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Two Keywords for US Imperialism:

2018/07/21 Leave a comment

“Justification” and “Plausibility”

by Federico Pieraccini

Strategic Culture Foundation (July 18 2018)

Observing the behavior of the United States over recent decades, it becomes clear that the American establishment has always relied on two fundamental factors to justify choices in foreign policy.

We have been accustomed in recent years to humanitarian interventions being justified on the assumption that the United States and the West were in some way intervening militarily in the interests of defending innocent civilians from brutal dictators. This justification for armed intervention has either been the key factor or the direct cause for the expansion of US imperialism. The use of the media as an instrument of war – with lies, artfully constructed stories, intentional omissions, and targeted disinformation – has helped US imperialism to justify armed interventions abroad.

There is always some sort of justification, rationale or pretext offered when Washington intervenes to bring about conflict. These excuses were showcased in Yugoslavia in 1999, in Afghanistan in 2002, in Iraq in 2003, and in Libya in 2011. With Yugoslavia and Libya, the lie of protecting human rights was the justification offered to the public. The September 11 2001 attacks were used to justify attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003, pointing the finger of blame at these countries. The war on terror, in general, offered a perfect justification for bringing about chaos in every corner of the world.

Naturally, these are excuses meant to be peddled in the international arena. There is no justification for bombing a nation, completely destroying its services and infrastructure, and killing tens of thousands of its innocent people. But US imperialism works like a steam-roller. The artful fabrication of a humanitarian cause gives the green light to rain down bombs to save the poor and downtrodden civilians. All this is possible thanks to the nauseating and false media rhetoric that creates the ideal conditions needed to justify the horrible war crime that is aggression against a sovereign nation.

Such justifications constitute some of the most deceptive and aggressive imperialist tools employed by the Euro-American power conglomerate to impose its unipolar vision of international relations and strong-arm those seeking a new path in international relations. The objective is to disrupt (with bombs and propaganda) the vision these countries have of fixing the corrupt and sickening world order guided by Washington.

In more recent times, this strategy of war based on (spurious) justifications has added a new type of ploy that is much more subtle and suitable for imperialist ends. Since Washington has lost the ability to decide the situation on the ground in different war theaters like in Iraq and Syria, it settles for sowing chaos and destruction.

This is done through the employment of plausible deniability, which helps mask covert operations. An example can be seen in Syria, where Washington arms the Free Syrian Army (“FSA“), an insurgency group labeled “moderate rebels”, but these weapons somehow seem to find their way into the hands of Al Nusra and Daesh. This situation has been going on for years, with Washington using Daesh and Al Nusra to fight against Assad, being able to plausibly deny doing so by professing to be only arming the moderate rebels and not the extremist terrorists.

Clearly, we are facing an obvious case of plausible deniability. The United States claims to be arming only the “rebels” in its efforts to remove Assad, but in reality, these rebels do not exist and are merely different acronyms for various Islamist extremists. It is therefore natural that the arms given to the rebels will wind up in the hands of ISIS or Al Nusra. On the rare occasions that journalists enquire as to how US weapons have ended up in the hands of Daesh or Al Nusra, US authorities can plausibly deny that they are intentionally arming any extremist groups.

Plausible deniability and justifications for war are two manifestations of the hallucinatory world in which we live, based on conjurations rather than reality. No newspaper or journalist questions whether the justification given for war is legitimate. No newspaper wonders whether Iraq really was linked to Al Qaeda, preferring instead to repeat US propaganda. No one bothers to dig and ask whether the FSA is just an acronym like the SDF and therefore another way of plausibly denying and covering for America’s illegal involvement in Syria.

Clearly, there is no justification or any plausible denial, that can exonerate the United States from the seventy-year attempt to consolidate its power over other countries or prevent them from pursuing foreign policies independently of Washington. But what is increasingly noticeable is how, thanks to more and more good reporting from alternative news sources, the justifications for war and plausible denials carry less and less credibility with the wider population.

Decades of lies and omissions have convinced the European and American populations that the press is probably more interested in protecting the interests of its management and owners than it is in revealing the truth. As a result, the alternative press, online media, and alternative giants like CGTN, RT, TeleSUR, and PressTV widen their audience simply by exposing how the Western media’s packaged truth only aims to justify the deployment of Western troops to foreign countries or provide plausible deniability for their less palatable covert operations.

The new perspective provided by the alternative media is ripping apart the lies of the past regarding Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Donbass, showing as fabrications the justifications used to drop bombs, kill civilians, subjugate entire populations in order to advance the US geopolitical goals.

The world population is increasingly better-informed thanks to widespread Internet access and a growing thirst for news. This phenomenon is beginning to gain steam as the deceptions of the mainstream media are increasingly being called out with every passing day. CNN, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and many other broadcasters and newspapers have for many years shown European, American, and Middle Eastern populations a partial, falsified, and manipulated version of reality for the purposes of justifying criminal actions and providing plausible-denial cover to enable the sneaky killing of even more innocents.

As the chickens are coming home to roost, more and more old statements made by US officials are revisited and measured against new facts on the ground. Obama’s words about how the US never gave weapons to ISIS are today contradicted by evidence of the perverse flow of weapons from the US and her allies to Daesh terrorists. In the same way, Clinton’s celebration over Gaddafi’s death (“We came, we saw, he died”), or Madeleine Albright’s justification of the death of 500,000 Iraqi children as a result of US sanctions, as well as their bombings from 1991 to 2003, are coming back to haunt them. All these lies are exposed years later, delivering a devastating blow to the Western establishment’s credibility.

The three examples of Iraq, Libya, and Obama himself represent the greatest expression of American deception, namely, the portrayal of the US as fighting for a noble cause, sacrificing itself for the sake of humanity in order to confront and overcome tyranny. But reality paints a different picture, showing the US as the bringer of chaos and destruction. It is the revelation of these lies more than anything else that can accelerate the global awakening and complete the rejection of imperialism that relies on false justifications and plausible denials to succeed.

With the credibility of their previous arguments shot to pieces, the corporate media find themselves with the now practically impossible task of attempting to deceive a woke population that can no longer be fooled as easily as in the past. People are fed up with war and the lies that are offered to justify them, and they are starting to understand the techniques and keywords employed to justify US Imperial policies.

