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US-West plots to partition Mideast lead to dangerous consequences: Senior Khamenei adviser

Press TV – November 5, 2016

A senior Iranian official says the US and West intend to partition countries in the Middle East, warning that the breakup of Muslim states will lead to “dangerous” consequences.

“What is pursued by the US and Western countries is to partition Syria into four parts and the same issue is also envisaged for Iraq to be divided into three parts and also for Yemen to be divided into at least two parts,” Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said in a meeting with a Tunisian parliamentary delegation in Tehran on Saturday.

He added that the disintegration of Muslim countries would lead to “dangerous consequences and outcomes.”

“Terrorists and extremists are a tool in the hands of the Americans and the Zionists, supported by them. The aim of terrorism and arrogant powers is to weaken and partition Muslim countries,” the senior Iranian official said.

He pointed to the dangerous conditions and the presence of terrorists in the region and said, “There is an undesirable and dangerous situation surrounding Tunisia, which has led to insecurity in the region.”

Velayati emphasized that Muslim countries have great resources and can potentially become an important part of the world power, warning; however, that they could turn into “ineffective governments” in case of their division.

He expressed hope that the ongoing wars in Iraq and Syria as well as conflicts in regional countries would end.

Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive there more than two years ago, and took control of portions of Iraqi territory.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish Voices from the Past make Mincemeat of Zionism and anti-Semitism

By Stuart Littlewood | Dissident Voice | November 4, 2016

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom.

— Lord Edwin Montagu

Show me one time where a Jew was persecuted in any country because of his religion…. It’s always their impact on the political, social, or economic customs and traditions of the community in which they settle.

— Benjamin Freedman

The latest anti-Semitism witch-hunt being conducted by the Zio-Inquisition in the UK is all hogwash if the statements of two leading Jews are to be believed.

One is the speech by successful Jewish businessman Benjamin Freedman at the Willard Hotel, Washington, in 1961. The other is a letter in 1917 by Lord Edwin Samuel Montagu, a prominnent British Jew, disagreeing with the Balfour Declaration.

I had seen neither before. My attention was drawn to Freedman by reader comments to a recent article of mine on the Balfour Declaration (many thanks ‘Bill Rollinson’ and ‘frog’).

Freedman kicked off his his remarks at the Willard by saying that just before the elections of 1960 Senator Kennedy (afterwards President of the United States) went to New York and delivered an address to the Zionist Organization of America.

In that address…. he stated that he would use the armed forces of the United States to preserve the existence of the regime set up in Palestine by the Zionists who are now in occupation of that area.

In other words, Christian boys are going to be yanked out of their homes, away from their families, and sent abroad to fight in Palestine against the Christian and Moslem Arabs who merely want to return to their homes. And these Christian boys are going to be asked to shoot to kill these innocent [Arab Palestinians] people who only want to follow out fifteen resolutions passed by the United Nations in the last twelve years calling upon the Zionists to allow these people to return to their homes.

And he warned that if the US went to war in Palestine “to help the thieves retain possession of what they have stolen from these innocent people”, no-one would fight alongside Americans as their ally.

Harking back to WW1 Freedman explained that by 1916 Germany had effectively won. Thanks to the success of the U-boats Britain was alone, almost out of ammunition and on the edge of starvation. Germany offered peace terms, and while Britain chewed it over the Zionists of Germany (representing the Zionists of Eastern Europe who wanted to see an end to the Czar) came to London and said:

We will guarantee to bring the United States into the war as your ally, to fight with you on your side, if you will promise us Palestine after you win the war.

Balfour’s shabby promissory note

How could they make such a promise?

Because the newspapers here were controlled by Jews, the bankers were Jews, all the media of mass communications in this country were controlled by Jews, and they were pro-German because their people, in the majority of cases came from Germany, and they wanted to see Germany lick the Czar…. they didn’t want Russia to win this war. So the German bankers – the German-Jews – Kuhn Loeb and the other big banking firms in the United States refused to finance France or England to the extent of one dollar. They stood aside and they said: ‘As long as France and England are tied up with Russia, not one cent!’ But they poured money into Germany, they fought with Germany against Russia, trying to lick the Czarist regime.

Now those same Jews, when they saw the possibility of getting Palestine, they went to England and they made this deal….  Where the newspapers had been all pro-German, where they’d been telling the people of the difficulties that Germany was having fighting Great Britain commercially and in other respects, all of a sudden the Germans were no good. They were villains….  Well, shortly after that, Mr. Wilson declared war on Germany.

Freedman went on to say it was “absolutely absurd” for Great Britain to offer Palestine as “coin of the realm” to pay the Zionists for bringing the United States into the war. But that was the bargain they struck, in October 1916, ignoring pledges made to the Arabs for their help. After they’d done their bit, the Zionists wanted a ‘receipt’ – written confirmation of Britain’s pledge. Hence Balfour’s infamous ‘declaration’, a grubby promissory note addressed to Lord Rothschild.

The way Freedman tells it, when the war was over and the Germans went to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, it was attended by a huge delegation of Jews. Freedman says he was there. As the Great Powers carved up the losers’ territories – German and Ottoman – the Jewish delegation, of course, claimed Palestine.

They produced, for the first time to the knowledge of the Germans, this Balfour Declaration. So the Germans, for the first time realized, ‘Oh, that was the game! That’s why the United States came into the war.

When the Germans realized this, they naturally resented it. Up to that time, the Jews had never been better off in any country in the world than they had been in Germany.

And that, according to Freedman, is why Jews eventually came to pay such a horrendous price.

On the subject of Jews and anti-Semitism he made the crucial point that the eastern European Jews accounted for 92 per cent of the world’s Jews and were originally Khazars.

It’s ridiculous to call them ‘people of the Holy Land’…. they outnumber all the rest by so many that they create the impression that they are the Jewish ‘race’; that they are the Jewish nation;  that they are the Jewish people. . . and the Christians swallow it like a cream puff.

As for Semites:

The Christians talk about people who don’t like Jews as anti-Semites, and they call all the Arabs anti-Semites. The only Semites in the world are the Arabs.  There isn’t one Jew who’s a Semite. They’re all Turkothean Mongoloids. The Eastern European Jews…. they brainwashed the public.

And he neatly disposed of the anti-Semitism kerfuffle by saying:

Show me one time where a Jew was persecuted in any country because of his religion. It has never happened. It’s always their impact on the political, social, or economic customs and traditions of the community in which they settle.

