Kali yuga report 120902 1 Domestic terrorism American style


The Emperor Has No Clothes



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The Emperor Has No Clothes

By Paul Balles

August 28, 2012 "Information Clearing House" ---- How would you like to live under someone's boot? 

That's not a reference to a brute for a husband or a bitch for a bride. It's a question motivated by the behaviour of the mindless louts who enjoy holding sacrificial lambs as hostages and killing those who complain.

Who would be so inhuman? Many. Too many! Scan the histories of imperial criminals and their thieving empires:

European colonies, American settlers, Russian Gulags, African slaves, Japanese internment camps, Jewish holocaust, Palestinians, Darfur refugees, Guantanamo prisoners, South African and Israeli apartheid, Armenian genocide, the prison camps of endless wars.

Where people are privileged enough to have basic comfort, the emperors keep the privileged entertained with sports, television, films, concerts, bars and pubs. 



According to journalist Chris Hedges “There are hundreds of millions of people who have a tragic intimacy with the twisted and brutal soul of American imperialism:

“Okinawans, Guatemalans, Cubans, Congolese, Brazilians, Argentines, Indonesians, Iranians, Palestinians, Panamanians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Filipinos, South Koreans, Taiwanese, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, Afghans, Iraqis, Yemenis, Somalis.

“There are now some 60,000 Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) operatives, whom the president can dispatch to kill without seeking congressional approval or informing the public.”

No one, apart from the rulers, can really know how many military bases the US has around the world. The estimates range from 700 to more than 1,000 in about 130 countries.

The Department of Defence has been called a charade--like the emperor who has no clothes--as there's nothing to defend against and no threat of invasion.

There's always a slogan, however, to keep the population under control. For instance, "The earth should be peopled, governed, and developed, as far as possible, by the races which can do this work best, i.e. by the races of highest 'social efficiency'.”

Other justifications include "the concept of terra nullius (Latin expression which stems from Roman law meaning ‘empty land’) used by both the British and Israeli Zionists.

The favourite American justifying slogans have included "making the world safe for democracy." During the cold war it was "to make the US unsafe for communism," 

After 9/11, the clarion call has been to win "the war on terrorism." A few with less than emperor's circle status have spoken out against the US imperial courts. 

The latest have included author John Mortimer's "A 'war against terrorism' is an impracticable conception if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism."

And Noam Chomsky's appropriate and timely "Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism."

Meanwhile, the US is going broke, and there's nothing the Imperial heads can do about it. 

The empire cannot afford to cut back on its major source of homeland revenue--one that cannot be outsourced. If America cuts back on military expenses, the military-industrial complex will go out of business and bankrupt the country.

There's no connection between the wars waged by the US and the security of America.

The exception: the danger to servicemen in places where they have no business being. Last week, six U.S. troops were killed in a single attack led by Afghan forces. Two more Special Operations troops were murdered after giving a newly graduated Afghan trainee his weapon. 

"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. 

When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

Choose your weaver wisely, Mr. President.



Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years.
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3 - The Mirage of Our Lives


By Chris Hedges

“A Hologram for the King”
A book by Dave Eggers

August 28, 2012 "Information Clearing House" ----  Dave Eggers’ gem of a book, “A Hologram for the King,” is a parable about the decadence, fragility and heartlessness of late, decayed corporate capitalism. It is about the small, largely colorless men and women who serve as managers in our suicidal outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and the methodical breaking of labor unions. It is about the lie of globalization, a lie that impoverishes us all to increase corporate profits. 

“A Hologram for the King” tells the story of Alan, a lackluster 54-year-old consultant who is desperately trying to snag one final big contract in Saudi Arabia for Reliant, a corporation that is “the largest I.T. supplier in the world,” to save himself from financial ruin. Alan has come to realize that managers like him who made outsourcing possible will be discarded as human refuse now that the process is complete, left to wander like ghosts—or holograms—among the ruins. And Eggers’ novel is a subtle, deft and poignant look at the horrendous toll this corporate process takes on self-esteem, on family, on health, on community and finally on the nation itself. It does so, like parables from Greek tragedy or George Orwell, by finding the perfect story to make a point that is universal. 

Eggers, who showcased his talent as a writer of nonfiction in “Zeitoun” about Hurricane Katrina, combines fiction and reporting to create a small masterpiece. The book works because of its authenticity, its close attention to detail and Eggers’ respect for fact. I spent many months as a correspondent in Saudi Arabia where the novel is set. Eggers captures in tight, bullet-like prose the utter decadence, hypocrisy and corruption of the kingdom, as well as its bleak landscape, suffocating heat and soulless glass and concrete office buildings. He is keenly aware that the outward religiosity and piety mask a moral and physical rot that fits seamlessly into the world of globalized capitalism.

Eggers conjures up the bizarre incongruities of Saudi Arabia from his image of a Saudi soldier in a beach chair cooling his bare feet in an inflatable pool next to a Humvee, to a wild embassy party where drunken expatriates in their underwear dive into the swimming pool for pills. At one point Alan mistakenly stumbles onto an unfinished floor of a luxury condo where 25 foreign laborers from Malaysia, Pakistan and the Philippines, crammed together as if on a slave ship, are fighting over a discarded cellphone. This scene captures the outward illusion of prosperity of global capitalism and the internal and brutal oppression of workers who make the illusion possible. 

“Alan opened the fire door and a roar of echoes flooded through. He was in a large raw space full of men, some in their underclothes, some in red jumpsuits, all yelling. It looked like pictures he’d seen of prison gyms converted to dormitories. There were fifty bunks, cloths hanging on lines between them. The beds were empty, though—all the men were gathered in the center of the room, barking, pushing. Alan had interrupted some kind of fight.”

Alan’s attempt to intervene backfires. The workers yell in his face. He is pushed. He turns and runs.

Alan’s professional life follows the trajectory of American manufacturing. He was an executive with Schwinn when the company broke the union, tried to set up a plant with nonunionized workers in Mississippi, which failed, and then shipped its production to China. Alan then moved his professional career “from Schwinn to Huffy to Frontier Manufacturing Partners to Alan Clay Consulting to sitting at home watching DVDs of the Red Sox winning the Series in ’04 and ’07.”

Alan, like Willy Loman, has the reservoir of stock salesman jokes, the upbeat optimism that studiously ignores reality, and his uniform: khakis and crisp white shirts. He dropped out of college to sell Fuller Brush products. He applies what he learns from an older, experienced Fuller Brush salesman named Trivole to life. Trivole says that there are four basic appeals to people: Money. Romance. Self-Preservation. Recognition. Alan sells bikes the same way he sold Fuller Brush products. “All the principles applied: the bikes were practical (Money); they were beautiful, glittering things (Romance); they were safe and durable (Self-Preservation); and they were status symbols for any family (Recognition).”

Alan marries a firebrand activist, Ruby, whose personal bitterness and cruelty, as well as passion for social justice, expose his timidity, blandness and intellectual limitations. But Alan, who lacks much of a conscience as well as a sense of direction, is redeemed in Eggers’ eyes by his love for his only daughter who, if the deal falls through, which it does, will not be able to go back to “a very good and expensive college.” It is Alan’s fragility, including his concerns about a cyst on his neck that he lances open with a serrated dinner knife, which remind us that he is human, that like most of us he is at once culpable and a victim. Alan has been rendered, in this new globalized world, impotent. He is no longer capable of sex. He has two disastrous encounters with women during his trip, moments of acute embarrassment and shame. At night he often sits alone in his hotel room on the 10th floor of the Hilton in Jeddah getting drunk on homemade grain alcohol and composing letters he will never send to his daughter Kit.

Alan, Eggers writes, did well in the old America, the one that made things and sold them, the one that paid its workers fair wages with pensions and benefits, the one that made possible a middle class. But that America is gone, destroyed when “he and others decided to have other people, ten thousand miles away, build the things they sold.” And Alan must confront in the novel the fact that he was deeply complicit in his own demise, that he “helped scout a new, non-union location for Schwinn, had met with suppliers in China and Taiwan, had contributed not insignificantly … to all that undid Schwinn and the 1,200 workers employed there.” 

His “decisions were shortsighted, foolish or expedient,” he admits. “He and his peers did not know they were making decisions that would leave them, like Alan, as he now was—virtually broke, nearly unemployed, the proprietor of a one-man consulting firm run out of his home office.”

Alan’s father Ron is a World War II vet who still has shrapnel in his body and lives on a farm in New Hampshire. Ron, whose crude vitality and generous union pension intimidate his son, barks at Alan over the phone:

“Every day, Alan, all over Asia, hundreds of container ships are leaving their ports, full of every kind of consumer good. Talk about three-dimensional, Alan. These are actual things. They’re making things over there, and we’re making websites and holograms, while sitting in chairs made in China, working on computers made in China, driving over bridges made in China. Does this sound sustainable to you, Alan?”

The hologram becomes the perfect metaphor for the insubstantial nature of the American economy. None of it is real. It is a mirage. It is held up by credit, by debt, by the printing of endless amounts of new money and by vast schemes of financial speculation and casino capitalism that evaporate as swiftly as a hologram. The development project Alan and his team are bidding on is itself a mirage. He and his team of three snotty young careerists, who look at Alan with scorn and pity, have cooked up a holographic teleconferencing system where a sales representative in London will appear before the Saudi king as a hologram in a tent in the barren wastelands of a planned city with only three buildings, including a two-story welcome center known as King Abdulla Economic City. The holographic sales representative will walk on the stage and speak in Arabic and English and then disappear for the king. And they are sure that this bit of magic will save them.

Alan and his co-workers wait 11 days for the king. “One Man’s Vision, One Nation’s Hope,” the billboard advertising the development reads. The king, when he does arrive, watches the hologram impassively and promptly gives the contract to a Chinese firm. And the bubble for Alan, as it has for most of us, bursts. He too becomes a hologram.



This article was originally posted on Truthdig.

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4 - For many Israelis, Rachel Corrie was a nuisance

Since Rachel Corrie's death, the Israeli establishment has been losing patience with activists of any kind

Ami Kaufman


guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 29 August 2012 
The state of Israel is not to blame for the death of Rachel Corrie – this is the decision an Israeli court reached yesterday. The ruling, made by Judge Oded Gershon of the Haifa district court, may have come as a shock to some, but anyone following Israel's path on a slippery slope, particularly over the past decade, could hardly be surprised when the court literally blamed the victim for her own death. "An unfortunate accident," is what Gershon chose to call the tragedy. "She did not distance herself as a reasonable person would have done."

Corrie, bulldozed to death by a massive D9 Caterpillar on 16 March 2003, was part of an activist group called ISM – International Solidarity Movement. This is a group of international activists who advocate nonviolent demonstrations in the West Bank (and Gaza back then, before the disengagement in 2005) in solidarity with Palestinians opposing the occupation.

A nonviolent movement, you say?

Well, isn't that what Israelis were always looking for ? For their enemies to abandon terror, suicide bombings and rockets and to go down the route of Gandhi ? Yet, in reality the ISM is probably one of the most hated organisations roaming the roads of Judea and Samaria these days. Seen as foreigners who have come from afar to meddle in local affairs, they have been accused of antisemitism, supporters of terrorists and allies of Hamas. For a majority of Israelis, these people have nothing to do with peace. They're a nuisance.

A recent example of that attitude is the case of a young Dane called Andreas Ias, who took part in a nonviolent ISM demonstration this year in the West Bank. Footage of IDF colonel Shalom Eisner ramming Ias in the face with his rifle as he was slowly walking around the protest area went viral, and showed clearly the true feelings Israelis have for the Rachel Corries of the world.

The Israeli establishment has less and less patience for activists of any kind of late. As part of the recent government offensive on human rights in Israel, freedom of expression has been hit hard. Not only are leftwing activists who oppose the occupation summoned for interrogations – even J14 activists, those who lead the peaceful social protests against the cost of living, have been interrogated by police long before they take to the streets in an attempt to intimidate citizens of "the only democracy in the Middle East" to exercise their freedom to protest.

As news of Judge Gershon's decision broke, and as it spread like wildfire across social networks, the local Hebrew media barely batted an eyelid. The items covering the Corrie verdict on websites of Israel's largest newspapers barely lasted an hour on the home page. Corrie's story may be well known to Palestinians and leftwing activists, but one would be hard pressed to find people in Israel who actually know who she is to begin with.

Another reason for the sparse media attention in Israel could be the fact that this is a long drawn out case which probably isn't over – as the Corrie family intends to appeal to the supreme court. And with the American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, saying only a week ago that the investigation so far into the incident has not been sufficient, the Corries may feel they have the administration's support to pursue this further. One can only hope that Gershon's ruling was indeed an "unfortunate accident" as well, to be amended in the future.

For the Corrie family this is, of course, another horrible blow in its attempt to bring someone, anyone, in the IDF to accountability. On that day in 2003, a D9 driver demolished a young girl and her family. Yesterday in Haifa, with what may seem like a single court decision, a judge pushed forward the ongoing demolition of the Israeli justice system and the remainders of Israeli democracy itself.

In a country where the military is considered sacred and investigates itself, and where the judicial system has enabled occupation for over 45 years, could one have seriously expected a different outcome?

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5 - Venezuela’s Oil Refinery Blaze : Seven Good Reasons to Suspect Sabotage

By James Petras
Global Research, September 01, 2012



Region : Latin America & Caribbean
Theme : Intelligence

You can’t exclude any hypothesis … It’s practically impossible that here in an [oil] installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds.  This is impossible.”

President Chavez responding to US media and opposition charges that the explosion at the oil refinery was due to government negligence.

 

 

Introduction           



Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percentage points, an explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery killed at least 48 people – half of those were members of the National Guard – and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per day.

Immediately following the explosion and fire, on script, all the mass media in the US and Great Britain , and the right wing  Venezuelan opposition launched a blanket condemnation of the government as the perpetrator of the disaster accusing it of “gross negligence” and “under-investment” in safety standards.

Yet there are strong reasons to reject these self-serving accusations and to formulate a more plausible hypothesis, namely that the explosion was an act of sabotage, planned and executed by a clandestine group of terrorist specialists acting on behalf of the US government.  There are powerful arguments to sustain and pursue this line of inquiry.

The Argument for Sabotage:

(1)    The first question in any serious investigation is who benefits and who loses from the destruction of lives and oil production?

The US is a clear winner on several crucial fronts.  Firstly, via the economic losses to the Venezuelan economy – 2.5 million barrels in the first 5 days and counting – the loss will put a dent on social spending and delay productive investments which in turn are key electoral appeals of the Chavez presidency.  Secondly, on cue the US joined by its client candidate,Henrique Capriles Radonski, immediately launched a propaganda blitz aimed at discrediting the government and calling into question its capacity to ensure the security and safety of its citizens and the principle source of the country’s wealth.  Thirdly, the explosion creates insecurity and fear among sectors of the electorate and could influence their voting in the October presidential election.  Fourthly, the US can test the effectiveness of a wider destabilization campaign and the government’s capacity to respond to any further security threats.

(2)   According to official government documents the US has Special Forces operations in over seventy-five countries, including Venezuela , which is targeted because of an adversarial relation.  This means that the US has operative clandestine highly trained operatives on the ground in Venezuela .  The capture of a US Marine for illegal entry in Venezuela with prior experience in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan is indicative.

(3)   The US has a history of involvement in violent destabilization activity in Venezuela – backing the military coup of 2002 and the bosses’ lockout in the petroleum industry in 2003.  The US targeting of the oil industry involved sabotage of the computerized system and efforts to degrade the refineries.

(4)   The US has a history of sabotage and violence against incumbent adversarial regimes.  In Cuba during 1960, the CIA torched a department store and sugar plantations, and planted bombs in the downtown tourist centers – aiming to undermine strategic sectors of the economy.  In Chile following the election of Socialist Salvador Allende, a CIA backed right-wing group kidnapped and assassinated the military attache of Socialist President, in an effort to provoke a military coup.  Similarly in Jamaica in the late 1970’s under democratic socialist President Manley, the CIA facilitated a violent destabilization campaign in the run-up to the elections.  Sabotage and destabilization is a common weapon in the face of impending electoral defeats (as is the case in Venezuela ) or where a popular government is firmly entrenched.

(5)   Force, violence and destabilization campaigns against incumbent regimes have become common operation procedure in current US policy.  The US has financed and armed terrorist groups in Libya , Syria , Lebanon , Iran and Chechnya ; it is bombing Pakistan , Yemen , Somalia and Afghanistan . In other words US foreign policy is highly militarized and opposed to any negotiated diplomatic resolution of conflicts with adversarial regimes.  Sabotaging Venezuela ’s oil refineries is within the logic and practice of current global US foreign policy.

(6)   Domestic politics in the US has taken a further turn to the far right in both domestic and foreign policy.  The Republican Party has accused the Democrats of pandering to Iran , Venezuela , Cuba and Syria – of not going to war.

The Obama regime has responded by escalating its military policies – battleships, missiles are aimed at Iran .  He has supported Miami ’s demand for “regime change” in Cuba as a prelude to negotiations.  Washington is channeling millions of dollars via NGO’s to the Venezuelan opposition – for electoral and destabilization purposes.  No doubt the opposition includes employees, engineers and others with security clearance and access to the petroleum industry.  Obama has consistently taken violent actions to demonstrate that he is as militarist as the Republicans.  In the midst of a close election campaign, especially with a tight race in Florida , the sabotage of the Venezuelan refineries plays well for Obama.

(7)   With a little more than a month left before the elections, and President Chavez is showing a 20 percentage point advantage; the economy is on track for a steady recovery; social housing and welfare programs are consolidating massive low income support or over 80%;  Venezuela has been admitted into MERCOSUR the powerful Latin American integration program;  Colombia signed off on a mutual defense agreement with Venezuela; Venezuela is diversifying its overseas markets and suppliers. What these facts indicate is that Washington has no chance of defeating Chavez electorally;it has no possibility of using its Latin neighbors as a springboard for territorial incursions or precipitating a war for regime change; and it has no chance of imposing an economic boycott.

Given Washington ’s declared enmity and designation of Chavez as “a threat to hemispheric security” and faced with the utter failure of its other policy tools, the resort to violence and, in this specific case, sabotage of the strategic petrol sector emerges as the policy of choice.  Washington , by revealing its resort to clandestine terror, represents a clear and present danger to Venezuela ’s constitutional order, an immediate threat to the life blood of its economy and of the democratic electoral process.  Hopefully, the Chavez government, backed by the vast majority of its citizens and constitutionalist armed forces will take the necessary comprehensive security measures to ensure that there is no repeat of the petrol sabotage in other sectors, like the electrical grid.  Public weakness in the face of imperial belligerence only encourages further aggression.  No doubt heightened public security in defense of the constitutional order will be denounced by the US government, media and their local clients as “authoritarian”  and claim that protection of the national patrimony infringes on ‘democratic freedoms’.  No doubt they prefer a weak security system to ply their violent provocations.  Subsequent to their decisive electoral defeat they will claim fraud or interference.  All this is predictable, but the vast majority of voters who assemble, debate and cast their ballots will feel secure and look forward to another four years of peace and prosperity, free from terror and sabotage.

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