Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Republican Götterdämmerung

Wayne MADSEN | 08.11.2014 | 00:00
The Republicans, who will soon control both houses of Congress, will seek to push the world to the brink of war. The neo-conservative war hawks who will soon take over Senate committees on foreign policy, defense, and intelligence will push for maximum confrontation with nations the neo-cons see as immortal enemies of America. In their eyes, a final showdown is nigh -- a Götterdämmerung -- arising from a certain rise in tensions between the United States and those who oppose its imperial policies. The world is about to become a very dangerous place.
The darling of the neo-cons, Arizona Senator John McCain, can be expected to assume the chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Working with right-wing Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, who will become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McCain will do his best to pressure the lame duck Obama administration to provide advanced weapons to Ukraine’s fascist- and Zionist-led government and increasing support to Islamic State-allied groups in ousting the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria by berating administration officials during incessant public hearings and passing resolutions in the Senate that will be tied to important budgetary legislation. 
The chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations subcommittee will be Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Although Cochran received African-American Democratic support in his close primary race with a «Tea Party» challenger, he will quickly forget how progressives bailed him out from an all-but-certain defeat. Cochran adheres to all the neo-con policy points on keeping the Guantanamo Bay gulag open and in maximal U.S. support for Israel over Iran and Syria and for Ukraine over Russia.
Cuba will be in for as much criticism under Corker and his chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio and the outgoing Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez are both the sons of right-wing Cuban immigrants to the United States. The vocal Cuban minority in the United States, like the Jewish minority, have ensured that congressional committees that involve their pet causes, namely Cuba and Israel, respectively, are chaired by members of their own ethnic groups. As chairman of the oversight subcommittee on U.S.-Cuba policy, Rubio will be just as, if not more, hostile to Cuba’s government. Although Menendez was a Democrat, he was a fierce opponent of the Obama administration’s low-level talks with Cuba’s government. Menendez even accused Cuba of being behind a report, first published on a Republican website, which stated Menendez consorted with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. In fact, the Cuban government does not have to make up anything about Menendez’s lack of ethics. Menendez hails from one of the most corrupt counties – Hudson County – in one of the most corrupt states in the United States -- New Jersey.
The defeat of former Florida Governor Charlie Crist by incumbent Republican Rick Scott will embolden the anti-Cuba lobby. Crist, unlike Scott and Rubio, favored opening up trade and communications links between Florida and Cuba. 
Control of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East and South and Central Asian Affairs may go to Senator Jim Risch from the extremely conservative state of Idaho. His political campaign coffers can be expected to swell with out-of-state money from Jewish contributors from New York City, Los Angeles, and south Florida. There will be intense jockeying for this chairmanship considering the Jewish donor money that goes along with it.
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, a puppet of the U.S. intelligence community, will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Behind closed doors in classified hearings, Burr and his fellow Republicans will pressure the Central Intelligence Agency to increase clandestine actions targeting the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Russia, Iran, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and any other government that has challenged Washington’s imperial desires. It can be expected that Corker and his committee will call for more punitive sanctions against Russia and countries like Hungary and possibly even Austria, which support it. The Intelligence Committee will also conveniently forget that the CIA spied on it with human and cyber agents in violation of the Constitution. The National Security Agency and its allied FIVE EYES signals intelligence agencies around the world will breathe easier after one of its harshest critics, Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, went down to defeat. 
Perhaps already anticipating pressure from McCain and other pro-Israeli Republican neo-cons, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey, only days after the Republican electoral victory, told the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs that he thought that «Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties» in Gaza. Dempsey’s opinion was in marked contrast to previous statements in which he said the U.S. must not fight Assad in Syria while also battling the Islamic State. McCain has called Dempsey’s public affairs spokesman at the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby, an «idiot.» The former prisoner-of-war in Vietnam, who allegedly gave his North Vietnamese captors six months of future U.S. naval bombardment schedules, has been a vocal critic of Dempsey and his boss, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. 
Although Hagel supported McCain’s run for the presidency in 2000 and was his friend, the two Vietnam War veterans have had a bitter falling out. Dempsey’s recent comments about Israel’s attack on Gaza is obviously intended to ingratiate himself with McCain and his partner, South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham, who is slated to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Graham will be sure to place procedural roadblocks on any of Obama’s ambassadorial nominations that do not pass muster with the neo-con policy laundries in Washington. These policy «boiler shops» include the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The first volleys in the upcoming skirmishes by congressional Republicans to push for U.S. military action in the Middle East came after it was revealed that President Obama sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in October urging U.S.-Iranian cooperation in battling the forces of the Islamic State. The Obama policy was immediately condemned by congressional Republicans after details of the letter were leaked by an administration source to the neo-con propaganda daily, The Wall Street Journal. While in Tehran in late September, this reporter urged Iranian officials close to Khamenei to respond favorably to White House entreaties over jointly combating the Islamic State. However, any rapprochement between Washington and Tehran is anathema to the Israelis and their neo-con supporters in the United States, as well as to the Saudis, Turks, and Qataris, who, like Israel, support the Islamic State financially, militarily, or logistically. 
Americans have voted to install a war party in control of the legislative branch of their government. They will have war unless the generally anti-neocon Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky can prevail on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reign in the neocons. Paul came to McConnell's assistance during his primary challenge by a Tea Party candidate and McConnell owes Paul a huge political debt. However, as Paul ratchets up his 2016 presidential campaign, there is every likelihood that the junior senator from Kentucky will start to waddle and quack like a «neocon-lite» duck.

In that event, a multi-front war is inevitable.

9. November - Mythos des Kalten Krieges von Wiliam Blum (Junge Welt)

Michail Gorbatschow bei "Cinema For Peace Foundation um Verständnis für die aktuelle Moskauer Politik im Ukraine-Konflikt

"Der Westen hat alle Zusagen gebrochen" Gorbatschow

Mit Glasnost und Perestroika hat Michail Gorbatschow die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands möglich gemacht. 25 Jahre später ist er tief enttäuscht und warnt: Der Westen setze mit seiner Politik in der Ukraine-Krise alles aufs Spiel, was damals gewonnen wurde.
Bei den Feiern zum 25. Jahrestag des Mauerfalls in Berlin hat der frühere sowjetische Staats- und Parteichef Michail Gorbatschow schwere Vorwürfe gegen den Westen erhoben. Im Zusammenhang mit dem Ukraine-Konflikt sagte er am Samstag: "Die Welt ist an der Schwelle zu einem neuen Kalten Krieg. Manche sagen, er hat schon begonnen." In den letzten Monaten habe sich ein "Zusammenbruch des Vertrauens" vollzogen.
Der Friedensnobelpreisträger, der als einer der Väter der deutschen Einheit gilt, warf dem Westen und insbesondere den USA vor, ihre Versprechen nach der Wende 1989 nicht gehalten zu haben. Stattdessen habe man sich zum Sieger im Kalten Krieg erklärt und Vorteile aus Russlands Schwäche gezogen. "Die Ereignisse der vergangenen Monate sind die Konsequenzen aus einer kurzsichtigen Politik, aus dem Versuch, vollendete Tatsachen zu schaffen und die Interessen des Partners zu ignorieren."
Bereits in den 1990er Jahren habe der Westen begonnen, im Verhältnis zu Russland das Vertrauen zu untergraben, das die friedliche Revolution in Deutschland und in Mittel-Osteuropa möglich gemacht habe. "Die Nato-Erweiterung, Jugoslawien und vor allem das Kosovo, Raketenabwehrpläne, Irak, Libyen, Syrien", nannte Gorbatschow als Beispiele. "Und wer leidet am meisten unter der Entwicklung? Es ist Europa, unser gemeinsames Haus."
Ungeachtet der schweren Vertrauenskrise forderte Gorbatschow, dessen Politik der Öffnung die Voraussetzungen für die Wiedervereinigung geschaffen hatte, eine Stabilisierung der deutsch-russischen Beziehungen. "Hier in Berlin, zum Jahrestag des Mauerfalls, muss ich feststellen, dass all dies auch negative Auswirkungen auf die Beziehungen zwischen Russland und Deutschland hat", sagte er. "Lasst uns daran erinnern, dass es ohne deutsch-russische Partnerschaft keine Sicherheit in Europa geben kann." Gorbatschow trifft am Montag mit Kanzlerin Angela Merkel zusammen.
Der 83-Jährige, der früher als Kritiker des russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin hervorgetreten war, warb bei der Veranstaltung der "Cinema For Peace Foundation" direkt am Brandenburger Tor erneut um Verständnis für die aktuelle Moskauer Politik im Ukraine-Konflikt. Jüngste Äußerungen Putins ließen das Bestreben erkennen, Spannungen abzubauen und eine neue Grundlage für eine Partnerschaft zu schaffen. Gorbatschow forderte eine schrittweise Aufhebung der gegenseitigen Sanktionen. Vor allem die von der EU und den USA verhängten Strafmaßnahmen gegen Politiker müssten aufgehoben werden. Quelle:

US-led airstrikes hit oil field in Syria

News | 08.11.2014 | 15:42
The United States and its Arab allies have launched new air raids against ISIL positions in Syria, with at least one airstrike hitting an oil field controlled by the militants.

The fighter jets struck the terrorists’ positions in the north and east of Syria on Friday night, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.
The airstrikes were reportedly conducted in response to the militants’ shelling of a camp where displaced people from the Syrian town of Kobani are currently residing.
"Four explosions were heard during the night in Deir Ezzor province (eastern Syria), caused by US-Arab airstrikes in the area of the Tanak oil field and an IS checkpoint," said the said the monitoring group, which relies on its sources in Syria.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Some analysts have criticized the aerial military campaign in Syria, saying the strikes are meant to destroy the Arab country's infrastructure.
Alan Sabrosky, a US Marine Corps veteran, has said that the United States’ airstrikes in Syria often target militants with “no military value” and actually aim at the country’s infrastructure.
“What I can see happening is that the targets they’re selecting are those that have, in many cases, no military value at all to ISIS or any other rebel group but really are intended to break whatever infrastructure the Syrian government will have when the fighting is over,” Sabrosky told Press TV on September 30.
He added Washington intends to inflict “such damage to the economic and industrial infrastructure within Syria that any Syrian government after the fighting will be so weakened that it will be vulnerable to further attacks.”

US-Mid-Term-Election Results and German Jubilation

By Victor Grossman*

US-Mid-Term-Election Results and German Jubilation

Most American readers are now probably wondering and/or worrying about their own election results. But, different as they may be, there are similarities between there and here. In the USA Republicans are loudly jubilant. Jubilation here is about an event twenty-five years ago. The joy for most people may have been justified then*. But every day and every evening endless hours of TV and op-ed columns treating us to rhapsodic notes about the clefts in the Berlin Wall have a triumphant undertone:
“We beat those red SOBs!” 
Weren’t both defeats, of today’s Democrats and yesterday’s GDR, as much due to the wealth of the winners as to the losers’ loss of contact, their neglect of rapport with the feelings and hopes of much of the population?
But is there not, hidden behind the confetti, helium balloons or crowing of the victors in both Germany and the USA an occasional jarring note of worried anxiety?

A Pastor’s German  Anxieties

A man with good reason for anxiety is Germany’s president, Joachim Gauck*. A pastor by profession, he is a skilled rhetorician and notable father figure, both suited to a position tailored to New Year’s addresses, unveiling monuments and greeting foreign kings and presidents, while Merkel and her cabinet ministers take care of the politics. The cameras usually show him with a broad paternal smile, occasionally moistened by tears when he recalls the suffering endured under that repressive dictatorial regime in East Germany, where he lived, preached (and actually got along very well) until those crucial changes twenty-five years ago opened wide new horizons – and the portals of a presidential palace in Berlin’s Tiergarten park.
But those portals – and all the celebrations – cannot shield Herr Gauck from some anxious worries. For example, a majority of Germans stubbornly oppose foreign military involvement. And he scolded, though with careful words:
“We should not use our troops too quickly, but we must not let reservations based on Germany’s past history stop us, together with the European Union, NATO and the UN, from sending them in whenever necessary to maintain a world order which permits Germany to coordinate its interests with its basic values.”
In GDR days his church, like most dissidents, demanded disarmament. But in 2012 he proudly told officers:
“Germany has taken this road since reunification… step by step changing from a beneficiary to a guarantor of international security and order… In the Balkans, along the Hindu Kush Mountains and the Horn of Africa, the Bundeswehr (German Army) is engaged in confronting terror and pirates. Who would have thought that possible twenty years ago?”

German Bundeswehr in action again since 1999

  • I think of the Balkans, where on May 30th, 1999 a NATO missile destroyed a civilian bridge at a Sunday marketplace in the little Serbian town of Varvarin. Another missile minutes later killed those who had run to help. A victim of the first attack was Sanya Milenkovic, a girl of 16, a brilliant mathematics pupil. In all ten died and seventeen were severely wounded.
  • Or I recall how on September 4th, 2009 up to 142 Afghan civilians in Kunduz, many of them children, were killed by a bomber called in by German Col. Georg Klein, again without even the usual warning fly-over. His courage – from a safe distance – was rewarded with a promotion to Brigadier General. But, as Gauck insists, we “shouldn’t reject from the start the use of military methods as a last resort.”

Mr. Gauck’s Militaristic Phantasies

In September, at Danzig in Poland, he equated Nazi Germany’s attack there 75 years ago with current Russian policy in the Ukraine. In his usual slightly veiled yet menacing language
he threatened Putin: “History teaches us that territorial concessions often only whet the appetite of aggressors. Europe will hold to its libertarian values. We will adjust our political path, our economy and our defense preparedness to this new situation.”

Gauck’s Menaces Recall His Heritage

He did not overly stress that his father, like his mother an early Nazi Party member, had been a loyal captain in Danzig during World War II before advancing to teach Navigation and Military Law to future officers. Doubtless to his joy, Poland, backed by NATO, is moving more troops to the Russian border, making de-escalation in the Ukraine even tougher.
German uniforms have been deployed in thirteen foreign regions since unification: over Serbia, in Kosovo, Afghanistan, in naval blockades at Lebanon and the Horn of Africa, in Turkey with Patriot missiles at the Syrian border, and in many African countries. 
But still too few for Joachim Gauck!

President Gauck’s Worries Concern the Left Party

This relates to another worry of his. Although a polled majority wants no more military adventures, only one party in the Bundestag opposes past, present and future foreign deployments; that is the Left party. And now these heretics may become, for the first time, the leading party in a German state, Thuringia! State politics are not directly tied to military matters but a Left minister-president, Bodo Ramelow, would automatically become a member and occasional chair of Germany’s Upper House (Bundesrat); his position could help legitimize his party in western Germany where age-old anti-Communist prejudices have thus far kept it to a role as despised ragamuffins, with low polling results. But Ramelow cannot easily be red-baited as a ”left-over hack from the old GDR, with Stasi connections”; until moving east in 1990 he was a proper, pious, church-going West German.
The Left won this unprecedented opportunity by coming in a close second to the Christian Democrats (CDU) in state elections, and because the badly-beaten Social Democrats (SPD) preferred gaining respect as junior partners with the Left to getting further squeezed as juniors by overbearing Christian Democrats, which had cost them half their votes. This also gave the Greens a chance to join in and get two cabinet seats. The Thuringian SPD leaders voted unanimously to take this path, then put it to a membership referendum to make a final decision. A quick and angry counterattack was immediately mounted; heading the pack was Joachim Gauck: “People of my age who experienced the GDR (East Germany, VG) will have real trouble swallowing this. We… respect decisions by the people but, all the same, must ask ourselves:
Is this party, which is to provide the minister-president, really far enough removed from ideas once held by the ruling Socialist Unity Party (GDR predecessor of the Left, VG) about oppressing its people so that we can now fully trust it? … What is this party in reality?

 “Authority of  President Depends on Maintaining Distinct Nonpartisanship.”

Not everyone was happy about Gauck’s interference. SPD Vice-Chairman Ralph Stegner said: “In controversial questions of ongoing party politics it is wise and correct to maintain reserve, for the official authority of the president depends on his maintaining distinct nonpartisanship.”
The noted Lutheran theologian and a leading dissident in the GDR twenty-five years ago, Friedrich Schorlemmer, called Gauck’s condemnation “completely absurd… Nowhere can I observe that the Left party is acting in any way outside the law of the land”.
A commentary in the important Der Spiegel Online stated:
“Now he has gone beyond the bounds of his office.”
Worse yet: He is mixing directly in the process of forming a government in Thuringia, during a referendum among SPD members on whether their party should negotiate a Left-SPD-Green coalition … In a free election the citizens gave the Left, the SPD and the Greens a slim majority in the legislature. A coalition between Christian Democrats and SPD could also rule by an equally slim majority. The coming suspense-filled weeks will decide who is to become minister-president. That is democracy. Joachim Gauck has done it no service.“

Despite Gauck

The SPD membership has since given the three-way coalition a go-ahead signal with nearly 70% approval. Despite Gauck! A special congress of the Left has done the same; the new coalition now seems very likely. This will strike a blow against the worst of German caveman-rightists, but may also raise questions as complicated as anthropologist debates on how many Neanderthal genes remain today in Europeans’ cell structures. The SPD, and even more the Greens, will exact a price for joining a Left-led government which they can upset with a single No-vote. They want Ramelow’s party not only to vigorously condemn the GDR and join in building monuments and revamping museums in this spirit, but to suppress any members who refuse to reject all the GDR stood for, good or bad.

German Similarities With Red-baiting Era of Joe McCarthy and the HUAC

This reminds me personally of the old red-baiting era of Joe McCarthy and the HUAC. And it brings to mind that it was the SPD and the Greens who nominated Gauck for the presidency, pressuring other parties to back him and almost hysterically denouncing the Left for refusing to do so. As Germany’s leading anti-Communist and anti-progressive, he had gained fame as first “Federal Commissioner for Stasi Records” from 1990 to 2000. Hatred of the Stasi – fostered far, far more intensely than any ever directed at Nazi war criminals in leading positions – was constantly enflamed anew by Gauck, and his unceasing witch-hunt against many, many thousands, some undoubtedly nasty, others by no means so, destroyed countless livelihoods and led to not a few suicides. For some Social Democrats and Greens he has become a Frankenstein monster. But not for others, like Katrin Göring-Eckardt, chairperson of the Green caucus in the Bundestag, who also supported military measures against Libya, in Syria and Iraq and went all-out in backing the Maidan coup and demanding pressures against Russia. She said:
“Gauck has done just the things we elected him to do.” Göring-Eckaardt , Green Party

Promised Gains Worrisome

Such a coalition requires lots of compromising. The promised gains – perhaps changing the whole political map – are tempting indeed. But also worrisome. On the national sphere, the Left cannot forget that both SPD and Greens support Germany’s expansive, increasingly military role in the world – as junior partner (if occasionally friendly rival) of the USA – from Kabul to Kiev and maybe Kobani.

Results  of An Even More Worrisome Past that Gauck Wants to Denie

While both parties are so outspoken about missing rights and democracy in the GDR, they hardly raise such issues in coalitions with a CDU which supported Generalissimo Franco, the Chilean killer Pinochet and South African apartheid, but never rejected the overwhelming influence of a company like BASF, a main manager and profiteer at Auschwitz and now the world’s largest chemical company, or the Deutsche Bank, Hitler’s financier, which evicts families as distant as Akron, Ohio with phony mortgage claims, while evading taxes in oases like Luxembourg. Insistence on total rejection of everything in the GDR has little to do with human rights.

More Frightening Results in The Future?

They hope rather for weak-kneed colleagues who will also retreat from consistent, courageous ideals like a world without exploitation, without yawning income gaps, without destruction of earth, sea and air and without constant military conflicts. Some call this socialism. After their own sad abandonment of such goals, they seek to see them stifled, if possible, even within the Left party, their only important remaining harbinger. Will the Left in Thuringia (and elsewhere) compromise such principles to gain advantages in party politics? Many stubbornly refuse to which, behind the scenes is one key reason for all the helium balloons and other glorious features at commemorations of the opening of the Wall.
As for Gauck, whose smiles will often shine down on the celebrations, it now seems that he himself once worked secretly – and on a friendly basis – with the Stasi. Yet I have a feeling that such incredible hypocrisy – and many such problems of victory or defeat – are by no means restricted to Germany.
* Thanks to Victor Grossmann – Berlin Bulletin No. 78, November 7, 2014. Grossman is  of US and Jewish decent. He  lived and worked as a journalist in the GDR (Headlines  and  careful editing by I. Eckert, AKF)