Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave"? The later is surely true, but nothing is being done to care for our troops when the survivers return physically or mentally damaged. And if you believe the former is true, read below to learn about how our Constitution has now been virtually destroyed.

Does The United States Still Exist? — Paul Craig Roberts

March 26, 2016 | Original Here | Use original if you wish to receive his newsletter via email

Does The United States Still Exist?
An address delivered to the Libertarian Party of Florida on March 23, 2016 in Destin, Florida

Paul Craig Roberts

To answer the question that is the title, we have to know of what the US consists. Is it an ethnic group, a collection of buildings and resources, a land mass with boundaries, or is it the Constitution. Clearly what differentiates the US from other countries is the US Constitution. The Constitution defines us as a people. Without the Constitution we would be a different country. Therefore, to lose the Constitution is to lose the country.

Does the Constitution still exist? Let us examine the document and come to a conclusion.

The Constitution consists of a description of a republic with three independent branches, legislative, executive, and judicial, each with its own powers, and the Bill of Rights incorporated as constitutional amendments. The Bill of Rights describes the civil liberties of citizens that cannot be violated by the government.

Article I of the Constitution describes legislative powers. Article II describes executive powers, and Article III describes the power of the judiciary. For example, Article I, Section 1 gives all legislative powers to Congress. Article I, Section 8 gives Congress the power to declare war.

The Bill of Rights protects citizens from the government by making law a shield of the people rather than a weapon in the hands of the government.

The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, the press, and assembly or public protest.

The Second Amendment gives the people the right “to keep and bear arms.”

The Third Amendment has to do with quartering of soldiers on civilians, a large complaint against King George III, but not a practice of present-day armies.

The Fourth Amendment grants “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” and prevents the issue of warrants except “upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Fourth Amendment prevents police and prosecutors from going on “fishing expeditions” in an effort to find some offense with which to charge a targeted individual.

The Fifth Amendment prohibits double jeopardy, self-incrimination, the taking of life, liberty, or property without due process and the prohibition of seizing property without just compensation.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees speedy and public trial, requires that a defendent be informed of the charge against him and to be confronted with the witnesses, to present witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of an attorney.

The Seventh Amendment gives the right of trial by jury to civil suits.

The Eighth Amendment prevents excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments.

The Ninth Amendment says that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution does not deny or disparage others retained by the people. In other words, people have rights in addition to the those listed in the proscriptions against the government’s use of abusive power.

The Tenth Amendment reserves the rights not delegated to the federal government to the states.

The Tenth Amendment is a dead letter amendment. The Third Amendment protects against an abandoned abusive practice of government. The Seventh Amendment is still relevant as it allows damages in civil suits to be determined by a jury, once a protection against unfairness and today not always the case.

The other seven amendments comprise the major protections of civil liberty. I will examine them in turn, but first let’s look at Section 1 and Section 8 of Article I. These two articles describe the major powers of Congress, and both articles have been breached. The Constitution’s grant of “all legislative powers” to Congress has been overturned by executive orders and signing statements. The president can use executive orders to legislate, and he can use signing statements to render sections of laws passed by Congress and signed by the president into non-enforced status. Legislative authority has also been lost by delegating to executive branch officials the power to write the regulations that implement the laws that are passed. The right that Section 8 gives to Congress to declare war has been usurped by the executive branch. Thus, major powers given to Congress have been lost to the executive branch.

The First Amendment has been compromised by executive branch claims of “national security” and by extensive classification. Whistleblowers are relentlessly prosecuted despite federal laws protecting them. The right of assembly and public protest are overturned by arrests, tear gas, clubs, rubber bullets, water cannons, and jail terms. Free speech is also limited by political correctness and taboo topics. Dissent shows signs of gradually becoming criminalized.

The Fourth Amendment is a dead letter amendment. In its place we have warrantless searches, SWAT team home invasions, strip and cavity searches, warrantless seizures of computers and cell phones, and the loss of all privacy to warrantless universal spying.

The Fifth Amendment is a dead letter amendment. The criminal justice system relies on self-incrimination as plea bargains are self-incrimination produced by psychological torture, and plea bargains are the basis of conviction in 97% of all felony cases. Moreover, physical torture is a feature of the “war on terror” despite its illegality under both US statute and international law and is also experienced by inmates in the US prison system.

The Fifth Amendment’s protection against deprivation of life, liberty, and property without due process of law has been lost to indefinite detention, executive assassination, and property takings without compensation. The Racketer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) passed in 1970. The act permits asset freezes, which are takings. The Comprehensive Forfeiture Act passed in 1984 and permits police to confiscate property on “probable cause,” which often means merely the presence of cash.

The Sixth Amendment is a dead letter amendment. Prosecutors routinely withhold exculpatory evidence, and judges at prosecutors’ requests have limited attorneys’ ability to defend clients.The “war on terror” has introduced secret evidence and secret witnesses, making it impossible for a defendant and his attorney to defend against the evidence.

The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of excessive bail and torture are routinely violated. It is another dead letter amendment.

It is paradoxical that every civil liberty in the Bill of Rights has been lost to a police state except for the Second Amendment, the gun rights of citizens. An armed citizenry is inconsistent with a police state, which the US now is.

Other aspects of our legal protections have been overturned, such as the long standing rule that crime requires intent. William Blackstone wrote: “An unwarrantable act without a vicious will is no crime at all.” But today we have crimes without intent. You can commit a crime and not even know it. See for example, Harvey Silverglate, Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.

Attorney-client privilege has been lost. The indictment, prosecution, and imprisonment of defense attorney Lynne Stewart is a good example. The DOJ prevailed on her to defend a blind Muslim regarded by the DOJ as a “terrorist.” She was informed that “special administrative measures” had been applied to her client. She received a letter from the federal prosecutor informing her that she and her client would not be permitted attorney-client privilege, and that she was required to permit the government to listen to her conversations with her client. She was told that she could not carry any communications from her client to the outside world. She regarded all this as illegal nonsense and proceeded to defend her client in accordance with attorney-client privilege. Lynne Stewart was convicted of violating a letter written by a prosecutor as if the prosecutor’s letter were a law passed by Congress and present in the US code. Based on a prosecutor’s letter, Lynne Stewart was sentenced to prison. No law exists that upholds her imprisonment.

Our civil liberties are often said to be “natural rights” to which we are entitled. However, in historical fact civil liberty is a human achievement that required centuries of struggle. The long struggle for accountable law that culminated in the Glorious Revolution in England in the late 17th century can be traced back to Alfred the Great’s codification of English common law in the 9th century and to the Magna Carta in the early 13th century. Instead of issuing kingly edicts, Alfred based law on the traditional customs and behavior of the people. The Glorious Revolution established the supremacy of the people over the law and held the king and government accountable to law. The United States and other former British colonies inherited this accomplishment, an accomplishment that makes law a shield of the people and not a weapon in the hands of the state.

Today law as a shield of the people has been lost. The loss was gradual over time and culminated in the George W. Bush and Obama regime assaults on habeas corpus and due process. Lawrence Stratton and I explain how the law was lost in our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions. Beginning with Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century, liberals saw the protective shield of law as a constraint on the government’s ability to do good. Bentham redefined liberty as the freedom of government from restraint, not the freedom of people from government. Bentham’s influence grew over time until in our own day, to use the words of Sir Thomas More in A man for All Seasons, the law was cut down so as to better chase after devils.

We cut down the law so that we could better chase after the Mafia.
We cut down the law so that we could better chase after drug users.
We cut down the law so that we could better chase after child abusers.
We cut down the law so that we could better chase after “terrorists.”
We cut down the law so that we could better chase after whistleblowers.
We cut down the law so that we could better cover up the government’s crimes.

Today the law is cut down. Any one of us can be arrested on bogus charges and be helpless to do anything about it.

There is very little concern in legal circles about this. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) does attempt to defend civil liberty. However, just as often the ACLU is not defending the civil liberties in the Bill of Rights that protect us from the abuse of government power, but newly invented “civil rights” that are not in the Constitution, such as “abortion rights,” the right to homosexual marriage, and rights to preferential treatment for preferred minorities.

An attack on abortion rights, for example, produces a far greater outcry and resistance than the successful attack on habeas corpus and due process. President Obama was able to declare his power to execute citizens by executive branch decision alone without due process and conviction in court, and it produced barely audible protest.

Historically, a government that can, without due process, throw a citizen into a dungeon or summarily execute him is considered to be a tyranny, not a democracy. By any historical definition, the United States today is a tyranny. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Are you left wondering what is now going on in Syria, Turkey, and the rest of the middle east? What Russia is doing now that it has stopped bombing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh jihadis? Well, Russia is now "calling the shots", not with bombs, but with diplomacy. In any event, the intrepid West Asia correspondent Pepe Escobar reports that: "It's spy thriller stuff; no one is talking. But there are indications Russia would not announce a partial withdrawal from Syria right before the Geneva negotiations ramp up unless a grand bargain with Washington had been struck. Some sort of bargain is in play, of which we still don't know the details; that's what the CIA itself is basically saying through their multiple US Think Tankland mouthpieces. And that's the real meaning hidden under a carefully timed Barack Obama interview that, although inviting suspension of disbelief, reads like a major policy change document."

OpEdNews Op Eds

Is There a US-Russia Grand Bargain in Syria?

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ;            reprinted from Sputnik              Headlined to H3 3/19/16             Original Here

U.S and Russia Ceasefire in Syria
(image by WeAreChange, Channel: WeAreChange)
It's spy thriller stuff; no one is talking. But there are indications Russia would not announce a partial withdrawal from Syria right before the Geneva negotiations ramp up unless a grand bargain with Washington had been struck. 

Some sort of bargain is in play, of which we still don't know the details; that's what the CIA itself is basically saying through their multiple US Think Tankland mouthpieces. And that's the real meaning hidden under a carefully timed Barack Obama interview that, although inviting suspension of disbelief, reads like a major policy change document.

Obama invests in proverbial whitewashing, now admitting US intel did not specifically identify the Bashar al-Assad government as responsible for the Ghouta chemical attack. And then there are nuggets, such as Ukraine seen as not a vital interest of the US -- something that clashes head on with the Brzezinski doctrine. Or Saudi Arabia as freeloaders of US foreign policy -- something that provoked a fierce response from former Osama bin Laden pal and Saudi intel supremo Prince Turki.

Tradeoffs seem to be imminent. And that would imply a power shift has taken place above Obama -- who is essentially a messenger, a paperboy. Still that does not mean that the bellicose agendas of both the Pentagon and the CIA are now contained.

Russian intel cannot possibly trust a US administration infested with warmongering neocon cells. Moreover, the Brzezinski doctrine has failed -- but it's not dead. Part of the Brzezinski plan was to flood oil markets with shut-in capacity in OPEC to destroy Russia.That caused damage, but the second part, which was to lure Russia into an war in Ukraine for which Ukrainians were to be the cannon fodder in the name of "democracy," failed miserably. Then there was the wishful thinking that Syria would suck Russia into a quagmire of Dubya in Iraq proportions -- but that also failed miserably with the current Russian time out.

The Kurdish factor

Convincing explanations for the (partial) Russian withdrawal from Syria are readily available. What matters is that the Khmeimim air base and the naval base in Tartus remain untouched. Key Russian military advisers/trainers remain in place. Air raids, ballistic missile launches from the Caspian or the Mediterranean -- everything remains operational. Russian air power continues to protect the forces deployed by Damascus and Tehran.

As much as Russia may be downsizing, Iran (and Hezbollah) are not. Tehran has trained and weaponized key paramilitary forces -- thousands of soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan fighting side by side with Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). The SAA will keep advancing and establishing facts on the ground.

As the Geneva negotiations pick up, those facts are now relatively frozen. Which brings us to the key sticking point in Geneva -- which has got to be included in the possible grand bargain.

The grand bargain is based on the current ceasefire (or "cessation of hostilities") holding, which is far from a given. Assuming all these positions hold, a federal Syria could emerge, what could be dubbed Break Up Light.

Essentially, we would have three major provinces: a Sunnistan, a Kurdistan and a Cosmopolistan.

Sunnistan would include Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa, assuming the whole province may be extensively purged of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Kurdistan would be in place all along the Turkish border -- something that would freak out Sultan Erdogan to Kingdom Come.

And Cosmopolistan would unite the Alawi/Christian/Druze/secular Sunni heart of Syria, or the Syria that works, from Damascus up to Latakia and Aleppo.

Syrian Kurds are already busy spinning that a federal Syria would be based on community spirit, not geographical confines.

Ankara's response, predictably, has been harsh; any Kurdish federal system in northern Syria represents not only a red line but an "existential threat" to Turkey. Ankara may be falling under the illusion that Moscow, with its partial demobilizing, would look the other way if Erdogan orders a military invasion of northern Syria, as long as it does not touch Latakia province.

And yet, in the shadows, lurks the possibility that Russian intel may be ready to strike a deal with the Turkish military -- with the corollary that a possible removal of Sultan Erdogan would pave the way for the reestablishment of the Russia-Turkey friendship, essential for Eurasia integration.

What the Syrian Kurds are planning has nothing to do with separatism. Syrian Kurds are 2.2 million out of a remaining Syrian population of roughly 18 million. Their cantons across the Syria-Turkey border -- Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin -- have been established since 2013. The YPG has already linked Jazeera to Kobani, and is on their way to link them to Afrin. This, in a nutshell, is Rojava province.

The Kurds across Rojava -- heavily influenced by concepts developed by imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan -- are deep into consultations with Arabs and Christians on how to implement federalism, privileging a horizontal self-ruled model, a sort of anarchist-style confederation. It's a fascinating political vision that would even include the Kurdish communities in Damascus and Aleppo.

Moscow -- and that is absolutely key -- supports the Kurds. So they must be part of the Geneva negotiations. The Russian long game is complex; not be strictly aligned either with Damascus or with the discredited "opposition" supported and weaponized by Turkey and the GCC. Team Obama, as usual, is on the fence. There's the "NATO ally" angle -- but even Washington is losing patience with Erdogan.

The geopolitical winners and losers

Only the proverbially clueless Western corporate media was caught off-guard by Russia's latest diplomatic coup in Syria. Consistency has been the norm.

Russia has been consistently upgrading the Russia-China strategic partnership. This has run in parallel to the hybrid warfare in Ukraine (asymmetric operations mixed with economic, political, military and technological support to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics); even NATO officials with a decent IQ had to admit that without Russian diplomacy there's no solution to the war in Donbass.

In Syria, Moscow accomplished the outstanding feat of making Team Obama see the light beyond the fog of neo-con-instilled war, leading to a solution involving Syria's chemical arsenal after Obama ensnared himself in his own red line. Obama owes it to Putin and Lavrov, who literally saved him not only from tremendous embarrassment but from yet another massive Middle East quagmire.

The Russian objectives in Syria already laid out in September 2015 have been fulfilled. Jihadists of all strands are on the run -- including, crucially, the over 2,000 born in southern Caucasus republics. Damascus has been spared from regime change a la Saddam or Gaddafi. Russia's presence in the Mediterranean is secure.

Russia will be closely monitoring the current "cessation of hostilities"; and if the War Party decides to ramp up "support" for ISIS/ISIL/Daesh or the "moderate rebel" front via any shadow war move, Russia will be back in a flash. As for Sultan Erdogan, he can brag what he wants about his "no-fly zone" pipe dream; but the fact is the northwestern Syria-Turkish border is now fully protected by the S-400 air defense system.

Moreover, the close collaboration of the "4+1" coalition -- Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah -- has broken more ground than a mere Russia-Shi'te alignment. It prefigures a major geopolitical shift, where NATO is not the only game in town anymore, dictating humanitarian imperialism; this "other" coalition could be seen as a prefiguration of a future, key, global role for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

As we stand, it may seem futile to talk about winners and losers in the five-year-long Syrian tragedy -- especially with Syria destroyed by a vicious, imposed proxy war. But facts on the ground point, geopolitically, to a major victory for Russia, Iran and Syrian Kurds, and a major loss for Turkey and the GCC petrodollar gang, especially considering the huge geo-energy interests in play.

It's always crucial to stress that Syria is an energy war -- with the "prize" being who will be better positioned to supply Europe with natural gas; the proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, or the rival Qatar pipeline to Turkey that would imply a pliable Damascus.

Other serious geopolitical losers include the self-proclaimed humanitarianism of the UN and the EU. And most of all the Pentagon and the CIA and their gaggle of weaponized "moderate rebels." It ain't over till the last jihadi sings his Paradise song. Meanwhile, "time out" Russia is watching.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This article was called to my attention by a Paul Craig Roberts' post, wherein he provided the following prolog to this article: "TPP Is Not A Trade Agreement. The sole purpose of TTP is to give global corporations immunity to the laws of the countries in which they do business. Indeed, TPP allows a private corporation to repeal soverign laws of sovereign countries, which no longer would be sovereign. All a corporation has to do is to sue the country for 'restraint of trade' if the corporations’ profits are harmed by the country’s laws. For example, Monsanto could sue France and force the French government to repeal its laws against GMOs. As Mike Masnick writes, we were promised a debate about TPP, but did not get one. The corporations have greased all the palms with big bucks. Every government that signs on to TPP flushes its sovereignty down the toilet. Corporations are transformed into Global Emperors against whom mere citizens have no recourse."

PCR's prolog here: 

Find original tech dirt article here.

Countries Sign The TPP... Whatever Happened To The 'Debate' We Were Promised Before Signing?

from the now-the-ratification-fight dept

About an hour ago, representatives from 12 different nations officially signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) agreement in Auckland, New Zealand. The date, February 4th (New Zealand time) is noteworthy, because it's 90 days after the official text was released. There was a 90 day clock that was required between releasing the text and before the US could actually sign onto the agreement. The stated purpose of this 90 day clock was in order to allow "debate" about the agreement. Remember, the entire agreement was negotiated in secret, with US officials treating the text of the document as if it were a national security secret (unless you were an industry lobbyist, of course). So as a nod to pretend "transparency" there was a promise that nothing would be signed for 90 days after the text was actually released.

So... uh... what happened to that "debate"? It didn't happen at all. The TPP was barely mentioned at all by the administration in the last 90 days. Even during the State of the Union, Obama breezed past the TPP with a quick comment, even though it's supposedly a defining part of his "legacy." But there's been no debate. Because there was never any intent for an actual debate. The 90 day clock was just something that was put into the process so that the USTR and the White House could pretend that there was more "transparency" and that they wouldn't sign the agreement until after it had been looked at and understood by the public.

Of course, the signing is a totally meaningless bit of theater. The real fight is over ratification. The various countries need to ratify the TPP for the agreement to go into effect. Technically, the TPP will enter into force 60 days after all signers ratify it... or, if that doesn't happen, within two years if at least six of the 12 participant countries ratify it and those six countries account for 85% of the combined gross domestic product of the 12 countries. Got that? In short, this means that if the US doesn't ratify it, the TPP is effectively dead. The US needs a majority of both houses of Congress to approve it, similar to a typical bill. And that's no sure thing right now. Unfortunately, that's mainly because a group of our elected officials are upset that the TPP doesn't go far enough in helping big businesses block competition, but it's still worth following.

Inevitably, there will be some debate during the ratification process, though there are enough rumors suggesting that no one really wants to do it until after the Presidential election, because people running for President don't want to reveal that they're happy to sell out the public's interest to support a legacy business lobbyist agenda. But, even that debate will likely be fairly limited and almost certainly will avoid the real issues, and real problems, with the TPP.

Either way, today's symbolic signing should really be an exclamation point on the near total lack of transparency and debate in this process. The 90 day window was a perfect opportunity to have an actual discussion about what's in the TPP and why there are problems with it, but the administration showed absolutely no interest in doing so. And why should it? It already got the deal it wanted behind closed doors. But, at least it can pretend it used these 90 days to be "transparent."

Do you know that Janet Yellen has been guiding the Fed based on these faked data? It's like the enginer of a train being told the track ahead is clear when actually another train coming the other way. Moreover, many people who make their money on the stock market believe that the latest drops in the major markets are just minor glichs, whereas in truth the market is doomed to crash for the reasons Paul Craig Roberts explains below. So if you have positions in the stock markets, you should take your money out now and/or buy into quality gold and silver shares.

Another Phony Jobs Report

March 6, 2016 | Original Here | Use original if you wish to receive his newsletter via email

Another Phony Jobs Report  

And if true it is damning

The monthly payroll jobs reports have become a bad joke.
No growth in real retail sales, but 55,000 retail trade new jobs in February.
No growth in real consumer income, but 40,000 more waitresses and bartenders.
86,000 new jobs in Education, health services, and social assistance. February is a strange month to be hiring new teachers. If February brought a quarter million new jobs, how come a big hike in social assistance jobs?
Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Dear readers: The post of Paul Craig Roberts that I re-post below has caused me to reflect on a man from Serbia who I met in 2001 when we were both Invited Professors of Research at Universités de Paris 6 et 7. And, with probability near zero, we turned out to be doing the vey same type of research and using the very same spectrometer! (See photo below). We had no trouble sharing the spectrometer and became great friends. Pavle told me that back in Serbia he had taken part in, I think, about 50 demonstrations against the dictator Slobodan Milošević, who was charged with war crimes including genocide and crimes against humanity in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. At that time Pavle apparently believed that the NATO attack then in progress was to unseat Milošević. So for a while we used to converse by email and sent each other Christmas photos. Then he broke off all communication with me, not answering any of my subsequent emails. The only conclusion I can come to is that Pavle finally came to realize that NATO (run by the US) was far worse than Milošević and, I suppose, decided that no one from the US could be trusted, however friendly. Think about that for a while…

Murder Is Washington’s Foreign Policy — Paul Craig Roberts

March 4, 2016 | Original Here | Use original if you wish to receive his newsletter via email

Murder Is Washington’s Foreign Policy

Paul Craig Roberts

Washington has a long history of massacring people, for example, the destruction of the Plains Indians by the Union war criminals Sherman and Sheridan and the atomic bombs dropped on Japanese civilian populations, but Washington has progressed from periodic massacres to fulltime massacring. From the Clinton regime forward, massacre of civilians has become a defining characteristic of the United States of America.

Washington is responsible for the destruction of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and part of Syria. Washington has enabled Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen, Ukraine’s attack on its former Russian provinces, and Israel’s destruction of Palestine and the Palestinian people.

The American state’s murderous rampage through the Middle East and North Africa was enabled by the Europeans who provided diplomatic and military cover for Washington’s crimes. Today the Europeans are suffering the consequences as they are over-run by millions of refugees from Washington’s wars. The German women who are raped by the refugees can blame their chancellor, a Washington puppet, for enabling the carnage from which refugees flee to Europe.

In the article below Mattea Kramer points out that Washington has added to its crimes the mass murder of civilians with drones and missile strikes on weddings, funerals, children’s soccer games, medical centers and people’s homes. Nothing can better illustrate the absence of moral integrity and moral conscience of the American state and the population that tolerates it than the cavalier disregard of the thousands of murdered innocents as “collateral damage.”,_the_grief_of_others_and_the_boasts_of_candidates/

If there is any outcry from Washington’s European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassals, it is too muted to be heard in the US.

As Kramer points out, American presidential hopefuls are competing on the basis of who will commit the worst war crimes. A leading candidate has endorsed torture, despite its prohibition under US and international law. The candidate proclaims that “torture works” — as if that is a justification — despite the fact that experts know that it does not work. Almost everyone being tortured will say anything in order to stop the torture. Most of those tortured in the “war on terror” have proven to have been innocents. They don’t know the answers to the questions even if they were prepared to give truthful answers. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn relates that Soviet dissidents likely to be picked up and tortured by the Soviet secret police would memorize names on gravestones in order to comply with demands for the names of their accomplices. In this way, torture victims could comply with demands without endangering innocents.

Washington’s use of invasion, bombings, and murder by drone as its principle weapon against terrorists is mindless. It shows a government devoid of all intelligence, focused on killing alone. Even a fool understands that violence creates terrorists. Washington hasn’t even the intelligence of fools.

The American state now subjects US citizens to execution without due process of law despite the strict prohibition by the US Constitution. Washington’s lawlessness toward others now extends to the American people themselves.

The only possible conclusion is that under Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama the US government has become an unaccountable, lawless, criminal organization and is a danger to the entire world and its own citizens.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

By now the readers of my blog know that Paul Craig Roberts is my main source of materials to repost, and he is my hero. Still, my ability to explain my attachment to him is no match to the kudos that Professor Edward Curtin has writen to honor him in this short essay built around PCR's most recent book.

The Neoconservative Threat To World Order: Washington’s Perilous War For Hegemony

Review of Paul Craig Roberts’ Book

By Prof. Edward Curtin                                                                                                                                       Region:

Global Research, February 28, 2016                                                          Theme: ,  


You will rarely read a book written in a more courageous, intelligent, and blunt manner about profoundly pressing world problems than this one.  Paul Craig Roberts is a phenomenon; no issue, no matter how controversial, escapes his astute analysis.  He writes with a tornadic power and logic that convinces as it challenges. Driven by a passionate concern for the horrible direction of the world – especially the United States government’s responsibility for so much of its wretchedness – he is relentless in roiling the waters of ignorance and complacency in which so many Americans float.

A former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Paul Craig Roberts (image right) has escaped all easy labels to become a public intellectual of the highest order.  He is a prolific critic of U.S. foreign and domestic policies, with a special emphasis on the nefarious influence of the neoconservatives from the Reagan through the Obama administrations.  A savage critic of the mainstream corporate media – he calls them “presstitutes” – he dissects their propaganda and disinformation like a truth surgeon and penetrates to the heart of issues in a flash.

To Order Dr. Roberts’ Book from Clarity Press, Click Here 

The Neoconservative Threat To World Order is a compendium of his essays written between February 2014 and July 2015.  Most of them deal with Washington’s destabilization of Ukraine and its ongoing threats against Russia.  Roberts sees this new Cold War as rooted in the neoconservative doctrine of world hegemony.  He correctly argues that this is based on the Wolfowitz Doctrine, written in 1992 by neoconservative Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (a signatory of the 1997 Project for the New American Century), which became the blueprint for NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders and the growing threat of nuclear war that we are faced with today. In the preface he writes:
Once in place the Wolfowitz Doctrine resulted in the Clinton regime abandoning the guarantees that the George H. W. Bush administration had given to Gorbachev that NATO would not move one inch to the East.  In violation of the U.S. government’s word, former Warsaw Bloc countries were incorporated into NATO.  Then NATO was used to attack Yugoslavia and Serbia.  Then the George W. Bush regime withdrew the U.S. from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and began locating anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s borders.  Washington orchestrated “color revolutions” in the former Russian provinces of Georgia and Ukraine.  When the Orange Revolution failed to deliver Ukraine into Washington’s hands, Washington spent $5 billion cultivating Ukrainian politicians and creating pro-American Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that were used in Washington’s 2014 overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine.
Read chronologically, these essays reward a careful reader with an understanding of the progressively menacing steps taken by the Obama administration, including the announcement that the United States is sending battle tanks, heavy equipment, and thousands of troops to be permanently stationed in Eastern European countries surrounding Russia.  If the shoe were on the other foot and Putin was sending the same to Canada, Cuba, and Mexico, one would hear howls of outrage emanating from the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post, etc., media stenographers for Washington.

In essay after essay Roberts’ analyses give the lie to the Western media’s misleading reporting on Ukraine and its demonization of Russia.  He sees these developments as leading to war unless the neoconservatives are “removed from foreign policy positions in the government and media …. The warmonger neoconservatives must be removed from Fox ‘News,’ CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, and in their places independent voices must replace propagandists for war.  Clearly none of this is going to happen, but it must if we are to escape Armageddon.”

So the reader is enlightened but not encouraged.  But this is not Roberts’ fault.  He is being truthful.  He is a Cassandra warning of future disasters if people don’t awaken from “a false reality created for them by their rulers.”  He admits that he struggles with people’s reluctance to seek truth every time he writes a clarifying essay.  Yet he is of two minds – hopeless and hopeful. He intimates that even if people awaken, the neoconservatives will maintain their power in government and media.  Yet he stalwartly soldiers on, hoping to change minds, which suggests he believes at some level that changing minds has a chance of changing structures of power and ideology. His vacillation in this regard is understandable.

“People ask for solutions,” he writes, “but no solutions are possible in a dis-informed world.  Populations almost everywhere are dissatisfied, but few have any comprehension of the real situation.  Before there can be solutions, people must know the truth about the problem. For those inclined to be messengers, it is largely a thankless task …. Aspirations and delusions prevail over truth.”

Thankless as the task may be, Roberts elucidates many issues besides Ukraine, so these essays can also be read as self-standing analyses: 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, the case for impeachment of U.S. presidents, war crimes by U.S. officials, American “exceptionalism,” Operation Gladio, “Washington’s Iraq ‘Victory’,” European governments’ collusion with the U.S., the CIA and its media control, the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the war on terror, false flag attacks, etc.   His reach is capacious and his analysis penetrating.  He questions, probes, presents facts, and admits when facts are not conclusive.  Impeccably logical – and straightforward – he forces the reader to reevaluate their understanding of these issues. And he references other fine writers and researchers who support and extend his points.

While correct about the rise in power and evil influence of the neoconservatives over the past thirty years or so, I think Roberts’ understanding of the machinations of secret deep state forces going back to Operation Gladio and the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK, suggests he knows that the neocons are but a recent example of an old problem. The US drive for hegemony has deep roots and a long history.  Wall Street, the banks, and the CIA have been entwined for many, many decades. Overthrowing governments, propaganda, assassinations, and instigating wars are their specialty. None of this is the exclusive bailiwick of neoconservatives; they are just a current, execrable example. Behind them, and liberals and conservatives of all stripes, sit powers that transcend nomenclature. I’d like to see him give more emphasis to U.S. strategy as a long-standing continuum, though this does not detract from his astute analysis of the neoconservatives.  After all, these essays were written on the fly as the neocons policies were being carried out by the “liberal” Democrat Obama.

Dr. Roberts is a truth teller and a genuine patriot. Truth is his country. In a speech he gave in Mexico while accepting the International Award for Excellence in Journalism, he said, “In the United States journalists receive awards for lying for the government and the corporations…. Once a journalist sacrifices Truth to loyalty to a government, he ceases to be a journalist and becomes a propagandist.”

So if you want truth, read The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.  It’s journalism at its best.

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof. Edward Curtin, Global Research, 2016