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Jacob G. Hornberger

The War Against Castro Comes to an End

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With the passing of former Cuban president Fidel Castro over the weekend, the decades-long U.S. war waged against him finally comes to an end, even if the decades-long embargo against the Cuban people continues.

Castro was one of the most tyrannical dictators in the world. After taking power in 1959, he refused to permit democratic elections, suppressed dissent, censored the news, and controlled travel. And, of course, Castro was a communist or socialist. As president, he imposed a socialist economic system on the island, which entailed the nationalization of all private property. Most everyone became an employee of the state.

But that begs an important question, one that the U.S. mainstream media is loath to ask: Under what moral or legal authority did U.S. officials repeatedly try to murder Castro, and under what moral or legal authority did they try to effect regime change in Cuba?

Most of the mainstream media accounts of Castro’s life mention that the CIA tried to assassinate Castro hundreds of times. They also remind people of the U.S. invasion at the Bay of Pigs.
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Trump: Don't Follow the Bush-Obama Foreign Policy Legacy

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Eight years ago, President Obama had a chance to change the warmongering direction that outgoing President Bush and the U.S. national-security establishment had led America for the previous eight years. Obama could have said, “Enough is enough. America has done enough killing and dying. I’m going to lead our country in a different direction — toward peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world.” He could have ordered all U.S. troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan to return home. He could have ended U.S. involvement in the endless wars that Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA spawned in that part of the world. He could have led America in a new direction.

Instead, Obama decided to stay Bush’s course, no doubt believing that he, unlike Bush, could win the endless wars that Bush had started. It was not to be. He chose to keep the national-security establishment embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq. Death and destruction are Obama’s legacy, just as they were Bush’s.

Obama hoped that Hillary Clinton would protect and continue his (and Bush’s) legacy of foreign death and destruction. Yesterday, a majority of American voters dashed that hope.

Will Trump change directions and bring U.S. troops home? Possibly not, especially given he is an interventionist, just as Clinton, Bush, and Obama are. But there is always that possibility, especially since Trump, unlike Clinton, owes no allegiance to the U.S. military-industrial complex, whose survival and prosperity depends on endless wars and perpetual crises.
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Another US Massacre in Afghanistan

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The latest massacre of many innocent people by US forces in Afghanistan provides another demonstration as to why it is imperative that the American people stop deferring to the authority of the national security state and demand the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan.

In a war that has now gone on for 16 years, US forces just killed at least 32 more civilians, many of whom were children. Another 25 people were wounded. Of course, this is on top of all the wedding parties, hospitals, and other victims of US bombing attacks that have brought the death toll from US interventionism in Afghanistan to more than 200,000, not to mention the wounded, maimed, homeless, and refugees. In the last seven days alone, 95 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan and 111 injured.

How many of those 30 people, including the children, who are now being buried had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks? It is a virtual certainty that none of them did.

How did this latest US massacre occur? Afghan government forces, assisted by US troops, decided to raid a home in a densely populated neighborhood in a village where a Taliban commander was supposedly having a meeting. The soldiers got trapped in a narrow dead-end street, where they began taking enemy fire from surrounding homes.
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Washington's Meddling in Foreign Elections

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As US officials continue to accuse Russia of meddling with the US presidential election, an accusation that they have provided no evidence whatsoever to support, let’s review some of the US government’s history of meddling with elections in others countries.

1. In 1951, the democratically elected parliament of Iran elected a man named Mohammad Mossadegh to be Iran’s prime minister. Mossadegh angered British Empire officials by nationalizing British oil interests in the country.

British officials then turned to the CIA for assistance. In 1953, the CIA secretly fomented a violent coup in Iran, which succeeded in ousting Mossadegh from power and making the Shah of Iran the supreme unelected dictator of the country.

To fortify the Shah’s dictatorial hold on power, the CIA helped organize and train the his domestic police force, the Savak, which was essentially a combination of the CIA, the NSA, and the military. Part of the CIA’s training involved teaching Savak agents the art of torture.

For the next 26 years, the Iranian people suffered under one of the most brutal and tyrannical dictatorships in the world, one that US officials fully supported and called an ally and friend of the United States.
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Purchasing Loyalty with Foreign Aid

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A dispute that is taking place between Saudi Arabia and Egypt indirectly demonstrates the nature of US foreign aid. After dumping a walloping $25 billion in foreign aid to help the Egyptian military dictatorship’s economic woes, the Saudis are hopping mad. Why? Because last month in the United Nations, contrary to Saudi Arabia’s wishes, Egypt voted in favor of a Russian resolution on Syria.

In the world of foreign aid, that’s a super no-no. When a regime has received $25 billion from another regime, it is expected to vote the way its benefactor wants it to vote.
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Should America Pardon the National Security State?

