Special Ops For Bloody Business As Usual

Unless you are a consumer of major, corporate-owned, State-aligned media, solely, which delivers, mainly in the area of foreign policy, only propaganda, then you absolutely could not know that most of the war and terror going on is all about money. Of course, Those – and they are most people in developed nations – who don’t read beyond their smart phones won’t know anything other than the snippets they catch on tv and radio.

Capitalists will answer to God for their evil, for the destruction and suffering that they are responsible for. Of that, I have no doubt. What about those who pay zero attention to politics (and can afford to since they live in lands where hordes of terrorists haven’t been unleashed upon them)? They will not escape. God asks them why they didn’t care. He asks them how not caring, which results in hell on earth, is something he should approve of. No doubt they feel that it’s not ‘their’ not caring that results in hell on earth. Let’s see how that argument works with God.

“The Expanding Global Footprint of U.S. Special Operations” by ? (South Front)

Excerpts from the above linked-to article follow:

“With the possible U.S. military withdrawal from Syria in the news on a daily basis, the mainstream media has been quick to parrot the DOD’s claim that 2,000 troops, mostly special operations forces, are to be withdrawn from the country. Although the total number of U.S. special operators deployed to Syria may have approached as many as 5,000, the current headlines have not mentioned that the United States has special operations units deployed not just in Syria, but in a majority of the nations of the world. Over the past seventeen years, the forces at the disposal of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) have grown exponentially, more than doubling in size in numbers, with a budget that has also expanded four fold in that same period of time…

“The U.S. special operations forces have become the darling of the military, praised by Congress, the White House, and the Media. They have willingly adopted a mythos that has been formulated and propagated by Hollywood on many levels. The U.S. public seems to worship this new class of soldier, while having little to no understanding of exactly what they do, nor any concept of how their actions might aid or hinder national security. An act has even been proposed by one state Representative to afford special income tax breaks to all SOF members…

“While most of the public assumes that these new Spartans act to protect U.S. interests and “freedom and democracy” whenever and wherever it is deemed necessary, they have little to no understanding of how the SOF have changed since 2001, nor the increasing military and political influence that they now hold. Even fewer Americans have stopped to ponder the illegality of much of what this expanding military force is doing on a global scale, not to mention the constitutional implications of a new Praetorian class in its midst that is growing in power and influence. If history teaches us anything, it is that shadowy and unaccountable paramilitary forces do not strengthen societies that embrace democratic or constitutional governments.”

Notes Yves Engler (who corporate media shuts out), on page 24 of “A Propaganda System – How Canada’s government, corporations, media and academia sell war and exploitation,” wrote that: “…the late right wing Toronto Sun columnist Peter Worthington,” notes that “a secret army within the army is anathema to democracy.” I believe that it was Engler who also noted that the US has more special forces members than the entire regular Canadian military possesses.

“The Pentagon has argued that terrorism has grown, with the number of internationally recognized terrorist organizations roughly doubling from 2001 to today, mostly due to the explosion of both al Qaeda and ISIS. Regardless of the facts that point to the CIA origins of al Qaeda, there is little argument that the organization has grown in concert with U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and Africa. The same can be said for the origin and spread of ISIS. There is also ample circumstantial evidence to support the theory that the CIA and SOCOM have both directly and indirectly supported both of these terrorist organizations in Syria. Regardless of whether SOCOM is directly or indirectly complicit in aiding the Islamic terrorist organizations it declares it is defending the nation against, there is a clear correlation between the growths of both, and surely SOCOM has benefitted on many levels from this relationship,” notes the author of the South Front report.