_____

Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal http://www.strategic-culture.org.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/17/two-keywords-for-us-imperialism-justification-and-plausibility.html

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Is President Trump a Traitor …

2018/07/21 Leave a comment

… because He Wants Peace with Russia?

The Democrats say he is.

by Paul Craig Roberts

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org (July 16 2018)

The US Democratic Party is determined to take the world to thermo-nuclear war rather than to admit that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election fair and square. The Democratic Party was totally corrupted by the Clinton Regime, and now it is totally insane. Leaders of the Democratic Party, such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, my former co-author in The New York Times, have responded in a non-Democratic way to the first step President Trump has taken to reduce the extremely dangerous tensions with Russia that the Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama regimes created between the two superpowers.

Yes, Russia is a superpower. Russian weapons are so superior to the junk produced by the waste-filled US military/security complex that lives high off the hog on the insouciant American taxpayer that it is questionable if the US is even a second class military power. If the insane neoconservatives, such as Max Boot, William Kristol, and the rest of the neocon scum get their way, the US, the UK, and Europe will be a radioactive ruin for thousands of years.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (California), Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives, declared that out of fear of some undefined retribution from Putin, a dossier on Trump perhaps, the President of the United States sold out the American people to Russia because he wants to make peace: “It begs the question, what does Vladimir Putin, what do the Russians have on Donald Trump – personally, politically and financially that he should behave in such a manner?” The “such a manner” Pelosi is speaking about is making peace instead of war.

To be clear, the Democratic Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives has accused Donald Trump of high treason against the United States. There is no outcry against this blatantly false accusation, totally devoid of evidence. The presstitute media instead of protesting this attempt at a coup against the President of the United States, trumpet the accusation as self-evident truth. Trump is a traitor because he wants peace with Russia.

Here is Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (New York) repeating Pelosi’s false accusation: “Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump”. If you don’t believe that this is orchestrated between Pelosi and Schumer, you are stupid beyond belief.

Here is disgraced Obama CIA director John Brennan, a leader of the fake Russiagate campaign against President Trump in order to prevent Trump from making peace with Russia and, thus, by making the world safer, threatening the massive, unjustified budget of the military/security complex: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

Here are many more: {1}

And here is more from the CIA bought-and-paid-for {2}

NOTICE THAT NOT ONE WESTERN MEDIA SOURCE IS CELEBRATING AND THANKING TRUMP AND PUTIN FOR EASING THE ARTIFICIALLY CREATED TENSIONS THAT WERE LEADING TO NUCLEAR WAR. HOW CAN THIS BE? HOW CAN IT BE THAT THE WESTERN MEDIA IS SO OPPOSED TO PEACE? WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION?

The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans, as well as the rest of the world, desperately need to notice the extremely hostile reaction to peace on the part of the US Democratic Party, many members of the Republican Party, including the despicable US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and the Western Presstitute Media, a collection of people on the CIA payroll according to the German newspaper editor, Udo Ulfkotte, and the CIA itself.

Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the rest of the corrupt filth that rules over us are all in the pay of the military/security complex. Just go and investigate the donations to their re-election campaigns. The 1,000 billion dollar budget of the military/security complex, amplified by the CIA’s front corporations and narcotics business, provides enormous sums with which to purchase the senators and representatives that the insouciant American voters think that they elect.

Do you know how large 1,000 billion is? You would have to live for thousands of years and do nothing for 24/7 except count to reach that figure. It is a sum that nurtures the recipients, and the recipients regard it as worth protecting.

Therefore, the American public gets not representation, but lies that justify war and conflict. The military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned the American people to no effect, is in desperate need of an enemy. In obedience to the military/security complex, the Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama regimes have made Russia that enemy. If Trump and Putin do not understand this, they will easily be made irrelevant.

They both can be assassinated, and that is what the statements from Pelosi, Schumer, McCain, Lindsey Graham, et al, repeated endlessly in the propaganda ministry that is the Western press, encourages. Trump can be assassinated or overthrown in a political coup for selling out America to Russia, as members of both political parties claim and as the media trumpets endlessly. Putin can be easily assassinated by the CIA operatives that the Russian government stupidly permits to operate throughout Russia in NGOs and Western/US-owned media and among the Atlanticist Integrationists, Washington’s Firth Column inside Russia serving Washington’s purposes. These Russian traitors serve in Putin’s own government!

Americans are so unaware that they have no idea of the risk that President Trump is taking by challenging the US military-security complex. For example, during the last half of the 1970s, I was a member of the US Senate staff. I was working together with a staffer of the US Republican Senator from California, S I Hayakawa, to advance understanding of a supply-side economic policy cure to the stagflation that threatened the US budget’s ability to meet its obligations. Republican Senators Hatch, Roth, and Hayakawa were trying to introduce a supply-side economic policy as a cure for the stagflation that was threatening the US economy with failure. The Democrats, who later in the Senate led the way to a supply-side policy, were, at this time, opposed (see Paul Craig Roberts, The Supply-Side Revolution, 1984). The Democrats claimed that the policy would worsen the budget deficit, the only time in those days Democrats cared about the budget deficit. The Democrats said that they would support the tax rate reductions if the Republicans would support offsetting cuts in the budget to support a balanced budget. This was a ploy to put Republicans on the spot for taking away some groups’ handouts in order “to cut tax rates for the rich”.

The supply-side policy did not require budget cuts, but in order to demonstrate the Democrats lack of sincerity, Hayakawa’s aid and I had our senators introduce a series of budget cuts together with tax cuts that, on a static revenue basis (not counting tax revenue feedbacks from the incentives of the lower tax rates) kept the budget even, and the Democrats voted against them every time.

When the combination of tax cuts with defense budget cuts came up for a vote, the legendary senator Strom Thurmond, a 48-year member of the US Senate from South Carolina, tapped me on the shoulder. He said: “son, never set your senator up against the military/security complex. He will not be re-elected, and you will be out of a job.” I replied that we were just establishing for the record that under no conditions would the Democrats, who wanted more government, vote for a tax rate reduction even if there was a case that it would cure stagflation. He replied: “son, the military/security complex doesn’t care”.

My emergence from The Matrix began with Thurmond’s pat on my shoulder. It grew with my time at The Wall Street Journal when I learned that some truthful things simply could not be said. In the Treasury, I experienced how those outside interests opposed to a president’s policy marshall their forces and the media that they own to block it. Later as a member of a secret presidential committee, I saw how the CIA attempted to prevent President Reagan from ending the Cold War.

Today, right now, at this moment, we are faced with a massive effort of the military/security complex, the neoconservatives, the Democratic Party, and the presstitute media to discredit the elected President of the United States and to overthrow him in order that the utterly corrupt elite that rule American can continue to hold on to power and to protect the massive budget of the military/security complex that, along with the Israel Lobby, funds the elections of those who rule us. Trump, like Reagan, was an exception, and it is the exceptions that accumulate the ire of the corrupt leftwing, bought off with money, and the ire of the media, concentrated into small tight ownership groups indebted to those who permitted the illegal concentration of a once independent and diverse American media that once served, on occasion, as a watchdog over government. The rightwing, wrapped in the flag, dismisses all truth as “anti-American”.

If Putin, Lavrov, the Russian government, the traitorous Russian Fifth Column – the Atlanticist Integrationists – the Chinese, the Iranians, the North Koreans think that any peace or consideration can come out of America, they are insane. Their delusions are setting themselves up for destruction. There is no institution in America, government or private, that can be trusted. Any government or person who trusts America or any Western country is stupid beyond belief.

The entire Russiagate hoax is an orchestration by the military/security complex, led by John Brennen, Comey, and Rosenstein. The purpose is to discredit President trump for two reasons. One is to prevent any normalization of relations with Russia. The other is to remove Trump’s agenda as an alternative to the agenda of the Democratic Party.

President Trump is almost powerless. Putin, the Chinese, the Iranians, and the North Koreans should recognize this before it is too late for them. President Trump cannot fire and arrest for high treason Mueller and Rosenstein. And Trump cannot indict Hillary for her numerous unquestionable crimes in plain view of everyone, or Comey or Brennan, who declares Trump “to be wholly in the pocket of Putin”, for trying to overthrow the elected president of the United States. Trump cannot have the Secret Service question the likes of Pelosi and Schumer and McCain and Lindsey Graham for false accusations that encourage assassination of the President of the United States.

Trump cannot even trust the Secret Service, which accumulated evidence suggests was complicit in the assassination of President John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

If Putin and Lavrov, so anxious to be friends of Washington, let their guards down, they are history.

As I said above, Russiagate is an orchestration to prevent peace between the US and Russia. Leading military/security complex experts, including the person who provided the CIA’s daily briefing of the President of the United States for many years, and the person who devised the spy program for the National Security Agency, have proven conclusively that Russiagate is a hoax designed for the purpose of preventing President Trump from normalizing relations between the US and Russia, which has the power to destroy the entirety of the Western World at will.

Here is the report from the retired security professionals who, unlike those still in office, cannot be fired and deprived of a career for telling the truth: {3}

Here is what the clued-in Russian Defense Minister Shoigu has to say about the aggressive actions of the West against the Russian homeland: {4}

If Putin doesn’t listen to him, Russia is in the trash can of history.

Keep in mind that no media inform you better than my website. If my website goes down, you will be left in darkness. No valid information comes from the US government or the Western presstitutes. If you sit in front of the TV screen watching the Western media, you are brainwashed beyond all hope. Not even I can rescue you. Nor God himself.

Americans, and indeed the Russians themselves, are incapable of realizing it, but there is a chance that Trump will be overthrown and a Western assault will be launched against the handful of countries that insist on sovereignty.

I doubt that few of the Americans who elected Trump will be taken in by the anti-Trump propaganda, but they are not organized and have no armed power. The police, militarized by George W Bush and Obama, will be set against them. The rebellions will be local and suppressed by every violation of the US Constitution by the private powers that rule Washington, as always has been the case with rebellions in America.

In the West, which the Russians are so anxious to join, all freedoms are dead – freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry, freedom of privacy, freedom from arbitrary search, freedom from arbitrary arrest, along with the Constitutional protections of due process and habeas corpus. Today there are no countries less free than the United States of America.

Why do the Russian Atlanticist Integrationists want to join an unfree Western world? Are they that brainwashed by Western Propaganda?

If Putin listens to these deluded fools, Putin will destroy Russia.

There is something wrong with Russian perception of Washington. Apparently, the Russian elite, with the exception of Shoigu and a few others are incapable of comprehending the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony and the neoconservative determination to destroy Russia as a constraint on US unilateralism. The Russian government somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, believes that Washington’s hegemony is negotiable.

Links:

{1} https://www.infowars.com/meltdown-left-seething-over-trump-putin-summit/

{2} https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44852812

{3} https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2018/07/15/memo-to-the-president-ahead-of-mondays-summit/

{4} https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/13/defense-minister-shoigu-on-moscow-vision-security-problems.html

Copyright (c) 2016 PaulCraigRoberts.org. All rights reserved.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/16/is-president-trump-a-traitor-because-he-wants-peace-with-russia/

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How Deep is Your Knowledge …

2018/07/20 Leave a comment

… of the Deep State?

by WhoWhatWhy Staff

https://whowhatwhy.org (July 16 2018)


Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from US Government.

Regardless of how one feels about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there is no doubt that his bombshell indictment of a dozen Russians on Friday shifted the dynamics ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Many Americans are concerned about Trump’s bizarre relationship with Putin, and WhoWhatWhy’s own coverage has shown that they probably should be. Therefore, they may feel that the announcement of the indictment, which charges the Russians with hacking Democratic email accounts in an effort to help Trump in the 2016 presidential election, was a good thing ahead of the Helsinki summit. After all, it put pressure on Trump not to take it too easy on Putin – as he has done in the past.

But the timing of the indictment is more than curious. Even a charitable assessment of the decision to make the announcement before Trump’s meeting with Putin shows that Mueller, as an unelected government employee, interfered in the ability of the US president to conduct foreign policy in a manner he thought fit.

To some, that is the very definition of the “Deep State” at work and the White House has a legitimate reason to criticize the Department of Justice for the timing of the announcement.

However, for every real example of unelected government officials or groups of people taking matters into their own hands, there are also many cases in which the “Deep State” is blamed for the most ridiculous things.

A perfect example is the case of Representative Jim Jordan (Republican, Ohio), who is accused of having turned a blind eye to sexual abuse and harassment at the Ohio State University wrestling program when he was a coach there.

One of his supporters, Representative Matt Gaetz (Republican, Florida) asserted last week that this was somehow the work of the Deep State, as though sexual abuse of wrestlers thirty years ago was some sort of conspiracy to bring down a coach later in life if that coach ever ended up in Congress.

Clearly, there is still some confusion as to what the “Deep State” is. The term was hardly used until the last few years but has recently made it into the mainstream – partly because of Trump, who regularly employs the term. We also hear it referenced by mainstream media talking heads on TV, and it’s a topic of discussion at water coolers, bars, and dining tables across America.

What you may or may not know is that WhoWhatWhy has been exploring this fascinating subject for years, long before it became common parlance.

But just what is the Deep State?

To help you figure it out, below we present some of WhoWhatWhy’s premier work on the Deep State. We invite you to comment and tell us what do you think about the Deep State.

 

Deep State Sampler

 

Deep State analysis is at the core of what we do at WhoWhatWhy. With that genre apparently no longer simply dismissed as “conspiracy theory”, the corporate media seem to be playing catch up to a game that is already well into overtime. https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/02/22/russ-baker-medias-deep-state-conversion-moment/

Do you drive your friends nuts talking about the deeper influences beneath the surface of a corrupt society? Have you been accused of being paranoid or a conspiracy theorist because of these views? Now, a former longtime congressional staffer says you are not mistaken. https://whowhatwhy.org/2016/01/08/a-unified-theory-of-corruption-the-deep-state/

The true significance of what happened on 9/11 goes far beyond what meets the eye. Peter Dale Scott focuses on a secret “Continuity of Government” plan that had been decades in the making. Consequently, he argues, there has been a permanent change to the United States that permeates the lives of all Americans, resulting in the suspension of Constitutional rights and the transformation of America in ways that we are still living with today. https://whowhatwhy.org/2015/09/12/peter-dale-scott-explains-the-secret-cheney-operation-on-911/

A compelling look at the facts lurking behind the official histories of events to uncover the real dynamics in play. How manipulations by Big Oil and a shadowy alliance of national intelligence agencies called the Safari Club helped Ronald Reagan defeat President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election. https://whowhatwhy.org/2014/11/02/the-deep-state-plots-the-1980-defeat-of-jimmy-carter/

The Plame affair reminded us spies are real. And the Trump investigation is reminding us that spying might be necessary … but a sophisticated intelligence apparatus is not necessarily a Deep State. https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/06/11/a-deep-state-the-gun-the-us-doesnt-have/

From Watergate to Iraq War propaganda, conflicts between the Deep State and the Executive branch have proven helpful to the public. They provided a glimpse into the White House and the nation’s intelligence apparatus, leading to important reforms. So perhaps an open conflict between the Trump administration and the Deep State isn’t such a bad thing. https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/03/06/trump-vs-deep-state-thats-light-gets/

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump attacked Wall Street, but now he plans to roll back the recent reforms of the financial sector. This action confirms the importance of his connections to big money, both new (often self-made) and old (mostly institutional). https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/02/06/donald-j-trump-deep-state-part-1/

The worlds richest are now more likely to be internet billionaires than traditional “captains of industry”. However, these young mavericks are still trying to shape the world in a way that suits them. With regard to the Deep State, the players may have changed, but the game remains the same. https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/02/07/donald-j-trump-deep-state-part-2/

Barrett Brown and Barry Eisler examine whether the Deep State even exists today, or is there simply no leadership smart enough to keep it going. https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/08/28/anybody-running-deep-state/

Famed investigative journalist Carl Bernstein, who broke the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward, recently spoke at the SXSW conference. WhoWhatWhy was there to ask him some questions. https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/03/16/carl-bernstein-deep-state-surveillance/

https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/07/16/how-deep-is-your-knowledge-of-the-deep-state/

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Putin Confronts the American Dystopia

2018/07/20 Leave a comment

by Paul Craig Roberts

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org (July 17 2018)

We have to hand it to Putin. He is the best that there is. Note the ease with which he mopped up the floor with that idiot Chris Wallace: https://www.rt.com/usa/433447-putin-interview-fox-wallace/.

What is wrong with the US media that it cannot produce a second competent journalist as company for Tucker Carlson? Why are America’s remaining good journalists, such as Chris Hedges, now in the alternate media?

All I can say, and Putin probably already knows it, is that there is more going on than presstitutes holding the relationship between Russia and the US hostage to an internal political struggle between the Democratic Party and President Trump. It is not just that the corrupt US media is serving as propagandists for the Democratic Party against President Trump. The presstitutes are serving the interest of the military/security complex, which has ownership interests in the highly concentrated US media, to keep Russia positioned as the enemy that justifies the huge $1,000 billion budget of the military/security complex. Without the “Russian enemy”, what is the justification for such a waste of money when so many real needs go underfunded and unfunded?

In other words, the American media are not only stupid, they are corrupt beyond all measure.

Today at 12:40 Eastern time NPR had a collection if Trump-bashers doing their utmost to prevent the Trump/Putin meeting from leading to a normalizing of relations between the two governments. For example, as every informed person knows, the US intelligence community has most certainly not concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election. That conclusion was reached by a few hand-picked members of three of the sixteen intelligence agencies and was expressed not as a proven fact but as “highly likely”. It other words, it was nothing but an orchestrated opinion given by cooperative agents who no doubt expect promotions in return.

Despite this known fact, the NPR propaganda team said that Trump had believed Putin instead of a unanimous US factual intelligence report that proved Russia interfered. The NPR Trump-bashers said that Trump had believed the “thug Putin” and not his own American experts. The NPR Trump-bashers went on to compare Trump’s “siding with Putin” with Trump’s opinion that the Charlottesville violence had contributors from both sides. The NPR Trump-bashers equated Trump’s factual statement about violence from both sides into “siding with the neo-nazis” in Charlottesville.

