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The US-Saudi Starvation Blockade

The US-Saudi Starvation Blockade

Our aim is to “starve the whole population — men, women, and children, old and young, wounded and sound — into submission,” said First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

He was speaking of Germany at the outset of the Great War of 1914-1918. Americans denounced as inhumane this starvation blockade that would eventually take the lives of a million German civilians.

Yet when we went to war in 1917, a U.S. admiral told British Prime Minister Lloyd George, “You will find that it will take us only two months to become as great criminals as you are.”

After the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, however, the starvation blockade was not lifted until Germany capitulated to all Allied demands in the Treaty of Versailles.

As late as March 1919, four months after the Germans laid down their arms, Churchill arose in Parliament to exult, “We are enforcing the blockade with rigor, and Germany is very near starvation.”

So grave were conditions in Germany that Gen. Sir Herbert Plumer protested to Lloyd George in Paris that morale among his troops on the Rhine was sinking from seeing “hordes of skinny and bloated children pawing over the offal from British cantonments.”

The starvation blockade was a war crime and a crime against humanity. But the horrors of the Second World War made people forget this milestone on the Western road to barbarism.

A comparable crime is being committed today against the poorest people in the Arab world — and with the complicity of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, which attacked and invaded Yemen in 2015 after Houthi rebels dumped over a pro-Saudi regime in Sanaa and overran much of the country, has imposed a land, sea and air blockade, after the Houthis fired a missile at Riyadh this month that was shot down.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

This new generation can’t hope to replace the numbers that farming is losing to age. But it is already contributing to the growth of the local-food movement and could help preserve the place of midsize farms in the rural landscape.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Museletter #306: Saudis and Trump: Gambling Bigly

Download printable PDF version here (PDF, 205 KB)

“My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel.” –  Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, first Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates

Try this simple mental exercise. Imagine a hypothetical Middle Eastern monarchy in which:

  • Virtually all wealth comes from the extraction and sale of depleting, non-renewable, climate changing petroleum;
  • Domestic oil consumption is rising rapidly, which means that, as long as this trend continues and overall oil production doesn’t rise to compensate, the country’s net oil exports are destined to decline year by year;
  • The state has a history of supporting a radical version of Sunni Islam, but the people who live near its oilfields are mostly Shiite Muslims;
  • Power and income have been shared by direct descendants of the royal founder of the state for the past 80 years, but the thousands of princes on the take don’t always get along well;
  • Many of the princes have expatriated the wealth of the country overseas;
  • Population is growing at well over two percent annually (doubling in size every 30 years), and, as a result, 70 percent of the country is under age 30 with increasing numbers in need of a job;
  • Roughly 30 percent of the population consists of immigrants—many of whom are treated terribly—who have been brought into the country to perform labor that nationals don’t want to do;
  • A sizeable portion of the nation’s enormous wealth has been spent on elaborate weapons systems and on fighting foreign wars;
  • A powerful Shia Muslim nation located just a couple of hundred miles away has gained geopolitical advantage in recent years; and,
  • For the past three years oil prices have been too low to enable the kingdom to meet its obligations, so it has rapidly been spending down its cash reserves.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Eyes Arctic Wildlife Refuge for Oil Drilling, Alarming Gwich’in

Trump Eyes Arctic Wildlife Refuge for Oil Drilling, Alarming Gwich’in

ANWR oil and gas caribou trump

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain has been described as America’s Serengeti, and is the year-round or migratory home to numerous species that are uniquely adapted to the conditions found within this rare expanse of undeveloped wilderness along the Arctic Ocean.

Over tens of thousands of years, both the Porcupine Caribou herd and the Gwich’in people have come to depend on the integrity of that coastal plain for their survival.

The Gwich’in call this area ‘Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit,’ the Sacred Place Where Life Begins,” explained Vuntut Gwich’in Councillor Dana Tizya-Tramm via email.

It is a keystone in the ecosystems of the Arctic, and the heart that beats outside of the Gwich’in chest.”

Oil and gas lobbyists have had the Refuge in their sights from the outset. For decades now, for every push to open up the wildlife refuge to oil and gas development, multiple generations of Gwich’in have stood up to protect the land and the herd that has sustained their way of life.

Disturbance to the landscape can upset a delicate balance between the wildlife that makes its home on the coastal plain.

Brooks Range mountains tower behind lush arctic tundra in Yukon’s north slope region. Photo: Matt Jacques | DeSmog Canada

In a miracle of phenology [the interaction of climate, habitat and plant/animal cycles], Porcupine caribou cows arrive at the coastal plain just as the first flush of spring growth provides a burst of nutrients to them, just as they all deliver their calves at once,” said Yukon Conservation Society energy analyst Sebastian Jones in an emailed response to questions from DeSmog Canada.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Whose Private-Sector Debt Will Implode Next: US, Canada, China, Eurozone, Japan?

Whose Private-Sector Debt Will Implode Next: US, Canada, China, Eurozone, Japan?

Canadians, fasten your seat-belt. Here are the charts.

The Financial Crisis in the US was a consequence of too much debt and too much risk, among numerous other factors, and the whole house of cards came down. Now, after eight years of experimental monetary policies and huge amounts of deficit spending by governments around the globe, public debt has ballooned. Gross national debt in the US just hit $20.5 trillion, or 105% of GDP. But that can’t hold a candle to Japan’s national debt, now at 250% of GDP.

And private-sector debt, which includes household and business debts — how has it fared in the era of easy money?

In the US, total debt to the private non-financial sector has ballooned to $28.5 trillion. That’s up 14% from the $25 trillion at the crazy peak of the Financial Crisis and up 63% from 2004.

In relationship to the economy, private sector debt soared from 147% of GDP in 2004 to 170% of GDP in the first quarter of 2008. Then it all fell apart. Some of this debt blew up and was written off. For a little while consumers and businesses deleveraged just a tiny little bit, before starting to borrow once again.

But the economy began growing again too, and debt as a percent of GDP fell to a low 148% in Q1 2015. It has since picked up steam, growing once again faster than the economy, and now is at 151.7% of GDP, back where it was in 2005. This chart shows US private sector debt to the non-financial sector, in trillion dollars (blue line, left scale) and as a percent of GDP (red line, right scale):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

JFK Files Reveal Bobby Kennedy And CIA Plotted False Flag War With USSR

JFK Files Reveal Bobby Kennedy And CIA Plotted False Flag War With USSR

False flag conspiracy theories have arisen from thousands of global tragedies ever since pirates allegedly spawned the term by flying the flag of the home country they were preparing to attack.  Of course, these “conspiracy theories” would be far easier to discredit if they’d stop coming true…

Alas, a recently revealed document from the so-called ‘JFK Files’ will only serve to stoke the flames of conspiracy theorists as it very clearly confirms a plot crafted by then Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the CIA to carry out a false attack that could be pinned on the USSR and serve as a basis for a U.S. “counterattack”.

According to a formerly “Top Secret” document summarizing a meeting from March 22, 1962, officials from JFK administration secretly strategized on the best way to “manufacture or acquire Soviet aircraft,” including a MIG 17 or MIG 19.  Per the following except, plans ranged from building aircraft that could stand up “distant observation” or “close observation” and ranged in cost from $3.5 million to $22 million.

So what were these replica planes to be used for?  Well, it turns out those details were laid out with some level of specificity as well…that is, if you can get beyond the brilliant efforts at redaction in the excerpt below…

“There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installation or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. If the planes were to be used in such covert operations, it would seem preferable to manufacture them in the United States.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Washington’s Wars

Washington’s Wars

Washington’s Wars

The New York Times reported on October 22 that the United States has “just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories,” which is a staggering total. But in an intriguing revelation the Times reported that there are a further 37,813 troops deployed “on presumably secret assignment in places listed simply as ‘unknown.’ The Pentagon provided no further explanation.”

It is not surprising that Washington’s war-spreaders do not supply information to the American public concerning the location of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen involved in clandestine operations around the globe, because this might bring to light the lack of justification for such deployments. Concurrent with denial of information, however, is an energetic campaign aimed at convincing Americans that everything to do with military strength is laudable and that those who voice the slightest criticism of the armed forces are unpatriotic or even traitorous.

The American public, including the many who maintain a sane and even-handed approach to military expansion, are in general (if one may use that word in this context) much in favour of the military. For example, they love seeing and hearing marching musicians at public functions, but it is not the love of music that has motivated the Pentagon’s conductors to allocate over 400 million dollars a year on 130 military bands.

Don’t get me wrong: as a former soldier I am much in favour of these bands. There are few things more rousing and toe-tapping than a drumming, thumping, immaculately dressed, triple ranked, step-perfect batch of hooters and tooters. They’re marvellous. And they’re one of the best psychological operations weapons that the Pentagon has got to convince the citizens of America that their military is perfect.

The bands draw vast crowds at sports events and all sorts of community gatherings, and even the most kind-hearted, sweet tempered pacifist citizen can hardly fail to be moved to ecstatic flag-happiness by the joyful tunes of unbridled patriotism.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Generals Might Stop Trump From an Illegal Nuclear Strike–But Who Will Save Us From a Legal One?

The Priscilla nuclear test, part of Operation Plumbbob. 25th June 1957. It was a series of nuclear tests conducted between May 28 and October 7, 1957, at the Nevada Test Site. Approximately 18,000 members of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines participated in exercises Desert Rock VII and VIII during Operation Plumbbob. The military was interested in knowing how the average foot-soldier would stand up, physically and psychologically to the rigors of the tactical nuclear battlefield. Nye County, Nevada, USA. (PHoto by Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images)
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

HE HAS BECOME the latest in a long line of generals to be lionized by the anti-Trump #resistance. Speaking over the weekend, Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, which is responsible for nuclear deterrence, revealed what he would do if he were ordered to carry out a nuclear strike.

“I provide advice to the president,” Hyten told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada. “He’ll tell me what to do, and if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m gonna say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’” Hyten continued: “Guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”

At first glance, Hyten’s statement may sound comforting to those who stay awake at night, worrying about Trump’s small hands hovering over the nuclear button. Last week, for the first time for more than 40 years, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the president’s authority to launch nuclear weapons. “We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile … that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said at the hearing.

Senior members of Trump’s inner circle seem to share those concerns. In October, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reported that “one former official even speculated that [chief of staff John] Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. ‘Would they tackle him?’ the person said.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Newsweek Embarrassment: “What Russia Did to Control the American Mind” 

In yet another mindless fake news story about fake news, NewsWeek explains how “Russia Controls the American Mind”

The all caps shouting is theirs.

Fake news tweets and social media posts that flooded the internet leading up to the 2016 presidential election came from a Russian troll factory that works around the clock like any IT facility—except lies were pumping out to control the American mind and put Donald Trump in the White House.

Early this month, Twitter testified before Congress and provided the Senate Intelligence Committee with more than 2,700 accounts tied to the agency, while Facebook identified more than 80,000 pieces of content linked to the agency. Meanwhile, Google found about $4,700 worth of search-and-display ads with dubious Russian ties.

Mercy!

Imagine that.

$4,700 worth of search-and-display ads took down the Clinton campaign, despite the fact Clinton outspent Trump $969.1 million to $531.0 million according to a Bloomberg article on Campaign Fundraising.​

Writer Jessica Kwong also moaned about trolls being paid between $1,300 and $2,000 per month. Kwong also makes this amusing claim “Twitter users in swing states in the U.S. received more fake news than real stories in the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election.”

Yes folks, this is how Trump won the election:

By spending a mere $4,700 for paid Tweets and $1,000 or so a month for some trolls, Russia now controls our minds.

If you click on that inane article, you may be treated (as I was) to three autoplay videos, two of them were ads, running simultaneously.

You will also find a barrage of Newsweek Fake News articles like these.​

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Pictorial: American Animosity Ambling Amuck

Pictorial: American Animosity Ambling Amuck

This Russia Collusion thing has been going on for one year now. I’m not interested in debating whether or not Trump colluded. I am interested in examining the massive hypocrisy emanating from our government, and on display daily in living color from MSM  whores, prostitutes, traitors, teleprompter readers. Who among us Dirt People isn’t amazed that our politicians can feign their fake indignant shock that such a thing could happen …. for, surely, America would never do such a thing!

The fact is that we  treat the world like a giant outhouse, a place where we shit upon any nation we choose, at the time of our choosing, and then pretend outrage when they return the favor. Not that there’s anything wrong with this. Because, there isn’t, right? It’s how the world works.

But, the Whores&Pols act as if foreign entanglements should be a pure and noble endeavor when, if fact, it’s a dirty rotten business, played as such by powerful nations. Criticism of Russia, China, etc. has risen to a fever pitch. Meanwhile, they paint America as a friendly bringer of democracy,  whose motives are pure as the driven snow, building shining cities on the hill for other countries, and where unicorn farts smell like wildflowers.

Of course, this is all poppycock because making America great again comes at  a price.

—– Henry Kissinger said, — “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” (Probably stolen from British PM Benjamin Disreali, who likely stole it from Lord Palmersto)

—– Czar Alexander III said; —  “Russia only has two allies: the army and the navy.

—– De Gaulle  said — “a man can have a friend, a nation, never

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

America’s Righteous Russia-gate Censorship

Exclusive: Arriving behind the anti-Trump “resistance” and the Russia-gate “scandal” is a troubling readiness to silence dissent in the U.S., shutting down information that challenges Official Narratives, writes Robert Parry.


A stark difference between today’s Washington and when I was here as a young Associated Press correspondent in the late 1970s and the early 1980s is that then – even as the old Cold War was heating up around the election of Ronald Reagan – there were prominent mainstream journalists who looked askance at the excessive demonization of the Soviet Union and doubted wild claims about the dire threats to U.S. national security from Nicaragua and Grenada.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall, Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Perhaps the Vietnam War was still fresh enough in people’s minds that senior editors and national reporters understood the dangers of mindless groupthink inside Official Washington, as well as the importance of healthy skepticism toward official pronouncements from the U.S. intelligence community.

Today, however, I cannot think of a single prominent figure in the mainstream news media who questions any claim – no matter how unlikely or absurd – that vilifies Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country. It is all Russia-bashing all the time.

And, behind this disturbing anti-Russian uniformity are increasing assaults against independent and dissident journalists and news outlets outside the mainstream. We’re not just entering a New Cold War and a New McCarthyism; we’re also getting a heavy dose of old-style Orwellianism.

Sometimes you see this in individual acts like HuffingtonPost taking down a well-reported story by journalist Joe Lauria because he dared to point out that Democratic money financed the two initial elements of what’s now known as Russia-gate: the forensic examination of computers at the Democratic National Committee and the opposition research on Donald Trump conducted by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How America’s Deep State Operates to Control the Message

How America’s Deep State Operates to Control the Message

How America’s Deep State Operates to Control the Message

It is not possible to overstate the power of certain constituencies and corporate lobbies in the United States. These pressure groups, joined by powerful government agencies, many of which have secret agendas that focus on national security, constitute what is increasingly being recognized as “Deep State America.” Deep State is the widespread belief that there exists in many countries an entrenched and largely hidden infrastructure that really controls the national narrative and runs things. It explains why, for example, a country like the United States is perpetually at war even though the wars have been disastrous failures ever since Korea and have not made the nation more secure.

To be sure, certain constituencies have benefitted from global instability and conflict, to include defense industries, big government in general, and the national security state. They all work together and hand-in-hand with the corporate media to sustain the narrative that the United States is perpetually under threat, even though it is not.

The recent exchanges over the Russia-US relationship exhibit perfectly how the Deep State operates to control the message. American President Donald Trump briefly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vietnam. Putin reportedly told Trump that Russia “absolutely had not meddled” in the 2016 US election and Trump then told reporters that he believed the Russian leader meant what he said, “which is good.” As détente with Russia is not considered desirable by the Deep State, there was an immediate explosion of a contrary narrative, namely that Trump believes a Russian “enemy” and does not trust what his own intelligence agencies have told him about 2016 because he is being “played” by Putin. This story was repeated both on television news and in all the mainstream newspapers without exception, eventually forcing Trump to recant and say that he does believe in US intelligence.

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Hillary Clinton Just Told Five Blatant Lies About WikiLeaks

Hillary Clinton Just Told Five Blatant Lies About WikiLeaks 

As part of her ongoing “Thank God You Didn’t Elect Me” tour, Hillary Clinton made her debut on Australian television last night in an interview with the ABC’s Sarah Ferguson. Though she didn’t repeat her infamous “17 intelligence agencies” lie, which she’d continued to regurgitate long after that claim had been conclusively debunked, there were still plenty of whoppers to be heard.

From her ridiculous claim that the aggressively protested DNC convention was “very positive” to her completely baseless assertion that Bernie Sanders “couldn’t explain his programs” during the primaries, Clinton did a fine job of reminding us all why the average American finds her about as trustworthy as a hungry crocodile. But while she has blamed her loss on James Comey and Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders and self-hating women and the media and uninformed voters and voter suppression and her campaign staff and the DNC and campaign finance laws and Jill Stein and the Electoral College and Anthony Weiner and sexism and Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton reserved the lion’s share of her deceit for the organization she hates most of all: WikiLeaks.

Here are five lies that Clinton told about the outlet during her ABC interview:

Full video

Lie 1: Claims WikiLeaks never publishes anything about Russia


View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

“And if he’s such a, you know, martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia?” Clinton asks of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, mere weeks after WikiLeaks published a massive leak drop on Russian domestic surveillance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump’s Saudi Scheme Unravels

Trump’s Saudi Scheme Unravels

President Trump and his son-in-law bet that the young Saudi crown prince could execute a plan to reshape the Mideast, but the scheme quickly unraveled revealing a dangerous amateur hour, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.


Aaron Miller and Richard Sokolsky, writing in Foreign Policy, suggest “that Mohammed bin Salman’s most notable success abroad may well be the wooing and capture of President Donald Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.” Indeed, it is possible that this “success” may prove to be MbS’ only success.

President Trump shakes the hand of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman on May 20, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

“It didn’t take much convincing”, Miller and Sokolski wrote: “Above all, the new bromance reflected a timely coincidence of strategic imperatives.”

Trump, as ever, was eager to distance himself from President Obama and all his works; the Saudis, meanwhile, were determined to exploit Trump’s visceral antipathy for Iran – in order to reverse the string of recent defeats suffered by the kingdom.

So compelling seemed the prize (that MbS seemed to promise) of killing three birds with one stone (striking at Iran; “normalizing” Israel in the Arab world, and a Palestinian accord), that the U.S. President restricted the details to family channelsalone. He thus was delivering a deliberate slight to the U.S. foreign policy and defense establishments by leaving official channels in the dark, and guessing. Trump bet heavily on MbS, and on Jared Kushner as his intermediary. But MbS’ grand plan fell apart at its first hurdle: the attempt to instigate a provocation against Hezbollah in Lebanon, to which the latter would overreact and give Israel and the “Sunni Alliance” the expected pretext to act forcefully against Hezbollah and Iran.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Pandora’s Box of the Digital Age

The Pandora’s Box of the Digital Age

In the past year alone, a series of hacks and ransomware attacks by hostile governments and other malign actors have raised alarms about a major threat to global stability. Unfortunately, many governments are responding by developing still more cyber weapons, on the mistaken assumption that offense is the best defense.

STOCKHOLM – Is the world sliding dangerously toward cyber Armageddon? Let us hope not; but let us also apprehend the threat, and focus on what to do about it.

One country after another has begun exploring options for bolstering their offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and many other countries have already done so. This is a dangerous escalation. In fact, few other trends pose a bigger threat to global stability.

Almost all societies have become heavily dependent on the Internet, the world’s most important piece of infrastructure – and also the infrastructure upon which all other infrastructure relies. The so-called Internet of Things is a misnomer; soon enough, it will be the “Internet of Everything.” And our current era is not a Fourth Industrial Revolution; it is the beginning of the digital age, and the end of the industrial age altogether.

The digital age has introduced new vulnerabilities that hackers, cyber criminals, and other malign actors are already routinely exploiting. But even more alarming is the eagerness of national governments to conduct cyber-warfare operations against one other.

We have already reached the stage at which every conflict has a cyber dimension. The United States and Israel crossed the Rubicon in 2010 by launching the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Now, there is no telling where ongoing but hidden cyber conflicts begin and end.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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