The Greanville Post http://www.greanvillepost.com ANTI-IMPERIALIST TOOL ~ Vol. X Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:40:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.1 Ringling Brothers Circus to Close After 146 Years http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/ringling-brothers-circus-to-close-after-146-years/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/ringling-brothers-circus-to-close-after-146-years/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 22:44:55 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143707 Continue reading]]>

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NOTE: The following is an excerpt from Candace Kita’s  essay which you can read in full here


The End of an Era: Ringling Brothers Circus to End After More Than 100 Years of Operation


As a small child under ten, this was heaven to me.  I would stare in wonder at the alpacas, miniature horses, and bears.  I loved animals and this was an opportunity to get up close to exotics that I normally would not have access to. So, earlier this week when Ringling Brothers announced they were closing after 146 years in operation, it was bittersweet.


Animals forced to perform in the circus is unethical. And in recent years a new type of circuses, as illustrated by Cirque du Soleil, have shown us a more progressive means of Big Top entertainment.  Ringling Brothers cited low attendance as one reason why they are closing. They specifically said that ticket sales started to plummet when they began phasing out the elephants from their shows, which was done due to “mounting criticism from animal rights groups”.  This makes perfect sense to me.  You see, most people love animals and are curious about them. Most people do not want any harm to come to them. And most people, myself included, did not know at the time that making animals perform was considered unethical. As a child, I merely wanted to observe and worship a majestic elephant standing before me.  And I believe many people came to the circus not understanding the cruelty behind it.


 

Ringling Brothers elephants sitting in circle with trainer and performer

Animal rights groups are correct. And hopefully this will mark the beginning of the end for animals being used in shows.  Another victory happened earlier this month; Sea World announced its decision to end all killer whale shows after the passing of Tilikum, the controversial whale that killed three people.

What was once viewed as wholesome family entertainment is now being reconsidered. It was “fun for the whole family”. But it is important to move forward and progress towards a new model of compassionate living.  And the end of Ringling Brothers paves the way for more ethically aware forms of entertainment that doesn’t include animals.


Ringling Brothers elephant children Chicago History Museum
Chicago History Museum

NOTE: The Ringling Bros. final performance will be in May of this year, 2017. They will perform 30 shows across the United States between now and May.


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‘s column appears in Viva•Glam Magazine. Since this is a publication devoted to beauty, fashion and cosmetics, her sensible views will be read by many people not normally exposed to the ethical aspects of these complex issues. 

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Brookings Pivots to Trump: Michael O’Hanlon’s Gambit http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/brookings-pivots-to-trump-michael-ohanlons-gambit/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/brookings-pivots-to-trump-michael-ohanlons-gambit/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 20:19:00 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143576 Continue reading]]>

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tgplogo12313

 Deena Stryker


When a senior fellow at the prestigious Brookings Institution states on Prime Time television that Russia needs to get its troops out of Central Europe, most listeners will assume there are still Russian soldiers in Poland, Hungary and or the Czech Republic, twenty-six years after the former Soviet Union’s military alliance known as Comecon was dissolved.


Michael O’Hanlon knows perfectly well which countries are part of Central Europe, but he counts on the ignorance of US TV watchers.  I had to go to the text of his article in Foreign Affairs (Addressing the real source of the U.S.-Russia rivalry, Jan 11, 2017) to discover that the countries he was referring to as part of ‘Central’ Europe were actually Georgia and Ukraine. (Even considering former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s vision of a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, that definition is not credible…)

The US organized a coup in Ukraine in 2014, when its president wanted it to be both part of the EU and of the Russian-centered Eurasian Union. Since then, Ukraine has been deprived of membership in both organizations and is in even worse shape than before the coup.

The US desperately wants to get Georgia into NATO, but stretching the definition of Central Europe to include that country which is to the east of Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic states, will not make Europeans consider it one of its own — not even the Baltic states that share its ‘fear’ of Russia.

After declaring that “A new security architecture for Central Europe needs to be based on several foundational concepts,” O’Hanlon proposes a revolutionary thesis of international law:

“Even if it were deemed normatively acceptable that great powers have spheres of interest, there is no natural way to define these that would or could be stable.” Tell me I’m dreaming: spheres of influence can’t be ‘stable’?  Only if longitudes and latitudes could fluctuate! Yet O’Hanlon is here granting academic imprimatur to the idea that it’s ok for a country to tear other nations away from their neighbors (either by ‘regime change’ or war…).

“Once the pursuit of such spheres is condoned (!), history and logic suggest that great powers will define them in increasingly ambitious and expansive terms—ultimately producing conflict.”  Here the Brookings star is rewriting basic international law to affirm that it’s OK for a country — including one geographically far away — to subjugate its enemy’s neighbors — because that country is wrong to “define its sphere of influence in ‘increasingly ambitious and expansive terms’”!

The alternative press in addition to keeping up with the MSM’s far-out version of journalism now must take on academia’s rewriting of international concepts that stretch back to time immemorial. Here, in black and white, is a foreign affairs ‘expert’ stating that taking over other nations is acceptable if they become too close to their neighbors. O’Hanlon says that what Washington calls Russia’s ‘bad behavior’ is an inevitable result of perfectly legitimate US threats against her neighbors! In a high point of sophistry, referring to Ukraine and Georgia, he writes:

“(A new security architecture) should also ensure a full range of options for their diplomatic and economic activities and other associations; they should not be part of the sphere of influence of Russia or any other country or group.”

O’Hanlon goes on to accuse Vladimir Putin of having “squelched Russian political and civil society and provoked unnecessary conflicts near his own borders.” Really? Who orchestrated a coup against the duly elected president of Ukraine? Or the ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia? Who is massing troops along Russia’s entire Western border, from the Baltics to the Black Sea?

Suddenly, though ignoring these facts, O’Hanlon breaks with his entire thesis:

“But allowing Putin to claim some degree of vindication is a far less injurious outcome than running an unnecessarily heightened risk of war—or, at a minimum, perpetuating a period of poor relations between Russia and the West that impedes cooperative action against other problems of mutual concern like Iran’s or North Korea’s nuclear programs, or instability throughout much of the broader Middle East.”

