Watch Bruce's Cable TV Show:
Please like us on facebook
Please help us by making an online donation
Saturday, March 07, 2015
Black People Don't Trust the Police
The Justice Department’s Ferguson police report has been a lightning
bolt of controversy and has exposed the systematic and violent use of
police power against African Americans in the city. Some have also used
it to draw parallels between current events and racial tensions from 50
years ago. RT’s Ben Swann talks with civil rights activist and author
Perry Redd about the current state of race relations and their history.
I was watching The Speech by Binyamin Netanyahu before the Congress of the United States. Row upon row of men in suits (and the occasional woman), jumping up and down, up and down, applauding wildly, shouting approval.
It was the shouting that did it. Where had I heard that before?
And then it came back to me. It was another parliament in the mid-1930s. The Leader was speaking. Rows upon rows of Reichstag members were listening raptly. Every few minutes they jumped up and shouted their approval.
Of course, the Congress of the United States of America is no Reichstag. Members wear dark suits, not brown shirts. They do not shout "Heil" but something unintelligible. Yet the sound of the shouting had the same effect. Rather shocking.
But then I returned to the present. The sight was not frightening, but ridiculous. Here were the members of the most powerful parliament in the world behaving like a bunch of nincompoops.
Nothing like this could have happened in the Knesset. I do not have a very high opinion of our parliament, despite having been a member, but compared to this assembly, the Knesset is the fulfillment of Plato's dream.
ABBA EBAN once compared a speech by Menachem Begin to a French souffle cake: a lot of air and very little dough.
The same could be said about The Speech.
What did it contain? The Holocaust, of course, with that moral impostor, Elie Wiesel, sitting in the gallery right next to the beaming Sarah'le, who visibly relished her husband's triumph. (A few days before, she had shouted at the wife of a mayor in Israel: "Your man does not reach the ankles of my man!")
The Speech mentioned the Book of Esther, about the salvation of the Persian Jews from the evil Persian minister Haman, who intended to wipe them out. No one knows how this dubious composition came to be included in the Bible. God is not mentioned in it, it has nothing to do with the Holy Land, and Esther herself is more of a prostitute than a heroine. The book ends with the mass murder committed by the Jews against the Persians.
The Speech, like all speeches by Netanyahu, contained much about the suffering of the Jews throughout the ages, and the intentions of the evil Iranians, the New Nazis, to annihilate us. But this will not happen, because this time we have Binyamin Netanyahu to protect us. And the US Republicans, of course.
It was a good speech. One cannot make a bad speech when hundreds of admirers hang on every word and applaud every second. But it will not make an anthology of the world's Greatest Speeches.
Netanyahu considers himself a second Churchill. And indeed, Churchill was the only foreign leader before Netanyahu to speak to both houses of Congress a third time. But Churchill came to cement his alliance with the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who played a big part in the British war effort, while Netanyahu has come to spit in the face of the present president.
WHAT DID the speech not contain?
Not a word about Palestine and the Palestinians. Not a word about peace, the two-state solution, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem. Not a word about apartheid, the occupation, the settlements. Not a word about Israel's own nuclear capabilities.
Not a word, of course, about the idea of a nuclear-weapon–free region, with mutual inspection.
Indeed, there was no concrete proposal at all. After denouncing the bad deal in the making, and hinting that Barack Obama and John Kerry are dupes and idiots, he offered no alternative.
Why? I assume that the original text of The Speech contained a lot. Devastating new sanctions against Iran. A demand for the total demolition of all Iranian nuclear installations. And in the inevitable end: a US-Israeli military attack.
All this was left out. He was warned by the Obama people in no uncertain terms that disclosure of details of the negotiations would be considered as a betrayal of confidence. He was warned by his Republican hosts that the American public was in no mood to hear about yet another war.
What was left? A dreary recounting of the well-known facts about the negotiations. It was the only tedious part of the speech. For minutes no one jumped up, nobody shouted approval. Elie Wiesel was shown sleeping. The most important person in the hall, Sheldon Adelson, the owner of the Congress republicans and of Netanyahu, was not shown at all. But he was there, keeping close watch on his servants.
BY THE way, whatever happened to Netanyahu's war?
Remember when the Israel Defense Forces were about to bomb Iran to smithereens? When the US military might was about to "take out" all Iranian nuclear installations?
Readers of this column might also remember that years ago I assured them that there would be no war. No ifs, no buts. No half-open back door for a retreat. I asserted that there would be no war, period.
Much later, all Israeli former military and intelligence chiefs spoke out against the war. The army Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, who finished his term this week, has disclosed that no draft operation order for attacking Iran's nuclear capabilities was ever drawn up.
Why? Because such an operation could lead to a world-wide catastrophe. Iran would immediately close the Strait of Hormuz, just a few dozen miles wide, through which some 35% of the world's sea-borne oil must pass. It would mean an immediate world-wide economic breakdown.
To open the Strait and keep it open, a large part of Iran would have to be occupied in a land war, boots on the ground. Even Republicans shiver at the thought.
Israeli military capabilities fall far short of such an adventure. And, of course, Israel cannot dream of starting a war without express American consent.
That is reality. Not speechifying. Even American senators are capable of seeing the difference.
THE CENTERPIECE of The Speech was the demonization of Iran. Iran is evil incarnate. It leaders are subhuman monsters. All over the world, Iranian terrorists are at work planning monstrous outrages. They are building intercontinental ballistic missiles to destroy the US. Immediately after obtaining nuclear warheads – now or in ten years - they will annihilate Israel.
