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Anti-democracy protests spread to Moldova

Press TV – November 15, 2016

Thousands of Moldovans have protested in the capital Chisinau after a West-leaning politician claimed that a presidential runoff which propelled her pro-Russian rival to victory was “neither free nor fair.”

The protesters gathered in front of Moldova’s Great National Assembly before marching to the Central Electoral Commission where a high number of riot police were deployed.

Final results on Monday showed socialist-backed opposition candidate Igor Dodon won 52.2 percent of the vote against Maia Sandu who had 47.8 percent.

Sandu cried foul, accusing her rival of using “manipulation, lies, dirty money” in his bid to win.

Up to 3,000 mostly young Moldovans then marched to the offices of the Central Election Committee in Chisinau shouting “Down with the Mafia!”

International election observers, however, said “fundamental freedoms were respected,” even though “polarized media coverage, harsh rhetoric detracted from the process.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described its overall assessment of the election as positive but said reports that some voters were unable to vote due to the lack of ballots were “regrettable.”

The 41-year-old Dodon tapped into popular anger over the approximately $1 billion that went missing from Moldovan banks before the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Many Moldovans hope Dodon’s election will rekindle ties with Moscow, which took a hit after the country signed an association agreement with the European Union in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Dodon to visit Moscow and said he looked forward to developing bilateral relations.

The eastern European state of 3.5 million is located on the fault line separating Russia from Europe. Dodon has pledged to pursue closer ties with Russia rather than the European Union.

He argues that the recent gravitation towards the European Union has cost the country its ties with neighboring Russia. Dodon’s policy is backed by many Moldovans who suffered financially from the goods embargo imposed by Russia and a broader economic downturn.

Moldova has been in turmoil since the mysterious disappearance of money from three banks, which sparked huge street protests and the arrest of the former prime minister Vlad Filat.

November 15, 2016 Posted by | Corruption | , | Leave a comment

Review: “Against Our Better Judgment”

The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, by Alison Weir

Stephen J. Sniegoski • Unz Review • November 14, 2016

Alison Weir’s relatively short book covers the history of Zionism in the United States from the last decades of the 19th century until the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. (She is working on a second volume that will carry this history to the present.) Its brevity does not mean, however, that it is in any sense superficial, as it brings out key historical information, all well-documented, that sets the stage for the troubled world in which we now live. While histories of Zionism have usually focused on Europe, Weir shows that American adherents of this ideology have been far more important than generally has been recognized

AlisonWeir The basic theses of this book are encapsulated in the title and subtitle. The history of how American Zionists used America to create Israel was “hidden” in two respects. First, it was “hidden” in the sense that American Zionists often worked behind the scenes. More importantly, however, that history is known but has been kept hidden from the general public, who rely on the mainstream media, and exists almost exclusively in works produced by small publishers—often of a scholarly bent—read by only a few. As Weir points out, those who have tried to bring this information to the general public have suffered both venomous verbal attacks and economic threats that quickly silence the message and often destroy the messenger. This treatment obviously serves to prevent others from doing likewise—“Pour encourager les autres.”

America’s support for Israel ran “against our better judgment” in the sense that American foreign policy experts of the era covered by this work recognized that support for Zionist goals would damage American national interest and that this support only came about because of the political power of American Zionism.

While Weir is not a professional historian, she has intensively studied the literature on this subject for years, much of it rather arcane, as well as spending considerable time traveling in the region. Having a Ph.D. in history myself, I would like to point out that the writing of history does not require any specialized talents as are needed in such fields as theoretical physics or medicine, so that intelligent, hardworking laypersons can often produce works of great value. Weir does not purport to have pored over primary sources to discover new information, which is the hallmark of the professional historian’s craft, but rather synthesizes information from existing published studies that are largely unknown to the general public. Moreover, she brings to her work knowledge of the land and the peoples which she has picked up from her travels.

For those who still might find her background insufficient for her task, it should be further added that Israel apologist Alan Dershowitz, who lacks as far as I can tell any college degree in history, manages to produce works on Israel that are picked up by major publishers who would not think of publishing anything done by most academic historians. It might be added that academic historians, who specialize in monographs, would be loath to produce a comparable account of this subject from Weir’s perspective, since it would do little for their careers and might serve as their professional death knell.

While the book’s narrative is very readable and the key points can easily be digested by the average reader, it is nonetheless well-documented. To satisfy the more academic reader, the book has a section of extended endnotes longer than the narrative. I found the endnotes section valuable not only for confirming and expanding upon the content of the narrative but also in serving as a point of departure for additional research. I often switched from my Kindle book to a Web search, coming up with names of related books and articles that I would like to peruse, should I ever have the time to venture to a research library.

The work goes over a large number of little known but very important topics to demonstrate the powerful influence of Zionism over American foreign policy. Space, naturally, precludes me from discussing all the topics in detail so I have focused on those which seem to deal most directly with the major themes of the book.

The early political influence of Zionism is illustrated by the fact that in 1887 a Jewish American was made ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which then controlled Palestine and was thus considered by Zionists as the key country with which to deal. This set the precedent of a Jewish ambassador to this country that was continued for the next 30 years, by which time the Zionist search for outside support had turned elsewhere.

The book brings up the central importance of Louis Brandeis and his disciple Felix Frankfurter in advancing the interests of Zionism. Brandeis was a noted social and economic reformer who was a Zionist and happened to be very close to President Wilson, who would put him on the Supreme Court in 1916, the first Jew to hold such a position. Even after joining the Supreme Court, Brandeis used this access to Wilson to promote Zionist interests, sometimes acting as a go-between for Wilson and British Zionists.

Brandeis would head the international Zionist Central Office during the teens but, perhaps even more significant, he would be a leading member of a secret society, the Parushim, the Hebrew word for “Pharisees” and “separate,” which covertly advanced the interests of Zionism in the United States and Europe. The Parushim was founded in 1913 by a University of Wisconsin philosophy professor, Horace M. Kallen, who ironically is considered to be the father of cultural pluralism in the United States. Obviously this idea conflicted completely with his support for the creation of a Jewish exclusivist state, but it is a contradiction that is rather commonplace among many Jews and liberal gentiles alike.

Kallen was regarded by some as first promoting the idea for what became the Balfour Declaration, which would set the stage for the modern state of Israel. He promoted this scheme in 1915 when the U.S. was still a neutral. He told a British friend that this would serve to bring the United States into World War I. It should be pointed out that at that time, despite serious diplomatic issues regarding German submarine warfare, the great majority of the American people wanted to avoid war and Wilson would be re-elected president in November 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Kallen’s idea for advancing the Zionist goal, however, soon gained traction.

Frustrated in their efforts to achieve a Jewish homeland in Palestine from the Ottoman Empire, the American Zionists turned toward Britain to bring this about. In 1916 as World War I dragged on indecisively, Zionist leaders promised the British that in return for a Jewish homeland in Palestine—which the British could expect to gain from the Ottomans as one of the spoils of a victorious war—American Zionists would work to bring the United States into the war on behalf of Britain and its allies. Many British strategists at the time, such as Winston Churchill, believed that such an event would turn the tide for victory. Weir holds that it “appears” that the Zionists’ activity was one factor in bringing America into the war [1] and cites a number a number of reputable books and leading contemporary figures—such as then-British Prime Minister Lloyd George—that held that Zionists carried out their side of the bargain by pushing the United States into war.

The Balfour Declaration was a letter, dated November 2, 1917 (and coming out in the press one week later), from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, a British Zionist leader, officially stating that Britain would use its “best endeavours to facilitate the achievement” of a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.

Now even to give attention to the Balfour Declaration in a history of World War I is somewhat outré; to claim that it caused the United States to enter war is one of those ultra-taboos. Although my Ph.D. was in American history with a focus on diplomacy (and a minor in 20th Century European history), never did I come into contact with anything about the Balfour Declaration in my college studies (which, granted, did not deal with the Middle East). I only knew about it from reading what the mainstream historical profession would regard as disreputable authors.

Reference to the Balfour Declaration and the Zionist role in it was considered one of the daring things done by the iconoclastic Israeli “New Historian” Tom Segev who discussed it in his book, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate (2000). In a lecture on his book that I heard at the University of Maryland in 2002, Segev, though acknowledging that the British goal was winning over Jews to their side [2], derided the idea of any real Jewish power, attributing that mode of thinking to “anti-Semitism.” In 2010, Segev expressed this view in a review of a new book on the Balfour Declaration: “Obviously there was no ‘Jewish power’ controlling world affairs, but Weizmann [3] successfully pretended that the Jews were in fact turning the wheels of history. For once, the anti-Semitic image of the Jews proved useful — they were believed to be so maliciously dangerous that one would do best to acquire them as allies rather than as enemies.”[4]

Although Segev is a daring historian who often rejects the Zionist myths on the creation of Israel, in this case he essentially relies on a classic Zionist-constructed strawman, which involves greatly exaggerating the view that the Zionists (and Jews in general) don’t like. It is highly doubtful that the British foreign office believed that Jews were so powerful as to be “turning the wheels of history.” (If that had been the case, one would think that the British would have offered Jews much more than Palestine from the very start of the war.) Furthermore, as noted earlier, Weir does not subscribe to anything like this Zionist strawman in regard to the Balfour Declaration, or anything else, I should add.

However, what is important is not only whether the American Zionists were able to bring the United States into a war, but that they made a solemn promise to a foreign country that they would try to do so. As a matter of fact, since Zionists such as Brandeis knew much about Wilson’s thinking and undoubtedly were kept abreast on what Germany was likely to do (it being well-known that Germany was suffering from the British “starvation” blockade and that politically powerful voices there wanted to retaliate by pursuing a harsher submarine policy toward neutrals such as the U.S.), they may have realistically thought in 1916 that there was a good chance that the United States would shortly go to war whether they interceded or not, which meant it would be a wise move to make such a deal and be able to get credit for a result that was not of their own making.[5]

It is also of significance that the American Zionists promised to push the U.S. into war not because they believed that it was in their own country’s national interest—as was the case for a number of prominent Americans such as former President Theodore Roosevelt—but solely for what they considered to be in the interests of world Jewry. Ascribing “dual loyalty” to any Jews is regarded as a classic anti-Semitic canard. In this case, however, the American Zionists’ position did not even rise to the level of “dual loyalty,” being purely singular in that it evinced no apparent concern whatsoever for American interests.

Linked to the Balfour Declaration, Weir points out that “American Zionists may also have played a role in preventing an early peace with the Ottoman Empire.”[6] In 1917, the U.S. State Department had heard that the Ottomans were becoming weary of the war, and it decided to send a secret mission to explore the possibility of detaching the Ottoman Empire from its alliance with the other Central Powers. Such a separate peace would likely leave the Ottoman Empire (or Turkey as it would become shortly)[7] in control of its Asian possessions, which would mean that since Britain would not gain Palestine, no home for Jews could emerge there.

This mission was headed by former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who, though Jewish, was not a Zionist. However, he was persuaded by Zionists such as Brandeis protégé Felix Frankfurter, who was a member of the mission’s delegation, to abandon the effort. In a meeting with Morgenthau, Chaim Weizmann, a leading British Zionist who was alerted by American Zionists as to the danger posed by Morgenthau’s mission, also played a major role in stopping the potentially-peacemaking mission, as is indicated in Weir’s endnotes.[8]

Other obstacles to the Zionists’ goal in Palestine would also arise soon after the end of the war in November 1918. Important Christian Americans who were intimately involved in the Near East and supported self-determination for the Arabs recognized that this could not take place if the Zionists were able to set up an ethnic Jewish enclave on Arab land. They went to the Paris Peace Conference which, among a number of issues stemming from World War I, would deal with the territorial settlement.

As a result of the divergent views on the future status of the territory to be given up by the Ottoman Empire, President Wilson decided to send an investigatory commission to the region, which became known as the King-Crane Commission.[9] In line with Wilson’s goal of national self-determination, the commission sought to discover how the region’s inhabitants wanted to be governed, and they overwhelmingly expressed opposition to a Jewish home in Palestine.

