For the full version of the article and the video, see the RT link. Technical issues are preventing the entire article from being posted.
Sept. 24, 2016
For the full version of the article and the video, see the RT link. Technical issues are preventing the entire article from being posted.
Sept. 24, 2016
August 30, 2016
Kiev doesn’t seem to have lost its appetite for hiring foreign officials and advisors. Their latest acquisition is Anthony Tether, the former head of the Pentagon’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA. Tether is now an advisor for Ukraine’s state-owned defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom.
According to Ukroboronprom’s official press release, Tether will serve as an “advisor on the long-term development” of the Ukrainian defense industry. The American made history by becoming the conglomorate’s first-ever foreign consultant. His competencies are expected to include offering advice on developing Ukraine’s military-industrial complex, and selling its weapons abroad.
Behind the scenes, speaking to US media after his swearing-in ceremony, Tether hinted that US defense firms will now be more interested in direct investments into Ukrainian companies. He also admitted that discussions about possible US buyouts of major Ukrainian enterprises like Antonov were part of the mandate granted to him by Ukroboronprom, though they do not constitute the focus of his efforts as an advisor.
Ukroboronprom director Roman Romanov praised the ex-US official, saying that Tether would “help us to integrate global management practices, and establish a modern system for the management of business processes.” The Ukrainian military-industrial complex, he said, “has already fulfilled its priority tasks of repairing and restoring military equipment. Now, we will enter into a new level in the exchange of technology, and will be able to produce modern equipment and weaponry. As a result, we will receive access to new markets and integrate even deeper into existing ones.”
Tether, in turn, officially emphasized the importance of creating synergy between the US and Ukrainian defense sectors, as part of expanded cooperation between the two countries. “I think that this will allow us to add 2 plus 2 and get the answer 5,” he quipped, using the Orwellian turn of phrase to describe this ‘synergy’ effort.
Over the next six months, the American consultant is expected to study the “culture” of Ukraine’s military industry. “Today we start writing a new page in the history of the rapid development of Ukraine’s defense complex,” he said.
Beginning in 2015, Ukroboronprom has been making a concerted effort to transition to NATO standards for defense production.
Experts can’t help getting the feeling that Tether’s appointment at Ukroboronprom is either directly or indirectly connected to Kiev’s recent diplomatic offensive to see the joint production of weapons with the US. Last week, Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Valeriy Chaly said that he had high hopes that Ukraine could “produce weapons in cooperation with the Americans on Ukrainian territory.”
Accordingly, Tether’s appointment may very well be Washington’s effort to test the waters and get a real sense of the state of the Ukrainian military industrial complex, and whether there are any tasty morsels left within its mostly Soviet-era R&D and production capabilities.
The Washington establishment counts on the ignorance of the American public to its own history.
From Sam Husseini
August 30, 2016
Even less well know, the song originates in slaveowner Francis Scott Key’s “When the Warrior Returns” — which was set to the same tune.
As Alex Cockburn, the deceased and much missed co-editor of CounterPunch, noted following President Obama’s much celebrated 2009 address in Cairo:
An early version of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key, written in 1805 amid the routing of the Barbary states, offered a view of Islam markedly different from Obama’s uplifting sentiments in Cairo:
In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d,
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation:
And pale beamed the Crescent, its splendor obscur’d
By the light of the star-bangled flag of our nation.
Where each flaming star gleamed a meteor of war,
And the turban’d head bowed to the terrible glare.
Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
In 1814 Key rehabbed this doggerel into the Star Spangled Banner. So America’s national anthem began as a gleeful tirade against the Mahommedans. And of course every member of the U.S. Marine Corps regularly bellows out the USMC anthem, beginning “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”
In short, America’s march to Empire was minted in the crucible of anti-Islamic sentiment. (One admirer of this early chapter in America’s imperial confrontations with Islam is that ardent Crusader, C. Hitchens who cites Joshua London’s Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation, on the origins of the Star Spangled Banner.)
Note to illustration on the front of jacket: In August 1814, a British raiding party led by Admiral Sir George Cockburn launched an attack on Washington. They set fire to the Capitol, then proceeded to the White House and, before setting fire to it, consumed a meal set out by Dolly Madison which had been abandoned by the fugitive President and his family. Cockburn next proceeded to the offices of The National Intelligence to avenge himself on the press which had abused him. He ordered his men to destroy the paper’s printing types, saying ‘Be sure that all the Cs are destroyed so that the rascals cannot any longer abuse my name’. Cockburn then laid siege to Baltimore, the unsuccessful fusillades prompting the composition of ‘The Star Spangled Banner’, whose reference to ‘the hireling and slave’ in the British force alludes, as Robin Blackburn points out in The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, to the fact that Cockburn had offered freedom to all slaves who would join him in his attacks of 1813 and 1814. According to a British report these slaves conducted themselves very well and ‘were uniformly volunteers for the Station where they might expect to meet their former masters.’ Some of these black recruits were in the party that burned the White House”
This highlights the darkest heart of the United States, eager to assault indigenous people — be they African or natives of what we call “America” or Berbers or Arab or whoever. Native Americans, who are perceived as having been defeated, can now be romanticized to an extent, while Arabs and Muslims who are not eager to roll over for U.S. establishment power are demonized. It also highlights that racism and violent nationalist identity are closely intertwined and attempts at separating the two may well be mere cover for both.
Posted under Fair Use Rules.
From the Intercept
by Jon Schwarz
Before a preseason game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When he explained why, he only spoke about the present: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.
Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.
However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.
And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:
Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.
Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.
Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.
With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.
After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”
Furthermore, if those leading the backlash against Kaepernick need more inspiration, they can get it from Francis Scott Key’s later life.
By 1833, Key was a district attorney for Washington, D.C. As described in a book called Snowstorm in August by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, the police were notorious thieves, frequently stealing free blacks’ possessions with impunity. One night, one of the constables tried to attack a woman who escaped and ran away — until she fell off a bridge across the Potomac and drowned.
“There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district,” an abolitionist paper wrote. “No fuss or stir was made about it. She was got out of the river, and was buried, and there the matter ended.”
Key was furious and indicted the newspaper for intending “to injure, oppress, aggrieve & vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates & constables of Washington County.”
You can decide for yourself whether there’s some connection between what happened 200 years ago and what Colin Kaepernick is angry about today. Maybe it’s all ancient, meaningless history. Or maybe it’s not, and Kaepernick is right, and we really need a new national anthem.
Posted under Fair Use Rules.
From David Swanson
August 31, 2016
Speaking out against racism is one thing — and a wonderful and admirable thing it is — but choosing to do so by sitting out the U.S. national anthem, and then having others join in, or “come out” as routine national anthem sitters: this is fantastic!
A self-governing republic of thinking people (whose first thought should be “My god, what are we doing to the rest of the planet with all this pollution and all these wars?”) ought to have no use for mandatory flag worship, required hand positions, or enforced recitations of pledges of allegiance to colored bits of cloth. Or if only some people outgrow such practices, others ought to leave them alone about it.
The protest thus far is severely limited, of course. The primary reason that it is useful to break down required patriotism rituals is their intimate connection to militarism. Yet many are claiming other motives and swearing their steadfast allegiance to militarism. That’s OK. It’s still an enormous step, and one that thousands are thanking Colin Kaepernick for taking.
Of course the endless wars abroad fuel racism at home, and vice versa. The endless military budget unloads free war weapons on police, and free trainers in war mentality. The bombs dropped abroad still explode in the ghetto. And militarists are claiming just the opposite, in support of Kaepernick, alleging that bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Libya somehow creates Kaepernick’s “freedom” to sit out the national anthem while catching hell mostly from enthusiastic war supporters. Nonetheless, breaking a taboo is a tremendous first step to be followed by many more.
My concern with the national anthem and all such related ceremonies is chiefly the obedience and subservience to symbols of mass murder. But secondarily, the lyrics of the full song, and the earlier version of it, are absolutely unacceptable. That the third verse celebrates killing people who had just escaped from slavery, that the earlier version celebrated killing Muslims, and that the lyricist himself, Francis Scott Key, owned people as slaves and supported police killings of African Americans while shouting about “freedom” — these are all insurmountable hurdles if you’re trying to get me to respect or identify with this song that, let’s face it, is also awful as a piece of music.
But strip the song down to its current first verse, and it remains a celebration of war, of the mass killing of human beings, of a war of conquest that failed to take over Canada and instead got the White House burned. And during the course of that valorous piece of blood-soaked stupidity, Key witnessed a battle in which human beings died but a flag survived. And I’m supposed to stand, like an obedient mindless robot, and worship that glorious incident, and it’s supposed to matter what I do with my hand, but not what I do with my brain?
Nations don’t have to find their whole identity in war. The United States could celebrate democratic advances, heroic activists, rights won for all variety of previously disfavored groups. We could sing a song about creative nonviolence, generosity, bravery, kindness, and natural beauty. We could sing a song that offered friendship to the other 96% of humanity. We could have a widely covered national contest for the best new song, and perhaps bump these two hideous presidential candidates off the airwaves for a few moments.
Instead, it’s the Star Mangled Banner over and over and over. And, yes, I’ve been sitting it out for years. Welcome, Colin. We’ve been waiting for you.
From the Wall St. Journal
The latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity.
Aug. 25, 2016
This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.
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From Town Hall
by Katie Pavlich
Aug 26, 2016
New revelations this week showing the Clinton Foundation used the State Department to find and recruit employees during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary are prompting questions from House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz.
In a letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Chaffetz wants details about taxpayers resources used to recruit State Department experts for Clinton Foundation donors and wants to know whether federal ethics codes were violated in the process.
“State Department employees interviewed applicants for Clinton Foundation positions and sought a Libya expert on behalf of Clinton Foundation donors. According to one report, Clinton Foundation employees also contacted the State Department in an effort to find jobs for Clinton Foundation donors. Moreover, earlier this week, the Associated Press reported ‘[m]ore than half the people outside of government who met with [Secretary] Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money – either personally or through companies or groups – to the Clinton Foundation.’ These reports give rise to a perception that access to our State Department’s official resources, were for sale,” Chaffetz states in the letter. “The allegations contained in the Associated Press report and others also raise questions as to whether State Department employees acted to benefit the Clinton Foundation in violation of executive branch ethics guidelines.”
“In addition, work on behalf of the Clinton Foundation on personal time may also violate section 2635.705 of the executive branch ethics code, which generally prohibits a superior from coercing a subordinate from performing activities other than official duties,” the letter continues.
Earlier this week the Associated Press published a report showing 50 percent of individuals who were granted interviews with Secretary Clinton were big time donors to the Clinton Foundation. We also learned long time Clinton aide Huma Abedin regularly denied requested meetings with Secretary Clinton, rerouted individuals through the Clinton Foundation, donations would be made and then meetings would be granted. Chaffetz makes the argument in his letter to Kerry that these revelations further show official State Department resources were “up for sale.”
Chaffetz has requested Kerry produce a number of documents, communications and a list of all individuals on Clinton’s official calendar during her time as Secretary by September 7.
Posted under Fair Use Rules
From David Swanson
August 29, 2016
I recall five years ago listening to an arms dealer on NPR respond to a question of what he would do if the war on Afghanistan were actually ended. He said he hoped there could be a big long war in Libya. And he laughed. And the “journalist” laughed. It was arms dealing as comedy.
The new Hollywood movie War Dogs is a comic biopic or a biographical crime war comedy-drama film but always described as some sort of comedy. The image above is of an ad for the film that one hopes is intended as funny, because otherwise it would be even worse than it is. The website it points you to purports to be an introduction to how you, too, can get stinking rich as a war profiteer. Then it shows youtube trailers of the movie, which appears to be all about sex, music, violence, punchlines, and arms dealing.
If you watch the movie itself, it starts out denouncing war as having nothing to do with what the propaganda suggests, as being all about weapons profiteering. But the rest of the movie shows almost nothing of war. Never is a single victim of all the weaponry that is bought and sold shown or even mentioned. Instead, we’re given a version of The Big Short or The Wolf of Wall Street where the particular financial scam is selling weapons rather than repackaging mortgages.
Perhaps the early scenes of the movie touch momentarily on the hypocrisy of profiteering on war while denying even to oneself that one supports the wars. But these scenes also depict a society in which the only way a young person can earn a decent living is by selling weapons. It’s a familiar tale from stories of drug dealing as the only route to significant wealth. But here the drug is weaponry, and the addict is the U.S. government.
And it’s true that the (based on a true) story depicted in the film ends up in disaster. But we never see the slightest hint at how arming people to commit mass murder might harm anyone, any more than Wall Street crime movies introduce you to people made homeless by Wall Street scams. The moral lesson of War Dogs seems to be: Abide by proper bureaucratic procedures, buy the instruments of death from approved nations, maintain propriety and transparency in death dealing, and you’ll get only slightly less stinking rich than these clowns did.
The cultural lesson, especially of the advertising, seems to be that joking about war profiteering is funny, cool, and edgy. Joking about cruelty to non-human animals would not be so acceptable in movie promotions. The industry of mass murder for human beings has become background noise in the era of permawar. All jokes about it will be labeled ironic, but the fact that it is an acceptable topic for joking says something very troubling about our culture.
Takeover of America through the compromise by foreign governments of Hillary Rodham Clinton
It’s the ever-gurgling running water from the taps of the borderless Postcode Lotteries that’s enriching the Clinton Foundation, a fact that seems to be passing straight over the heads of investigative authorities trying to source the Foundation’s steady cash flow.
Tragically, just like its most infamous member, Hillary Clinton, the corrupt Clinton Foundation, sustained by millions of dollars from Postcode Lotteries, will never be brought down by FBI investigation.
Even if the Foundation were forced to send back billions to foreign countries who bought into Hillary Clinton political favors when she was Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, the Foundation would thrive and go on because investigating authorities do not know where to go to turn off the Foundation’s free-running, borderless taps.
Little wonder that Bill Clinton, on the Postcode Lottery board of directors to this very day, crowed back in 2009: “The (Postcode) lottery is the best thing I’ve seen”.
How do you turn the tap off on the “best thing ever seen”?
“The National Postcode Lottery, the second largest lottery in The Netherlands, has donated over $25 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation.” (The Dutch Government, the Clinton Foundation and the Postcode Lottery, Aug. 13, 2016)
And that’s just the amount that shows on Foundation books.
In essence, the Clintons have won the biggest lottery of all time.
In coming up with a fail-proof scheme—one that uses million s of unsuspecting lottery ticket buyers in a market now going worldwide—the Clintons, you might say, won the lottery and are running Western society into the ground with it.