Chris Hedge: The Crucible of Iraq – Best Book from Worst War

Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges

The Crucible of Iraq

The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq, by Hassan Blasim, is the most important book to come out of the Iraq War. Blasim, whom I met with last week in Princeton, N.J., has a faultless eye for revealing detail, a ribald black humor and a psychological brilliance that makes every story in his book a depth charge. In this collection of short stories he explores through fiction the culture of violence unleashed under the bloody dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and exacerbated by an American occupation that has destroyed the damaged social cohesion and civil life that survived Saddam’s regime. His prose, courtesy of a brilliant translation by  Jonathan Wright, is lyrical, taut, and riveting.

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Militarism and violence are diseases. It does not matter under what guise they appear. Renegade jihadists, Shiite death squads, Sunni militias, Saddam’s Baathists and secret police, Kurdish Peshmerga rebels, al-Qaida cells, gangs of kidnappers and the U.S. Army 101st Airborne are all infected with the same virus. And it is a virus Blasim fearlessly inspects. By the end of this short-story collection the reader grasps, in a way no soldier’s memoir or journalistic account from Iraq can explicate, the crucible of war and the unmitigated horror of violence itself. The book is a masterpiece.

“When I was 6, during my first year at school, the Iran-Iraq War erupted,” Blasim told me in a mixture of English and Arabic. “We were living in Kirkuk. We were taught in school to draw tanks or the face of Ayatollah Khomeini as the enemy. The city of Kirkuk was beautiful. There were flowers everywhere. But we were never taught the names of the flowers. Even today I do not know the names of these flowers. I tried to learn their names as an adult.”

“There was a culture of violence that predated the occupation,” he said…

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Apr 8

Berto Jongman: Malaysian Airlines — Soros, Israel, False Flag Blaming Iran — The Final Answer?

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Role Of Israel & Soros Exposed By MH370 Twin Jet In Tel Aviv

By Yoichi Shimatsu

Rense.com, 3-27-14

BANGKOK – It is by no mere coincidence, when telltale evidence of a Mossad role in the MH370 hijack was starting to snowball, that Israel’s embassies and consulates were suddenly shut down due to a “strike by diplomatic staff”. This fork-tongued alibi was obviously meant to prevent law enforcement agencies across Asia and the Western world from questioning Israeli intelligence agents and military attaches about the whereabouts and fate of the hundreds of passengers.

The Jewish state’s diplomatic corps has retreated further into a tortoise shell, perhaps because of the hammer blow from investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn, who previously exposed Israel’s hand behind the 911 attacks. Based on eyewitness reports from a network of plane watchers in Europe and in Israel, Bollyn reports that an identical production model of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 is being kept out of regular service inside a hangar at Tel Aviv Airport.

Seattle-based Boeing assembles aircraft in pairs as its standard practice, but the question is how one jet was leased by Malaysia’s national carrier while the matching plane was secretly turned over to the Israeli government without a purchase order from state-run El Al airlines.

Bollyn uncovered the fact that the two jets were delivered to a third-party company, whose top manager has a longtime connection with the George Soros. From the timeline of events, it is obvious that the plane transfers and subsequent electronic hijacking were part of a larger strategy, which was aimed at:

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Mar 28

Andy Piascik: Sanctions? How About Sanctions Against the United States?

Sanctions? How About Sanctions Against the United States?

By Andy Piascik

ZNet, March 21, 2014

As the United States imposes sanctions on Russia and moves to do likewise to Venezuela, it’s essential to keep in mind which country it is that’s the most destructive and dangerous in the world today. When such questions have been posed in international polls in recent decades, the answer overwhelmingly is the United States. Not Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia or any of the many other nations the ruling class and corporate media here regularly demonize, but the United States.

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Mar 22

Berto Jongman: Formula for Societal Collapse – Now

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Scientists Say Society Is Doomed, Though Not For Reason You Might Think

There’s never been a shortage of doomsday scenarios. From the dreaded Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 (remember that?) to the havoc wreaked in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” people have been predicting the end of civilization for as long as there has been a civilization.

The trouble is, they’re sometimes correct: The Roman Empire fell spectacularly, as did the Mayan civilization, the Han Dynasty of China, India’s Gupta Empire and dozens of other once-mighty kingdoms.

But how, exactly, do powerful empires collapse, and why? Researchers now believe they’ve found an answer, one that has troubling implications for today — because we’re clearly on the road to ruin. [11 Failed Doomsday Predictions]

Societal collapse — more common than you think

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Mar 22

Richard Falk: Why Do I Persist?

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Richard Falk

Richard Falk

I have been asked recently why do I persist in working hard for the things that I believe in, knowing that I will die in the next several years, and am almost certain not to be around for the catastrophic future that seems to cast its dark shadow across the road ahead, and can only be removed by a major transnational movement of the peoples of the world.

. . . . . . .

My own reflections on why I persist in doing what I am doing are more simplistic, less sophisticated, and maybe no less trivializing, but also more satisfying to me as explanations that connect with my experience. In contrast to ScheffIer I would emphasize three distinct lines of explanation that are each experiential, and hopefully not sentimental: lifetime habit, being on the right side of history, and the inherent pleasures of intellectual life.

Full presentation below the line.

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Mar 18

Future of Freedom Foundation: CIA, JFK, and the Miami/Cuba PSYOP File….

fff logoJFK Assassination: George Joannides’ CIA Files – Can They Help Determine Who Killed President Kennedy?

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Central Intelligence Agency is refusing to release classified documents in CIA Officer George Joannides’ file that could perhaps determine what really happened in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

International Business Times, March 13 2014

Moreover, if you think the CIA’s recent secret searches of computers and its deletion of documents that were used by Senate committee members in their investigation of a controversial interrogation program, as U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., charges, is appalling, if not unconstitutional and a perversion of justice, consider what the CIA has done regarding congressional JFK assassination inquiries.

In court filings, the CIA contends that at least 295 documents in Joannides’ administrative file can never be released in any form, due to “national security.” However, the CIA’s national security claim has never been independently verified.

The ongoing Morley vs. CIA suit, led by plaintiff Jefferson Morley, the author and moderator of JFKFacts.org, seeks to make public Joannides’ classified files.

Read full article.

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Mar 17

Paul Craig Roberts: Obama Declares Self-Determination a Threat to US National Security

Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts

Obama Declares Self-Determination To Be A Threat To US National Security

In his March 6 Executive Order, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” Obama declares that support for Crimean self-determination constitutes “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/06/executive-order-blocking-property-certain-persons-contributing-situation

Obama and the lawyers who drafted his executive order did not notice that the way the order is drafted it applies to Obama, to the unelected coup government in Kiev, and to the Washington and EU regimes. The order says that any person “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly . . . actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is subject to having his assets frozen.

Washington and the EU are the only two governments whose personnel have undermined democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine by overthrowing the elected government and imposing an unelected one.

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Mar 16

Winslow Wheeler: Pentagon’s $1 Trillion a Year Budget — We Do Not Make This Stuff Up!

Winslow Wheeler

Winslow Wheeler

America’s $1 Trillion National Security Budget

by Winslow T. Wheeler

March 13, 2014

The Pentagon’s current leadership and most on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in Congress describe President Obama’s 2015 defense budget request as painfully austere, if not dangerously inadequate.  The defense trade press is full of statements from generals, admirals and the other politicians from both political parties that there is not nearly enough money available to buy adequate amounts of new hardware,  maintain current pay and benefits or provide even low amounts of training and equipment maintenance.  As a result, they are looking for ways to relieve the Pentagon from its penury.

Scarcity of money is not their problem.  Pentagon costs, taken together with other known national security expenses for 2015, will exceed $1 Trillion.  How can that be?  The trade press is full of statements about the Pentagon’s $495.6 billion budget and how low that is. 

There is much more than $495.6 billion in the budget for the Pentagon, and there are piles of national security spending outside the Pentagon-all of it as elemental for national security as any new aircraft and ships and the morale and well-being of our troops.

The table below details what a careful observer will find in President Obama’s 2015 budget presentation materials.  The amounts for the Pentagon are well above the advertised $495.6 billion, and there are several non-Pentagon accounts that are clearly relevant. 

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Mar 13

Berto Jongman: YouTube (14:46) NSA Deceptions & Lies Pre- and Post- 9/11

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

This is a MUST WATCH. Includes NSA spying on Secretary of State Colin Powell, pre-Senator Barack Obama, specific generals including Petraeus, and specific Supreme Court Justices as well as specific lawyers across the country. Begins with segment in which General Mike Hayden, then Director of NSA, is shown actively lying, with malice aforethought, to a nation-wide audience on television.

Concludes with growing national movement to shut down provision of local water to any NSA facility, the OFF NOW campaign; while also forbidding any NSA data being used in state and local courts; kicking NSA out of all state academic and research universties; and terminating state contracts with any corporations holding contracts with NSA.

See Also:

Assange to SXSW: We’re all being watched

Snowden @ Phi Beta Iota

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Mar 8

Berto Jongman: Full Text of Edward Snowden Testimony to European Parliament

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

PDF (12 Pages): Introductory Statement & Answer to Questions

Highlights:

00 The included links are a “best of the best” selection of media stories.

01 EU security agencies have created a bazaar allowing NSA to get it all.

02 There are many other undisclosed programs.

03 According to Snowden, at least ten specific individuals are liable for failing to act on his alarm — those names are being withheld by Booz Allen and the various US agencies and Snowden has not named them himself.

04 “The culture within the US Intelligence Community is such that reporting serious concerns about the legality or propriety of programs is much more likely to result in your being flagged as a troublemaker than to result in substantive reform.”

05 Oversight focuses on limiting public discovery rather than on enforcing the limits of the law.

06 Indiscrinate economic intelligence is the true purpose of such technical collection programs as do work.

07 Defensive intelligence is more important to democracies than offensive intelligence — NSA and GCHQ have been obsessing on offensive intelligence (economic and political espionage) in what they process, while continuing indiscriminate mass surveillance that does not appear to have been processed, only stored against future possible exploitation.

Full Text with Links Below the Line

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Mar 7