Weir points out that “Zionists through Brandeis dominated the situation, however, and the report was suppressed until after the Peace Accords were enacted.”[10] At the Paris Peace Conference, Weir writes, “[t]he U.S. delegation was forced to follow Zionist directives.”[11]

One minor criticism here is that the reader might incorrectly get the impression that the King-Crane Commission dealt solely with Palestine, while it actually involved all the territories severed from, or expected to be severed from, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).[12] The issue of Palestine made up about half of the report on “Syria,” which also included present day Syria and Lebanon. The other two geographical sections of the report were “Mesopotamia” and “Non-Arabic speaking portions of the Former Ottoman Empire (Asia Minor).”[13] Thus the suppression of the commission’s report was likely due not only to opposition by Zionists, but also to other interested parties disturbed by its findings in areas other than Palestine. These parties would include the British, French and Greeks.

In regard to the report’s description of Palestine, however, Weir’s presentation was completely on the mark. The King-Crane report reflected extreme opposition to Zionism expressed by those Muslims and Christians who lived in Palestine as well as by those who lived in neighboring areas.

Weir points out that during the inter-war period, when Palestine was governed by Britain under a League of Nations mandate, which was intended to prepare the country for eventual independence, the American Zionists moved away from openly pushing for the establishment of an exclusivist Jewish state in Palestine since this ran counter to the temper of the times—which reflected American opposition to militant nationalism and dual loyalty, and respect for majority rule and national self-determination. Instead, Zionists focused on the development of Jewish institutions in Palestine, which would serve as a basis for a Jewish state. Zionist leaders, such as David Ben-Gurion, still viewed American support as key to their establishment of a Jewish state.

With World War II on the horizon, Zionists began to return directly to their goal of a Jewish state. A precursor of the current Israel lobby, the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), began in 1939. In order to pressure the U.S. government to support a Zionist state, AZEC worked to establish more than 400 local committees under 76 state and regional branches to promote this goal. These committees distributed Zionist pamphlets, circulated petitions, and engaged in letter writing campaigns to promote the Zionist cause. AZEC also funded books, articles and academic studies for this same purpose.

By the end of World War II, Zionist efforts gave them considerable power in American politics. In order to appeal to the general American populace, they stressed the needs of the many Jewish European refugees, connecting the refugee problem to Palestine, the latter destination purportedly being the only solution to their existing homelessness. By this humanitarian argument, Zionists could thus appeal to many Americans who did not necessarily believe the Zionists’ contention that Jews had a historical right to control Palestine.

As Britain opted to turn over the troublesome issue of Palestine to the United Nations in 1947, Zionists pushed for a partitioning of Palestine between Jews and the indigenous Palestinian population. The partition plan discriminated in favor of the Zionists, since while the Jewish population comprised about 30 percent of Palestine’s population, the plan would award them with 55 percent of the land. And the Zionists’ real goal was not to be content with that amount but to also grab the remainder.

U.S. State Department officials strenuously opposed the partition plan, looking upon this approach as both contrary to America’s professed principle of national self-determination and its vital interests in the Middle East, where a vast majority of the governments and their people were vehemently opposed to Zionism. A leading State Department official in this opposition was Loy Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs. Zionists viciously attacked him, demanding his removal and even threatening his family. The State Department chose to move him elsewhere and in 1948 President Truman named him Ambassador to Nepal, which kept him far away from anything to do with Palestine.

Removing Henderson, however, did not make the State Department favorable toward transforming any part of Palestine into a Jewish state. Among the higher level opponents were the head of the State Department‘s Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Gordon P. Merriam; Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, who later became Secretary of State; and George F. Kennan, the State Department‘s Director of Policy Planning, noted as the architect of America’s containment policy against Soviet Communism.

The State Department was not the only part of the executive branch of the United States government that opposed the Zionist goal for Palestine. The newly-created CIA reported in 1947 that the Zionists were seeking goals that would be harmful to both Jews and “the strategic interests of the Western powers in the Near and Middle East.”[14] The Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed partition and expressed the prescient fear that the Zionist aim was to involve the U.S. in their conflict with their Middle East enemies.

Despite this opposition from a consensus of foreign policy and national security experts within his own government, Truman opted to support the Zionist partition plan for political reasons, relying heavily on the views of his domestic political advisor, Clark Clifford, who maintained that the Jewish vote and financial backing were necessary to win the presidential election in 1948. Truman‘s Secretary of State George Marshall, noted for the famed Marshall Plan that helped to rebuild devastated Western Europe, and Secretary of Defense James Forrestal remained staunchly opposed to what they regarded as Truman’s willingness to sacrifice vital national security interests on the altar of domestic politics.

Weir points out that a number of wealthy Zionist Jews provided financial support for Truman’s presidential campaign in 1948, which may put us in mind of Zionist mega-donors of today such as Sheldon Adelson. One of these backers was Abraham Feinberg who funded Truman’s epic whistle-stop train campaign. Truman would give Feinberg credit for his victory. As quid pro quo, the Truman administration remained inert when the CIA later reported that Feinberg was involved in illegal gun-running to Zionist groups in Palestine.

I should add that while Truman has become something of an idol for recent historians, he was looked upon during his time as being driven by what would benefit his own political interest. As the redoubtable journalist H. L. Mencken quipped about Truman’s 1948 campaign: “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayer’s expense.” In Truman’s defense, however, it should be pointed out that two of his key opponents in the 1948 presidential election, Republican Thomas Dewey and the left-wing Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s former Vice-President, were both staunchly pro-Zionist.[15]

Weir describes a number of Zionists who maintained personal contact with Truman and likely played a role in shaping his policies. David K. Niles, Truman’s executive assistant, was regularly briefed by the head of the Washington Office of the Zionist Organization of America and was believed to be passing top-secret information to the Israeli government. Truman’s long-time friend and former business partner, Eddie Jacobson, was a staunch Zionist with close access to Truman who would describe his information to be of “decisive importance.”[16] Sam Rosenman, a political advisor to Truman, screened State Department memos to Truman.

Although the United States had announced its support for the partition of Palestine, it was apparent that the partition plan still lacked the necessary two-thirds vote to pass in the UN General Assembly. Consequently, the Zionists were able to get a delay in the vote and used that time to intimidate or bribe opponents to reverse their positions.

For example, Weir notes that Wall Street financier and perennial presidential adviser Bernard Baruch threatened war-torn France that it would be denied aid from the United States if it voted against partition. David Niles was able to get rubber baron Harvey Firestone to tell the Liberian president that he would terminate his planned expansion in his country if it did not vote in favor of partition. Haiti was promised economic aid if it would change its vote and support the measure. Costa Rica’s President Jose Figueres was said to have received a blank checkbook to get his country’s vote.

As a result of this behind the scenes skullduggery, the UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947, voted in favor of the adoption and implementation of the partition plan as UN General Assembly Resolution 181. Although this resolution is widely believed in the United States to have created Israel,[17] Weir correctly points out that it “was of limited (if any) legal impact” since General Assembly resolutions, as opposed to those of the Security Council, are not binding on member states. Although the resolution recommended that the UN Security Council implement the partition, it never did.[18]

The effect of the General Assembly’s resolution, however, was to increase the fighting in Palestine. While the Zionist myth would have it that the Jews in Palestine were simply a peaceful community set upon by violent Arabs intent on genocide, Weir points out that Zionist military forces had been covertly preparing for war for some time. They had amassed extensive armaments, some of it coming illicitly from the U.S., and their troop numbers exceeded those of their foes even after five Arab governments had joined the fray. The traditional Zionist portrayal of Israel’s war for independence (which, of course, prevented independence for the Palestinians) as a David versus Goliath conflict in which the Jews miraculously overcame overwhelming odds is pure fiction, but it is still believed in many quarters today and continues to generate sympathy for Israel. On May 15, 1948, Zionists announced the establishment of their new state of Israel, for which they did not establish any boundaries.

A quick aside here: somewhat ironically, in my view, Weir barely touches on the United States decision to recognize Israel. Moreover, what does exist is largely in the endnotes. Although there will be a second volume to Weir’s history, and the cut-off point for this volume has to be somewhere, still the fact that the book does make reference to events in 1948 would seem to have made it appropriate to discuss in some detail the issue of America’s quick recognition of Israel.

A number of interlocking organizations operated in the U.S. to raise money for Zionist paramilitary groups in Palestine, though this goal was kept secret. These organizations were under the direction of the leader of the Irgun Delegation, Hillel Kook, who operated under the name of Peter Bergson. During World War II, these organizations purported to be trying to alert people to the genocide of European Jews and trying to rescue those still alive. By promoting this purpose these organizations were able to attract substantial public support, including from those who would be repulsed by their funding of terrorist activities, which, Weir implies, was their real intent. The latter, she maintains, was made manifest by the organizations’ failure to actually rescue Jews from Europe.

The Irgun group engaged in numerous public activities to raise money, one of the most successful being a pageant entitled “We Will Never Die!” which, woven within the backdrop of the Nazi genocide, celebrated the Jewish contribution to Western civilization. Written by Ben Hecht, an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, the pageant included such Broadway and Hollywood celebrities of the era as Edward G. Robinson, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Leonard Bernstein. Forty thousand attended the extravaganza’s New York performances. It went on to play in a number of other large American cities. The group produced a number of other plays and rallies, one of which featured a young Marlon Brando, and raised $1 million.[19]

Some American Zionists, Weir observes, actually planned terrorist activities outside of Palestine in order to influence developments there. One such terrorist activity conceived by a group of American Zionists headed by an Orthodox Rabbi named Baruch Korff consisted of a plan to drop bombs along with threatening leaflets on the British foreign office in London, or anywhere in London if that were too difficult. The airplane pilot sought for this task, however, went to the Paris Police—he and Korff both being in France at the time—and Korff was arrested. Powerful people rushed to Korff’s defense and the charges were dropped. Korff thus was able return to his former activities in America as if nothing had happened. With this particular event thrown down the Orwellian “memory hole,” Korff resurfaced over two decades later as a public figure close to President Richard Nixon, influencing the latter’s Middle East policies.

The amount of money raised for Zionist groups in the United States during these years is impossible to calculate accurately, but it would be enormous. Weir writes that between 1939 and May 1948 the Jewish Agency for Israel alone raised the equivalent of $3.5 billion in today’s dollars.

David Ben-Gurion, then de facto leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, realized that the international concern for Jewish refugees could be used to advance the cause of a Jewish state by making it appear that no other safe refuges for Jews existed. Weir illustrates this deception by a discussion of the famous ship Exodus, which carried Holocaust survivors to Palestine when the British were not allowing illegal immigration there.

Weir points out that what is generally unknown to the public is that the French were willing to take in those Exodus refugees but Ben-Gurion rejected that solution, forcing those survivors to remain on board the ship for seven months. Weir quotes historian Baruch Kimmerling on the significance of the Exodus affair: “Ben-Gurion‘s strategy in the Exodus affair paid off. The fate of the refugee ship attracted considerable and sympathetic attention around the world, and served the Zionist cause well. Few observers at the time knew that many of the refugees from the Exodus had applied for immigration visas to the United States, and were hardly anxious to settle in Israel . . . . By dramatizing the fate of the survivors, in whom he had little interest except as future residents of the state he was building . . . Ben-Gurion helped to make Israel the world’s chief power broker over Jewish affairs.”[20]

Weir includes a brief reference to Leon Uris’s bestselling 1958 novel on the Exodus ship, and though it falls outside the chronological purview of this volume, I would add that the impact of the already mythologized Exodus event was greatly magnified by Uris’s book, which sold over 7 million copies and was turned into a blockbuster movie in 1960 by Otto Preminger, a leading film director of the era. The film has been identified by many commentators as having greatly enhanced support for Israel in the United States by Jews as well as gentiles and in the view of some scholars this movie has had a lasting effect on how Americans view the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Weir even acknowledges that it had initially shaped her thinking on the subject.[21]

While the pro-Zionist propaganda that inundated the American media played up the existence of Jewish refugees who allegedly sought to come to Israel, there was little popular attention paid toward the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were being driven from their homeland as a result of Zionist massacres and other forcible expulsion measures. A State Department study in March 1949 found the American public was “unaware of the Palestine refugee problem, since it has not been hammered away at by the press or radio.”[22]

To underscore the importance of what Weir presents on this subject, it should be pointed out that until fairly recently, Israel’s denial of ever having expelled the Palestinians dominated the public discourse in the U.S. It was alleged that when Arab armies were about to invade the newly-declared state of Israel, Palestinians left their homes in the new Israel at the behest of their leaders, expecting to return with the victorious Arab armies. Beginning in the 1980s, however, Israel’s so-called “New Historians,” relying on newly released Israeli documents, exploded this myth. They concluded that the major cause of Palestinian flight was Israeli military action, which included terrorist massacres and the fear of them.

