The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

12-01-21 04:49:00, undefined

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.

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The U.S. ‘War on Terror’ Has Displaced 37 Million People – Global Research

09-12-20 03:10:00,

Over the last week, considerable debate arose around a calculation I helped produce showing that the wars the U.S. government has fought since the attacks of September 11, 2001, have forced at least 37 million people — and perhaps as many as 59 million — to flee their homes.

As a co-author of the underlying report, produced for Brown University’s Costs of War Project, I was encouraged by the attention in the media — which ranged from the New York Times to Fox News — because it has generated interest in the millions of people displaced by the U.S. “global war on terror.” My American University co-authors and I note that no one inside or outside the U.S. government has previously calculated how many people these wars have displaced.

The report conservatively estimates that eight of the most violent “counterterror” wars the U.S. government has engaged in since 9/11 — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — have produced 8 million refugees and 29 million internally displaced people. The 37 million total displaced is more than those displaced by any war since at least the start of the 20th century, except World War II.

Critiques of the report centered around the degree to which the U.S. government is responsible for displacement in all eight of these countries.

People agreed that the George W. Bush administration launched the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, some have said that the other countries we include in our estimate — Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — are incredibly complex conflicts in which the U.S. government has been a less central combatant, making it hard to say what role, if any, the U.S. government has played in creating displacement.

Yet the purpose of our report is not to assess relative responsibility for displacement among different actors. Our report says clearly, “We are not suggesting the U.S. government or the United States as a country is solely responsible for the displacement.” The Taliban, Iraqi Sunni and Shia militias, the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, the U.K. government and other U.S.

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The Ugly Terror of a Fascist Abyss Lurks in the Background of This Pandemic

26-07-20 07:57:00,

Politics & Elections

The Ugly Terror of a Fascist Abyss Lurks in the Background of This Pandemic

Environment & Health

The Food Industry Puts Profits Over Public Health Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook

Prisons & Policing

Black Lives Matter Chicago Sues to Prevent Occupation by Trump’s Paramilitaries

Politics & Elections

Self-Inflicted Wound of Brexit Will Make It Harder for UK to Recover From COVID

Politics & Elections

Trump’s Reelection Strategy Involves Terrorizing Us With Secret Stormtroopers

Racial Justice

Confronting White Supremacy Can’t Come Through Top-Down “Justice”

The Public Intellectual

Part of the Series

The Public Intellectual

There are lessons to be learned regarding how history is reproduced in the present. First, there is the Trump administration’s caging of children on the southern border. Second, there is Trump’s threat to use “dominating force” and unleash the National Guard and police upon demonstrators peacefully resisting police violence against people of color. Third, as Jason Stanley points out, there is Trump’s relentless language of violence designed both to embolden second amendment gun rights activists toward committing violence and to dehumanize certain populations while attempting “to harness the emotion of nostalgia to the central themes of fascist ideology — authoritarianism, hierarchy, purity and struggle.”

Trump’s authoritarian impulses and fascist politics took a dangerous turn when he authorized the use of unmarked, military-clad federal law enforcement shock troops to round up and detain protesters in Portland, Oregon. The troops offered no proof of identification, drove around in unmarked cars, pulled people off the streets with no probable cause, provided no sense of whose directives they were acting under, or who was to be held accountable for their actions. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, called such actions “an attack on our democracy.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted in reference to Portland that, “Trump and his storm troopers must be stopped.”

We have seen this before under Hitler, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and in other dictatorships. When such actions appeared in the past, dissidents, demonstrators and intellectuals disappeared, were beaten, tortured and interrogated in undisclosed sites, and in the worse scenarios, were murdered.

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COVID-19 Is Used As A Tool Of Fear And Terror By The EU

13-04-20 12:32:00,

Fear is being spread around us by the establishment through the mass media (MSM). Common sense is gone and mass hysteria is the new normal. A virus, COVID-19, is used to control the lives of people, and it’s also a tool of suppression against the population.

I am not going to claim whether there is a virus or not, whether it’s as dangerous as they say, or where it originated, be it in a laboratory or bio-weapon or a real virus. I only see that it has brought fear and, already in some EU countries, terror among the population.

Easter 2020; where EU governments forbid us to see our beloved ones, where EU governments forbid us to travel, where most of us lose their income because they forbid us to work and take our bread without compensation. Where they tell us to wait until there is a vaccination from Bill Gates and his sponsors, the criminal gang of the Rockefellers (sponsors of the John Hopkins University). They are controlling our lives, our children’s lives. If there is a virus, we can protect the elderly and sick but not destroy whole nations and people. I laughed about conspiracy thinkers in the past, but a lot of it is now reality and “new normal” as they call it. It’s 1984, and we didn’t do a thing to stop it, maybe it was too overwhelming.

EU Statement

The EU is mistreating, according to the law, the elderly and sick. You can’t forbid people from seeing their old mothers and fathers, or even holding a funeral for them, that is really criminal. Ursula Von der Leyen, head of the EU, also expects that: “elderly people in care homes cannot be visited as long as there is no vaccine. I know that’s difficult, but it’s about human lives”, she said. “We have to be disciplined and be very patient”. “We will have to live with the virus for months, probably until next year.” So many elderly and sick will die without saying goodbye to their beloved ones for almost a year? How cruel. Also, she dictates that we are not allowed to book a trip or holiday, meaning we have to wait for vaccinations and forcibly be vaccinated, also a violation of human rights and freedom.

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The Propaganda Of Terror And Fear: A Lesson From Recent History

29-03-20 09:48:00,

Authored by Dr Piers Robinson, Co-Director Organisation for Propaganda Studies,  via Off-Guardian.org,

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Coronavirus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here.

9/11 AND THE GLOBAL ‘WAR ON TERROR’

The events of September 11 2001 represent a key moment in contemporary history. The destruction of three skyscrapers in New York after the impact of two airliners and an attack on the Pentagon, killing around 3000 civilians, shocked both American and global publics. The horror of seeing aircraft being flown into buildings, followed by the total destruction of three high rise buildings within a matter of seconds, and the spectre of a shadowy band of Islamic fundamentalists (Al Qaeda) having pulled off such devastating attacks, gripped the imagination of many in the Western world.

It was in this climate of paranoia and fear that extraordinary policies were implemented. The USA Patriot Act led to significant civil liberty restrictions whilst the mass surveillance of the digital environment became normalized.

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