Monthly Archives: February 2007
-H. L. Mencken
Prepare yourselves for the next big thing with the authoritarian right-wingers and the faux Democrats who serve as guardians of the oligarchy for it is coming and coming soon. The wonderful folks over at the RAND Corporation have just rolled out a comprehensive study on terrorism and shopping malls. How fortuitous that a massively publicized Utah mall shooting happened to occur the very week of the report and a blueprint for the transformation of America’s malls into the latest bastion of the creeping fascist police state had already been prepared. Kind of brings back all of those fuzzy memories of the USA PATRIOT Act doesn’t it?
Just when the ghoulish milking of the rapidly cooling gobdobblers of that prematurely deceased sow Anna Nicole Smith had slowed down a bit from the 24/7 circus maximus coverage that drowned out the spiraling Iraqi carnage, rumors war with Iran, the Scooter Libby trial, the sudden case of puppy love that Republican Senators (and that slimy little prick Joe Lieberman) had acquired for the filibuster and the ongoing needless sacrifice of more young Americans we had a winner as America’s next big thing. And even better yet, a story that would have the cowardly lemmings shitting in their pants. The premature demise of the American Goddess of the gauche only served as a warning as to the potential dangers of a bad diet, a neurotic personality, promiscuity, drug abuse and the consequences of a relentless quest to suck the poisoned cock of celebrity (to paraphrase crime writer James Ellroy) but a story that had the potential to once again put the awesome might of the Republican fear machine back online.
Not only did the Salt Lake City shopping mall shootings dominate the media coverage for several days, courtesy the flock of well-placed mockingbirds but the shooter was a Muslim to boot! Talk about the fear pimps hitting the fucking jackpot! If the hysterical overreaction to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force lite-brite style finger flipping boxes that practically closed down the entire fucking city of Boston a few weeks back made a mockery of the quivering leg-pissing culture of anger and anxiety that is so prevalent post 9/11 wasteland of Amerika then the Trolley Square Mall killing spree has propagandists in Der Heimat nearly pissing their own pants in sheer delight. The war on terror can once again be exploited because there are Muslims running wild and the may be coming soon to a mall near you! Be afraid…be very afraid!
The right-wing side of the blogosphere is aflame with anti-Muslim sentiment to begin with and the fact that the killer, a troubled 18 year old Bosnian refugee fits nicely into the Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Maladong and the rest of the reactionary fascist scum’s convenient catch all profile for ‘terrorists’ and is only going to contribute further to the irrational persecution of all Muslims by the roving army of ignorant shitheads that are an indigenous species in this tragically fucked up country. Muslims have been systematically demonized and viewed with wariness and suspicion as potential sleeper cell members ever since the twin towers went down and the electronic media thugs jump onto every opportunity to incite the pathologically xenophobic knuckle draggers who can’t be fucking bothered to educate themselves in the culture of others in any other manner than turning on FOX or Rush Limbaugh. These bastards won’t be satisfied until they are able to incite mass pogroms and there is blood running in the streets, much like their ideological cousins: Hitler’s brownshirts.
Decades of Hollywood propaganda have successfully imbedded the image of the Arab male as a swarthy, foaming at the mouth, sneaky, America hating savage and therefore the image is all too easily conjured forth whenever the government decides that it becomes necessary to use as a tool for manufacturing consent. The recent rolling out of the insipid slogan of Islamofascism serves to perfectly illustrates this strategy. I came across an extremely interesting little book awhile back called American Terminator which examines the affects of movies in shaping and reinforcing the basis for a mythical American exceptionalism and its desire for empire. The following passage is from that book which I strongly recommend to everybody with an interest in just how celluloid serves as a delivery device that is very useful in the indoctrination process.
Fear is essential: ‘Be afraid, be very afraid’ is the American condition. To live in America is to be beset by fear, anxiety and insecurity, to be surrounded by potential harm, enemies and evil intent. And the wolf is always at the door. A nation of optimists is the more usual self-representation of America. Repetitively, Hollywood films conclude with a resolution, a rescue, and the winners ride off into the sunset or snuggle into a warm embrace that reassures us they will live happily ever after. The formulaic ending, however, is necessary because the plot, the narrative, is founded on and propelled by fear and anxiety, the dark essential underpinning of the American condition. For America fear is an original, natural condition, the inescapable birth rite (and birth right), the inherited condition of a fragile existence that must constantly be defended. Without fear there is no America; constant recourse to fear is the motivating force that determines its actions and reactions.
