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

The largest empire today has amassed more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more seeking hegemonic domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of which were elected by their populations.

Support research, reporting, and analysis. Contribute $10 or more and receive an essay on the historical roots of the “Black Lives Matter” movement.




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

The largest empire today has amassed more foreign military bases than any other in world history, spends more seeking hegemonic domination than the rest of the world combined, and has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of which were elected by their populations. - See more at:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Corporate Media Backing Clinton Exploits Orlando Shooting for Passive Holocaust Denial

Within hours of the mass shooting in Orlando, the corporate media backing neoconservative favorite Hillary Clinton began, almost unanimously, to exploit the opportunity to passively promote holocaust and genocide denial.

Outlets including the NY Times, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, Newsweek, USA Today, and so on, all referred to the Orlando massacre unequivocally as the worst shooting and/or worst act of gun violence in US history. (CBS News, at the time it was accessed for this piece, was running a large "I'm With Her" ad for Hillary Clinton at the top of its page.) A useful comparison to the corporate assessment might be to imagine if a German civilian gassed a group of people to death and the German press reported it as the worst gassing in German history. After the Paris shooting, the Western press likewise reported that as the worst shooting in recent Parisian history, despite that the Parisian police not long ago massacred some 300 peaceful marchers protesting the French dictatorship in Algeria and dumped their bodies in the river that runs through the city (more info in previous piece).

Native News Online quickly pointed out that the corporate media was almost completely whitewashing "mass killings of American Indians in its reporting" on Orlando. It gave two well-known (as far as these go) examples of worse gun-violence and mass-shootings: some 300 Native men, women, and children, were massacred at Wounded Knee, and 70 to 180 were massacred at Sand Creek.

One commenter on the Native News piece shared that she "wrote to every single news outlet yesterday from the New York Times, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and Salon to CNN, NBC, and the BBC. I have yet to receive a reply from any of them with the exception of the Oregonian, who changed its language immediately. They also informed me that the Associated Press has just begun to change its language. I’m hoping the Guardian and BBC begin to do the same too."

Another commenter on the Native News piece gave a short list of some acts of gun-violence, mass-shootings, or mass killings perpetrated in US history, by US forces:

1864 – 300 Yana in California
1863 – 280 Shoshone in Idaho
1861 – 240 Wilakis in California
1860 – 250 Wiyot in California
1859 – 150 Yuki in California
1853 – 450 Tolowa in California
1852 – 150 Wintu in California
1851 – 300 Wintu in California
1850 – 100 Pomo in California
1840 – 140 Comanches in Colorado
1833 – 150 Kiowa in Oklahoma
1813 – 200 Creek in Alabama
1813 – 200 Creek in Alabama
1782 – 100 Lanape in Pennsylvania
1730 – 500 Fox in Illinois
1713 – 1000 Tuscarora in North Carolina
1712 – 1000 Fox in Michigan
1712 – 300 Tuscarora in North Carolina
1704 – 1000 Apalachee killed & 2000 sold into slavery in North Carolina
1676 – 100 Algonquian and Nipmuc in Massachusetts.
1676 – 100 Occaneechi in Virginia
1675 – 340 Narragansett in Rhode Island
1644 – 500 Lanape in New York
1640 – 129 Massapeag in New York
1637 – 700 Pequot in Connecticut
1623 – 200 Powhatan & Pamunkey in Virginia with “poison wine”

Professor David E. Stannard describes one such massacre, wherein US forces weakened a Delaware group of Native men, women, children, and elders through starvation, convinced them it would be in their best interest to disarm, then tied them up and exterminated them and mutilated their dead bodies. Stannard notes that such massacres by US forces "were so numerous and routine that recording them eventually becomes numbing". (American Holocaust, pp. 125/6)

A couple of corporate news outlets used somewhat more precise language to describe the Orlando massacre, editorializing (while again presenting it as fact) that it was the 'worst shooting in modern US history'.

