Archive for EU

Brexit Madness: Propaganda and Hyperbole

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2016 by jtoddring

 

The media is screaming that the world will end if Britain really does leave the EU. The absurdity of this now-standard narrative should be clear from the outset to anyone of sound mind. But in case it is not, let us say this.

The EU has been taken over by the European Central Bank and the Western banking elite. The EU has proven it is not only an undemocratic organization, but a positively, and rabidly, anti-democratic organization.

To repeat what should be obvious and known to all, but which has been glossed over and completely ignored, the actions of the EU against Greece, and especially Italy, have proved beyond any trace of doubt that the EU is rabidly anti-democratic.

The troika, as they are called, which is the de facto government of the EU — the European Council, the European Central Bank and the IMF — were not satisfied with a right wing billionaire as prime minister of Italy. He was not right wing enough, and not compliant enough with the banking elite who now rule over Europe and most of the world. So they overthrew the democratically elected government of Italy, and installed a government appointed by the troika, composed, not surprisingly, of unelected banking elites, loyal to the EC, the ECB and the IMF, and in complete contempt for both democracy and the people of Italy.

Given these undeniable facts, and given that the EU has proven itself to be fiercely anti-democratic, and the enemy of democracy, the EU must be opposed, and all other considerations are flatly irrelevant.

Putting the question of Brexit, or a British exit from the EU, into this context, and in light of these most central facts, we should be able to see that whatever the risks of leaving the EU, in terms of possible negative economic effects, for example — which, by the way, are all hyper-inflated, and vastly exaggerated, and largely a lot of hot air and hyperbole — the risks cannot outweigh the value of democracy: if, that is, we value democracy at all.

If you value democracy, you must oppose the EU. If you value democracy and support the EU, then I would say you are living in a dream world.

So the question is, what is the bigger danger: an exit from the EU, with potential, though far from certain, negative effects; or effective rule by the ECB and the banking elite, and the effective nullification and destruction of sovereignty, democracy and freedom? I think any sane person can answer that question instantly, and without hesitation.

Leaving the EU presents a far lesser risk than remaining subservient to and subjugated by the ECB and the banking elite. Leaving the EU will not immediately grant freedom or independence from the banking elite, but it is one step closer to it; while remaining in the EU guarantees that the troika will continue to rule, the ECB, the IMF and the banking elite will continue to rule, and sovereignty, democracy and freedom will all continue to be eviscerated and crushed.

As Public Enemy said, “Don’t believe the hype.”

As an aside, and as a secondary consideration, we can say this about the economic prospects for Britain, either in or out of the EU.

Membership in the EU has not proven to be the holy grail of economic miracles, as it was proclaimed to be. In fact, entrance into the EU has brought nothing but economic stagnation for many nations. Italy, for example, is about to follow the path of Greece, and is in serious trouble economically — Italy, a once-great economic power. For the past decade Italy’s economy has been almost completely stagnant — in fact, it now ranks in the bottom three nations for economic stagnation globally. All sing the praises of the EU now. The central, and fundamental questions of democracy, sovereignty and freedom aside, any perceived or imagined economic benefits that might be derived from membership in the EU are dubious at best — and purely fictional at worst, and in most cases.

Secondly, if any negative economic fallout does happen in a serious or major way as a result of Britain leaving the EU — beyond the market correction for the ill-advised speculation and wide-spread gambling on the part of investors that Britain would vote to remain in — it will most likely be the result of the Western elite punishing the people of Britain for their defiance of the troika and the ruling cabal, and seeking a path to greater independence.

Thirdly, and most important, in terms of economic considerations at least, Britain’s economic woes are exactly the same as those shared by virtually every other Western nation: namely, they are the result of neoliberal policies of corporate globalization. Remaining in or leaving the EU has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is neoliberalism and corporate globalization which are the roots of the problem, both in terms of democracy, and also in terms of simple economics.

Look at the numbers.

Since the economic crash of 2007–2008 — which I predicted, by the way, while virtually everyone was saying that things are just rosy, and would continue to be rosy — 95% of the new wealth created has gone to the richest 1%.

The trillions of dollars in “stimulus” programs and bail-outs, which in reality represent a mass theft, and one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the people to the elite in history, has done nothing but line the pockets of the already astronomically rich — mainly the banking elite and their cronies.

A recent systems analysis from Switzerland confirmed the obvious: a small group of large corporations, roughly 40, mainly banks, effectively control the global economy.

A recent study from Princeton also confirms the obvious: the US is no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy, and the bottom 99% of the population have little to no influence on public policy — exactly as with Britain, the EU, and most nations of the world, where transnational corporate powers have effectively taken over the nation-states.

And a report released by Oxfam this year confirms that neoliberalism and corporate globalization has failed utterly in its stated aims of lifting all boats, benefiting all people, and reducing poverty: the poorest half of humanity lost nearly half its wealth in the past few years alone — to the richest 1%, who now control 99% of the wealth of the planet, while the richest 68 people on earth now have as much wealth as the poorest half.

We are being driven at break neck speed, by corporate globalization and neoliberalism, or class warfare enacted by the super-rich upon the rest, to put it more directly, into a global neo-feudal order and a new dark age. And of course, in that context, it is the merger of business and the state which is central — which, as Mussolini said, is corporatism, or what he called, the proper term for fascism. This is the central context, and anyone who does not see it yet must be living under a rock.

If Britain had someone like Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, or Tony Benn, then some serious economic stimulus and economic recovery could become a real possibility, and a reality, along with a recovery of sovereignty, democracy, and freedom from virtual serfdom under the neo-feudal banking cartel. But instead, Britain has had forty years of the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, which are two sides of the same coin of corporate rule, and that is why the economy, like the democratic process, is shattered, and in dust and ruin.

Britain, like the US and Canada, has for the past 40 years gone head-long into a corporate-style globalization, where manufacturing, production, and profits, are off-shored, and shipped to China and other low-wage nations, for the sake of higher corporate margins and yields, and greater wealth for the elite who control them. The results have been predictable: de-industrialization, massive unemployment, the destruction of the middle class, soaring poverty and inequality, and the general “third-worldization” of the formerly wealthy Western nations, as Noam Chomsky has called it.

In other words, it is the feeding frenzy of the elite and the policies enacted by their political prostitutes which have wreaked economic devastation on Britain and the rest of the world. Blaming Brexit for such structural and systemic problems is utterly foolish, or else utterly deceitful.

The greatest danger facing the world today is the Western power elite — namely, the banking elite, the other corporate elites, and the Western political elite in the US, the EU and Canada, among other nations, who loyally serve their corporate masters. They are at war with democracy, civil liberties, freedom, constitutional rule, international law, the overwhelming majority of the people, and the earth itself. Not only that, but the war on democracy, the people and the earth, which is escalating daily to ever greater levels, and which is global, not only threatens to destroy and eliminate all remnants of democracy, sovereignty, civil liberties and freedom, along with justice and equality, and not only is it racing towards a dark age of neo-feudalism, and to the total destruction of any decent future for humankind on earth, due to severe and growing ecological malfeasance and environmental pillaging; but furthermore, the same rabidly anti-democratic elite are pushing us ever closer to world war, and to nuclear holocaust.

In this context, to pander to paranoia on lesser issues, almost trivial issues by comparison, or at least, comparatively minor issues, such as whether or not Britain leaves or remains in the EU, is not only foolish in the extreme, but positively insane — that, or it is simple propaganda. On these facts we should be perfectly clear.

J. Todd Ring,
July 13, 2016

 

 

In or Out? Democracy, the EU, and the Fate of the Earth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by jtoddring

The people of Britain have now voted to leave the EU. That vote has deeper and more far-ranging consequences than many people realize. Among other things, it means the beginning of the dissolution and death of the EU. And I would say that is a very good thing, for the reasons I’ve outlined here.

The following article was written, in the main, before the British vote on whether or not to remain in the EU. Now that the people have chosen, the issue becomes even more relevant, because the viability of the EU, and the desirability of any nation remaining in the EU, has come even more into question. This is only the beginning of the debate, and far from the end. And no, it is not about racism or xenophobia, at least for any sane person — it is about democracy and sovereignty, versus rule by the ECB and the banks, which is what the EU now represents.

Europe has nearly a billion people within it. And of course, Europe is also a major economic, military and cultural super-power. Europe and North America, to state the obvious, represent the major centres of the Western empire, just as Russia and China represent the major centres of what can be called the Eastern empire. What happens in any of these four world-dominant regions is therefore deeply significant, and has profound influence, and profound impacts, for the entire world. We should, therefore, be awake to what is going on in Europe and the other major centres of world power. Otherwise, we are simply sleep-walking into disaster.

*

The impulses towards independence, freedom, sovereignty, authentic democracy and self-determination are wise as well as entirely legitimate. Calling such impulses nativism, as is happening, simply clouds the issues. We must separate out the issues of racism and xenophobia, which are thoroughly disgusting and which have no place in any informed or intelligent discussion, from the issue of freedom and democracy, versus corporate rule, excessive centralization of powers, or oligarchy. If we cannot do that, then we cannot talk intelligently about what is happening in Europe, or anywhere for that matter.

Nativism is a term being thrown about because the term nationalism is too dangerous now. Nationalism might invoke thoughts of sovereignty, self-determination, democracy, freedom or independence, and these are rightly viewed by the majority of people world-wide as good things. So the term nationalism has been dropped, in favour of the more emotionally charged term of nativism, which invokes thoughts of racism, xenophobia, and a narrow and ignorant parochialism. But such talk and such jingoism simply skirts the issues of freedom, sovereignty and democracy, which remain the central issues, and it clouds the issues in very real, and severe ways.

The troika’s actions in Greece, and especially in Italy, where the ECB and the bankers essentially staged a coup, overthrew and removed a democratically elected government, and replaced it with an appointed government of banking elites, show that the EU is no longer democratic in any remote definition of the term, but has been taken over by the ECB and the banking elite, as Gerald Celente and others have said. That being considered, I would say that staying in the EU is absolute insanity. Unless you wish to be ruled by the European Central Bank and Goldman Sachs, you must oppose the EU, and seek to leave it, and now. And that has nothing to do with racism or xenophobia, and everything to do with democracy.

There is, clearly and undeniably, a slow-motion global corporate coup which is underway, a fact which of course is well-known to many people. And the global corporate coup is gaining momentum, and is accelerating. In short, the business elite want to own and rule the world. This is nothing new. We have seen this kind of infantile grandiosity, unfettered greed, egomania and power-lust many times before. But it is no less dangerous simply because it is not new.

The EU, the ECB and the IMF, or the troika, as they are called, have become, or have long been, instruments of the on-going corporate coup. This must be recognized, clearly, and unflinchingly. They are no more democratic than Goldman Sachs is democratic. These are institutions of pyramidal, elite control, and elite rule. They are institutions, not of freedom, equality, solidarity and democracy, but of oligarchy, plutocracy, and corporate neo-feudalism.

The same is true, of course, with regards to many other major organizations, agreements and centres of power in the world today: almost all of the biggest ones have become, or have long been, instruments of elite rule, and instruments of corporate power — and instruments of the unfolding corporate take-over of the world. These include the privately owned US Federal Reserve, the private central banks of most nations, the BIS, which is the central bankers’ central bank, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the SPP, and the so-called trade agreements, which are in truth corporate rights agreements, including the TTP, TTIP, CETA and NAFTA. And of course, the neoliberal ideology and agenda (or propaganda narrative, as it more accurately should be described) props them all up and underpins them all. All of these instruments of the rising neo-feudal, rabidly anti-democratic, and truly, crypto-fascist global corporate take-over, and de facto corporate rule, must be questioned, challenged, resisted, seen for what they are, and thoroughly rejected and defeated. And this includes the EU.

Over two hundred years ago, in 1812, Thomas Jefferson warned of the rising powers of the corporations, and what he called, “the new moneyed aristocracy” which controls them. He said, “I hope we shall crush the new moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it bids defiance to our laws, and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.” We failed to listen then, and we have failed to listen since, and we are reaping the dark rewards.

The moneyed aristocracy have taken over, the war on democracy and freedom is almost won — meaning, the people lose, and the oligarchy wins — and we are now entering a new feudal age, where the banking and other corporate elites control and rule the world. And yet, the obvious truth of this fact is still dismissed, marginalized, minimized or overlooked, while we focus on secondary and derivative issues. This is the central issue of our time: freedom and democracy are being systematically destroyed by a slow-motion global corporate coup. And yet, we are asleep at the wheel, while heading for disaster. Worse, we are not even at the wheel. We are allowing the corporate elite and their political prostitutes to drive us into a new dark age, and into extinction, while we yawn, or bicker over what are, by comparison, distractions.

As the leading Canadian environmental scientist, David Suzuki has said, “We’re racing toward a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, and everyone is arguing over where they’re going to sit.”

What we need to be doing, above all, is to change course, and the most central and urgent course correction that must be made, if human beings are to survive, is for us to halt and reverse the global corporate coup which is undeniably taking place right now, as we speak. And to do that, we must strengthen, at least temporarily, the nation-state and national democracies, as Chomsky has also said, along with the democratic process at the level of the province or state, and at the level of local municipal governments. The EU, like the SPP, the IMF, the BIS, the WEF and the corporate rights agreements, run precisely counter to these most central and urgent tasks and goals, and so, must be opposed and rejected.

Above all, we need to restore power to the people, not remove it further from their hands. We need to halt the greatly excessive concentration and over-centralization of power, not aid and abet and further it.

(As an important aside, it should be noted, for libertarians and anarchists in particular — and I would, with some qualifications and reservations, count myself among the latter, along with Chomsky, Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Bookchin, Kropotkin, Huxley, Orwell and many others: we must accept that it is now critical to support at least a temporary strengthening and defence of national democracies and the nation-state, as Chomsky has also said; because if we do not, the result will not be freedom, but simply tyranny and empire of a new kind, and a de facto global government, as the business press has called it, of the global corporate empire and its institutions. If these facts are not perfectly clear, then frankly, we are not dealing with the real world, and we should leave all discussion about politics or social issues to people who do not live in a cloud, but who have their feet firmly planted on the earth.)

The central pattern, or essential nature of the new global corporate empire, is five-fold. It represents a further hyper-concentration of wealth and power in the world, far beyond anything we have ever seen in recorded history. It represents the inevitable corollary of staggering and truly astronomical inequality. It represents a war on democracy, freedom and constitutional rule, and the replacement of democracy, freedom and constitutional law with oligarchy and neo-feudalism. It represents an increasingly violent militarism and a deeply Orwellian global surveillance state, since the overwhelming majority of the people world-wide are suffering immensely from the corporate empire, and oppose it, and so, must be forcibly restrained from overthrowing it. And it represents as rapacious looting and pillaging of humanity and the earth, which is driving us rapidly into a dark age and into extinction. And all of these central features of the new corporate empire, and all of these trends, are accelerating. This is the central thrust of human civilization, if you can call it that, at this time, and it must be firmly addressed, and now.

We need to oppose and reject the instruments of corporate power which are furthering the hyper-concentration of power in society and the on-going global corporate coup. And the major instruments of corporate power and global corporate rule now include (1) the EU, the SPP, the IMF, the World Bank, the BIS, the Fed and WEF — which are the major institutions of global corporate rule; (2) the military-industrial-security complex, which acts as the armed guard of the global corporate empire; (3) the great majority of the media, which is the empire’s primary propaganda division; (4) neoliberalism, which is the ideology, agenda, and propaganda narrative of global corporate rule; and (5) the corporate rights agreements such as the CETA, NAFTA, TTIP and the TTP, which provide the anti-democratic, unconstitutional, and illegal, legal framework for the global corporate empire, and which give corporations powers over and above democratic governments, and essentially render democratic government null and void, or eviscerated and destroyed. These are the simple facts of the matter, and we must be clear about them. We cannot afford to be distracted or muddy in our thinking, or we are lost.

*

The activist group, Avaaz, recently involved itself in the question of whether Britain should leave or remain in the EU. And I have never seen a worse muddying of the issues. Avaaz framed the issue as a question of xenophobia versus love — if you favour love, then you will vote to remain in the EU, but if you want to leave the EU, then you must of course be xenophobic. Not only is this a radical oversimplification of the issues, but it is thoroughly misleading, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. It is appalling behaviour for an organization that claims to be one of the world’s leading activist groups, or even, ridiculously, the leading activist group in the world.

There are good reasons, and very valid reasons, for wanting to leave the EU, and none of them have anything to do with racism or xenophobia. Moreover, just because some people who are xenophobic have argued for leaving the EU, does not mean that any person who wants an exit from the EU must therefore be xenophobic, or that if we are we not xenophobic, we must therefore wish to remain in the EU. An eight year old can understand such distinctions. And we should too.

We must separate out the issues of racism and xenophobia from the issues of democracy and freedom. The EU is now antithetical to democracy and freedom, and has proven that it is in fierce opposition to democracy and freedom, as its actions in Italy and Greece have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt. To remain in the EU, considering these undeniable facts, would, for this reason, be foolish in the extreme. And that has nothing to do with xenophobia.

Donald Trump apparently favours Britain leaving the EU, and therefore, much of the left feels compelled to take the opposite position of Trump, out of a knee-jerk reaction. But such reactionary tendencies are infantile, and foolish in the extreme. The left is general clueless, and only slightly less so than the right, so we should have no concern for what the left thinks about anything. Following the crowd is for pre-pubescent school children, not for thoughtful adults. And a narrow-minded thinking that presumes guilt by association is equally foolish. We must judge issues on a case by case basis, and not simply follow this camp or that, follow the herd, or form our opinions based on reactionary thinking.

Just because some orange-haired, racist and xenophobic buffoon takes on a certain position, does not mean that we must automatically take the opposite position. Sometimes even morons get it right, even if they get it right for the wrong reasons. Trump is right in calling for Britain to leave the EU — he is just wrong about the reasons why Britain should leave. Democracy, freedom, sovereignty and self-determination are the valid reasons to leave the EU. And even though Trump is a fool, he is right in calling for an exit. And to call for an exit from the EU does not mean, to belabour what should be an obvious point, that one is therefore, by necessity, either xenophobic, or a supporter of right wing crackpots like Trump.

I’m not sure how much more clearly it can be spelled out. The issue of the EU and whether to remain in or to leave it, seems to have become so clouded by dim-witted reactionary gibberish — from the left as well as the right — that it is difficult to clear away the fog. But we must try. And as I have said, this is merely the beginning of the debate on the nature, viability, and desirability of the EU, and not by any means the end.

*

When the European Union was first tabled publicly as an idea, as a proposal, I followed the debate about it to some extent, and reflected on it deeply. And I concluded then, that the European Union would be an over-centralization of power, and the result would be an undermining of both freedom and democracy. And that is exactly what the EU has proven to be. Now, with the ECB, the banking elite and the troika clearly in charge, the EU has proven beyond all doubt that it has no allegiance to either freedom or to democracy, but only to the interests of the ruling corporate elite, and in particular, to the banking elite. To be unaware of these facts, or to deny them, minimize or gloss over them, is the height of foolishness; and it is a very dangerous, as well as irresponsible and dismal state for one to be in, at that.

When power in society is highly concentrated and centralized, then freedom, democracy, and the self-determination of the people, the ability of people to shape their own lives and choose their own destiny, become hollow, meaningless, and lost, as oligarchy, empire and elite rule replace democracy, freedom, and a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Therefore, if we value freedom or democracy, we should oppose all forms of excessive centralization or concentration of power in society, because that is antithetical to both freedom and democracy. This should be politics 101. These things should not have to be said, but it seems they do.

Chomsky has said that at this point in human history, with an environmental crisis growing rapidly and exponentially, literally ever day, and with the ruling corporate powers blocking all serious change, democracy becomes, not only a value to be preserved, but in all likelihood, a matter of survival. I could not agree more. And we had better realize the fact sooner than later, or we are finished. Whatever is blocking authentic, functioning, constitutional democracy, must be shattered, moved aside, abandoned, rejected, or otherwise overcome, or we are going to see a dark age ahead, followed closely by human extinction. Again, these are the simple facts of the matter, and we had best be perfectly lucid, unflinching, and clear about them.

Thomas Jefferson and Aldous Huxley, two of the most astute political writers I have ever encountered, both said that if we value freedom or democracy — as we should, if we are at all sane — then we must prevent any form of excessive concentration or centralization of power in society, for that surely is the road to tyranny, and the destruction of both freedom and democracy. Yet we have allowed exactly that to happen, slowly, over the past two hundred years since the birth of modern democracy, and in particular, over the past four decades since the birth of neoliberalism and corporate globalization.

And what are the forms of excessive concentration and centralization of power in the world today? Well, the obvious one is the global take-over by big business and the corporate elite. And closely related to that global corporate coup — which we can still reverse, and overturn, if we have the presence of mind and the will, the spine, to do so — are the organizations and agreements which serve to expand and consolidate corporate powers, over and above democracy and the power of the people.

The major forms of excessive concentration and centralization of power in the world today are the organizations and agreements which in general serve the ruling corporate oligarchy, and which in practice, though not in rhetoric, function to expand or to consolidate global corporate powers and global corporate rule, and of course, with the result being the effective death of liberty, democracy and constitutional law. These include the EU, the SPP, the Bank for International Settlements and the private central banks, including the Fed, along with the IMF, the World Economic Forum, and the corporate rights agreements which are being driven down the people’s throats. And all of them should be opposed — must be opposed — if we value either freedom or democracy, as we should.

*

Liberty, equality, solidarity, and democracy are values worth preserving. Without them, we will have only tyranny, and a hastened rush towards self-destruction and global ecological holocaust. It is not now, liberty or death, in the sense that liberty is precious enough to risk death — but more starkly, liberty or death have become our only alternatives. We need to reflect hard and deeply on this, and now, because we are losing all that we have struggled for, over the past 200-some years since the birth of modern democracy; and worse, we are losing everything we have gained over the past 800 years, since the signing of the Magna Carta. The stakes could not be higher, and ignorance and illusion must be shattered, before we destroy ourselves, as well as our liberty, completely.

While the people of the United States decide which demagogue, corporate puppet or psychopath they will elect as president, or whether, if they are sensible, they will elect a genuine populist, and friend and servant of the people, the people of Europe must contend with one central question above all, and that is, how they will respond to the troika, which represents the new Royal Court, at least for the region, of global neo-feudal corporate rule. The choices, in both cases, I would say are abundantly clear. And there is no time to delay in our response.

JTR,
June 17, 2016

Post-Script:

Neoliberalism is the ideology and agenda of the unfolding global corporate coup, and the de facto, global, neo-feudal corporate rule which is emerging from it. It has to die.

Constitutional democracy may be severely flawed, but oligarchy, or plutocracy, is most definitely far worse. And as Mussolini said himself, corporatism is the proper term for fascism, which is the merger of business and the state — and that is what neoliberalism, and the global corporate empire that it upholds, represents. We should have no illusions about it.

Neoliberalism, in essence, is the ideology of global corporate rule — and the corporate globalization which is driving us into a neo-feudal global corporate rule. It must be resisted, opposed, firmly rejected, and relegated to the trash bin of history. It is an ideology which is under attack, under heavy criticism, and which is dying. But it is still dangerous, and it still has the support of the ruling class, which is the billionaire class of the international business elite, and their prostitutes in political office, academia and the media. And it is an ideology which must be killed, before it kills the planet, and all life on it.

Yes, the power elite always want to protect themselves and their interests, and a major component of that is to deflect criticism. That’s why we have the “war on terrorism”, and a state of permanent war, as Orwell understood very well. And the loyal servants to the power elite, such as the corporate media, along with much of the academy, play that role routinely and habitually, slavishly, whether they are conscious of it or not.

We all have both power and responsibility, but clearly, some individuals have more power than others, and thus, a greater responsibility for the crimes and injustice we see in the world.

An example may help to clarify. I think the other role for such a web site as the one recently created by CNN, titled, Slavery Footprint, which is indicative of the problem, is to accustom people to the idea that there are slaves and there are the privileged – and that is perfectly acceptable, we are supposed to believe, or come to accept. It is an assault on compassion, empathy, human solidarity and community, and on all moral sentiments.

A central driving force of the propaganda system, as Chomsky has said, is not just to sow fear and division — following the central maxim of all empires, which is to divide and conquer — and to isolate the people from one another so that they will be disempowered and thus easily controlled; but also, to destroy their sense of compassion, empathy, human sympathy, love and mutual aid, so that no such unity of the people can arise to oppose the imperial powers.

So the ruling power elite, as the great sociologist C. Wright Mills phrased it, who are the global corporate elite, along with their puppets and propagandists in government and the media, promote narcissism, nihilism, materialism, consumerism, vanity, egocentrism and callousness, as well as fear and division, illusion and distraction, demoralization and mass disempowerment of the people.

It is simply an evolution, or devolution, of the ancient imperial strategy: divide and conquer. Dehumanize, demoralize, disempower, distract, delude, and divide the people, and they will be easily manipulated, and the power elite can rule as god-kings. That is the basic game plan, and that is the truly sociopathic thrust of the brave new world of global neo-feudal corporatism under which we now live.

*

Avaaz does good work. It is also in the wrong at times. This is one case. The EU has been taken over by the ECB and the banking elite, as the banker’s coup in Italy proved, where the banking elite overthrew a democratically elected government and installed a government run by and for bankers, as Gerald Celente has said. To remain in the EU is not an act of love — it is an act of foolishly misreading the situation, and dangerously so.

The banking elite run Britain too, along with the EU and most of the world, but to allow a further continuation of hyper-concentration and over-centralization of power in society is disastrous, and the road to tyranny. The best chance we have to halting the slow-motion global corporate coup is by restoring the powers of constitutional democracy within nation states, and to stop the dissolution of nation-states and national democracies into globalist power blocks, such as NAFTA, the SPP and the EU.

Allowing power to be ever further removed from the hands of the people, through an ever-greater centralization and concentration of power in society, will only aid the infantile, yet extremely dangerous dreams of global empire, which the new corporate elite, like their predecessors, hold dear.

We need to bolster the power of elected constitutional democracies on the level of the nation-state, the provincial or state level, and the level of municipalities and local governments. What we do not need is a further centralization of power. Power is already overly centralized, and already concentrated in too few hands to be either safe or democratic. And a further concentration and centralization of power, as is happening in the EU as well as with the so-called trade deals, is only helping the banking and other corporate elites to further their agenda of global domination and anti-democratic, neo-feudal elite rule.

For these reasons, the EU, as it stands now, which is as an instrument for elite corporate powers — along with the IMF, WEF, BIS, and the corporate rights deals such as CETA, NAFTA, TTIP and the TPP — must be rejected, and abolished.

Solidarity, yes. Cooperation and trade, yes. Openness and friendly relations with all, yes. But, grossly excessive, unaccountable, and undemocratic centralization of powers in the hands of a tiny global elite? No. Absolutely not. Therefore, the EU must go, and the people must reject it.

Nukes, world war, Dr. Strangelove and global showdown – Where’s Slim Pickins when you need him?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by jtoddring

So the end-game plan for the US/NATO/EU alliance and the Western oligarchs and plutocratic elite who control it, in their bid to consolidate their present and highly precarious global dominance, seems to be, after encircling Russia and China with military bases and nuclear missiles, to eliminate Russia’s first strike response capability – which means, in particular, launching nuclear missiles from close range into Russia (say, from a newly acquired Ukraine, among other US/NATO/EU bases already circling Russia) to destroy their nuclear arsenal, leaving the US/NATO/EU alliance and the Western corporate elite who rule it, as the unrivaled and unchallengeable super-power and ruling global empire of the world. And all it would take would be a willingness to wipe out a hundred and forty-five million Russians and most of the Eurasian continent, and make the entire Northern Hemisphere of the globe uninhabitable for the next 100,000 years.

Brilliant! Sounds like something straight out of Dr. Strangelove. I think Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney must have thought this up. I’d say John McCain, but I’m not sure that guy can even tie his own shoes.

No wonder I have trouble seeping at night.

I have to watch Dr. Strangelove again, and work hard for peace, while praying that we end this reign of empires and all its madness, before it puts an end to us.

JTR,
March 7, 2014

 

Ukraine: CIA coup, geopolitical analysis, and WWIII

Posted in activism, American politics, analysis, Barack Obama, books, Brzezinski, Bush, class, corporatism, coup, democracy, elite, empire, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, imperialism, money, Obama, peace, police state, policy, political economy, politics, politics of oil, right, Russia, sovereignty, U.S., war on democracy with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by jtoddring

Important facts about Ukraine, 2014 – that the major media won’t tell you

 

We often hear, at least from the more reputable businesses out there – and there are some, despite the trends in the opposite direction, led by the ruling corporate oligarchs – that you should “do your research before you buy.” How much more important is it that we do our research before we buy the official story told by political elites and their media presstitutes, than doing our research before we buy a new car? We need to look behind the headlines and the sound-bites – and this is arguably more important with regards to the situation in Ukraine, than it was even before the launch of the war in Iraq. We saw what a fiasco the war in Iraq turned out to be, what a quagmire it became, and what lies were spun to rationalize and justify the US invasion of a sovereign nation – over oil reserves and corporate profits for the already astronomically rich ruling 0.001%. Over a million people were killed in Iraq – mainly women, children and innocent civilians – as a result of war, devastation of critical infrastructure and brutally inhumane sanctions. The case with Ukraine is even more ominous. Ukraine could become the flash-point, quite literally, for WWIII. We, the people, absolutely must be aware of what is really going on there. The stakes are immeasurably high, and the situation is in a critical state, right now, as we speak.

When I first saw headlines and images about popular protests in Ukraine, I thought, “Wonderful – the people are standing up for democracy in Ukraine, and exercising their democratic power;” but I immediately thought afterward, “We’ve seen events misrepresented and completely distorted in the Western media many times before, so I will not assume anything, until I look into it more deeply for myself.” Being busy with a number of things already, and it being an impossibility to follow every event, or even every major event, in every country around the world, it took me some time to get around to digging behind the headlines of the mainstream media. When I finally did, I was not surprised at what I found; but what I found was troubling, and very disturbing, to say the least. Here are my findings from a first look behind the curtain of the media spin machine.

But from the outset, let me say this. The more I look behind the headlines into what is actually going on in Ukraine, the more I wonder if the neo-cons who still rule Washington – Obama being the leading offender and buffoon-in-chief – are actually trying to create a war between Russia and NATO: which would be, of course, the beginning of WWIII. They may just be that mad. Certainly, they are risking the outbreak of world war, whether that was the intention or not. This is sheer madness. And the Western media will give you no honest information about it.

 

Important facts about Ukraine, 2014:

1. The United States and Western Europe – or at least, the business, financial and political elite who rule this part of the world – have been trying to restore Russia to its traditional role as a purposefully underdeveloped backwater colony of the West – a resource base and source of cheap labour – ever since the Russian Revolution of 1917. And ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Western powers have been encircling Russia militarily, as NATO has encroached further and further East, swallowing up 12 nations into its sphere of influence that had formerly been aligned with Russia. Now, in Ukraine, the Western powers are on Russia’s doorstep, and Russia is not very happy about it, and with good reason. If we do not understand this larger context, then we understand nothing about what is happening in Ukraine, or anywhere in Eurasia, for that matter.

2. The basic game, the primary motives and modus operandi for the American Empire, for the European great powers, and for the Western corporate empire, which has now swallowed both of the former, has not changed. Money rules, and the prime concerns are the pursuit of ever greater wealth and power for the few at the top – the richest 1%, or more accurately, the 0.01% who are the plutocrats, the oligarchs, the business and financial elite who rule the Western world, and who dominate the globe – with no concern and nothing more than rhetoric, pretty speeches and public relations gestures for the overwhelming majority of the people, the other 99.99%, the environment, or the future of life and human beings on Earth.

Obama took the neo-con agenda of the Bush-Cheney regime, and took their core two policy goals – increased militarism and imperial warfare abroad, in order to further the interests of the ruling corporate elite; and a full-scale attack on democracy and freedom, not just around the world, in pursuit of ever greater riches and power, but even more critically, at home, in the heart of the empire, with a full frontal assault on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, civil liberties, democracy and freedom in the United States, in order to protect the ruling plutocrats and their political prostitute cronies from the increasingly restless and discontent populace, by creating a quite literally fascist police state at home.

(See Jonathan Turley, American Constitutional law expert, or Naomi Wolf, Michel Chossudovsky, Paul Craig Roberts, Chris Hedges or Gerald Celente, among numerous other solid and thoughtful observers.)

“Let’s call it like it is – it’s fascism.”
 – Gerald Celente, the world’s leading trend analyst

With the passing of the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, the United States ceased to uphold the Constitution or Bill of Rights, or any meaningful, substantive sense of either democracy or freedom, and descended into what is, by any legal definition, a fascist state.

The pretense of freedom and democracy still remain – but that is to be expected. The United States is now an Orwellian society run by and for the business elite of Wall Street and London. For the moment at least, democracy in the United States, is dead.

When habeus corpus is suspended, and even the Magna Carta overturned, throwing out 800 years of rule by law, along with all civil liberties and the very foundation of all human rights and freedoms; when arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention become permitted and routine, when torture is made legal and becomes institutionalized, when universal and global surveillance becomes the established norm, and when extrajudicial summary execution, either through drone strikes, illegal and unconstitutional police or security force actions, mercenaries, military tribunals or CIA black sites, then there is no other word for it: this is fascism.

So no, we should not expect something different from Obama than we what saw from Bush. In fact, Obama has expanded Bush’s wars abroad; he has intensified the Bush-Cheny/neo-con/Wall Street attack on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, freedom and democracy at home; and he has escalated and accelerated the drive towards a police state in America. This is your champion of “hope and change.” He is a Wall Street hireling – a whore to the military-industrial-security complex and the bankers who rule the land.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. By his actions – pretty speeches notwithstanding – Obama is at least as bad as Bush and Cheney, if not worse. He is a crypto-fascist, working hard to ensure the continued rule and ever-expanding wealth and power of the ruling business elite – the people, the Constitution, freedom, democracy and the Earth be damned.

We should not be surprised at cynical, deceitful, Machiavellian or Orwellian maneuvers, regime changes and power plays undertaken by Washington under the figure-head of Obama’s “presidency.” The real rulers, the Wall Street and international banking and corporate elite, are still in charge – and their game plan has not changed: it is still, divide and conquer, subjugate and rule. Or as Adam Smith called “the vile maxim of the masters” – “All for us, none for anybody else.”

Fascism won’t come to America dressed in swastikas and accompanied by goose-stepping soldiers in the streets. It will come draped in the flag, wrapped up nicely in ribbons and bows, all smiles, as loveable and American as mom and apple pie – Orwellian to the core, and deeply camouflaged. It will be the full institutionalization and consolidation of a global corporate rule: and the well-paid public relations industry, and its most influential arm, which is the major media networks and the media prostitutes which staff its rank ranks, will put a happy face on it, and make it look sparkling and wonderful to any and all who are foolish enough not to look behind the thin veneer which covers over the ugly truth.

And fascism is not coming to America – it is here.

Obama is just the latest pawn, the latest face of the now globally dominant Western corporate empire. And he does not take his direction or his orders from the American people, anymore than he has any genuine concern for freedom, democracy or human rights anywhere on the planet – including at home, in the United States, much less in Europe or Ukraine.

3. The recent events in Ukraine were portrayed in the Western media as a popular democratic uprising against a corrupt political leader, and a yearning by the people to have stronger ties with the EU. It is true that a large percentage of the people of Ukraine felt this way, although it seems that this may have been a minority opinion; but in any event, that is a small part of the picture. There is also a large element of neo-Nazis that were involved in the protests and the ouster of the democratically elected government – neo-Nazies who trace their histories back to the Nazi sympathizers who murdered up to two million Jews, Communists and Russians in Ukraine during WWII.

And in case anyone is inclined to dismiss this element as fringe and inconsequential, it should be noted that the newly installed government in Kiev, under Wasington’s direction, has put the leaders of the neo-Nazi parties, Svoboda and the Right Sector, in charge of the military, the police and the judicial system. The neo-Nazi element, therefore, is in power. They are holding the big stick. And they have made it clear that they are not afraid to use it.

“For anyone in the Western propagandistic presstitutes from James Kirchick for the Daily Beast to the BBC to the Washington Post to Foreign Policy to the Guardian, as well as the Western regimes who have tried odiously over the last three months to whitewash the Right Sector (Ukraine’s Far Right paramilitary group that played a part in toppling the government), I give you their young, intelligent, eloquent, photogenic, charismatic, fluently English-Speaking, philosopher and press spokesperson – Olena Semenyaka – an open, proud, unrepentant, Nazi Swastika-waving, Hitler-saluting fascist.”
– Occupy London
(When I learn how to overcome my all-thumbs approach to digital technology and know how to use WordPress better, I’ll include the photo of Semenyaka proudly waving the Nazi flag and giving the Nazi raised-arm salute. Until then, you can easily find it on OccupyLondon’s facebook page.)

This large neo-Nazi element is, of course, anything but democratic – not to mention, racist, fascist, antisemitic and violent. And this is the element that US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was recorded in a phone call as saying she wanted intimately involved the US putsch which just occurred in Kiev.

Yes, what just happened in Ukraine was “a text-book CIA coup” – according to former CIA analyst and specialist on Russia, Ray McGovern; as well as the University of Ottawa professor of economics and founder of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Michel Chossudovsky; and Francis Boyle, professor of international law in Illinois.

We have seen such regime changes over and over, ever since the US staged a CIA-orchestrated coup in Iran to install the Shaw – and the CIA even has a manual on how to go about such things. And yes, the US political and business elite will work with anyone who will get the job done for them, and act as puppets in their grand imperial game.

Look at the US support for Al Queda in Syria, in the efforts to overthrow the government there, or in Lybia, where US-backed Al Queda forces successfully overthrew that regime. The fact that neither regime is or was desirable is not the point – the point is that the US business and political elite will work with any goons they find useful to their purposes, and who will help them overthrow the governments of their choosing. Imperial ambition has no scruples, and will resort to dirty means and dirty allies and pawns, whenever it is expedient to do so. The US and Western business and political elite, and the new global empire they rule over, are no different. As Chomsky said, “International politics haven’t changed significantly since the time of Ghengis Kahn.”

It was the leaders of the US-backed neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine that turned the peaceful protests into a violent confrontation and a putsch to overthrow a democratically elected government. Worse yet, the leaders of the neo-Nazi parties in Ukraine have openly made death threats against the “Jewish-Russian” conspiracy, and have said that they will gun down the Jews, Communists and Russians in the streets. With over half of the people in Eastern and Southern Ukraine being native Russian speakers – to say nothing of political and religious freedoms, or the appalling renewal of antisemitism in Europe – we are talking here about very real threats of genocide. And these are the goons that Washington and the Western business elites have decided to make their allies and puppets, for the sake of imperial ambition and power politics. We should be deeply alarmed, and deeply concerned.

4. The tipping point in Ukraine came when the democratically elected president – a fact never mentioned by the Western press – who was thrown from power by a Washington-orchestrated coup – another fact which is never mentioned in the Western press – with the critical aid and allegiance of neo-Nazis – which is a third fact that is not mentioned in the Western media – President Viktor Yanukovych, reversed his former decision to accept a trade deal with the EU. That is when the gloves came off, and the coup was set in motion by Washington and its allies in Europe.

The reason that Yanukovych reversed his decision and rejected the trade deal with the EU, from all indications, is two-fold. Firstly, the billionaire oligarchs of Ukraine realized that if this deal went through, then they could quite reasonably fear that the bigger, badder, and more powerful billionaires of Europe, and the corporations they control, would move in and carve up Ukraine, and leave them with only a few remaining crumbs – so they pulled out their support for the deal.

The second major reason was that there was a little known clause in the trade deal, which would in the end, bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance – which would mean a tectonic shift of allegiances for Ukraine, from Russia and the East, where it has traditionally been for centuries, to Europe and the West: and Yanukovych apparently decided that that might not be the best move, all things considered.

So, Yanukovych killed the deal – Yanukovych had to go. The putsch was on.

