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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

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

How Americans Can End the Israeli Occupation and Free Palestine: 3 Steps

(This piece also appears in Washington's Blog and Counter Currents.)
1)  Identify the Israeli Dictatorship’s Source of Power
The government of Israel acts as an expansionistapartheidterror dictatorship over Palestine.
Israel’s source of power for maintaining its dictatorship over Palestine is:
Illegal US Funding
Approximately 3.1 billion dollars per year are taken from US citizens and illegally given to the Israeli dictatorship in the form of cash and high-tech lethal weaponry
US Weapons Exports to Israel, 2013, Used Against Palestine
Despite the illegality of aiding the Israeli dictatorship, it is the single biggest recipient of US foreign aid, substantially increased under Obama despite three major Wounded Knee-style massacres of Palestinian civilians carried out while Obama has been in office. 
US funding is the Israeli dictatorship’s Achilles heel.  Sever the flow of US funds to the Israeli dictatorship and, as in the cases of the US-funded South African apartheid and US-funded genocidal Indonesian regimes, Israel’s ability to maintain its brutal expansion, occupation, and dictatorship will end.     
2)  Attack and Sever the Israeli Dictatorship’s Source of Power using these Non-Violent Tactics
Use these Non-Violent tactics to force the government here in the US to stop illegally aiding the brutal Israeli occupation and dictatorship over Palestine:
    • Non-consumption of boycotted goods and companies (SodaStream, Starbucks, etc. See here and here for lists of companies to boycott)
    • Group or mass petitions (sign this petition from Amnesty International to stop illegal US aid to Israel)
    • Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
These are just a few examples of effective tactics.  For all 198 methods of non-violent action from Dr. Gene Sharp’s pamphlet From Dictatorship to Democracy, see this list.
The tactics must be carried out individually and collectively.  Use them any time, alone, with a friend, with multiple friends, with allies, and with large groups or organizations.  However, as Dr. Sharp notes, “…always be alert for the presence of agents provocateurs whose mission will be to incite [people] to violence.”  Crucially, violence must be avoided or the cause will be undermined and set back (in addition to violence being illegal and almost always morally indefensible).   
As documented, US citizens and populations worldwide are already using these non-violent tactics in pursuit of ending Israel’s occupation of and dictatorship over Palestine by cutting illegal US funding for the Israeli dictatorship. 
Palestine Protest
"30,000 protesters from across the country took to the streets around the White House and downtown Washington"
Palestine Protest
Chicago
Palestine Protest
Austin, Texas
Palestine Protest
Boston, Massachusetts
Palestine Protest
New York
Palestine Protest
Columbus, Ohio
See here for more pictures of the ongoing protests around the US and world.
To reach the goal of ending illegal US aid to Israel, we simply need to continue to increase American participation until the outcome is achieved.
3)  Be Clear on the Goal
The goal is:
End the brutal Israeli dictatorship over Palestine by severing its source of power: illegal US funding.
US funding for Israel can be legally reinstated once Israel ends all forms of its dictatorship over Palestine, respects human rights, and obeys international law. 
International law requires Israel to completely withdraw all presence from Palestine.
That means Israel must withdraw not only its forces but also its settlers, all of whom are in Palestine illegally, just as colonial France withdrew its settlers from Algeria, and as many colonial settler states were forced to decolonize the countries they abused. 
International law further requires Israel to end its illegal blockade of Gaza, which, under international law, is a form of occupation. 
Israeli-Occupied Palestinian Territory is legally defined, by the world’s highest courtvirtually every country in the world via the United Nations, and all major human rights organizations, as the West BankEast Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip
Amnesty International:
"The area comprising the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] is made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip – areas that Israel occupied in 1967 and has continued to control during the more than four decades since then."
Source: “Trigger Happy – Israel’s Use of Excessive Force in the West Bank", by Amnesty International, February, 2014, page 6
The USA and Israel are virtually the only two entities that reject the legal and democratic consensus that Israel must withdraw all presence from Palestine, which is why non-violent resistance tactics are required to force the government in the US to stop illegally aiding the Israeli dictatorship.  
Keep in Mind:
    • These field-tested tactics are shown to work and will end the US-funded Israeli colonial terror dictatorship over Palestine if put into effect by enough of the US population.  Therefore, to end the Israeli dictatorship, disseminate this information as widely as possible, put it to use, and encourage others to do the same.
    • It is illegal under US and International law to aid the Israeli dictatorship because it is a consistent violator of human rights.  Thus, forcing an end to US aid for Israel until Israel obeys international law and respects human rights is legally required, and will end the Israeli dictatorship over Palestine.   
    • Israel has for decades been the single biggest recipient of US aid, now at over $3 billion per year, and Obama has requested more military aid for Israel than any other president.  With Israel as the USA’s main ally – a nuclear ally, at that – for controlling the oil-rich Middle East, those who dictate US policy are not going to willingly stop using our money to uphold the brutal Israeli colonial dictatorship.
