Source: The Killing of History
With permission from
September 22, 2017
One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.
In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism”, Burns’ “entirely new” Vietnam war is presented as “epic, historic work”. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.
Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans”. Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.
I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war “was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings”.
The dishonesty of this statement is not surprising. The cynical fabrication of “false flags” that led to the invasion of Vietnam is a matter of record – the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1964, which Burns promotes as true, was just one. The lies litter a multitude of official documents, notably the Pentagon Papers, which the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg released in 1971.
There was no good faith. The faith was rotten and cancerous. For me – as it must be for many Americans — it is difficult to watch the film’s jumble of “red peril” maps, unexplained interviewees, ineptly cut archive and maudlin American battlefield sequences.
In the series’ press release in Britain — the BBC will show it — there is no mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans. “We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy,” Novick is quoted as saying. How very post-modern.
All this will be familiar to those who have observed how the American media and popular culture behemoth has revised and served up the great crime of the second half of the twentieth century: from The Green Berets and The Deer Hunter to Rambo and, in so doing, has legitimised subsequent wars of aggression. The revisionism never stops and the blood never dries. The invader is pitied and purged of guilt, while “searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy”. Cue Bob Dylan: “Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”
I thought about the “decency” and “good faith” when recalling my own first experiences as a young reporter in Vietnam: watching hypnotically as the skin fell off Napalmed peasant children like old parchment, and the ladders of bombs that left trees petrified and festooned with human flesh. General William Westmoreland, the American commander, referred to people as “termites”.
In the early 1970s, I went to Quang Ngai province, where in the village of My Lai, between 347 and 500 men, women and infants were murdered by American troops (Burns prefers “killings”). At the time, this was presented as an aberration: an “American tragedy” (Newsweek ). In this one province, it was estimated that 50,000 people had been slaughtered during the era of American “free fire zones”. Mass homicide. This was not news.
To the north, in Quang Tri province, more bombs were dropped than in all of Germany during the Second World War. Since 1975, unexploded ordnance has caused more than 40,000 deaths in mostly “South Vietnam”, the country America claimed to “save” and, with France, conceived as a singularly imperial ruse.
The “meaning” of the Vietnam war is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the levelling of every city in North Korea. The aim was described by Colonel Edward Lansdale, the famous CIA man on whom Graham Greene based his central character in The Quiet American.
Quoting Robert Taber’s The War of the Flea, Lansdale said, “There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbours resistance, and that is to turn it into a desert.”
Nothing has changed. When Donald Trump addressed the United Nations on 19 September – a body established to spare humanity the “scourge of war” – he declared he was “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy” North Korea and its 25 million people. His audience gasped, but Trump’s language was not unusual.
His rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, had boasted she was prepared to “totally obliterate” Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people. This is the American Way; only the euphemisms are missing now.
Returning to the US, I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition – on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the “mainstream” has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.
There is plenty of sound and fury at Trump the odious one, the “fascist”, but almost none at Trump the symptom and caricature of an enduring system of conquest and extremism.
Where are the ghosts of the great anti-war demonstrations that took over Washington in the 1970s? Where is the equivalent of the Freeze Movement that filled the streets of Manhattan in the 1980s, demanding that President Reagan withdraw battlefield nuclear weapons from Europe?
The sheer energy and moral persistence of these great movements largely succeeded; by 1987 Reagan had negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that effectively ended the Cold War.
Today, according to secret Nato documents obtained by the German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zetung, this vital treaty is likely to be abandoned as “nuclear targeting planning is increased”. The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned against “repeating the worst mistakes of the Cold War … All the good treaties on disarmament and arms control from Gorbachev and Reagan are in acute peril. Europe is threatened again with becoming a military training ground for nuclear weapons. We must raise our voice against this.”
But not in America. The thousands who turned out for Senator Bernie Sanders’ “revolution” in last year’s presidential campaign are collectively mute on these dangers. That most of America’s violence across the world has been perpetrated not by Republicans, or mutants like Trump, but by liberal Democrats, remains a taboo.
Barack Obama provided the apotheosis, with seven simultaneous wars, a presidential record, including the destruction of Libya as a modern state. Obama’s overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government has had the desired effect: the massing of American-led Nato forces on Russia’s western borderland through which the Nazis invaded in 1941.
Obama’s “pivot to Asia” in 2011 signaled the transfer of the majority of America’s naval and air forces to Asia and the Pacific for no purpose other than to confront and provoke China. The Nobel Peace Laureate’s worldwide campaign of assassinations is arguably the most extensive campaign of terrorism since 9/11.
What is known in the US as “the left” has effectively allied with the darkest recesses of institutional power, notably the Pentagon and the CIA, to see off a peace deal between Trump and Vladimir Putin and to reinstate Russia as an enemy, on the basis of no evidence of its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister war-making vested interests for which no American voted. The rapid ascendancy of the Pentagon and the surveillance agencies under Obama represented an historic shift of power in Washington. Daniel Ellsberg rightly called it a coup. The three generals running Trump are its witness.
All of this fails to penetrate those “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics”, as Luciana Bohne noted memorably. Commodified and market-tested, “diversity” is the new liberal brand, not the class people serve regardless of their gender and skin colour: not the responsibility of all to stop a barbaric war to end all wars.
“How did it fucking come to this?” says Michael Moore in his Broadway show, Terms of My Surrender, a vaudeville for the disaffected set against a backdrop of Trump as Big Brother.
I admired Moore’s film, Roger & Me, about the economic and social devastation of his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and Sicko, his investigation into the corruption of healthcare in America.
The night I saw his show, his happy-clappy audience cheered his reassurance that “we are the majority!” and calls to “impeach Trump, a liar and a fascist!” His message seemed to be that had you held your nose and voted for Hillary Clinton, life would be predictable again.
He may be right. Instead of merely abusing the world, as Trump does, the Great Obliterator might have attacked Iran and lobbed missiles at Putin, whom she likened to Hitler: a particular profanity given the 27 million Russians who died in Hitler’s invasion.
“Listen up,” said Moore, “putting aside what our governments do, Americans are really loved by the world!”
There was a silence.
With permission from
September 23, 2017
Vicious Ugly Face of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
The theme of my blog is the Event Horizon, the point at which the pace of events and change quickens and gets faster and faster and faster, until things get so cockeyed that you hardly know which end is up, the world is spinning and whirling all around you, left becomes right, up is down, black is white — and things become so furious, the crescendo of insanity howls and shrieks all around you, the world seems to lose all normal sense, people act out in all sorts of strange and bizarre ways, there are more and more abnormal weather events, earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, floods, economic crises, and more — there may even by mind-numbing mass mortality events.
It seems more than you can take in or bear, and still it keeps coming.
Well, my friends, I think we re now entering into the outer bands of the Event Horizon. The ride is likely to get bumpier from here on, for at least the next few years.
The recent hurricanes in the USSA and the Caribbean islands, along with the recent spate of major earthquakes in Mexico, and elsewhere along the Ring of Fire, suggest that we have crossed over the threshold into the beginning of the Event Horizon.
I won’t even get into the growing likelihood of nuclear warfare between the USSA and North Korea (and perhaps other countries, as well) and the increasingly bizarre, erratic behavior of the so-called “President” of the USSA, Donald Trump. The man is a blithering idiot, and please, don’t even try to tell me that he is playing 3-D political chess. At this point I doubt that he is even competent to play with Tinker toys or play dough.
What’s Going On In Texas? (and Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands?)
Over the last few days and weeks, many of the Caribbean islands and also the Texas Gulf Coast and nearby inland regions of Texas, most of the state of Florida and the USSA Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (in the Caribbean) have been slammed, even devastated by hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Let’s look at Houston. Hurricane Harvey destroyed up to one million cars in its rampage in Texas. There is no meaningful public transport in Houston, which is a stereotypical car town, so how are people getting to work? Are they getting to work? Does their place of work still exist, or is their workplace usable or safe?
The Houston business press reports that 134,500 residences were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Harvey (while not mentioning how many businesses were destroyed or damaged). Let’s arbitrarily say that the average household contains 3 people (some will have one person, some will have four or five) — so a back of the envelope guesstimate suggests that about half a million people (or more?) were forced out of their houses and apartments because their domicile was either destroyed or badly damaged by water and wind and they temporarily had to relocate due to mud, mold, mildew, ripped off roof, etc. and emergency repairs underway until the residence is once again habitable, if it is repairable.
Where are these several hundreds of thousands of people now? Where are they living? What are they doing? It’s a very large number of people.
They have lost their cars. They have lost their apartments or houses. Many have lost their employment. Are half a million people in camps? Have they been disappeared? Are they living under plastic sheets by the side of the road and sleeping on cardboard? Without a car and a house how do they survive in a car-necessary-city? There is a yawning silence about these questions from the mainstream news media in the USSA.
But here is one example from the British press — note well — the British press, not the USSA press. A five member family had to flee their apartment due to flooding, but are nevertheless being required to pay rent — and late fees! — for an apartment they cannot live in. The husband cannot work because of flooding and they have few options. Indeed, the article says that 180,000 Houston-area homes have been badly damaged. I get the feeling that the situation in Houston and the surrounding area is far worse than the USSA government is admitting. That family can probably be multiplied by 100,000 fold. My guesstimate of half a million victims of the storm and flooding in Texas may even be far too low.
Watch the following YouTube videos about recent hurricane related events in coastal Texas. The report of armed, rogue “contractors” and federal agents intentionally flooding Houston neighborhoods without first evacuating the inhabitants is most troubling, as is the report about flushing the many dead bodies in the flood waters (some with bullet wounds) out to sea, as is the report of FEMA prison barges being brought into the Port Arthur area, just to the east of Houston. Watch the video about the FEMA barge and note the view of the interior. It is clearly a large, maximum security jail.
It appears that extremely ugly events are going down in Texas about which the USSA government and its partners in crime, the mainstream news media, are silent.
FEMA BARGES In TEXAS Are JAILS!! (watch it — look inside)
Similarly, we are hearing very little out of Florida, though a week and a half ago, there were reports that 90% of the homes in the Florida Keys were “destroyed” or suffered “major damage.” Given that 10,000 people reportedly defied evacuation orders to remain in the Florida Keys, 90% of them would have had their homes totally destroyed or heavily damaged, while they were in them. So what was the real death toll in the Keys? Obviously, your odds of physical survival are extremely problematic if your house is totally destroyed or heavily damaged while you are in it. I’ve got questions which neither the news media nor government are answering.
I have been unable to find hard numbers, or any numbers at all, for the total numbers of damaged and destroyed houses in Florida due to Irma, though many houses were reported under water in Naples, and there was heavy damage in Saint Augustine and record flooding in Jacksonville. It is as if there were a hard news vacuum on what really happened in Florida.
And what is going on in Puerto Rico? We know very little, other than that the entire island of 3.5 million people has completely lost electrical power in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and that the electrical grid will not be restored for weeks, or even months.
For most people, and most businesses, that means no computers, no Internet, no lights, no radio, no elevators or escalators, no TV, no traffic lights, no food refrigeration, no cell phone or other telephone service, no municipal water supply, no sewage treatment, no gasoline pumps, and on and on.
Roads are blocked and bridges are washed out. Imagine modern banking without electricity and digital technology. Imagine modern supermarkets without electricity — no cash registers, no refrigeration, no lights. Imagine modern hospitals with no electricity — no surgical operating room, no dialysis machines, no respirators. And on and on. Puerto Rico has been abruptly plunged into the 19th century, but without appropriate 19th century infrastructure and with a dense population of 3.5 million people that requires a 21st century infrastructure with electricity — which no longer is available.
In other words, the dire circumstances imply the imminent, potential (probable?) break down of civil society for 3.5 million people. Today is just the third day of the crisis, which will grow more and more acute with each passing day. The solutions to the crisis will be slow in coming.
Puerto Rico is now, therefore, living a huge humanitarian crisis. Yet the full dimensions of what is happening are not being reported by the mainstream news media.
As regards the situation in the Virgin Islands, which were slammed by Irma and then shortly afterward by Maria, there is next to nothing in the news.
This is not a case where no news is good news.
I have an unsettling feeling about all of these things.
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As tensions rise between Russia and the United States over the latter’s consistent support for terrorists inside Syria and increased support for Kurdish militias in the North, Russia is now exposing the U.S. support for Daesh and the level to which the U.S. is using Kurdish fighters as proxy forces against both Syria and Russia. Russia is also exposing the American cooperation with Daesh to that end.
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry accused U.S. intelligence agencies of engaging in a sabotage attempt against the Syrian military and Russian initiative to retake Deir ez-Zour by initiating, encouraging, and directing an offensive in northwestern Syria by jihadist forces against the Syrian military. The Russian MOD claims that the point of the offensive was to draw attention and focus away from the SAA operations in Deir ez-Zour.
The Ministry stated that 29 Russian military policemen were surrounded by jihadists, forcing the military to break them out via Special Ops backed by air power.
“According to our information, U.S. intelligence services initiated the offensive to halt the successful advance of government troops to the east of Deir al-Zor,” said Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi.
In addition, the Defense ministry asserted that the U.S., via its SDF terrorist proxies, attempted to sabotage the SAA crossing of the Euphrates.
The MOD stated that, just as the Syrian military began crossing the river, the waters immediately began rising, suggesting that this could only have happened if the dams upstream which were being held by the SDF had been opened.
Likewise, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, pointed out the cooperation between the SDF and Daesh. As Press TV reported,
Konashenkov said Russia suspects the SDF is colluding with Daesh in Dayr al-Zawr rather than fighting it, citing the transfer of Takfiri elements from Raqqah to join forces against the advancing Syrian troops.
“SDF militants work to the same objectives as Daesh terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between Daesh and the ‘third force,’ the SDF,” he said.
It is thus relevant to point out that the United States is providing heavy assistance to the forces working with Daesh, making the U.S., at best, an indirect accomplice with Daesh.
Obviously, the liberation of Deir ez-Zour presents a major obstacle for the U.S. and the anti-Syria coalition in terms of its goals to break the Syrian government and establish a Kurdistan in the north and a Wahhabistan in the east. The complete liberation of Deir ez-Zour will likely result in the end of ISIS in Syria in a matter of weeks. After that, attention will turn to America’s “moderate” terrorists and Kurdish fanatics. In the meantime, it appears that the U.S. is using whatever means available to it with the exception of unlimited direct military conflict with the Syrian and Russian militaries.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
With permission from
Sept 26, 2017
Although both countries only acknowledged their participation in the ongoing conflict in Syria to mere advisory, in the area near the oilfields of Deir Ezzor, a direct confrontation has occurred in recent days resulting to the deaths of three high-ranking Russian personnel.
The US denied the allegation,
US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert states that accusations of the US complicity in the death of the Russian general in Deir ez-Zor are false.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Claims that the United States supported or was complicit in the death Russian Lt. Gen. Valery Asapov in Syria are completely false, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Monday.
Nauert also stated that accusations that the US supports Daesh are groundless as the only aim is to defeat terrorists.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the death of the Russian general in Syria was the price that Russia paid for the duplicity of the United States’ stance in the Syrian crisis.
Nauert in turn stressed that the United States will continue to de-conflict operations with Russia, and recent statements made by the Russian officials are “untrue and unhelpful.”
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Lt. Gen. Valery Asapov, who headed a group of Russian military advisers, was killed near the city of Deir ez-Zor during a mortar attack by terrorists from Daesh (banned in Russia).
The Defense Ministry earlier released aerial images of Daesh deployment sites north of Syria’s Deir ez-Zor, where US equipment and special operations are clearly visible but without any “evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants.”
In spite of these losses, the Russian forces continue to forge ahead, together with their local Syrian Army counterparts.
After releasing satellite images confirming the undeniable collusion between Al Qaeda and US forces, the Russian-led coalition builds a bridge across the Euphrates River for transporting additional military hardware and humanitarian aid for trapped civilians.
To hamper the work, the US-allied terrorists control Tabqa Dam discharged large volumes of water to raise the level and increase the current. These are signs that the puppetmasters are desperate and willing to inflict as much destruction to people who never had anything to do with their own financial bankruptcy.
A week ago, the al Qaeda faction launched the most decisive attack on the advancing Syrian Army in Hama, near Idlib. However, the terrorists were forced to retreat by the Russian Aerospace Forces, and lost significant grounds.
In the area of Deir Ezzor, the oilfields there are still under the control of the Islamic State, but the US forces have never lifted a finger against the terrorists, choosing instead to fight against the Russian-led coalition.
This is proof enough that, not only did the CIA was behind and are allied with the head choppers from the very beginning, but is still aiming for the eventual partition of Syria, a scenario that the Russian-led coalition is not amenable of.