All posts filed under: United States

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United States: Regime change comes home

James Petras writes in 99GetSmart: The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over ‘Al’ Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the ‘defeated’ candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition. These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order. We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president. Regime Change in America In recent times, elected officials in the US and their …

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Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

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A Likely Way that Trump Would Be Forced Out of Office

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org The overwhelming opposition to Donald Trump’s taking office on January 20th as the U.S. President — opposition on the part of the entire U.S. Establishment (America’s aristocrats and their agents in the government and media and think tanks) — has made clear that the Establishment would welcome any opportunity to replace Trump with the Democratic Party’s Establishment Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, or with any other Establishmentarian (such as Trump’s own V.P. choice, Mike Pence). First, there were the efforts to have vote-recounts in the three states where Trump’s victory over Clinton were the narrowest; then, there was the orchestrated campaign to switch to her enough Electoral College electors for her to ‘win’; then, there was the effort to portray Trump’s win as having been engineered in Moscow and thus illegitimate. (Both Clinton and Obama endorsed those efforts.) But now could come the tactic (this a Republican one) that actually has the highest likelihood of succeeding, and it would replace Trump by Pence. Here’s how it can very easily …

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Obama’s New Year Lame Duck Soup

by Tutisicecream Grizzly Steppe the Crazy Russian Hack according to the DHS/FBI reportage ordered by a failed president. As anyone working in the IT business knows phishing attacks happen on a regular basis from servers all over the world and are commonplace on the internet. It is also well known that phishing, when taking place is always done from a slave computer, so it is impossible to know the original source. All you can do is block the compromised slave computer from accessing your network. They do not amount to a cyber attacks in the vague parameters laid out in this New Year Grizzly Steppe squib. However in keeping with the hallmarks of Obama’s foreign policy failures this reportage, as that is all it is, is being used to bolster the false Russian Hacker narrative. To act as a smoke screen for other more pressing issues on the cyber front for the US homeland security, namely in this case those of the Hillary Clinton e-mails, kept by her on an unofficial unsecured server, which exposed …

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The Exceptional Nation…

a satire by Terje M BERLIN,December 17, 1954 The struggle for power in the ruling elites continues unabated after the official loser in the elections for Chancellor last month refuses to concede. Speculations abound about a ‘constitutional coup’, where the Party representatives will overrule the people’s suggestions. Eva Braun (42) suffered a setback in her quest to be the first female Chancellor, after her loss to Hermann Goering (61), the former minister for aviation, last month. People close to her have stated their displeasure at the result, and have more than hinted that they would seek to overturn the result. Her campaign was severly impacted by the exposure of several scandals. Leaked documents showed her hobnobbing with leading industrialist for support and funding, reminiscent of her husband’s infamous speech to a similar assembly of industrialists and bankers in 1932, before he got elected. Her husband is widely regarded as a controversial Chancellor with a difficult legacy. Even so, the couple are known for their long-standing charitable activities. The former Chancellor’s kindness to animals is legendary, …

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US Intel Vets issue statement disputing Russia Hacking Claims

from Consortium News As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity MEMORAMDUM Allegation of Hacking Election are Basless A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else. Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay. In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with emphasis on cyber-intelligence …

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Georgia Sec. of State claims DHS hacks his office during elections

Brian Kemp, the secretary of State for Georgia, has joined his voice to the choir of American political figures decrying the “hacking” of American politics. The only trouble is, he’s pointing fingers at the wrong side. Kemp told a local news station that his office regularly comes under cyber-attacks either the day before, or the day of, an election. The Republican Sec. of State claimed that ten different attacks, dating back to February of this year, could all be traced back – not to the Russian government – but to IP addresses associated with the Department of Homeland Security. Full story from WSB-TV Atlanta here.

These protests are totally organic. Just like they are everywhere else that elects a leader the CIA doesn't like.

How far will they go to avoid a President Trump?

by Kit Overturning or ignoring Trumps victory poses a very real risk of massive riots and civic unrest. Would the Powers That Be really be willing to go that far? Shortly after the Brexit referendum I wrote this article, positing that the UK might undergo its own version of a “Color Revolution” in the wake of an unpredicatable and (from an establishment POV) unwelcome election result. The undermining and circumvention of the UK’s exit from the European Union is an ongoing process. Trump’s election may well add fuel to that fire. However, no matter the seismic shake-up that Brexit delivered this side of the pond, the election of Donald Trump last month is bigger. A lot bigger. Brexit was one issue, Trump is – theoretically – a reversal of years of policy designed to shape the world a certain way. As such, the backlash is bigger and possibly a lot more dangerous to the concept of democracy. It’s a little-known fact, outside the United States, that the Presidential Election is not, in fact, decided by …

A Belgium Air Force F-16 lands on May 22, 2007 during the scramble competition at the 2007 Falcon Air Meet (FAM).  Aircrews are judged by the ability to generate two sorties in the quickest and safest way possible reflecting a war time mission.  The FAM is an annual training opportunity hosted in Jordan for pilots from each country to fly and operate together. Participating in the 2007 FAM are air forces from Jordan, Turkey, Belgium, and the United States, specifically Shaw AFB.  (Photo by Technical Sergeant Wolfram M. Stumpf)

Russia Remains the Only Target Country of NATO’s Nuclear Weapons

by Brian Cloughley, via Strategic Culture Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are the world’s five “nuclear weapons states”, a description officially recognised in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which lays down that “each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices…” It is apparent that the word ‘transfer’ involves ownership and not location, because the United States has transferred many nuclear weapons to countries which, although members of the US-NATO military alliance, are not nuclear weapons states. An analysis by the Nuclear Threat Initiative indicates that the US has positioned 160-200 B-61 nuclear warheads «at six bases in five NATO countries: Belgium (10-20), Germany (10-20), Italy (60-70), Netherlands (10-20), and Turkey (60-70)». According to a NATO statement of December 2015, «A number of NATO member countries contribute a dual-capable aircraft (DCA) capability to the Alliance. These aircraft are available for nuclear roles at various levels of readiness – the highest level of readiness is measured in weeks. In their nuclear role, the aircraft are equipped to carry …

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Red-Baiting, Putin-Scaremongering Democrats Are Now Suddenly Worried About Offending China

by Caitlin Johnstone, via Newslogue It’s weird to see Democrats suddenly freaking out about diplomacy when they’ve spent the last five months screaming that we need to attack the Russians at every turn. The Democrats, who have spent the latter half of this year loudly blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for everything from the DNC leaks to Hillary Clinton’s defeat to Arrested Development’s mediocre fourth season, have all of a sudden transformed from a mob of screaming, frenzied Joseph McCarthys into a bunch of tender-hearted grandmotherly diplomats now that Donald Trump has broken with executive tradition and accepted a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Why is such a phone call so outrageous, you may ask? Why, because that might offend the Chinese, and we can’t just go around offending the leaders of large, powerful Asiatic nations now, can we? The very idea! Type the word “Taiwan” into Google and then click News and you’ll see what I mean; article after article, editorial after editorial about “China’s wrath” and what a colossal “gaffe” and “blunder” …

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Globalization: The Endgame

by Frank The Federal Reserve Board’s decision to implement a rise in interest rates this month is widely expected. However, this is only the second time in 8 years that this has occurred, the first 0.25% in December of 2015 and, as seems likely, 0.25% one year later. This is hardly tight monetary policy; 50 basis points in 8 years is largely symbolic, although, having said this, the January 2015 hike did cause quite a kerfuffle in the markets. The Fed’s monetary incontinence has been replicated by central banks around the world in their attempts to deal with the bust of 2008, and the sluggish growth since that time. Monetary policy (to be distinguished from fiscal policy) has been used to counter deflationary trends and act as a prop to stave off complete economic/financial collapse. The policies involve several guidelines which include control of interest rates, bank reserve ratios, and Quantitative Easing (QE). The theory and practice of QE is not new. Once called Open Market Operations it involves the Central Bank – in this …

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Open letter to the president-elect of the USA requesting a new investigation into the July 2014 downing of Boeing MH-17

Your election has raised hopes that easing of tensions, between U.S. and Russia, and peacemaking in Europe in general is achievable. Settlement of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine and lifting the sanctions against Russia which is vital for the world community has a realistic chance now.

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The West vs. Russia: Towards the end of a Pax Americana?

by Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic A peaceful dissolution of the USSR according to the agreement between Mikhail Gorbachow and Ronald Reagan in 1988 in Reykjavik brought a new dimension of a global geopolitics in which up to 2008 Russia, as a legal successor state of the USSR, was playing an inferior role in global politics when an American Neocon concept of Pax Americana became the fundamental framework in international relations. Therefore, for instance, Boris Yeltsin’s Russia capitulated in 1995 to the American design regarding a final outcome of the USA/EU policy of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia in November 1995 (the Dayton Agreeement) followed by even worse political capitulation in the case of Washington’s Kosovo policy that became ultimatelly implemented in June 1999 (the Kumanovo Agreement). Russia became in the 1990s totally geopolitically humiliated by the USA and its West European clients to such extent that we can call a period of Boris Yeltsin’s servile policy toward the West as a Dark Time of the history of Russian international relations when the main losers became the …

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Bait & Switch – Fake News, propornot, the Real Inform & Influence Operation

by GH Eliason A few days before the 2016 election I contacted several publishers and told them they were on a list to be dealt with/ taken down after what was supposed to be a Clinton victory. This effort was against news sites and websites that spoke or wrote against current US policies that Clinton supported. As I was writing this Glen Greenwald’s great article came out specifically about propornot. That plays a small part in this. Journalists that said or wrote anything damaging to the Clinton campaign or supported her opponents in any way were targeted. News sites and journalists that failed to criticize Vladimir Putin, or worse; they were sympathetic of this or that Russian or Syria policy at any time are on the lists. The implication isn’t that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with this. She didn’t, at least not directly. We’re going to take a clear look at this, who is behind it, and why. The political stakes and stakeholders go far beyond the presidency. It was about setting the …

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Media Silent as Lame-Duck House Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia

by Justin Gardner, via Free Thought Project Hillary Clinton’s loss was a shock to the purveyors of U.S. military hegemony, who saw in her an easier path to keep the Syria conflict going. Secretary of State Clinton was instrumental in the early days of Syria intervention, in 2010 making a series of demands for Syria to get in line behind the U.S. vision for the Middle East. When Bashar al-Assad refused to roll over, regime change became the talking point of Washington think tanks and mainstream media echo chambers. Clinton promised during her campaign to ramp up action in Syria, to the delight of the same neocons who brought the Iraq invasion. She acknowledged that many civilians would die if the U.S. set up a no-fly zone. Establishment of a no-fly zone is the next crucial step toward full-scale war. It would mean Syrian planes could not fly in their own airspace and would bring the disturbing prospect of U.S. planes shooting down Russian planes — which are operating there on invitation from Syria to help …

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Jill Stein for Hillary

by Stephen Lendman Shameful! What’s going on? Why did her campaign announce its “intent to file for a recount of votes in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, leading a multi-partisan effort to check the accuracy of the machine-counted vote tallies in these states in order to ensure the integrity of our election?” Did she forget Hillary criticizing Trump’s possible refusal to accept electoral results when asked, calling it “a direct threat to our democracy?” Does she support what war goddess, racketeer, perjurer Hillary stands for? Does she oppose Trump wanting normalized relations with Russia – crucial to prevent the threat of possible nuclear war with Hillary empowered as US military commander-in-chief. I supported Stein, believed in her, wrote glowing articles about her campaign, her advocacy for world peace, equity and justice. Was I wrong? Did I misjudge her? Is she against what she claims to stand for? Many times in articles I called Hillary the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history. Does Stein support her? Want the election reversed in …

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) ORG XMIT: OTKMC101

Obama changes his mind on Russia

by Patrick Armstrong It’s been quite a progression, hasn’t it? Part One: Weak, Regional, Failing Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors — not out of strength but out of weakness. Netherlands, 25 March 2014 But I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents. We have to make sure that they don’t escalate where suddenly nuclear weapons are back in the discussion of foreign policy. And as long as we do that, then I think history is on our side. Economist interview, 2 August 2014 Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states, Mr. Putin’s aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and …