31/01/2008

Freedom and Democracy in Afghanistan? Only so long as you don't tell the truth

The Independent today leads with a story that highlights the shallowness of Washington’s claims that their occupation of Afghanistan is humanitarian based, that they’re there to liberate the country, for freedom’s sake, for democracy.

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, a journalism student has been sentenced to death, accused of blasphemy, for downloading and distributing a piece from a website that challenges fundamentalist claims that that the Koran justifies the oppression of women. Mr Kambaksh’s case is that he was only trying to stimulate open debate, but he apparently upset someone who reported him. He was then arrested, tried by a religious court, without legal representation, and sentenced.

One would think the ‘powers that be’ in Afghanistan would have come to his defence; after all he was only doing what journalists are supposed to do – uncover the truth, disseminate information, but no. As the BBC reports today: “Afghanistan's upper house of parliament has issued a statement backing a death sentence for a journalist for blasphemy in northern Afghanistan.”

So here we are six years after the US invaded the country, supposedly ousted a reactionary Taliban, installed a pro-western leader Hamid Karzai and even had a malleable press back home brag about just how free women felt in Kabul. Bush even reiterated the bollocks in his state of the union address on Monday:

"In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies, and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope. These successes must continue, so we're adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan Army and police. Defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan.”

To be sure, you’d be hard pressed to think of any country the US has invaded or intervened in which democratic freedoms have improved during their stay or involvement. Look for instance at yesterday’s piece on Suharto’s Indonesia. The simple truth is that so long as the US is occupying and intervening it is pursuing its imperialist ambitions, seeking out mineral wealth, securing trade routes, foreign markets and areas of influence on behalf of its corporate elite, and to do this with maximum efficiency the host nation has to oppress dissent, erode its democratic processes, see to it that compliant US leaders are installed. This invariably involves turning a blind eye to human rights abuses perpetrated by reactionary forces within a host country, reactionary forces who, in their own way, control dissent. Again, turning to yesterday’s piece, it is instructive that Islamic militants joined with Suharto’s forces in the massacre of communists in Indonesia.

Undoubtedly, Mr Kambaksh could be released with one phone call from Washington. As I write he still remains in custody, because Washington quite simply needs the forces of reaction in place there to help them quell dissent. It all makes sense when you realise the Caspian basin contains an estimated $12 trillion worth of oil and that to be able to control who has access to it you first have to subdue Afghanistan and Iran.

A petition to free Mr Kambaksh can be found at the Independent here.

30/01/2008

Suharto - corrupt, murdering ex-Indonesian dictator dies

Former Indonesian president Suharto has popped his clogs, ceased to be and gone to join that merry band of expired dictators in perdition.

Whilst socialist, lefties and liberals with knowledge of his time in power will be thinking “good friggin’ riddance, your murdering bastard”, the US, via their Indonesian ambassador Cameron Hume declared him a “historic figure” who “led Indonesia for over 30 years, a period during which Indonesia achieved remarkable economic and social development.”

Suffering from advanced stages of historical amnesia, Hume eulogised Suharto for his close relationship with the United States and for his part in the in the establishment of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), totally forgetting Suharto’s 32 year stint as the country’s foremost human rights abuser. The best he could muster was to mention in passing that there had been “some controversy over his legacy” – which could be translated as “well, he might have been a bastard, but he was our bastard!”

For many years Washington saw Suharto as a man who could be trusted to support US imperial ambitions in the region, not least because of his “anti-communist” stance. And what a stance! In the mid sixties Suharto’s forces killed an estimated 500,000 communists and sympathisers. For their part the CIA provided Suharto with lists of thousands of liberals, including trade union members, intellectuals and schoolteachers, many of whom were executed or imprisoned. Suharto further exploited tensions between Muslims and atheist communists, inciting powerful Islamic groups to join the bloodbath.

During his meeting with President Nixon in May 1970, Suharto candidly admitted to having “nullified the strength” of the Indonesian Communist Party, a reference to the mass killings of alleged PKI members, adding that “tens of thousands” of its members “have been interrogated and placed in detention.” Nixon largely confined himself to questions and supportive statements concerning U.S. support for the Suharto regime. Over the course of Suharto’s two-day visit, the White House reassured Indonesian officials of their continued commitment to Southeast Asia and pledged to increase military aid to $18 million to enable Indonesia to purchase 15,000 M-16 rifles

Another 183,000 died due to killings, disappearances, hunger and illness during Indonesia's 1975-1999 bloody occupation of East Timor, according to an East Timorese commission sanctioned by the U.N. Elsewhere Suharto’s forces killed 100,000 in West Papua, according a local human rights group, and another 15,000 during a 29-year separatist rebellion in Aceh province.

Just before Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, President Ford and Secretary Henry Kissinger stopped over Jakarta on the way back home from China, having met with Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. For more than a year the U.S. had known that Indonesia was planning to forcibly annex East Timor, having followed intelligence reports of armed attacks by Indonesian forces.

Discussing guerrilla movements in Thailand and Malaysia, Suharto suddenly turned to East Timor and said: “We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action.”

Ford and Kissinger assured Suharto that they would not oppose the invasion. Ford was in fact explicit: “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have.” Whilst Kissinger expressed concern that the use of US made weaponry may cause embarrassment, added: “It depends on how we construe it; whether it is in self defence or is a foreign operation. It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly.”

Carter, Reagan, George Bush senior – they all backed the butcher of Indonesia, all turning a blind eye, all arming his war machine In his meeting with Suharto, Bush (then vice president), offered nothing but praise for the despot, assuring him that “our relations with Indonesia are most significant and that we derived great satisfaction from our relations with Jakarta.”

Though dethroned back in a1998 pro-democracy uprising, neither Suharto or anyone connected with him was tried for human rights abuses, not least because some of his then trusted generals occupy powerful posts today

Commented Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch Asia: "One of the enduring legacies of Suharto's regime has been the culture of impunity,"

A newly posted Declassified Documentary Obituary of Suharto can be found on the US National Security Archive. http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB242/index.htm

a selection of declassified U.S. documents detailing his record of repression and corruption, and the long-standing U.S. support for his regime.

Said Brad Simpson Brad Simpson, who directs the Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project. These declassified documents, detailing the long record of U.S. support for one of the twentieth century’s most brutal and corrupt men, will contribute to our understanding both of Suharto’s rule and of the U.S. support which helped make it possible."

The following clip – focusing on Indonesia under Suharto – comes from John Pilger’s The New Rulers of the Wold. The full documentary can be watched by clicking here or here

29/01/2008

Bush's Bullshit the Union Address

Just spent the last half-hour reading President Bush’s State of the Union Address from last night in anticipation of writing something significant here. Cutting through all the US political jargon – much different from Labour Party speak which I’m more familiar with – it was pretty much predictable. As expected, he again defended the Iraq invasion, hyped up the troop ‘surge’ as a great success and sent a warning to Iran saying how the US will continue to defend its “vital interests” – he means oil, but somehow never managed to get the word out.

Centrepiece was the Economic Stimulus package, which is supposed to be a short term measure to stave off recession. It involves a $150 billion bribe to 170 American citizens in the shape of rebate cheques. Nothing like buying your way out of recession! Oh yeah, and there was tax cuts for the rich. Well if you’re gonna give the low-paid something, you gotta keep the wealthy sweet.

As far as this blog is concerned, with its penchant for news on the increasing global surveillance society we live in, Bush also urged lawmakers to endorse a new surveillance bill that would grant immunity to telecom companies that aided warrantless spying on U.S. citizens.

Said Bush:

“One of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning. Last year, the Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, Congress set the legislations to expire on February the 1st. That means if you don’t act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We have had ample time for debate. The time to act is now.”

In light of what happened on Monday - when Democrats in the Senate temporarily defeated an effort by Republicans to pass a bill that also expands the government’s authority to conduct warrantless spying powers – this reeks of emotional blackmail. Here’s Bush bullshitting at its best, and it’s got naff all to do with terrorist threats, defending America or to protect telecom companies from lawsuits from irate customers who have been spied upon. In truth, this “immunity” he hankers after is all about concealing the true level of state snooping on American citizens for the past seven years. Existing laws make it a felony for telecom companies to spy on customers on behalf of the government, handing over customers’ records, without a warrant, and which has been the case in recent years. Bush’s proposal not only saves telecom companies $billions, saves his administration embarrassment if people knew the degree to which they were mistrusted and spied upon, but also allows the Bush regime to continue with its plan for a surveillance state unmolested.

As I write, the fate of the surveillance legislation is uncertain. Though the Democrats blocked a Republican-led effort to end debate on the issue, they lost a measure that would have granted a thirty-day extension to continue discussion. But a dozen or so Democrats have joined Republicans in backing telecom immunity and from what I can make out the big vote on the issue is tonight. And it looks like the repukes are gonna have it their way. The totalitarian global state edges nearer.

Me, I prefer Bush when he told it like it is, no bullshit. Below is Bush as we best remember him and here presenting a previous State of the Union Address.

28/01/2008

Edward Bernays: "Assassin of Democracy"

Further to the posting yesterday, and the need for the master class - via the media - to continually control our thoughts, here’s a snippet that takes the topic a step further.

Back in 2002, Adam Curtis and the BBC released a four-part series called "The Century of the Self." The series tracked how American elites have aggressively used the modern behavioural sciences to persuade, coerce and manipulate the American public into accepting the corporate-government world's version of events as their own.

This seven-minute snippet, "The Assassin of Democracy", focuses on one of the most skillful and amoral all the experts in mass manipulation, Edward Bernays. Bernays got his first taste of the power of propaganda during World War I. He advised US presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Einsehower and served numerous corporations and business associations. One of his biggest fans was Hitler's propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, a fact about which Bernays bragged proudly.

In this clip, we see a pattern that Bernays used over and over again: namely, turn a harmless entity into a fearsome enemy through lies and manufactured news items. Then use the "threat" to justify attack. The subject of this video is Bernays’ campaign against the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1953, but you'll have no trouble seeing that this very same method is being used today.

In his best remembered work, Propaganda (1928), Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Frightening stuff! And this 80 years ago! Makes you ponder just how much the master class has perfected its act since then.

27/01/2008

F*** the corporate media

This entry starts with a wee story. I once took part in an election hustings with the local MP (re-standing) and the other candidates and organised by Churches Together of South Tyneside. There was a fair sized audience and they asked a lot of questions. I was the only one to give a full and considered answer to every single question. Several times the local MP and the other candidates refused to answer, or reiterated the statements made by the previous speaker. Some of the answers I gave were so opposed to the spiel imparted by the other mainstream candidates that the audience literally gasped in belief – you could see the shock on their faces. When I openly criticised the arguments of my opponents, and the chair of the meeting asked if they wanted to reply, they declined to comment.

At the end of the evening - each speaker being asked to present their case to the audience, which they did from their seated position - I got up and walked to the front of the platform. I told them I’m making no promises, that I could do nothing for them that they were not capable of doing for themselves if they decided to organise, that they asked the wrong questions, and how they had hypocritically, as good Christians (these were South Tyneside’s god-bothering elite), found my humane line, that promoted global equality and an end to waste and want and war, offensive. My parting shot was to inform the congregation that there was more truth in one page of the Communist Manifesto than in the whole Bible.

The press were there that night and whilst this was a newsworthy event – hustings here being exceptionally rare not one word of it was published in the local press , in spite of the fact that I had also imparted info about myself they could easily have sensationalised; for instance telling the audience, while answering questions about the decriminalisation of cannabis (with my opponents were dead against) that I smoked it, along with many friends, and that it was not the devil narcotic its enemies claimed it to be. Not one word appeared in the local paper about that event!

And if there is one thing I’ve learned about talking to the media, and I have done countless times over the years, as an active socialist and a community campaigner, it is that they don’t really give a shit for what you want to say, for what you want them to say. Invariably, you will give them a decent interview, imparting some first class info, only to find that the info they have gleaned in that interview, rather than forming the basis of a brilliant piece, is defused, so to speak, the juicy stuff ignored and the piece filled with utter trivia and insignificance that will hold the reader’s interest as much as a piece on a kid whose Christmas present bicycle has been stolen.

There’s been times I’ve sent journalists in the local press first class news items, following up items they have had published in their respective papers, giving them first hand accounts, real facts, corrections to untruths they had previously published, stories that days earlier they would have bent over backwards for, and written in a style far surpassing anything that paper produces, and they’ve totally ignored, not even acknowledged. Not one journalist has ever replied and not one paper has used that info

And it’s been like that a while now with my articles to the local paper’s letters pages. You send in a first class analysis of some current event – containing more truth than you will find in that paper in a week – and it’s either rejected or totally edited, defused! I once sent in a 500 word article attacking the democratic process in Britain and all they published was the second last paragraph and made the writer of the piece appear an imbecile. In the run up to the invasion if Iraq, I bombarded the local press with letters on a daily basis, screaming my indignation, exposing the hypocrisy and the real reasons behind the coming bloodbath. Only one letter got through, and that was heavily edited, defused!

Newspapers, or rather those who own them, simply hate the truth. This is because these people are members of the capitalist class, with interests to defend, so their editor’s remit, if he he/she values his/her job, is to sit on anything that might arouse the indignation of the readership, anything that might rouse them to activity, anything that might wake them from that media-induced coma. And why? Capitalism depends for its survival on the mass production of zombies, created by the media and the state’s official brainwashing mechanisms (ie., schools, colleges, family, religion).

Let’s step back in time. William Howard Russell was the Times correspondent who sensationally exposed the Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) as the wholly hopeless bloody blunder that it was. As a reward, he and his editor, John Delane, were accused of treason.

John Swinton, a then famous New York journalist, was at a bash held in his name by leaders of his craft - this was sometime in the late 1880s When someone proposed a toast to the independent press, Swinton said:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

"The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Whilst Swinton’s statement is true enough, it does not go far enough. Check-mate could have been delivered by a lengthy statement on just why the corporate media – or rather the ‘independent press’ in this case – needs to suppress the truth.

Exactly 120 years later, John Pilger would comments in a lecture given here how, on March 16, 1968, the day of the infamous My Lai massacre (when US troops slaughtered almost 500 mainly women, old men and children in cold blood) there were 649 reporters in Vietnam. Not one of them reported it.

Pilger further comments how during the run up to the invasion of Iraq, the BBC was right alongside Tony Blair in promoting the arguments for that bloody offensive. This was an issue that aroused the general public every bit as much as your died-in-the wool activists. Despite the many hundreds of meetings, rallies and demonstrations across the country, including a march on London by an estimated 2 million – the biggest protest march in British history – only 2% of the BBC’s coverage of the coming conflict covered the anti-war movement!

Pilger, again, does not go far enough. We get closer to the truth in a quote from Memoirs of a Media Maverick, by Boyce Richardson , a journalist for decades in New Zealand and Canada and with an 8 year stint in the UK as the Montreal Star's foreign:

"...in my view the so called objectivity of journalists is really just a set up to disguise the fact, well known to them in their hearts, that they can only work within the limits established by their bosses.

“None of this prevents journalists from bleating ad infinitum about the need to present all sides of an issue and to maintain the objectivity to ensure they can do that. I have always found such arguments particularly offensive. No one gets into a position of authority in a capitalist newspaper who does not accept the basic premise that its central purpose - apart from making money - is to propagate the values of capitalism...."

Chomsky takes the argument a step further in the video above when he says:

“Its long been understood for hundreds of years, that unless people are controlled they are going to challenge power. They will not simply willingly accept subordination, domination, hunger and so on. It is therefore important for those in control of decision making, who monopolise wealth…to keep the population from their throats…That can either be done by force… or control of opinion – there is no other method…”

The safest option is control of public onion. Because people are misinformed, they are oblivious as to the real nature of the system that exploits them. This further makes it easy for the media to confuse the workers by hiding real power from view. The result is – and this is intentional – they blame governments, their allegiance to political parties often switching overnight because of a newspaper’s slanted coverage of certain policies and social conditions. A newspaper like The Sun can make all the difference to a political party’s electoral chances – Hence Tony Blair’s visit to Australia to prostrate himself in front of Rupert Murdoch in 1997, fully aware that the Sun can run post election headlines such as “It was the Sun that won it” (which followed one Tory election victory)” The fact that it is the capitalist system that is seriously faltering, creating problems governments just can’t cope with (because it is the system controlling them, not vice versa) would be too dangerous to print or report.

With the arrival and popularity of the internet and the consequent boom in computer use, opportunities for access to real information are now at an unprecedented high, giving anyone interested a chance to find out for themselves the real story behind news that the media otherwise would have us believe is inconsequential. There are literally terns of thousands of independent websites out there, as well as blogsites exposing the lies, the deceit, the fraud that goes on every day. The ‘information revolution’ has placed a wonderful tool at the disposal of the working class. But a tool is only useful if used correctly. If we fail to use this tool to help us pursue our own class interests, then this ‘information revolution’ becomes just so much mind-numbing entertainment the masses will get addicted to and which the ‘powers that be’ will eventually use to steer our thoughts away from the pressing matters of the day. Maybe there was more to Tony Blair’s plans to get a computer in every home by 2005 than we think! Would he really promote computer use if he thought the masses would be accessing informative websites in their spare time, websites that might expose the truth, which might reveal the true nature of the beast?

26/01/2008

Meet the Bush Family - Nazis, crooks and murderers

As I’ve spent most of the day answering political questions via Yahoo Answers, this evening, Class Warfare takes time out for brief a diversion into the realms of conspiracy theory. Yeah, I know, socialists are not supposed to be into conspiracies – seeing it as safer to analyse things from the official version, thus, in my view, helping to maintain the official version. One thing I just will not swallow, though, is the official “Warren Commission” report of the Kennedy assassination, that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who fired three shots at the president. Jeez, anyone looking at Kennedy getting his brains blown out can see that the bullet comes from the front

Anyway, I digress. This film looks at the Bush family connection to the assassination. It's only 22 minutes in length and is actually part of a longer film up on Google Video here


Strange coincidences

Prescott Bush, banker to the Nazis and grandfather of George W. Bush, sponsored the rise of an obscure California right-wing politician who socialized extensively with Nazi sympathizers: Richard M. Nixon.

Richard Nixon hired a "gofer" to assist him with his campaigning and other matters: Mob - connected Jack Ruby who later moved to Dallas.

Just days after the Kennedy assassination, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover pointedly mentioned "Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency" in a memo discussing the reaction of right-wing Cubans to the assassination. Two of the boats used in the infamous Bay of Pigs invasion were coincidentally named "Barbara" (the name of Bush's wife) and "Zapata" the name of his oil company.

Bush Sr. claims he was not in the CIA before becoming Director, but evidence shows that he was not only in the CIA, but also actively involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion

Richard Nixon and George Bush are distinguished as being among the only prominent people in America who later claimed they could not remember where they were the day Kennedy was assassinated. (Fast forward to the 45 minute mark.)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

25/01/2008

The Bush Administration - lie mongers extraordinaire

The ”tell a big lie and more people will believe it” quote, first used by Hitler in his autobiographical Mein Kampf, was made famous by Joseph Goebbels, propaganda minister for the Third Reich. It could not be easier – if you’re gonna lie to the people, make it damned big, reiterate it as often as you can, and the people will perceive it as the truth, believing no government could tell them such horrid lies.

The OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the modern CIA) described how, during World War Two, the Nazis used the Big Lie: "[They] never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."

Fast foreword more than 60 years…

The non-profit Centre for Public Integrity has been busy lately with their lie detector. President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condi Rice and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made an estimated 935 brazen and bare faced lies in the two years after the attack on 9/11, and relating to the threat to the USA posed by Saddam Hussein. Needless to say, the continual bombardment of official porkies upon a largely gullible public had the desired effect, namely in whipping up support across the US for the invasion of Iraq.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and his trustworthy sidekicks, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell (remember his speech to the UN?) , Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, assured us unambiguously that Iraq had WMDs and was intent on using them.

The same arguments were promoted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, famously with the support of a secret dossier he presented to the British public as his reason for a war with Iraq, and which turned out to be a student’s thesis, written ten year earlier, that MI5 found on the internet. Remember all those stories about Saddam being able to lob a missile at Britain within 45 minutes? Maybe the same people who came up with the lies mouthed by the Bush team can now start adding up the same for the Blair clique. Check out the list of hundreds of links to the articles from the mainstream media on that secret dossier/Iraqgate on the Labour-Watch site.

What is now 100% certain is that Saddam had none of the WMD’s claimed by the Bush administration and neither did he have any links to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous cross-party investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had halted Iraq's nuclear programme over ten years earlier and had made no attempt since to restart it.

On a lie, over 1,168,000 Iraqi civilians have been put to death and at the cost of $hundreds of billions. On a lie, Iraq was mercilessly bombed back into the Stone Age, its infrastructure and culture decimated, and still the bombardment continues. Tens of millions marched and demonstrated throughout the world on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, including an estimated 2 million in London. From the moment Bush and Blair announced their case for the attack on Iraq, Socialists and the left wing, even die hard Labour Party supporters, penned tens of thousands of articles, gave hundreds of lectures, held numerous debates and rallies and vigils and all to no avail. I myself took part in an evening rally in Newcastle that was bombarded with eggs by disgruntled, patriotic workers who had been hooked by the Bush-Blair spiel.

Socialists have been truly vindicated. We argued the WMD case was a lie, along with the crap about Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda. We argued the war was about oil and profits for contractors and about how it fitted in with the profit laden weltanshaung of the Bush administration, that this was part and parcel of the US move to control the oil and gas reserves of the Middle East and Central Asia and at a time when India and China were sizing up the US corporate elite.

There is a lot of truth in the socialist joke: “Q - How can you tell when a politician is lying?; A- when their lips move” . They will lie at every opportunity, indeed, are on record as boasting that they have to tell lies sometimes (sometimes?!). Which is understandable considering the con trick they have to pull off daily and on behalf of the master class. To be kept in a permanent state of subjection, workers have to be lied to at every opportunity, from the cradle to the grave, by our parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, you name it – all of them take part in the lie-mongering business; the bigger, the better the results.

Socialists don’t batter the workers with lies. Our message is simple. Don’t trust leaders and don’t look to us to lead. Question everything! The most dangerous weapon you have is your ability to think, to ask questions, to debate, to refute the official line. You tune this weapon and you can join a movement that no army could stop with all the weapons of murder at its disposal, a movement that will settle the big issue – the one about the ownership of the word – on the battlefield of ideas, where a class-conscious majority will not tolerate bullshit from on high.

24/01/2008

Gaza - biggest prison break ever

After six days of siege, you couldn’t help smiling, if not cheering, seeing, TV footage of Hamas knocking a ginormous hole in the wall that has cut Palestinians in Gaza off from the outside world, with 350,000 Palestinians going on a spending spree for fuel, medicine, and other supplies that have been cut off during the blockade.

As Al Jazeera points out below – “if Gaza is the biggest prison on the planet, this is the biggest jail break”.

In the US, it is a crime punishable by imprisonment, asset seizure, and law enforcement harassment (all without due process) to express "support" of Hamas in any way. Thus, the CNN anchor shows no interest in the justice of the situation and only seems concerned with the structural integrity of the wall itself. Instead of showing the Palestinians as human beings, they are filmed from a distance to obscure their humanity and the desperation of their plight. Note, too, the CNN reporter telling how he witnessed people coming back with “cartons and cartons of cigarettes,” declining to mention the food, fuel, medical supplies and other necessaries of life that Palestinians have also been bringing back into Gaza in bulk. I’m just surprised he never said he saw people staggering back intoxicated.

Compare if you will the coverage of the incident by Al Jazeera and CNN (also below)

I’m not gonna level the usual critical socialist cross hairs at this event and conclude “only under socialism…”, not least because Palestinians are too preoccupied with the daunting daily struggle for survival to organise and campaign for world socialism. For the moment, Palestinians, betrayed by their own "moderate" political leadership and, indeed, the entire international community in their struggle for ‘freedom’, have broken a siege imposed on them by an Arab government in collusion with Israel. To me it shows that people do have power and can prevail even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Maybe one day workers everywhere will wake up and realise that walls and frontiers and borders can be pulled down.

Meanwhile, Israel seems to continue to suffer from historical amnesia. One of the Nazi's favourite policies was to wall Jews in ghettos, depriving them of food, livelihood and access to medical care in an attempt to degrade them. The Israeli war machine uses just the same tactic in Palestine.

Writing for Counterpunch. Stanley Heller observes. “In 2000 the British firm British Gas Group (BG) discovered proven natural gas reserves of at least 1.3 trillion cubic meters beneath Gazan territorial waters worth an estimated $4 billion. A deal was being worked out with the a Palestinian investors group, but was put on hold due to the Western embargo of the Palestine Authority after the Hamas, victory. There has been some speculation that Israel has been so pitiless against Gaza not because of the relatively small loss of life caused by Palestinian missiles from Gaza, but because it wants Gazan gas to fuel the Israeli economy.”

23/01/2008

The US Elections - F**k their morality

This time last week, Ira Chernus was reporting on Alternet: “It's a presidential campaign like no other. The candidates have been falling all over each other in their rush to declare the depth and sincerity of their religious faith.”

The piece cites TV adverts produced by the Republican candidate Mike Huckabee team, full of nauseating and reassuring religious messages, which aim, as Chernus observes “to create an image - in this case, of a good Christian with a steady moral compass who sticks to his principles.”

At a time of uncertainty, when money is tight, your job on the line, with your country at war, about war and life in the rate race becoming more and more difficult, such ads “speak reassuringly to such fears, which haunt millions of Americans.” This is one of the keys to the success for the religious right in recent years.

Thus: “[Republican] Mitt Romney was courting the evangelical-swinging-toward-Huckabee vote when he, too, went out of his way to link religion with moral absolutes in his big Iowa speech on faith. Our ‘common creed of moral convictions, the firm ground on which Americans of different faiths meet’ turned out, utterly unsurprisingly, to be none other than religious soil: ‘We believe that every single human being is a child of God? liberty is a gift of God.’ “

Of course, the repukes have not got the monopoly when it comes to capturing the religious vote. Democrat John Edwards, for example, comforted American god botherers, when he declared "the hand of God today is in every step of what happens with me and every human being that exists on this planet." Echoes, then, of Hillary Clinton’s claim that she "had a grounding in faith that gave me the courage and the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what the world thought. And that's all one can expect or hope for."

Chernus concludes: “Voters reward faith talk because they want candidates to offer them symbols of immutable moral order. The root of the problem lies in the underlying insecurities of voters, in a sense of powerlessness that makes change seem so frightening, and control - especially of others - so necessary.

“The only way to alter that condition is to transform our society so that voters will feel empowered enough to take the risks, and tolerate the freedom that democracy requires. That would be genuine change. It's a political problem with a political solution. Until that solution begins to emerge, there is no way to take the conservative symbolic message of faith talk out of American politics.”

Today, on Counterpunch, in a piece entitled The Presidential Candidates and the Politics of Sex, David Rosen, notes that whilst sex issues, "hot-button issues", have more or less disappeared from this campaign’s agenda, replaced largely with issues over Iraq, health care, the economy and immigration, they …

“…nevertheless, continue as unspoken litmus-tests of what's been dubbed ‘electability.’ Abortion rights remains the principal issue, while AIDS, adolescent sex, homosexuality, pornography, sex predators and even adultery hover over the primaries like unholy ghosts…. While little will probably differ among the final candidates' stands on the Iraq occupation, voters will decide whether to continue or to reject the current draconian faith-based initiatives on sex pushed by Bush & company.”

Rosen continues: “The Bush administration, backed by Republicans and a good number of Democratic congresspersons, promoted fundamentally failed domestic and international sex-related programs based on abstinence-only. It filled the federal bureaucracy with innumerable Christian true-believers who revised every program to restrict (and sometimes criminalize) sexual pleasure. If a Democrat, however moderate, wins the presidency, one can only wonder how long it will take a new administration to dislodge this cadre of regressives from their positions of influence.”

Rosen notes that while little separates the candidates over issues on Iraq, health care, the divide between rich and poor, “the differences over sex are fundamental and profoundly consequential.” And to prove it he cites the ongoing debate over abortion, teen sex and the rights of homosexuals, criticising the utter failure of Bush administration campaign that spends $176 million annually on faith-based programmess encouraging teen abstinence (latest date, for instance, data shows that after seven years of Bush administration campaigning, the birth rate among girls aged 15 to 19 years increased in 2006, the first such increase since 1991).

Republicans Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, all favour abstinence-only, as does Democrat Hillary Clinton, while her fellow democrats John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Barack Obama, support, comprehensive sex education and the promotion of condom use.

Says Rosen, concluding, “Issues like the economy, Iraq and health care are at the top of the voting public's laundry list of concerns. However, sex-related issues set the moral agenda of each presidential administration. The moral hypocrisy that defines the Bush administration is expressed not only in the innumerable sex-related scandals that have taken place, but the repressive domestic and international policies it has pursued. Voters need to remember this as they go to the poles during the primary season.”

Morality, sexual or religious, then seems to galvanise this election campaign, and to the detriment of class issues that should be on the political agenda. And workers should dismiss this moralising from on high as the thought control it is, seeing it as just another weapon in the hands of our masters and used to further their class interests. When it comes to commenting on ways to regulate human behaviour, this corrupt shower of decadents, who continually promote the advantages of a system based on class and privilege, in which the golden rule is “can’t pay, can’t have” are the last people who should be lecturing us.

What all of these candidates are doing with their perverse cant is tightening our collective moral strait-jacket of compliance with our place as wage slaves – as unquestioning, profit-producing members of the subservient class in society. We are taught to hold our social betters in awe, to look on royalty and aristocracy as super people, to grovel in gratitude and admiration of rich and powerful capitalists without whose wisdom, we are taught, the world would be little better than a wilderness. We are instructed that capitalism’s family represents the true and immutable human morality, even if it entails a huge distortion of human drives. Happiness within capitalism, then, is an assured place in the exploitation process until death do us part, a mortgaged home where the curtains are neat and the hedges trim, an average family – and it is all to end in an uncomplaining, unmessy death in a poverty untroubled by ambitions about a more humane and satisfying existence. And when its all over, there is pie in the sky.

Meanwhile, the acceptance of capitalism’s profit orientated morality leads workers into the most extraordinary acts of self-damage. They willingly place themselves into the police and the armed forces, undergoing training in the most advanced methods of coercion or of destroying homes and killing their fellow workers. They come to this through something called discipline – which capitalism prizes highly – but which is really a form of controlled insanity.

And that is how capitalism will historically be regarded, when the world’s workers have come to consciousness and have overthrown the society which keeps them in subservience and which deprives them of the fruits of their labours. The establishment of socialism will see a new morality in the world, based on the assurance that wealth is to be produced for free human access and full human benefit. Socialism will be a society in which human interests take first place; only in an unavoidable extremity will anything be considered, let alone carried out, which would go against those interests.

We can have that society now. For one thing is abundantly clear. The 21st Century so far has proved it can offer little more than the previous one – endless war, widespread fear and insecurity. The working class have only their chains to lose and a world to win.

Here’s class warfare urging the workers of America to sling the morality of their masters back in their ugly faces.

22/01/2008

The New World Order edges nearer

Former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands are the Authors of a new 150 page manifesto which should have been entitled “Just accept it – there will be nuclear war.”

The authors - General John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff and Nato’s ex-supreme commander in Europe, General Klaus Naumann, Germany’s former top soldier and ex-chairman of Nato’s military committee, General Henk van den Breemen, a former Dutch chief of staff, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, a former French chief of staff, and Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defence staff in the UK - paint an alarming picture of the threats and challenges confronting the west in the post-9/11 world and deliver a withering verdict on the ability to cope. See the full story in The Guardian.

They maintain that a “first strike” nuclear option remains an “indispensable instrument” because there is “simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world”. Oh well, in that case lets just hurry up and bomb some country and get it done with.

They argue that “The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible,” and that “first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.”

The retired gangsters for the capitalist class assert that western values are under threat in four key areas:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

· The “dark side” of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

· Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential “environmental” migration on a mass scale.

· The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.

So these war mongering eejits are afraid of political fanaticism and religion? Me too, specifically the brand promoted by George Bush and his power hungry ilk!

They’re concerned about climatic change and energy? Yet we see the likes of Gordon Brown promoting the case that the World Bank is best fitted to tackling climatic change whilst it assists in the deforestation of the Amazon basin. And is not the West’s energy needs ensured via the USA’s plans for full spectrum dominance?

They fear international terrorism when the biggest practitioners are the murderers in the Pentagon and the White House and when the threat of terrorism has increased a hundred-fold since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq?

They fear that nuclear weapons might get into the hands of our enemies? The truth is that nuclear weapons are already in the hands of our damned enemies – the hands of our class enemies. And one thing is certain – their use will never be in the interests of world peace but in the promotion of the interests of the master class.

Just a cursory look at the morons who write this manifesto reveals Lord Inge: who "served on the Butler inquiry into Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and British intelligence". Yeah, like we all trust your contribution, your Lordship.

Wake up! These bastards are party to that same clique that wants to establish a fascist world dictatorship, a one world government led from Washington and one world currency. A New World Order is very much on the cards. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Orwell was spot on: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a face... forever"

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Can anyone clarify just what the hell this guy is rambling on about?

video

SCIENTOLOGY EXPLAINED IN SIMPLE LANGUAGE BY TOM CRUISE. WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE FOR A PUBLIC DEBATE WITH THIS GUY ENTITLED "WHICH WAY FORWARD FOR HUMANITY - SOCIALISM OR SCIENTOLOGY?"

THIS VIDEO WAS REMOVED FROM GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE, BUT I'VE BRAZENLY RE-UPLOADED IT, HAVING DOWNLOADED IT FROM GAWKER

I HOPE IT STAYS HERE. IF SCIENTOLOGY IS THE PANACEA FOR HUMANITY THAT ITS PROPAGANDISTS CLAIM, THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO ME ALLOWING ONE OF ITS MOST CELEBRATED ADVOCATES EXPOUNDING ITS BEAUTY ON THIS SITE.

Yesterday's Guardian carries an interesting piece entitled "German historian likens Cruise to Goebbels" and from which I briefly quote:

'The long-standing antagonism between Germany and the Church of Scientology escalated over the weekend when a high-profile historian compared Tom Cruise's performance in a Scientology video with the style of the Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels.

‘Guido Knopp, who has written a number of books on Hitler and his inner circle, said the video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, "inevitably" recalled Goebbels' speech in a Berlin sports stadium when he asked "Do you want total war?" and the crowd thundered "Yes!"’

21/01/2008

Brown smells profits in India

Prime minister Gordon Brown has commenced talks with other world leaders on comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council as part of a drive to create a "new world order" and "global society".

Brown is drawing up plans to expand the number of permanent members in a move that will provoke fears that the veto enjoyed by Britain could be diluted eventually. The US, France, Russia and China also have a veto but the number of members could be doubled to include India, Germany, Japan, Brazil and one or two African nations.

Brown has mooted the modernisation of international institutions for the 21st century, particularly the UN, created in 1945, to reflect the “world's new challenges and power bases” during his four-day trip to China and India. Last night, British sources revealed "intense discussions" on UN reform were under way and that Brown raised the issue whenever he met another world leader.

The Prime Minister believes the UN is punching below its weight. In 2003, it failed to agree on a fresh resolution giving explicit approval for military action in Iraq. George Bush then acted unilaterally, winning the support of Tony Blair and invaded Iraq.

UN reform is highly sensitive issue, especially in the US, so Brown and co are yet to publish official proposals fearing widespread opposition. Thus Brown is trying to build a consensus for change first.

His aides are adamant that the British veto will not be negotiated away. One option is for the nations who join not to have a veto, at least initially. In a speech in Delhi, Brown said : "I support India's bid for a permanent place – with others – on an expanded UN Security Council." However, he is not backing Pakistan's demand for a seat if India wins one.

He has also disclosed a plan for the UN to spend £100m a year on setting up a "rapid reaction force" to stop "failed states" sliding back into chaos after a peace deal has been reached. £100 million? Peanuts! The US caused more in damages in one day during the invasion of Iraq!! It’ll take twice that much just to bribe UN officials! He also suggests that civilians such as police, administrators, judges and lawyers work alongside military peace-keepers.

But Brown wants the World Bank to lead to lead the struggle against climate change, though as The Independent reported, the World Ban is the last organisation to be trusted with the environment and climatic change:

“The World Bank has emerged as one of the key backers behind an explosion of cattle ranching in the Amazon, which new research has identified as the greatest threat to the survival of the rainforests….the catastrophic destruction of the Amazon to make way for ranches is being funded by the same international institutions that have pledged to fight deforestation.”

“The World Bank, which unveiled a new programme to fund "avoided deforestation" at the UN climate summit in Bali last month, is at the same time pouring money into the expansion of slaughterhouses in the Amazon region. The new report estimates that the internationally funded expansion of Brazil's beef industry was responsible for up to 12 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the past decade – an amount comparable to two years of emissions from the US.

As part of his fantastic package to help the poor in less developed countries, Brown is to bring back honorary knighthoods and other awards for cricketers from Commonwealth countries. He said: "Cricket is one of the great things that bind the Commonwealth together. It used to be that great cricketers from the Commonwealth would be recognised by the British nation I would like to see some of the great players in the modern era honoured."

Make no mistake about it; Brown's trip to India and China was not on humanitarian grounds. He is batting for British capitalism. Thus, Jane Wardell reports in today’s Independent:

”Brown is visiting India after two days in China, where he and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced plans to increase trade between their countries by 50 percent over the next several years to US$60 billion (€41 billion)…. Brown was expected to sign off on business deals worth US$6.5 billion (€4.4 billion) while in India.”

And in that same paper, Hamish McRae tells us why India is more important to us that China:

“Within the next decade, it looks very much as though India will become a bigger economy than the UK, the first Commonwealth country to do so. That would signify an interesting change of power indeed. Last year it grew at about 9 per cent, almost three times the rate of the UK, and I have just been looking at some projections by Lehman Brothers that suggest that with the right reforms it could grow at 10 per cent a year for the next decade.

“It is important because power is shifting from both Europe and North America towards Asia….It is a shift almost as important as the shift away from Asia and towards the UK, then Europe, then the US, that happened 200 years ago with the Industrial Revolution.”

Martin Luther King Day

Today, the third Monday in January, is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday in the United States.

This is the speech he gave in opposition to the Vietnam War. He was murdered a year later.

It is shocking in its relevance to the situation today. Just as King here says "There are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty", we have Bush telling the American people: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

Yet you won't see this speech on US television, nor will you hear it even referred to...even on Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday in the United States.

My objection to this speech, the references to God aside, is that rather than King seeing the Vietnam war as an imperialist war, he cites the fact that the US government spent $500,000 on each Vietnamese soldier killed while back home they spent £53 on each poor classified person and says: "I was increasingly compelled to see this war as an enemy of the poor and attack it as such." There is no class analysis of the war in Vietnam. He does have a point, however, in identifying that there was an irony in that black people were sent 8,000 miles to fight for freedom in South East Asia when they had no freedom in South Georgia; how white and black soldiers were asked to die together in Vietnam when back home they were no allowed to sit in the same school room.



Over on the World in Common forum, Arminius today provides some interesting quotes by Martin Luther King Jnr:

"You can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry ... Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism … There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1966

"The movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in
America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water? These are questions that must be asked."

"We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing'-oriented society to a person- oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

"The dispossessed of this country the poor, the white and Negro live in a cruelly unjust society. they must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of the persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at
hand, to lift the load of poverty."

20/01/2008

Hail to the Thief

It’s got to that stage now where I’ve just switched off listening to news and reports of the US primaries and the coming battle for the presidency. After all, what the hell difference does the victory of one candidate over another really make to the ordinary American? The short answer must be very little.

In truth, this election, like every preceding election, is little more than a public relations exercise where those Americans ‘fortunate’ to vote (and the news is that many more will be disenfranchised this time round) are given their ‘sixty seconds of democracy’ to select an ambassador of the master class to safeguard and, if possible, to expand its class interests over the next four years.

In the quest to preserve the deception that the average American has a real stake, control of public opinion is crucial. So the media functions to peddle distortions and untruths that blur this reality, to keep public opinion placid and render ordinary working people isolated and ineffective, so leaving the interests of the ruling class unchallenged and supreme. The US media add credence to the myth that the Presidential election carries real choice by eagerly analysing every minute perceived difference between the candidates (witness, if you will, the palaver over which candidate is the most religious) bombarding the electorate with patriotic oratory and fine sounding ‘promises’ while enthusiastically expounding the lie that the candidates share a common interest with ordinary working people. Their propaganda is heavily loaded with corporate and business ideology and praise for the virtues of the ‘free-market system,’ designed to perpetuate the fallacy that capitalism and democracy are inextricably linked, indeed synonymous.

The outcome of US elections carry one truth: namely that any president has but one remit once in office – to carry out the wishes of the men behind the curtains, the ones who really call the shots. Just watch vice president Dick Cheney prostrating himself in front of his master in the video below. Any newly elected president, entertaining any idea other than ensuring the US maintains its global hegemonic status, that it pursues the path of full spectrum dominance that the profits keep on coming, that dissent is kept in check, would get a bullet in the head and each and every candidate knows it.

And what is incontestable is that the outcome of the election will not be of benefit to the America’s (or the world’s) wage and salary earning class over the following four years.





Yes sir Mr. Rockefeller

By the turn of the last century, the Rockefeller family and its associates had a virtual monopoly over the oil and mineral resources of the world. Not much has changed since. Over the years, the group has created and/or taken control of a dizzying array of politicians, news media, academic institutions, think tanks and foundations to further its aims.

No one gets to be a serious candidate for President of the United States without being under their control and domination and all White Houses pick Rockefeller employees for its top slots.

Nixon had Henry Kissinger (a Rockefeller agent), Reagan had Bush Sr, and Bush Jr. has Dick Cheney. And on it goes.

Two noteworthy quotes from this video:

"The (Rockefeller) family has a long history of strengthening the bonds of friendship throughout the Americas."

In fact, the Rockefellers are despised by the people of Latin America.

There's not a Latin American dictator that the family did not have friendly relations with. If a dictator didn't exist, the family provided one. Under the direction of Rockefeller employee Henry Kissinger, the US initiated and then supported a reign of terror in Chile after organizing the violent overthrow of its democratically elected president.

"We are able to go about our business here in the Americas and throughout the world with confidence and security because we know the strength of this government stands behind us."

Our business? What business exactly is that? And why should the strength of this or any government stand behind a private commercial enterprise?

To the public and the press, Cheney is a sneering, snarling mad dog. In front of Rockefeller, he's groveling and obsequious and Rockefeller rewards him accordingly with a pat on the head: "Good boy!"

Here's the real power in the US. Just look at the body language. It could not be any plainer.

19/01/2008

Michael Ruppert - the whole picture



This is a lengthy (lecture) film - some 2 hrs and 17 minutes - but well worth watching if you really want to know just what the hell is going on in the US. There is shit going on that even the more widely read politicos haven't even imagined. This lecture covers the Rockefeller family - CFC - Bush - 9/11 - Bin Laden - Oil - Carlyle Group - the CIA - investment banks - Patriot Act - Oil - internment camps - financial fraud - Iran Contra - cocaine - heroin - Wall Street - the drug trade - S & L crisis - the DEA - Iraq - Iran - Oil- Pakistan - nuclear weapons - looting social security - smallpox vaccine - Citibank - Oil and more.

It's all connected and Ruppert shows how.


After having his life threatened numerous times, Michael Ruppert left the United States and says he will no longer engage in investigative reporting. His last article before leaving the United States, fearing for his own life can be found here For further info on Michael Ruppert, click here.

Round about the 1hr 14 minute mark, Ruppert quotes from an important book by Zbigniew Brzezinski, entitled The Grand Chessboard and which can be downloaded from Sandiago Indymedia here.

The Grand Chessboard - American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives

Key Quotes From Zbigniew Brzezinksi's Seminal Book

"Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power."- (p. xiii)

"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.” (p. xiv)

"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)

“Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization." (p.35)

“The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)

"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)

"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." (p. 211)

More Quotes

"...The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power...” (p. xiii)

"... But in the meantime, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book.” (p. xiv)

"The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.” (pp 24-5)

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” (p.30)

"America's withdrawal from the world or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival - would produce massive international instability. It would prompt global anarchy." (p. 30)

"In that context, how America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." (p.31)

“It is also a fact that America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America's power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization." (p.35)

"Two basic steps are thus required: first, to identify the geostrategically dynamic Eurasian states that have the power to cause a potentially important shift in the international distribution of power and to decipher the central external goals of their respective political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them;... second, to formulate specific U.S. policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above..." (p. 40)

"...To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together." (p.40)

"Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America's status as a global power." (p.55)

"Uzbekistan, nationally the most vital and the most populous of the central Asian states, represents the major obstacle to any renewed Russian control over the region. Its independence is critical to the survival of the other Central Asian states, and it is the least vulnerable to Russian pressures." (p. 121)

[Referring to an area he calls the "Eurasian Balkans" and a 1997 map in which he has circled the exact location of the current conflict - describing it as the central region of pending conflict for world dominance] "Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region. But the Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold." (p.124)

"The world's energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the U.S. Department of energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia's economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea." (p.125)

"Uzbekistan is, in fact, the prime candidate for regional leadership in Central Asia." (p.130)

"Once pipelines to the area have been developed, Turkmenistan's truly vast natural gas reserves augur a prosperous future for the country's people.” (p.132)

"In fact, an Islamic revival - already abetted from the outside not only by Iran but also by Saudi Arabia - is likely to become the mobilizing impulse for the increasingly pervasive new nationalisms, determined to oppose any reintegration under Russian - and hence infidel - control." (p. 133).

"For Pakistan, the primary interest is to gain Geostrategic depth through political influence in Afghanistan - and to deny to Iran the exercise of such influence in Afghanistan and Tajikistan - and to benefit eventually from any pipeline construction linking Central Asia with the Arabian Sea." (p.139)

"Turkmenistan... has been actively exploring the construction of a new pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea..." (p.145)

"It follows that America's primary interest is to help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space and that the global community has unhindered financial and economic access to it." (p148)

"China's growing economic presence in the region and its political stake in the area's independence are also congruent with America's interests." (p.149)

"America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy." (p.194)

"Without sustained and directed American involvement, before long the forces of global disorder could come to dominate the world scene. And the possibility of such a fragmentation is inherent in the geopolitical tensions not only of today's Eurasia but of the world more generally." (p.194)

"With warning signs on the horizon across Europe and Asia, any successful American policy must focus on Eurasia as a whole and be guided by a Geostrategic design." (p.197)

"That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy..." (p. 198)

"The most immediate task is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role." (p. 198)

"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last." (p.209)

"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat." (p. 211)

Zbigniew Brzezinski's Background

According to his resume, Zbigniew Brzezinski lists the following achievements:

Harvard Ph.D. in 1953

Counselor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Professor of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins University

National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

Trustee and founder of the Trilateral Commission

International advisor of several major US/Global corporations

Associate of Henry Kissinger

Under Ronald Reagan - member of NSC-Defense Department Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy

Under Ronald Reagan - member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

Past member, Board of Directors, The Council on Foreign Relations

1988 - Co-chairman of the Bush National Security Advisory Task Force.

Brzezinski is also a past attendee and presenter at several conferences of the Bilderberger group - a non-partisan affiliation of the wealthiest and most powerful families and corporations on the planet.