Tuesday, February 24, 2015

They lied about Vietnam & Iraq back then. . .
And they are lying about Ukraine now.

Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine


As the Ukraine crisis worsens, Official Washington fumes only about “Russian aggression” — much as a half century ago, the Tonkin Gulf talk was all about “North Vietnamese aggression.” But then and now there were other sides to the story – and questions that Congress needed to ask, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

February 21, 2015 "ICH" - "Consortium News" - 


Many current members of Congress, especially progressives, may have envisioned how they would have handled the Tonkin Gulf crisis in 1964. 

In their imaginations, they would have asked probing questions and treated the dubious assertions from the White House with tough skepticism before voting on whether to give President Lyndon Johnson the authority to go to war in Vietnam.

If they had discovered what CIA and Pentagon insiders already knew – that the crucial second North Vietnamese “attack” on U.S. destroyers likely never happened and that the U.S. warships were not on some “routine” patrol but rather supporting a covert attack on North Vietnamese territory – today’s members of Congress would likely see themselves joining Senators Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening as the only ones voting no.

Bravery in hindsight is always easy, but things feel quite different when Official Washington is locked in one of its pro-war “group thinks” when all the “important people” – from government to the media to think tanks – are pounding their chests and talking tough, as they are now on Russia and Ukraine.

Then, if you ask your probing questions and show your tough skepticism, you will have your patriotism, if not your sanity, questioned. You will be “controversialized,” “marginalized,” “pariahed.” You will be called somebody’s “apologist,” whether it’s Ho Chi Minh or Vladimir Putin.

And nobody wants to go through that because here’s the truth about Official Washington: if you run with the pack – if you stay within the herd – you’ll be safe. 

Even if things go terribly wrong – even if thousands of American soldiers die along with many, many more foreign civilians – you can expect little or no accountability. You will likely keep your job and may well get promoted. But if you stand in the way of the stampede, you’ll be trampled.

After all, remember what happened to Morse and Gruening in their next elections. They both lost. As one Washington insider once told me about the U.S. capital’s culture, “there’s no honor in being right too soon. People just remember that you were out of step and crazy.”

So, the choice often is to do the right thing and be crushed or to run with the pack and be safe. But there are moments when even the most craven member of Congress should look for whatever courage he or she has left and behave like a Morse or a Gruening, especially in a case like the Ukraine crisis which has the potential to spin out of control and into a nuclear confrontation.

Though the last Congress already whipped through belligerent resolutions denouncing “Russian aggression” and urging a military response – with only five Democrats and five Republicans dissenting – members of the new Congress could at least ascertain the facts that have driven the Ukraine conflict. 

Before the world lurches into a nuclear showdown, it might make a little sense to know what got us here.

The Nuland Phone Call

For instance, Congress could investigate the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

What was the significance of the Nuland-Pyatt phone call in early February 2014 in which Nuland exclaimed “Fuck the EU!” and seemed to be handpicking the leaders of a new government? “Yats is the guy,” she said referring to her favorite, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, with Pyatt musing about how to “midwife this thing”?

Among other questions that Congress could pose would be: What does U.S. intelligence know about the role of neo-Nazi extremists whose “sotin” militias infiltrated the Maidan protests and escalated the violence against police last February? [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

And, what does U.S. intelligence know about the mysterious snipers who brought the crisis to a boil on Feb. 20, 2014, by opening fire on police apparently from positions controlled by the extremist Right Sektor, touching off a violent clash that left scores dead, including police and protesters. [A worthwhile documentary on this mystery is “Maidan Massacre.”]

Congress might also seek to determine what was the U.S. government’s role over the next two days as three European countries – Poland, France and Germany – negotiated a deal with Yanukovych on Feb. 21 in which the embattled president agreed to Maidan demands for reducing his powers and accepting early elections to vote him out of office.

Instead of accepting this agreement, which might have averted a civil war, neo-Nazi and other Maidan militants attacked undefended government positions on Feb. 22 and forced officials to flee for their lives. 

Then, instead of standing by the European deal, the U.S. State Department quickly embraced the coup regime as “legitimate.” And, surprise, surprise, Yatsenyuk emerged as the new Prime Minister.

What followed the coup was a Western propaganda barrage to make it appear that the Ukrainian people were fully behind this “regime change” even though many ethnic Russian Ukrainians in the east and south clearly felt disenfranchised by the unconstitutional ouster of their president.

A U.S. congressional inquiry also might ask: Was there any internal U.S. government assessment of the risks involved in allowing Nuland and Pyatt to pursue a “regime change” strategy on Russia’s border? If so, did the assessment take into account the likely Russian reaction to having an ally next door overthrown by anti-Russian extremists with the intent to put Ukraine into NATO and potentially bring NATO armaments to Russia’s frontyard?

Since the entire crisis has been presented to the American people within an anti-Yanukovyh/anti-Moscow propaganda paradigm – both by the U.S. mainstream news media and by the U.S. political/academic elites – there has been virtually no serious examination of the U.S. complicity. No one in Official Washington dares say anything but “Russian aggression.”

Post-Coup Realities

Beyond the events surrounding the coup a year ago, there were other pivotal moments as this crisis careened out of control. For instance, what does U.S. intelligence know about the public opinion in Crimea prior to the peninsula’s vote for secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia on March 16?

The State Department portrayed the referendum as a “sham” but more objective observers acknowledge that the vote – although hasty – reflected a broad consensus inside Crimea to bail out of the failed Ukrainian state and rejoin a somewhat more functional Russia, where pensions are about three times higher and have a better chance of being paid.

Then, there was the massacre of ethnic Russians burned alive in Odessa’s trade union building on May 2, with neo-Nazi militias again on the front lines. Like other topics that put the U.S.-backed coup regime in a bad light, the Odessa massacre quickly moved off the front pages and there has been little follow-up from international agencies that supposedly care about human rights. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Reality.”]

The next major catastrophe associated with the Ukraine crisis was the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17. 

Again, the State Department rushed to a judgment blaming the ethnic Russian rebels and Russia for the tragedy that killed all 298 people onboard. 

However, I’ve been told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had a very different take on who was responsible, finding evidence implicating a rogue element of the Ukrainian government.

However, following the pattern of going silent whenever the Kiev coup regime might look bad, there was a sudden drop-off of interest in the MH-17 case, apparently not wanting to disrupt the usefulness of the earlier anti-Russian propaganda. 

When a Dutch-led inquiry into the crash issued an interim report last October, there was no indication that the Obama administration had shared its intelligence information. 
[See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Danger of an MH-17 Cold Case.”]

There also is little interest from Congress about what the MH-17 evidence shows. 

Even some progressive members are afraid to ask for a briefing from U.S. intelligence analysts, possibly because the answers might force a decision about whether to blow the whistle on a deception that involved Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior Obama administration officials.

This sort of cowardly misfeasance of duty marks the latest step in a long retreat from the days after the Vietnam War when Congress actually conducted some valuable investigations. In the 1970s, there were historic inquiries into Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, led by Sen. Sam Ervin, and into CIA intelligence abuses by Sen. Frank Church.

A Downward Spiral

Since then, congressional investigations have become increasingly timid, such as the Iran-Contra and October Surprise investigations led by Rep. Lee Hamilton in the late 1980s and early 1990s, shying away from evidence of impeachable wrongdoing by President Ronald Reagan. Then, in the 1990s, a Republican-controlled Congress obsessed over trivial matters such as President Bill Clinton’s personal finances and sex life.

Congressional oversight dysfunction reached a new low when President George W. Bush made baseless claims about Iraq’s WMD and Saddam Hussein’s intent to share nuclear, chemical and biological weapons with al-Qaeda. Rather than perform any meaningful due diligence, Congress did little more than rubber stamp Bush’s claims by authorizing the Iraq War.

Years afterwards, there were slow-moving investigations into the WMD intelligence “failure” and into the torture practices that were used to help fabricate evidence for the fake WMD claims. Those investigations, however, were conducted behind closed doors and did little to educate the broader American public. There apparently wasn’t much stomach to call the perpetrators of those abuses before televised hearings.

The only high-profile foreign-affairs hearings that have been held in recent years have been staged by House Republicans on the made-up scandal over an alleged cover-up of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a hot-button issue for the GOP base but essentially a non-story.

Now, the United States is hurtling toward a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and this congressional ineptness could become an existential threat to the planet. 

