurring the lines between speech and action and by broadening the scope of who is classified as a threat.”

This is not an agency that appears to understand, let alone respect, the limits of the Constitution.

For instance, the FBI has been secretly carrying out an entrapment scheme in which it used a front company, ANOM, to sell purportedly hack-proof phones to organized crime syndicates and then used those phones to spy on them as they planned illegal drug shipments, plotted robberies and put out contracts for killings using those boobytrapped phones.

All told, the FBI intercepted 27 million messages over the course of 18 months.

What this means is that the FBI was also illegally spying on individuals using those encrypted phones who may not have been involved in any criminal activity whatsoever.

Even reading a newspaper article is now enough to get you flagged for surveillance by the FBI. The agency served a subpoena on USA Today / Gannett to provide the internet addresses and mobile phone information for everyone who read a news story online on a particular day and time about the deadly shooting of FBI agents.

This is the danger of allowing the government to carry out widespread surveillance, sting and entrapment operations using dubious tactics that sidestep the rule of law: “we the people” become suspects and potential criminals, while government agents, empowered to fight crime using all means at their disposal, become indistinguishable from the corrupt forces they seek to vanquish.  

To go after terrorists, they become terrorists. To go after drug smugglers, they become drug smugglers. To go after thieves, they become thieves.

It’s hard to say whether we’re dealing with a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves), a kakistocracy (a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens), or if we’ve gone straight to an idiocracy

This certainly isn’t a constitutional republic, however.

Some days, it feels like the government is running its own crime syndicate complete with mob rule and mafia-style justice.

In addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI—the government’s law enforcement agency—also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts.

USA Today estimates that government agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day (5600 crimes a year). Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

In addition to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.

For example, the Associated Press lodged a complaint with the Dept. of Justice after learning that FBI agents created a fake AP news story and emailed it, along with a clickable link, to a bomb threat suspect in order to implant tracking technology onto his computer and identify his location. Lambasting the agency, AP attorney Karen Kaiser railed, “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”

Then again, to those familiar with COINTELPRO, an FBI program created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government considers politically objectionable, it should come as no surprise that the agency has mastered the art of government disinformation.

The FBI has been particularly criticized in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks for targeting vulnerable individuals and not only luring them into fake terror plots but actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.”

Another fallout from 9/11, National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose the demands. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread violations.

The FBI’s surveillance capabilities, on a par with the National Security Agency, boast a nasty collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls. 

In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.”

The FBI has also repeatedly sought to expand its invasive hacking powers to allow agents to hack into any computer, anywhere in the world.

Indeed, for years now, the U.S. government has been creating what one intelligence insider referred to as a cyber-army capable of offensive attacks. As part of this cyberweapons programs, government agencies such as the NSA have been stockpiling all kinds of nasty malware, viruses and hacking tools that can “steal financial account passwords, turn an iPhone into a listening device, or, in the case of Stuxnet, sabotage a nuclear facility.”

In fact, the NSA was responsible for the threat posed by the “WannaCry” or “Wanna Decryptor” malware worm which—as a result of hackers accessing the government’s arsenal—hijacked more than 57,000 computers and crippled health care, communications infrastructure, logistics, and government entities in more than 70 countries.

Mind you, the government was repeatedly warned about the dangers of using criminal tactics to wage its own cyberwars. It was warned about the consequences of blowback should its cyberweapons get into the wrong hands.

The government chose to ignore the warnings.

That’s exactly how the 9/11 attacks unfolded.

First, the government helped to create the menace that was al-Qaida and then, when bin Laden had left the nation reeling in shock (despite countless warnings that fell on tone-deaf ears), it demanded—and was given—immense new powers in the form of the USA Patriot Act in order to fight the very danger it had created.

This has become the shadow government’s modus operandi regardless of which party controls the White House: the government creates a menace—knowing full well the ramifications such a danger might pose to the public—then without ever owning up to the part it played in unleashing that particular menace on an unsuspecting populace, it demands additional powers in order to protect “we the people” from the threat.

Yet the powers-that-be don’t really want us to feel safe.

They want us cowering and afraid and willing to relinquish every last one of our freedoms in exchange for their phantom promises of security.

As a result, it’s the American people who pay the price for the government’s insatiable greed and quest for power.

Suffice it to say that when and if a true history of the United States is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America: how a nation that once abided by the rule of law and held the government accountable for its actions has steadily devolved into a police state where justice is one-sided, a corporate elite runs the show, representative government is a mockery, police are extensions of the military, surveillance is rampant, privacy is extinct, and the law is little more than a tool for the government to browbeat the people into compliance.

Somewhere over the course of the past 240-plus years, democracy has given way to kleptocracy, and representative government has been rejected in favor of rule by career politicians, corporations and thieves—individuals and entities with little regard for the rights of American citizens.

