Sunday, December 19, 2010

... Then There Was This Hole, And Then I Fell In ...

As we approach the season of seasonal greetings, I send my very best wishes to my friends and colleagues of the blogosphere. Unfortunately my writing has been exceptionally hampered lately, but I do expect to rejoin you, and as soon as possible.

I especially wish to acknowledge and thank those readers who have posted comments at the Winter Patriot Community Blog, or sent me email, checking in on me during my long periods of deep quiet. I appreciate your support more than I can tell you.

When my current difficulties come to an end, as they surely will, you will hear from me again on a regular basis, both here and at my current home-away-from-home, Sherlock Holmes And The Alderney Street Mystery.

In the meantime, I offer you some reflections on the season and its meaning, from two years ago:

Christmas And The GWOT
Christmas And The GWOT [2]: Personal Salvation And National Destruction
Christmas And The GWOT [3]: Sell Your Stocks And Run
Don't Stand Underneath When They Fly By

Best wishes to you and yours. Back soonest.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cheering For War Criminals: What's The Music?

I made a series of tactical errors on Sunday night. Thinking my sons might enjoy some baseball before bedtime, I visited to see when the 4th game of the World Series was scheduled to start. The site said "LIVE! NOW!" so I turned on the television. But it was only the pre-game show, so I switched it back off.

About half an hour later, I turned it back on, fully expecting the ballgame to have started, but -- shockingly! -- I was wrong again.

I got the sound first. I heard music playing and the crowd cheering; then the picture came up and I could see that the cheering wasn't for any players, but for a couple of war criminals -- a father and son team who between them had launched multiple wars of aggression, killing uncounted millions of innocent people (so far), while doing untold damage to their own country in a thus-far successful effort to shield their crimes, and who therefore -- being deep in the heart of Texas and all -- had been given the "honor" of throwing out "the first pitch".

I switched the set off again as soon as I saw what was happening: so fast that I only heard one note, and I still don't know what music was being played. For some reason, I keep thinking about that moment, and every time I do, I hear the opening riff of the only song I know that would have been appropriate to the occasion.

I first heard it in 1983, at a lecture/slide show/concert given by the composer/performer, Bruce Cockburn. Bruce had just returned from an eye-opening tour of Central America, and as part of his presentation, he played a new song for us, one he had just finished.

We were in a little ampitheatre, every word was clear, and Bruce's new song took the place apart. It was called "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" and the lyric ran like this:
Here comes the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...Some son of a bitch would die
In case you're wondering whether this is all about Bush, I should add: If Barack Obama had thrown out the first pitch, I would have shut it off just as fast, and the juke box in my head would have played exactly the same song.  

Please watch and listen as Bruce Cockburn performs "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" with a small band, from 2000, and/or solo, from 2005.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No More Waiting: Holmes And Watson Roll Again

Holmes and Watson on their way to Wales
I have been away for more than a week, and during that time at least three or four readers have been waiting patiently for Chapter 20 of my factual/fictional work-in-progress, in which Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are investigating the mysterious death of Welsh code-breaker Gareth Williams.

Fortunately for all of us, the wait is over. I am back at my desk on a more regular basis, and the 20th chapter is finished and posted.

I understand that following a serial-in-progress can be frustrating for those who prefer to read the last page of a mystery first. They want to see how it turns out before they read the rest of the book, and in this case it is simply not possible.

On the other hand, there may be some compensation in knowing that the last page of this story is not yet written -- and that my readers will find out what happens immediately after I find out myself.

For those who have been waiting, here's the newest: [Chapter 20: Unthinkable]

For those wishing to start at the beginning, this would be the link: [Sherlock Holmes and the Alderny Street Mystery]

Many thanks to those who have been encouraging me with respect to the "Alderney Street" project. I hope you will enjoy the newest chapter and those to come.

More soonest...

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Surprise! Canadian Forces Commander Was A Serial Killer

Col. Russell Williams, Canadian Armed Forces
Like every other day, I suppose, it's been a day of sick news.

An Obama administration task force is now trying to strengthen legislation that would uphold [read: shred] the Constitution by making sure the telecoms don't do anything that might interfere with warrantless government surveillance. This action provides even more [read: less] support for Barack Obama's claim that voters who don't work as hard as possible to support the Democrats are "irresponsible", since their civil rights are so endangered by Republicans.

And Bush's Secretary of Defense [read: Attack], Robert Gates, is still running the Pentagon, and plenty of other Bush cronies are still filling their appointed offices, and virtually all the Bush policies are still in place, although a few things are actually worse now. So it makes perfect [read: no] sense for John McCain to describe Obama as running "the most partisan administration I have ever seen".

Pakistan's Foreign Minister spoke at Harvard University and made the totally [read: scarcely] understandable claim that Iran has "no justification to pursue nuclear weapons."

According to Dawn, Shah Mehmood Qureshi told his Harvard audience:
"Who's threatening Iran? I don't see any immediate threat to Iran."
Qureshi also pointed out that Iran was signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Pakistan and India never signed.

“They have an international obligation. They have signed NPT and they should respect that,” he said.
To clarify: India, Pakistan and Israel all have nuclear weapons but have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, so technically they should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons at all, or nuclear power either.

The United States, which has signed the NPT, acts as if the treaty has been nullified, and uses nuclear weapons against civilians in places like Iraq.

And Iran, which has also signed the treaty and therefore should be allowed to have nuclear power, is being hampered in its pursuit of same by the repeated claim (rejected by the Iranians, and never proven or even partially substantiated by anyone) that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The absurdity is compounded by the fact that Iran is threatened by neighbors with nuclear weapons, and also by a rogue state halfway across the world with more nuclear weapons, and therefore the diplomatic [read: propaganda] tack at the moment is to claim that Iran is not threatened.

If it wasn't so sick, I could laugh even harder.

But the sickest laugh of the day comes from Canada, where
The decorated former commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in eastern Ontario, pleaded guilty [on Monday] to all 88 charges against him — including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts each of sexual assault and forcible confinement and 82 break-ins and attempted break-ins.
According to the CBC,
Thousands of explicit photos that Col. Russell Williams took while wearing women's and girls' lingerie show how his sexual obsession escalated from lesser crimes to sexual assault and murder
He admitted to police he sought out homes where "attractive young women" lived, targeting those in their late teens to early 30's.

Col. Russell Williams photographed himself wearing lingerie
The Crown said Williams's behaviour was obsessive in the number of break-ins, in the meticulous manner in which he dealt with stolen clothes and in the sheer volume of photos he took and methodically filed.
Williams would place lingerie in boxes or bags when he got home. He was so obsessive in his collection of undergarments that he had to burn some of his trophies in a field to make room for more.
Williams took thousands of explicit photographs of himself at crime scenes — wearing women's and girls' lingerie, and masturbating on their beds — which he put in a complex file folder system with a date stamp.

The folder system gave a sense of how long Williams was in homes and what he did. He kept a log that stated the nature of the offences and stored evidence of the murders and break-ins on two hard drives. Police found them stored above the ceiling in the basement of his Ottawa home.
Crown prosecutor Robert Morrison ... said Williams's repeated sexually obsessive behaviour dates back to 2007 and 2008 — long before he escalated to actual sexual assaults on women — or the eventual murders ... In some of the photos, Williams is in a girl's lingerie, wearing parts of what the Crown said appears to be his Canadian military uniform.
That's the sick part; now for the laugh:

The Canadian media are turning themselves inside out in their attempt to answer the question: "How could  a guy like this rise to a position of power in an organization such as the Canadian military?" The question is more difficult than first appears, because media types and analysts must answer it without admitting any reality into the discussion.

They can't talk about the fact that psychopaths and the military are made for each other, or the obvious reasons why this is so. But I can.

Listen: People who enjoy wielding power over others tend to seek positions in which they can do so legitimately. They become policemen and soldiers and prison guards, and politicians and "news" anchors. The most extreme of these people seek out the most extreme situations, and nothing suits a psychopathic killer better than a job in which he is required to kill people. There is no draft in Canada, so the only people in the military are those who voluntarily decided to enlist.

This photo taken by Russell Williams was used as evidence against him.
Now: Armies seek out people who enjoy wielding power over others, who can live seemingly "normal" lives punctuated by episodes in which they take part in the tearing, shredding, crushing and burning of human flesh -- all for the "noble" cause of spreading liberty and freedom, of course. Those who bring strong administrative skills to the table, who are comfortable giving orders, and who are capable of manipulating large groups of people -- sometimes sending them to faraway lands to kill and die -- are quickly promoted.

In Canada -- just as in the USA -- it is not permissible for media types to say "our country is involved in an aggressive foreign war against people who have never attacked, or intended to attack, us or any of our friends." Instead the coverage starts and ends with the idea that Canadian soldiers are always doing the right sorts of things overseas, giving the little Afghan kids candy bars and so on.

And so we don't get any reality, and we don't get any insight, and we are all left to scratch our heads and wonder: "How could a guy who commanded stuff like that, have gone home and done stuff like this?"

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

To catch up on the adventures of Holmes and Watson, who are still trying to crack open the Gareth Williams mystery, click here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Common Ground With A War Criminal: Stryker Brigade Commander Harry D. Tunnell IV Sneered At COIN Doctrine, And So Do I

Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, US Army
The Stryker Combat Brigade in Afghanistan, some of whose members stand accused of killing civilians for sport, was led by a man who openly sneered at the U.S. military's counterinsurgency strategy, according to Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post.

From Whitlock's report of September 18th:
The U.S. soldiers hatched a plan as simple as it was savage: to randomly target and kill an Afghan civilian, and to get away with it.

For weeks, according to Army charging documents, rogue members of a platoon from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, floated the idea. Then, one day last winter, a solitary Afghan man approached them in the village of La Mohammed Kalay. The "kill team" activated the plan.

One soldier created a ruse that they were under attack, tossing a fragmentary grenade on the ground. Then others opened fire.

According to charging documents, the unprovoked, fatal attack on Jan. 15 was the start of a months-long shooting spree against Afghan civilians that resulted in some of the grisliest allegations against American soldiers since the U.S. invasion in 2001. Members of the platoon have been charged with dismembering and photographing corpses, as well as hoarding a skull and other human bones.

The subsequent investigation has raised accusations about whether the military ignored warnings that the out-of-control soldiers were committing atrocities. The father of one soldier said he repeatedly tried to alert the Army after his son told him about the first killing, only to be rebuffed.
Seven other soldiers have been charged with crimes related to the case, including hashish use, attempts to impede the investigation and a retaliatory gang assault on a private who blew the whistle.
And so on.

As Whitlock reported on October 13th,
When the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade arrived in Afghanistan, its leader, Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, openly sneered at the U.S. military's counterinsurgency strategy. The old-school commander barred his officers from even mentioning the term and told shocked U.S. and NATO officials that he was uninterested in winning the trust of the Afghan people.

Instead, he said, his soldiers would simply hunt and kill as many Taliban fighters as possible, as dictated by the brigade's motto, "Strike and Destroy."

What resulted was a year of tough fighting in territory fiercely defended by the Taliban and a casualty rate so high that it triggered alarms at the Pentagon. By the time the 3,800-member brigade returned in July to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, Wash., it had paid a steep price: 35 soldiers were killed in combat, six were dead from accidents and other causes, and 239 were wounded.
As sordid accounts of the platoon's activities continue to emerge, critics inside and outside the Army are questioning whether the brigade's get-tough strategy, which emphasized enemy kills over civilian relations, influenced the behavior of the accused.

Questions also persist about why the 5th Stryker Brigade's chain of command did not intervene earlier ...
And so on.

I happen to agree with Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, at least insofar as I have openly sneered at the U.S. military's 'counterinsurgency' strategy myself.

In a much different way, no doubt, but apparently to the same degree, Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV and I see the so-called 'COIN' strategy as -- to use the clinical term -- one big fat lie.

I cannot speak for Tunnell, but my understanding begins with the fact that the words 'insurgent' and 'insurgency' are entirely inappropriate in this context. In dictionary-English, as opposed to the political double-talk that goes on in America, an 'insurgent' is someone who rebels against a legitimately established government.

Both Iraq and Afghanistan were bombed, invaded, demolished and occupied, based on transparently obvious lies. The fact that the lies were exposed as such -- which wasn't very hard to do -- has not made a whit of difference to the wars; they still carry on, although the propaganda attending them has morphed as the official 'justifications' change and change and change...

And the governments set up by the Americans in Baghdad and Kabul are mere puppets, even though they sometimes try to bite the hand that moves them. The so-called 'elections' in both countries which installed these governments were controlled by occupying foreigners, so even if they had been 'fair', they never could have been 'free', and their results would have been tainted in any case.

Because the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are undoubtedly war crimes and crimes against humanity of the highest order, and because the governments of these two countries are decidedly illegitimate, the people in these countries who are fighting against the US-led, NATO-assisted, ongoing war crimes are not 'insurgents' by any stretch of the imagination.

Secondly, as I see it, 'COIN' doctrine, which has evolved precious little despite the enormous numbers of casualties it has claimed and the relatively few successes it can point to, is based on the idea that occupying foreign soldiers can 'win' the 'hearts and minds' (or, in the Vietnam-era acronym, HAM) of indigenous people.

Perhaps in some fantasy land somewhere, but not on this planet, is it possible to 'win' anything resembling the 'hearts and minds' of any people at the same time as you are systematically killing their friends and relatives, demolishing their social and physical infrastructure, poisoning their landscape, setting up checkpoints to control their movement, kidnapping and torturing them, and dropping bombs on them from the skies -- all in an effort to gain control of their country.

The only way in which it is possible to stop indigenous people from attacking invaders and occupiers is to kill enough of them, in gruesome enough ways, and destroy enough of their environment, so completely and so permanently, that the survivors lose every aspect of their humanity except their survival instinct, and start cooperating, albeit tacitly, with manifest evil.

I understand that, and Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV understands it, and Barack Obama understands it too -- but Obama can never say it, and neither can Tunnell, and neither can any of the other men and women who make their living by manifesting the policy of evil.

But sometimes -- even despite the best efforts of those who have nothing but contempt for humanity and the truth -- facts come out which demand action. In such cases, the difference between the truth as we know it and the lies that must be told serves as a grindstone which destroys anyone unfortunate enough to be squeezed against it.

This is the inevitable consequence of a long-standing, bi-partisan, national policy so unspeakably evil that the people who implement that policy will never dare to tell the truth about it ... if they think anybody's listening.

In other words, they don't call it the Stryker Brigade for nothing.

If they were truly out to win Hearts And Minds, they would call it the HAMster Brigade.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sounds Like A Great Idea! But How Are They Doing It?

The Most Intriguing Headline of the Day by far, and seemingly a certain winner for Largest Headline-To-Content Ratio of the Year (perhaps of the Decade), comes from the Pakistani daily Dawn.

The headline reads: "German social networks wage virtual war on rightists", and the article says:
Yes! That's right! It says nothing at all.

But apparently it used to say something, for it has been "Tweeted" 13 times.

Perhaps the German rightists are fighting back by trying to suppress this story?

Perhaps Dawn has simply screwed things up?

If I learn any more about this, I will post more details. If you know more about it, please don't be shy.


Apparently Dawn had screwed things up again. The text of the article has finally appeared. And apparently I shouldn't have got too excited.

Big news! German "leftists" are being mobilized to stand up against neo-Nazis and the spread of anti-Semitism (which normally means telling the truth about Israel) (now that it's not World War II anymore) (which means the "leftist movement" is probably funded and organized by Israel) (and how convenient is it for the Israelis to have German skinheads to work "against"?)

Oh well. We couldn't possibly use social networks to mobilize against the neo-Nazi rightists who vex us here and now, bombing, invading and occupying foreign countries that never threatened us, taking away all the civil liberties and economic protections they can, while supporting Israel to the hilt. Could we?

Nah, we couldn't even use social networking against obvious enemies of the people, such as John Raese, the idiot running for the Senate from West Virginia, who makes a point of mis-pronouncing the first name of his opponent, and longs to abolish the minimum wage law.

Or maybe, now that I mention it, we could. But we won't.

Or maybe we will, but if we do, it won't be written up in any newspapers.

Not even a screwed-up Pakistani daily.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Two More Tales From America's Very Dark History

I've lost track of the number of times that I have been profoundly disgusted to read mass-murderous nonsense from "investigative journalists" and "citizen bloggers" whom I have supported over the years. Whether that support has involved active assistance or simply linking with praise, it's always painful to realize once again that I've been wrong about somebody's intentions and that I have directed my readers to people who clearly have more respect for their own agendas than they have for the truth.

On the other hand there have been a few occasions on which I have been pleasantly surprised to find excellent work from people of whom I have been critical, and two of those occasions came along a few days ago. It behooves me to share.

Truth Excavator at Disquiet Reservations has pulled together some excellent information regarding the insane conspiracy theory about President Roosevelt and the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. Did Roosevelt know, as some have claimed, that the attack was coming? Did the American government actually go out of its way to provoke that mass-murderous attack? Read all about it here: "October 7, 1940: The Day That Should Have Lived in Infamy"

From Robert Parry of Consortium News (of whom I have been unreservedly critical in the recent past), in collaboration with Peter Dale Scott (of whom I have not), comes a piece called "A Long History of America's Dark Side", which could easily have been called "A Short History of America's Long Dark Past". And even though I could quibble with the title, I think you should read the piece.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Must Read: Chris Floyd's "The Altars of Fear"

Chris Floyd's most recent piece, "The Altars of Fear: Wrong Turns on a Long, Dark Road", is extraordinary, even by his very high standards, and I urge you to read it in full if you have not already done so.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Jews In America Are An Oppressed Minority -- OR ELSE!

Rick Sanchez
Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports on the firing of Rick Sanchez by CNN:
Rick Sanchez, a daytime anchor at CNN, was fired on Friday, a day after telling a radio interviewer that Jon Stewart was a bigot and that “everybody that runs CNN is a lot like Stewart.”

The latter comment was made shortly after Mr. Stewart’s faith, Judaism, was invoked.
Mr. Sanchez’s comments came Thursday during a contentious conversation with the comedian Pete Dominick on satellite radio. By Friday afternoon, a recording of the conversation had circulated widely on the Internet.

In the conversation Mr. Sanchez, who is Cuban-American, repeatedly suggested that he had experienced subtle forms of discrimination in his television career.
One of the co-hosts of the radio show brought up the fact that Mr. Stewart was a Jew, saying to Mr. Sanchez that he was a minority “as much as you are.”

Mr. Sanchez answered sarcastically, “Yeah. Yeah. Very powerless people.” He let out a high-pitched laugh.

“Everybody that runs CNN is a lot like Stewart,” Mr. Sanchez said. “And a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah.”
Indeed. They are actually so oppressed that they can have anyone who suggests otherwise stipped of his employment within 24 hours, as CNN has so clearly demonstrated.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's All News! Jester Scoops Wingnut!! OR Falling Down The Rabbit Hole Becomes A Distant Memory


As I mentioned the other day, I have been tracking news coverage of the mystery of Gareth Williams, the British intelligence worker whose body was found in a bathtub late last month, padlocked in a duffel bag in an MI6 "safe house".

Among the coverage I have been tracking, I have noticed a British site called "The Spoof" which has been running satirical items on the Williams case. These items are always short and nonsensical and would appeal to a person with a particular absurdist sense of humour -- not me, but perhaps somebody else. Nevertheless, since I have Google News Alerts set and I do periodic Google News searches for the topics that interest me, and since, for some unfathomable reason, Google News considers The Spoof a "news source", whenever The Spoof posts another bit of nonsense about Gareth Williams, I find out about it immediately. Such is the power of Google News.

On Wenesday, September 29, The Spoof posted an item saying
A new theory about the death of MI6 maths genius Gareth Williams claims he had worked on the Stuxnet cybermunition program.
The piece is short and it's obviously nonsense. It's not as obviously complete nonsense as the one that claimed the Queen's security men were worried she was going to lock herself into a travel bag as a form of "copycat suicide", but still...

Today, just two days later, [in a total coincidence, right?] the right-wing lunatic site World Net Daily, which for some other unfathomable reason Google News also considers a "news source", has this big hot scoop from security genius Joseph Farah:
Spy's death linked to Iran computer-virus attack?

Investigators looking into the still-shrouded details of the death of Government Communications Headquarter spy Gareth Williams have learned that in the last months of his life before being found dead in an MI6 safe house he was a member of a team tracking the first-ever computer virus designed to sabotage oil refineries and other industrial installations, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Of course you have to subscribe to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin if you want all the details. Personally I am not substantially interested.

[UPDATE! Two hours later]

[In another total coincidence, right?] Joseph Farah's piece, "Spy's death linked to Iran computer-virus attack?" is no longer available at its original link, and it is no longer mentioned on the front page of World Net Daily either.

Now the link I posted above gives you a "server error" instead. I should say so! Some "server"! Some "error"!!


I can remember a time when if you said the news was nonsensical fiction, nobody would believe you.

Nowadays it's a full day's work just to separate the fiction from the so-called news of the day.

And apparently I am overloaded on that, because my "fictionalized account" of the Gareth Williams story continues, in the chapter-by-chapter style of the old magazine serials. At least two or three readers are waiting impatiently for the ninth chapter of the series, and I invite you to join them by [insert shameless plug here].

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Old News: The USA Has Been A Police State Since 1787

Last week the FBI raided the homes of anti-war activists in multiple states simultaneously, prompting Paul Craig Roberts to write a searing column called "It Is Official: The US Is A Police State".

I caught excerpts from Roberts and comments on his work from Chris Floyd, in "Domestic Disturbance: FBI Raids Bring the Terror War Home".

I don't disagree with anything Roberts or Floyd wrote about this story, and I would recommend both columns. But neither of these very fine writers approached the idea that struck me hardest when I saw Roberts' headline.

What's new about the USA being a police state? Why is it suddenly official now?

That the USA is a police state has been, if not officially official, then at least totally bloody obvious, for my entire life -- and the same is true of Roberts, and Floyd, and you (dear reader), and your parents, and their parents. For all our lives, we have lived in a police state that calls itself a democracy, and the cover story has been so effective that even some of our leading dissident writers are now just discovering the truth behind it.

Lest we forget: Forty years ago, in the midst of another generation's undeclared, unjustified, unwinnable and unpopular war, unarmed anti-war protesters were gunned down in broad daylight in public, and not one of the shooters who committed the crime was even tried.

In the decade leading up to those shootings, four civic and political leaders, all of whom posed threats to the established order, were also gunned down in public. The victims included a sitting President and a US Senator, yet no justice was ever served for any of these murders.

During the same period, countless civil rights activists and anti-war protesters were viciously assaulted, and some of them were also killed. Sometimes the crimes were committed by "law enforcement officials" themselves; at other times the crimes were committed with the silent approval of  "the law".

From the 1930's through the late 1950's, the nation's "law enforcement" officers brutally crushed anyone they could find who had sympathy for communism, socialism, or any other "-ism" that didn't begin with "capital". None of this is secret. None of it is news.

All through our history, Americans whose skin wasn't quite white enough have been hassled, assaulted and ruthlessly murdered, often by the police whose lives depend on the taxes we all pay, and who are supposed to be protecting all of us. Most of the perpetrators of these crimes have never been brought to justice.

This pattern of official injustice -- supported more often than not by the police themselves -- has been going on for as long as you care to look. It runs as deep as American history itself. Though it may be pleasant to forget it, the USA is nation whose history includes -- nay! is a nation that was built upon -- genocide, slavery, lynching, and other forms of public terror, all with the open support of "the authorities".

A careful reading of American history shows that the basic problem here is not the current administration's disregard of the Constitution, nor the disdain for the Constitution shown by previous administrations. As Jerry Fresia points out in "Toward An American Revolution", the problem is the Constitution itself.

The Articles of Confederation, by which the "United States of America" came into being, guaranteed direct democratic representation at the national level, in a government which could be swept from power quite easily when and if the voters of the country were displeased. The most powerful men in the land -- slaveholders, mostly -- found their riches, their status and their privilege in jeopardy, and feared for what they were pleased to call "an excess of democracy".

So they banded together and wrote the Constitution, which set up our current system of "representative" government, under which the President is elected by an Electoral College chosen by the State legislators, rather than directly by the people; under which it takes three election cycles to change the entire Senate; under which countless federal officials -- including every justice on the Supreme Court -- are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate, with nary a word from the House of Representatives, which is, at least in theory, the only part of the federal government over which the voters are meant to have any immediate influence.

Then, through a series of incidents that today would be called "terrorist attacks" (as long as they were perpetrated by Muslims), the authors of the Constitution inflamed enough other powerful men to ensure the ratification of the new Constitution -- quite against the wishes of the "common people" of the day -- setting the course which we now travel, and which the best of us (including Chris Floyd and Paul Craig Roberts) rightfully despise.

Rather than guaranteeing direct democratic representation and fair and equal rights to all citizens, the Constitution set up a federal government with the power to put down "insurrections", and a mandate to protect interstate and international "commerce". In our present-day terms, it empowers a deeply entrenched government running a police state at home to support a commercial empire abroad.

Those who support the Constitution, who pine for a return to "Constitutional law", who rail against one administration after another for taking "un-Constitutional actions" and passing "un-Constitutional laws", have a legitimate point. Life in the United States would certainly be better for a very large number of people if the civil rights granted in the Constitution -- limited tough they may be -- were strictly observed.

But we would still have the same problem. The federal government would still be owned by the most powerful men in the country, and would still be geared to putting down "insurrections" at home while supporting a "commercial" empire abroad.

That was the whole point of the Constitution in the first place. This is why we are where we are today. As Chris Floyd pointed out some time ago, "the purpose of a system is what it does". And what our current system does, its purpose, is still congruent with the wishes of the "Founding Fathers".

I fear that, if our leading dissident writers continue to miss this point, the best we could possibly accomplish -- even if we all stood together against the abomination that is our federal government -- would be a reversion to the root cause of our current problems.

And that's not going to be good enough.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good News, Bad News: My Blog Sucks And Will Continue To Do So

Look at my blog! It really does suck!!
Yes, yes, I know: My blog sucks.

It has sucked -- quite vigorously -- for most of the past two and a half years. Mostly it has sucked because I have been incapacitated, first emotionally by the premeditated murder of a close friend, and then physically by two serious injuries from which I am still struggling to recover, one of which limits my typing considerably.

My physical condition is gradually improving, and lately I have been able to do a small amount of "discretionary typing", but my blog continues to suck, and it will do so for some time to come. Now, however, the reasons are different.

I am continuing to spend a large share of my waking hours doing (painful, boring) rehab, but with my "discretionary" time -- here's the good news -- rather than trying to get my blog rolling again, I've been working on something else.

Why is this good news? Because my new project allows me to work with two (very) old friends, pulling together many of the threads we have been trying to weave in the past, and presenting them in a manner which (though I say it myself) long-time readers and newcomers alike will probably find quite refreshing.

It's a factual-fictional account of a horrible true story, and it starts like this:
On August 23, 2010, Metro Police entered a well-appointed flat at 36 Alderney Street, in the heart of London. In the flat they found an ensuite bathroom, and in the bathtub they found a padlocked bag, and in the bag they found the body of Gareth Williams.

Williams, a brilliant mathematician from Anglesey, Wales, worked in Cheltenham for GQHC, Britain's domestic eavesdropping service. He was living in London on a one-year secondment to MI6, Britiain's Secret Intelligence Service, and the block of flats in which his body was discovered was an MI6 "safe house".

Apparently uninterested in potential national-security angles, the police immediately announced they were looking for clues to Williams' mysterious death in the details of his private life. But they didn't make much headway. A month after his body was found, they still hadn't determined the cause of death, although they had admitted the case was "complex" and "unexplained".

It seemed like a job for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Gareth Williams was buried today in Valley, Anglesey, Wales.
Gareth Williams was buried today -- more than a month after his body was discovered.

I grieve for his parents Ian and Ellen, his sister Ceri, his uncle William Hughes, and all his other relatives and friends.

I cannot imagine what happened to him, or what is hampering the police in their investigation, or what his former colleagues at MI6 and GCQH are thinking ...

... unless maybe I can.

Please don't click this link unless you wish to read more:

Sherlock Holmes and the Alderney Street Mystery

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

'Genetic Damage' In Fallujah: The BBC Reports

The BBC has posted a video report from veteran war reporter John Simpson, concerning children growing up in Fallujah and the genetic damage inflicted on them by the depleted uranium ammunition so generously expended in defense of their freedom and democracy (and to make them an ally!) by the most righteous of all possible superpowers.

True to form, the BBC runs the phrase 'genetic damage' in quotes, as if it weren't real but only alleged -- and without doubt the allegations would have been made by conspiracy theorists whose twisted minds have been warped against BBC and its excellent, impartial coverage, ever since 9/11.

People who cannot handle reality were stunned when the BBC scooped the world's media in reporting the destruction of World Trade Center's Building 7, (WTC-7), a 47-story skyscraper many people still haven't heard of, which suddenly turned to dust and broken twisted steel on the afternoon on September 11, 2001.

American media -- and the 9/11 commission -- have been criticized for not reporting the amazing disintegration of this building at all. But the BBC reported the "collapse" before it happened. Some people have gone to excessive lengths to try to make something incriminating out of this excellent reportage.

For its part, the BBC says it wasn't part of any conspiracy, just a fluke. So it's probably also a fluke that the video either sits and spins, or says
"This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later".
Well, of course.

The BBC web page says:
Cancer, leukaemia and infant mortality are all increasing in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, which saw fierce fighting between US forces and Sunni insurgents, a new survey says.

Still one of the most dangerous places in Iraq, doctors have been reporting a large number of birth defects since the 2004 offensive.

John Simpson reports.
But that cold snippet of text was all I have been able to get [until later: see the update below].

The page was listed as "2nd most watched" when I first loaded it, but that's changed too, and rightly so, since a
20ft oak sculpture in the heart of Dartmoor national park is due to be pulled down despite a Facebook campaign to save the giant sculpture of a chair.
Thus the truth about horrible crimes burns itself into the consciousness of the multitudes.

Or, as Karl Rove writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Iraq is a democracy and an ally instead of an enemy of America.
It's remarkable the extent to which our bountiful leaders will go to make friends and instill democracy, is it not?


According to the Rational Optimist:
America believes ... that it would be a desirable thing if the world did become more democratic, and backward nations did become more like us. We regard that as our own national interest, and in the interests of those other nations as well. As John F. Kennedy said, “We seek not the worldwide victory of one nation or system, but a worldwide victory of men.” [And women.] And, with admittedly many zigs and zags, that is the essence of American foreign policy.
I can't tell you how relieved I am to have somebody so rational and so optimistic telling us what America believes, and what is the essence of American foreign policy.


When American cities look like this, we will know we have arrived -- the backward nations of the world will finally be just like us, and all mankind will enjoy the blessings of a democratic Paradise on Earth.


But in the meantime, the video is now available, and some of the details and images are indeed chilling.
It was only possible [for BBC reporters] to stay [in Fallujah] a few hours, but in that time we found large numbers of children with serious birth defects.

Some had six or more fingers on each hand. Many had tumors which affected their spines. There was plenty of evidence of brain damage. Some of the cases were too dreadful for us to show.
BBC decides what's fit to show, and what's too dreadful. Thus the truth about horrible crimes burns itself into the consciousness of the multitudes.

Nonetheless, BBC reports, the spectrum of genetic damage in Fallujah is similar to what was found in Hiroshima, but much, much worse.

This could be something serious. But then again, as the BBC report notes:
American legislation makes it extremely difficult for foreigners to sue the US government over acts of war.
So ... perhaps I'm too realistic ... but it's not possible for me to imagine all the uproar over this most recent revelation of state-sponsored made-in-America horror lasting more than about 15 or 20 minutes.

Currently top of the BBC most watched list: Archeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge!

Do you see what I mean?
To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The World At War: AFRICOM vs. Ghana in the Round of 16

We Are The World, and even as I write, we are preparing for another battle, the next in a month-long series of short, controlled skirmishes which will draw the attention of billions of people, although neither the individual skirmishes nor the entire series have any actual significance. Such is the power of modern marketing.

The imminent clash pits the huge and mighty USA -- which just recently admitted running overt and covert "clandestine operations" in at least 75 "sovereign" nations -- against the small and mostly impoverished African nation of Ghana. Despite the disparity in resources, USA is not considered a "prohibitive favorite". Such is the nature of modern football (which Americans insist on calling "soccer").

Recently, at a family gathering, one of the older women -- a mother of three boys, two of whom joined the Marines as teenagers -- was talking about the Vietnam-era anti-war demonstrators. Many people believe that the anti-war movement forced an end to the war. I wouldn't go quite that far, but at the very least the anti-war movement proved to me that some Americans still had functioning brains and hearts.

I don't see that very much anymore; the brains appear to have turned to mush, and the hearts to stone. I was hoping the old woman was about to say something of a similar nature, but instead, looking back on the protests, she said, "That was so difficult for the parents!"

Given the circumstances, there was little I could say. I certainly couldn't say what I was thinking: "The parents!? It was difficult for the parents?? How do you think it was for the children???"

First we had to throw off all the propaganda we'd been fed by our schools, by our parents, by the teevee and the radio, the movies and the newspapers and all the rest of our so-called "culture"; then we had to bring ourselves face-to-face with the fact that our government had adopted a policy of killing millions of innocent people, who had no means to harm us and no intention of doing so, for fun and profit. It was a most repulsive revelation, especially in the midst of all the Disney-crap we'd been "brought up" on.

But even that wasn't enough, because having learned what we had learned, having taken the stands we had taken, we then had to endure the rejection of our parents: and we saw with our own eyes how the people who had brought us into this world, fed us and held us, taught us and loved us, turned against us when we brought to light the most vital truth of their lives, preferring the deadly fiction to which they were accustomed, and with which they were so much more comfortable. And now, "it was so difficult for the parents". Such is the power of modern American stupidity.

None of this makes any difference, of course, to the billions preparing to tune in to the match between USA and Ghana. Very few of the world's sporting fans seem to know or care whether Ghana is seen by USA as nothing but a tiny component of AFRICOM, which in itself is simply one cog in the Pentagon's plan to rule the world by force. I know people who will be standing and cheering and yelling "USA!! USA!!" all afternoon, but I cannot share -- or understand -- their sentiment.

I want to see the whole world screaming for Ghana. I want to see the whole world waking up and aligning itself against the USA, not only in world football but also -- much more significantly -- against the American plan to rule the world.

I want ordinary, "decent", "intelligent" Americans to see the unprovoked murder of even one innocent person as an intolerable outrage; then I want them to understand that their country has murdered millions upon millions of innocent people, not just at one time and in one place but repeatedly, all over the world, for decades. And I want them to realize that their chant of "USA!! USA!!" is -- for the rest of the world -- the most obscene of non-violent gestures.

Not that it matters in the slightest to anyone, but it breaks my heart to realize that the country of my birth is a serial mass murderer, and that even despite the horror that is USA, many of the allegedly most intelligent people I know, including elderly and supposedly wise members of my extended family, still support it, while seeing any prospect of facing the truth about it as "difficult for the parents".

I want the so-called "Family of Man" to take a stand. I want to hear millions and millions -- billions -- of voices, jeering and whistling every time an American player touches the ball. I want to hear billions of voices jeering and whistling every time an American president tells another outrageous lie, every time the American military launches another unprovoked attack against innocent people, every time ... every time ...

I know none of this will happen. But then again this is football, where everything is artificial and nothing matters. Surely a battered old man with a broken heart can have a dream now and then, can't he? Isn't that what the beautiful game is all about?

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Notes On The Greatness Of The American People

In the recent past, readers of the Winter Patriot community blog have been treated to two articles from a contributor calling himself "Truth Excavator", one extolling the virtues of non-violent resistance and the other urging a new awakening of American consciousness, or a new expression of American conscience, or something, and ending with the following words:
Only a great and virtuous people are capable of bringing justice to their deprived leaders, and correcting the wrongs endorsed by generations of government officials. But if there ever was a people in history who could pull off such a task, it is the American people.

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson
Unfortunately for "Truth Excavator" and those who find this line of reasoning attractive, the greatness of the American people is not only a myth but an extremely destructive one.

The myth is most notably promoted by your so-called leaders, who by its use demonstrate quite clearly that they know more about you than you know about them. In particular, they know that flattery will get them everywhere, because you are far too ignorant, far too arrogant, too inward-looking, too self-absorbed, too addicted to your daily fiction, to ever vote for anyone so bold as to tell you the truth about yourself, your country and its role in the world, or the body politic itself -- of which you are a vanishingly insignificant member.

Instead they talk about how proud they are to be American, and how proud you are to be American, and how they know the great people of this great nation will support them in their great campaign to become the next great president, senator, congressman, governor, attorney general, dog-catcher, or whatever. God Bless America, this great and wonderful country. Or something.

The myth of the greatness of the American people is -- to use Lincoln's famous words -- altogether fitting and proper under the circumstances, which is to say it is necessary to the American political landscape for several interconnected reasons. In addition to the most transparent of flattery, the myth provides invaluable support for American exceptionalism, the mass-murderous fiction according to which the United States is never obliged to acknowledge -- or apologize for -- or rectify -- the damage it does to the rest of the world, where it slaughters innocent people by the millions and poisons square miles of landscape by the hundreds of thousands, all in the name of spreading democracy, or stability, or prosperity, or security, or whatever they think you'll believe next year.

As Sarah Palin stated when she was running for the Vice-Presidency:
"America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here [...] as a force for good in this world."
As I explained at the time: This is political code, very thinly veiled, which means:
"It doesn't matter that we have killed thousands of our own people, and millions of foreigners, in our quest for global empire, because we are exceptional, and immune to the laws that apply to ordinary nations.

It doesn't matter that we have turned millions of people into refugees, depriving them of what little they had before we decided to "liberate" them, because we are a beacon of hope.

We don't even have to apologize for destroying Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Somalia, and Pakistan, nor for the covert and proxy warfare we are currently waging against Iran, and Russia, and China, and Venezuela, and many other countries which have never attacked us, because we are God's chosen people, in His shining city, on His hill."
None of this nonsense would be even remotely plausible without the fundamental lie: that Americans are inherently so "good" that they can be collectively called "great", with no hint of irony whatsoever.

As if that weren't enough, the myth also obscures the reality of American prosperity: that it is not solely or even primarily the product of American ingenuity and the inherent greatness of the American people, but of brute force, brutally applied. The story of American wealth begins with a continent rich in natural resources, devoid of natural enemies and protected from the rest of the world by two oceans, conquered through genocide and developed by slavery, fed by the most rapid destruction of resources mankind has ever seen, and growing by hammering the rest of the world, murdering innocent people and stealing the resources to which the victims and their progeny should have been entitled. For this you congratulate yourselves, and your politicians congratulate you, as righteous Christians whose worldly wealth signifies your holiness. Or something.

But no, your so-called leaders will never tell you any of this, and neither will your so-called news media. And even though the plain and horrible truth is available -- and always has been -- in your local library, and -- relatively recently -- on the best (read: least-popular) internet sites, you mostly choose to avoid it. And this avoidance is altogether fitting and proper as well, since your continuing denial allows you to go on about your life in "peace" and "quiet", secure in the "knowledge" that regardless of whatever trouble awaits you and your country, your inherent greatness -- and that of your friends and neighbors -- will certainly come to the rescue, if only it can be awakened. Or something.

Chris Floyd, writing recently about "the gut-wrenching footage unearthed by Wikileaks", had a few kind words to say about the greatness of the American people:
The American people are simply too good, too just to let stand such a foul besmirching of their national honor. After all, didn't they rise up as one after the Abu Ghraib atrocities were revealed in 2004, and boldly oust the architects of these crimes in the ensuing presidential election? Didn't they take to the streets in their millions when first Bush and then Obama claimed the right to have any citizen put to death without charges or trial simply by declaring the victim a "suspected terrorist"? Didn't a great groundswell of public ire force Congress to open impeachment proceedings against George Bush and Dick Cheney for their Soviet-style gulag of concentration camps and systematic tortures -- and threaten similar justice for Barack Obama's continuation and cover-up of this system? Didn't the American people demand a national day of mourning and atonement when they realized that hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis had been murdered in a war based on false pretenses and cynical manipulation?

So let us have faith in the American people. They have proven time and again in this last decade that they will not countenance crimes and atrocities being committed in their names. They will not abide leaders who unleash a war machine of blood money and blind fury against innocent people. When push comes to shove, when the truth is revealed to them, they will always -- always -- do the right thing.
To Floyd's summary, one might add ... um ... interminably. The mythical greatness of the American people goes on and on and on.

The "people of good conscience" Jefferson was talking about have remained silent -- or else they were falsely assumed to be "of good conscience". So much for American "greatness".

It might seem surprising to see this mythical quality extolled by a writer who opposes the endless wars of empire. But as Chris Floyd noted in a more recent post, this is the sort of analysis we often get from
... American "progressives" -- almost of all whom are deeply marinated in their own brand of American exceptionalism ...
We don't expect that sort of "marinated analysis" around here, though ... at least not usually. Usually we make it clear here that the greatness of the American people is on a par with the greatness of sharks.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

On A Personal Note: A Sudden and Unexpected Turn

My physical condition, which has precluded my blogging for most of the past year, has taken a sudden and unexpected turn -- for the better!

I am still struggling with pain (and painkillers!) and still having problems with mobility and strength, but these aspects of my daily grind are much improved recently.

I expect to be able to blog again, if only on a very limited basis.

None too soon, I might add.

To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chris Floyd: Bitter Laugh

I haven't been able to blog lately and I apologize for my absence. I still can't blog much but I wish to share with you the newest music video from Chris Floyd -- "Bitter Laugh" -- which has entered my Top 10 list at Number One.

Bitter Laugh

Death the great deceiver
Whispers to the soldier
That the love he bears his comrade
Is the greatest he will know
It sets a mist around him
A force field of emotion
A cloud of blood and hormones
That makes monstrous the foe

And when his friend is wounded
When his life pours out in battle
And his spirit leaves his body
Like smoke rising from a flame
The soldier's gripped by madness
The berserker rage of Ares
And he swoops down like a fury
To savage all within his aim

Then falls the grieving mother
Then falls the aged father
Then fall the little children
Who cannot escape the blast
And when the fever's broken
And the soldier stares in horror
He can hear the ghostly echo
Of the Deceiver's bitter laugh

Now far-off stand the leaders
The commanders in their glory
With the profiteers who ply them
With the gold they wring from blood
But alone you'll find the soldier
In a labyrinth of sorrow
In a never-ending darkness
That has drowned him in its flood
If the embedded video above won't work for you, try it at at youtube.

You can see the post in its original context here. You might consider leaving a word of thanks for the artist, and/or throwing a coin into his virtual hat.

In my opinion you should bookmark Chris Floyd's blog site, Empire Burlesque, and visit it often.

In my further opinion, you should also check out Chris Floyd's music page, where you will find some very good material. I don't think any of it is as good as "Bitter Laugh", but that would be almost too much to ask ... even of Chris!

I hope to be able to blog again soon, even if only a little bit.

Best wishes to all my online friends.

And thanks again to Chris Floyd, for telling such horrible truths in such beautiful ways.