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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ENDING THE TYRANNY OF THE BANKSTERS


                                                                           
                                                                   



Ellen Brown recently wrote an article in which she laid out the options for essential changes in the American economic system that will be necessary to survive the coming economic collapse. She sees this as inevitable given the pernicious effects of a shadow banking system that is using wealth sucked up by bankers to create a massive pool of debt that cannot be repaid when the Ponzi scheme inevitably collapses. Many of the proposals she lays out would repair some aspects of the broken system, while others would be transformative, creating a system that could be stable indefinitely.

We cannot accomplish any of the goals Brown sets out in her article without electing a Congress that will put the needs of the People over the desires of corporations and the rich. That is why it is so important for Americans to join the growing movement to make a constitutional amendment to reform campaign finance and abolish corporate personhood a campaign issue. While this would not end the corruption of the US government by banks and other special interests, in electing a Congress that will pass such an amendment, we will put in place men and women who will clearly be willing to deal with the other sources of corruption.

The Populist movement starting in the late 1800s provides useful lessons, as enumerated in Lawrence Goodwyn’s seminal work The Populist Moment, outlined here. I believe that despite its limitations, it culminated in the New Deal because the ideas it introduced into American political thinking remained at the time of the Great Depression. The changes in the system of regulation of finance in response to the economic collapse were largely responsible for the United States entering the  to the greatest era of prosperity in its history. The key to the success was creating a new political consciousness that challenged the political orthodoxy that maintained a system that economically enslaved the vast bulk of Americans.

Most people regard the Populist movement as having failed because the revolution in political thought was insufficient to elect a Congress that would take on the banksters. There are two reasons I think we can overcome this at this point in history.
First, in America at that time people were used to poverty. Until they felt personally empowered and had specific political goals, they were unprepared to take collective action that would translate to political power. The goal of the Populist movement was to create a way for the working man to get credit and cash without depending on private banks who controlled the money supply. We are facing the same issues today. The difference is that Americans are not only seeing no progress in their economic well-being but for the first time since the New Deal, they are experiencing a decline in their standard of living.

Our other advantage is that we have an electronic system of mass communication that the Populists lacked. This will make the essential task of educating the public about what needs to be done to end much the corruption much simpler. The key here is for the leading voices in the modern progressive movement to focus American’s attention on the centrality of the issue of corruption and educate them about how to end it. At the same time, they must point out that since the power of the banksters is responsible for both the corruption of government and the destruction of the economy, we must institute the elements of Brown’s plan. The key reforms are to establish a national bank and take away the ability of private banks to control the money supply. While her other suggestions would put a patch on the broken economic system we have now, these would fundamentally transform the economy.

It may seem that the cause of waking up Americans is insurmountable, but we are on the edge of a great economic crash that will force us to remake our economic system. If we are prepared with a plan to elect a Congress that will do this and alternative media that will promote the idea, we can create a sea change in American politics, economics and society of a magnitude never seen before. That is our only hope for ending the economic slavery that Americans have known for most of their history and most of the world has endured throughout the history of the world.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

UKRAINE'S ROLE IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER: WILL EUROPE RESIST THE REEMERGENCE OF FASCISM?





                                                           
                                                                             
 



Ukraine is where continental Europe will have its last chance to dissociate from the Anglo-American-Israeli Empire before it is too late. The clear intent of the architects of the New World Order is to isolate and dominate Russia by labeling it a state sponsor of terrorism, using unsubstantiated and unsupportable allegations that Russia was responsible for shooting down the Malaysian jetliner.

It is not in the interests of EU nations or their peoples to continue to support the US-led effort to create a global corporate New World Order. In addition to chaining Europe to the Empire's efforts at military domination of the planet, the Trans Atlantic Partnership would be another nail in the coffin of national autonomy and economic liberty. These are the neoconservative and neoliberal sides of the same coin of neofascism.
Americans have lost control of their government. It will take time to unify its people to fight for the cause of representative government, without which peace is impossible. Will Europeans be able to provide a check on the Empire by making their governments act in their interest and say "no!" to the War of Terror and its new target, Russia? Having already lived through the horrors of the last attempt at fascist global conquest, Europe must stand against its revival.
Because of both its history and its economic relationship with Russia, Germany will play a critical role in helping take down the Empire before we are all enslaved in a permanent fascist New World Order.



The following is reposted from Oriental Review,

The US’ MH17 End Game: Shadow NATO in Ukraine and Russia as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’

By Andrew KORYBKO (USA)
The US’ MH17 End Game: Shadow NATO in Ukraine and Russia as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’
The Ukrainian Civil War took a violent and headline-grabbing international turn for the worst on 17 July following the downing of Flight MH17. Although it appears more and more likely that it was the Ukrainian Army that shot it down and not the anti-Kiev Resistance, pro-Western media has been aggressively pushing the narrative that Russia, specifically President Putin, was involved and has been suppressing evidence to the contrary. It has even gone as far as to infer that “Russian-backed separatists” carried out a “terrorist attack”, further upping the propaganda ante. The reason behind this massive information war is that the US wants to “isolate Russia” and expand NATO into Ukraine, something which it has largely been unable to successfully do up until this point. In fact, it appears as though the US is now readying to play its trump card – granting Ukraine major non-NATO ally status and declaring Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, both of which would in turn advance NATO interests and threateningly force the EU to choose whether its destiny lies with the Atlantic or the Continent.
“Operation: Isolation” before Flight MH17
Prior to the downing of MH17, US-led sanctions against Russia were unsuccessful in isolating Moscow. The EU refused to enact any meaningful sanctions that would endanger its $330 billion yearly trade with Russia, thereby mitigating the US’ economic bullying efforts. In fact, the verbal threat of sanctions was actually beneficial for Russia since it motivated the country to look outside of the West for future economic prospects. A historic gas deal with China was signed in May that was worth nearly half a trillion dollars, and in the same month, the Eurasian Economic Union was officially formed. Then, right before 17 July, Putin attended the BRICS conference in Brazil where he met with leaders representing nearly half of the world’s population, and they committed to creatingthe alternative BRICS Development Bank. Clearly, Russia wasn’t going to be isolated by the West.
© Collage: Voice of Russia
© Collage: Voice of Russia
All the while this was happening, the US kept trying to find a backdoor way for incorporating Kiev’s armed forces into NATO, and it found it through its local lackey, Poland. A plan was concocted by Ukraine to create a joint brigade between it, Lithuania, and Poland, with Poland being the key NATO partner involved (Lithuania on its own is almost insignificant in international and military affairs of any kind). The importance here is that Kiev has been institutionalizing the relationship it has with its new strategic partner, Poland, also inviting its former overlord and mercenary-in-arms into the east to assist with “creating new jobs” (read: plundering) in Donbass. What is happening here is that even if the West was unsuccessful in isolating Russia, it could at the very least move as much of its influence eastward to the Russian frontier as it can in order to enact maximum pressure on Moscow.
The “Terrorist” Label and Shadow NATO
Almost immediately after it happened, the MH17 catastrophe was seized upon by Western political opportunists as valuable capital for their geostrategic game. As was mentioned in the first paragraph, pro-Western media outlets immediately laid the blame squarely at Putin’s feet, and this wasn’t coincidental. The objective in doing so has been to generate enough anti-Russian sentiment in Europe so as to justify mutually disadvantageous sanctions (more so for the socially and politically fractured EU, many of whose members are still in recession, than for the economically resolute Russia). The EU, and especially Germany, will only “shoot itself in the kneecaps” as either an emotional or forced response, as to do so under any normal circumstances would be absolutely unreasonable.
Thus, the “terrorist” label entered the discourse.
Petro Poroshenko serving as the US insider even in the presidential position.
Petro Poroshenko serving as the US insider even in the presidential position.
It has now become popular for Western opinion makers to repeat the Kiev slur that the anti-coup Resistance are “terrorists”, emphasizing that they are “Russian-backed” and “supported by Putin”. It doesn’t matter that none of this is true – what is important is that it is repeated as loudly and as often as can be. The result is to acclimate the public into believing that Russia under Putin is a pariah state, much as Newsweek magazine tried to convince their audience with its last hate piece. Poroshenko has taken things even further, likening MH17 to Lockerbie and 9/11 and trying to get Donetsk and Lugansk’s governments on the international terrorist list.
It is only a short leap of “logic” to see the connection between Russia and Putin as terrorist sponsors and the US’ designation of state-sponsor-of-terrorism status onto the country. Such a step would lead to immediate US sanctions and intense pressure on the EU to cut off its major non-energy trade contacts with Russia and fiendishly move towards diversifying away from Russian gas (to say nothing of killing the South Stream project). The US will only take this extreme step if it is sure that it has more influence over Europe than Russia does and that Europe can be convinced to sacrifice its economic well-being for ideological and political reasons (which is not that far-off of a possibility for such an indoctrinated leadership).
Just as before the tragedy, it must be noted that the US is still pursuing the goal of shadow NATO integration with Ukraine parallel to isolating Russia. It is reported that it may be on the cusp of granting Ukraine major non-NATO ally status and even providing pinpoint precision intelligence for attacking anti-Kiev SAM sites. This could rapidly creep into something much more, per the Libya model, especially since US military advisors will be on the ground. Thus, in one fell swoop, by evoking the “terrorist” label, the US can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ – guilt/force the EU into “isolating Russia” (thereby isolating and harming itself as well) and swallow Ukraine into Shadow NATO.
Concluding Thoughts
The US has plainly demonstrated that it is salivating for a Cold War redux with Russia, and once more, Europe is caught in the middle. It is completely contrary to any of its interests for it to participate in this needless and aggressive geopolitical struggle, but as the EU seems wont to do nowadays, it may easily get sucked into it out of misguided ideological and political reasons dictated by the US. In fact, it may have little choice: the US could unilaterally declare Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and then force the EU, whose largest export market is the US and with whom it is negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (which European political elite naively believe will benefit them), into acquiescing to its military occupier’s demands. This wouldn’t “isolate” Russia, which has already made a strong push into the non-Western world since April, as much as it would isolate the EU, but ironically, this may even work in Washington’s favor by crippling its friendly economic rival and keeping it under its thumb for at least another decade.
Moreover, Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” would create a clear dividing line between the West and Russia and could give a renewed hybrid purpose to NATO. Whereas in the Cold War it was an anti-Russian organization and then in the “Global War on Terror” it nominally became an anti-terrorist organization, it may soon carry the new hybrid mission of containing a “terrorist-supporting” Russia. This would also provide enhanced justification to European populations for the deployment of even more US and NATO personnel in Eastern Europe, as well as deeper and faster Shadow NATO integration for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, thereby laying the framework for a Western battering ram into Russia’s Near Abroad. All of this would rightfully alarm Russia, which would then defensively ramp up its multivector cooperation with ‘The Rest’ and BRICS. This would be especially so for its prized strategic partner and fellow Western target, China, potentially creating an eventual de-facto alliance between the two giants out of shared security concerns and transforming the Eurasian strategic landscape.
Andrew Korybko is the American political correspondent of Voice of Russia who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WE ARE ALL UKRAINIANS NOW




                                                                                   

Reading the opinions of so-called experts in the corporate media about what is going on in Ukraine guarantees you won’t have a clue as to what is really happening. Just as they did with the trumped-up case for war with Iraq, they are dutifully repeating the lies about the conflict long after the truth has been exposed. It is important to set the record straight. Until Americans realize that they are living in a nation that is building an empire through war, proxy wars, assassinations and engineered regime change such as in Ukraine, they will not understand why they have to demand an end to it. 

To recap: The US spent $5 billion laying the groundwork for “democratic” change in Ukraine that has resulted in self-proclaimed fascists violently overthrowing its elected government. We know this because of an intercepted phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and a subordinate. Nuland is the wife of a chief architect of the neocon agenda to remake the Mideast through violence, all for the benefit of the international corporations who profit from controlling other nations’ resources and from the military-industrial complex necessary to carry out their plans for global corporate empire.

The regime has been exceedingly violent, creating mobs of Brown shirts to enforce the rule of the coup government. It has used the military to attack and slaughter its own citizens in the east, where the majority are ethnically Russian. This is the same crime that the US condemned Assad for committing in Syria. Though Assad is defending Syria’s national sovereignty against hordes of US and Saudi-backed terrorists, the US casts the finger of blame on him while ignoring the same crimes of the illegitimate government of Ukraine, one that seized power by force with US assistance.

Citizens of nations whose media do not follow the agenda of the corporate empire builders are aghast at the willingness of Americans to accept whatever justification their government gives them for supporting violence from Libya to Syria to Ukraine and beyond. Having been told the truth at last about Hussein’s fictitious weapons of mass destruction, they nonetheless swallowed whole the since-disproven contention that the US “knew” that Syria had used chemical weapons on its own people. The claim made no sense, since Assad himself had called for a UN investigation of a previous claim of chemical weapons attack that almost certainly came from the “rebels.” As Seymour Hersh described in detail, the August attack was clearly a false flag intended to drag the US into attacking Syria directly. Thankfully, General Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, convinced Obama not to fall for the ruse.

Now we have another neocon call for war, joined by so-called liberal pundits. The claim this time is that Russia or Russian-supported rebels shot down a civilian airliner. Just as in Syria, the government expects us to believe that Russia would invite a war even after showing remarkable restraint in failing to invade to protect ethnic Russians on its border. While our nation’s paper of record The New York Times continues to print without challenge the government’s claims, the truth is already out in foreign sources. The coup government hadweapons in place that could have launched the attack, and tweets by an airtraffic controller in Ukraine strongly suggest that the attack was ordered bythe Minister of the Interior.  Apparently, the NYT does not consider that news fit to print.

We have to step back and look at the pattern of misinformation we are being fed. It helps to realize that as documented in The Irregulars, a history of WWII collaboration between British intelligence and the OSS (predecessor of the CIA), US intelligence has long used its influence with major news sources and columnists to purvey its version of the “facts” on foreign affairs. Once you realize that this is still a sanctioned activity of the CIA, it is easy to see how the system of propaganda works. It is currently being used to whip up hysteria about Putin’s alleged plans for Russian world domination. This is an assertion that is preposterous on its face. Anyone who follows foreign affairs knows that the former Russian satellites are almost all working with some EU countries and the US to undermine Russian economically and militarily. Ukraine is the final prize that would allow NATO to place nuclear missiles on Russia’s doorstep.

Prior to WWII, Americans remembered the warning of Washington to “avoid foreign entanglements.” The price for forgetting that is that we too will become subjects of a global elite who are building an empire using our military and economic power. In the words of George Bush, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice….we won’t get fooled again.” Let’s hope for once he was right.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

STOP BITCHING AND START THE REVOLUTION






The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
-Alice Walker


In his seminal work The Populist Moment, Lawrence Goodwyn outlines what it takes to build a genuine grassroots movement for democracy. The Populist movement began shortly after the Civil War, when farmers realized that they were doomed to enslavement by the corporate powers that arose in the aftermath of the war unless they united to use their collective power to defend their interests. After being rebuffed by the overlords of America and the merchants who defended the system for their own gain, they realized that the movement could only gain steam by creating a new political consciousness through educating Americans about how they had been systematically brainwashed into believing that the feudal system that had developed was democratic.

Lacking modern means of communication, Populist leaders began to organize at the local level, empowering lecturers to represent the movement at the local, state and national level. They created an alternative media of newspapers and periodicals to spread their message. Eventually they succeeded at awakening a vast swath of America to the fact that true democracy starts at the grassroots level. It cannot be entrusted to elected representatives beholden to corporate interests who choose who the People get to vote for. The vote only matters when people are willing to abandon the notion that either of the corporate parties represent them and work to elect their own champions. The system cannot be overthrown. It must be changed from within by a People who have learned to question a system that has no resemblance to what they have been taught to believe it is.

Despite stunning success in recruiting farmers tired of being abused for the benefit of the economic elite of their day, creating a cooperative economy proved a daunting task for Populists. Their first goal was to establish a cooperative to sell goods to farmers at a fair rate of interest and to help them sell their products at market rate without extortionate middle men were resisted by the moneyed class. They were stymied when those who controlled the limited money supply refused to accept their collateral for credit necessary to establish their venture. This was when the prevailing political consciousness began to awaken to the degree to which America was in the grip of the bankers and the industries they increasingly controlled. The banksters of the day wielded that power through their control of the supply of both money and credit, just as they do now. This power was more complete than today because under the gold standard, the amount of money available was limited by the amount of gold held by the economic elite.

Today, most spokesmen for change on both the left and right content themselves with complaining about the problems millions of people elsewhere around the world are fighting. There are many more effective ways they could help promote efforts to effectively organize to form a united movement for peace, environmental and economic justice. Fortunately, there are some who are putting more of their efforts into solutions than complaining.

Adam Klugman directed publicity for the Mad As Hell Doctors national tour for single payer in 2009. In 2010, he became the host of Mad as Hell in America. It was perhaps the most radical show on the now-defunct Portland radio station KPOJ, which fell victim to the conservative scheme to take control of the corporate media. The difference between Klugman’s approach and that of more well-known media figures was that when a caller complained about a problem, he demanded that they propose a solution. While most ideas this offered were unrealistic, they did help focus listeners on how to prioritize and strategize for a real democratic revolution.

Most liberal spokespersons lack the vision to offer the truly radical ideas that became part of the Populist manifesto in the late 1880s. Populists realized that they could not escape economic bondage until the government controlled both banks and railroads, the industries that at that time extorted most of what little cash was available to farmers. They proposed that the government nationalize the banks and the railroads and take back the power to create fiat money that would provide the means for a growing population to prosper as America grew.

In the modern era, one of the chief economic spokesmen for the left proposed just this in the wake of the collapse of the American and world economies by the banksters. In little-remembered articles in Rolling Stone and his New York Times column, Paul Krugman called for nationalizing banks. Of course, just as he stopped advocating for single payer when the Democrats made it clear they would not challenge the interests of the Wall Street-controlled medical insurance industry, he retreated to a position supporting Democratic half-measures. There is little doubt that he feared stepping too far from the corporate line might further marginalize his limited influence on economic policy discussions.

The root of the problems we face is corruption of the US government. The most powerful of those who control it are those who control the money supply today. Wall Street criminals have been given a pass by the Department of Justice. The Attorney General is a former partner in the infamous corporate defense firm Covington and Burling, which represented many of the Wall Street types he is in charge of holdling responsible to the law. His priority remains protecting bankster interests while making a show of enforcing the law, levying fines that are considered a cost of doing business and prosecuting corporations instead of their CEOs. Banks and other financial institutions control essentially all the only industries that generate profits and are busy trying to privatize government and the commons. To deal with the problems their depredations have caused, Americans must end the corruption. That should be the focus of the efforts of both conservatives and liberals.  For every problem they bitch about, they should point out the solution: ending the power of corporations and the wealthy to determine who Americans can choose from to represent them.

There are many ways to approach the problem of cleaning up corruption. There is a movement coalescing around these ideas. Americans need to understand that fighting corruption is not just another issue on a list of thousands. It needs to be highlighted on every talk show and “alternative” news outlet remaining. We need a constitutional amendment establishing that money spent to influence politics is not speech and that corporations do not have constitutional rights of people. Such an amendment is favored by roughly 80% of both liberals and conservatives. This is only one of two essential steps. We also need a slate of reform legislation like that proposed in the American Anti-Corruption Act. To get them, Americans must make support for fighting bankster control of government a campaign issue in 2014 and beyond until they elect a Congress that will pass both.

This is the core of the global democratic revolution that is the only hope for liberty and justice for our children and their posterity. Let’s quit bitching and start the revolution.
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