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Several weeks ago, contemporaneously with the release of Oliver Stone’s excellent movie Snowden, friends and admirers of Edward Snowden launched a campaign to have President Obama pardon him for disclosing the NSA’s super-secret illegal surveillance scheme to the American people and the world. The reasons for the pardon request were excellently summarized in an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times entitled “Pardon Edward Snowden” by Kenneth Roth and Salil Shetty.

Not surprisingly, the US national-security establishment and its assets within the mainstream press oppose a pardon for Snowden because, they say, he endangered “national security” with his disclosure of the NSA’s top-secret illegal surveillance programs.

But notice something important: Every time someone discloses “national security” state secrets, the east coast doesn’t fall into the ocean, California isn’t hit by earthquakes, and the federal government isn’t taken over by communists, terrorists, Muslims, illegal immigrants, or drug dealers. Nothing ever happens! That’s because, as I point out in my ebook “The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State, ever since the federal government was converted into a national security state in the 1940s, the term “national security” has been nothing more than a way to shield criminal wrongdoing on the part of the national-security establishment.
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Paranoid Apoplexy Over the Russkies

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As I watch the paranoid apoplexy that US officials and their acolytes in the mainstream press are displaying over the hacking of Democratic Party computers and the disclosure of their emails, I’m tempted to say that it might all be some sort of karmic justice. But since I’m a Christian rather than a Buddhist, I’m more tempted to say that it might all be a ratification of the principle, “You get what you sow.”

Consider their accusation: that it was the Russkies who did the hacking and the disclosing of those emails. Is there any evidence that they’ve shown us? None! But heaven help anyone who points that out. He will be labeled a lover and defender of Vladimir Putin as well as an American who hates America, one who dares to doubt the word of the US “intelligence establishment.” Why, they might even insinuate that he is a communist or a communist sympathizer, as they did during the old Cold War.

When it comes to US national-security state accusations against Russia, Americans are supposed to do what they were expected to do during the previous Cold War: hop to, salute, pledge allegiance, and unconditionally accept the conclusions of the US “intelligence community.” Sort of like when they were expected to blindly support the invasion of Iraq based on those WMD conclusions that were being issued by the national-security establishment.

Don’t ask questions. Just defer to their authority. They know what’s best for us. They have access to information we don’t have. They’re just protecting “national security.”
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The Horror of Endless Interventionism

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When the US government invaded Iraq in 2003, I wonder how many US officials contemplated the possibility that the cycle of death and destruction that they were initiating would be continuing 13 years later. And yet, here we are — more than a decade after Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched — and US and Iraqi soldiers are, once again, battling over control of Mosul. 

The battle for Mosul is being met with considerable indifference or nonchalance among many Americans. After all, there are so many more important things to talk about, such as sex scandals. But the fact that US troops are still fighting, killing, and dying in Iraq 13 years after the US invasion of the country (and 26 years after the US government’s Persian Gulf intervention) is truly remarkable. 

Not surprisingly, the US mainstream press and the US national-security establishment are doing their best to put their best spin on the upcoming battle for Mosul. They are showing how US warplanes are “softening” up the enemy with bombing raids on the city. They are reporting how Iraqi troops, counseled by US military advisers, are readying for their long-awaited attack to liberate the city from ISIS, which is the group that came into existence as a direct consequence of the US invasion of Iraq.
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Prepare Yourself for Blowback From Yemen

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If there is another terrorist attack on US soil, this time because of the death and destruction that the US government is wreaking in Yemen, I can already hear the laments and complaints of statist-Americans: “Oh my gosh, another terrorist attack against us! Why do the terrorists and the Muslims hate us for our freedom and values? Why can’t they see that we’re good people who just want to live our lives in peace? We must now give more power and more money to the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA so that they can keep us safe from those who hate us because we’re good.”

In other words, the last thing they’re going to acknowledge is that the Tomahawk missiles that the US military fired against radar sites in Yemen yesterday, killing whoever happened to be manning those radar sites, will have had anything to do with retaliatory terrorism against the United States.
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Who Are The Crazies on Korea?

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The US military-industrial complex and the US mainstream media often describe the leadership of North Korea, headed by President Kim Jong-un, as crazy and irrational. But what could be more crazy and irrational than doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

What better way to describe the actions of the US national-security establishment and its loyal acolytes in the mainstream press whenever North Korea does something that they don’t like, such as engaging in underground nuclear testing?

In response to North Korea’s latest round of underground nuclear testing, the national-security establishment responded with its standard, predictable response by flying two B-1 bombers, flanked by several US fighter planes, right near the South Korea-North Korea border.

What’s that supposed to accomplish? Does the Pentagon really think that that’s going to stop North Korea from engaging in more nuclear testing? If so, one has to ask why Pentagon officials would believe that given that the last time they did the same thing, North Korea responded with another round of nuclear testing.
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