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Who Rules America? The illusion of Self Rule

By Greg Felton | Institute for Political Economy | January 22, 2020

A government, whatever its nature, rules as an imperial power over its people. The surest way to exercise this control is to prop up the illusion that it acts in the public interest. Paul Craig Roberts and Alvin Rabushka spelled out this salient fact in the March 1973 issue of Public Choice, in their article “A Diagrammatic Exposition of an Economic Theory of Imperialism,” and what they wrote is no less relevant today.

The act of voting is one of the props that sustains the delusion of self-rule. People do vote, but the candidates are decided by the oligarchy of organized interest groups. This is also the conclusion of a 2014 study by Princeton University professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page about the extent to which U.S. government policy reflects public preferences. Gilens and Page found that voters are, to all intents and purposes, irrelevant to their own “democratic” government:

“[The] preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy . . . Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it” (Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 575, 76).

Instead of representing the common interest of the people, government answers to organized interest groups. Gilens and Page cite the dominance over policy of special interests who use public policy to serve their interests rather than the public’s. We see the effects of this plutocracy in the sharp rise in the inequality of income and wealth, a gap which has grown into a chasm.

Gilens and Page’s analysis of the Unelected Plutocracy of America is on the money, but their understanding of the threat to America’s democracy does not consider foreign policy, which is partly, if not largely, in the hands of a foreign country—Israel. It is not enough to lay the decline of American democracy at the feet of vested interests such as Wall Street, big banks, and the military–security complex, because it is not in their interest to have the government pursue foreign policy contrary to the national interest.

But operating contrary to the national interest is precisely what Washington has been doing. In the 21st century, Washington has squandered trillions of dollars on military aggression. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel have been killed, maimed or driven to suicide. The U.S. has derived no benefit from provoking the enmity of Muslim people, bullying NATO allies into abetting this belligerence or persecuting those who expose associated crimes. Even Donald Trump, who ran for the presidency on ending wasteful wars of aggression, continues this self-inflicted economic and political harm, most recently by waging economic war against Iran and sabre-rattling to provoke a shooting war.

The Trump administration is a continuation of decades of Washington’s kowtowing to the Israel Lobby. To appreciate the lack of independence of US foreign policy requires an act of intellectual courage, but few Americans are equipped for the trauma of knowing the truth. To borrow from The Matrix, not many are willing to take the “red pill” to see the reality behind the controlled explanation. “Blue pill” existence comes with a ready-made worldview based on controlled explanations in which believers find comfort, meaning and belonging. Anything that challenges this illusion, is discounted as conspiracy theory or anti-semitism.  Comforting beliefs can take precedence over US national interests.

To “take the red pill” requires an inquisitive mind to reject illusion and to question fundamental assumptions. If it is irrational for a democratic state like the U.S. to harm its own people, damage its own economy and invite hostility by provoking needless wars, perhaps the U.S. is not really a democratic state and not really in charge of its own policy. From an American standpoint, the seemingly inexplicable acts of U.S. belligerence and punishment of those who pose no threat to America can be understood as the consequence of permitting Israeli money and influence to shape US foreign policy in the Middle East and to some extent elsewhere if it bears on Israeli interests.

The U.S. that was founded in 1776 is not the same U.S. that exists today. The founding fathers warned against foreign entanglements, but Washington has sought entanglement. Since the late 1940s, the U.S. has gotten entangled in the service of Israel’s interests. The importance of Israel’s interest to U.S. foreign policy has been elevated by a pervasive Christian prejudice, in which Jews are seen as religiously kindred and Muslims as religiously hostile.

In 1948 President Harry Truman took an infamous $2 million election campaign bribe from an American Zionist to support the creation of Israel. By doing so Truman became midwife to an ongoing war crime that has resulted in Washington aiding and abetting Israel’s theft of Palestine. Washington blackmailed and intimidated several UN delegations into supporting the 1947 partition of Palestine. For a country that boasted of its commitment to democracy and support for the UN Charter, Washington’s conduct made no sense. However, if one recognizes that Washington was acting in behalf of Israel, it becomes understandable.

With a foothold gained from Truman’s electoral opportunism, the domestic Israel Lobby gradually gained influence over the U.S. government to the point that today Washington serves Israel’s interest without thinking of its impact on US national interests and without regard to the adverse effects on American interests or those of other people.

After years of Washington’s growing service to Israel, President George H.W. Bush tried to pull back. President Bush thought that he could bring about a final peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinian leadership in Madrid based on “land for peace.”

Bush’s assertion of foreign policy independence infuriated Israel, which proceeded to stage overt and covert attacks on Bush. The overt attack occurred on Feb. 26, 1992, when the domestic Israeli pressure group calling itself, absurdly, the “The Committee on U.S. Interests in the Middle East,” took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to excoriate Bush for “pressuring” Israel to enter into negotiations. Its signatories included neoconservative Israel-firsters like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and Elliott Abrams.

According to a former Mossad agent, the covert attack took the form of a planned assassination of President Bush. Victor Ostrovsky in his book, By Way of Deception (pp. 281-282), writes that on Oct. 1, 1992, he received a nervous call from Ephraim, a Mossad officer of his acquaintance, who opposed the assassination: “They’re out to kill Bush… I mean really kill, as in ‘assassinate.’… during the Madrid peace talks.” Ephraim asked Ostrovsky to leak the plot in hopes the American government would act to prevent it. Ostrovsky did so in an Oct. 1, 1992, speech in Ottawa. From there, the leak made its way to former California congressman Pete McCloskey, the Secret Service, the State Department, the CIA, the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, and finally the press. The assassination was called off.

Bush’s assertion of independence from Israel resulted in Israel’s meddling in the 1992 presidential election which cost Bush re-election and marked the last time that a U.S. president would dare challenge Israel’s self-proclaimed right to murder, torture, dispossess and displace Palestinians.

The eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency saw a consolidation of Israel’s power over Washington. Clinton showed his willingness to act in Israel’s interest by agreeing to set amounts of aid to Israel––imperial tribute in the view of some––even before he was sworn in as president. It was the Clinton administration that responded to Israeli pressure for action against Iraq by creating the illegal no-fly zones over Iraq, which caused the death of 500,000 Iraqi children. When asked about this by a reporter, Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said, “the price was worth it.” In other words, the death of a half a million Iraqi children served American and Israeli interests.

Israel’s influence over US foreign policy reached a zenith with George W. Bush. In the name of the “war on terror,” that is, the war on Israel’s enemies, the Bush regime subverted the US Constitution. The Bush government was filled with neoconservatives associated with the Project for a New American Century. The PATRIOT Act, drafted, according to his own admission three weeks prior to the events of September 11, 2001, by neoconservative Philip Zelikow, who later headed up the 9/11 Commission, became law despite the US Congress having no time to read and discuss the tyrannical legislation before passing it. The fact that a draft of the PATRIOT Act existed prior to 9/11 raises many questions. The passage of the act told Americans that Muslims were such a threat that Americans would have to accept  infringements on their civil liberties. President Bush made that even more clear when he announced that he was setting aside the US Constitution and suspending habeas corpus.

During the Obama administration Israel dramatically demonstrated its power over the US government when the US Congress intervened in the dispute between Obama and Netanyahu over whose power was supreme in American politics, the power of the American president or Israel’s. Repudiating their own president, Congress invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of the House and Senate and responded to Netanyahu with many standing ovations.

Trump has perpetuated Israeli control over US foreign policy. Trump broke universal policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He gave Syria’s Golan Heights to Israel, which was not Trump’s to give. He cut off aid to Palestine. He accepted Israel’s policy of illegally incorporating occupied Palestine into Israel.

Trump’s appointment of Project for a New American Century Zionist David Wurmser, an architect of Washington’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, is the latest indication that Israel continues to dominate American policy in the Middle East. According to a report in Mint Press News, Trump admitted that his belligerence toward Iran is driven by Israeli, not U.S., interests.

Trump’s subservience to Israel brings into focus the famous words of Patrick Buchanan, Washington is “Israeli occupied territory.”


Greg Felton is the author of The Host & The Parasite––How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America, 3rd edition, available from thehostandtheparasite.com.

January 24, 2020 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 26 Comments

Launch of “A Belgian Perspective on International Affairs”

By Gilbert Doctorow | November 24, 2019

I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest collection of essays. The capsule description of the book carried on the pages of internet booksellers is as follows

“The essays in this book deal with major political, social and cultural events primarily in Europe and Russia during the period 2017 – 2019 in which the author was a participant or eyewitness and has personal impressions to share. Several of the essays are drawn from other genres including travel notes, public lectures and reviews of particularly insightful books on key issues of our times like immigration, Liberalism and war with Russia that have not received the broad public exposure they merit.”

However, there is much more to the story that has relevance to its potential readers set out in the Foreword shown below, starting with the several layers of nuance in the title itself.

Foreword

The title of this book has been chosen with care and a few introductory words of explanation are owed to the reader.

First, the notion of a “Belgian perspective” on international affairs may on its own seem peculiar. In what way, one might ask, can little Belgium, with its population of around 12 million have a perspective that is unique and worthy of consideration? In the same vein, what perspective on foreign affairs in general can a lesser Member State of the European Union have when the most powerful Member State, Germany, denies that it has an independent foreign policy and defers to Brussels, specifically to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who, formally, holds sole responsibility for these matters on behalf of the 500 million plus people from 28 nations? Indeed, in a recent interview relating to the publication of his latest book, the octogenarian former prime minister of Belgium Marc Eyskens pointed out that the rise of the EU Institutions has left national governments with a substantially reduced level of sovereignty and competence comparable to that of a major city rather than of a country.

Meanwhile and in parallel, as the seat of both the NATO headquarters near the Zaventem Airport and of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium marches in lock-step with its US-led allies. Belgium’s mainstream media, both television and print media, traditionally support whatever policy line comes from the EU Institutions and NATO.

There have been rare exceptions to this solemn loyalty to the consensus. In particular, in the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Belgium was one of the three “Old Europe” nations, alongside France and Germany, that joined Russia in openly rejecting US policy. For this the nation’s Prime Minister at the time, Guy Verhofstadt, paid dearly, being disqualified from appointment to head the EU Commission, for which he was a leading candidate at the time.

But the aforementioned facts constraining the political elites of Belgium are by no means imperative for Belgian society as a whole. Indeed, as I detail in several essays in this collection, at both ends of society, the high end in their dinner jackets and at the mass, man-in-the-street level, there is very little sympathy for the official foreign and defense policies and a lot of free-thinking going on.

All of which brings us to the question of who is the Belgian whose perspective is set out in this tome. The simple and direct answer is that I am that Belgian.

Readers of my articles posted in various platforms on the internet have seen me described in the past as an American and long-time resident of Brussels. Both statements were and are correct. However, in August 2017 I also became a naturalized Belgian. This ‘second birth’ was more than seven years in gestation. After its successful culmination, I found myself increasingly involved in intra-Belgian, intra-European politics. Consequently, I have written with greater frequency on issues that are specific to the Old Continent. By their nature, these articles have not been picked up and disseminated via the internet platforms based in the United States by which readers know me best. Moreover, in my new guise I have written some of these articles or speeches in French so as to better reach prospective readers around me where I live and practice politics. These materials are also republished in this volume.

Notwithstanding the new elements, as in my preceding three collections of “nonconformist” essays published between 2013 and 2017, the major part of my writings is focused on present-day Russia and its relations with the United States and Europe. Russia is my main field of interest and expertise coming both from book learning and from life experience as a frequent visitor to the country over many decades and also as someone who has both lived and worked there for eight years beginning in 1994. That is something very few of our commentators in the West can say before they launch into ill-informed vitriolic attacks on the “Putin regime” and Russians as a people.

Since all of the essays presented here have been published on the internet in one way or another, it is legitimate to ask what is the added value of republishing them as a book. There are several answers to that question, ranging from the superficial but adequate to an answer that goes to the heart of how I see my social role in writing these pieces.

The superficial but adequate explanation is that everything is transient, nothing more so than the internet, where  digital platforms are here today, gone tomorrow, where even one’s own blog site lasts no longer than the latest annual fees payment. And while e-books may be no more durable than the publishing company maintaining and distributing the digital files, physical books deposited in libraries will be accessible to the curious public and to researchers as long as the human race continues on its way, which may or may not be eons depending on your degree of pessimism inspired by this and similar works by my fellow “dissidents” on international affairs.

The deeper explanation is that influencing public opinion towards détente, towards self-preservation and away from confrontation with Russia that can easily end in catastrophe presently does not appear to be actionable. This is so for banal but understandable reasons that have to do firstly with the way the United States is governed internally and secondly how the United States rules over “the free world.”

Over the past twenty years or more, repeated polls taken by Pew and other research institutions have shown that the American public does not support foreign military adventures or a world gendarme role for their country. However, the political establishment pays no heed whatsoever to this clear disposition of the electorate just as the views of the electorate on a great many other issues are ignored by Congress and by the Executive branch. This follows from the financial dimension of getting and staying in power. By campaign funding and lobbying, a tiny number of exceedingly wealthy individuals and corporations effectively make policy at the federal level, and accommodation with the world is not on their agenda.

Meanwhile, whether as a result of awareness of their powerlessness or for other reasons, the broad American public is apathetic as concerns foreign policy. People just don’t want to disturb their peace of mind by contemplating the aggressive, bullying behavior of their government on the international stage. “Our boys” are not being killed abroad in significant numbers. The budgeted military expenses of the USA are being financed by others who buy Washington’s Treasury notes. There is nothing to force a reckoning with what is being done in the name of America abroad. Least of all, with respect to Russia, which has taken with surprising equanimity the sanctions and other punishments meted out to them over their alleged bad conduct in Ukraine and Syria, over their alleged meddling in American and European elections. The notion that the West might be crossing their red lines at some point, that the economic and informational war might spill over into kinetic war that escalates quickly – such thoughts could not be further from the minds of people in the States or in Western Europe, including those who take a real interest in public affairs and think they are au courant.

This is not to say that the essays published here and similar writings by my comrades-in-arms have no readers. On the contrary, our works are republished by portals other than our own. They are referenced on social networks and attract considerable numbers of “hits,” meaning individual readers. Some of the essays in this book have reached an audience numbering in the tens of thousands. But so far the dry residue of this relative success remains inconsequential. No broad-based political movement championing my/our principles of détente has emerged. There are no demonstrations on behalf of peace, while there are American and worldwide demonstrations to fight for renewable energy and for programs to combat climate change, or to fight for gender issues and equality of pay.

So, why write? why publish?

This takes us to the question of self-definition and social role.

We are living through Dark Ages today, notwithstanding all the technical achievements of our science and technology and advanced medicine. At the moral, social and political levels, these are bleak times when “progressive” values trample upon traditional moral and ethical, not to mention religious values, when freedom of expression and other civil liberties have been gutted for the sake of public security and to serve demagogic purposes.

In this context, these writings are intended to be an eyewitness account of the prevailing moral and political decadence for the edification of those in future generations who will have their own battles to fight to safeguard cultural traditions and freedoms. In assuming this role of a chronicler, I seek to continue the work of those who passed this way half a century ago or more and who left behind their own writings of the day, which gave me spiritual encouragement and purpose when I came across them.

At the same time, I do not abandon the hope that my compatriots in America and now also in Europe will come to their senses and explore these writings and the writings of my fellow dissidents to find an antidote to the propaganda about the recent past and present being dispensed by government, by mainstream media and by all too many scholars in the field.

One straw in the wind was a July 2019 editorial in the hawkish, till now fanatically anti-Russian New York Times calling for a rapprochement with Russia before that country aligns definitively with China and recreates a global threat to American interests. Or I refer to the publication of an article co-authored by former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn in the September-October edition of Foreign Affairs magazine, another standard bearer of U.S. hegemony, stating in detail the existential risks we incur by having cut lines of communication with Russia and by entering into a new, uncontrolled arms race with that country. As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Armed Services from 1987 to 1995, he was a leading figure in arms control negotiations. In the new millennium, Nunn has been one of the generally recognized “wise men” in the American political establishment, alongside Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and James Baker.

There is also an impulse for optimism coming from the latest declarations of French President Emanuel Macron, who is striving to assume leadership of the European Union’s policy agenda now that control is slipping from the hands of Germany’s Iron Lady, Angela Merkel in the waning days of her chancellorship. In his speech to French ambassadors following the conclusion of the G7 summit meeting in Biarritz on the weekend of 24-25 August, Macron stated very clearly that Europe must put an end to its policy of marginalizing and ostracizing Russia because the Old Continent needs to work cooperatively with Moscow if it is not to become a powerless bystander to the growing conflict between the United States and China.

Such signs of sobriety and concern for self-preservation suggest that all is not lost in the cause of détente.

For those who have not read my earlier works, I repeat here that my essays are often devoted to major events of the day, but are not systematic or comprehensive. I wrote only when I believed that I had a unique perspective, often from my direct participation in the event as actor or firsthand witness. I have not taken up subjects where all of my peers were piled up on the line or were basing themselves on secondary sources. I consider my own writings to be primary sources in an extended, autobiographical genre.

However, they do not constitute pure autobiography. That is something I am writing in parallel in a book devoted to Russia in the wild 1990s, which I saw at ground level as the country General Manager working from offices in Moscow and St Petersburg for a succession of major international producers of consumer goods and services.

* * * *

On-line bookseller Amazon has been fastest off the mark posting the book for sale in hardbound, paperback and e-book formats through its global network of websites including amazon.com, amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.com.au, plus others in Latin America and Asia. Amazon competitor in the U.S. market, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, also offers all three formats. Both websites provide a ‘look inside’ option, facilitating browsing. For e-book purchasers in Europe, an alternative and cheaper vendor is http://www.bol.com. For U.S. purchasers, the least expensive vendors of the e-book at this moment are Barnes & Noble and the publisher’s own online bookstore: https://www.authorhouse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/805594-a-belgian-perspective-on-international-affairs

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2019

December 8, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Global Giants: American Empire and Transnational Capital

Maximilian C. Forte review of Giants: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips (Introduction by William I. Robinson). New York: Seven Stories Press, 2018. LCCN 2018017493; ISBN 9781609808716 (pbk.); ISBN 9781609808723 (ebook); 353 pps.

Giants: The Global Power Elite, by Peter M. Phillips, Professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University, opens with a stated intention of following in the tradition C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite. This book is clearly meant to be a contemporary update and expansion of Mills’ work, such that the “power elite” now becomes the global power elite (GPE) in Phillips’ volume—and central to the idea of a global power elite is the transnational capitalist class that was at the core of the theorization of Leslie Sklair. One of the most important features of this book, in my view, is that it overcomes the unproductive dichotomy that continues to silently inform many academic and political debates on this question: is the contemporary world order one dominated by US imperialism or transnational capital? Phillips’ answer is productive (even if I do not entirely agree): transnational capital has acquired US power and uses the power of the US state to further its aims, protect its interests, and enforce its agenda. Where I differ, the difference is a relatively slight matter of emphasis: Phillips’ model is largely correct, but it is also important to remember that the wealthiest, most numerous, and most powerful membership of the “transnational” capitalist class is in fact American.

Aside from this, Phillips reveals how even now mere mention of the “transnational capitalist class” is obscured in mainstream corporate media coverage. As he points out: “the concept of a global transnational capitalist class is essentially completely absent from corporate news coverage in the United States and Europe” (p. 62).

The centrepiece of this work is its detailed exposition of the 389 individuals who constitute the core of “the policy planning nongovernmental networks that manage, facilitate, and protect the continued concentration of global capital” (p. 10).

I am thankful to the author for providing me with a free copy of this text, so that this review could be written. I have also assigned one of the chapters as required reading in one of my recent courses (DeGlobalization & the Nation), and thus I also have the benefit of feedback from students on some of the book’s key contents.

Chapters—Contents

The Preface to the volume effectively summarizes the key contents of the book and outlines its principal arguments. It was not prepared as a mere formality, and is worth reading on its own.

The Introduction, “Who Rules the World?” was written by William I. Robinson, one of the leading scholars today on the topic of the transnational capitalist class.

Chapter 1, “Transnational Capitalist Class Power Elite: A Seventy-Year History,” aims at explaining the “transition from the nation state power elites described by Mills to a transnational power elite centralized on the control of global capital around the world”. In this chapter Phillips traces the development of the concept of global power elites from the work of C. Wright Mills, through to Leslie Sklair, William Robinson, William Carroll and even David Rothkopf. While the author also invokes “shadow elites,” he does not mention the work of Janine Wedel in this regard. Phillips also provides a detailed outline of the nature of global wealth inequality, ranging from the control of wealth by a few, to over-accumulation, and starvation. In addition to the preface, this is the chapter that makes the central arguments of the book.

Chapter 2, “The Global Financial Giants: The Central Core of Global Capitalism,” identifies the 17 global financial giants—money management firms that control more than one trillion dollars in capital. As these firms invest in each other, and many smaller firms, the interlocked capital that they manage surpasses $41 trillion (which amounts to about 16% of the world’s total wealth). The 17 global financial giants are led by 199 directors. This chapter details how these financial giants have pushed for global privatization of virtually everything, in order to stimulate growth to absorb excess capital. The financial giants are supported by a wide array of institutions: “governments, intelligence services, policymakers, universities, police forces, militaries, and corporate media all work in support of their vital interests” (p. 60).

Chapter 3, “Managers: The Global Power Elite of the Financial Giants,” largely consists of the detailed profiles of the 199 financial managers just mentioned.

Chapter 4, “Facilitators: The Power Elite Policy Planning Center of the Transnational Capitalist Class,” examines the membership of two non-governmental Global Elite policy-planning organizations: the Group of Thirty and the Trilateral Commission. The chapter also goes into some depth in related organizations, such as the Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations. Detailed profiles of the directors of the G30 are included in this chapter, as well as profiles of the members of the Trilateral Commission Executive Group.

Chapter 5, “Protectors: The Power Elite and the US Military NATO Empire, Intelligence Agencies, and Private Military Companies,” focuses on the power of “the US/NATO military empire”. As Phillips explains, the US/NATO functions as a “transnational military police state” that operates in nearly every country in the world, and, “threatens nations that do not fully cooperate with global capital with covert activities, regime change, and heavy negative propaganda” (p. 12). Phillips also examines how the global Giants, “invest in war making as a method of using surplus capital for a guaranteed return, with an increasing use of private military/security companies for protection of Global Power Elites and their wealth” (p. 12). Detailed profiles of the 35 members of the Atlantic Council Executive Committee form part of this chapter. This chapter also examines “Private Military Contractors,” focusing on Blackwater and G4S.

Chapter 6, “Ideologists: Corporate Media and Public Relations Propaganda Firms,” concentrates on the extensive investment by the Giants in corporate media and their expanding “use of public relations propaganda companies in the news systems of the world” (p. 13). The six major global media organizations The chapter this focuses on the six leading global media organizations, and how they offer ideological justification for corporate capitalism while censoring contrary perspectives. As Phillips explains early in his book:

“We have a media system that seeks to control all aspects of human thinking and promotes continued consumption and compliance. The dominant ideological message from corporate media today is that the continued growth of the economy will offer trickle-down benefits to all humans and save the planet”. (p.13)

One outstanding fact that is presented at the start of this chapter is that, “corporate media receive anywhere from two thirds to 80 percent of their broadcast and print news content from public relations and propaganda (PRP) firms” (p. 263). Since only a handful of media companies monopolize the world market of information distribution, this fact reveals a monumental bullhorn in the hands of the transnational capitalist class (p. 265). This chapter also informs us that, in the US, the number of media companies has declined from 50 in the early 1980s to just six today, and that 98% of all US cities are served by only one daily newspaper (p. 264).

This chapter also provides detailed profiles of the major media and public relations firms in the US, along with discussion of some of their noteworthy international interventions. In addition, the chapter discusses propaganda and the “engineering of consent”.

Chapter 7, “Facing the Juggernaut: Democracy Movements and Resistance,” offers “a summary and what-needs-to-be-done statement” (p. 13), that emphasizes what needs to be done to reform the system, in very broad terms, with a return to the principles outlined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The books ends with a postscript which amounts to a letter to the Global Power Elites “asking them to consider future generations when making decisions regarding global capital, and urging them to take corrective action before more serious and inevitable unrest and environmental devastation take effect” (p. 13).

“Global Power Elites”: the Transnational Capitalist Class

Phillips describes the Global Power Elite as follows:

“The Global Power Elite function as a nongovernmental network of similarly educated wealthy people with common interests of managing, facilitating, and protecting concentrated global wealth and insuring the continued growth of capital. Global Power Elites influence and use international institutions controlled by governmental authorities—namely, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), NATO, World Trade Organization (WTO), G7, G20, and many others”. (p. 9)

Therefore what Phillips indirectly points to here is the growing recognition of the fact that, far from the promised obsolescence of the state, globalization has not only been enacted by states, the power of certain states has in fact increased. On the other hand, he apparently endorses Robinson’s claim that nation-states have become, “little more than population containment zones,” while “the real power lies with the decision makers who control global capital” (p. 26). Both propositions are unconvincing: first, populations are clearly not being contained; second, if states matter so little, and the real decision-makers are global capitalists, then why do the latter need states?

Indeed, Phillips appears to be of two minds on this question. He does note, for example: “The World Bank, IMF, G7, G20, WTO, Financial Stability Board, and Bank for International Settlements are institutions controlled by nation-state representatives and central bankers with proportional power/control exercised by dominant financial supporters, primarily the United States and European Union countries” (p. 161). Critical institutions of the global capitalist system are themselves state institutions. Clearly then, states are a lot more than just population containers. The shaky narrative of this book is a product of an underlying theoretical lack of clarity.

Global Power Elites, as Phillips explains, “are the activist core of the Transnational Capitalist Class—1 percent of the world’s wealthy people—who serve the uniting function of providing ideological justifications for their shared interests and establishing the parameters of needed actions for implementation by transnational governmental organizations” (p. 10). They should therefore not be confused with all elites, nor apparently with elite technocrats who serve in government but who are not among the world’s wealthiest people. The GPEs also apparently exclude the lobbyists, academics, media and think tank members who constitute a large part of what Janine R. Wedel describes as flexible “influence elites,” in her own updating of Mills’ work on elites (see “From Power Elites to Influence Elites: Resetting Elite Studies for the 21st Century” in the special issue of Theory, Culture & Society on Elites and Power after Financialization).

What unites the members of the GPEs are common interests and backgrounds. They tend to interact with each other regularly, and a wide range of mutually reinforcing organizations. It can come down to sharing the same university affiliations and membership in social clubs—“It is certainly safe to conclude they all know each other personally or know of each other in the shared context of their positions of power” (p. 11). Elsewhere in the book, these transnational elites are described as effectively forming a club: “interacting families of high social standing with similar lifestyles, corporate affiliations, and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools” (p. 22). “The power elite policy groups inside the Transnational Capitalist Class,” Phillips observes, “are made up of persons with shared educational experiences, similar lifestyles, and common ideologies” (p. 214). The degree of commonality among the elites studied in this book is striking:

“One hundred thirty-six of the 199 power elite managers (70 percent) are male. Eighty-four percent are whites of European descent. The 199 power elite managers hold 147 graduate degrees, including 59 MBAs, 22 JDs, 23 PhDs, and 35 MA/MS degrees. Almost all have attended elite private colleges, with 28 attending Harvard or Stanford”. (p. 62)

Of those same 199 individuals, 59% are from the US; many of the 199 are dual citizens; and, “they live in or interact regularly in a number of the world’s great cities: New York City, Chicago, London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, and Singapore” (p. 63). Of the same 199 global financial directors, 69 have attended the World Economic Forum (p. 147).

Less convincing was William Robinson’s assertion, in the Introduction to the book, that suggests that national capitalists have effectively vanished. Presumably they metamorphosed into a transnational capitalist class, and for that reason Mills’ work needs to be updated (p. 17). What was missing here then was a golden opportunity to reflect on the fractious breakup of the dominant elites into a diminished and angered national capitalist faction in opposition to the transnationalist faction. That alone could have done more to explain the rise of Trump, as a champion of national capital, than resorting to facile ideological truisms about “populism”. Unfortunately, Robinson is destined to continue missing this, as elsewhere he quickly rushed to assert that Trump himself was a leading representative of the transnational capitalist class—and it was as unconvincing as it was misleading. Even worse, Robinson risks reducing “transnational capitalist class” to something like “fascist”: a term of abuse, with limited explanatory power. Unlike Robinson’s comments in this book, Phillips seems much more attuned to the reality of factions that exist even among the global power elites (p. 23).

Phillips describes the world’s top billionaires as “similar to colonial plantation owners” (p. 21), which can be a useful way for conceptualizing Western power structures as they have developed over the past five centuries. Phillips thus points to the UK’s Barclays Bank as an example of the colonial heritage at work today: “Barclays Bank [is] the number-one most connected firm. Barclays is a 300-year-old banking company founded in 1690 in London. Barclays grew with the expansion of the British Empire and now offers services in more than 50 countries and territories, serving some 49 million clients” (p. 79)

Transnational capitalists work through an array of institutions such as, “the World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, the G20, G7, World Economic Forum, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Bank for International Settlements,” among others (p. 25). This book also cites the The Handbook of Transnational Governance (2011) which “lists 52 trans-governmental networks, arbitration bodies, multi-stakeholder initiatives (with internet cooperation), and voluntary regulation groups (fair labor/trade associations)” as key bodies of the transnational capitalist class. It’s not clear why, if their interests and agendas are shared in common, they would need so many multilateral international organizations—at the very least it would seem to be an inefficient diffusion of effort.

The other question is, if the global power elites discussed in this book control/manage a total of about $41 trillion, and the world’s total wealth is estimated at $255 trillion, then that would mean the global power elites in fact control a minority share of global wealth (roughly 16%). Then who owns or controls the other 84%? Elsewhere in the book it is revealed that “147 companies controlled some 40 percent of the world’s wealth” (p. 36). Then the question becomes: who controls the remaining 60%? Also, is control the same thing as ownership? Later the book informs us that, “in excess of $74 trillion of inter-invested centralized capital” is controlled by 69 cross-invested firms (p. 49). This would mean that they control just over 29% of the world’s wealth. One wishes that some overall profile of global wealth ownership and distribution had been provided in this book, so as to better contextualize what the “giants” really own.

American Power Elites (APEs)?

One of the ironies in this text is what Phillips reveals in Chapter 1:

“The top six billionaires in 2017, with their country of citizenship and estimated net worth, were Bill Gates (US, $88.8 billion), Amancio Ortega (Spain, $84.6 billion), Jeff Bezos (US, $82.2 billion), Warren Buffett (US, $76.2 billion), Mark Zuckerberg (US, $56 billion), and Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico, $54.5 billion). Forbes’s billionaire list contained 2,047 names in 2017”. (p. 21)

Thus of the top six billionaires, four are American. As for the Forbes list, in 2019, seven of the top 10 billionaires listed are American. In fact, the list has become increasingly American since circa 2012, according to this compilation of annual rankings, returning to the situation that was observed from before 2005. In total, 14 of the world’s richest 20 persons are American. Overall, 607 of the world’s 2,153 billionaires in 2019 are American—or just over 28%, which still reflects a disproportionately large American presence. As mentioned above, the American proportion has been steadily increasing:

So what does one conclude from this picture? Is it in fact transnational capital of a global power elite that has dominated globalization, that we are seeing here? Or would it be more accurately reflective of reality to speak of an American Power Elite that dominates the world’s circuits of wealth creation and concentration? The answer has enormous import for how we think about globalization vs. American imperialism as the best mode of describing contemporary reality.

As we saw in the last section, the inability to explain why transnational capitalists need states is one of the most serious flaws in explanations that claim states have been diminished while transnational capitalists have real power. If they had real power, they would not need states. Thus one of the problems of this book is that it under-theorizes critical areas that really needed attention, if we were really to update Mills’ work.

US Imperialism and Transnational Capitalism

One of the key strengths of this book is that it goes against fashionable theorizing on the political left, prevalent among academics and activists, that minimizes or even refuses to name US imperialism. As Phillips shows in this book, the US is the foundation of transnational policing that works to enforce the interests of global capital. In particular, the global financial giants invest heavily in war-making as a means of profitably deploying excess capital.

Thus Phillips notes that, “the policy elites in the United States have been mostly united in support of an American empire of military power that maintains a repressive war against resisting groups…around the world” (p. 23). He also points out: “uncooperative regimes are undermined and overthrown in support of the free flow of global capital for investments anywhere that returns are possible” (p. 64).

“Humanitarian intervention” is also critically addressed by Phillips. He argues that the transnational capitalist class promotes “military interventions [that] are ideologically justified as peacekeeping or humanitarian missions,” primarily in cases where governments are “viewed as unfavorable to the TCC’s capital interests”—in such cases then, “resistance forces will be supported and encouraged toward regime change, as in…Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia” (p. 30). It is refreshing to read a North American academic who recognizes this reality. As indicated in the list of contents, Phillips dedicated an entire chapter to the subject of US empire (chapter 5).

The protection of transnational capital, Phillips argues, is what lies behind the production of “failed states, manufactured civil wars, regime changes, and direct invasions/occupations”. Each of these is a manifestation of “the new world order requirements for protecting transnational capital” (p. 215).

NATO is a key part of Phillips’ discussion, and he notes that NATO members collectively account for 85% of the world’s military spending (p. 223). Phillips’ argument is that NATO is the leading military defender of the interests of global capital: “NATO is quickly becoming a US military empire supplemental police force for the Global Power Elite and the Transnational Capitalist Class” (p. 224). In conjunction with this, he discusses the role of the Atlantic Council as the chief purveyor of NATO propaganda.

Yet, despite Phillips’ own arguments about manufactured civil wars, “resistance” groups funded if not created by Western powers, and regime change war—he still manages to produce an unquestioning endorsement of “Arab Spring protests” in North Africa as examples of resistance against neoliberal austerity politics (p. 304).

Global Inequality

Global inequality has become extreme under the dominance of the Global Power Elites. As William Robinson writes in the Introduction,

“the richest 1 percent of humanity in 2017 controlled more than half of the world’s wealth; the top 30 percent of the population controlled more than 95 percent of global wealth, while the remaining 70 percent of the population had to make do with less than 5 percent of the world’s resources”. (p. 15)

Phillips recounts a recent finding that only eight individuals now own half the world’s wealth (p. 21).

While not always clear about whether “the richest 1 percent” are the top 1% in the US or the top 1% of the world as a whole, the book informs us that the top fraction “increased their total wealth by 42.5 percent in 2008, and 50.1 percent in 2017,” and in the latter year, “2.3 million new millionaires were created, bringing the total number of millionaires around the globe to more than 36 million”; these millionaires represent “0.7 percent of the world’s population controlling more than 47 percent of global wealth’; the world’s bottom 70% only control 2.7% of total wealth (pp. 301–302).

This book also relays the following overview of global wealth inequality:

“The world’s total wealth is estimated to be close to $255 trillion, with the United States and Europe holding approximately two thirds of that total; meanwhile, 80 percent of the world’s people live on less than $10 per day, the poorest half of the global population lives on less than $2.50 per day, and more than 1.3 billion people live on only $1.25 per day”. (p. 30)

Robinson offers a partial/partisan view of the political results of increasing inequality, asserting that it has fueled “populist insurgencies” (thus unfortunately reinforcing elitist terminology), and that these are dominated by racist, xenophobic, and nativist concerns. What Robinson does not do is offer an explanation as to why those on the losing end of globalization in North America and Europe have turned to the right, and not the left.

What Robinson predicts is that the global concentration of wealth is, in effect, suicidal: it will lead to a global contraction of demand, and thus the global market will be unable to absorb the output of the global economy, and at that point the system will seize up. Is this something to be celebrated or criticized?

Phillips makes a similar point about the over-accumulation of capital: “there are only three mechanisms of investing excess capital: risky financial speculation, wars and war preparation, and the privatization of public institutions” (p. 30). What needs to be explained to readers is why, if capital over-accumulation is really a problem, would the holders of such capital invest in areas that generate even more capital.

Land and hunger also stand out as one of the strong points of this book’s explanations. First, some important statistics are provided, such as: the UN’s World Food Program estimates that 1 in 9 people go to bed hungry each night, which amounts to 795 million people suffering from chronic hunger; nine million die each year from starvation; one-third of the planet suffers from malnutrition; two billion more people will be lacking food by 2050, according to UN forecasts; and yet, “chronic hunger is mostly a problem of distribution, as one third of all food produced in the world is wasted and lost” (p. 31). Phillips clearly pins the blame of this mal-distribution on global speculation invested in agricultural lands, and global speculation in food, which have both raised the costs of land and food, and displaced populations (pp. 31, 63). As Phillips explains:

“In the last ten years, more than $90 billion has been invested in 78 countries for buying up more than 74 million acres of farmland. The result is mass corporate farming, usually for export, and the removal of these lands as a local food source”. (p. 32)

While the book tends to endorse much of the emergency talk around “climate change,” it’s important to note that Phillips is aware of some of the glaring opportunism that motivates some of the crisis-making:

“Amazingly, TCC/Global Power Elite money managers study the transforming environment for new investment opportunities. Climate change investing can be profitable, according to Forbes, and getting in on low-carbon investments, and sectors that will benefit should climate stress increase—such as defense, health care, and property insurances—can prove lucrative. Increasing interest in new mining opportunities available due to global warming is an important issue in Greenland. Private investment in the control of water sources is seen as an increasingly attractive opportunity for power elite speculation”. (p. 32)

Criticisms of the Book

Unfortunately, much of the book is written for an audience that is already prepared to believe and accept its main arguments and their assumptions. The question then is why such an audience would need this book. The echo-chambering of public discourse is itself echoed louder than ever in academic production. This book is not written for, say, skeptical students who are unconvinced and like to raise questions. On the other hand, it can be useful precisely for generating questions.

What in my view is one of the least attractive features of the book is the tendency to reduce discussion to moral principles. In that respect it is a very American book, which follows the very American tradition of displacing politics into morality. The result is a moralistic appeal for reform. Thus the book is directed at precisely those elites who are least likely to read or care about this book. However, matters become even murkier when the book’s idea of reform means that activists should volunteer to work with billionaires: “An honest, open look at real human options is vitally needed, and social movement activists seeking to end the crisis of humanity may find allies at the top willing to make radical readjustments needed to prevent wars, mass poverty, and environmental degradation” (p. 159). In an open letter to the Global Power Elite at the end of the book, we read this: “We absolutely believe that continued capital concentration and neoliberal austerity policies only bring greater human misery to the vast majority of people on earth” (p. 320, emphasis added). Why reduce what the book shows to be factually true, a matter of objective knowledge, to a matter of belief? Why should anyone care what the author and his colleagues “believe”? Sometimes the book has an unfortunate tendency of diminishing itself.

Theory remains relatively under-developed in this book, which tends to leave major questions unspoken (some of which were discussed in the sections above). The result is that books like C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite remain as outstanding contributions, and the updating of his work is something that still needs to be done. Neither this book, nor other attempts at updating Mills, are yet ready to be read as “Mills Part 2”.

Related to the latter point, we seem to be generating an ever expanding vocabulary for describing essentially the same phenomenon. Thus, added to the base that is the transnational capitalist class (which is sufficient), we have shadow elites, influence elites, flexible networks, and now global power elites. Pretty soon, rather than having work that takes our understanding further, we will instead have works that lose time and energy in just clearing up the mystifying mass of new labels.

Though I intensely dislike facile comments like, “some of the book’s strengths are also its weakness,” I find myself here needing to make the same comment about the immense catalogue of empirical detail that appears in the profiles of the 389 individuals and the dozens of organizations named in this book. In that respect, the book begins to resemble more of a database, that makes for tedious reading. Seen from another angle, the book serves as a reference resource. However, what really stands out is the limited theorization of the material, that really does not expand on or elaborate on either the works of Mills, Sklair, or William Robinson.

Restrictions on access to the power elites means that the profiles that are provided in the book are based almost exclusively on open source documentation. The profiles thus result as flat, and almost lifeless—useful perhaps for statistical analysis, but almost devoid of oral history and cultural content.

Sometimes this book mirrors a website more than a printed volume, meaning that there can be excessive interleaving with contents that are already widely available. Thus the book unnecessarily reproduces, in full, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The tendency to copy and insert so much that is open source tends to produce excessive length.

Diagrams in the book are often useless spaghetti illustrations of many dozens of crisscrossing lines linking inter-locked firms. The point is to show that each one is connected to every other—and it is far more economical to express that fact with words.

The Introduction by William Robinson was, surprisingly, one of the disappointing elements of this book. Robinson exploited the opportunity to sound off on a range of issues that personally anger and frustrate him—everything from Trump to climate change. I gather that this a popular Californian academic narrative. The chapter on the whole has a certain apocalyptic, doomsday quality to it, which is arguably more of a reflection of how culturally unprepared Americans are when it comes to absorbing the reality of their imperial decline: “If we do not annihilate ourselves in a nuclear holocaust or descend into the barbarism of a global police state, we will have to confront the threat of a human-induced sixth mass extinction that scientists say has already begun” (pp. 15–16).

At times, the book appears to pander to the fixations of the liberal-left, especially where climate emergency alarmism and identity politics are concerned. We are thus told at various points that this or that board of directors is exclusively male, or exclusively white, or white and male—as if the aesthetic veneer of dominance is what should occupy our attention.

Sometimes the book paints an excessively bleak and hopeless picture of inevitable collapse and war. The power of elites is sometimes overstated. Assumptions that poverty leads to rebellion (p. 303) are part of the book’s baggage of truisms, even if there is painfully little evidence to validate such assumptions. The point is that if it is all so bleak, then that defeats the chances of reform, the same reform that the book advocates. Phillips argues that unless something is done soon, movements like Occupy Wall Street will continue to emerge (p. 305)—to which the answer has to be a big “so what?

Lastly, the index contains some notable errors and omissions, and is actually not very useful for using this book.

Conclusion

Reminding me of the some of the great books written by Susan George in the 1980s on debt crises and hunger, this is one of the more original and important contributions to early 21st-century debates about the decline of the 20th-century phenomenon known as “globalization”. It will serve as a valuable reference to many students of globalization, both within and outside of academia. Thus, despite my criticisms above, I would still recommend this book as required reading for any students in the fields of Political Science and International Relations, Global Sociology, and International Political Economy, as well as perhaps students in Economic Anthropology. What is especially valuable about this book is more than just its detail, but its reconciling of transnational capitalism with US empire. Even where the book falls short, it does so in a manner that provokes many productive and constructive questions.

For me personally, what emerged from studying this text is recognition of the degree to which states still matter immensely in the so-called globalized world (produced by states themselves), and the extent to which the US stands on top of globalization. It is no surprise then that we see the decline of US empire at the same time as the rise of de-globalization. Not discussed in this volume—and hardly mentioned on this site either—is the rise of an embryonic new order dominated by China, as evidenced by its extremely ambitious and widely spread Belt and Road Initiative.

Source: https://zeroanthropology.net/2019/11/27/global-giants-american-empire-and-transnational-capital/

December 2, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

‘Poisoner in Chief’: Scientist Behind CIA’s Disturbing Mind-Altering Techniques

By Lilia Dergacheva – Sputnik – 01.12.2019

Author Stephen Kinzer boasts stunning knowledge when it comes to writing about terror attacks and coup plots. His most recent work, however, seems to be the most hair-raising, focusing on the puppet master behind the CIA’s poisoning and torture schemes.

“I’m still in shock”, writer Stephen Kinzer says of what he learned about the horrid experiments conducted by a US government scientist that few know by name – Sidney Gottlieb.

“I can’t believe that this happened”, he recounted as his book with the suggestive title “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control” saw the light of day.

This is a story about Gottlieb’s 22-year career, as the chemist continuously ran mind-control projects that aimed to assist the US in its fight against international communism from the 1950s to the 1970s.

“The investigation of drug effects on ego control and volitional activities, i.e., can willfully suppressed information be elicited through drugs affecting higher nervous systems? If so, which agents are better for this purpose?” the author cited a CIA memo on the project subsequently called Artichoke.

Kinzer writes that in the 50s and 60s, Gottlieb “directed the application of unknowable quantities and varieties of drugs into” hordes of people as he sought the most suitable conscience-altering recipe to effectively mold subjects’ thoughts and behaviours.

Stealthy Doses

Gottlieb has been widely reported to have performed LSD tests on prisoners, government employees, and hospital patients, with many of them kept in the dark about being fed narcotics.

One of the cited examples is the lethal case of a CIA officer who died in a highly suspicious manner after Gottlieb reportedly laced his drink with LSD. He later designed custom-made poisons when his seniors raised the question of “dealing with” a foreign leader, with the sinister doctor finally portrayed by actor Tim Blake Nelson in Errol Morris’ Wormwood in 2017.

However, Kinzer has outlined quite a few new details in his book, the first proper biography of the scientist. For instance, “Poisoner in Chief” depicts the way Gottlieb tried his hand in torture sessions at US military sites and allowed his colleague, a doctor, to give LSD to children.

Kinzer notes that when “Artichoke scientists came up with a new drug or other technique they wished to test… they asked the CIA station in South Korea to supply a batch [of] ‘expendable’ subjects'”.

One CIA memo suggested the subjects were needed for the testing of an unnamed but “important new technique”, adding: “technique does not, not require disposal problems after application”.

On Duty

Gottlieb’s project notably involved foreign heads of state that belonged to the communist camp. According to colleagues cited by Kinzer, he prepared “a pre-poisoned tube of toothpaste” meant for Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, although it was never used.

He also ran a scientific team working on a bizarre plot to disgrace Fidel Castro: believing that his strength was accumulated in his beard, Gottlieb reportedly sought to have thallium salts sprinkled in his boots to make his beard hair fall out, “leaving him open to ridicule and overthrow”.

Kinzer believes his 22 years with the agency left a significant imprint on the CIA as it is today: he says there is “a direct line between Sidney Gottlieb’s work and techniques that US agents taught to Latin American security services in the 1960s and 70s”.

“These techniques were also used in Vietnam—and then later on to the techniques of torture and so-called extreme interrogation that were used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo”, Kinzer added.

Given an “effectively unlimited supply” of LSD supplied by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to the CIA, Gottlieb became perhaps “the most powerful unknown American of the 20th century”, Kinzer states.

After the CIA, the father of four tried to reinvent himself, working with children who have speech problems. “Nobody had any idea of what he had done in the past, but he was tormented by it”, Kinzer assumes noting that when he passed away in 1999 no cause of death was officially announced.

December 1, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Unspeakable Memories: The Day John Kennedy Died

By Edward Curtin | November 22, 2019

There is a vast literature on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who died on a November 22nd Friday like this in 1963. I have contributed my small share to such writing in an effort to tell the truth, honor him, and emphasize its profound importance in understanding the history of the last fifty-six years, but more importantly, what is happening in the U.S.A. today. In other words, to understand it in its most gut-wrenching reality: that the American national security state will obliterate any president that dares to buck its imperial war-making machine. It is a lesson not lost on all presidents since Kennedy.

Unless one is a government disinformation agent or is unaware of the enormous documentary evidence, one knows that it was the CIA that carried out JFK’s murder. Confirmation of this fact keeps arriving in easily accessible forms for anyone interested in the truth. A case in point is James DiEugenio’s recent posting at his website, Kennedys and King, of James Wilcott’s affidavit and interrogation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, declassified by the Assassinations Record Review Board in 1998.  In that document, Wilcott, who worked in the finance department for the CIA and was not questioned by the Warren Commission, discusses how he unwittingly paid Lee Harvey Oswald, the government’s alleged assassin, through a cryptonym and how it was widely known and celebrated at his CIA station in Tokyo that the CIA killed Kennedy and Oswald worked for the Agency, although he did not shoot JFK. I highly recommend reading the document.

I do not here want to go into any further analysis or debate about the case. I think the evidence is overwhelming that the President was murdered by the national security state. Why he was murdered, and the implications for today, are what concern me. And how and why we remember and forget public events whose consequences become unbearable to contemplate, and the fatal repercussions of that refusal. In what I consider the best book ever written on the subject, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (2009), James W. Douglass explains this in detail, including the James Wilcott story.

Realizing what I am about to say might be presumptuous and of no interest to anyone but myself, I will nevertheless try to describe my emotional reactions to learning of John Kennedy’s murder so long ago and how that reverberated down through my life. I hope my experiences might help explain why so many people today can’t face the consequences of the tragic history that began that day and have continued to the present, among which are not just the other assassinations of the 1960s but the lies about the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent endless and murderous “war on terror” with its mind-numbing propaganda and the recent anti-Russia phobia and the blatant celebration of the so-called “deep-state’s” open efforts to overthrow another president, albeit a very different one.

On November 22, 1963 I was a college sophomore. I was going down three steps into the college dining hall for lunch. (Many of my most significant memories and decisions have taken place on steps, either going up or going down; memory is odd in that way, wouldn’t you say?) I remember freezing on the second step as a voice announced through a PA system that the president had been shot in Dallas, Texas. When I finally recovered and went down into the building, another announcement came through saying the president had died. The air seemed to be sucked out of the building as I and the other students with a few professors sat in stunned silence. Soon little groups on this Catholic campus joined together to pray for John Kennedy. I felt as if I were floating in unreality.

Later that day when I left the campus and drove home, I thought back to three years previously and the night of the presidential election. Everyone at my house (parents, grandparents, and the five sisters still at home) had gone to bed, but I stayed up past 1 A.M., watching the television coverage of the vote count. My parents, despite their Irish-Catholicism, were Nixon supporters, but I was for JFK. I couldn’t comprehend why anyone would vote for Nixon, who seemed to me to personify evil. When I finally went up the stairs to bed, I was convinced Kennedy would win and felt very happy.

It wouldn’t be for another tumultuous decade before I would hear Kris Kristofferson sing

Never knowin’ if believin’ is a blessin’ or a curse
Or if the going up is worth to coming down….
From the rockin’ of the cradle to the rollin’ of the hearse
The goin’ up was worth the coming down

and I would ask myself the same question.

In the meantime, the next few years would bring the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile crisis, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, among other significant events, and for a high school student interested in politics and world events it was a heady and frightening few years. It was a country of newspapers back then, and I would read perhaps 3-4 each day and sensed a growing animosity toward Kennedy, especially as expressed in the more conservative NYC papers. I can remember very little talk of politics in my home and felt alone with my thoughts. As far as I can remember, this was also true at the Jesuit high school that I attended. And of course nothing prepared me for the president’s murder and the feeling of despair it engendered in me, a feeling so painful that I couldn’t really acknowledge it. At nineteen, I felt traumatized but couldn’t admit it or tell anyone. After all, I was a scholar and an athlete. Tough.

Then on Sunday morning my family had the TV on and we watched as Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the guy the government said had killed the president. The unreality was compounded manyfold, and when later it was reported that Oswald had died, I felt I was living in an episode of The Twilight Zone, a popular television show at the time, whose narrator would say we are now entering the weird world between shadow and substance.

The next day a friend and I went to the Fordham University campus to visit a Jesuit priest who was a mentor to us. He had the television on for JFK’s funeral and we sat and watched it for a while with him. After a few hours, it became too painful and the two of us went outside to a football field where we threw a football back and forth. Perhaps subconsciously we were thinking of Kennedy’s love of football; I don’t know.  But I remember a feeling of desolation that surrounded us on that empty cold field with not another soul around. It seemed sacrilegious to be playing games at such a time, yet deep trauma contributes to strange behavior.

Then I went on with my college life, studying and playing basketball, until the day after Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965. Those New York newspapers that didn’t like Kennedy, hated Malcolm even more and were constantly ripping into him. I vividly remember talking to my college basketball teammate the next day. His sense of devastation as a young African American struck me forcefully. As we walked to basketball practice and talked, his sense of isolation and gloom was palpable. Visceral. Unforgettable. It became mine, even though I didn’t at the time grasp its full significance.

In 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, I was driving to visit a girlfriend and remember hearing the news on the car radio and feeling deeply shocked. I felt immediately oppressed by the first warm spring evening in the New York area. It was as if the beautiful weather, usually so uplifting after winter and so joyously stimulating to a young man’s sexuality, was conspiring with the news of King’s death to bring me down into a deep depression.

Soon the country would awaken on June 5 to the surreal news that Senator Robert Kennedy was shot in Los Angeles the night before. Like so many Americans, when he died not long after, I felt his death was the last straw. But it was far from it. For all the while Lyndon Johnson had lied his way to election in 1964 and escalated the Vietnam war to savage proportions. Death and destruction permeated the air we were breathing. The year 1968 ended with the suspicious death in Thailand of a hero of mine, the anti-war Trappist Monk Thomas Merton. Subsequent research has shown that that too was an assassination. And while all of this was going on and my political consciousness was becoming radicalized, I became a conscientious objector from the Marines. I was 24 years old.

By the late 1970s, having been fired from teaching positions for radical scholarship and anti-war activities, and mentally exhausted by the unspeakable events of the 1960s, I retreated into the country where I found solace in nature and a low-key life of contemplation, writing literary and philosophical essays, a novel, book reviews, and becoming a part-time newspaper columnist. By the 1990s, I gradually returned to teaching and a more active political engagement, primarily through teaching and writing.

Then in 1991 Oliver Stone jolted me back in time with his film JFK. I found powerful emotional memories welling up within me, and growing anger at what had happened to the U.S. in the previous decades. Soon JFK Jr., who was investigating his father’s assassination and was about to enter politics and take up his father’s mantle, was killed in a blatantly rigged “accident.” A month before I had been standing in line behind his wife in the bakery in my little town while he waited outside in a car. Now the third Kennedy was dead. I called my old friend the Jesuit priest from Fordham, but he was speechless. The bodies kept piling up or disappearing.

When the attacks of September 11, 2001 happened, I realized from day one that something was not right; that the official explanation was full of holes. My sociological imagination took fire. All that I had thought and felt, even my literary writing, came together. The larger picture emerged clearly. My teaching took on added urgency, including courses on September 11th and the various assassinations.

Then in 2009 I read and reviewed James Douglass’s masterpiece, JFK and the Unspeakable, and my traumatic memories of 1963 and after came flooding back in full force. I realized that those youthful experiences had been so difficult for me to assimilate and that I therefore had to intellectualize them, for the emotional toll of re-experiencing them and what they meant was profound. The book really opened me to this, but so too did the awareness of how sensitive I was to John Kennedy’s death, how emotional I felt when reading about it or hearing him speak or listening to a song such as “The Day John Kennedy Died” by Lou Reed.  It was as though a damn had burst inside me and my heart had become an open house without doors or windows.

I tell you all this to try to convey the ways in which we “forget” the past in order to shield ourselves from powerful and disturbing memories that might force us to disrupt our lives. To change. Certain events, such as the more recent attacks of September 11, have become too disturbing for many to explore, to study, to contemplate, just as I found a way to marginalize my feelings about my own government’s murder of President Kennedy, a man who had given me hope as a youngster, and whose murder had nearly extinguished that hope.

Many people will pretend that they are exposing themselves to such traumatic memories and are investigating the events and sources of their disquietude. It is so often a pretense since they feel most comfortable in the land of make-believe. What is needed is not a dilettantish and superficial nod in the direction of having examined such matters, but a serious in-depth study of the facts and an examination of why doing so might make one uncomfortable. A look outward and a look inward. Just as people distort and repress exclusively personal memories to “save” themselves from harsh truths that would force them to examine their current personal lives, so too do they do the same with political and social ones. When I asked two close relatives of mine, both of whom came close to death on September 11, 2001 at The World Trade Towers, what they have thought about that day, they separately told me that they haven’t really given it much thought. This startled me, especially since it involved mass death and a close encounter with personal death in a controversial public event, two experiences that would seem to elicit deep thought. And these two individuals are smart and caring souls.

What and why we remember and forget is profoundly important. Thoreau, in writing about life without principle, said, “It is so hard to forget what is worse than useless to remember.” This is so true. We are consumed with trivia, mostly by choice.

Perhaps a reason we remember so much trivia is to make sure we forget profound experiences that might shake us to our cores. The cold-blooded public execution of President John Kennedy did that to me on that melancholy Friday when I was 19, and by trying to forget it and not to speak of it, I hoped it would somehow go away, or at least fade to insignificance. But the past has a way of never dying, often to return when we least expect or want it.

So today, on this anniversary Friday, another November 22, I have chosen to try to speak of what it felt like once upon a time on the chance that it might encourage others to do the same with our shared hidden history. Only by speaking out is hope possible. Only by making the hidden manifest.

T. S. Eliot wrote in “Journey of the Magi” words that echo ironically in my mind on this anniversary of the day John Kennedy died:

All this was a long time ago, I remember

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and

Death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

Remembering in all its emotional detail the day John Kennedy died has been a long and cold journey for me. It has allowed me to see and feel the terror of that day, the horror, but also the heroism of the man, the in-your-face warrior for peace whose death should birth in us the courage to carry on his legacy.

Killing a man who says “no” to the endless cycle of war is a risky business, says a priest in the novel Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone. For “even a corpse can go on whispering ‘No! No! No! with a persistence and obstinacy that only certain corpses are capable of. And how can you silence a corpse.”

John Kennedy was such a man.

Eliot was right: Sometimes death and birth are hard to tell apart.

President Kennedy’s courage in facing a death he knew was coming from forces within his own government who opposed his efforts for peace, nuclear disarmament, and an end to the Cold War – “I know there is a God-and I see a storm coming. I believe that I am ready,” he had written on a slip of paper, and his favorite poem contained the refrain, “I have a rendezvous with death” – should encourage all of us to not turn our faces away from his witness for peace.

We must stop being at ease in a dispensation where we worship the gods of war and clutch the nuclear weapons that our crazed leaders say they will use on a “first-strike” basis. If they ever do, Eliot’s question – “were we led all that way for Birth or Death?” – will be answered.

But no one will hear it.

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 6 Comments

The Kennedy Autopsy 2

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | November 22, 2019

Fifty-six years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot dead on the streets of Dallas, Texas. The official story is that a lone nut named Lee Harvey Oswald, without any motive, committed the assassination. During the past several decades, however, the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence, much of which was intentionally kept secret, points to a national-security regime-change operation to oust Kennedy from office and elevate Vice President Lyndon Johnson to the presidency.

A key to understanding the assassination lies in a critically important event that occurred after the assassination. That event was the official autopsy that was conducted on the president’s body. By understanding the autopsy, one can gain a better understanding of the assassination itself.

That was the purpose of my best-selling book several years ago, The Kennedy Autopsy, which was a synopsis of a watershed five-volume assassination book entitled Inside the Assassination Records Review Board by Douglas P. Horne, who was a staff member of the ARRB in the 1990s.

The ARRB was the agency that Congress called into existence to enforce the President John F. Kennedy Records Collection Act of 1992, the law that required the CIA, the Pentagon, the Secret Service, and other federal agencies to disclose assassination-related records that such agencies had insisted on keeping secret since the day of the assassination. The law was enacted in response to the public outcry produced by Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, which posited that the assassination was a national-security regime-change operation carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment. At the end of the movie was a blurb pointing out the national-security establishment’s continued secrecy with respect to its assassination-related records.

The Future of Freedom Foundation recently published my new book The Kennedy Autopsy 2: Lyndon Johnson’s Role in the Assassination, which builds on the mountain of circumstantial evidence surrounding the president’s autopsy supporting the thesis developed by Oliver Stone in his movie and by Douglas Horne in his five-volume book. Specifically, my new book documents the circumstantial evidence pointing to the role that Lyndon Johnson played in the assassination.

Now, before anyone cries “Conspiracy theory!” which is the term that the CIA promoted early on to its assets in the mainstream press to dissuade people from questioning the official version of the assassination, consider the following:

The purpose of an autopsy is to determine the cause of death, which includes a determination of where the bullets were fired from. Since this was a state murder case, Texas law required that an autopsy be conducted on President Kennedy’s body. That duty fell to the Dallas County Medical Examiner, Dr. Earl Rose, who was one of the most competent pathologists in the country.

As soon as Kennedy was declared dead, however, a Secret Service team had the president’s body placed in an expensive, ornate casket and began taking it out of Parkland Hospital. Rose refused to permit them to do that, standing in their way, and declaring that he was required by state law to conduct an autopsy on the president’s body. In loud, screaming voices, the Secret Service team made it clear to Rose that they were operating under orders to take the body back to Washington without permitting Rose to conduct his autopsy. When Rose continued standing his ground, the Secret Service agents pulled back their suit jackets and brandished their guns. Screaming, yelling, and issuing a stream of profanities, they forced their way out of Parkland Hospital with Kennedy’s body, in direct violation of Texas law.

Waiting at Love Field was Lyndon Johnson, who was having seats removed from the back of Air Force One to make room for the casket. That meant that he knew that the casket was coming, which is virtually conclusive proof that he was the one who issued that order to that Secret Service team before he departed from Parkland Hospital.

Johnson himself was actually the very first conspiracy theorist in the Kennedy assassination. When he was at Parkland Hospital waiting to see if Kennedy would die and then later on the way to Dallas’s Love Field, Johnson raised the notion that the assassination might be the first step in a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union on the United States.

Yet, Johnson’s own actions establish that he knew that his conspiracy theory was bogus. When he arrived at Love Field, he had his personnel transfer everyone’s luggage from his plane — Air Force Two — to Air Force One, so that he could ride on the presidential plane rather than the vice-presidential plane. Yet, both planes were identical. He also took the time to find a federal judge to swear him in, despite the fact that the U.S. attorney general, Robert Kennedy, had advised him that no such swearing in was necessary. Johnson also took the time to wait for the casket to appear and be loaded onto Air Force One.

Does that sound like a man who was concerned that Soviet missiles might possibly be raining in on the United States, including one being aimed at Dallas, Texas? Wouldn’t a president who was genuinely concerned about such a possibility have gotten up into the air immediately in order to conduct America’s defenses to such an attack? Despite his words, Johnson’s actions indicate that he was certain that the Soviets played no role in the assassination. There could only be one reason for such certainty, even while promoting what he knew was a bogus conspiracy theory.

When Air Force One landed in Maryland, Johnson ensured that the president’s body be turned over to the military rather than to civilian authorities. Why? America isn’t a military nation. It’s a civilian nation. The United States wasn’t at war, and Kennedy hadn’t been killed on the field of battle. Why the military instead of a Maryland or Washington, D.C., medical examiner?

The reason is that a fraudulent autopsy was needed to disguise the fact that shots had been fired from the front of Kennedy. The accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was in Kennedy’s rear and, therefore, could not have fired from the front.

Now, before anyone cries “Conspiracy theory!” consider the following:

After the House Select Committee Hearings on the Assassination, which reopened the investigation into the assassination, several enlisted men came forward and told a remarkable story. They said that they had secretly carried the president’s body into the Bethesda morgue in a cheap, military-style shipping casket similar to the ones being used to bring back bodies of U.S. soldiers being killed in Vietnam. They said that they carried the body into the morgue about 6:35 p.m., which was approximately 1 1/2 hours before the body was officially carried into the morgue at 8 pm in the expensive, ornate casket into which the body had been placed in Dallas. They said that military officials had sworn them to secrecy, forced them to sign written secrecy oaths, and threatened them with court martial and criminal prosecution if they ever told anyone what they had seen and done.

In the 1990s, the ARRB uncovered a written document prepared by a Marine sergeant named Roger Boyajean, which had been prepared soon after the autopsy. The document confirmed that the president’s body had in fact been secretly carried into the morgue at 6:35 p.m. Boyayean himself confirmed to the ARRB the authenticity of the document and the event itself.

Now, before anyone cries “Conspiracy theory!” consider the following:

One of the three autopsy physicians, Col. William Finck, later testified that on the evening of the assassination he received a telephone call from Commander James J. Humes, who was one of the other autopsy physicians. The purpose of the call was to request Finck to assist with the autopsy. The call was made at 8 p.m., which was the same time that the president’s body was officially being carried into the morgue in the expensive, ornate Dallas casket.

Finck testified that Humes told him in that call that they already had x-rays of the president’s body. The question naturally arises: How could they already have x-rays at 8 p.m. if the president’s body was first being carried into the morgue at 8 p.m.? Finck inadvertently confirmed the remarkable story that those enlisted men would disclose several years later.

Now, before anyone cries “Conspiracy theory!” consider the following:

The ARRB summoned a woman named Saundra Spencer to testify. On the weekend of the assassination, she was a U.S Navy petty officer working in the U.S. Navy’s photography lab in Washington, D.C. She had a top-secret security clearance. She worked closely with the White House on official photographs, including top-secret ones. No one has ever questioned the veracity, competence, and professionalism of Saundra Spencer. It would be virtually impossible to find a more credible witness.

Under oath, Spencer told the ARRB a remarkable story. On the weekend of the assassination, she was asked to develop photographs of the autopsy carried out by military officials on President Kennedy’s body. She was told that her role was a highly classified operation. For some 30 years, she had kept the secret.

The ARRB showed Spencer the military’s official autopsy photographs. She carefully examined them. She testified directly and unequivocally that the photographs were not the ones she developed on the weekend of the assassination. The ones she developed, she said, showed a massive exit-sized wound in the back of President Kennedy’s head, which implied a shot having been fired from the front.

Now, before anyone cries “Conspiracy theory!” consider the following:

After Kennedy was brought into Trauma Room One in Parkland Hospital, the treating physicians immediately began emergency treatment procedures. However, one of the treating physicians summoned the others to view the back of the president’s head. They saw a huge exit-sized hole in the lower back of President Kennedy head. At that point, they knew that there was no way that they could save his life. The statements of the treating physicians immediately after the assassination confirm what Saundra Spencer would tell the ARRB some 30 years later. See “RIP: Dr. Robert McClelland, the Most Important JFK Witness” by Jefferson Morley.

For much more on the events surrounding the autopsy as well as the events leading up to Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic announcement that he was dropping out of the 1968 presidential race, read my new book The Kennedy Autopsy 2: Lyndon Johnson’s Role in the Assassination.

November 22, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

The Truth About World War II Is Beginning To Emerge 74 Years Later

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute for Political Economy | November 19, 2019

The Lies About World War II” is my most popular column of the year. It is a book review of David Irving’s Hitler’s War and Churchill’s War, the first volume of Irving’s three volume biography of Winston Churchill. A person does not know anything about WW II until he has read these books.

Historians, and even book reviewers, who tell the truth pay a high price. For reasons I provide in my review, generally it is decades after a war before truth about the war can emerge. By then the court historians have fused lies with patriotism and created a pleasing myth about the war, and when emerging truth impinges on that myth, the truth-teller is denounced for making a case for the enemy.

Wars are fought with words as well as with bullets and bombs. The propaganda and demonization of the enemy are extreme. This is especially the case when it is the victors who start the war and have to cover up this fact as well as the war crimes for which they are responsible. When decades later the covered up crimes of the victors are brought to light, truth is up against the explanation that has been controlled for a half century. This makes the truth seem outlandish, and this makes it easy to demonize and even destroy the historian who brought the truth to the surface.

This makes a problem for a reviewer of revisionist history of World War II. If a reviewer gives an honest review, he faces the same demonization as the historian who brought the truth about the war to the surface.

This happened to me when I reviewed Irving’s books, both of which were researched for decades and completely documented. I was supposed to denounce Irving, in which case my stock would have gone up, but giving him an honest review got me branded “a holocaust denier” by Wikipedia, in my opinion a CIA front created in order to protect the official stories by marginalizing truth-tellers.

I have never studied the holocaust or written anything about it. I simply reported Irving’s assessment based entirely on documented evidence that many Jews were killed, but there was not the organized holocaust that is taught in the schools and which is a crime to dispute in many European countries.

So, this is how bad it is. I am, according to Wikipedia, a “holocaust denier” for the simple reason that I honestly reported Irving’s findings instead of jumping on him with hob-nailed boots for giving evidence contrary to the protected official story. Anyone who does not protect official explanations is “suspect.”

In my opinion what makes historians suspicious of the official holocaust story is the extreme resistance to any investigation of the event. One would think that investigation would support the story if it were true. It would seem that it is the Jews who raise questions about the holocaust by placing it off limits for open discussion. I personally am not very interested in the holocaust, because WW II itself was a holocaust. Tens of millions of people were killed. The Russians themselves lost 26 million, 20 million more than the holocaust figure of 6 million Jews. The Germans after the war was over lost considerably more than 6 million in the forced resettlements and General Eisenhower’s murder of 1.5 million German POWs by starvation and exposure. ( See John Wear, Germany’s War, and James Bacque, Other Losses, for the massive evidence. )

Somehow World War II has become the Jewish holocaust, not everyone else’s.

My interest is the predominance of propaganda and lies over truth. Ron Unz has the same interest. Four months after my column, “The Lies About World War II,” appeared, Unz took the story further in his long report, “Understanding World War II”. Unz’s columns tend to be monographs or small books, well beyond the attention spans of most Americans. Unz has given me permission to republish his monograph in installments. This is the first installment.

I learned from Unz’s article that getting rid of truth-tellers has been the practice of the West for a long time. Unz got interested in WW II when Pat Buchanan’s book, The Unnecessary War, became an issue for The American Conservative, a magazine for which Unz was the major money man. Unz couldn’t find that much difference between Buchanan’s book and that of A.J. P. Taylor’s The Origins of the Second World War. Yet The American Conservative, fearful of challenging WW II myths, was disassociating from its own founder, Pat Buchanan.

Disassociation from official truth cost Taylor his lectureship at Oxford University. Taylor’s publication of The Origins of the Second World War, caused Oxford to decline to renew Taylor’s appointment as a university lecturer in modern history. Taylor left Oxford for a lectureship at the University College London. Note that England’s best historian at the time was a mere lecturer, not a professor of modern history. Truth-tellers don’t advance very far in the world of information.

Harry Elmer Barnes explained that the origins of World War I were in France and Russia, not in Germany, which was the last to mobilize but was blamed for the war, resulting in the Treaty of Versailles, which led to WW II. Unz was stunned to find that Barnes, a historian of great stature, was unknown to him. Unz writes:

“Imagine my shock at later discovering that Barnes had actually been one of the most frequent early contributors to Foreign Affairs, serving as a primary book reviewer for that venerable publication from its 1922 founding onward, while his stature as one of America’s premier liberal academics was indicated by his scores of appearances in The Nation and The New Republic throughout that decade. Indeed, he is credited with having played a central role in ‘revising’ the history of the First World War so as to remove the cartoonish picture of unspeakable German wickedness left behind as a legacy of the dishonest wartime propaganda produced by the opposing British and American governments. And his professional stature was demonstrated by his thirty-five or more books, many of them influential academic volumes, along with his numerous articles in The American Historical Review, Political Science Quarterly, and other leading journals.

“A few years ago I happened to mention Barnes to an eminent American academic scholar whose general focus in political science and foreign policy was quite similar, and yet the name meant nothing. By the end of the 1930s, Barnes had become a leading critic of America’s proposed involvement in World War II, and was permanently ‘disappeared’ as a consequence, barred from all mainstream media outlets, while a major newspaper chain was heavily pressured into abruptly terminating his long-running syndicated national column in May 1940.”

Unz next tells us how the establishment got rid of Charles A. Beard. Beard was an intellectual of high stature. But “once he turned against Franklin D. Roosevelt’s warmongering foreign policy, publishers shut their doors to him, and only his personal friendship with the head of the Yale University Press allowed his critical 1948 volume, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, to even appear in print. Beard’s stellar reputation seems to have begun a rapid decline from that point onward, so that by 1968 historian Richard Hofstadter could write: ‘Today Beard’s reputation stands like an imposing ruin in the landscape of American historiography. What was once the grandest house in the province is now a ravaged survival’. Indeed, Beard’s once-dominant ‘economic interpretation of history’ might these days almost be dismissed as promoting ‘dangerous conspiracy theories,’ and I suspect few non-historians have even heard of him.”

William Henry Chamberlin was one of America’s leading foreign policy journalists, an author of 15 books whose writings appeared regularly in The Atlantic Monthly and Harpers. His career was terminated when his critical analysis of America’s entry into WW II, America’s Second Crusade, was published in 1950.

Unz gives other examples of highly credible authors being cast into darkness for telling the truth while the establishment provides lavish rewards to those who endorse the propaganda line. Unz concludes that “A climate of serious intellectual repression greatly complicates our ability to uncover the events of the past. Under normal circumstances, competing claims can be weighed in the give-and-take of public or scholarly debate, but this obviously becomes impossible if the subjects being discussed are forbidden ones.”

The victors control the explanations and bury their own guilt and war crimes behind a humanitarian smokescreen of “saving democracy.” It is the function of historians to penetrate the smokescreen and to dig up the buried facts.

One of the icons of the Anglo-American world is Winston Churchill. Unz summarizes some of the information historians have uncovered about Churchill:

“Until recently, my familiarity with Churchill had been rather cursory, and Irving’s revelations were absolutely eye-opening. Perhaps the most striking single discovery was the remarkable venality and corruption of the man, with Churchill being a huge spendthrift who lived lavishly and often far beyond his financial means, employing an army of dozens of personal servants at his large country estate despite frequently lacking any regular and assured sources of income to maintain them. This predicament naturally put him at the mercy of those individuals willing to support his sumptuous lifestyle in exchange for determining his political activities. And somewhat similar pecuniary means were used to secure the backing of a network of other political figures from across all the British parties, who became Churchill’s close political allies.

“To put things in plain language, during the years leading up to the Second World War, both Churchill and numerous other fellow British MPs were regularly receiving sizable financial stipends—cash bribes—from Jewish and Czech sources in exchange for promoting a policy of extreme hostility toward the German government and actually advocating war. The sums involved were quite considerable, with the Czech government alone probably making payments that amounted to tens of millions of dollars in present-day money to British elected officials, publishers, and journalists working to overturn the official peace policy of their existing government. A particularly notable instance occurred in early 1938 when Churchill suddenly lost all his accumulated wealth in a foolish gamble on the American stock-market, and was soon forced to put his beloved country estate up for sale to avoid personal bankruptcy, only to quickly be bailed out by a foreign Jewish millionaire intent upon promoting a war against Germany. Indeed, the early stages of Churchill’s involvement in this sordid behavior are recounted in an Irving chapter aptly entitled ‘The Hired Help.’

“Ironically enough, German Intelligence learned of this massive bribery of British parliamentarians, and passed the information along to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who was horrified to discover the corrupt motives of his fierce political opponents, but apparently remained too much of a gentlemen to have them arrested and prosecuted. I’m no expert in the British laws of that era, but for elected officials to do the bidding of foreigners on matters of war and peace in exchange for huge secret payments seems almost a textbook example of treason to me, and I think that Churchill’s timely execution would surely have saved tens of millions of lives.

“My impression is that individuals of low personal character are those most likely to sell out the interests of their own country in exchange for large sums of foreign money, and as such usually constitute the natural targets of nefarious plotters and foreign spies. Churchill certainly seems to fall into this category, with rumors of massive personal corruption swirling around him from early in his political career. Later, he supplemented his income by engaging in widespread art-forgery, a fact that Roosevelt later discovered and probably used as a point of personal leverage against him. Also quite serious was Churchill’s constant state of drunkenness, with his inebriation being so widespread as to constitute clinical alcoholism. Indeed, Irving notes that in his private conversations FDR routinely referred to Churchill as ‘a drunken bum.’

“During the late 1930s, Churchill and his clique of similarly bought-and-paid-for political allies had endlessly attacked and denounced Chamberlain’s government for its peace policy, and he regularly made the wildest sort of unsubstantiated accusations, claiming the Germans were undertaking a huge military build-up aimed against Britain. These roiling charges were often widely echoed by a media heavily influenced by Jewish interests and did much to poison the state of German-British relations. Eventually, these accumulated pressures forced Chamberlain into the extremely unwise act of providing an unconditional guarantee of military backing to Poland’s irresponsible dictatorship. As a result, the Poles then rather arrogantly refused any border negotiations with Germany, thereby lighting the fuse which eventually led to the German invasion six months later and the subsequent British declaration of war. The British media had widely promoted Churchill as the leading pro-war political figure, and once Chamberlain was forced to create a wartime government of national unity, his leading critic was brought into it and given the naval affairs portfolio.

“Following his lightening six-week defeat of Poland, Hitler unsuccessfully sought to make peace with the Allies, and the war went into abeyance. Then in early 1940, Churchill persuaded his government to try strategically outflanking the Germans by preparing a large sea-borne invasion of neutral Norway; but Hitler discovered the plan and preempted the attack, with Churchill’s severe operational mistakes leading to a surprising defeat for the vastly superior British forces. During World War I, Churchill’s Gallipoli disaster had forced his resignation from the British Cabinet, but this time the friendly media helped ensure that all the blame for the somewhat similar debacle at Narvik was foisted upon Chamberlain, so it was the latter who was forced to resign, with Churchill then replacing him as prime minister. British naval officers were appalled that the primary architect of their humiliation had become its leading political beneficiary, but reality is what the media reports, and the British public never discovered this great irony.

“This incident was merely the first of the long series of Churchill’s major military failures and outright betrayals that are persuasively recounted by Irving, nearly all of which were subsequently airbrushed out of our hagiographic histories of the conflict. We should recognize that wartime leaders who spend much of their time in a state of drunken stupor are far less likely to make optimal decisions, especially if they are as extremely prone to military micro-management as was the case with Churchill.

“In the spring of 1940, the Germans launched their sudden armored thrust into France via Belgium, and as the attack began to succeed, Churchill ordered the commanding British general to immediately flee with his forces to the coast and to do so without informing his French or Belgium counterparts of the huge gap he was thereby opening in the Allied front-lines, thus ensuring the encirclement and destruction of their armies. Following France’s resulting defeat and occupation, the British prime minister then ordered a sudden, surprise attack on the disarmed French fleet, completely destroying it and killing some 2,000 of his erstwhile allies; the immediate cause was his mistranslation of a single French word, but this ‘Pearl Harbor-type’ incident continued to rankle French leaders for decades.

“Hitler had always wanted friendly relations with Britain and certainly had sought to avoid the war that had been forced upon him. With France now defeated and British forces driven from the Continent, he therefore offered very magnanimous peace terms and a new German alliance to Britain. The British government had been pressured into entering the war for no logical reason and against its own national interests, so Chamberlain and half the Cabinet naturally supported commencing peace negotiations, and the German proposal probably would have received overwhelming approval both from the British public and political elites if they had ever been informed of its terms.

“But despite some occasional wavering, Churchill remained absolutely adamant that the war must continue, and Irving plausibly argues that his motive was an intensely personal one. Across his long career, Churchill had had a remarkable record of repeated failure, and for him to have finally achieved his lifelong ambition of becoming prime minister only to lose a major war just weeks after reaching Number 10 Downing Street would have ensured that his permanent place in history was an extremely humiliating one. On the other hand, if he managed to continue the war, perhaps the situation might somehow later improve, especially if the Americans could be persuaded to eventually enter the conflict on the British side.

“Since ending the war with Germany was in his nation’s interest but not his own, Churchill undertook ruthless means to prevent peace sentiments from growing so strong that they overwhelmed his opposition. Along with most other major countries, Britain and Germany had signed international conventions prohibiting the aerial bombardment of civilian urban targets, and although the British leader had very much hoped the Germans would attack his cities, Hitler scrupulously followed these provisions. In desperation, Churchill therefore ordered a series of large-scale bombing raids against the German capital of Berlin, doing considerable damage, and after numerous severe warnings, Hitler finally began to retaliate with similar attacks against British cities. The population saw the heavy destruction inflicted by these German bombing raids and was never informed of the British attacks that had preceded and provoked them, so public sentiment greatly hardened against making peace with the seemingly diabolical German adversary.

“In his memoirs published a half-century later, Prof. Revilo P. Oliver, who had held a senior wartime role in American Military Intelligence, described this sequence of events in very bitter terms:

Great Britain, in violation of all the ethics of civilized warfare that had theretofore been respected by our race, and in treacherous violation of solemnly assumed diplomatic covenants about “open cities”, had secretly carried out intensive bombing of such open cities in Germany for the express purpose of killing enough unarmed and defenceless men and women to force the German government reluctantly to retaliate and bomb British cities and thus kill enough helpless British men, women, and children to generate among Englishmen enthusiasm for the insane war to which their government had committed them.
It is impossible to imagine a governmental act more vile and more depraved than contriving death and suffering for its own people — for the very citizens whom it was exhorting to “loyalty” — and I suspect that an act of such infamous and savage treason would have nauseated even Genghis Khan or Hulagu or Tamerlane, Oriental barbarians universally reprobated for their insane blood-lust. History, so far as I recall, does not record that they ever butchered their own women and children to facilitate lying propaganda…. In 1944 members of British Military Intelligence took it for granted that after the war Marshal Sir Arthur Harris would be hanged or shot for high treason against the British people…

“Churchill’s ruthless violation of the laws of war regarding urban aerial bombardment directly led to the destruction of many of Europe’s finest and most ancient cities. But perhaps influenced by his chronic drunkenness, he later sought to carry out even more horrifying war crimes and was only prevented from doing so by the dogged opposition of all his military and political subordinates.

“Along with the laws prohibiting the bombing of cities, all nations had similarly agreed to ban the first use of poison gas, while stockpiling quantities for necessary retaliation. Since Germany was the world-leader in chemistry, the Nazis had produced the most lethal forms of new nerve gases, such as Tabun and Sarin, whose use might have easily resulted in major military victories on both the Eastern and Western fronts, but Hitler had scrupulously obeyed the international protocols that his nation had signed. However, late in the war during 1944 the relentless Allied bombardment of German cities led to the devastating retaliatory attacks of the V-1 flying bombs against London, and an outraged Churchill became adamant that German cities should be attacked with poison gas in counter-retaliation. If Churchill had gotten his way, many millions of British might soon have perished from German nerve gas counter-strikes. Around the same time, Churchill was also blocked in his proposal to bombard Germany with hundreds of thousands of deadly anthrax bombs, an operation that might have rendered much of Central and Western Europe uninhabitable for generations.”

Equally unsettling facts have emerged from their burial yards about Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, but these revelations will await later installments of Unz’s long report on WW II lies.

November 20, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 7 Comments

Mossad And The JFK Assassination

John-F-Kennedy.net

“Israel need not apologize for the assassination or destruction of those who seek to destroy it. The first order of business for any country is the protection of its people.” – Washington Jewish Week, October 9, 1997

In March, 1992, Illinois Representative Paul Findley said in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, “It is interesting – but not surprising – to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.”

Considering that the Mossad is quite possibly the most ruthless and efficient intelligence agency in the world, it is peculiar that they have never been scrutinized in relation to the Kennedy assassination, especially when practically every other entity in the world (short of Elvis impersonators) has been implicated. But that all changed in January, 1994 with the release of Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment. In this book, Piper says, “Israel’s Mossad was a primary (and critical) behind the scenes player in the conspiracy that ended the life of JFK. Through its own vast resources and through its international contacts in the intelligence community and in organized crime, Israel had the means, it had the opportunity, and it had the motive to play a major frontline role in the crime of the century – and it did.”

Their motive? Israel’s much touted Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who ruled that country from its inception in 1948 until he resigned on June 16, 1963, was so enraged at John F. Kennedy for not allowing Israel to become a nuclear power that, Collins asserts, in his final days in office he commanded the Mossad to become involved in a plot to kill America’s president.

Ben-Gurion was so convinced that Israel’s very survival was in dire jeopardy that in one of his final letters to JFK he said, “Mr. President, my people have the right to exist, and this existence is in danger.”

In the days leading up to Ben-Gurion’s resignation from office, he and JFK had been involved in an unpublicized, contentious debate over the possibility of Israel getting nuclear capabilities. Their disagreement eventually escalated into a full-fledged war of words that was virtually ignored in the press. Ethan Bronner wrote about this secret battle between JFK and Ben-Gurion years later in a New York Times article on October 31, 1998, calling it a “fiercely hidden subject.” In fact, the Kennedy/Ben-Gurion conversations are still classified by the United States Government. Maybe this is the case because Ben-Gurion’s rage and frustration became so intense – and his power so great within Israel – that Piper contends it was at the center of the conspiracy to kill John Kennedy. This stance is supported by New York banker Abe Feinberg, who describes the situation as such: “Ben-Gurion could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man [Joe Kennedy, Sr., JFK’s father].” Ben-Gurion despised Joe Kennedy because he felt that not only was he an anti-Semite, but that he had also sided with Hitler during the 1930’s and 40’s. [We will touch upon this aspect of the story in an upcoming article entitled The CIA and Organized Crime: Two Sides of the Same Coin].

Anyway, Ben-Gurion was convinced that Israel needed nuclear weapons to insure its survival, while Kennedy was dead-set against it. This inability to reach an agreement caused obvious problems. One of them revolved around Kennedy’s decision that he would make America his top priority in regard to foreign policy, and not Israel! Kennedy planned to honor the 1950 Tripartite Declaration which said that the United States would retaliate against any nation in the Middle East that attacked any other country. Ben-Gurion, on the other hand, wanted the Kennedy Administration to sell them offensive weapons, particularly Hawk missiles.

The two leaders thus engaged in a brutal letter exchange, but Kennedy wouldn’t budge. Ben-Gurion, obsessed by this issue, slipped into total paranoia, feeling that Kennedy’s obstinance was a blatant threat to the very existence of Israel as a nation. Piper writes, “Ben-Gurion had devoted a lifetime creating a Jewish State and guiding it into the world arena. And, in Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was an enemy of the Jewish people and his beloved state of Israel.” He continues, “The ‘nuclear option’ was not only at the very core of Ben-Gurion’s personal world view, but the very foundation of Israel’s national security policy.”

Ben-Gurion was so preoccupied with obtaining nuclear weapons that on June 27, 1963, eleven days after resigning from office, he announced, “I do not know of any other nation whose neighbors declare that they wish to terminate it, and not only declare, but prepare for it by all means available to them. We must have no illusions that what is declared every day in Cairo, Damascus, and Iraq are just words. This is the thought that guides the Arab leaders … I am confident … that science is able to provide us with the weapons that will serve the peace and deter our enemies.”

Avner Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, published by Columbia University Press, reinforces this sense of urgency by writing, “Imbued with lessons of the Holocaust, Ben-Gurion was consumed by fears of security … Anxiety about the Holocaust reached beyond Ben-Gurion to infuse Israel’s military thinking.” He further adds fuel to this point by pointing out, “Ben-Gurion had no qualms about Israel’s need for weapons of mass destruction,” and “Ben-Gurion’s world view and his decisive governing style shaped his critical role in instigating Israel’s nuclear progress.”

Kennedy, on the other hand, was adamant in his refusal to promote Israel’s ascension to the nuclear stage. Avener Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, stresses, “No American president was more concerned with the danger of nuclear proliferation than John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was convinced that the spread of nuclear weapons would make the world more dangerous and undermine U.S. interests.” Cohen continues at the end of this passage, “The only example Kennedy used to make this point was Israel.”

Realizing that Kennedy would not change his mind, Ben-Gurion decided to join forces with Communist China. Both countries were greatly interested in creating nuclear programs, and so began their secret joint dealings. Working in unison through intermediary Shaul Eisenberg, who was a partner of Mossad gun-runner and accountant Tibor Rosenbaum, Israel and China proceeded to develop their own nuclear capabilities without the knowledge of the United States.

If you find this scenario improbable, I strongly urge you to read Gordon Thomas’ excellent book, Seeds of Fire, where he exposes how the Mossad and CSIS (Chinese secret service) have conspired on many occasions to not only steal American military secrets, but to also doctor U.S. intelligence programs such as the Justice Department’s PROMISE software. This instance, I am afraid to say, is but the first where echoes of the JFK assassination can still be felt today reverberating through our post 9-11 world. The danger of Israel developing the Bomb in unison with China became a highly volatile situation, and was closely monitored by the CIA.

Intent on pursuing this path, the Israeli’s constructed a nuclear facility at Dimona. When Kennedy demanded that the U.S. inspect this plant, Ben-Gurion was so incensed that he erected another PHONY facility that held no evidence of nuclear research and development. (Does this scenario sound eerily familiar to the game we’re playing with Saddam Hussein in Iraq right now?) Fully aware of their shenanigans, though, JFK told Charles Bartlett, “The sons of bitches lie to me constantly about their nuclear capability.”

Avner Cohen, in Israel and the Bomb, reiterates this claim by saying that Ben-Gurion had taken the nuclear issue so closely to heart that he, “concluded that he could not tell the truth about Dimona to American leaders, not even in private.”

Dr. Gerald M. Steinberg, political science professor at Bar-Ilan University’s BESA Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, weighs in by saying, “Between 1961 and 1963, the Kennedy administration placed a great deal of pressure on Ben-Gurion in the effort to pressure for acceptance of international inspection of Dimona and Israeli abdication of their nuclear weapons. This pressure apparently did not alter Israeli policy, but it was a contributing factor to Ben-Gurion’s resignation in 1963.”

To convey how serious this situation had become in modern terms, look at what is happening in Iraq with United Nations security teams inspecting the royal palaces and bunkers for nuclear weapons and materials. This matter is so urgent that our nation is on the verge of war. Forty years earlier, the heat that JFK was placing on Ben-Gurion was equally as strong as what George Bush is laying on Saddam Hussein today.

In Israel and the Bomb, Avner Cohen reinforces this point. “To force Ben-Gurion to accept the conditions, Kennedy exerted the most useful leverage available to an American president in dealing with Israel: a threat that an unsatisfactory solution would jeopardize the U.S. government’s commitment to, and support of, Israel.”

The pressure on Ben-Gurion was so immense that he ended up leaving office. But Kennedy, in true pit-bull style, didn’t let up on Ben-Gurion’s successor, Levi Eshkol, as Avner Cohen reports. “Kennedy told Eshkol that the U.S. commitment and support of Israel ‘could be seriously jeopardized’ if Israel did not let the U.S. obtain ‘reliable information’ about its efforts in the nuclear field. Kennedy’s demands were unprecedented. They amounted, in effect, to an ultimatum.” Cohen concludes this thought by asserting, “Kennedy’s letter precipitated a near-crisis situation in Eshkol’s office.”

In the end, as we’re all aware, Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963; but less known is that China conducted its first nuclear test in October, 1964. What makes this event more profound is Piper’s claim that even though Israel said its first nuclear tests took place in 1979, they actually occurred in October, 1964 along with the Chinese! If this is true, other than August, 1945 when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, October 1964 may possibly be the most dangerous month in 20th century history.

Let’s return, though, to JFK’s assassination and the direct results of it in regard to the Jewish lobby, American foreign policy, and the militarization of Israel. To understand how powerful the Israeli lobby is in this country, venerable Senator J. William Fulbright told CBS Face the Nation on April 15, 1973, “Israel controls the U.S. Senate. The Senate is subservient, much too much; we should be more concerned about U.S. interests rather than doing the bidding of Israel. The great majority of the Senate of the U.S. – somewhere around 80% – is completely in support of Israel; anything Israel wants; Israel gets. This has been demonstrated time and again, and this has made [foreign policy] difficult for our government.”

Do you hear what Senator Fulbright said? This isn’t a crazy conspiracy theorist or a KKK anti-Semite. It’s a much-respected U.S. Senator saying that about 80% of the Senate is in Israel’s hip pocket. Adding clout to this argument is Rep. Paul Findley, who was quoted in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in March, 1992, “During John Kennedy’s campaign for the presidency, a group of New York Jews had privately offered to meet his campaign expenses if he would let them set his Middle East policy. He did not agree … As the president, he provided only limited support of Israel.”

To understand how important Kennedy’s decisions were during his short-lived presidency, we need to look at the issue of campaign finance. Considering how influential the Israeli lobby is in the U.S. Senate (hearkening back to the words of Senator Fulbright), they had to have been enraged when President Kennedy genuinely wanted to cut the knees out from under the current campaign finance methods because it made politicians so reliant upon the huge cash inlays of special-interest groups. Regrettably, Kennedy did not have the time to implement this program, and to this day our political system is still monopolized by lobbyists from the very same special-interest groups. One can only imagine what changes would have occurred in regard to our foreign policy had Kennedy eradicated these vipers and blood-suckers from the halls of Congress.

Tragically, Kennedy’s ideas never came to fruition, and his heated battle with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion over whether Israel should be allowed to develop a nuclear program was ultimately lost. The reason why is that Lyndon Baines Johnson, who Kennedy intended to drop from his ticket in 1964 due to his extreme dislike for, had a complete reversal in foreign policy. As you will see, not only did Israel’s nuclear program move ahead unchecked; they also became the primary beneficiary of our foreign aid.

But this absolute turnaround would not have occurred if Kennedy would not have been assassinated. Up until LBJ became president, Kennedy dealt with the Middle East in a way that most benefited the U.S. His primary goal – and one which would most keep the peace – was a balance of power in the Middle East so that each and every nation would be secure. This decision adhered to the Tripartite Declaration which the U.S. signed in 1950. But under the Johnson administration, this fragile balance was overturned, and by 1967 – only four years after Kennedy’s assassination – the U.S. was Israel’s main weapons supplier, and OUR best interests were put well behind those of Israel!

As Michael Collins Piper writes: “The bottom line is this: JFK was adamantly determined to stop Israel from building the nuclear bomb. LBJ simply looked the other way. JFK’s death did indeed prove beneficial to Israel’s nuclear ambitions and the evidence proves it.”

Reuven Pedatzer, in a review of Avner Cohen’s Israel and the Bomb, in the Israeli Newspaper Ha’aretz on February 5, 1999 wrote, “The murder of American president John F. Kennedy brought to an abrupt end the massive pressure being applied by the U.S. administration on the government of Israel to discontinue their nuclear program.” He continues, “Kennedy made it quite clear to the Israeli Prime Minister that he would not under any circumstances agree to Israel becoming a nuclear state.” Pedatzer concludes, “Had Kennedy remained alive, it is doubtful whether Israel would today have a nuclear option,” and that, “Ben-Gurion’s decision to resign in 1963 was taken to a large extent against the background of the tremendous pressure that Kennedy was applying on him concerning the nuclear issue.”

If you’re still not convinced; how about some numbers? In Kennedy’s last fiscal budget year of 1964, Israeli aid was $40 million. In LBJ’s first budget of 1965, it soared to $71 million, and in 1966 more than tripled from two years earlier to $130 million! Plus, during Kennedy’s administration, almost none of our aid to Israel was military in nature. Instead, it was split equally between development loans and food assistance under the PL480 Program. Yet in 1965 under the Johnson administration, 20% of our aid to Israel was for the military, while in 1966, 71% was used for war-related materials.

Continuing in this same vein, in 1963 the Kennedy administration sold 5 Hawk missiles to Israel as part of an air-defense system. In 1965-66, though, LBJ laid 250 tanks on Israel, 48 Skyhawk attack aircrafts, plus guns and artillery which were all offensive in nature. If you ever wondered when the Israeli War Machine was created, this is it! LBJ was its father.

According to Stephen Green in Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, “The $92 million in military assistance provided in fiscal year 1966 was greater than the total of all official military aid provided to Israel cumulatively in all the years going back to the foundation of that nation in 1948.”

Green continues, “70% of all U.S. official assistance to Israel has been military. America has given Israel over $17 billion in military aid since 1946, virtually all of which – over 99% – has been provided since 1965.”

Can you see what’s happening here? Within two years of JFK’s assassination, Israel went from being a weak, outmatched member of the volatile Middle Eastern community that was not allowed to develop nuclear weapons to one that was well on its way to becoming a undeniable military force on the world stage. John Kennedy adamantly put his foot down and refused to allow Israel to develop a nuclear program, while LBJ bent over backward to facilitate and bolster them. Or, as Seymour Hersh wrote in The Samson Option, “By 1968, the president had no intention of doing anything to stop the Israeli bomb.”

The result of this shift in focus from the Kennedy to Johnson administration is, in my opinion, the PRIMARY reason behind our current troubles in the Middle East which culminated in the 9-11 attacks and our upcoming war with Iraq (and beyond). I have a great deal of confidence in this statement, for as Michael Collins Piper points out, here are the results of John F. Kennedy’s assassination:

1) Our foreign and military aid to Israel increased dramatically once LBJ became president.

2) Rather than trying to maintain a BALANCE in the Middle East, Israel suddenly emerged as the dominant force.

3) Since the LBJ administration, Israel has always had weaponry that was superior to any of its direct neighbors.

4) Due to this undeniable and obvious increase in Israel’s War Machine, a constant struggle has been perpetuated in the Middle East.

5) LBJ also allowed Israel to proceed with its nuclear development, resulting in them becoming the 6th largest nuclear force in the world.

6) Finally, our huge outlays of foreign aid to Israel (approximately $10 billion/year when all is said and done) has created a situation of never-ending attacks and retaliation in the Middle East, plus outright scorn and enmity against the U.S. for playing the role of Israel’s military enabler.

In Israel’s, and especially David Ben-Gurion’s eyes then, what were their alternatives – to remain weakened (or at least balanced) in relation to their neighbors and handcuffed by JFK’s refusal to bow to their will, or KILL the one man standing in their way to becoming dominant in the Middle East, the recipient of huge amounts of military aid, and one of the premier nuclear forces in the world? It’s something to think about.

November 17, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 4 Comments

American Conspiracies & Cover-ups

JFK, 9/11, the Fed, rigged elections, suppressed cancer cures and the greatest conspiracies of our time

By Douglas Cirignano

In today’s world, the phrase “conspiracy theory” is pejorative and has a negative connotation. To many people, a conspiracy theory is an irrational, over-imaginative idea endorsed by people looking for attention and not supported by the mainstream media or government.

History shows, though, that there have been many times when governments or individuals have participated in conspiracies. It would be naïve to think that intelligence agencies, militaries, government officials, and politicians don’t sometimes cooperate in covert, secretive ways. Following are five instances when it’s been proven that the government engaged in a conspiracy.

THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION

On August 4, 1964, Captain John J. Herrick, the commander of the USS Maddox, a US Navy vessel that was on an intelligence-gathering mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, reported to the White House and Pentagon that North Vietnamese patrol boats had fired torpedoes at his ship, and, so, the Maddox had fired back.

Two days later, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified to the Congress that he was certain that the Maddox had been attacked. On August 7, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, the Congressional act that allowed President Johnson free reign to commence war; Johnson immediately ordered air strikes on North Vietnam and the Vietnam War—which would eventually kill fifty-eight thousand Americans and two million Asians—was underway.

Since then, it has been shown and proven that no North Vietnamese boats ever fired on the Maddox, and that McNamara had been untruthful when he testified before Congress. According to the official publication of the Naval Institute,

… once-classified documents and tapes released in the past several years, combined with previously uncovered facts, make clear that high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public about events that led to full US involvement in the Vietnam War.”

In the weeks prior to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, South Vietnamese ships had been attacking posts in North Vietnam in conjunction with the CIA’s Operation 34A. According to many inside sources, the Johnson administration wanted a full-scale war in Vietnam and through Operation 34A was trying to provoke North Vietnam into an attack that would give Johnson an excuse to go to war. But when McNamara was asked by the Congress on August 7 if these South Vietnam attacks had anything to do with the US military and CIA, McNamara lied and said no.

Within hours after reporting that the Maddox had been attacked, Captain Herrick was retracting his statements and reporting to the White House and Pentagon that “in all likelihood” an over-eager sonar man had been mistaken and that the sonar sounds and images that he originally thought were enemy torpedoes were actually just the beat of the Maddox’s own propellers.

Herrick reported that there was a good probability that there had been no attack on the Maddox, and suggested “complete reevaluation before any action is taken.”

McNamara saw these new, updated reports and discussed them with President Johnson early in the afternoon of August 4. Even though this was so, on the evening of August 4, President Johnson went on national television and announced to the American public that North Vietnam had engaged in “unprovoked aggression” and, so, the US military was retaliating.

A few days after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Johnson remarked, “Hell, those damn stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish.”

Recently, new documents related to the Gulf of Tonkin incident have been declassified and according to Robert Hanyok, a historian for the National Security Agency, these documents show that the NSA deliberately “distorted intelligence” andand “altered documents” to make it appear that an attack had occurred on August 4.

When President Lyndon Johnson misrepresented to the American public and said he knew that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship, and when Defense Secretary Robert McNamara lied to the Congress and said he was sure that the Maddox had been attacked and that the CIA had nothing to do with South Vietnam aggression, and when NSA officials falsified information to make it appear that there had been an attack on the Maddox, that was a government conspiracy.

OPERATION NORTHWOODS

In 1962, the most powerful and highest ranking military officials of the US government, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt strongly that the communist leader Fidel Castro had to be removed from power and, so, came up with a plan to justify an American invasion of Cuba.

The plan, entitled Operations Northwoods, was presented to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, and was signed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman L. Lemnitzer.

Operations Northwoods was a proposal for a false flag operation, a plan in which a military organizes an attack against its own country and then frames and blames the attack on another country for the purpose of the purpose of initiating hostilities and declaring war on that country.

The proposal was originally labeled Top Secret but was made public on November 18, 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. The complete Operation Northwoods paper was published online by the National Security Archive on April 30, 2001, and this once-secret government document can now be read by anyone.

The actions that General Lemnitzer and the other chiefs wanted to d to take under Operations Northwoods are shocking. According to the plan, CIA and military personnel and hired provocateurs would commit various violent acts and these acts would be blamed on Castro to “create the necessary impression of Cuban rashness and irresponsibility” and “put the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances.”

One of the most ambitious plans of Operation Northwoods was to blow up a plane in midflight. The strategy was to fill a civilian airplane with CIA and military personnel who were registered under fake ID’s; an exact duplicate plane—an empty military drone aircraft—would take off at the same exact time.

The plane of fake passengers would land at a military base but the empty drone plane would fly over Cuba and crash in the ocean, supposedly a victim of Cuban missiles. “Casualty lists in US newspapers” and conducting “fake funerals for mock-victims” would cause “a helpful wave of national indignation” in America.

The Operation Northwoods proposal also states: “We could blow up a US ship and blame Cuba.” Whether the ship was to be empty or full of US soldiers is unclear. The document also says: “Hijacking attempts against US civil air and surface craft should be encouraged.”

Some of the recommendations of Operation Northwoods would have surely led to serious injuries and even deaths of Cuban and American civilians. The plan suggests:

We could sink a boatload of Cubans on route to Florida (real or simulated).”

And:

We could foster attempts on lives of anti-Castro Cubans in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized…We could explode a few bombs in carefully chosen spots.”

Lemnitzer and the chiefs wanted many of these staged terrorist attacks to be directed at the Guantanamo Bay United States Naval Base in Cuba. The plans were:

  • “Start riots near the entrance to the base”
  • “lob mortar shells from outside the base to inside the base”
  • “blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires”
  • “burn aircraft on airbase (sabotage)”
  • “sabotage ship in harbor; large fires—napalm.”

When Secretary of Defense McNamara was presented with the Operation Northwoods plan, he either stopped and rejected the plan himself or passed it on to President Kennedy and JFK then rejected it. But if Kennedy and McNamara had agreed with the plan, then the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to begin enacting Operation Northwoods “right away, within a few months.”

Even though Operation Northwoods was never initiated, when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the other highest-ranking military officials of the United States Government planned to organize violent attacks on Americans and anti-Castro Cuban citizens, knowing those attacks could severely injure and kill those citizens, and when they planned to blame those attacks on Cuba and then use that as an excuse to invade Cuba, that was a government conspiracy.

FBI AND THE MAFIA

In March 1965, the FBI had the house of New England organized crime boss Raymond Patriarca wiretapped and overheard two mobsters, Joseph Barboza and Vincent Flemmi, asking Patriarca for permission to kill another gangster, Edward Deegan. Two days later, Deegan’s blood-soaked body was found dead in a Boston alley.

Within days, an official FBI report confirmed that Joseph Barboza and three other mobsters were the murderers. Instead of those men going to prison for murder, though, three years later a man named Joseph Salvati was brought to trial for the murder of Edward Deegan. At that trial Joseph Barboza testified and lied that Salvati was one of the murderers. On the basis of Barboza’s testimony, Joseph Salvati was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

At that time, in the mid 1960s, the FBI was being pressured more and more to do something to stop organized crime. The bureau began using members of the mafia—criminals and murderers—to inform against fellow mafia members. Joseph Barboza was one of these FBI-protected, paid informants. The FBI didn’t want Barboza to go to prison for the murder of Deegan because they wanted him to continue infiltrating the mafia and testifying against other mafia members.

The bureau, apparently, did want a conviction in the Deegan murder case, though, and, so, let Barboza lie under oath and let a man they knew to be innocent, Joseph Salvati, go to prison.

The Witness Protection Program was first created for Joseph Barboza, and Barboza was the first mafia informant to be protected under the program. After helping to convict a number of mobsters, Barboza was sent off to live in California. While under the Witness Protection Program, Barboza committed at least one more murder, and probably more.

On trial for a murder in California, FBI officials showed up for Joseph Barboza’s trial and testified on his behalf, helping Barboza to get a light sentence.

Joseph Salvati ended up serving thirty years in prison for a murder that he was innocent of. During that thirty-year period, lawyers for Salvati requested documents from the FBI that would have proved Salvati’s innocence, but the bureau refused to release them.

Finally, in 1997, other evidence came forth suggesting Salvati’s innocence and the governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, granted Salvati’s release. A few years later, the FBI was ordered to release all its reports on the case; hundreds of documents showed the FBI knew that Barboza was a murderer, that he had murdered Edward Deegan, and that Joseph Salvati had had nothing to do with the crime.

Salvati was exonerated in a court of law, and was eventually awarded millions of dollars in a civil lawsuit against the government. (Three other defendants were also exonerated. At the 1968 trial, Joseph Barboza had testified that three other men—men who were also not guilty—had participated in Deegan’s murder. These three innocent men were, with Salvati, also sent to prison.)

Perhaps the most shocking thing that the FBI documents showed, though, was that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself knew Salvati was innocent and that Barboza had killed Deegan.

Hoover was working closely, almost daily, with the agents handling Joseph Barboza, and it was probably Hoover directing the operation. The congressional committee that investigated the case was the House Committee on Government Reform and Congressman Dan Burton was the chairman.

When asked by CBS’s 60 Minutes journalist Mike Wallace “Did J. Edgar Hoover know all this?” Burton replied:

“Yes . . . It’s one of the greatest failures in the history of American justice…J. Edgar Hoover knew Salvati was innocent. He knew it and his name should not be emblazoned on the FBI headquarters. We should change the name of that building.”

Congressman Burton claimed there was evidence that there were more cases when the FBI did the same sorts of things they did in the Joseph Salvati case; when Burton and his committee requested the files on these cases, the Attorney General and the White House refused to release them.

When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and top FBI officials let a known murderer lie and perjure himself in a courtroom, when they let four men they knew to be innocent suffer in the hell of a prison cell for thirty years, and when they deliberately covered that up for decades, that was a government conspiracy.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECT

In 1939, Albert Einstein and two other European physicists sent a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt informing Roosevelt that the German government was working on developing the science that could lead to the creation of a nuclear bomb. FDR immediately formed a committee to look into the idea of the US government making an atomic bomb.

In 1942, the Manhattan Project, the United States program to build a nuclear bomb, headed by General Leslie R. Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers, was formed.

The program existed from 1942–1946, spent two billion dollars, had plants and factories in thirty cities, and employed 130,000 workers. But virtually no one knew about it. The Manhattan Project is considered the “Greatest Secret Ever Kept.”

The US government wanted to keep the Project a secret lest Germany or one of America’s other enemies found out about it and built—more quickly—a larger, better bomb. In the early 1940s, when American scientists began working on splitting atoms and nuclear fission, US government officials asked the scientists to not publish any reports on the work in scientific journals. The work was kept quiet.

In 1943, when newspapers began reporting on the large Manhattan Project construction going on in a few states, the newly formed United States Government Office of Censorship asked newspapers and broadcasters to avoid discussing “atom smashing, atomic energy, atomic fission . . . the use for military purposes of radium or radioactive materials” or anything else that could expose the project. The press kept mum. The government didn’t talk about the Manhattan Project, the press didn’t report on it, and the public knew nothing about it.

Not even the 130,000 Manhattan Project laborers knew they were building an atom bomb.

In 1945, a Life magazine article wrote that before Japan was attacked with a-bombs, “probably no more than a few dozen men in the entire country knew the full meaning of the Manhattan Project, and perhaps only a thousand others even were aware that work on atoms was involved.”

The workers were told they were doing an important job for the government, but weren’t told what the job was, and didn’t understand the full import of the mysterious, daily tasks they were doing. The laborers were warned that disclosing the Project’s secrets was punishable by ten years in prison, and a hefty financial fine.

Whole towns and cities were built where thousands of Manhattan Project workers lived and worked but these thousands didn’t know they were helping to build nuclear bombs.

The Manhattan Project finally became known to the public on August 6, 1945, when President Harry Truman announced that America had dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Truman, himself, had not been informed of the Manhattan Project until late April 1945.

When the government kept the purpose of the Manhattan Project a secret from the press, from the public, from America’s enemies, from Harry Truman, and even from the 130,000 laborers who worked for the Manhattan Project, that was a government conspiracy.

THE CHURCH COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION

In the early 1970s, after the Watergate affair and investigative reports by the New York Times, it became apparent that the CIA and other US intelligence agencies might be engaging in inappropriate and illegal activities. In 1975, the Church Committee, named after the Committee’s chairman Senator Frank Church, was formed to investigate abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS.

The Church Committee reports are said to constitute the most extensive investigations of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Many disturbing facts were revealed. According to the final report of the Committee, US intelligence agencies had been engaging in “unlawful or improper conduct” and “intelligence excesses, at home and abroad” since the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The report added that “intelligence agencies have undermined the Constitutional rights of citizens” and “checks and balances designed by the framers of the Constitution to assure accountability have not been applied.”

One of the most well-known revelations of the Committee was the CIA’s so-called “Family Jewels,” a report that detailed the CIA’s misdeeds dating back to Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency. The committee also reported on the NSA’s SHAMROCK and MINARET programs; under these programs the NSA had been intercepting, opening, and reading the telegrams and mail of thousands of private citizens.

The Church Committee also discovered and exposed the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, the bureau’s program to covertly destroy and disrupt any groups or individuals that J. Edgar Hoover felt were bad for America. Some of the movements and groups that the FBI tried to discredit and destroy were the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr.

The most alarming thing that the Church Committee found, though, was that the CIA had an assassination program. It was revealed that the CIA assassinated or had tried to assassinate Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Raphael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, General Rene Schneider of Chile, Fidel Castro, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, and other political leaders throughout the world.

The Committee learned about the different ways the CIA had developed to kill and assassinate people: inflicting cancer, inflicting heart attacks, making murders look like suicides, car accidents, boating accidents, and shootings. At one point, CIA Director William Colby presented to the Committee a special “heart attack gun” that the CIA had created. The gun was able to shoot a small poison-laden dart into its victim. The dart was so small as to be undetectable; the victim’s death from the poison would appear to be a heart attack, so no foul play would be suspected.

In response to the Church Committee report, in 1976 President Gerald Ford signed Executive Order 11,905, which forbade employees of the US government from engaging in or conspiring to engage in political assassinations.

In that same year, the Senate approved Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the committee responsible for providing vigilant oversight over the intelligence agencies.

Many former CIA employee-whistleblowers and other people, though, claim that US intelligence agencies are still acting in improper ways. In 2008, it was revealed that the CIA had hired Blackwater, a private company made up of ex-Navy Seals, to track down and assassinate suspected terrorists.

Later in the 2000s, when the Congress formed a committee to investigate if CIA waterboarding and other methods of interrogation constituted torture, congressmen complained that they couldn’t get to the bottom of the matter because CIA officials and the CIA director were lying to the congressional committee.

Forty-five years after the revelations of the Church Committee, it seems US intelligence agencies are still engaging in covert and improper conduct.

When US intelligence agencies and the CIA plot to influence the affairs of foreign nations, when the CIA plots assassinations and assassinates foreign leaders and political dissidents, when the CIA develops new ways to kill and assassinate and interrogate and torture, and when the CIA keeps all that from Congress, the press, and the public, that’s a government conspiracy.

***

If these five instances of government engaging in conspiracies have been proven to be true—and they have been—isn’t it logical to assume that government agencies may have engaged in other conspiracies? It is the very nature of intelligence agencies and militaries to act in secretive, conspiratorial ways.

The phrase “conspiracy theory” shouldn’t have a negative connotation. Politics always plays out with backroom handshakes. It is the suggestion of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups that government agencies and officials and the special interests that influence them are often engaging in conspiratorial actions, and that conspiracies have been behind some of the most iconic and important events of American history.

A conspiracy theorist was regaling a friend with one conspiracy theory after another. Finally, the friend interrupted and said, “I bet I know what would happen if God Himself appeared out of the sky right now, looked down at us, and said, ‘There is no conspiracy.’ I bet you would look up and say, ‘So the conspiracy goes higher than we thought.’”

Perhaps if the Almighty appeared to inform us that politicians and governments and government officials don’t act in secretive, covert, conspiratorial ways, then we could accept that.

But when the evidence indicates otherwise….

Theories questioning if multiple people might have shot at JFK, or if interior bombs brought down the World Trade Center, or if somebody was able to rig the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections can make for dramatic, sensational storytelling.

But it is not the purpose of American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups to be sensational; the purpose of this book is to talk about “conspiracy realities” that can hopefully give us a deeper and more meaningful understanding of politics.

If elements in the intelligence agencies participated in assassinating President Kennedy, then how can the intelligence agencies be better controlled? If elements in the government allowed or caused 9/11 to happen to give us an excuse to go to war in the Middle East, then how much of the War on Terror is disinformation and propaganda?

If presidential elections can be rigged, then how can we have fairer, uncorrupted elections? If secretive influences behind the scenes, a Deep State, are controlling our social, political, and financial systems for their own selfish purposes, then it would benefit us to expose who and what these secretive influences are.

American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups may give us a glimpse into the way that government and politics work.

Or don’t work.


This is an extract from American Conspiracies and Cover-Ups, by Douglas Cirignano published by Simon&Schuster. It can be purchased in hard copy, digital and audio-book form through Amazon and other booksellers.

November 10, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Protecting Society From ‘Science’

Scientific research, published in influential places, can change the world. For ill as well as for good.

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | November 4, 2019

The New York Post ran a fascinating article this weekend, titled Stanford professor who changed America with just one study was also a liar. It’s written by journalist Susannah Cahalan, and is about her new book, The Great Pretender.

I haven’t read the book yet, the Kindle edition becomes available tomorrow, but she appears to be the real deal – a journalist who discovered something disturbing, unwelcome, and contrary to her expectations, yet told the truth.

The book is about a professor from a famous university. In 1973 he published a paper in a famous journal, Science. That paper changed history. It fuelled a backlash against institutions for the mentally ill, leading to their widespread closure.

Only now, more than four decades later, are we learning that David Rosenhan, who taught psychology and law, appears to have invented a great deal of what he described in that paper. That’s called fraud. He also suppressed contrary evidence.

The study claimed to describe the profoundly negative experiences of eight individuals who faked serious illness, were admitted to mental institutions, and then had a difficult time convincing the staff they were actually sane and stable. In the New York Post, Calahan tells us she:

started to uncover serious inconsistencies between the documents I had found and the paper Rosenhan published in Science.

… I looked for the seven other pseudopatients and spent the next months of my life chasing ghosts. I hunted down rumors, pursuing one dead end after the next. I even hired a private detective, who got no further than I had.

After years of searching, I found only one pseudopatient who participated in the study and whose experience matched that of Rosenhan…

… The only other participant I discovered, Harry Lando, had a vastly different take. Lando had summed up his 19-day hospitalization at the US Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco in one word: “positive.”

Even though he too was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, Lando felt it was a healing environment that helped people get better.

… instead of incorporating Lando into the study, Rosenhan dropped him from it… His data – the overall positive experience of his hospitalization – didn’t match Rosenhan’s thesis that institutions are uncaring, ineffective and even harmful places, and so they were discarded.

Fake news isn’t new. It turns up in prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals. It gets spread far and wide by newspapers, magazines, and television news. It makes its way into textbooks and introductory college courses.

We have few defences against it, few ways to prevent society from being highjacked by ‘research’ conducted by people who have agendas as well as PhDs.

The Great Pretender is another cautionary tale. Skepticism. Always skepticism.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

Western central bankers: they’re God, they trust – a 10-part series on the QE economy

By Ramin Mazaheri | The Saker Blog | October 21, 2019

It’s not that the West’s central bankers are infallible – the similarity is that they cannot be held accountable. After all – who can call God to account for His decisions?

Like God, when things succeed it is They (central bankers) who deserve all the credit – when things fail it’s because we failed to properly follow Their policies.

And like God, they don’t need regulation – it is They who give the regulations, which must be accepted on faith alone and no matter how poor the results.

Central bankers are held partially accountable by only one sector – the markets of money. If markets go down based on any of their statements the bankers immediately reverse themselves, regardless of the situation. Countless times Bernake, Yellen, Trichet, Draghi and others have made statements purposely as clear as mud and then backtracked at the first lower lip quaver from the rich. Despite this exception, neoliberalism has proven to be the worship of bankers, as they rule and not markets – central bankers, of course, subvert and control the markets in many ways.

This idolatry is not new: for two centuries “capitalism with Western characteristics” has truly been “banker rule”. The most impressive victory of neoliberalism – their ability to extend their unholy domain despite provoking the Great Recession – proves this: Central bankers in the G7 nations and the Eurozone have all been given the power to set fiscal policy, to decide social policy priorities and to render domestic elections irrelevant. Western nations are no longer democracies (and they were all, every one, merely the types of democracies which pointedly refused to evolve after 1917) but bankocracies.

The Great Recession has exposed modern capitalism to be not just banker worship but also banker governance.

This is not some wild-eyed lefty nonsense – they are deciding public policy. If we called them a “Politburo” instead of a “central bank” the West would rally up a posse of Nazis and send them to invade.

This multipart series will – as many of my previous such series have also done – use an exceptionally important political book as a jumping off point, which also allows me to humbly impart my point of view gleaned from my work as a daily hack journalist in the heart of the Eurozone. This point of view is rarely heard, yet has virtues which academics, think-tankers, specialists and authors cannot possibly contain – even we hack journalists must have some virtues, after all?

The book is 2018’s Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins, a former Wall Street executive who saw the light and is now informing on the crimes of Western imperialism-capitalism.

Quite simply, the book’s primary virtue is chronological: Prins gives a historical account of central banker doings in key areas – Mexico, China, Brazil, Japan and Europe – ever since US banker crimes set off the Great Recession in 2007. Prins gives us all the key happenings in these regions (only China is the one which is undoubtedly not capitalist-imperialist), and that is not something you can find all in one place elsewhere.

And because central bankers run the West, it is like reading the daily itinerary of a dictator – “this is how things were decided”.

What Prins does a good job in reminding us is that this has all been done to keep US banks solvent. Every policy of the US Fed is about defending this goal, and not at all about the health of the global economy; the idea that the US would be militarily aggressive and culturally overbearing yet financially benevolent is preposterous and unsupported by evidence.

But the book is essentially conventional journalism – it is a recounting of historical decisions, facts and consequences. The only radical, non-Western change Prins really suggests is to move away from the dollar. The world “class” is used less than a handful of times. Her mentions of the negative effect of central bankers’ decisions on the average person are clearly sincere but both sparing and brief. Few people get into Wall Street out of their love for poetry, after all. The book is a former Wall Streeter watching other Wall Streeters who have taken a brief detour into public service (except in China) – it is banker-centric. And this is quite useful in the 21st century.

Prins clearly and correctly views bankers as the problem, but her solution is essentially limited to hoping that China’s central bankers will re-balance the status quo, and that their stewardship will allow developing countries to coordinate cooperatively instead of exploitatively. She does not believe that the entire system needs re-ordering upon new moral and political foundations (or even upon the very different moral foundations upon which Red China rests, and which account for their different policies).

But merely changing Western-centrism to Sino-centrism, with its obvious shift away from the US greenback (and even combined with her correct approval of cryptocurrency) cannot be enough. China is not insisting that Western capitalist-imperialist nations follow Beijing, but that they reform themselves – Iran does this too, but where Beijing uses a whisper Iran uses a megaphone amplified by a megaphone. Prins needed far more moral condemnation and to propose far more actual changes to the prevailing Western system, but – as I wrote – this is essentially a book of typical Western capitalist “objective” journalism, where moralising is supposed to be left entirely to the reader.

This series is advocacy journalism. What I have done is to take Prins’ useful chronological, globally-oriented journalism on modern economic history and analyse it from a perspective very different from her own: a pro-socialist and anti-imperialist one.

It’s a great book, but lacks a modern political viewpoint

Prins gets the main point across, though, and it’s there in her title: G7/G20 central bankers have colluded since 2008 to (greenback) paper over the causes of the Great Recession.

Her book makes it undoubtedly clear how monetary policy has been coordinated to inflate and appease the 1%-dominated “markets” at different points around the world at different times. She doesn’t use these correct political terms, but she shows that 21st century Western financial policies are fundamentally neo-imperialist: the world has slaved for the benefit of the former unipolar imperium since 2008 – even though said imperium provoked the financial crisis in 2008 – because of collusion orchestrated by the imperium to inflict policies on the global economy which were mainly to save their biggest, busted banks.

There you have it: three major points upon which the past 11 years of Western economic history have been resting. This also explains why the West’s financial foundation is even shakier than it was in 2008.

You don’t need a PhD in economics to immediately grasp the correctness of these allegations: Nobody in their right mind would buy the securities of the top US banks… except for unaccountable central bankers. Central banks West-wide routinely bought $200 billion of such assets per month. Taxpayers were not enriched by buying bad investments, of course, but the busted banks in the US, Germany and France were.

The collusion Prins refers to in her title is the way the Fed used their influence to force other G20 banks to adopt the same policies. These policies are: massive money printing via QE, ZIRP (Zero interest rate policies) to persuade banks to take the money, and relaxing collateral standards in order to make sure banks got that money no matter how unsound everybody knew they were.

The problem comes down to a simple difference between capitalist and socialist views of finance: governments with policies dominated by the former give taxpayer money to private banks with no rules or accountability, whereas governments with policies dominated by the latter give this money with massive oversight, regulations and directives in order to ensure that it is used as efficiently as humanly possible. The irony for socialist-inspired nations is that they are the ones who are painted as corrupt!

Governments influenced by the former can rely on compliant, privately-owned Mainstream Media to repeatedly insist that these loans are for the benefit of all even though there is no such evidence for such a claim, nor any logical reason to expect such an outcome. Governments influenced by the latter really don’t care what the Western MSM says – their own people don’t need to be propagandized in favor of capitalist lies, and thus they mainly try to keep a low profile as regards international media.

(Cuba spends almost nothing on their media; Iran only recently started PressTV (and this service is more notable for its “different” viewpoint – “Voice of the voiceless” is the official slogan – rather than its scope and size); Xinhua seems to spend most of its time on soft news and certainly doesn’t trumpet its own beliefs. Indeed, much can be said about that difference between Iran and China: the former is nearly screaming up to Heaven what it is thinking and doing, whereas inscrutability in China is not just a cliché but their government policy, which aims to avoid friction. But I digress….)

The ultimate problem with Prins is that – like all “I’m a capitalist but not THIS capitalism” – she is ultimately a historical/economic nihilist:

Prins is like so many fine commentators on the Anglophone fringe: accumulating, exposing and railing against the crimes of capitalism, and garnering many clicks and views, but remaining fundamentally supportive of the capitalist system. They don’t believe in the only philosophical and economic alternative humans have designed to capitalism – socialism – nor do such analysts ever thread the camel through needle and become the one capitalist who finally proposes a capitalist system which is not based on exploitation, competition, aggression, etc.

There are ostensibly two main types of central bankers: the ones with more legacy power, and the ones with less but rising power, as is the case in China.”

Totally false: very real alternatives exist, and denying that – which Prins essentially does – only keeps people stuck in the political nihilism of TINA (There Is No Alternative).

The very real, very working alternative: the ‘terrorist’ central bankers of Iran & China

As I alluded to, China’s central bank is predicated on totally different foundations. And then you have Iran’s central bank: Iran’s central bank chief, Valiollah Saif, was declared a terrorist last month by Washington. Neither of these countries with socialist-inspired revolutions have banking leaders who are quotidian, interchangeable “central bankers minus legacy power”, as Prins describes.

Why was Iran’s Central Bank declared a “global terrorist”?

More flagrantly oppositional than Iran’s foreign policy are the tenets which guide Iran’s National Bank: it is totally state-owned, whereas the Fed is a consortium of private banks and set up like private corporations (something rarely understood). Iran’s National Bank is not “independent” from the government in the slightest. Iran’s central bank cannot meddle in – much less dictate – domestic policy, because that is why Iran has elections. Iran’s Central Bank, due to its fundamental independence, anti-capitalist and revolutionary nature proves that not all central bankers are the same.

Importantly, the independence of many Western central banks came after the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979: The Bank of Japan was made independent in 1998, the same year the ECB opened its doors to let greed rush in. Of course, their independence ensures that they follow policies which are for private concerns and not public ones.

Contrarily, China and Iran have central banks owned, literally, by the People. Former ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet often talked about how the ECB was a “bank of the people”, but it was classic continental hypocrisy – the Maastricht treaty, in the neoliberal & anti-socialist model in which the EU and Eurozone were created, explicitly made the ECB independent of any government. Does anyone possibly persist in believing, 10 years into (not after) the crisis, that the ECB has chosen policies which benefit the 99% and not the 1%?

There is widespread agreement in Iran that Islam tolerates capitalism – there are plenty of private banks – but Iran has agreed with socialism that the only solution is to have the biggest banks owned by the state. That is the only way “strings” can ever be applied to taxpayer money-created-loans in order to create a virtuous – and not exploitative – monetary cycle between government and business.

Such a solution is not proposed by a capitalist like Prins. She even tries to intimate that China’s Central Bank is almost equally duplicitous (though she could never get away with implying that China’s central bank was as exploitative), which is pure political nihilism and easily disproved.

The reality is that governments must issue paper money and private bankers act as the middleman to get this money to citizens… but only in capitalist countries. In socialist-inspired countries government workers serve as the middleman, and that is why they are succeeding in the 21st century. China and Vietnam are the two biggest boomers since 1980, while Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and a handful of others would be booming if they were not so terribly sanctioned.

Conclusion: There is no god but God

(That is perhaps the theological heart of Islam there, and repeated in every Salah daily prayer. Various stone idols with multiple limbs, the Christian trinity and Western central bankers all are not God because there is only one, single God and His name is God.)

Allow me to conclude with a few more indisputable truths, many of which have been painfully learned over the past decade:

  • Neoliberal central bankers are not as competent as even those much-maligned Iranian Revolutionary Shi’a mullahs. Per Prins:

With rates already near zero, or negative in some countries, there is little-to-no room to maneuver in the event of a looming crisis. After the decade-long money-conjuring policy, one with no real end in sight, one thing has become clear: central bank craftsmanship has been ineffective, at best, and has demonstrated gross negligence for the lasting consequences at worst. The assumption that these central banking policies will anytime soon evoke real growth is as preposterous as it is wrong.”

  • Once these paper props are stopped, chaos is certain to result in the Western economy. This chaos was always merely postponed via QE’s “helicopter money” (money thrown from helicopters (to the rooftops of fancy banker soirees?) in the hope that it will do good); this chaos will be even worse because 10 years of failed policies logically means that the West’s economies are far weaker than they were 10 years ago.
  • Capitalism is guaranteed to go from boom to bust, but the 2008 bust was both exceptionally bad and exceptionally driven by the US. The policy response was also exceptionally bad and also exceptionally driven by the US, and is also culturally designed to make Western society’s labor and financial laws even more exceptionally like those of the US.
  • If Western central bankers wanted to do everything they could to empower their enemy – socialist China – only then can they consider themselves as having been a success. The past decade has seen China soar so high they have broken the glass ceiling of a unipolar world. In slower historical processes, China has floated its yuan since January 2016, no longer pegging it to the dollar, and they have gotten the yuan added to the IMF Special Drawing Rights basket. QE could have changed the nature of Western societies in a good way, as it did in China, per Prins: “In China, conjured money went to building real things, whether they were needed or not, whereas for the rest of the G7, it tended to go into less tangible and more speculative uses.” The idea that China is building “unneeded” things and ghost towns is pro-capitalist propaganda, and is debunked here, but the result is clear: QE has only made China stronger but the West weaker.
  • The West has been told that the problem is developing countries not pulling their weight – China (alleged currency manipulation, their “slowdown” from incredible growth to merely fantastic growth, their trade war, etc.), Greece and other weak economies – when both the primary cause of the Great Recession and the primary cause of the continued global slowdown has been due to following the leading ideologies of the capitalist-imperialist West.
  • What the MSM has refused to shout from the rooftops is that all these trillions of QE could have gone directly into the pocket of the average person and produced comparatively spectacular economic growth on the macro level and on the micro/individual level. Half could have gone to citizens and the other half to infrastructure growth, and the money-conjuring nations would have assured their people 50 years of success and modernity. Sadly, capitalism does not believe in controlling their banks or their 1%. Instead, as everyone reading this fringe series on a fringe website written by a fringe hack journalist likely already knows, it went into the FIRE economy (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) and created massive bubbles worse than the ones a decade ago.

It comes down to a palpable feeling of social responsibility in government policy – there is none in hyper-competitive, “you have no right to a social safety net” Western neoliberal capitalism: contrarily, there is some of this rather holy spirit in Iranian Islamic Socialism, Socialism With Chinese Characteristics, Cuban-style socialism, etc.

It does not matter if this social responsibility comes from fear of God, or fear of incurring social shame or fear of el Norte, or whatever – results matter in social policy, because they mean life and death; because social policy always has and always will include very real judges dispensing very real (even if unfair) justice. Western distractions like “psychological motivation” are mainly overly-dwelled upon by existential Western urbanites who need to pay a psychologist to get them to finally accept that they are ragingly self-destructive, just like their economic principles and policies.

I will allow you to skip to the final page (of my series, not Prins’): At some point China will be asked to pick up the baton of QE collusion, because they are the only major economy which hasn’t done it yet… and they will not do it.

Why would they save the West? Not just because of their socialist ideals, nor their “Century of Humiliation”, but also because they have already been propping up the US monetarily (along with Japan) for quite some time.

But perhaps realizing that China won’t devalue its own economy via Western economic policies, the US has begun their fourth round of Quantitative easing. Their private media/propaganda outlets are ordering us “dont call it QE4”, but it’s exactly the same as before: printing new money to give to private banks with no strings attached.

QE, like God, has to be permanent.

Unlike God, there will be a reckoning for QE one day and it will be worse than in 2008.

For now, the West remains righteous neoliberal believers, and heaven rain down furious destruction on any Yellow Vester who smashes the window of a Western bank!

An 10-part series may seem like a lot, but these articles are shorter than my usual output when it comes to analytical series (Part 1 is the longest, or nearly). This series is essentially a continuation, updating and expansion of a 7-part series I wrote in autumn 2017 which also covered the failed Western policy of QE. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

***********************************

Part 1Western central bankers: they’re God, they trust – a 10-part series on the QE economy

Part 2 – How QE has radically changed the nature of the West’s financial system

Part 3 – QE paid for a foreign buying spree: developing countries hurt the most

Part 4 – Iran vs Mexico: ‘economic inflows’ versus ‘economic independence’

Part 5 – Understanding the West’s obsession with inflation

Part 6 – The new ‘beggar thy neighbor’: wars to devalue labor, not currencies

Part 7 – Blaming China for the Great Recession… to avoid emulating China’s (socialist-inspired) success

Part 8 – 1941, 1981, 2017 or today – Europe’s mess is still Germany’s fault

Part 9 – Don’t forget the real root of Brexit: fear of Eurozone economic contagion

Part 10 – Bankocracies: the real Western governance model


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China and the upcoming Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 4 Comments

Winston Churchill Starved 3 Million Indians to Death in the Man-Made Bengal Famine of 1943

By Marko Marjanović | Checkpoint Asia | December 22, 2016

Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II is a book by a science journalist Madhusree Mukerjee. It tells of British policy in India in the Second World War and how it relates to the Bengal Famine of 1943.

Mukerjee reminds the reader that before the British conquest India was a rich land. Certainly the conquerors drawn to Bengal in the 18th century were of the opinion they were adding a magnificently wealthy possession to their empire. Under colonial rule, however, Bengal soon became a synonym for poverty and a frequent setting of famine.

During the Second World War the colony was made to contribute heavily to the British war effort. India’s industries, manpower, and foodstuffs were made to serve requirements of the war the empire had involved itself in.

This was merely the latest escalation in a long lasting exploitation of the colony. The British deemed their unwanted presence in India a service and therefore extracted “payment” for it in the form of the Home Charge. As the British obstructed the expansion of manufacturing in India lest it provide competition for their domestic industry, the export of agricultural produce presented the only way of realizing this transfer.

Finally, since the empire set the transfer so high so much grain was extracted for export that the colony — which continued to produce more food than its need through the 19th century — was artificially kept in a condition of chronic malnutrition.

Unsurprisingly, there was strong resistance to colonial rule that could only be overcome by large scale repression. As part of the August 1942 crackdown against the Quit India Movement alone, more than 90,000 people were locked up and up to 10,000 were killed.

Short on manpower the British at times resorted to attacking crowds with aircraft. In particularly rebellious districts authorities burned down homes and destroyed rice supplies. British India was not unlike an occupied land.

The book exposes the manifold causes of the Bengal Famine. To begin with mortality rate in Bengal under British rule was atrocious even in a normal year with some of that attributable to malnutrition.

The immediate reasons why conditions deteriorated beyond this “normal” state of semi-famine was the catastrophic Midnapore Cyclone and the Japanese capture of Burma.

The Cyclone storm and subsequent floods disrupted life and ruined crops. The loss of Burma severed links with an important source of rice imports to India. These two factors which were outside British control, were probably enough for a disaster on their own, but subsequent British policies made the crisis far worse than it needed to be.

Anticipating the possibility the Japanese could advance further, the British carried out a scorched earth policy in coastal Bengal, seizing rice stocks, motor vehicles, bicycles and boats. Seizure of boats was particularly disruptive as they normally represented the primary means of transporting rice crops to the markets.

The loss of Burmese rice imports to India was not made up by imports from elsewhere, nor was India’s obligation to supply British Indian troops abroad lessened. Instead, India was made to cover the loss of Burmese rice imports to Ceylon, Arabia and South Africa even though these territories were already better provisioned with food than India.

Albeit in the years before WWII India had become a net importer of food, importing at least one million tons of cereal per year — a figure that was not actually sufficient to cover its needs, but represented what it could afford to import after paying the Home Charge — the British now undertook to export food from India.

Anticipating food shortages that were certain to follow, colonial administration moved to protect the strata of society most useful to the British Empire — administrators, soldiers and industrial workers. It set out to buy up huge quantities of grain and store it for their use. It would pay for these stocks in the same way it acquired supplies for the war effort — by printing money.

The government acquired some grain by requisitioning, but for the most part it simply bought it. Some purchases it made on its own, others it contracted out to private traders. Big merchant companies were given advances of vast sums of money and instructed to purchase grain at any price for the government.

The price of already precious grain skyrocketed and the Bengal peasant was priced out of the market. Between the purchases of the Bengal administration, the Government of India, the army and the industries which were recipients of government largesse, grain was sucked out from rural areas. Departments of government and industries crucial for the war effort secured huge stocks of grain — part of which would end up rotting as millions starved.

What made the looting of the countryside to this extent possible was that the transfer of purchasing power away from the peasant and to the government and those the government made business with that money printing entailed.

In the course of the war the money supply increased by between six and seven times, so that the British worried they were “within sight of collective refusal to accept further paper currency”. This confounded the problem of food scarcity since some cultivators understandably held onto their grain rather than release it to the market, as it was seen a better store of value than the rapidly depreciating currency.

The reason government purchases were so devastating for Bengal peasants was that most families owned tracts of land too small to sustain their families on their own.

Even in a normal year such families were not in position to store enough of their harvest to sustain them until the next one. They were not sellers of crops, they sold their labor to the big landowners and bought food.

Except now buying food meant competing with a government that could print money at will.

Prevalence of effectively landless peasants in Bengal in itself was the result of British policies in India which had created the landlord class from what had been tax collectors before the conquest.

Albeit crop failure and the loss of Burmese imports was enough to create a serious food deficit for India, there was actually no food problem for the British Empire taken as a whole. In fact London claimed that Bengal could not be fed — not for a lack of food, but for a lack of ships — supposedly shipping was so scarce that grain, which was available, could not be taken to India without disrupting the British war effort.

Prioritizing its war over the bare lives of three million of its subjects would have been bad enough, but Mukarjee shows that shipping was nowhere as scarce as London claimed, albeit it was certainly being mismanaged. For example there was shipping and food enough to build up a stockpile in the Eastern Mediterranean for the purpose of Allied invasion of the Balkans that would never come about. Also there were always ships aplenty to build up an enormous and ever growing stockpile of food in the British Isles that the London government was actually building up for post-war use.

In reality the biggest obstacle to secure food for famine-stricken India was not a lack of means, but the lack of will to allocate the resources necessary. Such readjustments would have clashed with the interest and the intent of the British Empire under Winston Churchill to exploit its colony for its purposes to the greatest extent possible.

To their credit, not every Brit was of a mind with the London government personified in Winston Churchill.

Many officials, including high ranking ones like the Secretary of State for India, Leopold Amery and the Viceroy of India, Field Marshal Wavell repeatedly called for a decisive effort to relieve the famine. Governments of Australia, New Zeeland and Canada offered grain for India if United Kingdom, which had taken control of their shipping, would transport it there.

British soldiers on the scene defied orders not to help famine refugees often handing over food from their own rations.

In addition to showing how the British Empire helped cause the Bengal Famine of 1943 and then denied it famine relief Churchill’s Secret War also provides the context for these two stories.

Mukarjee recounts a fair bit of the dynamic between colonial metropolis and the colony centering on exploitation and resistance, explains the consequences of British wartime policies for the political future of the colony — partition and independence — and paints a picture of famine and repression as seen from the ground by offering vivid first hand accounts by people who were affected.

It is a book rich in content, but probably the one thing to take from it is the way in which the famine was made worse and its victims selected by government abuse of paper currency.

British reaction to food shortages in Bengal was to protect the cities and industries at the expense of the peasants. Like the Soviet Union which had faced a food crisis of its own a decade earlier the British Empire figured it was up to it to decide who would live and who would die.

Only where the Soviet method of robbing the countryside of grain in 1932-33 was requisition, the British method of choice in India was money creation. It was a more elegant method, but no less deadly, and more difficult to effectively resist.

If the famine in 1932-33 in the Soviet Union was a requisition famine, the Bengal Famine of 1943 was a printing press famine.

October 10, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments