China: Chen Guangcheng and US Diplomatic Talks

Chen Guangcheg, a Chinese activist under house arrest since September 2010 for opposing forced abortions, has been put under US diplomatic protection in the US Embassy in Beijing.

Chen Guangcheng Escapes Chinese Officials

After 19 moths of stifling informal detention, the blind activists was able to escape after nearly 20 hours of climbing, crawling and walking.  Chen does not seek refuge in America or any form of political asylum in any country; rather, he wishes to stay in China and demand redress for years of illegal persecution.  Persisting in his endeavor to continue his efforts for reform in Chinese society, the activist has nevertheless jeopardized the safety of his family because of his escape.  With China’s already questionable relationship with various forms of human rights violations, there are mounting fears that Chen’s family will endure the worst of officials’ humiliated anger over Chen’s escape.  Despite the consequences for the actions undertaken, Chen’s escape has become a symbol for the Chinese people, becoming a glorified David versus Goliath analogy in which the blind man has defeated the Goliath of ruling Communist Party controls.  Mirroring the man who stood defiant in front a line of army tanks near Tiananmen Square after the crackdown in 1989, Chen represents yet another display of social outrage at the backwards and oppressive nature of China.

“Chen Guangcheng’s escape was a miracle, hard to believe unless you heard him tell the story himself.  He had to climb over eight walls and over a dozen barriers by himself, tripping and falling hundreds of times for 19 hours until he crossed a stream and finally escaped from his village.” – Guo Yushan, Beijing-based researcher

Chen’s unwillingness to leave has become a complication for any negotiations between Washington and Beijing over his fate, as well as creating a tense predicament for the scheduled trip of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to China.  Chen’s escape threatens to overshadow high-level talks involving Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, schedule to take place in Beijing later this week.  Chen’s role as a human rights activist, as well as his own experience with illegal persecution, will prove a pivotal movement for US human rights diplomacy.  With China-US relations improving lately over increased negotiations over nuclear talks and Myanmar sanctions, the situation presents an extraordinary test for Obama’s administration’s approach to relations with China, creating a strain between upholding human rights and maintaining steady ties with Beijing.  Moreover, the blind activist’s flight from detention comes at a highly sensitive time for Chinese authorities.  The ruling Communist Party has been struck by scandal involving former high-ranking leader Bo Xilai, whose wife is under investigation in relation to the mysterious death of a British businessman.  The downfall of Bo, being investigated in connection with serious disciplinary violations, has created shock waves ahead of a leadership transition in China this year, an event that transpires only once in 10 years.

“There’s not a lot of precedent for the US treating China as a good-faith negotiation partner on human-rights issues, but the way the case has been handled up till now makes it hard ot trust any commitment they make to rule of law.” – Joshua Rosenzweig, Chinese University of Hong Kong human-rights researcher

In retrospect, for the Obama administration to agree to a deal in which Beijing would provide Chen with an iron-clad guarantee of safety for himself and his family, while also vigorously pursuing the people allegedly responsibly for mistreating him, the diplomatic consequences are extremely risky.  Allowing Chen to stay in China is the best outcome from this development but the lack of any mechanism through which the US would be able to monitor and ensure his safety is highly problematic.  China’s handling of the 2008 financial crisis and its fast economic growth has given many officials confidence, unwilling to succumb to foreign pressures such as they did in 1989.  In 1989, the US Embassy sheltered the astrophysicist Fang Lizhi and his wife in the wake of Tiananmen Square.  They were able to depart for the US in 1990, after a year of negotiations between Washington and Beijing and an offer from Japan to provide aid to China in exchange for their release.


America: Corporate Imperialism Abroad (Middle East)

The military-industrial complex, a bastion of unimaginable proportions devoted to the procurement of corporate interests, has become a foreign aggressor interconnected to the very structure of the American system and has thus solidified its reign over political agenda to ensure the imposition of the corporatocracy on foreign peoples, such as those in the Middle East.

The Corporate Drive for Oil has Become an American Addiction, Costing the Lives of Millions

The American Empire was forged through the exploitation and manipulation of helpless or near-helpless peoples; forcing its will on scores of nations, against their wishes and against their interests.  Wielding a military stick and a dollar carrot, the American oligarchy has yielded unrelenting force against nations abroad.  The government, for and by the corporations, has intervened ruthlessly in the internal life of dozens of nations to prevent them from choosing the leader they did want or from having them overthrow, by revolution, the ones supported by the corporations.  American Foreign Policy, devoted to the enslavement of peoples abroad, is ‘most heavily and consistently influenced by internationally oriented business leaders’ (Jacobs & Page 2005).  Serving their masters’ will, the political office-holders within Congress, Senate and the Presidency are left with no heart, no soul and no care.  The conjunction of an immense military establishment, a large arms industry and the political structure is the new America.  Eisenhower’s message concerning the potential for the military-industrial complex to acquisition unwarranted influence, whether sought of unsought, has resulted in a perpetuating cycle of warlike policies resulting from such exertion of corporate influence on government policy.  Threatening individual liberty throughout the world, the state tools stand rank and file, herded like sheep by the hypocritical image of the patriotic Uncle Sam, into the armed forces awaiting their deployment to lands abroad to spread the message of suppression and murder.

“Pledge allegiance to a flag of which you’re taught no history.  Not Mexico, Granada, Panama or Middle East, but they’re just a mere fraction of this country’s shady past.  Skeletons locked in the closet and I doubt they’ll be the last ‘national interest,’ defined for you.” – Anti-Flag, “A Start”

Run by greedy politicians and business leaders, the American system represents theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.  Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies the perpetuation of the contagion of corporate interests in a system without justice.  The threat of corporate American has left foreign people living a life of perpetual fear and tension.  Among the frightened, exploited and now vengeful, are the victims of corporate imposition in the Middle East.  A primary example of the manipulative coercion of the CIA, to protect corporate profit margins at the cost of domestic communities, is in Iran.  In 1953, the highly regarded Prime Minister Mossadegh was ousted by a join CIA-MI6 coup known as Operation Ajax.  The CIA marauders justified their imposition of Orwellian oppression upon the Iranian people in order to secure the interests of businesses therein invested.  The Prime Minister was responsible for multiple social reforms that increased the standard of living, higher levels of education and increased general prosperity through the nationalization of the oil industry.  Consequently, said nationalization of the oil company known as Anglo-Persian Oil Company (modern-day British Petroleum) angered the British and American investors that prospered in the rivers of the black gold, idly standing by as they raped the country of its natural resources yet again. So once again, the American imperialist force demonstrated its clear promises of democracy and freedom by ousting a popularly elected Prime Minister, which then set about a series of events that led to the emplacement of the dictatorial Supreme Leader and a very volatile anti-West regime.

“It’s a think tank, psycho and crazed.  War profiteering membership – a world catastrophe.  They’ve got a war plan that counts on you to kill for their corporate empire while they sit at home.” – Anti-Flag, “The Project for a New American Century”

The American corporatocracy has become a global phenomena, an incursion upon organizations like the World Bank, the IMF, the NSA and the CIA, in which economic hit men help channel their resource to support the larger agenda for global exploitation and war profiteering.  These organizations have become the tool of big corporations, aiding them in their endeavor to get themselves established around the world in positions where they can exploit the world’s resource, natural resources and human resources.  The men and few women who run the biggest and most powerful corporations also run most of the government.  Beginning in the late 1970s, the influence of oil became a shared priority of the masses and the previously small group of military strategists, a group of conservative think thanks present throughout the ’80s, ’90s and today.  Most principal among them are: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, former Vice-President and former Defense Secretary. With the fall of the Shah in Iran in 1979, the Gulf and its oil became a ‘zone of US influence’ under the Carter Doctrine.  The doctrine warned that any attempt to gain control of the Persian Gulf would be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the US.  This was followed by the creation of the Rapid Deployment Force, a military program specifically designed to deploy several thousand US troops to the Gulf on short notice.  Since the first Gulf War, the Rapid Deployment Force (now known as the US Central Command) built a network of military bases that now almost completely encircles the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, disregarding notions of individual liberty and sovereignty.

“Recruited by the NSA, my orders to talk smooth and straight.  If heads to state try to say ‘No’, I lovingly told them ‘Fuck you!’  The jackals lose when I cannot get through.  There is a windfall of profit to get to.  You better deal or we’re gonna take you down.” – Anti-Flag, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”

Fueled by thoughts of fortune-made and despair wrought by their hands, the corporate leaders pursue the seemingly endless stream of intoxicating oil, a drug of mind-numbing consequences for the corporations that abuse it so wholeheartedly.  Iran, a symbol of anti-Western ideology that has become notorious for human rights violations and oppression, is also a lead trading partner with US arms companies.  Evidently, the opportunism of corporations has no boundaries, jeopardizing the security and safety of millions around the world by trading arms with turncoats, killers, liars and thieves.  Sources from former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s company Halliburton allege that, as recently as January 2005, Halliburton has sold key components for a nuclear reactor to Oriental Oil Kish, an Iranian oil development company.  It was Halliburton’s secret sale of centrifuge to Iran that helped get the uranium enrichment program off the ground, now becoming a very real threat to neighboring US-ally Israel.  Nevertheless, supporting such cultural animosity, military build-ups and war crimes, is what the American multi-nationals have become adept at.  The US has also sold Israel US-arms, white phosphorous shells being the most recent US-linked munition to be attributed to war crimes.  The shells have been utilized by the Israeli military to be shot over densely populated areas of Gaza, an indiscriminate act of violence that the Human Rights Watch characterizes as evidence of war crimes.  Once again, the red, white and blue stitches of the American flag stand hypocritically over the battle fields and civilian caskets of foreign peoples the world around.

“I wouldn’t wanna be a kid in the modern world; neurotic, full of fear, no control, hungry, empty feeling worn and cold.  Unable to make sense of the heads of state, unable to make sense of the wars they wage.  Feeling every second that I live I go closer to the grave.” – Anti-Flag, “Tanzania”

Marching forth under the flag of national defense, the state puppets impose their nature upon the people of Iraq under the false charges of terrorism and WMDs.  Similar to Afghanistan and its plethora of opium fields, Iraq is being exploited for its oil.  In the Wall Street Journal (2003), an article leaked confidential Bush administration documents outlining corporate agenda in Iraq.  Hoping to establish a proxy capitalist market for US purposes, the US called for the privatization of state-owned industries such as part of the oil sector.  This all-inclusive plan for mass privatizations of Iraq was divided into 3 stages.  The first stage, corporations are not only able to establish their businesses in Iraq, they are also able to own Iraqi resources, including two of the most precious: water and oil.  In the second stage, all Iraqi resources would be turned over to private ownership.  The final stage includes the establishment of a Free Trade Area in the Middle East, paving the way for US domination of the entire region.  The beginning of the corporate invasion was signaled by the various multi-million dollar contracts that were handed to corporations via the Bush administration.  Among the corporations, Halliburton and Bechtel are some of the most well-known.  Besides the conflict of interest exhibited by Dick Cheney’s role as Vice-President, 86% of Halliburton’s contributions are given to Republican candidates, once again exemplifying the materialistic corruption of greed within the political infrastructure.  The democratic institution of check and balances, the separation of powers, has been oppressed by career politicians whose pockets are lined with the peoples cash.

“You push and push a people, what are they to do?  Soon this corporate run government will be through.  See, it doesn’t represent the people anymore.  Big business are the pimps and the governments’ their whores.  We don’t need more time to talk over a solution.  We know what we need, we need a fucking revolution.” – Anti-Flag, “Got the Numbers”

The dichotomy of thought and action in corporate America is carried on by mass media communications, inspired by nationalistic diction of officials and absorbed by the masses.  With the protection of the law, the corporate thieves and killers pillage countries around the world, depriving people of their basic necessities and killing those brave enough to resist.  Leaving families without fathers, mothers, daughter and/or sons, corporations have privatized democracy and monopolized violence.  The disaster that is the occupation of Iraq is exacerbated by grinding poverty.  Every day the economic policies of the occupying authorities create more hunger among Iraq’s working people, transforming them into a pool of low-wage, semi-employed labor, desperate for jobs at almost any price.  A valuable asset for the corporations therein invested, but it has resulted in the dissolution of the constraints of the nation-state and has created fuel for anarchy and terrorism.  Moreover, the situation in Afghanistan is even worse for the domestic populace.  The billions of taxpayer dollars that are given to foreign aid are going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations, being commonly referred to as ‘phantom aid’.  A former head of USAID stated that foreign aid was a key foreign policy instrument designed to help countries become trade markets for US exports.  To guarantee said mission, the State department recently took over the aid agency.  USAID and the Army Corps of Engineers now cut in US business and government interests from the start, making sure that money is allocated according to US economic, political, strategic and military priorities; rather than according to what the recipient nation, Afghanistan, might consider as important.

“To save you, we may have to kill you!  For freedom, you may have to die!  #1 at liberation.  Liberating life from bodies, helping spirits fly.  Freedom from life!” – Anti-Flag, Operation Iraqi Liberation (O.I.L.)

In retrospect, the US government has become a market commodity invested in by a plethora of corporations interested in the manipulation of its warmongering politicians and puppet soldiers; thus, cementing a formidable alliance through which corporations have funded dictators such as Qaddafi and Mubarak, as well as exploited natural resources and human resources in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Equivalent to licenses bribes, corruption, theft and money laundering, the people of the world are exploited by the open-ended contacts being awarded to contractors such as Kellogg, Brown, and Root/Halliburton, Bechtel, DynCorp, Blackwater and the Louis Berger Group.  The suppression of democratic institutions has left foreign people at the behest of a tyrannical oversees power, depicting the imperialist nature of the American corporatocracy.

France: Sarkozy’s Bid for Re-Election

As French voters vote to elect a new President, current President Nicolas Sarkozy seeks to beguile far-right voters to combat the surge of support for Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, else Sarkozy faces becoming the first French president to lose a bid for re-election in more than 30 years.

French President Sarkozy Faces Hollande in Second Round

Francois Hollande came out on top with 28.6% and Sarkozy with 27.1% of the vote, the first time a sitting President has lost in the first round.  Hollande’s performance mirrors advances across the European continent by anti-establishment Euroskeptical populists, gaining momentum as the Euro Zone’s grinding debt crisis deepens anger over government spending cuts and unemployment.  Sarkozy has been a target for much EU animosity because of his close ties to German Chancellor Merkel, many critics going so far as satirically entitling the duo as ‘Merkozy’.  France has played key roles in international hot spots such as Libya and Syria, as well as the perpetuating pan-European debt crisis.  Nevertheless, his efforts internationally have not won him much favor, as the domestic economy has been the prime focus of the elections and France is struggling in the face of  sluggish economic growth and a 10% unemployment rate, all of which sits upon their recent downgrade from their prized AAA rating.  The weak showing has forced Sarkozy to expand his constituent base, targeting the rightists under Le Pen, the leader of the National Front that won 19.3% of the votes, equating to 6.2 million people.  Returning to the campaign trail, Sarkozy propagated promises to toughen border controls, tighten security on the streets and keep industrial jobs in France, signature issues concerning the rightists.  The recent populist rise has already evicted 10 other Euro Zone leaders from office since the start of the crisis in late 2009, evidently lending credibility to the rumors that Sarkozy will soon be ousted.

