Two Camps

 

There are two camps in America that hold completely different viewpoints.

One camp, let’s call them the establishment, still believes that we live in a meritocracy, where if you get an education and work hard you can succeed in America. The liberal end of the establishment reads the New York Times, watches Rachael Maddow, and believes that Trump is the cause of all of our problems. The conservative end of the establishment watches Fox News, reads the Wall Street Journal, and believes that liberals are sapping our will with their insistence on political correctness.

The second camp, let’s call us the heretics, has come to believe that the conventional wisdom promulgated by the establishment is bullshit. Instead, we’ve come to believe that our reality here in America much more closely resembles the Matrix, where most of what we see and hear is manufactured to assure our consent. The Deep State/Ruling-Class/Powers-That-Be or whatever you want to call the real people pulling the strings behind the curtain have skillfully utilized their propaganda system, in combination with the years of dumbing down the populace through their public education system to create a powerful narrative that has become the accepted version of reality.

The problem is that some of us have woken up.

We’ve come to believe that the only reason we continue on our current trajectory is because a few sociopathic plutocrats have seized control of the dominant narratives we tell ourselves about what’s going on in the world by buying up the news media people use to keep themselves informed. Remember that Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, also owns the Washington Post, while providing the cloud computing for the CIA. This corporate media manipulates the ways we think and vote to ensure that we will continue supporting the status quo upon which the plutocrats have built their empire.

Not everything is an illusion–you can catch Fox News in moments of lucidity where Tucker Carlson agrees with Bernie Sanders on Amazon’s corporate welfare scam or read the most amazing New York Times articles on culture or science or the arts and it’s all good–it’s just that we’ve learned to be extremely skeptical of  “official” narratives concerning economics and foreign policy.

For instance, as we pass the ten year anniversary of the Wall Street Crash, we don’t believe the hype that everything is back to normal. We have observed that no bankers went to jail and that they got a bail-out while the rest of the country was left to slowly twist in the wind. Meanwhile, Wall Street is up to its old tricks.

What we’re realizing is that this isn’t simply an economic problem but a political one as well. The bankers own Congress and by following their economic prescriptions after the debt bubble has burst means falling living standards, rising inequality, and increasing political turmoil as a result.

Trump is just one of the more ghastly symptoms of this malaise.

In foreign policy, the dominant narrative is Russia-gate, which has been used to re-start the Cold War against Russia, and to dissuade Trump from keeping his campaign pledge of better relations with Russia and a less interventionist foreign policy. If we’re honest, we can recognize that for the establishment, Trump’s talk of a different foreign policy was anathema. For the establishment, it’s all about maintaining an all-American empire at any cost.

Russia-gate has also been an effort by the ruling class to make an example out of Trump to dissuade any future billionaire-ass-clowns from running for high office without permission.

Indeed, the establishment is growing increasingly worried about the heretics lack of trust and their corresponding loss of control of the narrative. This worry has been most pronounced in the epidemic of stories about “fake news.” The establishment has belatedly realized that they need to put down the “populist” opposition on the left and on the right to the spread of global capitalism and the gradual phase-out of national sovereignty that began with Brexit and continued with Trump, so they can continue their plunder.

The only positive we can report is that the awakening of the heretics has breached some of the boundaries between left and right, providing some small hope that we can transcend the divide and rule spell that the 1% and their professional lackeys have cast upon us.

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in neoconservatives, neoliberals, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking ill of the dead

 

We’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead but that only applies to normal people like you and I. Politicians like John McCain who’ve spent their entire lives advocating for war while palling around with terrorists and Nazi’s don’t get that curtesy.

The reaction to McCain’s death, with his deification as a “straight talking, bi-partisan, maverick,” says a lot about the political/economy of the corporate media, with its fixation on American exceptionalism, where the senator from Arizona was the poster-child for the most exalted type of bi-partisanship that exists in Washington: military interventionism and regime change.

Here’s how The Washington Post’s, Jennifer Rubin described McCain. “The nation continues to absorb the loss of its greatest contemporary political figure–a senator who will rank up there among Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Everett Dirksen.”

The fact that we can read endless stories about McCain’s bi-partisan political persona and human rights advocacy, despite McCain’s unforgivable record of facilitating death and destruction in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, shows just how much neocon Kool-Aide the corporate press has drank.