The situation also has disturbing similarities to the Tonkin Gulf situation although arguably much, much more dangerous.

Misleading Americans to War

In 1964, there also was a Democratic president in Lyndon Johnson with Republicans generally to his right demanding a more aggressive military response to fight communism in Vietnam. 

So, like today with President Barack Obama in the White House and Republicans demanding a tougher line against Russia, there was little reason for Republicans to challenge Johnson when he seized on the Tonkin Gulf incident to justify a ratcheting up of attacks on North Vietnam. Meanwhile, also like today, Democrats weren’t eager to undermine a Democratic president.

The result was a lack of oversight regarding the White House’s public claims that the North Vietnamese launched an unprovoked attack on U.S. warships on Aug. 4, 1964, even though Pentagon and CIA officials realized very quickly that the initial alarmist reports about torpedoes in the water were almost surely false.

Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1964 was a young Defense Department official, recounts – in his 2002 book Secrets – how the Tonkin Gulf falsehoods took shape, first with the panicked cables from a U.S. Navy captain relaying confused sonar readings and then with that false storyline presented to the American people.

As Ellsberg describes, President Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara announced retaliatory airstrikes on Aug. 4, 1964, telling “the American public that the North Vietnamese, for the second time in two days, had attacked U.S. warships on ‘routine patrol in international waters’; that this was clearly a ‘deliberate’ pattern of ‘naked aggression’; that the evidence for the second attack, like the first, was ‘unequivocal’; that the attack had been ‘unprovoked’; and that the United States, by responding in order to deter any repetition, intended no wider war.”

Ellsberg wrote: “By midnight on the fourth, or within a day or two, I knew that each one of those assurances was false.” 

Yet, the White House made no effort to clarify the false or misleading statements. The falsehoods were left standing for several years while Johnson sharply escalated the war by dispatching a half million soldiers to Vietnam.

In August 1964, the Johnson administration also misled Congress about the facts of the Tonkin Gulf incident. 

Though not challenging that official story, some key members worried about the broad language in the Tonkin Gulf resolution authorizing the President “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression … including the use of armed force.”

As Ellsberg noted, Sen. Gaylord Nelson tried to attach an amendment seeking to limit U.S. involvement to military assistance – not a direct combat role – but that was set aside because of Johnson’s concern that it “would weaken the image of unified national support for the president’s recent actions.”

Ellsberg wrote, “Several senators, including George McGovern, Frank Church, Albert Gore [Sr.], and the Republican John Sherman Cooper, had expressed the same concern as Nelson” but were assured that Johnson had no intention of expanding the war by introducing ground combat forces.

In other words, members of Congress failed to check out the facts and passed the fateful Tonkin Gulf resolution on Aug. 7, 1964. It should be noted, too, that the mainstream U.S. media of 1964 wasn’t asking many probing questions either.

Looking back at that history, it’s easy for today’s members of Congress to think how differently they would have handled that rush to judgment, how they would have demanded to know the details of what the CIA and the Pentagon knew, how they wouldn’t let themselves be duped by White House deceptions.

However, a half century later, the U.S. political/media process is back to the Tonkin Gulf moment, accepting propaganda themes as fact and showing no skepticism about the official line. 

Except today, Official Washington’s war fever is not over a remote corner of Southeast Asia but over a country on the border of nuclear-armed Russia.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “President Gollum’s ‘Precious’ Secrets”; “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brownshirts”; and “Nuclear War and Clashing Ukraine Narratives.”]


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). 

You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.



America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776

By WashingtonsBlog 

February 23, 2015 "ICH" -  


The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 21 Years Total Since Its Birth.

In 2011, Danios wrote:
 Below, I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  
In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars. To put this in perspective:
* Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
* No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”
* The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
* The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

*  *  *

Here is a graphic depiction of U.S. wars:


****

Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War
1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War
1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War
1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War
1795 – Northwest Indian War
1796 – No major war
1797 – No major war
1798 – Quasi-War
1799 – Quasi-War
1800 – Quasi-War
1801 – First Barbary War
1802 – First Barbary War
1803 – First Barbary War
1804 – First Barbary War
1805 – First Barbary War
1806 – Sabine Expedition
1807 – No major war
1808 – No major war
1809 – No major war
1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida
1811 – Tecumseh’s War
1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida
1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida
1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war
1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war
1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war
1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)
1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War
1824 – Anti-piracy war
1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war
1826 – No major war
1827 – Winnebago War
1828 – No major war
1829 – No major war
1830 – No major war 
1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War
1832 – Black Hawk War
1833 – Cherokee Indian War
1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign
1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War
1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War
1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War
1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War
1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars
1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands
1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa
1842 – Seminole Wars
1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast
1844 – Texas-Indian Wars
1845 – Texas-Indian Wars
1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars
1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War
1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition
1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars
1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars
1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians
1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War
1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua
1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay
1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War
1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign
1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,
1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War
1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War
1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War
1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China
1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan
1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War
1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War
1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea
1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War
1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico
1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii
1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances
1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico
1897 – No major war
1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances
1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars
1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War
1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War
1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico
1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico
1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico
1920 – Banana Wars
1921 – Banana Wars
1922 – Banana Wars
1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War
1924 – Banana Wars
1925 – Banana Wars
1926 – Banana Wars
1927 – Banana Wars
1928 – Banana Wars
1930 – Banana Wars
1931 – Banana Wars
1932 – Banana Wars
1933 – Banana Wars
1934 – Banana Wars
1935 – No major war
1936 – No major war
1937 – No major war
1938 – No major war
1939 – No major war
1940 – No major war
1941 – World War II
1942 – World War II
1943 – Wold War II
1944 – World War II
1945 – World War II
1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)
1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)
1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)
1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising
1951 – Korean War
1952 – Korean War
1953 – Korean War
1954 – Covert War in Guatemala
1955 – Vietnam War
1956 – Vietnam War
1957 – Vietnam War
1958 – Vietnam War
1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti
1960 – Vietam War
1961 – Vietnam War
1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)
1963 – Vietnam War
1964 – Vietnam War
1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic
1967 – Vietnam War
1968 – Vietnam War
1969 – Vietnam War
1970 – Vietnam War
1971 – Vietnam War
1972 – Vietnam War
1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War
1974 – Vietnam War
1975 – Vietnam War
1976 – No major war
1977 – No major war
1978 – No major war
1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)
1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident
1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon
1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf
1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)
1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf
1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama
1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines
1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama
1991 – First Gulf War
1992 – Conflict in Iraq
1993 – Conflict in Iraq
1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti
1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1996 – Conflict in Iraq
1997 – No major war
1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan
1999 – Kosovo War
2000 – No major war
2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan
2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen
2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq
2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen
2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen
2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)
In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offense. Danios admits that some of the wars were defensive. However, Danios also leaves out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.

Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:
2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen
2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine
So we can add 4 more years of war. 

That means that for 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. (We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable.)

Indeed, most of the military operations launched since World War II have been launched by the U.S.

And American military spending dwarfs the rest of the world put together.

No wonder polls show that the world believes America is the number 1 threat to peace.




http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/america-war-93-time-222-239-years-since-1776.html


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sanctions Should Be Imposed on the U.S.

By Andre Vltchek
February 16, 2015 "ICH" -  

Another year, another set of coups that we can expect to be administered by the West. This year, it is all beginning in February. First the onslaught against Argentina and following that comes yet another coup against Venezuela, and its democratically elected, progressive government.
The coup has been thwarted. Venezuela prevailed! ...

How much longer can such banditry by the Empire be tolerated? ...

What shocks me, suddenly, is this silence, this calm, all over the world! As if nothing has really taken place. As if nothing is going on!...

Is the monstrous fascist and market-fundamentalist system going to get away with absolutely everything? It has already murdered some 60 million people since the end of the WWII, as I explained in my recent book with Noam Chomsky.

The Empire overthrew every decent government in Africa, in the Middle East, Asia and until recently, in Latin America. It liquidated peaceful and secular Muslim governments and replaced them with thugs or extremists.

Many of us know about it. It is no secret! But then, when the same banditry takes place again and again, everybody stays seated on his or her bum, silent like a buffalo! ...

So this is their famous “democracy” – the one that the West wants to ‘export’ and sticks down the throat of the Chinese people, of Russians, of Latin Americans: the establishment can butcher millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Somalia, in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Papua, Kashmir, Syria and Ukraine, it can attempt to overthrow any democratically elected government in Latin America, but the citizens of the Empire are so ‘pacified’...that they don’t even recognize what is happening in front of their eyes, or what is done in their name. And if they recognize it, they don’t care.

It must remind one of those Germans who were living next to concentration camps, during the war, looking at the smoke coming up from the chimneys, and then claiming that ‘they did not know’.

Have they – Europeans and North Americans – lost their marbles? Their Christian fundamentalist/corporatist states are imposing sanctions on Russia – for nothing. Actually, Russia is being punished for the successful Western act of overthrowing the Ukrainian government! It is all totally bizarre, grotesque, comical. It makes a person with at least a few intact pieces of brain want to puke.

They first create ISIS in those NATO sponsored ‘refugee camps’ in Southern Turkey and Jordan, in order to overthrow the legitimate government in Damascus. Then when ISIS goes gaga, they use it as justification to redeploy troops in Iraq, and to bomb Syria! ...

And now Venezuela!

I believe that Latin America should, immediately, impose sanctions on the United States.

This is not a joke; it can and should be done. This is the only way to deal with the Empire! Merely exposing its acts only, does not obviously help. It just laughs back and continues murdering people and destroying countries that do not want to lick its boots and to sacrifice its people. It does it all in broad daylight.

Venezuela should approach the UN Security Council, and then the ICC (although states like the US or Israel do not recognize it, as they are ‘above the law’).

Enough of fear; enough of this horror! The world cannot count on the Europeans and North Americans. They cannot and are unwilling to control their governments and corporate bandits. ...

The world is not a chessboard, Mr. Obama. But what you are playing is not even chess. It is dirty; an extremely dirty game, which should be stopped by all means.



André Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker, and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest book is with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare. His critically acclaimed political revolutionary novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and market-fundamentalism is called Indonesia: The Archipelago of Fear. He completed a feature documentary Rwanda Gambit (2013) about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website



From ZNet:

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Posted in: Coups, Foreign Policy, Latin America, Politics/Gov., US, Venezuela | Comments: 2
Albert: Why would the U.S. want Venezuela’s government overthrown?
Pilger: There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of US designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious U.S. 
An Oxfam report once famously described the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as ‘the threat of a good example’. That has been true in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez won his first election. The ‘threat’ of Venezuela is greater, of course, because it is not tiny and weak; it is rich and influential and regarded as such by China. The remarkable change in fortunes for millions of people in Latin America is at the heart of U.S. hostility. 
The U.S. has been the undeclared enemy of social progress in Latin America for two centuries. It doesn’t matter who has been in the White House: Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt; the US will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to U.S. demands and pressures. 
A reformist social democracy with a capitalist base – such as Venezuela – is not excused by the rulers of the world. What is inexcusable is Venezuela’s political independence; only complete deference is acceptable. The ‘survival’ of Chavista Venezuela is a testament to the support of ordinary Venezuelans for their elected government – that was clear to me when I was last there.  
Venezuela’s weakness is that the political ‘opposition’ — those I would call the ‘East Caracas Mob’ – represent powerful interests who have been allowed to retain critical economic power. Only when that power is diminished will Venezuela shake off the constant menace of foreign-backed, often criminal subversion. No society should have to deal with that, year in, year out.

