The Monster that was Obama

Thankfully the  words of adulation for  ex-president Obama are now dying down and we are instead  now innundated with hate media  (not altogether underserved)  for President Trump.

Obama was above all  things a con-artist. The sweet  honeyed words of the used car  saleman,  masking  sociopathic   intent . A man  who  talked peace and made war. A man  who  preached enviromentalism  and destroyed much  more than he preserved. A man  who  faked humanity while ruthlessly killing  innocents by  drone.

And a man  who  has set  the scene for the  destruction of what little remains of the U.S democratic  process, through  his  persistent undermining of his successor.

By  why  let me drone on?

Please look at this excellent  record of  his legacy by  Samuel Johnson   for yourself,  and decide….


Links

View story at Medium.com

 

Reclaiming the Earth- The Mapuche Dilemma

As the Earth  rapidly approaches the point where  the  trajectory  towards  intense global  warming and  near total species  loss becomes inevitable, we now, more than ever, need the wisdom  of the indigenous peoples’  connection with  nature and acknowledgement of the reality that  the earth is   a living entity;  to  save our planet. It may  already  be too  late- but we need to  try!

Nothing;  despite all  the research  and  incremental  indelible evidence  of  ever-increasing species extinction , has changed our current trajectory  of devastating the planet for a few cheap  baubles. We appear to be locked into  an  insane path of self-destruction which  takes the rest of the planet  with us. Have we reached the ‘tipping-point’? – we will  not know until it is too  late.

That is not to  say  the indigenous peoples like the Mapuche of southern  Chile or Maori  in New Zealand or the other still surviving remnants of indigenous cultures , have  all the answers, or are even  innocent of harming the planet themselves. But they  do have a philosophy  and  wisdom  from  the past which  acknowledges the reality that,  as just  one more species on this planet ,  humans are inextricably linked to  what  we   strangely call “nature’  -ie our fellow living things.  And  that we are also solidly linked to  all the non-sentient elements of this world.

 

Mapuche Shaman’s Drum; Courtesy of the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian http://nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/infinityofnations/patagonia/177322.html

If we are to  survive as a species;  if the planet  is to  survive,  we must  restore this fundamental  core understanding to all humans – without  which we will  most certainly perish- if not within  decades,  then  certainly within  this  new  two centuries.

Our first and immediate step  is to restore power and authority to those cultures who  do in  fact  respect  the earth  and all  its living inhabitants  above  “progress’  and the production of  commodities. The next is to  produce a world wide covenant that  values other species  as equal  to our own and our obligation as a species to  truly become protective guardians of this living planet, given our  unique capacity to  manipulate our environment.

We must let the voice of all  those cultures who  call  us back  to  our roots -to be heard,  respected and  urgently responded to.

The shaman’s drum calls  us back  to  our re-connection with our  world.

 

 

 

 


Links

https://www.rt.com/in-motion/374127-mapuche-demand-release-prisoners/

https://www.google.com/url?hl=en-GB&q=http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Indigenous-Groups-Demand-Freedom-of-Mapuche-Leader-in-Chile-20161212-0024.html&source=gmail&ust=1484889158716000&usg=AFQjCNFxrOXHP7sSOc1tFMtFjA-Ne4bFnQ

http://www.mapuche-nation.org/english/html/news/n-66.htm

Lies, Damn Lies, and Propaganda

My apologies to Benjamin Disraeli for abusing his wonderful quote about statistics in my blog title.
In essence, any information, however factual, can be used to manipulate opinion; and is most frequently used in that manner. The recent barrage of U.S. media reports on ‘fake news’, of Facebook getting mainstream media to, laughably, monitor what is fake and is not fake in Facebook posts, the accusations of Russian (sorry Putin) manipulation of the US media for his  own nefarious ends…. the list of ‘factual’ reports goes on and on.

What we do know as fact is that the media has frequently and knowingly, lied to their respective publics about news; particularly news about ‘foreign’ wars.
For instance, we know the media lied on behalf of the U.S. State Department about the reasons for war with North Korea in the 50s, the Gulf of Tonkin incident which was  supposedly the rationale for war with “North’ Vietnam, the war in Kosovo against Serbia, the war in Iraq, the war in Libya, the war in Syria….and so on..

And U.S. media is not alone in blindly reporting press releases from government agencies- the U.K. media is amazingly compliant for one which espouses a ‘free press’, in reporting as ‘fact’  what  is churned out from  government  reporting channels.
So , one might think that the world public would by now recognize that media tells lies and half-truths, or ‘selective truths’ – incessantly- for political ends. But for some reason; time after time; the public believes the next new set of ‘facts’.
And I am not for a minute suggesting that the Russian media is in any way free of the propaganda and lies that Western media indulge in daily; the difference for western publics, is that they are a new set of lies- or ‘half-truths’, or simply a different perspective. Hence they are extremely valuable in helping Westerners determine what the possible ‘real’ reality might be.

We have seen increasingly hysterical and far-fetched outbursts from Western politicians and their mainstream media (MSM) allies about ‘fake news ‘ because MSM is failing to deliver the goods to them. The public is slowly but increasingly becoming aware of other perspectives on international events;  the  open internet  plays a very  significant role in  this. ‘Brexit’ was a prime example where enormous resources were poured into convincing the UK public that exiting the EU would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to them-and yes the majority of voters voted for Brexit! In the U.S., the presidential election saw an astonishingly powerful alignment of MSM , politicians, celebrities etc lined up against Trump- and yes- using the archaic electoral college system, he won! The constantly repeated refrain about evil Assad and Putin in Syria  and  Aleppo has become to fray at the edges as many westerners see the Aleppan public dancing in the streets as the rebels are ‘evacuated’ to other places, and the true savagery of the ‘moderate rebels’ unveiled.
There is panic in Western political circles. What if the public really could make up its own mind, using multiple and divergent sources of information?
Russia therefore becomes a convenient bogey-man- haven’t we always feared the barbaric, savage and primitive Russian Bear? The consequence of using ‘external’ bogey-men is that politicians and media therefore imply that if you dont agree with their version of events, you must have been subtly manipulated by Communist (whoops!) I mean Russian, propaganda. The dangerous next implication, is that we have a fifth column in our midst; people who are not ‘true patriots’ because they dont believe the ‘correct’ party line..

This fear-mongering by MSM and politicians is therefore , a deliberate and direct attack on our democratic freedoms and rights.

The other  hugely significant implication of the U.S Intelligence  fear-mongering, is that if a a  foreign  media outlet indicates any  support for one  side or other of a political  debate  or election it is somehow undermining that  country’s democracy. The implication being that  all  foreign media  should have slavishly endorsed the Hilary  campaign ( 99% of which  did so as ordered)

 

Postscript

The recent accusations by  President Obama , the Democrat  Party and others that  Russia (and specifically Vladimir Putin)   hacked   Democrat  emails to discredit  Hillary  Clinton in the presidential  election  are outlined in  the State Department media  release . The very  reputable US based WordPress  IT website ‘Wordfence’    concludes  that  the State Dept information  provided is implausible in its intent to  show that the hacking (if it occurred) , was Russian, and that the sources quoted in the State Dept memo  are in  fact outdated Ukrainian malware)
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Overall Conclusion
The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

Rinf.com argues that Cloudstrike–  the company  contracted by  the Democrat Party to investigate the ‘hacks” ,  and also  the sole source of the State Dept info on  the ‘hacks’,  is  strongly connected to  the Ukrainian regime in Kiev ,  which  is strongly  ant-Russian  for obvious reasons. We appear to  be seeing,  as we have time and time again,  the U.S.  ‘intelligence’  community  being easily or (willingly )  conned  by  hostile vested interests determined to  create hostilities where none are needed:  think   the Kuwaiti  scam  on  Saddam’s Iraqi soldiers bayoneting incubator  babies,  the Libyan  scam on  Ghadaffi’s forces using   viagra to  rape  civilians… the list  goes on  and on. Combine the lack  of inteligence and  analytical  skills of the U.S. intelligence community with  a deeply ingrained  psyche that  considers violence and war as the solution to  everything,  we have a problem….The  current massing of hundreds of American  tanks and other weaponry  in  the Baltic states is signalling that the U.S.  war  machine intends to  strike soon .

The latest   surreal  reports of Trump  being  manipulated and blackmailed by  Putin  get even  more scary. This is now evidence that  the current US administration  under Obama is trying to  subvert the results of the US Presidential  election so  that they  can continue in  the buildup  to  war with Russia ..There is now overwhelming feedback  from  a multitude of specialist  sources that  these accusations by a  ‘former’  MI6 agent are simply  porkies.

Craig Murray provides a very  clear insight into why  the ‘former’  MI6 agents ‘dossier’  is  rubbish.


Links

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/the-deep-state-versus-donald-trump-new-smears-and-a-ukrainian-connection.html#more

Trump Sex Blackmail, New Twist in Witch-Hunt  By Finian Cunningham

The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections ( Office of the Director of U.S.  National  Intelligence)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/britain-dragged-donald-trump-dirty-dossier-row-amid-claims-whitehall/

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_real_purpose_of_the_us_governments_report_on_alleged_hacking_by_russi

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/01/deep-state-35-pages-attack-against-trump-fails-foreign-and-domestic-losses.html#more

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-dodgy-trump-dossier-reminds-me-of-the-row-over-saddams-wmds/

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

The Syrian Propaganda War: (Stage Two)

Now that Eastern Aleppo has been  finally retaken by  Syrian government troops and their allies  after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in  the Western press. Rather than applauding the  return to  peace for the millions of civilians  in Western  Aleppo  and a  potential  return to  some normalcy   for the few remaining in Eastern  Alleppo,  we are instead  treated to   ongoing accusations  from ‘rebel’  sources  of massacres; statements that  cannot be verified in  any way because  the reporters  are not on the ground in  Syria, and statements which  are intended to  undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in  each of these mainstream  reports that ‘the war will  go  on regardless’-  one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media  outlets  are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that  Western  governments  and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured  millions of dollars,  not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation  in Syria over the past five years-  but also  poured millions into  a  huge propaganda network designed to  convince the Western  public that  Al Qaeda  in Syria is in  fact moderate and cuddly and that  only the Syrian  government forces do  terrible things.
This is a brutal  war   without question. Both sides have committed atrocities  and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to  be blind to the costs of war.
But  it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing  Western  government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by  Western governments to overthrow Assad;  firstly ,  because the Syrian  government opposes the ongoing  Israeli  occupation of Palestine and the Syrian  Golan  Heights  heights  and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of  Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE  see a secular Syria  under Assad as a threat  to  their support for the  Wahhabist sunni  extremist  doctrine espoused by  Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby  alters their power  play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one,  hope that peace will  prevail over the dogs of war.
Postscript
As of 15th December, mainstream media are  now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining  East  Aleppo  rebels and their families to Idlib province  and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and  pictures of carefully  cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR  agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil  dictator Assad granting amnesty to  the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt  quite add up…? hmmm

Aleppo- the final battle ground for the Saudis?

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have put huge resources,  not only into  funding and paying for anti-Shiite Salafist  soldiers in  Syria, but also into  resourcing  a vast media   campaign to   attack   Iran  and the IRGC for its role in  supporting the Assad regime.

With the imminent defeat of the Saudi  funded jihadists in Aleppo, the Saudis are facing a huge hit to their morale and international  standing-  especially when  taken alongside their disastrous war in Yemen, which increasingly is seen  to be a humanitarian  human rights genocidal  campaign against  the Yemen people. The anti-Iran campaign  now means that it will be considered internationally that Iran has in effect, defeated the Saudis in Syria. This is however, not the true state of affairs; while Iran’s IRGC has played a significant role in Syria over the past two years, their role does not appear to have been a game changer- despite the Iranian  hype about the famed General  Suleiman and his soldiers.

With the likely defeat of all opposition forces in Eastern Aleppo in the next few weeks,  those 25,000  battle-hardened SAA (Syrian Government) soldiers in  action there can  now be deployed elsewhere in  Syria. This re-deployment will likely result in  the final defeat of the majority of forces  aligned with the Saudis and Qataris  and  trained  by  Western  governments  in the Jordanian  ‘rebel’  camps. The “King’  of Jordan will  now have to make  some considerable  contortions in  order  to ‘make up’  with Assad – but it’s quite possible that  those jihadis escaping back over the Jordanian border will now  make a serious attempt to overthrow  another of the West’s  pawns in  the Middle East. Additionally, those rebels of European origin,  which  Western intelligence agencies have been facilitating into Syria  for the past five years, are also likely to return  to  their native European countries bringing their  carefully honed military skills and sectarian hatreds with them.

Should the Assad regime succeed in  pacifying the majority of Syria , the huge resources put into destabilising Syria by the George Soros business empire, the French,  the U.K., Turkey and the U.S.,  means  that  their corporate intent to profit from  re-building the Syria they have destroyed,  will have come to nothing. Chinese and Russian businesses are now well placed to do that.

And Saudi Arabia, has by its attempts to play  Iran  as the key evil  agent in Syria ,  almost literally, shot itself in the foot-  with  a consequence that  the whole Saudi  regime is now likely to  go  gangrenous  in a relatively short space of time. No wonder the UK is panicking in its absurd manipulation of MSM media coverage of the Syrian war! The loss of the Saudi ‘kingdom’ to UK control and arms sales, would be a catastrophic loss for those who hold the puppet-strings of power in Whitehall and ‘The City’. Should the Qatari regime also be brought down in the aftermath of a SAA victory, the implications for Western influence in the Middle East will be huge.

Given that Egypt now appears to be wavering towards supporting the Assad regime and the Russians, there are serious international re-alignments happening. Even the wily but somewhat  deranged President Erdogan of Turkey is admitting that his long-term interests no  longer lie with  being antagonistic to  Russia – particularly if the  oil pipeline from Russia to Europe can run  through  his backyard!

Early prognostications were that the EU and US sanctions against Russia, (ostensibly for their Crimean ‘invasion’) would cripple the Russian economy. With the shift of economic focus of Russia towards the East and China’s One Belt Road, the impacts of the sanctions have been somewhat reduced,  and the medium  term economic outlook  for Russia  now looks  considerably more rosy than even the worst dreams of  U.S. neocons .

For the Chinese, the increasing hysteria coming from the US about China’s growing power, economically and militarily, is now being mitigated by the rapid development of  the ‘One Belt Road’   This new high-speed  overland trade route to  Russia  and the West means that China will, in  the near future, be somewhat insulated from the increasing risks of Western  warships blockading its trade routes to the outside world. Bizarrely the U.K. government in London is now also sending its aging warships to the South China Sea (shades of the ‘Opium Wars’). Commercial  engagement in  a revitalised Syria is just one part the Chinese are likely to  play in their resurgent role in the Middle East.

In short, the battle for Aleppo is one symptom of the shifting power alignments in the world. A victory for Assad and his allies implies a significant change in the ways of the world for the medium to long term.

Triumphant

There have been  way  too  many commentaries on  the  ‘unexpected’  succession  of Donald Trump  to the White House.

Trump coat of arms Source By Ernstvongriffe - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53057525
Trump coat of arms: Source By Ernstvongriffe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53057525

However  notwithstanding all  those commentaries ,  I will  endeavour to add my own  little spin  on  those events.

Donald Trump’s win  was  ‘unexpected’  for two reasons: 1) the media said it was not going to happen  and 2) the polls said it was not going to happen.  And indeed, Hillary  Clinton  did win more votes in  the  total national  count of the 54% who  decide to  vote, but lost out at  the electoral  college state level.  Both  Trump  and Clinton were voted for by  approximately 27% of the total possible electorate.  But the poll  margins expected, at  the very least,  a 4% margin  for Clinton. Was it because  those responding to the pollsters hid their true intent ; maybe too  ashamed to  say  they  were intending to  vote for someone the media portrayed as a bigot, sexist and buffoon, but who   responded to their anxieties about the future? Or was it that the low voter turnout  dramatically skewed the potential for any accurate recording  of those who  in the end decided to  vote?-  I would suspect  more the latter.

The role  of the media in this campaign has been  astonishing to an outsider.  Not one US mainstream  news agency  supported Trump through his campaign. Even in little old New Zealand the bias  in  reporting pro  Clinton and against  Trump was extraordinarily obvious. One of the more obvious signs of this bias was the  mass media taking up the Clinton   campaign’s farcical claims  that Trump  was in  bed with Putin, the Russians were trying to   fix the election and Wikileaks was an  arm of the Russian secret  police.  Where was the analysis of these absurd allegations ? Did this obvious bias  result in  a backlash  from voters as has been claimed in  some media reports? -I would very much  doubt it-  American citizenry  have been taught to  believe whatever the media says is the truth-why  doubt them now?- however absurd the claim  is.

However I do  think  one outcome of the media Trump-bashing frenzy  has been to instill a high level of fear and anxiety in those parts of the American  population who  see themselves as marginalized: the gay communities, Hispanics to some degree, many  blacks,  as well  as all those who  are fighting for more rights and freedoms  within  the American state system. Are those fears justified?-we shall  have to wait  and see whether Donald puts his  money  where his mouth is! As one reporter noted recently-  ‘all  American presidential  elections are like this; say anything you like  in  the run-up  to the vote, but once elected become a sober and careful  politician’. With  Donald Trump,  that may not necessarily be the case. All indications are that Donald Trump  has an ego  of unbelievable proportions, is not used to taking advice from singular or  multiple sources , is  in fact  both  sexist and racist and likes to make executive decisions at the minutist level.  Will  that make his decisions worse?-  probably not, given the calibre of recent presidential policy  decision -making.  Will  it make those decisions more unpredictable?- most certainly yes. We are in  for uncertain times in  the world.

We are also  in  for a world driven  entirely by  greed:  well, more obviously so at  least. In the past, that greed has been  hidden by  more subtle statements; ‘bringing democracy’,   ‘removing human rights abuses’, ‘responsibility to  protect’,  regime change’,  ‘efficiency’, ‘progress’  etc etc . The removal of environmental  controls for instance, will  simply make evident  what  was already  in  place; a total  unwillingness by  the American  state to  countenance a reduction  in  the consumption of fossil  fuels and the degradation of the environment if it meant profits for the big companies were going to  be reduced.  “Growth’  is what  drives money into  the pockets of the politicians. The environmental   Paris Accord is a political  farce, and every politician knows it.

The other  factor driving unpredictability in  Trump’s decision-making  is that he doesn’t need to be bought by  the highest  bidder;-unlike Hillary and the Clinton Foundation.   As a billionaire, Trump has sufficient  money  that  no-one can influence him   through bribery  and corruption, should he choose not to  go there.  The traditional  methodology for policy   decision-making in  Washington  has now been  removed for four years-  a very  scary  thought to  those who  have been buying privilege and influence in Washington for so many many years!   And particularly scary for those in  the military  and arms industries and certain  foreign states, who  have relied on  extensive lobbying and financial  ‘incentives’  to  ensure ongoing wars wherever they  meet  their interests.

Finally , the role of media and  politicians  in fostering the  post-election anxiety   and street  demonstrations needs to be explored. The casual  statements by  both  Hillary  Clinton and Obama that  Trump needs to ‘be given  a chance”  has the hidden  and not so  subtle or veiled implication  that, once Trump  makes his first  wrong move as President,  then  we can  go  after him  with whatever it takes to  remove him.

The  violent demonstrations on  the streets in   the U. S. as a result of the  presidential  election are unprecedented, and may be a sign of  further clashes between the so-called ‘liberals’  in  the pro-Clinton  camp,  and the bigots and racists  and ‘fearful  white folks’  who  made up  a significant proportion of the pro-Trump vote.

We live in  ‘interesting times’, as the Chinese curse has it….

 

White Helmets and Western Governments call for Bloodbath in Syria..

As the Syrian  government forces and its allies prepare for the final  advance  to  push  the jihadists  from the small  part of  Aleppo  still held by the jihadists, Western  governments and their propaganda arm,  the White Helmets, are upping the PR campaign to push  for the  establishment of  a no-fly zone  across Syria- effectively banning the Syrian  and Russian airforces from the skies.
The PR campaign  alleges that  the only  people  killed in this evil  war  are civilians  killed by  the bombs  from  the sky. For some  reason, the truck-bombs,  tank fire,   artillery, mortars, missile barrages, sniper fire and suicide attacks  from  the jihadist  side, do  not cause any civilian casualties  for the vast majority (1.5  million) of Aleppo civilians sheltering on the government side of the warzone in Aleppo. Part of the issue is that Western media only report on casualty figures provided by  the ‘rebel’  side;  so  we are left to  assume  that  the SAA; -the Syrian  Army, is entirely responsible for all  civilian  casualties;  which,   given the enormous amounts of  firepower provided by  Western  governments, Turkey  and the Gulf dictatorships to the ‘rebels’, would be somewhat  unusual!
The U.S. military  is well  aware that  Al Qaeda affiliates are the major force on the ‘rebel’ side in East Aleppo, and that  Western   interventions against  the Assad government  only strengthen Al Qaeda.
Western governments are also well  aware that  a no-fly zone-  as in  Libya ,  will  create the perfect  opportunity for  Al Qaeda affiliates  and their ‘moderate’  allies  to  defeat  the Syrian  government forces , over-run Damascus in a blood-bath, and  establish  a jihadist  centre of power in  Syria and  the elimination of the more than 26% of the Syrian  population who  are not Sunni  arabs or who do  not subscribe to  the medieval  views of their Gulf state sponsors.
Just  as in  Iraq, with the fictional  incubator babies on Iraqi  bayonets in Kuwait saga, the fictional  viagra supplied to  Gaddaffi’s soldiers in Libya to rape civilians; we are now sold endless fictional  stories of the “last hospital in Aleppo”,  well- framed photos of young men carrying babies through  war-torn  streets,  or babies and young children immaculately  covered  in concrete dust .
Yes, this is a brutal  war;  civilians will  and are dying in  immense suffering on both  sides of the ever shifting frontlines . But the most effective mechanism  to   stop  the barbarity is for Western  governments and their Gulf dictatorship proxies,  to  stop  arming  jihadist  rebels.. The hypocrisy of Western leaders-  particularly the ‘socialist’  premier Hollande, knows no  bounds it would appear.
Go  figure….

Links

Aleppo Media Center ( Western backed media support for jihadists) (use Google translate)

The Self-destruction of Western Societies?

The recent  ‘terrorist’ bombings in European  cities  may need to be  looked at from  a wider  perspective. Is this increasing wave of violence on urban  communities a signal of a deeper malaise?

The ‘terrorists’  who  have perpetrated these attacks  over the past few years ( ie not just  “ISIS’  inspired  killings);  have inevitably be enacted by  dispossessed angry young men   who  predominantly  have no  clear ideology of much  longstanding.  While they  have often attributed the rationale for their attacks to  some formal ideology  like ISIS, I suspect  that   any ideological  excuse would have sufficed for them. The recent killings by  those who  stated their motivations  were in  the name of Allah  and ISIS, were almost all by young men  who  had lacked any consistent  commitment to  Muslim  practice; ie not regularly attending a mosque, and indulged in drinking, drugs , gambling etc.

This indicates that  the rationale for the killing did not come from  idealogical  sources, but rather from their own anger and hurt about their own life experiences.  Undoubtedly however, the  last few years  of ISIS, Al Qaeda and other similar extremist  groups espousing the glories of  the killing of innocents,  have provided a focus  and a ‘rationale’   for that  anger and blood-lust.

This process might be likened to  the Christian  crusades   to  the “Holy Lands” in mediaeval  times, when  Europeans  from  all  walks of life joined  armies  to  supposedly ‘free”  the Holy Lands from  Saracen tyranny, but in  fact used that  license  to indulge in  vast  amounts of rape, pillage and  terror  of  local  populations,   both on their journeys to  Palestine through  Europe and the Middle East , but also  within  Palestine  itself.

What is different this time around however, is that  this is an internal  self-immolation of societies and almost a global  one: predominantly by  young men  who  were born  within European  societies, but at  the same time alienated from them.

What  we see then, is a political  response to these multiple deaths  which labels them as “terrorists’  attacks rather than  an  epidemic of murder/-suicides by  young angry  and hurting men.

Instead of addressing the root causes of that anger;  alienation from  society,  loneliness, poverty,  drugs and perceived inequalities and injustices;  Western  governments have increasingly focussed on more and more draconian responses to  these murders;  an action which   further legitimizes the  imaginary  ideological  fervour of more and more  young men.

As in  the United States, the  political  response is to further  militarise police forces and restrict  human rights and freedoms, and thereby  increase the likelihood of inappropriate and unjust responses by  the ‘authorities’  to  legitimate  community  conflict  situations. It is plain  that such  actions lead only to  community disintegration.

One might therefore  argue that  the actions by  both parties are symptomatic of a global  community in decline; in  a state of self-immolation, as it  unconsciously acknowledges the  multiple absurd paradoxes of our  global consumer society whilst  we inexorably head towards   an unliveable over-heated  and species depleted  planet.

 

 

Obama and the Baseball Cards

Obama’s legacy; and  this may  well be his prime legacy- and  one he may  remember in his  older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no  longer controlled by  the U.S.  State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to  decide who shall  live and who  shall   die by  drone anywhere in  the world,  based on  limited pieces of information  provided on baseball  cards. (a kind of  Roman Emperor  type role: – thumbs- up  or down at  the Coliseum)

Baseball Card Kill List DEPICTION
Lawfareblog.com notes ‘This is a mock-up/depiction of what an actual kill-list baseball card looks like. It is not a real baseball card and is not based on any classified information.’

 

Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept 

One might almost be forgiven therefore  for coming to  the conclusion that  the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is  not to  eliminate the sources of terror, but to  exacerbate them.

drone operator
Drone operator cabin- Daily Mail Australia

As we have seen in many a colonial  war, those who  ‘hand in’ terrorists to  the colonial  power inevitably have their own  agendas;  feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial   or property interests, but rarely because they  are in  fact  ‘terrorists”.  In addition we  can be certain  that  US military  and State Dept claims of minimal   ‘collateral  damage’ (accidental  killing of civilians who  get in the way  of a  drone  missile’s large detonation area)  are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too  that drone operators have less than minimal  knowledge of foreign cultural  issues- e.g. the difference between a  wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into  the air and a  terrorist  group in weapons training , let alone  their drone “eyes” having sufficient  definition to  pick  up  who  is who  on the ground.

So,  when  dear President Obama  gives the thumbs down  on that particular baseball  card, he really has no  idea what  he is agreeing  to; other than that  his decision will  kill  someone or more likely , quite a few  people, out there . But of course, if  that Hellfire  missile with  its 9kg warhead  just  happens to  kill a few other  ‘military-age males’  in the vicinity of the explosion,  all  to the good.  By  using  remote killing mechanisms  the US president can appear to  take a Herod-like hands-off approach  to  the art of murder, with  the added benefit of limited  capacity of verifying what  carnage has  actually occurred on the ground.

In addition the United States’  penchant for targeting  supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist  groups, rather than  their supply lines, infrastructure or financial  backers, means that  drones can be used over and over to  kill  the next leader who  takes the deceased’s  place in  the leadership line; or as in  many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person  over and over again; such  is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.

United States government lawyers have in  the past contorted themselves in  all  sorts of unusual  positions to justify  remote murder by  executive order,  much as their  contracted psychiatrists  managed to  create a lofty argument that  putting  prisoners through  ‘stress positions’  was not in  fact  totally illegal,  inhumane  torture and contravened  international  human  rights on  a grand scale.

President Obama has even been known  to joke publicly about his life and death  decision-making powers, not too  dissimilar from his psychopathic Secretary  of State ,  Hilary Clinton.

I hope I will  be around to  see  them  stand before the International  tribunal.


Links

https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-presidents-kill-list

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/2013.05.23_fact_sheet_on_ppg.pdf

https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-presidents-national-security-speech

https://www.aclu.org/issues/national-security/targeted-killing

https://www.aclu.org/foia-collection/targeted-killing-foia-database

https://www.aclu.org/foia-document/joint-targeting-cycle-and-collateral-damage-estimation-methodology

https://theintercept.com/document/2015/10/14/geolocation-watchlist/

https://www.lawfareblog.com/kill-list-baseball-cards-and-targeting-paper-trail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249252/Brandon-Bryant-Drone-operator-followed-orders-shoot-child–decided-quit.html

The Cumulative Footprints of Humans

I often hear people, who   appear to be  otherwise rational  human beings,  adamantly stating that anthropogenic global  warming doesn’t exist-if there is warming they  argue -it has to be some other source than man;  why?

Perhaps  partly because  they  cannot  comprehend that  their own small  actions in a big world could  have such  a huge  impact  on  the planet. Which   is in  fact   of course, correct.

It is our capacity  as a  social  species  to  collaborate and cooperate which  is destroying this planet. If James Watt  had invented the steam engine, but  no-one had helped him build the tracks, let alone design and build another-and then another  locomotive;  then  the planet  would  have much more of its natural   green cover on it and  far less carbon  dioxide in  the atmosphere!

It is our capacity to  firstly  manipulate our environment to  suit our immediate needs at  the expense of other species, which  has created what  is looking increasingly likely as  a dead-end street  for ourselves and  the multiple species that  live  with us on this little blue ball.

Secondly it is  our incapacity to  anticipate the cumulative impacts of our actions  on the planet ( one locomotive has no  impact;  100,000  locomotives do; tar-sealing one car-park has little impact on the planet, but 500, 000  mall  car-parks do.) .

Thirdly,  it  is the inherited  presumption that  homo sapiens have a God-given right to  hold domain over the world. A handy  but incredibly foolish assumption for any species to adhere to!- particularly when that  species doesn’t understand  what  it is doing as it manipulates its environment, other  than making  and distributing little shiny baubles  that its members  are attracted to.

And fourthly, it is our short-sightedness;  we do  not see how over time, humans have radically altered for the worse, the liveable bio-sphere on this planet. What  was once, for instance in New Zealand,  several islands almost entirely  covered with tall  trees  and dense vegetation, has been in less than  two hundred years, transformed into millions of acres of  grassland feeding  various animal species  imported from  Europe, for the purpose of slaughtering them and sending the dead bodies overseas or  to extract their milk.

Many many thousands of species have been  destroyed or pushed to  the brink  of extinction in this  process of ‘human progress’, and those ancient forest  trees  are forever gone, except in  a few national parks where humans can get  a small  glimpse of what  the world was like before humans devastated it. No  longer is the dawn chorus of birds deafening,  as it once was when Europeans first  arrived on  those New Zealand  shores 200  years ago: we may be  lucky in  our  urban environments to hear one European blackbird  or a sparrow call as the sun  rises.

Deforestation across the world has been pervasive- both for agricultural  farming and for industrial  exploitation.

In the image below you an see the inexorable deforestation (loss of green) of  Europe -only attenuated briefly by  the Black  Death. That  process of deforestation has been occurring all  over the word at various rates and stages, but is now nearing the point where only a few natural  national parks will  remain across the world. And while they  certainly act  as carbon  sinks, those forested areas were (once) far more than that; they  were areas of intense species  diversity that  vitally kept our planet  alive.

 

'The prehistoric and pre-industrial deforestation of Europe" -Jm Kaplan, KM Krumhardt, and N Zimmerman ( 2009)
‘The prehistoric and pre-industrial deforestation of Europe” -Jm Kaplan, KM Krumhardt, and N Zimmerman (2009)

We have as  a species, perhaps irremediably, lost our way- and sadly all  the other species on  this planet may be lost too as a result.


Postscript

And as Pete Dolack  writes at  Systemic Disorder, environmental  collapse is a major challenge to  the capitalistic system!  How dare our world disintegrate before our eyes when we have the greatest system of profiteering the world has ever seen!