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Ten civilians killed in US-backed raid in Somalia: Official

Press TV – August 25, 2017

Ten civilians have been killed in a US-backed raid on a farm in southern Somalia, according to the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region.

The raid on Barire village early Friday led to the deaths of three children aged 8 to 10 and a woman among others, Ali Nur Mohamed told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu.

“These local farmers were attacked by foreign troops while looking after their crops,” Mohamed said. “The troops could have arrested them because they were unarmed but instead shot them one by one mercilessly.”

Somalia’s information ministry, which initially said members of al-Qaeda-linked extremist group al-Shabab were among the dead, confirmed there were “civilian casualties” too.

The US Africa Command issued a statement Friday, confirming it had supported an operation against al-Shabab militants.

“We are aware of the civilian casualty allegations near Barire, Somalia. We take any allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and per standard, we are conducting an assessment into the situation to determine the facts on the ground,” said the statement.

This is a clear indication of growing US military involvement in the Horn of Africa nation after President Donald Trump ordered that operations against the extremist group be expanded, approving more aggressive airstrikes in the country.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.

The Takfiri militant group was forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.

The extremist group is just one of the challenges facing the new Somali government, which is still struggling to expand its authority beyond the capital and other selected areas.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

The Possible Education of Donald Trump

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | August 25, 2017

Despite the chaos and ugliness of the past seven months, President Trump has finally begun to turn U.S. foreign policy away from the neoconservative approach of endless war against an ever-expanding roster of enemies.

This change has occurred largely behind the scenes and has been obscured by Trump’s own bellicose language, such as his vow to “win” in Afghanistan, and his occasional lashing out with violence, such as his lethal Tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Some Trump advisers also have downplayed the current shift because it may fuel the Democrats’ obsession with Russia-gate as a much-desired excuse to impeach Trump. Every peaceful move that Trump makes is called a sop to Russia and thus an excuse to reprise the dubious allegations about Russia somehow helping to elect him.

Yet, despite these external obstacles and Trump’s own erratic behavior, he has remained open to unconventional alternatives to what President Obama once criticized as the Washington “playbook,” i.e. favoring military solutions to international problems.

In this sense, Trump’s shallow understanding of the world has been a partial benefit in that he is not locked into the usual Washington groupthinks – and he personally despises the prominent politicians and news executives who have sought to neuter him since his election. But his ignorance also prevents him from seeing how global crises often intersect and thus stops him from developing a cohesive or coherent doctrine.

Though little noted, arguably the most important foreign policy decision of Trump’s presidency was his termination of the CIA’s covert support for Syrian rebels and his cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to expand partial ceasefire zones in Syria.

By these actions, Trump has contributed to a sharp drop-off in the Syrian bloodshed. It now appears that the relatively secular Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is regaining control and that some Syrian refugees are returning to their homes. Syria is starting the difficult job of rebuilding shattered cities, such as Aleppo.

But Trump’s aversion to any new military adventures in Syria is being tested again by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is threatening to attack Iranian and Hezbollah forces inside Syria.

Last week, according to Israeli press reports, a high-level delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen carried Netanyahu’s threat to the U.S. government. The Israeli leader surely has raised the same point directly in phone calls with Trump.

Tiring of Bibi

I was told that Trump, who appears to be growing weary of Netanyahu’s frequent demands and threats, flatly objected to an Israeli attack and brushed aside Israel’s alarm by noting that Netanyahu’s policies in supporting the rebels in Syria contributed to Israel’s current predicament by drawing in Iran and Hezbollah.

This week, Netanyahu personally traveled to Sochi, Russia, to confront Putin with the same blunt warning about Israel’s intention to attack targets inside Syria if Iran does not remove its forces.

A source familiar with the meeting told me that Putin responded with a sarcastic “good luck!” and that the Russians thought the swaggering Netanyahu appeared “unhinged.”

Still, a major Israeli attack on Iranian positions inside Syria would test Trump’s political toughness, since he would come under enormous pressure from Congress and the mainstream news media to intervene on Israel’s behalf. Indeed, realistically, Netanyahu must be counting on his ability to drag Trump into the conflict since Israel could not alone handle a potential Russian counterstrike.

But Netanyahu may be on somewhat thin ice since Trump apparently blames Israel’s top American supporters, the neocons, for much of his political troubles. They opposed him in the Republican primaries, tilted toward Hillary Clinton in the general election, and have pushed the Russia-gate affair to weaken him.

President Obama faced similar political pressures to fall in line behind Israel’s regional interests. That’s why Obama authorized the covert CIA program in Syria and other aid to the rebels though he was never an enthusiastic supporter – and also grew sick and tired of Netanyahu’s endless hectoring.

Obama acquiesced to the demands of Official Washington’s neocons and his own administration’s hawks – the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CIA Director David Petraeus, his successor John Brennan, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

The Syrian conflict was part of a broader strategy favored by Washington’s neocons to overthrow or cripple regimes that were deemed troublesome to Israel. Originally, the neocons had envisioned removing the Assad dynasty soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Iran also on the “regime change” menu. But the disastrous Iraq War threw off the neocons’ timetable.

‘Regime Change’ Chaos

The Democratic Party’s liberal interventionists, who are closely allied with the Republican neocons, also tossed in Libya with the overthrow and murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Then, weapons from Gaddafi’s stockpiles were shipped to Syria where they strengthened rebel fighters allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and other Islamist groups.

Faced with this troubling reality – that the U.S.-backed “moderate rebels” were operating side by side with Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and its allies – Washington’s neocons/liberal-hawks responded with sophisticated propaganda and devised clever talking points to justify what amounted to indirect assistance to terrorists.

The “regime change” advocates portrayed a black-and-white situation in Syria with Assad’s side wearing the black hats and various anti-Assad “activists” wearing the white hats (or literally White Helmets). The State Department and a complicit mainstream media disseminated horror stories about Assad and – when the reality about Al Qaeda’s role could no longer be hidden – that was spun in the rebels’ favor, too, by labeling Assad “a magnet for terrorists” (or later in cahoots with the Islamic State). For years, such arguments were much beloved in Official Washington.

But the human consequences of the Syrian conflict and other U.S.-driven “regime change” wars were horrific, spreading death and destruction across the already volatile Middle East and driving desperate refugees into Europe, where their presence provoked political instability.

By fall 2015, rebel advances in Syria – aided by a supply of powerful U.S. anti-tank missiles – forced Russia’s hand with Putin accepting Assad’s invitation to deploy Russian air power in support of the Syrian army and Iranian and Hezbollah militias. The course of the war soon turned to Assad’s advantage.

It’s unclear what Hillary Clinton might have done if she had won the White House in November 2016. Along with much of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, she called repeatedly for imposing a “no-fly zone” in Syria to stop operations by the Syrian air force and Russia, a move that could have escalated the conflict into World War III.

But Trump – lacking Official Washington’s “sophistication” – couldn’t understand how eliminating Assad, who was leading the fight against the terrorist groups, would contribute to their eventual defeat. Trump also looked at the failure of similar arguments in Iraq and Libya, where “regime change” produced more chaos and generated more terrorism.

Pandering to Saudis/Israelis

However, in the early days of his presidency, the unsophisticated Trump lurched from one Middle East approach to another, initially following his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s grandiose thinking about recruiting Saudi Arabia to an “outside-in” strategy to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, i.e., enlisting the Saudis to pressure the Palestinians into, more or less, letting Israel dictate a solution.

Kushner’s “outside-in” scheme was symbolically acted out with Trump making his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Israel in May. But I’m told that Trump eventually cooled to Kushner’s thinking and has come to see the Israeli-Saudi tandem as part of the region’s troubles, especially what he views as Saudi Arabia’s longstanding support for Al Qaeda and other terror groups.

Perhaps most significantly in that regard, Trump in July quietly abandoned the CIA’s covert war in Syria. In the U.S., some “regime change” advocates have complained about this “betrayal” of the rebel cause and some Democrats have tried to link Trump’s decision to their faltering Russia-gate “scandal,” i.e., by claiming that Trump was rewarding Putin for alleged election help.

But the bottom line is that Trump’s policy has contributed to the Syrian slaughter abating and the prospect of a victory by Al Qaeda and/or its Islamic State spinoff fading.

So, there has been a gradual education of Donald Trump, interrupted occasionally by his volatile temper and his succumbing to political pressure, such as when he rushed to judgment on April 4 and blamed the Syrian government for a chemical incident in the remote Al Qaeda-controlled village of Khan Sheikhoun.

Despite strong doubts in the U.S. intelligence community about Syria’s guilt – some evidence suggested one more staged “atrocity” by the rebels and their supporters – Trump on April 6 ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles fired at a Syrian air base, reportedly killing several soldiers and some civilians, including four children.

Trump boasted about his decision, contrasting it with Obama’s alleged wimpiness. And, naturally, Official Washington and the U.S. mainstream media not only accepted the claim of Syrian government guilt but praised Trump for pulling the trigger. Later, Hillary Clinton said if she were president, she would have been inclined to go further militarily by intervening with her “no-fly zone.”

As reckless and brutal as Trump’s missile strike was, it did provide him some cover for his July 7 meeting with Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany, which focused heavily on Syria, and also for his decision to pull the plug on the CIA’s covert war.

Saudi-backed Terror

I’m told Trump also has returned to his pre-election attitude about Saudi Arabia as a leading supporter of terror groups and a key provocateur in the region’s disorders, particularly because of its rivalry with Iran, a factor in both the Syrian and Yemeni wars.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Though Trump has recited Washington’s bipartisan (and benighted) mantra about Iran being the principal sponsor of terrorism, he appears to be moving toward a more honest view, recognizing the falsity of the neocon-driven propaganda about Iran.

Trump’s new coolness toward Saudi Arabia may have contributed to the recent warming of relations between the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shiites of Iran, a sectarian conflict dating back 1,400 years. In a surprising move announced this week, the two countries plan an exchange of diplomatic visits.

Even in areas where Trump has engaged in reckless rhetoric, such as his “fire and fury” warning to North Korea, his behind-the-scenes policy appears more open to compromise and even accommodation. In the past week or so, the tensions with North Korea have eased amid backchannel outreach that may include the provision of food as an incentive for Pyongyang to halt its missile development and even open political talks with South Korea, according to a source close to these developments.

On Afghanistan, too, Trump may be playing a double game, giving a hawkish speech on Monday seeming to endorse an open-ended commitment to the near-16-year-old conflict, while quietly signaling a willingness to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

One alternative might be to accept a coalition government, involving the Taliban, with a U.S. withdrawal to a military base near enough to launch counterterrorism strikes if Al Qaeda or other international terror groups again locate in Afghanistan [likely an air base from which to threaten Iran – Aletho News ].

Many of Trump’s latest foreign policy initiatives reflect former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s hostility toward neoconservative interventionism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former Exxon-Mobil chief executive, also shares a more pragmatic approach to foreign affairs than some of his more ideological predecessors.

Albeit still in their infancy, these policies represent a new realism in U.S. foreign policy that, in many ways, paralleled what President Obama favored but was often unwilling or unable to see through to its logical conclusions, given his fear of Netanyahu and the power of the neocons and their liberal-hawk allies.

Still, some of Obama’s most important decisions – not to launch a major military strike against Syria in August 2013 and to negotiate an agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear program in 2013-15 – followed a similar path away from war, thus drawing condemnation from the Israeli-Saudi tandem and American neocons.

As a Republican who rose politically by pandering to the GOP “base” and its hatred of Obama, Trump rhetorically attacked Obama on both Syria and Iran, but may now be shifting toward similar positions. Gradually, Trump has come to recognize that the neocons and his other political enemies are trying to hobble and humiliate him – and ultimately to remove him from office.

The question is whether Trump’s instinct for survival finally will lead him to policies that blunt his enemies’ strategies or will cause him to succumb to their demands.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Explain The ‘Two Trumps’

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 25.08.2017

US President Donald Trump appeared to adopt two very different public persona this week, when first he delivered a stern speech announcing a new military strategy toward Afghanistan; and then the next day he regaled supporters at a rally in Arizona with his characteristic blustering style.

American news channel CNN called the differing styles the «Two Trumps». In the first one, there was «teleprompter Trump» in which the president outlined a «sobering» plan for renewed military intervention in Afghanistan. By contrast, in the second appearance, there was «free-wheelin’ Trump», when he fired up his support base at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, with verbal broadsides against the «sick» US media, illegal immigration, and a vow to build the border wall with Mexico – even if that meant shutting down the federal government in Washington.

CNN didn’t proffer an explanation for its observation of diverging Trump behavior. The implication was hinted that the president was simply being erratic, perhaps with some kind of personality disorder.

But here is a possible explanation for the «Two Trumps». On the issue of Afghanistan, Trump was indeed delivering a serious message on behalf of the US military and foreign policy establishment. His adherence to the teleprompter text was a sign that the president is taking orders from the Deep State when it comes to matters of paramount imperialist objective.

At the other event, when Trump reverted to his barnstorming form, it was just the president throwing his voter base a bit of rhetorical meat to keep them happy. In that rambling, impromptu-style, Trump hit all the populist buttons to the delight of the crowd. That demagogic bravura performance was required because the day before Trump had executed a startling U-turn on his campaign promises, when he declared that US forces would return to Afghanistan.

All during his election campaign for the presidency last year, Trump had whipped up support among blue-collar workers by slamming the wasteful overseas wars of the Bush and Obama administrations. He condemned his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton for fueling these wars as Secretary of State for Obama.

What a staggering U-turn! It’s hard to believe Trump has the chutzpah to do it.

On Monday, addressing troops at Fort Meyer, Arlington, Virginia, President Trump gave notice that the US military would be returning in large numbers to Afghanistan. That 16-year American war – the longest US war in history – was henceforth going to continue for an indefinite number of years. Trump made a cringing attempt to excuse the shameless U-turn as an informed decision made with the responsibility of president on his shoulders as opposed to the callow views of a campaigning candidate.

However, there was no disguising the fact that President Trump was taking orders from the Pentagon. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous other US generals – three of whom are now in senior positions in Trump’s White House – have been pushing for a re-escalation of American military involvement in Afghanistan.

Trump got elected on the back of electoral promises to shut down overseas wars and vowing instead to focus economic resources on reviving the blue-collar Rust Belt states, which have been struggling with industrial decline for decades. His sudden embrace of the Pentagon’s designs on Afghanistan are a stark repudiation of his own «America First» manifesto. In short, a betrayal of voters.

It is no coincidence that Trump’s about-turn on Afghanistan came on the heels of the ouster of his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon last Friday. Bannon had been vehemently against the policy of foreign military adventurism. In particular, he was reportedly against any resumption of large-scale deployment in Afghanistan. According to media reports, it was the military top brass who prevailed on Trump to get rid of Bannon. The White House Chief of Staff, former Marine General John Kelly, and Trump’s National Security Advisor, General HR McMaster were the two main voices calling for Bannon’s exit. That Trump would dump Bannon – supposedly a close ally – with such alacrity shows that the generals are the real power behind the desk in the Oval Office.

So, the «Two Trumps» phenomenon is thus explained: On one hand, the president is being ordered by the Pentagon and the generals in his White House on what the all-important foreign policy agenda is. Afghanistan is a priority. But note also, the increased US military intervention in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, and towards North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, China and Russia – the latter under the auspices of NATO’s eastwards expansion. All of this blatantly contradicts what candidate Trump had been wooing voters with.

The American business of military imperialism is serious. Hence President Trump is told in no uncertain terms by the military-industrial complex to stick to the teleprompter text. No winging it. No deviation from the plan. Just do it.

The debasement of Trump to being a stooge of the Deep State thereby necessitates that Trump, the supposed maverick populist, must go out on occasion to rally the base with barnstorming tirades to let off some steam. (The irony here is that Trump is accused by the Deep State of being a stooge for Russia, when in much more realistic ways he is evidently a stooge for the American Deep State.)

If ordinary Americans were permitted to focus on their betrayal by Trump to the criminal overseas adventurism of the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex, then that could be a cause of dangerous social revolt at home. It is imperative therefore to keep the masses riled up over chauvinistic populist issues like slamming illegal immigration, «sick» news media, and «liberals» trying to erase American history and heritage by removing Civil War statues.

Like a quack doctor, Trump is prescribing nostrums to conceal the real disease, which is that American democracy has now been supplanted by a military cabal in league with Wall Street and Big Business. Trump is nothing but a puppet who – at least so far – is being allowed to «play at being president». Who knows how much longer he will be allowed to sit in the Oval Office.

So degenerated is American politics that even prominent news media like the New York Times are actually welcoming with editorials on the control exerted over an elected president by the military generals «to stop him going off the rails».

Why Afghanistan is such a priority for the American ruling cabal is no doubt manifold. Recent reports highlight the vast but untapped mineral wealth of the country. Another reason is to secure the lucrative heroin drug trade that financially underpins so much of American covert CIA operations around the world. Also, Afghanistan’s war gives Washington cover for pursuing its strategy of engendering conflict and chaos in a vital region. Contrary to official US assertions, Washington doesn’t want the war to end. It wants war-without-end so that it can destabilize Russia on its southern flank, as well as Iran, and to prevent China from galvanizing Eurasian economic integration.

As American political analyst Randy Martin points out: «Afghanistan is a redux of covert US strategy that has been used in Syria and other parts of the Middle East. The United States claims to be fighting terrorism when in actual fact it is covertly sponsoring terror groups to incite sectarian conflict. In that way, Washington gives itself a license to wreak havoc in order to thwart geopolitical rivals».

President Trump is simply following the imperative orders assigned to him by the Deep State. Outrageous as it might seem, we are witnessing a soft military coup against Trump and his earlier vows to promote America First in the interests of ordinary citizens. In other words, American democracy has been subverted in an audacious assertion of the perennial needs of US imperialism – the profiteering lust of the military industrial complex, Wall Street and Big Business.

Of course, the broader context of «Russia-gate» should be mentioned here. For nearly eight months since his presidential inauguration, Trump has been subjected to a relentless media campaign orchestrated by the Deep State vilifying him as a Russian agent and a beneficiary of alleged Russian meddling in the US election. That pressure over a baseless narrative has inevitably led to Trump capitulating to the Deep State to become a willing tool for its strategic objectives. Trump’s capitulation is nevertheless a coup against an elected president, enforcing the Deep State’s geopolitical agenda.

Analyst Randy Martin puts it succinctly with an oblique reference to the CIA’s assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963. «This time, they didn’t need a bullet».

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Looking for the Thought Police? Try looking in the mirror.

By T.P. Wilkinson | Dissident Voice | August 25, 2017

1984 is probably one of the worst books of the 20th century because of its mis-interpretation!

a) Although Orwell was writing about ENGLAND, in fact, and not as allegory, the exigencies of anti-Soviet propaganda required that the story be defined as a dystopia about the world under Soviet control. Whatever Orwell may have thought about Stalin, 1984 was a story directly attacking the Labour Party and the policies that would become enshrined in Labour governments dominated by graduates from Oxford and to a lesser extent Cambridge. Anyone outside of Britain might be forgiven at the time for missing this but today the oversight is simply rooted in ignorance — willful or unwitting.

b) Orwell, who served in the colonial police in Burma, was well acquainted with the methods of social control used in Britain’s colonies — including torture and surveillance. He had no reason to draw on reports from the Soviet Union, true or false. He also worked in the British government’s propaganda department. The BBC was created in 1922 as a radio monopoly in part to improve the government’s campaign against organised labour. There the fabrication of “news” was daily routine, as it is today.

c) Post-war Britain was — in comparison to the US esp. — a disaster area. After two world wars, Britain was bankrupt. The empire which had subsidised the metropolitan standard of living was collapsing. Indian independence alone would mean an initial massive balance of payments deficit to the Union, not to mention debt to the US. The economy was more or less in ruins. The standard of living had sunk drastically for all but the very rich. It did not take any imagination to invent “Victory Gin” — Britain was nominally on the side of the winners but had lost everything. For someone like Orwell this was very obvious.

d) Too little attention is paid to the actual structures that Orwell describes. The Party and the Thought Police are most frequently mentioned. This focus distorts Orwell’s depiction of a complex mechanism of social control. Ironically many people who have read Noam Chomsky’s essays do not grasp the point which Orwell makes and Chomsky reiterates — albeit avoiding too much attention to this embarrassing point.

Orwell distinguished between the “inner party”, the “outer party” and the “prols”. This classification is very important for comprehending the whole process. Propaganda — that is the constant manipulation of data in forms to create what counts on any one day as “true” — is directed primarily at the “outer party”. The “inner party” is not concerned with what is actually true, this virtually invisible group is interested only in power. The “outer party” is governed by rigorous ideas of truth and virtue which have to be policed — precisely because the very idea of “truth” is a policing tool — not unlike sexual purity. The “truth” is of no material importance to the mass — the “prols” in Orwell’s depiction. But the “outer party” — the intellectuals, the bureaucrats, middle managers, functionaries of all types whether in the state or private sector, in short those who claim citizenship based on supposed intelligence and virtue/merit — need constant policing.

They must be told not only what is fashionable but what counts as true or as the acceptable/polite consensus. These people cannot be left in abject ignorance since they are needed to maintain the system. They are in short the “Gene Sharp factor” — the percentage of the population with which one moves the whole. (Ironically the first edition (1993) of Sharp’s From Dictatorship to Democracy was published in Burma — where Orwell began his police career.) They are too numerous in comparison to the “inner party” to be ignored but not as disorganized as the “prols” so that they cannot be beaten down physically as a mass.

Perhaps Noam Chomsky does not focus too much on his observation that it is the middle class intellectual/managerial class that is the target of most regime propaganda (most heavily propagandised) because he belongs precisely to that class. In fact, on some issues he might be confused with an asset of the Thought Police — coming too as he does from a central US Thought Police institution — MIT.

Orwell was an Old Etonian. Eton College is the pinnacle of the “outer party” cadre institutions in Britain. It is run for the “inner party” and many of the “inner party” are also Old Etonians but the English public school is notorious for enforcing class distinctions even among those of the same college. All Etonians are equal too, some are more equal than others.

e) Who is “Big Brother”? Big Brother is always supposed to be a kind of Stalin allegory. However, unlike the US, Britain has a constant figure who constitutes the focus of all loyalty and affection — the reigning monarch. The British royal family changed their name when war was declared against Germany in 1914. It became inappropriate to have a German king ordering illiterate British peasants and workers into war against another German king who was directly related for reasons that could not be admitted openly and still cannot. So the name “Windsor” was adopted. Edward VIII both before and after his abdication maintained a healthy relationship with blatant fascists of the old style.

This does not mean that the British royal family ever renounced its affinity for fascism (e.g. Franco and Salazar). Moreover it is almost impossible to criticise the monarchy substantively in the United Kingdom. The actions of its members, singularly or collectively, are beyond review or public reproach — except in matters trivial like taste or polite speech. The pretense that the most wealthy private individual in the country (and one of the world’s wealthiest), the reigning monarch, has no personal interest in the policies of the British government and has no practical influence over the government in defense of those interests is about as great a self-deception as one can demand of any person, let alone an entire country.

God save the King/Queen…

f) It is even arguable that Orwell was more concerned about the US because this was the country which switched sides and manipulated the war aims the most — without any cost to itself. During WWII it was clear that the Soviet Union was fighting a vicious war just to survive in the face of the Western onslaught. However, sober people also saw that the US stood to be the only beneficiary of the war. In 1945, this was obvious. No sooner had the war ended but the US proclaimed a war against the Soviet Union. Britain could not have afforded such a position — even if Churchill would have liked. He gave his deceptive “iron curtain” speech for Truman because of dependence on the US not because Britain could have afforded an anti-Soviet policy on its own.1 Orwell could certainly see the absurdity of an impoverished Britain having been on the side of the Soviet Union against Hitler now aligned with the US against the Soviet Union.

In fact, it could be argued that Orwell’s novel is very coherent with Roger Waters’ The Wall (and its sequel The Final Cut) in their specifically BRITISH views of mass culture and pseudo-democracy concealing party dictatorship. It has little, if anything, to do with Russian society, let alone politics. That is only natural. Orwell never lived in Russia and would not have been able to explain Russian society. For that one has to turn to Russians themselves; e.g., Tolstoy or Sholokhov or Pasternak. On the other hand many Americans believe that they understand British society — this is due largely to saturation with BBC programming. However similar Britain may appear to the US, it is actually a very different country and culture (except perhaps for the highest strata of the Anglo-American ruling class). The illusion that Britons are only more quaint Americans has done much to promote the mis-understanding of Orwell.

One of the great intellectual travesty’s of the 20th century is the ascendency of US liberal ideology — in its broadest sense.2

There is probably not a country in the world today with so much influence on intellectual and cultural activity from such a depraved and obscene level of general ignorance and stupidity. The capacity to saturate the world with this structural mendacity and almost genetic stupidity is probably worse than any other weapons system the country’s psychopaths have produced — because it is the basis for acceptance of all those weapons in the first place.

  1. Churchill, unlike Truman, had attended the meetings with Stalin and Roosevelt at Yalta where it was agreed that the Soviet Union would occupy the Eastern European territories that had been absorbed into the German Empire, in part as a basis for war reparations due to the enormous destruction suffered by the Soviet Union — almost all of the European part of the country was razed to the ground. He knew that the Soviet occupation had been agreed by all the Allies. He also knew that the Allies were attempting to deprive the Soviet Union of the reparations due from Germany. In short he knew that it was the West that was hanging an “iron curtain” in front of the Soviet Union in the hope that it would collapse after WWII. Britain could not have afforded such a policy. Among other things the collapse of the empire would deprive it of its cheap access to all sorts of raw materials making it vulnerable to world market fluctuations.
  2. A more precise clarification of what might otherwise be called the ideology of the North Atlantic Establishment would exceed the scope of this brief note. Carroll Quigley’s The Anglo-American Establishment provides a fairly useful summary of its principles and the way it has been expressed through the 20th century. It should be noted that one of the key cadre institutions for academics according to Quigley is the All Souls College of Oxford University– where Gene Sharp also completed his doctorate.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (Maisonneuve Press, 2003).

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Book Review, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Racist Organization receives Bonanza of “Anti-Racism” Donations

By Alison Weir | Dissident Voice | August 25th, 2017

In the wake of Charlottesville, numerous Americans have come forward to oppose racism in a variety of ways. In some cases this has taken the form of donations.

As a result, some allegedly anti-racist organizations have seen a financial bonanza. The main one seems to be the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which saw a 1,000% spike in donations – more than half by first-time donors.

There’s one problem. The ADL is a major supporter of racism.

On its website, the ADL claims it works to “secure justice and fair treatment to all.”

Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. The fact is that the ADL works to maintain oppression and discrimination against Palestinian Muslims and Christians.

The ADL’s number two focus, listed right after its claim to speak out against “bigotry, discrimination and injustice,” is to “stand up for the Jewish State of Israel.”

Israel was created – as documented by Israeli historians and numerous others – by a war of ethnic cleansing of the Muslim and Christian population that made up the large majority of the inhabitants.

It then instituted a system built on discrimination against Muslims, Christians, and other non-Jews.

For the past 69 years Israel has oppressed Palestinians in diverse ways, confiscating their landdestroying their homes, killing numerous children, and imprisoning at least one member of 70 percent of all Palestinian families.

In addition, Israel has waged wars of aggression against Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. It has urged wars against Iraq, Iran, and others.

And the ADL has been in the forefront of supporting Israel. It has also used its $57 million budget to smear those who support fairness, justice, and equality for Palestinians.

The sad fact is that donations to the ADL, rather than fighting racism, will be used to enable it.

People may wish to ask for their money back and give it to someone who actually helps people – and whose executive director isn’t paid close to half a million dollars.

Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel. She can be reached at:

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel prevents Palestinian students from entering school in Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEMO | August 25, 2017

Israeli police prevented 160 Palestinian secondary school students from entering the Shari’ah School in Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday, under the pretext that their school books are based on the Palestinian curriculum, Quds Press has reported. The police had already prevented the delivery of schoolbooks at the premises two days ago, citing the same pretext about the curriculum.

According to Raed Da’na, the Director of Preaching and Guidance at Al-Aqsa, the books were distributed outside the mosque because Israeli police object to the presence of “Palestinian flags and pictures of protests” alongside the text. The Israelis even said that book covers which have the Palestinian flag on them must be torn up if students want to enter the mosque to attend their school, he revealed.

Da’na added that Israeli security forces confiscated the ID documents of Najih Bukairat, the head of the Aqsa Academy for Sciences and Heritage, and Robain Muhaisin, a Palestinian teacher, before taking them to a police station in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem. The vehicle used to distribute the school textbooks was impounded.

In a related incident, Israeli police and border guards stormed into the Aytam [Orphans] Islamic School, located in the Old City, and arrested two students, according to the Quds Media Centre. A Quds Press correspondent said that this happened while dozens of Jewish settlers were storming around Al-Aqsa Mosque. Sixty-five settlers were accompanied and protected by Israeli security forces, she added. They ordered Al-Aqsa’s guards to stay away from the settlers as they entered the mosque.

Guards attached to the Noble Sanctuary usually accompany Jewish settlers once they enter the compound through the Magharbeh Gate and stay with them until they leave through the Silsela Gate, making sure that they do not do anything that would constitute a violation of the mosque’s sanctity. For this, the guards are subjected to threats and restrictions from Israeli police officers.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Jewish settlers hold provocative evening march in Silwan

Palestine Information Center – August 25, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Dozens of Jewish settlers along with officials on Thursday staged a provocative evening march in the Palestinian Silwan district of Occupied Jerusalem and entered a house that had been already sized and turned into a synagogue in Baten al-Hawa neighborhood.

A reporter for the Palestinian Information Center said the settlers were carrying Torah scrolls and Israeli flags as they were marching to the house that was appropriated a few years ago at the pretext that it was once a synagogue.

Member of the Silwan Land Defense Committee Fakhri Abu Diyab said that scores of Israeli police forces were deployed throughout the area and on rooftops of homes to protect the participants in the march.

Abu Diyab affirmed that Israeli agriculture minister Uri Ariel, right-wing Knesset members, and officials from the Jewish Home Party, and Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Jerusalem Aryeh Stern were among the participants.

He pointed out that it was the first time for the settlers to hold a march in Silwan district.

Silwan and its neighborhoods have always been a target of Judaization projects. The Israeli occupation authority still seeks to demolish several Palestinian homes in the district in order to build a park for its settlers.

In 2005, it started to notify local residents of its intent to raze their homes for the park project, but it had to delay its step several times after home owners managed to extract court verdicts freezing demolition orders.

However, the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem now threatens again to demolish the homes in Silwan after it rejected all the structural blueprints they submitted for their neighborhoods.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

British universities should be more discerning about their choice of benefactors

By Alastair Sloan | MEMO | August 25, 2017

Just over eighteen months ago, environmental campaigners in Britain received some surprising news. They had been working for three years to get the Tate Gallery in London to reveal how much money oil giant BP had given it between 1990 and 2011. The figure turned out to be relatively small, ranging from £150,000 to £330,000 per year. Although this was a good chunk of the gallery’s income in the nineties, this soon equated to less than one per cent of the Tate group’s funding between 2000 and 2006. The sponsorship deal continued for another ten years, alongside similar BP sponsorships of the British Museum, the Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery. Across all of these organisations, the oil company likewise contributed less than one per cent of funding to each one. The oft-heard argument that the struggling arts sector would go under were it not for this kind of funding from not-very-nice corporations was clearly bunkum. If anything, these institutions were willing collaborators in corporate whitewashing.

The same could be said of Gulf funds for British universities. Middle East Studies departments whisper about the necessity of funding from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, because budgets are falling. A close look at the finances of the University of Exeter reveals something else, though; the issue of donations from alumnus Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi of Sharjah were raised recently by the International Campaign for Freedom in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Telegraph, the ruler of Sharjah – one of the most conservative Emirates in the UAE — has given more than £8 million to Exeter University over two decades (roughly the same time period that the Tate was receiving money from BP). A breakdown of when these donations were made is not available, but government grants and tuition fees in 1999 (the earliest data that I have been able to find) amounted to £52 million. The equivalent figure today is £250 million, around three times the original government and student fees funding even when adjusted for inflation. Much of this has come from the introduction of hugely expensive tuition fees for students.

In 2008, the nephew of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave £8 million to Cambridge University to build its “Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies”. The same year, Cambridge University’s annual report shows that income from government grants and tuition fees had risen from £251 million to £279 million. Cambridge made £174 million from its publishing house, more than £20 million more than in 2007. Even its “examination and assessment services” had seen income go up from £193 million to £216 million. All these increases led to the university almost doubling its surplus for the year, to £42 million. Yet that same year, it also accepted £8 million from a state known for its appalling human rights record, all the while knowing full well that the university coffers were overflowing.

After 2008, of course, there was the recession, so perhaps last year’s £3 million donation from the Qatar Development Fund towards Somerville College, Oxford, was justified? Think again. Somerville College itself was certainly on track to suffer a £3 million reduction in donations had the Qatar money not arrived, and had just borrowed huge amounts to extend its buildings, but Oxford University generally was doing well. In 2010, its income had risen since the previous year by nearly five per cent, to £920 million. By 2015, that figure was up to £1.3 billion, with surpluses of nearly £400 million sat in university bank accounts. Oxford doesn’t include in its numbers, as Cambridge does, its significantly profitable publishing business, which was on hand to top up coffers when they are running low.

In the UAE, we only have to go back to March to find that a prominent academic was jailed for ten years. His crime? He used Twitter. The country has imposed travel restrictions on visiting academics from Georgetown University, the London School of Economics and New York University, as well as prosecuting other university professionals. In January, the UAE government detained Abdulkhaleq Abdulla for ten days without charge after the prominent Emirati academic and vocal supporter, not critic, of the government posted a tweet that praised the UAE as the “Emirates of tolerance” but bemoaned the authorities’ lack of respect for freedom of expression and political liberties. Abdulla was an adviser to Mohammed Bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and a retired professor of political science at the University of the UAE. Similar situations abound in Saudi Arabia, and academic freedoms are only marginally better in Qatar.

So British universities are well off. They don’t need money from abroad, but they are opting to take it in any case, and who they are choosing to take it from isn’t encouraging. This devalues British academia and spits in the face of academics and others calling for change who are imprisoned in those donor countries for their pains. Universities should be campaigning to have tuition fees removed, be more inventive about how they make money, and stop plastering the names of Middle East dictators across their walls. They need to be much more discerning in their choice of benefactors. It’s too late to do this today, but tomorrow will do very nicely.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

US, Saudi Ask Syria Opposition to Accept Assad’s Political Role: Report

Al-Manar | August 25, 2017

US and Saudi diplomats have reportedly been urging the armed Syrian opposition to come to terms with President Bashar al-Assad’s role in Syria’s future, a report said, indicating to the major policy U-turn in the western stance from the Syrian crisis.

In an article published on Thursday, the Associated Press said the Syrian army holds the upper hand on the battlefield against militant groups, pointing to the major shift in the strategies of Western and regional supporters of Syrian opposition groups and militants with regard to the developments in Syria.

“Western and regional rebel patrons, currently more focused on advancing their own interests rather than accomplishing regime change in Damascus, are shifting their alliances and have ceased calls on Assad to step down,” the report said.

Former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who is widely considered as Washington’s civil war engineer in different parts of the world and a key instigator of the Syrian conflict in 2011, has ruled out the likelihood of Assad’s removal, saying, “There is no conceivable military alignment that is going to be able to remove him.”

“Everyone, including the US, has recognized that Assad is staying,” said Ford, who is currently a fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

According to an interlocutor, who mediates between the opposition and state capitals and requested anonymity, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the opposition it was time to formulate “a new vision.”

“He did not explicitly say Bashar [Assad] is going to stay, but if you read between the lines, if you say there needs to be a new vision, what is the most contentious issue out there? It is whether Bashar stays,” said the interlocutor, according to the article.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

‘Israel sees Iran as obstacle to its policies’

Press TV – August 25, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel felt threatened by Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East. Netanyahu expressed his Iranophobic view in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday. Press TV has asked Scott Rickard, former American intelligence linguist from Tampa, Florida, and Brent Budowsky, a columnist at The Hill from Washington, to give their thoughts on the issue.

Rickard said Tel Aviv is concerned about the fact that the regime could not carry out its old project to spread sectarian divisions and pave the way for dismemberment of the countries in the Middle East region because of the Iranian-led resistance against Israeli policies, not only in the occupied territories of Palestine but also in the whole region.

“Iran is not a threat to Israel whatsoever. The threat that Israel sees is the fact that their Oded Yinon Plan is being put to a hold by Iran,” the intelligence linguist said on Thursday night.

“They (the Israelis) look at Iran as a threat only because they have no influence on their governments and Iran is autonomous and is not under the Zionist influence,” he added.

Since the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, Tehran has been critical of Israel’s policies in the region, whereas “no leaders [of other states] even dared to speak out against Zionism,” Rickard argued.

“Considering Iran a threat in the region is really a fantasy,” which is a propaganda campaign to demonize the Islamic Republic, he said.

During the meeting in Sochi, Netanyahu tried to illustrate a negative portrait of Iran’s support for the Syrian government, but Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya disappointed Israel by saying that Iran plays a very constructive role in Syria.

Rickard went on to say that the Israelis are trying to sway public opinion by using false intelligence about the Iranian role in Syria.

The analyst opined that the Israeli regime is “not worried about Iran as much as they are worried about the failure of their effort alongside their allies in trying to topple” the Syrian government.

Tel Aviv is afraid of witnessing that “Iran, Russia and Syria have built up a formidable defense” and have shown great resolve and great restraint against being attacked by Israel, he explained.

Iran and Russia alongside the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have played a major role in supporting the Syrian armed forces to defeat Takfiri terrorists and foiling a US-Israeli plot to partition Syria.

Budowsky, the other guest on the panel, said Netanyahu and President Putin were “establishing some understanding of each other’s position to try to avoid any mistakes that could escalate militarily.”

Israel, which has been reportedly aiding and abetting terrorist groups to topple the government in Damascus, considers Iran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad’s fight against the spread of terrorism a threat to its intervention.

The columnist said that Israel is concerned about having Iran near the occupied territories of Palestine as a result of Iranians’ presence in Syria. – Video

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker (Because it is one anyway!)

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | August 25, 2017

A commercial LNG tanker has sailed across the colder, northern route from Europe to Asia without the protection of an ice-breaker for the first time.

The specially-built ship completed the crossing in just six-and-a-half days setting a new record, according to the tanker’s Russian owners.

The 300-metre-long Sovcomflot ship, the Christophe de Margerie, was carrying gas from Norway to South Korea.

Rising Arctic temperatures are boosting commercial shipping across this route.

There is only one slight problem – the newly built tanker is actually an icebreaker itself, as Matt McGrath goes on to elaborate:

The Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first and, at present, only ice-breaking LNG carrier.

The ship, which features a lightweight steel reinforced hull, is the largest commercial ship to receive Arc7 certification, which means it is capable of travelling through ice up to 2.1m thick.

On this trip it was able to keep up an average speed of 14 knots despite sailing through ice that was over one metre thick in places.

Popular Science has more details on the project to build another 15 of these icebreaking tankers:

There’s a lucrative shipping route between Europe and Asia that has the potential to cut thousands of miles and months of time off the trip. The only catch: it’s covered with thick, ship-sinking Arctic ice.

Heavy ice blocks the Arctic route from December to July, more than half the year. Even with icebreaking escort ships, few merchant vessels run it.

Now, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is building the world’s first icebreaker tankers–16 of them–to carry liquid natural gas (LNG) through the route year-round. LNG tankers today have to be escorted by icebreaking ships that clear the way through the Northern Sea Route.

The Yamal LNG project, run by companies in Russia, France, and China, proposes drilling more than 200 wells in the Arctic to produce 16.5 million tons of LNG per year, supported by Daewoo’s first 16 Arc7 tankers. Year-round, Yamal LNG will ship LNG from the project’s Sabetta port in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula westward to Europe, South America, India, China, and South Korea. For the warmer half of the year, it’ll also ship east from Sabetta to Japan and South Korea.

As Russia leans more heavily on fuel exports and the prices for them drip lower and lower, a dormant 17th-century Russian ambition is coming back to life: to open the Arctic year-round.

French oil company Total, who are involved in the Yamal project also have this:

To transport Liquefied Natural Gas from Yamal LNG, which is located in the Arctic and constitutes one of the world’s biggest LNG projects, Total and its partners have designed a new type of ship: an LNG ice-breaker. This innovative solution allows large shipments of LNG to be transported efficiently and at a steady pace throughout the year and without the assistance of ice-breakers. The ship, which is 300 metres long and has a capacity of 172,600 m3, can sail in temperatures that fall as low as -52°C and in ice thickness up to 2.1 metres. Between December 2016 and 2019, 15 LNG ice-breakers will be commissioned. In this article, we delve into this technological microcosm.

The tankers are certified as Arc7, which is the Russian system of classifying ice breakers and ice strengthened ships. The classification goes up to Arc9 for the strongest ships.

So the fact that the Christophe de Margerie has just made this trip has nothing at all to do with global warming.

It is however a reminder that the French, along with Russia and China, will carry on developing oil and gas reserves, regardless of whatever was agreed at Paris.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

The Lincoln Myth: Ideological Cornerstone of the America Empire

By Thomas DiLorenzo | Institute for Political Economy | August 21, 2017

“Lincoln is theology, not historiology. He is a faith, he is a church, he is a religion, and he has his own priests and acolytes, most of whom . . . are passionately opposed to anybody telling the truth about him . . . with rare exceptions, you can’t believe what any major Lincoln scholar tells you about Abraham Lincoln and race.”
–Lerone Bennett, Jr., Forced into Glory, p. 114

The author of the above quotation, Lerone Bennett, Jr., was the executive editor of Ebony magazine for several decades, beginning in 1958. He is a distinguished African-American author of numerous books, including a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. He spent twenty years researching and writing his book, Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream, from which he drew the above conclusion about the so-called Lincoln scholars and how they have lied about Lincoln for generations. For obvious reasons, Mr. Bennett is incensed over how so many lies have been told about Lincoln and race.

Few Americans have ever been taught the truth about Lincoln and race, but it is all right there in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (CW), and in his actions and behavior throughout his life. For example, he said the following:

“Free them [i.e. the slaves] and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this . . . . We cannot then make them equals” (CW, vol. II, p. 256.

“What I would most desire would be the separation of the white and black races” (CW, vol. II, p. 521).

“I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races . . . . I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong, having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary” (CW, vol. III, p, 16). (Has there ever been a clearer definition of “white supremacist”?).

“I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races . . . . I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people” (CW, vol. III, pp. 145-146).

“I will to the very last stand by the law of this state [Illinois], which forbids the marrying of white people with negroes” (CW, vol. III, p. 146).

“Senator Douglas remarked . . . that . . . this government was made for the white people and not for the negroes. Why, in point of mere fact, I think so too” (CW, vol. II, p. 281)

Lincoln was also a lifelong advocate of “colonization,” or the deportation of black people from America. He was a “manager” of the Illinois Colonization Society, which procured tax funding to deport the small number of free blacks residing in the state. He also supported the Illinois constitution, which in 1848 was amended to prohibit the immigration of black people into the state. He made numerous speeches about “colonization.” “I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation . . . . such separation must be effected by colonization” (CW, vol. II, p. 409). And, “Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and . . . favorable to . . . our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime” (CW, vol. II, p. 409). Note how Lincoln referred to black people as “the African,” as though they were alien creatures. “The place I am thinking about having for a colony,” he said, “is in Central America. It is nearer to us than Liberia” (CW, vol. V, pp. 373-374).

Bennett also documents how Lincoln so habitually used the N word that his cabinet members – and many others – were shocked by his crudeness, even during a time of pervasive white supremacy, North and South. He was also a very big fan of “black face” minstrel shows, writes Bennett.

For generations, the so-called Lincoln scholars claimed without any documentation that Lincoln suddenly gave up on his “dream” of deporting all the black people sometime in the middle of the war, even though he allocated millions of dollars for a “colonization” program in Liberia during his administration. But the book Colonization After Emancipation by Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page, drawing on documents from the British and American national archives, proved that Lincoln was hard at work until his dying day plotting with Secretary of State William Seward the deportation of all the freed slaves. The documents produced in this book show Lincoln’s negotiations with European governments to purchase land in Central America and elsewhere for “colonization.” They were even counting how many ships it would take to complete the task.

Lincoln’s Slavery-Forever Speech: The First Inaugural

Lincoln’s first inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861, is probably the most powerful defense of slavery ever made by an American politician. In the speech Lincoln denies having any intention to interfere with Southern slavery; supports the federal Fugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution, which compelled citizens of non-slave states to capture runaway slaves; and also supported a constitutional amendment known as the Corwin Amendment that would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering in Southern slavery, thereby enshrining it explicitly in the text of the U.S. Constitution.

Lincoln stated at the outset of his first inaugural address that “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Furthermore, “Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the [Republican Party] platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: Resolved, that the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each state to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to the balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend . . .” By “domestic institutions” Lincoln meant slavery.

Lincoln also strongly supported the Fugitive Slave Clause and the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act in his first inaugural address by reminding his audience that the Clause is a part of the Constitution that he, and all members of Congress, swore to defend. In fact, the Fugitive Slave Act was strongly enforced all during the Lincoln administration, as documented by the scholarly book, The Slave Catchers, by historian Stanley Campbell (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). “The Fugitive Slave Law remained in force and was executed by federal marshals” all during the Lincoln regime, writes Campbell. For example, he writes that “the docket for the [Superior] Court [of the District of Columbia] listed the claims of twenty-eight different slave owners for 101 runaway slaves. In the two months following the court’s decision [that the law was applicable to the District], 26 fugitive slaves were returned to their owners . . .” This was in Washington, D.C., Lincoln’s own residence.

Near the end of his first inaugural address (seven paragraphs from the end) Lincoln makes his most powerful defense of slavery by saying: “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution . . . has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service [i.e., slaves]. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable” (emphasis added).

The Corwin Amendment, named for Rep. Thomas Corwin of Ohio, said:

“No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which shall authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any state, the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor [i.e., slaves] or service by the laws of said State.”

After all the Southern members of Congress had left, the exclusively-Northern U.S. Congress voted in favor of the Corwin Amendment by a vote of 133-65 in the House of Representatives on February 28, 1861, and by a vote of 24-12 in the U.S. Senate on March 2, two days before Lincoln’s inauguration.

Lincoln lied in his first inaugural address when he said that he had not seen the Corwin Amendment. Not only did he support the amendment in his speech; it was his idea, as documented by Doris Kearns-Goodwin in her worshipful book on Lincoln entitled Team of Rivals. Based on primary sources, Goodwin writes on page 296 that after he was elected and before he was inaugurated Lincoln “instructed Seward to introduce these proposals in the Senate Committee of Thirteen without indicating they issued from Springfield.” “These proposals” were 1) the Corwin Amendment; and 2) a federal law to nullify personal liberty laws created by several states to allow them to nullify the Fugitive Slave Act.

In 1860-61 Lincoln and the Republican Party fiercely defended Southern slavery while only opposing the extension of slavery into the new territories. They gave three reasons for this:

(1) “Many northern whites . . . wanted to keep slaves out of the [new territories] in order to keep blacks out. The North was a pervasively racist society . . . . Bigots, they sought to bar African-American slaves from the West,” wrote University of Virginia historian Michael Holt in his book, The Fate of Their Country (p. 27).

(2) Northerners did not want to have to compete for jobs with black people, free or slave. Lincoln himself said that “we” want to preserve the territories for “free white labor”.

(3) If slaves were brought into the territories it could inflate the congressional representation of the Democratic Party once a territory became a state because of the three-fifths clause of the Constitution that counted five slaves as three persons for purposes of determining how many congressional representatives each state would have. The Republican Party feared that this might further block their economic policy agenda of high protectionist tariffs to protect Northern manufacturers from competition; corporate welfare for road, canal, and railroad-building corporations; a national bank; and a giving away, rather than selling, of federal land (mostly to mining, timber, and railroad corporations). Professor Holt quotes Ohio Congressman Joshua Giddings explaining: “To give the south the preponderance of political power would be itself to surrender our tariff, our internal improvements [a.k.a. corporate welfare], our distribution of proceeds of public lands . . .” (p. 28).

Lincoln called the Emancipation Proclamation a “war measure,” which meant that if the war ended the next day, it would become null and void. It only applied to “rebel territory” and specifically exempted by name areas of the South that were under Union Army control at the time, such as most of the parishes of Louisiana; and entire states like West Virginia, the last slave state to enter the union, having been created during the war by the Republican Party. That is why historian James Randall wrote that it “freed no one.” The apparent purpose was to incite slave rebellions, which it failed to do. Slavery was finally ended in 1866 by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, with virtually no assistance from Lincoln, as described by Pulitzer prize-winning Lincoln biographer David Donald in his book, Lincoln. On page 545 of his magnum opus David Donald writes of how Lincoln refused to lift a finger to help the genuine abolitionists accumulate votes in Congress for the Thirteenth Amendment. Stories that he did help, such as the false tale told in Steven Spielberg’s movie about Lincoln, are based on pure “gossip,” not documented history, wrote Donald.

Lincoln Promises War Over Tax Collection

In contrast to his compromising stance on slavery, Lincoln was totally and completely uncompromising on the issue of tax collection in his first inaugural address, literally threatening war over it. For decades, Northerners had been attempting to plunder Southerners (and others) with high protectionist tariffs. There was almost a war of secession in the late 1820s over the “Tariff of Abominations” of 1828 that increased the average tariff rate (essentially a sales tax in imports) to 45%. The agricultural South would have been forced to pay higher prices for clothing, farm tools, shoes, and myriad other manufactured products that they purchased mostly from Northern businesses. South Carolina nullified the tariff, refusing to collect it, and a compromise was eventually reached to reduce the tariff rate over a ten-year period.

By 1857 the average tariff rate had declined to about 15%, and tariff revenues accounted for at least 90% of all federal tax revenue. This was the high water mark of free trade in the nineteenth century. Then, with the Republican Party in control of Congress and the White House, the average tariff rate was increased, by 1863, back up to 47%, starting with the Morrill Tariff, which was signed into law on March 2, 1861, two days before Lincoln’s inauguration by Pennsylvania steel industry protectionist President James Buchanan. (It had first passed in the House of Representatives during the 1859-60 session).

Understanding that the Southern states that had seceded and had no intention of continuing to send tariff revenues to Washington, D.C., Lincoln threatened war over it. “[T]here needs to be no bloodshed or violence,” he said in his first inaugural address, “and there shall be none unless it is forced upon the national authority.”

And what could “force” the “national authority” to commit acts of “violence” and “bloodshed”? Lincoln explained in the next sentence: “The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.” “Pay up or die; the American union is no longer voluntary” was his principal message. In Lincoln’s mind, the union was more like what would become the Soviet union than the original, voluntary union of the founding fathers. He kept his promise by invading the Southern states with an initial 75,000 troops after duping South Carolinians into firing upon Fort Sumter (where no one was harmed, let alone killed).

The Stated Purpose of the War

The U.S. Senate issued a War Aims Resolution that said: “[T]his war is not waged . . . in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those [Southern] states, but to defend . . . the Constitution, and to preserve the Union . . .” By “established institutions” of the Southern states they meant slavery.

Like the U.S. Senate, Lincoln also clearly stated that the purpose of the war was to “save the union” and not to interfere with Southern slavery. In a famous August 22, 1862 letter to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, he wrote that:

“My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” Of course, Lincoln’s war destroyed the voluntary union of the founding fathers and replaced it with an involuntary union held together by threat of invasion, bloodshed, conquest, and subjugation.

The Very Definition of Treason

Treason is defined by Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution as follows: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” The most important word here is “them.” As in all the founding documents, “United States” is always in the plural, signifying that the “free and independent states,” as they are called in the Declaration of Independence, are united in forming a compact or confederacy with other states. Levying war against “them” means levying war against individual states, not something called “the United States government.” Therefore, Lincoln’s invasion and levying of war upon the Southern states is the very definition of treason in the Constitution.

Lincoln took it upon himself to arbitrarily redefine treason, not by amending the Constitution, but by using brute military force. His new definition was any criticism of himself, his administration, and his policies. He illegally suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus (illegal according to this own attorney general, Robert Bates) and had the military arrest and imprison without due process tens of thousands of Northern-state citizens, including newspaper editors, the Maryland legislature, the mayor of Baltimore, the grandson of Francis Scott Key who was a Baltimore newspaper editor, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, his chief critic in the U.S. Congress, and essentially anyone overheard criticizing the government. (See Freedom Under Lincoln by Dean Sprague and Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln by James Randall).

More than 300 Northern newspapers were shut down for criticizing the Lincoln regime as documented by James Randall, the preeminent Lincoln scholar of the twentieth century.

Lincoln’s Real Agenda: A Mercantilist Empire

Lincoln began his political career in 1832 as a Whig. Northern Whigs like Lincoln were the party of the corporate plutocracy who wanted to use the coercive powers of government to line the pockets of their big business benefactors (and of themselves). They proclaimed to stand for what their political predecessor, Alexander Hamilton, called the “American System.” This was really an Americanized version of the rotten, corrupt system of British “mercantilism” that the colonists had rebelled against. Its planks included protectionist tariffs to benefit Northern manufacturers and their banking and insurance industry business associates; a government-run national bank to provide cheap credit to politically-connected businesses; and “internal improvement subsidies,” which we today would call “corporate welfare,” for canal-, road-, and railroad-building corporations. So when Lincoln first ran for political office in Illinois in 1832 he announced: “I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank . . . in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.” He would devote his entire political career for the next twenty-nine years on that agenda.

The major opposition to Lincoln’s agenda of a mercantilist empire modeled after the British empire had always been from the South, as Presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Tyler, among others, vetoed or obstructed Whig and later, Republican, legislation. There were Southern supporters of this agenda, and Northern, Jeffersonian opponents of it, but it is nevertheless true that the overwhelming opposition to this Northern, Hamiltonian scheme came from the Jeffersonian South.

Henry Clay was the leader of the Whigs until his death in 1852, and Lincoln once claimed that he got all of his political ideas from Clay, who he eulogized as “the beau ideal of a statesman.” In reality, the Hamilton/Clay/Lincoln “American System” was best described by Edgar Lee Masters, who was Clarence Darrow’s law partner and a renowned playwright (author of The Spoon River Anthology). In his book, Lincoln the Man (p. 27), Masters wrote that:
“Henry clay was the champion of that political system which doles favors to the strong in order to win and to keep their adherence to the government. His system offered shelter to devious schemes and corrupt enterprises . . . He was the beloved son of Alexander Hamilton with his corrupt funding schemes, his superstitions concerning the advantage of a public debt, and a people taxed to make profits for enterprises that cannot stand alone. His example and his doctrines led to the creation of a party that had not platform to announce, because its principles were plunder and nothing else.”

This was the agenda that Abraham Lincoln devoted his entire political life to. The “American System” was finally fully enacted with Lincoln’s Pacific Railroad Bill, which led to historic corruption during the Grant administration with its gargantuan subsidies to railroad corporations and others; fifty years of high, protectionist tariffs that continued to plunder Agricultural America, especially the South and the Mid-West, for the benefit of the industrial North; the nationalization of the money supply with the National Currency Acts and Legal Tender Acts; and the beginnings of a welfare state with veterans’ pensions. Most importantly, the system of federalism that was established by the founding fathers was all but destroyed with a massive shift in political power to Washington, D.C. and away from the people, due to the abolition (at gunpoint) of the rights of nullification and secession.

Lincoln’ Biggest Failure

Slavery was ended peacefully everywhere else in the world during the nineteenth century. This includes Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York, where slaves were once used to build slave ships that sailed out of New York, Providence, Hartford, Providence, and Boston harbors. There were still slaves in New York City as late as 1853.

Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Fogel and co-author Stanley Engerman, in their book, Time on the Cross, describe how the British, Spanish, and French empires, as well as the Swedes, Danes, and Dutch, ended slavery peacefully during the nineteenth century. Whenever slaves did participate in wars in Central America and elsewhere, it was because they were promised freedom by one side in the war; the purpose of the wars, however, was never to free the slaves.

The British simply used tax dollars to purchase the freedom of the slaves and then legally ended the practice. The cost of the “Civil War” to Northern taxpayers alone would have been sufficient to achieve the same thing in the U.S. Instead, the slaves were used as political pawns in a war that ended with the death of as many as 850,000 Americans according to the latest research (the number was 620,000 for the past 100 years or so), with more than double that amount maimed for life, physically and psychologically. (Lincoln did make a speech in favor of “compensated emancipation” in the border states but insisted that it be accompanied by deportation of any emancipated slaves. He never used his “legendary” political skills, however, to achieve any such outcome, as a real statesman would have done – minus the deportation).

The Glory of the Coming of the Lord?

By the mid nineteenth century the world had evolved such that international law and the laws of war condemned the waging of war on civilians. It was widely recognized that civilians would always become casualties in any war, but to intentionally target them was a war crime.

The Lincoln regime reversed that progress and paved the way for all the gross wartime atrocities of the twentieth century by waging war on Southern civilians for four long years. Rape, pillage, plunder, the bombing and burning of entire cities populated only by civilians was the Lincolnian way of waging war – not on foreign invaders but on his own fellow American citizens. (Lincoln did not consider secession to be legal; therefore, he thought of all citizens of the Southern states to be American citizens, not citizens of the Confederate government).

General Sherman said in a letter to his wife that his purpose was “extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the people” (Letter from Sherman to Mrs. Sherman, July 31, 1862). Two years later, he would order his artillery officers to use the homes of Atlanta occupied by women and children as target practice for four days, while much of the rest of the city was a conflagration. The remaining residents were then kicked out of their homes – in November with the onset of winter. Ninety percent of Atlanta was demolished after the Confederate army had left the city.

General Philip Sheridan similarly terrorized the civilians of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. All of this led historian Lee Kennett, in his biography of Sherman, to honestly state that “had the Confederates somehow won, had their victory put them in position to bring their chief opponents before some sort of tribunal, they would have found themselves justified . . . in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for violation of the laws of war, specifically for waging war against noncombatants” (Lee Kennett, Marching Through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During Sherman’s Campaign, p. 286).

About All Those Statues

Professor Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) was perhaps the most famous academic libertarian in the world during the last half of the twentieth century. A renowned Austrian School economist, he also wrote widely on historical topics, especially war and foreign policy. In a 1994 essay entitled “Just War” (online at, Rothbard argued that the only two American wars that would qualify as just wars (defined as wars to ward off a threat of coercive domination) were the American Revolution and the South’s side in the American “Civil War.” Without getting into his detailed explanation of this, his conclusion is especially relevant and worth quoting at length:

“[I]n this War Between the States, the South may have fought for its sacred honor, but the Northern war was the very opposite of honorable. We remember the care with which the civilized nations had developed classical international law. Above all, civilians must not be targeted; wars must be limited. But the North insisted on creating a conscript army, a nation in arms, and broke the 19th-century rules of war by specifically plundering and slaughtering civilians, by destroying civilian life and institutions so as to reduce the South to submission. Sherman’s famous march through Georgia was one of the great war crimes, and crimes against humanity, of the past century-and-a-half. Because by targeting and butchering civilians, Lincoln and Grant and Sherman paved the way for all the genocidal horrors of the monstrous 20th century. . . . As Lord Acton, the great libertarian historian, put it, the historian, in the last analysis, must be a moral judge. The muse of the historian, he wrote, is not Clio but Rhadamanthus, the legendary avenger of innocent blood. In that spirit, we must always remember, we must never forget, we must put in the dock and hang higher than Haman, those who, in modern times, opened the Pandora’s Box of genocide and the extermination of civilians: Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln.

Perhaps, some day, their statues will be toppled and melted down; their insignias and battle flag will be desecrated, and their war songs tossed into the fire.

Perhaps, some day. But in the meantime, and for the past 150 years, the mountain of lies that has concocted the Lincoln Myth has been invoked over and over again to “justify” war after war, all disguised as some great moral crusade, but in reality merely a tool to enrich the already wealthy-beyond-their-wildest-dreams military/industrial complex and its political promoter class. As Robert Penn Warren wrote in his 1960 book, The Legacy of the Civil War, the Lincoln Myth, painstakingly fabricated by the Republican Party, long ago created a “psychological heritage” that contends that “the Northerner, with his Treasury of Virtue” caused by his victory in the “Civil War,” feels as though he has “an indulgence, a plenary indulgence, for all sins past, present, and future.” This “indulgence,” wrote Warren, “is the justification for our crusades of 1917-1918 and 1941-1945 and our diplomacy of righteousness, with the slogan of unconditional surrender and universal rehabilitation for others” (emphasis added). Robert Penn Warren believed that most Americans were content with all of these lies about their own history, the work of what he called “the manipulations of propaganda specialists,” referring to those who describe themselves as “Lincoln scholars.”

Thomas DiLorenzo is a professor at Loyola University in Maryland. Among his books are: The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe; Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch-Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution and What It Means for Americans Today.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | | 3 Comments