The Iron Wall

This documentary video about the Palestinian-Zionist conflict serves as a potent aid to reflection on the Nazi-style police state which has been inflicted upon the long-peaceful Arabs dwelling in what various religions have referred to as the “holy land.” The Zionist government in the Middle East has built an enormous wall of separation throughout Palestine as part of a brutal terror campaign against the Palestinians. The Zionist program of full-spectrum dominance includes rewarding its citizens for helping to conquer the occupied territories via generous subsidies on brand-new housing within them as well as less subtle tactics such as military curfews and murder. To what incredible shame the Zionists must be host beneath their murderous zealotry as the world looks upon their crimes in horror and contempt! [END] Permalink: The Iron Wall

Psywar

There’s not much to be said about Metanoia’s “Psywar” except that it bears watching. A history of the public relations industry, this outstanding documentary explores the highly deleterious impact of organized and well-funded propaganda efforts on a would-be democratic society. [END] Permalink: Psywar

Jesus Camp: Evangelical Christian Fundamentalism

In case you missed Heidi Ewing’s and Rachel Grady’s “Jesus Camp” when it was released in 2006, here’s your chance to check it out. The super-creepy preacher featured in this video, Ted Haggard, has since been involved in a child abuse scandal in which he masturbated while sharing a bed with a sixteen year old boy (and subsequently admitted that he was raped by a man at a very young age). It’s about a lot more than “God” or “no God”; what is shown in this video demonstrates a system of powerful behavior conditioning which has been used to spread some very inequitable political ideologies far beyond safe levels. [END] Permalink: Jesus Camp: Evangelical Christian Fundamentalism

Is It Fascism Yet?

It seemed like forever but the Bush II nightmare finally came to an end. In the first few years after the 9/11 attacks, there was a lot of talk about fascism in the United States. The signing of the USA PATRIOT Act, the waging of undeclared wars against Afghanistan and Iraq and related developments had made it difficult for people all over the world not to question if American politics had perhaps gone a bit too far in the direction of militarism. Simultaneously, the rising prominence of the religious right and especially those Christians predisposed to supporting a World War Three and Armageddon-oriented Zionism gave this phase of U. S. power a particularly worrisome and, at times, downright spooky tone. Lawrence Britt, who studied various fascist regimes, created the following list of fourteen characteristics which he found that they all had in common. Courtesy of Third World Traveler:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism — Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights — Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to ‘look the other way’ or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. 3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause — The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. 4. Supremacy of the Military — Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. 5. Rampant Sexism — The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and antigay legislation and national policy. 6. Controlled Mass Media — Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common. 7. Obsession with National Security — Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. 8. Religion and Government are Intertwined — Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions. 9. Corporate Power is Protected — The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. 10. Labor Power is Suppressed — Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed. 11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts — Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts. 12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment — Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses, and even forego civil liberties, in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption — Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions, and who use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. 14. Fraudulent Elections — Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against (or even the assassination of) opposition candidates, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Although Britt’s 2003 list seems to be the most widely quoted, there is an older and somewhat more scholarly list by Umberto Eco, which “coincidentally” also consists of fourteen points. Courtesy of TheModernWorld.com:

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages — in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia. This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice;” such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth. As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message. If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge — that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism. 2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism. 3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering’s fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” and “universities are nests of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values. 4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason. 5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition. 6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority. 7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others. 8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy. 9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such “final solutions” implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament. 10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. 11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte (“Long Live Death!”). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death. 12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons — doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise. 13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view — one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People. Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism. 14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

It isn’t fascism yet. A “friendly” or “administrative” fascism, perhaps, but not the classic and readily recognizable, blackshirted, street-fighting, Kristallnacht fascism. That kind of fascism, the one that could result in the utter annihilation of America from within, will only arise in the aftermath of a catastrophic tanking of the U. S. economy. And it will not be “Obama’s Brown Shirts” but the Tea Party that will be setting its course.

Unless.

[END] Permalink: Is It Fascism Yet?

9/11 False Flag

This German documentary presents a European perspective on the United States’ history of lying to the world in order to advance war agendas with a particular focus on the 9/11 attacks and the so-called “War on Terror.” This video serves as an excellent aid to understanding why the official version of 9/11 is an obvious lie, from the legends of the hijackers to the physical effects observed in the plane crashes and destruction of the buildings, and continues on into an extended analysis of the role of the media in promoting these lies, the agenda of social transformation which has been put into place in their wake and other topics. [END] Permalink: 9/11 False Flag

Lies of the Iraq War

Here, the CBC walks us through some of the many flaws in the casus belli that led to the U. S. military and the private mercenary firms that they contracted to aid them, and to share in the loot, both foreign and domestic, entering Iraq with the intention of overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003. While some attention is given here to reporter Seymour Hirsch’s take on the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a “neoconservative” think-tank who have been credited as the authors of the plans for the war, as a group of utopian idealists, it ought to be considered that the PNAC plans revolve around the astoundingly violent concept of “full spectrum dominance” by the U. S. worldwide which includes even the will to deny other nations the use of outer space. Theirs is literally a proposal of world conquest. “Former” CIA operative Robert Baer also adds what should be the already obvious fact that there is “no evidence” that Saddam Hussein had any links to the 9/11 attacks, perhaps to imply the “Afghanistan-war-good, Iraq-war-bad” line of argument which has been taken up by many members of the Democratic Party. However, there is also questionable evidence at best that “Al Qaeda,” however that term may be defined, was linked in any way to the 9/11 attacks, itself, as FBI publicity chief Rex Tomb has told reporters that there is, quote, “no hard evidence” even that Osama bin Laden, when it gets right down to it, was responsible for 9/11. The current state of the Afghanistan war, ostensibly being fought against these same “Al Qaeda” terrorists, now nine years on with no end in sight and almost no “progress” of any kind by any definition having been made, except, perhaps, in the financial sense for those “in the club,” ought to speak to the intentions of those who originated these claims in the first place. [END] Permalink: Lies of the Iraq War

The Integrity of American Political Elections

James Collier, author of Votescam: The Stealing of America (web site archived by the Wayback Machine here) discusses in the above interview from 1996 methods of vote rigging in U. S. elections which have been used since the 1970′s. James and his brother, Kenneth, discovered extensive electoral anomalies and high-level government corruption while doing research for a book they were writing about running for political office without spending money.
The 2000 election saw the installation of George W. Bush as U. S. President after hotly contested election results in Florida. “Unprecedented” details some of the processes by which many eligible Florida voters were wrongly purged from the voter rolls, by which many Florida voters’ ballots were discarded and by which post-election legal processes hampered the various recount initiatives which were undertaken, some automatic and some by request. This was election tampering of a highly visible sort which saw, among other things, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in a massive conflict of interest, serving both as election overseer and as George Bush’s campaign manager.
Similar dynamics arose yet again in 2004, as documented in several features including Free for All and “Uncounted – The New Math of American Elections” and by more decentralized efforts such as Video the Vote. This time, the spotlight was on Ohio, where Secretary of State Ken Blackwell served as the head of George Bush’s reelection campaign. In the above lecture, NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, author of Loser Take All: Election Fraud and The Subversion of Democracy, 2000 – 2008, describes a broad range of tactics used to suppress Democratic votes in 2004, including vote machine shortages which created excessively long lines, sometimes with a two or more hour wait time, vote machines recording votes for Kerry as votes for Bush, and up to ten to twenty percent of Democratic voters being told at the door that they were not on the roster and therefore unable to vote. In many of these cases, voters were reduced to casting provisional ballots instead of a traditional ballot, many of which were not included in the final count. Many Americans put in a lot of effort to try to defeat Bush that election in the hope of putting America on at least a marginally less apocalyptic trajectory, holding their noses to vote for “the lesser of two evils” despite their conscience telling them that Kerry was simply, as the saying went, “Bush Lite,” and the Kerry team’s thanks was to roll over silently on November 3rd despite overwhelming evidence of a crooked election. According to the lecture above, John Kerry told Miller at a party that he agreed that there had probably been a misvote but that high-ranking Democrats including Christopher Dodd told him not to pursue the topic. (Incidentally, Miller also notes that “alternative left media” outlets including Mother Jones, The Nation and Salon all went out of their way to write against the possibility of election fraud. A similar situation was encountered by 9/11 skeptics with these same publications.)
A 2008 supplement to Crispin’s UC talk on Democracy Now! is above in which he discusses a legal case involving Republican computer guru Michael Connell, who had worked with both the George W. Bush and John McCain Presidential campaigns. Connell was subpoenaed in December 2008 with regard to the alleged vote fraud in Ohio but, like Iraq war opponent former Senator Paul Wellstone, met an untimely fate in a plane crash after only one deposition.
Here, in an interview with Velvet Revolution, Stephen Spoonamore, a computer security professional who is involved with the Ohio vote fraud case with which Connell had been connected, provides technical details about the situation. In the sense that Democratic Party leadership has not made electoral integrity much of a public issue, this is a non-partisan issue. However, as Spoonamore notes, the active conspirators in the above cases are all closely connected with the Republican Party. [END] Permalink: The Integrity of American Political Elections

With God on Our Side

Starting with Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and on through George W. Bush, “With God on Our Side: George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America” describes the influence of the Evangelical Christian movement on American politics and especially on the Republican Party. George W. Bush, here, is shown as the ultimate political puppet, a befuddled alcoholic and son of a CIA director duped into undertaking a Christian transformation, then run for President to woo the Christian right more effectively than his somewhat religiously inept father. “I think the prayers of a lot of people tipped that [2000 U. S. Presidential] election. I really believe that with all my heart. And I believe that five to four vote in the Supreme Court which could have gone the other way, I give God the credit, that he wasn’t finished with us yet.” – Jerry Falwell [END] Permalink: With God on Our Side

Ludicrous Diversion

“Ludicrous Diversion” manages to pack what seems like three hours’ worth of information into just thirty minutes and in a highly digestible format to boot. This well recommended documentary establishes that the official version of the 7/7 subway bombings in London is flat wrong and examines the cover-up enacted to protect it as well as the repressive, police state laws which were subsequently put into place. [END] Permalink: Ludicrous Diversion

It Can’t Happen Here

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, is simply a must-read. While more widely known and certainly important social and human commentaries such as Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World have received the lion’s share of attention among dystopian literature enthusiasts for their surreal, almost fantastic depictions of totalitarian super-states, It Can’t Happen Here, out of print for years but republished in 1993 and now available for free on-line, paints a starkly realistic portrait of a political seizure of the United States by fascists. Several European governments had come under fascist regimes at the time of the novel’s writing and Lewis, with his keen grasp of American politics, was able in It Can’t Happen Here to create a convincing narrative of such a series of events taking place in the U. S. Indeed, the reactionary incrementalism which has made itself felt since about the time of Nixon and especially during the George W. Bush presidency has borne more than a passing resemblance to Lewis’ detailed and accurate vision. In 2010, the worst may be behind us or it may still lie ahead. In any case, this brilliantly prescient work can serve for us as a potent aid to reflection and also to action on the political, economic and social crises we are facing. As Lewis’ thoughtful protagonist, fictional Vermonter Doremus Jessup, notes from his flea-ridden bunk in a “Corpo” (corporatist) concentration camp, It Can’t Happen Here‘s fascists were able to have their way mainly because those who believed in American democracy did not do enough to halt its destruction. [END] Permalink: It Can’t Happen Here