Friday, October 21, 2016
AN ESTABLISHMENT IN PANIC
Pat Buchanan: Ruling class fears the people won't accept its political legitimacy
Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace as to whether he would accept defeat should Hillary Clinton win the election, Donald Trump replied, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.”
“That’s horrifying,” said Clinton, setting off a chain reaction on the post-debate panels with talking heads falling all over one another in purple-faced anger, outrage and disbelief.
“Disqualifying!” was the cry on Clinton cable.
“Trump Won’t Say If He Will Accept Election Results,” wailed the New York Times. “Trump Won’t Vow to Honor Results,” ran the banner in the Washington Post.
But what do these chattering classes and establishment bulletin boards think the Donald is going to do if he falls short of 270 electoral votes?
Lead a Coxey’s Army on Washington and burn it down as British Gen. Robert Ross did in August 1814, while “Little Jemmy” Madison fled on horseback out the Brockville Road?
What explains the hysteria of the establishment?
In a word, fear.
The establishment is horrified at the Donald’s defiance because, deep within its soul, it fears that the people for whom Trump speaks no longer accept its political legitimacy or moral authority.
It may rule and run the country, and may rig the system through mass immigration and a mammoth welfare state so that Middle America is never again able to elect one of its own. But that establishment, disconnected from the people it rules, senses, rightly, that it is unloved and even detested.
Having fixed the future, the establishment finds half of the country looking upon it with the same sullen contempt that our Founding Fathers came to look upon the overlords Parliament sent to rule them.
Establishment panic is traceable to another fear: Its ideology, its political religion, is seen by growing millions as a golden calf, a 20th-century god that has failed.
Trump is “talking down our democracy,” said a shocked Clinton.
After having expunged Christianity from our public life and public square, our establishment installed “democracy” as the new deity, at whose altars we should all worship. And so our schools began to teach.
Half a millennia ago, missionaries and explorers set sail from Spain, England and France to bring Christianity to the New World.
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Today, Clintons, Obamas and Bushes send soldiers and secularist tutors to “establish democracy” among the “lesser breeds without the Law.”
Unfortunately, the natives, once democratized, return to their roots and vote for Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, using democratic processes and procedures to re-establish their true God.
And Allah is no democrat.
By suggesting he might not accept the results of a “rigged election” Trump is committing an unpardonable sin. But this new cult, this devotion to a new holy trinity of diversity, democracy and equality, is of recent vintage and has shallow roots.
For none of the three – diversity, equality, democracy – is to be found in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers or the Pledge of Allegiance. In the pledge, we are a republic.
When Ben Franklin, emerging from the Philadelphia convention, was asked by a woman what kind of government they had created, he answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Among many in the silent majority, Clintonian democracy is not an improvement upon the old republic; it is the corruption of it.
Consider: Six months ago, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton bundler, announced that by executive action he would convert 200,000 convicted felons into eligible voters by November.
If that is democracy, many will say, to hell with it.
Sign the precedent-setting petition supporting Trump’s call for an independent prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton!
And if felons decide the electoral votes of Virginia, and Virginia decides who is our next U.S. president, are we obligated to honor that election?
In 1824, Gen. Andrew Jackson ran first in popular and electoral votes. But, short of a majority, the matter went to the House.
There, Speaker Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams delivered the presidency to Adams – and Adams made Clay secretary of state, putting him on the path to the presidency that had been taken by Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Adams himself.
Were Jackson’s people wrong to regard as a “corrupt bargain” the deal that robbed the general of the presidency?
The establishment also recoiled in horror from Milwaukee Sheriff Dave Clarke’s declaration that it is now “torches and pitchforks time.”
Yet, some of us recall another time, when Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote in “Points of Rebellion”:
“We must realize that today’s Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.”
Baby-boomer radicals loved it, raising their fists in defiance of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew.
But now that it is the populist-nationalist right that is moving beyond the niceties of liberal democracy to save the America they love, elitist enthusiasm for “revolution” seems more constrained.
What goes around comes around.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Assange's Fate - Antiwar.com Original
The left turns on him, the right embraces him
The saga of Julian Assange seems to be drawing to a climax – one that will decide the fate of this historic whistleblower who, for years, has been a giant thorn in the side of governments everywhere.
His role in exposing the machinations of the US government over the years earned him the plaudits of liberals – until the Bush era ended, and he started exposing the crimes of the Obama administration and – most pointedly – the hypocrisy and venality of Hillary Clinton and her journalistic camarilla. Now we see right-wing figures like Sean Hannity and – yes! – Donald Trump praising and defending him, while the ostensible liberals take up the cry of the Clinton campaign that he’s a “pawn of the Kremlin” and a “rapist.” Even Glenn Greenwald, formerly a comrade-in-arms, who together with Assange helped Edward Snowden evade the not-so-loving arms of Uncle Sam, has lately sought to distance himself from the founder of WikiLeaks (over the value of “curation”). Nice timing, Glenn!
