The World is, Indeed, a Stage, And all the Politicians, Merely Players

Yes, it is, in all certainty, political theatre. It is merely Putin’s most recent effort at self aggrandizement, ranking up there with his photographed, shirtless image, riding a horse, barebacked. Releasing political prisoners right before the Russian Orthodox Christmas, among them, the two remaining incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, each a beautiful young mother, with small children, is a cheap political ploy, guaranteed to bring Putin an abundance of political capital among his myriad, loyal supporters. Or, is it?

All cynicism aside, unscaling our jaundiced vision, might this not have been, actually, a genuine move of compassion, for people who have already suffered more than enough? Might not the release of the fabled Greenpeace activists be a covert admission of agreement with their cause, in favor of not polluting the Russian Arctic? Doubtful, but remotely possible, it might be that even a former KGB operative holds a shred of human decency.

In contrast, what has the Nobel Prize winning, noted humanitarian President of the United States done, of late? Have the imperialistic, American central Asian wars really ended? Has Guantanamo ever closed? What about the promise of aiding impoverished students and indebted college graduates with their burdensome student loans?  What ever happened to the notion of restructuring the enormous mount of student debt, let alone of forgiving it? Come to think of it, what about universal healthcare? ObamaCare is hardly even a pale comparison.

Mikhail Khodarovsky and the activists of Pussy Riot, as well as the thirty Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise crew members are no longer imprisoned in Russian gulags. They are all free. That fact stands in sharp contrast to the fates of American prisoners remaining in captivity at GITMO, the millions of Americans remaining without decent healthcare, and the millions of suffering American college students, and former students, drowning in debt. Each of these is a failure of campaign promises made by candidate Barack Obama. No, Barack Obama is not “worse than Vladimir Putin”. Such a statement would be ludicrous, is ludicrous. However, Barack Obama is no John Kennedy, no Lyndon Johnson, nor Jimmy Carter, either. In a climate where even the leader of, allegedly, a government notorious for its human rights violations would commute the sentences of masses of political prisoners, regardless of his motive for doing so, US President Barack Obama remains pathetically laclustre.

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Texas Senator Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis has thrown her hat into the ring to run for Governor of Texas. Unlike her well healed Republican opposition, Ms. Davis hails from working class Haltom City, a suburb of Fort Worth; not Dallas: Fort Worth. Dallas has museums, haute cuisine, and oil billionaires. Fort Worth is famous for its stockyards. More an over-sized Texas “little town” than internationally recognised cosmopolitan Mecca, like its neighbor, Fort Worth is reflective of the real Texas, traditional Texas. This is important. Pundits are already saying Ms. Davis is too liberal, too partisan, and out of touch with the state. Was Sam Rayburn too liberal, too partisan, out of touch? How about his protégé, Lyndon Johnson?

In spite of the ugly Viet Nam experience, Johnson was a man of the People, and he was well known for not suffering fools. Born and raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country and later a teacher in the Rio Grande Valley, Johnson never forgot his working class roots. This is why needy students were able to attend decent universities, while Johnson held influence, well funded universities. One of the noblest acts by Republicans was removal of oil tax revenues from state university coffers, sending tuition rates sky-rocketing. Society has forgotten the National Defense Student Loan Act. It has forgotten the Hinson-Hazelwood Loan. Many Texans went from near poverty to degreed professionals thanks to Lyndon Johnson. Is this too liberal? Governor Rick Perry calls himself a job creator, sure, for minimum wage, with no chance of healthcare benefits. In contrast, Johnson brought major industry into the state. A shining monument to Johnsonian prosperity stands on FM 528, just outside of Houston: the Johnson Space Center.

Merely a few decades ago, Texas bragged that it had two major political parties in the state: Liberal Democrats and Conservative Democrats. There was also this small, insignificant party in Houston and Dallas, composed of well healed Yankee carpet baggers and a few out of touch oil millionaires, the people Dwight Eisenhower called stupid, because of their reactionary, ultra conservative mindset. This was the Republican Party. Like the rest of the South, admittedly, Texas switched to Republican partisanship, after passage of the Civil Rights Act, but this change was gradual, very gradual. Texas refuses to be in lock step with the rest of the South. Texas is Texas. It was not until Karl Rove promulgated an inconsequential Yankee hopeful into the political arena that Texas joined the rest of the South in ultra conservative mindlessness.

Ann Richards once said, “Poor George. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth!” That’s the point. George W. Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth. He attended college at Yale and Harvard, not UT or the U of H. Bush might have gone to high school in Midland, but how many eastern prep schools did he attend? He represented the one percent, the Eastern Billionaires, Enron, and ultimately, the Koch Brothers.

Too liberal, too partisan, out of touch? Wendy Davis? I don’t think so. Texas now has the chance to return to the state it once was, a state of home-grown political leaders; a state where politicians cared about the quality of the life of the People. This was a state where political leaders were born and bred in “little towns” and knew their constituents, understood their needs, their wants, their dreams. Texas has the chance to set things right, to return to the mindset of Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, Barefoot Sanders, and Ann Richards, and cast off the yoke of Charles and David Koch.

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King George the Third

If Prince Bandar bin Sultan of the House of Saud could be known as “Bandar Bush” because of his closeness to the Bush dynasty, then President Barack Obama can be known as George the Third, because his reign in the White House has been nothing but a continuation of Reagan/Bush. Candidate Obama announced a doctrine of hope. He represented the fruition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream. Awakening from a dream of hope, Obama’s presidency has convoluted into a modern American nightmare. Bush had Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, a combination of Big Oil and the Project for a New American Century. Domestic policy and veteran’s benefits were systematically decimated. American infrastructure fell into ruins. War profiteers saw their profits soar to new heights, as a decade of unrelenting war ensued. Obama surrounded himself with Wall Street operatives, Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner being the most overt examples. Obama continued Bush’s military industrialist complex relations with seamless fluidity by maintaining Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. Hatchet man, Rahm Emanuel, set the tone for an Obama administration. Dissension was not only discouraged, it was persecuted. Pundits like Thom Hartmann would express their confusion over Obama’s choices for members of his cabinet, and his choices in policy. It was repeatedly suggested that brilliant, highly educated, constitutional law expert and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barrack H. Obama was tactfully playing chess, while everyone else was playing checkers. Obama may have been playing chess, but not benignly. The president suggested emulating Abraham Lincoln in stacking a cabinet with persons who seemed to not share his views, nor the views of the majority of the American People. An adroit chess move, this allusion to Lincoln covered Obama’s complicity with Wall Street, and his neo-liberal leanings. War, in the Middle East, has dragged on, in fact, escalated, with increasing drone attacks, and now will include Syria, bringing to life the goals of the PNAC’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses report, authored by none other than Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bush’s own brother, Jeb. This report called for the US to fight “multiple, simultaneous theatre wars”, performing “constabulary duties”, to bring to fruition a “new American Century”. Not limiting PNAC’s vision to the Middle East, drone deployment even includes the American homeland. So much for posse comitatus!

Who would profit from this “new American Century”? The American proletariat will pay in blood, as their offspring are sacrificed in remote regions of the world, so profits will continue to multiply for the multinational one percent. For eight years, Americans suffered under a scion of Big Oil and his menagerie of bedfellows. Corruption ran rampant, and through the likes of ENRON and Wall Street bailouts, everyone in America saw hard earned family finances flush down an enormous toilet. Now, America must endure a puppet of Wall Street in the White House. The toilet continues to flush. It is foolish denial to pretend differently. Banksters continue to run amok and regulation of their efforts roams the wilderness of irrelevance. Had candidate Obama sincerely meant to bring hope to the American People, Reagan’s destruction of the Sherman Anti-trust Act would have been reversed, Glass-Steagall,  decimated by Clinton, would have been reinstated, and Taft-Hartley would have been eliminated. Instead, Wall Street continues in its orgiastic splendor, Orwell’s unending war became reality, and Americans remain enslaved by ‘Right to Work’ legislation. A dawning of a new American Century allows the one percent, Charles and David Koch, multinational corporations, and the right-wing fanatics of the John Birch Society to appreciate a bright, sunny morning, while the remainder of the world suffers a continuing nightmare. George the Third, Bandar Bush: all in the family.

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Of Blindness and Historical Amnesia

US President Barack Obama publicly stated the US cannot “turn a blind eye” to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He accused the Assad regime of orchestrating the August twenty first attacks, allegedly killing 1,429 people. In a recent address, Obama acknowledged his constituents, the American People, were weary of a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, “But we are the United States of America, failing to respond to this outrageous attack would increase the risk that chemical weapons could be used again, that they would fall into the hands of terrorists who might use them against us, and would send a horrible signal to other nations that there would be no consequences for their use of these weapons. All of which would pose a serious threat to our national security.”

Has the news media been silent about another poison gas attack, since the one Medicins Sans Frontieres described, in which they counted three hundred fifty dead, roughly a tenth of those affected? Perhaps the number of fatalities has grown. Perhaps the famous French charity was mistaken. This might be how Mr. Obama came up with the 1,429 figure. According to medical professionals on the scene, approximately 1/10 of the population attacked on August 21, 2013 died. Now, the skillfully manipulative orator, Barack Obama, strives to inflate the death toll by four. Again, even with the Obama estimate, far fewer victims would have died, than had they been attacked with Sarin, a toxin twenty times as lethal as cyanide. Reports, at the time of the attack, were consistent with organophosphate poisoning, but not Sarin poisoning. The death toll was not high enough, and the symptoms too limited in scope and morbidity. The longer this plays out, the more credible is Vladimir Putin’s analysis. A drug in the same class as Sarin would leave similar, less acute, and less widespread symptoms, and would not require a sophisticated lab to fabricate. Anti-Assad forces, whoever that might be, the rebels, CIA, MI-6, DGSE, or Mossad could have made such a substance and deployed it, then manipulating the media into reporting a Sarin attack by Assad.  The fallout would be the end of the Assad regime, re-colonising by Britain and France, the fruition of PNAC’s dreams, and heightened security for Israel.

Yes, “we are the United States of America”, the global police force, the provider of consequences for all the bad guys in the world. Just call 911, and America will send in the Marines. When did Syrian troops assist either the North or the South in the American Civil War? Why must America always become involved in every international conflict? The risk that chemical weapons might be used again has been constant since the First World War. Every nation, including the United States, Britain, France, and Israel, has stockpiles of poison gases, as well as biological agents. The chance of their being “used again” is irrelevant. They will be. Failing to respond does not equate a risk of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction and an increased risk of their “using them against us”. So, how does the Syrian conflict, and an alleged Sarin attack, by an as yet unknown perpetrator, pose a threat to American ‘national security’? It doesn’t. Whenever a politician desires to commit military force to any undesirable, unethical, or illegal task, he sings the mantra of national security. Hitler claimed Jews, Roma, Slavs, and any German opposition threatened national security. There were so many threats to German national security, that the Nazi government had to spend millions of Reichsmarks developing a bureaucratic behemoth of mass murder, just to keep the German people safe.  Once again, history repeats itself. The United States, under the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barack Obama, will rain death upon the people of Syria, in defense of American national security. Just like with the Nazis, price will be irrelevant.

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Clarity Needed Here

The US/Syria debacle is a profound mixture of many, many shades of grey. The executive branch is doing its usual clandestine arm twisting and bribing, to bring its wishes to fruition. Its minions, Pelosi and Reid, are working 24/7 to influence their respective colleagues. Generals, ordinarily supportive of American involvement, are expressing caution. Obama’s chief opponents in the House, Boehner and Cantor, are now supporting him. Oddly, members of Obama’s own Party seem to be a potential stumbling block. Both the Senate and the House have members who are against White House war mongering, or are expressing their lack of commitment. McCain and Graham are flapping their hawkish wings, as usual. In the midst of this political conundrum, only a small minority of American citizens support Obama’s plan to declare war on Syria. A decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone really well, hasn’t it? Britain, our staunchest ally in our Asiatic neo-colonialism, has opted out, and Russia firmly denounces our intentions, even to the point of Vladimir Putin calling John Kerry a liar.

One fact stands out. Sarin, allegedly the weapon deployed in Syria, is twenty times more lethal than cyanide; twenty times as deadly. Doctors Without Borders has estimated thousands of victims, but only three hundred and fifty fatalities from the incident. The symptoms of Sarin poisoning include pinpoint pupils, profuse tearing up, an unstoppable running nose, uncontrollable urinary and fecal incontinence, profuse vomiting, to the point of dry heaves, and irreversible, violent seizure reactions. Death occurs in seconds to minutes. Needless to say, it is a very morbid and nasty death. The flies in the ointment, here, are that the numbers are flipped, and very few patients have complained of uncontrollable vomiting. In Sarin poisoning, the death toll should be thousands killed, with, perhaps, the three hundred and fifty number representing the very few survivors, not the other way around. A lack of universal vomiting creates doubt, as to the actual toxic agent, deployed by a still unknown predator.

