Wednesday, August 24, 2016
zerohedge | Yesterday's report that more than half, or at least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or spoke to Hillary Clinton while she led the State Department, donated at least $156 million to her family charity or pledged commitments with at least 16 foreign governments donating as much as $170 million, has become the latest goldmine for Donald Trump and Republicans who finally have a break in the anti-Trump news cycle to pounce on.
"It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history," Trump said in a statement, reiterating a claim he made earlier in the week. "We've now learned that a majority of the non-government people she met with as secretary of state gave money to the corrupt Clinton Foundation. ... It was wrong then, and it is wrong now -- and the foundation must be shut down immediately."
archive | A “brilliant” barrister who represented Julian Assange ended his life by leaping under a train after he was allowed to leave a private mental health hospital to go for a walk at 5am.
John Jones QC, a 48-year-old married father of two who worked at renowned legal chambers Doughty Street, was being treated for severe depression and had recently had his medication changed when he died at West Hampstead Thameslink station on April 18 this year.
An inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard that the lawyer – who worked on high profile war crimes cases at The Hague – suffered from “obsessive overthinking” which had become prevalent following a stressful period in his life.
He lived in Golders Green, and was staying as a voluntary patient at The Nightingale hospital in Marylebone in the weeks leading up to his death.
dailymail | FBI agents' reports of interviews documenting that Hillary Clinton's stinging humiliation of her friend and mentor Vince Foster in front of White House aides triggered his suicide a week later are missing from where they should be filed at the National Archives, Daily Mail Online has learned exclusively.
On two separate occasions, this author visited the National Archives and Records Service in College Park, Md., to review the reports generated by FBI agents assigned to investigate the 1993 death of Bill Clinton's deputy White House counsel.
On the first visit, archivist David Paynter provided the box of records that he said contained the FBI reports of interviews conducted by FBI agents on Foster's death.
On a second visit, archivist James Mathis provided what he said were those same documents.
While the box contained dozens of FBI reports concerning Foster's death - including interviews with the medical examiner, U.S. Park Police officers, and White House aides about the contents of Foster's office - the reports on Hillary Clinton's role in his death were absent.
After filing a Freedom of Information request with the National Archives, Martha Murphy, the archives' public liaison, reported that she directed a senior archivist to conduct a more thorough review of the relevant FBI files, including those that had not been previously made public in response to FOIA requests.
'He examined all eight boxes but found no interviews by any investigator that detail either a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster or the effects of a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster on Vince Foster's state of mind,' Murphy reported in an email.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
theroot | American empires are built on the little white lie that rests on the premise that people of color are scary and dangerous. There is a long history of white people gaining money, power, influence, sympathy or a few more Twitter followers by using the currency that is the dark-skinned demon. It buys white fright, and in America, with white fright on your side, you can get anything you want.
There are countless white-fright stories of white men coercing women into accusing black men of rape to initiate lynchings and retake valuable land from newly freed slaves in the post-Reconstruction South. In 1918, when black sharecroppers in Phillips County, Ark., decided to unionize and combine resources, farmers spread the word as far as Mississippi of a black conspiracy to murder white planters. The result was 237 dead black men, women and children in one of the worst mass lynchings in U.S. history. Lying-ass dogs.
America’s war on drugs began when newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst decided that hemp production might endanger his pulp and paper empire, so one of his papers editorialized the now famous quote, “Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” That the drug war was a black thing always sounded like a tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory until last year, when an aide from the Nixon administration—who invented the term “war on drugs”—revealed to CNN:
You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. […] We could arrest their leaders[,] raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
One of the reasons accusations of racism seem so inflammatory is that there is widespread belief that pointing out a racist act automatically means the person who did it hates people of color. Contrary to popular belief, racism does not necessarily equal hate. Racism sometimes manifests itself in the privileged apathy that does not consider people of color a lower, lesser form of humanity. Instead, people of color aren’t considered at all. To some people they are just brown props on a white stage—to be manipulated and used as needed. We are step stools and tools. They don’t always shoot black people in the face or string them from trees; sometimes they just carelessly toss us under the bus of their choosing.
Like when, in 1994, white fright went viral with Susan Smith, who told the story of how a black man carjacked her in South Carolina while her sons were in the car, only for it to turn out that she murdered them and drove them into a lake.
vox | Contrary to Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, welfare had created chronic dependence on subsidies like Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC). But rather than adjust the policy or address the core reasons so many people were stuck in the cycle, the conversation focused largely on vilifying welfare recipients as corrupt drains on society, leeching off hard-working American’s tax dollars.
