An American Phoenix?

Cover Image

Most of us are feeling the eternity of the pandemic. Wondering if the scars and damage will ever heal or if things will ever go back to some form of normal. A lot of people have either suffered harshly financially or have lived in constant stress and fear about their financial stability and survivability. In addition, many Americans are seeing the pandemic as shining the red-hot spotlight on American waning as the Economic Powerhouse of the World. And from watching the news and TV pundits and reading the business and economic articles all the experts agree with the common man.

But what if one ‘expert’, who makes his money from his own words, said The Rise Of America is something to come and not memories of the past…..

What if this ‘expert’ defies all the naysayers and points out what is really going on in the area of natural resources and exploitation of said resources…..

What if he explains the ins and outs of what is really going on with economies of the world, especially here in America….

Marin Katusa does exactly that in his work The Rise Of America Remaking The World Order. And it makes for a very interesting read. Most of us might think that economics and investing are truly beyond our understanding, as Katusa points out some of it is beyond the understanding of those in the middle of the wheeling and dealing as well. Thus, while you may not completely understand all the content of this work, you should understand enough to make you sit up and take notice of what you see and read in the news in a different light.

I have long held the belief that taking ANY currency off of the traditional gold-standard was a bad and destabilizing idea. I still hold that belief. But, unfortunately without a complete collapse of society on a global scale there is no hope of the gold-standard being returned and honestly, it would destroy economies to attempt to do so. My basis for supporting a gold-standard economy is the natural contraction that gold as a tangible and finite collateral placed on the economy. An economy could only grow to its limit of gold reserves, then it had to acquire more, plateau or rid itself of ‘dead weight’ and create new ideas, industries, and technology to fill those freed up areas, thus evolving and moving forward. Additionally, as a natural constrictor of the currency, gold-standard economies have a built in value feature that more modern economies lack. Those modern economic theories are the ones that Katusa focuses on in The Rise Of America and they are what we are stuck with for the foreseeable future, so we need to understand them and their impacts.

While America was the longest hold out of the major economies on the gold-standard; it was that coupled with their strong economic position after the war that made the dollar the economic franca lingua. This played into America’s ability to gain the dollar’s place as currency of trade for crude oil, even without a gold-standard. This is better explained in the pages of Katusa’s work. What we currently have is a fiscal-monetary coordination (FMC), which put too simply is the government agrees to provide certain “investments” whether they are tangible or not for the money supply that they are requesting. This is what I call a debt based system — all the currency is based on the future interest of current debt, or that a printed dollar today will be two dollars in 50 years; however, there is nothing backing today’s dollar other than the speculation of tomorrow’s profit and citizens’ ignorantly blind faith in it.

So what happens when this FMC theory becomes a near disaster? Well, that is when Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) can step in and be the (in my opinion) fake hero, saving the day. If it saves the day, how can it be a fake hero? In the same way that gloriously winning a losing battle does not win the war!

We have all used the phrase “money out of thin air,” which is at the very simplest level just what MMT is. The government or Wall Street needs money, just print it. The problem with that is two-fold; first, MMT is very dependent on the faith of the citizens of the currency, and second, there is no longer any real economic valuation for anything. Another words it really will not matter if a loaf of bread costs $1 or $100 cause the government will always have the ability to print the money that it needs for the loaf of bread. What will happen, more significantly than now, is how all this money, and make no mistake about it, there is way too much money in the system now, flows in the world of the economy.

All the economic theory aside, this book does focus on industrial needs and development and where and how America may or may not fair moving forward. And that should be of interest to all , American or not. Additionally, this book is a great companion read to Bright Green Lies, which covers some of the same topics as Rise Of America, from the opposite side of the debate.

*Copy Received For Review.

Know First, Then Rage

Scrolling social media, I came across a shared article, see the picture, about eating less meat. But, what really caught my attention was the blurb atop the article link.

2019-05-02 facebook share saving cattle
Screenshot from FaceBook

The sharer, a page that identifies as intellectual, boldly claims that not eating meat, thus decreasing the demand for meat, has saved lives.

This is a common misconception regarding many different social justice wars. The idea is that warring against some industry saves the lives of the highlighted animal, which is unfounded and inaccurate.

How can that be?

Cause the oversimplified call to hashtag onslaught slogans and the single-sided sob stories, to tug at your heart strings, do not give the complete or full story of those being attacked or the true and accurate implications of having the desired results achieved. In this complex and interconnected world there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to anything that does not have consequences, usually resulting in different problematic issues or even worse conditions for the protected poster child of the campaign.

In this article we will primarily focus on the topic of the shared picture, just as it is. I have not and do not intend to read the article, as this article is not directed at the article or any of its facts or positions, it just happened to be the share, it is the blurb that is the focus.

It is apparent from the blurb that, the sharer is of the opinion that ranchers, that raise cattle for the meat packing industry, do not control the population of their herds and will maintain the happily ever after life of any and all cattle not sold for consumption. This could not be further from the truth!

cattle ranching
via trollaferdir.is

Cattle ranchers that produce livestock for consumption are very hands-on about the population control of their herds. To put it bluntly, no cow becomes pregnant, unless the rancher “does the deed himself” either, by specifically letting a bull near the cow, to do his thing, or more commonly, by artificial insemination. Thus NO calf is born without its final destination already planned out. To think otherwise is to have no idea about the cause that you have taken up arms against.

If you think some hashtag war is worth your time and effort, then take the time to research it and find out just what you are advocating and what you are attacking. In this hashtag war, you are attacking ranchers and farmers and slaughter houses and butchers and chefs and grocers and a host of others that either directly or indirectly make a living based on the raising and butchering and consuming of cattle. And you are NOT saving a single cow’s life by doing it.

If a rancher determines that 1000 head of cattle will meet the meat industry’s need, then there will only be 1000 head of cattle bred and raised for that purpose. So if half-a-billion fewer head are needed globally, then that just means that half-a-billion fewer head were born, not that you saved their lives. A life never begun, is not a life saved, it is a non-life, a non-existence. Breeding, birthing, and raising cattle or any other livestock or animal takes money, a lot of money, money that does not grow on trees, by the way. So, while the top ranchers can live well and a large number can live comfortably, none of them can afford to, just for your desire to save lives, breed and feed and care for cattle that do not provide any return to the ranch.

Thus, your campaign has not saved lives, it has, maybe, reduced the number of calf births that would supply the meat industry. However, what your campaign has more probably done is to push subsistence and hand-to-mouth (or paycheck to paycheck) small family ranchers out of business and thus, in lots of cases, more than likely, led to, not only, their loss of livelihood, but, also, their loss of family land and the loss of their traditional and cultural significance and identity.

There are some good things about ranching and other livestock raising; first and foremost it tends to either, leave the land undeveloped or it maintains some specific form of under development and that does lend to the continued existence of natural habitats of indigenous species. In addition, it also maintains a certain amount of greenery that helps reduce the CO2 in the air and the negative impact of CO2 on the environment. It also, provides employment and improved standards of living for those who are employed, not only, on ranches, but, also, in an untold multitude of dependent occupations, as well, that would be at risk if there were no cattle industry. Not to mention, the economic security in the communities that depend on cattle or other food related livestock for their own survival.

Is ranching a complete positive? No, but, neither is not ranching.

Facebook Drama … Censoring Who Not What

I went to check my profile before calling it a night….to find out that I had a post that had been removed for Nudity or Sexual content……What?!?! WTF?!?!?! I have not posted anything nude or sexual…..has FB done lost their mind completely….. So when I finally get to where I can see what post they are whining about…… Thank you National Geographic for getting me in the time out chair …… LOL

FB NatGeo Screenshot 1

 

And the screenshot below….. you can clearly see that National Geographic did not get the same treatment….

FB NatGeo Screenshot 2

 

The Solution To Terrorism

You want to stop terrorists and terrorist attacks?

muslim militants
via The Imaginative Conservative

There is ONE answer that will solve the problem. As usual, it is an answer that the world’s governments do not want the citizens of the world to ever consider, for it would greatly diminish their power and control; whereas, the recent history of countries ‘under attack’ prove that the governments use these ‘attacks’ to strip away the rights of law-abiding citizens and to increase their power and control over the citizens.

At the beginning of the 20th century, much earlier actually, as a very basic starting point, all democratic, ‘free’ nations had laws in place for crimes committed by one ‘citizen’ against the rights and property and life of any other ‘citizen’. These laws included, theft, assault, battery, rape, extortion, kidnapping/abduction/imprisonment, manslaughter, and murder. For the most part, prior to the 20th century, a person was tried for their actions; while their motive might be introduced in the trial, in order to show why a person would commit the crime, especially if the case was built mostly on circumstantial evidence, the real focus was on the what and not the why of the case. However, as lawyers, along with most everyone else, wanted to be rich and famous, trials began to take on a sensational drama that shifted the courts from systems of justices to game rooms of power between the political wannabees and the salacious immoral actors that thought themselves above the law. This shift left the regular man without any protection or recourse under the law.

teror word globe
via cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com

One of the results of this shift was the desire of politicians to ‘prove’ to their unprotected citizens, the desire of the government to protect them with the ‘invention’ of ‘extra crimes’. Now, crimes could be more glamorous, more sensational, more dramatic, creating more fame and fortune for the ‘officers of the court’ carrying out the power games. This also, reduced other crimes to being so mundane and ‘regular’ as to not warrant sufficient attention from those same ‘officers of the court’; why should it, what was their benefit for just a typical run of the mill crime. Who wins elections for doing their job honestly and fairly and to the best of their ability? No One! Who gets their face on TV for finding and prosecuting the ‘John’ that rapes and murders the prostitute? No One! Who gains richer clients if they properly insure that a guilty client is treated fairly and justly, but is still responsible and accountable for their crime? No One!

So now we have “hate” crimes and “terror” crimes and even hate and terror are crimes, when did emotions become crimes? Where is the common sense in this? When did crime become an act of love and grace, so that we now need to know when it was committed based on hate and terror? Why do we need to add ‘special dramatic words’ to crimes for them to matter?

The injury or loss of a life is still an injury or loss no matter why it was inflicted. The argument would be to give harsher sentences for those crimes committed as acts of ‘hate’ or ‘terror’. But that is not accurate, that is a lie by the politic to provide election slogans and TV sound bites. It is pure simple personal promotion.

Bali Bombing
via 25 Worst Acts Of Terrorism Ever Committed

One of the most common appeals of hate and terrorism to ‘new recruits’ is the sense of belonging and the sense of ‘being someone’. It is a way to ‘count’ to get to be ‘famous’. And the politic of the justice system created this appeal with their own self-desire to have the same thing as these ‘criminals’ they so publicly decry.

Everyone wants to be someone, that is nothing new; however, what is new is who the media and by default the public thinks is someone. Being someone is no longer about doing right or good in the world or making the world a better place or serving your fellow man with honor and integrity; it is all about being famous and getting rich. We have totally lost the original meaning of both words; famous is more commonly renown or notorious, which are not positives and rich, being only a material construct.

Thus, it was the introduction of the words ‘hate’ and ‘terror’ into the justice system that created the dramatic increase in these types of crimes and it is their removal that can initiate the greatest decrease in the committing of these crimes as well. How? You may ask.

If a person harms another solely out of hate, prosecute them solely for their acts. Do not give them a stage for their glory! Do not give them a pulpit for their dogma! Do not give them catchy ‘titles’ that immortalize them! Do not use their name in your sound bites so they gain fame! The Judge already with the simple laws has the means by which to mete out the full sentence for their conviction.

If a person harms another solely for terrorism, prosecute them solely for the real crimes they committed. Do not name them part of a group and give them or their ‘group’ status! Do not name their cause, thus giving it credit! Do not use the word terrorism so they gain power! Do not identify their religion or ethnicity to draw ‘special’ attention! Again the Judge already has the means by which to mete out full sentence for their crimes and that is what should be meted out; nothing more and nothing less!

When you stop using the words ‘hate’ and ‘terrorism’ the ‘thrill’ and ‘fame’ and appeal of the ‘group’ will greatly diminish. In today’s world, very few are going to just anonymously sacrifice their lives for a cause that will get them nothing in the end!

No Justice Wanted

“… regardless which [disposition] option we follow however, and especially in light of the planned psychological pressure techniques to be implemented, we need to get reasonable assurances that [Abu Zubaydah] will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life.” 

abuzubaydah
Abu Zubaydah

Nothing says we know just how immoral, unethical, and down right wrong our actions are as the above statement. Abu Zubaydah is one of at least 119 known victims of the CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation (RDI) program. Suspecting someone of any criminal act does not preclude justice from being served in a just, ethical and moral manner; in fact, to act in any other regard nulls and voids the integrity of the actions of the hypocritically vengeful masquerading as proverbial white knights.

In the case of the CIA, their actions seem almost more criminal than the terrorists that they were so aggressively hunting. In hind sight, the truth is a lack of human intelligence expertise can create not only a vacuum of knowledge about ‘enemies’, it also creates a desperation in reaction that prevents intelligent, logical and rational judgment which respects the morals and legal code of conduct of the ‘good guys’. This dilemma ensures that errors in judgment will be made and that much greater disaster will ensue.

As terror acts increase around the world, one is left wondering how can the U.S. government claim to be winning the war on terror. Does the U.S. even know who the terrorists are? And when asked to identify the enemy in this war on terror, the Pentagon claims “National Security” for a “No Comment” answer. Combine that doubt creating answer with the Senate Report on the CIA RDI program and it makes it very hard for any logically thinking American to have any faith in the actions of the U.S. Government regarding terrorism and foreign policy.

The CIA is an intelligence gathering agency, it has no law enforcement policy or procedure, as a matter of fact it is designed to work outside the rules of law without actually breaking the law. It should have never been the job of the CIA to apprehend any suspect of terror activity; their sole action in the apprehension of terror suspects should have been limited to identification of proper suspects and providing the proper intelligence to agencies, such as the FBI, so that proper law enforcement action could have been taken against the suspects. It is very apparent, in looking at the data from how the RDI program was put together and run, that there was no properly defined end game, and it could even be argued that the start game was not as organized as a local park pick up game.

James_Mitchell_torture
James Mitchell

Bruce_Jessen_torture
Bruce Jessen

There are two names that are given as the creators of the enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) used on victims of the CIA RDI program. Those names are James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, they are psychologists whom had served in the US Air Force. Mitchell received his PhD from University of South Florida, his dissertation was related to nutrition and diet’s effect on hypertension; and Jessen received his PhD from Utah State University, his dissertation was on family therapy. While, yes these men were affiliated with the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) program, they were observers to basically check a box with ensuring safety of the military students of the course. They were not developing policy or procedure, they were not writing SOPs or training manuals, they were not doing long term research on the effects of the course on students that passed or failed. As a matter of fact when it comes to real experience, these two men were about as qualified to found any interrogation policy as D.C. Meter Maids. Correction, the Meter Maids are probably more qualified in actual interrogation with suspects than these two men.

These men seem to have convinced officials of very questionable intelligence and even more questionable common sense that not only does torture work, but that what would absolutely ensure success was the complete psychological destruction of detainees to gain intel or worse to prove that they were not with-holding more. Most real and respected experts in the field of torture and interrogation will tell you that the exact opposite is true. That once you torture and ‘break’ a person, they will tell you ‘what you want to hear’ just to end the torture. It appears that in desperation to maintain control and relevance in the DC power war, the CIA rushed head first with blinders on into a terrorism black hole. The CIA has no idea how to investigate and build a prosecutable case against a suspect, again this was not their job. This fact seems to have been of no concern to them as they never considered allowing the justice system to have any part of holding terrorism accountable, having been allowed to operate in that gray area of the slippery slope that signals the self destruction of honor and integrity, the CIA decided that they alone knew how and what to do and whom to do it to to make the world a safe place. Instead what they have done is outranked the terrorists in destroying the safety and security and freedom of America and the world.

cia-banner-looped-v03
via ACLU.org

The RDI program basically answered to no one externally, when it functioned. What little ‘reporting to’ that was done was done to like minded over reactive neocons that think they are the only ones that know what is best. Even under their own ‘self reporting’ they still could not follow the rules or get it right. By their numbers, the CIA ‘wrongfully detained’ 26 individuals, of  which 3 were subjected to EITs. In addition, the interrogators were supposed to get approval of EITs before using them on any prisoner, yet 17 victims suffered unauthorized EITs. And to what end or success did this program achieve; a mere 17 high value suspects were ever detained. For the record that is less than a 15% success rate!

Not only were their methods flawed once they had a victim, their intelligence sources for picking ‘terrorists’ to detain was also very flawed. Under the Clinton administration the budget of the intelligence agencies and military were slashed to the point that the US had virtually no human assets in unstable areas to provide real true intelligence on the climate and players. Thus, the US as a whole became very dependent on the rumors of the terror world and on the intelligence gathering of other countries. Most dissenters of the war in Iraq claim lies on the part of US officials leading up to the war, I would correct them in that it was not outright lies, it was incompetence and incomplete intelligence pieces to actually and factually know what was going on on the ground in Iraq, coupled with their own delusions of us against them left over from the Cold War. The proof can be seen in the sources that were cited regarding the WMD intelligence, some of which were Saddam’s own high ranking officers trying to save their own lives and insure personal gains for themselves and their families and none of them have ever been held accountable for their bad information that led to the disaster that is currently their homeland.

Gaddafi via telegraph co uk
via telegraph.co.uk

So who were some of the sources for names of terrorists that the CIA kidnapped? As Human Rights Watch has detailed, Gaddafi was one of the sources supplying the United States with the names of individuals it claimed were terrorism suspects. Most of the names that were supplied by such an honorable man as Gaddafi were members of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group (LIFG), who were opposed to his rule in Libya. Thus in their ill-conceived rush to retaliate against the ‘bad guys’ the CIA became the thug enforcers for dictators that the US deemed terrorists themselves.

And what has  been the result of the CIA’s rush to be the hero? There are over 100 broken men in the world. There was no regard for their guilt or innocence and no recompense for damages caused or life lost or time stolen, for how can you undo such damage as was inflicted during a torture session. How do you give a man back his pride and his sense of self when you stole it without cause? How do you return a man to family broken and shattered beyond repair? What good is a piece of paper saying we now believe you are not guilty when you have been locked up for years? Where is the justice for families that lost sons and brothers that succumbed to hate under the burden of grief inflicted by the absence of love ones for years? Where is the increased safety due to the creation of that hate? How many more have lost their lives over anger and hate born out of punishment and execution without judgement or proof?

In the hopes of some truth and justice coming out of this senseless ill-planned knee jerk reaction to the tragedy of 9/11, journalists and lawyers and human rights groups are trying to do the right thing by using the justice system of Europe and the US to bring some peace and solace to the victims of the CIA’s RDI program. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has heard 4 cases concerning the involvement of European states with the secret CIA RDI program and is currently hearing 2 more. The 4 cases that the court has ruled on have resulted in finding that the accused European states were complacent to some degree in their action or lack there of regarding the violation of the human rights of the men whom brought the cases before the court. The first case involved a German national of Lebanese descent, whom was a victim of the CIA RDI program. His complaint states that “he was arrested, held in isolation, questioned and ill-treated in a Skopje hotel for 23 days.” This case resulted in the court finding that Macedonia (FYRM) had violated Articles 3, 5, 8, and 13. In 2 cases Poland was found in violation of Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and 38, as well as Protocol 6. In a case against Italy, the state was found in violations of Articles 3, 5, 8, and 13. And currently there are cases pending against Romania and Lithuania. For more on these cases please read the press release for the ECHR. In the US, the ACLU is pursuing action against the men directly responsible for the RDI, Mitchel and Jessen.

In addition to the legal action, there are other groups that are working on bringing the truth to the public audience. The Rendition Project from their about page describes themselves as an unique group of academics and human rights focused individuals working to bring out the truth of the CIA RDI program. Another group that is trying to give a public voice to the victims is The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. BIJ is an independent not-for-profit organization that hopes to educate the public about the realities of power in today’s world. Please follow their projects for more detailed and specific information about this and other important issues of a global level.

Beyond Apathetic Disillusionment

ballot
via cpalabama.org

For well over 15 years, maybe even my whole adult voting life, I have been completely disillusioned with both political parties and even the minor parties seemed for the most part to be complete extremes of some thought or whim or another. Who was an intelligent, logical, rational person supposed to vote for? On top of that I was a confused mix of my own intelligence and the values instilled in me in my childhood. Maybe, more so than most regular, normal, girl or boy next door kids, I became a very eclectic mix of the conservative military values I was surrounded by and the over driven push for knowledge. Thus I have some very ‘Republican’ ideals and some very ‘Democratic’ ideals as well, but mostly I have ideals that are VERY unRepublician and unDemocratic.

First and foremost, I believe in the Constitution in it’s truest form. Unfortunately, between the Republicans wanting to infringe on freedom of religion and speech and the Democrats wanting to infringe on the right to bear arms and both parties wanting to strip away the rest of the 1st Amendment protections for press and assembly and protest, as well as taking away most protections found in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Amendments under the guise of national security within the intentionally very vaguely worded Patriot Act and NDAA, it makes both parties completely un-American.

political parties logo
via cliparts.co

In keeping with the Constitution and the intentions of the founding fathers, the Constitution was written to keep government limited and as close to the people as possible, thus the emphasis on states’ rights. Yet, states are constantly being given mandates from the federal government about what they can and cannot do and what laws they can and cannot pass. All of this violates the intent and spirit and even letter of the law of the Constitution, however, being that the Supreme Court is political due to the rise of political parties, the Court no longer uses the Constitution as its measure, but merely as its means if it happens to benefit them or as a door mat if it does not. Neither party has any desire to have a limited government, their only differences are the areas of government that they want to be the largest. Republicans want the military/police arms of the government to increase in size; whereas the Democrats want the social/welfare arms to be the largest.

Political parties create division and prevent unity. The first elections were ‘independent’ men running ‘singularly’. Our Presidents and Vice Presidents were determined by the 1st and 2nd place finishes of candidates in the election, supposing that one had the majority of the vote. Sometimes you had 2 men that were from different political thoughts, but they worked together, they compromised, and came together for the good of the nation. These are things that do not happen today, politicians do not come together for the good of the nation, only for the good of their wallets.

TeaParty Protest via Wikipedia
Taxpayer Protest via wikipedia

As an American and a voter, there are a couple things that I would like to see happen in the electoral system; first, I think that any candidate should have to have a clear majority of the popular vote, so over 55%, not just of those that got out and voted but of the whole voting population, and to encourage ALL voters to get out and vote, give them a NO vote, which says that they do not accept any of the candidates: second, either do completely away with political parties, or make them ‘equal’ in how they nominate candidates, another words you have candidates that do not even get a simple majority of the voters that voted in a state primary instead of only receiving their percentage of delegates they get all of them, and the Super-Delegates need to be completely done away with, that completely usurps the democracy of the primary process. Another change that needs to be made, the Electoral College needs to do their voting in public, it needs to be a televised event so that voters truly understand their input and limits of their wishes when it comes to deciding who runs this country.

Monday morning quarterbacking will not change anything. Working with your own little click will not change things. Attacking each other will not change things. All the splinter groups need to work together on their common interests! There are members of all sides that want the same changes, maybe not for the same reason, but that can be handled later. Look for reasons to work together and make the common changes! Start with the local levels and state levels first! If petitions were successful in three-quarters of the states for say term limits for Congress then Washington would see that an Amendment by the people would be possible. The voting public needs to come together for EVERYONE’S right to vote and be fairly governed.

Extrajudicial Murder

APTOPIX_Afghanistan_Taliban_Leader_Death-94101-4797
Photo Credit: Abdul Salam Khan/AP

While traveling in Vietnam, President Obama announced another “successful” drone attack in Pakistan. It appears this time he might actually be correct. From photos of the scene it looks as though a single vehicle carrying the target and at least a driver if not others was hit without damage to other vehicles or individuals; however, this is the exception and not the more common results of Obama’s favored covert drone war on terror.

In case anyone has forgotten, Pakistan is a sovereign country, that we have not declared war against and was not officially consulted prior to the attacks. Before we go further, how do you think it would go over if say Columbia initiated a drone attack of a ‘known’ cartel leader inside U.S. borders? (And we do not even have to consider any collateral damage for this rhetorical hypothetical scenario.) 

drone attacks damage
via abovetopsecert.com

It has been reported in The Washington Times that while Obama claimed he wanted to get America out of war, he merely wanted to change the way in which the war was fought. Whereas Bush fought his wars openly, Obama wants to fight his in the secrecy of ‘national security’ redaction. For Obama the cloak of ‘national security’ has been his greatest weapon both abroad and within the Beltline. However, the headline of that Washington Times article told the sad truth of his war….. “Obama-led drone strikes kill innocents 90% of the time

Pakistan Drone Attack NumbersThe information for the above article is based on a 5-month long mission in Afghanistan that was, based on the numbers, a complete failure! The complete exposé can be found at The Intercept. The original article states what EVERY American should be thinking, but seems completely unfazed by. “This outrageous explosion of watch-listing — of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them ‘baseball cards,’ assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield – it was, from the very first instance, wrong,” the unnamed source told The Intercept. Luckily for some of those that have been detained as our enemy or the families of those death-listed there is someone in the States that is working for justice and not revenge being served. As Reprieve started freeing GITMO detainees, George Bush’s Attorney General told them “if you don’t let us imprison and interrogate these guys, we will just kill them.” The drone program amounts to little more than a killing spree of fear and hate that increases the profits for defense contractors flying under the guise of foreign policy’s agenda of keeping the world safe and spreading democracy. Neither of which has improved over the course of the decade and half since 9/11.
Yemen Drone Attack NumbersAs a matter of record, the countries, in which the drone program has been the primary weapon of choice, have seen greater violence and instability. In addition to having less security and democracy and living in constant fear, their citizens have been deemed unworthy to have any access to any proper legal process. This ‘justification’ that a group of people, no matter how ‘evil’ they appear to the world, is not allowed access to the legal process of justice to determine guilt or innocence is completely immoral and by action shows the unworthiness of those justifying and carrying out these executions without the order of a proper and public conviction of crimes.

Based on numbers found in an article in The Guardian at least 6 different targets were ‘hit’ 5 or more times and at least 5 different targets resulted in collateral deaths of over 100 individuals each, with another 35 targets resulting in the collateral deaths of on average over 25 others. The inexcusable fact is that these numbers which are based on 2014 figures are lower than the current truth, if the truth were to ever be told.

Afghanistan Drone Attack NumbersIn 2013,  Obama declared that no drone strike was taken without “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” adding that “nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties” and said “those deaths will haunt us as long as we live.” Apparently, based on the continued use of these weapons and the continued skirting of accountability, the haunting only lasts till the next morning when he signs the next day’s “kill list”.  It seems that the label of ‘national security’ like a spoonful of honey makes it sweet enough to swallow.

In the course of this very covert public war on terror, at least 8 American citizens have been murdered without due process or judicial precedent. The more troubling fact is that not all drone attacks are target attacks on ‘known’ and ‘identified’ terrorists, some are so-called signature strikes based on indications that people on the ground were likely with Al Qaeda or allied militant groups. Another words, the US government is intentionally murdering foreign citizens based entirely on association and possible behavior and or location, without any real or tangible evidence or even identification.

Somalia Done Attack NumbersWhile it is true that drone attacks have killed alleged terrorists, they have also killed innocent civilians, American citizens, misidentified targets, and victims of the terror groups. Military and intelligence officials argue that in most cases they were confident that they were killing only dangerous militants. However, when they are questioned about the misses and civilian casualties, they insist they did not know that the civilians were present and or that the target was absent. This proves that the intelligence on the ground is haphazard at best and that the method of drone attacks needs to end until such time as it can be carried out within the bounds of proper legal precedent without civilian casualties being the norm and in great excess of the actual stated intent.

Blackmail, Blind Ambition, Brutal Greed, Or All Of These?

WTC_seq_reuters via 911review
Reuters via 911Review

From the first impact into the North Tower at 0846 on 11 September 2001, there have been questions, allegations, and accusations. Truth has been seasoned with controversy, national security, and various conspiracy theories about the who, the what, and the how of the attack, leaving the casualties in the ashes of the event. As stories about the event multiplied so too did the theories that would create various urban legends; was it a complete and total inside job by the US government or was it a Saudi run operation for the US government, was Mossad involved or was it just complete incompetence and self-serving arrogance of various US intelligence agencies unwilling to play ball?

There’s a saying that the stories that last do so cause there is at least a kernel of truth in their origins; yet, variations of all these stories have survived, partly because of the epic and world changing proportions of the tragedy,  thus muddying the waters of the whole and complete truth of what honestly happened that fateful day leaving us to wonder how accountable each accused is.

gitmo via freedomoutpost
GITMO via freedomoutpost.com

While the United States government stated and made the public effort to show honest and truthful reactions to the terrorist attacks, behind the scenes the US had ‘boots on the ground’ within 48 hours. This was the reality when officially military operations were not announced, by then President Bush, until 7 October. President Bush, in the aftermath of the attacks, stated that justice would be brought to the perpetrators of the crime. With that intent, during the military operations an unknown number of ‘suspects’ and ‘enemy combatants’ were captured and detained.

In the ensuing years upwards to 1000 persons may have passed through the gates of GITMO or worse the secret detention locations in various countries around the world. The total true numbers are unknown due to the stonewalling of the Pentagon and other government agencies. Ironically, one of their stated excuses for not releasing a complete and accurate list has been respecting the privacy of the prisoners; yet, it seems that no other respectful consideration has been given in the treatment of the prisoners or their identities. I wonder if anyone has polled the prisoners to see if they want such respect for their privacy over no respect during interrogations and day-to-day treatment regarding things such as forced feedings. I also wonder if it occurred to anyone at the Pentagon that by releasing a whole and complete and accurate list of prisoners maybe things like wrong identities might be sorted out before improperly and immorally detaining innocent persons for years!

911 Report via en wikipedia org
via en.wikipedia.org

In addition to military operations, a Commission was formed over a year later, 27 November 2002, “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks”. This report was published almost 2 years later on 22 July 2004; however, as of today there are still 28 pages of the report that are not public. Recently several members of the Commission, most notably, John H. Lehman, have stated the need to make public those 28 pages, which supposedly implicate several Saudi government officials with supporting the perpetrators of the attacks and or Al Qaeda as a whole. It should be noted that both the Saudi Royal Family and more than a few terrorist groups follow the same fundamentalist faction of Sunni Islam, Wahhadism. It should also be remembered that Bin Laden was the son of  Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a billionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family. And that the bin Laden family has enjoyed very close ties with the Saudi Royal Family for decades, you can read more about that relationship in a PBS article about Bin Laden

It has come to light that the Obama Administration might release the 28 pages in question. However, it has also been reported by various sources, that upon his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he was encouraged by the Saudi Royal Family to keep those pages secret. Logic would imply that you would only want kept secret those things that you think or know would hurt your own self, or those that are close to you, or your current and or future interests. It would be interesting to know if that encouragement in fact did occur and by what means was the encouragement linked to American agendas. Was the price and or production output of oil used? What about the ‘discrete’ means of support and contact between the US and ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels via Saudi Arabia? (Of course we are using the term ‘moderate’ and ‘Syrian rebels’ very loosely here) Or were other means of encouragement used? President Obama will no longer be employed in his current position after January and former Prime Minister Tony Blair has done very well financially in the Middle East since leaving office.

Considering that Iran, as a US designated terrorist state, whom has never had anything to do with al Qaeda (they are Islamic enemies) was just found guilty in an American civil court for being responsible for 9/11, I am sure that they would gladly welcome the public release of those 28 pages of the Commission Report. Unfortunately, neither Iran nor any of their allies have such influence with the American government to reach that goal. It seems that the US government is tired of having to just let all that seized Iranian money sit without being accessed for the US economy. What better way to gain access to it than by unjustly finding Iran guilty of 9/11 and using the seized moneys to pay the victims thus getting their hands on money that is not theirs and diverting the guilt from truth to political agenda ends. Furthermore, the sole basis for the guilty finding in the trial is the fact that Iran did not show up and defend themselves….this in a country that claims that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff not the defendant! So much for innocent until proven guilty!

car bomb via weekly ahram org eg
via weekly.ahram.org.eg

There are those that claim that 9/11 was a ‘false flag’ inside operation to create a pretense for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq for oil. There are a few unanswered questions if that is the case. First, Afghanistan was not a member of OPEC, nor was it a non-OPEC oil provider. So what oil was wanted in Afghanistan? Another unanswered question is that it was for cheaper oil, yet, “on Aug. 24, 2001, the average weighted price for a gallon of gas was about $1.51”  and it has not dropped back to or below that price since. So where is the cheap oil for America? However, a plausible retort could be that OPEC and the Oil Industry have never passed along those savings to consumers. It could be the same market control as is found in the diamond industry, where supply is strictly controlled so that selling prices can be maintained (though the market would say it was controlling value not cost). 

In addressing the ‘false flag’ part of the pretense claim, I find the proof very lacking. The amount of coordination and planning and support that would be required to pull off an event of the magnitude of 9/11 would involve too many people. There is also the fact that keeping such an immoral criminal act secret would be virtually impossible. The closest that a ‘false flag’ theory could get to truth, with the available information being studied logically and reasonably, would have to be adapted to more a rogue act by some small group of over zealous and or disgruntled members of some government agency, probably no higher than middle management level. 

The most common theory for the military operations after the attack would be for control and regime change. It is common knowledge that Saudi Arabia was not happy with the Hussein regime in Iraq, especially after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. It is a fact that Hussein, along with his sons, were the worst bullies on the block in the region; however, it needs to be remembered that it was the US, along with regional allies, that put Saddam in power in Iraq to begin with, just as it was US support, money and involvement via bin Laden and al Qaeda that put the Taliban in power in Afghanistan. 

al qaeda afghanistan via USNews com
via USNews.com

These 2 facts make the US government, in this respect, at least partially responsible for 9/11. How, you might ask. Simple, bin Laden was a nothing thug playing at war in Africa when he was chosen as the ‘hero of Afghanistan’. It would be very interesting to find out just how the US decided that some nothing thug from Saudi Arabia playing war in Africa could be so useful in Afghanistan. 
Who dropped bin Laden’s name to US officials? Whom in the US government thought that he was ‘the man for the job’? What made bin Laden willing to work with the US? Who provided the introductions? 

We do not have those answers, but, we do know that with US funding and training and support, which would have included being able to freely move internationally, so as to relocate from Africa to Afghanistan, the US created al Qaeda. Thus, since al Qaeda is considered the perpetrators of 9/11, that means that the US created the means by which we were attacked. It also means that 9/11 was completely preventable. The above information also means that since at least the early 80s and maybe even 70s the US was not opposed to using “outside freedom fighters” to incite regime change, especially in the name of defeating the enemy, whoever, that might be. Unfortunately, 9/11 did nothing to teach the US government that that method was not a long game positive for the safety and security of the land, citizens or interests of the United States; whereas this has been and still is the primary method of regime change used by the US at least since Afghanistan and is in full use today from Libya to Syria to Ukraine, leaving an enduring path of destruction and desolation in its wake for decades to come. Is there a single country that can say it is better off since US regime change was brought to bear?

To address the Mossad theories, it is a known fact that Israel has never had much issue with conducting military operations or covert acts within the borders of ally or enemy states alike, if it furthers their agenda. That being said, their apathy with regard to how their actions are seen lessen their desire to focus on discretion in such matters. It seems, that while they are known to be very comfortable using violent means to achieve their ends and their lack of concern about public opinion, thus it would not bother them to risk any American public backlash for such action, they had no true or real reason to commit the act. On such a scale as 9/11 Israel is not quite so discrete; nor would they, based on past actions, conduct such a large-scale operation that did not directly benefit them. And no, 9/11 did not directly benefit them!

US Intelligence AgenciesWhat about the role of US Intelligence Agencies? It is common knowledge that each government agency has too much hubris and not enough team focus. It is also common knowledge that all that hubris has a very negative effect on inter-agency communications. It became known afterwards that numerous agencies had pieces of intelligence that had they been shared and combined would have given a complete enough picture of the intent of the 9/11 hijackers to have at least limited the destruction if not actually preventing it. Thus, the question becomes, how much did each agency know? Did any agency know enough? Was 9/11 intentionally ignored? Were there those whom thought that America ‘needed a wake up call’? Was it just ‘dropping the ball’? We may never know the full extent of which persons in each agency knew what and when they knew and what they did with what they knew.

One thing that is certain is that the whole of the government took advantage of and benefited from the tragic events of 9/11. The government has grabbed unconstitutional authority in the name of security. They have expanded their reach in the name of national interests. They have lined their pockets with the expansion of and implementations of security measures in the name of fighting terror. The disgrace is that the American public is not only not safer from terrorism, they are also not safe from their own government. They have lost freedoms and Constitutional protections and live with a government that has secret courts and immense surveillance tools turned to its own shores. There has been no positive to come out of 9/11 for the American public or her individual citizens.

 

What Will Sorry Change?

hiroshima bombing
Hiroshima, Japan 6AUG1945

On 6 August 1945, the United States made a decision that has been debated passionately since. The date marks the death of at least 100,000 Japanese civilians in the city of Hiroshima; and the first use of nuclear weapons in known history. Since the dropping of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the morality of even having such weapons, much less using them has been a hot topic in many areas of discussion. At the time of the event, many Americans completely supported the decision; however, today the thought of using nuclear weapons is one of the most appalling imaginable. Ironically, one of the safety balances that existed during the Cold War that no longer exists was the mutual annihilation factor of the US and the USSR having ‘equal’ numbers of warheads.

Kerry in Hiroshima
Kerry in Hiroshima via pressherald.com

Recently, during a G7 gathering, US Secretary of State Kerry visited the site. This makes him the highest ranking US government official to ever visit the site. Kerry’s honor will be short lived, as Pres. Obama will be touring the Hiroshima site during his visit later this month. The announcement has drawn criticism that even just showing up at the site can be seen as an apology.
Hello! People see just what they want to see anyway, when they look with an agenda!

This is one time where I have to tell Obama critics they really do need to grow up. If the general practice should be that heads of countries should never attend the sites of previous conflicts with mass casualties then all world leaders would have to go to the Moon to make any trips. Human history is full of such disasters, some will say that it is human nature, but I say it is evil nature, which is different, not that humans cannot be filled with evil, they can. I also believe that holding on to wrongs forever is just as wrong as the original crime and creates just as much destruction.

While I have no issue with Obama going to Hiroshima, I would be less accepting and supportive if he was making an official or even unofficial apology. It was a decision made during in a war with the intent of winning the war. Just like it would be insignificant for Japan to apologize for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Apologies for acts during war should be limited to war crimes and other illegal acts of participants in the war, both military members, as well as, civilians. It should also be understood that civilian casualties are a part of war; yes, they should be limited and every effort should be made to limit them, however, they will occur.

In this case, for a war that most of the surviving combatants and civilians have already died; what will “sorry” change?
Will it turn back time? Would that ensure something better?
Will it bring the dead back to life? Will that definitely improve the world?
Will it change history? Will that make either country more just?

Participants in wars should be the most honorable and just that society has to offer, sadly that is rarely the case and even less so today. That being said it is not fair or just or right to judge wartime actions by peace time standards. In addition, demanding or demeaning things like official apologies is less important than moving forward by learning from the past. I do believe that it is possible for President Obama to visit Hiroshima without apologizing and it being a good and positive thing. In truth, official apologies have no true or real or sincere value, they are at most political stunts and thus irrevocably flawed from conception.

What Man Is A Man

Meet The Ladies (Part 2)

Kurdish Female Fighters May 2014 REUTERS
Photo Credit: 2014May REUTERS

While Syrian men are making a name for themselves by invading Europe and hiding behind babies and children to show what “big men” they are, Syrian women left behind in the war zone have silently been stepping up and filling the void; along with taking care of their own and their communities some have also been taking up medic bags and arms in an attempt to restore peace and order to their homeland. The first ladies to make a wave in the fight against Daesh and other ‘moderate’ terrorists in Syria and Iraq were the females that were fighting along side their Kurdish male counterparts.

These Kurdish female fighters from northern Syria have helped defend major towns as well as to rescue Kurds and Yazidis from certain death after torture and things worse than death at the hands of Daesh. There have been claims that according to Daesh lunacy dogma if their fighters are killed in battle by female enemies they will be reduced to their rightful spot in hell! If you properly and honestly follow the teachings of Islam, with regard to martyrs then you would know that dying a martyr has nothing to do with and cannot be done by attacking innocents. Being a martyr is about having more strength in your faith/beliefs than in your physical form. In short being a martyr is not about being suicide bombers or mass murderers, it is about standing up for what is right in the midst of violence and certain threat to your own person. A martyr does not willing die, but gives their life for something greater and more important than themselves and that is right and good over evil.

Female-Protection-Forces-via independent
via The Independent (.com)

The Lady Kurds from northern Syria are not the only ladies in Syria that have stepped up to fill the void left by fleeing Syrian men. In the summer of 2014 a Female Commando Battalion was created to serve alongside the Syrian Army. The battalion consists of around 800 female volunteers. The unit helps to defend the area around Damascus. In addition to ladies in the Army, and the Lady Kurds of the North, a new Christian Female Battalion known as, Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers, has been formed near the Iraq border. This new battalion started graduating fighters in August to form the group. These ladies have left behind families and children to help defend their homes and to excise the terror threat to their land.

These ladies come from all ages and walks of life; they were students, hairdressers, mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. They come from Kurdish and Christian towns and even from Canada. They all fight for a better and safer future. Most of them have the same view on Daesh;

“I used to work for a Syriac cultural association, but now I take pleasure in working in the military field,” Thabirta Samir, a 24-year-old trainer with the group, told Agence France-Presse. “I’m not afraid of Daesh, and we will be present in the coming battles against the terrorists.”

 It seems that anywhere you travel in Syria you can find the ladies filling the void, stepping up and doing what they have to do, what needs to be done even when ‘Hell is never far away’, especially in Aleppo. Umm Abdu, having been a wedding dress designer and now after the loss of her husband and son has taken up arms for defense and treats the wounded of the city in the remaining standing hospital. The Civil War, started from the outside, has turned a once stable country into another disaster zone, in the name of peace and democracy in accordance with Western foreign policy goals. The difference seems to be that Syrian women, having seen this policy played out before, are not going to allow what has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to happen to them.

For more on these courageous women and others just like them look for stories via the Syrian Female Journalist Network (SFJN) and the documentary series “Syria’s Rebellious Women”. If these women have their way, there will be hope of a Syria of the future without Daesh and other terrorists.

What Man Is A Man

Part 1

Greek Border Violence Bulent Kilic AFP
Photo Credit: Bulent Kilic AFP

Once again Europe is dealing with violence created by Syrian refugees. These refugees, which are mostly young men, have the courage and strength to rip babies from mothers to use as projectiles at police officers and to push rail cars into border fences. They have also laid children on train tracks and attacked journalists and aid workers that are trying to help their cause. Yet, many, from Western leaders to supposed human rights groups, do not mention these acts of violence by these refugees, they merely justify their actions by stating that the ‘migrants’ only want peace and freedom and to live in safety. That does not happen when one’s reaction to law and order is violence. There has been no headlines speaking about how these ‘poor, desperate refugees’ have spent years trying to do things inside the existing system within the law and in a peaceful manner. That implies that those stories do not exist. If you see stories about those families that are not invading Europe but merely existing in refugee camps, you see Syrian men sitting in their pity and whining while it is their wives and children that are finding some way to survive and provide for the family. This seems to be more common than not among Syrian men.

In addition to such poor behavior by Syrian men running away from the issues in their own country, instead of staying home and putting their house in order; there is also knowledge that several suspected terrorists have entered Europe as ‘poor Syrian refugees’ looking for peace and better lives!
Yet, they actually attack Greek civilians that attempt to show them compassion and generosity by giving them food. It would seem that if the Public Affairs Offices of the EU and NATO wanted to garner public support in their continued illegal ‘rebellion’ in Syria, then they should be flooding the news with reports of how peaceful and controlled and behaved these individuals are; however, we do not see these reports, the best we get is ‘how poorly the local peace officers have treated’ these creatures.

jungle-478260 refugee crisis getty
Photo Credit: Getty

As numbers and tensions increase at the closed gateway to the Balkan refugee route the UNHCR’s coordinator, Vincent Cochetel, discussed the crisis in March.
“They do not understand that they can no longer move onward, that they have to queue; they have to go through the relocation process – for those eligible for relocation and it is not everybody. So, there is a lot of frustration building up, which may lead to acts of violence,” said Cochetel.

What is not understandable and completely lacking logic and common sense that this is something they do not understand. How is it that anyone that supposedly is so educated and from the professional middle-class, as we are repeatedly assured ALL the refugees are, do not understand that there are rules and laws and procedures to handle these situations properly and orderly?

It is equally absurd that groups from the UN to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) still want Greece to shoulder the burden of taking care of these ‘refugees’. Last year the EU agreed to relocate ‘refugees’ from Greece among the other 28 member states. However, “…despite commitments to relocate 66,400 refugees from Greece, states have so far pledged only 1,539 spaces, and only 325 actual relocations have occurred,” according to UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards. It appears that instead of keeping their end of the agreement the EU has decided to pawn their disaster off on Turkey by paying them to take back ‘refugees’ to their country.

What the EU should be doing to take care of the issue is to stop being involved in Syrian regime change for profit! Secondly, they should be fast tracking temporary status and relocation to women with children and then the elderly and sick or injured. No healthy male between the ages of 16 and 55 should be allowed to even be considered for refugee status until there are none of the above mentioned groups in danger. These men need to be returned to their country to fight for their own nation and to do their proper duty to their nation, their family, their clan/tribe.

Surprise, Surprise! More Hypocrisy

panama-papers-820This week has seen the rage of citizens from around the world. And the fall of one Prime Minister, so far. The cause is the now infamous Panama Papers leak of documents from the Law Office of Mossack Fonseca. Ironically, once again the Western MSM followed ‘the rules’ and ran headlines of how Putin was named in the Panama Papers. Is there anyone in the US that actually practices journalism anymore? Putin was not even named in the documents that were released. However, the parents of British Prime Minister David Cameron were included, as well as, the Icelandic Prime Minister and his wife.

Iceland Protests Reuters Stigtryggur Johannsson
Reuters; Stigtryggur Johannsson

After the revelation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, at least 22,000 Icelanders protested for his resignation. For a country that has less than 330,000 residents that is a significant turn out. The UK did not see that kind of outrage, of course the UK did not oust its corrupt bankers either. So far about 200 Americans have been identified in the papers. Most of the Americans that are listed have some criminal involvement. However, the papers are still being scoured. The low number of Americans and the lack of high level Americans has people asking how that is possible. Maybe there is some truth to the theory that American intelligence had something to do with the leak or at least the hack.

The fact is that the US has ‘in-house’ tax havens. Some states, such as Wyoming and Delaware and others, have secrecy that is on par with the likes of Switzerland and the Caymans. The irony is that the US demands that other countries give them information about the banking of US citizens abroad, but does not return the favor. Matter of fact the US has such a hostile attitude about getting information from foreign banks that many Americans abroad have found themselves without banking options in countries they reside in.

The fall out will continue no doubt for weeks, and we will see more mention of Putin’s connections to listed clients, however, we will see very little about the other leaders that are named or have close family members implicated. The irony is that more than likely the connections to Putin, probably will not be as strong as McCain’s connections to known terrorists.

To see a partial list of names found in the paper.