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Video: 'Mr Death Squad' Henry Kissinger revealed through massive WIkileaks release (08Apr13)

The WikiLeaks release of 1.7 million US intelligence documents from the 1970s may seriously hinder US foreign policy power-broker Henry Kissinger, operating ... Via Youtube

Henry Kissinger Still Calls the Shots

Photo by Photo YourSpace | CC BY 2.0 Edward Luce’s article a week ago in the London Financial Times that is entitled, “Henry Kissinger: ‘We...

Video: Sy Hersh: Henry Kissinger Must “Count Burned and Maimed Cambodian & Vietnamese Babies”... - While Sy Hersh was working at The New York Times Washington bureau, he would watch reporters call then-Secretary of State ... Via Youtube

Kissinger & elder statesmen take on modern challenges — RT US News

In testimony before the Senate, national security strategists from the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations identified...

“Realpolitik”: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger in Berlin

After a tumultuous week which brought a number of nasty shocks and alarms, including the shooting down of a Syrian jet by the United...

The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow

Exclusive: Major U.S. media outlets insinuate that President Trump’s advisers are traitors for secretly talking to Russians, but they ignore the...

Video: Carrington & Kissinger – Bilderberg & NATO’s dying Atlanticist empire showcased on the...

Don't ask Peter Carrington about what happened on the bridge at Nijmegen on the evening of Wednesday 20th September 1944 - he doesn't like...

Trump presidency ‘extraordinary opportunity’ – Kissinger

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has described the election of Donald Trump as an...

Video: The Real Truth Behind Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump’s Relationship

[youtube] In this video Luke Rudkowski goes into great detail about Donald Trump's off the record meetings and relationship with long time national security...

Trump’s personality ‘unprecedented’, vision of new world order yet to be seen – Kissinger

The personality of Donald Trump has “no precedent” in modern US history, but he should be given a chance to put forward his policies,...

Video: BREAKING: Donald Trump Picks Hawk CFR Henry Kissinger Aid To Cabinet

[youtube] In this video Luke Rudkowski talks about Donald Trump's latest National Security Advisor pick apart of his cabinet K.T. McFarland. We go over...

Video: Trump Cabinet Pick Is Connected To Drug Trafficking and Henry Kissinger

[youtube] In this video Luke Rudkowski talks about Donald Trump choosing Elaine L. Chao to be transportation secretary in this cabinet. We go over...

Kissinger and Brzezinski to be honoured by Nobel Institute and Oslo University

by Jan Oberg These two top officials behind major US wars (Iran/Afghanistan and Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos) and regime change (against Allende, Chile) will speak at the first...

How Kissinger Won the Middle East for America

I am writing this (may God forgive me) on Yom Kippur. Exactly 43 years ago, at this exact moment, the sirens sounded. We...

Kissinger will not endorse any US presidential candidate

Henry Kissinger rejects reports that he would endorse Hillary Clinton for US president. Read more

Will Henry Kissinger Endorse Hillary Clinton?

How far away from warmongers’ endorsements is far enough? No, really, pressed the author of a recent article in The Nation, Bernie Sanders...

Video: Chilcot clueless! Henry Kissinger & Bilderberg Group were behind the Iraq war –...

Bilderberg Plotting To Bushwhack Iraq The super-secret Bilderberg gang wants a new war to generate immense profits and spend the world out of recession. Via...

Video: Henry Kissinger’s criminal sale of nuclear weapons technology to Soviet Russia in 1972...

Bryant Chucking Grinder In the early 1960s Soviets attempted to buy U.S. technology for ... Via Youtube

Samantha Power, Henry Kissinger & Imperial Delusions

Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Kissinger in 1976, Archivo General Histórico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, licensed under CC BY 2.0 Quite revealingly, the...

Video: What Is Donald Trump Doing With Henry Kissinger

[youtube] In this video Luke Rudkowski breaks down an important meeting that just took place with the republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump and globalist...

Kissinger receives Pentagon’s highest honor for private citizens

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has received the Pentagon’s highest honor for private citizens and foreign nationals. Kissinger, 92, received the Department of Defense...

Obama Pays Tribute, but Doesn't Say "Sorry" to Argentine Victims of Kissinger's Allies

President Obama on Thursday recognized the role of the US government in Argentina's Dirty War, a campaign of violence waged for seven...

Bernie’s Broadsides Against Kissinger Weren’t Even Half of It

Alli McCracken, Co-director of the peace group CODEPINK, dangles a pair of handcuffs in front of former Secretary of State Henry during a protest...

Kissinger? Kissinger Who?

Photo in The Nation (2/5/16) illustrating Henry Kissinger’s close relationship to Hillary Clinton. (photo: Alex Brandon/AP) Last week, presidential challenger Bernie Sanders attacked his rival...

Video: Democratic Debate: Sanders Attacks Clinton-Kissinger Vision for Perpetual War

[youtube] Clinton favors war and regime change over negotiations and diplomacy says Phyllis Bennis, author of “Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on...

Video: Sanders Slams Clinton’s Admiration for “Destructive” Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger

[youtube] - During Thursday's Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders picked up on a point that Hillary Clinton made during last week's face-off in ... Via...

Video: Sanders & Clinton Spar on 2002 Iraq Vote; Clinton Praises Henry Kissinger

[youtube] - During Thursday's debate in New Hampshire, while Sen. Bernie Sanders conceded former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has more ... Via Youtube

Video: Vladimir Putin and Henry Kissinger Meet To Discuss New World Order

[youtube] In this video Luke Rudkowski covers the important geo political meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and globalist henchman Henry Kissinger. source

Kissinger Championed US Foreign Policy of Ignoring the Lessons of Catastrophe

In the following introduction to Kissinger's Shadow, Greg Grandin reflects on the challenge of the media preparing an obituary for Henry Kissinger, who is...

How Henry Kissinger Helped Create Our "Proliferated" World

The only person Henry Kissinger flattered more than President Richard Nixon was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. In the early 1970s, the...

Video: Greg Grandin on “Kissinger’s Shadow”

[youtube] - Four decades after Henry Kissinger left office, his influence on the national security state can still be widely felt as the...

Kissinger urges US to treat Russia as ‘great power’

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has urged the United States to treat Russia as a “great power” and stop making efforts to...

Activists Attempt to “Arrest” Henry Kissinger for War Crimes

Activists from the antiwar group CodePink attempted to perform a citizen’s arrest on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger when he testified on global...

The Psychology of Victimhood: Obama, Cameron, Netanyahu, Clinton, Kissinger

Robert J. Burrowes Several years ago, someone said to me: ‘The victim wouldn’t have it any other way.’ When I first heard this comment, it...

Revealed: Kissinger considered attacking Cuba in 1976

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ordered a series of secret contingency plans that included airstrikes and mining of Cuban harbors in the aftermath of...

Bilderberger Henry Kissinger Wants World Army to Fight Terrorists

Globalist war criminal once described troops as "dumb, stupid animals" STEVE WATSON Henry Kissinger, Bilderberg kingpin and architect of overthrowing democratically elected governments, is keen to...

Hillary Clinton Cosying Up To War Criminal Henry Kissinger

Hillary Clinton often plays the hawk card: She voted for the Iraq war, dissed President Barack Obama for not being tough enough on Syria, and...

Henry Kissinger Outlines Plan For New World Order

The following is an article written by corrupt globalist, war criminal and war profiteer, Henry Kissinger: Libya is in civil war, fundamentalist armies are building...

New Memo: Kissinger Gave the “Green Light” for Argentina’s Dirty War

David Corn  RINF Alternative News Only a few months ago, Henry Kissinger was dancing with Stephen Colbert  in a funny bit on the latter's Comedy Central show. But...

Obama White House most ‘controlling’ since Nixon, Kissinger – former defense sec

Despite serving eight United States presidents, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says President Barack Obama’s White House staff was the most “centralized and...

Crimes against Humanity: Why Is Henry Kissinger Walking Around Free?

Two months ago, hundreds of thousands of Chileans somberly marked the 40th anniversary of their nation's September 11th terrorist event. It was on that...

From Kissinger to Obama

Set your alarms early Friday morning because it is once again time for the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize. Each year the Norwegian...

Kissinger and Chile: In an Age of Vigilantes, There Is Cause for Optimism

Henry Kissinger. (Photo: Brandon)Think the world needs an alternative to corporate media? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout and keep independent...

Kissinger and Chile: The Declassified Record on Regime Change

Kissinger pressed Nixon to overthrow the democratically elected Allende government because his “‘model' effect can be insidious,” documents show On 40th anniversary of coup, Archive...

Kerry, Kissinger and the Other Sept. 11 Posted on Sep 11, 2013 ...

Henry Kissinger: Balkanized and Fractured Syria “Best Possible Outcome”

In a very recent presentation at the Ford School, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger commented on the current Syrian situation, expressing his preference...

Henry Kissinger: Balkanized Syria Best Possible Outcome

In a very recent presentation at the Ford School, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger commented on the current Syrian situation, expressing his preference for a broken-up and balkanized Syria to emerge out of the current Assad-controlled unity (from 19 minutes and 30 seconds onward)...

Obama, Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

On March 21, Obama received Israel’s Medal of Distinction. It’s also called the President’s Medal. It’s Israel’s highest civil award. It’s for individuals “who have...

Henry Kissinger And The 9/11 Commission June 17, 2013 9/11 Commission was a slap in the face to the families who lost someone that day, and to the...

Kissinger: U.S. and China to Collaborate on Globalist “World Order”

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comMay 29, 2013 In the video below, Rockefeller protégé and operative Henry Kissinger...

Kissinger Confronted As “Mass Murderer”

“You coward! You self-serving coward! Get lost!” Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comMay 29, 2013 Former Secretary...

Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street

Nguyen Thai Binh Street, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam There’s a street in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City called Nguyen Thai Binh Street. The United States had...

Russiagate is Not Watergate

Photograph Source White House Press Office Richard Nixon was a complicated man. He was arguably our last liberal president.  He transformed the political scene in countless...

A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth...

Photograph Source DVIDSHUB • CC BY 2.0 You’re going to have to shut up or I’ll call the police…Get out of here you low-life scum.” — John...

Bloomberg’s Armsmaker-Funded Columnist Wants You to Know: Military Spending Is Woke

by Adam Johnson Progressives are told to love the Pentagon budget (Bloomberg, 3/17/19) by a pundit whose connection to the military/industrial complex isn’t disclosed. You may...

Bloomberg’s Armsmaker-Funded Columnist Wants You to Know: Military Spending Is Woke

by Adam Johnson Progressives are told to love the Pentagon budget (Bloomberg, 3/17/19) by a pundit whose connection to the military/industrial complex isn’t disclosed. You may...

Nikki Haley resurfaces with a think tank that attacks ‘international dangers’ — RT USA...

Nikki Haley has begun her political second act with the launch of Stand for America, an...

America’s Mad Nuclear Weapons Surge

Trident II D5 Missile Launch. No matter how “small” the warhead, you never want to see one of these launch under “real world”...

IRmep Lawsuit: US Nuclear ‘Policy Substitution’ for Israel Undermines NPT, AECA and Bilks US...

On January 17, the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) filed a 59-page brief (PDF HTML) in a lawsuit demanding release of...

Who Was Secretly Behind America’s Invading and Occupying Syria?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The invasion and occupation of Syria by tens of thousands of jihadists who were recruited from around the world...

Left-wing Rapper Just Gave Me

Trump, Troop Withdrawals, and Winning the 2020 Election

Good news: President Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan. While the President’s stated reason for the Syrian withdrawal – that Isis is...

A Spiritual Special Ops Team’s Christmas Gift

It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater.  The clown came out to inform the public.  They thought it was a...

Misreporting Manafort: A Case Study in Journalistic Malpractice

by Alan MacLeod The Guardian (11/27/18) added “sources say” to the headline after publication. In what has been described as potentially the biggest story of the...

Daily Beast takes heat on Twitter after implying Kremlin plot helped unseat Dem. senator...

The Daily Beast tried to pin the failure of Claire McCaskill to retain her senatorial seat...

Why the Saudi-US Crisis Will Pass – Consortiumnews

U.S.-Saudi ties have withstood crises in the past and will withstand this one, says As’ad AbuKhalil. Washington and Rihyad Have Had...

Centrist saviour or hypocrite? David Miliband reminded of his Saudi dealings as he decries...

Did David Miliband forget Britain's selling of Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia while he...

Testing presidential waters? Haley spoke to secretive conservative group before resigning UN — RT...

A week before leaving the Trump administration, Nikki Haley spoke to the neocon group - Council...

Khashoggi and Demetracopoulos | Dissident Voice

by Muhammad Othman / October 17th, 2018 In the early seventies, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were torn to distraction by a Greek refugee journalist...

Did U.S. and Its Allies Commit War Crime by Bombing Syria on April 14th?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at INTRODUCTION Bombardment (or other military invasion) of a country that has not invaded nor threatened to invade the attacking country(s)...

Say Goodbye to the Guardrails of Governance

During a lifetime of make-believe, Donald Trump has never pretended to be a conventional politician. When he finally decided to make a serious bid...

Subversive Globalism – LewRockwell

Venezuela and the hypocrisy of US imperialism


Trump’s Psyche and the Threat of Force

Photo Source David Shankbone | CC BY 2.0 The frightening letter from a senior official in the Trump administration that appeared in the New York Times begs...

The McCain Death Tour Reaches Its Imperial Apotheosis

Hand of God has struck the hourDay of judgement, God is callingOn their knees, the war pigs crawlingBegging mercy for their sinsSatan, laughing, spreads...

WaPo Uses Photo of John McCain Next to Nazi to Praise His ‘Human Rights’...

A Washington Post column (8/27/18) celebrating John McCain as a human rights “champion” was illustrated with a photo of him making common cause with...

Attention, War Criminals: Prizes Still Available

In the long, confounding history of inappropriate or unwarranted awards and prizes, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger being named the joint winner of...

That Facebook Will Turn to Censoring the Left Isn’t a Worry—It’s a Reality

On August 6, a number of giant online media companies, including Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Spotify and Pinterest, took the seemingly coordinated decision to remove...

Trump’s Grand Strategy from Quebec to Singapore

Trump takes on the world How to explain the welter of contradictions in US politics these days? Trump’s enthusiasm for peace with Russia vs his acceptance...

Thoughts on Overcoming Despair | Dissident Voice

As a leftist, I’m used to despair. How many hours have I, like so many others with an ounce of humanity in them,...

Thoughts on Overcoming Despair | Dissident Voice

As a leftist, I’m used to despair. How many hours have I, like so many others with an ounce of humanity in them,...

William J. Astore’s Thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon

Weekends are a good time to sit back, reflect, and think. Here are a few ideas I’ve been thinking about: 1. Remember 9/11/2001? Of course...

Bad Blood – LewRockwell

Anthony Bourdain: The Last Gasp of CNN’s Original Vision

Anthony Bourdain on a train in Sri Lanka (Parts Unknown, 10/29/17) CNN began with the slogan, articulated by its founder Ted Turner: “The news is...

RFK and the End of an Era – Consortiumnews

A just published book on the RFK murder re-examines the evidences and asks what the world might be like if...

A Major Win for Trump’s War Cabinet

Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | CC BY 2.0 President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to run away from a summit meeting...

Canada’s Indifference to Brazilian Democracy

New revelations about Brazilian military violence offer an opportunity to reflect on Canadian support for that country’s 1964 coup and how Ottawa’s policy towards...

The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly

Photo by Joka Madruga | CC BY 2.0 “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to...

We’re right, everybody else is wrong’ — RT US News

There is an attitude among the American political class that they are right and everybody else...

Tribute to Robert Parry, Founder of Consortium News, May 19, Berkeley, CA. – Consortiumnews

REMINDER: This Saturday afternoon, May 19, at 2pm, a Tribute to Robert Parry, Founder and Editor of Consortium News will...

Tribute to Journalistic Giant, Robert Parry, Founder of Consortium News, May 19, Berkeley

On Saturday afternoon, May 19, at 2pm, a Tribute to Robert Parry, Founder and Editor of Consortium News will be held at Berkeley Fellowship...

Trump the peacemaker? South Korean president says Donald ‘can take the Nobel prize’ —...

US President Donald Trump "can take the Nobel prize" as long as the Koreas receive peace...

Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea


How Trump and the GOP Are Radicalizing Each Other

House Speaker Paul Ryan greets Donald Trump as he arrives on stage to speak at the National Republican Congressional Committee March Dinner at the...

The Mad Man Theory: Nixon, Trump and Bolton

Photo by Cody McComas | CC BY 2.0 Early in Richard Nixon’s presidency, he told his chief of staff Bob Haldeman that his secret strategy...

The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”

Photo by edward stojakovic | CC BY 2.0 The leading myth of the mainstream media over the past year has been the idea that there...

Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon

+ Before attempting to see things from Trump’s point of view this week, I consulted the great EM Cioran: “Chaos is rejecting all you...

Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning

Exclusively for CounterPunch, Matthew Stevenson travels from Haiphong and Hanoi, in what was North Vietnam, to the Central Highlands and Ho Chi Minh City,...

How the Washington Post Missed the Biggest Watergate Story of All – Consortiumnews

The Watergate scandal may have been rooted in Richard Nixon’s alleged efforts to sabotage the 1968 Paris peace talks, but...

‘You Have to Have Journalists Who Are Committed to Getting at the Truth’

The February 2, 2018, episode of CounterSpin re-aired a classic interview with the late Robert Parry, first broadcast on November 16, 2007; Steve Rendall...

Meet the Man Who Secretly Helped Daniel Ellsberg Leak Pentagon Papers to the Press

Historian Gar Alperovitz has revealed for the first time the key role he and a handful of other activists played in helping whistleblower Daniel...

A Tribute to Robert Parry: Independent Journalism at Its Best

Investigative journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018) Journalism lost one of its most valuable investigators when Robert Parry died from pancreatic cancer on January 27, at the...

Who will pay the $250+ billion reconstruction cost in Syria?

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at The United States Government says that Syria’s Government caused the U.N.-estimated "at least $250 billion" cost to restore Syria...

The Other Side of the Post’s Katharine Graham – Consortiumnews

Hollywood loves to make heroes of The Washington Post for the rare moments when it has stood up for journalism...

My Encounter With Charles Manson

Photo by David Shankbone | CC BY 2.0 When Charles Manson died yesterday, he was a wizened 83 year-old man, short enough (at 5’ 3”)...

Long Live Great October Revolution!

The world is in ruins. It is literally burning, covered by slums, by refugee camps, and its great majority is ‘controlled by markets’, as...

‘Legislators Criminalize Practices That Led to Wrongdoings Being Exposed’

Janine Jackson interviewed Chip Gibbons about attempts to censor reporting on agriculture for the September 15, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

Media’s Instinct to Rehabilitate the Powerful Has Not Changed Under Trump

When Stephen Colbert introduced a surprise guest at the end of his Emmys opening monologue on Sunday night, the audience didn’t seem to expect...

Media’s Instinct to Rehabilitate the Powerful Has Not Changed Under Trump

Former Trump spokesperson Sean Spicer at the Emmys. (photo: Trae Patton/CBS) When Stephen Colbert introduced a surprise guest at the end of his Emmys opening...

If Ever There Were Deplorables . . . .

Then Rockefeller-to-Friedman-to-Clinton-to-Obama-to-Trump Had Always Pegged Us Disposable! They – those Clintonistas-Kissingeristas-Friedmanistas-Obamaistas-Romneyistas-Adelsonistas-Sorosistas-Trumpistas-Zbigniew Brzezinskistas — are the deplorables. Really, for 60 years on this planet, in this...

Trump Continues Invasions that Can’t Succeed

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Do you remember the Vietnam War, which produced somewhere between 1,450,000 and 3,595,000 deaths? What good did America’s invasion...

Trump and the Geopolitics of Crazy

The United States has beaten its head against the wall of North Korea for more than 70 years, and that wall has changed little...

An Interview with WikiLeaks’ Assange

CIA Director Pompeo says WikiLeaks will be dealt with as a “hostile intelligence” service, raising the stakes in the long-running...

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in June dealt with the seemingly endless Russia-gate frenzy, President Trump’s stumbling debut on the...

Jack Shaheen, Vital Critic of Denigrating Images

Jack Shaheen (1935-2017) Media depictions of Arabs and Muslims as backward and violent pollute the minds of many and help fuel continuing militarism in the...

Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power

Exclusive: Official Washington’s arrogance in trying to push around Russia and China has pushed the two countries together, creating a...

The Russians Didn’t Do It

The Russians did not overthrow the government of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in order to put Shah Reza Pahlavi on the Peacock Throne,...

A Reformed Mass-Murderer Repents

Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.— Henry A. Kissinger Ouch! Blindsided by an epiphany. Once upon a time...

An Interesting View of Foreign Politics

Eric Zuesse For many years, I have been reading — but not yet citing as documentation for my own articles regarding U.S. international policies —...

Secretive Bilderberg Group to talk Russia, Trump & ‘war on information’

Many of the world's most powerful people are gathering for the annual meeting of the mysterious...

Secretive Bilderberg Group to talk Russia, Trump & ‘war on information’

Many of the world's most powerful people are gathering for the annual meeting of the mysterious...

Zbigniew Brzezinski, US Cold War national security advisor, dies at 89

Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential US political thinkers at the height of the Cold...

Asian crescent

The grass where we sat Amidst the trees Mist and dew Left From the whispering Breeze. Swollen feet Flaming hands Pockets bulging Stolen meat Rotten flesh From bleeding lands. What I felt What I saw When I knelt Humbled...

America’s Retarded Awareness

Alternative ideas don’t come easily to Americans. It seems that Americans imported colonial hierarchal practices from Europe to cultivate them to their own advantage....

The Nixonization of Donald Trump

The comparisons are multiplying. There was Trump’s appeal to the “silent majority” during the presidential election, his later adoption of the “mad man” theory...

'Erosion of confidence’: White House addresses Comey firing & fallout

The White House has stepped out from behind the bushes to defend President Donald Trump’s abrupt...

‘Lucky’ American triumphs in Russia’s ‘chess diplomacy’ tournament

An ordinary US federal government employee won a prestigious invitation-only chess tournament set up by diplomats...

Patriotic Millionaires Condemn Trump Voter Fraud Commission

Irony Overload Warning: Facing a massive Comey backlash, the Trump circus got their best optics consultants...

John McCain, Human Rights and Our National Mental Illness

There’s that lay definition of mental illness where you come to believe you’re the only sane person left in the room. I think that’s...

How the United States Ultimately Talks with Its “Enemies”

Enemies of the United States come and go, but the longer they espouse revolutionary ideals and thus defy the United States, the longer they...

From Syria to Monsanto: A Moribund System of Deceit and Destruction

Today, as the dominant global power, the US rolls out its brand of unfettered capitalism across the world. US citizens constitute just five percent...

On Killers and Bullshitters*

We’re living in a very weird and convoluted moment in the annals of truth and bullshit. For some reason Americans saddled themselves with a...

CIA files: US & Soviet nuclear sub crash off Scotland ‘could have sparked global...

Newly declassified CIA files indicate that a US submarine laden with 160 warheads collided with...

Situation with Russia proves America is an oligarchy

Eric Zuesse (RINF) - The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy”...

Trump and Revenge of the ‘Realists’

Henry Kissinger’s potential role as an intermediary between President-elect Trump and Russian President Putin suggests a comeback by the old-line...

Russia sanctions? Trump says US needs to ‘get on with our lives’ instead

Responding to reports that the Obama administration wants to slap Russia with new sanctions for allegedly...

Malcolm Gladwell Likes Leaks When They Bolster Government Power

Malcolm Gladwell (New Yorker, 12/19/16): “Ellsberg was an insider—and that fact puts him in stark contrast with the man who has come to be...

Lessons for Trump

In this world, it is often dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, said Henry Kissinger in 1968, but to be a...

Foreign Meddling in Our Vote? Remember How This Feels.

Even in an election year as shot through with conspiracy theories as this one, it would have been hard to imagine a bigger bombshell...

Angela Merkel as bad for Europe as Clinton & Obama are for America

Anyone who says she admires Hillary Clinton, as Angela Merkel has said, plainly invites revulsion if not contempt. The lack of judgment broadcast by...

Trump appoints Fox News analyst as deputy NatSec adviser

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Fox News analyst KT McFarland to serve as deputy national security...

Dystopia’s Minister of Truth

“We live in interesting times when protesters act out the tantrum of a super-rich man who did not get his way despite all his...

Roaming Charges: When the Pterodactyls Came Home to Roost

They have guilty consciences, they’re afraid – and fear and guilty consciences have a good savor in the nostrils of the gods. Yes, the...

George Soros: Dystopia’s Minister of Truth

Eighty-six-year old Hungarian-American, George Soros, is a very rich man. He currently ranks number 46 in the very exclusive club of richest persons in the...

Stockholm Syndrome: Dylan’s Nobel

Was that great global spluttering sound we heard this week the five members of the Nobel literature committee gagging on the lutefisk that is...

Illegality, Ignorance, and Imperialism

The Illegality of the U.S. War on Iraq One overlooked lesson of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is that international law–even the most fundamental...

Trump the Arsonist

The world according to Donald Trump is very dark indeed. The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the...

The Dangers from ‘Humanitarian’ Wars

The West is rushing toward another major war in the Middle East, in Syria, behind the “responsibility to protect” banner, which...

The Humanitarian Excuse for Intervention

While the mainstream media focuses on losers and winners in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a largely unreported debate...

The Dangerous Diplomacy of Samantha Power

Photo by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff | CC BY 2.0 While the mainstream media focuses on losers and winners in the race...

U.S. Diplomacy: A Dangerous Proposal

Samantha Power (courtesy of US Embassy Kyiv via Flickr) While the mainstream media focuses on losers and winners in the race between Hillary Clinton and...

First Strikes Are Still Part of US Nuke Policy

On September 27, Democrats in the House and the Senate introduced a bill that would prevent the president of the...

US Propaganda Goes into Overdrive

Over the weekend the Western press is blasting Russia and Syria for alleged war crimes in their assault on the terrorist controlled part of...

How Middle-Class Chileans Contributed to the Overthrow of Salvador Allende

Meeting between Augusto Pinochet and Henry Kissinger (courtesy Wikimedia) Orlando Letelier’s essay on the Chicago Boys and their role in the brutal neoliberal transformation of...

Hillary Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables

a katz | Hillary Clinton recently said that half of Donald Trump’s supporters come from what she called a “basket of deplorables…. racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic,...

The Real Enemy of Both Koreas

Warring hotspots all over the world are flaring up in 2016 in what amounts to preparation for World War III between the military forces...

15 Years of Crime

The United States and their allies will be commemorating the 15-year anniversary of 9/11. For Thierry Meyssan, it’s the occasion to take an honest...

The Revenge of the Deplorables

With Friends Like These… The Americanism that those who do horrible things can still be good people ties both to the Christian debate over acts...

Cutting the Cords of Empire: The Spectacle of US Elections

The more powerful the class, the more it claims not to exist. — Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle It’s almost time for our quadrennial...

19 Things We Know About 9/11

By Jeff Clyburn Who.What.Why. September 9, 2016 Years of willful deception, the sands of time, and simple neglect all tend to cloud our perception of the...

Alt right or shift right? WikiLeaks trolls Clinton in 'Neocon hawk' poll

WikiLeaks has gone full troll with a Twitter poll sarcastically asking social media users to choose...

The 10 Worst US Presidents

A few days ago, I posted my list of the top ten worst U.S. presidents on my Facebook page. People who are familiar with my...

Why Should Partisan Politics Get in the Way of Warmongering?

Ever since the more mainstream Republican right began to turn on Donald Trump, I’ve wondered why they don’t simply bite the bullet...

The Excesses of the Extreme Centre

Donald Trump, in a speech given in Charlotte on Thursday, August 18, cast himself as the truth teller for forgotten Americans and a champion...

Hillary Clinton claims predecessor Colin Powell advised personal email usage – report

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell was the one who had "counseled" Hillary Clinton, advising...

Dr. Strangelove and Company at the Door of U.S. Power

If you happened to be an anti-war protester during the Vietnam War, then the following interchange between the late President Richard  Nixon and his...

We Refuse To Be Targets

When Barack Obama was elected president, he hoped to eliminate nuclear weapons.  His hope (expressed in his visit to Hiroshima) is still...

The Myth of Trump’s Alternative Worldview

Donald Trump may be a bigot and a bully, but it’s hard not to applaud when he pisses off the stuff shirts at the...

Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans

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by Stephen Lendman

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Putting lipstick on this pig doesn't help. It's no different than before. Jeremy Scahill's book titled "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army" called it:

A "shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world accustomed to operating without worry of legal consequences (and) largely off the congressional radar."

It has "remarkable power and protection (within) the US war apparatus." It's well funded. It operates extrajudicially. 

It's unaccountable. It's licensed to kill, terrorize, destroy and destabilize. It takes full advantage. It does so wherever it's deployed.

On May 11, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined "400 US commandos help Kiev in its military offensive in east Ukraine - reports."

They arrived to commit mayhem. They're from the "notorious US private security firm Academi..."

They're involved "in a punitive operation mounted by (Kiev) against federalization supporters in Eastern Ukraine…"

Bild am Sonntag is Germany's largest Sunday circulation broadsheet. It reported Academi operatives near Slavyansk. 

It's uncertain who hired them, it said. It's clear Washington's dirty hands are involved. Russia's Foreign Ministry said:

"(I)n the absence of support from the Ukrainian population, the Maidan government has only one option if it wants to remain in power - to mobilize any support possible from foreign sponsors, including foreign mercenaries."

"Among the candidates for the role of gendarme is the company Greystone Limited, registered in Barbados, which is integrated with the Academi corporation," it said.

"It is an analogue, or, probably, an affiliate body of the Blackwater private army, whose soldiers have been accused of committing rigorous and regular human rights abuses in troubled regions."

Note: Greystone is a private company. It separated from Academi in 2010. Both firms maintain close ties. They operate the same way. They do so extrajudicially.

"It looks as though this practice, if it really is implemented, goes against the Ukrainian laws that ban foreign citizens from working with private security companies," said Russia's Foreign Ministry.

"Such initiatives demonstrate that those who have conquered their place in power in Kiev cannot guarantee minimal order or even their own security." 

"The question arises, what the price of this plan is and where the money will come from." 

"To what extent will the burden of spending on highly-paid foreign specialists be shifted to ordinary Ukrainians who, in connection with the painful tax increase, including taxes on gas as the precondition for securing loans from the International Monetary Fund, will have to tighten their belts even stronger?" 

VOR cited Itar Tass saying Kiev putschists believe they're unable to suppress Eastern resistance on their own. They can't eliminate activist leaders.

Coup-appointed Kiev president Oleksandr Turchynov agreed, saying:

"Therefore it was decided to 'attract' foreign mercenaries, who will serve as political police and state security protection."

They'll operate extrajudicially. They'll do so unaccountably. They're licensed to kill. 

VOR said coup-appointed governors Igor Kolomoisky and Sergei Taruta are involved. They're multi-billionaire oligarchs. Earlier Kolomoisky said:

"(W)hy reinvent the wheel if there are real people who understand how and how much to pay."

They're hired guns. They're unrestricted by US, international or local laws. They're free from civil or criminal accountability.

Under Article 47 of the 1977 Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions:

"A mercenary is any person who:

(a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;

(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities:

(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of the Party;

(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;

(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and

(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces."

Washington uses them in conflict areas. They serve its imperial agenda. They're doing so in Ukraine. Perhaps hundreds more will be sent.

Maybe they're in Crimea. Perhaps covertly. Maybe elsewhere in Eastern Ukraine. They're not good will ambassadors. 

They're well-trained killers. They're experts. They're hired for their skills. They're licensed to use them. They take full advantage.

On May 11, Itar Tass headlined "Donetsk referendum organizers plan to begin 'civilized divorce' with Kiev authorities."

They'll convene a regional congress of deputies. Central Election Commission head Boris Litvinov explained, saying:

"We want to be a party to the negotiating process, which rests on the will of the people, and to build relations with all states on the basis of equal rights."

Sunday's referendums were absolutely legal, he stressed. Claims otherwise are false.

"People (stood) in 300-400 meter lines. Doing so showed enormous interest in voting. "Even in the Soviet times we never saw such queues," Litvinov added.

Late afternoon Sunday reports said Lugansk turnout topped 75%. Earlier ones indicated Donetsk exceeded 50%. Later ones said over 70%.

Preliminary results will be announced overnight Monday. Final ones will follow. Perhaps by Monday afternoon.

Slavyansk activists reported Kiev military attacks. According to one named Vlad:

"The artillery fire was so loud, that the earth and houses shook." 

"I have been trying to call the people at the checkpoint but they don't pick up." 

"There are snipers in the area and it's too dangerous to speak on the phone."

RT International's Paula Slier tweeted "#Slavyansk: Some polling stations (were) guarded by Cossacks."

"Roman #Lyagin, chair of central #election commission, 'This is will of people.The world can say this is bad idea but it's idea of the people."

"People patiently wait(ed) outside voting stations in #Donetsk #referendum."

Donetsk People's Governor Pavel Gubarev said his region and Lugansk will become new legal entities.

"The referendum(s) for us (are) about creating a new state paradigm," he explained.

Kiev's illegitimate foreign ministry issued a statement, saying:

"Organizers of this criminal farce have consciously violated the Ukrainian constitution and laws, and have neglected calls coming from the authorities in Ukraine and from the international community."

Kiev forces seized four Krasnoarmeisk schools. Polling stations were inside. Voters were ordered out. 

Ballots and voter rolls were confiscated. Krasnoarmeisk's executive committee building was seized. It was blocked so no one could get in or out.

Communication was lost with two Krasny Liman referendum committees. Kiev forces clashed with activists there.

Donetsk People's Republic leader Denis Pushilin explained what happened. At the same time, Lugansk press spokesman Vasily Nikitin reported National Guard elements "intimidating" residents.

They "move(d) military hardware from one settlement to another."

Note: Many polling stations remained open until 10PM local time. Others closed between 6 and 8PM. They did so for security reasons. Eastern Ukraine is a war zone.

Voting under these conditions risked people's lives. High numbers turned out anyway. Fundamental rights matter more. So does real democracy.

On Saturday, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying:

The Bolivarian Republic "does not recognize and will not recognize as legal a government that emerged as a result of a state coup."

"In view of a regrettable development of events in Ukraine, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms that it rejects violent processes that, with the support of the United States and NATO, led to the overthrow of the government, jeopardizing the peace and unity of the Ukrainian people as well as the stability of the entire Eurasian region." 

"Until free elections are held in Ukraine and broad dialogue starts, Venezuela will keep warning the world's nations of the danger of foreign interference, speaking for the creation of a multipolar world that guarantees the peace and sovereignty of all peoples."

RT International reported "Kiev troops roll(ing) through E. Ukraine in 'bid to disrupt voting.' "

Fascists operate this way. Democracy is considered verboten. Attacks tried blocking its emergence. Efforts failed. Turnout was impressive. Voters want freedom most of all.

Weeks earlier poll numbers showed Putin's popularity topped 80%. Most Russians support him. They praised him. They believe he's governing responsibly.

Last December, UK broadsheet The Times named him International Person of the Year. He succeeded in reestablishing Russia as a major international problem-solving country, it said.

On Saturday, Henry Kissinger debunked notions about Putin initiating Eastern Ukrainian conflict conditions.

He had nothing to do with what's ongoing, he said. "(W)e ought to settle the Ukrainian issue first, and then have a discussion about relations with Russia," he added.

On March 5, he headlined a Washington Post op-ed "How the Ukraine crisis ends," saying:

"Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going?"

"Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West." 

"But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side's outpost against the other - it should function as a bridge between them."

Russia can't force Ukraine into satellite status, he said.  Western nations "must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country."

It was part of Russia for centuries. Their histories are closely intertwined.

"The European Union must recognize that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine's relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis," said Kissinger.

Western residents mostly speak Ukrainian. Eastern ones mostly Russian. Any attempt by either side "to dominate the other (will) lead eventually to civil war or break up."

Treating Ukraine "as part of an East-West confrontation (will) scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West…into a cooperative international system."

"The politics of post-independence Ukraine clearly demonstrates that the root of the problem lies in efforts by Ukrainian politicians to impose their will on recalcitrant parts of the country…"

A "wise US policy" would seek East/West "cooperation." 

Demonizing Putin isn't sound policy, said Kissinger. It's "an alibi for the absence of one."

Understanding Russian tradition isn't America's long suit, he explained.

He laid out his notion of outcome compatibility representing interests of all sides, saying:

Ukraine should freely choose its economic and political associations.

It shouldn't join NATO.

Its government should represent all its people. It should resolve East/West differences.

It's "incompatible with the rules of the existing order for Russia to annex Crimea."

"(I)t should be possible to put (its) relationship with Ukraine on a less fraught basis."

Kiev "should reinforce Crimea's autonomy in elections" internationally monitored.

Kissinger called his notions "principles, not prescriptions." Key isn't "absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction," he added.

If differences aren't resolved, "confrontation will accelerate." 

It's happening in real time. It bears repeating. Fascist regimes operate this way. Washington and Kiev are two sides of the same coin.

One decides. The other obeys.

Kissinger omitted explaining what's most important. As Nixon/Ford National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, he was part of Washington's dirty system.

His rap sheet is bloodstained. He was an early architect of new world order lawlessness. 

He's guilty of multiple crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. In late May, he'll be 91. 

His op-eds or other actions can't undo enormous harm he caused. He remains unaccountable. 

At the same time, he largely addressed Ukraine sensibly. He foresaw what's unfolding. It's prelude to what's likely much worse to come.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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Putin v. Kerry

Putin v. Kerry

by Stephen Lendman

Putin's statesmanship embarrasses Kerry. Both men are geopolitical opposites. 

Putin represents responsible leadership. Kerry shames the office he hold.

On April 29, Putin addressed Ukrainian crisis conditions forthrightly. On the same day, Kerry irresponsibly addressed the Atlantic Council.

In 1961, it was established to support NATO. It's headquartered in Washington. It supports America's global agenda. 

Past and current members include a rogue's gallery of reliable US imperial supporters. 

They include Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Schlesinger, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Jones, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Susan Rice, and an array of current and former top military officials.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel formerly served as chairman. Kerry's comments reflected US imperial arrogance. More on them below.

Putin pointed fingers the right way. What's ongoing in Ukraine "shows us who really was mastering the process from the beginning," he said.

"But in the beginning, the United States preferred to remain in the shadow(s)."

In addressing crisis conditions, Washington is "telling that they originally were behind this process, but now they just have emerged as (its) leaders."

US officials encouraged Maidan protesters. They supported them. They did so against Ukraine's democratically elected government.

They manipulated events. They aided and abetted Viktor Yanukovych's ouster. 

They helped empower illegitimate fascist putschists. They did so lawlessly.

"It is necessary to understand that the situation is serious and try to find serious approaches to the solution," said Putin.

He called on coup-appointed officials to "treat equally the rights of those living in other areas of Ukraine, first of all, I mean, the east and southeast, establish a dialogue, find a compromise."

He addressed illegitimate US/EU sanctions, adding:

"We would very much wish not to resort to any measures in response." 

"But if something like that continues, we will of course have to think about who is working in the key sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy sector, and how."

Major US companies are involved. They include ExxonMobil and Chevron.

"Regarding (sanctions imposed on Moscow), it's not clear at all what this is linked to, because there is no cause and effect link with what is happening now in Ukraine and Russia," said Putin.

At the same time, US/EU policy won't deter Russia's Eurasian integration process, he explained. It involves Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Putin prioritizes resolving Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. US policy is polar opposite.

Kerry fronts for power. He represents longstanding US imperial arrogance. 

His comments leave no doubt where he stands. Big Lies infest them. They do so repeatedly.

He addressed the Atlantic Council's "Toward a Europe Whole and Free" conference.

Washington wants Europe co-opted. It wants full control. It wants it united against Russia.

It bullies, pressure and threatens European leaders to bend to its will. Outliers aren't tolerated. They're targeted for replacement. Washington rules apply.

The year 2014 marks NATO's 65 anniversary. Its mission is offense, not defense.

It's a machine for the manufacture of mass slaughter, destruction and unspeakable human misery.

Not according to Kerry. He lied saying "over (its) decades-long history, I think NATO, without any question, has done more to promote security, more to promote prosperity, and more to promote freedom than any other alliance in human history."

He cited nonexisting threats. Ukraine is Exhibit A, he suggested.

Its crisis "calls us back to the role that this alliance was originally created to perform, and that is to defend alliance territory and advance transatlantic security."

False! US-led NATO is a destabilizing machine. It prevents global security. 

It advances America's imperium. It does so through lawless violence, belligerence and full-blown aggression.

"The events in Ukraine are a wake-up call," said Kerry. 

He lied claiming "(o)ur European Allies have spent more than 20 years with us working to integrate Russia into the Euro-Atlantic community." 

"It is not as if we really haven't bent over backwards to try to set a new course in the post-Cold War era." 

"And so we've pursued serious bilateral engagement…But what Russia's actions in Ukraine tell us is that today Putin's Russia is playing by a different set of rules." 

"And through its occupation of Crimea and its subsequent destabilization of Eastern Ukraine, Russia seeks to change the security landscape of Eastern and Central Europe."

"So we find ourselves in a defining moment for our transatlantic alliance, and nobody should mistake that." 

"And we are prepared to do what we need to do, and to go the distance, to uphold that alliance." 

"Our strength will come from our unity. And the strength of our alliance always has come from our unity over the course of the 65 years."

"So together, we have to push back against those who want to try to change sovereign borders by force."

"Together, we have to support those who simply want to try to live as we do or as others do."

Fact: Washington wants sovereign Russian independence eliminated.

Fact: It wants subservient pro-Western governance replacing it.

Fact: Longstanding US policy wants all independent governments replaced.

Fact: Eliminating major rivals matter most.

Fact: Russia and China are top targets.

Fact: Both countries deplore war.

Fact: They prioritize peaceful coexistence.

Fact: Advancing America's imperium prevents it.

Fact: Kerry lied suggesting otherwise.

"(W)e have to support those folks who want to live free, making their choices about their own future. Together, we have to continue our strong support for Ukraine," he said.

"(W)e have to make it absolutely clear to the Kremlin that NATO territory is inviolable. We will defend every single piece of it."

"(F)rom day one, Ukraine undertook to implement both the spirit and substance of" Geneva four-party agreement terms.

"(N)ot one single step has been taken by Russia."

"Every time you have a conversation, it’s pointing the finger at what the Ukrainians haven't done, without even tallying up what they have done or acknowledging their own zero in the column with respect to what they have undertaken."

"(I)t's fair to say they have escalated the crisis even further." 

"There is strong evidence that I laid out several days ago of the degree to which Russian engagement exists directly in the east and has been building up over some period of time."

Russian policy persists "to pursue (its) own goals and…ends." 

It has "a clear choice: Leave Ukraine in peace and work with us together to create a strong Ukraine, a Ukraine that is not a pawn, pulled and tugged at between East and West…"

"…I can guarantee this: The United States and our allies will stand together in support of Ukraine."

"This crisis is a wake-up call for us to accelerate the other work that we’ve been doing to promote a stronger, more prosperous transatlantic community."

Fact: Kerry repeated one Big Lie after another.

Fact: He's a serial liar.

Fact: He's a world class thug.

Fact: He makes lesser rogue officials look pacifist.

Fact: He makes mafia bosses look saintly by comparison.

Fact: He makes serial killers look like pussy cats.

Fact: "NATO, without a question, has done more to (subvert) security, more to (prevent) prosperity, and more to (destroy) freedom than any other alliance in human history."

Fact:  NATO "was originally created" for offense, not defense.

Fact: "European allies have spent more than 20 years with (Washington) working to" marginalize, weaken and isolate Russia.

Fact: "(W)hat Russia's actions in Ukraine tell us is that today Putin's Russia" represents responsible geopolitical leadership.

Fact: No Russian "occupation of Crimea and its subsequent destabilization of Eastern Ukraine" occurred.

Fact: Moscow did nothing "to change sovereign borders by force" or any other way.

Fact: Washington and rogue EU partners want free people subjugated.

Fact: They want their fundamental freedoms eliminated altogether. 

Fact: They want their futures destroyed.

Fact: "(F)rom day one, Ukraine (violated) both the spirit and substance of" Geneva four-party agreement terms.

Fact: (I)t's fair to say" Washington and rogue EU partners "escalated the crisis even further." 

Fact: No evidence suggests Russian involvement with Eastern Ukrainian activists.

Kerry represents the worst of Washington's dark side. Lawless aggression reflects it. 

Millions of corpses attest to America's barbarity. Don't expect Kerry to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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How Republican Sociopaths Have Ruined America

Much of what ails society today is the proliferation of sociopaths. I’m not just talking about hardened criminals either; sociopaths are everywhere, in all walks of life. In fact, the traits they possess are the very traits which impel one to succeed and rise to positions of power in a capitalistic society. CEOs, Wall Street billionaires, politicians, military chiefs, intelligence operatives, and right-wing talking heads are among those who have used their sociopathological personality disorders to rule America.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could identify a sociopath before he/she comes to power? Think of how much better our lives and our country would be if only we knew who the conscienceless bastards really were before we voted for them, came under their employ, listened to their cons, fell prey to their manipulation. The problem is, they are not easily identified because they wear masks. They try to fit in by mimicking normal behavior in public. Some are even charming. They seduce us with their outward appearance of normalcy, but inside they are godless devils bent on perverting the greater good for their own means.

In the past 35 years America has slowly been transformed from a nation of common purpose to a nation of the rich, by wealthy, and for the sociopathic few. That’s because many of the people in power (mostly Republicans) have been crass opportunists concerned with self- advancement at the expense of the greater good. In the age of Reagan, the self-centeredness was heightened to a virtue. The 1980s gave rise to a rogue’s gallery of Gordon Gekkos and their “greed is good” philosophy. It wasn’t just Reagan and his policies though, it was the sociopaths he ushered into public service—the Bushes, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Oliver North, William Casey and a whole band of despicable criminals. The country became more selfish, less communal, and more cynical. It was then that we started letting the Almighty buck rule all facets of American life. The more money you had, the more admired you were. Fuck generosity and compassion for the less fortunate.

Since then, sociopaths have started illicit wars, drained the national treasury, raped Mother Nature, ruined the climate, and given rise to Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, et al. There seem to be more sociopaths than human beings in positions of power. Maybe that was the whole point. Now the Extreme Court (…Supreme Court) has gotten in on the act, by making it easier for sociopathic billionaires to control (read subvert) the democratic process. Smarmy Vegas casino operators (like Shel Adelson) and fascist industrialists (like the Koch brothers) have far more say in how our government operates than 99% of us.

As a public service then, I am herewith giving you tips on how to spot a sociopath. If you recognize them in someone, alert authorities and resist the urge to succumb to their wiles.

Traits of a Sociopath (based on the work of psychologists Robert Hare): While some experts believe that sociopathy has a genetic origin, Hare believed that a sociopath’s behavior “is shaped by social forces and is the result of a dysfunctional environment.” Hare formed a list of traits common to sociopaths. Here are the most prevalent:

--Sociopaths are manipulative and very skilled at taking advantage of the good intentions of others . Allen Dulles, former CIA chief, is a good example. He was appointed by President Eisenhower in 1953 after promising Ike that the CIA could avoid WWIII by overthrowing socialist and communist countries around the globe via bloodless coups. Eisenhower, a decent man shaken by the horrors of the second World War, turned over foreign policy to Allen and his brother Foster. The Dulles brothers, sociopaths of the worst kind, turned America into quasi-fascist Orwellian state by using their enormous power to control the media, murder innocent citizens, evoke hatred of America around the globe, and cover up the assassination of JFK. All the while, the Dulleses were enriching themselves and their corporate partners—the Forbeses, the Browns, the Rockefellers, the DuPonts, the Hunts—the oldest, richest families in the country. And Kennedy haters all.

--They have a grandiose sense of self; they think they are better than everyone else, and if they have more money or power than others they use this to their constant advantage. Moreover, the fact that a sociopath may be wealthier than others or in a position of power over others merely confirms in the sociopath’s mind that he/she is better than others. In the modern age, who feels more entitled than the richest among us? The Koch brothers, desperately trying to buy the government, runs roughshod over the poor, the elderly, minorities, and social safety nets. They care only their own profits. We should have carved a big “S” in their foreheads at birth, just as Brad Pitt marked Christoph Waltz with a swastika in “Inglourious Basterds.” Our lives would be much better if we knew whom we were dealing with upfront.

--They are pathological liars; when they are committing acts that harm the greater good of society, they never tell the truth, even if they are caught in a lie. To this day, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and their lackeys still deny that the Iraq war was about oil, despite all evidence to the contrary.

--They have no remorse or guilt, regardless of how heinous their actions are. When recently asked if he would do anything differently, if he had to do it all over again, Cheney responded, “No.”

--They lack empathy and are callous in their treatment of others. Mitt Romney dismissed 47% of the country with one glib comment.

--They are contemptuous of those who seek to understand them. One of Allen Dulles’s protégés, Frank Wisner, head of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird in the 1950s, once famously bragged, “The press claims to be free and open in America. But they are nothing but my personal puppets. I can pull any string I want and they will follow along.”

--They do not perceive that anything is wrong with them. Even if they are proven wrong, and even if all about them acknowledge their wrongdoing, the sociopath will never admit to wrongdoing. See Dick Cheney quote above.

--They are authoritarians; in many cases, they were raised in authoritarian homes where the appearance of uniformity and conformity far outweighed love, compassion, empathy, and charity as laudable qualities. Henry Kissinger once said of Richard Nixon (a raging sociopath), “Imagine what he could have been if anyone had ever loved him.”

--They are secretive; at all costs they strive to keep their true behaviors and thoughts hidden. Allen and Foster Dulles, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, Richard Nixon, and Oliver North were nothing if not secretive.

--They are paranoid. Can you imagine anyone more paranoid than Dick Nixon?

--They diligently present a “normal” outward appearance when engaging others. This is what confounds us about all sociopaths. Usually we don’t unmask them until it is too late.

--They experience pleasure from enslaving their victims. And all people they encounter are potential victims, even loved ones. “Loved ones” is a misnomer, because sociopaths are incapable of love. Again, Dick Cheney is the perfect example of someone who seemed to derive pleasure from inflicting pain. Witness the detainees at Guantanamo. Cheney does not consider what he did torture, yet a 600-page nonpartisan report says he did exactly that.

--When they collaborate, they feed off one another, and their actions become even more diabolical. No better example of this than the Cheney-Rumsfeld partnerships during the two Bush presidencies.

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Capitulating to Monsanto and the Wall Street Jackals: What Future India?

Countercurrents and Global Research 24/3/2014

Indian Oil and Environment Minister Veerappa Moily has added fuel to the debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by approving field trials of 200 GM food crops on behalf of companies like Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer and BASF. This is despite Supreme Court appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) recommending a ten-year moratorium on GM organism approvals until scientifically robust protocols, independent and competent institutions to assess risks and a strong regulatory system are developed.
This will involve a deliberate release of GM organisms in the open environment and a potential contamination of non-GM crops, as has been the case in the US, with GM open field trials having contaminated parts of the wheat supply (1). Despite mounting evidence appearing in peer-reviewed journals that GM and glyphosate are adversely impacting human health, the nutritional value of food crops, plant immunity, soil fertility, biodiversity, the environment and yields (2 - 15), politicians seem hell-bent on facilitating the aims of the GM biotech sector.

It was a similar story with the ‘Green Revolution’. The Rockefeller and Ford Foundations backed this chemical-laden revolution in agriculture and managed to co-opt strategically placed scientists, institutions and politicians in various areas of the globe (16). With their compliance, the result has been that over the past 50 to 60 years, thanks to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, agriculture has changed more than it did during the previous 12,000 years.

We need look no further than Punjab to see the impact of the Green Revolution. Reports of water scarcities and contamination, increasing levels of cancer, farmer indebtedness and decreasing yields highlight the unsustainable and deleterious impacts of chemical-industrial agriculture (17). It all begs the question, what was wrong with agriculture in the first place that warranted this disastrous shift towards chemical agriculture and now GMOs? The answer to that is, by comparison, probably not a lot.  

In 2013, researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand concluded that the GM strategy used in North American staple crop production is limiting yields and increasing pesticide use compared to non-GM farming in Western Europe (18). Led by Professor Jack Heinemann, the study’s findings were published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. The study found that Europe is decreasing chemical herbicide use and achieving even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed. In effect, Europe has learned to grow more food per hectare and use fewer chemicals in the process.

Moreover, a September 2013 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) states that farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduce the use of fertilisers and other inputs, provide greater support for small-scale farmers and move towards more locally focused production and consumption of food. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report (19).

The report states that monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable environmental damage. The system actually causes food poverty, not addresses it.

As for India, Arun Shrivastava notes that the world doesn’t need modern technology of poisonous pesticides, destructive fertilizers and patented GE seeds that can’t match 1890 or even 1760 AD yields in India (12). But even if we discard the debate over yields, Shrivastava (and others) asserts that modern technology has actually destroyed the nutrition in common foods and that, failing to set any yield or nutrition standard in any food crop, it is part of an insane industry that has muddled through.

So, how did we arrive at this stage, whereby 12,000 years of conventional farming were swept aside in favour of chemical/oil-based agriculture? 

As William F Engdahl argues, the Green Revolution was a Rockefeller family plan to monopolize global agriculture as it had done with oil. It was aimed at removing traditional agriculture from farmers and placing it in the hands of corporate agribusiness. As a result, large multinational seed companies were able to control seed supplies. Moreover, the introduction of modern USagricultural technology, chemical fertilizers and commercial seeds made local farmers in developing countries dependent on USagribusiness.

Developing nations could not pay for the huge amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This new form of agriculture was also water intensive and required large irrigation projects. Nations would therefore get credit courtesy of the World Bank and special loans made large US banks to construct huge dams and flood previously fertile farmland. The loans went mostly to the large landowners. For the smaller peasants the situation worked differently. Small peasant farmers could not afford the chemical and other modern inputs and had to borrow money at higher rates of interest from elsewhere.

Engdahl notes that super-wheat produced greater yields only by saturating the soil with huge amounts of fertilizer per acre, the fertilizer being the product of nitrates and petroleum, commodities controlled by the Rockefeller-dominated major oil companies.

After two generations of the green revolution, is it any surprise that agriculture in Indiais in the grip of a combined social, financial and environmental crisis (20)?

Ordinary people, if they are not to be what Vandana Shiva calls ‘ignorant links' in a malicious corporate-controlled food chain, therefore need to question why governments have kowtowed to a US-driven agenda of chemical and now GMO agriculture. Africais now targeted for more of the same as the Gates Foundation spearheads the GMO onslaught in that continent (21).

12,000 years of traditional agriculture and biodiversity are being swept aside along with ordinary farmers by vested interests in the US whose geopolitical aim has to been to monopolize markets and ultimately use food as a weapon to control nations and people by destroying national food sovereignty and potentially using food as a means to depopulate (22,23).

“If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population.” - Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (12)

This is in addition to the fact that wider ‘corporate America’ is already setting the broad political, ‘development’ and economic agenda in India:

“And something Americans don’t know much about, the nuclear deal with India has a twin agreement, and that twin agreement is on agriculture. It’s called the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture, and on the board of this agreement are Monsanto, ADM and Wal-Mart. So a grab of the seed sector by Monsanto, of the trade sector by the giant agribusiness, and the retail sector, which is 400 million people in India, by Wal-Mart. These are issues that are preoccupying us for about democracy in India right now.” Vandana Shiva (24).

It’s not just ‘Americans’ that don’t know about this, but most ordinary Indians too!

But even with the upcoming national elections, no one should expect self-proclaimed Hindu-nationalist party BJP to protect the country from the foreign jackals if it gains power. BJP candidate for PM Narendra Modi is fully backed by Wall Street (25).

What future Indian agriculture?
What future India?
600 million booted off the land and the further hollowing out of Indian society at the behest of Wall Street (26)?   


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Evidence Shows Kiev Putschists Recruited Euromaiden Snipers

Evidence Shows Kiev Putschists Recruited Euromaidan Snipers

by Stephen Lendman

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed it. On February 25 , he and EU foreign policy Catherine Ashton spoke. 

They were monitored. They didn't know it at the time. Their discussion was leaked.

Paet talked to Ashton after returning from Kiev, he said. "At the time, (he) was already in Estonia," he added. 

On Wednesday, he held a press conference. He issued a statement saying Euromaidan killings demand an independent investigation.

Estonia's Foreign Ministry confirmed the leaked phone call's authenticity.

"We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition's involvement in the violence," it stressed.

It's impossible reinterpreting what he meant. 

He only commented on what he heard in Kiev. He spilled the beans. Intentionally or not, he confirmed what's been independently believed all along.

Ukraine's legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed. He had nothing to do with Euromaidan killings. 

The operation was a classic false flag. It was staged to blame him. It's now exposed.

Cui bono matters most. Yanukovych's involvement had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Catherine Ashton's spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, was silent. "(W)e don't comment on leaked phone conversations," she said.

Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officials loyal to Yanukovych reportedly hacked phones used by Paet and Ashton. They uploaded what they heard online.

Paet was heard saying "there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition."

"All the evidence shows" they were shooting at people from both sides. They targeted police and protesters. Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed.

Ashton was nonplussed. She was tongue-tied. She was caught red-handed. She's part of the dirty scheme to oust him.

She reacted saying: "Well, yeah...that's, that's terrible. I think we do want to investigate."

"I mean, I didn't pick that up. That's interesting. Gosh." Expect all-out efforts to bury the story. Whether it's possible remains to be seen.

Paet spoke to Kiev doctor Olga Bogomolets. She's a Bogomolets National Medical University professor. 

It's named after her great-grandfather Oleksandr. He founded and served as its Institute of Dermatology and Cosmetology chief.

She said snipers shot protesters and police. Paet called Dr. Bogomolets' evidence "quite disturbing."

She showed him photos. They revealed "the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it's really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don't want to investigate what exactly happened," said Paet.

During weeks of protests, nearly 100 people were killed. Another 900 were injured.

US-linked Putschists were responsible. Perhaps CIA elements were involved. The game is as old as empire. Victims are blamed for perpetrator crimes.

Saddam was accused of having nonexistent WMDs. Gaddafi faced numerous false charges.

Assad repeatedly is blamed for US-supported death squad crimes. 

Media scoundrels regurgitate official lies. They're complicit in imperial lawlessness.

So-called British forensic expects wrongfully blamed Yanukovych for putschist-linked sniper killings.

They refused to reveal their identity. They claimed useful evidence obtained for future prosecutions, they said.

They called what happened politically sensitive. They were part of an elaborate false flag scheme. Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed.

Paet blamed putschists for cover-up. "They don't want to investigate what exactly happened," he said. 

They want it suppressed. Snipers were neo-Nazi hitmen. Yanukovych maintained his innocence.

He gave no orders to shoot, he stressed. He's wrongfully accused of mass murder. He's blamed for US-linked putschists' crimes.

This type information should making game-changing headlines. Expect all-out efforts to keep fingers pointed the wrong way.

Expect little said about Putin's 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Norwegian Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad revealed it.

The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation Among Nations of the World (IASUCANW) nominated him.

He's one of 278 candidates. They include 47 organizations. On Tuesday, Nobel Committee members met. They added their own proposals. 

They focused on recent global turmoil. According to Lundestad:

"Part of the purpose of the committee's first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots."

Other 2014 nominees include Pope Francis, Edward Snowden, Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, and Malala Yousafzai. 

She's perhaps the world's most famous teenager. She's called one of the world's 100 most influential people. In April 2013, Time magazine featured her on its cover.

She was nominated last year. She's a Pakistani blogger/activist for women's rights and education.

In October 2012, she boarded a school bus. Gunmen targeted her. She was shot in the left side of her forehead.

She was unconscious in critical condition. She survived. She remains threatened.

On October 10, this year's Peace Prize winner will be announced.

Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both are worthy. They collaborate for peace. 

They go all-out for it. They want conflicts resolved diplomatically. They persevere against long odds.

They persist tirelessly. They deserve recognition for their efforts.

Last October, IASUCANW President Georgiy Trapeznikov said its nominating "letter was sent to the Nobel Committee September 16 and it was received September 20."

"Vladimir Putin has proved his adherence to the cause of peace."

"We know very well what peacemaking role our president played in conflict regions, especially Beslan and South Ossetia."

He's very much involved in resolving Syria's conflict peacefully. He supports unity governance resolution in Ukraine the same way.

His press secretary Dmitry Pekov said:

"The primary criterion for the president is satisfaction from a job well done." He seeks no special recognition or awards.

State Duma MP Iosif Kobzon said Putin deserves this year's prize. He's polar opposite Obama.

"Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States' aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Kobzon.

He bears full responsibility for Libya, numerous proxy wars and Ukraine violence.

Nobel Committee members deplore peace. They represent powerful monied interests.

They believe war is peace. It shows in their annual selections.

Past winners included Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, FW de Klerk, Al Gore, Kofi Annan, and four US warrior presidents.

Announcing Obama's award, Committee members said:

It reflects his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

He's "work(ed) for a world without nuclear weapons."

He "created a new climate in international politics."

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

Throughout his tenure, he waged war on humanity. He has new targets in mind. He wants unchallenged global dominance.

He stops at nothing to get it. Putin is polar opposite. He supports peace and stability.

He champions multi-polar world cooperation. He deserves recognition for his efforts. So does Lavrov for his dedicated collaboration.

Expect malicious Russia bashing to deny them. Warriors win peace prizes. Peacemakers are spurned.

Putin opposes imperial lawlessness. He won't rollover for America. Doing the right thing tarnishes him.

He's public enemy number one. Being on the right side of history has a price. Waging war on humanity is rewarded.

A Final Comment: NATO Saber-Rattling

The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is NATO' "principle political decision-making body." On March 4, it met. It did so at Poland's request. It did it under the North Atlantic Treaty's Article 4.

It calls for members to "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any" is threatened.

Article 5 considers an armed attack (real or otherwise) against one or more members, an attack against all. It calls for collective self-defense.

No threat whatever exists. Ukraine isn't a NATO member. Not yet at least. 

Its statement said "Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to violate its international commitments."

"These developments present serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro...Atlantic area."

"Allies stand together in the spirit of strong solidarity in this grave crisis."

"We undertake to pursue and intensify our rigorous and on-going assessment of the implications of this crisis for Alliance security, in close coordination and consultation."

"We continue to support all constructive efforts for a peaceful solution to the current crisis in accordance with international law." 

"We welcome the ongoing efforts undertaken by the United Nations, the European Union, the OSCE and the Council of Europe."

"We will continue to consult with Ukraine within the NATO-Ukraine Commission."

"We will engage with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council. We will hold a meeting" Wednesday. What follows remains to be seen.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Crisis in Ukraine

Crisis in Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Crisis conditions in Ukraine are potentially the most dangerous since Nazism's scourge terrorized Europe. 

Washington bears full responsibility. European partners share it. Obama claimed another imperial trophy. Whether he'll keep it is another matter entirely.

Vladimir Putin supports resolving conflict conditions responsibly. Western officials irresponsibly criticize him. Media scoundrels bash him mercilessly.

He's the only world leader challenging US imperial lawlessness responsibly. He deserves worldwide support.

At a March 4 news conference, he said Moscow supports peace, not war. He'll deploy troops only to protect Russian nationals. 

Ukraine's legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych requested he do so. He asked him to help restore law and order.

He cited Western-influenced "terror and violence." He asked Putin to send Russian forces "to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defend the people of Ukraine."

Russian nationals are endangered. He acted responsibly. He called what happened in Kiev a coup d'etat. 

Viktor Yanokovych remains Ukraine's legitimate president. US-supported fascist extremists have no legitimacy.

"If we see this lawlessness starting in eastern regions, if the people ask us for help - in addition to a plea from a legitimate president, which we already have - then we reserve the right to use all the means we possess to protect those citizens," he said. 

"And we consider it quite legitimate," he stressed. It's the right thing to do.

"We are not going to a war against the Ukrainian people. I want you to understand it unambiguously." 

"If we do take a decision, it would only be to protect Ukrainian citizens. Let anybody in the military dare, and they’d be shooting their own people, who would stand up in front of us." 

"Shoot at women and children. I'd like to see anyone try and order such a thing in Ukraine."

He said uniformed Crimean defense forces without insignias aren't Russian soldiers.

Moscow acted responsibly, he stressed. It acted legitimately. No international laws were breached. Claims otherwise are false. They're irresponsible.

At the same time, he pointed fingers the right way. Washington illegitimately uses military force repeatedly, he stressed.

"When I ask them: 'Do you believe you do everything legitimately,' they say 'Yes.' "

"And I have to remind them about the US actions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, where they acted either without any UN Security Council mandate or through perverting a mandate, as was the case in Libya," he explained.

"Our partners, especially in the United States, always clearly and formulate for themselves their geopolitical and national interests, pursue them relentlessly, and then drag the rest of the world in, using the principle 'You are either with us or against us."

"And they harass those who refuse to be dragged in."

Putin advisor Sergei Glazyev warned Washington against imposing sanctions. He'll advise Kremlin officials to dump US bonds in response.

"We would find a way not just to reduce our dependency on the United States to zero, but to emerge from those sanctions with great benefits for ourselves, he stressed. 

"We hold a decent amount of treasury bonds - more than $200 billion - and if the United States dares to freeze accounts of Russian businesses and citizens, we can no longer view America as a reliable partner." 

"We will encourage everybody to dump US Treasury bonds, get rid of dollars as an unreliable currency, and leave the US market."

Putin called Western threatened sanctions and other harsh measures counterproductive. Consequences cut both ways.

He wants normalized relations with Ukraine. He has no legitimate counterpart in Kiev.

Resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine shows Kiev has no mandate to govern.

Coup d'etat leadership runs things. Moscow rejects it. Mob rule has no legitimacy. Western leaders calling what happened a revolution doesn't wash.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman suspended forthcoming trade and investment talks with Moscow.

"We have suspended upcoming bilateral trade and investment engagement with the government of Russia that were part of a move toward deeper commercial and trade ties," he said.

On Monday, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby announced a hold on US/Russia "military engagements." They include joint exercises and port visits.

An anonymous White House source said administration officials could "reinforce that the Russians still have an opportunity to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation or they face further political and economic repercussions from the international community."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington "has a broad range of option available" against Russia should things escalate.

Previous articles said Obama's planned direct intervention in Syria wasn't cancelled. It was postponed. On March 4, Voice of Russia said:

"President Barack Obama officially asked the Congress for permission to conduct a military operation in Syria."

On February 25, Press TV headlined "US planning for cyber attacks on Syria." Days earlier, Obama's National Security Council (NSC) met.

It explored what an unnamed US official called "old and new options…It would essentially turn the lights out for Assad." 

NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to discuss "the details of our interagency deliberations."

"But we have been clear that there are a range of tools we have at our disposal to protect our national security, including cyber" ones, she said.

In 2012, Obama signed a classified presidential directive. It relates to cyberoperations. 

It "establishes principles and processes so that cybertools are integrated with the full array of national security tools," she added.

America wages cyberwar. In 2010, Washington and Israel collaborated against Iran. Their Stuxnet virus infected Tehran's Bushehr nuclear facility.

Had the facility gone online infected, Iran's entire electrical power grid could have been shut down.

More powerful tools are being developed. All US enemies are vulnerable.

The Atlantic Council is NATO-linked. It's headquartered in Washington. It supports Washington's global agenda. Past and current members include a rogue's gallery of reliable American imperial supporters. 

They include Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Schlesinger, James Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, James Jones, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Susan Rice, an array of current and former top military officials, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Jason Healy heads the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative. He claims cyberoperations can be humanitarian. How he didn't explain.

He said Washington was "caught using Stuxnet to conduct a covert cybercampaign against Iran, as well as trawling the Internet with the massive Prism collection operation."

"The world is increasingly seeing US cyberpower as a force for evil in the world," he added.

He claims attacking Syria this way "might help to reverse this view." Again he didn't explain further. Doing so covertly would be hard to keep secret.

It's unclear what Obama plans. Maybe he has cyber and military attacks in mind. No further information is available at this time.

Obama opened a can of worms in Ukraine. He's got his hands full. Russia can respond in kind to whatever he may have in mind.

What he'll risk going forward remains to be seen. Whether he plans attacking Syria now isn't known.

Professor Yelena Mulkumian believes threatening Moscow with isolation and sanctions impacts Damascus. It could give Washington a pretext to attack.

Its grand scheme calls for regional destabilization. Weakening and isolating Russia is planned. Incorporating Ukraine in NATO furthers it.

Putin justifiably won't tolerate Western nuclear armed missiles targeting Russia's heartland. A previous article called Ukraine his red line. He'll defend Moscow's interests responsibly.

A rogue's gallery of US-supported fascist extremists usurped power in Kiev. Putin knows what he's up against. He won't roll over for Obama. He's too resolute to back down. The stakes are too high to do so.

Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov "took notice" of Washington irresponsibly freezing military ties with Moscow.

"We proceed from the assumption that any collaboration - and the one between defense departments in particular - can only be based on the principles of mutuality and strictest parity, because this approach is the only one assuring the absence of winners and losers," he said.

Trust, clarity and respect for Russia's security are lacking. Putin, Antonov and other top Kremlin officials aren't cowed. They'll defend Moscow's interests responsibly.

Leonid Kalashnikov is Russia's lower house Duma deputy international affairs committee head.

Moscow shouldn't make concessions under threat of sanctions, he said.

Doing so "under pressure...will be taken negatively not only" internally but worldwide, he stressed.

"The damage from that will be catastrophic." Principles aren't to be bargained away, he added. Nor lives of Russian nationals.

At the same time, Russia's Foreign Ministry called threats of US sanctions unacceptable.

"By ignoring any attempts to study difficult processes in the Ukrainian society and to assess the situation, which continues to deteriorate after radicals seized power in Kiev by force, the US Secretary of State uses the Cold War cliches and proposes to punish the Russian Federation and not who committed a coup d'etat," it said.

Moscow's position remains clear, open and consistent. 

"If Ukraine is only a territory of geopolitical games for certain Western politicians, this is the brotherly country for us," the statement added.

Russia wants Ukraine kept strong, stable, independent and democratically governed.

It rejects radicalized putschists in charge. It wants resolution based on the February 21 agreement. 

It calls for forming a legitimate national unity government. It wants all Ukrainians represented fairly. Washington has other ideas.

Crimeans brace for what's coming. They fear clashes with Western-backed extremists.

They're concerned about Euromaidan violence erupting. Self-defense forces man checkpoint to prevent it. Disbanded Berkut security forces joined them.

A potential clash of civilizations looms. Global war could erupt. The damn fool in the White House risks it. 

So do other damn fool administration officials. Neocon extremists run things. Anything ahead is possible.

America is the real evil empire. Its hegemonic ambitions risk armageddon.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Egypt’s Pinochet

Junta power runs Egypt. It reflects the worst of fascism writ large. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi rules as strongman. He heads the Supreme Council...

Egypt’s Pinochet

Egypt's Pinochet

by Stephen Lendman

Junta power runs Egypt. It reflects the worst of fascism writ large. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi rules as strongman. He heads the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). 

He's Washington's man in Cairo. Since August 2012, he's been top military commander. 

He's Defense and Military Production Minister. He's a 1977 Egyptian Military Academy graduate. He got US training. He's a US War College graduate.

He maintains close Pentagon ties. Washington manipulated Mubarak's ouster. It was complicit in toppling Mohamed Morsi. 

It deplores democracy. It opposes it at home and abroad. It's governed by a homeland police state apparatus. 

It backs pro-Western fascist despots globally. Doing so reflects business as usual.

Egyptian civilian officials have no legitimacy. They're appointed. They're figureheads. They're puppets. They're convenient stooges. 

Elections when held won't matter. Brute force runs Egypt. Ousting Morsi on July 3 was reminiscent of September 11, 1973. Chileans old enough to remember won't forget.

A reign of terror followed. Pinochet's "Caravan of Death" reflected it. A climate of fear included mass arrests, disappearances, torture and murder. 

Opposition government officials, academics, union heads, independent journalists, student leaders, activists, and other suspected regime opponents were targeted.

US citizens Charles Horman, Frank Teruggi, Boris Weisfeiler and Ronni Moffit were killed.

Horman's death was the subject of a 1982 Hollywood film. It was titled "Missing." He and thousands of others were Caravan of Death victims.

Nixon vowed to make Chile's economy scream. Kissinger was his national security advisor. He and CIA operatives orchestrated Salvador Allende's ouster.

After his 1970 election, Kissinger said:

"I don't see why we need to stand idly by and let a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people."

Allende was a progressive democratic leader. He was no communist. Junta head General Augusto Pinochet put General Sergio Arellano in charge of assuring provincial commanders complied with hard-line policies.

He was told to establish a uniform criteria of justice. He later explained, saying:

"With no concern for the guise of legality, as in the case of some War Councils, prisoners were taken out and shot under the cover of night. Most executions were attributed to attempts to escape."

Retired Lt. Col. Marcos Herrera Aracena said:

"General Arellano informed he that what Pinochet wanted was to bring an end to the remaining legal processes. In other words, finish with them once and for all."

Death squad justice was instituted. At issue was terrorizing Chileans. Instilling fear and crushing resistance were prioritized. Military commanders were ordered to go all out to solidify junta power.

Victims were buried in unmarked graves. Some were mutilated before being executed. General Joaquin Lagos explained why he didn't return some bodies to family members, saying:

"I was ashamed to see them. They were torn into pieces. So I wanted to put them together, at least leave them in a human form." 

"Yes, their eyes were gouged out with knives, their jaws broken, their legs broken." 

"At the end, they gave them the coup de grace. They were merciless. The prisoners were killed so that they would die slowly." 

"In other words, sometimes they shot them by parts. First, the legs, then the sexual organs, then the heart. In that order, the machine guns were fired."

Death squads killed thousands. Chile remains one of Latin America's most unequal societies. Chicago School fundamentalism creates wastelands. 

Chile remains a model of economic unfairness. Crony capitalism reflects out-of-control corruption, inequality and injustice. 

General el-Sisi is Egypt's Pinochet. Since usurping power, he instituted reign of terror justice. Sweeping crackdowns continue.

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members are targeted. So are supporters and others challenging junta authority. Thousands were arrested. Others were disappeared, tortured and murdered. 

Over 1,000 nonviolent street protesters were killed. Everyone suspected of supporting MB is threatened. So are activists demanding democracy.

President Morsi is charged with murder, treason, espionage, and sponsoring terrorism. He's accused of collaborating with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and anti-regime groups. Bogus charges claim he did so to destabilize Egypt. 

Kangaroo court justice awaits him. He faces possible capital punishment. Around three dozen other MB officials face similar charges.

Morsi remains in maximum security prison confinement. He's held incommunicado. Attorneys and family members are denied access. Some MB co-defendants remain at large.

On December 25, Egypt's so-called cabinet declared MB a terrorist organization. It did so unconscionably. 

It did it following Dakahlia Governate's Security Directorate headquarters bombing. Sixteen died. MB officials denied involvement.

A group named Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) claimed responsibility. Crackdowns on MB members continue. According to journalist Shahira Amin:

"This is a new escalation in a long-running feud between the security state and the Muslim Brotherhood." 

"What they are trying to achieve is to crush the Islamist group altogether and not to leave any room for that group to enter into political life again." 

"Declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group will mean criminalizing their activities, criminalizing their financing, and also criminalizing their membership." 

"Their protests are already outlawed. Their leaders are already behind bars and thousands of their supporters languish in prisons."

IKHWAN WEB is MB's official English language web site. On December 27, it headlined 'Muslim Brotherhood Legal Committee: Classifying Group as Terrorist Legally Null and Void."

"This classification came without investigation, without evidence." 

"No entity should be so classified or disbanded, except through legal procedures."

"Thus naming the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization is completely groundless in the absence of any evidence to prove this description which is vehemently rejected by the group."

"(T)he decision is invalid and illegal, because so far no court made any definitive judgments about the group and its leaders."

"The Brotherhood’s Legal Committee is considering an appeal of this decision. It will announce its course of action and legal position later."

Egypt Court of Cassation is its highest judicial authority. Seven appeals courts are next in importance.

Tanta Court of Appeals Judge Walid el Shaf'i called designating MB a terrorist organization illegal. If challenged in court, it'll be declared so, he said.

He cited Article 86 of Egypt's Penal Law. It can only be enforced by court order. Egypt's cabinet acted by executive decision. Doing so is illegal, he added.

On Thursday, dozens more MB members were arrested nationwide. Their land, funds, and other resources were confiscated.

Egypt's Islamic Medical Association hospitals are affected. An MB leader established them in the 1970s. They serve over two million patients annually.

They're mostly in poor neighborhoods. They're highly regarded. They considered preferred alternatives to poorly run government hospitals.

Since Morsi's ouster, government funding was cut. Admissions at Cairo's Nasr City district Central Hospital dropped by half. Many people fear seeking treatment. Doing so might suggest MB support.

Other network hospitals were forced to reduce services to save money. Central Hospital director Medhat Omar expressed concern, saying:

"If it goes on like this, we won't be able to take on any patients." Funds aren't available to pay salaries or other expenses.

Egypt's "war on terrorism" targets its own. It does so ruthlessly. It does it lawlessly. It aims to terrorize Egyptians into submission.

El-Sisi vowed to eradicate everyone challenging his power from "the face of the earth. Don't let these treacherous terrorist incidents affect your spirits," he said.

He referred to several recent bombings. "We're on the side of pronounced righteousness," he claimed. 

Many, perhaps most, Egyptians believed it last July. Fewer do today. Police state viciousness makes everyone fearful. 

Public demonstrations are banned. Anyone criticizing government policies risks arrest and imprisonment.

Dozens handing out pro-MB leaflets were arrested. One death was reported. During a Thursday army graduation ceremony, el-Sisi said:

"Egypt will stand firm in confronting terrorism and the people will never be afraid as long as the army is present."

Anyone charged with supporting MB "verbally or in writing" faces five years imprisonment. US expressed concern is too muted to matter.

Washington endorses coup d'etat harshness. A previous article asked when is a coup not one? It's when US officials suggest otherwise.

Reign of terror ruthlessness is official Egyptian policy. Rule of law principles don't matter. Government by diktat rules. No ones is safe from rampaging government forces.

MB officials risk being disappeared, tortured and murdered. Others face potential life in prison. So does anyone providing funding. Supporting MB publicly is considered terrorism.

Regular protests continue. People involved do so at great risk. One MB supporter perhaps spoke for others, saying: "People don't have anything to lose." 

Rights can't be gotten without sustained struggle. Conditions today are far worse than under Mubarak. 

State terror more than ever is official policy. Anyone challenging regime authority is vulnerable. Pinochet's ghost resides in Egypt. Same old, same old repeats.

London Guardian editors headlined "Egypt: back with a vengeance," saying:

"The skies are darkening over Egypt...How miserably different this is from" what most Egyptians hoped for.

Revolutionary change "is now being torn up by its roots...Mubarak regime (opponents) are now being victimized by its successor."

Egypt's rulers "are determined" to stamp out all opposition. "It is now evident that the Egyptian military, behind its unconvincing civilian facade, is ready to be as hard on its secular as on its religious opponents."

Mubarak's removal changed nothing. Junta power bided its time. It "gr(ew) a new head," said Guardian editors. "(N)ow (it's) back, quite literally, with a vengeance."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Vladimir Vladimirovich and the Grey Lady

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Bill Keller, editorialist for The NY Times and former executive editor of the paper, has recently penned a strong attack on Vladimir Putin arguing that Putin’s leadership “deliberately distances Russia from the socially and culturally liberal West” and describing the Kremlin’s policies as “laws giving official sanction to the terrorizing of gays and lesbians, the jailing of members of a punk protest group for offenses against the Russian Orthodox Church, the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as ‘foreign agents’, expansive new laws on treason, limits on foreign adoptions.”
Keller, who during his tenure as executive editor of The NY Times argued for the invasion of Iraq and wrote glowingly of Paul Wolfowitz, makes no mention of Moscow’s diplomatic maneuvers that successfully avoided a US military intervention in Syria or the Russian asylum given to Eric Snowden.  Keller, who had supported the US intervention in Syria by writing “but in Syria, I fear prudence has become fatalism, and our caution has been the father of missed opportunities, diminished credibility and enlarged tragedy,” also made no mention of Seymour Hersh’s stinging dissection of the Obama administration’s misinformation campaign regarding the sarin attacks in Syria.  Hersh’s piece, which drives grave doubts into the case against Assad actually having carried out the attacks, was not published in The New Yorker or in the Washington Post, publications that regularly run his work.
Keller focuses on a Russian law that bans promotion of gay lifestyles in Russia, a far cry from “giving official sanction to the terrorizing of gays and lesbians”, while failing to mention that  according to his own paper, 88% of Russians support the law.
Putin did expel USIAD from Russia, cutting off the $50 million in aid which went to pro-democracy and anti-corruption groups.  The Kremlin believed that much of this money wound up supporting the protest movement against Putin that emerged in 2011.  If Russian funding had been suspected in the Occupy Wall Street Movement would The New York Times have supported Putin for promoting democracy in the US?  If the Pussy Riot crew had broken into a prominent Jewish temple in New York and defamed it as a protest against the millions of Palestinian refugees, would the young ladies have have done some time? And if so, would they have received support from all corners of stardom?

The European Model

Quoting Dmitri Trenin, Keller argues that Putin sees Europe in decline, “it’s national sovereignty… is superseded by supranational institutions.”  Is Putin mistaken in his assumption?  Maybe ask the people of Greece, Spain or Ireland?  Keller also mentions “limits on foreign adoptions” but fails to mention the cause, the Magnitsky Affair, which was the perfect example of what the Kremlin feels is US meddling in internal Russian affairs. 
The heart of the Magnistsky saga was the death in Russia, while under custody, of an attorney for Hermitage Capital, a hedge fund run by British citizen William Browder.  Browder made billions in Russia before running afoul of Russian authorities.  His Hermitage Capital was funded by the Lebanese national Edmond Safra and eventually claimed to have lost $300 million while moving billions out of Russia.  Browder, who has renounced his US citizenship, lobbied hard in Washington to have the Magnitsky Law enacted.  The law imposed "visa and banking restrictions on Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses."  Why was the US involved in passing laws to protect Lebanese and British capital and a Russian prisoner?  America hasn't enough trouble with its own prison system that it needs to legislate on the Russian penal system?  Are no American politicians potential candidates for war crimes?

Keller’s final point is that Putin is being heavy handed over the Ukrainian/EU integration crisis, but Keller avoids discussing the deep historic and ethnic links between the two nations.  Most Americans would agree that Russia should stay out of NAFTA negotiations, seeing North America as clearly not within the Russian sphere of influence.  Ukrainians are deeply divided over the integration with Europe, so why not let the Ukrainians and Russians work out their trade relations without the American government getting involved? 


Probably more than any other topic, The NY Times has repeatedly published articles in defense of the long imprisoned and recently freed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a man whose rise to power was filled with unsavory schemes to appropriate businesses that where once the property of the Russian people.  The NY Times’s Sabrina Tavernese wrote in 2001 that he had “orchestrated a series of flagrant corporate abuses of minority shareholders unparalleled in the short history of modern Russian capitalism.”
Khdorkovsky eventually wound up the billionaire owner of Yukos Oil, which he planned to sell  to Exxon Mobil .  Khdorkovsky also had political ambitions, creating the Open Russian Foundation and putting Henry Kissinger and Lord Jacob Rothschild on the board of directors.  He was clearly eyeing political power by making close ties with the West, too close for the Kremlin, even being named to the Advisory Board of the Carlyle Group.
The Khodorovsky affair was a complex battle for power in Russia, with Khodorkovsky playing the Western powers against the strongly nationalistic Putin.  But at The NY Times, editorialist Joe Nocera in four pieces on Khodorkovsky never delves into the complexities of Putin’s strategy to keep Western interests at bay, preferring to present a black and white scenario of ‘western liberal’ rule of law against the ‘authoritarian’ Putin. 
Curiously, The NY Times doesn't seem so interested in Harvard’s Russia Project which ended in disgrace and professor Andrei Shleifer, Larry Summers mentor, being forced to pay a $2 million fine for enriching himself under the guise of a USIAD program where he was to ‘teach’ Russians about capitalism.  He gave them an interesting lesson yet but was not forced to resign, possibly due to his close relation with Summers.  Nocera hasn't written one article on that scandal which is much more relevant to Americans and their iconic institutions, but which also might make him a few enemies closer to home. 

Putin and the American People

Most Americans see Eric Snowden as whistle blower and not a traitor, yet the NY Times star editorialist, Thomas Friedman, isn't so sure, “The fact is, he dumped his data and fled to countries that are hostile to us,” though he doesn't elaborate on why Russia is a ‘hostile’ nation and he advises Snowden to come home and face the music if he’s truly a patriot, “It would mean risking a lengthy jail term, but also trusting the fair-mindedness of the American people.”
Putin is a social conservative and a fierce patriot who, like many Americans, opposes regime change in the name of democracy.  The American people, after failed interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, also seem to agree with him- both Putin and the American people, unlike the NY Times, vehemently opposed a US intervention in Syria.  It seems Putin has more in common with the opinions of Americans than does the NY Times, which begs the question, why is the NY Times so hell bent on demonizing the President of the Russian Federation when he's supported by more than 60% of the Russian people?
The New York Times has written extensively about the gay rights issue in Russia but  45% of Americans still think that homosexuality is a sin and as the 'Duck Dynasty' controversy has revealed, homosexuality in America is still a very divisive issue.  Is the fact it's prohibited to speak in public in favor of gay lifestyles in Russia such an important stumbling block between relations when the vast majority of Russians support the law?

Americans probably don't approve of roads where members of one religion can drive, but members of another religion must walk, as occurs in Hebron and reported on by Ynet, "Jewish residents are allowed to cross the road by vehicle, but Palestinians are now only permitted to cross by foot or by bicycle."  They probably wouldn't look fondly on back of the bus seating for women, yet in spite of this type of segregation in a country that claims to be democratic, the NY Times doesn't feel compelled to demonize Mr. Netanyahu and his 'socially conservative' Likud party.  

The Interests of the American People

Just as The NY Times despises Putin and Russia, it’s equally enamored with Israel.  Imagine if the millions of Palestinian refugees were not in camps because of their mother’s religion, but instead because they were LGBT?  What if Netanyahu were held to the same standard as Mr. Putin?  How many millions of Palestinian Khodorkovsky’s are languishing in refugee camps in their own country?  Mr. Keller, Mr. Friedman and Mr. Nocera are much more interested in the Khodorkovsky's and William Browder’s rights then they are in the Palestinian children living in squalor under an Israeli blockade in Gaza.
Saudi Arabia and Israel, through its surrogate AIPAC, lobbied hard for war in Syria and both supposed allies are furiously attempting to undermine peace talks with Iran. Putin’s Russia brokered the deal to avoid a US involvement in Syria, played an important role in the Iranian peace initiative and also allowed Americans a glimpse into the massive surveillance program the NSA has hoisted upon them by giving refuge to Eric Snowden.

Just as Americans would not look fondly at the Kremlin interfering in domestic American politics, so the Kremlin pushes back when it see US interference in it’s internal affairs, a good example being being American aid to the protest groups during the 2011 Moscow protests against Putin.
If the US can accept serious human rights violations by supposed allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, can’t it also accept that Russia has its own way of governing itself, based on its own history and culture?

The NY Times does not represent the best interests of most Americans, nor does it use its powerful voice to protect the millions persecuted within the realms of so called allies.  The NY Times represents a small sector of US power, bent on propagating special interests at the expense of the powerless.
Mr. Putin certainly acts in the best interests of Russia, but curiously enough, by working in his own interest, he has done more to protect the 4th Amendment than the constitutional law professor currently occupying the White House.  In Syria he was protecting Russian interests, but by doing so he kept the US out of an intervention that could have easily developed into a major war.  If it had been up to The NY Times, we would have intervened in Syria and Snowden would be behind bars awaiting the mercy of the Obama Administration.  So who is a better friend of the American people?  There are no doubts that The NY Times is a better friend of the Khodorkovsky’s and William Browder’s of the world but Americans might actually be better off it’s government listened more to Putin and less the Grey Lady.

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"That secret operation was an excellent idea," he bragged. "The effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap."
During an interview with the French publication, Le Nouvel Observateur, which somehow never made it into US media, Brzezinski was grilled about the role he played in aiding the Mujahadeen. Former CIA Director Robert Gates had recently claimed in his memoir, From the Shadows, that US intelligence operations began six months before the Soviet intervention.
"According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980," Brzezinski noted, "that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."
Seizing this opening, the interviewer suggested that perhaps Brzezinski intended to provoke the Soviets into war. "It isn't quite that," the former National Security Advisor replied cagily. "We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would." Nevertheless, when the Soviets tried to justify their invasion with the claim that they were responding to a secret war bankrolled by the US, few people believed them. 
Did he regret anything? "Regret what?" Brzezinski shot back. "That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet Empire."
But what about arming Islamic fundamentalists who might become future terrorists? Brzezinski's reply to that was brazen. "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?" The jury is out on such questions.
Brzezinski's strategy did net some obvious results. The 1980s conflict in Afghanistan, provoked by US leaders as a geopolitical move in the Great Game, led to almost two million deaths and sparked the Taliban’s rise. Afghanistan became open territory for drug traffickers and energy companies eager to build oil and gas pipelines. Meanwhile, millions of Afghanis, including many who once worked with the CIA, paid a price. Eventually, the country served as a base for Osama bin Laden's crusade against the US, Israel, and Arab regimes in the Middle East.
Another prime example of covert manipulation going drastically wrong is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as Zaire during the 37-year reign of Mobutu Sese Seko, and before that the Belgian Congo. In 1960, despite Belgian predictions that European rule would continue for another century, the Congo declared its independence, and out of a largely peaceful revolution emerged a charismatic leader, Patrice Lumumba, who became the nation's first Prime Minister. But US policy-makers considered Lumumba, actually militant nationalist, a communist sympathizer, and therefore a threat to vital interests.
Located in Africa's heartland, the Congo was vital for its vast mineral resources; one of the world's largest copper and industrial diamond producers, it also had gold, manganese, zinc, cobalt, and silver. To be blunt, it was a key source of raw materials for the emerging military-industrial complex. Its uranium, one of the only known sources during World War II, was used in the first atomic bombs.
Even today, it isn't completely clear what sealed Lumumba's fate; some say it was his attempt to have UN troops step in to deal with the violence breaking out between tribes and political parties. In the richest province, Katanga, Moise Tshombe had declared himself ruler, attempted to secede, and recruited Belgian, French and South African mercenaries to fight the new government. However it was decided, Lumumba became a target for removal in the CIA's "golden age" of destabilization campaigns. After less than a year in office, he was deposed in a coup led by Mobuto, an Israeli-trained paratrooper who had Belgian and US backing. Mobuto, then called Colonel, turned Lumumba over the Tshombe, his archenemy.
Some details of Lumumba's assassination remain mysterious to this day. But in 2000 evidence surfaced that President Dwight Eisenhower may have directly ordered the CIA to "eliminate" him. The evidence came from Robert Johnson, who took notes at an August 18, 1960, White House meeting between Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis. Johnson recalled the president turning to CIA Director Allen Dulles, "in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated." Eisenhower had strict rules for reports filed on National Security Council meetings: no direct quotations. With Johnson's revelation, the reason became only too clear.
Questions also surround the precise chain of events. But according to Lugo de Witte, a Flemish expert on Africa, Belgian officers probably implemented the plan. A document signed in 1960 by Harold Aspremont Lynden, Belgium's minister for Africa, announced that "the main objective to pursue, in the interests of the Congo, Katanga and Belgium, is clearly the final elimination of Lumumba." After his arrest by Mobutu's forces on January 17, 1961, on orders from Belgium's foreign minister, Lumumba was transferred to Katanga, tortured in the presence of Belgian officials, and executed under the supervision of a Belgian captain.
The new nation, whose artificial boundaries had been set in negotiations between Belgium, Britain, France and Portugal, continued to hover at the edge of civil war for several more years.
The US stuck with Mobutu until the bitter end, propping him up as part of its Cold War strategy. As "president for life," he stashed a huge fortune in Swiss banks. It didn’t matter, as long as he was an anti-communist bulwark. His rapaciousness ultimately spread throughout the country's bureaucracy, especially the army. Still, no discouraging words from his overseers.
Much of his loot came from the US; he even pocketed CIA cash provided to support "contras" at work in Angola. None of this made any difference. Mobutu was a "friend," part of an elite club that included Noriega in Panama, Marcos in the Philippines, Diem and Thieu in Vietnam, Pinochet in Chile, Somoza in Nicaragua, Suharto in Indonesia, and the Shah in Iran.
And what did this ally do to his country? According to the World Bank, by the late 1990s the economy had shrunk to its 1958 level, despite a tripling of the population. Public finances were a mess, the national currency was worthless, and the State was insolvent. Upon its independence, the Congo had the highest literacy rate in Africa; by the time Mobutu was forced out in 1997, little more than half of all children were even attending schools. When open at all, they didn't have textbooks and the students often had to sit on the floor. Even the desks had been looted.
In the early 90s, Mobutu announced that he would end his one party state. But the transition never began, promised elections were canceled, and repression continued. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations looked the other way, while mainstream media continued a policy of self-imposed ignorance. Only after his departure did the news that Mobutu was a brutal tyrant begin to reach the general public. By this time, one of the continent's most promising nations was hobbled and deeply divided. A dictator had finally fallen, but the culprits who put him there, some even expressing belated outrage, escaped with impunity.
Iraq: Creating the next enemy
When pre-9/11 covert operations are discussed, officials and pundits are quick to claim that, as bad as things sound, that’s "ancient history." Things were different during the Cold War, when beating communism excused some extreme, often unsavory tactics. But the logic is also reversed to argue, things are different now, in order to excuse the same cynical manipulation and disregard for human life.
An instructive example followed the fall of the Soviet Union, when a credible new enemy was needed. US policy makers quickly turned their eyes toward Iraq, fresh from victory after an eight-year war with Iran and well-equipped with modern French and Soviet weapons. Saddam Hussein was at the peak of his regional popularity.
Based on the theory that domination of the Gulf region by a Hussein-led Iraq could jeopardize access to oil supplies, Colin Powell, then chairing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on General H. Norman Schwarzkopf in late 1989 to prepare a blueprint for combat. Schwartzkopf, who would lead Operation Desert Storm a year later, had just taken charge of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), an expanded version of the Rapid Deployment Force established under President Carter.
In May 1990, the National Security Council released a white paper that cited Iraq, and Hussein personally, as "the optimum contenders to replace the Warsaw Pact," using that claim as a justification for increased military spending. Meanwhile, at an emergency Arab summit held in Baghdad, Hussein called for a united front against outside aggression, more Arab coordination, and increased aid to the Jordan and the Palestinian Intifada. In the foreign policy establishment, these were interpreted as fighting words. Four months later Bush drew his line in the sand.
Hussein may well have been tricked into war by repeated assurances that the US felt no obligation to come to Kuwait's defense. It may sound like just one more conspiracy theory. However, this time there is a transcript to support the idea. On July 25, 1990, eight days before the outbreak of fighting between Iraq and Kuwait, US Ambassador April Glaspie held a taped meeting with Hussein, who apparently hoped to make sure the US would stay neutral and not intervene. Obviously, he understood that Saudi Arabia was Washington's key Arab ally, and hosted a significant US military presence in the Gulf. No credible evidence that Iraq planned to attack the Saudis has surfaced.
During their talk, Glaspie clearly suggested to Hussein that the Bush administration understood Iraq's point of view and did not want to meddle in an Arab dispute. At one point, she said, "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait...we see the Iraqi point of view that the measures taken by the U.A.E. and Kuwait is, in the final analysis, parallel to military aggression against Iraq."
A week later, that proved to be very bad advice.
Protecting the cover story
One covert operation that sparked some outrage at the time was the US training of Indonesian commandos accused of torturing and killing civilians. Despite a congressional ban in the 1990s, the Pentagon exploited a legal loophole that allowed "human rights training" to provide instruction in demolition, sniper techniques, psychological operations, and "military operations in urban terrain." The targets included workers who had lost their jobs during Indonesia’s economic crisis, students opposing President Suharto's military-dominated regime, and East Timorese who wanted independence.
Until support for Suharto became completely untenable, the Clinton Administration defended this as "engagement with an important country" that served US national interests.
Less publicized but equally deadly was US involvement in low-intensity war in Mexico. Under the guise of anti-drug operations, the US provided hundreds of million to Mexico for arms and training beginning around 1995. This included the US training of the Air-Mobile Special Forces Group (GAFE), created in direct response to the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas. After courses at Fort Bragg, GAFE units went on to kidnap, torture, and kill government opponents. Wearing hoods, they would enter homes in the middle of the night to surprise their targets, and raid hotels and restaurants without presenting search warrants.
Although responsibility for a massacre of 45 civilians in Acteal in December, 1997 couldn't be traced directly to GAFE, the incident clearly reflected counter-insurgency lessons learned at the School of the Americas (SOA) in Georgia and other US training centers. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who spent more than two decades trying to close the SOA, repeatedly pointed out that the insurgents under attack were usually reformers, human rights workers, and peasants who opposed repressive governments. Despite platitudes about human rights, the US continued to use the same tactics that had marked earlier interventions in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
What we hear about such "humanitarian" intervention is usually just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, 24-hour news and social media promote the illusion that there are few secrets left. Reality is another matter. Assisting the CIA, front groups like the National Endowment for Democracy have funneled funds to countless so-called insurgencies for years. Since declaring Islamic fundamentalism the post-communist global menace, the Agency is known to have run covert operations in most Middle-East states, from Libya and Iran to the Sudan.
Not so safe or secret anymore
While visiting London to promote his memoirs, Henry Kissinger once stormed out of a widely heard radio interview when the questioning turned to his complicity in war crimes. Jeremy Paxman, host of a Radio 4 program, asked the former secretary of state whether he felt like a fraud for getting a Nobel Peace Prize after plotting a coup in Chile and orchestrating slaughter in Cambodia. Kissinger fumed and denied everything, of course, charging that his host was woefully misinformed. But later the same day, he declined to show up for a BBC roundtable discussion.
Kissinger isn't the only former leader who sometimes gets nervous about accountability. Back when former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was fighting extradition to Spain, other potential defendants fretted about the precedent it might set. And the Clinton administration did not help. Instead, it released documents on Chile that not only confirmed what many suspected -- the US actively promoted the coup against Allende and sanctioned the subsequent repression -- but also sparked a hailstorm of related revelations.
The administration's motives were not exactly pure. Bowing to pressure from a Spanish judge, human rights groups, and the families of victims, Clinton had opted to "declassify what we can, so that we can say we did our share." That’s how a White House aide explained it. But the potential to embarrass political opponents didn't escape notice. With Texas Governor George W. Bush emerging as the Republican presidential front-runner, the thought was that his father's connection to Pinochet's crimes could become a factor, or at least a useful attack point, during the 2000 election. It didn’t turn out that way.
Questions persist about what the first President Bush knew and did while serving as CIA chief in the mid-1970s, a period during which Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his US co-worker Ronni Moffitt were assassinated in Washington. At the time suspicions pointed to Chile's intelligence arm, DINA, a sponsor of international terror.
According to declassified documents, however, we also know that Kissinger, Nixon, and CIA Director Richard Helms ordered a coup even before Allende assumed office. Kissinger and Alexander Haig worked out the details, described in an October 15, 1970, memo. "It is the firm and consistent policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup," wrote CIA Deputy Director of Plans Thomas Karamessines, who coordinated the operation. "We are to continue to generate maximum pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden."
Two years later, their goal was achieved. In a victory report, Naval attache Patrick Ryan called September 11, 1972, "our D-day," noting that the coup "was close to perfect." In subsequent years, the State Department received detailed reports on the escalating death toll under Pinochet. Yet, in another memo Kissinger tells the general that the US is "sympathetic with what you are trying to do here."
Years later, as Pinochet faced charges for murder, torture, disappearances, rape, and genocide, the question naturally arose: Why not Kissinger and those responsible for mass mayhem elsewhere? If more documents were declassified, the list of possible defendants would undoubtedly grow.
Even though he ultimately escaped punishment, the Chilean dictator's case did help peel away the facade of deniability, exposing high officials who provided weapons, training, financial support, and direct guidance for some of the worst modern violations of political and civil rights. Given that, is it any surprise the US backed out of an International Criminal Court (ICC), which was established in part to prosecute powerful individuals when domestic courts fail to act?
The treaty establishing the ICC was adopted in 1998, and subsequently ratified by many countries. At the time, human rights groups considered it the most important advance for the cause of international justice since the creation of the UN. But the US refused to sign at first, joining such notable naysayers as Russia, China, Israel, Iraq, and much of the Middle East.
Officially, the US objection was that, as the world's pre-eminent (and most resented) power, it might be subjected to "frivolous" prosecutions. There were also suspicions about the UN itself. By delaying, US officials hoped to obtain a guarantee that no US citizen accused of war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity could ever be brought before the court. In a letter to European Union foreign ministers, Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Clinton, implied that if her country did not get its way, it might withdraw from international peace-keeping and humanitarian missions. Pentagon officials went further, threatening to pull forces out of Europe.
In December 2000, the US finally signed, leaving Libya as the only country officially antagonistic the ICC's creation. But shortly after taking office, Bush II revived the old objections, suggesting that the court could expose US soldiers and officials abroad to politically motivated war crimes prosecutions. After 9/11 and the military response in Afghanistan, that looked more like a possibility. Thus, plans proceeded to reshape US relations with the UN. In May 2002, the administration informed the world body that it was nullifying its treaty signature. It was an unprecedented step; no other nation had ever before voided a signature on a binding international treaty. For many countries, the decision was a clear early sign of resurgent US unilateralism.
On the bright side, Kissinger did squirm a bit. Even Bush I sensed that he might not be immune. Predictably, the ex-president called the case against Pinochet "a travesty of justice." Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also became edgy, making discreet inquiries to Britain's Interior Ministry on the likelihood of being arrested while traveling abroad. As an old friend of Pinochet, the Iron Lady was worried about being charged as a war criminal for her actions in Northern Ireland and the Falklands.
The exposure of war crimes by former high officials like Kissinger, although it usually comes decades late and rarely leads to prosecution, does suggest that it may one day be possible to get at the truth about covert schemes and schemers. For Bill Clinton, meddling in Mexico and the Sudan, not to mention in Iraq and Kosovo, could prove damning if more of those stories were revealed.
In May 2002, eight months after 9/11, Bush II almost faced that same problem: premature exposure, in this case of what he actually knew and did before the attacks, could have led to embarrassing revelations about how and why the "war on terror" was launched. But no such luck. It still takes at least a generation, plus political convenience, to get far beyond the veil of disinformation.

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Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s.  “Control food and you control the people.”

Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.

Profits Before Populations

Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. “Terminator” genes enable the production of sterile seeds, using a synthetic chemical catalyst appropriately called “Traitor” to induce seed sterility. Farmers must therefore buy seeds from their patent owners year after year. To cover these costs, food prices are raised; but the harm is far greater than to our pocketbooks.

According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.

Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.

Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.

The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.

Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.

A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.

Roundup’s Insidious Effects

Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.

Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.

According to researchers Samsell and Seneff in Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality (April 2013):

Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.

Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:

Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.

Politics Trumps Science

In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.

In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.

Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:

In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.

Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda, widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.

In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”

The TPP and International Corporate Control

As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .

The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique.  If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.

. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:

No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .

If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .

Return to Nature: Not Too Late

There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:

Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.

In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.


Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at

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In Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that...

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In Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that knows how to run an economy has a public banking option. Costa Ricans are amazed to hear there is only one public depository bank in the United States (the Bank of North Dakota), and few people have private access to it.

So says political activist Scott Bidstrup, who writes:

For the last decade, I have resided in Costa Rica, where we have had a “Public Option” for the last 64 years.

There are 29 licensed banks, mutual associations and credit unions in Costa Rica, of which four were established as national, publicly-owned banks in 1949. They have remained open and in public hands ever since—in spite of enormous pressure by the I.M.F. [International Monetary Fund] and the U.S. to privatize them along with other public assets. The Costa Ricans have resisted that pressure—because the value of a public banking option has become abundantly clear to everyone in this country.

During the last three decades, countless private banks, mutual associations (a kind of Savings and Loan) and credit unions have come and gone, and depositors in them have inevitably lost most of the value of their accounts.

But the four state banks, which compete fiercely with each other, just go on and on. Because they are stable and none have failed in 31 years, most Costa Ricans have moved the bulk of their money into them.  Those four banks now account for fully 80% of all retail deposits in Costa Rica, and the 25 private institutions share among themselves the rest.

According to a 2003 report by the World Bank, the public sector banks dominating Costa Rica’s onshore banking system include three state-owned commercial banks (Banco Nacional, Banco de Costa Rica, and Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago) and a special-charter bank called Banco Popular,  which in principle is owned by all Costa Rican workers. These banks accounted for 75 percent of total banking deposits in 2003.

In Competition Policies in Emerging Economies: Lessons and Challenges from Central America and Mexico (2008), Claudia Schatan writes that Costa Rica nationalized all of its banks and imposed a monopoly on deposits in 1949. Effectively, only state-owned banks existed in the country after that.  The monopoly was loosened in the 1980s and was eliminated in 1995. But the extensive network of branches developed by the public banks and the existence of an unlimited state guarantee on their deposits has made Costa Rica the only country in the region in which public banking clearly predominates.

Scott Bidstrup comments:

By 1980, the Costa Rican economy had grown to the point where it was by far the richest nation in Latin America in per-capita terms. It was so much richer than its neighbors that Latin American economic statistics were routinely quoted with and without Costa Rica included. Growth rates were in the double digits for a generation and a half.  And the prosperity was broadly shared. Costa Rica’s middle class – nonexistent before 1949 – became the dominant part of the economy during this period.  Poverty was all but abolished, favelas [shanty towns] disappeared, and the economy was booming.

This was not because Costa Rica had natural resources or other natural advantages over its neighbors. To the contrary, says Bidstrup:

At the conclusion of the civil war of 1948 (which was brought on by the desperate social conditions of the masses), Costa Rica was desperately poor, the poorest nation in the hemisphere, as it had been since the Spanish Conquest.

The winner of the 1948 civil war, José “Pepe” Figueres, now a national hero, realized that it would happen again if nothing was done to relieve the crushing poverty and deprivation of the rural population.  He formulated a plan in which the public sector would be financed by profits from state-owned enterprises, and the private sector would be financed by state banking.

A large number of state-owned capitalist enterprises were founded. Their profits were returned to the national treasury, and they financed dozens of major infrastructure projects.  At one point, more than 240 state-owned corporations were providing so much money that Costa Rica was building infrastructure like mad and financing it largely with cash. Yet it still had the lowest taxes in the region, and it could still afford to spend 30% of its national income on health and education.

A provision of the Figueres constitution guaranteed a job to anyone who wanted one. At one point, 42% of the working population of Costa Rica was working for the government directly or in one of the state-owned corporations.  Most of the rest of the economy not involved in the coffee trade was working for small mom-and-pop companies that were suppliers to the larger state-owned firms—and it was state banking, offering credit on favorable terms, that made the founding and growth of those small firms possible.  Had they been forced to rely on private-sector banking, few of them would have been able to obtain the financing needed to become established and prosperous.  State banking was key to the private sector growth. Lending policy was government policy and was designed to facilitate national development, not bankers’ wallets.  Virtually everything the country needed was locally produced.  Toilets, window glass, cement, rebar, roofing materials, window and door joinery, wire and cable, all were made by state-owned capitalist enterprises, most of them quite profitable. Costa Rica was the dominant player regionally in most consumer products and was on the move internationally.

Needless to say, this good example did not sit well with foreign business interests. It earned Figueres two coup attempts and one attempted assassination.  He responded by abolishing the military (except for the Coast Guard), leaving even more revenues for social services and infrastructure.

When attempted coups and assassination failed, says Bidstrup, Costa Rica was brought down with a form of economic warfare called the “currency crisis” of 1982. Over just a few months, the cost of financing its external debt went from 3% to extremely high variable rates (27% at one point).  As a result, along with every other Latin American country, Costa Rica was facing default. Bidstrup writes:

That’s when the IMF and World Bank came to town.

Privatize everything in sight, we were told.  We had little choice, so we did.  End your employment guarantee, we were told.  So we did.  Open your markets to foreign competition, we were told.  So we did.  Most of the former state-owned firms were sold off, mostly to foreign corporations.  Many ended up shut down in a short time by foreigners who didn’t know how to run them, and unemployment appeared (and with it, poverty and crime) for the first time in a decade.  Many of the local firms went broke or sold out quickly in the face of ruinous foreign competition.  Very little of Costa Rica’s manufacturing economy is still locally owned. And so now, instead of earning forex [foreign exchange] through exporting locally produced goods and retaining profits locally, these firms are now forex liabilities, expatriating their profits and earning relatively little through exports.  Costa Ricans now darkly joke that their economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United States.

The dire effects of the IMF’s austerity measures were confirmed in a 1993 book excerpt by Karen Hansen-Kuhn  titled “Structural Adjustment in Costa Rica: Sapping the Economy.” She noted that Costa Rica stood out in Central America because of its near half-century history of stable democracy and well-functioning government, featuring the region’s largest middle class and the absence of both an army and a guerrilla movement. Eliminating the military allowed the government to support a Scandinavian-type social-welfare system that still provides free health care and education, and has helped produce the lowest infant mortality rate and highest average life expectancy in all of Central America.

In the 1970s, however, the country fell into debt when coffee and other commodity prices suddenly fell, and oil prices shot up. To get the dollars to buy oil, Costa Rica had to resort to foreign borrowing; and in 1980, the U.S. Federal Reserve under Paul Volcker raised interest rates to unprecedented levels.

In The Gods of Money (2009), William Engdahl fills in the back story. In 1971, Richard Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard, causing it to drop precipitously in international markets. In 1972, US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Nixon had a clandestine meeting with the Shah of Iran. In 1973, a group of powerful financiers and politicians met secretly in Sweden and discussed effectively “backing” the dollar with oil. An arrangement was then finalized in which the oil-producing countries of OPEC would sell their oil only in U.S. dollars.  The quid pro quo was military protection and a strategic boost in oil prices.  The dollars would wind up in Wall Street and London banks, where they would fund the burgeoning U.S. debt. In 1974, an oil embargo conveniently caused the price of oil to quadruple.  Countries without sufficient dollar reserves had to borrow from Wall Street and London banks to buy the oil they needed.  Increased costs then drove up prices worldwide.

By late 1981, says Hansen-Kuhn, Costa Rica had one of the world’s highest levels of debt per capita, with debt-service payments amounting to 60 percent of export earnings. When the government had to choose between defending its stellar social-service system or bowing to its creditors, it chose the social services. It suspended debt payments to nearly all its creditors, predominately commercial banks. But that left it without foreign exchange. That was when it resorted to borrowing from the World Bank and IMF, which imposed “austerity measures” as a required condition. The result was to increase poverty levels dramatically.

Bidstrup writes of subsequent developments:

Indebted to the IMF, the Costa Rican government had to sell off its state-owned enterprises, depriving it of most of its revenue, and the country has since been forced to eat its seed corn. No major infrastructure projects have been conceived and built to completion out of tax revenues, and maintenance of existing infrastructure built during that era must wait in line for funding, with predictable results.

About every year, there has been a closure of one of the private banks or major savings coöps.  In every case, there has been a corruption or embezzlement scandal, proving the old saying that the best way to rob a bank is to own one.  This is why about 80% of retail deposits in Costa Rica are now held by the four state banks.  They’re trusted.

Costa Rica still has a robust economy, and is much less affected by the vicissitudes of rising and falling international economic tides than enterprises in neighboring countries, because local businesses can get money when they need it.  During the credit freezeup of 2009, things went on in Costa Rica pretty much as normal. Yes, there was a contraction in the economy, mostly as a result of a huge drop in foreign tourism, but it would have been far worse if local business had not been able to obtain financing when it was needed.  It was available because most lending activity is set by government policy, not by a local banker’s fear index.

Stability of the local economy is one of the reasons that Costa Rica has never had much difficulty in attracting direct foreign investment, and is still the leader in the region in that regard.  And it is clear to me that state banking is one of the principal reasons why.

The value and importance of a public banking sector to the overall stability and health of an economy has been well proven by the Costa Rican experience.  Meanwhile, our neighbors, with their fully privatized banking systems have, de facto, encouraged people to keep their money in Mattress First National, and as a result, the financial sectors in neighboring countries have not prospered.  Here, they have—because most money is kept in banks that carry the full faith and credit of the Republic of Costa Rica, so the money is in the banks and available for lending.  While our neighbors’ financial systems lurch from crisis to crisis, and suffer frequent resulting bank failures, the Costa Rican public system just keeps chugging along.  And so does the Costa Rican economy.

He concludes:

My dream scenario for any third world country wishing to develop, is to do exactly what Costa Rica did so successfully for so many years. Invest in the Holy Trinity of national development—health, education and infrastructure.  Pay for it with the earnings of state capitalist enterprises that are profitable because they are protected from ruinous foreign competition; and help out local private enterprise get started and grow, and become major exporters, with stable state-owned banks that prioritize national development over making bankers rich.  It worked well for Costa Rica for a generation and a half.  It can work for any other country as well.  Including the United States.

The new Happy Planet Index, which rates countries based on how many long and happy lives they produce per unit of environmental output, has ranked Costa Rica #1 globally.  The Costa Rican model is particularly instructive at a time when US citizens are groaning under the twin burdens of taxes and increased health insurance costs. Like the Costa Ricans, we could reduce taxes while increasing social services and rebuilding infrastructure, if we were to allow the government to make some money itself; and a giant first step would be for it to establish some publicly-owned banks.


Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at

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Making of a Monster: How the U. S. Helped Build Iraq's War Machine

Exactly two years after the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the state-run radio and newspaper in Baghdad were blaring that Kuwait would fall...

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award

Another Israeli War Criminal of the Year Award by Stephen Lendman America represents the worst of rogue governance. So does Israel. They menace humanity. They persecute...

There’s a New Fascism on the Rise, and the NSA Leaks Show Us What...

In his book, Propaganda, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."

PRISM and the Rise of a New Fascism

In his book Propaganda, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses...

Understanding the Latest NSA “Security Leaks” is Understanding the Rise of a New...

In his book, ‘Propaganda’, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses...

Communist Chinese Regime Forcing Rural Population Into Cities

The communist dictatorship ruling over mainland China has a new centrally planned plot in the works, a controversial scheme that seeks to force hundreds...

Communist Chinese Regime Forcing Rural Population Into Cities

The communist dictatorship ruling over mainland China has a new centrally planned plot in the works, a controversial scheme that seeks to force hundreds...

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

Senate and House Intelligence Committee: NSA Spying and the Fourth Amendment

Intel Committee Heads Walk Away Rather than Square NSA Programs with Fourth Amendment Sunday morning I questioned Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers –...

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

Bilderberg Meeting Draws Protests, Media Coverage

The secretive Bilderberg meetings that took place over the weekend at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, England, drew protesters from around the...

China Seeks “New Type of Great Power Relations”. Beijing will not Challenge US Global...

In his June 7—8 meeting with US President Barack Obama in Sunnyland in California, Chinese President Xi Jinping tried to reassure Washington that China...

Bilderbergers talk “big data”

The 2013 meeting of the Bilderberg Group is currently underway, with the usual clampdown on media coverage, but it appears that Å“big data” is...

Week in Review: Bilderberg Secrecy and the Surveillance State

America’s Economic War on the People of Iran: Obama Signs Executive Order Targeting Iran’s Currency and Auto Industry Timothy Alexander Guzman, June 07, 2013 America’s “Secret...

“The High Priests of Globalization”: Bilderberg Conference Convenes

Stephen LendmanInfowars.comJune 7, 2013 On June 5, the London Evening Standard headlined “No minutes,...

“The High Priests of Globalization”: Bilderberg Conference Convenes

On June 5, the London Evening Standard headlined “No minutes, no press conferences — just the world’s power brokers chewing the fat on the...

Buying US Treasury Bonds, A Sucker’s Game

Buying US Treasury Bonds now as advocated by so-called experts is turning logic on its head. What I am going to say is so outlandish...

Noam Chomsky: Ronald Reagan's Secret, Genocidal Wars

June 6, 2013  | ...

Samantha Power and the Weaponization of Human Rights

Yesterday Barack Obama nominated Samantha Power as UN Ambassador. This profile of Power by lawyer Chase Madar ran in CounterPunch on September 10, 2009. American...

Susan Rice to Replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor

National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon will resign his post next month and will be replaced by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan E....

Media Spotlight Shines on Bilderberg; Agenda Still Secret

The infamous annual Bilderberg meetings, which bring together global power-brokers from government, business, finance, intelligence, royalty, media, central banking, academia, and more, are set...

Bilderberg 2013 Countdown

Ellen Grace JonesInfowars.comJune 5, 2013 Do you Bilderberg? Or rather, do you know Bilderberg?...

Media Spotlight Shines on Bilderberg; Agenda Still Secret

The infamous annual Bilderberg meetings, which bring together global power-brokers from government, business, finance, intelligence, royalty, media, central banking, academia, and more, are set to begin this week in the United Kingdom.

Susan Rice to Replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor

National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon will resign his post next month and will be replaced by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan E....

Bilderberg Group Gathers Global Elite at UK Hotel

The famed–and much derided–Bilderberg Group is meeting this week in Britian to discuss whatever it is the world's super elite discuss at their secretive...

Bilderberg Group Gathers Global Elite at UK Hotel

The famed–and much derided–Bilderberg Group is meeting this week in Britian to discuss whatever it is the world's super elite discuss at their secretive...

Media Spotlight Shines on Bilderberg; Agenda Still Secret

The infamous annual Bilderberg meetings, which bring together global power-brokers from government, business, finance, intelligence, royalty, media, central banking, academia, and more, are set...

Media Spotlight Shines on Bilderberg; Agenda Still Secret

The infamous annual Bilderberg meetings, which bring together global power-brokers from government, business, finance, intelligence, royalty, media, central banking, academia, and more, are set...

The Legacy of Bilderberg’s Elite Criminals

Bilderberger Henry Kissinger — “defender of freedom and democracy” or lying war criminal? Infowars.comJune 5, 2013 If...

The Legacy of Bilderberg’s Elite Criminals

Bilderberger Henry Kissinger — “defender of freedom and democracy” or lying war criminal? Infowars.comJune 5, 2013 If...

Former CIA head David Petraeus joins buyout firm

KKR, the giant private equity firm, announced Thursday that it had hired David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and head of US combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bilderberg agenda: Western political, corporate heavyweights to discuss future of Middle East and Africa

During the world’s most secretive gathering the Bilderberg Group is set to discuss topics including cyber warfare, US foreign policy, “developments in the Middle East” and “Africa’s challenges” despite the glaring absence of regional representatives.

Who will be Attending the Bilderberg Meeting? What Will be Discussed Behind Closed Doors?

Each year, the Bilderberg venue brings together leading members of the financial and corporate elite, politicians, handpicked scholars, journalists and scientists. There are participants...

Bilderberg’s 60-Year Trajectory Exposed

Incrementalism key to Bilderberg’s long-term agenda. Jurriaan MaessenInfowars.comJune 4, 2013 Some commenters in mainstream media are trying...

Which Bilderberg name did you notice first?

James Highamnourishingobscurity.comJune 4, 2013 Some days ago, this blog said the Bilderberg meetings were just theatre....

Which Bilderberg name did you notice first?

James Highamnourishingobscurity.comJune 4, 2013 Some days ago, this blog said the Bilderberg meetings were just theatre....

Which Bilderberg name did you notice first?

James Highamnourishingobscurity.comJune 4, 2013 Some days ago, this blog said the Bilderberg meetings were just theatre....

Amazon and Google chiefs join other corporate tax avoiders at annual Bilderberg confab

Ben QuinnLondon GuardianJune 4, 2013 Image: George Osborne and his Labour shadow, Ed Balls, are on...

Canadian Premier to rub shoulders with world leaders at Bilderberg conference

Brad Wall keen to pick Henry Kissinger’s brain on China CBC NewsJune 4, 2013 Saskatchewan Premier Brad...

Bilderberg 2013: Just your average charity case?

As approximately 140 members of the global elite prepare to meet in Watford, England, this week for the 61st Bilderberg meeting, British residents may...

Bilderberg 2013: Just your average charity case?

As approximately 140 members of the global elite prepare to meet in Watford, England, this week for the 61st Bilderberg meeting, British residents may...

Breaking: Official Bilderberg Attendee List Released

FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group DEU Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG DEU Ackermann, Josef Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd GBR Agius,...

Cracking The Bilderberg Nut

Jurriaan MaessenInfowars.comJune 1, 2013 As the stuffed dolls of mainstream media will expectedly persist...

Kerry, Obama, and the WEF’s $4 Billion Bailout Plan for PLO/Hamas

“Kerry unveils $4 billion Palestinian economic plan,” ran the headline in the Jerusalem Post. Well, sort of; the veil still hasn’t been lifted on where...

The Pied Pipers of Neoconservatism

This article has been adapted from an address given by Mr. McManus to a meeting of the Robert Welch Club on June 30, 2001,...

The Pied Pipers of Neoconservatism

This article has been adapted from an address given by Mr. McManus to a meeting of the Robert Welch Club on June 30, 2001,...

The Pied Pipers of Neoconservatism

This article has been adapted from an address given by Mr. McManus to a meeting of the Robert Welch Club on June 30, 2001,...

Kerry, Obama, and the WEF’s $4 Billion Bailout Plan for PLO/Hamas

“Kerry unveils $4 billion Palestinian economic plan,” ran the headline in the Jerusalem Post. Well, sort of; the veil still hasn’t been lifted on where...

Kerry, Obama, and the WEF’s $4 Billion Bailout Plan for PLO/Hammas

“Kerry unveils $4 billion Palestinian economic plan,” ran the headline in the Jerusalem Post. Well, sort of; the veil still hasn’t been lifted on where...

Puerto Rico’s Colonial Status and the U.S. Invasion

“If you control the oil, you control the country; if you control the food, you control the population.” Dr. Henry Kissinger Puerto Rico was a...

Argentina’s ex-dictator Videla dead at 87

  By ...

Argentina’s General Videla and the “War on Terror”

Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla died May 17 at the age of 87 as the result of injuries suffered from a fall in a prison...

Argentina’s General Videla and the “war on terror”

  22 May 2013 ...

Obama ‘Is a War Criminal’

by Jacob Chamberlain In an interview with the Guardian published on Sunday, renowned professor and prolific critic of the “military-industrial-complex” and rampant “plutocracy” in the...

“The True Story of the Bilderberg Group” and What They May Be Planning Now

For over 14 years, Daniel Estulin has investigated and researched the Bilderberg Group’s far-reaching influence on business and finance, global politics, war and peace,...

Flashback: Watergate, Nazis, Nixon, Rockefeller

Jon RappoportInfowars.comMay 15, 2013 Watergate eventually became the story of two young rookie reporters...