Truthdig columnist and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges addresses fascism and the rise of the Trump war machine in the keynote speech at the “After Trump and Pussy Hats” event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3, 2017.
Introductions by Cecilia Point of the Musqueam First Nation and Lee Lakeman of Vancouver Rape and Women’s Relief Shelter.
In my long experience in Washington, vice presidents did not make major foreign policy announcements or threaten other countries with war. Not even Dick Cheney stole this role from the weak president George W. Bush.
But yesterday the world witnessed VP Pence threaten North Korea with war. “The sword stands ready,” said Pence as if he is the commander in chief.
For Trump, the presidency is a fund-raising device. If his VP, National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, UN Ambassador, CIA Director, whoever, want to start wars wherever, that’s just more memorabilia to raffle off for a $3 donation.
As a result of Trump’s failure to govern his own government, we have VP Pence telling Russia and China that there could be a nuclear exchange on their borders between the US and North Korea. Although Pence is not smart enough to know, this is not something Russia and China will accept.
Washington worries about North Korea having nuclear weapons, but the entire world worries that Washington has nuclear weapons. And so many of them. World polls have shown that the majority of the world’s population are far more concerned about the threat to peace posed by Washington and Israel than by Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.
Pence prefaced his “the sword stands ready” remark with “the United States of America will always seek peace,” which after Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria is as false a statement as it is possible to make. From Washington’s perspective it is always Washington’s victims that are “reckless and provocative,” never Washington.
The US stands for war. If the world is driven to Armegeddon, it will be Washington, not North Korea, Iran, Russia, or China, that brings life on earth to an end.
Trump’s ‘armada’ turns toward North Korea as White House defends misleading remarks The White House stood by President Donald Trump’s recent talk of a Navy strike force on its way to the Korean peninsula, after the USS Carl Vinson was spotted thousands of miles away, headed in the opposite direction. The fleet has since […]
Long gone is Trump the peacemaker, now showing his true colours as a President who wants to go to war with more countries than Obama. Every time he opens his mouth he is making a complete idiot of himself. Claiming that he sent missiles to Iraq instead of Syria. He has no idea who he […]
In his lengthy interview with AFP on Thursday, Syrian President Bashar Assad mused that the American “Deep State” was more responsible for pelting his Sharyat airbase with 59 cruise missiles than President Donald Trump.When the interviewer proposed that the retaliatory missile strike marked a drastic change in Trump’s position on Syria, Assad insisted the U.S. and Syria could still be partners in fighting terrorism, once Trump wrested control of Washington away from the military-industrial complex.
“If they are serious in fighting terrorists, we’re going to be partners, and I said not only the United States. Whoever wants to fight the terrorists, we are partners,” said Assad, in the transcript provided by Syria’s SANA news service.
“This is basic for us, basic principle, let’s say,” he continued:
Actually, what has been proven recently, as I said earlier, that they are hand in glove with those terrorists, the United States and the West, they’re not serious in fighting the terrorists, and yesterday some of their statesmen were defending ISIS. They were saying that ISIS doesn’t have chemical weapons. They are defending ISIS against the Syrian government and the Syrian Army. So, actually, you cannot talk about partnership between us who work against the terrorists and who fight the terrorism and the others who are supporting explicitly the terrorists.
Assad said the American missile strike was “the first proof that it’s not about the President of the United States — it’s about the regime and the Deep State, or the deep regime in the United States.”
He said the Deep State “is still the same, it doesn’t change.”
“The president is only one of the performers on their theatre, if he wants to be a leader, he cannot, because as some say he wanted to be a leader, Trump wanted to be a leader, but every president there, if he wants to be a real leader, later he’s going to eat his words, swallow his pride if he has pride at all, and make a 180 degree U-turn, otherwise he would pay the price politically,” said Assad.
Asked if he anticipated another U.S. attack, Assad replied:
As long as the United States is being governed by this military-industrial complex, the financial companies, banks, and what you call deep regime, and works for the vested interest of those groups, of course. It could happen anytime, anywhere, not only in Syria.
Assad lamented that his military could not retaliate against the American ships that fired cruise missiles at Syria but expressed hope the Russians might do it for him.
“For us, as a small country, yeah, of course it is, everybody knows that. It’s out of reach. I mean, they can have missiles from another continent. We all know that. They are a great power, we’re not a great power. Talking about the Russians, this is another issue,” he said.
The short answer is, disinformation and propaganda, which is the domain of mainstream media. When people are confused, when truth is hidden, when agendas are presented as life or death options, and when the public has no clue about which laws government is bound to, then anything goes.
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
Washington has murdered entire countries in whole or part: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, parts of Syria and Pakistan. Millions of Muslim peoples have been killed, maimed, orphaned, and dislocated. The dispossessed and dislocated are filling up the American Empire that destroyed their lives. The American genocide of nations has had the full support of “Western civilization” and the print and TV media of Western journalism. Every transparent lie out of Washington’s mouth has been repeated by European, Canadian, and Austrailian heads of state and by the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and all the rest of the presstitutes of the Western world.
Trump is the fourth US president in a row who takes refuge in blatant lies as his justification for war crimes. The Western world has chosen lies and rejected truth.
Three weeks ago I wrote a piece for The Duran in which I suggested that the corner appeared to have been turned in the fake ‘Russiagate’ scandal.
What was a tentative conclusion then can now be firmed up.
Though the leaders of the US security services have denied the President’s allegation that they wire-tapped him – though they were careful not to deny that they mounted surveillance on him and his associates – the President’s claim that they did, in effect smoked them out.
Thus former DNI James Clapper admitted that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians up to the point of his retirement on 20th January 2017, and former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell more recently has publicly trashed the whole story of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Possibly the single most important admission that no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians has been found came however from within the FBI itself, though it has gone almost completely unnoticed.
This came in the form of information deriving from an anonymous leak which appeared in an article in The New York Times on 5th March 2017. This leak almost certainly originated with FBI Director James Comey himself. The relevant sentence in the article reads as follows
In addition to being concerned about potential attacks on the bureau’s credibility, senior F.B.I. officials are said to be worried that the notion of a court-approved wiretap will raise the public’s expectations that the federal authorities have significant evidence implicating the Trump campaign in colluding with Russia’s efforts to disrupt the presidential election.
(bold italics added)
In my article of 6th March 2017 discussing this comment I said the following
This is very twisted language which shows that The New York Times is not reporting this part of the story straightforwardly. However the meaning is clear enough. The FBI is worried that the more discussion of its investigation there is – extending all the way to discussions by no less a person than the President himself of court approved wiretaps – the more people will fall for the false ‘no smoke without fire’ argument, and will feel let down by the FBI when it eventually announces that its investigation has drawn a blank.
This is an entirely valid concern, and is one of several reasons why such investigations are supposed to be confidential.
This is the second confirmation within a few hours from people who have held posts within the national security bureaucracy that the endlessly repeated claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia are not supported by evidence. The first was made by Clapper (see above) and the second was made anonymously to The New York Times by officials of the FBI.
These admissions follow a continuous pattern of admissions from officials within the national security bureaucracy now stretching back months that inquiries into claims of collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia are drawing a blank.
A further sign that the ‘Russiagate’ scandal is flagging is the way its supporters are latching on to non issues in order to keep it going.
Thus following the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday 20th March 2017 the militantly anti-Trump news media latched on to FBI Director Comey’s formal confirmation that an FBI investigation was looking into the allegation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as if this was news, and made it the big story, even though the existence of this investigation has been public knowledge and the topic of exhaustive discussion in the media for months.
No doubt this was done in order to avoid mentioning the fact that the Committee on 20th March 2017 heard no evidence even slightly damaging to the President, but did hear evidence which appeared to confirm the truth of the President’s claim that he and his campaign team had been placed under surveillance during the most critical months of the Presidential election campaign.
Then there was the way Representative Adam Schiff used in his opening statement at the Committee hearing the discredited ‘Trump Dossier‘ – shot through with obvious falsehoods, uncorroborated by the intelligence agencies, and trashed by no less a person than Michael Morell – as his frame story for his whole narrative of secret collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This is desperate, and shows how evidence-less and fact-free the whole ‘Russiagate’ story actually is.
Then there are the claims – almost certainly originating in Ukraine – about the supposedly nefarious activities of Donald Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort.
Not only have these claims been emphatically and authoritatively denied by the two people involved – Manafort and Deripaska – with Manafort asking to give evidence to the House Intelligence Committee to put the record straight and Deripaska threatening to sue anyone who repeats them, but since they involve alleged actions which took place years before Donald Trump launched his Presidential campaign, and have no connection to him, their relevance to the ‘Russiagate’ scandal is not obvious.
Lastly, there is the wholly bogus non-scandal around House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes, who is obviously being targeted by the Democrats because of his increasingly openly expressed and entirely justified skepticism about the whole ‘Russiagate’ story.
To be clear, Nunes’s decision to share information about surveillance of the President and his team during the transition period with the White House before he shared it with his Committee colleagues was no doubt a mistake – and one which Nunes has apologised for – but it is hardly a serious one, or one which would justify removing him from his chairing of the Committee.
To my mind what this episode shows is how sensitive the Democrats are about the raising of the whole surveillance issue. This lends further strength to my opinion – which I note is coming to be increasingly widely shared – that it is the surveillance carried out during the election of Donald Trump and his campaign team which is the real scandal in this affair, and that the fake ‘Russiagate’ scandal is the smoke-screen concealing it.
Having increasingly given up on the House Intelligence Committee, the proponents of the ‘Russiagate’ scandal now seem increasingly to be resting their hopes on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
They will be equally disappointed there. These attempts to use Congressional committees as investigative and prosecutorial instruments suffer from a basic misconception: these are oversight committees, not investigative or prosecutorial committees, and they cannot be used in that way. They cannot magic up evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that the actual investigation – the one carried out by the FBI – says is not there.
The single most important fact about the last few weeks, and the clearest possible sign that the ‘Russiagate’ scandal is flagging, is that there have been no more leaks from within the intelligence and security agencies since the ones at the beginning of March about Jeff Sessions’s meetings with the Russian ambassador.
That suggests that the former Obama administration officials, who I suspect were the people who were physically communicating the information in the leaks to the media, are no longer being fed information about Donald Trump and his associates or about the progress of the FBI investigation by their sources within the intelligence and national security bureaucracy.
That could be because people within the intelligence and national security bureaucracy are being deterred by the investigation into the leaking of classified material which the President has been calling for but which the House Intelligence Committee hearing on 20th March 2017 suggested FBI Director Comey is resisting (almost certainly because people within the FBI were involved in the leaks), or it could be because increasingly there is no damaging information to leak.
Regardless of what the explanation is, in the absence of any more leaks there has been nothing over the last few weeks for the supporters of ‘Russiagate’ to work with. The result is that in the absence of anything new the effort to keep the ‘Russiagate’ scandal going and in the public eye is flagging.
My best guess is that it will collapse entirely by early summer.
Benjamin Fulford Typepad blog, 3-31-17… “Obama linked planed [plane] filled with Afghan Heroin and North Korean amphetamines impounded in Caribbean”
Posted on 2017/03/30 by Kauilapele
[Kp update: About “Sorcha Faal”, here is what Ben wrote in an earlier full BF report: “The Sorcha Faal news site run by US Naval Intelligence says the Russians seized some sort of electronic device containing information about personnel in the Russian Baltic Fleet.”]
Apparently Benjamin is now putting out short pieces of information as he finds it. This one implies “the Obama” (whatever that means… the real one, one of the clones?). Now this one is linked to a “Sorcha Faal WDiM” report, and although WDiM is sometimes called a disinfo source, Benjamin states that this is from Japanese military intelligence.
Naturally, use Higher Discernment with this (although it does ring my own bells).
“Former US President Barack Obama, in custody of the US military police, has informed on his drug dealing bosses, according to sources in Japanese military intelligence… [leading to] an airplane filled with Afghan Heroin and North Korean amphetamines was impounded at Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.”
Obama linked planed [plane] filled with Afghan Heroin and North Korean amphetamines impounded in Caribbean
By Benjamin Fulford, March 31st, 2017
Former US President Barack Obama, in custody of the US military police, has informed on his drug dealing bosses, according to sources in Japanese military intelligence. As a result of this, an airplane filled with Afghan Heroin and North Korean amphetamines was impounded at Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, the sources say. The money raised from this drug flight was intended to be used to finance the operations of Daesh (formerly known as ISIS), the sources say. This impoundment follows the capture of an Obama linked ship containing 4.2 tons of cocaine, the sources note.
For the first time in modern history, a fringe wing of Christian extremists have obtained the highest seats of power in the US government—from Mike Pence to Betsy DeVos.
This new development is coupled with the emergence of the Alt Right, the Trump movement, and the rise of fascist movements abroad.
Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges has embedded himself in what he calls “Christianized Fascism” and warns that this is the biggest danger we face under Trump. https://videosenglish.telesurtv.net/v…