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Barrel Bomb: the Cataclysmic Close of Campaign 2016

NOVEMBER 3, 2016  by CHRIS FLOYD

Well, here we are: at the bottom of the barrel under forty feet of slag. In a few days’ time, we’ll know our fate: the five-alarm fire of Trump Rule (oh, how those police unions are chomping at the bit!) or the Clinton Age of Hyper-War (oh, how those neocons are chomping at the bit!). In either case, the entrenched coagulation of corporate interests and war profiteers that have strangled the peace, prosperity and prospects of the American people will not be budged an inch. The change that people are so desperately hungry for — so hungry that that some of them might well elect an Establishment insider whose sinister clowning makes him appear to be a ‘rebel’ — will not come. Thus their bitterness will grow deeper, more sour, erupting more and more often in physical violence: from militarized police against protestors, from Trump-empowered racists (if he wins or loses), from extremist militias, from angry, maddened people on every side. And of course there will be more — much more — of the horrific, never-ending, globe-spanning violence of the bipartisan Terror War that churns on and on, no matter who is sitting temporarily in the White House.

There’s no use in pretending that’s not what we face. But there’s also no use in pretending that this situation is somehow sui generis, some terribly unlucky conflation of unforeseen circumstances coming together at this particular time. It is in fact the culmination and embodiment of the deliberate choices of the most powerful forces in society: the choices to enrich themselves beyond all reason and extend their military and economic dominance over the earth.

It doesn’t matter that many if not most of the practitioners and functionaries of this system “believe” in its rightness. It doesn’t matter that brutal neoliberal nostrums and extremist imperial notions have become religious dogmas for those who see themselves as the “meritocracy.” It doesn’t matter if the leaders and factotums genuinely believe in the “exceptionalism” they preach or if they are cynical power-seekers. It doesn’t matter if they actually believe their rapacious financial machinations are reflections of the “natural law” of the “the market” that will eventually benefit all, or if they know themselves to be what they really are: ugly souls disfigured by greed. The end result has been the same: a long series of deliberate choices by a bipartisan elite that have hollowed out the lives and communities and futures of millions of Americans, and created a living hell of war, ruin and hatred over much of the earth.

This is a system that has delegitimized itself, a system that has undermined its own institutions. Through its own actions, it has rotted out the foundations of trust and reason which once upheld it. Some might say, “Oh, but there’s been a decades-long, concentrated effort by right-wing billionaires and corporate forces to foment ideological and religious extremism to undermine the legitimacy of secular government, which might restrict their profiteering or let more people have a share in power.” And that’s true. But it’s been accompanied at every step by the collusion and cowardice of the putative opposition. The so-called New Democrats, exemplified by the Clintons, jettisoned concern for the common good to embrace “centrist” and “technocratic” policies: i.e., to adopt the neoliberal dogma that unbridled pursuit of private profit by a connected elites will somehow, someday, lead to general prosperity. The idea that the party should fight to improve the lives of ordinary people in the here and now, to fight for their quality of life in a genuine, substantive way, came to be seen as old-hat, a quaint and fusty notion of has-beens and dreamers who didn’t understand the way the world really worked. A true, savvy “moderate” knows you must compromise every ideal, show yourself to be a willing and avid servant of the monied interests and the militarists, in order to gain power so you can … make a few cosmetic changes around the edges, a few little social improvements here and there (but only — of course! — in “partnership” with private interests), but never, ever challenge the system at its core.

This is the only deal in town: outright, unvarnished right-wing rule, or simpering, cowardly “moderate” management of a violent, rapacious system. That’s been the choice on offer since 1976. That’s the choice on offer today. The only difference is that the system has metastasized to a monstrous degree over the years: lacking any genuine opposition, the system has grown more violent, more rapacious.
Establishment collusion — and Democratic cowardice — finally and completely degraded and delegitimized the American electoral process 16 years ago, when the Supreme Court — with two members who had direct family ties to the Bush campaign — stopped a recount that would have resulted in the actual winner of the election to take office. This outrageous action was accepted by every single organ and institution of the American system. (With the momentary exception of the Black Congressional Caucus, whose members tried, in vain, to get a single Democratic senator to challenge the result.) Instead, Americans were encouraged to applaud the fact that power had changed hands “without tanks in the street.” That is, we were to celebrate that an actual coup d’etat had taken place before our eyes without the slightest show of resistance.

Once in place, the coup regime — staffed at the highest levels by extremists who a year before had publicly called for a vast militarization of American policy and society, even if the public had to be “galvanized” by “a new Pearl Harbor” — led the nation into a disastrous war based on false pretenses, a vast crime that not only killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people but has led directly to unbridled turmoil, extremism, conflict and corruption around the world. The elite-supported coup regime instituted torture programs and death squads, and launched an orgy of war profiteering unprecedented in world history. The regime then presided over the worst economic collapse in generations.

Not a single member of the regime was ever tried — or even investigated, at even the most preliminary level — for a single crime committed during its time in power. There were no high-profile Congressional investigations into the hideous carnage and ruin and instability they wrought; not even a “Chilcot Commission” into the origins of the war, as the UK belatedly launched. Instead the regime’s leaders and top factotums were heaped with honors and wealth. Today their endorsement is eagerly sought — and gained — by the “progressive” Democratic candidate for president.

In 2008, the desperate electorate turned to a figure presented to them as an outsider who would at last bring real change. He had the trappings of difference — a black man with a Muslim name, who spoke eloquently of peace and social justice, who most people thought was far to the left but voted for him anyway. But Barack Obama was of course a meritocratic “centrist” to his core. Riding an enormous wave of popularity, and a strong Congressional majority, he proceeded to … bail out Wall Street fraudsters and finaglers with tax money and create a health care system based on the plan of a rightwing think-tank that prioritized corporate profit — and probably killed the chance for a genuinely public health care system for generations, if not for good. He also doubled down on the Terror War, expanding it to more countries, extended Bush’s death squads, helped destroy nations like Libya and Yemen (thus spawning more chaos and terror), expanded illegal surveillance of the populace (and the world) to an extent beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi or KGB. And after saving Big Money from itself and securing the guaranteed profits of the healthcare-insurance corporate complex, he spent most of his time on the domestic front trying to strike a “grand bargain” with Republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare.

Again, all hopes of any real change were thwarted. So now the nation swings from being ready to embrace a perceived leftist to the brink of voting in a bellicose rightist as it seeks the genuine change no one will give them. Of course, after the scorched-earth tactics of bipartisan neoliberalism and the inevitable moral degradation and brutalization that comes from year after year after year of vicious aggressive war, the choice for Trump is more nihilistic. It’s as if people believe positive change is no longer possible — so let’s tear everything down and see what happens. (This is the actual, open philosophy of the Breitbart gang, who are now directing Trump’s campaign.)

Even if Clinton wins, this nihilism will still be rampant. And given that she happily embodies the bipartisan Establishment now roundly despised on all sides for its many depredations, the nihilism will grow even worse — especially as she has given no indication whatsoever that she will even try to make substantive changes in the neoliberal-militarist system that is strangling us. Quite the contrary.
So yes, this has been a campaign like no other — but mostly because it has brought the systematic decay of the Republic into the sharpest possible relief, and has shown, more clearly than before, that the neoliberal-militarist ascendency offers no hope for a better life, a better world; indeed, that it offers nothing at all — except more violence, more bitterness, more ruin, more degradation for us all.
Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

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No Mention Here In the USA Of Haitians Forced to Flee Dominican Republic for Haiti

NB Commentary: Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my head around the dichotomy that the US calls foreign policy. On one hand they support “freedom fighters” who want to dispose of an evil dictator, on the other hand they prop up evil dictators and guarantee them long life and protection.
In the case of immigration they want to take in Syrians, whom they have no idea what type of social ills they may bring to this country or how many of them may be disgruntled refugees ready to be radicalized, and yet, not far away to the south of the US are poor and starving people, not terrorist but folks who are suffering unfathomable obscenity due to their position on top of tremendous, gas, oil and various other mineral reserves. I am so struck by this and often find myself in a quandary to make sense of it.
Then like clockwork, the little voice inside my head reminds me of what the geopolitical priority of the US & NATO are really based on. And while these “facts” may give way to lesser confusion, it still boggles my mind.

Posted by El-Bull on December 14, 2015 at 5:04am

Along this arid strip of borderland, the river brings life. Its languid waters are used to cook the food, quench the thirst and bathe the bodies of thousands of Haitian migrants who have poured onto its banks from the Dominican Republic, fleeing threats of violence and deportation.
These days, the river also brings death. Horrid sanitation has led to a cholera outbreak in the camps, infecting and killing people who spilled over the border in recent months in hopes of finding refuge here. 
Nearly 3,000 people have arrived in the makeshift camps since the spring, leaving the Dominican Republic by force or by fear after its government began a crackdown on illegal migrants. Some, born in the Dominican Republic but unable to prove it, cannot even speak French or Creole, Haiti’s main languages, showing how wide a net the Dominican government has cast.

    Haitian officials have done almost nothing to support them. The population is scattered across the drought-racked southwest border, mostly barren plains. Families of eight sleep in tents fashioned from sticks and cardboard. They drink river water, struggle to find food, and make do without toilets or medical attention.

    Families wash clothes in the river that runs by Tête à l’Eau, Haiti, where many who fled the Dominican Republic have settled. CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times
    Now stateless, the refugees exist in the literal and figurative space between two nations that, along with their island, share a history steeped in hostility. Some of the camps were created decades ago, during another iteration of their troubled pasts, but had long since been abandoned. Now, in a new cycle of tension between the nations, they are packed to capacity once again.
    The plight along the border is reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of the devastating 2010 earthquake, which claimed the lives of 100,000 to 316,000 Haitians and summoned a wave of billions of dollars in aid. Even today, more than 60,000 displaced people still reside in tent cities around the country.
    Only this time, the upheaval is man-made, the result of the policies of the Dominican Republic and the seeming indifference of the Haitian government. The authorities in Haiti do not even formally recognize that the camps exist.
    “I haven’t felt normal since my son died,” said David Toussaint, 55, whose 9-year-old boy was one of at least 10 people in the camps to die of cholera. Officials say more than 100 people have been infected.
    He lifted himself from a bed his family built in their tent, covered with a frayed tarp. He spends his days there, immobilized by grief. An acrid smell filled the hot air as dust swirled into the tent, cloaking everything.
    “This is no way to live,” he said.
    When the Dominican government announced that all migrants in the country illegally had to register this June, mass deportations were feared. Those later rounded up were taken largely from remote areas, and bused quietly to border crossings. In total, more than 10,000 people were expelled officially, with nearly another 10,000 people claiming to have been kicked out as well, according to the International Organization for Migration.
    But in this climate of fear, an even bigger phenomenon emerged: Tens of thousands of people of Haitian descent decided to leave the Dominican Republic on their own, rather than risk deportation, including some who were born on Dominican soil and knew nothing of Haiti.  
    Why Is Haiti So Poor
    Published on Mar 5, 2013
    Hugo Chavez shares thoughts of why Haiti is poor. The following is a transcript of the speech given prior to Hugo Chavez’s death on March 05, 2013. Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías born on July 28, 1954 – passed away on March 5, 2013)


    Vive Haiti!
    Haiti, the Black Jacobins, that of Toussaint Louverture.
    Haiti that of Pétion.
    Haiti, from where Miranda arrived with our flag, it, and a dream of several years, and a project: the South American revolution.
    Haiti, that of Bolivar.
    Haiti, that of the expeditions of Los Cayos, sister Haiti, Haiti, painful reality.
    Fidel Castro, as always, continues to launch his thoughts, his ideas, his contributions to the world in which we live. And this afternoon I received – this morning, rather – the reflections of Fidel, his most recent.
    Fidel said, permit me to read some of these deep thoughts of our companion, comrade, commander.
    I read: “The tragedy excites, in good faith, a lot of people, specially because of its natural character. But very few of them stop and ask the question: why Haiti is a poor country?
    Why does the population depend almost 50% on orders sent from the outside by its families.
    Why not also analyze the realities that led to the current situation of Haiti and its enormous suffering? “
    I would add that this painful moment seems opportune to reflect and get to the bottom of things: why haiti is so poor?
    Why is there so much misery in Haiti?
    I continue reading Fidel:
    “The most curious in this story is that nobody said a word to remember that Haiti was the first country in which enslaved Africans 400,000 of them, trafficked by Europeans, rose against white owners 30,000 plantation sugar cane and coffee, fulfilling the first great social revolution of our hemisphere. Pages of unsurpassable glory could be written around the earth.
    The most eminent general was defeated, Napoleon, out there. Haiti is the net product colonialism. Haiti is the net product of colonialism and imperialism, of more than a century of use of its human resources in the hardest work, of military interventions and the extraction of its wealth.
    This historical oblivion is not so serious to the reality which is that Haiti is the shame for our time, in a world where those prevail on the exploitation and plundering of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the planet. “
    And then continues in Fidel and his reflections by launching rays of light that lives for this moment humanity. But it is by here we start:
    “Haiti is a net product of colonialism. Haiti is a product of imperialism. As not only will complete colonialism, as not only will complete imperialism, and I go further: as not only will complete capitalism, we have situations and people living the painful situation facing Haiti.”
    I confess my personal experience, when several years, for the first time, we visited Haiti. I confess, I wanted to cry myself. With one of my companions, I went to see these people in the street, with elation, hope, magic and misery, and I remembered a phrase that came out of the soul, I told my companion nearest the descent of a van – we wanted to walk for a while and we ended up running into a street – I told him: look, mate, the gates of hell, inhabited by black angels.
    Because it is a people full of it: this is an angelic people.
    I ratify what President Sylia has decreed: while our commitment to our people, all the people, the Venezuelan people are with Haiti, the Bolivarian revolution is with the people of Haiti, with its pain, with its tragedy, with its hope.
    — in Caracas, Distrito Federal.

    INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARY
    Border Tensions Are on the Rise Between Haiti and the Dominican Republic
    James M. Roberts / October 02, 2015 / 
    Excerpt: “This summer, officials in the Dominican Republic (DR) began deporting Haitian migrants and Dominican-born but undocumented people of Haitian descent.That decision has received wide attention, and the DR government of Danilo Medina has been criticized by human rights activists.
    For some Haitians, the deportation order invoked memories of the notoriousParsley Massacre of 1937, when Dominican President Trujillo ordered troops to kill thousands of Haitian migrants living along the border of the two countries.
    The rekindling of old racial conflicts under the new DR deportation policy may be a populist attempt to stoke support during stagnant economic times in advance of 2016 presidential election in the DR. The Obama administration has reportedly leaned heavily on Medina’s government to ease the deportation order.”

    NB Commentary: Paris attacks shaping the G20 Summit meeting

    Paris attacks shaping the G20 Summit meeting

    Okay, so now it’s Daesh?? why? Because ISIS really stands for Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. So it got downgraded to IS, and now Daesh. I keep telling them, they don’t need to re-invent the wheel. And they keep trying to convince us that this thing, this quagmire can be won. and now they trying to get everybody scared, looking under their beds for terrorists.

    What does Daesh mean? ISIS ‘threatens to cut out the tongues’ of anyone using this word

    Excerpt: “In January this year, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that he would begin referring to the Islamic State group by this name, saying: “Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive appeal to me.”It seems that other world leaders have now followed suit, with French president Francois Hollande and the USA’s secretary of state John Kerry both using the term.According to NBC, ISIS has reportedly threatened to ‘cut out the tongues’ of anyone it hears using the term.Evan Kohlmann, a national security analyst, told NBC: “It’s a derogatory term and not something people should use even if you dislike them.”

    Cognitive dissonance at the helm of this campaign or have the Psychopaths of the world been unleashed?

    How is it that the dots are not being connected? When you bomb somebody’s home, town, city, country, infrastructure, where are they supposed to go? What are they supposed to do. Stay there and risk loosing their lives?

    The War on Terror is waged on all people civilians and militants alike. No longer is it an army against another army or a country against another country, we are looking at what I would call, tribal wars, where people are fighting people simply because they have decided that the “PEOPLE” are the enemy.

    And to legitimize this operation they arm the rebels so they rebels can have something to fight back with? It is pure insanity and beyond comprehension that any of this could make any sense to anyone except another Psychopath!

    And while we are at it, let’s create an even worse crisis for the refugees fleeing Syria as Turkey outright bombs with western and US back ammo. Turkey, under the bidding of the US has further destabilized its own sovereignty wanting so desperately to be an EU member while endangering the very lives of its own citizens. So as a show of force and strength it will send 10 thousand troops to the border to keep the very people they disenfranchised out of Turkey. Can we scream TOTAL FAIL??

    I would like to know who their military strategist is who comes up with these plans, do they have any clue about the “blowback” this can create? Had they even thought about the already looming refugee crisis happening as a result of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, where did they think the people of Syria who want to live their lives in peace where going to go when their lives and livelihoods have been totally usurped from them? Did they think they could kill off all the civilians and just have the issue of mass graves instead of mass tent cities lining their Turkish borders.

    Turkey has geo-politically placed itself inside a cesspool with a bunch of folks who could care less about Turkish interests and are more concerned with their own hegemony in the so-called Middle East.

    Petro-Politics = Russian military operation in Syria bolsters oil market, domestic stocks

    NANA’S COMMENTARY

    LOL, it’s all about the war, the fighting, the blood and the gore that makes the stocks rise and the blood boil in delirium. Funny how war makes the cash registers ring and the banksters happy, they don’t care who does it, just do it!! what a mad, mad, mad world we live in.

    Not to mention this has gone on far too long and those folks are jumping ship, thousands at a time and finding their way into Europe.

    And the reality is, when the war comes home, somebody says, wth??? We thought they would just kill them all off there, and have mass graves to bury them in, why are they escaping and why the hell are they coming here, hey wait a minute, nobody told us this would be the “blowback”!!! What the f*****k? And we all know they ain’t gonna go live with the Queen, nor is she gonna provide them a sovereign land to live on, even though she is the biggest land owner in the world, and she ain’t gonna roll over Beethoven and open up the Taj Mahal for them to hang out in, and forget it, tent cities all over Europe is an eyesore.

    Forget the xenophobia, the antisemitism, the urban blight, the destruction of our way of life….? Keep they arses over thar where they belong (misspelling for emphasis). Hahahahah, I can’t stop laughing at this debacle. But funnier than that is the next stupid nation that sides with these war criminals, thinking they are gonna get more than crumbs from the pie. SMDH, when will they ever learn……???

    Syrians waiting to cross into Turkey

    Russian military operation in Syria bolsters oil market, domestic stocks

    Russia's Su-24 aircraft takes off from Syria's Hmeimim airbase. © Dmitriy Vinogradov
    Oil prices have risen 12 percent in October to a two-month high. Rising crude coincides with Russia’s airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria which began on September 30.

    The price of Brent in London increased over one percent to $53 per barrel on Friday. US benchmark WTI is trading higher than $50 per barrel for the first time in three months after hitting six-year lows in late August. Other factors contributing to rising oil prices include a weakened dollar and shrinking US production. 
    Crude prices can be particularly responsive to unrest or violence in the Middle East, one of world’s biggest oil-producing regions. While Syria does not have significant oil reserves, crude prices rise over fears the conflict could spread to the broader region.

    “Syria is not a crude oil producer—its real significance to the energy markets is not a heightening of its ongoing internal conflict but rather the risk of contagion within the region at large,” the Wall Street Journal quotes NUS Consulting Group as saying.  Read More: https://www.rt.com/business/318097-russia-stocks-oil-ruble-syria/

    Yes beautiful, but that rifle was made in China? Russia? Israel? USA?

    Yes beautiful, but that rifle was made in China? Russia? Israel? USA?

    I am just saying that when you look a little deeper into this picture, a beautiful African Warrior who is carrying a weapon made by the enemies of all Africans.
    When she needs more ammunition or another rifle she has to go to the ones who manufacture these weapons, and they are most likely, as I am sure they are, of European or Asian Descent. And as we know these are the same people who have invaded and colonized the African peoples for way too long. Europeans through the gun, bible, disease and intimidation, and Asians through the slow subliminal take over of their natural resources and infrastructure.
    Look at any picture of Africans fighting against other Africans. Where are their weapons manufactured? That is the question that comes to mind when I see this picture. Besides the beauty, I see behind it, the destruction of African civilizations down through the ages. The difference here is that she is not wearing Army fatigues, or a bullet proof vest or any other such armor to protect her from an incoming or errant bullet from another’s rifle.

    Hopefully, she is on her way to hunt some food for her family and not on her way to kill another African!! 

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