Lee Camp: How Corporate America Supports Racism, Hatred & Exploitation (in New & Fun Ways!)

By Lee Camp

Source

Corporate America Social Justice
Corporations like General Mills and ExxonMobil aren’t going to save us from white supremacist violence or climate annihilation with their piddly tweets.

modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.”

Anyways, I bring this up because I don’t think we’re going to solve America’s militant hate group problem until we get the help of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers. …You heard me.

We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”

t just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)

Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it.

Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality.

Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together.

No. We. Aren’t.

Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at  the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?”

Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.”

The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”

’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!

Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.

If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it.

US Phony War on ISIS and Other Jihadist Groups it Created and Supports

April 4, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

ISIS, al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra spinoffs, and likeminded jihadist groups are US created and supported monsters.

They’re used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy foot soldiers to advance diabolical US imperial interests.

Recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed, they’re deployed by US dark forces to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere to commit atrocities that include CW attacks on defenseless civilians —wrongfully blamed on governments Washington wants replaced by pro-Western puppet regimes it controls.

The US replenishes the ranks of these groups with new recruits.

There’s no shortage of them around in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, as well as in the Indo/Pacific and elsewhere.

Time and again, US officials perpetuate the myth of wanting these elements eliminated — while seeking new recruits to replace ones killed in battle by Russian airpower and militaries of targeted nations.

Serial liar Trump defied reality, falsely claiming his regime eliminated “100% of the caliphate…in Iraq and Syria (sic).”

In January 2020, Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy head Hashed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were martyred by Pentagon assassins for successfully combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS. 

According to Pentagon connected Military.com and Navy Times propaganda on Friday, the USS USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group began so-called Operation Inherent Resolve flight operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq (sic).

Throughout US post-9/11 Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa wars of aggression against invented enemies, US air, ground and naval operations supported and continue supporting ISIS and likeminded jihadist groups.

It’s what the Eisenhower strike group and US 6th fleet are engaged in now.

Their operations have nothing to do with “provid(ing) a wide range of options to our nation and allies in deterring adversarial aggression and disruption of maritime security and regional stability” — as a navy press release falsely claimed.

Ongoing operations are all about advancing US imperial interests by waging endless preemptive wars on invented enemies.

In Syria, Russian and Assad government aerial operations alone are combatting the scourge of US supported ISIS and other jihadist groups.

Days earlier, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov said US ruling regimes use ISIS and likeminded jihadists to prevent conflict resolution in Syria.

Days earlier, the Pentagon and CIA reportedly transported dozens of ISIS fighters to locations in Syria where they want them used to attack government forces and civilians.

While government troops — greatly aided by Russian airpower — liberated most Syrian territory, US and Turkish forces illegally occupy northern parts of the country.

The Pentagon and CIA infest parts of its south, and pockets of ISIS jihadists show up wherever their US handlers deploy them.

US supported Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an al-Qaeda offshoot, operates in Syria’s Idlib province.

Southfront called HTS “a brutal, radical terrorist group,” adding:

A leaked video showed the group “training children for combat in Greater Idlib.”

Aiding its ruthlessness, US Public Broadcasting (PBS), one of its many propaganda arms, interviewed HTS leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani.

Giving him air time on US national television showed virtual PBS support for the jihadist group in cahoots with the Biden regime.

US hot wars rage endlessly in multiple theaters, using ISIS and other jihadist proxies.

Phony US claims about military operations against ISIS and other jihadists divert attention from its support for these cutthroat killers.

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

The Endless War: Afghanistan Goes On and On

APRIL 02 ,2021

By Philip Giraldi

Source

All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield.

Given the present atmosphere in Washington in which there is no lie so outrageous as to keep it out of the mainstream media, a great deal of policy making takes place without even key players in the government knowing what is going on behind their backs. Of course, there is a long tradition of government lying in general but most politicians and officials have probably convinced themselves that they are avoiding the truth because complicating issues might lead to endless debate where nothing ever gets done. There may be some truth to that, but it is a self-serving notion at best.

The real damage comes when governments lie in order to start or continue a war. The Administration of George W. Bush did just that when it lied about Iraq’s secular leader Saddam Hussein seeking nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and developing delivery systems that would enable Iraq to attack the U.S. with the nukes. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice knew she was not telling the truth when she warned that “the problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” She also was a key player in the Bush team approval of the CIA’s use of torture on captured al-Qaeda.

Rice is, by the way, not in jail and is currently a highly esteemed elder statesman serving as Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Likewise for her friend and patron Madeleine Albright who famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. imposed sanctions were worth it. In the United States the only ones who are ever punished are those who expose the crimes being committed by the government, to include a number of whistleblowers and journalists like Julian Assange.

The active American military role in lying probably started at Valley Forge but it came into prominence with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which was an alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on U.S. Navy ships that led to an escalation in Washington’s direct role in what was to become the Vietnam War, which produced 58,000 American dead as well as an estimated three million Vietnamese. No one was punished for faking the casus belli and today Vietnam is a communist state in spite of the martial valor of the U.S. Army.  Overall commander of US forces in Vietnam General William Westmoreland, who died in 2005, repeatedly advised the media and the White House that the American military was “winning” and there would be victory in six more months. General Westmoreland knew he was lying, as the Pentagon Papers subsequently revealed, and he also proved reluctant to share his plans with the White House. He even developed a contingency plan to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam without informing the president and Secretary of Defense.

Prize winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter has written an article “Trump Administration Insider Reveals How US Military Sabotaged Peace Agreement to Prolong Afghan War” that describes how the brass in the Pentagon currently are able to manipulate the bureaucracy in such a way as to circumvent policy coming out of the country’s civilian leadership. The article is based in part on an interview with retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat arms officer who served as an acting senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense during the last months of Donald Trump’s time in office.  He would have likely been confirmed in his position if Trump had won reelection.

Porter describes the negotiations between the Taliban and Trump’s Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, which began in late 2018 and culminated in a peace agreement that was more-or-less agreed to by both sides in February 2019. The Pentagon, fearing that the war would be ending, quickly moved to sabotage a series of confidence building measures that included disengagement and cease fires. In short, US commanders supported by the Pentagon leadership under Secretary of Defense Mike Esper as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued to attack Taliban positions in spite of the agreements worked out by the diplomats, blaming all incidents on the Taliban. They also used their “perception management” media contacts to float fabricated stories about Taliban activity, which included the false account of Russians paying Taliban fighters bounties for every American they could kill.

After the 2020 election, which Donald Trump appeared to have lost, Esper, Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie and the senior field commander General Scott Miller took the offensive against any withdrawal by sending a memo to the president warning that no troops should be removed from the country until “certain conditions” had been met. An enraged Trump, who believed that the disengagement from Afghanistan was the right thing to do, then used his authority to order a withdrawal of all US troops by the end of the year. He also fired Esper, replacing him with Christopher Miller as SecDef and brought in Macgregor, who had openly expressed his belief that the war in Afghanistan should be ended immediately as well as the wars in the Middle East.

Macgregor and Miller reasoned that the only way to remove the remaining troops from Afghanistan by year’s end would be to do so by presidential order. Macgregor prepared the document and President Trump signed it immediately. On the next day November 12th, however, Colonel Macgregor learned that Trump had subsequently met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Acting Secretary Miller. Trump and Miller were told by Milley and O’Brien that the orders he placed in the memorandum could not be executed because a withdrawal would lead to a surge in violence and would damage chances for an eventual peace settlement. Trump was also told that an ongoing US presence in Afghanistan had “bipartisan support,” possibly a warning that he might be overruled by Congress if he sought to proceed. Trump later agreed to withdraw only half of the total, 2,500 troops, a number that has continued to remain in place under President Joe Biden. A current agreement has the US withdrawing those last soldiers, together with allied NATO troops, by May 1st but it is under attack from Congress, think tanks, the mainstream media and the military leadership for the same reasons that have been cited for staying in Afghanistan over the past twenty years and predictably Biden has folded. Last week he announced that some American soldiers will remain in country to maintain stability after the deadline.

The story of Trump and Afghanistan is similar to what took place with Syria, where plans to withdraw were regularly reversed due to adroit maneuvering by the Pentagon and its allies. It remains to be seen what Joe Biden will do ultimately as he is being confronted by the same forces that compelled Trump to beat a retreat. The more serious issue is, of course, that the United States of America portrays itself as a nation that engages only in “just wars” and which has a military that is under control and responsive to an elected and accountable civilian government. As Afghanistan and Syria demonstrate, those conceits have been unsustainable since the US went on a global dominance spree when it launched its War on Terror in 2001. All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield. It will continue to have its pointless wars, and its bloated “defense” budgets.

The Watchdogs of Imperialism and the Uyghur Genocide Slander

By Stephen Gowans

Source

Uyghur genocide slander 4b7ba

On February 26 the Canadian Parliament passed a motion, by a vote of 226 to 0, expressing the opinion that “the People’s Republic of China has” implemented “measures intended to prevent” Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim births and that these measures are “consistent with” the United Nations Genocide Convention.

The reality is that Beijing is not preventing Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim births, and a report by a German anthropologist widely cited as evidence that it is, contradicts this claim. That report, by Adrian Zenz, a fellow at a US government-created foundation whose mission is to bring about the end of communism and the Chinese Communist Party,  reveals that while Chinese family planning policy restricts the number of children Chinese couples are allowed to have, it does not prevent couples in any group, including Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims, from bearing children. Moreover, limits on family size are the same between the Han Chinese ethnic majority and religious minorities. There is, therefore, no discrimination in Chinese family planning policy on the basis of national, religious, or ethnic affiliation.

Perhaps aware their position was untenable, the parliamentarians sought to buttress their motion by citing political opinion in the United States, where “it has been the position of two consecutive administrations that Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims are being subjected to a genocide by the Government of the People’s Republic of China,” the motion observed. In an act of unseemly subservience to imperial power, Canada’s parliament constructed a motion, based on no evidence, to echo a point of view articulated in Washington, also based on no evidence.

Significantly, the last two consecutive administrations have designated China a rival, and therefore have politically-motivated reasons for slandering their challenger. Moreover, apart from using the hyper-aggressive US military to extort economic and strategic concessions from other countries, US administrations have a long record of fabrication to justify their aggressive actions. That “two consecutive administrations” have held that the Chinese are carrying out a genocide is evidence of nothing more than Washington continuing to operate in its accustomed fashion of churning out lies about states that refuse to be integrated into the US economic, military and political orbit. A Serb-orchestrated genocide against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; moderate rebels in Syria: these are only the tip of the iceberg of US lies and calumnies offered as pretexts for imperial aggression. Genocide in Xinjiang is but the latest.

Below, I look at the genocide slander from four perspectives:

  1. The geostrategic context.
  2. Who is behind the accusation?
  3. How do the accusers define genocide?
  4. What is the evidence?

The geostrategic context

In 2003, Graham E. Fuller, a former vice-chair of the US National Intelligence Estimate and one-time CIA station chief in Kabul, wrote a book for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Study at the Johns Hopkins University, titled The Xinjiang Problem. His co-author was the academic  S. Frederick Starr.

Fuller and Starr wrote that:

the historical record suggests that the decision of countries and even of international organizations to raise specific human rights issues is often politicized and highly selective. Many countries will devote attention to human rights issues in China in inverse proportion to the quality of their overall bilateral relationship.

It need not be said that today, 18 years later, the quality of overall bilateral relations between the United States and China has deteriorated sharply. China has emerged as a formidable competitor to US economic and technological supremacy, and US policy has shifted, beginning with the Obama administration, toward an explicit program of eclipsing China’s rise.

In recent days, US president Joe Biden has said “American leadership must meet … the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Biden’s “goal is to stay ahead of China in semiconductors, artificial intelligence and other advances that are expected to define the economy and military of the future.” However, the US president, according to the newspaper, intends to portray the conflict as one based on “a clash of values: democracy vs. autocracy,” rather than a clash of economic interests.

At the base of a deteriorating Sino-US relationship, then, lies a commercial rivalry, on top of which Washington has layered a narrative about a clash of values. In a Foreign Affairs article written before he became president, Biden outlined a strategy of confronting China over the economic challenges it poses to US businesses, US domination of the industries of tomorrow, and US technological (and concomitant military) supremacy. Biden said he would use a human rights narrative to rally support for a US-led campaign against China.

Fuller and Starr continued: “It would be unrealistic,” they wrote, “ to rule out categorically American willingness to play the ‘Uyghur card’ as a means of exerting pressure on China in the event of some future crisis or confrontation.” Many “of China’s rivals have in the past pursued active policies in Xinjiang and exploited the Uyghur issue for their benefit.” Almost two decades later, with US hostility rising as Washington’s claim to primacy on the world stage is under challenge, the United States has decided to play the Uyghur card.

Who is behind the accusations?

A network of groups and individuals, animated by an antagonism to the Chinese Communist Party, and supportive of continued US global supremacy, are involved in originating the slanders against Beijing. At the center is the German anthropologist, Adrian Zenz.

Zenz’s opposition to Beijing lies in his religious beliefs. A fundamentalist Christian, he views communism, feminism and homosexuality, as abominations against God. Zenz also believes that he is on a divinely-inspired mission to bring about the demise of communist rule in China.

Zenz is a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. The foundation, created by the US government to discredit an ideology which competes against the United States’ first favorite religion, US state-capitalism (Christianity being the second) seeks to free the world “from the false hope of Marxism” and save it from “the tyranny of communism” (the leitmotif of Hitler’s political career.) This it strives to do by educating future generations that “Marxist socialism is the deadliest ideology in history,” (one that, by this view, is fully capable of carrying out a genocide), a task the foundation sees as especially pressing today, when “Positive attitudes toward communism and socialism are at an all-time high in the United States.”

Zenz has also written anti-Beijing reports for the Jamestown Foundation,  an anti-Communist outfit supported by corporations, foundations, and wealthy individuals, whose mission is to shape public opinion against China and North Korea.

Adrian Zenz 8e3c6

The slanderers also include a number of Uyghur exile groups, including the World Uyghur Congress, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. The NED is a US government-bankrolled organization whose first president conceded that it does overtly what the CIA used to do covertly, namely destabilize foreign governments by strengthening fifth columns. The NED does so under the cover of promoting democracy and human rights.  The organization has boasted on Twitter that it has been funding fifth columnists in Xinjiang since 2004.

Another propagator of anti-Beijing slanders is the Epoch Times, the newspaper of the Falun Gong. Like Zenz, the roots of Falun Gong’s anti-Beijing animus lie in reactionary religious convictions. The cult deplores gender equality, homosexuality, and communism as affronts against God.

How do the accusers define genocide?

Those who accuse Beijing of carrying out a genocide employ a ruse regularly used in the corporate world to dupe consumers and employees. The subterfuge is to redefine a word to mean something other than what the word would be reasonably interpreted to mean.

Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo used this ruse. He accused Beijing of trying to integrate Xinjiang and its Turkic people into the larger Chinese society. While this did not meet the definition of genocide, Pompeo labelled Beijing’s actions as genocide all the same.  According to the magazine Foreign Policy, State Department lawyers told Pompeo that Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang did not satisfy the UN convention’s definition of genocide. Pompeo, who has no respect for the truth, much less the contrary opinions of government lawyers, was undeterred.

The current US secretary of state Anthony Blinken also accused Beijing of genocide. Using the same ruse, Blinken pointed to non-genocidal actions, namely one million Uyghurs in ‘concentration camps’, to make the claim that Beijing was trying to destroy a Muslim minority.  The claim was a double deception. First, there are no Uyghur concentration camps in Xinjiang, and second, even if there were, concentration camps do not equal genocide. Blinken was likely trying to exploit the association of the Holocaust with German death camps to insinuate that concentration camps and genocide go together, like the artic and snow, and that the Chinese government, and its Communist Party, are contemporary expressions of Nazi horror.    

The source of the concentration camp allegation is yet another of Beijing’s political foes, an Islamist media outlet run by Uyghur separatists in Turkey, which serves as a platform for the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, an al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist outfit which seeks to transform Xinjiang into an Islamic State. ETIM is considered a terrorist organization by the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States—or was considered a terrorist organization by the United States until Pompeo removed the group from the US terrorism list in October, thereby eliminating an impediment that had limited the contribution the jihadists could make to the US project of destabilizing Xinjiang, propagating calumnies about the Chinese government, and ultimately undermining China’s ability to compete with US businesses on the world stage.

In July of last year, Zenz wrote a paper for the Jamestown Foundation on Uyghur birthrates, which appears to be the basis for the claim cited by Canadian parliamentarians that China is carrying out a genocide in Xinjiang. Zenz’s report raised the question of genocide only in its final sentence, and then only tentatively. It was, instead, the Jamestown Foundation editor, John Dotson, a former US naval officer and US Congressional staff researcher, who concluded in an introductory note that “Zenz presents a compelling case that the CCP party-state apparatus in Xinjiang is engaged in severe human rights violations that meet the criteria for genocide as defined by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” Zenz, however, concluded only that Chinese policies “might be characterized” as constituting “a demographic campaign of genocide per” the UN convention. To be sure, any policy might be characterized in any particular way one wants, but the ad rem question isn’t, can policy x be characterized as y, but is it y?  Zenz, unlike Dotson, was not prepared to say that Chinese birth control policy constitutes genocide. And there’s a good reason for this; it clearly doesn’t.

Zenz’s paper was a political tract erected on the foundations of a report on Beijing’s family planning policies and their effects on Uyghur and Han birthrates in Xinjiang. What the report showed, notwithstanding Dotson’s politically-motivated misinterpretation, was that:

  • Previously, Han Chinese couples were limited to one child, while Uyghur couples were allowed two in urban areas, and three in rural areas. Family planning restrictions were not rigidly enforced on Uyghur couples.
  • Today, Han Chinese couples are permitted to have as many children as Uyghur couples are permitted (two children in urban areas, and three in rural areas.)
  • Family planning restrictions are now rigidly enforced.
  • The change from lax to rigid enforcement has been accompanied by a decrease in the Uyghur birth rate.

Zenz’s report showed that the Uyghur population continued to grow, despite enforcement of family planning policies; Uyghur couples are not prevented from having children, (they’re only limited in the number of children they can have); and family planning rules apply equally to Han Chinese.

Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, reads as follows:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The relevant consideration is the fourth item, namely, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group. Chinese family planning policy does not prevent births within the Uyghur population; it only restricts them, and the restriction is non-discriminatory; it applies equally to all groups.

What is the evidence?

US State Department lawyers told Pompeo there is no evidence of genocide in Xinjiang. As we have seen, that didn’t stop Pompeo–who once boasted that as CIA director “we lied, cheated, and stole“– from making the accusation. He simply changed the definition of genocide, carrying on the US state tradition of fabricating lies to advance its interests.

Bob Rae, Canada’s representative to the UN, accused China of committing genocide, and then said efforts should be made to gather evidence to demonstrate this to be true.

John Ibbitson, a columnist with Canada’s Globe and Mail, conceded that Chinese government actions in Xinjiang do not meet the UN definition of genocide, but that Beijing is carrying out a genocide all the same.

The watchdogs of imperialism

The United States is waging an economic and information war on China, to preserve its economic,  military, and technological supremacy. Washington is recruiting its citizens, its allies and their citizens, and the progressive community, into a campaign to protect the international dictatorship of the United States from the challenge posed by the peaceful rise of China. Every manner of slander has been hurled at China to galvanize popular opposition to Beijing and mobilize popular support for economic aggression and growing military intimidation against the People’s Republic, from accusations that Chinese officials concealed the spread of the coronavirus; to calumnies about Muslims being immured in concentration camps, subjected to forced labor, and targeted for genocide; that Beijing is violating the one state-two systems agreement in Hong Kong (when in fact it’s only implementing a security law to undergird the one state part of the accord) and that Beijing’s efforts to reunify the country by re-integrating a territory the US Seventh Fleet prevented it from reintegrating in 1950, are really acts of aggression against an independent country named Taiwan.

Progressive forces, from Democracy Now!, which has provided Adrian Zenz a platform to traduce Beijing, to the New Democratic and Green parties in Canada, which voted for the motion declaring a genocide is in progress in Xinjiang, collude in the campaign to protect and promote the profits of Western shareholders, investors, and bankers from the challenges posed by China’s rise. Lenin, who knew a thing or two about communism, international rivalries, and the perfidy of progressives, described the predecessors of today’s Democracy Nows, Greens, and New Democrats as the watchdogs of imperialism. His words echo through the corridors of time.

Bernays and Propaganda – The Transition to Education and Commerce – Part 4

March 02, 2021

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By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

The success of Lippman and Bernays did not go unnoticed in many segments of American society. Universities in particular realised the potential of these new propaganda techniques to form, manipulate and control social perceptions and behavior. Schools and Universities in the US had never been viewed as an educational system but more as tools of a public disciplinary system, a method both of social control and a means to inculcate attitudes and beliefs most useful to the industrialists and bankers. This began before the time of Lippman and Bernays, with the great “Robber Barons”, the criminally rich families like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Mellon, Astor, DuPont, Guggenheim, Morgan, Vanderbilt. Andrew Carnegie first promoted the notion that the nation’s very rich should found universities in order to remake education to serve their needs. Many American industrialists joined this crusade, resulting in Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Chicago and many more. Their efforts were widely publicised as a kind of benevolent charity to the nation, but their purpose was not to educate but to indoctrinate, using the educational system to create citizens obedient to their capitalist ideology and maintain their financial power.

They meant these institutions to preach the standard religious mythologies of patriotism and democracy, but also the values of child labor, slave wages, anathema toward labor unions and opposition to minimum wages, as a scheme to maintain their income disparity, basically to inculcate public attitudes that would serve to prevent any transference of wealth to the masses. These industrial and financial elites played a heavy role in the transformation of America’s educational system, first from their financial control and second from their power to design and control the ideologies that would emerge in the curricula, setting the stage for the methods of American education today, in particular the US business schools. Perhaps the most important consideration about American education that is so poorly-appreciated is that the American elite did not want (and still do not want) to improve the nation’s education level because both the multi-party political system and the US brand of capitalism require ignorance for survival, both relying heavily for their success on a thoughtless, uninformed, and uneducated population. (1)

Of course in all nations, the educational system is one of the primary institutions of social control, but with the aid of Lippman and Bernays the US went far beyond civilised norms. For both primary and secondary school, the intent was to establish social control by first producing a strong sense of national identity and cohesion, which led to, among other things, the mass hysteria of US patriotism so much in evidence today. It isn’t widely recognised that the ever-present and pervasive pathological American brand of patriotism is an extremely powerful mechanism of social control, to the extent that few Americans would be prepared to have themselves classified as ‘unpatriotic’. But to be patriotic in the American mold means one must firmly align one’s interests with the ruling elite. In America, you cannot be patriotic while condemning free-market capitalism or the frequent wars for its benefit, and it is distinctly unpatriotic to express a wish for a government-paid healthcare system or to protest against the banks that caused much of the population to lose their homes in 2008. As reporter George Seldes pointed out, (2) (3) this patriotism, the American way of taking pride in one’s country, forces the masses to ally themselves with the ruling powers, and this produces a kind of perpetual control. He said this deceptive propaganda has existed for so long that few are aware of how it came about or even that it exists. He ended his comment with the observation that if the media informed the people of this insidious control, it would lose its power. But the media, themselves aligned with the ruling powers, refuse to address it.

The purpose of the universities, in the view of these industrialists and bankers, was to develop by indoctrination a kind of management elite capable of controlling society in a way most useful to the top 1%. By the end of the First World War, the world was in the throes of a massive industrialisation as well as urbanisation, creating social stresses from problems of inequality and civil rights, with social unrest already a growing problem. To deal with this, American universities developed (under the tutelage of Lippman and Bernays) what they called the “social sciences” like sociology and psychology with the objective of producing a cadre of “social engineers and technicians” to address these issues and control American society. The ‘secret government’ believed that psychology, with the techniques so skillfully applied by Bernays, could “be instrumental for attaining democratic social order and control”. The theory was that individuals in society were not “well adjusted” and that propaganda could be used to appropriately “adjust” them. From this point, with the educational system as a major instrument, the US transitioned into a society of social engineering and control, using Bernays’ methods directly upon primary, high school and university students to form and manipulate public perceptions and beliefs in a manner most useful to the secret government and the multi-nationals they controlled. Neither the good of the nation nor the welfare of its citizens were listed as priorities. Of course, education itself became diseased and corrupted by these measures.

Socialism was perhaps the greatest enemy to the entrenched ability of the bankers and industrialists to loot the nation, with items like minimum wages, free education or medical care severely restraining the greed of the elites, and thus socialism quickly became public enemy no. 1 in the American educational system. For generations, Bernays and his heirs filled the minds and hearts of American children with a fear of socialism, equating it to godless nations ruled by brutal dictators where citizens had no freedom. The propaganda was extremely powerful and the brainwashing began very early in life – as it still does today. Consider this example from a current American elementary school book: The question posed is “Which of the following goes with socialism?”, with the student offered three possible answer choices:

  • A Political system in which a dictator rules, and there are no freedoms.
  • An Economic system in which the government owns the big businesses.
  • An Economic system in which businesses are privately owned.

Of course, the correct answer is “none of the above”, but in American schools the first two evil choices are the only correct answers, small children learning very early on that private-enterprise capitalism is the only way to fly, socialism not only to be avoided but to even explore that system is equated to seeking information on Satan worship. The doors to these little American minds are firmly slammed shut very early in life, never to be opened again, an integral part of their political-religious indoctrination. The false tenets of American capitalism are given vast prime-time exposure, again closing the little minds forever to any understanding of what they are for or why they are for it. (4)

Yale University, working with huge grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, created a propaganda institute to perform practical research on issues “directly concerned with the problems of man’s individual and group conduct” and “to correlate knowledge and coordinate technique in related fields”. The stated purpose was to better “understand human life”, but the intent was to utilise that understanding for the control of the population. There was a Princeton University Radio Project to discover the most effective way to use broadcasting for population indoctrination and control, the techniques being adopted by the VOA, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia. The internet and Princeton archives appear to have been scrubbed clean of information on this.

And indeed Princeton was so heavily involved in propaganda, subterfuge and spy-craft, that it provided the bulk of the staff for the OSS and CIA during their formative years. (5) As with most everything else regarding the US, the American universities were even much worse than imagined, being deeply into the CIA’s murderous MK-ULTRA program of mind control that stretched for decades (6), as part of the Bernays-inspired search for population control mechanisms. In testimony to the US Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy stated that more than thirty US universities and institutions were involved in what he termed an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on citizens at all social levels, all without their knowledge or consent. (7)

The elite 1% founded not only universities but the Foundations that exist to this day, and for the same purposes of social control. Institutions like the Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, were primarily created “to perpetuate predatory wealth through the control of information and the sources of information”, and quickly assumed missions of direct influence and control of the mindsets of many of the world’s leaders, or at least influential individuals. The Rockefeller Foundation has been pre-eminent in an astonishing array of social control initiatives that included population control in the real sense through sterilisation and war. And both the Rockefeller and Carnegie institutes funded and promoted the practice of eugenics, Carnegie recommending a national chain of gas chambers to eliminate the socially (and ideologically) unfit. (8) All of this twisted ideology stemmed from the same source.

The Rockefeller Foundation in one advertised instance held a major conference with “representatives of some of the largest financial interests” in the US, i.e. the Jewish European bankers who controlled the US FED, to promote a propaganda program to “educate the citizenry in pro-capitalistic ideology and thus relieve unrest”. In other words, employ the Freud/Bernays propaganda methods to teach the working class to stay poor for the benefit of the corporate elites and the bankers. This group believed it needed a “publicity bureau” that could “correct popular misinformation” by providing “a constant stream of correct information” delivered to the lower and middle classes on their proper place in society. They then set about creating a powerful research organisation to study “social problems” and “the causes of social and economic evils”, portraying themselves as disinterested scientists searching for the public good while actually focused on propaganda, public indoctrination and secret social control.

All the so-called Foundations and Think Tanks established during the past century shared the purpose of steering society and social thought into desirable channels, and executing massive schemes of social engineering, eventually corrupting the educational system and co-opting all emerging social movements for the benefit of Bernays’ ‘secret government. American society, primarily through the educational system and the use of the new social sciences was being almost totally re-created to serve its ultimate masters.

A memo from the Rockefeller historical archives revealed a concern that their purposes might become public knowledge and be “misinterpreted” since public opinion would naturally be violently opposed to such secret programming. Senators and Congressmen rightly feared these Foundations were dangerous to their society and form of government, and recommended their abolition, but the elected portions of the government have never had the power to control the secret government. The US Congress stated that these foundations, with their wealth and influence, were “a grave menace to the welfare of society” and would be used not only to affect and control the government but to change its form. And try to change its form they would.

This is one reason most university business schools are funded by (and named after) their monied benefactors: money guides and even determines the curriculum. Many American universities today are merely servants of major industrial firms, virtually their entire research capabilities harnessed in pursuit of either commercial patents or discoveries of military value, the education of students becoming increasingly remote and inferior. In the end, the practices of Bernays’ propaganda and the private funding of education to serve private hidden interests became one and the same, the propaganda machine absorbing education itself, for the purpose of ‘adjusting’ the population to eliminate ‘misinformation’ and replace it with the ‘constant stream of correct information’ while firmly repressing all contradictory thought.

Interestingly, debt bondage is one of the main forms of social control and for this reason has always been heavily promoted in the US, its financial benefit to the private bankers being an added plus. New university graduates who are $200,000 in debt, homeowners with a huge mortgage, wage slaves with high credit card balances, are unlikely to risk their careers and livelihood by openly challenging the system. When an entire nation is heavily in debt, the people cannot afford to revolt. Meekness and silence are prerequisites for survival, especially in the almost total absence of labor unions. Thus, the American propaganda machine discouraged savings and encouraged consumption on credit. This was so true that as early as the 1920s as much as 90% of all major items like homes, cars, furniture and appliances purchased in the US, were bought on credit. (9)

  • Turning to Commerce

Lippman and Bernays also turned their attention to the manipulation and control of public attitudes toward advertising and commerce, which is why and how the vast propaganda machine transformed American culture into a materialistic consumer society. The consumption orientation was created solely to transfer wealth to the top 1% who owned most of the means of production and who would primarily benefit, mostly the same people constituting Bernays’ “invisible government”. The ease and potential of public manipulation fired the imagination of those who controlled the banks and multinational corporations, their minds opened to the vast potential to increase sales by turning Americans into appropriately conditioned consumers. They realised that if they could condition emotional responses into the subconscious of the American population without the awareness of the people, they could firmly control the purchasing attitudes and habits of an entire nation. And of course this was precisely the result, with the US economy today dependent for 75% of its life on consumer spending, Americans proclaiming this bizarre condition as a universal value and the will of God.

Following his political successes, Bernays set up shop on Madison Avenue and by the early 1920s was already doing for American products and branding what he had done for war marketing, that is to say, using propaganda to manipulate and control public perception and behavior, in this case to create not only mindless consumers but to fabricate and permanently instill in the American mind the myth of brands. Bernays quickly attracted more corporate clients than he could handle, with most large firms tripping over themselves to take advantage of the power of propaganda and mind control to loot the nation’s bank accounts.

Advertising and Agencies

In 1957 Vance Packard published a best-selling book titled “The Hidden Persuaders”, that revealed in detail how advertisers were using psychologists and psychiatrists following Bernays’ manipulative methods to tap into our unconscious desires in order to “persuade” us to buy the products they were selling. (10) (11) The entire advertising industry succumbed to this siren call and today is a rat’s nest of (often) reprehensible manipulation of the public. Ad agencies would hold “focus groups” where they would surreptitiously record housewives and others discussing their inmost feelings, thoughts, desires on many matters, then use that information to subvert those and manipulate people into buying whatever they wanted to sell.

One instance that crossed my path was exposure to the story boards of a foreign advertising agency in Shanghai tasked with helping an American bank market credit cards to young Chinese. I was appalled at what I saw. The manipulation was to me not only disgusting but obscene. Someone had spent real money to ferret out the hidden desires, fears and aspirations of young Chinese, and turned that knowledge to looting their bank accounts. The conclusions were that these young people, university graduates, were now in an era of rising affluence and desired to be recognised as more than citizens of a third-world country, in a sense to be seen as worthy equals to young people of other nations. They had purchasing power, generally good taste, and wanted to be appreciated as valuable consumers. The recommendations were startling. “Tell him he’s a king. Use the tag line “The world is waiting for you”, and “With our credit card, you can have it all now”. Make him feel he is important and recognised, that he is valued because he is Chinese.” And, since this young person likely came from a one-child family where his wishes were important, “Do everything possible to push the “me, me, me, more, more, more” attitude.”

I encountered this by accident, and had an email exchange with a young Chinese on this topic. I cannot locate my original email but, from memory, this is what I wrote to him:

“A credit card is not magic, and it is not free. It is borrowed money that you will have to repay at a high rate of interest. No matter what they tell you, you cannot have it all, not now, and not without working and saving for it. Moreover, you are not a king. You are a nobody. You are just another dumb kid with a credit card, one of 300 million others like you. I am sorry to tell you the world is not waiting for you. The world doesn’t even know you exist and, if it did know, it wouldn’t care. That is the truth. I suggest you accept it and act accordingly.”

The American Auto Industry

The conduct of these propagandists, beginning with Lippmann and Bernays marketing war for Rothschild and their other masters in London, was clearly criminally insane. There is no way to place a positive spin on people who provoke a world war for their private benefit, but it is more difficult to grasp that their conduct in the commercial realm was (and still is) no less criminally insane. One example is the American auto industry and the American love affair with the automobile.

This is a long and interesting story which I have covered in detail here (12). Briefly, in the 1920s the world was turning to electric automobiles en masse and the advent of inexpensive electric public transport was sounding the death knell for gasoline-powered cars. General Motors and the major oil companies were facing a multiple crisis, and embarked on one of the greatest criminal frauds in history, killing off the electric car and mass transit in the US. But they didn’t stop there. Life in many of the world’s major cities is convenient and enjoyable without a car, partially due to excellent mass transit and partially to urban areas designed for human living rather than automobiles. But not in the US. GM and its friends infiltrated the civic planning faculties of major US universities and propagandised the construction of suburbs – which exist only in North America, physically segregating living, working and shopping spaces to make auto ownership mandatory. They also bribed and extorted the US government to abandon rail transport and invest solely in highways, again to make private auto ownership mandatory. The long term negative effects of this ruthless corporate conspiracy are literally beyond calculation. Then the public propaganda kicked in:

“America’s Love Affair with the Automobile” is presented as an expression of independent and freedom-loving America, where inexpensive mass transportation failed to evolve due to Americans’ individuality and desire for freedom, but that is a propaganda myth, a lie of enormous proportion. Today’s US car culture was the result of a massive conspiracy, like the consumer society, imposed on an unsuspecting nation through deceit and propaganda. After execution of the massive fraud, the American people were for generations complimented on their individualism, adventuresome spirit and their love of freedom and independence, and for the choices they believed they made but that had been made for them by others. Here as in no other market is it so true that Bernays’ capitalists were selling “not so much products as emotion itself, psychologically linking the act of purchasing an automobile to falsely-manufactured feelings of confidence, freedom, happiness, empowerment and independence, tying the very self-identity of Americans to the purchase of an automobile.” (13)

CONSUMER GOODS

Nestlé and the Baby Milk Companies

Mothers’ breast milk is universally acknowledged as far superior to artificial powdered milk for babies, being naturally sterile and containing all the necessary nutrition while, and very importantly, supplying the baby with multiple antibodies that provide immunity against many childhood illnesses and diseases. Almost all mothers are able to breastfeed their babies, who then become ill much less often than babies fed with artificial milk powder. Bottle-feeding with artificial milk has been long proven to present increasing dangers where mothers have poor or no access to necessary sterile facilities.

UNICEF and many other health groups have stated that about 1.5 million babies die each year from simple ailments like diarrhea, common in babies drinking artificial powdered milk, but that almost never occur with breast-fed babies. The WHO and a number of other international organisations claim that “Over 4,000 babies die every day in poor countries because they’re not breastfed. That’s not conjecture, it’s fact.” Since the end of World War II, approximately 50 million infants have died from this one cause, but Nestlé, Danone, Wyeth, Mead Johnson and Abbott are hugely profitable.

In one of the most criminal and anti-human campaigns ever produced by Bernays and his heirs, a few industrialists conspired to create a reprehensible propaganda offensive to convince the world’s mothers, most especially those in undeveloped countries, to avoid breast-feeding their babies. It was a direct and deliberate attack on one of the most basic of human functions while ignoring the enormous human cost in infant fatalities and illnesses for which they are in most cases directly (or at least indirectly) responsible.

They utilised the services of thousands of physicians, psychologists and psychiatrists, and marketing personnel, to learn how to penetrate the psyche of a new mother to discourage her from breastfeeding her own child. I can recall seeing in several poor countries billboards for baby milk that contained photos of ‘yellow-haired goddesses’, the essential sentiment being communicated was: “Beautiful white women don’t breastfeed their babies. It’s only you backward, uneducated and ignorant brown peasants who do that.” And this from a radio advertisement by US-based Borden milk in the 1950s that played this little song: “The child is going to die because the mother’s breast has given out. Mama o Mama the child cries. If you want your child to get well, give it KLIM milk.” (14) The executives and staff of baby milk companies like Nestlé are even more morally deformed than are those of Big Pharma (who are often owned and controlled by the same people), and have proven they will do whatever is necessary, use any tactics that produce sales, totally heedless to law, ethics or morality.

Bernays’ first corporate client was Proctor and Gamble (P&G), a client that wholeheartedly subscribed to his methods, their relationship lasting more than 30 years, with P&G adopting a marketing model driven by propaganda built on psychological manipulation. (15) Chinese mothers preferred washable cloth diapers, strongly resisting P&G’s marketing efforts for plastic Pampers, so P&G spent millions on psychologists and psychiatrists in attempts to identify the hidden fears and weaknesses in Chinese mothers so as to prey on those. And they found what they needed: the mothers’ concern for their baby’s health and his longer-term development and success in life. P&G then created a scenario based on claims that increased sleep would not only improve a baby’s health but would result in “improved cognitive development and academic achievement”, thereby presumably guaranteeing wealth and a successful career. They produced “studies” with “scientific results” that appeared palpably fraudulent, claiming that Chinese babies wearing Pampers fell asleep 30% faster than babies wearing cloth diapers, and further that their sleep while wearing Pampers would experience “50% Less Disruption”. (16) In an internal P&G staff promotional video, one Pampers brand manager boasted about his psychological fraud, saying, “We really had to change the mindset and educate [Chinese mothers] that using a diaper is not about convenience for you – it’s about your baby’s development. I’m talking about taking a product and literally changing consumer behavior to create a market for it.” Through this reprehensibly false propaganda, P&G were “educating” mothers to believe that wearing disposable diapers would dramatically enhance their child’s mental development. And boasting about their cleverness in doing so. (17)

The Barbie doll is a similar story, a product never intended for children. Barbie was a sex toy named Lili, created in Switzerland in the 1950s and popular primarily with perverted single men in Europe. A Jewish-American woman named Ruth Handler who, with her husband, owned the then-small company named Mattel toys, was on holiday in Germany and apparently fell in love with this doll, brought it to the US and began marketing it as a “more mature” companion for little girls “exploring womanhood”. Mothers were either disturbed or horrified, especially since Barbie’s “mature” body was “borderline pornographic” and seen as a serious danger “potentially damaging to young girls’ psyches”. That view is still held very strongly by millions of mothers all over the world who have banned this doll from their homes. But Handler, adopting Bernays’ propaganda methods, employed psychiatrists to learn how to change the values of American mothers in order to market this doll. The advice was to instruct mothers to consider Barbie as “a tool for teaching their daughters about the importance of appearance and femininity.” Just what every 3 year-old girl needed to help her grow up into a wholesome young woman – a plastic doll with big breasts and a sports car. I have always hated that doll.

It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Starbucks offers some of the worst coffee on the planet, which is natural since it was designed to suit American tastes. But you may be surprised to learn that Starbucks is no longer selling coffee; they are now selling “experiences”. The marketers and advertisers, aided and abetted by the propagandists and their Freudian background, have concluded that there is an even better way to loot bank accounts than offering fake goods on credit. In their view, shops once sold commodities (coffee beans), then became ‘service firms’ (coffee shops) where the commodity was standardised and the distinguishing consumer attraction was the quality of service. Inherent in that shift was the degrading of the commodity – which was expensive – and replacing it with ‘service’ which cost nothing but an artificial smile. They have now moved to a new level where we sacrifice both the commodity and the service, and replace both with “an experience”.

Now, the offspring of Lippman and Bernays are spending huge money on psychologists and psychiatrists to fathom precisely what it is about going to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart that can create a “positive emotional response”. Yes, I know. I almost choked writing that sentence, but these people are serious. They want to identify the underlying stimuli and then fabricate the circumstances in an attempt to provoke that response. If successful, the fake commodity and fake service can disappear to be replaced by a fake emotional experience that you will treasure and one day excitedly relate to your grandchildren. It is all a false reality created with contrived experiences that are not real, but Americans are already on international speaking tours proselytising the new marketing approach. And it’s all fake, in the same way that most of America is fake. Americans promoting this new view seem unable to recognise that any part of their new bible contrasts with reality, and react with offense when Europeans tell them “You Americans are all about image instead of reality. Everything about you is fake and superficial. You people are living in a cliché.”

It is true that sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna or at a sidewalk cafe in Rome can be a treasured experience, generated by dozens or perhaps even hundreds of charming small details that combine to create a genuine appreciation of one of life’s little pleasures. But these wonderful small experiences cannot be fabricated and still generate a pleasure of life, except perhaps for Americans who appear to have lost entirely the ability to distinguish the sizzle from the steak and to whom the only genuine reality is superficial. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting one’s customers to have a good experience, but the American attitude toward creating these is not genuine or sincere; it is cheap, fake, and artificial, a psycho-induced emotional response to a fake reality. Instead of trying to understand how to give customers a real, genuine, pleasant experience as they would receive in Vienna or Rome, the Americans are spending millions trying to understand how to fabricate in their customers the artificial “feelings” of an experience without actually giving them anything. One needs to wonder what the hell Americans think about, what goes on in those minds. And, if anybody needs an “experience” so badly they have to go to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart to find it, what they really need is a life.

I could go on, but these cases illustrate the point I want to make. There was a time when manufacturers focused on making products that people wanted to buy but, with the success of Bernays’ twisted and manipulative “propaganda”, they now employ psychologists and psychiatrists to probe the human psyche and find a way to permanently alter (and corrupt) the human mind to buy whatever these people want to sell. There is much more to this, including the concept of branding, that I will cover in a later essay.

Let’s review. By the early 1900s, Lippman and Bernays had learned from experience the methods of creating an extensive, false, and emotionally-provocative imagery and to use this fabricated mythology to control the perceptions and manipulate the opinions and behavior of the population of an entire nation. It had first been done for political purposes during wartime, to create immense racial hatred and push a nation into war, but was clearly just as applicable to political and commercial ambitions. At the same time, the wealthy elite of the nation created the higher echelons of an American educational system that would use essentially the same principles to entrench themselves in perpetuity by maintaining the bewildered herd as a kind of feudal colony of impoverished consumers. Those controlling the banks and large corporations were not content to stop with the educational system when they realised the broader possibilities of influencing the population through a nationwide scale of propaganda disguised as advertising, which led in turn to the creation and rapid development of the American advertising industry based almost entirely on the principles Lippman and Bernays identified. We then had the media, beginning with print and radio but rapidly including the movies and then television, being the vehicles through which this grand plan of population control would be executed.

In summation, we have a grand conspiracy by a relative handful of people to manipulate and control the perceptions and beliefs of an entire nation of people, entirely for perverted purposes. Perhaps the word ‘conspiracy’ is inaccurate, since these categories of players were in some sense acting independently or at least in different spheres such as advertising and media control or education and politics, but the net result is not different from what would have occurred had there been a tightly-organised conspiracy. Certainly, each knew what the other was doing, and would have been fully aware of the effects of their combined efforts. If we connect these dots, we have the European Jewish bankers and their many huge corporations, and the wealthy US elites exercising enormous control over the US government and effectively taking full charge of American education, of banking and the economy, of industrial production and, most important of all, of the mental and emotional content of the American people.

In every case, there was no concern for the good of the people or of a nation, no value placed on human lives, the human experience, or the human environment. It was only about the money to be derived from social control. Lippman and Bernays are gone, but their mainstay of immoral, manipulative and deceptive practices is as virulent as ever. As Shakespeare told us in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones”.

Introduction – If America Dissolves – https://thesaker.is/if-america-dissolves/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 1 of 5 — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 2 of 5 — The Marketing of War — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-the-marketing-of-war/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 3 of 5 – Democracy Control – http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-democracy-control/
Bernays and Propaganda – Part 4 of 5 –The Transition to Education and Commerce

*

Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 30 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’.

His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/substandard-education-in-america.html

(2) https://www.libertarianism.org/people/george-seldes

(3) https://www.amazon.com/You-Cant-That-Attempting-Patriotism/dp/1332838243

(4) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/what-is-difference-between-capitalism.html

(5) https://paw.princeton.edu/article/p-source

(6) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/07/cia-project-mk-ultra-july-2-2020.html

(7) https://ascensionglossary.com/index.php/Project_MKUltra

(8) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/07/the-pleasures-of-depopulating-earth.html

(9) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/lets-have-financial-crisis-first-we.html

(10) https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Persuaders-Vance-Packard/dp/097884310X

(11) https://www.nurturedevelopment.org/blog/the-7-tactics-of-hidden-persuaders/

(12) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/04/the-american-love-affair-with.html

(13) This quote is not original, but I have lost the source.

(14) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/10/en-larry-romanoff-nestle-murdering-with.html

(15) http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/politics/en-larry-romanoff-criminal-corporations-proctor-gamble-clean-face-dirty-heart/

(16) http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-pg-brought-the-diaper-revolution-to-china/

(17) http://www.forbes.com/sites/china/2010/04/27/how-procter-and-gamble-cultivates-customers-in-china/

Damascus and Moscow Slam Escalated US Aggression in Syria

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

On Thursday, Biden regime terror-bombing strikes in Syria showed his contempt for the rule of law and unbending hostility toward Damascus and Tehran.

It also showed the illusion of his diplomatic outreach to Iran, an act of rhetorical head-fake deception with no policy action follow-through.

On Thursday, Blinken’s spokesman Price pretended otherwise, saying:

“(O)ur approach recognizes that maximum pressure accompanied by the lack of diplomatic engagement got us to where we are.” 

“That is why we are embarking on a different path, one that prioritizes real, principled, clear-eyed diplomacy (sic).”

Actions are polar opposite, indicating more of the same ahead.

Falsely blaming Iran for strikes on US bases and Baghdad’s Green Zone it had nothing to do with, followed by sending a message to Tehran by terror-bombing Syria, shows no change in maximum failure policy toward the Islamic Republic.

So does refusal to return to JCPOA compliance and lift illegally imposed sanctions.

Endless US war on Iran by other means continues under Biden.

Ignore rhetoric by regime officials. Follow their actions.

They show continuation of Trump’s anti-Iran agenda instead of going another way.

Biden officials also relentlessly push the phony threat of Iran advancing toward developing and producing nukes — knowing reality is polar opposite.

Where the Islamic Republic hasn’t gone for over 42 years, it shows no intention of moving toward now.

Yet the Big Lie otherwise persists in Washington, other Western capitals and Tel Aviv.

It refuses to die because Big Lies keep it alive.

In response to Biden’s escalated aggression, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“In a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and Charter of the United Nations, the US warplanes on Thursday, February 25, 2021, launched a cowardly aggression by bombing some areas in Deir Ezzor province near the Syrian-Iraqi borders,” adding:

It sent a message to Damascus and Tehran that Biden intends continuation of endless aggression in Syria that aims to gain another US client state along with seeking to isolate Iran regionally.

It shows no change in US hostility toward the Islamic Republic, no intention to engage with its officials diplomatically according to the rule of law, no change in longstanding US regional imperial aims.

They’re all about dominating the Middle East, partitioning targeted countries for easier control, plundering their resources, and exploiting their people.

US ruling authorities aim to achieve their objectives through endless wars by hot and other means — even though they haven’t succeeded and won’t likely ahead.

It’s futile for Iran to believe that Biden will diverge from Trump’s hardline agenda.

Since taking office, he’s followed Trump’s toughness and escalated aggression, showing more of the same is highly likely.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry also slammed endless Israeli aggression, its undeclared war on the country with no end of it in prospect, so-called “international forces” in the country pursuing the same agenda, and high crimes by ISIS and other terrorists the West and Jewish state support.

The Syrian Arab Republic affirms its determination to defeat illegal occupation, eliminate the scourge of terrorism, and liberate “every inch” of its territory.

Moscow criticized Biden’s aggression, a Foreign Ministry statement saying:

“We strongly condemn such actions and call for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be unconditionally respected.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e are closely monitoring the situation on the ground.”

“We are in permanent contact with Syrian colleagues.”

Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria said the Biden regime has yet to cooperate with Russia on issues relating to Syria or Iran.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia was only notified of US airstrikes four to five minutes in advance, a useless, offensive heads-up, adding the following:

“We have recently heard different information from different sources.” 

“While we cannot confirm this, we want to ask the Americans directly.” 

“Reportedly, they could be making a decision to never leave Syria at all, eventually leading to the destruction of the country as a whole.”

There’s no ambiguity about US aims. Wars by hot and other means continue endlessly, no resolution in prospect anywhere.

Permanent occupation of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other countries is planned.

Regime change targets all nations free from US control, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing their sovereign independence.

US rage for unchallenged dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations makes unthinkable global war possible.

Going another way with Iran and other independent nations was never Washington’s intention and surely isn’t now.

Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

The world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

US President Joe Biden thundered that “America is back” while addressing the Munich Security Conference last week via video, but his understanding of what this means might be a bad thing for the rest of the world. There were high hopes that he’d pragmatically re-engage with the international community in order to right his predecessor’s many foreign policy wrongs, but it seems from the rest of the words that he shared during his speech that he has other motivations in mind. The problem is that President Biden revealed how ideological his envisioned foreign policy is, which will inevitably contribute to further international instability in the future.

According to the American leader, the world is presently at an inflection point between democracy and what he described as “autocracy”. He said that his country’s “galvanizing mission” must therefore be to “demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world” since he’s convinced that “it’s the single best way to revitalize the promise of our future.” In and of itself, that wouldn’t be an issue so long as the US focused solely on improving the state of its democracy at home, but regrettably, he wants to impose its interpretation of this governing system onto the rest of the world in a paradoxically undemocratic way.

Democracy is supposed to be about respecting differences, yet President Biden proclaimed that America will “speak out to defend [its values] around the world”, which differ from other countries’. Every state should have the right to practice their own form of democracy at home in line with their national traditions and culture without coming under pressure from abroad for this choice. Just like every person in a democracy should be able to do whatever they’d like as long as it’s peaceful, responsible, and doesn’t infringe on others’ rights, so too should every member of the international community be able to do this as well.

Unfortunately, President Biden’s ideologically driven foreign policy denies this right to China, which discredits America’s pro-democratic approach to International Relations. He proposed that “the United States, Europe, and Asia work together to secure the peace and defend our shared values and advance our prosperity across the Pacific” due to what he described as their “long-term strategic competition with China”. He also said that “We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system. Everyone — everyone — must play by the same rules.”

That statement is extremely hypocritical since it doesn’t align with reality. It’s the US that carries out economic abuses and pursues a policy of coercion against others which confirms it’s unwillingness to play by the same rules as everyone else. This is proven by its trade war against China and reliance on illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool. China, by contrast, has always complied with international law and the rules of the World Trade Organization. Beijing doesn’t believe that there should be any double standards in this respect. It’s consistently advocated for America to return back to respecting international rules and norms instead of violating them.

President Biden’s messianic belief in America’s mission to impose its national interpretation of democracy onto others seems to have made him think that it’s acceptable to apply double standards towards this end. That’s the only explanation for why he’d so shamelessly lie to the rest of the world by claiming that China carries out a policy of economic abuses and coercion when that’s actually what his own country has a proven track record of doing. This observation strongly implies that the fundamental fallacy of his foreign policy is the mistaken assumption that America’s model of democracy is universal and that this thus makes the country exceptional.

That’s not true, though. America isn’t better than anyone else like the country’s conservatives claim, nor is it “the first among equals” like its liberals seem to believe. It’s simply just another member of the international community, albeit the one which is arguably the most responsible for destabilizing the world because of its dangerous belief in its own messianic mission and exceptionalism. Considering this, the world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

Shouldn’t All Republicans Applaud Biden’s Syria Strike?

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Shouldn

President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there surprisingly prompted some criticism from influential Republicans like Don Jr., which was unexpected because one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed.

American politics is characterized by hypocrisy, and nowhere is this seen more clearly at the moment than with President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there. Breitbart pointed out how the American leader and some of his officials like Vice President Harris and spokeswoman Psaki criticized former President Trump’s assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani at the start of last year yet ironically went and supported a similar killing albeit against much lesser-known figures a little less than a month after taking office. That’s a valid observation to make, but equally valid is the fact that influential Republicans like Don Jr. are also being hypocritical for criticizing Biden for the first attack of his presidency. After all, one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed. It also deserves mentioning that Trump himself bombed Syria just several months into his presidency in response to false claims that President Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack.

What’s happening here isn’t that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and coincidentally reversed their prior positions at the same time, but simply that they’re behaving as they’re expected to considering their current political positions. Opposition figures usually always criticize the ruling party’s strikes, hoping that this will endear them more to anti-war voters who are largely skeptical of larger military involvement overseas, whether for reasons of principle, security, and/or financial cost. Biden and his ilk behaved this way when Trump killed Soleimani, which is the exact same role that Don Jr. is now playing. Trump himself, while thankfully not starting another major war during his term in office unlike other presidents over the past four decades or so, went back on his prior anti-war pledges from the campaign trail by bombing Syria so soon after entering the White House. Just like Biden nowadays, this proves that opposition figures who are critical of the incumbents’ military actions abroad almost always end up carrying out their own such attacks because they believe in their own way — whether rightly or wrongly — that they do indeed support America’s national interests.

Trump’s Syria strike was the result of “deep state” manipulations while Biden’s was much more voluntary on his part, but nevertheless, they both served to send a message to Iran’s Syrian ally that the US won’t go “soft” on it despite Trump’s prior peaceful talk and Biden’s ongoing attempts to revive the nuclear deal with Tehran. About the most recent attack and the context in which it was carried out, Biden was also pressured by domestic factors to show Republicans that he won’t be “soft” on Iran either despite his administration’s diplomatic outreaches to it and their policy shift regarding Yemen. Although some criticized Trump for his proud pro-”Israeli” foreign policy sympathies, Biden is just as bad from this perspective because he directly targeted alleged pro-Iranian militias in Syria as a strong showing of his administration’s “goodwill” towards Tel Aviv in response to their concern that Washington is neglecting its regional interests by wanting to re-enter into nuclear talks with Tehran. Those negotiations might now be more difficult to revive than ever since Iran’s ruling “reformists” are under severe pressure from the “principalists” not to talk to the US until after June’s elections.

These two outcomes — the US’ clear signs of geostrategic fealty to “Israeli” regional security interests and potentially self-sabotaging the nuclear talks with Tehran — arguably align with Republican foreign policy interests and were unquestionably advanced by Trump himself during his tenure through his assassination of Major General Soleimani and decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Many Republicans, however, don’t want to remember this since they’re just interested in criticizing the incumbent leader of their rival party due to how sour they still are over the contentious outcome of last year’s elections. Had Trump won re-election and been the one to bomb Syria last Thursday instead, they’d all probably be cheering him and praising his decisive military support for “Israeli” regional security interests at Iran’s alleged expense. At the same time, those Democrats who stand in support of Biden’s latest strike would have probably condemned it had Trump been the President who authorized the attack. This is all so predictable, yet few are talking about it because they’re blinded by the desire to make rhetorical points of relevance in the immediate moment.

The explained dynamic probably won’t ever change because the American people are so easily manipulable. Although outliers certainly exist as proven by the reader themselves for even being interested in this analysis in the first place, the majority have been conditioned to react to political rhetoric instead of think on their own. Partisan politics plays an enormous role in all of this since it’s rare for the average Democrat or Republican to criticize their side, especially when doing so would place them in the same camp as their opponents. That’s why so few Republicans can bring themselves to applaud Biden’s Syria strike even though they’d have likely praised it to high heaven had Trump been the one to carry it out. Similarly, few Democrats want to call Biden and his team out for their hypocrisy in criticizing Trump’s assassination of Soleimani yet nevertheless authorizing the assassination of a much higher number of lesser-known individuals allegedly linked to Iran. At the end of the day, more such examples are inevitable since this dynamic will remain the same so long as Americans continue to allow themselves to be manipulated in such simplistic political-rhetorical ways.

Biden Deploying More US Troops to Middle East

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

Throughout his time in Washington from the early 1970s, Biden supported all US wars of aggression against invented enemies.

Will he escalate inherited conflicts in multiple countries, perhaps launch one or more new ones?

Like his predecessors, peace and stability are off the table.

A permanent state of forever war is highly likely to continue on his watch.

It’s been hard-wired US policy throughout most of the post-WW II period.

When Biden took office, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al Jaafari called on his regime to end a near-decade of US war in his country, saying the following:

“The American occupation forces continue to plunder Syria’s wealth of oil, gas and agricultural crops, burning and destroying what it cannot steal,” adding:

“The new (US regime) must stop acts of aggression and occupation, plundering the wealth of my country, (and) withdraw its occupying forces.”

It must “stop supporting (jihadists), illegal entities, and attempts to threaten Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”

Obama/Biden launched aggression against Syria in early 2011, a failed attempt to transform the country into a pro-Western vassal state and isolate Iran.

Biden/Harris have no intention of ending US forever war on Syria and its people — despite failure to achieve the aims of its predecessors.

The US is building one or more new bases in the country, suggesting no end to permanent occupation and war.

More Pentagon troops are being deployed to Syria and Iraq — on the phony pretext of combatting an ISIS resurgence the US supports, a statement by Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica McNulty saying the following:

“The US is participating in the force generation process for NATO Mission Iraq and will contribute its fair share to this important expanded mission (sic),” adding: 

“The US and its partners in the global coalition to defeat ISIS (sic) remain committed to ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS (sic), and the department looks forward to continued consultations with Iraq, NATO, and the global coalition going forward (sic).”

According to US installed NATO secretary general Stoltenberg, thousands more alliance troops are being sent to Iraq — on the phony pretext of combatting ISIS.

Defying reality, he added that US-controlled NATO occupation of Iraq will “expand (to) fight terrorism” the alliance supports.

He falsely claimed that the expanded mission comes “at the request of the Iraqi government (sic).”

“It is carried out with full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (sic).”

The vast majority of Iraqis and members of parliament want their country back. They want unacceptable US occupation ended.

US hardliners intend permanent occupation of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries, along with a permanent state of war on these nations and their long-suffering people.

Trump wanted US troops withdrawn from the region but failed to achieve this objective.

Biden wants more Pentagon occupying forces sent to Middle East countries, more likely to Afghanistan.

US war secretary Austin “welcomed” greater numbers of US and NATO forces in the Middle East and elsewhere, saying:

“From Afghanistan and the Middle East, across Europe, Africa and our own hemisphere, to the wide expanse of the Western Pacific, the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with allies old and new, partners big and small (sic),” adding: 

“Each of them brings to the mission unique skills, knowledge and capabilities.” 

“And each of them represents a relationship worth tending, preserving and respecting. We will do so.”

Before Trump left office, acting war secretary Miller said the following:

“The drawdown of US force levels in Iraq is reflective of the increased capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.” 

“Our ability to reduce force levels is evidence of real progress.”

Biden reversed dubious “progress” in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

A state of greater US war in multiple countries exists than when he took war.

Is much more of the same coming, perhaps facilitated by one or more US false flags?

According to a White House statement,” the Biden regime claims the “right (to strike its enemies) at a time and place of (its) choosing.”

Is escalated US aggression in Syria and Iraq coming?

Will Iran be falsely blamed for things it had nothing to do with as before?

Resurgence of US supported ISIS appears part of a Biden regime plan for greater belligerence instead of turning a page for peace and stability in the Middle East and Central Asia.

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

February 15, 2021

by John Lockwood for the Saker Blog

February 15th is Presidents’ Day.

America has two Presidents on this day, besides Washington and Lincoln.
One half of the country believes Trump rightfully won.

Yet the events of Jan. 6th still hang like a cloud over Washington.
Critics fault his claims of a stolen election for provoking the protests.

But what if the Democrats really did steal the election? Wouldn’t the fault be theirs?
And how can we know whether they really stole it?
Claims of “Massive fraud” on one side vs. “No sign of fraud” on the other — who is right?

One thing is crystal clear:
Unconstitutional, illegal changes to voting laws generated millions of irregular ballots — a hundred times greater than the margin between the candidates, in some swing states. If the balloting is illegal, there is no way the count can be correct.

An unconstitutional vote can only produce an unconstitutional result. Everything that followed — the certification of the popular vote, the electoral college vote, and the inauguration — none of these steps had any legal foundation.
Bad data makes bad decisions. Since Nov. 3, our machinery of government has been spinning off course on erroneous, unlawful inputs.

The only solution in such cases is to correct the error.
Until runoff elections are held in conformity with the law, we will still have two Presidents.
Only one of them can be the rightful one.

Ecuador Elections Sitrep

Source

February 08, 2021

Ecuador Elections Sitrep

By Chis Faure for The Saker Blog

Ecuador’s leftist candidate Andrés Arauz declared victory in yesterday’s election Early exit polls show his socialist Correista party beating right-wing US-backed banker Guillermo Lasso massively

We’re waiting for more conclusive results, but so far this looks like a historic victory and we cannot help but be reminded of the victory in Bolivia.   Arauz will be the second left-wing economist to win the presidency in the region this past year (first being Luis Arce in Bolivia).  If by some strange reason this election still goes into a runoff round, Lasso (the western backed banker) stated days ago that he would support Perez (the candidate tied to the banker), in case he goes to the second round with Andres Arauz.  This is of course the choice of western media and western pundits who do not understand real socialism.

Ollie Vargas states:  “The Ecuadorian left has a simple but powerful argument in it’s favor. Objectively, people had a higher standard of living under Correa than they do now under the IMF-led government. All the media spin in the world can’t change that. Bolivia’s MAS also had this in their favor.”

So while we wait for results to be formalized, let’s take a quick look at Arauz speaking to a million and accompanied by Morales

The talk is that if Andrés Arauz wins in Ecuador, Latin America will build the strong post-neoliberal economies of the future. This is indeed something to pay attention to.

This past year of elections have proved: Left Peronism is the largest political force in Argentina,  the MAS is the largest political force in Boliva and  Correísmo as well as the massive movement of Citizens Revolution is the largest political force in Ecuador.  For MAS in Bolivia and the Citizens Revolution in Ecuador the leaders were either jailed or had to go into exile. The neo-liberals tried to persecute the left so that it would fizzle out and die.  In both Bolivia and now in Ecuador, these attempts failed and the citizens were out in the streets continuously.

Latin America may be changing in front of our very eyes and with continuous citizen action and their own hard work, shake off imperial shackles.

Bernays and Propaganda

Bernays and Propaganda

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

February 06, 2021

Many years ago, the Jewish-American political commentator Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since. Lippmann created these theories of mass persuasion of the public, using totally fabricated “facts” deeply insinuated into the minds of a gullible public, but there is much more to this story. An Austrian Jew named Edward Louis Bernays, who was the nephew of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was one of Lippmann’s most precocious students and it was he who put Lippmann’s theories into practice. Bernays is widely known in America as the father of Public Relations, but he would be much more accurately described as the father of American war marketing as well as the father of mass manipulation of the public mind.

Bernays claimed “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind” it will be possible “to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it”. He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the ‘engineering of consent’, and to accomplish it he merged theories of crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud. Bernays regarded society as irrational and dangerous, with a “herd instinct”, and that if the multi-party electoral system (which was fabricated by a group of European elites as a population control mechanism) were to survive and continue to serve those elites, massive manipulation of the public mind was necessary. These elites, “invisible people”, would have, through their influence on government and their control of the media, a monopoly on the power to shape thoughts, values, and responses of the citizenry. His conviction was that this group should flood the public with misinformation and emotionally-loaded propaganda to “engineer” the acquiescence of the masses and thereby rule over them. According to him, this manufactured consent of the masses, creating conformity of opinion molded by the tool of false propaganda, would be vital for the survival of democracy. (1) (1a) (2)

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.” He stated that in America, people are governed, their minds molded, their tastes formed, their ideas suggested, largely by men they have never heard of. He claimed, “This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner. In almost every act of our daily lives we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” (3)

In his main work titled ‘Propaganda’, (4) (4a) which he wrote in 1928, Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy in which individuals were inherently dangerous (to the rapacity of the elites) but could be harnessed and channeled by these same elites for their economic benefit. He wrote further that “No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any … wise idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by … those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders. Fortunately, the … politician is able, by the instrument of propaganda, to mold and form the will of the people.” He clearly believed that virtually total control of a population was possible, and perhaps easy to accomplish: “So vast are the numbers of minds which can be regimented, and so tenacious are they when regimented, that (they produce) an irresistible pressure before which legislators, editors, and teachers are helpless.”

And it wasn’t only the public masses that were ‘inherently dangerous’, but a nation’s leaders fit this description as well, therefore also requiring manipulation and control. Bernays realised that if you can influence the leaders of a nation, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you can control the government and the country, and that is precisely where he set his sights. Bernays again: “In some departments of our daily life, in which we imagine ourselves free agents, we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes. Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities.” He went on to tell us that “The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses.” And in this case, the “few” are the wealthy elites, their even wealthier bankers, and their brethren who control the media, publishing and entertainment industries.

US President Wilson was desperate to fulfill his obligations to his handlers by putting the US into the First World War as they wished, but was having little success with public opinion at home; few Americans wanted to enter the European war. In 1917 Wilson founded what was called The Committee on Public Information, of which Bernays became a star member. It was Bernays’ vast propaganda schemes and his influence in promoting the patently false idea that US entry to the war was primarily aimed at “bringing democracy to all of Europe”, that proved so successful in altering public opinion about the war. Thanks to Edward Bernays, American war marketing was born and would never die.

Until the First World War, these theories of creating an entirely false public opinion based on misinformation, then manipulating this for population control, were still only theories, but the astounding success of propaganda by Bernays and his group during the war laid bare the possibilities of perpetually controlling the public mind on all matters. The “shrewd” designers of Bernays’ “invisible government” developed a standard technique for what was essentially propaganda and mind control, or at least opinion control, and infiltrated it throughout the US government, its departments and agencies, and its leaders and politicians. Coincident with this, they practiced infecting the leaders of every identifiable group – fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social – and encouraging these men to likewise infect their supporters.

Bernays was apparently stunned by the outstanding success of his democracy slogan and hate campaign in swaying public opinion in favor of war, and so immediately began to apply his model to peacetime enterprises. “In applying his uncle’s Freudian theories to deal with public conceptions, Bernays realised that provoking a fear of communism and then manipulating the public’s emotions toward it, could be a sure recipe for success in the widespread engineering of popular opinion and control of the population. This theory was so powerful that it became a weapon of its own during the cold war.” The term ‘propaganda’ had acquired a poor reputation so Bernays created and promoted the term ‘Public Relations’, but of course his processes were no such thing. Bernays’ PR ethic involved psychological manipulation and control of the public mind through cleverly-devised – and thoroughly false – propaganda.

Bernays carries the blame for more than American entry into the two world wars, having been instrumental in paving the way for the US cannibalisation and military colonisation of much of the world, and for the US installing and supporting the dozens of brutal military dictatorships around the world. His first international project was helping to engineer the US overthrow of the popular elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. At the time, the Rockefellers’ United Fruit Company and various US elites and international financiers owned most of Guatemala including 70% of all the arable land, the communications facilities, the only railroad and shipping port, and controlled most exports. When Arbenz commenced expropriations and land redistribution, Bernays developed a massive propaganda campaign that colored Arbenz as communist, a terrorist, an enemy to democracy, a blot on humanity, and much more, to the extent that American public opinion supported an outrageous travesty and one of the most brutal violations of human rights in US history. Bernays’ template has been used about 70 times with US invasions of that many nations, which is one source of the vast disconnect between what the American people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. As a side note, Guatemala appealed to the United Nations to stop the Americans’ massive interference in their country, a plea that was sympathetically received by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold who proved troublesome for the US. He would do so again a few years later, and would be assassinated by the CIA for his trouble.

I discussed earlier the black and white mentality that pervades America. Much of this is supported by the witch-hunting versions of Christianity that Americans have embraced, but much of the blame must be laid on Bernays’ propaganda methods. Bernays himself asserted that propaganda could produce rapid and strong emotional responses in the public, but that the range of these responses was limited because the emotional loading inherent in his propaganda would create a kind of binary mentality, eventually forcing the population into a programmed black and white world – which is precisely what we see in the US today. This isn’t difficult to understand. In a discussion of a landscaping option for our garden, we could have a range of dispassionate responses from antipathy to adoration, but when Bernays flooded the public with fabricated tales of Germans killing babies, the range of potential responses was not dispassionate but rather entirely emotional and would be limited to either abhorrence or perhaps a blocking of the information. In a sense, our emotional switch will be forced into either an ‘on’ or ‘off’ position, with no other reasonable choices. We see this in debates on subjects like global warming, where positions do not correspond to educational or employment circumstances, nor to experience, but tend to be strongly emotional responses along ideological and political lines with precisely the kind of binary mentality Bernays predicted.

It is interesting to note that the manipulators eventually became the manipulated. Wilson, in his eagerness to manipulate public opinion in favor of war, failed to realise he was himself being manipulated by his handlers, by these same elite propagandists whose war ambitions he was fulfilling, as well as other schemes they had already planted in his mind. The puppeteer became the puppet, and the practice became permanent. The elite few, as Bernays called them, realised early on the potential for control of governments, and in every subsequent US administration the president and his White House staff, the politicians, the leaders of the military and intelligence agencies, all fell prey to this same disease of shrewd manipulation. Roosevelt’s “intense desire for war” (5) (6) (7) in 1939 was the result of this same infection process and, once infected, he of course approved of the infection of the entire American population. George Bush with Iraq and Obama with Libya and Syria are not different. Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

Bernays was very correct in stating that a society’s ability to participate in a democracy was dependent on how well-informed the society was, but Americans fail to appreciate that it is ignorance and not knowledge or education that protects the existence of multi-party political systems. That is why American leaders, controlled by the same “invisible government” and with a fully-compliant elite-owned media, have intentionally misrepresented their current policies and actions to the public, while their “elite few” specialised in massive historical revisionism, especially American history in the world and the effects of that history on other nations. By keeping Americans ignorant and uninformed, their minds filled with foolish and false myths, and forever distracted by irrelevancies, American leaders and their puppet-masters have used Bernays’ theories to control public opinion and beliefs with lies, religion, patriotism and emotional propaganda. It was very much an “engineered ignorance” created by a continuing program of misinformation, manipulation and deception, a shrewdly-planned subversion of the American public.

The almost overwhelming political-religious ideological fog permeating America today is due to generations of institutionalized deception and propaganda, and is the direct cause of much of the renowned ignorance of the American people. Their capitalist ideology as well, is rooted in economic misconceptions and false propaganda, with the result that almost no Americans today have any understanding of the real (and largely criminal) reasons for their nation’s economic success. The astonishing extent of the binary polarisation of politics and government is another example, yet few Americans have any understanding of their condition. As one author noted, “The wealthy in America have created an inherently imbalanced system that is exploitable by the wealthy and they are working through the use of propaganda and misinformation to convince Americans that the system is just, or, if anything, unfairly biased toward the poor.” And again, “The economic system that America has developed is dependent on the exploitation of foreign countries and the acquisition of foreign resources, which is why (the US) pursues a strategy of global preeminence.” He went on to state that the foreign policy of the American Right-Wing has been developed through extensive propaganda and exaggeration of foreign threats in order to maintain the conditions for public support and to justify the suppression of dissent.

I have written before that no Right-Wing government could survive in the full light of day with all truths exposed, because most of these truths are bitterly anti-social and designed only to create a flow of a nation’s wealth to the relatively few members of the elites and financiers. In order to function at all, a Right-Wing government like that in the US must be increasingly secretive and rely ever more heavily on Bernays and on his propaganda in order to produce in the population both his engineered consent and engineered ignorance, without which a democracy could not survive. This is so true that after World War II, the US military heavily restricted media control in occupied Germany and Japan because it recognized that the media could easily educate citizens to the dangers of the American presence both at home and in Europe. This veil of secrecy has been carried to an extent that the American and international elites have created what one writer called a massive framework of lies that functions as an arena within which the desired propaganda ideas are presented to the American people as information, but where the reality is very different from that in which American leadership functions. The same writer stated so perfectly, “Within this framework of lies the world appears to be a simplistic place of good and evil. The feeling of Americans that we are the most successful people on earth, and that America is the most successful country, is used to support the idea that America’s policies are inherently altruistic because our culture tells us that success is the measure of goodness. What is actually the case, though, is that America is successful precisely because American policy is not altruistic.”

The next essay in this series will outline in detail the beginnings – and the devastating results – of Bernays’ initial efforts.


Mr. Romanoff’s writinghas been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Engineering-Consent-Edward-L-Bernays/dp/B0007DOM5E;

(1a) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/The_Engineering_of_Consent_%28essay%29.pdf

(2) http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Fall07/28/Engineering_of_consent.pdf

(3) https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/203430-the-conscious-and-intelligent-manipulation-of-the-organized-habits-and

(4) https://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays/dp/0970312598; (4a) http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

(5) https://famguardian.org/Subjects/Scams/FDR/fdr.htm

(6) https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/article/wikileaks-1941/

(7) https://mises.org/library/roosevelt-nobody-knows

US Hostility Toward Russia Unchanged Under Biden

Image result for Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman

Source

US war by hot and/or other means rages against all nations free from its control — notably against China, Russia and Iran.

During his Thursday address, Biden signaled continued US dirty business as usual against invented enemies — not a new course toward cooperative relations with other countries.

He falsely accused China and Russia of “advancing authoritarianism…to damage and disrupt our ‘democracy (sic),’ ” adding:

“(T)he days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russian aggressive actions (sic), interfering with our elections (sic), cyberattacks (sic), poisoning its citizens (sic) are over.”

“We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people, and we will be more effective in dealing with Russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like minded partners.”

Aggression and other dirty tricks reflect how US ruling regimes operate.

Under Vladimir Putin, Russia is governed by higher standards, ones the US and its imperial partners long ago abandoned.

The same goes for China, Iran, and other nations the US seeks to transform into pro-Western vassal states.

The more forcefully it tries, the more greatly its decline is hastened, the sooner it arrives in history’s dustbin where it belongs.

It’s long past time for the Kremlin to abandon diplomatic outreach to hegemonic USA that’s hellbent for eliminating its sovereign independence.

Toughness is the only language the US understands. 

Giving it a taste of its own medicine is the only way to counter its hegemonic rage for dominating other nations.

On Friday, Moscow acted properly by declaring German, Polish and Swedish “diplomats” persona non grata for support of and participation in violent po-Navalny/anti-Russia rallies on January 23, a Foreign Ministry statement saying:

“In compliance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, ‘diplomats’ who took part in unauthorized rallies have been declared persona non grata.” 

They’re hostile toward Moscow and “must leave Russia as soon as possible.”

Revoking their credentials requires their swift departure.

“The Russian side expects that” these nations and officials respect Russia’s sovereign rights and the rule of law.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on these and other nations to cease “meddl(ing) in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.”

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry’s said it “considers this entirely unjustified (sic), which we have also conveyed to the Russian side.” 

“The ministry regrets Russia’s actions and reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response.”

Poland’s Foreign Ministry said it “reserves the right to take adequate steps,” in response — vowing to expel a Russian diplomat.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel falsely called Russia’s action “a step away from the rule of law,” suggesting a retaliatory action to follow.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry slammed what it called a “coordinated global campaign to contain Russia and interfere in its internal affairs.”

Suggesting US dirty hands behind it, Zakharova said Moscow intends having “a serious talk” with Biden regime officials on the issue.

Separately, Sergey Lavrov slammed fake news claims about Navalny’s alleged poisoning by novichok, a bald-faced Big Lie, stressing:

“Today we simply bogged down in a topic that for some reason the West is now trying to sideline, focusing all of its attention on protests and demonstrations in the Russia.” 

“I am referring to the topic of finding the truth about what happened to Navalny and when and where it happened.”

Despite “numerous requests” by Russia to Germany, France, Sweden and the OPCW for information they have on Navalny’s illness, “(t)hey just won’t give us any answers,” said Lavrov — calling their behavior “categorically unacceptable.”

In response to Biden’s hostile rhetoric toward Russia, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the following:

“This is very aggressive and unconstructive rhetoric, to our regret.”

“We have already said that we will not heed such statements, which are some kind of mentoring lectures.”

US hostility toward Russia and other nations free from its control is unbending, diplomatic outreach by their ruling authorities to their US counterparts a waste of time.

Throughout the post-WW II period, the US waged endless wars by hot and/or other means on nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.

Looking ahead under Biden/Harris and whatever US regimes succeed them, no evidence remotely suggests a new leaf turned for cooperative relations with these countries over endless confrontation.

Biden Regime’s Hostile Message to China

Image result for Stephen Lendman

by Stephen Lendman

Source

In early January, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi extended an olive branch to the incoming Biden regime.

Days earlier, head of China’s Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi called on Biden/Harris to repair deteriorated bilateral relations under Trump, saying:

His government “is prepared to work with the US to move the relationship forward along the track of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation for the well-being of both countries and peoples.”

His remarks and Wang’s fell on deaf ears in Washington.

Prospects for improved bilateral relations are virtually nil.

President Xi Jinping, Yang, and other Chinese officials know that hostile policies pursued by Trump will likely continue in similar fashion under Biden/Harris.

The new regime in Washington is highly likely to continue imperial rage against China, Russia, Iran, and other nations free from US control.

In stark contrast to Sino/Russian cooperation, both nations renewing their Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation in pursuit of “ever-lasting peace and win-win cooperation,” US relations with both countries are more dismal than any time in recent decades.

On Thursday, China’s PLA said it’s tracking the provocative movements of the USS John McCain guided-missile destroyer as it unacceptably sails through the Taiwan Strait.

The message of its movements is clear. US hostility toward China under Biden/Harris is unchanged.

According to PLA Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, movements of the warship are being closely monitored, adding:

The US under Biden/Harris is up to its old tricks — willfully creating tensions, disrupting regional peace and stability.

Because of a pattern of repeated US provocations, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command is on high alert.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the following:

“China has closely followed and grasped the situation of US warships passing through the Taiwan Strait.”

“China will continue to maintain a high level of alert at all times, respond to all threats and provocations at all times, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“It is hoped that the United States will play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, not the other way around.”

Chances of Biden/Harris turning a page for improved relations with China are virtually nil — what its leadership and PLA understand well.

Transit of US warships near Chinese waters have nothing to do with freedom of navigation, the rule of law, and what the US navy’s seventh fleet called Washington’s “commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific (sic.”

These unacceptable provocations are all about showing the flag and Washington’s aim to dominate a part of the world not its own.

Similar provocations occur in the Middle East, near Russia’s borders, and elsewhere worldwide.

Along with endless US wars by hot and other means, it’s how Washington’s hegemonic scourge operates everywhere.

While continuing the US one-China policy, Biden affirmed his regime’s support for Taiwan, calling it “rock solid.”

Last week, Beijing warned Biden that supporting Taiwan’s independence “means war.”

According to the South China Sea Probing Initiative, US warships provocatively sailed through the Taiwan Strait 13 times last year.

Pentagon military flights continue near China’s territory.

Biden/Harris support an increased US military footprint in the Indo-Pacific. 

Days after their inauguration, the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group sailed through the South China Sea.

A Pentagon Indo-Pacific Command  statement said the “7th fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of US national interests throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific area of operations to foster maritime security (sic), promote stability(sic), and prevent conflict (sic).”

US imperial aims are polar opposite the above claims.

According to Sino/US relations expert Shi Yinhong, bilateral “confrontation and arms competition will basically remain unchanged as the US will deploy more strategic weapons to the Indo-Pacific.”

While Sino/US military relations remain stabile, hostile Biden regime actions toward China could change things for the worst.

Pledges by US officials to maintain stable bilateral relations can be broken by Washington in pursuit of its hegemonic aims.

It’s why the US can never be trusted, time and again saying one thing, then going another way.

According to US war secretary Lloyd Austin, Biden regime “strategy will be arrayed against threat(s) (to the US that don’t exist), and China presents the most significant threat going forward because China is ascending (sic).”

“Russia is also a threat (sic), but it’s in decline (sic).”

Military expert Song Zhongping said Austin’s remarks indicate US hostility toward China.

The US tolerates no nations free from its control.

Its policy highlights the risk of war against an invented enemy by accident or design.

Atlantic Council Pens Anonymously Authored Expose Calling for Regime Change in China

Image result for Atlantic Council Pens Anonymously Authored Expose Calling for Regime Change in China

by Alan Macleod

Source

The report outlines a plan for the United States to pursue a China without Xi Jinping, with a weakened Communist Party, and operating in a region dominated by the US and its allies.

Influential D.C. think tank the Atlantic Council has printed a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy for combating China. Published anonymously, the report states that “the single most important challenge facing the United States” in the twenty-first century is China’s growth to rival their own power.

To do so, the report states that the U.S. must use “the power of its military,” the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency, and American control over technology and communication to suffocate the nation of 1.4 billion people. It advises President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” past which the U.S. would directly intervene (presumably militarily). These include Chinese attempts to expand into the South China Sea, an attack on the disputed Senkaku Islands, or moves against Taiwan’s independence. A North Korean strike on any of its neighbors would also necessitate an American response against China, the report insists, because “China must fully own responsibility for the behavior of its North Korean ally.” Any backing down from this stance, the council states, would result in national “humiliation” for the United States.

Perhaps most notably, however, the report also envisages what a successful American China policy would look like by 2050: “the United States and its major allies continue to dominate the regional and global balance of power across all the major indices of power;” and that head of state Xi Jinping “has been replaced by a more moderate party leadership; and that the Chinese people themselves have come to question and challenge the Communist Party’s century-long proposition that China’s ancient civilization is forever destined to an authoritarian future.” In other words, that China has been broken and that some sort of regime change has occurred.

Repping the national security state

The Atlantic Council is a NATO-offshoot organization funded by the U.S. and other allied governments, including the Gulf dictatorships. Among its largest corporate sponsors include weapons manufacturers like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. Its board of directors is full of high statespeople like Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice as well as senior military figures such as retired generals Wesley Clark, David Petraeus, H.R. McMaster, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Lt. General Brent Scowcroft and Admiral James Stavridis. At least seven former CIA directors are also on the board. Thus, the council could be said to represent the consensus opinion of the national security state.

The organization has been responsible for much of the most hawkish, bellicose rhetoric surrounding Russia and China for some time. For instance, it has put out a number of studies that claim that virtually every European political party outside the establishment beltway — from Labour and UKIP in the U.K. to Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece and PODEMOS and Vox in Spain — are secretly controlled by Russia, functioning as the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.”

“The Longer Telegram”

The council’s new anonymous report, named “the Longer Telegram,” is a direct reference to American diplomat George Kennan’s 1946 “Long Telegram.” Kennan’s report, sent from Moscow, argued that the U.S. should completely abandon its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and immediately pursue a strategy of hostile “containment,” and is considered one of the founding documents of the Cold War. By consciously associating itself with Kennan, the Atlantic Council is implicitly heralding the arrival of a new global conflict with China.

Kennan is appreciated among historians for being one of the most straightforward talkers in the national security establishment. In 1948 he outlined what the U.S. position and interests were:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction…We should cease to talk about vague and… unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

Biden takes the helm

Throughout 2020, President Biden’s team quietly stated that their entire industrial and foreign policy would revolve around “compet[ing] with China,” with their top priorities being “dealing with authoritarian governments, defending democracy and tackling corruption, as well as understanding how these challenges intersect with new technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology.” The Trump administration had already begun a global campaign to damage Chinese giants like Huawei and TikTok. From his team’s statements, it appears likely that Biden will carry on its anti-Beijing stance.

However, many top officials in Washington see the prospect of a hot war with China as a distant one. “Most of the U.S.-China competition is not going to be fighting World War Three…It’s going to be kicking each other under the table,” one source told the Financial Times in May. Others argue for a worldwide culture war against Beijing, including the Pentagon commissioning “Taiwanese Tom Clancy” novels, intended to demonize China and demoralize its citizens, bombarding its people with stories of the deaths of their (only) children.

Whatever Washington decides to do, it appears that the groundwork has already been laid at home. Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 73% of Americans dislike China, with only 22% holding a positive opinion of the country. Thus, it is far from clear that there will be much public pushback at all to a coming second Cold War.

America first: Trump or Biden? أميركا أولاً: ترامب أم بايدن؟

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America first: Trump or Biden?

Nasser Kandil

– An equation that tries to read the change in the Administration, as a transition from former President Donald Trump’s “isolationist” project that does not care about America’s relations in the world, under the American first slogan, is being debated by President Joe Biden’s project of America’s return to the world and its place among the world, and the hallmark of Trump’s withdrawal from international agreements and Biden’s return to it, particularly the climate agreement on environmental pollution, and the return to the United Nations organisations from which Trump has decided to withdraw, with the world’s health organisation at the forefront.

In fact, this image seems deceptive, with trump speaking only of America first, and Biden’s America logo coming back. It is well established that the policies of U.S. intervention in international crises did not stop with America first in the Trump era, nor will it stop with Biden, the fate of American welfare and security is already based on America’s economic, political and military standing in the world, not on what is happening within America independently of this international extension of this great nation.

– The debate in the slogan needs a different approach, the retreat toward the American interior relatively and the easing of the burden of foreign interventions, does not mean withdrawal and cannot mean withdrawal, and the evidence of what Trump did to strengthen relations with China and Russia and escalate the confrontation with Iran, and Biden’s intentions for his foreign policy dealing with the files of relations and international policies, so that America’s content first becomes viable To measure either of the policies and either of the two presidents, it is closer to treating these international files with the mentality of reducing the highest degree of escalation and getting off the tree of crisis, in search of the best possible to achieve American interests with the least degree of crisis, and so it will be easy to discover that Biden is closer than Trump by degrees to the concept of America first, even if his motto is the return of America and the Tump America first slogan.

In the region, trump, raising the slogan of America first, was fighting the escalation that followed his withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, on fronts stretching from Iraq and Syria to Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine. On Yemen to the extent that Ansar Allah is classified on the lists of terrorism in the late days of his term, and all these policies are based on the illusion of their ability to achieve policy change for the axis of resistance, first and foremost Iran, or success by dropping this axis and in the heart of Iran, and Biden comes to inherit the failure of these policies heading to switch the direction towards minimum understandings starting with the revival of the nuclear agreement with Iran and the cessation of the War of Yemen, and any scrutiny of the difference between the two policies and the two presidents, will lead to us that Trump was working in the region under the slogan ”  First, and that Biden works under the banner of America first, where U.S. interests include protecting “Israel” Biden will not hesitate to protect them, but where U.S. interests call for a return to the nuclear deal with Iran Biden will do so independently of the reservations of  “Israel”, and where U.S. interests call for the protection of Saudi Arabia, Biden will do so, but where U.S. interests call for an end to the War of Yemen, Biden will not hesitate to do so in isolation from Saudi accounts.

America first or “Israel” first is the fundamental difference in the region between the elements and orientations of policy making between Trump and Biden, whether Biden succeeds in sticking to the security of  “Israel”  and its superiority, by continuing a policy independent of Israeli pressure or bowing to pressure and modifying his policies. Negotiations in the middle of a return to the nuclear deal will remain the criterion for Biden to win his policy or fall under pressure, and to move toward this goal is done in the minefield, where Israel and Saudi Arabia muster all the papers to influence the U.S. decision to avoid this bitter cup.

أميركا أولاً: ترامب أم بايدن؟

ناصر قنديل

يجري التداول بمعادلة تحاول قراءة التبدّل الحاصل في الإدارة الأميركية، بصفته انتقالاً من مشروع الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب “الانعزالي” الذي لا يهتمّ بعلاقات أميركا في العالم، تحت شعار أميركا أولاً، إلى مشروع الرئيس جو بايدن القائم على عودة أميركا كما قال بايدن الى العالم والانخراط في مكانتها بين دول العالم، والعلامة الفارقة تمثلت بانسحاب ترامب من الاتفاقات الدولية وعودة بايدن إليها، خصوصاً اتفاق المناخ الخاص بتلوث البيئة، والعودة الى منظمات الأمم المتحدة التي قرر ترامب الانسحاب منها وفي طليعتها منظمة الصحة العالمية.

في الواقع تبدو هذه الصورة مخادعة، وليس فيها الا كلام ترامب عن شعار أميركا أولاً، وشعار بايدن أميركا تعود. فالثابت أن سياسات التدخل الأميركي في الأزمات الدولية لم تتوقف مع أميركا أولاً في عهد ترامب، ولن تتوقف مع بايدن، فمصير الرفاه والأمن الأميركيين مبنيّ أصلاً على مكانة أميركا الاقتصادية والسياسية والعسكرية في العالم، وليس على ما يحدث داخل أميركا بمعزل عن هذا الامتداد الدولي لهذه الدولة العظمى.

النقاش في الشعار يحتاج مقاربة مختلفة، فالانكفاء نحو الداخل الأميركي نسبياً والتخفف من عبء التدخلات الخارجية، لا يعني الانسحاب ولا يمكن أن يعني الانسحاب، والدليل ما فعله ترامب من تأزيم العلاقات مع الصين وروسيا وتصعيد المواجهة مع إيران، وما يعلنه بايدن من نيات لسياسته الخارجية التي تعنى بملفات العلاقات والسياسات الدولية، ليصير مضمون أميركا أولاً قابلاً للقياس بأي من السياستين وأي من الرئيسين، أقرب لمعاملة هذه الملفات الدولية بعقلية التخفف من أعلى درجات التصعيد والنزول عن شجرة التأزيم، بحثاً عن أفضل الممكن لتحقيق المصالح الأميركيّة بأقل درجة من الأزمات، وهكذا سيكون سهلاً اكتشاف أن بايدن أقرب من ترامب بدرجات لمفهوم أميركا أولاً، ولو كان شعاره عودة أميركا وشعار ترامب أميركا أولاً.

في المنطقة كان ترامب وهو يرفع شعار أميركا أولاً يخوض التصعيد الذي أعقب انسحابه من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، على جبهات تمتد من العراق وسورية الى اليمن ولبنان وفلسطين، وكان واضحاً أنه وضع وصفات ثنائي رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان كأساس للسياسات الأميركية، فكانت عمليات التطبيع الإسرائيلية العربية، وصفقة القرن وما تلاها من دعم لقرارات الضم الإسرائيلية للأراضي العربية، وكان التصعيد في لبنان وصولاً لإسقاطه تحت الضغط وصولاً للانهيار أملاً بإسقاط المقاومة، والذهاب في تبني الحرب العدوانية على اليمن الى حد تصنيف أنصار الله على لوائح الإرهاب في أواخر أيام ولايته، وبنيت كل هذه السياسات على وهم قدرتها على تحقيق تغيير السياسات لمحور المقاومة وفي مقدّمته إيران، أو النجاح بإسقاط هذا المحور وفي قلبه إيران، ويأتي بايدن ليرث فشل هذه السياسات متجهاً لتبديل الوجهة نحو تفاهمات الحد الأدنى بدءاً من إحياء الاتفاق النووي مع إيران ووقف حرب اليمن، وأي تدقيق بالفارق بين السياستين والرئيسين، سيوصلنا إلى أن ترامب كان يعمل في المنطقة تحت شعار “إسرائيل” أولاً، وأن بايدن يعمل تحت شعار أميركا أولاً، فحيث المصالح الأميركية تتضمن حماية “إسرائيل” لن يتوانى بايدن عن حمايتها، لكن حيث المصالح الأميركية تستدعي العودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران سيفعل بايدن ذلك بمعزل عن تحفظات “إسرائيل”، وحيث المصالح الأميركية تستدعي حماية السعودية سيفعل بايدن ذلك، لكن حيث المصالح الأميركية تستدعي وقف حرب اليمن لن يتردّد بايدن بفعل ذلك بمعزل عن الحسابات السعودية.

أميركا أولاً أم “إسرائيل” أولاً هو الفارق الجوهري في المنطقة بين عناصر وموجهات صناعة السياسة بين ترامب وبايدن، سواء نجح بايدن المتمسك بأمن “إسرائيل” وتفوقها، بمواصلة سياسة مستقلة عن الضغوط الإسرائيلية أم رضخ للضغوط وقام بتعديل سياساته. فالمفاوضات بالواسطة للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي ستبقى هي المعيار لفوز بايدن بسياسته ام سقوطه تحت الضغوط، والسير نحو هذا الهدف يتم في حقل الغام، حيث تحشد “إسرائيل” والسعودية كل أوراق التأثير على القرار الأميركي لتفادي هذه الكأس المرة

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The Great Interregnum

The Great Interregnum

February 01, 2021

by Francis Lee for The Saker Blog

The road to the future, to a new expansion as is always close to the heart of capital, led outwards, to the still pleasantly unregulated world of a borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states locked into markets. (1)

The golden age of post-war capitalism which lasted from the Bretton Woods arrangements of 1944 ended definitively with the great 1971 counter-revolution; a process which began with the removal of the US$ from the gold standard. Since the rest of the world’s currencies were fixed to the dollar these currencies were automatically detached from gold. What emerged, whether by accident or, more likely by design, has defined the contours of the 21st century and this has borne witness to the emergence of a New World Order (NWO) of a neo-liberal, globalization settlement and conjointly the collapse of actually existing socialism. This realignment was by no means accidental and represented fundamental policy changes rather than unconnected random events.

THE RISE OF NEOLIBERALISM AND THE NWO

This NWO has been established on the basis of deep structural changes in the nature of actually existing capitalism and qualitatively different to the welfare, inclusive capitalism of the immediate post-war period. However the counter-revolution caught the left unprepared and who have seemingly been unable to grasp this fact. Moreover the collapse of actually existing socialism ended the historical period of political ascendency of the left – a process which dated back to the Russian revolution of 1917 – and transmuted into the great neo-liberal counter-revolution which began in 1971.

This eclipse of socialism – or anything resembling socialism – has been the feature of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Both social-democratic and even communist parties have been politically marginalised by their theoretical inability to discern the deficiencies in their political agendas. The counter-revolutionary wave of the late 20th century began in stages to sweep all before it. The decline of a moribund social-democracy and even eurocommunism with their entrenched and seemingly immovable policies of an earlier period – Progress through Parliamentary Reform – were found to be wanting, out of date and out of time, running out of steam with their economies plagued by stagflation and declining growth. By the late 60s early 70s Le Trente Glorieuses were no more and this gave rise to the surge of counter-revolution initially led by the Reagan-Thatcher axis. This move into the future was – if anybody noticed – a backward movement. Winners included the then Head of Siemens, Heinrich Von Pierer, to triumphantly proclaim: ‘’The wind of competition has become a storm, and the real hurricanes still lies ahead of us.’’(2)

THE EFFECTIVE DEMISE OF THE LEFT

To think that the Left which had once occupied and dominated Western Europe and consisted of mass parties of social-democrats and communists, and moreover, even in 1945 there were armed communist partisans operating in Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Italy, and France, including a large Parliamentary representation.

But the Left capitulated and adapted to the new order and for better or worse – actually worse – and was to imbibe the fashionable doctrines of neo-liberalism.

I vividly remember being a student delegate at Labour Party Annual Conference in the seaside town of Blackpool in 1976. Conference was always a rather tedious and dispiriting affair but this time it was historic. James Callaghan the then Prime Minister gave the following address. The key passage was as follows:

‘’We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employ­ment by cutting taxes and boosting Government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and that in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of infla­tion into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step. Higher inflation followed by higher unemployment. We have just escaped from the highest rate of inflation this country has known; we have not yet escaped from the consequences: high unemployment.’’ Apparently, Keynes was now passe and Von Hayek was flavour of the month.

What Callaghan was in fact articulating was the demise of social-democracy in the UK, and for that matter everywhere else; it was over, finished, and now a complete political racket infested with careerists and parvenus on the make. So Orwell was right even before then to describe the Labour Party as being ‘pale pink humbug’(The Road to Wigan Pier 1937). The neo-liberals had won, and it was an Atlantic-wide victory. Be advised that a party which calls itself a party of the Left, but which adheres to the neo-liberal orthodoxy is simply a fraud. Ex-centre-left parties have simply moved over to the centre-right en bloc. This project was definitively operationalised with considerable success by Blair (New Labour) and Clinton (political centrism) in the 90s.

TAKE A KNEE TO THEM NOW

This political about-face where the ashes of the left and the emergence of the neoliberal right was presided over by a new goddess known as TINA—There Is No Alternative. The long list of her high priests and priestesses extends from Margaret Thatcher via Tony Blair down to Angela Merkel and Bill Clinton. Anyone who wished to serve TINA, to the accompaniment of the solemn chorus of the united economists of the world, had to recognize the escape of capital from its national cages as both inevitable and beneficial, and would have to commit themselves to help clear all obstacles from its path. Heathen practices such as controls on the movement of capital, state aid and others were to be tracked down and eradicated; no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’ and sink back into the cushioned comfort of national protections of whatever kind. Free-trade agreements were to open up markets and protect them from state interference, global governance was to replace national governments, protection from commodification was to be replaced by enabling commodification, and the welfare state was to give way to the competition state of a new era of capitalist rationalization. By the end of the 1980s at the latest, neoliberalism had become the de rigeuer for both the centre left and the centre right—with haemorrhaging membership and a declining electoral participation, disproportionately so at the lower end of the social scale. Additionally, a beginning in the 1980s this was accompanied by a meltdown of trade-union organization, together with a dramatic decline in strike activity worldwide—altogether, in other words, a demobilization along the broadest possible front of the entire post-war machinery of democratic participation and redistribution The old political controversies were now regarded as being obsolete by the PTB.(3)

THE ROAD TO NEMESIS

But history is full of surprises. In their hubris the new ruling elites were to become victims of their own propaganda, a customary and predictable human failing. Cracks were beginning to show in the neo-liberal paradigm during the holding period of 2008-2020 and the model was, whether they liked it or not, beginning to show deep structural fault-lines. The new economic system was becoming increasingly obsolete and unstable, the elephant in the room is now beginning to make its presence felt. This has been the result in the build-up of problems which were occasioned by the 2008 blow-out.

At the present time, however, the cracks which had papered over the post 2008 bodge and the distribution of national income was increasingly tilted away from the 99% to the 1%. Such a polarization of wealth and income cannot possibly endure without economic and political chaos. The process is in its early stages and represents the most severe trial of the new order since the 1971 establishment. In effect democracy is being sacrificed by the requirements of capitalism. This Great Reset is the Hayekian wonderland of a 21st century slave state.

‘’If capitalism of the consolidation state can no longer produce even the illusion of equitable growth, the time will come when the paths of capitalism and democracy must part. The likeliest outcome would be the completion of a Hayekian social dictatorship in which the capitalist market economy was protected from democratic correction. Its legitimacy would depend upon whether those who once were its citizens would have learned to equate market justice with social justice and to think of themselves as members of a unified marktvolk. Its stability would further require instruments for the ideological marginalization, political disorganization, and physical restraint of anyone unwilling to accept this lesson. Those who refused to bow to market justice, in a situation where political institutions economically, would then be left with what used to be described in the 1970s as extra-parliamentary protest: emotional, irrational, fragmented, and irresponsible. And this is what we would precisely expect if the democratic channels for the articulation of interests and the formation of preferences are blocked, only because the same outcomes can never emerge or because what emerges no longer makes any difference to the markets … The alternative to capitalism without democracy is democracy without capitalism. (4)

So now we are living in a period of what Antonio Gramsci described as the interregnum. “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”(5) Its outcome can only be guessed at.

La Lotte Continua.

NOTES

(1) Wolfgang Streeck – New Left Review – 104

(2) Der Spiegel 1996

(3)Wolfgang Streeck – New Left Review 104

(4) Grace Blakeley – Stolen: How to Save the World from Financialization -pp.172/73.

(5) Prison Notebooks – Antonio Gramsci.

If America Dissolves

January 31, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/migrante-mother-1.jpg

This essay is an introduction to the topic of Mass Propaganda and, perhaps more importantly, to a brief series of articles detailing how the US has been for more than 100 years the most propagandised and brainwashed nation in the world. The history of this has been buried for generations, but the facts are indisputable. One of the most important elements in this tale, as we shall see, is the employment of propaganda in American war marketing.

To paraphrase Michael Lewis, “One of the qualities that distinguishes Americans from other people is their naive conviction that every foreigner wishes to be one of them, but even the most zealous Japanese patriot has no illusions that other peoples want to be Japanese”. The Americans not only believe everybody secretly wants to be like them, they believe no nation can succeed or even progress without being like them and adopting the entire American value system. It isn’t possible. There are no alternatives to the American way and, if there were alternatives, God would be displeased with them.

The elites in the US government and corporatocracy invented, and for 200 years promulgated, the concept of “manifest destiny”, a theological proposition that “merged religious delusion with boundless hypocrisy and racism” into a popular theory that God was entrusting Americans to rule the world. Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that what promised no end of grief was Americans’ arrogant conviction that “Providence has summoned America to tutor all of humankind on its pilgrimage to perfection”. (1) These ideas of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny rest on a cornerstone of a pervasive political culture infused with the religious concept of a kind of covenant with God. “The packaging of wars of aggression, genocide and imperialism in the tattered camouflage of liberty with a Divinely-directed spin are old propaganda tricks which have been used to delude the US masses throughout the history of the country to the present moment.” (2) To this day, most Americans fervently believe all of their nation’s unjustified and criminal wars were conducted to “make the world safe for democracy”.

American politicians and their allies in the military, in Hollywood, in publishing, in business and banking, deliberately created and then exploited the nationalistic loyalty of a gullible and uninformed public to shape perceptions and values on a massive scale. Americans have been programmed with religion-based politics for generations, being taught to see the world as black and white, good and bad, to believe that only American virtues and values were good for mankind and would always triumph. Their fabricated historical myths taught them that they, their leaders, and their nation were moral, righteous and upright, selfless benefactors to the world, battling evil wherever it was found. Everything was distorted, based not only on misinformation but on outright deceit. America’s image of itself, and its image of the world’s nations and peoples, were tragically and shallowly twisted to create the narrative of American moral superiority.

Most American holidays other than obviously religious ones like Christmas are infused with political and religious overtones, many of them reinforcing the historical myths of the founding or development of their nation. Their false historical memories are aroused, as are their patriotic emotions and spiritual convictions, making a kind of adhesive that creates a false sense of social identity. The entire concept of American nationality is based on this perverted political religion, creating an extremely ideological national identity that is reinforced almost daily to prevent its collapse.

But it’s all they have. To be an American is not to be bound by a common race or language, nor by history, nor by culture or tradition. In all these, Americans are empty, devoid of culture and civilisation, lacking common traditions, beliefs or history. Americans have only their substandard political religion to bind them together, and there is nothing else for them, no community or belonging beyond being a member of this “team”, their political ideology being the only adhesive. Their entire American existence is founded on this false ideological narrative, the entire regime predicated on these moralistic political-religious myths and fables. If we expose and destroy the myths, forcing Americans to face the bare truths of their nation, the entire narrative collapses, and if the narrative collapses, the regime cannot stand.

Someone appropriately wrote that American patriotism may be best understood as the biggest case of mass hysteria in history. But again, it’s all they have. There is nothing else. This is all that anchors the individual lives. Their entire society, their identity, the very core of the American psyche, are all predicated on this hysterical orgy of an all-inclusive political religion. Because they have nothing else of substance as a people or a nation, this modern McCarthyism is all that prevents the collapse of the American identity. As someone pointed out, if France dissolves, the French people are still French. If America dissolves, Americans are nothing.

From all these and much more, America is an extremely ideological country with American nationalism forming a powerful fabricated jingoism resting on the twin pillars of a dysfunctional and misrepresented multi-party political system and a brutal and self-serving capitalism, all wrapped in a shroud of a dangerously primitive and sacrilegious Christianity.

Nor can Americans understand or fathom concepts of civilisation in other societies. To them, a nation’s references to culture or civilisation are just cheap excuses to avoid the inevitable, which is to become American clones, adopting American so-called values and institutions. Americans know nothing about other nations or cultures, other than their presumed vast inferiority. Few Americans have the ability or inclination to learn another language, and even fewer know anything of the history or culture of other civilisations millennia older than their own. They understand consumerism and pride themselves on their rights, using belligerence and social Darwinism (the American Dream) as a substitute for civilisation, culture and humanity.

Americans have from birth been so overwhelmed with propaganda, so steeped in their natural superiority and God-given exceptionalism that they simply cannot abide any people being different from them, and their primitive and violent Christianity dictates they either convert or kill anyone who is different. These deeply-embedded attitudes affect the entire spectrum of the human experience, exhibited in the mindless jingoism where every American attitude or belief, no matter how vacuous, is automatically converted to a universal value and human right. An American acquaintance once stated that her pet’s right to dog food was a ‘human right’ and therefore included in the definition of democracy.

Not only do Americans universalise most everything but, because of the infusion of Christianity into their political beliefs, they moralise everything, which translates into “Your way is not only different, but it’s wrong” – as in morally wrong. And this attitude, which permits them to take the high moral ground on every debatable issue, obtains from their Right-Wing Christian heritage – the belief that everything they do is “right” because God is on their side. They therefore take an unassailable (in their mind) position that whatever they do, however brutal, repulsive, inhumane or dishonest, is justified by their inherent moral righteousness stemming from God’s approval. Given the Americans’ natural belligerence, these attitudes manifest themselves in an alarming eagerness to use violence to impose their values, institutions, and their will, on all other nations.

This is partly why Americans meddle so much, and the reason for their pathological focus on other forms of government. That’s why a newspaper editorial recently pronounced about Syria, “Even if it were illegal for us to interfere, it would still be right”. So, we should overthrow a legitimate government simply because it doesn’t hold our American values – God’s values, and we can ignore man’s laws because we answer to a higher authority. The death and misery inflicted are irrelevant in this context. The American people see meddling in the affairs of other nations because “it’s the right thing to do”, and it’s the right thing because it is the will of God.

American people are nothing if not naive, gullible and simple-minded, at least in their nation’s foreign affairs. Their government always lies, and they always believe the lies. The hundreds of foreign interventions, wars, coups, invasions, have always been presented as missions to rescue less fortunate people, and Americans always cheer, apparently oblivious to the carnage and misery they inflict. US President McKinley said he was going to war in Cuba to stop “oppression at our very doors”, and they cheered. President Taft said he was overthrowing the government of Nicaragua to promote “real patriotism”, and they cheered. George Bush destroyed and enslaved Iraq to “find WMDs”, and they cheered. Obama destroyed Libya to “liberate” it, and they cheered.

An identical public response obtains with America’s state-sponsored killings and assassinations. In days past, these were darkly secret covert operations but today they are carried out openly and converted into PR events. American law has been rewritten to permit the US President to order the killing of individuals in any country without providing any evidence whatsoever to anyone, and do so without charge or trial. Just as with torture, the propaganda machine has re-defined ‘democracy, freedom and human rights’ to include these killings as part of the American political-Christian religion, certified by US Attorney-General Eric Holder flatly stating that these government killings “are not a departure from our American laws and values.”

This propaganda is effective. The same gullible simple-mindedness from generations of intense programming has created widespread public support for these murders. Bush had Saddam Hussein executed in a public hanging, and Americans cheered in the streets. Moammar Khadaffi was captured, sodomised with a huge knife, then shot in the head, and they cheered in the streets. Obama faked the killing of Osama bin Laden, and they cheered in the streets. Americans fabricate their history by creating popular myths and making even a criminal assassination a celebratory occasion for being on the winning team. Only in America will hundreds of thousands of people party in the streets on the news that their leader has just killed someone in another country that he didn’t like.

In this as in virtually all other aspects of foreign affairs, it is necessary to never forget that democracy is a coin with only one side. You will recall the situation in Iraq where the US deliberately set up Saddam Hussein on the matter of invading Kuwait, and then betrayed him. Following the “liberation” of Kuwait the US propagated allegations that Saddam had put out a hit contract on George Bush for the double-cross. No evidence was presented but if the accusation were true it would hardly be a surprise. In response, the US bombed the bejeesus out of Iraq because, according to US President Clinton, the bombing “was essential to … affirm the expectation of civilized behavior among nations.” – the bombing of innocent civilians apparently conforming to the definition of “civilised behavior”. I can kill you, but you can’t kill me. I love democracy.

Let’s return to Libya for a moment. We saw the outline of the real reasons the US government destroyed that nation and had its leader killed – it was for commercial, military, political and financial advantage but, in the shallow depths of the gullible American mind, their government overthrew a brutal dictator and liberated its people on humanitarian grounds. Listen to Hillary Clinton: “I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya. The United States was proud to stand for you in your fight for freedom and we will continue to stand with you as you continue this journey. This is Libya’s moment. This is Libya’s victory and the future belongs to you.” President Obama, the great American Christian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was equally charming, declaring Kaddafi’s death “a momentous day” and breathlessly telling the American sheep that because of Libya’s utter destruction “countless lives have been saved.” Lies of this magnitude should be punishable by hanging.

And herein lies part of the tragedy of America, and the reason the country will eventually have to implode: the enormous disconnect between the propagandised ideology of the people and the brutal reality of the thin layer of elites that run their government and military, their corporations, banks and mass media. There is no other nation whose population has such a large gap between myth and reality, between what the people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. When the people one day put the pieces together, the US will have another revolution; I don’t believe anything can prevent it. It was not for nothing that George Bush Sr. said, “If the people knew what we were doing, they would hang us in the streets”. Perhaps one day soon, they will.

*

Mr. Romanoff’s writinghas been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

(1) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/100

(2) I have lost the source of this quote.

American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

January 24, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

American dystopia « Utopia or Dystopia

In an article in the NYT on America’s “Racial Democracy” (or racist democracy), (1) Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver noted “The philosopher Elizabeth Anderson argued that when political ideals diverge very widely from reality, the ideals themselves may prevent us from seeing the gap. When the official story differs greatly from the reality of practice, the official story becomes a kind of mask that prevents us from perceiving it.”

This means that if propaganda is not only incessant and pervasive but if its tenets are too far removed from factual truth, the victims of this propaganda lose their ability to separate fact from fiction and become unable to recognise the discrepancy between their beliefs and their actions, believing their actions correspond with the religiously-inspired tenets of their propaganda even when they patently and most obviously do not correspond. The theory is not intuitively obvious, but it is heavily supported by facts. Perhaps it is for this reason that Americans are guilty of what I call “the Utopia Syndrome”, comparing themselves not with the real world of their actions but with some utopian standard that exists only in their own imaginations, a world of fancy and illusion where they meet the standards but all others do not. In this light, it may be that much of what we attribute to American hypocrisy may in reality be due to a peculiarly American kind of mass insanity.

Dictionaries generally define ‘aberration’ as a deviation from the normal or typical, an event or characteristic that may be unpleasant or even criminal but that is seldom encountered. In 1975, a US Senate Committee was investigating the documented tales of the CIA engaging in widespread killings of world leaders obstructive to US hegemony. (2) (3) Their conclusion?

“The committee does not believe that the acts of assassination which it has examined represent the real American character. They do not reflect the ideals which have given the people of this country and the world hope for a better, fuller, fairer life. We regard the assassination plots as aberrations.”

So, as William Blum noted, (4) the assassinations by the CIA of more than 50 national leaders and 100 lesser targets spanning at least 50 years and continuing in uninterrupted form through twelve US Presidents, are mere “aberrations” that don’t reflect “the real American character”. Reading from the same script, the US military casually described all the circumstances and events at its worldwide network of US torture prisons over twelve decades as “aberrations”.

It is worth re-reading the above quote telling us the 150 or more murders “do not represent the real American character”, the quote forming a perfect introduction to the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome. The assassinations of all these foreign leaders are not denied; instead they are described as inconsistent with the American utopian ideal, and it is the ideal rather than the act against which America judges itself, the fictitious utopian ideal providing the real measure of American moral supremacy. This pathological reasoning is a stunning tribute to the efficacy of the propaganda methods of Lippman and Bernays, who almost single-handedly turned Americans into raving lunatic war-mongers during both World Wars. (5) It is from precisely this propaganda that Americans today can commit multiple horrendous atrocities, violate every measure of human rights, yet claim the high moral ground and see no inconsistency or conflict. The propagandised utopian ideal of creating peace and stability in the world will supersede America’s actions of creating only war and instability. The propagandised ideal of fostering and protecting democracy will overwhelm and mask the reality that the US has never anywhere installed a democracy, has never supported democracy, and has instead almost exclusively installed and supported brutal Right-Wing dictatorships. This patently illogical logic applies across the entire spectrum of US behavior.

Following the same line of reasoning, an American writer named Dana Williams wrote a reasonably good article detailing that America’s military interventions have always been waged only on behalf of big business and the elites, but then added: “America’s most priceless treasure is its democratic values and its growing sense of human rights”. What? A growing sense of human rights? Evidenced by what? This woman had just written of the increasingly devastating litany of American atrocities and destruction of so many governments and nations and in the next breath tells us of this same country’s priceless and growing treasure of democracy and human rights, apparently unaware of any conflict. Such is the power of propaganda and the ability of myths to insinuate themselves into the human heart and mind.

Michael Parenti, for whom I have considerable admiration, did essentially the same thing, writing, “… the American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.” (7) But where were all these openly-debating Americans when their government was progressively destroying Iraq for more than ten years? Where were they when Madeline Albright was killing 500,000 Iraqi infants? Where was the open public debate about the destruction of Jugoslavia or Libya? Where are they today when the US is destroying Venezuela? Due to the intensive propaganda and ideological programming, Americans are taught to venerate the process, but ignore the result. This is truly a kind of mass insanity, with all the credit due to Bernays, “the father of Public Relations in America”.

Further examples of this mass delusion are not difficult to find. US President Obama was asked why the US managed to rise for more than 200 years without apparent failure. His response was to say, “The true strength of our nation comes not from power of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the staying power of our ideals of democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.” (8) We can be forgiven for questioning the man’s sanity, that he could make such a blatantly nonsense statement. Even worse, how ignorant and gullible can Americans be, that they will cheer and wave their flags on hearing such rubbish? We have already examined the sources of wealth of this nation, and they most emphatically have never been related, not even in imagination, to ideals of democracy or liberty.

In another case illustrative of the pervasive nature of this illness, in 2014 an American football team cancelled the employment contract of one of their star players for having made a vicious assault on his wife. In a casino hotel, the elevator camera recorded the man punching his wife in the head so hard that he drove her head-first into the steel wall, rendering her unconscious on the floor. (9) (10) A moment later, the CCTV camera in the hallway recorded him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator and dumping her on the floor like a rag doll. When the videos were released and went viral, the man made a statement to the media in which he said, “That is not the kind of person I am.” But of course it is the kind of person he is; this was the third time the police had to intervene when he had done something similar. But, as with most Americans and with the nation itself, he doesn’t compare himself to the reality of his actions but rather to the utopian ideals he pretends to hold in his mind. So even though he repeatedly punches his wife unconscious, that’s not the kind of person he is. This story is a perfect illustration of America today.

On another occasion, James Fallows, an American author and correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, wrote in one of his diatribes comparing China with the US: “… though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” (11) I have no particular wish to throw stones at Fallows, but this man is painting targets on his forehead with such a clearly ridiculous statement. All of the current domestic and international evidence – all of it – supports an unqualified assertion that the US freely ignores and violates every manner of law, both its own and those of other nations, whenever they become inconvenient or hinder unilateral action, yet we have Fallows with his delightfully patronising arrogance pontificating about America striving for perfection in following the rule of law, while suggesting that China does not do so. His claim is not different in quality than Bush and Obama flatly stating “we do not torture” after we have seen all the evidence and the torture prisons are all still open. Black is white. Nothing else to see here. Let’s move on. And move on Fallows does, secure in his fairyland mythology of American moral superiority, oblivious to the enormous contradictions snapping at his heels.

Fallows, in his suspended consciousness, conforms perfectly to this utopian syndrome, comparing the actions of his country to a high standard which exists only in his imagination and to which the US has never adhered. He does the same with his foolish criticisms of China, imagining the existence of some idolised standard which he then claims China fails to meet.

It is of extreme importance for readers to realise and fully understand that expressions like ‘rule of law’, ‘freedom’, and ‘democratic values’ are merely hypothetical idealistic constructs. They are myths and, like all myths, they are “designed to serve an emotive rather than cognitive function, not to provide fact based on reason but as propaganda to arouse emotions in support of an idea”. (12) Their purpose, and their clever effect, is not to provide information but to make one’s heart swell with pride at one’s own moral superiority. Think again of Fallows’ “though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” As Americans, we instantly feel that surge of pride in our breasts that we are so law-abiding while others by insinuation are not. Even further, we feel yet more pride that we so openly admit our (occasional and trivial) failures but, being good incarnate, we face and overcome these failings and continue striving in the best Olympic spirit. How can our god not love us?

The US government does precisely the same with its annual reports on human rights, which not only meet the definition of the utopian fallacy but contain the added merit of being mostly grand lies about countries that happen to be out of favor, and equally grand omissions about current politically-useful allies.

In this mental condition, Americans consider themselves superior to all others and believe they are advancing some greater good when all they are doing is forcibly imposing their warped anti-social values and political hegemony onto unwilling nations and peoples. Through their generations of propaganda, programming and brainwashing, most Americans live in an indispersible fog of mass delusion and self-deception in which black is white but which they inexplicably fail to fathom. From their ignorance and simple-mindedness created by their excessive utopian programming, Americans see their country’s prosecution of wars, the cannibalisation of nations and the single-minded devotion to the profit of a few elites, as the promotion of democracy and freedom, and are apparently incapable of the minor clarity of thought necessary to see that their murderous and greedy actions have absolutely nothing to do with either freedom or democracy.

When challenged, they usually offer a logic so groundless and illogical as to almost defy challenge. In their minds, all the nations their government has attacked are by utopian definition “evil regimes”. From the invasion of Mexico onward, in all the nations in South and Central America, in Africa and the Middle East, in Asia and Africa, the US was selflessly battling despotic tyranny. Of course, these nations were innocent, but to produce a list of all the countries the US has invaded and colonised with a military dictatorship, will almost inevitably evoke this response: “You make a list of all the evil regimes that “free America” has fought against, and use that list as evidence of how evil free America is.” If only that were true.

The combined political, religious and capitalistic propaganda tenets have resolved into what John Galbraith in The Affluent Society termed “conventional wisdom” (13) (14) which, through generations of that same propaganda, made these tenets “more or less identical with sound scholarship”, and their status being “virtually impregnable”, as he put it. The tenets of course have not actually been adhered to by any US government or indeed by the elites and their corporations, which means in Galbraith’s terms that the tenets are “highly acceptable in the abstract” rather than in reality. And this is the source of our dystopia of utopia in America today. We have the bizarre situation where this conventional wisdom – propaganda, in fact – makes a vigorous advocacy of these beliefs a substitute for behavior according to these beliefs.

So we have Americans preaching democracy while their government installs brutal dictatorships everywhere, and they see no disconnect. We have Americans preaching human rights while kidnapping people in other countries and “rendering” them to be mostly tortured to death, and see no disconnect. We have Americans fervently preaching and defending free-market capitalism while that same animal relieved about 30% of them of their homes and jobs, yet they see no disconnect.

This massive delusion is constantly reinforced by public repetition where each knows that many others share these beliefs. It all functions as a kind of religious morality play, the repetitive propaganda not only providing reassurance but serving as additional and pervasive evangelising of these foolish beliefs. Galbraith stated that “In some measure, the articulation of the conventional wisdom is a religious rite. It is an act of affirmation like reading aloud from the Scriptures or going to church.” He went on to say that this evangelising as a religious rite is not negligible because “its purpose is not to convey knowledge but to beatify learning and the learned”. In other words, statements like “we strive for a rule of law” are empty and nonsense pronouncements providing religious reinforcement of the mythical utopian tenets of American propaganda, then used as evidence of a superior morality tantamount to God’s will. Only in America do we find rampant self-adoration for preaching a gospel that we totally ignore in our real lives, in fact a monstrous hypocrisy re-branded as religion.

This is precisely what John Kozy was telling us (15) when he wrote that subjects in American schools were taught as if they were comprised of revealed religious truths, and in which the fundamentals of American patriotism, religious and political ideology, consumerism and free market capitalism were not different than studying the Bible in that they could not be questioned because they were by nature unquestionable, and therefore critical evaluation was proscribed. And again, “those who ask inconvenient questions are silenced in shame; books that present inconvenient truths are removed from libraries”. In the US as in no other country in the world, is it so necessary to adhere to the accepted narrative, nor so likely to provide acceptance and even applause for regurgitating that same narrative. And in no other nation does there exist the vast discrepancy between beliefs and actions or between theory and practice. The American political gospel tells us that we protect and install democracies everywhere. In real life this has never occurred even one time, but that doesn’t alter our faith in our political religion and nobody excommunicates us for our sins.

According to Galbraith again, “conventional wisdom accommodates itself not to the world that it is meant to interpret but to the audience’s view of the world”, the same view that has been artificially created by the professional propagandists. As much as Americans may criticise other nations for disapproval of deviations in behavior, especially political behavior, the same disapproval mechanism operates much more forcefully in American society. Only in America can we fully experience the awesome power of the ability of propaganda to make 300 million people so deaf, dumb and blind that they will fervently and solemnly declare that black is white. This process is so effective that not long after the flood of revelations of the extensive US network of torture prisons, including witness reports, photos and video of the pathologically depraved treatment of the prisoners, President Bush could go on national TV and tell America, “We do not torture” – and have most Americans believe him. Likewise with Obama with his torture prisons still in full operation, who told the nation, “I can stand here before you tonight and assure you that we do not torture”, leaving 300 million pathetically-brainwashed Americans firmly grounded in the moral superiority of a nation that does no wrong.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, commenting on American deaths in Iraq, said President Bush “believes in the value and dignity of every human life, that every life is precious and he grieves for each one that is lost”. (16) (17) As proof, one day President Bush was speaking to a meeting of the terrorist organisation known as Freedom House, and told the members, “We’re a country of deep compassion. We care. One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up, we cry. We don’t care what the child’s religion may be, or where that child may live, we cry. It upsets us. The enemy knows that, and they’re willing to kill to shake our confidence. That’s what they’re trying to do”. (18) But then there is a White House videotape of a conversation between former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then President George Bush, discussing their Christian obligation to spread democracy everywhere, at least in part for the purpose of protecting the lives of these innocent children. (19) (20) Powell opened the conversation with, “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” To which Bush responded, “Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Stay strong! Kill them! We are going to wipe them out!”

After overthrowing about 50 national governments and installing brutal military remote-control dictatorships in each of them, and trying to do the same in another 20 countries while grossly interfering in their media, elections and internal affairs, Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, told the world, “America has never sought to occupy any nation in the world. We are a good people”. (21) (22)

After interfering in about 100 countries, inflicting immense bloodshed and misery on countless millions of innocent civilians, US President Ronald Reagan boasted, “We have never interfered in the internal government of a country and have no intention of doing so, never had any thought of that kind.” (23) And it was the great John F. Kennedy himself who told us, “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war”. (24) As William Blum pointed out, this must mean that in America’s hundreds of wars with more than 70 nations spanning more than 200 years, all those countries invaded the US first, and America was just defending itself.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in an interview probably conducted in the office of his psychiatrist, claimed “the men and women of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century”. (25) This was the same interview in which he encouraged all NYT readers to “give war a chance”.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, needing a way to punish Saddam Hussein for not wanting to become a US colony, personally arranged the targeted destruction of Iraq’s drinking water purification facilities and enacted worldwide sanctions to prevent Iraq from obtaining replacement supplies or repairs. According to the United Nations, Albright’s actions directly resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi infants from contaminated drinking water, with the full knowledge of the US government. Then in a TV interview on the program 60 Minutes where she was confronted with evidence of these acts by Leslie Stahl, Albright famously proclaimed, “Yes, it was worth it.” (26) (27) And after personally arranging the 80-day non-stop bombing of Yugoslavia, the greatest continuous bombing campaign ever instituted by anybody anywhere, she said, “The United States is good. We try to do our best everywhere”. (28)

A US government official stated that “The American Empire is probably the most beneficial and moral the world has ever seen; not only in terms of technological development, but also through nurturing democracy and prosperity in the world. No other global empire has ever taken actions so massively against its interests solely for moral purposes.” Yet examination will uncover no example where the US has ever nurtured democracy, nor prosperity either, and I challenge anyone to detail even a single incident in the history of the world where the US has ever acted, massively or otherwise, against its interests solely for moral purposes. Various US military officials have claimed that “Our country is a force for good without precedent”, and that “The US military is a force for global good that … has no equal”. US President Woodrow Wilson boasted a century ago, that “America is the savior of the world”, while destroying and colonising that same world. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for War and Misery, wrote, “And the truth is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the US is good for a vast portion of the world’s population”. (29) Evidenced by what? By the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia syndrome. Nothing else.

American Christianity is a major part of this national insanity. George Bush informed the world that God told him to invade Iraq and, during the invasion, said “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job”. And when the war was over, after having killed a million or more innocent Iraqi civilians, Bush said, “When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious. … In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion. … When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man”. We are apparently to conclude that no one has had greater love for his fellow man than George Bush had for the million civilians he killed in Iraq and that Madeleine Albright was just exhibiting her great love for mankind by killing half a million infants. And of course, Obama can’t be left out of this parade. After countless thousands of deaths in the illegal destruction of Libya and the countless civilian deaths incurred by his drones in Pakistan, he fulfilled his propaganda obligation by telling us, “I believe that Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him. That is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis”. (30) The people in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Pakistan might have a different interpretation of Obama’s relationship with his god.

Another result of this utopian syndrome is what we term “the pot calling the kettle black”, in other words, attributing to others the sins that “our side” commits and being apparently oblivious to the gross illogic and falsehoods in our position. The only reason the US accuses Huawei of being a potential spy is because Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, and so many other American IT firms have been spying for the CIA and NSA for decades. The US media accuse anyone writing articles sympathetic to China, Russia or Iran of being paid shills, only because American correspondents have been paid CIA shills since the 1950s.

Another example that recently crossed my path was an article in the Financial Times by Jamil Anderlini who was at the time the FT’s station chief in Beijing. In an article titled ‘Patriotic education distorts China world view’, (31) Anderlini claimed that China’s “selective teaching of history influences its self-image”, imagining a great “disconnection between how the world views China and how China – from ordinary citizens to top leaders – sees itself.” He stated the world sees China as a frightening monster that bullies all other nations, his ignorance rendering him blissfully unaware that this sentiment is not true for China but for the US that he defends.

He wrote that China’s “selective teaching” of history and emphasis on “patriotic education” cultivates a “nationalistic, anti-western victim mentality among young Chinese”, again apparently ignorant of the typical Western (US) patriotic education cultivating US patriotism. This mentality is typical for all Western media correspondents who are selected primarily for the extent of their conversion by US propaganda. This is perhaps a good place to note that prior to joining the Financial Times, Anderlini was employed as a male underwear model which employment no doubt contributed to his deep understanding of Chinese culture while solidifying his credentials as the FT’s Beijing station chief.


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ + http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com.

Notes

(1) https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/is-the-united-states-a-racial-democracy/

(2) https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/intelligence/2017-06-02/white-house-cia-pike-committee-1975

(3) https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKassassinationsC.htm

(4) https://williamblum.org/essays/read/us-government-assassination-plots

(5) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/blog-post_49.html

(6) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259127294_Americans_and_Iraq_twelve_years_apart_Comparing_support_for_the_US_wars_in_Iraq

(7) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/Superpatriotism.html

(8) https://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/

(9) https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/ray-rice-elevator-assault-video

(10) https://pressofatlanticcity.com/news/crime/ravens-ray-rice-indicted-in-aggravated-assault-on-fiancee-at-atlantic-city-casino/article_1f5f5e80-b5e9-11e3-b57b-0019bb2963f4.html

(11) https://www.theatlantic.com/author/james-fallows/

(12) I have lost the source of this quotation

(13) https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/wisdom/conventional-wisdom-what-it-means-and-when-to-use-it/

(14) https://www.amazon.com/Affluent-Society-John-Kenneth-Galbraith/dp/0395925002

(15) https://www.globalresearch.ca/learning-without-questioning-in-america-the-sunday-school-syndrome/5364233

(16) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/55

(17) https://www.counterpunch.org/2008/03/04/how-could-hillary-have-known/

(18) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/32

(19) https://www.lewrockwell.com/2008/06/tom-engelhardt/kill-kill-kill/

(20) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41967.htm

(21) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/20/the-talibans-wishlist

(22) https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/07/08/the-brown-mans-burden/

(23) http://whale.to/b/reagan_h.html

Ronald Reagan, 1982. See: Nicaragua [2011 Jan] RONALD REAGAN: ILLUMINATI TOOL [1995] The Crimes of Mena By Sally Denton and Roger Morris.

(24) https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-university-19630610

(25) https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/10/frie-o13.html

(26) https://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/the-evil-of-madeleine-albright/

(27) https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/03/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

(28) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/American_benevolence

(29) https://carnegieendowment.org/1998/06/01/benevolent-empire-pub-275

(30) https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/articles/2008/08/17/obama_mccain_air_views_on_faith/

(31) https://www.ft.com/content/66430e4e-4cb0-11e2-986e-00144feab49a

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