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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Peace, Not Russia, Is Real Threat To U.S. Power

A lasting peace would bring Obama's Pentagon/DOD/NATO military industrial complex gravy-train taxpayer ripoff to a screeching halt  

STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION
By Finian Cunningham
05/16/2016

The monstrous U.S. military budget is a classic illustration of the proverb about not seeing the wood for the trees. It is such an overwhelming outgrowth, all too often it is misperceived.


General Dwight D.. Eisenhower
In recent years, Washington’s military expenditure averages around $600 billion a year. 

That’s over half of the total discretionary spending by the US government, exceeding budgets for education, health and social security. It’s well over a third of the total world military annual spend of $1.7 trillion.

The incipient military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned of in his farewell speech in 1961 has indeed become a central, defining feature of American society and economy. 


To talk of "American free-market capitalism" is a staggering oxymoron when so much of the country’s economy is wholly dependent on government-funded militarism.

Or put it another way: if the US military budget were somehow drastically reduced in line with other nations, the all-powerful military-industrial complex and the American state as we know it would collapse. No doubt something better would evolve in time, but the impact on established power interests would be calamitous and therefore is trenchantly resisted.

This is the context for the escalation in Cold War tensions with Russia this week, with the deployment of the US missile system in Romania. The $800 million so-called missile shield is set to expand to Poland over the next two years and eventually will cover all of Europe from Greenland to southern Spain.




Washington and NATO officials maintain that the Aegis anti-missile network is not targeted at Russia. Unconvincingly, the US-led military alliance claims that the system is to defend against Iranian ballistic missiles or from other unspecified "rogue states." Given that Europe is well beyond the range of any Iranian ballistic capability and in light of the international nuclear accord signed last year between Tehran and the P5+1 powers, the rationale of "defense against Iranian rockets" beggars belief.


Obama fancies himself as a "wartime president"
The Russian government is not buying American and NATO denials that the new missile system is not directed at Russia. The Kremlin reproached the latest deployment as a threat to its security, adding that it would be taking appropriate counter-measures to restore the strategic nuclear balance. That’s because the US Aegis system can be reasonably construed as giving NATO forces a "first-strike option" against Russia.


A couple of things need to be clarified before addressing the main point here. First, European states are chasing Iranian business investments and markets following the breakthrough P5+1 accord signed last July. Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Austria are among the Europeans who have been vying to tap Iran’s huge economic potential. The notion that Iran is harboring a military threat to such prospective partners is ludicrous, as Russian officials have pointed out.

Secondly, the US protestations of innocent intentions towards Russia are a contemptible insult to common sense. They contradict countless statements by Washington, including President Obama and his Pentagon top brass, which have nominated Russia as an aggressive threat to Europe. 




Washington is quadrupling its military spending in Europe, increasing its troops, tanks, fighter jets, warships and war exercises on Russia’s borders on the explicit basis of "deterring Russian aggression."

In other words, Russia is viewed as a top global enemy – an existential threat – according to Washington. So, the deployment of the US Aegis missile system this week in Eastern Europe is fully consistent with Washington’s bellicose policies towards Russia. It would thus be irrational and foolishly naive to somehow conclude otherwise, that the US and its NATO allies are not on an offensive march towards Russia.




The depiction of Russia as a global security threat is of course absurd. We can also include similar US claims against China, Iran and North Korea. All such US-designated «enemies» are wildly overblown.

Western claims – amplified relentlessly in the Western news media – of Russia "annexing" Crimea and "invading" eastern Ukraine can be easily contested with facts and indeed counterpoised more accurately as belying Washington’s covert regime change in Kiev.

Nevertheless, Western fear-mongering supported by unremitting media propaganda has to a degree succeeded in conflating these dubious claims into a bigger specter of Russia menacing all of Europe with hybrid warfare. It is, to be sure, a preposterous scare story of a Russian bogeyman which has racist undertones and antecedents in Nazi ideology of demonizing Slavic barbarians.




But this demonizing of Russia, as with other global enemies, is a necessary prop for the American military-industrial complex and its essential functioning for the US economy.

The $600 billion-a-year military spend by Washington is roughly tenfold what Russia spends. And yet, inverting reality, Russia is presented as the threat.

