The agents of capital and their flood of lies

By Mike Whitney Source: Unz Review “Our U.S. Army contacts in the area have told us this is not what happened. There was no Syrian ‘chemical weapons attack.’ Instead, a Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the chemical-laden cloud over […]

via Syria: Where the Rubber Meets the Road — Desultory Heroics

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Stephanie March, ’Australian soldiers caught up in Islamic State chemical attack in Mosul’, ABC, 20.04.17

The issue is not Trump, it is not Assad, it is the irresolvable crisis of capitalism

Source: Moon of Alabama On this day one hundred years ago the U.S. joined World War I. Last night the U.S. attacked a Syrian government airport in an openly hostile and intentional manner. The strike established a mechanism by which al-Qaeda can “request” U.S. airstrikes on Syrian government targets. It severely damaged the main support […]

via Syria: New U.S. Air Support On Request Scheme For Al-Qaeda — Desultory Heroics

The US capitalist class fuels ‘tension and mistrust’ by weaponising their island

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The Sydney Morning Herald 15.12.16 ‘(Minister for Foreign Affairs) Julie Bishop accuses China of fuelling ‘tension and mistrust’ by weaponising artificial islands

But hang on Julie – this is exactly what the US capitalist class has been increasingly doing with Australia. They don’t even have to put a carrier battle group here – Australia will be their ‘stationary aircraft carrier‘ for their ‘feared and revered’ F-22s (not to mention the B-1s – but that’s a bit later).

And what do the Australian people think about the agents of US capital once again threatening China from their soil? Do they feel anything other than their standard pride at being treated so contemptuously?

B-1B bomber

B-1B bomber

US to fly F-22 Raptors in and out of Australia amid South China Sea tensions

‘The US will begin flying its deadliest fighter plane, the F-22 Raptor, out of northern Australia next year, the most senior American commander in the Pacific has revealed as he warned of a need to show strength to deter aggression in the region.

During a visit to Sydney on Wednesday, the commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, vowed the US would remain a major player in the region, saying its “enduring interests” would not “change on January 20th” – referring to the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President.

Admiral Harris revealed that he had signed a 2017 agreement for Australia to host US military assets including the Raptors, which are feared and revered as the best fighter planes in the world, and will send a strong signal about US military presence in the region.

“I think that’s positive,” Admiral Harris told the Lowy Institute event.

The greater presence of US air power out of Australia follows on from the rotation of US marines as a way to bolster the alliance and the American footprint at the southern edge of Asia – akin to a stationary aircraft carrier. (my italics)…’

The US capitalist class has only started to lean on the Australians regarding their military plans and requirements. And the Australians only continue to fold.

Further, as another example of the utter hypocrisy of the US capitalist class, the weaponised islands of the US state of Hawaii are situated 3977 km or 2471 miles from California.

US naval base, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

US naval base, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

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Images: middle/bottom (I highly recommend clicking on this link and reading the text below this image)

The US capitalist class, its agents and allies, marauding around the world

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

‘Just Imagine…

If Russia Had Toppled the Canadian Government’

Neil Clark, Australian National Review 1-14.11.14

Just imagine if the democratically-elected government of Canada had been toppled in a Russian-financed coup, in which far-right extremists and neo-Nazis played a prominent role.

That the new unelected ‘government’ in Ottawa cancelled the law giving the French language official status, appointed a billionaire oligarch to run Quebec and signed an association agreement with a Russian-led trade bloc.

Just imagine…

If Russia had spent $5 billion on regime change in Canada and then a leading Canadian energy firm had appointed to its board of directors the son of a top Russian government politician.

Just imagine…

If the Syrian government had hosted a meeting in Damascus of the “Friends of Britain” – a group of countries who supported the violent overthrow of David Cameron’s government.

That the Syrian government and its allies gave the anti-government “rebels” in Britain millions of pounds and other support, and failed to condemn “rebel” groups when they killed British civilians and bombed schools, hospitals and universities.

That the Syrian Foreign Minister dismissed next year’s scheduled general election in the UK as a “parody of democracy” and said that Cameron must stand down before any elections are held.

Just imagine…

If in 2003, Russia and its closest allies had launched a full-scale military invasion of an oil-rich country in the Middle East, having claimed that that country possessed WMDs which threatened the world and that afterwards no WMDs were ever found.

That up to 1 million people had been killed in the bloodshed that followed the invasion and that the country was still in turmoil over 10 years later.

That Russian companies had come in to benefit from the reconstruction and rebuilding work following the “regime change.”

Just imagine…

If the pro-Russian journalists who had faithfully parroted the claims that the Middle Eastern country that Russia had invaded in 2003 had WMDs did not apologise afterwards or show any contrition despite the enormous death toll; but instead carried on in their well-paid jobs to propagandise more illegal wars and ‘interventions’ against other independent countries, and attacked those honest journalists who didn’t peddle the war lies.

Just imagine…

If over forty people protesting against the central government had been burnt to death by pro-government extremists in Venezuela.

That the Venezuelan government had launched a military offensive against people protesting for greater autonomy/federalisation following visits by the head of the Russian SVR and Dmitry Medvedev to Caracas.

Just imagine…

If last August over six hundred people protesting in camps against the government in Minsk in Belarus had been massacred by armed forces. That this spring, the courts in Belarus had handed out death sentences to over 600 supporters of opposition parties.

Just imagine…

If Russia had spent the years following the end of the old “Cold War” surrounding the US with military bases and pushing for Canada and Mexico to join a Russian military alliance. That earlier this month Russia carried out major military exercises in Mexico.

Just imagine…

If we had heard leaked telephone calls between a high ranking official from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Ambassador in Canada in which they discussed who should/shouldn’t be in the Canadian government. That their approved candidate subsequently became the new, unelected Prime Minister following a Russian-financed “regime change.”

That the high ranking Russian official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said: “Fxxx the EU.”

Just imagine…

If the Syrian air force had bombed a weapons depot in Israel and also bombed convoys which security officials said were carrying weapons to anti-government forces in Syria.

Just imagine…

If leading Russian politicians attended anti-austerity street protests in western Europe, handed out cookies to those protesting, and supported the protestors’ calls for the governments to step down.

Imagining what would happen if any of the above events occurred, and comparing it to what has happened in reality is highly instructive as it shows us what is wrong with the world today.

Actions have been taken by the US and its allies which would be considered totally outrageous if carried out by other countries. All we have to do is to switch the names of the countries concerned to see the double standards.

If Russia had attacked an oil-rich Middle Eastern nation in 2003, and pro-Russian journalists peddled the same sort of deceitful pro-war, WMD propaganda that neocons and faux-leftists did in the west when the US invaded Iraq, then we can be sure that Russia would have been regarded as an international pariah, and the journalists who acted as cheerleaders for the illegal invasion would be discredited for the rest of their lives. But the US is not subject to sanctions or treated as an outcast, its President in 2003, George W. Bush and his close ally Tony Blair, have yet to stand trial for war crimes, and the media ‘pundits’ who supported the invasion of Iraq are still in place and now pushing for a new Cold war against Russia and new military ‘intervention’ against Syria.

If Russia had spent $5bn on toppling the democratically-elected government of either Canada or Mexico, and installed a pro-Russian junta in its place, we can be sure that within hours, a full scale military invasion by the US would have taken place, in order to remove the new “government” from power. Western television news channels and elite pundits would be enthusiastically supporting the US action – declaring it to be a “response to Russian aggression” and saying it was totally justified. But when the regime changing is done by the US in Ukraine, and a pro-US junta installed in power in Kiev, it’s a very different story. The same people who would cry ‘foul’ at the top of their voices if Russia engineered a coup in Canada or Mexico, celebrate the unlawful toppling of the legitimate government of Ukraine.

We already know how the US would respond, if another country sought to put nuclear weapons close to its territory – in 1962 the world came to the brink of war in the Cuban missile crisis. But while a third world war would undoubtedly be threatened again if Russian forces held military exercises in Mexico, it’s not considered provocative for NATO to hold military exercises in Estonia.

If the governments of Belarus and Venezuela had responded as brutally towards anti-government protesters as the Egyptian military regime did last August, or sent in the tanks and used heavy weaponry against their own people as the western-backed Kiev junta has, then we can be sure that the great ‘humanitarians’ of the faux-left would be screeching not just for punitive sanctions but for air strikes too and for Presidents Lukashenko and Maduro to be carted off the The Hague.

We all know too what would have followed if it had been the Syrian air force that had bombed a weapons depot and convoys in Israel and not the other way round. Why do we tolerate such brazen hypocrisy?

There is no legal or moral basis for saying that the US and its allies should be able to do things, which if done by other countries, would be condemned as wrong and punished with the imposition of sanctions and/or military attack or invasion. International law and the principles of non-interference in other nations should apply equally to all: regardless of the country’s political system or form of government. The British government has no more right to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria than the Syrian government has to interfere in the internal affairs of Great Britain. The US has no more right to “regime change” in countries bordering Russia, than Russia has to “regime change” in countries bordering the US.

We need a new international order based on the equality of all sovereign nations: a new “World of Equals”, as envisaged by this year’s Belgrade Forum, whose declaration can be read here. If we can imagine that and work to put it in place by exposing current western hypocrisy and double standards whenever they occur then the world would be a much safer place.

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John Pilger: Breaking The Silence: Truth and Lies in The War On Terror 2003

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Vladimir Putin answers a reporter’s question

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Trump, ‘freedom’ and the forces and relations of production

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As with astronomy the difficulty in the way of recognising that the earth moves consisted in having to rid oneself of the immediate sensation that the earth was stationary accompanied by a similar sense of the planets’ motion, so in history the obstacle in the way of recognising the subjection of the individual to the laws of space and time and causality lies in the difficulty of renouncing one’s personal impression of being independent of those laws. But as in astronomy the new view said: ‘True, we are not conscious of the movement of the earth but if we were to allow that it is stationary we should arrive at an absurdity, whereas if we admit the motion (which we do not feel) we arrive at laws,’ likewise in history the new theory says: ‘True, we are not conscious of our dependence but if we were to allow that we are free we arrive at an absurdity, whereas by admitting our dependence on the external world, on time and on causality we arrive at laws.’

In the first case it was necessary to surmount the sensation of an unreal immobility in space and to recognise a motion we did not feel. In the present case it is similarly necessary to renounce a freedom that does not exist and to recognise a dependence of which we are not personally conscious.

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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It is striking that at a time of economic and therefore social crisis, the American people have voted to be their next president someone who is the personification of the patriarchal, misogynistic, racist, utterly abusive, dishonest and exploitative essence of capitalism.

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Pilger and Assange counter the toadying pap of Australian ‘journalism’ 2

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Pilger and Assange counter the toadying pap of Australian ‘journalism’ 1

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Warmongering in Washington, preparation for war in Moscow

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https://www.thenation.com/article/war-mongering-in-washington-preparation-for-war-in-moscow/

John Batchelor and Stephen Cohen

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The use of Australians and their country to the US capitalist class

'David C Gompert says US and Australian forces know how to work together – an advantage in a war.' Excuse me. Could you repeat the end of that?

‘David C Gompert says US and Australian forces know how to work together – an advantage in a war.’ Excuse me. Could you repeat the end of that?

ABC The World Today 15.08.16, “Australia would play ‘consequential’ role in US-China war: intelligence advisor”

ELEANOR HALL: But first today, a former chief intelligence advisor to Barack Obama has predicted that Australia could play a very “consequential” role in any war between the United States and China.

Tensions between the world’s two major military powers have been building for months over Beijing’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea.

Some analysts are predicting they could soon boil over into outright conflict.

Here’s our defence reporter Andrew Greene.

ANDREW GREENE: The prospect of a military showdown between Beijing and Washington is so far only academic, but increasingly military analysts are talking about what such a war could look like.

China’s military expansion in the South China Sea is closely watched in America where a comprehensive US Army commissioned report has just asked the question of whether tensions could soon erupt.

DAVID GOMPERT: There is a potential that it could be very intense and very destructive but not necessarily brief. It could drag on with neither side being able to win a decisive military victory.

ANDREW GREENE: The report’s lead author is David Gompert, who was at one stage the Acting Director of National Intelligence in Barack Obama’s administration with oversight of the US intelligence community.

His recently published report, War with China: Thinking through the Unthinkable, also looks at the possible role Australia might play.

EXCERPT FROM ‘WAR WITH CHINA’: Depending on the cause and locus of the conflict, other East Asian states would mostly side with the United States in varying degrees, support ranging from permission to use bases to the possible commitment of forces (for example, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines), to cautious support for the United States among countries with strong ties to China.

ANDREW GREENE: The report adds:

EXCERPT FROM ‘WAR WITH CHINA’: The participation of Australian forces, because of their quality, could have military significance despite their small size.

Apart from military contributions, the longer and more severe the conflict, the more and perhaps more permanently China could become isolated from the very region it aspires to lead.

ANDREW GREENE: David Gompert has told The World Today as a long standing American ally, Australia’s role could be a pivotal one.

DAVID GOMPERT: Australians would know better than I what Australia might do but I would say that what Australia would do could be very consequential.

ANDREW GREENE: He says an Australian contribution could take several different forms.

DAVID GOMPERT: For Australia to support the United States in logistical ways, for Australian forces to take on missions that American forces had been fulfilling, freeing up American forces for the conflict, for Australian forces to actually enter operations and of course American and Australian forces do know how to operate together – that would produce significant operational complications for the Chinese.

ANDREW GREENE: Last week satellite photos emerged revealing that Beijing has begun constructing reinforced hangars on several artificial South China Sea outposts.

On Saturday the South China Morning Post cited a Chinese administration source saying the country could begin construction work on the disputed Scarborough Shoal before the US presidential election in November.

So what are the prospects of an imminent war to Australia’s north?

The former US intelligence chief David Gompert says at this stage it’s still only a remote possibility, but a military misunderstanding is much more likely.

DAVID GOMPERT: Two units, let’s say, end up firing on one another and that triggers a larger conflict – that is not implausible; it’s not unthinkable.

The other possibility which is explored is that during a crisis one could experience what in traditional strategic theory is called “crisis instability” in which case each side begins to worry that the other side might be considering military action.

ELEANOR HALL: That’s David Gompert, a former intelligence advisor to US President Barack Obama, ending that report from our defence correspondent Andrew Greene.

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Two points:

  • The US ‘Administration’ once again uses Australians/Australia to threaten China and the Australian national broadcaster is only too happy to be used (Obama delivered a cloaked threat regarding the South China Sea in his speech in the national parliament house when he was here)
  • How many Australians face up to what the US ‘Administration’ thinks of them?

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