Response to “An Interview with Paul Craig Roberts”
| March 25, 2015 | 9:16 pm | Analysis, Imperialism, political struggle, Russia | No comments
By A. Shaw
In the first half of the interview, the The Saker give Roberts answers and Roberts provides questions to the answer.
The Saker’s answers are mostly questions that Roberts have discussed for many years.
The gist of The Saker’s answers is about the institutions, groups, and individuals in bourgeois society who chiefly exercise state power.
In the first half, Roberts explains who runs and doesn’t run the USA.
The second half is less structured by The Saker . The Saker asks questions and Roberts raps in response like a master theoretician or, at least, a very heavy dude.
Roberts casually steps on thin ice that many of us are afraid to walk on.
“Today NATO provides cover for US aggression and provides mercenary forces for the American Empire,”  Roberts says.
Today, US imperialists privatize [i.e.,mercenaries] their aggression.
Britain, Canada, Australia, are simply US vassal states just as are Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the rest.  There are no partners; just vassals.  It is Washington’s empire, no one else’s.
Yeah, US imperialists are insanely jealous and greedy.
Roberts says “I have never seen any evidence that the US controls Israel.  All the evidence is that Israel controls the US, but only its Mid East policy.  In recent years, Israel or the Israel Lobby, has been able to control or block academic appointments in the US and tenure for professors considered to be critics of Israel.  Israel has successfully reached into both Catholic and State universities to block tenure and appointments.  Israel can also block some presidential appointments and has vast influence over the print and TV media.  The Israel Lobby also has plenty of money for political campaign funds and never fails to unseat US Representatives and Senators considered critical of Israel.”
If we combine Roberts last two comments, it follows that Israel is neither a partner nor a vassal of US bourgeoisie. The preceding comment implies that Israel bosses the US bourgeoisie.
“I think Washington is lost in hubris and arrogance and 
is more or less insane,” Roberts says.
Roberts is deadly serious when he call Washington “more or less insane.”
“The only way a presidential election could matter would be if the elected president had behind him a strong movement.  Without a movement, the president has no independent power and no one to appoint who will do his bidding.  Presidents are captives,” Roberts says, perhaps this is his most important comment in the whole interview..
The insane rulers in Washington HAVE behind them a strong movement, call it extreme conservatives, neo-conservatives, crackpot reactionaries, or, better still, utter rottenness, this strong movement behind the nuts in Washington exists. About a third of the US people support this strong movement and these insane rulers in Washington. The remaining two-thirds of the US people don’t believe that the strong movement exists or one third of the people supports it.
The people, in their totality, are no longer partners; they are now mere vassals of the insane in Washington.
The Saker asks “Do you have any hope that the US military could step in and stop the “crazies” currently in power in the White House and Congress?”
The US military is totally corrupt,” Robert replies.
In Washington, we have the insane and the totally corrupt. We are lucky to be alive with these asses in power.
“As far as I can tell from my many media interviews with the Russian media, there is no Russian awareness of the Wolfowitz Doctrine [an insane and utterly degenerate type of imperialism]. Russians think that there is some kind of misunderstanding about Russian intentions.  The Russian media does not understand that Russia is unacceptable, because Russia is not a US vassal. Russians believe all the Western bullshit about “freedom and democracy” and believe that they are short on both but making progress.  In other words, Russians have no idea that they are targeted for destruction,” Roberts says.
Yes, the poor Russians fall for the “freedom and democracy” shit and fantasize they are partners of US imperialists. This fantasy is their death warrant.
“If the Russians and Chinese do not expect a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington, they will be destroyed,” Roberts warns.
The rotten one-third of the US people will not only accept a billion human fatalities, this rotten sector will wildly welcome a billion pre-emptive fatalities as God’s greatest blessing ever.
Don’t doubt for one second that this scum is planning a billion-person massacre.
On Russia, the Deep State and the Global Economy
| March 25, 2015 | 9:13 pm | Analysis, political struggle, Russia | No comments

An Interview with Paul Craig Roberts

Source: CounterPunch
by THE SAKER
I had been wanting to interview Paul Craig Roberts for a long time already. For many years I have been following his writings and interviews and every time I read what he had to say I was hoping that one day I would have the privilege do interview him about the nature of the US deep state and the Empire. Recently, I emailed him and asked for such an interview, and he very kindly agreed. I am very grateful to him for this opportunity.
The Saker
The Saker:  It has become rather obvious to many, if not most, people that the USA is not a democracy or a republic, but rather a plutocracy run by a small elite which some call “the 1%”.  Others speak of the “deep state”.  So my first question to you is the following.  Could you please take the time to assess the influence and power of each of the following entities one by one.  In particular, can you specify for each of the following whether it has a decision-making “top” position, or a decision-implementing “middle” position in the real structure of power (listed in no specific order)
Federal Reserve
Big Banking
Bilderberg
Council on Foreign Relations
Skull & Bones
CIA
Goldman Sachs and top banks
“Top 100 families” (Rothschild, Rockefeller, Dutch Royal Family, British Royal Family, etc.)
Israel Lobby
Freemasons and their lodges
Big Business: Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex, etc.
Other people or organizations not listed above?
Who, which group, what entity would you consider is really at the apex of power in the current US polity?
Paul Craig Roberts: The US is ruled by private interest groups and by the neoconservative ideology that History has chosen the US as the “exceptional and indispensable” country with the right and responsibility to impose its will on the world.
In my opinion the most powerful of the private interest groups are:
The Military/security Complex
The 4 or 5 mega-sized “banks too big to fail” and Wall Street
The Israel Lobby
Agribusiness
The Extractive industries (oil, mining, timber).
The interests of these interest groups coincide with those of the neoconservatives. The neoconservative ideology supports American financial and military-political imperialism or hegemony.
There is no independent American print or TV media.  In the last years of the Clinton regime, 90% of the print and TV media was concentrated in 6 mega-companies.  During the Bush regime, National Public Radio lost its independence.  So the media functions as a Ministry of Propaganda.
Both political parties, Republicans and Democrats, are dependent on the same private interest groups for campaign funds, so both parties dance to the same masters.  Jobs offshoring destroyed the manufacturing and industrial unions and deprived the Democrats of Labor Union political contributions. In those days, Democrats represented the working people and Republicans represented business.
The Federal Reserve is there for the banks, mainly the large ones.The Federal Reserve was created as lender of last resort to prevent banks from failing because of runs on the bank or withdrawal of deposits.  The New York Fed, which conducts the financial interventions, has a board that consists of the executives of the big banks.  The last  three Federal Reserve chairmen have been Jews, and the current vice chairman is the former head of the Israeli central bank. Jews are prominent in the financial sector, for example, Goldman Sachs.  In recent years, the US Treasury Secretaries and heads of the financial regulatory agencies have mainly been the bank executives responsible for the fraud and excessive debt leverage that set off the last financial crisis.
In the 21st century, the Federal Reserve and Treasury have served only the interests of the large banks.  This has been at the expense of the economy and the population. For example, retired people have had no interest income for eight years in order that the financial institutions can borrow at zero costs and make money.
No matter how rich some families are, they cannot compete with powerful interest groups such as the military/security complex or Wall Street and the banks.  Long established wealth can look after its interests, and some, such as the Rockefellers,  have activist foundations that most likely work hand in hand with the National Endowment for Democracy to fund and encourage various pro-American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries that the US wants to influence or overthrow, such as occurred in Ukraine.  The NGOs are essentially US Fifth Columns and operate under such names as “human rights,” “democracy,” etc.  A Chinese professor told me that the Rockefeller Foundation had created an American University in China and is used to organize various anti-regime Chinese.  At one time, and perhaps still, there were hundreds of US and German financed NGOs in Russia, possibly as many as 1,000.
I don’t know if the Bilderbergs do the same.  Possibly they are just very rich people and have their proteges in governments who try to protect their interests.  I have never seen any signs of Bilderbergs or Masons or Rothchilds affecting congressional or executive branch decisions.
On the other hand, the Council for Foreign Relations is influential.  The council consists of former government policy officials and academics involved in foreign policy and international relations.  The council’s publication, Foreign Affairs, is the premier foreign policy forum.  Some journalists are also members. When I was proposed for membership in the 1980s, I was blackballed.
Skull & Bones is a Yale University secret fraternity.  A number of universities have such secret fraternities.  For example, the University of Virginia has one, and the University of Georgia.  These fraternities do not have secret governmental plots or ruling powers.  Their influence would be limited to the personal influence of the members, who tend to be sons of elite families.  In my opinion, these fraternities exist to convey elite status to members.  They have no operational functions.
The Saker:  What about individuals?  Who are, in your opinion, the most powerful people in the USA today?  Who takes the final, top level, strategic decision?
Paul Craig Roberts:  There really are no people powerful in themselves.  Powerful people are ones that powerful interest groups are behind.  Ever since Secretary of Defense William Perry privatized so much of the military in 1991, the military/security complex has been  extremely powerful, and its power is further amplified by its ability to finance political campaigns and by the fact that it is a source of employment in many states. Essentially Pentagon expenditures are controlled by defense contractors.
The Saker:  I have always believed that in international terms, organizations such as NATO, the EU or all the others are only a front, and that the real alliance which controls the planet are the ECHELON countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand aka “AUSCANNZUKUS” (they are also referred to as the “Anglosphere” or the “Five Eyes”) with the US and the UK are the senior partners while Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the junior partners here.  Is this model correct?
Paul Craig Roberts: NATO was a US creation allegedly to protect Europe from a Soviet invasion.  Its purpose expired in 1991.  Today NATO provides cover for US aggression and provides mercenary forces for the American Empire.  Britain, Canada, Australia, are simply US vassal states just as are Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the rest.  There are no partners; just vassals.  It is Washington’s empire, no one else’s.
The US favors the EU, because it is easier to control than the individual countries.
The Saker:  It is often said that Israel controls the USA.  Chomsky, and others, say that it is the USA which controls Israel.  How would you characterize the relationship between Israel and the USA – does the dog wag the tail or does the tail wag the dog?  Would you say that the Israel Lobby is in total control of the USA or are there still other forces capable of saying “no” to the Israel Lobby and impose their own agenda?
Paul Craig Roberts:  I have never seen any evidence that the US controls Israel.  All the evidence is that Israel controls the US, but only its MidEast policy.  In recent years, Israel or the Israel Lobby, has been able to control or block academic appointments in the US and tenure for professors considered to be critics of Israel.  Israel has successfully reached into both Catholic and State universities to block tenure and appointments.  Israel can also block some presidential appointments and has vast influence over the print and TV media.  The Israel Lobby also has plenty of money for political campaign funds and never fails to unseat US Representatives and Senators considered critical of Israel.  The Israel lobby was able to reach into the black congressional district of Cynthia McKinney, a black woman, and defeat her reelection.  As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “No American President can stand up to Israel.”  Adm. Moorer could not even get an official investigation of Israel’s deadly attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.
Anyone who criticizes Israeli policies even in a helpful way is labeled an “anti-Semite.”
In American politics, media, and universities, this is a death-dealing blow.  You might as well get hit with a hellfire missile.
The Saker:  Which of the 12 entities of power which I listed above have, in your opinion, played a key role in the planning and execution of the 9/11 “false flag” operation?  After all, it is hard to imagine that this was planned and prepared between the inauguration of GW Bush and September 11th – it must have been prepared during the years of the Clinton Administration.  Is it not true the the Oklahoma City bombing was a rehearsal for 9/11?
Paul Craig Roberts: In my opinion 9/11 was the product of the neoconservatives, almost all of whom are Jewish, Dick Cheney, and Israel.  Its purpose was to provide “the new Pearl Harbor” that the neoconservatives said was necessary to launch their wars of conquest in the Middle East.  I don’t know how far back it was planned, but Silverstein was obviously part of it and he had not had the WTC for very long before 9/11.
As for the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, US Air Force General Partin, the Air Force’s munitions expert,  prepared an expert report proving beyond all doubt that the building blew up from the inside out and that the truck bomb was cover.  Congress and the media ignored his report.  The patsy, McVeigh,  was already set up, and that was the only story allowed.
The Saker:  Do you think that the people who run the USA today realize that they are on a collision course with Russia which could lead to thermonuclear war?  If yes, why would they take such a risk? Do they really believe that at the last moment Russian will “blink” and back down, or do they actually believe that they can win a nuclear war?  Are they not afraid that in a nuclear conflagration with Russia they will lose everything they have, including their power and even their lives?
Paul Craig Roberts: I am as puzzled as much as you.  I think Washington is lost in hubris and arrogance and
is more or less insane.  Also, there is belief that the US can win a nuclear war with Russia.  There was an article in Foreign Affairs around 2005 or 2006 in which this conclusion was reached.  The belief in the winnability of nuclear war has been boosted by faith in ABM defenses.  The argument is that the US can hit Russia so hard in a preemptive first strike that Russia would not retaliate in fear of a second blow.
The Saker:  How do you assess the current health of the Empire?  For many years we have seen clear signs of decline, but there is still not visible collapse.  Do you believe that such a collapse is inevitable and, if not, how could it be prevented?  Will we see the day when the US Dollar suddenly become worthless or will another mechanism precipitate the collapse of this Empire?
Paul Craig Roberts:  The US economy is hollowed out.  There has been no real median family income growth for decades.  Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman used an expansion of consumer credit to take the place of the missing growth in consumer income, but the population is now too indebted to take on more.  So there is nothing to drive the economy.  So many manufacturing and tradable professional service jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore that the middle class has shrunk.  University graduates cannot get jobs that support an independent existence.  So they can’t form households, buy houses, appliances and home furnishings.  The government produces low inflation measures by not measuring inflation and low unemployment rates by not measuring unemployment.  The financial markets are rigged, and gold is driven down despite rising demand by selling uncovered shorts in the futures market.  It is a house of cards that has stood longer than I thought possible.  Apparently, the house of cards can stand until the rest of the world ceases to hold the US dollar as reserves.
Possibly the empire has put too much stress on Europe by involving Europe in a conflict with Russia.  If Germany, for example, were to pull out of NATO, the empire would collapse, or if Russia can find the wits to finance Greece, Italy, and Spain in exchange for them leaving the Euro and EU, the empire would suffer a fatal blow.
Alternatively, Russia might tell Europe that Russia has no alternative but to target European capitals with nuclear weapons now that Europe has joined the US in conducting war against Russia.
The Saker:  Russia and China have done something unique in history and they have gone beyond the traditional model of forming an alliance: they have agreed to become interdependent – one could say that they have agreed to a symbiotic relationship.  Do you believe that those in charge of the Empire have understood the tectonic change which has just happen or are they simply going into deep denial because reality scares them too much?
Paul Craig Roberts:  Stephen Cohen says that there is simply no foreign policy discussion.  There is no debate.  I think the empire thinks that it can destabilize Russia and China and that is one reason Washington has color revolutions working in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. As Washington is determined to prevent the rise of other powers and is lost in hubris and arrogance, Washington probably believes that it will succeed.  After all, History chose Washington.
The Saker:  In your opinion, do presidential elections still matter and, if yes, what is your best hope for 2016?  I am personally very afraid of Hillary Clinton whom I see as an exceptionally dangerous and outright evil person, but with the current Neocon influence inside the Republican, can we really hope for a non-Neocon candidate to win the GOP nomination?
