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Posts Tagged ‘Fascism’

Blackwater Worldwide is the new peace-keeping force for the U.N. Now if you have stopped laughing we need to look at this very seriously..

The U.N. is a front organization for our new ‘government/masters’ – seriously – ‘hide everything in plain sight’ – I’m sure you have heard that adage before. I am not going to cite anything here you have to do your own digging…

Now consider just what you DO know about Blackwater:

  1. They are mercenaries.
  2. They kill for money.
  3. They kill on command.
  4. They are merciless.
  5. They are remorseless.
  6. They protect government officials of a particularly stature.
  7. They now have equipment to ‘serve’ from air, land and sea.

Some of their equipment includes: a fleet of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, dirigibles, helicopters, a host of vehicles, and a bomb-resistant vehicle affectionately called Grizzly. Erik Prince, founder, is currently working to get Grizzly approved to operate on U.S. highways.

From Singularity, Peacekeepers:

§ Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd., registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering “personnel from the best militaries throughout the world” for hire by governments and private organizations. It also boasts of a “multi-national peacekeeping program,” with forces “specializing in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation.”

§ Prince’s Total Intelligence Solutions, headed by three CIA veterans (among them Blackwater’s number two, Cofer Black*), puts CIA-type services on the open market for hire by corporations or governments.

§ Blackwater’s aviation division has some forty aircraft, including turboprop planes that can be used for unorthodox landings**. It has ordered a Super Tucano paramilitary plane from Brazil, which can be used in counterinsurgency operations. In August the aviation division won a $92 million contract with the Pentagon to operate flights in Central Asia.

§ It recently flight-tested the unmanned Polar 400 airship, which may be marketed to the Department of Homeland Security for use in monitoring the US-Mexico border and to “military, law enforcement, and non-government customers.”

§ A fast-growing maritime division has a new, 184-foot vessel that has been fitted for potential paramilitary use…

*Suggestion: Learn more about Cofer Black. **Cheney made a statement that ultra light aircraft is great for enforcing martial law (sorry can’t find the quote).

And Blackwater’s primary purpose? To protect the elitist and follow orders. Period. Get the picture?

So that’s just a tad of information about these boys who are strapped to the hilt with weapons and have done some pretty God awful things in Iraq and Afghanistan, and looks like New Orleans too, and nothing is done. Why? Because they are following orders.

Now if you don’t know much about them and/or you still think that they are distant from ‘your world’ I suggest you better start learning some information fast because they are going to be the ones coming around to your door gathering up the guns and weapons you have or don’t have when the boom falls. And from what I’ve read they don’t care much WHO you are if you are not one of the ‘masters.’

And as these folks said

There is no reason for anyone in this country, anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun….And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution.” Michael Gartner, 1992 in USA Today

Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” Sara Brady, Chairman, Handgun Control, to Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, The National Educator, January 1994, Page 3.

When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans… and so a lot of people say there’s too much personal freedom. When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it. That’s what we did in the announcement I made last weekend on the public housing projects, about how we’re going to have weapon sweeps and more things like that to try to make people safer in their communities.” President Bill Clinton, 3-22-94, MTV’s “Enough is Enough

We are not going to achieve a new world order without paying for it in blood as well as in words and money.” Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in Foreign Affairs (July/August 1995)

…it ain’t going to be pleasant nor easy to set the new rules into place.

Getting nervous yet? You freaking SHOULD BE!

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I ran across this gentleman’s blog recently and I like his stuff – maybe you will too… Pay attention to what is being said here in Steve’s article – it ties in very well with the problems and Fascism that we’re concerned about these days (at least I HOPE that you are concerned about the problems!).

