Nov
27

How I Produce Fake News for Russia

Tag: Elections, Media

Apparently I've written "fake news" on behalf of Russia without ever receiving a dime from Russia or realizing what I was doing. It took the intrepid reporting of the Washington Post to alert me to what I have been engaged in. My "fake news" has been published in at least 18 Russian propaganda outlets included on the Washington Post-endorsed Enemies List.

They are ahtribune.com, off-guardian.org, opednews.com, antiwar.com, beforeitsnews.com, blackagendareport.com, ronpaulinstitute.org, rt.com (that one is actually Russian), consortiumnews.com, countercurrents.org, counterpunch.org, globalresearch.ca, truth-out.org, truthdig.com, informationclearinghouse.info, washingtonsblog.com, mintpressnews.com, and nakedcapitalism.com.

Since everything I write is also at davidswanson.org it's a safe bet that that's a Russian propaganda site as well, even though I hadn't realized it.

Nov
27

Top 10 Reasons This Year's Nobel Peace Prize Events Will Feature Henry Kissinger

Tag: Peace and War

Every time the Nobel Peace Prize goes to a war monger, I feel an almost irresistible urge to imagine the Nobel Committee has just experienced a momentary fit of insanity. But when they invite notorious war mongers back to speak as peace laureates at the events surrounding the awarding of another such prize, the insanity defense loses plausibility. So I wish it were not true that Henry Kissinger is scheduled to speak in Oslo, but he is. I think I can explain why.

1. Zbigniew Brzezinski needed someone to balance him from the left.

2. Having failed to predict Donald Trump's presidency, the Nobel Committee, not wanting to wait until next year to recognize him, has come up with the next best thing: Kissinger and Brzezinski chatting about peace prize imperialism.

3. Awarding a prize to only one of the two parties to a (failed) peace agreement always seems to leave a gap in the agenda. But who can notice a gap in anything, with good old Henry waddling around proposing to nuke people?

4. With Edward Snowden having just passed up a visit to Olso to pick up the Norwegian PEN's Ossietzky Prize for outstanding achievements as a whistleblower, because the Norwegian government would not agree to protect him from U.S. extradition, that government has had a change of heart and sought out a way to shelter someone from the long arm of justice. Thus Kissinger will be guarded and protected from extradition to any nations seeking to prosecute him.

5. Having responded with sanity and wisdom to a mass killing by a homegrown fascist, Norway is eager to demonstrate to the United States that it is happy to give Washington-based fascism a chance.

6. Of the limited roster of experts who were advising both Clinton and Trump, allowing the Nobel Committee to hedge its bets, some of the other ones were truly crazy.

7. The Nobel Committee surveyed media executives and found total support for including Kissinger, except from those outlets (like the ones publishing this article) that are secretly and unbeknownst to their owners engaged in Russian propaganda services.

8. Dick Cheney told them to go f--- themselves.

9. They couldn't afford Barack Obama.

10. This makes up for never giving Gandhi a peace prize.

I could be wrong, of course. Feel free to ask press@nobel.no for the real explanation.

Nov
23

Solving Abusive International Relationships

Tag: Peace and War

There’s a chapter in a new book by Dorothie and Martin Hellman called A New Map for Relationships that outlines seven international relationships between the United States and others in which many people in the United States have not understood their government’s abusive behavior. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

What would people in the United States make of the information, if they had it, that Russians are infuriated when the West doesn’t recognize their suffering in the course of their defeat of Nazi Germany? The single city where Vladimir Putin’s parents lived lost more civilian lives to Germany in WWII than all U.S. military losses in the war. Yet the U.S. boycotts Russia’s 70th anniversary victory celebration in order to protest the choice of the people of Crimea to rejoin Russia following a violent right-wing coup in Ukraine facilitated by the United States. And Russians remember Harry Truman saying that the United States should help Germany if Russia was winning and Russia if Germany was winning, so that more people would die. They remember the U.S. delay for years in launching D-Day until Russia had been bled dry. The remember Winston Churchill’s proposal to launch a war on Russia using Nazi troops within hours of the Nazi defeat. They remember the U.S.-British-French invasion of 1917. They remember the U.S. promise not to expand NATO eastward when Germany reunited. They watch every military expansion on their border. They listen to every lie and provocation. And people in the United States remain oblivious, aloof, arrogant, and abusive. If this were a marriage, one partner would be told to do a little bit better listening.

Nov
22

Talk Nation Radio: Greg Palast on Stripping 7 Million Voters from Rolls, Swinging Election

Tag: Elections, Talk Nation Radio

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-greg-palast-on-stripping-7-million-voters-from-rolls-swinging-election

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter, whose news-breaking stories appear on BBC Television and in The Guardian and Rolling Stone Magazine. Palast has released a new movie: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, based on his books. Palast says that the recent U.S. election was in fact rigged. We discuss how.

See http://GregPalast.com

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.Producer: David Swanson.Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete athttp://TalkNationRadio.org

and athttps://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/tracks

Nov
21

James Mattis Is a Secretary of Offense

Tag: Peace and War

Donald Trump says he wants to stop overthrowing governments and turn toward peace. But not only does he also say he wants to increase the military spending that produces more wars, but he’s considering for Secretary of so-called Defense someone whose entire outlook is offensive in every sense of the word.

Here’s James Mattis in his own words:

“So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”

Of course any wars continued or launched will be packaged as “last resorts” and “necessary evils” and so forth. But this guy will be drooling for blood with the glee of a sadist. War is his drug, or what Donald Trump would call his “sneaking into women’s dressing rooms.” Here’s Mattis:

“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”

Not only is war the force that gives Mattis’s life meaning, but it’s his ideology, his worldview, his delusion in which the counterproductive can be seen as effective. Here’s Mattis:

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

Surely peace is at hand!

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” That’s how Mattis states what Theodore Roosevelt and every president since have acted on.

Only, one gets the impression that Mattis added the part about politeness because he isn’t. What he is, is a true believer in the irredeemability of designated enemies. There shall be no destroying an enemy by making him your friend for Mattis. He maintains:

“It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy’s?”

And that enemy is by necessity, then, not human but subhuman prey:

“Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down.”

Mattis explains this as a matter of simple observation:

“There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”

That’s a belief of U.S. culture, of U.S. movies, of U.S. books, of U.S. games. But when you make it the belief of the Secretary of War after giving presidents the power to kill anybody they like, you’re going to see a lot of people getting shot. And no, none of them need to be.

Nov
21

Dear Mr. Trump, About Your 29 Ideas

Tag: Political Ideas

Regarding your 29 proposals, here's a bit more than just the ranking you asked for. I'll start with the best:

7. Announce our official withdrawal from the TPP.

That's my favorite. Wonderful! We don't need any more trade agreements that empower corporations over governments and impose unpopular laws on people. Good riddance! Don't replace it with something worse, please!

8. Renegotiate NAFTA into terms that protect the American worker.

This could be a great one. I'm not clear why you wouldn't just tear up the treaty you've repeatedly called one of the worst treaties in history. You could negotiate bilateral agreements with other nations. There's no actual need for NAFTA. But if you're going to first try to renegotiate it, the U.S. worker needs the right to organize, among other rights. The workers of Canada and Mexico need to be considered. As does the natural environment that we and our kids all have to live in.

5. Introduce an infrastructure package to modernize our country.

This, too, could be terrific. Or it could be disastrous. Modernized countries have fast electric trains, solar and wind energy, pedestrian and bicycle paths, electric car chargers, sustainable agriculture, free hospitals for all human beings, and architecture that leans more toward the beautiful than the monumental. We could use more schools and parks, more farmers' markets, more urban gardens, and more places to vote. All of these dreams and much more could be easily achieved, even while radically boosting foreign aid, if the U.S. were to either cut military spending or tax billionaires or both. But you want to increase military spending and cut taxes on billionaires. Even if your idea of modernized infrastructure is coal mines and oil wells and highways, you have no way to pay for it -- thank goodness. And don't forget: the people who voted for you are obsessed with the debt, so don't even try that route.

20. Enact a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service.

This is good, as far as it goes. Why not 10 years both before and after? And why just lobbyists? Why not anyone profiting financially from a sector governed by the relevant government position? And why just the White House and Congress? Why not all government departments and agencies? Putting an oil profiteer in charge of the EPA is not solved by the fact that the EPA isn't in the White House.

25. Reform the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to provide proper treatment to America’s forgotten heroes.

This sounds good, if you actually mean it. But let's not call them heroes. Let's call them brave people who were abused by some of those recent wars you properly denounced during the campaign -- though you supported them when it mattered most.

Nov
20

Registering Japanese Americans Is Precedent Only for Crime

Tag: Race Relations

Since World War I and the initiative of J. Edgar Hoover, and right up through all the no-fly and terrorist-watch lists of today, the U.S. government has kept unconstitutional lists of people, largely or in part on the basis of their national or ethnic heritage or their political activism. These lists were part of the process of interning in camps Germans and German-Americans during World Wars I and II, and Japanese-Americans and Japanese during World War II.

In 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the creation by the Office of Naval Intelligence of a list of Japanese-Americans who would be the "first to be placed in a concentration camp" once a war could be started. In 1939 FDR ordered the ONI and the FBI to create a larger "custodial detention index" of primarily Japanese-, German-, and Italian-Americans, renamed and continued as the "security index" by Hoover after Attorney General Francis Biddle ordered it shut down.

The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required all non-citizen adults to register with the government. In early 1941 FDR commissioned a study of West coast Japanese-Americans, which concluded that they were no threat at all. He commissioned another study that reached the same conclusion. Yet, on December 7, 1941, FDR issued a proclamation stripping Japanese in the United States of rights (and the very next day for Germans and Italians). On January 14, 1942, FDR proclaimed in another proclamation that enemy aliens could be put in internment camps. On February 19, 1942, he ordered the internment of citizens and non-citizens alike.

Roosevelt had secretly ordered the creation of a list by Henry Field of Japanese and Japanese Americans on November 26, 1941.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this action, but those rulings were vacated in the 1980s when it was learned that the government had withheld relevant information from the court, and -- perhaps more importantly -- when World War II and its accompanying hysteria were long over. A 1943 government report had been altered; the original version had admitted that there had not been a lack of time to provide Japanese Americans due process; rather, it asserted, there is simply no way to determine the loyalty of such people, who must be kept away from the coats of the United States for the duration of the war.

From 1980 to 1983 a Congressional commission studied the history and concluded that Japanese-Americans and Japanese had been locked up in camps, not due to any evidence of a threat, but on the basis of racism and bigotry. The commission recommended $20,000 in reparations to each victim. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation authorizing those reparations payments, and apologizing to the victims. This law acknowledged "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership" as the factors that motivated the crime.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a law appropriating more finds for reparations payments. On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor he issued another formal apology, which included this claim: "The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated."

In 2000, a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., that includes, carved in stone, these words:

The lessons learned must remain as a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to any group.

--attributed to Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Congressman and Senator

In 2001, Congress passed a law making 10 of the camps historical landmarks and stating that "places like Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Topaz, Amache, Jerome, and Rohwer will forever stand as reminders that this nation failed in its most sacred duty to protect its citizens against prejudice, greed, and political expediency."

This is on the memorial in DC to the Japanese internment camps. pic.twitter.com/n3Kq5QmPnf

— David Swanson (@davidcnswanson) November 18, 2016

Nov
18

Born on Home Plate

Remember the satirical "Billionaires for Bush" protesters? Around this time in 2008 I asked them to become Oligarchs for Obama, and they refused. But I predict Tycoons for Trump will be born this month. Inequality, like war and climate destruction, has its face now.

Chuck Collins' book, Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good, presents the problem of inequality as well as any I've seen. Collins was born into wealth, gave it away, but still refers to himself as one of the wealthy, perhaps because of all the lasting privileges wealth brought him. Collins sites other examples, as well, of the wealthy putting their wealth to better use than hoarding.

Collins explains how a lot of philanthropy is, however, counterproductive, benefitting those least in need of it. He argues for a popular movement to create progressive taxation and progressive restraints on income. But he also makes a case for appealing to one percenters for solidarity, rather than demonizing them -- apparently because this has proven to work better but also because it's too late for anything else. Wealth has been so concentrated that without defections at the top it will never be truly shared again.

Nov
18

Michael Flynn Should Remember Truths He Blurted Out Last Year

Tag: Peace and War

Michael Flynn, expected to advise Donald Trump on counterproductive killing operations misleading labeled "national security," is generally depicted as a lawless torturer and assassin. But, whether for partisan reasons or otherwise, he's a lawless torturer and assassin who has blurted out some truths he shouldn't be allowed to forget.

For example:

"Lt. Gen. Flynn, who since leaving the DIA has become an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, charges that the White House relies heavily on drone strikes for reasons of expediency, rather than effectiveness. 'We’ve tended to say, drop another bomb via a drone and put out a headline that "we killed Abu Bag of Doughnuts" and it makes us all feel good for 24 hours,' Flynn said. 'And you know what? It doesn't matter. It just made them a martyr, it just created a new reason to fight us even harder.'"

Or even more clearly:

"When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good. The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just… fuels the conflict."

warsuppweb
Nov
17

Another $11.6 Billion for Obama/Trump Wars? Hell No!

Tag: Peace and War

President Obama waited until after the election last week to propose an unpopular idea. He asked Congress for $11.6 billion extra — outside the huge existing military budget — for wars. Here’s his letter including all the gory details. Please read it yourself when you begin to hope that I’m making up some of what follows.

This massive pile of money, equivalent to the annual spending that the United Nations says could end the lack of clean drinking water globally, adds between 1% and 2% to U.S. military spending — but is by itself more than the entire military budget of all but 14 other nations on earth, 12 of which top-spending nations are U.S. allies.

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