By Paul Craig Roberts
Hat tip: International Clearing House
January 08, 2010
What are we to make of the failed Underwear Bomber plot, the Toothpaste, Shampoo, and Bottled Water Bomber plot, and the Shoe Bomber plot? These blundering and implausible plots to bring down an airliner seem far removed from al-Qaida’s expertise in pulling off 9/11.
If we are to believe the U.S. government, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged al-Qaida “mastermind” behind 9/11, outwitted the CIA, the NSA, indeed all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as well as those of all U.S. allies including Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, Air Traffic Control, Airport Security four times on one morning, and Dick Cheney, and with untrained and inexperienced pilots pulled off skilled piloting feats of crashing hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon, where a battery of state of the art air defenses somehow failed to function.
After such amazing success, al-Qaida would have attracted the best minds in the business, but, instead, it has been reduced to amateur stunts.
The Underwear Bomb plot is being played to the hilt on the TV media and especially on Fox “news.” After reading recently that The Washington Post allowed a lobbyist to write a news story that preached the lobbyist’s interest, I wondered if the manufacturers of full body scanners were behind the heavy coverage of the Underwear Bomber, if not behind the plot itself. In America, everything is for sale. Integrity is gone with the wind.
Recently I read a column by an author who has a “convenience theory” about the Underwear Bomber being a Nigerian allegedly trained by al-Qaida in Yemen. As the U.S. is involved in an undeclared war in Yemen, about which neither the American public nor Congress were informed or consulted, the Underwear Bomb plot provided a convenient excuse for Washington’s new war, regardless of whether it was a real attack or a put-up job.
By Paul Craig Roberts
hat tip: opednews.com
It didn’t take the Israel Lobby very long to bring President Obama to heel regarding his prohibition against further illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land. Obama discovered that a mere American president is powerless when confronted by the Israel Lobby and that the United States simply is not allowed a Middle East policy separate from Israel’s.
Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so. The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it.
President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order.
Essentially, Obama is irrelevant.
President Obama can promise that he is going to bring the troops home, and the military lobby says, “No, you are going to send them to Afghanistan, and in the meantime start a war in Pakistan and maneuver Iran into a position that will provide an excuse for a war there, too. Wars are too profitable for us to let you stop them.” And the mere president has to say, “Yes, Sir!”
Obama can promise health care to 50 million uninsured Americans, but he can’t override the veto of the war lobby and the insurance lobby. The war lobby says its war profits are more important than health care and that the country can’t afford both the “war on terror” and “socialized medicine.”
The insurance lobby says health care has to be provided by private health insurance; otherwise, we can’t afford it.
The war and insurance lobbies rattled their campaign contribution pocketbooks and quickly convinced Congress and the White House that the real purpose of the health care bill is to save money by cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits, thereby “getting entitlements under control.”
By Paul Craig Roberts
Information Clearing House
The US government is now so totally under the thumbs of organized interest groups that “our” government can no longer respond to the concerns of the American people who elect the president and the members of the House and Senate. Voters will vent their frustrations over their impotence on the president, which implies a future of one-term presidents. Soon our presidents will be as ineffective as Roman emperors in the final days of that empire.
Obama is already set on the course to a one-term presidency. He promised change, but has delivered none. His health care bill is held hostage by the private insurance companies seeking greater profits. The most likely outcome will be cuts in Medicare and Medicaid in order to help fund wars that enrich the military/security complex and the many companies created by privatizing services that the military once provided for itself at far lower costs. It would be interesting to know the percentage of the $700+ billion “defense” spending that goes to private companies. In American “capitalism,” an amazing amount of taxpayers’ earnings go to private firms via the government. Yet, Republicans scream about “socializing” health care.
Republicans and Democrats saw opportunities to create new sources of campaign contributions by privatizing as many military functions as possible. There are now a large number of private companies that have never made a dollar in the market, feeding instead at the public trough that drains taxpayers of dollars while loading Americans with debt service obligations.
“In a little time [there will be] no middling sort. We shall have a few, and but a very few Lords, and all the rest beggars.” ~ R.L. Bushman
“Rapidly you are dividing into two classes — extreme rich and extreme poor.” ~ “Brutus”
Americans think that they have “freedom and democracy” and that politicians are held accountable by elections. The fact of the matter is that the US is ruled by powerful interest groups who control politicians with campaign contributions. Our real rulers are an oligarchy of financial and military/security interests and AIPAC, which influences US foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.
Have a look at economic policy. It is being run for the benefit of large financial concerns, such as Goldman Sachs.
It was the banks, not the millions of Americans who have lost homes, jobs, health insurance, and pensions, that received $700 billion in TARP funds. The banks used this gift of capital to make more profits.
In the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs announced record second quarter profits and six-figure bonuses for every employee.
The Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy is another gift to the banks. It lowers their cost of funds and increases their profits. With the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, banks became high-risk investment houses that trade financial instruments such as interest rate derivatives and mortgage backed securities. With abundant funds supplied virtually free by the Federal Reserve, banks are paying depositors virtually nothing on their savings.
Despite the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy, beginning October 1, banks are raising the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card purchases, cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate because of late payment. Banks are also raising the late fee. In the midst of the worst economy since the 1930s, heavily indebted Americans, who are losing their jobs and their homes, are to be bled into bankruptcy by the very banks that are being subsidized with TARP funds and low interest rates.
By Paul Craig Roberts
hat tip: “Information Clearing House“
Can The Economy Recover?
There is no economy left to recover. The US manufacturing economy was lost to offshoring and free trade ideology. It was replaced by a mythical “New Economy.”
The “New Economy” was based on services. Its artificial life was fed by the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates, which produced a real estate bubble, and by “free market” financial deregulation, which unleashed financial gangsters to new heights of debt leverage and fraudulent financial products.
The real economy was traded away for a make-believe economy. When the make-believe economy collapsed, Americans’ wealth in their real estate, pensions, and savings collapsed dramatically while their jobs disappeared.
The debt economy caused Americans to leverage their assets. They refinanced their homes and spent the equity. They maxed out numerous credit cards. They worked as many jobs as they could find. Debt expansion and multiple family incomes kept the economy going.
And now suddenly Americans can’t borrow in order to spend. They are over their heads in debt. Jobs are disappearing. America’s consumer economy, approximately 70% of GDP, is dead. Those Americans who still have jobs are saving against the prospect of job loss. Millions are homeless. Some have moved in with family and friends; others are living in tent cities.
Paul Craig Roberts
The power of irrational fear in the US is extraordinary. It ranks up there with the Israel Lobby, the military/security complex, and the financial gangsters. Indeed, fear might be the most powerful force in America.
Americans are at ease with their country’s aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which has resulted in a million dead Muslim civilians and several million refugees, because the US government has filled Americans with fear of terrorists. After all, “We have to kill them over there before they come over here.”
Fearful of American citizens, the US government is building concentration camps, apparently all over the country. According to news reports, a $385 million US government contract was given by the Bush/Cheney Regime to Cheney’s company, Halliburton, to build “detention centers” in the US. The corporate media never explained for whom the detention centers are intended.
Most Americans dismiss such reports. “It can’t happen here.” However, In northeastern Florida not far from Tallahassee, I have seen what might be one of these camps. There is a building inside a huge open area fenced with razor wire. There is no one there and no signs. The facility appears new and unused and does not look like an abandoned prisoner work camp.
What is it for?
Who spent all that money for what?
There are Americans who are so terrified of their lives being taken by terrorists that they are hoping the US government will use nuclear weapons to destroy “the Muslim enemy.” The justifications concocted for the use of nuclear bombs against Japanese civilian populations have had their effect. There are millions of Americans who wish “their” government would kill everyone that “their” government has demonized.
By Paul Craig Roberts
June 24, 2009
Hat tip: Information Clearing House
The American media’s one-sided and propagandistic coverage of the Iranian election has made an American hero out of the defeated candidate, Mousavi.
This leaves one wondering if anyone anywhere in the US media or US government knows that Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who served as prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1981 to 1989, the decade following the overthrow of the American puppet government by Khomeini, has been fingered as the Butcher of Beirut, responsible for the bloody attacks on the US embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut during the Reagan administration that blew to pieces 241 US Marines, Sailors, and Army troops.
According to Jeff Stein writing in the June 22, 2009, CQ Politics, Mousavi “personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur,” who presided over the terror cell responsible for the attacks.
The National Security Agency had a tap on the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, according to Admiral James Lyons who was deputy chief of Naval Operations at the time. Admiral Lyons told Jeff Stein that “the Iranian ambassador received instructions from the foreign minister to have various groups target US personnel in Lebanon, but in particular to carry out a ‘spectacular action’ against the Marines.”
Stein reports that Lyons “also fingered Mousavi for the 1988 truck bombing of the US Navy’s Fleet Center in Naples, Italy.”
Bob Baer, a CIA Middle East field officer at the time, says that Mousavi “dealt directly with Imad Mughniyah,” the person responsible for both attacks.
All of these facts have gone into the Memory Hole. The US media and government have turned Musavi, the bloody butcher of US servicemen, into the would-be liberator of Iran from theocracy.
by Paul Craig Roberts
A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Terhan. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.
The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the release of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don’t see through this trick.
As for the grand ayatollah Montazeri’s charge that the election was stolen, he was the initial choice to succeed Khomeini, but lost out to the current Supreme Leader. He sees in the protests an opportunity to settle the score with Khamenei. Montazeri has the incentive to challenge the election whether or not he is being manipulated by the CIA, which has a successful history of manipulating disgruntled politicians.
There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs’ lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad’s attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. However, it does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs.
Commenators are “explaining” the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions, and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad’s win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.
by Paul Craig Roberts
David Ray Griffin, the nemesis of the collection of disinformation known as the 9/11 Commission Report, has taken up the question of Osama Bin Laden, Dead or Alive?
On the basis of the available evidence, Griffin concludes that bin Laden died in December 2001, most likely of kidney failure. He has been kept alive in the media by US government PSYOPS as a useful bogyman to justify America’s illegal wars of aggression. The messages received from bin Laden since his death appear to be conveniently timed fabrications designed to advance US government purposes.
Osama bin Laden is likely to become a mythical person, like the Georgia Tech student, George P. Burdell, who will be sighted from time to time over a period that exceeds the length of a human life.
It was less than one year ago that Americans were subjected to PSYOPS disinformation from their government concerning the Russia-Georgia conflict over South Ossetia.
Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin incorporated South Ossetia, formerly a part of Russia, into his home province of Georgia. When the Soviet Union broke up, Georgia became independent and retained South Ossetia. Secession movements arose in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia. These secession movements were the reason European members of NATO rejected the US government’s attempt to make Georgia a NATO member in order to extend the US/NATO military presence on Russia’s borders in contravention of previous US government agreements with Russia.
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina, or any other country, get from the U.S. media? How many Americans and American journalists even know who is in political office in other countries besides England, France, and Germany? Who can name the political leaders of Switzerland, Holland, Brazil, Japan, or even China?
Yet, many know of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. The reason is obvious. He is daily demonized in the U.S. media.
The U.S. media’s demonization of Ahmadinejad itself demonstrates American ignorance. The President of Iran is not the ruler. He is not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He cannot set policies outside the boundaries set by Iran’s rulers, the ayatollahs who are not willing for the Iranian Revolution to be overturned by American money in some color-coded “revolution.”
Iranians have a bitter experience with the United States government. Their first democratic election, after emerging from occupied and colonized status in the 1950s, was overturned by the U.S. government. The U.S. government installed in place of the elected candidate a dictator who tortured and murdered dissidents who thought Iran should be an independent country and not ruled by an American puppet.
The U.S. “superpower” has never forgiven the Iranian Islamic ayatollahs for the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s, which overthrew the U.S. puppet government and held hostage U.S. embassy personnel, regarded as “a den of spies,” while Iranian students pieced together shredded embassy documents that proved America’s complicity in the destruction of Iranian democracy.
The government-controlled U.S. corporate media, a Ministry of Propaganda, has responded to the re-election of Ahmadinejad with non-stop reports of violent Iranians protests to a stolen election. A stolen election is presented as a fact, even thought there is no evidence for it whatsoever. The U.S. media’s response to the documented stolen elections during the George W. Bush/Karl Rove era was to ignore the evidence of real stolen elections.