zaterdag 16 februari 2013

George Carlin

'Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.'

 - George Carlin

Henry Kissinger. Terrorist

Watch out: Satire that gives a more honest impression of reality than the mainstream does.

Henry Kissinger: "If You Can't Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf"

By Alfred Heinz 

February 15, 2013 "
Information Clearing House" - NEW YORK - USA - In a remarkable admission by former Nixon era Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, reveals what is happening at the moment in the world and particularly the Middle East.
Speaking from his luxurious Manhattan apartment, the elder statesman, who will be 89 in May, is all too forward with his analysis of the current situation in the world forum of Geo-politics and economics.
"The United States is baiting China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them. We're like the sharp shooter daring the noob to pick up the gun, and when they try, it's bang bang. The coming war will will be so severe that only one superpower can win, and that's us folks. This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state. Their urgency tells me that they know full well that the big showdown is upon us. O how I have dreamed of this delightful moment."
"Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."
Mr Kissinger then added: "If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised."
After pausing for a few minutes to collect his thoughts, Mr Kissinger, carried on: "We told the military that we would have to take overseven Middle Eastern countries for their resources and they have nearly completed their job. We all know what I think of the military, but I have to say they have obeyed orders superfluously this time. It is just that last stepping stone, i.e. Iran which will really tip the balance. How long can China and Russia stand by and watch America clean up? The great Russian bear and Chinese sickle will be roused from their slumber and this is when Israel will have to fight with all its might and weapons to kill as many Arabs as it can. Hopefully if all goes well, half the Middle East will be Israeli. Our young have been trained well for the last decade or so on combat console games, it was interesting to see the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game, which mirrors exactly what is to come in the near future with its predictive programming. Our young, in the US and West, are prepared because they have been programmed to be good soldiers, cannon fodder, and when they will be ordered to go out into the streets and fight those crazy Chins and Russkies, they will obey their orders. Out of the ashes we shall build a new society, a new world order; there will only be one superpower left, and that one will be the global government that wins. Don't forget, the United States, has the best weapons, we have stuff that no other nation has, and we will introduce those weapons to the world when the time is right."

End of interview. Our reporter is ushered out of the room by Kissinger's minder.
This article was originally posted at

“If we are not prepared to think for ourselves, and to make the effort to learn how to do this well, we will always be in danger of becoming slaves to the ideas and values of others due to our own ignorance.” - William Hughes

“History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history--while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance--might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth.” - Howard Zinn

“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.” - George Carlin

“One of the most important things one can do in life is to brutally question every single thing you are taught.” - Bryant McGill

Who Tells Us What To Think?
Does The Mainstream Media = The Matrix?

By Michael Snyder

Do you believe that you really think for yourself?  Did you come up with your attitudes, opinions and beliefs on your own, or are they continually being shaped and molded by someone else? Continue
Scroll down to add / read comments 

'Deskundigen' 110

Truth is always the enemy of power. And power the enemy of truth.
Edward Abbey. A Voice Crying In The Wilderness. 1989
I cannot prove that I am stateless, because I am stateless.
Ad van Delderen. Go No Go. 2003
The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama… In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.
‘What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Our age is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds. It will be one of its chief claims to notice in the moral history of humanity… All these passions of today… have discovered a ‘historical law,’ according to which their movement is merrely carrying out the spirit of history and must therefore necessarily triumph, while the opposing party is running counter to this spirit and can enjoy only a transitory triumph. That is merely the old desire to have Fate on one’s side, but it is put forth in a scientific shape. And this brings us to the second novelty: Today all political ideologies claim to be founded on science, to be the result of a ‘precise observation of facts.’ We all know what self-assurance, what rigidity, what inhumanity … are given to these passions today by this claim.
To summarize: Today political passions show a degree of universality, of coherence, of homogeneousness, of precision, of continuity, of preponderance, in relation to other passions, unknown until our times. They have become conscious of themselves to an extent never seen before. Some of them, hitherto scarcely avowed, have awakened to consciousness and have joined the old passions. Others have become more purely passionate than ever, possess men’s hearts in moral regions they never before reached, and have acquired a mystic character which had disappeared for centuries. All are furnished with an apparatus of ideology whereby, in the name of science, they proclaim the supreme value of their action and its historical necessity. On the surface and in the depths, in spatial values and in inner strength, political passions have today reached a point of perfection never before known in history. The present age is essentially the age of politics.
Julien Benda. The Treason of the Intellectuals. 1927
 Orde, evenwicht tussen de verschillende machten, binnen Amerika en ook in de rest van de wereld, dat was zijn doel… Teddy Roosevelt was een fenomeen.
Geert Mak. Reizen zonder John. 2012
Als je invloed en macht wilt hebben, moet je groots zijn. Dat is iets wat we in Europa van ze kunnen leren.
Geert Mak. Nu.NL. 22 augustus 2012
'Het is beter voor Nederland en de internationale gemeenschap dat Obama de verkiezingen wint.'
Geert Mak. EO Radio. 6 november 2012

Afgaande op de uitspraken van westerse mainstream-intellectuelen als Mak is er inderdaad sprake van ‘la trahison des clercs,’ zoals Benda het in zijn eigen taal noemde. Hun begrippen als ‘het einde van de geschiedenis,‘groots zijn,’ ‘orde’ en ‘evenwicht’  verraden een totalitair wereldbeeld van opiniemakers die met een handvol illusies de macht en het grote publiek willen behagen. Daar tegenover staat de visie van kunstenaars en denkers. In zijn essay The Great Gatsby: Fitzgerald’s Meditation on American History schreef de Amerikaanse emeritus hoogleraar Literatuur Kermit W. Moyer:
The foul dust that floats in the wake of America’s dreams: the waste of material resources exploited in a desperate effort to sustain that impossible and disastrously circular thrust into the future and the waste of spiritual resources exploited in the ‘service of a vast, vulgar, and metricious beauty’ (p.99). The foul dust is the corruptive materialism, like a worm in an apple, at the center of the transcendental dream.

 De Amerikaanse Droom, waarnaar al degenen die de werkelijkheid niet kunnen verdragen op zoek zijn, is in werkelijkheid de hersenschim van zowel de winners als de losers, een illusie die de democratie heeft vernietigd omdat het alle interne tegenstrijdigheden van het kapitalisme ontkend, de realiteit dus ontkend en daarmee mensen buitensluit. De Amerikaanse socioloog en toneelschrijver Phlip Slater schrijft daarover in A Dream Deferred. America’s Discontent And The Search For A New Democratic Ideal:
Democracy is by definition inclusive. Not just in the sense of including people, but in the sense of including ideas. Authoritarianism is exclusive, seeking to limit – to shut out disruptive ideas and feelings. Hence it is appealing to those with dictatorial egos – egos that are continually struggling to suppress uncomfortable messages from the interior… It is not merely a matter of including… individuals within the framework of rights which our Declaration of Independence claims to be inalienable but which have so often been alienated, it is also a matter of reviving our feelings for the rights themselves.
This claim toward inclusiveness is an international one. Despite the many local wars and ethnic battles around the world, global interdependence has become a reality. The tiresome military posturing that still fascinates our media and our presidency is obscuring one of the most profoundly integrative phenomena in history – the accelerating global cross-fertilization as widely different cultures make increased contact. The recent fusions that have occured in art, music, dance, theater, film, literature, and so on are only the beginning of a rich and diverse gobal renaissance.
Het is inderdaad een mogelijkheid, maar een mogelijkheid die bedreigd wordt door het geweld van het neoliberale mens- en wereldbeeld dat uitgaat van het dogma dat ‘als je invloed en macht wilt hebben, je groots [moet] zijn,’ een meedogenloze leerstelling ‘wat we in Europa van ze kunnen leren.Daarbij gaat de mainstream ook nog eens voorbij aan de historische werkelijkheid zoals die vier eeuwen geleden in de latere VS begon met de aankomst van Europese christelijke fundamentalisten, over wie de Amerikaanse dichter William Carlos Williams in zijn essaybundel In the American  Grain het volgende schreef:

