Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not “the truth” (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary aim.
The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, January 14, 2017
The corrosive and subversive spy services, aka "intelligence" services in the US and Britain, appear to be coordinated in the goal of bringing down the presidency of Donald Trump (see also this report). Lazare analyses the latest "leak" which was reported by a former British spy and distributed widely to US government officials by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a known liar to Congress. It was distributed so widely by Clapper that Lazare suspects that it was done to insure that it would be leaked to the media.
Trump is a rightwing blowhard whose absurd babblings about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen reveal a man who is dangerously ignorant about how the world works. But he has managed to seize on one or two semi-good ideas over the years. One is that Obama administration’s confrontational policies toward Russia are a recipe for disaster, while another is that toppling Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with Al Qaeda and ISIS still up and about will only hasten their march on Damascus.Although it should seem wonderful to see dissension among the capitalist ruling class, I would be much more comfortable if anti-capitalist forces were more effectively organized to take advantage of their squabbles.
Both views are perfectly sensible. But because Washington’s endlessly bellicose foreign-policy establishment is wedded to the opposite, it sees them as high treason.
(For another piece of investigative reporting regarding this incident, I recommend an article entitled "Former MI6 Spy Paid By Jeb Bush Super PAC To Create Fake Trump Report".)
Mr. Frohnmaier: Ships unloaded US tanks, self-propelled howitzers and hundreds of other fighting vehicles in the northern German port of Bremerhaven, that are to be moved into Eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s deterrence against “possible Russian aggression” as media reports show. German mainstream politicians and media are welcoming this operation, but you are not. Why?Frohnmaier is referring to what NATO officials call "Atlantic Resolve". Here are some images of the deployment of US armor, other weapons, and troops in Europe.
Frohnmaier: I don’t even agree with the justification of this operation. There is no “possible Russian aggression” against Europe. Moscow didn’t make any move which would justify such a massive military reaction by NATO. The arrival of US war materiel in Europe is a sign of confrontation.
(For more information about this military exercise and concerns about possible continuing threats to Russia under the Trump administration based on statements issued by his cabinet nominees, listen to Luke Rudkowski, founder of We Are Change website.)
|Trained to obey, not educated to think, by ruling class|
This article will give you basic information about the boycott movement (BDS).
For more specific information about how to participate in BDS, check out this link.
Friday, January 13, 2017
This Iraqi veteran and now Congresswoman tells of her discussion with Trump and about her views regarding the Syrian conflict.
On 17 September 2016 aircraft of the so-called ‘coalition’, led by the United States, bombed Syrian Army troop positions at Deir Ez-Zor. Aircraft from the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark and Australia took part in the attack. Between 62 and 90 (reports vary) Syrian troops were killed and more than 100 injured. The attack allowed ISIS forces to take control of what was a vital area protecting the airport.This Australian attorney includes this incident and two additional recent pieces of evidence to make sense out of the conflict in Syria, in which the US has played such a key role, to reveal more truths about the conflict. The two recent pieces of evidence are:
At the time, the attack was labeled a “mistake”.
1) The first is the release of the report into the investigation by the US Central Command based in Qatar on 29 November 2016.
2) At the beginning of 2017 Wikileaks released the audio of a meeting that Kerry had with members of the Syrian Opposition on 22 September 2016 at the Dutch UN Mission. This was less than a week after the Deir ez-Zor bombing.
Unfortunately, he doesn't provide a link to this fascinating audio recording, and I was sure that I had posted it on my website, but apparently I didn't. Here is the full Wikileaks recording that was first released on December 30, 2016:
If you haven't listened to it already on other posts, I urge you to do so. Some key sections are the following:
1) 3:48 - 4:01 Kerry admits that opposition and extremists are aligned.Also Mint Press News give a good summary of the significance of the recording.
Kerry: "Nusra and Daesh both make it hard because you have this extreme element and unfortunately some of the opposition has already chosen to work with them"
2) 22:29 - 23:51 Opposition Rep defends Nusra.
The rebel representative is angry that Sunnis (Al Nusra/ISIS) will be bombed in the ceasefire while Hezbollah and the Iranian/Iraqi militias are not. Kerry has to explain that Nusra/Daesh have attacked the U.S. and are our enemies while Hezbollah has not and has not even been active against Israel.