This dissolution of that sacred covenant between the citizenry and the government—establishing “we the people” as the masters and the government as the servant—didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen because of one particular incident or one particular president. It is a process, one that began long ago and continues in the present day, aided and abetted by politicians who have mastered the polarizing art of how to “divide and conquer.”

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, our freedoms have become casualties in an all-out war on the American people.

Posted in Authoritarianism, black ops, CIA, civil liberties, culture, Deep State, Dystopia, Empire, FBI, Law, news, Oligarchy, police state, Psychology, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, State Crime, surveillance state, Technocracy, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Sure You Download the Latest Ministry of Propaganda Updates

By Charles Hugh Smith

Source: Of Two Minds

It’s time once again to check for Ministry of Propaganda updates, which like Windows and iOS is constantly being updated to counter new threats and enhance the user experience (heh).

Much like the other operating systems that underpin our daily lives, the core functions of the MoP don’t change much. My chart from 2007 remains an instructive summary of MoP operations, with the only changes being Mr. Buffett is now buying oil companies and social media corporations are now major media players.

The core mission of the Ministry of Propaganda isn’t just to push a desirable narrative–it’s to mystify the underlying dynamics of a system that benefits the few at the expense of the many by promoting a self-serving worldview (weltanschauung) that explains how the world works in a way that protects the interests of those in power.

As science fiction author Philip K. Dick explains in the quote below, the MoP narrative isn’t just a cloak thrown over the underlying dynamics, it’s the creation of an entire universe / worldview, including contexts for understanding what’s going on, establishing what’s valuable and what isn’t, and what behaviors enhance status and which ones marginalize us.

The Ministry of Propaganda isn’t monolithic: various factions compete to push their self-serving narratives. As Dick noted, this includes governments, corporations, religious and political groups, each of which understands that once the populace accepts their worldview, their power is cemented in realms far above mere force.

A key mechanism in establishing a dominant worldview is the think-tank or equivalent self-serving body claiming authority over what’s true / false and important / unimportant. This can be authority over the “correct” interpretation of spiritual texts, economic policies, healthcare “standards of care,” geopolitical goals, etc.

Since humans are innately social, status-striving beings, hierarchies of authority and power are the air we breathe. Those who establish themselves as authorities don’t just gain power, they cement their power on the basis of their authority rather than on loyalty or competence.

The enormous powers of social media and traditional media to promote claims of authority have generated a deranging snarl of conflicting agendas and narratives. Various centers of power collaborate on pushing worldviews that benefit their interests, but this isn’t entirely coherent. The one thing all participants in the Ministry of Propaganda agree on is our power is deserved and must be defended against all threats, which includes hostile entities inside and outside the national borders.

This fragmented, constantly shifting cacophony of competing authorities is destabilizing. As the tectonic plates of worldviews collide, the edges crumble and people naturally seek the safety of some core set of beliefs, in effect “circling the wagons” in an attempt to restore some internal stability.

We see this in the intense political polarization of this era (see chart below). To make sense of the competing claims of authority, we reduce the perimeter of what’s defendable, putting more of the world into “outside enemies” (them) and reserving the “safe, trusted place” for fewer of “us.”

With so many competing factions in the Ministry of Propaganda, there’s a proliferation of propaganda such that there is literally nothing left but PR. In a universe constructed of nothing but agit-prop and PR, we all have our favorites examples. James Bond picks up his Nokia phone. Even though nobody’s seen a Nokia phone in ages, if you want to be cool like Bond, go buy a Nokia phone.

Marketing is the MoP’s entire universe. Everybody’s selling something to gain or maintain power, status, mindshare or the ultimate prize, the dominant worldview.

To ease the confusion, please download the latest updates from the Ministry. These updates replace all that misinformation, misdirection, and blatant marketing with the, ahem, facts, or the correct interpretation of the facts. (We had to destroy the village in order to save it. OK, got it.)

While it’s fun to sort all the propaganda into various boxes, we would do well to look for what all the marketers / MoP players seek to mystify. In my analysis, what must be mystified at all costs boils down to the unsustainability of 1) the current consumption of resources, 2) the current method of creating capital so the few can buy up the planet’s most valuable assets, 3) neocolonialism, the modern replacement for the old model of occupation and exploitation by force, and 4) neofeudalism, the economic / social /political arrangement in which the majority of the populace are modern-day serfs with extremely limited agency and power which they are told is limitless.

“You can be anything you choose to be!” Or at least your digital avatar can do so, and that’s practically as good as actually having agency and power in the real world. Or so we’re told, mindlessly, endlessly without pause or respite.

More on these topics in the coming weeks.

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