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Military Industrial Complex - The Hunger Games Economy

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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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نیک پاکپور - تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد Image

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نیک پاکپور - 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!

 


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

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نیک پاکپور - دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

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

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Turkish-Syrian Border "A Great Hole" in Obama

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Turkish-Syrian Border "A Great Hole" in Obama's UN Speech

Vijay Prashad says Obama's comments on enforcing international norms have no credibility with most people around the world and are aimed at appeasing liberal unease

Turkish-Syrian Border "A Great Hole" in Obama's UN Speech
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Bio
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Monday, September 29, 2014 Image

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

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Is the anti-ISIS Campaign an Attempt to Renew War Against Assad? Image

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Is the anti-ISIS Campaign an Attempt to Renew War Against Assad?

Glen Ford: The U.S.-Saudi strategy of using jihadists as proxies in their wars is collapsing before our very eyes

Bio
Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America's Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.
Transcript
Is the anti-ISIS Campaign Attempting to Renew War Against Assad?SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. Also, welcome to this edition of The Glen Ford Report. Glen is coming to us from Plainfield, New Jersey.
Glen, thanks for joining us.
GLEN FORD, EXEC. DIRECTOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Thanks for having us.
PERIES: So, Glen, you want to do an update to a segment you have already done on the ISIS, and particularly pending President Obama's speech on Wednesday. So what are you working on?
FORD: Well, we actually have been working on this for the last three years. We've been predicting that the jihadists that the U.S. and its allies have been using as proxies, as foot soldiers in the imperial wars in North Africa and the Middle East, that those proxies would turn against the United States. We said that three and a half years ago. And now it is dramatically transpiring.
So, as an update, it's now become quite clear, and it will becoming more clear in the next few days, that the U.S. is going to try to turn this anti-ISIS campaign--a campaign that President Obama seems physically very uncomfortable with, for some very fundamental reasons--they're going to try to turn this anti-ISIS military campaign into a renewed war against the Syrian government. And he has already telegraphed that it will be a long war. Long wars mean very expensive wars. He says it will be a three-year campaign. In short, under the guise of taking the war against ISIS, this air war against ISIS, deep into Syria, the U.S. is going to attempt to become the air force for those so-called moderate Syrian rebels, forces that actually don't exist, but become an air force for them as the United States and its NATO allies did for the jihadists in Libya three years ago.
And to create this force on the ground that actually does not exist in terms of moderates, the United States wants to give those folks these imaginary people. I'm sure that they will somehow appear if the United States gives them the $500 million that Obama has set aside for them pending congressional approval.
But this is a bankrupt policy. The United States is doubling down on the bankrupt policy, even as it has collapsed, because it has no other choice. That is, the U.S. and its allies don't have any natural allies as foot soldiers in the region. Everybody hates the United States. To be associated with the United States is treason in that part of the Arab and Muslim world. So you have to get Islamists and get some kind of convergence, temporary can political convergence with them in order to attack the people that you want to attack, which is the secular governments of Libya, now destroyed, and of Syria, which the U.S. is in the process of attempting to destroy.
So the project continues. Now it has this stop-ISIS, humanitarian, anti-beheading flavor, but the mission is still the same. And therefore we can say with absolute certainty that the United States is going to try to act as an Air Force for supposed Syrian moderates over the next three years in Syria, using the presence of ISIS as an excuse.
And what they've also doing here--and you see more and more of this in The New York Times and The Washington Post and all these other corporate opinion leaders. You see them including this line that's always come out of the so-called Free Syrian Army, that there somehow is a relationship between the government of President Assad in Syria and ISIS, that Assad avoids attacking ISIS, and ISIS avoids attacking Assad. This, of course, is ridiculous, not based in fact, but it's the political line they're putting forward to somehow justify these forces that they are assembling, supposedly to attack ISIS, engaging against the Assad government, which has been the target all along and was why the United States armed and financed all of these jihadists, including ISIS, which is godfathered by the Americans and the Turks and the Qataris and the Saudis and NATO in general.
PERIES: Glen, when we have seen such horrific depictions of beheading of American citizens, what is a more rational response to these kinds of incidences?
FORD: Well, it's no more pleasant to die from being incinerated by U.S. drones or U.S. manned aircraft or just conventional weapons of any kind than being hands-on beheaded. In fact, the United States leads the world in industrial killing. I don't think that you are I would opt to be obliterated by the drone as opposed to being beheaded. I don't think I'd have a choice in the matter. But I do know that a lot more people are obliterated by industrial-strength war as carried on by established powers than by the ISISs (if that's the plural) of the world.
PERIES: And finally, Glen, I know that given how critical you have been about President Obama's foreign-policy, you probably wouldn't get to his ear. But if you were to be able to whisper some common sense in his ear before the upcoming address on Wednesday, what would you be saying to him?
FORD: The point here about this ISIS story--and it is a huge story. And the story is not about the savagery and beheading that ISIS's troops engaged in. The real story is that the U.S.-Saudi strategy, long-standing, 40 years of using jihadists as proxies in their wars, is collapsing before our very eyes. It has collapsed totally in Libya, where it was so prominently used, in that there is a war going on in which the Saudis and the Qataris are on opposite sides of the jihadist war, that is, jihadists who are fighting their own minds. Whatever that is that is. And those who are more aligned with the West are fighting it out on the ground. And the Egyptian leaders--Sisi is acting as the new Mubarak, and even closer to home for the Saudis, the Qataris and the Saudis and the Kuwaitis and the Emirates are all arguing among themselves and calling each other names in terms of which jihadists they are supporting. And the reason they are doing that is because they are afraid for the safety of their own heads now that this jihadist Jeannie has been let out the bottle. Those of the big stories. Not American journalists getting beheaded.
PERIES: Thank you so much for joining us, Glen.
FORD: Thank you.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

US to arm Kurdish - Fueling Fight Image

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US to arm Kurdish - Fueling Fight
Fueling Fight: US to arm Kurdish forces in Iraq to battle ISIS militants
Published on Aug 12, 2014
Militia forces in Iraq's Kurdistan are to be armed by US in an attempt to prevent it falling fully into the hands of ISIS militants. RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports

United state

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Underestimating ISIS:US Image

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Underestimating ISIS:US

Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State, says the US military’s failure to understand and adequately respond to ISIS underscores America's decades-long blunders in Iraq

Underestimating ISIS: An Indictment of Decades of Failed US Policy in the Middle East
Larry Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for the Secretary of State, says the US military's failure to understand and adequately respond to ISIS underscores America's decades-long blunders in Iraq -

Bio
Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making."

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CrossTalk: Reluctant coalition

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George Carlin : Who Really Controls America

George Carlin : Who Really Controls America

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  • Nearly $1bn already spent on US military campaign against ISIS
    Nearly $1bn already spent on US military campaign against ISIS By RT The US-led military operation against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants has likely so far cost between $780 and $930 million, according to an estimate by Washington-based think tank specializing in defense issues.The estimate is part of a report attempting to forecast how much the operation might cost in the future. It was published on Monday by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), that’s influential with the US Department of Defense.The think tank’s defense experts, many of whom are military veterans, have used a figure given by the Pentagon itself, which said that the military operations against the Islamic State cost $530 million through August 26.The group’s own estimate covers the period from August 27 through September 24 and is based on “what is publicly known about the number of targets struck, the types of aircraft and munitions used, the basing options available to US forces in the region, and the number US ground forces in the region.”The various costs associated with the military actions against the IS have been reflected in a graphic, issued by the CSBA. “The total cost to date from mid-June through September 24 is likely between $780 and $930 million,” the report says.It further comes up with possible estimates of three scenarios of the way the military operation will develop in the region.“Assuming a moderate level of air operations and 2,000 deployed ground forces, the costs would likely run between $200 and $320 million per month,” the study says.If the airstrikes moderately intensify and 5,000 ground forces are deployed, the cost would be driven to $350 and $570 million per month.Finally, if the military campaign “expands significantly” and 25,000 US troops are deployed, the monthly cost of the operation might grow to $1.1 to $1.8 billion.Annually the first scenario would cost the American budget $2.4 to $3.8 billion per year, while the third, highest-intensity, one would require the US to spend $22 billion.The US started the military operation against the Islamic State in June 2014 by increasing support to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting the extremist group.The US airstrikes against the Islamic State targets in Iraq were launched August 8 and in Syria September 23. President Obama made a decision on the airstrikes without the authorization of the US Congress. Lawmakers might not vote on the move until next year, congressional aides told Reuters on Monday.Members of Congress left Washington in mid-September to campaign for upcoming elections. They will return in mid-November and will likely be reluctant to vote on authorization for the use of military force in Iraq and Syria in the last weeks of the current Congress.President Obama announced crackdown on the Islamic State group in a landmark September 10 speech. He specified that American ground troops would not be involved in the fight against the militants.Senior US military officials have, however, not excluded the ‘boots on the ground’ option. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said in mid-September that should Obama’s current strategy not yield the desired results, he would recommend deploying American troops on the ground.Estimates on the possible cost of the military campaign have varied. Last week, a defense spending expert, Gordon Adams, a professor of US foreign policy at American University, told Huffington Post he estimated the United States' war on the militant group could be costing taxpayers up to $1.5 billion a month.    
  • ‘Join the invisible to make the impossible’: Israel’s Mossad now recruits agents online
    ‘Join the invisible to make the impossible’: Israel’s Mossad now recruits agents online By RT Israeli intelligence has given up to modern trends and introduced an online questionnaire for would-be spies. Unlike the businesslike CIA or MI5 web draft campaigns, Israelis are luring volunteers with mystery halo always shrouding Mossad’s activities.Mossad has become one of the last intelligence agencies in the world that vouchsafed to recruiting volunteer spies online, facilitating the induction process for those who always wanted to be a secret agent, but considered it unattainable.The agency’s online recruiting website, available in Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Persian and Russian, looks like a creatively designed product, wrapping spy activities in bright and attractive packaging. The intelligence outlet calls on to potential candidates to “create history,” make their life and “join the invisible to make the impossible.”The internet resource contains general information about Mossad, its history, directors and an initial online job application. In case a candidate is invited for an interview, there are three more detailed forms to be completed by hand: a medical confidentiality/information authorization, security questionnaire and another security questionnaire for a spouse/partner.The promotional campaign of the Mossad recruitment site also implied production of a short video depicting the secretive activities of the agency’s members, dealing with high-tech equipment such as drones and communication devices, called to inspire espionage enthusiasts to join Mossad ranks. In the foreword to Mossad’s new recruitment project agency’s Director Tamir Dean Pardo acknowledged that the website gives only a “brief glimpse of the Mossad,” revealing only a little of its past and activity, because “MOSSAD's operations and activity are secret and its people remain anonymous.”“We must continue to recruit the best people into our ranks so that the Mossad might continue to lead, defend and allow for the continued existence of the state of Israel,” Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo said in a statement preceding the launch of the recruitment website. “The Mossad's qualitative human capital is the secret of our success.”According to Associated Press, total video surveillance worldwide has made it highly difficult to interview those interested in Mossad job without other parties getting to know that recruitment has taken place, leave alone possible candidates visiting Israeli embassies.“It's the 21st century. This gives them the chance to reach the kind of people they have never reached before,” former Mossad employee Gad Shimron, the author of ‘Mossad Exodus’, a book about secret operation of bringing Ethiopian Jews to Israel, told Associated Press. So far the agency preferred to search for new employees in an old manner, Shimron said the Mossad used to be more of an ‘old boys’ network’ with friends recruiting their friends and family members, occasionally offering “interesting jobs” to those with multiple passports and a proper security clearance from their military service,” the former agent revealed.“They've got nothing to lose. If you throw out a line you may hook a fish,” Shimron said, naming internet communication as a good option to look for new employees, even though there potentially could be those who try to infiltrate Mossad’s structures for counterespionage reasons. But Mossad can sort out the black sheep, assured Shimron.Mossad promises that any personal data received from applicants would be absolutely safe and never go public. Still, the agency advises to fill the online forms out on a safe computer and eliminate browser history once the job is done.The Mossad, Hebrew for ‘the Institute’, is short for the ‘Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations’ founded in 1949.While the very existence of the state of Israel in extremely unfriendly environment serves an illustrative evidence of effectiveness of the national intelligence, Mossad has become most renowned for its elimination operations abroad, targeting first former Nazis responsible for Holocaust, then against terrorists who attacked Israelis anywhere in the world, such as the killing of the leaders of Palestinian group Black September, which was behind the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and a number of killings of Israeli citizens across Africa, Europe and the Middle East, reported AP. Coffins of Israeli olympic team victims of the Palestinian hostage-taking are transported on military vehicules at Lof airport, Israel, 08 September 1972. (AFP Photo/Str)Mossad allegedly was behind a series of murders of Iran’s nuclear scientists, which even forced the US President Barack Obama to call on to Tel Aviv to stop such operations, though Israel has never publicly claimed responsibility for the attacks.Efraim Halevi, former Mossad chief, told RT’s ‘In the Now’ anchor Anissa Naouai that the practice is in no way new as it began 14 years ago, when he was the ninth director of the agency (1998-2002).“I was the first person who instituted this then-novelty, to go public and use modern media to appeal the public and try to get the best possible candidates in the country for the Mossad,” Halevi said, recalling that creation of a web portal met fierce opposition from the leaders of the organization.“They felt that this was something unacceptable in terms of organizational culture of the Mossad, which is a secret organization,” Halevi said, adding that he knew it was a “wonderful idea,” ahead of its time which has now “become fashionable” with other intelligence agencies worldwide.Efraim Halevi flatly denied allegations that Mossad has been operating as an assassination squad eliminating the enemies of Israel.“Mossad is not an assassination squad, Mossad is a secret intelligence service of the state of Israel, just as the SVR (Russia’s Exterior Intelligence Service) is the secret intelligence service of the Russian Federation, like all other intelligence services in the world, with the same functions,” Halevi told RT, stressing that Mossad does not need to improve its image, because of its high effectiveness as the agency succeeds in most of its operations.
  • Iran to arm Lebanon against terror threats: Shamkhani
    Iran to arm Lebanon against terror threats: Shamkhani By presstv A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will soon supply the Lebanese army with necessary military equipment to help the nation deal with the threats it is facing.Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani, who is in Lebanon to hold talks on defense cooperation, made the announcement following a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam in the Lebanon's capital, Beirut, on Tuesday.The Iranian official said Iran’s assistance will be delivered to Beirut during an upcoming visit by Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan to Lebanon.He said that the Islamic Republic has no red lines for providing military aid to Lebanon to help it in the fight against terror and consolidate stability and security in the country.Shamkhani also held talks with Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday, where the Iranian official praised the role of the resistance movement in defending the security and stability in Lebanon.“Undoubtedly, Lebanese society will always be indebted to the rare and heroic diligence of … Hezbollah in countering the threat of Takfiri terrorism,” Shamkhani said.He referred to the Lebanese nation’s trust in Hezbollah as the movement's main “asset” which ensures the enhancement of its role and performance as a balancing force in Lebanon's political and security arenas.Nasrallah, for his part, pointed to the unprecedented and complicated threats facing the region and said fighting Takfiri terrorism, preventing the spillover of the crisis and insecurity to Lebanon as well as safeguarding and boosting national unity are the resistance group’s priorities.The Hezbollah leader hailed Iran’s support for the resistance movement and the anti-terrorism campaign, saying countering the rising threat posed by Takfiri terrorism necessitates adopting sincere measures far from suspicious and double-standard conduct.Heading a high-ranking political and security delegation, Shamkhani arrived in the Lebanese capital on Monday night.Over the past months, Lebanon has been suffering from terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants as well as random rocket attacks, which are viewed as a spillover of the conflict in Syria.Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011 with ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently controlling parts of it mostly in the east.YH/HMV/HRB
  • De-Manufacturing Consent- War & Empire: The Instruments of 21st-Century Tyranny
    De-Manufacturing Consent- War & Empire: The Instruments of 21st-Century Tyranny By Guillermo Jimenez | September 29, 2014 Guillermo Jimenez Presents Abigail Hall On this edition of De-Manufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by Abigail Hall, a research fellow at the Independent Institute and a graduating PhD student at George Mason University. We discuss Abigail’s latest paper published in the Independent Review titled “Perfecting Tyranny: Foreign Intervention as Experimentation in State Control.”Abigail explains how coercive foreign interventions can produce a “boomerang effect” that leads to a loss of liberty for the domestic population. We discuss how war and the expansion of the American empire have given rise to the police and surveillance state in the United States.What does the US invasion and occupation of the Philippines in 1898 have to do with the NSA and the modern-day domestic surveillance apparatus? How did the Vietnam War lead to the creation of SWAT teams and the militarization of local police? How can the public cope with the “paradox of political power,” and retrain the US government internationally and domestically?Listen to the Preview Clip Here
  • Obama the American Salesman of War
    Obama the American Salesman of War By Finian CUNNINGHAM | 30.09.2014 | 00:01 "Strategic Culture Foundation" In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week, Obama sounded less statesman and more salesman, with the usual pitch that American leadership is all benevolent and virtuous. America is pursuing, America is committed, America is prepared… and so on and on went the tiresome egocentric rhetoric.But like a dodgy salesman, the “goods” that Obama is hawking are downright fake. Caveat Emptor: buy it at your peril. Not only that, but the entire presentation to the potential buyers is littered with sly mendacity and ridiculous falsification of world events.The US president used his address to the 69th UN session not to genuinely explore a collective solution to pressing world problems but rather as an opportunity to indulge in “American exceptionalism” – the deluded notion that America is magnificent and superior to all other nations. Obama’s speech was a breathtaking falsification of the real causes underlying many of the security threats facing the world, and an opportunity for him to shift the blame on to others.As Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out, Obama disgracefully labelled Russia as a global threat along with the Ebola epidemic in Africa and Islamic State terrorism in the Middle East.Obama told UN delegates: “As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa, and threatens to move rapidly across borders. Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition. The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness.”He then went on to corral the rest of the world under American leadership. “We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.”It was an astounding distortion of history in which the culpable role of the US in multiple conflicts is glibly airbrushed out of the picture, replaced by Russia in the case of Ukraine, instead of acknowledging the destabilising role that Washington played by orchestrating a coup in that country.Obama skimmed over conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Ukraine casting them as unconnected or the fault of someone else, yet in all these conflicts the hand of the US is indelibly present.As for the “brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq”, Obama obfuscated by telling us to “look into the heart of darkness” – whatever that platitude means – instead of looking into the CIA payrolls and arms inventories to see how Washington has directed these “jihadist” mercenaries in its regime-change operation in Syria.The upshot is not only a distortion of the actual cause-and-effect of world problems, and not only a slanderous misattribution of blame, the insidious outcome is that the real culprit is rehabilitated as a saviour to the world. “Join us on the right side of history,” Obama entreated the assembled nations, as if the murder of 1.5 million Iraqis from America’s 2003 illegal war never happened.Since Obama made his address at the UN on Wednesday, US-led air strikes have continued unabated on Syria and Iraq. It is significant that the bombing campaign in Syria within a matter of days is already on a much greater scale than in Iraq, where US warplanes began conducting air strikes against IS militants a month ago. This is because regime change in Syria is the real American objective behind the whole anti-IS ruse.Washingtonis avidly highlighting the fact that its so-called anti-IS coalition bombing Syria includes five Arab states: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.The British are now sending fighter jets to join air strikes in Iraq, along with the US and French. The American-approved Baghdad government (formed after Washington insisted Nouri al Maliki had to go) has given its consent to the US-led aerial campaign. But this is not the case in Syria.That lack of consent, plus the absence of the UN Security Council mandate, makes the US-led intervention in Syria illegal, as Moscow rightly points out. It does not afford any legality or legitimacy to the American-led air strikes no matter how many states have joined the so-called coalition, and no matter that these states are Arab.Under international law, a country or group of countries does not have the right to launch military strikes on another unless there is a case of self-defence. That is not the scenario in Syria and the US-led coalition operating there. That is why Obama is talking up the threat of terrorists and press ganging a coalition of nations to join the US in its bombing campaign. This is just a fig leaf of Washington appearing to have some legal mandate, and to disguise the bare fact that the US is committing an act of aggression on a sovereign state for its geopolitical agenda of regime change.This all stems from the fact that the US, as Sergei Lavrov points out, “has enshrined in its national security doctrine the right to use force at its discretion, regardless of UN Security Council decisions or international law”.In his address to the UN General Assembly the previous year, Obama declared: “The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the region.”This gives real meaning to the concept of “American exceptionalism”. American leaders consider their government to be above the law and to have the prerogative to use violence unilaterally. All other nations must abide by the UN Charter and international law forbidding aggression, but not the US.So when Obama this year exhorted: “Fellow delegates, we come together as United Nations with a choice to make. We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability” – the fundamental problem challenging world peace is that it is the US that is unequivocally not prepared to “renew the international system”.A telling contradiction in Obama’s address was when he said: “The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but nor will we shrink from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.So, the US is committed to defending its interests with unilateral violence, but is also allegedly committed to the universal rights of all nations. The two propositions are mutually exclusive, and we know that unilateral violence is the one that the US always adheres to.Notice that Obama did not say the UN Charter, but rather the more vague Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because the Charter’s express legal prohibition on unilateral violence would make Obama’s words explicitly self-indicting.In typical ahistorical American thinking, Obama blamed the root of conflict on some mythical notion of terrorism. “It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.”More fundamental is the fact that conflict arises when certain states see themselves above the law in pursuit of their geopolitical interests with unilateral violence. The US stands out in this regard as the biggest culprit of lawlessness. Since the Second World War, the US has attacked, invaded or subverted upwards of 100 nations in pursuit of its core interests.And yet the American president closed his address to the UN with this nonsensical schmalz. “And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come. Join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.”By contrast, Russia’s Lavrov commented on how Russian diplomacy works in practice, not in some rarified mythical way, as Obama arrogantly asserts. “On the contrary, we are interested in putting out the flames of conflicts around the world through a fair dialogue based on equality of rights and mutual respect rather than through unilateral accusations and shifting the responsibility on someone else,” said Lavrov.Moscowcan rightly refer to its efforts at brokering a ceasefire in Ukraine and a negotiated settlement between the Kiev regime and the ethnic Russian separatists in the east of the country. Russian president Vladimir Putin has personally worked with Didier Burkhalter, head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, since May to create a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The latest result being the ceasefire brokered on September 5 in Minsk.Meanwhile, Washington has only fuelled the conflict by first of all subverting Ukrainian sovereignty with the February coup against an elected government, then funnelling military aid to the CIA-backed regime, and encouraging this reactionary regime to adopt a heavy-handed policy toward dissenting populations.History shows us that when states ride roughshod over international law, as during the 1930s when the League of Nations was made a mockery by rogue powers, the danger of war is greatly magnified. The lawless conduct of America and its mockery of the UN Charter is today the greatest threat to world peace.Salesman Obama might try selling the world a vehicle of American leadership for peace. But scratch the surface and blow off the rhetorical webs, and it’s obvious that this American vehicle is a hollowed-out dangerous wreck. Caveat Emptor.  
  • Zionist state:puts Iran over ISIS, slams Hamas