As particles stripped of wealth, mortifying as they were mortified, ‘predicateurs,’ greatly suffering, greatly prepared to suffer, they were the perfect sprout for the continent God had driven them to. But Puritans, as they were called, if they were pure it was more since they had nothing in them of fulfillment than because of positive virtues.
By their very emptiness they were the fiercest element in the battle to establish a European life on the New World… The emptiness about them was sufficient terror for them not to look further. The jargon of God, which they used, was their dialect by which they kept themselves surrounded as with a palisade…
The dreadful and curious thing is that men, despoiled and having nothing, must long most for that which they have not and so, out of the intensity of their emptiness imagining they are full, deceive themselves and all the despoiled of the world into their sorry beliefs…
Their misfortune has become a malfeasant ghost that dominates us all. It is they who must have invented the ‘soul,’ but the perversion is for this emptiness, this dream, this pale negative to usurp the place of that which really they were destined to continue.
This stress of spirit against the flesh has produced a race incapable of flower. Upon that part of the earth they occupied true spirit dies because of the Puritans, except through vigorous zeal, mistaken for a thrust up toward the sun, was a stroke in, in, in – not toward germination but the confinements of a tomb… And it is still today the Puritan who keeps his frightened grip upon the throat of the world lest it should prove him – empty.
Achter alle grootspraak, hubris, geweld, dreigementen, machtslust, drift, rancune, wraaklust, schuilt de leegte, de zinloosheid, de doodsangst. Een dichterlijke geest kan dat zien, voelt het ook, maar voor mensen die alles verpolitieken of in geld vertalen bestaat deze werkelijkheid niet. William Carlos Williams eindigt zijn essay Voyage of the Mayflower aldus:
Here souls perish miserably, or escaping, are bent into grotesque designs of violence and despair. It is an added strength thrown to a continent already too powerful for men. One had not expected that this seed of England would come to impersonate, and to marry, the very primitive itself; to creep into the very intestines of the settlers and turn them against themselves, to befoul the New World.
It has become ‘the most lawless country in the civilized world,’ a panorama of muders, perversions, a terrific ungoverned strength, excusable only because of the horrid beauty of its great machines. Today it is a generation of gross know-nothingism, of blackened churches were hymns groan like chants from stupefied jungles, a generation universally eager to barter permanent values (the hope of an aristocracy) in return for opportunist material advantages, a generation hating those whom it obeys.
What prevented the normal growth? Was it England, the northern strain, the soil they landed on? It was, of course, the whole weight of the wild continent that made their condition of mind advantageous, forcing it to reproduce its owen likeness, and no more.

Vandaar ook het aanhoudende expansionisme, overal moet deze cultuur zich weerspiegeld zien, zo niet dan zal het gedwongen zijn de eigen angstaanjagende leegte te aanschouwen. De consumptiemaatschappij is een vlak glazen façade waarin de mens zich miljoenvoudig weerkaatst ziet en naar zichzelf blijft kijken om te controleren of hij nog bestaat. De opmerking van ‘Amerikadeskundige’ Geert Mak dat de VS ‘weer het ‘gewone’ land moet worden dat het tot 1940 was,’ bewijst hoe weinig hij, net als de rest van de mainstream in de massamedia, van het land begrijpt. In plaats van beschaamd te zwijgen menen ze dat ‘Amerika behoefte’ heeft aan hun ‘blik van buitenaf.’  Het zou van intellectuele integriteit getuigen als ze eens naar Amerikaanse intellectuelen zouden luisteren en niet alleen naar ‘het volk’ en ‘de politici.’  Zo schreef al in 1999 Noam Chomsky dat uit Amerikaans opinieonderzoek blijkt dat ‘more than 80 percent of the population feel that the democratic system is a sham and that the economy is ‘inherently unfair,’ terwijl ‘The business press records “capital’s clear subjugation of labor for the past fifteen years,” which has allowed it to win many victories.’  De Nederlandse opiniemakers zouden ook eens over de volgende opmerking van Andy Warhol kunnen nadenken:
Your own life while it’s happening to you never has any atmosphere until it’s a memory. So the fantasy corners of America seem so atmospheric because you’ve pieced them together from scenes in movies and music and lines from books. And you live in your dream America that you’ve custom-made from art and schmaltz and emotions just as much as you live in your real one.
Het citaat, uit 1985 dat in de catalogus Andy Warhol’s Dream America staat, vat treffend samen hoe de Amerikaanse Droom een individuele zelfverzonnen werkelijkheid is, bestaande uit flarden kitsch, sentimentaliteit en een wanhopig verlangen naar een motief dat de mens boven zichzelf verheft. Warhol’s visie plaats dan ook Mak’s bewering dat ‘het beter [is] voor Nederland en de internationale gemeenschap dat Obama de verkiezingen wint' in een wel heel wonderlijk licht.

Maandag meer. 

