The Democracy Paradox
Participation in a virtual one-party system
only validates illegitimate power
September 23, 2008
by Gregg Brazel
Lesley Stahl on results of U.S. sanctions against Iraq (CBS, 1996):
"We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"
Clinton SecState Madeleine Albright:
"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it."
Martha Raddatz (ABC, 2008):
“Two-thirds of Americans say it’s (Iraq war) not worth fighting.”
Unscripted comments on the same war for the same reasons against the same people, separated by 12 years and two parties. The Iraqis are freer and we are safer and The War must go on to Total Victory or suburbia will be overrun by squadrons of Islamo-fascists on flying carpets. And if you think otherwise, dear reader, you are un-American.
Seriously... who do these people represent? They come from opposing political parties, so together they must reflect the hopes and wishes of the vast majority. No?
While there is a tiny segment of the global population that Washington represents, it certainly isn't the vast majority of Americans. When you hear Beltway insiders demanding action to "defend America's interests," just substitute Wall Street or Global Capital for America, and sha-zam! you're in the loop.
It has grown painfully obvious that voting for either of the two candidates anointed by big business is a vestigial ritual upheld to convince Americans that they are participating in something resembling representative government. Saddam Hussein held elections too. If there is one party or two, it makes little difference if both are owned by a ruling class that operates in the shadows.
"Let me control a people's currency and I care not who makes their laws."
—Meyer Nathaniel Rothschild in a speech to a gathering of world bankers February 12, 1912. The following year, the USA subscribed to the 'services' of the newly incorporated, and 100% private, Federal Reserve, headed by Mr. Rothschild.
"The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen....At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties."
—New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, 1922
"Somebody has to take government's place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it."
—David Rockefeller to Newsweek International, Feb 1 1999.
"The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the Americans' freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight."
—John F. Kennedy warning of secret societies, Columbia University, 10 days before his assassination
Our elected leaders show only hollow pretense of serving the public and honoring their oaths to preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution. They are beholden to the monied interests that finance their campaigns in exchange for keys to the Treasury. The miscreants who run the world —destroying families, homes, infrastructure, cities and economies in the process— have little concern for our welfare or the people they put in harm’s way. As former SecState Henry Kissinger famously put it: "Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." (85 year-old Kissinger is still active in our shadow government; he is also wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in five countries).
“Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
— Barbara Bush in the lead up to the genocidal bloodbath
dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom"
Could it be that these people have no concern about the on-the-ground effects of their imperial rampages because neither they nor theirs will be anywhere near the front lines? Or is it just more evidence that stone-cold psychopaths tend to be most well-equipped to claw their way to the pinnacles of power? Probably both. Barbara Bush flippantly admitted on national television that the carnage and killing about to be unleashed by her derelict son were “not relevant” — to her, of course.
"He'll make Cheney look like Gandhi"
—Republican Pat Robertson on John McCain (watch it)
Is this man sane enough to carry the football?
John McCain sings songs on the campaign trail about bombing Iran which, by definition, is terrorism. His base, rabidly supportive of any and all US wars of aggression, finds this cute. Politicians have learned well that terrorism works to increase their political capital. They've been watching the master of disaster for the past 7 years, who likes to remind the American public about 9/11 on any occasion he possibly can. George W. Bush went from 50 to 90% approval rating overnight! What other than terrorism could possibly do that? What a great tool to bludgeon a disinformed public into compliance (watch this crude propaganda tactic used relentlessly at the 2004 GOP convention).
McCain has publicly said that he doesn’t care if the US is in Iraq for another 100 years. Fortunately for the Iraqis and the troops who have been illegally back-door drafted into five tours of duty, this is a financial impossibility. With all credit to the malfeasance and colossal graft of BushCo's corporate/government "partnership", America is flat broke... actually $9.5 trillion in the hole (that's $30,000 of instant debt for every child born in America). Our industrial base has been sold out from under us along with associated jobs in science, engineering, accounting and management; and our infrastructure, landmarks and public lands are on the auction block. How's that for national security?
No matter. It's a deregulated and privatized paradise, built to neo-lib/con (virtually the same) plans and specs. Who could have dreamt in the early 1980s that it all would work out so well? The dollar is tanking, the trade deficit is soaring, real estate is crashing, banks are imploding, pension funds have been looted, and the coup de grâce: our national credit card that finances this global Ponzi scheme is maxed out. Seems the Russians, Chinese, et al think our "preemptive strike" foreign policy might be about something other than Freedom'n'DemocracyForAll™. All our debt holders need to do to reign in the madmen is dump a few hundred billion in US bonds or deflated dollars onto the market, which will cause a system-wide seizure. Then it's wheelbarrow time. Game Over. Sorry, John, no Hundred Years War for you.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
McCain's proposed policies are identical to Bush's, and he's running neck and neck with Obama. This is mind-boggling. Half the people who partake in our farcical system actually want four more years like the last eight? Just as amazingly, Maverick McCain campaigns on the meme of "change", that he and Sarah Palin are going to "clean up the mess in Washington" (who made this mess, Senator?), while the other side of his mouth says that he backs all of Bush's policies - on the economy, wars, and all.
But that's not all. The guy who spent 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton reversed course to back the Cheney/Bush regime's legalized and institutionalized torture policies.... putting America morally on par with the most despicable despots in world history. He now sucks up to religious fundamentalists whose corrupt interpretation of Christianity says that Jesus' values include preemptive war, wage-slavery, the death penalty and waterboarding (these are the same "folks" who claim to revere the "Sanctity of Life", but have conveniently skipped the Beatitudes that kick off the Sermon on the Mount with all that "Do Unto Others" liberal hooey).
Up until the sixth major bank / brokerage / insurance collapse, Candidate McCain often repeated his remarkable delusion that the US economy is "fundamentally strong" and believed that the recession was "psychological" --- we were all just making it up. Due to reality closing in all around him, McCain's changed message in the past week... he's "always known about the problems in the market."
While nonsensical on the surface, all of this makes sense when placed in the proper context. It turns out that "Reformer" McCain was in the thick of the 1980's S&L crisis, has worked long and hard to permanently disappear POW/MIAs who remain in Vietnam, doesn't know how many high-end homes his wife's inherited beer fortune has bought them, and he admits that he doesn't know much about economics but will "surround [himself] with smart advisors" (sound familiar?). In other words, McCain is a politician's politician... duplicitous and hypocritical to the core.
John McCain is as "straight talking", competent, qualified and "peace-loving" as George W. Bush. Out of 150 million potential candidates, this is one of two options that has been dumped on us.
Democracy in action at the Republican National Convention.
Police State America, coming to a street near you.
Police now wear Gestapo costumes and wield a militarized arsenal
of techno-gadgets straight out of a dystopian nightmare.
History shows time and again that imperial regimes eventually
turn the troops and weapons on their own.
Note Robocop center-left, pointing some sort of neo-fascist weapon at
an unarmed, 120lb kid while a dozen American SS thugs bear down
with four foot birch poles. Dark days. Is this what St. Paul police look like,
or are these private mercenaries of the oligarchs? Which is worse?
Not to worry. We have an OppositionParty®
Barack Obama says he will end the Iraq war by 2012, if certain conditions are met. At least four more years… that is the time span that the US was involved in WWII. So the guy who has "opposed the war from the start" has consistently voted to keep it going and is committed to at least four more years of illegal occupation, murder and mayhem. Obama also pledges to move the War of Terror to Pakistan and maybe Iran, and escalate the conflict in Afghanistan, action that would ensure the slaughter of thousands more innocent men, women and children while stoking the fear and loathing of America that already reaches around the globe (note to Wall Streeters who think this doesn't matter: foreign nations finance 40% of our debt; without them our entire economy goes up in smoke).
Progressive Obama supports capital punishment and favors expanding its use, although it has been repeatedly shown that death row prisoners are often there under wrongful convictions ("uhhh... Sorry!"). The US is alone in the West for use of government sponsored execution; we are in company with such beacons of hope as Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Swaziland (complete list).
Equally worrisome, as a lawyer Obama must know that the meting out of "capital justice" is a racist freak show that shames the entire nation... sanitized lynching, new world style. For identical crimes in America, blacks are executed at a much higher rate than whites (even though "justice is blind"). But of course, African-Americans are a small voting bloc, and where are they going to go, the party of Strom Thurmond and Don Rumsfeld?
