Friday, October 3, 2014
If I didn't know better, I'd say that Barack Obama is channeling the spirit of George Orwell. Remember Orwell's classic, 1984? That book easily could be re-issued with the title, 2014. In the dystopian 1984, we have "doublethink", the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously... and accepting both of them. In 2014, we have the Obama Administration one day announcing, "Make no mistake, we are at war with ISIS"; a week or so later, the President claims that it's not really a war. We the People appear to accept both those propositions as true.
Also in 1984, we have "newspeak", a language with constantly shifting meanings of words, invented by the Totalitarian State in order to limit freedom of thought and any threats to the Regime. Concepts opposing the policies of the State are "thoughtcrime". In 2014, as just one example, we have the following. During the nomination hearings for John Brennan as CIA Honcho, an official Justice Department document surfaced indicating that "imminent"---as in "imminent threat"---no longer means "immediate" or "liable to happen very soon"; the definition was changed to something like "may occur sometime in the future". That's why the new Boogie-Man threat, the Khorasan Group, could be called an imminent threat. Another example--- war is no longer war; instead, it's "counter-terrorism". As to "thoughtcrime", we have the Feds banning Gov't employees from reading anything on the website, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/ . Apparently if a Fed employee reads anything there, he/she is guilty of thoughtcrime.
In relation to Obama's drone wars, here's why the Feds claim there are almost no civilian casualties--- ANYONE killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a weaponized drone automatically is designated as an EKIA, enemy killed in action. The only way to change that designation is for someone to prove the victim's innocence. In other words, if you're near the SUSPECTS, then you're guilty until proven innocent. If that isn't Orwellian, I don't know what is. [This info came from a Democracy Now! interview today with Jeremy Scahill, author of the book, Dirty Wars.]
Obama not only says one thing and then does the opposite, he also says one thing and means another. Example of the first--- During his 2008 campaign, "Guantanamo, that's easy... just close it!", followed by cheers from the audience. The Gitmo prison complex still is open. Example of the second--- "ISIL consists of brutal terrorists who are attacking Iraq.". What he means is this: In large part, ISIS consists of former Baathist Generals & other high-ranking officers who were under Saddam and are trying to re-take their country. They were, of course, referred to as "terrorists" by our Feds. Bremer, the Iraq Occupation Czar under Bush, fired all 250,000 Iraqi Army personnel in 2003; by that action, he created a quarter of a million enemies of the USA. Then the al-Maliki puppet government began discriminating against the Sunnis, further inflaming the former Baathist Generals. They launched a civil war years & years ago. It's called Blowback. ISIS is not new.
[A bit of trivia: I find it curious that the Obama Administration insists on referring to the rebels as "ISIL" when everyone else calls them ISIS. The term "Levant" (the L in ISIL) must be especially important to the Administration for some unknown reason.]
Orwell quotes relevant to the current mess---
1. "In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." [by a "potential terrorist"]
2. "Big Brother is watching you." [and today, largely accepted by a propagandized public]
3. "...politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia." [enough said]
4. "All the war propaganda...comes invariably from the people who are not fighting." [Amen]
5. "War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it." [a tough sell, but true]
6. "If everybody believes it, does that make it true?" [today... apparently so]
It would be unfair to blame only Obama for all this--- the lies, the half-truths, the propaganda, the Gov't-Speak, the policies benefitting primarily the Oligarchy, the killing of innocent civilians (including children), the deceit, the ignorance of foreign cultures, the creation of enemies, the hubris, the failure to abide by the Constitution, etc. This all has been going on for decades. That, however, in no way excuses Obama... or the rest of the highest levels of our government.
Not just my opinion. Be Well
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
On 60 Minutes this past Sunday, Our President essentially said this (paraphrased) about the current ISIS war: it's not really a war; instead, it's counter-terrorism. The unmitigated gall of the man finally has surpassed that of Dubya Bush & Dick Cheney...which I didn't think was possible. Mr. Obama, though I am loathe to lecture a President, I shall... simply because you appear to be in dire need of it.
You're not fooling us. We know full well that you recognize the following. When the military of one country crosses borders into other countries and then launches missiles and/or drops bombs, thus killing people and destroying infrastructure, that's known as war. Your attempt to sidestep the issue of your violating the U.S. Constitution by saying it's not really war is grossly pathetic. Incidentally, Mr. President, the NYT's editorial board & a Law Professor who wrote a Times Op-Ed piece agree that you are violating the Supreme Law of the Land. [The fact that the Times agrees is truly monumental.] Just so you know: we know that your latest war propaganda (it's not really a war) is BOGUS. The fact that you have a Constitutional Law background further convinces me that you, as well, know that it's bogus. [Anyone who needs more convincing might want to ask Glenn Greenwald (a former Constitutional Law attorney and present day Pulitzer-Prize-winning independent journalist) about it.]
As to Republicans at the highest levels in our Gov't, you should all be thoroughly ashamed of your lack of action relative to defending the Constitution. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot: both branches (Democrats and Republicans) of the only major political party in the USA---the Mega Transnational Corporatist Party--- abandoned the Supreme Law of the Land decades ago. In spite of that (and because of that), you should all be thoroughly ashamed. You're all apparently putting the State-Corporate Complex ahead of We the People.
After WW II, when the name of the War Department was changed to the Defense Department, someone (I forget who) remarked: that's Gov't-Speak for--- from now on, all our wars will be aggressive (as opposed to defensive) and/or unconstitutional. That person was prophetically correct.
Lastly, as I pointed out in my previous post (with examples), no military can defeat a terrorist organization. History has proven that. [There may be an exception in the record.] Terrorists are criminals; terrorism is a Law Enforcement issue. In general, military personnel are not cops and shouldn't be expected to function as such. Recent illegal wars by the U.S. Fed Gov't serve the primary function of enriching huge, transnational corporations. That is so obvious that it's painful.
[Sidebar--- Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, the journalist who interviewed President Obama, is one of the very, very few Corporate Media employees who exposes the Corporatocracy. Kudos to Mr. Kroft!]
Not just my opinion. Be Well
Monday, September 29, 2014
If it weren't so tragic, it would be absolutely comical.
1. A President decides that he (alone, all by himself) can launch a war.
2. Problem: The Constitution says otherwise. [The NYT's editorial board agrees.]
3. Problem: ISIS is not currently a threat to the U.S. or its allies...except for Iraq, which is finally supposed to be defending itself...and is now engaged in a civil war.
4. Problem: the public is sick to death of unending wars.
5. Problem: this war has no U.N. backing either...just like Bush's war.
6. Problem: mid-term elections are approaching.
There's a new Boogie-Man, more horrible than ISIS, and he's coming to get us!
Any day now!
[Even if that were true, it's a Law Enforcement issue. Besides, History has demonstrated that a military cannot defeat a terrorist organization. Remember British Palestine and the Jewish Irgun? Remember Batista and Castro? Remember Iraq? In the longest war in our history, have we yet defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan?]
The propaganda for this new, current years-long war should be obvious to even the most die-hard Obama worshipper, Fed Gov't lover, and Oligarchy apologist. Come on, people don't really believe this load of crap, do they? It's interesting now that the illegal war has been launched, officials and the Corporate Media have backed off concerning the immediacy of the new threat. Big surprise...not.
By the way, The Intercept website is unique in that the Fed Gov't has banned its employees from reading anything on it. That's a bit like book-burning. Be aware that if you read the article above, most likely you'll run a risk of being considered a "potential terrorist" by the largest terrorist group in the world--- the highest levels of the U.S. Fed Gov't. Of course, you'll be the wrong kind of potential terrorist. Many of us feel that we're free to read whatever the hell we want to in this country, so we go to the site daily. You may not want to take that risk... unless you really desire some independent, non-corporate news. [The Gov't hasn't banned Democracy Now! yet; you also can get non-corporate news there.]
Meanwhile, we're bombing both ISIS and Al Qaida (the Nusra Front) targets in Syria, two groups who hate each other and are rivals. Plus, Human Rights Watch (a fairly conservative rights-watch-group) is calling for an investigation into a U.S. Tomahawk missile strike that allegedly killed five children and wounded other civilians. If it happened that way, once again your tax dollars are killing children...not 500, as in Gaza, but even ONE is too many.
Lastly, the Republicans, the other branch of the Mega Transnational Corporatist Party in the U.S., are no better. The Oligarchy rules.
p.s. I love this Land, but Democrats and Republicans have subverted our Gov't to the point where it's now a soft Fascist Police State primarily serving mega, transnational CORPORATIONS at the expense of the rest of us. We can end this abomination peacefully. STEP ONE: stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid.