Israel’s Chorus Sings Again

Less than total loyalty to Israel is un-American

By Philip Giraldi

August 15, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Congress is on a one-month summer recess. You would think that given the recent turmoil over the bill to eliminate Obamacare and the upcoming debate over tax policy the nation’s legislators would be back in their home districts talking to the voters. Some are, but many are not. “More than fifty” Congressmen are off on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to demonstrate that “there is no stronger bond with any ally we have.” Yes indeed, a congress which cannot pass legislation to benefit the American people finds that it has only one voice when it comes to our troublesome little client state that also doubles as the leading recipient of U.S. tax dollars in the world.

How do they do it? They do it by relentless courting of the congress critters and media talking heads, all of whom know how to repay a favor. Some readers might be asking how Congress (spouses included) can accept these free trips from a foreign government? The current trip is estimated to be costing $10,000 per person. Well, the answer is that they can’t do it directly, which would be illegal, so the clever rascals at the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have created an “charitable” foundation that pays the bills. It’s called the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). AIEF is a tax exempt 501(c)3 foundation that had income of more than $80 million in 2015. As it is tax exempt that means that its activities are, in effect, being subsidized by the U.S. Treasury so the congressmen are being “charitably educated” while they are also being wined and dined and propagandized in part on the taxpayers’ dime. A couple of the congress critters hardly hit the ground before they were singing the praises of their hosts, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy crooning “We have shared values! Shared security interests! No stronger bond!” And plenty of feel-good all around as Israel is “The Only Democracy in the Middle East!”

Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who has had his head up the Israeli derriere for decades, was also quick on the uptake, enthusing how support for Israel is completely bipartisan, “We are not here as Democrats and Republicans, we are here as Americans who support Israel’s security, its sovereignty and the safety of its people.” And as if it is not enough to go around bragging how one is subordinating U.S. sovereignty to that of Israel, the gnomes are hard at work back at home preparing to pass into law the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which will criminalize for many Americans their First Amendment right to criticize Israel, and a completely bipartisan bit of new legislation being pushed by the Israeli government that will take away aid currently given to the Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to provide subsidies to help support the families of those individuals being held prisoner by the Israelis. As most aid actually goes towards training Palestinian security forces that are intended to prevent terror attacks against Israelis, the bill is as wrong-headed as can be, but it just goes to show how far Congress will go to punish Arabs on behalf of Israel.

And finally there has been a series of Israel-centric attacks on leading members of the Trump Administration. A month ago, the State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2016. The report, as always, describes threats of violence in the Middle East from an Israeli perspective, but it was honest enough to also include two sentences that state that

“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians…and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive. The PA has [also] taken significant steps…to not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

B’nai B’rith immediately blasted the report for “parroting the false Palestinian narrative” and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demanded that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resign because the report was “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel hating, error ridden.” ZOA went on to praise the co-chairman of the Republican Israel Caucus, Congressman Peter Roskam for demanding that the State Department correct the “numerous mischaracterizations” in the report.

Tillerson has long been a target of the American-Jewish media because of the perception that oil company executives are traditionally not friendly to Israel. There have also been claims that he is “less hard” on Iran than the Israel Lobby would like. But what Tillerson is really experiencing is the hard truth regarding Israel: that its Lobby and friends in congress are both unrelenting and unforgiving. Even when they get 90% of the pie they are furious over someone else getting 10%.

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has also been under siege for the past several weeks and his “loyalty” to Israel is now under the microscope. McMaster made the mistake of firing three National Security Council officials that were brought in by his predecessor Michael Flynn. The three – Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey – are all regarded by the Israel Lobby as passionately pro-Israel and virulently anti-Iran. It was therefore inevitable that McMaster would take some heat, but the “speed and intensity” of the attacks has surprised even The Atlantic, which failed to note in its thorough examination of the development that while much of the anger flows from extreme right-wing sources there is also considerable pressure coming directly from friends of Israel.

It is interesting to note just how and by whom the argument against McMaster is being framed. Caroline Glick, an American-born Israeli journalist who might reasonably be described as extreme right wing, has led the charge in a posting that described McMaster as “deeply hostile to Israel.” She cites anonymous sources to claim that he refers to Israel as an occupying power and also has the audacity to claim that there once existed a place called Palestine. Oh, and he apparently also supports the nuclear agreement with Iran, as does Tillerson.

McMaster’s other crimes consist of allegedly altering the agenda of Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel in ways that are somewhat arcane but which no doubt contributed to Glick’s sense of grievance. What is most interesting, however, is the unstated premise supporting Glick’s point of view, which is that the United States national security team should be subject to approval by Israel. Her view is not dissimilar to what lies behind the attacks on Tillerson and the real irony is that neither Tillerson nor McMaster has actually demonstrated any genuine animosity towards Israel, so the whole process is part of a perverse mindset that inevitably sees nearly everything as a threat.

We Americans are way beyond the point where we might simply demand that Israel and its partisans butt out of our politics. Israel-firsters are literally deeply embedded everywhere in the media, in politics at all levels, in academia, and in the professions. They are well funded and highly disciplined to respond to any threats to their hegemony. Their policy is to never give an inch on anything relating to Israel and their relentless grinding is characteristic of how they behave. The Israel Lobby controls Congress and can literally get any bill it wants through the legislature. And it also has its hooks in the White House, though the unpredictable Trump obviously makes many American Zionists nervous because it is rightly believed that once the president takes a position on anything he cannot be trusted either to understand what he has committed to or to stick with it subsequently.

So what is to be done? To match the passion of the Israel Lobby we Americans have to become passionate ourselves. Do what they do but in reverse. Write letters to congressmen and newspapers opposing the junkets to Israel. When a congress critter has a town hall, show up and complain about our involvement in the Middle East. Keep mentioning the pocket book issues, i.e. how Israel costs the taxpayer $9 million a day. Explain how its behavior puts our diplomats and soldiers overseas in danger. The reality is that Israel is built on a lot of lies promoted by people who frequently cite the holocaust every time they turn around but who have no actual regard for humanity outside their own tribe. The hypocrisy must stop if the United States is to survive as a nation. Pandering to Israel and engaging in constant wars to directly or indirectly defend it, be they against Iran or in Syria, will wear our country down and erode our freedoms. We are already on a slippery slope and it is past time to put our own interests first.

This article was first published by Unz Review 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Polls: US Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’

Polls: US Is ‘the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today’

Eric ZUESSE | 07.08.2017 |

US Is “The Greatest Threat To Peace In The World Today,” New Poll

It has happened again: yet another international poll finds that the US is viewed by peoples around the world to be the biggest threat to world peace.

But, to start, let’s summarize the first-ever poll that had been done on this, back in 2013, which was the only prior poll on this entire issue, and it was the best-performed such poll: «An end-of-the-year WIN/Gallup International survey found that people in 65 countries believe the United States is the greatest threat to world peace», as the N.Y. Post reported on 5 January 2014.

On 30 December 2013, the BBC had reported of that poll: «This year, first [meaning here, ‘for’] the first time, Win/Gallup agreed to include three questions submitted by listeners to [BBC’s] Radio 4’s Today programme». And, one of those three listener-asked questions was phrased there by the BBC, as having been «Which country is the biggest threat to peace?» The way that WIN/Gallup International itself had actually asked this open-ended question, to 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, was: «Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?» #1, 24% of respondents, worldwide, volunteered that the US was «the greatest threat». #2 (the second-most-frequently volunteered ‘greatest threat’) was Pakistan, volunteered by 8%. #3 was China, with 6%. #s 4-7 were a four-way tie, at 5% each, for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea. #s 8-10 were a three-way tie, at 4% each, for: India, Iraq, and Japan. #11 was Syria, with 3%. #12 was Russia, with 2%. #s 13-20 were a seven-way tie, at 1% each, for: Australia, Germany, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, and UK.

The way that W/G itself had phrased this matter, in their highly uninformative press release for their year-end survey (which included but barely mentioned this finding, in it — as though this particular finding in their annual year-end poll, hardly even deserved to be mentioned), was: «The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat». That’s all there was of it — W/G never devoted a press-release to the stunning subject of this particular finding, and they even buried this finding when mentioning it in their year-end press-release.

I had hoped that they would repeat this excellent global survey question every year (so that a trendline could be shown, in the global answers over time), but the question was unfortunately never repeated.

However, now, on August 1st of 2017, Pew Research Center has issued results of their polling of 30 nations in which they had surveyed, first in 2013, and then again in 2017, posing a less-clear but similar question (vague perhaps because they were fearing a similar type of finding — embarrassing to their own country, the US), in which respondents had been asked «Do you think that the United States’ power and influence is a major threat, a minor threat, or not a threat to (survey country)?» and which also asked this same question but regarding «China,» and then again but regarding «Russia,» as a possible threat instead of «United States». (This wasn’t an open-ended question; only those three nations were named as possible responses.)

On page 3 of their 32-page pdf is shown that the «major threat» category was selected by 35% of respondents worldwide for «US power and influence», 31% worldwide selected that for «Russia’s power and influence,» and also 31% worldwide said it for «China’s power and influence». However, on pages 23 and 24 of the pdf is shown the 30 countries that had been surveyed in this poll, in both 2013 and 2017, and most of these 30 nations were US allies; only Venezuela clearly was not. None of the 30 countries was an ally of either Russia or China (the other two countries offered as possibly being «a major threat»). And, yet, nonetheless, more respondents among the 30 sampled countries saw the US as «a major threat», than saw either Russia or China that way.

Furthermore, the trend, in those 30 countries, throughout that four-year period, was generally in the direction of an increase in fear of the US — increase in fear of the country that had been overwhelmingly cited in 2013 by people in 65 countries in WIN/Gallup’s poll, as constituting, in 2013, «the greatest threat to peace in the world today».

Consequently: though WIN/Gallup never repeated its question, the evidence in this newly released poll, from Pew, clearly suggests that the percentage of people in the 65 nations that WIN/Gallup had polled in 2013 who saw the US as being «the greatest threat to peace in the world today» would be even higher today than it was in 2013, when 24% of respondents worldwide volunteered the US as being the world’s most frightening country.

Perhaps people around the world are noticing that, at least since 2001, the US is wrecking one country after another: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Which is next? Maybe Iran? Maybe Russia? Maybe Venezuela? Who knows?

And this country has just increased its ‘defense’ spending, which already is three times China’s, and nine times higher than Russia’s. Do the owners of America’s military-industrial complex own the US government, and own the US ‘news’media, to permit this rabid military to control the government’s budget, in a ‘democracy’?

Scheer: ‘Fake News’ Label Is Used to ‘Whitewash American History’ (Video)

Scheer: ‘Fake News’ Label Is Used to ‘Whitewash American History’ (Video)

Editor’s note: The following video is a clip from a 19-part series filmed at a Truthdig and KPFK co-sponsored event in Los Angeles recently. The discussion features Oliver Stone, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director, and Robert Scheer, Truthdig’s editor in chief. The two talk about “The Putin Interviews,” a new Showtime series by Stone, as well as the published transcript, for which Scheer wrote the foreword. We are publishing one video per day. This is the fourth installment.

“This question of ‘fake news’ has real power now,” says Robert Scheer, “and you can use it against anyone who comes up with a narrative that’s different from yours.”

Watch the next clip in the series, in which Oliver Stone discusses changing his political views, on Saturday.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

 

America’s Record of Murder and Mayhem Since 1945: Some of the Worst Hits

Source

By Paul Street,

The United States has killed, maimed, displaced, and otherwise harmed an astonishing number of people (according to Ward Churchill) in its 241-year record of murder and mayhem – including more than 20 million killed in 37 nations since 1945.

Direct Assault

A distinction exists between those Uncle Sam has directly assaulted and those he has more indirectly attacked. Examples of direct assault are numerous and horrible to contemplate.

The history of direct U.S.-military mass killing since 1945 includes:

* The firebombing of Tokyo: roughly 100,000 Japanese civilians incinerated when U.S. bombers created the greatest firestorm in history.

Hiroshima (146, 000 killed with a single bomb – what U.S. president Harry Truman called “the greatest thing in history”) and (80,000) Nagasaki: savagely unnecessary and arch-criminal atom-bombings carried out even though the U.S. high command knew that Japan was defeated and ready to accept U.S. surrender terms).

Four million killed in Korea to prevent national unification under Left and Soviet-allied power there between 1950 and 1953.

* The “crucifixion of Southeast Asia” (Noam Chomsky’s term at the time): the U.S. and its allies killed at least 3 million Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians between 1962 and 1975. (Operation Phoenix, a CIA and military operation, alone killed 40,000 Vietnamese – more than wo-thirds the total U.S. body count in the so-called Vietnam War)

*Iran Air Flight 655: on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes crossed into Iranian waters and shot down an Iranian civilian plane, blowing 290 people out of the sky. (The Vincennes’ commander was granted an award for “exceptionally meritorious conduct.”)

*The “Highway of Death”:  U.S. fighter jets engaged in a frenzied slaughter of tens of thousands of surrendered Iraqi troops in 1991. (The Lebanese-American journalist Joyce Chediac testified that “U.S. forces continued to drop bombs on the convoys until all humans were killed. So many jets swarmed over the inland road that it created an aerial traffic jam, and combat air controllers feared midair collisions…. The victims were not offering resistance…it was simply a one-sided massacre of tens of thousands of people who had no ability to fight back or defend.”)

*Fallujah: the U.S. Marines waged chemical warfare and used radioactive ordnance in the process of leveling a great Iraqi city in April and November of 2004.

*Bola Boluk: an Afghan village where U.S. bombers blew 113 civilians (including dozens of children) to bits in May of 2009.

The U.S. drone war  program (2001 to present), aptly described by Noam Chomsky as “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times”: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports a minimum number of U.S. 3,734 drone strikes with nearly 10,000 killed, including 1,427 civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen “since the Bureau began collecting data.”  (Chomsky’s description referred to Obama’s drone record; Trump has dramatically increased drone strikes).

Bayda Province, Trump’s first blood: US Navy special forces carried out a raid – planned under the Obama administration and handed off to the incoming Trump team – that killed 25 civilians, including 10 children in the mountainous Yakla region of Yemen’s Bayda province. One of the children killed was an eight-year-old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, daughter of the Islamist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed on the order of Barack Obama in a September 2011 US drone strike in Yemen. Nawar’s older brother, 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, was killed in a second drone strike soon afterwards. The continued U.S.  slaughter of akl-Awlaki’s children was consistent with Trump’s campaign claims that he would kill the relatives of terrorist suspects – a war crime. The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” Trump pronounced on  Fox News in December 2015.

Proxy Killing

Dreadful as such moments of direct imperial butchery may be, the United States may well have killed, maimed, and displaced more people indirectly, through proxies and clients.

In 1954, a CIA-orchestrated coup removed the democratically elected Guatemalan and Left government of Jacobo Arbenz. Over the next four decades, U.S.-backed right-wing Guatemalan regimes killed tens of thousands of peasants, workers, students, and activists.

In 1960, the CIA killed the Congo’s first independent head of state, the Left anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba. The United States subsequently backed the brutal Congolese dictator Joseph Mobuto, who killed hundreds of thousands. (The U.S. has since been significantly responsible for as many 3 million deaths in that resource-rich country ever since. It sponsors and protects the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, whose body count in his own country and Congo runs into the tens of thousands.)

In 1965 and 1966, the United States worked with Britain and Australia to help orchestrate the overthrow the democratically elected Left government of Indonesia and the subsequent massacre of somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million Indonesian peasants, workers, intellectuals, and activists. Coup General Suharto received rich military and economic assistance from the U.S. over three decades of subsequent authoritarian rule.

In December of 1975, Suharto got a green light from his sponsors in Washington to invade East Timor. The Indonesian military received advanced weaponry from the United States and the U.S. client Israel as it brutally annexed the poor island nation and killed at least 180,000 of its inhabitants.

In 1973, a CIA-engineered coup overthrew the democratically elected socialist government of Chilean president Salvador Allende and replaced him with the fascist butcher and close U.S. all General Augusto Pinochet.  Pinochet’s regime killed 30,000 workers, students, peasant, intellectuals and activists killed while introducing U.S.- (University of Chicago-) imported economic policies during the 1970s and 1980s.

A U.S.-sponsored and U.S.-equipped fascist regime in Argentina and allied death squads killed as many 30,000 workers, students, intellectuals, and activists in that country between 1974 and 1983.

In the late 1970s and 1980s, Washington, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan created the extremist Islamo-Wahhabist forces that became al Qaeda and the Taliban as part of the U.S. Cold War with the Soviet Union and to destabilize a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. These Sunni jihadist forces have killed hundreds of the thousands of people in Southwest Asia and the Middle East ever since.

U.S.-sponsored authoritarian regimes in Central America killed over 300,000 people during Ronald Reagan’s two terms. Lavish funding, training and equipment from Washington fueled this epic bloodshed. Victims were murdered and maimed as punishment for—and warnings against—participation in popular struggles to redistribute land and improve working and social conditions for peasants and workers in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Tens of thousands of Iranians were executed with U.S. economic, political, and military assistance and sponsorship by the Iranian dictator Mohammad Reza Shah Palevi, who was installed into power after a CIA-engineered coup overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Left government in 1953.

Between 1980 and 1988, the U.S. backed Iraq in an epic war with Iran. This horrific conflict produced at least 1 million Iranian casualties, including 300,000 soldiers killed and untold thousands still suffering from Iraqi chemical weapons developed with U.S. assistance.

The U.S.-sponsored and U.S.-armed Israeli government has killed hundreds of thousands if not millions (estimates vary) of Palestinians. It is a major recipient of U.S. military assistance as it continues to impose its vicious apartheid and settlement regime on the Palestinians with an iron fist.

An estimated 465,000 Syrians have been killed or gone missing in the ongoing Syrian Civil War, a conflict that has been significantly fueled by the U.S. and allied powers including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia, the most reactionary government on Earth, has slaughtered untold tens of thousands of dissenters and ethnic (Shia Muslim) minorities with U.S. arms, economic assistance, and diplomatic cover. It is home to the extreme Sunni-Wahabbist ideology that has fueled mass-murderous jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State, which have received lavish funding from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi kingdom is a prized U.S. ally that has been visited by both President Obama and Trump in recent years. Trump went to Riyadh last May to seal a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudis.

Untold tens of thousands of Black Africans died at the at hands of the U.S. supported apartheid regime of South Africa during the Cold War era.

U.S.-backed regimes and paramilitary forces (especially the UNITA armies that waged war on socialist Angola in the 1970s and 1980s) have killed many hundreds of thousands if not millions more in Africa since 1945. (Many hundreds of thousands of Congolese have died at the hands of the U.S.-sponsored Rwandan regime and related Congolese death squads in the post-Mobuto era. The current significantly U.S.-instigated South Sudanese civil war has killed an estimated 300,000.)

This is a very partial list. For a more comprehensive record, see William BlumRogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (Common Courage, 2005) and Ward ChurchillOn the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Arrogance and Criminality (AK Press, 2003).

Given this record, it is hardly surprising that the United States has long been the nation that is most viewed by people the world over as the greatest threat to peace and security on the planet. This while the imperial homeland’s reigning media and politics culture claims that the United States is an exceptionally noble and democratic force for good and liberty the world over, leaving untold millions of U.S. Americans childishly clueless about the eternally and absurdly asked question: “why oh why do they hate wonderful us?”

Featured image is from the author.

Pentagon secretly tested chemical weapons on US troops. Vets demand to know the cost

Pentagon Secretly Tested Chemical Weapons on US Troops. Vets Demand to Know the Cost

 

Ever More Official Lies From The US Government

Ever more official lies from the US government

Paul Craig Roberts

The false reality constructed for Americans parallels perfectly the false reality constructed by Big Brother in George Orwells’ dystopian novel 1984.

Consider the constant morphing of “the Muslim threat” from al-Qaeda to the Taliban, to al-Nusra, to ISIS to ISIL, to Daesh with a jump to Russia. All of a sudden 16 years of Middle East wars against “terrorists” and “dictators” have become a matter of standing up to Russia, the country most threatened by Muslim terrorism, and the country most capable of wiping the United States and its vassal empire off of the face of the earth.

Domestically, Americans are assured that, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing, that is, flooding the financial markets with newly printed money that has driven up the prices of stocks and bonds, America has enjoyed an economic recovery since June of 2009, which must be one of the longest recoveries in history despite the absence of growth in median real family incomes, despite the growth in real retail sales, despite the falling labor force participation rate, despite the lack of high value-added, high productivity, high wage jobs.

The “recovery” is more than a mystery. It is a miracle. It exists only on fake news paper.

According to CNN, an unreliable source for sure, Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, reports that about half of Americans report that their living expenses are equal to or exceed their incomes. Among those aged 18 to 25 burdened by student loans, 54% say their debts are equal to or exceed their incomes. This means that half of the US population has ZERO discretionary income. So what is driving the recovery?

Nothing. For half or more of the US population there is no discretionary income there with which to drive the economy.

The older part of the population has no discretionary income either. For a decade there has been essentially zero interest on the savings of the elderly, and if you believe John Williams of shadowstats.com, which I do, the real interest rates have been zero and even negative as inflation is measured in a way designed to prevent Social Security cost of living adjustments.

In other words, the American economy has been living on the shrinkage of the savings and living standards of its population.

Last Friday’s employment report is just another lie from the government. The report says that the unemployment rate is 4.4% and that June employment increased by 222,000 jobs. A rosy picture. But as I have just demonstrated, there are no fundamentals to support it. It is just another US government lie like Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and so forth and so on.

The rosy unemployment picture is totally contrived. The unemployment rate is 4.4% because discouraged workers who have not searched for a job in the past four weeks are not counted as unemployed.

The BLS has a second measure of unemployment, known as U6, which is seldom reported by the presstitute financial media. According to this official measure the US unemployment rate is about double the reported rate.

Why? the U6 rate counts discouraged workers who have been discouraged for less than one year.

John Williams counts the long term discouraged workers (discouraged for more than one year) who formerly (before “reforms”) were counted officially. When the long term discouraged are counted, the US unemployment rate is in the 22-23 percent range. This is borne out by the clear fact that the labor force participation rate has been falling throughout the alleged “recovery.” Normally, labor force participation rates rise during economic recoveries.

It is very easy for the government to report a low jobless rate when the government studiously avoids counting the unemployed.

It is an extraordinary thing that although the US government itself reports that if even a small part of discouraged workers are counted as unemployed the unemployment rate is 8.6%, the presstitute financial media, a collection of professional liars, still reports, in the face of the government’s admission, that the unemployment rate as 4.4%.

Now, let’s do what I have done month after month year after year. Let’s look at the jobs that the BLS alleges are being created. Remember, most of these alleged jobs are the product of the birth/death model that adds by assumption alone about 100,000 jobs per month. In other words, these jobs come out of a model, not from reality.

Where are these reported jobs? They are where they always are in lowly paid domestic services. Health care and social assistance, about half of which is “ambulatory health care services,” provided 59,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality provided 36,000 jobs of which 29,300 consist of waitresses and bartenders. Local government rose by 35,000. Manufacturing, once the backbone of the US economy, provided a measly 1,000 jobs.

As I have emphasized for a decade or two, the US is devolving into a third world workforce where the only employment available is in lowly paid domestic service jobs that cannot be offshored and that do not pay enough to provide an independent existence. This is why 50% of 25-year olds live at home with their parents and why there are more Americans aged 24-34 living with parents than living independently.

This is not the economic profile of a “superpower” that the idiot neoconservatives claim the US to be. The American economy that offshoring corporations and financialization have created is incapable of supporting the enormous US debt burden. It is only a matter of time and circumstance.

I doubt that the United States can continue in the ranks of a first world economy. Americans have sat there sucking their thumbs while their “leaders” destroyed them.

Breaking: US Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet

The US has shot down a Syrian fighter jet. Apparently the downing of the plane took place in Raqqa province, but as usual there are discrepancies in the reports coming out. Press TV is saying that the Syrian plane was engaged in an anti-ISIS operation.

The Guardian, on the other hand, is saying that the Syrian plane “dropped bombs near US-backed fighters in Syria.”

RT is reporting as follows:

The US-led coalition has downed a government warplane in southern Syria, the Syrian army and coalition have announced in separate statements. The Syrian military added that the plane’s pilot is now missing.

According to the Syrian statement, the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the countryside around Raqqa when it was targeted, leading to a crash and the loss of the pilot, who is currently missing.

Meanwhile, a reporter for the L.A. Times has posted a tweet that includes a press release from the US Coalition:

BREAKING: US F/A-18 fighter jet shot down Syrian SU-22 attack plane dropping bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqa. Yet another escalation.

This would appear to be the latest attempt to partition Syria. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, seem well on their way to defeating ISIS in Raqqa. The Coaliton press release, pictured above, talks about a “show of force” aimed at stopping “the initial pro-regime advance” toward an SDF-controlled area, in this case the town of Ja’Din. This would tend to suggest that any future efforts by the Syrian Army to re-establish national sovereignty in this part of the country will be met with US airstrikes.

You can go here to see a map of the area in question. The map is a close-up of north-central Syria. If you click to enlarge, you will see the city of Raqqa in the northeast. Navigate south and west of there and you will come to the town of Ja’Din. The map shows Syrian government forces stationed nearby in the town of Ber Adad. According to a report by South Front, the government forces in Ber Adad are making an effort to advance to “the strategic town of Resafa,” which is also shown on the map, just to the southeast of Ja’Din.

The image below is a Google map showing the location of Resafa.

 photo resafa_zpsb1gafqnh.gif

The US Coalition would seem to be well-placed to partition off a good portion of northern Syria–probably under the guise of establishing an independent Kurdish state. Keep in mind also, however, that the US has set up a military base at Al-Tanf, in the vicinity of the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border–a situation that theoretically could lead to a pretty thorough dismemberment of Syria, which would of course be a great delight to Israel.

And yet another US military base is now being set up in Tabqah, according to a report here. By my count, this will make the third US military base in Syria, the bases in Al-Tanf and Al-Zkuf comprising the other two. Here is what South Front is reporting on the new base at Tabqah:

The new base will be located in the military housing area, the Mohammed Fares school as well as the military and security buildings in the third district of the town. US forces reportedly intend to build a command center and residential buildings for its troops. According to opposition sources, USA wants to adopt the new base in Tabqah town as a long-term base in Syria.

How much are these new mlitary bases costing the US taxpayer at a time when the US debt stands at nearly $20 trillion? All for Israel.

By the way, for what it’s worth (no pun intended), the US debt hit the $19 trillion mark in February of 2016, roughly 14 months ago. According to the US debt clock, we are now at $19.9  trillion, and rapidly closing in on the $20 trillion milestone.

This shoot-down of a Syrian jet represents “yet another escalation,” as the L.A. Times reporter put it. What appears to be looming now is a de facto, if not a formal, partitioning of the country. By the way, South Front, citing “unconfirmed reports from Kurdish sources,” is also reporting on an agreement said to have been reached between the US and Kurdish forces, according to which US forces will be allowed to stay in Kurdish-held areas for the next 10 years in return for US military assistance.

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