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

The USA:

Has more foreign military bases than any country in world history. The number is estimated to be from 700 to over 1,000

Spends more on violence than the rest of the world combined

Has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 countries since WW2, the majority of them democracies

For more details, CLICK HERE for a brief, bullet-point overview of the US empire

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

USA Cares about Trapped People being Attacked, People being Beheaded

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Stanley’s Cures What Ails You
USA
To carry out more bombings and invasions to increase its incomparably sadistic stranglehold over theMiddle East, the USA™ recently, as its latest incredibly weak attempt at a cover for empire-building, feigned horror over the idea that a defenseless, trapped people, the Yazidis, was going to be attacked, and said some young US citizens – just not themselves or their kids – needed to head over just to, you know, help out with that.
At the exact same time, the USA, completely openly, aided and abetted Israel, again, in wantonly attacking a defenseless, trapped people, the Palestinian refugees of Gaza.  Gaza is, of course, a fenced-in patch of land populated almost entirely by refugees that Israel drove in there as part of its ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign to seize all of Palestine and parts of other surrounding countries.  In one of the sickest situations happening in the world today, Israel keeps these people trapped in the 139 square mile area – a ghetto – and regularly commits massacres against them for being there and not always passively accepting being driven into the sea and wiped off the map.  None of this would be happening without US approval and eager, highly profitable facilitation.
But the USA had to drop the embarrassing Yazidi pretext when it was revealed that the Yazidis were, unlike Gazans, never trapped, anyway.  Of course, the USA, which, as everyone knows, has no spying equipment at its disposal, could never have been aware of this beforehand. 
So, in search of another ludicrous pretext to update the cover for what the US has been doing in the Mid East since WW2 and (as a broader ethnic group) before that as the British Empire, the USA™ pretended to be shocked and horrified by a beheading.
However, there was a problem.  Saudi Arabia is one of the USA’s closest allies, and it ritualistically beheads many people, in public, as government-mandated policy, for “crimes” including sorcery and witchcraft.  (Yes, in Saudi Arabia, Harry Potter would have his head chopped off.)
What is Obama and the USA’s response to the Saudi public beheading policy?  In 2013, the Obama regime awarded Saudi Arabia the biggest lethal weapons shipment in the history of the USA.  Not the fiftieth or thirtieth biggest shipment of lethal weapons in the history of the USA.  The first biggest, which came out to over 60 billion dollars worth.  Obama also threw in some banned cluster bombs that his regime, at the same time, was dishonestly condemning Assad for using.
If this was all fake, the mind-numbing stupidity of the hypocrisy would be really funny.
ISIS, the broader pretext, flourished thanks to aid from US-allied and NATO countries and the US, and is now being stopped outside of Baghdad by what little remains of the Iraqi army and meager Kurdish militias, illustrating once again that the way for the USA to reduce the actual level of criminality in the world (which is not a US goal) is to reduce its own criminality.  
One of the many reasons why aggression is the supreme international crime is that it is obvious that it leads to more violence.
The USA is legally culpable for ISIS, not only for aiding it (intentionally or not), but for committing aggression against Iraq in 2003, continued by Obama, and creating the conditions that allowed ISIS and other such groups to arise.  US leaders are legally culpable for every death flowing from the original crime, the act of aggression against Iraq. 
The Nuremberg Tribunal called aggression “essentially an evil thing… to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” 
ISIS and the daily horror occurring in Iraq are part of the accumulated evil, all testaments to the validity of outlawing aggression.
Here is Woodrow Wilson, the US king of “idealism” (in reality a butcher), privately stating the actual, obvious reasons for US aggression:
Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down.  Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be overlooked or left unused.
- Woodrow Wilson, unpublished paper, 1907
Actual photo of the above occurring to Wilson:
USA Wilson
As Bush, Obama, and every US leader have stated, there is, indeed, evil in the world.
The ever-shifting covers for US violence are meaningless.  Their purpose is to ensure that the uninformed part of the US public continues to nod and clap in favor of the USA™ “saving babies” (a.k.a. forcing open, subverting, and controlling global markets for profit).
Robert Barsocchini is an American investigative journalist and writer for the film industry.  Here is his blog.  Also see "Whatever it Takes - Hillary Clinton's Record of Support for War and other Depravities".  Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.
This piece is also published in Washington's Blog and Counter Currents. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

War Journalist’s First Arrest Happens in Ferguson Speech Crackdown

Ferguson, Obama
Crackdown on Dissent in Ferguson
Veteran international war journalist Ansgar Graw has reported in Georgia, the Gaza Strip, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, China, and Cuba, but has never once been arrested.
Now, under the boot of the man who Pulitzer winning journalist James Risen calls “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation” – Barack “We Tortured Some Folks” Obama - Graw has been arrested for doing journalism.
Graw was in Ferguson reporting on Obama’s violent crackdown on freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent, the purpose of which is, in the words of another journalist who was arrested for reporting in Ferguson, “solely [to] intimidat[e] reporters in order to prevent them from working”.
Dozens of journalists and countless residents, including a state senator, have been arrested and/or gassed, and the state is blocking press aircraft from entering the area.
Graw here remarks on how his experience trying to do journalism in the USA has been an illusions-give-way-to-reality moment for him, shattering the make-believe, propaganda myth of “good” America, specifically the police, that he, like hundreds of millions of others, had been duped into believing:
to be handcuffed and snarled at aggressively by the police, and to see a prison from the inside, I had to travel to Ferguson, Missouri in the United States of America. My childliketrust of the US police, who I defended passionately against critics as friends and helpers, in spite of their often rough actions and lack of transparency, is gone.
We should all learn from Graw’s example and be honest enough with ourselves to accept that “childlike” is exactly what our propaganda-based notions about the United States are, and “childlike” is what the United States, and all authoritarian governments, would love for the people they control and leech off of to be.
Barry Grey sums up Obama’s vicious crackdown on dissent in Ferguson:
The state of Missouri, with the full backing of the Obama administration, has responded to continuing protests against the police murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by imposing de facto martial law on the largely working class city of Ferguson.
Residents have been stripped of the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble, reporters have been arrested or banished in violation of freedom of the press, police checkpoints have been set up at major intersections. A massive force of military vehicles, helicopters, sound cannon, flash grenades, tear gas, SWAT teams wielding assault weapons and local cops backed by National Guard troops has been deployed to intimidate, terrorize and crush social protest.
William Blum here points out one of the ways in which the myth of the USA’s moral superiority is implanted.
Obama illegally sent covert agents to Cuba to try to bring about the overthrow of the government.  His regime told the US agents:
“Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.”
Blum observes:
It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies [likeIsrael], who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting.
When countries the USA wants to destabilize, terrorize, and destroy, like Cuba, are caught engaging non-violent governance, it is not because they are good.  They are really bad, they just want to look good.
However, when the USA engages in non-violent tactics, that is not because we are merely trying tolook good, but because we actually are good.  See the difference?  It’s very scientific.
But there’s more, and this is crucial:
When the USA engages in ultra-violent tactics that surpass anything Cuba has ever done or will ever do – America is by far the most violent and war-like society on Earth – that is also because we are good.
See?
When we use non-violence, that’s because we are good, and when we use violence, that’s also because we are good.
Anything we do is good because we did it, and everything they do is bad because they did it.  Doesn’t matter what any of these “things” are.  Here’s all you have to know:
Us = Always good
Them = Always bad
Graw was never arrested in Gaza or by any other government on which he reported not because those groups are good.  They are bad.  They just didn’t want to both look bad and be bad.  They want to bebad but look good.  Bad guys are sneaky that way.
Not us, though.
We are good.  Therefore, everything we do looks good, which is why we arrested Graw.  Well… maybe that doesn’t look good, but it doesn’t matter.  Remember, since we are good, even if something we do doesn’t look good, it still is good.
Mass-arrests, violence, and intimidation against journalists and peaceful protesters (as documented byAmnesty International and others), is good, if we do it. 
No matter what point the government reaches in this country, just make sure you always take the side of the government.  That way, you know you’ll always be on the side of good.  You know, good.  Like in American movies.
If the FBI starts openly assassinating (on Hoover’s orders) people like Fred Hampton again, you know whose side to take: the FBI, because they are good.
When Obama protects torturers and aggressors and gives them high-ranking jobs in his regime, then tortures Bradley Manning and gives him 35 years in the world’s biggest dungeon system, you know whose side to take.  The good.  Not Manning.  Manning is bad, or, at best, was confused about what was good and what was bad.  (Hint: Exposing crimes was bad, because they were good crimes.  You know, like torturing folks to death and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.)
Internationally, when Obama schemes up new ways to block the Chagossians from ever returning to their homeland, Diego Garcia, because Obama prefers to use it as a base for his killing machines and torture centers, you know which is the good side, and it ain’t the impoverished and dispossessed Chagossians, that’s for damn sure.
Sometimes this can seem counter-intuitive, but that’s when it becomes important to put your full onfaith in the government that generously allows you a statistically insignificant amount of influence over the policies that dictate your life.
Don’t listen to this bad guy:
A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistleblowers. But he does.
- James Risen
Obama has persecuted more whistleblowers than all presidents combined.
Robert Barsocchini is an American investigative journalist and writer for the film industry.  Click here to join 5,100 people following him and his UK colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.
The above piece is also published in Washington's Blog, Counter Currents, and Global Research

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Egypt Dictators Use Rape as Weapon with Obama’s Support

We are a nation of laws.
- Barack Obama
Barack Obama refuses to stop illegally arming and funding (among other horrors) Egypt’s military junta dictatorship.  It is against the law to aid juntas and regimes that consistently violate human rights.  
One year ago, the Egyptian military dictatorship seized power in a massacre that Human Rights Watch now refers to as “Egypt’s Tienanmen“, although, HRW points out, the Egyptian massacre was worse.
Massacre in Egypt
US-Backed Massacre in Egypt
HRW also characterized the massacre as “systematic” and “a planned operation implicating officials at the very top of the Egyptian government.”
Massacre in Egypt
US-Backed Massacre in Egypt
This Egyptian military dictatorship, as Amnesty International reports, is using rape as a weapon, against people such as students:
Among the methods of torture employed are techniques previously used by state security during Mubarak’s rule. These include the use of electric shocks, rape, handcuffing detainees and suspending them from open doors. Another hanging method, known as “the grill”, involves handcuffing the detainee’s hands and legs to an iron rod and suspending the rod between two opposite chairs until the detainee’s legs go numb. Security forces then start using electric shocks on the person’s legs.
One of the most shocking cases documented by Amnesty International was that of M.R.S , 23, a student arrested in February 2014  near Nasr City in Cairo. He said he was held for 47 days and was tortured and raped during his interrogation. He is currently out of prison but the case is still pending.
“They cut my shirt, blindfolded me with it and handcuffed me from behind…they beat me with batons all over my body, particularly on the chest, back and face…Then they put two wires in my left and right little fingers and gave me electric shocks four or five times,” he said.
He also gave a horrifying account of how he was sexually assaulted and raped.
“The national security officer caught my testicle and started to squeeze it… I was screaming from the pain and bent my legs to protect my testicles then he inserted his fingers in my anus… he was wearing something plastic on his fingers… he repeated this five times,” he said.
He also reported being beaten on the penis with a stick. He was then raped repeatedlyby one or more security guards before being forced to sing a song in support of the Egyptian army “Teslam Al Ayadi”.
After the coup, Obama, as an attempt to quiet a horrified, onlooking world, suspended a small percentage of the almost two billion dollars a year, mostly weapons, that he sends to Egypt, but soon, unable to resist, he sent more.  The aid that he kept flowing consisted of cash and small arms, exactly what was needed most to facilitate “Egypt’s Tienanmen”, which, thanks to Obama, is partly ourTienanmen. 
Contrary to what media outlets like the Washington Post tried to lead their readers to believe, the USA never cut off aid to the raping junta.  It is perfectly understandable why anyone attempting to paint his or her own government in a falsely positive light, as the author of the above-referenced Post article did, would try to deceive readers into thinking their government does not openly and directly aid gangs using rape as a weapon.
However, as Amnesty International points out above, above, the previous Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, which enjoyed massive US support from 1979 until it was overthrown in 2011 more than thirty years later, also used rape as a weapon.
On international television, Barack Obama refused to “label” Mubarak, not as a mass rapist and torturer, but simply as “authoritarian”.  Instead, Obama painted Mubarak as a “stalwart ally”, and, regardless of some “criticisms”,  a “force for stability and good”.
Obama refused to label the merciless torturer because, Obama said, “I tend not to use labels for folks”, and “the United States’ job is not to lecture”.
As Obama lectured Muammar Gaddafi in a speech that foreshadowed an illegal US/Al Qaeda joint attack on Libya as well as Gaddafi’s gang lynching, Obama labeled Gaddafi, who fought against South African apartheid while the USA strongly supported it and got Nelson Mandela imprisoned, as “iron fisted”, “brutal”, “illegitimate”, “brutal” (again), “intimidating”, “repressive”, “repressive” (again), a “brute”, a “sponsor of terror“, “merciless”, someone who “would commit atrocities”, and so on for another few pages of lecturing.
Obama also labels in similar terms many other leaders he wants to kill.
He labels countless people as “suspects”, and executes them with rockets and missiles on that basis (though, in fairness, he does admit that “no country on earth… would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders”).
And in Africa, he supported a terrorist group implicated by the UN for mass rape.
Like Obama, Hillary Clinton preferred to label the torturing rapist Mubarak in positive terms, sayingshe “really consider[ed] President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”
Since we know the US government supports and commits any level of criminal depravity, we know acts of criminal depravity are not the reason the USA decides to illegally attack and kill people in countries around the world.
Therefore, to understand what we are living under, we must always study the actual reasons for these attacks: maintenance and expansion of the biggest empire in world history, which wants us to believe that “democracy” is:
  • Brutal, militarized police repression
  • Our taxes going towards mass murder, torture, rape, and never-ending military aggression (the supreme international crime)
  • The world’s biggest prison population in size and per capita
  • Statistically insignificant impact on public policy for average citizens:
Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin Page find, in the most comprehensive study of the topic to date:
…the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.
And last week, Dr. Noam Chomsky, American professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist, author of over 100 books, eighth most cited scholar in history, and voted “world’s top public intellectual”, reminded us:
there’s something we have to remember about the United States: It’s not a democracy; it’s a plutocracy. There’s study after study that comes out in mainstream academic political science which shows what we all know or ought to know, that political decisions are made by a very small sector of extreme privilege and wealth, concentrated capital. For most of the population, their opinions simply don’t matter in the political system. They’re essentially disenfranchised.
Gaddafi himself offered telling insight into what actually differentiated his country from the USA and the countries the USA supports:
Recollections of My Life, Muammar Gaddafi, April 8, 2011:
I am under attack by the biggest force in military history.  My little African son, Obama, wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called ‘capitalism’.  [The USA is the only country in the world that officially opposes food as a human right.]  All of us in the Third World know what that means.  It means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer.
So, there is no alternative for me.  I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following his path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us …
I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.
In the West … they know the truth but continue to lie.  they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip.
Robert Barsocchini is an American investigative journalist and writer for the film industry.  Click here to join 5,100 people following him and his UK colleague on Twitter.
The above piece is also published in Washington's Blog