البحر المتوسط يختزن الصراعات على مواقع القوة في العالم

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نوفمبر 25, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

أكثر من أربعين بارجة حربية من الأكثر فتكاً وتدميراً تجوبُ مياه البحر الابيض المتوسط قبالة سواحل تمتلك الدول العربية ثلثيها وليس فيها بارجة عربية واحدة كالعادة.

تتصارع هذه الاساطيل على نحو 30 تريليون قدم مكعب من الغاز، تشكل ركيزة الاستهلاك الوقودي للعالم الصناعي في العقود المقبلة وآبارها في قبرص ومصر وفلسطين المحتلة وغزة ولبنان وسورية.

فإذا ما أضيفت احتياطات قطر وإيران والعراق يصبح الشرق الاوسط محتكراً عالمياً لإنتاج الغاز لا تخرج منه الا احتياطات الغاز الروسية الضخمة.

هذه اذاً إعادة إحياء لدبلوماسية الاساطيل التي لا تزال تعتمد اسلوب السيطرة على البحار وسيلة للسيطرة على دوله المتشاطئة، وبالتالي للتوضيح فإن سيطرة الرومان على المنطقة قبل الإسلام جعلت المؤرخين الإغريق يسمّونه بحر الروم وسرعان ما أصبح لقبه بحر اللاذقية بعد انتصار العرب على الروم في معركة ذات الصواري، لكن السيطرة الغربية الأميركية المعاصرة على الجزيرة العربية والعراق وسورية، حوّلته الى البحر الابيض المتوسط لانه يتوسط العالم جغرافياً.

وهكذا تكشف هذه الأهميات بسرعة اسباب حصار ايران واحتلال العراق وقسم من شمال سورية وشرقها والعبث بأمن مصر بالمياه والارهاب والصراع التركي الغربي على قبرص، وسورية والعراق والهجوم الأميركي الغربي على لبنان، والقواعد الأميركية المنتشرة في قطر والإمارات والربع الخالي في السعودية وتمزيق ليبيا والسودان والجزائر.

إنه الغاز إذاً مقبل على متن دبلوماسية الأساطيل القاتلة.

هناك ثلاثة عناصر تجذب العالم بأسره الى منطقة البحر المتوسط العربية القبرصية التركية بعمقها العراقي وصولاً الى الجزيرة واليمن وهي أنها تحتوي على 122 تريليون قدم مكعب من الغاز 1.7 مليار برميل من النفط، بما يجعل لعاب القوى الكبرى يتصبّب شبقاً وشهوة.

دافعاً روسيا الى اقتحام المشهد المغري من خلال الميدان السوري الأثير لديها فتندفع نحو مصر ولبنان وتعقد علاقات جيدة مع السعودية والإمارات، الى جانب حلف مع إيران «الغاز» والنفط والموقع بخلفية صينية كامنة تتمظهر بابتسامة تاجر سوق ماكر.

أما العنصر الثاني فهو الموقع الاستراتيجي للمتوسط الذي يتشاطأ مع القارات الثلاث آسيا وأفريقيا وأوروبا مشرئباً عبر المحيط الأطلسي الى القارة الأميركية.

لجهة الأكثر قدرة على استهلاك سلع العالم الغربي، لأن بلدانها هي الاكثر تخلفاً ولا تنتج شيئاً باستثناء الكيان الإسرائيلي في فلسطين المحتلة وتركيا وايران.

لقد الهبت هذه الأهميات الاميركيين فنشروا في مناطق حروبهم المباشرة وغير المباشرة والناعمة مركزين على إيران والعراق وسورية وليبيا وقطر والسعودية والبحرين، كما أثاروا الأتراك الذين يتذرّعون بخطورة المشروع الكردي وعيونهم العثمانية على غاز سورية ونفط وغاز العراق وغاز قبرص التي تحتل أنقرة ثلثها في الشمال الشرقي منذ 1974 وتقيم عليها دولة أطلقت عليها اسم جمهورية شمالي قبرص التركية، لكن لا أحد يعترف بها منذ اعلانها في 1983 الا ان انقرة بالطبع. وهنا يقول الخبراء ان قبرص تحتوي بمفردها على 400 مليار متر مكعب من الغاز، اليس هذا كافياً لعودة العثمانية إلى فيينا؟

«إسرائيل» بدورها تضرب غزة كل شهر تقريباً وتمسك بسواحلها المليئة بالغاز وبالشاطئ الفلسطيني المحتل وصولاً الى حدود اعماق البحر اللبناني المكتنز بدوره على كميات وقود هائلة تريد «اسرائيل» السطو عليها.

هذا ما يدفع اليونان للعودة الى الأساطير الإغريقية لضمّ قبرص فتجد تركيا متهيئة لحرب عسكرية من أجل عيون «أفردوديت» ورائحة الغاز المنبعث منها التي تجد أيضاً الاوروبيين الحالمين ايضاً بالعودة الى المتوسط.

لذلك لا يمكن تفسير أسباب الحروب في منطقة الشرق الاوسط الا بمدى الحاجة اليها في عصور الغاز على مستويي الاحتياطات او مناطق المرور.

فهذه هندسات مستقبلية يجري رسمها بدماء شعوب المنطقة وانصياع دولهم وحكامهم لحركة أقلام الرسم في مختبرات صناعات الدول. ألم ترسم دبلوماسية بريطانية في بغداد حدود العراق وهي تضع ساقيها الطويلتين على طاولة عالية للمزيد من التركيز؟

فتظهر سورية خزاناً للوقود، ومعبراً له الى اوروبا، ومطمعاً مباشراً للأميركيين والسعوديين والقطريين والأتراك والإسرائيليين. بما يفسر أسباب تركيز هذه الدول حروبها في سورية.

ونتيجة لبدء مشارف عصر الغاز، يريد الأميركيون منع روسيا والصين والأوروبيين والهند من احتكار قسم أساسي من احتياطاته فيحاولون جهدهم ضرب ايران او محاصرة احتياطاتها الهيدروكربونية ويريدون أيضاً خطوط نقل يحاولون بناءها بالحروب لضرب أدوار الغاز الروسي او بالاضطرابات والضغوط الاقتصادية وتفجير الداخل.

لذلك فهم يهندسون هذه الخطوط بشكل يخرج فيه الغاز القطري الى العراق وسورية فالمتوسط بإسقاط الدولة السورية وهذا فشل.

والغاز السعودي المرتقب الى سورية عبر الاردن والى البحر الاحمر ايضاً. هذا الى جانب منع نهائي لتصدير غاز إيران عبر العراق الى سورية او أي علاقة تصدير للغاز او النفط من العراق الى سورية مباشرة.

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كما يسعى الأميركيون الى تأسيس حلف للغاز بين الكيان الإسرائيلي واليونان وقبرص ومصر وحظر روسيا من التموضع في الشرق والشمال السوريين حيث الغاز والنفط ودحر الصين الى أقصى الأرض، فيتبين بالاستنتاج ان الصراع الاميركي الروسي الصيني الإيراني التركي والإسرائيلي يجري في ميدان عربي صرف لا تخترقه الا قبرص، ومضمونه استراتيجي جيوبوليتيكي يهندس عصر عالم متعدّد القطب ركيزته الوقود الأحفوري ومحوره المدى العراقي السوري المحطة الأساسية لترجيح واحدة من القوتين الأميركية او الروسية.

ففيما تحاول اميركا القضاء على خطوط النقل الروسية من تركيا وسورية يركز الأميركيون على ضرب سورية واعتقال تركيا واحتلال العراق وإسقاط إيران، فيما العرب عاكفون على تسليم ثرواتهم للأميركيين مقابل تعهد أميركي بإبقاء القرون الوسطى ورقصة «العرضة» وسباق العجن في إماراتهم.

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Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress?

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Philip Giraldi
November 21, 2019

The developing story about how the US intelligence and national security agencies may have conspired to influence and possibly even reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election is compelling, even if one is disinclined to believe that such a plot would be possible to execute. Not surprisingly perhaps there have been considerable introspection among former and current officials who have worked in those and related government positions, many of whom would agree that there is urgent need for a considerable restructuring and reining in of the 17 government agencies that have some intelligence or law enforcement function. Most would also agree that much of the real damage that has been done has been the result of the unending global war on terror launched by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, which has showered the agencies with resources and money while also politicizing their leadership and freeing them from restraints on their behavior.

If the tens of billions of dollars lavished on the intelligence community together with a “gloves off” approach towards oversight that allowed them to run wild had produced good results, it might be possible to argue that it was all worth it. But the fact is that intelligence gathering has always been a bad investment even if it is demonstrably worse at the present. One might argue that the CIA’s notorious Soviet Estimate prolonged the Cold War and that the failure to connect dots and pay attention to what junior officers were observing allowed 9/11 to happen. And then there was the empowerment of al-Qaeda during the Soviet-Afghan war followed by failure to penetrate the group once it began to carry out operations.

More recently there have been Guantanamo, torture in black prisons, renditions of terror suspects to be tortured elsewhere, killing of US citizens by drone, turning Libya into a failed state and terrorist haven, arming militants in Syria, and, of course, the Iraqi alleged WMDs, the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history. And the bad stuff happened in bipartisan fashion, under Democrats and Republicans, with both neocons and liberal interventionists all playing leading roles. The only one punished for the war crimes was former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed some of what was going on.

Colonel Pat Lang, a colleague and friend who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency HUMINT (human intelligence) program after years spent on the ground in special ops and foreign liaison, thinks that strong medicine is needed and has initiated a discussion based on the premise that the FBI and CIA are dysfunctional relics that should be dismantled, as he puts it “burned to the ground,” so that the federal government can start over again and come up with something better.

Lang cites numerous examples of “incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” to include the examples cited above plus the failure to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he cites his personal observation of efforts by the Department of Justice and the FBI to corruptly “frame” people tried in federal courts on national security issues as well as the intelligence/law enforcement community conspiracy to “get Trump.”

Colonel Lang asks “Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense? Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn.” He then recommends stripping CIA of its responsibility for being the lead agency in spying as well as in covert action, which is a legacy of the Cold War and the area in which it has demonstrated a particular incompetence. As for the FBI, it was created by J. Edgar Hoover to maintain dossiers on politicians and it is time that it be replaced by a body that operates in a fashion “more reflective of our collective nation[al] values.”

Others in the intelligence community understandably have different views. Many believe that the FBI and CIA have grown too large and have been asked to do too many things unrelated to national security, so there should be a major reduction-in-force (RIF) followed by the compulsory retirement of senior officers who have become too cozy with and obligated to politicians. The new-CIA should collect information, period, what it was founded to do in 1947, and not meddle in foreign elections or engage in regime change. The FBI should provide only police services that are national in nature and that are not covered by the state and local jurisdictions. And it should operate in as transparent a fashion as possible, not as a national secret police force.

But the fundamental problem may not be with the police and intelligence services themselves. There are a lot of idiots running around loose in Washington. Witness for example the impeachment hearings ludicrous fact free opening statement by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (with my emphasis) “In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.”

And the press is no better, note the following excerpt from The New York Times lead editorial on the hearings, including remarks of the two State Department officers who testified, on the following day: “They came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country, and for whom defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is more important to the national interest than any partisan jockeying…

“At another point, Mr. Taylor said he had been critical of the Obama administration’s reluctance to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other lethal defensive weapons in its fight with Russia, and that he was pleased when the Trump administration agreed to do so

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the president, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally under constant assault by Russian forces. ‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country and have been for the last four years…’ Mr. Taylor said.”

Schiff and the Times should get their facts straight. And so should the two American foreign service officers who were clearly seeing the situation only from the Ukrainian perspective, a malady prevalent among US diplomats often described as “going native.” They were pushing a particular agenda, i.e. possible war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, in furtherance of a US national interest that they fail to define. One of them, George Kent, eulogized the Ukrainian militiamen fighting the Russians as the modern day equivalent of the Massachusetts Minutemen in 1776, not exactly a neutral assessment, and also euphemized Washington-provided lethal offensive weapons as “security assistance.”

Another former intelligence community friend Ray McGovern has constructed a time line of developments in Ukraine which demolishes the establishment view on display in Congress relating to the alleged Russian threat. First of all, Ukraine was no American ally in 2014 and is no “critical ally” today. Also, the Russian reaction to western supported rioting in Kiev, a vital interest, only came about after the United States spent $5 billion destabilizing and then replacing the pro-Kremlin government. Since that time Moscow has resumed control of the Crimea, which is historically part of Russia, and is active in the Donbas region which has a largely Russian population.

It should really be quite simple. The national security state should actually be engaged in national security. Its size and budget should be commensurate with what it actually does, nothing more. It should not be roaming the world looking for trouble and should instead only respond to actual threats. And it should operate with oversight. If Congress is afraid to do it, set up a separate body that is non-partisan and actually has the teeth to do the job. If the United States of America comes out of the process as something like a normal nation the entire world will be a much happier place.

A History of U.S. Economic Warfare, from WWII to the Present

A Conversation with Michael Hudson

Global Research, November 18, 2019

On the Global Research News Hour we do our best to cover a wide spectrum of topics from the environmental crisis to economic and geopolitical analysis to debunking war pre-text narratives.

We welcome listener support to maintain and improve the quality of our regular broadcasts. Please consider a donation. Go to Global Research’s main donation page and tag your gift ‘GRNH.’

“Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. …If you have not heard of Michael Hudson it merely shows the power of the Matrix. Hudson should have won several Nobel prizes in economics, but he will never get one.” – Paul Craig Roberts (February, 2016) [1] .

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While many people understandably look to military force as the factor that maintains an empire’s grip on the territories in its domain, there are some seemingly more subtle ways in which power can be sustained.

Throughout the post World War II period a number of former colonies established independence, yet thanks to financial instruments, these seemingly autonomous districts would find themselves serving the interests of far away economies at the expense of their own citizens.

Key tools by which the United States in particular came to dominate the post-war world was through the Bretton Woods institutions, namely the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[2]

In the last two decades and particularly since the stock market crisis of 2008, the pre-eminent global super-power is in crisis, with collapse on the horizon. This coinciding with the rise of China which is becoming an influential player threatening the autonomy of the U.S. superstate. [3]

To provide a primer on the historical trajectory that has taken the world to the current set of economic relations and options for alternative economic modes, the Global Research News Hour is privileged to benefit form the expertise and understanding of pre-eminent financial economist Michael Hudson.

Having built up his understanding based not only on his academic research, but on years of experience as a Wall Street analyst and as a balance of payments economist for both Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen, he is among the most highly respected economic thinkers in the world. In his 1972 book  Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, he became the first writer in the world to explain the impact of America’s departure from the gold-standard, and the use of U.S. Treasury bonds in foreign central bank reserves to finance U.S, military adventures in Vietnam and elsewhere.  [4]

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview, recorded in the summer of 2019 while visiting Winnipeg, Canada, Professor Hudson explains how the Bretton Woods institutions came to be an instrument of the U.S. empire, the similarities and differences behind the paths to Chinese and US economic prosperity, the virtual impossibility of electing a genuine reformer to the White House, the case of Canada, and more.

A transcript of this interview can be found here.

This program includes an excerpt from a talk given at the University of Manitoba as part of the  14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE).

(video credit Paul S Graham)

Michael Hudson is a prominent U.S. critical economist and President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET). A Wall Street Financial Analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Dr. Hudson has acted as an economic adviser to governments worldwide, including Iceland, China, Latvia and Canada.

Dr. Hudson’s books include Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy (2015), J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception (2017), and his seminal work – Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972), a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. His website is www.michael-hudson.com

(Global Research News Hour Episode 277)

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The Global Research News Hour now airs Fridays at 6pm PST, 8pm CST and 9pm EST on Alternative Current Radio (alternativecurrentradio.com)

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

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It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia, Canada. – Tune in  at its new time – Wednesdays at 4pm PT.

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Notes:

  1. https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/03/why-michael-hudson-is-the-worlds-best-economist/
  2. Michael Hudson (2003), p. 31, ‘Superimperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire’, 2nd ed., published by Pluto Press
  3. https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-global-economy-rise-of-china-decline-of-the-united-states/5426933
  4. https://www.famouseconomists.net/michael-hudson

Hypocrisies About Refugees

July 05, 2019

Hypocrisies About Refugees

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Here are two visuals from the latest annual U.N. report about the world’s refugee situation, “UNHCR Global Trends 2018”, and though these images don’t pack the emotional punch of a child’s corpse that has just been washed upon a beach after drowning when his family had attempted to escape from a country that the U.S. and its allies were ‘trying to make free’ by bombing it to hell, each of these two pictures below contains a much bigger and more important message than does any such tear-jerking image or anecdote, but each of these pictures requires a bit of intelligence in order to understand it:

The first picture shows the result of the U.S. regime’s regime-change wars under Obama and Trump, in Syria and Venezuela especially. (Syria by using Al Qaeda in Syria to lead jihadists to bring down the Government, and Venezuela by strangulating sanctions that have produced an economic blockade which prohibits food and medicine from being able to reach the population). The 9-year earlier “UNHCR Global Trends 2009”, which covered the end of the George W. Bush Presidency, had reported that “There were 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2009,” and that this was up from 42.0 million in 2008. The “UNHCR Global Trends 2007” said only that “available information suggests that a total of 67 million people had been forcibly displaced at the end of 2007”, and so there might have been a reduction during the later years of Bush’s Presidency. In any case, the number of “forcibly displaced people” was stable during the final years of Bush’s second term and the entirety of Barack Obama’s first term, until 2012. 2011 was the first year of the Arab Spring uprisings, which were a CIA production, as was documented by two books from Ahmed Bensada, each of which was well reviewed by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, in her two articles, one on 18 January 2014, and the other on 25 October 2015. Of course, the impression that the American public was presented about the Arab Spring uprisings is that those were spontaneous. Actually, Obama came into office in 2009 hoping to overthrow Syria’s Government.

So, whereas the numbers had been stable for Obama’s first term of office, all hell broke loose throughout his second term, with his invasions of Libya and Syria, plus his continuation of George W. Bush’s occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq. And, now, under Trump, the number is back again to GWB’s peak level and rising.

As I noted on June 30th under the headline “U.S. Government Tops All For Creating Refugees”, “the U.S. regime’s regime-change operations produce around half of the entire world’s refugee-problem.” That fact is shown in the second visual here. (Just look at Syria and Venezuela there.) What the first visual shows is that the U.S. regime’s attempts to overthrow the Governments of Syria and of Venezuela caused those global totals to soar. Those two nations alone accounted for nearly half of the global total, and part of the rest was from America’s prior invasions: Afghanistan, Iraq, the U.S.-backed coup in Honduras in 2009, etc. America’s invasions and attempted coups (such as in Venezuela) provided the dynamos that drove those rising numbers of refugees.

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton at The Gray Zone headlined on June 19th, “This celebrated Western-funded nonprofit collaborated with al-Qaeda to wage lawfare on Syria” and documented how U.S.-and-allied billionaires and the U.S. Government fund “lawfare,” a war in international courts, and not only a huge international propaganda campaign to demonize Bashar al-Assad, in order to overthrow him. I had previously documented that “U.S. Protects Al Qaeda in Syria”. Actually, Obama bombed Syria’s army at the oil center city of Deir Ezzor on 17 September 2016 in order to enable both Al Qaeda and ISIS to take over that city. The U.S. team talk a storm against “terrorism” but quietly (along with the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar) sponsor it as being “boots-on-the-ground” fighters — proxies there, instead of U.S. troops — to bring down leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad.

So, when the U.S. and its allies complain about the refugee crisis, and pontificate against “dictators,” and assert international law when they are the worst violators of international law, maybe they enjoy fooling their own public, but outside the U.S. alliance, their lying and evil are obvious. It even shows up clearly in the UNHCR’s statistics (such as those visuals). Obviously, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other nations that the U.S. regime labels as ‘enemies’, are not to blame for those tens of millions of refugees. The U.S. and its allies definitely are to blame for it. This isn’t a situation where the pot is calling the kettle black, but instead it’s one where the pot is calling the fresh-fallen snow black, and in which only propagandistic ’news’ media refuse to reveal this to their audiences. The snow is white, and the U.S. regime and its allies are red, covered with their tens of millions of victims’ blood and flaming misery.

International poll after international poll finds that the country which is considered to be “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” by the most people worldwide is the U.S., but that Americans don’t think it’s true. So: who is right? Americans? Or the rest of the world? Now, why would people outside the U.S. believe that way? Maybe it’s because of “communist propaganda”? The most important thing to recognize is that the U.S. is a dictatorship. That scientifically demonstrated fact explains a lot. None of these sanctions and coups and invasions against countries that had never invaded nor in any way endangered the U.S. could exist otherwise than this, because any dictatorship is based upon lies. Invading Iraq was based upon lies. Invading Afghanistan was based upon lies. Invading Syria was based upon lies. Invading Libya was based upon lies. The economic sanctions against Russia are based upon lies.American foreign policies are based upon lies. It’s no wonder, then, why Americans are so misinformed.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

What’s Happening in the “Land of the Free” and the “Home of the Brave”?

Global Research, June 29, 2019

There’s something happening here/What it is ain’t exactly clear.” – Buffalo Springfield

The Sunday newspaper had been left on the park bench.  Its book page had lists of best-sellers, as if numbers two through ten could be the “best” along with number one.  Absurdities were everywhere for the taking.  On the Non-Fiction Hardcover list, numbers 3, 5, and 10 each had the word fuck in the title.  The books were published by two old and respected publishing houses: Harper and Little Brown.  However, something was odd, for the word fuck was spelled f*ck.  These books were about hope, acceptance, and living the good life, cliché topics in a feel-good culture: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Everything is F*cked, and Calm the F*ck Down.  It seemed you had to be f*cked first before you could accept the hope that the good life was coming your way. He wondered if these publishing houses thought that by eliminating the “u” they kept their hands clean and were not descending into the gutter with hoi polloi, while simultaneously titillating potential readers.  Did they think readers would be offended by the word fuck, but would not be by f*ck?  Then it occurred to him that he didn’t know what the fuck non-fiction books were anyway.  Maybe he had been wrong all his life and the opposite of up was non-up, not down.

*

On every table in the seaside resort’s breakfast room there was a brightly colored flower in a clear watered vase.  When he picked it up to smell the orange blossom, there was no smell and the water didn’t move.  He imagined an ersatz form of plastic happiness, a conjurer’s delight, where everything was a trick, nothing moved, not even water.

*

Leaving the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in southern California where white and black Marines were regularly fighting and there were even some killings never reported by the press, the two young Marines escaped the tense and claustrophobic atmosphere on a weekend pass.  It was early February 1967, and they took an overnight bus up the coast to San Francisco where they wandered around and found a breakfast restaurant near Union Square. There they read in the newspaper that for the week of January 12-19 the U.S. military had suffered its highest casualty count so far in Vietnam: 144 killed, 1, 044 wounded, and 6 missing-in-action.  It jolted them awake more than the coffee.  Later that afternoon, the two naifs wandered into the Haight-Ashbury district were they were startled by the first waves of acid-dazed hippies, who would soon arrive in hoards for the “summer of love.”  In the evening when they visited a bar for some beers, the waitress who delivered their drinks was topless.  While they regarded this slight anomaly with manly indifference, she must have noticed their military haircuts that stood out among the longhairs, and so she served them buttons with their beers.  The buttons read: Vietnam Love It Or Leave It. Heading back to the base, they knew where they didn’t want to go.

*

The young man was studying for a PhD.  He was intent on learning what made the world and people tick.  He was attending a small seminar at the home of his professor, a famous German emigre who had worked for the Rand Corporation and U.S.  Intelligence. Each of the five students was to give a short presentation on the subject of fake news and the issue of knowledge, since the course concerned the sociology of knowledge.  The student began his presentation by quoting a famous philosopher’s words: “In formulating any philosophy, the first consideration must always be: What can we know?  That is, what can we be sure we know, or sure that we know we knew it, if indeed it is all knowable.

Or have we simply forgotten it and are too embarrassed to say anything?  Descartes hinted at the problem when he wrote, ‘My mind can never know my body, although it has become quite friendly with my legs.’ By “knowable,” incidentally, I do not mean that which can be known by perception of the senses, or that which can be grasped by the mind, but more that which can be said to be Known or to possess a Knownness or Knowability, or at least something you can mention to a friend.”  The student paused and the eminent professor said, “So very interesting.  Who is that philosopher?”  The student replied, “Woody Allen.”  “He is very perceptive,” said the professor, “and yet I have never heard of him.  I will have to read his work.”  The student realized he was in good hands with such U.S. intelligence and Rand Corporation experts, so he asked the professor’s wife for another glass of the German wine she was serving and toasted his good fortune with a wry grin. None of the other students got the joke.

*

A young man was reading a book that he highly recommended to his uncle.  Leafing through it, the older man came upon this passage: “the free individual is just a fictional tale concocted by an assembly of biochemical algorithms.”  So what was the point of reading such a book, he wondered, since doing so was an exercise in pre-programmed absurdity since there was no freedom.

*

You have probably seen the bumper sticker that says: “Shit Happens.”  Some people are just lucky, I suppose, and odd coincidences mark their lives. When he was just out of Columbia College and working for Business International Corporation, a known CIA front company, Barack Obama had a chance encounter with a young woman, Genevieve Cook, with whom he had a 1-2 year relationship.

Like Obama and at about the same time, Cook just happened to have lived in Indonesia with her father, Michael Cook, who just happened to become Australia’s top spook, the director-general of the Office of National Assessments, and also the Ambassador to Washington.

Of course, Obama’s mother, as is well-known, just happened to be living in Indonesia with Barack and Obama’s step-father, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian military officer under the command of General Suharto.

The CIA supported General Suharto’s coup against President Sukarno and the slaughter of over a million Indonesian Communists and Indonesian-Chinese.

Image: Indonesia massacre 1965

As is also well-known, it just so happened that Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, trained in the Russian language, after teaching English in the US Embassy in Jakarta that housed one of the largest CIA stations in Asia, did her “anthropological” work in Indonesia and Southeast Asia financed by the well-known CIA conduits, USAID and the Ford Foundation. Then there is Cook’s stepfather, Philip C. Jessup, who just happened to be in Indonesia at the same time, doing nickel-mining deals with the genocidal Suharto government.  Anyway, “shit happens.”  You never know whom you might meet along the way of life.

*

The hostess at the seaside restaurant had an eastern European accent, so he asked her where she was from.  She said, “Belgrade, Serbia.”  He told her he was sorry for what the U.S. government led by Bill Clinton had done to her country and that he considered Clinton a war criminal. She said the bombing in 1999 was terrifying, and even though she was young at the time, she vividly remembered it. It traumatized her, her parents, and her family.  Then she smiled and said that in the month she had been in the U.S. for her summer job, all the Americans she had met had been so friendly.  He welcomed her to the U.S., and as he was walking away, he remembered that Clinton’s savage bombing of Serbia that had killed so many Serbian children and other innocents had been code-named “Operation Noble Anvil.”  He wondered what kind of “noble” people would think of innocent children as anvils: “heavy usually steel-faced iron blocks on which metal is shaped,” and did the friendly Americans accept Clinton’s sick lies when he ended his March 24, 1999 war address to the American people with these words: “Our thoughts and prayers tonight must be with the men and women of our armed forces, who are undertaking this mission for the sake of our values and our children’s future. May God bless them, and may God bless America.”

*

The banal, 1967 hit song, “San Francisco” (Be sure to wear flowers in your hair), which was influential in enticing young people to come to San Francisco for the Summer of Love, was written by “Papa” John Philips, who attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and whose father was a Marine Corps Captain.  “Papa” John’s wife had worked at the Pentagon and her father was involved in covert intelligence work in Vietnam.  His neighbor and Laurel Canyon (Los Angeles) buddy was Jim Morrison of Doors fame, whose father US Navy Admiral George Morrison commanded U.S. warships in Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf during the “Tonkin Gulf Incident.” Frank Zappa, the father figure of Laurel Canyon’s many musicians who just happened to converge in one place at the same time where a covert military film studio operated, had a father who was a chemical warfare specialist at Edgewood Arsenal.  Stephen Stills, David Crosby and many other soon to be famous musicians all came from military and intelligence backgrounds and frolicked in Laurel Canyon.  Although they were draft age, none of them was drafted as they played music, dropped acid, and created the folk-rock movement whose music was catchy but innocuous and posed no threat to the establishment. But “shit happens.”  In his disturbing book, Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, David McGowan raises the question: “what if the musicians themselves (and various other leaders and founders of the ‘movement’) were every bit as much a part of the intelligence community as the people who were supposedly harassing them?  What if, in other words, the entire youth culture of the 1960s was created not as a grass-roots challenge to the status quo, but as a cynical exercise in discrediting and marginalizing the budding anti-war movement and creating a fake opposition that could be easily controlled and led astray….What if, in reality, they were pretty much all playing on the same team?”

*

The reporter was interviewing four of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s (image left) young “executive governors,” who were all dressed in three-piece business suits.  They were in the process of conducting Transcendental Meditation’s weeklong course leading to supernormal abilities, including, flying, levitating, disappearing, x-ray vision, and other siddhis, or supernormal powers.  Their recent press release had advertised the course as “a new breakthrough for human life on earth” for any person.  The reporter was a bit skeptical that people could be taught – for a large fee – to fly or disappear.

He asked one of the executive governors, “Can you literally rise into the air and move horizontally; can you see yourself and can others see you actually fly?” “Absolutely,” Larry Johnson replied without hesitation, “absolutely.  Once you eliminate all stress from your nervous system, you have unbounded, unlimited potential.  A human can achieve any desire he wants, flying is only one of them.”  “People will be skeptical,” the reporter continued, “How about a demonstration?”  “A public demonstration would cause too much of a ruckus,” said Johnson.  “And we couldn’t show you because we only do it for each other.  Actually, we do our techniques with our eyes closed, but we do peek out once in a while and see each other flying around the room.

You know, one of the siddhis is a technique for making yourself invisible, and the Mararishi has said, ‘Don’t peek out to see if you’ve disappeared.’” Johnson giggled and added, “We can also teach people to x-ray their own bodies and see through walls. Absolutely, absolutely.  It’s all about infinite correlation.  Absolutely.” As the battered reporter left the interview, he wondered if the Maharishi was a creation of the CIA.  He remembered John Lennon’s song lines about the Maharishi’s assistant:  “But he often spread rumors through his right hand man/Who used to be with the CIA”

*

What is “exactly clear” is that Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills, Neil Young et al.) toured with their Laurel Canyon buddies, the Beach Boys, in late 1967 (their other mutual bud, Charlie Manson, stayed out west presumably to work on his craft) and performed at a very odd venue for a “dissident” rock group, The U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  At that time nearly 500,000 American troops were waging war on the Vietnamese.  That concert was an odd happening, wouldn’t you say?

*

If  everyone actually looked, they’d see precisely what went down, “what’s going down,” and why we are going down.  If you think many of these things “just happen” for no reason, then I guess you are just “f*cked.”  Excuse me, but it’s true.  Does the asterisk help?

*

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Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/.

Bipartisan Congressional Effort to Prevent War on Iran?

Global Research, June 26, 2019

When the US plans war on a targeted country, it fabricates pretexts and seeks world community, congressional, and public support — establishment media backing virtually automatic.

Congressional authorization for war hasn’t been gotten since December 8, 1941, following imperial Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack.

All US post-WW II wars have been and continue to be flagrantly illegal. UN Security Council members alone have legal authority to permit one nation to attack another.

It’s permitted solely in self-defense, never preemptively, how all US wars of aggression are waged.

Iran is in the Trump regime’s crosshairs for regime change, things moving ominously toward war on the country based entirely on Big Lies and deception about a nation threatening no one.

Most Republicans support Trump’s drive to war on Iran. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s open to a war authorization vote.

He opposes a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment to prevent war on Iran without congressional approval, falsely claiming it’ll undermine Trump given crisis conditions that don’t exist.

The vast majority of Dems supported all US post-WW II wars of aggression. It remains to be seen how serious they are about what’s covered below.

Dem Senator Tom Udall and GOP Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee proposed an NDAA amendment to prevent attacking Iran without congressional authorization.

Udall said it’s supported by “every” Senate Dem, and “(it’s) gaining increasing bipartisan support,” adding:

“Our Iran policy is in chaos, careening towards war and to change course the president should immediately fire John Bolton.”

His “long campaign for violent regime change has now pushed us to the brink — and as these internal disagreements spill out into the open, we are only increasing the risk of grave miscalculation, confusing our allies, and reducing any possibility of de-escalation and diplomacy.”

“(T)he Senate cannot continue to duck a vote on a potential war with Iran,” calling for McConnell to permit it. With a 51 – 49 Republican majority and at least two GOP senators against attacking Iran without congressional authorization, the amendment is highly likely to be adopted.

On Tuesday, House members Matt Gaetz, Ro Khanna, and 17 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced an NDAA amendment similar to the Senate one.

House and Senate amendments call for prohibiting funds for attacking Iran unless Congress goes along, saying as well that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) cannot be invoked to justify war on Iran.

House members will take up the amendment during NDAA debate in July. It’s unclear if the Senate will follow through.

If voted on by House and Senate members, it’ll likely be adopted. Will it give Trump pause about attacking Iran?

He ignored joint House/Senate Resolution 7 “to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.”

He also ignored Senate legislation, invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution. It requires a congressional declaration of war, or a national emergency created by an attack on the US, its territories, possessions, or armed forces, for the executive to deploy troops to engage in foreign hostilities.

Congressional members have done nothing to cut off funding for US military involvement in Yemen. Nor have they countered US war in the country by other means.

Bipartisan House and Senate legislation to prevent war on Iran won’t likely deter Trump from launching it because no US president was ever held accountable for attacking another nation — not by Congress or the courts.

Dems are as belligerent as Republicans, large majorities in both houses supporting all US post-WW II wars of aggression.

Will things be different if Trump OKs attacking Iran? Based on the historical record, it’s highly unlikely.

Failure to enlist allies for war on Iran other than Israel, the Saudis, UAE, some other Gulf states, perhaps Britain, and a few small Pacific islands the US controls isn’t enough.

Pompeo and Bolton reportedly seek at least 20 coalition of the willing partners for US war on Iran.

Falling way short could prevent it, not congressional action, calling for its approval that hasn’t worked before.

Attacking Iran preemptively remains ominously possible. If Trump yields to Bolton and Pompeo, the mother of all post-9/11 quagmires could happen with potentially devastating consequences.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

«بلطجة» ترامب.. هل توقف التراجع الأميركي؟

يناير 25, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يوجِّه الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ضربات عسكرية واقتصادية وسياسية في كل الاتجاهات. فما أن يحل عليه الوهن في سورية حتى يظهر في اوروبا موجهاً لرؤسائها دروساً في الإخلاف وعلى طريقة الكاوبوي، مُحدثاً دوياً إعلامياً قليل الفاعلية على المستوى العملي..

لكنه لم ينسَ حديقته الخلفية أميركا الجنوبية مُستشعراً تحسناً في علاقات بعض دولها بروسيا والصين مسترجعاً صور التنافس التاريخي مع الاتحاد السوفياتي فينتابه اكتئاب مقرراً تعيين رئيس مجلسها النيابي صديق السياسة الأميركية، غوايدو رئيساً لفنزويلا وبديلاً عن رئيسها الحالي مادورو الذي يمارس سلطاته الرئاسية استناداً إلى انتخابات شعبية فاز بها مؤخراً. وهذا لم يعجب ترامب الذي يهدد بغزو عسكري لفنزويلا إذا لم يرحل طوعاً رئيسها الحالي، ويختفي إلى الأبد للإشارة فإن واشنطن تحاصر فنزويلا اقتصادياً وتمنع عنها كل أنواع المساعدات، فيما تحرض المخابرات الأميركية المعارضة الفنزويلية لإسقاط بادورو وتزوّدها بالسلاح والمال والمعلومات.

هذه عيّنة عشوائية من سياسات ترامب «العالمية» ويبدو أولها سببان: احساس الرجل أن إمبراطورية بلاده في حالة متفاقمة من التراجع في الدور السياسي وبالتالي الاقتصادي، أما السبب الثاني فرغبته في التحول قائداً تاريخياً ينقذ الامبراطورية فينتخبه الأميركيون لولاية ثانية. وقد يستطيع بهذه الطريقة أن يقود الحزب الجمهوري أو بعض الاتجاهات اليمنية المحافظة الجامعة بين مسيحية متطرفة وعبرية قديمة كما يردد في مجالسه الضيقة، وكذلك كقيادة تاريخية متواصلة.

للتذكير هذا، فترامب هو الرئيس الأميركي الوحيد الذي يتدخل في أكثر من ثلاثين دولة في أول سنتين من ولايته وبشكل صدامي مركزاً على بلدان الشرق الأوسط واوروبا والصين وروسيا وجنوب شرق آسيا واليابان، وكندا ومجمل أميركا الجنوبية، إلا أن استراليا بمفردها نجت حتى الآن من تحرشاته.

آخر إبداعات ترامب، قانون «قيصر» لمعاقبة سورية بشكل صارم بذريعة أن عسكرياً سورياً متمرداً نقل الآن الصور إلى المخابرات الأميركية التي تسجل تعذيب السجناء السوريين وقتلهم من قبل عسكريي النظام في سجونه.

للتنبيه فإن ترامب لم يفعل هذا الأمر حتى مع منظمة داعش التي أبادت علناً وبنقل مباشر من المحطات الأميركية والغربية عشرات آلاف الأسرى واغتصاب مئات آلاف الأسيرات.

لا بدّ أن ترامب نسي مدى تقدم التصوير التلفزيوني والسينمائي المفبرك في قطر وتركيا وبلاده، ومداها الأوروبي.. أما إعلانه تحويل العراق قاعدة لتحرك قواته في منطقة سورية وجزيرة العرب وحصار إيران، فبدا مدهشاً، ومثيراً لحيرة العراقيين أنفسهم الذين لم يخبرهم بهذا التطور، قبل مغادرته بلادهم خلسة، أي تماماً كما دخل إليها.

كما يحاول تحشيد الشرق الأوسط في قمة وارسو الشهل المقبل «لتدمير إيران» داعماً السيسي في مصر لتمرير صفقة القرن وإنهاء القضية الفلسطينية على أساس حلف عربي ـ إسرائيلي.

ولا يتأخر عن تزويد بعض القوى السياسية لضرب حزب الله والحشد الشعبي العراقي وأنصار الله اليمني فاتحاً مفاوضات مع طالبان في افغانستان وهي «ابنة القاعدة بيولوجياً»، وللتضييق على جارتها، روسيا. زارعاً أسلحة صاروخية وغير تقليدية في مجمل أوروبا الشرقية والبلقان باستثناء بلدين صديقين لروسيا هما أرمينيا وصربيا.

لكن هذه الاهتمامات لم تجعله ينسى منافسيه، روسيا التي يفرض عليها عقوبات والصين التي يعاقبها ويفاوضها. كذلك كوريا الشمالية التي يحاول إرضاء بكين بالتفاوض معها، بأسلوب عقد المهرجانات لا المباحثات اما عدوته إيران فلا يدخر وسعاً لإسقاط جمهوريتها بالحصار والتحشيد والتهديد بحرب، وتحريض الإيرانيين على إسقاط ما يسمّيه الغرب «جمهورية الملالي».

ولإظهار مشروعه بالسيطرة على الاقتصاد العالمي، رفع العصا بوجه ادواته في الخليج، منتزعاً آلاف مليارات الدولارات منها، وعارضاً عليها الاستيراد الحصري من بلاده، مع بعض الاستثناءات الاوروبية والتنسيق الإلزامي مع روسيا في أسواق الطاقة.

تركيا بدورها هي العضو في الحلف الأطلسي والأداة الاميركية منذ خمسينيات القرن الفائت يعاقبها اقتصادياً ويهددها سياسياً.

فهل نجا أحد من سياسات ترامب الضاربة في كل مكان؟

هناك دولة واحدة لم يقترب منها الرئيس الاميركي إلا من اتجاه تأكيد تميزها عن الآخرين وعمق صداقة الأميركيين لها وهي «إسرائيل».

والدليل أن ترامب هو الرئيس الأميركي الوحيد الذي نقل عاصمة بلاده الى القدس معترفاً بها عاصمة لـ»إسرائيل» لاغياً الاونروا واللاجئين الفلسطينيين في العالم ودافعاً باتجاه صفقة قرن لإنهاء قضية فلسطين والتأسيس لحلف عربي ـ اسرائيلي يستهدف إيران وروسيا والصين.

بالنتيجة أدت هذه السياسات الى استنفار اوروبي يحاول التميز عن الحلف الاطلسي بدليل ان المستشارة الألمانية ميركل نسفت كل مساعي ترامب لمنع تراجع امبراطورية بلاده، ودعت بعد اجتماعها بالرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون الى «عالم متعدّد القطب»، والحفاظ على مكتسبات التجارة المفتوحة وإصلاح المنظمات الدولية، وتأسيس جيش إوروبي مستقل.

هذا الكلام للمستشارة هو الاجابة الشافية لفشل دور ترامب العالمي، فاعترافها بالتعددية القطبية، إقرار بتراجع الإمبراطورية الاميركية، أما مبدأ التجارة المفتوحة أيضاً رفض لمفهوم الحمائية الذي يتبناه ترامب واعياً فيه الى إقفال الحدود الاقتصادية.

لجهة تأسيس جيش اوروبي فهو انقلاب كبير على الحلف الأطلسي الذي يشكل اداة الهيمنة الاميركية على العالم.

وبذلك تكون تصريحات ميركل هي الرد البليغ على استمرار تراجع الأحادية الاميركية مهما بالغ الرئيس الاميركي في الاعتداء على دول العالم. فالمسألة اقتصاد وسياسة وتحالفات ـصبحت تعبر عن نفسها بالصعود الصيني الاقتصادي والتقدم الروسي العسكري واتساع الدور الإقليمي لإيران الى جانب إصرار أوروبي على احتلال موقع في نظام تعددية القطب، أي تماماً كما قال وزير الخارجية الروسية لافروف منذ أعوام عدة عن نظام قوة عالمي يضم نظاماً رباعياً يجمع بين الولايات المتحدة وروسيا والصين وأوروبا.

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