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"Jihadists" Vow to Destroy Lebanon

Jul 11, 2014 Dr. Franklin Lamb
Jihadists in Lebanon by Franklin Lamb -…
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Our Submissive Void and the Rape of Gaza

Jul 12, 2014 John Pilger
On Israel, Ukraine and Truth by John…
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Face to Face with Professor Anthony J. Hall

May 25, 2011 Creative Commons
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Two War Presidents Better Than One?

Sep 30, 2008 Tom Engelhardt
How Forgotten Iraq May Elect the Next…
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Fighting America

Apr 03, 2010 Ramzy Baroud
The Lobby v. America by Ramzy Baroud As…
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Biden Fil Dives In On Ukraine Energy Job

Night of the Hunter: Family Values in American Foreign Policy
by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque 
hunter bidenThe only article I ever had published in The Nation involved the offspring of a powerful politician trading on his White House connections to advance his private fortune.

The piece was written 12 years ago, as the Enron scandal was breaking. (And boy, doesn't that seem several centuries ago now, looking back over the vast flooded plains of blood and ruin that our bipartisan elites have bequeathed us since then.)

Hunter Biden
 
It was a short article, dealing with the key role that the accounting firm Arthur Andersen had played both in the unfolding Enron morass in 2002 and the murky political machinations that kept George W. Bush from facing charges over what appeared to be a fairly flagrant -- and highly profitable -- bout of insider trading in 1990. That was when yet another Bush business was bailed out -- yet again -- by sugar daddies currying favor with his sour daddy in the White House; in this case, Harken Energy. Bush became a company director and member of the audit committee -- then cashed out just weeks before Harken's stock took a deep dive.
 

Media Speak: DoubleThinking Right

Thinking the Right Thoughts
by David Cromwell & David Edwards  - Media Lens
fallujah 2003There are always convenient news-hooks on which corporate journalists can hang their power-friendly prejudices about the West being 'the good guys' in world affairs. Channel 4 News is not immune from this chauvinism.
 
Fallujah 2003
 
For example, Matt Frei introduced a report about last month's elections in Iraq with this propaganda bullet:
 
'Now, America once invaded Iraq so that, in large part, Iraqis could do what they did today – go to the polls.' (Channel 4 News, April 30, 2014)

Frei was, in fact, diligently reading out the first line of a blog piece by his colleague Jonathan Rugman, C4 News foreign affairs correspondent. The actual overriding reason for the West's war of aggression – strategic geopolitical dominance, including control of valuable hydrocarbon resources in the Middle East – was simply brushed aside.
 
As ever, 'we' must be seen to be acting out of benign intent and pure desire to bring democracy to people around the globe. The reality is that 'we' must stifle other countries' independent development and, if required, bomb them into submission to Western state-corporate hegemony.
 

Into Africa: Old Colonialism's New Normal

The U.S. Military’s New Normal in Africa: A Secret African Mission and an African Mission that’s No Secret
by Nick Turse  - TomDispatch
kill anything-1-1 - copyWhat is Operation New Normal?

It’s a question without an answer, a riddle the U.S. military refuses to solve. It’s a secret operation in Africa that no one knows anything about. Except that someone does. His name is Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee Magee. He lives and breathes Operation New Normal. But he doesn’t want to breath paint fumes or talk to me, so you can’t know anything about it.

Confused? Stay with me.

Whatever Operation New Normal may be pales in comparison to the real “new normal” for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The lower-cased variant is bold and muscular. It’s an expeditionary force on a war footing. To the men involved, it’s a story of growth and expansion, new battlefields, “combat,” and “war.”
 
It’s the culmination of years of construction, ingratiation, and interventions, the fruits of wide-eyed expansion and dismal policy failures, the backing of proxies to fight America’s battles, while increasing U.S. personnel and firepower in and around the continent.
 
It is, to quote an officer with AFRICOM, the blossoming of a “war-fighting combatant command.” And unlike Operation New Normal, it’s finally heading for a media outlet near you.
 

Vietnam's "Hard-Baked" Anti-Chinese Prejudices

Big Bullies and Local Nationalism in Vietnam and Ukraine
by Peter Lee - China Matters
First off, Vietnam.

