American Samizdat

Wednesday, September 23, 2009. *
The Afflicted Yard: Photographs 2002-2006
posted by Andrew at 11:12 PM
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Thursday, September 17, 2009. *
Welcome to 1984- 25 years late
© Leslie Blanchard

Imagine a world where people fear that their opinions cannot be expressed freely (Patriot Act) ("you're either with us or you're with the terrorists"), where leaders are not held accountable for their deceptions (George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, "we do not torture"), and perpetual war is waged against an unseen enemy ("War on Terror" ); a world where ignorance is strength (teabaggers, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, right-wing extremists), freedom is slavery (workers who can barely live paycheck to paycheck while the corporations they toil for reap record profits), war is peace (Afghanistan, Iraq) and Big Brother is watching you (Patriot Act).

George Orwell created this world more than half a century ago in his novel 1984, but as we can see above, his "fiction" was truly "prediction", for that is the world we live in today. How did we get here?

Corporatists world wide have had their government minions, their political puppets in the United States and abroad set in motion and/or carried out the tasks that now enthrone Big Brother. These tasks range from rigged elections in the United States and elsewhere, to free markets, extreme corporate deregulation, the Patriot Act and much more. Generations of wealthy families such as the Rothschilds, the Rockerfellers, and others along with board members from many large publicly-traded corporations such as IBM, Xerox, Royal Dutch Shell, Nokia, Daimler, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Goldman Sachs, and board members from large international corporations as well. These people, these families are seeing their greedy, inhumane fantasies nearing full flower.

Within 20 years or less the entire population of the world will be enslaved. Perhaps not in the "traditional" ways that come to mind, but replace the plantation owners with Corporatists and the slave hands with today's working class- and you get the comparison. We will toil to fill the pockets of the Masters and we the people will live without hope, or dreams, we will live with GMO foods which sap our strength, our powers of reason; we will live with fluoridated water, and aspartame, which serve among other things to dumb us down. We will have no affordable health care and will die without notice of our Corporate bosses. If we do manage to live and produce they will simply wait until we no longer add to their profits, until we are declared old and obsolete at 50 then we will be infected with Morgellons or some other bio-weapon that's been sprayed on us via chem-trails for years. Okay, I admit some things in this paragraph seem too wacky, and I don't necessarily believe all of it- but with what we know about our government- you have to admit that it could be true! Either way we will have to be happy with what little pittance they give us. As many of you know this is already somewhat true today.

In a film version of Orwell's 1984 (which I didn't really care for) we saw that citizens were constantly bombarded with a continual media stream (like 24/7 cable news) with images, hints, references, etc., about a war- but the enemy was never seen. It was ethereal yet terrifying, the enemy was always lurking behind every corner but never seen, enemy soldiers were everywhere yet never seen. In the film there is no real proof that an enemy actually exists except for the reports on the State Controlled (Corporatist Controlled) news media, or testimony from troops who were involved in battle. Sounds pretty familiar doesn't it?

Have you ever wondered why we have such a high suicide rate among our troops? Could it be that they know that they are fighting for corporatist profit instead of Freedom & Democracy?

Why has the Government contracted out much of the fighting to corporate mercenaries? Well one reason is that more profits for the puppet masters can be reaped in such manner. And another reason could be that our troops have not been fully indoctrinated to the Corporatist cause and began to see what was really happening in Iraq & Afghanistan.

We hear reports on our 24/7 news feeds that our enemies- Al Qaeda, The Taliban, the Jihadists, Muslims, etc., are hiding in caves and mountains, that there are alarming rates of sleeper cells living amongst us, and that "home grown" terrorists are multiplying faster than foreclosures. But much like Orwell's fiction- these people are never brought in front of us, we never see them. We are led to believe that they have been stopped, that Homeland Security, CIA, FBI...ert., have stopped hundreds of terror attacks inside the U.S. but we never hear details. We are just supposed to believe they have been stopped- either legally or by extraordinary rendition, or they have been disappeared. They use whatever words are palatable for the day- either way it's all a work of fiction-just like Orwell's.

Now these enemies may exist. If they do, it is of little doubt that they have been created by corporate policy's which leave third world countries broke, starving, and desperate. I myself believe that some terrorists do exist, but I don't buy the numbers we hear, the "sleeper cells" etc. I think that the majority of these reported enemies- these terrorists exist only in the HD transmission waves that attack our reasoning, our daily lives. Media is controlled by corporatists who dictate what should be reported. If you think not- here are a few examples.

Rupert Murdoch owns News Corp., Fox Broadcasting Co., 85% of Fox Entertainment Group- which includes these holdings. General Electric Owns NBC, USA, Bravo, MSNBC, SciFi. Here are all the American Media owners. You'll notice that a lot of these Media owners also have DOD contracts- coincidence? You be the judge.

If you need more proof that we are fighting a bogey man, an ethereal enemy, consider Lt. General William G. Boykin, once United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, who preached sermons, which he gave in at least 23 churches. Standing in full uniform he described "the enemy" thus... "it's not what you can see. It's the enemy in the spiritual realm." Spiritual wars and terrorists are even more invisible than the supposed clandestine sleeper cells, and cave dwellers- the evil doers. Boykin even stated that the leader of our enemy- "the terrorists"- was not Osama bin Laden, but SATAN. He went on to explain that Satan and Muslims had a goal of slaughtering a "moral Christian Army".

If you are still reading this, then some of it-or all of it- is resonating within you. That's a good thing- it goes to show that you haven't been completely brainwashed by the Corporatists whole damn dumb show. It gives us a little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe we can stop this horseshit before it's too late.

Here are some more things to ponder.

1.We are told in an infinite number of ways, some of which are very subtle, some even subliminally, and some extremely bluntly to be fearful of "the terrorists", the "evil-doers". Remember when all the news channels had us running out to buy duck-tape and sheets of plastic? But we are never warned to be afraid of lightening to stock up on rubber soled shoes. We're never warned to be fearful of prescription drugs or unsanitary hospital conditions. No one tells us not to buy fireworks or to be scared of them. All of these things kill many more people each year than do terrorists.

2.The role of the CIA been stated by many in differing ways but I think Professor Leuren Moret's description is much more accurate, she states, "The CIA's principal job is to get the American citizens to hate certain peoples in the world so much that they will limitlessly spend their money and wealth on war." This is all pretty well laid out in the infamous PNAC document from the Project for the New American Century.

George W. Bush said, "We're at war with these folks, but they don't wear uniforms,,," they could be anywhere, but we never see them. He went on..."The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews,..." I guess we Buddhist and all my freethinker, atheist friends are safe.

Bush continues, "to kill and make no distinctions among military and civilians, ..." Here he is trying to get us off the hook for our future killing of so many civilians.

He then declares, "This group and its leader,... are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. " Setting the stage perhaps for future preemptive wars in Egypt & Uzbekistan?

Then just to broaden and make the scope of our fear raise dramatically he spouts, "There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror. " Strange that he didn't mention Iraq- since Saddam Hussein helped plot and carry out 9/11. Oh wait_! That was just a lie to get us to illegally occupy Iraq.

I also find it strange that in this joint session of Congress held by the President, that no one yelled out "YOU LIE". We all know he lied, why wasn't he called out?

Now, 8 years later we never hear anything about hunting Osama bin Laden, or anyone who was in the infamous deck of terrorist playing cards. No today Homeland Security is too busy being fully focused watching, monitoring,eavesdropping, etc., on ordinary American citizens.

I don't know about you, but the parallels between Orwell's war and the "war on terror" are just a little to strong for my liking. Wars have always been fought against a known enemy, not against everyday people who "could be a terrorist". All the puppet-headed politicians have admitted over and over, "we can't see the enemy. They could be anywhere." So tell me what the hell we are doing killing Afghans, and Iraqis?

What we are doing is exactly what the Corporatist Megalomaniacs want- setting the stage for them to rule, and profit even more. These terrorists we are fighting now, the invisible, child murdering, Christan slaying animals who could live next door, the ones we can't see with our very own eyes- are created in and dwell in the realm of the Corporatist Media. And it is these people, the Corporatists, that are inflicting terror globally, these are the devils we should be fighting.

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 11:39 AM
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009. *

A Somber Warning on Afghanistan


Published: Monday, September 14, 2009 at 5:18 a.m.

GENEVA — Western powers now in Afghanistan run the risk of suffering the fate of the Soviet Union there if they cannot halt the growing insurgency and an Afghan perception that they are foreign invaders, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former U.S. national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter.

In a speech opening a weekend gathering of military and foreign policy experts, Mr. Brzezinski, who was national security adviser when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in late 1979, endorsed a British and German call, backed by France, for a new international conference on the country. He also set the tone for a weekend of somber assessments of the situation.

He noted that it took about 300 U.S. Special Forces — fighting with Northern Alliance troops — to overthrow Taliban rule after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

Now, however, with about 100,000 U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan, those forces are increasingly perceived as foreign invaders, much as the Soviet troops were from the start, Mr. Brzezinski said.

For President Barack Obama, Afghanistan is the foreign policy issue that has “perhaps the greatest need for strategic review,” said Mr. Brzezinski, who met with Mr. Obama during the presidential campaign last year, and endorsed his candidacy but was not a formal adviser.

“We are running the risk of replicating — obviously unintentionally — the fate of the Soviets,” Mr. Brzezinski said in his speech Friday night.

The presence of so many foreign troops underpins an Afghan perception that the Americans and their allies are hostile invaders and “suggests transformation of the conflict is taking place,” he added.

A new international conference would help devise a more refined strategy, Mr. Brzezinski said in a brief interview Sunday. Using the military to support a development strategy would help prolong the European presence, he suggested — “our European friends are less likely to leave us in the lurch.”

If the United States is left alone in Afghanistan, Mr. Brzezinski said Friday night, “that would probably spell the end of the Alliance.”

A discussion on Afghanistan on Saturday featured, among others, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, the British foreign secretary’s special representative for Afghanistan and a former British ambassador to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“All is not doom and gloom in Afghanistan,” Sir Sherard told the conference, the Global Strategic Review of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, a nongovernment organization. But “walking away would destroy everything that has been achieved.”

“The pullout option is not one that any government could responsibly follow,” he added, emphasizing, that America’s role was crucial. “While Obama remains committed, we remain committed.”

In calling last weekend for a conference on Afghanistan, Britain and Germany seemed anxious both to dispel the tension that has arisen surrounding the election there last month, in which foreign observers say there were clear incidents of fraud, and to shift emphasis away from the rising numbers of foreign troops.

Sir Sherard suggested the solution lay in devolving political power back to tribal elders who have traditionally held sway in Afghanistan, and funneling money for development through them.

With 68,000 troops from the United States expected by the end of the year and some 40,000 from other countries, numbers — and the rising number of deaths and casualties — are going to influence not only hostile Afghans but Western public support for the Afghan mission.

Speakers at the conference said that Americans are unlikely for long to support maintaining many times the number of troops from Britain, Germany and France, the three European allies who have sent the most soldiers to Afghanistan.

What is needed now is “the intelligent application of military force” alongside long-promised development strategies, Sir Sherard said, evoking what he called a dream that, by 2011, a truckload of pomegranates would be able to pass unhindered from Afghanistan through Pakistan and into India, that Western students could study Afghan archaeological ruins, and that posters in the Pashto language inviting Pashtuns to “come on over” from the Taliban would be tattered remnants — unneeded rather than unheeded — on the roadsides of southern Afghanistan.

“That,” he stressed, “is the dream.”

From article cited, quote:

"Sir Sherard suggested the solution lay in devolving political power back to tribal elders who have traditionally held sway in Afghanistan, and funneling money for development through them."

That's the core item here for me -- if enacted, it would signal a 360 degree shift in the US's tactics for assuming control in Afghanistan and manipulating its defacto practical, effective leaders.

The US bypassed and delegitimized the traditional tribal elders by establishing local warlords as US representatives to reign over a given area, disburse military aid, weapons, equipment, supplies and economic aid to assist the guerilla war against the Soviets (which Brezinski had cleverly provoked thru Afghan terrorist cross-border hit-and-run raids). I guess the US thought their goal of eventually establishing a centralized civil authority once the Soviet Union had been bled dry would be easier if the public were already weaned from depending on their traditional tribal leaders. The US must have thought that from governor-or-mayor-like warlord chiefs ruling semi-autonomous fiefdoms, the Afghan society could be induced to elect a strong central government by which legal, political and economic reform could be accomplished according to western neoliberal principles.

But once the Soviet Union abandoned Afghanistan, the US quickly lost interest in helping to rebuild the nation they had helped destroy. They also didn't anticipate the venal barbarism of corrupt warlords squabbling among themselves that they had encouraged and rewarded but only nominally controlled. As laws unto themselves, the warlords used their private armies funded and equipped by the US to wage an all-sweeping civil war for power, according to the US's militarized model of rule by force and spoils of war. The lawlessness, chaos, decay, abuses, cruelty and brutality of the post-war period was a vacuum of power and law which the Taliban entered, the only cohesive organization that could hope to restore order and moderate the warlord's abuses. Beyond the warlord's influence, Afghan civil society again relied on tribal elders to administer traditional laws, keep the peace and mediate between secular and religious issues.

And so when the US invaded, once again they thought they would establish a centralized authority by selecting warlords as their strong-arm representatives to supplant the current bad-guys, only this time the Taliban, but with the bribed assistance of Afghanistan's own Northern Alliance troops.

The typical abuses and corruption of unrestrained warlords again alienated the ordinary Afghan public against whom they had no protection, and for which the lavishly promised gift of a democratic government they would elect failed to produce anything like the benefits of law and order -- indeed, the elections were seen as more and more of a mockery, where any authority was limited to the capital while the majority of the nation was ruled by bandits, the Taliban, warlords and their private armies, the Northern Alliance, or US/NATO troops -- and of whom the Taliban seemed to be the most fair, impartial, reliable and decent.

So its quite an ironic twist that the US may turn on their warlord allies and instead enlist the favor and uncommon practical sense and accumulated wisdom and good will of the tribal elders the US has been mistrustful of, ignoring and undermining for over 20 years -- even against the advice of its own experts.

But it sure wouldn't surprise me. Seems US 'leadership' being as dysfunctional, out-of-touch, stuck on its own malicious agenda, lacking decency and humility, prone to repeating mistakes which it is notoriously blind to and overflowing with self-righteous arrogance and conceit which it views as duty and honour, the US will remain oblivious of causing more violence, destruction, and terror than that which it claims it is fighting to eliminate. Besides being oblivious to the hidden agenda that allows it to be so unmindful of its hypocrisy.

Commentary on recent events in Afghanistan:
No Picture Necessary.

posted by Uncle $cam at 10:58 PM
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Hey hey, we're the monkeys...

Jeff Wells throws out the x-file-esque food for thought, finger snack, or should I say, disposable thumb snack? ;-) once again... and as always, he's damn good at it. 'It' being, showing us just what domesticated primates we really are.

I imagine some alien life force looking down on us, and thinking to themselves, this, man's evolution from a Type 0 civilization to Type 1* just taint gonna happen...

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:16 PM
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US actually increasing personnel in Iraq: More contractors, fewer troops

US forces are not withdrawing from Iraq.

Well, its soldiers are. But not civilian contractors. Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to withdraw US troops from the war-torn country, the US is planning to award contracts to protect US installations at a cost to taxpayers that could near $1 billion.

In fact, the Multi-National Force-Iraq just awarded $485 million in contracts just last week, while Congress enjoyed its summer recess. Five firms will handle private security deals to provide security for US bases. It's a neat rhetorical loophole that will allow US officials to say that the country has withdrawn from Iraq, while its contractors remain.

"Under a similar contract with five security contractors that began in September 2007, the MNF-I spent $253 million through March 2009, with needs growing over that 18-month period," the Washington Post's Walter Pincus wrote in Wednesday editions. "That contract, which was to run three years, had a spending limit of $450 million.

Pincus cites an Inspector General's report, whose fine print notes that these contracts could swell to a whopping $935 million. An earlier IG report documented manifold allegations of fraud and government waste (PDF here).

Victory Base Camp, one of the US' largest installations, will likely require "approximately 2,600 security personnel," the report said -- just by itself.

The Pentagon's "quarterly report on contracting showed a 19 percent increase from the three previous months in the number of security guards in Iraq hired by the Defense Department. The Central Command attributed the increase, from 10,743 at the end of March to 13,232 at the end of June, mainly to "an increased need for PSCs [private security companies] to provide security as the military begins to draw down forces."

Private guards replaced soldiers at 19 locations. Are taxpayers getting their money's worth by awarding contracts to more efficient private firms?

Nope: security companies are billing the US for more people to do what the military is able to do with less.

"Camp Bucca, primarily a detention facility, called for '417 personnel to free up approximately 350 soldiers for combat operations,'" Pincus notes. "At Forward Operating Base Hammer, the task order called for 124 private guards to allow 102 soldiers to take on combat activities."

At another installation, Camp Taji, about 900 private contractors replaced 400 soldiers.

-John Byrne

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958)
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:58 PM
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Thursday, September 10, 2009. *
every time i hear the phrase "illegal immigrant," i am reminded that this country remains as it began: a colony. it is a testament to the perversity of our political discourse that many refer to Lou Dobbs as a "native" while using the word "immigrant" for a group of people whose ancestors were here thousands of years before the Spanish.

the border is a prison.
posted by Anonymous at 9:57 PM
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Good Speech, I Thought

Good to hear the man lay into the Republicans for their histrionics.

Too bad about the public whatsit though. We hardly knew ye.
posted by Anonymous at 9:31 PM
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Monday, September 07, 2009. *
Campaign Silo » Van Jones: A Moment of Truth For Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen
I first met Van Jones when he was honored last year by the Campaign for America's Future at their gala dinner. He was being swarmed by all of the liberal institutional elite, who just could not be more full of praise for the impressive environmental leader and prison reform organizer. Everybody wanted Van Jones on their board. Everyone wanted him at their fundraisers. Everyone wanted a piece of his formidable limelight.

Now he's been thrown under the bus by the White House for signing his name to a petition expressing something that 35% of all Democrats believed as of 2007 -- that George Bush knew in advance about the attacks of 9/11. Well, that and calling Republicans "assholes." I'm pretty sure that if you search through the histories of every single liberal leader at the CAF dinner that night, they have publicly said that and worse.
Campaign Silo » Van Jones: A Moment of Truth For Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen

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posted by Anonymous at 9:44 AM
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