zaterdag 15 april 2017

What the U.S. Aristocracy Are Demanding

What the U.S. Aristocracy Are Demanding

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Donald Trump has reversed his national-security policies 180 degrees, and is now focusing it around conquering Russia, instead of around reducing the threat from jihadists.

The reason for this drastic change is in order for him to be able to win the support of the U.S. aristocracy, who had overwhelmingly favored Hillary Clinton during the Presidential contest, and who (and whose ‘news’media) have been trying to portray Trump as “Putin’s fool” or even as “Putin’s Manchurian candidate” and thus as an illegitimate President or even traitor who is beholden to ‘America’s enemy’ (which to them is Russia) for Trump’s having won the U.S. Presidency — which they had tried to block from happening. (And, actually, even Republican billionaires generally preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump — and almost all of them hate Putin, who insists upon Russia’s independence, which the U.S. aristocracy call by all sorts of bad names, so that any American who even so much as merely questions the characterization of Russia as being an ‘enemy’ nation, is considered to be ‘unAmerican’, like in the days of communism and Joseph R. McCarthy, as if communism and the U.S.S.R. and its Warsaw Pact that mirrored America’s NATO military alliance, even existed today, which they obviously don’t. So: the U.S. Establishment’s portrayal of current international reality is so bizarre, it can be believed only by fools, but enough such fools exist so as to enable that Establishment to do horrific things, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the 2011 invasion of Libya, just to name two examples, which got rid of two national leaders who were friendly toward Russia.)
After Trump ditched his National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (whom Obama had fired for not being sufficiently anti-Russian, but Trump then hired) and replaced him with the rabidly anti-Russian H.R. McMaster (whom the aristocracy’s people were recommending to Trump), Trump was expecting to be relieved from the aristocracy’s intensifying campaign to impeach him or otherwise replace him and make the President his clearly pro-aristocratic Vice President Mike Pence, but the overthrow-Trump campaign continued even after McMaster became installed replacing Flynn. Then, perhaps because the replacement of Flynn by McMaster failed to satisfy the aristocracy, Trump additionally ousted Stephen Bannon and simultaneously bombed Syrian government forces, and now the campaign to overthrow Trump seems finally to have subsided, at least a bit, at least for now. 

Trump’s domestic enemies have been variously called “neoconservatives,” “Zionists,” “Democrats,” “liberals,” “Republicans,” and other such misleading categories, all of which ‘sides’ are now actually controlled by, and representing, only one side, the world’s roughly 2,000 billionaires (and this Forbes list doesn’t even include royalty, who are the topmost of all, such as the King of Saudi Arabia, whose net worth is in the trillions). These are the individuals who control all of the ‘news’ media that have significantly large audiences, and who also control Wall Street, and who also control the giant oil companies, and who also control the top 100 U.S. government contracting firms, the top 25 of which are shown, in the ranking of the “Top 100 Contractors of the U.S. federal government”, as being: 1: Lockheed Martin. 2: Boeing. 3: General Dynamics. 4: Raytheon. 5: Northrop Grumman. 6: McKesson. 7: United Technologies. 8: L-3. 9: Bechtel. 10: BAE. 11: Huntington Ingalls. 12: Humana. 13: SAIC. 14: Booz Allen Hamilton. 15: Healthnet. 16: Computer Sciences. 17: UnitedHealth. 18: Aecom. 19: Leidos. 20: Harris. 21: General Atomics. 22: Hewlett-Packard. 23: Battelle. 24: United Launch Alliance. 25 Los Alamos National Lab. 
Those 25 firms are about 35% of the total, but they’re almost 100% ‘Defense’ Department suppliers, and so they show the extreme extent to which the extraordinary entity that President Dwight Eisenhower had called (only when he was leavingoffice — he had been too scared to say it while still in the White House) “the military-industrial complex”, has come to be the aristocracy that’s now joined-at-the-head to the behind-the-scenes U.S. government, and that uses, and is used by, that government (its politicians), in order to protect and increase their personal wealth. 
They thrive on war, because war is the ultimate government-expense. (Aristocrats have, over the centuries, benefited from government expenses, because those expenses are extracted from the public, and become income to the aristocracy.) And, then, after a war is over, the entity who own the debt that the taxpayers will need to pay back, for all of those government-purchases, from all of those government contractors (basically the manufacturers of the machines for mass-killing) is whom? The megabanks had been lending to those weapons-makers, of course, so as to enable these manufacturers to ramp-up production. The money that was lent to make those weapons, comes back to these megabanks, with interest, charged to those weapons-makers, who profited from these weapons-sales. Thus, it’s not just those weapons-manufacturing firms but also the megabanks, that grow from wars. In addition, the government has issued bonds to pay to the weapons-makers to purchase those weapons. Those enormous debts, which had been paid to the weapons-makers, are now owed by taxpayers to the government to pay to the owners of those government bonds, which often are investment-firms, either the megabanks themselves, or clients of the megabanks. Ultimately, these debts often become assets on the mega-banks’ balance-sheets — and the same aristocratic families can (and often do) own or control both government contractors and megabanks, and sometimes also the investment-firms. This is the safe way, the low-risk way, for billionaires to become multi-billionaires. Virtually all of the risks of wars are borne by the general public, but all of the profits from wars go to the aristocrats. It’s a certain type of game, in which the billionaires are the players, and the public are the toys, which are played with; and, from which, multiple extractions are made, as the game is played. It’s like raising “game” (in the animal-sense) in order to shoot, and eat it.

Even the world’s biggest bookstore-owner, Jeff Bezos, became a major contractor to the ‘Defense’ Department, by providing cloud-based computing services to the war-machine, and then he arranged to purchase the world’s top neoconservative ‘news’paper, the Washington Post, to boost and to suppress the careers of whichever federal politicians have proven to be the most and the least cooperative with regard to expanding the budget for the only U.S. Cabinet Department that’s so corrupt it can’t even be audited: the ‘Defense’ Department. A mere retailer, such as Bezos, doesn’t generally have much clout, unless he either owns a ‘news’ medium (such as the Washington Post) or hires effective lobbyists. At that high a level, things are very interconnected, and a player needs to have agents in each crucial part of the power-machine. So, Bezos does. But, so, too, do other high-tech leaders, such as the billionaires at Alphabet Inc., formerly called “Google.” They were heavily involved in 2011 helping Hillary Clinton’s State Department draw up the plans to overthrow two heads-of-state that allied with Russia: Yanukovych in Ukraine, and Assad in Syria.
Of course, ownership of almost all large corporations is usually hidden by layers of ownership, and sometimes only one class of stock actually controls the company, while other classes of stock are purely passive investors in the given firm and they have no real control over it. But, regardless, anyone who is paying serious attention to textbook versions of economic theory (‘economic competition’) is thinking about a mere fantasy world, a fantasy-game, not the real-world game; not the real world, at all — and the aristocracy also gets to decide who writes those textbooks (the rules of the fantasy-game), to make sure they distract the public from what’s happening in the real world. 
So, within that tiny society at the top of this planet’s power-pyramid, are being made the person-to-person deals that determine peace or war, life or death, for the general population, at any given time. These are the few people who will take their cut, no matter what. But, they need this cycle, of war, debt, and politics, to continue going ’round and ’round, in order to achieve what, for them, is “progress,” and to keep it going — ’round and ’round, like in centuries past, for themselves, and for their heirs. It’s a way of life; it is a tiny sub-culture, at the very top; and it remains remarkably constant, from decade to decade, and even from century to century. The illusion that the players care about the toys, is needed, in order to keep the game going, so that extractions can continue to be made from the toys, forever, and the aristocracy can thus become evermore bloated (“successful”), from this ‘progress’.
Here, at the following links, is a brief history of how this game has been proceeding, during recent decades, starting from current times, and going backward through the decades:
So: Trump has decided to do what he thinks he must do, in order to be able to stay in power. In order to stay in power, he must be a type of President that, in some crucial respects, is more like what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were, than what he had promised his voters he would be. And the reason that this is so, is that this is what America’s aristocracy demands, in today’s American ‘democracy’.

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at

Stop the Machine

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine


Made by ClassWarFilms 
A brief and crucial history of the United States

We are more than pleased to introduce our audience to the important work of Lanny Cotler and Paul Edwards, two revolutionary audiovisual artists who simply excel at communicating the truths and ideas usually negated by the capitalist propaganda machine. Using a technique which reminds us of Ken Burns’ classic documentary The Civil War, the team has produced a series that, in its didactic power, can effectively guide would-be activists in future struggles. If you ever dreamed of seeing Howard Zinn’s People’s History on the screen, wait no more because this series by ClassWarFilms brings that much to the table and then some. This video, Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine, is the foundational piece in the collection. 


Prior viewers have this to say:
A very powerful indictment against all who still believe that the United States of America represents what is good and best for all people and lands. To be asleep through these rapidly changing times, where all children will have very difficult and limited futures is betrayal to one’s own humanity. No one else will change the world but you, in you own creative expression. When enough care enough to banish the word “struggle’ from their lexicon, and willingly put their lives on the line for change for the better, the world will change for the better. Tag your it!
Paul Walmark
Amazing echoes of Howard Zinn in the ‘history’ portion of the film. Very powerful stuff. It’s interesting that all the flag-waving nay-sayers among the comments here, actually only serve to reinforce the message of the film. Sorry, people, your bleating here is misplaced, but it does help solidify the sequence about the brainwashing of the ignorant by the mainstream media propaganda vehicles.
James Cates
I’ve lost everything I ever had – not much by American Dream standards, but enough to placate and anesthetize. I now live month to month, in a rented room, and walk 3 miles to work to earn $2.50 more than my state’s minimum wage. That’s grand testimony from someone seated at the heart of the Empire.  This film, and your others, is a godsend and a spur.  Thank you for your dedicated work. I’ll be spreading your films via social media and word of mouth.

U.S. Threatening Again

North Korean Official Blames US for Tensions
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Apr 14, 8:13 AM EDT

AP Photo
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) -- The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local):
8:40 p.m.
A senior Russian lawmaker says the U.S. is a greater threat to global peace than North Korea.
Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said Friday "the most alarming thing about the current U.S. administration is that you can't be sure if it is bluffing or really going to implement its threats."
He says "America objectively poses a greater threat to peace than North Korea," adding that "the entire world is scared and left guessing if it strikes or not."
Kosachev says there is a "small hope" that President Donald Trump's administration would listen to warnings from Russia and China not to use military force against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
6:30 p.m.
The Kremlin says it's watching the developments around North Korea with "great concern."
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia is calling on all parties to show restraint and refrain from any provocative action. He emphasized that the crisis could only be settled by political and diplomatic means.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned the U.S. that attempts to rely on force to pressure North Korea will not help.
Tensions in the region have risen with the dispatch of a U.S. aircraft carrier to the area and the deployment of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry for their biggest joint military exercises. Pyongyang has warned of war if it sees any signs of aggression from south of the Demilitarized Zone.
5:45 p.m.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry has criticized comments by North Korea's vice foreign minister, who told The Associated Press that the North is capable of conducting another nuclear test at anytime and ready to "go to war" if the U.S. provokes it.
The ministry said Friday that Han Song Ryol's remarks reveal the "true colors of North Korea's government that is bellicose and a breaker of regulations."
It says North Korea will face strong punishment it will find hard to withstand if it makes a significant provocation, such as another nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
The ministry says South Korea is in close discussions with others including China, North Korea's only major ally, on ways to respond should the North take such actions.
5 p.m.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says there would be no winners in an armed conflict between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs.
Wang told reporters Friday that all sides must stop provoking and threatening each other in their words and actions and take a flexible approach to resuming dialogue.
Wang says: Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple-loss. No one can become a winner."
He says "no matter who it is, if it wants to make war or trouble on the Korean Peninsula, it must take the historical responsibility and pay the due price."
Wang says China would be willing to help facilitate efforts by the sides to reach out to each other in whatever form that takes.
4:45 p.m.
Chinese experts see little immediate possibility of hostilities breaking out between the U.S. and North Korea, but say Beijing will respond harshly to any further North Korean nuclear tests.
Director of Jilin University's Institute of Northeast Asian Studies Guo Rui says President Donald Trump's domestic troubles should prevent him taking such action, while North Korea doesn't appear to be on a war footing.
Guo says although the tension on the Korean Peninsula is high, it's not high to the point of having an imminent war.
He says another nuclear test would invite tougher measures from Beijing, possibly including new restrictions on Chinese companies' investments in North Korea and cuts in the number of Chinese tourists allowed to visit.
This item corrects spelling of Guo.
12:40 p.m.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says President Donald Trump's policy toward the country is more "vicious and aggressive" than President Barack Obama's.
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol told The Associated Press that Trump's tweets were making trouble in the region.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the North was "looking for trouble" and if China didn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the U.S. could handle it alone.
Han said: "We are comparing Trump's policy toward the DPRK with the former administrations and we have concluded that it's becoming more vicious and more aggressive." The country's official name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
But Han said it was prepared for provocative acts. "Whatever comes from U.S. politicians, if their words are designed to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them."
12:20 p.m.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says, "We will go to war" if the U.S. chooses to provoke it.
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol spoke to The Associated Press in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang on Friday. He said the United States and President Donald Trump were making trouble in the region, citing Trump's tweets and the U.S. for moving an aircraft carrier into the region and for participating in its largest-ever joint military exercises with South Korea.
Han said that in the face of such actions, North Korea "will go to war if they choose." And it will continue developing its nuclear program and conduct its next nuclear test whenever its leaders see fit.
Han said: "We certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike."
12:15 p.m.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says it is not his own country but the United States and President Donald Trump who are "making trouble."
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that North Korea was "looking for trouble" and added that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the U.S. can handle it.
Han cited Trump's tweets as problematic, as well as the U.S. military's participation in exercises with South Korea and an aircraft carrier's move to the region.
"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words. .... It's not the DPRK but the US and Trump that makes trouble."
11:45 a.m.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says it will conduct its next nuclear test whenever its supreme headquarters sees fit.
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday. He also said the situation on the Korean Peninsula was in a "vicious cycle" as tensions with the U.S. and its allies deepen.
Outside experts say the North could conduct its sixth nuclear test at virtually anytime. Meanwhile, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the region and is conducting its biggest ever joint military exercises with South Korea.
Han told AP that Pyongyang won't "keep its arms crossed" in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike.
Many experts believe North Korea could have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland within the next few years.
11:30 a.m.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now in a "vicious cycle."
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday.
Tensions are deepening as the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to waters off the peninsula and is conducting its biggest-ever joint military exercises with South Korea. Pyongyang, meanwhile, recently launched a ballistic missile and some experts say it could conduct another nuclear test at virtually anytime.
President Donald Trump upped the ante in a war of words with Pyongyang in a tweet on Tuesday that said the North is "looking for trouble."
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