Sermon – East Jerusalem: A capital provocation

by Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved, we are gathered here today to hear words of truth, as straight as an arrow, spoken from the Altar of The Almighty Truth.

This truth is directed against the twin-headed dragon of lies and deception US Foreign Policy is aimed at.

Thus, such policy in relation to the wisdom – or – lack thereof in siting the US Embassy in East Jerusalem is the bane of our discourse.

No better way than to have informed proponents directly state their positions and then consider where next we go.

Nikki Haley – present ( US Ambassador Haley – permanent representative to the UN)

Noura Erakat – present (Palestinian- American human rights attorney and assistant professor at George Mason University)

So there we have two competing points of view. One sees absolutely no fault, no error, not even an iota of miscalculation in US Foreign Policy in placing the US Embassy in East Jerusalem: it is all the fault of the Palestinians and Hamas.

Another perspective takes account of the history, the political context, the reality of being corralled in Gaza indefinitely with no right of return for the refugees, which the Palestinians actually are under international law.

These competing thoughts and positions take me back almost 40 years to a time at University. It was one of those bulletin board announcement moments. A Palestinian Professor and a Jewish Professor agreed to have a round-table discussion on the question of Palestine/Israel and students and staff alike were duly informed of the venue for discussion.

There were about 15 people in attendance and I was one of them. It was not merely the erudition of the two scholars which impressed me – but – as a good lesson in debating skills – their civility.

After the papers were delivered and discussions took place, questions followed and conclusions were drawn. Although many years now have passed since that discussion, I still recall it as being as relevant now as it was then.

From one viewpoint, there was the pressing need for a homeland for the Palestinian people in relation to the settler- colony – Israel; from the other side, there was an expressed need to continue with a home for Jewish émigrés to the state of Israel. There at its simplest was where the divide between these two erudite scholars existed. So, within this context of dual land claims, now let us exercise our minds with the aid of historical facts.

A. The historical context

B. The twentieth century twin catalysts of the demise of the Ottoman Empire – and the Nazi onslaught on the Jewish people leading to a UN response in establishing the state of Israel; and

C. The catastrophic situation facing the Palestinian people post- US Embassy location in East Jerusalem and immediate implications arising therefrom.

First, A: The historical context

Jews had lived in the land called Palestine for about a thousand years, side by side with the Arabs, as mainly pastoral people – Jews and Arabs lived peacefully- so – what changed?

Second, B (i): The end of World War 1

This saw the end of the Ottoman Empire and the formation of The League of Nations [Belgium, Britain, France, Greece, Italy, and Japan] that divided territories that had been formerly under Ottoman rule. Entities were created called “mandates”. Under the mandate system territories would be administered by such powers as Britain and France with accountability to the League and the mandate would remain until the territories were determined by the League to be at a level of readiness for independence.

Syria and Lebanon were awarded to France. Iraq went to Britain along with the entity termed Palestine, so defined in modern history at San Remo, and at the time included the lands on both sides of the Jordan River and the present-day countries of Israel and Jordan. Boundary changes were made over time. July 1922 witnessed the League of Nations ratifying the mandate arrangements and changing the map which had been established in 1920. A picture is worth a thousand words – so – for broad historical reference do see the map below. A picture saves my use of a thousand words, which this troublesome international problem indubitably invites use of:

Second, B (ii): The end of World War 1 and inter-war years

Witness the Nazi onslaught on European Jewry.

The conscience of the world is struck by the Holocaust.

Then C (i), The immediate pre and post World War 11 periods

Establishment of the state of Israel

Zionists find a basis to advance a convincing case to establish a national homeland for the Jewish people. Only problem is that with Palestinians living in Palestine there is mass expulsion to accommodate the new Jewish settlers and therein commences the lasting problem to this day with some 700,000 Palestinians initially being left stateless as refugees. The consequential conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is an outgrowth of this historical reality.

Then C (ii), The immediate pre and post World War 11 periods

The contemporary conflict

The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, adopted as UN Resolution 181 (11) is an important reference point relative to the ongoing conflict. There was to be an Arab section; a Jewish section; and Jerusalem would reflect that reality with there being designated areas for both peoples and an international zone for all ( having regard for the importance of the city of Jerusalem for major world religions). That in essence was the plan.

Fast forward to 2018 with President Trump placing the US Embassy in East Jerusalem and question what this does. Note that the vast majority of nations treated Tel Aviv as the proper location for placement of their Embassies in Israel. Why? Because they noted and acknowledged the reality which the UN from the 1947 Plan had tried fairly to address. Now, the prospect, any prospect for a two state solution has had hopes dashed by the US making unilateral and lopsided embraces of Israel; for East Jerusalem was designated to be the Palestinian capital. So, full circle we go back to the perspectives of US Ambassador Nikki Haley and the Palestinian scholar Noura Erakat. Haley sees absolutely only Palestinian fault: Ekarat places fault at the doors she sees it necessary to be placed.

And geographical facts versus expressed differences of opinion on the Palestine/Israel conflict is again subject to the saving of many words by way of simply viewing maps:-


There has been talk of a two state versus one state solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict. I do not see any realistic chance of a two state solution for a number of reasons:-

1. The expulsion of Palestinians to make space for Jewish arrivees in Israel and the confinement in Gaza and permanent exile of Palestinian refugees do not demographically permit establishment of a Palestinian state for reasons stated below as 2, 3 ,4, 5 and 6. How can the Palestinian population’s demographics and geographical locations proffer any hope for a two state solution?

2. Israel, aided and abetted by the US, permits encroachment, capturing and expansions by Jews into Palestinian lands beyond the 1967 borders. Those settlements are intended to be permanent. So, given the US Foreign Policy stance ( as was the case when President Reagan supported and cossetted the White regime in South Africa along with his friend UK Prime Minister Margret Thatcher) – so yet again the US finds itself on the wrong side of history – doesn’t it?

3. There is a deliberate policy by Israel of making contiguous land space non-existent for the establishment of a state, which logically and of necessity would need contiguous land space if at all it is to be – or can ever be established.  Apartheid walls separate and crisscross Palestinian territories. What is termed the ‘West Bank’ ( see Map #4 entitled “Now”) creates the new reality for Palestinians’ divided land which makes a two-state solution impossible. Hasn’t Israel willfully done this and concomitantly corralled the Palestinian people in open air prisons?

4. Within Israel there is Apartheid discrimination against Arabs and so the twin evils of prejudice and denial of the sovereignty of the Palestinian people makes this two state solution an impossibility. Did the state of Israel not discriminate against the darker skinned Ethiopian Jews; ostracize African migrants; reserve exclusivity based on ‘race’, religion and skin colour ( lack thereof) to the select ones ( chosen people) who are the only ones who have any real voice in the Knesset, despite having a 25% non-Jewish population as citizens in Israel? Doesn’t the state of Israel do all of this? With absolutely no principled and/or moral leadership coming from the US to address and ultimately resolve the Palestinian/Israel conflict – does President Trump’s unilateral move of the US Embassy present any hope to the Palestinian people in their fight for freedom, justice and a homeland?

5. How can the embrace by the Trump Administration of the mantra that Jerusalem is the “united” city and the eternal capital of Israel permit any religious acknowledgement for legitimate Arab interests or politically permit the claim of Palestinian rights being addressed?

5a. In April 2017 Russia was the first country in the world to have recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Implicitly then, if not expressly stated by Russia, East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital. What then for the US position in not embracing West Jerusalem for the geographical space as Jewish capital, as declared by Russia, but instead effecting a provocation regarding the Jewish “united” city of Jerusalem? Doesn’t the Russian recognition of only the Western part of Jerusalem, say to the world that it denied Israel’s claims to the eastern part, including the Old City, which then leads to the conflict exaccerbations created by the Trump administration under now officially declared US policy – doesn’t the US decision do just that – present an already intractable problem with an irreconcilable decision?

Note: the majority position in the international community, does not go as far as Russia did in its decision, but rather is consistent in holding the position that the status of the entire city of Jerusalem has to be determined in peace negotiations.

6. Since Jerusalem is advanced by Netanyahu and Trump as being the “united” city ( i.e. for Jews) and a solution for the Israel/Palestine conflict is contingent on a solution to the question of Jerusalem, then it would seem Netanyahu’s and Trump’s decisions would naturally lead to escalation, more conflict, and likely war.

The 1967 Middle East war resulted in Israel capturing land from Jordan and annexing it, which is not a right arising under international law and which move has not been recognized by the international community. Now that the captured land is declared as Israel’s “united” city and President Trump has taken sides 100% with Israel, there is simply no hope for a two state solution, given, at the very least, the religious and political significance of Jerusalem, and more particularly, East Jerusalem, as was intended for the Palestinian capital.

Come 1999 and the publication of The New York Times article by Professor Edward Said, the only solution, as I see it ( as was the case with the White South African problem), is a one state solution with all religions and ethnic groups being guaranteed legal rights of equality. Anything short of this only spells conflict, confrontation and war until that day arrives. Ultimately, the South African experience proves that while Nelson Mandela, as a lawyer, could have won his case in court by arguing, it isn’t arguments that won his battles for self-determination and sovereignty. It was not the rightness of the ANC’s case that defeated Apartheid. The Africans had to fight with weapons because Apartheid South Africa, fully aided and abetted by the West ( inclusive of Israel which assisted the White regime in acquiring nuclear weapons), was armed to the teeth, supported by these nations replete with double-standards. Power respected violence and force in South Africa. Israel is fully prepared to be unrelentingly and unrepentantly brutal. President Trump, as did President Reagan in cosseting Apartheid, has even gone further and not covertly – overtly picking a side. The Palestinians in these circumstances have exhausted their peaceful options and appear to have no choice but to confront politically and most likely militarily in varying ways. They seem not to have been given any further option. Whether the Palestinians are prepared to take alternate steps to those advanced in the past is a central question for them to answer – what must we do to achieve justice? They now may not see any other solution near, far or maybe somewhere over the horizon but that of increased conflict. I am swayed by the sagacity of Professor Said’s analysis, so present it here in its entirety:-

Interestingly, Netanyahu is referenced by Professor Said ( deceased) in his article and so again in 2018 we find Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister proceeding along a path which guarantees further Palestinian suffering while employing brute force oppression to maintain the status quo – but – nothing lasts forever. Apartheid South Africa could not and did not and neither shall the current status quo in Israel, even with all the assistance of the ‘great again’ President Donald Trump. History teaches that lesson.

Once circumstances dictate that a challenge has to be placed to obtain justice, the issue for the Palestinian people then seems not to be if they fight – but rather how they fight. What other choice now exists in all the circumstances now that the last hope that the intended preservation of East Jerusalem as a place for the capital of Palestine has been dashed? What choice? What other options?

An Arab commentator made this observation:-

“None of the usual media suspects has taken it upon themselves to explain how it is that the term “clash” can possibly apply to a situation in which Palestinian men, women, children, and old people – all of them trapped on a sliver of land with no escape – are attacked by an Israeli military with a monopoly on violence and a penchant for utilising the Gaza Strip as its own personal shooting range.”


For one set of people – a celebration of ‘independence day’ ( 14th May); for the other, the dejection ( ejection as a people and rejection as refugees) of the ‘Nabka Day’ ( 15th May).

Just about all Western journalists seem either unable or afraid to ask the logical question: Why must Israel, as the only such nation on earth, exist as an ethnicractic state and be preserved as such a construct ( see below the footnote referenced book by Shlomo Sands), while Palestinians, upon a false premise of a ‘two state solution’, are to be left living in open air concentration camps?
In 2015 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this, “I am asked if we will forever live by the sword – yes.”

The die has been cast as PM Netanyahu has proclaimed. However, the Palestinians can choose. The choices are actually quite stark for it is either that of subservience in perpetuity or fighting over rights and ‘sovereign state freedom’. The circumstances on the ground as unequivocally confirmed by President Trump’s decision has erased any choice of two states and now leaves but one state as ‘the final solution’. There now seems to be no middle ground between that single state solution and the alternative of permanently stateless Palestinians living on Israel’s borders. Axiomatically, the prevailing circumstances dictate that justice is a potentially belligerent precursor for peace.
Justice – Peace – then: AMEN!


Those interested in having a deeper understanding of the issues might care to read a book by a Jewish scholar, who wrote a best seller in Israel and then wrote a sequel:-

Shlomo Sand – “The invention of the land of Israel”
For a review – visit –

Just how far reaching is Trump’s decision to site the US Embassy in East Jerusalem?


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.     

Please share, forward, or otherwise disseminate this article as widely as possible.  Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, May 21, 2018


The Truth will make you free, if you can use it to solve problems



By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

WE taxpayers paid income taxes again for one more year by April 15. Apparently the federal government had a good take, with the budget deficit being lower than usual for the month, albeit with the expected yearly deficit for 2018 left unchanged at about $1.5 trillion, to be added on to the $21 trillion or so of federal debt cumulated through time, a gradual accumulation for 180 years that was explosively kicked into high gear by the Reagan administration in 1981, that tripled the total federal debt in eight years, a record for debt tripling that will probably stand forever, while writing the script and setting the stage for wastrel warmongering profligate presidents ever since, especially Bush II in 2001.

Wars and rumors of wars, and fears and hopes of wars, depending on how your bread is buttered, is the order of the day, reminiscent of the days in 2003 before Bush II invaded Iraq, starting the slaughter or ruining of over one million people in the Middle East and North Africa up to now; and the US is once again in the elected presidential hands of another mentally disordered immoral rich kid maniac, with enough power of office to start something even more disastrous than Bush II’s so-called war on terror, in reality a war of terror.

Mother’s Day is today. People call their mothers and tell them Happy Mother’s Day, and mail them cards, or hand them cards in person with a kiss on the cheek, and a spoken “I love you”. No doubt about it, mothers are important things to have. My wife and I talked about our deceased mothers today, remembering them in various particulars. Debbye thinks she had a great mother. I think mine was a good enough mother.

A preacher’s daughter, my mother, Ida Belle Coston Stapleton, was a very good cook, taught good morals and decision-making to my brother and me, and provided a stable, safe, clean, and orderly home. As the bookkeeper and manager of family businesses she was well respected by customers and employees. Community leaders regularly consulted her informally in her office about local problems and opportunities. My father said she had a memory like an elephant, and she never forgot anything. She told me she never made less than an A in school. A psychiatrist told me she probably was a very brilliant woman.

What is a great mother? Read “Reflections on Mother’s Day” by M. G. Piety about a great natural mother, cited below in the Effective Learning Digest. It seems to me great mothers are born, not made. The lottery that determines the quality of mothering for children and the socio-economic quality of life for children around Spaceship Earth is grossly unfair, and humans should do something about it.

Writers in at least four of the articles cited in the ELD this month allude to or discuss the importance of religion in economic, political and social affairs. One of them, Courtenay Barnett, a colleague living in the Turks and Caicos Islands, writes as if he were a preacher preaching at what he calls the altar of the almighty Truth. Another one, Michael Hudson, perhaps the greatest living economist, implies we need another reformation of the Christian religion, especially in the West. An economic historian, Hudson says Jesus was a Jewish rabbi whose teachings were taken out of context by western culture to serve economic and political ends. He thinks eastern Orthodox Christian churches did a better job of preserving and propagating Jesus’s most important teachings, such as the need for periodic debt jubilees, or the forgiveness of debts. One can build the case some of the teachings in the western Christian Bible written by the Romans were crafted to make it easier to control poor people and to make it easier for the rich to get richer, rather than to encourage and engender equality, love and acceptance among all people around Earth. According to Hudson, Jesus’s original teachings encouraged equality, meekness, humility, forgiveness, love, and sharing among people around Earth, qualities sorely lacking today in the US and in its vassal states such as the UK, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

I come from a long line of Calvinist preachers and teachers. One of my great grandparents, The Reverend Doctor James Maury, a French Huguenot, taught four US presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, in a boarding school in Virginia, documented in “A Synopsis of my Educational Background,” at

As usual, following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles published in Internet media during the last month or so written by outstanding writers, and two audio-visual videos, shining light on current relevant states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I stuck in this month the Chain of Ego States diagram I invented and published in 1978 showing how organizational life is affected by parents and ego states.

While it’s often true in the short run that ignorance is bliss it’s probably not true in the long run in most cases, and how much ignorance is bliss depends on who you are and what your circumstances are. Some people, especially some children, are just better off not knowing certain things. On the other hand, purposely keeping people ignorant so as to manipulate and exploit them more and better is Not OK in most cases.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to learn and teach something. To see a chronological record of these efforts click here

Western mainstream media in order to sell subscriptions and advertising have to discount in various degrees the severity of some economic, political, religious, social, and environmental threats playing a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE and participate in a societal Happiness Racket designed to produce feelings of security, dignity, and pride in readers. In some cases they have to make federal and state politicians, their political parties, their rich donors, their locust lobbyists, and their voters look good, or at least make it seem they are doing a better job of governing than they are to sell advertising. For more on psychological Games and Rackets, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

In any case it’s not easy to make a living owning, managing, and writing for mainstream newspapers, as serious layoffs in the industry recently mentioned in various media attest, and as I learned firsthand owning, writing, editing, and publishing a weekly newspaper for two years in my home town at age twenty-two, the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette at Wolfforth, Texas.