No such thing as a Jewish nation

An earlier bombshell had been dropped by Lord Montagu, only the second Jew to serve in a British cabinet. Coincidentally he was Minister of Munitions in 1916 when, according to Freedman, Britain was running out of ammunition.

In August 1917, while the Palestine deal was still being discussed but before Balfour issued his Declaration, Montagu penned a memorandum to the British Cabinet headed ‘On the Anti-Semitism of the Present Government’.

He said he wanted to place on record his view that the policy of the British Government was anti-Semitic because it would provide a rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country in the world.

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman.

He said those who indulged in the Zionist creed were spurred by the oppression of Jews in Russia. He assumed:

Zionism meant that Mahommedans and Christians were to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners….

When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn from all quarters of the globe.

He argued that there was no such thing as a Jewish nation, and it was no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it was to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation. He wanted Jews in the UK to be regarded, not as British Jews, but as Jewish Britons.

Montagu was well aware of the unpopularity of the Jewish community.

We have obtained a far greater share of this country’s goods and opportunities than we are numerically entitled to…. Many of us have been exclusive in our friendships and intolerant in our attitude, and I can easily understand that many a non-Jew in England wants to get rid of us….

As for the Balfour Declaration itself he felt the Government was carrying out the wishes of a Zionist organisation “largely run by men of enemy descent or birth” and had thus “dealt a severe blow to the liberties, position and opportunities of service of their Jewish fellow-countrymen”. Furthermore, he said, “I would be almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal and against the national interest.”

His message to Lord Rothschild was that the Government should help Jews in Palestine enjoy liberty of settlement and life on equal terms with the inhabitants of that country who hold other religious beliefs, but go no further.


I wonder what either of them would say if they’d lived to see the situation today on both sides of the Atlantic where Zionist bully-boys run amok, and the degradation of the Holy Land where indigenous Christian and Muslim communities are still horribly abused and dispossessed by incomers with no ancestral connection with the region.

I wonder too how Benjamin Freedman would react to finding that the US was still handing Israel billions of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars and military equipment “to help the thieves retain possession of what they have stolen”.

How many of us share Lord Montagu’s subtle distinction between American Jews and Jewish Americans, or in our case British Jews and Jewish Brits?

And how many agree with Freedman that it’s the impact Jews have on the customs and traditions of the community in which they settle, rather than their religion that causes problems?

The words of Benjamin Freedman and Lord Montagu reinforce what we’ve heard from other knowledgeable sources.  The truth is out there for those who bother to listen.

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine can now be read on the internet by visiting

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

How Drone Pilots Talk

By David Swanson | Let’s Try Democracy | November 4, 2016

For the past eight years millions of people have expended billions of words speculating about exactly how the United States kills people with missiles from drones (and missiles from other sources, such as manned aircraft, targeting people identified with drones). There is good reason to believe that for each such attack there exists a video and audio record of what the drone pilots saw and what they and their colleagues said to each other as they decided to launch a missile and as they observed its results.

This is a level of documentation we rarely have with killings by domestic police officers, who are typically filmed by observers with phones, a method of documentation that excludes the leadup and the aftermath.

It’s also a level of documentation that is almost entirely denied to the public, meaning that it doesn’t actually do us much good. As far as I know we have not seen a single video or heard a single audio recording of a drone murder. The “Collateral Murder” video is a powerful record of a non-drone attack.

With drones, however, we do have one (incomplete) transcript of what was said during the hours leading up and the minutes following one particular attack. This was an attack in Afghanistan in February 2010 that killed zero fighters but numerous innocent civilians. According to survivors, 23 men, women, and children were killed. According to the U.S. military 15 or 16 were killed and 12 wounded. The U.S. military apologized and paid some $4000 to the family of each acknowledged victim.

The ACLU obtained the transcript in 2011, and it was published by the Los Angeles Times, which wrote an account of the incident, but I didn’t pay much attention until the new film, National Bird, dramatized part of it. I think it deserves a bit longer excerpt than either the Times or National Bird provided. So, here is my selection plus commentary. Feel free to read the whole thing at the links above and make of it what you may.

00:38 (JAG25): We are going to hold on containment fires and try to attempt PID, we would really like to take out those trucks.

PID means positive identification. This individual is eager to send missiles into trucks on the ground in Afghanistan but is aware of the need to identify somebody in one or more of them as an armed fighter. In fictional fantasies like Eye in the Sky or presidential speeches, targets must exclude any possibility of killing civilians and the targeted people must be known, specifically identified, be beyond any possibility of arrest, and be “immediate and continuing” threats to the United States of America. None of those criteria or anything like them are even discussed in this actual drone attack. Instead, the question of whether to launch hellfire missiles at automobiles is whether the targeted people are males over 10 years old and whether at least one of them has a gun. As we’ll see, even those standards are not met, but they are discussed.

00:38 (Slasher03): Copy that. Break, break, Slasher, we passed you coords for the vehicle on the west side of the river again you have multiple dismounts in the open break. On the east side of the river there’s an additional vehicle majority of the dismounts are inside a compound located just to the north of that vehicle if you get eyes on that compound. Compound has multiple movers as well as one pickup truck hot.

00:38 (Slasher03): Kirk97, Slasher in addition if you’re able to pick up illumination it appears the two vehicles are flashing lights signaling between.

Before anyone was murdered on this day, everyone was discussed for hours with words like “vehicle,” “compound,” “dismounts,” and “movers” — which simply has to have a different impact than “cars,” “houses,” “pedestrians,” and “people walking around.”

00:41 (Pilot): Does he have a weapon?

00:41 (Sensor): Can’t tell yet

00:41 (MC): Can’t tell


00:42 (Kirk97): Jag25/Slasher03/Kirk97 we are eyes on a vehicle, personnel in the open, definite tactical movement, cannot PID weapons at this time, how copy?

Still, they are hoping to positively identify a weapon. But, in the absence of that justification, they have spotted “definite tactical movement.” How, one wonders, given that these were a bunch of civilian commuters, does such movement differ from a handful of families and students walking about and arranging themselves into a couple of SUVs and a pickup truck?

00:43 (Sensor): possible mortars (reference to what the JTAC is trying to PID)

00:43 (Pilot): Kirk97, good copy on that, be advised personnel in the open, by the vehicles moving tactically definitely carrying objects at this time we cannot PID what they are however we’ve got eyes on and we are working our best

So now there are automobiles with objects and human beings in them, and those automobiles are moving (as they are principally designed to do).

00:44 (Jag25): Jag25, roger, ground force commander’s intent is to destroy the vehicles and the personnel, right now Kirk97 is showing that the individuals egressed the trucks holding cylindrical objects in their hands *radio static*

Personnel egressed some trucks, meaning that some people got out. And they had objects with them. As you read on, see if you notice eagerness or wariness to interpret such a phenomenon as a threat.

00:44 (Pilot): Be ready for a lot of (exploitive deleted) squirters dude

00:44 (Pilot): These guys look to be lookouts, man

People who get out and walk away from a group are “squirters” though not yet “bugsplat” (what drone pilots have sometimes called those they’ve killed). They are also “lookouts.” This identification of them as “lookouts” is made on the basis of the fuzzy little green linear shapes these people appear as in the video being observed, not on the basis of a high resolution color image in which something like binoculars or facial expressions could be identified.

00:45 (MC): See if you can zoom in on that guy, ‘cause he’s kind of like

00:45 (Pilot): what did he just leave there

00:45 (Pilot): Is that a *expletive* rifle?

00:45 (Sensor): Maybe just a warm spot from where he was sitting; can’t really tell right now, but it does look like an object

Well an object could be a rifle. There’s at least a 1% chance, as Dick Cheney would say.

00:45 (Pilot): I was hoping we could make a rifle out, never mind

Why was this man or woman hoping that? Why not fearing it? After all, it could mean being ordered to do something horrific: to kill. Even believing that killing to be somehow justified and possibly even somehow legal, the drone pilot of our imagination faces it regretfully and somberly. Not these guys.

00:45 (Sensor): The only way I’ve ever been able to see a rifle is if they move them around, when their holding them, with muzzle flashes out or slinging them across their shoulders

And yet no such identification happens on this day. Nonetheless, 23 people lose their lives while others lose their limbs. You can see the survivors and hear them tell their stories in National Bird.

00:48 (Slasher03): jaguar25, slasher03 again, on the west side you have 10 pax that are dismounts that appear to be huddled down, hunkered down, holding position they are all static on the east side, you have the original vehicle with 2 dismounts waiting outside, believe you had up to two to three to four that are still inside the vehicle, then just north of that position you have the compound where our 1 individual exited the vehicle and rendezvous, you have multiple movers within that compound as well as a hot pickup truck

Pax does not of course mean peace. It means passengers. “Hot” I believe actually means hot, as pilots are able to observe heat recorded by heat sensors. They sometimes observe the cooling of a body on the ground as the blood leaves it.

************END OF 0023z VIDEO SEGMENT********BEGINNING OF 0054z VIDEO SEGMENT*******

The line above suggests that there is a video we could be shown. Exactly whose embarrassment — er, I mean, national security — overrides our right to see it?

00:54 (Jag25): … we believe we may have a high level Taliban commander …

Don’t they always? If you want to prove they don’t always, make the videos public.

00:55 (Pilot): wouldn’t surprise me if this was one of their important guys, just watching from a distance, you know what I mean?

00:55 (Sensor): yea he’s got his security detail

A group of people, by virtue of containing multiple people, is now wishfully seen as a Taliban bigshot with a “security detail.”

00:55 (Pilot): … Be advised on the west side of the river we still have one vehicle with ten pax, two lookouts, could be definite tactical movement with a commander over watching, definitely suspicious how copy?

These bees are acting suspicious, said Winnie the Pooh.

00:56 (JAG): roger good copy, due to distance from friendlies we are trying to work on justification, we’re gonna need PID

00:56 (Pilot): Good copy on that, no PID on weapons at this time only tactical movements on the west side, can you pass coords for the east please?

00:59 (Sensor): not sure what compound they came from or what we are apparently dealing with.

These guys have no idea who they are looking at, but they are working on coming up with a “justification” to murder them.

00:59 (Pilot): what about the guy under the north arrow, does it look like he is hold’n something across his chest

00:59 (Sensor): yea it’s kind of weird how they all have a cold spot on their chest

00:59 (Pilot): It’s what they’ve been doing here lately, they wrap their *expletive* up in their man dresses so you can’t PID it

The conversation oozes with respect for the people whose country is being “liberated.”

1:00(Sensor): maybe five in the back of the bed 1:00 *broken radio chatter*

1:00 (Jag25): Jag25 have you loud and clear

1:01 (Pilot): Jag25, Slasher03, Kirk97 it looks like the dismounted pax on the hilux pickup on the east side is carrying something, but we cannot PID what it is at this time but he is carrying something

1:02 (Sensor): He slung it on his shoulder whatever it was, just switched arms with it or something, and is getting in the truck

01:03 (Sensor): the screener is reviewing, they think something is up with that dude as well. I’ll take a quick look at the SUV guys, sorry

1:03 (JAG25): Slasher03 JAG25
1:03 (Sensor): what do these dudes got, yeah I think that dude had a rifle

1:03 (Pilot): I do too

There’s a wishful guess that a group of two dozen people traveling through an extremely dangerous country might have a gun. Wait and see what that is taken to justify.

1:04 (Pilot): All players, all Players from KIRK97, from our DGS the MAM that just mounted the back of the hilux had a possible weapon, read back possible rifle

1:04 (JAG25): Kirk we notice that, but you know how it is with ROEs, so we have to be careful with those, ROE’s *broken radio chatter*

1:04 (Sensor): sounds like they need more than possible

A MAM is a military aged male and an ROE a rule of engagement. These guys are figuring out that they should come up with more than the possibility of a gun before blowing up this convoy.

1:05 (JAG25): copy, slasher03
1:05 (Sensor): that truck would make a beautiful target, ok that’s a Chevy suburban

1:05 (Pilot): yeah,

(Sensor): yeah


1:07 (MC): screener said at least one child near SUV 1:07 (Sensor): bull (expletive deleted)…where!?

1:07 (Sensor): send me a (expletive deleted) still, I don’t think they have kids out at this hour, I know they’re shady but come on

1:07 (Pilot): at least one child… Really? Listing the MAM, uh, that means he’s guilty

1:07 (Sensor): well maybe a teenager but I haven’t seen anything that looked that short, granted they’re all grouped up here, but.

The eagerness to spot a gun is just not matched by eagerness to spot a child. And having a child on the road with his or her family early in the morning is taken as a sign of evil deeds. Or if the child is a military aged male (later defined as having an age in the “double digits”) that is taken as “guilt.” Guilt is the language of a court. Drone piloting has often been discussed as law enforcement, although it violates numerous laws and does not enforce any.

1:07 (Pilot): Yeah review that (expletive deleted)…why didn’t he say possible child, why are they so quick to call (expletive deleted) kids but not to call (expletive deleted) a rifle

1:08 (MC): two children were at the rear of the SUV… I haven’t seen two children

1:09 (Sensor): little bit of movement by the SUV. I really doubt that children call, man I really (expletive deleted) hate that.

1:10 (MC): is this the child entering the rear of the SUV?

1:10 (Sensor): they’re moving, I’ll stay with the pickup truck

1:11 (Pilot): they just threw someone into the back of that truck, and were like, wrestling with somebody did you see that?

1:11 (Senor):Yeah I saw those two dudes wrestling.

1:11 (Pilot): they probably are really using (expletive deleted) human shields here, that’s probably what that is.

Here is an incredible case of believing ones own propaganda. People are here imagined to be forcing victims into their trucks in order to use them as “human shields,” a phenomenon as ill conceived in U.S. culture as “voter fraud.”

1:21 (Pilot):yeah, exactly man. So what’s the, we passed him potential children and potential shields, and I think those are both pretty accurate now, what’s the ROE on that?

1:21 (Sensor): Ground commander assessing proportionality, distinction

And here we are back to eye-of-the-murderer medieval “just war” theory in which someone pretends to determine that killing a certain number of children would be “proportionally” acceptable, although no empirical test of such a thing has ever been devised, and President Obama claims that no shots are fired by his drone warriors without “near certainty” that no civilians will be harmed. You can’t calculate how many civilians are acceptable to kill AND claim that you’re certain of not killing any.

01:32 (Sensor): Wonder what these other dudes at this compound are doing. Picked‐up at third vehicle on their train.

01:33 (MC): Guilty by association.

I suppose they know that’s not a legal term.

01:48 (Pilot): JAG25 just want to confirm that you copied we have about 20 pax dismounted, they are outside the trucks praying at this time and we’re 3 1⁄2 miles from the friendly location.

01:48 (Sensor): … Praying? I mean seriously, that’s what they do.

01:48 (MC): They’re gonna do something nefarious.

When I was very briefly in Afghanistan I didn’t meet anyone who didn’t pray. I also didn’t meet anyone who did anything nefarious. I have also never heard a presidential speech in which President Obama explains that he targets people who pray.

01:50 (MC): Adolescent near the rear of the SUV.

01:50 (Sensor): Well, teenagers can fight.

01:50 (MC): Pick up a weapon and you’re a combatant, it’s how that works.

Got that?

01:52 (Sensor): Oh sweet target. I’d try to go through the bed, put it right dead center of the bed.

01:53 (MC): Oh that’d be perfect.

01:52 (Sensor): Like more of them from the other vehicles are around this one right now.

Such cool, level headed reluctance to use excessive force is no doubt what we would hear in police videos as well.

01:54 (Sensor): MAM near SUV appear to be holding a weapon.

01:54 (Jag25): Roger, still awaiting confirmation.

01:54 (Pilot): JAG25 be advised, our screener just called 1 MAM near the SUV in the line of 3, appears to be holding a weapon.

01:56 (MC) :one weapon on ground may have picked it up and walking around the pickup.

01:56 (Sensor): I didn’t quite catch that but I believe it.

I didn’t see it either. Should I believe it too?

02:29 (Pilot): Can’t wait till this actually happens, with all this coordination and *expletive*

(agreement noises from crew)

02:29 (Pilot): Thanks for the help, you’re doing a good job relaying everything in (muffled), MC. Appreciate it

02:48 (Sensor): Still a sweet *expletive* target, geez….Take out the lead vehicle on the run and then uhh bring the helos in


02:54 (MC): Looks like they’re bringing a Reaper in

02:54 (Sensor): *Expletive*that, man

02:54 (MC): just claim we’re here first

02:54 (MC): At least we know these guys have weapons

02:55 (Muffled talking off comms, some profanity, a chuckle)

Laughing and eagerness to be the one to pull the trigger.

02:58 (Sensor): Hey, that dude just put a weapon down right above the truck. See it?

02:59 (Pilot): See it. See if DGS will call that

DGS is an office that is supposed to approve before eager pilots push the button. A veteran in National Bird describes routinely trying to restrain the eagerness of pilots at Creech Air Force Base to kill.

03:01 (Sensor): Aww where is he going? Just pulling off the road maybe. They probably mostly left their weapons in the vehicles. I’ll be damned, it looks like a short dude back there.

No weapons? They must be inside. A child? It must be a short dude.

03:05 (Pilot): Jag 25 standby one. Kirk 97, we’re checking. Looks mostly to be military aged males. We have seen approximately two children. Standby.

03:05 (Pilot): Dude the only thing I can see if this isn’t something [expletive deleted]is the locals trying to get away. You know what I mean? But I don’t think so.

Here a pilot surmises the situation accurately but chooses not to believe it.

03:06 (Sensor): 24 or 25 at the praying stop.

03:07 (Sensor): CLASSIFIED view I saw the one that looked short enough to be a child.

03:08 (Pilot): And Jag 25, our screeners are currently calling 21 MAMs no females, and 2 possible children. How copy?

03:08 (JAG25): Roger. And when we say children, are we talking teenagers or toddlers?

03:08 (Sensor): I would say about twelve. Not toddlers. Something more towards adolescents or teens.

03:08 (Pilot): Yeah adolescents

03:10 (Pilot): And Kirk 97, good copy on that. We are with you. Our screener updated only one adolescent so that’s one double digit age range. How Copy?

03:10 (JAG25): We’ll pass that along to the ground force commander. But like I said, 12‐13 years old with a weapon is just as dangerous.

03:11 (Sensor): Oh we agree. Yea.

04:05 (Pilot) : Yeah. Alright, so the plan is man, uh, we’re going to watch this thing go down, the helo’s are going to take out as much as they can and when they Winchester we can play clean up.

04:07 (Pilot) : As long as you keep somebody that we can shoot in the field of view I’m happy.

Happy! It’s good to stay positive about your job! Everybody knows that.

04:09 (Pilot) : Yeah, well that’s what we were talking on this. I was talking to the JTAC he said the exact same thing man. Um they called them an adolescent. We called it you know… most likely double digits age range. And he was like that’s old enough to be dangerous.

04:13 (Pilot): It’s a cool looking shot

04:13 (Sensor): O, awesome

Awesome, dude!

04:16 (Sensor): Roger. And, oh … and there it goes!

04:16 (unintelligible)
04:16 (Pilot): Our engagement

04:16 (Pilot): It was backing up

04:16 (Sensor): Stand by

04:16 (Sensor): Have another guy … did they get him too? Yep.

04:16 (Pilot): They took the first and uh the last out. They’re going to come back around

04:16 (Safety Observer): I see squirters at the first one

Missiles have just blown up the first and third of the three automobiles packed with people.

04:16 (Pilot): Uh, follow what you think makes the most sense. In fact, stay on the middle truck for now …

04:16 (Sensor): I will

04:16 (Pilot): … until they take that out or we do

04:17 (MC): Do we want to switch back to other frequency?

04:17 (Pilot): I tried, nobody was talking to me over there

04:17 (Sensor): Looks like they’re surrendering

04:17 (Sensor): They’re not running

04:17 (Pilot): CLASSIFIED

[NOTE: At this point, additional voices appear on the recording – presumably those of the safety observers – and identifying which individual is speaking at any given time becomes very difficult.]

04:18 (Sensor): That guy’s laid down? They’re not running.

04:18 (Safety Observer): Dude, this is weird

04:18 (Sensor): They’re just walking away

04:18 (Sensor): I think I’ve got the bulk of whoever’s left in the field of view

04:18 (Pilot): Yeah, I think so

Now we start to see that these eager killers really had convinced themselves that they were targeting dangerous enemies. When their victims behave like civilians, they are disturbed by it.

04:18 (Unknown): Oh!

04:19 (Pilot): Holy [expletive deleted]

04:19 (Sensor): I don’t know about this. This is weird.

04:19 (MC): Yeah

04:19 (Pilot): Got nowhere to go

04:19 (Pilot): Probably confused as [expletive deleted]

04:19 (Sensor): Oh yeah, they just got thrown from the vehicle, too

04:19 MIC(?): We did call, we did tell them there was adolescents in the second vehicle, so I thought that was the reason they didn’t shoot the (unintelligible) second vehicle

04:19 (Safety Observer): No

04:19 (Sensor): Current recommended target is … I just want to do the most veh‐ … either this one, the most … or the one with the guys in the front, they were in the lead vehicle

04:19 (Pilot): There’s like a trail of like three or four (unintelligible)

04:19 (Sensor): Right

04:19 (Pilot): … to the right of your crosshair

04:19 (Sensor): Yeah, and those are, that’s the most, the most, most individuals, right there

04:19 Pilot(?): Yeah, I’d say let’s do that then

04:20 (Sensor): But I’ll keep this field of view … the previous field of view, uh, so we can maintain eyes on as many as possible

And yet, the momentum here is still for killing the survivors.

04:20 (Bam Bam 41): Kirk 97, Bam Bam 41, confirm, uh, those were hits on the vehicles you were watching

04:20 (Pilot): And Bam Bam, Kirk 97, that is affirm, that is uh three good hits on all three of our vehicles. We are still tracking.

Now all three vehicles have been blown up and burned.

04:20 (Sensor): I’m going to zoom in on the rear vehicle again real quick. It looks … it looks like there’s a bunch of people just hanging out

04:23 (Safety Observer): Are they wearing burqas?

04:23 (Sensor): That’s what it looks like

04:23 (Pilot): They were all PIDed as males, though. No females in the group

04:23 (Sensor): That guy looks like he’s wearing jewelry and stuff like a girl, but he ain’t … if he’s a girl, he’s a big one

We sense reluctance to recognize that there are females among those targeted.

04:23 (Pilot): Bam Bam, uh Kirk 97, we are eyes on the squirters at this time. No weapons PIDed yet.

04:26 (Unknown): Wow
04:26 (Sensor): (unintelligible) That truck is so dead

04:26 (Unknown): Wow

04:27 (Sensor): Trying to, to PID veh‐, uh, weapons, but yeah, we can scan

04:27 (Sensor): The thing is, nobody ran

04:27 (Safety Observer): Yeah, that was weird

04:27 (Sensor): So, all the squirters are, have returned to the road at this point

04:27 (Unknown): Yeah

04:27 (Safety Observer): We need to probably let them know that

04:30 (Pilot): Bam Bam41, uh, Kirk97. We are still eyes on, uh, eyes on trying to PID [Positively Identify] any weapons, uh, on the remaining MAMs [Military Age Male]. Uh, we had previously PID’ed weapons in the group but, uh, nothing at this time. We’re still looking.

04:32 (MC): There’s one guy sitting down.

04:32 (Sensor): What you playing with? (Talking to individual on ground.)

04:32 (MC): His bone.

04:33 (Sensor): Thanks, thanks SOTF‐South.

04:34 (Sensor): So, it looks like those lumps are probably all people.

04:34 (Safety Observer): Yep.

04:34 (MC): I think the most lumps are on the lead vehicle because everybody got…the Hellfire got…

04:35 (Sensor): Yeah, there’s definitely no weapons on the guys in the middle vehicle.

04:36 (MC): Is that two? One guy’s tending the other guy?

04:36 (Safety Observer): Looks like it.

04:36 (Sensor): Looks like it, yeah.

04:36 (MC): Self‐Aid Buddy Care to the rescue.

04:36 (Safety Observer): I forget, how do you treat a sucking gut wound?

04:37 (Sensor): Don’t push it back in. Wrap it in a towel. That’ll work.

04:38 (Pilot): They’re trying to *explicative* surrender, right? I think.

04:38 (Sensor): That’s what it looks like to me.

04:38 MC: Yeah. I think that’s what they’re doing.

04:39 (UNKNOWN): On those individuals. Break.

Uh, exiting from that vehicle was probably about 4 personnel. Believe possibly two of those, maybe 3, were female. They wore bright colored clothing. Uh, those remaining personnel are gathered just west of the middle vehicle. They’re standing about 20 meters to the west.

04:40 (MC): Screener said there wasn’t any women earlier.

04:40 (Sensor): Those are all people.

04:40 (MC): Yeah.

04:40 (Sensor): That’s what I was worried about.

04:40 (Safety Observer): What?




04:40 (Sensor): What are those? They were in the middle vehicle.

04:40 (MC): Women and children.

04:40 (Sensor): Looks like a kid.

04:40 (Safety Observer): Yeah. The one waving the flag.

04:41 (Pilot): Kirk97. Uh, negative, we are still observing at this time. Still no weapons PID, everything else matches with your assessment. Uh, still looking.

04:41 (Sensor): Nah, that guy doesn’t have a weapon…just shru, shrugged off his coat. Nothing underneath.

04:42 (Pilot): Anything on ICOM?

04:42 (MC): Nothing so far. I think the rocket hit the front of the street here.

04:42 (Pilot): He’s calling females? They said 21 males, no females.

04:42 (MC): Earlier, yeah.

04:42 (Sensor): Now they’re calling 3 females and 1 child. 1 possible child.

04:42 (MC): Called him a adolescent earlier.

04:43 (Sensor): Yeah, at this point I wouldn’t…I personally wouldn’t be comfortable shooting at these people.

04:43 (MC): No.

04:43 (Sensor): Uh, esp…especially just on DGS’s…If I couldn’t tell with my own eyeball that they had weapons, I wouldn’t just go off of DGS’s, uh, (another crew member: Yeah.) assessment…for this reason.

04:43 (Pilot): That lady is carrying a kid, huh? Maybe.

04:43 (Safety Observer): No.

04:43 (MC): No.
04:43 (Sensor): Uh, yeah.

04:43 (MC): The baby, I think on the right. Yeah.

04:43 (Sensor): Yeah.

04:43 (Pilot): The middle.

04:43 (MC): Yeah.

04:43 (Sensor): Right there in the crosshairs.

04:43 (Safety Observer): *Explicative,* let them know, dude. Have them pass it to Jag. There’s…

04:43 (MC): Yeah.

04:44 (Safety Observer): Yeah, they called out the kid.

04:44 (MC): Yep.
04:44 (Sensor): I got another kid.

04:44 (Safety Observer): That’s one of the adolescents from earlier.

04:45 (Pilot): Bam Bam41, Kirk97. Uh, just be advised, uh, our DGS is calling out, uh, potential 3 females and, uh, 2 adolescents, uh, near the center vehicle. Uh, just want to confirm that you saw that and passed to Jag.

04:48 (Sensor): These guys all need to get their asses kicked.

04:48 (MC): What’s that?

04:48 (Sensor): These dudes over here. Ones that are standing up…[Radio static]

04:48 (Broken Radio Transmission) Jag25, Bam…(static)

04:48 (Sensor): All their women are over here. Kids.

04:48 (Safety Observer): I know.

04:48 (Sensor): They’re sitting around on their ass over by the blown‐up truck.

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s humility: ‘We really are an indispensable nation’

RT | November 5, 2016

Humility in foreign policy “is useful trait,” outgoing President Barack Obama said, adding that America is “an indispensable nation” that has “a lot to be proud of” in the world – thanks to having the most powerful military force.

The assertion came during Obama’s sit in with HBO’s Real Time show host Bill Maher on Friday. The interview was focused on the president’s political legacy and domestic problems, but the commander-in-chief also shared his thoughts on why the US needs a military that costs over $600 billions a year, according to Maher’s count.

“The US having the most powerful military on Earth… helps up check the impulses of some other bad folks,” Obama said, giving North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his country’s nuclear weapons program as an example.

The Pentagon stages annual military exercises with its ally, South Korea, to prepare for a possible conflict with North Korea. South Korea is the world’s tenth biggest defense spender, investing about $34 billion in its military annually, compared to North Korea’s estimated $10 billion. Pyongyang insists it needs nuclear weapons to deter possible military aggression from the US.

Obama said the US has a natural inclination to intervene globally, though sometimes things go “haywire.”

“Bad things happen around the world and our natural instinct is – we should do something. There are times where our intervention makes a difference, but there are a lot of times where the unintended consequences can result in more problems when we intervene. And sorting out where those issues play out is, I think, one of the biggest challenges that any president has,” he said.

While the president didn’t elaborate on which of his decisions to employ America’s military might had caused unintended consequences, the destruction of Libya in 2011 may come to mind first. NATO’s bombing campaign helped rebels topple the country’s government, and, five years on, Libya is a fractured nation over which competing militant groups, terrorists, and criminals run rampant. In his earlier interviews, Obama said that he regretted not having a plan of action for after the intervention.

Yet Obama said he still believes the US and its military should continue to play a major role in the world.

“As flawed as our foreign policy can be, and whatever blind spots we have, we really are the indispensable nation,” he bragged.

American troops are heavily involved in providing humanitarian relief after natural disasters occur or when diseases break out, Obama explained, mentioning the Ebola virus outbreak of 2014. The Pentagon has infrastructure in place for rapid response and can often act before anyone else.

America’s important role goes beyond its military presence, however.

“There is not an international meeting I go to in which, if we were not sitting at the table, nothing gets done. For the most part, other countries don’t have either the capacity or the inclination,” he said.

“When you have a bunch of authoritarian governments out there and a creeping authoritarian impulse around the world, we also are the ones who are pushing back – imperfectly, but most effectively – against locking up journalists and killing human rights activists and making sure that poor people get food and dealing with health crises,” he said.

While Obama didn’t elaborate on how successful America was in pushing back against Turkey’s impulse to arrest journalists or Saudi Arabia’s executions of human rights activists, for example, he insisted that the world needed America’s influence.

“Our values and our ideals actually matter. We do a lot of good around the world. There are some things that we do that are either ineffective or imperfect, but there is a lot to be proud of,” the president said.

The interview came a week ahead of the US presidential election. Before wrapping up, Obama reiterated his call to vote for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Read more:

Obama: ‘We have to twist arms when countries don’t do what we need them to’

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

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


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 Day Vladimir Putin Passed NAFTA

By Rob Urie | CounterPunch | November 4, 2016

The U.S. is entering a dangerous political phase where a distant and cloistered political class threatens the use of state power to legitimize itself in the face of declining popular support and serial military calamities of its own making. In 2001 the George W. Bush administration used the opaque and as yet not fully explained events of 9/11 to claim legitimacy as faux protector of the American people as it launched catastrophic wars that destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan and unleashed ongoing chaos across the Middle East.

With uber-hawk and unindicted co-conspirator Hillary Clinton favored to win election under a cloud of suspicion for pay-to-play practices as Secretary of State and in widely declining economic circumstances an imperative to change the subject will assert itself the day after election day. Having demonstrated a propensity for wanton slaughter in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and the streets of major American cities (1994 ‘Crime’ bill), Mrs. Clinton is already busy stoking a new Cold War with Russia to cover her own activities.

The neo-con choice of Russia as menace-of-opportunity joins a long history of defining American politics through negation. In the original (‘classic?’) Cold War national identity served as an envelop-of-convenience for conciliatory economic policies within the U.S. and repressive and opportunistic policies abroad. Since the 1970s selective (class based) economic liberalization has cut labor and the poor adrift as a self-serving ruling class has gorged itself at the public trough through bailouts, privatizations and special privileges.

The Cold War was always largely a business enterprise— the communist boogeyman was used by the U.S. to overthrow democratically elected governments and install business-friendly regimes that would answer to U.S. (corporate) interests. Its resurrection is to reassert a national ‘envelop’ as cover for economic interests now ‘freed’ to treat a growing portion of the domestic population as imperial subjects. Growing resistance suggests a need for more convincing misdirection if the status quo is to be maintained.

Ongoing neo-con claims that Russia invaded Ukraine are to cover the U.S. role in facilitating a coup against the popularly elected government there and depend on American ignorance of the longstanding Russian naval base at Sevastopol for plausibility. Furthermore, against explicit promises not to do so, since the early 1990s the U.S. (through NATO) has built military bases in Eastern Europe surrounding Russia. This as the U.S. embarks on a multi-decade program to ‘upgrade’ its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Surrounding Russia with NATO (U.S.) military bases is generally analogous to the Russians building military bases on the Mexican and Canadian borders with the U.S., only without the historical precedent of sequential, devastating land invasions that the Russians have faced. What cloistered neo-cons in the U.S., led by Hillary Clinton, call military ‘strength’ is a perpetual upping of the ante where each step is ‘rational’ in some political-economistic sense while the broader enterprise risks collective suicide.

As strategy, doing so leaves either capitulation or full scale confrontation as likely responses. A ‘third-way’ was tried when American economists were sent to post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s to ‘help’ with privatization of the Russian economy. The result was a bifurcated economy where 99% of Russians were deeply immiserated while select ‘oligarchs,’ were made stupendously rich. Luckily for the economists, enough Russians died from privation during their ‘experiment’ to leave few witnesses to the fiasco.

For cynical Americans raised on Cold War propaganda, the idea of Western academics scamming gullible Russians with long-discredited capitalist ideology might be good for a laugh were these same people not the ‘brain trust’ behind the bi-partisan governing consensus in the U.S. in 2016. The economics used to loot Russia were absolutely conventional, the very same used by Bill Clinton to ‘liberate’ Wall Street from social accountability, to liberate the American working class from gainful employment and to ‘free’ the American poor from burdensome food and rent money.

The Russian reaction to being immiserated was to turn away from the American-style economic liberalization that remains the Democrats’ core economic program in the U.S. The seeming inability of the American political class to learn from its mistakes proceeds from the assumption that current outcomes are mistakes in any sense recognizable to it. Highly cloistered class divisions leave it impervious to the negative consequences of its economic policies much as it is to those of its foreign policies.

Following passage of NAFTA economic competition was used to explain the engineered immiseration of the American working class. But without commensurability of circumstances the idea of a global labor market makes little sense. The implausibility of displaced auto workers in Detroit packing up their families and possessions to live for $10 per day in southeastern China illustrates the conundrum. ‘Capital,’ connected capitalists with extensive social resources, can build factories abroad. But without a standing army to repatriate profits, that scheme has never worked very well.

Conversely, with the racial repression that followed the nominal end of slavery in the U.S., at what point did American Blacks receive the market wage that no longer suppressed wages more broadly? Notice the formulation: Blacks whose wages were held down through systematic racial repression (Black codes, convict leasing, Jim Crow and now mass incarceration) acted in a ‘market’ sense to lower the wages of wage-dependent Whites. This is the ‘market’ explanation of race relations in a market economy when the (liberal) premise of market-driven outcomes is applied.

It is this latter point— that rigged economic institutions produce rigged outcomes, that liberal Democrats try to explain away with identity politics. NAFTA, like the TPP that follows, is designed to shift economic power from labor to capital. It is also designed to exploit residual imperial relations to divide labor along engineered lines of division. In the U.S. the state created and enforced racial repression to serve economic interests. This is the residual of imperial relations that to which NAFTA was added.

By siding with existing economic power Western liberals chose the paradox that by destroying the institutions that make markets ‘free’ like labor unions and collective bargaining (see Adam Smith on manufacturer combines suppressing wages) economic outcomes can still be claimed to be ‘market’ based. In a general sense in the case of Russia, the Russian people wanted none of it once it became clear that American intentions were collaborative looting of the Russian economy.

Americans have a longer history of market mythology to wade through. If slaves produce goods that have economic value then demand for wage labor is reduced relative to the goods produced and the difference accrues to capitalists. If NAFTA ‘frees’ capitalists to produce goods in Mexico or China under neo-colonial conditions (see Foxxcon suicide nets) a similar process takes place. This sleight-of-hand works by tautologically defining all labor, including slave labor, as freely undertaken.

It is hardly accidental that Barack Obama, and soon most probably Hillary Clinton, frame corporate-power enhancing agreements like the TPP in terms of geopolitical competition. Much as Democrats use Republicans (and vice-versa) as foils, the U.S. powers-that-be need a Russian ‘strongman’ and Chinese economic ‘connivance’ to sell trade deals and foreign entanglements to an already hard-pressed American working class. Here the relation of economic interests to geopolitics re-enters.

Like her husband before her, Hillary Clinton has committed to the economically paradoxical position of increasing social spending and balancing the Federal budget. Bill Clinton addressed this paradox by reneging on his promise to increase social spending. In terms of factual possibility, balancing the budget has always been a canard used by Republicans (and national Democrats) to cut social spending. There is no fact-based reason why a balanced budget is either necessary or virtuous.

The political-economic position that this leaves Mrs. Clinton in is that her major benefactors on Wall Street and in executive suites want policies that weaken the position of labor and immiserate the bottom 90% or so of the population. And the pressure relief value of increased social spending will be ‘off-the-table’ much like it has been under Barack Obama and Bill Clinton so as to balance the budget. Even if neo-Keynesian pleaders get through to her the response will be ‘public-private partnerships,’ privatization and tax cuts that benefit the wealthy.

The political problem for the establishment is that the polity is in various stages of open revolt. In the long-held American tradition of dividing to conquer, Mrs. Clinton has drawn battle lines in a class war by dismissing the most economically put-upon half of the polity as ‘deplorables,’ as racist hicks who lack the vocabularies and table manners to properly earn their keep. That these same people had jobs until the Clintons sent them to Mexico and earned their keep until Wall Street cut their pay to nothing helps clarify precisely who it is that is deplorable.

Russia re-enters as the mythical boogeyman, a/k/a convenient foil, for the remote and calcified ruling class to pin its own misdeeds on. Julian Assange has now clarified that, Clinton ‘team’ assertions to the contrary, Russia is not the source of the Wikileaks revelations that will serve as fodder for ongoing investigations if Mrs. Clinton wins election. A crisis of legitimacy is all but guaranteed. If ‘things’ begin to unwind as circumstances suggest they might, expect the war drums to beat louder.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

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


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?


(1) Social Security Administration

(2) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


(4) Census Bureau Current Population Survey, March 2016

(5) See (2) above.

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


Alan Nasser is professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College. His website is:  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

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

Russia demands Washington explain after reports say US military hacked into Russian networks

RT | November 5, 2016

Russia expects Washington to provide an explanation after a report claimed that Pentagon cyber-offensive specialists have hacked into Russia’s power grids, telecommunications networks, and the Kremlin’s command systems for a possible sabotage.

“If no official reaction from the American administration follows, it would mean state cyberterrorism exists in the US. If the threats of the attack, which were published by the US media, are carried out, Moscow would be justified in charging Washington,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, according to the ministry’s website.

NBC News said earlier in an exclusive report that US military hackers have penetrated crucial infrastructure in Russia, “making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the US deem it necessary.”

The report was based on the account of a senior US intelligence official and top-secret documents. NBC said the hack was carried out in preparation for waging a full-scale cyberwar with Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also commented on the report, saying Russia had “cybersecurity measures taken at the level proper for the current situation, and the threats voiced against us by officials of other nations.”

US officials earlier alleged that countries like Russia and China could use hackers to disrupt American power grids and other crucial infrastructure.

READ MORE: US gov’t officially accuses Russia of political hacks; Moscow calls it ‘nonsense’

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , | Leave a comment

In Clinton Cuckooland: 1000s-Strong Army of Russian Babushkas is Hacking America

Sputnik – 05.11.2016

If you thought there was nothing left for the Clinton propaganda machine to blame Russia for during this election season, hold on tight!

Newsweek’s infamous Kurt Eichenwald just released another bombshell: the US is being hacked by a massive army of elderly Russian emigrants who, underneath those headscarves, are actually top-notch cyberspies!

Newsweek has finally cracked the case!

Moscow is hacking America on behalf of Donald Trump — it’s an accusation that’s become a familiar refrain for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But who, exactly, are the soldiers behind Putin’s nefarious plan? Senior writer Kurt Eichenwald, who made headlines last month for pushing an equally absurd conspiracy theory about Sputnik’s own role in the intrigue, has the scoop: Western intelligence and law enforcement say tens of thousands of people have been working with Russia on its hacking and disinformation campaign for many years. They include propagandists and cyberoperatives stationed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, located in the southwestern part of Siberia. Operations have also been conducted in the United States, primarily out of New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Those involved include a large number of Russian émigrés, as well as Americans and other foreign nationals. Intelligence operations in Europe and the U.S. have determined that the money these émigrés receive for their work is disguised as payments from a Russian pension system.

Evidence? Nah, who needs it.

You read that right: thousands of Russian retirees that moved to the States to live with their kids are hardly who they pretend to be. Those babushkas and dedushkas are really soldiers (or maybe even officers!) in the army of cyberspies hacking America from within for Donald Trump, according to Newsweek.

Why Trump? Because he’s Putin’s puppet, of course! Eichenwald goes on to reiterate his earlier theory, which, according to his own admission, was fed to him by US intelligence. He claims that the Republican nominee rehashed Russian “propaganda” at a rally speech — transmitted to the candidate by none other than yours truly, Sputnik News. What Eichenwald misses entirely is the irony of admitting that he was handed the story by his own government — the very definition of propaganda.

“You need to ask yourself — how does someone like me who is deeply wired into the intelligence community know so fast that you had posted this? It’s not like I was sitting around reading Sputnik. Others are though, and they are not reading it 24-hours a day in real time for the purpose of keeping abreast of the news,” Eichenwald told former Sputnik News writer and editor Bill Moran in an email. Newsweek magazine is displayed on a shelf at a news stand at South Station in Boston, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. The Washington Post Co. is putting Newsweek up for sale in hopes that another owner can figure out how to stem losses at the 77-year-old weekly magazine.

Not to mention that Eichenwald tried to bribe Moran with a job as a political reporter for The New Republic in exchange for his silence, when his lies and attempts at a cover-up were revealed — he also left that out of the new report.

Newsweek’s darling also failed to mention that, since his original story was published, it has been widely debunked across the board as an absolute lie.

The New York Times recently dismissed the myth of a Trump-Putin connection, reporting that the FBI has failed to find any links between the two despite a thorough investigation. The Washington Post also dismissed Eichenwald’s conspiracy theory, openly calling him out. And the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece tearing apart Eichenwald’s false report.

None of these facts have stopped Newsweek’s bizarre crusade to spread this misinformation to smear both Trump and Russia, however. And Newsweek is not alone in its campaign: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Thursday night previewed Eichenwald’s story as an important piece of evidence against Trump, and the next morning Eichenwald himself appeared on CNN to present his latest conspiracy theory. Naturally, none of the Clinton-campaigning correspondents challenged his statements.

To sum up, Eichenwald published an entirely fabricated conspiracy theory, which has been widely debunked. He attempted to bribe a journalist for his silence. He is now continuing his crusade, with new revelations about an army of geriatric ne’er-do-wells, all the while becoming more and more of a laughing stock.

Bravo, Newsweek. Now we know why you went out of print.

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment