The Hunger Games Economy

Military Industrial Complex

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The Hunger Games Economy,

Military Industrial Complex

The Hunger Games Economy
Jeff Faux: Dreams of Wall St. and Military Industrial Complex are not compatible with dreams of American middle class
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Jeff Faux is the Founder and now Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He is an activist, economist and writer, He has written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development. His latest book is “The Servant Economy; Where America¹s Elite is Sending the Middle Class.”
Transcript
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
There's been some debate amongst the American governing elite about America's place in the world and its declining power. Barack Obama went to Australia not long ago and declared that America will continue to be an Asia-Pacific power. And the issue of the Brzezinskian grand chessboard is still very much on their mind. But what does this maintaining America's position in the world mean for ordinary Americans? Who's going to pay for all this? When it comes to competitiveness, it really means wages, although that word doesn't get talked about very much, not in the mainstream press or in the halls of Congress.
Well, it does get talked about in a piece written by Jeff Faux, and he's now joining us. Jeff is a founder and distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. He's an activist, economist, and writer. He's written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development, and his latest book is The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class. Thanks very much for joining us, Jeff.
JEFF FAUX, AUTHOR: Oh, it's great to be here, Paul. Thank you.
JAY: So, I mean, clearly we are dealing with a different world. And it's not just that it's militarily different, in the sense that China's now somewhat of a power, so is Russia and—back somewhat of a power—I mean, nothing on the scale of the United States, but the geopolitics and chessboard has changed somewhat. But where it's changed a lot more is with this massive industrial capacity in areas of the world where 20, 30 years ago there was nothing like it—advanced technology, high-quality production, very low wages. And America wants to maintain its competitiveness in all of this. So talk a bit about that and what that might mean for ordinary Americans, and maybe what the word competitiveness means.
FAUX: Well, I think—start from what I think is the basic assumption, and that is the United States can no longer satisfy the three great dreams that have driven American politics over the last decades. The first dream is the dream of Wall Street and business for unregulated access to speculative profits. The second dream is the dream of the military and foreign-policy elite and the military-industrial complex for global hegemony. The third dream is the dream of ordinary Americans for a rising living standard.
Now, we can have one out of three, certainly. Two out of three, maybe. Three out of three? No way. So in effect the decision is being made right now—or has been made—by this country's elite.
There's a lot of talk in Washington, as you know, about the grand bargain between Republicans and Democrats over budgets and taxes. But the real deal has already been cut. The average American income in real wages is going to decline over the next 10 years, 15 years, as far into the future as we can see. Now, this has been coming for a long time. It's not just about the recession and it's not temporary. As you probably know, for the last 30 years we've had stagnant wages in America. After wages rise steadily since World War II, they flattened out after 1979 and essentially have been flat.
So the question is: if wages were flat, how come everything looked so good? That is, people went to shopping centers and bought cars and houses during those 30 years that ended in 2008. And the reason is two. One, family incomes kept up because we sent more members of the family to work, usually the wife. Now there are more women than men in the labor force so that that strategy for most people is exhausted. The second is debt. People weren't getting raises, but they were getting access to cheaper and accessible credit. That has evaporated with the collapse of the financial sector.
JAY: Jeff, before you continue, let me ask: so if this process more or less began in the '70s, why? What happened? Why? If you could—you know, to some extent one could say that third dream of ordinary Americans, you know, to own a house, send the kids to college, not to be terrified of losing their job, to some extent that's—dream was still possible, at least in the early '60s.
FAUX: Oh, yeah. And the reason—.
JAY: So what happens?
FAUX: Yeah. There are three things that happened since the end of the '70s. The data starts from 1979; the kink in the curve starts from 1979. One was globalization, and by that I mean, essentially, exposing American workers to a very brutal and competitive global labor market before they were prepared.
Second, the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. A lot of that had to do with the decline of unions. But it affected union members and nonunion members. The second thing that happened was the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. This was not just about weaker unions, but weaker unions played a key role, not just for union members, but for people who aren't union members. Because unions were strong—or certainly stronger than they are now—the threat of unionization kept the bosses and kept the employers from cutting wages too much, cutting pensions too much, even though they would have liked to. So weaker unions, weaker bargaining positions [crosstalk]
JAY: And is weaker unions and bargaining positions linked to number one, which is globalization and the threat of moving offshore?
FAUX: That's right, certainly linked to number one. And number three, later, was the shredding of the safety net, the real value of the minimum wage, and the kinds of New Deal protections for labor that have been frayed away over the last 10 or 15 years.
But on the first, on globalization, there's something very important here to remember, and that is it not only affected working people, but it changed the culture of the American elite. You know, if you go back to the early part of the 20th century, labor and capital were in fierce struggles. But both labor and capital knew that they needed each other and were stuck in the same country. So, you know, when Henry Ford raised the wages of his Ford employees to $5 a day, the Wall Street guys said, Henry, what are you doing here? I mean, you can't pay—you're spoiling these people, you're paying them too much. And Henry Ford, who was a SOB union buster, said, look, I've got to pay them enough to come in to make the cars, but I also need to pay them enough to buy the cars. So it was an economy in which, while there were labor and capital disputes, we were all in it together.
What happened—what's happened since the 1980s is that globalization, the deregulation of trade and investment, has allowed the American commercial and economic elite to roam the world in search of lower wages, in search of government subsidies by Third World countries, etc.
JAY: Yeah, so you now have a situation where they saved GM and Chrysler, but workers'—starting worker wages go from, what, $26 to $14 an hour, and you probably couldn't buy a new car at $14 an hour.
FAUX: Exactly. And unlike Henry Ford, the people who run the Ford Motor Company today, you know, have other people they can use to sell their cars to. And so high wages, which we sort of learned after the 1930s were good for the economy because it created consumer demand and consumers bought the goods that were being produced, high wages in America are no longer what they were. They're now a threat to multinational corporations who still produce and sell things. And that's been a critical change.
JAY: They also seem to no longer think they need an educated workforce. I used to—in the '50s and '60s, all this talk about, you know, America will compete because it's going to be the most educated working class and this and that, they don't seem to care anymore. The public school system can go to hell and they don't seem to care.
FAUX: They don't care. But that's sort of the last excuse of the political governing class. I mean, whether it's, you know, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, they're all the so-called education presidents, and their answer to this decline in living standards and wages is not to worry, just go get an education. Barack Obama was in Florida about a year ago touring the country, saying the way we're going to compete in the world is to out-educate everyone.
Well, first what's obvious: that we're shrinking the schools, we're laying off teachers, kids can't go to college because it costs too much. But second, which is really important, we are not creating jobs for educated young people. You go into Apple, in the Apple Store, there is the future. And it's not the technology. It's in all those smart college-educated kids working as retail clerks for $10, $12 an hour. The Bureau of Labour Statistics—government agency—projects that between 2010-2020, the largest, fastest-growing occupations in this country, of the ten largest and fastest-growing, only one requires a college education.
JAY: Well, Jeff, we're going to pick this up in part two, and what I'll be asking in part two is it seems to me while this may make sense for Apple and it may make sense for a lot of individual companies to drive wages down and have more and more service jobs, as an economy somebody's got to be making money to buy all this stuff, and that seems to be where the rub is. So join us for part two of our series of interviews with Jeff Faux on The Real News Network.

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Iran

تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد Image

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تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

سیر و سیاحتی به مناسبت 61 مین سالگرد کودتای ننگین 28 مرداد

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

پیش از اینکه با سنبه وسوندی سنباننده به سفتن مدخل ومجرای، بحثی تاریخی، در مورد کودتای 28 مرداد سال 1332 خورشیدی ایران را، باز کنم، لازم می بینم که نخست بطور مختصر و مرخم ومفید، اشاراتی نیز داشته باشم به شیوها وشگردهای شیادانه و شعبده بازانه تعداد بسیار، بسیار اندکی از مائوئیست های متاسیون شده و کمونيیست های Quisling شده به همراه مونارکیست های منحط و متواری، مومیایی شده، که درطی دهه های گذشته، بویژه پس از انقراض و اضمحال یا انحطاط بساط سلطه و سیطره ارتجاع ، استعمار و استکبار جهانی در ایران، که اغلب بخاطر مزد و معاش در جهت ارتزاق و ارتشاف شخصی و شکمی، با تغذیه از اسناد استفراغ زده شده و آروغ زده شده ارتجاع جهانی، بسان رجاله گان سیاسی، با رجزخوانی رذیلانه، برای رضی و راضی نگهداشتن دشمنان دژنام ایرانی، در رسانه ها و روزنامه های باصطلاع فارسی زبان زیر سیطره و ساطور سیاه سازمان های اطلاعاتی lntelligency چون CIA امریکا و MI6 انگلستان و DGSE فرانسه، BND آلمان و موساد اسرائیل بنام صدای امریکا و رادیوی فریب و Fradulent فردا، بی بی سی، رادیوی RFI، رادیوی دویچه وله فارسی، صدای شوم Zionism جهانی، یعنی اسرايیل، البته با مدد سفسطه ولی با سکسکه سفیل ، سفیهانه و سالوسانه، علیه سیمای ستبر مردم ایران یا سخن پراکنی کرده یا با کمک مستقیم و غیر مستقیم Benefit سیاسی ارتجاع جهانی، مرتکب نسک و نشر و جهل، جوزن وجادوگری تاریخی شده اند، و بارها و بارها به کرات و مرات با کراهت و گژبینی گزند گونه در سنگر گزیزگاه دشمن با کرنش و کمر خم کنی خماننده ولی با نیش و نیشتر و نیرنگی فریبنده، برای توجیه و تطهیر و تبرئه عاملان و قاتلان و خائنان داخلی و خاری کودتای 28 مرداد، نوکربابانه یا نطق کرده یا نسک نگاشته اند. لطفآ بقیه را در video توجه فرمائید!

 


بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image

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بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
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دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

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گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

ولی بعد و بنیاد پحث امروز گوینده بطور اختصار و در حد اختیار،اختصاص دارد به حوادث دهشتناک و دردناکی که بطور فزاینده و فژاگن در کشور همسایگی،ما ایرانیان یعنی کشور عراق جریان دارد.


 

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Radicalizing in EU
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'Phantoms & Fantasies'
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United state

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"Negro Spring": Ferguson Residents, Friends of Michael Brown Speak Out for Human Rights
As peaceful protests continued Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in the city to meet with residents and FBI agents investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown. Democracy Now! traveled to Ferguson this week and visited the site where the 18-year-old Brown was killed. We spoke to young people who live nearby, including some who knew him personally. "He fell on his knees. Like, ’Don’t shoot.’ [The police officer] shot him anyway in the eye, the head, and four times down here," said one local resident Rico Like. "Hands up, don’t shoot is all I got to say. RIP Mike Brown."
Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Peaceful protests continued last night in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal police shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. Police said six arrests were made last night. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson on Wednesday. He told residents "change is coming."
    ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: Why would I be anyplace other than right here, right now, you know, to talk to—with the people in this area who are deserving of our attention? We want to help, as best we can. And we also want to listen. That’s the main part of this trip. We want to listen, to hear about the issues that you all are dealing with and seeing. Are there ways in which we can help?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Eric Holder met with high school students in Ferguson and recalled how he had repeatedly been targeted by police officers because of his race. The nation’s first African-American attorney general also penned an editorial in the St. Louis Dispatch, in which he vowed to, quote, "ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding—and robust action—aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve."
AMY GOODMAN: Also on Wednesday, St. Louis County prosecutors began presenting evidence to a grand jury that will determine whether police officer Darren Wilson is charged with a crime for killing Michael Brown. County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said the process could last through October. His team has already interviewed Wilson and says he’ll be offered the opportunity to testify. Outside the courthouse, protesters called for McCulloch to be replaced by a special prosecutor. They note McCulloch’s father, a police officer, was killed by an African American while on duty. McCulloch responded to the calls Wednesday during an interview on KTRS radio.
    ROBERT McCULLOCH: I have absolutely no intention from walking away from the duties and the responsibilities entrusted in me by the people of this community. I’ve done it for 24 years. I’ve done, if I say so myself, a very good job at that. I’m fair and impartial in every matter that comes before us. So, when others come to me and say, you know, "We want you to go away"—and I understand that. That’s certainly—they have the ability and the right to do that. But I’ve tried to directly say, "Listen, I’m not going to do that. I am not walking away from this. I’ve been entrusted with these responsibilities." But I understand, of course, that having declared a state of emergency, Governor Nixon has the authority right now to say, "McCulloch is out of this case."
AMY GOODMAN: All of this comes as Officer Wilson remains on paid leave.
Meanwhile, a police officer caught on video threatening to kill peaceful protesters in Ferguson has been suspended indefinitely. The video from Tuesday night shows the officer pointing his semi-automatic assault rifle at protesters, saying he’ll kill them and telling them to, quote, "Go F— yourself."
Well, last night I returned from Ferguson, Missouri. While there, we visited the site where Michael Brown was killed, the road just outside the Canfield apartments. I spoke to young people who live nearby, including some of them who knew him. But first we stopped by a protest outside the Ferguson police station.
    PROTESTER 1: Lean to the right! Lean to right!
    CROWD: No justice, no peace!
    PROTESTER 1: Lean to the left! Lean to the left!
    CROWD: No justice, no peace!
    PROTESTER 1: Lean to the right! Lean to right!
    AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell me your name?
    CAT DANIELS: Cat Daniels.
    AMY GOODMAN: And is this your son?
    CAT DANIELS: This is my grandson.
    AMY GOODMAN: Your grandson. What’s your name?
    DEANDRE SMITH: DeAndre Smith.
    AMY GOODMAN: DeAndre, how old are you?
    DEANDRE SMITH: Ten.
    AMY GOODMAN: And what are you doing out here tonight?
    DEANDRE SMITH: Well, I was hanging with my nana.
    AMY GOODMAN: So, why are you here?
    CAT DANIELS: I’m here because we want to know the truth. I think we deserve to know the truth. I think the Brown family deserves some justice. So, until, you know, we get some—I mean, you’ve got to, like, charge this guy or something. Can’t just kill a kid and think that everything’s going to be all right. It’s not.
    AMY GOODMAN: Tell me what your T-shirt says.
    CAT DANIELS: My T-shirt say, "Hands up, don’t shoot."
    AMY GOODMAN: And your sign?
    CAT DANIELS: My sign say, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
    AMY GOODMAN: Do you know the Brown family?
    CAT DANIELS: I don’t know the Brown family, but I don’t have to know them. We all standing behind them.
    AMY GOODMAN: Where are we standing right now?
    CAT DANIELS: Right now, we’re on Florissant, South Florissant Road, yeah. So, we’re over here by the Ferguson Police Department.
    AMY GOODMAN: Why here? Why are you protesting here?
    CAT DANIELS: Well, because this is a Ferguson police officer, so we need to come here, and we need to make them understand that we want justice. We’re not going to just stand around and let you just keep on running over people. This young man is 10 years old. I want to see him grow. I want to see him do something. My oldest grandson grew up, and you know what he did? He’s serving his country. So, you know, I think that young man should have had a chance to go to school and realize some dreams.
    AMY GOODMAN: Your son, did he go to Iraq or Afghanistan?
    CAT DANIELS: No, my daughter—we’re a Navy family, by the way. My husband is retired. My daughter’s still serving in Pearl Harbor, and my grandson’s in San Diego. Other son got out, and he’s in college. But I want these young ones to have their same chance.
    AMY GOODMAN: DeAndre, what do you want to be when you grow up?
    DEANDRE SMITH: Well, I want to be—I just want to serve our country so I can make a difference in the world.
    PROTESTER 2: I’m a mother before I’m anything else. My young people, I know, y’all, we’ve been wronged right now. I know we’ve been wronged. They know they’ve been wrong. But it only changes when we work together as one.
    AMY GOODMAN: So tell me your name, and tell me what your sign says. And what do you think?
    RONA: My name is Rona. And my sign is "Negro Spring." The same as the Arabs fought for their rights, for their civil rights, to oust their corrupt government, we’re fighting for our civil rights, our human rights. We would like, as an end result to this, one of the end results, for there to be a law. Police officers should not be allowed to hide behind a badge when they commit a crime. When we commit a crime, we have the penalties. They should have penalties. It’s not fair. They should not be treated like extra special humans.
    PROTESTER 3: What do we want?
    CROWD: Justice!
    PROTESTER 3: When do we want it?
    CROWD: Now!
    AMY GOODMAN: It’s around 10:00 at night, a gathering of several hundred people holding all sorts of signs, from "Negro Spring" to "Hands up, don’t shoot." They seem to be heading on down Florissant. They’re right across from the Ferguson police station, and there’s a line of riot police in front of the station. We’ll go over and talk to them, ask them what are their plans for tonight.
    I was wondering what the plans are for the police tonight.
    POLICE OFFICER 1: Ma’am, you’ll have to talk to the incident commander.
    AMY GOODMAN: Is there any curfew tonight?
    POLICE OFFICER 2: No, ma’am.
    AMY GOODMAN: Have there been any charges announced or anything like that yet?
    POLICE OFFICER 2: Not tonight that we’re aware of.
    AMY GOODMAN: OK.
    We leave the police station where the protesters have gathered across the street, and we headed to the Canfield apartments, the home of Michael’s grandmother. And there, in the middle of the road, just beyond the barricade, is the memorial for Mike Brown. The residents leave roses, pay their respects, walk around it, drive past. And people want to talk.
    Hey, can you tell me your name?
    STEVON STATOM: My name is Stevon Statom.
    AMY GOODMAN: So you live here in the Canfield apartments?
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, I do. I moved here last Friday. And—
    AMY GOODMAN: Friday, August 8?
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, August 8, yes, last Friday. And when I moved in that day, it was peaceful. Then, like, the next morning—I came, and I stayed right in that house right there. And that next morning, I woke up, and I found the body dead in the middle of the street. They left it out for like a good six to seven hours before they even tried to pick it up off the street.
    AMY GOODMAN: This was Mike Brown’s body?
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, Mike Brown.
    AMY GOODMAN: In the middle of the street here.
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, in the middle of the street. His monument is right there, if you want to go walk over there. It’s right in the middle of the street.
    AMY GOODMAN: OK. Why don’t we go with you?
    STEVON STATOM: We can go over there.
    AMY GOODMAN: So, you moved here a day before he was killed. You walked outside on Saturday, August 9th, and you saw his body laying in the road. Was anyone around his body?
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, it was a—they had, like—when I came outside, it was all blocked off, like the police blocked it off. But, like, they didn’t really try to pick the body up. They just left it there for like the whole world to see, just like everybody in the neighborhood. Like, I guess they was trying to show a point, like, "Don’t disrespect me, or this is going to happen to you." They just left it there for like a good seven or six hours. You know, they didn’t even try to pick it up.
    AMY GOODMAN: Was his body covered when you saw him?
    STEVON STATOM: No, no, no, no, no. He was just laying face down and dead in the middle of the street for hours.
    AMY GOODMAN: You just laid a rose down?
    STEVON STATOM: Yes, I did, to show my respect.
    QUENTIN BAKER: That’s what they said they stole from the gas station, the ’rillos, the cigarillos. They got those laying down here.
    AMY GOODMAN: Tell me your name.
    QUENTIN BAKER: My name’s Quentin Baker.
    AMY GOODMAN: And tell me what you’re wearing on your face. You’ve got the headband.
    QUENTIN BAKER: I’ve got the Mike Brown headband, and the "No justice, no peace" over around my mouth.
    AMY GOODMAN: And why around your mouth?
    QUENTIN BAKER: I don’t know, just to cover up my face, just for the tear gas, you know?
    AMY GOODMAN: Have you been tear-gassed yet?
    QUENTIN BAKER: Yeah, twice. Two nights in a row.
    AMY GOODMAN: And how old are you?
    QUENTIN BAKER: I’m 19 years old.
    AMY GOODMAN: And where do you live?
    QUENTIN BAKER: I live in South County, South St. Louis.
    AMY GOODMAN: And what brought you here?
    QUENTIN BAKER: Mike Brown, all this. Came to support my city, that’s all.
    AMY GOODMAN: Are you shocked by this?
    QUENTIN BAKER: Yeah. Yeah, it’s very crazy. It’s wild. This is—I came to show some peace, you know?
    AMY GOODMAN: What do you see here in this monument to Mike Brown that’s in the middle of the street—
    QUENTIN BAKER: Just candles—
    AMY GOODMAN: —where constantly cars are going by either side?
    QUENTIN BAKER: Just candles and flowers and a cross, pictures of him, all over. There’s still blood. His blood is still on the street underneath the candle wax that’s been burned.
    UNIDENTIFIED: So, this is like our awakening call to cry out for justice, to be heard. And that’s the only way that the youth know how to portray it. And hopefully we learn more and learn better ways to show it. But for now, this is our cry out for it.
    AMY GOODMAN: Do you live here at the Canfield apartments?
    UNIDENTIFIED: Yes. Yes, I live out here in St. Louis. I live out here in St. Louis on the south side. And I come out here to share my condolences, because I also knew the young fellow.
    AMY GOODMAN: You knew Mike Brown?
    UNIDENTIFIED: Yeah, and it’s tragedy, because he wasn’t the type of person that the news portray it. So—
    AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us about Mike?
    UNIDENTIFIED: A humble guy, Michael Brown was actually a good, kind-hearted person and had a good future, had a good head on his shoulders.
    AMY GOODMAN: What’s your name?
    UNIDENTIFIED: Undisclosed. Thank you.
    RICO: I’m Rico, known in the neighborhood as Rico. I’m 22 years old.
    AMY GOODMAN: Did you know Mike Brown?
    RICO: Yes, I did. Yes, ma’am. He was a good friend of mine. Him and Dorian.
    AMY GOODMAN: Dorian Johnson?
    RICO: Yes. Yes, ma’am.
    AMY GOODMAN: They were together.
    RICO: Yes, ma’am.
    AMY GOODMAN: Were you around on August 9?
    RICO: I came after the shooting, after Mike was already pronounced dead.
    AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell me a little about him? Did he live here?
    RICO: Well, he got family that live over here in this building beside us and on up through Northwinds. He was a good friend of mine. He was a school graduate. I mean, a lot of people from black communities—you know, a lot of black people don’t graduate and finish school. They read about other stuff. And, you know, a lot of people in our community have drug addicts parents and stuff, so they have to feed for theirself and stuff and, you know, engage in stuff. And Mike wasn’t one of them. He was one of them guys who went to school, finished school. He had parents that was on him and supported him, you know.
    So, this is just uncalled for. That’s how I feel. For real, that’s how I feel. This is really uncalled for, you know. Lost a good friend, you know? It’s just not right, when we live in captivity in this neighborhood, where they want to block us in and make us feel like we’re nothing, you know what I’m saying? Where like our word don’t—we have no say so. And we live here, and we pay rent here, and we’ve been here forever. Forever.
    I just want justice served. I want to see Mike’s family happy and proud, knowing that this cop killer is off the streets and knowing that my black people is not being killed by another officer, by Darren Wilson or whoever he is, you know? But he hurt a lot of people. And my pain don’t stop. And I’m out here, and I’m going to continue being out here. I’m not going to stop. I’m not going to stop. Continue being out here supporting all my black brothers and stuff. I want them to know, I’m out here supporting, and I’m out here doing it for y’all. I like to see my young black people come together. And we all have—we all do this for Mike. I don’t want to see nobody out here looting, doing none of that stuff. I just want everybody to be peaceful, calm, when we do this for Mike. We march and everything, do this the right way.
    AMY GOODMAN: Is there usually this much air traffic in the sky?
    RICO: Yes, this has been going on every night. And there’s been kids getting maced, tear-gassed, rubber bullets. And the thing about it, it’s innocent people who live in this area. So you throw tear gas and all this stuff, and it’s messing up everybody. Everybody who want to step outside and go to their cars, they’re feeling this stuff in the air. It’s coming. Like, I had a struggle to fight just to walk from West Florissant back here to the Northwinds Bridge. I had to struggle and fight and just tell myself, "Keep going, keep going," because the tear gas was so strong, and it was breaking me down. I have asthma.
    AMY GOODMAN: And in these apartments, you’re smelling the tear gas?
    RICO: And the tear gas. The tear gas is all through here, in the homes, in everything. And they told us no curfew yesterday. By 9:00, 9:30, there was tear gas and everything. And the police officers told us theirself, "No curfew tonight. We’re going to do this the right way." But they lied to us. So, there it goes again. How are we supposed to feel like these officers can be trusted, and we’re supposed to call them for help and stuff, when at the same time we’re being abused and being lied to by you officers and being killed? And being killed, as black people. It hurts, you know? It hurts. It hurts.
    AMY GOODMAN: Who made that sign behind you?
    RICO: Which one? This cross?
    AMY GOODMAN: Right under the cross. What does it say?
    RICO: "Beware, killer cop on the loose. Watch out, children. Watch out, children." They say, "Watch out, children," because he killed the child, someone’s child. I have kids of my own. And it just hurts. Like I said, it hurts.
    AMY GOODMAN: What’s your name?
    JERODNEY MEEKS: My name’s Jerodney Meeks.
    AMY GOODMAN: And how old are you?
    JERODNEY MEEKS: I’m 26. So, he stopped the man for walking in the streets. Now, how do you get shot in your head two times and four times in your body? And he had his hands up, from the autopsy.
    RICO: And if you’re trying to stop someone, and it’s to the point where you need to fire—the officers are trained. The officers are trained to fire at legs, tase, mace, whatever. There’s no reason for—
    JERODNEY MEEKS: How did a headshot—
    RICO: Yeah, how did that all happen?
    AMY GOODMAN: Did you know Mike Brown?
    JERODNEY MEEKS: I didn’t know him, but I always be over here in this community, and heard. You know, I’m not saying I’m a perfect man, but I have a past history. And, you know, I did done things in my past that I had to face my time in courts, you know? So, to see that happen to him, and I know I have done wrong, I don’t feel like it’s right, because I know my history. So, to see that innocent person to get killed on that matter—and it had nothing to do with what happened at Ferguson Market. It’s because he was walking in the street and refused to get on the side of the sidewalk. It’s not right. And I didn’t—you know, I’m not going to criminalize myself, but I did done a lot more wrong. And I did my time, you know, and I’m out. I’m a free man. I’m a changed man. You know, I got kids to take care of. But to see that that man didn’t have an opportunity to face his day in court, it all changed—and it didn’t even have nothing to do with Ferguson Market. So, at that moment, he wasn’t being charged with nothing. It’s just that the police seen him walking in the streets, told him to get on the side, he refused to. And whatever happened from that moment, I mean, I can’t really make accusations, because I wan’t here, but from what was told, you still shouldn’t have took that man’s life. Now, he can’t see—no, he can’t have kids, see his kids grow, teach them things about life. You know, he left nothing behind. And his family never—it’s like, all the years they took to shape him and to be this person, to go to school and better theirself—like me, I didn’t go to college, I didn’t graduate from high school. So, to see a man actually do something for himself to try to change, and get his life taken, it ain’t right.
    AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell me your name and where you live?
    KOREI MOORE: Korei Moore, and I stay in Northwinds Apartments. This is not only a African-American man, but a child, nonetheless. And another mother is, you know, burying their child or, you know, putting her child to rest. I was very disturbed by it, very upset by it, because I have a 16-year-old myself, and that could have been my child or anyone else’s child out here. So, it’s very disturbing.
    AMY GOODMAN: What do you tell your 16-year-old son?
    KOREI MOORE: I tell him—I allowed him to walk with us, so I can show him that: "This could have been you. This could have been your cousins. You’re not exempt from this. It only takes seconds, the wrong identity, and I could be burying you." And like I tell him, even just beyond this setting, it’s so many things going on in the world. It’s so much just envy and grief in the world that I just—I don’t want him to be a part of it. So I make sure he’s learning things like to protest and to stand up for your rights, and also to know how to cope with the police and things of that nature, and to stay away from anything that might, you know, deter him from a good thing, because as the mother said, it is hard to get a young black man to graduate. And once you get them to graduate, this is what they succumb to. So, yeah.
    AMY GOODMAN: Did you see Mike Brown’s mother out on Saturday?
    KOREI MOORE: Yes, I did.
    AMY GOODMAN: With his body here?
    KOREI MOORE: Yes, I did.
    AMY GOODMAN: Where was his head?
    KOREI MOORE: His head was facing this way, and his body was this way, like—his head was facing towards Florissant.
    AMY GOODMAN: And he was on his stomach?
    KOREI MOORE: Yes, ma’am.
    AMY GOODMAN: He was facing down.
    KOREI MOORE: Yes, ma’am, facing down, on his stomach.
    RICO LIKE: My name’s Rico Like. I used to see him all the time, walking around—I mean, everywhere. He ain’t did nothing, don’t do nothing. That’s a peaceful guy. And what they did was wrong, man. And they’re saying that the—the police saying they either beat him up, did all this and did all that. Where he at? We want to see your face. We want to see did you got beat up. We want see—we want to see everything. Why is he hiding? Because he didn’t get beat up. I mean, God be the judge. God be the judge. And he didn’t—he an innocent man. He fell on his knees. Like, "Don’t shoot." He shot him anyway in the eye, then in the head and four times down here.
    AMY GOODMAN: Are you participating in the protests?
    RICO LIKE: Yes. I was up here yesterday, got tear-gassed and everything, couldn’t even breathe. But I made it out, though. Just "Hands up! Don’t shoot!" That’s all I got to say. RIP Mike Brown.
AMY GOODMAN: "RIP Mike Brown." Residents of the area around the Canfield apartments in Ferguson, standing around the makeshift memorial of signs, candles, stuffed animals and flowers, sitting in the middle of the road where Michael Brown took his last breaths after being gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. Brown’s body lay in the road for more than four hours. Near the memorial was a sign that said "Beware, killer cop on the loose. Watch out, children." This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, we’ll be joined by the head of UNICEF in Gaza, Pernille Ironside. Stay with us.
[break]
AMY GOODMAN: Lauren Hill performing a sketch of "Black Rage." She posted it online yesterday in response to the Ferguson protests and the death of Michael Brown. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.
Protesters defy curfew Image

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Protesters defy curfew
USA: Police fire smoke canisters as Ferguson protesters defy curfew
One shot, 7 arrested as Ferguson police disperse protesters defying curfew
One person is in critical condition and seven people have been arrested in the latest Ferguson protest, local police said in a news conference. They also confirmed the use of tear gas.
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Ferguson Protests
The Lessons to Learn From Ferguson Protests
Rev. Heber Brown III discusses the history of police brutality in the black community and how communities need to begin to police the police to hold them more accountable -   15 min ago

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  • ISIL demanded $100 million ransom for Foley: Report
    ISIL demanded $100 million ransom for Foley: Reportby presstvThe ISIL terrorist group originally pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom before decapitating American journalist James Foley in a gruesome video posted online.The militants had demanded a ransom of $100 million but the US refused to pay, according to The New York Times.A grisly video uploaded on YouTube Tuesday and later confirmed as "authentic" by the White House shows an ISIL militant executing Foley in retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq.The video, dubbed “Message to America,” came almost a month after US President Barack Obama authorized the use of force against ISIL in northern Iraq.It is not clear when the terrorist group made its ransom demand for Foley’s release. The journalist was on assignment for AFP and the Boston-based media company Global Post when he disappeared in Syria on November 22, 2012.The White House revealed on Wednesday that a US Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue Foley and other American hostages.ISIL has threatened to kill a second American hostage, Steven J. Sotloff, a freelance journalist for Time magazine, if its demands are not met.“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the ISIL militant is seen in the video after beheading Foley, as he is holding Sotloff with his hands cuffed behind his back in the same landscape.Several European countries have funneled large sums of money to ISIL to bring captured citizens home safely.Calling ISIL a "cancer," Obama said Wednesday that the United States "will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility."HRJ/HRJ
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    Boko Haram Takfiris seize town in NE NigeriaBy PressTV Boko Haram Takfiri militants have taken control of a town in Nigeria’s northeast as they continue their assaults in the country.Witnesses and officials said on Thursday that the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe State has fallen into the hands of the militants while some residents who escaped from their violence noted that Boko Haram’s attack on the town started late in July, with the Takfiris ultimately taking over the main government building there.Reports said that the militant group has raised its flag above the building and have carried out executions.    “As I speak, there are no military in Buni Yadi and locals say that Boko Haram [militants] come and go as they please,” Abdullahi Bego, the spokesman for Yobe’s Governor Ibrahim Geidam, said, adding,  “So many people from Buni Yadi have fled to the state capital Damaturu.”Residents said the militants had set up roadblocks and robbed people as they tried to flee.    “I left Buni Yadi yesterday (Wednesday) because it was no longer safe for me and my family,” said trader Surajo Muhammad.The notorious group has repeatedly targeted Nigerian civilians. In February, Boko Haram militants killed dozens of students at a boarding school in Buni Yadi.On April 14, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 students from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno. Reports say 57 of the girls managed to escape, but 219 are still missing and international efforts to spot and rescue them have failed so far.Boko Haram -- whose name means “Western education is forbidden” -- says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its militancy in 2009. Over 10,000 people have so far been killed in the assaults.MR/AB/SL
  • We Need to Get Back To Iraq? No Way
    We Need to Get Back To Iraq? No Way“The Western media have proved for all to see that the Western media comprises either a collection of ignorant and incompetent fools or a whorehouse that sells war for money.” Paul Craig Robertsby Jonas E. Alexis   "VT" Robert Gates Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made a stunning remark in 2011 that bears repeating here. He said: “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”[1] Gates was indirectly attacking the neoconservatives, who were and still are eager to see a mammoth of American troops in the Middle East.[2] Most Americans, including this writer, would agree with Gates. In fact, “74% of Americans oppose sending U.S. troops to Iraq.” Moreover, “Most Americans say Iraq war wasn’t worth the costs.” Poll after poll overwhelmingly shows that the vast majority of Americans simply want the United States to stop policing countries around the world because this messianic activity has bludgeoned America to death. For example, last September, “six different polls from six different outlets” showed over and over that Americans did not want Washington to attack Syria. Even with the current situation in Iraq, the New York Times itself tells us that “neither Obama nor Congress seems eager for a vote on military action in Iraq.”[3] Yet, it is quite sad that one of our esteemed colleagues, Michael Shrimpton, has written with no substantial depth and referential argument that “we need to get back to Iraq.” Who’s we? The Americans or the Brits? If the Brits want to die for another lie, if they want to put another Tony Blair in power to do the neoconservatives’ dirty work, fine. But the U.S. has had enough. Thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers have been dead in Iraq alone from 2003 to 2012; the war included more than 66,000 civilian lives, and about 500,000 deaths.And those people died not for a good cause but for a colossal lie imposed on them by the Dreadful Few.  There certainly is something wrong with this picture. As retired lieutenant colonel William Astore has adequately put it, “When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult. “Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe)… ”[4] Astore is not alone. Andrew J. Bacevich, a military historian of Boston University who spent years in the United States Army as a colonel and who lost his son in Iraq, writes, “The fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has exacted a huge price from the U.S. military—especially the army and the Marines. “More than 6,700 soldiers have been killed so far in those two conflicts, and over fifty thousand have been wounded in action, about 22 percent with traumatic brain injuries. “Furthermore, as always happens in war, many of the combatants are psychological casualties, as they return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. Andrew Bacevich “The Department of Veterans Affairs reported in the fall of 2012 that more than 247,000 veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been diagnosed with PTSD. Many of those soldiers have served multiple combat tours. “It is hardly surprising that the suicide rate in the U.S. military increased by 80 percent from 2002 to 2009, while the civilian rate increased only 15 percent. And in 2009, veterans of Iraq were twice as likely to be unemployed as the typical American. “On top of all that, returning war veterans are roughly four times more likely to face family-related problems like divorce, domestic violence and child abuse than those who stayed out of harm’s way.”[5] Political scientist John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago adds, “The pursuit of global domination, however, has other costs that are far more daunting. The economic costs are huge—especially the wars—and there are significant human costs as well. “After all, thousands of Americans have died in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many more have suffered egregious injuries that will haunt them for the rest of their lives… “By backing the campaign against Assad, the Obama administration has helped turn Syria into a haven for terrorist groups. In fact, groups that loathe the United States dominate the armed opposition to Assad… “Intervening in Syria will just make the terrorism problem there worse, unless, of course, Washington helps Assad defeat the rebels and return to the status quo ante. That is unlikely to happen, however, because Obama is committed to arming the rebels. “But backing the rebels certainly does not solve the terrorism problem, as the most powerful groups are comprised of jihadists who hate America. “[T]he economic costs of global dominance have been enormous. For starters, the United States has had to maintain a huge and sophisticated military with bases all over the world so that it can intervene anywhere on the planet. “Not surprisingly, its defense budget dwarfs that of any other country; in 2012, for example, the United States spent more on defense ($682 billion) than the next ten countries combined ($652 billion). “That enormous defense budget accounts for roughly 20 percent of U.S. government spending, which is almost as much as it spends on Social Security and about the same amount it spends on Medicare and Medicaid put together. “And then there are the various wars America has fought since 2001, which will probably end up costing a staggering $4–6 trillion. “The enormous amount of money spent on defense since September 11 has contributed significantly to America’s huge national debt, which is now well over $16 trillion. That debt has been a major drag on the American economy and promises to be so for a long time to come. “Some of the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on preparing for and fighting unnecessary wars could have been spent instead on education, public health and transportation infrastructure, just to name a few areas on the home front where additional resources would have made the United States a more prosperous and livable country.”[6] The U.S. will pay at least six trillion dollars for the Iraq war alone. It was reported that America was spending $720 million every day in Iraq. It was also reported that we could have built 84 new elementary schools with $720 million. With the same amount of money, we could have hired 12,478 new teachers; with $720 million, 34,904 students could have attended a 4-year university; with $720 million, we could have funded 423,529 children with healthcare; with $720, we could have funded 1.2 million homes with renewable electricity. And get this: America is still bleeding economically, despite the fact that we have given Israel more than we can bear. The LA Times has reported that “shoddy U.S. roads and bridges take a toll on the economy.”[7] Haaretz has recently reported that the “U.S. military aid to Israel exceeds $100 billion.”[8] Yet, while Israel is having its cake and eating it, precious American lives are dying of starvation: “One in seven Americans, more than 46 million people, including 12 million children, rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, according to a new study released today by Feeding America, the nation’s largest provider of charitable food assistance to low-income Americans. “Hunger in America 2014 is the largest and most comprehensive study of people seeking food assistance in the United States ever conducted.” Is that necessary? Imagine if we did not give Israel $100 billion to slaughter Palestinians in the Middle East? Would there be a massacre in Gaza?[9] And what if we did use that money to create more jobs and decent livelihood for decent Americans who are still struggling to put food on the table? The sad news is that Israel has such a Talmudic/diabolical power over the U.S. foreign policy that the Associated Press reported a few days ago: “Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department…” What would the Founding Fathers say about this covert activity? Furthermore, do we really need more dead soldiers, more individuals ready to be brutally raped, maimed and traumatized for messianic fabrications?[10] What would Shrimpton say to at least 360,000 U.S. veterans who more than likely had brain injuries?[11] How about Thomas Young?YouTube - Veterans Today -Or how about multiple and systemic birth defects after the war in Iraq?YouTube - Veterans Today -And finally, how about the many U.S. veterans who ended up returning their medals because they finally woke up and realized that they have been thoroughly juiced by the powers that be, which invariably are under the guiding hands of the Dreadful Few?YouTube - Veterans Today -  The situation was so pathetic in 2008 that the Pentagon spent at least $300 million “on research for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury…”[12]And then there was the suicide crisis among U.S. soldiers.[13] And then the rape and sodomy in places like Abu Ghraib. There is more. From 2003 to 2012, over two thousand doctors and nurses, and over four hundred academics, have been assassinated in Iraq. Others have emigrated due to violence in the region. In 1990, there were about thirty thousand registered doctors in Iraq. By 2008, more than fifteen thousand had already left the country. Then there is the high unemployment that has been ravaging virtually the entire region, combining with the fact that educational institutions have been in decline.[14] Shrimpton magically ignores all these widely known facts. With an implicitly neoconservative verve, he  avers: “We need to get boots back onto the ground in Iraq, and fast, and I don’t mean opening branches of Boots the Chemist. I am aware that the SAS have been deployed, but we need more than Special Forces. We need armor, anti-tank helos and a couple of infantry divisions… “We also need more airpower. So far we have just managed token strikes. A few captured Humvees here, the odd APC there. That’s not what Bomber Harris would call an airstrike! It doesn’t have to be a 1,000-bomber raid, just enough air-dropped munitions to take out ISIS’s captured armor and soft-skinned vehicles, and generally annoy them.” And who is going to pay for that? Doesn’t Shrimpton know that the American economy is already a dismal failure? And if Shrimpton really wants to fight terrorism, why doesn’t he make the same argument about the Syrian rebels? Simon Elliot, aka Al-Baghdadi, son of Jewish parents, Mossad agent After the recent carnage in Gaza, the U.N. has declared that “400,000 Gaza children need psychological care.”