For more on the fallacy of composition as it applies to organizational life, i.e., reducing, damaging, or destroying whole systems by trying to maximize the interests of sub-systems, read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds at

I am a Certified Transactional Analyst, a CTA, explained at

Please copy, abridge, reprint, share, forward, or otherwise disseminate this Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

Just punch on the web addresses and this month’s selection of articles and videos and my Chain of Ego States diagram will pop up.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,


May 13, 2014

An unusual poignant Mother’s Day story

SOURCE: “Reflections on Mother’s Day,” by M. G. Piety, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 13

… and all those one tenth of one percent richest people earned all their money by doing honest hard work with their minds and hands, don't you know, and there's no reason for them to give you any of it, especially by paying higher tax rates than poor people ... and now it's time to go seepy-seep, so put your pretty head on your pillow, and don't you worry about a thing.

SOURCE: “The American Dream is Dead,” by Georges Abi-Heila, MEDIUM.COM,


May 13

My chain of ego states diagram, first published in 1978 in the Transactional Analysis Journal, a refereed professional journal, shows the three chains of command in any authoritarian organization, family, church, school, business, corporation, religion, military, or government, using a unique configuration of three stacked circles, the Parent chain of command, the Adult chain of Command, and the Child command. Take a look at the diagram on my Facebook page. It’s scary to think that Donald Trump is Number 1 in the US Chain of Ego States diagram. According to the transactional analysis theory of the diagram, Trump’s parents, although deceased, are now the most powerful parents of the US.

SOURCE: Chain of Ego States Diagram, by Richard John Stapleton, Facebook post,


May 12

Well said, John Davis

SOURCE: “Modernity’s Long Twilight,” by John Davis, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 12

Surely Trump is not this bad, even if Fox News does say so. This article is an excellent work of satire not for the tender minded or squeamish.

SOURCE: “Trump’s Penis: Is It Presidential?”,   by Douglas Valentine,


May 10

Sad but probably true

SOURCE: “David Stockman Warns: Forget ‘America’, “It’s Deep State First”,” ZEROHEDGE.COM,


May 10

A sermon by Courtenay Barnett on international affairs

SOURCE: “Syria’s Plight With the US,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


May 10

Must reading for anyone wanting to know what is now going on in Syria, Israel, and Iran.

SOURCE: “Making Sense of the No-Deal Iran Decision, “ by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


May 9

Go for it. Sanders is the most likely candidate I see on the horizon to defeat Trump in 2020, despite his age. During the 2016 presidential running season there was talk at one time that Jill Stein would offer Bernie the presidential nomination of the Green Party with her as his vice president running mate. That still sounds like a good idea to me. If they could get some disillusioned repubs and demos to join up with a sizeable percent of the fifty percent chronically disillusioned nonvoters (who might be enticed to vote for them in 2020) it seems to me they might have a shot at winning, if they could get on all state ballots and successfully navigate the morass and hazards of the antediluvian US electoral college.

SOURCE: “Bernie Sanders reportedly considering 2020 presidential campaign, summoned top advisers over the weekend,” by Chris Sommerfeldt, DAILYNEWS.COM,


May 9

Sad but probably true

SOURCE: “Two-Faced Trump: Peace in Korea, World War in the Middle East, by John Feffer, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,



A positive event all right, but unfortunately most workers do not have this kind of natural power because of the nature of the organizations they have to work for.

SOURCE: “Teachers’ Class Struggle Defiance Inspires Millions,” by Jeff Mackler, COUINTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 9

Say it ain’t so joe

SOURCE: “Extremists R Us,” by Tom Englehardt, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 9

Another sad bad mistake

SOURCE: “The U.S. Just Declared War on Iran,” by Jan Oberg, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG.


May 8

Unfortunately many wrongs do not make a right

SOURCE: “Against Holocaust Denial,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 4

All because of nine eleven? Given the way it was caused? Say it ain’t so Joe.

SOURCE: “How many millions have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars?,” by Nicholas J S Davies, INTREPIDREPORT.COM


May 3

Here is another article on the subject of global learning similar to another article cited in the April ELD. The upshot is that these authors think the Internet despite the drivel and fake news it makes available is indeed causing normal people around Spaceship Earth to know more about what is really going on in global economics and politics than previously was the case, and therefore there’s hope this consciousness change might cause a major change in the way human affairs happen and are managed, primarily because it will be harder for politicians and deep state manipulators to mislead enlightened individuals with propaganda and fake news. Let’s hope so.

SOURCE: “The Emerging ‘Global Brain’,” by Michael Krieger, LIBERTYBLITZKRIEG.COM,


May 2

There has been more and more talk lately on the Internet about guaranteed minimal incomes for everyone in various countries around Earth. I can’t believe this could come about anytime soon, considering the overpopulation problem, but it seems to me this is the only rational solution for the long run, if there is a long run. For more detail read my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth, Incorporated,” easily found with an Internet search. The overpopulation problem can peacefully be solved over several generations through attrition, natural deaths exceeding births, by Earthian women gaining full control of their bodies and making sure they produce no more than one child each, of either sex.

SOURCE: “46% Favor Government Guaranteed Jobs for All – Rasmussen Reports”, RASMUSSENREPORTS.COM,


May 1    

American labor in action

SOURCE: “Organizing Workers Strikes Against War and Repression,” by Jack Heyman, COUNERPUNCH.ORG,


May 1  

Another great explanation by Michael Hudson, the greatest economist alive

SOURCE: “Bronze Age Redux: On Debt, Clean Slates and What the Ancients Have to Teach U,” by Michael Hudson, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


May 1  

Say it ain’t so Joe

SOURCE: “Almost 2/3 Of Americans Have Given Up On Political Parties Citing Corruption in Government,” by Mac Slavo, SHTFPLAN.COM,


April 30

This video presentation purports to explain how Albert Einstein was wrong about matter being unable to travel faster than the speed of light. The presenter provides reasoning supposedly proving his assertion that matter can travel faster than the speed of light. If he’s right intelligent beings could theoretically travel to planets in various solar systems hundreds of light years away from their origins. It seems to me most likely this notion is scientifically incorrect (you need more physics knowledge than I have to know), but the video is interesting and well done, especially if you enjoy scientific speculations. The presenter, who has considerable experience in the aerospace industry, divulges information about shocking new US aerospace developments that most people are probably unaware of that are probably real.

SOURCE: “Proof Faster than Light Black Budget Antigravity Technology is Real,” a YouTube Video with more than 1,559,588 views, at


April 30

This well conceived, reasoned, and written article by Jill Stein, of the Green Party, whom I voted for as President of the US in 2016, is well worth a read by any responsible citizen.

SOURCE: “Breaking My Silence on RussiaGate,” by Jill Stein, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 30

Want to understand the history of Israel today? Here is a good place to start.

SOURCE: “The Real Victor,” by Uri Avnery, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 30  

This great video on US warmongering emphasizes a dramatic statement about putting Iran "on notice" that is one of the most absurd utterances the current Donald Duck US administration has made. Notice how many bases the US has surrounding Iran in the video. The Iranians would have had to be idiots not to have known for a long time the US military is a serious threat to them. It’s amazing how many brave intelligent talented comedians there are out there in Internet media who really know their stuff about what the US deep state is doing around Spaceship Earth.

SOURCE: “The REAL Reason the U.S. Wants War with Iran,” by Lee Camp, Redacted Tonight, Standing Rock News,


April 30

Another cogent sermon by Courtenay Barnett

SOURCE: “Racism, Rationalizations and Resentments,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


April 29

Anti-intellectualism in action

SOURCE: “America’s Most Popular Politician Is Nikki Haley…Let That Sink In,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 29

Insanity in action

SOURCE: “Yemen War Great For US Jobs: Watch CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Proclaim Civilian Deaths Are Worth It,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 27

… and you have to vote for him or her because s/he is the lesser evil

SOURCE: “Secret Recording Reveals Democratic Party Boss Ordering Progressive Candidate to Quit Race,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,























By Courtenay Barnett

Before I had completed a good laugh about Stormy Daniels money hustling directed at President Trump he proceeded to give me something far more serious to write about.

Dear beloved, I am left no choice but to deliver this serious sermon. As always, I shall be speaking the almighty truth. My legal mind has now been directed to the very serious implications under international law, for President Trump’s declaration that he intends to scrap the Iran nuclear deal: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

A pithed history of US/Iran relations might be instructive.

The democratically elected leader of Iran in the 1950s, Mohammad Mosaddeq, wanted to modernise Iran along Western lines. He was a Professor of international law who had studied in France and had taken note of the desireable elements of Western democratic processes and thus wanted to move Iran in a direction, he, as a nationalist, thought was in the best interests of his people.

Mosaddeq also wanted to ensure that Iran obtained a fair share of its oil wealth.

Mosaddeq nationalised the Anglo-American oil interests then operating in Iran.

Mosaddeq argued his case for his country before the then World Court and he won.

Mosaddeq was named man of the year by Time Magazine and appeared on its front cover in 1952.

The Anglo-American interests responded to Mosaddeq with a CIA led coup in 1953, which overthrew Mosaddeq and in his stead installed the Shah of Iran ( a US puppet).

Up to 1979 the Shah remained in power and in a popular uprising he was overthrown.

It is that revolutionary government which currently is in power in Iran.

That history, to say the least, is both ironic and quite telling. Iran was the country in which the US effected the first post World War 11 CIA coup, to be followed by the coup d'état in Guatemala in 1954 and many more across the world thereafter. Did someone speak of meddling in elections and the like…hmmm? Ironic, because the expressed concerns about the long-suffering people of Iran under the revolutionary government, has only US models of Iraq and Libya as recent invitees to administrative and governmental disaster and options being offered by the greatest defender of democracy in the world today – the United States of America. Or, am I missing something here? An elected leader overthrown, and one who embraced and actively sought to follow Western democratic practices in government, is – well – conveniently displaced. And now President Trump is telling intelligent people in the world that once more he wants to help the long suffering people of Iran – “Finally, I want to deliver a message to the long-suffering people of Iran: The people of America stand with you.” - really? For the sake of historical accuracy and completeness and indeed truth – the words might be added: “ as we did in 1953 when we overthrew Mossadeq and gave the Iranian people the Shah.”

Irony of ironies in abundance. Was it not Donald Trump during the American presidential campaign, who had denounced former President George Bush Jr. for having “destabilised” the Middle East in having attacked Iraq.

So, may I ask:-

Are there standard and established practices to be met under international law before commencing war?

Does a Treaty not assist the rule of international law, such that any violation thereunder has a predetermined path in the international community to address consequences for such violation(s)?

Did not the designated international verification bodies, inclusive of US intelligence agencies, give Iran a clean bill of health for adhering to the nuclear deal?

The position under international law, with America’s European allies protesting the approach taken by Trump, then compels the questions:-

If not this deal then what?

Is there a plan B which President Trump has not informed us of?

What structure, under international law, is to be invoked to assist the intended non-proliferation of nuclear arms which the Iran deal sought to stop or at the very least, forestall?

Peace candidate Trump now seems hell bent on of both further destabilising the Middle East and moving events closer to a war. It is a tremendous executive step to leap-frog over one’s Secretary of Defence then abandon a carefully crafted multilateral agreement. Since Trump denounced his predecessor for the “mistake” of attacking Iraq, then what does this move against Iran signal if not yet again a potential greater “mistake” committed in the full glow of daylight and with the warning precedent of Iraq well established for all to see. But – Iran is not Iraq and the consequences of such a war would be far more devastating for the Middle East and indeed the world. Should we laugh or cry when we hear these words uttered by President Trump in his speech declaring the end of the Iran nuclear deal, “Great things can happen for Iran, and great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East.” Like ‘regime change’ a la the 1953 US led Iranian coup d'état?

Let us further consider:-

No regard for the opinions of Congress.

No heeding of the findings of the designated US intelligence agencies monitorings and reports.

No abiding the concerns of America’s European allies.

No regard for the fact that China, Russia, the European allies were all on board and endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal.

No proclaimed or stated alternative plan once the deal is jettisoned.

Yet - a unilateral decision is pursued by President Trump – to what end? Why?

I believe that since Trump is surrounded by Zionists, and a person central to the decision making process, such as John Bolton, he is emboldened by warmongers. With a nut job like John Bolton as the new National Security adviser, who just happens to be a neocon warmonger and an architect for the 2003 George W. Bush illegal war against Iraq, one is not surprised by the direction, towards war, which President Trump is taking the US and the world.

Still, in more specific terms – why did Trump do it when at least two-thirds of Americans believe that he should not withdraw?

There is an answer.

Jared Kusher, Trump’s son in law is Jewish; Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, were huge financial contributors to Trump’s campaign and Paul Singer can be included as a financial backer, paid for when Marcus and Adelson (the biggest campaign supporter) are also board members of the ’Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition’ so there is more than enough close personal (as in Trump’s friendship with Netanyahu) and psychological (as in I shall undo all that Obama did) reasons for Trump to have acted as he did.

See, people get squeamish to speak about the Palestinian/Israel issue, for fear of being called anti-Semitic. Well, not so. One can have an honest discussion about the issue and be pro-justice while not being anti-Semitic. Can one run and chew gum at the same time? Let’s try. There are three fundamental positions to be adopted on the Palestinian/Israel issue:-

A ‘settler colony’ as of 1948 displaced some 700,000 Palestinians, who ended up in refugee camps in places like Jordan and Lebanon. This leads to one path of resistance which is that Israel had no right to do this. Enter, Iran in support of the Palestinians, Hezbollah and Hamas.

A post-1967 position which accepts that the 1967 boundary line establishes Israel’s’ territorial borders. Yet, East Jerusalem and the expansion of Jews into Palestinian lands, with no opposition from the US then leaves the Palestinians abandoned and dejected (or is the right word “rejected” by US Foreign policy?).

A one state or two state option.

Now. Let us fast forward to the recent decision of President Trump. See, when Trump was contesting within the Republican party and Mario Rubio was a challenger, Trump had his sights focused on who was funding his opponent. That was then with Sheldon Adelson funding Rubio. Trump in response said that Aldeson was seeking to “mold Marco Rubio into the perfect little puppet.” Then when Adleson became a welcomed money supplier for Trump the former opposition transformed into acceptance. Indeed, he who pays the piper, now calls Trump’s tune. That is the stark reality that the world is fearful to say because many persons are fearful for being labelled anti-Semitic. Well, I am a Black man, and I just spoke truth to power, and further, call me racist – and – I shall call all my Jewish friends and have them laugh along with me – right in your stupid face. So there. Thus, I surmise that any chance of Israeli-Palestinian peace under a Trump Presidency just took wings and flew out the window towards another window across the way in East Jerusalem where Trump has endorsed the U.S. Embassy’s placement. And one wonders why Iran supports the Palestinian cause. I shall tell you why – simply because countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel render no assistance to the plight of the Palestinian people.

Consider this, when President Trump enlists in this declaratory speech on the abandonment of the nuclear deal, his concern for the Iranian people. Declassified documents confirm that the US government had virtually no concern when Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons against Iranians during the eight years war of Iraq against Iran (see: below at 2). However, could anyone in his/her right mind ever accuse Mr. Trump of being either a complicit and bought and paid for “moron” or a pathetic and pathological liar when he speaks as he does? Worse yet, even a “puppet” of the Israeli lobby operating in the US? Never!

Lightning is threatening to strike twice in the same region.

Brace yourself or run for cover.



It is undeniably clear that President Trump is pursing what I term a “KK” plan and policy, which is two-pronged:-

1. "k" kill the nuclear deal with Iran; then


2. "K" kill the Iranian people, if not with further crippling sanctions, then with actual direct warfare. If you think that I am exaggerating or in any way not speaking truthfully, then think again:-





Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.              


by Courtenay Barnett

Dear beloved it is time for another sermon. We are here, as we all know, to hear statements delivered from the altar of the almighty truth.

I thought of life, love, family, friends, but thought again.

Life is indeed a fact of life – which we already know we shall all live until the inevitable - death - so no need for that discourse today; love is in the air, so I am contented there and shall not share my personal life –so not that one either; family are all fine so nothing to report there; friends are prized treasures so I have to give them something worth reading in this sermon. Those other topics all covered we can move to the topic for today. Events in Syria are on my mind for a few reasons. The precedents of attacks/invasion in Iraq and Libya; the tensions between Russia and the US/West; implications for the potential of nuclear war – to mention a few references and points of concern.

Syria, I am reliably informed by General Wesley Clark, has been in the US foreign policy cross-hairs for quite a while ( see: footnote 1).

A war that has been marching on for some six years with the promise of more to come. Russia has assisted the Syrian government and the terrorists are just about defeated. Problem is that the world now seems more insane than ever under President Trump’s leadership.

The US in a proxy war funds terrorists in Syria while simultaneously professing that it wants to defeat terrorism. So, the US foreign policy objective of overthrowing Assad ( no doubt to have another ‘success story’ such as in Iraq or Libya) continues to prolong the war. Add to that the hatred and demonisation of Putin/Russia and a toxic mix of pursuit of global hegemony brews along with every conceivable effort to proclaim Russia as the enemy unceasingly up to dirty tricks. A diversion to the UK assists, for illustrations of the willing conduct of a vassal state in this regard.

During the Saddam Hussein days we had PM Tony Blair, via the ‘Downing Street Memorandum’, commit to war with Iraq a full year before the illegal attack and invasion was launched. Now we have PM Theresa May proclaiming that it was Russia that set out to poison double agent spy Skripal and his daughter. So stated at a time when the international body responsible for investigating such matters had not done an investigation and the UK parliament had not had the benefit of a debate on the issue. Yet, PM May knew it must be Putin/Russia. And, the US drops some bombs to send a message. It is proclaimed that a chemical weapons factory was bombed. President Donald Trump then tweets “Mission Accomplished”. Didn’t another President so declare back in 2003 about Iraq? So, an alleged chemical weapons factory is bombed and the next day Syrian officials are walking journalists through the site with no masks or any protective gear while the US President and the Western media are telling everyone else that it was a chemical weapons factory just bombed. Makes sense – doesn’t it? Since the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to inspect the site Syria would launch and attack its own people only to be found out and inevitably credibly criticised by the OPCW? Would it, or upon any Russian advice – act in this way? Why court being condemned by the international community of nations, when the war is just about fully won? The day after the air attack happened with hours before the scheduled OPCW visit to come – would Syria act in flagrant violation of international law? While PM May knows it all and knows best – President Trump just bombs the bastards! But which ones? Assad, the Russians in Syria – or – the Syrians people absorbing stray bombs? Strange and stranger as the fabricated plot thickens.

The real point is that since the Syrian government did not invite US action – and - under the UN Charter, the Security Council did not sanction such bombing and the US was not acting defensively nor in hot pursuit, there simply is not a leg to stand on under international law for the US and/or any of its willing European lackeys to be bombing Syria. Guess it must be just humanitarian bombs to assist the poor, long suffering people in war torn Syria where US funded Jihadists are fighting to overthrow Assad that led to this kind of action.

Incredulity aside, let’s consider.

If a person is well informed then there is a greater chance for rational decisions being made – be that President Donald Trump or PM Theresa May.

On a rational and logical basis, since Jihadists are trying to overthrow Assad, and after some six years, with the assistance of Russia, he has defeated the Jihadists and by extension and application of logic, also thwarted the intended ‘regime change’ the US was pursuing by way of proxy funding of the anti-Assad fighters – then what good is to be served by prolonging this war? Where is there a scintilla of credibility for US action when the US funds Jihadists who have now been defeated? Will there simply not be more suffering inflicted on the Syrian people when bombs are dropped and/or Jihadists are funded?

But – of course, this war is not about ‘democracy’; ridding Syria of the evil dictator; - it is about unrelenting pursuit of a pre-determined effort and policy of removing all and sundry anywhere in the world standing in the way of US global hegemony. Viewed in this light:-

Who then is the real terrorist? The Saudis are continually chopping off heads and hands and bombing civilians in Yemen – yet - not a word of condemnation from the US and/or the Western press.

What solace for the Syrian people when the alternative to the rule of Bashar al- Assad is the ‘welcomed rule’ of Jihadists? How does this change serve the interests of the Syrian people?

Why do countries like the US and UK want a regime change in Syria – that is the question.

Answer: Syria has no significant quantities of oil. What Syria does have is a strategic location which borders Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan. It was the British and French, during their glory days of ‘Empire’, which had competed for control of the region. This was before World War II. Post World War II modern day imperialists are engaged in the same game, with Britain and the European NATO allies playing vassal roles to the US. According to US dictates, it has to be Syria first and Iran next. War, war, war and more war.

So, my much loved congregation, there I have stated it for the believers, the non-believers and most importantly – those who seek and pursue the truth.

Truth – the UK and US are governments of unrepentant imperialist actions on the world stage.

Rationality and logic would be much welcomed and indeed I have tried to understand with as much of both as I have been able to muster ( see: footnote 2).

If the Syrian people are to know peace in the near future then the following would have to happen:-

The US would have to change course from the global trajectory that General Wesley Clark had identified; and in a perfect world...

The Russians occupying two strategically important military bases in western Syria would have to withdraw to permit the Syrian people truly to be masters of their own destiny.

Well - since the US sees only war on the horizon in pursuit of its global hegemonic objectives – and - Russia has no earthly intention of giving up its 50 years renewable leases in Syria then what next?

My guess - more of the same with not rationality and/or logic being primarily operative but rather the raw pursuit of power by the major powers operating within the world.

There you have it my people. I did not ask for war; I did not wish it on the Syrian people; they got it because of their geographical location and for reason of being caught in the cross-hairs targeted and aimed at by major powers having their country in their sights.

Would not wish this on my worst enemy – but – people of Syria – you didn’t wish or want war but powers much bigger than you have inflicted it on you.

In straight colloquial language – “People of Syria – you are caught in a bitch of a bind with no rational and/or humane solution in sight”. The US won’t change course; Russia is not moving anytime soon out of the bases and has now invested far too much in Syria funding and fighting the American funded Jihadists to relinquish its position by way of any voluntary decision.

It is power which reigns; not fairness; not international law; not justice; not the greater good of humanity.

The strong dominate and control the destiny of the weak.

And having just stated that - Heaven help you and us all.




Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.              


by Courtenay Barnett

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today after a hiatus. Fortunately, we have now returned to the place of the almighty truth.

The sermon today shall dwell on racism, rationalisations and resentments and uses Her Majesty’s Government’s duplicity as examples in the field of legality and a resolute steadfastness to undermine the delivery of justice. Our points of reference shall be:-

The Mau Mau case ( i.e. the Compensation claims for torture, rape, wrongful detention and forced labour brought by 40,000 Kenyans who alleged that they were mistreated by British officials).

The Diego Garcia disgraceful conduct ( i.e. the depopulation of the Chagossians from the Chagos Islands to ensure that Her Majesty’s Government received Polaris missiles).

The Matrix Churchill case ( i.e. The Arms-to-Iraq affair concerning the uncovering of the government-endorsed sale of arms by British companies to Iraq after having declared war on that country).

The Skripal incident ( i.e. Prime Minister Theresa May’s support for the bombing of Syria based on the claim that Russia was behind the poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter).

 The attempted denial of persons of Caribbean heritage to their British pension rights.

Merely five(5) points of reference to illustrate not merely the historical – but also – the contemporary consistency in corrupt practices emanating from the highest levels of government and the judiciary in Britain.

Mau Mau

So HMG finds Her benighted self in Kenya, robbing and looting as is her wont. In this instant of colonial exploitation, the Kenyans are exiled from the highlands which was their homeland for centuries, having coincidentally,  the most arable lands in Kenya. The White settlers take control. Not surprisingly, the indigenous people are resentful and rebel. Britain sets up concentration camps and tortures the Kenyans in response ( inclusive of President Barak Obama’s grandfather). Prior to this act of colonial affirmation, it had been Britain in South Africa that for the first time in history had used internment camps for the purpose of complete depopulation. As a further historical fact, the Nazis did give credit to the British as the source from which, years later, they got the idea for concentration camps. It was not just the name, but also the principles and practices which the Nazis copied from the British. Years later, the Kenyan victims filed a class action claiming damages as compensation in the British courts. HMG then hid achieves which would have assisted in providing evidence to prove the case. A Harvard history researcher found the papers and then made the information public. HMG relented ( not necessarily repenting) and the case was settled.

Diego Garcia

HMG wanted from the US Polaris missiles. The US wanted to establish a geopolitically strategic location in the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean. The UK then effected a trade-off deal to obtain a discount on the purchase of Polaris missiles. The US was willing to do the deal if they could get the Chagos islands without inhabitants on them. The only practical problem was that the islands had on them long established inhabitants. The UK solved the “problem” by forcibly evacuating all the islanders and dumping them on the Seychelles and Mauritius mainlands to be forgotten forever, while leasing the largest of the islands, Diego Garcia to the US. The US got its bases; the UK got its missiles; the Chagossians got nothing but expulsion and exile. They sued.

Matrix Churchill case

 An MI6 front company with UK government’s approval sold arms to Iraq at a time after the UK had declared war against Iraq. In other words the UK government was knowingly sending her sons and daughters to war and at the same time was selling the armaments to the enemy which would be used to kill UK soldiers. The Government under the strangest of strange circumstances prosecuted the company “Matrix Churchill” only to find at a later stage when the evidence led back to MI6 that the Government under then Prime Minister Tony Blair intervened and stopped the case based on reasons of the continuation of the prosecution not being in the “national interest”. A more sordid piece of corruption at the governmental level could not be dreamt up in the greatest of fictional novels. Truth, however, at times, is stranger than fiction.

The Skipral poisoning case

A Russian spy, Sergei Skipral, worked as a double-agent and is discovered to be a traitor by Russia and is caught and sentenced to thirteen years in prison. The UK for which he worked traded him and he is released for Russian spies in the UK and then lives in the UK with his daughter, Yulia. There is a poisoning incident involving both Skiprals and Prime Minister Theresa May blames the incident on the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin. In consequence, she supports the bombing of Syria, without parliamentary full debate and approval, nor verification by the international body designated to verify such incidents. May claims that she is justified under international law to bomb Syria. Now lunacy meets the ludicrous for the following reasons:-

Professor Dapo Akande, a Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University, gave this opinion for the Labour Party…

“ In the opinion I reach the following conclusions:-

  1. Contrary to the position of the government, neither the UN charter nor customary international law permits military action on the basis of the doctrine of humanitarian intervention. There is very little support by states for such an exception to the prohibition of the use of force. The UK is one of very few states that advocates for such a legal principle but the vast majority of states have explicitly rejected it.
  2. The legal position advanced by the government ignores the structure of the international law rules relating to the use of force, in particular, because a customary international law rule does not prevail over the rule in the United Nations charter prohibiting the use of force. To accept the position advocated by the government would be to undermine the supremacy of the UN charter.
  3. Even if there was a doctrine of humanitarian intervention in international law, the strikes against Syria would not appear to meet the tests set out by the government. The action taken by the government was not directed at bringing “immediate and urgent relief” with regard to the specific evil it sought to prevent, and was taken before the inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were able to reach the affected area.
  4. If the position taken by the government were to be accepted by states globally, it would allow for individual assessments of when force was necessary to achieve humanitarian ends, with the risk of abuse. It is because of the humanitarian suffering that will ensue from such abusive uses of force, that other states and many scholars have been reluctant to endorse the doctrine of humanitarian action.”

Stated at its simplest, the height of lunacy, duplicity, deception and corrupt practices have now been reached by Her Majesty’s Government.

The Caribbean pensions matter

The UK newspaper, the Guardian, of the 16th April, 2018 ran the story headlined, “Amber Rudd ‘sorry’ for appalling treatment of Windrush-era citizens” with the words therein:-

“The British home secretary has delivered an unprecedented apology for the “appalling” actions of her own department towards Windrush-era citizens, acknowledging that the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”.

Racism had motivated HMG to try and avoid pension payments to persons of Caribbean heritage who had migrated to Britain and now were of pensionable age and entitled to receive pensions. Solution? Simply expel them from Britain and not pay their pensions. The Guardian reported:-

“Their accounts have been further supported by the emergence of Border Force guidance, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, that appears to contradict the government’s justification of a decision to destroy an archive of Windrush-era arrival slips.

The Border Force note appears to undermine the Home Office and Downing Street’s rejection of the documents’ significance. Giving details of how landing cards are used currently, the document stated: “Information from a landing card may be used by an entry clearance officer in making a decision on a visa application.”

Article: “Whistleblowers contradict No 10 over destroyed Windrush landing cards” of 18th April, 2018.

Thus, papers that exist to prove entitlements are being denied as existing and/or being of use when policy, existence and practice belie the position of HMG. How absolutely racist and shameful!

Postscript: Resignation followed on the 29th April, 2018 when the Home Secretary said this inn a letter to the Prime Minister, “I feel it is necessary to do so because I inadvertently misled the Home Affairs Select Committee over targets for removal of illegal immigrants,” and “I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility for the fact that I was not.”

So, the racism and corruption is past, present – and we can realistically expect – future.

So now, do not expect either natural justice or rational thought to see the light of day anytime soon. Much that is disseminated in the mainstream Western media ( MSM) is a willful avoidance and ignoring of some of the greatest violence and injustices existing before our eyes in the world ( if we care to open them). News as propaganda and distortions then become the order of the day, be this via the BBC or CNN, Fox news – pick your deceptor as you will. Yet, when thinking and questioning minds are left to find meaning for themselves, beyond the news as so reported – the truth might just emerge. Sometimes, truth does actually see the light in MSM, but not necessarily so as a general rule.

The sermon today merely wishes to conclude that a state otherwise known as Perfidious Albion, demonstrably has little principle and is just about as opportunistic and corrupt in its governmental practices and judicial processes as many others on planet earth. The question then is not whether Britain is or is not fundamentally corrupt – but – the degree to which such corruption exists.

My people – forgive them – for they deny what they do.

There I end my sermon for today having spoken this truth to the corrupt powers that be.



Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.              



Or So It Seems To Me Today

By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA

During the past month the major concern has been wars and threats of wars and what President Trump might do about them. Unfortunately we are living in increasingly insecure and threatening times. Every day new reports of unrest, violence, and human suffering flash across our TV and computer screens.

Perhaps the biggest worry is the president himself. He says he is a smart stable genius. We were expected to believe from the beginning that he must be highly intelligent since he was so rich, and the implication was he was qualified to be president because of the experience he gained promoting business deals. Maybe so, but how could a fully rational intelligent person have the life history he has, including two failed marriages, several bankruptcies, a history of not paying his bills on time, and promiscuous sexual behavior with women of various sorts outside his marriages, which we have constantly heard about since he has been in office.

There is no evidence he has ever excelled in any sort of intellectual pursuits, good grades in school, serious academic study, or books or papers authored and published. You can tell by listening to him that he has a limited vocabulary and difficulties clearly and logically expressing facts, reasoning, and conclusions. He talks in short disjointed sentences mostly expressing predetermined dogmatic opinions, many of which are ad hominem slurs against critics and antagonists.  He sounds like a New York City mafia boss in an old gangster movie.

Is this the sort of person you want making life or death decisions affecting millions if not billions of people around Spaceship Earth?  Why couldn’t we have somebody like Captain Kirk on Star Trek for a leader?  For sure he’s not what I would want; but he’s what we’ve got, thanks to about half the voters who voted in the 2016 election. Since about fifty percent of eligible voters do not vote in US presidential elections, that means about twenty-five percent of the total eligible voters in the US elected Trump. You might say we are being ruled by a tyranny of a minority, thanks to fifty percent of US voters irresponsibly not voting. I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party in the last presidential election, a highly intelligent articulate woman with a MD degree and a good working knowledge of US and international politics.

Despite his many shortcomings Donald Trump promised when he was running for office he would get the US out of stupid wars (his words), increase spending on US infrastructure, and deal with foreign countries rationally. Instead, he has given the US military the largest budgetary spending increase in history, we are still fighting stupid wars, and little or no infrastructure has been constructed, with the possible exception of a few miles of work done on the wall between the US and Mexico he promised his voters.

A week or two ago Trump tweeted one day he was going to get us out of Syria, that he would be bringing the troops home, very soon, where they belong. A few days later he was tweeting he had decided to bomb Syria very soon because Assad had used chemical warfare against his own people, again. A few days later he was tweeting he had decided we might not bomb Syria very soon, implying we might not bomb them at all. A few days after that he went on television and told us the US had shot missiles into Syria, again, and may god bless America.

Nobody knows what’s going to happen now. It’s now been a few days since the missiles were fired and there have been scant reports of casualties or property damage. It appears they may have targeted places where few people would get killed, more or less faking a serious military attack. So far there have been no serious retaliations from the Russian government, and Trump is again tweeting we will be getting out of Syria soon, again, if the Syrians do not use chemical weapons against their own people, again.

All this happened despite the fact there is no proof showing the world that the Syrian government did in fact use chemical weapons against its own people, again. It may have been another false flag operation. There are several other ways chemical weapons could have been released other than by the Syrians, and as numerous reporters and analysts have pointed out Assad and the Syrian army would have had to be falling down stupid to use chemical weapons where they were found, in a part of the country in which the Syrian army had already defeated and routed the rebels.

