Paul Craig Roberts: “There Is A Conspiracy… And It’s Against The American People”

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

In the United States “conspiracy theory” is the name given to explanations that differ from those that serve the ruling oligarchy, the establishment or whatever we want to call those who set and control the agendas and the explanations that support the agendas.

The explanations imposed on us by the ruling class are themselves conspiracy theories. Moreover, they are conspiracy theories designed to hide the real conspiracy that our rulers are operating.

For example, the official explanation of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory. Some Muslims, mainly Saudi Arabians, delivered the greatest humiliation to a superpower since David slew Goliath. They outsmarted all 17 US intelligence agencies and those of NATO and Israel, the National Security Council, the Transportation Safety Administration, Air Traffic Control, and Dick Cheney, hijacked four US airliners on one morning, brought down three World Trade Center skyscrapers, destroyed that part of the Pentagon where research was underway into the missing $2.3 trillion, and caused the morons in Washington to blame Afghanistan instead of Saudi Arabia.

Clearly, the Saudia Arabians who humiliated Ameria were involved in a conspiracy to do so.

Is it a believable conspiracy?

The ability of a few young Muslim men to pull off such a feat is unbelievable. Such total failure of the US National Security State means that America was blindly vulnerable throughout the decades of Cold War with the Soviet Union. If such total failure of the National Security State had really occurred, the White House and Congress would have been screaming for an investigation. People would have been held accountable for the long chain of security failures that allowed the plot to succeed. Instead, no one was even reprimanded, and the White House resisted all efforts for an investigation for a year. Finally, to shut up the 9/11 families, a 9/11 Commission was convened. The commission duly wrote down the government’s story and that was the “investigation.”

Moreover, there is no evidence to support the official conspiracy theory of 9/11. Indeed, all known evidence contradicts the official conspiracy theory.

For example, it is a proven fact that Building 7 came down at freefall acceleration, which means it was wired for demolition. Why was it wired for demolition? There is no official answer to this question.

It is the known evidence provided by scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, and the first responders who were in the twin towers and personally experienced the numerous explosions that brought down the towers that is described as a conspiracy theory.

The CIA introduced the term “conspiracy theory” into public discourse as part of its action plan to discredit skeptics of the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Any explanation other than the one handed down, which is contradicted by all known evidence, was debunked as a conspiracy theory.

Conspiracy theories are the backbone of US foreign policy. For example, the George W. Bush regime was active in a conspiracy against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The Bush regime created fake evidence of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” sold the false story to a gullible world and used it to destroy Iraq and murder its leader. Similarly, Gaddafi was a victim of an Obama/Hillary conspiracy to destroy Libya and murder Gaddafi. Assad of Syria and Iran were slated for the same treatment until the Russians intervened.

Currently, Washington is engaged in conspiracies against Russia, China, and Venezuela. Proclaiming a non-existent “Iranian threat,” Washington put US missiles on Russia’s border and used the “North Korean threat” to put missiles on China’s border. The democratically elected leader of Venezuela is said by Washington to be a dictator, and sanctions have been put on Venezuela to help the small Spanish elite through whom Washington has traditionally ruled South American countries pull off a coup and reestablish US control over Venezuela.

Everyone is a threat: Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, tribes in Pakistan, Libya, Russia, China, North Korea, but never Washington.

The greatest conspiracy theory of our time is that Americans are surrounded by foreign threats. We are not even safe from Venezuela.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the rest of the presstitutes are quick to debunk as conspiracy theories all explanations that differ from the explanations of the ruling interests that the presstitutes serve.

Yet, as I write and for some nine months to date, the presstitute media has itself been promoting the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump was involved in a conspiracy with the president of Russia and Russian intelligence services to hack the US presidential election and place Trump, a Russian agent, in the White House.

This conspiracy theory has no evidence whatsoever. It doesn’t need evidence, because it serves the interests of the military/security complex, the Democratic Party, the neoconservatives, and permits the presstitutes to show lavish devotion to their masters. By endless repetition a lie becomes truth.

There is a conspiracy, and it is against the American people. Their jobs have been offshored in order to enrich the already rich. They have been forced into debt in a futile effort to maintain their living standards. Their effort to stem their decline by electing a president who spoke for them is being subverted before their eyes by an utterly corrupt media and ruling class.