[15] So, which is more important: taking care of the 400,000 children in Gaza, or bombing ISIS, whose leader is none other than “Simon Elliot, aka Al-Baghdadi, son of Jewish parents, Mossad agent”? If you continue to have spider web in your house and you intend to do something about it, which of the following two options would you choose: clean the house every single time the spider messes it up, or try to get rid of the spider that is creating the problem in the first place? Well, this is a no-brainer: the second option is much more reasonable. Let us apply the same principle to ISIS. If the terrorist group is a Mossad operation or if it has been infected by the Mossad, shouldn’t we do something about the Mossad first? Why should the U.S. continue to support Israel, which created the Mossad? Shouldn’t the West have questions ready for the Israeli regime to answer? And if Shrimpton is really attempting to make a serious case against terrorism, shouldn’t he tackle the Israeli regime as well, which has a history of terrorizing civilians[16] and even working with Nazis? If the Zionists in Israel continue to commit genocide, shouldn’t the West put the regime on trial? Haaretz has recently reported, “Israel has been refusing to allow employees of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to enter the Gaza Strip in order to conduct their own independent investigations into the fighting, using various bureaucratic excuses.”[17] Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi has recently reported the same thing. The inquiring mind certainly would like to know why Shrimpton does not address issues like this.  According to Shrimpton’s logic, they Syrian rebels are not terrorists. As he hubristically says, they are “moderate.” Yet Shrimpton does not seem to have the courage to tell his readers that those same “moderate” rebels and ISIS are almost two sides of the same coin. At least 6,300 men joined ISIS in Syria last July![18] Michael Shrimpton Whether Shrimpton likes it or not, this “moderate” argument is a quintessential product of the neoconservative ideology, which gives obvious expression that Shrimpton is comfortably and ideologically at home with people like Max Boot and others, who have hopelessly tried to articulate that vacuous argument ad nauseam[19] and who indirectly passed it on to Washington and much of the media, which quickly began to use the same essentially messianic vocabulary. The same vocabulary is being used to this very day by media outlets such as the Washington Post.[20] The rebels themselves have been known to support “senseless destruction, criminal behavior and the cold-blooded killing of prisoners.”[21] Yet if we follow the “moderate” argument to its logical conclusion, killing prisoners in cold blood is good. But what if Assad happens to do the same thing? Oh, no. That is a code red! Once again, Shrimpton’s statement here is the classical neoconservative version of the Syrian rebels—and it is demonstrably and categorically false. Here’s why.  By spring 2013, Israel’s defense minister Amos Gilad made it clear that there was a growing presence of al-Qaeda elements among the rebels, and those jihadists were “waiting for the opportunity to take over the state.”[22] The United States knew this as well.[23] Amos Gilad It has also been pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood supported the Syrian rebels with cash.[24] Both the United States and Israel were supporting the rebels at the time. But Gilad absolved himself from any moral responsibility by saying that this element is a very small price to pay “with the menace posed by the Iran-Syrian-Hezbollah axis before the Syrian civil war.”[25] Gilad unapologetically said, “With all due respect to that threat, [the al-Qaeda element] is not the same threat as one posed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah together, which is much more difficult.”[26] When Assad is out of the equation, Gilad continued, “You can look now and see al-Qaida in Syria, economic lows, instability, the lack of one address, huge refugee problems. This all presents new types of challenges that are not similar to the military challenge [Syria posed to Israel before the civil war]. In reality this is a blow to Iran and Hezbollah together.”[27] The Syrian rebels/terrorists have been meeting with other Islamist terrorists since 2011.[28] The terrorist group al-Nusra for example attacked at least 600 major cities, causing the death of Syrian civilians during the war against Assad.[29] The Obama administration labeled them terrorists, but the rebels resisted the label.[30] Obama declared that Americans still had to support this proxy war against the Syrian government,[31] even though Hilary Clinton herself admitted that jihadists were behind the Syrian rebels. It was the same thing with Libya, where NATO supported the rebels.[32] Keep in mind that the rebels have also slaughtered Christians.[33] The situation got worse by December 2012 when Syrian rebels stormed two predominantly Christian towns and ordered the communities to either rise against Assad’s forces or face attack.[34] By the end of the month, it was reported that the rebels were beheading Christians and feeding them to dogs.[35] Many of the rebels proved to be terrorists and have committed other terrorist acts,[36] and those rebels have come from at least twenty countries.[37] By the end of January 2013, even civilian anti-government activists were upset because the rebels destroyed a milk factory and were disrespectful to residents.[38]Jordan warned the West that supporting jihadists in the Syrian rebels would backfire very badly, since some jihadists had already made coup attempts in Jordan when they attacked Western embassies.[39] For example, Abed Shidadeh, the leader of a jihadist group, declared in 2012 that once Assad has fallen, Tel Aviv would be next. “We tell Benjamin Netanyahu…get ready,” he said. “The army of the Prophet Mohammad is coming your way. Those carrying explosives in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will find you, Allah willing. The next fight is between us and you.”[40] By December 2012, it was widely reported that the Obama administration continued to secretly support the Syrian rebels from Qatar.[41] During the same month, U.S. troops were stationed at Turkey’s Syrian border.[42] It was reported by the Financial Times that Qatar has given the rebels at least $3 billion.[43] But then at the same time the United States was labeling parties in the Syrian Rebels as terrorist groups because they were jihadists using suicide bombings and beheadings![44] It was declared that there were 1,000 to 3,000 jihadists among the Syrian rebels.[45] The United States knew this for months.[46] For example, the group al-Nusra Front had committed terrorist acts by the summer of 2012,[47]  and in January 2013, the group declared that they want “to give the tyrannical regime [Assad] a taste of violence.”[48] But the United States still did not get the memo. In December 2012, the rebels smashed a school in Syria, taking the lives of twenty-eight children.[49] Then in the same month, the ethnic Kurds began to rise against the Syrian rebels.[50] Once again, all of that analysis is ignored by Shrimpton. The inquiring mind would like to know what he thinks about one of the Syrian rebels cutting the liver out of a dead body and taking a bite.YouTube - Veterans Today -  Shrimpton, instead of producing serious evidence for many of his brazenly vacuous assertions, congratulates himself by citing Harvey Feldman, who was a board member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Listen to the self-congratulation: Michael Ledeen “As long ago as 2002, I had an article published in the Journal of International Security Affairs [JINSA], edited by that nice man Ambassador Harvey Feldman, late of the CIA, pointing out the need for a unifying figure in Afghanistan. Harvey was a great loss by the way. My argument, which I also extended to Iraq, was that we should restore the king.” JINSA, ladies and gentlemen, is the “flagship publication of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,” which is a hawkish neoconservative group “that fervently believed the United States was a hair away from being militarily surpassed by the Soviet Union, and whose raison d’être was strident advocacy of bigger military budgets, near-fanatical opposition to any form of arms control and zealous championing of a Likudnik Israel.”[51] JINSA’s advisory board members and leading neoconservatives include Stephen Bryen, “Prince of Darkness” Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Douglas Feith, Steve Israel, Dick Cheney, etc. Michael Ledeen in particular wrote a book a few years back entitled The Iranian Time Bomb, in which he argues that Iran was responsible for 9/11. Not only that, Iran, says the legendary Ledeen, has always sought “to destroy or dominate” the United States![52] Moreover, for Ledeen, Iran is “the mother of modern terrorism.”[53] Ledeen believes the best way to destroy “the mother of modern terrorism” is through war. In fact, Ledeen has been a proponent of the idea that peace can come through violent war. He declared, “I don’t know of a case in history where peace has been accomplished in any way other than one side winning a war [and] imposing terms on the other side.”[54] He also maintains that Iran was the chief mine of terrorism, proven, says Ledeen, by court documents (even though he never tells where to find the court documents or what they actually said); in the same article, Ledeen even implied that the quicker the U.S. invaded Iran, the better.[55] By invading Iran, Ledeen argued, the U.S. would eventually bring down “the mullahcracy, for they will keep killing our people and our friends.”[56] It is not surprising that Ledeen has been described as “one of the most dishonest and ludicrous jokes on the political scene.”[57] Although Ledeen admits that his theory “sounds fanciful, to be sure,” he was clear that if it happens to be correct,“we will have to pursue the war against terror far beyond the boundaries of the Middle East, into the heart of Western Europe. And there, as in the Middle East, our greatest weapons are political: the demonstrated desire for freedom of the peoples of the countries that oppose us.”[58] But what about all the casualties of the Iraq war? Well, Ledeen tells us that they are “secondary. It may sound like an odd thing to say. But all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war.”[59] You see, Americans soldiers, civilian casualties in the Middle East, brain injuries, rape at Abu Ghraib, fathers living their wives and precious children to die for the “Jewish neocons,” are all secondary to Ledeen. If messianic heaven on earth is not fully established, then Ledeen will not sleep well at night. This is not the first time Ledeen had turned to blatant fabrication in order to promote an ideology—he was one of the people who promoted the falsehood that Saddam Hussein had bought uranium in Niger.[60] Ledeen later denied any involvement in the matter.[61] Both Bryen and Ledeen were caught attempting to pass out classified information to Israel, and both got away with it. Bryen got into trouble in 1979, but “Prince of Darkness” Richard Perle actually bailed him out. Again, in 1988, Bryen attempted to do the same thing and was never prosecuted.[62]  Enough of Ledeen. Let us see what JINSA is actually all about: “In 2002, JINSA initiated a program aimed at exchanging counter-terrorism experience and tactics between U.S. law enforcement agencies and their counterparts in the Israeli National Police.“The primary focus of the program is to bring U.S. law enforcement executives (chiefs, sheriffs, deputies, etc.) to Israel for an intensive two-week program aimed at educating U.S. law enforcement officials on the possible threats posed by the specter of domestic terrorism in the United States.” And here is the dreadful connection: Mondoweiss has recently published an article entitled, “Weapons fired in Ferguson come from companies supplying Israel, Bahrain and Egypt.” Hence: the Israelization of our police force.[63] And think about the Ferguson debacle for example. The Israeli regime was in the middle of a worldwide backlash against the massacre in Gaza. In fact, anti-Zionism was and is still rising. Things were so bad for Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu asked the United States “to help Israel avoid war crime charges.”[64] Yet all of a sudden people began to devote their entire attention to the events that happened in Missouri and suspend their critiques of Israel’s war crimes. It seems like the 1960s all over again, when the Dreadful Few played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement and ended up manipulating people like Martin Luther King for messianic purposes.[65] Let us be clear: I highly esteem fellow writers and this critique is in no way an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack is basically when you attack the person’s character rather than the arguments he presents.This is a scholarly judgment, and in a scholarly discussion serious evidence and rational inference should be highly pursued and revered. I am dealing with the arguments or statements that are being posited as arguments, not the person’s character. Furthermore, I particularly would be honored if a reader point out a specific error in one of my articles. If it turns out to be legitimate, I would certainly appreciate the correction. We certainly can make mistakes and we should be opened to the possibility that errors do happen and we should be willing to change. I was disappointed last year when Shrimpton was asserting in one article after another that the Assad government used chemical weapons on its own people, despite the fact that the evidence was pointing toward the Syrian rebels themselves. By spring 2013, it was reported that the rebels were using chemical weapons.[66] The Telegraph came out with a report entitled, “Syria chemical weapons: finger pointed at jihadists,”[67] meaning the Syrian rebels. The attack killed twenty-five people.[68] Less than five days later, the rebels attacked the University of Damascus, killing fifteen students.[69] Last December, Seymour Hersh blew everything out of proportion by documenting that the Syrian rebels were the culprits.[70] Previously, former war crimes prosecutor Carla de Ponte declared, “According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas. “We still have to deepen our investigation, verify and confirm (the findings) through new witness testimony, but according to what we have established so far, it is at the moment opponents of the regime who are using sarin gas.”[71] Other investigative journalists who interviewed even some rebels discovered that the rebels themselves bragged about how they used chemical weapons on civilians: “As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit… “ The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was ‘a judgment … already clear to the world.’ “However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack. “‘My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,’ said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta. “Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a ‘tube-like structure’ while others were like a ‘huge gas bottle.’ Jim Fetzer “Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels. “Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation. “‘They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,’ complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ ‘We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.’ “‘When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,’ she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.” These things were becoming so obvious that National Public Radio asked, “Is it possible the Syrian rebels (not Assad) used chemical weapons?” That itself should have given Shrimpton a second thought, and Professor Jim Fetzer rightly pointed this out to him. But that was completely ignored. Fetzer cogently said then, “The very idea that the government of Syria would launch a nerve agent attack as a UN inspection team is about to arrive to investigate previous gas attacks is politically absurd.” In other words, Assad would have had to be one of the dumbest political persons on the planet to have ordered such an attack right before the U.N. investigation. Carla del Ponte Yet despite all this, some continued to propound axiomatically and without serious backup that the Assad government was solely responsible for the act, an indication which basically meant then that some people simply were not interested in following evidence wherever it may lead. And who were the first people who were beating much of the Western world over the head saying that they were “absolutely certain” that Assad killed his own people with chemical weapons?[72] Our friendly neighborhood: the Israeli regime.[73] Caroline B. Glick of the Jerusalem Post declared that the source came directly from the IDF, the same Zionist military regime that wants to oust Assad![74] Israel declared that they got the “proof ” that Assad used chemical weapons, but they never told us what that proof was.[75] On the contrary, senior analysts told us that it was extremely difficult to prove that the Syrian government had used such weapons because “the areas where the weapons may have been used are hard to reach because of fighting and government restrictions on independent organizations that seek to enter the country.”[76] The BBC declared that although there were claims that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, the “facts” were “unclear.”[77] Syria was even willing to allow the UN to investigate the claim of chemical weapons.[78] One of the first people that Secretary of State John Kerry called to get some of his information was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu.[79] Therefore, Shrimpton cannot use Kerry as one of his supporters to prove his point precisely because it is a circular argument: Kerry got his source from the Israelis. But as soon as Israel began to circulate the lie, the neoconservatives were mobilized as if they got electrified by light sockets.[80] They were propounding this nonsense even though they refused to give the evidence for their assertions. The New York Times itself declared then: “In a briefing in Tel Aviv, an Israeli military official was vague about the exact nature of the evidence, saying that it was drawn from an examination of photographs of victims and some ‘direct’ findings that he would not specify.”[81] This was not the first time that they lied.[82] And you can be sure that more lies are coming to a city near you. Paul R. Pillar Twenty-eight-year CIA veteran Paul R. Pillar, who is now a senior fellow at Georgetown University, declared last year that Israel is an existential threat in the Middle East.[83] In the same vein, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi adds that “Israel was also cited as a ‘leading threat’ to the infrastructure of U.S. financial institutions. This is not without evidence. Israel does not comply with international rules of law to attack a sovereign nation. The regime invariably ended up exerting an enormously powerful influence on the United States. And whenever the Zionist regime wants to spark a war, as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and now in Syria, the pretense is always humanitarian causes or self-defense.[84] When Kerry went to Russia to discuss the Syrian issue, he appealed to the “humanitarian” crisis in Syria in order to lull the Russian government.[85] Shrimpton is basically doing the same thing, saying things like “The attempted genocide of the Yazidi was entirely predictable, ditto the attack on Iraq’s Christian minority.” Why should that be a relevant argument now? For example, in October 2012, a bomb blasted a Beirut Christian community, and the New York Times was quick to jump to the conclusion that Al-Assad was behind it,[86] forgetting that Al-Assad has been friends with the Christian communities and that they too saw that if Al-Assad is overthrown, the Christian communities will have problems with the new regime. According to the reasoning by the New York Times, Al-Assad was just dumb, killing his own allies for no reason. But only a week before the bombing, the Syrian rebels threatened to attack Beirut.[87] None of that was put into consideration by the New York Times. Once again, Shrimpton cannot say the same thing about the Syrian rebels even though those rebels have slaughtered dozens of Christians. To sum up: if Shrimpton is really interested in fighting terrorism, shouldn’t we attack the Mossad as well, since they are supporting terrorists? Shouldn’t we ask Israeli regime what it has been up to, since they collaborated with the Syrian rebels?[88] And shouldn’t decent Americans ask U.S. officials what they were up to when they actually trained terrorists who ended up joining ISIS? Why can’t some people read Frankenstein properly?YouTube - Veterans Today -   [1] Quoted in Thom Shanker, “Warning Against Wars Like Iraq and Afghanistan,” NY Times, February 25, 2011; see also Walter Pincus, “Time to Take a Fresh Look at Trimming Defense,” Washington Post, November 11, 2013. [2] Even as I write, those Neo-Bolsheviks still want Washington to attack ISIS. Geoffrey Norman, “ISIS: Fight Them Now, or Fight Them Later,” Weekly Standard, August 15, 2014; Joseph Klein, “Obama’s Indifference to the Islamic State Nightmare,” FrontPage.com, August 13, 2014; Max Boot, “U.S. Commitment Needed in Iraq,” Commentary, August 18, 2014. [3] Julie Hirschfeld Davis, “Neither Obama Nor Congress Seems Eager for a Vote on Military Action in Iraq,” NY Times, August 19, 2014. [4] William J. Astore, “The American Cult of Bombing,” The Nation, August 19, 2014. [5] John J. Mersheimer, “America Unhinged,” National Interest, January 2, 2014. [6] Ibid. [7] Don Lee, “Shoddy U.S. Roads and Bridges Take a Toll on the Economy,” LA Times, August 14, 2014. [8] Moti Bassok, “U.S. Military Aid to Israel Exceeds $100 Billion,” Haaretz, August 17, 2014. [9] See for example Glenn Greenwald, “Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. Is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack,” The Intercept, August 4, 2014. [10] For further study on this, see for example John Matson, “Legacy of Mental Health Problems from Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Will Be Long-Lived,” Scientific American, June 27, 2011. [11] Gregg Zoroya, “360,000 Veterans May Have Brain Injuries,” USA Today, March 5, 2009. [12] Gregg Zoroya, “Pentagon Spends $300M to Study Troops’ Stress, Trauma,” USA Today, August 8, 2008. [13] Gregg Zoroya, “Army’s Suicide ‘Crisis’ Leads to Action,” USA Today, January 29, 2010. [14] See Irena L. Sargsyan, “Iraq’s Endless Humanitarian Crisis,” National Interest, October 9, 2012. [15] “Doctors Start Work as U.N. Estimates 400,000 Gaza Children Need Psychological Care,” Newsweek, August 15, 2014. [16] See also Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009). [17] Amira Hass, “Israel Bars Amnesty, Human Rights Watch Workers from Gaza,” Haaretz, August 18, 2014. [18] “Monitor: Islamic State Recruits at Record Pace in Syria,” Voice of America, August 19, 2014. [19] Max Boot, “Washington Should Help Syrian Opposition,” Commentary, March 8, 2012. [20] Liz Sly, “New U.S. help arrives for Syrian rebels as government, extremists gain,” Washington Post, July 27, 2014. [21] Anne Barnard, “Missteps by Rebels Erode their Support among Syrians,” NY Times, November 8, 2012. [22] Herb Keinon, “Gilad: Syria Poses New, ‘Difficult’ Challenges to Israel,” Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2013. [23] Phil Sands, “America’s Hidden Agenda in Syria,” National, May 9, 2013. [24] Phil Sands, “Muslim Brotherhood Opens Direct Link to Rebels in Damascus,” National, May 6, 2013. [25] Keinon, “New, ‘Difficult’ Challenges to Israel,” Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2013. [26] ibid. [27] Ibid. [28] Ruth Sherlock, “Leading Libyan Islamist Met Free Syrian Army Opposition Group,” Telegraph, November 27, 2011. [29] “US Recognizes Opposition as Representative of Syria,” Jerusalem Post, December 12, 2012. [30] Paul Schemm, “US and Syrian Opposition Disagree at Conference,” Associated Press, Dec. 12, 2012. [31] Mark Lander and Michael R. Gordon, “Obama Says US Will Recognize Syrian Rebels,” NY Times, Dec. 11, 2012; Nour Malas and Jay Solomon, “US Formally Recognizes Syria’s Main Rebel Group,” Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2012. [32] Glenn Greenwald, “Cameron’s Attack on George Galloway Reflects the West’s Self-Delusions,” Guardian, January 31, 2013. [33] See for example Cheryl L. Chumley, “Syrians Behead Christians for Helping Military, As CIA Ships in Arms,” Washington Times, June 27, 2013. [34] “Russia Welcomes Any Offer to Give Assad Refuge,” Associated Press, December 22, 2012; “Syria Islamists Warn Christians as New Patriarch Urges peace,” Agence-France Press, December 22, 2012. [35] Matthew Campbell, “Syrian Rebels ‘Beheaded Christian and Fed Him to Dogs,’” Australian, Dec. 30, 2012. [36] David Enders, “Al Qaida-linked group Syria rebels once denied now key to anti-Assad victories,” McClatchy Newspaper, December 2, 2012. [37] Justyna Pawlak and Stephanie Nebehay, “Foreign Fighters Fuel the Sectarian Flames in Syria,” Independent, December 20, 2012. [38] Hania Mourtada and Anne Barnard, “Jihadists and Secularists Clash in Syria,” NY Times, January 26, 2013. [39] Anshel Pfeffer, “Amman Warns: Jihadists Hijacking Syria Revolution, May Target Israel, Jordan Next,” Haaretz, December 20, 2012; Tom A. Peter, “Syrian Rebel Infighting Could Take Dangerous Turn if Assad Falls,” Christian Science Monitor, December 20, 2012; Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad, “No Easy Route if Assad Opts to Go, or to Stay, in Syria,” NY Times, December 24, 2012. [40] Roi Kais, “Salafist Leader: First We Take Damascus, Ten Tel Aviv,” Y-Net News, December 16, 2012. [41] James Risen, Mark Mazzeti, and Michael S. Schmidt, “U.S.-Approved Arms for Syria Rebels Fell into Jihadis’ Hands,” NY Times, December 5, 2012. [42] “U.S. Troops Mass on Turkey’s Syrian Border,” Military.com, December 2, 2012; “Thousands of U.S. Troops Arrive near Syrian Shore on USS Eisenhower,” Russia Today, Dec. 6, 2012. [43] Roula Khalaf and Abigail Fielding Smith, “Qatar Bankrolls Syrian Revolt with Cash and Arms,” Financial Times, May 16, 2013; Roula Khalaf and Abigail Fielding Smith, “How Qatar Seized Control of the Syrian Revolution,” Financial Times, May 17, 2013. [44] Ruth Sherlock, “US to Ban Islamists Leading Rebel Fight in Syria,” Telegraph, December 5, 2012; Hilary Leila Krieger, “US Syria Envoy: Extremists Gaining in Opposition,” Jerusalem Post, December 7, 2012. [45] Mona Alami, “Jihadists Answer the Call in Syria,” USA Today, December 4, 2012. [46] Justin Vela and Liz Sly, “In Syria, Group Suspected of al-Qaeda Links Gaining Prominence in War to Topple Assad,” Washington Post, Aug. 19, 2012. [47] Jason Ditz, “Terror Group Claims Syria Attacks, TV Station Murders,” Antiwar.com, July 4, 2012. [48] “Syrian Troops Battle Rebels in Oil-Rich East,” Seattle Times, January 29, 2013; “Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility for Syria Blast,” USA Today, January 28, 2013. [49] “Syria: ‘28 Children Killed’ in Rebel Attack on Damascus School,” Telegraph, December 4, 2012. [50] Tim Arango, “Wider Chaos Feared as Syrian Rebels Clash with Kurds,” NY Times, December 6, 2012. [51] Jason Vest, “The Men from JINSA and CSP,” The Nation, September 2, 2002. [52] Michael Ledeen, The Iranian Time Bomb: The Mullah Zealots’ Quest for Destruction (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007), 19. [53] Michael Leeden, “Faster, Please,” National Review, April 1, 2002. [54] Jim Lobe, “Veteran Neo-Con Advisor Moves to Iran,” Asia Times, June 26, 2003. [55] Michael Ledeen, “Iran Connects the Dots: The Mullahs and the Global War on Terror,” National Review, June 9, 2006. [56] Ibid. [57] Glenn Greenwald, “Stephanopolous and Ledeen: Together in the Most Accountability-free Profession,” Salon.com, November 4, 2009. [58] Michael Ledeen, “A Theory,” National Review, March 10, 2003. [59] “Iraq: What Lies Ahead,” American Enterprise Institute, March 25, 2003. [60] Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rosen, and Paul Grastris, “Iran-Contra II?,” Washington Monthly, September 2004. [61] Philip Giraldi, “Forging the Case for War,” American Conservative, November 21, 2005. [62] Stephen Green, “Neo-Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration,” Counter Punch, February 28-March 2, 2004. [63] I don’t believe for a second that Darren Wilson did what he did because he was really an evil man. Too much evidence to the contrary and too much to detail here. But the situation so far has been in Israel’s favor [64] Geoff Earle, “Netanyahu Asks US to Help Israel Avoid War Crime Charges,” NY Post, August 6, 2014. [65] We will address this issue next year. [66] Raven Clabough, “Evidence Shows Syrian Rebels Behind Chemical Attack,” New American, March 27, 2013. [67] Alex Thompson, “Syria Chemical Weapons: Finger Pointed at Jihadists,” Telegraph, March 23, 2013. [68] Oliver Holmes and Erika Solomon, “Alleged Chemical Attack Kills 25 in Northern Syria,” Reuters.com, March 19, 2013. [69] “Syria Crisis: University of Damascus Hit by Mortars,” BBC, March 28, 2013. [70] Seymour M. Hersh, “Whose Sarin?,” London Review of Books, Vol. 35 No. 24, December 19, 2013. [71] Quoted in Damien McElroy, “UN Accuses Syrian Rebels of Chemical Weapons Use,” The Telegraph, May 6, 2013. [72] Mitch Ginsburg, “Israel: We’ve been ‘absolutely certain’ for months Assad using nerve gas,” Times of Israel, September 14, 2013. [73] Stuart Winer, “Assad Using Chemical Weapons Again, Israeli Official Says,” Times of Israel, April 7, 2013. [74] Caroline B. Glick, “Column One: Time to Confront Obama,” Jerusalem Post, April 25, 2013. [75] David E. Sanger and Jodi Rudoren, “Israel Says It Has Proof That Syria Used Chemical Weapons,” NY Times, April 23, 2013;  “Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons, Israeli Military Says,” BBC, April 23, 2013. [76] Anne Barnard, “Key Step in Checking Chemical-Arms Use Is Also Hardest,” NY Times, April 23, 2013. [77] “Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons, Israeli Military Says,” BBC, April 23, 2013. [78] Alistair Dawber and Richard Hall, “Syria ‘Is Ready’ to Let in UN Chemical Experts,” Independent, May 9, 2013. [79] “Syria Has Used Chemical Weaponss,” BBC, April 23, 2013. [80] Jonathan S. Tobin, “Chemicals Mean Obama Must Act on Syria,” Commentary, April 25, 2013; Lee Smith, “Obama’s Meaningless ‘Red Line’?,” Weekly Standard, April 25, 2013. [81] David E. Sanger and Jodi Rudoren, “Israel Says It Has Proof That Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons,” NY Times, April 23, 2013. [82] See for example Scott Peterson, “Imminent Iran Nuclear Threat? A Timeline of Warnings Since 1979,” Christian Science Monitor, November 8, 2011. [83] Paul R. Pillar, “Syria and WMD Inconsistency in the Middle East,” National Interest, April 30, 2013. [84] Conor Friedersdorf “The Flaw in Many Humanitarian Arguments for War,” Atlantic, May 20, 2013 [85] Steven Lee Myers and Rick Gladstone, “New Diplomatic Push to End Civil War in Syria,” NY Times, May 8, 2013. [86] Anne Barnard, “Bomb Blast Kills at Least 8 Including Top Security Official,” NY Times, October 19, 2012. [87] Jason Ditz, “Syria Rebels Threaten Attacks in Lebanese Capital,” Antiwar.com, October 9, 2012. [88] Elhanan Miller, “Syrian Rebel Commander Says He Collaborated with Israel,” Times of Israel, August 13, 2014.
  • Crocodile Tears for Iraq
    Crocodile Tears for IraqThe Real U.S. LegacyAugust 21, 2014 by NICK ALEXANDROV  "Counter Punch" “This is an act of ethnic cleansing, if you will, almost genocide,” a U.S. military official warned. He was referring to bombings that killed nearly 800 members of the minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq. “Among the wounded, one in five suffered serious injuries,” while “families of the wounded were so shaken by the attack that they insisted on taking their badly broken relatives back to their villages,” away from the hospitals treating them, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials attributed this atrocity to al-Qaeda. Surely it called for a calibrated intervention—a series of airstrikes, perhaps, to prevent a potential slaughter. But these bombings happened in August 2007, years after the U.S. invasion. In that phase of the occupation, Bush “doubled the U.S. presence in Iraq” by sending “150,000 to 170,000 private forces to support the mission there, all with little or no congressional or public knowledge—let alone consent,” as two U.S. academics described the type of democracy Washington prefers. And its preferred foreign policies—“invading, occupying, weakening and looting Iraq”—“brought al-Qaeda into the country,” Juan Cole writes, emphasizing that the Islamist organization had zero presence there before March 2003. Iraq developed in line with Washington’s expectations, in other words. “Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the Washington Post disclosed in May 2007. These grim analyses were “widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war,” which proceeded anyway, with shattering effects. “The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq’s modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation,” Sami Ramadani noted in the Guardian. “The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organizations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics,” he continued, his observations reinforcing those Iraqi political analyst Firas Al-Atraqchi recently offered: “Since the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the Christian community [has] found itself under attack and tens of thousands have since fled the country in fear of religious persecution.” For example, “Mandeans, or Sabians, a sect of people who follow the teachings of John the Baptist and pre-date Christianity and Islam in Iraq, have since 2003 been forced to leave en masse because of a brutal campaign against them.” A 2008 Minority Rights Group International study concluded that “Mandaeans face extinction as a people.” And an Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization report from June 2013—well into the Obama era—determined that “[t]he human rights situation facing minorities in Iraq remains in dire straits on all levels: political, civic, and cultural. Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities, along with other vulnerable populations, continue to face threats of violence, religious discrimination, exclusion, and denial of their property rights.” U.S. policy outcomes thus indicate Washington’s contempt for Iraq’s religious minorities. On the other hand, Obama stressed on August 7 that humanitarian concerns drove him to commence airstrikes—and these words were enough to convince the press that the U.S. government cares about persecuted Iraqis. “There have been reports of scores of civilians being killed,” the New York Times wrote, so “it was not surprising to hear President Obama announce” his decision to intervene. “President Obama was right to order military action to prevent a potential genocide,” the Washington Post decided, while the Los Angeles Times had no “doubt that the president was moved by the suffering the Islamic State has inflicted on the Yazidis and other victims.” Coverage was even more credulous, if possible, on websites like Slate, where William Saletan simply transcribed Obama’s remarks. “We’re doing what only we can do” in Iraq, Saletan insisted on August 8. He knew this because “Obama said the U.S. should step in,” given its unparalleled “capabilities to help avert a massacre.” Confronted with an argument this powerful, even a skilled debater will wither in defeat. True, the U.S. record in Iraq reveals capabilities different from those Saletan identified. After Operation Desert Storm, for instance, UN Under-Secretary-General Martti Ahtisaari led a mission to Baghdad. Its members were familiar with the literature on the bombings, he wrote in March 1991, “fully conversant with media reports regarding the situation in Iraq,” but realized immediately upon arrival “that nothing that we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation”—“near-apocalyptic”—“which has now befallen the country,” condemning it “to a pre-industrial age” for the foreseeable future. This was the scale of ruin when the UN Security Council imposed sanctions—UN in name only, political philosopher Joy Gordon clarifies, since they “were at every turn shaped by the United States,” whose “consistent policy” was “to inflict the most extreme economic damage possible on Iraq.” The policy was a ripping success in this respect. The UN estimated in 1995 that the sanctions had murdered over half a million children—“worth it,” in Madeleine Albright’s infamous 60 Minutes assessment—one factor prompting two successive UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, to resign. Halliday concluded that the sanctions were “criminally flawed and genocidal;” von Sponeck concurred, finding evidence of “conscious violation of human rights and humanitarian law on the part of governments represented in the Security Council, first and foremost those of the United States and the United Kingdom.” But eliminating hundreds of thousands of starving children was merely the prequel to the occupation—“the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258,” Fernando Báez wrote. Among its achievements were the assaults on Fallujah in April and November 2004: a UN Emergency Working Group estimated that “40% of buildings and homes” there were “significantly damaged” in the end, “while another 20% sustained ‘major damage,’” and “the remainder were ‘completely destroyed,’” political scientist Neta Crawford explains. Crawford, quoting Bing West’s No True Glory, relates how a top U.S. general, arriving in Fallujah after the November 2004 onslaught, “looked up and down the streets, at the drooping telephone poles, gutted storefronts, heaps of concrete, twisted skeletons of burnt-out cars, demolished roofs, and sagging walls. ‘Holy shit,’ he said.” U.S. efforts to “liberate” Fallujah’s residents—presumably from life’s mortal coil—entailed “a cascade of Geneva Convention violations,” according to scholars Elaine A. Hills and Dahlia S. Wasfi. Not least of these, U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott and Dr. Richard Rapport wrote, were “the targeting of medical facilities and denial of clean water [.]” The level of barbarism calls to mind what the UN described as Israel’s “unprecedented” destruction of Gaza. “Whole neighborhoods and villages have been wiped off the map,” Dr. Mona El-Farra reported from the Strip, where Beit Hanoun’s mayor, Mohammed al-Kafarna, told the Guardian his town had been pummeled to the point of being “unlivable.” Israel’s six-week bombing monsoon has killed over 2,000, with U.S. taxpayers funding the carnage. Since World War II, “the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance,” the Congressional Research Service determined in April. “Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,” and “President Obama pledged” in March 2013 “that the United States would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid,” or $3.1 billion annually in Foreign Military Financing. So we can, if we choose, take seriously the speeches Obama makes for the cameras. But Washington’s crucifixion of Iraq and support for Israeli sadism show us the real extent to which humanitarian aims propel U.S. policy. Nick Alexandrov lives in Washington, D.C.
  • End of the line: GMO production in China halted
    End of the line: GMO production in China haltedBy RTIn a surprise U-turn, China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to continue with a program which developed genetically-modified rice and corn. Some environmentalists say public concerns about GM crops played a key role in the decision. On August 17, when these permits were up for renewal, the Ministry of Agriculture decided not to extend them. In 2009, the ministry's Biosafety Committee issued approval certificates to develop the two crops, rice and corn. Developed by the Huazhong Agricultural University, near Wuhan, it was hoped that the GMO strains would help to reduce pesticide use by 80 percent, while raising yields by as much as 8 percent, said Huang Jikun, the chief scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Reuters in 2009. It is illegal to sell genetically-modified rice on the open market in China. However in July, GM rice was found on sale in a large supermarket in Wuhan, which is just across the Yangtze River from the Huazhong Agricultural University, where the product was developed, which caused a public outcry. "We believe that loopholes in assessing and monitoring [GMO] research, as well as the public concern around safety issues are the most important reasons that the certifications have not been renewed," Wang Jing, a Greenpeace official based in Beijing, wrote in an email to ScienceInsider. According to the South China Morning Post, state television commissioned tests on five packets of rice, which were picked at random, and found three contained genetically-modified rice. It is illegal to sell or commercially grow GM rice in mainland China. The safety certificates issued in 2009 only allowed the rice to be planted for research purposes, but never for sale on the open market. The strain, which was found, was one of two developed by Dr. Zhang Oifa, who is a professor at the Huazhong Agricultural University. He said, "it was not impossible" for the seeds to be put on to the open market. "You can't say [the seeds] were leaked on purpose. It's possible the seed companies have taken away the seeds and reproduced them illegally," he said, as reported by the South China Morning Post. However, Huang Jikun also believes that public opinion was not the only reason why the project was shelved. He stated that China is reaching self-sufficiency in terms of rice production, so therefore there was no point in producing genetically modified versions. China exports very little rice as almost all of it is consumed within its domestic market. Huang also admitted, "rising public concerns [about the] safety of GM rice" likely also played a role. Cong Cao, who is an associate professor at the University of Nottingham in the UK, was scathing of the decision. Writing in ‘The Conversation’ journal, he said the move “signals a major blow to the fight to establish GM food in China.” Cao believes there is no logic behind the judgment adding that “Anti-Western sentiment has been judged more convincing than a raft of studies endorsing the merits of agro-biotechnology. Government support for GM food is dwindling fast, and it seems safe to say that the opportunity to commercialize GM rice – and with it the chance to help address some of China’s most urgent problems – is all but gone.” The production of GM corn has not received as much skepticism, as it is mainly fed to livestock, according to Huang Jikun. Nevertheless, like rice, it has also not had its license renewed.
  • The killer on the (Saudi) king's highway
    The killer on the (Saudi) king's highway By Pepe Escobar  "Aisa Times" There's danger on the edge of town Ride the king's highway, baby Weird scenes inside the gold mine Ride the highway west, baby The Doors, The End The killer awoke before dawn. He put his American desert boots on. He took a knife from the ancient gallery. And he walked on down the hall - bathed in desert sunlight. The killer spoke with a British accent (London's East End?) Father (Saud), I want to kill you. Mother (Langley?) I want to... yeeeaaahh, c'mon! Then the sartorially composed Man in Black beheaded American photojournalist James Foley. This is not the end, beautiful friend. It's just a new beginning in the never-ending Global War on Terror. Now starring Papa Saud's brand new bag - The Caliph and his goons. This is the way Shock and Awe morphs into "Assad must go" morphs into Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, morphs into The Caliph's Black Britannia goon responding to "humanitarian" bombing. I'm my own baby now. Watch me work. Bring it on. Choice scenery. Good sound and vision production values. Careful editing. No unnecessary gore. No blood splattering. No Allahu Akbar shrieks. "A Message to America", indeed - but most of all a message to the Ummah. As in we're the Men in Black badasses. We run The Caliphate. We're no mere death cult; we're winners. And we take no prisoners. And why did Islamic State, formerly ISIS, become winners? Because the "West" regimented, schooled, trained, logistically helped and weaponized most of IS's Takfiri goons with a mission at hand: to destroy Syria. The "West" lauded them as "Syrian rebels". Freedom fighters. Washington even promoted Jabhat al-Nusra (the official al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, and a "terrorist organization", according to the State Department) as "good" jihadis, as well as the preferred Saudi combo, the Islamic Front. No wonder after photojournalist James Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 the Washington-sanctioned version was that he was being kept by "Assad must go" forces in a prison near Damascus. Slouching towards Mecca The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, and the proverbial wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council donors are the Mom and Dad of ISIS. All duly vetted/approved by the industrial-military-Orwellian-Panopticon complex. And yet "Assad must go" had other ideas for Syria. He didn't go. He and his army resisted and counter-attacked. So the original mission in Syria morphed across the (non-existent) desert border towards Iraq. ISIS kept expanding - via extortion, kidnapping, captured oil fields, tribal smuggling networks. The killer spoke with a British accent. Yet he may not be just a well-paid mercenary (500 from Britain, 700 from France, 500 from Belgium… ). He's most certainly a true believer in the wider IS medievalist ideology as well as its no-holds-barred sectarian methods. How convenient that IS strategy is totally divide and rule. Totally balkanization of Iraq. Totally mum on Israel's slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Totally useful in wagging the (beheading) dog to make the world forget about Gaza. Moroever, IS/ISIS strategy, stripped to the bone, is Pentagon manual; clear, hold and build - then expand (to an area larger than Great Britain). It's even Pentagon manual redux - as in building "coalitions of the willing" (see the alliance with "remnants" - Rummy talk - of the Saddam regime propelling their northern Iraq summer offensive.) How convenient that the mighty Orwellian/Panopticon complex satellite maze could not identify a long convoy of gleaming white Toyotas crossing the desert towards their summer conquests. And how convenient that a Briton beheading an American - what a "special relationship" plot twist! - fully sanctions the Return of Iraq Bombing ("for months", in Obama's words); more strikes; more drones; perhaps more boots on the ground; perhaps, in the near future, a Syria extension. IS also took over Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam, in their summer adventure. Now Baghdad's military are trying to take it back. IS welcomed them with minefields, booby-trapped buildings, an array of snipers and hardcore mortar fire. How convenient that Obama's "humanitarian" bombs are not involved in R2P ("responsibility to protect") Saddam's birthplace. What really matters is the US consulate in Erbil, scores of CIA operatives and vast Big Oil interests in Iraqi Kurdistan. And then there's this ultimate plot twist; a pearl by a dissident Saudi researcher (in Arabic). He argues, in detail, that IS is essentially a revival of "pure" Wahhabism; not only that IS comes from outside the House of Saud's dominions - in Iraq and the Levant - but tries hard to shatter the monarchy's legitimacy. The House of Saud's counterpunch to the Arab Spring was (and remains) all about destroying or at least isolating the Muslim Brotherhood as an alternative Islamic rule/role model. Yet now comes IS - brimming with religious justification (however warped); military know-how; and an army of true - and well paid - believers. Ride the king's highway, baby. No staged/not staged beheading could possibly top the ultimate blowback: the "West" nurturing the Beast who would slouch towards Mecca to finally behead the House of Saud. And those killers shall also speak with a British accent. Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
  • Iran mass-produces advanced batteries for missiles
    Iran mass-produces advanced batteries for missilesBy presstvIran has launched production lines for energy density batteries used in the electronic systems of its sea-based, ground-based and air-based missiles. The production lines, which will enhance the range and accuracy of the country’s missile systems, were inaugurated on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan on the eve of National Defense Industry Day.  With these production lines coming on stream, said the defense chief, the country has achieved the capability to design state-of-the-art defensive products and achieved self-sufficiency in raw materials required for various missile defense systems. Dehqan said the accomplishment will contribute to the nation’s deterrence capability. The breakthrough will help meet all the defensive needs of Iran’s Armed Forces as far as energy storage on a large scale is concerned, and help run future development plans in the field of defense systems, the minister underlined. Given its cutting-edge defense industry, said the top commander, the Islamic Republic will make anyone that threatens Iran regret its move. In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and reached self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems. On June 2, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) officially put into service a domestically developed long-range radar system, named Ghadir, capable of detecting stealth aircraft. The modern radar system uses three-dimensional (3-D) technology to detect airborne targets, including radar-evading aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and satellites in low orbits. Tehran has repeatedly assured other countries that its military might poses no threat to other states, insisting that the country’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence. YH/NN/HMV
  • Over 400,000 flee homes in east Ukraine: UNHCR
    Over 400,000 flee homes in east Ukraine: UNHCRBy presstvThe UN refugee agency says over 400,000 people have fled their homes due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Wednesday that some 190,000 Ukrainians have been displaced within the country and 225,883 others have fled to Russia, Poland and Belarus. It warned that the number of displaced peopled could be higher since there is no centralized registration system. "We do recognize that the number of displaced could be higher as there's no centralized registration system, and we know that some people are not registering," said UNHCR spokesperson Ariane Rummery. Rummery said that around 78,000 of the refugees who went to Russia have applied for refugee status. Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence the pro-Russians. Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Luhansk held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine. Local authorities said Wednesday that clashes in and around Donetsk had killed 43 civilians in the past 24 hours. The UN says more than 2,000 people have been killed and 5,000 others wounded in the four-month conflict gripping the former Soviet state. DB/MAM/MHB
  • US Readying More Troops to ‘Crush’ ISIS
    US Readying More Troops to ‘Crush’ ISISUS Using Journalist's Execution as Pretext for Further Iraq EscalationBy Jason Ditz, August 20, 2014  "Antiwar.com"The Obama Administration has never been one to let a sad piece of news slip by unexploited, and when news emerged last night of the beheading of journalist James Foley by ISIS, they were quick to transition their narrative to fit the new story.The US was already escalating the Iraq War at an alarming pace under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention,” but now are using Foley’s killing as the official justification to continue that escalation in the name of revenge. President Obama presented ISIS as a “cancer” that had to be “extracted” from the Middle East, going on to accuse them of plotting genocide and offering “nothing but an endless slavery.” Obama went on to declare that “no just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day,” vowing his own relentless pursuit of them. Secretary of State John Kerry was more direct, vowing to crush ISIS militarily, and declaring the group the “face of a new evil” whose very existence is an insult to Islam. Kerry went heavy on the thesaurus today, dubbing ISIS “ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil,” and saying the US will track them down anywhere in the world to destroy them. The State Department also seems to be driving a lot of the escalation push right now, asking for another 300 US ground troops to be deployed to sites in Baghdad, including the US Embassy and the Baghdad airport. The Pentagon is “considering” the request, but its acceptance is all but certain. The humanitarian excuse for the US war was basically up when they got to Mount Sinjar and realized there weren’t 40,000 Yazidis there. Officials seem to feel Foley’s death is a good excuse to shed the last remnants of that talking point in favor of a return to the 2003-style bellicosity. America’s goal in the war is now wiping out its self-proclaimed enemies, and any suggestion of a closed-ended operation has long sense flown out the window.
  • Ukraine Crisis Continues
    Ukraine Crisis ContinuesBy Dr. Paul Craig Roberts    "paulcraigroberts.org"Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved.Washington’s stooge government in Ukraine has not released the records of communications between Ukrainian air traffic control and Malaysian flight 17, and Washington has not released the photos from its satellite which was directly overhead at the time of the airliner’s demise.We can safely and conclusively conclude from this purposeful withholding of evidence that the evidence does not support Washington’s and Kiev’s propaganda.We can also safely and conclusively conclude that the Western media’s sudden disinterest in the unresolved story and failure to demand the evidence kept secret by Washington and Kiev is in keeping with the Western media’s role as a Ministry of Propaganda.In other words, Washington and its presstitutes are protecting the lie that Washington and its media vassals successfully spread around the world and have used as the basis for further sanctions that escalate the conflict with Russia. Washington could not possibly make it clearer that Washington intends to escalate, not defuse, the conflict that Washington alone orchestrated.Ditto for the alleged Russian armored column. The Russian government has labeled the story a fantasy, which it clearly is, but nevertheless Washington and its media vassals have left the story in place.As English is the world language and as the European press follows the lead of the American presstitutes, the propaganda war is stacked against Russia (and China). Russian and Chinese are not world languages. Indeed, these languages are difficult for others to learn and are not well known outside the countries themselves. The Western media follows Washington’s lead, not Moscow’s or Beijing’s.As facts are not relevant to the outcome, Moscow and Beijing are in a losing situation in the propaganda war.The same holds for diplomacy. Washington does not engage in diplomacy. The exceptional country uses bribes, threats, and coercion. The Russian government’s diplomatic efforts come to naught. As Russian President Putin has complained, “Washington doesn’t listen, the West doesn’t hear us.”And yet the Russian government continues to try to deal with the Ukrainian situation with facts and diplomacy. This approach is proving to be very costly to the residents of the former Russian territories in eastern and southern Ukraine. These people are being killed by air and artillery strikes against their homes and infrastructure. Large numbers of these people have been displaced by the Ukrainian attacks and are refugees in Russia. The Western media does not report the violence that Washington’s stooge government in Kiev is inflicting on these people. The Western media speaks only with Washington’s voice: “It is all Russia’s fault.”The crisis would have been prevented if the Russian government had accepted the provinces request to be reunited with Russia as in the case of Crimea. However, the Russian government decided to avoid any decision that Washington could misrepresent as “invasion and annexation,” thinking that Europe would see Russia’s unprovocative behavior as reassuring and resist Washington’s pressure to enter into conflict with Russia.In my opinion the Russian government over-estimated the power of diplomacy in the West. Washington is interested in fomenting crises, not in resolving them.In the 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russians have been of the opinion that Washington, not the Soviet government, was the party to be trusted in the Cold War. What the Russian government has learned recently is that Washington cannot be trusted and that the Soviet government’s suspicions of the West were very well founded.Kiev’s military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine is not going to stop because Europeans finally see the light and object. Europeans not only stood aside for 13 years while Washington bombed civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and organized outside forces to attack Syrians, while isolating Iran for military attack, but also actively participated in the attacks. Europe has stood aside while Israel has massacred Palestinians on numerous occasions. For Russia to rely on Europe’s moral conscience is to rely on something that does not exist.The continued slaughter and destruction of the Russian populations in eastern and southern Ukraine will eventually demoralize the Russian people and undermine their support of Putin’s government for failing to halt it. The Russian government’s acceptance of the slaughter makes Russia look weak and encourages more aggression against Russia.If the Russian government intends to resolve its problems in Ukraine and to forestallWashington’s ability to further erode Russia’s political and economic relationships with Europe with more sanctions, the Russian government will have to turn to more forceful measures.In Ukraine the Russian government has two alternatives. One is to announce that the ongoing slaughter and the unresponsiveness of Kiev and its Western backers to Russia’s efforts to end the killing with a diplomatic settlement has caused Russia to reconsider the provinces’ requests to be reunited with Russia and that any further attacks on these territories will be regarded as attacks on Russia and be met with a devastating military response.The other alternative is for Putin to meet privately with Washington’s stooge and convey to the corrupt oligarch that enough is enough and that if the attacks continue Russia will accept the requests for reunification and protect the provinces. Putin would explain to Washington’s stooge that if he wants to retain the former Russian territories as part of Ukraine, he will have to work out satisfactory arrangements with the provinces. In other words, Putin would deliver an ultimatum, one that required an immediate answer so that the stooge couldn’t run to Washington and Washington would not have time to create a new propaganda.Karl Marx regarded morality as a rationale for class interests. As each class created a morality to justify its interests, there was no basis for good will between people. With reform impossible, violence becomes the only effective method of change. Washington has its own version of Marx’s doctrine. As the exceptional country, history has chosen the US to prevail over other countries’ interests. Prevailing rules out diplomacy which requires compromise. Therefore, Washington, like Marx, relies on violence.The Russian government cannot rely on diplomacy and good will if the West is relying on violence.Perhaps s solution could be found by President Putin meeting separately with Merkel and Hollande and explaining that Russia cannot indefinitely accept sanctions based on lies and propaganda without taking more determined steps than Russian sanctions against European agricultural products. Putin could make it clear that if Europe continues to accommodate Washington’s assault on Russia, the flow of energy could be restricted or be turned off.Additionally, President Putin might explain to the European leaders that the dynamics of Washington’s campaign to demonize Russia can escape control and result in war that would devastate Europe. Putin could tell Europeans that by disassociating from Washington’s foreign policy and adopting foreign policies that serve their own interests instead of Washington’s, Europeans have nothing to lose but their chains of vassalage.Putin could explain to Europeans that Russia is prepared to guarantee Europe’s security and, therefore, that Europe does not need Washington’s guarantee against a nonexistent Russian threat.If this very reasonable and diplomatic approach to Europe fails, then Russia and China know that they must prepare for war.