Regardless, most likely we are going to have to put up with this sort of thing from now on, as long as Trump is in office, listening to him change his mind in tweets with no good leadership on anything. Some say Trump has been seriously threatened recently by the deep state and military people surrounding him in his administration are now telling him what to tweet and do.

It seems to me the only hope for indefinite human sustainability is to evolve better political, economic, and religious systems, and better ways for humans to relate to one another. While I have no fantasies about this happening anytime soon, it seems to me it might happen through time through synergistic learning, a phenomenon I have covered in my article “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” first published by MWC News (Media with Conscience) at  I first encountered synergistic learning, learning in whole systems not predicted by observing subsystems of the whole, in Buckminster Fuller’s book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

A major assumption of transactional analysis is that human feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are caused by stimuli people are exposed to as they live their lives and, therefore, it seems to me, if this is true, then people are not to blame or praise for what they feel, think, or do, and If this is true then all people are equally OK, not especially good or bad, but OK. In this light a poor homeless person considered mentally ill would be equal to someone like Donald Trump, having been caused by the same sort of causative forces.

As I point out in my TA books, it seems to me there are three basic types of OKness: existential, subjective, and objective. Existential OKness is what I just discussed, people being equally OK by virtue of coming into this world without asking for it, and being gradually shaped and formed by stimuli as they live. Subjective OKness is how a person subjectively perceives and judges her or his self, other individuals, groups to which one belongs, other groups one perceives as different, and the world in general. While these perceptions vary in terms of positive and negative social merit existentially they are equally OK because they were automatically caused to happen. Objective OKness is how OK one is in light of measurable criteria, for health, wealth, education, strength, intelligence, achievements, accomplishments, and the like. It seems to me global OKness would significantly increase if all people would take into account the relevance of all three types of OKness. While objective OKness would necessarily be most relevant in daily working lives, world peace and Earthian OKness would be increased if existential and subjective OKness were acknowledged by all people in all groups and organizations around Spaceship Earth.

In a nutshell, as I discussed and demonstrated using matrix algebra in my article, “Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated,” it seems to me for long term survival the human species must evolve a computerized mathematical management system to produce and fairly distribute the necessities of life for a reduced human population aboard Spaceship Earth, which requires something like a one woman/one child rule for several generations to peacefully reduce the human population through natural attrition, natural deaths exceeding births.  There is no way humans can have infinite population growth on a planet with finite resources that are rendered useless or harmful in production and consumption processes.

Most mainstream media play a psychological Game of GREENHOUSE, participating in a societal Happiness Racket designed to lull people into a sense of security and to make federal and state governments, their politicians, their political parties, their rich donors, their locust lobbyists, and their voters look good, or at least make it seem they are doing a better job of governing than they are. For more on psychological Games and Rackets, read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

For more on the fallacy of composition as it applies to organizational life, i.e. harming or destroying the whole system by maximizing subsystems, read my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds at

Following in the EFFECTIVE LEARNING DIGEST are some outstanding articles and one audio interview recently published in various media around Spaceship Earth, primarily Internet media, shining light on relevant states of affairs.  As Romeo said in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, as time was running out for the star-crossed lovers, “More light and light it grows, more dark and dark our woes.”

I am a Certified Transactional Analyst, a CTA, explained at

Feel free to forward, share, copy, abridge, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this Effective Learning Digest any way you see fit.

Just punch on the web addresses and this month’s selections will pop up.

Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,


April 11

As I pointed out in my “Br’er Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch” article in the Intrepid Report at, in some ways Donald Trump is a psychological Victim, and if Luongo’s article immediately below is correct Trump’s fate will not be a good one. The raid on his lawyer’s office may have been the coup de grace. As I pointed out in my Br’re Trump article I think Trump basically wanted to do the right thing for ordinary people when he ran for office, and here lately he has shown signs he still wants to do it, however confusing his ways might be; but assuming Luongo is right in this article he has now been neutralized by the shadow state. As Luongo shows with compelling logic in this article it appears somebody has been writing fake tweets for him in the last day or so, or at least changing words in those he does write.

Luongo believes Internet media making it possible for ordinary people to learn facts around Spaceship Earth in real time is making it possible for them to really understand what is going on, enabling them to reduce the power of military-industrial-intelligence complexes to start wars with fake news and lies, since ordinary people for the first time in history knowing what is going on can take corrective political action. If so this is a major breakthrough for humanity around Spaceship Earth.

SOURCE: “The Coup is Complete – Trump is Done,” by Tom Luongo, TOMLUONGO.COM,


April 16, 2018

This US Marine in a great video minces no words telling us why we should not bomb Syria.

SOURCE: “When A US Marine Drops A Massive Truth Bomb,” by Ken O’Keefe, NEONNETTLE.COM, a video at .


April 16

Could not agree more.

SOURCE: “The American Military System Dissected: How to explain the paradox of a superb military that never gets the job done?,” by Andrew J. Bacevich, TRUTHDIG.COM, at .


April 16

So it seems.

Here is one of Mad Dog Mattis’s more famous quotes in 2005: 7, 2005 – “You know, it’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up front with you, I like brawling.” The general, also known as “Mad Dog Mattis,” led the 1st Marine Division during the initial invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq, and returned to command marines during the occupation of Iraq, where …

Fun to shoot “some people”,  including women and children?

SOURCE: “Trump is Done, Mattis Won, Thank the Gods” by Tom Luongo, TOMLUONGO.ME,


April 16

Say It Aint So Joe.

SOURCE: “Take The Red Pill – The History Of Syrian False Flags,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 16

Was the Syrian bombing a criminal offense? We shall see.

SOURCE: “Syria: What Just Happened?,” by Eric Zuesse, STRATEGICCULTURE.ORG,


April 15

Well worth a read.

SOURCE: “Market Farce,” by Frank Scott, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


April 15

Mouthpiece Trump’s mouthpiece Nikki Haley in the UN is even more clueless than he is.

SOURCE: “Global Leaders Condemn Trump’s ‘Scorn for International Law’ as Haley Threatens More Possible Air Strikes,” by Julia Conley, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


April 15

Robots are nothing to worry about.

SOURCE: “ROBOTS causing millions of job losses could lead to the rise of communism,” by Jerry Lawton, DAILYSTAR.CO.UK,


April 15

It’s beginning to look like the UK ruling class is as greedy and power hungry as the US deep state.

SOURCE: “The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit,” by Craig Murray, CRAIGMURRAY.ORG,


April 14

Trump’s tweets do make interesting reading sometimes. Take a look at this selection.

SOURCE: “’These Freedom Fighters Fly Planes Into Our Buildings’—A List of the Times Trump Warned Against Attacking Syria,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 14

Another good summary of world affairs by Jim Rickards.

SOURCE: “Russia’s Real Endgame,” by Jim Rickards ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 14

Another sane analysis.

SOURCE: “Taking the World to the Brink of Annihilation,” by Rick Sterling, ORIENTALREVIEW.ORG,


April 12

David Stockman lays it out in this three part article series. Trump has been taken over by the deep state that is determined to have another war come hell or high water. I used to give the Pentagon and the CIA credit for knowing more about whether we should  go to war than most people. But no more.  Look at what has happened because of destroying Iraq.

Not only is Stockman a great writer, he has walked the walk of politics and economics, having served as a US budget director under Ronald Reagan and as a US Representative in Congress, before a career on Wall Street.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 1: There Will Be War,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE,COM,


April 13

Stockman in part 2 nails it. Trump has fully capitulated to the deep state, and thus he announced the US attack on Syria tonight, along with the UK and France. We are all victims now and we can only wait to see how many people will be killed and how much more property and treasure will be destroyed, probably including US citizens on US territory if WWIII gets triggered.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 2: Mueller’s War,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE,


April 14

David Stockman, one of the best blogsters out there, tells it like is regarding Trump and his predicament, in Part 3.

SOURCE: “The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 3: The Capture is Complete,” by David Stockman, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 13

On the march toward a full blown police state in the US.  This is an excellent article by a constitutional lawyer.

SOURCE: “The slippery slope to a Constitution-free America,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPIDREPORT.COM,


April 13

Another audio economic update by Richard Wolff, must listening for anyone wanting to stay informed about relevant economic problems and issues.

SOURCE: “Economic Update: Distorting Economic Truths,” Audio presentation, by Richard Wolff, TRUTH-OUT.ORG,


April 12

Another article by Paul Street, a great writer.

SOURCE: “When is Hysteria Treason,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 13

Another blogster has been paying attention.

SOURCE: “Hot War and Cold Markets,” by Raul Ilargi Meijer, THEAUTOMATICEARTH.COM,


April 12

There will always be wars and rumors of wars – the Christian bible. This dogmatic statement still rings true, but let’s hope it gets proved wrong before too long. Excellent essay by one of the best bloggers out there.

SOURCE; “Warmonger’s Remorse,” by James Howard Kunstler, KUNSTLER.COM,


April 13

This is not false or fake news just because the foreign minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, said it. It is beginning to seem that the UK and France are about as dependent on manufacturing war weapons and materials for export as the US. The US, UK, and France are now allies in Eastern Europe fighting for resources in the Ukraine and elsewhere against Russia. Germany and Italy dropped out of the war against Syria. It’s going to get lonely if Germany and Italy ally with Russia and China. One can build the case the US, UK, and France should also cooperate with Russia and China rather than try to undermine them. One can build the case all nations should cooperate with one another rather than try to undermine one another, but they probably won’t do it because it would put military-industrial-intelligence complexes out of business.

SOURCE: “Russia Has ‘Irrefutable Evidence’ UK Staged Syrain Chemical Attack,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 12

Some great wisdom here.

SOURCE: “I’m Not Right, Left, Or Center – I’m A Free-Thinking Human…,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 9

Here’s another excellent essay by Courtenay Barnett in which he chronicles recent events involving the US and the UK and their new leaders Trump and May showing how both countries have tried to slander and undermine Russia with fake news about chemical warfare in the UK and Syria.

This article contains an embedded video of US President Dwight David Eisenhower delivering his famous warning about the threat posed by the US military-industrial complex when he left office in 1961.

SOURCE: “A Sermon of Two Blunders,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


April 12

Good question and a good analysis by Patrick Cockburn, a world class investigative reporter.

SOURCE: “How Can We Know If a Chemical Weapons Attack Took Place in Syria,” by Patrick Cockburn, COUNTERPUNCH.ORG,


April 12

Why go to war in Syria? To destroy the Assad government? That might start a war with Russia? Are people nuts or what?

Pathetic warmongering. Complacent population. Seem to think war is fun. Last week Trump said we would be coming home from Syria very soon, where we belong. Now all of a sudden, after Bolton, his new military adviser, got in the White House everybody seems to think for some unknown reason war with Syria sounds like a great idea. Are people bored? Or what. Do they really think destroying another weak government would be a fun, moral, or profitable thing to do? It’s insane. No more war! Unless a nation should seriously threaten the US militarily. People, buildings, homes, and treasures get destroyed in wars. Why do it if you do not have to do it to protect yourself? Call it what it is, vandalism and theft. Several wrongs do not make a right. Just because the leaders of France and the UK want to destroy Syria, that does not mean the US should.

SOURCE: “Corporate Media Reprise Iraq in Beating War Drums for Trump Attack on Syria,” by Jake Johnson, TRUTH-OUT.ORG,


April 13

Here is the best map I have seen showing what is going on in Syria.

SOURCE: “A Map Of The Syrian War: Who Is Who (And Where),” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 13

Here we go again as if watching fireworks on the fourth of July.

SOURCE: “Trump Orders Syrian Military Strikers, 3 Waves of Airstrikes Launched at Various Targets,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE.COM,


April 13

The tragedy in Syria

Bombs, Bombs, and more Bombs

I knew when I wrote this article there was some chance Trump would bomb Syria, but I did not know how probable or imminent it was. I thought there was some chance Trump might refuse to go along with the deep state, but I was wrong. He is now a mouthpiece for the deep state. He is a victim, the deep state is the persecutor, and the immediate victims are the Syrians who will die in the bombing. If this sets off WWIII we the people of the US will be victims too.

SOURCE: “Br’re Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


March 23

Here’s another great article by Courtenay Barnett, an historical overview explaining how the US developed some of its most significant foreign policies.  Be sure to watch this video along with the article at

SOURCE: “Today’s sermon – hope for America,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,


March 22

Lest we forget how far astray the US can be led, let this be read.

SOURCE: “The Phoenix Program, My Lai and the ‘Tiger Cages’,” by Douglas Valentine, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT,






























Br’er Trump Burrowed Up In His White House Briar Patch

By Richard John Stapleton

What connection does Donald Trump have with Br’er Rabbit in Joel Harris’s Uncle Remus folktale about a rabbit that tricked a fox into throwing him in a briar patch?

Trump said he really didn’t want to be president. Running for president was just another Game he was playing to get structure, recognition, and stimulation, and to make more money. He thought the free publicity he would receive from complicit mainstream media running for president would more than pay for whatever he had to pay in his own money to run, causing the sales of his various “brands” to increase—selling and renting hotel rooms, rounds of golf, apartments, condos, office space, retail space, steaks, wine, beauty pageants, reality TV shows, college courses, books, casino gambling, and what have you.

Br’er Rabbit got caught in a tar pit and got so much tar stuck to him that he couldn’t run fast enough to escape a fox that caught him and wanted to eat him for supper. Knowing his situation was dire the rabbit pleaded with the fox to do whatever he wanted to do with him, “except please do not throw me in that briar patch over yonder.” After listening to several alternative punishments suggested by the rabbit other than throwing him in the briar patch the fox decided throwing the rabbit in the briar patch might be an interesting thing to do, so he threw the rabbit in the briar patch just to see what would happen. The rabbit licked the tar off him in the briar patch and escaped, making a fool of the fox. Adding insult to injury, Br’er Rabbit taunted the fox as he merrily ran away, letting him know he had been born and raised in a briar patch.

Not only did Trump say he didn’t want to win the presidency, he said he didn’t think he had a chance of winning; and reports are he and his wife were initially distraught when he did win, even shedding tears, crocodile tears perhaps. Unfortunately for Trump, assuming this story is true, he over-estimated his Republican opponents in the primaries; and after he won the Repub nomination, a smart rich hedge fund fox, Robert Mercer, decided he wanted to see what would happen if Trump won the general election, so he shelled out big money and helped craft a winning strategy for his campaign, thereby throwing Trump in the briar patch.

“Winning” the general election showed reverse psychology can work assuming Trump really did want to be president; or his original plan and scheme failed, if he truly did not want to be president of the US. Regardless, he is now burrowed up in a political briar patch in the White House, having been thrown in there by oligarchs and his voters. It remains to be seen whether Trump can escape his briar patch to merrily live happily ever after, as the rabbit presumably did in Uncle Remus’s folktale.

Although Trump appeared shocked and dismayed at first because of winning the general election, after giving his “victory” more thought, the story goes, he decided it must have been a good thing for him to win or it would not have happened, proving he really was special, so he decided to get on with the job in a manly forthright way, switching on the Drama Triangle from the Victim position to the Rescuer position.

Trump would have looked foolish indeed if, after winning the general election, he had said something like, “Look, guys, I was just kiddin’ about wantin’ to be president. I just ran for the fun of it. I was just foolin’ around. I’m not gonna do it. You gotta find somebody else.”

In any case, alas, it now appears Trump must have decided he likes being president for some reason, since he has hired a campaign manager for the 2020 election, implying he wants to “win” a second term.

Trump’s story about his election experience and Uncle Remus’s story about a rabbit thrown in a briar patch are not fully analogous, but there are some interesting parallels, one of the most salient being that neither the rabbit nor Trump could be believed about not wanting to be thrown in the briar patch.

Some Red State evangelical religious folks said after he won the election they thought Trump was chosen through some sort of divine intervention, and decided he would help them promote their religious brands. The current Catholic Pope who is fine with Trump recently blurted out to a reporter in a private conversation that hell does not exist, which the reporter reported in a mainstream medium, which was quickly denied by lawyers in the Vatican who know the Catholic religion needs hell to sell their brand of religion to sinners. What better promoter of sinning and possibly going to hell could evangelicals and Catholics find than Donald Trump as president to promote their brands?

President Jimmy Carter, by far the least sinful of US presidents of my lifetime, who was not very popular with a lot of religious folks in Red States when he left office after one term, recently appeared on a late night mainstream TV show hosted by Stephen Colbert where he said he was praying for Trump and he hoped he would do a good job.

It’s hard to know what doing a good job is as a US president. Most people probably consider doing a good job as a US president to be taking actions and working for and signing rules, legislation, and laws that will make them better off at someone else’s expense, which is not exactly Christian-like. On the other hand, US presidents are supposed to entertain people and make them feel good about themselves, which is why most US presidents have movie-star looks with good teeth and nice smiles, and can memorize humorous lines in speeches, or at least read lines from teleprompters with effective emotional body language. Probably the more sinful presidents are the more entertaining they are for most viewers. Who wants a boring president who is only concerned about justice, reality, fairness, productivity, paying bills on time, and that sort of thing? That would be worse than having a boring teacher in school.

A good leader of a good organization according to organizational behavior educators such as I is a person who causes an organization to do what the sign on the door says, whether it says building houses, growing food, selling clothes, educating people, curing the sick, enforcing laws, creating good laws, or protecting people from miscreants and criminals. Organizations can either do the work they were supposed to do or play Games, that is engage in entropic activities that waste the potential productive energy of the organization for doing what the sign on the door says it’s supposed to do. The US government has been wasting an incredible amount of time, energy, and money playing Games since Trump got elected, probably more than most administrations, dealing with scandals, investigations, making paybacks to supporters, stupid wars (Trump’s words), and budgets.

According to sayings among members of the International Transactional Analysis Association back in the old days, the 1970’s, there are five sins in organizations that are deadly—money, power, righteousness, smarts, and sex.  This may sound a bit counter-intuitive since all these things but sex are required for an organization to succeed; but if any of them are applied in excess their organizations will fail.  If all organizational participants care about is their personal money received from the organization, they will not focus as well as they might on the organization doing what the sign on the door says.  If all  participants care about is their personal power in the organization, the organization will be less successful than it otherwise would have been.  If all organizational participants are concerned about is proving how smart they are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  If all participants care about is proving how right their ideologies are the organization will not be as successful as it would have been.  And if all organizational participants care about is proving how sexually functional they are obviously the organization will be less successful than it would have been, in competition with other organizations.

In this light, all organizations are somewhat sinful, but some are worse than others.  The US government is unquestionably a world leader in terms of money, power, righteousness, smarts, and sexual organizational sins, which are often considered job requirements for participants, especially presidents and their close advisers.

There is no way a president of the US can please everyone. According to recent surveys, despite his past sins coming home to haunt him, e.g., Stormy Daniel, or perhaps because of them, Trump is now pleasing from thirty to fifty percent of the US electorate, possibly the most sinful segment of the population.

Unfortunately, sins, as most preachers, priests, and people commonly consider sinning—adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, and the like—are now job requirements for a president of the US, with the possible exception of adultery. Presidents have to lie by keeping state secrets secret; they have to murder by ordering drone strikes and bombings; they have to steal from other countries by erecting tariffs against them and sometimes bombing them to steal their resources. Loving his neighboring countries as he loves his own would be considered insane and traitorous in a US president.

Trump may have been better qualified for being president than most past presidents were, with one possible deficiency. I have yet to read an article in any information medium alleging Trump had someone whacked or rubbed out by a mafia-style hit man to cover up his sins and crimes, which is not the case with Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. But, Trump is fully qualified to legally steal for the US as evidenced by his bankruptcies he has bragged about, enabling him to walk away with bundles of cash in his bank account, with creditors left holding an empty bag. He is also very good at legally stealing by avoiding taxes, and not paying his bills, which he said proves he’s smart, maybe even a stable genius. For sure he has not loved his neighbor as himself, being a firm believer in always putting himself first. Stuff like adultery is chump change to him. He has said most people are too moral to make any money.

Most people would readily agree a good US president should want to make the US money at the expense of other nations. This is almost guaranteed with Trump, since he can make money for his Trump Organization as he enriches the US.

I think Trump may be one of the most experienced and skillful psychological Game players we have had as US president. Psychological Games have various outcomes in which people win and lose, not merely money, but self-esteem, power, and high positions. Born with money, high self-esteem, and a high social position in his environment, Trump does not know what it is not to have these things. How much money he has actually made with his own intelligence after the fortune he inherited is adjusted for inflation is debatable, since he refuses to publish financial statements or tax returns; but, to his credit, he has not yet lost it all. Evidently his supporters think he is a real winner, financially, and presumably in other ways.

No doubt about it, Trump is a good NIGYSOB player, Now I’ve Got You, You SOB, a one-upmanship Game. He knows how to get in one-up positions relative to people around him, I’m OK—You’re Not (or less) OK, having had much experience playing the Game all his life. As he has demonstrated in the White House, all a person in his position has to do to win a NIGYSOB Game is fire anyone who will not at least pretend they think he is superior. People like Rex Tillerson, no matter how superior they may actually be as managers, almost never can call a boss like Trump a f*****g moron and get a way with it. Trump has by now fired several people close to him who were unwilling or unable to act as if he is superior. Robert Mueller and his congressional inquisition team may be Trump’s only remaining serious antagonist. Whether Trump NIGYSOBs Mueller before Mueller decides to indict him or not remains to be seen.

Psychological Game-players act out Rescuer, Persecutor, and Victim roles. Trump was elected as a Rescuer of his supporters and as a Persecutor of their scapegoat Victims, emigrants primarily, necessitating constructing a Great Wall between the US and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out, but also including of course Trump’s supporters’ heinous Persecutor internal antagonists and scapegoats—those abominable liberals—plus all foreign countries who would dare compete economically against the morally pristine always-right US, playing the most common political psychological Game of all, If It Weren’t for You, in which people assert everything about the US would be just hunky dory if only it weren’t for Demos or Repubs, or that idiot Trump in the White House, or Obama, or whoever, or Iran, or Russia, or North Korea, or China, or whatever.

Unfortunately the US has never been fully OK and has steadily become less OK for decades regardless of who was President or which party was in power, although I must say it does seem to me the Repubs during their terms caused the US to become less OK at a faster rate than the Demos.

To his credit or discredit, Trump has tried to get that wall constructed for his voters, however foolhardy it might be. He has also tried to please his voters in the Rust Belt by starting a trade war for them, however insane it might be for everyone else. He has also repaid his rich donors by signing a new tax cut bill and the largest military budget increase in history. Yesterday he decided to send the military down to the US southern border to keep Central Americans out of the US, who were marching through Mexico in caravans with intentions to enter the US, since he had not been able to get his wall built in time to stop them.

Where he is having the most trouble Making America Great Again is dealing with the US military. During his presidential campaign he promised to Rescue peace lovers, by getting the US out of stupid wars (Trump’s words), the worst sort of briar patch to be thrown into, by stopping fighting unnecessary wars against nations not posing a military threat to the security of the US, unlike what he said Crooked Hillary would do, as seemed likely to me. In the interests of full disclosure I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

After getting elected Trump promptly forgot about that promised reduction in military activity after getting confronted face to face by the deep state, the US military-industrial-intelligence protection racket, the largest Game-playing Persecutor and Rescuer on Earth, that needs wars to keep its cash flow flowing and meet its payroll, that not only starts wars but destroys nations because they posed an economic threat to the US. Shortly after the confrontation Trump began Tweeting messages from the Persecutor Game role to various possible external enemies, threatening to wipe them off the face of the Earth so to speak if they did not do what he said, since he was commander in chief of the most powerful fighting force on Earth and he would not put up with any s**t from any foreign country.

But here lately he seems to have changed his Tweeting tune about using the US military to enforce his will, switching from Persecutor to Rescuer on the Drama Triangle in a few cases. He has now apparently become a buddy of Kim Jung-un of North Korea, having planned a trip to go see him; he has maintained his friendship with Vladimir Putin of Russia; and, all of a sudden, a few days ago, he Tweeted that the US will be getting out of Syria very soon, ISIS or no ISIS.

Let’s You and Them Fight is a common psychological Game played by people who like to start fights for others to fight but who do not like to fight them up close and personal themselves, including most US presidents, politicians, and military planners and plotters. Such Games are played to alleviate boredom, and to gain money and power; and Trump is probably pretty good at it, having played Let’s You and Them Fight most of his life within his Trump Organization dealing with departmental conflicts, and externally doing battle with competing organizations to steal and protect business and market share.

Psychological Games vary in terms of hardness. First degree Games involve mainly insults, tricks, discounts, threats, and humiliations, such as those used by Br’er Rabbit; second degree Games involve shouting, yelling, threatening, and serious insults; third degree Games, sometimes called tissue-tearing Games, entail consequences such as going broke, or getting fired, divorced, sued, or being put in a jail, hospital or morgue. All psychological Games entail deceiving, belittling, or “discounting” the worth and right to exist of the opponent, or “mark”.

By various accounts first and second degree Games are omnipresent in the Trump White House. On the other hand, it’s possible Trump can’t abide third degree tissue-tearing Let’s You and Them Fight Games that entail killing masses of people and causing widespread wanton destruction of property and treasure in foreign countries. Let’s hope so. It seems he is attracted to and enjoys pretty people and buildings more than most people, especially big tall pretty ones with his name on them, so he might be less inclined to destroy buildings and people with bombs in foreign countries than most presidents.

Disagreeing with what President Jimmy Carter told Stephen Colbert, I don’t think praying for Trump will do any good, since most people Trump’s age are set in their ways. It seems to me we the people are currently at the mercy of his life script and the scripts of people he hires and doesn’t fire that he personally communicates with making decisions. On the bright side, it does seem to me there is some evidence his life script is not as anti-social as it appeared to be when he first came on stage as a possible new dear leader of the US.

The briar patch Trump is now burrowed up in is probably stickier and thornier than he ever dreamed it would be. I don’t know how he stands it, just knowing about the possible consequences of decisions and actions coming across his desk every day, especially knowing more than anyone else what the US deep state is doing to people all around Spaceship Earth.  The last time a US president seriously played Games with the deep state, John F. Kennedy, he got assassinated in a third degree NIGYSOB Game, involving covert operators in the deep state. Barack Obama said he didn’t want to wind up like John F. Kennedy. He cooperated with the deep state, and he merrily vacated the White House briar patch after eight years unscathed.

Who knows what sort of tar pit Trump fell into doing business before he got thrown into his White House briar patch. Most people would never think of Donald John Trump as a psychological Victim, but in some ways he is, like most of us. Most likely he won’t seriously try to reduce the cash inflows and power of the deep state, having already given them the biggest military spending increase in history, as his protection racket payment; but it seems to me there is some chance he might reduce military attacks as the so-called commander in chief of the military more than most presidents, letting the chips fall where they may, at least trying to do the right thing for most people in some ways—trying to do some of what he said he wanted to do when he was running for office—get the US out of stupid wars, create new infrastructure at home, and rationally interact with other countries around Spaceship Earth. He could even decide to become a martyr, at age seventy-plus, if necessary script messages were automatically absorbed into his life script before he was eight years old, that are now stored somewhere in his brain cells, that might get cathected.

What’s the probability this might happen? I have no idea, but it’s not very high. Regardless, we can always hope for the best.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of organizational behavior and business policy and a certified transactional analyst, who writes on business and politics at He is the author of Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning at

Please forward, share, publish, print, reprint, or otherwise disseminate this article any way you see fit.  Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher, Effective Learning Report, 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA,









by Courtenay Barnett

Hear ye…hear ye…hear ye. Today’s sermon is the “Sermon of two blunders” in this, the second quarter of the year 2018 anno domini.

Be warned – I am a full time lawyer and a part time preacher. The lawyering is done in the name of justice; the preaching is done in the name of the almighty truth. Both pursuits are likely to be lifelong: for ‘justice’ is an illusive ideal and ‘truth’ can be both illusive and some say even ‘illusory’. Nevertheless, let us reason towards a ‘truth’ based on assumptions of facts and logic. Should we abandon both facts and logic then we are indeed left in that illusory world of thoughts and ideas devoid of any anchored expression and ultimately – any meaning. So, if we are seeking truth and meaning then advance we must with our sermon for words shall be used, thoughts shall be expressed and truth shall be pursued.

Imagine, if you will, being in a movie theatre. The projector just started rolling – but – you don’t know yet what the film will be. It could be a film based on fact or fiction – truth or lies – illusion or reality. Watch and listen and we shall see.

The projector starts to launch its early images on to the screen. You see there Prime Minister Theresa May and next to her is President Donald Trump. There the film starts. We now know that the movie is entitled, “Two blunders”. With sound reason we might then safely assume that we have just seen the image of the two blunderers who shall star in the movie.

And it came to pass that the United Kingdom declared several Russian diplomats, persona non grata. Washington gave support with expulsion of sixty Russian diplomats.

The United States of America, for its part, decided to inflict trade tariffs against China.

There are the two blunders which we shall examine closely in our sermon.

The simple question – is – why? Why blame the Russians; why impose trade tariffs? Those are easy questions for the sermon, while the really difficult task is to combine the two blunders into the whole picture of looming disaster. So, good people, be attentive.

United Kingdom and the Skripal affair

Who is Sergei Skripal?

He is a Russian military intelligence officer, a colonel, who was also a double agent working for the United Kingdom’s intelligence services ( MI6).

He was discovered by his homeland as a double-agent and in 2006 he was sentenced to prison in Russia for 13 years for treason.

He was subsequently exchanged in a spy swap and set free from Russia and his prison term. The Russian authorities estimated that the UK had paid Skripal a total of $100,000 or about $20,000 annually for five years. This latter point will be reverted to.

On the 4th March, 2018 along with his daughter, Yulia, he was poisoned in Salisbury, England.

Thereafter the story becomes an international news item and the Government of the UK, PM May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, loudly proclaimed that the Skripals were poisoned by Russia and a complicit President Putin.

The plot thickened and lead to blunder number one. But, before we consider why so, let us visit the background on blunder number two then revert to both for careful consideration in attempting a holistic approach in this our almighty sermon.

United States of America and China trade tariffs.

Karl von Clausewitz made this expression famous, “war is a continuation of politics by other means.”

Quite seriously, when one observes the leadership of Donald Trump, one has to wonder whether when applying von Clausewitz’s maxim a reversal to “ politics is a continuation of war”, might not be more appropriate for Trump’s actions, for the sheer belligerence of his audacious outbursts. Makes one wonder whether Trump’s politics, as practised, is not a steady push for and continual pursuit of the next war. Fabrications are the indicatory signs that the perpetrators of the fabrications, the lies, untruths and reasons ( casus belli – if you like) are directed along a trajectory which the military-industrial complex approves of. Let us divert a little:-

The architect of the ‘Cold War’ , George Kennan, said this:-

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

And he also said this:-

“The United States cannot reshape other countries in its own image and that, with a few exceptions, its efforts to police the world are neither in its interests nor within the scope of its resources. This whole tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable.”

There you have prescient commentaries from a US perspective which accurately saw US/Soviet relations within the context of a policy of containment; versus the inherently inane pursuit of US foreign policy projection of global power and militaristic adventurism. So, from a serious thinker to Donald Trump as President.

While this is a serious matter of a trade-war, with implications for US/China relations and implications for the wider world economy, then to demonstrate and, of engendered necessity, mock President Trump’s conduct, the trade tariff’s commencement and implementation might be summed up as follows.

The headlines announce:-

“Trump threatens China with $100bn more in tariffs as response to Beijing’s ‘unfair retaliation’”

So, in Trumpland, the sequence of events might be summarised as…

Mr. A slaps Mr. B.

Mr. B returns a slap to Mr. A.

Mr. A then says, “unfair retaliation”.

Oh – so B should just have absorbed the slap like a good little boy; or – did A for a moment, before delivering the first slap, think that maybe, just maybe, B might slap back.

Sorry my friends, for being trite – but – even in my court work a little humour can creep in. This version just rushed into the room…slam..wham…bam….ouch!

End game equals being hit with counters by China and ultimately compelled talks at the governmental level to address the trade imbalance between China/US and probably finally a rational outcome despite all of Trump’s ‘fire and fury’.

The wider picture

In the case of Trump’s trade-war, he clearly has not thought through the implications of what he is doing. What he is doing is playing, in a dangerous, stupid and irrational manner, to an approving local political audience of supporters. Events, however, will overtake him and the negotiating table will be forced to the front because the fallout for both the US and China does not auger well for long-term economic and financial sustainability.

There is a sort of crude analogy to be made between the China trade-war and BREXIT. Both involve a biting off of the economic nose to please the political face, only to find out as events unfold that the choice really does produce a rather undesirable and ugly outcome. Anyway, it is done and the game has to be played out as the fait accompli invites damage control as a natural and ultimate necessary reaction.

So far as the UK government’s claims of Russia’s culpability is concerned the facts can be examined to find the truth:-

  1. Skripal’s professional history is as stated above.
  2. Russia is not the only state with the ability to produce the nerve agent which poisoned the Skripals ( i.e the colonel and his daughter).
  3. PM Theresa May at a very early stage pronounced Russian culpability, yet had no evidence then or now to prove any case against Russia.
  4. There is and always was a framework, under international law, that was applicable to the Skripal case, which the UK simply sidelined and ignored compliance with.
  5. Boris Johnson, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, likewise professes Russian guilt.
  6. Why did the British Government lie and state that dozens of people had been affected by the alleged nerve agent? There is a letter from the Salisbury Hospital’s consultant, Dr Stephen Davies, who wrote to The Times newspaper saying:-

“no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.”

