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Cryptogate, Siemens and Stuxnet

Here's another spy story for you. Not as thrilling as Winter's excellent ongoing tale but interesting and informative, I hope. smiling I stumbled upon this story while doing some late night googling on the Stuxnet worm. As you know this worm works "by exploiting previously unknown security holes in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. It then seeks out a component called Simatic WinCC, manufactured by Siemens, which controls critical factory operations. The malware even uses a stolen cryptographic key belonging to the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer RealTek to validate itself in high-security factory systems."

It seemed unbelievable to me that the German electronic giant Siemens could have released such critical software containing a well known security risk and even more unbelievable that they could have known the code had been leaked for two years and done nothing about it. See my previous comment on this here. Surprisingly (or maybe not), this is not the first time Siemens and Iran have been linked in a far reaching story of espionage, foul play and stolen cryptographic keys. You can judge for yourself if you think Siemens was simply incompetent, or unethical, in selling their easily hackable software to critical industries worldwide or whether their history suggests this may have been the plan.

Note to James: I am leaning towards MIHOP here. So's Eileen! smiling

On March 18, 1992 Hans Buehler, a top salesman for the Swiss company Crypto AG, was arrested in Tehran, Iran and accused of spying for the US and Germany. For the next nine months, he was held in solitary confinement and questioned repeatedly as to whether he had leaked the codes to Iranian and Libyan encrypted communications to western powers.

A Swedish cryptographer, Boris Hagelin founded Crypto AG in 1952 in Zug, Switzerland. Boris was the renowned inventor of the "Hagelin-machine". Hundreds of thousands of his "Hagelin-machines" were used in World War II on the side of the Allies to decrypt enemy communications. As Switzerland was perceived as a discreet place, a neutral nation that could be trusted, their enciphering devices for voice communication and digital data networks were popular. In the ensuing years, Crypto AG built up long standing relationships with over 130 countries.

"The purchasing nations, confident that their communications were protected, sent messages from their capitals to embassies, military missions, trade offices, and espionage dens around the world, via telex, radio, teletype, and facsimile. They not only conducted sensitive albeit legal business and diplomacy, but sometimes strayed into criminal matters, issuing orders to assassinate political leaders, bomb commercial buildings, and engage in drug and arms smuggling.

Both Iran and Libya had purchased their cryptographic communication equipment from the Swiss company. The Iranians had become suspicious that their codes had been leaked after Ronald Regan had announced to the world that the US had been reading secret Libyan communications in "a speech justifying the retaliatory bombing of Libya for its alleged involvement in the La Belle discotheque bombing in Berlin's Schoeneberg district." This suspicion was further solidified when "the U.S. provided the contents of encrypted Iranian messages to France to assist in the conviction of Ali Vakili Rad and Massoud Hendi for the stabbing death in the Paris suburb of Suresnes of the former Iranian prime minister Shahpour Bakhtiar and his personal secretary Katibeh Fallouch".

Apparently however, the Iranians eventually believed Buehler's story that he did not know anything. In 1993, Crypto AG paid Iran one million German Marks for his return, then promptly fired him a few weeks later ordering him to repay the bond. The reason given was that "Buehler's publicity, especially during and after his return, was harmful for the company". What is more likely is that they had satisfied themselves that Buehler had not given away any of their secrets and because Buehler had been asking some embarrassing questions.

Buehler's story prompted the Swiss and German news media to investigate the company. (Perhaps the Iranians were hoping his release would generate interest in the story.) It turns out, Buehler's belief that Crypto AG was a discreet, neutral company, simply providing the best equipment, was grossly naive. Crypto AG was anything but discreet. In fact, the company had become quite diffuse.

"Swiss television traced the ownership of Crypto AG to a company in Liechtenstein, and from there back to a trust company in Munich. A witness appearing on Swiss television explained the real owner was the German government--the Federal Estates Administration.

According to [the German Newspaper] Der Spiegel, all but 6 of the 6000 shares of Crypto AG were at one time owned by Eugen Freiberger, who resided in Munich and was head of the Crypto AG managing board in 1982. Another German, Josef Bauer, an authorized tax agent of the Muenchner Treuhandgesellschaft KPMG, and who was elected to the managing board in 1970, stated that his mandate had come from the German company Siemens. Other members of Crypto AG's management had also worked at Siemens."

Furthermore, some Crypto engineers came forward to tell of secret dealings and cooperation with the NSA and it's cryptographers, the German BND, American "watchers"and Motorola engineers. The story eventually unraveled and it was learned that for decades, the US had routinely intercepted and deciphered the top secret encrypted messages of 120 countries.

"Crypto AG's enciphering process had been developed in cooperation with the NSA and the German company Siemans [and] involved secretly embedding the decryption key in the cipher text. Those who knew where to look could monitor the encrypted communication, then extract the decryption key that was also part of the transmission, and recover the plain text message. Decryption of a message by a knowledgeable third party was not any more difficult than it was for the intended receiver".

It seems that all the favorite suspects were in on the code cracking scheme. From Wayne Madsen we learn about the involvement of Israel and England.

The role of Israel may be explained by a little-reported intelligence alliance. NSA maintains a link with the Israeli sigint entity, "Department 8200," located in northern Tel Aviv at Herzliya. The sigint link is said to involve the British Government Communications Headquarters (gchq) base on Cyprus. Israel's ability to crack the Iranian Crypto AG codes indicates that Israel had access to the key decoding programs.

Madsen also elaborates on the Siemens connection. Just one big incestuous family.

"A Presidential directive on national security prepared for President Truman states that "Switzerland ... delivers precision instruments and other materials necessary for the armament of the USA and NATO countries [emphasis added]." Germany's BND, too, has apparently cooperated with the US encryption rigging scheme through Siemens Defense Electronics Group of Munich.

A previous director of Siemens called Crypto AG a "secret Siemens daughter," while a former Crypto AG financial director said, "the owner of the firm [Crypto] is the Federal Republic [of Germany]." The Siemens connection to Crypto was remarkably incestuous. Siemens provided technical assistance for the machine manipulation process. Suspicion about the German electronics giant's role in Crypto's operations was heightened when it was reported that Siemens helped raise the $1 million to spring Buehler from his Teheran prison cell. In fact, after revelations of the Crypto-Siemens association hit the Swiss press, Crypto's managing director Michael Grupe informed the employees that the advisory board to Crypto's board of directors was being dissolved. The two advisers-Alfred Nowosad and Helmut Wiesner-were both full-time Siemens employees. With the world media describing the company as a silent partner of German and American signals intelligence (sigint) agencies around the world, Grube announced that "Crypto is changing its profile.".

This all makes me very suspicious that Siemens and friends in the US and Israel are up to their old tricks. As my husband always says, "Same old shit, just a new pile".

For some further reading:
The Baltimore Sun, About December 4, 1995, pp. 9-11.
No Such Agency Part Four
Rigging the Game

The story about Crypto AG (Link now dead 25/2/20 Here is a link referring to Madsen's article - )

And just to muddy the waters for you a bit, here is yet another case of the involvement of Siemens in Iran's business. In March 2010, Siemens and the Finnish telecoms firm Nokia have yet again been accused of helping the Iranian government monitor calls and texts. (Obviously they have been accused of this before but I don't have a link to that story.)


