How do we stop the next war built on lies from being waged?
(I prepared these notes for a talk I gave on “Truth-killers: The Corporate Media and the Military-Industrial Complex,” sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action. David Swanson also spoke.)
I served in the U.S. military for 20 years, and for the last 15 years I’ve been writing articles that are generally critical of that military and our nation’s drift into militarism and endless warfare. Here are two lessons I’ve learned:
1. I agree with I.F. Stone that all governments lie.
2. As a historian who’s read and studied military history for most of my life, I agree that the first casualty of war is truth.
Because all governments lie and because lies are especially common during war, a healthy democracy must have an outspoken and independent media that challenges and questions authority while informing the public.
But the mainstream media (MSM) in America is neither outspoken nor independent. The MSM in America serves as stenographers to the powerful. Far too often, the U.S. military/government lies and leaks, the MSM believes and repeats.
The result is clear: disastrous wars (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq) from which little is ever learned, enabled by a media culture that is deeply compromised by, or openly in league with, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC).
Here’s the fundamental issue: We need a skeptical and powerful media to deter the MICC from wars, war profiteering, and folly. The MSM should, and must, serve as a check on the MICC while holding it accountable when it fails. By doing neither, it serves various “big lies,” enabling future abuses of power by the national security state. There is no accountability for failure, so failure is neither punished now nor is it curtailed in the future.
Even when the MICC fails, and since the Vietnam War it has failed frequently, it gets more money. Consider the FY2023 Pentagon budget, which sits at $858 billion, a nearly inconceivable sum and which is roughly $45 billion more than the Biden administration asked for.
The challenge, as I see it: How do we stop the next war built on lies from being waged?
Something to ponder: Could a more critical, more courageous, truly independent media have shortened or stopped the Vietnam War? Iraq? Afghanistan?
In his famous speech warning Americans about the MICC in 1961, Eisenhower (Ike) said that only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry could guard against the acquisition of power by the MICC. This may indeed be why most citizens are not kept informed or are misinformed about the U.S. military and its wars. It’s hard to act when you’re kept ignorant. You’ll also be reluctant to act when you’re told to defer to the “experts” in the MSM, most of whom are deeply compromised, often by conflicts of interest that are kept hidden from you.
Put simply, the U.S. military, in its upper ranks, lacks honor. What matters most is reputation and budgetary authority. Sharing negative news with the media is the absolute last thing the military wants to do. Surprisingly, most in the MSM are willing to look the other way, assuming they even know of military mendacity and malfeasance.
What this means, essentially, is that the MICC is unaccountable to the people–the very antithesis of democracy.
Three big examples of MICC mendacity: The Pentagon Papers revealed by Daniel Ellsberg during the Vietnam War; the Iraq War and lies about WMD (weapons of mass destruction); and the Afghan War Papers. Even as the U.S. military was losing these three wars, military commanders and government officials spoke publicly and confidently of lights at the end of tunnels, of corners being turned toward victory. (Privately, however, they talked of serious problems and lack of progress.)
The MSM (with notable exceptions) largely repeated the happy-talk lies. Since 9/11, this is unsurprising, since the MSM leans heavily on senior retired military officers, CIA officials, and the like to “interpret” events in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. As journalist David Barstow showed, these “interpreters” were and are fed talking points by the Pentagon. Whatever this is, it’s not honest reporting. It’s not journalism. It’s state propaganda.
It’s not that the American people can’t handle the truth about “their” military. It’s that the MICC prefers to keep a lid on the truth, because the truth is often unfavorable to their positions, power, prestige, and profits.
There are many ways the MICC works with a complicit media (and a compliant Congress) to keep the truth from us.
1. Bad news is not reported. Or it’s classified or otherwise hushed up. Consider the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam or the “collateral murder” video from the Iraq War revealed by Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks.
2. Critical information is omitted. Coverage is edited. Consider the ban on showing flag-draped coffins by the Bush/Cheney administration, or official reports about drone strikes that omitted the true number of civilian/non-combatant casualties.
3. The military has its own PAOs (public affairs offices and officers) who feed news of “progress” and similar “good news” stories to the media. This is also true of the State Department. (See Peter Van Buren’s account, “We Meant Well,” of his Potemkin Village-like experience in Iraq.)
4. Ever-present appeals to patriotism and warnings that critical information will give aid and comfort to the enemy. Even worse, portraying critics as pro-Putin, as possible traitors, as in the NBC smear campaign against Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, abetted also by Hillary Clinton.
5. Run-of-the-mill propaganda. Consider, for example, how almost all U.S. sporting events include glowing coverage of the military and veterans. If all military members are “heroes,” how dare we question them! Instead, you’re encouraged to salute smartly and remain silent.
Why is the MSM so hobbled and often so complicit with the MICC?
1. Intimidation. Critics are punished. Examples include Ashleigh Banfield, Phil Donahue, and Chris Hedges in the early days of the Iraq War. Think of Julian Assange today. Edward Snowden. Daniel Hale. Smart journalists know (or learn) that critics and whistleblowers are punished; cheerleaders are promoted, e.g. Brian Williams, demoted for stolen valor but redeemed for declaring his awe at “the beauty” of U.S. missiles.
2. Ratings/Economics. Recall that MSNBC fired Phil Donahue over concerns that his critical coverage of the Iraq War was turning off viewers, i.e. that the network wasn’t being seen as “patriotic” as rivals like CNN or Fox News, thereby losing market share and money.
3. Embedding Process. Reporters who want to cover war are often embedded with U.S. military units. They come to identify with “their” troops, who, after all, are protecting them from harm. The embedding process forges a sense of dependency and camaraderie that interferes with disinterested and balanced reporting.
4. Reliance on deeply conflicted experts from the MICC instead of independent journalists. Whatever else they are, retired generals and CIA directors are not reporters or journalists.
5. Corporate advertising dollars. Why air a report critical of Boeing or Northrop Grumman when that company is a major advertiser on your network? Why bite the hand that feeds you?
You don’t need a top secret “Mockingbird” project by the CIA to infiltrate and influence the MSM, as we witnessed during the Cold War and Vietnam. Today, the MSM and its owners acquiesce in their own infiltration, hiring retired CIA agents and similar senior government officials to give/sell their “unbiased” opinions.
Again, military contractors pay for ads and sponsor shows on TV. The media is not about to challenge or criticize a big revenue stream. And it’s not always a weapons maker like Boeing or Raytheon. Think of ExxonMobil. Their thirstiest customer is the U.S. military; ExxonMobil is unlikely to support media reports that criticize its biggest customer.
Meanwhile, there are precious few reporters and journalists willing to risk their careers to challenge the MICC. With so-called access journalism, if you reveal uncomfortable facts, you’ll likely lose access to the powerful, alienate your bosses, and probably lose your job.
Food for Thought: Journalists are selected and groomed for compliance to mainstream militarized agendas. They’ve learned and internalized what is acceptable and what isn’t. If they refuse to play along, they’re fired or shunted aside. (See Noam Chomsky and the manufacturing of consent.)
For the U.S. military, full-spectrum dominance includes information and the control of the same, including most especially in America.
A final shocking truth: The U.S. military lost in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere while avoiding responsibility. Indeed, its cultural authority and its command over the media have only grown stronger. Worse, the military promulgates, or goes along with, various stab-in-the-back myths that exculpate itself while mendaciously blaming the few good media outlets for accurate reporting about the MICC’s failings.
A crucial step in preventing future disastrous wars is a media culture that sees the MICC for what it is: a danger to democracy and liberty, as Ike warned us in 1961 in his farewell address. How we get there is a crucial issue; the failures above suggest remedies.
One remedy I wrote about in 2008: the major networks need to develop their own, independent, journalists who are experts on the military, rather than relying largely on retired military officers and other senior government officials.
We are told that America has independent media rather than state media like China or Russia. Yet, if America had official state media, would its coverage differ from today’s content? The MSM supports state and corporate agendas because that’s how it makes money even as it claims it’s “independent.”
A Couple of Anecdotes
A journalist colleague told me of his experience teaching students at one of America’s universities. His sense: most students today don’t want to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They aspire to be on-air personalities who make six-figure salaries while being invited to all the right parties. They don’t want to afflict the comfortable while comforting the afflicted; they want to be among the most comfortable. Crusading for truth isn’t what they’re about. They seek to be insiders.
From the Robert Redford movie, “Three Days of the Condor.” If a whistleblower goes to the MSM (in the movie, it’s The New York Times), will the truth ever see the light of day? More to the point, if the American people do see it, will they even care?
What we’re witnessing in America, according to Matt Taibbi, is an “elaborate, systematized method of censorship and opinion control.” Taibbi mentions agencies like Homeland Security and Justice/FBI and their focus on “collecting domestic intelligence on a grand scale … seeking to distort the public’s perception of reality through mass moderation, via programs we’ve been told little to nothing about.”
While Taibbi, in his latest investigation, focused on social media and especially Twitter, the reality is that the MSM (and social media as well) is complicit with the government/military, collaborating on what “truths” are fed to the people while suppressing facts that are deemed dangerous, embarrassing, inconvenient, and otherwise not in the interest of the MICC.
With so many Americans now getting their news from social media sites rather than the MSM, that the government serves as a powerful content-moderator for what counts as “reliable” news on social media should disturb us all.
Again, it’s hard for Americans to serve as Ike’s “alert and knowledgeable” citizenry when they are fed lies, disinformation, and propaganda by the government and MSM.
Even more fundamentally, when corporations are elevated and protected as super-capable “citizens” and when citizens themselves are reduced to passive consumers—when corporations own the MSM while profiting greatly from war and militarism—there’s little hope of fostering freedom and of ever escaping from a state of permanent warfare.
This is where we are today.
33 thoughts on “The Mainstream Media and the U.S. Military”
Bill I agree that’s like it is, but this 1 sentence needs clarifying, “The challenge, as I see it: How do we stop the next war built on lies from being waged?”
The real challenge is, how do we stop the Ukraine WAR built on lies? If we don’t, the next war will be in the Stone Age again.
Here’s some Truth from The Jerusalem Post
‘World order on verge of cliff – first Israeli national intel assessment’
The Intelligence Ministry on Monday unveiled the country’s first-ever national intelligence estimate report on Monday.
The world is at a transition point analogous to being on the verge of a cliff, after which a series of crises striking simultaneously will reorder the planet’s geopolitics, the place of technology, the economic order and a variety of other disciplines from health to energy, according to Israel’s first government national intelligence estimate.
The report was published by the Intelligence Ministry in the vein of the type of reports issued in the United States and other Western countries. A copy was obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
According to the report, the world is at on the verge of a cliff and is likely to be struck by a variety of crises affecting all aspects of life…………………………………………………………..
The Pope’s most recent comment, War in Ukraine
The interview also focuses on the ongoing war in Ukraine against which the Pope has spoken out more than a hundred times. He also states bluntly: “What is happening in Ukraine is terrifying. There is enormous cruelty. It is very serious…”
The Pope sees no short-term end to the war on the horizon: “This is a world war. Let us not forget that. There are already several hands involved in the war. It is global.
I think a war is fought when an empire starts to weaken, and when there are weapons to use, to sell and to test. It seems to me that there are many interests involved.” The Pope has spoken out against the war more than a hundred times, saying, “I do what I can. They don’t listen.
The Pope is pointing the finger at the US in the last paragraph.
Scott Ritter tells it like it is in Consortium News: A Lexicon for Disaster
Russia seeks arms control agreements to prevent dangerous escalation. But the U.S. seeks only unilateral advantage. This risks all out conflict unless this changes.
Dec. 8 marked the 35th anniversary of the signing of the intermediate nuclear forces (INF) treaty. This landmark arms control event was the byproduct of years of hard-nose negotiations capped off by the political courage of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev who together signed the treaty and oversaw its ratification by their respective legislatures.
The first inspectors went to work on July 1, 1988. I was fortunate to count myself among them.
In August 2019, former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the INF treaty; Russia followed shortly thereafter, and this foundational arms control agreement was no more.
The Decline of Arms Control ………………………………………………………………
Thank You Colonel and Professor Astore. and BV’s Bill for the simplest, clearest, easiest-to-understand explanation of exactly WHAT the Problem ~ the Existential Crisis, if You will ~ is that is actually confronting America, and its Ultimate Root Cause and Agent.
i look forward to the MSM’s reaction and response. If there even is one. Let alone the MICC’s.
And so the next Question becomes: “Roger all that. So exactly what needs to be Done about all that? And who needs to be doing it?”
Thank You again: That was a GREAT way to kick off this week.
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I spent 29 years from 1961-1990, doing military “interventions” and can verify everything you have written about. Great article and very accurate. Been a subscriber for a long time.
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WHY DOES THE US SPEND SO MUCH MONEY ON THE MILITARY?
In the newest episode of AMERICA: FROM REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE, we look at the warnings of Dwight Eisenhower and how World War II gave birth to the military-industrial complex. In one of the most important addresses ever given by an American president, Eisenhower warns about the dangerous economic incentives war creates by enriching big business and growing the state at the expense of the rest of the nation.
What Eisenhower was really warning about was the threat posed by military Keynesianism. In the wake of the Great Depression, FDR and most political leaders in the West adopted the economic fallacies promoted by John Maynard Keynes. These policies lingered on through World War II and its aftermath to create a new class of intellectuals who defended the virtues of government spending at the expense of the productive, private sector. The growing American empire had truly gained an important ally.
Over half a century later, the American people remain victims of the military-industrial complex, with Washington spending more on the military than the next nine [or eleven, depending on the source] countries combined. The empire and military contracts get bigger, and Americans are left footing the bill.
Click here to watch AMERICA: FROM REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE, a eight-part animated series on HOW US FOREIGN POLICY FUELS THE GROWTH OF THE STATE: https://mises.org/america-republic-empire. The MIC[C] piece is at Part 7..
‘A moral and political disgrace’: Just 11 Senators vote no on $858 billion military budget’
“At a time when we spend more than the next 11 nations combined on defence, we should invest in healthcare, jobs, housing, and education—not more weapons of destruction,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In an overwhelming bipartisan vote late Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed legislation authorising $858 billion in military spending for Fiscal Year 2023, a sum that drew dissent from just a handful of lawmakers and outrage from watchdogs who said the money should be spent on fighting the climate emergency, poverty, and other pressing crises.
The $858 billion budget amounts to a roughly 10% increase from the previous year and $45 billion more than the historic sum President Joe Biden requested, and it was approved even after the Pentagon failed yet another audit, unable to account for more than 60% of its assets…………………………………
I enjoyed your article, but the whole system is broken. I was in Army basic training in 1979 and I got gang raped by 8 men and then my CO walked in. He said that CID would say that I led them on. The 8 were not allowed out of the barracks for 2 days as punishment and they gave me an honorable and sent me home. In 2015 the VA called me and asked me if I had been raped and what happened. I was then asked if I had anything to say to the Army and all my anger could think of was to tell them to F*** off! I lost my DD-214 during a move and got a new one sent in 2016 and my reason for separation had been completely rewritten, with all blame being put on me. Finally, a couple of years ago my Representative’s office wanted stories of Veteran’s, so I sent her mine. I sent her what I just wrote here and surprise, surprise it wasn’t published and I didn’t get a response. The whole system is broken. They ask me to say: Thank you for your service and wave the flag. All I ever wanted was for the Government to say I’m sorry instead of brushing me under the rug.
The crime committed against you was reprehensible — and the way you were treated by the system disgraceful.
Sexual assault is still a serious problem within the ranks, yet the military continues to resist efforts to bring these crimes into the open and to punish the perpetrators. This is just plain wrong.
So much for the MSM WAR Propaganda saying rape is a Russian thing.
The conscripts for the Crusades to the blood soaked Holy Land could rape and loot without fear of punishment. Not much has changed it seems
Thank you. You are the first Veteran that has ever said anything to me. I usually just get uncomfortable silence and a change of subject, but my point was that everything is broken. The military, the VA, and Congress. To this day I would still like to know why the VA bothered to call me.
After the Army, I went to college and went into Iranian studies. I noted that the New York Times stated that Iran started the Iran/Iraq war, but then stated that Iraq started it after Saddam invaded Kuwait. I also used to see the Iranian Ambassador to the UN on CNN every day in the mid to late 80s and yet I could not find a word he said in print. I asked the Universities Librarian to do an online search for me about him and she also found nothing; though she did get a call from the Government asking her why she had done the search. We had a long conversation about censorship that she said was rampant at the time and I believe that that was the precursor to today’s media.
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Yes, it’s broken if you want an honest audit; indeed, if you want honesty. But the system works fine if you don’t want accountability. The system keeps enlarging itself despite poor performance, despite its mendacity. So in that sense it is “working.”
Yes, a great way to control people is to limit the information available to them. I remember in the 1970s how Iran was a big U.S. ally; the Shah was our guy. Then the Iranian Revolution came and we were all supposed to hate Iran, especially after hostages were taken at the U.S. embassy.
I’d wager most Americans know very little about Iran except we’re not suppose to like or trust that country for … reasons.
How is that any different than it has been for the last 70 years, Bill?
Most Americans knew very little if anything about Korea or Vietnam in the 50s; or Vietnam in the 60s and 70s; or Central America or Afghanistan, or Iraq and Iran in the 80s; or Kuwait and Yugoslavia in the 90s; or Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen over the last two decades.
Just like most Americans know little, if anything, about Ukraine or Taiwan now.
As a Canadian I was disturbed to read this when it came out July 2, 2010.
‘1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know Who We Fought for Independence’
The POWERS that BE in the American Democracy don’t want an Educated, Aware and Vigilant Society.
As grills across America fire up this weekend some Americans may want to crack open a history book instead of a cold beer.
A Marist poll finds that 26 percent of Americans don’t know whom the United States declared its independence from.
The 26 percent includes 6 percent that are unsure that the United States fought any war of independence at all. Other respondents gave a range of countries that included France, China, Mexico, Spain and Japan, according to the pollsters at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
For the record, it was Great Britain we broke away from.
In regards to what Americans don’t know… A friend of mine who is retired from the National Guard needed some extra income and worked in a convenience store. I had him ask over 1000 people what kind of Government we have and only one person got it right. In America (not sure about today) all children have to say the pledge of allegiance… To the Flag and to the Republic for which it stands. The media’s constant spouting about Democracy overrides that we have a Republican form of Government. The only Democracy we have is the right to vote for someone who doesn’t give a damn about what you want.
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Ostensibly we have a representative republic. In truth, we have an oligarchy, or rule of the few, and since the few are often filthy rich, a plutocracy is also accurate.
It’s an increasingly militarized plutocracy supported by MSM propaganda and protected by heavily armed police forces and plentiful prisons.
But we do get to vote occasionally; the “choice” is most often between an (R) bought by the plutocrats or a (D) bought by the plutocrats, at least at the national level.
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Very true. It’s broken for ‘we the people’, not the Oligarchy. I went into Iranian studies because I asked my Father why the Iranians took our hostages and he said: “Because they are bad people.” Wrong answer. I’m often asked why I didn’t do anything with my extended education and I tell them because I don’t think right. I did too much research on my own. My cousin is married to retired Admiral Richardson and she is not allowed to talk to me per the government… because I don’t think right. How’s that for censorship?
Meanwhile, as Congress passes another huge National Defense Authorization Act, spending billions more than Biden requested, we learn that the Pentagon has failed for the fifth time out of five to pass an audit. We keep shoveling billions in their direction, and they spend it foolishly on planes that don’t work, like the F-35 (one crashed in recent days), but they can’t account for the spending when the auditors show up. Grrrrr!!!!!
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AWAKENING by Caitlin Johnstone
Awakening from the lies of the news man,
the lies of the politician,
the lies of the teacher, the preacher, the pundit, the parent.
Awakening from the authorized worldviews,
the authorized narratives,
the authorized information,
the authorized ideas.
Awakening from dead thoughts written by dead men
on sheets made from dead trees.
Awakening from culture,
awakening from civilization,
from how-it-is stories,
from how-to-be stories,
from should and shouldn’t stories,
from us and them stories.
Awakening from conditioning,
awakening from trauma,
awakening from subconscious dysfunction,
awakening from the heritage of pain and confusion
handed down through history from generation to generation.
Awakening from manipulation,
awakening from control,
awakening from grasping,
from holding life at bay,
from the inability to let life be as it is,
from the inability to let beingness play unmolested.
Awakening from identification with the body,
from identification with the mind,
from identification with any localized perspective,
from identification with the disembodied witness,
from identification with the field of consciousness,
from identification altogether.
Awakening from the illusion of separation,
from the illusion of the self,
from the illusion of the other,
from the illusion of time,
from the illusion of space,
from the illusions of the mind.
Awakening to truth,
whatever it may be.
Awakening to reality,
whatever its implications might entail.
Awakening to what is,
without caveat or precondition.
Awakening to peace.
Awakening to love.
Awakening to unconditionality.
Awakening to boundlessness.
Awakening to freedom.
Awakening for everyone.
Awakening for the whole world.
Awakening for humanity,
now and into the distant future.
Awakening as one.
Opening each pair of eyelids,
one by one,
as we walk arm in arm
into the great unknown.
With escalation on the Path to Destruction, there was nothing to lose sending this email to all these Senators since Senator Sullivan copped out .
To: email@example.com; Senator_Kennedy@Kennedy.senate.gov; Senator_Merkley@Merkley.senate.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Senator_Bennet@bennet.senate.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Info_Sanders@sanders.senate.gov; SenatorHawley@hawley.senate.gov; Senator@cortezmasto.senate.gov; Hirono.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2022 8:26 AM
Subject: ON THE PRECIPICE
For Your Information – Believe It Or Not
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2022 1:36 PM
Subject: US WAR WITH RUSSIA OVER UKRAINE IN NATO
Good Day Senator Sullivan,
All of them now have the email sent to Senator Sullivan Sunday with all the live links anyone can see in Bill’s previous article ‘Escalatory Pressures in the Russia-Ukraine War’
Send forth your bread upon the surface of the water, for after many days you will find it.
Give a portion to seven and even to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
I’m sure lots of people write Senators using the character & image limited, embedded email system in their Official Office web page.
A huge flow of money is subtracted from our vital needs and is poured by the European Union into Ukraine, where it fuels war and corruption.
EU foreign ministers have allocated another 2 billion euros for military support to Ukraine. The “European Peace Fund”, which has been used to arm and train Kyiv’s army since 2021, is set to increase on an annual basis from the initial 400 million to over one billion euros. This adds more funds to the 30 billion euros that the EU spent from January to October to arm Ukraine.
Ukraine: An “Afghanistan” in the Heart of Europe
In addition to these expenses, the European Union has decided to give the Ukrainian government 19 billion euros in a loan form, knowing full well that they will never be repaid. In a summit that President Macron convened in Paris to provide Kyiv with further financial aid, the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen announced that “the international community has decided for next year to inject at least 1.5 billion euros financial aid per month into Ukraine”.
In a country already characterized by widespread corruption at all levels, it is practically impossible in the current chaotic situation to control the actual destination of this enormous flow of money and weapons. A large part certainly ends up in the hands of power groups, which makes it disappear in the clandestine circuits of tax havens. What guarantees the European Union can give on anti-corruption controls is demonstrated by Qatar gate. The vice president of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, a Greek socialist exponent belonging to the Socialists and Democrats Group (the Italian Democratic Party is a member of it), was arrested together with others (including 4 Italians) for corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization on a mandate of the Belgian Justice.
And that doesn’t include the $BILLIONS US Legislators put their FUTURE Taxpayers on the hook for with all the BORROWED MONEY.
Even CanaDa’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Freeland of Ukrainian descent found the
$2 BILLION already transferred to Ukraine, as our Universal Health Care System falls through the Budgetary cracks, and now in a state of crisis proportions.
‘Yes, Jesus Would Have Been Branded a Domestic Extremist Today’
…Had Jesus been born in the era of the America police state, rather than traveling to Bethlehem for a census, Jesus’ parents would have been mailed a 28-page American Community Survey, a mandatory government questionnaire documenting their habits, household inhabitants, work schedule, how many toilets are in your home, etc. The penalty for not responding to this invasive survey can go as high as $5,000…
…Rather than having armed guards capture Jesus in a public place, government officials would have ordered that a SWAT team carry out a raid on Jesus and his followers, complete with flash-bang grenades and military equipment. There are upwards of 80,000 such SWAT team raids carried out every year, many on unsuspecting Americans who have no defense against such government invaders, even when such raids are done in error.
Instead of being detained by Roman guards, Jesus might have been made to “disappear” into a secret government detention center where he would have been interrogated, tortured and subjected to all manner of abuses. Chicago police have “disappeared” more than 7,000 people into a secret, off-the-books interrogation warehouse at Homan Square.
Charged with treason and labeled a domestic terrorist, Jesus might have been sentenced to a life-term in a private prison where he would have been forced to provide slave labor for corporations or put to death by way of the electric chair or a lethal mixture of drugs…
…Thus, as we draw near to Christmas with its celebration of miracles and promise of salvation, we would do well to remember that what happened in that manger on that starry night in Bethlehem is only the beginning of the story. That baby born in a police state grew up to be a man who did not turn away from the evils of his age but rather spoke out against it.
We must do no less….
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Thank You for sharing that, Ray. Nisha and John Whitehead are as close to “reliable sources” ~ on What is happening in America today, Why it’s happening, and Who is making it happen ~ as there is in the business.
Their Rutherford Institute website https://www.rutherford.org/ is worth a daily scan and dip.
I’m already on their Mailing List JG, getting email notice of their latest writing.
Everything in it’s Time!
What a co-incidence after mentioning the American Community Survey above!
I just came to this NYT article, ‘The Beginning of the End of the Census?’
THE American Community Survey may be the most important government function you’ve never heard of, and it’s in trouble.
This survey of American households has been around in some form since 1850, either as a longer version of or a richer supplement to the basic decennial census. It tells Americans how poor we are, how rich we are, who is suffering, who is thriving, where people work, what kind of training people need to get jobs, what languages people speak, who uses food stamps, who has access to health care, and so on.
It is, more or less, the country’s primary check for determining how well the government is doing — and in fact what the government will be doing. The survey’s findings help determine how over $400 billion in government funds is distributed each year……………….
The only way Ukrainians will see anything approximating a holiday season is if a ceasefire can be arranged by New Year’s Day, and it just might happen, regardless of President Volodomyr Zelenskiy’s repeated assertions that there will be no negotiations with Russia until it withdraws all its troops from all occupied territories, including Crimea. There are several reasons for the possible ceasefire.
First, the Russian hammer is about to fall on Ukraine. The gloves are coming off; electric energy stations, bridges, and even ‘decision centers’ such as central Kiev’s government buildings are being targeted. Russia is one or two more massive bombing attacks on Ukraine’s energy and transport infrastructure from permanently disabling Ukraine’s electricity, water, and railroad systems. With ‘only’ 50 percent of Ukrainian electricity infrastructure knocked out by the first three widespread bombings of electricity grid components, demonstrations are already breaking out in Odessa and other places over the deteriorating humanitarian situation, with Zelenskiy sending the Ukrainian KGB, the SBU, in to break up the protests and banning coverage in media. The Office of the President was reportedly recently informed by technicians that the electricity system has entered the stage of ‘arbitrary and uncontrolled imbalance,” and one official has urged Ukrainians to be prepared to leave the country in winter. What will the sociopolitical situation be like when these critical infrastructures are in complete collapse and temperatures are 20 degrees colder? Russia will be moving closer to the strategy of ‘shock and awe’, fully destroying all infrastructure – military or otherwise – as the US did in Serbia and Iraq and will likely take less care now to avoid civilian casualties……………..
Escalation! Escalation! Escalation!
The US/NATO will sacrifice the last Ukrainian in place of the US/NATO Facing Russia DIRECTLY.
The POWERS that be KNOW perfectly well that will lead to MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION.
It’s already in the PUBLIC domain, US/NATO has a Military & Intelligence High Command in Germany to direct Ukrainians in the US WAR with Russia.
Russia understands the EXISTENTIAL THREAT that presents not only to Russia, but to the whole World if Americans don’t!
As Bill recognizes, the American MSM, Propagandists for the US WAR MACHINE, are not telling the Public the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth as it is, and the realistically possible consequences for the Collective Population under US Leadership on the Path to Destruction.
As we spend & celebrate the 2,023rd Birth of the introduction of the Anointed of God to Humanity, calling all of us to embody his Spirit, unless the desperately needed GOOD FAITH PEACE NEGOTIATIONS without
pre-conditions between the US and Russia, reflecting the Spirit of that 1st Christmas, it will all be in vain.
‘The angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were very afraid.
The angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid: Look, I bring you GOOD tidings of great JOY which shall be to ALL people.
FOR YOU is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, GOOD WILL toward men.’
This is where the conflict is at NOW if we do not embrace that Spirit
If Chris Hedges were an unknown without his elevated platform, with his values and outlook, he could be a regular contributor of BracingViews, bracing defined as “giving strength, vigor, or freshness; a bracing breeze” he displays in this hour long interview.
More escalation increasing the chance the US/Ukrainian proxy War with Russia will soon be a direct US/NATO End Times WAR with Russia.
The giant annual spending bill unveiled by Congress on Tuesday contains more than $44 billion in emergency aid for Ukraine, renewing the U.S. commitment to the country’s defense as Russia’s invasion grinds toward a second year.
The new wave of aid for Ukraine — billions more than President Biden requested in mid-November — comes amid growing concerns among the country’s backers about the depth of America’s support. Some Republicans have questioned the massive spending, while some progressives have called for peace talks.
The aid package consists mostly of military spending, including nearly $20 billion to arm and equip Ukraine’s forces, and to replenish Defense Department stockpiles from which weapons are being sent to Kyiv. Some of that money would also be used to bolster the defenses of America’s NATO allies to protect against further Russian aggression.
Another $6.2 billion would support a surge of U.S. forces in Eastern Europe that Mr. Biden ordered after the Russian invasion, including thousands of American troops deployed to Poland and Romania…………
Plenty of money for weapons and war!
The US Military now takes over 50% of US discretionary spending.
“Putin Has Misread the West (And) if He Doesn’t Wake Up Soon, Armageddon Is Upon Us”
Interview with Paul Craig Roberts
I will also say that in my articles I am defending truth, not Putin, although Putin is, in my considered opinion, the most honest player, and perhaps the most naive, in the current game that could end in nuclear Armageddon. My purpose is to prevent nuclear Armageddon, not to take sides….
…Putin is a good leader, a human person, perhaps too human for the evil he faces… Putin accepts provocations despite having declared red lines that he does not enforce. Consequently, his red lines are not believed.
RT reported on December 10 that “The US has quietly given Ukraine the go-ahead to launch long-range strikes against targets inside Russian territory, the Times reported on Friday, citing sources. The Pentagon has apparently changed its stance on the matter as it has become less concerned that such attacks could escalate the conflict.”
In other words, by his inaction Putin has convinced Washington and its European puppet states that he doesn’t mean what he says and will endlessly accept ever worsening provocations, which have gone from sanctions to Western financial help to Ukraine, weapons supply, training and targeting information, provision of missiles capable of attacking internal Russia, attack on the Crimea bridge, destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, torture of Russian POWs, attacks on Russian parts of Ukraine reincorporated into the Russian Federation, and attacks on internal Russia.
At some point there will be a provocation that is too much. That’s when the SHTF.
Putin’s goal has been to avoid war. Thus, his limited military objective in Ukraine to throw the Ukrainian forces out of Donbass meant a limited operation that left Ukrainian war infrastructure intact, able to receive and deploy advanced weapons from the West, and to force Russian withdrawals to lines more defensible with the very limited forces Putin committed to the conflict. The Ukrainian offensives convinced the West that Russia could be defeated, thus making the war a primary way of undermining Russia as an obstacle to Washington’s hegemony. The British press proclaimed that the Ukrainian Army would be in Crimea by Christmas.
What Putin needed was a quick victory that made it completely clear that Russia had enforceable red lines that Ukraine had violated. A show of Russian military force would have stopped all provocations. The decadent West would have learned that it must leave the bear alone. Instead the Kremlin, misreading the West, wasted eight years on the Minsk Agreement that former German Chancellor Merket said was a deception to keep Russia from acting when Russia could have easily succeeded. Putin now agrees with me that it was his mistake not to have intervened in Donbass before the US created a Ukrainian army.
My last word to Mike’s question is that Putin has misread the West. He still thinks the West has in its “leadership” reasonable people, who no doubt act the role for Putin’s benefit, with whom he can have negotiations. Putin should go read the Wolfowitz Doctrine. If Putin doesn’t soon wake up, Armageddon is upon us, unless Russia surrenders……………..
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