Ironically, it’s neocons like McCain who’ve helped squander all the goodwill the world extended to the US in the wake of 9/11 by spending every waking moment advocating for wars and regime changes.

In doing so, McCain had no compunctions about using Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists. For example, during Barack Obama’s presidency, McCain slipped into northern Syria to cheer Sunni-Jihadists rebels who had arisen to overthrow President Bashar Assad, an insurgency that led to a seven-year civil war and savage ethnic cleansing.

And it wasn’t just Sunni terrorists that McCain hearted. When protesters led by Ukrainian Nazi’s gathered in Maidan Square in Kiev to overthrow an elected pro-Russian president, McCain was there, cheering them onHe also strongly supported sending arms to the neo-Nazi, Azov Battalion, fighting pro-Russian rebels in the Donbass.

Here he is posing with Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the anti-Semitic Ukrainian ultra-nationalist, neo-Nazi Svoboda party.

McCain gained his initial status as a naval aviator and is held up by the corporate media as a war hero because of his time as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

However, according to the explosive account by investigative journalist Sydney Schanberg, McCain’s actions were anything but honorable. “John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books. Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his 2008 presidential campaign.”

Can’t have the embodiment of Washington’s always-war bipartisanship caught lying about his heroic backstory, it might raise questions about the agenda of the always-war corporate media. Hence the shrieks of alarm when Trump questioned McCains POW heroism.

As part of the ongoing deep state Russia-gate campaign, McCain has been credited as a hero of the Resistance and described as Trump’s greatest nemesis.  However, Trump’s real crime for neocons like McCain and the always-war corporate media is his calls for better relations with Russia and an end to US interventionists foreign policies.

I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t even play one on TV, but my diagnosis of McCain actions while alive would blame his extreme bellicosity on his feelings of guilt from his abandonment of US POW’s and the cover-up.

And, this brings us to the real danger of how we view McCain and his legacy.

We can have a constitutional republic or an empire, we can’t have both. Presently, we are well down the path of empire thanks to the actions of John McCain with his foreign policies of endless war and regime change.

Right now the US is bombing and fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, partly John McCain’s legacy. At various times McCain lobbied for bombing: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Georgia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Russia, China, North Korea, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan & in one of his final acts, voted to continue the US-backed genocide in Yemen.

Presently, the United States is far and away the world’s largest producer of weapons.  Stoking death and mass destruction is just about the only source of profitable exports the US economy can now boast of.  Once the world’s largest creditor nation, the US is today the world’s largest debtor nation and yet it insanely continues to spend more for military purposes than any other nation in all of human history.  And nothing is reinvested in the US itself.  Not in its infrastructure and certainly not in the lives and the future of its citizens.

Meanwhile, 72,000 Americans died of opioid overdose last year.

And, we’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead.

Fuck that.

Update: Someone else noticed how fucked-up the Washington Post headline was.

 

 

 

Posted in neoconservatives, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hero’s of the Resistance

 

The Resistance has embraced a rogues gallery of characters to oppose Trump since his surprise victory over their favored candidate–Hillary Clinton.

There’s been former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) head Michael Hayden, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and, of course, special counsel, and Russia-gate heartthrob Robert Mueller, who lied about Iraq’s WMDs, paving the way for war. Even George W. Bush has now been rehabilitated in an effort to appeal to suburban Republicans.

The latest hero of the Resistance is none other than official torture chief John Brennan. Trump’s decision to withdraw former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance has prompted paeans to Brennan by establishment journalists and politicians, while Brennan has assumed the role of courageous dissident speaking truth to power. Resistance leaders like Rob Reiner (“When you libel James Clapper and John Brennan you libel America,” he wrote) have cheered on these characters when they’ve appeared on liberal talk shows to insult Trump in front of cheering audiences.

Let me say this loudly–Brennan is not a fucking hero!

Brennan organized torture and “extraordinary rendition”, and was a “vocal advocate” of giving the telcos immunity for Bush’s enormous program of warrrantless surveillance, under President George W Bush. Under President Barack Obama, Brennan organized the “kill list,” later rebranded as a “disposition matrix,” which Obama used in at least one case to kill a U.S. citizen with a drone strike, while avoiding any form of due process.) It was Brennan who conspired with the Gulf dictators to employ Al Qaeda to destroy Libya and to attempt the same in Syria. After Congress began an inquiry, Brennan ordered the CIA to spy on the congressional committee investigating torture and then lied about having done so.

