9 09 2018

Recently, I went looking for something authoritative about Russia during “the lawless years” that followed the fall of the USSR. After doing some internet searching, I found that Seymour Hersh, whose reputation is reasonably impeccable, had written a story, entitled “The Wild East,” on that subject in 1994. Yes, I know there are those who attack him, but if you’re reporting on things that annoy those in power, or who aspire to power, you will be attacked. Hersh has won plenty of recognition for his work, and this particular piece was published in The Atlantic, which does not put its support behind dicey reporting.

The page was so discouraging to look at that I almost gave up without reading it. It was in that old-style 90’s internet format–wall-to-wall words, no margins, no pictures, no skipped lines between paragraphs. At the top of the page were an underlined 1 and a 2, indicating that it was the second page of an article, since the 2 was black and the one was blue. Might as well start at the beginning, I said to myself, and jumped to page one.

The US embassy in Moscow

Hersh began his story with an account of the unsolved murder of a staff member of the American Embassy in Moscow: Read the rest of this entry »


11 09 2016

Today’s date, September 11th, is, to borrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words, “a day that will live in infamy.” On this date in 1973, Salvador Allende, the Bernie Sanders of Chile, salvadorallende_251who, unlike Bernie, had succeeded in become his country’s President, was killed in a military coup that had the full backing of the United States and especially our then-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The Chilean military, with the assistance of the United States, didn’t just take out Allende. They jailed, tortured, and murdered thousands of Chileans, and forced tens of thousands more into exile. The US then used Chile as a base for “Operation Condor,” which orchestrated the murder of thousands of mostly non-violent left-wing activists all over South America, most notoriously in Argentina, where “the dirty war” killed at least thirty thousand people. That’s a US government program, directly approved by Henry Kissinger, that targeted people like me and, probably, people like you. So, when I think about Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly declared her admiration for Henry Kissinger, being President, when I notice the approbation with which her followers greet any mention of her faults or approval of the Green Party, when I read that a Clinton-supporting PAC has budgeted a million dollars to pay Clinton supporters to harass Sanders supporters and Greens on the internet, I start feeling a little nervous, and since today is the anniversary of the Chilean Bernie Sanders being murdered by Hillary Clinton’s inspiration, this becomes a more emotionally charged anniversary than it would be if a protegée of Henry Kissinger were not so likely to be our next President. Donald Trump is dangerous because he doesn’t really seem to have a plan.


Do not think about a Green Party!

Ms. Clinton, on the other hand, is dangerous because she does seem to have a plan–and it’s not one she’s sharing with the general public. With a horde of pundits and bloggers ready and willing to bend the truth to discredit any criticism of her, not to mention discrediting the critics themselves, I start wondering if we have a “Ministry of Truth” in our future.


Oh yeah, it’s also the fifteenth anniversary of the day a bunch of Saudis apparently hijacked several US airliners and flew them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, killing a mere three thousand people. OK, it was three thousand all at once, not one by one, but…. Anyway, because the Saudis did that, the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. If that makes sense to you, then you can accept the World Trade Center story exactly as the mainstream media portray it. It doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t accept the story, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. The Allende-Kissinger story is much more apropos. Read the rest of this entry »


4 08 2012

If you ask people about a terrorist attack involving two airplanes that killed a large number of civilians, most peoples’ thoughts go immediately to the World Trade Center, when somebody (and just who it was doesn’t matter for the sake of this discussion) dropped the tallest buildings in Manhattan, killing nearly 3,000 people within a few minutes, and causing long-term illness in thousands of others who were exposed  to the cloud of toxic chemicals released or created by the burning and collapse of the buildings.

Few people would think back to August of 1945, when the United States government flew two airplanes into two Japanese cities,  dropped small,  primitive atomic bombs on them, and killed nearly 200,000 civilians, many in the blink of an eye, but many very slowly and painfully from radiation poisoning.   The attacks were totally unnecessary.  Japan had been desperately contacting the U.S and Britain for months, asking for peace, and had consistently been rebuffed.

Leo Szilard, one of the scientists who helped develop the atomic bomb, wrote in 1960

“If the Germans had dropped atomic bombs on cities instead of us, we would have defined (it) as a war crime, and we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them.” Read the rest of this entry »


14 10 2007



We may never know if Dick Cheney’s move to nuke Iran was foiled by a brave and unsung band of levelheaded Air Force personnel, but something mighty strange happened in September. Nuclear-armed cruise missiles were mounted on a B-52 and flown from Minot, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, which is the staging ground for flights to the Middle East. The official Air Force cover story claimed the missiles were being moved in order to be decommissioned, but missiles that are being decommissioned areGO moved to Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, and are crated and moved inside cargo airplanes, not mounted on the wings of a B-52.


The official story also claimed that the mounting crews may have thought they were loading dummy missiles onto the B-52, but live warheads are clearly marked to differentiate them from dummies, and the ground crew must have known what they were doing. The security procedures for handling live missiles are so rigorous, and the order to mount them has to come from so far up the chain of command, that this could hardly have been a ground crew error. They knew what they were doing. The as-yet unanswered questions are, why were they doing it, and who originated the order to put live missiles on a B-52? We may never know.


The last time a US military airplane flew with live nuclear weapons was 1968, when a bomber crashed in Greenland. One of its bombs blew apart, spreading nuclear contamination over a wide area. The other three have never been found. Hey, now that the Greenland ice cap is melting, maybe they’ll turn up! After that incident, the US quit carrying live nuclear weapons around in airplanes. It was the last of a long string of airplane accidents involving nuclear weapons, some of which nearly resulted in nuclear explosions on US soil. The US has since signed a treaty abjuring the casual transportation of live nuclear weapons, which this incident violated. Hey, treaties are just scraps of paper. If that attitude was good enough for Hitler, it’s good enough for our homegrown Fuhrer.


It’s a good thing those Air Force guys stopped the war with Iran, if that’s what was going on, because the Democrats ain’t gonna. A Democratically controlled Congress has unconstitutionally surrendered its right to declare war on Iran to the junta’s deranged judgment. Hillary and Obama have threatened Iran. Now all three Democratic front-runners are saying they think they’ll probably keep US troops in Iraq through their entire terms. Why worry about getting the Republicans out of office when the Democrats will do their job for them?


It’s about the oil, stupid. Iraq has got about a quarter of the world’s known oil reserves, worth about thirty trillion dollars, which makes the trillion we have spent so far seem like not a bad investment, from a certain, highly amoral point of view. Look at it this way: the “oil law” that the US keeps pressuring the Iraqi government to enact, and which to its credit it has declined to do, gives the bulk of Iraq’s oil and oil profits to foreign oil development companies, presumably US ones, such as Bush’s buddy Hunt Oil, which recently signed a separate contract with the Kurds. If we had merely removed Saddam Hussein without trashing the country, there wouldn’t be the confusion and disorder that seem to call for a big US troop presence, which allows us to press for this highly favorable (to US oil interests) law.


Once we have our hands firmly on a quarter of the world’s oil supplies, we can drop the price back down, and destabilize Iran and Venezuela. We have a counterweight to our massive debt to China. They won’t turn us into a washed-up, third-world economy, because they’ll depend on us for oil. We can go on driving SUVs and living in luxury, and laugh all the way to the bank. That’s what’s happening here, folks. The Democratic “front runners” are as committed to US hegemony as Mr. Bush, they’re just a little friendlier to the common people. Good cop, bad cop, they’re still the cops. I am tired of getting my choice only of which cop will be in charge of my persecution and interrogation.


It’s the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the rescue, though. Financial reality and ecological collapse will inevitably collide with the dreams of politicians. The subprime boondoggle is officially contained, but that’s just the official word. Life is just going to get tougher for the millions of Americans who have been living beyond their means just to survive, as they discover that bankruptcy is no longer an escape. Can you say “debt slaves,” boys and girls? The stock market is up, but the dollar is down, and it’s going to take more running than we can do just to stay in place.


music: Steppenwolf, “Monster


9 03 2006

OK, let me try and get this straight. The Israelis have nuclear weapons, and have refused to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. They are our friends and allies. The Pakistanis have nuclear weapons, have not signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, they have even sold nuclear know-how to the North Koreans, bona fide members of the Axis of Evil, but THEY are our friends and allies. And India has nuclear weapons, which they have threatened to unleash on the Pakis (who of course promised retaliation), is not a signatory of that ol’ nuclear nonproliferation treaty, and George Dubya was just over there kissin’ up to the Indians and laying a wreath on Mahatma Gandhi’s grave and saying what good friends we are with the Indians, why, we’ll just let ’em have all our high-tech jobs and we’ll just figure out some other way to survive—but the Iranians may have a nuclear weapon in ten years or so, and we are just going to have to blow them sky high ASAP if that’s what it takes to keep them from getting their hands on a bomb, even though they are nonproliferation treaty signers and have, by objective (i.e., non-American) standards been fairly co-operative with the International Atomic Energy Agency—unlike our friends the Indians, Pakistanis, and Israelis.

Dubya laying a wreath on Ghandi’s grave…the apostle of pre-emptive war and globalism at the grave of the apostle of non-violence and local self-reliance…what would Ghandi have to say about that? Probably something along the lines of what he said about Western Civilization, which was that “It would be a good idea.” But, I digress.

As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the U.S. is forbidden from exporting nuclear technology to India, and furthermore U.S. law prohibits the same thing—not that Dubya is a man to let a little thing like U.S. law, much less international treaties, stand in his way. Hey, there’s a war on, and the Commander-In-Chief can do whatever he needs to do, right? Victory at any price? Mission accomplished?

More like, smokescreen accomplished. The little boy is crying wolf again, with high hopes that when all the fuss dies down, Iran’s oilfields will be secured by American soldiers. Yeah, and we’re going to cakewalk into Tehran just like we cakewalked into Baghdad.

Let’s put this into perspective. The U.S. only imports about 20% of our oil from the Middle East. Russia and China, especially China, are much more dependent on Middle Eastern oil than we are. Both are a bit put out with the US because they had oil deals with Iraq that the U.S. tore up when we invaded, an invasion (here it comes again) with all the legal basis of the Nazi invasion of Poland. But I digress.

So, what the U.S. is really doing by threatening Iran and sucking up to India is attempting to control the supply of oil to Russia, China, and the European Union. What are these countries doing about it?  The EU is trying to put the diplomatic brakes on the US war machine. The Russians are providing air defense missiles to Iran, and the Chinese are expected to be a major participant in the independent Iranian oil market that is slated to open on March 20, and which will do business in Euros, not dollars, undermining the US currency’s world hegemony. It is hard to imagine a third world war starting AFTER the fall of Communism, but, at least as a proxy conflict, there are some very scary possibilities shaping up.

US “surgical” use of nukes is being threatened, and a nuclear cloud drifting over the planet is just what we need, don’t you think? There is just no telling what could happen, though there is certainly plenty in print about the possibilities. None of them are attractive.

The most nonviolent scenario is: no invasion, no surgical strikes on nuclear facilities, just an attempt to boycott Iran. World oil prices would probably hit a hundred dollars a barrel, edging the price of gasoline and home heating oil up another dollar or more. Considering the seller’s market for oil, the boycott would probably not work very well, with Russia and China co-operating to move Iranian oil, and paying for it in some way that does not involve dollars. When a settlement is reached—that is, the boycott ultimately fails–the not-for-dollars arrangement expands, the US dollar falls to record low levels, and sale of US ports turns out to be only the beginning of America: the yard sale, as countries spend nearly worthless dollars on the only thing they will buy, which is US assets—businesses and real estate, at bargain basement prices. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

So, this is supposed to be the Green hour, not the doom hour—what could/would a Green administration do about this crisis?

We would not have gotten into it in the first place; but, since we’re here, it’s not too late to start doing what we should have started doing thirty-five years ago: promote conservation, recycling, and locally produced alternative fuels. We always said the alternative to our alternative was global disaster, and that’s sho’nuff where the Bush junta’s insistence on having its way is leading us. Will somebody please stop these guys before they get us all killed?

On a positive note, a UN-sponsored team has recently completed a 52-home model straw-bale village in northern Iraq, featuring, besides the homes themselves, wastewater recycling, composting, and village gardens. No UN workers were injured, abducted, or killed in the process. If we were willing to fund more projects like this instead of domination and destruction, there could be real, lasting peace not just in the Middle East but all over the world. Here’s hoping.

music: Sheila Chandra, “You”

(not a link to that song, but the only Sheila Chandra performance i could find)


I was reading your post today. I just wanted to say….”Well said”!! It’s rather like an oxymoron isn’t it? We are often not even told the truth until long after the lie has been taken into effect, at which time we realize, we have been taken advantage of and dupped into believing what someone else has said.
Posted by soulcofessions on 03/12/2006 10:17:12 PM

thanks…sometimes I feel like I’ve been fighting a losing battle for years, but on the other hand, I’m still fighting….
Posted by brothermartin on 03/12/2006 10:24:15 PM

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