Bizarro Earth

Demobilized in the USA: Why there isn't a massive antiwar movement

protesters march
© kalw.org
1969 Moratorium March on Washington
1969 --- Following a symbolic three-day "March Against Death," the second national "moratorium" opens with mass demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam ("New Mobe"), an estimated 500,000 demonstrators rallied in Washington as part of the largest such rally to date. It began with a march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Washington Monument, where a mass rally and speeches were held. Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and four different touring casts of the musical "Hair" entertained the demonstrators. Later, violence erupted when police used tear gas on radicals who had split off from the main rally to march on the Justice Department. The crowd of about 6,000, led by members of the Youth International Party ("Yippies"), threw rocks and bottles and burned U.S. flags. Almost 100 demonstrators were arrested. The largest protest outside Washington was held in San Francisco, where an estimated 250,000 people demonstrated. Antiwar demonstrations were also held in a number of major European cities, including Frankfurt, Stuttgart, West Berlin, and London. The largest overseas demonstration occurred in Paris, where 2,651 people were arrested.
I.F. Stone, the urge to serve, and remembrance of wars past
Well, it's one, two, three, look at that amputee,
At least it's below the knee,
Could have been worse, you see.
Well, it's true your kids look at you differently,
But you came in an ambulance instead of a hearse,
That's the phrase of the trade,
It could have been worse.

-- First verse of a Vietnam-era song written by U.S. Air Force medic Bob Boardman off Country Joe McDonald's "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag"
There was the old American lefty paper, the Guardian, and the Village Voice, which beat the Sixties into the world, and its later imitators like the Boston Phoenix. There was Liberation News Service, the Rat in New York, the Great Speckled Bird in Atlanta, the Old Mole in Boston, the distinctly psychedelic Chicago Seed, Leviathan, Viet-Report, and the L.A. Free Press, as well as that Texas paper whose name I long ago forgot that was partial to armadillo cartoons. And they existed, in the 1960s and early 1970s, amid a jostling crowd of hundreds of "underground" newspapers -- all quite aboveground but the word sounded so romantic in that political moment. There were G.I. antiwar papers by the score and high school rags by the hundreds in an "alternate" universe of opposition that somehow made the rounds by mail or got passed on hand-to-hand in a now almost unimaginable world of interpersonal social networking that preceded the Internet by decades. And then, of course, there was I.F. Stone's Weekly (1953-1971): one dedicated journalist, 19 years, every word his own (except, of course, for the endless foolishness he mined from the reams of official documentation produced in Washington, Vietnam, and elsewhere).

"What's missing is any sense of connection to the government, any sense that it's 'ours' or that we the people matter."

I can remember the arrival of that newsletter, though I no longer know whether I subscribed myself or simply shared someone else's copy. In a time when being young was supposed to be glorious, Stone was old -- my parents' age -- but still we waited on his words. It helped to have someone from a previous generation confirm in nuts and bolts ways that the issue that swept so many of us away, the Vietnam War, was indeed an American atrocity.

Comment: Exceptionalism Acceptionalism This author may be correct in the idea that Americans no longer engage in life-mattering things. We have morphed into a subdued and unresponsive society, living vicariously through our cell phones, computer programs, WIFI and zombified television. We are monitored, spied upon, dumbed down, subliminally messaged, drugged, poisoned and lied to. Diversity has become a life-threatening word. We have lost hands-on tangibility, shopping online and never "fingering the cloth" before we buy it. We become more and more satisfied to settle for subpar, uncreative mass production which reflects our quality quantity of life and what we are willing to do, in other words, our comfort zone in the new normal. If it isn't convenient, we are too lazy to find it. We text in cryptic language bites instead of having real face-to-face conversation, discussion or debate. We live second-handedly, removed, insulated, believing we are actually alive, accepting what we are told, defying nothing. And the next generation is becoming even more "remote" while the beast, just below the surface, is growing stronger every day. Something should matter. If it does, we are labeled "radicals." So, really, we don't much give a damn. Too bad. We should.

Megaphone

NATO sending "lethal military aid" to Ukraine is all about them losing the war they launched

© Reuters/Maks Levin
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.
Evil Rays

The liberal lie: Refusing to accept Obama's responsibility for Ukraine

© CNN
Steven F. Cohen
Liberals won't acknowledge that they've "been had" by Barack Obama when they believed his liberal rhetoric; they won't acknowledge it, even after Obama has proven by his actions that he is actually extremely conservative (a total agent of Wall Street; and, thus, inequality has been rising under his rule); Obama is conservative despite his liberal rhetoric, which is designed to deceive them; and he has - which is the worst thing of all - intentionally caused an extremely bloody ethnic cleansing in Ukraine, a war there against those of Ukraine's citizens who think that Russia is a better country than the United States: an ethnic cleansing to cement-in, as permanent, a rabidly anti-Russian Government in Ukraine, by getting rid of the people there who had voted for the man Obama overthrew. This is, historically, the first time in history that any American President has sponsored an ethnic cleansing: it's an attempt to exterminate a civilian population. That's how bad Obama actually is.

