SUPPRESSED OPCW FINDING: War-Crime Likely Perpetrated by U.S. Against Syria on 14 April 2018

Eric Zuesse

On May 13th, Tim Hayward of the Working Group on Syria made public on his website an utterly damning document that had been suspiciously excluded from the final investigative report by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding the U.S.-and-allied allegation that on 7 April 2018 the Syrian Government had sarin-attacked residents in its town of Douma and had killed a large number of non-combatants. Seven days after that alleged incident, the U.S. and two of its allies, UK and France, massively missile-invaded Syria on April 14th, in alleged international ‘response’ to that alleged national war-crime on the part of Syria’s Government. It now turns out that that alleged national war-crime was totally staged by America’s own proxy-soldiers, Islamic terrorists who were trying to overthrow Syria’s Government, and so the attack against Syria on 14 April 2018 by U.S., UK and France, constitutes an international war-crime, an unequivocal violation of the U.N.’s Charter.

This excluded finding by the OPCW is proof that “the US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT”. That’s the way an independent detailed study by the two top U.S. experts had concluded their study of the U.N.’s evidence concerning the U.S.-and-allied allegations that there had been a 21 August 2013 sarin-attack by the Syrian Government against its town of East Ghouta. Their finding then was virtually identical regarding that U.S.-alleged sarin-use by Syria’s Government — identical to this recent OPCW finding. And that finding regarding the earlier ‘incident’ likewise was suppressed, instead of reported by the ‘news’-media. The two investigators in that earlier report, which was issued on 14 January 2014, were MIT’s Ted Postol and Richard Lloyd.

The clearest summary-report about the newer suppressed finding was “signed by Ian Henderson (an investigative team leader for the OPCW” and is best summarized by Kit Knightly’s May 14th “Leaked Report: Douma ‘Chemical Attack’ Likely Staged” at Off-Guardian.org (a terrific website of investigative journalism that exposes lies by mainstream ‘news’-media, such as Britain’s Guardian). As Knightly especially pointed out, that OPCW investigative team’s report to OPCW had concluded:

“In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being dropped.”

As we shall later show, that statement at the end of the OPCW team’s report, was a huge understatement: they had, in fact, proven that “both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations [by the anti-Government side, as a set-up to stage the event and blame it on the Government] rather than being dropped [by a plane, from the Government, as the U.S. alleged].”

So: that’s virtually a clone of the earlier Postol-Lloyd finding regarding the 13 August 2013 incident, except that, whereas the earlier incident was real and had been carried out by America’s Syrian proxy-forces (fanatic Islamists), this more recent ‘incident’ was (as now is clear not only from the latest revelation) entirely staged by the U.S.-and-allied side. It had not existed at all.

Obviously, if that finding is confirmed by an international tribunal not for internal war-crimes but for international war-crimes, then Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron, could be sentenced to prison, or worse, but is there any tribunal anywhere that could handle such cases? Almost certainly not. Leaders, such as those, stand above any law. And isn’t that the real problem here?

On 17 May 2019, Russia’s Tass news agency headlined “Militants preparing provocation with chemical weapons in Syria” and reported that, “Militants from Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) are preparing a provocation to accuse Russian servicemen of using chemical weapons in Syria, the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides said on Friday [May 17th].” Jabhat al-Nusra is Syria’s branch of Al Qaeda, and U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts to overthrow the Syrian Government depended very heavily upon that organization to train the non-Kurdish proxy-forces that the U.S. regime and its press called ‘rebels’ instead of jihadists (which they actually were). The U.S. armed and protected al-Nusra.

Back on 13 February 2018, less than two months prior to the faked 7 April 2018 Douma chemical ‘attack’, Russia’s RT had headlined “Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow”, and reported that:

Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it’s been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.” … According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab. Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.”

That appears to have been an accurate description of what the OPCW investigators found in Douma after the faked 7 April 2018 incident there. However U.S.-allied press didn’t report anything of the kind, neither before nor after that faked incident. The reality was suppressed instead of reported there. The latest suppressed finding by the OPCW is a repeat of that pattern.

Further indication of how clear the evidence actually is that the 7 April 2018 Douma incident was staged has been presented by the excruciatingly detailed May 12th document from the team of Paul McKeigue, David Miller, and Piers Robinson, headlined “Assessment by the engineering sub-team of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission investigating the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018”. It explains “that the cylinders were manually placed in position is ‘the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene’,” BECAUSE (and this is quoting now directly from paragraph 32 of the OPCW Engineer’s suppressed report of his team’s findings) “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The full paragraph 32 opened by saying that “At this stage the FFM engineering sub-team cannot be certain that the cylinders at either location arrived there as a result of being dropped from an aircraft.” But when it went on to say “In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene,” that “alternative hypothesis” referred to the alternative to the cylinder’s “being dropped from a plane.” That “alternative hypothesis” refers to people on the ground having placed it there. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the event’s having been staged by people on the ground. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the U.S. side’s proxy-forces — America’s ‘Syrian rebels’) having staged this event and filmed its alleged aftermath so that the U.S.-UK-led White Helmets could then feed it to the U.S.-and-allied ’news’-media so as to enrage their publics against Syria’s Government enough for those publics to think that the subsequent U.S.-and-allied bombing of Syria, On 14 April 2018, was a ‘humanitarian’ action.

The OPCW’s Engineering team stated there, very clearly, that the U.S.-and-allied allegations that those cylinders had been dropped from a plane or planes “CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT,” as Postol and Lloyd had previously said about the U.S.-and-allied alleged Syrian Government 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack against East Ghouta. This is a tactful way of saying that the U.S. and its allied regimes had lied about it.

Britain’s Daily Mail headlined on May 16th “Strange News from the OPCW”, and Peter Hitchens, at his blog there, reported that “I have received the following reply from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.” It said that, “the OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.” This had been an “unauthorized release”; no question was being raised as to the document’s authenticity.

Who will get the rope to hang Trump, May, and Macron? Of course, nobody. This is the type of world we are living in. Accountability and punishment are only downward, to the individuals below (and many of them are railroaded); credit and rewards are only upward, to the masters above; and so there is no ultimate downside for the people at the very top to perpetrate any crime. There really is no legal jeopardy for people in the positions of Trump, May, and Macron. Such people administer whatever laws actually apply to themselves. There is no accountability for such people, in our world. They are above the reach of any law. And their press say that they are a free press, and that their nation is a democracy. Has the term “democracy” now lost all significant meaning? Or is everything that’s important now, just propaganda, just lies? Is that what we should expect? How can democracy even function under such conditions? It obviously can’t.

The lengthy presentation and analysis of this Engineering report, that the group to which the document had been leaked issued, closed by saying “We thank the OPCW staff members who have communicated with us at considerable personal risk.” All of the decent people there must be terrified, much like a woman who has just been raped is. But this is on a much bigger scale.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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America’s Insatiable Military

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

The United States government authorizes itself to be the dictator of the world, and this couldn’t happen if it didn’t have allies who accept this type of humiliating treatment. An insatiable U.S. military is essential in order for such a regime to be able to have any success at all.

For example, on May 10th, the U.S. regime warned that if Venezuela’s government takes any actions against the participants in the failed April 30th U.S.-backed coup-attempt in Venezuela, then the U.S. regime will tighten the economic-sanctions screws even harder, which means that any nation that trades with Venezuela will be even more punished than before. Economic sanctions are the first step of war, the end-step being a military invasion, but it’s really dictating to other countries whom they can trade with, and whom not. America’s economic sanctions are saying: Move aside, U.N., WTO, etc.; we’re taking over as the judge, jury, policeman and executioner, for the entire world. Move aside — we do whatever we want, and we’ll crush you, too, if you resist. American ‘democracy’ is being spread by international dictatorship, and it’s now bolder than ever.

One of the excuses that the U.S. regime offers for these economic sanctions is that they are necessary in order to punish Venezuela’s government for Venezuelans’ suffering from shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities, but the chief purpose of the sanctions — an economic blockade, actually — is precisely to engender such shortages. They are a vastly bigger success than many in the public recognize, and so other reasons for those shortages, etc., are instead cited by the U.S. regime and its allies. In other words, it’s an extremely effective operation to fool the public — not only about how effective the sanctions are (which is very); but also about why these extraordinary conditions now exist in Venezuela, Iran, and other countries that the U.S. regime (and its allies) sanction. In other words: the publics (at least in allied countries) are fooled to believe that the main source of the problems in those suffering countries is the government that the U.S. regime is trying to overthrow, the victim nations themselves. The mind-control operation here is that the extreme problems in the sanctioned countries are to be blamed on those nations’ internal political situation, instead of on the U.S. and its allied regimes — their shared determination to overthrow and replace the targeted governments. The U.S. regime thinks that the American people (and the publics in its allied regimes) will be too stupid to recognize the self-contradiction here (that it uses those sanctions in order to help, instead of to impoverish, the people in the targeted lands), and thus that they will blame only Venezuela’s government for the shortages, etc. But the undeniable fact is that by blocking trade between Venezuela and its trading-partners, Venezuela not only can’t import, but can’t export, and so gets economically strangled — which is what is happening — and that’s the success of the sanctions.

On May 10th the U.S. Treasury Department headlined “Treasury Identifies the Venezuelan Defense and Security Sector as Subject to Sanctions and Further Targets Venezuelan Oil Moving to Cuba”, and announced:

Today, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, in consultation with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13850, as amended, determined that persons operating in the defense and security sector of the Venezuelan economy may be subject to sanctions.  In addition, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two companies that operate in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended.  OFAC has also identified two vessels, which transported oil from Venezuela to Cuba, as blocked property owned by the two companies.

“Treasury’s action today puts Venezuela’s military and intelligence services, as well as those who support them, on notice that their continued backing of the illegitimate Maduro regime will be met with serious consequences,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

The U.S. regime accuses Venezuela’s government for its “continued backing of the illegitimate Maduro regime” — as if the stooge Guaido that the U.S. regime demands to replace Maduro had beaten Maduro in the last Venezuelan election, when in fact Guaido is a long-time CIA asset who never even was, nor ever applied to be, a candidate in any nationwide Venezuelan election, much less is he someone who would have — or likely could have — won against Maduro in such. First come the the U.S. regime’s lies and sanctions, then (if those fail) comes, maybe, its military?

The purpose of the military is to apply the ultimate weapons, if and as needed, in order to impose one’s will. The U.S. dollar is backed by blood — victims’ blood, the target-nations’ blood — and the dollar wouldn’t be the world’s reserve currency if it weren’t backed up ultimately by America’s military, “the policeman to the world.” (That’s how the thug calls itself, instead, a ‘policeman’.) The dollar would be just another currency. Alliances are essential in order for an empire such as this to be able to function. But alliances also need enemies — and those are intended to be the victims. And trading with the ‘enemies’ (any sanctioned country) causes that trader to become likewise punished. As was stated before, these sanctions are actually economic blockades. A blockade doesn’t affect only its target-nation but also the nations which don’t join the economic war against that target. This is how a blockade works. The purpose of the sanctions is to isolate the target-country by extending those sanctions also against any nation which doesn’t abandon that target-nation. After the target-nation becomes sufficiently abandoned, the empire invades it. That’s how an empire works, in our time (if not all times).