Stephen Gowans, on pages 106, 107 & 108 of “Washington’s Long War On Syria,” gives us some background to the US and Israeli effort to destroy Syria:

(o
Since the only legitimate WMD are nuclear weapons, and since there is no evidence that Syria had even the untapped capability of producing them, much less possessed them, Syria had never been a true WMD-state or a threat to the U.S. goal of limiting nuclear weapons to a small circle of allies. What’s more, the claim that Washington saw non-proliferation as a genuine goal is constestable, since it blocked efforts to make the Middle East a chemical- and nuclear-weapons-free zone, in order to spare its fixed aircraft carrier in the Middle East, Israel, from relinquishing its most menacing weapons…

In connection with Syria impeding the achievement of U.S. goals in the Middle East, the Congressional Research Service made the following observations in 2005 about the Syrian economy: it was “largely state-controlled;” it was “dominated by… [the] public sector, which employ[ed] 73% of the labor force;” and it was “based largely on Soviet models.” These departures from the Wall Street paradigm of open markets and free enterprise appeared, from the perspective of Congress’s researchers, to be valid reasons for the U.S. government to attempt to bring about “reform” in Syria… After all, the United States had been clear in its official policy documents, including its 2015 National Security Strategy, that sustaining U.S. leadership meant “shaping an emerging global economic order” that reflected U.S. interests and values” and that these interests and values were at odds with “alternative, less open-models,” such as the “Soviet models” on which the Syrian economy was based. Indeed, it would be naive to believe that the U.S. government was prepared to allow foreign governments to exercise sovereignty in setting their own directions economically if they could be made to do otherwise.”

+

And Washington’s intolerance of economic dirigisme was additionally evidenced in U.S. policy documents which asserted that Washington looked askance on states which held “fast to the false comforts of subsidies and trade barriers” and that U.S. determination to lead the global economy meant promoting “economic freedom beyond America’s shores.”
o)

The main problem lies not in who, nationality-wise, is the lawless perpetrator of huge crimes in the name of profits for a few, here, but the fact that those crimes are perpetrated because of capitalists, their greed and their lack of concern for anything other than their profits and personal (and class) well-being. Also, Most often when you read about American leadership, that’s a reference to American domination, a different thing. The common sense notion of ‘leadership’ attaches certain positive values to the idea, including the idea that that leadership inspires, rather than causes fear. And there’s no sense that real leaders insist that they are leaders and that no one else can do what they do. But most of the politicians in the American ruling class (now and past) are supremacists and racists. America’s political leadership today is fascist and white supremacist. Recall the story of John Brady Kiesling, as told by the late William Blum:

“US foreign policy has likely earned the hatred of most of the people in the world who are able to more or less follow current events and are familiar with a bit of modern history.

Oderint dum metuant – ‘Let them hate so long as they fear’ – was attributed to one or another prominent leader of Ancient Rome.

“Shortly before the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, career diplomat John Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the US embassy in Athens, resigned over the Iraq policy. ‘Has “oderint dum metuant” really become our motto?’ he asked in his letter of resignation, referring to the fact that more than one member of the Bush administration had used the expression.” -page 2 of “America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy And Everything Else”

In another South Front report titled “Trump’s 2020 Budget Asks For $500 Million To Counter “Russian Malign Influence,” Raises Military Spending Again,” the author (?) reports on recent White House budget increases for Overseas Contingency Operations, which means active war-making. I just read this same information somewhere, but for the life of me can’t find that report. That report had an author’s name attached. I have to therefore use this SF report. The author tells us:

(—
In the Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, US President Donald Trump asked for $500 million to counter Russia’s “malign influence.”…

To avoid raising the 2020 discretionary cap on defense spending, the budget funds this year’s defense increase through the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which is designated for war spending and not subject to the caps.

The gimmick is also repeated for 2021, after which the Administration proposes to fund almost all defense spending through the ordinary budget category.
—)

Venezuela: The Epicenter of the “Pink Tide” and Now of the Right-Wing Rollback

An excerpt from the above linked-to interview – Greg Wilpert and William Robinson – follows:

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GREG WILPERT: Indeed, there has been a significant rollback of leftist or center-left governments in Latin America over the past 10 years, beginning with the coup in Honduras against Manuel Zelaya in 2009, the legislative coup against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012, the electoral defeat of the Peronists in Argentina in 2014, and of course the legislative coup against Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and the imprisonment of presidential frontrunner Lula da Silva in Brazil last year.

Is there a pattern, and are there larger forces at work behind the reversal of the so-called Pink Tide in Latin America? Joining me to discuss this issue is William I. Robinson…

WILLIAM ROBINSON: Right. Well, I mean, obviously, U.S. intervention played a key role in the resurgence of the right politically in Latin America, as it played a key role in reversing the the pink tide. But there’s a larger structural story that you’re asking me to speak about, and that is what I term the structural power of transnational capital over the direct power of states, or the straitjacket of global capitalism. Now, let me unpack that. The pink tide governments had a model, and their model was not only not to break with global capitalism, but as you pointed out, to deepen their economies’ integration into the new circuits of global capitalism. And I’ve been critiquing this and plenty of other people have as well.

In all of the pink tide countries, including in the most radical experiments in Venezuela and in Bolivia, the Pink Tide governments deepened the dependence on extractivism. Venezuela, over the last twenty years, became more, not less, but more dependent on oil exports. In Argentina, in Brazil, for that matter in Bolivia, in Uruguay, prior to that in Uruguay, there was a vast expansion of soy plantations to export to the global economy. And these were not small farmers. We’re talking about giant transnational agribusiness being invited in and scooping up millions of acres of land which displaced small producers. And then you have the increase in Bolivia and Ecuador on gas and oil exports. And then you have, in other countries, increasing dependence on mining. So you see this extractivism intensified in the Pink Tide governments.

And more of this extractivism was based on an alliance with what I call the transnational capitalist class, with transnational corporations. Really, the pink tide did not threaten the fundamental interests of transnational capital in Latin America. What instead was the model is that the pink tide governments captured surpluses generated by this extractivism and then redistributed those surpluses through social programs. And as long as prices for these commodities, such as oil, such as soy, was booming, and that boom took place from the early 2000s up until about 2012, 2013–it started to deteriorate in the after the financial collapse of 2008, but it wasn’t until 2013, 14 that you really felt the impact of the deterioration of those prices.

So it’s true that the Pink Tide governments lowered poverty levels and improved health and improved education, but all of that was dependent on high commodities prices. There were no structural changes in the political economy of the pink tide countries. Now, I want to add another point onto this, and that is that if you have the Pink Tide governments, the pink tide countries, becoming more and more dependent on global commodities and financial markets, and that’s what happens, that means that the internal agents in Brazil and Argentina, in Venezuela and Bolivia and so forth, the internal agents of these global commodities and global capital markets inevitably are going to have more and more of an influence on state policies and on the whole direction of the political and economic system in these countries. So at a certain moment when the crisis comes and commodity prices fall, these agents now move onto the offensive. And so, that’s the resurgence of the far right.

And if I can make one other point, I know this is a long explanation, but this is the larger background that gets lost in the headlines, such as Trump’s speech in Miami the other day. And that is that where we are right now in 2019, well global capitalism is in deep crisis. And summarizing very quickly, there’s two dimensions. Global capitalism is losing hegemonic legitimacy everywhere. In part, Trump is critiquing so-called socialism in Latin America because he’s scared that socialism is gaining popularity in the United States. So there’s a loss of legitimacy in hegemony. But the more significant dimension of the global crisis we’re in right now is what I call the structural crisis of over-accumulation, meaning the global economy can’t expand anymore because there’s so much inequality. No one can consume. One percent of the world’s population has fifty percent of the world’s wealth. The the twenty-three percent with affluence has ninety-five percent of the world’s wealth. So there’s this crisis of stagnation and accumulation in the global economy.

In response to that crisis–and this is where Latin America and the pink tide come into the story. In response to that crisis, the system led by the U.S. State, the U.S. government and the transnational capitalist class, is seeking to push forward expansion wherever it can, and that includes expansion through wars, conflict and militarization, it includes expansion through a new round of violent dispossession of peasants, and it includes expansion through a further plunder of the state. And those three dimensions of expansion in the face of stagnation and over accumulation are most evident in Latin America. Crystal clear evidence in Venezuela, Guatemala, with Bolsonaro and the Amazon, Colombia. Everywhere you go, this is violent new round of expansion the system is trying to undertake really explains a lot of this intensified assault on what remains of the pink tide.
=||

The bolding in the above quote is mine.

“Ellen Wood’s discussion of the role of military power in the new imperialism in Empire of Capital is useful for our understanding of Canadian developments. Wood notes that “we are now discovering that the universality of capitalist imperatives has not at all removed the need for military force.” Even though direct military colonization of countries is no longer the modus operandi of imperialist powers, military force is as relevant to empire building as it has ever been. Imperialism has taken a largely market-based form, as Global South countries are ensnared by international market imperatives in which imperialist countries hold all the power and reap all the benefits. But just like domestic markets, the global market, producing sharp inequalities and discontent, requires state power to enforce its rule.” -pg 291 of “Imperialist Canada” by Todd Gordon

US President Donald Trump © Yves Herman © Reuters

Trump beats up NATO members in American protection racket by Finian Cunningham (RT News)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

)=-
The capo-in-chief flew into Brussels like many feared he would, beating up on other NATO members with a combination of blackmail and extortion.

President Trump wants the others to cough up more dough for the “protection” provided to them by the United States. The American leader berated European heads of state as if they were naughty children, accusing them of “freeloading” on US military power for their defense over many decades, and of giving nothing back…

Christopher Black, a Canadian-based lawyer and analyst, described the proceedings as “an American shakedown” of the other 28 NATO members…

So America starts dubious, illegal wars overseas, but it is other countries that end up becoming embroiled, to give a political, quasi-legal cover for American imperialist adventures…

For a start, the United States’ gargantuan military spend is not out of altruistic commitment to “defending allies”. The gross misallocation of resources is a function of American capitalism and how its economy is dominated by a grotesque military-industrial complex.

What Trump is seeking to do is to get other NATO members, the Europeans and Germany in particular, to in effect prop up the American economy through spending ever-increasing amounts of money on military industry. The anticipated purchase of US missile systems and warplanes – like the overpriced F-35 fighter jet – will feed into the American economy as a de facto subsidy.
-=(

That’s my bolding in the above quote.

I once commented, on Rabble, in response to an article by Dennis Gruending (“Sorry, Naomi Klein, social movements are not enough to save us”), pointing out that enviros were saying little about the connection between the oil companies and militaries. The then managing editor of Watershed Sentinel offered to print my comment as an article. Someone, probably Joyce Nelson, got cold feet and changed their minds, without telling me. Anyway, The capitalist component of American Imperialism, including weapons makers and the oil and gas industries, is dominant, just as corporations are actually, collectively, the head of the wild beast of Corporatocracy, presently (and I believe permanently, until that beast is destroyed) leading it. Here’s the comment that got Susan MacVittie’s attention on Rabble (and forgive the incorrect punctuation, namely the application of an apostrophe to “it’s” where it doesn’t belong):

====—
I keep waiting for Naomi Klein, and those discussing her work, to notice the obvious. The US runs the world – which Stephen Harper, a worshipper of power and the powerful is very aware of, clearly. And, as Thomas Friedman correctly points out, the American way of life (and the world, largely designed by the United States, as Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin explain in their book, “The Making Of Global Capitalism”) depend for it’s continued existence on American muscle. The central feature of American national security doctrine is oil, and not just because it gives kids mountains of soon to be replaced after Christmas plastic toys and (a lot of) other goodies, but because it’s huge military is a voracious user of oil. Even Michael Klare, who explains that (and his recent TomDispatch article, titled “A Republican Neo-Imperial Vision For 2016” is important for connecting quite a few dots; and that is complemented nicely by two other articles, by Robert Parry [“The Whys Behind The Ukraine Crisis”] and Michael Hudson [“Ukraine Denouement”]), fails to mention that the pipelines that will carry Canadian bitumen to the southern coast of the US for export also happen to make that oil available to the US only, in a crisis. After all, the manouvering uncle Sam is doing in Europe doesn’t have a guaranteed outcome, as Michael Hudson, above, recently observed.