Some hero.

Lately, I’ve come to think that if Hitler was reanimated and he came out in opposition to Trump, the Resistance would celebrate him too. “Oh, that Holocaust thing was so 1940’s. Look at him now. He hates Trump.”

I believe that the real reason so many liberals oppose Trump and find him abhorrent is class. It conversations with liberals who refuse to accept that Obama carried out the same monstrous policies it’s become clear that what really bothers them about Trump is that he’s not a member of the meritocracy like their champion Obama. With Obama’s cool, sophisticated articulation as the hip, black steward of the American empire, liberals could pretend that we really are the exceptional nation. We really do stand taller and see further.

I’ve come to realize that the proper formula for an acceptable US president is an elite class-consciousness combined with depravity. Madeleine Albright is the member of the leadership class who came the closest to this ideal. If you’ll recall from the way-back machine, Albright infamously told 60 Minutes that the price for starving 1/2 million Iraqi children was worth it, while later instructing prep-school students on the proper use of utensils at a fancy dinner.

 

 

Posted in neoconservatives, neoliberals, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manufacturing Dissent

 

The US has an oligarchic system of government in the wake of the Citizens/United Supreme Court ruling that legalized political bribery. It turns out that all that stuff we learned in school about representative democracy was a pleasant fairy tale for children.

The only thing holding the status quo in place is mass-media propaganda–Manufacturing Consent. Essentially, the elite in our country maintain their corporate-empire by controlling the narrative about what’s going on.

The official narrative goes like this–The US, as the essential super-power upholding western values and spreading democracy, is good. Russia, Iran, and any other officially designated villain is bad. You live in a democracy where your vote counts and the government is accountable. The two political parties are completely different and their opposition isn’t phony. The talking heads on the boob-tube never lie to you because if they did they would be fired. All official government pronouncements are completely true: Russia hacked our democracy; Assad gassed women and children; 19 Al Qaeda hijackers with boxcutters flew jets into the World Towers and the Pentagon; Kennedy was shot and killed by a lone gunman.

Sorry to break the news but by now I’m sure that you have some doubts about the official story.

The fact that trust in the corporate-media is at an all-time low and people’s ability to network and share information, thanks to the internet, is at an all-time high has not escaped the attention of our rulers.

The lack of trust in the corporate media makes the sociopaths who control our country nervous. In response they been on a censorship jag, targeting any alternatives on the left or right that challenge the official imperial narrative. First it was the “PropOrNot”  nonsense that reduced traffic to left sites such as Alternet, Black Agenda Report, Naked Capitalism, and Consortium News. Now they’re going after the right with their shrill campaign against Alex Jones.

It’s become apparent in our digital world where Facebook and Google control over 80% 0f internet content, that Silicon Valley billionaires have gained unlimited authority to determine which ideas and information are suitable for public consumption, while they collude to remove any speaker they find unsuitable. The fact that they started with Alex Jones doesn’t matter, because sooner or later the powerful people who are able to censor will censor in the interests of power.

We know this because we’ve seen it before. First they came is a poem written by the German pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It’s about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazi’s rise to power and subsequent elimination of their chosen targets, group after group. “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a communist.”

Much of the the censorship involves Russia-gate. (Surprise!) It’s now unpatriotic to question the Russia-gate narrative despite the absence of evidence to support it. It’s also considered treasonous to question the word of intelligence agencies and the officials who lead them despite long records of deceit. We seem to have forgotten that it was only 15 years ago that these same institutions and people deceived us into an a catastrophic invasion of  Iraq.

Given the enormous investment by both the political class and the corporate media in Russia-gate, it’s become apparent that Russia-gate is the only thing they’re offering to oppose Trump, even though many of his policies are disastrous. At will he imposes sanctions, threatens countries and leaders, turns much of the world into enemies, breaks treaties, discards environmental protections, and stages petty Twitter fight with anyone and everyone. Ironically, with Russia-gate, the Democrats, allied with the security and intelligence agencies, are opposing Trump from the right by seeking to prevent changes in American interventionist foreign policies and better relations with nuclear-armed Russia.

In my opinion Russia-gate has been intensified precisely to prevent any change in Democrat policies. Going further, even if the neoliberal Democrats were inclined to roll out some progressive policies, the billionaire supporters of Team Blue won’t let them.

So, expect the Russia-gate propaganda campaign and censorship of alternative voices to increase ahead of the mid-term elections.

Not just Russia-gate. I’m absolutely convinced that come September there will be an additional propaganda campaign to start a war, probably with Iran. Let’s remember what Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, said about war propaganda in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

We are at a crossroads in America. Do we go forward with the sociopathic elite policies of empire that necessitate a regime of permanent war abroad coupled with austerity here in the homeland, or do we the people force them take the off-ramp to a different world?

If the sociopathic elite get their way expect the manufacture and perpetual maintenance of war hysteria, followed by increased propaganda and censorship.

I’m afraid it’s up to us. If we have any hope of a different world, those of us on the fringes are going to have to manufacture dissent.

What have we got to lose?

 

 

Posted in neoconservatives, neoliberals, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you realize what you’ve done?

 

This obsession with Russia-gate among our liberal elites is absolutely bizarre. I lived through the later part of the Cold War, when President Reagan labeled the Soviet Union the “evil empire,” and I don’t recall this level of anti-Russian hysteria ever.

I believe that the ideology of American-exceptionalism, or more precisely, the notion that the U.S. believes it can intervene militarily anywhere in the world because it is spreading peace and democracy, is driving Russia-gate. If we’re honest, Trump is not any different from previous presidents. What’s different is that Trump’s proposals to end US regime-change policies have violated the tenets of this ideology.

Trump’s heresy particularly outrages liberals because, unlike their hero Obama, he makes it impossible to pretend that the US is a liberal democracy. They’ve also seized upon the idea that liberal supporters of “western civilization” should eschew any sort of reconciliation between the US and Russia because Trump and Putin represent authoritarian regimes. This is followed by the argument that the U.S. represents western civilization because of commitments to international agreements, regional organizations and specific allies and partners, and, most importantly, the tenets of liberal internationalism.

Set aside the dangers of a nuclear conflagration and the end of the world as we know it and focus on the logic behind this premise; that western civilization led by the US is a force for good, protecting liberal values, while Russia, led by Vladimir Putin is an evil authoritarian regime bent on world conquest.

After everything we’ve seen this century, I’m dumbstruck that anyone can make this argument. After all the death and destruction, does anyone still believe that the US is an upholder of liberal values?

Apparently.

I’ll focus on one example–Syria–to show how deceived we’ve become with regards to good and evil.

In Syria, we’ve been beset by images of children and civilians in the throes of agony because of Bashar Assad and his diabolical chemical-weapons and dastardly barrel-bombs. Syria has been condemned in the west for the bombing of civilian areas, and video footage by the White Helmets has provided constant images of dead and wounded men, women and children. And Russia, who intervened on the side of Assad and the Syrian government in 2015, is depicted as the contributor and held responsible for the savage attacks on helpless civilians.

But how much of this is true?

After 7 years of brutal fighting, the Syrian regime aided by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, have largely triumphed and the actual facts and history are coming to light. What they show is that despite the ongoing “war on terror”, the US was using the same Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 to affect regime change in Syria. US planners have been fighting what the New York Times described as a “$1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria” while providing weapons to rebels through a program considered “one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A.” And, these “rebels” were Sunni-terrorists, Al Nusra (the official branch of Al Qaeda in Syria).

Because the US invasion of Iraq strengthened Iran, US planners welcomed rebel gains in Syria, including by rebel groups such as Al Nusra, who advocated genocide against Syria’s Alawite population, because these gains bolstered the broader US goal of toppling the Syrian government, in an effort to weaken its close allies, Iran and Hezbollah. US planners wished to see rebel gains in Syria, in spite of the obviously catastrophic consequences for Syrian civilians, including for Syria’s Sunnis, which rebel success would bring.

US support wasn’t limited to Al Nusra. At the same time that the world was recoiling from the head-chopping savagery of ISIS, the US was secretly aiding their escalations. The US preference for ISIS was explained by Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry shockingly admitted that US planners actually welcomed the ISIS push toward Damascus, which they felt they could leverage to put pressure on Assad to give up power to the US-backed opposition. The Syrian capital was on the verge of falling to the Islamic State (ISIS) in the summer of 2015 after ISIS, with the help of Al Nusra, captured all of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in the southern Damascus suburbs. Had Damascus fallen to ISIS, it is clear that many civilians in the city, including Christians, Alawites, Shiites, members of the LGBTQ community, and pro-government Sunnis, would have been killed.