However, this still leaves unstated the writer's opinion of what constitutes 'modern'. The wounded knee massacre took place in 1898, and the Black Wall Street massacre, for example, in which 55-400 people were murdered and a wealthy black community in Oklahoma ethnically cleansed, took place in 1921. (More examples.)

And, of course, the US has massacred millions of people, many of them with rifles and other types of guns, but also in far worse ways, outside the territory it officially claims, and continues to do so. Obama recently massacred almost a hundred people at one time with what could be viewed as an AR-15 on steroids. Is any of this part of 'modern US history'? Why or why not? The qualifications are unstated and thus subjective. The vague language from the neoliberal, government-linked corporate outlets may lead readers to believe that all of US history is included in their 'factual' statements, and that the US has never massacred more than fifty people anywhere.

In some cases, this impression will have been intentional on the part of the oligarch mouthpiece outlets, which have an interest in fostering a benevolent image of the US to help elites further capture global markets . In others, it will have been a result of conveniently self-aggrandizing ignorance on behalf of the writers and editors - an ignorance that makes an important contribution to their job security.

As some of them partially or belatedly demonstrated, all of the corporate outlets could have easily avoided any holocaust/genocide-denial by calling the shooting the worst by a single civilian on US territory in at least the last thirty years, or any number of other obvious, simple, direct phrasings, which are supposed to be integral to journalism, anyway.

But as John Ralston Saul points out, the neoliberal/neoconservative ideology relies on the 'whitewashing of memory'. That doesn't always work, though, especially on survivors of US and Western genocides, which is why, as Ralston Saul further notes, the West and its proxies are behind most of the global murders of writers, who may try to expose facts and evidence that interfere with the West's historical whitewashing.

Since the Orlando massacre, both Clinton and Trump have called for further escalation of Western aggression in the Middle East.

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Even for a Democrat, Clinton Stands Out as Violent, Aggressive