NPR’s point is that Trump sides with Nazis and Russian thugs and is against Americans.

What Trump said in fact about alleged election interference was that whether there was or was not any election interference, it had no effect as Comey and Rosenstein have admitted, and is certainly not as important as two nuclear powers getting along with one another and avoiding tensions that could result in nuclear war. One would think that even an NPR idiot could understand that.

The Trump-bashing on NPR has gone on all day intermixed with an occasional bashing of Russia for killing Syrian civilians in air attacks on the Washington-supported jihadists that are, as instructed by Washington, trying to hold on to a bit of Syria so that Washington and Israel can restart the war. One wonders at the stupidity of those who give money to NPR so that NPR can lie to them all day long. Like George Orwell foresaw, people are more comfortable with Big Brother’s lies than with the truth.

NPR was once an alternative voice, but it was broken by the George W Bush regime and has become completely corrupt. NPR still pretends to be “listener-supported”, but in fact is now a commercial station just like every commercial station. NPR tries to disguise this fact by using “with support from” to introduce the paid advertisements from the corporations.

“With support from” is how NPR traditionally acknowledged its philanthropic donors. The real question is: how does NPR hold on to its 501c3 tax-exempt status when it sells commercial advertising? No need for NPR to worry. As long as the presstitute entity serves the ruling elite at the expense of truth, it will retain its illegal tax-exempt status.

It is obvious that the indictments of the twelve Russian intelligence officers immediately prior to the Trump/Putin meeting was intended to harm the meeting and to give the presstitutes more opportunities for more dishonest shots at President Trump. In my day, journalists would have been smart enough and would have had enough integrity to understand that. But Western presstitutes have neither intelligence nor integrity.

How much proof do you want? Here is presstitute Michelle Goldberg writing in The New York Times that “Trump shows’s the world he’s Putin’s lackey”. The presstitute says she is “staggered by the American president’s slavish and toadying performance”. Apparently, Goldberg thinks Trump should have beaten up Putin.

The Washington Post, formerly a newspaper, now a sick joke, alleged that “Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly.”

It is not only the presstitutes. It is the so-called experts, such as Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, a self-important group, financed by the military/security complex, that presides over American foreign policy. Haass, sticking to the official military/security line, declared erroneously: “International order for four centuries has been based on non-interference in the internal affairs of others and respect for sovereignty. Russia has violated this norm by seizing Crimea and by interfering in the 2016 US election. We must deal with Putin’s Russia as the rogue state it is.”

What is Haass talking about? What respect for sovereignty does Washington have? Surely Haass is familiar with the ruling neoconservative doctrine of US world hegemony. Surely Haass knows that the orchestrated troubles with Iraq, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Russia, and China are due to Washington’s resentment of their sovereignty. What is Washington’s unilateralism about if Washington respects the sovereignty of countries? Why does Washington want a unipolar world if Washington respects the sovereignty of other countries? It is precisely Russia’s insistence on a multi-polar world that has Russia in the propaganda crosshairs. If Washington respects sovereignty, why does Washington overthrow countries that have it? When Washington accuses Russia of being a threat to world order, Washington means that Russia is a threat to Washington’s world order. Is Haass demonstrating his idiocy or his corruption?

As the American media has conclusively proven that it has no independence but is a mouthpiece for Democrats and corporate interests, it should be nationalized. The American media is so compromised that nationalization would be an improvement.

The armaments industry should also be nationalized. Not only is it a power greater than the elected government, it also is vastly inefficient. The Russian armaments industry with a tiny fraction of the US military budget produces far superior weapons. As President Eisenhower, a Five-Star General, said, the military-industrial complex is a threat to American democracy. Why are the presstitute scum so worried about non-existent Russian interference when the military/security complex is so powerful that it can actually substitute itself for the elected government?

There was a time when the Republican Party represented the interests of business, and the Democratic Party represented the interests of the working class. That kept America in balance. Today there is no balance. Since the Clinton regime, the rich one percent has been getting vastly richer, and the 99 percent has been getting poorer. The middle class is in serious decline.

The Democrats have abandoned the working class, which Democrats now dismiss as “Trump deplorables”, and support instead the divisiveness and hatreds of Identity Politics. At a time when the American people need unity to stand up to warmongering and greed, there is no unity. Races and genders are taught to hate one another. It is everywhere you look.

Compared to the America I was born into, the America of today is fragile and weak. The only effort at unity is to create unity that Russia is the enemy. It is just like George Orwell’s 1984 (1949). In other aspects, the current American dystopia is worse than the one Orwell described.

Try to find an American public or private institution that is worthy of respect, that is honorable, that respects truth, that is compassionate and strives for justice. What you find in place of compassion and demand for justice are laws that punish if you criticize the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians or leak information showing the felonies committed by the US government. With all of their institutions corrupted, the American people become corrupted as well. Corruption is what the young are born into. They know no different. What future is that for America?

How can Russia, China, Iran, North Korea reach a compromise with a government that does not know the meaning of the word, a government that requires submission and when submission is not given destruction follows as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen learned?

Who would be so foolish as to trust an agreement with Washington?

Instead of pursuing an agreement with Trump, who is being set up for removal, Putin should be preparing Russia for war.

War is definitely coming.

Copyright (c) 2016 PaulCraigRoberts.org. All rights reserved.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/17/putin-confronts-the-american-dystopia/

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Peace Talk Between Nuclear Superpowers …

2018/07/20 Leave a comment

… Offends America’s Assholes and Morons

by Caitlin Johnstone

Information Clearing House ( July 16 2018)

When I was a little girl I used to end all my nightly prayers with the words, “And please no nuclear war, and peace on earth. Amen.” This was in the early eighties. The knowledge that weapons existed armed and ready which could annihilate all life on earth, including my Mum and my Dad and everyone I loved, kept me up at night.

I still marvel at the fact that these weapons exist, just as armed and just as ready, and we just go about our lives like it’s perfectly normal. They’re even more prone to malfunction than they were back then, because so many parts of the system are much older now. All it would take is something failing to work the way it’s meant to or somebody making a mistake or miscommunication that hadn’t been adequately anticipated and prepared for, and it could set into motion a chain of events from which there is no coming back. We’ve already come within a hair’s breadth of nuclear annihilation on more than one occasion due to such occurrences, and yet people still act like preventing that from ever happening isn’t the single most important priority for our entire species.