Indeed, there was a long running US covert operation to use Al Nusra and other Sunni-terrorists to commit genocide and sectarian mass-murder in Syrian. This was clearly evident in the Syrian city of Latakia, which by the time of the Russian intervention in October 2015 was on the verge of falling to a coalition of Syrian rebel groups including Al Nusra and the US-armed and funded Free Syrian Army (FSA). Latakia has long been one of Syria’s safe zones, well defended by the army and its militias; there are tent cities full of people who have fled other parts of the country, including thousands from Aleppo. But in the summer of 2015, the rebels were closing in on the city limits, and mortars and rockets were falling downtown. If the rebels had captured the area — where Alawites are the majority — a result would almost certainly have been catastrophic. Robert Worth of the New York Times writes that “In Latakia, some people told me that their city might have been destroyed if not for the Russians.”

When Russia intervened militarily in Syria in October 2015, US planners responded by immediately increasing shipments of TOW anti-tank missiles to FSA groups, some of which then helped Al Nusra capture the strategic town of Murek in central Syria one month later in November 2015.

Obama administration officials themselves acknowledged tacit US support for Al Qaeda, admitting in November 2016 to the Washington Post that they had struck “a deal with the devil,” years before, “whereby the United States largely held its fire against Al Nusra because the group was popular with Syrians in rebel-controlled areas and furthered the U.S. goal of putting military pressure on Assad,” thereby confirming long standing Russian accusations that the US had been “sheltering Al Qaeda.”

What would have happened if the Russians hadn’t intervened?

Can you say Libya?

If the Sunni-terrorists, led by Al Qaeda and ISIS had prevailed in Syria there would have been massacres of Shiites, Christians, Kurds, Sunni supporters of the regime, and anyone who didn’t convert.

Lots of head chopping.

It would have been a bloodbath, but the neocons, liberal interventionists, and Zionists would have been gleeful. Hillary, or another of the bloodthirsty cohort would have been on CNN saying something like–we came we saw, he died! Syria would have been another failed state, weak and helpless exactly like the Yinon Plan envisioned, and millions more refugees would have flooded into Europe.

Going further, US support for the terrorists in Syria belies the myth of US benevolent liberal intervention, and the myth that any US intervention would be for the sake of preventing massacres and even genocide, rather than in support of it.

Tell me again how the US is a force for good?

To be fair, Bashar Assad is a dictator who’s responsible for terrible crimes, and there are numerous Syrian civilians who have legitimately protested the regime. However, these are not the people we’ve supported in our quest for regime change, a quest that dates back to 1949, by the way. No, the rebels that the US and its Gulf State allies have supported have been the Sunni-terrorists like Al Qaeda and ISIS. The number one reason is simple: Sunni-terrorists make great fighters. A close second is the fact that Sunni-terrorists can be proxies, or, if need be, patsies. This dynamic was on display in Syria, when after unleashing ISIS to affect regime change, the US turned around and used the threat of ISIS as a way to intervene in Syria.

I know. Just when you’ve hit peak cynicism there’s always another level of depravity.

In an amazing bit of synchronicity, the mastermind of this diabolical covert operation, code named Timber Sycamore, was none other that John Brennan, former CIA chief and current “Resistance” hero. Lately, Brennan has been all over TV calling Trump a traitor.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but that’s a pretty amazing work of projection. The fucking guy who oversaw a covert operation to overthrow a foreign government, using the same terrorist outfit who flew planes into the twin towers, is calling Trump a traitor?

The Russian intervention in Syria prevented this horrific outcome for Syrians of all ethnic and religious identities, despite the best efforts of US planners to achieve the regime change they had hoped for.

Does Russia-gate make a little more sense now?

The corporate media ignored it but in a speech before the UN, Putin called out the west for its hypocrisy in supporting terrorists to affect regime change despite its professed “war on terror.” He asked–“Do you realize what you’ve done?”

 

 

Posted in neoconservatives, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give peace a chance

 

Who knew that peace was so threatening?

This headline from the British tabloid–The Times–perfectly encapsulates the frightening sentiment: “Fears grow over prospect of Trump ‘peace deal’ with Putin”.

Other headlines include– Trump hopes he and Putin will get along. Russia experts worry they will by the Washington Post, and Trump Will Finally Meet With Putin Next Month. That Should Terrify You by Mother Jones.

This follows a familiar pattern. A sizable cross-section of Americans believe that Russia poses an imminent threat and that Trump owes his presidency to Putin’s collusion because they have been told this repeatedly by the corporate media.

The Democrats, who have for decades posed as the party of peace and reconciliation, provided further proof that it was all just an act.

“Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy. President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. And, here’s Nancy Pelosi. “Every single day, I find myself asking: what do the Russians have on @realDonaldTrump personally, financially, & politically? The answer to that question is that only thing that explains his behavior & his refusal to stand up to Putin.”

Since we have a bi-partisan congressional military/industrial/complex the Republicans lost little time getting into the act.

“I think the president should listen to his security council and our secretary of Defense and our NATO allies on anything of substance dealing with the U.S. military posture. We’ve got to be careful, we’ve got to be strong,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently led a congressional delegation to Russia.

In a predictably timed move, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on various charges of conspiracy against the US, days before Trump’s summit with Putin, charges Mueller has been sitting on for months.

The Mueller indictments offered no proof of the claims but at this point it’s become obvious that facts are of no concern to the always-war Beltway crowd. The facts are also of little importance to the corporate media, which endlessly repeats the lie that Russian interference in the 2016 election was confirmed by the entire intelligence community.

That account is what we in the reality based community call a lie.

Former ambassador Jack Matlock, says that, “In fact, the U.S. “intelligence community” has not done so. The intelligence community as a whole has not been tasked to make a judgment and some key members of that community did not participate in the report that is routinely cited as “proof” of “Russian interference.”

Instead, on Jan. 6, 2017, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released an evidence-free report that was compiled by “hand-picked” analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, offering an “assessment” that Russia and President Putin were behind the release of the Democratic e-mails in a plot to help Trump win the presidency.

In my opinion, Russia-gate has always been intended to prevent Trump from pursuing detente with nuclear-armed Russia. It’s also been used as a cudgel to force Trump to maintain the NATA alliance that largely serves as a way to market US weapons to newly minted Eastern European NATO clients.

In fact, the eastward expansion of NATO after the dismantling of the Soviet Union, is a big part of  Russian actions that our corporate media describe as Russian expansion. NATO’s continued existence — and, in fact, its expansion — has mostly served to resuscitate the very issue it was created to solve: Russian aggression. According to declassified documents, both Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin were repeatedly assured by the first Bush and Clinton administrations, respectively, that NATO wouldn’t expand eastward, something Russians viewed as unacceptable.

Of course, US officials lied then, just as they are lying about the dangers of Trump’s summit with Putin now. It’s what they do.

Indeed, there are many reasons the bipartisan US establishment hates Trump. His heresies from neoliberal orthodoxies on immigration and trade are prominent. But top among them is his oft-stated intention to improve relations with Russia.

US reconciliation with Russia would yank the rug out from under the phony justifications for spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually to counter a threat that ceased to exist over a quarter century ago. That’s why when it was reported soon after his January 2017 inauguration that Trump was seeking to open dialogue with the Kremlin and set an early summit with Putin there was a hysterical counteraction. In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate appears to have been used not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he talks about cooperation with Russia.

That kind of talk is seditious to the deep state, where war truly is the health of the state.

Look, I’m not a Trump supporter. But if he proposes a good policy, like improved relations with nuclear-armed Russia, I’m all for it. If your hatred of Trump has clouded this essential point, then you, dear reader, are a threat to our species.

Remember kids, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and peace is treason.

Update: Caitlin’s right.

“I’ve been writing about Russiagate since it started, and I can honestly say this is the worst it’s ever been, by far. The most hysterical, the most shrill, the most emotional, the most cartoonishly over-the-top and hyperbolic. The fact that Trump met with Putin in private and then publicly expressed doubt about the establishment Russia narrative has sent some political factions of America into an emotional state that is indistinguishable from what you’d expect if Russia had bombed New York City.”

 

Posted in neoconservatives, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Double-Truth

 

I know it’s hard to turn away from the ongoing dumpster fire that is the Trump administration but it’s imperative to understand how we got here.

Can you say neoliberalism?

The neoliberals first gathered at Mont Pelerin, circa 1947, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, and implementation of the New Deal. These right-wing economists, led by Friedrich Hayek, plotted to regain the the intellectual initiative after being relegated to the sidelines by  FDR, and the economic philosophies of John Maynard Keynes. After 70 years of dedicated work, employing a collection of affiliated think-tanks, neoliberal economic departments, astro-turf operations, and lavish amounts of funding, it’s clear that their efforts have won the day.

Trump is the latest indicator, even if he wasn’t the neoliberals first choice.

Indeed, it’s increasingly obvious that we’re under a bipartisan neoliberal regime: a marriage of governmental and corporate interests, pretending to be a democratic republic. In the process, neoliberalism has become ubiquitous, advancing into every aspect of our lives, economically, culturally, and politically. It’s like the air we breath.

To me it’s clear that the neoliberals have been successful largely because of their doctrine of double-truth, where there’s an esoteric truth for the neoliberal elite and an exoteric one for the rest of us, who are encouraged to be ignorant. Since this is America, where the neoliberals, along with their conservative allies, have waged a 40 year campaign against public education, this ignorance is baked in.

In Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, economic/historian Philip Mirowski, says that double-truth allows the neoliberals to have their cake and eat it too. For example, the neoliberals preach that the market is the unforgiving arbiter of all political action; “but they absolve themselves from its rule.” They wax poetic about libertarian freedom but maintain a regimented hierarchy in their own political organizations. They endlessly sermonize about a spontaneous economic order, while seizing the state. And, now that they’ve taken over the state, they’ve elevated the sacred “market” as a site of truth for everyone except themselves.

A key component of double-truth is a tactic we’ve talked about before: agnotology. Agnotology is the deliberate sowing of doubt, confusion and ignorance. It’s the intentional manufacture of doubt and uncertainty in the general populace for specific political motives. Agnotology is very different from propaganda, where rather than emanating from  Big Brother, agnotology is a set of market based procedures. It situates the manufacture of doubt in the professions of advertising and public relations with help from think tanks and lobbying firms.

Think of the campaigns by the cigarette companies to cast uncertainty over the health effects of smoking, or the efforts by the Koch brothers to cloud the consensus over global warming.

This being America, where historical knowledge and perspective are in short supply, the agnotology efforts have been amazingly successful, as our recent history has convincingly demonstrated. Ask yourself why no one has been held accountable and there’s been no changes made to our neoliberal economic arrangement 10 years after the Wall Street Crash?

The 2008 economic meltdown was comparable to the stock market failure of 1929 that brought about FDR and the New Deal. After the 2008 crash, instead of the Pecora Commission, nationalization of banks, and prison time for the perpetrators, we got Barak Obama, the first bank president. In fact, Obama’s role was to prevent the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors.

Not only did Obama save the banks, but under the guidance of neoliberals like Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke, the toxic mortgage-backed-securities of Wall Street that caused the crash were transferred onto the federal governments balance sheet burdening us with the debt while leaving the profits of the banks in private hands.

Since then we’ve had a chorus of voices, (think the Tea Party), denouncing government debt, and loudly calling for austerity, which has resulted in fire sales of government assets, firing unionized state employees and crude attempts to lower wages and renege on pensions.

You almost have to admire the sheer chutzpah of the neoliberals and their fellow travelers. With their strategic deployment of agnotology, coupled with Americans dim understanding of the events, the story turned out to have a familiar narrative–it’s all the fault of government. Even Obama, our progressive, community-organizer, president played along, lecturing us that the US government is just like a household and in response to the mountains of debt foisted upon us by Wall Street, we all needed to tighten our belts.

You can’t make this shit up.

Now I have to ask. Faced with the overwhelming power of neoliberalism, is resistance even possible? Is there really no alternative?

As I see it, if the neoliberals can use double-truth, then so can we. If they can treat laws as arbitrary then so can we. If their mantra is there is no society, only the market, then ours should be–Fuck-you! I won’t do what you tell me.

Of course there is a society. We just need to get busy building and fortifying it.

Here’s how.

 

Posted in neofeudalism, neoliberals, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment