Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hezbollah’s Drone Frightens the Zionists: It’s Only a Prelude to a Massive Aerial Attack Force



Hezbollah’s Drone Frightens the Zionists: It’s Only a Prelude to a Massive Aerial Attack Force



With each new military achievement recorded by Hezbollah in its war against terrorism in Syria, the level of anxiety and tension rises among the Zionists in anticipation of the next confrontation with the resistance.

Hezbollah drone

In this context, the “Israeli” media was highly attentive and fearful of the scenes involving an unmanned drone unveiled by the resistance as it bombed the positions of the Daesh terror organization in the western Qalamoun outskirts. They warned that what is being displayed is only a prelude to an air force with extensive offensive capabilities on the part of Hezbollah, which would alter the balance of power in any future war.
In this regard, Zionist commentators and experts expressed deep concern about the images of the drone displayed by Hezbollah. KAN TV channel said “the scenes show extraordinary capabilities. Although Hezbollah’s attacks were directed at Daesh targets, but there is certainly an “Israeli” follow-up to the operations of Hezbollah.”
The channel added “it is not the first time Hezbollah has shown that it possesses such capabilities. But the use of this weapon at this time after the declaration of a cease-fire in the south west of Syria adds to the growing fears in “Israel” of the security reality, which is forming in Syria that provides freedom of action to Iran and Hezbollah.”
The channel quoted the head of the security studies program at the University of Tel Aviv, Major General Yitzhak Ben “Israel”, as saying: “these images are certainly more helpful to Hezbollah in the psychological war. Tel Aviv did not agree at any time and will not agree in the future to any intensive Iranian presence in Syria because this is a direct threat to us,” noting that “they are addressing this matter through all means, including diplomatic means.”
The channel’s correspondent in the north of Occupied Palestine, Ruby Hammerschlag, said “the images that were displayed reinforce the perception that next time we will face Hezbollah on a completely different scale than we did in 2006. We will confront a more trained Hezbollah with different equipment,” adding that “Hezbollah is no longer an organization but an army in every sense of the word. In the “Israeli” army, they are well aware of this. The scenes presented by Hezbollah have had an impact on the residents of the north, who cannot confront this aerial threat and have been in the past years afraid of the tunnels on the northern border, if there were any.”
For his part, military commentator for Channel 10 Alon Ben David said: “what we’ve seen is an unmanned aircraft flying at a high altitude at a rather slow speed, throwing mortar shells, which is not the best Iranian technology, because the Iranians and Hezbollah have more sophisticated attack aircraft.”
“What has been displayed is only the first step to an important Hezbollah air force, which combines surveillance with offensive capabilities,” Ben David said. “This display of force should not be underestimated.”
The Maariv daily reported that senior Zionist officers admitted to the tense situation at the Lebanese border and the erosion of “Israel’s” deterrence against Hezbollah.
Source: Al-Ahed
23-08-2017 | 08:21
 
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Trump and American History Have Been Assassinated


When Trump was elected I wrote that it was unlikely that he would be successful in accomplishing the three objectives for which he was elected—peace with Russia, the return home of offshored US jobs, and effective limits on non-white immigration—because these objectives conflicted with the interests of those more powerful than the president.
I wrote that Trump was unfamiliar with Washington and would fail to appoint a government that would support his goals. I wrote that unless the ruling oligarchy could bring Trump under its control,Trump would be assassinated.
Trump has been brought under control by assassinating him with words rather than with a bullet. With Steve Bannon’s dismissal, there is now no one in Trump’s government who supports him. He is surrounded by Russophobic generals and Zionists.
But this is not enough for the liberal/progressive/left. They want Trump impeached and driven from office.
Marjorie Cohn, whom I have always admired for her defense of civil liberty, has disappointed me. She has written in Truthout, which sadly has become more like PropagandaOut, that the House must bring articles of impeachment against Trump for his abuse of power and before he launches a new civil war and/or nuclear war.
This is an extraordinary conclusion for a normally intelligent person to reach. What power does Trump have? How does he abuse his non-existent power? The ruling Establishment has cut his balls off. He is neutered. Powerless. He has been completely isolated within his own government by the oligarchy.
Even more astonishingly, Marjorie Cohn, together with 100% of the liberal/progressive/left are blind to the fact that they have helped the military/security complex destroy the only leader who advocated peace instead of conflict with the other major nuclear power. Cohn is so deranged by hatred of Trump that she thinks it is Trump who will bring nuclear war by normalizing relations with Russia.
Clearly, the American liberal/progressive/left is no longer capable of rational thought. Hate rules. There is nothing in their lexicon but hate.
The American liberal/progressive/left has degenerated into idiocy. They think that they are fighting “white nationalism” in the White House and that Trump is a champion or symbol of “white nationalism” and that there will be no victory until Trump and all symbols of “white nationalism” are obliterated.
Little do they understand. Ajamu Baraka spells it out for them in CounterPunch. White Supremacy, he writes, is inculcated into the cultural and educational institutions of the West. Liberal and leftist whites are also white supremacists, says Baraka, and Trump and the “alt-right” are nothing but a superficial useful platform on which the white supremacist American liberal/progressive/left can parade its self-righteousness. Ajamu Baraka’s conclusion is “that in order for the world to live, the 525-year-old white supremacist Pan-European, colonial/capitalist patriarchy must die.” It is not difficult to see in this statement that genocide is the solution for the white plague upon humanity. Little wonder the “alt-right” gets exercised by the anti-white propaganda of Identity Politics.
Non-white immigration will finish off the shards of remaining European civilization. All current demographics indicate that all of Europe and North America will sooner than you expect be occupied by non-white majorities.
The problem is not so much the immigrants themselves as it is that they are taught to hate whites by white liberal/progressive/leftists. The destruction of statues will not end with Robert E. Lee’s. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are next. They owned slaves, whereas the Lee family’s slaves were freed by will three years prior to the Lincoln’s invasion of the South. The Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln memorials will have to be destroyed also as they, too, are momuments to racism. Indeed, according to the Identity Politics of the Liberal/progressive/left the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are White Supremacy documents written by racists. This doubles the indictment against Thomas Jefferson and adds all of the Founding Fathers to the indictment. All are guilty of institutionalizing White Supremacy in America.
The uninformed insouciant Average American may think that this is a joke. But no. It is the orthodoxy of the white American intellectual class. It is taught in all the universities.
In Atlanta they are talking about erasing the heads of the South’s generals carved into Stone Mountain. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota will be next. It has carved into it the heads of Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. All racists, and Roosevelt was a colonialist and imperialist to boot. Lincoln was the worst racist of all.
Economist/historian Thomas DiLorenzo reminds us that “to his dying day, Lincoln was busy plotting the deportation of all the black people in America, including the soon-to-be-freed slaves.”https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/11/thomas-dilorenzo/next-target-blacklivesmatter/
The following statements are all statements that are in Abe Lincoln’s Collected Works:
“I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation [of the white and black races] . . . Such separation . . . must be affected by colonization” [sending blacks to Liberia or Central America]. (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln vol. II, p. 409).
“Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and . . . favorable to . . . our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime.” (Collected Works, vol. II, p. 409).
“I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people” (Collected Works, vol. III, pp. 145-146).
How did Lincoln in the face of his own words and deeds get to be the hero who liberated blacks from slavery? The Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave, as Lincoln’s Secretary of State complained. It was a war measure that only applied to slaves under the jurisdiction of the Confederacy in hopes of fomenting a slave rebellion that would pull Southern soldiers off the front lines to rush to the protection of their wives and children. In 1861 the year the North invaded the South, President Lincoln said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so” (First Inaugural Address). In 1862 during the war, Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.”
Lincoln was elevated to the undeserved position of black liberator by the historical lies made up by white liberal/progressive/leftists who hate the South. They are so consumed by hate that they do not understand that the hate that they teach will also devour them. They should read Jean Raspail’s book, The Camp of the Saints. People taught racial hate do not differentiate between good and bad members of the people they are taught to hate. All are equally guilty. As one Third Worlder wrote to me, “all whites are guilty,” even those such as myself who speak out against the West’s atrocities against the darker-skinned peoples.
The Amerian liberal/progressive/left has long been engaged in demonizing white people exactly as Nazis demonized Jews and Communists demonized capitalists. One would think that the liberal/progressive/leftists would be aware of what happened to the Jews and to the Russian, Chinese and East European capitalists and bourgeois middle class. Why do the liberal/progressive/leftists think they will escape the consequences of teaching hate?
What has Charlottesville taught us other than that the hate expressed by the liberal/progressive/left exceeds the hate expressed by the white nationalists themselves. When it comes to hate, the White Supremacists are out-gunned by the liberal/progressive/left.
Hate is the hallmark of the American liberal/progressive/left, and hate always ends in violence.
The Northern ruling economic interests had no interest in devoting resources to a war to free slaves. They wanted the Union held together so that there would be no competition for the lands west of the Mississippi and so there would be an agrarian sector to which to market northern manufactured goods protected by tariffs against lower priced British goods.
The northern work force didn’t want any freed slaves either. The large number of recent Irish immigrants driven out of Ireland by the British starvation policy called Lincoln’s war “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” What freed slaves meant for the northern working class was a larger labor supply and lower wages. In 1863 when the Republicans passed the draft, the Irish in Detroit and New York rioted. The rioters took out their anger and frustration on northern blacks, many of whom were lynched. It is not clear to me whether more backs were lynched in the North during the war or in the South during Reconstruction. If there are any memorials to the Irish, those racist statues will have to be taken down also. Perhaps even the Statue of Liberty is racist.
And we haven’t yet heard from Native Americans. In his excruciating history, The Long Death: The Last Days of the Plains Indians, Ralph K. Andrist describes the genocide of the Plains Indians by Lincoln’s Civil War generals, William Tecumseh Sherman, Phillip Sheridan, Grenville Dodge and other of the first war criminals of the modern age who found it a lot easier to conduct warfare against Southern women and children than against armed troops. Against the Native Americans Lincoln’s generals now conducted a policy of genocide that was even more horrible and barbaric than Sheridan’s destruction of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Lincoln historian Professor Thomas DiLorenzo provides a synopsis of the genocide of Native Americans here: http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803
During the eight year presidency of General Ulysses S. Grant, 1868-76, the Union generals conducted a policy of extermination against the Native Americans. Entire villages, every man, woman, and child, were wiped out. The Union Army’s scorched earth policy starved to death those Indians who escaped fire and sword.
Professor DiLorenzo writes:
“Sherman and Sheridan’s troops conducted more than one thousand attacks on Indian villages, mostly in the winter months, when families were together. The U.S. Army’s actions matched its leaders’ rhetoric of extermination. As mentioned earlier, Sherman gave orders to kill everyone and everything, including dogs, and to burn everything that would burn so as to increase the likelihood that any survivors would starve or freeze to death. The soldiers also waged a war of extermination on the buffalo, which was the Indians’ chief source of food, winter clothing, and other goods (the Indians even made fish hooks out of dried buffalo bones and bow strings out of sinews). By 1882, the buffalo were all but extinct.”
Indian warriors who were captured were subjected to the type of trials and executions that the George W. Bush regime gave Saddam Hussein: “hundreds of Indians who had been taken prisoner were subjected to military ‘trials’ lasting about ten minutes each, according to Nichols (1978). Most of the adult male prisoners were found guilty and sentenced to death—not based on evidence of the commission of a crime, but on their mere presence at the end of the fighting.” In other words, POWs were executed, for which the US executed German officers at Nuremberg.
The Union massacre of the Indians began before the Civil War was won. DiLorenzo reports:
“One of the most famous incidents of Indian extermination, known as the Sand Creek Massacre, took place on November 29, 1864. There was a Cheyenne and Arapaho village located on Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. These Indians had been assured by the U.S. government that they would be safe in Colorado. The government instructed them to fly a U.S. flag over their village, which they did, to assure their safety. However, another Civil War ‘luminary,’ Colonel John Chivington, had other plans for them as he raided the village with 750 heavily armed soldiers. One account of what happened appears in the book Crimsoned Prairie: The Indian Wars (1972) by the renowned military historian S. L. A. Marshall, who held the title of chief historian of the European Theater in World War II and authored thirty books on American military history.
“Chivington’s orders were: ‘I want you to kill and scalp all, big and little.’ ( Marshall 1972, 37). Then, despite the display of the U.S. flag and white surrender flags by these peaceful Indians, Chivington’s troops ‘began a full day given over to blood-lust, orgiastic mutilation, rapine, and destruction—with Chivington looking on and approving’ (Marshall 1972, 38). Marshall notes that the most reliable estimate of the number of Indians killed is ‘163, of which 110 were women and children’ (p. 39).
“Upon returning to his fort, Chivington ‘and his raiders demonstrated around Denver, waving their trophies, more than one hundred drying scalps. They were acclaimed as conquering heroes, which was what they had sought mainly.’ One Republican Party newspaper announced, ‘Colorado soldiers have once again covered themselves with glory’ (Marshall 1972, 39).
DiLorenzo reports: “The books by Brown and Marshall show that the kind of barbarism that occurred at Sand Creek, Colorado, was repeated many times during the next two decades.”
General Sherman, a war criminal far in excess of anything the Nazis were able to produce, wrote to his wife early in the Civil War that his purpose was “extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the [Southern] people.”
His wife responded: Conduct a “war of extermination” and drive all Southerners “like the swine into the sea. May we carry fire and sword into their states till not one habitation is left standing” ( Walters 1973, 61).
DiLorenzo observes that Sherman did his best to take his wife’s advice.
The extreme hatred and barbarity to which the Northern war criminals had subjected Southern non-combatants broke like fury over the Plains Indians. Distinguished military historians have described the orders given to General Custer by Phillip Sheridan as “the most brutal orders ever published to American troops.”
Clearly, if we are taking down statues, we can’t stop with Robert E. Lee. We will have to take down the Statues of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and all the rest of the Union war criminals who implemented what they themselves called “the final solution to the Indian problem.”
The designation of the northern invasion of the South as a civil war is itself a lie. The term “civil war” is used to cover up the fact that the North initiated a war of aggression, thus removing the sin of war from the North. A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. However, the South had no interest or intent to control the government in Washington. All the Southern states did is to use the constitutional right to end their voluntary association with other states in the United States. The South fought because the South was invaded. Southerners did not regard the War of Northern Aggression as a civil war. They clearly understood that the war was a war of Northern Aggression.
As brutal as Lincoln’s war criminal armies were to Southern civilians, the inhumanity of the brutality toward Southern people escalated during the long period called Reconstruction. The Northern ruling Republicans did their best to subject the South to rule by the blacks while Northern “carpetbaggers” stole everything that they could. No white Southern woman was safe from rape. “Civil War” buffs have told me that there were southern towns in which all the women were hidden in the woods outside of town to protect them from the Republican Union soldiers and the former slaves that the Republican agents of Reconstruction encouraged. What happened to the South at the hands of the Republicans was no different from what the Russians and Americans did in Germany when the Wehrmacht surrendered. The demonized KKK was an organization that arose to protect what remained of the South’s honor from unbearable humiliations.
Consequently, for decades no Southern person would vote Republican. The Democrats lost the “solid South” by aping the Reconstruction Republicans and again bringing Reconstruction to the South, using federal force instead of persuasion.
No real facts are any longer taught in the US about the so-called “Civil War.” In the place of the actual history stands only lies.
In an accompanying guest contribution, economist/historian Professor Thomas DiLorenzo explains the real reason that Lincoln invaded the South. He shows that Lincoln’s success in conquering the South destroyed the political character of the United States that had been formed by the Founding Fathers. He also shows that the Union policy of conducting war against civilians created the precedents for the massive war crimes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Seldom does the opportunity arise to acquire an enlightening and accurate history lesson from one article. That is what Professor DiLorenzo has delivered. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/08/21/lincoln-myth-ideological-cornerstone-america-empire/

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This just proves how screwed up the USA is: "McCain a Champion of Human Rights"

WaPo Honors Famous War Monster John McCain as "Champion of Human Rights"


Democracy-Hero McCain explaining how bombs equal freedom
MSM worship genocidal maniac McCain as a man of peace who's totally not profoundly insane
In a fawning editorial Saturday (7/22/17), pillar of the national security establishment Washington Post fell over itself to commend a John McCain that never existed, instead lavishing praise on a well-curated PR facsimile developed over decades.
After praising McCain for issuing a “toughly worded criticism” on Twitter of Donald Trump for allegedly ending an entirely pointless, destructive and likely illegal CIA program supporting unnamed “rebels” in Syria (the highest act of moral courage for the Post is gunrunning to CIA proxies), the Fred Hiatt–run editorial board proceeds to paint McCain as the antidote to the problem of “partisan warfare, where politicians will say just about anything at all, true or untrue, to gain an advantage.”
This is clearly meant to be an opaque shot at Trump, but the Post is too cowardly to say so outright, much like McCain was too cowardly to actually vote against any of Trump’s cabinet—aside from the OMB director who McCain only opposed because he believed he would cut defense budgets. Never mind, the Washington Post had a childhood hero to worship:
And all over this world, Mr. McCain is associated with freedom and democracy. He has championed human rights with verve and tirelessness — speaking out against repression and authoritarianism, and inviting — no, cajoling — his colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, to bear witness with him on trips abroad. He has frequently welcomed victims of repression to the corridors of the capital, too, giving them succor and encouragement in the fight against tyranny.
One can only think what a role model he must be to the homicidally insane. The wars he supported killed millions.One is curious if “all over this world” includes Iraq, which McCain lobbied to invade, resulting in 500,000–1 million deaths. Or Libya, which McCain passionately advocated bombing, turning it into an ungovernable bastion of extremism and slavery. Or Syria, which McCain helped rip apart by pushing for CIA-supported opposition groups for years. Or Gaza, whose destruction by Israeli forces McCain cheerled for in 2014. Or Yemen, which McCain, almost more than anyone in Congress, helped destroy by defending Saudi Arabia’s murderous war there.
The Washington Post doesn’t mention any of these countries; it simply recites platitudes about “authoritarianism” and “human rights.” The millions of Arabs whose lives McCain helped wreck simply don’t register in the Post’s moral calculus. And while it’s clear the editorial is a thinly veiled early eulogy, this does not relieve the Post of basic fidelity to history.
As for McCain’s supposed habit of “speaking out against repression and authoritarianism,” he had such an opportunity in 2015, when The Intercept’s Lee Fang (10/1/15) directly asked him about Saudi’s well-documented, US-backed war crimes in its bombing of Yemen—a siege that has since killed well over 10,000 civilians and lead to a cholera outbreak affecting nearly 600,000:
“They may be bombing civilians, which is actually not true,” McCain said, when asked about civilian casualties in Yemen.
“Civilians aren’t dying?” [Fang] asked.
“No, they’re not,” the senator replied. “Oh, I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed,” McCain continued, referring to the Shiite militia waging an insurgency against the Sunni government in Yemen.
Asked about the recent reports of Saudi forces bombing a wedding party in Yemen, McCain said, “I’m sure in wars terrible things happen and the Houthis however are an extremist group backed by the Iranians who are slaughtering Yemenis.”
The reality is that McCain uses the rhetorical bludgeon of “human rights” as an arbitrary tool to push for war and demonize US enemies. For reasons that remain a mystery, the promotion and lobbying of war is not itself considered a human rights violation, nor does it sully one’s ability to act as an arbiter of them.
This is in stark contrast to the principles that animated the Nuremberg Tribunals. In his closing arguments, Justice Robert Jackson made clear that “the central crime in this pattern of crimes, the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars.”
If one had to sum up McCain’s political career, you could do worse than “aggressive wars”—seeing as how there’s never been one McCain didn’t promote with “verve and tirelessness.”
Nonetheless, the superficial morality being advanced by the Post—that prioritizes CNN posturing and strongly worded tweets over actual actions and voting record—seeks, above all, to promote a US NatSec mythology that positions the US as an indispensable good in the world and McCain as its most visible avatar. To achieve this marketing feat, the Washington Post must rewrite history and torture definitions to fit a childlike narrative of McCain as brave truth-teller, rather than predictable champion of war and empire who occasionally makes toothless references to human rights for the purposes of image curation.


It would be funny, if only it weren't true. The trend in American politics of electing clinical sociopaths shows no sign of stopping.

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KOREA – “We Burned Down Every Town in North Korea”

AMERICA OSCAR WILDE

“We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another… Over a period of three years or so, we killed off, what, 20 percent of the population?”

— General Curtis LeMay, in “Strategic Air Warfare,” by Richard H. Kohn
The US public wants to know why North Korea is so paranoid, militarily hostile and boastful. And why do the leaders in the capital city Pyongyang point their fingers at the US every time they test another rocket or bomb? Sixty-five years after the US burned down every town in North Korea, the US military is now simultaneously bombing or rocketing seven different non-nuclear countries. The US conducts military exercises with South Korea off the North’s coastline twice a year.
The US regularly tests Minuteman-3 long-range nuclear missiles — from Vandenberg Air Base in California — that can reach and obliterate Pyongyang. Several presidential administrations have called North Korea “evil,” a “state sponsor of terrorism,” and “threatening.” US military officials have called North Korea’s tiny, backward, nearly failed state the “principle threat” to the US security. North Korea may have reason to worry.
North Korea’s rocket tests mostly fail but are nevertheless called “provocative” and “destabilizing” by the State Dept., the Council of Foreign Relations, and the White House. This is regardless of which party is in power. Bill Clinton said in 1994: “If North Korea ever used a nuclear weapon, it would no longer continue to exist.” Likewise today, Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis used similarly bombastic language discussing North Korea August 8. John Walcott reported for Reuters that Mattis said the North must stop any action that would “lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
Consider living memory
In Robert Neer’s 2013 book “Napalm,” the author reports that General Lemay wrote, “We burned down just about every city in North and South Korea both … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans…” Eighth Army chemical officer Donald Bode is quoted as saying, on an “average good day” … pilots in the Korean War “dropped 70,000 gallons of napalm: 45,000 from the U.S. Air Force, 10,000-20,000 by its navy, and 4,000-5,000 by marines” — marines who nicknamed the burning jellied gasoline “cooking oil.”
Neer found that a total of 32,357 tons of napalm were used on Korea, “about double that dropped on Japan in 1945.” More bombs were dropped on Korea than in the whole of the Pacific theater during World War II — 635,000 tons, versus 503,000 tons. “Pyongyang, a city of half a million people before 1950, was said to have had only two buildings left intact,” Neer wrote. This is still living memory in North Korea.
Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” says, “Perhaps 2 million Koreans, North and South, were killed in the Korean war, all in the name of opposing ‘the rule of force.’” Bruce Coming’s 2010 history “The Korean War” says, “of more than 4 million casualties … at least 2 million were civilians. … Estimated North Korean casualties numbered 2 million including about 1 million civilians… An estimated 900,000 Chinese soldiers lost their lives in combat.”
After Truman fired Gen. MacArthur in May 1951, the former supreme commander testified to Congress, “The war in Korea has already almost destroyed that nation of 20 million people. I have never seen such devastation. I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there. After I looked at that wreckage and those thousands of women and children … I vomited.”
Dems take finger off the button (for a minute)
Two democratic presidential hopefuls said in 2007 that they’d take the threat of nuclear attack “off the table,” hinting at their discomfort with the idea of the Bomb’s deliberate mass destruction. In April 2006, then New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked in a TV interview about her position toward Iran. She said, “I have said publicly no option should be off the table, but I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. This [Bush] administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven’t seen since the dawn of the nuclear age. I think that’s a terrible mistake.”
On August 2, 2007, Barak Obama said to the AP, “I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance,” pausing before he added, “involving civilians,” The New York Times reported. Obama quickly retracted the statement saying, “Let me scratch that,” but his intent was loud and clear — and needs repeating: The long-standing U.S. threat to “keep all options open,” that is its willingness to use nuclear weapons against human beings, must be abolished. H-bombs cannot be used without indiscriminately killing of hundreds of thousands if not millions of civilians, creating deadly radioactive fallout that drifts into non-conflict areas, and causing long-term environmental damage, all in violation of the laws of war, the UN Charter, and the Geneva Conventions.
Clinton’s and Obama’s public put-downs of nuclear weapons attacks are both rare and bold in their implications for the nuclear weapons establishment. More such talk should be encouraged.
At least a dozen former nuclear war planners — Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, Melvin Laird, Generals George Butler, Charles Horner Andrew Goodpaster, and Admirals Stansfield Turner, Noel Gayler, and Hyman Rickover, among others — have denounced nuclear weapons and called for their elimination.
What is it exactly to threaten to destroy an entire country’s people? Is it terrorism? Trump’s fire and fury “the likes of which the world has never seen” would have to be beyond the half million dead in the US Civil War; 18 million overall deaths in World War I and 50 to 80 million dead in World War II; 3 million dead Vietnamese and at least 2 million dead Koreans. As usual, Mr. Trump cannot be taken seriously, or he is frighteningly unhinged.
Even, the late Paul Nitze, Reagan White House presidential adviser, a rightwing Cold War hawk, and a founder of the anti-Soviet Committee on the Present Danger, wrote in the 1999, “I can think of no circumstances under which it would be wise for the United States to use nuclear weapons, even in retaliation for their prior use against us.”

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US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

by Caleb T. Maupin

Americans have been trained by decades of Cold War propaganda to look for any confirmation that ‘socialism means poverty.’ But in the case of Venezuela and other states not governed by the free market, this cliché simply doesn’t ring true.
WASHINGTON — (MPN) The political and economic crisis facing Venezuela is being endlessly pointed to as proof of the superiority of the free market.
Images and portrayals of Venezuelans rioting in the streets over high food costs, empty grocery stores, medicine shortages, and overflowing garbage bins are the headlines, and the reporting points to socialism as the cause.
The Chicago Tribune published a Commentary piece titled: “A socialist revolution can ruin almost any country.” A headline on Reason’s Hit and Run blog proclaims: “Venezuelan socialism still a complete disaster.” The Week’s U.S. edition says: “Authoritarian socialism caused Venezuela’s collapse.”
Indeed, corporate-owned, mainstream media advises Americans to look at the inflationand food lines in Venezuela, and then repeat to themselves clichés they heard in elementary school about how “Communism just doesn’t work.”
In reality, millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process. The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.
Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of this yearThe goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.
And Venezuela is one of those countries. Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.
At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.
Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries. This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other. People who work in government are almost expected to use their position to take care of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.

The Bolivarian experience in Venezuela

Americans have been trained by decades of Cold War propaganda to look for any confirmation that “socialism means poverty.” A quick, simplistic portrait of the problems currently facing Venezuela, coupled with the fact that President Nicolas Maduro describes himself as a Marxist, can certainly give them such a confirmation. However, the actual, undisputed history of socialist construction around the world, including recent decades in Venezuela, tells a completely different story.
Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1999. His election was viewed as a referendum on the extreme free market policies enacted in Venezuela during the 1990s. In December, when I walked through the neighborhoods of central Caracas, Venezuelans spoke of these times with horror.
Venezuelans told of how the privatizations mandated by the International Monetary Fund made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks. Haido Ortega, a member of a local governing body in Venezuela, said:
“Under previous governments we had to burn tires and go on strike just to get electricity, have the streets fixed, or get any investment.”
Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street corporations. With the proceeds of Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.
After defeating an attempted coup against him in 2002, Chavez announced the goal of bringing Venezuela toward “21st Century Socialism.” Chavez quoted Marx and Lenin in his many TV addresses to the country, and mobilized the country around the goal of creating a prosperous, non-capitalist society.
In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.
During the George W. Bush administration, oil prices were the highest they had ever been. The destruction of Iraq, sanctions on Iran and Russia, strikes and turmoil in Nigeria — these events created a shortage on the international markets, driving prices up.
Big oil revenues enabled Chavez and the United Socialist Party to bring millions of Venezuelans out of poverty. Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.
After the death of Chavez, Nicolas Maduro has continued the Bolivarian program. “Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families in Venezuela with places to live. The Venezuelan government reports that over 1 million modern apartment buildings had been constructed by the end of 2015.
The problems currently facing Venezuela started in 2014. The already growing abundance of oil due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was compounded by Saudi Arabia flooding the markets with cheap oil. The result: massive price drops. Despite facing a domestic fiscal crisis, Saudi Arabia continues to expand its oil production apparatus.
The price of oil remains low, as negotiations among OPEC states are taking place in the hopes that prices can be driven back up. While American media insists the low oil prices are just the natural cycle of the market at work, it’s rather convenient for U.S. foreign policy. Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have economies centered around state-owned oil companies and oil exports, and each of these countries has suffered the sting of low oil prices.
The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has already been deposed due to scandal surrounding Petrobras, the state-owned oil company which is experiencing economic problems due to the falling price of oil. Although much of Brazil’s oil is for domestic consumption, it has been revealed that those who deposed her coordinated with the CIA and other forces in Washington and Wall Street, utilizing the economic fallout of low oil prices to bring down the Brazilian president.
The son of President Ronald Reagan has argued that Obama is intentionally driving down oil prices not just to weaken the Venezuelan economy, but also to tamper the influence of Russia and Iran. Writing for Townhall in 2014, Michael Reagan bragged that his father did the same thing to hurt the Soviet Union during the 1980s:
“Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin’s wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.
Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

The history of socialist construction

Prior to the 1917 revolution, Russia was a primitive, agrarian country. By 1936, after the completion of the Five-Year Plan, it was a world industrial power, surpassing every other country on the globe in terms of steel and tractor production. The barren Soviet countryside was lit up with electricity. The children of illiterate peasants across the Soviet Union grew up to be the scientists and engineers who first conquered outer space. The planned economy of the Soviet Union drastically improved the living standards of millions of people, bringing them running water, modern housing, guaranteed employment, and free education.
There is no contradiction between central planning and economic growth. In 1949, China had no steel industry. Today, more than half of all the world’s steel is produced in China’s government-controlled steel industry.
Cuba has wiped out illiteracy, and Cubans enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in Latin America.
When the Marxist-Leninist governments of Eastern Europe collapsed in the early 1990s, economists like Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, who can be counted among capitalism’s “true believers,” predicted rapid economic growth. Since the 1990s, conditions in what George W. Bush called the “New Europe” have become far worse than under socialism. The life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has risen. Human and drug traffickers have set up shop. In endless polls, the people of Eastern Europe repeatedly say life was better before the defeat of Communism.
Russia’s recovery from the disaster of the 1990s has come about with the reorientation of the economy to one centered around public control of its oil and natural gas resources — much like Venezuela. The Putin government has also waged a crackdown on the small number of “oligarchs” who became wealthy after the demise of the Soviet Union. Once a strong state to control the economy was re-established, Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 70 percent during the first eight years of Putin’s administration. From 2000 to 2008, poverty was cut in half, and incomes doubled.

Neoliberal capitalism has failed

It is only because these facts are simply off-limits in the American media and its discussions of socialism and capitalism that the distorted narrative about Venezuela’s current hardships are believed.
When discussing the merits of capitalism and socialism, American media usually restricts the conversation to pointing out that socialist countries in the third world have lower living standards than the United States, a country widely identified with capitalism. Without any context or fair comparison, this alone is supposed to prove the inherent superiority of U.S.-style capitalism.
If the kind of neoliberal “free trade” advocated by U.S. corporations was the solution to global poverty, Mexico, a country long ago penetrated with the North American Free Trade Agreement, would be a shining example of development, not a mess of drug cartels and poverty. The same can be said for oil-rich countries like Nigeria, where exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions.
The governments of Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippineshave done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Despite the promises of neoliberal theoreticians, their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve.
If one compares the more market-oriented economy of the U.S., not to countries in the global south attempting to develop with a planned economy, but to other Western countries with more social-democratic governments, the inferiority of the “free market” can also be revealed.
The U.S. is rated 43 in the world in terms of life expectancy, according to the CIA World Factbook. People live longer in Germany, Britain, Spain, France, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Iceland — basically, almost every other Western country. Statistics on the rate of infant mortality say approximately the same thing. National health care services along with greater job security and economic protections render much healthier populations.
Even as the social-democratic welfare states of Europe drift closer to the U.S. economic model with “austerity cuts,” the U.S. still lags behind them in terms of basic societal health. Western European countries with powerful unions, strong socialist and labor parties, and less punitive criminal justice systems tend to have healthier societies.
The American perception that socialism or government intervention automatically create poverty, while a laissez faire approach unleashes limitless prosperity, is simply incorrect. Despite the current hardships, this reality is reflected in the last two decades of Venezuela’s history.

A punishment vote, not a vote for capitalism

The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.
It is odd that the mainstream press blames “socialism” for the food problems in Venezuela, when the food distributors remain in the hands of private corporations. As Venezuelan political analyst Jesus Silva told me recently:
“Most food in Venezuela is imported by private companies, they ask for dollars subsidized by the government oil sales to do that; they rarely produce anything or invest their own money.”
According to Silva, the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the U.S., in addition to the oil crisis, have made it more difficult for the Venezuelan government to pay the private food importing companies in U.S. dollars. In response, the food companies are “running general sabotage.”
“Venezuela’s economy depends on oil sales. Now that oil prices are dropping down, the challenge is to get other sources of economic income,” he explained. “Meanwhile, the opposition is garnering electoral support due to the current economic crisis.”
When the United Socialist Party and its aligned Patriotic Pole lost control of Parliament in December, many predicted the imminent collapse of the Bolivarian government. However, months have passed and this clearly has not taken place.
While a clear majority cast a voto castigo (“punishment vote”) in December, punishing the government for mismanaging the crisis, the Maduro administration has a solid core of socialist activists who remain loyal to the Bolivarian project. Across Venezuela, communes have been established. Leftist activists live together and work in cooperatives. Many of them are armed and organized in “Bolivarian Militias” to defend the revolution.
Even some of the loudest critics of the Venezuelan government admit that it has greatly improved the situation in the country, despite the current hardships.
In December, I spoke to Glen Martinez, a radio host in Caracas who voted for the opposition. He dismissed the notion that free market capitalism would ever return to Venezuela. As he explained, most of the people who voted against the United Socialist Party — himself included — are frustrated with the way the current crisis is being handled, but do not want a return to the neoliberal economic model of the 1999s.
He said the economic reforms established during the Chavez administration would never be reversed. “We are not the same people we were before 1999,” Martinez insisted.
The United Socialist Party is currently engaging in a massive re-orientation, hoping to sharpen its response to economic sabotage and strengthen the socialist direction of the revolution. There is also talk of massive reform in the way the government operates, in order to prevent the extreme examples of corruption and mismanagement that are causing frustration among the population.
The climate is being intensified by a number of recent political assassinationsTensions continue to exist on Venezuela’s border with the U.S.-aligned government of Colombia. The solid base of socialist activists is not going to let revolution be overturned, and tensions continue to rise. The Maduro and the United Socialist Party’s main task is
 to hold Venezuela together, and not let the country escalate into a state of civil war.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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