What a masterful pivot toward the in-coming President, who has vowed to promote US-Russian cooperation!

 



NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

 DEENA STRYKER, Senior Contributing Editor

Born in Philadelphia, Stryker spent most of her adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, her latest being 

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

ALSO: Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring

America Revealed to a Honey-Colored World

A Taoist Politics: The Case For Sacredness

She began her journalistic career at the French News Agency in Rome, spent two years in Cuba finding out whether the Barbados were Communists before they made the revolution (‘Cuba 1964: When the Revolution was Young’). After spending half a decade in Eastern Europe, and a decade in the U.S., studying Global Survival and writing speeches in the Carter State Department, she wrote the only book that foresaw the fall of the Berlin Wall AND the dissolution of the Soviet Union (“Une autre Europe, un autre Monde’). Her memoir, ‘Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel’, tells it all. ‘A Taoist Politics: The Case for Sacredness’, which examines the similarities between ancient wisdom and modern science and what this implies for political activism; and ‘America Revealed to a Honey-Colored World” is a pamphlet about how the U.S. came down from the City on a Hill’.  

  

MAIN IMAGE: O’Hanlon (right) in casual dress. 


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uza2-zombienationWhat will it take to bring America to live according to its own propaganda?


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The best armed forces on the planet? http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/the-best-armed-forces-on-the-planet/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/19/the-best-armed-forces-on-the-planet/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:42:01 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143428 Continue reading]]>

black-horizontalTHE WEST’S UNENDING WAR AGAINST RUSSIA
The object is the defeat and destruction of Russia as an independent world power.


By The Saker


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Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. (…) the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) (…) Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80%+ of the Russian population. The biggest strength of Russia in 2017 is a moral and a political one, it is the strength of a civilization which refuses to play by the rules which the West has successfully imposed on the rest of mankind. And now that Russia has successfully “pushed back” others will inevitably follow (again, especially in Asia).

While some dismissed this as rather ridiculous hyperbole, others have asked me to explain how I came to that conclusion. I have to admit that this paragraph is somewhat ambiguous: first I make an specific claim about the capabilities of the Russian military, and then the “evidence” that I present is of a moral and political nature! No wonder that some expressed reservations about this.


At a mind-boggling cost of 27 million casualties, the entire population of California, New York and Texas in the 1940s, the Soviet Union broke the back of the German military machine and turned the tide of war in Europe, ensuring the Axis defeat. What Russians endured in that war—justly called The Great Patriotic War—is simply unimaginable to most Westerners.

Actually, the above is a good example of one of my worst weaknesses: I tend to assume that I write for people who will make the same assumptions I do, look at issues the way I look at them, and understand what is implied. My bad. So today I will try to spell out what I mean and clarify my point of view on this issue. To do this, however, there are a number of premises which I think need to be explicitly spelled out.

 


First, how does one measure the quality of an armed force and how can armed forces from different countries be compared?

The first thing which need to immediately get out of the way is the absolutely useless practice known as “bean counting”: counting the numbers of tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry combat vehicles, artillery pieces, aircraft, helicopters and ships for country A and country B and come to some conclusion about which of the two is “stronger”. This is utterly meaningless. Next, two more myths need to be debunked: high tech wins wars and big money wins wars. Since I discussed these two myths in some detail elsewhere (here) I won’t repeat it all here.


Recent military parade in Moscow, commemorating victory in WW2.

Next, I submit that the purpose of a military force is to achieve a specific political objective. Nobody goes to war just for the sake of war and “victory” is not a military, but a political concept. So yes, war is the continuation of politics by other means. For example, the successful deterrence of a potential aggressor should be counted as a “victory” or, at least, as a successful performance of your armed forces if their goal was to deter. The definition of “victory” can include destroying the other guy’s armed forces, of course, but it does not have to. The British did win the war in the Malvinas/Falkands even though the Argentinian forces were far from destroyed. Sometimes the purpose of war is genocide, in which case just defeating a [nation’s] military forces is not enough. Let’s take a recent example: according to an official statement by Vladimir Putin, the official objectives of the Russian military intervention in Syria were to 1) stabilize the legitimate authority and 2) create conditions for a political compromise. It is undeniable that the Russian armed forces fully reached these two objectives, but they did so without the need for the kind of “victory” which implies a total destruction of your enemies forces. In fact, Russia could have used nuclear weapons and carpet bombing to wipe Daesh, but that would have resulted in a political catastrophe for Russia. Would that have been a “military victory”? You tell me!

So, if the purpose of a country’s armed forces is to achieve specific and political objectives, this directly implies that saying that some country’s armed forces can do anything, anywhere and at any time is nonsense. You cannot assess a military outside a very specific set of circumstances:

1) Where: Space/geographical

2) When: Time/duration

3) What: political objective

Yet, what we see, especially in the USA, is a diametrically opposite approach. It goes something like this: we have the best trained, best equipped and best armed military on earth; no country can compete with our advanced stealth bombers, nuclear submarines, our pilots are the best trained on the planet, we have advanced network-centric warfare capabilities, global strike, space based reconnaissance and intelligence, we have aircraft carriers, our Delta Force can defeat any terrorist force, we spend more money training our special forces than any other country, we have more ships than any other nation, etc. etc. etc. This means absolutely nothing. The reality is that the US military played a secondary role in WWII in the European theater and that after that the only “kinda victory” it achieved is outright embarrassing: Grenada (barely), Panama (almost unopposed). I would agree that the US military was successful in deterring a Soviet attack, but I would also immediately point out that the Soviets then also successfully deterred a US attack. (And the Soviets had no intention of attacking the United States to begin with.—Eds) Is that a victory? The truth is that China also did not suffer from a Soviet or US attack, does that mean that the Chinese successfully deterred the Soviets or the Americans? If you reply ‘yes’ then you would have to accept that they did that at a fraction of the US costs, so whose military was more effective – the US or the Chinese one? Then look at all the other US military interventions, there is a decent list here, what did those military operations really achieve. If I had to pick a “least bad one” I would reluctantly pick the Desert Storm which did liberate Kuwait from the Iraqis, but at what cost and with what consequences?!

Soviet soldiers traverse an open field in Afghanistan.

In the vast majority of cases, when the quality of the Russian armed forces is assessed, it is always in comparison to the US armed forces. But does that make sense to compare the Russian armed forces to a military which has a long record of not achieving the specific political objectives it was given? Yes, the US armed forces are huge, bloated, they are the most expensive on the planet, the most technology-intensive and their rather mediocre actual performance is systematically obfuscated by the most powerful propaganda machine on the planet. But does any of that make them effective? I submit that far from being effective, they are fantastically wasteful and amazingly ineffective, at least from a military point of view.

Still dubious?

Okay. Let’s take the “best of the best”: the US special forces. Please name me three successful operations executed by US special forces. No, small size skirmishes against poorly trained and poorly equipped 3rd world insurgents killed in a surprise attack don’t qualify. What would be the US equivalent of, say, Operation Storm-333 or the liberation of the entire Crimean Peninsula without a single person killed? In fact, there is a reason why most Hollywood blockbusters about US special forces are based on abject defeats such as Black Hawk Down or 13 hours.


Macho Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood produced and directed the 1986 vehicle Heartbreak Ridge, based on the 1983 US assault on tiny Grenada (pop. 90,000 and with no army). The movie literally invents heroics for there were none on the side of the overwhelming force of American invaders, chiefly opposed by a tiny crew of Cuban construction workers. Eastwood, as usual, plays the hero, an aging Marine gunny sergeant. Pure fluff and propaganda, with the usual mawkish undertones, the film’s appalling dishonesty did not keep Eastwood from making a bundle at the box office. The media hailed the invasion as another American victory against communism. This outrage took place under the reign of Ronald Reagan.

As for US high-tech, I don’t think that I need to dwell too deeply on the nightmares of the F-35 or the Zumwalt-class destroyer or explain how sloppy tactics made it possible for the Serbian Air Defenses to shoot down a super-secret and putatively “invisible” F-117A in 1999 using an ancient Soviet-era S-125 missile first deployed in 1961!

There is no Schadenfreude for me in reminding everybody of these facts. My point is to try to break the mental reflex which conditions so many people to consider the US military as some kind of measuring stick of how all the other armed forces on the planet do perform. This reflex is the result of propaganda and ignorance, not any rational reason. The same goes, by the way, for the other hyper-propagandized military – the Israeli IDF whose armored forces, pilots and infantrymen are always presented as amazingly well-trained and competent. The reality is, of course, that in 2006 the IDF could not even secure the small town of Bint Jbeil located just 2 miles from the Israeli border. For 28 days the IDF tried to wrestle the control of Bint Jbeil from second-rate Hezbollah forces (Hezbollah kept its first rate forces north of the Litani river to protect Beirut) and totally failed in spite of having a huge numerical and technological superiority.

IDF prisoner. Israel’s armed forces public image is carefully cultivated, but their true effectiveness, as a fully constituted military, cannot be fairly measured against opponents that generally lack heavy armor, warplanes, advanced intelligence, and a real navy, to mention just a few of their tactical deficiencies.

I have personally spoken to US officers who trained with the IDF and I can tell you that they were totally unimpressed. Just as Afghan guerrillas are absolutely unanimous when they say that the Soviet soldier is a much better soldier than the US one.

Speaking of Afghanistan.

Do you remember that the Soviet 40th Army that was tasked with fighting the Afghan “freedom fighters” was mostly under-equipped, under-trained, and poorly supported in terms of logistics? Please read this appalling report about the sanitary conditions of the 40th Army and compare that with the 20 billion dollar per year the US spends on air-conditioning in Afghanistan and Iraq! And then compare the US and Soviet occupations in terms of performance: not only did the Soviets control the entire country during the day (at night the Afghan controlled most of the countryside and the roads), they also controlled all the major cities 24/7. In contrast, the US barely holds on to Kabul and entire provinces are in the hands of the insurgents. The Soviets built hospitals, dams, airports, roads, bridges, etc. whereas the Americans built exactly nothing. And, as I already mentioned, in every interview I have seen the Afghans are unanimous: the Soviets were much tougher enemies than the Americans.

I could go on for pages and pages, but let’s stop here and simply accept that the PR image of the US (and Israeli) military has nothing to do with their actual capabilities and performance. There are things which the US military does very well (long distance deployment, submarine warfare in temperate waters, carrier operations, etc.) but their overall effectiveness and efficiency is pretty low.

So what makes the Russian armed forces so good?

For one thing, their mission, to defend Russia, is commensurate with the resources of the Russian Federation. Even if Putin wanted it, Russia does not have the capabilities to build 10 aircraft carriers, deploy hundreds of overseas bases or spend more on “defense” than the rest of mankind combined. The specific political objective given to the Russian military is quite simple: to deter or repel any attack against Russia.

Second, to accomplish this mission the Russian armed forces need to be able to strike and prevail at a maximal distance of 1000 km or less from the Russian border. Official Russian military doctrine places the limits of a strategic offensive operation a bit further and include the complete defeat of enemy forces and occupation of his territory to a depth of 1200km-1500km (Война и Мир в Терминах и Определениях, Дмитрий Рогозин, Москва, Вече, 2011, p.155) but in reality this distance would be much shorter, especially in the case of a defensive counter-attack. Make no mistake, this remains a formidable task due to the immense length of the Russian border (over 20’000km of border) running over almost every imaginable type of geography, from dry deserts and mountains to the North pole region. And here is the amazing thing: the Russian armed forces are currently capable of defeating any conceivable enemy all along this perimeter. Putin himself said so recently when he declared that “We can say with certainty: We are stronger now than any potential aggressor, any!” I realize that for a mostly American audience this will sound like the typical garden variety claptrap every US officer or politician has to say at every public occasion, but in the Russian context this is something quite new: Putin had never said anything like that before. If anything, Russians prefer to whine about numerically superior their adversaries seem to be (well, they are, numerically – which every Russian military analyst knows means nothing).

