an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

One group today has more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Facts that Make Fox’s Blood Boil

In one of its innumerable segments in a never-ending terrorist propaganda stream attempting to portray Christians and the US, the world’s biggest human rights violator, as global victims, Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, rightly, condemns the alleged criminal treatment and scheduled execution in major US ally Pakistan of a Christian woman for using a cup reserved for Muslims.

Van Susteren calls it “disgusting and cruel” that “instead of being generous and wanting to share” and “worrying about” the woman’s “health”, the government has decided to execute her. Sharing and concern about peoples’ health are not areas Fox is generally associated with, but here are used as part of Fox’s propaganda effort to manufacture support for increased violence against the Mid East.

Van Susteren’s guest, a representative of a Christian organization, says the scheduled execution is the act of a “conservative” government. This antagonizes Van Susteren, as Fox identifies with the terrorist extremism that in the US, in Newspeak, is called “conservatism”, so she denies that it is a conservative act and instead says the country of Pakistan, which the US under Bush Sr. provided with the materials to create a rogue nuclear arsenal, is “extremely evil”, as is the act in question.

Fox recently “explode[d] at Obama” (who until at least 2013 opposed marriage equality because he is a “Christian”) for mentioning the Crusades, a lengthy jihad in which Christian extremists offered their infidel victims, such as Jews and indigenous peoples, a convert or die, or a convert and die, ultimatum (the latter being less of an ultimatum than the former).

One must assume that Fox had previously heard of the Crusades and other events related to Christianity’s sweeping over Europe and then the Western hemisphere, in the longest and largest holocaust in human history, but simply hates when these and other facts, such as how Christianity was used to beat submissiveness into the US’s African slaves, are mentioned.

But Van Susteren was not forced to explode at herself or her guest over such a blasphemous indiscretion. She was able to restrict her rage to “others”, because no one in the segment drew the obvious parallel and mentioned that the US was founded on, and only exists because of, an endless stream of “disgusting” and “evil” acts, from the first bloody days of the Euro invasion of the hemisphere, to the Christian Fundamentalist and self-proclaimed “Decider”, Bush Jr.’s, invasion and destruction of Iraq, killing 1 to 2 million or more people in a string of acts such as the murder of up to 6,000 civilians in just one Iraqi town, a death-squad operation that mirrored in tactics, but was far worse than, a recent Boko Haram attack in Nigeria, to Obama’s terrorist execution of thousands of “suspects”, and his destruction of and coups in multiple countries, killing countless thousands.

The Fox host thus states that never “in my wildest dreams” could she “think of something that was so awful” as Pakistan’s scheduled execution (indeed a heinous act that must be aborted, with reparations given) of this Christian woman.

Van Susteren is likely aware of the following, and has simply decided that it is not as awful as the execution of a Christian woman, because the following regards the mass execution, by Christians, of infidel savages, “her” country’s owners:

In the colonies, when a native was “accused” of using an Englishman’s cup, the response, ignoring native cultural attitudes about sharing and the fluidity of so-called “property”, was not to execute the offender but to inflict complete genocide on the group as a whole: the Christian invaders, in response to the cup incident, burned “the entire community and the fields of corn surrounding it”, depriving it of its food source (105).

While the atrocity scheduled by Pakistan is certainly “evil”, Susteren is physically where she is because of countless acts that only a white supremacist genocide-apologist could characterize as any less “disgusting”, “awful”, or “evil” than the event in question.

Previously and typically, a white, blonde Fox host, Megan Kelly, groaned and sneered to native professor Ward Churchill, when he mentioned the ongoing US genocide and concentration camp confinement of the country’s owners, “That again?”

Had the Third Reich been able to implement its originally devised solution to the “Jewish problem”, modeled on the American solution to the “Indian problem”, and confined the Jews to permanent “reservations”, one could imagine a white, blonde German host sneering to a Jewish professor generations later, when he or she mentioned this, “Ugggghh… That again?”

As the Nazis did for themselves, Fox attempts to portray the world’s most violent, repressive, and threatening force, the US, and its dominant religious group, Christians, as victims under threat, as has been done in white/Christian supremacist thought for centuries.

As did the Roman empire and American slave-drivers, Fox hijacks and distorts Christianity, warping it from a defense of the weak into a bludgeon to serve the strong. And when there are signs of Christianity being used in the vein of Christ’s teachings, about empowering the oppressed and disadvantaged and speaking out against the most powerful exploiters and killers, Fox shamelessly propagandizes against it and the US oligarchy has those leaders executed.

The current Pope, Francis, has been exhibiting some of the qualities hated by Fox and America, speaking out against war, weapons proliferation, and environmental destruction, three areas in which the US leads the world. Fox thus declared Francis to be “the most dangerous person on the planet”. While this is certainly one of Fox’s crackpot cartoon caricatures, it is true that if one is religiously committed to war, arms trafficking, and destroying the environment, as Fox is, then Francis does represent some danger.

Pakistan is considered by the international community to be the second biggest threat to world peace after the US, which Pakistan trailed by three times fewer votes in a recent survey, conducted by Switzerland, of 65 equally weighted countries around the world.

In the poll, 1% of US citizens saw Pakistan as the greatest threat to world peace, while 13% of US citizens saw the US as the greatest threat to world peace, tied with North Korea.

Also see: US's Saudi Ally Cuts Off More Heads than ISIS, and is Recipient of Biggest Weapons Deal in US History, Approved by Obama in 2010

Author is a US-based researcher focusing on power centers and force dynamics, national and global. On Twitter with UK-based colleague Dean Robinson @_DirtyTruths.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

May the #LoveWins Victory Spur Us On to Increased Political Involvement

#LoveWins is a tremendous, hard won victory of popular persistence and pressure, a new and vibrant illustration that cultural change can be made when a population cares deeply and applies unrelenting, ever-increasing pressure until the job is done, the non-negotiable goal achieved.

This invigorating moment should act as renewed proof that we can make our society whatever we want it to be. And it should not and will not end here. The victory should inspire not only further “domestic” efforts, but spur those of us who tend to limit ourselves to awareness of domestic issues to become more involved in what is commonly called “foreign policy” – our official interactions with almost 100% of the world’s people (the US consists of about 4%).

In fact, foreign policy is a domestic issue. The policies are conceived, approved, ordered, and implemented by US citizens. But when US citizens as a whole pay too little attention or fail to push until we reach our goals, we leave our relations with the rest of the world up to people with major conflicts of interest, who get what they want largely through cronyism and bribery, a practice so common in our society that, to avoid embarrassment, we replaced the word “bribery” with “lobbying”, and then declared it legal (though we still consider it illegal in the private sector, as the US reminded when it recently raided FIFA, though we allow our own biggest offenders to continue their operations).

Whether we take charge of our “foreign policy” or leave it up to a few interested elites, it reflects on us. Thus, at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, in a Swiss-conducted poll of over 65 countries scattered around the world, with an equal number of people polled in each, the US was voted as the greatest obstacle standing in the way of world peace, receiving 24% of the vote. The runner-up, US-ally Pakistan, received three times fewer votes at 8%, and Russia, several slots further down, received 12 times fewer votes than the US. (The polling agency decided not to ask that question again the next year.)

The illegal invasion of Iraq, the dire consequences of which we see every day, was a US domestic choice, and the invaders came from the US, with some followers from allied countries, though no population in the world other than ours supported the invasion. People operating and coming from the US destabilized Iraq, and killed or caused the death or disablement of millions of people, including gay people who have since been executed by non-state groups that arose after the invasion, inspired and empowered by the cauldron of violence and chaos it created.  Aggressively invading another country is illegal. Many decades ago it was declared the highest international crime and was decided that the aggressive party is responsible for “all the evil that follows.”

A recent comprehensive study by Nobel-winning group Physicians for Social Responsibility has found that ten years of US attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan alone have directly and indirectly, by creating deadly conditions, caused the deaths of 1.3 million people – and that is their conservative figure. They say the true figure may be higher than two million.

Even as he supports gay rights, Barack Obama has, for example, also given massive support to longtime US ally, the wicked Saudi dictatorship, which persecutes and executes homosexuals and has become increasingly more repressive over the last several years, publicly beheading and then crucifying the headless bodies of hundreds of people, and even lashing raped women and journalists, just since the beginning of 2015.

The United States is the world’s biggest arms trafficker, and in 2010, Obama approved the biggest weapons sale in US history – 60 billion dollars worth of lethal hardware – to none other than the Saudi dictator. In addition, in 2013 he sold the despot almost a billion dollars of internationally banned cluster bombs, which his successor, the current dictator, Salman Abdulaziz, later used in a war of aggression against Yemen, assisted by the US. While rescuing downed Saudi pilots, the US refuses to rescue the thousands of US citizens trapped in the Yemen war zone, while eight other countries, including India, Russia, and China, have all carried out risky missions to rescue their own citizens and even foreign nationals.

In addition to these and many other “foreign policy” issues, there are also many “domestic” issues that remain to be solved.

Every member of the United Nations is a party to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (effective 1990), “except Somalia and the United States”, and “Somalia’s domestic ratification has finished”, it just hasn’t “deposited the instrument of ratification with the United Nations.”

rights of child
Shocking numbers of US citizens are killed by state forces, averaging about a thousand people per year (a federally determined statistic acknowledged to probably represent less than half of the total) while police in commonly compared countries often kill no one or only a few people.

The US, which even under slavery constantly touted itself as uniquely free, has the highest prison population in history, higher than the numbers of people kept in Stalin’s gulags. And to quote the US’s leading human rights group, Amnesty International, the US “stands virtually alone in the world in incarcerating thousands of prisoners in longterm or indefinite solitary confinement, a form of torture” that causes “psychological harm”; psychological torture is deemed “as bad as physical torture” by scientific studies and worse than physical torture by Sen. John McCain, who has endured both. And of course, this is all largely focused on the poor and minorities traditionally repressed and exploited in the US: “There is no other country on the planet that locks up a racial minority group at remotely near the rate the United States does with African Americans. Even under the notorious racism of the apartheid regime in South Africa, blacks were not imprisoned nearly as much as in the United States”, while Native peoples remain the group killed most often per capita by US forces. As a Native person commented:

There are no white or black faces rallying around us, marching with us, protesting with us over this injustice. Why? Because we are a forgotten people.”

As we celebrate the advent of marriage equality in the US, we should be invigorated and galvanized not only to redouble our efforts on what we typically call “domestic” issues, but to deepen our dedication and involvement to “foreign policy”, which is really just another branch of domestic policy, especially when we think of ourselves as an “international community”. People outside the US are every bit as important as people inside. There is no value difference, and we should study and respect actual world opinion.

The nationalization of marriage equality is just the latest illustration that, when enough pressure is applied and hard work put in, we can change as a culture and achieve our goals. In the case of marriage equality, the issues noted above, and many others, partial victory or negotiated settlement is unacceptable. As a great scholar of social change, Gene Sharp, notes (ch. 2), “On some basic issues there should be no compromise.”

6/29/15 Update:

From Glenn Greenwald’s piece on this topic:

In 2008 … Barack Obama said … ““I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix. . . . I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions.” In November of that year, Obama told MTV: “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.

In June 2011 … Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer told a gathering of liberal bloggers: “The president has never favored same-sex marriage. He is against it.”

…the Supreme Court has now ruled that the Constitution bars discrimination even in marriage laws is a remarkable development for a country that has for centuries imposed untold ostracization, misery and legal punishment on its citizens for the crime of being gay. … it’s only been 12 years that gay people have had the right to have sex in America without being prosecuted for it.
[The decision] demonstrates that real political change typically comes from citizens, not leaders.

Author is an independent researcher focusing on force dynamics, national and global. On Twitter @_DirtyTruths.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pentagon Admits for First Time to Testing Mustard Gas, Other Lethal Chem Weapons on 60,000 Troops Circa WWII

As brutal treatment of African Americans and other minorities in the US makes world headlines and is condemned at the UN, NPR reports:

When officers led him and a dozen others into a wooden gas chamber and locked the door, he didn’t complain. None of them did. Then, a mixture of mustard gas and a similar agent called lewisite was piped inside.

“It felt like you were on fire,” recalls Edwards, now 93 years old. “Guys started screaming and hollering and trying to break out. And then some of the guys fainted. And finally they opened the door and let us out, and the guys were just, they were in bad shape.”

The US now officially admits to conducting human experiments with mustard gas and other chemical weapons on 60,000 troops separated by race.  This is in addition to other human experiments the US carried out on African Americans, Guatemalans, Marshall Islanders, whom mainstream US culture referred to as “savages“, and others.

The types of experiments with “lethal chemical agents” the US government carried out on the troops were:

[1] Patch tests, where liquid mustard gas was applied directly onto test subjects’ skin; [2] field tests, where subjects were exposed to gas outdoors in simulated combat settings; and [3] chamber tests, where men were locked inside gas chambers while mustard gas was piped inside.

NPR quotes a 95 year old man who recounts being sent into the jungle and then bombarded with mustard gas from US military planes, as well as forced to crawl through fields saturated with the chemical.  “It took all the skin off your hands. Your hands just rotted,” he says.  He still suffers from debilitating skin conditions.

“You had no choice.  You did not know where you were going. They didn’t tell you anything,” said a subject.

Read the full report.

The US is still experimenting on people in various ways and protecting human-experimenters today.


6/27/15 Update:

A reader on Washington's Blog points out that NPR notes that whites were also used in this experiment, and groups were separated by race to see if there were any differences in reactions to chemical weapons agents.  The NPR report only discusses gas and chemical experiments carried out on minority troops, hence my error.  The report notes research suggesting that Puerto Ricans, for one, were tested to see if they "could be used on the front lines while white soldiers stayed back, protected from the gas."

I have changed the title and the wording of a sentence in the report to reflect that the number of 60,000 troops involved in this human experimentation operation were not all non-whites.  The breakdown is not specified, though it is noted and well known that minorities were considered inferior and were thus often given the worst assignments; that the military was segregated and Jim Crow laws in place in civilian life; that Japanese-Americans but not German-Americans were put in concentration camps; that the US performed other human experiments exclusively on minorities, and that US culture, as noted, considered people like the Marshall Islanders, on whom the US experimented with nuclear radiation, to be "savages" inferior to people of European descent.  And though they were and are certainly treated better, reflecting US/Euro ideas on racial hierarchy, poor whites have also been victimized on many occasions and should be recognized.