Syria: Houla Massacre – The International Puzzle Box

The perpetuating Syrian conflict has become a diplomatic crisis due to its recent intensification resulting in the deaths of 100 dissidents in the town of Houla and once again isolating opposing members of the United Nations Security Council on methods of response.

Syria’s Conflict Continues to Polarize the International Community

The international response to the Syrian civil war has been a blitzkrieg of failed resolutions, condemning statements, economic sanctions, and failed observer missions, all of which have been knee-jerk reactions to the inability of the international community to authorize a join resolution of all UNSC member nations to respond with military force.  Despite the evident slaughter of men, women and children in Houla, both Russia and China reiterated their opposition to military intervention in Syria.  Their resolve is also paralleled by the remaining presence of Syrian diplomats in their countries, a juxtaposition to the position of 9 other Western nations that have expelled Syrian diplomats from their embassies.  Along with Japan, the US, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain have all retroactively announce the expulsion of Syrian diplomats in protest of the massacre in Houla.  Nevertheless, the show of force in the Western hemisphere amounts to nothing because of the rigid positions of China and Russia.  Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stated that Moscow will veto any Council resolution that authorizes foreign military interference in Syria.  Similarly, in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China opposes regime change by force in Syria. The massacre, another death toll to be added to the genocide, is another reflection of the failure of the Annan ceasefire deal.  Annan’s plan had called on the Syrian government to withdraw heavy weapons from civilian areas and abide by a truce with rebels.  President Assad had promised to abide by the regulations if the rebels were to cease their weapon smuggling and lay down their arms, a clause that clearly represented a security dilemma as the rebels would then be helpless.  Although many attacks have been carried out since the plan was laid out a month ago, the Houla massacre represents the peak of slaughter in the deteriorating county of Syria.  According to Herve Ladsous, pro-Assad gunmen known as the shabiha executed civilians and others were killed by artillery and tank fire, all of which was clearly the responsibility of the Syrian government.  So saying, the polarized positions of Russia and China have kept the full power and authority of the UN at bay, whilst allowing executions and genocide of thousands to continue under Assad.

“We took this action to expel Syrian diplomats in response to the massacre in the village of Houla – absolutely indefensible, vile, despicable massacre against innocent children, women, show at point-blank range by regime thuds, the shabiha, aided and abetted by the Iranians, who were actually bragging about it over the weekend.” – Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman.

In response to the climatic events, the European Union is likely to press the Human Rights Council to recommend the UNSC refer the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court.  Nevertheless, because China and Russia have the power to veto any UN sanctions against Syria, the widespread outrage is unlikely to translate into tough action on the Syrian government.  The dilemma emerging is that members of the international community want different things and do not share the same principles, though mass slaughter being wrong would be one to share.  Russia, China and many 3rd world nations are not victim to the same outrage and gun-ho attitudes of many Western nations.  The repression of a totalitarian regime is not so hard a concept for many to grasp, most especially considering that many nations were victim to repression from Western imperialism.  Despite the demise of the old Soviet empire, the of Putin still represents the hardness of the past.  Though it may be referred to as ugly and not nice, the regimes of the East stand because of their heavy-handedness, as being implemented by Assad to a much greater extent.  Moreover, the repression enforced in Russia during the first round of elections, considered to be rigged, represents elements of the Stalin-esque era.  Combined with the installment of loyal office-holders in the regime by Putin, the rigidity of the country to liberalization is evident.  So saying, Syria also represents to Russia its last stronghold in the Middle East and is also part of a lucrative bilateral trade agreement, thus making Russia very reluctant to lose such an ally.  In the US, the position of Russia and the massacre in Syria has entered the presidential race, with Republic candidate Romney calling Russia’s position heartless and ugly.  Romney has further called for a firmer and more assertive position by the US.  Nevertheless, as with all presidential statement, it is easy to blame and insult but hard to actually come up with an effective strategy or replacement.  The tools with which to approach Russia are not as clear and concise as the GOP candidate presumes.  Many have called for the isolation of Russia through moral and verbal attacks, something that will have as much of an effect as the Anna peace plan in Syria.

“We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives.  This massacre is the most unambiguous indictment to date of the Syrian government’s flagrant violations of its United Nations Security Council obligations.” – Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman

The ties between Russia and China are not easily isolated and cut, and thus attacking Russia with morality questions will undoubtedly lead to more rigidity and opposition by the Russian regime to any Western resolution towards Syria.  Moreover, the cohesive West is not as cemented in its mission towards Syria either.  Israel, a strong US ally in the Middle east, does not want to have  strong Syria nearby and welcomes the thought domestic divide and a weakened enemy.  Israel is surrounded by enemies and the likely repeal of its nonaggression treaty with Egypt, due to its rising Islamist party, will represent another enemy and tense relation for Israel.  Israel is also presented with the encroaching threat of a nuclear Iran, another powder keg tied to the Syrian conflict.  Iran is a strong ally to Assad and is responsible for providing much of Syria’s arms trade and troops, such as the trained shabiha thugs.  If the West were to intervene in Syria, not only would this divide the hemisphere of the West and East into extreme poles, but Iran will most likely drop nuclear talks that are set to resume and thus continue its uranium enrichment, possibly resulting in a volatile nuclear power in heart of the Middle East.  So saying, the cultural and religious divides of the Middle East present an unconquerable task of overcoming or appeasing.  Israel’s existence is already reason enough for many nations to start war, but if Turkey were to involve itself militarily on the behalf of the West, the divides between the Kurdish, Shi’ite and Sunni populations would ignite into a much larger international crisis.

“I made it clear that it is not an open-ended process and that time is coming, sooner rather than later, when the international community will need to make an assessment as to how things are going and what further actions or activities may be necessary.” – Kofi Annan, UN special envoy

In retrospect, the situation for the international community is a looming diplomatic and humanitarian crisis which is only perpetuated by their indecisiveness and polarized members.  The Western nations are attempting to involve themselves in the internal dynamics of domestic politics of a country miles away and in the throes of a civil war, a task nigh impossible without considering the opposition they face from their own member nations.

America: ‘A Republic, If You Can Keep It’ – Undemocratic Media

Given the responsibility to uphold the liberties and freedoms of the republic, the American system has become defined by a hyperreality in which truth and fiction have become indiscernible because of the corporate creation of the media medium that propagates an understanding embedded in a state of excited delirium and benightedness.

Mass Media Has Taken America From The People

The media system produces the public discourse, a discourse that circulates among the people and is consumed by society and its characteristics.  Through this medium, the public readily believes the sensationalist and bias views of the system and thus emerges a public opinion constructed by a media-produced headline.  Therefore, the manufacture of public opinion has always been an objective of those who rule, those in power.  The reality that has emerged in the American media system is one in which the propaganda machine dominates the base upon which decisions are made by citizens, taking away the liberties and freedoms of a democratic society.  Though this is no typical definition of theft, as their exists remnants of basic liberty and freedom demonstrated by the ability for Americans to make guided-political decisions governing the collective life, the extent of their power has been undermined and robbed.  The individual thought that governs their decisions, their discourse and their opinions have been infiltrated by media system owned by a handful of conservative capitalists.  The public conduct can be dominated or determined by force, but the events of the Arab Spring demonstrate that physical repression generates more complicated problems for the ruling powers than does domination through a more symbolic violence – the shaping of minds by the organized management of public opinion.  This is not to suggest that physical repression is above the American government, as the emerging police state is a testament to the state sponsored terrorist activities that have taken place domestically.  Nevertheless, the concentration of this post is to illustrate how the media system has become a central part of the undemocratic nature of modern society.  Similar to the thoughts expressed under ‘Mass Media‘, this blog will build from its predecessors.  “The Propaganda Machine” concentrated on the political and military control of media to justify policies, the attitude of the elites towards the Great Beast, as well as the creation of a sheepish public through said propaganda.  “Economic Sadism and Mass Media” concentrated on the ability of mass media and its corporate owners to target society with slogans and promises so as to subdue them into perpetuating subservience.  This post will concentrate on the loss of domestic involvement, political accountability, the loss of democracy in the American system,  the loss of the ability for each individual to carry equal power in determining the collective life, all of which is caused by the manufacturing of consent through lies propagated on mainstream media.

“The press scribble every half-truth spoke, then shoot it round the country like an April Fools joke.  Hype the nation for a Desert Storm love affair.  Wave the stars and striped like you just don’t care.” – Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse”

The creation of the American republic was intended to create a radical idea of a ruling nation based on the people, the ‘demos’.  There was meant to be an equal governance or accountability shared by all people.  This power was to be a common commodity for the people.  Communication can generate power, so if in a democracy everyone should be able to exercise power, it should be argued that the people should be able to govern over media and the publication of information.  Without said knowledge, the people are left in the dark and in confusion; hence, the elite consensus theory emerges, which argues that the people would readily join a bandwagon of any uniform political consensus.  This confusion, this lack of knowledge allows for the decision-making role to be solely in the hands of the elites.  So saying, the more confusion the more the people seek guidance from the emerging aristocracy, allowing for the peoples’ choice to be mutated into another asset of the elites.  The more confusion, the less ‘demos’.  This confusion is not inherent to communication however; rather, the confusion is propagated and generated.  Alternating ‘free speech’ for ‘freedom of noise’, the people are berated with a blitzkrieg of images and reports that leave them blind and broken.  Mass media communications is based on the presentation of partially factual stories framed inside socio-emotional story lines that juxtapose some foreign evil with patriotism and Christian fervor, both of which are upheld by capitalist backed politicians.  Being able to construct pubic fervor, to direct it, into a cohesive force has been the role of the media and its ‘informative noise’.  This confusion has become useful; it has allowed for social, economic, military and political responsibilities to go unheeded.  Confusion reduces complaints, reduces the accountability of politicians and it reduces the demands of the public, who sit complacent in deluded status quo.  Confusion has become particularly effective when the confused people never realize that they are being taken advantage of.  The involvement of the people has dwindled and instead of being a republic run by the masses, the republic has become a hallow puppeteer state run by business leaders and their Washington suits, to control and lead the masses like beasts.  The powers open to the people, to exercise their civil duties and enforce political accountability, has become another lost concept of the republic constructed by the founding fathers.

“Just take a look around the world and you’ll find that nearly all mass media are owned and controlled by a handful of conservative capitalists.  We must devise and implement alternative methods of distributing our news, our information, our ideas.” – Anti-Flag, “Underground Network”

Benjamin Franklin believed that the republic he and the founding fathers created was to exist in a form of pluralism, according to Miquel de Bustos, requiring the collective deliberation of all viewpoints existing in society.  In order to construct said informed public, the media systems must decentralize power and thus define the democratic state.  The free press is supposed to represent a mean to reach the democratic state, representing the right to freely express, comment and publish, the right of mas participation, political pluralism, diversity of opinion, and naturally some quality of information to be provided.  Nevertheless, increasingly processes of communication have been left in the hands of privatized markets making them commodities controlled by corporations.  This, in essence, is the conflicting embodiment of capitalism to democracy, the increasing commodification of a human fields, including information and communication, thus ridding the elements of democracy and establishing more so a plutocracy run by narrow business interests and opportunist politicians.  Mass media is regulated by the market, becoming based on point that there are companies that use communication to produce economic and political benefits for their owners by appealing to a particular group of people.  This has created social perversion, dividing the society into camps based on ideologies and principles spread on the evening news and anchored into the peoples’ heads.  This divide, most easily exemplified by the division of liberals behind MSNBC and conservatives behind FOX , has allowed for the government to freely reign domestically and internationally.  The media has removed the one impediment, the one obstacle, established by the founding fathers to regulate and hold the government accountable.  With the people divided, there is no fear of retribution because there will always exist a camp supporting said policies, ensured by a new form of slavery being proliferated by mass media.  In a developed society slavery is forbidden; one may not sell and buy people.  Yet, there still exists the opportunity to sell and purchase a portion of a characteristic of a person, such as their attention.  This has allowed media and its owners to target groups and buy their beliefs, thus creating a new herd to trample periodically in support of one or another element of the leadership.

“Social divisions encouraged by the few – few!  Those in power suckerin’ suckers like you – you! – as corporate welfare flows from troughs of the state – state! – big business takes more than their fair take – take!  But in the end it is suckers like you – you! – who buy that the poor are givin’ you the screw.” – Anti-Flag, “Watch the Right”

The people are indoctrinated into unquestionable loyal fodder for politicians and corporate leaders, spoon-feeding them fabrication after lie after fabrication to promote public beliefs that discourage and deactivate any attempt to transform the corporate controlled media toward a more democratic, decentralized society.  In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying news in the US.  It was argued that under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves.  The decision implied First Amendment rights belong to the employers, becoming a broad shield for them to hide behind.  Evidently, the public airwaves, once representing a tool for public discourse and non-biased information, have become a commodity and asset for corporations to influence.  This example demonstrates the propagation of fabricated news, sensationalist headlines, and lies to keep the people subdued and complicit to a system robbing them of their individual liberties and freedoms.  The bias towards hyperreality inherent in modern media is so rampant, the consumer-based populace only need turn on the TV to be exposed to the spin.  The hyperreality is easily seen in the sensationalist rhetoric of FOX and Glen Beck, both of whom seem adamant about demonizing Hugo Chavez, a leader repeatedly elected through democratic means and supported by over one and a half million voters in 2008.  For the lowest-income two-thirds of people in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez means health care, jobs, food and security in neighborhoods.  Along with lowering the unemployment to levels lower than that of the US, FOX has concentrated its efforts solely on providing an abundant source of negative Chavez news.  The presentation of this foreign evil is juxtaposed to the gilded conservative knight of Rush Limbaugh.  Rush Limbaugh, inside the corporate media, is a caricature of patriotism and Christian values.  That he lacks factual understandings of socio-political circumstances doesn’t matter in a hyperreal corporate media system.  His propagation of noise, however senseless, champions the cause of excited delirium of knowinglessness.  Rush Limbaugh once accused Paul Gusmorino of being a Marxist professor for his article “The Main Causes of the Great Depression”.  Gusmorino was in 10th grade when he wrote the piece in 1996, hardly a Marxist political economy professor. Nevertheless, the spin of the corporate media has succeeded in creating a “Truman Show” around Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck, allowing for the mass production of their nonsense.  Evidently, the cultural decline will continue as long as the spin that incited it, corporate media sensationalism, is present.

“Our thoughts and our lives controlled by pocket books of rich politicians.  Like a rich daddy warbux, they pay for the deaths of those who speak of revolution, while they keep us at each other’s throats.” – Anti-Flag, “Daddy Warbux””

The American people were given a republic, if they could keep it, but the manipulation of the media has resulted in a rule by an aristocracy as government agents are given various powers over the general public.  The media has undermined and eliminated the means given to the people, by the founding fathers, to hold the government accountable.  The media system of domination protects itself through confusion, the proliferation of noise to isolate and bewilder the people.  Walter Lippmann, former member of Wilson’s Committee on Public Information, stated that the media secures the intellectual solitude of the ‘bewildered masses’, controlling with propaganda those whose lives are entertained and incommunicado with other people.  Individual thought is a weapon against this form of ‘mind think’, a form of blind patriotism in which the people allow themselves to be led along by lies of the elites.  It is in this instance that the Police States of America is depicted, through the suppression and silencing of people with individual thought.  The power of the media organizes silence around issues that should not be known by citizens, limiting the accessibility of information and rescinding the freedoms of the American people.  The media system of the American societies is the central machine of the organized silence and noise.  It is the mechanism used to establish who will dominate the apparatus that makes noise, by guiding the public thought towards one or another corporate controlled candidate.  So saying, Mattelart and Murciano argue that a democratic media system is simply a system in which power is diluted, or where power, as such, does not exist.  Power is intended to be contained in all the elements but none of the elements alone has sole power.  This separation and balance, the institution so set up, has been dissolved by the totalitarian system emerging through media thought control, physical repression through the security apparatus, and a rigged power hierarchy.  The American system is one set up to protect its capitalist interests and ensure that domestic forces remain subservient and silent to the evident violations of their constitutional rights.  So saying, the republic crafted by the founding father has become a tyrannical institution driven by capitalist greed and given free reign because of the ineptitude of the masses, an ignorance and consent constructed by the media.

Iran: Nuclear Talks and the Russo-American Dilemma

The tense relations between Russia and the US, between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, brings rise to concerns over ongoing Iran nuclear talks, set to resume in Baghdad on May 23.

Iranian Nuclear Talks will Require Closer Russo-American Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a government dominated by loyalists, leaving hopes for reform slim and entrenching Kremlin’s over the economy’s commanding heights.  Along with Putin’s opting out of the G8 Summit, the tense relations between Russia and the US are worrisome for many due to the importance of a strong front being presented by Putin and Obama against nuclear proliferation in Iran.  With President Obama facing his reelection year, talks between the two nation’s will be scarce and wide-spaced, leaving little room for political gobbledygook, stressing substantial progress on relations that have already been strained by the Syrian civil war.  With Russia and America as the two former superpowers responsible for decades of nuclear standoff, they have also assumed the roles concerning nuclear development and proliferation.  America’s pursuit of hegemony has resulted in a staunch policy condemning countries seeking nuclear programs, demanding countries to disarm despite America’s own unwillingness to denuclearize.  So saying, President Obama’s position on an Iranian nuclear program is clear.  Obama has repudiated any intention of adopting deterrence of a nuclear Iran as an acceptable policy option.  Thus, such rigidity could result in an Iranian agreement to live up any resolve to acquire nuclear weapons; President Obama could retreat from his previously assumed rigidity; or there could be war.

“Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.” – Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader

War seems to be a drastic conclusion to draw, as all state leaders are assumed to be rational independent thinkers, yet Iran’s history does not suggest appeasement to be high on the agenda.  Nevertheless, Iran has shown signs of a renewed unwillingness to take seriously these talks between itself and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, America and Germany).  Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei has stated that the pursuit of nuclear weapons is considered a grace sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.  The supreme leader has also stated his ultimate goal is to make the state of Israel disappear, as well as to the combat the ‘Great Devil’ represented by the American nation.  The transitions from repressive isolation to willing nuclear talks stems largely from international sanctions imposed on the country in recent years, slowly constricting the economy over the past year.  With both the EU and the USA embargoing Iranian oil shipments, Iran’s oil sits in storage tanks.  Iran’s oil sector accounted for 60% of total government revenue, thus the vulnerability of the regime’s strength to said sanctions is apparent.  A dollar decline in the price of crude oil could reduce the government revenue by as much as $1 billion.  So saying, Iran’s intentions may be to purely seem wiling and cooperative so as to relieve itself from such crippling fiscal constraints.  So saying, most of the countries within the P5+1 remain highly skeptical of Iran’s true intentions and purposes.  Many believe that Iran is using the talks as a stalling tactics so as to buy time to produce the kind of highly enriched uranium necessary for bombs.  The tension of such a situation is very evident considering the danger this would present to America’s prime Middle Eastern ally, Israel, who has already stated its intention to use military force to ensure its security.

“I don’t think there is any question that the impact of this pressure played a role in Iran’s decision to come to the table.  The value of their currency, the rial, has dropped like a rock.” – David Cohen, Undersecretary of Treasury

Iran will seek bargaining leverage in the talks, seeking to drive a wedge between an already strenuous connected group of state leaders.  Iran will see to generate further tensions among its negotiating adversaries while maintaining a tight diplomatic unity of its own.  For this reason, the Russo-American relations must grow into a more coherent P5+1 force with which to deal with the Iranian situation.  With Sarkozy out, Francois Hollande is likely to be more accommodating then the hard-line Sarkozy.  Germany and Britain will rally around US but will do little in ways to provide leadership because of the hegemony represented by Russia and US in this area.  China has become more isolated in recent years, more fixated on its economic interests and need for oil, hence the growing tensions over the Spratly islands. So saying, Russia is the last significant player in the equation. Russia has grown skeptical of American diplomacy but many theorists suggest that it has grown concerned about a possible nuclear-armed Iran, thus more wiling to act accordingly.  With US and Russian relations frayed in the past because of American dominance and unstated aims in Libya, later exasperated by the Syrian civil war, the diplomatic ties between Russia and America will be easily torn asunder by Iranian leaders if not properly dealt with.

America: The Police State – 1984

Reserving the right to act unilaterally, including the unilateral use of military force, the police state has expanded its Orwellian tyranny upon the American masses in a successful coup of civil rights and humanity, installing a regime reminiscent of 1984.

Representing a Modern Day 1984 Regime, the American Police State has Seized Totalitarian Control

Coalescing into a government-run by the rule of law, the police state used the occasion of the terrorist atrocities of 9-11 to discipline its own population and abuse civil rights – even the right of citizenship – to secure greater control over American life.  Parallel to the darkest days of McCarthyism, the Bush administration claimed and exercised the right to declare people to be ‘enemy combatants’ or ‘suspected terrorists’ and to imprison them without charge or access to lawyers or family until the White House concedes that the ‘War on Terror’ has been successively concluded.  Conveniently, an enemy combatant can be anyone the US chooses to attack, with no credible evidence, as Washington concedes and thus illustrates the tyrannical power being established under false charges.  Superseding constitutional rights, the new assault on basic civil liberties established an empire of intelligence gathering and repressive action comparable to the foundation of all totalitarian governments, whether Nazi or Communist.  Wielding insurmountable power to quell even the slightest anti-government rally, the tradition of protest and dissent has fallen away into a conformist subservience to those in power.  The huddled masses, complicit and complacent, allow the government to seize all assets of modern society to further its goals of hegemony domestically and abroad, a goal fueled by corporate influence to safeguard their ability to behave as monopolistically as possible.  Exercising rigid and repressive control over social, economic and political life of the population, the American police state has dissolved any and all distinctions between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.  So saying, the corporate controlled government has essentially transformed law into a flexible living instrument to be bent to their ideals.  The Patriot Act was the first major erosion of American civil liberties.  Over the past decade this erosion has only deepened, including the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act and the signing of the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order signed by President Obama.  The NDAA now allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial any US citizen that the government labels a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism, thus expanding the definition of terrorism to include citizen activists.  The executive order authorizes widespread federal and military control of the national economy and resources during emergency and non-emergency conditions, as well as the right to install government-owned equipment in private industrial facilities.

“The government controls everything you do.  With police and Feds watching over you, you  try to stand against them and you’ll end up dead as your front door is smashed in by the ATF.  Police state in the USA, Fascism with a friendly face.” – Anti-Flag, “Police State in the USA”

The American populace has been restricted, their mobility and freedom put into question by police monitoring and enforcement so as to enforce political control outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.  Invoking a perpetual war, the government has created a pretext for subjecting the people to mass surveillance and invasive police searches.  Among the assets being utilized to propagate an unrelenting intrusion into the general public, is media.  To describe modern media as propaganda is to understate the extent to which conservative capitalists have seized control over the publishing of news. Parallel to the FBI, CIA, NSA and all assets of federal and state security, the media has become a source to propagate societal complacency, to proliferate a false sense of status quo.  The people have been ignorant of the fact that habeas corpus is no longer a legal protection in the US or that the US president can torture and kill American citizens.  Recent ‘Continuity of Government’ planning has removed constitutional protections and increased the militarization of civilian law enforcement.  Military troops are allowed to conduct police actions in the US cities, removing the local law enforcement which is to be responsible to local citizens.  The police state has mobilized its assets to sustain preparations for the possibility of martial law.  Another example is Operation Falcon, of which there has been 3 and have detained an estimated 10,000 dissidents.  Less than 10% of these people were reported to have any criminal records.  To date, the US Marshal’s office has issued no public statement as to whether the people arrested in Operation Falcon have been processed or released.  The US Marshal’s service has not yet disclosed the names of the people arrested in these massive police sweeps, nor what crimes they were accused.  The public has not been informed whether those detained were provided with due process of law, where they are now, or whether they have been abused while in custody.  In short, the operation appears to have been devised to enhance the power of the unitary executive by putting state and local law enforcement under federal supervision.

“You walk past an activist, who is talking on the street about political prisoners, locked up in your own home state.  And you think just for a minute, you think just a second.  Then you say, ‘That can’t be true!  Cause I live in the land of freedom, where no one gets the screw!'” – Anti-Flag, “Until It Happens to You”

A form of martial law already exists in the US and has been in place since shortly after the September 11 attacks when Bush issued Military Order Number Once, which empowered him to detain any non-citizen as an international terrorist or enemy combatant.  Today, that order extends to US citizens as well.  The dismissal of elementary human rights and needs has been endorsed by corporations, securing government contracts to evade constitutional boundaries and intrude upon the lives of suburban America.  Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced in 2006 that it has been awarded a $385 million contingency contact by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the US.  Each facility had the capability of detaining 5,000 people. Attorney General John Ashcroft supported the establishment of such facilities and expressed his desire to see these camps used for US citizens deemed to be ‘enemy combatants’, a term already described as ambiguous and government-defined dependent.  The contact of the Halliburton subsidiary is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan entitled Endgame, which sets as its goal the removal of all potential enemy combatants.  The plan corresponds to an earlier program discussed by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld under Reagan.  These man planned for the suspension of the Constitution for any ‘national security emergency’.   The police state has emerged as a living organism through which the US government can perpetuate its Orwellian regime upon the people.  Among its tools are the FBI, CIA and virtually every other agency given the authority to spy to defend Americans from foreign and domestic enemies.  These tools have all been used sooner or later to threaten civil liberties.  Nevertheless, a considerable threat to coveted constitutional rights is the American secret police network, the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU).  The LEIU links the intelligence squads of almost every major police force in the US and Canada.  The members are not answerable to voters, taxpayers, or elected officials.  Ex-members of the LEIU admit to illegal wiretapping, breaking and entering and spying on people to gather information for their files.  Clearly this serves as an evident depiction reminiscent of the Gestapo, KGB, or any other totalitarian network of illegal monitoring.

“When there are secrets that we don’t know, then the ideal they pass as freedom in this country is a fake.  When we are left with no right or no voice to choose, then we’re not living in a free and democratic state.” – Anti-Flag, “What You Don’t Know”

In retrospect, the totalitarian regime being mascaraed as democracy is proliferating a repressive and intrusive monitoring network that outpaces the worst civil liberty violations committed by past police states in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist Eastern Europe and even modern Communist China.  Amounting to an empire geared towards militarized actions both abroad and at home, the American police state has effectively cast out human rights and constitutional rights to further its policy agenda of perpetuating hegemony.  The only action possible seems to be a complete and total return to the social justice values of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, a necessary revolution for change to resist the privacy intrusions into domestic homes, police state in the commons and extrajudicial killings.

EU: Troubles with the Political Currency – Troubled from Creation

As Greece leaders meet to avert new elections, fears have been reinforced that the country is firmly on the path to bankruptcy and an exit from the Euro, a political currency that may see its own end soon.

The Euro Faces “Make it” or “Break it” Point.

The radical left-wing coalition leader, Alexis Tsipras, has declined an invitation by the Greek president to try to form an emergency government.  Italy faces greater debt and contraction under strict austerity constraints under Euro regulations.  Ireland faces a May 21 referendum asking the public to approve an EU treaty that aims to control nations’ annual deficits and longer-term debts, but the treaty ignores the competing need to stimulate growth and is now facing an increasingly euroskeptical populace.  Combined with Hollande’s far-left victory as France’s president and the ultra-left rise in Greece’s parliamentary elections, the events could force the European supranational entity to shift in favor of less austerity measures and greater investment in growth.  Even if the fiscal treaty is ratified by the minimum 12 nations required, it is likely to be an economic dead letter before it comes into force next year.  Its key goal is to bring deficit limits under the threat of ECB fines.  Once again, the main proponent is Chancellor Merkel and her CDU party.  Nevertheless, Merkel’s previously sound support structure seems to be cracking as the CDU party faced a heavy state election defeat in Germany’s most populous region.  With Britain disconnected from the EU and the major founders of the currency in turmoil, the future of the political currency seems rather bleak.  The EU powers that be, predominantly in Germany, remain in public denial about the real underlying reasons for the Eurozone crisis: the fault design of the Euro common currency, with no central coordination of debt funding.  The only solutions will require Chancellor Merkel and her uneasy electorate to accept the need for national debts to become European property, further imposition of supranational regulations into the independent banks and sovereign governments.

“We have to stay in the Euro.  I’ve lived the poverty of the Drachma and don’t want to go back.  Never! God help us.  They must cooperate or we’ll be destroyed, it will be chaos.  For once, they must care about us and not their chair.” – Maria Kampitsi, 70-year old Greek pensioner

In the 1990s, the continent’s political leaders believed that the division of a continent that so often torn by war were of the past, and that a single currency would bind the continent into a union.  Today, with Greek on the brink of bankruptcy – and Ireland, Italy and France deep in debt – Europe’s fiscal experiment faces extinction.  The problems of the past have come surging back, but even though talk about what’s wrong with the Euro focuses on complex matters such as national debt ratios, labor market reforms and pension protections, one fundamental problem is, comically, blaming Adolf Hitler.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a newly unified Germany was bent on leaving behind its recent division and the dark days of two World Wars.  Germany had to make sure the rest of Europe was aware of its peaceful intentions, thus it seemed agreeable to bind its own success with those of its neighbors.  Germany and France, the drivers of the Euro projects, pushed to be as inclusive as possible despite the evident risks.  Now, Germany recent leadership in strict fiscal measures and regulations has revived thoughts of Germany’s intentions of domination.  Nevertheless, the regulations initially installed by the supranational body were as strict, if not stricter, than what is being demanded now. The rules then, were strict and clear but were not adhered to.  The requirement was that no Nation must carry debt greater than 60% of their gross domestic product.  Now, Greece’s deb ratio is 165%, Italy’s is 120% and Ireland’s is 107%.  Even the powerhouses of France and Germany are above 80%.

“The first cut has released all the old demons.  We’re back to calling the Greeks lacy, the Italians shady, the British disconnected, and the German bent on domination.  It didn’t take long, did it?” – Richard Whitman, University of Kent in England

Coincidentally, the general entrance of Greece into the EU was based on falsified reports that spoke of its adherence to the fiscal requirements, meanwhile Greece’s economic situation then was already violating the GDP ratio.  It was also widely known that the Greek government had a reputation for not collecting taxes – $65 billion in back taxes are outstanding – and overall, Europeans regarded its economy as a mess.  Nonetheless, Greece was the birthplace of democracy, home to the Acropolis, the cradle of European civilization.  Greece’s entrance was sentimental and symbolic at best.  Greece is and was an extreme example of the problems facing the EU, but in general, the problem lies rooted in the fact that while sharing a single currency, individual nations would continue to handle their own tax and pension programs.  Thus, local issues superseded those of the Euro zone needs.  Like the decision concerning Greece’s entrance, many were largely political.  In 1998, Dutch officials warned Germany of the consequences of Italy’s entrance without further fiscal measures for regulation.  The officials were not willing to have Italy enter the union  To the Germans, no Rome equated to no Paris, which was not possible.  Another problem of the single currency is the polarity represented by the different economies.  The European Central Bank was established to regulate the common currency, to ensure that the currency could serve a booming Germany economy and a tanking Greek one.  It has to keep interest rates low to spur borrowing and growth in the south, while keeping rates high enough to avoid inflation in the north.

“The French even under Sarkozy had great reservations about Merkel’s focus on austerity, but they went along with it in hope they could extract  concessions in return.  With Sarkozy gone, Germany will be increasingly isolated.  Germany will eventually weaken its positions” – Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London

In retrospect, the EU is facing a critical challenge to its solidity that is not only represented by the fiscal crisis, but also a growing Euroskeptic populace and a continent-wide political shift towards the ultra-left.  The flexible and ambiguous political decisions  of the past that transformed the European community into a fiscal union must be done away with, and the nations most congregate to form a more perfect union that is monitored on every aspect by some supranational entity.  A total solution would involve a single fiscal policy but that would only constitute one part.  A total solution would have to address the inequities between national economies.

America: Pharmaceutical Oppression – Bastardizing the Children

The supposed free society, inherent to the American portrait, has been composed of the forced homogeneity of social aspects that has been accomplished by the repression of free thought and creativity through medicinal oppression, a system relying on false authority and arrogance to inject the masses with chemicals and toxins that leave them mindless and vulnerable to social manipulation.

The Pharmaceutical Corporations Have Poisoned the Revolutionary Spirit of Children

The pharmaceutical industry, largely governed by financial interest, has propagated a system of systemic corruption that allows for a polyarchy of greedy and manipulative persons to reign unrestricted influence on the laws governing the medical fields, controlling what is to be accepted and what is not.  Categorizing the drive for freedom and change as social chaos, the government funds its medical facilities through borrowed dollars to begin their inhumane experiments into medicinal oppression, thought control and attitude adjustment.  Resulting in ranks of mindless state tools indoctrinated by force into a system of unquestionable loyalty, a system of suits and ties, a system of 9-5 paper-pushing employees, the government succeeds in transforming a sea of individuals into people imprisoned in their own minds.  Under lock and key, the people have fallen into the senseless notion that freedom of expression, freedom to be oneself, is barbaric and backward.  Subjecting the people to a constant stream of drugs and toxins that maintain their mindless state of contentment, the system has ensured their hold on the people.  This existence of an ever-present threat has driven many to give in, live a life on their knees, allowing the system to tell them on how to think, how to live and how to work.  This system has targeted all aspects of humanity, has transcended borders of human rights and civil liberties, and yet no barrier or resistance has stood to impede it.  The medicinal oppression has gone so far as target the youth, the newly born children of the American nation and subjugate them to tests and experiments to ensure their successful inception into a freedomless existence.  The oppression has targeted those with ADHD, OCD, ADD, etc with an onslaught of drugs and disabling treatments to ensure their compliance forevermore. Labeling them as different and ‘special’ the system bastardizes the children, forcing them into a life of self-hatred and doubt.  Rather than stand against such injustice, such a grave infraction of humanity, the people have conceded their morals and ethics.  The people have stood by as their children are driven to believe the lies of their imperfections, of their problems, of their ability to never fit in and amount to something.  Leaving them self-hating and scared, the industries has ensured that their radiance, their vibrant energies of ingenuity and imagination, will not impede their gradual mechanisms to enslave the population into a conformed state of mind.

“We are the lost, we are the dead and gone, the seldom seen.  We are the helpless and the hopeless that no one wants to see.” – Anti-Flag, “We are the Lost”

The children are enslaved by drugs that have traveled from the streets to grade school, being subjugated into this ideology in which they must live a life of servitude to the bottomless pharmaceutical bottles, bottles containing pills that chain their creativity and their revolutionary energy.  They have become slaves for being born with an attitude of care, compassion and energy, all of which are aspects of society that have been exterminated by the gradual poisoning of thought.  Leaving them insecure and alone, the children are alienated from any concept of self and their depression only worsens.  With 16% of the American population diagnosed with clinical depression at least 1 time in their lives, the hopelessness of the masses has become evident.  The children are born into a community with 10 foot stone walls built around it, a society that lives by the sword and thus to its blade are they condemned.  Their dreams have been orphaned by the poison proliferated in their bodies by FDA approved drugs, a betrayal that spans the lives of hundreds of ruined individuals.  Among the debilitating practices being sponsored by approved medical regulations and industries is psychiatry.  A Nazi-esque torture inflicted on human beings, the system has based its justification on severely faulty scientific methodology.  In the name of help, it has brutalized hundreds of thousands of individuals, hacking at their brains, searing them with electricity or numbing them with drugs.  It has left in its wake shattered lives, ruined bodies and even the dead.  Psychiatry has become another example of an instance of unrestrained thirst for power.  Psychiatric ‘treatments’ such as ECT, lobotomy, and powerful psychotropic drugs are barbaric.  The problems fabricated by the system are defined and redefined, baring no meaning in the end except to demean and belittle the people into a sense of need, desperation and dependency on the system.  Greed, fraud and profiteering have replaced the care and compassion that existed in the medical field.  Rather than change, they continue to choose profit over the people, leaving them on street corners with cyanide and razor blades.  Evidently, medicinal oppression has become another asset of the American police state to fuel the ongoing Orwellian tyranny, indoctrinating the people into a manufactured consent that individuality and free thought are anarchistic rhetoric intended to undermine the security of their suburban lifestyles.

“Like a ghost, emptiness haunted his years.  Still his heart was made nothing less than good.  Insecure narration in his head, something less than schizophrenia creeping him with every move that he makes, breath he takes.  A beautiful walk alone, to his empty home, where he’ll lay and he’ll sleep by himself.” – Anti-Flag, “Go West”

As victims themselves, the people of the state observe as the generations are forcefully raped of their uniqueness, of aspects of distinction, by a pharmaceutical industry protected by the law.  So saying, the masses are a conformed tool that obeys the rules and guidelines set before them.  They have been led to believe that their future is defined by conformist behavior, complicity going along with the pathway chosen for them.  They have fallen into line on this conveyor belt that shuffles them towards their cubicles and computers, jobs of no meaning or sustenance, but rather jobs that ensure the perpetuation of the poisonous system.  This behavior and mindlessness leads them to be afraid of those truly gifted with insight, gifted with aspirations of their own making.  They are incredulous of the individualism therein exposed, believing the lies of the state-run media that propagates the lies from the pharmaceutical facilities that state ‘mental illness’, ’emotional instability’, ‘birth-defect’ and other nonsensical conclusions utilized for the sole purpose of oppression of said individualism.  They immediately grasp the acronyms and/or diagnosis and affiliate it with something inherently wrong, something that should not be assimilated into society.  Drugged and subjected to endless berating of their inabilities and imperfections, the hopes symbolized by their glistening eyes, cheerful laughs, and boundless energy is cast into the smoke along with the testaments of malpractice.  The masses have buckled under the social weight by adhering to laws that they had no consultation in, thus extinguishing the very fire of individuality.  The populace has been subjected to laws governing what is right and what is wrong by the so-called protectors of the moral majority, the politicians that have been bought and bribed by the corrupt turncoats and killers working in the pharmaceutical corporations.   From a nation under God, the children feel it’s love like a cattle prod.  They are born free and yet they still are hated and viewed with disdain for having an energy and ambiance the people would crave for.  They represent a dying legacy of an unstoppable force, of a vibrancy that would not be suppressed.  Yet, with the approval of the government and the compliance of the deluded masses, these soldiers of progress are subdued and drugged into dulled beings.  They become more lost souls among the millions of other laborers that maintain the American machine, that maintain the glorious image of equality and freedom for all.

“Every day we’ve been taught to follow.  Every day lettered to live one way.  There is no one left to acknowledge, there is nothing left to say.” – Anti-Flag, “The Smartest Bomb”

In retrospect, the system being propagated by the pharmaceutical corporations is one that first bastardizes the children and leaves them believing there is something wrong with them that will keep them apart from society.  Second, it convinces the great beast to conform to this system and perpetuate this isolation and hopelessness experienced by these orphans of the American dream. These children are amazing individuals that bring hope and joy to the world through their energy, unique outlooks and overt optimism and yet the system mutilates their personalities, treats them like a hazard to society.  The system has returned to an era of discrimination and hatred, a hatred of anything different and an effective means to oppress and contain that ‘contagion’ so as to keep it from blossoming into something great.  These children are orphaned by labels, by a word that convinces people that they are automatically hopeless and that these children will remain a burden to society.  ADHD, OCD, ADD, Autism, ODD, etc have become disorders, a word that evinces the belief that they represent a being standing apart from conformed behavior, stand apart from what has been institutionalized as acceptable; yet, these people contain with themselves a vibrancy and radiance birthed from an energy and optimism that gives hope to new ideas and aspirations that can combat the theocratic regime being bolstered by the mutilation of pharmaceutical oppression.

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Author’s Note:  Similar to the former post on ‘Self-Mutilation, the Marketing Disease’, this blog represents my perspective on the delusion being propagated by a corrupt system, a system not reflective of the truth.  This system stands erect, believing itself the judge, jury and executioner of many of the dreams and aspirations of this portion of society that it (the system) sees as medically impaired.  They throw labels at these vibrant youths, leaving them alienated among friends and hopeless to seek help because the rest of society has been homogenized into a similar belief: these kids are a burden, these kids will never amount to something, these kids are inflicted with something wrong.  None of this is true.  This system has proliferated a methodology that, to me, is complete and utter nonsense.  If we are to represent a land of the free and equal, why is it that we openly disdain a new perspective, a new dream, a new hope that is symbolized by so many of these children.  Nevertheless, this nation of greedy capitalists and hypocritical elites have formed a junta to which they control all assets and are able to propagate their beliefs.  If we fall into this belief system, then we are bastardizing our children and our future.   Once again, this insanity must come to an end.

Greece: Left-Wing Party Coalition and Departure from Euro

Following the Greece elections, Greece’s left-wing party Syriza has been given the opportunity to construct a coalition government after the conservative New Democracy party, given the same opportunity, gave up within a few hours.

Tsipras’ Political Base Threatens the Global Financial System

The leader of Greece’s left-wing party Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, seeks to form a new government on the base of rejecting all EU and IMF-backed austerity measures.  Tsipras has 3 days to reach a coalition deal and has told the two major parties to end their support for the austerity measures if they want to take part in the government.  With the election of Hollande in France in favor of conservative Sarkozy, the shift in the  political atmosphere following the Eurozone crisis is becoming evident.   It also bodes ill for the future of the stability of the union as the socialist victories represent a drawback from EU credibility about its ability to manage the supranational federation. Tsipras plan includes cancellation of sever budget-cutting measures forced on the country by international lenders, plans that ensure its survival from budget failure.  This proposal would result in Greece exiting the Eurozone, a reality that has scared investors and markets worldwide and has dropped stocks dramatically.  Though rumors of Greece dropping out of the Euro have been discussed since the beginning of the perpetuating debt crisis, Greece will probably leave the Euro as soon as next month as the government runs out of cash and European institutions fail to lend it more. The critical attitudes of Tsipras have not helped the situation either; rather, Tsipras demanded an examination of Greece’s still massive debt and a moratorium on repayment of the part that is ‘onerous’, statements that drove Greek shares down another 3.6% from the 7% loss of Monday.  Although the public vehemently opposed the conservative party for its pro-austerity basis, it is unlikely Tsipras’ anti-austerity base will form a coalition either.

“The pro-bailout parties no longer have a majority in parliament to vote in a majority in parliament to vote in a destructive measures for the Greek people.  The popular mandate clearly renders the bailout agreement invalid.” – Alexis Tsipras, head of left-wing party Syriza

The Greek government hangs on a precipice, with Tsipras having 3 days to form a government.  Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga refused to meet with him in person, only talking to him on the phone about possible party agreements.  Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left, which splintered from Syriza in 2010, told Tsipras that he needed the support of more than just the left.  Backing the hodgepodge of parties from the Stalinist left to the neo-Nazi right, the public is as divided as the political infrastructure.  Thus, it has become widely expected that in June the final decision will likely fall to a cross-party caretaker government that may be formed in the next few days to lead the country to fresh elections.  The financial chaos has sparked huge social unrest  in Greece and led to a deep mistrust of the parties considered to be the architects of austerity, but not unity is found on the issue of who should replace said parties.  I the country hopes to continue having a running government, it requires billions of Euros in further austerity cuts in June and the country would require a 30 billion Euro installment in EU-IMF funds, funds that would not be received under Tsipras’ plans.  So saying, there does exist a dilemma between the political proposals and practicality of the decisions being made.  In response to the volatility of the continent-wide elections, the European Commission has stated that the country leaders would be expected to abide by the terms of a bailout program mean to avoid a crippling financial meltdown.

“Mr. Tsipras is doing everything to prevent a government being formed.  Nothing can be done if we leave the Euro, because the country’s catastrophe would be certain and unprecedented.  He is asking me to place my signature on the destruction of Greece – and that I will not do.” – Antonis Samaras, head of the winning conservative New Democracy party

In retrospect, the deadline for the formation of a new government is May 17.  The chance to form a coalition will pass in turn to every party, in order of the current election results.  In the event that no party can form a coalition, new elections will be called.  Greece’s potential withdrawal from the Euro could have drastic consequences for the country which would have no chance of fiscal re-cooperation without the life line that has essentially been afforded to it by the EU.  Moreover, its withdrawal would hold consequences for the EU’s credibility and the stability of the Euro, a common currency for the 17 member-states.