Keeping Track of the Empire’s Crimes

The Anti-Empire Report

If you catch the CIA with its hand in the cookie jar and the Agency admits the obvious — what your eyes can plainly see — that its hand is indeed in the cookie jar, it means one of two things: a) the CIA’s hand is in several other cookie jars at the same time which you don’t know about and they hope that by confessing to the one instance they can keep the others covered up; or b) its hand is not really in the cookie jar — it’s an illusion to throw you off the right scent — but they want you to believe it.

There have been numerous news stories in recent months about secret CIA programs, hidden from Congress, inspired by former vice-president Dick Cheney, in operation since the September 11 terrorist attacks, involving assassination of al Qaeda operatives or other non-believers-in-the-Empire abroad without the knowledge of their governments. The Agency admits to some sort of program having existed, but insists that it was canceled; and if it was an assassination program it was canceled before anyone was actually assassinated. Another report has the US military, not the CIA, putting the plan — or was it a different plan? — into operation, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the program.1

All of this can be confusing to those following the news. And rather irrelevant. We already know that the United States has been assassinating non-believers, or suspected non-believers, with regularity, and impunity, in recent years, using unmanned planes (drones) firing missiles, in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia, if not elsewhere. (Even more victims have been produced from amongst those who happened to be in the same house, car, wedding party, or funeral as the non-believer.) These murders apparently don’t qualify as “assassinations”, for somehow killing “terrorists” from 2000 feet is morally and legally superior to doing so from two feet away.

But whatever the real story is behind the current rash of speculation, we should not fall into the media’s practice of at times intimating that multiple or routine CIA assassination attempts would be something shocking or at least very unusual.

I’ve compiled a list of CIA assassination attempts, successful and unsuccessful, against prominent foreign political figures, from 1949 through 2003, which, depending on how you count it, can run into the hundreds (targeting Fidel Castro alone totals 634 according to Cuban intelligence);2) the list can be updated by adding the allegedly al Qaeda leaders among the drone attack victims of recent years. Assassination and torture are the two things governments are most loath to admit to and try their best to cover up. It’s thus rare to find a government document or recorded statement mentioning a particular plan to assassinate someone. There is, however, an abundance of compelling circumstantial evidence to work with. The list can be found here.

For those of you who collect lists about splendid US foreign policy post-World War II, here are a few more that, lacking anything better to do, I’ve put together: Attempts to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which had been democratically-elected.

After his June 4 Cairo speech, President Obama was much praised for mentioning the 1953 CIA overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh. But in his talk in Ghana on July 11 he failed to mention the CIA coup that ousted Ghanian president Kwame Nkrumah in 1966,3 referring to him only as a “giant” among African leaders. The Mossadegh coup is one of the most well-known CIA covert actions. Obama could not easily get away without mentioning it in a talk in the Middle East looking to mend fences. But the Nkrumah ouster is one of the least known; indeed, not a single print or broadcast news report in the American mainstream media saw fit to mention it at the time of the president’s talk. Like it never happened.

And the next time you hear that Africa can’t produce good leaders, people who are committed to the welfare of the masses of their people, think of Nkrumah and his fate. And think of Patrice Lumumba, overthrown in the Congo 1960-61 with the help of the United States; Agostinho Neto of Angola, against whom Washington waged war in the 1970s, making it impossible for him to institute progressive changes; Samora Machel of Mozambique against whom the CIA supported a counter-revolution in the 1970s-80s period; and Nelson Mandela of South Africa (now married to Machel’s widow), who spent 28 years in prison thanks to the CIA.4

The Myths of Afghanistan, past and present

On the Fourth of July, Senator Patrick Leahy declared he was optimistic that, unlike the Soviet forces that were driven from Afghanistan 20 years ago, US forces could succeed there. The Democrat from Vermont stated:

The Russians were sent running as they should have been. We helped send them running. But they were there to conquer the country. We’ve made it very clear, and everybody I talk to within Afghanistan feels the same way: they know we’re there to help and we’re going to leave. We’ve made it very clear we are going to leave. And it’s going to be turned back to them. The ones that made the mistakes in the past are those that tried to conquer them.7

Leahy is a long-time liberal on foreign-policy issues, a champion of withholding US counter-narcotics assistance to foreign military units guilty of serious human-rights violations, and an outspoken critic of robbing terrorist suspects of their human and legal rights. Yet he is willing to send countless young Americans to a living hell, or horrible death, or maimed survival.

And for what? Every point he made in his statement is simply wrong.

The Russians were not in Afghanistan to conquer it. The Soviet Union had existed next door to the country for more than 60 years without any kind of invasion. It was only when the United States intervened in Afghanistan to replace a government friendly to Moscow with one militantly anti-communist that the Russians invaded to do battle with the US-supported Islamic jihadists; precisely what the United States would have done to prevent a communist government in Canada or Mexico.

It’s also rather difficult for the United States to claim that it’s in Afghanistan to help the people there when it’s killed tens of thousands of simply for resisting the American invasion and occupation or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; not a single one of the victims has been identified as having had any kind of connection to the terrorist attack in the US of September 11, 2001, the event usually cited by Washington as justification for the military intervention. Moreover, Afghanistan is now permeated with depleted uranium, cluster bombs-cum-landmines, white phosphorous, a witch’s brew of other charming chemicals, and a population, after 30 years of almost non-stop warfare, of physically and mentally mutilated human beings, exceedingly susceptible to the promise of paradise, or at least relief, sold by the Taliban.

As to the US leaving … utterly meaningless propaganda until it happens. Ask the people of South Korea — 56 years of American occupation and still counting; ask the people of Japan — 64 years. And Iraq? Would you want to wager your life’s savings on which decade it will be that the last American soldier and military contractor leaves?

It’s not even precise to say that the Russians were sent running. That was essentially Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev’s decision, and it was more of a political decision than a military one. Gorbachev’s fondest ambition was to turn the Soviet Union into a West-European style social democracy, and he fervently wished for the approval of those European leaders, virtually all of whom were cold-war anti-communists and opposed the Soviet intervention into Afghanistan.

There has been as much of the same “causes” for wars that did not happen as for wars that did.

Henry Allingham died in Britain on July 18 at age 113, believed to have been the world’s oldest man. A veteran of World War I, he spent his final years reminding the British people about their service members killed during the war, which came to about a million: “I want everyone to know,” he said during an interview in November. “They died for us.”8

The whole million? Each one died for Britain? In the most useless imperialist war of the 20th century? No, let me correct that — the most useless imperialist war of any century. The British Empire, the French Empire, the Russian Empire, and the wannabe American Empire joined in battle against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire as youthful bodies and spirits sank endlessly into the wretched mud of Belgium and Germany, the pools of blood of Russia and France. The wondrous nobility of it all is enough to make you swallow hard, fight back the tears, light a few candles, and throw up. Imagine, by the middle of this century Vietnam veterans in their 90s and 100s will be speaking of how each of their 58,000 war buddies died for America. By 2075 we’ll be hearing the same stirring message from ancient vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. How many will remember that there was a large protest movement against their glorious, holy crusades, particularly Vietnam and Iraq?

Supreme nonsense

Senate hearings to question a nominee for the Supreme Court are a supreme bore. The sine qua non for President Obama choosing Sonia Sotomayor appears to be that she’s a woman with a Hispanic background. A LATINA! How often that word was used by her supporters. She would be the first LATINA on the Supreme Court! Dios mio!

Who gives a damn? All anyone should care about are her social and political opinions. Justice Clarence Thomas is a black man. A BLACK MAN! And he’s as conservative as they come.

Supreme Court nominees, of all political stripes, typically feel obliged to pretend that their social and political leanings don’t enter into their judicial opinions. But everyone knows this is rubbish. During her Senate hearing, Sotomayor declared: “It’s not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It’s the law.”

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Charles Evan Hughes, would not agree with her. “At the constitutional level where we work,” he said, “ninety percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections.”9

By Sotomayor’s own account, which echos news reports, she was not asked about her position on abortion by either President Obama or his staff. But what if she is actually anti-abortion? What if she turns out to be the swing vote that overturns Roe vs. Wade?

What if she’s a proud admirer of the American Empire and its perpetual wars? American dissidents, civilian and military, may depend on her vote for their freedom from imprisonment.

What does she think about the “war on terror”? The civil liberties and freedom from torture of various Americans and foreigners may depend on her attitude. In his 2007 trial, Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was found guilty of aiding terrorists. “The jury did seem to be an oddly cohesive group,” the Washington Post reported. “On the last day of trial before the Fourth of July holiday, jurors arranged to dress in outfits so that each row in the jury box was its own patriotic color — red, white or blue.”10 No one dared to question this blatant display of patriotism in the courtroom; neither the defense attorney, nor the prosecutor, nor the judge. How can we continue to pretend that people’s legal positions exist independently of their political sentiments?

In the 2000 Supreme Court decision stopping the presidential electoral count in Florida, giving the election to George W. Bush, did the politics of the five most conservative justices play a role in the 5 to 4 decision? Of course. Judges are essentially politicians in black robes. But should we care? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Sonia Sotomayor is a LATINA!

Given the large Democratic majority in the Senate, Sotomayor was in very little danger of being rejected. She could have openly and proudly expressed her social and political positions — whatever they may be — and the Democratic senators could have done the same. How refreshing, maybe even educational if a discussion ensued. Instead it was just another political appointment by a president determined to not offend anyone if he can help it, and another tiresome ritual hearing. The Republican senators were much less shy about revealing how they actually felt about important issues.

It didn’t have to be that way. As Rabbi Michael Lerner of pointed out during the hearings: “Democratic Senators could use their time to ask questions and make statements that explain why a liberal or progressive worldview is precisely what is needed on the Supreme Court.”

NATO and Eastern Europe resource

No one chronicles the rise of the supra-government called NATO like Rick Rozoff in his “Stop NATO” mailings. NATO has become an ever-expanding behemoth, making war and interfering in political controversies all over Europe and beyond. The United States is not the world’s only superpower; NATO is another, as it surrounds Russia and the Caspian Sea oil reserves; although the distinction between the two superpowers is little more than a facade. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the NATO/US 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. On April 23, 1999 missiles slammed into Radio Television Serbia (RTS) in downtown Belgrade, killing 16 employees. The station, NATO claimed, was a legitimate military target because it broadcast propaganda. (Certainly a novel form of censorship; not to mention the fact that NATO could simply have taken out the station’s transmitter.) What apparently bothered the Western powers was that RTS was reporting the horrendous effects of NATO’s bombing as well as passing footage of the destruction to Western media.

To mark the anniversary, Amnesty International recently issued a demand that NATO be held accountable for the 16 deaths. Amnesty asserts that the bombing was a deliberate attack on a civilian object (one of many during the 78 days) and as such constitutes a war crime, and called upon NATO to launch a war crimes probe into the attack to ensure full accountability and redress for victims and their families.

Readers might consider signing up for the “Stop NATO” mailing list. Just write to: rwrozoff [at] Rozoff scours the East European press each day and comes up with numerous gems ignored by the mainstream media. But a warning: The amount of material you’ll receive is often considerable. You’ll have to learn to pick and choose. You can get an idea of this by reading previous reports here.

  1. The Guardian (London) July 13, 2009 []
  2. Fabian Escalante, Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro, (Ocean Press, 2006 []
  3. William Blum, Killing Hope, chapter 32. []
  4. William Blum, Rogue State, chapter 23. []
  5. Ibid., chapter 18 []
  6. Rogue State, chapter 17, intermixed with other types of US interventions []
  7. Vermont TV station WCAX, July 4, 2009, []
  8. Washington Post, July 19, 2009 []
  9. William O. Douglas, The Court Years, 1939-1975 (1980), p.8 []
  10. Washington Post, August 17, 2007 []
William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

32 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on August 5th, 2009 at 10:09am #

    am i dying to die for US/Wrld plutos? Who wld benefit, if i joined nato forces in afgh’n and fought pashtuns; oops, talibani?
    OK, i admit, i am 77! But i can still carry my wife to bed! So what? Well, i can at least carry a weapon like a rifle or even s’mthing heavier than that.

    and if i wld fight for modern aristocracy, wldn’t i say i fought for yous guys.
    but of course i wld! Especially to a privately-owned medium that wld pay me for my ‘truthful’ statement.
    and, of course, in a beer parlor! And for free!

    fighting and hopefull dying for four pillars of society: WH, constitution, senate, and congress; commonly called “my country”, is the highest honor a youngster can ever achieve.

    I said “hopefully dying” because one is much, mucho, multo more honored when dead than a cowardly living soldier who hid behind wild asses of the wild regions of afgh’n and lived to tell lies about his/her prowess. tnx

  2. Michael Kenny said on August 5th, 2009 at 10:18am #

    “You are old, Father William”, the young man said, “and your hair has become very white. And yet you incessantly stand on your head, do you think, at your age, it is right? Mr Blum cannot be far off 75 years old and yet the wisdom of age has not stopped him spouting this pre-Vietnam nonsense about coups and assassinations pulled off without the inhabitants of the countries concerned even noticing what has happened! Indeed, as far as the list of assassination attempts is concerned, even the victims don’t seem to have noticed, inasmuch as almost nobody on the list died assassinated!

    In regard to Europe, the only accurate claim is Greece 1967, where US involvement is well established. There was some British, but no US, military action in the Greek civil war, which ended when Stalin abandoned the communist insurgents. Democracy flourished in that country from then until 1967 and flourishes now since 1973. There was no attempted coup in France in 1965 and no government was overthrown in Bulgaria in 1990, Albania in 1991 or Yugoslavia in 1999. The government overthrown in Portugal in 1974 was a dictatorship that would have made Tony Blair look anti-American! Democracy has flourished in that country ever since. As for British Guiana, it was (as its name suggests!) a British colony until 1966. If the US had a beef with the colonial administration, all they had to do was ask the British to dismiss it!

    In practice, of course, all of this is interesting as history and as an illustration of how Americans are locked in the past, but since all of Europe is now democratic, it is of no other relevance to the present generation of Europeans. Even the ones that are 75 years old!

  3. Annie Ladysmith said on August 5th, 2009 at 10:40am #

    “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’, there’s nothing new under the sun. What you write is GREAT stuff i’m going back to read it in more detail. Thank you for this cache of excellent information.

    How many do you think they assassinated, opps ‘retired’, within the country???

  4. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on August 5th, 2009 at 11:41am #

    annie, forgive me if my translation is wrong: sweet and justifiable is to die for the fatherland.

  5. Annie Ladysmith said on August 5th, 2009 at 3:42pm #

    Original: Horace i think. However, in Brit./American culture it’s true meaning came bursting forth during the first world war with poet Wilfred Owen who was blown to bits in the trenches after he wrote his famous poem. The literal Roman meaning goes: it is fitting that young men pay the debt they owe to their ‘patria’ by going to war and spilling their blood. Our post-WWI take goes: spilling your young blood for these old decrepid men with the money and power is beyond ludicrous and someone, like there mothers, should put some sanity into the minds of the youth so they do not give their lives up in vainglorious absurdity.
    Dulce Decorun by Wilfred Owen.

  6. Annie Ladysmith said on August 5th, 2009 at 7:55pm #

    Dear Bozh, i hope you got my comment on ‘Dulce et Decorum” i forgot to put your name on it!

  7. mary said on August 5th, 2009 at 10:18pm #

    Jeremy Scahill speaking to Keith Olbermann yesterday on the crimes of Blackwater/Bloodwater/Xe following his article in the Nation,
    ‘Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder’ .

    Obama continues to pay Blackwater $millions.

  8. fekkkkog geoooore said on August 5th, 2009 at 10:33pm #

    yet another great article from Mr. Blum.

  9. Don Hawkins said on August 6th, 2009 at 4:24am #

    Again sent this e-mail to CNBC

    Gooood Morning,
    I will send you the latest data from NSIDC that will effect every man women and child on Earth. Have you heard of it it’s round and about 4 billion years old. It seems a few constraining influences taking place on the rock these day’s. Now you all at CNBC might find this data boring because you have on people who tell us how freedom works. Colbert did a little on how freedom works the other night. Now when asked people who study the Universe and the strangest thing they find out there many will say Earth. Yes we are out there too and so is freedom works who like to pit one side against the other and that thinking with constraining influences, Oh well. Oh and life on Earth seems to be rather rare in the known Universe don’t you think. Another thing that seems to be rare here on Earth is using knowledge not illusion of knowledge but knowledge the real thing. A little colder this summer in part’s of the North here’s why and in the coming years as the ice melt’s up North as it will then what? Maybe the people at the weather channel might know. Read and think

    Arctic sea ice extent for the month of July was the third lowest for that month in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2006. The average rate of melt in July 2009 was nearly identical to that of July 2007. A strong high-pressure system, similar to the atmospheric pattern that dominated the summer of 2007, brought warm winds and clear skies to the western Arctic, promoting ice melt.

    Weather patterns bring clear skies, warmth
    The atmospheric circulation pattern for summer 2009 has been similar to the pattern in summer 2007. As in 2007, an unusually strong high-pressure cell (an anticyclone) settled over the Beaufort Sea, bringing warm air into the Chukchi Sea. This year, the Beaufort Sea anticyclone, averaged for June and July 2009, was even stronger than the anticyclone in 2007. However, unlike 2007, this year the Beaufort Sea high-pressure cell is not paired with unusually low pressure over eastern Siberia, the “dipole” pattern that in 2007 promoted strong surface winds and extreme melt.

    The strong Beaufort Sea high-pressure cell that occurred both this summer and in 2007 is part of a larger scale atmospheric pattern known as the Pacific North American (PNA) “teleconnection.” The airflow in the western hemisphere is usually characterized by a low pressure trough over the North Pacific, a ridge over western North America, and a trough over eastern North America. The PNA describes the strength of this pattern. When the PNA is positive, the normal pattern is amplified and the airflow becomes more “wavy” than usual. While the expressions of the PNA vary by season, the strong western North American ridge during the positive PNA favors a strong Beaufort Sea high pressure system. The stronger than usual trough over eastern North America also helps to explain the cool and rainy weather that has gripped this area much of the summer.

    I know maybe the weather channel could get James Hansen to explain this but wait constraining influence. Remember freedom work’s and things should be made as simple as possible but not simpler could be helpful don’t you think.


  10. Don Hawkins said on August 6th, 2009 at 4:45am #

    Mr. President do you read DV? We know yes we know and we also know that to try is easier said than done. Somehow working together must start same page so to speak not for profit, greed or some ideology but to try. The old people of Earth speech could be helpful. Get Hansen and Hawking if you can you get the idea and give that speech before it’s to late. Come to think of it it has never been given but probably time. Don’t think of it as being to big think Earth home planet. Heck what do we all have to lose Earth the home planet the only one “known” so far in the Universe.

  11. mary said on August 6th, 2009 at 2:44pm #

    What an unpleasant ad hominem remark you have made.

  12. dan e said on August 6th, 2009 at 3:01pm #

    well, mary, i usually agree with you, but i myself found “fekkkog g’s” remark quite pleasant:) IMHO his characterization of Monsignor Kenny is spot on, as they say in Greenland.

  13. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on August 6th, 2009 at 9:08pm #


    Hello, I don’t like to say that i have 100% truths. However from the evidence that we have about Latin America and other countries with economic problems, the best alternative and solution for countries with economic problems like USA is Market-Socialism, Statism and Socialism.

    Examples: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, Bolivia, Iran, Russia, Norway, China, France, Canada, Norway, Spain, Belarus, and many other nation-states out there are choosing the Market-Socialist Welfare model as an immidiate solution for their economic problems caused by Unregulated-Capitalism.

    My friends, the evidence is right there is those countries: France, Venezuela, Canada, Norway are all heading toward statism, state-ownership of corporations, and also in other specific regions like in Venezuela, Bolivia they are trying an even more socially economic model which is Workers-Control of the means of production.

    Like INVEVAL company in Venezuela.

    So my friend, don’t let your self be decieved by Ron Paul’s Free Market, Small Business pettit bourgeoise ideology. That Ideology is very flawed and can only work if we were in the XVIII and XIX Century.

    A nation with small businesses cannot provide goods and services anymore. Today the economy is globalized, and it is giant corporations the ones who are most efficient at running our economies. The real problem is not the size of corporations, the problem is not the giant corporations like Ron Paul and his followers believe. The problem is who owns those giant corporations.

    So the real solution is a system where GM, Wal Mart, Shell, Exxon and Mcdonalds are owned by the US government and by workers and the smaller corporations would still be privately owned.

    So the Market-Socialism of the XXI Century is an economic model proposed by a philosophical revisionism of the Democratic Left of the XXI Century, by Heinz Deterich, Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Allan Woods and which is linked to real Marxism and Lenism but not to Stalinism.

    Stalin was a Hitler, a Pinochet, an ultra-right wing dictator.

    The Market-Socialism for the XXI Century is gonna be a transitional political model between corporate-capitalism (Today’s USA economic system) and 100%-socialism (Workers-socialism)

    I really don’t see any other political system which is better for USA other than Market-socialism (Boliviarian Socialism of the XXI Century)

  14. mary said on August 7th, 2009 at 4:51am #

    I put up a link earlier to the article by Jeremy Scahill in the Nation.

    I have only just read the testimony of John Doe#2 which is here.

    Items 9 – 11 are of particular interest – Prince’s crazed view of himself as a Christian Crusader and his desire to rid the world of Muslims – the use of call signs related to the Knights of the Templar within his groups – the desire to kill as many Iraqis as possible – and so on.

    And Dan E whatever you say that remark of FG’s was offensive and distasteful. There are other ways of saying you disagree with someone and/or their opinions.

  15. Tennessee-With-Zelaya said on August 7th, 2009 at 8:11am #



    Across the country tens of thousands of immigrant workers have become the target of I-9 audits and the use of E-Verify leading to mass firings. A clear attack on the working class across the country (documented or not), Obama Administration must put a stop to the cheap scapegoating and racial profiling of Latino immigrants. This is certainly not the change we voted for, and not the immigration reform promised by President Barack Obama.
    The workers of Overhill Farms, American Apparel, Farmer Johns and others call on all immigrant and human rights organizations and supporters to DEMAND THAT OBAMA STOP THE RAMPANT I-9 AUDITS AND E-VERIFY!


    Stop the ICE Raids Now!

    Full Legalization for All!
    Stop the Rampant I-9 Audits & E-Verify

  16. Absolute-Marxist said on August 7th, 2009 at 8:12am #



    Beware of the conspiracy lunatics. (Most conspiracy theorists are ultra-right wingers)

    I think that most americans are too libertarian capitalist, and too in love with the libertarian, neoliberal anti-welfare, capitalist system, because even though there are 280 million people in the United States with acess to internet, they still don’ get their political information from the web but from mainstream television news.

    i think that they get their political information from NBC, ABC, CNN and talk shows like Jay Leno, David Letterman, and are people who are addicted to Hollywood Movies, you know the DVD rental vendor machines where u can rent Hollywood bourgeoise movies for 1 dollar


  17. Absolute-Marxist said on August 7th, 2009 at 9:31am #

    Honduran Coup: The US Connection
    by Conn Hallinan

  18. rosemarie jackowski said on August 7th, 2009 at 10:56am #

    Thanks for another great article, Bill Blum.
    About Vermont’s Senator Leahy…He just secured a 1.05BILLION $$$ military contract. It will be used to escalate the war in Afghanistan. I wrote an article about it, titled “An Important Moral Question”. As usual, the article has been banned in Vermont but is available on the Internet.

  19. rosemarie jackowski said on August 7th, 2009 at 11:02am #

  20. Don Hawkins said on August 7th, 2009 at 1:52pm #

    banned in Vermont oh no that’s a sign you know. Remember freedom work’s and appears different kind’s of freedom taking place on the third planet from the Sun.

  21. Don Hawkins said on August 7th, 2009 at 2:07pm #

    The best way to protect the troops would be to keep them on US soil. They are needed to build housing for the homeless.
    And yes, that manufacturing site in Vermont, it could be converted into a factory that builds tractors for farmers. $1.05 billion would provide a lot of high quality tractors that could be donated to family farms.

    Rosemarie I see now why it was banned in Vermont. Radical ideas you wrote there and let me add those tractors should run on natural gas as the troops are building low loss power lines as fast as they can and thermal towers as we nationalize the oil companies and power companies but as we all know cap and trade a joke on the human race probably can’t pass mind boggling in it’s shear stupidity.

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 7th, 2009 at 6:32pm #

    I’m still waiting to see one prominent US Obamaniac admit that they were comprehensively conned. In Australia we voted out John Howard after eleven evil years of the vilest misrule ever in our country’s history. It was soon apparent that nothing substantive had changed, that any anticipation of change from neo-liberalism in economics and obeisance to neo-conservatism in foreign affairs was profoundly misplaced. Our new PM, Rudd, soon revealed himself as a cipher,with no deep ideol0gical convictions whatsoever, and a God-botherer, a new and lamentable development in our politics, as well. Rudd occasionally blesses us with ‘essays’ where the incoherence of his ideology and understanding of market capitalist realities and his profound naivete, to be kind, as to the real power relations here and everywhere under capitalism are revealed. One day he attacks neo-liberal greed and excess, the next he obdurately insists on a ‘market-based’ emissions trading system to address greenhouse gas emissions.
    Where it really counts he just continues Howardite policy, behind a facade of meaningless gestures. He continues Howardite assimilationist policies to destroy Aboriginal society, after apologising to Aborigines, which Howard always refused to do, being not one whit sorry for any of the depravities visited upon the indigenous. Rudd, tellingly, insisted, despite his ‘apology’ that it did not signal the need for compensation in any concrete form for the child-theft or dispossession of the past. Lofty words (well, banal cliches, actually-he’s no rhetorician)are easy. Money is better rationed and kept for those who know how best to accumulate it.
    So we know a bit about betrayal here. However, I don’t think many but the gloriously ingenuous ever expected much of Rudd. The Labor Party here sold out comprehensively years ago. We have the classic capitalist one-party state, with two wings fighting for the patronage of business. However, Rudd, despite being our most Rightwing Labor leader ever, has been under recent heavy attack from the Murdoch media sewer, utilising their tried and tested tactics of innuendo, rumour peddling, disinformation, cynial double-standards and outright lying that the world has come to expect from Murdochism. One wonders how Rudd annoyed the cappo di tutti cappi.
    However, our betrayal pales into nothingness next to Obama’s. The policy continuation with Bushism is undisguised. Indeed in many areas it is greater, more marked, than under Bush. The attacks against China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan are even more fevered than under Bush. The transfer of trillions, no questions asked, to the banksters defies belief. The possibly deliberate hash being made of healthcare signals another victory for the psychopaths of the Republican Right. A few meaningless verbal gestures apart (for which he has received a tsunami of bellicose, deeply racist abuse from the Judeofascist extreme Right)Obama is as far up the Israel Lobby’s fundamental orifice as any previous US leader. In every way I can think of Obama has revealed himself as a fraud, a ‘confidence-man’ who clearly never had any intention of reforming US society and its power relations, although he gave the clear impression that he would, through the fog of his inspired but plainly manipulative rhetoric. I expected no other result, simply by considering the unbroken lessons of US political history. I considered Obama a multi-purpose candidate for the US establishment. First the facade of his dark skin will be used for as long as possible to befuddle the guiless into believing things have changed, while Obama executes the unchanging US imperialist policy. Secondly he will, by his selling-out of his followers, hopefully demoralise them and discredit the political process for years, leading to much higher rates of abstention from voting amongst the burgeoning underclass. I think that the performance of McCain in the election, his feigned senility and incomprehension, his lunatic vice-President candidate etc, all were signs that the Republicans were throwing the election, having nothing to fear and much to gain from a one-term Obama Presidency that would rip the heart out of many on what passes for the Left in the US.

  23. Suthiano said on August 7th, 2009 at 6:51pm #

    Thanks Mulga, I don’t often get such insight into Australian politics, though I’m not suprised to learn it is much like it is in Canada.

    I’m also waiting to hear these sentiments about Obama. I recently met a young American who still wanted to give him a chance, wasn’t “ready to give up”…. still clinging to that hope. And as you said the “hope bubble” will burst leading to a depression, a huge sense of despair for those who refused to examine reality. Or they will shift their politics, becoming cynical and “centrist”, labeling their views “realism” and decrying anyone who thinks things can or should be changed.

    Maybe i am erring too in having no hope. I see no hope that things will be changed without first devolving into chaos.

  24. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 7th, 2009 at 10:12pm #

    You are absolutely correct suthiano, at least in my opinion. The current world system has been designed to be immutable. It promotes and rewards that type who detest other people and whose ego-drives trump all other considerations. Its operating principle, market fundamentalist capitalism, is essentially anti-human, anti-life even, but as the elites who benefit from it are acutely aware of their own mortality and don’t care what happens after they are dead, it rolls on like the juggernaut, and we are all sacrificial victims thrown beneath its wheels whether we like it or not. I believed in reform and progress to a humane, just and morally upright world until my early adulthood, despite much evidence even by then that it would not happen, simply because the powers that be do not, and never will, desire it. Ever since the process of moral decay and spiritual death has mirrored the ecological collapse, and there are plainly dread synergies and exacerbations betwen the two. The great lesson I have drawn from life is that evil is innate, for whatever reason, whatever combination of nature and nurture, within many human individuals, and that, in human affairs as they currently stand, evil is far more potent a force than good.As you say collapse into chaos is our one slim hope. With about one chance in a million, such a collapse of the dominant paradigm of insatiable avarice enforced by limitless violence, may lead to a system based on collaboration and shared enjoyment and deep responsibility, for others, for the biosphere and for future generations. Far, far more likely I fear, is the descent into genocidal brutality, the war of all against all, driven by that fraction of humanity which feels no compunction whatsoever in killing, intimidating and coercing, so long as it feeds their gigantic egotism.

  25. Annie Ladysmith said on August 7th, 2009 at 10:44pm #

    What stones are overturned, what heaps of garbage must they go through, what dank, rotting Bayou slime must they drege to come up with these bottom dwellers that run Blackwater?? They are the very equivalent to serial murderers except it’s a business and they get highly paid for it. It’s sickening that a ‘civilized’ government would contract a bunch of serial killers to control the civilian population of an occupied nation by fear, shame, death, and of course torture. Putting an end to this would be trully a step in the right direction.

  26. Hue Longer said on August 8th, 2009 at 3:47am #

    Hello Mulga,

    Claiming it’s worse now forgets that it was worse too then. You know that since -if not before-the little silver cunt who could, labour was a joke in Oz.

    The ABC is the same as KPBS…makes it all seem cool…RELATIVELY

    (I know you know)

    Trust me as an expat on this bit… The US “left” who support Obama NEVER and will NEVER attack and ALWAYS and will ALWAYS defend”their guy” when fuckwits from the right read their blowjob/illegal immigrant/
    ‘truther” cue cards. You really need to follow US football or baseball from childhood to truly grasp how fucking ingrained it can be.

    I asked before but do you have any stuff from you or your old man that I could read?

    A Fan,

  27. Don Hawkins said on August 8th, 2009 at 5:52am #

    Last night on the Glenn Beck show a guy named Eric Bolling was hosting the show. His first people were Ann Coulter and two other people. Well the talk was about heath care and of course we need to keep the status quo. Bolling and Coulter seemed to get a kick out of themselves to say the least. Later on the Hannity show on Fox the fair and balanced people Hannity had on this one guy who said because of this health care debate so that’s what they call it and what’s going on if someone get’s hurt it will be the fault of the President. Of course lobbyists who work for corporations have nothing to do with this. I knew we would start to see the good the bad and the ugly and not just about health care kind of a drop in the bucket as we move forward on the third planet from the Sun in spacetime. I used to watch Eric Bolling on CNBC the show fast money yep fast money. On that show they used to laugh that Bolling would go to Las Vegas to I guess unwind. Well Bolling went to Fox business and seems to fit in rather well. After watching Bolling and Coulter talk about health care for some reason my first thought was the book “The Stand”. Anyway later in the show Bolling did a little thing with a chart I forget what the chart was as Bolling had a baseball bat as a pointer for the chart. Nice touch don’t you think a baseball bat interesting prop. Yes this guy seems to fit right in with the fair and balanced people. It’s strange how this whole thing is playing out freedom work’s the money the power has now made the demonstration there own on the third planet from the Sun.

    FreedomWorks fights for lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom for all Americans. Go get them Dick Armey and Steve Forbes. Economic freedom for all Americans has a real ring to it and could just be the least of our problems. Well my old friend Yoda I think said it well.

    “You must unlearn what you have learned.” “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…” Oh Glenn, Steve, Dick, Bolling, Ann, Rush and let’s not forget the people on the other side of this so called debate on the third planet from the Sun.

    Now for all of us who seem to be caught in the middle of this insanity.

    “You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. ” Calm at peace.

  28. Don Hawkins said on August 8th, 2009 at 7:46am #

    Well I see now that Palin just said that Obama’s health care plan is evil. There appears to be enough evil in the World to go around and the health care plan is not evil. Granted it could be done in a more simple way but evil I think not. Calm at peace

  29. Don Hawkins said on August 8th, 2009 at 3:02pm #

    And just think after the health care debate/insanity we all get to watch the climate change bill called cap and trade. If you think health care is strange wait until the lobbyists who work for big coal and big oil and big power get going. Of course cap and trade is a joke on the human race does very little to slow the problem and a much more simple approach would be to tax the carbon and return the money back to the people but looks like not to be just more illusion and pitting one side against the other that in reality is no side at all. Must be a lick to do this kind of stuff for some on the third planet from the Sun. Yes a real kick.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain said on August 8th, 2009 at 7:29pm #

    Don, when I watch FoxNews, for the same reason I read Murdoch-Moloch’s ‘The Australian’, ie for my daily dose of the ‘banality of evil’, I’m ever impressed by just how scabrous a selection of degenerate examples of human pathopsychology they all are. Of course, from the Orwellian banality of the ‘Fair and Balanced’ laugh, that errs on the side of trying too hard to insult the intelligence, to the imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions of the resident robopaths, it’s all a salutary lesson in the essential poisonousness of market capitalism. Any system that allows media, hence propaganda power, to fall almost entirely into the hands of evil imbeciles, does not have a rosy future. While the Yanks are brainwashed with increasingly lunatic fervour into seeing public health-care and saving the planet’s biosystems as Satanism, the Chinese just get on with the job. Not having to pander to malignant morons, in the name of a totally fraudulent ‘democracy’ just gets more and more appealing. The rulers of the US, being nothing if not egotists, find the obvious third-ratedness of their ineffable Republic of Avarice, an affront to their unmerited delusions of supremacy in all things. A war with China is inevitable, if only to slake their blood-lust for ever greater massacres, and to avenge the insult to their ‘Manifest Destiny’ that is China’s rise to global power parity, if not dominance.

  31. Don Hawkins said on August 9th, 2009 at 4:54am #

    In a reflection of the tensions between Chinese environmental regulators and local authorities over the loss of jobs and economic activity, an official of Sun’s agency, Xu Yongsheng, said seven local officials and company managers were punished for restarting power plants after the agency closed them.

    China relies on coal for about 60 percent of its power.

    The Finance Ministry announced an initiative last week to promote development of China’s solar power industry, promising to pay up to 70 percent of the cost of new solar systems. AP

    And now the fair and balanced people.

    China is coming under increasing pressure for its reliance on coal. China recently has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas polluter, and the power sector is a big reason for that. According to a study by environmental group Greenpeace, China’s three biggest power producers emitted more greenhouse gases than the entire U.K. in 2008.

    China has been promoting the use of cleaner coal technology, such as costly power plants that burn at a much higher temperature and have lower emissions, and is looking into even more expensive, cutting-edge technology that could strip out carbon gas from power plants and store the greenhouse gas underground. Chinese officials have so far said this carbon capture technology is too immature to be widely used.

    China has pushed back on any absolute limits on its emissions, a roadblock for coming up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in negotiations in December.WSJ

    I’m ever impressed by just how scabrous a selection of degenerate examples of human pathopsychology they all are. Of course, from the Orwellian banality of the ‘Fair and Balanced’ laugh, that errs on the side of trying too hard to insult the intelligence, to the imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions of the resident robopaths, it’s all a salutary lesson in the essential poisonousness of market capitalism. Mulga

    Let’s see here in the States just with health care the imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions of the resident robopaths is now reaching new levels. Next is energy and cap and trade and very sure the imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions are going to start. Hay how about here in the States pay up to 70 percent of the cost of new solar systems or for that matter any system that is clean. Can you imagine the imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions at say Fox instead of a baseball bat that was already used and of course was not used to send a message what next? Remember those first tea party’s in the States and Glenn Beck in Texas? During that little get together Glenn had on the guy that shot those two people on his property and what did that have to do with Tax’s or was it kind of a message.

    Ohhh! Great warrior!
    Wars not make one great!

    “You must unlearn what you have learned.” “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will…” And of course they want us all if they could to go down that dark path with them. Well to all these scabrous selection of degenerate examples of human pathopsychology try this one out.

    “You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. Use the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack. ”

    Calm at peace as in just the next six month’s imcomprehensible rhetorical contortions will be seen in living color as we all go down the drain in clowntown USA.

  32. Josie Michel-Brüning said on August 9th, 2009 at 5:18am #

    Dear Bill Blum,
    thank you very much again for your well-funded article by the lists you added etc.!
    My husband and I copied all for passing it to our friends.