Newsletter: The Immense Power We Must Confront

| Newsletter

President Obama ran as an antiwar candidate against Hillary Clinton in 2008 because she voted for the Iraq War and has been incorrectly painted as someone who restrained the US military.  But President Obama is far from antiwar. The numbers tell a very different story:Obama's wars

–         In 2016, Commander-in-Chief Obama dropped 26,171 bombs on seven nations.

–         US Special Operations forces are in a record 135 of 195 countries — an 80% increase over the last five years.

–         Obama sold more weapons than any other US president since World War II, selling over $200 billion between 2008 to 2015. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia alone ballooned to $115 billion.

–         Saudi Arabia used those weapons in a brutal two-year bombing campaign against Yemen. Obama sent special operations forces to assist in that war, which has seen over 10,000 killed, 2.2 million displaced and nearly half a million children on the brink of famine.

–         Obama promised a new era of “nuclear sanity” but instead he put up missile defense shields in Europe, which Russia knew could be turned into missile offense, that kicked off a new arms race pushing Russia to upgrade the offensive capabilities of Russian nuclear missiles and deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.Obama and Putin at G8

–         In 2014, Obama began a mammoth program to “modernize” the US nuclear arsenal – one trillion dollars over the next 30 years. That means the US will spend roughly $4 million on nukes every hour for three decades.

–         Obama normalized robotic killings through the drone program. Every Tuesday Obama authorized drone killings, that often-included civilians near the target, resulting in wedding parties, funerals and other public events being bombed. Up to 8,000 people have been killed by drones since 2004, including US citizens.

There is much more to point to during his presidency that shows an escalation of militarism, e.g. the record funding to Israel, the destruction of Libya, but the numbers above summarize the story. Of course, Obama did negotiate an important nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, although there was no evidence that Iran had or was interested in nuclear weapons. And he took important steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba, even visiting the country and bringing a delegation of 1,200 people with him, mainly business interests hoping to profit in Cuba.

Protest all the warsObama’s run as an antiwar candidate was exaggerated in people’s minds. If fact, he only opposed the Iraq War, not the war in Afghanistan. He expressed support for Israel in his initial campaign, among other comments favoring militarism. But, people heard what they wanted, even the Nobel Peace Prize committee heard a peace candidate. Some point to Obama’s militarism being caused by fear of assassination – suffering the fate of JFK or Martin Luther King, Jr., and there were reports that Obama expressed these fears in small group meetings.

Shot Across the Bow at Trump’s Détente with Russia?

Putin imagesAfter years of the US escalating conflict with Russia, now there is a growing conflict between Donald Trump and US intelligence agencies. Trump denied their reports of Russia trying to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Then, he seemed to accept the possibility but said Russia had no impact on the outcome of the election.

Senator Schumer warned Trump on MSNBC  “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

One issue Trump has been consistent on during the campaign is that he does not want conflict with Russia. This has been a very unpopular view among the bi-partisans in Washington, DC, especially key Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

US military convoy arrives in Poland, January 2017. Photograph by Natalia Dobryszycka for AFP and Getty Images

US military convoy arrives in Poland, January 2017. Photograph by Natalia Dobryszycka for AFP and Getty Images

Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes this is a critical time for those who oppose war to make their opposition clear. On his way out, Obama is sending 3,600 tanks and thousands of troops to Europe, continuing an escalation that has been ongoing along the NATO borders of Russia. He has also sent more arms to rebels in Syria. These moves will make it harder to achieve détente with Russia and end the war in Syria. Those who oppose war need to support efforts at détente with Russia to counter the bi-partisan support for war.

Senator John McCain played a key role in the recent dossier on Trump that was made public this week. The dossier was developed by Christopher Steele who worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) for twenty years. He had been posted to the UK’s embassy in Moscow and rose to head the Russia Desk. In the dossier, Steele highlighted unusual sexual acts by Trump and a relationship with Russia during the campaign, which Russia could use to blackmail Trump. The work was opposition research for anti-Trump Republicans in the primary and Democrats in the general election.Trump responds to Russia blackmail report

McCain learned of the dossier and sent an emissary to London to get a copy. He then personally provided it to the FBI urging them to investigate. The FBI has not commented on whether it is investigating the claims, causing anger among Democrats.

The dossier, which has not been verified with any documents, videos or audios has been criticized for inaccuracies by many but it has not been fully investigated. As Jim Naureckas of FAIR wrote, the dossier should be treated with skepticism but treated seriously. Multiple commentators see it as a threat to Trump to stop his talk about détente with Russia, the military and bi-partisans in DC have been stoking conflict with Russia and propagandizing about Putin for years.

Some see the release of this questionable dossier as a warning to Trump – we will destroy you if you seek détente with Russia. The Saker, a retired intelligence officer with expertise on Russia, warns Trump that he must take on the military-intelligence agencies as they have declared war. He must choose between being their puppet or removing them. We do not have confidence Trump has what it takes for that very difficult task, and the appointments he has made, and what they have said in their confirmation hearings where they have sounded aggressive on Russia and China, make us less confident.

In his final speech from the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that the military would gain to much power if it were not stopped. Now his fear has become reality. Bill Allen/AP

In his final speech from the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that the military would gain to much power if it were not stopped. Now his fear has become reality.
Bill Allen/AP

As we said in our introduction to the Saker’s article – if he takes on the military-intelligence complex, we must support the effort as they have had too much power for decades.

The Failure To Stop “the acquisition of unwarranted influence”

Fifty-six years ago on January 17, 1961 President Eisenhower warned “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

JFK with Jackie Kennedy and Governor Connolly just before he was assassinatedThis was followed by the assassination of JFK, which now has been exposed as involving members of the military and intelligence agencies; the massive Vietnam War, constant regime change operations, the growth of the US military and intelligence budgets and never-ending wars since 9/11. The military and intelligence agencies have grown tremendously. Under Obama dragnet surveillance of the United States, including members of Congress, as well as of leaders of governments around the world was exposed – and has not stopped.

The US has failed to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence” over the military-intelligence complex. Now, is anyone strong enough to challenge it? In the end, the people must stand against this vast, unelected power. Do we have any political leaders with the courage to do so? If we do, they deserve our support.

  • Dave Constable

    The Praetorian Guard has taken over.

  • Josh Stern

    I tweeted the newsletter link -good job summarizing the massiveness of Obama’s War Hawk legacy.

    Re: Hawk motivations to end JFK. There were many

    1) Pentagon and CIA wanted open invasion of Cuba – JFK only supported covert action.
    2) CIA thought they would win that game of chicken during Bay of Pigs, but JFK did not support the operation with military air cover or troops.
    3) JFK fired long time CIA power chief Alan Dulles after Bay of Pigs. Dulles was bitter and conspiring against JFK within DC. He ended up leading the Warren Commission to cover up the JFK murder

    4) Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted Operation Northwoods as a false flag, to trigger support for Cuba invasion. JFK didn’t sign on.
    5) JFK was limiting U2 spy flights. It turned out that there were nuclear warheads in Cuba (a Russian retaliation for US nuclear warheads in Turkey).
    6) Many Pentagon brash wanted to start nuclear war in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. JFK averted that and agreed to pull the missles out of Turkey in exchange for peace.
    7) JFK had signed a secret order to begin drawdown in Vietnam. This was going to be announced in early 1964. LBJ canced the order on the first day he took office.

    That’s a long list without even mentioning his clashes with the FBI. JFK/RFK wanted the FBI to go after the KKK and organized crime. Hoover wasn’t interested at that time.

  • Pingback: Newsletter: The Immense Power We Must Confront | mmsylvia()

  • Jon

    All this and more in “JFK and the Unspeakable” by James Douglass.

  • Josh Stern

    Thanks for the note. That book is on my get-to list. It’s kind of amazing to see significant new material on the JFK assassination still emerging, 50 years later. This leads to a lot of worthwhile books which are surprisingly non-redundant. I recently learned that the Operation Northwoods false flag plot docs where only relased to James Bamford by accident while he was doing FOIA requests on NSA surveillance. The M.I.C. really jumped the shark in the early ’60s – joint chiefs talking about shooting down civilian planes and blaming it on Castro in order to get public support for an invasion to topple a guy they put in power a few years prior to replace the guy they put in power prior to that….

  • Jon

    The JFK and Unspeakable book is now regarded as the most comprehensive of all, and with good reason once you see it. Since it came out (originally in 2008–hardback, then 2010 paper back) another amazing book came out called Me and Lee by Judyth Vary Baker, still extant, about her intense personal relation with Oswald and day to day conversations from her notes and memories. He and she were both admirers of JFK and he was trying to stay close to the real coup makers to warn JFK, but feared he would be blamed as scapegoat (as early as July) part of a plot, along with Oswald to develop a fast acting cancer to smuggle into Cuba to get Castro, but I think that is what DID get Chavez–my speculation.

  • Josh Stern

    CIA wanted JFK out of the way, & blaming the hit on Castro was something they wanted for dessert. Having Oswald pose undercover as Fair Play For Cuba was part of that. An recent interview with Antonio Veciana – available on YouTube – describes the plot. D.A. Phillips – CIA lead for Latin America/Cuba was his contact. He met DAG with Oswald and DAG asked him to orchestrate the bribed defection of his in-law in Cuba’s G2 with a false story about Castro being behind the assassination.

  • Jon

    the most comprehensive book about the man Oswald was is “Me and Lee.”
    You will come away with a far different ‘view of this remarkable young man.

  • Josh Stern

    Key facts about Oswald which is not disputed by the govt. coverup: 1) he was at the top secret U2 base when that was one of the CIA’s most key and most secret projects – a really big deal; 2) he was allowed to “defect”, unchallenged to the USSR, 3) after Gary Powers U2 was shot down and Powers interrogated, revealing that the USSR had learned a lot about U2, he was allowed to come home, unchallenged, and bring a wife, related to a Soviet intel guy. True but disputed: In 1963 he was undercover for both CIA and FBI, surrounded by CIA and FBI undercover people/informants.

  • Jon

    Correct, as he readily told Judyth, that he was “on loan” to the CIA from the FBI and had lots of cover jobs, like the one at the Texas Book Depository, along with a Riley Company earlier at which both he and Judyth worked, also as cover. Both were involved with the cancer research; he as just a logistics person and she as a research prodigy, having been recognized even in high school a one of the leading innovators in the country. Amazing woman! Read the book, “Me and Lee” OK?

  • Josh Stern

    I’ll check it out. My current project though is not to be an all-inclusive JFK conspiracy know-it-all. Rather, I want to document the reality that the mainstream public story about basically ALL the modern events shaping US foreign policy & Security State spending is deliberately falsified by a combination of lies and propaganda. WWII, Cold War, CIA, Cuba, Northwoods, JFK, Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, MLK, MalcomX, RFK, Watergate, Operation Condor, School of the Americas, COINTELPRO, Reagan’s October Surprise/Iran-Contra, Lockerbie, WTC ’93, 9/11, War On Terror, Iran, ISIS…one starts digging into any of them and quickly comes across a combination of CIA/FBI conspiracy and media propaganda carrying their lying jockstrap for them. So I’m spread over a lot of areas to cover.

  • Jon

    LOL Yes! You understand it well.