Funny how that works.
Now we see that the Ecuadorian government, which has provided sanctuary for Assange ever since the frame-up “rape” charges by the Swedes were brought, is succumbing to pressure from Washington to silence him. As Assange released the now famous Podesta emails, that – among other things – exposed the collusion of the media and the Clinton campaign in delicious detail, John Kerry demanded that the Ecuadorians cut off Assange’s Internet access – and they meekly complied. Of course, since leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has openly endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and openly abhors Trump, this is hardly surprising: this is how the left operates internationally, as well as in this country – if you stray from the party line it doesn’t take long before the knives come out, aimed directly at one’s back.
In any case, Correa’s betrayal seems to have been short-circuited by the ever-resourceful Assange, who is still releasing incriminating emails. This is someone with a Plan!
Coincident with all this is the culmination of the long “legal” process initiated by the Swedish government, which is falsely accusing Assange of “rape.” He was supposed to have met with Swedish prosecutors on Monday, but has put off the meeting until November 14 – after the US elections.
Given Sweden’s bizarre laws on the subject, and the provenance of his accusers, the smear campaign aimed at Assange has zero credibility. No one believes these charges (and remember, he has never been formally charged) aren’t motivated by Washington’s stated desire to get him extradited to the US on “espionage” charges – and there isn’t anyone who thinks that the British government (which has spent millions making sure he stays holed up in Ecuador’s embassy) wouldn’t do so given half a chance.
Is it a coincidence that the way the Establishment tries to destroy those who oppose it is by hurling sex charges at them? They did the same thing to Dan Ellsberg: it’s the oldest trick in the book.
Equally ridiculous are the accusations that Assange is a “Russian agent.” To begin with, despite the US government’s propaganda, there isn’t a lick of real evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC emails, or any of the other emails published by WikiLeaks It could just as easily have been an insider. The fact of the matter is that, although they try to project the illusion of their own omniscience , they just don’t know.
What’s instructive is that the liberal media, which is not even bothering to hide its support for Hillary Clinton, is echoing Washington’s campaign to discredit Assange as a Kremlin tool. And of course the neoconservatives, who are solidly in Clinton’s camp, have always hated Assange, and are glad to join the chorus.
Assange has done more than any single figure to expose the machinations of governments worldwide to murder and plunder the rest of us: as the declared enemy of the powerful, he is their principal target – and it behooves those of us who defend liberty and transparency to rally around the banner of Wikileaks.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August of 2012, with governments all over the world – and especially our government – determined to get him, smear him, and discredit him by any means necessary. Yet he continues to expose them, even in these straitened circumstances, without regard for his own health, happiness, or ultimate fate. He is a hero for our times – in an age when the heroic seems entirely absent. And he is now in more danger than ever before: what with the leftist Ecuadorian government, eager to curry favor with Hillary Clinton, wavering in his defense, and with Mrs. Clinton herself wondering “Can’t we just drone this guy?”
Assange’s fate, whatever it turns out to be, limns our own: if he goes down, then, in a sense, so do we all. Because what that means is that there’s no room for truth-tellers in our world, and no tolerance for heroes. And that’s not the kind of world I care to live in.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richertand David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.
Read more by Justin Raimondo
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Cyber-War on Wikileaks
Srećko Horvat & Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – Sunshine Press Publications.
When the ruling class is in panic, their first reaction is to hide the panic.
They react out of cynicism: when their masks are revealed, instead of running around naked, they usually point the finger at the mask they wear. These days the whole world could witness a postmodern version of the infamous quote “Let them eat cake”, attributed to Marie-Antoinette, queen of France during the French Revolution.
As a reaction to WikiLeaks publishing his emails, John Pedestal, the man behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign, posted a photo of a dinner preparation, saying “I bet the lobster risotto is better than the food at the Ecuadorian Embassy”.
A similar version of vulgar cynicism emerged earlier this month when Hillary Clinton reacted to the claim that she reportedly wanted to “drone” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (“Can’t we just drone this guy?”) when she was the US Secretary of State. Instead of denying her comments, Clinton said that she doesn’t recall any such joke, “It would have been a joke if it had been said, but I don’t recall that”.
One doesn’t have to read between the lines to understand that if Hillary Clinton had said that, she would have considered it a joke. But when emperors joke, it usually has dire consequences for those who are the objects of their “humor.”
Cyber-war Not with Russia…but WikiLeaks
During the last few months I have visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London several times and each time I came out of the Embassy, where he is spending his fifth year in political asylum under legitimate fear he might be extradited to the US, my thought was the following one: although he lives, without his family, in a postmodern version of solitary confinement (even prisoners are allowed to walk for up to one hour a day), although he has no access to fresh air or sunlight for more than 2000 days, although the UK government recently denied him safe passage to a hospital for an MRI scan, if his access to the internet would be cut off this would be the most severe attack on his physical and mental freedom.
The last time I saw him, which was only two weeks ago, he expressed the fear that, because he had already published leaks concerning US elections and with more to come, the US might find various ways to silence him, including pressuring Ecuador or even shutting down the internet.
What seemed a distant possibility only two weeks ago, soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When the Obama administration recently announced that it is, as John Biden said, planing an “unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia”, the first victim was not Putin, but precisely Julian Assange whose internet was cut off just a day after Biden’s self-contradictory proclamation.
No wonder Edward Snowden reacted immediately by saying that “nobody told Joen Biden what ‘covert operation’ means.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.”
It is no secret anymore that the Ecuadorian government has come under extreme pressure since Assange leaked the Democratic National Committee email database. We don’t know yet whether the US pressured Ecuador to shut down the internet, but it is clear that the present US government and the government to come is fighting a war with WikiLeaks which is all but “covert”. Is it really a coincidence that Julian Assange’s internet access was cut off shortly after publication of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches?
If at the beginning we still had a “soft” version of postmodern McCarthyism, with Hillary calling everyone opposed to her campaign a Russian spy (not only Assange, but also Donald Trump and Jill Stein), then with Obama’s recent intervention it became more serious.
With Obama’s threat of a cyber-war, the “soft” McCarthyism didn’t only acquire geopolitical significance, but at the same time a new mask was revealed: Obama is obviously trying to cement the public debate and make the Russian threat “real”, or at least to use it as a weapon in order to help Clinton to get elected. Moreover, this new twist in something that has already become much more than only US elections (US elections are never only US elections!), shows not only how Obama is ready to strengthen Hillary’s campaign, but it also reveals that a cyber war is already in the making.
It is not a cyber war with Russia, but with WikiLeaks.
And it is not the first time.
What would Clausewitz say?
In 2010, when the Collateral Murder video was published, the Afghan and Iraq war logs were released, and we witnessed one of the most sinister attacks on freedom of speech in recent history. VISA, Mastercard, Diners, American Express and Paypal imposed a banking blockade on WikiLeaks, although WikiLeaks had not been charged with any crime at either state, federal or international level. So if the US government successfully convinced payment companies representing more than 97% of the global market to shut down an independent publisher, why wouldn’t they pressure Ecuador or any other state or company to cut off the internet?
The US is not only rhetorically trying to “get” Assange (it is worth to check out the Assassinate Assange video for evidence of the verbal masturbation of US officials), he poses a serious threat to the major elite factions in the US to remain in power. No wonder panic is rising in the US, which is now going even so far that a 16-year-old boy in Britain has been arrested on criminal charges related to the alleged hacking of email accounts used by CIA director John Brennan, which WikiLeaks published in October 2016.
What WikiLeaks obviously successfully challenged–and maybe one day (“history is written by the victors”, remember?) it will be learned in military strategy– is what the Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz would call the “centre of gravity” (Schwerpunkt), which is the “central feature of the enemy’s power”.
Instead of speaking about the Russians, we should start speaking about the Schwerpunkt of the actual leaks, their real essence. Just take the following quotes by Hillary Clinton exposed by WikiLeaks, which reveal her true nature and the politics behind her campaign: “We are going to ring China with missile defense”, “I want to defend fracking” and climate change environmentalists “should get a life”, “you need both a public and a private position”, “my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”.
What WikiLeaks has shown is not only that Hillary is a hawkish war-monger, first it was Libya (over 1,700 of the 33,000 Clinton emails published by WikiLeaks reference Libya), then it was Syria (at a Goldman Sachs conference she explicitly stated she would like to intervene in Syria), tomorrow it will be another war.
It is now clear – and this is the real “centre of gravity” where we should focus our attention – that the future Clinton cabinet may already been filled with Wall Street people like Obama’s was. No wonder WikiLeaks revelations create utter panic not only in the Democratic Party itself but also the Obama administration.
One question remains, isn’t WikiLeaks, by leaking all these dirty secrets, influencing the US elections? Yes, it certainly is, but the current criticism misses its point: isn’t the very point of organizations such as WikiLeaks to publish the material they have and to influence public opinion?
The question should finally be turned around: isn’t the US mainstream media the one influencing the US elections? And isn’t Obama, by announcing a cyber-war with Russia, influencing the elections?
WikiLeaks is not only influencing the US elections, but transforming the US elections – as they should have been from the very beginning – into a global debate with serious geopolitical consequences at stake. What WikiLeaks is doing is revealing this brutal fight for power, but, as the old saying goes, “when a wise man points at the Moon, the idiot looks at the finger”. Instead of looking at the finger pointing to Russia, we should take a look at the leaks themselves.
If democracy and transparency means anything today, we should say: let them leak!
Srećko Horvat is a philosopher and activist. He is co-author, with Slavoj Žižek, of What Does Europe Want? (Columbia University Press, 2014) and author of The Radicality of Love (Polity Press, 2015). Together with Yanis Varoufakis he co-created the movement DiEM 25. https://diem25.org/