Another example of a U.S. target-nation — other than Venezuela — is Iran. On May 6th, the brilliant anonymous news-analyst “Moon of Alabama” headlined “How The U.S. Is Pressing Iran To Breach The Nuclear Deal” and reported that,

The Trump administration wants to force Iran to come into breach of the [Iran] deal [called “JCPOA”] to then use that as an excuse for further action against the country. …

Iran is allowed to enrich Uranium under the [Iran] deal [which Trump abandoned], but it is not allowed to hold large amounts of ready enriched Uranium. Enriched Uranium is valuable and Iran found a customer who bought it. Iran also produces heavy water, needed to cool some types of reactors, and exports it. These trades were previously provided with waivers. The Trump administration did not renew those wavers and the export of those products will end. Iran will have to either stop all enrichment and heavy water production or it will have to store what it produces and thereby come into breach of the JCPOA agreement.

Trump does this so as to force Iran to do a thing (violating the JCPOA, the Iran deal) that would then be used by the U.S. dictators as an excuse to invade.

More blatantly than ever before, the U.S. regime is now actually trying to terrorize the entire world into submission.

On April 29th, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI (which is the standard authority on military spending around the world) headlined “World military expenditure grows to $1.8 trillion in 2018”, and reported that:

“Total military expenditure by all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members was $963 billion in 2018, which accounted for 53 per cent of world spending.”

What is NATO defending itself against? Is it defending against non-NATO nations? Those 166 non-NATO nations constitute 85% of all nations, but collectively they spend (according to SIPRI) only 47% of the entire world’s military budget, so who is really benefiting from all of the weapons that NATO nations are producing and buying — other than the owners of those weapons-producing firms? Those people are the real beneficiaries of NATO’s existence after the end of the Soviet Union and of its communism in 1991. And doesn’t the leader of NATO, which is the U.S., perpetrate around 90% of the world’s invasions and coups — roughly 90% of the world’s aggressions? So: what is NATO defending against? The U.S. doesn’t even attempt to do regime-changes against NATO nations, except against Turkey in 2015, and U.S. propagandists blamed that coup-attempt’s failure on Russia, which is the country against which NATO had been founded by the U.S. in 1949. Today’s U.S. regime continues to direct NATO to be primarily against Russia. NATO at its founding claimed to be ‘anti-communist’, but is actually — and has always been — the anti-Russian military alliance. After the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia expressed the desire to become a member of NATO but was quietly blocked by the U.S. regime. Corporations such as Lockheed didn’t want it as an ally (a market), but only as a target (an ‘enemy’), because such firms need both ally-nations and target-nations in order to thrive. How else can military sales keep growing, than this — especially after Russia left the Cold War in 1991?

Ever since America’s coup-attempt against Turkey on 15 July 2016, NATO-member Turkey has switched away from being a U.S. ally, but still hasn’t yet quit NATO. Even to the present day, the U.S. government refuses to extradite to Turkey the extremely wealthy U.S.-resident (CIA-backed) Turk, Fetullah Gülen, whom Turkey’s government accuses of having masterminded and led the coup-plan. But only if Turkey quits NATO will there be clarity that Turkey’s regime has now become an enemy of the U.S. regime. (That’s not of the U.S. public, but of the regime which rules them.) If that happens, then it would be the first-ever abandonment of the U.S. regime by an ally ever since 1949, and such an event might become a major blow against the owners of NATO’s weapons-firms, because any unravelling of the anti-Russian alliance would threaten to decrease the amount of invasions, and thus the number of markets for these firms’ products, and thus the profits from those products. Montenegro is the latest new market for these firms (the newest NATO-member): it became a NATO member on 5 June 2017, under the lying, self-declared anti-NATO, U.S. President Donald Trump, who actually continues all of his predecessor’s (Barack Obama’s) bad policies (which he had condemned while he was campaigning for the Presidency) such as Obama’s support of NATO, but not continued Obama’s few good policies (such as Obama’s agreement with Iran, and such as Obama’s rhetoric respectful of the U.N., but that pro-U.N. rhetoric was just lies from him, too — he was just a different liar than Trump). Not satisfied to pick-off that former part of Yugoslavia, the U.S. regime remains hard at work trying to pick off yet another remaining non-NATO part, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The U.S. is ruled by two neoconservative (pro-U.S. imperialism) political parties (Republican Trump’s Republican Party versus Democrat Obama’s — now Joe Biden’s — Democratic Party); so, it’s united in carrying out the imperialistic policies of the owners (in both Parties) of the country’s weapons-manufacturers (who actually control the U.S. government).

SIPRI’s report says “The largest absolute increase in spending in 2018 was by the USA ($27.8 billion).”

U.S. President Trump demands that all 29 NATO member-nations spend at least 2% of their GDP on ‘Defence’. According to NATO’s 10 July 2018 “Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2011-2018)”, only 4 of the then-28 NATO nations actually did: U.S.=3.5%. Greece=2.7%. Estonia=2.2%. And UK=2.1%. Clearly, the U.S. government carries the torch for torching things (bombing them, etc.) in its target-countries (the friends and allies of Russia), but America’s leadership wants their foreign allies (such as Europe) to extract more money from their taxpayers, in order to support the U.S. team’s aggressions (‘defences’). So: too much weapons-buying is not enough to satisfy NATO, which is the members’ weapons-manufacturers’ top PR and marketing organization. (Actually, NATO after 1991 no longer has any other actual reason for being.)

