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The End of Democracy as we Knew it

By Bernd Hamm
 

Abstract

September 02, 2014 "ICH" - This paper starts with summarizing the major theoretical elements in the definition of a global ruling class. It then examines how neoconservatives in the US took power and used regime change to install US-friendly governments in other regions. A strategy of tension is used to press the population into conformity. But the real revolution is to what extent factual politics escape any attempt to democratic control. Three case studies show how far the Deep State already goes. Democracy is on the brink of survival.

1. Theory

In an earlier paper (Hamm, B. 2010) I suggested an analytical framework for the study of power as it relates to the future of global society. This outline specifically addressed four questions: (1) How is the global ruling class structured internally? (2) Is it theoretically correct to use the term class for the ruling elite? (3) What are the major instruments of power? (4) How do these analytical insights impact on the probable future of human society?

Drawing on C. Wright Mills’ seminal work on The Power Elite (1956), recent power structure research suggests an ideal-type model of four concentric circles: In the inner circle, we find the global money trust, the richest individuals, families or clans, all with fortunes well above one billion Euros. The CEOs of big transnational corporations and biggest international financial players make up the second circle. They are mostly concerned with increasing the wealth of the inner circle, and with it their own. Top international politicians, some active in governments and international institutions, some more in the background as advisors, plus the top military, compose the third circle. This political class has assignments: organize the distribution of the social product in such a way as to transfer as much as the actual power balance allows into the pockets of the inner and second circles, and secure the legitimacy of government by organizing the political circus of an allegedly pluralistic structure. The fourth ring will be composed of top academics, media moguls, lawyers, and may sometimes include prominent authors, film and music stars, artists, NGO representatives, few religious leaders, few top criminals and others useful for decorating the inner circles. They enjoy the privilege of close access to those in power, they are well paid, and they will make sure not to lose such benefits (Hamm, B. 2010:1008-9; see also Phillips, P., Osborne, B. 2013).

It appears that the degree of internationalization of the powerful correlates with their status on the ring hierarchy. The two inner circles have always been international. The third and fourth rings, however, tend to be much more nationally bound (by ownership and by elections) than the first and the second. The inner circle is not static but relatively solid. It builds on financial and social capital often accumulated by former generations (steel industry, banking, weapons, or oil barons). The major source of power is being borne to a family of the inner circle (for example, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Morgans, the DuPonts, the Vanderbilts, the Agnellis, the Thyssens, and the Krupps, to mention a few) [1].

There are also the nouveaux riches. Names like George Soros, William Gates, Warren Buffet, Marc Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson, or the Koch brothers come to mind (Smith, Y. 2013), and the Bush-Clan might also be mentioned here (Bowles, W. 2005); Russian or Eastern European oligarchs like Alisher Usmanov, Mikhail Chodorkowski, Boris Beresowski, Mikhail Fridman, Rinat Ahmetov, Leonid Mikhelson, Viktor Vekselberg, Andrej Melnichenko, Roman Abramovich; then there are Carlos Slim Helu, Lakshmi Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, Jorge Paulo Lemann, Iris Fontbona or Aliko Dangote from the so-called less developed countries. These parvenus tend to be politically more active, at least on the front stage, than the old rich families: George Soros with his Open Society Foundation and his permanent warnings of the evils of unregulated capitalism is the best known for his liberal leanings, while the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson or Robert Murdoch are aggressively right-wing (Heath, T. 2014; Snyder, M. 2013; Webster, S.C. 2013). The oligarchs of the former Soviet block have almost all grabbed their fortunes during the presidency of Boris Yeltzin who, pathological alcoholic as he was, made room for large scale privatization of state corporations and raw materials after the collapse of the socialist regime. Shock therapy was pushed through under the influence of Western advisors, especially the Harvard privatization program with Jeffrey Sachs as the leading figure, as well the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Jegor Gajdar, Anatoli Tschubais (an oligarch himself) and Alfred Koch [2] were their local executives in Russia (Vaclav Klaus in Czecholovakia, Leszek Balcerowicz in Poland, etc.).

The strategy for the creation of oligarchs and social polarization is easy to understand since it has been practiced by the IMF time and again to this very day as part of their structural adjustment policy (later cynically referred to as “poverty reduction strategy”). What it amounts to is the abolition of all prize control and public subventions, laying-off civil servants, limiting wages, devaluing currencies, and privatizing public corporations and infrastructure (the so-called Washington Consensus). Widespread poverty is the immediate result, and the other side of the coin is extremely concentrated wealth in just a few hands. If the number of victims multiplied by the gravity of damages done to each of them is used as an indicator, the IMF is certainly the most criminal organization on earth (Chossudovsky, M. 2001).

Does this global oligarchy constitute a social class in the theoretical sense of the term? If so, it should (1) be in control of the means of production, (2) be bound together by class consciousness, and in-group mentality, and (3) be party to a global class struggle over the distribution of the social product. The second criterion, in particular, was answered affirmatively: “The GRC [Global Ruling Class] will tend to see themselves, very much like feudal kings, as being of divine superiority placing them far above all other human beings. Fascism is very likely to be a basic pillar of their ideology, and war will be just one of the tools to increase their power and profits” (Hamm, 2010:1010; see also Turley, J. 2014; Dolan, E.W. 2013). As the money elite generally tend to focus their social contacts inside, groupthink is permanently reinforced. This might hold true even if it is not homogeneous in other respects (Lofgren, M. 2013; Domhoff, G.W., Staples, C., Schneider, A. 2013).

For the first question, the extent that the financial sector has taken over control of productive industries should be emphasized. Here, the enormous amount of freshly printed dollars injected in the global economy since the abolishment of the gold standard in 1971 is decisive. The Federal Reserve Bank under successive US administrations has followed this policy up to the present day. The amount of money strolling around for profitable investment is not underpinned by production or services but rather by printing fiat notes. It has allowed the financial industry to buy up real businesses by shares and bonds and their respective derivatives inside and outside the US. Thus, the financial industry acquired, in fact, control of large parts of the real economy including (via production chains) small and medium-sized businesses, fertile lands, and raw materials. The financial industry is also highly influential in the areas of science and technology, and through lobbying and campaign donations, it influences political decision-making [3]. In fact, as US lawmakers tend to belong to the upper strata of the financial hierarchy (thus to the third circle of our power model), they also tend to widely identify with the interests of the inner rings (Money Choice 2013). Therefore, it is correct to conclude that the financial industry is in control of the means of production.

Too often writers understand class struggle as action taken by workers for working class interests, overlooking the equally significant (and in our times considerably more important) class struggle organized and directed by the ruling class via the state: “The entire panoply of neo-liberal policies, from so-called ‘austerity measures’ to mass firings of public and private employees, to massive transfers of wealth to creditors are designed to enhance the power, wealth, and primacy of diverse sectors of capital at the expense of labor. … Class struggle from above is directed at enhancing the concentration of wealth in the ruling class, increasing regressive taxes on workers and reducing taxes on corporations, selectively enforcing regulations, which facilitate financial speculation and lowering social expenditures for pensions, health, and education for workers families” (Petras, J., 2013a). Class struggle from above aims at maximizing the collective power of capital via restrictive laws on labor organizations, social movements, and workers’ collective bargaining rights. State budgets over bailouts are sites of class struggle; banks are sites of class struggle between mortgage holders and households, creditors, and debtors. “Trillions of dollars are transferred from the public treasury to bailout bankers. Hundreds of billions in social cuts are imposed on workers, cutting across all sectors of the economy” (ibid.). Governments are instrumental in the extraction of money from the population via taxation and then transfer it to the rich via the banking system. What they are doing, with help of the IMF, to Greece, Portugal, Ireland, or to Cyprus, or Spain, and what they hope to do to Ukraine, Egypt, Thailand, Venezuela or Lybia, they have been doing to developing countries yesterday with exactly the same medicine. “They want it all – profit and power. Our world is dominated and being re-shaped by a tiny global financial, corporate, political and intellectual elite. And all must suffer so that they can have what anyone in their position would want to have: more – they want it all. And they want you to just shut up and let them take it all. If you have a problem with that, well, that’s what riot police, prisons, and fascism are for” (Marshall, A.G., 2013; see also Drum, K. 2013).

We also find a global power hierarchy among nation-states. To paraphrase what was said above of the attitudes of members of the ruling class: The most powerful nation will tend to see itself as being of divine superiority, placing itself far above all other nations. Fascism is very likely to be a basic pillar of its ideology, and war will be just one of the tools to increase its power and profits. “According to this self-righteous doctrine [of US exceptionalism], America is the indispensable country. What this means is that the US has been chosen by history to establish the hegemony of secular ‘democratic capitalism’ over the world. The primacy of this goal places the US government above traditional morality and above all law, both its own and international” (Roberts, P.C., 2013a). “If we have to resort to violence”, Madeleine Albright once said, “then it is because we are America, the indispensable nation. We stand tall and look further into the future than other nations.” “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my life”, President Obama said during his West Point inauguration speech 2014 (see comments by Escobar, P. 2014; Moon of Alabama 2014; Roberts, P.C. 2014a).

The claim to the role of world hegemon comes at a high price (Nader, R., 2014). Socio-economic polarization has increased sharply in the U.S. as hundreds of thousands of families have been driven out of their homes by foreclosures, with some twenty percent of all households on food stamps. Increasing numbers of households can no longer pay their rents, let alone care for retirement, while thousands live in shanty towns and tent cities. Some city governments have begun to drive the poor out of the downtown areas so that they will become more and more invisible [4]. Women, children, and non-whites are especially affected; as a result, reduced health care and increased mortality rates have been reported [5]. Furthermore, a baby born today in the U.S., when it takes its first breath of air, is $50.000 in debt (Ventura, J., 2013). Meanwhile, the prison industry profits from a policy of incarceration, which even includes the handing out of lifelong sentences to children. The Department of Homeland Security is being developed into a standing army, police forces are increasingly militarized (Whitehead, J., no date).

The installment of the US Dollar as world reserve currency constituted the economic pillar of the US as the global super power. As the US was able to export all newly printed money, it could appropriate the products of other societies for the simple price of printing paper, and through this measure, force other countries to pay for its luxury as well as for its overwhelming military power and war mongering. Add to this the structural adjustment policy exerted by the US-controlled World Bank and IMF, plus the CIA’s covert actions around the globe, it would be analytically correct to say that the US has become the adversary in the global class struggle, especially since the nucleus of a global ruling class resides in the US. According to Galtung’s structural theory of imperialism (Galtung, J. 1980), the hegemon will rely on vassals in subordinate nations (i.e., in the form of allied governments). Elites in subordinate nations are assigned to guarantee the unchallenged role of the global hegemon, to allow its unrestrained access to local resources and control rights while securing immunity to its representatives. Consequently, for the most part, the global ruling class can be located in the power elite of the United States (see, e.g., the longitudinal studies of the US power elite presented by G. William Domhoff and his group, Domhoff, G.W. 2014).

The litmus test of power is, on the individual as on the collective level, based on two criteria: the possibility to avoid prosecution for crimes committed, or impunity, and the degree to which appropriation of others’ wealth is possible. An eminent example is given by the attacks of 9/11. As Ruppert (2004) and others [6] have argued, those who succeed in preventing a new and thorough investigation questioning the official narrative are obviously in a power position (case study below). So are those who initiate war, are responsible for hundreds of thousands of people murdered, yet are not brought to trial in the aftermath. Neither has anyone in the US government been held accountable for torture (the 600 pages Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture has not yet been released, Dick, A. 2014), targeted killings, and drone victims – all of which are prohibited crimes under US law and the Geneva Conventions. Nor has any U.S. official been charged for violating constitutional rights, that is, spying without warrants, warrantless searches, violations of habeas corpus, murder of US citizens without due process, denial of legal representation, conviction through undisclosed evidence. Who is to be held accountable for the long-term effects of the nuclear bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? or the spread of Agent Orange in Vietnam? or the use of depleted uranium ammunition in Iraq? Who is being tried for the crimes again the Palestinian people committed by the Israeli government? The problem is not whether the war criminals can be identified, no; rather, it is a problem of charging them with the crime and then following through with the legal process. But when are they ever charged and tried? And why not? It’s not only that the US murdered one and a half million people [7], mostly Iraqis and some Americans, ruined the country, and inflicted costs of almost three trillion US$ on the taxpayer (the “supreme crime”, according to the ruling of the Nuremberg Trials), they also inflamed the Sunni-Shia conflict (Stone, O., Kuznick, P., 2013:521-34) and they are responsible for the rise of IS, the Islamic State, presumably the most dangerous of all terrorist groups and a new pretext to bomb Iraq [8]. “The Obama justice department, in particular the Chief of its Criminal Division, […], never even tried to hold the high-level criminals accountable. What Obama justice officials did instead is exactly what they did in the face of high-level Bush era crimes of torture and warrantless eavesdropping: namely, acted to protect the most powerful factions in the society in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious criminality” (Greenwald, G., 2013). Moreover, who will bring to trial the banksters that plunder the middle class? (Whitney, M. 2014a; Cantu, A. 2014) The silence following the crimes of the ruling powers is deafening.

2. Who Ruled the World – Yesterday, and How?

2.1 The Rise of the Neocons

Americans regularly insist that the U.S. is the only global governing authority that underpins the world’s security and prosperity, that without it, there would be widespread chaos, economic stagnancy, and far more frequent international warfare. The proponents of this conception emphasize the dependency of world order on US military, economic, diplomatic, and ideological capabilities (Falk, R., 2014). Falk mentions Michael Mandelbaum as the most passionate proponent of this position [9]. Recently Mandelbaum (2014) bluntly restated this argument, saying, “The United States stands alone as the world’s de facto government.” Though administered from its statist headquarters in Washington, according to its promoters, this form of world government is meta-political and unselfish, qualities that should be appreciated by all people of good will since the U.S. is contributing to the betterment of humanity (Kagan, R. 2006). Indeed, there was only one group on earth which claimed the right to global governance: the US neo-conservatives.

By the mid-1970s, then US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began to argue that the Soviet government would be ignoring bilateral treaties and secretly building up weapons with the intention of attacking the United States. Together with Paul Wolfowitz he wanted to create a much more severe view of the Soviet Union, its intentions, and views about fighting and winning a nuclear war. When George H. W. Bush became Director of Central Intelligence in 1976, he set up a team of sixteen outside experts who were to take an independent look at highly classified data used by the intelligence community to assess Soviet strategic forces, commonly referred to as Team B [10]. Their allegations proved all wrong. The CIA director concluded that the Team B approach set “in motion a process that lends itself to manipulation for purposes other than estimative accuracy."

The “neo-conservative offensive” (Hamm, B., 2005, 1-18), which started in August 1971 with the Powell Manifesto (Nace, T., 2003 [11]), had its first great success when Ronald Reagan came into power und brought many of the neocon hawks with him. They had been in place before and were waiting for their chance. Ronald Reagan was the worst informed president, an old man who napped even in meetings of the National Security Council, and who perceived the world through the lens of Hollywood movies: “A man of limited knowledge but deep religious beliefs and strong conservative convictions, he provided little guidance on policy and had no interest in or grasp of detail. … Reagan’s disengaged style and lack of foreign policy experience left the door open to palace intrigue among his subordinates, who were eager to fill the void” (Stone, O., Kuznick, P., 2013:421-4).

After the collapse of the socialist regimes the neocons lost influence while still opposing the foreign policy establishment of the republican Bush Sr. administration as well as of that of its democratic successor under President Clinton. Their major foreign policy concern was how to prevent the rise of a new rival. The Defense Planning Guide, a document prepared by the then Undersecretary for Defense Policy Paul Wolfowitz mentions: “Our most important goal is it to prevent to emergence of a new rival, whether on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, which would represent a threat similar to that of the former Soviet Union. This reflection governs the new regional defense strategy and demands that we prevent every hostile power to dominate a region the resouces of which would suffice to justify a claim to global power” [12].

In 1997, a group surfaced under the name of Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a think tank based in Washington, D.C. founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The PNAC's stated goal is "to promote American global leadership." Fundamental to the PNAC were the views that "American leadership is both good for America and good for the world" and support for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity." After the faked presidential elections of 2000 (Palast, G. 2002), its members came in numerous key administrative positions and the PNAC exerted influence on high-level government officials in the administration of George W. Bush and shaped its military and foreign policies.

As J. Petras (2013b) writes, the restoration of “direct US imperial interventions, unhindered by Congressional and popular opposition, was gradual in the period 1973-1990. It started to accelerate in the 1990’s and then really took off after September 11, 2001” The first military test after the collapse of the Soviet empire was how Iraq President Saddam Hussein was lured into the Kuwait trap in 1990. The 28 nations “coalition of the willing” was bought together, and war was waged over the people of Iraq, a war that first was fought with murderous weapons, then with sanctions, and has continued until this very day. On January 16, 1998, members of the PNAC, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Robert Zoellick drafted an open letter to President Bill Clinton urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power. They argued that Saddam would pose a threat to the United States, its Middle East allies, and oil resources in the region if he succeeded in maintaining what they asserted was a stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The PNAC also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which some have regarded as evidence that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a foregone conclusion (Mackay, N., 2004).

It should not be forgotten that the war against Afghanistan, too, was being planned well before the 9/11 attacks. US officials had been in talks with the Taliban about building an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Karachi, Pakistan, via Afghanistan in order to avoid crossing Iran. In July 2001, a German diplomat was reported saying that the talks ended with the announcement from the US side: “Either we cover you with a carpet of gold [if you comply], or we cover you with a carpet of bombs”. Even the date when bombings would begin was given as October 2001 [13]. This had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks, nor with Osama bin Laden (Chossudovsky, M. 2005).

Rebuilding America's Defenses (September 2000), the most widely circulated document of the PNAC group, was developed by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby, and devoted to matters of “maintaining US pre-eminence, thwarting rival powers and shaping the global security system according to US interests.” Section V, entitled "Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force", includes the sentence: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor". Though not necessarily implying that Bush administration members were complicit in those attacks, it was often been argued that PNAC members used the events of 9/11 as the "Pearl Harbor" that they needed––that is, as an "opportunity" to capitalize on in order to enact long-desired plans.

In a 2007 speech before the Commonwealth Club, retired General Wesley Clark cited a classified Pentagon Memorandum of 2001 (months before the September attacks) which read that the US would attack seven countries in the next five years, i.e. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran in order to gain control over their natural resources, oil in the first place, and enable fabulous profits for the arms and oil industries. “Our country was governed by a group of paranoids like Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others who wanted to destabilize the Middle East and gain control over its resources” [14].

By the end of 2006, PNAC was "reduced to a voice-mail box and a ghostly website", with "a single employee left to wrap things up". In 2006, Gary Schmitt, former executive director of the PNAC, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of its program in Advanced Strategic Studies, stated that PNAC had come “to a natural end.” Instead, untiring neocon hawk Robert Kagan replaced it with the Foreign Policy Initiative [15].
 

2.2 Regime Change

The strategic reasoning of the PNAC was formulated by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (1997), who wrote: “The world’s energy consumption is bound to vastly increase over the next two or three decades. Estimates by the US Department of Energy anticipate that world demand will rise by more than 50 percent between 1993 and 2015, with the most significant increase in consumption occurring in the Far East. The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy, and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.“ (p. 125). “Moreover, they [the Central Asian Republics] are of importance from the standpoint of security and historical ambitions to at least three of their most immediate and more powerful neighbors, namely Russia, Turkey, and Iran, with China also signaling an increasing political interest in the region (p. 124). This PNAC global “chess game” analysis was the ideological centerpiece of the Bush Jr. administration.

From 1991 on, the United States relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran (Gagnon, B.K. 2014). It brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders. The actual Ukraine crisis is in part the result of a zero-sum calculation that has shaped US policy toward Moscow since the Cold War: Any loss for Russia is an American victory, and anything positive that happens to, for, or in Russia is bad for the United States. As much as this reality is contested by Western rhetoric and suppressed by Western media, it is nevertheless the dominant perception in Russia, China, and Iran (Glazyev, S., no date; Mearsheimer, J. 2014).

Slowly, under President Gerald Ford and, especially President Jimmy Carter, an imperial revival emerged in the form of clandestine support for armed surrogates in Southern Africa and neoliberal military dictatorships in Latin America. The first large-scale imperial intervention involved massive support for the Islamist uprising against the secular government of Afghanistan and a mercenary jihadist invasion into the Southern member states of the Soviet Union, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US (1979). Since September 11, 2001, US Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way. In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were deployed in about 60 countries around the world. In 2013, elite U.S. forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe. This 123% increase during the Obama years demonstrates how the U.S. has engaged in growing forms of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences. SOCOM is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 personnel in 2014, up from 33,000 in 2001. Funding for the command has also jumped exponentially as its baseline budget, $2.3 billion in 2001, hit $6.9 billion in 2013 ($10.4 billion, if you add in supplemental funding) (Turse, N. 2014).

In order to install governments obedient to US wishes and interests, US governments have been involved in and assisted in the overthrow of numerous foreign governments without the overt use of US military force. Often, such operations are tasked to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or, more tacitly, to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), (Lopez, A. 2014). Regime change has been attempted through direct involvement of US operatives, the funding and training of insurgency groups within these countries, anti-regime propaganda campaigns, coups d'état, and other activities [16]. Indirect support is lent by, e.g., the EU Eastern Partnership Program.

The art of regime change, soft and hard, has been a well developed and important part of US foreign policy since the Iran coup in the early 1950s. Beginning with Serbia in 2000, “colored revolutions” have spread over most parts of the former Soviet allies (unsuccessful in Belorus), to Myanmar 2007 (unsuccessful) and North Africa. The propaganda is always the same, centered around catch words like democracy, human rights, prosperity, justice and freedom while in reality it is about installing capitalist friendly governments, deregulation, privatization, natural resources, military bases and armament sales, and containment of potential rivals (Moglia, J. 2014). Mass media, especially TV advertising, public opinion polls together with revolutionary cells plus indefinite money mostly from US public and private sources or exiled Russian oligarchs help to orchestrate the process of transition. Soros’ Open Society Fund with numerous subsidiaries and his Central European University are illustrative examples. A document recently released under the Freedom of Information Act confirmed that the US is making similar efforts throughout the Middle East [17].

Conceived for Solidarnosc in Poland and the OK’98 civic campaign in Slovakia, the strategy has been progressively perfected and adapted to other contexts. In Serbia, this gave birth to what would be called the “Bulldozer Revolution” and led to the end of the Milosevic regime. It then spread to other contexts, featuring protests and regime changes in Georgia, Ukraine, and to a limited extent, Kyrgyzstan. The deployment of that strategy is perfectly visible, with all the events in a clear sequence: unpopular regime, falsification of elections, street protests and the political death of the current president. Because of their high non-violent component, they resemble more a massive party than direct confrontation with the authorities. Whilst regimes in countries like Belarus and Uzbekistan tightened control on internationally funded NGOs, Georgia and Ukraine remained relatively liberal in this respect. Both countries were open to Western influence whilst still keeping decent relations with Moscow. The Central European University is selecting what is to become the elite of those countries. Programs of assistance to Ukrainian and Georgian students are well established in the USA and in loco. One could interpret each of those “color revolutions” as arm wrestling between Moscow and Washington, with the EU timidly trying to have a voice (Polese, A. 2011).

US governments’ actions for regime change implied many thousands of people murdered (Blum, W., 2004a). Operation Gladio, supervised by NATO and masterminded by Washington, had the sole purpose of preventing leftist parties in Europe of being democratically elected (Ganser, D., 2005). Operacion Condor (Calloni 2010) used terror regimes and death squadrons throughout Latin America to secure subservient governments, no matter how cruel (Davies, N.J.S. 2014). At the very moment of writing, regime change operations can be observed in Egypt, Thailand, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine. They all are being prepared and accompanied by carefully planned propaganda campaigns. In none of these, as well as in many of the previously mentioned cases, have such meddlings brought about democratic governments. Quite to the contrary, the end result was usually some sort of corrupt junta grabbing power, thus, further enriching a small cabal of local criminals plus their US accomplices. Widespread poverty, social polarization, and conflict are the common consequences (Mitchell, G. 2014; Gosztola, K. 2014; Vance, L.M. 2014; Auken 2024). PNACs foreign policy has failed everywhere, without exception. Instead of regimes favorable to the US and obedient to its rule, they created chaos, widespread misery, fear and hostility. PNAC has prepared the coffin in which US global power is going to be buried.

Their greatest achievement was to what extent they got through with their neoconservative ideology and made it the basic political philosophy in Western and, even more so, in the transition countries of Eastern Europe. Their greatest mistake of truly global impact was the diligent dismissal of disarmament and peace proposals submitted by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbatschev from 1986 on. They did not even test the seriousness of his proposals. Eager to deliver a deadly blow to the global competitor, they helped to oust its charismatic leader and replace him by a pathological alcoholic, Boris Yelzin. The primary responsibles were Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney, then CEO of Halliburton and later the vice president [18]. The same can be said with respect to President Putin’s proposals for confidence building and closer cooperation, which have been rejected right away by the Obama administration. How much entire humanity would have gained from the enormous peace dividend! Imagine only for a second the US would have concluded from the energy forecasts of the 1990s to promote energy efficiency and renewable energies instead of war: The world would have a different face. Millions could live in peace and prosperity instead of being murdered or pushed into misery. The US itself would have avoided gigantic environmental damage caused by fracking, and social and political decline.

Why does the Obama administration choose this type of foreign policy? The main reason is that the above-targeted countries had slid out of the US orbit of control, and only these far-right groups are interested in getting them back into the US orbit. “Ultimately, US capitalists gain mountains of profit when a country is dependent on US loans, US-made weapons, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, etc. This is why the US establishment — now represented by the Obama administration — will not simply leave Latin America, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe to be independent or fall into the orbit of a competing regional power like Russia. There is simply too much profit at stake. Peace is not an option” (Cooke, S., 2014). Power and influence of the military-industrial complex have allowed extraordinary rates of profit. “According to a new study by Morgan Stanley, the shares of big weapons industries have gained in value by 27,699% during the last fifty years while for the rest of the economy it was 6,777%. During the last three years alone, Raytheon has brought 124%, Northrup Grunman 114%, and Lockheed Martin 149% to its investors” (Petras, J. 2014).

2.3 The Strategy of Tension

How was all this made acceptable to the American people? The strategy of tension is a tactic that aims to divide, manipulate, and control public opinion using fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, and false flag terrorist actions [19]. This strategy played a special role inside the US. Americans who grew up in the 1950s lived their lives in constant fear—fear that communists were everywhere, fear that communism was a contagious illness of the mind that was spreading throughout America and the rest of the world, and fear that the Soviet Union was going to initiate a nuclear attack on the United States. Fear became the coin of the realm for the national-security state. Peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union was the last thing that US officials wanted since it wouldn’t justify the rise of the permanent military establishment, a foreign empire of military bases, a CIA, a NSA, covert operations, spying, foreign interventionism, coups, assassinations, torture, surveillance, and support of foreign dictatorships (Hornberger, J.G. 2013). Although the Cold War lies 25 years behind us there are clear signs that the same “fear of Russia” is being resuscitated while at the same time, a new fear of the enemy within is being fostered. The mainstream media play a decisive role in the Fear Factory.

In 2013, President Obama, almost echoing infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy, brought the enemy even closer, arguing in a speech at the National Defense University that “we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States” — radicalized individuals who were “deranged or alienated individuals — often U.S. citizens or legal residents.” The subtext is that if we want to catch them we need to start looking within. The pretext for the surveillance state is thus established. “By sowing mistrust, by stripping us of our privacy, by taking away our rights, by subjecting us to arbitrary and irrational rules, and by constantly reminding us that this is the only thing between us and death by the hands of terrorists, the T.S.A. and its ilk are sowing fear. And by doing so, they are playing directly into the terrorists’ hands.” A perfect example of such misdirection of fear took place in the case of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, in which the Boston Police Department effectively imposed martial law and seized control of people’s homes. The bombings were terrible (three people died and more than 260 were injured), but just two days later another terrible thing happened: a giant explosion in a fertilizer plant in Texas killed at least 14 people and injured more than 160. Could it have been terrorists? Saddam Hussein allegedly developed WMDs – and Condoleezza Rice already warned of a “mushroom cloud over America”. But while the US spends more than 7 billion dollars a year on the T.S.A.’s national security theater in which over 58,000 T.S.A. employees make sure not too much toothpaste or shampoo is being carried onto airplanes, the budget for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is under $600 million per year (Ludlow, P. 2014). “Americans now live in a society where almost everybody is spying on everyone as being a potential terrorist, and subdued to a measure of state and corporate lawlessness where the arrogance of power has no limits” (Giroux, H. 2014). The National Defense Authorization Act (2012) explicitly gives the American military power to seize and jail every person who is suspect of terrorism anywhere in the world and also inside the US, without charge, legal evidence or trial. The US government uses its gigantic surveillance and data gathering apparatus to prepare political dossiers of people suspected to be dissidents. Political opposition is being criminalized (Martin, P. 2014a). The long history of surveillance on dissenters under programs like COINTELPRO (FBI), MINARET (NSA), and the MINERVA research initiative by the Department of Defense is now being brought to technical perfection (Hamm, B. 2010; Martin, P. 2014b; Ahmed, N. 2014; Whitehead, J. 2014) as well as to judicial consequence: “Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution” (Downs, S., Manley, K. 2014). The 2014 manipulation of Facebook must be seen in this light [20].

The term “nation” is a frequent trigger to create the unthinking crowd reaction. George Bush’s 9/11 address is an example of how he went about creating crowd support for his policies. Over and over, his words stressed the idea that the terrorism of that day was an attack on every American. He led off with “Our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack.” He went on to shape the psychological reactions that would provide the ground for his policies: “…have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.” At this point he invoked the nation: “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation … I’ve directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice” (Rozeff, M.S. 2014). Most ironically, not one person has been brought to justice because of the 9/11 attacks! Patriotism is a major device to secure blind conformity with the governments dealings (Sullivan, C. no date; Kimberley, M. 2014).

The strategy of tension will work best in an environment where general education is poor (The War on Kids 2014; America 'Dead Last' In Education, 2013) and where the media are more or less streamlined. In December 2013, the PEW Research Center published a study on Public Views on Human Evolution according to which six out of ten Americans say that “Humans and other living species have developed over time”, while one third rejected the idea of evolution and said that “Humans and other living species have existed since the beginning of time in their present appearance” (Pew Research Center 2013). There are more than 1,400 daily newspapers in the United States. But there was no single paper, nor a single mainstream TV network, that was unequivocally opposed to the American wars carried out against Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam (Blum, W. 2014a; Lobe, J. 2014; Lyngbaek, A. 2014; Paye, J.-C., Umay, T. 2014). Media have never been more consolidated; six media giants control some ninety percent of what US citizens read, watch, or listen to. Some of them do cooperate, directly or indirectly, with intelligence agencies (Solomon, W. 2014; Bernstein, C. 2014; Leigh, D. 2000).

3. The Deep State

In reality, the world is increasingly governed by the Deep State (also called the Secret Government, Moyers, B. 1987 [21]), uncontrolled by democratic mechanisms, time and again discussed by some “conspiracy theorists”, with massive evidence only recently revealed by Wikileaks and Edward Snowden. Although President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets due to incessant Republican stonewalling, he can liquidate alleged terrorists without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, he can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever. In 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze Washington, the government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya and to provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention in Mali. “At the time of heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control due to the budget crisis, the government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of our electronic life” (Lofgren, M., 2014) [22].

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.” (ibid.).

The Deep State is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President [23] via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress.

There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction in and around the Washington suburbs. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors [Edward Snowden’s former employer; owned by the Carlyle Group]. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings” (ibid.).

The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy” (ibid.). They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, they almost invariably believe in the “Washington Consensus”: financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse “American Exceptionalism”: the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior. Through long established though more and more intensified forms of cooperation, the Deep State reaches far beyond the borders of the US (ibid.).

According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, the classified black budget of the sixteen US intelligence services together was 52.6 billion dollars, and their employed staff was 107,035 [24]. When the House voted not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet, it turned out that the 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters. The investigation showed that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it. Political action committees and employees from defense and intelligence firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and others ponied up $12.97 million in donations for a two-year period ending December 31, 2012. Lawmakers who voted to continue the NSA dragnet-surveillance program averaged $41,635 from the pot, whereas House members who voted to repeal authority averaged $18,765 (Boehm, E. 2014).

America’s national-security elites act on the assumption that every nook and cranny of the globe is of great strategic significance and that threats to US interests are everywhere. Not surprisingly, they live in a constant state of fear. There must be a policy of global domination to make the world safe for America. A short look at the map shows that this perception is ridiculously wrong for geographical reasons. On the other hand, however, the ruling class is constantly creating those very enemies it strives to combat. The national security state is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced. In recent times, that labyrinthine structure of intelligence agencies has morphed into war-fighting outfits: the US military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security, a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual “defense department,” as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists, has never stopped growing (Kravets, D. 2013; London, E. 2014). Among private corporations, “Google’s creeping militarization” has recently been exposed (Cleland, S. 2014).

Obama is just a willing executioner. From the ruling class’s point of view, he’s the perfect figurehead because his mere appearance confuses and disarms so many. He seems to have spent his whole life trying to get chosen to play Judas. And that’s all there is in his resume” (Whitney, M. 2014b; see also Ford, G. 2014a; Ford, G. 2014b; Chomsky, N. 2014). His speeches often sound like from an office in clouded cuckoos land, so distant from the real world [25].

A stunning new report compiles extensive evidence on how some of the world’s largest corporations have partnered with private intelligence firms and government intelligence agencies to spy on activist and nonprofit groups. Environmental activism is a prominent though not exclusive focus of these activities. One of the groups targeted the most, and by a range of different corporations, is Greenpeace. In the 1990s, Greenpeace was tracked by private security firm Beckett Brown International (BBI) on behalf of the world’s largest chlorine producer, Dow Chemical, due to the environmental organization’s campaigning against the use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics. Other Greenpeace offices in France and Europe were hacked and spied on by French private intelligence firms at the behest of Électricité de France, the world’s largest operator of nuclear power plants, 85% owned by the French government. Oil companies Shell and BP had also reportedly hired Hackluyt, a private investigative firm with close links to MI6, to infiltrate Greenpeace. Many of the world’s largest corporations and their trade associations – including the US Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON – have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit organizations, activists and whistleblowers” (Ruskin, G. 2013).

The Deep State is built on the structural advantage the executive has over the legislative and the judiciary; thus, the executive is the prime target of lobbying and donations – it has direct access to law enforcement and repressive intelligence agencies, a partner in international negotiations, the focus of the media, and regularly confers with economic giants. Members of the executive are professionals with a large advantage of information, where members of the legislative are amateurs. While in theory democracy rests on checks and balances, historically, the executive has a tendency to undermine democratic control. A disturbing result of such imbalance is the incredible amount of money dumped in the military without any proper accounting (Black Budget 2013). Most of the official excitement over NSA’s spying is deeply hypocritical. Of course intelligence services were not only spying on other countries and dissident groups, but they were also spying on industry. This was already the case under the Echelon spy system. As long as executive branches perceive each other in the framework of a competitive world this reality is unlikely to change. Quite opposite: The more IT technology advances, the more are surveillance means available to different actors. Despite political rhetoric there is little in sight to change this. Democratic control mechanisms are much too weak to be effective. Very often governments are being kept in the dark about their own spy agency’s cooperation with the NSA (Greenwald, G. 2014; Counter Intelligence: The Deep State).

Covert operations are usually criminal activities conducted by states or state-like institutions and so could be considered as a form of state terrorism, which includes torture, renditions, false flags, regime change, war mongering, warrantless spying, and drone warfare, which along with illegal (by international law) military campaigns such as “shock and awe” qualify as war crimes. There is also criminal behavior in corporations [26].For example, corporate lobbies, together with bribed politicians, make laws to protect and facilitate unlawful behavior, which is then shielded from law enforcement. Also, money laundering helps to wash money of criminal origin so that it can be invested in legal businesses (see Ruppert, M. 2004). The borderlines between legal and illegal behavior has become increasingly blurred. This is especially true at the top of the social hierarchy. Financial industries are especially affected [27]. Operation Gladio, has used Mafia killers to prevent leftists from being democratically elected into office, and the German BND uses right wing extremists and criminals to infiltrate neo-Nazi parties. The “enemy within” theory is used to justify internal repression, practiced for decades to control opposition and dissent. Vice President Dick Cheney was said to have commanded his personal killer squadron, and he personally approved torture, as does Obama (Harris-Gershon, D. 2013; Zenko, M. 2013).

Neoconservative ideology has helped to dismantle state regulations and transfer wealth to the 1%. Now, they are in a position to influence much of state legislation in their favor. They and their fortunes are protected by hosts of lawmakers, managers, accounting firms, lawyers, tax consultants, think tanks, radio stations, film studios, publishers, media outlets, researchers, ghostwriters, lobbyists, body guards and other lackeys in their service. As private property is the golden calf of capitalism, and unregulated capitalism has become the bible of the ruling class, they can even mobilize police forces and ultimately the military on their behalf. Here, the nation-state and its government remain important agencies since they can easily be played off against each other (e.g., tax evasion). Still the rich manage to be admired in public as the true heroes of society, the stars of success, and the personification of what was once called the American Dream (Polk, S. 2014).

This is the end of democracy as we knew it, and the definite takeover of plutocracy.

3. Case Studies

3.1 9/11 – Crime Covered up

The amended Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity, submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 8 February 2005, defines impunity as: "the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims” [28].

There are serious doubts with respect to the 9/11 Commission report: Members of the 9/11 Commission, as well as its executive director Philip Zelikow, had conflicts of interest. Zelikow had closer ties with the White House than he publicly disclosed and had tried to influence the final report in ways that the staff often perceived as limiting the Bush administration’s responsibility and furthering its anti-Iraq agenda. Zelikow had at least four private conversations with former White House political director Karl Rove, and appears to have had many frequent telephone conversations with people in the White House. White House lawyers attempted to stonewall the creation of the commission and to hamstring its work from the outset (Shenon, P. 2013).

The two co-chairs of the Commission, Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, believe that the government established the Commission in a way that ensured that it would fail. In their book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (Kean, T.H., Hamilton, L.H. 2006) describing their experience, Hamilton listed a number of reasons for reaching this conclusion, including: the late establishment of the Commission and the very short deadline imposed on its work; the insufficient funds, initially allocated for conducting such an extensive investigation (later the Commission requested additional funds but received only a fraction of the funds requested and the chairs still felt hamstrung); the many politicians who opposed the establishment of the Commission; the continuing resistance and opposition to the work of the Commission by many politicians, particularly those who did not wish to be blamed for anything of what happened; the deception of the Commission by various key government agencies, including the Department of Defense, NORAD and the FAA; and, the denial of access by various agencies to documents and witnesses. "So there were all kinds of reasons we thought we were set up to fail."

Troubled by the fact that so many of the facts related to 9/11 remain uninvestigated, in 2013 I asked about a dozen friends and colleagues in the US academe: “Could you please help me to understand why nobody takes the perpetrators to court with all the evidence provided?” I only received one serious reaction which I quote here in anonymity:

“First, I cannot say I believe the official narrative because there was no careful scientific study of the event by government officials. The events of September 11, 2001 are therefore open to alternative theories. All theories about this event, including the official one, are by definition conspiracy theories, i.e. explanations for criminal events by reference to a plot conceived by two or more persons in secret. To trust any theory about a conspiracy (or anything, for that matter) without a careful review of all the evidence would be irresponsible. I remain agnostic on the matter.

Second, I do not believe that the US government will conduct a careful scientific study of the event. Not given things as they stand today. If the official version were shown to be false in any nontrivial regard, then that might risk delegitimizing the war on terror. As a rationale for imperialism and domestic repression, the war on terror is much too important to lose in these times of crisis. Even the perception that things didn't happen the way the government says they did could mean trouble. Therefore the matter is closed. The Commission Report is definitive. There will be no criminal investigation.

Third, anybody in the United States who espouses alternative theories, especially in the academy, is ridiculed and marginalized. The people I know who find several aspects of the official narrative problematic have reckoned that, in light of the almost certain truth that speaking up will have no effect, the personal costs of challenging the government theory are greater than the public benefits. The United States is now a closed and punishing society. People are hunkered down. Why risk one's career for nothing? No alternative theory will gain any popular traction.

Fourth, even if we accept the official narrative, key acknowledged facts prove criminal negligence by the Bush Administration. This event would not have happened had the government dedicated itself to preventing it. However, for reasons already noted, these facts have and will continue to amount to nothing. Bush and his staff will never be held responsible for the worst security failure in US history. Obama is continuing - indeed expanding and entrenching - the neoconservative policies of his predecessor. He has no interest in pursuing a criminal investigation into criminal negligence.

So, in a real sense, the question of whether this happened the way the government says it did, is somewhat beside the point. It happened the way they did because that's the way they need it to be. However it happened, they would have used it to devastate society.”

To be sure: The point here is not about finding out the truth of what happened how, and who is responsible. Rather, the question is who is actively preventing a new investigation with all the doubts on the table.

The
 9/11
 attacks
 were
 used
 to
 justify
 an
 institutional
 revolution
 meant
 to
 complete
 a
 process
 of
 integration
 and
 coordination
 of
 all
 the
 assets
 of
 US
 national
 power
 through
 a
 strategic
 communication
 (SC)
 campaign
 deployed
 on
 a
 global
 scale.
The
 ‘Global
 War
 on
 Terror’
 (GWOT)
 nurtured
 a
 narrative
 of
 crisis
 associated
 with
 this
 unprecedented
 public
 education
 effort.
 In
 order
 to
 sell
 its
 approaches,
 the
 United
 States
 government
 relied
 on
 a
 network
 of
 ‘experts’:
 military
 veterans,
 high‐ranking
 officers
such
 as
 Admirals
 as
 well
 as
 professional
 journalists
 and
 academics
 who
 contributed
 to
 forging
 a
 consensus,
or,
 as
 Michel
Foucault
 would
 call
 it,
 a
 ‘regime
 of
 truth’
 that
 claims
 a
 certain
 interpretation
 to 
be 
right 
and 
true, 
while
 ignoring 
or 
discrediting 
critics 
and 
dissenting 
narratives” (Gygax, J., Snow, N. 2013”). Much of the official narrative of 9/11 was based on the confessions of Khaled Sheikh Mohammad which, however, were pressed out of him under torture not only of himself but also of his son in his plain sight. [29]

3.2 Ukraine – Regime Change

For years, the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine was of minor importance. Many European politicians, first of all the German Chancellor, showed provocative disinterest in Ukraine. When, in November 2013, Russia asked for access to the negotiation table, it was rebuffed by the EU.

While Brussels was playing for time, the US was preparing the overthrow of the government. Since the end of the Cold War the United States has been surrounding Russia, building one military base after another, ceaselessly looking for new ones, including in Ukraine. The US deployment of new weapon systems in Eastern Europe is consistent with a plan for antagonizing Moscow that was proposed in the Washington Post by the Obama administration’s ideological godfather, Zbigniew Brzezinski, immediately after a group of self-proclaimed Maidan leaders chased away the elected government. It betrays all those who suspect that he might have changed his position in his recent publications: “The West should promptly recognize the current government of Ukraine as legitimate. Uncertainty regarding its legal status could tempt Putin to repeat his Crimean charade. … Meanwhile, NATO forces, consistent with the organization’s contingency planning, should be put on alert. High readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U.S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful. If the West wants to avoid a conflict, there should be no ambiguity in the Kremlin as to what might be precipitated by further adventurist use of force in the middle of Europe” (Brzezinski, Z. 2014).

The US had tried, but failed, to take Ukraine in 2004 with the Washington-financed “Orange Revolution.” According to Assistant Secretary of State (and wife to PNAC godfather Robert Kagan) Victoria Nuland, since this failure Washington has invested $5 billion in Ukraine in order to foment agitation for EU membership for Ukraine [30]. EU membership would open Ukraine to looting by Western bankers and corporations, but Washington’s main goal is to establish US missile bases on Russia’s border with Ukraine and to deprive Russia of its Black Sea naval base and military industries in eastern Ukraine. EU membership for Ukraine means NATO membership (Roberts, P.C. 2014b).

When President Yanukovich declared on 21 November he would not sign the EU association agreement, clashes erupted in the streets of Kiev. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets and to Maidan Square on December weekends. This was the critical stage of a campaign fueled by the three opposition parties „Fatherland“ (Yuljia Tymochenko, Arsenji Yatsenyuk), „Bang“ (German Konrad Adenauer Foundation funded box champion Vitali Klitschko) and „Freedom“ (Svoboda leader and closely tied in the network of European fascist parties, Oleh Tjahnybok). Their common goal was to oust President Viktor Yanukovych whose Party of the Regions had succeeded in the 2012 elections. Kiev’s membership in the EU would then not be far off; after which the country could embrace the joys of neo-conservatism, receiving the benefits of the standard privatization-deregulation-austerity package and join Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain as an impoverished orphan of the family. Crimea's deputy prime minister, Olga Kovitidi, described as predatory the terms of an agreement Kiev is ready to accept from the International Monetary Fund (Voice of Russia, 2014).

Since the 2004 revolt, fascist militias had been built up and paid for who would now ignite the actual uprisings and prevent compromise (Svoboda, Right Sector). They call for violence, and occupy provincial governments in the mostly agricultural and right-wing West of the country. In the Western regions of Lwow, Ternopol, Rovno, Luzk and Iwano-Frankowsk and others, they stormed office buildings and pressed governors to sign their resignations. While thousands of people took part in anti-government protests in Kiev, a small group of radical fighters were at the core of the violent clashes. Judging by their looks and actions, they are armed, trained and prepared for war. Apart from individual gear, the rioters know urban guerrilla tactics. The protesters were also well-prepared for offensive. They had a wide assortment of melee weapons.

The National Endowment for Democracy website [31] lists 65 projects that it has supported financially in recent years in Ukraine. Their programs impart the basic philosophy that people are best served under a system of free enterprise, minimal government intervention in the economy, and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free-market economy is equated with democracy, reform, and growth; and the merits of foreign investment in their economy are emphasized. The NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities. NED receives virtually all its financing from the US government. Why were Washington officials grooming a replacement for President Yanukovych, legally and democratically elected in 2010 who, in the face of protests, moved elections up so he could have been voted out of office – not thrown out by a mob? Yanukovych made repeated important concessions, including amnesty for those arrested and offering, on January 25, to make two of his adversaries prime minister and deputy prime minister; all to no avail. Key elements of the protestors, and those behind them, wanted their putsch. Ukraine’s junta prime minister announced March 7 that he has invited the NATO Council to hold a meeting in Kiev over the recent developments in the country. “I invited the North Atlantic Council to visit Kiev and hold a meeting there,” Arseny Yatsenyuk said during a visit to Brussels, where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU officials. “We believe that it will strengthen our cooperation” (Blum, W. 2014a).

In addition to NED, the foreign donors included the U.S. State Department and USAID along with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, the NGO Freedom House and George Soros's Open Society Institute (Ames, M. 2014). They all have supported non-governmental democracy-building efforts in Eastern Europe since 1988. Each of these social movements included extensive work by student activists. The most famous of these was Otpor, the youth movement that helped bring in Vojislav Koštunica. In Georgia the movement was called Kmara. In Ukraine the movement has worked under the succinct slogan “Pora“ ("It's Time"). Pora was built up in Ukraine in 2004 in order to assist in regime change. “We trained them in how to set up an organization, how to open a local chapter, how to develop a brand with logo, symbols, and key messages”, said an Otpor activist in the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “We trained them in how to detect societies‘ weaknesses and what the most burning problems of the population are.” Srdja Popovic, Otpor’s founder and director, was found to have close working relationships with US intelligence firm Stratfor. He boasted to be a revolutionary for hire (Gibson, C., Horn, S. 2013; Traynor, I. 2004). Many of the protest actions including criminal offenses against security personnel and the takeover of government buildings, accompanied by assassinations and acts of violence against many had been supported, organized and planned in cooperation with the US embassy and representatives and politicians of the EU who not only meddled into the inner affairs of Ukraine but also by the fascist guerrillas they raised up and made them commit acts of aggression against the country, among them the sniper killings of February 20 and the Odessa massacre of May 2, 2014 [32].

Already in 1992-95, the IMF imposed structural adjustment program had reduced Ukraine’s GDP by sixty per cent. Now, conditions for new credits include doubling gas prizes, increase fees for public services, cut social services and funds for education, limit wages and pensions, lay-offs in the public sector, investment guarantees for foreign private corporations, and devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by Western corporations (Burke, M. 2014). Ukraine’s agriculture lands will pass into the hands of American agribusiness. “For Ukraine, the association agreement with the EU means to transfer to Brussels all sovereign tasks for the regulation of commerce and external relations, technical standards, veterinary, hygiene and disease inspections and to open its market to European goods. The agreement contains some thousand pages of EU directives to be followed by Ukraine. Every chapter demands that Ukraine’s legal system must be brought to correspond to the European system. Moreover, Ukraine not only accepts the obligation to follow EU’s present directives but also future ones without being eligible to contribute to their wording” (Glazyev, S. no date). It was all too clear for President Yanukovych and his partisans that the elections of 2015 could not be won on this basis. Permission to set up a missile shield, also included in the IMF package, was a pure provocation to Russia. Also, the 11 billion euros that the EU is offering Kiev is not aid, it is a loan. It comes with many strings, including Kiev’s acceptance of the IMF austerity plan.

The Obama administration’s rationale for supporting the fascist-led coup in Ukraine collapsed on March 7 when a hacked phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who fired on protestors in Maidan Square in Kiev on February 20, 2014, were not aligned with President Yanukovych, but with the protest leaders themselves. Estonian foreign ministry has confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief is authentic. Urmas Paet said that snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by Maidan leaders.

With pro-Russian candidates off the ballot, Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok is a dominant political power in Ukraine. He certainly is a bigger votegetter than Yatsenyuk, whose main responsibility is to negotiate with the West over financial aid and the EU package, and Vitali Klitschko who announced he will be running for mayor of Kiev. In recognition of Tyahnbyok’s clout, Svoboda members got the posts of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Ecology, and acting prosecutor general. A founder of the Social Nationalist party was made secretary of the Ukraine National Security and Defense Council. Several hundred members and supporters of the militant nationalist Right Sector swarmed Ukraine's parliament building for the second day in a row on March 28 to demand the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and an investigation into the suspicious death earlier in the week of one of its leaders [33]. This new though illegal government composed according to US wishes and flattered by Western heads of state, has announced to sign the EU association agreement successively. It has asked the US for far-reaching military assistance. And it has brought the country’s gold reserves into US custody (Chossudovsky, M. 2014).

They did not wait until a legitimate government were elected on May 25 but were eager to create faits accomplis.

Not only had the members of the “government” been handpicked by the US State Department, but also President Poroshenko, oligarch and close State Depatment affiliate (Collins, M. 2014). The National Guard mostly recruited from Svoboda and the fascist Right Sector, is commanded by the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, and equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, and openly displays a symbolic swastika as their emblem, and so does the Azov Battallion. “The American public does not know that their government continues to support neo-nazi groupings with money, arms and training. Nobody in the US knows this because the words neo-nazi, or fascist, in connection with the Ukraine are taboo (Chossudovsky, M. 2014b). Claims have often been made that mercenaries of the firm formerly known as Blackwater operate in the city of Donetsk. Numerous FBI and CIA agents assist the putsch government to combat “criminal elements” in the Eastern parts of the country. The alleged peace plan submitted by Poroshenko was intentionally unacceptable by the pro-Russian side because it demanded their disarmament but not disarmament of the government forces.

The conflicts in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria have one thing in common: In all three cases there are leading groups steering the “opposition” that want absolutely nothing to do with democracy — these groups are as far-right as politics gets: European-style fascism in Ukraine, Islamic extremism in Syria, and in Venezuela the elite-favored tradition of military dictatorships. But there has been a virtual U.S. media blackout as to the leadership of the movements in Ukraine, Syria, and Venezuela, and for good reason; if these groups come to power, the country will be far worse off than it is now. The American public would give zero support to these groups if they knew the truth, which is why the level of U.S. media misinformation about these groups is as Orwellian as the workings of Obama's NSA. (Cooke, S. 2014). A State Department official was quoted saying that the US would "affirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries and for all post-Soviet states" (Brunnstorm, D. 2014).

What is this all about? What interests does the US government have in Ukraine? In a process of steady hegemonic decline, the US has deliberately provoked the Ukraine conflict in order to prevent the deeper cooperation between Europe and Russia. Should it succeed it might even open doors to export American fracking gas to Europe. Ukraine could even invent arguments to encourage a direct NATO-Russian confrontation. “As with the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine could then develop into a theme park for the CIA – personally directed by CIA director John Brennan from Kiev, with dozens of special forces of FBI and CIA to build a “security structure” to prosecute all those not in agreement with the February coup” (Pilger, J. 2014). Above all, the sanctions and pinprick policy against Russia is of little cost for the US as it has close to no commercial exchange with Russia – quite contrary to the EU. Their economic decline in consequence of the sanctions is most welcome as it preserves the US hegemonic role for the time being.

In strange uniformity the Western mainstream media have adopted an interpretation of events which ignores Western provocative actions as well as selfish interests of the West, and demonize President Putin and Russia (Smith, P. 2014). Interestingly enough, this goes to a large extent against public opinion as revealed in opinion polls. It is mostly the Western media which foment Cold War sentiments and thus play into the hands of neocon politicians. Most presumably the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17 and the almost total secrecy in which the US intelligence and the expert investigations are veiled must be seen in this context.

3.3 TISA, TIPP and TTIP

In 1995 the World Trade Organization (WTO) grew out of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Its first and most important project was the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) planned to concede to transnational corporations far-reaching rights against member states. After first draft texts were leaked and developing countries opposed the thrust of the negotiations, the negotiation process was transferred to the OECD, the organization of highly industrialized countries in order to “avoid undue politicization”. When draft texts were passed over to NGOs, a broad public campaign began to oppose the agreement which finally led first to a moratorium, then to an end of the negotiations. However, some of the intended contents became included in numerous bilateral agreements. Now new efforts are being made to once again establish agreements friendly to TNC wishes: the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). While both processes are kept behind closed doors in almost total secrecy, it happens, once again, that NGOs could get hold of individual sections of drafts under negotiation.

TISA is being prepared as an international trade agreement between the US, the EU and 21 additional countries. It is supposed to liberalize some seventy per cent of worldwide service industries. In both the US and the EU some 75 per cent of the GNP fall in the service category. Negotiations began in March 2013 and partners have submitted their offers by the end of that year. In June 2014 WikiLeaks published the draft chapter for financial services. The agreement is supposed to extent “regulatory principles” to all service sectors including many public services (water and transport, public libraries, theaters, sports facilities and many more). The rules would allow all foreign competitors to access domestic service markets to the same conditions as domestic suppliers, and would restrict government capabilities to regulate, to buy or to offer such services. Thus, regulation of many public or commercial services would no longer happen in the interest of the common good but rather in the interest of foreign corporate profits. The agreement should not only be kept secret during negotiations but also for five years after entering into force [34].

Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.” The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP, for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than sixty per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China. Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The draft states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence [35].

On April 30, 2007, a Framework Agreement was signed between the EU and the US. With it, the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council was set up to prepare negotiations which then started formally by mid-2013. A High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth chaired by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht was entrusted with bringing the negotiations forward. Its membership was not publicly disclosed until the Corporate Europe Observatory revealed their background in Business Europe and the Bertelsmann Foundation, both with strong neoliberal inclinations. None of them had a democratic mandate.

Primarily, TTIP is about the abolishment of non-tariff trade barriers, rules and standards. This includes, e.g., the clear declaration of genetically manipulated organisms in food which is mandatory in the EU but not in the US. Corporations like Monsanto have since long been critical of such regulations and lobby their being abolished, so they can sell their seeds and products on the European market. Hydraulic Fracturing is common in the US but forbidden in the EU, including the import of shield gas. Another issue on the agenda is the withdrawal of controls and restrictions, introduced after the financial crisis of 2008, for the financial sector, with City of London lobbies on the forefront.

TTIP is heavily criticized by NGOs for being negotiated without any democratic participation. The effects on economic growth and employment put in favor of it by its proponents are expected to be only marginal while being more than offset in a race to the bottom by undermining environmental, health and work standards in the sole interests of corporate profits. A major critical issue is the planned Investor-State Dispute Settlement which gives corporations a one-way right to sue governments in case they see their profits endangered by public regulation, while states would not have similar rights. This mechanism would exclude any resort to the judiciary. Once signed, the convention could not be altered without unanimous consensus among all member parties.

As is the case with TPP, TTIP negotiations exclude not only the public but also members of national or European parliaments, even members of national governments from insight into the documents. Parallel to attempts to fast-track ratification in the US, it is under debate in the EU whether or not the European Commission shall be the only responsible to sign the final legally binding contract.

The hurry which the US government is imposing on the negotiations is easily understandable: With European Parliament elections on May 25, and Obama’s term of office expiring, with Russia’s gas deal with China and its efforts to get rid of its US-dollar reserves, with the BRICS understanding to set up an own version of the World Bank and the IMF, and with increasing opposition in civil society, the agreements are on high risk, indeed. They might not survive public scrutiny once the texts are fully exposed. The secrecy of the negotiations despite the fact that those agreements, once ratified, would have deep implications on everybody’s life demonstrates to what extent democracy has already been damaged by our governments, the takeover by the Deep State.

4. Conclusion

“Illegitimate authority is on the rise and democracy is gradually succumbing to the disease of neoliberal ideology so that more and more functions of legitimate government are being assumed by illegitimate, unelected, opaque agents and organizations. This is the case at all levels, national, regional and international…. It is not exactly news that governments have always governed on behalf of certain class interests but this is different from allowing those interests to actually write the legislation and to make policy directly, including budgetary, financial, labor, social and environmental policy in the place of elected legislators and civil servants. It is different from allowing private corporations deliberately to disseminate deception and lies and undermine the public’s right to know. It’s not just their size, their enormous wealth and assets that make the TNCs dangerous to democracy. It’s also their concentration, their capacity to influence, and often infiltrate, governments and their ability to act as a genuine international social class in order to defend their commercial interests against the common good” (George, S. 2014). Susan George accurately describes the paths our Western societies are following, the US most advanced, others lagging somewhat behind. It seems to be a one-way process without any escape towards democracy. The three case studies demonstrate convincingly the degree to which the Dark State has already overtaken our political systems, both domestic and international.

The global ruling class feeling that US world hegemony is approaching its end and uncertain about its own fate seems to be obsessed by paranoia, and running amok with only one goal left: to fill as much as possible into its own coffers. It even abstains from the impression of following the rule of law [36]. Belligerent behavior towards other countries goes hand in hand with sharply increasing social tensions and conflict within.

US exceptionalism, by its very definition, is the deep conviction of one’s general superiority over others. Thus, it is a fundamentally intolerant and pre-enlightenment attitude. At the same time, it tends to turn a blind eye against own shortcomings, deficits and wrongdoings. From it follows the self-attributed right to teach others, to impose on others one’s role model of morale and of social organization, to exert power on others, to maintain the role of world policeman. Contempt of international law follows from the idea that law is as we do. Little wonder that others in the course of political, economic, and cultural emancipation, decreasingly accept this master-and-serf model of power distribution. There is revolt in other parts of the world, and sometimes violently critical of “the West”. The world will de-Americanize, as one Chinese diplomat put it. In fact it already does [37]. Washingstons aggressive and provocative foreign policy, short-sighted, arrogant and egomaniac, will not pay out. The BRICS 2014 Fortalezza summit clearly send signs of a new world order with a multipolar power structure.

But real and lasting change must come from within US society [38].

This paper was written for a special edition of FORESIGHT on Who Rules the World? edited by Dennis Morgan, to be published this fall by Emerald

Bernd Hamm is professor emeritus of sociology, University of Trier, now living in Berlin, Germany. His recent publications include Devastating Society – The Neo-conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice (London 2005), Cultural Imperialism – Essays on the Political Economy of Cultural Domination (ed. together with Russell Smandych, Ann Arbor 2005) and Umweltkatastrophen (Environmental Catastrophies, Marburg 2011). He can be reached under hamm@uni-trier.de
 

Notes and References

All internet sources have been checked end of June 2014

Notes

[1] Also, see Holbrook, 1953; more recently, Landes, 2006; Marshall, A.G., 2013; This comes close to what the Occupy movement, Attac and some authors call the global 1 % even it is, of course, about a group much less numerous than one per cent of the global population

[2] born 28.2.1961 in Syrjanowsk, East Kasachstan, has nothing to do with Fred C. Koch, the father of the Koch brothers, owners of Koch industries, born 23.9.1900 in Texas

[3] The financial industry even profits of budget shutdown, cf. Chossudovsky, M. 2013

[4] http://www.nationalhomeless.org/; “It is now illegal in 33 cities to feed homeless people”, http://www.kulturekritic.com/2014/06/news/it-is-now-illegal-in-33-cities-to-feed-homeless-people/

[5] among the sources used here are: Homeless line up for food, Los Angeles weighs restrictions, New York Times, 26 November 2013; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37243.htm; Homeless in Detroit allege they are being driven out of downtown, http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/28/homeless-in-detroitallegetheyarebeingdrivenoutofdowntown.html; Buchheit, P. (2013a), 3 Shocking Ways Inequality Keeps Getting Worse in America, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37256.htm; Poverty in America Is Mainstream, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/poverty-in-america-is-mainstream/; America's Food Stamp Cut Stories You Probably Haven't Heard About, http://mediamattersforamerica.tumblr.com/post/70211048750/americas-food-stamp-cut-stories-you-probably-havent; A Record Number of Americans Can't Afford Their Rent, http://www.alternet.org/record-number-americans-cant-afford-their-rent; Thousands of Homeless People Live in Shantytowns at the Epicenter of High-Tech, Super-Rich Silicon Valley, http://www.alternet.org/hard-times-usa/jungle-thousands-homeless-people-live-shantytowns-epicenter-high-tech-super-rich; 30 Percent Of Americans Skip Out On Medical Care Because It's Too Expensive, http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/12/10/3041821/americans-skip-health-care-2013/; Zeese, K., Flowers, M., America Is the Most Inhumane Developed Country on the Planet. Are We Going to Let It Stay That Way? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37134.htm; Buchheit, P., (2013b), Retirement Theft in 4 Despicable Steps, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37313.htm; The war on women: The newly invisible and undeserving poor in America, http://opendemocracy.net/5050/ruth-rosen/war-on-women-newly-invisible-and-undeserving-poor-in-america; Black Women Are 40 Percent More Likely To Die From Breast Cancer Than White Women, http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/12/20/3095981/black-women-breast-cancer-mortality/; Covert, B., (2013), Forty Percent Of Workers Made Less Than $20,000 Last Year, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37243.htm; see also Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America, e.g., http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39419.htm; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39209.htm; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39275.htm

[6] see, e.g., Ahmed, N.M. (2005); Chossudovsky, M. (2005); or recently Ryan, K.R. (2013); http://www.911truth.org/category/resources_and_materials/

[7] Numbers are from 20 July 2014, www.informationclearinghouse.com: 1.455.590 Iraqis murdered in the USK war against and the occupation of Iraq; number of US military personnel sacrifized (officially confirmed) in the US war against and the occupation of Iraq 4.801; number of international occupation forces murdered in Afghanistan: 3.455; costs of the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan $1.547.053.860.087

[8] ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was supported by the US as an ally in the attempt to oust President Bashar al Assad; within only days, IS became the enemy number one and Assad was turned from foe to friend who’s help is requested: Roberts, P.C. (2014), “The Leninist in the White House, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39521.htm; ISIS: Made in Washington, Riyadh - and Tel Aviv, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39504.htm; Baghdadi 'Mossad trained', http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=381153

[9] The Case for Goliath: how America acts as the world’s government in the twenty-first century (2005); Democracy’s Good Name: the rise and risks of  the world’s most popular form of government (2007); Frugal Superpower: America’s global leadership in a cash-strapped era (2010)

[10] Team B was partly recruited from the Committee on the Present Danger which first met in 1950. It lobbied the government directly and sought to influence public opinion through a publicity campaign. This iteration of the CPD was disbanded in 1953 when its leaders were offered positions in the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was privately revived in March 1976 and provided 33 officials to the Ronald Reagan administration including Director of Central Intelligence William Casey, National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Navy John Lehman, Secretary of State George Shultz, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle. In June 2004 a third incarnation of CPD was being planned to address the War on Terrorism. It’s still active: “Today, the CPD includes over 100 former White House officials, Ambassadors, Cabinet Secretaries, academics, writers, and other foreign policy experts. Its Co-Chairmen are the Honorable George Shultz, Secretary of State under President Reagan, and R. James Woolsey, Director of the CIA under President Clinton. Senators Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl serve as Honorary Co-Chairs”; see Committee on the Present Danger homepage, http://www.committeeonthepresentdanger.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=54

[11] Landay, J.M., (2002), The Powell Manifesto: How a Prominent Lawyer’s Attack Memo Changed America, mediatransparency.org, August 20, cited in Nace, T., 2003:137; Nace, T. (2003), chapter 12, gives a lively account on how the Revolt of the Bosses was instigated

[12] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

[13] see, among other sources, Galtung, J., (2007), The State of the World, Journal of Futures Studies, 12, August, 1: 145 – 160

[14] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY2DKzastu8

[15] further information on its members and their activities, see Lobe, J. (2014)

[16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions; see also Vltchek, A. (2014). Only recently it became known that “for two years from 2010 on the United States Agency for International Development USAID had developed an internet service similar to Twitter for the people of Cuba. Its long term goal is it to foment public uprisings against the government and to destabilize the country”, http://thiscantbehappening.net/zunzuneo. Many hints to drug trading, money laundering and other crimes committed by the CIA cannot be followed up here, cf. Ruppert, M. (2004) or Edmonds, S. (http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-595-sibel-edmonds-on-nato-terrorism-911-and-drug-running/).

[17] U.S. State Dept. Document Confirms Regime Change Agenda in Middle East, http://mebriefing.com/?p=789

[18] it goes without saying that these three names stand for a number of others; see Ruppert, M. (2004), Chossudovsky, M. (2005), and go on to Stone, O., Kuznick, P. (2013); Chris Floyd: A Future in Hell: The Bitter Fruits of Bellicose Policy. When the Soviet Union fell, there was an opening -- a genuine opening -- to make a better world. But America's bipartisan elites refused to take that path. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39161.htm

[19] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension

[20] Video - Facebook mind control experiments linked to DoD research on civil unrest:

Facebook's experiment on over half-a-million unsuspecting users has taken a new twist with the revelation that a researcher connected to a Department of Defense-funded program to use the military to quell civil unrest also participated in the study. http://rt.com/usa/169848-pentagon-facebook-study-minerva/

[21] One of the few who have intensively written about the Deep State is Peter Dale Scott (see, for a fist intro, Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State, Deep Events, and Off-the-Books Financing," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 14, No. 3, April 6, 2014; and his website with large amounts of material: http://www.peterdalescott.net/q.html); see also Curtin, E. (2014)

[22] Ubiquitous surveillance is making fast and frightening progress: U.S. Funds "Terror Studies" to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39009.htm; The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39211.htm; The Rise to Power of the National Security State. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39323.htm; How America's Police Became an Army: The 1033 Program, http://www.newsweek.com/how-americas-police-became-army-1033-program-264537; Pentagon's 1033 Program is Preparing for War Against the Civil Population, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39451.htm; US police given billions from Homeland Security for 'tactical' equipment, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/20/police-billions-homeland-security-military-equipment

[23] which also houses OIRA, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency primarily concerned with shielding private corporations from regulations to be enacted by Congress, along with the Council of Economic Advisors, the National Security Staff, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Security Advisor, and others

[24] http://de.scribd.com/doc/164056434/FY-2013-Congressional-Budget-Justification

[25] So, e.g., in a recent interview: "If you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, not knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you'd choose this time. The world is less violent than it has ever been." http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/06/11/obama_the_world_is_less_violent_than_it_has_ever_been.html

[26] http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/, see their archives; The examples are too many to be cited; a few recent headlines must suffice: 26 top American corporations paid no federal income tax from '08 to '12, http://rt.com/usa/low-corporate-tax-rates-275/. Nader, R., (), Medical Price Gouging Skyrocketing, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37383.htm; Parramore, L.S., (), The Ayn Rand-Worshipping Sears CEO That Blew Up His Multibillion Dollar Empire, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37069.htm; Buchheit, P., (), 5 Ways Our Lives Are Being Violated by Corporate Greed, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37028.htm; Reich, R., (), The Year of the Great Redistribution, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37305.htm; Hudson, M. (), The "Iron-fisted Kleptocratic Financial Oligarchy". 95% Income Growth Goes to the 1%. Video. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37389.htm

[27] Eskow, R., (2014a), Now We Know. JPMorgan Chase is Worse Than Enron, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37445.htm; Eskow, R., (2014b), Crime Doesn't Pay? JPMorgan Chase Begs to Differ, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37481.htm; JPMorgan gives CEO Jamie Dimon a raise despite shelling out $20 bln in fines, http://rt.com/usa/jpmorgan-dimon-raise-fines-165/; £2m: average pay award for JP Morgan's top staff in 2012 revealed, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/01/2m-average-bonus-jp-morgan-bankers?CMP=twt_fd; JPMorgan Chase Nears a $2 Billion Deal in a Case Tied to Madoff, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/jpmorgan-chase-nears-a-2-billion-deal-in-a-case-tied-to-madoff/?_r=0; Bank pays bribe to avoid jail, http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/07/jpmorgan-fined-in-madoff-case/4354087/; New Revelation : AG Eric Holder Is Protecting JPMorgan Chase NYC From Criminal Investigation: http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18387-new-revelation-that-attorney-general-eric-holder-is-protecting-jpmorgan-chase-nyc-from-criminal-investigation

[28] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impunity

[29] http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2007/04/guantanamo-detainees-father-says-son.php

[30] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSxaa-67yGM#t=89

[31] www.ned.org

[32] http://nsnbc.me/2014/05/10/odessa-massacre-detail-investigation/. A leaked telephone conversation between High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet revealed that the snipers who killed people protesting on Maidan Square, Kiev, on 20 February 2014 were not part of President Yanukovych’s forces as claimed by many western media but rather belonged to the protest leaders themselves. The Estonian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the authenticity of the conversation.

[33] http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/right-sector-pickets-parliament-demands-avakovs-resignation-341218.html

[34] https://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/

[35] https://wikileaks.org/tpp/pressrelease.html

[36] the latest example being General Keith Alexander, retired chief of the NSA: “Perhaps you already assume that there's some kind of twisted marriage between Wall Street megabanks and the U.S. global surveillance regime. Why wouldn't there be? But not even a total cynic could have anticipated spymaster Keith Alexander cashing in this hard, this fast. As Bloomberg recently reported, the former National Security Agency chief, who resigned in March at the age of 62, quickly offered his cyber-security expertise at the eye-popping price of $1 million per month to an assortment of shady business lobbies.” http://www.vice.com/read/nsa-surveillance-mastermind-keith-alexander-selling-us-secrets-to-wall-street-630; The NSA's Cyber-King Goes Corporate: Here's why Keith Alexander thinks he's worth a million dollars a month. http://tinyurl.com/q88snwd; Son of U.S. Vice President joins Board of Directors For Ukraine Gas Company, By Dispatch News Desk. Kiev: Hunter Biden is now on Board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine's largest private gas producer. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38486.htm

[37] De-Americanization and the decline of US global hegemony have been predicted by many, including Johan Galtung, Chalmers Johnson, Emmanuel Todd; the process seems to accelerate partly in consequence of the US meddlings in Ukraine, the ongoing attempts to antagonize Europe and Russia, and its continuing support to the criminal Netanyahu government. See, e.g., “China calls for new Asian security structure based on group with Russia, Iran that excludes U.S.”, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/21/china-calls-for-new-asian-security-structure-based-on-group-with-russia-iran/. As a reaction to the stonewalling of the US against reforms of the IMF and the World Bank decided in 2010, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are setting up alternative institutions which escape US and Western control; Durden, T. (2014); Snyder, M. (2014) discuss the de-dollarization of the global economy; China is publishing its own annual human rights report and sets up its own rating agency; see also James Petras, Positive Thoughts on Dark Times, Current Affairs, 14 July 2014, available at https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/07/positive-thoughts-on-dark-times/; Currency Wars - Europe Seeks Alternative To 'Dollar Imperialism': Today in Brussels the French Finance Minister, Michel Sapin, will start a debate with his EU counterparts on how the European Union can reduce its dependency on the U.S. dollar. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-08/currency-wars-europe-seeks-alternative-dollar-imperialism

[38] Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are observing a “Democracy Rebellion Rolls Across United States as Americans Are Repeatedly Shown How Anti-Democratic the Government Really Is,” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39077.htm
 

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