3) 26:09 - 26:55
“And we know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that DAESH (ISIS) was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened,” Kerry said during the meeting.
“(We) thought, however,” he continued to say, “We could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”
Mainstream economists and economic commentators continue to invoke the so-called “dignity of work” to criticize the idea of a universal basic income.Quite to the contrary. Working for employers is subjecting oneself to the indignity of a wage-slave by working for bosses (masters) who have essentially complete control over you while at work; and increasingly nowadays for middle managers with the introduction of cellphone technology to their jobs, this kind of relationship often extends beyond normal work hours.
It’s an argument I’ve dealt with before (e.g., here and here). As I see it, there’s nothing necessarily dignified about most people being forced to have the freedom to sell their ability to work to a tiny group of employers. The idea may be intrinsic to capitalism—but that doesn’t mean it contributes to the dignity of people who work for a living, especially when they have no control over how they work or what they produce when they work.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
According to Nicole Nguyen, national security-related agencies and companies are drawing young people into a mindset of militarism and war via their involvement in homeland security programs, which have been established in dozens of public schools in the U.S. Nguyen did ethnographic work at one such high school; she reveals what the students are taught and what values and beliefs they are encouraged to adopt.I found this interview quite disturbing. Nguyen describes what many poorer school districts are faced with: inadequate funding for education and increasing pressure to focus on jobs to keep their students in school until they graduate. To make up for the lack of funding, many school districts are seduced by grants that are available from the Dept. of Homeland Security to fund curricula that promotes strong militaristic values, distorted ideas about terrorism, stereotypes about the Middle East, racist hyper-masculine conditioning, and the necessity of imperialist wars. Teachers at these schools are also assigned surveillance responsibilities to identify students who might be inclined toward terrorism.
There are facts, there are truths, and there are facts and truths that may make us feel certain things--things that call on us to demand that these truths be addressed. However, many do not like uncomfortable truths, and grifters are aware of that. So they tell lies and they identify scapegoats, and direct the rage of the people so that they feel powerful--so powerful that they don't want truths, even when they know they are hearing lies. And these people slip into the land of unreality, the cult of personality, and may be lost. The real challenge is to not lose the nation in the same sink hole.
Instead of posting rational, evidence-based posts and commentaries supported by links from credible sources, I sometimes want to issue curse-laden rants like this. But Dore does it much better than I can.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Real Threat Is ‘Telling The Truth’: Abby Martin Responds To Accusations Of Influencing Election 2016
On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence [ODNI] published a declassified version of “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution,” a report which purports to document Russia’s alleged interference in the election.Referring to the ODNI report she remarked (around 5:15m in the RT interview):
Despite the report’s technical-sounding title, a sizable portion of the document is concerned not with cyber attacks, but with unfavorable coverage of the U.S. government and American politics broadcast on RT, the Russian state-owned news network that has been a target of repeated U.S. government threats. The report specifically highlights Martin’s show, “Breaking the Set,” which ran on RT....
What this report really is saying, Anya, is that telling the truth, reporting on issues that affect Americans and their communities, is the threat.Their argument, which Martin clarifies, is without any kind of legitimacy, but telling the truth is a major threat to the Empire's actions and the ruling capitalist class in the US. That is precisely why they don't want anyone anywhere in the media telling the truth. That is why they are going after alternative media. Keep telling the truth, Abby, because telling the truth has become a revolutionary act necessary (although not sufficient) to overthrow the rule of capitalism.
To be more specific, US corporate media are not covering it honestly.
Much like the U.S., the Mexican government is susceptible to corporate influence. It just so happens that the most influential corporate entities in Mexico are drug cartels — and it’s hard for the government to reign in entities that fund and infiltrate it. Similar to the phenomenon of “regulatory capture,” the Mexican government is at least partially funded and co-opted by drug cartels. This festering problem is an underlying factor in the current civil unrest in Mexico.
Meyssan explains the critical importance of Turkey to remain affiliated with the US Empire and a participating member of the Empire's army known as NATO, but this has been threatened by the recent apparent attempt by the US to engineer a coup against Erdogan, the president of Turkey. Meyssan reports on major efforts led by the Assistant Secretary of State, Ziocon Victoria Nuland, to keep Turkey in NATO.
Seen from Washington, a possible exit by Turkey from NATO, or at least from the Integrated Military Command of the Atlantic Alliance, has the imperialist faction of Power in a cold sweat. In terms of numbers, the Turkish army is in fact the second NATO power after the United States. ....
