*edit, January 10, 2015 – I touched up a couple paragraphs that were choppy. They are those dealing with demonstration thinking and behavior. Crucially, I linked to two recent articles that dealt with exactly what I was talking about. One article was by Michael Klare (an expert on geopolitics and oil) and the other was by Peter Maass, who takes a critical look at the movie (propaganda) “Sniper.”
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Deirdre Fulton follows:
Following the defeat of a United Nations Security Council resolution that demanded an end to Israeli occupation and recognition of Palestinian statehood, Palestine’s president Mahmoud Abbas signed a Palestinian request to join the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, a move that the Guardian wrote sets “Palestinians on a diplomatic collision course with Israel and the U.S.”
“There is aggression practiced against our land and our country, and the Security Council has let us down—where shall we go?” Mr. Abbas reportedly said at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, as he signed the Rome Statute, the founding charter of the Hague court, as well as over a dozen other international treaties and conventions.
“We want to complain to this organization,” he said, referring to the court. “As long as there is no peace, and the world doesn’t prioritize peace in this region, this region will live in constant conflict. The Palestinian cause is the key issue to be settled.”
Mahmoud Abbas is an ally of Israel and the United States and has been used to keep the Palestinians in their place, which makes this (positive, I think) move fascinating. What are we to make of it? Is it as momentous as his warning to Palestinians and their supporters that they should give up all hope and accept their terrible fate, which can be called any number of things, including “politicide,” which means the murder of a nation? So, Will the real Abbas please stand up?
From the article titled “Mahmoud Abbas: collaboration with Israeli army, secret police is “sacred”,” by Ali Abuminah, the following:
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Mahmoud Abbas, the de facto leader of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, has told Israeli journalists and business people that his collaboration with Israeli occupation forces is “sacred” and would continue even if the PA forms a “government” backed by the Palestinian military resistance organization Hamas.
“The security relationship … and I say it on air, security coordination is sacred, is sacred. And we’ll continue it whether we disagree or agree over policy,” Abbas told about 300 visiting Israelis at his headquarters in Ramallah this week.
Abbas can be seen making his remarks in the video above, published by Al-Quds newspaper.
Known euphemistically as “security coordination,” US-financed PA intelligence and security forces work closely with Israeli occupation forces and Shin Bet secret police to suppress any Palestinian resistance to occupation.
This close collaboration between occupier and occupied was recently praised by Martin Indyk, the career Israel lobbyist put in charge of the “peace process” by US President Barack Obama.
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The corporatocracy and its appointed and self-appointed gatekeepers spend a lot of time and energy warning the people to mind their place. As Chomsky explains it; From their standpoint, the people are a bewildered herd whose task is to stare mindlessly at their butchers. The Scottish philosopher David Hume posed a question that Chomsky notes is well worth pondering. Hume wondered why, if the power (equating greater numbers with greater power I suppose) lay with the people, governments have all the say?
“Hume was an astute observer, and his paradox of government is much to the point. His insight explains why elites are so dedicated to indoctrination and thought control, a major and largely neglected theme of modern history. “The public must be put in its place,” Walter Lippmann wrote, so that we may “live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd,” whose “function” is to be “interested spectators of action,” not participants. And if the state lacks the force necessary to coerce and the voice of the people can be heard, it is necessary to ensure that that voice says the right thing, as respected intellectuals have been advising for many years.” – page 352 of “Deterring Democracy” by Noam Chomsky
Chomsky notes that we can argue about which side the force lies on. But the essential point Hume makes about ways that governments rule holds up. You could also ask “Who is the 1%?” Tools, including instruments of repression, may very well buy the ‘we are in this together’ bullcrap, but it’s bullcrap, as Chomsky so eloquently puts it on page 8 of “Power Systems.” That’s the point. If they benefit from being used by the 1% to keep the 99% in line, Does that mean that they are living the good life? Really? Breathing in depleted uranium makes them happy? I guess if you don’t think about it, then ‘the thought of it’ might not bother you. How about the effects of it? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is rewarding? How about those shadowy figures working in dark rooms throughout the US, and elsewhere, piloting drones or listening into conversations they shouldn’t be listening in to, or sifting through metadata that James Clapper said (sort of) doesn’t exist, and facing the glare of an angry President who presented them with an Insider Threats program? Even if the grunts helping the super batter President to kill, kill, kill have no intention of being ‘unpatriotic’ by telling the American public what its government is doing, Are they now thinking that they’d rather be bored than terrified and anxious? What if they accidentally don’t tell their supervisors about a suspicious workmate?
From “”Stasi-Like”: Obama’s Program to Thwart Unwanted Leaks Not Only Creepy, It Won’t Work” by John Queally, the following:
What’s worse than a government program that “creates a culture of intimidation,” “represses creative thinking,” and acts to subvert the protections offered by the First and Fourth Amendments of the constitution?
Well, according to the growing number of critics of a White House program that asks government workers to spy on their colleagues, one that does all those things while also damaging the institutions the program is designed to protect. Namely, the government itself and the democratic principles which uphold it.
Following up on their groundbreaking report that exposed an internal Obama administration program designed to thwart would-be leakers by having government employees keep tabs on their co-workers, McClatchy reporters have now published a follow-up which shows that the plan, codenamed Insider Threat, is not only “creepy” and misguided but not “even likely to work.”
From the January 29, 2014 episode of Democracy Now (with Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill and Bob Herbert) titled “”A Silent Coup”: Jeremy Scahill & Bob Herbert on Corporate, Military Interests Shaping Obama’s SOTU,” the following:
BOB HERBERT: Well, one of the things that’s a problem in this country is because the economic situation has been so stagnant for most people for so long and because the government has been—the government in Washington has been so dysfunctional, that Americans have really tuned out. And also, I don’t think that the press has done a good job at all on trade agreements, if you go all the way back to NAFTA in the 1990s. So people essentially don’t even understand these agreements. But what they do understand is that they have not been helpful to the vast majority of workers over all these years. So…
JEREMY SCAHILL: Can I just make a comment?
AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill.
JEREMY SCAHILL: I mean, you know, what Obama was doing there—in his last major address that he gave, he—at the United Nations General Assembly, he laid out this sort of forceful defense of American empire, and even went so far as to say that the U.S. will use its military might to continue to secure energy resources. In this speech, it was a pretty forceful defense of a neoliberal economic agenda. And, you know, what Bob is saying about corporations resonates on a foreign policy level, as well.
What is widely being considered to be the most moving part of last night was when this U.S. Army Ranger was addressed in the crowd and who was severely wounded and had done 10 tours. Think about that for a moment—10 tours in these war zones. You know, this young American spent his entire adult life in these combat zones. And, you know, the issue of how veterans are treated in this country is one thing, but at the end of the day, did he benefit from these wars? Does the average American benefit from the continuation of these wars? No. Who benefits? That’s the most important question we all have to ask. It’s corporations.
BOB HERBERT: Exactly.
JEREMY SCAHILL: War corporations, the Halliburtons of the world, the Boeings. John Kerry, yesterday it was announced, is giving these awards for corporate excellence around the world. He’s giving them to Citibank, to Apache, to Boeing, to Coca-Cola. And so you have this neoliberal economic agenda, which is sort of the hidden hand, in many ways, of the U.S. empire, and then you have this iron fist of U.S. militarism that is being sold to the American public, and increasingly to the world, as national security policy.
And so, you know, when I see that Army Ranger who’s wounded like that, the first thing that just occurs to me is: Who has benefited from all of this? When corporations control our political process in this country through a legalized form of corruption that’s called campaign finance, what does that say about the state of our democracy? In a way, there already has been a coup in this country, but it’s been a silent coup. And it reminds me of that famous line from the great movie The Usual Suspects. At the end of it, Kevin Spacey’s character says the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. In many ways, a coup has happened, and the brilliance of it is that it’s not sparking major uprisings because we’ve been pacified and taught to just accept this as how things work. We have two parties in this country, the minimum wage is going to be the minimum wage, and corporations are in control, and these wars are fought in our name, but without our consent.
BOB HERBERT: And the flipside of who benefits is the suffering that is so tremendous out there among the warriors who have been sent over to fight these wars since late 2001. And so, you just have hundreds of thousands of people who have—men and women, who have come back from the combat zones, who have terrible, disabling injuries, who are going to have to be cared for—we have an obligation to care for them—in many cases, for the rest of their lives. We have to pay, as a society, to care for these folks. You know, it’s probably—Joe Stiglitz has estimated that now these wars are probably going cost cumulatively $4 trillion or more. None of this has been really explored clearly or properly explained to the American public.
JEREMY SCAHILL: You know, just a small sort of side point on this, you know, when we talk about the U.S. withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, the conventional military, a story that very seldom gets attention is the connection between a paramilitarization of law enforcement inside of the United States and increasing use of what they call counterterrorism tactics on SWAT-style operations in the U.S. The military is donating a lot of its equipment to local police agencies and other so-called law enforcement agencies, and the communities that are most at risk here are communities of color and poor communities. Everything is about war—the war on drugs, the war on crime.
The pressure is constant. The commandment is to ‘conform’. To ‘obey’. To be ‘patriotic’. It is issued by many and comes in many forms. It’s a song that everyone must sing. The one who doesn’t sing it stands out and is in trouble. The command to conform is often issued by those who have knowingly and willingly embraced inequality and the mafia capitalism of corporatocracy, and the concomitant to those things of perversity (democracy and freedom are values that all pledge allegiance to while some of us observe alternative definitions of those terms, which the people fail to notice at their own peril). Therefore, Pointing out how evil their evil is can’t faze them. It’s met with the most twisted sorts of casuistry that damaged, but functioning, minds can dream up, calling the criticisms – based on reality and the historical record – of the rightwing ideology-inspired cold war document known as NSC 68, and policies that have the same inspiration, “an abuse of reality.”
“Though the sophistication of traditional theology is lacking, the similarity of themes and style is striking. It reveals the extent to which worship of the state has become a secular religion for which the intellectuals serve as priesthood. The more primitive sectors of Western culture go further, fostering forms of idolatry in which such sacred symbols as the flag become an object of forced veneration, and the state is called upon to punish any insult to them and to compel children to pledge their devotion daily, while God and State are almost indissolubly linked in public ceremony and discourse, as in James Reston’s musings on our devotion to the will of the Creator. It is perhaps not surprising that such crude fanaticism rises to such an extreme in the United States, as an antidote to the unique freedom from state coercion that has been achieved by popular struggle.” -page 19 of “Deterring Democracy”
Indeed, democracy is viewed as a cancer by fascists who, of course, call fascism ‘democracy’. Incidentally, I would not call any national flag a sacred symbol. No nation on earth recognizes Jehovah’s sovereignty and their own illegitimacy. Flags can’t be sacred. Far from it.
I’ve talked in other posts on this blog about demonstration thinking and behavior. Our ‘honorable’ members of Parliament will often say the things that they want us to say. We can use their words, but more importantly, we have to imitate for real – out of true belief – the behavior suggested by their words which those manipulators don’t believe in. The reference later on in this post to the 16 Regina professors who objected to the Harper government’s support for Rick Hillier’s Project Hero is a good example of that. That camp wants to promote its version of democracy, which is the opposite of actual democracy. Elite democracy includes imperialism and imperialism, which is aggression toward other countries not in self-defence but for gain for the 1% within the aggressor nation or nations, depends for its success on things like racism and the disparaging of non Western cultures (or the ‘other’), etc. (And how much of that disparaging is self-serving? Because if soldiers kill the ‘other’, not because they, on their own, choose to, but because elites choose to have them do it, Of course they will rationalize and justify their actions – if they go along with orders. And of course they will demonize those they’ve decided they will try to kill. But what if the fighting they are engaged in is a result of evil policies by their own leadership? And how would they know that if they don’t care enough to know? And how, then, does that make them heroes?) Now when Canadians mouth ‘democracy’, If the demonstration behavior has worked and imperialism and democracy are connected in their minds, they will also be found to be supportive of democracy’s opposite and supportive of those (like Obama and Stephen Harper) who (while knowing better) think that imperialism is okay and they will be opposed to those who criticize imperialism, and the war on terror all of which masquerades as democracy.
Here’s another example: You see this most often. Rightwing pundits in the US label Obama a socialist. Or rightwing pundits and politicians here in Canada label their political opponents as socialists, even though they aren’t. Why bother? It’s a form of framing (and changing the focus of people’s attention). The rightwing politicians (or establishment journalists defending them) who are subjected to the accusations often go along with it, by responding with “No. I’m not a socialist.” Usually, They say ‘No, I’m not a socialist’ in so many words mind you. It’s more along the lines of ‘No, I’m not going to be irresponsible and tax and spend. I will continue with tax cuts to job creators’ yadda, yadda. Responses like that convey the message that socialism is a crime. (Never mind the fact that capitalists do socialism when they force taxpayers to bail out their bankster friends.) An open discussion, with the participants acting in good faith and with no desire to manipulate others, would allow the discussion to be free and democratic rather than narrow and disallowing all but those conclusions that manipulators favor. Within a free discussion, Bias could be challenged with those who care to challenge it asking “What’s wrong with socialism?” or by suggesting that “Socialism shouldn’t be for a minority and at the expense of the majority.” Those rightwingers who have no interest in democracy, transparency and dialog should be asked: “Where’s the choice that you rightwingers yammer on about when in fact the discussion’s restricted to only themes that presume that your self-serving ideology is correct?”
Another thing that the angry finger-pointing by hypocrites such as those found in the Republican and Conservative Parties are doing is warning onlookers away from the ‘wrong’ ideas and solutions (like unionization and fair taxation and social spending) that they might be contemplating. When a Rush Limbaugh lambasts socialist Obama, he’s also threatening those in his audience who aren’t rightwing and those rightwingers in his audience who might be harboring non rightwing ideas. He’s saying to them “Don’t even think about collective problem-solving and collective society-building. There is no society. There are only individuals. And if you think that solutions lie in getting the government to bail you out with welfare and affirmative action and taxing the rich, and you are stupid enough to act on that idea, then you’ll answer to people like me. We won’t tolerate it.” And that’s true.
From page 6 of “Deterring Democracy,” the following:
The concept of thought control in democratic societies – or, for that matter, the structuring of options in a democratic society by hierarchic and coercive private institutions, seems contradictory on its face. A society is democratic to the extent that its citizens play a meaningful role in managing public affairs. If their thought is controlled, or their opinions are narrowly restricted, then evidently they are not playing a meaningful role: only the controllers, and those they serve, are doing so. The rest is a sham, formal motions without any meaning. So, a contradiction. Nevertheless, there has been a major current of intellectual opinion to the contrary, holding that thought control is essential precisely in societies that are more free and democratic, even when institutional means effectively restrict the options available in practice. Such ideas and their implementation are perhaps more advanced in the United States than anywhere else, a reflection of the fact that it is in important respects the most free society in the world.
Chomsky’s narrative in “Deterring Democracy,” in regard to the different ways different segments of society receive propaganda, is inconsistent. On pages 100 and 101, he suggests that the corporatocracy’s tools, the cultural and other managers, sometimes themselves believe the most ridiculous lies that they tell about national security threats. I don’t buy it, although I do think that their minds ‘rot’. (You can’t practice darkness and lying about reality and end up able to grasp it fully.) Then later in the book, he comes back to the reality that they know better. Of course they do. The aren’t fooled. They are bought. This dark world holds out to everyone, at every level of society, the simple proposal, whatever the guarantees are: Sin and survive. Capitalism isn’t about free markets and free trade, which have never existed and don’t exist. “It should be recognized that while talk about free trade is fine for editorials and after-dinner speeches, those with a stake in policy decisions do not take it too seriously. The historical evidence shows that the economies that developed and industrialized, including the United States, adopted protectionist measures when these were advantageousw. The most successful economies are those with substantial state coordination, including Japan and its periperhy, and Germany – where, to mention only one feature, the IMF estimates that industrial incentives are the equivalent of a 30 tariff. In the United States, the two major components of the economy that are competitive internationally – capital-intensive agriculture and high-technology industry – are both heavily subsidized by the state, which also provides them a guaranteed market,” writes Chomsky on page 81 of “Deterring Democracy.” When states become successful and strong, then they foist free trade rules, that they didn’t observe, on weaker developing states. As Naomi Klein brilliantly explains in The Shock Doctrine, capitalism only triumphed by force. It only continues to triumph by force, as even its proponents, like Thomas Friedman, admit. And what has developed, or been developed by unwise ‘leaders’ and thinkers, is a monstrous money system called corporatocracy, which incorporates a mafia capitalism in which it’s not (always) about merit, or about what you know and do, but who you know and what you do for them. Consider his thoughts about this, about Lippmann’s “men of best quality who alone are capable of social and economic management,” on pages 367 & 368:
It follows that two political roles must be clearly distinguished, Lippmann goes on to explain. First, there is the role assigned to the specialized class, the “insiders,” the “responsible men,” who have access to information and should master the criteria for solving the problems of society: “In the degree to which these criteria can be made exact and objective, political decision,” which is their domain, “is actually brought into relation with the interests of men.” The “public men” are, furthermore, to “lead opinion” and take responsibility for “the formation of a sound public opinion. …They initiate, they administer, they settle,” and should be protected from “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders,” the general public, who are incapable of dealing “with the substance of the problem.”
…These ideas, described by Lippmann’s editors as a progressive “political philosophy for liberal democracy,” have an unmistakeable resemblance to the Leninist concept of a vanguard party that leads the masses to a better life that they cannot conceive or construct on their own. In fact, the transition from one position to the other – from Leninist enthusiasm to “celebration of America” – has proven quite an easy one over the years. This is not surprising, since the doctrines are similar at their root. The critical difference lies in an assessment of the prospects for power: through exploitation of mass popular struggle, or service to the current masters.
There is, clearly enough, an unspoken assumption behind the proposals of Lippmann and others: the specialized class are offered the opportunity to manage public affairs by virtue of their subordination to those with real power – in our societies, dominant business interests, a crucial fact that is ignored in the self-praise of the elect.
It’s clear to me for sure. But I would say, as I have been saying, that the gangster approach to life is not restricted to those – political and other leaders – who clearly should know better. Why would it be? Misery loves company and the task of everyone who spiritually fails is to help others to spiritually fail. (The pact is the pact. Sin and survive.) They don’t feel bad about it. They are elated and less lonely. And quite disturbed. When you do things you know are wrong, and you fail to show humility sufficient to admit your mistake and get back on the straight and narrow, then you’ll instead rationalize your criminal (mild or serious) behavior, normalizing it. But you have now also acquired a disturbance in your soul and mind. You have to live with yourself, which is why you are compelled to rationalize and, perhaps more important, justify your course. (You rationalize specific deeds. You justify specific deeds as well, but also your overall course. When you get moral support from errant ones for your erroneous course, that’s what I call self/world justification. You agree with, or justify, your own course, while the world you’ve embraced in turn justifies, or agrees with, your choice also.) But that itch is there. And that internal state finds expression in the trouble you make for others who you will, in your haughtiness, endlessly try to ‘prove’ (by force) your truth to. Since the behavior is set, so is the itch. And so the effort at ‘proving’ your Lie to others in that way becomes endless.
The pact is the pact, but there’s no guarantee of any kind of success, which is why coercion and fear play a role in recruitment. Don’t sin and just see how easy it is to buy and sell. In a money system in which money means life, that consideration is pretty big. Ask Julian Assange about it, which Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh did. (“Web Exclusive: Julian Assange On Fighting The International Crackdown On Wikileaks”)
“Then I saw another wild beast ascending out of the earth, and it had two horns like a lamb, but it began speaking like a dragon…
“It puts under compulsion all people – the small and the great, the rich and the poor, the free and the slaves – that these should be marked on their right hand or on their forehead and that nobody can buy or sell except a person having the mark, the name of the wild beast or the number of its name.” – Revelation 13:11,16,17
From “Send dissidents to “detention centers,” says Israeli columnist” by Jimmy Johnson, the following:
In an article titled, “Arrest Gideon Levy and Haneen Zoabi,” Matti Golan, a columnist for the Israeli business daily Globes, has called for the establishment of camps modeled after the internment camps the United States established in World War II.
Golan wrote that Levy, a dissident Israeli journalist who writes for Haaretz; Palestinian member of the Knesset Zoabi and Amira Hass, Haaretz’s other dissenting journalist; should all be rounded up since they are “agitators.”
The article is not available on the Globes English website but I have translated it in full below. It was published on 20 July, two days after Zoabi was arrested at a Haifa protest against the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Soon after, she was suspended from the Knesset.
Golan positively portrays the United States’ internment camps for people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast, as well as some Italians and Germans affiliated with fascist movements during World War II. However, after campaigns led by Japanese Americans, nearly fifty years later the US government paid reparations to camp survivors in recognition of their suffering.
Golan’s column doesn’t appear to have a lot of traction but is part of a rising tide of extreme right-wing Israeli discourse. This trend has called for everything from returning Israeli soldiers and settlers to Gaza to outright genocide.
From pages 97 & 98 of Medea Benjamin’s book, “Drone Warfare,” the following:
The Air Force study found that the biggest source of stress for drone operators was long hours and frequent shift changes because of staff shortages. Drone crews work ten- to twelve-hour shifts. Alternating between day, evening and overnight shifts every three weeks prevents them from fully integrating into civilian life.
As a result, drone crews are generally “tired, disgruntled and disillusioned,” said a former fighter pilot who teaches at the Air Force Academy. “It’s insane,” he said. “You can’t run an Air Force like this without burning your people out.”
Many pilots complain of sheer boredom. “For most missions, nothing happens. Your plane orbits in the sky, you watch and you wait. It’s very boring. I’d much rather be flying an F-16,” said figher-pilot-turned-MIT-professor Missy Cummings.
Drone pilot Matt Martin recalled how, after months and months of long days staring at monitors, he became bored, cynical and suspicious of everyone he was watching. And, as military are wont to do, he found himself hoping that the targets he was following would prove themselves to be insurgents so he could “get some action.”
From pages 76-79 of Chris Hedges’s book, “Death Of The Liberal Class,” the following:
[George] Creel and his associates, which included artists, cartoonists, graphic designers, filmmakers, journalists, and public relations experts, saturated the cultural and intellectual life of the country with war propaganda. It did this by crossing the traditional boundaries of propaganda…
Creel’s committee established direct relationships with eighteen thousand newspapers, eleven thousand national advertisers and advertising agencies, ten thousand chambers of commerce, thirty thousand manufacturers’ associations, twenty-two thousand labor unions, ten thousand public libraries, thirty-two thousand banks, fifty-eight thousand general stores, 3,500 YMCA branches, ten thousand members of the Council of National Defense, one thousand advertizing clubs, fifty-six thousand post offices, fifty-five thousand station agents, five thousand draft boards, one hundred thousand Red Cross chapters, and twelve thousand manufacturers’ agents. All were showered daily with war propaganda tailored specifically toward their interests and members. And the few institutions reluctant to spew out war propaganda were shut down.
In a 1920 memoir titled How We Advertised America, Creel wrote that the “war was not fought in France alone”:
It was the fight for the minds of men, for the “conquest of their convictions,” and the battle-line ran through every home in every country.
The committee manufactured daily news stories through its news bureau that were run in the nation’s newspapers. It provided a syndicated news service to disseminate the “facts” about the war…
The few figures who resisted, such as Bourne, Addams, Debs, Emma Goldman, or Bertrand Russell, became pariahs. The press accused them, with Creel’s help, of being disloyal and pro-German…
The virus of nationalism infected every aspect of society. Dachshunds were renamed liberty dogs. The City University of New York reduced by one credit every course in German. Fourteen states banned the speaking of German in public schools. German-Americans, like Japanese-Americans in World War II, provided convenient scapegoats… Robert Prager, a German-born coal miner, was accused in April 1918 by a crowd that swelled to 500 people of hoarding explosives outside of St. Louis. Prager, who had tried to enlist in the navy but had been rejected on medical grounds, was stripped, bound with an American flag, dragged barefoot and stumbling through the streets, and lynched as the mob cheered. At the trial of the leaders of the lynch mob, who appeared in court wearing red, white and blue ribbons, their defense counsel argued that the killing was justifiable “patriotic murder.” It took the jury twenty-five minutes to return a not guilty verdict. One jury member shouted out, “Well, I guess nobody can say we aren’t loyal now.” The Washington Post wrote of the trial that “in spite of the excesses such as lynching, it is a healthful and wholesome awakening of the interior of the country.” The explosives that Prager was alleged to be harboring were never found.”
From “‘Worst of All Worlds’ as Neoliberal BJP Wins India Elections in Landslide” by John Queally, the following:
in the Guardian on Friday, Indian author and writer Pankaj Mishra argues that with Modi at the helm, India is facing “its most sinister period since independence.” Providing context for both Modi’s rise within the BJP and the rightwing fanaticism of the party now set to control India, Mishra writes:
Modi is a lifelong member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a paramilitary Hindu nationalist organisation inspired by the fascist movements of Europe, whose founder’s belief that Nazi Germany had manifested “race pride at its highest” by purging the Jews is by no means unexceptional among the votaries of Hindutva, or “Hinduness”. In 1948, a former member of the RSS murdered Gandhi for being too soft on Muslims. The outfit, traditionally dominated by upper-caste Hindus, has led many vicious assaults on minorities. A notorious executioner of dozens of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 crowed that he had slashed open with his sword the womb of a heavily pregnant woman and extracted her foetus. Modi himself described the relief camps housing tens of thousands of displaced Muslims as “child-breeding centres”.
From “Greeks protest against Golden Dawn attack on Communists” by Helena Smith, the following:
Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Friday to protest against a violent attack on Communist party members by black-shirted supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which left nine people in hospital with serious injuries.
In what was described as a murderous attack – and the most serious violence since the extremist group was elected to the country’s parliament last year – about 50 men wielding crowbars and bats set upon leftists as they distributed posters in a working-class district of the capital late on Thursday.
In a statement KKE, the Communist party of Greece, said: “The way in which they acted and the weapons employed … are evidence of the murderous nature of the attack. Among the Golden Dawners, some of whom had covered their faces or wore helmets or [party] shirts, were their leaders, well-known fascists and thugs.”
With the Communist party preparing to stage a youth festival in the coming days, Thursday’s midnight assault comes amid mounting fears that the far right is trying to cultivate an atmosphere of civil war in Greece. Prominent members of the virulently anti-immigrant Golden Dawn have openly predicted that the debt-stricken country is heading towards civil war.
From “Right-wingers attack leftists in Tel Aviv demonstration” by Yarden Skop, the following:
Several dozen right-wingers interrupted a leftist demonstration against the Israeli operation in Gaza, beating and threatening several demonstrators on Saturday evening in central Tel Aviv.
One man was rushed to Ichilov Hospital after he was beaten by the rightists. According to the police, no arrests were made.
The leftist demonstration started around 8 P.M., with several hundred demonstration and about 20 police officers in attendance. Opposite the demonstration, several dozen rightist activists also gathered.
Shortly after 9 P.M., rocket alerts were sounded in Tel Aviv, and the police officers and demonstrators ran for shelter, while the rightists chased and threatened them, eyewitnesses said.
According to Rotem Bin Nun, 38, who participated in the demonstration, the rightists attacked the demonstrators with clubs while the police officers were taking shelter at the nearby Habima Theater.
From “‘Are you a fucking leftist?’ –Israeli fascists target anti-occupation activists in Tel Avi” by Bekah Wolf, the following:
Yossi* wants to make it very clear from the beginning of our discussion that I cannot use his real name. Rotem, his friend who is also translating, explains, “He is afraid. We’re all afraid. The fascists are searching for our Facebook profiles, for any information about us on the internet. They are hunting us.”
What first may seem like hyperbole is in fact exactly what pro-Palestinian, anti-occupation Jewish-Israeli activists have been describing for the last week: mobs of right-wing fascists chasing peaceful protesters and violently attacking them in the centers of West Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
On Saturday night, July 12, a few hundred demonstrators gathered in Habima Square in Tel Aviv to protest the ongoing massacre in Gaza, organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace. Habima Square, according to Rotem, is the place for “mainstream” protests in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of demonstrations have been held there, though none in recent memory had turned as violent and ugly as Saturday night’s. While demonstrators chanted and held signs in the square, a group of approximately 60 counter-protesters, some wearing shirts with fascist logos prominently displayed, arrived and began menacing the crowd. Police were not doing much to separate the two groups. Some of the demonstrators had already dispersed, sensing the tension with the counter-protestors, and then a siren sounded, indicating an incoming rocket from the resistance in Gaza.
“The police were just cowards,” Rotem said. “They left us to face a group of fascists who wanted to kill us. They actually told us that.”
From “Building Heroes” by Cameron Fenton, the following:
Project Hero, a military-supported, private sector scholarship program with the mission to “provide undergraduate scholarships to children of fallen soldiers,” has become the target of growing criticism across Canadian campuses. Since professors at the University of Regina spoke out against the program in March, 661 people have signed a growing petition which calls on people to “stand against Project Hero.”
…Public resistance to the program began last March, when 16 professors at the University of Regina sent an open letter to the president of their university to express dissatisfaction and opposition to the university joining Project Hero…
While university administration has made neutrality the party line, media and local Conservative politicians—including Regina MPs Tom Lukiwski and Andrew Scheer—attempted to turn the 16 into pariahs. Scheer called for the professors to withdraw their letter and write a public apology, calling their actions “disgusting.” The signatories received messages such as, “If you can’t get behind our troops, get in front,” and, “You deserve to be taken to Afghanistan and strapped to a roadside IED.”
Hunter considers the belligerent Conservative reaction to have been an attempt to deflect oncoming criticisms from the Afghan detainee commission, which he points out could implicate General Hillier. The retired army chief of staff also sits as the chancellor of Memorial University in Newfoundland, the first school to sign onto Project Hero.
Interview requests to both Hillier and Memorial University were not returned.
From “The loyalty oath and Israel’s Zionist “left”” by Jesse Benjamin, the following:
On 10 October 2010, the Israeli government proposed a bill obligating non-Jewish naturalized citizens to swear loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic state.” The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) deplores this attempt to demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — a state whose existence is premised on the removal of the indigenous people of Palestine.
In response to this bill, members of the Zionist “Left” in Israel issued a “declaration of independence from fascism.” Announced at a rally in Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s most ethnically cleansed city (indigenous population: four percent), the declaration asserts that the proposed law “violates [Israel’s] basic commitment to the principles of equality, civil liberty and sincere aspiration for peace — principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.”
The Zionist “Left” is distancing itself from this policy, but the proposed oath is entirely consistent with Israel’s racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing — all of which the Zionist “Left” has played a central role in perpetrating and whitewashing.
From “Indonesia, A Proudly Nazi Nation?” by Andre Vltchek, the following:
Indonesians has voted and what votes they have cast! Either they have chosen an outright Nazi, or a populist supported by a bunch of Nazis!
The results are actually too close; it appears that almost half of the active Indonesian voters have endorsed either the Mayor of Jakarta – a former furniture salesman and populist known as ‘Jokowi’ – or a former general of the National Special Forces – Prabowo Subianto.
Incompetent according to some, populist, if you listen to others, or fierce ‘reformer’ for quite a substantial group of his supporters, not long ago Mr. Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo appeared to be running almost unopposed. But then the state, intelligence and corporate apparatuses went into gear and the gap ‘miraculously’ closed…
Without any doubt, Prabowo Subianto is all that the Indonesian public that desires the continuation of fascist rule can dream of. He is a perfect 21st century Nazi.
He served in the Indonesian National Army Special Force Kopassus (as commander of Group 1 Komando Pasukan Sandhi Yudha (Kopassandha)) during the brutal 1976 occupation, and the genocide that Indonesia committed in East Timor. In that ruthless sadistic orgy of killing and rape, a third of the local population of the tiny nation vanished.
As a reward from his handlers, Mr. Prabowo was later trained (in the 80’s) at Fort Benning, in the United States, the country that he is really serving.
From “U.S. Military Bans The Intercept,” by Ryan Gallagher, the following:
According to multiple military sources, a notice has been circulated to units within the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps warning staff that they are prohibited from reading stories published by The Intercept on the grounds that they may contain classified information. The ban appears to apply to all employees—including those with top-secret security clearance—and is aimed at preventing classified information from being viewed on unclassified computer networks, even if it is freely available on the internet. Similar military-wide bans have been directed against news outlets in the past after leaks of classified information.
A directive issued to military staff at one location last week, obtained by The Intercept, threatens that any employees caught viewing classified material in the public domain will face “long term security issues.” It suggests that the call to prohibit employees from viewing the website was made by senior officials over concerns about a “potential new leaker” of secret documents.
The directive states:
We have received information from our higher headquarters regarding a potential new leaker of classified information. Although no formal validation has occurred, we thought it prudent to warn all employees and subordinate commands. Please do not go to any website entitled “The Intercept” for it may very well contain classified material.
As a reminder to all personnel who have ever signed a non-disclosure agreement, we have an ongoing responsibility to protect classified material in all of its various forms. Viewing potentially classified material (even material already wrongfully released in the public domain) from unclassified equipment will cause you long term security issues. This is considered a security violation.
A military insider subject to the ban said that several employees expressed concerns after being told by commanders that it was “illegal and a violation of national security” to read publicly available news reports on The Intercept.
Look around, dear reader, and pick your own example of terrorism unleashed by citizens on their own for not supporting what the terrorists are doing, which they often say is conducting a war ‘on’ terror! As I said, Perversity abounds in this time of darkness. The vampire capitalists have perverted and inverted everything and they have had tremendous success in infecting millions. Their numbers are great partly because many of their victims aren’t out and out killed. They merely become additional walking dead who we, the few remaining honest folks, who would dearly love some law and order, must run from.
Mr. Abbas, whose Fatah thugs have terrorized Palestinians, at the behest of the US/Israel, is… protecting them! They continue to get murdered, kidnapped and tortured by the Israelis, So what does Mr. Abbas mean by protect? It’s telling how Mr. Abbas comes up for mention in the first page of Noam Chomsky’s and Illan Pappé’s book, “Gaza In Crisis – Reflections On Israel’s War On The Palestinians.” Consider:
“Let’s begin with January 2006, when Palestinians voted in a carefully monitored election, pronounced to be free and fair by international observers, despite U.S. efforts to swing the election toward their favorite, Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party. But Palestinians committed a grave crime, by Western standards. They voted “the wrong way.” The United States instantly joined Israel in punishing Palestinians for their misconduct…
There is a standard operating procedure for overthrowing an unwanted government: arm the military to prepare for a military coup. The U.S.-Israel adopted this conventional plan, arming and training Fatah to win by force what it lost at the ballot box. The United States also encouraged Mahmoud Abbas to amass power in his own hands, steps that are quite appropriate in the eyes of Bush administration advocates of presidential dictatorship…
The strategy backfired. Despite the flow of military aid, Fatah forces in Gaza were defeated in a vicious and brutal conflict, which many close observers describe as a preemptive strike targeting primarily the security forces of the brutal Fatah strongman Muhamad Dahlan. However, those with overwhelming power can often snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, and the U.S.-Israel quickly moved to turn the outcome to their benefit. They now have a pretext for tightening the stranglehold on the people of Gaza, cheerfully pursuing policies that the prominent international law scholar Richard Falk describes as a prelude to genocide that “should remind the world of the famous post-Nazi pledge of ‘never again.'”
Do the dead know that they are dead? Maybe they, or the lucky ones among them, can’t see past their fine clothes, homes and good food. Maybe all they see is the power that they possess or the power that their ‘friends’ possess. That’s the kind of eyesight they have.
“For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be…
“But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. On this account, You too prove yourselves to be ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not think to be it.” – Matthew 24:36-44
“For you yourselves know very well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying “Peace and security!,” then sudden destruction is to be instantly on them, just like the birth pangs of a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.” -2Thessalonians 5:2,3
I don’t know about first century (faithless) Jews who didn’t heed Jesus’s words to head for the hills when they see the ‘disgusting thing standing in a holy place’, which turned out to be Roman armies advancing on Jerusalem, the site of Jehovah’s holy Temple. History doesn’t say why, but those forces withdrew and the obedient Jews took that opportunity to flee to the mountains. The remaining Jews shrugged, because, afterall, Jesus was just a carpenter’s son and there was now no visible danger. When did those ones lose their lives? Physically, They lost them a short time later when those Roman forces returned, laid siege to Jerusalem and none of the inhabitants survived.
But I do know that in the upside down world of today, in which perversity reigns, the constant refrain of “Peace and security!” is accompanied by state terror and less peace and security each time the phrase is uttered. For the blind guides who own and run the world, profits – money – trump decency, honesty, godliness, peace and security and life itself. They are as good as blind, for they have modified themselves, which all are free to do. We all possess free moral agency. We can go contrary to the way God designed us. We can jettison Jesus’s golden rule of ‘Do to others the way you’d have them do to you’ and embrace this world’s dark rule of ‘riches for the strongest’. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If then, your eye is focussed, your whole body will be bright. But if your eye is envious, then your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, then how great that darkness is!” – Matthew 6:22,23