The ruthlessly authoritarian Republican party has a history of using imagery and insinuation to spread the necessary fear that allows them to hold power. Blacks, gays, liberals, strong and successful women and hippies have all served as important segments of society that the GOP can scapegoat but there is nothing like the constant free-floating dread that a mysterious foreign enemy can evoke and when the Soviet Union disintegrated so did the Republican ability to exploit fear and loathing on a grand scale. That was until 9/11 and the fear of terrorism became their ultimate talisman.I would strongly recommend that any who have not had an opportunity to see Adam Curtis’ outstanding 3 part BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares to do so. It is a stunningly powerful piece that dares to pull back the curtain on the great bogus War on Terror and to call into question its very legitimacy. It will never be shown in this country as long as the neocon elitists need their bogeyman to justify their wars and their elimination of civil liberties but it is available on the internet for download at Internet Archive among other sites.
Then there is the latest Al-Qaida video. Is it just me or has anybody else noticed the different spellings of this most terrifying of all terrorist organizations in the mainstream media: Al-Qaida, Al Qaeda etc….just what the fuck is it or are these all different organizations altogether and we have been jerked around by a ruthlessly efficient propaganda machine for all these years? I can’t believe that such an on-message coordinated media machine would be so incompetent as to consistently botch the spelling unless it is deliberate. And take note that the word “Holocaust” has been inserted into this latest injection of mass propaganda for it’s sheer emotional value as well as a conflation with the comments of George W. Bush’s ideological soulmate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This word has been popping up with increasing frequency as of late with the doomsday clock ticking towards our rendevous with infamy and a nuclear attack on Iran.Never has the fear been so pervasive than it is today and never has an American political party been so cynical, amoral and coldly manipulative in playing to the most base of instincts to retain their iron fisted authoritarianism as the neocon Bush administration. Our airports have already been transformed into fortresses of fear and checkpoints, bag searches, racial profiling, metal detectors, dogs and heavily armed security goon squads are coming very soon to a mall near you. Fear is their ace in the hole and as Herr Goering himself once so succinctly put it “It works the same in any country”.
By Paul Craig Roberts
But do the US and Israel fit the profile of successful states – or are they failed states themselves?
A compelling case can be made that the US and Israel are failed states. Israel allegedly is a democracy, but it is controlled by a minority of Zionist zealots who commit atrocities against Palestinians in order to provoke terrorist acts that are then used to perpetuate the right-wing’s hold on political power. Israel has perfected blowback as a tool of political control. The Israeli state relies entirely on coercion and has no diplomacy. It stands isolated in the world except for the US, which sustains Israel’s existence with money, military weapons, and the US veto in the United Nations.
Israel survives on life support from the US. A state that cannot exist without outside support is a failed state.
What about the United States?
The US is an even greater failure. Its existence is not dependent on life support from outside. The US has failed in another way. Not only has the state failed, but the society as well.
The past six years have seen the rise of dictatorial power in the executive and the collapse of the separation of powers mandated by the US Constitution. The president has declared himself to be “The Decider.” The power to decide includes the meaning and intent of laws passed by Congress and whether the laws apply to the executive. President Bush has openly acknowledged that he disobeyed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and unlawfully spied on Americans without warrants. Bush and his Attorney General could not make it more clear that their position is that Bush is above the law.
It is also Bush’s position that he is above the Constitution. Bush and his Attorney General maintain that as commander-in-chief in “the war on terror,” the executive has the power to decide the applicability of civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution. The US Department of Justice (sic) has taken the position that this decision is an executive decision alone beyond the authority of the judiciary and the legislature.
An enfeebled and eviscerated Congress has acquiesced in the growth of executive power, even legislating unconstitutional executive powers into law. The Decider has grabbed the power to arrest people on accusation alone and to detain them indefinitely without charges or evidence. He has obtained the right to torture those whom he arrests. The Geneva Conventions do not apply to the US president, declares the Regime. Bush has obtained the right to commit people to death in military tribunals on the basis of hearsay and secret evidence alone.
The Bush Regime has succeeded in moving the American state off the basis on which the Founding Fathers set it.
The Bush Regime led the American people to war in Iraq based entirely on lies and deception. This is a known and undisputed fact. Congress has done nothing whatsoever about this monstrous crime and impeachable offense.
Under the Nuremberg standard, unprovoked aggression is a war crime. The US established this standard. Bush has violated it with impunity.
Bush and his Attorney General assert Bush’s power to attack Iran independently of a Congressional declaration of war or any form of congressional approval. Bush claims that his power to attack Iran is merely an extension of his present power to conduct war in Iraq, a power seized on the basis of lies and deception.
Congress has taken no action to disabuse Bush of his presumption.
Bush’s preparations for attacking Iran are highly visible. The entire world can see the preparations and expects the attack. Congress is mute in the face of a catastrophic widening of a war to which a large majority of the American people are now opposed.
In national elections three months ago, the American people used democracy in an unsuccessful attempt to restrain the Bush Regime from its warmongering ways by defeating the Republican Party and giving control of both houses of Congress to Democrats.
Instead of acting, the Democrats have postured.
Indeed, some have joined Bush in his warmongering. Hillary Clinton, regarded as the frontrunner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, recently declared at an affair hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading instigator of war with Iran, that Iran is a danger to the US and a great threat to Israel.
Hillary’s claims are preposterous. Israel has large numbers of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Iran has none. Iran has no ability to harm the US and would have no motive except for the Bush Regime’s gratuitous provocations.
A state in which a leading contender for the presidential nomination can make utterly absurd claims and suffer no consequence is a failed state.
The United States is a failed state, because in the US it is not possible for leadership to emerge. Politics is controlled by powerful interest groups, such as AIPAC, the military-industrial complex, transnational corporations, and “security” agencies that are accumulating vast amounts of unaccountable power. The American people spoke in November and it means nothing whatsoever.
The people are enfeebled because the media no longer has independence. The US media serves as propagandist for the state. It cannot be otherwise in a highly concentrated media run not by journalists but by advertising executives protecting stock values that derive from federal broadcast licenses granted by the state.
Like the three monkeys, Congress sees no evil, the media speaks no evil, and the people hear no evil. In the US “news” consists of the government’s propaganda. “News” in America is exactly like the “news” in George Orwell’s 1984.
The US is a failed state, because it is not true to any of the principles upon which it was established. All over the world today, America is seen as a rogue state, a hegemonic evil, and as the greatest threat to peace and stability. In its new identify, America is the total opposite of the Founding Fathers intention. There is no greater failure than that.
Academics differentiate between failed states and rogue states. The US and Israel meet both criteria. The US and Israel lead the world in aggressive military actions and in killings of civilian populations. Both countries meet the main indicators of failed states as published in Foreign Policy’s 2005 Failed States Index.
The leading indicators of failed states are inequality (not merely poverty), “criminalization or delegitimization of the state, which occurs when state institutions are regarded as corrupt, illegal, or ineffective,” and “demographic factors, especially population pressures stemming from refugees” and “internally displaced populations.”
All economic indicators show that income and wealth inequality is rapidly increasing in the US. The growth in inequality is the result of the state’s policy that favors shareholders and corporate executives at the expense of American workers.
The income differences between Israelis and ghettoized Palestinians are huge.
Trials and investigations of leading political figures in the US and Israel are an ongoing occurrence. Currently, the former chief-of-staff of the vice president of the US is on trial for lying to the FBI in an attempt to obstruct an investigation into the Bush Regime’s illegal disclosure of an undercover CIA operative. The accused claims he is the fall guy for higher ups.
In Israel the president of the country is accused of rape and faces indictment.
Both the US and Israel routinely ignore international law and are accused of committing war crimes by human rights organizations. The US Congress stands revealed as totally ineffective and unwilling to constrain the executive. The American people have learned that they cannot change the government’s policies through elections. By fomenting the demise of the civil liberties that they are sworn to uphold, President Bush and Attorney General Gonzales have delegitimized the American state, turning it into an instrument of oppression.
Israel’s policies in the West Bank have displaced a million Palestinians, forcing them to be refugees from their own land. Jordan is filled with Palestinian refugees, and Palestinian existence in the West Bank is being increasingly confined to ghettos cut off from farm land, schools, medical care and from other Palestinians. President Jimmy Carter has described Israeli-occupied Palestine as “apartheid.”
For decades in the face of public opposition the US government has encouraged massive legal and illegal immigration of diverse peoples whose failure to assimilate is balkanizing the US population. Economic refugees from Mexico are changing the culture and allegiance of entire sections of the American southwest, and racial animosities are on the rise.
In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky defined one characteristic of a failed state as a “democratic deficit, that is, a substantial gap between public policy and public opinion.” We see this gap in Bush’s decision to escalate the war in Iraq despite the opposition of 70% of the American public. What does democracy mean if elected leaders ignore public opinion?
Another characteristic of failed states is the failure to protect their own citizens. Israel’s aggressive policies against Palestinians provoke terror attacks on Israeli citizens. These attacks are then used to justify more oppression of Palestinians, which leads to more terror. Bush’s military aggression in the Middle East is the main cause of any terror threats that Americans now face.
Another characteristic of a failed state is the departure of citizens. Many Israelis, seeing no future for Israel in the government’s hostility to Arabs, are leaving Israel. Among Israelis themselves, the legitimacy of the Israeli state is so endangered that the Knesset has just passed a law to revoke the citizenship of “unpatriotic” Israelis.
In the US a large percentage of the population has lost confidence in the government’s veracity. Polls show that 40% of Americans do not believe the government’s story that the 9/11 attacks were the work of Arab terrorists. Many believe the attack was a “false flag” operation carried out by elements in the Bush Regime in order to create public acceptance for its planned invasions in the Middle East.
A state that cannot tolerate moral conscience in its soldiers is a failed state. The failure of the American state can be seen it its prosecution of Lt. Ehren Watada. Watada comes from a family with a military heritage. His response to the 9/11 attack was to join the military. Diagnosed with asthma, he failed his physical, but persevered and ended up with an officer’s commission.
Watada’s problem is that he can recognize a war crime even when it is committed by a might-makes-right state. The Abu Ghraib prison tortures and the evidence that Bush deceived Americans about weapons of mass destruction caused Watada to realize that he was on the wrong side of the Nuremberg Principles, the UN Charter, and the US military code, which says American soldiers have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders. He signed up to serve his country, not to kill people for illegal and immoral reasons.
Watada refused to deploy to Iraq. He is being tried for refusing deployment and for suggesting that President Bush deceived Americans.
By now every attentive American knows that Bush deceived them, and our greatest patriots have said so. Watada is on trial for suggesting what everyone knows to be true. He is not being tried for veracity. He is being tried for speaking the truth.
Failure to deploy is a more understandable charge. There is no army if soldiers do not follow orders. However, as the US established at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, following orders is not an excuse for participating in war crimes. At the Nazi war crimes trials, it was the US that insisted that soldiers were responsible for using judgment about the legality of their orders.
That is what Lt. Watada did. His trial will not broach the subject of whether his judgment was correct. The evidence against him will merely be that he did not deploy.
By trying Lt. Watada the US government is insisting that American troops are not responsible for judging the legality of their orders, only for following them. The standard applied to WW II Germans is too high to be applied to Americans.
In a draft army, Watada’s refusal to accept illegal orders could be used by conscripted cannon fodder to derail the state’s intended aggression. However, in a voluntary army in which soldiers seek to serve, permitting Lt. Watada to have his conscience does not imperil the command structure. Others less thoughtful and less aware will carry forth the state’s enterprise.
The case against Israel and the US does not preclude some Muslim states from also meeting the criteria for failure. However, Iraq, an artificial creation of Western colonial powers, was driven into failure and civil war by American aggression. Iran, a nation with a 5,000 year history, is certainly not a failed state. The main failed states in the Middle East are those that are US puppets. They represent American hegemony, not the interests of their people.
What the US and Israel are attempting to do is to turn the entire Muslim Middle East into failed states, that is, into puppet regimes. By extending their hegemony in the Middle East, the US and Israel hope to prolong their own failed existence.
That fetid nest of fifth columnist neo-fascists otherwise known as The American Enterprise Institute is at it again. The extremist reich-wing think tank has opened another front in their total war on America in the aftermath of a damning report by an international group of scientists that global warming is indeed a catastrophic reality. According to a piece posted at over at Common Dreams the AEI is throwing around wads of cash and casting a net for amoral shills willing to debunk the scientists. Not surprising since it also was reported this week that the Bush administration has engaged in a concerted campaign to censor the research of government agencies and environmental scientists that would interfere with the extreme pro-corporate, anti-science worldview of the rapacious looters of Wall Street and the winged monkey Rapture death cult. And it was of course all subsidized by American taxpayers.
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.
The UN report was written by international experts and is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science. It will underpin international negotiations on new emissions targets to succeed the Kyoto agreement, the first phase of which expires in 2012. World governments were given a draft last year and invited to comment.
The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI’s board of trustees.
