AuthorTopic: The War With North Korea Thread  (Read 2700 times)

Offline Surly1

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The War With North Korea Thread
« on: April 03, 2013, 04:19:37 PM »
Let's just start this off with RE's good buddy and pen pal, Brandon Smith. In spite of the fact that his anti-gun control rhetoric summoning up some near-term Concord and Lexington (which will in fact be Fallujah) is ludicrous, in this post he makes sound conclusions and asks excellent questions.

Will Globalists Use North Korea To Trigger Catastrophe?
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 02:50 Brandon Smith
http://www.alt-market.com/articles/1422-will-globalists-use-north-korea-to-trigger-catastrophe



Whenever discussion over North Korea arises in Western circles, it always seems to be accompanied by a strange mixture of sensationalism and indifference. The mainstream media consistently presents the communist nation as an immediate threat to U.S. national security, conjuring an endless number of hypothetical scenarios as to how they could join forces with Al-Qaeda and attack with a terroristic strategy. At the same time, the chest puffing of the late Kim Jong-iL and the standard fare of hyper-militant rhetoric on the part of the North Korean government in general seem to have lulled the American public into a trance of non-concern.

In the midst of the latest tensions with the North Koreans, I have found that most people are barely tracking developments and that, when confronted by the idea of war, they shrug it off as if it is a laughable concept. “Surely” they claim, “The North is just posturing as they always have.”

The high-focus propaganda attacking North Korea on our side and the puffer fish methodology on their side have created a social and political atmosphere surrounding our relations with the Asian nation that I believe places both sides of the Pacific in great danger. North Korea has the potential to become a trigger point for multiple economic catastrophes, and there are people in this world who would be happy to use such crises to serve their own interests.

The mainstream view being espoused by globalist-minded politicians and corporate oligarchs with an agenda is that North Korea is a nuclear armed monstrosity ready to use any subversive means necessary to strike the United States. The idea that the North is working closely with Al-Qaeda has been suggested in everything from White House briefings to cable news to movies and television. The concept of pan-global terrorist collusion and the cartoon-land “axis of evil” has been prominent in our culture since the Administration of George W. Bush. It has even been making a resurgence lately in the MSM, which presented countries like Iran, Syria And North Korea as the primary culprits interfering with the success of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.

Of course, what remains less talked about in the mainstream is the fact that these nations refuse to adhere to the treaty because carefully placed loopholes still allow major powers like the United States to feed arms into engineered insurgencies. Why would Syria or any other targeted nation sign a treaty that restricts its own sovereign ability to trade while giving teeth to internal enemies trained and funded by foreign intelligence agencies?

The establishment brushes aside such facts and consistently admonishes these countries as the last holdouts standing in the way of a new world order, a worldwide socioeconomic cooperative and pseudo-Utopia. The path to this wonderful global village is always presented as a battle against stubborn isolationists, non-progressives who lack vision and cling desperately to the archaic past. The values of personal and national sovereignty are painted as outdated, decrepit and even threatening to the newly born world structure. The image of North Korea is used by globalists as a kind of straw man argument against sovereignty. North Koreans’ vices and imbalances as a culture are many; but this is due in far larger part to their communist insanity, rather than any values of national independence. It is their domestic hive-mind collectivism we should disdain, not their wish to maintain a comfortable distance as a society from the global game.

As far as being an imminent physical threat to the United States, it really depends on the scenario. The North Koreans have almost no logistical capability to support an invasion of any kind. The nation has been suffering from epidemic famine for well more than a decade.

To initiate a war outright has never been in the best interests of the North Koreans, simply because their domestic infrastructure would not be able to handle the strain. However, there is indeed a scenario in which North Korea could be influenced to use military force despite apprehension.

With the ever looming threat of famine comes the ever looming threat of citizen revolution.  When any government is faced with the possibility of being supplanted, it will almost always lash out viciously in order to maintain power and control, no matter the cost. Sanctions like those being implemented by the West against North Korea today, at the very edge of national famine, could destabilize the country entirely. I believe the North would do anything to avoid an internal insurgency scenario, including attacking South Korea to acquire food stores and energy reserves, as well as other tangible modes of wealth.

North Korea’s standing army, obtained through mandatory two year conscription, is estimated at about 1.1 million active personnel; very close to the numbers active in the U.S. armed forces. But North Korean reserves are estimated at more than 8 million, compared to only 800,000 in the United States. If made desperate by economic sanctions, the North Koreans could field a massive army that would wreak havoc in the South and be very difficult to root out on their home turf. Asian cultures have centuries of experience using asymmetric warfare (the kryptonite of the U.S. military), and I do not believe it is wise to take such a possible conflict lightly, as many Americans seem to do. It is easy to forget that the last Korean War did not work out so well for us. At best, we would be mired in on-ground operations for years (just like Iraq and Afghanistan) or perhaps even decades. Like North Korea, we also do not have the logistical economic means to enter into another such war.

The skeptics argue that we will never get to this point, though, because North Korea has brandished and blustered many times before, all resulting in nothing. I see recent events being far different and more urgent than in the past, and here’s why:

1) The West needs to realize that North Korea is under new leadership. The blowhard days of Kim Jung Il are over, and little is known about his son, Kim Jong Un. So far, the young dictator has followed through on everything he said he would do, including the multiple nuclear tests that the West is using as an excuse to exert sanctions. To assume that the son will be exactly like the father is folly.

2) Many people claimed that North Korean threats to abandon the Armistice in place since 1953 were empty, yet they dropped it exactly as they said they would at the beginning of March.

3) The North has begun cutting off direct communication channels to the South, including a cross-border hotline meant to help alleviate tensions through diplomatic means.

4) The North has officially declared a state of war against the South. This has been called mere “tough talk” by the U.S. government, but the speed at which these multiple developments have occurred should be taken into consideration.

5) North Korea has just announced the reopening of a shuttered nuclear reactor used to render weapons grade materials.

6) The DPRK has suddenly locked down the Kaesong Industrial Zone; a region which holds manufacturing centers for both North and South Korea. Southern manufacturers operating there employ nearly 50,000 Northern workers. Nearly 1000 Southerners also work there. The arrangement generates approximately $2 billion a year for the North. The joint industrial zone has existed since 2000, and the North has never locked down access until this past week.  The fact that the DPRK is willing to restrict this area and possibly lose a sizable income signals that the situation is not as “mild” as some would like to believe.

7) At the beginning of this year, silver purchases by the North from China surged. For the entire year of 2012, the government purchased $77,000 worth of precious metals. In the first few months of 2013, North Korea has already purchased $600,000 in silver. The exact size of the North’s precious metals stockpile is unknown. Though seemingly small in comparison to many purported metal holdings by major powers, this sudden investment expansion would indicate a government move to protect internal finances from an exceedingly frail economic environment.  Metals are also historically accumulated at a high rate by nations preparing for war or invasion in the near term.

Again, all that is needed to instigate an event on the Korean Peninsula are tightened sanctions. The establishment knows this, though another Gulf of Tonkin incident (an openly admitted false flag event) may be on the menu as well.

Given that the chances of a shooting war are high if sanctions continue, it might be wise to consider the consequences of conflagration in Korea.

Dealing with a large army steeped in asymmetric and mountain warfare will be difficult enough.  In fact, an invasion of North Korea would be far more deadly than Afghanistan, if only because of the sheer number of maneuver elements (guerilla-style units) on the ground. But let’s set aside North Korea for a moment and consider the greatest threat of all: dollar collapse.

As I have discussed in numerous articles, China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, has positioned itself to decouple from the American consumer and the dollar. This is no longer a theoretical process as it was in 2008, but a very real and nearly completed one. Mainstream analysts often claim China would never break from the dollar because it would damage their export markets and their investment holdings. The problem is, China is already dumping the dollar using bilateral trade agreements with numerous developing nations, Australia being the latest to abandon the greenback.

China isn’t just talking about it; China is doing it.

The development of a decoupled China is part of a larger push by international banks to remove the dollar as the world reserve currency and replace it with a new global currency. This currency already exists. The International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is a mechanism backed by a basket of currencies as well as gold. The introduction of the SDR on a wide scale is dependent on only two things:

First, China has been designated the replacement consumer engine in the wake of a U.S. collapse. They have already surpassed the United States as the No. 1 trading power in the world. However, they must spread their own currency, the Yuan, throughout global markets in order to aid the IMF in removing the dollar. China has recently announced a program to sell more than $6 trillion in Yuan denominated bonds to foreign investors, easily fulfilling this need.

Second, China and the IMF need a scapegoat event, a rationale for dumping the dollar that the masses would accept as logical. A U.S. invasion of North Korea could easily offer that rationale.

While China has been playing the good Samaritan in relations with the United States in dealing with North Korea and has supported (at least on paper) certain measures including sanctions, China will never be in support of Western combat actions in the Pacific so close to their territory. The kind of U.S. or NATO presence a war with North Korea would generate would be entirely unacceptable to the Chinese, who do not need to respond using arms. Rather, all they have to do to get rid of us would be to fully dump the dollar and threaten to cut off trade relations with any other country that won’t do the same. The domino effect would be devastating, causing U.S. costs to skyrocket and forcing us to pull troops out of the region. At the same time, the dollar would be labeled a “casualty of war” rather than a casualty of conspiratorial global banking designs, and the financial elites would be removed from blame.

Ultimately, we should take the North Korean situation seriously not because of the wild-eyed propaganda of the mainstream media and not because they are “doing business with terrorists” or because they are a “violent and barbaric relic of nationalism,” but because a war in North Korea serves the more malicious interests of globalization. No matter what happens in the near future, it is important for Americans to always question the true motives behind any event and ask ourselves who, in the end, truly benefited.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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The War With North Korea Thread/And Here We Go
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 04:26:36 PM »
North Korea 'ratifies' nuclear strike against US

http://rt.com/news/us-missile-guam-korea-290/


A self-propelled suface to air missile during a live military drill overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un at an undisclosed location. Kim Jong-Un oversaw a live fire military drill using drones and cruise missile interceptors (AFP Photo)

orth Korean army says it has final approval for nuclear attack on the US, the official KCNA news agency says. This comes shortly after the Pentagon said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam.

"Merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," said a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, according to the statement released by the state KCNA news agency.

"We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating US hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people."

The White House has responded by urging Pyongyang to stop making threats, describing the statement as “provocative.”

"We've seen today's statement by North Korea, again making unhelpful and unconstructive threats," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. “It is yet another offering in a long line of provocative statements that only serve to further isolate North Korea from the rest of the international community and undermine its goal of economic development."

Earlier on Wednesday Pentagon said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile-defense system to Guam to defend American military bases in the Pacific as a "precaution " following North Korea threats.

The DoD has announced that top defense officials approved the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, or THAAD, which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, a AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, Reuters reports.

"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests," a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

It has been stressed that the future deployment of the system is for protecting American interests in the region and will not reach South Korea’s territory.



The Pentagon said the batteries, which according to advocates will cost up to $800 million per battery, will be deployed in the coming weeks; however, no exact date was given, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Pentagon initially considered the deployment of the first of the batteries in 2015, however, recently escalated tensions and threats from North Korea have influenced the plans, forcing the Defense Department to rethink its intentions.

The United States sees a "real and clear" danger from North Korea, given its nuclear and missile capabilities and bellicose rhetoric, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said earlier Wednesday, shortly before the Pentagon's statement.

North Korea has recently threatened to target US and South Korea following new UN sanctions and joint military drills by the two allies.

Guam has become the most important US military base in Asia, housing its major airfield and an incoming contingent of US Marines.

Seoul-based correspondent Joseph Kim says the US pursues its own interests when getting more involved in the conflict. It “continuously monitors and gains more influence in the region.”

“They are technically trying to get back to East Asia to be able to counter China and its growing power in terms of the economy. And why not use North Korea?” Kim told RT.

As for the means the US chooses to achieve its ends, there are questions remaining as to the efficacy. Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock believes that North Korea’s actions are being misconstrued and that the American response to them is unbalanced and achieves the opposite result: “North Korea does not want to commit suicide. I believe [it] is doing all this so it can get to a point where it can negotiate some kind of peace agreement with the United States”, he said. “They look up and they see these B-2 bombers and that’s an absolute reminder of danger of war with the United States, but it also gives the monolithic authoritarian state the [opportunity] to show to the North Korean people that indeed there is a threat. So, by escalating it to this point, the United States is playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands.”
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Eddie

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 04:36:03 PM »
by escalating it to this point, the United States is playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands.

Or perhaps by running his mouth, Kim is playing into the hands of the US war machine, which needs a new enemy in the worst way.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 04:58:08 PM »
I don't think missiles would be the way NK would try and attack the US.   They are much more likely to put a nuke on a cargo vessel (surrounded by enough shielding so it does not set off radiation detectors) and sail that ship into Stockton harbor, setting off a dirty nuclear explosion at ground level in the central valley of California. 

I'll let you know when response teams on the West Coast repeat the drill to deal with this scenario...





Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 05:34:45 PM »
I don't think missiles would be the way NK would try and attack the US.   They are much more likely to put a nuke on a cargo vessel (surrounded by enough shielding so it does not set off radiation detectors) and sail that ship into Stockton harbor, setting off a dirty nuclear explosion at ground level in the central valley of California. 

I'll let you know when response teams on the West Coast repeat the drill to deal with this scenario...

Who the hell knows what they are likely to do? We have the impression that current NK technology is at about the Commodore 64 level, but that is the same crap the MSM keeps spoonfeeding us. Who knows? Most people chalk it up to posturing, as NK always has. But in any event, the tensions are certainly good for business, if you are a war profiteer.

Any takers on the proposition that someone will come forward with a bill to exempt the DOD and their minora fish from the sequester in the wake of the Koreanoise?
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 05:35:59 PM »
by escalating it to this point, the United States is playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands.

Or perhaps by running his mouth, Kim is playing into the hands of the US war machine, which needs a new enemy in the worst way.

I replied before I saw yours, Eddie.

That is it, exactly.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 05:44:30 PM »
Last hit on this. Going to go home now.
In other news, commodity prices for hyperbole have spiked in the last 48 hours. Worldwide shortages of hyperbole expected to ensue as North Korea corners the market.

North Korea warns 'moment of explosion' nears
By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 8:22 PM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/world/asia/koreas-tensions/index.html

(CNN) -- North Korea stirred up fresh unease in Northeast Asia early Thursday, threatening attacks by a "smaller, lighter and diversified" nuclear force and warning, "The moment of explosion is approaching fast."

The new threat came after the North Koreans locked South Korean workers out of a joint factory complex and announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor it shut down five years ago. Meanwhile, the United States announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Pacific territory that's home to U.S. naval and air bases.

"The moment of explosion is approaching fast. No one can say a war will break out in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow," North Korea's state news agency KCNA declared in its latest broadside. "The responsibility for this grave situation entirely rests with the U.S. administration and military warmongers keen to encroach upon the DPRK's sovereignty and bring down its dignified social system with brigandish logic."

DPRK is short for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name for North Korea.

Most observers say the North is still years away from having the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile. U.S. officials have said they see no unusual military movements across the Demilitarized Zone that splits the Korean Peninsula, despite weeks of bombastic rhetoric from Pyongyang, and many analysts say the increasingly belligerent talk is aimed at cementing the authority of the country's young leader, Kim Jong Un.

But the North does have plenty of conventional military firepower, including medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry high explosives for hundreds of miles. And U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that the North Korean threats to Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland have to be taken seriously.

"It only takes being wrong once, and I don't want to be the secretary of defense who was wrong once," Hagel told an audience at Washington's National Defense University.

But Hagel also said there was still a "responsible" path for the North to take.

"I hope the North will ratchet this very dangerous rhetoric down," Hagel said. "There is a pathway that is responsible for the North to get on a path to peace working with their neighbors. There are many, many benefits to their people that could come. But they have got to be a responsible member of the world community, and you don't achieve that responsibility and peace and prosperity by making nuclear threats and taking very provocative actions."

Shows of force and flights of bombast

The United States has in turn made a show of its military strength in the annual drills, flying B-2 stealth bombers capable of carrying conventional or nuclear weapons, Cold War-era B-52s and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters over South Korea.

KCNA blamed the U.S. and its South Korean allies for the situation, however.

"We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," it said. "The U.S. had better ponder over the prevailing grave situation."

Robert Carlin, a North Korea expert at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in California, told CNN that the rhetoric is still "too hot. It needs to be cooled down." But he added, "If we say that we don't see any actions yet from them, I have to assume that the U.S. military still thinks the situation is under control."

North Korea's Wednesday decision to prevent South Korean workers and managers from entering the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which sits on the North's side of the border but houses operations of scores of South Korean companies, is a tangible sign of the tensions between the two sides.

It's a move that could end up hurting Pyongyang financially, since Kaesong is considered to be an important source of hard currency for Kim's government. More than 50,000 North Koreans work in the zone, producing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods each year.

Those workers earn on average $134 a month, of which North Korean authorities take about 45% in various taxes.

The North had threatened over the weekend to shut down the industrial complex. North Korea has yet to grant permission for South Koreans to enter the complex, South Korea's ministry of unification said Thursday. The nearly 800 South Koreans remaining inside the complex are still able to leave, the ministry said.

"We are highly skeptical that they will close this cash cow, as some recent reports have suggested," Stephan Haggard, professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego, wrote in an article published Monday.

"But if they did, the costs would be higher for the North than for the South," Haggard wrote in the article for the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington-based research organization.

Seoul said it "deeply regrets" the North's decision to stop South Koreans from entering Kaesong.

"North Korea's action creates a barrier to the stable operation" of the complex, the South Korean Unification Ministry said in a statement, urging its neighbor to "immediately normalize" the entry and exit process.

And South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said military action could be taken if the safety of the South Koreans in the zone were to come under threat.

"If there is a serious situation, we are fully ready, including military measures," he said at a meeting of lawmakers, the semiofficial South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

U.S. moves warship, sea-based radar to watch North Korea

The North has blocked the crossing into Kaesong before. In March 2009, also during joint U.S.-South Korean military drills that it said were a threat, Pyongyang shut the border, temporarily trapping hundreds of South Korean workers in the industrial complex.

It allowed many of the stranded workers to return to South Korea the next day, and fully reopened the border about a week later without explaining its reversal. It was unclear whether the latest drama over Kaesong would play out in similar fashion.

At the start of the day, when the North informed the South that it would prevent new entries to the complex, there were 861 South Korean workers in there, according to the Unification Ministry. The North said it would continue to let people leave the zone.

Hundreds of workers rotate in and out of Kaesong each day in a series of scheduled entries and exits. Many of them stay there for several nights.

During the late morning and early afternoon exit windows, only a trickle of workers was seen returning to South Korea from Kaesong, far fewer than the scores who were registered to leave at those times. South Korean authorities didn't immediately provide an explanation for the discrepancy, saying the individual companies decide when to send workers back.

Kim Kyong-sin, the manager of a textile manufacturing company in Kaesong who came back into South Korea on Wednesday, said some people were staying in the complex because "they are worried they might not be able to come back in."

During the March 2009 crisis, many South Korean companies with operations in the zone chose to keep more workers there to compensate for those not being allowed in. Kim said he was scheduled to go back into Kaesong on Thursday, but wasn't optimistic.

"I think if this continues there, business will be affected," Kim said. "I think the damage will be serious."

Kerry calls North 'reckless'

U.S. and South Korean officials have kept up their criticism of the North's actions in recent days.

John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, warned Tuesday that the United States will not accept North Korea as a "nuclear state."

"The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless," Kerry said during a joint briefing in Washington with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se.

"And I reiterate again the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan," Kerry added. "We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that."

The North has conducted three nuclear bomb tests, the most recent in February. It has said that its nuclear weapons are a deterrent that are no longer up for negotiation.

Carlin said North Korea's longer-range missiles may not be ready to be used for three to four years, and its nuclear program is a "low-level threat" at this point. He said Washington's most recent moves could be caused by it seeing some sort of movement around North Korean missile facilities, or it could be "misreading and over-reading North Korean propaganda but fulfilling their obligation to be on guard and prepared."

"We're going to get out of this particular crisis, it seems to me, without anything really blowing up," Carlin said. "But down the road, things are going to get more serious."

"What we should be looking at, really, is the decisions and the policies and the approach that we're going to have to take over the next four or five years to deal with these things," he added. "Because for the last five years, we really didn't do a very good job of doing that."
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline widgeon

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 06:57:13 AM »
Hey, don't be bagging on the Commodore 64.

Remember, all it took was a floppy disk and some virus code to bring down the alien invasion.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_%28film%29

Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 07:17:27 AM »
Hey, don't be bagging on the Commodore 64.

Remember, all it took was a floppy disk and some virus code to bring down the alien invasion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_%28film%29

Didn't Jeff goldblum use an Apple? No matter.

Meanwhile, The WaPo, that tired, played-out media whore, sets the standard for what we believe about the level of NK technology:



"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread/"Protection" and other rackets
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 08:26:52 AM »
To an earlier point, I think made by Eddie, somewhere above.

US Protection Racket Root of Korea Conflict
By Finian Cunningham
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34497.htm?utm_source=ICH%3A+US+Racket+at+Root+of+Korea+Conflict&utm_campaign=FIRST&utm_medium=email



April 03, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"PTV" - The best way to understand the seemingly reckless, recurring threat of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is this: the East Asian region is being run like a Mafia protection racket. And the criminal Mafia is the US.

The conflict emanates from Washington and is perpetuated by Washington. Why? To justify what would otherwise be seen as simply outrageous US militarism in the Asia Pacific hemisphere, and in particular a criminally aggressive agenda towards the main geopolitical targets of Washington - China and Russia.

Korea’s conflict is not primarily about North and South “enemy states”. It is, as it has been for the past 68 years since the end of World War II, about Washington using military force to criminally assert its hegemony on the global stage.

    But you wouldn’t know this from a casual reading of the Western news media. No, we are told over and over again that the US is “protecting” South Korea and its other Asian allies. The military presence of the US is “serving” as a “deterrent” to aggression from a “sinister” North Korea. In this depiction, the US is the good guy, while North Korea is the menacing reprobate that is a scourge on everybody’s well-being and security. Kim Jong-un is the embodiment of the Axis of Evil.

That so-called “quality” news media such as the BBC, New York Times and Guardian can get away with seriously presenting this situation in terms portraying the US as a benevolent force is an astounding feat of reality inversion and brainwashed mind control. The irony is that such media implicitly mock North Korea as a Stalinist “Big Brother” state, where critical thought and expression are forbidden. Yet, these media display the very same habit of mental conformity that they disparage North Korea for.

As noted above, the only way of properly interpreting the recent weeks of threat and counter-threat of all-out war in Korea is to recall scenes from the classic Mafia movie, The Godfather. You know the drill. The mobster goes around the neighborhood demanding loyalty, respect and tributes “for protection”. If the residents don’t conform to the racket, then the boss arranges self-fulfilling violence to rain down on those who dare to reject his magnanimous “protection”.

The exact same arrangement applies in Korea under the tutelage of the US. The Peninsula was unilaterally partitioned in 1945 by Washington into North and South statelets because the US could not abide the fact that the Korean population at that time was strongly anti-imperialist and yearning for socialist democracy. That egalitarian sentiment helped the Koreans resist the occupying Japanese imperialists prior to and during World War II.

Tellingly, in order to assert its hegemony over Korea and the Asia Pacific, the US worked the neighborhood over assiduously in order to defeat the popular movement for independence and democracy that the Korean people exhibited so boldly. Washington achieved this by installing pro-Japanese collaborators as the rulers of newly formed South Korea. Think about that one. The US fought a war allegedly to defeat fascism and imperialism, only to immediately collude with the same political forces to defeat Korean democracy.

    The dropping of the atomic bombs by Washington on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was part and parcel of American efforts to demarcate a postwar hegemony in the Asia Pacific to the Soviet Union and China - and this is why Korea was also fractured into two alien states that were then precipitated into war between 1950-53.

That war - in which a third of the northern Korean population were exterminated by American indiscriminate carpet-bombing and napalm incineration - has never officially ended. The armistice signed in 1953 under Washington’s dictate is technically only a ceasefire. For decades, North Korea’s demand for a full peace treaty has been repeatedly rejected by Washington and its South Korean client state. In other words, Washington has retained the implicit prerogative to resume its aerial bombardment of the North Korean population at any time it chooses. That constitutes a constant threat, or a policy of state terrorism by Washington.

The threat from the US towards the Korean population has and continues to include nuclear annihilation. During the Korean War, the US air force would regularly fly nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the Peninsula. People on the ground would recognize the aircraft, but they did not know what the operational intent was. Can you imagine the terrorism that this conveyed? - barely five years after the US vaporized the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and at the same time that US military were compelling Koreans to live in caves as the only way of escaping mass destruction from conventional bombing.

This same thuggish behaviour by the US government is consistent with its authorization during this past week for the flying of nuclear-capable B-2 and B-52 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. The dropping of “inert bombs” by these aerial monsters has to be seen as a heinous calculation in Washington aimed at heightening the terrorism.

Yet, absurdly, the Western propaganda organs, otherwise called news, portray this American state terrorism as “protection”.

The New York Times, for example, quoted one so-called “expert” as explaining North Korea’s response to the latest American provocation by saying: “The North Korean populace has to be regularly reminded that their country is surrounded by scheming enemies. Otherwise, they might start asking politically dangerous questions.”

The laugh about this brain-washed expert thinking, and the New York Times promoting it, is that the people of Korea are indeed surrounded by a scheming enemy - the US - and if the wider international public and media were to start thinking about that fact then there would be “politically dangerous questions” such as: what gives the US the right to conduct annual military “war games” off and on the Korean Peninsula for the past six decades, including the deployment of nuclear annihilation?

The people of Korea, North and South, deserve and desire peace. Despite the antagonism and belligerence highlighted in the Western propaganda media, the majority of people of North and South Korea have in fact no wish for war. The consensus among ordinary Koreans is for peace and a democratic resolution to decades of conflict imposed on their homeland from outside. But they won’t obtain that reasonable condition as long as Washington continues to run its “protection racket”.

And, unfortunately, the American government will not, cannot stop its criminal behaviour - because domination, aggression and terrorism are the hallmarks of Washington’s Mafia regime.

Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism.


"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 07:33:34 AM »
Yesterday we were treated to the spectacle of BHO handing the repuglicans in Congress a victory they would never have undertaken for themselves., the political costs being far too high to countenance-- cuts to Chained CPI for Social Security recipients. Thus is the super-elite safe to continue their looting and offshoring of their gains, while grandma is left to deciding to buy cat food to eat with her crackers, or to buy her needed meds.

The class war in the FSA is in its end stages now. The working poor will pay for the costs of empire, while the elites amassed their bonuses for doing "God's work." We will get our proxies to rattle sabres everywhere. Within two weeks I expect to see a bill brought forward to exempt the military from the sequester, the better to handle Junior in North Korea, who is, IMO, on Lockheed Martin's payroll.

Meanwhile, more proof that what passes for politics in this country is so much meaningless kabuki. As always, if you want the truth, follow the money.

The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats

by JOHN STAUBER

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-progressive-movement-is-a-pr-front-for-rich-democrats/#.UWAogr2JaLc.facebook



There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run “the Progressive Movement.”   More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars,  will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations.  It will come clean, pressed and laundered through Organizing for Action, the latest incarnation of the Obama Money Machine which has recently morphed into a “nonpartisan non-profit corporation” that will  ‘‘strengthen the progressive movement and train our next generation of leaders.’’

Does this information concern you?  If not, you need to get out of the propaganda bubble of your Progressive Movement echo chamber and think.  Think hard.  Think about fundamental, radical, democratic, social and economic change, who might bring it about and how.  Ask yourself if the the rich elite, the 1%, are going to fund that.   Leave The Nation and Mother Jones on the shelf;  turn off Ed Schultz, Rachel Madow and Chris Hayes;  don’t open that barrage of email missives from Alternet, Media Matters, MoveOn, and the other think tanks;  and get your head out of the liberal blogosphere for a couple days.  Clear your mind and consider this:

The self-labeled Progressive Movement that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it.  The funders and owners of the Progressive Movement get richer and richer off Wall Street and the corporate system.  But they happen to be Democrats, cultural and social liberals who can’t stomach Republican policies, and so after bruising electoral defeats a decade ago they decided to buy a movement, one just like the Republicans, a copy.

The Progressive Movement that exists today is their success story.  The Democratic elite created  a mirror image of the type of astroturf front groups and think tanks long ago invented, funded and promoted by the Reaganites and the Koch brothers.  The liberal elite own the Progressive Movement.  Organizing for Action, the “non-partisan” slush fund to train the new leaders of the Progressive Movement is just the latest big money ploy to consolidate their control and keep the feed flowing into the trough.

The professional Progressive Movement that we see reflected in the pages of The Nation magazine, in the online marketing and campaigning of MoveOn and in the speeches of Van Jones, is primarily a political public relations creation of America’s richest corporate elite, the so-called 1%, who happen to bleed Blue because they have some degree of social and environmental consciousness, and don’t bleed Red.  But they are just as committed as the right to the overall corporate status quo, the maintenance of the American Empire, and the monopoly of the rich over the political process that serves their economic interests.

RICH DEMOCRATS TO PROGRESSIVES:  WE LOVE YOU, MAN!


After the 2000 presidential election, the Al Gore Hanging Chad Debacle, rich liberal Democratic elite began discussing, conspiring and networking together to try and make sure that no scruffy, radical  political insurgency like the Nader 2000 campaign would again raise its political head.  They generally loved Al Gore, the millionaire technocrat, and they put in play actions which led to the creation of a movement of their own that aped the right wing’s institutions.  They reached out to the well-paid professionals who ran the big environmental groups they already funded and owned,  and to other corporate reform and liberal media operations.    They followed plans drawn up by Democratic Party insiders who wanted nothing more than to win elections, and who saw the need for the tools and groups and campaigns the Right wielded.  They made it clear there would be wonderful financial rewards and career advancements for progressive leaders and their organizations who lined up with them.

The Progressive Movement we see today was created by a small group including Democratic political operatives and foundations including  TIDES (formed in 1976), the millionaires and billionaires of the Democracy Alliance, (formed in 2005) and eventually the Obama machine.

After Al Gore’s 2000 debacle, the rich liberal Democrats in the East and the West began to talk and meet.  The green elite funders and dot.com millionaires of the Bay Area solidified relationships with the Beltway think tanks, political consultants and and PR flacks.   Liberal Democratic Party players like MoveOn’s co-founder Wes Boyd and TIDES Drummond Pike drew closer with others including the George Soros, John Podesta and Stanley Greenberg crowd.  The Democratic Party defeats in 2002 and 2004 fueled further despair and solidified plans for the elite to build a new Progressive Movement that would serve their agenda.

This became very visible with the arrival of the Democracy Alliance.  A summer 2005 article in the Washington Post  made clear their intent to pour millions into creating and owning a Progressive Movement.  Looking back, someone needs to give these folks an award because the wealthy elitists in the Democracy Alliance succeeded wildly,  mission accomplished!

As the Washington Post reported,  “at least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades.  …  The goal of the alliance, according to organizers, is to foster the growth of liberal or left-leaning institutions equipped to take on prominent think tanks on the right, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, as well as such training centers as the Leadership Institute and the Young America’s Foundation.”

The Washington Post explained, “There has been a flourishing of new, pro-Democratic think tanks and advocacy groups in recent years. Clinton administration chief of staff John D. Podesta established the Center for American Progress … and author David Brock helped create Media Matters for America last year, among others. All these groups are potential recipients of money from alliance partners. In ToxicSludgeIsGoodForYouaddition, the number of liberal bloggers on the Web has been growing at a fast pace … .  Jockeying for cash among possible recipient organizations has already begun. Robert L. Borosage, director of the liberal Campaign for America’s Future, said the alliance will fund a ‘set of institutions in this city to be in the national debate, and we would like to be one of them.’ ”

For almost a decade now the funders of the Progressive Movement, the rich Democrats of the Democracy Alliance and their cliques, networks and organizations, have employed and funded political hacks, fundraisers, pollsters, organizers and PR flacks.  Over the past ten years they have dumped more and more money into the big feeding trough shared by the major players of the Progressive movement.  The overall goal and result has always been to bring withering rhetorical fire and PR attacks upon the Republican Right, while creating a tremendous fear of the Right to increase the vote for Democrats.  This has become Job #1 for the Progressive Movement.  No one quite remembers Job #2.

Real movements are not the creation of and beholden to millionaires.  The Progressive Movement is astroturf beholden to the rich elite, just as the Democratic millionaires and operatives of the Democracy Alliance intended.  The “movement’s” funding is in the hands of a small number of super rich Democrats and union bureaucrats and advisors who run with them.  Its talking points, strategies, tactics and PR campaigns are all at the service of the Democratic elite.  There is no grassroots organized progressive movement with power in the United States, and none is being built.  Indeed,  if anything threatens to emerge,  the cry  “Remember Nader!” arises and the budding insurgency is marginalized or coopted, as in the case of the Occupy Wall Street events.  Meanwhile, the rich elite who fund the Progressive Movement, and their candidates such as Barack Obama, are completely wedded to maintaining the existing status quo on Wall Street and in the corporate boardroom.  Their well-kept Progressive Movement is adept at PR, propaganda, marketing and fundraising necessary in the service of the Democratic Party and the corporate elite who rule it.

One of the Progressive Movement’s key new movers and shakers is Ilyse Hogue.  Her rise out of the green movement and into the highest echelons of Democratic power encapsulates how it all works.   In 2006 Hogue was recruited out of Rainforest Action Network by Wes Boyd of MoveOn to run their national campaigns.  Since then she has accumulated hats and desks at The Nation, Media Matters, the Soros-funded Super PAC Public Campaign Action Fund, and most recently the feminist lobby NARAL.  Hogue is an articulate and well-rewarded spokesperson, fundraiser and mobilizer for the new Progressive Movement. Her network of recent employers all benefited nicely from the successful work of the Democracy Alliance, TIDES, MoveOn, and Soros.   Anyone who wonders if there are good careers in the Progressive Movement can look at her and others and see the answer is clearly ‘yes’.

Every well-funded movement needs an echo-chamber to pump up its propaganda and messages, and for the Progressive Movement the Netroots Nation bloggers, The Nation, Alternet, Mother Jones, and scores of other journalists and pundits have filled the bill.  The development of the messages and talking points of the Progressive Movement is the realm of DC think tanks and organizations such as Media Matters, and a small army of flacks is also utilized including PR maven David Fenton,  pollster Stanley Greenberg and messaging guru George Lakoff.

CO-OPTING THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT TO WIN ELECTIONS


After the 2004 flop of the Kerry/Edwards campaign, luck shone on the Democrats.  The over-reach of the neoconservatives, the failure to find those weapons of mass deception (sic),  the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, turned American public opinion,  especially among the young, against the Republicans.  Growing anti-war sentiment, which had little to do with the organized anti-war movement, delivered to the Democrats what Governor Mario Cuomo called “The Gift.”  The horrific Iraq war, he explained to a Democracy Alliance gathering, was the gift that allowed the Democrats to take control of the US Congress.

It was at this point in early 2007 that the truly dark and cynical agenda of the professional Progressive Movement and the Democratic Party revealed itself.  Under Pelosi the Democrats could have cut off funding for Bush’s unpopular wars and foreign policy.  Instead,  with PR cover provided by MoveOn and their lobbyist Tom Matzzie, the Democratic Congress gave George Bush all the money he wanted to continue his wars.  For the previous five years MoveOn had branded itself as the leader of the anti-war movement, building lists of millions of liberals, raising millions of dollars, and establishing itself in the eyes of the corporate media as leaders of the US peace movement.  Now they helped the Democrats fund the war,  both betting that the same public opposition to the wars that helped them win control of the House in 2006 could win the Presidency in 2008.

Their bet paid off with a young, charismatic black candidate backed from his beginnings by Wall Street, and thus able to out-raise even the Clinton Machine for the big money provided by the Democratic elite.  Obama hired top online organizers and combined MoveOn’s “clicktivist”  style and expertise to both raise money and build an effective political machine.  The stock market collapse of 2008 was again like a gift for the Democrats, showing Obama’s cool contrasted with old John McCain’s panic.

Just before the Obama victory in 2008, Alternet’s Don Hazen interviewed Drummond Pike, the millionaire who founded the TIDES Foundation in 1976 and a founding member of the Democracy Alliance.  The topic was TIDES upcoming “Momentum” conference at a fancy San Francisco hotel.  The exclusive confab was described as “an invitational gathering of progressive donors and advocates” where “some of the most creative minds in the progressive community come together to challenge, inspire and energize each other.”  Pike said it was “where we bring funders, leaders of key nonprofits, think tanks and activist organizations together…   We are engaged in philanthropy. We granted $93 million dollars last year and manage grant-making for more than 400 individual and institutional donors.”  The wedding of the rich elite Democrats and the Progressive Movement just got better and better.

OCCUPYING OCCUPY FOR WALL STREET DEMOCRATS


After Obama’s 2008 victory the Progressive Movement celebrated itself and continued to solidify with ongoing funding from the Dem elite, playing a significant role in delivering the White House again to the Democrats in 2012.  One of their 2012 PR front stunts to benefit the Democrats was launched in early 2012, the “99% Spring.”

In the Fall of 2011, the spontaneous street action known as Occupy Wall Street withstood media derision long enough to earn its respect.  It’s images struck a chord during the recession.  Overnight protests in major urban areas might not have appealed to the typical Democratic voter, but bashing the rich did.  Occupy might have even threatened the Democratic Party had it ever been able to overcome its anarchistic roots and in some way produced a strategy and organization.  But its slogan “we are the 99%” resonated widely.

Nothing succeeds like success, and imitation is the most sincere flattery.  The Progressive Movement has plenty of bright marketers and messengers who saw the writing on Wall Street.  They decided to launch and hype an election year PR campaign to co-opt the message and theme of Occupy Wall Street.  They called it the 99% Spring, “Spring” as in the time of year but also as in Arab Spring of 2011.  When you don’t have a real Movement of your own, at least cop good language from some others!

What amused me most about the 99% Spring was its simultaneous audacity and vacuousness, and how obviously it was a front for MoveOn, Van Jones, and the messaging agenda of the Democratic Party.  And now it’s all gone, just a flash across the webpages of The Nation and Mother Jones, not even a website left behind with its web address up for sale to the highest bidder.  The Progressive Movement lives from PR campaign and to PR campaign.  When the money’s spent, the movement just pivots to the next bit of funding and a new campaign is launched.

I first heard of the 99% Spring in a February, 2012 email from the group formerly known as  SmartMeme, activists who work with the Progressive Movement and develop “stories” that can be used to get everyone thinking alike in a positive way.  They wrote:  “This spring is our opportunity to take the the emerging movement for the 99% to next level by following in the foot steps of previous successful movements and prepare for organized campaigns of sustained nonviolent direct action. SmartMeme is one of the initiating organizations of 99% spring because we believe the best way to challenge the corporate stranglehold on our economy and political system is with organized people power!”

Propaganda is my beat, so I was not impressed by this revolutionary development.   It sounded exactly as it was, a big flow of money into key Progressive Movement organizations to co-opt the brand of  Occupy Wall Street movement for the Progressive Movement and the Democrats.  In my email from SmartMeme there was a hotlink to the “the99%Spring” website.  Today that link and URL goes to NameJet, a company that auctions off unwanted web addresses.  How appropriate.

The MoveOn.org site on 99% Spring is still up as of this writing:  MoveOn pushed 99% Spring hard, and emails from their staffers employed revolutionary hyperbole that might have made Abbie Hoffman proud.  MoveOn wrote,  “groups from every corner of our movement are joining forces to do something that’s never been tried before. During the week of April 9-15, across America, we will bring 100,000 people together for an unprecedented national movement-wide training on what happened to our economy, on the history of peaceful direct action, and how — following in the footsteps of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — we can take direct action this spring to challenge corporate power, end tax giveaways to the 1%, fight the influence of money in politics, and more.”

99% Spring organizers Liz Butler and Joy Cushman extolled similarly in their emails: “Imagine if the 99% of us for whom this country is supposed to work came together as a unified movement for democracy and justice? What could happen if hundreds of thousands of us were willing to take nonviolent direct action to reclaim the America we love from the banks and lobbyists who’ve stolen it from us?  Let’s find out.”

The SourceWatch website:  lists the groups promoting 99% Spring:  “Jobs With Justice, United Auto Workers,National Peoples Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn.org, New Organizing Institute, Movement Strategy Center, The Other 98%, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, Rebuild the Dream, Color of Change, UNITE-HERE, Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, PICO National Network, New Bottom Line, Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, SNCC Legacy Project, United Steel Workers, National Education Association, Working Families Party, Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Center for the Common Good, UNITY, National Guestworker Alliance, 350.org, The Ruckus Society, Citizen Engagement Lab, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Right to the City Alliance, Pushback Network, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Progressive Democrats of America, Change to Win, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Campaign for America’s Future, Public Campaign Action Fund, Fuse Washington, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Citizen Action of New York, Engage, United Electrical Workers Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Alliance for a Just Society, The Partnership for Working Families, United Students Against Sweatshops, Presente.org, Get Equal, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Corporate Accountability International, American Federation of Government Employees, Training for Change, People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), Student Labor Action Project, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Green for All, DC Jobs with Justice, Midwest Academy, The Coffee Party, International Forum on Globalization, UFCW International Union, Sunflower Community Action, Illinois People’s Action, Lakeview Action Coalition, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, Resource Generation, Highlander Research and Education Center, TakeAction Minnesota, Energy Action Coalition, Earthhome.us.”

In any good front group campaign lists like this serve a few purposes.  One is to give the impression that this is a really powerful and diverse effort with scores of leading organizations actively involved, rather than a well-funded PR effort run by a small group at the top, which it was.   Another purpose is to demonstrate that there is money behind this effort and that the major Progressive Movement hitters are involved.  When I saw the list I sent some emails to Progressive Movement activists asking why they were lending their names to a MoveOn-driven effort to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street for the Democrats.

Greenpeace’s Executive Director wrote back, clearly not sharing my view.  He said  “something funny is happening here. In a fascinating, good, confusing way.”  He believed that MoveOn and the public employee union SEIU were “focused on scaling civil disobedience. That’s different. You can look at it in many ways.  …  Friends asked us to sign on, we do that a lot.”

An employee of Campaign for America’s Future also gave 99% Spring a big left-handed thumbs up, writing me, “this is a ton of progressive groups trying to get a national movement going, organized, working together,” and “anything that drives the 99% versus 1% perspective advances everything we are trying to achieve.”

No one identified with the Progressive Movement would in any way question or criticize the 99% Spring, at least no one I could find.  And then my inquiries uncovered someone new who has a paid position in one of the groups.  She agreed generally with my perspective, and was disgusted by what she saw daily from her “movement”:  pandering to the rich elite; shallow public relations campaigns substituting for organizing; Democratic Party agendas; six figure salaries and consulting fees for the Progressive executives and consultants, and so on.  She saw the Progressive Movement a convenient way for the Democratic rich to control the rabble, manage dissent, and deflect attention from the need for fundamental, radical structural change in the United States.

Eventually she wrote an article under the pen-name Insider for CounterPunch exposing the 99% Spring as a front group for the agenda of the Democrats, organized largely by MoveOn.  The Insider’s  piece hit a nerve or two and gathered quite a bit of attention and clumsy efforts at rebuttal.

I bounced the piece around and became its defender and promoter.  She quoted me in her article.  I told her that the 99% Spring reminded me of the AAEI coalition, another MoveOn front that worked with Nancy Pelosi in 2007 to see to it that the Iraq war was funded and used as a political stick to beat Republicans in 2008.  Or the massively funded Health Care for America Now coalition backed by MoveOn in 2009 which made sure that single payer health care was ignored while the White House pushed its pro-insurance industry legislation derided as ‘Obamacare’.”

KEEP HOPE A JIVE


Predictably the echo chamber of the Progressive Media  –  bloggers, columnists and editors at The Nation, Mother Jones and Alternet and elsewhere who get funding from the Democratic Elite  — defended the honor of 99% Spring.  The Nation produced a special issue promoting it.  A Mother Jones writer claimed that it was an indication that Occupy Wall Street had co-opted MoveOn.

Some of the idealistic young green activists employed by 350.org bought heavily into 99%.  That inspired Insider to take a critical look at 350.org as a tool for Obama’s re-election.

Eventually, like all PR campaigns when the funding runs dry, the 99% Spring simply dried up and blew away.  It was nothing real, just election year pageantry from a Progressive Movement that — as the rich of the Democracy Alliance planned — would be a way to breathe some life into the morbid Democratic Party.  The 99% Spring showed again that the Progressive Movement primarily exists to stick it to the Republicans, the a mirror image of their think tanks, echo chamber media, and PR fronts that rich Democrats have created or funded.

RIP 99% Spring.  It was what we thought it was, all theater, and co-optation, all about getting Van Jones more publicity to promote Obama.

Will any of the paid professional Progressives ever admit so?  Not as long as their careers and funding depend upon it; they can’t afford to take off their rose-hued glasses.

More importantly, how do people who aren’t the kept, professional Progressives go about asking the right questions, organizing the right ways,  and making the fundamental, radical structural changes that will topple the institutional control of the 1% over our lives, communities, politics and biosphere?

I posed that question to someone not fooled by the foibles and feints of the Progressive Movement, my colleague Patrick Barrett, a University of Wisconsin academic who studies social and political movements.  A veteran of the 1960s civil rights and anti-war movements, Patrick has never swooned to the spell of the Progressive Democrats.  Patrick is one of the few truly wise people I know.

“What gets lost in all this faux movement politics,” said Barrett,  “is any real challenge to the growing imbalance of social, political and economic power. Quite the contrary, the ultimate impact of their actions is to reproduce if not  aggravate that imbalance. What we’ve got here is a deeply symbiotic relationship between a pseudo-movement that derives its raison d’etre and financial vitality from a vilification of the right, which it has helped to create and without which it would have no reason for existence. Indeed, the more extreme the right becomes, the better it is for them, since they live off of fear-mongering. To oppose the right in a meaningful sense would put them out of business. That isn’t to say that there is nothing to be feared in the right or that some of these folks don’t think they’re fighting the good fight, but rather that the two work in tandem, much like a good-cop-bad-cop team. As the right becomes ever more extreme, this Democratic Party cum non-profit industrial complex moves further and further to the right itself, thereby giving the Republicans and their ilk ever greater leash and making it easier to frighten the “progressive” masses.”

Barrett concluded, “Lest anyone think that this is some kind of conspiracy theory, it’s important to emphasize that this is primarily a function of social and economic structures and political institutions that create a market for these sorts of pseudo-movement leaders, who will flourish if the conditions are right. That’s why we need to focus our attention on altering those conditions, something these people have little or no interest in doing.”

John Stauber is an independent writer, activist and author.  His books include Toxic Sludge Is Good for You, Mad Cow USA and Weapons of Mass Deception.  In 1993 he founded the Center for Media and Democracy to exposed corporate, political and media propaganda campaigns.  He retired from the Center in 2008.  http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnstauber.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

bob

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Re: The War With North Korea Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 12:02:22 AM »
POPQUIZ: The Day After was averted because....?

a) Somebody gave baby Kim a Snickers

b)  He took a chill pill

c)  His yogameditation and anger management paid off

d)  He puffed on Williams peacepipe O0

e) failure to launch

 

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