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Similarities Between Life Under Former USSR KGB, East German STASI, and US COPS Program

Rahul D. Manchanda, Esq.

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Even a cursory and abbreviated view of life and conditions of the People living under East Germany’s secret police STASI, the former USSR’s KGB, and under the modern day United States after 1994 under Joseph Biden and Bill Clinton’s Community-Oriented Policing (“COPS”) program, will demonstrate in a glaring and obvious fashion the similar living conditions under those repressive regimes.

All 3 of these systems of secret police governance, founded under the supervision and aegis of the country’s secret society Freemasonic Brotherhood, came during a time when a belief in God was at its all-time low, and when the economy was purposefully destroyed by the Plutocrats of its day in conjunction with their greedy Central Banker systems, who hoarded away cash and liquidity from the economy and its people so that they were left with very little, if anything, to buy and sell goods with, or to just basically live, eat, and pay their bills and rent.

The plutocrats, fearing the masses, pressured their governing leaders to institute more and more repressive policing systems so that it would be easy to marginalize, jail, incarcerate, and even murder any “trouble makers” living in their societies.

This was obviously done to remove any threats or impediments to the continued looting, exploitation of, and enslavement of the nation’s resources, people, and labor force.

East German STASI

For example, in East Germany’s STASI headed by Markus Wolf, one of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a vast network of citizens turned informants (“if you see something, say something” as per New York City’s subway signs and scattered throughout all of the United States post-911), and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures, including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents (Zersetzung, literally meaning decomposition).

The STASI Ministry for State Security were responsible for (1) the surveillance of mail and telephone communications; (2) the reliability of the National People’s Army (Nationale Volksarmee, NVA) personnel; (3) secret, unofficial networks of informants within the NVA; (4) protection against “sabotage” or “espionage;” (5) analyzing garbage for any suspect western foods and/or materials; (6) protecting high government and party buildings and personnel; (7) surveillance of foreigners—particularly from the West – legally traveling or residing within the country, including the diplomatic community, tourists, and official guests; (8) provided personal security for the national leadership and maintaining and operating an internal secure communications system for the government; (9) enforcing the political security of East Germany; (10) its own penal system, distinct from that of the Ministry of the Interior, comprising prison camps for political dissidents, as opposed to criminal offenders.

As was stated above, the Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of perceived enemies, in a process called Zersetzung – a term borrowed from chemistry which literally means “decomposition” or “biodegradation.”

The goal was to destroy secretly the self-confidence of people, for example by damaging their reputation, by organizing failures in their work, and by destroying their personal relationships.

The Stasi didn’t try to arrest every dissident.

It preferred to paralyze them, and it could do so because it had access to so much personal information and to so many institutions.

It was recognized that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognized for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature.

Zersetzung was designed to side-track and “switch off” perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any “inappropriate” activities.

Tactics employed under Zersetzung generally involved the disruption of the victim’s private or family life.

This often included psychological attacks, such as breaking into homes and subtly manipulating the contents, in a form of gaslighting – moving furniture, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls or replacing one variety of tea with another.

Other practices included property damage, sabotage of cars, purposely incorrect medical treatment, smear campaigns including sending falsified compromising photos or documents to the victim’s family, denunciation, provocation, psychological warfare, psychological subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target’s wife.

Usually, victims had no idea that the Stasi were responsible.

Many thought that they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide could result.

One great advantage of the harassment perpetrated under Zersetzung was that its subtle nature meant that it was able to be plausibly denied.

Former USSR’s KGB

It was Cold War policy for the KGB of the Soviet Union and the secret services of the satellite states to extensively monitor public and private opinion, internal subversion and possible revolutionary plots in the Soviet Bloc.

During the Cold War, the KGB actively sought to combat “ideological subversion” – anticommunist political and religious ideas and the dissidents who promoted them, which was generally dealt with as a matter of national security in discouraging the perceived influence of hostile foreign powers.

KGB dissident-group infiltration featured agents provocateur pretending “sympathy to the cause,” smear campaigns against prominent dissidents, and show trials – once imprisoned, the dissident endured constant KGB interrogations and sympathetic informant cell-mates.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost policies lessened persecution of political dissidents.

United States Community-Oriented Policing (“COPS”) Program

Community policing, or community-oriented policing, is a “strategy of policing that focuses on police building ties and working closely with members of the communities.”

In the United States, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 written by former Senator Joseph Biden and enacted by then President Bill Clinton established the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (“COPS”) within the US Justice Department to promote “community policing,” implemented by illegal and unconstitutional coordination by and between the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, local police departments, and others.

This has resulted in over 68 million Americans with criminal records, more than the population of France, with 1/3 of all Blacks, 1/6 of all Latinos, and 1/11 of all Whites in America having spent time under arrest and in prison, in violation of the US Constitution, without due process, without evidence, and without probable cause.

Community policing is a policy that requires police to inherit a “proactive approach” to address public safety concerns.

Community-oriented policing was a cornerstone of the Clinton Administration and gained its funding from the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.

Community policing is a philosophy of full service personalized policing, where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems, ie, extensively using gang-stalking and informants.

Community policing creates unconstitutional partnerships between law enforcement agencies and other organizations like government agencies, community members, nonprofit service providers, private businesses and the media.

Common implementations of community-policing include: (1) Relying on community-based crime prevention by utilizing civilian education, neighborhood watch, and a variety of other techniques, as opposed to relying solely on police patrols; (2) Re-structuring patrol from an emergency response based system to emphasizing proactive techniques such as foot patrol; (3) Increased officer accountability to civilians they are supposed to serve; (4) Decentralizing the police authority, allowing more discretion amongst lower-ranking officers, and more initiative expected from them (extensive use of informants and gang-stalking techniques).

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Americas

Trump: The Symbol of America’s Isolation in the World

Mohammad Ghaderi

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The president of the United States, who came to power in 2016 with the slogan of “Reviving Washington’s Power”, has become the messenger of failure and defeat of his country in the West Asian region and in the international system. The U.S. numerous military and political defeats in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon were so outstanding that there’s no way Trump can brag about his achievements in the region.

On the other hand, many Democrats in the United States, and even the traditional Republicans, have been criticizing the President’s costly and barren foreign policy in West Asia. In such a situation, Trump attempts to attribute this failure to the country’s previous administrations and condemn them over what is happening in today’s world, especially in the West Asian region, and he blames Obama for Washington’s constant and extensive failures in this area.

Besides, Trump’s other projections about the hard conditions of the U.S. in West Asia are noteworthy. In his recent remarks, Donald Trump said that if he wasn’t at top of the U.S. political and executive equations, Iran would capture the Middle East (West Asia)! This is while Islamic Republic of Iran created stability in the West Asian region, and besides, has stood against the long-term, medium-term, and short-term and destructive goals of the United States and its allies in the region.

Trump’s strategic weakness in the West Asia is an important issue which can’t be easily overlooked. Of course this strategic weakness did exist during Obama’s presidency, but the truth is that it reached its peak during Trump’s presidency. And in the future, this weakness will bring severe blows to the United States.

The fact is that the strategic calculations of the United States in the West Asia region have all failed. And many of the pre-assumptions that Washington called them “strategic propositions”, have never turned into reality for some reasons, including the vigilance of the Resistance movement in the region. This is the reason why America is so confused in confronting the equations of West Asia.

Under such circumstances, the only way before the President of the United States is to leave the region and confess to his defeat; an issue that many American analysts and strategists have noted. It shouldn’t be forgotten that in spite of his campaign slogans for stopping the military intervention in the region, the current president of the United States has intensified conflicts and created constant security crises in West Asia.

The direct, perfect, and comprehensive support of Donald Trump for takfiri terrorists reflects this fact. Trump started his support for ISIL since the beginning of his presence at the White House in early 2017, and he stood for the terrorists until the fall of ISIL in Syria. Even now, Trump is attempting to revive terrorist and takfiri groups in Iraq and Syria.

Despite passing half of his presidency, Trump has claimed that the defeat in Yemen, Syria and Iraq was Obama’s legacy. There is no doubt that Obama and his two secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, played a major role in creating terrorist and takfiri groups (especially ISIL), and committed bloodshed in Syria and Iraq.

There is also little ambiguity in the strategic, operational and even tactical defeat of the Obama administration in the battlefields of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. However, Trump can’t deny his share in this defeat, and pretend as if he’s the messenger of the victory of the United States in these scenes! The fact is that Trump completed the military and political defeats of the United States in the West Asia region. Today, the United States is defeated in the battlefield, and can well see that its pieces had failed in these wars.

On the other hand, the White House has lost the political arena of the region. The failure of the United States in the Lebanese and Iraqi elections, on the one hand, and the popular support for the resistance groups in Yemen and Syria, has left Trump and his companions disappointed in the region. In such a situation, attributing the recent and ongoing defeats of the United States to the Obama administration is completely expectable, and at the same time, unacceptable!

Finally, we can see that just like Obama, George W Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan and Carter, Trump is stuck in this strategic miscalculation in the West Asian region. Undoubtedly, in his last days in power, Trump will also understand that there’s no way he can overcome this strategic weakness through Saudi and Emirati petrodollars.

However, it seems that the scope of Trump’s defeat in West Asia would be wider than the previous presidents of the United States. Undoubtedly, in the near future, Trump, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley will become the symbols of failure in the US foreign policy, especially in the West Asia. In other words, the president of the United States and his companions at the White House will have to admit to defeat in the West Asian region at a great expense, and this is exactly what frightens the American authorities.

first published in our partner Tehran Times

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Weather and White House Turmoil as Elections Loom

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc as it traversed the Florida panhandle.  The first Category 5 hurricane to hit the area since 1881 when records began, its 155 mph winds (only 5 mph short of Category 6) felled massive trees, blew away houses, collapsed buildings and left devastation in its wake.  Relatively fast moving at 14 mph, it was soon gone continuing as a Category 3 into neighboring Georgia and then further up its northeasterly path.  It seemed to signify a stamp of approval for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on holding earth to a 1.5 degree Celsius warming issued a couple of days earlier.  We are at one degree now so storms can only be expected to get worse.

In northeastern Turkey, a 300-year old stone bridge disappeared overnight.  Villagers convinced it had been stolen called in the police.  Further investigation concluded it had been washed away by a flash flood caused by a sudden summer thunderstorm further upstream — clearly far more intense than in the previous three centuries.

Ever more powerful hurricanes, monsoons and forest fires point to a proliferation of extreme weather events that experts relate to global warming.  Yet President Donald Trump and his administration remain obdurate in climate change denial.

Thins are certainly warming up in the White House.  Nikki Haley announced her resignation in an amicable meeting with the president.  A staunch defender of many of Mr. Trump’s most egregious foreign policy changes, the UN Representative will be leaving at the end of the year to pursue opportunities in the private sector.  So said the announcement.  An astute and ambitious politician she has probably reassessed the costs versus benefits of remaining in a Trump administration.  Some tout her as a future presidential candidate.  Should she be successful she will be the first woman president, who also happens to be of Indian and Sikh ancestry.

The rap singer Kanye West visited the president in the Oval office.  A ten-minute rant/rap praising him was followed by a hug for which Mr. West ran round the wide desk that had been seemingly cleared of all paraphernalia for the performance.  He is one of the eight percent of blacks voting Republican.  Sporting the Trump trademark, Make-America-Great-Again red hat, he claimed it made him Superman, his favorite superhero.  And some suggested it was all further proof the place had gone insane.

A little over three weeks remain to the U.S. midterm elections on November 6th.  Their proximity is evidenced not by rallies or debates rather by the barrage of negative TV ads blasting opponents with accusations of shenanigans almost unworthy of a felon.  A couple of months of this and you lose any enthusiasm for voting.  Perhaps it is one reason why nearly half the electorate stays home.  Given such a backdrop, the furor over ‘Russian meddling’ in elections appears to be a trifle misplaced.  Others call the whole business a ‘witch hunt’ and state flatly the U.S. does the same.

The old idiom, ‘put your own house in order’ is particularly apt when we realize the beginning of this affair  was a Democratic National Committee email leak showing ‘the party’s leadership had worked to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign’.  It resulted in the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Always fair, aboveboard elections?  Not bloody likely, as the British would say.  Given the rewards, it’s against human nature.

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Americas

The hot November for Trump is arriving

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Political turmoil in the United States has become extremely unpredictable. The turn of events became worse with an op-ed at the New York Times on September 5. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon described it as a coup against Donald Trump.

The reality is that the president faces domestic problems in his second year in office. This has rarely happened in the US political history. The issue is of great importance with regard to the approaching mid-term congressional elections in November. Republicans have the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but they feel the risk of losing the majority in both houses due to Trump’s record.

Indeed, a feeling has emerged among some American politicians that their country is heading in the wrong direction because of Trump’s policies. Even former President Barack Obama has joined the election campaigns by breaking his promise not to get involved in political affairs.

The situation is not also good for Trump internationally. Disagreement with the European Union – a traditional ally of the United States – over trade and political issues, trade war with China, increasing tension with Russia, exit from international treaties such as the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement Iran, have all made Trump to look dangerous in the eyes of the world. All these issues have made the situation unfavorable for Trump and his government at home and abroad.

But what is the answer of the president of the United States to these criticisms? The answer to this question is one word: economy. However, Trump is proud of his economic record.

According to statistics, the Labor Department published on September 8, US employment growth in August has beat market expectations, the non-farm payrolls increased by 201,000 from the previous month. Analysts were expecting growth of about 195,000.

The unemployment rate for August remained low at 3.9 percent. The average hourly wage rose 2.9 percent from the year before. That’s the highest level since June 2009. The latest figures are increasing speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate this month. The US economy expanded 4.2 percent in the April-to-June quarter, and is expected to grow more than 3 percent in this quarter.

But the economy cannot keep the president of the United States from the edge of criticism. Trump is in a difficult situation and worried about the result of the election and possible control of Congress by Democrats.

Issues such as the confessions of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen on bribing women for having affairs with Trump and Russia’s possible involvement in the 2016 presidential election could possibly lead to his impeachment and his dismissal from power.

The US constitution says that the impeachment of the president should be endorsed by representatives from both chambers of Congress – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Democrats now have 49 seats in the 100-member Senate, and if they get 51 seats in the November election, they will still need at least 15 Republican senators to impeach Trump.

Still, if Democrats win the November election, even if this victory does not lead to Trump’s impeachment, it can put further pressure on him and cripple his government. According to a CNN poll, decrease in Trump’s popularity even among his supporters shows that the days following the November election will be hard times for Trump and his government.

First published in our partner MNA

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