Archive for April 12th, 2014

by lizard

I think watching network news can be instructive. Take tonight’s NBC reporting on the latest escalations in Ukraine. The framing delivered by the anchor is brilliant: “The White House is warning Russia against further military intervention…” (emphasis added).

There is a huge, unjustified leap right from the get-go in how NBC is depicting the occupation of buildings in Eastern Ukraine. If these actions by anti-government protestors pro-Russian separatists represent further Russian military intervention, that clearly implies there is already some degree of previous or ongoing intervention occurring.

Besides, isn’t occupying buildings what the US validated as acceptable behavior when you don’t like the direction your country is taking?

Bernhard at Moon of Alabama is reporting there does seem to be some level of coordination happening in Eastern Ukraine:

Over the last days people in Donetsk city had occupied several government buildings and barricaded them. The Alfa police units, SWAT operators, sent to kick them out allegedly refused to do so. A 48 hour coup-government ultimatum to clear the buildings was not followed up on. It is possible that the coup-government has found no loyal force that would do its bidding.

Today several other cities in Donetsk oblast also saw extensive movements of anti coup-government groups. In Sloviansk some para-military group, some of them somewhat trained (video), broke into the main police station and raised the Russian flag. They allegedly handed out weapons to other protesters. The mayor of Sloviansk had announced her pro-Russian stand. Around the city street checkpoints of pro-Russian militia, pictures show some mid aged men, went up. Many of these people are said to be miners from the large Donetsk coal mines. They are on the look out for incoming military and police traffic from Kiev. Trained people from the Berkut riot police, dissolved by the coup-government, have joined the protesters.

In Mariupol and Druzhkovka protesters have blocked or seized the local city administration. Police in Kramatorskaya joined the protesters there. The city of Luhansk, where there are also protests, and Donetsk were today at least once buzzed by military planes.

I have seen no Donetsk pictures yet of “polite green men”, i.e. Russian military operators, like those seen in Crimea. The militia people occupying buildings in Donetsk oblast also seem to be less equipped than the local self-defense groups that could be seen in Crimea. While this operation in several Donetsk cities today seems somewhat coordinated there is no hint yet that Russia is behind this.

At the beginning of this month, the Polish Wolf wanted Intelligent Discontent readers to know what a few Ukrainians thought about being in a tug-of-war between Russia and the US/EU. Some of the comments, especially about nuclear weapons, were troubling, like this one:

“Otto von Bismark once said that any contract with Russia isn`t worth even the paper on which it was signed. So it`s normal for them to break diplomatic agreements, but is US and Britain`s role then better, when being the guarantors of our safety they just keep on talking and watching how our soldiers are being killed, journalists kidnapped and Tatars repressed? I`ll tell you more – such political impotence of the world`s greatest organizations – NATO & EU, provokes in Ukrainians` discussions more interest towards renovation of atomic weapon, because facing the “great bear” all alone we have to be ready to protect ourselves. That`s the most upsetting realization of what is happening now – NO WORLD WILL HELP.”

The comments were kept anonymous, so we’ll just have to trust PW that they did in fact come from Ukrainians.

For some more perspective, Andre Vltchek has been traveling through Ukraine and has a new article up about his conversations with Ukrainians. Here is one example:

Before reaching Odessa we leave the highway and drive northeast, towards Moldova and its small separatist enclave, called Transnistria.

There, the river Kuchurgan separates the Ukrainian town of Kuchurgan and the Transnistrian city of Pervomaisc.

I see no Russian tanks at Pervomaisc, no artillery. There is absolutely no military movement whatsoever, despite the countless Western mass media reports testifying (in abstract terms) to the contrary.

I cross the bridge on foot and ask the Transnistrian border guard, whether he has recently seen any foreign correspondents arriving from the United States or the European Union, attempting to cross the border and verify the facts. He gives me a bewildered look.

I watch beautiful white birds resting on the surface of the river, and then I return to Ukraine.

There, two ladies who run the ‘Camelot Bar’ served us the most delicious Russo/Ukrainian feast of an enormous borscht soup, and pelmeni.

Russian television station blasts away, and the two women cannot stop talking; they are frank, proud, and fearless. I turn on my film camera, but they don’t mind:

“Look what is happening in Kiev”, exclaims Alexandra Tsyganskaya, the owner of the restaurant. “The US and the West were planning this; preparing this, for months, perhaps years! Now people in Ukraine are so scared, most of them are only whispering. They are petrified. There is such tension everywhere, that all it would take is to light a match and everything will explode.”

Her friend, Evgenia Chernova, agrees: “In Odessa, Russian-speaking people get arrested, and they are taken all the way to Kiev. The same is happening in Kharkov, in Donetsk, and elsewhere. They call it freedom of speech! All Russian television channels are banned. What you see here is broadcasted from across the border. They treat people like cattle. But our people are not used to this: they will rebel, they will resist! And if they push them to the edge, it will be terrible!”

Ukraine is a powder keg, but it’s not the only one. Also getting some network news attention is an “unconfirmed” video of another alleged chemical attack in Syria.

It’s irrational to think Assad would choose this form of killing when he has other forms of killing at his disposal that don’t cross “red lines”. It’s too bad speculating otherwise means considering Operation Gladio style asymmetrical warfare deployed by US-backed opposition groups.

Why too bad? Because going there means going into the easily maligned realm of the ever-nebulous conspiracy theory.

In *BREAKING* conspiracy culture news, it appears those of us who make our little trips into this dislocating space have some interesting company, as outed by Gawker in a piece titled The Astounding Conspiracy Theories of Wall Street Genius Mark Gorton.

Seriously, because unlike crazy anonymous bloggers like myself, this guy isn’t a “crackpot”.

Mark Gorton is a prominent financier and a respected entrepreneur. He founded the music sharing site Limewire, and he runs Tower Research, a famed high-frequency trading firm. Gorton also believes that the “ruthless” secret cabal that assassinated JFK and planned 9/11 could be coming to kill his family.

Mark Gorton does not have a reputation as a crackpot. Quite the opposite. He’s been favorably profiled in the New York Times for his business acumen and charitable deeds. His experience as the head of Limewire—which disrupted the music industry and then lost a $100 million lawsuit as a result—was closely followed by the press. And when Michael Lewis’s blockbuster new book about high frequency trading was published recently, prominent media outlets turned to Gorton to learn what HFT firms are really like. The Huffington Post even dubbed him “the new face of Wall Street.” He is a very respected and very wealthy man.

This week, we were forwarded documents that Gorton was sending out to employees at Tower Research. These documents—embedded at the bottom of this post—are essays by Mark Gorton, laying out his theories on the secret high-level murderous criminal “Cabal” that is responsible for, among other things, the JFK and RFK assassinations, the presidential careers of the Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9/11 plot, and the murder of countless witnesses, politicians, and journalists who sought to expose them, including Sen. Paul Wellstone and even Hunter S. Thompson. Everything, according to Gorton, has been an inside job.

It is really something.

I’d say so.

Mark Tokarski made a connection in a recent post I personally found intriguing because I’m fascinated by Hollywood and the strange tentacles lurking beneath the lucrative engines of our popular culture.

The post should be read in full because it’s too packed with details to excerpt, and this post is already long enough. I’ll simply say it has to do with the possible involvement of Woody Harrelson’s dad in the JFK assassination.

For anyone curious about the dark side of Hollywood, Dave McGowan’s Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon will be on sale starting April 30th. I’ve already read much of the material, and it’s absolutely fascinating.

The end of April is an appropriate time for release. This is a month heavy with death. Shootings, like the 2nd Ft Hood tragedy—and a new twist, a mass-stabbing in a high school outside Pittsburgh, correlate with increased rates of suicide in spring and early summer. For more information about misconceptions regarding suicide, like the concern that talking to someone openly about suicide will somehow contribute to the likelihood of them doing it, you can start here.

April is also National Poetry Month, and I really need to be more consistent in featuring poetic material, so I’ll end this long post with the first four lines of Eliot’s The Wasteland, first published in 1922:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

by lizard

In a bipartisan move that further destroys American credibility on the world stage, Congress has thrown the Headquarter Agreement between the UN and the USofA, signed in 1947, out the window (NYT) in order to please AIPAC and blow up the Iran talks. From the NYT link:

Although the United States is obliged, as the host of the United Nations, to provide foreign diplomats with access, the State Department has asserted that American law permits it to deny visas to those deemed a threat to national security or American policy, categories that can be broadly interpreted.

What’s that I hear? Is it the benevolent voice of benign empire that Pat Williams apparently hears?

The United States has, with far too many obvious and tragic exceptions, tried to avoid unjustified interference in the affairs of other nations although there has always been an assertive minority of saber-rattlers among our citizenry and we have too often elected presidents who have been quick to the trigger. But in the end we have made our mistakes trying to defend and not dampen freedom.

When President John F. Kennedy announced, “I am a Berliner,” he was expressing the belief that Americans are citizens of the world – just as surely as were the ancient Romans. Ours is the benevolent voice of benign empire. Unlike either the Roman or British Empires ours encourages law above power. We are engaged not in consumption or the adjustment of national borders but rather with civil mission. “Watchmen on the walls of freedom,” Kennedy called it. America accepts the obligation of a powerful and free people to assist others around the world with purity of purpose and without the constant calculation of self-interest.

I literally feel nauseous reading propaganda like this. When JC first brought my attention to this disgusting example of American Exceptionalism, I had to read it several times just to be sure the patriarch of Montana Democrats, Pat Williams, actually spouted this insanity.

For a different perspective regarding the increasingly desperate behavior of our benign malignant empire, Paul Craig Roberts has a piece making the rounds that asks a provocative question: Is the US or the World Coming to an End? Here’s an excerpt:

Across many fronts, Washington is emerging in the world’s eye as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and totally corrupt. A Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting attorney, James Kidney used the occasion of his retirement to reveal that higher ups had squelched his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail,” because his SEC bosses were not focused on justice but “on getting high-paying jobs after their government service” by protecting the banks from prosecution for their illegal actions.

The US Agency for International Development has been caught trying to use social media to overthrow the government of Cuba.

This audacious recklessness comes on top of Washington’s overthrow of the Ukrainian government, the NSA spying scandal, Seymour Hersh’s investigative report that the Sarin gas attack in Syria was a false flag event arranged by NATO member Turkey in order to justify a US military attack on Syria, Washington’s forcing down Bolivian President Evo Morales’ presidential plane to be searched, Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction,” the misuse of the Libyan no-fly resolution for military attack, and on and on. Essentially, Washington has so badly damaged other countries’ confidence in the judgment and integrity of the US government that the world has lost its belief in US leadership. Washington is reduced to threats and bribes and increasingly presents as a bully.

There is much more in the article worth reading, including comments about 9/11 which will conveniently allow people to dismiss his whole piece if they want to remain in denial about the rogue actions of our dead democracy.

For those people, they can read the empty threats coming from politicians like Pat Williams, who ends his opinion piece with this:

Perhaps, just perhaps, the nations of the world will adopt responsibility and respect toward neighbors with the understanding that watchful United Nations, NATO and U.S. military forces are ever present just over the horizon.

Every empire has an expiration date. That is something history teaches us. And no empire has been immune. People who deny that historical fact in preference of the dangerous delusions of American Exceptionalism are leading us to increasingly disastrous confrontations.

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