Even without the discovery of this Israeli documentary evidence, or any other documentary evidence for that matter, the use of the cui bono test would strongly point to Zionist culpability for the removal of the native Palestinians. For the Zionists planned to create a state that was both democratic and Jewish. This would be impossible if a large number of non-Jewish people, who were largely hostile to Zionism, resided within the country. From this fact, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the emptying of Palestine in 1948 was not a serendipitous development from the perspective of the Zionists, but one that was intentionally brought about by them.

Weir observes that U.S. State Department experts at the time were aware of Israel’s inhumane actions and sought to take action to at least moderate Israel’s effort to achieve a permanent removal of Palestinians. The State Department threatened to withhold $49 million of unallocated funds from an Export-Import Bank loan to Israel if it did not allow at least 200,000 refugees to return to their homes. Although Truman sympathized with the Palestinians’ plight, and in early 1948 even briefly considered backtracking from the partition and supporting a UN trusteeship for the entirety of Palestine, he ultimately prevented the State Department’s move from being implemented.

Weir points out that those in the mainstream media who attempted to alert the American people to the reality of the dispossession of the Palestinian people were effectively prevented from doing so by pro-Zionists. The latter relied on hurling the career-destroying charge of “anti-Semitism” and threatening economic measures to harm any media outlet that would dare to disseminate information they deemed to be too negative toward Israel.

The individual whom the Zionists caused to fall the farthest was Dorothy Thompson. Weir deserves much credit here for pulling this once well-known figure out of the Orwellian memory hole. Thompson happens to have been one of the principal figures in my doctoral dissertation titled, ”The Intellectual Wellsprings of American World War II Interventionism, 1939-1941.”[23] And I have added a few additional points to what Weir has in her book to illustrate the high reputation Thompson had at one time.

Thompson was an early and persistent critic of Nazism. She had an interview with Hitler in 1931 before he had become German Chancellor, which was made into a book. Thompson portrayed Hitler and Nazism in a negative light and in 1934, the now Nazi government of Germany expelled her when she attempted to visit the country. From 1934 onward, the bulk of her writing dealt with the danger posed by Nazism to the Western democracies. After the start of World War II in Europe in September 1939, Thompson was a staunch interventionist who initially advocated greater American aid to the allies but by the latter part of 1941 she was advocating American entrance into the war.

In 1939, Time Magazine named Thompson the second most popular and influential woman in America behind Eleanor Roosevelt.[24] She spoke out about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Jews in Europe, and urged a relaxation of immigration restrictions so the U.S. could be a safe haven for Jews under threat in Europe. She also was a strong supporter of Zionism.

In early 1945 she took a trip to Palestine where she saw firsthand Jews oppressing Palestinians. She came to realize that the Zionists sought to create a Jewish exclusivist state, not one that would include all of its current inhabitants. Her criticism of Zionism led to charges against her of “anti-Semitism” and even pro-Nazism, as absurd as that was given her background.[25] As a result of this all-out Zionist attack, newspapers began to drop her columns. Especially harmful was her loss of an outlet in New York City—where she had received a large proportion of her income—when the New York Post dropped her column with no other major New York City daily being willing to pick it up. Her radio program and speaking engagements also disappeared. Despite these problems, Thompson would not back away from her criticism of Zionism. And she continued to do so in the dwindling number of newspapers that still took her column, which did not end until 1958.

It is significant that the black-out of Dorothy Thompson has continued after her death, and perhaps even become worse. In the effort to make the subject of American history more inclusive, recent historians have often added women who were little known in their own eras, whereas Thompson who had been an important figure remains unmentioned. It seems likely that she has remained largely unmentioned both for what she had to say about Zionism and also by the fact that she was blacklisted by pro-Zionists, the power of whom one is not allowed to publicly acknowledge. (This contrasts with those Americans who were blacklisted for being pro-Communist, who are now often praised as martyrs because of this treatment.)

To conclude the review, it should be emphasized that this concise book should be of value to a wide audience. The general reader with little background knowledge should easily pick up a number of key points that serve to dispel the many myths that loom large today in the mainstream media, while even those individuals familiar with the subject are almost guaranteed to profit from little known facts, especially in the notes section, that should augment their knowledge. And it is essential that many more Americans become aware of this knowledge if America’s position is to change regarding Israel and the Middle East in general. Such a change is essential not only to bring about some degree of justice for the Palestinians but in order to extricate the United States from the debilitating regional conflicts that its close connection with Israel has entailed. It will be interesting to see how Weir, in her forthcoming volume, deals with the problems America has faced in more recent years that ineluctably derived from the events described in this work.

References

[1] Alison Weir, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014), Kindle Edition, Kindle Location 364. Weir contends that there were a number of factors that caused the United States to enter World War I in April 1917, some of which she lists, and that “Zionism appears to have been one of those factors.”

[2] Some historians have diluted this Jewish factor, attributing motivation to British foreign policy goals in the Near East. A Jewish homeland allegedly could serve as a buffer zone that would protect the Suez Canal.

[3] Chaim Weizmann was a leading figure in the Zionist movement who served as President of the Zionist Organization and later as the first President of Israel.

[4] Tom Segev, “‘View With Favor’, Review of The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Jonathan Schneer, International New York Times, August 20, 2010, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/books/review/Segev-t.html.

In other parts of his review, Segev’s analysis is impressive. For example he writes: “The Balfour declaration thus finds its place among a multitude of fruitless schemes and indulgent fantasies, except, of course, that in this case, surprisingly, the British by and large kept their word. For at least two decades they allowed the Zionist movement to bring hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants into Palestine, and these new arrivals set up hundreds of settlements including several towns, as well as the political, economic, military and cultural infrastructure of the future state of Israel. But if Israel’s existence originated with the British, so did the Palestinians’ tragedy.”

[5] The controversial House-Grey memorandum, developed with Britain in February 1916, stated that at an appropriate time Wilson would call for a peace conference. If the Allies accepted the offer and Germany rejected it or acted intransigently at the conference, the United States would go to war against Germany. And if Germany accepted the offer and a peace conference did take place, the settlement would not be unfavorable to the Allies. Wayne S. Cole, An Interpretive History of American Foreign Relations (Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press, 1968), 363

[6] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 449.

[7] The Wikipedia entry for “Ottoman Empire,” states that the “’Ottoman Empire’ and ‘Turkey’ were often used interchangeably, with ‘Turkey’ being increasingly favored both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was officially ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name,” accessed December 13, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire .

[8] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 2668-2669 .

[9] The King-Crane Commission was originally created as the American Section of the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, which was also to include British and French members, and be like a number of other fact finding missions stemming from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. These two countries failed to participate. Ken Grossi, Maren Milligan, and Ted Waddelow, Restoring Lost Voices of Self-Determination: Background to the Commission, August 2011, Part of the King-Crane Commission Digital Collection, Oberlin College Archives, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.oberlin.edu/library/digital/king-crane/intro.html .

[10] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 502-503.

[11] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 505.

[12] The King-Crane Commission Report, August 28, 1919, http://www.hri.org/docs/king-crane/. The report includes discussions of territory intended to have been taken from Turkey in the Treaty of Sevres, which Turkey never accepted and was not implemented.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Quoted in Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 798.

[15] Wallace had no chance of winning the election but Truman’s backers feared that he could syphon off enough liberal votes in large Northern and Midwestern states to enable Dewey to win the election. The issue of Israel did not play a role in Strom Thurmond’s 1948 campaign in the South, which focused on states’ rights and racial issues.

[16] Quoted in Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Location 894.

King-Crane Commission Report, August 28, 1919.

[17] Jeremy R. Hammond, “The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel,” Foreign Policy Journal, October 26, 2010, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/10/26/the-myth-of-the-u-n-creation-of-israel/.

[18] More than this, the UN General Assembly, after the vote, created another committee that came to quite different conclusions. Jeremy Hammond writes: “The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question was established by the General Assembly shortly after the issuance of the UNSCOP report in order to continue to study the problem and make recommendations. A sub-committee was established in turn that was tasked with examining the legal issues pertaining to the situation in Palestine, and it released the report of its findings on November 11. It observed that the UNSCOP report had accepted a basic premise ‘that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews both possess validity’, which was ‘not supported by any cogent reasons and is demonstrably against the weight of all available evidence.’ With an end to the Mandate and with British withdrawal, ‘there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent state’, which ‘would be the logical culmination of the objectives of the Mandate’ and the Covenant of the League of Nations. It found that ‘the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine, and that the settlement of the future government of Palestine is a matter solely for the people of Palestine.’’’ Hammond, “The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel.”

[19] Marlon Brando was very close to Jews before he became a movie star and later donated a considerable amount of money to Zionist causes. He expressed more negative views of Jews toward the end of his life. See: Allan M. Jalon, “How Marlon Brando Became Godfather to the Jews,” Forward, September 16, 2015, accessed December 13, 2015, http://forward.com/culture/320671/how-marlon-brando-became-godfather-to-the-jews/; Danielle Berrin, “Marlon Brando and the Jews,” Jewish Journal, July 30, 2014, accessed December 13, 2015, http://www.jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew/item/marlon_brando_and_the_jews.

[20] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 1249-1256.

[21] The movie had an all-star cast (and a very popular, award winning theme song), which included: Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Peter Lawford, Sal Mineo, and Lee J. Cobb.

[22] Weir, Against Our Better Judgment, Kindle Locations 1370-1371.

[23] Stephen John Sniegoski, “The Intellectual Wellsprings of American World War II Interventionism, 1939-1941,” (PhD diss., University of Maryland-College Park, 1977).

My research on Thompson included a visit to the archival collection of her papers at the George Arents Research Library at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, in 1976, where I perused some material dealing with her break with American Jews, which was outside the scope of my dissertation.

[24] Thompson’s correspondence in her manuscript collection at Syracuse University illustrates her importance. The Overview of the Collection states: “Correspondents include authors (John Gunther, Wallace Irwin, Alfred M. Lilienthal, Edgar A. Mowrer, Vincent Sheehan, Johannes Urzidil), literary figures (Jean Cocteau, Rose Wilder Lane, Thomas Mann, Rebecca West), politicians and statesmen (Bernard M. Baruch, Winston Churchill, Ely Culbertson, Ralph E. Flanders, Felix Frankfurter, Charles de Gaulle, Cordell Hull, Clare Boothe Luce, Jan Masaryk, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman).” Overview of the Collection, Dorothy Thompson Papers, Syracuse University Libraries, accessed December 13, 2015, http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/t/thompson_d.htm.

[25] Thompson’s relationship with American Jews actually began to sour toward the end of the war before the emergence of the issue of Zionist mistreatment of Palestinians. She differed with the Jewish establishment regarding her opposition to the Anglo-American incendiary bombing of German cities, which involved the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, and also the demand for a Carthaginian peace with Germany that was reflected in the Morgenthau Plan. She viewed these actions as violating the alleged idealistic purpose of the war, whereas many Jews sought punishment of the German people because of what the Nazis had done to their co-religionists.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

What Happened In This Election?

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | November 10, 2016

Brushing away the extreme claims and rhetoric of much election analysis, there are some observations which deserve attention. These unfortunately mostly provide hard lessons and not a lot of encouragement for people who hold to principles of democracy, enlightenment, and progressivity.

The election demonstrated perhaps better than ever, and better than has generally been recognized, that American is, indeed, a plutocracy. It took a genuine American Oligarch, a multi-billionaire, a man with a lifetime’s economic empire-building, to defeat a family which could provide the very definition of being politically well-connected, a family which had laboriously constructed and carefully maintained a kind of deep well ever-flowing with money for their ambitions.

It was the ever-flowing well of money, drilled by Bill Clinton with help from some extremely shady friends, such as Jeffrey Epstein, that made the Clintons keystone establishment figures in the Democratic Party. It was not personal charm or exceptional political generalship – although Bill, in his heyday, displayed some of both of those – that earned the Clintons their place, it was the money, the “mother’s milk of politics.” In what is euphemistically called “fund raising,” many hundreds of millions of dollars were provided for the party over the last couple of decades by Bill Clinton’s efforts.

Hillary fully appreciated the fact that money buys power and influence. She lacked Bill’s superficial charm, but she certainly more than shared his ambition. On the charm front, when she was ready to move into running for office, she adopted, perhaps under Bill’s tutelage, a kind of forced clown face with arched eyebrows, bugged-out eyes, and a smile as big as her lips would allow, and these expressions were accompanied by little gestures such as briefly pointing to various on-lookers or waving helter-skelter whenever she campaigned.