Sooner or later it will dawn on them that there is nothing they can do but violently revolt. Most likely, by the time they reach this conclusion it will be too late. Americans are very slow to escape from the false reality in which they live. Americans are a thoroughly brainwashed people who hold tightly to their false life within The Matrix.

For the gullible and naive who have been brainwashed into believing that any explanation that differs from the officially-blessed one is a conspiracy theory, there are available online long lists of government conspiracies that succeeded in deceiving the people in order that the governments could achieve agendas that the people would have rejected.

If liberty continues to exist on earth, it will not be in the Western world. It will be in Russia and China, countries that emerged out of the opposite and know the value of liberty, and it will be in those South American countries, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia that fight for their sovereignty against American oppression.

Indeed, as historians unconcerned with their careers are beginning to write, the primary lesson in history is that governments deceive their peoples.

Everywhere in the Western world, government is a conspiracy against the people.

“We’re Coming For You”: AP Accuses NRA Of “Inciting Violence” Against Journalists

In a series of videos released earlier this month, the National Rifle Association declared war on mainstream media and their "globalists masters", a sign of the group’s transformation into an advocate for conservative causes beyond protecting the second amendment.

Predictably, the Associated Press is not happy. In a story about the new campaign – which debuted on the NRA’s NRATV, a web-video platform run by the association – the AP accused the NRA of employing dangerous rhetoric that risked inciting violence against journalists.

“The election of President Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress meant the National Rifle Association could probably rest easy that gun laws wouldn’t change for at least four years. But the NRA has begun a campaign not against pending legislation but what it sees as liberal forces bent on undoing the progress it’s made — and the political powerhouse is resorting to language that some believe could incite violence.

 

Using the hashtags #counterresistance and #clenchedfistoftruth, the NRA has put out a series of videos that announce a “shot across the bow,” and say the gun-rights group is “coming for you” and that “elites … threaten our very survival,” terms that suggest opponents are enemy combatants.”

In a video published earlier this month, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch warned the New York Times that the NRA would be “coming for you," adding that the NRA "had re-dedicated itself to exposing the lies of the mainstream press" while shining an uncomfortable spotlight on the relationship between the MSM and "globalist, corporate elites" who oppose the agenda of President Donald Trump… at least until Steve Bannon's departure, which has since been taken over by former Goldman bankers.

"The times are burning and the media elites have been caught holding the match" Loesch said.

"We’ve had it with your narratives, your propaganda, your fake news. We’ve had it with your constant protection of your Democrat overlords, your refusal to acknowledge any truth that upsets the fragile construct that you believe is real life. And we’ve had it with your tone-deaf assertion that you are in any way truth or fact-based journalism,” Loesch says. “Consider this the shot across your proverbial bow. … In short? We’re coming for you.”

The AP countered with various “expert” soundbites who alleged the NRA could inspire an unstable person to incite violence. One of the AP’s sources, a director at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at UPenn, blamed the NRA for trying to incite violence with its videos.

“Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said the tone and language is “overwrought rhetoric” that, viewed by the wrong person, could lead to violence. The kicker on one of the videos — “We’re coming for you” — is straight out of the movies, she said, and “that phrase means that violence is imminent and we will perpetrate it.”

Another source, chairman of the political science department at the State University of New York at Cortland, said the NRA cribbed its “hyperangry” approach from – who else – President Trump.

“They’re not inventing this hyperangry, nasty partisan tone but piggybacking on Trump’s approach. Of course, NRA voters by and large are Trump voters, so they would be sympathetic to that kind of message,” said Robert Spitzer, chairman of the political science department at State University of New York at Cortland, who has examined the firearms industry and Second Amendment issues extensively.

 

Spitzer, a member of the NRA as well as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said it’s a pattern the NRA has exhibited as the group evolved from an almost exclusive focus on gun safety into a political beacon for conservatives who fear changes to the Second Amendment and the gun industry.

 

“It was Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, it was John McCain. It was Hillary Clinton. It was the United Nations. They’ve held up the U.N. as ready to swoop in and take everybody’s guns,” Spitzer said. “The focus of their ire has changed, but the basic message has been the same.”

In an interesting twist, the AP insinuated that the NRA’s aggressive rhetoric was a ploy to revive gun sales, which have stagnated since Trump took office.

“The friction between the gun lobby and the media isn’t new. But critics of the NRA contend the organization is relying on the “fake news” mantra started by Trump to whip up its followers after a dip in gun sales that has taken place since Trump succeeded President Barack Obama, who favored stricter gun-control laws.”

Joe Plenzler, a Marine veteran and NRA member, said the association had “gone well out of the bounds of any sort of sane responsible behavior.”

“Lately, it seems like they’ve gone well out of the bounds of any sort of sane responsible behavior. If you want to advocate for the Second Amendment, which I unapologetically believe in, that’s fine,” he said. “But I think at the point where you are going to demonize half the American population in a recruitment effort to get more members, I’ve got a big problem with that.”

So did the NRA cross a line by engaging in a similar – but opposite – campaign to that of the Trump "resistance" (hence dubbed #counterresistance) and has it gone too far by accusing the press of creating "narratives, propaganda, and fake news", the same way the press accuses the "alt right" of doing the same, and who is – ultimately – right? Readers can decide for themselves after watching the video below:

China Is Weaponizing Water

Authored by Eugene Chow via The National Interest,

Hidden in plain sight is an intimidating Chinese weapon that allows it to hold a quarter of the world’s population hostage without firing a single shot. While much attention has been given to the nation’s fearsome new military hardware, a formidable component in its arsenal has largely escaped notice: dams.

With more than 87,000 dams and control of the Tibetan plateau, the source of ten major rivers which 2 billion people depend on, China possesses a weapon of mass destruction. With the flip of a switch, the Middle Kingdom can release hundreds of millions of gallons of water from its mega dams, causing catastrophic floods that would reshape entire ecosystems in countries downstream.

China knows first-hand the destructive power of water. In an attempt to halt advancing Japanese troops during World War II, Chang Kai-Shek, commander of the Chinese Nationalist Army, destroyed a dike along the Yellow River flooding thousands of miles of farmland, killing an estimated 800,000 Chinese, and displacing nearly 4 million.

It is highly unlikely that China would ever deliberately unleash such a destructive act upon its neighbors, but the fact remains that it wields enormous leverage as an upstream nation by its ability to control life’s most essential resource.

High in the Himalayan Mountains are what has been dubbed the “Water Towers of Asia.” Seven of the continent’s greatest rivers start life here including the Mekong, Ganges, Yangtze, Indus and Irrawaddy. What begins as dribble from snow melt in the Tibetan plateau builds into mighty rivers that flow across China’s borders before eventually reaching South Asia.

To satisfy its insatiable demand for electricity and as part of its shift away from coal, China has gone on a dam building spree. In 1949, China had less than forty small hydroelectric dams, but now it has more dams than the United States, Brazil and Canada combined.

On the upper Mekong alone, China has erected seven mega dams with plans to build an additional twenty-one. Just one of its latest dams is capable of producing more hydropower than all of Vietnam and Thailand’s dams on the Mekong.

This dramatic increase in dam building activity has had an outsized environmental impact and stoked fears in downstream nations.

“Beside having environmental issues those dams in Tibet can be disastrous for [India]. They can unleash their fury during earthquake, accidents or by intentional destruction can easily be used against India during war,” said Milap Chandra Sharma, a glaciologist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

China’s southern neighbors are not worried without reason. In the past, India has blamed sudden discharges from Chinese dams for several flash floods including one that caused an estimated $30 million in damage and left 50,000 homeless in northeast India.

Each year, during China’s rainy season, downstream nations are on high alert as Chinese dams release water to ease pressure with little warning.

“A discharge by a dam will have a domino effect on the whole system, which can cause huge damages,” explained Le Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Research Institute for Climate Change in Vietnam.

In addition to floods, Chinese dams are also believed to be responsible for worsening droughts. Last year, Vietnam pleaded with China to release water from the Yunnan dam on the Mekong River to ease severe water shortages downstream. China agreed and waters flowed into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

These two extremes not only highlight the environmental impact of Chinese dams, but also serve as a stark reminder of China’s influence over its southern neighbors. These rivers are foundational to life in South Asia, providing drinking water, irrigation for farming, habitats for fisheries and transportation for commerce.

By controlling the flow of the lifeblood of the region, China has gained enormous power, which has led to accusations of abuse.

“When it comes to diplomacy, China uses rivers as a bargain chip,” said Tanasak Phosrikun, a Mekong river activist from Thailand.

China has denied these charges. Last year, in response to rising anger in India over Chinese dams, the state-run Global Times published an op-ed stating, “China-India relations should not be affected by an imaginary ‘water war.’”

“Frankly, there is no need for India to overact to such [dam building] projects, which aim to help with reasonable development and utilization of water resources,” the piece continued.

While China denies that a “water war” exists, the nation has refused to share hydrological data with India this year, despite signing an agreement. The data is critical during monsoon season as it helps India more accurately forecast floods and warn its residents, ultimately saving lives and minimizing damage.

Whether intentional or not, water has become a de facto weapon providing China with significant political leverage over its southern neighbors. As water scarcity worsens with climate change and population increases, the need for this precious resource will grow, amplifying China’s power and intensifying conflict.

Despite the best efforts of regional partnerships South Asian nations have had little success in encouraging sustainable and responsible development of rivers. With control of the Tibetan plateau by dint of its geography, China is king of the hill when it comes to water in Asia and there is little downstream nations can do to change the whims of this monarch.

All The Countries America Has Invaded… In One Map

From Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, the US has had a military presence across the world, from almost day one of its independence. For those who have ever wanted a clearer picture of the true reach of the United States military – both historically and currently – but shied away due to the sheer volume of research required to find an answer, The Anti Media points out that a crew at the Independent just made things a whole lot simpler.

Using data compiled by a Geography and Native Studies professor from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the indy100 team created an interactive map of U.S. military incursions outside its own borders from Argentina in 1890 to Syria in 2014.

To avoid confusion, indy100 laid out its prerequisites for what constitutes an invasion:

Deployment of the military to evacuate American citizens, covert military actions by US intelligence, providing military support to an internal opposition group, providing military support in one side of a conflict, use of the army in drug enforcement actions.

But indy100 didn’t stop there. To put all that history into context, using data from the Department of Defense (DOD), the team also put together a map to display all the countries in which nearly 200,000 active members of the U.S. military are now stationed.

For more details, click on the country:

The three countries with the biggest U.S. presence, according to DOD numbers, are Japan at 39,623, Germany at 34,399 and South Korea at 23,297.

The publication of the maps comes just after President Donald Trump announced the military would not be pulling out of its 16-year engagement in Afghanistan – a reversal of his previous stance – and that the U.S. would seek stronger ties with India to combat terrorism in South and Central Asia.

Matt Taibbi: Media Is The Real Villain (For Creating A World Dumb Enough For Trump)

Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com,

The craziest part of Donald Trump's 77-minute loon-a-thon in Phoenix earlier this week came when he rehashed his shtick about the networks turning off live coverage of his speech. Trump seemed to really believe they were shutting the cameras off because "the very dishonest media" was so terrified of his powerful words.

"They're turning those lights off so fast!" he said. "CNN doesn't want its failing viewership to see this!"

Trump is wrong about a lot of things, but it's hard to be more wrong about any one thing than he was about this particular point.

No news director would turn off the feed in the middle of a Trump-meltdown. This presidency has become the ultimate ratings bonanza. Trump couldn't do better numbers if he jumped off Mount Kilimanjaro carrying a Kardashian.

This was confirmed this week by yet another shruggingly honest TV executive – in this case Tony Maddox, head of CNN International. Maddox said CNN is doing business at "record levels." He hinted also that the monster ratings they're getting have taken the sting out of being accused of promoting fake news.

"[Trump] is good for business," Maddox said. "It's a glib thing to say. But our performance has been enhanced during this news period." Maddox, speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival, added that most of the outlets that have been singled out by Trump are doing a swimming business.

 

 "If you look at the groups that Trump has primarily targeted: CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Saturday Night Live, Stephen Colbert," he said, "every single one of those has seen a quite remarkable growth in their viewing figures, in their sales figures."

Everyone hisses whenever they hear quotes like these. They recall the infamous line from last year by CBS chief Les Moonves, about how Trump "may not be good for America, but he's damn good for CBS." Moonves was even cheekier than Maddox. He laughed and added, "The money's rolling in, and this is fun. They're not even talking about issues, they're throwing bombs at each other, and I think the advertising reflects that."

For more than two years now, it's been obvious that Donald Trump is a disaster on almost every level except one – he's great for the media business. Most of us who do this work have already gone through the process of working out just how guilty we should or should not feel about this.

Many execs and editors – and Maddox seems to fall into this category – have convinced themselves that the ratings and the money are a kind of cosmic reward for covering Trump responsibly. But deep down, most of us know that's a lie. Donald Trump gets awesome ratings for the same reason Fear Factor made money feeding people rat-hair tortilla chips: nothing sells like a freak show. If a meteor crashes into jello night at the Playboy mansion, it doesn't matter if you send Edward R. Murrow to do the standup. Some things sell themselves.

The Trump presidency is like a diabolical combination of every schlock eyeball-grabbing formula the networks have ever deployed. It's Battle of the Network Stars meets Wrestlemania meets Survivor meets the Kursk disaster. It's got the immediacy of a breaking news crash, with themes of impending doom, conflict, celebrity meltdown, anger, racism, gender war, everything.

Trump even sells on the level of those Outbrain click-addicting photos of plastic surgery failures. With his mystery comb-over and his great rolls of restrained blubber and the infamous tales of violent fights with his ex over a failed scalp-reduction procedure, Trump on top of being Hitler and Hulk Hogan from a ratings perspective is also a physical monster, the world's very own bearded-lady tent.

Trump's monstrousness is ironic, since the image of Trump as the media's very own Frankenstein's monster has been used and re-used in the last years. Many in the business are of the opinion that, having created Trump and let him loose in the village, we in the press now have a responsibility to hunt him down with aggressive investigative reporting, to make the world safe again.

That might indeed be a good idea. But that take also implies that slaying the monster will fix the problem. Are we sure that's true? 

Reporters seem to think so, and keep trying to find the magic formula. Just this week, staffers at the Wall Street Journal rebelled against editor-in-chief Gerard Baker. Baker, who has long been accused of being too soft on Trump, blasted his people for going too negative on the president in their coverage of the Arizona speech. He sent around a letter asking staff to "stick to reporting what [Trump] said," rather than "packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism."

Reporters fought back by (apparently) leaking the memo to the rival New York Times. This followed an incident in which a transcript of Baker's recent interview with Trump was leaked to Politico earlier this month. In it, Baker mentions being glad to have seen Ivanka Trump in Southampton, and small-talks with Trump about travel and golf. The implication here is that it's improper or unseemly for a newspaper editor to have a chummy relationship with this kind of a president.

And it is, sometimes. Reporters who should be challenging presidents and candidates are pretty much always cheating the public when they turn interviews into mutual back rub sessions.

But these intramural ethical wars within our business may just be deflections that keep us from facing bigger problems – like, for instance, the fact that we have been systematically making the entire country more stupid for decades.

We learned long ago in this business that dumber and more alarmist always beats complex and nuanced. Big headlines, cartoonish morality, scary criminals at home and foreign menaces abroad, they all sell. We decimated attention spans, rewarded hot-takers over thinkers, and created in audiences powerful addictions to conflict, vitriol, fear, self-righteousness, and race and gender resentment.

There isn't a news executive alive low enough to deny that we use xenophobia and racism to sell ads. Black people on TV for decades were almost always shirtless and chased by cops, and the "rock-throwing Arab" photo was a staple of international news sections even before 9/11. And when all else fails in the media world, just show more cleavage somewhere, and ratings go up, every time.

Donald Trump didn't just take advantage of these conditions. He was created in part by them. What's left of Trump's mind is like a parody of the average American media consumer: credulous, self-centered, manic, sex-obsessed, unfocused, and glued to stories that appeal to his sense of outrage and victimhood.

We've created a generation of people like this: anger addicts who can't read past the first page of a book. This is why the howls of outrage from within the ranks of the news media about Trump's election ring a little bit false. What the hell did we expect would happen? Who did we think would rise to prominence in our rage-filled, hyper-stimulated media environment? Sensitive geniuses?

We spent years selling the lowest common denominator. Now the lowest common denominator is president. How can it be anything but self-deception to pretend this is an innocent coincidence?