What methods has the U.S. already used and would you anticipate their using to unseat the Bolivarians?
There are the usual crop of quislings and spies; they come and go with their media theatre of fake revelations, but the principal enemy is the media. You may recall the Venezuelan admiral who was one of the coup-plotters against Chavez in 2002, boasting during his brief tenure in power, ‘Our secret weapon was the media’. 
The Venezuelan media, especially television, were active participants in that coup, lying that supporters of the government were firing into a crowd of protestors from a bridge. False images and headlines went around the world. The New York Times joined in, welcoming the overthrow of a democratic ‘anti-American’ government; it usually does. Something similar happened in Caracas last year when vicious right-wing mobs were lauded as ‘peaceful protestors’ who were being ‘repressed’. 
This was undoubtedly the start of a Washington-backed ‘colour revolution’ openly backed by the likes of the National Endowment for Democracy – a user-friendly CIA clone. It was uncannily like the coup that Washington successfully staged in Ukraine last year.  As in Kiev, in Venezuela the ‘peaceful protestors’ set fire to government buildings and deployed snipers and were lauded by western politicians and the western media. The strategy is almost certainly to push the Maduro government to the right and so alienate its popular base. 
Depicting the government as dictatorial and incompetent has long been an article of bad faith among journalists and broadcasters in Venezuela and in the US, the UK and Europe. One recent US ‘story’ was that of a ‘US scientist jailed for trying to help Venezuela build bombs’. The implication was that Venezuela was harbouring ‘nuclear terrorists’. In fact, the disgruntled nuclear physicist had no connection whatsoever with Venezuela.
All this is reminiscent of the unrelenting attacks on Chávez, each with that peculiar malice reserved for dissenters from the west’s ‘one true way’. In 2006, Britain’s Channel 4 News effectively accused the Venezuelan president of plotting to make nuclear weapons with Iran, an absurd fantasy. The  Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, sneered at policies to eradicate poverty and presented Chávez as a sinister buffoon, while allowing Donald Rumsfeld, a war criminal, to liken Chavez to Hitler, unchallenged. 
The BBC is no different. Researchers at the University of the West of England in the UK studied the BBC’s systematic bias in reporting Venezuela over a ten-year period. They looked at 304 BBC reports and found that only three of these referred to any of the positive policies of the government. For the BBC, Venezuela’s democratic initiatives, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction programmes did not exist. Mission Robinson, the greatest literacy programme in human history, received barely a passing mention. 
This virulent censorship by omission complements outright fabrications such as accusations that the Venezuelan government are a bunch of drug-dealers.  None of this is new; look at the way Cuba has been misrepresented – and assaulted – over the years. 
Reporters Without Borders has just issued its worldwide ranking of nations based on their claims to a free press. The U.S. is ranked 49th, behind Malta, Niger, Burkino Faso and El Salvador.

3. Why might now be a prime time, internationally, for pushing toward a coup? If the primary problem is Venezuela being an example that could spread, is the emergence of a receptive audience for that example in Europe adding to the U.S. response?
It’s important to understand that Washington is ruled by true extremists, once known inside the Beltway as ‘the crazies’. This has been true since before 9/11. A few are outright fascists. Asserting US dominance is their undisguised game and, as the events in Ukraine demonstrate, they are prepared to risk a nuclear war with Russia. These people should be the common enemy of all sane human beings. 
In Venezuela, they want a coup so that they can roll-back of some of the world’s most important social reforms – such as in Bolivia and Ecuador. They’ve already crushed the hopes of ordinary people in Honduras. The current conspiracy between the US and Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil is meant to achieve something more spectacular in Venezuela, and Russia.

4. What do you think the best approach might be to warding off u.s. machinations, and those of domestic Venezuelan elites as well, for the Bolivarians?
The majority people of Venezuela, and their government, need to tell the world the truth about the attacks on their country. There is a stirring across the world, and many people are listening. They don’t want perpetual instability, perpetual poverty, perpetual war, perpetual rule by the few. And they identify the principal enemy; look at the international polling surveys that ask which country presents the greatest danger to humanity. The majority of people overwhelmingly point to the U.S., and to its numerous campaigns of terror and subversion.

5. What do you think is the immediate responsibility of leftists outside Venezuela, and particularly in the U.S.
That begs a question: who are these ‘leftists’? Are they the millions of liberal North Americans seduced by the specious rise of Obama and silenced by his criminalising of freedom of information and dissent? Are they those who believe what they are told by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the BBC? It’s an important question.

‘Leftist’ has never been a more disputed and misappropriated term. My sense is that people who live on the edge and struggle against US-backed forces in Latin America understood the true meaning of the word, just as they identify a common enemy. 

If we share their principles, and a modicum of their courage, we should take direct action in our own countries, starting, I would suggest, with the propagandists in the media. Yes, it’s our responsibility, and it has never been more urgent.


Friday, February 06, 2015

Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common Practice

By Glenn Greenwald


Photo: Horst Faas/AP. Vietnam burning

"...Unlike ISIS, the U.S. usually (though not always) tries to suppress (rather than gleefully publish) evidence showing the victims of its violence..."

