In America, the chickens have come home to roost: killer cops, deranged veterans, Christian Fascists, racial apartheid, Neoliberal dynasties, Pokémon Go, and the rise of Donald Trump. Indeed, there's plenty to talk about on this somber and muggy Monday.
Most importantly, let's remember that the police and the military are sources of violence and instability, not peace and security. This is as true in Iraq and Afghanistan as it is in Baton Rouge and Chicago.
As the Democratic convention approaches and Hillary Clinton tries to win over, or finesse, the progressive anti-war component of her base, many writers are expressing misgivings about her foreign policy. Not that they are Trump supporters; but they worry about being left out in the cold in a Clinton administration studded with neoconservatives. Here are three new takes on the former secretary of state, two of which make the point that Clinton’s apology for voting for the Iraq war — it was a “mistake” — doesn’t really cut it. At the National Interest, David Bromwich writes in “The roots of Hillary’s infatuation with war,” that Clinton extols a principle of “smart power” that turns out to idealize war. Clinton wasn’t very active against the Vietnam war, and the pattern holds: She sympathized there with the burden of responsibility borne by President Johnson for “a war he’d inherited,” which turned out to be “a tragic mistake.” Johnson is her focus: the man of power who rode a tiger he could not dismount. On a second reading, “mistake” may seem too light a word to characterize a war that destroyed an agrarian culture forever and killed between one and three million Vietnamese. “Mistake”
Normally anybody who criticises Jeremy Corbyn is guaranteed knee-jerk support by the British media which apparently feels that it does not even have to pretend to be non-partisan when it comes to the Labour leader. The only political figure similarly subjected to automatic demonisation is Tony Blair, so when he fiercely attacked Corbyn last week for supposedly focusing on “the politics of protest” at the expense of “the politics of power” it was interesting to see which man would be targeted. Almost without exception, critics from Nigel Farage to Michael Moore denounced Blair as the root of all evil in the Middle East and beyond. Some claimed that he was so discredited that his views were no longer worth listening to, and others suspected that he was carrying out a pre-emptive strike before the publication of the report of the Chilcot inquiry, which is expected to criticise him severely for his actions in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Read
Hot dogs and hand grenades, mattress sales and murder tales: Memorial Day 2016! Vince talks about the U.S. Empire, the war in Iraq and his reflections on militarism and his time in the U.S. Marine Corps ten years after being discharged (yes, it's been that long). Vince makes the connection between war abroad and austerity at home. Why must we ditch nationalism? How can we challenge these ideologies? Tune in and check it out.
Towards the end of a town hall meeting in Philadelphia broadcast last Monday night over MSNBC, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his support for the Obama administration’s program of assassination by drone-fired missiles and its steady build-up of US troop strength in Syria and Iraq. These statements underscore the unity across the bourgeois political spectrum, among all the presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, in favor of stepped-up military intervention in the Middle East, including the use of drones that have killed thousands of civilians. The discussion was initiated by a 29-year-old Sanders supporter, not by MSNBC host Chris Hayes, the moderator of the town hall—a significant fact, since no journalist for the corporate-controlled media has pressed any of the candidates about drone missile assassinations or other lawless actions by the Obama administration. Read
Today on the "Progressive Commentary Hour" Gary continues his great series, Conversations With Remarkable Minds.
Tonight from Australia we have John Pilger discussing "The rise of the world’s new ruling elite and the misery left in the wake of their climb to the top."
First we played this You Tube clip of John from 2009 and then spoke to John for about 30 minutes: Here is John's bio and a link to the video. Enjoy.
VIDEO: John Pilger - Obama & Empire
John Pilger is one of the world’s most renowned investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers. Originally from Australia, John started his career with Reuters and the London Daily Mail, becoming its chief foreign correspondent and reporting from all over the world, notably Vietnam. He is the youngest journalist to receive the UK’s highest Journalist of the Year Award. He has reported on the civil rights movement in the US, marched to Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, reported from many war zones including Indonesia, Cambodia and the Middle East and conducted a 4 year investigation into the damage caused by the drug Thalidomide. John’s documentary films include coverage about the catastrophe in Cambodia, the genocide in East Timor, and several about the history of Australia and human rights abuses against Australia’s original Aboriginal population. His books have covered Iraq, Kosovo, and critiques of liberal media. Recently, one of John’s most important books -- “The New Rulers of the World” -- that exposes the underpinnings and motives of modern imperialism and the global economy has been updated and released. It is regarded by many as one of the most important investigations about postmodern power. John’s website is JohnPilger.com
Opium poppies in Helmand Photo credit: U.S. Marines / Wikimedia Introduction by Russ Baker: More musings from Peter Dale Scott, the “father of Deep State analysis.” It’s heady and sometimes difficult material, but no one has gone as deeply as he has in trying to understand the nature of power in America, and ties between the state, the Underworld, and the criminal elements of the wealthy, or the Overworld. In Part 3, we learn of the covert — but benign-sounding — government Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which formally institutionalized off-the-books financing of criminal activities. Its purpose was to engage in “subversion against hostile states.” But it went further than that. Much further. This is Part 3 of a 5-part series. Please go here to see Part 1, and here to see Part 2. Excerpt from American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014), Introduction. Deep History and the Global Drug Connection: Deep Events and Illegally Sanctioned Violence Read
After a Russian commercial airliner was downed over Egypt’s Sinai last October, Western media reported that the Islamic State bombing was retaliation against Russian airstrikes in Syria. The killing of 224 people, mostly Russian tourists on holiday, was matter-of-factly treated as an act of war by a fanatical group without an air force resorting to terrorism as a way to strike back. Yet, Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in the Middle East than Russia has. Then why won’t Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels? Instead, there’s a fierce determination not to make the same kinds of linkages that the press made so easily when it was Russia on the receiving end of terror. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama Ignores Russian Terror Victims.”] Read
Who is Vincent Emanuele? Vince talks about his family, friends, and growing up in the Rust Belt. He also describes, in brutal detail, his experiences in the Marine Corps and Iraq. The second half of the show contains Vincent's reflections on antiwar activism and the Left. This program provides a good introduction to the life an work of Vincent Emanuele, and what people should expect from future shows.
BALTIMORE—When Rory Fanning, a burly veteran who served in the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, appeared at the Donald Trump rallyin Chicago last month he was wearing the top half of his combat fatigues. As he moved through the crowd, dozens of Trump supporters shouted greetings such as “Welcome home, brother” and “Thank you for your service.” Then came the protest that shut down the rally. Fanning, one of the demonstrators, pulled out a flag that read “Vets Against Racism, War and Empire.” “Immediately someone threw a drink on me,” he said when I interviewed him on my teleSUR show, “Days of Revolt.” “I got hit from behind in the head three or four times. It was quite the switch, quite the pivot on me. Questioning the narrative, questioning Donald Trump’s narrative, and I was suddenly out of their good graces.” Nationalists do not venerate veterans. They venerate veterans who read from the approved patriotic script. America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth. Those we fight are depraved barbarians. Our enemies deserve death. God is on our side. Victory is assured. Our soldiers and Marines are heroes.Deviate from this cant, no