Paul Craig Roberts:  The only way a presidential election could matter would be if the elected president had behind him a strong movement.  Without a movement, the president has no independent power and no one to appoint who will do his bidding.  Presidents are captives.  Reagan had something of a movement, just enough that we were able to cure stagflation despite Wall Street’s opposition and we were able to end the cold war despite the opposition of the CIA and the military/security complex.  Plus Reagan was very old and came from a long time ago.  He assumed the office of the president was powerful and acted that way.
The Saker:  What about the armed forces?  Can you imagine a Chairman of the JCS saying “no, Mr President, that is crazy, we will not do this” or do you expect the generals to obey any order, including one starting a nuclear war against Russia?  Do you have any hope that the US military could step in and stop the “crazies” currently in power in the White House and Congress?
Paul Craig Roberts:  The US military is a creature of the armaments industries.  The whole purpose of making general is to be qualified to be a consultant to the “defense” industry, or to become an executive or on the board of a “defense” contractor.  The military serves as the source of retirement careers when the generals make the big money.  The US military is totally corrupt.  Read Andrew Cockburn’s book, Kill Chain.
The Saker:  If the USA is really deliberately going down the path towards war with Russia – what should Russia do?  Should Russia back down and accept to be subjugated as a preferable option to a thermonuclear war, or should Russia resist and thereby accept the possibility of a thermonuclear war?  Do you believe that a very deliberate and strong show of strength on the part of Russia could deter a US attack?
Paul Craig Roberts: I have often wondered about this.  I can’t say that I know.  I think Putin is humane enough to surrender rather than to be part of the destruction of the world, but Putin has to answer to others inside Russia and I doubt the nationalists would stand for surrender.
In my opinion, I think Putin should focus on Europe and make Europe aware that Russia expects an American attack and will have no choice except to wipe out Europe in response.  Putin should encourage Europe to break off from NATO in order to prevent World War 3.
Putin should also make sure China understands that China represents the same perceived threat to the US as Russia and that the two countries need to stand together.  Perhaps if Russia and China were to maintain their forces on a nuclear alert, not the top one, but an elevated one that conveyed recognition of the American threat and conveyed this threat to the world, the US could be isolated.
Perhaps if the Indian press, the Japanese Press, the French and German press, the UK press, the Chinese and Russian press began reporting that Russia and China wonder if they will receive a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington the result would be to prevent the attack.
As far as I can tell from my many media interviews with the Russian media, there is no Russian awareness of the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Russians think that there is some kind of misunderstanding about Russian intentions.  The Russian media does not understand that Russia is unacceptable, because Russia is not a US vassal. Russians believe all the Western bullshit about “freedom and democracy” and believe that they are short on both but making progress.  In other words, Russians have no idea that they are targeted for destruction.
The Saker:  What are, in your opinion, the roots of the hatred of so many members of the US elites for Russia?  Is that just a leftover from the Cold War, or is there another reason for the almost universal russophobia amongst US elites?  Even during the Cold War, it was unclear whether the US was anti-Communist or anti-Russian?  Is there something in the Russian culture, nation or civilization which triggers that hostility and, if yes, what is it?
Paul Craig Roberts: The hostility toward Russia goes back to the Wolfowttz Doctrine:
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
While the US was focused on its MidEast wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked  Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran.  The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached.  Russia had to be brought into line.  That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia.  The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.
The offense of Russian culture is also there–Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores–but these are in the background.  Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power.  This check is what will lead to war.
If the Russians and Chinese do not expect a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington, they will be destroyed.
This interview originally appeared in The Vineyard of the Saker.
Grover Norquist Sees Bi-Partisan Doc Fix Deal as “Model of Success” in Privatizing Medicare

 

by Kay Tillow

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have worked out a deal, a permanent “doc fix” that would repeal automatic cuts in Medicare payments to physicians.  Their bi-partisan solution, if enacted, will plunge a stake into the heart of traditional Medicare, according to health policy expert Don McCanne, MD, of Physicians for a National Health Program.

 

Social Security Act amendments passed more than a decade ago once again threaten to slash Medicare payments to physicians, this time by 21.2%, as of April 1, 2015.  These provisions require automatic cuts based on a formula called the “sustainable growth rate.”

Each time these cuts threaten to kick in, Democrats and Republicans alike look for a solution to stop the harmful cuts.  Now Boehner and Pelosi have agreed on a permanent solution, a plan that stops those cuts, but at the unacceptable price of inflicting devastating damage on Medicare.

The Boehner/Pelosi-backed bill, HR 1470 “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2015” is cosponsored by progressive James McDermott (D-WA), anti-Medicare Republican Paul Ryan (R-WI), and seven others from both parties.  The bill would replace the current formula for physician reimbursements with a new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

MIPS is an administrative nightmare, says McCanne.

Expensive consultants will game the system bringing in additional incentive payments while those who work with disadvantaged patient populations will find it difficult to score higher points, predicts McCanne.  Those who serve less wealthy populations will see negative payment adjustments by up to 9%.

MIPS robs from the professionals who are trying to make the system work for their patients and gives the spoils to those who likely have consultants to show them how to game the system, says McCanne.

MIPS will apply only to traditional Medicare, promoting an exodus of physicians from traditional Medicare into the private for-profit Medicare Advantage plans.

The deal would also reward remote patient-monitoring and telehealth as clinical practice improvement activities, reports Darius Tahir of Modern Healthcare.   That can create big bucks for health information technology but does not portend well for patients who need hands on caring professionals.

According to The Hill’s Scott Wong and Peter Sullivan, the deal will be paid for through a combination of means testing — that is, making wealthier seniors pay more for Medicare — and reforms to the supplemental health insurance plans known as Medigap.

Medigap policies would have to make the patients pay the first $250, providing the “skin in the game,” that ugly, inhumane concept so popular with insurance companies. The further means testing of Medicare threatens its broad based popular support as a benefit for all.

“The increased beneficiary cost-sharing included in the SGR reform proposal could work hand-in-hand with the larger House GOP Medicare plan by prodding seniors to choose the lower-cost private Medicare plans envisioned under the budget blueprint. That would advance their long-held goal of turning Medicare into a privatized, means-tested welfare program and getting the government out of the health insurance business,” reports Harris Meyer in Modern Healthcare.

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and known for wanting to shrink government small enough to be drowned in a bathtub, likes the Boehner/Pelosi deal.  Norquist says the “doc fix” deal could be a “model of success” for a larger entitlement deal.

The bill, negotiated in secrecy, is being steamrolled and is predicted to come to a vote this week.  Those who cherish Medicare as our nation’s best yet health program should sound the alarm.  A stab in the heart of Medicare is not a compromise but a complete and disastrous sell-out.

Article originally appeared on Daily Kos.

The Good Soldier – Lunch and Talk
| March 24, 2015 | 10:04 pm | Canada | No comments

Sun., March 29 in Winnipeg: The Good Soldier – Lunch and Talk

Dear Friends,

This may be your last chance to see Joshua Key in person, since the Canadian government is taking steps to deport U.S. military veterans who have spoken out against (and refused to commit) war crimes to lengthy terms in U.S. military prisons. In Joshua’s case, he may be sentenced to decades in a U.S. military prison.

Sunday, March 29, 2:00 pm
The Bulman Centre, University of Winnipeg

Tickets are $25; a late lunch will be served
Children under 12 are free
The funds are badly needed. Please buy a ‘solidarity ticket’ or more if you cannot attend!

Please purchase tickets at:
- Bison Books (cash or cheque), 424 Graham Ave. (at Vaughn)
– Organic Planet (cash or cheque; surcharge for debit), 877 Westminster (at Evanson)
– North End Socialist Centre (cash or cheque), 387 Selkirk Ave. (at Salter) [phone to confirm office hours: 586-7824]
OR through this email: livinginlimbo2014@gmail.com
We’d appreciate an RSVP by or on Friday. Thanks!

Please help by inviting your friends: Forward this email and invite and share this event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1595419437369012/

Hear some well-informed speakers about the campaign to win U.S. military veterans refuge in Canada:

Joshua Key, American veteran and outspoken war resister. Joshua came to Canada in 2005 after serving in the initial invasion of Iraq. He wrote about the atrocities he witnessed in “The Deserter’s Tale” (2007).
Michelle Robidoux, a founding member of the War Resisters Support Campaign.
Alyssa Manning, passionate immigration lawyer who represents U.S. war resisters in Canadian courts.
Dr. Amar Khoday, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

It is clear that the Conservative government is defying public opinion and international law.

Darrell Rankin

Nato’s action plan in Ukraine is right out of Dr Strangelove
 
From China to Ukraine, the US is pursuing its longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass

John Pilger , Thursday 17 April 2014 11.41 EDT

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/17/nato-ukraine-dr-strangelove-china-us?CMP=share_btn_link

I watched Dr Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major TJ “King” Kong goes “toe to toe with the Rooskies” and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it’s left to General “Buck” Turgidson to reassure the president. Strike first, says the general, and “you got no more than 10-20 million killed, tops”. President Merkin Muffley: “I will not go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler.” General Turgidson: “Perhaps it might be better, Mr President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books.”

The genius of Stanley Kubrick’s film is that it accurately represents the cold war’s lunacy and dangers. Most of the characters are based on real people and real maniacs. There is no equivalent to Strangelove today because popular culture is directed almost entirely at our interior lives, as if identity is the moral zeitgeist and true satire is redundant, yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same “invisible government”, as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.

In 1964, the year Dr Strangelove was made, “the missile gap” was the false flag. To build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John F Kennedy approved the CIA’s propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the US in the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This filled front pages as the “Russian threat”. In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in production of the missiles, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato enlargement project. Reneging on a US promise to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand “one inch to the east”, Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato’s military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.
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In February, the US mounted one of its proxy “colour” coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly antisemitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism on the border of Russia. Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler’s Nazis, who were supported by the infamous Ukrainian Insurgent Army (the UPA) which was responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, of which the UPA was the military wing, inspires today’s Svoboda party.

Since Washington’s putsch in Kiev – and Moscow’s inevitable response in Russian Crimea to protect its Black Sea fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the “Russian threat”. This is fossilised propaganda. The US air force general who runs Nato forces in Europe – General Philip Breedlove, no less – claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops “massing” on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures proving there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is certain is that Barack Obama’s rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.

Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, invented a “nuclear rogue” in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy and backed jihadists in Syria, the US finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.

A Nato membership action plan – straight from the war room of Dr Strangelove – is General Breedlove’s gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. “Rapid Trident” will put US troops on Ukraine’s Russian border and “ Sea Breeze” will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, Nato war games in eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia. Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on the US’s borders. Cue General Turgidson.
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And there is China. On 23 April, Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his “pivot” to China. The aim is to convince his “allies” in the region, principally Japan, to rearm and prepare for the possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.

In an arc extending from Australia to Japan, China will face US missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. A strategic naval base is being built on the Korean island of Jeju, less than 400 miles from Shanghai and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the US. Obama’s “ pivot” is designed to undermine China’s influence in its region. It is as if a world war has begun by other means.

This is not a Dr Strangelove fantasy. Obama’s defence secretary, Charles “Chuck” Hagel, was in Beijing last week to deliver a warning that China, like Russia, could face isolation and war if it did not bow to US demands. He compared the annexation of Crimea to China’s complex territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. “You cannot go around the world,” said Hagel with a straight face, “and violate the sovereignty of nations by force, coercion or intimidation.” As for America’s massive movement of naval forces and nuclear weapons to Asia, that is “a sign of the humanitarian assistance the US military can provide”.

Obama is seeking a bigger budget for nuclear weapons than the historical peak during the cold war, the era of Dr Strangelove. The US is pursuing its longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe: a “manifest destiny” made right by might.

• This article was amended on 22 April 2014 to clarify a reference to a US promise that Nato would not expand to the east.

Response to “Bernie Sanders to propose “war tax” amendment to GOP budget”
By A.  Shaw
“Instead of being honest and upfront about their goals, the Republicans have used a number of budgetary gimmicks to cover-up the devastating impact that their budget will have on the lives of ordinary Americans,” Sanders said in a Sunday statement. “I find it particularly offensive that Republicans, who are demanding massive cuts in Medicaid, education, nutrition and health care in order to move toward a balanced budget, have no problem adding $38 billion to the deficit through the off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. That is hypocrisy pure and simple,” 
US reactionaries, about a third of the US electorate and people, have lied so much and so long that most of them are no longer capable of honesty and upfront conduct about their goals or about anything else.
In bourgeois jargon, reactionaries are usually called “conservatives.” About 95% of GOP and about 25% of the DP are reactionaries.
US reactionaries are wildly imperialistic. So, we, the two-thirds of USA people who are good or at least cool, used to think of our reactionaries as people who suffer from a longing to produce  “devastating impacts” on foreigners, not on US citizens. Today, US reactionaries enjoy causing  “devastating impacts” on us — two-thirds of the US people — as much as on foreigners.
An alliance of GOP and DP reactionaries, representing a mere third of the USA, are preparing a budget that will shock and awe the majority of the US people. The proposed cuts in the budget will devastate the mass of the US people.The budget cuts in education are designed to deny access to college to large sectors and strata of the middle class. The budget cuts in education are also designed to deny access to high tech job training to large sectors and strata of the working class, unemployed, and poor.
The slimy US reactionaries want to reduce and, in some cases, deny indigent school kids a lunch at school because  US reactionaries believe “There is no such thing as a free lunch” and “Nobody is entitled to anything.”
But the GOP budget will provide the rich and big companies, especially entities in the military-industrial complex, with free lunches, breakfast, and dinners through tax cuts, larger tax deductions for a wider array of expenses, lavish subsidies, and massive cost overruns on government contracts.
Corrupt reactionaries are preparing to loot the US regime and people of trillions of dollars.
Two principles underlie the proposed GOP budget:
(1) Take from the poor and give to the rich and
Liberals and moderates, two-thirds of US people, are often ineffective in the struggle against ultra-aggressive reactionaries, one-third of the people, because liberals and moderates can’t digest the idea that one-third of the blessed USA consists of raving lunatics and the ultimate in perversity.
As reactionaries grab more and more state power, their public stance becomes “Reactionary, now is the time to expose thyself.”
Bernie Sanders to propose ‘war tax’ amendment to GOP budget that’s bad for middle class
| March 23, 2015 | 9:46 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments

Bernie Sanders to propose ‘war tax’ amendment to GOP budget that’s bad for middle class

Published time: March 24, 2015 00:22

http://rt.com/usa/243405-bernie-sanders-slams-gop-budget/
Sen. Bernie Sander (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Sen. Bernie Sander (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is not a fan of the Republican budget that is working its way through Congress. The self-described democratic socialist believes the GOP budget helps the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor.

“The rich get much richer, and the Republicans think they need more help,” Sanders said on the Senate floor on Monday. “The middle class and the working families in this country become poorer, and the Republicans think we need to cut programs they desperately need.”

The ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee has made his dislike for the GOP budget proposal abundantly clear through his remarks and statements.

“Clearly in the eyes of my Republican colleagues, the wealthy and the powerful and the big campaign contributors need even more help,” Sanders said, noting that “corporate America is enjoying record-breaking profits.” Because of that, the GOP budget “will do nothing to address the massive income equality that this country faces,” he added.

The full Senate is set to take up the budget this week, after it passed out of committee on Thursday. Sanders has been berating the proposal since then.

“Instead of being honest and upfront about their goals, the Republicans have used a number of budgetary gimmicks to cover-up the devastating impact that their budget will have on the lives of ordinary Americans,” Sanders said in a Sunday statement. “I find it particularly offensive that Republicans, who are demanding massive cuts in Medicaid, education, nutrition and health care in order to move toward a balanced budget, have no problem adding $38 billion to the deficit through the off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. That is hypocrisy pure and simple.”

The Vermont senator is expected to propose a war tax amendment to the budget, which would raise taxes on millionaires to finance US military operations, The Hill reported.

“This is an issue that I and others intend to raise forcefully during this week’s debate on the Senate floor. I strongly expect that there will be amendments demanding that Republicans tell us how they will pay for another war,” Sanders said in a Friday statement.

The independent politician claimed that Republican tricks include using the Overseas Contingency Operations fund to significantly increase defense spending; masking the consequences of their policies by calling things “unallocated” cuts and “government-wide” savings; using made up “dynamic” numbers; and dismantling healthcare reform, but retaining the savings and revenues that support the Affordable Care Act.

He also slammed the GOP budget for making student debt worse, ignoring President Barack Obama’s proposals to better educate young students after high school and not asking corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

“While the rich get richer and corporate profits soar, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages,” Sanders said in a statement on Friday. “Despite that, this morally repugnant Republican budget protects those on top who are doing the best while attacking the needs of the most vulnerable – working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.”