"German engineering giant Siemens and Finnish telecoms firm Nokia have once again been accused of helping the Iranian government monitor calls and texts.
Nobel prizewinner Shirin Ebadi, speaking on France Culture radio said that some western technology companies are helping the government and called for international economic sanctions.
"Unfortunately, a certain number of firms support the Iranian regime in its repression and censorship," she said.
"It's clearly the case with Siemens and Nokia when they send the Iranian state software and technology that it can use to monitor mobile telephone calls and text messages," she continued."

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Following Up On Israel's latest 'Defense Mission'

Below is an excerpt from this month's SOTT Connecting the Dots:
"Israel's Vengeance, Loose Nukes, Gulf Ecocide ".
It is taken from the section titled "Israel's Vengeance".

It is an excellent examination of the events leading up to, during and after the Israeli attack on the Turkish Humanitarian ship the Mavi Marmara which was part of the Freedom Flotilla. It is a very long article that is extensively link with added pictures and videos. I have not put the links in this clip so you will have to go to the original article here if you would like to follow up on the information given.

A. Peasant at "Twelfth Bough" is reporting that there is evidence the ship seen in the Israeli video clip of their soldiers being attacked by passengers, is not the Mavi Marmara.". The ship used for the filming could possibly have been the Mavi Marmara's sister ship the Dream owned by a Greek company.

The stench from this latest Israeli 'defense mission' is breathtaking (as in one needs a gas mask). They are showing the world who they truly are as they just don't seem to care how much this stinks. Their citizens are now firmly entrenched in what author of Political Ponerolgy Andrew Lobaczewski calls the "Hysteroidal Cycle"


1. The search for truth reveals “inconvenient”, that is, morally embarrassing facts. For example, Christian slaveholders being reminded that holding slaves was not a very Christian activity; or otherwise unprejudiced Americans being informed that their tax dollars are being spent for racist goals, that is, to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the land coveted by Zionists. Hedonistic societies repress the fact that they profit on the suffering of others.

2. At first, when morally embarrassing facts are encountered, they are consciously avoided. For example, the subject is suddenly changed; or a discussion is tabled or concluded without going any further into the matter.

3. When the avoidance of morally embarrassing facts is done frequently enough, it ceases to be a conscious process and gets relegated to the subconscious; that is, it becomes a habit.

4. The habit of avoiding morally embarrassing facts is a contagious one. It becomes a socially accepted habit, the “in” thing to do. “The ‘very best people’ never discuss such things, and certainly not in public,” is a sentiment expressed innumerable times in the nineteenth century. ..."

5. Reasoning to draw valid conclusions becomes impossible because of the gaps left by the suppressed “inconvenient” facts. The subconscious compensates by substituting morally less embarrassing “premises” so as to be able to continue to draw conclusions, although the conclusions now drawn are, necessarily, false. This is the chronic avoidance of the crux of the matter.

6. People grow perceptibly more egotistic, and the society as a whole more emotional and hysterical. There is a great deal of confusion about values and such societies grow to be seen as arrogant and hedonistic.

7. When the deviation from reality becomes great enough, the person or the society becomes pathological, and murder sprees or senseless world wars and bloody revolutions are in the offing.

In short, during good times, moral, intellectual and personality values devolve to the point where a society is ripe for manipulation by snake-charmers and con-men of Rasputin-like charisma. Individuals become emotionally volatile, egotistical, and intolerant of other cultures. The resulting suffering necessitate great mental and physical strength to fight for existence and human reason. Slowly, what has been lost is relearned. Difficult times give rise to the values necessary to conquer evil and produce better times.

Also, you can find a developing list of the murdered and injured aboard the Gaza Flotilla in the forum.

"Israel's Vengeance"

Perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised at Israel's behaviour. After all, they did actually threaten to send out "half" their Navy to stop the flotilla. Among the heroes of the Freedom Flotilla was American Joe Meadors. This was the second time he has been attacked by the Israelis at sea. 43 years ago he was part of the crew on the USS Liberty, a US Navy electronic intelligence-gathering ship that was attacked by Israeli jets and torpedo boats during the Six Day War in 1967, one of Israel's countless wars of aggression. Thirty-four Americans were killed and more than 170 were wounded in the attack. His government tried to forget this notorious incident, but Joe never forgot.
Israel's deceitful misinformation campaign in the week running up to the slaughter saw its foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman tell the Israeli press that "Israel will not allow a violation of its sovereignty at sea" and that there is "no humanitarian crisis in Gaza" because of course Israel conducts itself impeccably there. Later that night, Israeli air raids bombed Gaza's airport and completely destroyed a mosque on the night of May 26. Israelis were treated to a barrage of propaganda suggesting that Gaza's inmates have never had it so good and that Turkey was now in league with its enemies who were behind this sneak attempt to "deliver weapons to Hamas." On May 27 the Israeli Navy Commander briefed his forces ahead of launching a military operation to intercept the Freedom Flotilla. Incidentally, US Chief-of-Staff Emmanuel Rahm was in Israel at this time for meetings with Psychopath-in-Chief Benjamin Netanyahu and President Psychopath Shimon Peres. Netanyahu was invited to the White House to kiss and make up following their (choreographed?) spat in March over Israel's relentless colonization of the West Bank. We can only assume that Emmanuel was also there to give Israel the green light for what was to follow.

The Freedom Flotilla had planned to rendezvous in Cyprus and pick up more passengers before setting sail in convoy for Gaza. However, several of the vessels were sabotaged and at least two had to cancel their voyage altogether. Then the Greek Cypriot authorities reneged on their agreement with the flotilla's organizers and prevented them from entering their waters at the last minute, forcing the damaged boats to limp towards northern Cyprus where Turkish authorities permitted passenger transfers to take place. In retrospect, it's worth asking, did the Greek-Cypriot authorities know what was coming down the pike? Greek and Cypriot members of the flotilla were furious with their government's apparent betrayal, but perhaps the authorities there were anxious to wash their hands of complicity ahead of the ensuing bloodbath?

Israeli propaganda has gone into overdrive to 'legitimize' the illegitimate by claiming it couldn't be certain there were no weapons on board. The cargo of the Mavi Marmara was thoroughly checked and vetted by Turkish customs officials: there were no firearms on board and no "smuggled weapons for Hamas." Ramzi Kysia of the Free Gaza Movement explained the impeccable efforts made by the volunteers to broadcast their pure intentions:

All ships were thoroughly searched by local port authorities in Greece and Turkey prior to their departure. Additionally, the coalition hired an independent security firm to search the ships and certify that no weapons were on board. All passengers went through nonviolence training and were likewise searched for weapons prior to boarding. The Turkish government, a member-state of the NATO alliance, vetted all the Turkish passengers to insure there was no one with ties to extremist groups. These precautionary steps were deliberately taken to prevent Israeli propaganda officials from ever being able to claim that the Freedom Flotilla posed any 'security risk' to Israel.

There was a live satellite feed broadcasting the voyage from the Mavi Marmara, as well as GPS transponders showing the exact location of the flotilla at all times to anyone viewing the coalition website.

If the Israelis' account of what happened could stand on its own two feet then it would have been unnecessary for them to block all communications in the area. In the interest of transparency and goodwill the flotilla provided multiple channels of communication. The volunteers went out of their way to demonstrate that they had nothing to hide. But Israel prefers to do things in the dark. Can't have the world watching as the filthy deed is done, now can we? They 'cloaked' the area in order to ensure a 'clean slate' upon which to proffer their version of events afterwards.

