Attribution bias is a familiar theme in the literature of modern psychology.
“I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. It would spread a lively terror.”—Winston Churchill, 1920, with regard to the uprising in Iraq.London.On 23 March 2017, Khalid Masood ploughed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London, stabbed a police officer with a knife, and then was shot dead. He killed four people in the rampage, which injured an additional forty people and disturbed the equanimity of a major Western city. Masood, who was born in Dartford (Kent, United Kingdom), had run afoul of the law for many years—mainly because of acts of violence and possession of weapons. The gap between the act of Masood and a common criminal is narrow.Two months ago, the head of the Metropolitan Police said that “warning lights are flashing” over the rise of violent crime across England and Wales. The preferred weapon, said Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was the common knife. Violent crime had risen by twenty-two percent, with the last quarter of 2016 registering 30,838 crimes committed with knives. Masood’s crime could well have been read alongside this data, as a serious problem of an increase in violence with knives as the weapon of choice.Instead, the media and the British political class offered a sanctimonious lesson in civics. This was, said UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, “an attack on our democracy, the heart of our democracy.” UK Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that despite this attack, “we will move forward together, never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.” One newspaper suggested that Boris Johnson’s statement was “Churchillian.”ISIS, which has been under serious threat in Iraq and Syria, has called upon people around the world to conduct acts of criminal violence in its name. There is no evidence yet that Masood acted on the instructions of ISIS or that he was following the ISIS edict to attack people in public areas in the West. What is known is that right after the attack, ISIS took credit for it, calling Masood its “soldier.” ISIS social media celebrated the attack. There is a form of delirium at work here—a group weakened now seeks to glorify itself by a pathetic attack by a man with a criminal record, using an old car and a knife.Attribution bias is a familiar theme in the literature of modern psychology. It refers to the problem that occurs when people evaluate the actions of themselves or others based not on the facts but on attributions transferred from inherent biases. Fritz Heider, who first developed this theory in The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (1958), suggested that attributions are made mostly to preserve one’s self-concept—namely one’s sense of self. Rather than evaluate one’s own behavior in a bad situation, one tends to blame others and to disregard the constraints that others operate under. This is typically considered to be a “self-serving bias”—the winner of an election says, “I won because the people voted for me,” whereas the loser says, “I lost because of voter fraud.”Masood’s act has already been pinned on ISIS, and ISIS has already adopted him as one of its combatants. Both decisions are self-serving—the one to deny any native role for the production of Masood and the other to uplift a flagging insurgency. Masood’s own convulsions with racism, his own desire to seek glory above his miserable situation: these are not taken seriously. “Home-grown” terrorists have ‘home-grown’ problems. But the term ‘terrorist’ allows the “home-grown” person to be exported—as it were—to other countries, to defer blame to them—to ISIS, in this case.Al-MansouraThree thousand miles southeast of London sits the town of al-Mansoura, near the city of Raqqa (Syria). Aerial bombardment by the United States in the area around Raqqa had pushed about fifty families to take shelter in the al-Badia school in the town. The US bombings had come to soften up ISIS positions in the towns around Raqqa as hundreds of US forces take their positions in its periphery. The US forces—and their allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces—have sought to seize a major dam on the Euphrates River at the town of Tabqah. This dam is essential to the water supply for Raqqa. The battle over Tabqah, one of the last remaining conduits into and out of Raqqa, will be essential before the US and its allies turns its firepower against ISIS’s “capital.”On 22 March 2017, hours before Khalid Masood conducted his terror attack in London, US aircraft bombed the school. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, says that thirty-three civilians died in this bombing run. Hamoud Almousa of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently says that the number might be as high as 101 civilians. The day before, on 21 March, US aircraft bombed the town of Tabqah, hitting the Maysaloon school, a field hospital and homes on al-Synaa street—killing twenty civilians. A week before, US aircraft bombed the town of al-Jineh (near Aleppo), hitting a mosque and killing forty-six civilians. Col. John Thomas of the US Central Command said that the US aircraft did not hit a mosque. “We are going to look into any allegations of civilian casualties in relation to this strike,” he said. This statement always suggests that the Central Command knows that it hit civilians, but does not want to make a direct statement one way or another.AirWars, a non-profit group that maintains a record of casualties from aerial bombardment, says that in March alone there have been over a thousand civilian non-combatant deaths in Iraq and Syria as a result of what it calls “Coalition actions”—with the US aircraft inflicting the bulk of the casualties. This considerable spike has led AirWars to suspend its investigation of Russian-inflicted casualties (fifty in March) and to divert its staff to look at those inflicted by the Coalition aircraft alone.The Western media focused on the actions of Khalid Masood and remained silent on these deaths. Brief notes of this or that massacre appeared, but without the focus and intensity of the kind of coverage given to the attack by Masood. No front page story with a large picture, no “Breaking News” coverage on television with correspondents insisting that spokesperson for US Central Command give them more than pabulum. It is as if we live in two alternative universes—one, where terror confounds the population with moral indignation and two, where large deaths from jet fighters are treated as the necessary side-effects of war. One is terrorism; the other is an accident.It does not feel accidental to the people of al-Mansoura or al-Jineh.BinariesI have spent decades thinking about the asymmetry of reactions to these sorts of incidents in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. I have written about them, indignation as the mood of these essays. But this is spitting into the wind. It is futile on Facebook, for instance, to make the suggestion that the 2016 Karrada bombings in Baghdad (Iraq), which killed over 300 people, should have driven people to turn their profile pictures into Iraqi flags (as the world had done after the 2015 Paris attacks, when 137 people were killed). “Je Suis Charlie” is easy to write, but not #AmiAvijit. Eyes roll when these gestures are urged, whether through bewilderment at their meaning or exhaustion at their sanctimoniousness. After all, the eye-roll suggests, how could one compare a satirical French magazine with obscure Bangladeshi bloggers who have been hacked to death? It takes an immense act of will to push editors to run stories on tragedies that seem distant even from the places where they occur. All eyes focus on the latest attack in Molenbeek, but few turn with the same intensity to look at the tragedies in Beirut or in Cairo.Over the years I have settled on some binaries that operate to blind thinking about violence in the world. Our days have become hallucinations, with violence always at the edge of consciousness. But violence is understood through these binaries in ways that befuddle those who believe in a universal humanity, those who believe—in concrete terms—that people in Kabul deserve empathy and sympathy as much as people in Berlin. In fact, the scale of the violence in Kabul is so much greater than in Berlin that you would imagine greater sympathy for those in far more distress. But actually the logic of these binaries moves consciousness in the opposite direction.Eastern Malevolence / Western BenevolenceThere is standard belief amongst reporters—for example—that Western actions are motivated by the highest values and are therefore benevolent. The loftiest values of our time—democracy and human rights—are sequestered inside the concept of the West. The East—bedraggled—is treated as a place without these values. It is bereft, a bad student. There is what Aimé Césaire calls “shy racism,” for it suggests that Easterners cannot be given the benefit of doubt when they act, or that Westerners could not also be malevolent in their objectives. The way this logic runs it is the Eastern bombing of Syria’s Aleppo, conducted by the Oriental despot Bashar al-Asad, that is inhumane, while it is the Western bombing of Iraq’s Mosul (250 to 370 civilians killed in the first week of March) that is humane. It would pierce the armor of Western self-regard to admit that its armed forces could—without sentiment of care—bomb mosques and schoolhouses.What about Hitler? Is he not the epitome of Western malevolence? Hitler is the madman, much as white terrorists in the West are madmen. They do not define the society or the culture. No one asks after their attacks for Christianity to answer for their crimes or for Western Civilization to stand condemned. They are not compared to Hitler. The modern analogues of Hitler are always to be found in the East—Saddam, Bashar, Kim Jong-un—but not in the West.It took some guts for the Indian politician Shashi Tharoor to remark that “Churchill was no better than Hitler” —a statement that has led to the routine objections from the British political class. US President Donald Trump insisted on returning his bust to the Oval Office, where he showed it with great aplomb to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May (she gave him a copy of a Churchill speech during her visit). It does not bother either Trump or May that Churchill was a racist, who believed that the “Aryan stock is bound to triumph.” Cliches are mobilized to defend him: he was a man of his time, when such ideas were commonplace. But such ideas were being vigorously challenged from the colonies and from within Britain. Hitler’s Endlösung was not of a different quality from Churchill’s Bengal Famine of 1943. Tharoor’s comparison of Churchill to Hitler will not stick. It will eventually be swept away. Far easier to see Hitler in Bashar al-Assad or in Kim Jong-un than in Churchill or George W. Bush. Hitler was Europe’s aberration, not—as Césaire pointed out—the logical culmination of colonial brutality.State Legality / Non-State IllegalityStates do not normally act outside the confines of international law. If they do, then it is in error. Or there are some states that are not proper states, but “rogue states” that do not behave according to the principles of civilization. Normal states, not rogue states, the logic of shy racism goes, never intentionally violate the laws of war and behave in a barbaric way. Their acts of murder are always unintentional because it would be too costly for them to intentionally murder civilians.When the United Nations Human Rights Council wanted to investigate NATO’s 2011 bombing of Libya, based on UN Security Council resolution 1973, its Brussels headquarters stalled. NATO’s legal adviser, Peter Olson, wrote to the United Nations saying that NATO deserved immunity. “We would be concerned if NATO incidents were included in the commission’s report as on par with those which the commission may ultimately conclude did violate law or constitute crimes,” Olson wrote. What NATO would like, he concluded, was for the UN commission to “clearly state that NATO did not deliberately target civilians and did not commit war crimes in Libya.” In other words, without any investigation, the UN Human Rights Council should give NATO a certificate of high moral character.If civilians are killed, then it is either entirely accidental or it is because the enemy has used them as human shields. Strange illogical statements emerge from the power centers of the West to befuddle criticism. US President Obama’s drone strike policy allowed his operators to strike at crowds of people who looked like enemies (the “signature strike”). If, later, the intelligence services determined that some of them were not indeed enemies then those civilians would be ‘posthumously exonerated’. But they would—of course—be dead, murdered by a state actor that is not seen to be rogue and that sees itself as abiding by international law.Rogue states and rogue non-state actors do not abide by the protocols of the laws of war, and therefore they are the only ones who violate them intentionally. The violence of the rogue state and the rogue non-state actor is always worse than that of those who are deemed to be legitimate states and legitimate non-state actors. The nuclear weapons of India, Israel and Pakistan are acceptable, but Iran’s nuclear energy program is a grave threat to humanity. A ‘knife attack’ by a Palestinian child is horrendous and it is taken to define not only the Palestinian liberation movement, but Palestinian culture in general. The bombing of four young Palestinian boys on a Gaza beach is accidental and not definitive of either Israeli state action or of Israeli culture. This asymmetry of evaluation is fundamental to the ruling ideas of our time.Violence to Heal / Violence to HurtWhen the US military conducted its massive bombing run against Iraq in March 2003 under the name “Shock and Awe,” it was considered to be in the service of human rights and security. But the language used by its architects was genocidal. Harlan K. Uliman, who developed the theory of “Shock and Awe,” said in 2003, “You take the city down. You get rid of their power, water. In two, three, four, five days, they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted.” A Pentagon official said of the actual bombing runs, “There will not be a safe place in Baghdad. The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before.” Hundreds of cruise missiles rained on Baghdad. Eventually, after a decade of war and occupation, the violence of the war would claim at least a million Iraqi lives.But yet, the language to define the war is muted. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said of the war that “from the [UN] charter point of view, it was illegal.” This should mean that US President George W. Bush and his coterie are war criminals. But his successor, US President Barack Obama refused to open an investigation and the world followed suit. Bush’s language about bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq became the anthem. If a million people died, so be it. It was all to heal Iraq, to free Iraq.The violence of the Iraqi insurgency, on the other hand, was immediately considered to be violence intended to hurt, to create problems not only for the United States, but for Iraq itself. The violence of the West is prophylactic, while the violence of the East is destructive.Precious Life / Disposable LifeWhen news broke of the failed US raid on the village of al-Jineh (Yemen), the Western media concentrated on the death of Ryan Owens who was a Seal Team 6 member. There was a great deal of discussion on his death and little mention of the civilians who were killed by Owens’ comrades in that raid. If they were mentioned it was as a number: twenty-eight or thirty. There were no names in the stories, no way to make these people into human beings. Nothing about Mohammad Khaled Orabi (age 14), Hasan Omar Orabi (age 10), Ahmad Nouri Issa (age 23), Mustapha Nashat Said al-Sheikh (age 23), Ali Mustapha (age 17), Abd al Rahman Hasim (age 17), and not even Nawar al-Awlaki (age 8) whose father and brother had been killed in earlier raids. No mention of the names of the forty-two Somali refugees gunned down by a Saudi helicopter gunship, a weapons system provided by the United States. To offer these names would be to give these people humanity.When twenty thousand or more people died because an US-owned factory exploded in Bhopal, Michael Utidjian, medical director of American Cyanamid said in 1984, it is sad but needs to be seen in context. What is that context? Indians do not have the “North American philosophy of the importance of human life.” They do not mind when people die, it seems. They have a different standard of humanity. Their lives are disposable. They are not precious. Thirty-three dead here, forty-two dead there. Sad yes, but not tragic. Tragedy is only possible if one has the “North American philosophy of the importance of human life.”Legible Narrative / Illegible NarrativeIt would be an illogical narrative to suggest that Western generals want to raze cities. That is not their motivation. When the US flattened Fallujah (Iraq) in 2004, under the command of then Major General James Mattis of the 1st Marine Division, this was not the intent. That the use of Depleted Uranium led to cancer rates fourteen times higher than in Hiroshima (Japan) after the atom bomb was dropped there was incidental, not deliberative. It is impossible to imagine an American, for instance, being cruel in military strategy. On the other hand, it is easy to imagine a Syrian general, such as General Issam Zahreddine, being systematically vicious. It is not possible to see both as ferocious. It would be an illegible narrative if these two stories were set side by side. One is so obviously a better man (Mattis) than the other (Zahreddine). The character of the man of the West always surmounts the character of the man of the East.Violent ShockWho needs censorship when you have ideology? When anything outside the governing ideology tries to make an appearance it is dismissed as the rants of a conspiracy theorist or as “alt-facts.” Terrorism is terrorism and counter-terrorism is counter-terrorism. To break down the distinctions between them is a scandal against civilization itself. Of course al-Qa‘ida is bad and the US military is good! That is ipso facto, the essence of reality.None of this is the blame of individual reporters or editors or indeed of individual readers of the press reportage. It is not something restricted to the West, for these attitudes are shared widely around the world. This is not a consequence of the impact of CNN or of BBC, but of much earlier, much deeper attitudes with deep roots from colonial times. It was an old colonial view that the violence of the imperial armies must have some Enlightenment logic behind them, whereas those of the darker world came motivated by messianism, tribalism, millenarianism or other illogical views of older times.When in the 1950s the British violently crushed the aspirations of the Kenyans, sending thousands to concentration camps and killing—as the historian Caroline Elkins argues – a hundred thousand people, this was done for rational reasons. The Empire had to be protected. The uprising of the Mau Mau, which they were countering in Kenya, could not be allowed to succeed. Indeed, it could not succeed—the British suggested—because it was merely the eruption of older African instincts. Even the name of the group powerfully allowed the British to paint their insurgency in diabolical colors. The rebels called their outfit the Kenya Land and Freedom Army. The use of the words ‘land’ and ‘freedom’ suggested a link to the national liberation movements of that decolonization era. They also suggested a rational political platform, to distribute land to the colonized population in a free Kenya. The British insisted on calling them the Mau Mau—the name carrying for a British audience the full flavor of traditional Africa in its sound, the rhythm of a drum, the call from deep in the forest, the sly racism of the denial of the more traditional national liberation force. In the name Mau Mau appeared the forest and in it would dissolve the accusations of concentration camps and mass killings. It was not the British that did those killings, but the Mau Mau. Always the Mau Mau, never Lord Evelyn Baring who wrote that the British had to inflict “violent shock” against the Kenyans or else the British Empire would be defeated in Kenya.From Lord Baring’s Violent Shock to George W. Bush’s Shock and Awe: this cannot be terrorism. It is the business of rational states. Terrorism is what the others do. Always.This article originally appeared on Jadaliyya.
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FORMER CIA DIRECTOR WARNS OF ATTACK THAT ‘WOULD BLACKOUT NORTH AMERICA AND KILL MILLIONS’
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR WARNS OF ATTACK THAT ‘WOULD BLACKOUT NORTH AMERICA AND KILL MILLIONS’
[4/1/17] A former CIA director is warning that it would be “profoundly dangerous” to underestimate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who he calls a “sociopath” who doesn’t follow the standard protocol on nuclear weapons.
James Woolsey, CIA director under President Clinton, and Peter Vincent Pry, chief of staff of the congressional EMP Commission, co-wrote a column for The Washington Times asserting that the U.S. isn’t prepared for North Korea’s threat.
“Kim Jong-un is a sociopath who inherited absolute power from his father and grandfather,” Woolsey and Pry wrote. “Like them, Kim is mentally and spiritually absolutely corrupted. Kim is so suspicious of his own followers that he is purging his political and military elites, inventing sadistically ingenious ways of killing even close relatives.”
They called him “Caligula in the third generation, armed with nuclear weapons.”
“His paranoid personality is exactly the type to start a nuclear war,” they wrote in the March 26 column.
Western analysists, they wrote, “wrongly assume” that North Korea will follow a testing regime “similar to that for U.S. missiles,” with multiple flight tests. Instead, North Korea is rushing untested weapons into deployment.
By Graham Vanbergen / True Publica
The mainstream media has a new in vogue phrase and you are sure to have heard it by now – ‘the rules based international order (or system)’. The Royal Institute of International Affairs based in London, commonly known as Chatham House commented a several years ago that “Economic and political upheavals are emboldening challengers to the rules-based international system, and to the liberal Western values it embodies. To stay relevant, the system must address three major flaws.”
For a system based on rules to have effect, these rules must be visibly observed by their principal and most powerful advocates.
A rules-based order must work to the advantage of the majority and not a minority.
The longevity of the current international system may have led to the assumption that it was in some way the natural order of things, requiring only occasional repair and defence against particular challengers.
Given recent global events it is clear that the so-called rules based order has systemically failed to address any of these flaws. The most powerful advocates and the institutions that support this system have made the most disastrous decisions culminating in an epic financial crisis with austerity its ideological birth. The West flounders from one crisis to the next, the majority disciplined for the malfeasance and lawlessness of the few and the system is consuming itself from the inside out – a neoliberal bowel cancer with no cure in sight.
The European Union
With Britain’s recent EU referendum result came the realisation that the rules based system on the continent had failed. Rising discontent is gathering at an unstoppable pace, much to the alarm of the ruling elite. A federalised state dreamt up by America and handed to Germany with the intention of destroying national identities, borders and sovereign rights is slowly turning into a nightmare as the 28 nation bloc enters what can only be described as a disintegration phase.
Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics puts it this way:
Protests across Europe go largely unreported by the Mainstream media as important elections are due in 2017
“The EU intends to make it a mistake that the British will regret and fall to their knees. This attitude is consistent with the constant endeavour to explain all the shortcomings of the EU as insignificant and irrelevant, thereby closing their ears and mind to any possible reform. They have no clear statement to challenge what is going on. The regulatory nightmare and outright rage that is rising among the people is simply ignored by Brussels. The legal uncertainty with the British exit on the banking system is something nobody even wants to speculate about. How do bail-ins work in Europe if abandoned in Britain? So while the EU thinks by punishing Britain they will discourage others from leaving, they are seriously mistaken. The dream of the EU is dead. It should have remained just a trade union – that was it.”
A recent BBC programme entitled Brexit: The Battle for Europe (YouTube video/58mins) produced the line “the power-brokers of Europe face an unprecedented challenge. For the EU this is a battle to survive.” In the programme Martin Schulz, former president of the European Parliament admitted there was a “real risk the EU will fall apart” as populism rises. Schulz has since emerged as the Social Democrats main challenger in a desperate bid against Merkel in Germany’s upcoming elections.
Sky News reported (11th Feb) that “Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed doubts that EU countries will be able to maintain a united front during Brexit negotiations.” Juncker even went on to admit that the EU project is now failing and sees disintegration going forward. He asked:
“Has the time come for when the European Union of the 27 must show unity, cohesion and coherence? Yes, I say yes, when it comes to Brexit … but I have some justified doubts that it will really happen.” He added: “Do the Hungarians and the Poles want exactly the same thing as the Germans and the French?” – “I have serious doubts.”
Even the the founding architect of the monetary union, Otmar Issing has warned that the Brussels’ dream of a European superstate will finally be buried amongst the rubble of the crumbling single currency.
“Realistically, it will be a case of muddling through, struggling from one crisis to the next. It is difficult to forecast how long this will continue for, but it cannot go on endlessly. Governments will pile up more debt—and then one day, the house of cards will collapse.”
United States of America
What we are witnessing in America is the crisis and erosion of the international rules based order that America constructed and maintained since the end of World War II. The US still dominates the world in terms economic and military power, that is not under dispute, but the challenge is that she is simply unable her to get her way and control the globalisation project that it largely helped to create.
American world domination is not just declining, it is coming to an end. The international liberal order is facing off against nationalism and protectionism, headed up by populist movements – Donald Trump being the evidence that citizens have had enough, they are desperate. Both Trump and Brexit are the result of protest votes for the masses and a stark reminder that politician’s no longer represent the people and the people know it.
For America, the writing is on the wall. In 1990 the global south, made up of Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia including the Middle East accounted for 30 percent of global trade, today that figure has risen to 50 percent. Interestingly, the OECD has predicted that by 2060, the GDP of the developing world, including China and India, would exceed that of developed OECD and non-OECD countries: 57.7 percent to 42.3 percent. This is a big problem for the West and its world order.
Military power is no longer just about how much firepower is available, weapon technology is no longer the preserve of the West, cyber-warfare is becoming just as dangerous as nuclear weapons. The rise of global terrorism has not abated and looks set to only get worse.
Traditional political power is being replaced by transnational social movements and corporations who increasingly dominate global politics. Organisations like Facebook, Google and the Gates Foundation disperse and erode centralised American power. Interdependence by rising regional powers is much more likely to dominate the world order than America’s failing approach of global coercion.
America’s traditional outlets of power such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO, UNHCR and the WTO etc are themselves waning in authority and no longer command the respect they once had. There is a rising tide of new kids on the block. The G20 for instance comprises of economic power houses from both North and South. China’s One Belt, One Road Program and the Silk Road projects are supported by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – their version of the World Bank.
The inauguration of Donald Trump heralds the arrival of a new world order – or disorder. The West is now weaker than ever before and rising US nationalism poses a threat to the European Union.
The long-term structural factors and institutions that underpinned America’s global influence are failing. The petrodollar is currently in collapse mode, NATO is being challenged and global trade agreements are being redefined. The BRICS nations economic rise will see growth doubling from 2010 to 2020, China alone will see its economic clout nearly treble in the same time frame, whilst the West’s anaemic economy limps from one crisis to the next with what is clearly turning out to be a failed neoliberal project. Capitalism is failing because everything is rigged.
The transition from America’s vision of a rules based system that it insists on devising and leading to a more complicated and internationally led system will be messy – dangerous even. America sees the rise of China and Russia as a threat to its dominance. Unable to innovate, negotiate and calmly influence its way in the 21st century, America could do the unthinkable and attack its perceived opponents in a desperate attempt to regain control with catastrophic repercussions.
The Deep State
Once the arena of ‘conspiracy theorists,’ now the playground of the mainstream media. The Deep State is defined as “a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies, corporations or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy.”
Glen Greenwald, interviewed by DemocracyNow said
“What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity.”
Britain’s own Deep State is steeped in history, effectively manipulating the global map from days of Empire. More recently, it is evidently active. Carne Ross, ex senior British diplomat named the ‘deep state’ for acting to prevent public knowledge of what really happened prior and during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. He said
“I testified last week to the Chilcot inquiry. My experience demonstrates an emerging and dangerous problem with the process. This is not so much a problem with Sir John Chilcot and his panel, but rather with Britain’s own “deep state” – that is covering up its mistakes and denying access to critical documents.”
The Deep State in Britain will be the main driver of the Brexit negotiations in the coming months and years as it manipulates legislation in favour of unprecedented political power focused on the drip-drip erosion of civil liberties and human rights to pave the way for ever-increasing corporate profits and plunder that privatisation brings. Other countries have the same problems.
Influential members of government, corporations and the military, are involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy according to many MSM outlets today
In France there are upcoming elections and another populist threatens the establishment in LePen. Diana Johnstone explains it in great detail for Global Research – “But the pro-European Union, pro-NATO, neoliberal Establishment is at work to keep that from happening. On every possible magazine cover or talk show, the media have shown their allegiance to a “New! Improved!” middle of the road candidate (in Emmanuel Macron) who is being sold to the public like a consumer product. Together, the anonymous sources of the “deep state” and the mass corporate media have become accustomed to controlling the narrative told to the public. They don’t want to give that power up. And they certainly don’t want to see it challenged by outsiders”
The West is no longer governed by a properly functioning political or capitalist system. Bush, Blair, Trump along with Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, TTIP, CETA, the global financial crisis, tax havens, etc are all evidence of that. Tens of millions have protested, none were heard – that is until the shock waves of disobedience reverberated in 2016, its effects yet to unfold.
Other Global Threats
The human population is also facing a new series of perils that threatens the international rules based system of order. If climate science is to be believed, climate change threatens water supplies, food prices, health and global security. By 2030 water stress will affect 47 percent of humanity. It is predicted to undermine global health efforts, increase poverty and will destroy global economic growth.
Humans and animals are increasingly sharing virulent viruses raising the risk of pandemics. The World Health Organisation has clearly stated “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today” with Antibiotic resistance rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world.
Nuclear proliferation is now a real problem. Nine countries roughly control 15,000 armed and ready-to-fire civilisation destroying weapons. There are a number of other countries who have never declared their nuclear capabilities and more are lining up to acquire the technology. If a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb were to fall into the hands of a rogue state – anything could happen.
Around 95% of active climate researchers publish climate papers endorsing the consensus position. The Petition Project features over 30,000 scientists signing the petition stating “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The EU, worried about Trump’s commitment to NATO and European defence are considering their own nuclear defence system by combining Britain and France into a pan European nuclear umbrella deterrant – no doubt controlled by Germany. That decision alone could cause the EU to implode.
Religious and sectarian divisions continue to dominate the Middle East. The excuse is the battle for global energy supplies which continues to rage with the resulting refugee crisis that threatens the EU. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict raises political volatility with global implications. Syria currently has over two-thirds of the worlds nations involved in the fighting either directly or indirectly – a single spark could escalate into an uncontrollable inferno.
The South China Sea, Ukraine, NATO, Russia, China, Iran, Syria – all pose the potential for existential risk for millions. North Korea is rushing full on to develop a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile that increasingly demonstrates its desire to reach the US. A problem for every US president since the 1980’s, North Korea is now posing a real threat that is pushing Japan into developing its own nuclear defence system. America and China need to negotiate and put NK on a leash, but they aren’t talking either.
Disorder Not Order
Strategic manoeuvres on the global chessboard of power politics is creating a period of transition. Everything is changing; political alliances, the global economy and its demography, all facilitated by new game-changing technologies. A fight for resources is already underway particularly as globalisation slowly and reluctantly withdraws in favour of regionalised re-industrialisation and nationalism.
A new world disorder is materialising as the West’s traditional grip on the global economy weakens. As with Ying and Yang or the global pendulum, all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites. If one economy or political power base increases – it is only at the expense of the other.
As Mark Leonard of the European Council on Foreign Relations notes, such eras are often “the most frightening periods in history.” Quoting Antonio Gramsci, Leonard points out that; “Disorder, war, and even disease can flood into the vacuum that forms when the old is dying and the new cannot be born.”
The truth is that the post-Cold War “American-policed security order” along with the “European-inspired legal order” have both fractured at the same time. The really big problem is that no real candidates to replace them have yet emerged from what looks like a long and dangerous road ahead for us all.
The original source of this article is True Publica
Copyright © Graham Vanbergen, True Publica, 2017
Articles by: Graham Vanbergen
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