    • However, they do not need to be willing.  US Southerners did not willingly grant rights to African Americans.  They were forced to do so against their will.  South Africa did not willingly give up its apartheid regime.  It was forced to do so by public pressure. 
    • People are sometimes forced to do obey the law and do the right thing even though they don’t want to and will only do it kicking and screaming.  This will be the case when those who dictate US policy are forced to stop using our money to finance the Israeli dictatorship over Palestine.
    • Be wary of “negotiations” from the government in the US, Israel, or any other source.  Accept only a complete end to illegal US aid to Israel until the conditions for reinstating aid are achieved and recognized by the world and its legal authoritative bodies (the USA and Israel are not international legal bodies, let alone neutral parties).  (On the danger of negotiations, see From Dictatorship to Democracy pamphlet, chapter 2)
Dr. Noam Chomsky, August 3rd, 2014, affirms that forcing the USA to stop illegally arming the Israeli terror dictatorship is of utmost importance:
The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.  In reality, Hamas leaders have repeatedly made it clear that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the U.S. and Israel for 40 years.
In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.”
Israel’s terror dictatorship will continue, says Dr. Chomsky, “if the U.S. maintains its decisive and virtually unilateral support for Israeli crimes and its rejection of the long-standing international consensus on diplomatic settlement”.
However, he says, “[i]f the U.S. decided to join the world, the impact would be great.”
“U.S. law requires that ‘no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.’
“…well-conducted educational, organizational and activist effort[s]” will “compel Washington to become part of ‘the international community’ and to observe international law and norms.
Nothing could be more significant for the tragic Palestinian victims of many years of violence and repression.”
Dr. Noam Chomsky is an American former professor of linguistics at MIT, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, and political commentator and activist.  He is the author of over 100 books, and is the eighth most cited scholar in history, just behind psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and just ahead of philosopher Georg Hegel.
To Prepare with More Knowledge, See:
Spread knowledge to educate and inform others.  Given factual and complete information, people overwhelmingly support what is obviously right.
Source:
Instructions in this piece are based on:
    • Non-violent tactics that have worked to end dictatorships and settler-colonial occupations
    • Scholar Gene Sharp’s pamphlet, From Dictatorship to Democracy, which was used in 2011 to overthrow, among others, the 30-year, US-backed, brutal Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.  The methods have worked over and over again around the world.
Disclaimer:
Non-violent, legal tactics only.  Period.  Violence is illegal, almost always morally indefensible, will make things worse, not better, and is in no way whatsoever being advocated here.  “…military resistance against dictatorships does not strike them where they are weakest, but rather where they are strongest.” – Dr. Gene Sharp
Final Notes:
    • Help these impoverished, indigenous, Semitic people without means, Palestinians, who are being sadistically eradicated and intentionally driven from their land by cruel, colonizing terrorists, Israelis, whose ongoing and expanding campaign of land-stealing, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, and annexation is fully and illegally funded with American tax money.
    • As Amnesty International said of Israel’s 2009 massacre in Gaza, it would not have been possible without US support.
    • Feel embarrassment and shame for Israeli officials when they whine and complain about how horrible it is that the poor people they have terrorized, murdered, repressed, and dispossessed since 1948 fight back.
    • Slaves and victims of settler/colonial terror and apartheid (the Irish, South Africans, Algerians, etc.) have always fought back, and will always fight back.
    • Over the last several decades, Israel has taken approximately 100 billion dollars worth of aid from Americans.  Instead of using it to withdraw from Palestine and build a thriving, admirable country, Israel has chosen to remain an expansionist, apartheid, terrorist dictatorship committed to continuing its project of wiping Palestine off the map. 
    • As of now, 1,849 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's current massacre, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, and over 20 percent of them children under the age of 18.  On the Israeli side, 67 have been killed, 64 of them troops.
    • We must seize the moment and force the US government to stop feeding the Israeli terror dictatorship with our money. 
    • The time has come when US citizens can end the horror.
    • We did it when the USA supported the Indonesian genocide in East Timor for a quarter century.
    •  We can do it again now.
    • Never forget what the Israeli terrorists have done and continue to do.  Don’t let them continue, and never let them do it again.
Palestine Loss of Land
Gaza, Palestine Bombed
Israel Terror Bombs Gaza Ghetto
Gaza, Palestine Bombed
Israel Terror Bombs Gaza Ghetto
Gaza, Palestine Destruction
Devastation in Gaza Ghetto from Israeli Terrorism
Gaza, Palestine Destruction
Devastation in Gaza Ghetto from Israeli Terrorism
Palestine girl
Palestinian Girl in Gaza Hospital, Sprayed with Israeli Shrapnel
Free Palestine
Free Palestine