Liberals won't acknowledge either the violent coup in Ukraine, or the brutal ethnic-cleansing campaign to cement its result: an anti-Russian Government on Russia's doorstep - a very real threat to Russia's national security, and a very aggressive American policy against Russians.

Comment: This is a time of what Sebastian Haffner called "the ultimate decisions of conscience". Many have chosen firmly to make that decision by denying conscience and embracing lies, brutality, and psychopathy. Others, like Cohen, are sitting on the fence. The combined force of these two camps is enough that 'never again' will happen over and over again. It's past time to speak up. But that doesn't make it any less important.

Attention

IS not the only one who burns victims to death

Vietnam Burning
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:

Comment: The whole world is burning, and the U.S. seems to be fanning the flames nicely. In fact, the horrific practice of burning people to death is something of an American tradition:
lynching


Attention

Ukraine: The Propaganda War

Obama
© gopthedailydose.com/
Last week Thomas Friedman writing in the New York Times called Putin a "thug" and "Hitler" (HERE ). This week Timothy Garton Ash writing in the Guardian comment section says Putin is Slobodan Milosevic (HERE ).

Both Friedman and Ash say that Putin is threatening Europe and he must be stopped. Both say the only way to stop Putin is to tighten the screws of economic sanctions on Russia, send more lethal military equipment to Ukraine and put NATO boots on the ground. They both call on Obama to do so.

Putin is neither Hitler nor Milosevic. Whenever people write such hyperbole they should immediately be suspected of being propagandists, especially when they heap praise on John "Bomb-Bomb" McCain as Ash does.

Neither Friedman nor Ash can point to any evidence that Putin has been the aggressor in Ukraine, committed genocide as did Hitler and Milosevic, or tried to cause ethnic cleansing. Kiev backed by Obama has been committing genocide and ethnic cleansing in South-East Ukraine.

Russian tanks are not on the move and threatening Europe. Friedman and Ash are making it up. The Baltic States and Poland are safe no matter how much Obama and the main stream media wring their hands and say they are frightened of Russian aggression in Europe. It is almost laughable if they were not so deadly serious and determined about their ulterior motives for making these stories up.

Only those with exaggerated imaginations or people who want to make things up say that Russia has shown evil intentions on its neighbors. People like Friedman and Ashton keep sticking their finger in Putin's eye hoping that he will lash out irrationally. So far they have been very disappointed.

Throughout the crisis that Washington manufactured in Ukraine, Russia has reacted in a measured and moderate response. When Russia's national security was threatened with the loss of its naval base in Crimea, Russia waited for a democratic referendum to approve annexation. When Novorossiya voted to break away from Ukraine, Russia called for diplomacy and greater autonomy for Novorossiya rather than annexation.
TV

It's all a spectacle: Reality TV teaches acceptance of the police state

© Drunkenclownclothing.com
"Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books."

- Etienne de La Boétie, The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude: How Do Tyrants Secure Cooperation? (1548)
Americans love their reality TV shows - the drama, the insults, the bullying, the callousness, the damaged relationships delivered through the lens of a surveillance camera - and there's no shortage of such dehumanizing spectacles to be found on or off screen, whether it's Cops, Real Housewives or the heavy-handed tactics of police officers who break down doors first and ask questions later.

Where things get tricky is when we start to lose our grasp on what is real vs. unreal and what is an entertainment spectacle that distracts us vs. a real-life drama that impacts us.

For example, do we tune into Bruce Jenner's gender transformation as it unfolds on reality TV, follow the sniping over Navy sharpshooter Chris Kyle's approach to war and killing, or chart the progress of the Keystone oil pipeline as it makes it work through Congress? Do we debate the merits of Katy Perry's Superbowl XLIX halftime performance, or speculate on which politicians will face off in the 2016 presidential election?

Here's a hint: it's all spectacle.

Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch - and I would posit that it's all reality TV - the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce. Unfortunately, Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment. On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we're watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio.

Comment: Researchers have also found that watching television actually has a negative effect on cognitive function and damages the brain structure in children. Watching television - police state induced stupidity at it's best.
MRI brain scans showed children who spent the most hours in front of the box had greater amounts of grey matter in regions around the frontopolar cortex - the area at the front of the frontal lobe.

But this increased volume was a negative thing as it was linked with lower verbal intelligence, said the authors, from Tohoku University in the city of Sendai.

They suggested grey matter could be compared to body weight and said these brain areas need to be pruned during childhood in order to operate efficiently.

'These areas show developmental cortical thinning during development, and children with superior IQs show the most vigorous cortical thinning in this area,' the team wrote.

Kids & TV: linked with lower verbal intelligence, brain damage


Eye 2

Ukraine government admits to targeting civilians in Donbass region

Unofficially, the Ukrainian Government acknowledges that its war against its Donbass region is an ethnic-cleansing operation.

The pro-regime Ukrainian TV station Hromandske TV - which is funded by the U.S. Government, the Dutch Government, and George Soros (via his International Renaissance Foundation or 'Fund') - has reported that the Ukrainian Government is specifically targeting civilians to die in the Donbass region in the former Ukraine's southeast. It's being done in order "to clean the cities."

This is open acknowledgement that the operation, which the U.S. is financing (and Ukraine is bankrupt so it can never reimburse its donors), is actually an ethnic-cleansing campaign.

Previously, on Hromadske TV, a proponent of doing just that (ethnic cleansing) was interviewed. He said: "If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. ... Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. ... The most important thing that must be done - no matter how cruel it may sound - is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated."

Here is how it's done:
Sherlock

Turkey's fingerprints in the Western war against China and Russia

While the world's attention has been fixed on France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings, the subsequent manhunt, and the political fallout from the incident, a number of important news items have quietly been pushed off the front pages of the world's major newspapers, and out of the lead segments of television news programs all over the globe. In Nigeria, Boko Haram reemerges with a vengeance, committing one of the worst atrocities in the recent history of the region. In Syria and Iraq, the war against the Islamic State continues unabated. In Greece, an all-important election that could have dire implications for the future of the European Union is set to take place.

And quietly, with almost no fanfare from international media, reports surfaced from China indicating that Chinese authorities had arrested at least ten Turkish suspects alleged to have organized and facilitated the illegal border crossings of a number of Uighur [Muslim ethnic group in Western China] extremists. It has further been revealed that the Uighur extremists were planning to travel to Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to train and fight with fellow jihadis.

While the details of the investigation have not been fully revealed as yet, the incident points to a much larger issue than simply a few Turks being involved in document forgery and illegal immigration. Rather, the story is still further evidence of a well-funded, well-organized international terror network operated and/or facilitated by the Turkish government and Turkish intelligence. From the hosting of extremist fighters along the Syrian border to providing material support to terrorists in China, Turkey has placed itself at the center of an international terror war aimed at countries that oppose NATO and stand in the way of the Neo-Ottoman vision that President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu have for Turkey.
Network

Boston Bombing: Why Russia matters in Dzhokhar's defense

dzhokhar putin fbi
Are Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers trying to defend his case on the facts at all, or are they just trying to save his life?

Based on the overwhelmingly lopsided advantage the government holds, with a virtual monopoly on investigative evidence, it's safe to assume the latter.

Whether the intent is to deny Tsarnaev a) any infinitesimal chance of proving his case - or even lessening the charges against him - or b) to prevent embarrassing information from leaking out at trial, the government has brought the legal version of "full spectrum dominance" warfare to a knife fight.

But a close look at the nature of the information Tsarnaev's defense team has repeatedly requested from prosecutors in motions to the court suggests Tsarnaev's lawyers are trying to pry loose something about the government's relationship with the Tsarnaevs prior to the bombing on April 15, 2013.

Comment: Whatever was really going on, probably a key piece of the puzzle can be found in the fact that the Tsarnaevs' uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, was previously married to the daughter of CIA agent Graham Fuller. Fuller is alleged to be knee-deep in Operation Gladio B: the use of proxy terror organizations to wage 'asymmetrical warfare' in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The 'enemy' in Gladio's cross-hairs? Russia.

Hourglass

Eurocrats say no chance of Greek debt write-down: US-led EU slouching towards war?

Europe, which the EU is supposed to represent, is fighting a double war that could ravage it beyond recognition - against Greece within its own borders, and against Russia in Ukraine.

An exhibition in Rome could not - inadvertently - be more graphic in defining the zeitgeist: "The Age of Anxiety - from Commodus to Diocletian." Well, Roman emperors could barely imagine it would get much worse under the EU.

The tantalizingly tense face-off between Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and new Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has set up the battlefield; the EU won't accept a "unilateral" Greece, and Greece won't accept a bailout extension or the diktats of the troika (EU, ECB, IMF).

Legend has already taken over; after Varoufakis was firm on the "no troika" talk - as in no more economic terrorism - at the end of their press conference in Athens, Dijsselbloem murmured something in his ear that Greek officials have interpreted as a Pulp Fiction-style "I'ma get medieval on your ass."

So now it's all-out Athens against the Masters of the Universe (the EU division). Independent observers would be tempted to see it as post-modern Perseus trying to slay the EU Medusa - a monster so frightful that no living thing could behold her without being turned into stone.

The Medusa is now the troika. Medusa Queen Merkel and her minions - like Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble ("we won't be blackmailed"), plus the usual faceless officials using sub-Homeric metaphors such as "tied to the mast of confrontation" - are ramping up the pressure with no debt reduction. After the Dijsselbloem-Varoufakis face-off, it would be up to the European Commission (EC) bureaucratic nightmare to come up with a feasible alternative for a Greek debt write-down.
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