Category Archives: Propaganda

The Branch Covidians are Waging War on Humanity

All embarked, the party launched out on the sea’s foaming lanes while the son of Atreus told his troops to wash, to purify themselves from the filth of the plague. They scoured it off, threw scourings in the surf and sacrificed to Apollo full-grown bulls and goats along the beaten shore of the fallow barren sea and savory smoke went swirling up the skies.

Homer, The Iliad (1.365-370)

The Biden administration’s announcement that Americans employed in companies with over 100 employees would be compelled to take an experimental gene therapy in explicit violation of the Nuremberg Code has opened a new front in the biofascist assault on democracy. Businesses and government agencies that fail to enforce this mandate will potentially face draconian fines. Should the oligarchy succeed in completely weaponizing health care, vaccine passports would undoubtedly become both pervasive and mandatory, but as Tucker Carlson pointed out during one of his recent monologues, it is also likely that dissidents would be handed over to the Cult of Psychiatry. This is not an uncommon practice in police states, and the pathologization of dissent has been ongoing in the West for quite some time now. Only through knowledge, compassion, and camaraderie can the forces of neo-Nazi medicine be outflanked. The days of medical Armageddon are upon us.

As the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and its European counterpart unequivocally demonstrate, the Covid vaccine program is causing tremendous harm and should have been terminated many months ago. Even the efficacy of the vaccines is very much in doubt, as evidenced by soaring Covid case numbers in some of the most vaccinated places on earth, such as the Seychelles (see here and here), Israel (see here, here, here and here), Gibraltar and Iceland. As physician assistant Deborah Conrad pointed out in her interview with The HighWire, VAERS is so dysfunctional that many doctors and nurses are only vaguely aware of its existence.

Addressing the “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Joseph Mercola, MD, writes on Mercola.com:

In a June 29, 2021, interview, Fauci called the Delta variant ‘a game-changer’ for unvaccinated people, warning it will devastate the unvaccinated population while vaccinated individuals are protected against it. Alas, in the real world, the converse is turning out to be true, as the Delta variant is running wild primarily among those who got the Covid jab.

As Dr. James Lyons-Weiler and other experts without ties to industry have noted, coronavirus vaccines have long had a poor safety record. Indeed, when scientists attempted to create a vaccine for SARS-CoV-1 the laboratory animals all died due to pathogenic priming.

The vaccine mandates are causing middle class professionals to quit their jobs in droves, from highly trained fighter pilots, to large numbers of nurses leading to maternity wards being shuttered. In what is reminiscent of the anthrax vaccine (administered to the military despite the lack of both informed consent and FDA approval), army doctors are now observing serious adverse events in formerly healthy soldiers. The Covid vaccine drive has surpassed even the psychopathy of the Nazi doctors, as it would have been inconceivable to senior physicians in the Third Reich to give all of German society an experimental vaccine.

In an incident that underscores how delusional the mass media has become, WXYZ-TV in Detroit, an ABC affiliate, reached out to people on Facebook for stories of Americans who died of Covid because they delayed getting vaccinated, but were instead inundated with thousands of stories of people who were killed or seriously injured by the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) gene therapies.

Not only has a two-tier society emerged where the unvaccinated are being denied the right to work, attend university, eat out, go to sporting events, and enjoy the performing and visual arts; but another two-tier society has also emerged, one which has been evolving for quite some time now: the mega rich – for whom none of these draconian rules will apply – and everyone else. Video from a Democratic Party fundraiser hosted by Nancy Pelosi in Napa Valley has emerged showing affluent liberals rubbing shoulders unmasked while their brown servants wear masks. Masks and social distancing were apparently not required at the recent Met Gala in New York, where celebrities get to hobnob, have shallow conversations, and show off their outlandish costumes while millions of their countrymen wallow in unemployment, hopelessness, and despair.

And it would seem that New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (whose real name incidentally is Warren Wilhelm Jr.) is not the only one who delights in imposing punitive measures on those who opt for the control group, with museums and concert halls enthusiastically embracing the heinous practice. The Guggenheim has even written on their website in conjunction with their vaccine requirement that “We focus on safety so you can immerse yourself in art.” (Thankfully, I have a lot of art books).

What will transpire if the mandates remain in place? Will our leaders order their minions to shut off the water of the unvaccinated? Will workers and students be compelled to take an experimental AIDS vaccine or submit to weekly testing? These injunctions are unethical, discriminatory, and unconstitutional, as they transform inalienable rights into privileges which must be earned by participating in a dangerous medical experiment. Restaurants in Manhattan, which have some of the highest commercial rents in the world, are naturally reluctant to enforce these regulations, yet run the risk of being snitched on by Branch Covidian undercover operatives.

Such an incestuous relationship has formed between the FDA, CDC, NIH, NIAID and the pharmaceutical industry, that going to the websites for these agencies invariably yields information that mirrors what is posted on the drug company websites. There is robust science indicating that natural immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity. There is likewise compelling evidence that face masks do more harm than good, yet these facts continue to be ignored by the presstitutes – a gaggle of clowns also on industry payroll.

When reporter Emerald Robinson asked White House principal deputy secretary Karine Jean-Pierre how doctors were testing for the Delta variant, Jean-Pierre became defensive, demanding that we stop asking questions and follow “the experts.” They know best after all, who when not registering vaccinated deaths as unvaccinated and artificially inflating the Covid death toll, are busy turning the country into a nation of opioid, heroin (the two are inextricably linked), fentanyl, barbiturate, benzodiazepine, and psychotropic drug addicts. (American doctors even once prescribed cocaine and heroin). Speaking at the Washington National Cathedral, our imaginary president, Dr. Fauci, said that he was sympathetic to Brits and Americans who are accustomed to certain post-Medieval rights and freedoms, “but now is the time to do what you’re told.”

The FDA “approval” for the Pfizer Covid vaccine attempts to conflate EUA investigational agents with FDA-approved drugs, as FDA has not approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which is still in use, but the Pfizer Comirnaty Covid vaccine, which isn’t even available. The FDA has argued that the two vaccines are indistinguishable from one another and that they can be used interchangeably, which is absurd. Any drug under the auspices of an EUA is by law experimental and cannot be mandated. Senator Ron Johnson wrote a letter to FDA Acting Commissioner Woodcock requesting clarification on this preposterous state of affairs.

It is curious that Hydroxychloroquine is somehow safe as a maintenance drug for lupus, yet suddenly becomes dangerous when used to treat SARS-CoV-2, even if only taken for a very short period of time. Here is the website lupus.org:

Given the drug’s many and varied beneficial effects and its excellent long-standing safety profile, most rheumatologists believe that Hydroxychloroquine should be taken by people with lupus throughout their lifetime. [Italics added]

The FDA temporarily authorized the use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 in March of 2020, but only with hospitalized patients. The FDA notice read as follows:

Hydroxychloroquine sulfate may only be used to treat adult and adolescent patients who weigh 50 kg or more and are hospitalized with COVID-19, for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.

As Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, Dr. Peter McCullough, and others have noted, Covid protocols using Hydroxychloroquine and other zinc ionophores are most efficacious early in the disease process. In other words, the FDA denied permission for doctors to use a medication for outpatient care where it has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalization and death, but allowed the drug to be used for hospitalized patients where the disease has often spiraled out of control, thereby setting the drug up to fail. Dr. Simone Gold has argued that the prevalence of Hydroxychloroquine in Africa, where it is frequently obtainable as an over-the-counter drug for malaria treatment and prophylaxis, has played a significant role in protecting the continent from Covid.

So eager were the Branch Covidians to torpedo Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 that they conducted dangerous and unethical trials where patients were deliberately overdosed and given toxic quantities of the drug, likely causing some of the trial participants to die, and causing even far more deaths when public health agencies around the world advised (or in some instances, ordered) doctors to stop using a life-saving medication as a treatment for COVID-19.

Writing for The Defender, the newsletter for Children’s Health Defense, Jeremy Loffredo points out that in addition to threatening the profits of the mRNA vaccines, Hydroxychloroquine posed a threat to the profits of Gilead, the manufacturer of Remdesivir:

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, dozens of new studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine and its first cousin, Chloroquine, against Covid. These studies occurred in China, France, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, New York and Michigan. However, such proof of Hydroxychloroquine’s benefit to patients with Covid has posed an existential threat to Gilead sales throughout the Covid outbreak.

Remdesivir costs over $3,000 per treatment and has been linked to serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. Nevertheless, if a drug is profitable safety, necessity, and efficacy are disregarded. It becomes “the standard of care.”

Having had their fill of demonizing Hydroxychloroquine, the presstitutes and pharmaceutical sock puppets turned their vitriol on another unpatentable drug, Ivermectin. Described as “a multifaceted drug of Nobel prize-honoured distinction” by the journal New Microbes and New Infections, Ivermectin has played a critical role in combating onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness. Writing for The Lancet, Michel Boussinesq, MD, PhD, points out that “Ivermectin has been widely used for 30 years to combat onchocerciasis and is rightly considered a wonder drug.” In African countries where Ivermectin is regularly taken as an anti-parasitic Covid deaths have been negligible. Elaborating on this point, Kenyan doctors Stephen Karanga and Wahome Ngare pointed out in a Klartext podcast that due to Ivermectin’s effectiveness in treating Covid they weren’t worried about SARS-CoV-2; their real concerns lay with car accidents, HIV, and malaria.

Meanwhile, the FDA refuses to even acknowledge that Ivermectin can be used in humans, tweeting “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” (Yes, those are some of the smartest people in the world). This villainy is not without precedent, as millions of Americans were prescribed highly addictive opioids as opposed to safer and more inexpensive over-the-counter pain medications. The sacking of Canadian emergency physician Dr. Daniel Nagase, who was found guilty of saving the lives of his Covid patients with Ivermectin, underscores the fact that the elites will stop at nothing to prolong the pandemic.

In addition to fomenting the cult-like notion that a vaccine is a magical elixir for which no risk-benefit analysis is needed, the media has played a critical role in deceiving hundreds of millions of people around the world into believing that Covid is equally dangerous to all patients irregardless of age and preexisting conditions. This, in turn, has led to Black Death levels of hysteria, as evidenced by unvaccinated locals in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh being forced to wear placards displaying the skull and crossbones.

Physicians who attempt to treat Covid early using Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) protocols are being vilified as quacks and snake oil salesmen, while doctors who are killing staggering numbers of people through a combination of nontreatment and dangerous experimental drugs are hailed as heroes. In many ways, this is the essence of biofascism: care patients desperately need is denied them, while dangerous care is imposed through coercion – both monstrous violations of the oath to do no harm.

It is not uncommon for physicians to prescribe FDA-approved drugs to treat conditions that are different from what the drug was initially intended for. This is referred to as “off-label use” or “off-label prescribing.” How will a high-risk patient who contracts Covid benefit from masks, social distancing, lockdowns and vaccines (even if they were safe and effective)? They need something that will ward off the inflammatory phase of the disease and keep the ventilator at bay. This suppression of early treatment options has failed to escape the attention of the Indian Bar Association, which has sought criminal charges against WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan for making fallacious claims about Ivermectin to protect the Church of Vaccinology.

A passage from the Rome Declaration, established at the Rome Covid Summit, and signed by over 10,000 doctors and scientists, states the following:

WHEREAS, thousands of physicians are being prevented from providing treatment to their patients, as a result of barriers put up by pharmacies, hospitals, and public health agencies, rendering the vast majority of healthcare providers helpless to protect their patients in the face of disease. Physicians are now advising their patients to simply go home (allowing the virus to replicate) and return when their disease worsens, resulting in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary patient deaths, due to failure-to-treat;

WHEREAS, this is not medicine. This is not care. These policies may actually constitute crimes against humanity.

In the Age of Faucism, everyone who arrives at an American emergency room is being given a PCR test, and if it indicates that they have the virus (not unlikely considering the prevalence of false positives), their loved ones are summarily kicked out of the hospital, they are put into isolation, given drugs of dubious safety and efficacy, and even intubated. Dr. Jane Ruby has referred to these Covid obsessed hospitals as “the new ovens.” Furthermore, physicians are being threatened with revocation of their licenses should they be found guilty of “spreading misinformation” – a practice also commonly referred to as informed consent.

Hitler’s physicians were fond of euthanizing the mentally ill, and it would appear that their heirs are equally enamored with the practice, as the mentally handicapped have been vaccinated by force and with armed police present in Los Angeles. Children in Toronto have been given the experimental jab, without parental permission, and in exchange for free ice cream, while irate parents were prevented from entering the grounds. Not to be outdone, whistleblowers from Aegis Living, an assisted living facility for the aged, have reported that residents have been “chemically restrained” and injected with the investigational mRNA biologicals without their knowledge. As Dr. Lee Merritt said in a talk with Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, “We have a whole society doing what we tried the Nazi doctors for.”

As evidenced by the CDC vaccine schedule (a growing list of mandates coupled with liability protection for the manufacturer), and the fact that parents can be charged with “medical neglect” should they object to their children being placed on psychotropic drugs, the American public school system has long been in the grip of late-stage biofascism. To add insult to injury, toddlers are now being forced to wear masks and the mRNA biologicals are being injected into minors. Children’s Health Defense has reported that “Pfizer’s Covid vaccine could be rolled out to babies as young as 6 months in the U.S. this winter — under plans being drawn up by the pharmaceutical giant.”

Australia offers another window into our future should we fail to save humanity from the hordes of Faucism. Indeed, this has become a country where farmers’ markets are shut down by riot police, senior health officials tell their countrymen not to talk to one another so as to prevent transmission of a virus, pregnant women are arrested in their pajamas for attempting to organize anti-lockdown rallies on the Internet, women are violently choked by sadistic goons for leaving their homes unmasked, young children are pepper sprayed and brutalized for committing the aforementioned sin, citizens are committed (or “sectioned” as they say in Britain) for questioning the official Covid narrative, rubber bullets are fired into crowds of informed consenters, and extreme forms of violence are unleashed against elderly protesters – acts of barbarity that have enraged the citizenry. Melbourne in particular has lost all semblance of checks and balances, with storm troopers being unleashed on the population, in harrowing scenes reminiscent of the Wehrmacht’s storming of Prague. (Granted, without the live rounds).

Convinced that anyone who questions the veracity of the liberal media and the public health agencies is a “conspiracy theorist” (really a euphemism for “mentally ill”), neoliberals have already crossed the Rubicon and taken up the truncheon of authoritarianism. Undoubtedly, the official Covid narrative is deranged. Yet is it any more inane than “Trump’s white supremacist insurrection,” “Russia invaded Ukraine,” “the Russians hacked the election,” “Trump is Putin’s puppet,” and NATO was compelled to bomb Libya to smithereens “to save Benghazi?”

Trapped in a vortex of amnesia and unreason, the neoliberal has been hoodwinked into believing that whatever the medical mullahs say is “the science;” and whatever the liberal media says is incontrovertible, irrefutable, and infallible; i.e., “reality.” Fauci’s contradictory statements, particularly with regard to the virulence of COVID-19 and his stance on masks, fail to diminish their fervor as they cannot even remember what they had for breakfast, let alone the tens of thousands of Americans killed by Vioxx or the over 400,000 Americans that lost their lives to the opioid epidemic.

The liberals of the 1960s, who genuinely believed in the Nuremberg Code, would have regarded the Branch Covidians with contempt. What a pity that the ranks of these medical brownshirts are dominated largely by those who once idolized the likes of Bobby Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, yet now wallow in a pitiable state of moral and intellectual bankruptcy. It is true that conservative publications, such as The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal are parroting similar propaganda with regard to Covid. However, as evidenced by Tucker Carlson’s show, the conservative media no longer speaks with one voice. Moreover, millions of conservatives no longer believe in the infallibility of the conservative media as liberals continue to believe in the infallibility of the liberal media.

Ultimately, the Branch Covidians are the offspring of a union between a corporatized health care system that has grown increasingly hostile to informed consent, and a liberal class that stopped thinking when Bill Clinton was inaugurated and has come to regard senior officials in the liberal media and the public health agencies as gods. The mass psychosis of the Branch Covidians is inextricably linked with the mass psychosis of neoliberalism. Without the latter the former would have about as much societal impact as the Hare Krishnas.

The Nazis divided humanity into the subhumans (Jews, Roma, political prisoners, and Slavs); the humans (allied European fascists and the Japanese); and the supermen (the Germans, or Aryans). For quite some time now, the American health care system has been mired in a multi-tier system which divides patients up into similar categories. In light of this boorishness, teaching hospitals have long been instructing trainees that care is to be doled out depending on what kind of insurance plan patients have. Privileged patients are granted the right to choose their own doctor while the less fortunate are confined to narrow networks. Humans are permitted to meet with an attending physician while the Untermenschen are sent to resident clinics. Unbeknownst to Nazi doctors, both past and present, there is no bioethics on-off switch. In what was foundational to the Blitzkrieg but could also explain their increasingly deranged decision making, much of the German military during World War II was regularly taking Pervitin, the predecessor to crystal meth, and doing so with the support of their own doctors.

As the forces of darkness become increasingly desperate, liberals drown in an ocean of madness and sociopathy. Hypnotized by an oligarchy they have deified, while believing that they are still marching with Martin Luther King singing “Kumbaya My Lord” and “We Shall Overcome,” this faux-left movement bears a closer resemblance to the Democratic Party of the 1860s than the Democratic Party of the 1960s. Indeed, if the Branch Covidians succeed in destroying the citadel of informed consent, only one form of government will reign in the United States: slavery.

The post The Branch Covidians are Waging War on Humanity first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Iron Dome: Don’t be deceived, US aid to Israel is not about saving lives

Battles in the US Congress that erupted again this week, holding up an extra $1bn in military funding for Israel, underscored just how divorced from reality the conversation about US financial aid to Israel has become, even among many critics.

For 48 hours last month, a small group of progressive Democrats in the US House of Representatives succeeded in sabotaging a measure to pick up the bill for Israel to replenish its Iron Dome interception missiles. The Iron Dome system was developed by Israel, with generous financial backing from successive US administrations, in the wake of the 2006 war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Today, it ostensibly serves to protect Israel from short-range, largely improvised rockets fired intermittently out of Gaza.

Supplies of the Iron Dome missiles, each of which cost at least $50,000, were depleted back in May, when Israel triggered widespread confrontations with Palestinians by intensifying its settlement of Palestinian neighbourhoods near Jerusalem’s Old City and violently raiding al-Aqsa Mosque. Palestinian militant groups fired large numbers of rockets out of Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel for the past 15 years. Iron Dome intercepted the rockets before they could land in Israel.

The group of progressive Democrats, known popularly as the Squad, scotched an initial move by their congressional leadership to include the $1bn assistance to Israel in US budget legislation. But the money for Iron Dome was quickly reintroduced as a stand-alone bill that passed overwhelmingly, with 420 votes in favour and nine against. Two representatives, one of them the prominent Squad member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,  voted “present” – counting effectively as an abstention.

This week, the furore moved to the Senate when Rand Paul, a strong Republican critic of US foreign aid, refused to nod through the bill and thereby give it unanimous assent. It will now need to go through a more complicated legislative process.

The latest funding for Iron Dome comes in addition to the $3.8bn Israel receives annually from the US in military aid, which has made Israel the biggest recipient, by far, of such largesse. Putting the new tranche of Iron Dome aid into perspective, it is twice what Washington contributes annually to Nato’s budget.

The previous administration, under former President Donald Trump, turned US funding for Nato into a big domestic controversy, arguing that the US was shouldering too much of the burden. But there has been barely a peep about the massive military bill the US is footing for Iron Dome.

Debate stifled

The Squad’s main achievement in launching its brief blocking move was to force out into the open the fact that the US is paying for Israel’s stockpile of missiles. Like the House leadership, the Israel lobby had hoped the money could be transferred quietly, without attracting attention.

What little debate did ensue related to whether Israel really needs US military assistance. A few commentators asked why Washington was kitting out one of the richer countries on the planet with missiles in the midst of a pandemic that has hit the US economy hard.

But the lobby quickly stifled a far more important debate about whether the US should be encouraging Israel’s use of Iron Dome at all. Instead, US funding for the interception missile system was presented as being motivated solely by a desire to save lives.

In attacking Paul’s decision to block the bill, the biggest pro-Israel lobby group in Congress, AIPAC, argued this week that his move would “cost innocent lives, make war more likely, and embolden Iran-backed terrorists”.

It was precisely the claim that the Iron Dome is defensive that appeared to push Ocasio-Cortez, usually seen as one of the few US politicians openly critical of Israel, into a corner, leading to her abstention.

Images from the House floor showed her tearful and being given a hug by another representative after the vote. She later attributed her distress in part to how Iron Dome funding had a polarising effect at home, noting that the House bill was a “reckless” move to “rip our communities apart”.

That was an apparent reference to factional tensions within the Democratic Party between, on one side, many Jewish voters who back what they see as Israel’s right to defend itself and, on the other, many Black and Hispanic voters who think it is wrong for the US to financially support Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

Some saw her indecision as evidence of her ambitions to run for the Senate, where positions critical of Israel would be more likely to damage her prospects of success.

Expiring in silence

In Israel, and in Jewish communities beyond, the conversation about US support for Iron Dome is even more detached from reality. The nine US representatives who voted against were roundly castigated for willing the deaths of Israelis by voting to deny them protection from rockets fired from Gaza. In predictable fashion, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, called those who voted against “either ignorant or antisemitic”.

But some liberals took the argument in a different, even more fanciful direction. They called the Squad “hypocrites” for voting against the $1bn funding, arguing that Iron Dome missiles not only save Israelis, but Palestinians too. One Haaretz commentator went so far as to claim that Palestinians were actually the main beneficiaries of the Iron Dome system, arguing: “The fact Israel has a defensive shield against rocket attacks makes a wide-scale military operation with thousands of – mainly Palestinian – casualties less likely.”

Of course, there is the small question of whether Israel has indeed been “forced” into its attacks on Gaza. It is precisely its military superiority – paid for by the US – that has freed it to carry out those massive attacks, in which large numbers of Palestinians, including hundreds of children, are killed, rather than negotiate an end to its decades-long occupation.

Just as in life, bullies resort to intimidation and violence because they feel no need to compromise. But even more to the point, Iron Dome is central to Israel’s efforts to keep Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza, entirely subjugated and stripped of any power to resist.

With Israel patrolling tiny Gaza’s land borders and coast, sealing off the enclave from the rest of the world, Palestinians have few options to protest their slow starvation – or to gain attention for their plight. Israeli snipers have fired on Palestinians staging unarmed, mass protests at the fence caging them in, killing and wounding thousands. The Israeli navy fires on or sinks Palestinian boats, including fishing boats, in Gaza’s waters if they stray more than a few kilometres from the shore.

Iron Dome, far from being defensive, is another weapon in Israel’s armoury to keep Palestinians subdued, impoverished, corralled and silent. For those claiming to want peace in Israel-Palestine, the extra funding for Iron Dome just made that prospect even less likely. As long as Palestinians can be made to slowly expire in silence – their plight ignored by the rest of the world – Israel is free to seize and colonise yet more of what was supposed to become a future Palestinian state.

Systems of domination

But there is another reason why Ocasio-Cortez should have voted against the Iron Dome resupply, rather than tearfully abstaining – and that is for all our sakes, not just the sake of Palestinians.

The US foots the bill for Iron Dome, just as it does for most of Israel’s other weapons development, for self-interested reasons: because it helps its own war industries, as Washington seeks to maintain its military dominance globally.

With western populations less willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters for the sake of modern wars, which seem less obviously related to defence and more transparently about the control of key resources, the Pentagon has worked overtime to reframe the public debate.

It is hard to disguise its global domination industries as anything but offensive in nature. This is where Israel has played a critical role. Not only has Israel helped to develop weapons systems like Iron Dome, but – despite being a nuclear-armed, belligerent, occupying state – it has leveraged its image as a vulnerable refuge for the long-persecuted Jewish people. It has been able to make more plausible the case that these domination systems really are defensive.

In recent decades, Israel has developed and tested drone technology to surveil and assassinate Palestinians, which has proved invaluable in the US and UK’s long-term occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel’s latest “swarm” technology – making drones even more lethal – may prove particularly attractive to the Pentagon.

Israel has also been the ideal partner for the Pentagon in testing and refining the battlefield use of the new generation of F-35 fighter planes, the most expensivemilitary product in US history. Uniquely, Israel has been allowed to customise the jet, adapting its capabilities in new, unforeseen ways.

Bowing to US hegemony

The F-35’s ultimate role is to make sure major rival airforces, such as Russia’s and China’s, are elbowed out of the skies. And Israel has been at the forefront of developing and testing a variety of missile interception systems, such as Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow, which are intended to destroy incoming projectiles, from short-range rockets to long-range missiles.

Last December, Israel announced it had successfully launched Iron Dome interception missiles for the first time from the sea. Reports noted that the US arms maker Raytheon and the US defence department were involved in the tests. That is because, behind the scenes, the US is not only paying for the development and testing of these systems; it is also guiding the uses to which they will be put. The Pentagon has bought two Iron Dome batteries, which, according to Israeli media, have been stationed in US military bases in the Gulf.

The US has its own interception systems under development, and it is unclear which it will come to rely on most heavily. But what is evident is that Washington, Israel and their Gulf allies have Iran in their immediate sights. Any country that refuses to bow to US global hegemony could also be targeted.

US interest in these missiles is not defensive. They are fundamental to its ability to neutralise the responses of rivals to either a US military attack, or more general moves by the US to dominate territory and control resources.

Just as Palestinians have been besieged by Israel for 15 years, the US and Gulf states may hope one day to deal a knockout blow to Iran’s oil exports. Washington would be able to ignore current concerns that Tehran could retaliate by firing on shipping through the Strait of Hormuz or on hostile Middle Eastern capitals. If Iran’s missiles can be intercepted, it will be incapable of defending itself against increasing economic or military aggression from the US or its neighbours.

Less safe world

Following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer, there has been plenty of naive talk that the US is seeking a diminished role in the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Ultimately, the US is seeking global dominance at arm’s length – through a combination of long-range military power, cyber warfare, robotics and artificial intelligence – that it hopes will lift the restraints imposed by American casualties and domestic opposition.

Israel’s playbook with regards to Palestinians is one that elites in Washington trust can be exported to other corners of the globe, and even outer space. Interception missiles lie at the heart of that strategic vision, as a way to neutralise and silence all resistance. This is why no one who cares about a less violent, exploitative and dangerous world should be indifferent to, or neutral on, congressional funding for Iron Dome.

Missile interception systems are the face not of a more defensive, safer world, but of a far more nakedly hostile, aggressive one.

• First published at Middle East Eye

The post Iron Dome: Don’t be deceived, US aid to Israel is not about saving lives first appeared on Dissident Voice.

It’s What the Babies Eat: Inflammatory Capitalism in Mush

Again, you can’t shuttle through the headlines, the so-called news, without having spasms and fits. You will not get journalists doing shit to really go after the capitalists, uh? Baby food. And these transnational Wall Street thieves, these stockholding companies, not even a slap on the wrist. So, if I as an unjabbed person goes into a public place, and then the rabid fascists find out, they then can call the cops, do a citizen’s arrest, and take my ass down, zip ties and all. But, do these billionaires and multimillionaires get hog-tied or frog-marched into court, and have their ill-gotten profits used for a reparations fund for all those babies? Dream on:

Baby Food Makers Kept Selling Products with Arsenic Levels Exceeding FDA-Approved Limits

HEADLINESEP 30, 2021

 

Baby food manufacturers allowed products contaminated with heavy metals to remain on store shelves — even after dangerous levels of the toxic chemicals were detected in their products. That’s according to a new congressional report released Wednesday, which found baby food makers Gerber and Beech-Nut failed to recall infant rice cereals tested to have arsenic levels above FDA limits.

This is how these felons roll, these dirty rotten propagandists, the smoke and mirrors crowd, the polluters, all those elites and money grubbers:

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Going from baby food to land, forests, indigenous rights, we can see more putridity of the White Savior Civilizations (sic) facilitating the land rapists and the water polluters. This is not outrageous in Can/Klan/Ada?

In Canada, a judge has ended an injunction granted to logging company Teal-Jones, which the court says was used to crack down on activists at the Fairy Creek watershed blockade in a way that violated their civil liberties and infringed on press freedom. Police have arrested over 1,000 land defenders, often violently, as they fight to protect the remaining trees in Vancouver Island’s ancient forests. The First Nations-led protest is Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience. Click here to see our coverage of this issue

It’s a simple formula, a simple illustration of how syphilitics the ruling class is, and here, “David Graeber’s bestselling book Debt: The First 5000 Years revolutionised our understanding of the origins of money and the role of debt in human societies. But intellectual revolutions take time, and David’s sudden and untimely death left this revolution unfinished. David’s widow Nika Dubrovsky has established ‘The Fight Club’ to keep David’s unique way of challenging conventional wisdoms alive. Each ‘Fight’ will pit leading advocates of different visions of how society functions against each other. The inaugural fight, to mark the first anniversary of David’s death, is a debate between the renowned economists Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and Michael Hudson, author of And Forgive Them Their Debts. Thomas Piketty wrote the preface to the tenth anniversary edition of Debt: the First 5000 Years. Michael Hudson’s anthropological research into the origins of money and debt in ancient Sumeria was the basis of much of David’s analysis in that book. Join us for an unmissable encounter between two celebrated and highly influential economic thinkers as they debate: what is money and what is debt? What are the most serious problems of today’s finance-capital economies? And what are the best remedies?”

Finally, the new brisk and slick predators, those capitalists, those impact bond folk, the algorithms, the mining of our minds, bodies, dreams, aspirations. Wrench in the Gears, a long one, with lots of sources to click on to enhance Alison’s work:

This past week someone sent me a paper on augmented cognition. As I read it, a number of pieces clicked for me about earlier research I’d done into executive function. I wanted to preserve the thread, so I captured it in the screen shots below. Follow along to see how grit and resiliency intersect with Metaverse navigation and soul theft.

Also, this week Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite briefed the Federal Reserve. Listen carefully to hear him setting up human capital bond markets in ed-tech, social emotional learning (SEL), nutrition, and tele-health via public-private partnerships with “philanthropic” predators.

This is accepted behavior, accepted “follow the science” bullshit; accepted state paid for university research; accepted elite school work and disgust? This is what Americans cannot handle:

So, how can lead in Flint’s water be a big deal? Arsenic in baby food? Arresting protestors in Canada? Think about how polluted media are, how broken universities are, and how confused and full of Collective Stockholm Syndrome the public is. This last comment is pretty telling:

The post It’s What the Babies Eat: Inflammatory Capitalism in Mush first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Banning Books is just One Form of Closed Mindedness, Close Democracy

Note: I try and keep the plates spinning in Newport-Lincoln County, where I live, write and work. So, this piece came out in the rag, The Newport News Times, a Wednesday and Friday newspaper sucking wind for sure, but still, a newspaper. This is what the community standards can take, so after this piece, I’ll comment, take out the machetes, and blaze through what it really means, Banning Books (ideas/curricula/discussion/debate/protest/public displays/thinking) . 

Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us. American Library Association. ala.org/bbooks

Banning Books – An American Tradition that Should be Stopped

site-logo I cut my teeth in El Paso as a graduate TA teaching English – writing, composition, remedial reading, literature – in the early 1980s. That’s when librarians were robust, gutsy and on the front lines of free speech. They helped develop library materials and organize talks around Banned Books Week (September 26 – October 2).

I also peddled stories and books as a fiction writer, and I was the Sunday book reviewer for the El Paso Times. My raison d’être was to make sure my writing and everyone else’s was made available to me, my students and my colleagues.

Throughout the next forty years, I’ve headed up talks and readings celebrating diverse voices and works from people outside the Eurocentric dominant force in our traditional K12 and higher education arenas. Books by Caribbean, Mexican, South American, Central American, Native American, Iranian or Ethiopian writers were not just curiosities. For many of my students, reading Sandra Cisneros, Edwidge Danticat, Sherman Alexie or Zora Neal Hurston created a deep and long-lasting interest in their own cultures, in education, in lifelong reading and in bringing into focus the power of their own identifies reflected in others’ writing.

This year’s banned book week is tantamount to motivating as many people as possible to understand active and passive censorship.

There are entire lists of books removed from high school libraries. There are all kinds of books that are targets of school boards, parents groups, religious groups and political advocacy committees. As a writer, I know my published words are not always appreciated by a variety of readers. I write with many hats on, and in that capacity, I am able to cross the Rubicon many times: from poetry, to fiction, to essays, to polemics, to blogs, to traditional journalism, and more.

I’ve faced down bigotry and hate for books I have put on my syllabi. I have had people walk out of my readings and those of more important people like Winona LaDuke or Tim O’Brien. Walking out is one’s right, and so are bigoted diatribes.

However, stopping the publication of books and demanding books be  removed is not a right. I was teaching at a state community college in Washington when I faced a student who demanded I give her an alternative text for – The Fight Club. Ironically, we looked at various themes in that book, and the writer, Chuck Palahniuk, was coming to town and opening himself up to talking with my students.

That English class included other books that got under the skin of other students and/or their parents (mind you, this was a college class, not a religious school). Bringing writers to campus and having students read their books is part and parcel what educators must do to open minds and create critical thinking.

College deans, department heads, provosts and even presidents must protect that right of freedom to read.

Yes, students in high school have a right to have a history teacher assign Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. Or a film teacher has a right to assign her under-18-year-old students, I Am Not Your Negro and Exterminate All the Brutes to delve into filmmaker Raoul Peck’s work.

Reading Fahrenheit 451 and then comparing Raymond Bradbury’s work to François Truffaut’s 1966 version or the 2018 adaptation directed by Ramin Bahrani is vital to learning. Today, cancel culture rests in identarian politics.

Misinformation campaigns around the 1619 Project or what “critical race theory” are ongoing.  This muddies the water of opening up critical thinking skills for both educators and students.

In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman posits the future would look similar to the one depicted in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel, Brave New World. Postman explains that the only way to avoid this fate is to see and question what we’re seeing rather than blindly trusting the media.

Others predict a world unfolding closer to 1984, the George Orwell’s classic. Others might choose to riff with and analyze Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. All those books have been put on some school district’s banned book list: driven by a fervor seated in xenophobia, lack of understanding of what literature is, and deeply held conservative beliefs.

Cancelling out books is akin to burning them. We all know where that led the world. This year’s theme — “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

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All right, then, end of the Op-Ed for the newspaper that is in a pretty typically odd community, though Newport does have that “dichotomy”: lots of professors and researchers at the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Sciences center, and the NOAA team posted here, and, those people from Oregon who have a few college degrees who ended up with summer homes here, now turned into full-time homes AND then the service economy, the logging industry, the fishing industry. You have to look at that, too, which is the divide in America, partially self-directed, and certainly directed by the elites, the billionaire class, the military-media-propaganda overlords.

When you see red vs blue, when you see cultural wars and the religious zealotry of the Christians, and when you have K12 so flagged and flogged, so vapid of real learning, real community- based learning, real critical thinking, then we get these divides. And, while the beautiful people, the managerial class, those in the upper income brackets far away from us, in the 80 Percent, well, they may have some Buddhist retreat or outward bound or special science camp to send their young ones, the reality is they especially, and those of us in the 80 percent, have adults and then youth and then each new brood epigenetically forced into sheeplehood and ignorance of who the enemy is, as Ralph Nader put down here:

 

If you think elementary, middle, and high school students know too little history, geography, and government, try asking them about the corporations that command so many hours of their day, their attention, what they consume, and their personal horizons.

 

Howard Zinn published A Young People’s History of the United States (2009), to go with his best-selling pioneering work, A People’s History of the United States (1980), but he didn’t do justice to all the modern corporate controls of just about every facet of American life, including educational institutions.

 

Today, school children are engulfed by corporate apps and software, textbooks biased toward the corporate definitions of an economy, and myths about “free markets.” For years free school materials and videos produced or sponsored by business groups, including the coal and nuclear industries, have flooded elementary classes. Our report: Hucksters in the Classroom: A Review of Industry Propaganda in Schools by Sheila Harty (1979), documented this mercantile assault on education. Students even take tests designed by corporate institutions. (DV– “Teach Youngsters about Corporatism’s Harms”)

 

Yes, this lack of disclosure and exposure around how curricula and school junk and colleges and university endowments are predicated on what the rich, the powerful, the gigantic, the corporations, the MIC want included and not included in teaching, books, materials, etc., it might even been worse than that.

To the left of this piece is a list of DV-recommended books. I’ve read many, and I’ve written two of them. Few people I know, however, read books, and those they do, are insipidly bad, soap opera porn, feel good and how to do/be/see/eat/cook/make money books.

Fiction, and hardcore deeply researched and lived books on China, on Mexico, on all those countries that are shit-holes in the eyes of Biden/Trump/Lesser Evils, they aren’t read by the so-called managers of democracy, the administration, the honchos-as appointed to all those governmental positions. The books aren’t read by the generals or the CEOs.

The books on really the core of the problems globally and locally are not read by the people who need to be taken to the woodshed for a real tutelage of the mind by the people who live in, say, North Korea, and know the language and have books with 80 pages works cited and endnotes.

The Zuckerberg, the USA Today, the ticker-tape of Fox-UnNews and CNN (Clinton/CIA UnNews Network) and then all the followers in media looking for less gray, fewer second and third page jumps, they are part of the problem of killing knowledge, curiosity, deep thinking and robust public arena smart dialogue.

Echo chambers, sure, the have always been there, especially if you end up in groups like the Chamber of Commerce or any group that pushes a group-think and allegiance to a narrow (usually pro Capitalist/pro Business/pro USA/ pro Empire mentality.

It only gets worse, this banned books concept. The reality is that the Newport News Times would NEVER run a piece, a long one, on people (let’s give them degrees and long titles and decent worldviews) who might be looking into lockdowns, the legality of lockdwons/lockups, the origin of DARPA jabs, the history of USA bio-poison-toxin weaponry research). NEVER.

Putting my byline on that too, as a journalist, would subject me to threats, death threats, deplatforming, and probably termination. I’d not get gigs teaching (there are not many) at the local community college. Even if I wrote the piece as traditional long-form journalism, pulling in too-man-to-count experts on virology, on vaccines, on medical procedures, on the history and politics of medicine and bioweaponry research and the illegal doings of the Big Pharma. Nope.

So, that is a form of banned books, vis-a-vis the gatekeepers, those community standards, all those aspects of Edward Bernays and Josef Goebbels concocted 9 Forms of propaganda, the one that marketers really utilize, BandWagon. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-11.png

I’ll list more of those techniques below. But, again, it is what isn’t taught, what isn’t allowed, what isn’t debated, what isn’t filmed/acted/written about that is what signifies as a ban. Think of all the books that were written, and alas, those are now gone, gone, gone.

The person who controls the spigot, the information channels, the medium for the messages, controls the narrative. Having Americans unlearn all the bad things, all the insipidly racist, retrograde, misogynistic, xenophobic, anti-people of color shit that comes across the desks of teachers, educational planners, curriculum designers and then into the folders and Google Chromebooks, that is a huge task.

Bad habits die hard, or long.

We need a 12-step program for re-centering this generation so they can breed the next and they the next of real thinkers. And I am not just come fly on the wall, or Pollyanna. I have fought hard in the colleges and universities and newsrooms and social work domains for a real sense of social justice, but also deep knowledge based thinking, and what I have come across is the dumb-downing of everything.

Sure, we can listen to Henry Giroux and Chris Hedges, but again, they’re two elites in their fields (millionaires with a small “m”). They never interview or have on their shows lesser known or unknown people on who might set the record straight.

While Hedges goes after/attacks the celebrity culture, he is still colonized by it in some form, always going to the person with laurels and with titles and books.

Yes, this a good interview, but I guarantee few like me will watch is, and the elites will never watch it:

Then, sure, Giroux and Hedges get to some facts, but again, they go for the Republican Party and the Conservatives and Rightwing Racists as their whipping posts.

They are far from knowledgeable around how poorly placed those Democrats are, those mandate fuckers, all those incredibly bad nightmarish Democratic Governors are.

 

CH: Welcome to On Contact.  Today, we discuss the age of manufactured ignorance with the scholar, Henry Giroux.

HG: Power, when it’s invisible, becomes all the more powerful, to use that term.  But I think there are two issues here for me about neoliberalism in relation to your question, that are really central.  One is it operates off the assumption that there’s no such thing as social problems, that there are only individual problems.  And this notion that we’re ultimately and individually responsible for everything that happens to us literally depoliticizes people because it makes incapable of translating private issues into larger, systemic considerations.  So there’s this question of this really putrid notion of market-based individuals, and this inability to translate and bring together, and connect issues that would give people a full understanding of the world in which they live in, what they may be able to do about it.  Particularly as it affects their everyday lives.

 

Show:

Yes, so much more could be written about what isn’t in the curriculum, how British Petroleum (BP, the new marketing tool after the blowout of millions of gallons of crude in the Gulf of Mexico — Deep Horizon, anyone?) designed the geology and other sciences curriculum in California. Monsanto gives money to Washington State University, so you think those departments are going to have an easy time of challenge Round-up and GMOs?

Come on — I was in Spokane, wrote about this stupidity, and alas, this is a form of censorship that takes place and never makes the news like Michael Pollan did:

A book chosen by a Washington State University committee as appropriate food for thought for all incoming freshmen will not be distributed at summer orientation after a member of the board of regents raised concerns about the work’s focus on problems associated with agribusiness.

WSU’s president said the decision to halt the “common reading” program was related to the university’s financial crisis.

In “Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” author Michael Pollan discusses the social, political, moral and environmental implications of the food people eat.

A selection committee picked the book for this year’s WSU common reading program, which provides freshmen with a work that crosses academic disciplines and can be incorporated into study throughout the year. (source

UPDATE: Washington State University reinstates freshman reading of ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma’

Imagine, all those books taken off the shelves of public libraries. This is not just a ban To Kill a Mockingbird moment. 

This is not silly, either, and Banned Books week does what it does, for sure, but, again, would Ward Churchill be invited to campus to read from one of his books, or the essay that got him un-tenured? 

…what I think we’re witnessing fifty years on is consolidation of precisely the kind of entity extolled by then-U/Cal Berkeley president Clark Kerr in his 1963 book, The Uses of the University. For those unfamiliar with the tract, Kerr likened what he preferred to call “multiversities” to governmentally/corporately-owned factories—albeit, “knowledge factories”—wherein managers such as himself employed to oversee a worker force—the faculty—whose job it was to convert raw material—that is, students—into the finished product or products desired by the owners, all with maximal efficiency. Sound familiar?  (Churchill

Conservative professor: Ward Churchill firing a travesty – Colorado Daily

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019
View the Censorship by the Numbers infographic for 2019

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

George by Alex Gino

Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”


Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased


A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller

Reasons: challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Reasons: challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Reasons: challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

Reasons: challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier

Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Reasons: banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole

Reason: challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

And so it goes. Imagine all the ideas stopped and flailed and all the books never written but should have been written. Imagine all the ignorance peddled by marketers, publishers, media, government, corporations. Imagine all the harm done with these lies. Wars and genocide, started and perpetrated because of knowledge and thinking bans. You think Turkey wants the Armenian Genocide in their k12 history books. Israel and the Nakba in their books? The Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanjing in those Japanese books? Right!

Planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence used to be taught by yours truly around the consumer/retail war, the Story of Stuff. Planned and perceived obsolescence is now really agnotology, and the erasing of people, the caste systems being set loose and the Fourth Industrial Digital Gulag Revolution. No little newspaper like the one in my county will deal with these topics. Why should it when the reality is giant schools like WSU try a ban, or the papers of record, the big ones, throughout the land, to include the NYT and WaPo are in so many ways rotten to the core, in the service of the Military Congressional Industrial Complex and the billionaires and giant corporations. 

Onward, to the propaganda, those Mad Men/Mad Women and the USA and EU and Capitalists Murder Incorporated!

 

 

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The post Banning Books is just One Form of Closed Mindedness, Close Democracy first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Who Represents Afghanistan: Genuine Activists vs “Native Informants” 

Scenes of thousands of Afghans flooding the Kabul International Airport to flee the country as Taliban fighters were quickly consolidating their control over the capital, raised many questions, leading amongst them: who are these people and why are they running away?

In the US and other Western media, answers were readily available: they were mostly ‘translators’, Afghans who ‘collaborated’ with the US and other NATO countries; ‘activists’ who were escaping from the brutality awaiting them once the Americans and their allies left the country, and so on.

Actually, the answer is far more complex than that offered by Western officials and media, which ultimately – although inaccurately – conveyed the impression that NATO armies were in Afghanistan to safeguard human rights, to educate women and to bring civilization to a seemingly barbaric culture.

Though political dissent is a basic human right, there is a clear and definitive line between the legitimate right to challenge one’s government/regime and willingly collaborating with another – especially when that collaboration can have dire consequences on one’s own people.

In the United States and Europe, there are thousands of political dissidents from many parts of the world – from South America, the Middle East, East Asia, and others – who are, sadly, used as cheerleaders for political and military interventions, either directly by certain governments, or indirectly, through lobby and pressure groups, academic circles and mainstream media.

These individuals, often promoted as ‘experts’, appear and disappear whenever they are useful and when their usefulness expires. Some might even be sincere and well-intentioned when they speak out against, for example, human rights violations committed by certain regimes in their own home countries, but the outcome of their testimonies is almost always translated to self-serving policies.

Thousands of Afghans – political dissidents, NATO collaborators, students, athletes and workers seeking opportunities – have already arrived in various western capitals. Expectedly, many are being used by the media and various pressure groups to retrospectively justify the war on Afghanistan, as if it was a moral war. Desperate to live up to the expectations, Afghan ‘activists’ are already popping up on western political platforms, speaking about the Taliban’s dismal record of human rights and, especially, women’s rights.

But what is the point of appealing to the western moral consciousness after 20 years of a NATO-led deadly invasion that has cost Afghanistan hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

In Afghanistan, an alternative narrative is evolving.

On September 11, hundreds of Afghan women protested in Kabul University, not against the Taliban, but against other Afghan women who purport to speak from western capitals about all Afghan women.

“We are against those women who are protesting on the streets, claiming they are representative of women,” one of the speakers said, Agency France Press reported.

While AFP made a point of repeating that the women protesters have “pledged” their commitment to “all Taliban’s hardline policies on gender segregation”, emphasizing how they were all covered “head to toe,” the event was significant. Among many issues, it raises the question: who represents Afghan women, those who left or those who stayed?

A large banner held by the protesters in Kabul read: “Women who left Afghanistan cannot represent us.”

The truth is no one represents Afghan women except those who are democratically-elected by Afghan society to represent all sectors of that society, women included. Until real democracy is practiced in Afghanistan, the struggle will continue for real freedom, human rights, equality and, obviously, representation.

This fight can only take place within an organic, grassroots Afghan context – whether in Afghanistan or outside of the country – but certainly not through Fox News, the BBC or US Senate hearings.

The late Palestinian-American scholar, Professor Edward Said, had repeatedly warned of the pseudo reality painted by the ‘native informants’ – supposed political dissidents recruited by western governments to provide a convenient depiction of the reality in the Middle East and elsewhere, as a moral justification for war. The consequences, as the 2003 Iraq war and invasion have demonstrated, can be horrific.

Said challenged a particular ‘native informant’, the late Fouad Ajami, a Lebanese academic, whose ideas about the Iraqi enthusiasm for the US war, though proved disastrously wrong, were used by George W. Bush and others as proof that the impending war was destined to be a ‘cakewalk’.

Ajami’s ideas were long discredited, but the political machinations that still prefer ‘native informants’ to genuine human rights defenders and good scholarship remain in place. Many of the Afghan escapees are sure to be strategically placed through the same channels, which continue to promote interventions and sanctions as sound policies.

The war in Afghanistan has ended, hopefully for good, but the conflict on who represents the people of that war-torn country remains unresolved. It behooves the Taliban to deliver on its promises regarding equal representation and political plurality, otherwise there are many others abroad who will be ready to claim the role of legitimate representation.

In the Middle East, in particular, we have already witnessed this phenomenon of the west-based ‘legitimate’ democratic representations. Ultimately, these ‘governments-in-exile’ wrought nothing but further political deception, division, corruption, and continued war.

War-torn Afghanistan – exhausted, wounded and badly needing a respite – deserves better.

The post Who Represents Afghanistan: Genuine Activists vs “Native Informants”  first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Great Reset: How a “Managerial Revolution” Was Plotted 80 Years Ago by a Trotskyist-turned-CIA Neocon

The roots of the Great Reset agenda can very clearly be traced back to 80 years ago, when James Burnham, wrote a book on his vision for “The Managerial Revolution,” Cynthia Chung writes.

Klaus Schwab, the architect of the World Economic Forum (f. 1971), a leading, if not the leading, influencer and funder for what will set the course for world economic policy outside of government, has been the cause of much concern and suspicion since his announcement of “The Great Reset” agenda at the 50th annual meeting of the WEF in June 2020.

The Great Reset initiative is a somewhat vague call for the need for global stakeholders to coordinate a simultaneous “management” of the effects of COVID-19 on the global economy, which they have eerily named as “pandenomics.” This, we are told, will be the new normal, the new reality that we will have to adjust ourselves to for the foreseeable future.

It should be known that at nearly its inception, the World Economic Forum had aligned itself with the Club of Rome, a think tank with an elite membership, founded in 1968, to address the problems of mankind. It was concluded by the Club of Rome in their extremely influential “Limits to Growth,” published in 1972, that such problems could not be solved on their own terms and that all were interrelated. In 1991, Club of Rome co-founder Sir Alexander King stated in the “The First Global Revolution” (an assessment of the first 30 years of the Club of Rome) that:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself. [emphasis added]

It is no surprise that with such a conclusion, part of the solution prescribed was the need for population control.

However, what forms of population control was Klaus Schwab in particular thinking of?

In the late 1960s, Schwab attended Harvard and among his teachers was Henry Kissinger, whom he has described as among the top figures who have most influenced his thinking over the course of his life.

Henry Kissinger and his former pupil, Klaus Schwab, welcome former- UK PM Ted Heath at the 1980 WEF annual meeting. (Source: World Economic Forum)

To get a better idea of the kinds of influences Henry Kissinger had on young Klaus Schwab, we should take a look at Kissinger’s infamous NSSM-200 report: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests, otherwise known as “The Kissinger Report,” published in 1974. This report, declassified in 1989, was instrumental in transforming US foreign policy from pro-development/pro-industry to the promotion of under-development through totalitarian methods in support of population control. Kissinger states in the report:

… if future numbers are to be kept within reasonable bounds, it is urgent that measures to reduce fertility be started and made effective in the 1970s and 1980s …[Financial] assistance will be given to other countries, considering such factors as population growth … Food and agricultural assistance is vital for any population sensitive development strategy … Allocation of scarce resources should take account of what steps a country is taking in population control … There is an alternative view that mandatory programs may be needed … [emphasis added]

For Kissinger, the US foreign policy orientation was mistaken on its emphasis of ending hunger by providing the means of industrial and scientific development to poor nations, according to Kissinger, such an initiative would only lead to further global disequilibrium as the new middle classes would consume more, and waste strategic resources.

In Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1799), he wrote:

We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. [emphasis added]

As a staunch Malthusian, Kissinger believed that “nature” had provided the means to cull the herd, and by using economic policies that utilised the courting of the plague, famine and so forth, they were simply enforcing a natural hierarchy which was required for global stability.

In addition to this extremely worrisome ideology that is only a stone’s throw away from eugenics, there has also been a great deal of disturbance over the 2016 World Economic Forum video that goes through their 8 “predictions” for how the world will change by 2030, with the slogan “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy.”

It is this slogan in particular that has probably caused the most panic amongst the average person questioning what the outcome of the Great Reset will truly look like. It has also caused much confusion as to who or what is at the root in shaping this very eerie, Orwellian prediction of the future.

Many have come to think that this root is the Communist Party of China. However, whatever your thoughts may be on the Chinese government and the intentions of President Xi, the roots of the Great Reset agenda can very clearly be traced back to 80 years ago, when an American, former Trotskyist who later joined the OSS, followed by the CIA, and went on to become the founding father of neo-conservatism, James Burnham, wrote a book on his vision for “The Managerial Revolution.”

In fact, it was the ideologies of Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution that triggered Orwell to write his “1984”.

The Strange Case and Many Faces of James Burnham

[James Burnham is] the real intellectual founder of the neoconservative movement and the original proselytizer, in America, of the theory of ‘totalitarianism.’

— Christopher Hitchens, “For the Sake of Argument: Essay and Minority Reports

It is understandably the source of some confusion as to how a former high level Trotskyist became the founder of the neo-conservative movement; with the Trotskyists calling him a traitor to his kind, and the neo-conservatives describing it as an almost road to Damascus conversion in ideology.

However, the truth of the matter is that it is neither.

That is, James Burnham never changed his beliefs and convictions at any point during his journey through Trotskyism, OSS/CIA intelligence to neo-conservatism, although he may have back-stabbed many along the way, and this two-part series will go through why this is the case.

James Burnham was born in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, raised as a Roman Catholic, later rejecting Catholicism while studying at Princeton and professing atheism for the rest of his life until shortly before his death whereby he reportedly returned to the church. 1 He would graduate from Princeton followed by the Balliol College, Oxford University and in 1929 would become a professor in philosophy at the New York University.

It was during this period that Burnham met Sidney Hook, who was also a professor in philosophy at the New York University, and who professed to have converted Burnham to Marxism in his autobiography. In 1933, along with Sidney Hook, Burnham helped to organize the socialist organization, the American Workers Party (AWP).

It would not be long before Burnham found Trotsky’s use of “dialectical materialism” to explain the interplay between the human and the historical forces in his “History of the Russian Revolution” to be brilliant. As founder of the Red Army, Trotsky had dedicated his life to the spread of a worldwide Communist revolution, to which Stalin opposed in the form of Trotsky’s “Permanent Revolution” ideology. In this ideology, Trotskyists were tactically trained to be militant experts at infighting, infiltration and disruption.

Among these tactics was “entryism,” in which an organisation encourages its members to join another, often larger organization, in an attempt to take over said organization or convert a large portion of its membership with its own ideology and directive.

The most well-known example of this technique was named the French Turn, when French Trotskyists in 1934 infiltrated the Section Francaise de l’International Ouvriere (SFIO, French Socialist Party) with the intention of winning over the more militant elements to their side.

That same year, Trotskyists in the Communist League of America (CLA) did a French turn on the American Workers Party, in a move that elevated the AWP’s James Burnham into the role of a Trotsky lieutenant and chief adviser.

Burnham would continue the tactics of infiltrating and subverting other leftist parties and in 1935 attempted to do a French Turn on the much larger Socialist Party (SP).  However, by 1937, the Trotskyists were expelled from the Socialist Party which led to the formation of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) at the end of the year. He would resign from the SWP in April 1940, and form the Workers Party only to resign less than two months later.

Burnham remained a “Trotskyist intellectual” from 1934 until 1940, using militant Trotskyist tactics against competing Marxist movements by turning their loyalties and ransacking their best talent. Although Burnham worked six years for the Trotskyists, as the new decade began, he renounced both Trotsky and “the ‘philosophy of Marxism’ dialectical materialism” altogether.

Perhaps Burnham was aware that the walls were closing in on Trotsky, and that it would only be a matter of six months from Burnham’s first renouncement that Trotsky would be assassinated by August 1940, at his compound outside Mexico City.

In February 1940 Burnham wrote “Science and Style: A Reply to Comrade Trotsky,” in which he broke with dialectical materialism, stressing the importance of the work of Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s approach:

Do you wish me to prepare a reading list, Comrade Trotsky? It would be long, ranging from the work of the brilliant mathematicians and logicians of the middle of the last century to one climax in the monumental Principia Mathematica of Russell and Whitehead (the historic turning point in modern logic), and then spreading out in many directions – one of the most fruitful represented by the scientists, mathematicians and logicians now cooperating in the new Encyclopedia of Unified Science. [emphasis added]

He summed up his feelings in a letter of resignation from the Workers Party on May 21, 1940:

I reject, as you know, the “philosophy of Marxism,” dialectical materialism. …

The general Marxian theory of “universal history”, to the extent that it has any empirical content, seems to me disproved by modern historical and anthropological investigation.

Marxian economics seems to me for the most part either false or obsolete or meaningless in application to contemporary economic phenomena. Those aspects of Marxian economics which retain validity do not seem to me to justify the theoretical structure of the economics.

Not only do I believe it meaningless to say that “socialism is inevitable” and false that socialism is “the only alternative to capitalism”; I consider that on the basis of the evidence now available to us a new form of exploitive society (which I call “managerial society”) is not only possible but is a more probable outcome of the present than socialism. …

On no ideological, theoretic or political ground, then, can I recognize, or do I feel, any bond or allegiance to the Workers Party (or to any other Marxist party). That is simply the case, and I can no longer pretend about it, either to myself or to others.  [emphasis added]

In 1941, Burnham would publish The Managerial Revolution: What is Happening in the World, bringing him fame and fortune, listed by Henry Luce’s Life magazine as one of the top 100 outstanding books of 1924-1944.2

The Managerial Revolution

We cannot understand the revolution by restricting our analysis to the war [WWII]; we must understand the war as a phase in the development of the revolution.

– James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution:  What is Happening in the World, published April 24, 1972

In Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution, he makes the case that if socialism were possible, it would have occurred as an outcome of the Bolshevik Revolution, but what happened instead was neither a reversion back to a capitalist system nor a transition to a socialist system, but rather a formation of a new organizational structure made up of an elite managerial class, the type of society he believed was in the process of replacing capitalism on a world scale.

He goes on to make the case that as seen with the transition from a feudal to a capitalist state being inevitable, so too will the transition from a capitalist to managerial state occur. And that ownership rights of production capabilities will no longer be owned by individuals but rather the state or institutions, he writes:

Effective class domination and privilege does, it is true, require control over the instruments of production; but this need not be exercised through individual private property rights. It can be done through what might be called corporate rights, possessed not by individuals as such but by institutions: as was the case conspicuously with many societies in which a priestly class was dominant…

Burnham proceeds to write:

If, in a managerial society, no individuals are to hold comparable property rights, how can any group of individuals constitute a ruling class?

The answer is comparatively simple and, as already noted, not without historical analogues. The managers will exercise their control over the instruments of production and gain preference in the distribution of the products, not directly, through property rights vested in them as individuals, but indirectly, through their control of the state which in turn will own and control the instruments of production. The state – that is, the institutions which comprise the state – will, if we wish to put it that way, be the ‘property’ of the managers. And that will be quite enough to place them in the position of the ruling class.

Burnham concedes that the ideologies required to facilitate this transition have not yet been fully worked out but goes on to say that they can be approximated:

from several different but similar directions, by, for example: Leninism-Stalinism; fascism-nazism; and, at a more primitive level, by New Dealism and such less influential [at the time] American ideologies as ‘technocracy’. This, then, is the skeleton of the theory, expressed in the language of the struggle for power.

This is, to be sure, a rather confusing paragraph but becomes clearer when we understand it from the specific viewpoint of Burnham. As Burnham sees it, all these different avenues are methods in which to achieve his vision of a managerial society because each form stresses the importance of the state as the central coordinating power, and that such a state will be governed by his “managers”. Burnham considers the different moral implications in each scenario irrelevant, as he makes clear early on in his book, he has chosen to detach himself from such questions.

Burnham goes to explain that the support of the masses is necessary for the success of any revolution, this is why the masses must be led to believe that they will benefit from such a revolution, when, in fact, it is only to replace one ruling class with another and nothing changes for the underdog. He explains that this is the case with the dream of a socialist state, that the universal equality promised by socialism is just a fairy tale told to the people so that they fight for the establishment of a new ruling class, then they are told that achieving a socialist state will take many decades, and that essentially, a managerial system must be put in place in the meantime.

Burnham makes the case that this is what happened in both Nazi Germany and Bolshevik Russia:

Nevertheless, it may still turn out that the new form of economy will be called ‘socialist.’ In those nations – Russia and Germany – which have advanced furthest toward the new [managerial] economy, ‘socialism’ or ‘national socialism’ is the term ordinarily used. The motivation for this terminology is not, naturally, the wish for scientific clarity but just the opposite. The word ‘socialism’ is used for ideological purposes in order to manipulate the favourable mass emotions attached to the historic socialist ideal of a free, classless, and international society and to hide the fact that the managerial economy is in actuality the basis for a new kind of exploiting, class society.

Burnham continues:

Those Nations – [Bolshevik] Russia, [Nazi] Germany and [Fascist] Italy – which have advanced furthest toward the managerial social structure are all of them, at present, totalitarian dictatorships…what distinguishes totalitarian dictatorship is the number of facets of life subject to the impact of the dictatorial rule. It is not merely political actions, in the narrower sense, that are involved; nearly every side of life, business and art and science and education and religion and recreation and morality are not merely influenced by but directly subjected to the totalitarian regime.

It should be noted that a totalitarian type of dictatorship would not have been possible in any age previous to our own. Totalitarianism presupposes the development of modern technology, especially of rapid communication and transportation. Without these latter, no government, no matter what its intentions, would have had at its disposal the physical means for coordinating so intimately so many of the aspects of life. Without rapid transportation and communication it was comparatively easy for men to keep many of their lives, out of reach of the government. This is no longer possible, or possible only to a much smaller degree, when governments today make deliberate use of the possibilities of modern technology.

Orwell’s Second Thoughts on Burnham

Burnham would go on to state in his “The Managerial Revolution” that the Russian Revolution, WWI and its aftermath, the Versailles Treaty gave final proof that capitalist world politics could no longer work and had come to an end. He described WWI as the last war of the capitalists and WWII as the first, but not last war, of the managerial society. Burnham made it clear that many more wars would have to be fought after WWII before a managerial society could finally fully take hold.

This ongoing war would lead to the destruction of sovereign nation states, such that only a small number of great nations would survive, culminating into the nuclei of three “super-states”, which Burnham predicted would be centered around the United States, Germany and Japan. He goes on to predict that these super-states will never be able to conquer the other and will be engaged in permanent war until some unforeseeable time. He predicts that Russia would be broken in two, with the west being incorporated into the German sphere and the east into the Japanese sphere. (Note that this book was published in 1941, such that Burnham was clearly of the view that Nazi Germany and fascist Japan would be the victors of WWII.)

Burnham states that “sovereignty will be restricted to the few super-states.”

In fact, he goes so far as to state early on in his book that the managerial revolution is not a prediction of something that will occur in the future, it is something that has already begun and is, in fact, in its final stages of becoming, that it has already successfully implemented itself worldwide and that the battle is essentially over.

The National Review, founded by James Burnham and William F. Buckley (more on this in part two), would like to put the veneer that although Orwell was critical of Burnham’s views that he was ultimately creatively inspired to write about it in his 1984 novel. Yes, inspired is one way to put it, or more aptly put, that he was horrified by Burnham’s vision and wrote his novel as a stark warning as to what would ultimately be the outcome of such monstrous theorizations, which he would to this day organise the zeitgeist of thought to be suspicious of anything resembling his neologisms such as “Big Brother”, “Thought Police”, “Two Minutes Hate”, “Room 101”, “memory hole”, “Newspeak”, “doublethink”, “unperson”,”thoughtcrime”, and “groupthink”.

George Orwell, (real name Eric Arthur Blair), first published his Second Thoughts on James Burnham in May 1946. The novel 1984 would be published in 1949.

In his essay he dissects Burnham’s proposed ideology that he outlines in his “The Managerial Revolution” and “The Machiavellians” subtitled “Defenders of Freedom.”

Orwell writes:

It is clear that Burnham is fascinated by the spectacle of power, and that his sympathies were with Germany so long as Germany appeared to be winning the war…curiously enough, when one examines the predictions which Burnham has based on his general theory, one finds that in so far as they are verifiable, they have been falsified…It will be seen that Burnham’s predictions have not merely, when they were verifiable, turned out to be wrong, but that they have sometimes contradicted one another in a sensational way…Political predictions are usually wrong, because they are usually based on wish-thinking…Often the revealing factor is the date at which they are made…It will be seen that at each point Burnham is predicting a continuation of the thing that is happening…the tendency to do this is not simply a bad habit, like inaccuracy or exaggeration…It is a major mental disease, and its roots lie partly in cowardice and partly in the worship of power, which is not fully separable from cowardice…

Power worship blurs political judgement because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. If the Japanese have conquered south Asia, then they will keep south Asia for ever, if the Germans have captured Tobruk, they will infallibly capture Cairo…The rise and fall of empires, the disappearance of cultures and religions, are expected to happen with earthquake suddenness, and processes which have barely started are talked about as though they were already at an end. Burnham’s writings are full of apocalyptic visions…Within the space of five years Burnham foretold the domination of Russia by Germany and of Germany by Russia. In each case he was obeying the same instinct: the instinct to bow down before the conqueror of the moment, to accept the existing trend as irreversible.

Interestingly, and happily we hear, George Orwell does not take Burnham’s predictions of a managerial revolution as set in stone, but rather has shown itself within a short period of time to be a little too full of wishful thinking and bent on worshipping the power of the moment. However, this does not mean we must not take heed to the orchestrations of such mad men.

In Part two of this series, I will discuss Burnham’s entry into the OSS then CIA, how he became the founder of the neo-conservative movement and what are the implications for today’s world, especially concerning the Great Reset initiative.

  1. James Burnham 1905–1987, National Review, July 11, 1987, p. 35.
  2. Canby, Henry Seidel. “The 100 Outstanding Books of 1924–1944”, Life, 14 August 1944. Chosen in collaboration with the magazine’s editors.
The post The Great Reset: How a “Managerial Revolution” Was Plotted 80 Years Ago by a Trotskyist-turned-CIA Neocon first appeared on Dissident Voice.

We’re All in This Together!

In 2020, health care workers could do no harm.

We praised their vast medical skills and knowledge. We banged our pots and pans for them and hung signs to profess our eternal gratitude. Well… maybe not exactly eternal. In 2021, you see, we’re dismissing their medical knowledge and our pots and pans have been replaced with pitchforks and torches.

The message to our “health care heroes” is simple: get the jab or else. Never mind that you are literally health care workers, we get to decide what medicines should be injected into you. And if you don’t like it, you’ll be fired — and you’ll deserve it. And once you’ve been fired for exerting your medical knowledge and protecting your bodily sovereignty, you may even be denied unemployment insurance. Good luck being homeless, you ignorant Trump lovers!

Never mind that just last year we genuflected in awe before your medical expertise. Today, we’ll publicly condemn you as unworthy of your scrubs. For example, here are just two excerpts from countless “letters to the editor” all across the Land of the Free™:

“These workers are dishonoring their profession by neglecting patient safety and showing their ignorance of basic scientific facts. I have confidence that this group of people will not get their shots after the vaccines win full approval from federal regulators and will join other anti-vaxxers in spreading dangerous COVID variants.”

“If you don’t believe in medical science and the safety practices of the profession, then a career in medicine is not for you.”

Now, I have proven over and over that “basic scientific facts” and “medical science” are both tenuous concepts when viewed through the lens of current corporate propaganda. I won’t rehash that now but you can click here and here for two recent articles of mine. What also should be alarming is how easily programmable we’ve become.

The powers-that-be required us to support the “health care heroes” narrative in 2020. So we did with obedience and gusto. The narrative in 2021 is all about the jab. And boy, have we delivered! Most Americans not only lined up for a shot without knowing what was being done to them. They also became unpaid cheerleaders, pubic relations workers, and enforcers for Big Pharma and government mandates.  After all, we’re all in this together… right?

Reminder: This is what happens in a culture addicted to propaganda and fake news…

The post We’re All in This Together! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Despite its exit, the US will continue to wage war on Afghanistan

The United States has always been a bad loser. Whether it has viewed itself as an imperial power, a military superpower or, in today’s preferred terminology, the “world’s policeman”, the assumption is that everyone else must submit to its will.

All of which is the context for judging the outcry in western capitals over the US army’s hurried exit last month from Kabul, its final hold-out in Afghanistan.

There are lots of voices on both sides of the Atlantic lamenting that messy evacuation. And it is hard not to hear in them – even after a catastrophic and entirely futile two-decade military occupation of Afghanistan – a longing for some kind of re-engagement.

Politicians are describing the pull-out as a “defeat” and bewailing it as evidence that the US is a declining power. Others are warning that Afghanistan will become a sanctuary for Islamic extremism, leading to a rise in global terrorism.

Liberals, meanwhile, are anxious about a renewed assault on women’s rights under the Taliban, or they are demanding that more Afghans be helped to flee.

The subtext is that western powers need to meddle a little – or maybe a lot – more and longer in Afghanistan. The situation, it is implied, can still be fixed, or at the very least the Taliban can be punished as a warning to others not to follow in its footsteps.

All of this ignores the fact that the so-called “war for Afghanistan” was lost long ago. “Defeat” did not occur at Kabul airport. The evacuation was a very belated recognition that the US military had no reason, not even the purported one, to be in Afghanistan after Osama bin Laden evaded capture.

In fact, as experts on the region have pointed out, the US defeated itself. Once al-Qaeda had fled Afghanistan, and the Taliban’s chastened fighters had slunk back to their villages with no appetite to take on the US Robocop, each local warlord or tribal leader seized the moment. They settled scores with enemies by informing on them, identifying to the US their rivals as  “terrorists” or Taliban.

US commanders blew ever bigger holes through the new Pax Americana as their indiscriminate drone strikes killed friend and foe alike. Soon most Afghans outside the corrupt Kabul elite had good reason to hate the US and want it gone. It was the Pentagon that brought the Taliban back from the dead.

Deceitful spin

But it was not just the Afghan elite that was corrupt. The country became a bottomless pit, with Kabul at its centre, into which US and British taxpayers poured endless money that enriched the war industries, from defence officials and arms manufacturers to mercenaries and private contractors.

Those 20 years produced a vigorous, powerful Afghanistan lobby in the heart of Washington that had every incentive to perpetuate the bogus narrative of a “winnable war”.

The lobby understood that their enrichment was best sold under the pretence – once again – of humanitarianism: that the caring West was obligated to bring democracy to Afghanistan.

That deceitful spin, currently being given full throat by politicians, is not just there to rationalise the past. It will shape the future, too, in yet more disastrous ways for Afghanistan.

With American boots no longer officially on the ground, pressure is already building for war by other means.

It should not be a difficult sell. After all, that was the faulty lesson learned by the Washington foreign policy elite after US troops found themselves greeted in Iraq, not by rice and rose petals, but by roadside bombs.

In subsequent Middle East wars, in Libya, Syria and Yemen, the US has preferred to fight more covertly, from a greater distance or through proxies. The advantage is no American body bags and no democratic oversight. Everything happens in the shadows.

There is already a clamour in the Pentagon, in think tanks, among arms manufacturers and defence contractors, and in the US media, too, to do exactly the same now in Afghanistan.

Nothing could be more foolhardy.

Brink of collapse

Indeed, the US has already begun waging war on the Taliban and – because the group is now Afghanistan’s effective government – on an entire country under Taliban rule. The war is being conducted through global financial institutions, and may soon be given a formal makeover as a “sanctions regime”.

The US did exactly the same to Vietnam for 20 years following its defeat there in 1975. And more recently Washington has used that same blueprint on states that refuse to live under its thumb, from Iran to Venezuela.

Washington has frozen at least $9.5bn of Afghanistan’s assets in what amounts to an act of international piracy. Donors from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to the European Union, Britain and the US are withholding development funds and assistance. Most Afghan banks are shuttered. Money is in very short supply.

Afghanistan is already in the grip of drought, and existing food shortages are likely to intensify during the winter into famine. Last week a UN report warned that, without urgent financial help, 97 percent of Afghans could soon be plunged into poverty.

All of this compounds Afghanistan’s troubles under the US occupation, when the number of Afghans in poverty doubled and child malnutrition became rampant. According to Ashok Swain, Unesco’s chair on international water cooperation, “more than one-third of Afghans have no food, half no drinking water, two-thirds no electricity”.

That is an indictment of US misrule over the past two decades when, it might have been assumed, at least some of the $2tn spent on Afghanistan had gone towards Washington’s much-vaunted “nation-building” project rather than guns and gunships.

Now Afghans’ dire plight can be used as a launchpad for the US to cripple the Taliban as it struggles to rebuild a hollowed-out country.

The real aspiration of sanctions will be to engineer Afghanistan’s economic collapse – as an exemplar to others of US power and reach, and vindictiveness, and in the hope that the Afghan people can be starved to the point at which they rise up against their leaders.

Deepen existing splits

All of this can easily be framed in humanitarian terms, as it has been elsewhere. Late last month, the US drove through the United Nations Security Council a resolution calling for free travel through Kabul airport, guarantees on human rights, and assurances that the country will not become a shelter for terrorism.

Any of those demands can be turned into a pretext to extend sanctions to the Afghan government itself. Governments, including Britain’s, are already reported to be struggling to find ways to approve charities directing aid to Afghanistan.

But it is the sanctions themselves that will cause humanitarian suffering. Unpaid teachers mean no school for children, especially girls. No funds for rural clinics will result in more women dying in childbirth and higher infant mortality rates. Closed banks end in those with guns – men – terrorising everyone else over limited resources.

Isolating the Taliban with sanctions will have two entirely predictable outcomes.

First, it will push the country into the arms of China, which will be well-positioned to assist Afghanistan in return for access to its mineral wealth. Beijing has already announced plans to do business with the Taliban that include reopening the Mes Aynak copper mine.

As US President Joe Biden’s administration is already well-advanced in crafting China as the new global menace, trying to curtail its influence on neighbours, any alliance between the Taliban and China could easily provide further grounds for the US intensifying sanctions.

Secondly, sanctions are also certain to deepen existing splits within the Taliban, between the hardliners in the north and east opposed to engagement with the West, and those in the south keen to win over the international community in a bid to legitimise Taliban rule.

At the moment, the Taliban doves are probably in the ascendant, ready to help the US root out internal enemies such as the ISKP, Islamic State group’s offshoot in Afghanistan. But that could quickly change if Washington reverts to type.

A combination of sanctions, clumsy covert operations and Washington overplaying its hand could quickly drive the hardliners into power, or into an alliance with the local IS faction.

That scenario may have already been given a boost by a US drone strike on Kabul in late August, in retaliation for an ISKP attack on the airport that killed 13 US soldiers. New witness testimonies suggest the strike killed 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, not Islamic militants.

Familiar game plan

If that weren’t bad enough, Washington hawks are calling for the Taliban to be officially designated a “foreign terrorist organisation“, and the new Afghan government a state sponsor of terrorism, which would make it all but impossible for the Biden administration to engage with it. Others such as Lindsey Graham, an influential US politician, are trying to pile on the pressure by calling for troops to return.

How readily this mindset could become the Washington consensus is highlighted by US media reports of plans by the CIA to operate covertly within Afghanistan. As if nothing has been learned, the agency appears to be hoping to cultivate opponents of the Taliban, including once again the warlords whose lawlessness brought the Taliban to power more than two decades ago.

This is a game plan the US and Britain know well from their training and arming of the mujahideen to oust the Soviet army from Afghanistan in the 1980s and overthrow a few years later Afghanistan’s secular communist government.

Biden will have an added incentive to keep meddling in Afghanistan to prevent any attacks originating from there that could be exploited by his political opponents and blamed on his pulling out troops.

According to the New York Times, the CIA believes it must be ready to “counter threats” likely to emerge from a “chaos” the Taliban will supposedly unleash.

But Afghanistan will be far less chaotic if the Taliban are strong, not if – as is being proposed – the US undermines Taliban cohesion by operating spies in its midst, subverts the Taliban’s authority by launching drone strikes from neighbouring countries, and recruits warlords or sponsors rival Islamic groups to keep the Taliban under pressure.

William J Burns, the CIA’s director, has said the agency is ready to run operations “over the horizon“, – at arm’s length. The New York Times has reported that US officials predict “Afghan opponents of the Taliban will most likely emerge who will want to help and provide information to the United States”.

This strategy will lead to a failed state, one immiserated by US sanctions and divided between warlords feuding over the few resources left. That is precisely the soil in which the worst kind of Islamic extremism will flourish.

Destabilising Afghanistan is what got the US into this mess in the first place. Washington seems only too ready to begin that process all over again.

• First published in Middle East Eye

The post Despite its exit, the US will continue to wage war on Afghanistan first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Messianic Failure: Pursuing the GWOT Jabberwock

Anniversaries can provide occasions for reflection and deep consideration.  Past errors and misjudgements can be considered soberly; historical distance provides perspective.  Mature reflections may be permitted.  But they can also serve the opposite purpose: to cake, cloak and mask the record.

The gooey name GWOT, otherwise known as the Global War on Terrorism, is some two decades old, and it has revealed little by way of benefit for anybody other than military industrialists, hate preachers and jingoes.  For its progenitors in the administration of President George W. Bush, motivated by the attacks of September 11, 2001 on US soil, few of its aims were achieved.

The central feature to the war, which deserves its place of failure alongside such disastrously misguided concepts as the war on drugs, was its school boy incoherence.  It remained, and to an extent remains, a war against tactics, a misguided search reminiscent of the hunt for Lewis Carroll’s nonsense beast, the Jabberwock.  As with any such wars, it demands mendacity, flimsy evidence if, in fact, it needs any evidence at all.

This perception was critical in placing the US, and its allies, upon a military footing that demanded false connections (a fictitious link of cooperation between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al-Qaeda), false capabilities (Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction) and an exaggeration of the threat to US security (all of the above).

With such evaluations of terroristic potential, a secular, domestic murderer such as Saddam could be transformed into a global threat armed with weapons of mass destruction, neither proposition being true as the attacks on 9/11 were executed.  In this hot house fantasy, the Iraqi leader was merely another pilot willing to steer a plane into an American target.

This narrative was sold, and consumed, by a vast number of press houses and media outlets, who proved indispensable in promoting the GWOT-Jabberwock crusade.  Calculated amnesia and hand washing has taken place since then, pinning blame on the standard crew of neoconservatives, various Republicans and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.  “It’s been forgotten this was actually a business-wide consensus,” Matt Taibbi points out, “which included the enthusiastic participation of a blue-state intelligentsia.”

War sceptics such as Phil Donahue and Jesse Ventura were removed from MSNBC while war cheerleaders thickened the airwaves with ghoulish delight.  The New York Times ran sympathetic columns and reviews for the war case, praising such absurd works as Kenneth M. Pollack’s The Threatening Storm. “The only prudent and realistic course of action left to the United States,” wrote the grave Pollack, “is to mount a full-scale invasion of Iraq to smash the Iraqi armed forces, depose Saddam’s regime and rid the country of weapons of mass destruction.”

The New Yorker also joined in the pro-war festivities.  David Remnick made his case in “Making a Case” by praising Pollack and dismissing containment as “a hollow pursuit” that would be “the most dangerous option of all.”  Jeffrey Goldberg, now at The Atlantic, was even more unequivocal in a staggeringly inexpert contribution headlined, “The Great Terror.” On his own hunt for the Jabberwock, Goldberg interviewed alleged terrorist detainees in a prison operated by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, an anti-Saddam Kurdish group in Iraq’s northern Kurdish area.  Having been permitted to interview the prisoners by the Union’s intelligence service (no conflict of interest there), Goldberg was informed that Saddam Hussein’s own spooks had “joint control, with al-Qaeda operatives, over Ansar al-Islam [a local jihadist group]”; that the Iraqi leader “hosted a senior leader of Al Qaeda in Baghdad in 1992”; that members of Al Qaeda escaping Afghanistan had “been secretly brought into the territory controlled by Ansar al-Islam” and that Iraq’s intelligence service had “smuggled conventional weapons, and possibly even chemical and biological weapons, into Afghanistan.”  And so rests the case for the prosecution.

In March 2003, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting examined 393 on-camera sources who featured in nightly news stories on Iraq across a range of programs – ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  Of those 267 were from the United States; of the US official sources, only Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy from Massachusetts, registered his doubts.  Even then, he could hardly be said to be a firebrand contrarian, telling NBC Nightly News that he worried about exit plans, the extent of US troop losses and “how long we’re going to be stationed there”.

Many of these outlets would be the same who obsessed about President Donald Trump’s attacks upon them as peddlers of “fake news” during his time in office.  Trump, drip-fed on conspiracy theories and fictions, knew who he was talking to.

The security propagandists have not done much better.  With pious conviction, the vast security apparatus put in place to monitor threats, the warrantless surveillance regime exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013, and the persistent interventions in the Middle East, have all been seen as beneficial.  “Terrorism of many sots continues domestically and internationally,” claims Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Centre, “but the data is unmistakable that in most cases – and especially in the United States – it is both manageable and not nearly of the scale feared in 2001.”

A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner advance a rather different proposition. “Even if one believes American efforts have made the nation marginally safer, the United States could have achieved far greater improvements in safety and security at far less cost through other means.”

The issue of what is marginal is a point of contention.  Former chiefs of the Department of Homeland Security, a monster created in direct response to the 9/11 attacks, are guarded in their assessments.  Bush’s Secretary Michael Chertoff admits to being “hesitant” in saying “we are safer, or less”.  He prefers focusing on scale.  “We haven’t had an attack of that scale since 9/11, and we’ve also been very good about keeping dangerous people out of the country.”  Alas, domestic threats had emerged, notably on the Right, while jihadi sympathisers lurk.

Janet Napolitano, who occupied the office under the Obama administration, waffles in her reading.  “Are there some things that we’re safer on now than we were on 9/11?  Absolutely.  Are there new risks that have evolved or multiplied or grown since 9/11?  Absolutely.   To put it shortly, on some things, we’re definitely safer.”  Napolitano is up with a jargon that says nothing at all: “risks are not static”; the environment is “constantly changing”. “DHS needs to continue to be agile and to adapt.”

The smorgasbord of modern terrorism, a good deal of it nourished by cataclysmic US-led interventions, is richer than ever.  “We have more terrorists today than we did on 9/11,” Elizabeth Neumann, DHS assistant secretary for counterterrorism during the Trump administration, told a Senate panel last month.  “That’s very sobering, as a counterterrorism person.”  Preparing the grounds for the imminent exit from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden reasoned that keeping US troops in the country as a permanent counter-terrorist force was no longer a tenable proposition.  Terrorism as a threat had “become more dispersed, metastasising around the globe”.  The folly of pursuing the GWOT jabberwock shows no sign of abating.

The post Messianic Failure: Pursuing the GWOT Jabberwock first appeared on Dissident Voice.

BBC Admits Its Douma Chemical Attack Report Did Not Meet Own Accuracy Standards

The BBC has admitted that a documentary on an alleged chemical attack in Syria in 2018 contained serious inaccuracies, suggesting that an informant known as ‘Alex’, who claimed the 2018 chemical weapons attack on Douma was staged, may have been motivated by financial reward.

The post BBC Admits Its Douma Chemical Attack Report Did Not Meet Own Accuracy Standards first appeared on Dissident Voice.