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Netizen Report: Journalism Edition

Image by Flickr user European Parliament (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Most of this report was researched, written and edited by Weiping Li, James Losey, Tom Risen and Sarah Myers.

The past few weeks have seen promising developments in the use of online journalism to counter official narratives in countries under political upheaval.

The Network for Iraqi Reporters for Investigative Journalism launched in mid-June, becoming the first investigative journalism website in Iraq devoted to stories of “corruption, mismanagement of funds and power across Iraq.” Its articles will be published in Arabic, English and Kurdish. Syrian video activists have also launched an effort to create an online alternative to state-run media. Rami Jarrah, founder of the Activists News Association, hopes the network will transform the activists, who have been using video cameras to document the uprising, into citizen journalists whose work could eventually supplant that of the state media should Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be forced from power.

Independent websites have also played an important role in covering the Mexican presidential election, which took place on July 1, as an alternative to the mainstream media which have been accused of favoring the front-runner candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. Online news websites such as Animal Político, SinEmbargo.com, and ADN Político have provided investigative reporting and data analysis.

In this week’s Netizen Report, we cover more Internet innovations created by netizens to promote political and social change, alongside other developments related to the global struggle for freedom and control on the Internet.

Netizen Activism

Netizens around the world are using the Internet to monitor the performance of elected politicians. For instance, Egyptian non-profit initiative Zabatak created a website to track progress on campaign promises made by newly-elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. In Taiwan, netizens started creating Facebook fan pages (in Chinese) to oversee the performance of legislators; Facebook users create a fan page for each lawmaker and post the lawmakers’ voting records, speeches, events and legislation information.

As the global battle over the Internet's future rages, more than 85 organizations including free speech advocacy group Free Press, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation jointly announced a “Declaration of  Internet Freedom” on July 2. The declaration emphasizes five core principles of Internet Freedom: free expression, access, openness, innovation and privacy.

Shortly after the declaration's announcement, libertarian internet policy think tanks TechFreedom and the Competitive Enterprise Institute published a rival declaration.  TechFreedom president Berin Szoka warned that the Free Press declaration leaves the door open for government intervention in the name of Internet freedom, or for favoring certain digital business models over others. Free Press’ Internet Campaign Director Josh Levy dismissed those claims but welcomed further debate about the declaration’s principles.

Microblogging is thriving in China despite the intensified censorship and crackdown on online “rumors.” The Washington Post profiled microbloggers in China and how they push for accountability while adapting to shifting censorship laws.

Censorship

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong released WeiboScope, a tool for detecting censorship on the China’s popular microblogging website Sina Weibo. The tool downloads pages over time to detect changes that may be politically motivated.

Bloomberg was reportedly blocked in mainland China following a report about the financial assets of Vice President Xi Jinping and his family. Following the incident, a U.S. State Department Official noted that the U.S. supports freedom of expression online in China.

Even as Chinese government tightens its Internet censorship, The New York Times has launched a Chinese language news website. Editor Joseph Kahn said that the newspaper is aware of the censorship issue in China, but will still “follow the paper’s journalistic standards.” The Times also launched microblogging accounts in popular Chinese web portals: Sina, Sohu and Tencent. However, the Sina Weibo account has already been deactivated and other accounts have been unstable over the past week since their launch.

Thuggery

A Chinese court in the Chongqing province dismissed the conviction of Chinese blogger Fang Hong for lack of evidence, and ruled that he was illegally detained in a labor camp for a year after publishing a poem ridiculing former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai who is currently under investigation for corruption and potential knowledge of a murder case in which his wife is a suspect.

Renowned Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega was found guilty by an Ethiopian court for “participation in a terrorist organisation” and for inciting terrorism via his blog. Nega was one of 24 activists convicted under the country’s anti-terrorism laws which have been criticized for being used as a means to silence dissent. He could face life in prison.

Sri Lankan police raided independent news website the Sri Lanka Mirror last week for unknown reasons. The police arrested nine journalists and confiscated computers and documents from their office. Sri Lanka’s government blocked the Sri Lanka Mirror for a month last year and still blocks four other websites.

Numerous websites and individuals launched the #freebassel campaign to urge the Syrian government to release Bassel Khartabil, a Syrian open source developer and Creative Commons volunteer who has been unjustly detained in Damascus since March.

Internet Governance

The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution affirming that human rights must be protected on the Internet as much as it is offline. The full text of the resolution is here.

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which opponents argued unfairly favored the rights of copyright holders over the rights of Internet users. One commentary in The Guardian newspaper argues that the treaty stood no chance. However Euronews points out that the battle for Internet freedom is far from over. Infojustice reports that the fight now turns to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which critics denounce for being shrouded in secrecy.

The United States Commerce Department has awarded a new contract to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for management of key Internet functions.

In other ICANN news: outgoing CEO Rod Beckstrom said goodbye, and reports emerged that at least some of Google's applications for new top-level domains are expected to be turned down. The process for awarding top-level domains has been full of glitches and subject to criticism, but continues to move ahead.

Surveillance

The US House Judiciary Committee passed the extension of the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008 (FISA Amendments Act of 2008),  and rejected changes that would make the process of collecting Americans’ overseas communication more transparent. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) also passed the extension. Digital rights advocacy organization Electronic Frontier Foundation issued a statement opposing the extension. The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which grants immunity to telecom companies that help the government conduct warrant-less wiretapping, also caused an over-collection of domestic communications among Americans.

Privacy

The Pirate Party Australia has raised concerns over Telstra’s logging of users’ web history. The Party is also concerned that the data is reportedly stored in the United States, beyond Australian jurisdiction.

The website We Know What You’re Doing, which collects public social media updates about drug use, hangovers and contempt towards employers, highlights the potential risks of users not realizing how their public data can be aggregated.

On July 1,  a New York City court ordered Twitter to release three months’ worth of an Occupy Wall Street protesters’ tweets.

Sovereigns of Cyberspace

Inspired by Google’s transparency report, Twitter released its own report on July 2, providing information on government requests for user information, government requests to withhold content, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notices received from copyright holders. According to the report, the United States government has made the most requests for user information since January 1, 2012.

Telecommunications company Verizon has continued its legal fight against the US Federal Communications Commission's Net Neutrality rules arguing that they violate the company's free speech and property rights.

Facebook issued a reporting guide demonstrating what happens when content is reported as abusive by a user. The EFF calls it a “step in the right direction.”

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and 12 other organizations wrote an open letter to 11 heads of technology companies including Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook, urging them to end a blockade on Internet technology for people living in repressive countries like Iran.

Copyright

OfCom, the UK telecom regulator, outlined a new three-strikes system that is intended to reduce copyright infringement. Customers accused of copyright infringement will be responsible for paying for their appeal. A commercial court in Ireland granted record labels and Internet Service Providers the ability to move forward with their own version of a three-strikes approach to reduce copyright infringement.

The New Zealand High Court ruled that the search of Kim Dotcom’s residence was illegal and based on an “invalid” warrant. Dotcom is the founder of file-sharing website Megaupload, which was shut by the US Department of Justice in January for copyright infringement.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched a petition to protect TVshack.net founder and British citizen Richard O'Dwyer from extradition to the United States, where he faces up to 10 years in prison for copyright infringement. O’Dwyer’s lawyers argue that TVshack.net did not violate UK law since it linked to copyrighted material but did not host content.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity researchers at Kaspersky Labs detected Mac-based malware and AlienVault security researchers uncovered Windows-based malware aimed at Uyghur activists in China. The researchers said that the malicious programs could take control of and spy on victims’ computers.

The Indian Express also reported that Chinese hackers exploited Indian Navy computer systems using a virus transmitted by USB thumb drives.

Internet research organization Citizen Lab found that supporters of the Syrian government may be behind two cyberattacks against Syrian activists.

Cool Things

Agence France Presse launched a new tool called the “E-diplomacy Hub” which collects the Twitter accounts of politicians, activists and experts from 150 countries to visualize and analyze the influence of international diplomatic figures, as well as top issues trending on Twitter.

Publications and Studies

For upcoming events related to the future of citizen rights in the digital age, see the Global Voices Events Calendar.

Subscribe to the Netizen Report by email

5 comments

  • “Syria Plan B” A Complete CIA Black Op –

    Proxy War In Syria with Russia, China and Iran vs U.S., NATO and Israel

    It has recently been written that Washington needs “Plan B” because Annan’s “Plan A was not working. Washington’s Plan B” has already been put into effect and it has been working perfectly. Washington’s plan has always been to make sure “Plan A” did not work so that chaos reigned in Syria. It was ridiculous for the U.S. to call for peace as it funded terrorists who it turns out had slaughtered over one hundred civilians whose killings the U.S. had initially blamed on Assad. Now there is no discussion of CIA-funded and imported al Qaeda rebels massacring Syrian civilians to be found anywhere in the U.S. media after the facts were learned. Events now prove the Syrian army is protecting civilians and serving as a legitimate fighting force. Our leaders are now blindly leading us towards WWIII.

    Ron Paul has warned about the CIA and the blowback caused by a completely unaccountable institution that acts above the law. To give a governmental organization the power to assassinate and torture is always a grave mistake that will be sure to have unintended consequences.

    The foreign imported al Qaeda and Sunni militant jihadi fighters have no command structure, no intelligence and no ability to used combined arms power. They are composed of many small groups with different agendas. They seek advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. But as they slaughter civilians, one sees the imported fighters are more of the same Sunni militants and al Qaeda fighters who had bayonetted Gaddafi through his rectum and left him to bleed to death in the desert. The U.S. media always underplays such unpleasantries coming from the side the U.S. government has decided to back. As massacres and the complete destruction of Libyan cities were hidden by the U.S. press, media filtering will not be able to be pulled off in Syria as it was in Libya, because unlike in Libya and Iraq the U.S. supported forces and any foreign forces will end up facing significant losses of equipment and men. Meanwhile Syrian losses will be made up by China and Russia.

    Erdogan knows it is in Turkey’s interest to get the U.S. bogged down in a war against Syria. Erdogan will use his nation’s incursion into Syrian air space to attempt to bring NATO into the fight now that the CIA plan to use snipers to kill civilians and fight a proxy war in Syria is being exposed and starting to backfire. The internal Syrian opposition is now interested in negotiating a settlement and does not want their next ten generations of children to be deformed due to the U.S. expending tons of depleted uranium munitions in their country as the nation is turned into rubble, but the imported radical jihadists from Arab League nations and funded by the CIA and Saudi Arabia have no compunction about Syria becoming the battlefield for a massive proxy war with Russia, China and Iran on one side and the U.S., NATO and Israel on the other.

    The Turkish F4 Phantom that was shot down in Syrian airspace was gathering intelligence to support rebel military operations and future intervention. It should not need mentioning that there is not a single government in the world that would not shoot down a foreign enemy plane in its airspace gathering intelligence to assist rebel forces, if it has the means to do so. Erdogan knew this and knew it was a sure way to give the U.S. and NATO more leverage to get further involved in the war and manufacture popular consent using Zionist media.

    While the internal Syrian opposition wants the war to end and negotiate a settlement, the CIA imported radical jihadists want the war to go on. The rebels are under no central command and there are many different groups all acting independently. As their snipers to kill Syrian civilians by the score, the international media is crying about nonexistent war crimes on the part of Assad’s regime and turning a blind eye towards the foreign fighters.

    People on the ground are now showing videos of large numbers of civilians protesting the continuation of the war only to be killed by CIA-funded and supported jihadi snipers. They are now calling on the Syrian army for protection. The war against Syria has become a total CIA Black Operation. It is plain to see that the huge numbers of people in the streets in rebel areas are being killed by the CIA imported snipers and a blood bath awaits those who oppose foreign rebel operations as has already occurred to Alawites and Shiites at the hands of foreign Sunni fighters.

    Although Turkey now claims it will take punitive measures against Syria, it is highly unlikely that Erdogan will take any action on his own considering he stood by and did nothing but issue empty threats as Israel slaughtered his fellow citizens who were humanitarian workers on a mission to provide food to starving Palestinians due to food deliveries from the U.N. being cut off by Israel. Then, to add insult to injury, the Israelis refused to even provide an apology to the Turkish people.

    While Turkey is a NATO ally, not a single ally in the alliance spoke up for Turkey even though it had spent billions of dollars in the West upgrading its military hardware to bring its forces in conformity with NATO requirements for compliance with treaty obligations.

    The intrusion of Turkey into Syrian airspace was a NATO effort to probe Syrian air defenses. As the Turkish jet was flying at a 500ft. level to avoid radar detection, this violation of Syrian sovereignty represents an extremely hostile act. It is very likely Erdogan was offered inducements by the U.S. to engage in such provocative actions. As NATO and the U.S. are funding the opposition in Syria, why wouldn’t Syrian forces see the intrusion into their airspace as a hostile act?

    Meanwhile, as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and other Arab League members continueto provide military assistanceincluding heavy weapons to Syrian rebels and al Qaeda militants mixed in with other foreign radical Muslim fighters, Russia has stood by the Assad regime and further stated Iran would have to be a part of any comprehensive peace plan. This is a slap in the face to Hillary Clinton and her ridiculous attempts to isolate a nation as big as Iran with allies on the U.N. Security Council that are in conflict with American interests. This overreach has allowed Putin to embarrass Hillary Clinton’s State Department while displaying the duplicity and hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy as it basically calls for unilateral disarmament and surrender by the Syrian military in the face of radical jihadists who now have absolutely no popular support among the internal Syrian opposition that is now demanding to be separated from the CIA imported fighters who are out of control and committing atrocities.

    The U.S. has worked to play on ethnic and religious divisions inside Syria and this policy ensures a bloodbath while at the same time the U.S. and Israel wail to the U.N. and feign concern for what they know will prove to be a brutal and destructive war they have aggravated. This hypocrisy was on full display in Libya as the U.S. and NATO claimed to seek only to protect civilians using its phony R2P propaganda and a no-fly zone in rebel areas that morphed into a free-fire zone all over Libya and left entire cities lie in such ruin that they are now totally abandoned, uninhabitable and past any hope of rebuilding. Now Libya has tribes fragmenting the nation and it is “ruled” by a central government with no ability to control the nation. Meanwhile billions of dollars of Libyan money confiscated from Gadaffi’s regime and seized from the international bankingsystem is being kept from the Libyan people as they wait for things like electricity and water infrastructure to be repaired.

    There is no doubt that this conflict in Syria, its support from Russia and their demand that Iran be a party to any peace agreement provides Iran with enhanced status at the risk of Russian prestige and armed conflict that could spread across the Middle East. An expansion of hostility does serve Israeli interests and it is a sure bet Israel will do everything in its power to fan the flames as it seeks to keep Iran from a nuclear program that has been completely monitored and found to be in full compliance with IAEA protocols.

    The other 600 lb. gorilla in the room has been Hezbollah. While Hezbollah has no offensive capabilities whatsoever, it has proven to be the most formidable defensive force the IDF has ever faced. Logically, it serves as no threat to Israel other than its ability to prevent Israel from attacking civilian population centers in Lebanon with IDF land forces. Accordingly, Israel used its air forces in Lebanon to attack and kill civilians and destroy apartment buildings, civilian infrastructure, U.N. observation posts and even U.N. schools. After the killing of U.N. observers by Israeli air forces one could find little mention of such atrocities in the Western media, which makes the call by Israel for U.N. intervention in Syria look like a sick joke to all but those subjected to a U.S. media that provides less debate on the issue of war with Iran than what appears in the Israeli media. Not only is this hypocrisy hidden from Americans, but also is the killing of American peace activists who have been run over with bulldozers, shot in the face with tear gas canisters to be left blinded and with brain damage or killed execution-style by the IDF.

    If one looks at the history of U.S. intervention, it has always engaged in a scorched earth policy to ensure maximum carnage for failing to follow U.S. diktates while at the same time seeking to hold the rulers responsible for war crimes that ended being no greater than those committed by the U.S. in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Many dictators have also been enthusiastically supported by the U.S. while committing atrocities of the most heinous variety.

    While the U.S. clamors for war with Iran in an attempt to laughingly claim it is ruled by maniacal mullahs bent on a suicidal nuclear annihilation of the West, but the past U.S. attacks on Iranian oil platforms and the downing by the U.S.S. Vincennes of IR Flight 655 with the killing of 290 civilian passengers by a U.S. ship that had violated Iranian territorial waters shows that Iran is a much more rational actor than either the U.S. or Israel.

    What Russia needs to consider is that if it is seen as a push over with Syria the U.S. may take this as a signal that it can sideline Russia in any U.S. confrontation with Iran. This belief may come crashing down if Iran ends up sinking an aircraft carrier with one of Russia’s vaunted anti-ship missiles that are at least two generations ahead of anything in the U.S. arsenal. So, while Syria may be a proxy war between the U.S. and Iran, a war with Iran would end up being a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia with China being the deciding vote. Image if the three trillion dollars being held by China was used to oppose the U.S. Globalism is not without its ironies.

    While there is absolutely no evidence Iran has purposely violated any meaningful IAEA protocols in its nuclear program, the U.S. and Israel has used the IAEA to gather intelligence to support U.S. intelligence operations to conduct targeted assassinations of Iranian scientists and even retired military officers. What Israel fears is Iran gaining breakout capacity, but any nuclear program being used for energy, medical or scientific purposes provides the knowledge of how to make a nuclear bomb even if that is not the purpose of the nuclear program as is the case with Iran.

    The drive for war with Iran is being fueled by U.S. election year pandering to Zionist interests within the U.S. political establishment by a Zionist dominated and controlled U.S. media. This leave one to wonder which country, Iran of the U.S. actually has greater stability and coherence. Americans should note that senior Israeli military officials have said an attack on Iran would be disastrous and have advised against either the U.S. or Israel attacking Iran. They have also admitted that even if Iran had a nuclear deterrent it would not be an existential threat to Israel. This is proof that some Israeli and American politicians, be they liberal or conservative, would just as soon have the U.S. wage war against Iran down to the last American soldier and dollar without a second thought being given if it will keep them in power.

    To show how polluted the U.S. media is by Israeli propaganda one need look no further than the mistranslations purposely peddled by the major media establishment in which Ahmadinejad was purposely misquoted to make it seem he was calling or the destruction of Israel. To see the distortion of this comments and get a word-by-word translation one need look no farther than here. It would have taken U.S. media about 30 seconds to drop his words into Google Translator and end an instance of deceit that has continued for years. In Arash Norouzi’s excellent article he asks and answers:

    “So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Farsi:

    “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”

    That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word “regime.” pronounced just like the English word with an extra “eh” sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase “rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods” (regime occupying Jerusalem).

    So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want “wiped from the map”? The answer is: nothing. That’s because the word “map” was never used. The Persian word for map, “nagsheh” is not contained anywhere in his original Farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase “wipe out” ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s president threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” despite never having uttered the words “map.” “wipe out” or even “Israel.”

    The Proof:

    The full quote translated directly to English:

    “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”

    Word by word translation:

    Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).”

    What Ahmadinejad was saying, and these were not even his words as he was quoting another person, is that there needs to be regime change in Israel. Just as the fall of the Politburo, the Nazi party or the Baathist regime did not mean destruction of any land mass or the extermination of that nation’s people, neither does the hope of or a call for the fall of the Zionist regime connotate the destruction of Israel as a land mass or the extermination of the Jewish people.

    As long as Israel can control the U.S. media, its politicians and even its foreign policy with Zionists within the defense establishment, the U.S. will remain an inherently unstable and bellicose nation with a schizophrenic foreign policy run and manipulated by people the likes of Hillary Clinton, John Bolton, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Joe Leiberman.

    As far as Turkey taking action, if it did not take any action as its citizens were executed by Israelis in an act of piracy that even Israeli investigators condemned, why should anyone believe it will take action when it was their nation that violated Syrian airspace as Syria is locked into an increasingly bitter sectarian civil war? But, maybe NATO will try to over-compensate as payback for its snub when Turkey sought NATO retaliation against Israel for the execution of its citizens on the high seas.

    It seems Erdogan is confused as to what action he should take. I will help him. Do not emulate the U.S. It will sell you down the river for Israeli interests every time. Do not intervene in other nation’s civil wars or violate their airspace. The U.S. objective has always been to divide and conquer Muslims, take their resources and cater to Israel. Is this what you want Turkey to be, another notch on the club of Zionism? How would you like it if Syria began helping the Kurds and in doing so violated Turkish airspace? It seems Erdogan has learned the lessons of Western hypocrisy all too well.

    McCain is only an incident away from running around screaming, “We are all jihadists now!” Graham and Lieberman are wishing WWIII begins and Santorum is waiting for Christians to start disappearing all over the globe. Meanwhile, the U.S. claims Ahmadinejad is crazy while he has absolutely no power to commit Iran to war, nor has Iran invaded anyone in the last 100 years.

    The world is on the brink of economic collapse, yet it seems the U.S. wants to fund another war that will ensure there will be a mad rush to start nuclear programs without any IAEA oversight or NPT protocols which will lead to nuclear bombs across the Middle East as the world now sees what value any agreement made with the West is worth. Gadaffi made a pact to not build a nuclear program. Saddam gave up his WMDs. Both are now desert dust. Iran has abided by the NPT and allowed monitoring of its nuclear program while the Zionist media spews forth misinformation and propaganda.

    As everyone demanded intervention when a mass execution was thought to be the doing of Aliwite militias, the sound suddenly was muted once it was determined the slaughter of civilians was the work of Sunni jihadists supported by Saudi Arabia. At the same time Israel is demanding U.N. authorization of force because U.N. observers were fired upon. Does anyone think the Sunni insurgents not crafty enough to fire on the U.N. to drag everyone into supporting their cause? Yet, how is it everyone suddenly forgets it was Israel who slaughtered U.N. peacekeepers who were observing Israel slaughter civilians during Operation Cast Lead.

    The fact is that every actor in the Middle East, ally or not, would love to see the U.S. suffer debilitating losses supporting their cause. Iran got a hoot out of the U.S. paying to get rid of their arch-nemesis Saddam. It laughed ever harder as the U.S. installed Iranian-backed politicians that had been living in Iran waiting to be installed in as Iraq’s new pro-Iranian rulers. Imagine the additional laugh it had as the Shiite government not only kicked the U.S. out of Iraq, but then also left intact all the oil contracts Saddam had made with European oil companies to the exclusion of the U.S.

    Wikileaks has shown U.S. foreign policy is schizophrenic and counter-productive. It has shown the elite use war as a means of transferring middle-class wealth to the elite. It has shown the U.S. to be a lawless land where torture and murder is the purview of one supreme unitary executive and the other branches of government nothing more than a jobs program for partisan politicians without any allegiance to their prospective branch of government or the U.S. Constitution itself.

    So, we can allow ourselves to sleepwalk into a global conflict where trillions of dollars of wealth will be destroyed and we will be left at the mercy of Saudi Arabia and China, or we can do what is in the best interest of the American people. Ruling the world and maintaining an empire is not in the interests of the American people, but those who advocate doing so make trillions of dollars at the expense of the people. American had the chance to stop this nonsense with a Ron Paul presidency, but they sleepwalked past it and right into WWIII.

    Anyone who now fights for the U.S. is fighting for banksterism, globalism, militarism, corporatism, not for freedom. To believe one fighting for freedom in current U.S. wars is moronic. More and more veterans are beginning to understand that they have become pawns in the battle for global domination and not in defense of liberty.

    We are approaching the end game. Empire has proven to be a losing proposition for the people. The structure needed for a stable society has been hollowed out. Many Western nations such as the PIIGS nations have been living far beyond their means and the dollar is rapidly losing ground as the world’s reserve currency as more and more nations agree to direct currency purchases. Economic cooperation amongst Latin American countries have excluded Washington as more and more countries pick up Chinese investment to build infrastructure that was once financed by the World Bank.

    China has begun investing in Africa where the IMF now has to loot Libya in order to capitalize itself as the dollar and euro slide and more and more countries seek SDRs to avoid getting anymore funny money hot off the presses courtesy of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. There are forces and consequences unforeseen. Rumsfeld’s “Unknown Unknowns” have not reared their ugly head and unintended consequence now steer U.S. foreign policy as it becomes harder and harder to distinguish friend from foe.

    Maybe this is finally the time we need to stop listening to Zionist-pandering politicians, Armageddonists, Rapturers and Israeli-firsters and start listening to American statesmen who were right about the consequences of war with Iraq and Afghanistan and gave warnings about the dangers of central banking, the military-industrial complex, imperial wars of choice and entangling alliances. Then, maybe we can take foreign policy from the realm of voodoo and place it on empirical moorings. Every form of faith-based foreign policy will have its adherents who believe god is on their side. Evangelical lunatics will tell you that our current woes are merely because we have not sufficiently support the Israeli’s ethnic cleansing, mass murder, torture and war crimes. Yet, Israel has no problem slaughtering Americans to send a message or achieve an objective. Don’t believe me? Then ask the survivors of the USS Liberty or the family members of Americans the Israelis have bulldozed, shot in the face with a tear gas canister, or slaughtered in execution-style killings.

    I am glad to be alive at this juncture so that I can sit back and say, “See, I told you so.” The real fun comes when you get to listen to people twist logic, facts and reason so as to maintain their goofy dogmas and ideologies. In the end they will say, “Well that is just the way the world works.” They will then use the argument of fate and pre-determination to hide their stupidity and failings after having dragged society into disaster.

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