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em·pire
ˈemˌpī(ə)r/
noun
an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

Which country has more foreign military bases than any country in world history?

Which country spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined?

Which country has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

US Again Considering “Leave it to Bibi” Option on Bombing Iran?



While on the surface it may appear that Obama is trying to slow down US aggression towards Iran (the US hasalready been an accomplice in aggressively killing literally hundreds of thousands of people in Iran), only those who put religious faith in the pronouncements of “their leaders” could say they know for sure that this is indeed what is happening.
As a review of declassified internal US documents will show, people in and linked to government spend their entire careers figuring out how to do things deceptively.
What appears to be happening is that Obama is easing off the US aggression throttle towards Iran, while Israel is simultaneously on the precipice of teaming up with Saudi Arabia (another close US client/ally) to aggressively bomb Iran – the top international crime.  See “Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran“, by Robert Parry.  (Netanyahu is currently being widely exposed as a major liar regarding Iran’s nuclear program, though this was always known to those who follow world affairs by reading broadly, not confining themselves to US/Western mass media propaganda.)
However, evidence illustrates that we cannot accept this as the only possibility for what is happening.
In June, 2009, around the beginning of Obama’s presidency, a US think-tank called Brookings, considered the most influential think tank in the world, published a strategy guide for conquering Iran: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran“.
One of the chapters is titled “Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike” (Bibi is the nickname for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.)
Right away, we see that US strategists thought of this approach at least ~6 years ago: let Israel attack Iran while the US pretends to be a helpless bystander.  So we know Obama has been aware of this “policy option” (of course illegal) for years.
One way the US, if it actually wanted to, could discourage an Israeli strike against Iran (or any other Israeli crime) would be to tell Israel that if it does not cease its illegal threats of force against Iran (terrorism) or if it actually goes through with them, Israel will be completely cut off from receiving US support, which is already illegal anyway, since Israel is a war-criminal and illegal occupier state (settlements in Palestine, for example, in addition to regular massacres, are legally classed as war crimes).  Israel is the single biggest recipient of US support (meaning in amount of cash and lethal weaponry, but support also includes political – ie UN vetoes, etc. – and promised military backing).
Here is a brief look at the “Leave it to Bibi” section of the Brookings strategy report:
The section begins by admitting that “Iran has never been and almost certainly never will be an existential threat to the United States. It harbors no territorial designs on the United States, has never conducted a terrorist operation aimed at the American homeland, and, even should it acquire nuclear weapons, lacks the delivery systems to threaten the United States directly.”
In listing pros and cons of allowing an Israeli strike on Iran, the report states:
  • …the most salient advantage this option has over that of an American air campaign is the possibility that Israel alone would be blamed for the attack. If this proves true, then the United States might not have to deal with Iranian retaliation or the diplomatic backlash that would accompany an American military operation against Iran.
  • It would presumably be easier to convince Israel to mount the attack than it would be to generate domestic political support for another war in the Middle East (let alone the diplomatic support from a region that is extremely wary of new American military adventures). At least some important Israelis want to conduct such an attack and would welcome Washington’s encouragement.
  • [The single major advantage of this approach would be] the possibility that Israel would bear the entire burden for the strike…
It must be noted that while this is listed as a possibility, there are many others.  Here are some of the options from the table of contents:
“An Offer Iran Shouldn’t Refuse: Persuasion”
“Going All the Way: Invasion”
“Airstrikes”
“Toppling Tehran: Regime Change” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Inspiring an Insurgency: Supporting Iranian Minority and Opposition Groups” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“The Coup” (The US already did this, to democratic Iran in 1953)
“Containment” (The US is already doing this:)
Stars are US Attack Bases
It is made painfully clear that the US is not sorry for overthrowing Iran’s democracy in 1953 and installing a tyrannical king who, as Amnesty International reported, was tied for being the world’s worst human rights violator.  The US is only sorry that it lost control over its conquered territory, and it wants it back.
It must also be noted that while Washington’s puppet king, a top human rights violator and mass torturer, was in power, the US was assisting Iran in achieving nuclear power (and the US later cut a deal with Pakistan, an Islamic fundamentalist US ally, to help it become a nuclear weapons state, and Saudi Arabia has a deal with Pakistan to procure nukes when it deems fit, so we know the US doesn’t care about that, and, as has long been known, that US and Israeli intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons.  Only politicians do that, for the purpose, as noted in the quote above, of prepping the public mind for an attack to reconquer Iran.)
Also note this passage from the Brookings strategy guide:
…any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require theproper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback [ie 9/11/01] from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is awidespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer[Obama has already tried to create this scenario several times] —one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons [US intelligence says if Iran ever did go for nukes, they would be for a deterrent against the US and Israel] would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” [note desired adoption of batterer’s logic] by refusing a very good deal.
Thus, it may well be the case that Obama is again strategically setting up a “deal” for Iran to reject, manufacturing the “proper international context”, which could then be followed by an Israeli strike.
We don’t know exactly what is going on, but we do know that we don’t know; ie, we know that governments and their collaborators scheme, perpetrate ruses, and lie, and that their public proclamations carry zero value, and often reveal the opposite of what they profess (ie famous saying, “Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied”).
We know that Israeli and US intelligence do not accuse Iran of pursuing nukes and that only untrustworthy politicians do, and we know that the US does not care if an Islamic or rogue state has nukes (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel).  We know that the US is not sorry about having been part of killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of Iranians for their resources and strategic location, that the US will do it again if it feels it can get away with it, and that the US is only sorry that its bloody puppet tyrant was overthrown.
The US may currently be again considering and feeling out the “Leave it to Bibi” option that Obama has known about for years.
Also see:
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Lyrics that get Swept Under the Rug

The US national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner”, has four verses, though only one is commonly sung or discussed.  The reason for this becomes apparent when the lyrics are read and the history behind them known.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave
Historian Robin Blackburn writes that these lyrics, from verse three of the four-verse anthem, were an expression of settler pride after having won a major turf war with the British at New Orleans.  Written by a slave owner, staunch anti-abolitionist activist, and co-founder of the “American Colonization Society” (as was the entire song), they offer a ghoulish warning to slaves who were fighting for the British in exchange for freedom, reminding unwilling laborers that escape, or “flight’, from settler-servitude would be terrifying, as they would be hunted (which they were), and that, since the anti-abolitionist settlers were gaining the upper hand, trying to achieve freedom would lead only to “the grave”.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
From verse four, these lyrics express a fundamentalist religious belief that the settlers’ god had preserved for them the land they were violently colonizing, and which had been fully utilized and occupied by people for many thousands of years.  Indeed, the top militant commander in the fight at New Orleans, Andrew Jackson, himself waged numerous genocidal assaults on the inhabitants of the land, sometimes skinning them and using their skins to fashion clothing and other objets d’art, a la the serial killer antagonist in Silence of the Lambs.  He rode the glory brought to him by these deeds to the highest position in the settler social hierarchy.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
Among the causes justifying conquest, or empire-building, are the desire to preserve slavery, fictional commands from the settlers’ deity, and freedom to carry out these missions without British interference, similar to how Israeli settlers of today are held back by their government from committing the full level of genocidal conquest they would like, though the government, too, working with the US, constantly expands the illegal settlements and commits terrorist (UN evaluation, pg. 408, par. 1) massacres against the indigenous peoples under its boot-heel.
In 1783, George Washington, a militant and slaver (some of whose slaves fled to freedom with the British) who, like Jackson, also rode to glory and the highest position in the settler social hierarchy on massacres of indigenous people and rape of indigenous women, proclaimed that his was a “rising empire”, later adding that his “infant empire” would eventually gain some real “weight in the scale of Empires.”
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry.  He is a regular contributor to  Washington’s Blog.  Follow the author and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

John Pilger: America’s Predatory Ideology – Fascism

John Pilger’s latest essay, a must read for all, is a sweeping review that looks at the “common thread” of US action: fascistic mass murder.  Pilger also highlights the reasons behind the slaughter, detailing the monetary and power-gains made by the controllers, including up through today in Ukraine, where the US war-machine has forced through a Nazi-integrated junta and installed US industrial and financial goons to enforce and exploit cheap labor and resource extraction on Russia’s border, a precursor, Pilger explains, to the desired conquest and breakup of Russia.
The essay covers the US/Euro aggressive slaughter of Libya and Obama’s seizure of $30 billion that was going to be used to strengthen Africa by establishing an African Central Bank.
It surveys the US destruction of Yugoslavia, done for similar reasons, and of Afghanistan, noting that before the US and Pakistan unleashed the Mujaheddin on that country, supplying the jihadists with all forms of aid including hundreds of millions of dollars:
“Every girl,” recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon,
“could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified…”
Pilger ties everything back to the thread of American fascism, noting, for example,
Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s.
Today, the world’s greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama’s victims.
His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains.  Each “hit” is registered on a faraway console screen as a “bugsplat”.
Pilger also explains how US/Western mass media is an integral part of the tapestry of fascism:
…cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the “tragedy” of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places — just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood’s violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, American Sniper, which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a “patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days”.
The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America’s most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently,
“No European government, since Adolf Hitler’s Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West’s media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established ….If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason.”
In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media:
“The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack …. In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”
Read Pilger’s essay for many more details (such as how ISIS is the product of US action much like theKhmer Rouge) and his conclusions, based on decades of journalistic field experience and research, about how we should respond.