The symptoms demonstrated by the thousands of victims are identified with classic anti-cholinesterase poisoning. Sarin is an anti-cholinesterase agent.  However, so are most all insecticides dropped by crop dusters, and even those used in the home. Malathion is a perfect example. A drunk presented to a north Phoenix ER, years ago, having consumed an unknown quantity of Malathion from a vodka bottle. He sat back on his gurney, grinning stupidly, and looking around the treatment area, as he awaited helicopter transport to the most appropriate facility, a poison center. If one may safely drink wood alcohol, after it has been strained through bread, then Malathion in a vodka bottle should be perfectly safe, too. All personnel involved with the patient were wearing full personal protective equipment, including disposable gowns. Sill, they required decontamination procedures, after the patient encounter.  The ER was closed, until housekeeping effectively cleaned the entire area. The responding paramedic fire engine and its crew were taken out of service for hours for a thorough decontamination, as was the ambulance and its crew.  So was the medical helicopter and crew, after completing their mission.

The curious thing about anti-cholinesterase toxins is that they exude from the victim’s breath and skin, contaminating anything, or anyone, coming in contact. Close examination of caregivers in the Syrian incident reveals few, if any precautions were taken, and no caregiver complained of cholinergic symptoms, later. Western hubris that Syrians are too ignorant or too reckless to protect themselves from an assumed toxin must not even be considered. If we assume ‘weapons of mass destruction’ are commonly used in the Middle East, then we must assume local medical professionals are familiar with the hazards of exposure, and would act accordingly. Had Sarin, indeed, been deployed, not only would the death toll have been higher, caregivers would have been exposed and become symptomatic, themselves. Neither case happened.

With flipped numbers, a paucity of certain symptoms, and a lack of contamination of persons in contact with the victims, Sarin exposure must be ruled out. It just doesn’t add up. Cholinergic symptoms were present, in the effected population, but not the profound effects from a generalized deployment of Sarin. Not only do we not know who perpetrated this heinous act, we are not even certain of the toxic agent. The conclusion is that had a militarized nerve agent been deployed by a government, the morbidity and mortality would have been far greater. We still have not accurately identified the persons responsible. Rather than dancing to the beat of the White House war drum, the western world, especially Congress, needs to await UN findings, and be skeptical, very skeptical. All is not as it seems.

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The Unknown Social Warriors, Bernays and Norquist

Grover Norquist should be a household name, like Frigidaire, Coke, and Kleenex. He is not, nor does he wish to be. Norquist is the spokesman for the one percent, and in this capacity, he has determined public perception of the American ruling class, a class, which until very recently, was invisible. It was ignored. It was denied. Like George Wilson, most Americans are too busy scratching out a living, to be aware that the Buchanan class even exists.  The Tom Buchanans consider the George Wilsons to be so dumb, they don’t know they’re alive. Norquist  exemplifies the one percent’s perception of the rest of America. When he said, “Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat. It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see,” to a National Review interviewer, Norquist put the one percent’s cards on the table. They will have their way, because they will, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The American ruling class will stop at nothing to retain power. Our assumed Constitutional rights are but a myth.

Finian Cunningham wrote, in an Information Clearinghouse article, “What the disclosures of former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become of ordinary citizens, both in the US and around the world.” Over two centuries of myth could suddenly evaporate, and the People might start discovering the truth. The truth could, finally, set them free. The one percent are like cornered animals, encaged in their gated communities and on their grand, private estates, and to quote Norquist, they want “to inflict pain”, lest they lose their perpetual control of society.

American school children are indoctrinated, beginning in pre-school and kindergarten, about how kind and benevolent the US is. America has a holy mission. This is the true meaning of Manifest Destiny. The Statue of Liberty is emblazoned in juvenile minds with its immortal words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed,  to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Images of prayerful, holy Pilgrims are repeated every Thanksgiving. Washington maintains his balance, standing in a long boat, by some miracle, crossing the frigid Delaware River, on a Christmas Eve, long ago. He kneels in prayer at Valley Forge. Always, the religious inference. Desperate Texas patriots fight to the death at the Alamo. These are the images forming in the vulnerable minds of young, primary school aged American children. Older children are privileged to add images of US Marines slogging through the mud, bayonets fixed, in the bleak trenches of World War One and raising the American flag at Iwo Jima. The messages are that America was founded on Christian values, that Americans have a destiny to fulfill,  first, by spreading holy democracy from coast to coast, then, across the globe. Finally, children see that America must defend these virtues against the forces of evil, which are found everywhere.

The history of English colonists, so called Pilgrims, murdering entire eastern woodland tribes is never mentioned. Colonialism never tolerates free and independent indigenous peoples. Colonialism equilibrates corporatism, and it is about total control of society, for maximum profit. Primitive populations are good for slavery, nothing else. Indigenous populations were removed with gunpowder and disease, all in the name of God. An entire civilization was lost, in the process. Religious intolerance of the American colonists is also ignored. The forming of Providence Plantation, by Roger Williams, exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony on ‘religious’ grounds, and the establishment of Maryland as a haven for Roman Catholics are conveniently brushed over. First Amendment liberties intended freedom from religion, as well as freedom of religion. After generations of English persecution and religious warfare, the signers of the Constitution never intended this to be a Christian nation. It was to be a secular nation with religious tolerance, but school children need not know this.

Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River in the dead of night, in the freezing cold, on Christmas Eve. This much is true. What is not mentioned to school children, is that when colonial troops reached their destination, in Trenton, New Jersey, they set up a brilliant crossfire, at the Hessian barracks, with grape shot loaded cannon, decimating their Hessian enemies. Merry Christmas! Yes, it was a brilliant tactic, resulting in the brutal murder and maiming of scores of young, German mercenaries. How noble! Washington stood, proudly in his boat, crossing the Delaware in the deadly cold winter, to set up a murderous ambush of a bunch of kids from Germany. His kneeling in prayer, at Valley Forge, has been proven apocryphal.

Ah, the Alamo! Heroic Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie fought bravely against the enslaved army of the cruel Mexican General Santa Ana. This is a wonderful tale, until one sees that these brave American patriots were nothing more than a group of adventurers, holed up in an abandoned Catholic Mission in Mexico, mercenaries, violating Mexican law, to the point where federal intervention was necessary. Far from being brave patriots, they were foreign insurrectionists, typical American opportunists, in search of the immense wealth fabulous land grants would provide, should they survive the battle against the Mexican army.

The American Civil War was all about slavery and the  Rights of Man. It was a noble effort of Northern free thinkers against Southern slave holders. Right. This was the very first battle between Republicans and Democrats for control of the United States. It was a conflict between Republican factory owners, the one percent of the North, and Democratic plantation owners, the one percent of the South. It was fought by southern sharecroppers and Irish immigrants fresh off the boat. The rich sat back and enjoyed their fine cigars, while the working class suffered; business as usual. Northern interests were so noble that, just prior to the end of the war, an enormous conflagration occurred in the US House of Representatives, over creating a Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. With the war still raging, there was obviously no Southern representation in the House. This Amendment would provide  legal basis for Lincoln’s wartime Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery, “except as a punishment for a crime”,  would be forever abolished in the United States. Only with brilliant political maneuvering was Lincoln able to unseat Northern Democratic opposition to the bill, on his second attempt. Slavery was such a motive for war, that even Northern politicians opposed Black freedom. After all, as it was said on the floor of the House, if slaves were freed, they could become citizens, and they could vote. That would be as terrible as granting the vote to women! Yes, this was the mid-nineteenth century Democratic Party of the North; a party opposed to equality for both Blacks and women.

Incursion of the US Cavalry against native populations of the West provided inspiration for Hitler’s infamous final solution. Hitler said so, himself. His mechanised destruction of minorities in Europe, less than a century later, lasted fewer years and killed fewer people than America’s war against its indigenous populations. History and Hollywood smile on the United States. John Wayne made a career playing a cavalry officer. The US Cavalry were the victors, and their victims, mere savages. Victors always write the history. Had Hitler won his war, Hollywood and history would have smiled on him, too.

Images of US Marines slogging through the mud at Belleau Wood and the Somme and raising the American flag on Iwo Jima are inspirational, and well they should be. These are images of heroic sacrifice and triumph by ordinary working class Americans, Everyman, in the name of Liberty, struggling against real forces of evil. In spite of the ponderous American sacrifices in the Great War, America only committed to involvement for a year of that four year conflict, which destroyed European civilisation and killed and damaged an entire generation of its youth. The common British complaint was that the Yanks arrived late on the scene, after all of the real carnage had ceased. Of course, America claims credit for victoriously ending that conflict. Iwo Jima showed the the world the victorious presence of US Marines, triumphant in their struggle against the fanatical troops of the Japanese empire. Americans were the broad shouldered heroes, grimy and worn, but smiling in victory. The long, horrifying, global journey into night was almost over. Island hopping had gradually defeated the mighty Japanese empire. America was poised for the final assault against a decimated Japanese military. Nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed. The vaporisation of two non-strategic cities, with predominantly civilian populations, is declared a necessity to bring a beleaguered Japan to its knees. Nearly seventy years later, these acts by the United States are still debated as to their merit and are viewed by a growing population, internationally, as unnecessary, and blatant acts of revenge. More clearly put, they were massive war crimes.

American school children are not supposed to make these discoveries about their history. They are supposed to blindly accept the mythos. America good. Everybody else bad. Ethnocentricity and intolerance are imbued from an early age, So is ignorance. American school children become American adults, and they are mesmerised by TV sit-coms, soap operas, and professional sports. The world goes by, and Americans are distracted. They are locked into their knee-jerk belief in an America that never was. They work harder and longer than any other advanced population in the world. Americans have the most costly and least effective healthcare system among global industrial societies, and American education is abysmal, concentrating on testing, testing, and testing, denying any hope of critical thinking skills. Real American history, the true focus of government, and the parasitic nature of American society are never to be realised.

None of this is unintentional. The American ruling class realised the threat of an educated, cosmopolitan society as early as the turn of the twentieth century. The basis for this realisation can be found earlier, at the founding of the Republic, in the private writings of James Madison. Borrowing from a noted German anarchist of the nineteenth century, Madison believed in a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The common man was unfit to rule himself. He needed to be led by educated, cultured rulers. Edward Bernays agreed with this principle. A population should be controlled, protected from itself, and posed a system of manipulation to provide this. Referred to, in his obituary, as the father of public relations, Bernays combined the theories of Gustav Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical theories of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. The one percent of his day saw the merit of Bernays’ theories, in maintaining their positions of wealth and power in perpetuity. Bernays’ methods were deployed by the Melon Foundation, the Carnegie Trust, the Vanderbilts, Astors, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and the Rothschilds. In short, the rich and powerful, the movers and shakers of the early twentieth century, sought to create and maintain a legacy, over a century ago, by manipulating and controlling the American people. Bernays provided the means.

Many of the ‘founding fathers’ echoed Madison’s beliefs. Democracy was not to be tolerated, merely venerated. A republic, a representative democracy, evolved with the US Constitution. The eighteenth century provided a ruling class which was a benign product of the enlightenment, rather than the avaricious robber barons of the early twentieth century. How well intentioned the framers of the Constitution might have been, they set a dangerous precedent, which the one percent of the guilded age seized. Aside from Bernays’ manipulative ‘public relations’, better described as propaganda, control, the ruling class discovered, was adroitly provided from the purse strings. If one desired to control an organization or an influential civic group, benevolently donate money to them. Hence, the origin of all the mighty charitable foundations. Carnegie and Rockefeller would not be hounded by government or pitchfork wielding mobs for their heinous misdeeds, nor Ford for supporting Hitler, if a population, sympathetic because of their great benevolence protected them. Once charitable donations were accepted, control ensued. Charles and David Koch have donate to PBS for decades. An expose of their unethical, and often illegal, practices was to air on PBS. Suddenly, PBS had a change of venue. Such is the power of charity. Recently, the Koch brothers failed in their attempt to control all of American newsprint. Had they done so, no one would ever learn of their crimes. They would appear as benevolent saints in the minds of the American People.

The one percent and puppet politicians fear the American People learning the truth about government corruption, its longevity and depth, and the brutal realities of American foreign military adventurism. USMC General Smedley Butler called war a racket, generations ago, and referred to himself as a hit man or enforcer for millionaire thugs. For this, he was denigrated, reviled, and rendered irrelevant by the press, which was controlled, nationally, by William Randolph Hearst. The one percent deployed another hit man, Hearst, against their former employee. Decades after his deposition to the US Congress, and his death, the reality of Butler’s allegations has been established, and he has been vindicated. This is only academic. The rulers still skulk in the background.

Heroic whistle-blowers like John Kiriakou, retired USMC General James Cartwright, Pvt, Bradley Manning, and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have pointed the way. They have repeated Smedley Butler’s warnings, and have kicked open the door. The descendants of Edward Bernays’ patrons would slam it shut. Finian Cunningham is correct. The leaders of the United States are petrified of the effects these brave men could have on the public. Far be it for Americans to be allowed to think! Americans must remain ignorant of their own history. They must continue to accept the mythos. The recent century has seen an heroic effort at pulling the wool over America’s eyes. Now, she might have a chance to see, again. Norquist announced the one percent’s demeanor and intention, when he said, “Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win. It has to be a painful and devastating defeat. We’re sending a message, here. It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see.” Warren Buffett spoke of class warfare, and of how the rich were winning. Norquist and his ilk are itching to bring the war up a notch. They want blood. Their minions, the police, will do their dirty work for them, just like the Irish immigrants and Southern sharecroppers did, in the Civil War. Warren Buffett has many memorable quotes, among them, “The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more, and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked for the last ten years, and I hope the American public is catching on.” Hopefully, thanks to Kiriakou, Cartwright, Manning, and Snowden it might be, but it might not be wise to hold one’s breath. Edward Bernays did his work very well, and he did it a very long time ago. His effects are still being felt, and they will continue to be. The first lesson is for the People of the United States to realise they are being played like a cheap violin, and have been for quite a long time. Until  then, everything else will be academic.

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Syriasly?

Syria must be destroyed, to be saved. The West is following a moral imperative, in its desire to remove the criminal Assad regime. Israel has intercepted chatter, proving that Assad was behind the chemical attack. It will be another cake-walk, just like Iraq. Crowds of thankful Syrians will greet the arriving G.I.s with flowers, waving American flags, and presenting them with all too willing beautiful women, just like the citizens of Paris did, with the fall of the Wehrmacht. Right! A brutal dictator has unleashed weapons of mass destruction upon his own people, after years of his evil regime. He is corrupt. His people are suffering, living in squalor, while he eats roast pheasant and caviar. It is the United States’ responsibility, along with her allies, to stop this tyrant, and establish democracy. Sound familiar?

This is the chronic continuation of the post World War II American mythos. America did not win the war singlehandedly. America was not the only country free from the guilt of committing war crimes, and we were not knights in shining armour, freeing the world. The United States Armed Forces consisted of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, just like every other nation’s armed forces. They were ordinary men doing a dirty, thankless job. They were not super human heroes. We were not always the good guys. The fire bombing of Dresden ranks right up there with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We didn’t commit war crimes, crimes against humanity. We were the victors. The Washington spin machine still spews its lies, through its corporate media, beating the war drums, again, so American troops can march to victory, just as they did, in 1945, in Korea, in Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Except, the victory marches ended in 1945. Here we go again.

The US, France, and Britain are poised for war against the Assad regime, ready to attack, pending a command from their political leaders. When the order is given, the target will be softened up with artillery. Artillery, here, means Tomahawk missiles, at how many million each? How much destruction will this cause, and how many innocent civilians must die? Following the softening of the target, special ops troops will pave the way for the expanded invasion of infantry and armour, wreaking havoc on Syrian infrastructure. House to house fighting will ensue. Even citizens opposed to the Assad regime will defend their country against the invaders. Yes, it will be another cake walk. The basis for this attack is a moral imperative, that the Assad regime has used nerve gas on its own citizens. Medicins Sans Frontieres has described masses of Syrian of casualties, presenting to healthcare facilities, demonstrating signs of anti-cholinesterase poisoning, bronchospasms, wheezing, constricted pupils, profound salivation, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, and urinary and fecal incontinence. Many have had seizure reactions. Many have died. It is a logical assumption, that someone detonated a nerve agent in these victims’ neighborhoods. The operative words, here, are ‘someone and assumption’. Someone; the Syrian government denies this, and blames the rebels. The rebels deny this, and blame the government. Never assume. It makes an ass of you and me. Kerry said an attack was irrefutable. Britain and France are indignant. Assad calls the West’s accusations ludicrous. Russia agrees with Assad.

Putting aside emotion, and avoiding an hysterical reaction to this horror, let’s regard the neighborhoods attacked by nerve gas in Syria, as a crime scene. We assume a crime happened, but could it have been a disastrous accident? Intelligence reports Syria to have stockpiles of Sarin and mustard gas. Then, again, intelligence hasn’t always been correct. Iraq was supposed to have ‘weapons of mass destruction’, too. Could someone, say, from the rebel side, not have broken into a secret Sarin storage depot, and mistakenly set off a quantity? Could not a government operative have done the same? Perhaps a rogue agent, from either side, is responsible, without official knowledge. If, as in the case of Iraq, no WMDs exist in Syria, then the perpetrator would have had to manufacture the agent. A lab error could have potentiated a leak. Denial would be incumbent on both parties. The possibilities are endless, except for the fact, that neither side wants responsibility.

Thousands of people don’t flood the doors of local ERs, with the signs and symptoms of anti-cholinesterase poisoning, unless they have suffered anti-cholinesterase poisoning. We must establish motive. A crime of this magnitude, without a motive, is unthinkable. A crime, yes; because manufacturing either Sarin or mustard gas is a crime. Whether the application of the agent occurred as an accident, or purposefully, a crime occurred. We have intent. One doesn’t manufacture a toxic agent, without intent. We have victims, thousands of them. Again, we must establish motive.

Therein lies the quandary. Neither side would benefit, if either one were successfully accused of deploying gas. Memories of the trenches of World War One are still fresh in the world’s memory; the destruction was so horrible, so inhumane. Subsequent deployments by rogue regimes and terrorists, alike, have met with international disdain and condemnation. The perpetrator, if caught, loses, period. If the perpetrator loses, the other side wins, and it would be highly advantageous for the perpetrator to appear the victim. Russia has made the most reasonable assertion, in this case. Allegedly, rebels launched the attack, to make it appear that the Assad regime had done it, thereby forcing the West’s hand: checkmate. The Assad regime might have done this, to make it appear that the rebels were responsible, thereby ensuring an end to Western sympathy: checkmate.

Each side stands to gain, by the opposition’s appearing criminal, heartless, and evil. The world remembers Saddam’s use of gas against the Kurds, as if it were only yesterday. The precedent has been set, in the Middle East, for government to attack its own people. The rebels know this, though, and this fact must not be forgotten. Now, let us step away from the incident and its convolutions. The US, Britain, and France are poised to attack, because Obama’s ‘red line’ has been crossed. Two former colonial powers, still stinging at their loss of dominance in the region want, desperately, to reassert themselves. The upstart wants to live its PNAC neo-colonial dream. Of course they all want to enter the conflict, and not out of humanitarian feelings. As usual, follow the money. The incident of mass anti-cholinesterase poisoning of the Syrian civilian population provides ample excuse for England and France assuming a position of dominance in the Middle East, and allows the US to do the same. While we are snooping around trying to determine whether this act was committed by Assad or the rebels, perhaps we should not overlook the obvious. Include all of the suspects in the investigation. We have seen the enemy, and he is us. The US, Britain, and France would gain phenomenally from removing Assad, and asserting their influence in the Middle East. The military-industrialist complex hears “kaching-kaching” with every cruise missile launch. The manufacture of each Bradley Fighting Vehicle creates profit for the Carlyle Group. Rather than being an act committed by Assad or the rebels, one might also consider this to be the handiwork of the CIA, GCHQ, and DGSE. Before we repeat the mistakes generated by an event in Sarajevo in 1914, we need to look closely, very closely, and never forget to follow the money. We must also remember that among Syria’s allies of Islamists in Lebanon and Iraq, are the nations of Iran, Russia, and China. Gavrilo Princip is smiling with contentment. He is waving his Black Hand. Here we go, again.

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