  1. The British Government went further and embarked on an anti-Russia campaign by circulating a six-page document to 80 foreign embassies in Moscow which set out the UK’s “case” for blaming Russia.


  1. One hundred and ninety two states are members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the applicable law under the Chemical Weapons Convention 1993. Thus, the UK and Russia are included and the starting point should be the applicable protocols of this organistaion and the applicable law. So, why would the UK refuse to provide a sample to the OPCW?
  2. The UK, contrary to that aforestated piece of international law, and again in relation to the other applicable piece of international law, has isolated the Skripals – yet it stands that the Vienna Convention 1963, does actually apply, in terms:-

“(1) (a) A consular officer shall be entitled within the consular district to communicate with, interview and advise a national of the sending state and it may render him every assistance including, where necessary, arranging for aid and advice in legal matters.

(b) No restriction shall be placed by the receiving state upon the access of a national of the sending state to the consulate or upon communication by him with the consulate.

So, the Russian consular staff do have a right of lawful access to the Skripals, unless the Skiprals both have said they don’t at all want any contact with any diplomatic representative of their native country.

  1. The OPCW having been endorsed by both the UK and Russian sides, find that PM May has been trying to avoid the OPCW participation, and rushed to judgment while an OPCW investigation with blood samples to determine the nerve agents with any traces of any chemical warfare records and/or identifiers to link to a culpable party were still pending. The British blood sampling would, to my legal mind, have to be associated with a verifiable chain of custody, failing which, what May by reference to the OPCW standards and established legal principles of evidence, really has yet to comply and stand up to the standard of proof I have had to deal with for over 30 years of practice in courts of law ( comply – at least up to the time of my writing this ‘sermon’). So, pardon my less than judicious language – but what a “right royal cock-up on the part of both May and Johnson.” A serpentine concoction of lies, might be a more elegant way of putting it. What is emerging from the relevant facts, as same trickles out into the public domain, is a really botched UK political and legal job. .

The reality

  1. In a case such as the Skripals’ poisoning, there is a duty on the part of the UK Government to give the OPCW a sample of the poison for examination. The UK, meanwhile dances outside the main ball room and shouts to the world that the Russians sent poison inside into the UK. So, what of OPCW findings being made, before proclaiming guilt of a President or country? We therefore have, in factual and sequential terms, a situation like that of the mad Queen in Alice in Wonderland; sentence before verdict: conviction without evidence.
  2. The Porton Down *experts have been unable to state exactly where the poison came from. So – how can or could PM May have accurately stated – Russia? Why did Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lie that Porton Down stated categorically that it was Russia – when they never said any such thing?


  • Porton Down: it is a site of the UK’s Ministry of Defence’s Science and Technology Laboratory, near Salisbury, Witshire, England. It is the most significant military research facility in the UK.


  1. The UK, it seems, by pushing this warfare with Russia agenda, then obviously if pursued to its logical end, it could lead to extremely destructive forces being unleashed into the world. What do I think? This is all happening within a BREXIT disengagement period. Thus the Skripal allegations are focused on both politically and economically deflecting UK public opinion focus on the disaster for the UK which BREXIT actually is. So – Britain post- BREXIT might become a basket case, but just divert public and international attention instead to a fabricated accusation against Russia ( so far it is working with the assistance of a complicit mainstream media which comes no where even near to commenting on or, heaven forbid, even asking the kind of questions this sermon raises). The UK as a vassal state of the US,  is also assisting the US long-term agenda, of which President Eisenhower warned; so, the economic competitor EU has to be challenged/ distanced from/destroyed even – and because it is a main competitor of the UK’s ally, the US, then the US agenda and preservation of the petrodollar fits well into this scripting for the UK’s anti-Russia/Putin protestations *. Left to its own economic devices, Russia would simply develop and sell a lot more of its oil and gas via pipelines into Europe. A geographically and economically sound and sensible choice for Europe – but – not so if viewed from an American geopolitical perspective.


  • Recall that Saddam Hussein had pledged to sell Iraqi oil in the Euro, after UN sanctions ended, and end the petrodollar purchases. Analysing recent historical events, one finds that it is far cheaper for Russia to run a pipeline into Europe and sell its gas and oil at much more competitive prices than the US could ever match by shipping mainly fracked US oil across the Atlantic ( and in what currency would Russia do this via the then intended ‘Southstream’ project into, initially, Bulgaria?) Sanctions were then implemented as targeted by the US and directed against the Russian energy sector and thereby set out to cripple Russian economic aspirations to have more EU countries as primary buyers of affordable Russian gas and oil; and the EU replicates the US sanctions. Ha…quite helpful to set out to shut off the most logical European oil and gas supply from existing pipelines from Russia, or prevent intended expansion of oil and gas and/or agri-business with Russia. Geopolitics in play and so the vassal, UK state, has its role to play in this Skripal unfolding development – which logically one can link from one set of events to another and then discern the geopolitical and economic underlay.



The controversy over Russia links to trillions of dollars in potential warfare earnings ( the kind of observation that General/President Dwight D. Eisenhower had warned of):-

So, that is what probably is presently afoot, with the demonisation of the Russian President and the accusation being made about Russian state culpability which leads to potential largesse to benefit the bureaucratic warfare-state parasites and defence contractors. Same lot who want war and would simply suck further the lifeblood out of the American people while bringing the world closer to global disaster. The UK plays its political part, while the US continues to push its global agenda of “full spectrum dominance”. Global hegemony as a central US foreign policy objective in play.

For anyone seriously interested in how the world really works and not so much listening to the journalistic echoes and misrepresentations – then watch this ( link below) and then read what I had to say in 2006:-


The Crisis of Civilization – Full Length Documentary Movie HD


Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies


Truth be told, both May and Trump have been lying. Both when pressed on the facts, can be seen to be comic figures for the ludicrous nature of their public behaviour. As the movie advances to its conclusion, the initial comedy may ultimately turn out to be a tragedy. Beyond that – then, just think and act as an informed individual.

So endeth my sermon for today.


Footnote: Clients should not lie to their lawyers; politicians should not lie to their citizenry. In both instances the mendacity can lead to disastrous and tragic results. Let’s then ask some pertinent questions and find out for ourselves via the answers:-

Credibility of the US and UK

  1. Was it the US via then Secretary of State, Colin Powel, who made a calculated fallacious presentation to the UN Security Council to justify an attack on Iraq?
  2. Was it then Prime Minister Tony Blair who willingly endorsed the US position on advancing the attack on Iraq?
  3. Did there exist a document called the “Downing Street Memorandum” which confirmed that the UK had signed on and fully committed to a US attack on Iraq a year before the illegal invasion of Iraq was launched?
  4. Did the then head of the United Nations monitoring, verification and inspection commission as Chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, not indicate that no WMDs had been found; and did he, or did he not, actively seek to have a final extension of 6 weeks before any war was launched, first to ensure and assure that the reason being advanced by the main protractors for war did first fully and finally ascertain whether or not WMDs existed in Iraq – which offer the US and UK flatly rejected?


N.B. Hans Blix, being fully cognizant of the implications of a war being commenced against Iraq, quite rationally and reasonably, wanted the US and UK to see the angles concerning WMDs not intuitively, but in actual measured and verifiable terms. This analogy is here drawn, for the OPCW internationally and Porton Down, domestically, actually exist to provide that verifiability. The kind of verifiability ( any reasonable person would have expected the US and UK at the time to have obtained before attacking Iraq; or – for that matter PM Theresa May attacking and condemning Vladimir Putin and Russia). So, the common link if engaging in a complete process of verification before condemnation and then making pronouncements after the conclusion of such a process instead of before. In a logical way of proceeding – evidence first; condemnation after. What we really have in the Western MSM is condemnation first; evidence, if any, after.


  1. Did over a million human beings finally lose their lives after the US and UK proceeded along the trajectory, adumbrated and listed as 1 to 4 above, devoid of verification and evidence?
  2. Were the US and UK caught fabricating evidence of Syria using chemical weapons against the Syrian people?
  3. In light of 1 to 6 above and this ‘sermon’ – is it outlandish to conclude that the US and UK were complicit in advancing a war of aggression contrary to the provisions of international law, and more precisely, the provisions of the UN Charter, Article 1?
  4. What rational sense is there to be gleaned when a low level double-agent who was in Russian gaol was not then killed while in custody, is, at a time when Russia is to host the World Cup subsequently to be killed on British soil, when his ‘value of any significance’ to the UK was a paltry $20,000 per year? Does this attempted murder allegedly inflicted by the Russian state stand up to serious questioning, scrutiny and logic?

The logic of a trade-war

  1. Was it under then President Nixon and Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, that a rapprochement with China in the early 1970s was arrived at with concomitant economic and trade relations being established on a large scale which has inured to this day?
  2. Did US corporations not benefit for several decades from comparatively a more attractive production environment in China from:-
  3. Significantly lower labour costs;
  4. Virtual absence of environmental standards laws;
  5. Absence of constrictive labour laws as, from a US corporations perspective, exists in the US;
  6. Absence of pension benefits to workers;
  7. Much lower safety standards in the Chinese factory and work place;
  8. Consequentially – much more affordable end products on the shelves in the US at places such as Walmart?

       So – who, if anyone, forced the US to enter into such economic relations with China?

  1. Is China in the same economic condition in the 1970s as it is now in 2018 – and – if not, then can the US effectively flex unilateral political muscle now as it could have back then in the early 1970s?
  2. If China has leverage over US Treasury Bills and other financial US instruments then can any assumption of US political demands and dictatorship over China be considered and viewed as either logical or realistic in the existing symbiotic economic relationship between China and the US?

Conclusion: If you want to start becoming aware of dubious US and UK conduct and very sceptical about the recent moves made by Prime Minister May and President Trump then answer the questions and draw your own factual and/or inferential conclusions without me preaching.


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.              


Today’s sermon – hope for America.

by Courtenay Barnett

There is no need for obscurantist speculations about world affairs. In very clear and historically precise terms one can see why and how America, as the world’s most powerful nation, has reached where it has at this time. With just Nixon, China and the military-industrial complex expenditures as reference points one can see in very clear economic terms what has transpired from the early 1970s until the present day.

In the early 1970s then President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, made a rapprochement with China using cheap Chinese labour combined with the investment of American capital to ensure huge profits for American capital (cheap labour; no union challenges; no environment protection legislation to contend with; no pension obligations etc = huge profits – for a while for American corporations). China, during the same period purchased huge amounts of American debt and holds today significant amounts of Treasury Bills etc. ( i.e. China could tank the US economy if it made a call on all the outstanding debt; it won’t; no good biting off your financial nose to spite your economic face – it is a symbiotic relationship which exists of which the Chinese are well aware of as they now invest usable US dollars globally while the dollar still has some value).

Add A and B together and include now the size of the defence budget relative to the demands of the military-industrial complex and you will clearly see the challenge which America is presently facing. Conclusion: one simply cannot continue printing fiat money and expect an economy to thrive and survive.

So, how do you change the process of decline of the US economy? Simple. For all the pontification and pontificators circulating on the internet, they can put this in their intellectual pipes and take a good draw on those ideas and then in reverse order, apply the following process, for the benefit of the American people and by extension, the vast majority of humankind:-

C Substantially reduce the budget relative to the military-industrial complex’s demands on public expenditures. For, there is an opportunity cost to be paid for the directing of such a large proportion of the US budget to arms production, militarism and war.

B Design a transitional global financial plan which fully includes, for starters, the national interests of the so-called BRICS nations.

A Set out to recapitalise the US domestic economy on a basis which factors in the social needs of ordinary American people while simultaneously making job space to absorb the steadily declining military human spill over from the reduced military-industrial complex.


Or, continue to believe the ‘fake news’ ( yes – really – a lot of what is circulating on the internet and in MSM, does not want people to look at the most obvious explanations staring everyone in the face). To look at the financial and economic elephant in the Congressional room is also to discern that there is a better way. Alas, Congress is bought and paid for. And, the US status quo (assisted by a complicit MSM) simply therefore never finger the true foundational and structural roots of the America’s economic problem – for then the people’s eyes will start to be opened. Thus – just blame the Mexicans; the immigrants; the Blacks; the Muslims; the whoevers – but never, never look at the economic and financial fundamentals to then try from that foundational understanding to then extrapolate into addressing the obvious pressing and real difficulties the American economy is facing.

But – who am I to say – that most of the MSM analysts argue around the core source of the problem but rarely, if ever, start from the core and reason therefrom outwards?

Obfuscate as much as possible, feed false information, fake news and confound any chance of ordinary people beginning their understanding of the underlying structural problems at the core of America’s economic problems – which affect them.

Yeah – the armchair revolutionary can say what he wants for he shall but recline in his armchair when all is said and little is done.



For years I have observed, read and written on world affairs. I had been accepted as a post-graduate student to read International Relations, but I changed my mind and focused solely on a career in the law. My intention at that time was to become a diplomat. However, despite abandoning that ambition and substituting it with an activist practice in the law, I have never lost my interest in world affairs – and would therefore describe myself as a self-educated student of world affairs.

So – read and/or listen to each piece – and – hopefully there will be a realistic and comprehensive, objective understanding of some of the major tenets which presently drive our world. Not a majority of global issues here broached, by any stretch of the imagination, but at least a lucid introduction to some of the immediate and major ones – oil – the avowed violation of the concept of sovereignty – US Presidential racism – and so on. I shall confine myself to the post World War 11 period – for that is what the past 30 plus years of my readings have mainly focused on. The list of 5 issues below, for me is a brief refresher course. For all to whom I forward this email – it is also an invitation to share ideas, disagree with me at will, make comments if so motivated to do – and – please do so and tell me where I got it wrong.

1. The structure of the post World War II period based on American ascendance. First – one needs to be acquainted with the name “George Keenan”, who was the US architect of the “Cold War”. He can be googled, but I share with you some of his more prescient observations:-

“We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”― George F. Kennan

( i.e. he is speaking here of what imperialism actually is – and – I observe that this is not a mere aberration. To better understand what I am conveying – please watch the youtube video of General Wesley Clark below)

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”― George F. Kennan

2. One needs to understand that the basis for making sustainable argument is to back same with unassailable empirical evidence. Any properly trained scientist would have been taught this. The empirical evidence of US/NATO global aggression is there for all to see.

3. On a smaller scale I forewarned of what Libya would become after the imperialists attacked that country.  In Pazambuka, the largest of all Africa online news publications, my article was published:-

4. On a non-racist – and progressive note, the same publication accepted my submission on President Trump:-

5. And – as a catalyst for global conflict, I explained my views and observations on the Iraq invasion, in this piece. I was invited to give a public lecture, which I did, and it was the US State Department official in attendance who asked the most questions of me ( but – details of that for another time):-

Oil, conflict and the future of global energy supplies


Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, has been subjected to death threats, and has argued public interest and human rights cases.

The Phoenix Program, My Lai and the “Tiger Cages”

by douglas valentine

bookcover features a painting of the Phung Hoang, the Vietnamese phoenix bird, standing on a map of Vietnam.  It looks basically like a very colorful rooster.

The following excerpt from The Phoenix Program, by Douglas Valentine, is from Chapter 24: “Transgressions”. It deals with the My Lai massacre and the infamous “Tiger Cages.”

The chapter notes are given at the end of the text, together with a glossary from the book for terms relevant to this chapter. For the reader’s convenience, the more obscure terms are given as links to the glossary on this page, and you can return to the text by clicking on the [Back] link after each glossary term.

This excerpt is posted here with the kind permission of the author.

The My Lai Massacre

The My Lai massacre was first reported in March 1969, one full year after the event. In April 1969, because of congressional queries, the case was given to the Army inspector general, and in August Army Chief of Staff William Westmoreland turned the case over to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). In November 1969 Seymour Hersh broke the story, telling how 504 Vietnamese civilians were massacred by members of a U.S. infantry company attached to a special battalion called Task Force Barker.

Ten days after Hersh broke the story, Westmoreland ordered General William Peers to conduct an official inquiry. Evan Parker contended to me that Peers got the job because he was not a West Point graduate.
2 However, Peers’s close ties to the CIA may also have been a factor. In World War II, Peers had commanded OSS Detachment 101, in which capacity he had been Evan Parker’s boss. In the early 1950s he had been the CIA’s chief of training and its station chief in Taiwan, and as SACSA in 1966 Peers had worked with the CIA in formulating pacification policy. Having had several commands in Vietnam, he was well aware of how the war was being conducted. But the most conclusive evidence linking Peers to the CIA is the report he submitted in March 1970, which was not made available to the public until 1974 and which carefully avoided implicating the CIA.

The perfunctory trials that followed the Peers inquiry amounted to slaps on the wrist for the defendants and fueled rumors of a cover-up. Of the thirty people named in the report, charges were brought against sixteen, four were tried, and one was convicted. William Calley’s sentence was quickly reduced, and in conservative quarters he was venerated as a hero and scapegoat. Likewise, the men in Calley’s platoon were excused as victims of VC terror and good soldiers acting under orders. Of nearly two thousand Americans surveyed by Time magazine, 65 percent denied being upset.

Yet, if most Americans were willing to accept the massacre as necessary to ensure their security, why the cover-up? Why was the massacre portrayed as an isolated incident?

On August 25, 1970, an article appeared in The New York Times hinting that the CIA, through Phoenix, was responsible for My Lai. The story line was advanced on October 14, when defense attorneys for David Mitchell — a sergeant accused and later cleared of machine-gunning scores of Vietnamese in a drainage ditch in My Lai — citing Phoenix as the CIA’s “systematic program of assassination,” named Evan Parker as the CIA officer who “signed documents, certain blacklists,” of Vietnamese to be assassinated in My Lai.3 When we spoke, Parker denied the charge.

A defense request to subpoena Parker was denied, as was a request to view the My Lai blacklist. Outside the courtroom CIA lawyer John Greaney insisted that the agency was “absolutely not” involved in My Lai. When asked if the CIA had ever operated in My Lai, Greaney replied, “I don’t know.”

But as has been established in this book, the CIA had one of its largest contingents in Quang Ngai Province. [See: Map of South Vietnam – pop-up window] Especially active were its Census Grievance cadre, directed by the Son Tinh District RD Cadre intelligence chief, Ho Ngoc Hui, whose VNQDD cadres were in My Lai on the day prior to the massacre. A Catholic from North Vietnam, Hui reportedly called the massacre “a small matter.”

To understand why the massacre occurred, it helps to know that in March 1968 cordon and search operations of the type Task Force Barker conducted in My Lai were how RD Cadre intelligence officers contacted their secret agents. The Peers report does not mention that, or that in March 1968 the forty-one RD teams operating in Quang Ngai were channeling information on VCI through Hui to the CIA’s paramilitary adviser, who shared it with the province Phoenix coordinator.

The Phoenix coordinator in Quang Ngai Province at the time of the My Lai massacre was Robert B. Ramsdell, a seventeen-year veteran of the Army CID who subsequently worked for ten years as a private investigator in Florida. Ramsdell was hired by the CIA in 1967. He was trained in the United States and sent to Vietnam on February 4, 1968, as the Special Branch adviser in Quang Ngai Province. Ramsdell, who appeared incognito before the Peers panel, told newsmen that he worked for the Agency for International Development.

In Cover-up Seymour Hersh tells how in February 1968 Ramsdell began “rounding up residents of Quang Ngai City whose names appeared on Phoenix blacklists.”5 Explained Ramsdell: “After Tet we knew who many of these people were, but we let them continue to function because we were controlling them. They led us to the VC security officer for the district. We wiped them out after Tet and then went ahead and picked up the small fish.”6 The people who were “wiped out,” Hersh explains, were “put to death” by the Phoenix Special Police.” 7

Ramsdell “simply eliminated everyone who was on those lists,” said Gerald Stout, an Army intelligence officer who fed Ramsdell names. “It was recrimination.” *8 Recrimination for Tet, at a minimum.

* In August 1966 the CIA’s paramilitary adviser in Quang Ngai, Reed Harrison, unwittingly sent USAID employee Dwight Owen into an ambush outside Tu Nghia. The guerillas who killed young Owen were from the Forty-eighth VC Battalion.

Unfortunately, according to Randolph Lane — the Quang Ngai Province MACV intelligence adviser — Ramsdell’s victims “were not Vietcong.”
9 This fact is corroborated by Jeffrey Stein, a corporal working undercover for the 525th MIG, running agent nets in Quang Nam and southern Thua Thien provinces. According to Stein, the VNQDD was a Vietnamese militarist party that had a “world fascist allegiance and wanted to overthrow the Vietnamese government from the right! The people they were naming as Communists were left-wing Buddhists, and that information was going to the Phoenix program. We were being used to assassinate their political rivals.” 10

Through the Son Tinh DIOCC, Phoenix Coordinator Ramsdell passed Census Grievance-generated intelligence to Task Force Barker, estimating “the 48th Battalion at a strength of 450 men.” The Peers report, however, said that 40 VC at most were in My Lai on the day prior to March 16 and that they had left before Task Force Barker arrived on the scene.

Ramsdell told the Peers panel, “Very frankly, anyone that was in that area was considered a VCS [Vietcong suspect], because they couldn’t survive in that area unless they were sympathizers.” 12

On the basis of Ramsdell’s information, Task Force Barker’s intelligence officer, Captain Kotouc, told Lieutenant Colonel Frank Barker that “only VC and active VC sympathizers were living [in My Lai and My Khe].” But, Kotouc said, because leaflets were to be dropped, “civilians would be out of the hamlets…by 0700 hours.” 13

Phoenix Coordinator Ramsdell then provided Kotouc with a blacklist of VCI suspects in My Lai, along with the ludicrous notion that all “sympathizers” would be gone from the hamlet by early morning, leaving 450 hard-core VC guerillas behind. Yet “the link between Ramsdell and the poor intelligence for the 16 March operation was never explored by the Peers Panel.” 14

As in any large-scale Phoenix operation, two of Task Force Barker’s companies cordoned off the hamlet while a third one — Calley’s — moved in, clearing the way for Kotouc and Special Branch officers who were “brought to the field to identify VC from among the detained inhabitants.” 15

As Hersh notes parenthetically, “Shortly after the My Lai 4 operation, the number of VCI on the Phoenix blacklist was sharply reduced.” 16

In an unsigned, undated memo on Phoenix supplied by Jack, the genesis of the blacklist is described as follows:

There had been a reluctance to exploit available sources of information in the hamlet, village and district. It was, therefore, suggested that effective Cordon and Search operations must rely on all locally available intelligence in order to deprive the Viet Cong of a sanctuary among the population. It was in this context that carefully prepared blacklists were made available. The blacklists were furnished to assist the Allied operational units in searching for specifically identified people and in screening captives or local personnel held for questioning. The information for the blacklists was prepared by the Police Special Branch* in conjunction with intelligence collected from the Province Interrogation Centers.

* In June 1988 Quang Ngai Special Branch chief Kieu participated in a Vatican ceremony which elevated Catholics killed in Vietnam to the status of martyrs.

Kotouc was charged by the Peers panel with concealing evidence and falsifying reports, with having “authorized the killing of at least one VC suspect by members of the National Police,” and with having “committed the offense of maiming by cutting off the finger of a VC suspect.” 17

The CIA, via Phoenix, not only perpetrated the My Lai massacre but also concealed the crime. The Peers panel noted that “a Census Grievance Cadreman of Son My Village submitted a written report to the Census Grievance chief, Quang Ngai, on 18 March 1968,” indicating that “a fierce battle with VC and local guerrillas” had resulted in 427 civilian and guerrilla deaths, 27 in My Lai and 400 in the nearby hamlets of Thuan Yen and Binh Dong!18 The appearance of this report coincided with the release by Robert Thompson of a “captured” document, which had been “mislaid” for nineteen months, indicating that the Cuc Nghien Cuu had assassinated 2,748 civilians in Hue during Tet.

The only person named as having received the Census Grievance report is Lieutenant Colonel William Guinn, who testified in May 1969 that he “could not recall who specifically had given it to him.” In December 1969 Guinn, when shown a copy of the Census Grievance report, “refused further to testify and accordingly, it was not possible to ascertain whether the 18 March Census Grievance report was in fact the one which he recalled having received.”19 With that the matter of the Census Grievance report was dropped.

The My Lai cover-up was assisted by the Son Thinh District adviser, Major David Gavin, who lost a report written on April 11 by Tran Ngoc Tan, the Son Tinh district chief. Tan’s report named the 504 people killed at My Lai, and Tan said that “he discussed [the report] with Gavin” but that “Gavin denies this.” Shortly thereafter Major Gavin became Lieutenant Colonel Gavin. 20

The Eleventh Brigade commander dismissed Tan’s charges as “baseless propaganda.”21 Barker’s afteraction report listed no civilian deaths. Civilian deaths in South Vietnam from 1965 until 1973 are estimated at 1.5 million; none is reported in U.S. military afteraction reports.

The Peers panel cited “evidence that at least at the Quang Ngai Province and Son Tinh District levels, and possibly at 2nd ARVN Division, the Senior U.S. military advisors aided in suppressing information concerning the massacre.” 22

Task Force Barker commander Lieutenant Colonel Barker was killed in a helicopter crash on June 13, 1968, while traveling back to My Lai as part of an investigation ordered by the Quang Ngai Province chief, Colonel Khien. Khien is described “as a big time crook” and a VNQDD politico who “had a family in Hue” and was afraid the VC “were going to make another Hue out of Quang Ngai.” Province Chief Khien and the deputy province senior advisor, Lieutenant Colonel Guinn, both “believed that the only way to win the war was to kill all Viet Cong and Viet Cong sympathizers.” 23

The last piece in the My Lai puzzle concerned Robert Haeberle and Jay Roberts, Army reporters assigned to Task Force Barker. After the massacre Roberts “prepared an article for the brigade newspapers which omitted all mention of war crimes he had observed and gave a false and misleading account of the Task Force Barker operation.” Roberts was charged by the Peers panel with having made no attempt to stop war crimes he witnessed and for failing to report the killings of noncombatants. Haeberle was cited by the panel for withholding photographic evidence of war crimes and for failing to report war crimes he had witnessed at My Lai.

As Jeff Stein said, “The first thing you learn in the Army is not competence, you learn corruption. And you learn ‘to get along, go along.’” 24

Unfortunately not everyone learns to get along. On September 3, 1988, Robert T’Souvas was apparently shot in the head by his girl friend, after an argument over a bottle of vodka. The two were homeless, living out of a van they had parked under a bridge in Pittsburgh. T’Souvas was a Vietnam veteran and a participant in the My Lai massacre.

T’Souvas’s attorney, George Davis, traveled to Da Nang in 1970 to investigate the massacre and while there was assigned as an aide a Vietnamese colonel who said that the massacre was a Phoenix operation and that the purpose of Phoenix was “to terrorize the civilian population into submission.”

Davis told me: “When I told the people in the War Department what I knew and that I would attempt to obtain all records on the program in order to defend my client, they agreed to drop the charges.” 25

Indeed, the My Lai massacre was a result of Phoenix, the “jerry-built” counterterror program that provided an outlet for the repressed fears and anger of the psyched-up men of Task Force Barker. Under the aegis of neutralizing the infrastructure, old men, women, and children became the enemy. Phoenix made it as easy to shoot a Vietnamese child as it was to shoot a sparrow in a tree. The ammunition was faulty intelligence provided by secret agents harboring grudges — in violation of the agreement that Census Grievance intelligence would not be provided to the police. The trigger was the blacklist.

As Ed Murphy said, “Phoenix was far worse than the things attributed to it.” Indeed, the range of transgressions generated by Phoenix was all-encompassing but was most evident in its post-apprehension aspect. According to Jeff Stein, the CIA “would direct the PRU teams to go out and take care of a particular target…either capture or assassination, or kidnapping. Kidnapping was a common thing that they liked to do. They really liked the whole John Wayne bit — to go in and capture someone at night. … They’d put him in one of these garbage collection type bins — and the helicopter would pick up the bin and fly him off to a regional interrogation center.

“I think it’s common knowledge what goes on at the interrogation center,” Stein writes. “It was common knowledge that when someone was picked up their lives were about at an end because the Americans most likely felt that, if they were to turn someone like that back into the countryside it would just be like multiplying NLF followers.”

Bart Osborn (whose agent net Stein inherited) is more specific. “I never knew in the course of all those operations any detainee to live through his interrogation,” Osborn testified before Congress in 1971. “They all died. There was never any reasonable establishment of the fact that any one of those individuals was, in fact, cooperating with the VC, but they all died and the majority were wither tortured to death or things like thrown out of helicopters.” 27

The “Tiger Cages”

One of John Hart’s original ICEX charges was to develop a means of containing within the GVN’s judicial system the explosion of civilian detainees. But as Nelson Brickham explained, no one wanted to get the name of the Jailer of Vietnam, and no agency ever accepted responsibility. So another outcome of Phoenix was a prison system filled to overflowing.

It was not until April of 1970, when ten Vietnamese students put themselves on display in a room in the Saigon College of Agriculture, that treatment of political prisoners gained the attention of the press. The students had been tried and convicted by a military field court. Some were in shock and being fed intravenously. Some had had bamboo splinters shoved under their fingernails. One was deaf from having had soapy water poured in his ears and his ears pounded. The women students had been raped as well as tortured. The culprits, claims Don Luce in his book Hostages of War, were Saigon’s First District police, who used false documents and signatures to prove guilt, and used torture and drugs to extract confessions.

The case of the students prompted two congressmen to investigate conditions at Con Son Prison in July 1970. Initially, Rod Landreth advised station chief Shackley not to allow the congressmen to visit, but Shackley saw denial as a tacit admission of CIA responsibility. So Landreth passed the buck to Buzz Johnson at the Central Pacification and Development Council. Thinking there was nothing to hide, Johnson got the green from light General Khiem. He then arranged for Congressmen Augustus Hawkins and William Anderson and their aide Tom Harkins to fly to Con Son accompanied by Public Safety Adviser Frank Walton. Acting as interpreter for the delegation was Don Luce, a former director of the International Volunteer Service who had been living in Vietnam since 1959. Prison reform advocate Luce had gained the trust of many Vietnamese nationalists, one of whom told him where the notorious tiger cages (tiny cells reserved for hard-core VCI under supervision of Nguyen Minh Chau, “the Reformer”) were located at Con Son Prison.

Upon arriving at Con Son, Luce and his entourage were greeted by the prison warden, Colonel Nguyen Van Ve. Harkins presented Ve with a list of six prisoners the congressmen wished to visit in Camp Four. While inside this section of the prison, Luce located the door to the tiger cages hidden behind a woodpile at the edge of a vegetable garden. Ve and Walton protested this departure from the guided tour, their exclamations prompting a guard inside the tiger cage section to open the door, revealing its contents. The congressmen entered and saw stone compartments five feet wide, nine feet long, and six feet high. Access to the tiger cages was gained by climbing steps to a catwalk, then looking down between iron grates. From three to five men were shackled to the floor in each cage. All were beaten, some mutilated. Their legs were withered, and they scuttled like crabs across the floor, begging for food, water, and mercy. Some cried. Others told of having lime buckets, which sat ready above each cage, emptied upon them.

Ve denied everything. The lime was for whitewashing the walls, he explained, and the prisoners were evil people who deserved punishment because they would not salute the flag. Despite the fact that Congress funded the GVN’s Directorate of Corrections, Walton accused the congressmen of interfering in Vietnamese affairs. Congressman Hawkins expressed the hope that American POWs were being better treated in Hanoi.

The extent of the tiger cage flap was a brief article in The New York Times that was repudiated by U.S. authorities. In Saigon the secret police cornered Luce’s landlady and the U.S. Embassy accused Luce of being a Vietcong agent. Rod Landreth approached Buzz Johnson with the idea of circulating evidence of Luce’s alleged homosexuality, but Johnson nixed the idea. When Luce began writing articles for Tin Sang, all issues were promptly confiscated and his press card was revoked. Finally, Luce was expelled from Vietnam in May 1971, after his apartment had been ransacked by secret policemen searching for his records. Fortunately Luce had mailed his notes and documents to the United States, and he later compiled them in Hostages of War.

Michael Drosnin, in the May 30, 1975 issue of New Times, quotes Phoenix legal adviser Robert Gould as saying, “I don’t know for sure, but I guess Colby was covering up for Con Son too. Nothing really was changed after all that publicity… the inmates who were taken out of the Tiger Cages were simply transferred to something called ’cow cages,’ which were even worse. Those were barbed wire cells in another part of the camp. The inmates were shackled inside them for months and left paralyzed. I saw loads of spidery little guys — they couldn’t stand and they couldn’t walk, but had to move around on little wooden pallets.”28 According to Gould, “It was a well known smirking secret in certain official circles that with all the publicity about the Tiger Cages, no one ever found out about the cow cages.” 29

Added Gould: “The responsibility for all this is on the Americans who pushed the program. We finally made some paper reforms, but it didn’t make any difference. The Province Security Committees did whatever the hell they wanted and the pressure our ‘neutralization’ quotas put on them meant they had to sentence so many people a month regardless. And God, if you ever saw those prisons.”

In Hostages of War Don Luce refers to the GVN as a “Prison Regime” and calls Phoenix a “microcosm” of the omnipotent and perverse U.S. influence on Vietnamese society. He blames the program for the deterioration of values that permitted torture, political repression, and assassination. “While few Americans are directly involved in the program,” Luce writes, “Phoenix was created, organized, and funded by the CIA. The district and provincial interrogation centers were constructed with American funds, and provided with American advisers. Quotas were set by Americans. The national system of identifying suspects was devised by Americans and underwritten by the U.S. Informers are paid with US funds. American tax dollars have covered the expansion of the police and paramilitary units who arrest suspects.” 31

Thus, Luce writes, “the U.S. must share responsibility for the nature of the Saigon government itself. It is a government of limited scope whose very essence is dictated by American policy, not Vietnamese reality.”32 But the CIA absolved itself of responsibility, saying that abuses occurred in the absence of U.S. advisers and that oversight was impossible. However, if the CIA had accepted responsibility, it would have nullified the plausible denial it had so carefully cultivated. Like Phoenix, the prison system was intentionally “jerry-built,” enabling sadists to fall through the gaping holes in the safety net.

Writes Luce: “Abuses of justice are not accidental but an integral part of the Phoenix Program.” For example, “The widespread use of torture during interrogation can be explained by the admissibility of confession as evidence in court…and by the fact that local officials are under pressure from Saigon to sentence a specific number of high level VCI officials each month.” He adds that “Phoenix was named after the all seeing mythical bird which selectively snatches its prey — but the techniques of this operation are anything but selective. For many Vietnamese, the Phung Hoang program is a constant menace to their lives.”


1. McCollum interview.
2. Parker interview.
3. “Calley Defense Asks Disclosure of Top-Secret Data on Song My,” The New York Times, August 25, 1970
4. Wall interview.
5. Seymour Hersh, Cover-Up (New York: Random House, 1972) p. 87.
6. Hersh, p. 88.
7. Hersh, p. 88.
8. Hersh, p. 88.
9. Hersh, p. 88.
10. Myra MacPherson, Long Time Passing (New York: Signet, 1984), p. 625.
11. Joseph Goldstein, The My Lai Massacre and Its Cover-up (New York: The Free Press, 1976), p. 256.
12. Hersh, p. 93.
13. Hersh, p. 93.
14. Hersh, p. 95.
15. Goldstein, p. 145.
16. Hersh, p. 95.
17. Goldstein, p. 339
18. Goldstein, p. 270
19. Goldstein, p. 277
20. Goldstein, p. 278
21. Goldstein, p. 288
22. Goldstein, p. 313
23. Hersh, pp. 188-189.
24. MacPherson, p. 625.
25. Interview with George Davis.
26. Jeffrey Stein and Michael T. Klare, “From the Ashes: Phoenix,” Commonweal, April 20, 1975, p. 159.
27. “U.S. Assistance Programs in Vietnam,” p. 53.
28. Michael Drosnin, “Phoenix: The CIA’s Biggest Assassination Program” (New York Times, August 22, 1975), p. 24.
29. Drosnin, p. 24.
30. Drosnin, p. 23.
31. Don Luce, Hostages of War (Indochina Resource Center, 1973) p. 26.
32. Luce, p. 27.
33. Luce, P. 24.


Agroville — (Khu Tru Mat): garrison community into which rural Vietnamese were forcefully relocated in order to isolate them from the Viet Cong.

ARVN — Army of the Republic of Vietnam

Census Grievance (CG) — CIA covert action program designed to obtain information on the VCI through static agents in villages, or mobile agents in armed propaganda teams. [Back]

CIO — Central Intelligence Organization: formed in 1961 to coordinate South Vietnamese foreign and domestic intelligence operations.

DIOCC — District Intelligence and Operations Coordination Center: office of the Phoenix adviser in each of South Vietnam’s 250 districts. [Back]

Free Fire Zone — Area in South Vietnam where U.S. military personnel had the authority to kill anyone they targeted.

GVN — Government of Vietnam [Back]

ICEX — Intelligence coordination and exploitation: original name of the Phoenix program, formed in June 1967. [Back]

Kuomintang (KMT) — Official ruling party of the Republic of China (Taiwan), formed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1911.

MACV — Military Assistance Command, Vietnam: arrived in Saigon in February 1962 as a unified command under the Commander in Chief, Pacific, managing the U.S. military effort in South Vietnam. [Back]

NIC — National Interrogation Center: CIA facility built in 1964 inside CIO headquarters in the naval shipyard in Saigon.

NLF — National Liberation Front: formed in 1960 by the various insurgent groups in South Vietnam. [Back]

NVA — North Vietnamese Army

Phung Hoang — The mythological Vietnamese bird of conjugal love that appears in times of peace, pictured holding a flute and representing virtue, grace, and harmony. Also the name given to the South Vietnamese version of Phoenix. [Back]

Province Security Committee (PSC) — nonjudicial body charged with the disposition of captured VCI. [Back]

PRU — Provincial Reconnaissance Units: mercenary forces under the control of the CIA in South Vietnam. [Back]

RD — Revolutionary Development: CIA program to build support for the GVN in provinces of South Vietnam. [Back]

RDC — Revolutionary Development cadre: South Vietnamese trained by the CIA at Vung Tau to persuade the citizens of South Vietnam so support the central government.

RDC/O — Revolutionary Development Cadre, Operations: CIA officer in charge of paramilitary operations in a province.

RDC/P — Revolutionary Development Cadre, Plans: CIA officer in charge of liaison with the Special Branch in a province.

SACSA — Special assistant (to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities: office within the Joints Chiefs with responsibility for Phoenix policy. [Back]

USIS — United States Information Service: branch of the U.S. government responsible for conducting psychological operations overseas.

VC — Viet Cong: Vietnamese Communist

VCI — Viet Cong Infrastructure: all Communist party members and NLF officers, plus Vietcong and NVA saboteurs and terrorists. [Back]

VNQDD — Vietnam Quoc Dan Dang: Vietnamese branch of the Kuomintang. [Back]

“Until we go through it ourselves, until our people cower in the shelters of New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere while the buildings collapse overhead and burst into flames, and dead bodies hurtle about and, when it is over for the day or the night, emerge in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished — only after that gruesome experience will we realize what we are inflicting on the people of Indochina…”

— William Shirer

Related articles

Bob Kerrey, CIA War Crimes, And The Need For A War Crimes Trial
by Douglas Valentine

“By now everybody knows that former Senator Bob Kerrey led a seven-member team of Navy SEALS into Thanh Phong village in February 1969, and murdered in cold blood more than a dozen women and children.

“What hardly anyone knows, and what no one in the press is talking about (although many of them know), is that Kerrey was on a CIA mission, and its specific purpose was to kill those women and children. It was illegal, premeditated mass murder and it was a war crime.

“And it’s time to hold the CIA responsible. It’s time for a war crimes tribunal to examine the CIA’s illegal activities during and since the Vietnam War.”

Bob Kerry:
the Life and Times of a Throat-Slitter

by Richard Gibson

“Further outside the imperial gaze, even today, is the heroism of the Vietnamese, not only those who Kerrey and many other US officers caught up in the genocidal invasion sought to exterminate, but those who defeated the empire, politically, militarily, and morally, causing imperial troops to run away in their helicopters, pushing their allies off the struts as they ran.”

The Spook Who Went to Washington:
New U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons’ cold-blooded past

by Doug Valentine

“As a CIA officer, Rob Simmons traveled 12,000 miles to terrorize Vietnamese men and women in their own backyards. He did so unflinchingly, without the remorse one might expect from a self-professed devout Episcopalian.

“Behind the pious façade, however, lurks a cold-blooded political warrior who was sworn in last month to represent eastern Connecticut in Congress.

“‘I’m just a poor farm girl,’ Simmons said to me in a 1988 interview. He spoke shrilly, mocking a woman he had in a CIA-sponsored interrogation center where, by many accounts, torture was part of the routine. Frustrated because he couldn’t prove she was a member of the Viet Cong’s underground political infrastructure, he released her ’and watched her for three months, then put her name in the paper. That suppressed her. It suppressed the organization, too.’

“What Simmons is describing is psychological warfare: the application of terror to subdue people politically.”

Related pages

Book review:
The Phoenix Program

The Mylai Massacre, 1968

American Genocide of the Vietnamese people

American Genocide of the Laotian people

American Genocide of the Cambodian People

American Patriots and the Napalm Attack on the People of Trang Bang

Neighborhood Bully: American Militarism
interview with Ramsey Clark


Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Genocide

South Vietnam during the American Occupation and Genocide

About the Author

Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine is an author, researcher, investigator, consultant, critic, and poet.

He was born in Pleasantville, New York in 1949, and currently lives with his wife, Alice, in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and began his career as a professional writer in 1981. His philosophy of life is derived from extensive study in classical myth and nature, and is applied through his writing to contemporary political, social, and national security issues.

Mr. Valentine’s published works to date include The Hotel Tacloban, a highly praised account of life and death in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and The Phoenix Program, which Professor Alfred J. McCoy describes as “the definitive account” of the CIA’s most secret and deadly covert operation of the Vietnam War.

Both The Hotel Tacloban and The Phoenix Program are available through, the on-demand Internet book publisher, as Authors Guild imprint backinprint books.

Mr. Valentine’s most recent book, TDY, also is available through Reviews of The Hotel Tacloban, The Phoenix Program, and TDY can be found at

Mr. Valentine is currently completing work on his fourth book, The Strength of the Wolf: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1968.

Apart from his writing career, Mr. Valentine has lectured and appeared on radio talk shows. He has testified as an expert witness, including at a national security-related libel trial in Geneva, Switzerland in 1992. He has served as a documentary film consultant, and in that capacity was hired by the British Broadcasting Corporation and traveled to Vietnam in 1991.

Mr. Valentine also has worked extensively as a private investigator. In 1994 he uncovered the material evidence that gave actor Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson, the opportunity to receive a new trial in 1998. Since 1999 Mr. Valentine has worked for the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, and in November 1999 he testified at the King versus Jowers trial in Memphis, Tennessee. An article he wrote about the national security aspects of the King case is accessible through his Articles page.

Related books

The My Lai Massacre and Its Cover-up
by Joseph Goldstein
published by: The Free Press, 1976

by Seymour Hersh
published by: Random House, 1972

Hostages of War
by Don Luce
published by: Indochina Resource Center, 1973

Long Time Passing
by Myra MacPherson
published by: Signet, 1984

Then the Americans Came
by Martha Hess
published by: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1996

Deadly Deceits:
My 25 years in the CIA
by Ralph W. McGehee

On Killing:
The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
by Dave Grossman
published by: Little, Brown

Examines the consequences of the U.S. Army’s conditioning of American soldiers to overcome the instinctive loathing of murdering fellow human beings. Shows how it has increased post-combat stress disorder and how contemporary society — especially the American media — replicates the U.S. Army’s conditioning techniques, resulting in increased violence in American society.

Viet Cong: A Photographic Portrait
by Edward J. Emering
published by: Schiffer

Unique compilation of photographs taken by the Viet Cong themselves. Details Viet Cong guerrillas, main force Viet Cong, political gatherings, weapons, awards, artistic troupes, and jungle life. Fully illustrated, some in color.

Ho Chi Minh
by William J. Duiker
published by: Hyperion

The flag of Vietnam - a yellow, five-pointed star in a red field

Takes full advantage of recently declassified archives to create a riveting portrait of the immensely important and elusive figure. Impeccable research chronicles Ho’s life from his childhood as the son of a poor yet brilliant scholar, through his career as the first president of his country, during which he demonstrated phenomenal political abilities.

Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War
by William M. Hammond
published by: UPKs

Uses classified documents as well as extensive interviews to examine the bitter animosity that developed between the U.S. government and the news media during the genocidal Vietnam war. Tells how they first shared a common vision, but as the war dragged on, the truth fell victim to the U.S. government’s “management” of the press.

Nowadays, of course, the mainstream press wouldn’t dream of reporting the latest American military atrocities. The U.S. Corporate Mafia Government has gotten much better over the years at “managing” the press and all the mass-media.

The four books immediately above are available from:
Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller
Falls Village, CT  06031-5000

Online book:

Vietnam: the Croatia of Asia

This is Chapter 23 of the online book The Vatican’s Holocaust by Avro Manhattan. Details the little-known relationship between the Vatican, the U.S. and the fanatic Catholic regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

The events surrounding this relationship led directly to America’s escalation of its war against the Vietnamese people.

Diem was another puppet-dictator installed by the U.S. government. But this particular puppet was also backed by the Vatican.

Serious problems began when his, and his wife’s, religious fanaticism got out of control. In the name of “God” he murdered and terrorized his own people — with the blessings of the Vatican and the U.S. government, of course. He was finally assassinated in 1963, but it was too late, the damage had been done. Diem’s bloody tyranny over his own, mostly Buddhist, country helped to radicalize large numbers of Vietnamese people. It opened the eyes of those with eyes to see, to the truly demonic nature of the United States Corporate Mafia Government and military.

Bloody Hell:
The Price Soldiers Pay
by Daniel Hallock

The Fire This Time:
U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf
by Ramsey Clark

Desert Slaughter:
The Imperialist War Against Iraq
by the Workers League

Killing Hope:
U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since WWII
by William Blum

Rogue State:
A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
by William Blum

What Uncle Sam Really Wants
by Noam Chomsky

The Beast Reawakens
by Martin A. Lee

Blackshirts and Reds:
Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
by Michael Parenti

Against Empire
by Michael Parenti

The Sword and the Dollar:
Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race
by Michael Parenti

Western State Terrorism
Alexander George, editor; essays by Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Gerry O’Sullivan and others

Terrorizing the Neighborhood:
American Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era

by Noam Chomsky
Pressure Drop Press, 1991

Pirates and Emperors, Old and New:
International Terrorism in the Real World
by Noam Chomsky

The Culture of Terrorism
by Noam Chomsky

Apocalypse 1945:
The Destruction of Dresden
by David Irving

A People’s History of the United States:
1492 — Present
by Howard Zinn

War At Home:
Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It
by Brian Glick

Inventing Reality:
The Politics of News Media
by Michael Parenti

War, Lies & Videotape:
How media monopoly stifles truth
edited by Lenora Foerstel; multiple authors

Related sites

“Mission Statement: To preserve the Vietnamese culture and empower the Vietnamese people.”

This site has a wealth of valuable, truthful information about the Vietnam Genocide and its devastating effect on the people and land of Vietnam. An example: in the “Vietnam War” section there are excerpts from Then the Americans Came, by Martha Hess, which contains personal testimonies from surviving Vietnamese victims of massive bombing and torture at the hands of Americans.

Writings by Peace Activist S. Brian Willson

Brian Willson is a courageous Vietnam vet who was wounded in combat — but not during the Vietnam Genocide. He was fighting a war of conscience. In 1987 a military train at a U.S. Navy munitions base intentionally ran over him and severed his legs as he and two other veterans sat on the tracks to block it. The train was carrying weapons to be used in America’s ongoing holocaust of innocent civilian people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

His autobiography is heartfelt, utterly unself-pitying and very instructive, particularly his experiences from Vietnam onward. Brian Willson’s writing is extremely valuable, being from a deeply intelligent and genuinely moral man who has witnessed firsthand the horrors of American state terrorism around the world.

From the site:

“THIS SITE CONTAINS essays describing the incredible historic pattern of U.S. arrogance, ethnocentrism, violence and lawlessness in domestic and global affairs, and the severe danger this pattern poses for the future health of Homo sapiens and Mother Earth. Other essays discuss revolutionary, nonviolent alternative approaches based on the principle of radical relational mutuality. This is a term increasingly used by physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists to describe the nature of the omnicentric*, ever-unfolding universe. Every being, every aspect of life energy in the cosmos, is intrinsically interconnected with and affects every other being and aspect of life energy at every moment.”

*everything is at the center of the cosmos at every moment

Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist — VVAW-AI

“Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist is part of a network of anti-imperialist veterans who are proud of our resistance to U.S. aggression around the world. In the 1970s, to be a Vietnam veteran was to be against the war. That proud legacy must be carried forward through the 1990s and into the next millennium. As veterans, we have been to the edge and seen the viciousness of Amerikkka unmasked. We have no doubt that the bastards who sent us to war will use their nuclear arsenal, along with unspeakably cruel conventional weapons, to maintain their empire — and after the Gulf War, do you?”

Vietnam Veterans Against the War — VVAW

VVAW was founded in 1967 by vets who realized that what we were doing in Vietnam was a monstrous evil. Through courageous political activism and grassroots organizing the VVAW helped to awaken the heavily brainwashed American people to the horrible reality of America’s greatest campaign of racist genocide in the 20th century.

Veterans For Peace

“We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace.

“To this end we will work, with others:

  • Toward increasing public awareness of the costs of war;
  • To restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations;

  • To end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons; and

  • To abolish war as an instrument of international policy.

“We urge all veterans who share this vision to join us.”


This is the website for book Bloody Hell: The Price Soldiers Pay, which provides “a platform for veterans to speak for themselves. Page after page of searing testimony to the brutal, bloody, unmerciful, dehumanising, haunting, destructive, grim black void of war. The pain. The lies. The reality. The aftermath.”

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