Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Some of my tweets from March 14 - 19

These are just a few of the neverending sins of the dying empire

From the Archive: With media focus on the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War’s My Lai massacre, Colin Powell’s role as a military adviser has continued to elude scrutiny, so we’re republishing a 1996 article by Robert Parry and Norman Solomon.

Robert Parry and Norman Solomon at ConsortiumNews
....On March 16, 1968, a bloodied unit of the Americal division 
stormed into a hamlet known as My Lai 4. With military helicopters circling overhead, revenge-seeking American soldiers rousted Vietnamese civilians — mostly old men, women and children — from their thatched huts and herded them into the village’s irrigation ditches.

As the round-up continued, some Americans raped the girls. Then, under orders from junior officers on the ground, soldiers began emptying their M-16s into the terrified peasants. Some parents desperately used their bodies to try to shield their children from the bullets. Soldiers stepped among the corpses to finish off the wounded.

The slaughter raged for four hours. A total of 347 Vietnamese, including babies, died in the carnage that would stain the reputation of the U.S. Army. But there also were American heroes that day in My Lai. Some soldiers refused to obey the direct orders to kill.

A pilot named Hugh Clowers Thompson Jr. from Stone Mountain, Ga., was furious at the killings he saw happening on the ground. He landed his helicopter between one group of fleeing civilians and American soldiers in pursuit. Thompson ordered his helicopter door gunner to shoot the Americans if they tried to harm the Vietnamese. After a tense confrontation, the soldiers backed off. Later, two of Thompson’s men climbed into one ditch filled with corpses and pulled out a three-year-old boy whom they flew to safety........

A Pattern of Brutality

While a horrific example of a Vietnam war crime, the My Lai massacre was not unique. It fit a long pattern of indiscriminate violence against civilians that had marred U.S. participation in the Vietnam War from its earliest days when Americans acted primarily as advisers.

In 1963, Capt. Colin Powell was one of those advisers, serving a first tour with a South Vietnamese army unit. Powell’s detachment sought to discourage support for the Viet Cong by torching villages throughout the A Shau Valley. While other U.S. advisers protested this countrywide strategy as brutal and counter-productive, Powell defended the “drain-the-sea” approach then — and continued that defense in his 1995 memoirs, My American Journey.

After his first one-year tour and a series of successful training assignments in the United States, Maj. Powell returned for his second Vietnam tour on July 27, 1968. This time, he was no longer a junior officer slogging through the jungle, but an up-and-coming staff officer assigned to the Americal division.

By late 1968, Powell had jumped over more senior officers into the important post of G-3, chief of operations for division commander, Maj. Gen. Charles Gettys, at Chu Lai. Powell had been “picked by Gen. Gettys over several lieutenant colonels for the G-3 job itself, making me the only major filling that role in Vietnam,” Powell wrote in his memoirs....

Slavery in Libya

Is the Russian Poison Story WMD 2.0 ?

More and more it seems so.   The powers-that-be never learn, do they?

James Corbett writing at Steemit.com
The Russian Poison Story is WMD 2.0

So you know the poisoning of Sergei Skripal? The incident that is causing British Prime Minister Theresa May to start a war of words with the Russians that could potentially lead to World War III? Well, imagine explaining the story to your MSM-addicted, normie friend:

    YOU: Hey, did you know the US government has a top secret bioweapon that they use to kill their political enemies? Well, no one has actually proven it exists much less collected any samples of it, but trust me, it exists and they use it.

    FRIEND: What? Secret bioweapon? No evidence? Ugh! Shut up, burglary theorist! . . . errrr, I mean, Shut up, conspiracy theorist!

    YOU: Oops, did I say the US government? I meant the Russian government.

    FRIEND: Oh, the Russian government, you say? Well, then, this sounds perfectly believable.

Yes, believe it or not, that is essentially what we are being told by the powers-that-shouldn't-be. "The Russians are using a super secret poison that may or may not exist but we're too busy to provide any evidence for this. Just trust us. Oh, and let's threaten a world nuclear superpower based on this non-evidence, too!"

For those not in the know, the case revolves around Sergei Skripal, who the media disingenuously refer to as a "former Russian spy." In this case, "former Russian spy" is a euphemism for "ongoing MI6 double agent." Or, more accurately, "recently poisoned MI6 double agent." That's because Skripal and his daughter were admitted to hospital after passing out on a shopping center bench in Salisbury, England earlier this month. They remain in critical condition. (Or maybe they're already dead. Who knows?)

Naturally, in this era of Russiagate hysteria, it took precisely no time at all before the UK government began intimating it was the Russians, and, despite not providing a shred of evidence for that claim, the mockingbird media naturally followed along. "Of course the Russians did it!" we are told by the MSM repeaters. "Evidence, schmevidence. I mean, come on! Poisoning . . . Soviet Union . . . Russians. Do we have to draw you a map?"

Now Macron, Merkel and Trump are jumping on board with the narrative. "It's the Russians! Time to start WWIII!"

Thankfully, there are some sane voices (even in the MSM) pointing out the absurdity of the idea that Russia's top-secret-super-stealthy assassins poison their enemies in ridiculously obvious ways that will inevitably be traced back to the Kremlin.

    Sure is fascinating how every time our CIA assassinates someone, they drop them out a window to make it look like suicide, but every time Putin does, he makes sure to use an exotic chemical or radioactive element easily traceable back to Russia. https://t.co/6OBzVHLKjC

    — Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) March 16, 2018

Unsurprisingly, however, when Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dared to suggest that it may be a good idea to wait for, you know, actual evidence pertaining to this crime before starting WWIII he was naturally accused of being a Russian spy himself. (Bonus laugh: The Grauniad accidentally opened comments on an article about Corbyn's remarks for 10 minutes, just enough time for the public to show overwhelming support for his position.)

But the real intrigue at this point surrounds the agent that was allegedly used on this so-called "former Russian spy." We are told that Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a "Novichok" (Russian for "newcomer"), which may be "the most deadly nerve agent ever made" if bastion-of-truthiness Wikipedia is to be believed. This class of nerve agent was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union's chemical weapons program in the 1970s and 1980s, but details remain sketchy because knowledge of the chemicals source exclusively to two ex-Soviet scientists who claimed to be part of the program that developed them........

America and Torture

If you were being tortured, would you scream out whatever it was the torturers wanted to hear?  I know I would make up any kind of story just so my story got the torturers to stop torturing me.  Are other human beings different from me??
The dying empire believes in torturing people to get at America's version of  "truth" and the woman who might become the head of the CIA might as well change the institution's name  to Torture Inc.

Daniel McAdams  at RonPaulInstitute
Will Torture Make America Great Again?
President Trump's nomination of Mike Pompeo to head up the State Department and Gina Haspel as CIA chief removes the mask from the ugly, warmongering neocon face. Pompeo wants a war with Iran -- NOW! And Haspel personally oversaw some of the most gruesome torture conducted by the CIA -- and then ordered the evidence of the crime destroyed! Pompeo and Haspel belong behind bars, not behind Administration desks. More on this -- and a way we can stop them! -- in today's Liberty Report:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Some of my tweets March 8 - 12

What Katharine Gun Did

The world needs more people like Katharine Gun and a lot less warmongers.

Norman Solomon at ConsortiumNews
To Stop War, Do What Katharine Gun Did

Daniel Ellsberg has a message that managers of the warfare state don’t want people to hear.

“If you have information that bears on deception or illegality in pursuing wrongful policies or an aggressive war,” he said in a statement released last week, “don’t wait to put that out and think about it, consider acting in a timely way at whatever cost to yourself…. Do what Katharine Gun did.”

If you don’t know what Katharine Gun did, chalk that up to the media power of the war system.

Ellsberg’s video statement went public as this month began, just before the 15th anniversary of when a British newspaper, the Observer, revealed a secret NSA memo – thanks to Katharine Gun. At the UK’s intelligence agency GCHQ, about 100 people received the same email memo from the National Security Agency on the last day of January 2003, seven weeks before the invasion of Iraq got underway. Only Katharine Gun, at great personal risk, decided to leak the document.

If more people had taken such risks in early 2003, the Iraq War might have been prevented. If more people were willing to take such risks in 2018, the current military slaughter in several nations, mainly funded by U.S. taxpayers, might be curtailed if not stopped. Blockage of information about past whistleblowing deprives the public of inspiring role models.

That’s the kind of reality George Orwell was referring to when he wrote: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

Fifteen years ago, “I find myself reading on my computer from the Observer the most extraordinary leak, or unauthorized disclosure, of classified information that I’d ever seen,” Ellsberg recalled, “and that definitely included and surpassed my own disclosure of top-secret information, a history of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam years earlier.” The Pentagon Papers whistleblower instantly recognized that, in the Observer article, “I was looking at something that was clearly classified much higher than top secret…. It was an operational cable having to do with how to conduct communications intelligence.”.......

Going Underground host talks to experts on the MSM's Syria deception

Media deception in Syria with MIT prof Theodore Postol and Norman Solomon.

Why is Canada so beholden to the Ukrainian fascists??

Something is very wrong with our foreign policy.

Michael Jabara Carley at StrategicCulture
Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism
Canada has a reputation for being a relatively progressive state with universal, single-payer health care, various other social benefits, and strict gun laws, similar to many European countries but quite unlike the United States. It has managed to stay out of some American wars, for example, Vietnam and Iraq, portrayed itself as a neutral “peace keeper”, pursuing a so-called policy of “multilateralism” and attempting from time to time to keep a little independent distance from the United States.

Behind this veneer of respectability lies a not so attractive reality of elite inattention to the defence of Canadian independence from the United States and intolerance toward the political and syndicalist left. Police repression against communist and left-wing unionists and other dissidents after World War I was widespread. Strong support for appeasement of Nazi Germany, overt or covert sympathy for fascism, especially in Québec, and hatred of the Soviet Union were widespread in Canada during the 1930s. The Liberal prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, hobnobbed with Nazi notables including Adolf Hitler, and thought that his British counterpart Neville Chamberlain had not gone far enough in appeasing Hitlerite Germany. Mackenzie King and many others of the Canadian elite saw communism as a greater threat to Canada than fascism. As in Europe, the Canadian elite—Liberal or Conservative did not matter—was worried by the Spanish civil war (1936-1939).
In Québec French public opinion under the influence of the Catholic Church hoped for fascist victory and the eradication of communism. In 1937 a Papal encyclical whipped up the Red Scare amongst French Canadian Catholics. Rejection of Soviet offers of collective security against Hitler was the obverse side of appeasement. The fear of victory over Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR was greater than the fear of defeat against fascism. Such thoughts were either openly expressed over dinner at the local gentleman’s club or kept more discrete by people who did not want to reveal the extent of their sympathy for fascism.

 Even after the Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941, and the formation of the Grand Alliance against the Axis, there was strong reticence amongst the governing elite in Canada toward the Soviet Union. It was a shotgun marriage, a momentary arrangement with an undesirable partner, necessitated by the over-riding threat of the Nazi Wehrmacht. “If Hitler invaded Hell,” Winston Churchill famously remarked, “I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Once Hitler was beaten, however, it would be back to business as usual. The Grand Alliance was a “truce”, as some of my students have proposed to me, in a longer cold war between the west and the USSR. This struggle began in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd; it resumed after 1945 when the “truce”, or if you like, the Grand Alliance, came to a sudden end.

This was no more evident than in Canada where elite hatred of communism was a homegrown commodity and not simply an American imitation. So it should hardly be a surprise that after 1945 the Canadian government—Mackenzie King was still prime minister—should open its doors to the immigration of approximately 34,000 “displaced persons”, including thousands of Ukrainian fascists and Nazi collaborators, responsible for heinous war crimes in the Ukraine and Poland. These were veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Waffen SS Galicia and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), all collaborators of Nazi Germany during World War II......

Cartoons on the "You're Fired" guy

Why does the West hate Russians so much???

Here's a large part of the answer.

Andre Vltchek at Journal-Neo
Why the West Cannot Stomach Russians

When it comes to Russia or the Soviet Union, reports and historical accounts do get blurry; in the West they do, and consequently in all of its ‘client states’.

Fairytales get intermingled with reality, while fabrications are masterfully injected into sub consciousness of billions of people worldwide. Russia is an enormous country, in fact the largest country on Earth in terms of territory. It is scarcely inhabited. It is deep, and as a classic once wrote: “It is impossible to understand Russia with one’s brain. One could only believe in it.”

The Western mind generally doesn’t like things unknown, spiritual and complex. Since the ‘old days’, especially since the crusades and monstrous colonialist expeditions to all corners of the world, the Westerners were told fables about their own “noble deeds” performed in the plundered lands. Everything had to be clear and simple: “Virtuous Europeans were civilizing savages and spreading Christianity, therefore, in fact, saving those dark poor primitive souls.”

Of course, tens of millions were dying in the process, while further tens of millions were shackled and brought to the “New Worlds” as slaves. Gold, silver, and other loot, as well as slave labor had been (and still are) paying for all those European palaces, railroads, universities and theatres, but that did not matter, as the bloodshed was most of the time something abstract and far away from those over-sensitive eyes of the Western public.

Westerners like simplicity, particularly when it comes to moral definitions of “good and evil”. It matters nothing if the truth gets systematically ‘massaged’, or even if the reality is fully fabricated. What matters is that there is no deep guilt and no soul-searching. Western rulers and their opinion makers know their people – their ‘subjects’ – perfectly well, and most of the time, they give them what they are asking for. The rulers and the reigned are generally living in symbiosis. They keep bitching about each other, but mostly they have similar goals: to live well, to live extremely well, as long as the others are forced to pay for it; with their riches, with their labor and often with their blood.

Culturally, most of the citizens of Europe and North America hate to pay the bill for their highlife; they even detest to admit that their life is extremely ‘high’. They like to feel like victims. They like to feel that they are ‘used’. They like to imagine that they are sacrificing themselves for the rest of the world.

And above all, they hate real victims: those they have been murdering, raping, plundering and insulting, for decades and centuries........

Social Media ... Lethal Weapon unleashed with us the users in the role of guinea pigs

Really worth a watch
From CorbettReport
Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media. This is The Corbett Report.

These are just some of the Bribed and Bought Politicians of the United Kingdom

So disgraceful !!  Politicians have no shame whatsoever.

Ben Norton  at TheRealNews
Conservative Lawmaker Who Attacked Corbyn over Yemen Received Luxury Paid Trip from Saudi Arabia
Conservative MP Helen Whately claimed Jeremy Corbyn is "so poorly informed on Saudi and Yemen." She previously led an all-expense-paid Tory junket to meet with the Saudi monarchy.
When the United Kingdom's leftist opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn criticized the government for supporting a catastrophic Saudi war on Yemen and welcoming the Saudi crown prince to London, he was attacked by a pro-Saudi Conservative member of Parliament, who claimed the Labour Party chief is "so poorly informed on Saudi and Yemen."

What this right-wing lawmaker failed to mention is that she previously received thousands of dollars in hospitality expenses from the Saudi regime, while on a luxury junket to meet the Saudi king.

Saudi Arabia's authoritarian de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman took his first official trip to the U.K. on March 7. Prince Mohammed dined with Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace and met with Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May on Downing Street.

During the Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session in Parliament, Corbyn lambasted May's government for supporting one of the world's most repressive and extreme regimes as it accelerates a war on Yemen that has created the largest humanitarian crisis on Earth.

"A humanitarian disaster is now taking place in Yemen. Millions face starvation and 600,000 children have cholera because of the Saudi-led bombing campaign and the blockade," Corbyn said. "Germany has suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but British arms sales have increased sharply and British military advisers are directing the war."

"[May's] government are colluding in what ?the United Nations says is evidence of war crimes. Will the Prime Minister use her meeting with the Crown Prince today to halt the arms supplies and demand an immediate ceasefire in Yemen?" the Labour chief asked.

Conservative Member of Parliament Helen Whately responded by lashing out at the opposition leader on Twitter, writing, "Jeremy Corbyn in #PMQs so poorly informed on Saudi and Yemen. He sees everything as an ideological battle rather than the more complicated reality. It’s frighteningly simplistic."

Critics immediately pointed out that Whately had recently led a trip with fellow Tory lawmakers to meet with Saudi dictator King Salman. Their tens of thousands of dollars of expenses were paid by the absolute monarchy.....

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some of my tweets from March 3 - 7

Is You-know-who experimenting with poisons of every kind ???

North Korea and South Korea ... may they unite and be friends again

Daniel McAdams at RonPaulInstitute
North Korea Breakthrough? Don't Tell The Neocons!
While North and South Korea are making incredible progress toward de-escalation of tensions -- with a successful high-level meeting recently in the North -- the neocons are still calling on the US to launch a "preventative" strike on Pyongyang. They do not even seem deterred by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's suggestion that ending his nuclear program is on the table. Will President Trump green light direct negotiations or will the neocons win out (again)? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:

The militarized MSM

CIA + Military Infiltrate Major Media Networks
Redacted Tonight

Does the JROTC have anything to do with the epidemic of "school shootings" in America?

Of course, it does ... but you won't see the MSM going anywhere near that issue leave alone arriving at that conclusion because that would be so unpatriotic, right?  Who gives a damn if  the shootings continue ... as long as Americans can boast about how patriotic they are and continue to be blind  to thousands of murders at home and millions abroad.... all is dandy and good.

Janine Jackson at Fair.org
‘They Put Lethal Weapons Into the Hands of 13-Year-Olds’

CounterSpin interview with Pat Elder on school militarization

Janine Jackson: In the wake of lethal gun violence like that in Parkland, Florida, we talk about the specific details of this shooting and this killer, and we talk about the US culture of violence: imperialist, domestic, statutory. Sometimes overlooked are what you might call the “bridges” between these things.

What are some of the mechanisms that convey ideas, about the rightness of violence and the value of weapons, to individuals like the 19-year-old who killed 14 of his former classmates, two staff members and a teacher? The young man was a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the high school before he was expelled. He was wearing his JROTC shirt when he carried out the attack. Our guest says, whatever the role here, the presence of military recruiters in high schools around the country calls out for challenge.

Pat Elder is director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, which resists the militarization of schools, and author of Military Recruiting in the United States. He joins us now by phone from Maryland. Welcome to CounterSpin, Pat Elder.

Pat Elder: Thank y
ou so much.

JJ: JROTC is all around the country. They were in my high school, in Maryland. They had a table set up in the lobby, as I recall. But for those who don’t know about them, what is this group, and how do they operate in schools?

PE: The JROTC program is part of the Army’s command structure. It’s part of the cadet command, which is the lowest item in the command structure.

Now, the JROTC program is two-dimensional, as I see it. One, it stresses the physical aspect of being a soldier. And in that capacity, they put lethal weapons into the hands of 13-year-old 9th graders.

But there’s also a much less studied and understood dimension, and that has to do with the ideology that is taught by the program. And so each of the four branches has its own cadet command structure. The Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines, each have four years of textbooks that the students learn from. And each of the states have accommodated the JROTC program by allowing students to substitute core curricular items—for instance, in Florida, students can substitute biology, physical science, physical education and art—if they want to take the JROTC program.

JJ: What’s some of this ideology that you’re talking about?
JROTC: You the People

From Army JROTC: Leadership Education and Training (LET 2)

PE: You have to read it to get a firm understanding of it, and it’s easy enough to do: simply google “Army JROTC textbook,” and you’ll pull up a high school in Alabama or Minnesota, and they’ll have links to, in this case, the Army’s JROTC textbooks.

So just to give you a little idea, as government instruction is concerned, the unit on civics is entitled, “You the People.” Now I learned it, in Maryland, as “We the People.” Children are taught to respect authority, and they are taught to get in line, and they are taught to not question authority; that’s why they call it “You the People.” That’s civics. Keep in mind that the state of Florida, or other states, I should say, actually allow students to substitute JROTC for civics. ......

The First Annual Real Fake News Awards


More here

Bemoaning massacres at home but beatifying military personnel who carry out same on innocents overseas ...

where so many illegal wars are in full force for over a decade and half with no end in sight.

Prof James Petras at GlobalResearch
United States: The Political Economy of Massacres
Every year over 30,000 Americans are killed by gunfire.  Every month, in public schoolyards, dance clubs, concert venues, work places and public gatherings, innocent people are slaughtered by assassins wielding legally purchased high powered semi-automatic weapons.  The National Rifle Association (NRA), a 3 million-member organization, supports and sponsors free and easy access to military-level weaponry.  The vast majority of US legislators, Presidents and judges support the possession of the very weapons responsible for massacres.

The question is why does the US political system bemoan the frequent occurrence of mass shootings, and yet turn around and endorse the political process that makes these killings possible?  The size, scope and duration of massacres requires that we examine the large-scale, long-term systemic features of the US political economy.

The Politics of Wars: Massacres Abroad as ‘All American’ Heroism

The US government has engaged in multiple bloody wars where it has massacred millions of civilians – including whole families in their homes – representing no conceivable threat to the American people.  The wars feature the success of destruction and death as a means to advance US political programs.  War criminals are honored.  Domestic political conflicts and social problems are resolved by destroying invented adversaries and entire nations.......

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Some tweets of mine from Feb 26 - Mar 2