Sunday, 26 March 2017

Dr Nafeez Ahmed interviewed

Dr Nafeez Ahmed - failing states and collapsing systems

Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq AhmedDr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed Photo: Supplied
Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is an award-winning investigative journalist, international security scholar, author, and filmmaker.



His work is informed by the belief that violence and state failures around the world are the result of a clutch of crises - climate, energy, food and economy.



Ahmed's latest book Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence looks at what is triggering the unprecedented outbreak of global social unrest since the 2008 financial crash.



"What we're now starting to understand is that everything is actually connected - our social systems, our political systems, our economic systems, our cultural systems. And all of those things are overlapping and are all embedded in one environment. What we're now beginning to understand, and what I ended up discovering with the research that I did in my book, is the extent to which so many of our systems are coupled. In a way this has got worse with globalisation. Now we have this phenomenon where a failure in one system can very quickly transmit shocks into another system.



"The good news is we do have science ... Hard science - across the spectrum of climate change, across the spectrum of energy and the economy - is telling us very, very clearly that our systems are interconnected. And it's the failure of our overall scientific frameworks to generate ways of integrating all of this information that recognise how deeply interconnected they are that has prevented us from being prepared to deal with them. That's why economists didn't see the 2008 financial crash coming - because they didn't understand all of these other factors that were playing out in the background.



"We're now seeing that if we don't make all our efforts - as scientists, economists, political experts and so on and so forth - to actually bring together what we think … Unless we do that, we're going to find it very difficult to keep up with the pace of events, which I think to some extent explains why we're experiencing that sense of acceleration and really wondering where is the world going to go next?"




Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed will discuss (via Skype) the necessity for the emergence of a new post-carbon, post- materialist system at the Living Economies Expo in Lyttleton next week.

To listen to podcast GO HERE





John Pilger on Radio NZ

John Pilger's latest film is being released in NZ this week.

John Pilger - A looming Pacific war

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Wallace speaks to award-winning journalist and filmmaker, John Pilger, about his latest film, The Coming War On China, which examines the increasing focus of the United States on the Asia-Pacific region.

"Hit and Run" NZwar crime in Afghanisan


This documentary from 2014 is the preqel to Hager and Stephenson's latest book released last Tuesday.

Native Affairs - Collateral Damage


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http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/native-affairs-collateral-damage

New Zealanders have been told the role of our troops in Afghanistan is to help the locals. Their focus is supposed to be on reconstruction or training and mentoring Afghan security forces.



However questions have been raised about a joint operation our military undertook with Afghan and American troops in 2010.



The operation, a night raid on a remote village, was a strike against insurgents alleged to have been involved in a kiwi soldier's death.



But tonight you will hear eye witness accounts, from those villagers who say the raid left 21 innocent Afghans dead or injured and that there were no insurgents in the village that night.



We would like to point out the footage shown in this story is not from the operation in question. Here is our special report by correspondent Jon Stephenson.

To watch documentary GO HERE


Jon Stephenson interviewed by Radio NZ Sunday

Co-author of the book, Hit and Run, Jon Stephenson, joins Wallace to talk about what he and Nicky Hager uncovered in their book and why there needs to be an official enquiry into what happened in Afghanistan

Kunstler on #DrainTheSwamp

The Swamp Drains Trump
James Howard Kunstler

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ClusterfuckNation,
24 March, 2017




The Washington political scene is looking less like The Apprentice and more and more like the old Marlon Perkins Wild Kingdom show, with giant crocodiles slithering down the muddy banks to encircle Donald Trump paddling fecklessly in his leaky dugout while a chorus of angry birds shrieks in the surrounding treetops. Yes, it really looks that bad all of a sudden for Ole Number 45, the Golden Golem.



RussiaGate is flaring to a toxic shock level event. Everything that spun out of Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing made all parties look bad. The spooks are everywhere and nowhere. The spooks are leaking to the press. The president is tweeting instead of governing. The two parties are literally at war in congress, and the news media is playing it all like a Stockhausen cantata for kazoo and trashcan lid.



One can’t help marveling at the way the “Russian interference” motif has shifted the spotlight off the substance of what Wikileaks revealed about Clinton Foundation and DNC misdeeds onto Trump campaign officials “colluding” with Russians, supposedly to support their interference in the election. It’s true that the election is way over and the public is no longer concerned with Hillary or her foundation (which is closing shop anyway). But the switcheroo is impressive, and quite confusing, considering recently retired NSA James Clapper just two weeks ago said on NBC’s Meet the Press that there was “no evidence” of collusion Between Trump and Russia. Okay… uh, say what?



On Monday, FBI Director James Comey revealed that his agency had been investigating the Trump Campaign since at least last August. Is that so…? Investigating how? Some sort of electronic surveillance? Well, what else would they do nowadays? Send a gumshoe to a hotel room where he could press his ear on a drinking glass against the wall to eavesdrop on Paul Manafort? I don’t think so. Of course they were sifting through emails, phone calls, and every other sort of electronic communication.



Trump’s big blunder was to tweet that he’d been “wiretapped.” Like the FBI patched into a bunch of cables with alligator clips in the basement of Trump Tower … or planted a “bug” in the earpiece of his bedside phone. How quaint. We also don’t have ice boxes anymore, though plenty of struggling weight-watchers across the land speak guiltily of “raiding the icebox.” But if it’s true, as Mr. Comey said, that the FBI had been investigating Trump’s campaign, the people around him, and Trump himself, since August, how could they not have captured some of Trump’s conversations?



Anyway, the action on Monday shifted to the question of how General Michael Flynn was “unmasked” after the CIA recorded a phone conversation between him and the Russian ambassador. (The CIA is expressly forbidden from spying on US citizens, and anything overheard incidentally when bugging foreigners is supposed to remain suppressed or “masked.”) Somebody at the CIA just handed the info straight to The New York Times, The WashPo, and CNN. That story broke in back in January. How come the CIA has not rooted out the culprit and handed him/her/zhe over to the Department of Justice?



For the record, apart from the General Flynn matter, I have no idea what connections Trump & Co. may have had with Russia before, during, or after the election. But nobody has yet demonstrated that the allegations about Hillary, her email, her foundation, the DNCs treatment of Senator Sanders, or the John Podesta letters were anything but truthful, either, and that was why Hillary lost the election.



It is also worth considering that candidates for high office in all advanced nations have relationships with people in other countries. It’s not against the law per se to speak to people in Portugal, Singapore, Germany, Argentina, and a hundred other places, including, yes, Russia — which, by the way, is no longer a communist imperium bent on world domination, though Senator Chuck Schumer would like you to think so.



Then, on Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes (R-Cal) told the news media that an “unnamed source” in the Intel community informed him that Trump had indeed been surveilled during the transition period following the election. Was he just blowing smoke up America’s ass? I guess we’ll have to stand by on that one.



So, the long and the short of it is that the RussiaGate story is spinning out of control, and Trump’s adversaries — who go well beyond Congress into the Deep State — might be getting enough leverage to dump Trump. Either they will maneuver him and his people into some kind of perjury rap, or they will tie up the government in such a web of investigative procedural rigmarole that all the country lawyers who ever snapped their galluses will never be able to unravel it.



While the nation remains entertained by all this, the Potemkin financial system will wobble, crash, and burn and the humiliation of Donald Trump will be complete. Abandoned by the Republican Party, isolated and crazed in the White House, tweeting out mad appeals to heaven, he’ll either voluntarily pass the baton to Mike Pence or he will be declared unfit to serve and removed under the 25th amendment.



The after-effects of that will be something to behold: a “lose-lose” for both old-line political parties. The Trumpists will never forgive the Republican Party, and the Democrats will have gained nothing. Don’t let the door bang you on the butt on your way out.



McCain renews call for neocon status quo

McCain: "The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain"


25 March, 2017

It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's "art of the deal" collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback. In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity".


In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate, quoted by the EU Observer. "I trust the EU," he said, 
defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years.

Further attacking Trump's global worldview, McCan said that "we need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges." He noted that "the EU has too many bureaucrats, not much bureaucracy," but added that "it's not the only place on earth with that problem." He said that he was "still wondering what the overall effect of Brexit will be" and that he did not know "if this is the beginning of a serious problem for the EU". McCain did not disagree, however, with Trump's demand that European countries increase their defense spending for Nato.

McCain also revealed he hasn’t met the President Donald Trump in person since he took office, and he urged Trump to reach out to his opponents—Democratic and otherwise—ala Ronald Reagan if he wants to repeal Obamacare. “Do some outreach. Get to know some of these Democratic leaders,” he said. “You can find common ground.” McCain said he’d met Trump “some years ago” when he was a businessman, but had not met him since. McCain said he did speak “almost daily” to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however.
He doesn’t seem to be that upset that he’s not talking to him,” said German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. “He’s trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump.”

That said, McCain also said it was "too early" to pass judgment on his presidency, although his series of critical comments in recent weeks have demonstrated his growing skepticism about the Trump administration.

Furthermore, while McCain said he was "very pleased" by Trump's picks for his national security team - despite suggesting that they were being bypassed by more ideological and less competent people - he took the opportunity to attack Trump's decisionmaking, saying "

the question is: who does the president listen to, who drives the tweets at 6 in morning?”, he said.Asked whether he thought that "Russia owns a significant part of the White House," he said: "I don't worry about that."

The unspoken suggestion: Russia.

What worries McCain, he said, was "the Russian role in our elections", even if he admitted that he has seen "no evidence they succeeded” in affecting the outcome of last year's US vote. Noting that Russia was now trying to influence elections in France and in Germany, he said that if it succeeded it would be "a death warrant for democracy".





"It's an act of destruction that is certainly more lethal than dropping some bombs," he insisted. McCain, a Russia hawk, said that Putin wanted to restore the Russian empire: “He wants the Baltics, he has taken Crimea, he's been in Ukraine."

"These are KBG thugs, my friends," he said, referring to the former Russian spy service for which Putin used to work. He added that the US needed to "respond accordingly". He said however that there was "nothing wrong" if Trump met Putin.

"I'm not against meeting," he said, reminding the Brussels forum that US presidents met Soviet leaders during the Cold War. 

But he added that "the best way to go to a meeting is with a strong hand" and that was not the case for the US right now.

EXCLUSIVE: White House Fingers John McCain As Media Leak; Believes U.S. Senator Eavesdropped on Trump’s Classified Phone


http://truepundit.com/exclusive-white-house-fingers-john-mccain-as-media-leak-believes-u-s-senator-eavesdropped-on-trumps-classified-phone/

21 March, 2017

This could be the beginning of the end for embattled Sen. John McCain’s life in politics. According to White House officials, McCain is believed to have somehow gained access to the content of President Donald Trump’s private, classified telephone calls with world leaders. And he isn’t keeping quiet about what was talked about either.

An analysis of McCain’s recent public statements by White House officials, coupled with information from intelligence personnel working with the Trump administration, paints a disturbing picture for McCain — or any elected U.S. politician. Officials believe the senator has inside knowledge of a number of President Trump’s telephone conversations, including at least one conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Even more alarming, officials believe McCain is secretly sharing this sensitive information with colleagues and his cabal of friendly mainstream media journalists in a dangerous clandestine campaign to damage Trump’s presidency even before it has a chance to succeed. Trump has been searching for media rats in the Beltway in recent weeks. White House aides are confident they have now outed one of the major leaks plaguing the early days of the Trump presidency. To everyone’s surprise, it is a senior senator supposedly belonging to the same side of the political aisle as the president.
McCain has been lambasting Trump to anyone and everyone who will listen since the newly minted president’s inauguration. This includes a Russian comedian who pranked McCain posing as Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. Even during that troubling conversation, where McCain shared sensitive U.S. intelligence with an imposter, White House aides said McCain unknowingly exposed himself as having inside knowledge of Trump’s telephone conversations.

He has been given transcripts or actually listened to the calls and is sharing what he has heard,” an administration insider said. “There is no doubt. He is one of the major leaks.”

Just last week, True Pundit published a troubling account of how a Russian comedian duped McCain, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. McCain incredibly even coached the phone-prankster-posing Prime Minister on joining NATO.

This audio recording of the phone call is absolutely incredible.

It’s time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to determine the level McCain’s involvement and just how many laws he has broken.