The point is that with all the pushback from the people who don’t appreciate the fracking and risk taking (and train derailments are picking up pace) with transportation of oil via trucks or pipelines, the authorities – connected to what the top wants – have no intention of letting the people get in their way.

All of this is known. Harper’s cynical ramping up of police state laws will further straightjacket, and potentially cripple, enviros doing civil disobedience in order to deal with the craziness of the oil industry which Harper et al partner with. The private sector security orgs will view all of this as investment potential. They only serve power anyway, when push comes to shove. All these dots are there, but they aren’t even hard to discern. They are big, red and discussed ad nauseum every day. And yet Klein et al carry on as though she expects the US military, and militaries of it’s (present day) allies to stand down, give up using their oiled vehicles and jets and ships and equipment and be quiet, along with the 1% who they protect. It IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

The counter pushback is there and no matter how much blowing of party horns activists do with some victory in the struggle to keep pipeline companies from stealing and destroying their land and threatening water systems and aquifers, the instruments of repression and counter pushback are ready, willing, able and uncaring. William Blum writes that deep down he is pretty sure that revolution won’t succeed because the state has the people outgunned. And it does. Literally and ideologically, since the propaganda system is up and running wonderfully and the people, I’m sorry to report, just don’t care enough to know. Therefore, The state will know for them. People are good at passive learning, which means sitting in front of their television sets and having corporate owned media feed them propaganda. A recent article (by Peter Maas, with The Intercept, titled “Oscars Make History, So Hollywood’s War Stories Need To Be True”) notes that a recent study has shown that movies are more effective at forming people’s political thinking than political ads! That’s scary when you learn how deep the CIA and Pentagon’s involvement in Hollywood is. (See Tricia Jenkins’s “The CIA In Hollywood.”)

dot Uncle Sam. dot Oil. dot Military. dot Anticipated (see Harper’s latest, namely Bill C-51) pushback by the abused people. dot Locked and loaded police, military and government and private security orgs.
—====

“Cold War Means Mainly Class War. Noam Chomsky’s Explanation Of Cold War (from “Deterring Democracy”)”

Priming for business in Yugoslavia

“Remembering the Bombing of Yugoslavia, Twenty Years On” by Neil Clark (Sputnik)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

==== == =
The war, fought ostensibly to protect the ethnic Albanian citizens of the province of Kosovo from ethnic cleansing, did not, it’s fair to say, attract the same level of opposition as other US-led military actions. In the British House of Commons 13 MPs (including Jeremy Corbyn, George Galloway and John McDonnell), tried to force a vote but failed.

Among left-wing supporters who you’d normally expected to be against US-led military actions was one Ken Livingstone…

That the war on Yugoslavia was about economics, and not humanitarianism, can also be seen by looking at other parts of the Rambouillet Accord. As I in noted in the Guardian in 2005, Article I (1) of Chapter Four called for a “free-market economy”, and article II (1) for privatisation of all government-owned assets. Why was this included if the aim was simply to protect civilians?

For an answer we only need to turn to George Kenney, a former Yugoslavia desk officer of the US State Department. “In post-cold war Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalisation,” Kenney stated, by way of explaining his country’s hostile actions.

Under Milosevic, the F.R. Yugoslavia operated an economic system under which old communist-era models of social ownership still predominated. Large swathes of the economy were either state-owned or worker-controlled. And all this, don’t forget, ten years after communism was supposed to have ended in Europe.

While he was portrayed in NATO propaganda as ‘the New Hitler’, Milosevic was actually a socialist who believed in the old Yugoslav ideal of ‘Brotherhood and Unity’. He was demonised not because he was a hardcore Serb nationalist, but because he wasn’t. He came from the partisan tradition in Balkan politics, not the chetnik one.
= == ====

The bolding in the above quote is mine.

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