“National Front voters must be respected.  They voiced their view.  It was a vote of suffering, a crisis vote.  Why insult them?  I have heard Mr. Hollande criticizing them.” – Nicolas Sarkozy, French President

There are now two more weeks before France elected its President on May 6th.  Sarkozy will not doubt continue his aggressive tactics, confronting his rival’s lack of experience at government level, and trying to corner hum during the traditional TV debate.  Sarkozy has already attempted to challenge Hollande to 3 debates, rather than the traditional 1.  Sarkozy seeks to impress upon the people his experience and intellect by focusing on the economy, social policies and international affairs, all the while accusing Hollande of avoiding the debates.  Nevertheless, the strong turnout of 802%, in which more than a third cast ballots for protest candidates, the future seems foreboding for Sarkozy’s typical tactics of showboating and scapegoating.  Hollande has vowed to change the direction of Europe by tempering austerity measures with higher taxes on the rich and more social spending.  Polls have already predicted he will win the run-off with between 53% and 56% of the votes.  A predominant contrast in the two remaining contenders’ economic approaches is that Hollande generally supports more government action to stimulate the economy whereas Sarkozy favors policies such as lowering some taxes and possibly repealing the mandated 35-hours work weeks.  With France’s domestic interests rallied around economic prosperity, a juxtaposition to years of hardship and downgrade under Sarkozy, Hollande seems sure-footed in the road towards the final elections.

“The choice is simple, either continue policies that have failed with a divisive incumbent candidate or raise France up again with a new, unifying President.” – Francois Hollande, Socialist Presidential Candidate

In retrospect, the results of the elections are a bad sign for Sarkozy, who will now be forced to perform a balancing act of campaigning to far-right wing voters and maintain a hold on his centrist supporters.   If Hollande wins, as is very likely, Hollande will be France’s first left-wing president since Francois Mitterand.  The rise of Hollande has come as a response to the economic crisis, providing ground for populism to develop.  Wages, pensions, taxation, and unemployment have been topping the list of French voter’s concerns, concerns founded on the mistakes and consequences of Sarkozy’s measures taken to counteract the debt crisis.

America: Self-Mutilation, the Marketing Disease

Society has been led astray by a misconceived notion of beauty that was manufactured by the influence of corporations on mass media marketing, which has thus escalated the homogenization of the masses into a form of physical materialism, an endless pursuit of beauty despite its inherent elusiveness.

The Marketing Disease is Leaving the People Self Hating and Sensless

The marketing industry has turned individualism into an archaic concept, bombarding society with image after image of what the corporations have defined as beauty.  The self-defined definition of beauty is no longer existent as the pre-fab Hollywood antics have indoctrinated the people of the world into a ponzi-scheme in which physical perfection can be reached through cosmetic procedures and the expending of every cent.  More than 8.5 million people have cosmetic procedures in the US per year, a self-mutilation that succeeds in nothing but feelings of worthlessness.  The trends, the fashion and cosmetics are being funded by the literal blood money of those deluded enough to believe that beauty will come after they undergo facial reconstruction, liposuction, implants, etc.  The disillusionment of society is evinced by the growing involvement of corporations in the corruption of the press corpse, seizing control of peoples’ broadcasts and enforcing upon them a new ideal, ever changing and ever elusive.  Sadly enough, there is no need for subliminal messaging or extensive convincing, the people have already been melded into this age old ideology where money can purchase everything, turning every ambiguous and heterogeneous concept into a commodity on the market.  This capitalist hierarchical structure has escalated social disorder, self-hatred and denial, all of it instigated by its imposition upon the thoughts and minds of men, women and children alike.  The endless and damaging pursuit of an ever-changing identity has left the people senseless and fickle.  The propaganda, infinite and unforgiving, has resulted in the congregation of the people outside their department stores and cosmetician offices awaiting to be told what the new sense of fashion is this week, awaiting to be told whether it will be only half their mortgage or all.  Americans spend approximately $12.4 billion on cosmetic procedures per yer, the insanity must be evident and yet the trend only perpetuates and intensifies.  Like dolls at the factories, the peoples have been led onto a conveyor belt to replace their bodies with implants and drugs, becoming the superficial and mindless drones the industries seek.

“Seems every station on the TV is selling something no one can be.  If every page was torn from the magazine, could cash still drive the media machine?  The products, damage and pursuit are endless identity can leave you selfless.” – Anti-Flag, “This is the End (For You My Friend)”

Wielding swords and shields the corporate bought mercenaries march into the homes of the people, rigging their televisions and radios with broadcasts of imperfection and insecurity,  thus ensuring their propaganda will infect the young and old, the poor and rich, the healthy and the sick.  The masses of society are led astray by the promises of leisure, perfection and paradise, a nonexistent and gilded truth by the marketing corporatocracy to beguile the people into a false sense of security.  The freedom of press has become an asset of corporate America, pulling the wool over the eyes of the masses and using the people’s voice to sell the capitalist propaganda of materialism.  They have not guided the people into complacency; rather, the people are led into an endless berate of new versus old, forcing them to continuously pursue the definition of beauty that is defined by the pictures in Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Victoria Secrets, etc.  The sense that beauty is in the ‘eye of the beholder’ was buried under monthly issues of magazines that have indoctrinated the people into the sense that these pictures and these magazines hold the definite truth of physical perfection.  So saying, physical perfection has become the new materialism that is toying with the minds of the ignorant and the vulnerable.  The average weight of a model is 23% lower than that of an average woman, leaving the rest to wallow in insecurity and self-destructive hatred, pursuing such imagery through dietary pills, eating disorders and cosmetic procedures.

“16 year old girl, in a hollowed carved out place, just looking for some prettiness, but the cuts on her arm don’t paint for her, a very pretty view.  In her mind, she dreams that she is far away from the bright lights of America, life and death in sold out-Erica.” – Anti-Flag, “Bright Lights of America”

As the masses sing the slogans and march to the stores and surgery rooms seeking physical perfection and materialistic pleasures, billions go hungry and deprived seeking to emulate the conjured posters of what ‘real’ men and women look like.  With approximately one million boys and men suffering from anorexia and 10 million girls and women suffering from some form of eating disorder, the delusion of perfection and beauty spreads its contagion upon the masses, making them fickle and unable to withstand the imposition of the corporate infiltrators upon their lives.  The hatred and loathing of ones self-image has tainted the public, creating a cycle in which each person seeks self-worth at the cost of their health and body, leaving them empty and selfless in the end.  The marketing disease had transcended the ranks of the people, infecting people of all ages, targeting the American children and incorporating them into a chained-up ideology from the cradle to the grave.  80% of 4th grade girls have been on a fad diet, victim to the same corporate inspired propaganda that has enraptured their families.  The exploitation of the people through the marketing antics has led to the evolution of society into a consumerist community in which the products and procedures have begun to define and degrade the people from their individualistic state and into brand labels.

“And I must again sing my dissent until your end.  Because I can barely breathe with your weight on my chest.  And I’m so fucking sick of being ashamed of my own flesh.  And I must again sing my dissent until your end.  We all have our vices, we all have our flaws.” – Anti-Flag, “Vices”

In retrospect, billions are spent to make the American people feel worthless, ensuring their return to the cosmeticians and department stores in an endless chase of elusive perfection, a notion defined by pain, regret and remorse by those that have experienced the emptiness and shallowness of the chase’s consequences.  The marketing disease wraps its chains of influence upon the people from their cradle to their grave, unbreakable and unrelenting.  16% of the population suffers from clinical depression at least one time in their life, illustrating the hopelessness that is incarcerating the people in their own minds and bodies.  Self-mutilation, insecurity, self hatred, hopelessness, and self doubt have come to describe the American populace being exploited by the insanity that is the marketing disease.


Author’s Note:  This post was inspired by an influential person on my life who has been deluded into a sense of insecurity. This insecurity is a tool for later manipulation which has thus left her at the mercy of womanizers.  Once left alone and vulnerable, the thoughts that these men left her because of her imperfections enter her mind.  This cycle only perpetuates because of social propaganda that envelopes her with self loathing.  In reality, this person is one of the most beautiful and astounding persons I have had the pleasure of meeting.  The insanity must come to an end.

Norway: Anders Breivik Trial

Anders Behring Breivik stood on trial yesterday in Norway, glorifying his actions and calling for acquittal in the Norway massacre trial in which he is responsible for the death of 77 people.

Breivik Offers a Far Right-Wing Salute Upon His Entrance to the Courtroom

Anders Breivik is the man accused of killing 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July.  The 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty and has stated that his actions were a necessity, as he was acting under the premise of national defense.  Among his crimes was a car bomb set off outside the government headquarters in Oslo and then shooting another 69 people at a youth summer camp organized by the ruling Labour Party.  Vindicating his actions through nationalistic jargon, jingoism, Breivik sought to retaliate against what he saw as a contagion of immigrants and cultures that were undermining his ideal of pure Arianism, glorying actions of the NSDAP regime in Germany under Hitler.  Upon taking the stand at his trial for the first time, the previously declared insane business fraudster read from a statement for an hour, turning the trial into a publication of his violent propaganda.  Among his statement, he invoked Native American warriors such as Sitting Bull, as well as raging against Islam and multiculturalism and warned of ‘rivers of blood’ in Europe.  Expressing no regret for his actions, Breivik has turned his massacre into a self-described notion of revolutionary nationalism.  The toxic legacy of Breivik’s actions have illustrated the conflict within the nation, as well as the growing criticism that globalization is depriving cultures of their identity and thus sparking such retaliatory actions.

“I have carried out the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack committed in Europe since the Second World War.  The July 22 attacks were preemptive attacks to defend the Norwegian people and the Norwegian ethnicity.” – Anders Behring Breivik

While he likely be kept behind bars for the duration of his life, Breivik’s main objective is to prove his sanity, a court judgement that he sees as vindication for his anti-Muslim and anti-immigration cause.  If found guilty and sane, Breivik faces a maximum 21-year sentence, due to Norway’s liberal court system and peace-keeping objective.  Nevertheless, Breivik could be held indefinitely if he is considered a continuing danger.  If declared insane, a label he considers a fate worse than death, Breivik would go to a psychiatric institution indefinitely with periodic reviews.  Breivik has sternly opposed being labelled insane.  Breivik has claims that it was Norway’s politicians who should be locked up in the sort of mental institution in which he could expect to spend the rest of his life.  Ironically, Breivik’s sanity plea is paralleled by extreme rhetoric and inflammatory statement which will offset any support for his mental state.  Among his statement, Breivik insisted that the youth killed at the summer camp were not innocent, non-political children; rather, he insisted that they were people seeking to undermine Norwegian nationality by upholding multicultural values, going so far as comparing the Labour party’s youth wing (AUF) with the Hitler Youth.

“They [politicians] expect us to applaud our ethnic and cultural doom.  They should be characterized as insane, not me.  Why is this the real insanity?  This is the real insanity because it is not rational to work to deconstruct one’s own ethnic group, culture and religion.” – Anders Behring Breivik

Breivik’s courtroom strategy is as wickedly calculated as was his original massacre.  He admitted his responsibility for the 77 deaths, but he also made clear, both in his conduct and through his lawyers, that he is wholly unrepentant and sees those deaths as a means to a wider political end.  He revels in the horrified attention that is focused on him.  He is ready to give further offence to liberal values, and he intends to add insult to injury by trying Norway’s patience in every way possible.  Among his courtroom repertoire of narcissistic actions, Breivik gave a right-wing salute, a refusal to recognize  the court which he regards as an illegitimate creation of defenders of multiculturalism, and his only show of emotion was when the court reviewed his calls to arms video to defend Norwegian national purity against Islamic subversion.  The trial, a long and perpetuating process, is scheduled to last 10 weeks.  His defense team has called 29 witnesses to argue Breivik was sane, including Mulah Krekar, the Kurdish founder of Islamist group Ansar al-Islam and ‘Fjordman’, a right-wing blogger who influenced Breivik.

Syria: Ceasefire Failure and Violence Spreads Across Borders

On the eve of the April 10th UN-brokered ceasefire, hopes are fading as conflict in Syria burst over the border into neighboring Lebanon and Turkey on Monday.

The Planned Ceasefire has Resulted in Escalated Violence

The unrelenting violence has indicated that the peace plan promoted by international envoy Kofi Annan and initially accepted by both sides was in tatters.  The Assad regime was to have started pulling troops out of urban areas by Tuesday the 10th, paving the way for a ceasefire to start 48 hours after troop withdrawal.  President Assad agreed on the premise that the opposition forces give written guarantees they would stop fighting and lay down their arms, a demand they immediately rejected considering the security dilemma that would position themselves into.  Without such arms, the security forces would face no challenge to their repressive violence that would quickly silence all domestic violence and therefore make redundant any international efforts to intervene.  So saying, the Free Syrian Army was only acting out of self-preservation by rejecting Assad’s plans.  Moreover, the lack of government forces giving any indication of pulling back verifies the intent of Assad and his loyalists.  The development have come after the US State Department said that the Syrian regime was trying to stall for time with its demands for written guarantees from the opposition forces.  Evidently, the failure of yet another international response has come at the price of more Syrians and the neighboring countries, intensifying the call to action to end the repression in Syria.

“The Syrian regime does not understand compromise.  Its ethos is ‘rule or die’.  Therefore, Syria will continue its inexorable slide into full-scale civil war, especially since the chance for effective foreign intervention to stop bloodletting is also zero.” – Augustus Richard Norton, Middle East specialist from Boston University

Monday has proved to be one of the bloodiest days of the uprising despite the truce deal, which should be marked by troop withdrawals from towns and cities.  Activists reported more than 100 deaths, among them at least 30 civilians who died during the Syrian army bombardment in the central province of Hama.  The violence has also claimed the lives of civilians and journalists in neighboring countries, illustrating the international consequences of this civil war.  Lebanese Prime Minster Najib Mikati condemned the Syrian regime and sent his condolences for the death of Ali Shaaban, part of a 3-man crew with Lebanese television channel al-Jadeed, which was filming on Lebanon’s norther border with Syria.  In Turkey, violence broke out as a group of dozens of Syrians sought to cross the Turkish border, the latest of more than 20,000 other refugees.  The group was spotted making its way to the border and both Syrian nationals and Turkish policeman approached the border.  As the two groups met at the border, they were fired upon by unidentified gunmen in Syria, who injured the Syrian refugees, policeman and the translator on the Turkish side of the border.  With the population in both Lebanon and Turkey deeply divided between those who support the opposition and those who still hope the embattled president will remain in power, some fear that such incidents could prove a spark in a very combustible environment.

“We summoned the Syrian charge d’affaires in Ankara, and told him that every Syrian within Turkish territory was under Turkish protection, and we urged him that the fighting on the other side of the border stop.  We said that if this repeats, we will take necessary measures.” – Turkish spokesman

In retrospect, the diplomatic options open to the international community have been exhausted and the internal strife of the Syria conflict has begun to spill over unto neighboring lands, escalating the immediate need for definitive action.  If Turkey was backed by the US and other Western nations, all members of the “Friends of Syria” contact group, then the long-discussed ‘safe zones’ on the Syria side of the Turkish border could be the next step against violence in Syria.  The worsening conditions of the conflict make the situation far worse for the international community, as well as a bad reflection on their inability to respond effectively.  Much of the blame can be laid on the feet of Assad’s international powerhouse friends.  China has supported Assad in his year-long effort to crush the uprising.  Russia, which has defended him in the UNSC and remains Assad’s most important ally, stopped short of pressing him to rein in his army.

America: Corporate Imperialism Abroad (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Blind patriotism has infected the American populace, allowing the corporatocracy the ability to interact with sovereign power in an unhealthy alignment between corporate and political power; thus resulting in a passive citizenry and subservient media that blissfully observe the imposition of business interests in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.

American Foreign Policy has been Defined by Corporate Interests

Under the cover of American exceptionalism, the corporations have purchased governments and legislatures, created its own personal armed enforcers, engaged in systemic fraud of domestic and foreign peoples, plundered national treasuries, and engaged in imperialistic exploitation of foreign lands through paramilitary operations.  American exceptionalism refers to the theory that US occupies a special niche among the nations of the world in terms of its national power, historical evolution, political and religious institutions.  Along with the phenomenon known as White Man’s Burden, the US has justified the impositions of its interests on foreign peoples as merely protecting the causes of freedom, democracy and justice worldwide.  With corporate-owned mass media communications denying cases of exceptionalism and imperialism, a systemic strategy of propaganda to manufacture public opinion into a subordinate constituency base, the CIA marauders have infiltrated and undercut popular governments and peoples movement in numerous regions of the world for the sake of protecting American interests.  US imperialist policies are the products of the excessive influence of certain sectors of US business and government – the arms industry alliance with political bureaucracies and more often than not other industries such as oil and finance, a combination known as the military-industrial complex.  Under the cover of the Cold War and after, the CIA has justified the imposition of its Orwellian oppression on foreign territories in order to protect the big businesses therein invested.  This cycle of international manipulation has perpetuated into an intensifying scheme of capitalist monarchism, underscoring the corporate control of American policy.  Beginning with the corporate interests in the slave trade, the corporatocracy has fueled American imperialism and materialism in Ethiopia, Congo (Zaire), Niger, Uganda and Somalia.

“To join the corporate army for God and country, give up your life.  Don’t try to figure out what’s wrong or right.  You never tried to stop, to look, to see that you’re exactly what you’re told to be.”
– Anti-Flag, “Their System Doesnt Work for You”

As with the post concentrating on corporate influence through operations in the Americas, the imposition of capitalism in Sub-Saharan Africa came through the manipulation of the CIA and the domestic political agenda rallied around anti-communism.  Though the US sensationalized the communist threat during the Cold War in order to exploit public fervor around intervention abroad, the same cannot be said about the US in Ethiopia in 1935.  Though the public agenda was opposed to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the large profit margins earned by the oil corporations in America not only subdued any embargoes or retaliatory actions by the US, but also encouraged Eisenhower to double shipments to Italy.  Endorsing the fascist regime in its colonialist expansion and undercutting the concept of democracy was clearly justified by the profits earned by the corporations dependent on natural resources, who also continue to govern this country’s foreign practices today.  The dependency on natural resources has driven America’s expansionist policies throughout the world, ruthlessly intervening in the internal life of dozens of nations to prevent them from choosing the leader they did want, or stop them from ousting one they didn’t.  The US has been importing  raw materials such as cobalt from Zaire and Zambia, chromium from Zimbabwe, uranium from South Africa, Namibia and Niger, bauxit from Guinea, and industrial diamonds from Angola, South Africa and Zaire.  Africa’s rich mineral resources have tempted and will continue to tempt Western economies in general and the US economy in particular because each of these minerals can add to their power potential.  Especially, the uranium from South Africa has been used by the US to build its nuclear potentials.

“You’ve heard it every day, since the first day of your life.  But you never stopped to think, what you heard was full of lies.  You can’t think just for a minute, can’t think just for a second.  Cause you’re nothing but a tool, whose thoughts are tailored and fashioned each night by the evening news.” – Anti-Flag, “Until It Happen to You”

The American cult of personality is defined by the materialistic ethics, made viable by the privatization of democracy by corporate business owners.  The leaders of the corporatocracy have organized a theocracy in which corporate interests reign supreme, managing the government expenditures to finance CIA operations into third world regions for the purpose of undercutting populist regimes to ensure their profit margins are secured for the next quarter.  So saying, the shareholders of the government stock are protected by the development of a capitalist monarchy, creating a structured society in which the elites are guaranteed their lifestyles at the expense of others.  A clear illustration of this exploitation is seen in blood diamonds and the investment of the American government into the corrupt dictator, Mobutu, to ensure the viability of the countries resources.  The popularly supporter Prime Minister of Congo, Lumumba, sought international aid in an endeavor to suppress civil strife by a succession movement in Katanga.  The US was the first country from which Lumumba requested help but Lumumba’s pan-Africanism and his vision of a united Congo gained him many enemies among the corporate elite in America, all of whom benefited from  the civil strife.  Therefore, Lumumba sought help from the USSR which further antagonized US anti-communist fervor.  Lumumba, for his part, not only denied being a communist, but said he found colonialism and communism to be equally deplorable.  Nevertheless, the CIA ordered his assassination but could not complete the job.  Instead, the CIA covertly funneled cash to Mobutu’s military group, who was then able to capture and execute the former Prime Minister.  Thereafter, Mobutu installed one of the most repressive and brutal military dictatorships in Africa with the help of CIA training and US corporate investment.  Because of their bilateral ties, US corporations were given access to the Congo’s minerals for more than 30 years.

“It’s the same today as then, as US tax dollars are spent to rid the native insurgence in Mexico and any other US corporate interests.  The 3rd world is a modern playground for multinational companies.  And the tax dollars we’re forced to pay fund these heartless US policies.   Their explanation: ‘it’s national interest, national security.'” – Anti-Flag, “Start and Stripes”

Because of the exploitation of resources, Mobutu’s regime began to fear reprimand from the people it continually repressed.  For these reasons, Mobutu began to limit western exploitation in order to preserve his own wealth and security.  In 1998, US military-trained leaders in Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich areas of the Congo.  The invaders installed illegal colonial-style governments which continue to receive millions of dollars in arms and military training from the US.  Their control of mineral rich areas allows western corporations, such as American Mineral Fields (AMF), to illegally rape the soil of its resources.  AMF landed exclusive exploration rights to an estimated 1.4 million tons of copper and 270,000 tons of cobalt.  San Francisco based engineering firm Bechtel Inc also drew up an inventory of the Congo’s mineral resources free of charge.  Betchel estimated that the Congo’s mineral ores alone are worth $157 billion dollars.  Through coltan production, the Rwandans and their allies are bringing in $20 million in revenue a month.  Rwanda’s diamond exports went from 166 carats in 1998 to 30,500 in 2000.  Uganda’s diamond exports jumped from approximately 1,500 carats to about 11,300.  The final destination for many of these conflict diamonds, is the US.

“A government untouchable by the people, run by the corporations of the world.  Enslaving mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.  Profits put before people.” – Anti-Flag, “No Border, No Nations”

Resource exploitation in Africa is not new, but the scale of agricultural ‘land grabbing’ in African nations is unprecedented, becoming the new colonization of the 21 Century.  Among the nations being decimated by state violence, funded by foreign corporations, is Nigeria.  The Nigerian military has carried out helicopter and gunboat attacks by land, air and sea on the oil-rich Niger Delta; reports have estimated casualty counts as high as in the thousands.  Nigerian military have carried out these attacks in an attempt to oust groups protesting decades of environmental exploitation, destruction and human rights violations.  As many as 30,000 civilians have been displaced without adequate food or water, and aid agencies have been barred from the region.  Major oil firms in the area, Shell and Chevron, have made record profits in recent years.  The US, home of the Royal Dutch’s subsidiary Shell Oil Company, located in Houston, Texas, imports almost 50% of Nigeria’s annual oil production.  Evidence has indicated that Shell has fomented civil unrest in Nigeria to protect its access to cheap oil.  In October 1990, Nigerian villagers occupied part of a Shell facility demanding compensation for the farm lands which had been destroyed by Shell.  A division manager at Shell Petroleum Development Company called the Nigerian military for assistance.  The military forces then fired on the villagers, killing some 80 people.

“This country’s flag flies as a corporate symbol.  This country’s flag strikes hearts with fear – cold fear!  This country’s flag represents oil interests.  The president wages an endless war so he can justify stealing fucking billions.” – Anti-Flag, “Gifts from America: With Love, the USA”

The Niger Delta region remains impoverished, with no schools, no health facilities, or basic infrastructure.  Most foods in the region is imported due to decades of contamination of the water and oil by the oil and gas companies in the region.  Environmental and human rights activists have, for years, documented atrocities on the part of oil companies and the military in the region. As the tactics of resistance groups have shifted from petition and protest to more proactive measures, attacks on pipelines and oil facilities have curtailed the flow of oil leaving the region.  Oil companies and the Pentagon. representing the military-industrial complex, are attempting to link these resistance groups to international terror networks in order to legitimize the use of US military to suppress these areas and secure their involvement.  The volatility surrounding oil installations in Nigeria, however, has been used by the US security establishment to justify military support in African oil production states, under the guide of helping Africans defend themselves against those who would hinder their engagement in supposed free trade.  The December 2006 invasion of Somalia was coordinated using US bases throughout the region.  The arrival of AFRICOM effectively reinforced efforts to replace the popular Islamic Courts Union of Somalia with oil-industry friendly Transitional Federal Government.

“They try to tell us a free we run this country, but nobody wants to talk about the CIA files,  files we can’t see.  “National security” concerns a whole country but we have no say.  Our “security” blamed for our restricted freedom.  A game the government plays.” – Anti-Flag, What You Don’t Know

In retrospect, the US Government is supporting atrocities occurring in Africa under the veil of national security, all in an effort to guarantee the investment of businesses and oil companies.  The US plays a large hand in the civil unrest happening in countries throughout Africa, a means of internal subversion to ensure the accessibility of minerals and oil.  It is a wide misconception that US involvement in the support of brutal regimes is non-existent.  It is with the help of the press corpse that the corporate elite are able to devise blanket stories in order to minimize the outcry of these foreign affairs, formally titles ‘perception management’.