In reality, Israel's second-strike capability, based on the submarines supplied by Germany, would annihilate Iran within minutes. One of the most ancient civilizations in world history would come to an abrupt end. The ayatollahs would have to been clinically insane to do such a thing.
Netanyahu pretends to believe they are. Yet for years now, Israel has been conducting an amiable arbitration with the Iranian government about the Eilat-Ashkelon oil pipeline across Israel built by an Iranian-Israeli consortium. Before the Islamic revolution, Iran was Israel's stoutest ally in the region. Well after the revolution, Israel supplied Iran with arms in order to fight against Saddam Hussein's Iraq (the famous Irangate affair). And if one goes back to Esther and her sexual effort to save the Jews, why not mention Cyrus the Great, who allowed the Judean captives to return to Jerusalem?
Judging by its behavior, the present Iranian leadership has lost some of its initial religious fervor. It is behaving (not always speaking) in a very rational way, conducting tough negotiations as one would expect from Persians, aware of their immense cultural heritage, even more ancient than Judaism. Netanyahu is right in saying that one should not trust them with closed eyes, but his demonization is ridiculous.
Within the wider context, Israel and Iran are already indirect allies. For both, the Islamic State (ISIS) is the mortal enemy. To my mind, ISIS is far more dangerous to Israel, in the long run, than Iran. I imagine that for Tehran, ISIS is a far more dangerous enemy than Israel.
(The only memorable sentence in The Speech was "the enemy of my enemy is my enemy".)
If the worst comes to the worst, Iran will have its bomb in the end. So what?
I may be an arrogant Israeli, but I refuse to be afraid. I live a mile from the Israeli army high command in the center of Tel Aviv, and in a nuclear exchange I would evaporate. Yet I feel quite safe.
The United States has been exposed for decades (and still is) to thousands of Russian nuclear bombs, which could eradicate millions within minutes. They feel safe under the umbrella of the "balance of terror". Between us and Iran, in the worst situation, the same balance would come into effect.
WHAT IS Netanyahu's alternative to Obama's policy? As Obama was quick to point out, he offered none.
The best possible deal will be struck. The danger will be postponed for ten years or more. And, as Chaim Weizmann once said: "The future will come and take care of the future."
Within these ten years, many things will happen. Regimes will change, enmities will turn into alliances and vice versa. Anything is possible.
Even - God and the Israeli voters willing - peace between Israel and Palestine, which would take the sting out of Israeli-Muslim relations.
“The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only
constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad…. Suddenly
the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the ‘world’s only
superpower.’ Neoconservatives proclaimed ‘the end of history.'”
— Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury
“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.”
— Russian proverb
On February 10, 2007, Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the 43rd
Munich Security Conference that created a rift between Washington and
Moscow that has only deepened over time. The Russian President’s
blistering hour-long critique of US foreign policy provided a rational,
point-by-point indictment of US interventions around the world and their
devastating effect on global security.
Putin probably didn’t realize
the impact his candid observations would have on the assembly in Munich
or the reaction of powerbrokers in the US who saw the presentation as a
turning point in US-Russian relations. But, the fact is, Washington’s
hostility towards Russia can be traced back to this particular incident,
a speech in which Putin publicly committed himself to a multipolar
global system, thus, repudiating the NWO pretensions of US elites.
Here’s what he said:
“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we
must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we
must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests
of all participants in the international dialogue.”
With that one formulation, Putin rejected the United States assumed
role as the world’s only superpower and steward of global security, a
privileged position which Washington feels it earned by prevailing in
the Cold War and which entitles the US to unilaterally intervene
whenever it sees fit. Putin’s announcement ended years of bickering and
deliberation among think tank analysts as to whether Russia could be
integrated into the US-led system or not. Now they knew that Putin
would never dance to Washington’s tune.
In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin
would learn to comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role
in the Washington-centric system. But it hasn’t worked out that way.
The speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold
Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not
relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight. The declaration
challenging US aspirations to rule the world, left no doubt that Putin
was going to be a problem that had to be dealt with by any means
necessary including harsh economic sanctions, a State Department-led
coup in neighboring Ukraine, a conspiracy to crash oil prices, a
speculative attack of the ruble, a proxy war in the Donbass using
neo-Nazis as the empire’s shock troops, and myriad false flag operations
used to discredit Putin personally while driving a wedge between Moscow
and its primary business partners in Europe. Now the Pentagon is
planning to send 600 paratroopers to Ukraine ostensibly to “train the
Ukrainian National Guard”, a serious escalation that violates the spirit
of Minsk 2 and which calls for a proportionate response from the
Kremlin. Bottom line: The US is using all the weapons in its arsenal to
prosecute its war on Putin.
Last week’s gangland-style murder of Russian opposition leader, Boris
Nemtsov, has to be considered in terms of the larger geopolitical game
that is currently underway. While we may never know who perpetrated the
crime, we can say with certainly that the lack of evidence hasn’t
deterred the media or US politicians from using the tragedy to advance
an anti-Putin agenda aimed at destabilizing the government and
triggering regime change in Moscow. Putin himself suggested that the
killing may have been a set-up designed to put more pressure on the
Kremlin. The World Socialist Web Site summed up the political
implications like this:
“The assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a
significant political event that arises out of the US-Russia
confrontation and the intense struggle that is now underway within the
highest levels of the Russian state. The Obama administration and the
CIA are playing a major role in the escalation of this conflict, with
the aim of producing an outcome that serves the global geo-political and
financial interests of US imperialism….