Robert Parry says in his latest piece that while the Democrats have been "a reluctant war party" since 1968, by nominating Hillary Clinton, they have once again become an "aggressive war party".
Noam Chomsky notes that indeed, Hillary Clinton would be more "adventurous", ie aggressive, than Trump or Sanders in terms of foreign policy, but he and other analysts, like John Pilger, disagree with Parry that the Democrats were, during the period Parry suggests, and perhaps any other, what a rational person would call "reluctant" to kill. 
Looking back briefly at a couple of examples of Democratic initiatives, as well as who formed the Democratic party, we see that when it comes to butchering people, the Democrats have never been shy. 
John Pilger points out in a recent article that "most of America's wars (almost all of them against defenceless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama." 
Kennedy began the US genocide against the people of Vietnam, demanding bombings and attacks with chemical weapons like napalm, and began a terrorist campaign against Cuba that continues to date.  
Johnson, who viewed the Vietnamese people as "barbaric yellow dwarves", continued the genocide in Vietnam and Indochina.
Carter supported numerous genocides and terrorist campaigns.  
Bill Clinton, among many horrific acts, committed a major genocide against the people of Iraq, and helped lay the foundation for today's nuclear war tension by expanding NATO to Russia's borders.  
One of Hillary Clinton's many crimes was to continue this expansion by supporting a US-backed, neo-Nazi and neo-con integrated coup in Ukraine while referring to the president of Russia as "Hitler" - by far the most aggressive stance towards Russia of any US candidate.  
See Pilger's article for some of Obama's crimes, which in several ways are uniquely extreme.  
Truman defied his military and conservative advisers and many others and carried out mass nuclear executions of civilians as a way to influence the government of Japan (and likely the Soviet Union), then followed his nuclear attacks by further targeting Japanese civilians with the biggest TNT-based mass-execution of civilians in human history up to that point.  Executing civilians was a prominent part of his 'Democratic' philosophy.  He publicly stated that "the German people are beginning to atone for the crimes of the gangsters whom they placed in power and whom they wholeheartedly approved and obediently followed."  His logic, an example of the standard definition of "terrorism", would suggest that Israelis, who support almost entirely their state's illegal annexation and massacres of Palestine, should be targeted and killed until they "atone" for what their government is doing, and that US civilians who supported the sanctions against or invasion of Iraq (etc.) should likewise be punished until they "atone".  This is also the principle behind the 9/11 attacks, though US citizens who support terrorism committed by their own state are quick to engage in the "wrong agent" - genetic- fallacy when this is pointed out.  
Looking back further than Truman, we find the Democrats comprised the bulk of the pro-chattel-slavery bloc.  As noted at"after the Civil War, most white Southerners opposed Radical Reconstruction and the Republican Party's support of black civil and political rights. The Democratic Party identified itself as the "white man's party" and demonized the Republican Party as being "Negro dominated," even though whites were in control. Determined to re-capture the South, Southern Democrats "redeemed" state after state -- sometimes peacefully, other times by fraud and violence. By 1877, when Reconstruction was officially over, the Democratic Party controlled every Southern state. The South remained a one-party region until the Civil Rights movement began in the 1960s. Northern Democrats, most of whom had prejudicial attitudes towards blacks, offered no challenge to the discriminatory policies of the Southern Democrats."
Backing up again, we see that in fact the Democratic party was founded by supporters of the sadistic genocidaire Andrew Jackson, who enjoyed making clothing from the skin of people who were exterminated in service of expanding the un-free world. 
Are Republicans therefore a superior ogranization?  Of course not.  The two parties check and balance each other to maintain and expand the world's leading terrorist state.  
As we can see, it is nothing new or different for the Democrats to be a party of expansionist gangsters.  What is remarkable of Clinton, then, is that even against this gory and tyrannical backdrop, she stands out as especially evil, corrupt, and extremist in her US religio-national supremacism.  As Professor Johan Galtung notes, two countries today (and occasionally their proxies) continue to wage aggressive war, thanks to their belief that they have been anointed by their gods: the US and Israel.  And Hillary Clinton is as fundamentalist as they come.
As Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky, among others, have recently noted, US elections are "a carnival... a way of making people passive, submissive objects".  Rather than petering out and cowering to the Democratic party, Chomsky says, Sanders supporters should "sustain the ongoing movement, which [should] pay attention to the elections for 10 minutes but meanwhile do other things."  However, at the moment, "it’s the other way around. It’s all focused on the election. It’s just part of the ideology. The way you keep people out of activism is get them all excited about the carnival that goes on every four years and then go home, which has happened over and over."
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Russian-Americans Warn Nuclear War Will Leave Millions of Americans Dead. Which Candidate Most Likely to Deescalate?

A group of Russian-American political analysts have issued a detailed warning to US citizens.  They note that allowing the regime in Washington to attack or provoke Russia might leave the US in ruins and tens or hundreds of millions of Americans dead.  This could happen after a US attack on Russia, a provocation interpreted as an attack, or even simply a mistake, as has nearly happened numerous times in the past.

The analysts understand that Americans are still "excited" by war, since they are part of a relatively young country that has almost always been on the giving rather than the receiving end of the gun.  However, in contrast, Russians have been invaded by Europe numerous times and have lost tens of millions of citizens.  They "hate and fear war ... but are also ready for it" with powerful and advanced weapons systems, the analysts say.

Contrary to prominent US corporate and government propaganda, "American anti-ballistic missile systems are incapable of shielding the American people from a Russian nuclear strike." Russia will not initiate an attack, but if attacked itself, it can hit US targets with its "long-range nuclear as well as conventional weapons."

"Even if the entire Russian leadership is killed in a first strike", a prospect that makes some US elites giddy, "the so-called “Dead Hand” (the “Perimetr” system) will automatically launch enough nukes to wipe the USA off the political map."

Thus, the Russian-Americans "appeal to the American people to take peaceful but forceful action to oppose any politician or party that engages in irresponsible, provocative Russia-baiting, and that condones and supports a policy of needless confrontation with a nuclear superpower that is capable of destroying America in about an hour."