To top it off, data suggests it's probable that state-sponsored execution increases murder rates; the message the death penalty sends to society is that violence, revenge and killing are justifiable. There is no logical reason to continue this barbaric cycle of violence.
Peace/Change Candidate Obama, occasionally compared to Martin Luther King Jr., has plans to EXPAND the military. That’s right, spending as much as the rest of the world combined on weapons and war is STILL NOT ENOUGH in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. The beast needs more. More of your money that will not go to education, infrastructure, health care, or your own bank account. More money that the Pentagon will mysteriously “lose” to fraud and waste.
As a faithful servant showing his Corporate-First devotion, Obama voted for the FISA Amendments Act, the purpose of which is to make illegal activities (massive warrantless spying on US citizens) legal, and to grant retroactive immunity to the telecoms who perpetrated the crimes.
Never mind that retroactive legislation is unconstitutional; this rewrite of the 1978 law effectively legalizes conspiracy and collusion between corporations and the federal government. That's bad news for American democracy: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power," said Benito Mussolini, one of fascism's architects.
It's not surprising that Obama backed this bill sponsored by... surprise!... Sen. John Rockefeller. Obama's campaign leads the pack in money collected from the telecoms.
On "national security" issues, Obama often consults Zbigniew Brzezinski, who while serving in the Carter administration decided that building a proxy army of Islamic terrorists to fight Russia in Afghanistan would be a good idea. But that's just one of many of Brzezinski's inclinations for totalitarian tactics. Here he is fantasizing about a big brother surveillance state run by "an elite":
technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society.
Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional
values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over
every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most
personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to
instantaneous retrieve/review by the authorities."
Democracy DNC Style,
"Free speech zones", an invention of the Cheney/Bush cabal picked up
by the Accomplice Party. Monitored by Big Brother and topped with razor
wire to ensure that people who question US "leaders" and the wisdom
of their policies remain isolated, marginalized and intimidated.
This Orwellian poster, complete with all-seeing eye, is signed by "MGT" -
-AKA the owners of this desert gulag. Management of the 1st Amendment has
also been "outsourced". Is privatization always the best solution?
If you've worked in a large corporation and held any views that differ from
"accepted policy", how receptive of free speech have you found "MGT" to be?
Corporatism=Top Down Control
Big Media Gets the Job Done
"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."
—Richard Salent, former president of CBS News
"We are going to impose our agenda on the [campaign] coverage by dealing with issues and subjects that we choose to deal with."
—Richard M. Cohan, former Snr Producer of CBS political news, 1988
It’s as simple as that. Richard Cohan explains in one short sentence how big media, owned by just five multinational corporations, controls our politics. There’s no great conspiracy; media owners simply act in their own self interest rather than that of the public whose airwaves they use to propagate their propaganda. In a corporate/capitalist system run amok, what else would one expect?
It’s not that the people don’t want to know the truth; the profiteers don’t think we ought to have it. This would hamper their ability to pillage and plunder. Unless we seek alternative information channels, we're getting "news" that has been spun and run through the plutocrats' filter.
Here's one of the most obvious of big media's "off-limits" topics: No US war since 1942 has been declared by the Congress. By that criteria alone, almost every one of our 70+ (!) wars / actions / conflicts / occupations / "humanitarian interventions" since WWII has been unconstitutional and illegal. Now, when you also consider that many of these conflicts have overturned democratically elected governments and interfered with the sovereignty of other nation-states, it is blatantly obvious that the “Freedom/Democracy” banter is a complete hoax.
The hologram thrown up by the corporate press - what they choose to report or ignore, along with the context and spin they place on it - is designed to obscure the monumental crimes of GovCorp, enable their agenda, and maximize their wealth, power and control, all while leaving the viewer with the impression that he/she knows what's going on. It works terribly well.
Change won't come from a system devoted to status quo
This is why the only authentic conservative candidate in the 2008 Republican primaries, Rep. Ron Paul, was ridiculed by the press, banned from debates and slandered by the neoconservatives who dominate the Republican Party. Paul, by far the most knowledgeable candidate -from either party- on economic and foreign policy issues, vowed to end the War of Terror on day one of his presidency and pull US troops and 737 bases out of the 130 countries they currently occupy. He was winning debates by HUGE margins. Thus the poll results were scrubbed from the network websites, Soviet style. No joke. Our media is a propaganda and censorship tool that rivals Cold War era Pravda, with one major difference: the Soviets knew they were receiving propaganda, Americans rarely do.
Bottom line, any candidate who makes it through the filter will continue to serve their paymasters and feed the beast. Imagine Dwight Eisenhower running for office today and warning citizens of the military/industrial complex as he did in 1961! Instant political suicide. The pro-war media, Congress and WH Spin Machine would immediately pile on and declare the former supreme commander of the Allied Forces to be conspiratorial, unpatriotic, anti-American, perhaps a terrorist sympathizer. This is how anyone questioning our $1 trillion annual “defense” spending is politically offed.
We never hear McCain or Obama or any of the "top tier / serious / electable" (media filters) candidates talk about reducing this absurd black hole of waste. Despite that on September 10, 2001 Don Rumsfeld admitted that the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion of OUR money, no politician dares take on the historic swindles of the military/industrial complex. In the current media environment where General Electric simultaneously owns NBC and is one America’s largest arms dealers, no one can touch this mountain of rotting pork.
Divide and conquer, the fatal quiver
"The technique of infamy is to invent two lies, then get people
arguing heatedly over which one of them is true."
The perennial wedge issues -gay marriage, abortion, flag burning, etc.- are designed to distract us from truly important matters and keep us divided rather than uniting against these self-appointed world rulers. As the greatest transfer of wealth in world history is currently being staged and executed, it is apparent how well this strategy works. People are actually convinced that this multi-trillion dollar swindle is in their best interest. Just last night, some "informed" consumer (who has a lot of money, as he told me several times) was convinced that this latest bail-out is in fact going not to the banksters, but to distressed homeowners... watch your mailbox for that bail-out check!
What to do
Here are some solutions that, if aggressively pursued, can correct this mess over time and create a government of, by and for the People:
• Try the Bush administration and Democratic accomplices for war crimes and crimes against the Constitution; they are numerous and historically significant. A trial will reveal the evidence, if any, and permit justice, whatever the outcome. As those who are currently above the law refrain, "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about." Only an indictment and prosecution of the perps will discourage future ministrations from following in their bloody foot steps.
• Reform our consumer/war/debt economy to an economy of localized goods and services: food production, manufacturing, technology, textiles, medicine, labor and arts. Trade with foreign nations on a fair basis, and as is necessary and good, but readopt a system that largely keeps profits local and more evenly distributed. This is not an absurd proposition. Considering rising energy costs for imports, Wall Street profits, government subsidies, bail-outs, inexplicable executive pay, shareholder returns, bloated corporate bureaucracy, and "cost externalizing", there are huge margins for efficiency gains in relocalized economies.
• Join the civilized world in the International Crimes Court, again to command accountability from future administrations and deter potential crimes.
• Reinstate impeachment and use it to remove any and all rogue regimes that fail to uphold the oath of office. The only remedy provided by our Constitution for a lawless president/VP is impeachment. Nancy Pelosi took that sole option "off the table" (in addition to the fact that Democrats are spineless, this is because she is an accomplice to the crimes and did not wish to be implicated and tried herself). Eliminating impeachment leaves Congress, the courts and the people powerless against executive dictatorships.
• Weld shut the revolving door between political office / corporate boardroom / regulator / lobbyist. These entities now operate in lockstep with identical objectives (consolidate wealth and power). Effective oversight is a dead relic of FDR's New Deal, which pulled America out of the Great Depression and paved the way for decades of growth. Watching the cataclysmic failures of finance and media, the SEC and FCC are prime examples of what happens when the inmates are put in charge of the asylum.
• Publicly financed political campaigns. Cash- and rewards-based lobbying is NOT free speech; let's again call it what it is: bribery, corruption, plutocracy. This will free up our "public servants" to attend to important matters such as war/peace, economics and infrastructure. The vast majority of the money collected by the candidates - which is endlessly reported during the horse race as if it's important - winds up in BigMedia's bank accounts. Free airtime and page space for political ads should be provided. This is the least the media giants can do to uphold their obligation to "serve the public interest."
• Smash the media oligopoly to allow a diverse range of independent voices to be heard on the important issues.
• Resume enforcement of the anti-trust laws so that we are no longer shackled to faux-capitalist corporations that are "too big to fail."
• Reign in the military-industrial-media-congressional complex that has lost trillions of tax payer dollars, bled dry the economy, and armed the world to the teeth. Shut down empire's far flung military bases and bring the troops home to defend the country should some mad regime actually try to invade our shores. Reinvest the trillions saved in public services, infrastructure, productive industries or return to the citizens.
• Renationalize our money supply. The Federal Reserve is a wholly private banking cartel that charges interest on every dollar they issue, hence money=debt that cannot be repaid, just as the system was designed. Dismantle the unelected supra-national institutions and "agreements" that supercede the Constitution, e.g. the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, G8, NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT...
• Arrest the corporate takeover of our culture and institutions. My alma mater, Purdue, often sends me slick, glossy ($$$) magazines boasting of their latest "corporate partnership." What this means is a brain drain in exchange for "funding"... give us your money, and we'll give you our labs and brightest minds. This undermines the core mission of universities: to foster critical thought, intellectual curiosity, and the exploration of diverse ideas. Everything from econ to engineering, agriculture to the arts, is being corrupted for the unilateral objective of maximized profits.
• Refuse to play a rigged game. Vote your conscience. More than half of eligible voters in this country do not vote Republican or Democrat. We should raise that number to 80% or more, making clear that the puppets have no broad support, credibility, or mandate. Come November, I will once again "waste" my vote on a third party candidate who at least supports my views and represents my interests. This sends a vote of no confidence to the self-appointed oligarchs who run the world regardless which of their parties is in office. If government does not serve the people, it has no reason to exist and ends up killing and stealing from the citizens it is supposed to represent. Only by refusing to partake on a mass scale can we stop this madness before it's too late.
This may all seem impossible, but what are the options? Our current path is clearly unsustainable. The wheels are coming off the train as you read this. We are watching the results of three decades of deregulation and privatization that has set in motion a tsunami of fraudulent "free market globalization", resulting in the imminent collapse of our financial system, a raided Treasury, irretractable wars, a hollowed-out economy, systemic corruption, and an utterly lawless government.
At the eclipse of every empire, wars of conquest, mountains of debt, exploitation, environmental destruction, and financial injustice cause social and political upheaval. No amount of power, force or money can quash the uprising; the unrest cannot be put down until there is some semblance of equality and freedom. It happens every time.
The rampant greed and injustices of the powerful few will eventually tear this nation apart if we let them continue to carry out their crimes unabated. When enough peoples' children are starving or blown to bits so the few can control 90% of global wealth and buy get-away estates in non-extradition countries, it will happen.
Unless we forge better way.
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes ... known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
"Dictatorships start wars because they need external enemies to exert internal control over their own people."
—Richard Perle, prominent NeoConservative, leading proponent of The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war, chief disinformer on Iraq, Iran, etc.
"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing."
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
Meet the real GWB that the "liberal"
media refuses to expose
"This is an impressive crowd: the Haves and the Have-mores. Some people call you the elites... I call you my base." (laughs all around)
—RegularGuy© GWBush rustlin' up some loot from the cronies which has been returned a million-fold (by us) watch it
Partners in Crime
Rumsfeld greets kindred spirit, Saddam Hussein,
Rummy was sent as a Reagan special envoy to give Saddam the green light to use chemical weapons on Iranians and Iraqi Kurds in the north. To show their gratitude for Saddam's iron-fisted rule in the Land of Big Oil, he got an assist in the war crimes that would be ardently condemned 15 years later; US corporations provided the chemicals, US intel provided information, and the Pentagon supplied satellite imagery of the targets. This was perfectly "legal" at the time, of course, because Saddam Hussein was then a Puppet Dictator who was "Friendly to American Interests" (Exxon, Shell, Mobil...). Saddam was later demoted to Unfriendly Dictator status when he errantly began talk of nationalizing Iraq's oil supply and trading in a currency other than US Dollars. Bad Dictator! (as it happens, this is also true of Evil Doers Ahmadinejad in Iran and Chavez in Venezuela)
"The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."
—Dick Cheney, 1999
Remember when Cheney was sane?
"Invading Baghdad would create a quagmire." (1994) watch it
Intl Arms Dealers: 67 Trillion
Humanity: -200,000,000, and counting!
Israeli girls sign artillery shells bound for
Lebanon as a proud mother looks on.
For reasons unknown and against Her best financial and security interests, America has plunged neck deep into this riot of racism, revenge, militarism and ethnic cleansing. US taxes & new debt finance, back and expand the circle of violence, aka "defense." (Yes, I recognize and fully condemn the atrocities of "the enemy" - whomever they may be at the moment).
"An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind."
9.04.08 NEW YORK (Reuters)
The Bush administration is pushing through a wide range of foreign weapons deals in a bid to rearm Iraq and Afghanistan and contain North Korea and Iran, The New York Times reported.
The deals range from tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and warships, the Times said in its Sunday editions. The weapons and other military equipment foreign sales have totaled more than $32 billion this year, compared with $12 billion in 2005.
While the focus has been on the Middle East, sales extend to northern Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and Canada, the Times said.
"This is not about being gunrunners," the Times quoted Bruce Lemkin, the Air Force deputy undersecretary who has coordinated many of the largest sales, as saying. "This is about building a more secure world."
---How's that working out so far?
Translation: "This is an effort to start another arms race. They're insanely lucrative." How much do you suppose Mr. Lemkin has been compensated for "coordinating many of the largest sales"? How many people do you suppose are dead because of him and the arms manufacturers who will deliver to any paying customer?
"War is a racket. It always has been.
"It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
"A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
... "I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
—USMC Major General Smedley Butler, excerpted from War is a Racket
"We have one party. We have the party of big business. It has two right wings, one called Democratic, one called Republican."
National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, seen here with Mujahideen ally, who some say is Osama bin Laden. When asked about the wisdom of the CIA training and supporting Islamic radicals he replied (in 1998):
"Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war."
Round and Round. Look who's drawn into "the Afghan trap" now.
blowback : cia-coined term, a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the US government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people (Chalmers Johnson).
So long, Reality. We hardly knew ye...
"The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' ... 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"
—Journalist Ron Suskind in a conversation with an unnamed senior GW Bush aide.
"The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy."
—Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
—Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost forty years... It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries."
—David Rockefeller, in an address given to Catherine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post, and other media luminaries.
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
—John Swinton, former chief of staff, NYT, in response to a toast to the free press made by a colleague at the New York Press Club. ca 1953
"One thing that makes the cult of Obama difficult to dissect is the method of its dissemination. The technology of campaign propaganda has advanced to such a degree that the concept of campaign-trail "journalism" is now indistinguishable from corporate PR. The wall that once separated campaign staff from the press corps has broken down completely; those paid by the candidate and those covering him might as well be two different shifts on the same factory ship, working together to bring the world frozen fish patties by the ton."
—Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
US Army WWI propaganda poster
War Propaganda Rule No. 1: Dehumanize "The Enemy" to terrorize domestic population into enlisting and accepting industrialized mass murder. Note the ape-man, carrying bloodied club and damsel in distress, wears a German helmet while stepping onto the shores of America with a bombed out Europe behind. Reminds one of today's call to "Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here. BOO!"
Modern war propaganda has become much more slick and subtle, run by giant PR firms, and thus is much more effective.
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
"If you've retired, you don't have anything to worry about -- third time I've said that. (Laughter.) I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." (Applause.)
—GW Bush watch it
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."
—Edward Bernays, "Propaganda," 1928. Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud; his ideas to manipulate the "group mind" were used to mobilize the American public into support of US involvement in WWI. After Hitler soiled propaganda's good name, Bernays renamed propaganda "public relations".
Today, public relations has scraped such a sickening low that mainstream financial pundits/pin-ups now urge Americans toeat poisoned food and accept toxic toys - or else! Too absurd to believe? Watch it here.
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."