How America Might Survive

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Changing the Definition of What Is Valuable

A limo, a Jacuzzi, thousand-dollar shoes, private jets, rich friends, fame for being famous, cash in hand, political power, armed strength, economic growth…? What has value?

Umair Haque, my favorite observer of the American condition, says on Medium.com, March 31, 2020:

Amazon, Inc. is worth a trillion dollars, give or take. But the ongoing survival of the human race is literally worth nothing to capitalism. Nothing but profit has any worth whatsoever to it. That’s all that’s capitalized on stock markets or denominated in bonds. But capitalism is the system of the world… America fought a hidden world war to globalize it — attacking nations from Chile to Iran to Iraq to Vietnam. It was successful. Today, we’re all paying the price of that success. Capitalism has literally eaten through the planet, nature, and life on it. Now it’s beginning to eat away at the human race itself — its health, happiness, longevity. That is what Coronavirus really is.

American Capitalism’s Stately Pleasure Dome

It has taken US corporate capitalism less than a century to erect a seemingly-unassailable edifice of exclusively market values, an American Xanadu. According to these norms everything can be bought and sold. It must be so in order to achieve capitalism’s summum bonum: economic growth. That, of course, is a lie just as egregious as “manifest destiny” or “the war on terror.” Because long-term growth is absolutely limited by the world’s resources, and they are shrinking fast while the appetites of capitalism are insatiable to the point of driving the world’s sixth mass extinction of species. What annual economic growth does assure is vast wealth for the usual suspects: fossil fuel giants, “defense” industries, big pharma and tobacco, flukish online multi-billionaires, and banks and vulture funds of every stripe.

But the long-term effects of unending growth on the country, on other countries, and the planet itself, are fatal. The world is already half dead and if US predatory capitalism is permitted to continue “leading the way,” the extermination is imminent. And there’s no cogent reason to believe that will not be the outcome. Fast-money capitalists now control “the greatest country in the world,” along with massive swaths of the rest of it. Do you see anybody committed and powerful enough to stand in their way? Not the militarists. They have the growth industry of the moment. Not the population at large. They’re anesthetized by irrealities and bling. Not the churches. The protestants are hooked on the “prosperity gospel” and private jets, and the Catholics have their own special problems. Who does that leave? The Icelanders might be a good choice for putting the world right, but there aren’t enough of them to go around.

Enter Coronavirus, There Will Be Some Changes Made

After almost four months of the coronavirus experience in America there are some things we have learned:

  • The virus has impacted lives in all sectors of society, not only in the US, but around the world. Though it’s only fair to point out that, like everything else, the incidence of the virus is much more devastating among poor and minority populations.
  • Given the universality of the pandemic it is not enough to cleanse one city, one state or even one country. The world will not be free of coronavirus until all countries are made healthy again. This will require worldwide solidarity, financing and close collaboration.
  • The countries that took immediate remedial action–masks, distancing, tests and sourcing–greatly limited the number of cases and deaths. And those that didn’t suffered immeasurably more. The United States, for example.
  • The responses of the heads of government of different countries shed light on the priorities of world leaders. Compare, for example, the messages of Donald Trump, President of the Unites States, who oversaw more than 98,000 deaths in his country, with those of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand where the coronavirus impact has been limited to 21 deaths as of 22 May, 2020.
  • It’s not clear how long we’ll be under the dictatorship of the virus, but it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a long haul. That will give governments and populations around the world time to reflect on the necessity of changes of  ideologies and policies. We are already seeing that concerted collective efforts are required to deal with the crisis effectively. It will not respond to military solutions, nor nationalist approaches. It will require sincere concern for others, generosity, and worldwide solidarity.

There are countries around the world where these necessary new collective measures and attitudes sound subversive, unnatural, and outrageous. Principal among these is the United States, the one that currently leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths. This is not a coincidence. The US is an every-man-for-himself country, and its President is a man who thrives on chaos. But the United States must become a major player in this scenario. Would its leaders be up to it? For them to save themselves, and contribute to saving the rest of the world, they will need to change their national philosophy from top to bottom. Can that happen? If it’s ever going to occur it has to happen soon, while there’s still country and world left to save.

What we’re talking about is an active awareness that we’re all in it together (a sentiment often expressed by former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders). This demands a sincere change of heart, concern for others, a willingness to work towards and help pay for not only local but global solutions. Empathy of this magnitude seems impossible under a Trump presidency. Given Donald Trump’s utter lack feeling for anyone but himself, it’s no suprise that he has turned his country into a giant triage tent with today’s score standing at 98,200 dead. Will the next president be radically different? Will he or she have the courage and conviction to reorient the country’s military budget in favor of the battle against coronavirus? That’s what it would take. We are looking at the highest-stakes game the world has ever seen. Thoughts and prayers will not get the job done.

Really_Smart

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American Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme

American hypocrisy
The ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ campaign event held at the King Jesus International Ministry on January 03, 2020 in Miami, Florida. President Donald Trump appointed televangelist, Paula White (center), as White House faith advisor. In this photo it’s not clear whether the President is praying or calculating  votes.

A Country Solidly Grounded in Hypocrisy

How does a country of 330 million people hold its head high while living in the most abject state of intellectual and moral squalor imaginable? Inequality, injustice, social disorder, racism, ignorance, poverty, militarism, brutality… There’s only one way they feel they can defend such a squalid record: by injecting industrial quantities of hypocrisy into the mix. It’s a cheap trick–just go on razing your country and the world, then make up specious lies to cover up your actions.  Until recently this strategy has worked surprisingly well, at least internally. A majority of American citizens still regard their country as “a city on a hill, a beacon of hope for the world.” How many of them are aware that the city-on-a-hill metaphor was the vision of religious fanatic, John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a man who sowed the seeds of a religious extremism that still blights American society today?

Lately, however, the hypocrisy machine is getting a bit rusty, and the truth is becoming visible through the cracks. To most impartial observers around the world, American ideals have slipped to sordid levels. They now detain immigrant families, incarcerating parents in one place, children in cages in another and call that justice. Those children–some of the babies–may never see their parents again. The Americans permit armed thugs–Nazis and white supremacists–to invade a state capitol building, proffering intimidating threats and insults, and call that free speech. Then the President himself appears with praise: “These are people expressing their views. They seem to be very responsible people to me.” These are the words of a fascist.

This self-aggrandizing oaf of a President, breaks all records for lies and insults in his press conferences and then strides arrogantly off the stage.  On the subject of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary,  Alex Azar, tells members of Congress, “We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,”  Two days later he reverses that declaration. (Business Insider.com, February 27, 2020). Most recently the President, having calculated the damage done to his re-election campaign, pulls this out of his sleeve:  “The vaccine will be available free to all Americans.” There seem to be no rational criteria driving the administration, just the whims, hunches and inspirations of a semi-literate President.  Given the fickle changes in his humor, we still don’t know whether the Trump administration is prepared to let people die because they can’t afford the vaccine.

International Opinion Counts

Most Americans may be unaware that the whole world is watching, and it’s not sedated by the platitudes of American mythology. Citizens of the world are acutely aware that the emperor is devoid of clothes. The success of any foreign-relations agenda relies heavily on credibility, trust, and respect, all of which are flagging badly in today’s Washington. At the same time, the countries they consider their enemies are growing as potential candidates for world leadership. Will today’s American politicians pay the price for this gross mismanagement? No, as usual it’s the American people who will pay.

What Abuses Are We Talking About?

  • Wrap-around racism. Now that South Africa has faced up to its institutionally racist past, the United States steps into the spotlight as the current racist capitol of the world. Nowhere else are so many aspects of society tinged by racial hate: law enforcement, judicial and penal politics, education, voting, housing and employment, to name just a few. When is America going to come to grips with this situation once and for all. Or are most Americans happy with the status quo?
  • Election irregularities and interventions. When was the last time the US had a free and fair election? How then do they permit themselves to criticize other countries? As for interfering in elections of other countries, the US is the all-time number one. And if NSA and CIA clandestine fiddle-faddle doesn’t tip the election scales, they simply organize a military coup, as they did in Chile in 1973.
  • Assuming religious airs for electoral purposes. This is a two-way  street of particularly-repugnant hypocrisy: Trump appears to lap up fundamentalist religion and the born-again folks pretend that he’s a decent person, while each advance the sick agenda of the other. Included in the Evangelical agenda, of course, is school prayer. If Jesus Christ were alive in the US today he would be crucified as a Communist immigrant.
  • Unsavory bedfellows. Backing the Saudi war on hapless Yemen. Facilitating the Israeli Likud party’s annexation of Palestinian lands. Pandering dangerously to Fundamentalist Christians and their truculent “Rapture” agenda. If this obscene Apocalyptic policy comes to term it could drag the US into a war in the Middle East.
  • Regime change and internal meddling in other peoples’ governments. There’s a long list: Most of Central America, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos… The United States accusing other coutries of militarism and human rights abuses is the richest and most ironic example of and hypocrisy in modern political history.
  • Levels of aggressive militarism not seen since Attila the Hun. What the US did to Indochina and Iraq, to name just a couple of their victims, is grounds for international war crimes trials.
  • Cloaking their baseless, clandestine political and military interventions as humanitarian aid, or support for democracy while casting countries like Venezuela as “dictatorships,” i.e. any country which resists an American-sponsored takeover. Venezuela has a long-standing elected left-wing government (thus certified by the Carter Center election monitoring team after visiting Venezuelan elections in 1998 and 2000). But having a true democracy is no guarantee against American regime-change operations. Any country with important reserves of natural resources is a target for American greed and aggression. Venezuela has massive–perhaps the world’s largest–petroleum and natural gas reserves, as well as mountains of gold and other precious metals. For that reason alone their government needs toppling and their economy “liberalizing” by American experts.
  • Communications too fuzzy or too clear. The result is that US citizens are kept in the dark, knowing only that they are subject to the President’s follies. Required to defend postures and policies that are clearly indefensible, his communicators are trapped. If they tell the truth they’re sunk. If they try to work around it they’re comically unintelligible. Meanwhile, the very fate of the world depends upon the shifting moods of a textbook sociopath.

The Justification for All This Villany

Attempts by the American amoral political elite to justify their foreign and domestic abuses are grounded in the democracy scam. “Scam” because nobody in Washington gives two hoots about democracy. What they worry about is getting elected, then re-elected, ad infinitum. In addition to their tricked-up election laws and perverted campaign financing, what’s the best way to achieve that? By constantly regurgitating the words “democracy” and “freedom.” Teetering atop the unstable “democracy” pretense they must balance all the rest of the mythological American playbook: the über-patriotism, the exceptionalism, the flag, God’s chosen people, the heroic militarism… They defeated Grenada and Panama, though they were less fortunate against the Asian superpowers, Vietnam and Afghanistan. All along they’re incapable of seeing themselves as bullies.

These cherished American myths are more than enough justification for home consumption, but not for the rest of the world.

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Trump’s Environmental Destruction Agency Is Diligently at Work

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(The source for this post is this May 6, 2020, NY Times article: The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the link to the full story.)

Petulance and Pandering as Government Policy

Faithful to his campaign promises President Donald J. Trump’s team of trolls at the Environmental Protection Agency has made significant advances in their mission of  dismounting, diluting and destroying previous administrations’ measures for preserving the environment. The NY Times article makes this evident in a clearly-presented barrage of data their team of investigative reporters collected from the Harvard and Columbia law schools and other sources.

A summary reading of the 4,000-word article indicates that the driving criteria behind Trump’s monumental environmental wrecking job respond to two factors:

  1. A childish revenge motive to dismount and discredit programs initiated during the Barak Obama presidency.
    President Trump cowers under a dark cloud of his own suspicion that President Obama is the better man. So Trump’s response is to bury the Obama legacy at any cost. And the cost, in terms of the degradation of the American environment and the lives of the American people, is dear.
  2. A determination to benefit big business interests regardless of the price to the interests of American citizens.
    The obvious big winners here are the fossile fuels companies, ironically at a time when the price of a barrel of oil is below zero–they have to pay to stockpile it–and renewable energies are looking like increasingly viable alternatives to coal and oil. One wonders what possible justification there can be for this expensive insistence on fattening a moribund horse.

Who is writing the script for this grotesque clown show, anyway? It’s certainly not President Trump. He has proven to us that he is incapable of reading a script, let alone writing one. And this is not just any old script. It forms part of the master plan to alter the DNA of the erstwhile “greatest country in the world.” Who’s calling the shots? We don’t know, and we won’t know until it’s too late. The best we can do now is to make our best educated guesses and get to work on a provisional opposition strategy. The NY Times, taking advantage of research done by the law schools of Harvard and Columbia  and others, has just advanced a significant first step. They have itemized, quantified and analyzed the measures the Trump administration has taken to dismount and destroy key US government environmental rules.

They are doing this to the detriment of American taxpayers, citizens of other countries around the world and the planet, itself. They’re murdering mother nature: her bees, birds, big cats, elephants, rhinos, orangutans, amphibians, lynx, hawks and eagles, dolphins and whales, coral, the Amazon, Alaska… Soon everything will be extinct–including humankind–except the rats and scorpions. They’re survivors, more adaptable, intelligent and opportunistic than a hedge fund manager, though he has also been able to survive in the sewers of Wall Street.

Iberian lynx kittens
Lynx kittens. The Iberian lynx is the most endangered big cat species in the world.

The Times Article Breaks the Trump Environmental Wrecking Plan Down into Seven Categories

All of them reflect grave danger and the Trumpian know-nothing determination to make matters worse on all fronts. The Trumpeteers’  actions respond more to an affirmation of arbitrary authority than to environmental issues. The message is that they’re doing it because they can and in order to create incremental precedents for ever-more-egregious future abuses. This is just one face of a monster designed to convert the United States into the definitive dystopia for everyone except the rich, Washington’s very own Godzilla.

Here They Are, by the Numbers

1/ Air Pollution and Emissions

According to the Times reporters it’s the Environmental Protection Agency which has spearheaded the repeal of Obama-era emissions rules for power plants and vehicles; weakened protections for the nation’s wetlands; and withdrawn rules for restricting mercury emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, the Interior Department has opened up more land for oil and gas leasing by cutting back protected areas and limiting wildlife protections.

Then the spokesclown for the E.P.A permits herself the luxury of declaring:

“Over the past three years, we have fulfilled President Trump’s promises to provide certainty for states, tribes, and local governments,” adding that the agency was “delivering on President Trump’s commitment to return the agency to its core mission: providing cleaner air, water and land to the American people.”

The NY Times concludes their section on Air Pollution and Emissions:

“All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions and lead to thousands of extra deaths from poor air quality each year, according to energy and legal analysts.”

2/ Drilling and extraction

The tenor of Trumpish initiatives to permit mining companies to bespoil more and bigger swaths of land runs to shrinking the land around national monuments, lifting the ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, rescinding water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands, approving construction of the Dakota Access pipeline less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and a lot of other similarly outlandish environmental abuses in benefit of miners and drillers.

3/ Infrastructure and planning

The Trumpeteers have revoked Obama-era flood standards for federal infrastructure projects, along with all other environmental protections dubbed “Obama era,” as well as loosing rejuvenated oil and gas monsters across the country, along with eight more similar cases.

4/ Animals

Trump’s environmental team has watered down the Endangered Species Act, restored the right to use lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands, overturned a ban on the hunting of predators in Alaskan wildlife refuges, proposed revising limits on the number of endangered marine mammals that can be unintentionally killed or injured with sword-fishing nets on the West Coast. Debilitated rules have de-protected everything from tuna fish and sea turtles to migratory birds and grizzley bears.

5/ Toxic substances and safety

Virtually all “Obama-era” rules regarding toxic substances have gone out the window, leaving citizens at the mercy of toxic chemicals in everything from pesticides and cosmetics to dry-cleaning solvents. Safety rules for the use of hazardous chemicals in workplaces have been relaxed, including a program to reduce risks of workers developing the lung disease silicosis.

6/ Water pollution

The Trump environmental team’s efforts to better manage America’s water resources for big business include the usual nullifying of Obama-era initiatives such as pollution protections for tributaries and wetlands, revoking a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams, and withdrawing a proposed rule requiring groundwater protections for uranium mines, as well as proposing the opening of 1,500 acres outside the Grand Canyon to nuclear production. Not carried out yet but next on the agenda are a series of measures to facilitate more dumping of waste from power plants into rivers and streams.

7/ Other

Out the Obama-era window go measures to increase the number of energy-efficient light bulbs; to prohibit the use of sand from protected ecosystems for coastal replenishment projects; and to reverse restrictions on the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks, a measure desgined to cut down on litter. And there’s a lot more to come.

Who Wins, Who Pays?

Who is responsible for deciding which environmental protection measures should be thrown out? Industry advisors, perhaps? Who suffers the consequences and pays the bills? The usual suspects.

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Trumpless Fridays, Anyone?

I Propose an International Boycott of Donald Trump

If you are sick to death of seeing President Donald Trump’s scrambled-eggs face and listening to his ever-present voice on whatever device you turn on, raise your hand. You are not alone. The rest of us feel just as frustrated as you do. The bitterest pill is that there seems to be nothing we can do about it. What would you give to enjoy a break from Donald Trump, a rest from his face, his tiresome, lowbrow discourse, his lies, blunders and hollow sales pitches?

Maybe there is something we can do. Though we can’t shut him up nor oblige the media to limit their coverage, permit me to suggest that there is something we’re empowered to enact. We can boycott him. We can dedicate at least one day a week to turning our backs on him, not watching, not listening, not discussing, not mentioning, not even protesting President Donald J. Trump. Admittedly it would be only one day a week and just a testimonial gesture but it would give us–and the world–the feeling that we are aware of his toxic presence and prepared to resist it.

Just Pass on Trump

One day a week without Trump. It would be absolutely therapeutic. We can already breathe a little easier. How to go about it? It needn’t be complicated, nor expensive. We have the Internet and social media on our side. So, there’s no need to form an association, pay dues, nor fill out any forms. We don’t even have to surrender our email addresses nor remember any passwords. We just turn our backs on him collectively. This is not to imply that we can’t print up some T-shirts or leave some comments on social media, but you don’t even have to do that if you don’t want to. And the whole world can play. Just pass on Trump.

To that end I hereby proclaim this Friday, May 8, 2020, and every Friday thereafter as days without Trump–Trumpless Fridays. (Who am I? I’m nobody, just like you.) Care to join me? Just pass on Trump.

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Citizens United Opened the Door to the Abyss

(Turning on the music enhances the reading.)

Democracy Had Been Ailing for a Long Time

The Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Supreme Court case was the final blow. It did not come out of nowhere. It was the culmination of a long leadup of right-wing election fiddling: lobbyist-led financing, the brainwashing and dumbing down of a series of vulnerable demographics (non-high-school graduates, ethnic minorities, hollow billionaires…), vote blocking strategies like gerrymandering and voter qualification limits, and strange bedfellows under blankets in Washington, DC. At bottom was the conviction of the members of the United States Congress–House and Senate, mainlyt Republicans but Democrats, too–that they had a God-given right to be re-elected, never to release the reins of power. And if they were obliged to use and abuse the civil rights of American citizens, their economic opportunities, the lives of their sons and daughters and the United States Constitution itself as bargaining chips in their sacred re-election endeavor, all of those contrivances were justified. They are capable of doing anything to retain their grip on power, even if it requires turning the government over to powerful criminal societies.

Nor am I prepared to affirm that this situation is attributable to capitalism. There are countries where capitalism marries nicely with humanity to create cordial, prosperous and liveable societies in places like Europe, Australia, Japan or South Korea, the new First World. The problem with American capitalism, it seems, is that it’s American.

The Worst of All Possible Worlds

The Citizens United verdict, which came down during Obama’s first term, opened the door to unlimited federal campaign contributions from corporations and consolidated extreme laissez-faire capitalism as the law of the land. That 5-4 decision issued from a US Supreme Court that had hovered between conservative and ultra-conservative thanks to appointments by presidents Nixon,  Reagan, and the two Bushes. The first two of these chief executives, both gravely deficient, the first one morally, the second intellectually, are arch representatives of what went wrong with American democracy in the 1970s and 80s. Nixon went so far as to prolong the Vietnam war, with the loss of lives and treasure that implied, in order to take credit for the  peace agreement. (Source: The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, by Seymour M. Hersh, 1983).

Reagan was a tall, handsome second-rate Hollywood actor, outspoken anti-communist, FBI informer, and popular television spokesperson for American industry. His main achievements as president were in the field of public relations. According to History.com “Reagan made frequent and highly visible retreats to his California ranch, where he rode horses, fixed fences and cut firewood for the TV cameras.” Following his two terms of office and particularly after his death in 2004 reactionary America converted President Reagan into the essential talisman/myth of 20th-century American political conservatism. That should surprise no one. They also resuscitated Nixon.

The father-and-son Bush presidencies were characterized by devotion to fossile-fuel interests and dubious military interventions abroad. George H.W. Bush was a one-term president who occupied the White House after a landslide victory over Democrat Michael Dukakis in the 1988 election. Bush the Father, considered by politologists to have been a mediocre president, engineered the first Iraq War, forcing Iraq to abandon Kuwait. He later ordered a senseless and bloody U.S. military invasion of Panama with the declared purpose of arresting Manuel Noriega, a drug-dealing dictator. It took US forces more than a month to conquer the tiny isthmus country in an operation disingenuously codenamed “Operation Just Cause.” According to Wikipedia, about 6,500 US troops remain in Panama today, ostensibly “monitoring Latin American airspace for unauthorized planes and training troops in jungle combat.” Bush I appointed two Supreme Court justices, David Souter, who abandoned the conservative cause by becoming a member of the Court’s liberal bloc, and Clarence Thomas, who became one of the most conservative judges of his era.

Emerging American Values: Tax Cuts for the Rich and Endless War on Something or Other

George W. Bush, the presumptive heir, was a populist president patently lacking the character and intelligence to occupy the office. The video footage of his reaction to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, sitting in a class of pre-schoolers in Florida, revealed more a confused bad actor than the leader of the free world. He was responsible over eight years for a $1.3 trillion tax cut for the usual suspects, the global war on terrorism, the invasion of Afghanistan, the civil-and-human-rights-destroying Patriot Act, and  the lies-based second Iraq War that set that killed, maimed and exiled hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and set the country back two or three generations. Not much of his rich agenda worked out as he planned. Bush the Son appointed two justices, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, in 2005 and 2006.

This brings us to the current US president, Donald J. Trump, the third American president to be impeached by the House though not convicted, by the Senate. The Trump presidency leverages an unprecedeneted lack of intelligence and tact, innate stagecraft, bald-faced self interest, lies and innuendo, while pandering to the lowest common denominator–white supremacists, neo-Nazis, magical religious cults and remnants of defunct right-wing movements, all of whom he refers to as “very fine people.” This grotesque baggage garnered him a previously  unseen level of voter loyalty.

President Trump has nominated two judges to the US Supreme Court, Neil McGill Gorsuch, who has a face like a choirboy who has never broken a glass, confirmed in 2017; and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Kavanaugh is an ultra-conservative whose confirmation hearings were stalled for three years over charges of partisanship.  According to Wikipedia, he is a practising Catholic who serves as a regular lector at his Washington, D.C., church, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament; and has helped serve meals to the homeless. He has also tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy. Before his eventual confirmation by the US Senate he was credibly accused of sexually assaulting at least two women.

Sixteen Appointments

The 16 Republican Supreme Court appointments since 1969 gave rise to the conservative courts that have dominated the American judiciary since the 1970s and culminated in the big-bucks-benefitting Citizens United verdict, which legitimized for all to see the notion that everything and everyone in America can be bought and sold, right down to the sacrosanct American democracy, personified in the United States Congress.

Thus, a minority of US citizens that desired and deserved a country whose pervading values were more complete, more human and more idealistic than those of the pork bellies market, was left out in the cold. Today they find themselves relegated to a sordid zero-sum world in which my gains are your losses, a world where generosity and solidarity have been supplanted by bare-fisted greed and the rule of the filthy rich. This brutal system of national values has exchanged once-normal human customs for cut-throat market standards. “Tell me how much you own and I’ll tell you what you’re worth.” It wasn’t always that way in the US, and Americans don’t have to look very far today to find a better model. There’s Canada right next door with universal health care and a $2,000 guaranteed monthly income for all their citizens. To belabor the point, I suggest you compare any declarations on any subject by Donald Trump on television news with those of Jacinda Ardern, the 39-year-old prime minister of New Zealand. It’s like peering into two different dimensions, Utopia and Dystopia. See which one you can relate to.

The controversial Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision was contested by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens who argued that the Court’s ruling represented “a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government.” A 2012 article on Demos.org lists 10 Ways Citizens United Endangers Democracy:

(These headings are links. You can click on them to learn more.)

  1. “Independent” Spending Farce Leads To SuperPACs
  2. Legal Money Laundering Increases Secret Spending
  3. Corporate Money Distorts Democracy
  4. Court is Blind to Reality of Corruption
  5. Citizen Voices are Drowned Out
  6. Money Is Still Not Speech
  7. Open Season on Remaining Money in Politics Protections
  8. Increases Corporate Power
  9. Unlimited Corporate Spending is Bad for Business and Shareholders
  10. Risks Reducing Respect for the Supreme Court

Now, ask yourself: Does the Citizens United decision merit revising by a future, less-ideologically-driven Supreme Court? Or can we climb out of the Abyss?

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President Trump May Go Down in History as the Savior of America–2/2

The Lowest Low Point

1. Implementing child separation — and lying about it

From April to June 2018, the Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border that deliberately separated children and babies — some as young as 4 months old — from their parents. In the span of six weeks, 1,995 kids were torn away from their parents. Some will likely never be reunited. On June 16, 2018, Trump lied about the policy, saying it was “forced” by Democrats. Once his lie was exposed, on Oct. 13, 2018, Trump explicitly advocated his barbaric policy as a deterrent. Those low points sparked international outrage.

These incidents enumerated by Klaas include exclusively those that occurred during the Trump presidency, not the run-up. So they omit such egregious cases as the Colin Kaeperninck disrespect-for-the-flag tweet,  the “Access Hollywood” tape, mocking a disabled reporter, attacking a Gold Star family, calling to ban all Muslims from entering the country or labeling Mexican immigrants as rapists.

How to Scuttle the Ship of State

In order for President Trump to sink the United States government–and the country–irretrievably he only has to continue along his same path. As we have seen in his daily tweets and even mainstream news coverage, he’s done an admirable job of sabotaging the government during his fist term in office, from defunding and dismantling vital agencies to deregulating business and finance, but he still has a way to go. A Democratic-Party-controlled House of Representatives is a hurdle he would have to surmount but there’s a possiblity he could turn the House around in the upcoming elections.  He has won against the odds before–producing apoplexia in the Democratic machine–and the American electorate has been known to deliver other remarkable surprises.

The Immediate Result of a Possible Trump Defeat

But what if he were to lose? How would President Trump’s partisans take the loss? Would they just step aside for the new President elect? Can anyone really foresee President Trump leaving office without kicking and screaming? What is more likely is some sort of coordinated civil unrest, the maximum expression of which is civil war. Is that eventuality being prepared in the White House basement as we speak? Should it come to armed civil disobedience, which side would the nation’s police and armed forces come down on? Is anybody thinking about that? Or are they all just betting the farm on that comforting old saw: “It can’t happen here”

Suppose it were to happen, along with all the other horrific contingencies that President Trump’s administration has made possible. A full-blown American Civil War II would be a giant step towards ground zero.  And we haven’t even considered the role of the Chinese and the Russians. Would they stand idly by? Or would they consider picking up a bargain out of the wreckage? Isn’t the Chinese’s own pictograph for “crisis” composed of two characters, one meaning “danger,” and the other “opportunity.”

Back to the Premise

How could a person like Donald J. Trump become the savior of the United States? It’s time to look at the historical precedents in other countries. In our time, since World War II, there have been two nations that have risen from the ignominy of defeat and total destruction, humiliation and starvation poverty, and worldwide condemnation. And they have achieved it in less than three generations. They have both rebuilt their countries and their economies, but more importantly they have recuperated their moral decency. Both have recognized, abandoned, repented, and apologized repeatedly for their agressive acts of warfare and crimes against humanity, their racism and historic rapaciousness. And their populations have assimilated a whole new set of humanitarian values based on democratic principles, respect and decency at home and abroad,

Those two countries are Germany and Japan. Located on opposite sides of the globe and with widely disparate cultural and social traditions, what did they have in common that permitted them to renew themselves in every conceivable respect? Their cities were systematically razed, their ideologies discredited. Their allies evaporated, along with their credit internationally. The only resources they could count on were humility, intelligence and determination. Granted, the $15 billion Marshall Plan was an important factor in European recovery but it wasn’t enacted until 1948. The first three years of Germany’s lone battle back from the gates of hell started from zero. Today Germany and Japan are two of the most advanced–and more importantly–most civilized countries in the world.

The Road to Rock Bottom

Is it possible that these are the very conditions that the United States requires in order to become great again? Could the current COVID-19 pandemic and President Trump’s characteristically inept handling of it be the detonator? From “We’ve got it under control…” to 55,000 deaths and counting is a long stretch, Mr. President. Will the coronavirus do for the Americans what the Second World War did for the Germans and the Japanese. Will it take them to rock bottom? If so, would the American public be able to muster the intelligence and determination–and most difficult of all–the humility to rebuild their entire world from zero?

It’s important to keep in mind, I think, that it couldn’t be achieved with traditional American values. No amount of self-reliance, dog-eat-dog competition and quick-buck capitalism would get the job done. It would require tremendous levels of selfless collaboration on the part of its citizens, something unknown in today’s highly-polarized United States. It’s not a given that Americans are capable of such a sea change in their hearts and minds. If they were, they might bring it off, just as the Germans and the Japanese did. That would make President Donald J. Trump, the principal agent for taking his country to rock bottom, in effect the savior of America, albeit by an ironically indirect route. If it should turn out that the Americans are not capable of working together intensely and disinterestedly, there are other nations with high levels of preparation waiting in the wings.

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President Donald Trump May Go Down in History as the Savior of America–1/2

Nato_meeting_2018

Trump May Make America Great Again but not in the Way He Had in Mind

There are precedents for the return to prominence of formerly great countries and a thoughtful look at their cases could illuminate the future of Donald Trump’s United States. The country may be recoverable and he might be the man to lead the way. He might require re-election to achieve it, but everything is possible. Before we consider the historical precedents, let’s take a summary look at President Trump’s record since he launched his presidential campaign.

The best–and most amenable–source I have found for pre-campaign Trump is the prologue to Michael Lewis’s 2018 book, The Fifth Risk, which is riveting from the first page. Lewis had access to Chris Cristie, the former New Jersey governor and short-lived candidate in the 2016 presidential pre-campaign, who alerted Donald Trump to the fact that he was legally obliged to appoint a staff to search and select candidates for the 500 federal posts that would have to be filled by presidential appointment, in the case that he were to be elected. Christie, who was at the first orientation meeting with the Obama transition team, found Trump’s delegate “comically underqualified” and he immediately phoned the Trump campaign manager, Cory Lewandowski, and asked him why such a critical job had been left in the hands of an incompetent. Lewandowski replied, “Because whe don’t have anyone.” So Christie got the job himself.

When Trump won the Republican candidacy he received from the federal government a suite of fully equipped offices in downtown Washington, DC, for his transition selection team. This group, in turn, reported weekly to Trump’s “executive committee,” made up of his real-estate-operator son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his daughter, Ivanka, his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump; as well as Paul Manafort, Steve Mnuchin and Jeff Sessions. All candidate Trump had to do was to pay the employees, either from his own pocket or his campaign funds. This detail gave rise to a brouhaha when Christie informed Trump that he was legally obliged to pay the staff. According to Christie, Trump’s reply was characteristically brief and clear: “Fuck the law. I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money. Shut it down. Shut down the transition.” In the end Christie’s transition team efforts were all in vain. He was fired the day after Trump won the election at the insistence of Jared Kushner, who had not forgiven Christie for prosecuting his father, Charles Kushner in a 2005 corruption case. Today Jared Kushner is a White House magnate and atypical diplomat.

Cross Purposes

The transition team’s problem is that they were working at cross purposes with the candidate. They were looking for clean, trustworthy, and above all qualified people to run the federal government. That was a gross mistake. Cleanliness, trustworthiness and competence were irrelevant as long as they could pass a  confirmation hearing in a Republican-controlled Senate.

The candidate, soon to be the new President, didn’t want his appointees to run the government. He wanted them to wreck it. That’s how he got that colorful Cabinet and White House staff and how all-important federal agencies came to be run by know-nothings. His choices were based not on logic nor even common sense, rather on pure ideology. If you’re hard-core anti government, you’re in.

The rest of Lewis’s book discusses the most glaring examples, from nuclear security and waste disposal to the massively important Department of Energy. The new President, with no knowledge of the critical role the federal government played in myriad questions in the country, set about gaily to destroy it.

A Brief Summary of the Worst of Donald Trump

President  Trump’s tenure has been characterized by an unprecedented mix of incompetence and arrogance. The less he knows on any given subject the more he thinks he knows (a classic case of the Dunning-Kruger effect) and the more he trumpets his supreme knowledge. The essence of the Trump presidency is this imaginary “supreme knowledge” of everything and his utter lack of concern for the country and its people. His first priority is always Donald Trump. Let’s take a look at some of the high points of his low points. Brian Klaas, a Washington Post contributor, listed his top five in a July 16, 2019 opinion article entitled The five lowest points of Trump’s presidency (so far):

5. “Go back” to where you came from

Trump told minority congresswomen to go back to where they came from. Where they came from, with one exception, was America: Cincinnati, the Bronx and Detroit. But Trump revived one of the most well-worn racist statements in American history. It was indefensible racism.

4. Trump “fell in love” with Kim Jong Un

Trump’s absurd, over-the-top praise for dictators lurched into self-parody when he claimed that he “fell in love” with North Korea’s totalitarian dictator, Kim Jong Un, in September 2018. Kim’s regime runs a vast network of concentration camps, conducts campaigns of mass rape and reportedly executes people with antiaircraft guns for sport. The juxtaposition with Trump’s consistent ally-bashing behavior left no room for misinterpretation about Trump’s values, and how at odds they are with America’s founding principles.

3. Implying that Puerto Ricans were lazy as an estimated 2,975 Americans died

In the week after Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, leaving millions without electricity or tap water, Trump tweeted 95 times. Fifteen tweets attacked black National Football League players. Just one was about Puerto Rico, in which Trump chastised the island for its “massive debt.” Then, on Sept. 30, while Puerto Ricans were dying and pleading for additional federal help, Trump responded by implying that they were lazy and wanted “everything to be done for them.” A later study showed that a significant number of the deaths were avoidable and came not from the storm but from an inadequate government response.

2. The “very fine people” in Charlottesville

On Aug. 12, 2017, a man murdered Heather Heyer with his car. He was a neo-Nazi. She was protesting neo-Nazis. Three days later, Trump drew a false equivalence between the groups, insisting that there were “very fine people on both sides.” One of those sides was marching alongside Ku Klux Klan members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The other was protesting those hate groups. Trump tried to conflate the two, and in so doing, stained his presidency forever.

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US Sponsored Terrorism in Western Europe 3/3

Hard_Evidence_Gladio

More Gladio Timeline

  • 1984—In Italy, right-wing terrorist Vincenzo Vinciguerra reveals in court Operation Gladio and the involvement of NATO’s stay-behind army in acts of terrorism in Italy designed to discredit the Communists. He is sentenced to life and imprisoned.
  • 1985—in Belgium, a secret army attacks and shoots shoppers in supermarkets randomly in the Brabant country killing 28 and leaving many wounded. Investigations link the terror to a conspiracy among the Belgian stay-behind SDRA8, the Belgian Gendarmerie SDRA6, the Belgian right-wing group WNP and the Pentagon secret service, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
  • 1990—In Italy, Judge Felice Casson discoveres documents on Operation Gladio in the archives of the Italian military secret service in Rome and forces Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti to confirm to the parliament the existence of a secret army within the state. As Andreotti insists that Italy had not been the only country involved in the conspiracy, the secret anti-Communist stay-behind armies are discovered across Western Europe. The cat is definitively out of the bag.
  • 1990—In Belgium, on November 5, NATO categorically denies Prime Ministger Andreotti’s allegations concerning NATO’s involvement in Operation Gladio and secret unorthodox warfare in Western Europe. The next day NATO explains that the denial of the previous day had been false while refusing to answer any further questions.
  • 1990—In Belgium, the parliament of the European Union (EU) sharply condemns NATO and the United States in a resolution for having manipulated European politics with stay-behind armies.
  • 1995—In England, the London.based Imperial War Museum in the permanent exhibition “Secret Wars,” reveals next to a big box full of explosives that the MI6 and SAS had set up stay-behind armies across Western Europe.
  • 1995—In Italy, the Senate commission headed by Senator Giovanni Pellegrino researching Operation Gladio and the assassination of former Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, files a FOIA request with the CIA. The CIA rejects the request and replies: “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.”
  • 2001—The author asks NATO for documents on the stay-behind secret armies and specifically transcripts of the Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) and Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) meetings. Lee McClenny, head of the NATO press and media service, denies that NATO had been involved with Operation Gladio and claims that neither ACC nor the CPC transcripts exist.
  • 2001—The author files a FOIA request with the CIA which is rejected with the comment: “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.”

This damning timeline offers a lot of food for thought and leads for further research. The author of NATO’s Secret Armies, Daniele Ganser, is currently a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. We can be sure that he and his colleagues continue to think.

Ramifications, Conclusions

The stay-behind/Cladio program was a big success. Its deadly false-flag operations were routinely attributed to left-wing activists who were prosecuted, imprisoned and assassinated en masse for decades.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this years-long operation was the senseless taking of random innocent lives for the hollow cause of anti-communism.

The scale and extension of Operation Gladio was Europe wide and was responsible for massive twists and turns of policy in many European countries. Among the most dramatically affected were Italy, Greece, Belgium and Turkey. The tragic history of Greece since  World War II is largely attributable to British and American betrayal of the Greek resistance forces who had successfully driven the German army out of their country. That victory was reversed when the Alllies, fearing communist influence in the upcoming Greek government, retired their support. This counterfeit anti-communism in Greece led, in the sixties, to the brutal dictatorship of the Greek colonels.

Gladio helped to assure right-wing, anti-communist governments would rule Europe for decades, thus negating European countries the direction of their own democracies, their own sovereignty and the course of history.

Gladio was the test bench for subsequent CIA terrorist operations in the rest of the world. It showed what control was possible with a well-run anti-communist false-flag terrorist organization in place.

Gladio As Black Magic

Gladio permitted the Americans to pitch themselves as paladins of democracy around the world, when the truth was precisely the opposite. In this connection, recent American presidents have done the world a favor by pulling back the curtain of American government methods and motives, from criminal drone assassinations to regime-change operations. Perhaps the greatest irony today is President Trump insisting that NATO is there to “protect” Europe and demanding that they pay for that protection. It’s almost as if he had taken lessons from the Mafia.

Gladio reinforced the US self-image of altruism, exceptionalism and defense of “Western values.” Most Americans today still see their country as the beacon on the hill.

Gladio helped the US to cast the Russians as ruthless aggressors and war mongerers, a plague on the earth, while at the same time constructing an iron ring of military bases surrounding Russia. The Americans retain to this day between 800 and 1,000 bases worldwide while their gargantuan–and ever rising–“defense” budget relegates a large part of their own citizens to crushing, irreversible poverty.

What exactly are the Russians guilty of? Principally, they had the misfortune during the first third of the 20th century, to build a better mousetrap, a model for an egalitarian  society that posed a threat to American laissez-faire capitalism–until the ideals of the Russian revolution were sabotaged by Stalin in the 30s.

Now that the terrible Gladio story has been exposed time and again, we should be able to forget those lamentable times and move on. Well, not quite. Serious research and reliable witnesses have linked recent terrorist events to the offspring of Gladio. They affirm, for example, that Gladio units reappeared in Norway in 2011 with the Anders Breivik slaying of 77 peopleon the island of Utoya. They are also convinced that sons of Gladio have become active across Europe under anti-Islamic and ultra-nationalist banners.

One of the leading proponents of the existence of a Gladio B, is whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, the ex-FBI contract interpreter/translator who was fired from the FBI for her inconvenient truth telling. In the process she won national whistleblower awards for revealing serious irregularities with wide-ranging implications in the bureau’s translation department. She went on to participate in founding a news agency (Newsbud) and to write an autobiography: Classified Woman – The Sibel Edmonds Story: A Memoir. Edmonds goes so far as to implicate Gladio B in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

What’s next?

When the CIA feels they’re onto a good thing–And why wouldn’t they feel that way about Gladio?–it’s not easy to convince them to change course. We may be plagued by CIA/NATO terrorism for years to come. The current COVID-19 crisis makes attempts at prediction absurd, of course, but time will tell. One thing is certain. It would take tectonic political changes in the United States to halt–or even slow–their strategy of world domination.

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US Sponsored Terrorism in Western Europe 2/3

Gladio False Flag

American Genius Converts Churchill’s Stay-Behind Experiment into a Europe-Wide Terrorist Operation

Ganser’s book takes the reader across Europe country by country tracing the incredible development of Churchill’s serpent’s egg. The American cold warriors soon realized that, though the Russian invasion was not about to happen, the stay-behind infrastructure could be diverted to their own purposes. In fact, it was perfect. The Americans’ initial recruitment criteria demanded that the officials and soldiers of the stay-behind armies be convinced anti-communists. So they started by mining the richest vein, the remnants of German Nazi-ism. According to Ganser’s book it was the same American Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) that rounded up the defendants for the Nurenburg trials that, at the same time, “secretly recruited selected right-wing extremists for the anti-communist army.” Their first important find was Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon,” whom they used to root out other hard-core Nazis.

Though one of the most important, General Reinhard Gehlen, fell from the tree like ripe fruit. Perpetrator of some of the worst atrocities of the war, including “the torture, interrogation and murder by starvation of some four million Soviet prisoners of war,” Gehlen turned himself in to the CIC and managed an introduction to US General Edwin Luther Siber (who would promote Gehlen’s career in the stay-behind organization). Not only did Gehlen lead the Americans to a cache of watertight steel drums with microfilmed documentation on the USSR that he had thoughtfully buried in the Austrian Alps, but went on to recruit several hundred other Nazi officers for the American project. This activity was in Germany but similar procedures covered the rest of the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Sinister Stay-Behind/Operation Gladio Timeline

Author Daniele Ganser created a timeline for the most significant events in the history of Gladio. Here is an extract complete with places, dates, and names He calls it his “Chronology.” Its contents are all in the public record and they form the backbone of his narrative.

  • 1940—Churchill creates the secret stay-behind armies, Special Operations Executive (SOE).
  • 1944—London and Washington set up first stay behind in Greece.
  • 1947—Truman creates the NSC and the CIA, whose covert action branch sets up stay-behind armies in Western Europe.
  • 1948—Western Union Clandestine Committee (WUCC) created in France to coordinate secret anti-communist unorthodox warfare.
  • 1949—NATO founded with HQ in France. (In US Senator Eugene McCarthy denounces Communists in the US government. He produces no evidence, but the Cold War is tacitly declared.)
  • 1951—CIA agent (and later director) William Colby, based in Stockholm,  supports training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and NATO member countries Norway and Denmark.
  • 1952—In Germany former SS officer Hans Otto reveals to Frankfurt police the existence of fascist German stay-behind army BDJ-TD. Arrested right-wing extremists found not guilty under mysterious circumstances.
  • 1953—In Sweden right winger Otto Hallberg is arrested and  uncovers the Swedish stay-behind army.  Hallberg is released and the charges against him mysteriously dropped.
  • 1957—In Norway, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protests against the domestic subversion of his country by US and NATO and temporarily withdraws Norway from the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) meetings.
  • 1958—In France, NATO founds the Alllied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare and the stay-behind armies. When de Gaulle expels NATO from France in 1966, a new NATO headquarters is established in Brussels. The ACC, under the code name SDRA11 is hidden within the Belgian military secret service SGR, with its headquarters next door to NATO.
  • 1964—In Italy, the Gladio secret stay-behind army is involved in a silent coup d’etat when Genejral Giovanni de Lorenzo in Operation Solo forces a group of elected socialist ministers to leave the government.
  • 1966—In Portugal, the CIA sets up Aginter Press under the direction of Captain Yves Guerin Serac, a stay-behind army that trains its members in covert action techniques including hands-on bomb terrorism, silent assassination, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.
  • 1966—In France, President Charles de Gaulle forces NATO to leave French soil. In the move to Brussels secret NATO protocols are revealed that allegedly protect right-wingers in anti-Communist stay-behind armies.
  • 1967—In Greece, the stay-behind army Hellenic Raiding Force takes control of the Greek Defense Ministry and starts a military coup d’etat installing a right-wing dictatorship.
  • 1968—In Sweden, a British MI6 agent closely involved with the stay-behind army betrays the secret network to the Soviet KGB secret service. From here until the outing of the NATO secret armies by the Italian judiciary and press in 1990, the “secret stay-behind armies” are unknown to everybody except the Russians.
  • 1969—In Italy, the Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan kills 16, injures 80 and is blamed on the left.  Thirty years later, during a trial of right-wing extremists General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, alleges that the massacre had been carried out by the Italian stay-behind army and right-wing terrorists on the orders of the CIA in order to discredit the Italian Communists.
  • 1972—In Italy, a bomb explodes in a car near the village of Peteano killing three Carabinieri. The terror, first blamed on the left, is later traced back to right-wing terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, and leads to the exposure of the Italian stay-behind, code named Gladio.
  • 1974—In Italy, a massacre during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia kills eight and injures and maims 102, while a bomb in the Rome-to-Munich train ‘Italicus Express’ kills 12 and injures and maims 48.
  • 1974—In Italy, General Vito Miceli, chief of the military secret service, is arrested on charges of subversive conspiracy against the state and reveals the NATO stay-behind secret army during the trial.
  • 1977—In Spain, the secret stay-behind army with the support of Italian right-wing terrorists carries out the Atocha massacre in Madrid and, in an attack on a lawyers’ office closely linked to the Spanish Communist Party, kills five lawyers.
  • 1978—In Norway, the police discover a stay-behind arms cache and arrests Hans Otto Meyer who reveals the Norwegian secret army.
  • 1978—In Italy, former Prime Minister and leader of the DCI, Aldo Moro, is taken hostage in Rome by a secret unit. His bullet-ridden body appears in the boot of a car 55 days later. Before his death he was about to form a coalition government that included the Italian Communist Party.
  • 1980—In Italy, a bomb expodes in the second-class waiting room of the Bologna railway station, killing 85 and seriously injuring and maiming a further 200. Investigators trace the crime back to right-wing terrorists.
  • 1981—In Germany, a large stay-behind arsenal is discovered near the German village of Uelzen in the Lúneburger Heide. Right-wing extremists are alleged to have used the arsenal in the previous year to carry out a massacre during the Munich Octoberfest killing 13 and wounding 213.
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US Sponsored Terrorism in Western Europe 1/3

Book1

Author’s Note

I wrote a four-part article on Operation Gladio, NATO’s secret stay-behind/terrorists armies in Western Europe in April of 2018. So what’s the point of writing another one? I need to enlarge and improve it. To research the first story I used Daniele Ganser’s book merely as a reference work, picking data out of the index. By limiting myself in that way I missed what I now consider to be the main thrust of Ganser’s excellent work. The stay-behind/terrorist project that was “Operation Gladio” (the Italian code name for the organization which became the generic term for operations in the rest of Europe) was the origin of an ongoing American project of world domination that relied on classic terrorist false-flag strategies and virulent anti-communism to undermine the sovereignty and democracies of Western European countries.

The NATO/CIA playbook for these operations established the modus operandi for later secret wars in other parts of the world, notably Central and South America and the Middle East. A summary analysis of these operations is enough to convince an unbiased observer that the United States will stop at nothing to impose their unjust model of “free-market,” predatory capitalism around the world. The least-valued element in their game plan, as demonstrated in all these places, is the value of human life. I realize these are strong words and I will do my best to support them here with ample evidence.

In short, the supposed objective of Operation Gladio, designed, financed and implemented by NATO and the CIA, was to create an organization to combat communist terrorism in Western Europe. The truth is that Gladio was, itself, an American-run terrorist group set up to simulate supposed communist terrorism in order to discredit the European left wing’s credibility at the polls, where  they were having some success based on their effective opposition to the Nazis in World War II. The ideological motor of the whole operation was the Americans’ hysterically exaggerated fear of communism. As this strategy has worked itself out to this day not much has changed. American Cold War- vintage anti-communism has always been based more on self-interest, hypocrisy and opportunism than anything else. Let’s take a closer look at it.

If you’re interested in seeing my original article, here’s a link.

Swiss Graduate Student’s Book Reveals US Post-WWII Secret Agenda

In July of 1940, 10 months after World War II broke out in Europe and a year and a half before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the American entry into the war, British prime minister Winston Churchill had an idea. It occurred to him to establish secret armies all over Europe against the possibility of a Soviet invasion when the war was over. So he got MI6, Britain’s clandestine intelligence service, to work on it. Thus began the story of a sinister secret operation that got out of hand and lingers on till today.

With his 2005 book, NATO’s Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe, Daniele Ganser, a Swiss doctoral candidate, wrote the inside story of this ill-fated initiative. Almost incidentally he also created the Rosetta Stone for the interpretation of 20th-century American foreign policy. This seemingly inconsequential by-product of a doctoral thesis turned out to be an essential guide of our time for tracing the beginnings in Europe of the United States’s misdirected muscle flexing after the Second World War.

In the early 2000s, when Ganser set out to write his thesis–later to become this book–his humble objective was to elucidate the origins of Europe’s post-World War II stay-behind armies. But his research took him much further, into the sinister Cold War labyrinth. Like Cerberus, the fearsome multi-headed dog of Greek mythology that guarded the gates of Hell to prevent the dead from escaping, Churchill’s stay-behind armies promised to defend Europe from Soviet aggression. It’s not clear what inspired Churchill to concoct an elaborate plan for betraying Britain’s principal ally against the NAZIs (the US didn’t enter the war for another year and a half, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Perhaps it had to do with a son of British aristocracy’s aversion to a Russian experiment in collectivism. In any case, this cranky, hard drinking, cigar smoking British prime minister became the grandfather of American Cold War anticommunism.

Churchill Leads the Way into the Dark Labyrinth

Churchill’s plan was to recruit, equip and train secret armies and conceal arms caches all over Western Europe. These clandestine forces would go into action in the event of a Soviet invasion. The theory wasn’t entirely outlandish, but as it  played out it became the nightmare that Daniele Ganser recounts–and lavishly documents–country by country in NATO’s Secret Armies. If you manage to find a copy of the book, published 15 years ago with little resonance, after reading it you will ask yourself, “How is it possible that I have never heard of this massive scandal nor this seminal book on the subject? Why has it been ignored by the American, British, European and world press? Shouldn’t it be the first reference work for anyone seriously interested in the Cold War in Europe?”

Yes, of course it should be, but it isn’t. At best it is a glaring example of how effectively American censorship can bury even the most important information if they consider it to be a threat to their voracious geopolitical agenda. The cold warriors of the American intelligence community were not stupid. They knew that, if Ganser’s information were disseminated in the way it deserved, it would open an iceberg-sized breach in the Americans’ ongoing campaign of world domination, camuflaged until then under the guise of workaday anti-communism.

The stay-behind program didn’t remain British for long, as the Brits had their hands full fighting the war, but the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was happy to take over the nascent anti-communist project, which dovetailed neatly with their own purposes. It was the pioneering cold warrior, William J. (Wild Bill) Donovan, who suggested to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 the creation of a secret service to carry out covert actions against the communists, socialists and their followers in Europe. Donovan became the director of the OSS which financed and ran the operation from 1942 until 1947 when the CIA–more specifically their covert action department, the Directorate of Operations (DO)–under the leadership of legendary dirty-war operators like William Colby, who went on to become  the CIA director; Frank Wisner, who was so revolted by his CIA missions that he finally shot himself in 1965; and Richard Helms who was to lie to Congress regarding the US role in the September, 1973, Chilean military coup.

In 1949, the recently-created North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took over the stay-behind program definitively. NATO provided a friendly new face, cast as it was as an allied organization that was going to “protect” Europe. But the CIA and the British MI6, as well as the military secret  services of the countries that hosted stay-behind armies, each had a say in the running of the operation. The way Ganser’s book discredits in a scholarly manner the notion that NATO was a beneficent society, only serves to make it more credible. The content of his book suggests implicitly that the United States has been actively pursuing world domination since the Second World War and they will stop at nothing to achieve it.

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