A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Seed sharing is illegal in nearly 30% of US states

Seed Sharing

© Natural Society

It is time for some outdated, unconstitutional laws to be scrapped. Informally sharing seed with a neighbor who gardens down the street is illegal in multiple states in the US. The penalty for violating this ridiculous law is a fine of up to $7,500 a day. Like so many other senseless laws, this rule needs to be put to rest.

You can't even give away seeds to someone in your own neighborhood under certain laws. For example, in Minnesota, where seed laws on the books are so laughable that unless you buy an annual permit and submit each lot of seeds for germination testing, you are defying the law.

You even have to attach an appropriate label, even if you aren't sharing the seeds with a local seed sharing library and just want to give them to your daughter-in-law for her new garden.

Even the 300 seed libraries throughout the US can't give away seeds or facilitate the exchange of seeds between organic gardeners unless they purchase a permit.

If this smacks of corporate farming infiltration to you, you aren't alone. Just 6 companies in the world have patented most of the seeds grown in the entire global agricultural market. Our food diversity is crumbling and it's largely because corporations, not people, are in charge of the supply.

Neil Thapar, an attorney for the Sustainable Economics Law Center, has reviewed laws like these in 30 states so far and found that many of them define seed sharing without a permit as an illegal act.

People have been saving and sharing seeds for millennia. It isn't just our grandparents and great-grandparents who saved and exchanged seed - it has been practiced among farmers and gardeners since we first became an agrarian society.

More importantly, it is a vital practice which must be protected, not only because of biotech seed monopolies, but because gardeners in each area of the world are keenly aware of which kind of organic, heirloom seeds grow best, and are especially adapted to their climates. We can't let corporations and even government agencies like the USDA regulate non-GMO, organic seed banks to death.

Keeping seed exchanges local ensures a better food supply, that is not tainted by corporate interests, but also that will allow the smaller farmer and gardener to grow better food. Never has planting an organic garden been such an act of defiance against corruption.

According to EcoLife:

"[Seed saving and exchange] is a great way to preserve what is left of the diverse, exotic, and interesting of our food and flower history. Some are forming seed exchanges through local libraries like . . . while others are organizing their efforts through online seed swap groups."

Additional Sources:

Mother Earth News April-May 2015 Issue, p. 4

Interview: The Saker speaks with Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon

© Gilad Atzmon

It has been already 6 years since I interviewed Gilad for the first time and when a friend recently suggested that it was time for a new conversation, I immediately agreed, as did Gilad who, in spite of his over-booked and hectic lifestyle took the time to reply to my questions. Gilad is, in my opinion, not only the most original and talented jazz musician currently composing and playing (make sure to get his latest CD "The Whistle Blower "), he is also an extremely profound philosopher who has the amazing courage not only to ask the key questions, but to also answer them. His book "The Wandering Who" is, I strongly believe, a must read for anybody wanting to see through the "fog" of modern "Jewish anti-Zionism". As somebody who has gotten his share of hate mail, I can only begin to imagine the kind of hate-filled poison which Gilad has had to put up with for his courage and even though he will not speak about it, I will say that it takes exceptional courage and moral strength to do what Gilad did and is still doing. So, with no hyperbole at all, but quite literally, I will say that Gilad Atzmon is a modern hero whose courage and phenomenal intellect will, I am sure, eventually be recognized as one of the most brilliant ones of our time. I am deeply honored that he considers me to be a friend.

The Saker

Q&A with Gilad Atzmon

The Saker: Since our last interview in 2009 the world has changed a lot and in many ways. In your opinion, has the global resistance to the Empire grown stronger or weaker over these years and why? What about the current regime in Israel, do you see it weakening or not?

Gilad Atzmon: It all depends on how you define the 'Empire.' Is the empire the market forces that drive global capitalism? Is it the Neocons who push us into Zionist wars, one after the other? Or maybe it is the tyranny of correctness that suppresses our ability to think authentically? Is it possible that these three are mere symptoms of an obscure impetus we are yet to be able to define or even grasp?

In my recent writing I argue that Jewish power is the ability to silence criticism of Jewish power. This observation helps us to adopt a transcendental take on issues of the 'empire' and the negative powers that dominate our lives. Instead of talking about the empire, we must first identify the forces that prevent us from talking about the empire. We are getting very close to that bone now.

A growing number of commentators are now willing openly to challenge Jewish power. I assume that the rapidly growing Jewish fear of 'anti Semitism' relates to the fact that many Jews are also fearful of the extent of the power that is held by other Jews and is closely related to the 'empire'.

This leads us to Israel and its Jewish Lobby. I think that in the last two years we have witnessed a clear transformation. Western leadership says no to Zionist warmongering. I guess they have had enough of these disastrous futile wars.

The Saker: You have recently written an amazing book entitled "The Wondering Who " in which you made a seminal analysis of Jewish identity politics. You clearly explained that you differentiated between Jews (the people), Judaism (the religion) and Jewish-ness (the ideology) and that you were only interested in the latter, in Jewish identity politics. I can understand why you would not want to deal with Jews as a people, especially since you say that they do not form "any kind of racial continuum", but your setting aside Judaism is more problematic for me. Yes, Neturei Karta is anti-Zionist, but even they are still part of a religious movement we could refer to as "rabbinical Judaism" or "Talmudic Judaism" and, as you well know, Jewish racism has its roots directly in the rabbinical/talmudic interpretation of the Tanakh (The Masoretic version of the Old Testament). Have such famous Judaics as Maimonides, Karo, Luria not greatly contributed to the development of Jewish exceptionalism and racism? Do today's rabbis in Israel not justify the mass murder of Palestinians precisely by appealing to the numerous and well-known examples of goy-hatred in the Talmud? Finally, since religion is a choice, not a condition, is it not a legitimate target of scrutiny and criticism? Then why have you made the choice not to look into the Judaic roots of modern Jewish-ness and ideology?

Gilad Atzmon: I have come across this question many times and I understand the point made in your question. There is no doubt that Judaism, the Talmud and the Torah contain some devastatingly crude and even inhumane verses and teachings. And yet, traditionally Rabbinical Judaism was very effective in suppressing any manifestation of Jewish collective goy hatred. If Rabbinical Jews were supremacist, as some may forcefully argue, they were also timid. They segregated themselves and, largely kept their anti Goy attitude to themselves.

This changed radically with Jewish secularization. The Godless Jew transformed choseness into a form of a racially driven, tribal privilege. Yuri Slezkine in his invaluable book, 'The Jewish Century,' confirms that Jews were 'Stalin's willing executioners,' in the Holodomor, the systematic deadly starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s. The demography of the Spanish International Brigade is also revealing. 25% of the Brigade's combatants were Jewish. Yiddish was the Brigade's Lingua Franca. We have to ask what is it that motivated these young revolutionaries to fight Catholic Spain? Was it really a battle against Fascism, was Franco a Fascist? Why did they burn so many churches, after all, one would expect these Jewish revolutionaries to first combat rabbinical tyranny and the synagogues. Just a few years later, in 1948, the Nakba - once again, a collective of secular socialist Zionist Jews engaged in a systematic racially motivated ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The Jews who perpetrated these colossal crimes against humanity were not rabbinical or religious; they were Godless and succumbed to left ideology.

The Saker: You have recently traveled to France and participated in several events with Alain Soral (see here and here). This was not your first trip to France as you had also been there in 2013 were you met Jacob Cohen and had a very interesting discussion with him (see here). I have always felt that the power of the CRIF and UEJF in France was even bigger than the one of AIPAC and ADL in the USA. Would you agree with this?

Gilad Atzmon: Totally. For some time, France has been dominated by a forceful Jewish lobby (CRIF) that has been able to determine the boundaries of discussion as well as freedom in general. It is interesting to examine the treacherous role of the current socialist government in that respect. In some of my recent writing I argue that both Jewish and Left politics contain an element of animosity towards working class people. Jews are generally fearful of the Working Class because it is always that class that turns against them. The Left is also dotted with antagonism towards working people (those who are now reduced into a Workless Class), because of the embarrassing fact that the working people have never joined the promised revolution. In France we see a strong bond between the uniquely unpopular socialist government and a tribal lobby group that is concerned solely with Jewish interests. How embarrassing.

The Saker: Jacob Cohen says that in his opinion the most powerful Zionist organization on the planet is the B'nai B'rith that, in his opinion, is the primary recruiting pool for the Mossad's sayanim. Do you agree with that? Which organizations, in your opinion, occupy the top positions in the Zionist totem pole?

Gilad Atzmon: Unlike Jacob Cohen I have never been part of the Jewish community and do not necessarily understand the mechanics involved in recruiting Israeli agents and sayanim. I analyze the Jewish tribal operation from philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives. For instance, I delve into the notion of Jewish fear. I examine how it is fueled by Jewish ID politics (both Zionist and 'anti') and how it evolves into action - Aliya, war mongering and so on.

I contend that, to a certain extent, every person who operates within a Jews only political movement, whether it is Max Blumenthal, Philip Weiss, Paul Jay or Abe Foxman is a Sayan. I will elaborate. To operate politically 'as a Jew' is to be primarily concerned with Jewish interests rather than universal humanist objectives. Foxman and Blumenthal each advocate what he believes to be 'good for the Jews.' However, they clearly do not agree between themselves what is good for the Jews.

The consequence and the deeper meaning of what I say above is that there is no Jewish (collective) answer to the Jewish question.

The Saker: Coming back to the events in France, what is your assessment of the struggle taking place between, on one hand, Alain Soral, Dieudonne and the movement Égalité et Réconciliation and, on the other hand, the French Zionist organizations and the French state? Would you say that the Zionist control over France is weakening or getting stronger?

Gilad Atzmon: It is a crucial question. Many French Jews apparently do not feel safe in France anymore and many have moved to Israel. Is this because they realize that CRIF will eventually cause a disaster for the Jews? Probably.

The Saker: My next question is about words and definitions. For many years already, I have been using the word "Anglo-Zionist Empire" on my blog because I believe that the power structure we are currently dealing with is the successor to the British Empire (the modern "Anglosphere", the ECHELON countries basically) which has now been 'injected' with a Zionist ideology both by Jews and by Zionist Christians, as shown by the power of the Neocons in the USA (for a full explanation see here) The strange thing is that even though the category "Anglo" is an ethnic one and "Zionist" is not (it is an ideological one), I got submerged by hate mail and criticisms for the latter, and only 2 emails objecting to the former. I therefore emailed a few well-known personalities such as Michael Neumann, Shlomo Sand, Norman Finkelstein and you. Neuman and Sand never replied, and here are the relevant parts of my exchange with Norman Finkelstein:

The Saker: For many years I have been using the term "AngloZionist Empire" and this term has frequently been condemned by other bloggers and readers. I have therefore written up a short explanation for my use of that term (see attached document). Could I please ask you to take the time to read through this short text and share with me your reaction. Do you find my usage of this term appropriate or not and, in the latter case, how would you suggest that I describe the "Empire"?

Norman Finkelstein: Israel is a country of 7.5 million people. For such a small country it commits a lot of evil. But it hardly constitutes an empire or one half of an empire. At most it is a junior partner of the US.

The Saker: I never spoke of an AngloIsraeli or a US-Israeli Empire, I spoke of an AngloZionist empire which, for example, includes the millions of Evangelical non-Jewish Zionists in the USA. Do you believe that Zionism is a core component of the US Empire or is that a mistaken notion?

Norman Finkelstein: I haven't a clue what you mean when you say that "Zionism" is a core component of the US Empire? Professor Chomsky calls himself a Zionist. Is he a core component of the US Empire?

The Saker: as a professor of philosophy you are surely able to see for yourself the logical fallacies in your question; besides that, the first time you conflated Zionism and Israel, the second time you conflated Zionism with Chomsky. If you refuse to answer my question substantively, I would prefer if you said so.

He never replied. So what is going on here? What is your take on my use of the expression "Anglo-Zionist Empire" and why are, in your opinion, Neumann, Sand and Finkelstein so unwilling to engage on this topic?

Gilad Atzmon: As I said earlier on, Jewish power is the ability to restrict or silence criticism of Jewish power. Your dialogue with Finkelstein is an exemplary case of such an operation.

Jewish power is not a Zionist phenomenon. In fact, it is mostly sustained by the Left, by Chomsky type activists, Democracy Now and to a far lesser extent Norman Finkelstein whom I appreciate as an intellectual (though I hardly agree with him on anything). The tactic is obvious. We are pushed to operate within a given discourse that contains some clear boundaries. We are restricted by terminology that is designed to block real scrutiny of the most troubling issues and conceal the truth. And what is this truth? A list of questions to do with Jewishness: the Jewishness of the Jewish State, the extent of the power of the Jewish lobby in the west, the ideological continuum between the Zionist and the 'anti' and so on.

The Saker: In our first interview you said that "ethics and morality are far more crucial than some UN decisions" and I also remember you writing elsewhere that future politics will have to be centered on ethics and values rather than on ideology. Could you please elaborate on what you mean exactly and whether you see our world getting closer to that goal or not?

Gilad Atzmon: I believe that it has become much easier to grasp the meaning of my past observation. As time goes by, we are becoming more and more cynical about the dark forces that run our universe. We understand that, rather than being free beings, we have been reduced into mere consumers. While in the past a politician claimed his commitment to the provision of health, education and production, the role of the contemporary politician is to facilitate consumption on behalf of the conglomerates. And yet it is our authentic ethical and empathic awareness that are at the core of our humanist indignation. It is our own ethical judgments that provide us with a compass and leads us toward truth. As the situation seems to be worsening, the more we have to trust our personal ethics that are also universally shared.

The Saker: I have personally come to the conclusion that both racism and nationalism are primarily the ugly offshoots of the 19th century nationalism which itself substituted the traditional religious worship of a God by a secular religion of self-worship which expressed itself in all the subsequent 20th century forms of racism and nationalism. Would you agree with that, or do you think that racism and nationalism are inherent to our (fallen) human nature?

Gilad Atzmon: I think that belonging is inherent to human nature and it takes different shapes at different times. I believe that racism and nationalism have been replaced by ID politics. We are trained to talk 'as a'- as a Jew, as a black, as a gay, as a disabled person, and the forms of these sectarian political structures are very interesting.

We always have to ask ourselves, who benefits? Don't we want to be Americans or French again? Or do we prefer to operate within marginal sectarian cosmopolitan ID settings? I am not sure. Again, if health, education and labour are at the core of a healthy society, ID politics operates as a clear obstacle. It prevents us from dealing with 'real issues.' We discuss gay marriage and anti-Semitism instead of building factories, hospitals and schools.

The Saker: What is your view of religion in the modern world? Do you agree with the quote attributed to Dostoevsky that "if there is no God, everything is permitted" or do you believe that a non-religious value system is possible? Can we objectively define that this or that is "good" or "bad" without appealing to a religious revelation? Can you imagine a secular system of ethnics?

Gilad Atzmon: I would love to believe that universal ethics is a valid concept and independent of any religious thought. But the evidence of secular genocides around us is unfortunately compelling. I guess that if people are set to kill each other, all they need is an excuse.

The Saker: Lastly, what are your hopes for the future? Do you think that Russia, China and the BRICS will be able to bring down the AngloZionst Empire and that a multi-polar world order based on international law and respect for people's and nation's rights is possible, or are you pessimistic about our future?

Gilad Atzmon: I am always optimistic but this doesn't necessarily mean that things are getting better. It may be possible that Jewish power will be restricted in the near future. It may even be possible that some future Jewish suffering is inevitable and this is, of course, unfortunate. I am confident that the Jewish elite is not going to be affected by such circumstances. If anything, they will be the first to benefit from any such a development. Ask yourself how many Rothschild died in the holocaust? Would Israel have been established without the Shoah? Would the Jews be as powerful without the Holocaust? These are open questions and in order to understand Jewish power we must engage in these topics and grasp once and for all the sophistication of the Jewish tribal matrix, the way in which it evolves and so on...

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.

BigAg lobbying hard to keep consumers in the dark about what's in their products

nutrition label

Last year, Michelle Obama proposed a requirement that food companies disclose "added sugar" to their products. Ever since, corporations have upped their lobbying efforts. Their arguments against labeling the number of teaspoons of added sugar in their products range from predictable dents in their profit margins to a feigned concern that Americans would be confused. They claim Americans could actually become obese.

These impassioned responses from the food industry show how eager corporatists are to maintain the status quo.

The cranberry industry enlisted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to oppose the requirement on the grounds that it could hurt profits:

...forcing disclosure of the added sugar in cranberry products would be unfair because, unlike other fruits, cranberries are so bitter that they are unpalatable without it.

(Perhaps the cranberry peddlers should have entered a different industry instead of whining that their product tastes bad.)

Campbell's soup claimed that denoting added sugar could make Americans not just confused, but fatter, because

...such information could confuse consumers by taking their focus off of calories.

Further, the Dairy Institute of California claimed the proposed requirement would force them to reveal trade secrets. Surprisingly, the group did make one valid point. It said:

Consumers already have the information they need to make healthy dietary choices.

This is true. If consumers were to look at the ingredients in products they buy (and perhaps perform a simple Google search on them), they would know that high fructose corn syrup , aspartame , and sodium nitrites , for example, are toxic. It is clear that health is not a priority of Americans and, in reality, labeling teaspoons of sugar added is unlikely to change that.

Regardless, the fierce opposition to disclosing "added sugars" highlights the severity of the problem: when the Working Environmental Group analyzed 80,000 products, it found that 58% had extra sugar added. Sugar is added to everything from deli meats to bread, milk, and salad dressing - with disturbing consequences : sugar causes diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension and is linked to acne, depression, schizophrenia, and impaired memory. Organizations opposed to labeling the excesses that cause these ailments include the Roman Meal Co. (which produces whole grain bread) and the American Nutrition Society, a group supported by companies like Coca Cola and Dannon.

Corruption and lobbying in the food industry are perhaps the most potent example of the conflict of interest involved at all levels of the system-and while the FDA may be playing the hero in this instance, it approves a vast majority of the filthy chemicals and ingredients found in the food supply.

Whether or not companies are forced to label "added sugar," it is clear not only that the food industry is poisonous and unconcerned with the sickness it causes, but that Americans must be more active and informed in their consumption of such products.

Cops tase father multiple times as he tries to save his 3-year-old son from house fire in Louisiana

Father Tasered

© Free Thought Project

Missouri — On October 31, 2013, the house of Ryan and Cathy Miller caught fire. In that fire, their 3-year-old son, Riley Miller was killed.

The 9-1-1 call came in at 12:58 am and firefighters showed up just 5 minutes later.

Ryan Miller knew his 3-year-old stepson was trapped inside, and he was going to do whatever it took to get him out.

However, as he kicked in the front door to the home in an attempt to save his child, police showed up.

As Miller tried to run back into the house, police grabbed him. Obviously Miller pulled away from the officers as he and his wife's 3-year-old was trapped in a deadly inferno; that's when the taser came out. Miller was tasered several times as he fought to save his son.

"He tried to get back in the house to get the baby," Lori Miller, Riley's grandmother said. "They took my son to jail because he tried to save his son."

Ryan Miller's sister-in-law doesn't think the police handled the situation correctly.

"It's just heartless. How could they be so heartless? And while they all just stood around and waited for the fire department, what kind of police officer wouldn't try and save a 3-year-old burning in a house?" said Emily Miller. "We've been going through pictures and he's just smiling in every picture. He was just a happy, go-lucky kid."

"He was my best friend," Ryan Miller said told the Press Journal after the fire. "He was everybody's best friend. If you would have met him, you would have loved him. He was the joy of my life."

[embedded content]

Last week, on March 12, 2015, the Millers filed a lawsuit against the City of Louisiana.

"Officers Jeffrey Salois and William Harrison prevented Ryan Miller from entering the home to save his stepson Riley Rieser by forcibly moving and by repeatedly Tasing Ryan Miller, including once in the police cruiser as Riley Rieser was being removed from the home," the lawsuit states.

According to Courthouse News, the Millers say that Ryan never presented a threat to the officers or other emergency personnel, that Salois and Harrison never announced they were police officers and never placed Ryan Miller under arrest.

"I was hysterical, yes, because I wanted to save my son," Ryan Miller told the Louisiana Press Journal days after the fire.

Also named in the suit is the Miller's former landlord, Louis Houston, who the Millers say is responsible for the faulty wiring in the house that caused the fire.

According to the suit, Miller was not charged with any crime. He claims that the repeated tasing constitutes an unreasonable seizure and that officers "used more force than was reasonably necessary under the circumstances."

The Millers seek damages from the City of Louisiana for excessive force, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death and false imprisonment.

There is no amount of money that will ever fill the void of a lost child. Shame on these police officers for forcing this family to live the rest of their lives thinking about how different things could have turned out had they not stopped him.

Vladimir Putin Proposes "Eurasian" Currency Union

While the distraction that is the stock market continues to enthrall most Americans, the big shots in the global monetary which for now are taking place behind the scenes, are getting ever louder. Several recent cases in point:

One person who is paying attention to the failure of the US to grasp that the unipolar world of the 1980s is long gone, is Russia's Vladimir Putin, who earlier today proposed creating a "Eurasian" currency union which would have Belarus and Kazakhstan as its first members, which already are Russia's partners in a political and economic union made up of former Soviet republics.

As Telegraph reports, Putin made his proposal at a meeting with the Belarussian and Kazakh presidents which highlighted the challenges facing the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union following the fall in global oil prices and the decline of the Russian rouble.

"The time has come to start thinking about forming a currency union," Mr Putin said after the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Not surprising, considering both Belarus and Kazakhstan have spent a lot of time in the past year alternatively devaluing, and scrambling to prop up their currency.

Putin gave no details of the proposal but suggested it would be easier to meet economic challenges by working closely together. Mr Lukashenko and Mr Nazarbayev did not immediately respond to the proposal in public, but analysts say it is unlikely to get off the ground.

Additional information from RT:

“I would suggest moving step by step, exactly as all EU member states enter the eurozone, gradually creating all these common financial institutions,” Likhachev said, adding that if such an order comes from the member leaders, all the sides will immediately start negotiations.

"That means any slightest fluctuation in national currencies of today’s four and of tomorrow’s five [Kyrgyzstan is about to join the EEU – Ed.] EEU countries, that are related neither to trade nor to demand, create a huge trade imbalance,” he said, adding that officials are looking for ways to smooth these problems out, and trade and industry institutions are in a constant dialogue.

"In the same enclosed space, where goods, services, capital and labor are constantly moving, the existence of different currencies exacerbates the risks," Likhachev said. Apart from the economy, there are also political and social issues that are yet to be discussed, he added.

If and when Russia does succeed in launching a regional currency, and recreating a monetary block in the process setting the foundations, the only question we have is after Greece, which European country will come knocking on the Kremlin's door, asking to be let in?

Even some cops are telling people to mistrust other police


About six years ago I had pretty disturbing run-in with law enforcement and the justice system, which I talk about some in my author profile. During the course of these events, my bicycle was taken into custody and put into police storage. It took a few days before I was willing to go and face those horrifying monsters again in order to get my bike back. When I did walk all the way to the station to get it, I was told that it was 'actually probably' in another storage area a mile away and that I should walk there and someone would meet me. It was not accepted policy to have an officer transport me there. I had to walk there and then call them when I arrived. They made it clear they didn't want to waste even a moment of their time waiting on me, a wait that was necessitated by their hijacking of my main source of quicker transportation during a nightmarish episode just days before. As I sat there in the cold evening air waiting almost a half an hour for the officer to arrive I went over all of the awful scenarios in which I was about to be harassed for being a cop assaulter. I was sickly anxious, terrified and felt alone and helpless. At this point, my whole life seemed ruined.

When the officer finally arrived to meet me, it was an older gentleman who was part of the Community Services Division. He immediately seemed kind and asked me how long I had been waiting and where my car was. When I told him I had walked from my house to the police station and then here and had been waiting for almost a half an hour he shook his head and said he had only gotten the call ten minutes ago. Furthermore, he cautioned, my bike was unlikely to be at our current location and was almost certainly across the street from the police station where I had been originally told that it would be. He motioned for me to get in his vehicle and looked perplexed when I hesitated. I asked if it was okay or if he could get in trouble for giving me a ride on non-official business without prior consent from his department superiors (which I had earlier been informed was absolutely necessary by the dispatchers at the station, who had sent me on this sadistic goose chase). He simply stated that it was just fine to ride along.

As soon as I got in the vehicle he introduced himself. He asked me my name and what it was that I did in Iowa City, was I a student or did I work and live here full-time? I answered those questions and then he asked me what had happened to get my bike locked up. I was too nervous to make something up or even to tell the real story in a very concise way. Also, he seemed kind and trustworthy and I felt I did not have much left to lose at this point. I gave him a crash course on the events and he shook his head and gave me a sympathetic look.

"It's not the same as when I worked these streets." he said. "I couldn't work with these young guys so I took partial retirement and do this part-time, now. I warn my own kids and their kids and everyone else I care about that they have to be very careful and not trust these cops these days. They are cutthroat. It's like a competition to them and they don't really care about the people or the community. I myself am scared of them and I was a cop here for almost thirty years."

He told me that he was sorry about what happened to me and that he understood and that I shouldn't let it affect how I feel about myself. His were some of the most comforting and kind words a stranger has ever spoken to me. I was still anxious, but not sickly so. I was still terrified, but there was some hope. I no longer felt entirely alone and now the feelings of helplessness had a starting point from which they could begin to subside. My life was going to be very difficult to sort out, but I would find my way. What had happened was not abnormal. It was, in fact, so normal that the former colleague of the cop who assaulted me and then charged me with his crime was now reassuring me and sharing his own horror stories and warnings or advice. It gave me my dignity back and allowed me to transform this terrible experience into a voice and a message that might create the changes that will spare others similar or far worse indignities and suffering.

The gentleman told me more tales of police ineptitude, immoral/unethical attitudes and behavior and just general ignorance, pettiness and narcissism. He was obviously very deeply concerned by these changes. He said that once it was possible to sort out the good cops from the bad ones, but that it had become almost impossible to do so as the entire system had become misguided at best; although quite honestly it had become increasingly corrupt, un-American and tyrannical at its very core. As he had shown me empathy and understanding, I now returned it by realizing that the lives' work of many honest people were going to be irrevocably stained forever by a tragic turn in liberty and freedom. Not only would his life's work be unkindly remembered in the future, but he would have to help to destroy that positive image to keep his own loved ones safe from what his former occupation had become.

I have heard similar stories from other people, more and more so recently. Have you had a similar experience in which a police officer or former police officer has lamented to you about the state of his occupation? Has a cop or former cop warned you about other cops? Are you a cop or a former cop who can sympathize with this story? Is somebody you love a a cop or once was now afraid of what is happening with individual police and the growing police state happening around the country?

I want to hear your stories. Please send me a written statement about a situation like mine or the others described above in which distrust in and/or disdain for police comes directly from a person who has lived that experience and seen it go bad from the inside. I will collect your stories and then edit and compile the ones I find most compelling to share with all of our readers in a near-future article here at CopBlock. Thank you in advance for participating and sharing; and as always I am grateful to all of you readers who make this all possible.

SOTT FOCUS: Full-spectrum chaos: US Empire in freefall as crises pile up

Remind me again, what is US policy in the Middle East Southwest Asia?

Confused by the US' contradictory 'handling' of Iran? The Obama administration appears to be courting Iran, while the Republican and AIPAC-dominated Congress is pushing for war. The struggle lies in the efforts of the US government to keep Iran 'on side' lest it be lost to Eurasian integration. They think they have 'a good read' on Iran and that they can entice it by resolving the contrived 'nuclear issue' while whispering sweet nothings in Iran's ear about ousting Russia as a major supplier of Europe's energy needs. Their difficulty lies in dealing with the fundamentalists in their midst who are constitutionally incapable of grokking realpolitik. That's why Bibi was right to be paranoid about 'foreign powers' interfering in the Israeli elections. More 'level heads' among the Washington elite wanted to see the back of him, thus improving their chances of 'managing' the center of the world and maintaining their dominance of the region. The Obama administration is now putting out feelers about passing a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements and ditching its long-standing policy of vetoing every single UN resolution critical of Israel. But don't get your hopes up about a substantive US-Israel rift: nearing the end of his last term, Dubya did the same thing.

It's a similar story of instigating then 'managing' conflict with respect to Syria. From being absolutely determined to see the back of Assad, John Kerry is now prepared to negotiate a settlement with him, or so he says. Elements of the US media are haranguing Kerry for his 'peacenik' proposals. I would again caution against seeing this 'flip-flopping' as a sign of US government incompetence or weakness. Ultimately, performing a balancing act of advances and retreats, hardline statements and conciliatory tones, is what the strategists speaking through mouthpieces like Kerry do in order to reach their goal, which is, of course, total hegemonic world domination. Basically, you can't trust a word they say.

So is the freedom and democracy hidden under the rubble of my former home?

A recently published report by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, sponsored by the UN, says that six percent of Syria's population of 23 million people has been killed or wounded in the West's 4-year-long proxy war. Life expectancy has gone from 79.5 years in 2010 to just 55.7 years. More than 5 million Syrians became refugees or migrated in search of work, while 40 percent of the remaining 17.65 million are internally displaced. The country has lost over $200 billion through destruction, looting, capital flight and GDP loss. Unemployment is officially at 58 percent; and most of those who have jobs depend on what's left of the national government. If and when that also collapses, Syria will have been left in utter ruins.

Everyone is pretending that the issue in Syria and Iraq is ISIS, but the terror menace is merely part of a 'dynamic narrative', which adapts on a daily basis as the conflict is managed - not solved - towards the preferred strategic outcome (which remains unchanged for almost a century: Western control of the Middle East).

This management of the narrative is producing some jarring glitches. Just this week, the Syrian Army shot down a US surveillance drone over a coastal region of the country where, everyone agrees, no 'jihadists' are present. The US State Department's Jen Psaki 'would neither confirm nor deny' such had taken place, but warned the Syrian government - in a statement of breathtaking hubris - "not to interfere with its aerial assets in Syrian airspace", as if to say 'Hey! Don't do that. We're allies now, in the War on Terror, remember?'

I say to you Obama, give us better tents, or we will march on Washington, as soon as we get some boats...hint hint.

The US, which is unofficially at war against Syria via proxy armies, but officially 'helping' it to fight against an offshoot of the same proxy army (ISIS), help which the Syrians neither requested nor want, is now effectively conducting direct military action against Syrian forces. The Syrian government and people know they have been defending their country against proxy forces for the last 4 years, and that they were thus indirectly defending themselves against US-led aggression. With US, British, French and Canadian fighter jets and drones in the skies, and US, British, Canadian and Australian Special Forces on land - all to 'deal with ISIS', of course - Syria has de facto been invaded and militarily occupied by stealth. But we're all supposed to pretend that it hasn't.

On Wednesday 18th, "two terrorists disguised in military clothes " got into Tunisia's parliament building, then - using kalashnikovs - opened fire at tourists disembarking from a bus at an adjacent museum. The massacre left 23 people dead and 50 wounded. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by 'the Islamic State'. Well, not exactly. It's been claimed by private US-Israeli intelligence agency 'SITE Intelligence' to have been 'claimed by ISIS'. For a steep fee, you can go here for the details. Or you can just read any number of mainstream news articles about this 'discovery', which all just repeat verbatim what SITE said. Here's Reuters description of what the 'audio recording' - found online by SITE Intelligence - says:

"We tell the apostates who sit on the chest of Muslim Tunisia: Wait for the glad tidings of what will harm you, o impure ones, for what you have seen today is the first drop of the rain."

Those mooslim trrists really like their flowery prose, don't they? Personally, I don't really see any claim of responsibility there. Nevertheless, Tunisian president Beij Caid Essebsi has promised to wage full-scale ground war against terrorists:

"I want the Tunisian people to understand that we are in a war against terrorism and that these savage minorities do not frighten us. We will fight them without mercy to our last breath."

"I want the people to understand that we are..." Where have I heard this before? Oh yes, here. Anyway, moving along... Tunisian authorities have identified the two terrorists - killed on the scene by Tunisian security forces - as Hatem al-Khashnawi and Yassin al-Abidi, both Tunisian, and one of whom was reported by local media to have spent time in Iraq and Libya - not, presumably, to take in the scenery. Tunisia's Prime Minister Habib Essid said Abidi had been under surveillance, but - get this - "not for anything very special." So one or both of these terrorists were under surveillance for... what, traffic violations? Were they still under surveillance when they got into Tunisia's parliament building dressed as soldiers and armed with kalashnikovs?

Terrorism Inc.- it's not just about the terror

The media narrative framed it as an attack on 'the young Tunisian democracy', liberated and liberalized by the 2011 Arab Spring, yet one of the forgotten mass uprisings from that year remains a protracted and violent power struggle. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled from Yemen last month when the Shia Houthi rebels finally took control of the capital Sanaa, but the US and UK-backed leader has been coordinating reprisals via forces loyal to the old regime - with the help of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi accused Saudi Arabia of "destabilizing the country and supporting Yemen's enemies." Lo and behold, multiple 'suicide' bomb attacks today targeted mosques and government buildings in the capital. Some 80 people were killed and hundreds more wounded. Abdullah al-Matari, a leader of Yemen's Nasserite Organization, suspects that 'al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula' is behind the attacks. That Islamic terrorists intervene at the most opportune times to prop up the Empire's preferred state of affairs and tarnish the reputation of genuine Arab reformists never ceases to surprise me. Although it really should.

No news yet from SITE Intelligence on who was behind the bloodbath in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 18th. People were watching a football match after work when two guys walked in - armed with kalashnikovs, of course - and shot the place up. 2 people were killed, including the barman, and another 15 were injured. The shooters have not been caught, and the authorities have no clue who they are. Swedish media is suggesting it's gang-related, but they've not yet provided any details as to means or motive. Across the water in Copenhagen, yet another shoot-out was taking place around the same time, this time in a large Danish shopping mall. This was too was vaguely attributed to gang-warfare, and again only sparse details were released. Bucking the trend of mass shootings these days, the authorities in both Sweden and Denmark seemed to go out of their way to stress that these were "not terror-related shootings."

War against Ukraine, well, Russia - same thing

The Russian government has issued new sanctions - entry bans and asset freezes in Russia - against some 200 Westerners, including politicians, civil servants and other public figures known for their openly anti-Russian activities. About 60 people on the list are from the United States. Among these are Deputy National Security Advisor Caroline Atkinson, presidential advisers Daniel Pfeiffer and Benjamin Rhodes, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Robert Menendes and Senators John McCain, Daniel Coats and Mary Landrieu.

Russian MP and deputy head of the State Duma Committee for Foreign Relations, Leonid Kalashnikov, told Izvestia newspaper that the Russian government has no particular desire to play this tit-for-tat game with the West, and pointed out that their primary purpose is "to deprive Russian politicians and public figures the opportunity to deliver their position at international parliamentary conferences." This is a strange stance from a country so strongly committed to 'freedom of speech'. Elsewhere on the anti-Russia propaganda front, the Dutch government today corrected privately-owned broadcaster RTL's midweek 'special report' on the MH17 plane crash that cited 'final proof' that a BUK missile shot down the airliner. Apparently the investigation is still "in progress" and the Dutch government is "not yet ready to take any conclusion." Nice try by the Dutch propagandist though.

'Freedom and democracy is harder than I thought!'

Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to implode, with a serious riot breaking out in a Kiev-held town in Donetsk. Harrison Koehli reported on the incident here. The Ukrainian regime apparently uses a different definition of 'terrorists' than the civilized world: anyone suspected of being less-than-fully committed to the 'Glory of Ukraine' in Kiev's 'war against the Moskals is one. The reality split generated by Russia's firm resistance to the West's 'reality-creating' continues to produce schizophrenic reactions in Eastern Europe. While a Polish MP broke ranks to talk some sense earlier this week, saying that Poroshenko has "lost control over his country and himself," Lithuanian authorities have begun rounding up 'anti-constitutional suspects' who are "trying to create a view that life in Lithuania is bad, and that what is going on in Crimea is great." If the reverse were true, surely expressing such an 'incorrect' view wouldn't need to be criminalized? But the Lithuanians aren't really thinking straight these days. Just yesterday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs freaked out when it heard that a train coming from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to Vilnus was packed full of...young people!! This was construed as clear evidence of a Russian invasion since there were a lot of "young men eligible for military service" on board. The invasion alert was cancelled when it became clear that they train passengers were only intending to invade Vilnus' shopping district...to buy things. On the same day, the Lithuanian parliament voted to bring back compulsory military service, just in case the Russians really do invade.

Chief war parties Britain and the US are sending 'military specialists' in to 'train' the Ukie army in how to impose liberal democracy through the barrel of a gun. They probably did so long before now, but consider it important to send Russia a message by publicizing it today. The US, meanwhile, is sending tanks into the region and stamping its authority on Europe by sending out a war party from the Baltic states through Poland to its garrisons in Germany. As part of Operation 'Atlantic Resolve', the US is also seeking to position troops and armored battalions in all eastern European countries, and as far away as Georgia. They should enjoy it while they can; they may soon be called back home on an emergency...

US (controlled) implosion looming?

The US appears to be on course for some kind of major internal showdown. While US police forces continue shooting black people with impunity, somebody else is feeding the outcry, recently by leaking outrageously racist internal police communications. On the 'other side' in this racial divide, the 'New black Panther Party' is parading its weaponry and proposing that "every black person in America be armed with a gun."

You can see how close the situation is to boiling point following last week's shooting of two cops standing guard outside the Ferguson, Missouri police station... while a protest against their brutal tactics was underway. They have since beaten a confession out of a local man who supposedly shot the cops from his vehicle, but there are strong suspicions, from both police and protesters that this was a 'professional hit' from a sniper's rifle, probably from a nearby rooftop. Now where have we seen this happen before; a highly charged situation is brought to a head by mystery snipers who shoot a bunch of people, chaos ensues and a new order is imposed.

Coming soon to cities and towns across America! Oh wait, they're already there.

I don't use this term as a racist pun, but rather in the sense that the US government uses it around the world: a 'color revolution' is coming to America, one in which its instigators hope to subvert working class blacks' new civil rights movement by provoking a violent uprising. Given current police state methods, and the fact that police forces in the US are effectively national paramilitary forces that are armed to the teeth with 15 years' worth of war materiel and trained to kill, I can only foresee this being crushed with maximum force, and thus cowing the rest of the population into meek submission in whatever 'new order' emerges from this chaos.

Greek exit this way

The new Greek government successfully passed a new 'humanitarian crisis law' last week that will provide housing allowances and emergency food aid for the poorest Greeks. You get a real sense of just how much power has been centralized in the EU when you hear the unelected European Commission in Brussels describe the law as "a unilateral move", the implication being that the Greek government has no sovereign right to draft and pass a law to protect its population. PM Tsipras also revealed plans to reopen the state broadcaster and offer taxpayers more lenient terms on overdue taxes, "without having been given the green light from international creditors," prompting an EU official to say, "There is a general feeling that the Greek side is completely out of touch with reality." Yeah, I mean cutting the poor people some slack is just outrageous? What is this guy, a Commie?? The IMF weighed in by reporting that Greece is "the most unhelpful country the organization has dealt with in its 70-year history," and complaining that the rebel country isn't adhering to the $254 billion bailout extension deal reached in February. Good. It's about time someone stood up to those psychos.

So long and thanks for the memories...NOT!

The only people out of touch with reality are those who think this monstrous pyramid scheme of perpetual debt slavery to the global bankers' empire is sustainable. These 'reality-creators' have mocked Greece mercilessly for pointing out that Germany still owes it Nazi-era war-time reparations, but ordinary Germans, it seems, feel differently about it.

Speaking of those money masters of the universe, they were confronted in Frankfurt this week at the opening of the European Central Bank's new headquarters - which cost €1.3 billion of taxpayers money - with a 'Blockupy' anti-capitalist protest of some 10,000 people. It quickly became a fiery riot when the usual 'Black Bloc' types started torching cars; hundreds of protesters were subsequently injured and arrested as police cracked down hard. Easy peasy. I could have sworn that in some similar situation last year such state responses were officially deemed 'authoritarian', 'undemocratic', and merit a change of regime, but I might be getting my 'dynamic narratives' crossed...

Eurasia or bust

And what of the 'hope of the world'? Since his return to the public limelight after a brief working holiday, Putin has - on the one year anniversary of Crimea rejoining Russia - signed a deal with South Ossetia in the Caucasus that effectively makes it a Russian protectorate; granted Turkey a 10.25% discount on gas prices; initiated multiple simultaneous war games exercises across the entire expanse of Russian territory - and in Venezuela; held bilateral talks with the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee (Russia is the first foreign government to do so); flown to Astana to discuss a currency union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; spoken (and sung!) to a crowd of 100,000 people on Red Square celebrating the anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia. Not too shabby for a few days' work. Puts all those asshats in the West to shame for sure.

Ignoring direct pleas from the Obama administration, three of Europe's biggest economies - Germany, Italy and the UK - have signed up to become founding members of the new Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a long overdue rival to the World Bank and other institutions set up by the US after it took all the spoils following World War II. The Americans, needless to say, are not happy about it.

'It's ok Barack, I got this covered. You go sit over there.'

The Brits say they want to "get in on the ground floor to help shape governance" of the new bank, and also to make sure it "plays a complementary role to the World Bank." If they think they're going to be 'in' yet 'out' - like they have been with respect to the EU, in order to thwart and 'manage' European integration in Washington's favor - then they must think the Chinese were born yesterday. However, given that the UK's economic viability depends on London being the global casino for recycled petrodollars, should the dollar go, it's only natural that the Brits would turn 180 degrees and offer their services to its replacement. British Chancellor Osborne has invited China to consider the City of London its primary future clearing house for the yuan outside Asia. And thus the American elite are getting a taste of that famed British perfidiousness. Hurts, doesn't it?

Quite what the Europeans think they'll get out of membership of an institution set up by Chinese leader Xi Linping to help fund infrastructure projects in poor Asian countries is unclear, but I guess that even some of the most hardcore neo-liberal predatory capitalists out there can see the writing on the wall: the dollar's day in the Sun is coming to an end. Same goes for the English language as the 'lingua franca' of international business: the working languages of the growing anti-NATO Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - whose current member-states represent half of humanity - are Chinese and Russian. Something the Chinese will want to keep an eye on is the British government's redeployment of its Skynet military satellite (yes, it's called Skynet) "over the Asia-Pacific region to provide secure communications to Britain's allies in the region," which probably means 'to gain an edge over China for NATO'.

The Americans can whine all they like, but they have blown repeated chances to maintain hegemony without forcing such developments. In 2010, the 188 member-states of the IMF agreed a package of reforms that would distribute influence in the organization more evenly, while keeping the IMF under the effective control of Washington. However, Congress refused to approve the agreement. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew went before the House Financial Services Committee this week to again plead with US Senators to

"...urgently address prior unmet commitments, which have grown to levels that raise significant questions about U.S. credibility and leadership in the multilateral system. Failure to do so could result in a loss of U.S. shareholding at a time when new players are challenging U.S. leadership in the multilateral system."

Reminding Congress that the IMF and World Bank "effectively leverage our limited resources in service of our national and global interests," and if the other IMF members decide to rebalance power within the institution without US approval, the result, he warned, would be "a loss of US influence and our ability to shape international norms and practices." Oh dear! Say it ain't so! Lew was basically saying that the US is poised to lose it all and face the music with respect to its gargantuan debt which sits at 104% of GDP and growing. That means the USA is officially a failed state, and the only things keeping their heads above water is the fact that they have tied most of the rest of the world to their fate via the dollar as reserve currency and the petrodollar. You'd think alarm bells would have gone off in Congress at hearing that from their own Treasury Secretary. Instead, they changed topic to grill Lew on what he knew about which email account Hillary Clinton used to contact people while Secretary of State. Did they not understand the importance of what Lew was telling them, for the US' economic survival and therefore its global hegemony? Or were they blithely unconcerned because they've heard rumors about something big coming down the pike? Or were they too busy dreaming about what they're going to do with the fat checks they've all received from the Israeli lobby? Time will tell.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.

SOTT FOCUS: The Rise of Russia and the 'End of the World'

"What the darkness cannot possess, it seeks to destroy"

Core member of the early US banking elite John D. Rockefeller (accurately) portrayed in an early 20th century cartoon.

You've probably read all sorts of theories that seek to explain the causes of the 'new cold war' in which we find ourselves. From the embarrassingly simplistic "Putin's a Hitler" offered by the Western press to the more nuanced idea of an 'energy war' between US-Europe-Russia. The truth about why we are where we are right now, as a species, however, is actually fairly simple. But to understand it you'll have to ditch the idea of a 'new cold war' and replace it with 'the 120-year-old war that never ended'.

Over 100 years ago, in 1904, one of the founding fathers of both geopolitics and geostrategy, Oxford University graduate and co-founder of the London School of Economics, Sir Halford Mackinder, proposed a theory that expanded geopolitical analysis from the local or regional level to a global level. Geopolitics is the study (by people in positions of power) of the effects of geography (human and physical) on international politics and international relations. In layman's terms, this means the study of how best to control as much of the world - its resources, human and natural - as possible. When you or I think about the world, we think of a big, complicated place with billions of people. When the 'elite' think of the world, they think of a globe, or a map, with nation states on it that can, and should, according to them, be shaped and changed en masse.

Mackinder separated the world into just a few regions.

  • The 'world Island', and area roughly comprising the interlinked continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

  • The offshore islands, including the British Isles and the islands of Japan.

  • The outlying islands, including the continents of North America, South America, and Australia.

The most important of these, by far, was the 'world island' and in particular what he called the 'heartland', which basically means Russia. Mackinder said that whoever controls the 'heartland' (Russia) controls the 'world island' (Eurasia and Africa), and whoever controls that, controls the world. It's a fairly self-evident analysis of the situation because the great majority of the world's population and resources are on the Eurasian continent, and holding a vast northern position on that landmass - with your rearguard protected by an impassable frozen ocean - gives you the prime vantage point, or 'higher ground' if you will.

Mackinder's geostrategic map of the world

Mackinder probably arrived at this conclusion as a result of the British experience of Empire. The British had a large empire on which 'the sun never set' (and the blood never dried), and while the British elite made a lot of money, and caused a lot of suffering, by expropriating the resources of other peoples, they were never able to truly 'rule the world' because the 'heartland' (Russia) was not conquered and made a subservient state of Western powers, largely due to its massive size and the fact that Russia had long since been an Empire itself.

In 1904, Mackinder's ideas (shared by his contemporaries) were already common currency among the anglo-American elite of the day, who sought global domination by way of the prevention of any competitor to the United States. Russia was that natural potential competitor, again due its size, resources and imperial history. So even before the turn of the 20th century, the US elite, in league with their British co-ideologues, were busying themselves with the task of 'neutralizing' Russia as a threat to their plans for global hegemony. As Mackinder published his ideas, US and British political, industrialist and banker types had already embarked on the process of 'regime change' in Russia by way of one of the 'offshore islands', specifically, Japan.

In 1898, Russia had agreed a convention with China that leased the Chinese port of 'Port Arthur' to Russia. At the time this was Russia's only warm water Pacific seaport (and it was as strategically important as Crimea is to Russia today). Both the British and Americans were concerned about the close relationship between Russia and Germany (Tsar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany were cousins) and the possibility that France might join them in a triple anti-British alliance. To the British and Americans this was a clear "threat to the international order".1 To thwart Russian intentions in Asia, in 1902 Great Britain and Japan signed the 'Anglo-Japanese alliance' which stipulated that if either Japan or Great Britain were attacked by more than one enemy they would support each other militarily. This was effectively a green light from the British for Japan to go to war with Russia if necessary, safe in the knowledge that neither France nor Germany (Russia's allies) would intervene and risk war with Britain. From this point on, Japan effectively acted as a protector of British interests in East Asia.

A Russian propaganda print from 1905 showing Russian sailors smoking Japanese shells provided by 'John Bull' (England) as the US looks on.

From February 8th 1904 to September 5th 1905 the first 'great war' of the 20th century was fought between Japan and Tsarist Russia, largely over access to 'Port Arthur'. The British government supplied the Japanese navy with war ships and during the war itself passed intelligence to the Japanese. Perhaps the most significant aid to the Japanese government came in the form of loans from British and American banks and financial institutions that totaled $5billion at today's value, including a $200 million 'loan' from prominent Wall St. banker Jacob Schiff.2During World War I, Schiff and other Wall Street bankers would also extend loans to the Central Powers, despite officially being enemies of their adopted homeland, the USA.

Russia fielded over one million soldiers and sailors against Japan's 500,000, but Russia still lost the war, largely due to support from the British and the Americans. The decisive battle occurred on 27-28 May 1905 when the Russian and Japanese navies met at the Tsushima strait. Two thirds of the Russian fleet was destroyed. Russia's defeat was underlined by the Treaty of Portsmouth, which confirmed Japan's emergence as the pre-eminent power in East Asia and forced Russia to abandon its plans to develop the Siberia-Pacific region and launch Far East trade routes. Japan also became the sixth-most powerful naval force and the war costs dealt a significant blow to the Russian economy.

A 1905 depiction of the disastrous (for Russia) battle of Tsushima where 2/3 of the Russian fleet was destroyed.

Even before the war officially ended, it was Russia's dire financial straits, the defeat at Tsushima, and pressure from the British that led the Tsar to ultimately back away from the 1905 Treaty of Bjorko he had signed with Kaiser Wilhelm (and, by implication, France). As soon as the British government and their network of anglophiles in Russia found out about the secret deal signed on the Kaiser's yacht in the Baltic sea - a deal that would have threatened 'world order' by aligning Russia with Germany - they threatened to cut off funding to Russia and marshaled the Russian press, which they apparently controlled, to launch an anti-German propaganda campaign. The Kaiser wrote to the Tsar: "The whole of your influential press, have since a fortnight become violently anti-German and pro-British. Partly they are bought by the heavy sums of British money, no doubt".3

With Russia isolated and economically broken, and the threat of Eurasian integration removed, the next logical step was to get rid of the Tsar altogether and transform Russia into a controlled, retarded and 'captive' market for Western finance. But to achieve that goal, Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany would first have to be decisively dealt with, and that meant war. To prepare the ground for that war, the British signed the anglo-Russian entente in 1907 and then later added France to the 'triple entente', allying the world's most powerful militaries against Germany.

Between 1903 and 1914, the British public was gradually whipped into an anti-German frenzy and assaulted with countless newspaper articles, books and pamphlets (falsely) warning of Germany's aggressive rearmament and intentions to invade Britain and take over the world. British newspaper and publishing magnate at the time Alfred Harmsworth, who was intricately linked with the British political and banking elite, exerted enormous influence over the British public through his newspapers. In an interview with the French newspaper Le Matin, Harmsworth said: "The Germans make themselves odious to the whole of Europe. I will not allow my paper to publish anything which might in any way hurt the feelings of the French, but I would not like to print anything which might be agreeable to the Germans ".3

The anti-German hysteria culminated in the passage of the UK's Official Secrets Act of 1911, which effectively established the British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6. It is fitting that these agencies, tasked today with manufacturing terrorist threats to scare the British - and global - public into supporting war, had their foundation in a manufactured threat from Germany.

The chosen 'flash point' for an anglo-American war to destroy Germany, weaken the European powers and make the whole of Europe subservient to Western banking interests was the Balkans. In November 1912, a telegram from the Russian ambassador in Bulgaria to the Russian foreign minister (Isvolsky) identified a representative of the British newspaper The Times who claimed that "very many people in England are working towards accentuating the complication in the Balkans to bring about the war that would result in the destruction of the German fleet and German trade ".4

This Times journalist was most likely James David Bourchier, a member of the English aristocracy who was deeply involved in the Balkan League, an organisation set up in 1912 by the Russian ambassador in Belgrade, Nicholas Hartwig, to lobby for the independence of Balkan states from the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Nicholas Hartwig was an agent of the English monarch, Edward VII, and, thereby, of the British elite5. Independence for the Balkan states was fully in line with the British elite's aim of dismantling competing empires.

The assassination of arch-duke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 is recorded as the spark that ignited the First World War. But this is a distortion of the facts. As mentioned, British plans for war against Germany were at least a decade old by that point. In any case, assassinations of royalty and nobility were fairly common at that time in Europe, and the death of Ferdinand was not something that would necessarily have provoked a world war. Certainly, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was only interested in quieting the Serbs, and Germany, Austria-Hungary's ally, was decidedly against the crisis spiraling out of control.

Two patsies of the Western elite. Archduke Ferdinand and his assassin, Gavrilo Princip.

After the assassination, the British government deceptively announced to Austria-Hungary and Germany that they accepted Austria-Hungary's right to compensation from Serbia. When Austria delivered its July Ultimatum on July 23rd to the Serbs - a series of demands that were intentionally made unacceptable - it expected a local war to result, but Russian foreign minister Sazonov (another British agent)6 responded by mobilizing Russian forces on July 28th against the wishes of the Tsar. The British also quietly mobilized their own troops in anticipation of a German move against Belgium, which occurred on August 4th.

What neither Germany nor Austria-Hungary realised was that the assassination - the casus belli - had been orchestrated by the Serbs with the encouragement of British agents in the Russian government. In the 1917 court case on the assassination, Serbian colonel Dragutin Dimitrijević confessed that he hired Ferdinand's assassins and that the murder was planned with the knowledge and approval of the Russian ambassador in Belgrade - Nicholas Hartwig - and the Russian military attaché in Belgrade, Viktor Artamonov. Both Hartwig and Artamonov were effectively in the pay of the British government. If it had been widely revealed at the time that the Russians were directly involved in the assassination, the British government could not have justified the war to the British public, who held strong anti-Tsarist opinions, thanks to being systematically fed anti-Russian propaganda during the 'Great Game' of the 19th century. If anything, they would have called for war against Russia.

Kaiser Wilhelm II (left) and Tsar Nicholas II wearing each others military uniforms.

Even as the Russian and German armies were marching out of their barracks on July 1st, the Tsar and the Kaiser were exchanging telegrams in a futile attempt to avert disaster. In a note he wrote later that day, the Kaiser finally understood the depth of British perfidy:

"I have no doubt about it: England, Russia and France have agreed among themselves to take the Austro-Serbian conflict for an excuse for waging a war of extermination against us... the stupidity and ineptitude of our ally is turned into a snare for us ... the net has been suddenly thrown over our head, and England sneeringly reaps the most brilliant success of her persistently prosecuted purely anti-German world policy against which we have proved ourselves helpless. We are brought into a situation which offers England the desired pretext for annihilating us under the hypocritical cloak of justice." 7

It should come as no surprise that during this 'great' war to protect the free world, British and American arms manufacturers, many with links to City of London and Wall Street banks, were arming all sides in the conflict. For just one example, the British-owned Armstrong-Pozzuoli Company, headquartered on the bay of Naples, employed 4,000 men and was the chief naval supplier to Britain's enemy, Italy, and a high-level English naval officer, Rear Admiral Ottley, was a director!8 During the war, Labour MP Philip Snowden angrily told the House of Commons that "submarines and all the torpedoes used in the Austrian navy are made by the Whitehead Torpedo works in Hungary... they are making torpedoes with British capital in order to destroy British ships ."9 The same torpedoes were being used by German U-boats to sink British, and later American, ships.

Talk about a revolution

The disastrous effects to Russia of the British-inspired Russo-Japanese war provoked the 1905 Russian 'revolution' that lasted until 1907. That revolution paved the way for the overthrow of the Tsar and the coming to power of the nihilistic Bolsheviks in the October revolution of 1917. The event would define Russia's history for the next 70 years. Far from being an impediment, the fact that Tsarist Russia was a British ally in the middle of WW1 appears, at the time, to have been seen by the British and American governments as an opportunity to stab the Tsar in the back when, and from where, he least expected it.

Like the first World War, the plan for the overthrow of the Tsar and revolution in Russia was years in the making. In fact, it seems that the 1905 Russo-Japanese war was used by the aforementioned Jacob Schiff and Co. to sow the seeds of that 1917 revolution 12 years in advance. In her book, Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership, prolific Jewish-American author Naomi Wiener Cohen states:

"The Russo-Japanese war allied Schiff with George Kennan in a venture to spread revolutionary propaganda among Russian prisoners of war held by Japan (Kennan had access to these). The operation was a carefully guarded secret and not until the revolution of March 1917 was it publicly disclosed by Kennan. He then told how he had secured Japanese permission to visit the camps and how the prisoners had asked him for something to read. Arranging for the 'Friends of Russian Freedom' to ship over a ton of revolutionary material, he secured Schiff's financial backing. As Kennan told it, fifty thousand officers and men returned to Russia [as] ardent revolutionists. There they became fifty thousand "seeds of liberty" in one hundred regiments that contributed to the overthrow of the Tsar."

While Schiff was a strident opponent of the Russian Tsar for his treatment of Russian Jews, it's difficult to tell if sympathy for his co-religionists in Russia was the motivation for Schiff, and other Jewish Wall Street bankers and industrialists, to finance the Bolshevik revolution. After all, they all also reaped massive financial rewards as a result.

Cartoon by Robert Minor in St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1911). Karl Marx surrounded by an appreciative audience of Wall Street financiers: John D. Rockefeller, J. P. (Pontifex Maximus) Morgan, (Pontifex Maximus), John D. Ryan of National City Bank, and Morgan partner George W. Perkins. Immediately behind Karl Marx is Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.

Russian General Arsene de Goulevitch, who witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand, stated: "The main purveyors of funds for the revolution were neither the crackpot Russian millionaires nor the armed bandits of Lenin. The 'real' money primarily came from certain British and American circles which for a long time past had lent their support to the Russian revolutionary cause... I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord [Alfred] Milner in financing the Russian Revolution".10 Milner was perhaps the preeminent agent of the British Empire at that time. As High Commissioner for Southern Africa, German-born Milner pioneered concentration camps and ethnic cleansing during the Boer War to expand British control of Africa. Milner was also the chief author of the Balfour Declaration, despite it being published in Arthur Balfour's name. In his book on Milner, Edward Crankshaw summed up Milner's 'ideology':

"Some of the passages [in Milner's books] on industry and society... are passages which any socialist would be proud to have written. But they were not written by a socialist. They were written by "the man who made the Boer War." Some of the passages on Imperialism and the white man's burden might have been written by a Tory diehard. They were written by the student of Karl Marx." 11

Milner's ideological bi-partisanship - and utter indifference to his German roots - mirrored that of the Wall Street bankers. Speaking to the League for Industrial Democracy in New York on 30th December 1924, Otto H. Kahn, who was Jacob Schiff and Felix Warburg's partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and director of American International Corp., said: "what you radicals, and we who hold opposing views differ about, is not so much the end as the means, not so much what should be brought about, as how it should, and can, be brought about".

Lord Alfred Milner: Arch imperialist and 'color revolution' aficionado

De Goulevitch cites reports from local observers and journalists in Petrograd in 1917 of British and American agents handing out 25-rouble notes to soldiers of the Pavlovski regiment just before they mutinied and joined the revolution.5 De Goulevitch also named Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Russia at the time, as one of the main players in financing what was effectively an early 'color revolution' in Russia.

As Jennings C. Wise has written, "Historians must never forget that Woodrow Wilson... made it possible for Leon Trotsky to enter Russia with an American passport ."12

With the Tsar gone and the Western-backed Bolsheviks in power, US and other Western governments and corporations had succeeded not only in destroying Russia's economy and industry, but breaking off parts of the Russian empire.The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is a testament to the fecklessness of the Bolsheviks in that, in order to withdraw Russia from the war, they were forced cede territory to Germany and Austria-Hungary. The first round of negotiations stalled because the mad-cap revolutionaries believed that Germany and Austria-Hungary were on the brink of revolution themselves. When Lenin and Co. finally came to their senses, they were forced to sign an even more punitive agreement with the Central Powers. While Russia regained much of this lost territory after WWII, it lost it all again in 1991. In fact, Russia's post-1991 western border bears a marked similarity to that imposed by the Brest-Litovsk treaty.

Under Lenin and Trotsky, the Bolshevik 'revolution' had effectively shut down the Russian economy and its industry, allowing Western bankers to step in to 'rebuild'. Consider the words of American journalist, labor organizer, and publicist, Albert Rhys Williams, who was both a witness to - and participant in - the October revolution, as he testified at the Senate Overman Committee:

Mr. Williams: [...] it is probably true that under the Soviet government industrial life will perhaps be much slower in development than under the usual capitalistic system. But why should a great industrial country like America desire the creation and consequent competition of another great industrial rival? Are not the interests of America in this regard in line with the slow tempo of development which Soviet Russia projects for herself?

Senator Wolcott: So you are presenting an argument here which you think might appeal to the American people, your point being this; that if we recognize the Soviet government of Russia as it is constituted, we will be recognizing a government that cannot compete with us in industry for a great many years?

Mr. Williams: That is a fact.

Senator Wolcott: That is an argument that, under the Soviet government, Russia is in no position, for a great many years at least, to approach America industrially?

Mr. Williams: Absolutely.

When the Bolsheviks started their first bank, Ruskombank, in 1922, one of its directors was Max May of Guaranty Trust. Guaranty Trust was a J.P. Morgan company. On joining Ruskombank, May stated:

"The United States, being a rich country with well developed industries, does not need to import anything from foreign countries, but... it is greatly interested in exporting its products to other countries, and considers Russia the most suitable market for that purpose, taking into consideration the vast requirements of Russia in all lines of its economic life."13

J.P. Morgan's Guaranty Trust also raised loans for the German war effort while simultaneously funding the British and French against the Germans, and also the Russians, both under the Tsar against Germany, and then the Bolsheviks against the Tsar and for the "revolution".14

Two world wars, courtesy of the anglo-American elite.

Via Wall Street bankers, the US government under Woodrow Wilson broke with international convention after WWI and refused to forgive debts from the massive war loans it pumped to its allies, primarily Britain and France.15 Germany was in an even worse position because of the reparations demanded by the extremely harsh Treaty of Versailles. None of these countries were in a position to pay back the money owed, so the 'Dawes Plan' was enacted whereby the US government would loan money to Germany so that it could pay reparations to France and Britain, who would then give the money back to the US to pay off their war debt. That's how 'funny money' works. Nevertheless, World War I was a boon for the USA. It went from owing foreigners $4.5 billion in 1914 to being owed $25 billion by foreigners in 1928, including Europe's war debt. As a result, much of Europe's gold also ended up in Fort Knox. Professor of economics Michael Hudson claims that the motivation for massive US government financial claims on Europe was political rather than economic.

Germany paid off the final tranche of its debt to the US government in 2010. The UK is still paying. The debt to the US and allies from WWI was the primary cause of the collapse of the German economy in the early 1930s that gave rise to Hitler and the Nazis... who were also financed by the same cabal of Wall Street bankers.16

In 1925, a European theorist of imperialism, Gerhart Von Schulze-Gaevernitz, suggested that history would show that the most important result of World War I was not "the destruction of the royal dynasties that ruled Germany, Russia, Austria and Italy", but the "shift in the world's center of gravity from Europe, where it had existed since the days of Marathon, to America ". This new era of 'superimperialism', he said, had turned traditional imperialism on its head because now "finance capital mediates political power internationally to acquire monopolistic control and profits from natural resources, raw material and the power of labor, with the tendency towards autarky by controlling all regions, the entire world's raw materials ."17

Russian author and critic of Soviet totalitarianism Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn estimated that 66 million people died under the Western-imposed Soviet regime.

During the 1920s Russian industry was effectively rebuilt by US corporations, with several of Lenin's five-year plans financed by Wall Street banks. The aim was to prepare Russia for WWII, where it effectively won the war for the allies but was largely ruined (again) in the process and, like the other European powers, incurred massive debt to Wall Street and London bankers. As revealed by Antony Sutton, the extent of Western influence and control inside Soviet Russia is exemplified by the fact that, during the Vietnam war, the military vehicles being used by the North Vietnamese military to fight American soldiers were produced in a Soviet factory, the Kama River Truck Plant, owned by the US Ford corporation.

By imposing the Bolshevik Revolution on Russia, Wall Street ensured that it could not compete with the USA. For the next 70 years, the 'managers of the world' in the US and Western Europe expanded their global domination through the use of a bogus "Communist threat" (which they created). In the late 1980s, the Western banking elite decided that their global power was sufficient to allow them to pull back the 'iron curtain' and, once again, open Russia up, but this time for some 'free market', 'open society' neo-liberal plunder. All was going to plan for most of the 1990s until Vladimir Putin arrived on the scene and began to spoil the Western elites' 'we rule the world' party.

So what's the point of this little history lesson? I hope it serves to highlight two things. That over 100 years ago the Western banking/corporate/political elite - the type of people who think, and say, things like...

"To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annexe the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far."

"I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race."

~ Cecil Rhodes

...understood clearly that the only way they were going rule the world was to ensure that Russia never emerged as a competitor to their center of operations - London, and then the USA. From a practical perspective, to achieve that goal they were going to have to perpetually marginalize Russia on the Eurasian continent and prevent European nations, in particular Western European nations, from ever forming an alliance with Russia. That task began in earnest in the late 1890s. It continues to this day, but it is failing.

Since coming to power Putin has made moves to do to Russia precisely that which the Western banking elite spent over 100 years trying to prevent: make it a strong independent country, free (to the greatest extent possible) of the Western bankers' toxic influence. Even worse, Putin's plan does not seem to be limited merely to freeing Russia, but includes the idea of using Russia's influence to establish a new 'new world order', based not on the hegemony of the few, but on multipolarity, real national sovereignty, mutual respect, and genuinely fair trade among nations. In their 15 short years at the helm in Russia, Putin and his friends have gone a long way towards achieving their goals. The response from the Western elite has been interesting to watch. From NATO's attempts to encircle Russia in Eastern Europe, to economic sanctions imposed on the basis of trumped-up charges, to sabotaging Russia-EU economic relations, to staging a coup in Ukraine in 2014, to manipulating the price of oil and assassinating 'opposition figures' inside and outside Russia; the anglo-American elite are resorting to increasingly desperate and hysterical measures to maintain the global imbalance they worked so hard to achieve. But nothing they do seems to phase Russia or divert it from the path it has chosen.

So what can we expect next from the Western elites? Short of all-out nuclear war with Russia (which is not and never was an option, contrary to Cold War propaganda) what scurrilously duplicitous maneuvers are left to be made? Not many, to be sure. Perhaps the only weapon left in their arsenal is the one that, more than any other, has allowed them to dominate the globe for so long: the almighty US dollar, its position as the world's reserve currency, and the 'petrodollar'.

For decades, these two financial 'instruments' have forced all other countries to hold large reserves of the American currency, thereby providing the US economy with a 'free ride' and securing its position as the world's largest economy. If the US dollar were, for some reason, to collapse, it would create massive panic in the world economic system, and result, quite possibly, in the collapse of governments around the world. This is likely the reason that both Russia and China are wasting no time in establishing the basis for a new economic order that is not dollar-based. If that initiative progresses far enough, there may come a time in the near future when the dollar can be safely 'ditched' and replaced with another reserve currency, or basket of currencies, thereby avoiding or mitigating the systemic threat to the global economy (if not the US economy) of a dollar collapse, and forcing the Western elite, with their base of operations in the USA, to accept a more humble and justified position among the nations.

Anyone who has investigated and understood the nature of these "elites" of which I speak, knows that they are not the type of people who simply accept defeat, even when it is staring them in the face. They're like a highly narcissistic chess player who, seeing that 'check mate' is almost upon him, opts to knock all the pieces of the board (and maybe burn it... and the room) rather than suffer the ignominy of defeat. It can then be claimed, 'see, you didn't win, we'll have to start again'. The chess analogy is appropriate given that one of the main exponents of Mackinder's theories of Eurasian strategy is Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of The Grand Chessboard, where he wrote "it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America ."

With the US debt currently running at over 104% to GDP (and rising), and the US unable or unwilling to reduce that debt or to increase GDP, the USA is effectively insolvent, a 'failed state' in all but name. The only thing preventing its economic collapse is the dependency, for now, of so many other nations on the US not collapsing. Is it possible that, facing the almost certain end to their reign as rulers of the world, the Western psycho-elite will chose the 'financial nuclear option' of 'doing an Enron' and collapsing the American dollar in a last, insane and futile effort to avert defeat by bringing the whole house of cards down... so they can 'rebuild' from scratch?

As my opening quote asserts: "what the darkness cannot possess, it seeks to destroy."


1 Chapman, John W. M. Russia, Germany and the Anglo-Japanese Intelligence Collaboration

2 Schiff organised the purchase by US investors of $200 million in Japanese bonds

3 Farrer, England Under Edward VII p. 143

4 Stieve, Isvolsky and the First World War p. 116

5 Durham, Twenty years of Balkan Tangle ch 19 pp 2-3 and Docherty and Macgregor, Hidden History: The secret origins of the First World war Ch.18

6 See; Docherty and Macgregor, Hidden History: The secret origins of the First World war Ch.16

7 Barnes, Genesis of the World War, pp. 268-9

8 Perris, The War Traders: an Exposure

9 Murray, Krupps and the International Armaments Ring: the scandal of modern civilization p.3

10 De Goulevitch,: Czarism and Revolution, Omni Publications, California, pp. 224, 230

11 Crankshaw, The Forsaken Idea: A Study of Viscount Milner (London: Longmans Green, 1952), p. 269.

12 Wise, Woodrow Wilson: Disciple of Revolution (New York: Paisley Press, 1938), p.45

13 Sutton, A. Wall Street and the Bolsheviks Ch. 4


15 Hudson, M. Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance p. 50

16 Sutton, A. Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler


This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://bit.ly/1xcsdoI.