Obama's Crimes 15

Targeted Killings: A Legal History

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Posted on Feb 14, 2013
AP/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Unless you are an unquestioning hawk in the war on terror, “scary” doesn’t begin to describe the breathtaking expansion of executive authority called for in the Justice Department’s “white paper” on “targeted killing,” published this month by NBC News. In 16 pages of dense single-spaced legal prose, the paper lays out a justification under both international and domestic law for the president or other unspecified “informed, high-level” administration officials to order the execution of U.S. citizens abroad who are deemed to be senior operational leaders of al-Qaida or forces “associated” with the terrorist network.
When all the legalese is stripped away, the paper offers a stark and simple bottom line: Because America is at war, all that’s needed for a kill order to proceed is evidence that a targeted individual is “continually involved in planning terrorist attacks against the United States.” An attack need not be imminent or immediate, and the supporting evidence need never be made public because a targeted kill order, according to the paper, is beyond the scope of judicial review, either pre- or post-execution.
Since the white paper’s release, constitutional scholars and political commentators havepicked apart the memo’s legal reasoning, decrying the administration’s position as a wholesale violation of due process, and an audacious power grab that, if allowed to stand, will insulate Obama and future presidents from the accountability and openness that are the bedrocks of democracy.
But as sweeping and disturbing as the white paper may be, it is not without historical precedent. Minus the drone technology involved, we as a nation have been down this road before, although for the most part covertly. Indeed, according to Harvard Law School professors Gabriella Blum and Philip Heymann, targeted killings, or “assassinations” as they were more bluntly called before the newspeak of post-9/11 politics, have long been regarded as a basic element of foreign relations that largely remained in the dark, unspoken of but widely practiced in response to perceived threats to national security.
In 1975, the Senate select committee chaired by the late Frank Church, D-Neb., famously broke through the secrecy, reporting that it had uncovered evidence linking the CIA to at least eight assassination plots, involving such world figures as Fidel Castro, the corrupt South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem and Chilean Gen. Rene Schneider, who was killed in 1970 after he refused to block the election of Salvador Allende. And while secrecy remained the norm thereafter, a handful of subsequent operations that were too big to go unnoticed entered the public domain, including the 1986 airstrike ordered by President Reagan on Moammar Gadhafi’s residence, and the 1998 bombing of Osama bin Laden’s Afghanistan headquarters, undertaken by the Clinton administration.

After the 9/11 attacks, the number of kill orders, now directed against al-Qaida and its allies, increased exponentially, expanding beyond the Afghan battlefields under the authority of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act, one of the principal legal sources cited in the white paper on the current targeted kill program. Since 2004, drone strikes in Pakistan alone have resulted in as many as 3,468 deaths. Three U.S. citizens—the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, along with Samir Khan, the editor of al-Qaida’s English-language Web magazine Inspire, have been killed, all in Yemen. 
Seen in an even wider historical context, the Justice Department’s white paper also can be understood as an outgrowth of America’s long and often lamentable history of combating purported domestic threats to national security. As Yeshiva University history professor Ellen Schrecker—considered by many the foremost authority on McCarthyism—reminds us, political repression at home is “as American as apple pie.”
Although each period of repression, from the subjugation of the Native American population to the red scare of the mid-20th century and the Islamophobia afoot today, has its unique character, according to Schrecker, they share at least two core parallel features. First, the enemy is dehumanized and demonized by politicians and the press as an alien outside force bent on destroying the country, its citizens and its values. Second, there is a precipitating crisis, usually in the form of a hot or cold war, that drives the demonization and serves to validate the curbs on civil liberties that repression brings.
The red scare is particularly instructive, both to our understanding the present crisis and for pointing a way out of it. Then, as now, the U.S. found itself in the throes of a protracted struggle against a foreign enemy—the Soviet Union and later, China—that in the rhetoric of the day threatened the American way of life. Then, as now, those in power responded with increased surveillance of suspected subversives, the compilation of security indexes and enemy lists, arrests, imprisonment, and in the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, execution. 
Then, as now, there also was a determined effort to limit the state’s overreach, both through political organizing and the courts. As a young lawyer, I worked as an associate in a Los Angeles law firm that long before my arrival had helped litigate some of the landmark lawsuits that eventually made their way to the Supreme Court and changed the face of constitutional law, clarifying that mere advocacy of political ideas could not be criminalized and that only speech that reasonably and intentionally threatens actual imminent harm may be proscribed.
Following in that tradition, the ACLU and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a federal lawsuit (Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta) in Washington, D.C., to have the targeted kill program declared unlawful.
Whether the ACLU’s case succeeds, of course, remains uncertain, as is true of all lawsuits. But regardless of the outcome of any single case, one truth with any luck and enough perseverance will ultimately prevail: In exercising its legitimate right of self-defense, our government will remain bound by the Constitution, and its acts, for better or worse, will remain subject to thorough judicial review.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised “to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.” These are bold words and, if believed, reassuring. Judging from the Justice Department’s white paper, however, the president has an enormous amount of rethinking to do before we can take his promise at face value.

vrijdag 15 februari 2013

Boycot Israel 121

There's much to do between now and the shareholder vote this summer!
1. CREF no longer accepts shareholder resolutions for this year, but everyone is encouraged to sign our open petition. You've signed our petition already (thanks!), now please tell your friends to sign it as well.
Dear Stan,

Over 200 CREF clients filed individual shareholder resolutions asking the retirement giant to to end investments in companies whose business supports Israel’s occupation.
About 50 people stood in a freezing New York morning last week (see right), and another contingent stood in an even colder Chicago morning (see below) to present by hand some of these shareholder resolution to TIAA-CREF's offices.
These hundreds of resolutions have opened the door to raise the question officially--not only with TIAA-CREF's management, but also with the company's millions of clients--about divesting from companies making a profit off the suffering of the Palestinian people.
In fact, the Palestinian Freedom Riders paved the way with their own bodies, when they engaged in civil disobedience, protesting the operation of segregated buses by companies such as Veolia. They asked a simple question that merits a response: if you knew you were making a profit off the segregationist Montgomery bus company, would you?
We know that thousands of CREF clients are ready to answer no. They do not want their own money to be invested to support the theft of Palestinian land, livelihoods, and resources.
Why would TIAA-CREF force its clients to benefit from injustice?
Sydney Levy
on behalf of the WeDivest Coalition

'Deskundigen' 109

Growth for the saken of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Edward Abbey. A Voice Crying In The Wilderness. 1989
Whether the whites won the land by treaty, by armed conquest, or, as was actually the case, by a mixture of both, mattered comparatively little so long as the land was won. It was all-important that it should be won, for the benefit of civilization and in the interests of mankind. It is indeed a warped, perverse, and silly morality which would forbid a course of conquest that has turned whole continents into the seats of mighty and flourishing civilized nations. All men of sane and wholesome thought must dismiss with impatient contempt the plea that these continents should be reserved for the use of scattered savage tribes, whose life was but a few degrees less meaningless, squalid, and ferocious than that of the wild beasts with whom they held joint ownership. It is as idle to apply to savages the rules of international morality which obtain between stable and cultured communities… 

Most fortunately, the hard, energetic, practical men who do the rough pioneer work of civilization in barbarous lands, are not prone to false sentimentality… it is the men actually on the borders of the longed-for ground, the men actually in contact with the savages, who in the end shape their own destinies… The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages, though it is apt to be also the most terrible and inhuman. The rude, fierce settler who drives the savage from the land lays all civilized mankind under a debt to him. American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori, — in each case the victor, horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people. The consequences of struggles for territory between civilized nations seem small by comparison... it is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races.
Theodore Roosevelt. The Winning of the West, Volume Three: The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790. 1900 
The Modern World would respect the Creation only insofar as it could be used by humans. Henceforth, by definition, by principle, we would be unable to leave anything as it was. The usable would be used; the useless would be sacrificed in the use of something else. By means of the machine metaphor we have eliminated any fear or awe or reverence of humility or delight or joy that might have restrained us in our use of the world. We have indeed learned to act as if our sovereignity were unlimited and as if our intelligence were equal to the universe. Our ‘success’ is a catastrophic demonstration of our failure. The industrial Paradise is a fantasy in the minds of the privileged and the powerful; the reality is a shambles.
Wendell Berry. The Unsettling of America. Culture & Agriculture. 1977
En Theodore Roosevelt zelf? […] Zijn liefde voor deze woeste natuur was geen show… Orde, evenwicht tussen de verschillende machten, binnen Amerika en ook in de rest van de wereld, dat was zijn doel… Teddy Roosevelt was een fenomeen.
Geert Mak. Reizen zonder John. 2012
Deze door de mainstream opiniemakers gepropageerde en door de macht afgedwongen ‘orde,’ heeft vanwege haar parasitaire karakter overal ter wereld een verwoestende disharmonie veroorzaakt. En omdat de ‘orde’ onbeheersbaar is geworden zal de wal het schip gaan keren. De Amerikaanse socioloog, professor Morris Berman concludeerde in zijn  in 2006 verschenen boek Dark Ages America. The Final Phase Of Empire het volgende:
As Chalmers Johnson notes, the rationales of free trade and open markets were used to disguise our hegemonic power during the 1990s, and to make that power seem benign and ‘natural.’ The upshot was that the United States would rule the world, but under camouflage – a kinder, gentler imperialism, if you will. But the bottom line is that it, and it alone, would rule… The result, writes Alexander Cockburn, was that the Democrats and their associated public interest groups rallied around their leader ‘and marched into the late 1990s arm in arm along the path sign-posted toward the greatest orgy of corporate theft in the history of the planet, deregulation of banking and food safety, NAFTA and the WTO [World Trade Organization], rates of logging six times those achieved in the subsequent Bush years, oil drilling in the Arctic… a vast expansion of the death penalty, reaffirmation of racist drug laws, [and] the foundations of the Patriot Act.’ […] The point is that if you don’t act as steward and promotor of the national security state, your chances of occupying the White House are less than zero…
It was perfectly fine to say Iraq was a strategic error or that it was ‘mismanaged,’ but under no circumstances could you point out that it was an illegal and immoral neocolonial adventure, an intervention in someone else’s civil war. And of course, absolutely verboten was the one thing everybody in the world seems to understand but us: that 9/11 was the blowback from an interventionist foreign policy. These were debates with 95 percent of the political reality screened out in advance. There was no anti-empire candidate on the podium (nor will there ever be); so what really was being debated? An imperialist rubric mandates a phony discussion, in which the two candidates energetically duke it out over a soft versus hard version of the same agenda, while a compliant press (ever mindful of their carreers) report on the ‘contrast’ to an ignorant and gullible American public, who thinks it is getting the real… This is part of the deep structure of our decline: the truth of our situation won’t fly politically, so perforce it must remain invisible.
En exact op dit punt staan wij vandaag de dag in het tweede decennium van de 21ste eeuw. Niemand gelooft meer echt in het systeem. Niemand wil sterven om democratie en mensenrechten te verdedigen, daarom laten we nu ‘drones’ de bloedbaden veroorzaken. En dit op het moment dat we geconfronteerd worden met onze slachtoffers die door hun uitzichtloze positie wel degelijk bereid zijn voor hun zaak te sterven. Wij hebben alles te verliezen, zij niets. Wij zijn nog de ‘geprivilegieerden,’ de rest behoort tot de impoverished two-thirds of humanity,’ om in de terminologie van Brzezinski te blijven. Het enige dat voor westerse gemarginaliseerden overblijft is als chroniqueurs van onze tijd de loop der gebeurtenissen zo waarheidsgetrouw mogelijk te noteren. Dat is een nobele taak, zeker als we die afmeten tegen al dat gedoe van alle doe-mensen die te vaak pas tegen het einde van hun leven ontdekken dat het bestaan tragisch is. Tragisch niet in de zin van de gruwelen die ze hebben begaan voor geld of geloof, want die zijn niet tragisch maar een bewuste slachtpartij. Ik bedoel tragisch in de betekenis die de auteur Milan Kundera eraan geeft: ‘The clearer it became that the hope was illusory, the more clearly emerged the tragedy of their lives.’ Ineens realiseren ze zich te laat dat er een intens vergeefs element zit in al het menselijke handelen.  De belangrijkste na-oorlogse ideoloog van de Amerikaanse buitenlandse politiek, George Kennan, schreef in de epiloog van zijn Sketches From A Life:
