Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

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9/11 Ten Years On: The Lost Decade

building 7

It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  What we did not realize at the time was that the tragedy was only just beginning on that beautiful morning in late summer, as we were soon to embark on a lost decade which would eventually leave hundreds of thousands dead, eviscerate human rights both at home and abroad, destroy the national economy and squander trillions on multiple corporate wars of aggression.

So where are we now, and just what exactly has been accomplished since that fateful day?

We are embroiled in no less than five wars throughout the Islamic world:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.  More than 6,000 American soldiers are dead, tens of thousands more are permanently disabled.  Well in excess of one million civilians have been killed by our actions throughout the Muslim world, and the American economy has been sabotaged for generations to come by our multi-trillion dollar military expenditures.

The Patriot Act annihilated the very concept of civil liberties, while our Orwellian “War on Terror” has destroyed what few remnants there were of America’s standing in the world as a force for good:  Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention without charge, torture, the now accepted Bush/Obama Doctrine of preemptive war.

The world is clearly a far worse place today than it was ten years ago.  The entire human race, thanks to the reckless actions of the corporatist Bush/Obama regime, has taken a giant step back.  2,700 dead on September 11, 2001 seems trivial in comparison.

But let’s look back on the events that triggered it all.  Just what do we know about the alleged attacks?  For starters, we know that the official story is completely false.  There are far too many questions which remain unanswered, and until these questions are answered no American can claim to know what really happened on that day.  While I do not purport to know what really transpired, I think the following questions require immediate answers:

1 – Why didn’t the official 9/11 report consider the source of funding for the attacks pertinent, particularly when there was clear evidence linking the hijackers to the Pakistani intelligence unit?

2 – What happened to Building 7?

3 – How is it possible that burning jet fuel caused two steel towers to collapse?

4 – What is Larry Silverstein talking about when he suggests “pulling it”?

5 – What happened to the remains of the plane in Pennsylvania?

6 – What happened to the remains of the plane at the Pentagon?

7 – Why won’t the Pentagon release the video of the plane striking it?

8 – What happened to the black boxes of the planes that struck the twin towers?

9 – What are we to make of the numerous eye-witness accounts which describe explosions in the basement, before the planes struck?

10 – What are we to make of the Project for a New American Century, and its document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” which cited the need for a new Pearl Harbor event nearly two years before the events of 9/11?

I am not necessarily suggesting a conspiracy of any sort, nor am I implying an inside job in which the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition.  But short of concrete evidence to the contrary – or at least, evidence which supports the official story – I will not rule them out.  The CIA has routinely been involved in such attacks on nations throughout the world; what is to prevent it from carrying out a false-flag attack on US soil?  Anything is possible, particularly in a nation as corrupt as ours.  And until we have answers to the above questions and many more, we can hardly claim to live in a free and open society.

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ICC Should Remove Double Standard Before Prosecuting Gadhafi

The International Criminal Court is preparing to indict Moammar Gadhafi:

In asking for the arrest warrants, Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the evidence is clear: Moammar Gadhafi personally ordered the attacks on unarmed civilians that have been taking place since the uprising began in mid-February.

“He committed crimes with the goal of preserving authority. He has absolute authority. He uses that authority to commit crimes,” said Ocampo.

Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo said Mr. Gadhafi ruled through fear, that his security forces opened fire onto demonstrators, used heavy artillery on funeral processions, and used snipers to shoot worshippers leaving mosques.

Gadhafi is without a doubt a war criminal, and should be treated as such.  But the ICC will remain a mockery until it seeks to apply international law to citizens of all nationalities, and not just those of the developing world.   I am referring here, of course, to the most obvious example of crimes against humanity in modern history:  the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the extra-judicial assassination of Osama bin Laden.

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Kucinich Calls for Freezing of Funds for Obama’s Latest War

The man who should be president, Dennis Kucinich, has written a letter to his fellow members of Congress, urging them to support his bill which will deny funding for Obama’s latest war.  The letter points out all of the obvious things that our mainstream media has frustratingly failed to cover, but it is refreshing to see reality being addressed by at least one of our elected officials:

Even with NATO’s support, the war in Libya has the potential to become a quagmire, in part because we entered into this conflict without clear goals. Already, military action has brought the eastern and western parts of Libya to a standoff. Is the goal to divide Libya? Is the goal to remove Muammar Qadaffi? Will we install a friendly regime? What if the country is destabilized to the point that extremist groups such as al-Qaeda are allowed to take root? How does this war end? When will this war end? How much will it cost American taxpayers? What is the impact on our already overstretched military?

These are such basic questions it is absurd that no one in the MSM seems to have asked them.  Nearly 10 years into the perpetual “War on Terror,” have we as Americans learned nothing?  How is it that Obama has managed to inject us into yet another military conflict?  He already has two covert wars being waged in Yemen and Pakistan – two incredibly dangerous and unstable countries – and now we have inserted ourselves into what was – and will continue to be – a civil war.  What are we doing there, and why have we allowed ourselves to get there?

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U.S. Engages in Fifth Concurrent War

With the launch of 112 Tomahawk missiles against Libya, the United States has now begun its fifth concurrent war. The U.S. military is now engaged in varying degrees of military conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and now Libya. While Americans continue to suffer under the weight of soaring unemployment, rising inflation and an ongoing lack of access to affordable health care, our allegedly leftward-leaning president has committed our precious national resources to yet another needless war of aggression.

Let’s be clear that what is going in Libya under Moammar Gadhafi is utterly reprehensible. Obama is correct in asserting that “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.” The problem here is with the sheer hypocrisy inherent in such a statement coming from a figure such as Obama. What about similar protests in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia?

The United States has stood by as 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia crossed the causeway to ensure that revolts in Bahrain were adequately stifled. Meanwhile, blood continues to be shed in Yemen as protesters fight against one of the most repressive regimes on earth, while perhaps the most repressive regime – that of Saudi Arabia – remains our staunch ally.

Why the disgustingly transparent double standard? Read more of this post

One Party Rule: Obama Will Not Face Democratic Challenger in 2012

All you need to know about the Democratic Party is summed up here:

Kaine: No serious 2012 primary challenge to Obama
WASHINGTON – The national Democratic Party chairman says he thinks the chances that President Barack Obama will face a serious primary challenger in 2012 are “virtually nil.”

Tim Kaine says there’s always the possibility that a fringe candidate could try to mount a challenge. But Kaine says Democrats feel very good about Obama’s re-election prospects if, as Kaine puts it, the president keeps doing the job that people elected him to do.

The presidency of Barack Obama thus far has been even more conservative than many past Republican presidents.  By extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich, continuing one war, expanding another and covertly starting two more, facilitating massive bailouts to Wall Street, the insurance industry and the auto industry, and by engaging in constant hippie-punching, Obama is somehow described as “doing the job that people elected him to do.”

Now, in a twisted sort of way this is true.  Obama may not be doing what progressives had in mind when they voted for him in 2008, but he is doing exactly what his corporate pay-masters wanted him to do.  He is fulfilling the corporatist agenda of sabotaging the poor and middle class while enabling the further accumulation of mind-numbing riches by the very wealthy.   Obama wasn’t elected to enact real “change”; had he been a genuine liberal, he would never have reached the national stage – at least not the stage controlled by the corporatist media.

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Wikileaks: Obama Protected Bush Administration War Criminals

The evidence continues to mount from the latest Wikileaks treasure trove:

“In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution. …

Back when it seemed that this case could become a major international issue, during an April 14, 2009, White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration would cooperate with any request from the Spaniards for information and documents related to the Bush Six. He said, ‘I don’t want to get involved in hypotheticals.’ What he didn’t disclose was that the Obama administration, working with Republicans, was actively pressuring the Spaniards to drop the investigation. Those efforts apparently paid off, and, as this WikiLeaks-released cable shows, Gonzales, Haynes, Feith, Bybee, Addington, and Yoo owed Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thank-you notes.”

As with most of the revelations from Wikileaks, there is little here about which one should be surprised.  The most recent batch of leaks – along with the Iraq War Logs and Afghan Diaries – merely provides concrete evidence to support what most people have suspected all along.   It was long apparent that Obama was not interested in pursuing criminal prosecution of Bush and his gang of lawless thugs – indeed, the Democrats made clear their unwillingness to uphold the rule of law back in the 2008 mid-term elections, with Nancy “Impeachment is Off the Table” Pelosi’s now infamous words.

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