Archive | April 2016

With Its Continued Denial of The Armenian Genocide, US Takes the Low Moral Ground – Again: Another Sign of How Low US Has Sunk Internationally

   


While running for president in 2008, both Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama pledged to the Armenian American voters to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915, if elected president, as had done candidates before them. But, they too broke that promise when in office, as had done others. 

When asked about it, as Secretary of State, Clinton repeated the Turkish government’s line and said that there was a “dispute” about it. A dispute? About whether the systematic massacre of 1.5 million unarmed defenseless Armenians living under Turkish occupation, meant to “leave only one Armenian to put in museum for everyone to see” was a genocide or not? About a genocide which Hitler used and mentioned as an example and which the Zionist apartheid state of Israel also shamelessly denies as favor to Turkey? About a genocide for which the word “genocide” was coined and used for the first time? 

President Obama too, likewise, broke his promise and continued the shameless denial of the Genocide, during his 8 years of presidency, as a favor to the NATO member and servant of imperialism. 

Denial of a genocide is the continuation of the genocide; it is the continuation of the collective tormenting of the survivors of the genocide, and a display of the mindset of genocide.

Tomorrow, on April 24, the anniversary of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Armenians everywhere will protest the denial of the Armenian Genocide, at Turkish embassies, as they do every year, including tens of thousands in Los Angeles. This protest should also be against the US and Israel, not only for their denial of the Armenian Genocide, but also for their genocidal policies in occupied Palestine and throughout the Middle East.

 

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Bernie Sanders and His “political Revolution”

  
It’s encouraging to see many young people who, unlike their portrayal by pro-Hillary networks like MSNBC, include not just white men, but also black, Latino and women, are hungry for change from the usual corrupt corporate, pro-war and pro-imperialist policies, championed by corrupt career politicians like Hillary. But, it’s sad to see how they put their hopes in a fraudulent electoral system that is designed and acts to lock the status quo in and prevent any meaningful change. The media has much to do with it, but so does the Democratic Party establishment, which Bernie chose to go through, hoping they would support him, a Democratic Party, which is the first line of defense by the ruling class against change. The fact that Bernie, as good intentioned as he may be, chose the Democratic Party as his own party is itself very telling and a source of much coming disappointment for his supporters. 

The tens of thousands who gather at his rallies could, if they had the leadership and organization and the will to fight for their beliefs in a long and protracted fight nationally, bring about much more real change by their mere presence on the streets than any career Democrat could ever deliver through a corrupt Democratic Party, where Bernie and his surrogates have to go beg super asshole “super delegates” to flip their votes from their buddy Hillary to Bernie. The looming disappointment will be sad to see, but worth it if it provides the needed lesson. Because It’s when the slogan “Vote For Bernie” changes to “Fuck This Shit” when things begin to change.

“We Came, We Saw, He Died”!

  
It is possible to numb people’s brains to the point that the sight and sound of the most incredible and bizarre will illicit no more than a casual, uninterested and passing glance. Desperate and frantic screams meant to draw attention to a ghastly calamity taking place in front of our eyes can seem no more than a silent slow motion movement of lips and hands, unable to keep the head from turning away in disinterest. No one, not even the ruling elite itself, could have anticipated the sheer power and efficacy of the TV and, more generally, the mass media, as a propaganda tool, and the level of success it could bring in framing and forming people’s minds. 

One quick look at the history of the world in the last 60 years and even in the last 15, which compared to the history of mankind since he stood on two legs is less than a blink of an eye, reveals a truly unbelievable world, which no fiction writer could have imagined or described. In a span of just 15 years, US imperialism, with the assistance and support of its European imperialist allies, completely destroyed Iraq, Libya and Syria, causing the death of over a million people and homelessness of many more millions, has been occupying and bombing Afghanistan nonstop for 15 years, and, in addition, in the last 8 years, has been bombing Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and has put heavy sanctions on and threatened Iran, has staged a coup and regime change in Ukraine and Honduras and has begun moving big weapons, including tanks and missiles to Russia’s border, not to mention the ongoing effort to surround China militarily or CIA intervention in South America in overturning and sabotaging progressive governments.