There has been some bewilderment expressed as to why Vietnamese--demonstrating against the PRC’s provocative positioning of its HYSY 981 oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone--attacked Taiwanese factories.

The answer is depressingly simple.

Anti-Chinese prejudice—including prejudice against all Chinese, including Taiwanese Chinese, PRC Chinese, and Vietnam’s own ethnic Chinese citizens—is baked into Vietnam’s current political and social narrative.

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War for War's Sake: Does "Who" Matter Anymore?

In Ukraine, The US Is Dragging Us Towards War With Russia
by John Pilger - ICH - via The Guardian
Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a "brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis", as if the truth "never happened even while it was happening".

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his "updated summary of the record of US foreign policy" which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world's most advanced communications and nominally most free journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – "our" terrorism – are Muslims, is unsayable.
 
That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department noted that, following Nato's campaign in 2011, "Libya has become a terrorist safe haven".

Washington Declares Democracy Illegal (for Ukraine)

Blood-soaked US Has No Business Opposing Sovereignty Plebiscites: Look who’s calling voting ‘divisive’ and ‘illegal’
by Dave Lindorff - ThisCantBeHappening
The rot at the core of US international affairs, domestic politics and the corporate media is evident in the American approach to the Ukraine crisis.
 
Just look at the freak-out from all quarters as the people of the eastern part of that country conduct, under conditions of attack and violence fomented by military units sent in by the Kiev putsch government, a peaceful plebiscite asking people to give their view as to whether they want some kind of sovereignty separating them from western Ukraine.
 
The official US State Department position on the balloting in Dohansk and Luhansk is that this voting effort was "illegal" and "an attempt to create further division and disorder."

"The United States will not recognize the results of these illegal referenda," said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The White House called the voting “illegitimate” and “illegal.”
 

A Message from Rikers Island: The Railroading of Cecily McMillan

Cecily’s Statement from Rikers, 5/9/14
by Cecily McMillan - #Justice4Cecily
cecilymcmillanGood morning. I’m writing from the Rose M. Singer Correctional Facility, dorm 2 East B on Rikers Island – where I’ve been held for the past 4 days.
 
Admittedly, I was shocked by the jury’s verdict on Monday, but was not surprised by the events that followed. An overreaching prosecutor plus a biased judge logically adds up to my being remanded to Rikers.
 
I was prepared then, as I am now, to stand by my convictions and face the consequences of my actions – namely that of refusing to forsake my values and what I know to be true in exchange for my “freedom.”
 

The Peace Movement and the Missing War

"And What Do We Do Now?"
by Mike Ferner - NWOPC
Last month, they emptied the storage locker and took all the displays to individuals’ homes. On Saturday, an immense funeral pyre consumed the 6,800 wooden tombstones.
 
Members of the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition (NWOPC) have decided they will no longer mount their “Arlington Midwest” memorial to the Iraqi and Afghan civilians and American soldiers killed in over a decade of war and occupation.
 
It cost about $1,000 a year to store the massive display, but mostly it’s ending because for some time now, nobody with a highly visible acre of land has been willing to offer their property to set it up. Fact is, when you ask people on the street, just about everyone says the wars are over – except for a heartbreaking number who respond, “What war are you talking about?”
 

Western Media War Mongering and Ukraine Lies of Omission

U.S. Media Ignores Putin’s Peace Plan
by Mike Whitney - CounterPunch
 
“Let me repeat again, that in Russia’s view, the blame for the crisis in Ukraine lies with those who organized the coup d’etat in Kiev on February 22-23… But whatever the case, we must look for a way to solve the situation as it is today….And, as I said, what is needed is direct, full-fledged and equal dialogue between the Kiev authorities and the representatives of people in southeast Ukraine….I don’t know whether a Geneva-2 round of talks.. is realistic. (But) I believe that if we want to find a long-term solution to the crisis, there must be an open, honest and equal dialogue . That is our only option.” - Russian President Vladimir Putin, press statement, OCSE meeting, Moscow, May 7, 2014
So many lie beneath the eternal granite
But of those honored by this stone
Let no one be forgotten
Let nothing be forgotten.
-Olga Berggolts, “Leningrad”

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal for ending the violence in Ukraine at an OCSE (Organization for the Cooperation and Security in Europe) in Moscow. Unfortunately, most Americans never heard what he had to say because the media failed to publish his statement. The reason for the omission is fairly obvious, the media doesn’t want people to know that Putin is not the ghoulish, authoritarian caricature he’s portrayed to be, but a levelheaded pragmatist who wants a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis.
 
