January 4, 2016

Crisis: Murder Inc, Great Malaise, Terrorism & False Flags
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The American Empire: Murder Inc.
2. The Great Malaise Continues
Terrorism in 2015: Following a False Flag Formula

This is a Nederlog of Monday, January 4, 2016.

This is a more or less ordinary crisis file with 3 items and 3 dotted links: Item 1 is about an article by Chris Hedges about terrorism and specifically state- terrorism; item 2 is about an article by Joseph Stiglitz that argues that The Great Malaise that started in 2008 continues because it is bad economics that is kept up by propaganda and lies; and item 3 is about an article on Washington's Blog that argues many acts of supposed terrorism may have been funded, elicited or supported by state terrorists (military, police, secret services) of competing states.

The American Empire: Murder Inc.

The first article is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:

This starts as follows, in a four page article:

Terror, intimidation and violence are the glue that holds empire together. Aerial bombardment, drone and missile attacks, artillery and mortar strikes, targeted assassinations, massacres, the detention of tens of thousands, death squad killings, torture, wholesale surveillance, extraordinary renditions, curfews, propaganda, a loss of civil liberties and pliant political puppets are the grist of our wars and proxy wars.

Countries we seek to dominate, from Indonesia and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, are intimately familiar with these brutal mechanisms of control. But the reality of empire rarely reaches the American public. The few atrocities that come to light are dismissed as isolated aberrations. The public is assured what has been uncovered will be investigated and will not take place again. The goals of empire, we are told by a subservient media and our ruling elites, are virtuous and noble. And the vast killing machine grinds forward, feeding, as it has always done, the swollen bank accounts of defense contractors and corporations that exploit natural resources and cheap labor around the globe.

Yes, indeed - and as I have been saying since 2005 (!): There is terrorism by people who do not form a state, and there is state-terrorism from the military and secret and police services from some state, and by and large the state terrorists are much more powerful and more dangerous and more effective.

This article is based on an interview with Allan Nairn (<- Wikipedia) and is well worth reading (though it will not make you happier, unless you are sadistically inclined).

I will quote only one more piece of it, mostly because I recall a little about the events that are reported, though not much:

“In the case of the Philippines they were talking about leaving the bodies by the rivers,” he said. “So you mutilate the bodies, you cut them, you amputate, and then you display the bodies on the riversides to stir terror in the population. And of course that’s exactly what ISIS is doing today.”

The same tactics were used in Indonesia against ethnic Chinese, labor organizers, artists, intellectuals, student leaders and members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) after the 1965 U.S.-backed anti-communist purge that eventually ousted the independence leader President Sukarno. Sukarno was replaced in a 1967 coup by Gen. Suharto, who brutally ran the country for 31 years. During the army and paramilitary killings as many as a million Indonesians were murdered. The bodies were often left floating in rivers or on roadsides.

Mostly because my parents were - sincere, long time, honest - Dutch communists I do recall some about the cruel killings of as many as a million of Indonesians (!!), who were nearly all accused of being communists, in the beginning of Suharto's government.

Then again, I do not recall much, and not because it is nearly 50 years ago, but because most of it was kept secret: You can - or you could - cruelly murder possibly a million persons in your own country, if you grasped the power, and you then can largely get away with it, with few questions asked, mostly through controlling the media.

There is a lot more in the article, that is recommended.

2. The Great Malaise Continues

The second item is by Joseph Stiglitz (<-Wikipedia) on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

The year 2015 was a hard one all around. Brazil fell into recession. China’s economy experienced its first serious bumps after almost four decades of breakneck growth. The eurozone managed to avoid a meltdown over Greece, but its near-stagnation has continued, contributing to what surely will be viewed as a lost decade. For the United States, 2015 was supposed to be the year that finally closed the book on the Great Recession that began back in 2008; instead, the US recovery has been middling.

Indeed, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, has declared the current state of the global economy the New Mediocre. Others, harking back to the profound pessimism after the end of World War II, fear that the global economy could slip into depression, or at least into prolonged stagnation.

I think that is all correct, and I quote it mostly because it was written by Joseph Stiglitz, who also gives - what I think is - a good diagnosis of the underlying politico-economical problem:

The economics of this inertia is easy to understand, and there are readily available remedies. The world faces a deficiency of aggregate demand, brought on by a combination of growing inequality and a mindless wave of fiscal austerity. Those at the top spend far less than those at the bottom, so that as money moves up, demand goes down. And countries like Germany that consistently maintain external surpluses are contributing significantly to the key problem of insufficient global demand.

At the same time, the US suffers from a milder form of the fiscal austerity prevailing in Europe. Indeed, some 500,000 fewer people are employed by the public sector in the US than before the crisis. With normal expansion in government employment since 2008, there would have been two million more.

That is, in other words: The growing inequalities, which are maintained and strengthened by fiscal austerity (<- Wikipedia), both of which only cover the interests of the already rich, are the root of the major economical problems since 2008.

Then again, it is not so much economics which is the motor of poverty-for- many and wealth-for-few phenomenon: it is the politics and the egoistic interests of the very rich which set up these economical inequalities, and which keep maintaining them by investing millions in them, simply because it favors the interests of the very rich:

The only cure for the world’s malaise is an increase in aggregate demand. Far-reaching redistribution of income would help, as would deep reform of our financial system – not just to prevent it from imposing harm on the rest of us, but also to get banks and other financial institutions to do what they are supposed to do: match long-term savings to long-term investment needs.

But some of the world’s most important problems will require government investment. Such outlays are needed in infrastructure, education, technology, the environment, and facilitating the structural transformations that are needed in every corner of the earth.

The obstacles the global economy faces are not rooted in economics, but in politics and ideology. The private sector created the inequality and environmental degradation with which we must now reckon.
Again in other words: The existing economical problems are all relatively easily solvable in principle:

More aggregrate demand, namely by higher wages, by higher government investments in public projects (infrastructure, education, environment), and by structural reforms in especially banking, that presently favor the rich at the costs of the non-rich.

But these public policies, all of which can be easily defended in terms of easily understood economics, are not practised because of "politics and ideology", that are also mostly false, grotesque, and based on lies, because they are mostly directed at electorates that have been kept or made stupid and ignorant, and that
like their illusions created by propaganda much more than the (approximate) truth
based on sound economics.

In any case, as the title of the article has it: "The Great Malaise Continues" and is now in its eighth year of continued increases in the riches of the few rich, at the cost of ever-continued increases in the costs of living of the many non-rich, many of whom have been manipulated into supporting the very policies that will make them destitute.

I mostly agree with Stiglitz, but since the arguments are quite clear, quite rational, and not heeded because they are met by incredible amounts of economic lies, deceptions and propaganda, all of which are in the interests of the very rich who have by far the most power and by far the most money, I fear it needs another major economic crisis to implement a more rational economics that serves the many instead of the few.

This article is recommended reading.

3. Terrorism in 2015: Following a False Flag Formula

The third item is by Kevin Ryan on Washington's Blog:

This starts as follows:

In 2015, there were 385 terrorist incidents around the world according to Wikipedia. Of these, 94% were attributed to Muslim perpetrators or occurred in Muslim countries surrounding the world’s most resource-rich region. The geographic pattern behind these and previous attacks suggests that terrorism is more a function of the need to seize resources than it is about religious or political beliefs. The terrorist events of 2015 continue to fuel speculation that most terrorism is government-sponsored and focuses on achieving political objectives.

I start with noting that this explanation - "most terrorism is government- sponsored and focuses on achieving political objectives" - is both rational and not common:

Terrorism that is not state-terrorism (committed by the military, police or secret services of some state) nevertheless tends to be almost always funded by (competing) states, that indeed do not organize it themselves, but pay others to organize and commit acts of terror.

One problem is that while the explanation is rational it is both unpopular and not easy to find evidence for. Here is a list of features that Kevin Ryan gives that may be helpful in locating such evidence:

Since 9/11, terrorist acts in Western countries have exhibited a formulaic set of common features that suggest the government might have been involved in the crimes. Here are ten such features.

  1. Evidence against the accused is usually composed of hearsay claims or dubious documents that originate with military or law enforcement sources.
  2. The hearsay evidence typically includes vague accusations that the suspects were in contact with, had “links” to, or made recent pledges of allegiance to, terrorist leaders.
  3. The documentary evidence includes things like passports conveniently left at the scene or social media postings that imply a commitment to terrorism.
  4. There is an overly obvious attempt to associate the terrorists with Islam.
  5. The suspects are usually dead by the time the first reports come out.
  6. People who knew the accused often say they had absolutely no idea that their friend/neighbor/family member was involved or interested in terrorism in any way.
  7. The testimony of eyewitnesses is ignored as authorities provide contradictory stories that quickly become the official, media-driven accounts.
  8. Eyewitnesses often describe the attackers as armed and outfitted like highly trained, and well-supported, special operations soldiers.
  9. The attacks usually coincide with military or law enforcement exercises that mimic what happens.
  10. The incidents are used to justify rapid military attacks against countries of strategic interest before any investigation is conducted.

I note none of these items constitutes a full proof that an act of terrorism in fact was brought about by some state's funding, inspiration, leadership or (secret) military support, but indeed it may have been.

Next, there is a survey of six cases of terrorism in 2015, which I leave to your interests.

Here is the ending of the article:

Despite the fact that government-sponsored false flag terrorism has been well documented as a fact throughout modern history, terrorism remains a powerful tool for controlling public opinion. The events of 2015 have shown that the propaganda tools for presenting terrorism are being continually refined. The formula used by government and media to report new accounts of terrorism may one day become so well tuned that it will be effective in presenting anyone as a terrorist with little or no actual evidence. It would therefore be wise for all citizens to question all acts of terrorism in order to prevent greater abuses of power.

I agree, though indeed "citizens" these days have very little or no power.

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