    Zionist state:Photo-wielding Netanyahu puts Iran over ISIS, slams Hamas By RT Bigger than the Islamic State threat – Iran and its nuclear program yet again haunted Benjamin Netanyahu’s address at the UN General Assembly. The Israeli PM also has photo-proof with him of Hamas using Palestinian civilians as human shields.READ MORE: US softens position on Iranian nuclear program“Make no mistake – ISIS (Islamic State) must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war," Netanyahu said at the UN headquarters in New York."Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled," he added.As for Tehran's recent “charm offensive” for the West, its true purpose is to see the international sanctions lifted "and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the [nuclear] bomb," the prime minister stressed.Netanyahu called Iran's concern about the spread of terrorism – earlier voiced by President Hassan Rouhani, from the same lectern – “one of history's greatest displays of doubletalk.”He also slammed the countries, which now fully back US-led airstrikes against ISIS, but used to criticize Israel for their war against Hamas in Palestine.The PM stressed that Islamic radicals from ISIS and Hamas share the same task “of imposing militant Islam on the world.”“Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel, but it has a broader objective. When it comes to its ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas,” he said.According to Netanyahu, the 50-day operation in Gaza this summer, which saw 2,100 Palestinians – mainly civilians – killed and some 18,000 homes destroyed, was Israel’s war against “global militant Islam.”The head of the Israeli government put the blame for civilian casualties on Hamas, which, he said, committed “the real war crimes” by using ordinary civilians as human shields.He refuted claims by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel of conducting a “war of genocide” in Gaza in his UN address at the weekend.Netanyahu believes that Israel can’t be accused of genocide as it gave advance warnings to Palestinians before shelling neighborhoods in the densely populated Gaza area.Israel “was doing everything to minimize civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize civilian casualties” by placing its rocket launchers in homes, schools and children’s playgrounds, he said.The PM also blasted the UN Human Right Council, which sends “a clear message to terrorists to use civilians as human shields” by condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza.The Human Right Council “turns the war upside down” and is deserved to be called the “Terrorist Rights Council,” he stressed.The Prime Minister also said that such common challenges like nuclear Iran and militant Islam provide a historic opportunity for Israel’s relations with the leading nations in the Arab world.According to Netanyahu, Palestine can be reached though good relations with Arab world, but not the other way around as many thought before.
  • War, Media Propaganda and the Police State
    War, Media Propaganda and the Police StateBy James F. Tracy Modern propaganda techniques utilized by the corporate state to enforce anti-democratic and destructive policies routinely entail the manufacture and manipulation of news events to mold public opinion and, as Edward Bernays put it, “engineer consent” toward certain ends.Such events include not only overt political appeals, but also acts of seemingly spontaneous terrorism and militarism that traumatize the body politic into ultimately accepting false narratives as political and historical realities.Western states’ development and utilization of propaganda closely parallels the steady decay of political enfranchisement and engagement throughout the twentieth century. Upon securing a second term in 1916, the Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson plunged the United States into the most violent and homicidal war in human history. Wilson, a former Princeton University academician groomed for public office by Wall Street bankers, assembled a group of progressive-left journalists and publicists to “sell the war” to the American people.Prof James F. Tracy on GRTV at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, August 2014 George Creel, Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays and Harold Lasswell all played influential roles in the newly-formed Committee on Public Information, and would go on to be major figures in political thought, public relations, and psychological warfare research.The sales effort was unparalleled in its scale and sophistication. The CPI was not only able to officially censor news and information, but essentially manufacture these as well. Acting in the role of a multifaceted advertising agency, Creel’s operation “examined the different ways that information flowed to the population and flooded these channels with pro-war material.”The Committee’s domestic organ was comprised of 19 subdivisions, each devoted to a specific type of propaganda, one of which was a Division of News that distributed over 6,000 press releases and acted as the chief avenue for war-related information. On an average week, more than 20,000 newspaper columns carried data provided through CPI propaganda. The Division of Syndicated Features enlisted the help of popular novelists, short story writers, and essayists. These mainstream American authors presented the official line in a readily accessible form reaching twelve million people every month. Similar endeavors existed for cinema, impromptu soapbox oratory (Four Minute Men), and outright advertising at home and abroad.[1]With the experiences and observations of these war marketers variously recounted and developed throughout the 1920s (Lippmann, Public Opinion, The Phantom Public, Bernays, Propaganda, Crystallizing Public Opinion, Creel, How We Advertised America, Lasswell, Propaganda and the World War), alongside the influence of their elite colleagues and associates, the young publicists’ optimism concerning popular democracy guided by informed opinion was sobered with the realization that public sentiment was actually far more susceptible to persuasion than had been previously understood. The proposed solutions to guarantee something akin to democracy in an increasingly confusing world lay in “objective” journalism guided by organized intelligence (Lippmann) and propaganda, or what Edward Bernays termed “public relations.”The argument laid out in Lippmann’s Public Opinion was partly motivated by the US Senate’s rejection of membership in the League of Nations. An adviser to the Wilson administration, a central figure behind intelligence gathering that informed postwar geopolitical dynamics laid out at the Paris Peace Conference, and an early member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Lippmann increasingly viewed popular democracy as plagued by a hopelessly ill-informed public opinion incapable of comprehending the growing complexities of modern society. Only experts could be entrusted with assessing, understanding, and acting on the knowledge accorded through their respective professions and fields.Along these lines, journalism should mimic the then-fledgling social sciences by pursuing objectivity and deferring to the compartmentalized expertise of established authority figures. News and information could similarly be analyzed, edited, and coordinated to ensure accuracy by journalists exercising similar technocratic methods. Although Lippmann does not exactly specify what body would oversee such a process of “organized intelligence,” his postwar activities and ties provides a clue.Edward Bernays’ advocacy for public opinion management is much more practical and overt. Whereas Lippmann suggests a regimented democracy via technocratic news and information processing, Bernays stresses a privileged elite’s overt manipulation of how the populace interprets reality itself. Such manipulation necessitates contrived associations, figures and events that appear authentic and spontaneous. “Any person or organization depends ultimately on public approval,” Bernays notes,“and is therefore faced with the problem of engineering the public’s consent to a program or goal … We reject government authoritarianism or regimentation, but we are willing to be persuaded by the written or spoken word. The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest.[2]Bernays demonstrates an affinity with Lippmann’s notion of elite expediency when pursuing prerogatives and decision-making the public at large cannot be entrusted to interpret. In such instances,democratic leaders must play their part in leading the public through the engineering of consent to socially constructive goals and values. This role naturally imposes upon them the obligation to use educational processes, as well as other available techniques, to bring about as complete an understanding as possible.[3]Written in the early 1950s, these observations become especially apt in the latter half of the twentieth century, where the US is typically a major aggressor in foreign (and eventually domestic) affairs. Yet what does Bernays mean by, for example, “educational processes”? An indication may be found by noting his central role in the promotion of tobacco use, municipal water fluoridation, and the overthrow of the democratically-elected Arbenz regime in Guatemala.[4]With the advent of the national security state in 1947, secret programs emerge where the people are as a matter of course intentionally left unaware of the state’s true rationales and objectives.Indeed, a wealth of contemporary historical examples suggest how the “engineering of consent” is wholly calculating and anti-democratic, and where the crises requiring such drastic and immediate public relations and military measures are themselves the result of the same leadership’s policies and actions. The US economic provocation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Tonkin Gulf incident precipitating US military occupation of Vietnam are obvious examples of such manufactured events.Similar techniques are apparent in the major political assassinations of the 1960s, where to this day the public is prompted to partake in the false reality that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole culprit in the murder of President John F. Kennedy, much as Sirhan Sirhan was responsible for the death of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.In fact, in each instance overwhelming evidence points to Central Intelligence Agency involvement in orchestrating the assassinations while training and presenting Oswald and Sirhan as the would-be assassins.The US government’s assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., probably the most influential African American public persona of the twentieth century, is not even open to debate, having been soundly proven in a court of law.[5] Yet as with the Kennedys, it is a genuine public relations achievement that much of the American population is oblivious to the deeper dynamics of these political slayings that are routinely overlooked or inaccurately recounted in public discourse.Along these lines, in the historical context of Operation Gladio, the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing, the events of September 11, 2001, the London 7/7/2005 bombings, and lesser episodes such as the “shoe” and “underwear” bombers, the engineering of consent has reached staggering new heights where state-orchestrated terrorism is used to mold public opinion toward acceptance of militarized policing operations, the continued erosion of civil liberties, and major sustained aggression against moderate Middle Eastern nations to cartelize scarce resources and politically reconfigure an entire region of the world.Again, the public is essentially compelled to believe that political extremism of one form or another is the cause of each event, even in light of how the sophistication and scope of the Oklahoma City and 9/11 “attacks” suggest high-level forces at work. If one is to delve beneath the public relations narrative of each event, the recent Newtown massacre and Boston Marathon bombing likewise appear to have broader agendas where the public is again purposely misled.Conventional journalists and academics are reluctant to publicly address such phenomena for fear of being called “conspiracy theorists.” In the case of academe this has severely curtailed serious and potentially crucial inquiry into such deep events and phenomena in lieu of what are often innocuous intellectual exchanges divorced from actually existing social and political realities that cry out for serious interrogation and critique.The achievements of modern public relations are further evident in the Warren and 9/11 Commissions themselves, both of which have spun the fantastic myths of Allan Dulles and Peter Zelikow respectively, and that today maintain footholds in public discourse and consciousness.Indeed, the “conspiracy theory” meme, a propaganda campaign waged by the CIA beginning in the mid-1960s to counter criticism of the Warren Commission report, is perhaps as little-known as Operation Mockingbird, the CIA program where hundreds of journalists and publishers actively devoted their services to spread Agency disinformation. The overall effect of these combined operations has been an immensely successful program continues to shape the contours of American political life and mediated reality.[6]The present socio-political condition and suppression of popular democracy are triumphs of modern propaganda technique. So are they also manifest in the corporate state’s efforts to engineer public acquiescence toward such things as the colossal frauds of genetically modified organisms masquerading as “food,” toxic polypharmacy disguised as “medicine,” and the police state and “war on terror” seeking to preserve “national security.”Notes[1] Aaron Delwiche, “Propaganda: Wartime Propaganda: World War I, The Committee on Public Information,” accessed September 28, 2014 at http://www.propagandacritic.com/articles/ww1.cpi.html; George Creel, How We Advertised America, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1920. Available at http://archive.org/details/howweadvertameri00creerich[2] Edward Bernays, Public Relations, Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1952, 159-160.[3] Ibid. 160.[4] “You can get practically any ideas accepted,” Bernays reflected on the campaign to fluoridate New York City’s water supply. “If doctors are in favor, the public is willing to accept it, because a doctor is an authority to most people, regardless of how much he knows, or doesn’t know … By the law of averages, you can usually find an individual in any field who will be willing to accept new ideas, and the new ideas then infiltrate the others who haven’t accepted it. Christopher Bryson, The Fluoride Deception, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004, 159.[5] William F. Pepper, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, New York: Verso, 2003.[6] James F. Tracy, “Conspiracy Theory: Foundations of a Weaponized Term,” Global Research, January 22, 2013.
  • Rouhani urges collective effort to improve Caspian security, stability
    Rouhani urges collective effort to improve Caspian security, stability By presstv Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has urged the Caspian Sea littoral states to strengthen collective cooperation in order to improve regional security and stability.“It is appropriate that in addition to cooperation among the littoral states of this [Caspian] Sea to establish collective security, we do not allow the sea and its coasts, which have special significance for its littoral states, to turn into a haven for extremism, terrorism, narcotics and organized crimes,” Rouhani said in an address to the 4th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states in the Russian city of Astrakhan on Monday.He proposed that all the Caspian Sea littoral states unanimously call it the “Sea of Peace and Development” and prepare the ground for achieving this goal according to a specific timetable through intense consultation.“The only way to achieve peace, stability and sustainable development in the region is to pay attention to the long-term interests of all the Caspian Sea littoral states and observe the principle of consensus in all decisions which are taken,” Rouhani stated.The Iranian president also called on the Caspian Sea littoral states to take part in common ventures in different fields in the service of their shared interests.He urged the littoral states to take necessary action to protect the unique natural resources of the Caspian Sea, saying it is necessary to observe ecological criteria in all regional and national plans.Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea.The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water by area and is variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.The issue of the Caspian Sea’s legal regime gained importance following the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the emergence of new independent states.SF/HMV/SS
  • A Warning to All Americans: Danger from Within
    A Warning to All Americans: Danger from Within By VT “ISIS is the least of our concerns if it is not a coincidence that Lindsey Graham told supporters at a fundraiser that Charleston Harbor would be attacked if we didn’t strike Syria, just as we received breaking news that nuclear weapons had been moved without authorization and our nuke officers are being stripped of their duties. The real enemy is within our own government and military, thanks to the private contractors and lobbyist organizations that are known to be compromising them. Please familiarize yourselves with the on-going Navy bribery investigation and the so-called “cheating scandal” pertaining to our nuclear arsenal, if you want to know who to fear. The real enemy is within. Fortunately for US, General Dempsey and Chuck Hagel are very much aware of the problem. It is slowly but surely being addressed, as stated in the Foreign Policy article below.” - Stacey WaltersAs it turns out, the Navy cheating scandal at a nuclear power training site in Charleston, South Carolina, is much bigger than originally feared.Senior Navy officials said in February that roughly 20 sailors had cheated on their qualification exams. Now, 78 enlisted sailors are implicated and the Navy is kicking out at least 34 of them, according to the military. Meanwhile, 10 of the sailors remain under criminal investigation. So far, the cheating appears to be limited to this unit in Charleston, but it dates back to at least 2007, according to an internal Navy investigation. The Navy’s new punishments were first reported by the Associated Press.The Navy is requiring additional ethics training and making other changes but some say the problem runs much deeper than just one unit or even one service. The Navy’s cheating scandal is just one of several high-profile ethical violations found in the military in the last year.“There’s something in the water right now,” said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine two-star general and former Senate Armed Services Committee staffer. “There’s an underlying, fundamental thread tying these incidents together,” Punaro said, pointing to cheating, bribery, sexual harassment, and procurement scandals across the services.But he said it’s particularly worrisome to see ethics problems crop up among the Navy’s nuclear forces.“This is the last place you would ever expect to see this,” Punaro said. “They have just the highest standards you could ever believe, so that should make us nervous about the Navy but also what’s happening elsewhere.”The Pentagon is worried too. In March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tapped Rear Adm. Margaret “Peg” Klein, a former Naval Academy commandant, to serve as his “senior advisor for military professionalism,” a newly created position ordered to report directly to the secretary about ethics matters.Meanwhile, the Air Force had its own cheating scandal, at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, where nine officers were fired and the commander resigned after 100 or so officers were implicated in January.In February, word got out that more than 800 soldiers were under investigation for allegedly gaming a National Guard recruitment program and pocketing millions of dollars in kickbacks.The Navy is also dealing with multiple bribery scandals.The most famous one centers around Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a Singapore-based contractor that supplied and serviced Navy ships at ports all over Asia. Multiple senior naval officials, enlisted sailors, and an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were charged with accepting bribes from the company and its CEO, Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard.” In exchange, the Navy officials provided inside information that helped the company win contracts and make more money.But it’s not the only bribery scandal.On Aug. 12, Scott Miserendino, a former contractor for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, pled guilty to accepting bribes and conspiring to commit bribery, according to the Justice Department.“In addition to the more than $265,000 in cash bribes, Miserendino also admitted that he and [Kenny Toy, the former afloat programs manager for the N6 Command, Control, Communication, and Computer Systems Directorate] received other things of value, including flat screen televisions, laptop computers, a vacation rental in Nags Head, North Carolina, a football helmet signed by Troy Aikman, and softball bats,” the Justice Department said in its statement.Punaro blames these scandals on a lack of accountability and leadership up and down the chain of command.“If you can cancel $50 billion worth of procurements and not one person is held accountable, what does that tell you about the system?” Punaro asked.
  • Washington’s Secret Agendas
    Washington’s Secret Agendas By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS One might think that by now even Americans would have caught on to the constant stream of false alarms that Washington sounds in order to deceive the people into supporting its hidden agendas.The public fell for the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan are terrorists allied with al Qaeda. Americans fought a war for 13 years that enriched Dick Cheney’s firm, Halliburton, and other private interests only to end in another Washington failure.The public fell for the lie that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” that were a threat to America and that if the US did not invade Iraq Americans risked a “mushroom cloud going up over an American city.” With the rise of ISIS, this long war apparently is far from over. Billions of dollars more in profits will pour into the coffers of the US military security complex as Washington fights those who are redrawing the false Middle East boundaries created by the British and French after WW I when the British and French seized territories of the former Ottoman Empire.The American public fell for the lies told about Gaddafi in Libya. The formerly stable and prosperous country is now in chaos.The American public fell for the lie that Iran has, or is building, nuclear weapons. Sanctioned and reviled by the West, Iran has shifted toward an Eastern orientation, thereby removing a principal oil producer from Western influence.The public fell for the lie that Assad of Syria used “chemical weapons against his own people.” The jihadists that Washington sent to overthrow Assad have turned out to be, according to Washington’s propaganda, a threat to America.The greatest threat to the world is Washington’s insistence on its hegemony. The ideology of a handful of neoconservatives is the basis for this insistence. We face the situation in which a handful of American neoconservative psychopaths claim to determine the fate of countries.Many still believe Washington’s lies, but increasingly the world sees Washington as the greatest threat to peace and life on earth. The claim that America is “exceptional and indispensable” is used to justify Washington’s right to dictate to other countries.The casualties of Washington’s bombings are invariably civilians, and the deaths will produce more recruits for ISIS. Already there are calls for Washington to reintroduce “boots on the ground” in Iraq. Otherwise, Western civilization is doomed, and our heads will be cut off. The newly created propaganda of a “Russian threat” requires more NATO spending and more military bases on Russia’s borders. A “quick reaction force” is being created to respond to a nonexistent threat of a Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland, and Europe.Usually it takes the American public a year, or two, three, or four to realize that it has been deceived by lies and propaganda, but by that time the public has swallowed a new set of lies and propaganda and is all concerned about the latest “threat.” The American public seems incapable of understanding that just as the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, threat was a hoax, so is the sixth threat, and so will be the seventh, eighth, and ninth.Moreover, none of these American military attacks on other countries have resulted in a better situation, as Vladimir Putin honestly states. Yet, the public and its representatives in Congress support each new military adventure despite the record of deception and failure.Perhaps if Americans were taught their true history in place of idealistic fairy tales, they would be less gullible and less susceptible to government propaganda. I have recommended Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the US, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the US, and now I recommend Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers, the story of the long rule of John Foster and Allen Dulles over the State Department and CIA and their demonization of reformist governments that they often succeeded in overthrowing. Kinzer’s history of the Dulles brothers’ plots to overthrow six governments provides insight into how Washington operates today.In 1953 the Dulles brothers overthrew Iran’s elected leader, Mossadegh and imposed the Shah, thus poisoning American-Iranian relations through the present day. Americans might yet be led into a costly and pointless war with Iran, because of the Dulles brothers poisoning of relations in 1953.The Dulles brothers overthrew Guatemala’s popular president Arbenz, because his land reform threatened the interest of the Dulles brothers’ Sullivan & Cromwell law firm’s United Fruit Company client. The brothers launched an amazing disinformation campaign depicting Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was a threat to Western civilization. The brothers enlisted dictators such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba against Arbenz. The CIA organized air strikes and an invasion force. But nothing could happen until Arbenz’s strong support among the people in Guatemala could be shattered. The brothers arranged this through Cardinal Spellman, who enlisted Archbishop Rossell y Arellano. “A pastoral letter was read on April 9, 1954 in all Guatemalan churches.”A masterpiece of propaganda, the pastoral letter misrepresented Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was the enemy of all Guatemalans. False radio broadcastsproduced a fake reality of freedom fighter victories and army defections. Arbenz asked the UN to send fact finders, but Washington prevented that from happening. American journalists, with the exception of James Reston, supported the lies. Washington threatened and bought off Guatemala’s senior military commanders, who forced Arbenz to resign. The CIA’s chosen and well paid “liberator,” Col. Castillo Armas, was installed as Arbenz’s successor.We recently witnessed a similar operation in Ukraine.President Eisenhower thanked the CIA for averting “a Communist beachhead in our hemisphere,” and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles gave a national TV and radio address in which he declared that the events in Guatemala “expose the evil purpose of the Kremlin.” This despite the uncontested fact that the only outside power operating in Guatemala was the Dulles brothers.What had really happened is that a democratic and reformist government was overthrown because it compensated United Fruit Company for the nationalization of the company’s fallow land at a value listed by the company on its tax returns. America’s leading law firm or perhaps more accurately, America’s foreign policy-maker, Sullivan & Cromwell, had no intention of permitting a democratic government to prevail over the interests of the law firm’s client, especially when senior partners of the firm controlled both overt and covert US foreign policy. The two brothers, whose family members were invested in the United Fruit Company, simply applied the resources of the CIA, State Department, and US media to the protection of their private interests. The extraordinary gullibility of the American people, the corrupt American media, and the indoctrinated and impotent Congress allowed the Dulles brothers to succeed in overthrowing a democracy.Keep in mind that this use of the US government in behalf of private interests occurred 60 years ago long before the corrupt Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. And no doubt in earlier times as well.The Dulles brothers next intended victim was Ho Chi Minh. Ho, a nationalist leader, asked for America’s help in freeing Vietnam from French colonial rule. But John Foster Dulles, a self-righteous anti-communist, miscast Ho as a Communist Threat who was springing the domino theory on the Western innocents. Nationalism and anti-colonialism, Foster declared, were merely a cloak for communist subversion.Paul Kattenburg, the State Department desk officer for Vietnam suggested that instead of war, the US should give Ho $500 million in reconstruction aid to rebuild the country from war and French misrule, which would free Ho from dependence on Russian and Chinese support, and, thereby, influence. Ho appealed to Washington several times, but the demonic inflexibility of the Dulles brothers prevented any sensible response. Instead, the hysteria whipped-up over the “communist threat” by the Dulles brothers landed the United States in the long, costly, fiasco known as the Vietnam War. Kattenburg later wrote that it was suicidal for the US “to cut out its eyes and ears, to castrate its analytic capacity, to shut itself off from the truth because of blind prejudice.” Unfortunately for Americans and the world, castrated analytic capacity is Washington’s strongest suit.The Dulles brothers’ next targets were President Sukarno of Indonesia, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo, and Fidel Castro. The plot against Castro was such a disastrous failure that it cost Allen Dulles his job. President Kennedy lost confidence in the agency and told his brother Bobby that after his reelection he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. When President Kennedy removed Allen Dulles, the CIA understood the threat and struck first.Warren Nutter, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, later Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, taught his students that for the US government to maintain the people’s trust, which democracy requires, the government’s policies must be affirmations of our principles and be openly communicated to the people. Hidden agendas, such as those of the Dulles brothers and the Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes, must rely on secrecy and manipulation and, thereby, arouse the distrust of the people. If Americans are too brainwashed to notice, many foreign nationals are not.The US government’s secret agendas have cost Americans and many peoples in the world tremendously. Essentially, the Foster brothers created the Cold War with their secret agendas and anti-communist hysteria. Secret agendas committed Americans to long, costly, and unnecessary wars in Vietnam and the Middle East. Secret CIA and military agendas intending regime change in Cuba were blocked by President John F. Kennedy and resulted in the assassination of a president, who, for all his faults, was likely to have ended the Cold War twenty years before Ronald Reagan seized the opportunity.Secret agendas have prevailed for so long that the American people themselves are now corrupted. As the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head.” The rot in Washington now permeates the country.Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.