Monday, March 30, 2015

Fukushima: Uranium and Plutonium Contamination of Large Areas of Oceans, Ground-water, Soils.

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Scientists have raised concern over the rate of radioactive contamination of the Pacific, due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
  • Expert : Plutonium-241 from Fukushima nearly 70,000 times more than atomic bomb fallout in Japan.
  • Officials : Molten fuel now ‘particle-like’, contains ‘special’ nuclear materials.
  • Gov’t Labs : Large areas of oceans contaminated by plutonium from events such as Fukushima; Build-up in biosphere expected; Considerable hazard to humans.
Energy News statement :
Detection of long-lived plutonium isotopes in environmental samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) — Plutonium isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu and 242Pu are anthropogenic radionuclides emitted into the environment by nuclear activities. Pu is accumulated in the human body and hence, poses a considerable hazard to human health. Due to the long half-lives, these isotopes are present in the biosphere on large time scales and a build-up can be expected. Therefore it is important to study the contamination pathway of Pu into the drinking water… a method to detect long-lived Pu isotopes by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is being developed. AMS requires only few milligrams of sample material… Consequently, more samples from different locations can be taken which is essential when searching for locally increased Pu concentrations as in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima accident… Samples from different locations in the Pacific Ocean and from the snow-hydrosphere are planned…
Statement by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Radioanalytical Laboratory at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (research institution founded jointly by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research and Bavaria’s Finance Ministry), scientists from Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany), Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft 2013 meeting (emphasis added)
Presentation by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Helmholtz radioanalytical lab (pdf), Nov 2014: Comparison of activity between [nuclear bomb testing] fallout Pu particle and Fukushima origin Pu particle:
Global Fallout Pu in Japan [GF]Global Fallout Pu in Japan
> Pu240: 1,360 Bq
> Pu241: 645 Bq
> Total: 208,005 Bq
Fukushima Pu found in our study
> Pu240: 197,000 Bq [145 times GF]
> Pu241: 43,700,000 Bq [67,752 times GF]
> Total: 44,061,000 Bq [212 times GF]
Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Univ. of Notre Dame, 2014: Interstitial incorporation of plutonium into a low-dimensional potassium borate…
[E]vents such as the catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan [have] resulted in the contamination of large areas of oceans, ground-water, soils, and sediments by actinides, such as uranium and plutonium… migration of actinides [is] an important environmental concern… Knowledge of the incorporation mechanisms of actinides into… natural materials is therefore required… for predicting the migration of radionuclides…
[The Joint Research Centre] is studying emerging safety issues…examining mixed oxide (MOX) properties [and] preparing further severe accident studies on specific aspects of the Fukushima accident [such as] off-vessel fuel-concrete interactions… Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) selected a JRC-developed method as one of the most suitable approaches to characterise [Fukushima's] molten fuel… This characterisation is an international obligation during the decommissioning phase, according to IAEA safeguards. Japanese researchers are now developing and optimising the methodology to quantify special nuclear materials in particle-like debris of the molten reactor fuel.

China’s Bank & Waning USA Hegemony

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Two events occurred last week that mark a further phase in the waning of US global economic hegemony: China introduced its own Economic Development Bank, the ‘Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’ (AIIB); and the IMF simultaneously announced it will decide in May to include the Chinese currency as a global reserve-trading currency alongside the dollar, pound, and euro—an almost certainly ‘done deal’ as well.
The dual moves caught the US off guard, especially as the USA’s erstwhile main economic ally, Britain, was the first to announce it would join China’s AIIB as a founding member. That announcement set off a quick succession of further announcements by major western economies that they too were now joining the AIIB—by Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and Switzerland—as major European capitalist economies scurried to ensure a piece of the Asian economic action and to tap China’s huge foreign currency reserves for investment in their own economies. Singapore and Australia followed within days. South Korea and Canada are now reconsidering joining, as are other once solid USA economic allies.
The initial USA response to Britain was to accuse it of “constant accommodation” of China. US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, even made telephone calls to British finance minister, George Osborne, requesting that he ‘hold off’ after Britain’s initial announcement, according to reports in the international business press. That effort was apparently to no avail, however, as British politicians, including prime minister, David Cameron, facing re-election within weeks, chose to leverage the decision for political purposes as well as economic. Reportedly the US also attempted to strong-arm Singapore into not joining, but failed there as well.
The entire affair caught USA political bureaucrats by surprise. The matter of joining the AIIB was thought to have been raised in European centers at low levels, but not at senior financial minister or ambassador levels. No decisions appeared imminent. Events in recent weeks show the Europeans successfully kept USA out of the loop concerning their real intentions, as Britain last week ‘jumped the gun’, as they say, with British government officials giving the reason for their decision to join the AIIB as “We want to be a Chinese partner of choice in international finance”(read: we want a slice of the economic pie before someone else gets to eat it).
The China-UK Connection
In making their announcement, British officials vowed that they want the UK to become the main destination for Chinese investments. In 2013-14, when the British and Euro economies were in particularly bad shape, major trade delegations from China repeatedly visited both Britain and Germany on numerous occasions.  Much of Britain’s recent tentative economic recovery the past two years has been driven by infrastructure and property deals that have been heavily financed by massive China private capital inflows into London real estate, infrastructure projects, and south England investments. Deals to revitalize investment in Britain’s nuclear power sector are also being financed by China investment. Without China investments in the UK in recent years, and other capital inflows from emerging markets, British economic ‘recovery’ would have remained British ‘stagnation’ at best.
USA vs. China policies toward British banks offer another example of a growing divergence of interests between the USA and Britain with regard to China.
USA bank regulators have been targeting and fining London banks for their repeated scandals, money laundering, global interest rate (Libor) manipulations, and speculative excesses. London in recent years has become a veritable ‘wild west’ of international banking. The US levying of fines on UK banks has been justified. But banking is one of the few industries that keep Britain from becoming a ‘third tier’ economy. British Prime Minister Cameron therefore has done—and will do—whatever it takes to protect and advance the economic interests of his so-called ‘City of London’ (UK banking sector). He is even prepared to leave the European Union, if necessary, to prevent re-regulation of the British banking sector. So it should not have been a surprise to the USA when Cameron and other conservative British politicians turned to China and quickly joined China’s AIIB.  All the signals were there already. British finance capital had already last year, in 2014, announced an agreement with China that London would become the global trading center for China’s currency, the Yuan. And Britain has become increasingly dependent on China money capital inflows in recent years, as noted. So the recent AIIB decision is just a logical consequence of deepening British-China economic relations that have been already underway now for some time, even though the USA didn’t totally ‘see it coming’.
Deepening China-Europe economic relations extend to the Eurozone and eastern Europe economies as well, not just to Britain. Trade integration between China and Germany has been growing sharply. China is Germany’s fourth largest trading partner.  China has been setting up investment funds in eastern European economies from the Baltics to the Balkans; China has an offer on the table to buy Greece’s main port at Pireaus; and in recent years has been repeatedly purchasing Italian and other southern European countries sovereign bonds to help those economies weather their recent debt crisis.
Origins of the AIIB
The origins of the AIIB announcement trace back at least to 2010, when the USA quietly agreed to allow China to increase its influence in the USA-dominated international economic institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Since then, however, the USA has reneged on that agreement, in order to ensure that China’s influence in the IMF would remain minimal. So China went off last October 2014 and formed its own AIIB, in what amounts in effect to a fundamental challenge to the IMF’s parallel USA-dominated institution, the World Bank.
With 27 nations having already signed on, including Britain and other Europeans, Australia, Singapore, and others, the AIIB represents a major challenge to the USA-dominated development banks, the World Bank, as well as to the Asian Development Bank (USA and Japan dominated ADB) located in Manila, Philippines.
Initially the AIIB is to be funded with $50 billion to invest in Asian infrastructure. That compares with $160 billion in the Asian Development Bank (ADB). However, the near term AIIB target is to provide $100 billion in funding. And by 2020, potentially up to $730 billion. That’s a lot of projects and potential profits for European and British businesses.
Britain and the other European economies were quick to join China’s AIIB because it allows their own companies almost guaranteed participation in the AIIB’s lending projects—thus giving them a ‘leg up’, as they say, in their competition with USA and Japanese companies involving development and infrastructure investment projects in the EMEs. It also gives them, the British and the Europeans, the opportunity to redirect some of that investment capital to companies inside their own economies, where their own companies get to provide semi-finished goods and services to the infrastructure projects in Asia that the AIIB will approve with its initial (and no doubt soon to expand) $50 billion fund.
Indeed, Europeans have become increasingly frustrated with USA dominated World Bank and IMF, in which the USA typically vetoes decisions of those institutions that it dislikes with as little as 20% of the ‘voting rights’ in those bodies.  At the same time, conservatives in the US Congress continue to refuse to provide the US’s share of the operating funds for those institutions.  China’s AIIB enters the global infrastructure investment field with a promise by China not to veto and to hold no more than 49% of voting rights in the AIIB. It is an attractive alternative to the USA’s World Bank and IMF dominated bodies. Not surprising, Europe and other major economies are therefore seriously interested in participating in the AIIB. However, to the extent they do, it represents a waning of USA economic influence over its once, almost completely economically subservient allies.
The ‘Old Order’ of US Economic Hegemony
The USA’s dominance of the IMF and World Bank since 1945 has provided Washington with great leverage in influencing both political events and economic directions in emerging market economies (EMEs).  Often multi-billion dollar lending projects are dangled before an EME, or threatened with suspension, if the EME in question fails to do the bidding of Washington involving a political decision Washington wants, or an investment concession Washington wants from the EME for a US bank or company.
A good example of the kind of ‘economic arm-twisting’ by the USA still going on today is the pressure exerted by USA government and courts to force Argentina to agree to terms demanded by USA shadow banksters with regard to the repayment of loans; or the moves underway by USA government and banksters to drain Venezuela’s currency reserves to effect a collapse of its currency, the Bolivar, to set off import inflation to set the stage for another coup and political intervention. Those are extreme, but not untypical, examples; countless ‘lesser’ forms of pressure on EMEs occur frequently by the USA through its control of decisions by the IMF and World Bank. Ukraine is another, perhaps more traditional example, where the USA has influenced the IMF to install US citizen, shadow bankers, like private equity CEO, Natalia Jaresko, to run the Ukraine’s economy as finance minister as a condition for the Ukraine receiving IMF loans.
But by providing an alternative source of infrastructure project funding, the China AIIB reduces potential USA economic and political influence over EMEs.
From 1944 to 1973 the U.S. maintained more or less total economic hegemony in the global economy. The U.S. dollar was the prime currency for trading and reserve purposes. This dominance was challenged in the post-1973 period briefly, however, as the U.S. economy experienced an economic crisis at that time. The institutional arrangements by which the U.S. retained dominance from 1944 to 1973 were restructured and rearranged. The U.S. economy and its world dominance was restored in a new set of arrangements and relationships with other states and economies starting in the 1980s, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Neoliberalism’. The symbol of that economic dominance, the U.S. dollar, after having seriously weakened in the 1970s was restored again to unchallenged status as the global currency in the 1980s and after.
But the restructuring of the global economy in the 1980s, led by the United States (and a junior partner the UK) has now run its course for a second time.
Once the unchallenged global currency, the U.S. dollar is once again facing challenge as the dominant global currency. US dominated global institutions like the World Bank and IMF are being challenged by alternative institutions, like the AIIB. The focal point of that challenge, today and in the years ahead, is China. The Yuan will not overturn or replace the US dollar tomorrow, or even in the near term. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank won’t be displaced by the AIIB. But in the longer term it is inevitable, should China continue to grow at its recent rates and the USA continue to lag with its recent below historic average growth rates.
Recent events surrounding the AIIB, and the IMF adding the Yuan to its currency mix, are just a subset of the broader and even more strategically significant rise of the Yuan as a global trading and reserve currency and of alternative institutions developed that break the hegemonic control of global economic institutions by the USA.
A Global Economic ‘Grand Game’?
As China continues to successfully target Europe for economic integration, the USA has been clumsily targeting Russia for European de-integration.
What’s ironic is that the USA today is directing its most aggressive efforts against Russia, in an attempt to prevent Europe from deepening its economic relationships with that country and to roll back those relationships by means of economic sanctions. Since at least 2010, Europe’s growing resource and trade integration with Russia since has made the USA increasingly nervous.  Much of the USA’s policies toward Ukraine (especially the USA initiated coup there in 2014), and subsequent efforts to get Europe to impose severe sanctions on Russia, should be viewed in this light.  The USA wants to sever the growing Europe (especially German)-Russian trade connections and, in particular, Europe’s recent growing dependence on Russian energy. It is at least arguable that the USA initiated and supported the coup in the Ukraine with that in mind: i.e. to provoke a Russian military response, in order to force Europe to impose severe sanctions leading to a roll back economic relations with Russia. The USA sees its economic influence in Europe as strategic. Severing Russia economically from Europe ensures that. It would ensure Europe’s continuing dependence on the USA, economically, and therefore politically and militarily. The Ukraine-Russia conflict should thus be viewed in the context of a much bigger ‘competition’ between Russia and the USA over economic influence in Europe.
But while the USA focuses on undermining economic relations between Europe and Russia, China continues to ‘slip in the back door’ and deepen its economic relationships with Europe. Today it’s the AIIB. Tomorrow the Yuan as an officially accepted trading currency. Thereafter the Yuan as the dominant trading and reserve currency, and an even deeper European dependence on China money capital flows.
China thus represents by far a much greater challenge to US economic hegemony in Europe, and indeed globally as well. But the USA blindly continues to engage in economic adventurism in Europe to contain a Russian threat there that doesn’t exist.

US-Saudi Blitz into Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation

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The “proxy war” model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.
Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the “Islamic State,” pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American “soft power” and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.
Though Saudi Arabia claims “10 countries” have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a “coalition,” it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with “coalition partners” added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.
The New York Times, even in the title of its report, “Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen,” seems not to notice these “10” other countries. It reports:
Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country. 
The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.
Proxy War Against Iran 
Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.
Iran’s interest in Yemen serves as a direct result of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” and attempts to overturn the political order of North Africa and the Middle East to create a unified sectarian front against Iran for the purpose of a direct conflict with Tehran. The war raging in Syria is one part of this greater geopolitical conspiracy, aimed at overturning one of Iran’s most important regional allies, cutting the bridge between it and another important ally, Hezbollah in Lebanon.
And while Iran’s interest in Yemen is currently portrayed as yet another example of Iranian aggression, indicative of its inability to live in peace with its neighbors, US policymakers themselves have long ago already noted that Iran’s influence throughout the region, including backing armed groups, serves a solely defensive purpose, acknowledging the West and its regional allies’ attempts to encircle, subvert, and overturn Iran’s current political order.
The US-based RAND Corporation, which describes itself as “a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis,” produced a report in 2009 for the US Air Force titled, “Dangerous But Not Omnipotent : Exploring the Reach and Limitations of Iranian Power in the Middle East,” examining the structure and posture of Iran’s military, including its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and weapons both present, and possible future, it seeks to secure its borders and interests with against external aggression.
The report admits that:
Iran’s strategy is largely defensive, but with some offensive elements. Iran’s strategy of protecting the regime against internal threats, deterring aggression, safeguarding the homeland if aggression occurs, and extending influence is in large part a defensive one that also serves some aggressive tendencies when coupled with expressions of Iranian regional aspirations. It is in part a response to U.S. policy pronouncements and posture in the region, especially since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Iranian leadership takes very seriously the threat of invasion given the open discussion in the United States of regime change, speeches defining Iran as part of the “axis of evil,” and efforts by U.S. forces to secure base access in states surrounding Iran.
Whatever imperative Saudi Arabia is attempting to cite in justifying its military aggression against Yemen, and whatever support the US is trying to give the Saudi regime rhetorically, diplomatically, or militarily, the legitimacy of this military operation crumbles before the words of the West’s own policymakers who admit Iran and its allies are simply reacting to a concerted campaign of encirclement, economic sanctions, covert military aggression, political subversion, and even terrorism aimed at establishing Western hegemony across the region at the expense of Iranian sovereignty.
Saudi Arabia’s Imperative Lacks Legitimacy 
26Yemen-articleLargeThe unelected hereditary regime ruling over Saudi Arabia, a nation notorious for egregious human rights abuses, and a land utterly devoid of even a semblance of what is referred to as “human rights,” is now posing as arbiter of which government in neighboring Yemen is “legitimate” and which is not, to the extent of which it is prepared to use military force to restore the former over the latter.
The United States providing support for the Saudi regime is designed to lend legitimacy to what would otherwise be a difficult narrative to sell. However, the United States itself has suffered from an increasing deficit in its own legitimacy and moral authority.
Most ironic of all, US and Saudi-backed sectarian extremists, including Al Qaeda in Yemen, had served as proxy forces meant to keep Houthi militias in check by proxy so the need for a direct military intervention such as the one now unfolding would not be necessary. This means that Saudi Arabia and the US are intervening in Yemen only after the terrorists they were supporting were overwhelmed and the regime they were propping up collapsed.
In reality, Saudi Arabia’s and the United States’ rhetoric aside, a brutal regional regime meddled in Yemen and lost, and now the aspiring global hemegon sponsoring it from abroad has ordered it to intervene directly and clean up its mess.
Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Gamble 
The aerial assault on Yemen is meant to impress upon onlookers Saudi military might. A ground contingent might also attempt to quickly sweep in and panic Houthi fighters into folding. Barring a quick victory built on psychologically overwhelming Houthi fighters, Saudi Arabia risks enveloping itself in a conflict that could easily escape out from under the military machine the US has built for it.
It is too early to tell how the military operation will play out and how far the Saudis and their US sponsors will go to reassert themselves over Yemen. However, that the Houthis have outmatched combined US-Saudi proxy forces right on Riyadh’s doorstep indicates an operational capacity that may not only survive the current Saudi assault, but be strengthened by it.
Reports that Houthi fighters have employed captured Yemeni warplanes further bolsters this notion – revealing tactical, operational, and strategic sophistication that may well know how to weather whatever the Saudis have to throw at it, and come back stronger.
What may result is a conflict that spills over Yemen’s borders and into Saudi Arabia proper. Whatever dark secrets the Western media’s decades of self-censorship regarding the true sociopolitical nature of Saudi Arabia will become apparent when the people of the Arabian peninsula must choose to risk their lives fighting for a Western client regime, or take a piece of the peninsula for themselves.
Additionally, a transfer of resources and fighters arrayed under the flag of the so-called “Islamic State” and Al Qaeda from Syria to the Arabian Peninsula will further indicate that the US and its regional allies have been behind the chaos and atrocities carried out in the Levant for the past 4 years. Such revelations will only further undermine the moral imperative of the West and its regional allies, which in turn will further sabotage their efforts to rally support for an increasingly desperate battle they themselves conspired to start.
America’s Shrinking Legitimacy 
It was just earlier this month when the United States reminded the world of Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea. Despite having destabilized Ukraine with a violent, armed insurrection in Kiev, for the purpose of expanding NATO deeper into Eastern Europe and further encircling Russia, the West insisted that Russia had and  still has no mandate to intervene in any way in neighboring Ukraine. Ukraine’s affairs, the United States insists, are the Ukrainians’ to determine. Clearly, the US meant this only in as far as Ukrainians determined things in ways that suited US interests.
This is ever more evident now in Yemen, where the Yemeni people are not being allowed to determine their own affairs. Everything up to and including military invasion has been reserved specifically to ensure that the people of Yemen do not determine things for themselves, clearly, because it does not suit US interests.
Such naked hypocrisy will be duly noted by the global public and across diplomatic circles. The West’s inability to maintain a cohesive narrative is a growing sign of weakness. Shareholders in the global enterprise the West is engaged in may see such weakness as a cause to divest – or at the very least – a cause to diversify toward other enterprises. Such enterprises may include Russia and China’s mulipolar world. The vanishing of Western global hegemony will be done in destructive conflict waged in desperation and spite.
Today, that desperation and spite befalls Yemen.

Manufacturing Dissent

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Professor Michel Chossudovsky is the author of many important books. His latest is The Globalization of War: America’s Long War Against Humanity. Chossudovsky shows that Washington has globalized war while the US president is presented as a global peace-maker, complete with the Nobel Peace Prize. Washington has military deployed in 150 countries, has the world divided up into six US military commands and has a global strike plan that includes space operations. Nuclear weapons are part of the global strike plan and have been elevated for use in a pre-emptive first strike, a dangerous departure from their Cold War role.

America’s militarization includes military armament for local police for use against the domestic population and military coercion of sovereign countries in behalf of US economic imperialism.

One consequence is the likelihood of nuclear war. Another consequence is the criminalization of US foreign policy. War crimes are the result. These are not the war crimes of individual rogue actors but war crimes institutionalized in established guidelines and procedures. “What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations,” Chossudovsky writes, “is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain ‘the global war on terrorism’ and support the spread of ‘Western democracy.’”

Chossudovsky points out that the ability of US citizens to protest and resist the transformation of their country into a militarist police state is limited. Washington and the compliant foundations now fund the dissent movement in order to control it. He quotes Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman about manufacturing consent. He lets Paul Kivel describe how funding of dissent by the elite results in the co-option of grassroots community leadership. The same thing is happening to environmental organizations. Black Americans also have lost their leaders to the elite’s money and ability to bestow position and emoluments.

Chossudovsky notes that progressive, left-wing, and anti-war groups have endorsed the “war on terror” and uncritically accept the official 9/11 story, which provides the basis for Washington’s wars.

Having accepted the lies, there is no basis for protest. Thus its absence.

As Professor Stephen Cohen has observed, dissent has disappeared from American foreign policy discussion. In place of dissent there is exhortation to more war. A good example is today’s (March 26, 2015) op-ed in the New York Times by neoconservative John R. Bolton, US ambassador to the UN during the George W. Bush regime. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/opinion/to-stop-irans-bomb-bomb-iran.html?_r=0 [1]

Bolton calls for bombing Iran. Anything short of a military attack on Iran, Bolton says, has “an air of unreality” and will guarantee that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey will also develop nuclear weapons in order to protect themselves from Iran. According to Bolton, the Israeli and American nuclear arsenals are not threatening, but Iran’s would be.

Of course, there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but Bolton asserts it anyway. Moreover, Bolton manages to overlook that the agreement being worked out with Iran halts the Iranian enrichment program far below the level necessary for nuclear weapons. Bolton’s belief that Iran would be able to hide a weapons program if permitted to have nuclear energy is unsubstantiated. It is merely an implausible assertion.

The neoconservatives constitute a war lobby. When one war doesn’t work, they want another. They have an ever expanding war list. Remember, the neoconservatives are the ones who promised us a 3-week “cakewalk” Iraq war costing $70 billion and paid for by Iraq oil revenues. After 8 years of war costing a minimum of $3,000 billion paid for by US taxpayers, the US gave up and withdrew. Today jihadists are carving a new country out of parts of Syria and Iraq.

It is now a known fact that the neocon Bush regime’s Iraq war was totally based on lies, just as is every other neocon war and the current drive for war with Russia and Iran. Despite their record of lies and failure, the neocons still control US foreign policy, and neocon Nuland is busy at work fomenting “color revolutions” or coups in the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Without the support of the New York Times, the neocons could not have got the Iraq War going. Now the New York Times, faithful to the neocons but faithless to the American people, is helping the neocons get a war going with Iran and Russia.

I have friends who are college presidents who still read and believe the New York Times. The wars with Iran and Russia that the New York Times is encouraging will be much more dangerous than the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. Humanity might not survive them.

“Comply Or Die” Has Replaced “Protect And Serve”

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“Do exactly what I say, and we'll get along fine. Do not question me or talk back in any way. You do not have the right to object to anything I may say or ask you to do, or ask for clarification if my demands are unclear or contradictory. You must obey me under all circumstances without hesitation, no matter how arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory, or blatantly racist my commands may be. Anything other than immediate perfect servile compliance will be labeled as resisting arrest, and expose you to the possibility of a violent reaction from me. That reaction could cause you severe injury or even death. And I will suffer no consequences. It's your choice: Comply, or die.”— “‘Comply or Die’ policing must stop,” Daily KOS
Americans as young as 4 years old are being leg shackled, handcuffed, tasered and held at gun point for not being quiet, not being orderly and just being childlike—i.e., not being compliant enough.
Americans as old as 95 are being beaten, shot and killed for questioning an order, hesitating in the face of a directive, and mistaking a policeman crashing through their door for a criminal breaking into their home—i.e., not being submissive enough.
And Americans of every age and skin color are being taught the painful lesson that the only truly compliant, submissive and obedient citizen in a police state is a dead one.
It doesn’t matter where you live—big city or small town—it’s the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, hyped up on their own authority and the power of their uniform, ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry. In turn, Americans are being brainwashed into believing that anyone who wears a government uniform—soldier, police officer, prison guard—must be obeyed without question.
Franklin Graham, the heir to Billy Graham’s evangelical empire, offered up this “simple” piece of advice for “Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else” hoping to survive an encounter with the police:
Most police shootings can be avoided. It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop. If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air. If a police officer tells you to lay down face first with your hands behind your back, you lay down face first with your hands behind your back. It’s as simple as that. Even if you think the police officer is wrong—YOU OBEY.
Clearly, Graham’s message resonated with a core group of Americans: almost 200,000 individuals “liked” the message on Facebook, with an astounding 83,000 fans sharing his words of advice with their own friends, none of whom seem to recall that Jesus Christ, whom they claim to follow and model their lives after, not only stood up to the police state of his day but was put to death for it.
It’s not just mainstream evangelicals who have been brainwashed into believing that a good citizen is a compliant citizen and that obedience will save us from the police state. In the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the choking death of Eric Garner, Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, declared:
“We have to teach our children, our sons and our daughters, no matter what they look like, to respect New York City police officers, teach them to comply with New York City police officers even if they think it’s unjust.”
Similarly, Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department advises:
If you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me.”
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the right, it doesn’t matter if a cop is in the wrong, it doesn’t matter if you’re being treated with less than the respect you deserve. If you want to emerge from a police encounter with your life and body intact, then you’d better comply, submit, obey orders, respect authority and generally do whatever a cop tells you to do.
In this way, the old police motto to “protect and serve” has become “comply or die.” As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and in my forthcoming book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is the unfortunate, misguided, perverse message being beaten, shot, tasered and slammed into our collective consciousness, and it is regrettably starting to take root.
Despite the growing number of criminal charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out anytime a citizen voices discontent with the government or challenges or even questions the authority of the powers that be, the problems we’re experiencing in terms of police shootings have little to do with rebellion or belligerence or resistance.
Rather, the problem arises when compliance doesn’t happen fast enough to suit the police.
For instance, 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson was shot in the back by police after they spotted him standing next to a friend holding a toy gun. “Officers ordered the boy to drop the weapon multiple times,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “When he didn’t comply, one of the officers opened fire.”
Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old college student, unarmed and in the process of walking away from a bar where he’d just been denied entry for being underage, was tackled by police and had his head slammed to the ground and bloodied, allegedly for being intoxicated, belligerent and using a fake ID. Johnson, who it turns out was polite, had a legal ID and was not drunk, survived the encounter after 10 stitches to his head.
And then there was Christopher Lollie, who was tasered, arrested and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process for refusing to identify himself to police while waiting to pick his children up from their daycare. Footage of the encounter shows Lollie asking, “Why do I have to let you know who I am? I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws.” The charges against Lollie were eventually dropped.
Nicholson, Johnson and Lollie aren’t the only Americans being taught a hard lesson about compliance at the end of a government-issued gun.
World War II veteran John Wrana, 95 years old, dependent on a walker to get around, and a resident of an assisted living center, was rushed by five police officers—one with a Taser and riot shield, others with handguns and a 12-gauge Mossberg pump shotgun—after refusing treatment for a urinary tract infection and brandishing a shoehorn. One of the officers, allegedly fearing for his safety, fired multiple beanbag rounds at Wrana at close range, who bled to death from internal injuries.
James Howard Allen, 74 years old and recovering at home from a surgery, was shot and killed by police who were asked by family members to do a welfare check on him. When police crashed through the man’s back door, they found Allen, perhaps having just awoken and fearing a burglary, armed with a gun.
These shootings and deaths, and many more like them, constitute a drop in the proverbial bucket when it comes to police killing unarmed American citizens, and yet you’d be hard-pressed to find exact numbers for how many unarmed citizens are killed by police every year. Indeed, while police go to great lengths to document how many police are killed in the line of duty, police agencies aren’t actually required to report the number of times police officers engage in homicide. Suffice it to say, however, that the numbers are significantly underreported.
One website estimates that police kill on average three citizens a day in the United States. In 2014, 1100 individuals were killed by police in the U.S. That’s 70 times more than other first-world nations, and almost 20 times more than the number of U.S. troops killed in the same year in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Rarely are these officers given more than a slap on the wrist. More often than not, they operate with impunity, are shielded from justice by the governmental bureaucracy, and are granted qualified immunity by the courts.
A recent report by the Justice Department on police shootings in Philadelphia, which boasts the fourth largest police department in the country, found that half of the unarmed people shot by police over a seven-year span were “shot because the officer saw something (like a cellphone) or some action (like a person pulling at the waist of their pants) and misidentified it as a threat.”
Now it’s one thing for those who back the police—no matter what the circumstance—to insist that if you just obey a police officer, you’ll be safe. But what happens when compliance isn’t enough?
What happens if you play it safe, comply and do whatever a police officer tells you to do, don’t talk back, don’t threaten, and don’t walk away—in other words, don’t do anything that even hints at resistance—and still, you find yourself staring down the wrong end of a government agent’s gun? After all, the news is riddled with reports of individuals who didn’t resist when confronted by police and still got tasered, tackled or shot simply because they looked at police in a threatening manner or moved in a way that made an officer “fear” for his safety.
For instance, Levar Jones, pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, was shot after complying with a police officer’s order to retrieve his license. The trooper justified his shooting of the unarmed man by insisting that Jones reached for his license “aggressively.”
What more could Jones or anyone have done to protect himself in that situation? How does a citizen protect himself against a police officer’s tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, oftentimes based only on their highly subjective “feeling” of being threatened?
The short answer is you can’t.
The assurance of safety in exchange for compliance is a false, misguided doctrine that has us headed towards a totalitarian regime the likes of which the world has seen before.
Rest assured, if we just cower before government agents and meekly obey, we’ll find ourselves repeating history. However, history also shows us a different path, one that involves standing up and speaking truth to power. Jesus Christ walked that road. So did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and countless other freedom fighters whose actions changed the course of history.
Indeed, had Christ merely complied with the Roman police state, there would have been no crucifixion and no Christian religion. Had Gandhi meekly fallen in line with the British Empire’s dictates, the Indian people would never have won their independence. Had Martin Luther King Jr. obeyed the laws of his day, there would have been no civil rights movement. And if the founding fathers had marched in lockstep with royal decrees, there would have been no American Revolution.
The long answer, therefore, is that we must adopt a different mindset and follow a different path if we are to alter the outcome of these interactions with police.
No matter what path you follow, it will be fraught with peril. America is in the midst of a nervous breakdown, brought about by prolonged exposure to the American police state, and there are few places that are safe anymore.
A good test is this: if you live in a community that has welcomed the trappings of the police state with open arms (surveillance cameras, forced DNA extractions, Stingray devices, red light cameras, private prisons, etc.), all the while allowing its police forces to militarize, weaponize and operate beyond the reach of the Constitution, then you don’t live in a democratic republic—you live in a microcosm of the American police state.
If you have no real say in how your local law enforcement operates, if the only oversight of police actions is carried out by fellow officers, if any attempt to criticize the police is edited out or not covered by your local newspaper or TV station, drowned out by your fellow citizens, or intimidated into silence by your local police, then you have no recourse when it comes to police abuses.
Finally, if, despite having done nothing wrong, you feel nervous during a police encounter, you fear doing or saying the wrong thing in front of an officer will get you shot, and your local police dress and act like extensions of the military and treat you like a suspect, then it’s safe to say that you are not the one holding the upper hand in the master-servant relationship anymore.
This is the death rattle of the American dream, which was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.