Monday, February 28, 2022

US Foreign Policy Is a Cruel Sport by Diana Johnstone


Bear baiting was long ago banned as inhumane. Yet today, a version is being practiced every day against whole nations on a gigantic international scale.

NATO officials visit Ukraine, April 7, 2021. (NATO)

In the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, British royal circles enjoyed watching fierce dogs torment a captive bear for the fun of it. The bear had done no harm to anyone, but the dogs were trained to provoke the imprisoned beast and goad it into fighting back. Blood flowing from the excited animals delighted the spectators.

This cruel practice has long since been banned as inhumane.

And yet today, a version of bear baiting is being practiced every day against whole nations on a gigantic international scale. It is called United States foreign policy. It has become the regular practice of the absurd international sports club called NATO.

United States leaders, secure in their arrogance as “the indispensable nation,” have no more respect for other countries than the Elizabethans had for the animals they tormented. The list is long of targets of U.S. bear baiting, but Russia stands out as prime example of constant harassment. And this is no accident. The baiting is deliberately and elaborately planned.

As evidence, I call attention to a 2019 report by the RAND corporation to the U.S. Army chief of staff entitled “Extending Russia.” Actually, the RAND study itself is fairly cautious in its recommendations and warns that many perfidious tricks might not work. However, I consider the very existence of this report scandalous, not so much for its content as for the fact that this is what the Pentagon pays its top intellectuals to do: figure out ways to lure other nations into troubles U.S. leaders hope to exploit.

The official U.S. line is that the Kremlin threatens Europe by its aggressive expansionism, but when the strategists talk among themselves the story is very different. Their goal is to use sanctions, propaganda and other measures to provokeRussia into taking the very sort of negative measures (“over-extension”) that the U.S. can exploit to Russia’s detriment.

The RAND study explains its goals:

“We examine a range of nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. The steps we examine would not have either defense or deterrence as their prime purpose, although they might contribute to both. Rather, these steps are conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.”

Clearly, in U.S. ruling circles, this is considered “normal” behavior, just as teasing is normal behavior for the schoolyard bully, and sting operations are normal for corrupt FBI agents.

This description perfectly fits U.S. operations in Ukraine, intended to “exploit Russia’s vulnerabilities and anxieties” by advancing a hostile military alliance onto its doorstep, while describing Russia’s totally predictable reactions as gratuitous aggression. Diplomacy involves understanding the position of the other party. But verbal bear baiting requires total refusal to understand the other, and constant deliberate misinterpretation of whatever the other party says or does.

What is truly diabolical is that, while constantly accusing the Russian bear of plotting to expand, the whole policy is directed at goading it into expanding! Because then we can issue punishing sanctions, raise the Pentagon budget a few notches higher and tighten the NATO Protection Racket noose tighter around our precious European “allies.”

For a generation, Russian leaders have made extraordinary efforts to build a peaceful partnership with “the West,” institutionalized as the European Union and above all, NATO. They truly believed that the end of the artificial Cold War could produce a peace-loving European neighborhood. But arrogant United States leaders, despite contrary advice from their best experts, rejected treating Russia as the great nation it is, and preferred to treat it as the harassed bear in a circus.

The expansion of NATO was a form of bear-baiting, the clear way to transform a potential friend into an enemy. That was the way chosen by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and following administrations. Moscow had accepted the independence of former members of the Soviet Union. Bear-baiting involved constantly accusing Moscow of plotting to take them back by force.

Russia’s Borderland

An unpaved road to Lysychansk, Lugansk, March 2015. (Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)
An unpaved road to Lysychansk, Lugansk, March 2015. (Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Ukraine is a word meaning borderlands, essentially the borderlands between Russia and the territories to the West that were sometimes part of Poland, or Lithuania, or Habsburg lands. As a part of the U.S.S.R., Ukraine was expanded to include large swaths of both. History had created very contrasting identities on the two extremities, with the result that the independent nation of Ukraine, which came into existence only in 1991, was deeply divided from the start. And from the start, Washington strategies, in cahoots with a large, hyperactive anti-communist anti-Russian diaspora in the U.S. and Canada, contrived to use the bitterness of Ukraine’s divisions to weaken first the U.S.S.R. and then Russia. Billions of dollars were invested in order to “strengthen democracy” – meaning the pro-Western west of Ukraine against its semi-Russian east.

The 2014 U.S.-backed coup that overthrew President Viktor Yukanovych, solidly supported by the east of the country, brought to power pro-West forces determined to bring Ukraine into NATO, whose designation of Russia as prime enemy had become ever more blatant. This caused the prospect of an eventual NATO capture of Russia’s major naval base at Sebastopol, on the Crimean peninsula.

Since the Crimean population had never wanted to be part of Ukraine, the peril was averted by organizing a referendum in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to return to Russia, from which they had been severed by an autocratic Khrushchev ruling in 1954. Western propagandists relentlessly denounced this act of self-determination as a “Russian invasion” foreshadowing a program of Russian military conquest of its Western neighbors – a fantasy supported by neither facts nor motivation.

Appalled by the coup overthrowing the president they had voted for, by nationalists threatening to outlaw the Russian language they spoke, the people of the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence.

March 2015: Civilians pass by as OSCE monitors the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine. (OSCE, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
March 2015: Civilians pass by as OSCE monitors the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine. (OSCE, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Russia did not support this move, but instead supported the Minsk agreement, signed in February 2015 and endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. The gist of the accord was to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine by a federalization process that would return the breakaway republics in return for their local autonomy.

The Minsk agreement set out a few steps to end the internal Ukrainian crisis. First, Ukraine was supposed to immediately adopt a law granting self-government to eastern regions (in March 2015). Next, Kiev would negotiate with eastern territories over guidelines for local elections to be held that year under OSCE supervision. Then Kiev would implement a constitutional reform guaranteeing eastern right. After the elections, Kiev would take full control of Donetsk and Lugansk, including border with Russia. A general amnesty would cover soldiers on both sides.

However, although it signed the agreement, Kiev has never implemented any of these points and refuses to negotiate with the eastern rebels. Under the so-called Normandy agreement, France and Germany were expected to put pressure on Kiev to accept this peaceful settlement, but nothing happened. Instead, the West has accused Russia of failing to implement the agreement, which makes no sense inasmuch as the obligations to implement fall on Kiev, not on Moscow. Kiev officials regularly reiterate their refusal to negotiate with the rebels, while demanding more and more weaponry from NATO powers in order to deal with the problem in their own way.

Meanwhile, major parties in the Russian Duma and public opinion have long expressed concern for the Russian-speaking population of the eastern provinces, suffering from privations and military attack from the central government for eight years. This concern is naturally interpreted in the West as a remake of Hitler’s drive to conquest neighboring countries. However, as usual the inevitable Hitler analogy is baseless. For one thing, Russia is too large to need to conquer Lebensraum.

You Want an Enemy? Now You’ve Got One

Germany has found the perfect formula for Western relations with Russia: Are you or are you not a “Putinversteher,” a “Putin understander?” By Putin they mean Russia, since the standard Western propaganda ploy is to personify the targeted country with the name of its president, Vladimir Putin, necessarily a dictatorial autocrat. If you “understand” Putin, or Russia, then you are under deep suspicion of disloyalty to the West. So, all together now, let us make sure that we DO NOT UNDERSTAND Russia!

Russian leaders claim to feel threatened by members of a huge hostile alliance, holding regular military manoeuvers on their doorstep? They feel uneasy about nuclear missiles aimed at their territory from nearby NATO member states? Why, that’s just paranoia, or a sign of sly, aggressive intentions. There is nothing to understand.

So, the West has treated Russia like a baited bear. And what it’s getting is a nuclear-armed, militarily powerful adversary nation led by people vastly more thoughtful and intelligent than the mediocre politicians in office in Washington, London and a few other places.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his Deep State never wanted a peaceful solution in Ukraine, because troubled Ukraine acts as a permanent barrier between Russia and Western Europe, ensuring U.S. control over the latter. They have spent years treating Russia as an adversary, and Russia is now drawing the inevitable conclusion that the West will accept it only as an adversary. The patience is at an end. And this is a game changer.

First reaction: the West will punish the bear with sanctions! Germany is stopping certification of the Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline. Germany thus refuses to buy the Russian gas it needs in order to make sure Russia won’t be able to cut off the gas it needs sometime in the future. Now that’s a clever trick, isn’t it! And meanwhile, with a growing gas shortage and rising prices, Russia will have no trouble selling its gas somewhere else in Asia.

When “our values” include refusal to understand, there is no limit to how much we can fail to understand.

To be continued.

Diana Johnstone was press secretary of the Green Group in the European Parliament from 1989 to 1996. In her latest book, Circle in the Darkness: Memoirs of a World Watcher (Clarity Press, 2020), she recounts key episodes in the transformation of the German Green Party from a peace to a war party. Her other books include Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Pluto/Monthly Review) and in co-authorship with her father, Paul H. Johnstone, From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning (Clarity Press). She can be reached at

(Republished from Consortium News by permission of author or representative)

Sunday, February 27, 2022

When the "Free Market" Returned to the East

 The vipers, the bloodsuckers, the middlemen - that's what needs to be rehabilitated in the Soviet Union. That's what makes our kind of country click!

------ Bruce Gelb, former head of the United States Information Agency

With the fall of Communism, private capital resumed control of its former service area in the East, looting state enterprises and delivering a harsher life to the majority of people, many of whom naively assumed that a generous social safety net would be retained in the post communist era. Political scientist Michael Parenti offers an admirable summary of the disaster that ensued:

"Once the capitalist restorationists in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union took state power, they worked hard to make sure that the new order of corporate plunder, individual greed, low wages, mindless pop culture, and limited electoral democracy would take hold. They set about dismantling public ownership of production and the entire network of social programs that once served the public. They integrated the erstwhile communist countries into the global capitalist system by expropriating their land, labor, natural resources, and markets, swiftly transforming them into impoverished Third World nations. All this was hailed in the U.S. corporate press as a great advance for humanity.

 "The former communist nations are being recolonized by Western capital. Most of their foreign trade is now controlled by multinational corporations. Like Third World countries, they are increasingly deprived of each other's markets. The once heavy and mutually beneficial commerce between them has been reduced to a trickle, as their economies get tied into the investment and extractive needs of global capitalism. Instead of mutual development, they are now experiencing the maldevelopment imposed by global monopoly capital.  . . .

"With the advent of private investment in the East, production did not grow as promised but dropped drastically. Hundreds of the more attractive and solvent state enterprises have been privatized, often given away at token prices to foreign investors, while other state firms are decapitalized or driven into bankruptcy.  . . . 

"The net money flow has been East to West, in what amounts to a colonization of the East."

"In the emerging free market paradise of Russia and Eastern Europe, price deregulation produced not competitive prices but prices set by private monopolies, adding to the galloping inflation. Beggars, pimps, dope pushers and other hustlers ply their trades as never before."

_____Michael Parenti, Blackshirts and Reds - Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, Chapters 6 and 7

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Imperial Demon Watch: Vladimir Putin

 Russia wants a peaceful Ukraine, Americans prefer one at war.

-------Israel Shamir, "Putin Prefers a Bad Peace"

Even before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, U.S.-Russian relations had descended to a lower point than even U.S.-Soviet relations had reached during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We've been courting nuclear annihilation for some time.

Those who would like to exempt Washington from blame now will have to account for U.S. hostility towards Russia and the USSR, both of which long pre-date anything that could remotely be construed as provocation by Putin. After all, the United States invaded and occupied the former USSR from 1918-1920, maintained a harshly belligerent stance all during the Cold War, and unleashed a plague of financial locusts to loot state enterprises throughout the former USSR as soon as the Berlin Wall came down, while enrolling the newly "independent" states into an anti-Moscow military alliance that extended to the very borders of Russia. Standards of living plunged, death rates soared, diplomacy suffocated, and Boris Yeltsin's proposed U.S.-Russian partnership was immediately forgotten.  

If a China-Russia alliance had installed hostile governments in Canada and Mexico at the end of WWII, after which all of Latin America went full Communist while narco-terrorists began killing thousands of Anglo Texans and banning English, it's unlikely any blame would fall on Washington if it attempted to resolve the situation by force, as it surely would. So we can dismiss pious moral grandstanding about the "evil" Putin as the boundless hypocrisy it transparently is.

Furthermore, the rhetoric employed in this propaganda effort is curious and irrational. For example, labeling Putin a "war criminal" actually legitimizes war, since it implies there is some ethical or at least inoffensive way to conduct mass slaughter, which is all that modern warfare is. Transparent attempts to miss this point by labelling massacre "collateral damage" should be dismissed with ridicule.

And let us here note that the USA is far and away the guiltiest "criminal" where war is concerned, having by far the greatest war industry ever seen in human history headquartered on its soil and forming the heart of its economy (the Defense Industrial Base), which it has used to fight an endless series of wars directly or by proxy throughout the world for the past eighty years. No other contemporary or historical power has achieved anything close to this commitment to mass killing.

Thus, it is absurd to define the situation in Ukraine as a uniquely evil instance of military aggression by Vladimir Putin. In a world of asymmetrical power with no effective world government, technically sophisticated powers always have the upper hand in violent conflicts with their neighbors, which are inevitable. And, of course, they insist on having friendly neighbors, preferably cooperative, though submissive will do. 

Hostile neighbors no one accepts. How much of the Americas does the United States permit be part of a hostile military alliance? According to the Monroe Doctrine, not one square inch. How did Washington react to Cuba installing Soviet nuclear missiles 90 miles from Florida in 1962? (Spoiler alert: it nearly blew up the planet.) What did the media do when Rafael Correa jokingly proposed an Ecuadorian military base in Miami to balance Washington's Mena Air Base in Ecuador? It laughed, though the punchline is far from a joke.

A majority of the world is fed-up with the hypocrisies of unilateral world order under U.S. control, and is not averse to accommodating an emerging China-Russia-India based new world order. Yes, the current war in Ukraine will cause further expansion of NATO, but this, in turn, will devour resources needed to stave off European economic collapse, while an emerging Russia-China-India alliance accelerates the collapse of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. 

In Saudi Arabia, a U.S. client state, Biden's phone calls in the early stages of the current war went unanswered while Putin's were cordially received. Got respect?

Our mind managers warn us of the horrors of forced neutrality via Finlandization, and urge instead that we strive for regime change in Moscow. Strange. Finland is a success story, having achieved balance and stability via social democratic prosperity. On the other hand, U.S.-fostered regime change converts countries into corpse-strewn wastelands on a regular basis. Think Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. Trying out this strategy on Russia would obviously carry a high risk of nuclear annihilation. What stupendous prize awaits us if we successfully navigate this potentially species-terminating risk? The preservation of "our interests and our values," as Hillary Clinton so loves to say.

Apparently, converting whole cities to radioactive ash is a small price to pay for preserving our favorite abstractions.

We hear Putin is a strongman, an authoritarian, a dictator. Was Abraham Lincoln one, he who suspended habeas corpus, jailed journalists, shut down hundreds of newspapers, and locked up thousands of political enemies? Was Woodrow Wilson, who destroyed unions, imprisoned editors, and shut down newspapers, assuming dictatorial control of finance, the press, the farms, and commerce and transportation? 

Was FDR, who burned more civilians alive in a single night than either atomic bomb killed six months later? 

Maybe Putin is a dictator. But a major part of Russian, state-owned media transmits pro-Western, anti-Russian content, paid for by Russian taxpayers. Try and find taxpayer-funded, Putin-sympathetic content that reaches mass audiences in the U.S. Good luck.

What about free speech? The Russian people have never had it, and therefore don't care much about it. Americans have it in theory, but find its political potency nullified in practice by tsunamis of state and corporate propaganda.  The most popular use of speech in the contemporary U.S. is not to reveal errors of argument and evidence, but to denounce others for being "idiots."

Is Putin a nationalist? State-enterprise CEOs in Russia earn millions of rubles a year while everyone else has to tighten their belts.  The Russian central bank buys U.S. Treasury Bonds and supports the U.S. dollar at the expense of the ruble.

Is Putin anti-democratic? The annexation of Crimea was overwhelmingly supported by Crimeans (97% vote).

Did Putin back Assad? Yes, as he was the legitimate head of state in Syria, while the alternative was rule by Islamic terrorists supported by the United States and Israel, but no sane person in Syria. Israel wants the dismemberment of Syria in order to keep the Golan Heights forever. 

Much demonology is spouted from the simple fact that Putin is the former head of the K.G.B. But Putin is critical of the Bolsheviks and is not himself a Communist. Nevertheless, he considers the demise of the USSR a "world tragedy," since overnight twenty-five million Russians found themselves foreigners living in fourteen new countries.

Is Putin anti-Israel? Well, Daesh oil flowed to Israel, and Putin said nothing, valuing his relations with then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel, of course, supported Al-Nusra, and they were declared terrorists by the United Nations. But Israel is admirable by definition, because . . . the Holocaust.

We are told that no threat to the Russian state exists, so therefore no cause for war in Ukraine exists. But the Russian state and everything else can be blown off the map in a matter of minutes. The fact that the world is wired up to explode in a nuclear holocaust has been an American initiative from the beginning, and its dominant enemy has been (1) the USSR, and (2) Russia. NATO is by definition hostile to Russia, and lost even an ostensible reason for existing in 1991 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Why is it still around? Because Russia is still around, and Washington doesn't like that fact. Its efforts to achieve regime change in Moscow can and may end human civilization, which isn't likely to improve matters for Ukrainians. 

Is Putin an extremist? No. There is nothing radical in him. He has no plans for social re-arrangement. He merely seeks to have Russia respected as an independent, wealthy, and "great" nation, and yes, he wants Russia to be treated as an equal. But he also wants to fit into the world, not rebel against it. These modest ambitions are a threat to US/NATO hegemony and world dominance, which represent the triumph of Western extremism.

Keeping things in perspective, Putin is a Russian patriot. He wants to see Russia be a strong, healthy country where people lead good lives, are happy, and Russia occupies a prominent position internationally. He's not a chauvinist or reactionary nationalist. 

The Orange Revolution was totally unexpected in Russia, which has no real political opposition. There is no one who embodies and represents the views of a Russian majority. Having said that, Putin has been something of the "golden boy" in Russian politics for the past generation. He is good at addressing issues and speaking in clear terms that average people understand. The initial "democracy" of the Yeltsin period has been curtailed, but the middle class is developing rapidly.  

Yeltsin spoke to the U.S. Congress in 1992, and offered Washington a partnership in which each nation would treat the other as an equal. For thirty years now the U.S. has rejected this. In the year of the U.S./NATO attack on Serbia, Yeltsin protested, "Russia is not Haiti. You can't treat us like Haiti."* Washington considers Haiti a "shithole" country, as one of America's more honest presidents memorably put it.

Washington is incapable of giving Russia its due diplomatic respect. According to the reigning "Wolfowitz Doctrine," the U.S. should dominate the world and not allow any rivals for power to emerge. Russia therefore is and should be treated as a second rate power. This is a non-negotiable position. 

Naturally, Putin does not accept this, and never accepted the U.S. view that Russia lost the Cold War. Russia saw the end of the Cold War as an opportunity for them to become part of the international community. At the core of Russian beliefs is that Russia must be a Great Power. The Russian people have never doubted that Russia is a great country. Having their noses rubbed in the Wolfowitz Doctrine year after year is an open invitation to nuclear war.

The USSR's forcing its rule onto Eastern Europe was a big mistake, though understandable given two Western invasions in a generation that left much of the country a smoldering ruin. The U.S. ignoring the possibility of Russia "coming back" to international prominence was a big American mistake. Washington continues to think of Russia as at most a regional power whose wants and needs can be ignored.

At the end of the Cold War the U.S. promised not to expand NATO - not one inch - to the East, a promise that was soon violated. "You can't treat us like Haiti," protested Boris Yeltsin in 1999, as NATO planes relentlessly bombed Serbia for seventy-eight days. 

Now we wait to learn if our three-decade refusal to concede Russia minimal diplomatic respect and cooperation will eventuate in nuclear war.

Acknowledging the legitimacy of Russian grievances in Ukraine is not being "pro-Russian." It's being pro-negotiation.

* Vladimir Pozner, "The Present State of Russian-American Relations," Monterrey Summer Symposium, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, July 24, 2020




Putin - The Real Story

The following excerpt is from a longer article - Fake News on Russia and Other Official Enemies - The New York Times, 1917-2017, concluding with an excellent review of U.S.-Russian relations in the Putin era.

The Putin Era

by Edward S. Herman

 The U.S. political establishment was shocked and delighted by the 1989–91 fall of the Soviet Union, and its members were similarly pleased with the policies of President Boris Yeltsin, a virtual U.S. client, under whose rule ordinary Russians suffered a calamitous fall in living standards, while a small set of oligarchs were able to loot the broken state. Yeltsin’s election victory in 1996, greatly assisted by U.S. consultants, advice, and money, was, for the editors of the Times, “A Victory for Russian Democracy.”12 They were not bothered by either the electoral corruption, the creation of a grand-larceny-based economic oligarchy, or, shortly thereafter, the new rules centralizing power in the office of president.13

Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin, gradually abandoned the former’s subservience to Western interests, and was thereby perceived as a menace. His reelection in 2012, although surely less corrupt than Yeltsin’s in 1996, was castigated in the U.S. media. The lead Times article on May 5, 2012, featured “a slap in the face” from Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe observers, claims of no real competition, and “thousands of antigovernment protesters gathered in Moscow square to chant ‘Russia without Putin.'”14 There had been no “challenges to legitimacy” reported in the Times after Yeltsin’s tainted victory in 1996.

The demonization of Putin escalated with the Ukraine crisis of 2014 and subsequent Kiev warfare in Eastern Ukraine, Russian support of the East Ukraine resistance, and the Crimean referendum and absorption of Crimea by Russia. This was all declared “aggression” by the United States and its allies and clients, and sanctions were imposed on Russia, and a major U.S.-NATO military buildup was initiated on Russia’s borders. Tensions mounted further with the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over southeastern Ukraine—promptly, but almost surely falsely, blamed on the “pro-Russian” rebels and Russia itself.15

Anti-Russian hostilities were further inflamed by the country’s escalated intervention in Syria from 2015 on, in support of Bashar al-Assad and against rebel forces that had come to be dominated by ISIS and al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaeda. The United States and its NATO and Middle East allies had been committing aggression against Syria, in de facto alliance with al-Nusra and other extremist Islamic factions, for several years. Russian intervention turned the tide, frustrating the U.S. and Saudi goal of regime change against Assad, and weakening tacit U.S. allies.

The Times has covered these developments with unstinting apologetics—for the February 2014 coup in Kiev—which it has never labeled as such, for the U.S. role in the overthrow of the elected government of Victor Yanukovych, and with anger and horror at the Crimea referendum and Russian absorption, which it never allows might be a defensive response to the Kiev coup. Its calls for punishment for the casualty-free Russian “aggression” in Crimea is in marked contrast to its apologetics for the million-plus casualties caused by U.S. aggression “of choice” (not defensive) in Iraq from March 2003 on. The paper’s editors and columnists condemn Putin’s disregard for international law, while exempting their own country from criticism for its repeated violations of that same law.16

In the Times‘s reporting and opinion columns Russia is regularly assailed as expansionist and threatening its neighbors, but virtually no mention is made of NATO’s expansion up to the Russian borders and first-strike-threat placement of anti-missile weapons in Eastern Europe—the latter earlier claimed to be in response to a missile threat from Iran! Analyses by political scientist John Mearsheimer and Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen that noted this NATO advance were excluded from the opinion pages of the Times.17 In contrast, a member of the Russian band Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, was given op-ed space to denounce Putin and Russia, and the punk rock group was granted a meeting with the Times editorial board.18 Between January 1 and March 31, 2014, the paper ran twenty-three articles featuring Pussy Riot and its alleged significance as a symbol of Russian limits on free speech. Pussy Riot had disrupted a church service in Moscow and only stopped after police intervened, at the request of church authorities. A two-year prison sentence followed. Meanwhile, in February 2014, eighty-four-year-old nun Sister Megan Rice was sentenced to four years in prison for having entered a U.S. nuclear weapons site in July 2012 and carried out a symbolic protest. The Times gave this news a tiny mention in its National Briefing section, under the title “Tennessee Nun is Sentenced for Peace Protest.” No op-ed columns or meeting with the Times board for Rice. There are worthy and unworthy protesters, just as there are victims.

In Syria, with Russian help, Assad’s army and allied militias were able to dislodge the rebels from Aleppo, to the dismay of Washington and the mainstream media. It has been enlightening to see the alarm expressed over civilian casualties in Aleppo, with accompanying photographs of forsaken children and stories of civilian suffering and deprivation. The Times‘s focus on those civilians and children and its indignation at Putin-Assad inhumanity stands in sharp contrast with their virtual silence on massive civilian casualties in Fallujah in 2004 and beyond, and more recently in rebel-held areas of Syria, and in the Iraqi city of Mosul, under U.S. and allied attack.19 The differential treatment of worthy and unworthy victims has been in full force in coverage of Syria.

A further phase of intensifying Russophobia may be dated from the October 2016 presidential debates, in which Hillary Clinton declared that Donald Trump would be a Putin “puppet” as president, a theme her campaign began to stress. This emphasis only increased after the election, with the help of the media and intelligence services, as the Clinton camp sought to explain their electoral loss, maintain party control, and possibly even have the election results overturned in the courts or electoral college by attributing Trump’s victory to Russian interference.

A major impetus for the Putin connection came with the January 2017 release of a report by the Office of Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Background of Assessing Russian Activities and Intention in Recent US Elections. More than half of this short document is devoted to the Russian-sponsored RT news network, which the report treats as an illegitimate propaganda source. The organization is allegedly part of Russia’s “influence campaign…[that] aspired to help President-elect Trump’s chances of victory when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to the President-elect.” No semblance of proof is offered that there was any planned “campaign,” rather than an ongoing expression of opinion and news judgments. The same standards used to identify a Russian “influence campaign” could be applied with equal force to U.S. media and Radio Free Europe’s treatment of any Russian election—and of course, the U.S. intervention in the 1996 Russian election was overt, direct, and went far beyond any covert “influence campaign.”

Regarding more direct Russian intervention in the U.S. election, the DNI authors concede the absence of “full supporting evidence,” but in fact provide no supporting evidence at all—only speculative assertions, assumptions, and guesses. “We assess that…Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2015,” they write, designed to defeat Mrs. Clinton, and “to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process,” but provide no proof of any such order. The report also contains no evidence that Russia hacked the communications of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or the emails of Clinton and former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, or that it gave hacked information to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange and former British diplomat Craig Murray have repeatedly claimed that these sources were leaked by local insiders, not hacked from outside. Veteran intelligence experts William Binney and Ray McGovern likewise contend that the WikiLeaks evidence was leaked, not hacked.20 It is also notable that of the three intelligence agencies who signed the DNI document, the National Security Agency—the agency most likely to have proof of Russian hacking and its transmission to WikiLeaks, as well as of any “orders” from Putin—only expressed “moderate confidence” in its findings.

But as with the Reds ruling Guatemala, the Soviets outpacing U.S. missile capabilities, or the KGB plotting to assassinate the pope, the Times has taken the Russian hacking story as established fact, despite the absence of hard evidence. Times reporter David Sanger refers to the report’s “damning and surprisingly detailed account of Russia’s efforts to undermine the American electoral system,” only to then acknowledge that the published report “contains no information about how the agencies had …come to their conclusions.”21 The report itself includes the astonishing statement that “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact.” Furthermore, if the report was based on “intercepts of conversations” as well as on hacked computer data, as Sanger and the DNI claim, why has the DNI failed to quote a single conversation showing Putin’s alleged orders and plans?

The Times has never cited or given op-ed space to William Binney, Ray McGovern, or Craig Murray, leading dissident authorities on hacking technology, methodology, and the specifics of the DNC hacks. But room was found for Louise Mensch’s op-ed “What to Ask about Russian Hacking.” Mensch is a notorious conspiracy theorist with no relevant technical background, described by writers Nathan Robinson and Alex Nichols as best-known for “spending most of her time on Twitter issuing frenzied denunciations of imagined armies of online ‘Putinbots,'” making her “one of the least credible people on the internet.”22 But she is published in the Times because, in contrast with the informed and credible Binney and Murray, she follows the party line, taking Russian hacking of the DNC as a premise.

The CIA’s brazen intervention in the electoral process in 2016 and 2017 broke new ground in the agency’s politicization. Former CIA head Michael Morell announced in an August 2016 op-ed in the Times: “I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton,” and former CIA boss Michael Hayden published an op-ed in the Washington Post just days before the election, entitled “Former CIA Chief: Trump is Russia’s Useful Fool.” Morell had yet another op-ed in the Times on January 6, now openly assailing the new president. These attacks were unrelievedly insulting to Trump and laudatory to Clinton, even portraying Trump as a traitor; they also made clear that Clinton’s more pugnacious stance toward Syria and Russia was preferable by far to Trump’s leanings toward negotiation and cooperation with Russia.

This was also true of the scandal surrounding former Trump Defense Intelligence nominee Michael Flynn’s telephone call with the Russian ambassador, which may have included a discussion of the incoming administration’s policy actions. The political possibilities of this interaction were quickly grasped by outgoing Obama officials, security personnel, and the mainstream media, with the FBI interrogating Flynn and with widespread expressions of horror at Flynn’s action, which could have allegedly exposed him to Russian blackmail. But such pre-inauguration meetings with Russian diplomats have been a “common practice” according to Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to Russia under Reagan and Bush, and Matlock had personally arranged such a meeting for Jimmy Carter.23 Obama’s own ambassador to the country, Michael McFaul, admitted visiting Moscow for talks with officials in 2008, even before the election. Daniel Lazare has made a good case not only that the illegality and blackmail threat are implausible, but that the FBI’s interrogation of Flynn reeks of entrapment. “Yet anti-Trump liberals are trying to convince the public that it’s all ‘worse than Watergate.'”24

The political point of the DNI report thus seems to have been, at minimum, to tie the Trump administration’s hands in its dealings with Russia. Some analysts outside the mainstream have argued that we may have been witnessing an incipient spy or palace coup that fell short, but still had the desired effect of weakening the new administration.25 The Times has not offered a word of criticism of this politicization and intervention in the election process by intelligence agencies, and in fact the editors have been working with them and the Democratic Party as a loose-knit team in a distinctly un- and anti-democratic program designed to undermine or reverse the results of the 2016 election, on the pretext of alleged foreign electoral interference.

The Times and the mainstream media in general have also barely mentioned the awkward fact that the allegedly hacked disclosures of the DNC and Clinton and Podesta emails disclosed uncontested facts about real electoral manipulations on behalf of the Clinton campaign, facts that the public had a right to know and that might well have affected the election results. The focus on the evidence-free claims of a Russian hacking intrusion have helped divert attention from the real electoral abuses disclosed by the WikiLeaks material. Here again, official and mainstream media fake news helped bury real news.

Another arrow in the Russophobia quiver was a private intelligence “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent working for Orbis Business Intelligence, a private firm hired by the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. Steele’s first report, delivered in June 2016, made numerous serious accusations against Trump, most notably that Trump had been caught in a sexual escapade in Moscow, that his political advance had been supported by the Kremlin for at least five years, under Putin’s direction, in order to sow discord within the U.S. political establishment and disrupt the Western alliance. This document was based on alleged conversations by Steele with distant (Russian) officials: that is, strictly on hearsay evidence, whose assertions, where verifiable, are sometimes erroneous.26 But it said just what the Democrats, the mainstream media, and the CIA wanted to hear, and intelligence officials accordingly declared the author “credible,” and the media lapped it up. The Times hedged somewhat on its own cooperation in this tawdry campaign by calling the report “unverified,” but nevertheless reported its claims.27

The Steele dossier also became a central part of the investigation and hearings on “Russia-gate” held by the House Intelligence Committee starting in March 2017, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff. While basing his opening statement on the hearsay-laden dossier, Schiff expressed no interest in establishing who funded the Steele effort, the identity and exact status of the Russian officials quoted, or how much they were paid. Apparently talking to Russians with a design of influencing an American presidential election is perfectly acceptable if the candidate supported by this intrusion is anti-Russian!

The Times has played a major role in this latest wave of Russophobia, reminiscent of its 1917–20 performance in which, as Lippmann and Merz noted in 1920, “boundless credulity, and an untiring readiness to be gulled” characterized the news-making process. While quoting the CIA’s admission that it had no hard evidence, relying instead on “circumstantial evidence” and “capabilities,” the Times was happy to describe these capabilities at great length and to imply that they proved something.28 Editorials and news articles have worked uniformly on the false supposition that Russian hacking was proved, and that the Russians had given these data to WikiLeaks, also unproven and strenuously denied by Assange and Murray.

The Times has run neck-and-neck with the Washington Post in stirring up fears of the Russian information war and illicit involvement with Trump. The Times now easily conflates fake news with any criticism of established institutions, as in Mark Scott and Melissa Eddy’s “Europe Combats a New Foe of Political Stability: Fake News,” February 20, 2017.29 But what is more extraordinary is the uniformity with which the paper’s regular columnists accept as a given the CIA’s assessment of the Russian hacking and transmission to WikiLeaks, the possibility or likelihood that Trump is a Putin puppet, and the urgent need of a congressional and “non-partisan” investigation of these claims. This swallowing of a new war-party line has extended widely in the liberal media. Both the Times and Washington Post have lent tacit support to the idea that this “fake news” threat needs to be curbed, possibly by some form of voluntary media-organized censorship or government intervention that would at least expose the fakery.

The most remarkable media episode in this anti-influence-campaign was the Post‘s piece by Craig Timberg, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” which featured a report by a group of anonymous “experts” entity called PropOrNot that claimed to have identified two hundred websites that, wittingly or not, were “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.” While smearing these websites, many of them independent news outlets whose only shared trait was their critical stance toward U.S. foreign policy, the “experts” refused to identify themselves, allegedly out of fear of being “targeted by legions of skilled hackers.” As journalist Matt Taibbi wrote, “You want to blacklist hundreds of people, but you won’t put your name to your claims? Take a hike.”30 But the Post welcomed and promoted this McCarthyite effort, which might well be a product of Pentagon or CIA information warfare. (And these entities are themselves well-funded and heavily into the propaganda business.)

On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed the Portman-Murphy Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, which will supposedly allow the United States to more effectively combat foreign (namely Russian and Chinese) propaganda and disinformation. It will encourage more government counter-propaganda efforts, and provide funding to non-government entities to help in this enterprise. It is clearly a follow-on to the claims of Russian hacking and propaganda, and shares the spirit of the listing of two hundred tools of Moscow featured in the Washington Post. (Perhaps PropOrNot will qualify for a subsidy and be able to enlarge its list.) Liberals have been quiet on this new threat to freedom of speech, undoubtedly influenced by their fears of Russian-based fake news and propaganda. But they may yet take notice, even if belatedly, when Trump or one of his successors puts it to work on their own notions of fake news and propaganda.

The success of the war party’s campaign to contain or reverse any tendency to ease tensions with Russia was made dramatically clear in the Trump administration’s speedy bombing response to the April 4, 2017, Syrian chemical weapons deaths. The Times and other mainstream media editors and journalists greeted this aggressive move with almost uniform enthusiasm, and once again did not require evidence of Assad’s guilt beyond their government’s claims.31 The action was damaging to Assad and Russia, but served the rebels well.

But the mainstream media never ask cui bono? in cases like this. In 2013, a similar charge against Assad, which brought the United States to the brink of a full-scale bombing war in Syria, turned out to be a false flag operation, and some authorities believe the current case is equally problematic.32 Nevertheless, Trump moved quickly (and illegally), dealing a blow to any further rapprochement between the United States and Russia. The CIA, the Pentagon, leading Democrats, and the rest of the war party had won an important skirmish in the struggle over permanent war.


  1. Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,” Monthly Review 59, no. 5 (October 2007); Herman and Peterson, “Poor Marlise: Her Old Allies Are Now Attacking the Tribunal and Even Portraying the Serbs as Victims,” ZNet, October 30, 2008,
  2. Stephen F. Cohen, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (New York: Norton, 2000).
  3. Ellen Barry and Michael Schwartz, “After Election, Putin Faces Challenges to Legitimacy,” New York Times, March 5, 2012.
  4. Robert Parry, “Troubling Gaps in the New MH-17 Report,” Consortium News, September 28, 2016,
  5. Paul Krugman says, “Mr. Putin is someone who doesn’t worry about little things like international law” (“The Siberian Candidate,” New York Times, July 22, 2016)—implying, falsely, that U.S. leaders do “worry about” such things.
  6. A version of Mearsheimer’s article appeared as “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” Foreign Affairs, September 10, 2014. The paper likewise rejected Stephen Cohen’s 2012 article “The Demonization of Putin.”
  7. “Sochi Under Siege,” New York Times, February 21, 2014.
  8. Michael Kimmelman, “Aleppo’s Faces Beckon to Us, To Little Avail,” New York Times, December 15, 2016. Above this front-page article were four photographs of dead or injured children, the most prominent one in Syria. The accompanying editorial, “Aleppo’s Destroyers: Assad, Putin, Iran,” omits some key actors and killers. See also Rick Sterling, “How US Propaganda Plays in Syrian War,” Consortium News, September 23, 2016.
  9. William Binney and Ray McGovern, “The Dubious Case on Russian ‘Hacking,’” Consortium News, January 6, 2017.
  10. David Sanger, “Putin Ordered ‘Influence Campaign’ Aimed at U.S. Election, Report Says,” New York Times, January 6, 2017.
  11. Nathan J. Robinson and Alex Nichols, “What Constitutes Reasonable Mainstream Opinion,” Current Affairs, March 22, 2017.
  12. Jack Matlock, “Contacts with Russian Embassy,” Jack Matlock blog, March 4, 2017,
  13. Daniel Lazare, “Democrats, Liberals, Catch McCarthyistic Fever,” Consortium News, February 17, 2017.
  14. Robert Parry, “A Spy Coup in America?” Consortium News, December 18, 2016; Andre Damon, “Democratic Party Floats Proposal for a Palace Coup,” Information Clearing House,” March 23, 2017,
  15. Robert Parry, “The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate,” Consortium News, March 29, 2017.
  16. Scott Shane et al., “How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump,” New York Times, January 11, 2017.
  17. Matt Fegenheimer and Scott Shane, “Bipartisan Voices Back U.S. Agencies On Russia Hacking,” New York Times, January 6, 2017; Michael Shear and David Sanger, “Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds,” New York Times, January 7, 2017; Andrew Kramer, “How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for Its Cyberwar,” New York Times, December 30, 2016.
  18. Robert Parry, “NYT’s Fake News about Fake News,” Consortium News, February 22, 2017.
  19. Matt Taibbi, “The ‘Washington Post’ ‘Blacklist’ Story Is Shameful and Disgusting,” Rolling Stone, November 28, 2016.
  20. Adam Johnson, “Out of 47 Media Editorials on Trump’s Syria Strikes, Only One Opposed,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, April 11, 2017,
  21. Scott Ritter, “Wag the Dog—How Al Qaeda Played Donald Trump and The American Media,” Huffington Post, April 9, 2017; James Carden, “The Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism?Nation, April 11, 2017.



Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Bulletin from The Garlic



President Biden announced strong new sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for what he called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”


Russia will no longer be able to purchase taco-pizza-burgers from our fast food monopolies. If that doesn’t cause a revolution against Putin, all hope is lost!


Putin - The Ho Chi Minh of Russia?


"First, compare Russia to Vietnam of fifty years ago.

  • Vietnam was divided into North and South by the West, like the USSR was divided into Ukraine and Russia by the West.
  • North Vietnam became independent; Russia became independent;
  • South Vietnam remained under occupation, Ukraine remained under Western occupation.
  • People of South Vietnam rose against their US-installed government and North Vietnam certainly supported their struggle.
  • The US presented the war as “North Vietnamese aggression”, but North and South Vietnam weren’t two independent  states; this was one state artificially separated by the West.
  • Likewise, the US presents now the war in Ukraine as “Russian intervention”, but Russia and Ukraine aren’t two fully independent countries; they are rather two halves of one country, in the eyes of Russians and Ukrainians. In their view, people of the Ukraine rose against the US-installed government, and independent Russia had to support their struggle.

"People of my generation remember as the US killed millions of Vietnamese people, bombed their cities and ruined their nature – under the banner of “resisting North Vietnamese aggression” but it ended by unification of Vietnam. Poroshenko (or Zelenskyy - ed.) is a Ngo Dinh Diem of the Ukraine, Putin is an unlikely Ho Chi Minh of Russia."


-------Israel Shamir, "The Guns of August II,"

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Brain-Dead Munich Analogy

Now that Vladimir Putin has taken the "extremist" position that NATO missiles and armed fascists on the Russian border are grossly provocative conditions that no self-respecting nation would tolerate, lapdogs in the U.S. media are yelping about "Munich" again, implying that failure to support U.S. policy in the Ukraine amounts to selling out to totalitarianism, as the U.S. did with the Nazi dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Such "appeasement" is shameful, says the lapdog chorus pushing us toward WWIII.

In point of fact, however, the U.S. did more than "appease" the Nazis, and has never had any issue with totalitarianism per se. Let's review the basic history. Hitler came to power in March 1933. U.S. troops didn't see action against the Nazis until 1942, and only after Hitler declared war on the U.S. in the wake of Pearl Harbor. All during the intervening years, key U.S. officials were declaring Hitler a "moderate" who could be worked with, unlike the "extremist" Commies. And U.S. investment shot up in Germany by nearly 50% when the Nazis came to power, while declining everywhere else on the European continent. There's only one way to interpret that: the U.S. liked Hitler's program, and invested in it. Moreover, in the wake of every fascist defeat during the war, the U.S. installed a successor fascist government. So the U.S. never took on the Nazis for being Nazis, only for being insubordinate. We like our fascists to follow orders, don't mind at all that they torture and massacre people. We're fine with that. Just look at the plague of neo-Nazi clone governments the U.S. supported after WWII.

Reports of the U.S. saving the world from fascism are greatly exaggerated.


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Old World Odor Needs Cleansing By New World Order Before Stench Kills Everyone


The imperial center of the capitalist attack on nature in pursuit of private profits that threaten ultimate public loss continues into the new year, but we’re hopefully closer to a solution of our racial (human) problem at this most crucial time. With countless systemic breakdowns and divisions among people that seem, especially in America, to invite calamity, it may be the rest of the world that offers the most hope. The present maniacal threats to Russia, or rather Putin, since individual villains always count for more than systems, could bring about a nuclear war. But Russia and Putin, while capitalist, are not nearly dumb or murderous enough to invite that, yet the brainless assault on that nation in the psycho-economic need to maintain an imperial war business continues.  The growing inequalities among those who finance this idiocy are forcing the subjects of empire, including most Americans, to begin a serious effort to clean up the moral and physical sewer created by the empire of waste and war.


While imperial efforts to deal with the fact that China has become a major global marketplace force as great as America get worse by the minute, equal efforts provoking potential warfare are presently directed at Russia with daily psychodramas being played out on alleged news reports more akin to mad doctor comic book science fantasy. A recent episode in surreal idiocy passing for reality has it that Russia is working on a film production of “false flag” action that will depict a Ukraine attack on Russia so as to allow Russia to retaliate. American state of inanity plots and conspiracies make left wing kooks and right wing pinheads look like superior fiction creators, but this is the expression of a dying world order that could take humanity with it if we don’t stop just watching the show and close it down before the theater roof collapses on all our heads.


The United States of capital has a debt of 30 trillion dollars in order to maintain its crippled infrastructure and demonic consciousness control while its confused people grow in awareness of the injustice and near total disaster they are compelled to finance. We all borrowed that money from rich people and must pay them interest so that we may continue paying rent, mortgages, credit card bills and drug, alcohol, religious and other therapy bills to enable us to continue the irrationality. More of us are not only asking why but demanding that priorities change radically so that debt is only incurred to make life better for us rather than simply afford a minority of billionaires incredibly lavish wealth while a vast majority of workers who might as well be peasants for the way they are treated sink lower in political economic stature while consciousness controllers assure that we are all equal participants in something called our democracy. This despite zero evidence of anything but minority control over a vast population reduced to hating one another and striving for national progress in separatist ghettos that make real democracy impossible.


Today, what passes for liberal politics makes conservative politics stronger than ever in America’s lesser evil form of alleged democracy. Trump still serves as a whipping boy for the print stenographers and TV performers of corporate media but that distraction only furthers the alienation of former liberals who trend toward intellectual Nazism while labeling everyone else fascist white supremacists and far less economically privileged others fall more deeply into a pit of malevolent ignorance that has creatures like democratic party leaders treated as socialist enslavers preventing freedom by forcing people who pick up dog shit as civic duty into wearing masks to prevent a modern plague that has already killed hundreds of thousands in America. This supposedly expresses the heavy hand of murderous socialist-commies in this combat between the brain washed and the brain dead.


An alleged menace to humanity is supposedly proved by Russia massing troops on its Ukrainian border while the USA and its NATO lapdogs – even if a few are starting to nip at their master – mass weapons and troops at the Ukrainian side of that border. Lost to the befogged and uninformed is that the Ukraine borders Russia, not Indiana, Florida or California, was once part of Russia and was given up on the promise that it would never be part of NATO and menace Russia and that Russia would treat that possibility the way the USA would treat the possibility of Russian troops and weapons massed on the Canadian and Mexican borders

The Un-Intelligence community that knew nothing about 911 but everything about Russian-Chinese dangerous intervention in our great market is still warning about Putin stealing elections, threatening invasions and China committing genocide while Americans willing to buy an insurance policy to protect them against being attacked by sharks while being struck by lightning need better wake up calls accompanied by respect rather than condescending contempt practiced by alleged liberals who gain supposed intellectual stature by how many times they can include” fascist white supremacist” in any sentence directed at even more powerless people. 





Here is how Putin put it in a recent press conference, injecting sanity and reality into a faster growing madness conducted by American government and media screeching about a Russian menace to the Ukraine, Europe, the world, outer space, shopping, elections and collective imbecility:


“We have made it clear that any further movement of NATO to the East is unacceptable. Is there anything unclear about this? Are we deploying missiles near the U.S. border? No, we are not. It is the United States that has come to our home with its missiles and is already standing at our doorstep. Is it going too far to demand that no strike systems be placed near our home? What is so unusual about this?”


This was not widely shared, or understood,byAmerica’s alleged “free” market media, but that isn’t odd given practice of information control that has been going on since the birth of “our” nation. Here’s a quote from a supposedly bright guy rarely, if ever, seen or considered by millions who’ve been taught how bright he was but without this wisdom:


“Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. 

This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the less privileged sections of the population.

Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for citizens to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of their political rights.

We are supposedly aware of his equation about energy and matter even though most of us haven’t the vaguest idea of its meaning but these insightful words about capitalism written by Albert Einstein back in 1949 have only been read by a few more folks than seeing them here for the first time. Karl Marx spoke of this reality back in the 19th century but most of us are barely aware of the great humorist Groucho and only know of Marx through teachings that come from people selling the insurance to protect us from being struck by lightning while being attacked by sharks.


We need to stop buying the alleged insurance against the impossible and demand protection against the all to real menace of warfare and poverty and related injustice. We’ll need public banks, higher taxes on wealth and a higher minimum wage and lower limits on individual wealth while millions live in poverty and the nuclear menace grows. If we cant do it our selves and have to rely on China and Russia growing closer to bring an end to an American minority attempting continued rule of the world that promises total disaster, we’ll deserve the outcome, rather than help create it, as we should.