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Everyone Lost in World War II

Tales of the American Empire • August 16, 2019

Hitler had sent Winston Churchill peace offers several times in 1940, proposing that Germany withdraw from occupied areas except for traditional German regions that were seized after World War I. Churchill should have accepted this offer, but he was an arrogant, selfish, bumbling, alcoholic, psychopath whose actions destroyed Europe and the British Empire.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | 9 Comments

Adams Meets Johnstone – The Monsters Are at Home Now

By John Quincy Adams* | Strategic Culture Foundation | July 26, 2020

In his long career John Quincy Adams was President, served in both houses of Congress, was nominated for the Supreme Court, was Secretary of State and U.S. ambassador to many of the great powers of the day. An unequaled record and one very hard to imagine ever being duplicated. He was a proud believer in his country, its constitution and its stated ideals. He had two great fears for his country.

A convinced opponent of slavery, he foresaw no way it could be ended but by the decree of a commander-in-chief during a civil war. A decree that would also end the three-fifths rule which gave the slave-owning states such predominant power. And it all came to pass, just as he feared, in the two decades after his death in 1848.

His other fear was that the behavior of America would destroy America. On 4 July 1821, while Secretary of State, he gave a speech which summarized his thoughts and hopes. It deserves to be read in full but probably the most famous section is

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

He believed that America should be an example “Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind.” Involvement in the outside world would inevitably corrupt and destroy liberty “The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.” Likewise, and for related reasons, he despised the expansionism of Andrew Jackson, believed Texas should be in the Union but not by war and trickery, was skeptical of the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase. Better by far that these areas should, of their own free will, and in their own good time, join the Union. To compel, to war, to trick was to destroy the essence of America.

Which brings me to Diana Johnstone and her memoir Circle in the Darkness. Johnstone is a leftie – not the Bolshevik kind, not today’s kind, but an old-fashioned, very American kind – the New Deal kind. Her parents were active in the New Deal and the Roosevelt administration and she grew up with a belief that the principal job of governments was to make things better for ordinary people, wars were to be avoided and America was best off minding its own business – peace and social justice, in other words. She and Adams would have found much to agree with in each other. Her title would also fit Adam’s idea of America in the world – a bright circle of decency in the general darkness.

Johnstone’s book is a lament for the left that used to be and a relating of how, when and where it disappeared. Probably the most notable difference between her early days and today is that today’s left no longer worries about, protests against or even thinks about war. The Iraq War of 2003 was met with enormous protests around the world. They did not stop it, of course, but at least many people said no to it. Subsequent American wars in the Obama period met no protests.

U.S. military forces have been at war for all eight years of Obama’s tenure, the first two-term president with that distinction. He launched airstrikes or military raids in at least seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

His administration overthrew the Libyan government, overthrew the Ukrainian government, attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, supported the Saudi war in Yemen and continued all the wars it inherited. Not a peep of protest. Partly because Obama was a Democrat and the corporate media fawned over him as “cool” and “intellectual.” But he also moved the wars offstage – by reducing the number of troops on the ground, they became drone attacks, special service troops, contractors, bombing. Far offstage. But where are the anti-war protests against the hated Trump? He too has continued the wars he inherited (but at least started no new ones) but, on the other hand, he is throwing sanctions at everybody. Not bullets, not “kinetic”, but not exactly peaceful either – just a different way of trying to destroy the monsters. The left has become persuaded that wars are good wars, not to be protested, if they can be wrapped in a human rights package. Libya is destroyed, turned into a hellhole because Qaddafi was “bombing his own people.” Ukraine ditto because Yanukovych was “corrupt.” Assad “gasses his own people.” With the narrowly restricted control of the news media, the monsters are easily manufactured.