Here is what he said:

“We think the most important thing now is to launch direct dialogue, genuine, full-fledged dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of southeast Ukraine. This dialogue could give people from southeast Ukraine the chance to see that their lawful rights in Ukraine really will be guaranteed.”
 
Does that sound like a bloodthirsty “KGB thug” who’s driven by dreams of territorial expansion and empire-building or does it sound like a responsible leader who wants to facilitate a cease-fire until cooler heads prevail?
 

The Faces of Our Drone Future

The Three Faces of Drone War: Speaking Truth From the Robotic Heavens
by Pratap Chatterjee  - TomDispatch
drone and rocketEnemies, innocent victims, and soldiers have always made up the three faces of war. With war growing more distant, with drones capable of performing on the battlefield while their “pilots” remain thousands of miles away, two of those faces have, however, faded into the background in recent years.
 
Today, we are left with just the reassuring “face” of the terrorist enemy, killed clinically by remote control while we go about our lives, apparently without any “collateral damage” or danger to our soldiers. Now, however, that may slowly be changing, bringing the true face of the drone campaigns Washington has pursued since 9/11 into far greater focus.
 
Imagine if those drone wars going on in Pakistan and Yemen (as well as the United States) had a human face all the time, so that we could understand what it was like to live constantly, in and out of those distant battle zones, with the specter of death. In addition to images of the "al-Qaeda" operatives who the White House wants us to believe are the sole targets of its drone campaigns, we would regularly see photos of innocent victims of drone attacks gathered by human rights groups from their relatives and neighbors. And what about the third group -- the military personnel whose lives revolve around killing fields so far away -- whose stories, in these years of Washington’s drone assassination campaigns, we’ve just about never heard?
 
After all, soldiers no longer set sail on ships to journey to distant battlefields for months at a time. Instead, every day, thousands of men and women sign onto their computers at desks on military bases in the continental United States and abroad where they spend hours glued to screens watching the daily lives of people often on the other side of the planet. Occasionally, they get an order from Washington to push a button and vaporize their subjects. It sounds just like -- and the comparison has been made often enough -- a video game, which can be switched off at the end of a shift, after which those pilots return home to families and everyday life.
 
And if you believed what little we normally see of them -- what, that is, the Air Force has let us see (the CIA part of the drone program being off-limits to news reporting) -- that would indeed seem to be the straightforward story of life for our drone warriors. Take Rene Lopez, who in shots of a recent homecoming welcome at Fort Gordon in Georgia appears to be a doting father. Photographed for the local papers on his return from a tour in Afghanistan, the young soldier is seen holding and kissing his infant daughter dressed in a bright pink top. He smiles with delight as the wide-eyed child tries on his military hat.
 

American Mercenary firms Id'd in Ukraine's Restive East

400 US Mercenaries 'Deployed on Ground' in Ukraine Military Op
by RT
About 400 elite mercenaries from the notorious US private security firm Academi (formerly Blackwater) are taking part in the Ukrainian military operation against anti-government protesters in southeastern regions of the country, German media reports.
 
The Bild am Sonntag newspaper, citing a source in intelligence circles, wrote Sunday that Academi employees are involved in the Kiev military crackdown on pro-autonomy activists in near the town of Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region.
 
On April 29, German Intelligence Service (BND) informed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government about the mercenaries’ participation in the operation, the paper said, RIA Novosti reported. It is not clear who commands the private military contractors and pays for their services, however.
 
In March, media reports appeared suggesting that the coup-imposed government in Kiev could have employed up to 300 mercenaries. That was before the new government launched a military operation against anti-Maidan activists, or “terrorists” as Kiev put it, in southeast Ukraine.