Nato Blues, the Empire’s Vast Array of Shoes & DiFi’s HUAC*


(I’m pretty much out of words again, so let’s let others speak..)  DiFi’s HUAC is at the bottom.

Nato’s interactive map is here, otherwise, from 2016:

‘The Voiceless Left Stands Before The Monster Of History’ by Phil Rockstroh, October 27th, 2017, dissidentvoice.org  (a few excerpts):

“The mere existence of vast arrays of weapons, deployed or not, does great harm to the soul of a nation. US Americans are fearful, day and night. We would not feel secure if we ensconced ourselves in an armory.

An empire, built on the backs of slaves, both actual and de facto, with its expansion across the continent expedited by genocide, has conjured internal Furies — raging apparitions, borne of the nation’s collective soul and of nature’s fury, that cannot be repelled by weapons of any make.

Amid the empire of the feckless, we on the Left have been rendered all but voiceless. We wander in a wasteland of resentment, marginalised, denied a voice in cultural discourse. Online, we gibber and snarl at each other and curse our predicament like Dante’s figures of the damned in pits of the Inferno. By all indications, we are bereft of the knowledge of where and how to even begin the dialog.” [snip]

“As for myself, I’m a member of the Nambia Liberation Army. The calling of a poet is to make the invisible visible.

Of course, the flaming orange, ambulatory dumpster fire Trump should be mocked for proclaiming that there exists on planet earth a nation called Nambia. The man has the range of knowledge of some bar stool blowhard, the insufferable type who begins almost every wit-defiant declaration with “irregardless” or “actually” before launching into a false narrative based on an inane premise misinformed by a belligerently obtuse, fact-resistant Weltanschauung.

The same applies to toxic innocent types who believe capitalist (so called) democracies exist to respond to the will of the citizenry. Who would have chosen for high office the sleazy, craven, and sub-cretinous gallery of grotesques known as the Western political class? Only slaves who have been convinced that the clank and clatter of their shackles is the very song of freedom would argue, the extant, waking nightmare arrived as a matter of choice.

Attendant to the deception: The notion that the dismal circumstance will recede by the banishment of Donald Trump from the scene. Trump is merely a representation of one of the genera of imps squatting in the dark recesses of capitalism’s forsaken soul. He is the very embodiment of a crackpot realist.”

on edit: a bit more: “The heart is not a mere pump; it is the hub of imagination; it yearns for experience, thinks in living imagery, and will lead, if followed, into participation mystique. Any attendant answers…are an after the fact phenomenon. Then the scene shifts. The structure of the old order becomes a veil of dust, its dogma, the admonition of a long dead ghost. A ghost is an uncoupled habit, a self-resonating feedback loop shuffling through a fixated mind, an entity devoid of life thus cannot generate novel questions.”  the rest might be expressed by an old PP &M song, although I might see it so as it’s one of my favorites:

‘US masses ships and aircraft outside North Korea’, October 30, 2017, wsws.org (incredible list arrayed)

Europe already within N. Korean missile range, NATO members in danger’ – Stoltenberg’, via RT, Oct. 30

“NATO’s anti-missile shield, which is currently being developed under US guidance, is reportedly designed to protect European nations from threats – such as those voiced by Stoltenberg – by states such as North Korea and Iran. The missile shield uses a network of radars that track potential threats in the atmosphere, before launching an interceptor missile from a stationary base or a vessel.

Last year, NATO formally declared its missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania to be operational, bringing to fruition a plan to construct a shield in Eastern Europe first announced by George W. Bush in 2007. Simultaneously with Romania coming online, NATO is beginning construction on another base in Poland, which will complete the Eastern European segment of the shield in 2018.”

‘US nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber flies mission to Pacific ahead of Trump’s visit to Asia’, via RT Oct 30, 2017 (self-explanatory title)

The American War’, by Nancy Kurshan (abbie hoffman’s girlfriend in ’67), Counterpunch, Oct. 24

“I was 23-years-old the first time I was arrested. It was at the Pentagon— an act of civil disobedience in protest of the U.S. war on Vietnam. My boyfriend, Jerry Rubin, and I were organizers for the National Mobilization Committee Against the War (familiarly called The Mobe).

Here we call it the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese more accurately call it the American War. After all, the U.S. was the aggressor. It was our troops that landed on their soil; our planes that bombed their cities and sprayed Agent Orange; our army massacred their civilians, women and children included. Not the other way around.”

‘Private Military Companies: How Do You Close Pandora’s Box?’, Valery Kulikov, journal-neo.org, Oct. 26

“Over the last two decades we have witnessed an abrupt increase in the number of private military companies (PMC) operating across the globe. It’s curious that some of those companies have budgets that far surpass defends budgets of certain independent states. Such conflict zones as Afghanistan and Iraq have for a long time been a sort of a playing field for a handful of Western PMCs. According to those officials who hire private companies to wage wars in their name, contractors perform a handful of tasks on the ground more efficiently and, which is even more important, way cheaper than regular army units and government agencies.

However, both the alleged military prowess and cost efficiency of those PMCs is questionable, but the main advantage of those remains undisputed, since no statesman bears responsibility for their actions. Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have raised a serious concern over the legal status of such companies. But neither a string of flagrant human rights violations committed by those nor the facts of unjustified and inadequate use of all sorts of weapons could put a stop to this bloody business. Once a private military company gets deployed on the ground there’s no more need to answer uncomfortable questions about loses and collateral damage, since no state can ensure that it fully controls the activities of its “private armies”.

States such as the United States that has been actively promoting PMCs as its tool of choices have repeatedly argued that they are ready to protect their mercenaries from any sort of persecution in other countries.”  (Paul Bremer, Iraq, Blackwater, et.al, for instance)

*DiFi’s HUAC: from Andre Damon at wsws.org: ‘US congressional hearings on “extremist content” prepare assault on free speech’, wsws.org, 31 October 2017

“In another extraordinary development, on Friday, Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Twitter’s CEO demanding that the company hand over personally identifying information related to “organic content” posted by Twitter users. The letter specifically requests all “organic content posted by Russia-connected users and targeted to any part of the United States, regardless of whether the individual or entity violated any Twitter policy.” Its definition of “Russia-connected users” is extremely broad, including any “person or entity that may be connected in some way to Russia.”

The letter demands that for all “organic content described above, Twitter provide all subscriber information,” and “IP address information.” This means that the company is being asked to hand over full names, phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses, which can be used to determine physical location.

Given congressional investigators’ newfound focus on “content recorded, posted or written by Americans” and reposted by “Russia-linked” accounts, it is reasonable to infer that the “organic content” Feinstein is referring to includes content posted by left-wing websites and their associated social media accounts. In that case, what Feinstein is demanding is a list of the names, phone numbers, and physical locations of prominent opponents of US government policy.

Equally troubling is the fact that the letter requests “All content of each [private] Direct Message” between an undisclosed list of attached Twitter accounts and accounts belonging to WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and the civil rights attorney Margaret Ratner Kunstler.

Kunstler, according to her official biography, has represented “WikiLeaks and Bradley [Chelsea] Manning supporters in connection with grand jury subpoenas, encounters with the FBI…and governmental suppression.”

The extraordinary request by the Senate Judiciary Committee for a company to turn over a lawyer’s private correspondence constitutes a gross violation of attorney-client privilege, to say nothing of its chilling effect on First Amendment rights.

Feinstein’s targeting of Assange and Wikileaks alongside her focus on “organic content” makes clear that the real target of the witch hunt is not foreign agents, but domestic political opposition.”

I’m not sure his last sentence is true; I’d say that her scheme is more of a two-fer, but as chilling as anything I’ve seen lately in terms of ‘fascism afoot in Amerika’.

16 responses to “Nato Blues, the Empire’s Vast Array of Shoes & DiFi’s HUAC*

  1. this may tickle you, juliania (and/or others): below the nato blues one earth video is this first comment:

    Earth:1 year ago (edited) “We sent a copy of this video to an esteemed journalist who goes by the pseudonym ‘The Saker’. He promptly responded, expressed his happiness with our work and posted the video on his blog site. Within 24 hours, we had our first 500 views. For his gesture, we would like to extend our gratitude and thanks. He can be viewed at the following link – http://thesaker.is – we highly recommend a visit to his site, any of his postings are worthwhile!! One Earth”

  2. I was wondering what your “average” “informed” USaian would consider a US foreign policy “success”, post ww 2? I mean, I guess the commies not taking over the world would be considered by many a “success”…and not blowing up the world during the “Cuban” missile crisis (that the US created)…oh and the Zionist state? yeah, that’d be up there. what the hell else? removing Noriega? giving Afghanistan democracy?

    does access to weapons impede intelligence? with a gun always ready to hand & the wielder ready to use, does the option of violence always automatically foreclose understanding? well, speaking about something as “always” happening is a bit much for us mere mortals, but it’s pretty safe to say US belligerence has made us the stupidest, laziest country to ever run a world. Hulk smash everything!

    • fun stuff ya put “average” and “informed” in quotation marks, j, as there may not be any of the latter (okay, many). but let’s see: goerge w. bush on the deck of the ship of fools: “mission accomplished”. “call vietnam a win, and get the last of the spooks off the roof of the embassy by helicopter!” prolly nato/isaf r2p libya, as well…no dinar oil bourse, endless war for the MIC/edutainment industry. but gadaffi: dead meat. whew!

      your last paragraph’s caused me to remember something juliania had said about generals that had caused me to muse about a piece about Power i’d read at dissident voice. aha! i just found it again: ‘Power Corrupts: A Culture of Compliance Breeds Despots and Predators’ by John W. Whitehead

      he opens with:
      ‘All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.’
      ~ Frank Herbert

      he mentions various occupations and institutions along the way (not military or generals specifically, but it was of course they and the po-po i’d thought of.

      “…too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused. We’re seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.”

      now we have to consider how many of them seek that power since they were likely raised by authoritarians, likely bullied, etc., and how many advance thru the ranks cuz they are suck-ups to those who out-rank them. but when i look at those tweets, i have to ask myself how much of an american exceptionalist propaganda bubble world do they all inhabit, how many True Believers are among them, and so on. or are they simply living in the culture of fear that rockstroh sees, although they’ve created it? yes, let’s hear it for the hulk smash dance!

      ‘he did the smash, he did the hulk smash dance…it was a graveyard smash!’

      • On that exceptionalist world, wd, I am reading a thought provoking book, “Lincoln’s Virtues” by William Lee Miller. THD may know of it (if he doesn’t, he should, as I keep thinking of him as I read.)

        I’m only midway through, but his treatment of the Mexican War period has this in the appendix:

        “All moral ideals can turn from being critically applied to the self as well as others to being applied defensively for the protection of the self, and aggressively for the elevation of the self, against and over others…this human inclination…is magnified in collective life – in the behavior, in particular, of nations…a magnified ego and a minimized conscience…”

        Miller then applied this to the way in which the war with Mexico took place – a war I, and I imagine most Americans, have known very little about. But there it is, Manifest Destiny, writ large.

        • excellent quote evidencing manifest destiny, juliania. i just re-read the wiki entry on the ‘american war against mexico’, and keep seeing scenes, hearing language from what must a have been a novelized book about at least portions of the war. and yes, it indeed brought the civil war closer, as part of the rationale was to create more pro-slavery states, as was the lousiania purchase.

          but look at the map at the end of the war, and after the the treaty of guadalupe hidalgo was signed. seriously stunning, and what a prize california was! and i kept hearing the donovan song because the ‘monarch’ at the time was santa ana. the wiki also reminded us that frederick douglass and h.d. thoreaux, among others, were adamantly against it. but yes, it’s fascinating and ugly history, and thanks for the reminder. p.s. i’d forgotten about the comanche incursions into northern mexico as part of the ‘buffer zone’ prompts.

        • i finally recalled when i’d read the wiki kinda recently. i’d heard a voice from my long-ago past saying that as a child she’d sat on pancho villa’s knee and listened to his stories… she was ‘dodo’ (a nickname) cransberger. she and her husband had a yacht that was moored in a club on catawbaa island, lake erie, where i lived as a kid. i’d cleaned the boat once a week for them when i was eleven or twelve, but there are times when i try to make sense of it. he’d died in 1923, so i guess their ages might be in accord, but i do wonder what the other yacht-clubbers may have made of it all. her husband was always very kind to me.

          but it led me of course to father of the revolution/s emlio zapata, then the modern zapatistas in chiapas, true socialists i’ve written about perhaps too many times in the past. ;-)

    • and for cryin’ in a cupcake, how are you doing, tom joad on the road? i could kick myself for forgetting to ask.

  3. Are you sure that the US has finished doing its “these are our military capabilities, Xi; tell Kim not to mess around with us” military show yet?

    He has the rest of November yet to go to provide Xi and Kim with an impressive show. His approach to Xi is “Could you keep your man Kim in line, eh my friend?”

    Interesting that what American foreign policy success question rattling around does in light of Gregg Herken’s The Georgetown Set. The books is about the personal rivalries and assignments of a certain part of the foreign policy establishment that reached from World War II through the Reagan administration and disappeared from the Carter administration and W administration. From Dean Acheson and Allen Dulles to Henry Kissinger and Richard Helms. Success? Weekly boozy parties at with the derrring do of World War II was often a topic and the tough way to take on the Soviet Union. Staggering results. The publisher of the Washington Post (Philip Graham) blew his brains out shortly before the Kennedy Assassination. The former Director of Plans for the CIA (Frank Gardiner Whisner) blew his brains out two years after the Kennedy Assassination. Deep depressions. And bipolar disorder.

    Also depends on how long you expected those actions to last. The after-action reports for the rigging of the Italian election in 1947 and the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1954 were very positive.

    Probably the most successful policy of the postwar era was the reconstruction of Westerns Europe through the assistance of the various Bretton Woods financing agencies, the Marshall Plan, and the emerging European Common Market. Thank heavens ;-) we had NATO and US troops that could ease the troop burderns of defending Western Europe against wily Soviet leaders. And that we could redeploy ex-Naxis as espionage agents into central Europe. Happy those refugee Albanians who signed up for the liberation of Albania at the end of the war had strong consistent support in Washington that could send them on missions inside Albania up until the Kennedy administration shut down those particular operations. They turned out to be a great way to kill mostly fascist royalist veterans who were immediately picked up and by Hoxha’s security forces.

    And there is this little footnote about the effectiveness of Joe McCarthy and loyalty oaths. “Wisner worked closely with Kim Philby, the British agent who was eventually unmasked as a Soviet spy.” It would have been a hoot if it hadn’t had so many tragic consequences for so many people.

    • a good halloween mornin’ to you, tarheeldem. may the great pumpkin shine on all you endeavors… ;-)

      am i sure the u s military has finished showing their magnificent tools of death and destruction to xi and kim? well…no. but who is the ‘he’ of whom you speak, and what does ‘only until the ed of nov.’ signify? this is a night follows day story, i reckon, but almost hilarious if it didn’t demonstrate what we already knew about ‘the loyal opposition’. (RT has the pdf of the testimony.)

      ‘Mattis, Tillerson testify before Senate committee; Bipartisan push for new US force resolution to rubber-stamp expanded war’, Tom Hall, wsws.org

      “The discussions within the ruling class over a new AUMF are bound up with preparations for a major expansion of American imperialist violence. This is clearly demonstrated by the language of a proposed resolution to replace the 2001 AUMF, co-sponsored by Flake and Democratic Senator (and Hillary Clinton’s former running mate) Tim Kaine, which is even more expansive than the 2001 measure.

      While the 2001 resolution references only Al Qaeda and associated forces, the Flake-Kaine bill would authorize the president to use military force against “Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic State” and “associated persons or forces.” The latter term is defined as someone who “substantially supports” the named groups, or “is engaged in hostilities against the United States, its armed forces, or its other personnel.” Thus, “associated persons or forces” includes groups that by the government’s own admission have no association whatsoever with Al Qaeda, the Taliban or ISIS, but which are deemed by the executive branch to be “engaged in hostilities” against the United States.”

      “,,,,if it passes…” lo-bleeping-l.

      but ooof, . but this really is pretty funny, thanks: “The after-action reports for the rigging of the Italian election in 1947 and the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1954 were very positive.”

      thanks for all the rest, wish i knew more of the encyclopedic amount of history you’ve cited in this single comment. cliffs notes for comments? ‘war by other means’? ;-)

      • So the idea is to open a war on all muslim non-state armed actors regardless of where they are, without a time limit. Remember the cartoon stereotype drawn from the 1930s of the “mad bomber” carrying a spherical bomb with a lit fuse. The model for those guys was a very few German anarchist bombers who scared the whatzis out of the World War I and and after home front. When the public doesn’t understand the political point, everything looks like the Las Vegas mass shooter. (Or did he have a political point that the establishment does not recognize as a danger because they like the point?) Anyhoo, if you can link it to a furriner, and in these times, a muslim, send the last-known address to get a special delivery Amazon drone down someone’s chimney on Christmas Eve (Hannity loves this point) and sap another “wrongdoer” or “evil actor”. Like McCarthyism with a death penalty. How many actual communist spies of importance did McCarthy accurately report? He certainly did not nail Kim Philby, who had set up Soviet counterespionage operations in the CIA and MI6, How many false positives will be covered up by a drone strike?

        Not surprised that the DNC chair who shut off grassroots OFA in 2009 is the ringleader.

        What it will actually do is bring practice in line with law by restating the law instead of ceasing the practice.

        “He” of course is whoever is translating or ventriloquizing Trump’s orders to the US military, especially for actions dealing with China and North Korea. Who specifies which fireworks or which violation of sovereignty when and in reply to Chinese and North Korean moves that the US might itself take as violations of sovereignty or threats to “US interests”. I suspect it’s one of Mattis’s staff coordinating the individual services.

        After Trump’s big date with Xi in China, some result will be set, and those activities will change accordingly with what Trump imagines is the art of the deal. Most of the generals are aware that all war, everywhere, all the time is a losing formula for a nation in which suddenly the nuclear power and conventional power of once allies have to be weighed in the opposite scale. For now, besides NATO-Europe, the US is holding fast to Israel, Japan, India, and South Korea. Other long-term allies have moved towards dealing with Russia, China, and Iran.

        Expect the first indictment by Mueller to begin to get people to ask about Cyprus and what the Russians are doing there (sheltering money from Putin’s taxes, including Putin himself.)

        Feliz Dia de Muertos. May those who walk on walk on in beauty.

        • i might have to amend your first sentence with ‘or any non-state muslim actors that the cia can wind up’ or close to that (most esp. in subsaharan africa now), but yes. and it would ‘comfort’ the pretenders to care about the literal original language as well, as per fig leaf innoculation by shadowplay (i can’t use kabuki). ‘McCarthyism with a death penalty’…brrrr, how well said.

          kaine was the dnc chair then? what a hoot hillary chose him as her running mate. ‘the southern vote’ i guess?

          dunno who’s herr Tee’s ventriloquist re: dprk, but the bellicosity seems pretty unified. but why november? and xi at east did agree to moar sanctions against dprk, yes? i’ve forgotten which command rules the south china sea though, and was too lazy/busy to look it up. on edit, all of the pacific:

          …and yes to new alliances, both military and economic and baskets of currencies.

          that’s right! all souls day begins tomorrow! and how lovely: ‘May those who walk on walk on in beauty.’ what an inspirational message, if aspirational.

          on edit: ‘Putin, Xi Jinping to meet at APEC summit in November’

  4. Indeed, happy All Hallows Eve to little witches and gremlins everywhere, it being a bit like the carnival before lent begins in western practice, though when I was growing up in New Zealand it had somehow been obliterated by the ‘celebration’ of Guy Fawkes Day – a totally political remembrance with rather gruesome historical details that fortunately we kids knew very little about.

  5. Word.

    Equally or even more chilling to me is Pence’s speech to the troops at a North Dakota missile silo when he said (to paraphrase, ” You may be getting launch orders soon. If you do, don’t question it or think it might be a mistake. We’ve got that part figured out. Just mindlessly obey the launch order without question.”

    That this speech was given the same day as Russia was honoring a Russian soldier who almost singlehandedly saved the world from nuclear Armageddon by disobeying a launch order to attack the United States, is….I can’t even, I can’t even…..

    Was this intentional or are these people really that stupid?

    Is the apocalypse going inside my body somehow sensing a coming apocalypse in the external world? Am I like an animal sensing an earthquake in advance?

    I can only hope Pence’s words are part of some misguided “madman” strategy like Nixon’s?

    I certainly hope so. Pence may be more dangerous than Trump.

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