February 05, 2015 "ICH" - "The Intercept" - 

The latest ISIS atrocity – releasing a video of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive – prompted substantial discussion yesterday about this particular form of savagery. It is thus worth noting that deliberately burning people to death is achievable – and deliberately achieved – in all sorts of other ways:

“Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan”, NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School, 2012:
The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration[3], shrapnel, and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs. Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss. . . .
In addition, because the Hellfire missiles fired from drones often incinerate the victims’ bodies, and leave them in pieces and unidentifiable, traditional burial processes are rendered impossible. As Firoz Ali Khan, a shopkeeper whose father-in-law’s home was struck, graphically described, “These missiles are very powerful. They destroy human beings . . .There is nobody left and small pieces left behind. Pieces. Whatever is left is just little pieces of bodies and cloth.” 

A doctor who has treated drone victims described how “[s]kin is burned so that you can’t tell cattle from human.” When another interviewee came upon the site of the strike that killed his father, “[t]he entire place looked as if it was burned completely, so much so that even [the victims’] own clothes had burnt. All the stones in the vicinity had become black.”. . .


The constant orgy of condemnation aimed at this group seems to have little purpose other than tribal self-affirmation: no matter how many awful acts our government engages in, at least we don’t do something like that, at least we’re not as bad as them

In some instances, that may be true, but even when it is, the differences are usually much more a matter of degree than category (much the way that angry denunciations over the Taliban for suicide-bombing a funeral of one of its victims hides the fact that theU.S. engages in its own “double tap” practice of bombing rescuers and funeral mourners for its drone victims). 

To the extent that these denunciation rituals make us forget or further obscure our own governments’ brutality – and that seems to be the overriding effect if not the purpose of these rituals – they are worse than worthless; they are actively harmful.



UPDATE: One tweeter, responding to this article, made a point harshly though succinctly:














Continue to read the entire article, and read/post public comments


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Palestinians to become ICC member from April 1, UN confirms: 
Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, announced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. The Palestinians will be able to sue Israel for war crimes, a move the Israeli administration has consistently opposed for decades.


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NATO is Already at War in Ukraine… and it is Losing

By Finian Cunningham 


"...NATO is losing its war in Ukraine and needs to send more military fuel in order to salvage the mounting losses..."

February 05, 2015 "ICH" - "SCF"- 

In yet another sleight of hand, Western news media are this week spinning the notion that the US and NATO are «considering sending lethal military aid» in order «to defend» the Kiev regime from «Russian aggression».

That’s a pathetic joke. The real explanation is that NATO is losing its war in Ukraine and needs to send more military fuel in order to salvage the mounting losses.

First, the Western media slyly acknowledge that US-led NATO has so far «only dispatched non-lethal military equipment». That rhetorical ruse is used to pretend that non-lethal material is somehow not really military grade. But whether non-lethal or lethal, military equipment is military equipment. 

So, let’s just dispense with that bunch of semantics. The US and its public-relations alter-ego, NATO, are already deeply involved militarily in Ukraine, supporting the Kiev regime whose 10-month offensive on eastern Ukraine has resulted in over 5,300 deaths.

Secondly, the notion that Washington is «reconsidering» whether to send «lethal aid», as reported in the New York Times on Monday, is another risible illusion. The US and its NATO allies are already sending lethal military equipment to the Ukraine. 

US President Obama said this week that «pouring more weapons into Ukraine» will not resolve the conflict. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel also vowed that Germany would not be supplying weapons to the Kiev regime, adding that the conflict cannot be solved by military means. 

Both Obama and Merkel are either woefully deceptive or living in cloud-cuckoo land. Probably both.

Let’s cut to the chase. NATO is at war in Ukraine and has been so for the past year, if not covertly for the past two decades. . .

The tortuous language and reasoning reflects the systematic lies that Washington and NATO have been telling for months over the Ukraine conflict. 

The plain truth is that US-led NATO is up to its eyes in fuelling the Ukraine war, and it is losing the war it launched in the first place. 

That’s why Washington is now desperately performing all sorts of rhetorical gymnastics to deceive the Western public into acquiescing to a major military escalation of its war under the guise of supplying «defensive lethal weapons».