This raises the question of which US candidate is least likely to get us killed through nuclear war.  All of the remaining candidates (Clinton, Sanders, Trump) agree that nuclear war is currently a huge existential threat, and so do experts on the subject.  The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists puts us at three minutes to 'midnight' - meaning very close to nuclear war.  Why are we so close?

The reason is that the US, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, has broken its promise to halt expansion of its military empire (called 'NATO' in the region in question) and has instead muscled its militants and lethal hardware up to Russia's border through a process that, most recently, has included backing neo-Nazi extremists and integrating them with a dictatorship Washington helped install in Ukraine after toppling its elected president.

Ukraine is on the traditional route Western Europe has used to invade Russia.  Thus, Russia has watched the expansion of a hostile US military alliance that is now pushing to take Ukraine, and feels as if the West may be thinking about another invasion of Russia or related scenario.  This is the cause of the current high risk of nuclear war.

What do the US candidates say about NATO?

Sanders, while having supported major war crimes and acts of aggression committed by the US involving its NATO military camps, now says he is "against the expansion of NATO because it provokes unnecessary aggression from Russia."  Thus he is against further expanding a hostile military alliance towards Russia, not because doing so is Western aggression, but because it makes Russia respond aggressively, though without necessity, as US military expansion, since the time when US bases began being pushed towards Native American nations, is benign.
Partially contradicting himself or offering another option, Sanders has also said that NATO should be expanded, but to include Russia and some Arab states as partners.

Trump: The LA Times claims that Trump's position on NATO is similar to that of Sanders, but it seems clear from the quotes they cite that Trump is actually more opposed to NATO than Sanders. The Times quotes Trump saying NATO is "obsolete. And there's nothing wrong with saying it's obsolete. But it is obsolete." The Times only has Sanders saying Europe should pay more of the cost of NATO.  This is objectively less critical than saying NATO is obsolete, but apparently the Times wanted to connect Trump and Sanders on this issue.

Why does Trump say NATO is obsolete?  Prominent Russia scholar Stephen Cohen points out that Trump accurately recognizes that the stated reason for creating NATO was to counter-balance the Soviet Union.  He says Trump has thus pointed out that "NATO was founded 67 years ago to deter the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ended 25 years ago", which is what makes NATO "obsolete." From this rhetoric, it would seem Trump would be less likely than Sanders to incite a nuclear war with Russia via NATO, though Sanders, while far more hostile towards Russia on this issue than Trump, does not seem highly likely to do so, either.

The third candidate, who has received more money from lethal weapons manufacturers than any other and is currently being considered by the FBI for criminal indictment, Hillary Clinton, is quoted by the LA Times issuing hyperbolic praise of NATO as "perhaps the most effective military alliance 'in human history.'"

Clinton's assessment of the situation in the region is closer to that of Sanders than Trump, but far more aggressive.  She assures that NATO's military expansion is completely benign - NATO would never hurt a fly - and, like Sanders, says it is Russia that is being aggressive.  Going several steps further than Sanders, Clinton strongly supported the Western-backed overthrow of Ukraine's elected president and the installation of a dictatorship integrated with neo-Nazis, partially by, in Orwellian terms given the neo-Nazi alliance to the US, referring to Russian president Putin as "Hitler".  Clinton thus demonstrates that she means to be as aggressive as possible both in deed and rhetoric, and seems to have a laser-like focus on a neocon reconquest of Russia.

While Clinton issues dangerous rhetoric to support the expansion of NATO and possible conquest operations against Russia, Trump is continually belittled by the corporate Democrats, including Clinton herself, for being 'friends' with Putin, and so forth.

Indeed, as Robert Parry notes, even when, in a speech this week, Clinton was trying to paint Trump as the bigger nuclear threat, she still could not help but further propagandize about Putin's so-called "aggression".  She thus again illustrated, even while doing her best to prove the opposite, that a) she is obviously more aggressive towards Russia and is more likely to incite a nuclear war than the other candidates, and b) that she may lack the basic understanding, or simply not care, that the biggest threat of a nuclear war is between the US and Russia, because of the expansion of the military empire she aggressively supports (and not just in Europe).  Driving this apathy or lack of understanding home even further, she stressed that Russia would be happy if Trump were elected US president.  Yes... Russians would be happy to deescalate from the nuclear confrontation that has been inflamed by Hillary Clinton, the Obama regime, and the expansion of NATO and US-backed dictatorships up to Russia's border.  That Clinton appears not to perceive the contradictions in her statements seems hard to believe, unless she is just that fundamental in her US religio-supremacism.  Maybe she is demonizing Russia as a tactic to stoke feelings of US superiority and attract US supremacist voters, but when nuclear destruction is on the line, that would seem quite careless.

John Pilger notes that the Obama regime, in which Clinton was perhaps the leading chicken-hawk until she left in 2013, has spent more on nuclear weapons than any other regime in the history of the weapon, and has also built more nuclear weapons than any other regime.  For these and many other reasons, the highly respected and experienced journalist, Pilger, has assessed directly that "Hillary Clinton is more dangerous than Donald Trump."  Similarly, John V. Walsh has pointed out that while Trump issues ugly racist rhetoric and plans, so does Clinton, and given their records, she may be the bigger institutional racist.

A counter-point to Pilger's assertion is given in the Huffington Post by Vincent Intondi, an associate professor of history at Montgomery college. He prefaces his piece by stating that after he read Pilger's article on the dangers of Clinton (and Obama), he "simply could not answer. I was too infuriated to find the words". Thus readers are warned early on that the author may have an emotional/ideological blind spot due to US party politics favoring the Democrats.  Continuing, we see some incredulous and vaguely threatening statements directed to Pilger such as "how dare you", and "stay in your lane".  Intondi also falls back on known lies and blatant omissions.  He praises Obama for aggressively bullying long-time US victim Iran into not seeking a nuclear weapon (which it was not seeking anyway), while ignoring that Saudi Arabia, under Obama, announced that it was seeking nuclear weapons, then that it obtained access to them via US ally Pakistan.  Saudi royals stressed that, unlike Iran, they would "never" renounce nuclear weapons.  Around the time of this process, the Obama regime made a deal with terrorist Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's "king", to sell him more weapons than the US, already the world's biggest arms trafficker, has ever sold any regime in its history.  This included internationally banned cluster bombs, which Abdulaziz has since used against Yemeni civilians, with US support.

In the last paragraph, Intondi suggests that because he has a "Hispanic wife, bi-racial niece, and hundreds of students each semester who are a majority nonwhite and immigrants", he has thus "walked [further] in the shoes of those who have been most affected by Trump’s actions" than Pilger. This omits a) how Trump has managed to "affect" more nonwhite people than Clinton, who has been in or intimately connected to high seats of global power for several decades and involved in killing millions of nonwhite people (and even many white people, too), and b) that Pilger has been making documentaries in conflict zones around the world for over 40 years, some of which have looked at how the neoconservative/neoliberal policies Clinton has supported have killed millions of people.

Thus, the most prominent counter-point to Pilger's piece, apart from the possibly confused and stunningly contradictory statements coming from Clinton herself, seems fraught with misinformation and omissions dictated by emotional, ideological blind-spots.

As the LA Times and others have shown, Hillary Clinton is clearly and by far, even by her own admission, the most aggressive towards Russia, and thus most likely to cause a nuclear war that could leave millions of US citizens dead and the country non-existent.

(If you haven't checked her out, see Jill Stein - what a popular candidate might look like in a culture not dominated and corrupted by corporate cash.)

Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published author who focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Updates on Twitter. Author’s pamphlet ‘The Agility of Tyranny: Historical Roots of Black Lives Matter’.