Saturday, February 17, 2018

Eco-Radicalism and Hitler Derangement Syndrome: The Strange Case of Derrick Jensen


"You seemed like such a nice man until you opened your mouth."

-----member of the audience to Derrick Jensen after one of his talks (quoted by Jensen in End Game, Vol. 1)

Derrick Jensen is a radical environmentalist and prolific author, who has been called the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement. In 2008 he was named one of Utne Reader's fifty visionaries who are changing the world. Among his many books are A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Endgame, What We Left Behind, and Resistance against Empire. His central thesis is that "the dominant culture is killing the planet," and we need to build a "culture of resistance" that includes blowing up dams and cell phone towers because "what we're doing isn't working." (Democracy Now, November 26, 2010)

Jensen is to be commended for reminding us that the world is run by force, not by voluntary interaction in a "free market" dedicated to delivering the greatest good for the greatest number. Nevertheless, while believing himself to be an intelligent dissident advancing a sensible argument, he demonstrates an uncritical acceptance of the establishment view of WWII, repeatedly lapsing into dogmatic assertions about Hitler and the "Final Solution" in order to establish a basis of comparison with the U.S., which he then condemns for Nazi-like behavior on an even larger than Hitlerian scale. The central preoccupation of his book "End Game" (Vol. 1) is elaborating an argument for "bringing down" civilization by any means necessary, in order that imperiled humanity may return to indigenous ways of living that proved themselves sustainable for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, the book is shot through with sloppy thinking, adolescent bravado, and snotty asides, while overlooking the fact that trying to "bring down" civilization today is like dedicating oneself to sinking the Titanic - right after it hit the iceberg.

Jensen sees civilization as purely destructive, claiming that it leads inevitably to “assembly-line mass murder” as at Auschwitz. There is, he insists, an inherent logic that leads inevitably to “the electrified fences, the gas chambers, the bullets in the brain.” He evinces no trace of skepticism of this extravagant thesis, in spite of its flimsy factual basis, but merely blunders ahead to declare, with exaggerated self-importance, that he has an “intense opposition to genocide,” thus contrasting himself favorably with the pathological multitudes he presumes are lukewarm or indifferent to mass killing. 

Having thus established his moral superiority, he expands the definition to include the dams on the Columbia River, which he insists are “instruments of genocide, just as surely, explicitly, and intentionally as the gas chambers at Treblinka, Birkenau, and Auschwitz.” The pomposity and self-righteousness are troubling in themselves, of course, but there are also important factual questions that Jensen glosses over:  Did the homicidal gas chambers actually exist? If so, why is there no forensic evidence of them? Why no corroborating archival evidence? Why no photograph? Why so much crazy eyewitness testimony (no different in kind from that claiming that Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead)? 

Jensen doesn’t say, and apparently doesn't even suspect that such questions need to be asked. And if the “extermination” was a result of the collapse of Germany's Eastern Front after the battle of Stalingrad, don’t we need to critique what started the war? Unfortunately, Jensen doesn't see the need for doing this, since he believes in the cartoon-like view of Hitler as a cosmic force that single-handedly mobilized tens of millions of Germans to rush headlong to their doom. Sure.

Digging himself ever deeper, Jensen advocates setting up a “Nuremberg-style tribunal to try politicians, CEOs, generals, and capitalist journalists” for crimes against nature and humanity. He recommends that U.S. generals read Robert Conot's, Justice At Nuremberg, a standard work on the show trial, so that they will know what “justice” awaits them when Jensen's eco-warriors succeed "civilization." 

Justice! Starving, dismembered Germany, its cities bombed into rubble and its territory occupied by four foreign enemies that excluded their own crimes against humanity from the hypocritical indictment they advanced against the defeated "Reich," retroactively applying laws that had not existed at the time the hideous German atrocities were committed. Some of this absurdity comes through even in Conot's book, such as Hermann Goering bringing up Manifest Destiny and the U.S. conquest of the Southwest on explicitly white-supremacist principles, which the prosecutors don't even try to refute. 

To make a long story short, Jensen spews out all the myth-making minnows about "progress" and "civilization," only to swallow the establishment's ideological whale about unique Nazi racism culminating in mass extermination by gas chambers. He then goes on to paint ordinary Americans today as Nazis by default for failing to stop the capitalist rush to irretrievable environmental catastrophe. It's hard to know which is the more pathetic, his slavish devotion to an establishment version of the facts, or his sweeping dismissal of Americans as being no better than endlessly caricatured "Good Germans."

In any event, seeking to rid the world of evil (like George Bush!), Jensen argues that violence in defense of mother earth is justified, just as killing Adolf Hitler would have been justified. Had someone killed Hitler before WWII started, he claims, it would have saved millions of lives, which implies that the war only occurred because of the perverted will of a single individual. Obviously ludicrous, this is like arguing that if Thomas Edison's mother had aborted him the world would never have had electricity. More relevantly, if the West hadn't reacted hysterically to the Bolshevik revolution, Hitler never would have been Hitler. 

A childhood rape victim, Jensen's analysis is essentially psychological (abusers abuse without limit; victims are victimized without limit), and sheds no light on society or history. Again and again, he opines that fear to defend ourselves in the face of boundless abuse, not failure to understand and dismantle the intricate mechanisms of oppression, is our central problem. He appears frankly uninterested in thinking, which he does reluctantly and shoddily. For example, in attempting to counter the argument that focusing on especially appalling CEOs and corporations only leads the system to replace them with others equally bad, he misconstrues this as a form of fatalism. We would never call it pointless, he says, to arrest or kill an individual rapist on the grounds that other rapists will continue to rape. But the two situations are not at all comparable, because there is no structure of rapists as there is a structure of corporate power. CEOs perch at the apex of profit pyramids that are legally required to maximize profit. No rapist is under a legal obligation to rape. How can Jensen be unaware of this simple and highly relevant fact? 

Worse than this, a deep cynicism pervades Jensen's thought, as he dismisses the vast majority of Americans as morally indifferent, if not depraved: 

“I don’t think most people care, and I don’t think most people will ever care. We can trot out whatever polls we want to try to prove most Americans actually do care about the Environment, Justice, Sustainability – that they care about anything beyond being left alone to numb themselves with alcohol, cheap consumables, and television.  . . . But the truth is that it’s just not that important to most people – it in this case being the survival of tigers, salmon, traditional indigenous peoples, oceans, rivers, the earth; it also being justice, fairness love, honesty, peace. If it were, ‘most people’ would do something about it. . . . There will never be a mass awakening such that a majority of Americans or even a significant minority will realize that we are destroying our land base and rise up and stop it. Good Americans are just like Good Germans." (End Game, Vol. 1, p. 341, 343) 
   
In short, only Jensen and the small circle of people he approves of are properly moral. This conclusion, offensive in itself, overlooks considerable counter-evidence within Jensen's own life span (he was born in 1960). When a relative handful of dedicated political activists took up popular anti-war education in the 1960s and 1970s, a highly indoctrinated U.S. population went from strongly supporting the Vietnam slaughter to an 80% majority judging the war to be "fundamentally wrong and immoral." In subsequent decades elements of that overwhelming majority grew into a myriad of social change movements raising issues of a depth and scope never even contemplated in the much celebrated protest era of the 1960s. 

True, ecological destruction has not been stopped, or even slowed down, but given the massive concentration of wealth and power at the top of society this was entirely predictable. If achievable at all, an ecologically sane world of billions of people is not the work of decades, but of centuries. The popular rebellions of the 1960s at least put the issue on the map. The collective effort to avoid human extinction will define the next two centuries, if we are lucky enough to have them. But no technique or series of actions could have transformed the U.S. into an ecologically sustainable society in a mere forty years. Nevertheless, Jensen is firm in his conviction that failure to achieve the impossible is evidence the American people are morally bankrupt.

He, on the other hand, is of the ecologically Divine Elect, blessedly free of the stain of sin. Consider this phone conversation he reports having had with a friend:


“The phone rings. I answer. It’s a friend. She asks, ‘How much longer do you think we’re going to be in Afghanistan?’
            “She can’t see this, but I look around, look outside at the redwood trees. I respond, ‘We’re in Afghanistan? I thought we were in northern California.
            “Silence on the phone. A sigh, and finally she says, ‘How much longer do you think our troops are going to be in Afghanistan?’
            “I say, ‘I’ve got troops! Really? Will they do whatever I tell them? If I tell them to take out the dams on the Columbia River will they do that?
            “More silence, until she says, ‘This is why I only call you every few weeks. I’ll be in touch.’” (End Game, Vol. 1. pps. 175-6)


Here our sympathies must be with the friend, and not at all with Jensen. The meaning of her words is clear, her concerns appropriate, and her patience admirable. But Jensen cannot see any of this. Through adolescent mental gymnastics he has convinced himself he is not implicated in imperial crimes. He is not an American citizen, but a citizen of the eco-utopia to come. American troops are not his troops; they belong to a "civilization" of which he is not a part because he has recognized the call of the wild. The fact that the soldiers are Americans, paid by American tax dollars, graduates of American schools, residents of American communities, and intimately tied in a thousand other ways to Jensen and all other American citizens and long-term residents, does not matter. Jensen is a breed apart.

And quite above the rest of us. In other words, there is not one human nature, but two: the mass of people are evil, while Jensen and a handful of heroic environmental radicals are good. And don't think Jensen will engage counter-argument on this amazing conclusion. On the rare occasions he anticipates contrary lines of thought, he slips into the sniveling tone of a juvenile delinquent: "Don't give me any shit." Or else he calls the reader stupid:  “I was going to suggest those who think the U.S. invasion (of Iraq) has nothing to do with oil should put the book down, but realized they’ve probably already tired of the big words.” Sometimes he just surrenders to empty sneering:  "I hope you're not going to suggest it would be immoral to take out television towers, that migratory songbirds should die so we can watch The Best Damn Sports Show, Period, on Fox Sports Net."  

This from the "poet and philosopher" of the ecological movement. Barf.

A legend in his own mind, Jensen considers it an affront to have to carry a driver’s license. Stopped by a police officer once and told to produce it, Jensen replied that licenses are essentially government “identity papers” which we are “asked” to show at least as often as people were in those old black-and-white movies of the anti-Nazi resistance. The police officer in question told Jensen, “If you don’t like it, don’t drive,” a perfectly sensible response. No doubt Jensen thinks that having to produce a library card to check out books is just another Nazi plot to enslave us all.

Given such consistent irrationality, we shouldn't be surprised that Jensen is hostile to science, which he criticizes for having a "basis [in] prediction and extreme control." More specifically, he abhors “the neurotic insistence on repeatability (and control) in science, and the insane exclusion of emotion – which means the exclusion of life – from both science and economics.” 

But control is only imposed in order to provide a valid basis for comparison, while repetition of results is a necessary defense against error.  Emotion is excluded from the laboratory, but not from life itself, as scientists as a group experience the same range of emotions as everyone else. What has Jensen got against being reasonable?









Friday, February 16, 2018

American Violence: Disorganized and Organized


"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do”: Samuel P. Huntington 


The latest American slaughter of innocents  - at home instead of abroad - has led to the usual outpourings from political leaders expressing prayers and sympathy and then switching to attacks on the evil weapons wielders that completely avoid the social system relying on massive weapons production and their wielding by military forces glorified for making wars.

The bloody horror in Florida that took seventeen lives is known to everyone in the USA but that same population is kept relatively ignorant of the bloody horror being perpetrated everyday in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Palestine/Israel – to mention only the Middle East – by people using the armaments we sell them, when they’re not being used by our own military which we train to use our weapons to kill people; foreigners, until further notice.

The guilt tripping about guns belonging to individuals from what passes for liberals and the protection of the right of individuals to have guns from what passes for conservatives is the two-sides-of-the-same-coin debate that does nothing to stop the massive profits of the weapons industry and the attempted perpetuation of the empire represented by those profits.

The military styled murder weapon used by the mentally troubled killer of innocents in Florida is the same one used by allegedly normal military personnel to mass murder innocent foreigners who are made to seem enemies and adversaries in the same way the troubled Floridian may have seen his innocent victims. And the nature of a society which has suicides increasing along with mass murders often committed by the suicidal must be distracted by consciousness control which highlights alleged deformities in individual character while protecting a diseased social organism now devouring its own along with outside victims.

It is much easier to feel the shock and pain when we see innocent americans suffering at the hands of a usually mentally ill individual but the mind management that keeps us from seeing the massive horrors that our social weapons problem produces under the control of a mentally deranged political economics are never dealt with in what passes for a debate between people manipulated to disrespect one another instead of the system that manipulates them into an easy to control divided population of identity groups that can’t possibly act as a democracy. This even as that false definition of reality is driven through the skulls of both into thinking what each has is democracy and the other threatens it. Honest well meaning conservatives reduced to geeks confronted by sincere dedicated liberals reduced to twits while the weapons makers continue banking hundreds of billions and leave them clawing at one another with charges and countercharges at a court owned and operated by the capitalist munitions industry. 

The guaranteed outcome of this demlib-repcon hissy fit form of politics is the continued economics of mass murder when what we need is a united confrontation with the minority power that needs to be replaced in order to save all and not just some of the future victims. Until we do that, suicides, mass murders both foreign and domestic, and further economic collapse are not merely threatened but assured.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Film Industry Reels : Actresses Accused of Sexually Abusing Innocent Men




Hollywood came to a grinding shame-faced halt as new charges of sexual abuse were leveled at stars like Angelina Jolie, Holly Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and Helen Mirren. 
Not them, actually, but others very much like them.

“She pawed at me, breathed heavily down my neck and whispered off color remarks to me when I delivered her lunch” said the first anonymous accuser. Another claimed that a beautiful star asked him for a rubdown and spit at him when he blushingly refused. Both have been in therapy ever since and resolve to sue for all their mental care and inability to gain employment after these shocking experiences.

A third damaged soul said that he at first thought she was joking when a breathtakingly gorgeous star begged him to lick her feet while she read her mail. His religious teachings forbade any such behavior on his part and he never delivered mail to her or anyone else again, forfeiting a career at the Post Office.

After further investigation, and reading top-secret memos shared between the accusers and the revealing agency which were hacked, leaked or stolen by Russian agents, Legalienate now discounts all these claims. We learned that the SWTMOA, the organization that first made the charges, is Sexual Wishful Thinking Men Of America and might possibly be less than even handed in accepting far-fetched and remotely believable charges.

We are forwarding the results of this story to all major media, beginning with the New York Times and ending with Fox News, in the hope that they might follow through on  checking the objectivity of sources before reporting hysterical fables, political lies , treacherous fictions and purposely divisive slanders as :

News ?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Humanity Is Much Older and Far More Important Than Capitalism part 2



Depending on whether the science is materially based religious or religiously based immaterialist, we’ve been around for more than 100,000 years originating in Africa and in a form close to our current bi-pedal carbon based creatures of hopefully advancing consciousness. Some estimate capitalism may have roots in biblical times, though most agree that the industrial form from which present reality evolved began in the 17th century and came to full domination of the globe in the 19th. Clearly, humans have been through a multitude of social, anti-social, communal, anti-communal, organized and disorganized methods of species continuity as can be imagined since our origins. That recent capitalist history of maybe 500 years, a very tiny fraction of the time we’ve been around, based on a foundation of private profit motivation can represent the highest point of human progress attainable is most obvious to confused people with objectively opposing thumbs but subjectively empty heads, even while possessing overstocked arsenals of the most murderous weapons ever created.

Such people – sadly, all of us who allow a rich royal minority to rule – have reached a point of endangering our race in the most menacing way known, at least to recorded history under whatever system of domination controlled the history writers. It is likely a frozen earth that became a watery earth that became a drier earth and cradle of something called civilization experienced many cataclysmic disasters, but most of those happened l0ng before humans were around and certainly not in our present form. But our supposedly highest developed animal ruler of the planet status has brought us to a crisis which demands the race and the place we call home no longer tolerate minority rule of the royal rich and take on the emancipating burden of creating a system of democratic rule dependent on as many of us as possible before all of us suffer catastrophe. We may survive for many more millennia, but without radical change in the organization of our lives, that may be as something other than the human race as we know it now. And good, sublime, bad or worse, that’s all we know and what we ought to care about saving for just that reason. Transforming capitalism into a humanitarian democratic system previously unknown to humans may not solve all our problems but it will definitely solve most of them, especially the most threatening to our only-one-in existence race.

America recently celebrated a great leader but organized by our rulers to narrow the broad scope of his social criticism and fit it into a non-threatening form which has reduced him to an almost mythic figure celebrated for only one aspect of his charge to the nation by exclusion of his larger message. When Martin Luther King began publicly expressing his criticism of the capitalist system by saying things like this he may have signed his death warrant.

 …the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together…you can’t get rid of one without getting rid of the others…Why are there forty million poor people in America? When you ask that question…you are questioning the capitalist economy.”

 These days it isn’t as dangerous to make such statements but sadly no public figure with the stature of a King is yet offering leadership for system change. Bernie Sanders struck some fear into fundamentalist capitalism with his call for a return to the social democratic capitalism of the post world war two “new deal”, but the owners and operators of the nation were far more concerned about one of their own taking power. Thus the ongoing assault on Trump, deemed far too unbalanced and outspoken in his egotistical dedication to the greed and disregard for humanity that must be smothered in platitudes such as offered by the Clinton- Bush-Obama servants to empire in order to be accepted by the people under a wealthy minority’s consciousness control apparatus of mind managed surreality.

But the short comings of an anti-democratic system ruled by a minority but passing for a democracy among those subdued into calling junk food a gourmet diet and mass murder a humanitarian policy are piling up faster and in such  deadly fashion that many are beginning to act in opposition like a united race and not a divided group of market clones programmed to think that people who have different skin tones or sexes are actually members of a race other than human. That large divisive force among people, created by their rulers to keep them apart, continues to menace but as King and others long, long before him understood*, it cannot be changed in isolation but only as part of a larger change in the system that created that lie – and many others - to separate us from one another.

*“The emancipation of the producing class involves all human beings without distinctions of sex and race” Karl Marx


There is no race but human, with cultural, physical, genetic, geographic and national differences among us but none as significant as those between the sexes which are absolutely necessary for the perpetuation of the race, present marketing standards to the contrary. Same sex love is probably as old as humanity, but the perpetuation of the race demands opposite sex coitus, even if reduced to purchasing anonymous sperm or renting an unknown womb. Capital has reduced all human relations to market forms of commodity consumption, including birth, death, marriage and divorce, which all play a major shopping-buying-selling role in happening and un-happening. Love can – and should -be beautiful but just as love for a pet cannot produce a human, love for the same sex can be poetic and spiritual, but no more capable of producing new life than a man falling in love with a refrigerator or a woman having an affair with a can opener. It can be said that the capitalist market has advanced humanity in this area by making same sex love a product-commodity now finally in the open, but it can also be said that capitalism played a, if not the, major role in forcing such love into the shadows in the first place.

It is highly doubtful that our earliest ancestors were much concerned about who loved whom and how or why, given the far more important survival needs for food and shelter. The need for those things are still absolutely essential, and they are becoming more difficult for many to acquire in a world where a handful of billionaires own and control more wealth than several billion of us put together. And whether those billions are light or dark skinned, male, female, tall, short or other, we are all members of a human race which must come together to transform reality, not just for some of us but for all, with much less regard for real, implied or frequently imagined differences between us. The ocean on which we sail is dangerously poisoned by capital and our crippled ship is in danger of going down into that muck, whether we are among the minority profiteers or majority losers. We sink or swim together or not at all. That means confrontation with, and transformation of the system that is the major cause of the pollution of that ocean and our minds. And  as someone once said long ago, Das Kapital.



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Humanity Is Much Older And Far More Important Than Capitalism

Capitalism, the globalised economic system that has ruled the world for hundreds of years, seems to have entered a stage of steadily expanding and faster collapse than is usually the case nationally, let alone on a global basis, though this is hardly dealt with by any news or commentary in the capitalist world. And since there is no other world but that, how can anyone arrive at such a conclusion? Possibly by paying closer attention to the material reality of that system rather than continuing to accept a religious theory about it that only makes sense in the way the divine birth and resurrection of Jesus, Moses being in direct contact with, and Mohamed being directly contacted by, the deity, and other foundation myths of the Abrahamic  legends which, however minority created and preached  still make sense for billions of people. Faith can be our salvation at times, but as an ex-clergy member has said, only gravity works all the time. Groups of humans calling themselves secular and science based who still accept private profit in a market place as the Credo in Unum Deum are frequently much closer to religious fundamentalists in accepting as foundational universal truths the material results of earth, air, water, fire and humans being treated as market commodities .

This political economic system has been incredibly rewarding to much of humanity, while causing untold suffering and devastation for a majority who have been forced to absorb the loss so that others might profit. Even the Abrahamic faiths contain teachings and proposed actions that work against the acceptance of poverty, wealth, and the collection of interest. Islam does not allow interest collecting, or at least tries to forbid it before banking and finance make it nearly impossible, and Christianity once forbade it completely. In fact,  one of the Jesus stories has it that he and his radical band of rabbis attacked the moneychangers and moneylenders at the temple. Whether they did so because it was seen as evil in and of itself or only so if taking place at the temple is up to the interpreters, but there might be a lesson there that humans, at least some of us, were in open rebellion against minority profiteers even while the groundwork was being laid to make religious teachings the handmaidens of capital at its earliest stages.

Presently, while an american elite is trying and seems almost successful in hysterically mobilizing a defense of the system by attacking the reckless if honest pinhead who won the presidency despite all the owners of the nation’s political process did to prevent it, the signs of breakdown are not just mental for those who can afford it but more physical for those unable to find solace through therapy, drugs, religion, or as John Lennon once put, through sex and tv. The marketing of aspects of this breakdown are further signs of its desperation, but also its malevolent power to cloud people’s minds in myth, legend, propaganda and lies,  through the “branding” of manifestations of its deadly flaws with product names like “climate change” and  “military defense”, the first an aspect of capitalism treated as a mysterious aspect of “our” treatment of nature, the second a much older enforcer of minority power now, in a nuclear age, threatening all life on earth rather than simply those of one or another people or nation.

While the evidence of breakdown is global, the source of the political economic power that has brought it about is regionally western and specifically American, though certainly not uniquely so as newer entrants into the capitalist market madness are part of the problem, though not nearly as menacing as the originals. Russia, and even more so China, are creating inequality and destroying the environment in the necessary fashion in order to create great wealth for some while robbing others, but their approach is relatively progressive, to use an overworked word loved by liberals, by comparison to the powers that have brought us closer to world disaster in their terrible treatment of people and earth itself. The global realities of capitalism that shrank the world of numerous nations into one of a massive market, spoken of by Marx and Engels more than 150 years ago, have become the global mall in which workers are dumped from one nation to another based on the financial loss of keeping them in one place or profiting from their cheap labor in another, have become massive problems of relocation and misery for some and wealth and profits beyond belief for a tiny minority of the planet’s people. This is tearing nations apart as it adds to the divisions of manipulated populations into fighting one another over seemingly diminishing wealth, under capitalist  “austerity”, a process which is only applied to and experienced by common working people – the overwhelming majority – while incredible wealth beyond what past charlatans and hustlers called royalty once amassed creates a sub-market for excessive riches which trickle down to their servant class as money for their pets. When a civilization (?) is reduced to spending more on war and domestic animals than it does on the well being of some, really most of its humans, globally, blaming that on lazy workers can only cover reality for so long, even among a people fed a diet of fast food, fake news, and political lies. Humanity has not survived and evolved for millennia to wind up vanishing due to a political economic system calling itself democratic, which is like calling rape an act of love. Although it can look that way if we only peek at material reality behind blinders and wearing head phones which allow only news of the most trivial, useless, consumptive and bestial products to seep through. We are better than that and need to begin acting like it before ruling minorities bring us, and everything else, to a crashing end. Can we?

 to be continued



Saturday, January 20, 2018

"You Are Now Entering the American Sector" by Israel Shamir

"You Are Now Entering the American Sector"
(Will Syria Be Partitioned?)
ISRAEL SHAMIR • JANUARY 19, 2018
 • 2,900 WORDS 

Russia avoided the Syrian quagmire despite dire predictions. Putin minimised his footprint, his war is almost over, ISIL has been defeated. Trump could also exclaim “Mission is completed!” – and fly home. But it seems he is eager to rush in where angels fear to tread. Trump does not mind doing for the Israeli Prime Minister what his predecessors, whether Democrats or Republicans, refused, namely, fighting Israel’s war by indefinitely extending the hostile and illegal occupation of Syria.

He should have learned by now that foreign policy is not his forte. His liberal opponents at home effectively neutralise every move he does. Worse, his steps are counterproductive. He would achieve more if he were to forget about the world at large for a long while, and let the world forget about him.

Take, for instance, the Iranian protests. They appeared so dangerous for the regime, when the crowds called for resurrection of the late Shah and for withdrawal from Syria. They could have become dangerous, but they dissipated thanks to the timely intervention of President Trump. He had promptly expressed his support for the protesters.

Even the more pro-American segments of the European body politic have learned by now that the real American establishment never agrees with the real President Trump, and refused being drawn into human rights rhetoric and condemning Iran.

We may quietly cheer the obnoxious Nikki Haley, who had succeeded in annoying the international community so much during the Jerusalem vote that her attempt to call the Security Council to arms miserably backfired.

The Russians and the Turks took Trump’s cue and denounced (otherwise almost non-existent) American intervention, while the Europeans stayed away. The Iranian protesters understood who would enjoy more riots and went back home, to deny Trump this pleasure. This was a very good outcome for the Russians who could have found themselves in dire straits in Syria without Iranian ground troops.

In Palestine, the steady genius of Trump achieved the near-impossible feat of forcing the Palestinian leadership’s withdrawal from the Oslo Accords. These miserable accords, blessed by the US and EU, and condemned by the late, great Edward Said, had been the basis of apartheid perpetuation in Israel/Palestine. As long as they were preserved, one couldn’t expect much change; they were the Iron Dome of Israeli politics, quipped an Israeli wit. Now they are dead and gone, and the new rules will be laid down, presumably with Russia’s participation.

The US-North Korean stand-off looked perilous, and the nuclear war appeared imminent. But Trump’s obvious insanity restored some sense to the troubled soul of South Korean president Moon. He understood that he was likely to become the president of incinerated Seoul, and called his North Korean counterpart for a friendly chat. The two Korean leaders exchanged virtual cigars and agreed to provide a joint team at the Olympic Games, to great disappointment of war-mongering Trump. This breakthrough encouraged the Russians and the Chinese so much that they refused to visit the Vancouver gathering; without them, the meeting had very little meaning, if any.

In Syria, the Russians came under the Attack of the Drones, which coincided with the government army offensive in the rebel-run Idlib province. The drones also came from Idlib, where the last act of the civil war is being played. Turkey was supposed to keep peace in Idlib, and the Turks were upset by the offensive. They said peace negotiations with the rebels were the only way to restore order; this suits the Russians who generally prefer to negotiate rather than fight. But Damascus does not believe in negotiations with the Islamist radicals; these radicals, a new reincarnation of al Qaeda, make impossible demands like “Assad must go”, and use the negotiation time to entrench. Confrontation between the Turks and ‘their’ rebels on one side, and the Russians and ‘their’ Syrians over Idlib was been looming and threatening.

Things could have become uncomfortable for the Russians, but here again, the US helped by declaring that they were arming and training a new rebel army in Syrian Kurdistan. Nothing spurs the Turks into action as fast as Kurdish moves. Just recently they succeeded in defeating Barzani’s attempt at creating an independent Kurdistan in Iraq, and now, Kurdistan Take Two, this time in Syria. Erdogan promised to drown the new Kurdish army under American leadership in rivers of blood and began gathering troops on the border of Afrin, the smaller Kurdish-held enclave. Even Erdogan was not sufficiently imprudent to confront both Russia and the US at once, and he patched up his relations with Putin. The Attack of the Drones has been re-assigned from the Turkish-supported rebels to the US-supported ones, as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol plane had been in the air in that area at the right time. Thus the big danger of Russia-Turkey quarrel was averted, while US-Turkey enmity quickly rose.

This would be a very good time for the Americans to go home while the going is good. Turkey is much more important for the US than Syria could ever be; while for Israel it is other way around, Syria is more important. This was the moment of choice for President Trump: what does he treasure more, the US or Israel? The answer has been given in Rex Tillerson’s speech at Hoover Institution.

If until now, the official US position was that they came to Syria to defeat ISIS and then go home when the mission is completed, now we were disabused. Americans are not going anywhere. They will stay put forever, or until kicked out; another part of Syria, besides the Golan Heights, will be occupied.

“The US will maintain a military presence in Syria… We will not repeat the 2011 mistake of pulling out from Iraq. We shall strive for the diminishment of Iranian influence — the northern arch will be denied, and Syria’s neighbours [read: Israel] will be secure. [We will stay until] Syria is free from weapons of mass destruction… The US will not withdraw until Assad is gone”.
Thus, Sergey Lavrov’s assessment given last week, that Americans intend to dismember Syria, became true. “A course was set for the partition of Syria,” the Russian minister of foreign affairs said. Now this prediction turned into reality.

Well, what else is new? Americans never leave voluntarily. Whenever they come, they try and stay forever. They came to Philippines in 1898, and they are still there, despite many demands to get out. They came to Cuba in 1898, and they still stay there, despite many promises to leave blood-soaked Guantanamo. In 1945, they occupied Germany and Japan, and they are still there, only their puppets change.

They came to South Korea, and they still stay there. They conquered Afghanistan in 2001, and they are still there.

Among many colonial powers, the US is the exceptional one by its stubborn stickiness. It is easier to get rid of a chewing gum that got stuck to your sole than the American presence.

It is difficult, but not impossible. The Vietnamese did it. It took them many years, five million of their own dead, fifty thousand dead American soldiers, ruination of their economy, destruction of forests, cities bombed, My Lai burned and raped, but they succeeded in dispatching the Yanks home.

The Lebanese did it. Just one successful suicide driver had got through the gate of the Marines’ encampment, and killed over two hundred Marines. The US gunboats bombarded unprotected Lebanese villages in the mountains, but afterwards the Yanks sailed home.

The Somalis did it. They downed a couple of Black Hawk helicopters and in a single day-long battle killed two dozen of America’s best. Afterwards, the Americans went home.

The question is how many dead bodies will Trump need in order to understand that there is no place like home, and that American presence in Syria is unwelcome. The Israelis will be upset if the Yanks leave. From the Israeli point of view there is nothing as good as an American military presence in Syria next door. But President Trump was elected by the Americans, and he has to make the right choice, the sooner the better.

Ben Cardin Spoils For a Fight

If after reading this far, you, my American reader, have had a moment of buyer’s regret for electing Trump, here comes another story to comfort you. Ben Cardin, a leading member of the Jewish Lobby, a Senator whose previous claim to fame had been authoring a bill that would have made it a felony to support a boycott of Israel, now took a new bold step. He has produced a very long report accusing Putin of interfering with the world and subverting democracy. It could be read like a pre-election advertisement for the smart Russian president. Alternatively, it is a call for stepping up warfare against Russia, for isolating her and sanctioning to the hilt.
Why is this prominent Jewish leader so keen to attack Russia? Putin seems to be a good buddy of Netanyahu, and Jews are happy in Russia. But these guys are not grateful.

In a recent piece, The Russia Insider chief editor Charles Bausman claimed that Jewry is on the forefront of the anti-Russia campaign. This long (5,000 words) piece annoyed a lot of people, encouraged a lot more, while some American Jews blamed Putin for its appearance. However, it is more complicated.

While indeed there are many ferociously anti-Russian and anti-Putin American Jews (Masha Gessen, Ben Cardin), they are usually a liberal lot, man-haters and anti-Trump to the (Max) Boot.

Pro-Trump Jews do not care much about Russia one way or other. They want Trump to fight wars for Israel in the Middle East.

If you find a non-Zionist and Russia-friendly American Jew, you have found a good and rare thing, and he is probably not a member of the Congress.

Just the thought that Mr Cardin and his lot would rule the US instead of Trump (in case of Ms Clinton’s victory) should cure your regrets.

And Cardin is dumber than Trump, too. Cardin’s accusations are dumb and trivial. Russians trying to influence US public opinion? What’s wrong with that? Every opinion-holding person tries to influence others, and these influences easily cross borders. Russians influence Americans, while Americans influence Russians. The US has much, much more influence in Russia (or anywhere else on this planet) than the other way around.

The Soviet Union of old wasn’t all that influential in the West (outside the narrow left-wing milieu), but modern Russia has much less influence than the USSR did, for Russia is not all that different and it does not offer a real alternative on a large scale. Russia has its own billionaires, it has its own immigrants from the global South, the Russians gave up smoking and once surly Russian salesgirls now smile to customers. The anti-Russian hype is rather baseless..

What do the Russians do? They try to offset and counteract the vicious anti-Russian campaign carried out in the US by Cardin’s gang, granted. This is reasonable and to be expected. But do they spread ideas for Western consumption that they themselves abhor? This is what I would call “weaponising propaganda,” and that is what the US did during the Cold War I, when their VOA and Radio Liberty encouraged internecine strife and ethnic nationalism in the Ukraine or Transcaucasia while promoting antiracism at home.

The Russians do not do it. They are sincere. They promote what they like. Russians do have quite conservative views. In their interaction with the West, the Russians express these views. They are against EU, and therefore they are for Brexit and for dissolution of the EU. For Russians, the EU is too liberal, and anyway the EU does not embrace Russia (the Russians wanted to join).
Regarding the US, the Russians do support conservative, traditional factors and those anti-globalist, parochial elements that contributed to the rise of Trump. Their support of Trump is not a manipulative one, but a sincere response.

The Russians have no political correctness. They say “Jew” as easily as you’d say “Pole” or “Cherokee”. They do not like mass migrations. They aren’t keen on Greeks and Georgians, Arabs and Armenians or indeed Tajiks, at least not in Russia, and not in big quantities, and they express this forbidden (for you) thought without hesitation. The Russians are ‘racists’, in the eyes of a New York liberal, but they easily marry and socialise across ethnic and racial borders. So when Russians express horror at the influx of dusky foreigners into Europe, they are not trying to cause trouble but speaking from their hearts.. The Russians disprove of gender bending as much as your father did. They value masculine men and feminine women, and they are not ashamed of admitting that.

These are the transgressions of the Russians as discovered by Ben Cardin in his report. Why it bothers Ben Cardin and his lot to the extent of threatening far-away Russia with sanctions and war?

The Senator who had spend all his life since the age of 24 in politics, is an archetypical high-powered Jew, one of these Deep State figures who rule the US in fact, if not in name. Once, these powerful Jews had some powerful and similar-minded Gentiles to play ball with and to front for them. Not anymore. Real Americans of this kind do not exist anymore, or they can’t be relied upon.

That is why the Jewish Lobby wants to elect a black woman to the top position in the White House, whether Oprah or Michelle or even Condoleezza – it does not matter. Any one of them can be ruled by Ben Cardin and his ilk from behind the curtain, Wizard-of-Oz-style. And now the Democrats can’t find normal, regular men even for the lower rungs of power.

Ben Cardin wants to run for the Senate again; he will be opposed by Bradley (“Chelsea”) Manning, the man who leaked the State Department diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. I bless him for leaking the cables: people are entitled to know the dark secrets of the Deep State. I also sympathise with his suffering. After months of torture, he was forced to undergo castration in order to get out of jail. However, he is a patsy, not a strong-willed person suitable for a position of authority. He got himself in trouble because he could not keep his mouth shut. He had to brag about his feat, and quickly found himself locked up. While his predecessor, Deep Throat, kept his real identity secret until his last day.

The problem is, the opponents of Ben Cardin are as awful as he is. Glenn Greenwald writes in The Intercept: “Centrist Democrats Launch Smear Campaign Against Young Transgender Woman, All to Keep an Old, Straight, White Man in Power”. Every word in this sentence annoys. Manning is not a woman, for ‘woman’ is not a castrated man. (You can take the opinion of Germaine Greer, if my opinion is not good enough for you). Calling Cardin an “Old, Straight, White Man” is a clear-cut example of racism, sexism and ageism; it is ‘ad hominem’ of the worst kind, but these guys do not mind giving others a taste of the delicacy they hate.
I abhor Cardin not because he is an “Old, Straight, White Man”, for this definition would fit Lincoln and Tolstoy, but because he is a warmonger, a servant of the Lobby and an enemy of American workers.

I equally detest Greenwald, not because he is a Young Queer Coloured Jew, but because he privatised the treasure trove he got from Ed Snowden and turned it into a source of his personal enrichment, instead of sharing its contents with the people, as he was told to do by Snowden. I detest Greenwald for he turned the precious data to the spy agencies to rummage through and filter as they find fit.

But foremost of all I detest Greenwald for his support of identity politics; for his effort to make our kind of stand for freedom and against warmongers – alien and foreign to ordinary American men.

Greenwald and Cardin are two sides of the same coin. They are quite similar: not (only) by their Jewishness, but by their refusal to allow ordinary American men (who are Christian, “white” “straight” “males”, in their parlance) to decide their fate. For Greenwald and Cardin, the positions of authority should be reserved for transvestites, queers, women, persons of colour – or Jews who apparently have no gender, race or age.

We witness the same phenomenon in Israel, where the liberals use “they” as the pronoun of choice instead of sexist ‘he’ or ‘she’, acclaim a mixed-race non-binary-gender autistic person, insist on keeping illegal African immigrants, but can’t allow their Palestinian goyim elementary liberties of moving around, working or voting. It has the same explanation: the refugees, autistic persons or gender dissidents will not limit the power of those empowered now; the Palestinians would. Do not take your eyes off the ball, remember that all this delicate pussyfooting is about power.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net
This article was first published at The Unz Review.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Obama's Shithole Countries

For the umpteenth time indignation soars to record highs over alleged remarks by the Baboon-In-Chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Donald's alleged reference to Africa as "shit-hole" countries has liberals reaching for the smelling salts yet again.

Surely Barack Obama (the first "clean" African American presidential candidate according to Joe Biden) never stooped so low. But of course he did. Our first African-American president appointed Larry Summers to his economic team, a man who had openly argued for maximizing the dumping of toxic waste in Africa. In the infamous "Toxic Memo" that was leaked to the Economist, Summers wrote (when he was the World Bank's Chief Economist and Vice-President for Development Economics) to his colleagues that the World Bank should be encouraging more migration of "dirty industries" to Less Developed Countries, which is the prevailing euphemism for highly exploited regions of the world. Summers argued, sensibly enough, that African countries were "vastly underpolluted." Since cancer-causing agents have greater economic impact where people survive to old age than they do where infant mortality rates are twenty percent, Summers argued that it was only reasonable to encourage "dirty industries" to migrate to the Third World where premature death means less foregone earnings and lost productivity. "The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that," he said nonchalantly.

In other words, in savagely exploited parts of the world where millions of people die young from countless causes, what's the point in NOT dumping as much toxic waste as we want? In affluent areas a single death is a tragedy, but in the Third World millions of deaths are just a statistic.

Folks, this is the very definition of "shit-hole country" and Donald Trump is merely stating openly (allegedly) what all of official Washington knows and agrees with. In a rigged economy where the winners specialize in winning and the losers in losing there is no alternative to dumping toxic garbage on "shit-hole countries." Do we really think that the owners of the private economy - permanently awash in gluttonous excess -  are going to dump toxic waste on themselves? 

We can't seriously be surprised at any of this, or at the fact that the World Bank, Agency for International Development, and the International Monetary Fund once regarded sex tourism as a development strategy for the Third World. What else would their rich patrons propose - that the Third World become powerful and independent and compete with the developed world for profits and market share?  Sure.

We would do well to recall what development theorist Susan George of the Transnational Institute said in response to Larry Summers' infamous remarks: "Mr. Summers is a perfect example of what the Bank thinks and is, except that the PR staff usually manages to hide the reality. It's been a long time since we've had such an unreconstructed and frank free-marketer and I say, keep him talking."

Indeed. Many thanks to Donald Trump for openly championing the disgusting values upon which capitalism has always been based. May he never shut up. 
 

Sources:

Susan George and Fabrizio Sabelli, "Faith and Credit - The World Bank's Secular Empire," (Penguin, 1994)

Noam Chomsky, "Year 501," (South End, 1993)