As I believe many continue to delude themselves to the reality of the real situation in the U.S. (not the U.S.A. – that doesn’t exist any more) it just plays more and more into the hands of the ruling powers – our new masters. Steve points out how the populace is pandered and manipulated by advertising and other subtle exploitations, especially at holiday times like Christmas, at their own (the consumers) expense without them even realizing what is going on until it is far too late…

Holiday Season Hypocrisy – by Stephen Lendman

Christmas is observed December 25 by Christians and others celebrating the spirit of the season while for those of the Eastern Orthodox faith the holiday falls on January 7. It’s to honor the birth of Jesus Christ even though it’s widely acknowledged not to be his birthday. Along with its religious significance, the season is also for other celebratory events like winter festivals, parties, family get-togethers and Kwanzaa from December 26 – January 1 for Africans Americans to reconnect to their cultural and historical heritage. Jews as well celebrate the season with the Hanukkah Festival of Lights. It’s to commemorate their struggle for survival, but for Jewish children it’s their Christmas with gifts from parents like their Christian friends get.

Christmas is also the time when the national obsession to shop and consume reaches its zenith. It traditionally begins the day after Thanksgiving, runs through Christmas eve, and after the holiday continues into January with plenty of extra buying power from holiday gift cards, year-end bonuses and other resources gotten or borrowed. It’s for everything people never knew they wanted until creative advertising wizardry made their lives incomplete without them.

Perhaps this single dominant trait characterizes American culture more than any other. It’s a variant of the kind of consumerism economist/sociologist Thorstein Veblen called “conspicuous” in his 1899 book “The Theory of the Leisure Class.” F. Scott Fitzgerald explained that “the very rich….are different from you and me.” Veblen wrote about their spending habits and coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption.” Today, it’s called “keeping up with the Joneses” or consumerism, and it’s practiced by status-seeking people obsessed with personal gratification. But not just by the rich. Most people, except the poor, do it and to excess.

The term “consumption” originated hundreds of years ago. Then, it referred to infectious tuberculosis or TB. But its original meaning is relevant in today’s acquisitive society where consuming for essentials is worlds apart from gluttonous consumerism. This variant refers to overindulgent shopping and spending for things people buy irrespective of need but not without consequences for themselves and society.

Untreated TB, or consumption, consumes its victims in a slow, painful death. Consumerism mimics it with it’s similarly harmful fallout: ecological destruction; unhealthy and unsafe consumer products; corporate empowerment; profits pursued over people; militarism and foreign wars; health, education and other essential needs neglected; and democratic decay in a corporatist state disdaining the public interest.

People take pride saying “when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping” – but not without consequences. The personal fallout is over-indebtedness millions can’t handle in the wake of unexpected medical emergencies or loss of employment. The toll: since the early 1980s one in seven families forced into bankruptcy, over 2 million in 2005 alone (30% above 2004), and millions more ahead from unchecked borrow and binge-spending made worse by the subprime crisis.

Overindulgent spending is what clinicians call an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). At its worst, it’s pathologically characterized by obsessive, repetitive thoughts that need compulsive tasks and rituals to relieve. For addicted consumers, it’s an obsession to shop and spend and a compulsion to buy and accumulate. In excess, it’s clinically pathological and destructive when it causes bankruptcy.

In America and the West, tens of millions of otherwise normal people shop excessively for what they never knew they wanted until Madison Avenue mind manipulators convinced them. Economist Paul Baran described the process as making us “want what we don’t need (all unessential consumer goods and services) and not….what we do (good health care, education, clean air and water, safe food, and good government providing essential services).”

Future insolvency is risked, but few consider the possibility until it’s too late. It’s worst at Christmas when it becomes a pathological orgy of frenzied spending dismissively called getting into the holiday spirit. Maybe for merchants, but not when bills come due with growing millions unable to pay them or needing more debt to delay for later what they can’t handle now.

Institutionalized consumerism also plays into social control. It’s empowered when people are focused on bread and circus distractions that include the sights and sounds of the season. Media theorist Neil Postman once called Americans the most over-entertained and under-informed people in the world and wrote about it in books like “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” Attracted to self-gratification and its reinforcing images, they’re diverted from what matters most – challenging wars of aggression, loss of civil liberties and human rights, violations of law, gutted social services, environmental harm, and policies benefitting the privileged at the expense of beneficial social change.

Consumerism also lets corporate power prosper and grow. It feeds unfettered capitalism and out-of-control greed. It helps direct our tax dollars to a militarized state instead of going for essential social needs. It diverts the national wealth to an imperial juggernaut that consumers finance through overindulgence. The more we shop, the stronger it gets and is better able to exploit new markets, resources and cheap labor at the expense of the more expensive kind at home whose future consumption is endangered by today’s self-gratifying excesses.

Adam Smith was capitalism’s ideological godfather who was also concerned about concentrated wealth and wrote about it in “The Wealth of Nations.” He explained an “invisible hand” of unseen forces worked best in a free market with many small businesses competing locally against each other. He contrasted them with concentrated mercantilism and wrote about the “merchants and manufacturers” who used their power to wreak “dreadful misfortunes” and grave injustices on the vast majority of people using the British East India Company as a case study example.

Today’s monopoly capitalism would have been unimaginable in his day, but he’d recognize it. He wrote that throughout history we find the wreckage of the “vile maxim of the masters of mankind….All for ourselves and nothing for other people….unless government takes pains to prevent” this outcome. No invisible hand works in manipulated markets where governments sanction Smith’s “vile maxim,” and the greater good is nowhere in sight. Under neoliberal rules, capital wins, people lose, and consumerism makes things worse. It’s most extreme at Christmas when shopping trumps the holiday’s meaning and seasonal sights and sounds drown out everything else.

The toll is tragic. Whatever Christmas was, it no longer is, and our behavior corrupts it and the spirit of the man it honors. He spread it in deeds and teachings from his Sermon on the Mount and message to “turn the other cheek,” love thy neighbor, not kill, and do unto others as you’d want them doing to you. The consumerist ethic glorifies receiving, not giving; condoning predatory capitalism and ignoring its harm; neglecting the greater good; sanctifying overindulgence while forgetting those most in need throughout the year. In the spirit of the season, thoughts should be on helping others and giving thanks. In an unfettered marketplace, it’s impossible.

It’s a sad testimony to a society obsessed with greed and gratification at the expense of beneficial social change. At Christmas, it defiles the holiday spirit and forgets the needy. For them, Christmas is “Bah Humbug,” and Santa Scrooge – all take and no give.

New Year’s Day

New Year’s day is one week after Christmas and concludes the long holiday season. It starts after Thanksgiving, reaches a climax around Christmas, ebbs for a day and builds again for a final celebratory new year’s welcome with more overindulgent eating, drinking, partying, and binge-shopping for nonessentials.

The new year is also a traditional time for resolutions that include some with merit like losing weight, quitting smoking and getting fit. Most are forgotten, and those most important never made: working for peace, good will toward others, loving they neighbor, respecting everyone, and treating people as we want to be treated in a society of caring and sharing with equity and justice for all. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful resolution for the new year. Long ago in simpler times before the old world became America, it was that way. It can be again, but wishing won’t make it so.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on TheMicroEffect.com Mondays at noon US Central time.

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The signs are all there for anyone to see, and time is getting short for action

By Michael Nenonen

Reading Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007), I realized the hour is later than I thought.

Many of us have watched the Bush regime’s actions with a growing feeling of horror intertwined with a sense that somehow we’ve seen all of this before, but we aren’t sure where. We’re confused because what we’re seeing conflicts with unexamined and deeply held assumptions we have about American freedom. Wolf’s short but meticulously documented book shows that what is happening in America has indeed happened many times before, not in the United States, but rather in places like Chile, Italy, Russia, and Germany. In each case, people couldn’t understand why they didn’t recognize where they were heading before they passed the point of no return.

It’s shifting fast

Wolf argues that the United States is undergoing a “fascist shift” from an authoritarian but still relatively open society to a totalitarian society. The techniques for forcing this shift have evolved over the last century and are now studied by aspiring tyrants the world over. These methods are even part of the formal curriculum in places like the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia, where thousands of Latin Americans have been trained by the United States government in the most savage techniques of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Fascists use ten basic strategies to shut down open societies. They invoke an external and internal threat in order to convince the population to grant their rulers extraordinary powers. They establish secret prisons that practice torture, prisons that are initially few in number and only incarcerate social pariahs, but that quickly multiply and soon imprison “opposition leaders, outspoken clergy, union leaders, well-known performers, publishers, and journalists.” They develop a paramilitary force that operates without legal restraint. They set up a system of intense domestic surveillance that gathers information for the purposes of intimidating and blackmailing citizens. They infiltrate, monitor, and disorganize citizens’ groups. They arbitrarily detain and release citizens, especially at borders. They target key individuals like civil servants, academics, and artists in order to ensure their complicity or silence. They take control of the press. They publicly equate dissent with treason. Finally, they suspend the rule of law. All of these strategies are being employed in America today.

Consider the evidence

The Bush administration and its supporters have consistently portrayed the security threat posed by international terrorists as a threat to the very survival of Western civilization in order to justify permanent war and to keep the American public in a state of panic and paranoia.

The prisons at Guantanamo and God-knows how many CIA “Black Sites” torture their inmates, even though human rights organizations have demonstrated that the majority of at least Guantanamo’s inmates are innocent victims of mass arrests. The inmates are designated as “enemy combatants” who have no rights under international or American law. And there is nothing stopping American presidents from filling these prisons with American citizens. In an April 24 2007 article for the Huffington Post, Wolf writes that thanks to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, “the president has the power to call any US citizen an ‘enemy combatant’. He has the power to define what ‘enemy combatant’ means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define ‘enemy combatant’ any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly. Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial.” She points out that while currently Americans in such situations will be spared any torture except psychosis-inducing isolation and can look forward to eventual trials, these rights typically evaporate in the final stages of a fascist shift.

They’re called “mercenaries”

Military contractors are the regime’s paramilitary force. Blackwater’s mercenaries, many of whom were trained by Latin America’s most horrific police states, have operated in Iraq outside of Iraqi, American, and military law, and have murdered uncounted innocent Iraqis with impunity. Domestically, Blackwater was contracted to provide hundreds of armed security guards in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and there’s evidence that they fired on civilians. Blackwater’s business plan calls for their use in future disasters and emergencies throughout the United States, and it’s supported by some of the biggest powerbrokers in America.

American intelligence agencies are now bypassing court orders to wiretap citizens’ telephones, spy on their e-mails, and monitor their financial transactions, and the USA Patriot Act forces corporations, booksellers, librarians, and doctors to turn over previously confidential information about Americans to the state.

Thousands of human rights, environmental, anti-war, and other citizens’ groups have been infiltrated by government agents, many of whom have clearly acted as agent provocateurs in order to undermine the groups’ solidarity and to legitimize police actions against them.

Political opponents listed

America’s Transportation Security Administration maintains a terrorist watch list of tens of thousands of Americans who are now subjected to security searches and arbitrary detention at airports. The list includes people like Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and respected constitutional scholar Walter F Murphy.

US Attorneys, CIA agents, military lawyers, and other civil servants who’ve disagreed with the Bush administration have been threatened and fired. David Horowitz and his colleagues have mounted a well-funded nation-wide intimidation campaign that has university students spying on their professors and that has successfully coerced regents at State Universities to discipline or fire left-leaning professors like Ward Churchill. The regime’s supporters have organized campaigns to damage the careers of artists like the Dixie Chicks for criticism of the president and his policies.

The administration has Fox News in its pocket, it has paid journalists for positive coverage, it has disseminated misinformation through the media, and it’s ferociously attacking critical journalists. Arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high. The Bush administration’s outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame was done in retaliation against her husband, Joseph Wilson, whose New York Times op-ed piece exposed lies that the Bush administration used to lead the nation to war. Worse than this, independent journalists appear to be marked for death by American forces in Iraq. In her Huffington Post article, Wolf writes, “The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. . . . In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN’s Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.” The goal of these tactics, as she writes in The End of America, is to create “a new reality in which the truth can no longer be ascertained and no longer counts.”

Dissent = treason

In recent years, prominent Republicans like Ann Coulter, Melanie Morgan, and William Kristol have accused liberal journalists of treason and espionage for publishing leaked material damaging to the administration, and in February 2007, Republican Congressman Don Young said “Congressmen who wilfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are sabateurs, and should be hanged.” This would be amusing, were it not for the Bush administration’s revival of the draconian 1917 Espionage Act after half a century’s slumber.

And finally, the Bush administration shows contempt for the law. In The End of America, Wolf writes that Bush has used more signing statements than any previous president, and by doing so has relegated “Congress to an advisory role. This abuse lets the President choose what laws he wishes to enforce or not, overruling Congress and the people. So Americans are living under laws their representatives never passed. Signing statements put the president above the law.” He has also gutted the Posse Comitatus Act, which was created to prevent the president from maintaining a standing army for use against American citizens. Wolf writes that the 2007 Defence Authorization Bill lets the president “expand his power to declare martial law and take charge of the National Guard troops without the permission of the governor when ‘public order’ has been lost; he can send these troops out into our streets at his direction—overriding local law enforcement authorities—during a national disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or ‘other condition.’” On its own, this is an incredible expansion of presidential power, but when combined with the use of military contractors like Blackwater it gives the president almost dictatorial authority.

Wolf shows that fascist shifts don’t happen overnight, but rather over a course of years during which the fascists’ plans unfold at an accelerating pace. Germany in 1933 was further along this path than it was in 1931, and Germany in 1935 was farther along than it was in 1933. Similarly, America in 2007 is farther along the path than it was in 2005, or will be in 2009, provided that a massive pro-democracy movement, complete with impeachment proceedings, doesn’t reverse the shift while there’s still time. A simple Democratic victory in the 2008 presidential election won’t do the job unless the institutional and legal environment created by the Bush administration is thoroughly dismantled. Regardless of whether the next president is a Republican or a Democrat, he or she will inherit a legacy of centralized power that a democracy simply can’t tolerate.

Left behind

Unfortunately, during the shift opposition politicians and activists still tend to perceive the world through a democratic frame of reference, and this prevents them from seeing that their opponents are no longer operating within this frame. As the opposition is tying its boxing gloves, the fascists are breaking out the machetes.

Wolf’s work has its problems. She doesn’t acknowledge that Black and Indigenous Americans have long lived under quasi-fascist rule, she doesn’t examine the role that previous administrations have played in setting the stage for the Bush regime, and she doesn’t acknowledge the roles played by corporatism, widespread social dislocation and the radical Christian right in the rise of a fascist American zeitgeist. Despite this, The End of America needs to be read by as many people as possible.

Wolf writes about America, but Canadians don’t have any cause for comfort. Canadian and American military forces are already deeply enmeshed. Thanks to NAFTA, we’re tied at the hip to the American economy, while the Security and Prosperity Partnership is integrating our countries’ security forces and harmonizing our no-fly lists. The Harper government is eager to kowtow to the Americans, even to the point of refusing to advocate for Canadian citizens on American death rows. The powerful think tanks and lobbying groups that influence our provincial and federal governments, such as the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, either can’t see the shift for what it is or they don’t care. More than all of this, however, is the simple reality that once the shift is complete, the American government will act even more irrationally and belligerently than before. Canada has resources like oil and water the United States is going to need, and the Canadian border is less defensible than the French border was in 1940.

Americans and Canadians have to fight back more fiercely than ever before, to organize and lobby and fill the streets with mass protests, to raise awareness and forge alliances with anyone opposed to totalitarianism regardless of whether they’re liberals, socialists, or conservatives. We have to take all the steps that have rescued dying democracies in the past, and to take them immediately, in the desperate hope that it isn’t already too late.

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