Her gestures reminded me of something you might see atop a float in a Christmas Parade or of the late Harpo Marx at his most exuberant. These were not natural for her. They were never in evidence years ago when she spent years as a kind of bizarre executive housewife, both in a governor’s mansion and later in the White House, bizarre because she indulged her husband’s non-stop predatory sexual behavior in exchange for the immense power it conferred on her behind the scenes over her far more out-going and successful politician-husband.

Anyway, Hillary knew that gestures and simulated charm do not get you far in American politics. She determined to build a political war chest long ago, and there are many indications over the years of her working towards this end of making this or that change in expressed view, as when running for the Senate, when sources of big money suggested another view would be more acceptable. She was anything but constant in the views she embraced because when she ran for the Senate she spent record amounts of money, embarrassingly large amounts.

In her years of speaking engagements, she aimed at special interests who could supply potentially far more money than just exorbitant speaking fees. Later, in the influential, appointed post of Secretary of State – coming, as it does, into personal contact with every head of government or moneyed, big-time international schemer – she unquestionably played an aggressive “pay for play” with them all. Covering up that embarrassing and illegal fact is what the private servers and unauthorized smart phones were all about.

A second big fact of the election is that both major American political parties are rather sick and fading. The Republican Party has been broken for a very long time. It hobbled along for some decades with the help of various gimmicks, hoping to expand its constituency with rubbish like “family values,” public prayer and catering to the Christian Right, and anti-flag burning Constitutional amendments, and now it is truly out of gas. That is precisely why a political outsider like Oligarch Trump could manage to hi-jack the party.

He was opposed by tired, boring men like Jeb Bush, seeking to secure an almost inherited presidency, and a dark, intensely unlikable, phony Christian fundamentalist like Ted Cruz, and it proved to be no contest. It was a remarkable political achievement, but I think it was only possible given the sorry state of the party.

The Republican Party had been given a breather, some new life, by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. He had an extremely mixed record as President, but he was popular, held in some affection, and did have a clear vision, but his effect on the party was not lasting. Trump could be seen as another Reagan, but I think the comparison is superficial. Trump literally hi-jacked the party, and he was not deliriously crowned by its establishment.

The Republican Party itself was formed not long before Abraham Lincoln’s candidacy out of the remains of worn out and collapsed predecessors, including the Whigs and Free-Soil Democrats. Parties do not last forever, and here was Trump creating something of a minor political revolution inside a tired and fairly directionless old party, a phenomenon which I do not think was sufficiently noticed.

The press was too busy attacking him from the start to take notice or do any intelligent analysis, and he was attacked precisely for the potential damage to the establishment he represented. His most promising quality is his potential for creating a new coalition of interests and one excluding the continuation of the Neocon Wars Hillary vigorously embraced and would expand.

But the Democratic Party is in serious trouble, too. It has a great deal of internal rot, as the Wiki-Leaks material from the DNC clearly shows us. Arrogance, lack of direction, ignorance of the people it has always claimed to serve, bad decision-making, and the absolute prostrate worship of money are the major symptoms.

It would have been impossible for the party to have so made up its mind and committed its resources to Hillary Clinton without serious rot. She has always had strong negatives in polling, always been (rightly) suspected concerning her honesty.

The Wiki-Leaks material tells us about many internal conflicts, including harsh high-level judgments of Hillary’s decision-making, resentment over the back-stabbing character of daughter Chelsea who is said to resemble Hillary in her behavior and attitudes, and the belief of some that Hillary just should not have run. And, frankly, she had become for many a rather tiresome, used-up figure from whom absolutely nothing spectacular in politics or policy could possibly be expected. But they not only blindly supported her, they broke all their own party rules by internally and secretly working to defeat a legitimate and viable contender, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders might well have been able to win the election for the Democrats, but their establishment was blind to the possibility and rejected his candidacy out-of-hand. After all, there were Bill and Hillary beckoning to their running well of money. In hindsight, it might be just as well that Sanders was cheated out of the nomination. He proved a weak individual in the end, giving in to just the forces he had claimed to oppose and leaving his enthusiastic followers completely let down. There he was, out on the hustings, supporting everything he ever opposed personified in Hillary Clinton. Men of that nature do not stand up well to Generals and Admirals and the heads of massive corporations, a quality which I do think we have some right to expect Trump to display.

Another important fact about the election is that it was less the triumph of Trump than the avoidance of Hillary that caused the defeat. The numbers are unmistakable. Yes, Trump did well for a political newcomer and a very controversial figure, but Hillary simply did badly, not approaching the support Obama achieved in key states, again something reflecting the documented fact that she is not a well-liked figure and the Party blundered badly in running her. But again, money talks, and the Clintons, particularly Bill, are the biggest fundraisers they have had in our lifetime. No one was ready to say no to the source of all that money.

Now, to many Americans, the election result must seem a bit like having experienced something of a revolution, although a revolution conducted through ballots, any other kind being literally impossible by design in this massive military-security state. In a way, it does represent something of a revolutionary event, owing to the fact that Trump the Oligarch is in his political views a bit of a revolutionary or at least a dissenter from the prevailing establishment views. And, as in any revolution, even a small one, there are going to be some unpleasant outcomes.

The historical truth of politics is that you never know from just what surprising source change may come. Lyndon Johnson, life-long crooked politician and the main author of the horrifying and pointless Vietnam War, did more for the rights of black Americans than any other modern president. Franklin Roosevelt, son of wealthy establishment figures, provided remarkable leadership in the Great Depression, restoring hopes and dreams for millions. Change, important change, never comes from establishments or institutions like political parties. It always comes from unusual people who seem to step out of their accustomed roles in life with some good or inspired ideas and have the drive and toughness to make them a reality.

I have some limited but important hopes for Trump. I am not blind or delirious expecting miracles from this unusual person, and after the experience of Obama, who fairly quickly proved a crushing, bloody disappointment, I can never build up substantial hopes for any politician. And what was the choice anyway? Hillary Clinton was a bought-and-paid one-way ticket to hell.

Trump offers two areas of some hope, and these both represent real change. The first is in reducing America’s close to out-of-control military aggressiveness abroad. This aggressiveness, reflecting momentum from what can only be called the Cheney-Rumsfeld Presidency, continued and grew under the weak and ineffectual leadership of Obama and was boosted and encouraged by Hillary as Secretary of State. Hillary, the feminists who weep for her should be reminded, did a lot of killing during her tenure. She along with Obama are literally responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of women and their families, many of them literally torn apart by bombs.

The other area of some hope is for the welfare of ordinary American people themselves who have been completely ignored by national leaders for decades. By welfare, I do not mean the kind of state assistance that Bill Clinton himself worked to end.

George Bush’s lame reaction to Hurricane Katrina (before he was internationally shamed into some action) has become the normal pattern for America’s national government when it comes to ordinary Americans. The truth is that the legacy of FDR has withered to nothing and no longer plays any role in the Democratic Party, and of course never did in the Republican Party.

Nothing can impress someone not familiar with America’s dark corners more than a visit to places like Detroit or Gary or Chicago’s South Side, parts of New Orleans, or Newark or dozens of other places where Americans live in conditions in every way comparable to Third World hellholes. No, I mean the people’s general well-being. Trump’s approach will be through jobs and creating incentives for jobs. I don’t know whether he can succeed, but, just as he asked people in some of his speeches, “What do you have to lose?” Just having someone in power who pays any attention to the “deplorables” is a small gain.

People should never think of the Clintons as liberal or progressive, and that was just as much true for Bill as it is for Hillary. His record as President – apart from his embarrassing behavior in the Oval Office with a young female intern and his recruitment of Secret Service guards as procurers for women he found attractive on his morning runs – was actually pretty appalling. He, in his own words, “ended welfare as we know it.” He signed legislation which would send large numbers of young black men to prison. He also signed legislation which contributed to the country’s later financial collapse under George Bush. He often would appoint someone decent and then quickly back off, leaving them dangling, when it looked like approval for the appointment would not be coming. His FBI conducted the assault on Waco, killing about eighty people needlessly. A pharmaceutical plant in Sudan was destroyed by cruise missiles for no good reason. There were a number of scandals, including the suicide of Vince Foster and the so-called Travelgate affair, which were never fully explained to the public. It was his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who answered, unblinkingly, a television interviewer’s question about tens of thousands of Iraqi children who died owing to America’s embargo, “We think it’s worth it.” He committed the war crime of bombing Belgrade. When news of the horrors of the Rwanda genocide were first detected by his government, the order secretly went out to shut up about it. No effort was made to intervene.

No, any real change in America could never come from people like the Clintons, either one of them.

November 10, 2016 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Corruption, Economics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s Victory Should Not Obfuscate Election Fraud

By Doug Steil | Aletho News | November 9, 2016

As luck would have it Hillary Clinton’s landslide loss was so big that massive election fraud by Democratic Party operatives in various cities could not overcome her deficit.

The “shock” by insiders of having lost obviously reflects their earlier certainty of prevailing, which hints at the extent of their vote rigging schemes. The unverifiable system of voting in America is so flawed that foreign observers are now being blocked from monitoring US elections. The topic of fraud can no longer be swept under the rug.

Surely Clinton and the media will try to make a big deal of having “received more votes” than Trump in the popular vote total, which according to the current tabulation has already occurred, with an even higher differential to come once West Coast state results are all counted.

Those inside the DC Beltway and within elite campuses will claim that this is “unfair” and that Hillary really “should have won”.

However, this assertion should be vociferously challenged. Surely this surplus is artificial. Is it really possible that so many Americans would have ignored the prospect of going to war with Russia?

The question needs to be raised publicly: How many hundreds of thousand votes were switched from Trump to Clinton altogether and how many invalid (illegal) votes were registered for her?

Aside from that — assuming all the votes were legitimate — the electoral college system is intended to prevent, say, a concentration of votes in urban centers to the detriment of rural voters across the country. As is the case in Maine and Nebraska, voters in individual states can decide how to allocate their electoral votes, so it doesn’t have to be a winner-take-all system.

It is a tribute to the designers of the US Constitution that the Electoral College mechanism still exists. It’s almost as if though they might also have already suspected long ago that there could be illicit efforts in the future to change an election outcome simply by stuffing the ballots in a few locations. The indirect US electoral system has saved the country from a big crisis brought on by election fraud. Instead of changing the Constitution future election reforms should focus on making vote fraud impossible or extremely difficult to carry out.

November 9, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Militarism | , , | 13 Comments

Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton and the American Deep State

By Federico PIERACCINI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 08.11.2016

Weiner, Sexting and Emails

It all started with the FBI investigation regarding a ‘sexting‘ scandal. A 15-year-old girl reported having received compromising photos from Anthony Weiner, former husband of Hillary Clinton’s top advisor Huma Abedin. It is the type of situation where the person of interest’s computing devices are reviewed by the FBI to check the contents for clues or evidence. The problem is that Anthony Weiner’s computer is not just like any other but rather one that he shared with his then wife, Huma Abedin. From the small amount of information leaked, it seems that the New York FBI division charged with investigating the affair has for a long time been silent over the enormous 650,000 email archive found. That was until a few days ago, when the director of the FBI revealed, with a letter to Congress, that this data was considered relevant to the ongoing investigation regarding Hillary Clinton and her private email server. It is a huge revelation given the few days left before the elections, causing huge problems for the Democratic campaign.

The more appropriate question to ask is why the director of the FBI, James Comey, decided to inform Congress. The most likely answer points to a leak that would have otherwise caused irreparable damage the reputation of the FBI. Had the new information about Clinton been withheld by the FBI, then it is easy to imagine that the reaction would have been far worse for Comey than the criticism he is currently enduring.

The FBI and Wikileaks

While it is easy to assume that senior federal employees are mostly expressions of political interests, Andrew McCabe being an indicative example, it is unlikely that there is a complete control of all the employees of a large agency like the FBI. This is essentially what the story of Anthony Weiner, former husband of Abedin, centers on. Fox News reported that the FBI detachment in New York had for months ignored the email archive in the computer thanks to the plausible excuse of the lack of a mandate. It almost looks as if the FBI had managed to conceal this new discovery for a long time. It is a fact that in the past Clinton has repeatedly been saved from catastrophe, managing to block federal investigations and forcing the FBI chief to a ridiculous testimony before Congress in order that she not be investigated. It is her trail of scandals that has outraged many federal agents and members of the intelligence community. More than one source has revealed that the Bureau was facing the risk of an internal revolt driven by agents eager to release to the American public basic information regarding an ongoing investigation on one of the presidential candidates.