And, all this has happened without an outcry or even noticing by the American people. These issues aren’t even being discussed, either by the media or the presidential candidates. The war in Vietnam, which engendered a potent anti-war movement and served as notice to the ruling class to not even think about waging another war seems so foreign and unfamiliar, now. Somehow, that antiwar population were abducted by aliens and brainwashed in their spaceships and put back down on Earth. Three countries with millions of inhabitants have been turned into a pile of rubble and, in total, around a million people have lost their lives and many more their homes and livelihood, within these 15 years, and the American cities are calm and quiet, except for occasional excited people holding signs in support of presidential candidates. 

President Obama now regrets the war on Libya, but has defended Bush and Cheney, and still to this day, sends drones to bomb several Muslim countries and the CIA gives arms and ammunition to the Islamist terrorists in Syria to try to overthrow the government, Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen with US help and Israel is committing genocide with American taxpayers’ money and American provided weapons and bullets. And, incredibly, no one will be held accountable for any of these crimes against humanity that continue to go on. No accountability, no answering for war crimes, not even a discussion, as if all those meetings and resolutions and international laws discussed and signed after the horrors of WWII were for nothing; as if there is no international laws or justice or court or United Nations. We’re back to the days of primitive barbaric empires destroying entire cities and nations with total impunity.

Hillary Clinton,, the candidate with arguably the best chance of winning the presidential race, not only doesn’t regret the war on Libya that devastated the country, she’s proud of her role in it: “we came, we saw and he (Gaddafi) died.” That’s been the rule with the empire: it comes and people die – in the thousands.

Hillary Clinton: Obama’s Dick Cheney?

  
Now that everyone is focused on who will replace Obama in the White House, it’s also important for us to understand who we just had for the past two terms. Obama has been labeled liberal, center left, center and even conservative by some. All of which is true. The fact is: he’s been liberal on some issues, such as on the Iran deal, rapprochement with Cuba (without ending the embargo and continuing his propaganda attack on the nation) and the Affordable Care Act (which was a gift to insurance companies and did little to alleviate people’s need for real healthcare), and conservative on others, including his many wars, increasing aid to Israel, austerity measures and cut in social spending, neoliberal trade policies like the TPP, surveillance program, punishing whistle blowers and other rightwing policies. 

What we must understand is that that’s exactly how the US ruling class, as a whole and as a class, is. They’re liberal on some issues and conservative on others, and even such issue based variation in policy isn’t static and changes with time and with changing circumstances and geopolitical facts. This tends to confuse some progressives and even some leftists, who find it hard to describe and categorize Obama’s presidency. The confusion, I think, comes from a lack of understanding of who the ruling class is and how they influence policies to benefit their class, which is a tiny minority of the society. This issue also relates to why the class doesn’t like a certain presidential candidate, such as Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, and why they love Obama, even though he’s a Democrat and at least on some issues even a liberal, whereas the popular impression is that the billionaire class prefers a Republican as the Commander in Chief. 

This misunderstanding stems from the lack of understanding about what are the objectives or in the best interests of that class as a whole and what is or isn’t helpful for them in trying to achieve them. This requires a more nuanced and accurate understanding than that Democrats, even their most liberal variety, such as Bernie Sanders, is bad for the super wealthy and good for the poor and disenfranchised, whereas Republicans are good for the former and bad for the latter. The reason the ruling class isn’t, as a whole and on all issues, conservative is because what is in their best interest, as a whole, isn’t always the most conservative position. For example, as the representative of a certain segment of the society, which historically has grown out of the divide and conquer policy of the ruling class itself, most Republicans may push anti-abortion policies, in response to their socially reactionary base, but that’s not where the ruling class as a whole is. That’s not their burning issue and, on the contrary, it may be anathema to their economic interests that go way beyond the US borders.

I’ve been qualifying my statements about the interests or objectives of the ruling capitalist class with the adverb “as a whole” because there is division among them, too, and they don’t always agree on what’s in their best interest or on how to achieve it. That’s why they don’t all support the same candidate. Elections give them a chance to vet out the candidates and pick one who would best represent their interests, under current conditions, and that may be a Democrat or a Republican. Just the fact that Republicans are for less taxes for the rich or for more cuts in social spending isn’t enough reason for them to support a Republican. Other factors are also important, such as who will be better at calming and silencing the population and preventing uprisings.

Obama has been the best of both worlds for the billionaire class. He not only served them well both domestically and internationally, he also was key in preventing the rise of dissent, especially among the minorities and due in large part to the supper he enjoys among the minorities. Ted Cruz, as an example of a rightwing politician that many conservatives support, isn’t much liked by the majority of the ruling class, despite his support for big business and anti-working class policies. That’s because having pro big business politics isn’t enough. There are other considerations. Similarly, Donald Trump is too divisive and unpredictable and may not be good at taking advice from the capitalist class. 

Speaking of taking advice or rather orders from the 1% (or more accurately, 0.1%), no one has proven as good as Obama. That’s because Obama is not really an ideological person. He doesn’t really have his own independent ideology or strong ideas that he could get in your face and passionate about. That’s why he comes across as cool, calm and affable. He’s the epitome of an unprincipled empty shell, ready and willing to be told what to do. By contrast, Ted Cruz on the right and Bernie Sanders on the left (relatively speaking, only), are ideological and could resist influence – or rather try to, before falling in line – which isn’t as desirable for the rulers. Unlike Obama, who is unprincipled and quickly and without resistance takes on the color of his environment, Ted Cruz is genuine about his beliefs. By genuine, I mean he, at least, has a set of beliefs, as medieval, reactionary and dangerous as they are. And those beliefs are his own and he’s fighting to move the society towards those dark and fascistic objectives of his. But, those are his own genuine beliefs, unlike Obama who looks to see what his contributors want of him and does it, without questioning.

Hillary Clinton, too, is ideological. Her ideological passion is for pushing and advancing the power of the US corporate empire through unwavering and relentless acts of war and military interventions, rolling over and flattening any nation that dares to stand in the way, in line with the Strategy For New American Century, advanced by neocons. In fact, she’s a rabid supporter of neocons. That’s why she gets the support of the likes of Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger. Donald Trump, too, like Obama, isn’t ideological, but two things make him unpopular with the ruling class: his unabashed racism, Xenophobia and misogyny can be a liability and may engender protests and possibly even a working class movement and he’s untested and unreliable, especially after making some comments against US wars and NATO. 

Though not an empty shell like Obama, which could mean some resistance on her part to taking advice, Hillary Clinton has the right foreign policy for them. She may have to be talked out of bombing anything that moves, but that’s better for the class than resisting wars. Domestically, too, they won’t have much difference with her: despite her recent reversal on TransPacific Partnership (TPP), she can be trusted to switch back and push neoliberal trade policies, which she’s been advocating all her political life. Same goes with her energy policy, support for big Pharma, big oil, and Wall Street banks, which goes without saying. The point is: she’s conservative where it really matters to the ruling class, while also taking a relatively more liberal posture towards social issues like women’s and gay rights, social safety nets and minimum wage, which importantly can quell unrest among liberals and minorities. For these reason, I believe the class is willing to overlook her strong mindedness and zealotry and give her a chance.

It may be hard for the white supremacist capitalist ruling class that controls the military industrial complex to find and hire another loyal and obedient servant like Barrack Obama, who acts more like their kitchen bus boy than a president, but, aside from having to tell her to go easy on wars and hold off on her order for new wars, Hillary will be embraced as another supposedly invaluable agent of US imperialism, who will further push the world towards destruction and mass annihilation.

US Imperialism Commits Genocides While Many Liberals Still Make Excuses!  

  
If I told you that certain European countries in the past few hundred years, invaded, occupied, colonized, looted and exploited Asian and African countries, killing many of their inhabitants and enslaving the surviving ones, resulting in the enrichment of the colonizers, you’d say: “yes, I know about European colonialism and what it did to those underdeveloped nations. That was a sad chapter in human history”. So, why is it that when the discussion is about today’s imperialism, spearheaded by the US – and participated by some of those same European countries – that’s devastating Asia and especially the Middle East and killing hundreds of thousands of their inhabitants for enrichment of the US ruling class and their allies, I hear excuses, like: “we (we?!) aren’t the only country to commit atrocities”, or “we do good things around the world, too”, or things like: “Russia needs to be stopped”, “those people have been fighting for millennia”, “Israel has the right to exist”, or “Assad is killing his own people”, “Putin is a thug”, or “it’s human nature and there will always be violence”. 

Why aren’t the past genocides explained away and excused? Why didn’t the European colonialism of hundred years ago have “the right to exist”, or “the right to defend itself”? Why not mention that the invaded nations had “dictators” or “thugs” as leaders, as a way of excusing European past genocides? Why not mention bad leaders to justify Nazi atrocities? Why does it have to be in the past, a hundred years ago, to be acknowledged, condemned and to get outraged about? What else does the US imperialism have to do to be recognized as the number one enemy of all humanity?

Right now, the US is arming a barbaric terrorist organization and other brutal paid mercenaries, who are terrorizing and massacring the Syrian people and destroying their country, and is using them to accomplish regime change for the American ruling 1%. Even after coming to an agreement with Russia to stop arming terrorists, the CIA delivered 3,000 tons of weapons and ammo, according to British military information service. The US is also encouraging the terrorists to break the truce (Wall Street Journal: “The Central Intelligence Agency and its regional partners have drawn up plans to supply more-powerful weapons to moderate rebels in Syria fighting the Russia-backed regime in the event the country’s six-week-old truce collapses, according to U.S. and other officials). But, when I tell people that, I have to hear about the Syrian president and that he’s not a good person? What is the matter with people? Did so many suddenly become 5 years olds? 

The US is at the moment planning the largest increase of their military presence in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The Pentagon has announced plans to deploy 250 tanks and Bradley armored vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and 1,700 pieces of other wheeled vehicles and trucks in Eastern Europe, by February 2017, as well as, stationing thousands of US troops that will be larger in number than Europe’s own troops. Is that for peace? What the hell are they planning for? Saudi Arabia is leveling the entire nation of Yemen because anti-government rebels overthrew US-Saudi backed government. Hillary Clinton orchestrated a coup in Honduras that’s killing progressives there – 59 journalists have been murdered so far since the coup – while she calls herself a “progressive”, after causing the destruction of Libya. Obama is killing entire families in several countries with drones and orders individuals assassinated without a trial. Just in 2015, the US dropped 23,144 bombs on Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, according to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The closest US ally in Middle East, Israel, is committing a genocide with US help, with the world sitting and watching, and has now acquired submarines and is arming them with nuclear weapons and pointing them at Iran. And all this is taking place while American arms and bomb manufacturers are making a killing, which results in the killing of so many… And all I hear is excuses…

Obama Comes to Clinton’s Rescue: Reflections on What Defines a Good President in Today’s American Politics

  

In an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, President Obama said that he won’t try to influence the Attorney General or the FBI, who must decide if Hillary Clinton broke the law by having “top secret” documents on her private email server, when she was Secretary of the State. But, then he did exactly that when as the Attorney General’s boss and as President, he suggested in that same interview that there was no “intent” on the part of Clinton to break the law, and that it was only “carelessness”, which is really a legal advice relayed to those who must make the determination of her culpability, through an interview, since as a lawyer, he knows that “intent” is key and that that can give the AG or the FBI a way to not press charges against her and explain their decision by saying that there was no “intent” to break the law and that it was a case of negligence, although not egregious enough to fit “criminal negligence”. In other words, he influenced their decision, while at the same time, denying that he does. Obviously, he knows what he’s doing.

And, so did Clinton know what she was doing when she decided to set up her own private email server for official Department correspondence, which, unlike her private emails, are supposed to be the property of the Department and available to inquiring journalists. Of course, there was “intent” since she deliberately did it to shield herself from future scrutiny and criticisms as Secretary of the State, knowing she was going to run for president and that some emails might not make her look so good. She also knew that that was against the rules of the Department. As the private owner of those emails, she could refuse to make them public, just as she’s refusing to release the transcripts of the “private” speeches she gave to big Wall Street banks, for which she was paid $200,000 to $300,000, per speech. 

So, there clearly was “intent”, and the setting up of the private server, which would lack the security protocols of the Department, was not done “carelessly”, as in stumbling and “carelessly” tripping and accidentally setting up a private server for all her emails, both official and personal. “Carelessness is hardly the right word here, but that’s what Obama is suggesting to be used, while denying he influences their decision.

The downside to Obama’s remote messaging, expressing his preference to not charge Clinton, is that when they do heed his advice and decide not to indict her, they will come under criticism as having been unduly influenced by the President. But, that apparently would be okay since it would discredit them, not the President, for having taken his words as a hint. As Wall Street Journal correctly observed and pointed out, he can say he didn’t tell them what to do and he would be right. He can say he was just answering a question he was asked. Of course, he could have refrained from making a comment about it since there were ongoing investigations. As a lawyer, himself, he must know that. Instead, he cleverly chose to make his feelings about it known through an interview with a reporter. As WSJ observed, that’s pretty shrewd of someone who “chooses his words carefully”. 

But, even if it ends up discrediting him, it still doesn’t matter because Obama himself isn’t the point. Nor is his credibility or legacy, or lack thereof, a concern. He was hired to do a job, just like the rest of his Administration. The point is to serve those who put him in office, and who now couldn’t care less about the reputation of a servant about to leave office. Does the ruling class really shed any tears for George W. Bush who’s stuck with the label of a president who waged the wrong war? What matters to them now is who will replace the current president as their servant. Obama tried to help with that, too, as he always does. He never forgot during these 7 and a half years who he was working for and that defines in American politics what a good president is. What is clear is that much to the delight of the Democrats, the ruling billionaires don’t want Trump or Cruz.

But, Clinton has her issues, too. She may be as good as Obama for them, but she must first be elected and that’s not so easy for someone who looks and sounds and smells so much like a typical two-taced, lying, sleazy politician, who lies like she breaths, and what’s more, it usually shows. To be sure, Clinton is no Obama or even Slick Willy, who lie just as much and are just as evil sociopaths, who will do anything for their billionaire masters, including assassinating entire families every Tuesday. It’s just that they can lie and still look like they care! And, the emails issue isn’t helping her, either. The more she has to talk about it, the more she has to lie. So, enter Obama to lie for her because he’s good at it. 

But, I don’t think it was a mistake for her to hide her emails from prying eyes, while in the position of Secretary of State. She was right to be worried that her emails might get her in trouble. She did make decisions that turned out to be damaging to her credibility and sense of judgement, including her pressure for war on Libya, which has turned out to be a liability and which Obama now regrets, just as her vote for the Iraq war is a liability for her. In one of her emails, she proudly exclaims about Gaddafi: “we came, we saw and he died”. Although she was Secretary of the State, she acted more like a Secretary of War. She was, in fact, the Dick Cheney of the Obama Administration. Jeffery Goldberg of the Atlantic, who interviewed Obama in late January, wrote in the April issue, published in mid March, that Clinton lobbied Obama so hard for war on Syria, after getting her way on Libya, that Obama told his cabinet he would only consider proposals for war from his Secretary of Defense, from that point on!

Obama does choose his words carefully, which are basically the words of the ruling class. His coming to the aid of Clinton might have been his own decision, but it also reflects, in my view, the wish of the ruling class, which he “carefully” serves. What makes Clinton the “right” candidate, though not necessarily a “good” one, is what made Obama the right one to serve the class of billionaires; except that he was also a “good” candidate. Despite her issues, and unlike Trump or Cruz, she IS trusted by the ruling class to do what’s in their best interests. She knows how to lie, when to lie and what to lie about, and even how to get away with it – most of the time. 

Obama said in his Fox News interview that he doesn’t try to influence the decision of the investigating bodies, while doing exactly that. It reminds me of what a standup comedian once said of some car dealerships. He said they’re so good at lying that they can say something that’s both true and false, at the same time, about the same thing, and in the same sentence, like “you won’t be turned down for bad credit, if you qualify”!

Is Israel Like a 51st State for the US?

 
More than one Palestinian Child was abducted every two hours – 740 in first two months of 2014 ~ according to Euro-Mid Observer Human Rights Report, 17 Mar 2014 (src:http://euromid.org/en/article/505)

Some liken the apartheid state of Israel to a 51st US state in how the US pours money into it and gives unlimited amount of arms and defends it politically, diplomatically and militarily against even criticisms of the racist state in international bodies like the UN, despite the ongoing massive human rights violations and ethnic cleansing that reach a level of genocide against the Palestinians living under its military occupation. 

But, that description isn’t accurate. No state receives anywhere near the level of aid that Israel is receiving from the US Treasury, which allows the state to give its residents the benefits that the Jewish settlers are getting from the state, including free housing, healthcare and education, which no US state ever receives from the Federal government. In fact, the majority of the 50 US states keep closing down clinics, hospitals and services for children, women, elderly and the poor for lack of funds; tuition of state colleges and universities keep moving up; government subsidies such as food stamps for the needy are being cut; the infrastructure throughout the nation is being neglected to the point that many bridges and highways are becoming dangerous to drive on, while Israel keeps building new settlements for Jewish settlers; many American cities do not have adequate public transportation; government services are laying people off; and classes within public schools are overcrowded and in need of more teachers who are not being hired for lack of money. The governor of Michigan decided to use old and poisonous pipes to deliver drinking water to the residents of Flint, Michigan, to save money, which poisoned the city residents, and the officials at Maricopa County, Arizona, which included the City of Pheonix, closed most of their voting sites during their primary elections, resulting in one site per 21,000 residents, instead of the typical one for every 2,500, to save money. Despite all this, the flow of money to the apartheid state never stopped and has increased steadily recently and especially after the massacre of some 2,400 Palestinians in 2014.

There is another fact about the US-Israeli relations that makes the above analogy inaccurate: Had any US state been involved in any amount of civil or human rights violations even remotely resembling the massive violations taking place by the “Jewish state” against any segment of their population, the Federal government would have acted to stop it, not only legally through the office of the Attorney General and the FBI, but even using its military, if necessary. We can’t even imagine within any US state the kind of atrocities that are being committed by the state of Israel against a particular group of people due to their race or ethnicity that are being tolerated by the US government, without even the smallest criticism and that are being ignored by the mainstream media, including extra judicious and “targeted” killings, arbitrary arrests and indefinite detentions without a cause that are so common that are called “administrative” detentions, without giving any reason and in many cases with no visitation rights, arrest or detention of children as young as 5 years old for hours after grabbing them from the arms of their crying mothers and driving them to military interrogation centers in military vehicles and years of incarceration for teenaged children and arbitrary stops and searches of Palestinians at military checkpoints throughout their neighborhoods that make racial profiling of minorities in the US look like child’s play. The US government would never allow such civil rights violations and atrocities against any segment of the US population by any of the states making up the Union. 

Those who argue that the level of complicity that’s involved here by the US is due to the Jewish lobby, which makes the American Jewish people look like heartless and cruel assholes, who have no sense of empathy or humanity, which many of them are, must answer why no state, which is also well represented in the US government, can never receive the kind of aid that Israel receives and the kind of atrocities and crimes it gets away with. 

The reason has to do with US imperialism, which places its interests above any level of human cost. The reason is that the US empire finds the “Jewish” state uniquely useful in its plans for world domination for the benefit of its corporations. This goes beyond electing any president from either of the two parties. This requires a new national awakening.