What’s the likelihood of a shooting war with Russia over Ukraine? What are the military realities that the United States and it’s NATO collaborators see when they consider a real war in behalf of their proxy government in Ukraine? Leading edge blogger, The Saker, provides an extended analysis that answers these questions convincingly. Along with George Eliason’s superb analysis, The Saker is taking citizen journalism to new heights. (Image: Thomas Williams)
A short time before The Saker’s post, we got a bit of good news. The official propaganda organ of corporate America, Associated Press, ran this headline at 12:38 PM PDT – AP: Ignoring Putin, Ukraine Insurgents to Hold Vote. It doesn’t take much to read these tea leaves. Putin is being let off the hook as the evil genius behind the people of Eastern Ukraine. After a little bit of corporate media rehab, Obama will be able to accept Putins ongoing offer to negotiate a reasonable ending to the mess that they created (unless the neocons sabatoge it).
I’ve put this off long enough. I’ve enjoyed the fruits and sweetness of a brief entanglement with bliss and despair long enough. It is time that I get down to business, call a spade a spade and then pick up my spade and put it to its intended use. I am done with my creature comforts and of protecting what has yet to be taken, as if what has already been taken has not been egregious enough.
Perhaps I should qualify the comforts I enjoy today, at the edge of this springboard, by mentioning where this journey began for me. Continue reading →
Through lies and fabrications, president Obama`s carefully scripted speech upholds a world of total fantasy, in which “bad guys” are lurking and “plotting acts of terror” Islamic “jihadists” are said to be threatening Western civilization.
Each and every statement in Obama’s May 1st speech at Bagram Air Force base regarding the role of Al Qaeda is a fabrication:
To fight our insane wars, we’re wrecking our soldiers’ ability to live with themselves and function in society, then regulating what’s left of them with chemicals, which often make things immeasurably worse.
In the pursuit of order, could we possibly be creating more chaos, not simply externally — in the shattered countries we’re leaving in our wake — but internally, in the minds of those soldiers?
The war is over, sort of, but the Big Lie marches on: that democracy is flowering in Iraq, that America is stronger and more secure than ever, that doing what’s right is the prime motivator of all our military action.
And the troops will be home for Christmas. Hurrah! Hurrah!
(The men will cheer, the boys will shout, and we’ll all feel gay, except maybe Rick Perry.)
“The war in Iraq will soon belong to history,” President Obama told the troops at Fort Bragg last week. “Your service belongs to the ages. Never forget that you are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries — from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you — men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who attacked us on 9/11.”
Maybe, as he fulfilled his campaign promise and shut down the Iraq operation after nearly nine years of occupation, slaughter and nation-wrecking, the president had no choice but to extol the glory of our fake values, to pretend — to those who fought it — that this was an honorable war, waged in self-protection and righteous vengeance.
If only I had the words. Sadly I do not. I’m not a writer nor a poet. Just a man in an age without men. An age without reason, justice or purpose. [Image]
The sun was bright but the west wind that blew all summer was strong. The neighbours had gone – their weekends evaporated like so many others. Short respites of joy and freedom. Temporary retreats from the pains of daily living. The lucky ones who could escape. They knew it. They knew they were lucky but did not know why exactly. How could they?
The IAEA claim that a foreign scientist – identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko – had been involved in building the alleged containment chamber has now been denied firmly by Danilenko himself in an interview with Radio Free Europe published Friday.
The latest report by the IAEA cited “information provided by Member States” that Iran had constructed “a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments” – meaning simulated explosions of nuclear weapons – in its Parchin military complex in 2000.
“It’s not acceptable to kill a person without trying him,” said Louay Hussein, a Syrian opposition figure in Damascus. “I prefer to see the tyrant behind bars.” New York Times, October 20
The New York Times reported that a NATO jet and drones disabled vehicles in a convoy carrying Muammar Gaddafi near the besieged town of Sirte on October 20. Loyalists in the remaining vehicles scattered becoming easy prey for the emboldened fighters of the new Libyan state.
Reuters expanded the narrative on the 21st by reporting that Gaddafi fled from his jeep, hid in a drainage pipe, and emerged with an automatic weapon and side arm. He was manhandled and slapped by the soldiers of the new Libya. He allegedly asked the crowd, “Don’t you know right from wrong?” They took exception to the question and shot him twice in the head. He was transported to Misurata, scene of one of the few decisive victories by the former rebels. Gaddafi’s corpse was placed on a bare mattress and put on display for the public on the 22nd. It remains there today, although it is now reportedly covered by a blanket (Reuters, October 23).
I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”;(1) and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war,(2) the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.
This is a thought provoking video that should make you very angry. It depicts war crimes and the hand over of U.S. soldiers to build market share for Haliburton and Kellogg, Brown & Root. It’s not for our benefit as a nation, or the benefit of our young men and women in uniform who are abused by this system as surely as the Iraqi and Afghan civilians we are fighting.
The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.
Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion of dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September.
Thank you all for coming to the 12th annual award of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Some would say there are too many awards for journalism that merely celebrate the status quo. The Martha Gellhorn Prize is very different. We believe it’s the most prestigious and sought-after award for journalism in Britain because it recognises that the best journalists are subversives – because the truth is so often subversive.
Let me quote in full why we give it: “This prize is in honour of one of the 20th century’s greatest reporters. It’s awarded to a journalist whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth. It’s validated by powerful facts that expose establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’, as Martha Gellhorn called it.”
I get so soul-sick of the war news because it’s a bad day that never changes. Over the weekend, NATO kills 14 people in an airstrike in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Ten of them are children. President Karzai cries, “No more!” A NATO spokesperson pats him on the head, regretfully shrugging that the alliance works hard to “limit” civilian casualties.
Oh sacred Earth . . .
I have a theory that it’s all related, and all speeding up at once: global climate change, endless war. We are reaping the seeds we began planting 10,000 years ago, when we left the Garden of Eden and set out to achieve dominion over Planet Earth.
You have a natural tendency
To squeeze off a shot
You’re good fun at parties
You wear the right masks
You’re old but you still
Like a laugh in the locker room
You can’t abide change
You’re at home on the range
You opened your suitcase
Behind the old workings
To show off the magnum
You deafened the canyon Continue reading →
While in Kabul in March of this year, I visited the U.S. military base in that city, Camp Eggers . Knowing I would need a pretext to gain entry, I typed up a letter offering to give a presentation on wildlife in Afghanistan , which I had been studying. When approaching the base, one passes through an initial checkpoint, where a Hummer topped with a machine-gun nest stands guard. Then there is a 100-yard walk down a narrow corridor between high concrete blast walls, at which point one arrives at a guarded entry point through the wall. I showed my passport and letter, and was escorted through a second layer of blast walls to a little wooden information booth in this still-peripheral circle of defense. The pimply young lad manning the booth was flustered by my request; he had never seen anything quite like it. He did what all soldiers do when faced with something new; he phoned his superior for orders on how to proceed.
I will be moderating a panel discussion following a showing of the film Concrete, Steel and Paint at 6 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, 1870 Campus Drive, on the school’s Evanston campus. This is a great movie. Please come if you’re in the Chicago area. I have several upcoming reading/speaking engagements related to my new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound: On Sunday, April 24, I will be speaking at Mothers Trust, in Ganges, Michigan. On May 6, I will be reading at the Quaker Friends meetinghouse in Lake Forest, Illinois.
By Robert C. Koehler
The Arab Spring — which indeed is a global spring — is a struggle, an upheaval, for fundamental justice and humanity. That’s the problem.
We —the Washington Consensus, the post-colonial West, the world’s military and economic overlords — have no more enthusiasm for this awakening, this cry for genuine democracy and equitable distribution of resources, than the tottering autocrats of the Middle East, most of whom (exception: Muammar Gaddafi) are our allies.
Please see information about purchasing my new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, following this week’s column.
By Robert C. Koehler
The crowds keep swelling, as though awareness, determination – humanity itself – were rising up from the earth. Einstein observed that we can never solve problems at the same level of thinking that created them. I hear the resonance of a new moral intelligence asserting itself, on the streets of the Middle East, in the United States and around the world.
“You can kill a man,” said Medgar Evers, “but you can’t kill an idea.”
But, oh, they try, they try. Hundreds were killed and wounded across the Middle East in recent weeks. “In the southern city of Aden,” AP reports, “Yemeni security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators after Friday’s Muslim prayers, wounding at least 19 people.”
I’ve written columns through harrowing circumstances, but this is the first time I’ve had a blizzard in the middle of one. My best to alll of you Midwesterners who took the hit last night and today, and my solidarity with all of you on the East Coast who are used to two feet of snow in one dump. It’s beautiful out there right now and a big adventure to get anywhere. When Chicago does shut down, I appreciate how rare such occasions are. I also appreciate my connectiion to a viable, surprisingly caring community. Meanwhile, my book is still for sale, with info following this week’s column.
By Robert C. Koehler
“I only remember a couple of more gunshots and then everything got quiet. Just as it all started it all just stopped. It felt like an eternity before the police got to our door and tried to open it up and they couldn’t open up the door. They had to ask for help from inside because there were bodies in the way.”
So . . . this, unavoidably, is how we have to think about peace — with horrific instances of its obvious absence. It’s not the only place to start, but somehow it seems right to start here, maybe in order not to stop here.
By 1967, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had become the country’s most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech delivered at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967 — a year to the day before he was murdered — King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”
Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi,” and the Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.”