Therefore it is very difficult to believe that 650,000 emails were found on Abedin’s computer that were of little significance or even irrelevant. Otherwise what sense would there be in trying to keep them hidden? Evidently the agents working on the case have discovered explosive information.

Who is Huma Abedin?

Huma Mahmood Abedin is a good starting point down the rabbit hole of dirty and dangerous money. Born in 1976 in the United States, she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia two years later, returning to the US at the age of 18 to enrol at George Washington University. Certainly more interesting is the story of her parents, both Muslims and both heavily involved in Muslim Brotherhood networks as well as opaque financing mechanisms to structures linked Al Qaeda. How the daughter of two such controversial characters could come to occupy such an important role explains how deep down the rabbit hole this story goes.

To understand the influence of Abedin on Hillary Clinton, just think of all the latest scandals involving Clinton that revolve around the funding and indirect support of radical Islamist groups. From Libya to Egypt to Syria and Iraq, the trail of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation is everywhere. It is no wonder that a family like the Abedins have been able to forge such important friendships as the one with the possible future president of the United States. Abedin seems likely to be an intermediary connecting worlds that are adjacent but never fully overlapping. No American could ever accept the idea that alongside the next POTUS could be a person deeply embedded in such a milieu. But that is how it is. On September 11, 2001, for example, Abedin was simultaneously working for the Clinton Foundation as well as a charity subsequently discovered to be a front for money laundering on behalf of Bin Laden, as covered by Newsweek. The day when the twin towers collapsed, the current top advisor to the probable next US president was working for an organisation indirectly linked to Al Qaeda.

The American Deep State

When addressing the topic of Huma Mahmood Abedin, top advisor to Hillary Clinton, it is good to ask how deep we are willing to go to discover the mechanisms of American power, penetrating into the dark caverns and complex entrails of a state within a state, the so-called deep state.

To answer this question, it is good to define it. Generally, when we talk about the deep state, it means the various branches of power. The best known are certainly the military-industrial complexenergy giantsWall Street, the mainstream news media, extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and its Wahhabi ideology, in addition to foreign lobbies, especially the Israeli and Saudi lobbies. Their interests are mainly based around the accumulation of money and their ability to generate more of it to buy influence.

Generally the major representatives of deep-state interests are the so-called think-tanks. These organisations, made up of experts and former members of the public and private sectors, exist primarily to influence and condition the political discussions, favoring the interests of their funders, which not surprisingly are precisely the industries and people related to the various branches of American power. As a result, think-tanks have now taken on a more central role in defining the domestic and foreign-policy postures of the United States.

Of course money also buys people in addition to associations. This is the case with direct donations to the election campaigns of senators and members of Congress by the giants of the deep state. Large companies, banks, financial institutions and the military industry use think-tanks, the media and politicians through their money with only one purpose: to protect and nurture their interests and their vision of the state within the state. Put simply, their objective is to continue to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers.

Wahhabism, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Deep State

In addition to the neo-conservative and liberal factions, as well as the Israel lobby, we find the ideological component of Wahhabi Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood participating in the US political system, playing an important role in the fashioning of American foreign policy. Suffice it to say that this trio has for more than two decades completely dominated the choices about foreign policy of the United States, with dire consequences. The Muslim Brotherhood, a creation inspired by the British MI6 in the early 1900s to fight nationalism and Arab governments with communist inclinations, quickly became the spiritual fathers of the Afghan freedom fighters. It is a monster that has continued to morph in our day from the Taliban in Afghanistan to Al Qaeda in the late 1990s to the 2000s, and currently metamorphosing into Al Nusra Front/Daesh. Of course in each of its historical iterations, Islamic extremism has been fomented and directed against nations hostile to American imperialism.

In recent years the once peaceful Arab Spring turned into violent riots thanks to the ideological inspiration of movements such as Saudi Wahhabism or the Muslim Brotherhood. This distorted view of Islam has often been the catalyst transforming initially peaceful movements into violent anti-government clashes. The Wahhabi ideology and the Muslim Brotherhood’s political interpretation of Islam unites such capitals as Riyadh, Doha and Ankara with those fighting for the Islamic caliphate, namely Al Nusra Front/Al Qaeda. US geopolitical ambitions have increased over the years through terrorist attacks and the consequent destabilization of nations opposed to Washington. The use of terrorism as a geopolitical weapon is not new for the United States when one remembers the stay-behind networks that operated in Europe during the Cold War.

This conglomerate of power has in the last 30 years guided American foreign policy, justifying interventions in foreign countries under the pretext of fighting terrorism (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan), or by using terrorism as a tool of destabilization (Syria, Egypt, Yemen). Consequently, the Wahabi/Brotherhood component continues to play to this day a major role in the constant quest for global supremacy by the US deep state.

Clinton Foundation, Huma Abedin and US Deep State

The deep corruption that permeates the deep state has consistently enabled countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to buy modern and advanced means of warfare produced in the US. A summary of the so-called pay-to-play scheme goes as follows: money comes into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation thanks to generous donations from Riyadh and Doha, and in return they are cleared by the State Department (headed for many years precisely by Clinton) for the sale of weapons. It is a simple mechanism that satisfies everyone: the foreign countries are able to get their hands on advanced weapons to be employed in future bloody wars; the weapons traders receive hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts; and the Clinton Foundation, as payment, receives millions of dollars in donations.

In a rather agreeable arrangement, the arms manufacturers earn back the money invested in election campaigns many times over, thanks to the resulting lucrative contracts closed with foreign countries. The consequences of such a wicked arrangement have been seen in wars of aggression by the Saudis against the Yemenis and the Turks against the Kurdish minority, all thanks to weapons sold by Washington. Another aspect of this arrangement relates to the sale of weapons to terrorists in the Middle East from the US thanks to the sponsorship of the Gulf nations. It is an evil system that in addition to enriching the producers of American weapons, as well as the Clinton Foundation together with satisfying the regional allies of the US, uses Gulf nations to provide cover to the US to directly provide advanced weaponry to terrorists. A typical example of this perverse arrangement is easily verifiable in the events in Benghazi, which still awaits truth and justice.

Consequences

The drama around the emails contained on the computer of Huma Abedin and her ex-husband is probably attributable to the concrete risk that all this mess gets uncovered, including the unspeakable role of Clinton and her foundation in international terrorism. It remains to be seen in this complicated journey into the deep state what role the FBI and Donald Trump are playing. Although personally I have many doubts about the figure of Trump, one thing I am quite certain of is that a vast chasm separates him from the center of America’s deep-state establishment. While Clinton is a direct product of this tumor, Donald Trump comes from another set of circumstances, marshalling around him that patriotic feeling that many, even within the US government, are beginning to feel, particularly given that America’s international credibility, together with its confidence domestically, has collapsed dramatically.

Despite the constant efforts of the mainstream media to refute this representation of reality, the feeling is increasingly common in the minds of Americans that much of what ails the country today is this degenerate web of economic, political and strategic corruption. Many Americans are tired of seeing their nation fighting senseless wars far away from home without any real threat to their national security but with costs in the order of trillions of dollars.

Conclusions

The United States has been flirting immorally and illegally with organizations dedicated to terrorism, thanks to the many deep-state links. Such collusion existed before and after September 11, subsequently triggering the Arab Spring and destabilizing countries like Libya, Syria and Iraq. What we have seen in the last few days with Comey’s revelations may represent a veritable Pandora’s box. It is impossible to determine whether this scandal will eventually overwhelm Hillary Clinton. Perhaps the leaders of the deep state have decided to destroy the nomination of the Democratic nominee in favor of Donald Trump. Or maybe not; right now every hypothesis is valid. But if Trump wins on November 8, it may represent the triumph of the American people’s will to discard once and for all anything that even remotely smells of the ‘deep state’, the redolence of which hangs heavily over Clinton and her aide Huma Mahmood Abedin.

November 8, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 2016 ‘October Surprise’ A Second American Revolution?

By Bryan Kinnear | OffGuardian | November 7, 2016

Amid claims of silent coup and counter-coup, this year’s “October Surprise” has yet to fully play out. Neither – with lasts weekend’s reopening of the ‘Servergate’ saga that has so dogged HRC – will it be concluded by the November 8th polling day. As this can only be viewed as to be by design – prepare for an explosive finale.

In its current iteration ‘Weinergate’ concerns 650,000 ‘additional’ emails kept on a phone and laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner – former US Congressman and estranged husband of Huma Abedin – HRC’s top aide. These emails are widely presumed to be the legacy of when Weiner had shared access with his then wife to the documents. It is speculated she kept them as ‘Life Insurance’ and he backed them up (presumably for the same reason.)

The reason I’m writing this in vague terminology is the truth is – no one knows. The devices were surrendered on an ‘unrelated matter’ – that matter being the alleged paedophilia of Weiner (notice that the Orwellian M$M have sanitised this activity as ‘sexting’ – but if you send photos of your manhood to an under age girl – that’s paedophilia.)

As I understand it, when FBI Director Comey wrote his letter of intent to reinvestigate last Friday – he can’t of legally even seen the content. The FBI didn’t obtain a warrant until Sunday to begin cross referencing between the two cases. His leaked letter has been described as “long on innuendo but short on fact.” So how can he be sure that the current crop of emails are pertinent and will shed new light? Despite the Democrat cat-call for elucidation – Comey has been silent since.

It appears that the FBI is investigating Pandora’s Box – the lid is on at the moment – but of all the worldly ills that may come out to haunt Hillary when the lid is finally lifted – are racketeering and ‘pay-to-play’ by the Clinton Foundation; political cronyism; corruption; vote rigging by the DNC; perjury and possible felony by Huma Abedin and other aides (for not turning over all devices related to the original investigation.)[1] This would all be on the mild end of a spectrum running all the way up to the treasonous acceptance of donations from terrorist backing foreign powers (KSA and Qatar) [2]; high level espionage (by Huma Abedin) [3] and being a member of an international paedophile ring.[4]

The new paedophilia allegation against Hillary and Bill surfaced yesterday (03/11/16). It comes from Steve Pieczenik – who in his videos claims to be the face of the counter-coup.[5] He only came on my radar yesterday morning but his credentials are real and impressive – his resume could be summed up as “consummate White House insider” going back to the Ford regime. Apart from being a veteran of the State Department, with expertise in foreign policy, international crisis management and intelligence (high ranking CIA.) He also is credited as a founding father of modern psychological warfare (psyops.) If you are conspiratorially minded (like me) – you could also consider him a perfect candidate for a Deep State actor. In one of his videos he even admits he was involved in the “continuity of the Republic” (Continuity of Government) process under Nixon and Reagan. Now he is the new and friendly face of the Deep State.

His claim is that Hill and Bill often travelled (six times together and twenty-six times for Bill alone) on the ‘Lolita Express’ to the US Virgin Isles – a plane belonging to Clinton Foundation donor, multi-billionaire and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. [6] During these flights and on Epsteins island…

I can’t find words to sanitise some of the most reprehensible crimes known to man – so I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

Manufactured or not – I very much doubt this to be a baseless claim – as it has much wider implications than even the current election. Pieczenik seems to confirm earlier leaks from the NYPD Special Victims Unit (SVU) ongoing investigation into Weiner. Sources from within the SVU claim that his laptop contained “evidence of an international child smuggling and child sex ring.” [7] Their probe now extends into the alleged endemic deviance of a ‘Washington Paedophile Ring’ – the possible repercussions of which could be international and dire enough to bring down “the entire federal government.” This would be a very bold claim indeed for an insider to make were it not credible – or at least backable.

My guess is that the very nature and magnitude of the crime is meant to force HRC to think twice about taking up residence in the Oval Office should she be elected. But she is too power crazed, criminally insane and possibly even demented to take notice. Because she always has – she thinks she can still walk on water – though to me it seems that she is no longer waving – but drowning.

(I seem to remember that should she succumb to illness in the first few months of office – First Lady Bill could reign by proxy – but lets not go there!)

In the meanwhile – in the absence of anything concrete and factual to go on – rumour is running wild. Everyone knows that the Russian Hack Plot is BS – the rantings of the deranged finally losing the plot. Yet for the Mockingbird M$M – it serves as a weak smokescreen to cover the enormity of the allegations being made and the substantive content of the various earlier data dumps on Wikileaks.

Julian Assange himself has felt the need to deny that Russia is the source (In an upcoming interview with John Pilger to be broadcast by RT on Saturday – excerpts of which are already available.) [8]

In a previous video Assange somewhat awkwardly seems to confirm Seth Rich as a probable source for the earlier DNC hack related to this case (the Clinton Campaign manager John Podesta emails.) [9] Rich was Director of Voter Expansion Data for the DNC – so he would have had all the relevant security keys and was at least well placed to collate the data prior to the leak. He was scheduled to talk to the FBI over the leaks. He was on the street near his home – talking to his girlfriend on the phone when he was shot in the back several times – in a robbery-gone-wrong where nothing was taken. Draw your own conclusion – but can we possibly add conspiracy to murder to the crimes in Pandora’s Box?.[10]

What seems more credible than ‘the Russians did it’ – and as Pieczenik contends – is that elements within the Washington intelligence community do not want HRC as POTUS. Those elements are ‘pissed’ about HRC’s as yet unpunished criminal inability to correctly handle State secrets – content to leave them “on the internet version of a park bench.” That this is the source of the current leaks surfacing through Wikileaks was also attested to by former UK ambassador Craig Murray – whom – although he is a friend of Assange – I would consider a trusted source without a dog in the presidential race. [11]

Among the theories circulating is that the Department of Justice (DoJ) under Lorretta Lynch is so compromised that investigations cannot proceed through proper channels – hence the resort to data dumps. This would seem to be borne out by Lynch’s extra-judicial meeting with Bill the night before Comey initially dropped the investigation.[12] [13]

Not only is Lynch seen as compromised or co-opted (as part of the Clinton coup according to Pieczenik); but so is Comey. Either by his own ineptness or possible corruption – he now finds himself pressured by a grass roots rebellion from within his own ranks – of those sick of the Clinton’s decades long history of criminality. “The FBI is Trumpland” as the Guardian put it. [14] Add to that the NYPD SVU investigators have claimed to uncover evidence so vile that they have threatened the FBI that they will go public if he does not follow through with the original investigation. “People are going to jail.” And Comey and Lynch may be joining them.

Another strand to this was the impropriety reported in the Wall Street Journal a few days before Comey wrote his letter to Congress – the $500,000 ‘campaign contribution’ made by long time Clinton ally and leading Democrat Terry McCauliffe – to the wife of the very FBI official (Deputy Director Andrew McCabe) who oversaw the original email investigation. So to political cronyism – can we add attempted cover up into Pandora’s box? [15]

If I wanted to get really conspiratorial – I could add that the FBI themselves have told us that a literal “Shadow Government” (the 7th Floor Committee including John Kerry) oversaw which of Hillary’s emails we got to see back in February. [16] Could they have sanitised the original emails or be sitting on evidence? Could this “Shadow Government” yet be attempting to manipulate the election for their own gain? Who knows – but probably.

If you did want to control – or at least influence the electorate – would there be a better way to do it than have an open-ended multi-faceted investigation involving one or both candidates – that you could close down or otherwise direct and manipulate at will – like the directed energy of a shaped charge you could ignite and control the blast radius? Just speculating – of course that is delusional – and anyway, it wouldn’t happen in the Land of the Free – would it?

So are we watching a re-envisioned 1776 in the form of a bloodless silent coup – a 21st century American rebellion by the honest and decent folk of the Intelligence Community to re-establish the Republic?

Or are we watching the chainstoking and death throes of an Empire as it passes into history?

Time will tell but I’m not fully bought into either of those just yet. Whatever dirt they have on HRC and the Establishment faction that constitute her backers – I feel sure that is fully accredited. If and when it’s let out of the box – I very much doubt that Hillary’s Hope will be left within. She could be a double first. The first female POTUS – and also the first POTUS to be impeached on their first day in office.

The battle lines of American power politics are drawn – the Establishment v the Intelligence Community – the deep state divisions are moving into place – but the real war is yet to come.

“This will continue as a revolution, hopefully civil, hopefully without violence.” Steve Pieczenik

It’s hard to see how this will play out – and harder still to see how anyone could hope to ‘keep a lid’ on it and control the collateral damage. The potential for internecine destruction is assured if things were to get out of hand – I haven’t even mentioned the dodgy Diebold voting machines or even Trump himself. He is unlikely to come up smelling of roses – not given that he is also a friend of Jeffrey Epstein – and they are both under the shadow of the upcoming ignominy of a shared rape trial (due in court in December.) A recent appearance by the plaintiff ‘Jane Doe’ – in which she was to reveal her identity was cancelled amid death threats to her.[17]

[What chance to have both candidates potentially hamstrung by their connection to a Tier 1 sex offender (Epstein) and to ongoing rape allegations?]

Should he win the popular vote his Presidency will be blighted by the smear that the vote was tainted and ‘Democracy overturned’ by these unprecedented and ‘illegal’ events. Or put more simplistically – “the Russians hacked the election.” The Establishment backing Hillary has already cried foul and has threatened to instigate the Hatch Act prosecution of Comey (I think that boys goose is cooked however this goes down!) [18]

Divide and rule comes to mind – the potential for civil war is real and should not be understated. That may be the design yet somehow I doubt it. Whoever wins the coming power struggle will want to control the damage and preserve the fabric of the State. Even though this could potentially be “bigger than Watergate” the Mockingbird M$M will do their best to make sure as little of this as possible comes to light. The thinning veneer of ‘real democracy’ as practised in the ‘exceptional and indispensable’ nation must be maintained. At any cost.

In all of this though, you can be assured – that the will of the American people is but a minor consideration.

References:
[1] [1] Huma Abedin had given a sworn deposition to Judicial Watch http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press- releases/clinton-email-update-judicial-watch-releases-former-clinton-deputy-chief-staff-huma- abedin-deposition-testimony/
[2] “Foreign govt donors: all the money is in” https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/7452
[3] The gist of the currently unfounded accusations that Huma Abedin may be a Saudi spy is that though she was born in the US; she only spent two years there before returning in 1996. Only two years after that she received Top Level security clearance and became Clinton’s aide. It was the Clinton’s who set her up with Weiner – a not so nice Jewish boy (as it turns out) as ‘cover.’ The rest of her family have salafist Muslim Brotherhood connections – ergo she must be a KSA spy. The main sources of this are Roger Stone (Trump campaign manager;) and Steve Pieczenik. I’m writing this still wondering if Pieczenik is yanking my chain – or acting for those who would want to pull the election? Or with his deep connection to the intelligence community – does he know something we don’t?
[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12zVlaZyX3Q
[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov5kvWSz5LM
[6] https://www.rt.com/usa/343048-clinton-epstein-lolita-express/
[7] https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/2357
[8] https://www.rt.com/news/365405-assange-pilger-full-transcript/
[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7FkLBRpKg
[10] https://sputniknews.com/world/201608271044700879-wikileaks-seth-rich-murder-hillary/
[11] http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-02/former-british-ambassador-claims-source-podesta-leaks-comes-within-washington
[12] http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/11/the-bill-clinton-loretta-lynch-meeting-even-worse-than-we-thought.php
[13] http://www.globalresearch.ca/attorney-general-loretta-lynchs-law-firm-tied-to-hillary-clinton/5527877
[14] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/fbi-leaks-hillary-clinton-james-comey-donald-trump?
[15] http://www.wsj.com/articles/clinton-ally-aids-campaign-of-fbi-officials-wife-1477266114
[16] http://www.activistpost.com/2016/10/clintons-fbi-files-mention-shadow-government.html?
[17] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/02/donald-trump-rape-lawsuit-13-year-old-cancels-public-event
[18] http://www.globalresearch.ca/fbi-director-james-comey-to-be-investigated/5554367

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Three Foundations: Carter, Clinton and Trump

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | November 7, 2016

Seen the latest front-page Jimmy Carter Center scandal? Hear about the six figure speaking fees former president Jimmy Carter pulls in from shady companies and foreign governments? An oil painting of himself he bought with charity money? Maybe not.

Take a moment to Google Jimmy Carter. Now do the same for Bill Clinton. The search results tell the tale of two former presidents, one determined to use his status honorably, the other seeking exploitation for personal benefit. And then throw in Donald Trump, who of course wants to someday be a former president. Each man has his own charitable foundation. Let’s compare them.

Three charitable organizations enter, only one emerges with honor. Let’s do this!

Carter

Carter’s presidency carries an uneven legacy. Yet his prescient but unwelcome 1979 warning that the country suffered a crisis of confidence, preventing Americans from uniting to solve tough problems, anticipated the faux bravado of Reagan’s “Morning in America.”

Many feel Carter has been a better ex-president than he was a president. His Carter Center focuses on impactful but unglamorous issues such as Guinea worm disease. When Carter left office, the disease afflicted 3.5 million people, mostly in Africa. Now it’s expected to be only the second disease, after smallpox, to ever be eradicated worldwide.

Carter, 90, still donates a week of his time each year to Habitat for Humanity. Not a photo-op, Carter goes out without the media in tow and hammers nails. Carter also tirelessly monitors elections in nascent democracies, lending his stature as a statesman to that work over 100 times already. Summing up his own term in office, Carter said “We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. We never went to war.”

He is the last president since 1977 who can make that claim.

Clinton

Bill Clinton pushed the NAFTA agreement through, seen now by many as a mistake that cost American jobs. He pointlessly bombed Iraq and sent troops into Somalia (see Blackhawk Down.) Clinton’s legacy most of all is his having an oral affair with an intern, then fibbing about it, and then ending up one of only two American presidents ever impeached as a result.

As a former president, Clinton is nothing if not true to his unstatesman-like form. Bill makes six-figure speeches to businesses seeking influence within the U.S. government, earning as much as $50 million during his wife’s term as secretary of state alone. He used a shell company to hide some of the income.

His own charity, humbly known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Global Foundation, is a two billion dollar financial tangle. It spent in 2013 the same amount of money on travel expenses for Bill and his family as it did on charitable grants. Instead of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Bill takes his big donors on executive safaris to Africa. Many of those same donors also give generously to the Hillary Clinton campaign and its constellation of PACs.

Trump

Trump refuses to be very specific about who his charity donates to. We know its off-shoot, the Eric Trump charity, donated to a wine industry association, a plastic surgeon gifting nose jobs to kids and an artist who painted a portrait of Donald Trump. Trump-owned golf resorts received $880,000 for hosting Trump charity events.

Reports show Trump donated money from his foundation to conservative influencers ahead of his presidential bid, effectively using funds intended for charity to support his own political ambitions. The New York Attorney General ordered Donald Trump’s charity to immediately halt fundraising in the state, following reports that it had not submitted to routine audits.

***

Voters should judge a candidate not just on examples of past competency, but with an eye toward the core things that really matter: character, values, honesty, humility and selflessness. Perhaps this tale of two presidents and a wanna be has a lesson in it for 2016.

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 2 Comments

WikiLeaks Confirms Mainstream Media Takes Marching Orders from Clinton’s Army in the DNC

By Jack Burns | Free Thought Project | November 7, 2016

We’re within 48 hours of deciding who will be the next leader of the United States, and Wikileaks has just upped the ante in the high-stakes presidential election by releasing yet another batch of hacked Democratic National Committee emails. This time, Julian Assange’s organization has provided an even clearer picture of who’s in bed with the Clintons, and the revelations might surprise a lot of people.

In one email exchange between the DNC’s Mark Paustenbach (National Press Secretary & Deputy Communications Director) and the DNC’s Luis Miranda (Communications Director), Politico’s Peter Vogel appears to have passed along a story about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising campaign. While the content of Vogel’s story is unimportant, questions now arise as to why the Politico reporter felt the need to share his pre-published story with the DNC before sending it to his editor in chief.

Paustenbach wrote, “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it. Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

Was it because he was wanting permission to publish the story? Was he fact-checking with the DNC before running it? Or was he likely colluding with the DNC to paint Clinton and her campaign in a favorable light? These questions and more are now being raised about the apparently cozy relationship Vogel maintained with the DNC. Paustenbach even implied he had the potential to sway the article by using the words “push back.”

In another telling email, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer received questions to be asked of Donald Trump in an interview just a few days ahead of Trump’s foreign policy speech. Yes, the Democratic National Committee crafted the questions Blitzer was supposed to ask Trump. Many members of the DNC contributed questions to Blitzer’s interview of the billionaire Republican presidential nominee, adding credibility to critics’ claims CNN is actually the Clinton News Network. Here’s a sampling of the questions Blitzer was charged with asking. “Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow?,”  and, “What would you do if the military refused to listen to you?”

According to yet another email, it was CNN who was reaching out to the DNC for those questions. Lauren Dillon, the DNC’s Research Director, wrote, “CNN is looking for questions.”

The latest Wikileaks email dump is trending on Twitter with the hashtag #DNCLeak2, and is taking off like a wildfire. More details may emerge as the country moves closer to Tuesday evening’s election hours.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, it used to be a conspiracy theory that a secretive project called “Operation Mockingbird” was responsible for disseminating government sponsored talking points to the media, to be used in an echo chamber and repeated to various news outlets. But as of September 2016, the project is no longer secret and no longer hidden, and it could be that the aforementioned members of the mainstream media are all members of said project. With the FBI not bringing charges against Clinton, it appears she’s now the official government-sponsored candidate to win the election of 2016, by any means necessary, including working with the mainstream media to do so.

As the Free Thought Project covers the presidential candidates and their various blunders, depending on which candidate we criticize, we are accused of supporting the ‘other guy.’ It is important to note that the Free Thought Project does not and has not endorsed any individual candidate. If you look through our archives, you will find that we have exposed dirt on all of them.

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

IPCC, Climate Science And The Crisis of Peer Review

Foreword to Donna Laframboise’s new report Peer Review: Why Skepticism is Essential

By Christopher Essex and Matt Ridley – GWPF – 31/10/16

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has repeatedly and falsely claimed that it depends entirely on peer-reviewed papers. Donna Laframboise used volunteers to check this claim and found that a significant part of the references in the fourth assessment report of the IPCC were to ‘grey literature’ – that is, press releases, ‘reports’ from pressure groups and the like, which are not remotely the normal peer reviewed scientific literature.

Yet even if all the citations used by the IPCC were peer-reviewed, this would not mean they were infallible. Peer review is not, never was, and never can be a general protection against prejudice, error, or misconception about scientific matters. That it seems otherwise to some people is a misapprehension on their part, reflecting widespread myths about the reality of human investigations into the natural world.

It is startling for non-scientists who actually visit the sausage factory of science for the first time. There, peer review proves to be an often biased, prejudicial, and perfunctory process contrary in every respect to popular expectations about science. But scientists know that no increased regulation or standards can ever improve things, because there are no higher authorities to appeal to in a domain of human endeavour where no one knows or ever knew the answers – hence the name ‘peer review’ and not ‘expert correction’.

Donna Laframboise observes that, ‘There is a reason publishing insiders are among peer review’s most derisive critics. They know it’s mostly just a game. Everyone is pretending that all is well despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.’ Most scientists grudgingly tolerate peer review because they cannot think of anything better. Experienced ones do not expect much from it, even if they must play along to succeed given modern customs (until about the mid-20th century it hardly existed).

Most scientists cringe when they hear other scientists claim that because their work is peer-reviewed, they do not have to respond to criticisms, even those from qualified colleagues, whether peer-reviewed or not. Some surely do make such claims:  ‘…many academics insist that the research they present to the world has been fully vetted. Indeed, they often behave as though it meets a standard unrivalled elsewhere’, observes Laframboise.

Furthermore, those same scientists retreat to the truth about the state of human knowledge of Nature when facts go against their claims. She points out that: ‘On the other hand, they take no responsibility when information they’ve produced turns out to be mistaken. In such cases everyone is then reminded that scholarly publishing is vii really just an exchange of ideas.’ Few competent scientists regard current scientific thinking as anything more than provisional. It is always fully open to challenge.

Peer-review is also abused as a form of gatekeeping to defend orthodox ideas from challenge, as Laframboise says: ‘Alternative schools of thought are more likely to encounter scorn than a fair hearing, and the secretive nature of peer review provides ample cover for intolerance and tribalism. . .It places unconventional thinkers at the mercy of their more conventional colleagues. Indeed, this approach seems designed to extinguish – rather than nurture – the bold, original thinking that leads to scientific breakthroughs.’ Many unorthodox ideas prove to be wrong, but they are the lifeblood of scientific advance. They challenge our orthodoxies, either sharpening them or overthrowing them. Thus the notion of challenging the orthodox is accepted in science by necessity, even if grudgingly.

Gatekeeping against the unorthodox is not remotely a new problem. Oracular mediocrities down the centuries have doggedly resisted human advances in knowledge from Galileo to Semmelweis to Einstein, and thousands of other cases that only the most learned science historians will ever know. Spectacular scandals come and go, but science is in the end a long game of the generations, not something played out in news cycles. So why then has the public debate about the perfunctory, crony, gate-keeping aspects of peer review grown in volume in the media now? Partly it is because science has become a ‘bigger’ and more centralized endeavor, with massive budgets invested in conventional wisdom, and more politicians involved in pushing certain conclusions. How else can one comprehend the term ‘orchestrated’ used by one founder of the IPCC to describe how scientific opinion was designed to be treated for the use of policymakers?

It is clear that people who have never studied the history of science, or have never been on the unfashionable side of a scientific debate are in for a shock upon encountering this messy and sordid reality for the first time. Not least in for a shock is the media, which has been busy identifying heartbreaking science scandals in medicine, social science, neuroscience, and economics. But curiously they offer none from the subject of climate, despite it being one of the most policy driven and lavishly funded branches of science today.

Is this because there are few examples of bad practice, irreproducibility, retraction, pal review and gatekeeping in climatology? Far from it. The Climategate emails of 2009 revealed gatekeeping at its most blatant. Who can forget Phil Jones writing to Michael Mann on 8 July 2004 ‘can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!’ Or Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick struggling to publish (leading to a US Congressional hearing, no less) their comprehensive demolition of the statistical errors and data-selection issues in the infamous ‘hockey stick’ paper? Or Richard Tol’s exposure of the practices employed in the Cook et al ‘97% viii consensus’ paper? Again and again, peer-reviewed climate papers have fallen apart under post-publication scrutiny from the likes of McIntyre, Willis Eschenbach, Donna Laframboise, Judith Curry and Nic Lewis. And these do not even touch on the challenge of independently reproducing climate model output without the machinery and resources necessary to do so, as Laframboise rightly observes in the following paper.

Indeed, the field of climate science could supply a rich harvest of examples of this crisis of scientific credibility all on its own. Yet it is the scandal that dare not speak its name. The discussions of the crisis in peer review in Nature, Science, the Economist and elsewhere studiously ignore any examples from climate science. Why is this? It is an article of faith among certain scientists and science journalists that because climate scepticism is also a position supported by those on the right of politics, so nobody in science must give fodder to the sceptics.

This is nothing less than the modern manifestation of gatekeeping continuing its ancient legacy, driven by sheer ignorance and self-delusion, to keep the forces that actually advance science away from the door. Scientific research stretches human faculties to their limits, and it is at such limits where human frailties become most prominent.

Humans are fallible. That is one of the greatest lessons from the history of science. The message to be taken from these heartbreaking scientific scandals and absurdities is not one of chagrin and a temptation to adopt cynicism. The true authors of such scandals are the laymen, academics, journalists, and policymakers who do not give a fair hearing to the many highly trained scientists motivated by alternative views who would put such dubious claims to the test. A pervasive uneducated appeal to science as a monolithic incomprehensible authority, assessed only in terms of moral purity rather than factual accuracy, has made such a fair hearing nearly impossible, and done great harm to science and us all.

November 7, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Clinton foundation admits receiving $1mn donation from Qatar that it previously hid

clinton-foundation-donors-support-isis-710x350

RT | November 5, 2016

On the heels of damning WikiLeaks revelations, the Clinton Foundation has confirmed allegations that it received a $1 million ‘gift’ from Qatar without telling the State Department, breaking a signed agreement requiring it to reveal all foreign donations.

The payment, which was first revealed in an email exchange with Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta a month ago, has just been officially confirmed by the Foundation. The check was reportedly a gift to former President Bill Clinton in 2011 for his 65h birthday. A meeting was to take place between him and Qatari officials at some point, according to an email published last month. It is not clear if this ever took place, however.

Earlier in 2009, when Clinton became Secretary of State, she had to sign an agreement to prevent any conflicts of interest which stipulated that her influential global foundation could not receive any support from foreign sources without her notifying the State Department, according to Reuters. This was intended to ensure transparency and combat public perception that US foreign policy could be dictated by foreign money.

The agreement was also designed to give the State Department time to examine donations and raise any concerns in cases when a foreign entity wanted to “increase materially” the funding for any of the Foundation’s programs.

However, Clinton kept the $1 million check from Qatar a secret. While Foundation officials declined to confirm its existence last month, with just days to go before the election, the daily WikiLeaks revelations, and the FBI’s relaunched investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server gaining momentum, its spokesman, Brian Cookstra, finally admitted to receiving the money, though he insisted that the sum did not qualify as a “material increase” in Qatari support of the foundation.

When Cookstra was asked by Reuters what the Foundation considered an increase in funding, he refused to specify, only saying that the Qatar donations were intended for “overall humanitarian work.”

For additional comments, Reuters tried to contact the Qatari embassy, the Clinton presidential campaign and Bill Clinton personally, but received no response from any.

Although Cookstra said the sum did not constitute an increase in funding, there is evidence of at least eight other countries besides Qatar whose donations can clearly be construed as an ‘increase in funding.’ This includes the UK, which tripled the sum slated for the Foundation’s health project to $11.2 million in the years 2009-2012.

When questioned by Reuters last year, Cookstra admitted that a complete list of donors hadn’t been published since 2010. In other cases, the Foundation said that there was either no increase in funding, or that a particular donation had simply slipped past unnoticed, and should have been caught earlier.

The only thing that’s certain, and spelled out on the Foundation’s website, is that it received up to $5 million from the Gulf Kingdom over the years. However, the Foundation appears to want all of this to be relegated to the past. It promised in August that, if Hillary becomes president, it will stop accepting money from all foreign governments and close down any ongoing programs sustained by those funds.

According to Foundation records and testimony, the Qatar money continued to come in at “equal or lower” levels after 2009, but it declined to specify the differences in the funding before and after that period, or if it had changed significantly after Clinton took on the post of secretary of state.

A former Foundation fundraiser details some $21 million raised for Bill Clinton’s birthday in another email.

The Foundation’s somewhat forced admission that it had received Qatari money comes shortly after a recently leaked email exchange between Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, from 2014 startlingly revealed that she was aware Qatar and Saudi Arabia are directly funding Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists. This was discussed at length in John Pilger’s exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that airs on RT on Saturday and can be viewed in full here.

The WikiLeaks founder points to clear evidence that Clinton knew about her donors’ questionable dealings as early as several years back. The 2014 email from Clinton to Podesta says “that ISIL, ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar – the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” according to Assange.

Assange admitted to Pilger, “I actually think this is the most significant email in the whole collection.”

“And perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the place, including into many media institutions, all serious analysts know, even the US government has mentioned or agreed with that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS, funding ISIS. But the dodge has always been, that’s… what… it’s just some rogue princes using their cut of the oil money to do what they like, but actually the government disapproves. But that email says that – no, it is the governments of Saudi and the government of Qatar that have been funding ISIS.”

Pilger and Assange go on to discuss Clinton as a “cog” in a greater machine involving big business, banks, and “a network of relationships with particular states.” According to Assange, she is “the centralizer that interconnects all these different cogs.”

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Coming Plague of Poverty Among the Elderly: Clinton’s Plan For Gutting Social Security

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By Alan Nasser | CounterPunch | November 4, 2016

In the recent Wikileaks revelations confirming Hillary Clinton’s duplicity, one of the clearest disclosures of her policy plans concerns her intention regarding Social Security. She stated that she would return to the position of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged with producing recommendations for reducing the deficit, i.e. cutting government social spending.

The Commission, or “Simpson-Bowles committee”  -named after co-chairs former Wyoming Republican senator Alan Simpson, and Erskine Bowles, former Morgan Stanley board member and chief of staff under Bill Clinton-  was appointed by Obama in 2010. Among its members were some of the most persistent deficit hawks. Most significantly, the Commission was stacked with leading enemies of Social Security flailing their arms over the “impending insolvency” of the program. The day before his appointment as co-chair, Simpson said in an interview with the Washington Post: “How did we get to a point in America where you get to a certain age in life, regardless of net worth or income, and you’re ‘entitled’? The word itself is killing us.” (Feb. 17, 2010) In a later e-mail he described Social Security as “a milk cow with 310 million teats,” and had characterized its beneficiaries as “greedy geezers.” Bowles’s record was in line with Simpson’s. He had earlier negotiated with Newt Gingrich how best to cut safety net programs. The ultimate objective was to privatize Social Security.

In a rare moment of candor, a then-editor of The New York Times, Fred Brock, wrote an article critical of the Social-Security-is-going-broke alarmists titled “Save Social Security? From What?” (Business section, November 1, 1998). Brock attributed the faux hysteria to “hidden agendas…..Wall Street would love to get its hands on at least some of the billions of dollars in the Social Security trust fund . . . But knowing that the idea [of full privatization] won’t fly politically, [politicians] are pushing for partial privatization, in which individuals would invest a portion of their contribution in the stock market, all in the name of rescuing the system.”

Bowles’s efforts to undo Social Security through “partial privatization” began during the Clinton regime. The left-liberal economist Robert Kuttner, in his 2007 book The Squandering of America, detailed how Washington elites of both Parties had been planning to weaken Social Security since the Clinton Administration. Steven Gillon’s 2008 book The Pact included letters and interviews with reliable sources illustrating Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich’s collaboration to get Congress behind a plan to begin turning Social Security’s so-called trust fund over to Wall street, which would manage, for a fee, retirees’ benefits. Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin had prodded the president to work with Gingrich not merely to reduce benefits and extend the retirement age, but to begin the privatization of Social Security. Clinton appointed Bowles as his intermediary. But the Monica Lewinsky scandal caused both embarrassed Congressional Democrats and Gingrich to distance themselves from Clinton. The privatization plan fell apart.

A waiting game was now under way.

Hillary Clinton’s speeches to the captains of finance strongly imply that she would resume the project of privatizing Social Security. Hers will be a gradual, stealth approach. The opening salvo will be further cuts in benefits and extensions of the full-benefit retirement age. But these alone will not satisfy Wall Street. The privatization plan will be resurrected, first in the form of legislation once again to begin “partial privatization.” In the end, the objective will be to turn the program into a broker’s-fee-for-service plan entirely in the hands of Wall Street. Retired workers will no longer be unqualifiedly entitled to Social Security benefits. Their fortunes will be tied to the vagaries of the stock market and other speculative ventures favored by brokers. And retirees will pay for this “service.” There will be no refunds when the market goes belly-up.

What Do Retirees Now Get From Social Security?

Because so many seniors have scant savings and have been employed in low- to middle-wage jobs, poverty threatens the majority absent government income supplements raising them above the poverty line. 1 in 3 working Americans has zero retirement savings, and the median working-age couple has a mere $5,000 in retirement savings. The Social Security Administration reminds us that “Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly.” (1) It is in fact the federal government’s biggest domestic program, paying benefits to around 1 in 6 Americans and to over 90% of the elderly. With Social Security benefits in decline as the retirement age is steadily raised, the future portends especially hard times for old folks and for the population as a whole, because the elderly are a growing percentage of the entire population.

An outstanding feature of American society well before my 20 year old daughter reaches middle age will be a serious poverty plague among the growing numbers of the elderly. This is evident in the current state of Social Security and the most reliable projections for its future.

Social Security benefits are conspicuously modest. In the countries included in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average public pension benefits replace about 61% of median earnings. The corresponding figure for the U.S. is 37%, after subtracting (escalating) Medicare premiums. The U.S. ranks 26 out of the 30 OECD nations in this respect. The average retiree receives $1,328 a month in Social Security benefits. A third of beneficiaries receives 90% of their income from the program and 61% receive more than 50% of their income from the program. It is a telling indication of the niggardliness of the median household income that paltry Social Security payments kept 22 million from poverty in 2015. Thus, without Social Security benefits, 41% of elderly Americans would have incomes below the official poverty line, whereas with the program, “only” 9 percent do.

Social Security also benefits the non-elderly, and they too will be hit by Clinton’s announced offensive. More than 1 million children were lifted from poverty last year. Some received benefits because a parent died or became disabled or retired, and some live with relatives who receive Social Security. (2) Some 12 million disabled persons received benefits in 2015. According to the Social Administration itself, “That is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2014 poverty level ($11,670 annually).” (3) All in all, without Social Security 20.5% of the total population would be in poverty; because of the program, “only” 13.5% are in poverty. The total number lifted out of poverty by Social Security in 2015 is 22,090,000. (4)

The Simpson-Bowles Recommendations for Social Security

The figures above make it clear that Clinton’s planned attack on Social Security will significantly raise total poverty, particularly among the elderly, the disabled and children. Clinton’s planned revival of Simpson-Bowles virtually guarantees this outcome. What were the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform? The emphasis is on cutting benefits by three means.

First, the retirement age would be increased. The then-retirement-age of 66 was to be increased to 67 by 2022 for people born in 1960 and later. Early retirees would be able to claim reduced benefits at 62. The Commission recommended that both the full and the early eligibility age would continue increasing after 2022. At an unspecified time before 2050 the early eligibility age would rise to 63 and the full retirement age would increase to 68. By 2070 the early eligibility age would reach 64 and the full retirement age would climb to 69.

The recommendations would force the elderly either to work full time into the years when their physical capacities have undergone normal decline, or stop working when their bodies tell them that persistent work effort is bad for their mental and physical health and thus suffer the penalty of reduced benefits and an even lower standard of living. The recommendations amount to escalating cruelty to the elderly.

What may not be obvious at first glance is that any increase in the full retirement age entails a cut in benefits for each and every retiree irrespective of the age at which they file. (5) Because the full retirement age is the age at which full benefits are paid, so that workers who file sooner collect permanently reduced benefits and those who file later get larger benefits, raising the retirement age means that the early retiree suffers a deeper reduction and the later retiree gets a smaller increase. The economic security of everyone in the system is jeopardized whenever the retirement age is raised. And Social Security “reform” means gradually raising the retirement age.

Clinton’s announced plan means a wholesale assault on the entire elderly population.

The second means of cutting benefits consists in changing the formula for determining payments so as to reduce benefits.

The third way the Committee would lower benefits is to reduce cost-of-living adjustments. The idea is to devise a different measure of inflation in order to lower cost-of-living adjustments by 0.3 percentage points a year. A number of tricks have been effected to underestimate inflation and hence lower the estimated cost of living. E.g., the substitution hypothesis assumed that when the price of hamburger went up the typical consumer would substitute chicken in the “basket of goods” stipulated to reflect the cost of living. Hence, the measure would not count a rise in the price of ground beef as inflation. What was actually measured was the cost of maintaining a declining standard of living.

All these strategies functioning to put the squeeze on seniors are implemented on top of a system whose basic structure already fails to do what it is allegedly intended to do, to protect the elderly’s buying power. In addition to fudging inflation estimates, the weight attached to various components of the basic market basket of goods is skewed against the elderly, precisely in order to depress Social Security payments. Older Americans tend to spend a greater portion of their budgets on medical care and housing than do younger people. Yet less weight is assigned to medical care and housing costs, which have risen more than 7% and 5% respectively since this time last year, and more weight to gasoline, which has declined deeply over the same period. And because the Consumer Price Index excludes the spending patterns of those over the age of 62, it does not include one of the fastest growing costs for retirees, rising Medicare premiums. It is as if the idea was to hit the elderly especially hard. As if indeed.

It is no surprise, then, that the scandalously inaccurate estimates of increases in the cost of living actually increase the cost of living for everyone, especially seniors. The COLA increase for 2017 will be a niggardly 0.3%. From 2010 to 2016, the COLA was increased, respectively, by the following percentages: 0.0, 0.0, 1.7, 1.5, 1.7, 0.0 and 0.0.

Clinton vs. Obama on the Simpson-Bowles Recommendations

Obama opted not to endorse all of the recommendations of the Commission but to “build on the fiscal Commission’s model.” (6) He accepted most of the major tenets of the Commission but went slower on their implementation. Austerity measures would be implemented over 12 years instead of 10. But he adhered to one of his principal reasons for putting the Commission together, that Social Security benefits would soon increase deficits to unsustainable levels. He supported the Commission’s aim to cut Medicare and Social Security. But his Social Security and Medicare cuts would be smaller than the Commission’s recommendations.

Clinton will at the least swallow whole the Simpson-Bowles recommendations. All stops will be pulled. The woman holds popular sentiment in contempt, so public disapproval will count for nothing. Let us not forget that a principal function of neoliberal policy is to do away with democratic government, a requirement if the distribution of private and public resources is to be consistently to the benefit of the plutocracy. Those most dependent on government assistance  -the elderly, the unemployed and the disabled-  will be hit hard.

The elderly tend to be more politically active, at least with respect to voting behavior. Their demographics are noteworthy. Between 2012 and 2050, the United States is expected to experience considerable growth in its older population. People 65 and over represented 14.5% of the population in the year 2014 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040. (7) By 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its population of 43.1 million in 2012. By 2060 there will be about 98 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2014.

The elderly are growing both in number and as a percentage of the population. They will be hit very hard under financialized neoliberal capitalism. Will they quietly bemoan their fate, or will they be among the historical descendants of Occupy and the Sanders movement, making up a growing force of resistance to an increasingly austere and repressive (dis)order?

Notes.

(1) Social Security Administration   https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/basicfact-alt.pdf

(2) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  http://www.cbpp.org/blog/social-security-lifts-22-million-americans-out-of-poverty

(3)  https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityfacts/facts.html

(4) Census Bureau Current Population Survey, March 2016 http://www.bls.gov/cps/

(5) See (2) above.

(6) Jackie Calmes, “Obama’s Deficit Dilemma,” The New York Times, February 27, 2012

(7) https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf

Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. His website is:http://www.alannasser.org.  His book, United States of Emergency American Capitalism and Its Crises, will be published by Pluto Press early next year. If you would like to be notified when the book is released, please send a request to nassera@evergreen.edu

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics | , , , | 3 Comments

Why Haven’t Bill and Hillary Clinton Been Imprisoned?

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By Stephen Lendman | November 4, 2016

They’re not the only members of America’s criminal class. They’re most important because likely electoral-rigging may give them a third co-presidential term – humanity threatened by their empowerment.

They partner in each other’s high crimes – major offenses too serious to ignore, including Nuremberg-level crimes of war of war and against humanity, racketeering, fraud, obstruction of justice, perjury, compromising national security, and influence-selling pay-to-play self-enrichment, among others.

Hillary is legally, ethically, morally and emotionally unfit to serve in any public capacity. Bill is a serial rapist. The Clinton Foundation got millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other rogue states actively supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups – Bill and Hillary largely using the money for self-enrichment, not charitable purposes as claimed.

Veteran Chicago newsman John Kass called for “Democrats (to) ask (Hillary) to step aside,” highlighting “decades of lies and cynicism oozing from Clinton Inc” – saying “(i)t’s obvious the American political system is breaking down… crumbling” in plain sight.

Hillary is under multiple FBI investigations. Volumes of incriminating evidence so far haven’t gotten her indicted – because the system is rigged to prevent it.

The so-called Justice Department is in cahoots with the FBI, the White House and other powerful interests, ones I call dark forces, deciding how the nation is run and by whom.

Abraham Lincoln once said “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Things today are out-of-control. Wars on humanity rage, threatening possible thermonuclear confrontation. Neoliberal harshness enriches the nation’s privileged class at the expense of most others.

Police state injustice targets nonbelievers. Tyranny approaches full-blown. Democracy is pure fantasy, not real.

Another Clinton crime family co-presidency means the best of times for Wall Street, war profiteers and other corporate crooks – a nightmarish scenario for ordinary people everywhere, a doomsday one if Hillary as commander-in-chief of America’s military squeezes the nuclear trigger.

If anointed by fair or foul means, likely the latter, it’s clear what’s coming:

  • greater neoliberal harshness than already – proving Hillary’s people-friendly promises as empty as Obama’s;
  • ending what remains of constitutional governance, freedoms sacrificed for alleged greater security, assuring both are lost; and
  • escalated wars of aggression, possible thermonuclear war on Russia, China and Iran, risking humanity’s survival.

Trump is no peacenik, populist or good guy. He’s not Hillary and that matters. Returning her and husband Bill to power threatens world peace, stability and security more than any other previous time in history – the most important reason to oppose them.


Stephen Lendman can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment