Sunday, May 24, 2015

"...Curiously, the climate champions, the same who promote carbon credits generating billions of profits for speculating Wall Street, hardly ever mention the enormous CO2 boot-print of the wars and conflicts around the globe – and their potential for drastic reduction through peace. – Why is that?

The Suffering Is Too Great to Endure
Hope – versus Neoliberalism – an Ode to Solidarity

By Peter Koenig

...According to a recent ‘shocking’ IMF revelation, worldwide subsidies for fossil fuels are estimated at US$5.3 trillion for 2015. The institution says that the subsidies are largely accounting for the money governments have to spend to treat victims of air pollution from CO2 emission and from the loss of income due to illnesses. 

In other words, the study has for once accounted for the so-called externalities caused by the use of hydrocarbons. The subsidy counts for about 6.5% of global GDP. Based on figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) cutting the subsidies could reduce premature deaths from outdoor air pollution by 50% - saving 1.6 million lives, because it is assumed to reduce the use of hydrocarbons worldwide.

So – why is no serious effort made to abolish these subsidies, by having the polluter pay the full cost of the damage he causes? The subject of hydrocarbon subsides is not new. It has been whispered about – no loud words, of course – for at least the last five years. Nothing changed. 

Because the US / NATO military war machine is the world’s largest single fossil fuel consumer. 

What fossil fuel subsidies mean is actually subsidizing Washington led invasions, wars, as well as proxy wars instigated by the hegemon’s objectives. – The entire world helps subsidizing, willy-nilly the US-driven killing machine, despite their suffering from it. – So – why should anything change?

... Mining for minerals and natural resources has skyrocketed during the past 20 years. Pristine forests and entire ecosystems are being slaughtered and plundered without scruples by international mining corporations. They are helped by the infamous threesome, WTO, IMF, World Bank, through trade agreements and draconian conditions imposed by structural adjustment type lending operations.

Resources owning developing countries are enslaved by debt. Letting their resources being exploited for a pittance, most often without any consideration for environmental protection, despite assertions to the contrary, is their only hope to loosen the noose of debt around their neck – just enough to breathe. 

And why has mining become a booming industry, mind you not for the countries that let themselves be mined, but for the mining transnationals – because the western war machine needs lots of minerals and rare earths for their ever more sophisticated electronically and technology-driven weapons and killing gadgets. 

Although there are no certain figures available, estimates have it that at least 50% of today’s mining output is used by the industrial war complex. 

Mining is one of the globe’s dirtiest, most socially destabilizing and environmentally destructive industries. But it serves the neoliberal advancement towards world domination. 

The empires chief vassals, the EU, are tormented during the last few years by an ever growing invasion of refugees from African and Middle Eastern conflict zones. Thousands are dying by attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach the EU’s southern shores to safety –to promised heaven. 

More than 4,000 have perished at sea already this year – estimated figures for future victims are increasing rapidly as wars and conflicts – for neoliberal greed – intensify. Those who make it will be held for years in refugee camps, some returned, but few will make it up to the northern European partners.

There is no solidarity in the European Union. To the contrary, the EU Commission has just decided to fight these refugees from misery, disease and death – by military force; completely ignoring that the EU itself with its subservient complicity with Washington is responsible for the conflicts that cause the flood of refugees in the first place

Shame on you, Brussels – shame on you, every single member of the wretched band of egocentric, neoliberal EU members, devoid of any sense of solidarity, of humanity – greed is the epitome of your worthlessness!

The greed economy is everywhere. It is intricately woven into our western system of life. Reforms will hardly make a difference. They are just typical band aid remedies. The octopus loses one tentacle, but two more grow in its stead to give the monster even more ferocity. 

We are so thirsty for hope, hope for another, more just, more equitable world, we see hope in the first ‘blinking of an eye’. Hope is good. Hope is the basis for action. And action must be the consequence of hope – hope that not all is lost. 

Action to break that impasse of neoliberal all-engulfing greed must be simple. We have become strangers to ourselves. We must return to our roots, recognizing where and why we failed to diagnose the beast. Our awakened, re-kindled sense of consciousness may lead us to what we have lost – our inherent sense of solidarity.

Let’s hope together for that to happen – to happen soon, for the suffering is too great to endure much longer. We, the 99.99 % have it in our power to stop this misery and safe our planet. 

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Those of us who have always exposed the so-called "War on Terror" as an evil hoax serving the imperial interests of the super-rich, are usually dismissed by the mainstream propaganda media as "conspiracy theorists" and nutters. However, these articles should challenge anyone who still thinks the governments of the U.S. and its allies are the 'good guys'. The first article is straight from the horse's mouth. . .

2012 Defense Intelligence Agency Document:
West Will Facilitate Rise of Islamic State “in Order to Isolate the Syrian Regime”

By Brad Hoff

On Monday, May 18, the conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch published a selection of formerly classified documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense and State Department through a federal lawsuit... 

confirmation is contained in one of the Defense Intelligence Agency documents circulated in 2012: that an ‘Islamic State’ is desired in Eastern Syria to effect the West’s policies in the region...

The document shows that as early as 2012, U.S. intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a U.S. strategic asset.

While a number of analysts and journalists have documented long ago the role of western intelligence agencies in the formation and training of the armed opposition in Syria, this is the highest level internal U.S. intelligence confirmation of the theory that western governments fundamentally see ISIS as their own tool for regime change in Syria...

The newly released DIA report makes the following summary points concerning “ISI” (in 2012 “Islamic State in Iraq,”) and the soon to emerge ISIS:
  • Al-Qaeda drives the opposition in Syria
  • The West identifies with the opposition...
  • The establishment of a “Salafist Principality” in Eastern Syria is “exactly” what the external powers  supporting the opposition want (identified as “the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey”) in order to weaken the Assad government
  • “Safe havens” are suggested in areas conquered by Islamic insurgents along the lines of the Libyan model (which translates to so-called no-fly zones as a first act of ‘humanitarian war'; see 7.B.)...
  • A Sunni “Islamic State” could be devastating to “unifying Iraq” and could lead to “the renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.” (see last non-redacted line in full PDF view.)

Read more, including public comments:

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth: The U.S. government and its various allies are supporting terrorism, while pretending to fight it!



"...No healthy democracy can possibly function where this warped mindset prevails: we are entitled to hide anything we do that makes us look bad because making us look bad harms “national security,” and we are the ones who make that decision without challenge. ...

But even more threatening than the menace to democracy is the propagandzied public this mentality guarantees. A government that is able to hide its own atrocities on “national security” grounds will be one whose public endlessly focuses on the crimes of others while remaining blissfully unaware of one’s own nation.

That is an excellent description of much of the American and British public, and as good an explanation as any why much of their public discourse consists of little more than proclamations that Our Side is Better despite the decades of brutality, aggression and militarism their own side has perpetrated.

Posted on  by Soren Dreier
Author: Jake Anderson

In recent years, the mere notion of the conspiracy theory has increasingly been stigmatized and ridiculed by mainstream news outlets, internet trolls, and “rational” thinkers.

Yet, with powerful revelations by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and generations of intrepid journalists, we now know that many outlandish geopolitical and domestic “conspiracy theories” were and are cold-blooded truths of the modern world.

Here are 10 that are well-documented and profoundly disturbing…

Weekend Reviews

Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

US Bombers to Australia
By Dr. Binoy Kampmark

"...remarks made last week by David Shear, the US Defence Department’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. Before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Shear explained that Washington would “be placing additional air force assets in Australia as well, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.”...

A few trembles could be felt at this announcement in Canberra, despite the continuing fantasy on the part of officials down under that the US presence in the region somehow acts as one of stability...

While the Abbott government, like other Australian ones before it, happily endorse a form of bottom feeding lackey status, the presence of strategic bombers may have been a step too far, at least for now.  The reality remains that any country silly enough to host powerful, strategic powers is bound to be inviting itself as a target, not of stability, but concerted instability... As far as the bombers were concerned, the Prime Minister made inquiries...

What goes on in Washington tends to provide a better barometric reading as to what happens in Canberra – notably when it comes to the deployment of US marines and other military assets.  The Australian view on the subject is nigh irrelevant..."

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Behind the Media’s Assault on Seymour Hersh
By Shamus Cooke  

Obama’s lies look like accomplices instead of news reporters. 

Report: Saudis To Purchase Pakistani Atomic Bomb?
By Judah Ari Gross
“For the Saudis the moment has come,” a former US defense official told the UK’s Sunday Times. 


By Ben Caspit
Israel is in the midst of a somewhat secret diplomatic world war against the United States. And in this war, Israel is acting as if it is a world power. 

By Robert Fisk
In Canada – the totally pro-Israeli Conservative government of Stephen Harper intends to list the boycotting of Israel as a “hate crime”. 

Robert Parry: "raising questions of journalistic fakery"

Fake Evidence Blaming Russia for MH-17?
By Robert Parry

"An Australian television show claims to have solved the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down mystery – the Russians did it! – but the program appears to have faked a key piece of evidence and there remain many of the same doubts as before, along with the dog-not-barking question of why the U.S. government has withheld its intelligence data...

The significance of the Australian news show’s sleight of hand is that if the BUK launcher was making its “getaway” through government-controlled territory, not through Luhansk on its way back to Russia, much of the Russia-did-it scenario collapses. It also means the Australian audience was grossly misled."

Read this story, and follow the public comments:

The original Australian "60 Minutes" TV report:
MH17 – Special Investigation
"The Russian Are Lying And Here Is The Truth"

"60 Minutes", Australia -  
Video Report  

Monday, May 18, 2015

The CIA doesn't want Jeffrey Sterling's voice to be heard. We do.