This is the source of the neo-conservative "forcing" [major effort] aimed at bringing Turkey back into the "course of History" (meaning that of the "New American Century"). [my suggested translation]It will be interesting to see if these efforts by the Ziocons continue after Trump's administration is in place. Meyssan thinks they will continue because of the their major influence in the Deep State that really controls Empire policies.
There is a campaign underway to destroy Syria's public utilities. Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the U.S. airforce are involved. Their action is coordinated.Bernhard reveals some of the history behind the Empire's terrorist army called ISIS to crush Assad's government in Syria.
That is an outrageous statement? No such coordination would ever happen?
It must be remembered that the US Empire has a history of supporting terrorist paramilitaries and armies to crush their opponents: the Contras in Nicaragua, paramilitaries in Colombia and El Salvador, anti-Castro Cubans in their attempted invasion of Cuba ("Bay of Pigs"), etc.
Based on a recent report by General John Nicholson, US commander of US armed forces in Afghanistan, Gunnar found mostly disinformation. But the disinformation actually helped him to deduce three truths or realities about our presence in that country.
1. "Stronger Afghan Military" Still Requires Years More of US Hand-Holding
2. US Taxpayers Will Pay Twice for Afghanistan’s Ineffectual Military
3. The US is not Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan
Gunnar ends his analysis with this conclusion:
[Corporate media] Coverage of America's ongoing presence in Afghanistan has dwindled within the US and European media specifically because the alleged narrative underpinning the occupation has diverged so drastically from reality. Over the next year, for those who carefully follow the conflict, the US will continue manufacturing excuses to remain in the country while it focuses on both negotiating with the Taliban and attempting to diminish them politically and militarily.And to pay for this never-ending occupation of Afghanistan (as well as other imperialist adventures), we ordinary people in the US will experience more cutbacks to social, medical services, educational services, and infrastructure spending.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
With Kissinger now in a unique relationship with President-elect Trump as shadow foreign policy adviser, with Kissinger allies Tillerson as Secretary of State and Mattis as Secretary of Defense, it is beginning to appear that the heavy hand of Kissinger and his version of British Balance of Power political manipulations is about to target China, as well as Iran, and to try to use Putin and Russia to destroy the genuine possibility of a counterweight to Western One World delusions, by fostering mistrust and bad blood between China and Russia and Iran.Engdahl expands on his thesis that he argued in a November post entitled "The Dangerous Deception Called The Trump Presidency" by focusing on Kissinger's role to serve the powerful Rockefeller clan's interest in building what George Bush Sr. referred to as a "new world order" which is essentially the dominance of the US-led Empire. With his excellent understanding of history Engdahl reminds us of the extensive use of the "balance of power" strategy so often employed by the British ruling class to build the British Empire and to neutralize all opponents, and he argues the Kissinger and the current Rockefeller faction are influenced by exactly the same strategy to divide Russia and China.
My main problem with this argument is the continuing news coverage provided by corporate media that continues to engage in virulent attacks on Trump. It's as if corporate news producers get together everyday and see how they can gather together every scrap of information with which to defame Trump and delegitimize his presidency. I've never seen anything like it. Perhaps Engdahl, an American who resides in Germany, is not exposed to so much negative coverage of Trump and it does not figure in his calculations. None of his recent articles arguing this view seem to pose an alternate faction that I believe is led by those in control of the CIA and other "intelligence" agencies.
Engdahl's position is not that Trump was elected by some chicanery, but that the Rockefeller faction saw in him an excellent vehicle that they could use to appeal to wide sections of the American populace and promote their new world order policies. Thus they chose to back Trump. Referring to Trump's style of political campaign, Engdahl wrote his November's article an excellent parody of the performer Trump:
‘Ladies and gentlemen, It’s Showtime!’ Today we give you Donald Trump. He will tell you just what many of you want to hear. Trump the showman will tell you he will make America great again; Trump will say he will ship at least 3 million illegals back across the Rio Grande; Trump will introduce a bill to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization; Trump will bring jobs back to America from China and other low wage countries; Trump will sit down with Putin and work out some kind of a deal to calm things down; Trump will scrap the Iran nuclear deal of Obama…There are three key events that come to mind that I think support Engdahl's thesis.
Often during this election campaign, which was more a Hollywood “D” grade movie than any honest debate of policies and ideas candidate Trump made statements that resonated with the “silent majority” of not only so-called blue collar workers, but also the disenfranchised middle class whose earnings have been declining in real terms since the 1970’s. Trump, like an earlier actor-President named Ronald Reagan, has a talent to make himself sound sincere.
1) Zbigniew Brzezinski's startling essay entitled "Toward a Global Realignment" (because this can no longer be accessed at The American Interest website--access it here) which subtly argued that some sort of accommodation should be reached with at least one of the two nations. Brzezinski has always exhibited a fanatic anti-Russian attitude.
While no state is likely in the near future to match America’s economic-financial superiority, new weapons systems could suddenly endow some countries with the means to commit suicide in a joint tit-for-tat embrace with the United States, or even to prevail. Without going into speculative detail, the sudden acquisition by some state of the capacity to render America militarily inferior would spell the end of America’s global role. The result would most probably be global chaos. And that is why it behooves the United States to fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.2) The FBI's re-opening of their investigation about Clinton's alleged misuse of emails only eleven days before the election, and at that time the FBI was denying that Russian influence had any effect on the election. I think that this event was crucial in Trump's victory. Likely the Rockefeller faction influenced Director Comey of the FBI to do this.
3) Kissinger's trip to Russia to meet Putin and other officials in February 2016, and various statements made by Kissinger regarding Trump as reported in this article by Engdahl.
However, I am still concerned about the significance of corporate media's continuing vendetta against Trump and what this represents. This is a phenomenon that Engdahl ignores.
Settlerism is an ideology, one that believes Jews are a “chosen people” whose Biblical rights to the Promised Land trump those of non-Jews such as Palestinans. Polls show 70 per cent of Israeli Jews think they are chosen by God.
The settlers have taken over the army, both demographically and ideologically. They now dominate its officer corps and they direct policy on the ground.
Monday, January 9, 2017
(On a personal note, I was particularly interested in this film because of one experience I had in 2005 while riding my bike with a cycling club across northern British Columbia from Prince Rupert to Prince George. At one place where we stopped to rest I noticed some people who were taking samples in a nearby stream and recording data. While talking to them, I learned, based on their data, that almost all of the salmon where pink salmon and very little consisted of Chinook, socket, and coho salmon. I was shocked. I never learned why there were such an abundance of pink salmon.)
The film reports on the struggle of scientists to warn the Canadian government about the disastrous impacts of corporate salmon farms on wild salmon. This struggle illustrates so much about the attack on truth when truth affects the profits of the ruling capitalist class far beyond merely fish wildlife.
The scientific method of obtaining truth was a gift from many persecuted individuals in search of truth during what became known as the Age of Enlightenment. Science as a disciplined method of obtaining truth used evidence and reason. Ruling classes hate truth whenever it clashes with their interests, and science indeed challenged the authority of the Catholic church which was a major ideological support for the rule of feudal authorities consisting of monarchs, aristocracies, as well as the Catholic church.
The early capitalist classes used their discoveries about the world of nature to increase their profits in enterprises. They then challenged the feudal authorities and eventually took control from them to establish new political forms of states and top-down bureaucratic governments. These new capitalist controlled governments gave capitalists exclusive control over productive enterprises in the form of "ownership" rights which included such rights as exclusive control over management, ownership of all inventions and patentable ideas created by workers on the premises of their enterprises, control of all profits, and exclusive rights to sell such properties and benefit from the sales. This inevitably evolved into what we have today: transnational corporations who command more resources and political power than most states of the world, and have taken control of nearly all governments including Canada and the US.
Nowadays we are again witnessing the clash of scientific and other truths reported by scientists, journalists, and other keen observers who are being suppressed (and again being persecuted, but in modern ways such as taking away their employment opportunities) by ruling capitalist authorities whose operations are increasingly being threatened by the truth. Thus we see almost daily reports of government authorities trying to avoid the truth from reports by independent scientists that indicate that the relatively cheap fossil fuels that capitalist use in their profitable enterprises are creating many disastrous effects on the Earth's ecosystem. We see daily reports in major media that lie and cover up reports by independent journalists and other honest observers about how major capitalist governments are promoting wars to capture resources and markets from other countries to benefit their corporations.
This film, which is about the disease-spreading factory fish farms that capitalists find so profitable, provides a perfect illustration of how governments and other capitalist authorities, in general, go to such great lengths to suppress truthful information. (If you don't have time to watch the entire film, I recommend watching the segment from 27:12m to about 35:00m.)
Sunday, January 8, 2017
The CIA’s Cult of Death: a Review of Douglas Valentine’s The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World
The CIA is known as a surveillance and information gathering apparatus of the USA that engages in various international intrigues. That view of the CIA is superficial. The CIA as Organized Crime presents the CIA as much more and in decidedly more sinister shades. Among these shades, the CIA is a war criminal, torturer, assassin, arms smuggler, drug smuggling kingpin, media network, business empire, and more. The CIA is steeped in capitalism, girded in racism, masterminds and carries out “regime change,” has hands on the control of information and its communication, is creepily immersed in law enforcement and justice, and has a deeply corruptive influence on foreign governments, the DEA, NSA, military, and Justice Department, as well as on US members of Congress.
Although Trump has expressed opposition to CIA and other intelligence agency reports about Russian hacking of US elections, it doesn't seem likely that the Deep State that governs our nation will have any difficulty with Trump's nomination of former Sen. Coats as head of all the spy agencies. Coats' career is so typical of most "revolving door" government officials: between serving the government in official posts, he served as a lobbyist for major corporations.
As director of national intelligence, Coats – who served as an Indiana senator for a total of 17 years, with stints as U.S. Ambassador to Germany and corporate lobbyist for Google and General Electric in between terms – would head the umbrella agency in charge of all 16 U.S. intelligence organizations, including the CIA and the National Security Agency.In any case from my observations of the CIA since 1960, the CIA and NSA are prime agencies of the Deep State and nothing that Coats could possibly do would be permitted in any way to interfere with their operations. Even when the former director James Clapper lied to a Senate committee, which theoretically has oversight responsibilities for the spy agencies, no discipline was imposed on Clapper.
While a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats was an outspoken supporter of the NSA’s illegal domestic spying programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, writing in an op-ed that the programs were “legal, constitutional and used only under strict oversight,” claims which were all proven false by multiple federal judges. After the programs were declared illegal by several federal courts, he voted against legislation to rein in domestic surveillance operations.
You might also be interested in how the Deep State's newspaper, The Washington Post (legally owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos), report on Coats' nomination in an article entitled "Trump is expected to nominate ex-senator Dan Coats for director of national intelligence".
Although I regard Steele as politically unsophisticated, as a former spy officer with the CIA and connections with other spy officers he does provide some of the best facts that relate directly from those with technical spy skills. I think that the following section of his article is particularly valuable:
Here are the facts as I understand them, augmented by public statements from Julian Assange, Craig Murray, William Binney, James Bamford, Ray McGovern, Philip Giraldi, and John McAfee – and others who do not wish to be named.
I am posting this article to give an illustration of a reformist view (or liberal view) of a contemporary problem as opposed to a radical view. I have long held the latter position and have encountered problems in clarifying this view for my fellow Americans. Most regard our system of capitalism as a given much like fish which regard water as simply reality. Obviously most Americans have been thoroughly indoctrinated by all the ideological institutions of our capitalist ruling class, and no longer see the system as a construct but simply accept it as reality.
Raimondo expresses his outrage regarding the CIA as an agency of the government which has committed the sins of lying to Congress and is currently trying to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's election. That's it. He doesn't even include all sixteen of the so-called intelligence agencies. So his fix is to purge it, and he hopes Trump will do this.
In contrast to this extremely narrow view of an undesirable agency, a radical view holds that the CIA along with all the unaccountable secret agencies are used by the capitalist ruling class's Deep State to control the government and all the institutions of our nation much like a puppeteer controls his/her puppets. They do this to hide their fascist operations within the US and its imperialist activities throughout the world while preserving the ideological narrative that we live in a democracy.
The solution is not to abolish the agency or revamp it, which is merely one symptom of control by a ruling class of major capitalists, but to use a radical solution by removing the source of the problem--the rule by a tiny capitalist ruling class. Thus a radical solution of revolution is required--whether we like it or not--to rid ourselves of capitalism, a class based system based on private ownership of the economy, and to construct a new egalitarian social system in which there is bottom-up public control of the economy and the entire society. I don't like it, but I see no alternative.