German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s cry of distress is that of a man watching a tidal wave of destruction gathering force, similar to ones that have engulfed his country twice in the Twentieth Century.
Commenting on NATO’s recent military exercises in Poland and the Baltics, Steinmeier said, “What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmongering. … Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. … We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation. .. [It would be] fatal to search only for military solutions and a policy of deterrence.”
His dread is not to be dismissed since it comes from a man who is in a position to know what the U.S. is up to. His words reflect the fears of ever more people across all of Eurasia from France in the West to Japan in the East.
Under the euphemism of “containment,” the US is relentlessly advancing its new Cold War on Russia and China. Its instrument in the West is NATO and in the East, Japan and whatever other worthies can be sharked up.
Who is the arch racist, Hillary or Trump? To answer that, let us ask another question, a simple one. Which is worse: to denigrate some members of a group or religion or race – or to kill them by the millions? And maim more millions and displace even more millions? Which is more “racist”? With that in mind, who is the arch racist, Hillary or The Donald?
Do the liberals who criticize Trump, but not Hillary, as racist forget the slogan of the anti-Vietnam War movement, “Stop the Racist Bombing.”
And which causes more blowback, more revenge attacks by the victims – the denigration with words or the killing with bombs and sanctions?
Then consider the careers and statements of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Is there any doubt who is the greater offender in terms of hostility to Muslims? And yet in all of the accusations of “racism” hurled at Trump from the editorial pages of the New York Times to the most “progressive” web sites and outlets, there appears no corresponding charge against Hillary as racist. That is symptomatic of a deep imperial sickness, an inability to see what is all too clear. It is also an indication of the deep reach of the elite into all outlets of communication from the mainstream to most of the alternative ones and even into the minds of supposed progressives.
“We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy and we should do it today while our economy is in a position of global strength. If we don’t write the rules for trade around the world, guess what, China will. And they’ll write those rules in a way that gives Chinese workers and Chinese businesses the upper hand.”
~ Barack Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a Speech at Nike Factory in Oregon, May 8, 2015
Those very few words of Obama’s, his most widely circulated PR effort to garner support for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and thoroughly representative of the thinking of our imperial elite, are so revealing, so wrong and so dangerous on so many levels that one scarcely knows where to begin. In fact they carry the seeds of our destruction. And they are focused on China.
First, the arrogance and hegemonic intent of the statement is astonishing even though it has become routine for the U.S. elite. What gives the United States, a country of 300 million on the opposite side of the vast Pacific, the right to determine the rules of trade for East Asia, which includes China, a country of 1.3 billion people? The U.S. can no longer assert that privilege based on its economic power since its gross GDP, measured in Purchasing Power Parity is now, according to the IMF, second to China’s.
If all of us rolled down our car windows at 5 pm on weekdays, we would hear a single great voice booming out across the land as if God himself were thundering from the heavens. In reality it would be countless car radios beaming out in unison “All Things Considered,” sometimes known as “Small Things Considered,” so stunted is its coverage of the news. Such jokes abound, “Boring Edition” at morning commute time, with the whole operation labeled “National Propaganda Radio” or “National Pentagon Radio.” My contribution: “National Pablum Radio.”
But NPR is no joking matter; it reaches over 20 million listeners a week. (Rush claims to reach 15 million, 25% less, and even this is apparently, but not surprisingly, hard to verify.) By comparison, the Wall Street Journal has a daily circulation of somewhat over 2 million, The New York Times a little under 2 million and USA Today about 1.6 million. So NPR has enormous reach and influence in the constellation of the mainstream media. Its drive time “news” programs , “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,“ carried by almost all of its 900 member stations are its most popular fare. How could it be otherwise? The listeners are hermetically sealed in their cars for hours each day at these times.
NPR’s coverage of foreign affairs and of the wars of the U.S. Empire is especially nefarious. FAIR and other organizations dutifully and routinely plod through NPR coverage to document bias, an eminently worthwhile project. But such reports come too late to help immunize the average listener. We need a quick and easy way of seeing through the fog of NPR. Fortunately there is such a way: If we simply stop and think with some care about what we are hearing, we will discover it is the grinding day upon day repetition of imperial propaganda. The key is active skepticism, and we badly need to cultivate it in ourselves and our friends.
Let’s take a recent feature as an example. On April 22, Robert Siegal of Small Things Considered went for deep analysis of the situation in Yemen and the Middle East. He interviewed Nicholas Burns, a “professor” now at the Kennedy School of Imperialism (often mislabeled as the School of Government) at Dear Old Harvard. One might think Burns a non-government source, a good professor seeking the truth. Not so. Burns, before he was put out to pasture in that graveyard of Has Beens in Cambridge, “served” in the State Department at the highest levels under Bush I, the Clintons and Bush II. (At the very end of the feature Siegal hastily adds that Burns is “formerly of the State Department.”)
Watch, laugh – and cry. (It is preceded by a 15-second commercial in Hebrew.)
Now let’s be serious.
First, the Congress is completely humiliated, dancing to the tune of Netanyahu who is the representative of a foreign power. That humiliation extends to every American who cast a vote, expecting the Congresspeople to represent the voters, the American voters – not the Israeli ones.
To understand the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week, we need only invert George W. Bush’s 2005 mantra*, thus: "They will continue to attack us over here so long as we slaughter them by the millions over there."
In a word, this is one more instance of blowback, as Ron Paul tells us in his perceptive essay, "Lessons From Paris." Among other things Paul points out: "The two Paris shooters had reportedly spent the summer in Syria fighting with the rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian President Assad. …But France and the United States have spent nearly four years training and equipping foreign fighters to infiltrate Syria and overthrow Assad! In other words, when it comes to Syria, the two Paris killers were on ‘our’ side. They may have even used French or US weapons while fighting in Syria."
To grasp the magnitude of the neocolonial savagery of the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East, a catalogue of the recent offenses is a necessary beginning. A partial accounting of Western barbarism is to be found in "Destructive Western Mideast Policy Makes Radicals" by Muhammad Sahimi. Sahimi closes his essay by saying, "Indeed, so long as the abuses of the Western dominance of the Islamic world provides the fertile ground for extremist Muslim clerics and preachers to espouse their reactionary interpretations of Islam, a religion of peace and mercy, things will not get any better." The killings in Paris, horrific as they are, are but pinpricks compared to the vast devastation visited by the West on the Muslim world and indeed on most of the planet over the last centuries of colonialism and neocolonialism which has brought humiliation, genocide and grinding poverty to entire continents – and continues to do so.