It is all but obvious that the Obama administration is hoping a
faction will emerge within the Russian elite, backed by elements in the
military and secret police, capable of staging a “palace coup” and
getting rid of Putin….
The United States is not seeking to trigger a widespread popular
revolt. (But) are directed entirely at convincing a section of the
oligarchy and emerging capitalist class that their business interests
and personal wealth depend upon US support. That is why the Obama
administration has used economic sanctions targeting individuals as a
means of exerting pressure on the oligarchs as well as broader sections
of the entrepreneurial elite….
It is in the context of this international power struggle
that one must evaluate Nemtsov’s murder. Of course, it is possible that
his death was the outcome of his private dealings. But it is more
likely that he was killed for political reasons. Certainly, the timing
of the killing—on the eve of the opposition’s anti-Putin demonstration
in Moscow—strongly indicates that the killing was a political
assassination, not a private settling of accounts.” (“Murder in Moscow: Why was Boris Nemtsov assassinated?“, David North, World Socialist Web Site)
Just hours after Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow, the western media
swung into action releasing a barrage of articles suggesting Kremlin
involvement without a shred of evidence to support their claims. The
campaign of innuendo has steadily gained momentum as more Russia
“experts” and politicians offer their opinions about who might be
responsible. Naturally, none of the interviewees veer from the official
storyline that someone in Putin’s charge must have carried out the
attack. An article in the Washington Post is a good example of the
tactics used in the latest PR campaign to discredit Putin. According to
Vladimir Gel’man, Political Scientists European University at St.
Petersburg and the University of Helsinki:
“Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of political
opposition, was shot dead nearby the Kremlin. In my opinion, it has all
the hallmarks of a political assassination provoked by an aggressive
Kremlin-induced campaign against the “fifth column of national
traitors”, who opposed the annexation of Crimea, war with the West over
Ukraine, and further decline of political and civil freedoms in the
country. We may never know whether the Kremlin ordered this killing, but
given the fact that Nemtsov was one of the most consistent critics not
only of the Russian regime as such but also of Putin in person, his
dissenting voice will never upset Putin and his inner circle anymore.”
(“What does Boris Nemtsov’s murder mean for Russia?“, Washington Post)
The article in the Washington Post is fairly typical of others
published in the MSM. The coverage is invariably long on finger-pointing
and insinuation and short on facts. Traditional journalistic standards
of objectivity and fact-gathering have been jettisoned to advance a
political agenda that reflects the objectives of ownership. The Nemtsov
assassination is just the latest illustration of the abysmal state of
The idea that Putin’s agents would “whack” an opposition candidate
just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin is far fetched to say the least.
As one commenter at the Moon of Alabama blog noted:
“Isn’t the image of a dead political opponent lying on a
bridge overlooked by the Kremlin a bit rich? I mean, short of a dagger
lodged between his shoulder blades with the inscription “if found,
please return to Mr Putin”, I can’t think of a more over-egged attempt
at trying to implicate the Government. And on the night before an
opposition rally Nemtsov hoped to lead. I mean, come on.”
While there’s no denying that Moscow could be involved, it seems
unlikely. The more probable explanation is that the incident is part of a
larger regime change scheme to ignite social unrest and destabilize the
government. The US has used these tactics so many times before in
various color-coded revolutions, that we won’t reiterate the details
here. Even so, it’s worth noting that the US has no red lines when it
comes to achieving its strategic goals. It will do whatever it feels is
necessary to prevail in its clash with Putin.
The question is why? Why is Washington so determined to remove Putin?
Putin answered this question himself recently at a celebration of
Russia’s diplomatic workers’ day. He said Russia would pursue an
independent foreign policy despite pressure in what he called “today’s
challenging international environment.”
“No matter how much pressure is put on us, the Russian Federation
will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy, to support the
fundamental interests of our people and in line with global security and
This is Putin’s unforgivable crime, the same crime as Venezuela,
Cuba, Iran, Syria and countless other nations that refuse to march in
lockstep to Washington’s directives.
Putin has also resisted NATO encirclement and attempts by the US to
loot Russia’s vast natural resources. And while Putin has made every
effort to avoid a direct confrontation with the US, he has not backed
down on issues that are vital to Russia’s national security, in fact,
he has pointed out numerous times not only the threat that encroaching
NATO poses to Moscow, but also the lies that preceded its eastward
expansion. Here’s Putin at Munich again:
“I would like to quote the speech of NATO General
Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time
that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of
German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee….
Where are these guarantees?”
Where, indeed. Apparently, they were all lies. As political analyst
Pat Buchanan said in his article “Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”:
“Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from
Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we
would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we
bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia,
and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother
Russia’s front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine
and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin….
… though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet
republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on
making those bases in Central Asia permanent.
… through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and
Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and
“human rights” institutes such as Freedom House,… we have been fomenting
regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and
These are Putin’s grievances. Does he not have a small point?” “(Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”, Pat Buchanan, antiwar.com)
Now the US wants to deploy its missile defense system to Eastern
Europe, a system which–according to Putin “will work automatically with
and be an integral part of the US nuclear capability. For the first time
in history, and I want to emphasize this, there are elements of the US
nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the
whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to
respond to that.”
How can Putin allow this to happen? How can he allow the US to
situate nuclear weapons in a location that would increase its
first-strike capability and undermine the balance of deterrents allowing
the US to force Russia to follow its orders or face certain
annihilation. Putin has no choice but to resist this outcome, just as
has no choice but to oppose the principle upon which US expansion is
based, the notion that the Cold War was won by the US, therefore the US
has the right to reshape the world in a way that best suits its own
economic and geopolitical interests. Here’s Putin again:
“What is a unipolar world? However one might embellish
this term, it refers to a type of situation where there is one center
of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It
is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. At the end of the
day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but
also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within…..
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also
impossible in today’s world…. the model itself is flawed because at its
basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern
civilization….” (Munich, 2007)
What sort of man talks like this? What sort of man talks about “the
moral foundations for modern civilization” or invokes FDR in his
Putin: “‘Security for one is security for all’. As Franklin D.
Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was
breaking out: ‘When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all
countries everywhere is in danger.’ These words remain topical today.”
I urge everyone to watch at least the first 10 minutes of Putin’s
speech and decide for themselves whether they think the characterization
(and demonization) of Putin in the media is fair or not. And pay
special attention to Minute 6 where Putin says this:
“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the
basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are,
as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal
system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States,
has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in
the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on
other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?” (“Vladimir Putin’s legendary speech at Munich Security Conference“)
While Putin is making this statement, the camera pans to John McCain
and Joe Lieberman who are sitting stone-faced in the front row seething
at every word uttered by the Russian president. If you look close
enough, you can see the steam emerging from McCain’s ears.
This is why Washington wants regime change in Moscow. It’s because
Putin refuses to be pushed around by the United States. It’s because he
wants a world that is governed by international laws that are
impartially administered by the United Nations. It’s because he rejects a
“unipolar” world order where one nation dictates policy to everyone
else and where military confrontation becomes the preferred way for the
powerful to impose their will on the weak.
Putin: “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of
force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent
conflicts…The United States, has overstepped its national borders in
every way….And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the
fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this — no one feels
safe.” Vladimir Putin, Munich 2007
Putin isn’t a perfect man. He has his shortcomings and flaws like
everyone else. But he appears to be a decent person who has made great
strides in restoring Russia’s economy after it was looted by agents of
the US following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He has lifted
living standards, increased pensions, reduced poverty, and improved
education and health care which is why his public approval ratings are
currently hovering at an eye-watering 86 percent. Even so, Putin is
most admired for standing up to the United States and blocking its
strategy to pivot to Asia. The proxy war in Ukraine is actually a
struggle to thwart Washington’s plan to break up the Russian Federation,
encircle China, control the flow of resources from Asia to Europe, and
rule the world. Vladimir Putin is at the forefront of that
conflagration which is why he has gained the respect and admiration of
people around the world.
As for “democracy”, Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am.
Absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone, the only one of my kind
in the whole world. Just look at what’s happening in America, it’s
terrible—torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without
trial or investigation. And look at Europe—harsh treatment of
demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used in one capital after
another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to
since Gandhi died.”
Speaking at Helen Caldicott's Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction last weekend in New York City
I took some notes at the nuclear war event in NYC last weekend. I'm not going to put them in any particular order but they are all interesting.
Russia's early warning system is fragile and thus they keep their nuclear retaliatory forces on launch on warning status. Unlike the US Moscow has no space-based early warning system. They can't see over the horizon and have to make a guess if they are being hit in a first-strike. Chance of accidental nuclear war is higher now than during most of the Cold War. Russia is very aware that the Pentagon has plans for decapitation strikes on Russia. (Ted Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology & National Security Policy, MIT)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are advancing and increasingly given control of nuclear launch decision making. (Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT)
Eight workers at Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M. were contaminated from plutonium-238 last December. Was not reported in any of the local newspapers. The development of the atomic bomb by the US was about control of the former Soviet Union in the post-WW II era. The DoE today is in crisis because of incompetence and collapsing management. (Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group)
Since going to work for Associated Press and Newsweek he has never seen the Washington propaganda machine working at this rate. One way to get the American people worked up is to demonize a leader of a particular country. Some analysts at CIA told him that the Malaysian plane was not shot down by eastern Ukrainian 'rebels'. Perception management - how do we bring the American people back to reality? (Robert Parry, Investigative Journalist, Consortium News)
The US is spending money on the military rather than dealing with climate change at a rate of $24 million (military) to $1 million (climate change). In China the ratio is $1 million (military) to $1 million (climate change). It would cost up to $1 trillion a year globally to deal with the current reality of climate change. The US currently spends $500 billion per year giving subsidies to the oil corporations. (John Feffer, Institute for Policy Studies)
Bikini actually means the skin of the coconut but Madison Avenue came up with the idea to name women's bathing suits the 'bikini' at the very time the Pentagon was doing above ground nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Medical claims by the Marshallese people who suffer from radiation sickness are going unfunded since the US does not appropriate ample funds to cover these compensation claims. (Holly Barker, Dept of Anthropology, Univ. of Washington)
Read this book The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. The deep state has conquered America and we have a rump Congress. Wall Street is the ultimate owner of the deep state - along with the CIA and military industrial complex. Ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over their government. The oligarchy maintains the outward appearance of a functioning democracy. Most people are assimilated by the institutions they work for into 'group think'. We'll never get a handle on nuclear weapons until we cure the pathology of the deep state. (Mike Lofgren, Former Republican congressional staffer, author)
411 financial institutions from 31 countries invest $402 billion in 28 companies that produce nuclear weapons. (Susi Snyder, PAX, The Netherlands)
A really good way to help people understand the power and effects of a nuclear war is to get them to take at look at this spectacular web site called Nuclear Secrecy. You can calculate the damage to your own community just by clicking a few buttons. If there was a nuclear exchange with Russia and they blasted Bath Iron Works here in Maine we'd have 10,530 immediate deaths and then 19,650 estimated injuries. The total population of Bath is about 10,000 people. (Alex Wellerstein, Asst Professor of Anthropology and & Int'l Affairs, Stevens Institute of Technology)
Consumerism is the main definition of freedom. (Robert Scheer, author, former LA Times columnist, Editor Truthdig)
You can listen to any or all of the conference speakers by clicking here and then clicking again on the left side of the screen where speakers names are listed in blue.
Here are some interesting tidbits from my email inbox this morning.
The Nation reports that drone pilots are quitting like rats off a sinking ship. Some good news for once:
The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts
of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target
list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the
planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at
stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.
There are roughly 1,000 such drone pilots, known in the trade as
“18Xs,” working for the U.S. Air Force today. Another 180 pilots
graduate annually from a training program
that takes about a year to complete at Holloman and Randolph Air Force
bases in, respectively, New Mexico and Texas. As it happens, in those
same 12 months, about 240 trained pilots quit
and the Air Force is at a loss to explain the phenomenon. (The
better-known U.S. Central Intelligence Agency drone assassination
program is also flown by Air Force pilots loaned out for the covert missions.)
Oriental Review shares a very important story about increased US destabilization efforts in Central Asia:
Strategic Theory: The US’ primary goal in creating chaos in Central Asia is to
split Russia’s focus in dealing with the Ukrainian Crisis and create a
situation where its decision makers are unable to adequately protect the
country’s entire periphery. This is envisioned as leading to the
penetration of chaotic dynamics directly into the Russian Federation
itself (be it from the west or the south), which could contribute to the
realization of the ‘Eurasian Balkans’
end game of dividing the country into ethnic and regional fiefdoms and
indefinitely prolonging the US’ unipolar moment. In order to get to such
a grand finale, a series of steps must be taken in the countries around
Russia to provoke such a scenario.
Craigslist has a job notice that is a mind-blower. Don't try to tell me that the Pentagon is not preparing for direct military operations in Ukraine and Russia:
Ukrainian/Russian Men Needed $19/Hr (Oceanside, CA)
GTS (Glacier Technology Solutions LLC) - We are military contractors working directly with the US Marine Corps assisting them with their immersive simulation training program. Currently, we are looking for role players of Ukrainian and/or Russian ethnicity and language skills. Need MEN ranging 18-65 years of age. This is temporary, part time, on-call work based on need and availability. At the moment, we are staffing for an upcoming training to take place on: March 29-31, 2015. The scheduled hours will vary from 8-12 hours per working day. Compensation is $15.17/hr. plus another $4.02/hr. Health and Welfare benefit for up to 40 hours of work in a workweek. (Overtime rates will be paid if necessary). Register for work at: www.Shiftboard.com/wforce
For further questions feel free to call. We look forward to meeting, and sharing this fun and unique work experience with you.
On the plus side The New Yorker magazine has a big spread this month about the Catholic Worker movement and plowshares activists. You can find it here
Just to keep things in perspective.... think about how Russia is accused by US-NATO of wanting to recreate their Soviet 'empire'. Let the numbers speak for themselves. The Russian military budget is approximately $53 billion in 2015 while the US is spending more than $787 billion on Pentagon operations. Then add in the combined NATO members military budgets. Is Putin really in any position to play Hitler?It's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
I've had some interesting responses to my blog post yesterday called 'This Is a Declaration of War' which I also sent to my email list. Thought I'd share some of them - leaving out the names. Thanks folks.
Please remove me from your mailing list.
Very well put, Bruce! I hope this gets wide distribution. But in Venezuela they just prevented a similar coup, so that is most encouraging. But I agree this is extremely dangerous. On the other hand, I think EU countries are getting very nervous over this trend and may break with the US. I would love to know what transpired with the conference with Merkel, Putin, et. al... then there's the China card. Interesting times, for sure!
Those who have de-brainwashed themselves from indoctrination by the Nazi inst.'s they were born in under... which takes a maverick disposition... a certain in the bone Thoreauvianism ... know that the USA has always worked as much destruction as possible against all life everywhere.
I RARELY share e-mails with others but on this issue I pulled-out all the stops. Thanks
Stop wringing your hands and realize this failure, which you aptly describe, is for a reason: the failure to attack the fundamental premise of the new global war, 9/11. If the entire peace movement devoted half the energy to 9/11 truth as it does to composing these rants people would know the truth. It was true then and it's true now. Only the truth can set us free.
Bruce...you sound REALLY DEPRESSED...I just got back from DC/AIPAC/ NETANHAYU and am equally despondent re Congress' determined march toward war with Iran...so what to do??????...we need a clamor and I don't know how to generate a clamor/uproar in Maine in such a way it strikes a chord and doesn't turn people off ......ideas??/solidarity....!
Don't they call that the "Strategy of Tension". Yes, I stubbed my toe this morning and that darn Putin caused it. I'm waiting for "our fight isn't with the Russian people it's with the bad man Putin". Before it was Ho Chi Minh, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, fill in the blank. Yes, they have done well lowering the education standards and awareness of history of the Amerikkkan folks.
A walk down memory lane. Same old same old, different actors, same script and ending. This time however, Russia is not going to play dead. No one suffered more than Russia during WW2 and now with the Nazi symbols once again being worn by the neo-fascists in Ukraine, Russia will not stand by and watch history repeat itself. Napoleon, Hitler and now US/NATO at the border.
As long as the American Public (the sleeping giant), remains uninformed, disinterested and apathetic, Washington will do its will and lead the nation into a war with truly unpredictable, unintended, catastrophic consequences. When will the sleeping giant wake up and say "No, not in my name"? Doesn't look like anything is 'waking up'.
Pivotal article. We see a lot of mass media warmongering here. Yesterday Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm) had an article where a professor emeritus (the only professor emeritus that I know of who is worth his weight in gold is Stephen F. Cohen) Magnus Ljungren from Gothenburg was linking up Putin with a reactionary, ultra nationalistic philosopher Ivan Iljin in a sort of Putin's heart belongs to Ivan Iljin instead of daddy. Then there is the infamous professor from Lund Kristian Gerner who spit his venom in Dagens Industri, "Russia is not a democracy". That was only yesterday. It is incessant. In the old days you might have seen a Swedish government letting the parties sit down to negotiate in Stockholm for as long as it takes but official Sweden has taken sides: EU, NATO, and comprador Ukraine.
So many reasons to want to run away! But where? Why I keep the song After the revolution by David Roviks on my ipod.
I agree 100% with Bruce's analysis. It is all western war mongering to
destabilise in order to grab routes and resources. Not simplistic but simple,
and undoubtedly true.
Bruce is deeply educated on this subject and we can thank him for doing our
homework for us. We need to pay attention, spread the word and speak out.
I just finished reading an article that you probably can find on the Internet by Joanna Macy called "The Greatest Danger". I'm very moved by reading the article this time - and, I've read it 5 or 7 times through the years. Somehow, it's sinking in deeper and wider this time. It seems clearer to me with this reading of the article. The intro to the article reads: "If you're really paying attention, it's hard to escape a sense of outrage, fear, despair. Author, deep-ecologist, and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy says: Don't even try."
Why do U.S. leaders tolerate warmongers and a military industrial complex? To be clear, I agree with the Ukrainian aspiration for liberty but feel the Americans have bigger fish to fry. In particular, the motivations of the Neocons seem to have too much in common with those of neo-Nazis and we should take care of our own authoritarians before we start looking for foreign dragons to slay. Maybe we can start with disbanding NATO, twenty-five years too late. Admittedly my study of the issue is not current. Too many years since I was an Army Foreign Area Officer for East Europe, but I'm sure that if we exclude the unconstitutional Air Force and CIA, there are still enough ethical American leaders with common sense.
Thanks Bruce for sticking in there against the military magamachine. Best
wishes from Byron Friends of Palestine [Australia].
In Solidarity With our Peace Friends on Jeju Island... Twelve activists
with the Pacific Life Community were arrested for blocking the road into
Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, California on March 2 (8 are still in jail
for at least a night or two after refusing to sign papers for their
Before the blockade some of the protesters did one of the
special dances from Gangjeong village, after practicing over the
weekend! More pictures and a report will be on the Nuclear Resister Facebook page after I get some sleep and travel home!!
At times I feel completely overwhelmed by the current US-NATO military operations aimed at Russia. It's growing rapidly - one can't help but wonder if the recent 'victory' of the self-defensive forces in eastern Ukraine wasn't allowed by Washington and Kiev as a way to get public opinion behind the already well established plans for even more NATO escalation.
It's all just far too neat and tidy to be seen otherwise. This is not a conspiracy but a well designed military plan to take down Moscow. They are playing with fire. In some respects the 'project' is now impossible to stop. The question for the moment is how long will this attack on Russia go on and what level of conflict will result? Will it go nuclear? If so the world is fucked.
The Pentagon role now is to send legions of NATO trainers into Ukraine to "push Kiev's [reluctant] troops forward" in order to "deter Russian aggression." It's a long term military operation that is going to be exceedingly expensive. It's got to be sold to the American people and folks throughout Europe. In order to make this public relations campaign successful the perpetrators have to flip the switch - turn the story ass backwards - blame the other side for doing what US-NATO are in fact doing.
The source of the aggression is quite clear to me. US-NATO are all over Russia's border. I learned today that the current right-wing Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves grew up in New Jersey and went to Columbia University. It's funny how the US is able to continually put their agents into office in key nations around the world.
Go back to post WW II and note how fascist Syngman Rhee lived in the US and was then put in power in South Korea to ensure Washington's control. Recall the many fascist dictators that the US repeatedly put in place in Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and throughout Latin America and the African continent. It's called good corporate planning.
More recently in 2008 we saw Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (also trained in the US at George Washington University) launch an attack on Russian speaking republics South Ossetia and Abkhazia along Russia's border. Russia responded to the Georgian military strike against the people there by counter-attacking Georgia. The fighting took place in the strategically important Transcaucasia region which borders the Middle East.
I'll never forget watching the first US politician to arrive in Georgia after the 2008 shooting war subsided. It was then Sen. Joe Biden who made that visit, just months before being selected as Obama's running mate. Biden came back slinging much anti-Russian rhetoric and most importantly threatened Russia with dire consequences if it did not do as instructed by Washington and Brussels. Biden of course also led the effort in the Senate to send more weapons and US military 'trainers' to Georgia. So this is all a familiar story.
Just this morning NPR (National Public Radio) had an interview with a Russian woman who 'fingered' Putin as the one who called for the killing of Boris Nemtsov this past weekend in Moscow. It's all so damn convenient - the pieces just keep tumbling into place as the case is made for war with Russia in order to contain the 'evil Putin'. Can you see Manuel Noriega (Panama),Saddam Hussein (Iraq), and Muammar Qaddafi (Libya) all over again? It's a tried and true twisting of the truth in order to set up supposed 'obstacles' for take down. It's always sold though as the mighty super-moral US swooping in to protect 'freedom and democracy'. Walt Disney couldn't have done this any better.
The US-NATO expansion of the conflict in Ukraine is indeed a declaration of war against Russia. And from what I can make out the Russian people see the writing on the wall - they can hear the train coming. Sadly the American people have no clue what is going on nor do most of those in Europe.
This project has been set up with criminal precision. After all the CIA and the Pentagon have had alot of practice over the years. This is what Washington does best.
"A large number of terrorist Takfiri fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi
and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup
from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the
Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in
its fight against the pro-Russian population," an Arab security
official told FNA on Sunday on the condition of anonymity due to the
secrecy of the issue.
"Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion... to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that's taking place," US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday. Despite earlier warnings from Russia (and claims that NATO had not agreed to any such foreign 'boots on the ground' action') Foster added, "what we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer." (See video below - at least watch from 30:18 to 32:15)
Speaking before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, US Assistant Secretary of European Affairs Victoria Nuland said that the State Department is vastly increasing its budget for battling what she calls “the Kremlin’s pervasive propaganda campaign poisoning minds across Russia, on Russia’s periphery, and across Europe. This year, the [Broadcasting Board of Governors] is committing $23.2 million to Russian-language programming,” Nuland told the committee. “A 49% increase since [fiscal year 2014].” The State Department is also requesting an additional $20 million, which would “ramp up efforts to counter lies with truth.”
An extensive report on "How the Malaysian Boeing" was shot down over Ukraine has been completed. You can find it here
These are the cats that Washington wants to send weapons and US military 'trainers' to support in Kiev.
A fist fight exploded in the Ukrainian Rada on Tuesday, after Ukraine's
Radical Party (nationalists that want to rearm Ukraine with nukes) leader Oleg Lyashko reportedly started an altercation with
Sergei Melnychuk, the leader of the Aidar volunteer (Neo-Nazi) battalion.
of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak attempted to stop the fight
several times but the conflict continued until parliament was
suspended. The fight later spilled out into the Rada's hallways.
From what I have observed these fisticuffs seem to happen quite regularly inside the Rada. Elected officials who are supporters of the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine appear to have mostly been driven out of the Rada.
Fracked Up - U.S. Plans for Control of Ukraine's Natural Gas
Recall that V-P Joe Biden's son Hunter signed on to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest oil
company, Burisma Holdings, at a time that the US is urging Ukraine to develop energy
independence from Russia. (You could call it the spoils of war. And you could call it corruption at the highest levels.)
“Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the
field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong
economy in Ukraine,” Hunter Biden said in a statement.
So one reason for the US war in Ukraine is to force the drilling for fracked natural gas in the eastern part of the county. The local population opposes doing so as they know that it will ruin the environment. Thus they must be driven off their land by Kiev's Army which is backed by the US-NATO war machine.
This video shows how a fracking operations camp had been set up but the self-defense forces drove them out of the area.
The US wants to install western energy companies in Ukraine and Washington wants to force regime change in Moscow so they can get their hands on Russia's natural gas - which happens to be the largest supply on the planet.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a difficult election in only two weeks, came to Washington pretending
to be deeply alarmed by Iran’s potential for developing a nuclear
weapon and saying he is determined to ensure that President Barack
Obama’s negotiations with Tehran result in a “better deal” than the one
now anticipated (without detailing how that could be done).
In fact, Netanyahu had three unstated goals. His first and most
important was to shore up his own flagging political fortunes in Israel.
Second, he wanted to forestall any further pressure from Obama,
Secretary of State John Kerry and congressional Democrats for a peace
deal with the Palestinians, having successfully torpedoed the 2013–14
round of talks. Third, he wanted to forestall a thaw in US-Iran
relations, which is apparent both in the nuclear talks and on the ground
in Iraq, where Washington, Baghdad and Tehran are now de facto allies
A coalition of human rights
organizations, led by CODE PINK, organized four days of political
action in Washington DC to oppose the policies of the American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) during its annual policy conference.
Coined #ShutDownAIPAC, activists hosted a variety of creative events: protests outside the DC
Convention Center and Netanyahu’s speech in Congress; events critiquing
AIPAC policies; and a lobby day in Congress to call for no more
sanctions on Iran.
Ukraine President Poroshenko gets a message from his troops on the front lines of the US-NATO war. They've figured out they are cannon fodder and are getting rather angry about it. Thus US-NATO 'trainers' are being sent in to 'whip them back into shape'. All they need is a bit more "training and they'll get right back at it."
Hardly....the wheels are coming off this Washington-Brussels war project. No wonder there was an assassination on the Kremlin doorstep. Needed to distract the public from the real story. Pin it all back on Putin. Can you see the Madison Avenue public relations campaign in motion?
Steven Starr, Bruce Gagnon (at 19:57 into the video),
Bill Hartung speak at the Helen Caldicott sponsored Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction in New York City held on February 28, 2015. This was the first
of two days and was live streamed.
Helen Caldicott did the moderating of this first day.
This video is a moving and heartbreaking inside view of the US-NATO backed assault on the Russian speaking people of eastern Ukraine.