But the biggest foreign market-area for America’s ‘defense’ contractors isn’t NATO — it’s the Middle East, where the war-business is thriving. Furthermore, unlike the NATO countries, many of which are themselves major weapons-producers and not merely major consumers of weapons, Middle Eastern countries are insignificant as weapons-manufacturing lands — so, they import instead of manufacture almost all of their military equipment. This makes them even more lucrative to have as allies.

SIPRI’s report says that “Six of the 10 countries with the highest military burden (military spending as a proportion of GDP) in the world in 2018 are in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia (8.8 per cent of GDP), Oman (8.2 per cent), Kuwait (5.1 per cent), Lebanon (5.0 per cent), Jordan (4.7 per cent) and Israel (4.3 per cent).” Since those nations also are U.S. allies, they too are huge markets for NATO’s (mainly for America’s) weapons-making giants. In fact, according to SIPRI, “Arms exports to Saudi Arabia by supplier, 2013-17” were 61% from U.S., 23% from UK, and the remaining 16% came from 9 countries. So, perhaps the “Special Relationship” that the U.S. has is not just UK, but their shared special relationship with Saudi Arabia (and maybe even including Israel, which is strongly allied with those other three dictatorships). (Though UK probably isn’t entirely a dictatorship as the U.S. and Israel are, it’s close.) 

Furthermore, since NATO is the chief marketing organization for Lockheed Martin and America’s other weapons-makers, what’s especially important about NATO is the share of the “military burden” that goes to arms-production (the corporations that grow and profit from invasions, and also from the ‘civil wars’ — ethnic cleansings and death-squads — that often follow from U.S. coups). On average, slightly over a fifth of NATO nations’ ‘Defence’ expenditures are allocated for paying to NATO’s weapons-producing corporations. NATO’s exact “Equipment expenditure as % of defence expenditure” is 21.09%. NATO even has a “guideline” on this percentage: “NATO guideline 20%.” That leaves only (at most) 80% to pay the soldiers (and/or mercenaries). The big money is, obviously, being made only at the very top, and especially by the controlling owners. U.S. generals and admirals (the people who rule the soldiers) routinely join the boards of those weapons-firms when they retire, and so receive not only high pensions but also huge blocs of stock in the ruling corporations — and therefore continue their loyalty toward those corporations and their being prominent contracted “talking heads” as commentators on U.S. ‘national security’ matters, in America’s ‘news’ media, to provide ‘non-partisan’ and ‘objective’ expert commentary to ‘inform’ the public.

The U.S. regime is the power that rules NATO, and it leads the way in financing its weapons-makers: it spends not the standard 20% of its military costs on weaponry, but 28% of its enormous 3.5% of GDP military on weaponry. (The U.S. spends exactly 1% of its total GDP on military weapons.) That’s not nearly as high a GDP percentage as the highest GDP percentage, non-NATO Saudi Arabia’s 8.8%, but Saudi Arabia’s GDP is around a thirtieth as large as America’s. Still, the Sauds’ 8.8% of GDP going to their military is of huge benefit to the ruling corporations, because the Sauds are, by far, the largest foreign buyer of U.S.-made weapons. Consequently, the Sauds control the U.S. Government far more than do any other foreign government. (Some say that Israel’s regime does, but, to a large extent, Israel’s powerful influence over America’s regime is due to the special relationship that exists between the Sauds and Israel’s regime.)

The payers of that “military burden” turn out to be a list of the world’s biggest buyers of NATO (mainly U.S.) weapons — the weapons that are marketed by firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE, and that are marketed only to America’s Government and to its military allies (mainly in Europe and the Middle East). These weapons are to be used against the main countries that America’s billionaires want ultimately to conquer and take over so as for America’s billionaires to control and exploit: America’s billionaires especially want to conquer and exploit Iran and Russia and any nation that’s allied with (or even merely friendly toward) either of those two currently independent nations — which therefore are America’s chief targets, instead of America’s allies. (U.S. ‘news’-media call them ‘enemies’, not targets.)

For example: this is the reason why Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s biggest buyer of U.S.-made weapons, is America’s top ally (and enjoys also 100% international immunity, courtesy of the U.S. regime), whereas Syria, which buys mainly Russian weapons, is one of America’s top targets for regime-change — and the U.S. regime does all it can to cite international law against those countries (even if the U.S. regime’s case is fictitious and it was actually the U.S. government’s actions that were clearly in violation of international law). (As the headline here states, the subject is “America’s Insatiable Military,” and that “Insatiable” — including the lying that’s referred-to here — applies to the people who control the U.S. regime, NOT to their employees, such as U.S. soldiers. Although U.S. soldiers are paid by the public, their orders come down ultimately from the people who control those corporations, which receive all of their funding from the U.S. government and from its allied governments. Those corporations also directly hire many thousands of employees and contractors, such as lobbyists and law firms.)

NATO is specifically the anti-Russian military alliance, which the United States established against America’s top military ally in World War II. America’s top military ally in WW II was the Soviet Union. By far the biggest contribution to the victory against Adolf Hitler in WW II was the Soviet Union, and if they had not participated along with the U.S. and England against Hitler, then that Nazi regime would now be ruling the world, and the U.S. regime wouldn’t now be dominant: Hitler’s regime would be. Stalin was a ruthless man, but the world owes that victory more to him and the Soviet Union than to anyone else, and today’s Russians recognize this, even as they also are pleased that the entire communist regime finally ended. Though it all ended, America’s rulers still want to conquer Russia, as though the Soviet Union continues on and remained a dictatorship and a legitimate ‘enemy’ of America. America’s rulers, the people who control the U.S. Government, have become dictators themselves, not only over the U.S., but over much of the world (such as via NATO, IMF, etc.) — and they aim to become the dictators over it all, including not just Russia, but China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba — everywhere. They won’t be satisfied until they rule everything, and this is the reason why, after the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact military allies all ended in 1991, NATO expanded to include all of those former allies of Russia, so that now they’re all in the anti-Russian military alliance: America’s NATO, the military alliance that should promptly have ended, but instead continued on after the Soviet Union ended, and grew by taking in, by now, almost all of Russia’s former allies. After all: America’s arms-producers still need this taxpayer-funded sales-promotion organization, NATO, because the billionaires who control these firms demand it. So, “53 per cent of world spending” on weapons isn’t enough to satisfy NATO, which wants to increase yet more this military spending, so that the U.S. regime can ultimately conquer the entire world. 

NATO was established by the United States under President Truman in 1949, allegedly in order to “fight communism,” but actually in order to ultimately defeat Russia so that America’s government would take over the entire world. The Soviet Union responded to that threat — the NATO alliance — in 1955, by establishing its own Warsaw Pact military alliance, in order to defend itself from the U.S. and its NATO alliance; but, unfortunately, that Warsaw Pact alliance of buffer-nations against American coups and invasions ended in 1991, just as did the Soviet Union and its communism.

Largely as a result of America’s buying-off the corrupt leaders in those buffer-nations between Russia and Western aggression, and thereby switching them all into NATO, the U.S. government has secretly continued the Cold War on its side after the Soviet Union’s 1991 end. And now, any nation that hasn’t yet taken the U.S. regime’s offer for vassal-nation status in the growing American empire is evermore clearly a U.S. target itself, an ‘enemy’ nation, a candidate for “regime change”: coup or else an invasion (like Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, Nicolas Maduro, etc.) (and not like Prince Salman or etc.). Some people wonder why the U.S. did these invasions and coups, “Those countries are worse-off now than they were under the dictator,” but the invasions and coups were all enormously successful, because they terrorize the leader of any nation that is at all on friendly terms with Russia — the actual central target of America’s billionaires.

These wars start with economic strangulation which is called “international economic sanctions” (basically economic blockades), and then follow usually by a coup, and (if the coup fails), then ultimately by a military invasion. But, basically, any nation that resists what the U.S. aristocracy want, is a U.S. target, never accepted by the U.S. ‘news’-media as a friendly nation, far less as being a U.S. ally — regardless of how that nation behaves toward the United States. (And did Saddam and Assad and etc., ever threaten or invade America? Of course not. But targets are needed — by the owners of Lockheed etc.) The U.S. regime is a constantly lying totalitarian dictatorship, because it’s impervious to the requirements of international law. Total non-accountability produces totalitarianism — dictatorship which also controls the ‘news’-media — in this instance, doing so by having its billionaires control both the government and the ‘news’-media. Party-politics in such a billionaire-controlled nation as this, is merely one faction of its billionaires competing against another faction of its billionaires, and the public being merely voyeurs who are deceived to support one or the other of those billionaire-factions against the other(s). It’s fake ‘democracy’ — competitions that, like competitive sports-games, but unlike any authentically democratic politics, are for cheering audiences of passive mere spectators, instead of for actively participating actual citizens. The public in such lands are subjects, not really citizens. That’s today’s U.S. (But, of course, the media don’t report this fact.)

In 1991, the Russian Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was lied-to by American President George Herbert Walker Bush’s agents whom Bush had instructed to tell Gorbachev that if the Cold War would end, then NATO would not expand “one inch” to the east, wouldn’t take on any of the Warsaw Pact nations. Then secretly, on the night of 24 February 1990, Bush told his agents that what they were saying to Gorbachev had been false but they were to continue saying it, and in 1991 Gorbachev ended the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact on that basis of U.S.-and-allied lies, and became Russia’s President and he ended Russia’s communism and the Warsaw Pact, on that fraudulent basis: the American President’s lie and the cooperation of his vassals with his lie. Though the CIA-controlled Wikipiedia doesn’t clearly list the member-nations of the Warsaw Pact in its articla about the Warsaw Pact (and other U.S.-regime-controlled sites also don’t), all of the former Warsaw-Pact nations are now in NATO. Bush just lied, and today is what follows from that.

America’s soldiers think that they are America’s military, but actually they are only the users, and the trainers in the use, of these firms’ products — products which are officially guidelined to constitute at least 20% of the government’s ‘defence’ budget. And the government’s taxpayers pay the tab for all of this, and they’ve been successfully brainwashed to respect NATO, instead of to detest and despise its continued existence after 1991.

An excellent example of the sales-promotion literature for this imperialistic operation was the “April 15, 2019” issue of America’s TIME magazine, the cover of which shows one of the biggest Democratic Party salesmen for these firms, the leading Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

The longest article, 10 pages, was from the Russia-hating Simon Shuster and was titled “Putin’s Empire of Autocrats: Russia has quietly built a network of influence among tyrants and failed states.” Its theme was “The Russian campaign reaches from major conflict zones such as Venezuela, Libya and Syria to the more obscure corners of Africa.” Its underlying assumption was that the U.S. is a democracy (fighting for democracy in those countries) and that Russia’s recent international actions “flow from the same well of resentment over the humiliation that followed the loss of the Cold War” — that they’re due to Putin’s determination to create anew the communist empire and pre-Gorbachev dictatorship, as being a global counterweight to America’s democracy. In other words: After the Ukrainian coup, Putin has decided to be much more assertive against Washington’s and the rest of NATO’s regime-change wars against any nation whose leadership isn’t hostile towards Russia — and the U.S. regime don’t like that.

The center-spread, six-page, feature article in that issue of TIME was “We Must Save NATO: A former Supreme Allied Commander of the alliance on why it’s essential for world peace, by Admiral James Stavridis (ret.).” He said: “Walking away from the alliance will likely cost us more than staying and strengthening it.” “Our NATO allies have shown time and again they are willing to fight and die for us.” “As NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for four years, I signed more than 2,000 personal condolence letters; about a third of them were to the grieving family members of European soldiers.” “When I was the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, people would say to me, ‘Why do we need all those useless Cold War bases?’ My reply was simple: They are not Cold War bases, but rather the forward operating stations of the U.S. in the 21st century … America’s forward operating base for democracy.” “It was the avowed NATO hater Vladimir Putin, ironically, who revitalized the alliance and launched NATO 3.0. Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 gave new purpose to NATO.”

Both Georgia and Ukraine border on Russia. How would the U.S. regime have responded if Russia had pummeled Mexico and Canada for decades with subversion, and with ceaseless anti-American propaganda there, and then coup-attempts, the one in Ukraine having actually succeeded — all being followed then by moves to bring both of those U.S.-bordering nations (Mexico and Canada) into the Warsaw Pact? Angry, of course, very angry indeed.

Every geostrategically important nation — which both U.S. and U.S.S.R. were, and Russia and U.S. (as well as China) are — has not only neighboring nations but those are also buffer-nations, which is the reason why John Fitzgerald Kennedy was willing to start World War III when the Soviet Union tried to install missiles in Cuba in 1963. Some people in Russia are extremely disturbed that Vladimir Putin (like Boris Yeltsin before him) has ‘tolerated’ the U.S. regime’s doing now to Russia far worse than the Soviet Union ever even tried to do to America. But what choice did either Russian leader have?

The U.S. regime is obsessed with regime-change of any government that is at all friendly toward Russia.

Americans actually pay to subscribe to neoconservative, U.S.-imperialistic, pro-military, basically American-fascist, propaganda like that, TIME magazine — it’s not available for free — and all of the employees who work to produce such propaganda-‘news’ are paid well by the billionaire-controlled corporations and ‘non-profits’ that hire their propaganda-services. It’s either write such copy and feed your face and family, or else write the truth and suffer the consequences for doing that (like Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden do).

Here’s the truth:

Wikipedia, as of now, lists during the “Cold War Era” 29 coups and invasions by the U.S. regime, and under the heading “Post-Cold War” lists 12 such. However, the latter (“Post-Cold War”) is clearly under-reporting the actual number, because, for examples, the U.S. coup that was culminated during February 2014 in Ukraine — (and that constitutes the main basis for the U.S.-and-allied accusations that ‘Putin stole Crimea’ etc., which accusations became their official reasons for ‘restarting the Cold War’ decades after the 1991 end of the Soviet Union and of its communism and of its Warsaw Pact) and which overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian President was therefore the most consequential international event in our time — isn’t so much as even just listed there, at Wikipedia, at all. One U.S. expert has privately admitted that this coup in Ukraine was “the most blatant coup in history” — but it’s not even listed there, even though it was clearly perpetrated by the Obama Administration. So: that fact alone (of hiding the most consequential U.S. coup since at least the one in Iran in 1953) shows the consequences of Wikipedia’s being not only edited by the CIA, but also, at least to some extent, written by the CIA.

In other words: the geostrategically most consequential coup in our time, is deep-sixed by that CIA organ, Wikipedia. But there are also other such instances of such blatant cover-up: For examples: the U.S.-backed (if not U.S.-run) coup-attempt, on 15 July 2016, to replace Turkey’s President Erdogan by a U.S.-backed dictator, is also not even listed there. And the U.S. initiated and still ongoing coup-attempt, which is blatantly in violation of Venezuela’s Constitution, to impose a U.S.-regime-backed dictatorship in Venezuela to replace Maduro, is likewise not even mentioned. Only the U.S. coups and invasions that the CIA has acknowledged are listed there (in that misleadingly titled Wikipedia article, “United States involvement in regime change” — which should have been plural “changes,” 54 of them having been listed there, not just the misleadingly singular, “change”). But, even with this restriction, 31 coups and invasions are listed there for the post-WW-II period — and not in even one of these listed 31 instances had the targeted country ever threatened to invade, nor actually invaded, nor (such as the U.S. Democratic Party alleges that Russia did in 2016) carried out a coup against, the United States. In other words: each one of these 31+ coups and invasions constituted an international aggression and was in blatant violation of the U.N.’s Charter — but nonetheless was totally non-accountable, unpunished. The U.S. regime enjoys total immunity from international prosecution, and this Wikipedia article is just one result of that impunity, which the U.S. regime enjoys.

This is the reason why, in the only international polls that have been carried out regarding the question of which nation is the world’s biggest threat against world peace, the U.S. comes out — and by far — as being that nation, of being the biggest peace-threat. Though America’s highly censored press constantly deceives the American people not to know this (not to know this fact, which is widely recognized throughout the world — nor even to know THAT this fact is widely recognized throughout the world), the fact somehow manages to get through to the residents in the vast majority of the world’s other nations. Those nations might censor-out lots of truth concerning their own nation, but the control over the world by the insatiable U.S. regime isn’t yet suppressed internationally quite to such an extreme extent as is the case within the United States. The reality is internationally known, though not to Americans. It’s successfully kept secret from the vast majority of Americans.