I view the United States of these last years of the twentieth century as essentially a tragic country, endowed with magnificent natural resources which it is rapidly wasting and exhausting, and with an intellectual and artistic intelligentsia of great talent and originality. For this intelligentsia the dominant political forces of the country have little understanding or regard. Its voice is normally silenced or outshouted by the commercial media. It is probably condemned to remain indefinitely, like the Russian intelligentsia in the nineteenth century, a helpless spectator of the disturbing course of a nation’s life.
Gezien de belangen van de gevestigde orde ziet het er niet naar uit dat er een wezenlijke politieke omslag zal plaatvinden, en veel belangrijker nog, zeker geen culturele omslag. Veel waarschijnlijker is dat wij aan de vooravond staan van een serie oorlogen over de almaar verminderende grondstoffenreserves waarop een steeds talrijkere wereldbevolking aanspraak doet. In The Race For What’s Left. The Global Scramble For The World’s Last Resources schreef in 2012 de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Peace and World Security Studies Michael T. Klare:
Certainly, Chinese authorities have displayed no inclination to compromise regarding their claims to the East and South China Seas… ‘China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means,’ declared the Global Times, an English-language newspaper published by the Communist Party. To lend weight to that assertion, the Chinese navy conducted extensive military maneuvers in the South China Sea… deploying a fleet of missile-carrying warships and conducting live-fire exersises.
Onder de bodem van de Zuid Chinese Zee liggen fel begeerde grondstoffen voor de economische groei van het land dat sinds kort ‘de Verenigde Staten [is] gepasseerd als grootste handelsland.’ Professor Klare:
The United States has also cautioned China against excessive provocation, insisting that it is fully prepared to defend its allies in the region. ‘We have an enduring presence here, we have an enduring responsibility,’ said Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a July 2011 visit to Beijing. As if in reply to Chinese demonstrations of naval force, the U.S. Navy has conducted its own set of exercises in troubled areas of the South China Sea, and in late 2011 President Obama announced the establishmen of a new U.S. base at Darwin, on Australia’s north coast… Many wars have erupted that way in the past, and there is no reason to assume the same cannot occur again.
As the global struggle over scarce resources intensifies, such risks will only become more common. Similar aggressive posturing by rival claimants, as we have seen, has also been occurring in the Arctic, the Falkland Islands region, and the Celebes Sea off Malaysia and Indonesia. Responding to a Russian warning of possible conflict over Arctic resources, for example, Canada’s foreign minister said in 2009 that his government would ‘work peacefully’ with other contries to resolve boundary disputes – but also added that ‘Canadian Forces are prepared to address future challenges and respond to any emergency’ that might occur in the region. Russian leaders then racheted up the tension by announcing a significant extension of Russia’s border protection forces in the Arctic region.
De dreigende grondstoffentekorten zullen de prijzen blijven opdrijven en daardoor de mogelijkheid van goedkoop produceren in toenemende mate belemmeren. Bovendien leiden die dreigende tekorten nu al tot een toename van de peperdure bewapening waarvan de kosten aan de belastingbetalende burgers wordt doorberekend. Daar komt bij dat de miljarden verslindende bloedige oorlogen in onder andere Kongo, Mali, Afghanistan voorbeelden zijn van de toekomstige gewelddadige ontwikkelingen als gevolg van het claimen van oprakende grondstoffen. Ook vanuit dit perspectief is de stelligheid waarmee Geert Mak bewering dat 'Het beter [is] voor… de internationale gemeenschap dat Obama de verkiezingen wint,' naïeve nonsense. Dit soort denken van de mainstream is gebaseerd op enkele onbespreekbare dogma’s, die zo vanzelfsprekend worden geacht dat ze niet ter discussie worden gesteld. De Amerikaanse politieke wetenschapper Anne-Marie Slaughter, voormalig Director of Policy Planning van het Amerikaanse ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, vatte één van die dogma’s als volgt samen:
Our shared values are essential because they link America to the world. The belief that American values are universal values – that all men and women are created equal, that all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, creed, or nationality – connects us to other nations.

In een land waar 1 procent van de bevolking 40 procent van alle rijkdommen bezit, meer dan 40 miljoen Amerikanen onder de armoedegrens leven, en de helft van de Congresleden miljonair is en de presidentiele verkiezingscampagnes worden gefinancierd door grote concerns, is het inhoudsloze propaganda te beweren dat in de VS all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, creed, or nationality.’ En het is helemaal absurd om op grond van een leugen te denken dat die leugen ‘universal values’ vertegenwoordigt die ‘connects us to other nations.’ Zeker als ook Anne-Marie Slaughter die een goed betaalde hoge ambtenaar was en auteur van de 254 pagina’s tellende studie The Idea That is America: Keeping Faith with Our Values in a Dangerous World weet dat de belastingwetgeving in haar land zo is geregeld dat
It permits wealthy hedge fund operators, venture capitalists and other private-equity managers to treat their pay, for tax purposes, as a return on an investment instead of as a salary. By doing so, they pay taxes at the 15 percent capital gains rate instead of the 35 percent rate on ordinary income.
En ook over de volgende feiten kon Slaughter beschikken:
The average tax rate for the 400 wealthiest Americans was 29.3 percent in 1993, but dropped to 18.1 percent in 2008, according to the latest IRS statistics.
During that time, the combined taxable income of the top 400 soared from $16.3 billion to $91 billion. The richest 10 percent of Americans now control 70 percent of the country’s wealth.
In an era of rising income inequality, mammoth budget deficits and proposed cuts in defense and federal assistance programs, the taxes paid by rich folks like Dagres are a topic of national debate. Billionaire Warren Buffett fueled the controversy when he publicly deplored that his office receptionist and other employees pay taxes at higher rates than he does. Buffett didn’t release his tax returns, but said his annual tax rate, including payroll taxes, is 17.4 percent.
Ondanks de feiten blijven Slaughter en Mak er blind van uitgaan dat de VS het grote voorbeeld blijft voor de rest van de wereld. Maar zoals de Amerikaanse assistant professor in de communicatiewetenschappen Craig Hayden in 2011 schreef in de essaybundel The Rhetoric Of American Exceptionalism:
Such arguments for public diplomacy efforts presuppose that influence is accomplished in the revelation of shared values – and, in particular, that the United States embodies universal values. In this view, all audiences are assumed to aspire to these abstractions of political and social values.
Yet when values are represented as both universal and distinct to the United States, they may become less effective as a route to persuasion. Pedantic reminders of the special providence of U.S. political culture does not, as it turns out, generate copious support for the United States (Kohut and Stokes, 2006).
Het feit dat Geert Mak gebrekkig is geinformeerd over de VS en toch meent dat hij namens de rest van de mensheid kan spreken door te beweren dat 'het beter [is] voor… de internationale gemeenschap dat Obama de verkiezingen wint,' getuigt inderdaad van een niet geringe pedanterie. Hoewel hij en de andere mainstream opiniemakers in hun eigen propaganda zijn gaan geloven, weet een aanzienlijk deel van de mensheid inmiddels wel wat de keerzijde is van de Amerikaanse neoliberale ideologie. Al was het maar omdat ze in tegenstelling tot Mak en Slaughter niet tot de gepriviligieerden behoren, maar tot de impoverished two-thirds of humanity.’ Wat men ook mag beweren, de armen kunnen zich de illusies van een miljonair niet permitteren. Het zou hun dood betekenen, terwijl ze hier in het Westen geld en aanzien oplevert. Hayden, die op massacommunicatie-gebied veel wetenschappelijk onderzoek heeft gedaan, stelt terecht:
While exceptionalism may ‘work’ as an acceptable set of arguments to frame policy debate within the United States, it runs aground when translated into actionable policy prescriptions. This problem is both tactical and strategic.
Maar omdat het intellectuele niveau van de polder-intelligentsia ver onder dat van de Amerikaanse intelligentsia ligt kan de gelauwerde Mak onweersproken ervan uitgaan dat hij de maat is voor de rest van de wereldbevolking. Nee dus, de mensen elders zijn veel minder naief dan onze opiniemakers. Getuige de oplage in Nederland van zijn Amerika reisgids mag de kapitalistische propaganda dan wel in Nederland werken, maar zeker niet in de ontwikkelingslanden. 

Het Amerikaanse exceptionalisme werkte effectief in de jaren vijftig toen Mak in de provincie voor het eerst met de Donald Duck werd geconfronteerd en van zijn ‘zakgeld platte pakjes kauwgom’ kocht ‘mooi ingepakt, met een los plaatje van een filmster – die sparen we --, en alles ruikt vreemd en rozig: Amerika!’  Die magie verdween tijdens de Amerikaanse Vietnam-terreur, einde jaren zestig van de vorige eeuw, weliswaar niet voor de westerse mainstream opiniemakers die een ‘geheime liefde’ voor het ‘droomland’ bleven koesteren, maar wel voor ontelbare verpauperden en  westerlingen die dwars door de propaganda konden heen prikken.
Morgen meer.

Nazi Crimes of the Self Proclaimed Jewish State Sulaiman Ahmed @ShaykhSulaiman NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY DID 11:59 a.m. · 15 jun. 202...