You get a glimpse of the self-defense forces - former miners, farmers, electricians, tele-communications engineers, musicians, former soldiers, husbands, wives and some volunteers from Russia who have come to eastern Ukraine to help defend the people from the endless attacks on their communities.
The people often refer to the 'Grads' that Kiev's forces use to shell them. Each time I heard Grads I flash back to my Little League baseball team at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota in the early 1960's. The name of my team was the 'Grads'. At the time I had no clue what a Grad actually was.
There is a lull in the fighting now after Kiev's forces got routed out of Debalcevo just days ago. For the moment Kiev's forces have retreated enough to resupply themselves and wait for the new 'trainers' from the US, Poland, Canada, and Britain coming to prop up their war machine. It is expected they will renew their offensive in the spring.
Since Kiev's huge loss in Debalcevo the self-defense forces have been left with legions of military vehicles, weapons, and other such equipment. The real question is what are they going to do with all the refugees and how will they survive? Russia has been sending in many convoys of humanitarian aid but even that is just a drop in the bucket.
For us in the west we must make a more determined effort to force our corporate dominated governments to end this insane provoking of war with Russia. We have to start with educating our own fellow citizens who have largely fallen victim to the brainwashing by corporate run media.
Heads Up: The blue and yellow flag patch is Kiev forces. The self-defense forces are red and blue.
Go with the crowd
speak the truth?
There is a price
Best go with
would kill me
if I say
what I really think
in the wrong place
at the wrong time
I can't afford
to get labeled
a trouble maker
Can't we just
What about the kids
the family Sunday dinners
already so tense
as it is?
You expect me
to talk about that
at my bridge club?
Do you realize
I wouldn't have
one friend left
Things are getting
worse for sure
What will it take
to move us
and take action
while still possible?
What is our limit?
Which comes first
or getting along?
sleeping at night...
the next seven
Will they really
thought of us?
US Marine flag found in Debaltsevo, Ukraine. It appears that "trainers" from the Marines left the flag as they fled from the battlefield along with portions of Kiev's Army when recently surrounded by the eastern self-defense forces
I am on the train heading back to Maine after the Helen Caldicott nuclear weapons conference in New York City. I'll write more about it once home but for now I can say that my talk was well received by most people there. I made sure to connect the dots between US-NATO "missile defense" deployments, now being used to encircle Russia, and the growing likelihood that successful "arms control" negotiations with Russia and China are out the door. How can Russia and China seriously consider reducing their nuclear strategic forces at the very time that Pentagon first-strike attack systems are being set up near their borders? Sadly I did not hear any other speaker during the two-day event ever mention the words "missile defense". Instead much of the talks during the conference were about the moral, ethical, environmental, and cost consequences of making, deploying, or using nuclear weapons. All very well and good - but how can anyone expect to get rid of nukes when the US-NATO are sticking the 'shield' upon the doorway of Russia?
With that said I was glad that a few speakers did mention Ukraine and the US-backed coup in Kiev that has instigated the deadly civil war along the Russian border. Particularly it was journalist Robert Parry who made strong arguments about the US being highly responsible for the growing instability in the region.
I was approached by a woman from Ithaca, New York who told me that recently at Cornell University they had a lecture on Ukraine and all four speakers represented the US government position that everything happening there is Russia's fault and they continued the customary Putin-bashing now popular throughout the west.
I'm trying to catch up with reading about the assassination of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in recent days. My first reaction was this is a Gladio-style false flag event. Putin would not benefit from killing someone who was in no way a threat to his government. The true beneficary of this killing is the US-NATO program of demonization of Putin and the successful creation of the mindset across the west that direct US-NATO military intervention in Ukraine, and even inside Russia, is necessary and justifiable. Just a quick glance at the various front pages of mainstream newspapers this morning inside Penn Station in NYC verified this reality.
Nemtsov’s support for western neo-liberal (corporate) policies made him one of those responsible (even if he wasn’t, by a long shot, the main one responsible) for the detestable economic policy that drove Russia to ruin and its population to misery following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. (He served as a high government functionary during the Yeltsin regime.) His opposition to Putin led him to frequent the oligarchic circles, and similar people in Ukraine, and he was a frequent visitor to the US Embassy in Moscow - most recently just last January. Right on schedule he took up the “Maidan” cause in Kiev and criticized the position of the Russian government on the Ukraine crisis.
Nemtsov's political party got 1% of the vote in the last Russian election. Today Putin is supported by 86% of the Russian people. (The Communist Party in Russia is the real opposition to Putin at about 20% in the polls.) Obviously Nemtsov was not a threat to Putin while alive, but in death he has become a valuable asset to those who are working so hard to create regime change in Moscow. And just who would that be? Who is now benefiting most from his death?
Last night Father Bill 'Bix' Bichsel passed on in Tacoma, Washington. Fr. Bix is one of the most revered peace activists in the northwest where he founded a Catholic Worker community that serves the poor and homeless with much love and hospitality. He was one of the leaders in the longtime peace protests at the Bangor nuclear submarine base in Washington state.
Fr. Bix recently took about a dozen people from his community to sit-in at the gates of the Navy base being built in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. Just before passing away Fr. Bix was reported to have said Gangjeong is one of the holiest places on our planet.
Fr. Bix will be missed by everyone who has come to know and love him. I had the great fortune to meet him several times, the most recent time was when I went to the west coast in January to walk on the MLK peace walk. We spent two nights in Bix's home. He was weak then but still had the energy and desire to sit with us to ask about the work we are all doing.