All posts filed under: Essays

Peace is a cliché: When the West cannot control the world unopposed, it means war

Andre Vltchek Dedicated to my friend, a philosopher, John Cobb Jr The West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!” It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being. Every year, there are “peace conferences” taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark. If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics. At best, ‘how bad capitalism is’, and how ‘everything is about oil’. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it. At worst, it …

Australia needs an urgent reappraisal of its place in a changing world

James O’Neill It seems likely that the Australian House and Senate will pass the governments legislative proposals, ostensibly aimed at alleged foreign interference in Australia’s electoral process. Despite denials to the contrary, the legislation is manifestly aimed at alleged Chinese interference, although the scope of the proposed legislative provisions amounts to a sustained attack upon the ability of critics in the media and elsewhere to do their job of holding governments to account. The cynic might argue that such legislation is hardly necessary, as serious and sustained criticism of the policies of successive Australian governments, and certainly in the “defence” and “national security” areas has been conspicuously absent for many years both from the mainstream media and the Labor opposition. There has been a noticeable increase in the barrage of one-dimensional propaganda in recent decades, and a corresponding reduction in the presentation of fact based analysis. As equally insidious as the propaganda nature of much of what is termed “news” is the systematic ignoring of actual events. A stark illustration of this is in the …

Consensus reality has outlived its evolutionary usefulness

The nature of reality used to be a philosophical, metaphysical contemplation. But now it’s political.

The problem with conspiracy theories…

The official conspiracy theory for 9/11 has led to tremendously harmful effects. Many Americans have forgotten completely what it means to be an American. An ongoing terrorism lottery, that could select any of us as a victim at any time, continues with no end in sight. And the 9/11 Wars that were based on the official account are bankrupting the nation both financially and morally.

What if Babchenko had decided to stay “dead”?

What if Arkady hadn’t turned up, looking sheepish at that presser? What if he hadn’t turned up ever? What if he’d decided he couldn’t face the humiliation, or what if his SBU handlers decided it might be better if he just continued to be dead and skipped off the map somewhere with a few hundred grand and nice new ID.

Of Fake News and History Suborned (In War and Peace)

Brief: The gulf dividing established institutions—governments, political parties, academia, the judiciary, legislature, bureaucracies, the national security state, think-tanks, lobby groups, and especially the mainstream media—and those within and across the broader body politic, particularly those who’d challenge the chokehold such institutions seek to impose on the information and knowledge that forms the foundation of our political discourse as well as that of the official historical record, is expanding at a rate of knots. With a focus on one man who saw it all coming, it’s time to reflect on the backstory of this bourgeoning, perilous impasse, and what the implications might be for geopolitical stability and security, and indeed, the future of humanity.

Globalization the EU and the Road to Serfdom

It might be a good idea to start with some theoretical clarifications. Firstly, nationalism should not be confused with national sovereignty. Nations which are effectively ruled by outside agents – from Greece to Honduras – are not sovereign; they are colonies or vassals of some larger agency. And since they are not sovereign, the cannot be democratic, since decision making, and policies have been abrogated to an external ruling power. Secondly, nationalism: the term which in general is generally regarded as the all-weather bête noire by the orthodox left, can be and often is aggressive, racist, imperialistic, and so forth.

To Protect and Serve… The Empire

by Phillip Farruggio Writer Eric Zuesse wrote a great new piece ” How Democracy Ended ” seen on a few fine sites. In it he shows how our U.S. so called democracy is really a scam controlled by the super rich. When all else fails to stop a political momentum, the two parties have always resorted to ‘ The Fix is in’. To this writer, the ‘ fix ‘ that Zuesse alludes to is deeply nesting in both our mainstream media and our elected and enabling two party structure. The police have that wonderful saying ‘ To protect and serve’. In many cases, witnessed at times throughout the years by this writer, local police have done just that. Sadly, in just as many instances, they have ‘ protected and served ‘ the private property and rights of the super rich. Remembering the great labor disputes spanning perhaps since the beginnings of our republic, it was always the ‘ Cops’ who came in on the side of the corporate few. It has always been as IF …

Gina Haspel and Pinocchio from Rome

by Edward Curtin Being in Rome, Italy and thinking of Gina Haspel, the CIA nominee and admitted torturer who says her “moral conscience” has changed after the fact, seems most fitting. Wherever you go in central Rome, you can hear the screams and smell the blood of those tortured and killed by the Roman Empire and those who ably followed in their stead. And you can see the crumbled stones and the pathetic architectural remains of those who thought they had triumphed. Their triumph turned to dust, and their belated mea culpas, if and when they ever came, always rang as hollow as Gina Haspel’s, Lt. William Calley’s, and Adolph Eichmann’s excuses that they were only doing their jobs and following orders. Throughout Rome there are hawkers dangling Pinocchio trinkets in your face, constant reminders of the cost of lying. Or perhaps more aptly, the fame that ensues from lying followed by a childish semi-apology, even when it’s as obvious as the nose on your face that you are lying still. So in the Senate …

On U.S. Imperialism, Capitalism and Fascism

If you want to know the untold history of the U.S.A., then a good place to start is with the history of US imperialism in Asia from the mid-19th century until today. Not only will that reveal the history of the criminality of US foreign policy, but it will also reveal the true nature of U.S. capitalism, imperialism, fascism and U.S. wars of aggression: past, present and future.

Westworld: Does the ‘Door’ of Perception Lead to the Valley Beyond?

by Dan Mallon Dan Mallon gives his overview and analysis of the psycho/social themes in HBO’s hit series Westworld. Who, what, when, why; where are we? In Johnathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s second instalment of the Westworld saga obviously; once again, we have found ourselves lost. This time, just like William (Ed Harris) — the formerly known Man in Black; we are now lost at the epicentre of ‘the Maze’, with no conceivable route out and with William’s ultimate wish having materialised: the stakes are real this time. The creators of the Westworld series clearly have quite a few seasons in the pipeline and have decided to give them names which seem to reflect the deep and varied themes we have seen develop so far. The first season was aptly entitled ‘The Maze’; whereas this brand new one has been dubbed ‘The Door’. Of course the Maze was never anything more than a metaphorical challenge, intended for the human-like hosts of Westworld to develop consciousness by way of intermittent voice commands to “Remember” or “Wake up”, all …

The Disappointing Jeremy Corbyn

by David Lindsay We all know what a disappointment Theresa May has turned out to have been. Her purported energy price cap has been scarcely worth mentioning, while there is no sign of workers’ and consumers’ representation in corporate governance, or of shareholders’ control over executive pay, or of restrictions on pay differentials within companies, or of an investment-based Industrial Strategy and infrastructure programme, or of greatly increased housebuilding, or of action against tax avoidance, or of a ban on public contracts for tax-avoiding companies, or of banning or greatly restricting foreign takeovers, or of a ban on unpaid internships, and of an inquiry into Orgreave. Instead, we have had the bombing of Syria in the Saudi-backed jihadi interest. It is immaterial whether or not that had parliamentary approval. The wars in Iraq and Libya both had parliamentary approval, but so what? And the emphasis on that technicality, instead of on the wrongness of the bombing itself, points to the fact that, as a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who is not a member of any …

The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists

by C J Hopkins So the global capitalist ruling classes’ War on Dissent is now in full swing. With their new and improved official narrative, “Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis,” successfully implanted in the public consciousness, the corporatocracy have been focusing their efforts on delegitimizing any and all forms of deviation from their utterly absurd and increasingly paranoid version of reality. The Democratic Party is suing Russia, the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks (seriously … they’ve filed an actual lawsuit in an actual court of law an everything) for launching “an all-out assault on democracy” by publishing the DNC’s emails, “an act of unprecedented treachery,” according to Party Chairman Tom Perez. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, having already spent the last six years in a room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being arrested by the British authorities, extradited to the United States, and imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life, has been cut off from the outside world in order to prevent him from further “interfering” with democracy by expressing his opinions. In Syria, …

Speaking the Unspeakable: The Assassination and Martyrdom of Thomas Merton

A Quasi-Review by Edward Curtin of The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley & David Martin Killing a man who says ‘No!’ is a risky business,” the priest replied, “because even a corpse can go on whispering ‘No! No! No! with a persistence and obstinacy that only certain corpses are capable of. And how can you silence a corpse?” Ignazio Silone, Bread and Wine Fifty years have elapsed since Thomas Merton died under mysterious circumstances in a cottage at a Red Cross Conference Center outside Bangkok, Thailand where he was attending an international inter-faith monastic conference. The truth behind his death has been concealed until now through the lies and deceptions of a cast of characters, religious, secular, and U.S. governmental, whose actions chill one to the bone. But he has finally found his voice through Hugh Turley and David Martin, who tell the suppressed truth of Merton’s last minutes on earth on December 10, 1968. This is an extraordinary book in so many ways. First, because the authors prove beyond a shadow of …

From Troy to Damascus: Seeing the Light

by Hugh O’Neill One of the oldest cities in the world, Damascus was already 2,000 years old at the time of Homer’s Trojan War (1200 BC). In order to understand the present, we have to place it within the context of the past. However, there is a caveat that only the winners write history and so the challenge to historians is to read between (and behind) the lines. Historians must also deploy their judgement of the various human factors in the events recorded, by whom recorded and why; they must also be aware of their own biases which inevitably influence their vision i.e. what they choose to see or ignore. War may be defined as the deployment of mass violence to acquire resources of the many to benefit the few. Homer would have us believe that many thousands of Greek heroes left their homes and families for ten years so that King Menelaus could rescue Helen his queen who had been abducted by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy. We also learn from Homer …

It’s All Over Now Baby Red, White and Blue

some thoughts by Phillip Farruggio Leave your stepping stones behind there, something calls for you Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you The vagabond who’s rapping at your door Is standing in the clothes that you once wore Strike another match, go start anew And it’s all over now, Baby Blue Those are lyrics from the great Bob Dylan song It’s All Over Now Baby Blue ( 1965). How appropriate they are now in Amerika 2018. We have finally become a damaged empire due to a mega variety of reasons. Foremost is the delusion of far too many of us that we a nation victimized by forces of terror outside of our influence. Well, anyone who takes the time to turn away from the narcotics of electronic gadgetry, 24 hour sports, sexual delights, addictive cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs of preference, along with mainstream media’s embedded- with- empire phony news, would see that ( sadly ) our nation is the role model for terrorism. As we float aimlessly into the narrow straights …

Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult

by CJ Hopkins So it appears the British are our last best hope of stemming the blood-dimmed Putin-Nazi tide that has shaken the foundations of Western democracy since Hillary Clinton lost the election. The neoliberal Resistance in the United States, led by the intelligence agencies, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media, fights on, but it’s a losing battle. Despite their control of most of the media, most members of the US Congress, and the military industrial complex, they are just no match for the fearsome power of Vladimir Putin’s international army of Nazi-brainwashing specialists and the evil genius of Donald Trump. All is not lost by any means — there is still the chance that the CIA might stage a coup, or a heart attack — but for now it seems that the ruling classes (and the millions of Americans who identify with them) are lying low and biding their time like Camembert-slurping surrender monkeys. Thus, once again, it’s up to the Brits to save democracy from annihilation. They’re doing a bang up job …

Litvinenko and the Demise of British Justice

by James O’Neill February 11th, 2016 In the wake of the bizarre and troubling elisions and falsehoods already apparent in the Skripal case, it seems an opportune time to revisit the equally controversial case of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer and employee of Boris Berezovsky, allegedly poisoned with polonium on orders of the Kremlin in 2006. In a companion piece to our earlier study by British lawyer Alexander Mercouris, here barrister James O’Neill gives his own opinion on the case The publication on 21 January 2016 of the report by British Judge Sir Robert Owen on the death of Alexander Litvinenko was predictably seized upon by anti-Russian elements as confirmation of their conviction that Russia in general and President Putin in particular were the personification of modern day evil. Almost completely absent amidst the anti-Russian hysteria was any perspective on the history of Mr Litvinenko1; the circumstances leading up to his death; and any understanding of what a totally flawed exercise Owen’s inquiry actually was. Who Was Alexander Litvinenko? Litvinenko was generally described in …

Denying the Obvious: Leftists and Crimestop

And thus the U.S. left leadership sits in the left chamber of the hall of mirrors, complaining about conspiracy theories while closing its eyes to actual conspiracies crucial to contemporary imperialism.” Graeme MacQueen, Beyond Their Wildest Dreams: September 11, 2001 and the American Left

The World is Burning, while Western Left is Quarreling

by Andre Vltchek It really is a shame, and it is tiring, but it is actually nothing new: there is now total disarray amongst those countless ‘progressive’ and ‘semi-left’ Western intellectuals, publications, movements and political parties. Cowardice, bloated egos, lack of discipline and intellectual pettiness are often to blame, but that is not all. It is now absolutely clear that the Western left lost patently and shamelessly. It has almost no power, it has no courage to fight or to take risks, and it counts on no real political following in Europe, North America, Australia or New Zealand. ‘The masses’, those proverbial ‘oppressed masses’, have lately been electing and voting in various semi-fascist populists, unapologetic right-wing demagogues, and mainstream pro-business brutes. Entire Marxist ‘theoretical certainties’ have been collapsing in front of our eyes. Or at least they have been in the West. * To a great extent, what is now happening is absolutely natural. The European left betrayed as early as in the 1980’s, by becoming too soft, too undisciplined, too cautious and too self-centered. …