USA: domestic politics
To the outside world, the United States pretends to be a model of democracy. But that is not the case. Fiercely opposed to the notion of "popular sovereignty", the Founding Fathers contrived an ingenious system whereby the people are regularly consulted only to legitimize institutions that deposit power with the oligarchy. Domestically, this system thrives thanks to a series of legal barriers that preclude the emergence of other alternatives and, if need be, through fraud including the use of unverifiable electronic voting machines. Externally, propaganda has served to obscure the incongruity of the institutions. The latter, for instance, prescribe that the president should be elected by a college appointed by State Governors (and not by national popular count, as illustrated by the Supreme Court in 2000 when it overruled the Florida people vote). Nor are we dealing with a republican system of government since it discards the concept of "general interest" as being totalitarian, favouring instead the preponderance of the lobby coalition. A philosophy that has led to the institutionalization of pressure groups, going so far as to legalize and systematize corruption practices in Congress.
Outside the limits of the twin Democratic and Republican parties, a protest movement has been brewing for some time. It picked up considerable momentum during the two presidencies of George W. Bush, whose swaggering style brought to the fore the police control over the population and the rising social injustices. While such opposition had formerly been labeled as "un-american", it acquired legitimacy by highlighting the violations of U.S. ideals at the hands of the U.S. Government itself, ranging from its colonial adventures to its torture policies. As a result of President Obama’s charm offensive, internal opposition was again relegated to the sidelines, despite not having obtained a response to any of their major challenges. In the midst of the economic crisis, deep social fissures dating back to the Secession War have started to reappear. They take the form of a tax revolt, a populist anti-Wall Street movement, or emerge under the guise of separatist tendencies and, last but not least, ethnic hostility. The potential of the United States to either reform or dislocate hinges on these contradictory movements and the balance of power they will generate.
Secessionist rumblings have been getting louder in the United States as disaffection with the federal government has amplified. Wayne Madsen canvasses the growing tide of disunionist tendencies in the United States, which he deems may realistically result in the gradual splintering of the country into separate entities, just like those that the United States caused to bring about in many states around the world in pursuit of its imperialist agenda. What goes around comes around, suggests the author.
Things got heated during a Democratic primary debate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Thursday when one candidate told another that he was a “whore” over his support of a pro-Israel lobbying group.
“I’m appalled that when I talk about the neoconservatives somehow it’s twisted to be some sort of a racist comment,” long-shot candidate Lee Whitnum (top photo) said in response to U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy. “This is documented fact. The neoconservative role in the taking down of Iraq [with an] (...)
According to James Fetzer, the progressive erosion of civil rights in the United States started with "Operation Paperclip" and the recruitment of criminal Nazi scientists for employment by U.S. intelligence. The further trashing of the Bill of Rights under the Patriot Act, in the wake of 9/11, has now been surpassed by a Gestapo-like bill that legalizes arrest, indefinite detention, torture and interrogation of U.S. citizens without any charge or trial. On the back of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. government may be taking its citizens down the road to tyranny.
China-bashing is nothing new in the ongoing race for the Republican presidential candidacy. Former Utah governor and US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has decided to blaze a trail to attract public attention, unintentionally giving away a secret among US politicians.
China has 500 million Web users and 80 million bloggers, who "are bringing about change, the likes of which is going to take China down," said the candidate in a CBS debate with candidate Mitt Romney. "We should be reaching (...)
Herman Cain is advised on foreign policy issues by:
• J. D. Gordon
• Roger Pardo-Maurer
• Mark Pfeifle
John Huntsman’s advisers are:
• Richard Armitage
• C. Boyden Gray
Newt Gingrich has selected a strong team, mostly hailing from the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) or having served within the US intelligence community. Once the bulwark of support for the Contras in Nicaragua, AFPC’s new line is to denounce the dangers posed by China, Iran and Islam.
• Norman A. Bailey (...)
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has been an outspoken critic of U.S. military action in Libya from the outset, even calling President Obama’s policy “an impeachable offense.” Now, as Muammar Gaddafi’s regime appears to be toppling, Kucinich is ramping up his criticism with the contention that NATO commanders should be tried in court for "all civilian deaths resulting from bombing."
The U.S. spends beyond its means and "lives like a parasite off the global economy," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday, 1 August 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier in the day he had reached a deal with Republican and Democratic leaders to raise the nation’s debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion and avoid a default.
The proposed legislation is expected to be put to a vote in Congress later on Monday.
Speaking at a Russian political youth camp, Putin said the (...)
By unanimously applauding the lies of the Prime Minister of an apartheid regime, the Congress of the United States coveyed to the world the image of a totalitarian and monolithic body. However, this impression masks a more complex reality, emphasizes former Congressional aide Franklin P. Lamb. This unanimity is merely a facade, contrived under AIPAC pressure. Not even the applause breaks were spontaneous; they were marked in the speech which was distributed in advance.
To observers like Bangkok-based columnist Tony Cartalucci, President Obama’s birth certificate controversy is nothing but a red herring. The argument that this issue makes-or-breaks his legitimacy as president pales in comparison to the realization that the entire office of the president has been usurped for at least 2 decades. Like it or not, according to this author, the real government consists of unelected bankers and corporate special interests.
George Washington University
13 April 2011
Good afternoon. It’s great to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.
Of course, what we’ve been debating here in Washington for the last few weeks will affect your lives in ways that are potentially profound. This debate over budgets and deficits is about more (...)
Kicking off last Thursday’s highly controversial investigation hearings on the new bogeyman spawned by Government 9/11 propaganda, Rep. Peter King made a very revealing statement: "Indeed, Congressional investigation of Muslim American radicalization is the logical response to the repeated and urgent warnings which the Obama Administration has been making in recent months." Mr. King definitely has a point. This piece by John Feffer analyses the Empire’s whipping up of an imaginary enemy within.
February 7, 2011
Thank you, Tom, for your introduction. It’s good to be here today at the Chamber of Commerce. I’m here in the interest of being more neighborly. Maybe we would have gotten off on a better foot if I had brought over a fruitcake when we first moved in.
The truth is, this isn’t the first time I’ve been to the Chamber, or the first time we’ve exchanged ideas. Over the last two years, I’ve sought advice from many of you as we were grappling with the worst recession (...)
The story on the surface makes for a script for a new Oliver Stone Hollywood thriller. However, a closer look at the details of what has so far been carefully leaked by the most ultra-establishment of international media such as the New York Times reveals a clear agenda. That agenda coincidentally serves to buttress that of US geopolitics around the world from Iran to North Korea. The Wikileaks is a big and dangerous US intelligence Con Job which will likely be used to police the Internet.
If, from a democratic viewpoint, the U.S. Congress is the most corrupt institution in the world, it is irreproachable on the criminal level. In a perfectly lawful way, interest groups have spent 32 523 dollars for every day Congress was in session and on each legislator to buy his vote. An activity that elsewhere would be considered criminal is simply treated as a business in a country that scorns the notion of general interest and where legislative representation caters to the interests of private groups.
Barack Obama’s and the U.S. Democratic Party’s recent electoral defeat is only a forerunner of future losses for similar ruling parties in much of the Western world. The so-called Left-Center Left is everywhere paying a high electoral price for sacrificing the working class in order to save bankers and profitability, harvesting hostility and rejection among its natural constituency. James Petras analyses this unfurling phenomenon.
As its title suggests, the following analysis sheds new light on the ramifications of General McChrystal’s recent dismissal. If Webster Tarpley is correct, by appointing General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan, Barack Obama has apparently either shot himself in the foot or is attempting to remove Petraeus from Washington at a time when Neocon Republicans want him to run for president in 2012. Be that as it may, the handling of the much heralded Afghanistan pullout will be a defining moment all around.
The United States was founded in rejection of royalist principles. It is a nation of laws, not of men. Yet, its much touted democracy has feet of clay. The U.S. Constitution and system of checks and balances are mere empty shells when the President, as was the case during the Bush Administration, has de facto the autocratic power of changing or ignoring his own laws at will. When Barack Obama took office, he pledged more transparency in regard to executive orders. What the next Censored Project study will have to report on this issue remains to be seen.
Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated 42 years ago in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Largely overshadowed by the death of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, the official account of RFK’s tragic end, allegedly shot down by a lone gunman, like his brother, has received vastly less attention. In both instances, we are looking at staged events that fit into a recurrent pattern in U.S. and world history where innocent individuals (or “patsies”) are baited and framed for cover-up purposes. Professor James H. Fetzer, an expert in the scientific study of assassinations, provides a sketch of how we know what happened to them and why, where RFK’s assassination was in part intended to prevent a reinvestigation into his brother’s death.
Since 9/11 there has been an avalanche of legislation and commissions designed to crackdown on dissident activity inside the United States under the guise of fighting terrorism. In 2007, a "thought crime" bill quietly made its way through Congress with no media effort to inform the public. Three years down the road, Barack Obama has gone even farther than George Bush. He has claimed the authority to order U.S. citizens murdered, based solely on the unverified claim that they are associated with terrorism and pose "a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests."
The wave of disillusionment with the government of Barack Obama is expanding as is the tendency among State governors, especially the most extremist, to look for a convenient scapegoat on whom to pin the responsibility. This situation is being closely watched by certain U.S. political and intellectual pundits, but no one can predict where it is leading. Eminent Professor Noam Chomsky offers his comments.
While the definition of empire when referring to the United States is no longer anathema for the U.S. public, it’s use has been sanitized and drained of its full substance. Empire is mentioned as a synonym of power and prestige, as of something to be proud of, but rarely is public opinion reminded of the devastating deeds perpetrated by U.S. imperialism. Michael Parenti analyses the disconnect between perception and reality among the U.S. population.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared that his state would honor April as “Confederate History and Heritage Month” thus reviving a tradition that had falled into misuse. He completely ignored slavery in his message, making it look as if that practice had been of secondary importance.
Bob McDonnell is a Republican, has gained a reputation for his anti-abortion, anti-feminist and anti-gay positions. Until now, he had avoided having to position himself vis-à-vis racial and historical (...)
Every year, the U.S. Department of State issues a report on the situation of human rights in other countries. On each occasion, it portrays itself as an examplary model while assuming the right to pass judgment on others. In response, its Chinese counterpart will henceforth publish an annual report on the human rights record in the United States. The full text follows.
President Obama just signed a one year extension of several provisions in the nation’s main counterterrorism law, the Patriot Act.
Had he done nothing, the provisions of the Patriot Act would have expired this Sunday.
The act, which was adopted in the weeks after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, expands the government’s ability to monitor Americans in the name of national security.
As a senator from Illinois, Barack Obama was a critic of the Patriot Act noting that:
"This is (...)
Columnist Wayne Madsen takes us behind the scenes of two momentous events in recent US history where General Alexander Haig played a pivotal role by twice foiling an attempt against the constitutional order. First, during the Watergate scandal when Haig anticipated that Richard Nixon might mobilize the military to hold on to power. Then, as Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, when Haig did not fall for the official story of the assassination attempt, pinned on an allegedly love-sick young man whose father just happened to have very close links with Vice-President George H.W. Bush.
The White House
January 21, 2010
Thank you all for being here and for your warm welcome. It’s a privilege to be in historic Federal Hall. It was here more than two centuries ago that our first Congress served and our first president was inaugurated. It was here, in the early days of our republic, that Hamilton and Jefferson debated how best to administer a young economy and to ensure that our nation rewarded the talents and drive of its people. Two centuries later, we (...)
Contrary to his election campaign promises, Obama has issued dozens of signing statements. He has issued another executive order, this time establishing a so-called “Council of Governors.” The order, signed on January 11, further diminishes the sovereignty of the states and builds on a framework for possible martial law. The executive order was completely ignored by the corporate media.
Nearly 42 years after Martin Luther King’s assassination, "Black is Back" announces the return of black activism to the political arena. In commemoration of MLK’s birthday on January 15, 1929, Voltaire Network is publishing the following statemtent which was made by the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on November 5, 2009.
THE number of American citizens and businesses submitting bankruptcy claims rose rapidly by 32% last year.
More than 1.4 million filings for bankruptcy have been submitted, more than in any other year since Congress revised the bankruptcy laws in 2005. In Arizona, the number of bankruptcies increased suddenly by 77% and in California, Wyoming, and Nevada, by more than 50%.
Although each state registered an increase in bankruptcies, Alaska (12%), Nebraska (12%) and North Dakota (14%) have (...)
For the first time since the Second World War, 2009 witnessed a drop in the number of cars in the United States. Only 10 million cars were sold versus the 14 million which were scrapped. At the same time, there has been a significant reduction of new teenage driver’s licenses.
In the course of the past 60 years, individual car ownership became the symbol of the American Way of Life. The United States vehicle fleet had reached an all-time high of 250 million cars for 209 million licensed (...)
United States: The Hidden Power
The Chomsky/Blankfort Polemic
Death of General Alexander Haig, 59th US Secretary of State
The Testimony of a US ex-marine, who went to fight in Iraq
Privatization of brutality (Video)