The Western left no longer opposes wars because the “search for monsters to destroy” has silenced them – it’s good to destroy monsters. Who names and condemns the monsters? Why the monster-destroyers of course. And, if the monster is painted sufficiently monstrous by the controlled media, then no one questions the motives of the monster destroyers; no one even asks whether the monster destroyers have motives other than pure ones. As Johnstone writes:

Once a cause was identified by the Western media-political establishment as “good,” there was a herd-like rush to join it, to show that we are so good that we will not even listen to anyone who questions it, for fear of being identified with the Evil Ones.

and

The Kosovo War marked a change in the attitude of the Left toward U.S. military intervention. An immense publicity campaign, playing on false analogies with World War II, succeeded in rallying much of the Left to the need to “do something”—and the only “something” available was NATO bombing.

The left has lost the skepticism and mistrust of the authorities which used to be one of its foundations. What does the Western left agitate about today? Human rights. But not the human rights of children murdered in Yemen or Ukraine or African slaves in Libya; it’s the human rights of sexual minorities that obsesses those who consider themselves progressives. Or tearing down statues. Neither of which impedes the real aims and interests of the monster-destroyers in the slightest. A useful diversion as far as the looters of the world are concerned. Johnstone’s book recounts how, step by step, drop by drop, the Western left has been diverted into trivia.

For around two centuries, the “Left” was the term designating the most forward-looking, creative political forces in our societies. The Left fought for the independence of Vietnam and other colonized Third World countries. Now it is absent from the whole international movement to restore national sovereignty, condemned as “extreme right.” The Left is sabotaged from within by dogmatism. When “left” is reduced to a catechism, it cuts itself off from the real world and serves only as a means to denounce or punish deviations from the creed.

Both Obama and Trump came to power promising to end the endless wars – “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” (Obama 2002) For the money spent in the Middle East the U.S. got nothing (Trump 2017). But the wars, the bombing, the droning continue and now Trump has added sanctions and cyberattacks to the mix. As Adams feared, once America goes looking for monsters abroad, monsters it will find. And always another after those.

And then the monsters follow you home. Despite the Obama administration’s success at making America’s foreign wars invisible to ordinary voters, the wars have been delivered to their local police departments. They have received billions of dollars of military equipment originally acquired to destroy foreign monsters. The result is – as the current spate of riots in America shows – that American police are virtually indistinguishable from American soldiers. Does dressing like a soldier make you act like a soldier? Have the citizens of America become monsters to destroy? Perhaps they are – police killed over a thousand Americans last year.

The monster-destroying has turned on America itself and is tearing the country apart. The favored candidate lost the election and blamed Russia – now everyone is told he must either agree that Russia is a monster or undergo being called dupe of that monster. “The Interagency”, formed for the monster wars, nearly got rid of a president.

Adams’ monsters roam America and the left obsesses over some lump of bronze or the label on a toilet door.

* John Quincy Adams is the pseudonym of a contributor who believes that the USA in particular and the West in general have lost their way and are heading for the rubbish tip of history.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments

US-Backed Coup Gov’t in Bolivia Suspends Elections for Third Time

By Alan Macleod | MintPress News | July 24, 2020

Amid a rapidly worsening COVID-19 pandemic, Bolivia’s coup government has once again suspended much-anticipated elections that were due to be held on September 6. This is the third time the administration of Jeanine Añez has postponed them because of the virus, setting a new date for October 18.

The move has drawn condemnation from both left and right, but for different reasons. MintPress’ Ollie Vargas, who covered events from inside the country since last year’s November 10 coup, was dismayed, announcing:

Bolivia’s unelected coup regime has extended it’s illegitimate power by canceling elections once again. When we get to October they’ll invent another reason to postpone, then another, till they’ve found a buyer for the lithium & other natural resources. This is a dictatorship.

Former President Evo Morales of the Movement to Socialism (MAS) party agreed, stating that “The de facto government wants to gain more time to continue the persecution of social leaders and against MAS candidates. It’s yet another form of persecution. That’s why they don’t want elections on September 6.” Meanwhile, coup leader Fernando Camacho rejected the new date, demanding elections be scrapped altogether, a position shared by the far-right Santa Cruz “Civic Committee.”

Morales was reelected in October for another five year term. A popular president, he reduced poverty by half and extreme poverty by three quarters, while increasing the (inflation-adjusted) per capita GDP by 50 percent in his 13 years in office. He managed this primarily through a series of nationalizations of the country’s key industries and by expelling the predatory International Monetary Fund (IMF) from Bolivia. But in November, the military and police intervened, demanding he resign. Today he lives in exile in Argentina. Nevertheless, the latest polls show that the MAS candidate Luis Arce, who served as Morales’ finance minister, would win the election outright on the first ballot if it were held today. Arce accused Añez of using the pandemic as a pretext to extend her rule.

From popular mandate to elitist candidate

A little-known senator from a party that received only just four percent of the vote in October, Añez was handpicked by the military to become the new president. A strongly Christian conservative who described the country’s indigenous majority as “satanic,” she arrived to take her new place in government clutching an oversized bible. She enjoyed the support of the country’s elite, the U.S. government, and the entire spectrum of corporate media, who cheered the events as they happened. The new administration immediately began to suppress and criminalize dissent, including massacring protesters who objected to the takeover. Despite leading in the polls, the MAS have been suppressed, with many of their leaders jailed or facing dubious charges. Morales himself faces life in prison for “terrorism” if he sets foot in his country again.

Añez has also overseen the selling off of the country’s national resources, including in the hydrocarbon industry, and has completely reoriented its foreign policy to align with the United States. She has also begun working with the IMF, taking out a $327 million loan in April. The U.S. government strongly backed Añez from the beginning; three days after the coup the State Department released an official communiqué “applauding” her for “leading her nation” through a “democratic transition.”

The stated reason for the postponement of the elections is the country’s continued inability to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Supreme Electoral Tribunal President Salvador Romero said the move was necessary to keep Bolivia’s hospitals and cemeteries from collapsing under the strain of the increased deaths. “This election requires the highest possible health security measures to protect the health of Bolivians,” he said. One reason why the country’s medical system is under such pressure is that Añez expelled hundreds of Cuban doctors working primarily with the country’s poorest people, leading to closures of hospitals and health clinics. While Bolivia has officially reported 65,000 cases and 2,407 deaths, some believe those figures could be an underestimate. This week, police said they recovered 420 dead bodies from streets, vehicles and homes in La Paz and Santa Cruz. In June, Añez herself tested positive for COVID-19.

In response to the delayed elections, Bolivian trade unions have given the government 72 hours to reverse the decision, threatening “indefinite mobilizations” to restore democracy. Thus, it appears that even after eight months of constant political struggle, tensions could be about to be increased once again.

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , | 1 Comment

‘Very serious threats’: US reportedly ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors

RT | July 26, 2020

The US government has made further attempts to force European firms to ditch the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing people familiar with talks on the issue.

According to the newspaper, officials from US Department of State, the Treasury Department, as well as the Department of Energy approached European contractors to make sure they fully understand the consequences of staying in the project. Up to a dozen officials reportedly held at least two online conferences with representatives of the firms in recent days.

Speaking in a “friendly” manner, the US side stressed that it wanted to prevent completion of Nord Stream 2, observers of the online talks said. “I believe the threat is very, very serious,” one of them revealed to the German outlet.

Those threats are consistent with comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, in which he warned that companies involved in the project had better “get out now” or risk facing penalties under Section 232 of the notorious Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Apart from Russia’s energy major Gazprom, which is developing the project, five European companies have joined. Those are France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Wintershall and Germany’s Uniper.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, the latter called US attempts to undermine the “important infrastructure project” a clear intervention into European sovereignty.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, meant to expand US sanctions on companies involved in installing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to one of the sponsors of the bill, the measures can target companies facilitating or providing vessels, insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, as well as to those providing certification for Nord Stream 2.

Both European businesses and government officials have repeatedly decried US attempts to meddle in European energy policy by sanctioning Nord Stream 2, with some even calling on Brussels to work on countermeasures.

Moscow has also lambasted Washington’s move, calling it unfair competition. Earlier this week, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will develop a new strategy for completion of the project if Washington proceeds with new punitive measures.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | 1 Comment

Slate: The First Undeniable Climate Change Deaths

By Eric Worrall | Watts Up With That? | July 25, 2020

When record breaking cold occurs it is just weather, but according to Slate, climate attribution, the science of retrofitting explanations to unusual weather events after they happened, can demonstrate that a single unusual heatwave is evidence of climate change.

The First Undeniable Climate Change Deaths

In 2018 in Japan, more than 1,000 people died during an unprecedented heat wave. In 2019, scientists proved it would have been impossible without global warming.

By DANIEL MERINO JULY 23, 20205:45 AM

uly 23, 2018, was a day unlike any seen before in Japan. It was the peak of a weekslong heat wave that smashed previous temperature records across the historically temperate nation. The heat started on July 9, on farms and in cities that only days earlier were fighting deadly rains, mudslides, and floods. As the waters receded, temperatures climbed. By July 15, 200 of the 927 weather stations in Japan recorded temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius, about 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher. Food and electricity prices hit multiyear highs as the power grid and water resources were pushed to their limits. Tens of thousands of people were hospitalized due to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. On Monday, July 23, the heat wave reached its zenith. The large Tokyo suburb of Kumagaya was the epicenter, and around 3 p.m., the Kumagaya Meteorological Observatory measured a temperature of 41.1 degrees Celsius, or 106 F. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded in Japan, but the record was more than a statistic. It was a tragedy: Over the course of those few weeks, more than a thousand people died from heat-related illnesses.

On July 24, the day after the peak of the heat wave, the Japan Meteorological Agency declared it a natural disaster. A disaster it was. But a natural one? Not so much.

In early 2019, researchers at the Japan Meteorological Agency started looking into the circumstances that had caused the unprecedented, deadly heat wave. They wanted to consider it through a relatively new lens—through the young branch of meteorology called attribution science, which allows researchers to directly measure the impact of climate change on individual extreme weather events. Attribution science, at its most basic, calculates how likely an extreme weather event is in today’s climate-changed world and compares that with how likely a similar event would be in a world without anthropogenic warming. Any difference between those two probabilities can be attributed to climate change.

Read more: https://slate.com/technology/2020/07/climate-change-deaths-japan-2018-heat-wave.html

The Slate article quotes Yukiko Imada of the Japan Meteorological Agency. The abstract of Yukiko Imada’s study;

The July 2018 High Temperature Event in Japan Could Not Have Happened without Human-Induced Global Warming

Yukiko ImadaMasahiro WatanabeHiroaki KawaseHideo ShiogamaMiki Arai

The high temperature event in July 2018 caused record-breaking human damage throughout Japan. Large-ensemble historical simulations with a high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model showed that the occurrence rate of this event under the condition of external forcings in July 2018 was approximately 20%. This high probability was a result of the high-pressure systems both in the upper and lower troposphere in July 2018. The event attribution approach based on the large-ensemble simulations with and without human-induced climate change indicated the following: (1) The event would never have happened without anthropogenic global warming. (2) The strength of the two-tiered high-pressure systems was also at an extreme level and at least doubled the level of event probability, which was independent of global warming. Moreover, a set of the large-ensemble dynamically downscaled outputs revealed that the mean annual occurrence of extremely hot days in Japan will be expected to increase by 1.8 times under a global warming level of 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Read more: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/15A/0/15A_15A-002/_article/-char/ja/

Climate attribution science would be a little more believable if it could predict unusual events in advance, say give a year or two warning that Japan was about to suffer an extreme heatwave. Providing explanations of events which have already happened does not demonstrate skill.

July 26, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment