Bulletin N° 643







31 January 2015
Grenoble, France



Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


Many if not most American citizens today conclude that political leadership has betrayed their trust. [Approximately half of the population qualified to vote in the US do not vote.] But how could it be otherwise? The solution is not to choose new and better Representatives; the solution is to organize new political structures at the local level which encourage dialogue and allow competence to manifest itself publically, in place of backroom agreements. Such local organizations would soon connect with already existing networks, dealing with regional, national and global issues, in the form of open-ended dialogues and debates between ordinary people, rather than sound bites and cynical manipulations on the part of our ‘representatives’. [For more on direct democracy and participatory economics, see Michael Albert, whose indefatigable efforts over the past years include a presentation at the CEIMSA conference on the Nanterre campus in 2012, where we discussed ‘community organizing’.


The problematic of 'labor exploitation' invites a query into its causes. The noble Aristotle suggested an analytical approach which might be of use when studying the causes of labor exploitation. By applying his classic categories of four kinds of causes to our problematic, what might we discover?

First, material cause is determined by the material constitution of the object/event under study. In this case, human needs–food, clothing, shelter, etc… must be satisfied under existing conditions of inequality and relative scarcity.

Next, formal cause consists of the influence of the shape or appearance of the object under study. The human capacity for creativity and social co-operation is a quality that is recognized in the thing under examination.

Aristotle’s third type of cause, efficient cause, is the interaction with a foreign agency, which exists outside the thing/event being changed or moved. Here we have the employer (the non-producing owner of capital) – an agency whose only claim to legitimacy is the tautological argument that he ‘owns’ the means of production. This agency recognizes that the workers’ material conditions and human qualities are sufficient to successfully organize production by transforming material inequalities into opportunities and the human capacities for creativity and social co-operation into acceptance and obedience; he thereby gains control of the conditions of labor (for better or for worse) and shapes the mental and physical state of his employees, whom he recognizes as being predictably ready to subject themselves to exploitation in order to obtain the material necessities of life, provided that they can find no other means to satisfy these needs.

Aristotle’s last category, final cause, is the end towards which the movement directs itself, that for which it was brought into existence. In the case of labor exploitation, the extraction of surplus value –separated into private profits and further investments—is the final end. This requires the ready submission of men, women and children to accept only a portion of the value they create, forfeiting the remainder to the ‘owners’.

The goal of providing necessary goods and services for society is of lesser importance in this system of labor exploitation, as can be attested everyday by the high levels of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, etc…, not to mention the wasteful wars which nevertheless produce immediate profits to capitalist investors and an immense accumulation of capital in the hands of a few. The very real needs of society continue to go unmet, as labor exploitation intensifies and new authoritarian labor management relations are created to prepare the labor force to produce higher profits for the owners of capital at the cost of human dignity and the degradation of work, itself.


We conclude this CEIMSA Bulletin with the announcement of a new collection of articles by our long-time friend and colleague, Richard D. Wolff, which was recently published by Democracy at Work:


Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown, 2010-2014

 [The crisis that erupted in 2007 continues to inflict immense and uneven costs on modern society. "Recovery" becomes yet another luxury that bypasses the vast majorities in capitalist nations. The articles and essays gathered in Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown 2010-2014 explore the specifics of the deepening crisis as they became clear, caught the public’s attention, or defined a particular historic moment. The organization of the essays, at once topical but also chronological, seeks to enable readers to grasp the crisis as a moving, evolving stage in capitalism’s history.]



The 9 items below will expose CEIMSA readers to several violent contradictions in our contemporary world and the yeoman efforts of some public intellectuals to begin to resolve them and to inspire strategies for improvements.


Item A., from Professor Edward S. Herman, is an article fist published by Z Magazine on “Speaking Truth to  Power, or to the Powerless?”


Item B., from US Congressman Rep. Alan Grayson, is a call for support against the "Trade Promotion Authority", the "Fast Track" to Hell !


Item C., from Information Clearing House, is an article by Pepe Escobar on the immanent destruction of the House of Saud once their usefulness to US policy expires.


Item D., from The Real News Network, is an interview with middle-east specialist Ali Al-Ahmed discussing Saudi Arabia's strategy in the Middle East


Item E., from Information Clearing House, is a report on ISIS receiving funding from the United States.


Item F., from Democracy Now!, is a report on the recent attempt by CodePink to arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes, while he spoke in the US capitol.


Item G., from Information Clearing House, is a series of reports from the war in Ukraine.I


Item H., from Information Clearing House,is a review by Finian Cunningham of the new film ‘The American Sniper’.


Item I., from TruthOut, is a statement by Noam Chomsky on the corporate newspaper coverage of the film, “American Sniper” and its political significance.


Item J., from New York Times, is a warning by Joseph E. Stiglitz that the TPP is about to conclude an agreement that will endanger health care worldwide.



And finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to watch the discussion of the new documentary film by award-winning director Stanley Nelson, covering the origins of the Black Panther Party :


"Vanguard of the Revolution": New Film Chronicles Rise of Black Panthers & FBI’s War Against Them






Francis Feeley

Professor of American Studies

University of Grenoble-3

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego









From Edward S, Herman :

Date: 25 January 2015

Subject: Nuggests from a Nuthouse, Z Magazine Feb. 2015 .



Nuggets from the Nuthouse

by Edward S. Herman


Speaking Truth to  Power, or to the Powerless?


One of the clichés repeated often by liberals and leftists, and which always rubs me the wrong way,  is that we must “speak truth to power.” But those with power usually already know the truth, but avoid it because it’s contrary to their interests, or they don’t want to know it or hear about it, for the same reason. Informing the powerless is far more useful as they may not know the truth or may be confused about it, which helps make them inactive and unable to pursue their own interests. After all, it is an important function of the mainstream media to obfuscate the truth in their service to the elite interests that dominate them—to manufacture consent to programs that serve those elite interests. The powerless need facts and frameworks of analysis that will allow them to understand and evaluate outsourcing, tax evasion, privatization, union busting, and free market principles that helps sustain these policies and ideologies.. The powerful don’t need such intellectual resources and the dominant media don’t provide them. In short, we need more truth to the powerless, not the powerful, and we need to empower the powerless to speak for themselves.


Who Are We?


This question has been posed often by political leaders and mainstream pundits, who regularly  claim that “we” don’t torture, and if some of us have engaged in it this was an aberration. But it wasn’t an aberration. It is another one of those things, like aggression, that is as American as apple pie. Our government and many of its agents, including prison-keepers as well as military personnel, have engaged in torture and taught it to others for many decades. In Noam Chomsky’s and my 1979 book The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (Haymarket Books, 2nd ed., 2014), we provided a Frontispiece entitled “The Sun and Its Planets: Countries Using Torture on an Administrative Basis in the 1970s, With Their Parent-Client Affiliations.” This chart has 26 lines running from the Sun  (the United States) to its torture-employing clients, showing for each the dollar figures on military aid and numbers of security personnel trained by the U.S. It is noted also that only eight other countries in the world were large-scale torturers in that era.


This was the period when the United States sponsored and supported a string of  National Security States  in Latin America, rightwing military regimes that were notorious for death squads, murder and torture, often carried out in numerous torture centers (at one point there were 60 in Argentina and 33 in Colombia) . In its 1975 Report on Torture, Amnesty International noted that torture, “which for the last two hundred or three hundred years has been no more than a historical curiosity has suddenly developed a life of its own and become a social cancer.” Ironically, AI also noted that this was largely a Free World  phenomenon, with 80 percent of  the “urgent” torture reports now coming from Latin America, while torture in the Soviet Union and its clients had declined since the death of Stalin.


So “we” have long been in the torture business, and will surely continue to revive it when national security crises appear and pose their usual allegedly dire threats. And we can see that even when torture so clearly violates both international and domestic law, as it has in the last 13 years, those responsible are not punished, which tells us, and tells potential and future torturers, that torturers will always be above the law. In fact, while Obama and company declare that “we” are not torturers, Obama not only refuses to prosecute them in violation of his constitutional oath to enforce the law, he has not ended the “rendition” of  prisoners to allies and clients who will torture them.  So hypocrisy and possibly self-deception help protect the torture regime.


It should be noted that “we” is a deceptive word, regularly used by the powerful and their agents to pretend that what the government does is what the general population wants done. But in a failing democracy like  ours, the distinction between the elite and commoners, between the 1 percent and 99 percent, is important. Polls have regularly shown that the U.S. majority  want a smaller military budget and more resources for education and other civil society functions. Right now they oppose more aggressive  actions in the Middle East that leaders and pundits of  the Permanent War parties are pushing. Polls on the public’s view of torture are variable and uncertain, but they are  greatly affected by the modes of questions, which often make the issue simply one of whether torture “works,” rather than the legal and moral aspects of the issue. It is of interest that the torture-supporting elite struggles valiantly to keep the details of torture secret, suggesting their own doubts about public support. But it is evident that the managers and clear supporters of torture are a minority, and probably a small minority. It is also true, however, that the  public does not make an issue of torture, and the recent disclosures have not created a groundswell of demand for prosecution of torturers in accord with the law.


Paul Krugman in Descent


Paul Krugman has produced hundreds of very good columns in the New York Times, but he has run out of steam, becoming a bit repetitive, but more regrettably branching into foreign policy issues concerning which he lacks expertise.  It is notable that in his three recent columns that deal with Russia, Putin and the threat of war he cannot escape the mainstream party line, which is followed by the New York Times editors and journalists, and which make him look foolish. In his initial foray. “Why We Fight Wars” (Aug. 17, 2014), he argued that wars are almost always not worth the cost, but he failed to note that while the society as a whole may suffer losses particular groups like the very large and powerful military-industrial complex may do exceedingly well. This was a surprising failure to break down  “We,” especially as Krugman had come to recognize the importance of class and class war in economic policy.


He did trace the Ukraine crisis to internal Russian factors —“the roots of the Ukraine crisis may lie in the faltering performance of the Russian economy…Russian growth has been sputtering—and you could argue that the Putin regime needed a distraction…”  He makes the same point in his followup piece on “Conquest Is for Losers” (Dec. 22, 2014), although he also seems to relate it there to Putin being an ex-KGB officer and thus.a “professional thug”  for whom “violence and threats of violence …are what he knows.” But although the “thug’s” “aggression” in the Crimea cost no lives, while the invasion of Iraq cost a million lives,  there are no negative adjectives applied to the leaders responsible for so many death by the loyal Krugman. And for Krugman it was not internal factors that drove the United States into Iraq (and Krugman does not mention Afghanistan, or the numerous other countries bombed by his country on a daily basis), Iraq was a “war of choice” designed to “demonstrate  U.S. power,”   and resting on neo-con ideology. No military-industrial complex here nor vested interests in war; no pro-Israel lobby.  No mention of the viciousness and illegality  of   killing vast numbers to “demonstrate power.” No thugs sponsored either this “war of choice” or the associated torture regime.


Krugman’s title, “Conquest Is for Losers,” runs into the fact that the United States has been fighting wars continuously for decades. Are we “losers”?   He dodges the question, hiding behind his assault on Putin, but also satisfying himself with pointing out that although something like the Iraq War is enormously expensive, and has weakened the United States, “America is a true superpower, so we can handle such losses”—but Krugman “shudders to think of what might have happened  if ‘the real men’ had been given a chance to move on to other targets.” This is blatant apologetics. We can possibly afford such losses, but how about the million dead Iraqis and their destroyed society? Imagine what Krugman would say if the “thug” Putin  had killed a million people and some apologist for him said, “we can afford these losses but imagine what would have happened if a Stalin was in power.”

Krugman’s analysis of  the Ukraine crisis and Putin’s and the U.S.’s. role there is dishonest and incompetent party line propaganda. He calls the takeover of Crimea  “Russian adventurism.” Again the word usage is instructive—for his own country Iraq  was a “war of choice,” not adventurism. He also ignores the adventuresome U.S. involvement in the regime change in Ukraine that removed the elected president and replaced him with an amenable client government. He also ignores the deeper  and essential context of NATO’s and the U.S.’s gradual and threatening encirclement of Russia and placement of missile-launchers within miles of the Russian borders. In an article in the establishment journal Foreign Affairs, John Mearsheimer writes: “The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West…. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president -- which he rightly labeled a ‘coup’-- was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.” (“Why the Ukrainian Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” Foreign Affairs, Sept.-Oct. 2014). Krugman misses this crucial line of analysis, in parallel with the fact that authors that advance it are excluded from reporting or commenting  with this alternative perspective in his paper. So Krugman offers instead a patriotic mythical history that would be easily refuted by any competent high school student.

It is interesting to note how Krugman tries to exonerate and even vindicate Obama in this story of villainy and war. He blames the neo-cons for the Iraq war, but  even they are never designated thugs or criminals—they just made a badly mistaken, not criminal “war of choice” that cost a lot of U.S. resources. He ignores the fact that Obama continued the Iraq war for years, escalated the Afghan war, greatly enlarged drone assassination attacks in half a dozen different countries, and carried out a war against Libya. While trying to distance Obama from the neo-cons he ignores the fact that the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, who had been on the scene in engineering the February 2014 coup in Ukraine,  is a neo-con, and his team of Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton are de facto neo-cons and war-mongers. There is overlap and continuity between the Bush and Obama regimes.

 In his recent “Tidings of Comfort” ( Dec. 26, 2014), Krugman closes with a homage to Obama’s foreign policy, saying that  its attempt “to contain threats like Vladimir Putin’s Russia or the Islamic State rather than rushing into military confrontation, is looking pretty good.”  That Russia’s was a defensive move against the expanding NATO and aggressive U.S., and that it is NATO and the U.S. that need containing, is outside Krugman’s and his paper’s chauvinistic and ideological framework. That the Islamic State arose out of the debris created by U.S. violence is also in a non-Krugman realm, as is recognition that Obama was trying hard to go to war with Syria not long ago, only to be driven  back by public opinion and Putin’s diplomatic intervention. Obama has been aiding his Kiev client to pacify Eastern Ukraine and avoid a peaceful settlement of that conflict; he has been fighting an economic war against Russia and mobilizing NATO for greater violence; and he has contributed to war hysteria in his own country. He hasn’t “rushed into military confrontation,” he is moving that way more moderately, like the moderate Warrior President that he is.





From Rep. Alan Grayson :

Date: 25 January 2015

Subject: The Fast Track to Hell.



Dear francis:


A week ago, I was on national TV talking about how the pending request for "Trade Promotion Authority" is the "Fast Track" to Hell. But before I get into that, I wanted to remind you that Bill Maher will be performing in Orlando on February 8, and two of my supporters will join us.


There are two ways to get in on this:


(1) Contribute $20.16 or more to our campaign during the next 7 days.
(2) Be, or become, a monthly contributor to our campaign.


We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.


So "trade promotion authority" is something that's about to be proposed again in Congress, and I was on TV recently explaining:


(a) What the heck that is, and
(b) Why it's really bad.




Thom Hartmann: In "Screwed" news, some lawmakers in Washington want to give the Obama Administration so-called "fast-track" trade authority to approve so-called "free-trade" deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. That's a terrible decision. A new report from the Public Citizens Global Trade Watch shows just how devastating fast-track trade deals have been for the American people, and the economy. According to the report, thanks to fast-track trade deals, over the past twenty years, trade deficits have ballooned, millions of American jobs have been shipped overseas, wages have stagnated, and inequality has exploded. So, given all of the destruction to our economy and our middle class over the last two decades, how can Washington be considering approving fast-track trade authority and signing on to yet another so-called "free trade" deal? Let's ask Congressman Alan Grayson, representing Florida's 9th Congressional District, the Congressman with Guts. Congressman, welcome back!


Congressman Alan Grayson: Thank you, Thom.


Thom: It's always great having you with us. What's your take on this new report from Global Trade Watch about the damage fast-tracked trade deals have done to our country?


Alan: Well, frankly, it's stating the obvious. The basic problem is very simple. Trade is supposed to [work like this:] "You sell me yours, and I'll sell you mine." But it's transmogrified into something very different in the United States, ever since NAFTA went into effect. For every year, before NAFTA went into effect - 200 years of American history - we never had a trade deficit as large as $140 billion. Now, every single year since NAFTA's gone into effect, our trade deficit has been $140 billion or more. In fact, in the last 14 years, we've run the largest trade deficits in human history, larger than any other country anywhere in the world, larger than any country in history, larger than in our own history. It's a disaster, and it's not simply an abstraction.


Let me explain what's really happening here. What's happening is that American consumers are buying goods and services from other countries, putting tens of millions of people in other countries to work. That would be fine if they bought an equal amount of our goods and services. The trade deficit reflects the fact that they are not; they're not, to the tune of half a trillion dollars every year. So what's happening is that they're taking those rectangular green pictures of dead presidents that they're getting from us when we buy their stuff and, instead of buying our stuff, they're buying our assets. They're driving the price of our assets higher and higher, benefiting the 1% only, not creating any jobs in this country, and pushing us deeper and deeper into debt. In fact, at this point, on the basis of these trade deals, one seventh of all the assets in America - all the farmland, all the homes, all the cars, all the stocks, all the bonds, all the real estate, all the small businesses - 1/7th of all our assets are now foreign-owned. And the end game is that they will all be foreign-owned, and we will have to declare national bankruptcy. That's where this is headed, and NAFTA and Fast Track want to grease the skids.


Thom: You know, we've been well-trained over the last, God, 30 or 40 years, with increasing levels of Republican hysteria about our federal deficit-although they were notably silent during the Reagan years. . . . In my lifetime, there's never been a serious debate, outside the 1992 Ross Perot-Bill Clinton-George Bush debate, about trade deficits. Why do you think it is that the average American knows about budget deficits and our national debt, and has no clue either that we have a trade deficit, what a trade deficit is, or the consequences, those horrible consequences that you just described of our trade deficit?


Alan: Because, Thom, people don't understand that one causes the other. You've got a $14 trillion economy. Take out half a trillion dollars so we can buy foreign goods and services, and you're left with $13.5 trillion. We have to make up that half a trillion dollars somehow. The way we make that up is called "the federal deficit." That's the federal government borrowing and spending, to make up for the fact that foreigners are not buying our goods and products and services, so the federal government has to make up the difference. One causes the other. One often equals the other.


Thom: Wow! . . . Fast Track is almost certainly coming, [and] TPP (I prefer to call it the "Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement" [or] S-H-A-F-T-A). In any case, how do you see this playing out? Because it looks to me like there's a coalition forming between progressive Democrats like yourself and conservative Republicans, who are concerned about the surrender of sovereignty associated with these things.


Alan: Well, we see it differently. I mean, progressive Democrats recognize that, because of these trade giveaways, this trade treachery, because of this we've lost five million jobs in manufacturing in the past twenty years, and maybe 15 million other jobs. So that's why progressive Democrats are against this. Republicans are against Fast Track because they recognize it as a power grab by the President. The Fast Track legislation prohibits subcommittee debates, subcommittee hearings, subcommittee markups, full committee debates, full committee hearings, full committee markups, and it limits us in the House of Representatives to 88 seconds of debate for each one of us. Eighty-eight seconds to extend to 40 other countries (if we count both trade deals the President is working on), the disaster that's been visited upon the U.S. economy simply by having a dozen existing countries with these deals in effect. They want to put our $30/hour workers directly in full head-to-head competition with the $0.30/hour workers in Vietnam and Brunei and in other places like that, who have no environmental protection, no labor rights, and in many cases are [relying on] slave labor. That's what these deals are trying to do. It's the Fast Track to Hell.


"Fast Track" - a bill that only Snidely Whiplash could love.




Rep. Alan Grayson


To see the video, or to make a campaign contribution, click here.





From Information Clearing House :

Date: 29 January 1915

Subject: Turning wheels within wheels to achieve what?



The real ‘Masters of the Universe’ who run the ‘Empire of Chaos’ want the House of Saud to do most of their dirty work against Russia; and in a later stage they will take care of the “towel heads” .


‘Empire of Chaos’ in the House
Is The House of Saud Starting To Have Second Thoughts

by Pepe Escobar




From The Real News Network :

Date: 3 October 1914

Subject: With Friends like this Who Needs Enemies?



Ali Al-Ahmed says IS is a key part of Saudi Arabia's strategy in the Middle East.


Is the Islamic State a Tool of the Saudis?







From Information Clearing House :

Date: 28 January 1915

Subject: The USA, its own worst enemy, for corporate profit, of course….



Yousaf al Salafi – allegedly the Pakistan commander of Islamic State (IS) or Daish – has confessed during investigations that he has been receiving funds through the United States.


Startling Revelations: ISIS Operative Confesses To Getting Funds Via US
by Naveed Miraj



From Democracy Now ! :

Date: 30 January 1915

Subject: The Attempted Arrest of Henry Kissinger for War Crimes.




CodePink Attempts to "Arrest" Henry Kissinger for War Crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor







From Information Clearing House :

Date: 28 January 1915

Subject: Ukraine and the US war machine.




1)      US military on the ground in Ukraine is a significant escalation, far beyond the previous deployment of additional US and NATO troops in neighboring Poland and the Baltics.

Foreign Troops in Ukraine? You Bet!
by Daniel McAdams

2)      The worse the Junta's military defeats, the higher the risk of a major false flag.

War Is Going Badly for Kiev. Which Makes It All the More Dangerous
by The Saker


3)      Ukraine's Armed Forces try to storm Donetsk Int. Airport and get annihilated by Novorossiya Armed Forces headed by Givi, Motorola, and others. Full, uncensored version [not for the faint of heart].

The Reality And Horror Of War
Ukrainian POW's Face NAF Commander Givi and the Fury of Donetsk Residents

Graphic Video


4)      The project is currently overseen and under the responsibility…of the US ambassador to Ukraine.

"MUST WATCH: Nov 2013 (pre-Maidan!):
Ukraine Deputy has proof of USA staging civil war in Ukraine".

Video and Transcript




From Information Clearing House :

Date: 28 January 1915

Subject: Review of the film “American Sniper”.


Every day, some 20 US military veterans commit suicide, most of them wracked by mental breakdown.


American Sniper and US Doom
by Finian Cunningham



From Truth Out :

Date: 28 January 1915

Subject: Review of the media coverage of the film “American Sniper”.



“Now, that [sniper] mentality helps explain why it’s so easy to ignore what is most clearly the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern history, if not ever — Obama’s global assassination campaign, the drone campaign, which officially is aimed at murdering people who are suspected of maybe someday planning to harm us.”

Chomsky recommends reading some of the transcripts with drone operators, calling them "harrowing" in their dehumanizing treatment of people who are targeted.

The implication is clear and chilling. Are we all, at least tacitly, American snipers


Noam Chomsky Blasts "American Sniper" and the Media That Glorify It







From New York Times :

Date: 30 January 1915

Subject: The Health Trade.



A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world.
Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries.


Don't Trade Away Our Health
by Joseph E. Stiglitz