In the days leading up to the Helsinki summit between leaders of Russia and the United States, an open letter titled “Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security” was published and signed by experts, activists, and scholars ranging from Noam Chomsky to Gloria Steinem to Daniel Ellsberg to Michael Moore. Part of the letter reads as follows:

 

 

At the same time, the US and Russian governments show numerous signs of being on a collision course. Diplomacy has given way to hostility and reciprocal consular expulsions, along with dozens of near-miss military encounters in Syria and in skies above Europe. Both sides are plunging ahead with major new weapons-development programs. In contrast to prior eras, there is now an alarming lack of standard procedures to keep the armed forces of both countries in sufficient communication to prevent an escalation that could lead to conventional or even nuclear attack. These tensions are festering between two nations with large quantities of nuclear weapons on virtual hair-trigger alert; yet the current partisan fixations in Washington are ignoring the dangers to global stability and, ultimately, human survival.

All of this is completely true. You can perhaps understand why, then, when #TreasonSummit became the top trend on Twitter during the Helsinki summit, little 1983 Caitlin Johnstone wanted to punch everyone spouting that moronic bullshit right in the fucking nose.

Though you’ll never hear American mass media talking about it on either MSNBC or Fox News because it doesn’t fit the narrative on either side, Trump has actually dangerously escalated cold war tensions with Russia far beyond anything his predecessor dared to do. From adopting a Nuclear Posture Review with greatly increased aggression toward Russia and blurring lines between when nuclear strikes are and are not appropriate, to facilitating the longstanding neoconservative agenda to arm Ukraine (a dangerously hawkish move which Obama adamantly refused to do), to repeatedly bombing the Syrian government and killing Russians in Syria as part of its illegal occupation of that country, to throwing out Russian diplomats on more than one occasion, to expanding Nato with the addition of Montenegro, to aggressive sanctions on Russian oligarchs and more, this administration has inflamed tensions along multiple fronts and increased the probability of something going disastrously, irrevocably wrong.

Whether the US president has been doing these things because that was his plan all along, or because he is beholden to powers which wish to advance such agendas, or because he’s caving to political pressures from his opponents in order to avoid accusations of treason, is a question that’s open for debate. Personally, I do not care. What matters is the fact that these escalations are there, and that they need to be scaled down, and that I shouldn’t have to share a fucking planet with anyone who thinks otherwise.

Opposing talks which could lead to de-escalations between the two countries who own almost all of the nuclear warheads in the world is inexcusable and unforgivable. I don’t care if you’re dumb enough to swallow the US intelligence community’s still completely unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking. I don’t care if you think Trump is bought and owned by Vladimir Putin. Even if both of those things were true, there would still be no excuse for opposing peace talks in a dangerously escalating new cold war. None.

Communication and understanding in this situation is an objectively good thing. This meeting with Russia’s leader, which all US presidents have done for many decades, is an objectively good thing. If you have joined in the campaign to help shove the tide of opinion away from peace and toward nuclear holocaust, you are making yourself an enemy of humanity. You have become so warped and demented by your hatred of Donald Trump that it has made a part of you less human.

I despise Donald Trump and everything he stands for, and I despise everything that created him. I hate that I have to know his fucking name. But he is the only President of the United States right now, and he is in a unique position to help steer us away from the iceberg and avoid a confrontation that everyone on earth should want to avoid. Any possibility of that happening, however remote, should be supported.

Only assholes and morons oppose these peace talks. If you want to help steer this ship into the iceberg of nuclear holocaust, then I want you thrown overboard. Get a fucking grip, you raving lunatics. Stop this. Stop this immediately.

_____

Caitlin Johnstone – Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerilla poet. Utopia prepper.

This article was originally published at https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/peace-talk-between-nuclear-superpowers-offends-americas-assholes-and-morons-14158ef5cade.

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

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

informationclearinghouse.info/49859.htm

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The Globalist Elite Fears Peace, Wants War

2018/07/19 Leave a comment

by Federico Pieraccini

Strategic Culture Foundation (July 13 2018)

The announced meeting between Trump and Putin has already produced a good result by revealing the hypocrisy of the media and politicians. The meeting has been branded as the greatest danger to humanity, according to the Western globalist elite, because of the danger that “peace could break out between Russia and the United States”.

Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The following so stretches credulity that sources will have to be cited and an exact quotations given to be believed.

A case in point is the following title: “Fears growing over the prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin”. The Times does not here fear a military escalation in Ukraine, an armed clash in Syria, a false-flag poisoning in England, or a new Cold War. The Times does not fear a nuclear apocalypse, the end of humanity, the suffering of hundreds of millions of people. No, one of the most authoritative and respected broadsheets in the world is fearful of the prospect of peace! The Times is afraid that the heads of two nuclear-armed superpowers are able to talk to each other. The Times fears that Putin and Trump will be able to come to some kind of agreement that can help avert the danger of a global catastrophe. These are the times in which we live. And this is the type of media we deal with. The problem with the Times is that it forms public opinion in the worst possible way, confusing, deceiving, and disorienting its readers. It is not by accident the world in which we live is increasingly divorced from logic and rationality.

Even if the outcome of this meeting does not see any substantial progress, the most important thing to be achieved will be the dialogue between the two leaders and the opening of negotiation channels for both sides.

In the Times article, it is assumed that Trump and Putin want to reach an agreement regarding Europe. The insinuation is that Putin is manipulating Trump in order to destabilize Europe. For years now we have been inundated with such fabrications by the media on behalf of their editors and shareholders, all part of the deep state conglomerate. Facts have in fact proven that Putin has always desired a strong and united Europe, looking to integrate Europe into the Eurasian dream. Putin and Xi Jinping would like to see a European Union more resistant to American pressure and able to gain greater independence. The combination of mass migration and sanctions against Russia and Iran, which end up hurting Europeans, opens the way for alternative parties that are not necessarily willing to [obey] Washington’s marching orders.

