A soft, cuddly empire would be an historical first. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar has once again been the center of an artificial controversy launched in bad faith, this time over a tweet where she mentioned the United States and Israel in the same breath as Hamas and the Taliban as perpetrators of “unthinkable atrocities”.
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” Omar said while sharing a video of her wildly unsuccessful effort to get a straight answer from Secretary of State Tony Blinken on accountability for US and Israeli war crimes.
This provoked a bunch of ridiculous garment-rending histrionics from Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, not because it is absurd to compare murderous warmongering regimes like the US and Israel with vastly less destructive regional forces like Hamas and the Taliban, but because it is considered unacceptable in mainstream politics to suggest that the US and Israel are anything other that beneficent powers who at worst make the occasional innocent oopsie.
Is the rest of the world leaving the G7 behind? From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:
The upcoming G7 in Cornwall at first might be seen as the quirky encounter of “America is Back” with “Global Britain”.
The Big Picture though is way more sensitive. Three Summits in a Row – G7, NATO and US-EU – will be paving the way for a much expected cliffhanger: the Putin-Biden summit in Geneva – which certainly won’t be a reset.
The controlling interests behind the hologram that goes by the name of “Joe Biden” have a clear overarching agenda: to regiment industrialized democracies – especially those in Europe – and keep them in lockstep to combat those “authoritarian” threats to US national security, “malignant” Russia and China.
It’s like a throwback to those oh so stable 1970s Cold War days, complete with James Bond fighting foreign devils and Deep Purple subverting communism. Well, the times they are-a-changin’. China is very much aware that now the Global South “accounts for almost two-thirds of the global economy compared to one-third by the West: in the 1970s, it was exactly the opposite.”
For the Global South – that is, the overwhelming majority of the planet – the G7 is largely irrelevant. What matters is the G20.
China, the rising economic superpower, hails from the Global South, and is a leader in the G20. For all their internal troubles, EU players in the G7 – Germany, France and Italy – cannot afford to antagonize Beijing in economic, trade and investment terms.
Meet the new Israeli boss, same as the old Israeli boss. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
However, there is growing sentiment even in Congress and the Zionist controlled media that “what is wrong is wrong,” Phil Giraldi writes.
Israel is undergoing a change of management, with reliably hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being replaced by extreme nationalist Naftali Bennett. Bennett has at intervals favored the disenfranchisement of non-Jewish Israeli citizens and the ethnic cleansing of all non-Jews from historic Palestine, killing them if necessary. He opposes the creation of any Palestinian state and routinely describes Palestinian protesters as terrorists while stating his belief that they should be shot on sight. He has also boasted of his shooting Palestinians during his military service, saying at one point “I already killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is absolutely no problem with that.” He was heavily involved in “Operation Grapes of Wrath” in Lebanon in the 1980s, where his commando unit killed numerous civilians, and takes pleasure in recounting his participation in Israel’s war crimes.
All of which means that there will be no respite from the brutal Netanyahu reign of terror which has been prevailing on the West Bank, in Gaza and also in Jerusalem itself. If anything, the pressure on Arabs forcing them to leave will intensify. Evidence that the recently negotiated cease fire was little more than a pause in the plan to mitigate international pressure before continuing to make the former Palestine Palestinian free is already available. Israeli police and army units have been arresting hundreds of Arabs, many of whom are Israeli citizens, not because they have broken any of the “rules” imposed by the Netanyahu government, but as a preventive measure to have them identified, allowing them to be safely locked away when the next round of fighting begins. Eighteen hundred arrests have been reported since unrest began in April, but the figure is probably much higher than that. An estimated 25% of those who are detained are children and 85% of those children arrested report that they were physically abused. Also, at least 26 Palestinians have been killed while resisting. It has been claimed that the police, embarrassed by being ridiculed by protesting Palestinians, are “settling scores” and “closing accounts,” frequently using savage beatings during arrests and as collective punishment to break the Arab resistance.
The wars on drugs, poverty, and terrorism have all been spectacular failures, which in Washington means they’ve developed a constituency both inside and outside the government that presses for their perpetuation and funding. From James Bovard at mises.org:
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Guatemala earlier this week to bestow millions of dollars in new foreign aid on that government. The Biden administration is pretending that giving more US tax dollars to Central American governments will miraculously reduce the surge of illegal immigrants that Biden’s appointees are welcoming in Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere. The purpose of Harris’s trip and the new handouts is not to solve that problem but simply to make the Biden administration appear to give a damn about the issue.
In her official statements during the visit, Harris included no admission of how the US drug war has been a pox on Guatemala. Her silence was no surprise considering Joe Biden’s nearly half century of fanaticism for that pointless crusade.
I learned about the wreckage of US drug policies when I visited Guatemala in 1992. I had been writing articles bashing drug prohibition for almost a decade at that point. But before that trip, I had only vague notions of the ravages being inflicted on hapless foreigners.
I went to Guatemala to give a couple speeches on the follies of protectionist trade policy, spurred by the publication the previous year of my book The Fair Trade Fraud (St. Martin’s Press). I was hosted by the president of Francisco Marroquín University, Manuel Ayau, a genial yet fearless fighter for free markets. I didn’t realize until I arrived that Ayau had recently been the presidential candidate of the “party of organized violence” and was on several left-wing “death lists.” Guatemala had shortages of almost everything except political assassinations. Ayau, a compact dynamo, was hepped up because he’d just gotten a laser sighting attachment for his Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry caliber .44 Magnum. As his chauffeur-bodyguard drove us around the capital city, Ayau trained that red dot on all sorts of targets. I was happy I was sitting behind him.
You didn’t think they were going to let Joe Biden go to Europe and meet all those European heads of state and then Vladimir Putin without a minder, did you? From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Blinken is staying close to his boss during the whirlwind tour, because Biden is liable to spin out of control and reap an embarrassing collapse.
It’s a big ask for a frail 78-year-old U.S. president to rally the world around a series of myths and falsehoods. Biden flies to Europe this week to galvanize allies under strong American leadership of supposed shared “democratic values” in a “historic confrontation” with the “autocracies” of China and Russia.
President Joe Biden’s worldview is so disconnected from reality that it is going to prove difficult mentally for him to consistently and coherently make the case over a series of summits in the next week.
That’s why he has his more youthful Secretary of State Antony Blinken (59) tagging along when Biden meets G7 leaders in England on June 11-13, followed by a NATO summit on June 14 in Brussels as well as top-level discussions with European Union leaders. After all that, Blinken is “to participate” in the face-to-face meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, according to the U.S. State Department.
The latter detail in the busy itinerary – Biden’s first overseas trip since taking office in January – is the most salient. It is unprecedented that the U.S. foreign secretary should “participate” in what was previously billed as a one-on-one meeting between the American and Russian leaders. There is no indication so far from Russian media reports that Sergei Lavrov – Blinken’s counterpart – is to take part in the Geneva summit.
SLL’s money is on bust. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
Reading the tea leaves a week before Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva puts a premium on the kind of media analysis we old-school Kremlinologists had to rely on back in the day. Not all rhetoric is equal though; it is just as important to make an honest attempt to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding a major initiative like the summit proposal. The weird timing of the invitation cries out for explanation.
You Asked For It, Joe
Lest we forget, President Biden suggested a summit with Putin in the midst of very high tension over Ukraine. On March 24 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued an official decree that Ukraine would take Crimea back from Russia; Kiev’s strategy includes “military measures” to achieve “de-occupation.” U.S. and NATO voice “unwavering” (rhetorical) support for Zelensky, who sends tons of military equipment south and east. Russia sends troops and arms south and west into Crimea and the border area opposite Luhansk and Donetsk in the eastern Ukraine.
One Day in April
The following refresher on what all went down on April 13 may throw some light on why – in such tense circumstances – Biden proposed a summit with Putin.
- NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg slams Russia for sending “thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders.”
The CIA charter prohibits its involvement in domestic politics, but that’s not stopping anyone in today’s CIA. From We Meant Well at wemeantwell.com:
Reporters joke the easiest job in Washington is CIA spokesman. You need only listen carefully to questions and say “No comment’ before heading to Happy Hour. The joke, however, is on us. The reporters pretend to see only one side of the CIA, the passive hiding of information about itself. They meanwhile choose to profit from the other side of the equation, active information operations designed to influence events in America. It is 2021 and the CIA is running an op against the American people.
Leon Panetta, the Director CIA from 2009 to 2011 explained bluntly his CIA did influence foreign media outlets ahead of elections in order to “change attitudes within the country.” The method, Panetta said, was to “acquire media within a country or within a region that could very well be used for being able to deliver a specific message or work to influence those that may own elements of the media to be able to cooperate, work with you in delivering that message.”
The CIA has been running such information ops to influence foreign elections since the end of WWII. Richard Bissell, who ran the agency’s operations during the Cold War, wrote of “exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the desired outcome in an election.” A report on the CIA in Chile boasts the Agency portrayed its favored candidate in one election as a “wise, sincere and high-minded statesman” while painting his leftist opponent as a “calculating schemer.” At one point in the 1980s foreign media insertions ran 80 a day.
The goal is to control information as a tool of influence. Sometimes the control is very direct, simply paying a reporter to run a story, or, as was done in Iraq, simply operating the media outlet yourself (known as the Orwellian Indigenous Media Project.) The problem is such direct action is easily exposed, destroying credibility.
A more effective strategy is to become a source for legitimate media such that your (dis)information inherits their credibility. The most effective is an operation so complex one CIA plant is the initial information source while a second CIA plant acts seemingly independently as a confirming source. At that point you can push information to the mainstream media, who can then “independently” confirm it, sometimes unknowingly, through your secondary agents. You can basically write tomorrow’s headlines.
Israel is America’s trust fund kid and it’s definitely been spoiled. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
$1.2 billion more is on the way!
Now let me get this straight. A nation bullies and harasses a much smaller neighbor which eventually leads that neighbor to strike back with largely home-made weapons. The larger and more powerful country, armed with state of the art killing machines, attacks its basically unarmed opponent and kills hundreds of civilians, including a large number of children. It also destroys billions of dollars of infrastructure in the poorer and weaker neighbor. Almost immediately after the fighting stops, senior legislators from a third nation that had nothing to do with the war apart from supplying the larger nation with weapons appeared on the scene and promoted the lie that the larger nation had actually been the victim of an unprovoked attack by the “terrorists” running the small nation. They did so publicly while meeting with and endorsing the actions of the government officials from the large nation, which, it would seem, is about to be investigated by an international body for war crimes. They were joined by an ex-officio former foreign minister of the third nation who likewise echoed the propaganda being put out by the large nation. Several of them also promised to provide military assistance worth $1 billion so the large nation could rearm itself.
Of course, I am writing about how Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Bill Hagerty traveled to Israel over the Memorial Day weekend and bowed and scraped before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and company. During his meeting with Bibi, Graham even held up a sign reading “More for Israel.” They were joined in Jerusalem by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who was in town visiting with his old friend Yossi Cohen, head of the Israeli Intelligence service Mossad, who is retiring soon.
Warmongers love anything that get the war drums pounding. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
At a recent appearance on Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton took a break from masturbating to drone bombing footage to explain what it is he and his fellow psychopathic warmongers love so much about the hypothesis that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory.
“I think the American people deserve to know what caused the worst pandemic in a century,” Cotton told the show’s space alien host. “Look, China should be made to pay for their negligence and their deceitfulness at the outset of this pandemic: covering up its origins, not being open about what was happening in that lab in Wuhan.”
“There’s lots of things we could do to impose accountability on China,” Cotton gushed. “We could for instance work their allies to ensure they’re no longer getting sweetheart deals from international financial institutions like the World Bank. We could repeal the permanent most-favored nation status we foolishly gave China 20 years ago. We could cut off visas to Chinese Communist Party officials and their princeling kids who like to come to America to go to school.”
“But if it turns out that the Chinese Communist Party and their labs were responsible for a lab leak that caused this pandemic, just imagine what the American people would demand in terms of accountability; what I said would just scratch the surface,” the senator said. “And the American people would be right to demand that kind of accountability.”