Numerically, the Russian forces are, indeed, much smaller than NATO’s or China’s. In fact, one could argue for the size of the Russian Federation, the Russian armed forces are rather small. True. But they are formidable, well-balanced in terms of capabilities and they make maximal use of the unique geographical features of Russia.


  SIDEBAR
Russia is a far more “northern” country than, say, Canada or Norway. Look at where the vast majority of the cities and towns in Canada or Scandinavia are located. Then look at a map of Russia and the latitudes at which the Russian cities are located. The difference is quite striking. Take the example of Novosibirsk, which in Russia is considered a southern Siberian town. It is almost at the same latitude as Edinburgh, Scotland, Grande Prairie, Alberta or Malmö in Sweden.

This is why all the equipment used by the Russian Armed Forces has to be certified operational from temperatures ranging from -50C to +50C (-58F to 122F). Most western gear can’t even operate in such extremes. Of course, the same also goes for the Russian soldier who is also trained to operate in this range of temperatures.

I don’t think that there is another military out there who can claim to have such capabilities, and most definitely not the American armed forces.


Another myth which must be debunked is the one of western technological superiority. While it is true that in some specific fields the Soviets were never able to catch up with the West, microchips for example, that did not prevent them from being the first ones to deploy a large list of military technologies such as phased-array radars on interceptors, helmet-mounted sights for pilots, supercavitating underwater missiles, autoloaders on tanks, parachute deployable armored vehicles, double-hulled attack submarines, road-mobile ICBMs, etc. As a rule, western weapon systems tend to be more tech-heavy, that is true, but that is not due to a lack of Russian capabilities, but to a fundamental difference in design. In the West, weapons systems are designed by engineers who cobble together the latest technologies and then design a mission around them. In Russia, the military defines a mission and then seeks the simplest and cheapest technologies which can be used to accomplish it. This is why the Russian MiG-29 (1982) was not a “fly-by-wire” like the US F-16 (1978) but operated by “old” mechanical flight controls. I would add here that a more advanced airframe and two engines instead of one for the F-16, gave the MiG-29 a superior flight envelope. When needed, however, the Russians did use fly-by-wire, for example, on the Su-27 (1985).

Last but not least, the Russian nuclear forces are currently more modern and much more capable than the comparatively aging US nuclear triad.  Even the Americans admit that.

So what does that all mean?

This means that in spite of being tasked with an immensely difficult mission, to prevail against any possible enemy along the 20’000+km of the Russian border and to a depth of 1000 km, the Russian armed forces have consistently shown that they are capable of fulfilling the specific political objective of either deterring or defeating their potential enemy, be it a Wahabi insurgency (which the western pundits described as “unbeatable”), a western trained and equipped Georgian military (in spite of being numerically inferior during the crucial hours of the war and in spite of major problems and weaknesses in command and control), the disarmament of 25’000+ Ukrainian (supposedly “crack”) troops in Crimea without a single shot fired in anger and, of course, the Russian military intervention in the war in Syria where a tiny Russian force turned the tide of the war.

In conclusion, I want to come back to my statement about Russia being the only country which now openly dares to reject the western civilizational model and whose leader, Vladimir Putin, enjoys the support of 80%+ of the population. These two factors are crucial in the assessment of the capabilities of the Russian armed forces. Why? Because they illustrate the fact that the Russian soldiers knows exactly what he fights for (or against) and that when he is deployed somewhere, he is not deployed as a tool for Gazprom, Norilsk Nickel, Sberbank or any other Russian corporation: he knows that he is fighting for his country, his people, his culture, for their freedom and safety. Furthermore, the Russian soldier also knows that the use of military force is not the first and preferred option of his government, but the last one which is used only when all other options have been exhausted. He knows that the Russian High Command, the Kremlin and the General Staff are not hell-bent on finding some small country to beat up just to make an example and scare the others. Last but not least, the Russian soldier is willing to die for his country and while executing any order.  The Russians are quite aware of that and this is why the following circulated on the Runet recently:


Translation: under both photos it says “private of the US/Russian Army, under contract, deployed in a combat zone”. The bottom central text says “One of them needs to be fed, clothed, armed, paid, etc. The other one just needs to be ordered “this way” and he will execute his mission. At any cost”

For a very long time, Russia’s military aviation has been among the most advanced and innovative in the world.

At the end of the day, the outcome of any war is decided by willpower, I firmly believe that and I also believe that it is the “simple” infantry private who is the most important factor in a war, not the super-trained superman.  In Russia they are sometimes called “makhra” – the young kids from the infantry, not good looking, not particularly macho, with no special gear or training. They are the ones who defeated the Wahabis in Chechnya, at a huge cost, but they did. They are the ones who produce an amazing number of heroes; who amaze their comrades and enemies with their tenacity and courage. They don’t look too good in parades and they are often forgotten. But they are the ones who defeated more empires than any other and who made Russia the biggest country on earth.

So yes, Russia currently does have the most capable armed forces on the planet.  There are plenty of countries out there who also have excellent armed forces.  But what makes the Russian ones unique is the scope of their capabilities which range from anti-terrorist operations to international nuclear war combined with the amazing resilience and willpower of the Russian soldier.  There are plenty of things the Russian military cannot do, but unlike the US armed forces, the Russian military was never designed to do anything, anywhere, anytime (aka “win two and a half wars” anywhere on the planet).

For the time being, the Russians are watching how the US cannot even take a small city like Mosul, even though it had to supplement the local forces with plenty of US and NATO “support” and they are unimpressed, to say the least.  But Hollywood will surely make a great blockbuster from this embarrassing failure and there will be more medals handed out than personnel involved (this is what happened after the Grenada disaster).  And the TV watching crowd will be reassured that “while the Russians did make some progress, their forces are still a far cry from their western counterparts”.  Who cares?

—The Saker

About the author
The Saker is the nom de guerre of a geopolitical and military analyst of Russian descent residing in the United States. He is the founding editor of The Saker network of sites with editions in several  major languages.

MAIN IMAGE: Russian armor on recent national commemoration parade.


 

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Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed? http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/did-the-elites-have-martin-luther-king-jr-killed/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/did-the-elites-have-martin-luther-king-jr-killed/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:34:03 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143329 Continue reading]]>

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by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR – ALEXANDER COCKBURN
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OUNTERPUNCH


The most compelling argument against the existence of a vast conspiracy orchestrating the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy is that the brothers were never threats to ruling power. The Kennedys were card-carrying members of the global elites, ran in their circles, catered to their whims, administered their political and economic bidding. (Just ask Fidel Castro.)

With MLK, it could be a different matter. And with the infinitely more radical Malcolm X it certainly was. Whatever King’s actual function–and the Reverend was given a hard time as something of an Uncle Tom by radicals in the later Sixties–the ruling power construed him as a threat.

King was assassinated almost forty-six years ago, at just after 6 in evening, as he stood on a balcony of the Lorraine motel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single rifle bullet hit him in the jaw, then severed his spinal cord. James Earl Ray, a white man, was convicted of the killing and sentenced to 99 years. Ray was certainly the gunman.

But there are credible theories of a conspiracy, possibly involving US Army intelligence, whose role in the life and death of Martin Luther King was explored by Stephens Tompkins in the Memphis Commercial Appeal in 1993.

The Army’s interest in the King family stretched back to 1917 when the War Department opened a file on King’s maternal grandfather, first president of Atlanta’s branch of the NAACP. King’s father, Martin Sr., also entered Army intelligence files as a potential troublemaker, as did Martin Jr. in 1947 when he was 18. He was attending Dorothy Lilley’s Intercollegiate School in Atlanta and 111th Military Intelligence Group in Fort McPherson in Atlanta suspected Ms Lilley of having Communist ties.


Forty years on, America is still disfigured by racial injustice. Militant black leadership has all but disappeared. To black radicals Obama’s sedate homilies and respectful paeans to America’s ladders of advancement available to the industrious are to the fierce demands for justice of Malcolm X and of King in his more radical moments, as Muzak is to Charlie Parker.


King’s famous denunciation of America’s war in Vietnam came exactly a year before his murder, before a crowd of 3,000 in the Riverside Church in Manhattan. He described Vietnam’s destruction at the hands of ”deadly Western arrogance,” insisting that ”we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.”

US Army spies secretly recorded black radical Stokely Carmichael warning King, “The Man don’t care you call ghettos concentration camps, but when you tell him his war machine is nothing but hired killers you got trouble.” Carmichael was right.

After the 1967 Detroit riots 496 black men under arrest were interviewed by agents of the Army’s Psychological Operations Group, dressed as civilians. It turned out King was by far the most popular leader. That same year, watching the great antiwar march on Washington in October 1967 from the roof of the Pentagon Major General William Yarborough, assistant chief of staff for Army intelligence, concluded that “the empire was coming apart at the seams”. He thought there were too few reliable troops to fight the war in Vietnam and hold the line at home.

The Army increased surveillance on King. Green Berets and other Special Forces veterans from Vietnam began making street maps and identifying sniper sites in major American cities. The Ku Klux Klan was recruited by the 20th Special Forces Group, headquartered in Alabama, as a subsidiary intelligence network. The Army began offering 30.06 sniper rifles to police departments, including that of Memphis. King was dogged by spy units through early ’67. A Green Beret unit was operating in Memphis the day he was shot. The bullet that killed him came from a 30.06 rifle purchased in a Memphis store. Army intelligence chiefs became increasingly hysterical over the threat of King to national stability.

After his Vietnam speech the major US newspapers savaged King. Fifteen years later the New York Times was still bitter when the notion of a national holiday honoring the civil rights leader was being pressed–with ultimate success–by labor unions and black groups. “Why not a Martin Luther King Day?” an NYT editorial asked primly. “Dr King, a humble man, would have objected to giving that much importance to any individual. Nor should he be given singular tribute if that demeans other historical black figures.” Give one of them a holiday and they’ll all be wanting one.

Within hours of King’s murder rioting broke out in 80 cities across the country. Dozens of people, mostly black were killed. On April 6 the Oakland cornered the Black Panther leadership and when one of the young leaders, Bobby Hutton, emerged with his shirt off and his hands up, shot him dead. Further police executions of Panthers followed, most notoriously the killing of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, as they slept, by the Chicago police, with FBI complicity, in December, 1969.

In contrast to Hutton, the Panthers and above all Malcolm X, slain in 1965, white liberal opinion, resentments at the disloyalty of the Riverside Church speech conveniently forgotten, has hailed King as a man who chose to work within the system and who furthermore failed to make any significant dent on business as usual.

In his last years King was haunted by a sense of failure. Amid a failed organizing campaign in Chicago he was booed at a mass meting there and, as he lay sleepless that night he wrote later that he knew why: “I had urged them [his fellow blacks ] to have faith in America and in white society They were now booing because they felt were unable to deliver on our promises They were now hostile because they were watching the dream they had so readily accepted turn into a nightmare.”

As the radical journalist Andrew Kopkind wrote shortly after King’s assassination, “That he failed to change the system that brutalizes his race is a profound relief to the white majority. As a reward they have now elevated his minor successes into major triumphs.”

Forty years on, America is still disfigured by racial injustice. Militant black leadership has all but disappeared. To black radicals Obama’s sedate homilies and respectful paeans to America’s ladders of advancement available to the industrious are to the fierce demands for justice of Malcolm X and of King in his more radical moments, as Muzak is to Charlie Parker.

Obama is caught, even as King was. The moment whites fear he is raising the political volume, he’s savaged with every bludgeon of convenience, starting with the robust sermons of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose sin is to have reminded whites that there are black Americans who are really angry. “Damn America,” roared the Rev Wright. King was just as rough at Riverside Church in the speech that so terrified the white elites: “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.”

Honesty of this sort from a black politician in America extorts due retribution.

This article is adapted and expanded from a piece which originally appeared in the January 2009 print edition of CounterPunch




NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

 Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.  

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Greanville Post, a publication of The Voice of Nature Network, Inc., (VNN), a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.  The Greanville Post grants permission to cross-post original The Greanville Post articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of The Greanville Post articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: 

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Four Reasons Trump Will Quit http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/four-reasons-trump-will-quit/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/four-reasons-trump-will-quit/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:16:54 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143333 Continue reading]]>

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OpEds | by DAVID MACARAY


As startling and unprecedented as it may be, there’s a good chance Donald Trump won’t finish out one term as president. Yes, Richard Nixon resigned from office, so technically, there was a “precedent,” but Nixon’s case was different. Nixon resigned in disgrace to avoid being impeached—to avoid being exposed as the Machiavellian felon and borderline neurotic he was. Trump won’t face impeachment. He’ll just quit.

Here are four reasons:

1. The job will simply prove to be too much of a grind. Even priding himself on being an accomplished delegator, the amount of work required of a sitting president—much of it tedious and enervating—will overwhelm him. He can delegate all he likes, but he’s still going to be president when he wakes up in the morning, and the demands of the job are going to put the zap on his head. They will crush him.

The fact that Trump himself has said he was “surprised” to have won (not nearly as surprised as the rest of us, Donald) indicates that running for president was, for him, just one more splashy opportunity to assert his ego and bask in the limelight. As for hard-boiled political commitment, there was never the barest trace of it.

People will argue that Ronald Reagan, who served two full terms, was a notorious, often distracted, delegator, and that’s true. But Reagan was not only governor of California, he was a seasoned political animal with a consistent and well-oiled three-pronged mantra: deregulation, low taxes, anti-communism. Trump has no such mantra, and no bedrock ideology to sustain him. Go back and look at what Trump has said. He’s been all over the map.

Once he settles into the job, and the novelty and luster wears off, he will not only grow restless and bored, he will realize that being president isn’t what he thought it was. Being U.S. president is not so much like being Emperor as is it like being Head Bureaucrat. And one thing Trump ain’t is a bureaucrat.

2. The economy will tank and he will get blamed. To paraphrase Alan Greenspan, circa 2007, the stock market is “irrationally high.” The Dow-Jones is now close to 20,000. Let us not forget that when Obama took office it was less than 6,600. Cycles being cycles, the market will fall, fortunes will be lost, new religions will be formed, and Trump, rightly or wrongly, will get blamed. And we already know how thin-skinned he is.

3. The media have a prodigious memory and are vindictive bastards. They will ravage him. After all the shoot-from-the-hip insults and nasty, juvenile remarks Trump leveled at the media during the campaign, there will be a veritable shit-storm of payback. These people don’t forget.

As gutless and co-opted by the Establishment as the MSM is, even presidents who are somewhat liked and respected occasionally get nipped up. And once the honeymoon is over, Trump will realize that he is neither liked nor respected. As a consequence he will remain squarely in the media’s crosshairs. It will be open season, a feeding frenzy.

4. He’s a quitter. Look at his history. Trump is a real estate tycoon, a mogul, an opportunist who buys when it’s low and sells when it’s high. Yet, even adhering to that practice, Trump has filed for bankruptcy protection four times and walked away from numerous ventures. He has no staying power and no interest in the long haul. He will quit. Mike Pence will become president. And how weird will that be?




NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com  


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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Greanville Post, a publication of The Voice of Nature Network, Inc., (VNN), a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.  The Greanville Post grants permission to cross-post original The Greanville Post articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of The Greanville Post articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: 

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I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/i-dream-of-justice-for-all-the-animal-kingdom/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/i-dream-of-justice-for-all-the-animal-kingdom/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:42:19 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143331 Continue reading]]>

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 by JACK SADAT LEE
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ROSSPOST WITH COUNTERPUNCH


This is the time of the year, Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, that I reflect on my African American heritage and the struggles of my ancestors. I reflect upon their mistreatment, the way black males were made to feel inferior, women completely disrespected and made to not feel or see their own beauty. White supremacy tried to all but destroy us, and it was almost successful!

I have struggled to make meaning of this history, but in recent years I have tried to connect it to struggles that I face and struggles that all people face. I try to carefully direct my anger and focus that energy on educating my people, at least those that open their hearts to the message. The message I share is real universal peace, not just for humans but for all beings.

I have struggled when, I have heard people compare the past of my ancestors to the plight of the entire animal kingdom without realizing the struggles that, yes, even animals unfairly face.

Many people  compare mistreatment of my people with mistreatment of animals to say that treating people like animals is wrong – without realizing that the way we treat animals is wrong on its own. We put humans on a pedestal next to animals.

My goal is to truly love and work for the better good of all beings, the remainder of my existence. I’m far from naive, but, I’m a dreamer as well. It’s not bad to dream – it’s only bad when you don’t remember your dreams and take zero action to make them into reality. I’ll take direct action for all sentient beings – anywhere and everywhere it’s needed.

Now, I find myself sitting in front of an slaughterhouse, with a car full of animal rights activists! I am preparing to stop a truck and offer comfort to the animals about to be slaughtered with a group of primarily white women, and I think of how mere decades ago this would not have been possible.

If not for a dreamers many years ago, I could not be here to fight for my beliefs. I’ll keep fighting against all injustices with those dreamers in mind, and I’ll work even harder on my dreams.

With Ringling Brothers closing, I can see today more than any other that my dream is achievable. One day the world will wake up and cease these atrocities against the animals. Until then, I’ll find a nonviolent way to awaken the world, for this is my dream!



NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

 Jack Sadat Lee is an African American Organizer with the grassroots animal rights network, Direct Action Everywhere Chicago and also a vegan.  

MAIN IMAGE: The author signaling his belief in the future. 


Note to Commenters
Due to severe hacking attacks in the recent past that brought our site down for up to 11 days with considerable loss of circulation, we exercise extreme caution in the comments we publish, as the comment box has been one of the main arteries to inject malicious code. Because of that comments may not appear immediately, but rest assured that if you are a legitimate commenter your opinion will be published within 24 hours. If your comment fails to appear, and you wish to reach us directly, send us a mail at: editor@greanvillepost.com

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Greanville Post, a publication of The Voice of Nature Network, Inc., (VNN), a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.  The Greanville Post grants permission to cross-post original The Greanville Post articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of The Greanville Post articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: 

THE GREANVILLE POST contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues, and the furtherance of peace and social justice, the defence of our planetary ecosystems, and the prevention and eventual elimination of human abuse, exploitation,.and cruelty toward any and all non-human species The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Bashing Trump’s Justifiable Outrage Over Disgraceful Press Coverage http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/bashing-trumps-justifiable-outrage-over-disgraceful-press-coverage/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/bashing-trumps-justifiable-outrage-over-disgraceful-press-coverage/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:21:31 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143404 Continue reading]]>

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STEPHEN LENDMAN

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C     olumbia J School is a factory to turn out cookie cutter, unthinking cogs for the capitalist media machine, more concerned with jobs and careers than with the real-world principles and duties of journalists confronting entrenched power. —The Editor


 MAIN IMAGE ABOVE: Kyle Pope, Editor & Publisher, Columbia Journalism Review.

by Stephen Lendman

With few exceptions, media scoundrels relentlessly bashed him throughout the political season. Vilification continues daily post-election, inventing reasons to denigrate him, an unprecedented example of political presstitution at its worst. An open letter to him from the US press corp, written by Columbia Journalism Review editor-in-chief and publisher Kyle Pope, warrants a reader response. Trump and his team can speak for themselves.
Pope: “You’ve banned news organizations from covering you.”
Fact: False! He leveled sharp criticism as justified, including blasting CNN as fake news. He should have applied that label to the entire scoundrel media establishment, suppressing hard truths, substituting managed news misinformation and Big Lies – about him and on virtually all other important issues. Any news organization and their members are free to cover him. He’s free to ignore any ones he wishes.
 …
Pope: “(Y)our press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House…”
 ..
Fact: False! Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said space is being sought to accommodate a larger number of journalists – not change the workspace for White House reporters. At the same time, Trump is entitled to challenge members of the press spreading malicious lies about him. No one should put up with abusive practices.
 …
Pope: “You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same.”
 …
Fact: Western media scoundrels are a national disgrace. Trump should respond when they blast him irresponsibly.  Twitter is his favorite way of communicating. He’s able to reach millions, free from misquotes and distortions. Earlier I called him America’s tweeter-in-chief, encouraging him to keep tweeting.
..
Pope: “You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences.”
 …
Fact: Advice referees give prize fighters to protect themselves at all times especially applies to presidents and other heads of state. If he wishes, Trump is entitled to avoid press corps members denigrating him maliciously.
He’s yet to assume office, so it’s unknown how often he’ll hold press conferences. Franklin Roosevelt, serving nearly four terms, held far more than any other president. They were more informal affairs in pre-television days than how they’re held today.
 ..
Pope: “You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.”
 …
Fact: Trump debunked the accusation as a malicious lie.
 …
Pope: Press “access is preferable, but not critical.” Lacking it is “a challenge we relish.”
 …
Fact: Trump has no problem with responsible reporting. Denigrating him without just cause is another matter entirely.
 …
Pope: “Ground rules are the prerogative of the press.”

Fact: That type attitude would antagonize anyone.
 …
Pope: “We decide how much airtime to give your spokespeople and surrogates.”
 …
Fact: How much time isn’t the issue. Responsible truth-telling matters most – what’s sorely lacking in mainstream Western reporting, turning journalism into presstitution.
 ..
Pope: “Facts are what we do…”
 …
Fact: Media scoundrels suppress them, substituting fake news. (Pope is clearly as bad as the presstitutes he sanctimoniously defends or delusional.—Editor)
 ..
Pope: “(W)hile you may seek to control what comes out of the West Wing, we’ll have the upper hand in covering how your policies are carried out.”
 …
Fact: If reporting on Trump follows the pattern seen throughout the political season and post-election so far, expect endless rubbish substituting for responsible journalism.
 ..
Pope: We’ll set higher standards for ourselves than ever before.”
 …
Fact: Presstitutes make street whores look good by example. Case closed!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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STEPHEN LENDMAN lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”  ( http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ) Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com



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Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/global-warming-clobbers-ocean-life/ http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/01/18/global-warming-clobbers-ocean-life/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:11:58 +0000 http://www.greanvillepost.com/?p=143337 Continue reading]]>

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 by ROBERT HUNZIKER


The waters of the Pacific off the California coast are transparently clear. Problem is: Clear water is a sign that the ocean is turning into desert (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA). From Alaska to Central America, and beyond, sea life has been devastated over the past three years like never before. Is it Fukushima, or nature running its own course, or some kind of perverse wrath emanating from global warming? For a hint, scientists refer to the lethal ocean warming over the past few years as “the Warm Blob.”

After all, global warming hits the ocean much, much harder than land. Up to 90% of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming is absorbed by the ocean, which is fortuitous for humans. Just imagine the chaos if the situation were reversed: Mobs of regular ole people morphing into maddened gangs striving for food, huddled in far northern latitudes while Mid America scorches brittle crops in sandy soil, a dystopian lifestyle.

“Upper ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past two decades” (Source: Climate Change: Ocean Heat Content, NOAA, Climate.gov, July 14, 2015). More than 3,000 Argo floats strategically positioned worldwide measure ocean temps every 10 days.

Scientists classify the Warm Blob phenomenon as “multi-year ocean heat waves,” with temperatures 7° F above normal and up to 10°F above normal in extreme cases. How would humans handle temperatures, on average, 7° to 10°F above normal? There’d be mass migrations from Florida to Alaska, for sure. As it happens, sea animals do not do well. They die in unbelievably massive numbers; all across the ocean… the animal die-offs are unprecedented. Scientists are stunned!

After years of horrendous worldwide sea animal die-offs, 2016 was a banner year. Is this out of the ordinary? Sadly, the answer is: Yes.


The effects of global warming—almost invisible to the eye, are compounded by enormous levels of human pollution.


The numbers are simply staggering, not just in the Pacific, but around the world, e.g., the following is but a partial list during only one month (December 2016): Tens of thousands of dead starfish beached in Netherlands; 6,000 dead fish in Maryland waterway; 10 tons of dead fish in Brazilian river; tens of thousands of dead fish wash up on Cornwall, England beach; schools of dead herring in Nova Scotia; 100 tons of fish suddenly dead in Indonesia; massive fish deaths ‘state of calamity’ in Philippines; thousands of dead crayfish float down river in New Zealand; masses of dead starfish, crabs, and fish wash ashore in Nova Scotia, and there are more and more….

In fact, entire articles are written about specific areas of massive die offs, for example: “Why Are Chilean Beaches Covered With Dead Animals?” Smithsonian.com, May 4, 2016. Chilean health officials had to resort to heavy machinery to remove 10,000 dead rotting squid from coastlines earlier in the 2016 year. Over 300 whale carcasses hit the beaches and 8,000 tons of sardines and 12% of the annual salmon catch… all found dead on beaches, to name only a few! You’ve gotta wonder why?

According to Nate Mantua, research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, California: “One of the things that is clear is there’s a lot of variation from year to year along the Pacific Coast, and some of that is tied into natural patterns, like El Niño,’ Mantua said. ‘But what we saw in 2014, ‘15 and the first part of ‘16 was warmer than anything we’ve seen in our historical records, going back about 100 years” (Mary Callahan, Year in Review: Ocean Changes Upend North Coast Fisheries, The Press Democrat, Dec. 25, 2016).

Fishermen bitterly claim the ocean is changing like never before. Meanwhile, scientists study those weird changes but do not fully understand the problem. Unfortunately, the general public does not see changes hidden within water; otherwise, they, the general public, might organize and demand their politicians in Washington, D.C. fight climate change/global warming. According to John Largier, professor of coastal oceanography at UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, “Climate change syndrome is definitely having an impact,” Ibid.

As it happens, the world climate system is interconnected, interwoven such that climatic stress originated at sea spills onto land, e.g., the Warm Blob was first observed and linked to a high-pressure ridge stationed over the north Pacific in 2011. This ridge diverted winter storms, thereby exacerbating California’s drought meanwhile weakening winds that ordinarily absorb ocean heat and stir up the cold water necessary for immensely productive Northern Coast breeding grounds for marine wildlife.

Morosely, too-warm ocean water serves as breeding ground for the infamous deadly “red tide,” a bloom of single-celled organism that thrives in warmer waters, producing a neurotoxin called domoic acid, resulting in enormous numbers of sea lion fatalities and massive destruction of Dungeness crab fisheries and all kinds of other trouble.

Too-warm water also contributes to the collapse of bull kelp forests, which are the ocean’s equivalent of the tropical rain forest; meanwhile, purple urchins thrive and multiply in explosive fashion in the poisonous environment, devouring remaining plant life. Thereby, out-competing hapless red abalone, the shellfish that people love.

Collapsing food chains are evident up and down the Pacific Coast earmarked by large die offs of Cassin Auklets, a tiny seabird, as well as massive numbers of Common Murres. The sea lions and fur seals suffer from starvation and domoic acid poisoning. In early 2013 scientists declared the sea lion die-off an “unusual mortality event.”

Nursing sea lion mothers are unable to find enough forage like sardines and anchovies. Pups, searching for food, strand on beaches filled with curious sunbathers with a natural proclivity to cuddle the hapless cuties that could easily result in fierce attacks. As it happens, lifeguards run along sandy beaches warning beachcombers beware!

Still, wildlife die-offs are an ancient phenomenon, mentioned by Aristotle in his Historia Animalium (4th Century B.C.). In the U.S. in 1884, hundreds of tons of dead fish bellied up in lakes around Madison, Wisconsin. This knowledge of the past gives one pause when considering whether an all-out alarm is warranted this time around. After all, isn’t it nature’s way?

No, this time it is different, much different. The all-out alarm is warranted with bells clanging! Yes, of course part of nature’s cycle over the eons involves wildlife die-offs. That’s nature, but nowadays nature is out-of-whack! Ring the bells; blast the sirens!

As published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Recent Shifts in the Occurrence, Cause, and Magnitude of Animal Mass Events, Vol. 112, no. 4, Aug. 5, 2014) it was found that worldwide animal die-offs are increasing in both number and magnitude, even after statistically correcting for the fact that mass deaths are now more likely to be documented than in the past.

“Every biologist I spoke with who is researching mass-mortality events said that many wildlife die-offs today really could be signals of serious problems with the ecological fundamentals of the planet” (Source: J.B. MacKinnon, On Animal Deaths and Human Anxieties, The New Yorker, April 21, 2015). That is the worst possible news you can ever hear.

As for only one example amongst many, the typical number of bird deaths per reported die-off was about 100 in the 1940s. Today it is 10,000 and reported much more frequently than 75 years ago.

Bottom line, the ecosystem is under fierce attack, and it is real, very real indeed with too much global warming, too much ag runoff, too much heavy-duty massive overfishing, likely too much nuclear radiation, and deadly acidification caused by excessive CO2 concentrations (already damaging pteropods at the base of the marine food chain) as the ocean absorbs anthropogenic CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, similar to the upper atmospheric conundrum where 400+ ppm of CO2 (anything over 350 ppm leads to serious planetary trouble over time) is already heating up the planet as the ocean absorbs 90% of that heat. Thank your lucky stars for that… but only transitorily!

As stated by the Environmental Defense Fund: “Oceans are at the Brink”- For decades, the ocean has been absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) dumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. It has absorbed a lot of the extra heat produced by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. But even the ocean has limits!

Going forward, how will the Trump administration confront this messy, possibly fatal and very complex situation, since fossil fuels are the main driver behind climate change/global warming?

Will the Trump administration initiate a nationwide renewable energy plan, similar to Communist China? Accordingly: (Michael Forsythe, China Aims to Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020, New York Times, January 5, 2017)



NOTE: ALL IMAGE CAPTIONS, PULL QUOTES AND COMMENTARY BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS • PLEASE COMMENT AND DEBATE DIRECTLY ON OUR FACEBOOK GROUP CLICK HERE

Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide, like Z magazine, European Project on Ocean Acidification, Ecosocialism Canada, Climate Himalaya, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Comite Valmy, and UK Progressive. He has been interviewed about climate change on Pacifica Radio, KPFK, FM90.7, Indymedia On Air and World View Show/UK. 

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