Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Signs of an America in Collapse

by Richard Edmondson
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
John Allen, NATO commander in Afghanistan,
issues a statement on the latest desecration
of Afghan corpses by his soldiers

In roughly the past week we’ve seen reports of deformed marine life, including eyeless shrimp, being found in the Gulf of Mexico; military Blackhawk helicopters frightening citizens in Chicago by conducting low-altitude drills in formation; members of the president’s Secret Service detail dallying with prostitutes; released photos of US soldiers posing with corpses; and a video showing Coast Guard personnel severing the legs of live goats as part of a “training” exercise.

We also have a lawsuit filed by two women alleging they were raped while attending, respectively, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Sexual assault of women in the military is of course nothing new, but in this case one of the plaintiffs, Leah Marquet, 20, says that after reporting the incident to school authorities (at West Point), she was humiliated by being forced to take out her attacker’s trash.

Keep in mind all of these incidents occurred or were made public in the space of about one week. Looked at separately or individually, they could each be dismissed as curious, slightly bizarre episodes, news items one might perhaps remark upon while chatting around the office water cooler. But examined as a group, and as distinctive nibbles of a relatively brief news cycle, they are symptomatic of a nation in collapse, a society in a state of moral rot and exuding a foul-smelling breath detectable by anyone who may be unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.

In response to the latest revelations about desecration of corpses in Afghanistan, U.S. officials, predictably, rushed to dismiss it as nothing more than the misconduct of a few bad apples in the military.
“The actions of the individuals photographed do not represent the policies of International Security Assistance Force or the U.S. Army,” said U.S. General John Allen, NATO commander in Afghanistan—while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed the behavior “absolutely violates both our regulations and, more importantly, our core values.” Similar statements were issued by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

American soldiers (center) pose with a pair of dismembered legs. Notice the Afghan on the right isn’t smiling. Is it any wonder the U.S. now has a growing problem with so-called "green on blue" attacks, i.e. Afghan forces turning their guns on their NATO handlers?

What has these officials so concerned is an April 18 report in the L.A. Times about a series of photos depicting U.S. soldiers posing with corpses and, in one case, displaying the severed legs of what is alleged to have been a suicide bomber. The smiling soldiers have been identified as members of the 82nd Airborne based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the photos reportedly were furnished to the newspaper by a fellow 82nd member said to be “concerned about a lack of discipline, leadership and security that he said compromised soldiers’ safety”—not the safety of Afghan civilians, mind you, just the soldiers.

One wonders why officials like Panetta any longer bother issuing statements about American “values” when such comments by now are almost certainly regarded as suspect by a huge portion of the world’s population and probably even by a good many Americans.

For of course the April 18 revelations come hot on the heels of a shooting rampage by an Army sergeant in March that left 17 Afghan civilians dead…and the burning of Korans in February…and the urinating upon Afghan corpses by U.S. Marines as shown in a video which surfaced in January…and yet more photos, first published in March of last year, of a kill team within the 5th Stryker Brigade, a group of soldiers who murdered Afghan civilians for fun, reportedly taking mementos of their atrocities such as bones and severed fingers. All of this of course being vaguely reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib photos that first outraged the Muslim world way, way back in 2004.

Of course it isn’t only nations in the Middle East which must keep an apprehensive eye on the behavior of U.S. military forces. Police state repression is coming home to America big time, and like in Afghanistan, NATO once again figures into the picture. On May 20-21 a NATO summit will be held in Chicago, and on Monday, April 16, residents of that city looked up to see a sky full of helicopters, some hovering at times in close-order formation, in what appeared to be a military exercise in preparation for the summit.

According to the local Fox News affiliate, the aerial vehicles circled “low through downtown Chicago skies,” making for “a scary scene along the Chicago River, as they rattled windows flying among the city’s skyscrapers.”

“It was frightening,” said Jessica Hill. “I was definitely alarmed.”
“I was pretty amazed,” Felise Llano said, “because they were definitely military.”

The report also makes mention of armed men spotted hanging out of some of the helicopters.
At least three of the helicopters were large, Blackhawk helicopters, though these were accompanied by a number of smaller helicopters of the MH-6 variety, or possibly the MH-6’s attack version, the AH-6. The MH-6/AH-6 helicopters are sometimes referred to as the “Little Bird” or the “Killer Egg,” according to Wikipedia.

The Intelhub website also posted an article on the Chicago episode, calling it a “shocking display of the police state and the creeping push towards actual martial law,” additionally noting the drill’s similarity to recent urban warfare exercises in both Los Angeles and Miami.

The approaching NATO summit is affecting Chicago residents in other ways as well. Residents of downtown apartment buildings have been notified they will most likely need identification to get into their own apartments, while Chicago school children are “being brainwashed into literally worshipping NATO and the military industrial complex.”

Interestingly, the Intelhub site, on the same page as the helicopter story, also features several ads targeting what might be described as a “survivalist” audience. One of the products advertised is a “survival seed vault” marketed by a MyPatriotSupply.com. Journeying out onto the Internet, we can also find a considerable number of survival oriented websites— here, here, here, here, and here, to cite but a few—all warning of a coming American catastrophe—plus an Off Grid Surival portal, with links to roughly a hundred different survival sites and blogs!

And at least one organization, a Florida-based group called Biospharms, is even encouraging Americans to relocate to an ARC (agricultural retreat community) set up in Belize. The site offers instructional videos on sustainable agriculture, including how to build a “tilapia pond” (tilapia fish with a duck hutch suspended in the air above the water. The duck droppings fall through the mesh floor into the pond, fertilizing algae and fern grass, which the fish then eat.). What is clear from all this is that at least a small, but probably growing, percentage of Americans are considering a number of options—including getting out of the country.

The rot has even spread into the Secret Service, the elite government agency charged with protecting the president and his family. Not only did agents solicit prostitutes in Cartagena, Columbia, but then, having spent the night with them, apparently, at least in some cases, also refused to pay the girls the amount agreed upon.

One of the women told the New York Times that the American who sat beside her at the Hotel Caribe bar, and eventually invited her back to his room, agreed to pay her $800. At 6:30 the next morning, however, he refused this higher amount, handing her instead a measly 50,000 pesos (approximately $30). As one might expect, an argument ensued. Things escalated to the point where hotel security, and eventually local police, became involved. The American men at the hotel, by this time eager to resolve the matter discreetly, gave the young woman a combination of dollars and pesos worth about $225—still about $575 short of her normal fee.

In her initial interview with the media, the girl refused to give her name, however, more recently she has been identified as one “Dania,” the single mother of a nine-year-old son.

Though the empire may be in a state of decline, don’t get the idea that it isn’t still deadly. And don’t get the idea, either, that bipeds are its only victims. It was Gandhi who said, “You can judge the morality of a nation by the way the society treats its animals,” and if we go by that standard, the U.S. Coast Guard would have to be judged pretty bereft of morals also these days. A video released April 18 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shows a Coast Guard training exercise in Virginia Beach, Virginia in which instructors with a company hired by the military are seen using a tree-branch trimmer to cut off the legs of goats. Though sedated, the animals are alive—and later in the day they were reportedly shot in the face with pistols and hacked apart with an ax. Some of the participants in the exercise are heard on the video whistling and making jokes. PETA’s report on the matter and its video can be accessed here. (Hat tip to Kenny at Kenny’s Sideshow for the link.)

And finally, the cancerous rot of the BP oil spill has pretty much metastasized throughout the entire ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico. April 20 marked the two-year anniversary of the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, and on April 18 journalist Dahr Jamail filed a report documenting a host of deformities now being found in Gulf marine life. These include crabs lacking eyes and claws, eyeless shrimp, and fish oozing with sores and lesions. “Disturbingly, not only do the shrimp lack eyes, they even lack eye sockets,” one of the people quoted in the story says. Reportedly some 400 pounds of such mutated shrimp have been found in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay.

As I remarked in an article posted for the anniversary of the disaster, “The oil spill released at least 4.9 million barrels of oil—a disaster bad enough in and of itself. But then in an effort to hide the oil from public view by sinking it to the bottom of the ocean, BP compounded the problem exponentially by spraying some 1.9 million gallons of a toxic dispersant known as Corexit over the affected area.” The post, which includes an embedded video featuring Jamail as a guest on an Aljazeera talk show, is entitled, ‘What’s for dinner, honey?’ ‘Eyeless shrimp.’—fitting enough, I suppose, given that U.S. government agencies continue to insist Gulf seafood is “safe” to eat. In fact, as Jamail has reported, “they don’t even acknowledge there’s a problem.”

As documented in an article here, BP has a lengthy track record of placing profits above safety, yet so far none of its executives have ever been held criminally liable. In the last two years the company has paid out some $30 billion in claims settlements and cleanup costs. There have been times in the past, prior to the Gulf disaster, when it would occasionally also get hit with government fines. But all these expenses—fines, cleanup costs, etc.— are simply factored in as the cost of doing business, and the giant corporation remains very profitable. Last year alone it collected more than $375 billion in revenue, pocketing roughly $26 billion in profits. In my “What’s for dinner” post, I wrote the following:

Now here’s something you might want to think about between now and election day in November. Why did the Obama administration allow the poisoning of the food chain? If you go here, you can read about how the EPA knew full well how toxic Corexit is. So why did the president sit back and let it go on? In asking this question, I’m certainly not suggesting Mitt Romney would have done anything any differently. He most likely would have allowed the spraying too. That’s simply how the government functions, whether there’s a Democrat or a Republican in office. Bankers, corporations, and powerful lobby groups write their own rules, and the rest of us—and the planet itself—pay the price when the inevitable disaster strikes.

Certain writers have observed recently that every 500 years or so the geopolitical power balance in the world undergoes a shift between east and west, with one rising and the other falling, and speculations are now rife all over the Internet, here for instance, that such a shift is imminent. The religions of the world (perhaps optimistically) tell us that good in the end triumphs over evil. If that is so, and if the theory of the 500-year cycle is correct, we could well begin to see this realignment process begin to accelerate. And what of humanity in the meantime? Those grounded in morality and spiritual awareness will naturally begin to gravitate toward the east (either physically, or, at very least, in how they think, relate, or self-identify), while those of a more worldly and decadent bent will embrace the increasingly corrupt west. This actually has already begun to happen. Consider westerners such as Lauren Booth, decent, principled people who, finding much lacking in their own culture, have converted to Islam.
Would that we could all go our own ways, flitter off in our own preferred directions, and leave it at that. But as we all know, the west has a bloodlust and a thirst for war and conquest. And therein lies the problem—and it’s not hard, in fact it’s quite easy, to imagine all this playing out in some sort of Armageddon-like scenario. But of course isn’t that what virtually every prophet from virtually every faith and religion virtually the world over predicted?

Yes, America is in decline. All the signs are there. And that, in fact, makes the situation even more dangerous. The country has been bankrupted by wars, greed, political corruption, and plain-out ignorance. The question arises, of course, as to how much of a role Jewish power and Zionism have played in America’s downfall. Doubtless they have been major factors. But we should also remember that Americans were busy building an empire long before the Zionists climbed on board and took over the ship of state. That a “special relationship” would come to exist between these two countries was perhaps inevitable.

It was certainly a match made in heaven, or hell as the case may be.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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1 comment:

Deadbeat said...

While it is true that America was "building an empire" well before Zionism took over, Zionism has played a large role in two world wars and the neoliberal policies that have been put in place since the 1970's.

We know that Zionism wrought the Federal Reserve that led to the Great Depression. America's entry into WWI was due to Zionist manipulations. International Jewry declared War on Germany in 1933 and the 1973 Arab Oil Boycott that ushered in neoliberalism was due to America's support for Zionist Israel.

The author need to go back and review the historical record and see that Jewish Power is at heart of the course for American in the 20th and continuing into the 21st century.