Furthermore, even SIPRI’s own data are manipulated favorably toward the U.S. regime: Where the report alleged that the “World military expenditure grows to $1.8 trillion in 2018”, and reported that “Total military expenditure by all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organization members was $963 billion in 2018, which accounted for 53 per cent of world spending,” the reality is that the U.S. regime itself doesn’t spend on the military only the roughly $700 billion that funds the ‘Defense’ Department (and which amount is falsely reported by SIPRI as constituting the totality of U.S. military spending), but, instead, above a trillion dollars, and probably around $1.2 trillion annually, because military retirements and much else of militarily necessary expenses are being paid by other Departments, such as directly by the U.S. Treasury Department, not out of the Pentagon’s budget. The United States alone sends actually about half of the entire world’s military budget. This one country spends as much on it as do all 194 other countries combined. It’s an important fact about the U.S. regime (which, of course, hides it).

If you do a Google-search for the phrase (including the quotation-marks) “the U.S. regime” right now, what sites come up? I have been using this phrase in hundreds of articles, ever since the first time I used it in my 17 June 2014 “Why Does NATO Still Exist?” (It slipped through Huffington Post’s censors — called “editors” — and they finally dropped me completely after my 3 August 2016 “Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy”.)  Do any of these hundreds of articles come up when you search “the U.S. regime”? Perhaps you might find the phrase used by an ‘enemy’, such as Iran (where the French moderator tried to talk over and block the Iranian from speaking this phrase), but everything else there seems to be “the U.S. regime change” — an entirely different subject, referring instead to the U.S. Government’s effort in Iraq or Syria or now Iran and Venezuela. The phrase “the U.S. regime” is blacked-out by Google’s algorithm. Did you know that Google was created by the CIA and the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department? And, now, just by googling the phrase “the U.S. regime” you can experience for yourself one clear consequence of that fact — of both facts: Google was created by the CIA/Pentagon, and Google suppresses finds of anything in which an American uses the phrase “the U.S. regime”. Is this, perhaps, reflecting a stunningly effective thought-control regime? People should think about it (if they still can). And, perhaps, if a person thinks that the U.S. is a democracy instead of a regime, that person should think again.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The Normalization and Institutionalization of Fraud

I am indebted to Manoj Samanta (twitter: @flation_debate) for the insightful concept the commoditization of fraud. The first step in the commoditization of fraud is to normalize fraud as Business as Usual (BAU) to the point that it’s no longer viewed as “wrong,” destructive or an aberration of evil-doers but as an accepted way to maximize gain and offload risk onto others.

The last step in the process is to institutionalize fraud within central banking and government policies.

How is selling shares in a money-losing corporation at outlandish valuations not the commoditization of fraud? The fraud has been normalized into a game of hoping that greater fools will be so enamored of the normalized fraud that they’ll take the IPO shares off your hands at ever-higher valuations until the fraud breaks down.

But by then, the instigators of the fraud–the IPO–have escaped with billions in gains and zero liability.

How is private equity loading companies up with debt as a means of paying outlandish dividends to themselves not commoditized fraud? How is paying dividends with debt rather than earnings not fraud? The net result of this fraud is the debt-burdened company eventually defaults on its debt, defrauding the investors who were suckered into the scam.

But once again, the instigators of the fraud–private equity–have escaped with billions in gains and zero liability.

How is understating inflation so Social Security retirees get near-zero cost of living adjustments as real-world inflation pushes 7% not normalized, institutionalized fraud? We all understand the motivation for this institutionalized fraud: to limit the increasing cost of Social Security and mask the erosion of household income’s purchasing power.

While the Social Security recipient and the minimum wage worker are getting squeezed, those getting nearly free money from the Federal Reserve to plow into stocks are piling up trillions of dollars in gains. How is the Fed’s fee money for financiers not commoditized, institutionalized fraud? Those who can borrow outlandishly large sums at a discount are in effect being given the tools to defraud the financial system and all the other players who aren’t as close to the money spigot of the central bank.

How is charging 20% interest on a credit card balance while financiers pay 2% not commoditized, institutionalized fraud? The cover for this fraud is particularly rich: the high credit risk of the credit card holder demands a high rate of return, while the “low-risk” financier gets 2% financing to blow up the entire financial system and get bailed out by the taxpayer.

Normalizing and institutionalizing fraud undermines the foundations of the economy and the financial system. Calling these commoditized frauds business as usual doesn’t mean they won’t destroy the system from the inside.

 

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. New benefit for subscribers/patrons: a monthly Q&A where I respond to your questions/topics.

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Downward Mobility Creates “Deplorables”

In the conventional narrative, one’s economic class is overshadowed by one’s political belief structure: liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc. In terms of economic class, the conventional narrative divides people into their ideological beliefs about economic ideologies: free market capitalism, socialism, etc.

Economic class is one of the few remaining heresies in America: in the conventional narrative, it doesn’t exist or is meaningless due to the tremendous social mobility of the American populace: the working class stiff is one wise decision way from middle class status, and the middle class worker is one wise investment away from becoming wealthy.

What the conventional narrative purposefully ignores is the potential for downward mobility, in which one bad decision or investment triggers a drop in economic class and future financial prospects. I’ve been writing for years about the diminishing number of slots in America’s upper middle class, and the realities of diminishing social mobility has been documented by research.

As the recent college admissions scandal has highlighted, those already in the upper middle class have privileges such as alumni preference denied the lower classes. Those who already own assets have profited immensely from the credit-bubble economy while those without assets have been priced out and squeezed by relentless increases in rent, healthcare, childcare etc.

How Many Slots Are Open in the Upper Middle Class? Not As Many As You Might ThinkMarch 30, 2015

The Increasingly Fragile Upper-Middle Class February 8, 2016

Rich Middle Class, Poor Middle Class April 9, 2015

The heresy I’m proposing here is one’s economic class matters more than one’s purported ideological or political beliefs. The second half of my heretical proposal is that one’s political leanings divide very neatly along a single fault line:

Are your economic-financial prospects brightening or diminishing? Put another way: are you more likely to experience downward mobility (the reality for most in the bottom 90% and even many in the top 10%) or the conventionally expected upward mobility?

Those who recognize their precarious hold on their current economic class and the increasing risks of downward mobility are the infamous “deplorables”, those who are voting for non-mainstream candidates left and right, voting for national interests over globalization and so on.

The slippery slope from upper middle class to lower middle class is greased by the neoliberal boom-bust nature of the global economy: buy at the top and be forced to liquidate at the bottom and the entire household’s wealth can be wiped out.

When a two-earner household that counts on two high incomes is downsized to one good income and one precariat income–low wage, unpredictable hours, no benefits– the sharp decline in income triggers a cascading decline of security.

In a credit-bubble boom-bust economy, everyone must become a brilliant, savvy trader/gambler or they risk losing it all. This is true not just of investment decisions but of career decisions, decisions to buy or sell a home, decisions to move to another region, decisions to have a child and so on.

As a general rule, the top 20% support the status quo because the status quo works well for them: they own assets, they feel secure in their jobs, and they feel they are upwardly mobile.

Interestingly, wealth and income don’t matter as much as we suppose. Those with high incomes and substantial wealth who feel vulnerable to downward mobility are much more critical of the status quo and more likely to vote along “deplorable” lines for outsider candidates.

The real heresy here is the American economy is now rigged for downward mobility, which fuels the rise of the “deplorables” who recognize downward mobility is the real new normal. Only the protected class with secure jobs support the status quo without question, but as the recession takes hold and deepens, and the credit-bubble bursts and assets decline rather than loft ever higher, the percentage of the populace who awaken to the precariousness of their economic class status will soar.

The greatest sin in America is to recognize downward mobility is now like gravity: the upper-middle class household that loses a high-paying job and places the wrong bet in the credit-bubble casino is one slippery step from becoming a “deplorable.”

This dissolution of conventional ideological loyalties terrifies the ruling elites, for it threatens to dissolve their control of the masses. When the SillyCon Valley engineer gets laid off and loses the illusion of upward mobility, when the government worker who was promised a generous pension and bennies discovers that the bankrupt local government can no longer pay what was promised, the ranks of the “deplorables” will swell with self-reinforcing momentum.

 

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. New benefit for subscribers/patrons: a monthly Q&A where I respond to your questions/topics.

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Charlottesville to Vote 6/3 to Divest from Weapons, Fossil Fuels

A coalition organized as DivestCville.org is asking the City of Charlottesville, Va., to divest all public money from weapons companies, major war profiteers, and fossil fuel companies.

At its Monday, May 6, 2019, meeting, and through subsequent discussions, Charlottesville City Council decided that it would vote on a resolution on June 3rd to divest its general operating fund from weapons and fossil fuels. It also sketched out a plan to establish new policies for its retirement fund over the coming summer and into the fall — policies that will include divestment from weapons and fossil fuels and also possibly commitments to more ethical investing aimed at positive social impacts.

What YOU Can Do Now to Help:

1) Ask more people to sign the petition.
2) Plan to be there at the City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 3. We want to encourage unanimous passage of a strong resolution on the operating fund and a strong commitment to swift action on the retirement fund. Then we want to thank City Council and celebrate.
3) Make sure you are able to speak at the June 3rd meeting. Here’s how. First, beginning May 21st, sign up for a chance to be given a slot to speak. You’ll be emailed on June 3rd and told either that you won the draw and have one of the 8 speaking slots or that you’re on the “waiting list.” Rarely if ever has anyone from the “waiting list” spoken at a meeting. Second, if you did not win out, be one of the first 8 people to the meeting and sign up for one of the other 8 speaking slots; to do this you will need to arrive earlier than most people, probably by 5:30, possibly by 5:00.
4) As soon as the City Council passes its resolution, if it does, check this page for a message that you can send to media outlets and to other cities, which can be asked to do the same.

DivestCville is sponsored by: Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, and World BEYOND War.

Also endorsed by: Indivisible Charlottesville, Casa Alma Catholic Worker, RootsAction, Code Pink, Charlottesville Coalition For Gun Violence Prevention, John Cruickshank of the Sierra Club, Michael Payne (candidate for City Council), Charlottesville Amnesty International, Dave Norris (former Charlottesville Mayor), Lloyd Snook (candidate for City Council), Sunrise Charlottesville, Together Cville, Sena Magill (candidate for City Council), Paul Long (candidate for City Council), Sally Hudson (candidate for state delegate), Bob Fenwick (candidate for City Council),

Read responses to possible objections.

Watch videos of what we said at City Council on May 6 and on March 4.

Some thoughts on what we might say now:

The collapse of the earth’s climate and the nuclear apocalypse that the war business is risking will cost us literally everything more valuable than money. We appreciate our City Council Members recognizing that and acting on it.

But the notion that there is a trade off in terms of investment income is one that ought to be rejected. That worry ought not to slow us down. The storms and droughts and floods that are coming will not be free. Young people are already suing governments for imposing enormous costs on young and future generations. There have been studies done of the cost of converting the world to sustainable green energy, and the cost is in the negative tens of trillions of dollars. In other words, it would save money, yet it is understood to be outrageously too expensive to even dream about.

The city has a responsibility to benefit its employees when investing their money. But if the earth and our city with it remain habitable, doesn’t that benefit even city employees? And if the city avoids even one major so-called natural disaster, won’t that financially benefit the city and its employees?

Wouldn’t the city leap at a guaranteed financial savings over a year or a month that was susceptible to temporary losses over hours or days? Why, when the same situation involves a decade rather than a year does it become incomprehensible? We need Charlottesville to act swiftly and powerfully and to inspire others to follow. Our future depends on it.

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