It’s Far Worse Than You Realize

Military_Industrial_Complex_1

Trump, Trump, Trump…

It’s not only about Trump. He’s just the token tip of the American iceberg. Look beneath, that’s where all the serious–and seriously scary–stuff is to be found. Ironically, most of the players and issues that affect your lives in meaningful ways–both positive and negative–don’t make the papers much and, even if they did, Americans don’t read the papers as much as they used to.

So, what are the American people up against? They (you?) are facing a systematic undoing of laws and institutions, regulations and rights that have protected American citizens for many years. The following are just a few examples. Suddenly the Secretary of the Interior becomes the Secretary of Wrecking the Interior. How is this demolition operation going on? See this clip from the NY Times: 52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump.

Trump’s Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, (born in Selma, Alabama, 1946) is taking similar backward steps in the Justice Department. Here’s what USA Today had to say on the subject. And the Secretary of Education, Betsy de Vos (sister of Eric Prince, founder of Blackwater USA, now known, ironically it seems, as Academi) wants to use America’s schools to build “God’s Kingdom.”

What Is to Be Done

Obviously, the first and most urgent step in the treatment of the American domestic and geopolitical malaise is to remove President Trump from office before he and his merry band of trolls dismantles the American government utterly. This removal would have to be carried out by legal means, of course. Here’s a brief summary of the impeachment process: Article Two of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that:

“The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate.”

But who can guarantee that the Representatives would impeach President Trump or that the Senators who tried Trump would convict him? Far worse, supposing that he were convicted and ordered out of the White House are we sure that his rabidly loyal followers would obey the law and respect that eviction? They are, after all, the ones who own most of the unregulated guns in the United States and they appear to be prepared to use them. Yes, they probably could be overwhelmed by the Army but it would be one hell of a mess. Would it even come to a showdown between the Army and Trump’s unconditionals? Whose side would the police and the Army be on?

It’s Not Just Trump and His Trumpeteers

Now that we’ve got those sticky questions on hold, back to our premise: It’s not just Trump nor his atypical cabinet you’re up against. It’s the entire U.S. power structure. It’s the great lobbies, from the banks and arms manufacturers, big pharma and the NRA, to tobacco and the corporate media.  All of these interests are in the business of buying legislators in order to win them over to the lobbyists respective causes. How is this possible in the United States of America? It’s not only possible, it’s legal. This kind of government tampering in the form of lobbying was legalized by the legislators themselves.  This mercantile treatment of “democratic” power is, however, illegal in the rest of Western democracies.

Outside the U.S. everbody down to the last busboy in the cafeteria is acutely aware that when business interests start controlling their presidents, primer ministers, legislators and jurists, the essence is sucked out of their democracy, leaving it a “democracy” in name only. Is this to say that I am casting doubt here on the legitimacy of American democracy itself? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting.

Wait, there’s more. There are other powerful twisting factors that come from both home and abroad, the former principally from freelance amateur billionaire “activists,” wacky end-of-times religious groups and the Pentagon. Then there are the threats from from foreign countries. The first one that comes to mind is Israel. Their lobbying operation, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), represents the Likud-led Israeli government’s interests in the U.S.  One of several pro-Israel lobbying organizations in the United States, AIPAC claims more than 100,000 members, seventeen regional offices, and “a vast pool of donors.” The organization has been called one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States. Virtually all members of the United States Congress have sworn allegiance to the Israeli cause, with all of its ramifications.

Yet, what are the U.S. corporate media going berserk about? Russian meddling in U.S. elections. Naturally.

Strangleholds and Anti-Semites

Critics accuse AIPAC of being an agent of the Israeli government with a “stranglehold” on the United States Congress with its power and influence. Any attempt, no matter how tepid, to oppose the Netanyahu government’s policies is branded “anti-semitism” by AIPAC and the “offenders” are ostracised on all fronts. Consequently almost nobody opposes AIPAC. It’s too dangerous for anyone who hopes to have a political future in the U.S.

Everyone who has eyes to see–including the right-wing Israelis themselves–know that the main issue here is not racism against Jews. If there’s any racism involved it’s Israeli bias agains their neighbors, the Palestinians and Iranians. One suspects that, more than anything else, this has to do with Israel’s pressing need for lebensraum.

According to American Arms Manufacturers Not All Arabs are Bad Guys

This bias doesn’t extend to all Arabs, however, as the right-wing Likud Israeli government forms part of an unholy alliance with Saudi Arabia, to take over the Middle East, starting with Iran. The Saudis are the principal sponsors of radical Islamic proselitism and terrorism world wide. Where do the Americans stand on this issue? The American government has no objection. The Israelis are the Israelis, after all, and the Saudis are massively important buyers of U.S. arms.

Have you noticed that I haven’t told you anything here that you didn’t already know? It’s just the familiar litany of Trump & Company’s outrages and bloopers. Not quite; it’s more than that. To understand it requires at least rudimentary quantitive risk analysis. (What can go wrong? How likely is it to happen? If it does, what are the consequences?) Every one of President Trump’s oafish statements and egregious acts contributes to a ballooning cumulative effect. This constant stream of ignominy doesn’t add up in the form of an arithmetic progression (1+1+1+1+1…), rather an alarming geometric progression (1+10+100+1,000+10.000…) So the President’s next gaff, be it just another insult to a head of state (see Japan and North Korea) or support for an Israeli/Saudi attack on Iran, it just may be the straw that breaks the nuclear camel’s back.

Read the full story in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

Is the Trump Tail Wagging the American Dog?–1/2

Trumps_girls

No, Like Everything Else It’s More Complicated Than That

It’s a long story but the brief answer is no, the tail is not wagging the dog. Donald Trump did not give rise to sordid, amoral America. As much as right-thinking Americans would like to pretend otherwise, Donald Trump is not responsible for white-trash America. That happened much earlier. Trump was just a semi-literate opportunist, a billionaire’s proxy who grabbed the brass ring and rode his merry-go-round pony into the White House.

It was the wave of ignorance, greed and pitch-to-the-lowest-common-denominator opportunism that had been growing lustily since World War II that permitted a person like Trump to run for president and actually win. At the same time this grimy ideological mix provided those right-thinking-Americans with the scapegoat they needed to evade responsibility for the mess their country is in. “Just blame it on Trump and his barbarian horde.” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not that simple.

A Little History

After World War II—and even before, at the 1944 Bretton Wood Conference–while other countries of the world were struggling to create decent lives for their people, including health care for their underclasses, the war-glutted American oligarchies were busy turning their backs on their own citizens and laying the groundwork for the Cold War and eventual unique superpower status. We’re talking about the creation of institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, NATO, SEATO, the CIA, the NSA, the multinationals, the oil-and-gas cartel, the suffocating American worldwide information regime, and let’s not forget their favorite bugbear, their all-pervading anti-communism (…blame it on the Russkies…).

Though this preparation for world domination wasn’t quite so evident in the beginning, the Neocons appeared at the end of the nineties and jerked the blanket off the seamy bed where all the promiscuous American powers-that-be were cavorting. It was their Project for a New American Century which in 1997 described the United States as the “world’s pre-eminent power,” and affirmed that the nation faced a challenge to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests.” In order to achieve this goal, the statement’s signers prescribed the usual bromides: “significant increases in defense spending, and the promotion of the “political and economic freedom abroad.”

Calling for a Reaganite policy of “military strength and moral clarity,” they concluded that PNAC’s principles were necessary “if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.” This declaration of principles, adopted by succeeding Republican governments, clearly revealed their sinister medium-and-long-term geopolitical intentions for all who had eyes to see. (That said, how many of us have eyes to see, eyes that have not been occluded by the myths and lies about the United States as a hilltop beacon of democracy, illuminating the way for less-fortunate peoples around the world?)

That shopworn set of lies about the United States exporting democracy no longer washes anywhere except, ironically, inside their own country where it’s still being fed like toxic kibble to their ingenuous choir of methodically-dumbed-down true believers.

“We Will Nuke You”

Then, in a document released in 2000 as DOD Joint Vision 2020, came “full-spectrum dominance,” a term coined by the gaily-decorated uniforms at the Pentagon. It called for “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively. (Emphasis mine. Translation: We reserve the right to nuke anyone and everyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.)

Harold Pinter referred to the term in his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

“I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as “full spectrum dominance”. That is not my term, it is theirs. “Full spectrum dominance” means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.”

Not since Hitler’s Germany has any country in the world arrogated to itself such an awesome prerogative: the right to kill everybody, everywhere, indiscriminately, this from a country that spends more on arms than the following 18 countries combined, a country that vociferously declares itself a bastion of democracy worldwide. Lincoln once said to an office seeker, “What you are speaks to me so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

The Bizarre Billionaire Card

Another factor in the creation of American policy that doesn’t get discussed as much is the influence of right-wing billionaires on U.S. policy both at home and abroad. Here’s a link to an  enlightening half-hour documentary that discusses the billionaire card in American politics: The Bizarre Billionaire that Backed Bannon and Made Trump President.

 Nor is this American policy limited to rhetoric. Throughout the past century they have materialized it in the form of gratuitous, unprovoked war-making on a series of sovereign nations in total disregard for international law. These attacks formed part of a rich American tradition dating from Colonial times: the wars against Native Americans on their own lands, the failed attempt to annex Canada, the 1848 “Mexican Cession” land grab…

In our own time the Americans’ omnivorous taste for other people’s countries has manifested itself in Vietnam and Iraq, to name just the most egregious cases. Vietnam was doubly cursed, both by the history of French colonialism there and the facile Cold War perception of that little Southeast Asian country as a catalyst for a “domino effect” of Communist expansion. That gossamer theory was the “justification” for 20 years of total (including chemical) warfare against and utter destruction of that tiny storybook country.

The end of the Vietnam War took the Americans by surprise. They lost. A combination of General Giap’s military and President Ho Chi Minh’s political genius, and the incredible capacity of the Vietnamese people for sacrifice, coupled with the influence of American anti-war activists, forced the United States armed forces and their running-dog allies out of Vietnam on April 30, 1975.

Coming hard on the heels of the 9/11 terror attack, the Iraq invasion was somewhat different, though it shared the use of lies and false pretenses the Americans employ regularly. How could we ever forget the pot-calling-the-kettle-black “arms of mass destruction” claims? Those assertions aside, the Iraq War was a straight American attempt to grab the country’s natural resources. The Iraqui oil fields are some of the most important in the world. Combine that fact with their geostrategic position in the Middle East and Iraq was an irresistible candidate for a dose of American democracy delivered from the air.

“Mission Accomplished!” Really?

According to President George W. Bush, nattily dressed in a U.S. Air Force costume-party getup for his “Mission Accomplished” speech to the troops of the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, the Americans won that one. As it turned out, however, the issue was somewhat more complicated than President Bush could have conceived. Up there on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, surrounded by unconditional admirers, he was either whistling irresponsibly in the dark or malevolently twisting the truth to his own truculent purposes. In any case today, 14 years later, the fate of Iraq is still up in the air and the Americans are no closer to grabbing the Iraqi oil than they were on day one.

Go to the second part of this post

Read the full story in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

USA Driven by a Familiar Fear: The Russians Are Coming!–2/2

It’s a 100-Year-and-Counting Fear Campaign

Russians_coming2

It was during the troubled times of the early 1920s that the sinister tendrils of the fear of Red Peril were planted. They were to put down deep roots over the following hundred years, which brings us up to our own time. This century-long fear campaign has been tremendously successful and the results are rich and varied and spread over many fronts, starting with the largest military budget in the world, 824.6 billion dollars for fiscal year 2018, and allegedly between 800 and 1,000 military installations abroad.

David Vine writes in a 2015 article in The Nation:

“To the extent that Americans think about these bases at all, we generally assume they’re essential to national security and global peace. Our leaders have claimed as much since most of them were established during World War II and the early days of the Cold War. As a result, we consider the situation normal and accept that US military installations exist in staggering numbers in other countries, on other peoples’ land. On the other hand, the idea that there would be foreign bases on US soil is unthinkable.

“While there are no freestanding foreign bases permanently located in the United States, there are now around 800 US bases in foreign countries. Seventy years after World War II and 62 years after the Korean War, there are still 174 US “base sites” in Germany, 113 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea, according to the Pentagon. Hundreds more dot the planet in around 80 countries, including Aruba and Australia, Bahrain and Bulgaria, Colombia, Kenya, and Qatar, among many other places. Although few Americans realize it, the United States likely has more bases in foreign lands than any other people, nation, or empire in history.”

For more information on this subject see Global Research’s extensive dossier on American Military Bases and/or Military Installations abroad.

The Bases Are Indicators

All of that spending and all of those American bases abroad are the underlying indicators of the level of fear that reigns in the United States power elite. What other possible motivation (aside from the profit motive) can there be for mounting such a grotesque—and expensive–network of death and destruction around the world?

The other face of the military spending/bases coin is the backing it gives the Americans for their commitment to permanent war. To quote a great American, “…they got a lot of forks ‘n knives. And they got to cut something.” (Bob Dylan, Talkin’ New York 1962).

 Another result of the great American fear campaign is the number of American citizens programmed to hate and fear not only the Russians but any sort of collective social or political solutions anywhere in the world. This includes anything that smacks of socialism or even “liberalism,”e.g. Canadian and European universal health care. Canada poses a particularly dangerous threat, sitting as it does right up against the United States’s northern border. American refugees are already starting to filter across that porous border. Is another great wall in the offing? Or perhaps a pre-emptive strike?

Do You Remember “Manifest Destiny?”

Add to these nefarious results a vicious jingoism and a predisposition to intervene militarily in any country in the world in order to co-opt its natural resources, notably but not exclusively oil. (Afghanistan allegedly sits on top of a trillion dollars’ worth of strategic mineral deposits. See U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan in the New York Times, June 13, 2010. This was followed last summer in the same newspaper by Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals.)

All of this fear on the heights, unlike the wealth of the rich, trickles down to every nook and cranny of underling America, forming the base of the ideological pyramid. For some unknown reason this toxic Kool Aid seems to get stronger as it penetrates into the unlettered heads of the central and southern United States, fueling waves of nationalistic fanaticism. I won’t bother you with examples. You know what I’m talking about.

What’s to Be Done?

So, with all these fears generating 57 varieties of imminent danger in the United States and all over the world, what’s to be done? There are a lot of solutions flying around Facebook. One of my favorites is the solution propounded by a wacky Evangelical group, a branch of dispensationalism, a belief system embraced by Christian fundamentalists as a defense of the literal Bible against liberalism.

They are a group with some 15,000,000 members whose well-funded Rapturist plan is to provoke a war between Israel and the Muslims in the Middle East. The inevitable victory of the God’s chosen people will then precipitate the Apocalypse which will propel all of us infidels (including the Jews who don’t convert to Christianity; take note Bibi) directly into hell. At the same time certain highly-qualified Christians will be ascended  into Heaven where they will sit at the right hand of God from where they will watch the Apocalypse as if it were the Super Bowl.

Good night and good luck, America.

Read more rant in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for sharing and commenting.