And even though white and black families made up similar numbers of AFDC cases between 1983 and 1995, black women were the face of both welfare’s failure and the culprits who corrupted it, and an indictment of the Democratic Party that supported them.
Clinton, however, offered a different vision. After some back and forth with the GOP, the AFDC was effectively renamed the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Through block grants, the policy required recipients to find a job two years after they began seeking benefits, and put a five-year lifetime limit on receiving benefits. Also among its goals was a push to promote two-parent households and marriage, drawing heavily from dubious ideas that women were using out-of-wedlock births to cash in on welfare checks.
PWRORA helped Clinton effectively dismantle a social safety net for the poorest Americans with a program that incentivized them to seek work because there was little money invested in supporting them otherwise.
Clinton also found a way to rebrand the political party he led by putting an end to the system championed by Democratic presidents before him. But he did so by following Reagan and other Republicans.
Clinton drew the ire of liberals, including Mary Jo Bane, Wendell Primus, and Peter Edelman — prominent officials at Health and Human Services under his administration who resigned in protest.
In a 1997 Atlantic essay titled "The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done," Edelman, a longtime friend of Clinton, lambasted just what was wrong with PRWORA: "The bill closes its eyes to all the fact and complexities of the real world and essentially says to recipients, Find a job. That has a nice bumper-sticker ring to it. But as a one-size-fits-all recipe it is totally unrealistic."
A part of this was simply politics. Clinton entered the White House as a Democrat appealing to "white flight Democrats," or those voters prepared to leave the party out of resentment for its growing alignment with the concerns of racial minorities. And like his infamous "Sister Souljah moment," welfare reform helped him capture racial resentment to his advantage.
In the 1990s, Clinton sought to champion both hard-working Americans and nonworking Americans alike by gutting government subsidies for the nation’s poorest, who, due to welfare, had little if any reason to work like their counterparts.
But with Harden, Clinton did what his GOP counterparts couldn’t: advocate for welfare reform without completely alienating black constituents. By pushing personal responsibility, Harden helped Clinton chastise welfare without completely vilifying black women. Harden showed that the "welfare queen" could be redeemed, transforming the face of welfare’s alleged problems into the same fare of welfare reform’s promise.
Monday, August 22, 2016
thiscantbehappening | While I periodically have written commentaries dissecting and pillorying news articles in the New York Times to expose their bias, hypocrisy half-truths and lies, I generally ignore their editorials since these are overtly opinions of the management, and one expects them to display the elitist and neo-liberal perspective of the paper’s publisher and senior editors.
That said, the August 17 editorial about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent four harrowing years trapped in the apartment-sized Ecuadoran embassy thanks to a trumped-up and thoroughly discredited political rape “investigation” by a politically driven Swedish prosecutor and a complicit right-wing British government, moves far beyond even the routine rampant bias and distortion of a Times editorial into misrepresentation and character assassination. As such it cries out for criticism.
Headlined “A Break in the Assange Saga,” the editorial starts off with the flat-out lie that “Ecuador and Sweden finally agreed last week that Swedish prosecutors could question Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has been holed up since 2012.”
The casual reader fed only corporate media stories about this case might logically assume from that lead that such an interview has been held up by a disagreement of some kind between Ecuador and Sweden. In fact, Ecuador and Assange and his attorneys have stated their willingness to allow Swedish prosecutors to come to London and interview Assange in the safety of their embassy for several years now. The prosecutor in Sweden, Marianne Nye, who has been pursuing Assange all that time like Ahab after his whale, has not only never taken up that offer, but by her refusal to go to London in all this time, demanding instead Assange’s enforced presence in Stockholm, has allowed any possible rape charges, if any were even appropriate, to pass the statute of limitations. The paper doesn’t mention this. Nor does the editorial mention that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Working Group on Arbitrary Detention last February found that Assange is effectively being held in arbitrary detention by the UK and Swedish governments, and called for his release, and for the lifting of British government threats to arrest him and extradite him if he leaves the safety of the embassy.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
RT | The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, has threatened that the country could leave the UN, after the organization urged the Philippines to stop executing and killing people linked to drug business and threatened that “state actors” could be punished.
"I do not want to insult you, but maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations," Rodrigo Duterte told journalists on Sunday. "Why do you have to listen to this stupid?"
“I don't give a sh*t about them,” he added. “They are the ones interfering. You do not just go out and give a sh*tting statement against a country.”
Calling the UN “inutile", Duterte said the Philippines could invite China, African nations and other countries to create a rival international body. He went further, slamming the UN’s response to other global issues.
“Look at the iconic boy that was taken out from the rubble and he was made to sit in the ambulance and we saw it," Duterte said. The picture of Omran Daqneesh, a five-year-old Syrian boy has recently gone viral around the globe.
"Why is it that [the] United States is not doing anything? I do not read you. Anybody in that stupid body complaining about the stench there of death?"
The Philippine leader also attacked the US for more members of the public dying as a result of police violence.
"What do you think the Americans did to the black people there? Is that not rubbing off also? And (critics) say what?"
The angry tirade at the news conference in Davao City came after the UN’s special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, urged the Philippines to stop extrajudicial executions and killings, saying “state actors” could be punished for the “illegal killings.”
NYTimes | Mr. Duterte has not commented on the case, which has been widely reported in the local news media. In a speech on Wednesday, he said that the police should not use excessive force, but he showed no sign of backing down from his call to kill drug suspects.
“The fight against drugs will continue unrelenting until we have destroyed the apparatus operating in the entire country,” he said.
Senator Leila de Lima, the former Philippine secretary of justice, called the killing a “summary execution” and said the evidence was so clear-cut that the authorities had “no choice” but to bring charges.
The case is one of several expected to be the focus of potentially explosive hearings next week before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which Ms. de Lima oversees.
Mr. Duterte lashed out at Ms. de Lima in his speech on Wednesday, accusing her, without providing evidence, of having an affair with her married driver, who he said collected drug payoffs for her.
Ms. de Lima called the accusation “foul” and added, “If this is his way of stopping the Senate’s investigation on the extrajudicial killings, he can try,” but she insisted that she would not call off the hearings.
Although the killings have dispensed with what Mr. Duterte has called “the rigmarole” of due process, his drug war has proved wildly popular in a country plagued by crime.
The blunt-spoken Mr. Duterte made his name as the mayor of Davao City, where vigilante killings starting in the 1980s are credited with helping reduce crime and making it one of the country’s safest places.
Since Mr. Duterte has taken his campaign nationwide, more than 600,000 drug dealers and users have turned themselves in to avoid being killed, the authorities say. The result, they say, has been a visible reduction in drug use and petty crime.
guardian | As the Republican-led state legislature has slashed funding to reproductive healthcare clinics, the maternal mortality rate doubled over just a two-year period. About half of Texas lacks ready access to OB-GYN care, making it difficult for women to obtain contraception or for pregnant women to confirm the health of their babies.
The rate of Texas women who died from complications related to pregnancy doubled from 2010 to 2014, a new study has found, for an estimated maternal mortality rate that is unmatched in any other state and the rest of the developed world.
The finding comes from a report, appearing in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, that the maternal mortality rate in the United States increased between 2000 and 2014, even while the rest of the world succeeded in reducing its rate. Excluding California, where maternal mortality declined, and Texas, where it surged, the estimated number of maternal deaths per 100,000 births rose to 23.8 in 2014 from 18.8 in 2000 – or about 27%.
But the report singled out Texas for special concern, saying the doubling of mortality rates in a two-year period was hard to explain “in the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval”.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Mark Robinowitz has a chart showing many examples of Limited Hangout in his book Peak Choice, Cooperation or Collapse: an Uncensored Guide to Earth, Energy, and Money
Understanding of each topic is broken down as Official Story, Limited Hangout, Best Evidence, and Disinformation and Distractions. This analysis technique helps one to make sense of topics where someone is deliberately blowing smoke. The Limited Hangout is a professional Information Warfare method of which Rabinowitz provides a number of examples.
On the topic of *Limits to Growth* the Official Story is that Growth is Always Good, the Limited Hangout is that technology will solve the Limits to Growth problem, the Best Evidence is that Limits to Growth are already biting and will result in Collapse, while the Disinformation pertaining to *Limits to Growth* includes Climate Change Denial.
On the topic of *Oil and Energy*, the Limited Hangout is that we are addicted to oil but can kick the addiction with windmills and solar panels, the Best Evidence is that Industrial Civilization is utterly dependent upon oil for such basics as food, while the Disinformation teaches that the energy crisis is
a scam to make money.
Mark uses the same approach for Oilempire.us
On *Peak Oil* the Official Story is the world can keep increasing oil extraction for decades, the Limited Hangout is that we may have a problem but technology will save us, the Best Evidence is that collapse is likely, while the abiotic oil theory is an example of Disinformation.
On the topic of *9/11*, the Official Story is that Al Queda attacked us because they hate our freedom, the Limited Hangout is that mistakes were made which might have prevented the attacks, the Best Evidence is that the 9/11 attacks were allowed and assisted as a pretext to invade Iraq and establish Homeland Security, while the Disinformation includes stories like "no plane hit the Pentagon".
On the topic of *Election Fraud* in the USA the Official Story is USA elections are honest and fair, the Limited Hangout involves 'fixing' the existing laughably insecure voting system, the Best Evidence is that paper ballots counted by hand remains the most secure and effective voting system, while the Disinformation includes mostly true claims about Election Fraud by unsavory organizations whom no one wants to be seen agreeing with.
On the topic of the *JFK Assasination* the Official Story is that the president was murdered by a lone gunman, the Limited Hangout is that the Mafia or Cubans killed JFK, the Best Evidence is that JFK was killed by his own security apparatus, while the Disinformation is so expansive that the term
'conspiracy theorist' became media short hand for 'crackpot'. Fist tap Woodensplinter.
Friday, August 19, 2016
alt-market | There is an interesting disconnect with some people when discussing the concept of global centralization. Naturally, the mind reels in horror at the very idea, because many of us know, deep down at our core, that centralization is the root of tyranny. We know that when absolute power is granted into the hands of an elite few over the lives of the masses, very bad things happen. No small group of people has ever shown itself trustworthy, rational, empathic or wise enough to handle such a responsibility. They ALWAYS screw it up, or, they deliberately take advantage of their extreme position of influence to force a particular ideology on everyone else.
This leads to resistance, resistance leads to sociopolitical crackdown and then great numbers of people are imprisoned, enslaved or even murdered. This leads to even more resistance until one of two possible outcomes emerges — chaos and revolution or complete totalitarianism and micro-managed collectivism.
There is no way around this eventual conflict. As long as the centralists continue to pursue total power, men and women will gather to fight them and the situation will escalate. The only conceivable way that this fight could be defused is if the elites stop doing what they do. If they suddenly become enlightened and realize the error of their ways, then perhaps we could escape the troubles unscathed. Or, if those same elites all happen to meet an abrupt end and their influence is neutralized, then the world might have a chance to adjust and adapt in a more organic fashion.
Unfortunately, there are people who refuse to believe that a fight is unavoidable. They desperately want to believe there is another way, and they will engage in an amazing display of mental gymnastics in order to justify this belief.
First, I think it is important to note that I have always argued that the globalists will eventually fail in their pursuit. I find that some folks out there misinterpret my position when I outline the strategies of globalists and they assume I am presenting global centralization as a “sine qua non.” I do not argue that the elites will win the fight, I only argue that there is no way to avoid the fight.
Those that want to know my views on why globalist defeat is a certainty can read my article The Reasons Why The Globalists Are Destined To Lose.
charleshughsmith | Addiction and drug use are medical/mental health issues, not criminalization/ imprisonment issues.
It's difficult to pick the most destructive of America's many senseless, futile and tragically needless wars, but the "War on Drugs" is near the top of the list.Prohibition of mind-altering substances has not just failed--it has failed spectacularly, and generated extremely destructive and counterproductive consequences.
What was the result of the Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s? Prohibition instantly criminalized 40+% of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
What was the result of the "War on Drugs"? This modern-day Prohibition instantly criminalized large swaths of the adult populace and created hugely profitable criminal organizations.
If you want to increase drug use, criminalize innocent citizens and spawn gargantuan criminal organizations, then by all means declare "war" via Prohibition. The results of Prohibition/War on Drugs are so visibly perverse and so destructive that the entire enterprise is sickeningly Orwellian.
The well-paid apologists for Prohibition/War on Drugs claim that imprisoning millions of people "helps" them avoid drugs. If you think being tossed in prison for a few years "helps" people, then step right up and accept a fiver (5-year sentence) in an American prison, which is essentially a factory that produces one product: people damaged by imprisonment, deprived of their full citizenship, hobbled by a felony conviction--ex-con beneficiaries of years of tutorials by hardened criminals.
This is as Orwellian as the Vietnam War's famous "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it."
If you think throwing millions of people in prison "helps" them or society, you are either insane or you're making a living in the gulag or our sick system of "justice".
Forbes | The difficulty in finding an appropriate schedule for marijuana reflects a broader problem with the CSA’s classification scheme. If a controlled substance does not have an accepted medical use (however that’s defined), it has to go in Schedule I, even if it has a low potential for abuse and is safer than over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or diphenhydramine. The only alternative is to take the drug out of the schedules entirely, which in the case of marijuana can be done only by Congress, given the CSA’s deference to the Single Convention, which allows medical use of cannabis but calls for strict regulation.
Although the DEA has the power to move marijuana from one schedule to another, it was Congress that put it in Schedule I to begin with. The CSA was not intended to regulate recreational intoxicants, which are banned unless Congress omitted them from the law’s schedules, as it did with alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. The DEA’s assumption that all nonmedical use of marijuana constitutes abuse may be absurd, but it’s an absurdity that Congress demanded.
NYTimes | On Wednesday, the Vera Institute of Justice and a program called the Safety and Justice Challenge released a report that found that the number of women in local jails in the United States was almost 14 times what it was in the 1970s, a far higher growth rate than for men, although there remain far fewer women than men in jails and prisons.
The study found that the number of women held in the nation’s 3,200 municipal and county jails for misdemeanor crimes or who are awaiting trial or sentencing had increased significantly — to about 110,000 in 2014 from fewer than 8,000 in 1970.
(Over all, the nation’s jail population increased to 745,000 in 2014 from 157,000 in 1970.)
Much of the increase in the number of jailed women occurred in counties with fewer than 250,000 people, according to the study, places where just 1,700 women had been incarcerated in 1970. By 2014, however, that number had surged to 51,600, the report said.
And even as crime rates declined nationally, the trend toward jailing women in rural counties continued: Incarceration rates for women in sparsely populated counties rose to 140 per 100,000 in 2014 from 79 per 100,000 in 2000, the study found. During the same period, incarceration rates for women in the nation’s largest counties decreased to 71 per 100,000 from 76 per 100,000.
“Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail,” the report said.
The counties with the highest rates of jailed women are nearly all rural and include Nevada County, Calif.; Floyd County, Ga.; and St. Charles Parish, La. Each has a population of fewer than 100,000 people but a rate of incarceration for women of more than 280 per 100,000, according to the Vera Institute.
WaPo | “This is a huge deal. It is historic and groundbreaking,” said David Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “For the last 35 years, the use of private prisons in this country has crept ever upward, and this is a startling and major reversal of that trend, and one that we hope will be followed by others.”
The Justice Department’s inspector general last week released a critical report concluding that privately operated facilities incurred more safety and security incidents than those run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The private facilities, for example, had higher rates of assaults — both by inmates on other inmates and by inmates on staff — and had eight times as many contraband cellphones confiscated each year on average, according to the report.
Disturbances in the facilities, the report said, led in recent years to “extensive property damage, bodily injury, and the death of a Correctional Officer.” The report listed several examples of mayhem at private facilities, including a May 2012 riot at the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi in which 20 people were injured and a correctional officer killed. That incident, according to the report, involved 250 inmates who were upset about low-quality food and medical care.
“The fact of the matter is that private prisons don’t compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that,” Yates said.
The problems at private facilities were hardly a secret, and Yates said Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons officials had been talking for months about discontinuing their use. Mother Jones recently published a 35,000-word exposé detailing a reporter’s undercover work as a private prison guard in Louisiana — a piece that found serious deficiencies. The Nation magazine wrote earlier this year about deaths under questionable circumstances in privately operated facilities.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
unz | Middle Eastern, North African, and Pakistani populations are even more extreme. You can see it in the figure above. Across short runs of homozogosity the results converge onto what you’d expect, roughly. But Middle Eastern populations are a huge anomaly at long runs. That’s because of this:
From 20–50% of all marriages in the GME are consanguineous (as compared with 0.2% in the Americas and Western Europe)1, 2, 3, with the majority between first cousins. This roughly 100-fold higher rate of consanguinity has correlated with roughly a doubling of the rate of recessive Mendelian disease19, 20. European, African, and East Asian 1000 Genomes Project populations all had medians for the estimated inbreeding coefficient (F) of ~0.005, whereas GME F values ranged from 0.059 to 0.098, with high variance within each population (Fig. 2c). Thus, measured F values were approximately 10- to 20-fold higher in GME populations, reflecting the shared genomic blocks common to all human populations. F values were dominated by structure from the immediate family rather than historical or population-wide data trends (Supplementary Fig. 8). Examination of the larger set of 1,794 exomes that included many parent–child trios also showed an overwhelming influence of structure from the immediate family, with offspring from first-cousin marriages displaying higher F values than those from non-consanguineous marriages (Fig. 2d).
ICH | The entirety of the August 14 print edition of the New York Times Magazine is dedicated to a series titled “Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart,” by Scott Anderson. The series is 60 pages long and includes detailed sketches of the lives of six people from various parts of the Middle East dating back to the years before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, through the Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS in 2014-15, and the migratory outpouring from the war-torn region.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein, notes in a foreword to the series:
“This is an issue unlike any we have previously published…the subject of this book is the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences—terror and uncertainty around the world—are familiar to us all.”
Silverstein concludes his editor’s note: “It is unprecedented for us to focus so much energy and attention on a single story and to ask our readers to do the same. We would not do so were we not convinced that this is one of the most clear-eyed, powerful and human explanations of what has gone wrong in this region that you will ever read.”
The publication of “Fractured Lands” has an objective significance. The presentation, the content and the tone of the series express the American ruling class’ sense that it faces a catastrophe of historically unprecedented proportions in the Middle East. When Anderson asks in his preface: “Why did it turn out that way?” he is asking on behalf of a ruling class that is dazed by the catastrophic outcome of its own reckless and shortsighted policies.
For the last 25 years, US imperialism has laid waste to a span of territory stretching several thousand miles from North Africa to Central Asia, leaving over 1 million dead. A new vocabulary of words like “shock and awe,” “extraordinary rendition,” “black site prison,” “disposition matrix” and “Terror Tuesday” has emerged as the language of the US wars. A significant portion of the region’s 200 million people has been left homeless or have fled for safe haven abroad. Next January, Barack Obama will leave office as the first president in US history to serve his entire two terms while the country was at war.
“Fractured Lands” is an apologia for the record of American imperialism. Its author has served as a war correspondent for 33 years and has worked for the New York Times for the last 17. He is a prolific, educated writer and recently published a historical book on the post-World War One imperialist carve-up of the Middle East. Whatever Anderson’s intentions, “Fractured Lands” is a “human interest” story that serves to justify “human rights imperialism” and pave the way for new wars.
“Fractured Lands” makes the argument that the nation-state system established in the aftermath of the First World War failed to conform sufficiently to the various tribal, ethnic and religious divisions in the region. Anderson concludes that the collapse of the bourgeois nationalist governments in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Libya proves the necessity for racial and ethnic groups to fill the political vacuum and fight among themselves to establish fiefdoms and zones of tribal influence. “Fractured Lands” acknowledges that this may involve ethnic cleansing. The author concludes by contemplating whether pogroms and genocide may be necessary to establish order in the region.
ICH | No one paying attention with even one eye and half an ear can be ignorant of the fact that when it comes to this year’s election the MSM are lying shills for Hillary. But now it seems they’re all suffering from amnesia too.
The latest “OMG, Trump said that!” moment is The Donald’s claim that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are, correspondingly, the “founder” and “cofounder” of ISIS. True to form, the media reaction has been to shriek in outrage that he would cast aspersions on such august personages.
As of this writing, not one American media source of which this writer is aware has brought up in relation to Trump’s claims the August 2012 report (declassified and released in 2015 under a FOIA request from Judicial Watch) from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) stating that “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria, and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.” The “supporting powers” are identified as “western countries” (no doubt including and led by the United States), “the Gulf States” (presumably including and led by Saudi Arabia), and “Turkey” (just Turkey).
In August 2012 the Secretary of State at the time was one Hillary Rodham Clinton. The President was and still is one Barack Hussein Obama.
The DIA report said, in essence, that if we (the U.S. and our local cronies) keep aiding al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other such sterling democrats, something really nasty would arise in eastern Syria. Several months later, it did, when ISIS declared itself a state straddling the Syria-Iraq border.