PATRICE GREANVILLE—In the fantasy land that we call American democracy we all hope for the Hollywood happy ending: the crooks and villains get their comeuppance. In other words, Mr. Smith—Mr. Everybody—as visualized by Frank Capra, not only goes to Washington but he triumphs. But in the real-life movie scripts circulated in Washington and in every single seat of traditional class power in America, from Chicago’s mercantile and meatpacking fortunes to Texas oilfields and New York’s financial centers, the outcomes are different. Here the villains prosper. They get rich. They win elections (or buy them, which is even better). In time, like mafia dons who have become elder statesmen, they gain social respect, even gravitas. They give rise to crime families with elaborate national and international connections. The media applaud their achievements.
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JOHN R. HALL—In the depths of despair during the deaths of loved ones, I abandoned my own true hero’s journey, ceased writing, discontinued paying any attention to the crimes of Empire, the deep state, the military/industrial complex, and all the usual suspects, turning my back on the very issues I cared about most deeply. In retrospect this may have been my second inexcusable regret and mistake. The decision didn’t even give me any peace of mind, didn’t stop the anger and rage, didn’t ease the pain of knowing that the crimes against humanity and the assault of Pachamama continued unabated and with growing acceleration.
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JOHN PILGER—WikiLeaks has also revealed how the United States spies on its allies; how the CIA can watch you through your I-phone; how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took vast sums of money from Wall Street for secret speeches that reassured the bankers that if she was elected, she would be their friend. In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed a direct connection between Clinton and organised jihadism in the Middle East: terrorists, in other words. One email disclosed that when Clinton was US Secretary of State, she knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, yet she accepted huge donations for her foundation from both governments.
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WAYNE MADSEN—Currently, as National Security Adviser, Bolton works in tandem with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose 2010 congressional campaign in Kansas distributed racist commentary referring to his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle – an Indian-American – as a “turban topper” and President Barack Obama as an “evil Muslim communist.” As one might expect, the dastardly duo of Bolton and Pompeo at the helm of US foreign policy has sparked diplomatic chaos between Washington and other nations.
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CHIS HEDGES—Gen. Douglas Haig—One of the great butchers of modern war. Haig, the British commander in chief, who resisted innovations such as the tank, the airplane and the machine gun, which he called “a much overrated weapon.” He believed the cavalry would play the decisive role in winning the war. Haig, in the Battle of the Somme, oversaw 60,000 casualties on the first day of the offensive, July 1, 1916. None of his military objectives were achieved. Twenty thousand lay dead between the lines. The wounded cried out for days. This did not dampen Haig’s ardor to sacrifice his soldiers.