The US military budget is greater than the combined budgets of the world’s next nine big military spenders: China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, India, Japan and South Korea, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


Arguably, the US economy as we know it – dominated by Pentagon, corporate, Wall Street and congressional interests – would cease to exist were it not for the gargantuan government-subsidized military budget. Structurally, the US economy has ossified into a war economy and the only way for this to be maintained is for the US to be continually placed on a war footing, either in the form of a Cold or Hot conflict. 


Historians will note that out of its 240 years of existences as a modern state, the US has been in war or overseas conflict for more than 95 per cent of its history.

During the former Cold War with the Soviet Union, a recurring theme in Washington was the alleged "missile gap" which purported to portray the US as losing its military edge. This resulted in relentless military expenditure and an arms race that in part led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Washington’s self-ordained privilege to run up endless debt (currently nearly $20 trillion) because of its dollar dominance as the world’s reserve currency has permitted the US to escape a day of reckoning for its ruinous military profligacy.

This madcap situation continues to prevail. A quarter of a century after the official end of the old Cold War, US military spending continues at the same profligate, unsustainable pace.




What Washington needs in order to keep the fiasco going is to whip the rest of the world into a frenzy of fear and loathing. That’s why the Cold War with Russia and China has had to be rehabilitated in recent years. Swords cannot be turned into plowshares because the US power interests that command its economy have no use for plowshares.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has on several occasions invited global cooperation on security matters, and with the US in particular. Moscow has also recently said that it does not want to embark on a new arms race. The latter wariness is understandable given the deleterious experience for the Soviet Union from runaway military spending.

However, that is precisely what the US wants and needs to induce: a global arms race which it can then invoke as justification for its own monstrous military.




According to SIPRI, both China and Russia have significantly increased their military budgets, by about 7.5 per cent each in 2015.

Russia may not want to engage in an arms race, mindful of the warping pressure that can inflict on its national resources and development.

But when the US installs a new missile system on Russia’s doorstep, the impetus for Russia to likewise scale up military commitments is onerous.

And that is what Washington is driving at. It is not that Russia is an objective security threat to Washington or its allies. The real threat to Washington is peaceful international relations which would make its military-industrial complex redundant.




It is a disturbing reality that world peace is antithetical to the very foundation of America’s corporate capitalist power.

Shamefully, the world is subjected to the risk of war and even annihilation all for the purpose of maintaining elite American power privileges. And among those who suffer this diabolical injustice are none other than the majority of American citizens, who have to endure poverty and misery while their corporate elite siphon off $600 billion a-year in military obscenity.



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

CIA Watchdog "Accidentally" Deletes Torture Report, Destroys Physical Copy

Obama's murdering CIA needs to be investigated top to bottom, audited, disbanded and all operatives past and present prosecuted for war crimes, torture and treason  

WASHINGTON EXAMINER
By Rudy Takala
05/16/2016

The CIA's inspector general is claiming it inadvertently destroyed its only copy of a classified, three-volume Senate report on torture, prompting a leading senator to ask for reassurance that it was in fact "an accident."


American traitor John Brennan
"As you may be aware, the office of the CIA inspector general has misplaced and/or conditionally destroyed its electronic copy and disk of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's full 6,700-page classified study of the CIA detention and interrogation program," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote in a Friday letter to CIA Director John Brennan.

Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked that Brennan "immediately" provide the IG with a new copy of the report. 


"Your prompt response will allay my concern that this was more than 'accident,'" Feinstein added. "The CIA IG should have a copy of the full study because the report includes extensive information directly related to the IG's ongoing oversight of the CIA."


Torture at Abu Ghraib
The letter followed reports in the media that quoted unnamed sources in the IG who indicated that the agency had accidentally deleted its digital copy of the file, in addition to inadvertently destroying a physical disk the file was stored on. The destruction was never reported either to senators or to a federal judge overseeing a Freedom of Information Act case pertaining to the information.

It is not the first time that Feinstein has sparred with Brennan over the report, which contains Senate Intelligence Committee findings on the CIA's use of torture in the war on terrorism. 



Brennan in 2014 admitted his agency had hacked Feinstein's committee staffers in an attempt to destroy classified information that, he argued, the committee had wrongfully obtained.

During production of the report, it was also revealed that the agency had destroyed video footage from 2005 that featured agents using enhanced interrogation methods on Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two high-level detainees.




The American Civil Liberties Union has attempted to obtain the text of the report through a FOIA lawsuit but was denied on the basis that it constitutes a report by Congress, which is not subject to FOIA laws. Feinstein and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., have petitioned David Ferriero, the head of the National Archives, to declare the report a "federal record ... in the public interest," which would eliminate that roadblock.

In the meantime, Feinstein said she is seeking reassurance that the IG is going to receive another copy of the report. "Providing the CIA IG with a copy of the full report immediately will also ensure that [Department of Justice] lawyers can inform federal judges that the status quo was adhered to and has been restored," she wrote on Friday.



This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Architects Of Disastrous Iraq War Still At Large

The Hague War Crimes Tribunal awaits Bush, Cheney, Blair, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, Perle, Perino, Petraeus, Gonzales, Feith, Franks, Wolfowitz et al along with the "mainstream media" frauds and hacks that lied and shilled Americans into the disastrous Iraq and Afghan wars    

RT
By Neil Clarke
05/18/2016

Bombs going off in Iraq? Well, it happens all the time - what's there to see? Let’s all move along shall we?


On Thursday, at least 13 people were killed in a ISIS attack on a cafĂ© in Baghdad for the ‘crime’ of watching a football match. The day before at least 88 people were killed in three explosions across Baghdad; scores were injured. 

Yes, these events got some coverage on Western news channels, but they weren’t the main stories. The neocon war lobby, who, remember, couldn’t stop talking about Iraq in 2002/3, and telling what a terrible threat the country’s WMDs posed to us, would of course like us to forget the country all together now. 


They’ve told us lots of times we need to ‘move on’ from talking about the 2003 invasion and instead focus on more important things - like how we can topple a secular Syrian president who’s fighting the very same terrorists who are bombing Baghdad.

The next few months though are going to very tricky for the ‘Don’t Mention the Iraq war’ clique. After years of delay, the Chilcot report into the war, is finally coming out in Britain in July.

There are legitimate fears, bearing in mind the compositionof the panel, that Chilcot will seek to whitewash those who took us to war. Another Establishment cover-up certainly can’t be discounted.




But if Sir John does try and tell us that the war was all an ‘honest mistake’, he and his panel will be a laughing stock. Whatever Chilcot’s conclusions are, the important thing is that Iraq will be back in the news headlines, and this represents a great opportunity for those of us who opposed the 2003 invasion to ensure that justice is finally done.

It’s surely clear to almost everyone now that we were lied into an illegal war which not only destroyed an entire country, but which also led directly to the rise of IS and helped bring terrorism to Europe too.


We don’t need Sir John to tell us that Bush and Blair knew there were no WMDs in Iraq - as common sense and logic tells us that the deadly duo would never have invaded if they had genuinely believed the lurid claims contained in the decidedly dodgy dossiers.

Everything we were told by the neocons in the lead-up to war was false. To quote the title of a book by the antiwar British MP Peter Kilfoyle, there were Lies, Damned Lies and Iraq.


'Saddam has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes'.

Horse manure.

'Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program is active, detailed and growing'.

Hogwash.

'Saddam Hussein… has the wherewithal to develop smallpox'.




Garbage.

'We know that Iraq and al-Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade...We've learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases'.

Baloney.

‘The threat is very real and it is a threat not just to America or the international community but to Britain.’Has the trash been collected yet?

Yet up to now- the people who peddled this bullsh** - bullsh** which led to the deaths of up to 1m people and made the Middle East and the world a far more dangerous place - have got off scot-free.


Tony Blair did step down as British Prime Minister in 2007, but remains a free man. Almost every week, we read in the newspapers about the vast fortune he has accumulated, with much of the money coming from governments and countries which benefited from the toppling of Saddam.

Blair’s partner in crime, George W. Bush, also remains at liberty.

Politicians who voted for an illegal war and who have failed to offer us a mea culpa for doing so - have advanced - but not to the jailhouse.


In 2005, as I explained here, the pro-war David Cameron was fast-tracked by the neocons to become Conservative leader - at the expense of the more popular anti-war Ken Clarke.

In the US, the pro-Iraq war Hillary Clinton is the current odds-on favorite to succeed Barack Obama in the White House.

Disgustingly, obscenely, and outrageously, some of the most vociferous opponents of the Iraq war - the people who correctly predicted the disasters that would occur if Iraq was invaded - have seen their careers go into reverse because of the stance they took.




In Britain, George Galloway, the antiwar socialist who toured the country warning us what would happen if we listened to Bush and Blair, has become an outcast.

The man who was branded as a ‘traitor’ by the pro-war Blairites for his stance on Iraq, is still waiting for his expulsion from the Labour Party to be rescinded. In the US, as anti-war activist Don Debar pointed out on Crosstalk this week, people of note who had opposed the Iraq war resolution - including Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich - had been ‘driven out of Congress by one mechanism or another’.


"Mainstream media" frauds and war shills like Fox News hack Dana Perino will be seated beside their master Bush at The Hague

Meanwhile, in the media, the journalists and neocon think-tankers who fed us with conspiracy theories about Saddam’s non-existent WMDs and his non-existent links with Al Qaeda, continue to push pro-war propaganda.

They are regular guests on Establishment friendly current affairs programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, imparting their 'expertise’ on Syria and other foreign policy issues. No one ever has the courage to ask them: ‘Whatever happened to those WMDs you told us that Iraq had?


Powell's infamous UN WMD speech

At the same time, the journalists who called Iraq right - like the great John Pilger - are absent from Western television news and current affairs programs. You’ve got to tune in to channels like RT - which the hawks would dearly love to see taken off air - to see them.

I’m sure that future generations will be shocked and appalled at how the Iraq war brigade were able to get away with it for so long.

Iraq, in the words of John Pilger, was an ‘epic crime against humanity’, yet its perpetrators and enablers, are still there, thirteen years on, making money before our very eyes.

How have we allowed this to happen?

The pro-Iraq war clique have attempted to use political correctness to their advantage. As part of what Media Lens calls ‘demonising dissent’ - the fourth component of a ’Propaganda Blitz’,principled opponents of western foreign policy are smeared as ‘sexist’ ‘misogynist‘, ‘racist’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ ‘genocide deniers’ and even ‘dictator apologists’ -in the hope that no one will draw attention to the ‘morally virtuous’ attacker’s support for wars which have led to over 1m people losing their lives.


Torture at Abu Ghraib
To deflect attention away from their crimes, the Iraq war clique- who have clearly read their Orwell- also encourage us to focus on the alleged crimes of ‘Official Enemies’. We’re supposed to feel outraged over a non-existent ‘Russian invasion of the Ukraine’, while forgetting about the all too real invasion of Iraq and its catastrophic consequences. Cowardly Establishment-friendly ‘leftists’, who wouldn‘t retweet or cite with approval an article published by RT because of fear they’d be excommunicated from the ‘Elite Journos Club’, happily engage with unrepentant pro-Iraq war propagandists on social media.


In doing so these western faux-progressives are effectively saying that the deaths of up to 1m Iraqis don’t matter. They’re sticking a big two fingers up at the people of the global south who have been the victims of neocon wars and destabilization campaigns.

The Nuremberg Judgement was quite clear: To launch a war of aggression, as the Iraq war clearly was, ‘is not only an international crime; it is the SUPREME INTERNATIONAL CRIME differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’

If we have retain any proper sense of right and wrong, then it is those who carried out the ‘supreme international crime’ - and their supporters - who should be treated as pariahs, and not those who opposed the crime.




We don’t just need to campaign for Bush and Blair and their cohorts to stand trial (a website here offers a reward for those who attempt a peaceful citizen’s arrest of Blair), but also to work for a new law to bar those who supported the ‘supreme international crime’ and who have not publicly apologized for their actions, from holding public office in Britain and America.

In Germany after WW2, Denazification took place to remove Nazis from positions of power and influence. We need similar action today against the serial warmongers of the 21st century.


In Britain, the publication of Chilcot in July should provide the perfect opportunity for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who opposed the Iraq invasion, to go on the front foot against his pro-war critics in the party who have worked tirelessly to undermine his democratic mandate.


There’s still hope too that in America, Hillary the Hawk can be defeated.

Let’s talk about Iraq. Let’s talk about it incessantly. Let’s make sure that there is a reckoning, at long last, in 2016. Because if we want justice for the 1m or so people who lost their lives because of pack of lies nothing else will do.


Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66.




This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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