Initially they said the volunteers had opened fire first. When nobody but the US bought that, they said that their commandos were only armed with "paintball guns", but that some of them were also armed with their personal handguns, two of which were swiped by the volunteers and then used against the Israeli forces (who then returned fire in "self-defense"). Perhaps sensing that the world was not buying that preposterous scenario, they dropped the issue of "who fired first" and chose to focus on the other "weapons" found on board. Photos of marbles, sling-shots, knives, bullet-proof vests (with Turkish flags emblazoned on them for good effect) and an angle-grinder were issued to the media. But the meta-data of these images revealed them to be photographs taken and doctored long before the event. The only "weapons" confirmed thus far by anyone who was present on the Mavi were sections of the ship's railings which some of the volunteers used to disarm the commandos with after many of their comrades were mowed down with automatic gunfire and left lying in a pool of blood on the ship's deck. One of the volunteers, an Irish-American and former US marine named Ken O'Keefe, still covered in blood from the beating he received at the hands of Israeli agents whilst imprisoned at the port of Ashdod, told the press upon his arrival at Istanbul's airport that some of the volunteers had indeed disarmed at least three Israeli commandos:

I said this straight to Israeli agents, probably of Mossad or Shin Bet, and I say it again now, on the morning of the attack I was directly involved in the disarming of two Israeli Commandos. This was a forcible, non-negotiable, separation of weapons from commandos who had already murdered two brothers that I had seen that day. One brother with a bullet entering dead center in his forehead, in what appeared to be an execution. I knew the commandos were murdering when I removed a 9mm pistol from one of them. I had that gun in my hands and as an ex-US Marine with training in the use of guns it was completely within my power to use that gun on the commando who may have been the murderer of one of my brothers. But that is not what I, nor any other defender of the ship did. I took that weapon away, removed the bullets, proper lead bullets, separated them from the weapon and hid the gun. I did this in the hopes that we would repel the attack and submit this weapon as evidence in a criminal trial against Israeli authorities for mass murder.

I also helped to physically separate one commando from his assault rifle, which another brother apparently threw into the sea. I and hundreds of others know the truth that makes a mockery of the brave and moral Israeli military. We had in our full possession, three completely disarmed and helpless commandos. These boys were at our mercy, they were out of reach of their fellow murderers, inside the ship and surrounded by 100 or more men. I looked into the eyes of all three of these boys and I can tell you they had the fear of God in them. They looked at us as if we were them, and I have no doubt they did not believe there was any way they would survive that day. They looked like frightened children in the face of an abusive father.

But they did not face an enemy as ruthless as they. Instead the women provided basic first aid, and ultimately they were released, battered and bruised for sure, but alive. Able to live another day. Able to feel the sun over head and the embrace of loved ones. Unlike those they murdered. Despite mourning the loss of our brothers, feeling rage towards these boys, we let them go. The Israeli prostitutes of propaganda can spew all of their disgusting bile all they wish, the commandos are the murderers, we are the defenders, and yet we fought. We fought not just for our lives, not just for our cargo, not just for the people of Palestine, we fought in the name of justice and humanity. We were right to do so, in every way.

O'Keefe's testimony is worth reading in full. The accounts from Israeli Member of the Knesset Haneen Zuabi and Al Jazeera reporter Jamal Elshayyal stand in stark contrast to Israel's lies: two Israeli warships approached the Mavi in international waters, one from each side, shortly after 4am local time on Monday 31 May. They fired tear gas and plastic-coated steel bullets onto the ship's deck. First one, then a second helicopter hovered overhead, dropping a combination of smoke bombs, gas bombs and flash bombs onto the deck, followed by live ammunition fired from machine guns, randomly sprayed on the unarmed civilians below. Then from a third helicopter commandos began abseiling down onto the deck. Some of the terrified volunteers, wondering if they would all be slaughtered at sea with nobody else around to hear their pleas for help, gang-rushed some of the descending commandos and managed to disarm at least two of them. The volunteers then took cover from more live fire and exploding flash bombs (which sound no different than a real grenade detonating). That was the 'opening round.' The terror didn't end there. Many passengers were then 'tasered' with electric shock weapons and had guns pointed at their heads as the Israeli terrorists refused medical treatment for the wounded. An Australian man was left to bleed to death and only survived thanks to his wife's first aid.

The discrepancy between the Israeli figure of 9 dead and the 20 figured by the activists may have a horrifying explanation: witnesses saw at least four of the wounded being thrown overboard, so some of the dead may have met a similar fate. Forensics of the 9 Turkish men confirmed dead have revealed that they were all shot at close range, 5 with bullet wounds to the head. Dr Haluk Ince, chair of Turkey's council of forensic medicine (ATK), said: "Approximately 20cm away was the closest. In only one case was there only one entrance wound. The other eight have multiple entrance wounds. [The man killed by a single shot] was shot just in the middle of the forehead with a distant shot." The oldest victim was 60-year-old Ibrahim Bilgen, a Turkish politician, engineer and activist who was married with six children. He had been shot once in the right temple, once in the right side of his chest, once in the back and once in the hip. The youngest was Furkan Dogan, an American citizen, shot 4 times in the head and once in the chest, apparently from close range.

Amidst the chaos volunteers picked up a death list that had apparently fallen from one of the commando's pockets. It appeared to list names and faces of those on board who were targeted for assassination. This would explain why the men were shot at close range, some of them in their beds. In a darkly logical way, it makes sense that Israel saw this as a military mission. The Press TV reporter on board has said that the first fatality was "a person that had helped the press get internet access on the ship, it was his job to help setup laptops on the ship." An Israeli soldier just walked right up to the man and shot him square between the eyes. He had to be taken out first as part of the initial stage of the operation to 'disarm' the ship's communications. Again, this suggests that the commandos had a premeditated plan to execute those selected for elimination. Michel Chossudovsky strongly suspects US intelligence was of assistance to the Israelis in this regard.

The Israeli "communications blanket" thrown over the flotilla wasn't entirely successful. An Al-Jazeera reporter managed to broadcast from the Mavi Marmara soon after Israeli Navy commandos stormed the ship in terrifying fashion. News spread of up to 20 killed and many more wounded. Why was the Mavi Marmara singled out for severe treatment? An Israeli colonel told Israeli media that "it had to be boarded because it was too big to be stopped." Although there were no fatalities on the smaller boats, returning volunteers report that stun grenades were fired on these vessels also, before commandos boarded and beat passengers senseless. Their eyes were taped, their heads hooded, arms handcuffed so tight it cut off blood circulation, then abducted to Israel where they were again beaten, made to stand in stress positions under the baking sun, stripped of their possessions and told to sign false confessions if they ever wished to see their families again. The media was not allowed to speak with the detained volunteers. Their version of events is only now emerging piecemeal as they are gradually released thanks to consistent diplomatic pressure from their home countries.

Israeli media spokesmen are even claiming links between the mythical 'al-Qaeda' and the flotilla, based on "intelligence" put forward by Danish security services, who accuse the Turkish humanitarian group IHH of "funding international terrorism." This is interesting because the Danish Security Services have long been doing dirty work for the Mossad in Europe. In The Other Side of Deception, his autobiographical sequel to By Way of Deception, former Mossad man Viktor Ostrovsky recounts his experience working on the "Danish Desk".

From what I found in the Danish secret service file, I could see that we had a "good friend" in Denmark, much friendlier and more cooperative than the Israeli Shaback was to us [Mossad]. The Danes had a small service that wanted to play in the big leagues but didn't have the know-how or financial backing to do so. On the other hand, they could gather information inside Denmark and do things that we couldn't dream of. In return for getting things done for us, we made them feel important (pp 36 - 37).

The worldwide revulsion with Israel's despicable deeds have sadly been neutralised somewhat by the deployment of its massive PR machine aka Hasbara Zionist propaganda. Until people grasp the simple truth that Israel always lies, even when it tells the truth, its lies will find space in which to anchor in normal people's minds. By withholding all information about the numbers dead or wounded, withholding access to lawyers or consular representatives, keeping the status of prisoners' condition under severe media censorship, stealing their possessions and essentially cutting them off from the outside world, Israel created a vacuum of information into which it poured its version of events via Zionist controlled media to ensure that there was no contradiction to its account in those critical first few days after the massacre.

With the help of an army of internet bots 40,000 strong equipped with 'Megaphone' spamming software and the disabling of the flotilla Twitter account, Israel was also able to marshal online coverage of the event. In a pathetic attempt to tarnish the activists with the slur of 'anti-Semitism', the Israeli government inserted fabricated audio recordings into a video of some radio communication between one of its naval vessels and the flotilla's crews. We know they were fabricated because the Israeli government admitted as much! The same video had already been released to journalists several days previously with no "Shut up, go back to Auschwitz" line in it. The added comments were so comical and puerile that we naturally wonder if the Israelis were mocking the world with this stunt. They certainly were with their next trick. An abominable music video produced by former member of the IDF and columnist for the Jerusalem Post Caroline Glick, featured the so-called "Flotilla Choir" dressed in Arab garb, mocking the world's 'overreaction' to the massacre and implying that everything the activists reported was lies. Lines such as, "There's no people dying, so the best that we can do is create the biggest bluff of all" implied that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is non-existent. They gave it the title "We Con the World" and it's set to the tune of the 1985 hit "We are the World". The Israeli Government Press Office actually posted it on its website, defiantly flipping its middle finger at the world.

Demonstrations were called by Palestinian groups throughout Israel and the Occupied Territories in response to this barbaric assault. They were met in predictable fashion. An American student lost an eye when she was shot in the head with a tear-gas canister by the IDF at a protest at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah. 5 Palestinians were shot dead during protests in Gaza. Meanwhile Israelis celebrated this "victory" with counter-demonstrations at the Turkish embassy in Tel-Aviv.

Delayed by Israeli sabotage, the Irish-Malaysian team aboard the Rachel Corrie, supported by a demand from the Irish government calling on Israel to let its ship pass through the illegal Israeli blockade, bravely sailed from Malta the following weekend. It got to within 35 miles of Gaza's coastline before being intercepted and forcibly diverted to the gulag of Ashdod, its crew abducted and its cargo impounded. The media is presenting this latest act of piracy in the best light possible, describing how the situation was "peacefully resolved." You know the world is upside down when being forced to do something against your will at the barrel of a gun is considered "peaceful."

Former US Ambassador Edward Peck, who was on board one of the smaller vessels, spoke at a demonstration in front of the White House upon his return to Washington DC, and reminded Americans that "when this kind of thing happens off the coast of Somalia, we call it piracy." And yet when Israel does it, the US government says, "Israel has a right to defend itself." No prizes for guessing which country suggested that any investigation should be led by Israel when the UN Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly to send an international team to probe the assault. Backed all the way by the US, Israel immediately dismissed the UN's statement, with the fantastical claim that 50 Turkish soldiers were "secreted away in the ships hold, heavily armed with grenades and weapons." Mark Regev, that asinine spokesman for the Israeli government, publicly thanked the US for its efforts "to water down the U.N. statement at the Security Council." What else should we expect given that every single appointee to the American government must endure a thorough background check by the American Jewish community because Israel wants to make sure that no one with even a mildly independent view on Middle East affairs gets appointed to the US government or becomes a member of Congress or the Senate. The Young Turks presenter Cenk Uygur rightly highlights that this brings up important questions for Americans who think that their government works for them:

If Israel was seeking to terrorise civilians into never again sailing for Gaza, the move has backfired spectacularly. The flotilla's charities have already raised funds for sending more aid ships. A group of German Jews are planning to send a boat to Gaza in July. Tireless campaigner George Galloway has announced that a convoy by both land and sea will head for Gaza this summer. Iran has also said it is prepared to either send aid ships under military escort or protect the next civilian convoy to do so. We hope its regime is bluffing because such a move would surely lead to war.

Although it's refreshing to hear some world leaders call for an end to the siege of Gaza, politicians are ultimately hamstrung by their worship before the altar of Zionism. The people, however, are not. They are making their voices heard by way of their actions. Fresh momentum has been injected into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to isolate Israel. Swedish dockers have announced they will blockade Israeli ships for two weeks from June 15. Rock bands are cancelling their performances in Israel (prompting the Israelis to label this "cultural terrorism"!)

Turkey has long been a regional ally to Israel, but its moves towards regional alliance with Iran and Syria since Operation Cast Lead are threatening to Israel. As a member of NATO Turkey has a strong card to play. For the moment it is calling the attack on the Freedom Flotilla "an act of piracy", but it could shift tactics and label it an act of war. This would activate Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, putting the US and European members of NATO in the awkward position of having to choose where its allegiances lie: to each other or to the racist enclave that seeks to pit the whole world against itself. The Turkish government has reduced all ties with Israel "to a minimum", cancelling joint military exercises and halting all state energy and water projects with Israel.

Given that an act of piracy on a vessel carrying its flag had just occurred in international waters, giving it jus in bellum under the international laws of war, Turkey's measured response thus far has been admirable. Just four hours before the Freedom Flotilla was violently hijacked, a rocket attack killed 6 at a Turkish naval base in Iskenderun, close to the Syrian border. The PKK, a Kurdish terrorist group with close ties to Israeli Mossad, claimed responsibility. The day before, simultaneous attacks by PKK gunmen also left 6 security personnel dead. The Kurdish people have legitimate grievances with the Turkish government, but their 'army' has become a tool of foreign intrigue. Who else but their Israeli sponsors could have prompted the PKK to deliver Turkey these side blows at just the right time to distract its government and remind Prime Minister Erdogan that "we can strike you anytime." For his part, Erdogan sounds like a man who is finally coming to terms with the fact that Israel is not a democracy ruled by humans, but a pathocracy ruled by psychopaths, operating beyond the bounds of any moral restraint. It is imperative that Turkey does not respond in the way that Israel would like. Israel is seeking to perpetuate the cycle of terrorism in order to further its futile quest for global hegemony. He thus joins Iran's Ahmadinejad and only a handful of other world leaders prepared to highlight the poisonous mortal threat posed by this horrendous anti-social experiment of inhumanity.

Israeli-born musician and author Gilad Atzmon summed up this despicable deed as follows:

Once again it is devastatingly obvious that Israel is not trying to hide its true nature: an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia. [...]

What we saw yesterday wasn't just a failure on the ground. It was actually an institutional failure of a morbid society that a long time ago lost touch with humanity. [...]

Israel is now officially mad and deadly. The Jewish State is not just careless about human life, as we have been following the Israeli press campaign leading to the slaughter, Israel actually seeks pleasure in inflicting pain and devastation on others.
The utterly schizoidal "Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria" has issued a statement saying that the global condemnation

[...] "places us at the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption. [...]

"The legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their poisonous traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us that [Israel] 'is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.'"

This is Israel's vengeance. Vengeance against the US for betraying its nuclear secret. Vengeance against the UN for encouraging it to join the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Vengeance against the Palestinians for resisting subjugation. Vengeance against humanity for its failure to accept that there can only be one victim: Israel. What has become clear is that, in Israel, we are witnessing the effects of a severe paranoid personality disorder, writ large.

There can be no doubt now for those with eyes to see that Israel is the primary source of anti-Semitism in the world today, and endangers all Jews. Proclaiming itself the "Jewish State" but acting as a rogue state, Israel exposes all Jews to revulsion and retribution.

The murder of Gaza peace activists shows that the actual goal of Zionism is not to protect Jews from anti-Semitism but to create anti-Semitism.

The purpose is to make Jews a pariah unto the nations.

This is the psychopaths' vengeance against normal humanity.

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The Convenient Terrorists

This writers style may give you a couple chuckles and although the subject matter is not at all funny, this stuff really is getting kinda ridiculous. It's another one of them badly bungled, yet incredibly fortuitous, terrorist attacks by a guy who was trained in the very place we happen to be attacking right now. I think we might want to name these bunglers "The Convenient Terrorists".

The Curious Timing of the Terrorist Attacks: It’s Almost Like They’re On Our Side
May 5, 2010

by Scott Creighton

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”

White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, Nov. 2008.
As has always been the case since 2001, the bungling blasters who end up attacking our freedom rarely do so when it isn’t of the utmost convenience for the White House. This latest example, connected to the Waziristan area of Pakistan, holds true to that formula. One might start wondering if all these “terrorists” are actually on our side.

Now, I say “since 2001″ not because what they did wasn’t convenient for the previous White House. In fact, the Patriot Act was sitting waiting to go, the plans for invading Afghanistan were dropped on Bush’s desk on Sept. 9th 2001, Donald Rumsfeld had just announced 2.3 trillion dollars was “missing” from the Pentagon, and old ‘Lucky” Larry Silverstein had just secured his billion dollar insurance policy on the Twin Towers right before the event. Not to mention the fact that the Bush administration was already at a terribly low approval rating or the fact that Cheney and the other neocons had called for “a Pearl Harbor type event” to set in motion all of their foreign and domestic policies which they spelled out in a paper called “Rebuilding America’s Defences” in 2000.

The distinction I am making is that compared to the most recent Keystone Cops type terrorist acts (Umar Fizzlepants and the Times Square parker), the terrorist of the old Bush administration were actually able to carry out their attacks and at the same time, defy laws of physics and scientific research while doing it. The 9/11 terrorists were able to knock down 7 buildings with 2 planes and at the same time bring Building 7 down at free-fall acceleration after having been hit by no plane, from office fires alone (first time in history that happened. talk about your overachiever terrorists)…. and after doing all of that, they were able to hit the most heavily guarded building in history with a plane being flown by a terrorist who couldn’t fly a Cesna. Then the anthrax terrorist was able to create a weaponized anthrax strain in 3 hours or so when experts in the field say it would take a thousand hours to do it in their highly specialized lab. Amazing accomplishments for our terrorists back then…

Back in the old days, they defied the laws of physics… now they can’t even make a simple bomb.

Let me get back to the point… just before Umar Fizzlepants (also somehow allowed to get on a plane while the Feds knew he was dangerous, just like Faisal Shahzad) put on his “one show only Sparkler of Doom” production, President Obama had given authorization to attack targets in Yemen, a nation we had not been at war with. Varying reports surfaced about whether or not we aided the dictator in Yemen with intel or if we had actually used our weapons. The truth of this matter is still kind of hazy. But just as those stories were coming out, lo-and-behold, Umar Fizzlepants steps up to the plate and sparkles a validation of President Obama’s attack on Yemen. By the way, that U.S. attack in Yemen killed many civilians and children as well. But suddenly it was ok because Umar Fizzlepants showed up.

Now we have Faisal Shahzad’s attempted vending cart massacre… the story here is (I mean, AFTER the story that it wasn’t terrorism and AFTER the story it was just a car fire and AFTER the story that Pakistan had nothing to do with it) that Shahzad is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan. Specifically that he was trained in Waziristan. Well, that couldn’t be convenient for the Obama administration could it? Let’s take a look.

"When the latest apparent U.S. drone strike was conducted this week against militants in Pakistan, the obvious question appeared to be: Did the United States get a “big fish” in the Taliban or al Qaeda organizations?

But a U.S. counterterrorism official says that’s now the wrong question to ask, and chances are those hit were not major players. He wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the latest strike, but with the official backing of his bosses, he sought to explain how U.S. strategy has changed in the crucial effort to attack targets inside Pakistan with missiles fired from drones.

The plan now is to attack a broader set of terrorist targets far beyond the original effort to strike and kill top al Qaeda leaders, the official said." CNN

You see, we are asking the wrong question. We have to stop thinking in terms of targeting known Taliban or al Qaeda fighters. Instead, we have to look at the bigger picture. Faisal Shahzad wasn’t a known terrorist or even a fighter in Pakistan. In fact, his family is known in the community as being “apolitical”… but see, you never know. Someone who LOOKS innocent, may in fact be the most dangerous terrorist since Umar Fizzlepants. And therefore we must rethink all those “innocent civilians” the drones have killed in the past. Are they REALLY innocent?

"The vast majority of the deaths (from the 44 drone strikes of 2009), around 700 according to one estimate, have been innocent civilians. With such a massive civilian toll and so little to show for it, it is no wonder that Pakistani people have been up in arms over the continued strikes.

But US officials have rarely commented on the drone strikes, except on those rare occasions when they actually kill someone meaningful, and seem completely ambivalent to the hundreds of innocent people killed in the meantime. The ultimate example of this was June 22-23.

On June 22, the US struck at a house officials called a “suspected militant hideout,” burying a few locals inside. When others rushed to the scene to rescue them, they launched another missile, killing 13 apparently innocent Pakistanis. When they held a funeral procession on June 23, the US hit that too, ostensibly on the belief that Baitullah Mehsud might be among the mourners. He wasn’t, but the attack killed at least 80 more people." Antiwar

There were two separate drone attacks in Pakistan on April 23rd and April 25th. The combined death toll was over 13 with others wounded. No al Qaeda leaders were reportedly killed in the strike. These kinds of attacks are not being well received by the people of Pakistan nor the government.

"The United States, struggling to stabilize Afghanistan, stepped up its missile strikes in Pakistan’s northwest after a Jordanian suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees at a U.S. base across the border in the eastern Afghan province of Khost in December.

Most of the attacks this year have been in North Waziristan.
U.S. ally Pakistan officially objects to the drone strikes, saying they are a violation of its sovereignty and fuel anti-U.S. feeling, which complicates Pakistan’s efforts against militancy." Reuters

Now consider this; a great number of dead civilians in Waziristan, in a country we are not at war with, starts to ferment and anger within the Pakistani people as well as the government, and along comes the SUV parker to confess that he in fact got his training…. in Waziristan…

"U.S. officials quickly cast doubt on the claim, but the arrest of a Pakistani-American in New York who allegedly has admitted to being trained in the group’s heartland in Waziristan has given it new credence." AP

(Now remember… the only source we have as to what he “confessed” to is an Obama administration official)

I mean, you just don’t get better timing than that. Well, unless of course you just happen to have invasion plans drawn up for Afghanistan, you want to help UNICAL with their Trans Afghan Pipeline, you just happen to announce 2.3 trillion missing dollars the day before Sept. 11th (the biggest news story in history), you just killed some 23 kids in a different nation we aren’t at war with, or of course if you want to pass the Patriot Act and a few congressmen and reporters aren’t towing the line ….

But aside from THOSE examples, you just don’t get better timing than that, do you?

You know, sometimes I just wonder if all those “terrorists” aren’t doing the best they can to support the imperial agenda of whatever administration we get in the White House. It’s mighty nice of them to help us with the Global War on Terror ain’t it? I mean, without all those “terrorists” stepping up to the plate just when the White House needed them the most, where would the Global Free Market Wars be now?

Makes you think, don’t it?

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Just For Fun And Speaking Of Archives...

rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing

I added a new forum category "Just For Fun" to the General Forum. Obviously, I had way too much time on my hands today coupled with a need to get away from all this investigating the dark side.
party time!
There is a new post there titled "The King of the World and The Boysen Bill".

"WPIA (Winter Patriot Intelligence Agency)
Blues Brothers

Forward on a 'need to know' basis only

Dear Sally,

RE: The King of the World election and a proposal for the enactment of The Poysen Pill Boysen Bill

As you know, it's become increasing obvious that James is positioning himself to make a run for King of the World..."

And piling onto Ghandi's archived gem, you may also like to check out some of our excellent forum articles and maps stored here.

McJ's picture

'Cup of Joe'

Some midnight musings from the always thought provoking Joe Bageant. His take on 'hope for America' is sobering and perhaps timely considering some of our recent discussions.

"Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed...Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.

The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces."

Round Midnight: Tortillas and the Corporate State
By Joe Bageant
Ajijic, Mexico

Near midnight and I am making tortillas on an iron skillet over a gas flame. Some three thousand miles to the north, my wife and dog nestle in sleep in the wake of a 34-inch snowstorm, while the dogs of Ajijic are barking at the witching hour and roosters crow all too early for the dawn. While my good Mexican neighbors along Zaragoza Street sleep.

Yet here I am awake and patting out tortillas, haunted by the empire that I have called home most of my life.

I like to think that, for the most part, I no longer live up there in the U.S., but southward of its ticking social, political and economic bombs. Because the US debt bomb has not yet gone off, Social Security still exists, and the occasional royalty check or book advance still comes in, allowing me to remain here. And so long as America's perverse commodities economy keeps stumbling along and making lifelike noises, so long as the American people accept permanent debt subjugation -- I can drink, think and burn tortillas. Believe me, I take no smugness in this irony.

There is a terrible science fiction-like awe in the autonomous American economic monolith, in the way that it provides for us, feeds on us and keeps us as its both its lavish pets and slaves. The commodity economy long ago enslaved Americans and other "developed" capitalist societies. But Americans in particular. The most profound slavery must be that in which the slaves can conceive of no other possible or better world than their bondage. Inescapable, global, all permeating, the commodities economy rules so thoroughly most cannot imagine any other possible kind of economy.


It comes down to owning stuff, and that the stuff we own also owns us (as anyone paying rent for a storage locker can attest). Transmogrified by industrial materialism, we have become what we own. More specifically, what we are observed by the rest of our society as owning. In the commodified society of industrial materialism, owning is being. So much so, that politicians bandy the term "ownership society" about, not only without causing the public to gag, but to cheers. Even liberals who claim to dislike the term don't want to be in a "We don't own shit society."

Early modern capitalism was more or less understandable, if not always pleasant. One can see why a pre-industrial world that had owned less would embrace owning a bit more. Who gave a damn if it came from Adam Smith's "unseen hand," the hand that was taking care of the already rich, who in turn managed the order of the world as seen through the lens of aristocratic and bourgeoisie English commerce. "If we work our guts out Nellie, we can buy a pork knuckle every Sunday. And a featherbed, if you get my drift. Woo Hoo!"

Enter the reign of the bourgeoisie, self-appointed and self-interested middlemen to anything and everything. The sheer complexity of the industrial revolution and associated finance was a dog that could fatten many fleas.

When the bourgeoisie did not get what it felt was a good cut of the action from the monarchies, it raised hell, sometimes enough to cause revolutions. If they won, as they did in America, they took credit for establishing democracy. If they lost, they fobbed it off as a "people's revolution," leaving the working slobs, the actual producers of wealth, to face the king's hangmen.

Even when "the people" occasionally win one of those "people's revolutions", we never really win. Not in the end. For instance, here in Mexico, contrary to what we've seen in Zapata movies, there has never been a successful people's revolution in terms of lasting and real egalitarian reform. Just armed struggle, and many promises of reform, always to be abandoned after the revolution. They were subsequently wiped out by the politically potent urban middle class, in league with traditional elites, such as the haciendados and corporatists. The bourgeoisie never gives up its profitable connections to the elites. Same as in America. The bourgeoisie lives at the pleasure of the elites.
However, in the people's revolutions it was mainly "the people" who got killed. So they get naming rights. The people own their revolution only in death. Just as in the U.S., the elites here and the business classes get everything else and rent it back to us as mortgages or whatever.

You can argue that people have always screwed other people for a buck, or a drachma or a shekel. You will win with that argument every time. However, the real issue is about how many people got screwed and how hard by how few. Under 250 years of capitalism, the rising take from the ongoing screw job has grown astronomical. Enough to buy every political tub-thumper in Washington and a Supreme Court. Enough that if the elite cartels on Wall Street rip 300 million Americans for trillions, leaving them squinting at the fine print on their eviction notices, they cannot do jack about it. Except pay the next ransom demand for their credit . On their credit cards. Then sign their children into future debt slavery.

We are all Mexicans now

Thanks to the autonomous commodities economy, Mexico literally cannot keep itself in tortillas. No longer food self-sufficient, Mexico, where corn was first bred and developed into a staple, buys corn on the world market. The price of tortillas in the tiendas along my street is up 40 percent and climbing at ten times the rate of Mexico's minimum wage.

Mexico was food self-sufficient in 1982. Minimum daily wage then was the equivalent of 8.2 kilos of eggs, or 23 liters of milk, or 33 kilos of tortillas. Eighty-five percent of the people had access to government medical care and the country was fifth worldwide in GNP growth. Now, thanks to international financial pirates, Mexico cannot even keep itself in tortillas.

This has happened repeatedly to Mexico, each time due to a different pirate gang, the French, the English, the Germans. But most often, it is the Americans and their institutions and policies, the IMF, GATT and NAFTA. Mexico is continually robbed from within and without. Within lives the tapeworm of government-business corruption feeding on money passing through the nation's economic bowel. From without come the assaults of American and global corporate financialism.

Loathe as Americans are to believe it, the Mexican people and the American people are in the same situation of being mugged. However, they are robbed at a different rate and from different positions in the global pecking order. We rob the Mexicans and global capitalism robs us. Fortunately we can still afford to buy our national food staple from Dominoes. Which makes us a superior people.

Humping the Big Lie

Meanwhile, somebody has to hump The Big Lie, maintain the appearance to the rest of the world that American cowboy capitalism is stable. Also keep Americans sold on The Big Lie's flip side, the number two tune: "We are the richest and most blessed people on earth because of capitalism (but currently going through a rough patch). Proof is offered: "Step right up and see for yourselves! Just look at the spectacular services and goods that bury us in wonderment! Now go buy a PT Cruiser."

Decades ago, the spectacle of commodity capitalism, the sheer variety of possible stuff to own, ways to be, possible appearances of being, came to constitute a commodity in itself -- enchantment as a product, product as enchantment. Materialistic enchantment as commodity was so powerful in scale and scope, and so thorough in mind saturation that it came to colonize our consciousness in what Guy Debord aptly deemed "the society of the spectacle."

No ordinary person could ever have withstood such a colonization of human consciousness as the American people have seen. Consciousness being simply awareness, there was no surviving the onslaught. The tsunami of false possibilities and pseudo choices constituted entire constellations in the psyche, of goods, and images of goods large and small: hair dryers, iPods, anti-bacterial wipes, cable television, ammunition, plastic siding, gourmet foods, this HP notebook computer in my lap, the Prius and the Porsche, even words such as Google, Microsoft, China Mobile, Vodafone, Marlboro… They all have psychological and social meaning in our commoditized consciousness, that battlefield where each commodity vies for preeminence with every other commodity in the shifting exposition of stuff we are permitted to labor to pay for.

It can now be honestly stated that mere goods and services express the citizenry and the American culture in its entirety. Citizenship in a consumer society is consumership. Consumer culture consumes all rival cultures, replacing them with "pop culture," which is simply deeming the marketplace as culture. Hip Hop is a good example. So is the modern cinema, and all of the music and book publishing industry. Corporate industry and its products are not culture, despite all the new definitions of culture bourgeois academia and the marketplace come up with on behalf of the corporations that fund both of them.

Your iPod shall set you free!

Freedom and personal identity exists as freedom to choose identity from among the commodities, and particularly the entertainments, offered. The Mac person as opposed to the Windows person. The Mariah Carey or Rihanna Fenty fan as opposed to the Eric Clapton fan. Each is convinced he or she is different because of their chosen commodity. Yet at the root of this, they all purchased a computer or a CD from a faceless corporation grounded in the toxic wastelands and sweatshops of Asia and elsewhere. Those who, in a fit of defiance, choose Indy music choose a product originating in and listened to through digital equipment produced in the bowels of monolithic corporate commodities generators.

We may gaze at the hologram and dream of living larger, or conversely, living the uncorrupted "simple life" on that little organic farm in Vermont. In the end though, the lucky ones among us, all those people out there in anonymous Terra Condominia, out there in the sprawling suburban nether land, must be content with a flat screen television. Watching those commercials for the Super Bowl commercials, delivered to us breathlessly as "news," The News is the liturgy of the commodity economy -- whose scope and omniscience no man can grasp, but only consume as manna. We are feasters at the table of goods and services, most of which are not only unnecessary, distractive and mind killing, but earth destroying in both their manufacture and their use. This matters not a bit in an illusionary world of appearances. The commodity economy in its bounty, also offers us a chance to "buy green." To text a link to the Earth First website.

It ain't fascism, it's practicality

If our national and individual minds have been colonized, occupied, then we necessarily live in an occupied nation. We have arrived at the destination where the trajectory of material consumer capitalism was always headed, toward an occupied (and preoccupied) totalitarian society. Rational, practical, productive and autonomous.

Cliché as the word is, you would have to call it overshoot. In judging the arc and trajectory of that technical rationality Western society so prides itself upon, we reduced the Enlightenment, the original launching pad of ration, to the merely practical, material and economic. The practical is scripture now. Without it material production and profit, the only concerns of capitalism, do not exist. All power rests in the practical.

What is most practical is hierarchy and specialization. Technical specialization -- within engineering specialization -- within scientific specialization. All contained within the economic specializations of the state sanctioned economy and ideology governing the conditions of our daily existence. By definition, this is totalitarian.

Totalitarianism calls ideology philosophy. It salutes itself in every medium and every product, material, legal, political. And we salute it in return through meaningless work and consumption.

In all likelihood, you the reader are younger than I. Possibly less cynical and surely less tired. You may believe yet that violent overthrow of such a monstrous system is still possible.

A year or so ago, I still believed that. Events in the world and at home have since convinced me otherwise. Maybe the system could have even been changed from within forty years ago. If it could have been and was not, then that most certainly is the greatest failure of my generation. The Sixties were a critical point at which important choices were offered us as a people. At the time, a minority realized revolution was still possible and warranted. Violent revolution, if necessary. But as a generation, we were no better at acting in unselfish concert than yours.

As Chris Hedges recently pointed out, violence today only assures the survival of the most violent, criminals of one sort or another, petty or international. Beyond that, the state now has the technological capability to inflict the most violence in every case, and therefore win. Realistic thinkers say aloud that what is so far advanced can no longer be stopped or turned around by revolution, violent or otherwise. Most other thinkers on the subject secretly suspect the same.

Mr. Popularity and the marmot

The rest of the country is oblivious, lost in the anxious clamor for an economic "recovery." The voice of the state defines recovery for them as a return to former levels of the unsustainable superheated capitalism, and increased indebtedness of the populace. "Oh when, oh when will the bankers loosen the credit markets so we can again buy things?" As if their debt slavery were a great gift! The banksters simply do not issue more credit to people they know are dead broke -- because they broke 'em, they will continue to make more money by letting the people wail, and taking the people's money directly from the state as bailouts. Stretched out over the coming years, we will see more of them. It should give us chills.

President Obama at some point asked himself if bailouts for those who caused the collapse will truly result in an end to the "current crisis" (a term calculated to make our slow inevitable collapse look temporary). How does getting the masses to accept more debt add up to anything but worse crisis later? Obama is a smart fellow, smarter than George Bush, which is what got him elected, right? (Of course after Bush a marmot could have run on the "smarter than Bush" ticket and looked good). So he must have asked that. And like any highly educated (indoctrinated) American politician who has interiorized the capitalist system -- you do not become a presidential candidate without interiorizing capitalism lock stock and barrel -- his first reflex was: "The system must be saved at all costs!" Members of Congress, whose butts arrived in the Washington through the same processes as Obama's, agreed. That cost us all plenty.

Obama is himself a commodity, the most telegenic political commodity since Kennedy. One that suits American style capitalism best this particular historical political moment. He is a useful illusion, the same as George W. Bush was a useful illusion. What is the difference between George Bush managing the country through media performances and Obama doing the same? Both are telegenic, which is everything today, but in different ways. One was stupid but radiated virility and manly appearance; the other is attractive for his intelligence and so smart he's stupid. Both lives are absorbed in "appearing to be" in the Great American Hologram of appearances. We are a nation following the appearance of national leadership.


It is cold comfort that we are not alone in this ultimate folly. Globally, it is estimated that the economic crisis has seen at least $50 trillion in financial assets -- approximately equal to the value of the entire global GDP -- wiped out. Given the bullshit "science" that is economics, and that economists serve the purposes of the money masters of their particular age, and that money is always in motion, it is very doubtful that anyone really knows the global GDP. But the illusion that someone does is necessary in preserving and controlling perceptions of the present system. Otherwise the concept of money itself would have to be reexamined and changed to fit the world reality. Better to proclaim a "crisis" and scare the shit out of the peasantry, than give them an opportunity to question the new feudalism of credit cards, mortgages, car loans, educational loans and general debt slavery. The word crisis scares people, flogs them into anxious submission, lest some fucking socialist come along and ask, Why don't you take charge of your own lives and destiny? Do you really need these people?

The "crisis" was set in motion by institutions lending each other non-existent money none of them can pay back. Consequently, the masses are once again expected to produce enough material value in the world to make the funny money real, and shore up the system one more time. To "raise the money" to do this will require generations of future productivity shoveled into the furnace of corporate capitalism's banking machinery. There was nothing left to steal, so extorting the future was the only option left. Assuming the skimmers and the scammers manage to extract enough public monies to pump up corporations one more time, there will be another and bigger disaster not far down the road. We don't need the Oracle of Delphi to predict this. Capitalism is unstable as hell, like an unbalanced dreidel that keeps tilting ever more wildly off center until it falls over or eventually hits the wall. We can now see the wall from here: Massive ecological collapse and species extinction. "Economic downturn," even "crisis," does not quite describe that approaching wall. All of America hopes we will miss that wall at least one more time.

Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.

The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.

Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.

A shot at economic justice (gets you shot at)

On those rare occasions when I do see nations take concrete steps toward liberation, the heart is cheered at having at least some reason for reality based optimism. After more than a century of taking it up the shorts from autonomous capitalism, Latin America is moving toward alternatives to the free trade cowboy capitalism that has so long raped them.

One step is ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América). ALBA is aimed solely at meeting human need instead of profit. Bartering and mutual economic and material aid outside of so-called free trade agreements. Out of the reach of global banking. For example, Venezuela gives Cuba over 100,000 barrels of oil daily at production cost. In exchange Cuba has sent 20,000 state-employed doctors and medical staffers. And if Venezuelans' medical problems require higher medical specialism, they may travel to Cuba for specialized care free of charge. No profits allowed. Take it or leave it.

The takers are lining up. Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Saint Vincent , the Grenadines , Dominica, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua and Bolivia. ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, or Single Regional Payment Compensation System) to replace the U.S. dollar. Now a common virtual currency, it is scheduled to become a hard currency.

Countries such as Argentina are experimenting with an economy based on worker self-management and balanced job complexes. Venezuela is developing community owned and directed banks. A common goal is to develop an economy not dependent, as is capitalism, on limitless exponential growth, but on consuming fewer resources, operating without debt, and using less or none of the global banking system's money. When the IMF and the world's banksters dubbed these nations "developing countries" (a fine example of Newspeak, that both renamed miserable poverty, and suggested that the international bankers' robbery was benefiting those countries), this is not the kind of development they had in mind. This is pure wide-open socialism based on the universal socialist and democratic socialist vision. The stuff of capitalist nightmares.

The traditional answer to such challengers to autonomous capitalism has been simple. Kill 'em. And we do our best. The U.S. has always had its provocative agents and hit squads working in those counties. Castro has survived or foiled some 638 assassination attempts, one every few weeks of his long presidency. Attempts on Chavez are so common the Venezuelan press no longer bothers to report them. After all, besides being old hat, they don't seem to be working anyway. Which means we will be forced to bomb the piss out of Venezuela and Cuba at some point. But they will have to get in line behind Iran.

By the way, a Latin American country does not have to be socialistic to get hammered by capitalist interests. Even Mexico, governed by corrupt capitalist and business overlords of the first order, men who have consistently sold their country out to foreign capitalist interests both before and since its revolution, is a target for covert action and sabotage -- from Israel of all places. In October 2001, a month after 9/11, two Israelis, MOSSAD agent Salvador Guersson Smecke and another Israeli who slipped into the country covertly, were arrested inside the halls of the Mexican congress, while posing as two rather lumpy looking photographers. The lumps turned out to be nine hand grenades, a dozen sticks of dynamite, detonators and detonator wiring and two Glock 9mm automatics. Immediately following the arrest, Ariel Sharon sent a top envoy, who sprang them, following strong pressure from Israeli government. They were whisked off, leaving Mexicans to wonder, What in the hell was THAT all about?" One neighbor here in Mexico says wryly, "That must have cost the Israelis millions in bribes." (*see footnote)

Born with the disease?

It would be nice if we could neatly lay all the blame on the nasty monolith of autonomous capitalism as an outside malignant force of its own. A systemic pathogen that somehow infected a decent and unsuspecting America. Looks like I just did, in fact.

Nevertheless, America and its national character were founded on the purest greed. From the beginning the people who came here wanted more of the material world. Sure, there were some religious dissenters (of which too much has been made for propaganda purposes). But the English and Dutch stock companies that established the first colonies came looking for profits. And the common people who came here were looking for "a better life," which to them was, above all else, becoming as wealthy as possible. America was its own self-selecting process.

Read Tocqueville's description of earlier Americans' relentless buying and selling fever. Everything and everyone was always up for sale from the start. Read about the greed and stinginess of the "refugees from religious persecution," such as slave owning Quakers, Presbyterians and Methodists. Read about how the founding fathers ripped off the Revolutionary War veterans for the IOU script they so patiently held for many years in payment for fighting, buying it up for pennies on the dollar, then passing legislation to pay up on the script. Or how not only the business class, but also the supposedly bucolic and wise heartland American farmers cheered as the government troops shot down hungry striking miners, burned out their families, lest they disturb the order of the Republic of commerce.

There were the exploited working masses then, just as there are now. And there was always the petty bourgeoisie, more than happy to do the dirty work of the most elite owning class, in hopes of currying its favor. Always happy to sanction the "wet jobs" on the Italian, Polish, Chinese and Irish immigrant laborer. You could then, and you can now, depend on the true middle class, that 15% or so, capitalism's commissars, to crush the working class. They will do anything to remain in a more privileged zone of consumption, the boundaries of which are maintained by agreement of state authorities. From their petty perches, they have deemed themselves "the middle class." In reality they are the mitigating class, the petty anointed whose job it is to obscure class awareness in America.

Shut up and let the green stuff talk

An awareness of class makes clear who is fucking whom. That's why American capitalism's official line is that we area "classless society." Denying the existence of class, deeming all Americans (excepting a few too-obvious-to-be denied cases, such as inner city blacks and the poorest of immigrants), "middle class" was one of American capitalism's great strokes of genius. It blurred the line between workers and capitalism's middle class commissariat -- the petty business, mid-management, teaching and owning class managing the rest of us for the elites.

And just in case that line was not blurred enough, the bourgeoisie, particularly the academic institutions, successfully wrote the labor and the working masses out of American political history as taught in the public schools. We workers now have no continuous organic chain of memory and experience from which to draw.

The owning/business class has always been institutionalized as the state and the custodians of the entire American social and political process. History as we learn it in school is the owning class' version. Despite what we were taught, America's Constitution is mainly a property rights document, and those with the most property are naturally ascendant at all times in this country. Generation after generation of this ascent was bound to lead to what we see now. The ultimate triumph of property and money. A Supreme Court that, without the slightest hesitation, declares that money is speech and as such, will do most of the talking from here on out. The autonomous economy now has a tongue.

We can well imagine its future admonishments, its smug edicts, proclamations of terror afoot, more need for surveillance camera eyes, oil pipelines for its circulatory system. The autonomous economy not only has the bullhorn of the national media. It has a voice capable of drowning out what little of the people's voice remained, replacing our small national dialogue with soulless monologue. The bourgeoisie will listen closely though, for opportunity, a buck to be made in Kevlar, or perhaps the next new antidepressant for a demoralized, passive and discouraged republic.

In all honesty, I am sick of thinking about it, tired of burning up unrecoverable hours at the end of my 63-year old candle writing about it. So are many of my colleagues in cybernetic left-space.
Distance and solitude seem the only refuge. Which is why I am "aging Mexican," and almost monastically absorbed in the small daily rituals of sustenance these days. I do not kid myself that it is permanent or a real solution to the unbearable ugliness of the American condition.

But at the moment, four AM, a cricket chirps in the orange tree by my window, and my tortillas are perfectly lovely.

McJ's picture

Obama's Package

I just had to share this with anyone who is out there. I thought you might need a chuckle right about now.
I don't know how this made it past the editors. smiling


And a quote from one of the spam comments, I just deleted, from someone who needs help.
laughing out loud
"Hello everyone. My mother loved children - she would have given anything if I had been one. Help me!"

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