The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN’s panel as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work” and ask for essays that “thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs”.
The multi-faceted AEI attack machine has proven that it is far more versatile than only engaging in a single minded, relentlessly deranged neocon-Likudnik joint venture for raining down fire from the skies over Tehran in going after the IPCC as well. As a deadly multi-headed hydra with massive clout within the innermost power centers of the Bushreich one needs only to take a look at some of the names associated with this incubator of global fascism and world domination to get an idea on what a menace to democracy that it is. The AEI sports one hell of a roster of extremist right-wing freaks here are a few of the more well known who are listed as Scholars and Fellows:
Newt Gingrich: The egotistical, oversexed, philandering fascist dwarf with designs on the presidency has slimed out of this spider hole in recent months to denounce the First Amendment, engage in fear mongering and fomenting fascist sentiment. There are even some reich wingers out there with a Draft Newt movement – that’s the best damned idea that I have ever heard, give him a gun and ship his fat ass off to Iraq because after all, it is their war.
Lynne Cheney: Mrs. Dick is a key player for the AEI and has devoted much time to the cause between writing steamy lesbian pulp fiction novels and mounting McCarthyist campaigns along with that conniving little dual loyalist rat Joe Lieberman to purge ‘unpatriotic’ professors from the nation’s college campuses along the lines of similar efforts by the insidious neo-Nazi troll David Horowitz. It’s conventional wisdom that ‘shooter’ is a dangerous extremist but when looking a bit more closely at his ‘better half’ it’s becoming obvious who really wears the pants in the House of Cheney.
David Frum: Former Bush speechwriter and propagandist responsible for that “Axis Of Evil” statement that has proven so troublesome. Collaborated with fellow neocon Richard Perle on the anti-Muslim manifesto An End To Evil that laid out the case for perpetual war in the Middle East with the ulterior motive to carve out more lebensraum for Israel.
Richard Perle: Nicknamed The Prince of Darkness, Perle is a major player as well as a prominently featured talking head with intimate ties to Israeli hardliners. Perle’s resume and connections speak for themselves as to his importance to the neocon revolutionaries. He once remarked that investigative reporter Seymour Hersh was “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.” Perle was also a key contributor to the notorious report advocating Israeli aggression: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm that was adopted by then P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu and that largely mirrors the doctrine of the Bush-Cheney junta.
Frederick W. Kagan: The driving force behind ‘the surge’ strategy and a longtime uber hawk who moved in quickly to present the neocon alternative that would allow junior to tell Poppy and Jim Baker exactly where they could stick their Iraq Study Group report.
Irving Kristol: The ideological ‘father of neoconservatism’ and genetic father of the highly influential William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, FOX and now the right-leaning Time Magazine (hey, they put the horsefaced Ann Coulter on the cover awhile back too) and who was a co-founder along with Robert Kagan (Fred’s brother) of the Project for the New American Century.
Michael Ledeen: Arch neocon who very disturbingly was described as “Rove’s Brain” by Wayne Slater and James Moore in their book The Architect. Ledeen is a prolific writer of right-wing polemics and veteran spook once glowingly described by Ted Koppel: “Michael Ledeen is a “Renaissance man in the tradition of Machiavelli” and a driving force for a war with Iran. Leedeen is incidentally referred to by many as an admirer of the finer aspects of Italian fascism.
Joshua Muravchik: Neocon third stringer who recently wrote an op-ed piece that was actually published by a reputable mainstream newspaper (The Los Angeles Times) very subtly entitled Bomb Iran.
The American Enterprise Institute and its resident zealots, fanatics, haters and ideologues represent one of the greatest threats to world peace, democracy and the future survival of humanity on the planet. Yet it is allowed to operate with a façade of legitimacy with no scrutiny by the mainstream media, the political system and absolutely no accountability.
It serves as a Mecca for every warmongering politico with an axe to grind against traditional American values and constitutional democracy. Manchurian John McCain and that duplicitous little fiend Joe Lieberman laid out their case for escalation in a joint appearance in early January and the regulars are a veritable who’s who of American neocon thugs with an eye on taking down the republic.
It is purveyor of hatred, a destroyer of economies, an important component of the military industrial complex and an ally to foreign governments that pursue an agenda that is a threat to our own national security.
It is in darkness that cockroaches thrive and it is long past time to shine a light into this foul nest of festering anti-Americanism before we are all ultimately victims of all that is evil that is concocted within it’s walls.