As colonial monuments are being destroyed in the U.S. and Europe, Mount Rushmore so far remains untouched and a news item since U.S. President Donald Trump visited the site on July 4 to commemorate Independence Day. Fireworks and fighter jets dominated a territorial space that is laden with the memory of colonial violence against the indigenous American Indians.Continue reading The Colonial Politics Appropriating Mount Rushmore
Have you heard about the Joe Biden allegations? If you’re relying on corporate media for your information, the answer is “probably not.” As of April 8, there has been exactly zero coverage of the sexual assault allegations on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ABC or CBS News.Continue reading The Media’s Loudest #MeToo Champions are Ignoring Biden Sexual Assault Accuser Tara Reade
Michael Bloomberg’s campaign has called on the other “moderate” candidates, such as Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, to step down and unite behind him as the only force that can stop Bernie Sanders, who, he warns, will soon have an insurmountable lead in delegates.Continue reading Bloomberg is Trying to Take Down Bernie Sanders, Not Trump
We’ve heard this statement before. Is Pete Buttigieg as antiwar as Candidate Donald Trump in 2016? Or, is the 2020 presidential election just a battle between war marketeers aiming for the periodic opportunity to have the highest tiered sales commission from the war manufacturing industry?Continue reading I Will Put an End to Endless Wars | Pete Buttigieg
It’s amazing to think how the entire American media and political Establishment has been banging on ad nauseum for the last four years running, telling the public that the biggest threat to the integrity of their fragile western democracy and fleeting freedoms – was the Russians.Continue reading Bernie Railroaded Again: ‘Technical Glitch’ in Democratic Party Voting App
Russia, China and Iran are already being blamed for using tech to undermine the 2020 election. Yet, the very technologies they are allegedly using were created by a web of companies with deep ties to Israeli intelligence.Continue reading How Government and Media Are Prepping America for a Failed 2020 Election
Here, in this reposted column from Jan. 7, 2019, are his thoughts about the then-nascent presidential election campaign.
It is January 2019. This signals the start of the 2020 election circus. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the first big-name Democrat on stage. But we will soon be deluged with candidates, bizarre antics and endless commentary by fatuous TV and radio pundits.
The hyperventilating, the constant polling, the updates on who has the largest campaign war chest, the hypothetical matches between this hopeful and that hopeful, the mocking tweets by Donald Trump, will, as we saw in the 2016 election campaign, have as much relevance to our lives and political future as the speculation on cable sports channels about next year’s football season. This farce takes the place of genuine political life.
It costs a lot of money to mount this spectacle. Our corporate masters, like the oligarchic rulers of ancient Rome who poured money into the arena as they stripped the empire and its citizens of their assets, are happy to oblige.
The campaign sustains the fiction of a democracy and gives legitimacy to the corporate state. Maybe Hillary Clinton, who raised $1 billion in her 2016 run for president, will return for another season, although the Bill and Hillary tour is now a debacle with empty seats and slashed ticket prices.
Maybe Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will make comebacks. And what about the new faces in the scramble for the presidency—Beto O’Rourke, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg?
It is a political version of the reality television show “Survivor.” Who will be the first knocked out? Who will make it into the semifinals and the finals? Who is the most devious and cunning? Who will come out on top?
We get to vote for the contestants that appeal to us most, or at least vote against those we hate the most. The cable news shows, in a prelude to the nonstop idiocy to come, have spent the last few days speculating about whom Mitt Romney will endorse in the 2020 race. Now there’s a burning question of national importance.
To take power in 2021 in lieu of any real policy changes, the Democratic Party is banking on the deep animus toward President Trump. It has no intention of instituting genuine populist programs, rebuilding unions, funding universal health care, providing free college tuition or curbing the criminal activities of the corporations and the big banks.
The war machine will continue to wage endless war and consume half of all discretionary spending. The vaunted new populist members of Congress will be no more than window dressing, trotted out, like Sanders, to trick voters into thinking the Democratic Party is capable of reform. Most voters, for this reason, are “voting out of loathing, against enemies and against the system in general, not really for anybody,” as journalist Matt Taibbi points out.
