Billions on “democratization” buy new dictators for the people of Egypt and Ukraine

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Il arrivera, donc. ce moment où le soleil n’éclairera plus. sur la terre. que des hommes libres. et ne reconnaissant d’autre maître que leur raison.

It will happen, then, in the moment the sun is brightest upon the world, that men will be free and they will recognize no other master than their reason.

Nicolas de Condorcet

We need to reconsider something curious that US President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address. This was the subject of America’s commitment to human rights and free speech.

Obama claimed that the US government firmly stands up for free speech, the rights of political prisoners, and the interest of women, ethnic minorities and sexual minorities. In reality, I would argue that the US  only brings up these issues when it needs some fuel to criticize the countries opposing its hegemony. It doesn’t really value such things as free speech or human rights at all, or it might be more committed to such values in its own country. The US is persecuting its own country’s dissidents such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, and the US under Obama is responsible for supporting more repressive dictatorships around the world than any other country.

It is especially strange, in view of the recent torture report which disclosed the CIA’s crimes to the public, that the US government would profess to be the biggest advocate in the world for things like human rights and free speech. It is especially rich of the US government to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin as an autocrat, when their own record on human rights and free speech seems so much worse than Putin’s.

Officially, the CIA cannot tell us where their torture “black sites” are because it doesn’t want to endanger the personnel working at those facilities. The US government doesn’t value the lives of its personnel. The real reason the government can’t afford to disclose the locations of its black sites is that we would see they are all located in various repressive countries in Eastern Europe and the third world, proving the CIA is guilty of most of the domestic repression and torture applied by repressive regimes against their subjects today. Such a disclosure would shatter the myth that the United States is fighting tyrants, and confirm that the United States is actually supporting tyrants.

We only have to look to the events in Ukraine to realize that the United States government doesn’t really favor a liberal democratic transition for other countries, but military dictatorship.

It’s time to stop falling for the scam that the US is interested in expanding the zone of freedom (“free trade”, perhaps) and democracy (more like, NATO membership) in the world. The only interest the US has in other countries is about spreading the methods and technologies of tyranny, torture and repression. The US only cynically uses liberal democratic ideology as a kind of propaganda “wedge strategy” to start justifying its infection of other countries with its political influence, with the goal of ultimately ousting democratically elected rulers and replacing them with executioners and dictators trained by the CIA. It is a strategy of staging coups, as old as the 1950s:

  1. The US criticizes the democratically-elected ruler as someone on a possible slippery slope to autocracy (e.g. Morsi in Egypt or Yanukovich in Ukraine), like it does regarding Vladimir Putin
  2. The US starts supporting an “all means necessary” coup against the quasi-autocrat. It befriends anyone willing to destabilize the country, including the neo-Nazis it supported in Ukraine and the al Qaeda terrorists it supported in Libya and Syria
  3. Once the CIA’s coup team has stormed the capital, the new US puppet dictators take the first actual constitutional steps to make the country autocratic: they outlaw all opposition parties and independent media in the country, as Sisi did in Egypt and Poroshenko did in Ukraine. They build the more sordid and autocratic regime than the original one they were complaining about when they started to interfere
  4. This is the most ridiculous part: the US government will take the sudden and baffling step of saying democracy isn’t important anymore and they are just committed to the new regime’s security instead (right after convincing the US taxpayer to waste billions of dollars, and often thousands of lives in the target country, supposedly trying to spread democracy in previous stages of the coup)

The most recent victims of this kind of CIA conspiracy have, as given in the examples above, been Egypt and Ukraine. In both of those countries, the CIA brought new abominable dictators to power who were worse than their predecessors: Sisi and Poroshenko. Both of them have outlawed opposition and independent media – two crucial steps in the consolidation of power of a totalitarian state. Somehow, the US was able to recognize Morsi and Yanukovich’s alleged autocratic tendencies, but is incapable of seeing anything autocratic about the new CIA-backed thugs and dictators liquidating lawmaking bodies, banning and beating up opposition politicians and journalists, and ruling by decree.

It is equally true that if the Bashar al-Assad regime was overthrown in Syria, the US would suddenly switch priorities and only talk about the new Syrian state’s security, saying democracy doesn’t matter anymore. Democratization, so called, is just a sorry excuse for the US government to begin meddling in other countries, whereupon it will only be interested in establishing a new dictatorship. Imagine it, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, listening to America’s empty promises of democracy, when all the US was ever interested in was replacing Assad with a new dictator who is on their payroll. They wouldn’t care if the civil war continued, either – as it did in Libya. They just want the head of state to be a puppet, to obey their commands, like Sisi in Egypt or the new dictatorial general they are backing in Libya.

We should all be appalled by how most of our media are very selective in their coverage of repression in other countries. Specifically, they only ever talk about repression when it helps the US undermine its political or military rivals, and they simply avoid all recognition of repressive policies if the dictator is on the side of the Pentagon.

By Harry J. Bentham

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The war on terror is over: we lost

posted by Harry J. Bentham

La guerre est toujours le premier vœu d’un gouvernement puissant qui veut devenir plus puissant encore.

War is always the first wish of a powerful government that wants to become even more powerful.

Maximilien de Robespierre

The war on terror is lost. That’s why the phrase is no longer in use and we’re all withdrawing from Afghanistan.

This is a point I have articulated in a new article at ClubOfINFO by the title of “ISIS: the Envy of NATO”. I am not here arguing that the ISIS organization is a true state or legitimate government, nor that it represents Islam. I  am using the fact that we can’t compete with it, to illustrate just how weak our governments and armed forces are. The entire combined might of the West’s armies cannot defeat a terrorist organization, and it indicates not the strength of ISIS but the utter weakness and inevitable collapse of our own state machinery, beginning with the ultimate failure of our countries’ armed forces to suppress a single organization in Iraq:

We have lost our way. The liberal democratic model of state, which we are hugging tighter to in our misguided sense of security that we are better than the Islamic State, is militarily and morally stunted and will never overpower the Islamic State. While France could barely muster fifty combatants to fight the Islamic State in Iraq, the Islamic State recruited well over a thousand soldiers from France’s own so-called nation.

Our governments cannot save us from the Islamic State because they have lost the ability to wage war, or even conduct politics adequately. Other than occasional air strikes aiming to “influence” or “tip” the outcome of conflicts that are nothing to do with us, the armed forces of so-called Western democracies are now completely emasculated and will never carry out a successful ground war again.

A large part of this is the “ageing” or “greying” of Europe and North America, as our populations are reduced to isolated, frustrated, delusional Daily Mail readers whose future has long since been lost to the growing migrant populations now inhabiting Europe and North America. These migrant populations, who are an integral part of the so-called nation, do not and cannot share the old-fashioned nation-state allegiances that our governments relied on to survive. This is why there is so little will to war, such poor armed forces recruitment levels in Britain and other so-called nations, and now ever more impressive numbers from our own population flocking to join the Islamic State.

What has happened to us? What has happened to the so-called West (the liberal democratic countries and their armed forces), that makes more of our “people” travel to Iraq to work for the so-called Islamic State (IS, also ISIL, ISIS and Daesh) than are willing to travel there to fight that menace? Mine is obviously not the case for more “boots on the ground”, as many senile conservative pundits want. The public is rightly disillusioned with dated concepts of military conquest that proved to be so devastatingly ineffective in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The events in Iraq today have erased every notion of American military power and have negated the sacrifice of thousands of American soldiers, rendering their bravery worthless and unavailing, as is the entire so-called war on terror that they were made to fight in.

Decades of the combined armed strength of NATO have proven futile, impotent to curtail the growth and legitimization of the latter-day caliphate that al Qaeda and its affiliates intended to build in the Middle East. We must retreat from the Middle East region, and our governments must give up their maniacal and impossible goals to protect Israel in the region. If we do not, the brave armed forces of Britain, America, France and the other allies will only be further humiliated and demoralized when the day finally arrives that we must admit to squandering billions of dollars, decades of talking and fighting, and hundreds of thousands of civilian and military lives, for nothing.

We won’t see another “boots on the ground” war waged by our weak governments and their NATO alliance again.

The demographic collapses of our countries and the growing half-loyalties of the youth (including me, for my experiences make me more sympathetic to the Internet than I am to my “country”) makes it hard to convince people to sacrifice for their so-called nation. This is one of the reasons we see such a deterioration in military recruitment levels in countries such as Britain. The people who would have enlisted are now just too old to actually be of any use to the state. The youth doesn’t believe in the nation. It is a hemorrhage of loyalty that the government cannot survive.

I have only been conveying what I already know from sociological theories that inform my writing. The fact is that our governments will continue to fail to attract volunteers to their causes, steadily losing their ability to incite wars or enforce laws until this degradation starts to undermine their capacity to protect themselves on their own territory. This has already started to happen in the United States, where officials are increasingly seen as arbitrary and cruel, and they are not believed to be in the business of protecting or serving but of fearing the people. As terrorists and mafias are likely to fill the vacuums left by collapsing states around the world, the international system is due to go through “hell on earth”, escalating through the coming decades. It would have happened anyway, but the failed wars waged by the United States are making it happen faster and with a much more humiliating character.

Loss of “stateness” (military and policing legitimacy) is part of the crisis of the world-system.

Delegitimization of states will continue. I don’t know what it will look like in the end, or whether we can survive it when the consequences get too heavy. Whatever happens, our nation-states will not survive the transition in their current form. At the very best, what is left of them will end up living in “Green Zones” in their own capital cities, hiding from the the vast majority of the people they have designated as “potential threats”, “terrorists” and “traitors”. The government is becoming allergic to the people.

By Harry J. Bentham

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The purpose of the Order

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Je sens que j’existe, mais je ne sais pas ce que je suis.

I feel that I exist, but I do not know what I am.

Nicolas Malebranche

We should embrace the fact that many of the critics of our excessive states, which entitled themselves to monitor and intrude heavily against our persons today, are antistatists or even anarchists. Despite this, we must warn that humanity should not embrace a pendulum swing into chaos as we protest that order:

The world is tension. Tension between Order and Chaos. Too much order, and you wind up living in Nazi Germany or modern America. Not good. Too much Chaos, and you wind up sleeping with a shotgun, while roaming street gangs rape and pillage, until one gangster gets big enough and invents droit de seigneur.

These are the words of J. M. Porup, American dissident writer and blogger recently published at the web magazine ClubOfINFO, and are part of a view that I have found to be shared among all the other parties to the Mont Order journalistic club and coalition. Indeed, we use the name of this club for no trivial reasons. Order – the right order – is one name used for the sum the world cannot endure without. I respond to J. M. Porup’s article in a different article published also at ClubOfINFO, in which I affirm that I share his assessment. However, also in that response, I articulate what I have meant by antistatism in the past: a profound skepticism of the nation-state, its waning legitimacy, and what I have understood to be its deteriorating ability to justify its monopoly of force over both our internet and our persons. My sources have been a relative mix of books by Julian Assange (like Cypherpunks and When Google Met WikiLeaks) and great minds in sociology such as Immanuel Wallerstein, as well as other American intellectual dissidents such as Noam Chomsky.

We should consider ourselves to be the inheritors of the Mountain, the club that gave birth to the modern state through the acts of the French Revolution. We must also consider ourselves, as political agents, to be shaping an alternative order. By inheriting both of these legacies, the name of this Mont Order club is both fitting and iconic.

The Order is driven by those who are party to it, and the agenda of those who are party to the Order is the agenda of the Order. By such collaboration, we make our collective will a reality. We will use each other’s reach and leverage to increase one another’s reach and leverage throughout the world of online journalism and web politics, and as the club grows I hope we will watch the influence and authority of each party grow. This is what we agreed to be the mode of our growth and success, thus we do everything we can to understand, support and empower the other parties.

By Harry J. Bentham

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Charlie Hebdo’s freedom of speech was never violated, it simply had consequences

posted by Harry J. Bentham

Ce que l’on conçoit bien, s’énonce clairement, Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément.

What is well designed, is expressed clearly, and the words to say it come easily.

Nicolas Boileau

The concept of freedom of speech seems to have been abused and misrepresented in recent days, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. This came to my attention based on something Joshua Sperber wrote in Counterpunch (itallics mine):

The issue couldn’t be clearer to the heralds of liberal idealism, as the Islamists are guilty of having inadequate reverence for the core Western value of free speech (although liberals tend to forget that freedom of speech concerns freedom from governmental, versus private, interference).

In the hysteria following this violence, I believe (classical) liberal and libertarian commentators fell into a trap of abandoning their most important principle: that of criticizing and opposing the power of government. In reality, liberals and libertarians are not supposed to oppose reprisals by private individuals against media entities, which is what happened at Charlie Hebdo. By siding with Charlie Hebdo against its attackers, liberals and libertarians are no longer attacking the state but taking aim at private individuals, insisting that the government must protect certain privileged media outlets from the outrage of the public and to ensure these media outlets’ freedom and security. This aspiration is opposed to the libertarian commitment to limited government or liberal models of freedom, and is actually a call for heightened power of government.

Freedom of speech bears no relationship to the idea of protecting people from lynch mobs or other repercussions from exercising that freedom. The moment the government begins to take sides in a dispute between private individuals or media entities, sanctioning those whom it disagrees with, it is then and only then that freedom of speech actually begins to be infringed upon. This has occurred just now, with government arrests of people who condoned or voiced support for the attacks against Charlie Hebdo. It is not Charlie Hebdo’s freedoms that have been infringed, but these people who have been arrested by the paranoid government.

The principle of free speech, as it has been written into the liberal constitution of state throughout the world, doesn’t contain any stipulations that people should be exempt from ridicule or even assassination as a consequence of their speech. Therefore, while the murderers against Charlie Hebdo are indeed guilty of monstrous depravity, murder and extremism, what they have done in no way infringes upon anyone’s freedom of speech. People are still free to make cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH): they simply bear a greater risk of being killed for doing that. Until the law actually contains provisions against depicting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), no-one’s freedom of speech can yet be said to have been violated for that sake. However, we already have laws prohibiting other forms of offense, so even a law against depictions of revered religious figures would not actually undermine the liberal state order in any way, nor would I object if such a law went into effect.

People were always at risk of being killed for offending the wrong people’s sensibilities, even in the freest and most liberal societies. This natural situation has never been faulted or described as a threat to freedom of speech, until now.

What we are witnessing now is that the government is abusing the events of the Charlie Hebdo attack and the narrative surrounding it to alter the definition of freedom of speech away from private individuals or media outlets and towards protecting the state’s speech and the speech of the media outlets and “martyrs” the state supports. Charlie Hebdo’s “freedom of speech” is protected not because it is staffed by human beings or because it is a legitimate outlet, but because the government agrees with it and supports its activities. If you criticize the government, on the other hand, your freedom of speech is of comparatively little importance to the government. Charlie Hebdo’s freedom is safeguarded only because they are puppets and cheerleaders of the regime. They are the stooges, sychophants and poster-boys glorifying the scam of our decadent and flawed democracies.

If we quote “freedom of speech” principles to protect some journalists and political elites from reprisals from private individuals springing from the general public, we have lost the plot.

I can’t make this any clearer than to explain how the law really works: freedom of speech doesn’t protect anyone from having a rotten tomato or even a grenade thrown in their face. Freedom of speech only protects us journalists from being subjected to detention or other punishment by the authorities for what we have said. In the case of Charlie Hebdo, this did not happen. Therefore, the killing at Charlie Hebdo wasn’t a violation of freedom of speech in any way. It simply qualified as a public backlash against Charlie Hebdo’s publishing, which has seriously offended elements of the public.

To lazily surmise the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were attacks on free speech is to conflate free speech with the state-sanctioned propaganda splashed on our television screens, and conflate so-called “terrorists” with an imaginary state or totalitarian caliphate cracking down on its own citizens.

We must not be brainwashed by government propaganda, or we will be no better than the most rotten fascists and architects of state “security”.

By Harry J. Bentham

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Previous Posts

Billions on "democratization" buy new dictators for the people of Egypt and Ukraine
Il arrivera, donc. ce moment où le soleil n’éclairera plus. sur la terre. que des hommes libres. et ne reconnaissant d’autre maître que leur raison. It will happen, then, in the moment the sun is brightest upon the world, that men will be free and they will recognize no other master than the

posted 11:00:40pm Jan. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The war on terror is over: we lost
La guerre est toujours le premier vœu d'un gouvernement puissant qui veut devenir plus puissant encore. War is always the first wish of a powerful government that wants to become even more powerful. Maximilien de Robespierre The war on terror is lost. That's why the phrase is no longer

posted 11:00:37pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The purpose of the Order
Je sens que j'existe, mais je ne sais pas ce que je suis. I feel that I exist, but I do not know what I am. Nicolas Malebranche We should embrace the fact that many of the critics of our excessive states, which entitled themselves to monitor and intrude heavily against our persons today,

posted 11:00:22pm Jan. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Charlie Hebdo's freedom of speech was never violated, it simply had consequences
Ce que l'on conçoit bien, s'énonce clairement, Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément. What is well designed, is expressed clearly, and the words to say it come easily. Nicolas Boileau The concept of freedom of speech seems to have been abused and misrepresented in recent days, in

posted 8:00:48pm Jan. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Recommendations from the Order: Robert Wei's politics and culture blog
L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu. Hypocrisy is an homage that vice pays to virtue. François de La Rochefoucauld I have a new viewpoint article due to appear at Press TV soon, but in the meantime, I would like to congratulate Robert Wei on being added to our club

posted 11:00:53pm Jan. 10, 2015 | read full post »

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