It was a very similar, almost earily similar pattern to what we saw leading up to the war in Afghanistan. And in both Afghanistan and Ukraine, a critical factor was a pipeline, and a deal that fell through, with dramatic reprecussions. (Keystone XL activists, make note of this. The oil giants are ruthless and vicious. Be unafraid, be brave, be bold, but do be alert.) The Taliban had been best buddies and allies with Washington, and there are photos of a grinning Donald Rumsfeld, I believe it was, shaking their leader’s hands – or was that Saddam Hussein? I’m making a joke, but it is deadly serious. Rumsfeld and his neo-con cronies were the best of friends with the Taliban, just as they had been with Saddam, and armed and funded them both, for various economic and geopolitical reasons. But Saddam got out of line, and forgot who buttered his bread and who ruled over him, so his masters in Washington took him out.

It’s a familiar pattern. Noriega in Panama was on the CIA payroll – until he disobeyed orders, and had to be taken down. The Taliban were favourite allies of Washington, until they refused the offer of large sums of cash in return for protecting a US oil company’s pipeline (UNOCAL) which was to run from the Caspian Basin through Afghanistan to the sea, for shipment to Chinese markets. The talks between US government representatives and Taliban leaders were transcribed and leaked, and the negotiator for Washington was recorded as saying, just before the US invasion of Afghanistan, “You either accept our offer of streets paved with gold, or we will bury you.” The Taliban refused, and the rest is history.

Former National Security Adviser under Jimmy Carter, “Zbig” Brzezinski, even bragged, in an interview in Paris, abut how he created the Islamic terrorist networks based in Afghanistan. It was a plan, he openly stated, to draw the Soviet Union into “their own Vietnam,” in order to weaken and destabilize the USSR. And he was proud of the fact that the plan worked, and lead to or at least contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, and he scoffed at having created a rabid terrorist network in the process, saying, “What’s a few worked-up Muslims?” That’s bloodless geopolitical power politics for you.

So yes, the US, or rather, the Washington political elite, and the business and financial elite for whom they work, have been engaged in highly deceitful, duplicitous coups, treachery and regime changes for a very long time. Yanukovych is merely the last in a very long line.

According to William Blum, who used to work for the US State Department, but resigned in protest over the war in Vietnam, and author of Killing Hope – a history of the CIA: the US has engaged in coups or regime changes, putsches and the like – however you prefer to call the overthrow of a foreign government – 77 times prior to this latest putsch in Ukraine.

The CIA is now very good at this sort of thing. However, freedom and democracy are always the victims, along with the people, and the blow-back is usually severe as well. Such wild, brazen arrogance on the part of the US is making the American people less safe and more in danger, because of the hate it creates, and it is simply morally appalling and utterly unacceptable, as well as a straight up violation of international law, all democratic principles and principles of freedom, and all basic human rights, of course, at the same time.

The idea with the trade deal with the EU was to plop this economic basket case of Ukraine onto the EU’s lap, in order to a) bring Ukraine and its assets into the control of Western bankers, plutocrats, corporations and business elites; b) more specifically, to overturn Russia’s control of critical gas pipelines through Ukraine going into Europe, for greater control over, profits from and security of energy resources; and most critically, to sever Ukraine from Russia, not just economically, but also militarily, in order to further weaken, surround and isolate Russia.

But, again, Yanukovych killed the deal, so he had to be removed. The fact that neo-Nazis were chosen as the pawns to do the job, and to effectively replace him, makes no difference in the eyes of the Western imperial powers. They are used to such nefarious allegiances. They are the world’s leading terrorist powers, as Chomsky has said, and has documented in great detail. Why would they quibble or wince at working with, or putting in power, some small-fry terrorists in Afghanistan (the Taliban), or a thug in Iraq (Saddam), or neo-Nazies in Ukraine? It’s all just business as usual to them.

And again, of course, the Western media and their loyal presstitutes will tell you nothing of these critical details, the history behind them, or their critical significance in the events of the past few days and months in Ukraine.

5. Ukraine literally sits on top of critical pipelines bringing natural gas from Russia to Central and Western Europe. The big Western oil giants are looking to unseat Gazprom, the giant Russian national oil and gas company. We are looking at another battle over control of the world’s energy resources. In a nutshell, Russian billionaires are competing with Western billionaires for control over the multi-billion dollar fossil fuel sales in Europe.

We have seen, across the Middle East, what lengths the Western oligarchs are prepared to go to secure such riches and power. Over 1 million people have died in Iraq alone in the bloody wars over oil and gas. The Western plutocrats have no conscience – mass murder does not faze them; and of course, they have no interest in either democracy or freedom, grand rhetoric aside. The Russian oligarchs have acted no better – although they are primarily concerned, as Putin is, with stablizing and securing their empire, and not expanding it, as the Western powers seem intent on doing. In any case, a confrontation between billionaires from the East and those from the West, would be anything but peaceful or pretty, if it comes to a head: it would be, quite literally, WWIII.

That being said, the Western expansion Eastward, economically and also militarily, through NATO, its encircling of Russia, and its recent putsch in Ukraine, is not just about oil and gas profits, as enormously significant and motivating as that may be for the Western plutocrats – and is. It is also about global geostrategic dominance, and global hegemony for the West.

The Western elite seem hell-bent on an extraordinarily dangerous gambit, and seem to want to retain and consolidate their present global dominance, by any means necessary or expedient – even at the risk of global war and the extinction of humanity. The madness has no equal, either now, or at any time in the history of humankind.

As Chomsky clearly elaborated in one of his many major works, Hegemony or Survival, the dangers of this current path which we are being led down, cannot be overstated. We face a critical juncture for humankind. Either we swear off of empire and all its grandiose and horrifying games of power politics, or we watch as the power-mad destroy the world, and all future for human beings on Earth. Our choices have indeed become that stark.

7. Russia will not, and furthermore, feels it cannot, back down. Russia not only has deep, long-standing historical ties with Ukraine, but further, the Eastern and Southern portions of Ukraine were historically a part of Russia, and 60% of the inhabitants of the region are native Russian speakers who still retain strong ties to Russia.

And the bonds of allegiance go both ways. Ukraine, and especially the Crimean Peninsula, are very close to the hearts of the Russian people, for reasons of history, and also because the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea is the principle Russian vacation land and Club Med. Watching the West and NATO make gestures towards moving Ukraine, or even the Crimean Peninsula alone, into the sphere of Western dominance, would be something akin to Russia taking over Florida and Ellis Island at the same time. One could imagine what kind of response that would arouse among Americans. The analogy is, of course, imperfect, as all analogies are, but the point remains. Both Russia and also the people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine wish to keep their close ties with one another, and no threat to this long-standing relationship will be easily endured.

Ukraine is also, to repeat, the major route for Russian oil and gas pipelines to Europe. Russia will not surrender one of its most vitally important export routes, for one of its most vitally important industries.

Furthermore, Russia has critically important strategic naval bases on the Crimean Peninsula, giving them vitally important access to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. And again, after watching NATO and the Western powers expand East and encircle Russia militarily, while taking away important economic allies, piece by piece; and with Ukraine at Russia’s southern border and doorstep, and further, being in a strategically critical geographic location, Russia was bound to draw a red line in the sand.

The Russian people back Putin in his move to put troops into the Crimean Peninsula in order to prevent any moves by the West to encroach any further, and also, to protect the Russians living in Ukraine against the neo-Nazis in Kiev who have made public death-threats against them. Putin had no choice, politically, according to Russian specialist, Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus from NYU and Princeton. Had Putin not made this move, his credibility in Russia would go from low, to shattered. Russia will not allow the West to take Ukraine. That is, and should have been, as Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and another specialist on Russia has said, “a known-known.”

As the leading intellectual and long-term geostrategic planner for the Western elite for the past forty years, “Zbig” Bzrezinski has said, Central Eurasia has always been critical to control, if the Eurasian continent is to be controlled. And since the Eurasian continent contains the majority of the people, markets and resources on the planet, it is critical to control Eurasia, and hence, Central Eurasia – if, like Bzrezinksi and the Western elite, one is above all concerned with global dominance.

All imperial strategy rests, centrally, upon control of this strategically critical area of the world, as the wars in the Middle East indicate and make clear – yes, they are about oil, but more importantly, they are about global geostrategic hegemony and control.

Central Eurasia is the linch-pin. As “Zbig” said, in The Grand Chessboard, historically, whoever controls central Eurasia, controls the continent, and whoever controls the continent, dominates the world.

That is why Brzezinski argued for the “projection of force” in the Middle East, why he argued for the necessity of a large crisis in order to get the American people to agree to or at least tolerate such “projection of force,” and why he armed, funded, trained and created the Islamic terrorist network based in Afghanistan, to use as a puppet in the region – the same terrorist network that is alternately an official enemy, say, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, after the pipeline deal went sour, that is, or, in Libya and Syria, unofficial friends, who suddenly become recast as “freedom fighters” – exactly as the Taliban were called, before they became official enemies, and while they were still loyal allies and puppets.

Does all of this sound confusing? It is straight-forward, when you understand the operating principles: anyone we control, is a friend. Anyone we can’t control, is an enemy. Simple as that. Sometimes Al Queda can be used and manipulated for our own imperial objectives – and by our, I mean Western business elite objectives – in which case they are eagerly embraced and gladly used, and are official or unofficial friends and allies. Sometimes they get out of line, as servants sometimes do, and then they become official enemies, and must be decried, shot like disobedient dogs who turn on their masters, or simply cast to the wayside, or thrown in prison, like Noriega. It all depends on whether they are considered useful, or in the way – and that can change, literally, from one day to the next.

Yes, central Eurasia is considered geostraticially critical, and Ukraine is in the heart of it. Putin certainly knows this, as do the Western oligarchs. That is yet another reason why Putin is not going to give up Ukraine, or access to the Black Sea. The balance of power globally may well rest upon it.

Putin is trying to secure and stabilize a great nation, Russia, that is, of course, which has collapsed twice in the past century: once in 1917, and once in 1991. His aim, from all evidence, is not expansion, but protection of Russia.

He may be vicious and corrupt, and he is. He was head of the KGB, after all, so what else would we expect? He was the head of the Soviet goon squad. But, what is important here to note, is not his character, or his domestic policies in Russia, but his international relations: and his primary interest, from all indications, is in stability and security for Russia, not the expansion of its territory. And Putin has every reason to be concerned with Western powers staging a coup on his Southern doorstep – clearly. He would have to be a fool not to be concerned; and Putin may be many things, but he is no fool.

Considering the recent expansionist actions of the West, which go back decades and even centuries, the Russian people are rightfully concerned about having Washington, NATO and the Western bankers and oligarchs on their doorstep, and staging yet another regime change – this one, as close as it could get, without actually crossing the Russian border.

Putin will not back down. He can’t. The US and the EU can back down, and have or foster a cooperative relationship with energy-rich Russia, but Russia cannot back down. The expansion of Western powers has now reached its limit. Any further, and there will be world war. I don’t believe there is any question as to these most essential facts.

The neo-cons and their plutocratic overlords and masters in the corporate and financial world, who, it must be repeated, still control Washington, hopefully have some trace of sanity left in them. So far – with Russian troops deployed in the Crimean Peninsula, protecting the Russian people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine, as well as their naval bases on the Black Sea, facing down the very real threat from Western-backed neo-Nazis in Kiev – not a shot has been fired. A diplomatic resolution could still be reached. But this could change at any moment. If this turns into a shooting war between Russian forces and a Western-backed proxy army of neo-Nazis, Al Queda forces, or whomever the West deems its latest favourite pawn, then, as Stephen Cohen has said, “All bets are off,” and anything could happen – including the unthinkable, which is the extermination of the human species on Earth. Pray that sanity prevails.

6. As Stephen Cohen said recently, US options are “Zero. Zero options, unless they want to go to war. Russia is holding all the cards.”

Russia holds all the cards politically, since, a) the Russian people back Putin in drawing a line in the sand against further Western expansionism on Russia’s doorstep – as it is quite rightly perceived; and more essentially, because b) the people of Eastern and Southern Ukraine are primarily native Russian speakers, with strong historical ties and a strong allegiance to Russia, as well as a very legitimate fear of what the neo-Nazis now installed in Kiev might unleash upon them, in the form of literally genocidal acts, not to mention oligarchic and despotic rule; and c) the evidence is clear that the newly installed government in Kiev was put in place, installed, that is, by the US and its Western allies, through a Washington staged regime change, a coup, and therefore has no legitimacy.

Russia also supplies 30% of Europe’s natural gas. The EU will not likely press the matter, believe me. Russia could simply turn off the taps, and Europe will freeze. Europe is now arguably far more dependent on Russia than Russia is on Europe.

The global balance has shifted. Just as China now holds the US by the purse strings, holding its debt and being its principle banker, as well as having American trans-national corporations deeply dependent upon Chinese manufacturing plants, and with the Chinese economy about to surpass that of the United States as the biggest economy in the world, Russia is fast-arising as a global economic super-power, while Europe is on the edge of insolvency, and is struggling economically, to put it mildly.

Europe and the United States are sinking, at least in relative terms, if not also in absolute terms, while the BRIC nations, and especially Russia and China, continue to soar. Europe is in no position to play it rough.

Europe is a sinking ship, as is the US. These declining world powers can no longer afford to engage in boyish imperial games, much less hollow sabre-rattling. The world is increasingly interdependent and also poly-centric. If Washington and the Western elite persist in pursuing 19th century policies in the context of 21st century realities, to paraphrase the hopelessly hypocritical John Kerry, they will not only harm others, but will very likely destroy themselves, and quite possibly all of humanity along with them.

And it is not just in terms of energy and gas that Europe is far too dependent upon Russia to do anything more than bellow in idle gesturing. Russian billionaires and plutocrats now store their money and riches in Europe – in Swiss bank accounts, London real estate and secretive Jersey Island financial havens for the world’s super-rich. Europe’s big money is now intertwined with Russia’s big money – and Russian billionaires have more mobility, by all indications, at least in terms of this relationship is concerned. The European oligarchs don’t dare to press the matter, or any matter, for that matter, with the great and increasingly powerful Russian bears.

Europe is simply far too addicted to Russian gas and Russian wealth to do anything more than make hollow public relations statements, which will in all likelihood amount to absolutely nothing more than PR. And without European Allies, a weakened American empire with a struggling US economy would be foolish in the extreme to press the matter – even more foolish than if they had the full support of Europe, which they most decidedly do not.

As Ray McGovern said, anyone who had any understanding of Ukraine and its place in the relationship between Russia and the West, could have known that Russia will not back down and allow its most critical satellite and borderland to fall into the Western military and economic orbit. In McGovern’s words, this was “one regime change too many,” and Washington “has bit off far more than it can chew.”

The putsch in Ukraine is a classic case of imperial hubris and imperial overshoot. Declining empires always tend to behave the same way, and such foolish arrogance tends to put the final nail in the coffin, and seal the fate of the decaying empire. We will see what Washington chooses to do, but it would be wise to acknowledge the facts, and bow out gracefully, to return to the business of rebuilding its own economy and its own crumbling infrastructure and decimated industrial base, and forget about ruling the world or changing regimes around the globe – which will be the end of the nation as well as the empire, if they persist in it.

Obama’s only options now, as both McGovern and Cohen have made clear, are to back down, and quietly acknowledge the mistake, even if it means demonstrating the growing weakness of the United States and its Western allies; or, start what may well be the beginning of WWIII. Let us hope that some shred of remaining sanity prevails.

 

A final note on the US – being the principle antagonist in this very dangerous, still unfolding situation in Ukraine:

The US has more than enough problems of its own for it to be meddling in the affairs of other nations. Are the Washington elite and their Wall Street masters on crack? The US has been de-industrialized through corporate globalization. It has decimated its manufacturing base, and its economic base, through off-shoring of production and profits. It has a trade deficit running into the billions of dollars a day. It has gone, in a few short decades, from being the leading creditor in the world, to the leading debtor. It has squandered its natural resources and stripped itself of its economic powers, through a short-sighted greed by the ruling few, at the expense of the people and the nation. The end of American hegemony is clearly in sight, if it is not already here; and yet, the ruling elite continue to push as hard as they can towards full, unbridled disaster.

Poverty and inequality are skyrocketing across the US – as a result of globalization and the off-shoring of production and profits, and the extraction of wealth from the many to the few, in what can only be described as a conscious and systematic class warfare, waged by the super-rich against the nation and the rest of the population. Meanwhile, while the middle class is being eviscerated and liquidated, and driven into the growing sea of an underclass.

There is more poverty, and also greater inequality, in the US now than at any point in its history – even during the Great Depression. Half of the people in the United States now live below, at, or just above the poverty line – and poverty continues to rise daily. Living conditions in most US inner cities are now worse than many of the poorest third world nations.

For any country, and especially for the richest country in the world, this state of affairs would be an utter disgrace – and it is.

The United States continues to spend over a trillion dollars a year on the military-industrial-security complex, on war and war preparations, on foolish imperial stratagems and adventures, and on the build-up of a police state at home – more than enough money to rebuild the crumbling economy and infrastructure, create jobs for all, eliminate all poverty in the nation, and put the country on track towards true environmental stability and sustainability. But the military-industrial-security complex must be fed – even if it is with the people’s own blood, and the blood of their daughters and sons: it is demanded by the ruling super-rich, so the folly must continue, it seems – at least until the American people rise up and say, “No more.”

Meanwhile, the richest 1% have grown ever richer and more powerful, while the other 99% face ever-increasing material insecurity and disenfranchisement, their voices silenced and their future raped of all hope, as the political elite in power continue to serve the ruling robber barons and the Wall Street plutocrats – or kleptocrats, as they should more accurately be called. This situation is reaching a breaking point, and rapidly so. America should take care of America, before it goes telling, or imposing on others, its magnanimity and wisdom. Put your own house in order, Washington.

And this is just an overview of the severe and growing economic and social problems in the United States, to say nothing of the deepening political crisis. America, under the rule of Wall Street and the corporate oligarchs, has gone from freedom to fascism in short order. The Constitution and Bill of Rights are in tatters and flames. The people of America grow more weary and more frustrated daily, not only with the rapidly increasing inequality and poverty which they face, not only with the bankrupting of the nation by an imperial fetish among the reigning elite that is out of control, but even more so, by the increasing attack on freedom, civil liberties, democracy and basic human rights at home. They will not take much more, I assure you.

The US is truly a powder keg, and revolution is brewing, as leading trend forecaster Gerald Celente and others have said. But the Wall Street oligarchs and their political prostitutes carry on merrily, singing a chorus of “Let them eat cake.” This hubris we have seen before, and we know where it leads.

Revolution is not always pretty, but it is sometimes unavoidable, and moreover, simply necessary. And the ruling elite in the US are making sure that it is, in fact, unavoidable: through sheer arrogance and contempt for the people. I pray that it will be peaceful, but that it will come, is by now, a virtual certainty.

Mr. Obama, you have more than enough work to do at home. Stop meddling in the affairs of other nations. If you persist in this madness any further, it will be the end of America. Enough is enough. It is time for peace, and for prosperity and freedom for all.

No more regime changes. No more games of empire. Take care of your own people – or step aside, and let the people renew their own democracy, and their land.

Conclusion: On empire or survival

Empires have always been brutal, bloody, aggressive, violent, war-like, and inherently anti-democratic, oppressive and tyrannical; and there have always, therefore, been good and strong reasons to resist and oppose them. At this point in time, however, empire is no longer just an extreme offense to every decent human value and an oppressive weight on human beings. At this time in our history, the nature of empire has become quite simply suicidal.

The present rulers of the world, the oligarchs and plutocrats of both East and West, believe that they are engaged in what they call political “realism.” It is anything but. What they are engaged in, is imperial folly, which has been shown in every age to be a fool’s errand, a lust for power which harms and oppresses human beings widely and profoundly, and an enterprise which, in the end, always turns to dust.

The mongers of empire are engaged in deep self-deception, and in delusions of grandeur. It is the values of freedom, democracy, the self-determination of peoples, and the love of one’s neighbor which are the basic tenets of both, basic sanity, and also a sane and truly sustainable, as well as a just and free society.

At this point in human history, we either re-assert these principles of basic sanity and common sense, or we will simply cease to be. This is realism. The rest is pure fantasy, pure delusion.

Madmen now hold the power, but the greater power always resides with the people. When, and if, the people stand up, and stand for their rights, then, and then alone, will the world have a chance at true peace, at justice, at real freedom, at democracy, and at simple survival.

We are now faced with a clear choice: end the age of empires, and let democracy and freedom truly reign; or let the errors of our past be repeated in new and more hideous ways than ever before, sowing, not only a dark age, but our own self-destruction, until human beings are no more, and the light goes out for the entire human race.

Our choice is clear. There is no choice. Empires must end now. This madness must cease, or humanity will simply cease to be.

Again, the billionaires of the East are battling the billionaires of the West for oil and gas money, and the domination of the globe. And I have to say to that, “You childish, reckless, mad putzes – stop endangering us all with your foolishness and utter insanity. Are you completely mad?”

This is a richly abundant planet, and as Gandhi said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but for no one’s greed.”

It is time for these games of greed, power lust, empire and egomania to come to an end – and now.

The situation in Ukraine could end up being among the final notes of our collective demise, or it could be a warning call that awakens the people of the world, and catalyzes the movements for democracy, freedom, and a better world for all. The choice, is entirely up to us.

The power is always in the hands of the people. Let us use it wisely – and now.

No more war. No more empire.

Stop the madness now.

Stand.

J. Todd Ring,
March 5, 2014

 

For further details please see the references below. The first rule to finding out or knowing anything about what is truly going on, is to turn off the major media – both the corporate and state media. The second rule is to read widely, and dig for verifiable information. The third rule, is to seek out and discover selectively chosen, reliable sources, that you have learned from experience and from verification with both reason and evidence, to be highly accurate, if not at all times perfect.

As to reliable sources, you must think for yourself, and discern for yourself. Take no one’s word on anything. As the Buddha said, examine things for yourself. But as a starting point, I would recommend a few, generally excellent sources. They have their faults and their blind spots, but generally they are excellent – and certainly they are in an entirely different league, many leagues above and beyond the major media outlets. Among the best sources for news and analysis that I have found, are the following. Most of the rest, with few exceptions – and even those that portray themselves as “alternative media” or “independent media” or “public broadcasters” – either chronically miss the heart of the matter, and skirt about the surface of things merely, or else offer pretty much the same spin, PR, lies and illusions as you would find in the thoroughly corrupt corporate and state-run media. But again, above all, think for yourself. Examine things for yourself.

Trends Research / Gerald Celente

Centre for Research On Globalization / Global Outlook / GRTV

Project Censored

Z Communications / Z Magazine

The Kaiser Report

Dandelion Salad

CounterPunch 

A few excellent articles on the situation in Ukraine (my apologies that this is not more neatly presented – time seems like it may be critical):

Ukraine – Recent developments and contextual analysis:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/05/chronology-of-the-ukrainian-coup/
http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/is-the-u-s-backing-neo-nazis-in-ukraine/
http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/ukraine-one-regime-change-too-many/
http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/u-s-has-zero-options-in-ukraine/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-was-a-playbook-cia-coup-detat/5371296
http://shar.es/RnwvN
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-backstory-to-the-russia-ukraine-confrontation-the-us-nato-encirclement-of-russia/5371776
http://shar.es/RnjiU
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/lighting-the-fires-for-chaos-in-ukraine-by-bruce-gagnon/#more-158787
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/ukraine-the-dangers-of-dealing-with-delusional-western-leaders-putin-holds-aces-obama-deuces/
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/russia-vladimir-putin-the-west-104134.html

(The last article is the weakest, but I will include it, since it does add some important points on Russia’s wealth being stored in Europe, and on the hypocrisy of Europe’s ruling elite – and because of the lead photo of Putin staring down Obama, and Obama trying hard not to blink. Two thoroughly corrupt oligarchs posturing like they are the saviours of humanity, and looking like two pre-pubescent school boys caught up in childish bravado – such is the current state of the world, and this photo sums it up.)

A few excellent books for an overview of the state of the world:

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Noam Chomsky

Necessary Illusions – Chomsky

The Ecology of Freedom – Bookchin

World As Lover, World As Self – Joanna Macy

Mutual Aid – Kropotkin

The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

The End of America – Naomi Wolf

A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins

Escape From Freedom – Erich Fromm

The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude – Etienne de la Boite