Working men and women especially despise the slick-talking politicians—including the Clintons and Barack Obama—and the “experts” and well-groomed pundits on their screens who sold them the con that deindustrialization, deregulation, austerity, bailing out the banks, nearly two decades of constant war, the exporting of jobs overseas, tax cuts for the rich and the impoverishment of the working class were forms of progress.
Trump hangs on to the support of white working Americans because he expresses through his adolescent insults and dynamiting of political norms the legitimate hatred they feel toward the well-heeled, college-educated ruling elites who sold them out. The Democrats, at the same time, understand that it takes someone as revolting as Trump to fire up their lethargic base, a group in which millions do not vote. They cling to a tactic of “anybody but Trump” even though it did not work in 2016.
The corporate media ignores issues and policies, since there is little genuine disagreement among the candidates, and presents the race as a beauty contest. The fundamental question the press asks is not what do the candidates stand for but whom do the voters like. As for now, Warren—the only nationally known Democrat except Julian Castro to form an exploratory committee for a presidential bid—is not winning this popularity contest.
A CNN/Des Moines Register Iowa poll—yes, polling in Iowa already has begun—puts her fourth, with only 8 percent of support among the Democrats surveyed, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke.
Our corporate rulers do not need to denounce democracy. Democratic laws, such as who can fund campaigns, have been subverted from within, their original purposes redefined by the courts and legislative bodies to serve corporate power. This managed democracy has transformed elections from the simple, straightforward process of voting for a party platform or party positions to vast, choreographed theatrical productions.
Politicians run on “moral” issues and use public relations experts to create manufactured personalities. Trump, his image constructed by a reality television show, proved more adept than his rivals at playing this game the last time around.
Politicians must stick to the script. They have well-defined roles. They express a suffocating, reality-defying positivism about the future of America. They are steadfast in their obsequious praise of the nation’s “heroes” in the military and law enforcement. They are silent about the crimes of empire.
They ignore the plight of the poor; indeed the word “poor” is banished from their vocabulary. They pretend we do not live in a corporate oligarchy, although they acknowledge amorphous attacks on the middle class and promise to stem the assault.
They exude a cloying feel-your-pain compassion that revolves around personal stories of the hardships they overcame in their own lives to become “successes”—the most ludicrous being Trump’s claim that he turned a “very small” loan from his father into a multibillion-dollar real estate empire.
They telegraph to us that they are one of us. We can be like them. They trot out their wives, husbands and children, even when a spouse like Melania Trump looks as if she has been taken hostage, to portray themselves as family men and women.
They claim they are outsiders, ignoring their long political careers and their status as members of the wealthy ruling elite. They are no different from the array of self-help gurus who ignore systemic injustice and social decay to peddle schemes for personal success. The formula is universal. It is the triumph of artifice, what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.”
Those who do not play this game, like Ralph Nader, or who like Sanders play it begrudgingly—Sanders refused corporate money, has called for reforming “the bloated and wasteful $716 billion annual Pentagon budget” and addresses issues of class—are ridiculed and marginalized by a monochromatic corporate media that banishes qualification, ambiguity, nuance and genuine dialogue.
Trump’s success as a candidate came, in large part, because of the constant media attention he received. Those like Sanders who attempt to defy the rules of the game are punished. The goal is entertainment. Politicians who are good entertainers do well. The poor entertainers do badly.
The networks seek to attract viewers and increase profits, not disseminate information about political issues. Voters have little or no say in who decides to run, who gets funded, how campaigns are managed, what television ads say, which candidates get covered by the press or who gets invited to presidential debates. They are spectators, pawns used to legitimize political farce.
“At issue is more than crude bribery,” the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin writes in “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Spector of Inverted Totalitarianism.” “Campaign contributions are a vital tool of political management. They create a pecking order that calibrates, in strictly quantitative and objective terms, whose interests have priority.
The amount of corruption that regularly takes place before elections means that corruption is not an anomaly but an essential element in the functioning of managed democracy. The entrenched system of bribery and corruption involves no physical violence, no brown-shirted storm troopers, no coercion of the political opposition.
While the tactics are not those of the Nazis, the end result is the inverted equivalent. Opposition has not been liquidated but rendered feckless.”
This process, Wolin writes, has turned the electorate into “a hybrid creation, part cinematic and part consumer. Like a movie or TV audience, it would be credulous, nurtured on the unreality of images on the screen, the impossible feats and situations depicted, or the promise of personal transformation by a new product. In this the elites were abetted by the long-standing American tradition of dramatic evangelism and its fostering of collective fervor and popular fantasies of the miraculous.
It was no leap of faith from the camp meetings of the nineteenth century and the Billy Sundays of the twentieth century to the politically savvy televangelist of the twenty-first century.”
The corporations that own the media and the two major political parties have a vested interest in making sure there is never serious public discussion about issues ranging from our disastrous for-profit health care system and endless wars to the virtual tax boycott that large corporations have legalized. The corporate system is presented as sacrosanct and the ruling ideology of neoliberalism as natural law. The corporations are funding the show. They get what they pay for.
Sanders, it appears, will run again as a Democrat, despite the theft of the 2016 nomination by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party hierarchy. His next campaign, to quote Samuel Johnson, will be the triumph of hope over experience. The Democratic establishment and the media sharks will, if Sanders uses the old playbook, devour him. They have already severely diminished his stature by turning him into Clinton and Chuck Schumer’s barking seal.
The differences between the right-wing media and the liberal media are minuscule. As Taibbi writes in “Insane Clown President: Dispatches From the 2016 Circus,” they are “really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism.
The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it’s just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.”
“Elections are about a lot of things, but at the highest level, they’re about money,” Taibbi writes. “The people who sponsor election campaigns, who pay hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the candidates’ charter jets and TV ads and 25-piece marching banks, those people have concrete needs. They want tax breaks, federal contracts, regulatory relief, cheap financing, free security for shipping lanes, anti-trust waivers and dozens of other things.”
“They mostly don’t care about abortion or gay marriage or school vouchers or any of the social issues the rest of us spend our time arguing about. It’s about the money for them, and as far as that goes, the CEO class has had a brilliantly winning electoral strategy for a generation. They donate heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs to the population.
The Republicans give them everything that they want, while the Democrats only give them mostly everything. They get everything from the Republicans because you don’t have to make a single concession to a Republican voter. All you have to do to secure a Republican vote is show lots of pictures of gay people kissing or black kids with their pants down or Mexican babies at an emergency room.”
The Republican strategy of playing to the lowest common denominator ensured that eventually the useful idiots would take over and elect one of their own, in Donald Trump. Trump is the epitome of the human mutation produced by an illiterate, dumbed-down age of electronic images. He, like tens of millions of other Americans, believes anything he sees on television. He does not read. He is consumed by vanity and the cult of the self. He is a conspiracy theorist.
He blames America’s complex social and economic ills on scapegoats such as Mexican immigrants and Muslims, and of course the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party, in turn, blames Trump’s election on Russia and former FBI Director James Comey. It is the theater of the absurd.
The childish gibberish Trump speaks is the new language of political discourse. His taunting tweets against his enemies are countered by his enemies with taunting tweets against him. These grade-school-level insults dominate the daily news cycle. The political process, captured by commercial interests, devolved to Trump’s imbecilic level. The presidential election of 2020 has begun. The circus, with its freaks, con artists and clowns, is open for business.
Mr. Fish, also known as Dwayne Booth, is a cartoonist who primarily creates for Truthdig.com and Harpers.com. Mr. Fish’s work has also appeared nationally in The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Vanity…
US President Donald Trump placed an advance order to purchase 10,000 copies of a book about his presidency titled “A Very Stable Genius,” days before aides realized that the title is sarcastic.Continue reading A Very Stable Genius: Trump ‘Dumbfounded’ re Sarcastic Title of A Book About His Presidency
President Donald Trump’s administration has trotted out an embarrassingly inconsistent series of justifications for the recent drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The ever-changing story of why Soleimani was killed underscores the Trump administration’s thin rationale for an action so provocative that it could have triggered an all-out war.Continue reading Three Reasons Trump Ordered Soleimani’s Killing
Mainstream media pundits are now talking about “de-escalation” between Iran and the US, after “both sides have fooled everyone that they have achieved victory.” Is that how cheap the life of a man who dedicated his better days fighting against the Deep State controlled ISIS and Al Qaeda terror groups?Continue reading Butcher of the Worst Kind: The Deeper Story Behind Trump’s Assassination of Soleimani
Lockheed Martin, famous for its fighter planes, helicopters and missiles, saw its stock price spike to over $416, a jump of seven percent almost overnight. Raytheon and General Dynamics saw similar increases.Continue reading Military Contractors Raytheon, Lockheed Martin See Stock Prices Soar Amid Iran Crisis
Donald Trump just crossed the red line when he ordered the assassination of the most respected commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani. This action will put all US forces at risk of retaliation from Iranian sympathizers across the Middle East and beyond.
Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), have been killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The IRGC announced in a statement on Friday morning that Major General Soleimani and al-Muhandis were martyred in the attack carried out by US helicopters.
The Iraqi pro-government group also confirmed the incident.
“The deputy head of the Hashed, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and head of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, were killed in a US strike that targeted their car on the Baghdad International Airport road,” it said in a statement on Friday.
“The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a PMU spokesman.
The group had earlier said that its public relations director Mohammed Reza al-Jaberi and four other members of the group were also killed after three Katyusha rockets struck a military base next to Baghdad International Airport in the Iraqi capital.
The media bureau of the voluntary forces – better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shabai – described the early Friday morning attack as a “cowardly US bombing”.
The rockets landed near the air cargo terminal, burning two vehicles and injuring several people, the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Security Media Cell said in an earlier statement.
Shortly after the attack, US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the strikes were carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad. The officials declined to give any further details.
Meanwhile, security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that eight people were killed in the attack.
The development came as the United States military said on Sunday it had carried out strikes in western Iraq against Kataib Hezbollah group, which is part of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Iraqi security sources said at least 25 fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded following the air attacks.
Senior Iraqi officials also condemned the US attack against the Kataib Hezbollah’s positions as a “violation of Iraqi sovereignty”.
Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called the move a “dangerous escalation that threatens the security of Iraq and the region” in a statement on Sunday,
Abdul Mahdi said US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had called him about half an hour before the US raids to tell him of the US intentions to hit Kataib Hezbollah’s bases. He said he asked Esper to call off US plans.
Iraqi caretaker President Barham Salih also condemned the attack.
The US raids drew a wave of condemnation from officials and movements across the region, and triggered furious public protests outside the US embassy in Baghdad.
The Pentagon said the bombings were in response to attacks targeting American forces near the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk last week, which reportedly killed a US civilian contractor and injured four US service members, as well as two members of the Iraqi security forces. The US accused Kataib Hezbollah group of the attack.
Therefore, it is wrong for the White House to justify the assassination of Soleimani as a retaliation of the angry protestors outside of the US Embassy in Baghdad.
The Americans started the whole thing somewhere else.
Israel is an expert in starting a war by killing somebody that would provide a pretext for a US intervention. Trump only needs a slight push in favor of Israel, especially when it comes to Iran.
Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission for peace on White House’s invitation
Even more devastating for the Trump administration is the leaked information that it was a diplomatic ambush from the very beginning.
No magic intercepts were needed, we now learn from Iraq, to arrange for the assassination of Soleimani. We now learn that the ambush was staged through diplomatic channels, drawing Soleimani to Iraq in order to receive an offer of reduced sanctions from President Trump.
General Qassem Soleimani landed in Iraq to meet with PM Adel Mahdi, who was to be given a message for Iran by President Trump. He was murdered instead, the diplomatic note from Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to the Iranian envoy, Soleimani, was, in fact, an invitation to an ambush.
Soleimani flew from Damascus and was killed as he left the diplomatic check-in at the Baghdad International Airport.
Iraq had been acting as intermediary between Tehran and Washington with General Soleimani acting as diplomatic representative of Iran.
Soleimani had been asked by the Iraqi government to organize and train the forces that defeated ISIS, a process that was continuing as it had been continuing in Syria in partnership with Russia and Turkey, as part of the Astana Coalition.
The actual assassination was successfully conducted with the real-time coordinates supplied by the Israelis.
Starting another war in the Middle East – is this Trump’s way out of the ongoing impeachment lodged against him?
We all know that Bibi Netanyahu was using the same tactic in order to survive an election, and the corruption charges filed against him and his wife. Is Trump following Netanyahu’s footstep, without thinking about the thousands of consequences for such an unprovoked action?
Or is this really the plan from the very beginning?… to create the need for the military industrial complex to come in, and shore up the price of “defense” related stocks in the market, where Trump himself has huge investments in?
The gamechanging entry of the Iranian Quds Brigade under the command of Major General Qassem Soleimani into the Syrian theater of war against ISIS invasion of Syria is one of his most stellar accomplishments against Israel and the CIA.
“You are witnessing what they [the Americans] are doing in Iraq and Syria. They are taking revenge on Hashd al-Sha’abi because it paralyzed and [eventually] eliminated Daesh, which they [the Americans] had created and nurtured,” the Leader said at a meeting on Wednesday…
‘Foreign spy services had hand in riots’
Ayatollah Khamenei also commented on the violent riots that hit several Iranian cities in mid-November on the back of a series of popular protests over a government decision to increase fuel prices.
The Leader said the people had some demands, but that the enemy quickly intervened to take advantage of those demands and commit acts of vandalism.
The people’s vigilance came to light when they broke ranks with the rioters, who were trying to hide behind ordinary protesters.
“The main culprits of the mid-November riots and the attacks on infrastructure such as gasoline storage sites, wheat warehouses and public property were linked to foreign intelligence agencies,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
On the first day of the riots, the Leader added, the Americans jumped for joy, but they became disappointed shortly afterwards as the riots came to end and they failed to achieve what they wanted.
The Iraqis and their government have since been working with the Iranians after realizing that they were just pawns in the “war of terror”, which only benefits Israel and petrodollar countries in the Middle East.
This Iran-Iraq security cooperation is part of a larger coordinated action against the Western Criminal Cabal that has been fomenting endless wars wherever energy and other rare natural resources are present.
Just a few days ago, a combined naval exercise was held between Iran, China and Russia near Iranian waters, in order to send a message that both Russia and China will not stand idly by while the US is demonizing and sanctioning Iran without cause.
Despite of this warning, the Soleimani assassination is nothing short of a US declaration of war against Iran, and it has Trump’s signature in it.
Is the US prepared for another round of Eastern Alliance multipronged offensives?
Others have understood this Trump tweet to be a conciliatory one, but we consider it in reference to the Nuclear Treaty struck during Obama’s tenure where about $70 billion Iranian money, sequestered during a decade of sanctions, was returned to the Iranians as part of the deal to stop its nuclear program.
Whatever the immediate gameplay is, it has been known that the Jesuit/Rothschild faction of the Criminal Cabal will never surrender Apartheid Israel to anyone. These people are obsessed with fulfilling the scenario described in their own scriptures that created the idea for a Greater Israel.
For such a grand plan to become a reality, the US Armed Forces will be at the frontlines, and just like in Nazi Germany, the Germans “knew nothing about what’s going on, while their armed goons were just following Fuhrer Hitler’s orders.”
Either way, they are all guilty by way of commission, i.e. killing the wrong enemies, and omission, i.e. by not doing anything to eliminate the Deep State scourge within their own government.
The final days of 2019 have seen dramatic steps towards reversing the era of British imperial division of the world into warring blocs. Yesterday, Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone. The official purpose of the call, initiated by President Putin, was to thank the U.S. President for information shared by the intelligence services which has once again prevented a planned terrorist attack, this time in St. Petersburg during New Year celebrations.Continue reading Whither the World in the 2020s?
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Every empire is a dictatorship. No nation can be a democracy that’s either heading an empire, or a vassal-state of one. Obviously, in order to be a vassal-state within an empire, that nation is dictated-to by the nation of which it is a colony. Continue reading The Force that is Ending Freedom is Lies
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