GRAPHIC: Sign here button
 Share this action on Facebook
RootsAction has been campaigning for CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling for six months. On Wednesday the New York Times published an editorial for the first time expressing any criticism of the awful way he's been treated.

You may have heard the bad news -- Sterling was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Many RootsAction supporters have stood by Jeffrey Sterling. Now we need to do more.

For the first time since his indictment more than four years ago, this week the world was able to hear Jeffrey’s voice -- and the voice of his wife Holly -- in an extraordinary short film. This powerful documentary was directed by Oscar-nominee Judith Ehrlich and produced by RootsAction co-founder Norman Solomon on behalf of ExposeFacts.

Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the film already. And we want millions more to watch soon.

Please click here to provide support with a donation (tax-deductible for taxpayers in the U.S.) so that the nonprofit ExposeFacts and RootsAction Education Fund can make this film go viral across the USA and around the world.

The CIA really doesn't want Jeffrey Sterling's voice to be heard. We do. It's that simple.

Below you will find links to articles about the CIA's vendetta against Jeffrey Sterling for being a brave whistleblower. As the Sterling Family Fund explains: "Unfortunately for Jeffrey, he became the government's primary target because he had the audacity to do two things: He went through appropriate legal channels to address his concerns about a covert CIA operation." And, "He filed a [racial] discrimination lawsuit against the CIA…"

To help amplify Jeffrey's voice -- to show that the government can lock up his body but not his voice -- click here.

To help the Sterling Family Fund, click here.

After taking action, please share this email with friends who care about whistleblowers, independent journalism and democracy.
And if you haven't already watched "The Invisible Man: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling", click here.

Thank you!
--- The RootsAction Team


Sunday, May 17, 2015

A "most insightful, straight-talking piece" - well worth the read!

Bin Laden: What Do We Really Know?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

TPP: The Dirtiest Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of

2 Minute Video

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could cost us our internet freedom, labor rights, access to affordable medicine, the safety of our food, and protections that keep our water and air clean.

"... they don't consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts..."  !

The following article from Investigative historian, Eric Zuesse:

How America’s ‘News’ Media Killed America’s Democracy: TPP and TTIP

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Eric Zuesse.

Eric Zuesse

As I reported on Wednesday, a deal was worked out in the U.S. Senate on the early afternoon of May 13th to “Fast-Track” through to approval U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed trade deals, TPP with Asia, and TTIP with Europe. 

(It should have been reported on the nightly TV news programs, but most of them ignored it then, and reported the news only the next day when the Senators made it official.)

TPP and TTIP have been represented in America’s press as ‘trade’ deals, but instead they’re actually about sovereignty. 

They’re about America and the other participating countries handing their democratic sovereignty — on regulation of the environment, consumer protection, worker protection, and finance — over to panels, all of whose members will be selected by the large international corporations that for years have been working with U.S. President Obama’s Trade Representative to draft these “trade” treaties.

If some corporation “C” under these ‘trade deals’ then brings a case to one of those panels and says that country “X” has any regulations regarding the environment, consumer protection, worker protection, or finance, that are stricter than the ones that are set forth in TPP and TTIP, then country X will be assessed to pay a fine to corporation C, for “unfair trade practices” against that corporation. 

In other words: these corporate panels will constitute a new international government, with the power to fine countries for exceeding the regulations that are set forth in these international ‘trade’ treaties.

President Obama’s Trade Representative, Michael Froman, has told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that is of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or enforcement. 

On April 22nd, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered “AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t A Violation,” and reported that, 

“Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.” 

In other words: this is and will be the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP and TTIP, just as it is already, in the far-smaller NAFTA. 

“Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” 

The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself managed to get implemented on paper. 

“Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.” 


“’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed  to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’” 

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both the TPP, and the TTIP.

Any country in TPP or TTIP that brings up worker-protection regulations which are beyond this abysmal level will be fined by corporate panels, and those fines will then become income to the companies whose ‘rights’ (such as to murder labor-organizers) have been violated, under the terms of the given treaty: TPP or TTIP.

And that’s just one example of the type of sovereignty (in this instance over workers’ rights) that is being ceded to international corporations, under these ‘trade’ deals.

As the UN’s top official on such matters has said, TTP and TTIP will produce “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots.”

It couldn’t have happened if not for the fact that such news reports as that just quoted from Huffington Post have constituted only a tiny minority of the ‘news’ reports about these proposed ‘trade’ deals, in the American press.

Every Senator, and every member of the U.S. House, who votes for “Fast Track” approval for these deals, is looking for big money from big corporations, and not for fulfilling his or her supposed and oathed job: to be an authentic representative of the public back home — and of their children, and future generations.

The idea that these are ‘free market’ treaties is the biggest of all Big Lies. 

They’re a transfer of sovereignty from national democracies to a fascistic world government. 

This is the biggest news-story of our times, and it’s been virtually ignored, until it’s too late to stop.