Trump’s focus for the meeting will be to convince Putin to put even more pressure on Europe and Iran, perhaps in exchange for the recognition of Crimea and the ending of sanctions. For Putin and for Russia it is a strategic issue. While sanctions are bad, the top priority for Moscow remains the alliance with Iran, the need to further strengthen relations with European countries, and to defeat terrorism in Syria. Perhaps only a revision of the ABM treaty and the withdrawal of these weapons from Europe would be an interesting offer for Putin. However, reality shows us that the ABM treaty is a pillar of Washington’s military-industrial complex and that it is also Eastern European countries that want such offensive and defensive systems in their own countries, seeing them as a deterrents against Russia. Are they victims of their own propaganda, or are billions of dollars pouring into their pockets? Either way, it does not really matter. The most important point for Moscow will be the withdrawal of the Aegis Ashore ABM systems as well as military ships with the same Aegis system. But this is not something that Trump will be able to negotiate with his military leaders. For the military-industrial complex, the ABM system, thanks to maintenance, innovation, and direct or indirect commissions, is a gravy train that too many interests intend to keep riding.

From the Kremlin’s point of view, the removal of sanctions remains necessary for the restoration of normal relations with the West. But this would be difficult to achieve, given that Moscow would have little to offer Washington in exchange. The strategists at the Pentagon demand a withdrawal from Syria, an end to support for Donbass, and a cessation of relations with Iran. There is simply too much divergence to reach a common position. Moreover, Europe’s sanctions against Russia benefit Washington, as they hurt the Europeans and thereby undermine what is a major trading competitor to the US. The US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“) can be looked at in the same light, blocking US allies from doing business with Iran.

Putin will keep faith with his commitments to Syria and with his allies, unwilling to betray his word even for the recognition of Crimea. On the other hand, as already mentioned, the priority remains the removal of the ABM; and while Crimea is already under the control of the Russian Federation, Syria remains an unstable territory that risks propelling Islamist terrorism to Russia’s soft underbelly in the Caucasus. For Moscow, involvement in Syria has always been a matter of national security, and this certainly remains the same now, even with Donald Trump’s unrealistic offers.

It should be kept in mind that Putin is aiming for a medium- to long-term strategy in the Middle East, where Iran, Syria, and the entire Shiite arc serves to counter Saudi and Israeli aggression and hegemony. This strange alliance has emerged as the only way to deter war and dial down the heat in the region because the crazy actions from Netanyahu or Mohammad bin Salman are deterred by a strong Iranian military. Preventing a confrontation between Iran and Saudis/Israelis also means not making Tehran appear weak or isolated. Such considerations seem beyond the strategists in Washington, let alone in Tel Aviv or Riyadh.

While it is difficult to achieve a positive outcome from the meeting between Trump and Putin, it is important that there is a meeting in the first place, contrary to what the Times thinks. The media and the conglomerate of power that revolves around the US deep state fear diplomacy in particular. The same narrative that was proclaimed weeks before and after the meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un is being repeated with regard to Trump’s meeting with Putin.

Washington bases its power on force, both economic and military. But this power also rests on the posture assumed and the image projected. The United States and its deep state consider negotiating with opponents to be wrong and counterproductive. They consider dialogue to be synonymous with weakness, and any concession is interpreted as surrender. This is the result of seventy years of American exceptionalism and thirty years of Unipolarity have allowed the US the ability to decide unilaterally the fate of others.

Today, in a multipolar world, the dynamics are different and therefore more complex. You cannot always employ a zero-sum mentality, as the Times does. The rest of the world recognizes that a dialogue between Putin and Trump is something positive, but we must not forget that, as in Korea, if diplomacy does not bring significant progress, then the hawks surrounding Trump will again be in the ascendant. The tasks for Rouhani, Putin, and Kim Jong-un are complex and quite different from each other, but they share in common the belief that dialogue is the only way to avoid a catastrophic war. But apparently, peace is not the best possible result for everyone.

_____

Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal http://www.strategic-culture.org.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/13/globalist-elite-fears-peace-wants-war.html

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The American Oligarchy

2018/07/19 Leave a comment

A Review

by Chris Wright

CounterPunch (July 13 2018)

Consumers of left-wing media are well aware that America is an oligarchy, not a democracy. Everyone with a functioning cerebrum, in fact, should be aware of it by now: even mainstream political scientists recognize it, as shown by a famous 2014 study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I Page. Nevertheless, it is important to continue to publicize the oligarchical character of the United States, in order to delegitimize the institutions that have destroyed democracy (insofar as it ever existed) and inspire people to take action to restore it. Ron Formisano’s book American Oligarchy: The Permanent Political Class (2017) is a valuable contribution to this collective project.

American Oligarchy has been written”, Formisano says, “not to propose a path out of the New Gilded Age, but to discredit the political class by raking its muck between covers in black and white”. Formisano certainly achieves his goal: the “political class” comes out stinking of, yes, a swamp, a putrid moral bog. This “networked layer of high-income people and those striving for wealth including many politicians in and out of office, lobbyists, consultants, appointed bureaucrats, pollsters, television celebrity journalists (but not investigative reporters), and the politically connected in the nation’s capital and in the states” calls to mind in its hedonism, corruption, money-worship, and giddy myopia the decadent Senate-attached aristocracy of the late Roman Republic, greedy beyond the dreams of avarice.

The term “aristocracy” is apt, for Formisano argues convincingly that the US is headed beyond oligarchy to an aristocracy of inherited wealth, complete with all the ideological and cultural trappings of aristocracy. Our exalted rentiers and their service-providers have the usual attitudes of aristocratic entitlement to all good things in this world (and exclusion of the non-rich), sputtering rage at the occasional prospect of losing a particle of their preferential tax treatment, and the valorization of nepotism as first among the virtues. “The rampant nepotism of the political class fuels the galloping socioeconomic inequality of the twenty-first century”. The main differences between the American aristocracy of today and, say, the French aristocracy of the eighteenth century seem to be that the former has incomparably lower cultural (and architectural) tastes than the latter and is incomparably more destructive of society and the natural environment.

The circles in which the nation’s political leaders and their thousands of well-heeled minions travel are indeed reminiscent of some enormous eighteenth-century court. Over half the members of Congress are millionaires, with a total worth in 2013 of $4.3 billion; but even the ones whose income is of a mere six figures are able to live like millionaires. The reason is that the gears of Washington are greased by a “gift economy”, which, to quote ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, amounts to “a system of legalized bribery. All of it is bribery, every bit of it.”

In 2007 Congress passed a law prohibiting lobbyists from giving gifts to representatives, but, as Abramoff says, in effect “they just reshuffled the deck … They’re still playing the same game.” Campaign committees and “Leadership PACs” pay for the many luxurious trips legislators take around the world, as do lobbyists and donors. Golf outings, lavish “conferences”, fishing in the Florida Keys, skiing in Colorado, trips to Paris or Vienna or Hawaii, innumerable expensive parties and receptions and breakfasts with lobbyists and donors – all are paid for by either tax dollars or various committees, lobbying firms, corporate interests, et cetera. Aside from the obviously corrupting influence of all this legalized bribery, it matters a great deal that “politicians have no experience of poverty.” In fact, from 1998 to 2008 only thirteen members of Congress came from blue-collar backgrounds, and they had long ago left behind that experience. No wonder policy almost never favors the working class.

Meanwhile, while in 1970 only three percent of members leaving Congress moved into lobbying, now well over half do. As do thousands of congressional aides. In addition to reinforcing the insularity and chumminess of the Beltway culture, this “accelerating exodus of staffers to K Street … has had the effect of increasing the power of lobbyists by shortening the overall tenure of staffers”. As the latter group becomes younger and less experienced, lobbyists take on an ever-greater role in crafting legislation – increasingly byzantine legislation that is difficult even for staffers to understand, which further enhances the power of lobbyists.

Formisano documents with admirable thoroughness the fact that the foremost concern of politicians and the politically connected in both the nation’s capital and the states is to look out “for me and mine”. The most obvious and common means of doing so is to monetize one’s public service, but almost as common is the practice of nepotism. “The political class practices nepotism routinely, brazenly, and shamelessly, giving their ‘nephews’ plum jobs, promotions, a place at the head of the line”. Donald Trump may (unsurprisingly) be even more shameless than most, with his political use of his daughter, his son-in-law, and his sons – one of whom has remarked candidly that nepotism “is a beautiful thing”. But the second Bush administration took nepotism to a high art, given, for example, the important roles of Liz Cheney, her husband, and her son-in-law; the Mehlman brothers, the McLellans, the Powells, and Ted Cruz and his wife; the Martins, the Ackerlys, and the Ullmans, et al. The Obama administration was hardly innocent either, though it didn’t go to quite the extremes of its predecessor. Children of governors and members of Congress fare well too, whether serving in politics, in law firms, in businesses that benefit from political connections, or as lobbyists.

The media are almost as riddled with nepotism as politics. When her mother was Secretary of State, Chelsea Clinton was hired by NBC as a television journalist, making $600,000 a year ($26,724 for every minute she was televised). CNN’s Andrea Koppel, Anderson Cooper, Jeffrey Toobin, and Chris Cuomo are beneficiaries of nepotism, as are (at other channels and publications) Douglas Kennedy, Chris Wallace, Mark Halperin, Mika Brzezinski, Bill Kristol, Ronan Farrow, Luke Russert, Meghan McCain, Jenna Bush, Jackie Kucinich, and others. Formisano concludes, “Whether the field is literature, television, entertainment, or politics, the hallmark of this New Gilded Age of Inequality is ‘naked, unabashed favoritism’, and the shameless effrontery of those who give and receive it”.

American Oligarchy also contains long discussions of the nonprofit world, specifically of its contributions to rising income inequality. The nonprofit sector employs ten percent of the US workforce, and in 2010 corporations, government, and individuals donated $300 billion to charitable enterprises. At least $40 billion every year is lost to “fraud, theft, personal enrichment of executives, and misappropriation”. In general, the culture of large nonprofits is approximately that of the permanent political class in Washington.

University presidents and hospital CEOs, for instance, can make millions of dollars a year, and that doesn’t include such perks as bonuses, deferred compensation, auto allowances, and financial planning. In the same years as student debt has soared and state funding has declined, university foundations have been used as slush funds for big payouts and personal expenses for presidents and other administrators. Even more egregiously, nonprofit hospitals have initiated hundreds of lawsuits against patients who couldn’t pay and have routinely had arrest warrants issued and jailed debtors. Conversely, lawsuits have been filed against hundreds of hospitals in seventeen states for gouging the poor.

In other cases, nonprofits have in effect become allies of the forces they’re supposed to be challenging. A particularly outrageous instance is that of The Nature Conservancy, “by far the wealthiest green group with well over $6 billion in assets”. On its governing board and advisory committees sit executives of oil and chemical companies, mining and logging businesses, auto manufacturers, and coal-burning electric utilities, who have influence over the group’s policies. Even while preserving millions of acres, The Nature Conservancy has logged forests, drilled for natural gas under the last breeding ground of an endangered bird species, invested millions in energy companies, cultivated relationships with such polluters as ExxonMobil and BP, and sold its name and logo to companies that then claim undeserved credit for being green. Similarly, the World Wildlife Federation has close relationships with both Monsanto and the rainforest-destroying palm oil company Wilmer.

At any rate, the evidence Formisano amasses proves that the moral corruption of the American aristocracy has utterly polluted the ostensibly selfless and charitable world of nonprofits. From museums, public libraries, and human rights organizations to symphony orchestras, veterans’ groups, and environmental organizations, excessive executive compensation, corporate ties, and outright corruption have perverted the public mission of nonprofits.

American Oligarchy is not an uplifting read. Its chapter on Kentucky, a case-study of political corruption in a poor state, is, despite the detached analytical tone, at times wrenching, in particular when you reflect on all the human suffering that is the corollary of the aristocracy’s venality and greed. On the one hand are profits for Purdue Pharma in the billions of dollars, and power and money for a complicit political class; on the other hand are numberless opioid deaths and lives ruined by addiction.

But books such as this are indispensable in their bleakness since we live in bleak times that call for unstinting exposes. Perhaps as the backlash against Donald Trump grows, American Oligarchy and books like it will acquire a wide readership and so contribute to the radicalization of a generation.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/13/the-american-oligarchy-a-review/

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