Bulletin N° 766


Subject : Bourgeois Humanism, the thin veil concealing Capitalist Class Hegemony.


24 September 2017

Grenoble, France




“A man does what a man has to do!”


Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


If you don’t have 18 hours to spare for watching the 10 episodes of  The Vietnam War, by Lynn Novick and Ken Burns, I suggest that you at least look at the short Detroit Public Television interview with the famous filmmaker, Ken Bruns,  and read John Pilger’s critical review of contemporary revisionism, Killing History, to get an idea of the new levels of cultural hegemony that are being mobilized against the anti-war movement at this strategic moment in history. (For a contrasting viewpoint, there is Jon Weiner’s interview in Nation magazine with Todd Gitlin, “What Does a Leader of the Vietnam Anti-War Movement Think About Ken Burns’s Documentary?”)


The cultural hegemony of the ruling class has never been so apparent. The Media control of our thinking has expanded to a extent never before imagined possible. The uncritical submission to tyranny is almost painless, as we look forward to the next diversion. Consumer society über alles; and to hell with the collateral damage!


A fake bourgeois “humanism” - which essentially “humanizes” some people more than others - has become the hallmark of class struggle today. Without an understanding of the conflict of social class interests and how this struggle is played out on the world stage, we are left to flounder in the myopic world of fear and individual self-interests, which Franz Kafka portrayed so well in early 20th century Prague.


History shows that the violence of capitalist growth is continually displaced – that if one group is getting a momentary respite, it means that somewhere else other groups of people are getting hell. Willful violence has always been a necessary ingredient of the private profit motive behind capitalist development, and the war in Vietnam was no exception. “Humanists” like Ken Burns got it wrong, but his well-funded propaganda is an effective attempt to disarm people who are struggling for their lives !



The 26 items below speak to the conditions that have created a submissive population in the face of the awesome violence to war and global climate catastrophe. The cultural hegemony of neo-liberal values in the wake of consumerism and the requirement of war has created an indifference to the suffering of others – the political base of American politics has shifted further away from progressive liberalism and towards a new constituency, more ignorant, more bitter, more easily manipulated by demagogues . . . .





Francis Feeley


Professor emeritus of American Studies

University Grenoble-Alpes

Director of Research

University of Paris-Nanterre

Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements

The University of California-San Diego








Why Do People Vote Against Their Interests? They Don't

by Richard Wolff



Professor Richard Wolff, discussing the thinking of Antonio Gramsci, and how it can inform politics today.





Spies, Hollywood And Neocons Team Up To Create

New War Propaganda Firm



by Caitlin Johnstone


 “We have been attacked. We are at war.”







Neocons and Hollywood Liberals Go to 'War' on Russia




The promotional video of the Committee to Investigate Russia features actor Morgan Freeman in what is 'probably his worst role since Driving Miss Daisy,' says AlterNet's Max Blumenthal





Trump's War of Words With Black Athletes



by Adam Serwer


Speaking to a crowd in Huntsville, Alabama Friday night, President Trump said he hoped NFL players who knelt during the

national anthem—which they've done to protest unjustified police killings of black Americans—would lose their jobs.
Trump urged NFL owners to fire players who protest.

 “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out.

He’s fired. He’s fired!”




Prisoners of Hope - RAI with Thomas Frank (6/6)




On Reality Asserts Itself, Thomas Frank says if liberals don't face up to how the policies of Clinton and Obama helped create the conditions for the rise of Trump, the next version of Trump will be far more dangerous than this one





From: "World Beyond War via WorldBeyondWar.org"
Sent: Monday, 18 September, 2017
Subject: New online study & action guide: Study War No More





Check out the videos and photos  from Sunday's Flotilla to the Pentagon.

#NoWar2017 is less than a week away. You can still sign up to attend or plan to watch the livestream. The important thing is to come. Pay only what you can afford. Use the rides and lodging board.

Here's a wonderful new tool for education and events that will debut at the conference but which you can already check out online:

Announcing the launch of: STUDY WAR NO MORE - A Concerned Citizens Study & Action Guide for "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War"






The Politics of Military Ascendancy



by James Petras


Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ‘the Generals’ to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ‘the Generals’ have been able to impose their definition of international realities.

We will discuss the military’s ascendancy over Trump’s civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.





Former CIA Agent Blows Whistle On Secret Shadow Government




The Silencing of Dissent


by Chris Hedges


The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of “fake news.”





The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel
by Mike Whitney

A new report by a retired IT executive at IBM, debunks the claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking Democratic computers and circulating damaging information about Hillary Clinton.  The report, which is titled “The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge“,  provides a rigorous examination of the wobbly allegations upon which the hacking theory is based, as well as a point by point rejection of the primary claims which, in the final analysis, fail to pass the smell test. While the report is worth reading in full, our intention is to zero-in on the parts of the text that disprove the claims that Russia meddled in US elections or hacked the servers at the DNC.





GOP Congressman Sought Trump

Deal on WikiLeaks, Russia
by Byron Tau, Peter Nicholas and Siobhan Hughes

California’s Dana Rohrabacher asks for pardon of Julian Assange in return for evidence Russia wasn’t source of hacked emails
A U.S. congressman contacted the White House this week trying to broker a deal that would end WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. legal troubles in exchange for what he described as evidence that Russia wasn’t the source of hacked emails published by the antisecrecy website during the 2016 presidential campaign.





An Economic Lesson for China and Russia


by Paul Craig Roberts


Is there anyone in Trump’s government who is not an imbecile?

After years of endless military threats against Russia—remember CIA deputy director Mike Morell saying on TV (Charlie Rose show) that the US should start killing Russians to give them a message, and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley threatening “We’ll beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before”—now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatens China. If China doesn’t abide by Washington’s new sanctions on North Korea, Mnuchin said the US “will put additional sanctions on them [China] and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system.”





Empire Files: Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on

Abolishing Capitalism



Peter Joseph is the founder of the Zeitgeist Movement, a grassroots, worldwide organization that advocates an alternative economic system based on sustainability, cooperation and human need. His most recent book, ‘The New Human Rights Movement,’ delivers a startling exposé about the violent oppression that defines our economic order, while issuing an urgent call for global activism to unite to replace it. Abby Martin sits down with Joseph to talk about the contradictions and crises of capitalism and what he advocates to save the future of the planet from catastrophe.





LE MONDE ECONOMIE | 13.09.2017 à 17h05 • Mis à jour le 14.09.2017 à 09h10 |Par Francine Aizicovic


An Economic Lesson



Un médecin examine une patiente à Godewaersvelde (Nord), en septembre 2012. 


Un médecin examine une patiente à Godewaersvelde (Nord), en septembre 2012.  Les médecins veulent pouvoir attester librement les conséquences du travail sur la santé. Le Conseil d’Etat doit se prononcer sur la légitimité des plaintes d’employeurs auprès du conseil de l’ordre





From: Catherine
Sent: Monday, 18 September, 2017
Subject: Perturbateurs endocriniens



Pétition demandant aux eurodéputés de rejeter le texte en faveur des 
perturbateurs endocriniens (vote le 3 octobre au Parlement européen):


Un véritable permis d'intoxiquer donné aux industriels de l’agrochimie 
qui produisent les perturbateurs endocriniens sera voté le 3 octobre au 
Parlement européen. A l’aube du vote de la dernière chance sur ces 
polluants chimiques qui dérèglent nos organismes et provoquent cancers, 
malformations, (etc.) nous devons faire bloc pour empêcher une telle 





Communiqué d’Elsa Lefort,
Porte parole du Comité de soutien à Salah Hamouri

Ce lundi 18 septembre est un jour sombre. Salah Hamouri, avocat 
franco-palestinien, a été condamné à 6 mois de prison renouvelables, 
sous le statut de la « détention administrative. ». C’est-à-dire sans 
connaître précisément et exactement ce qui lui est reproché, sans avoir 
accès à son dossier classé secret, sans avoir droit à un procès 
équitable et contradictoire. Et tout ceci pour satisfaire à un ordre, 
signé de sa main, d’un ministre israélien défense particulièrement 
extrémiste : Avigdor Lieberman.

Depuis le 23 août Salah Hamouri est la victime d’un arbitrairetotal. 
Depuis le 23 août il est en prison, pour rien. Depuis le 23 août il ne 
peut communiquer avec sa famille. C’est un calvaire pur et simple à 
mettre, une fois de plus, au débit des autoritésisraéliennes qui violent 
en permanence le droit sans recevoir en retour la réaction concrète qui 

Cette décision survient de surcroît à un moment précis : hier notre 
compatriote Loup Bureau revenait enfin en France suite à son 
emprisonnement pendant 51 jours par les autorités turques qui 
l’accusaient, elles aussi sans la moindre preuve, de faire partie d’une 
« organisation terroriste. ». Nous nous réjouissons de cette libération 
! Si Loup Bureau a pu sortir de prison c’est suite aux interventions 
répétées des autorités françaises auplus haut niveau ainsi que de la 
médiatisation de son cas par ses confrères journalistes.

Cela ne fait que souligner avec d’autant plus de force le fait que la 
décision israélienne a été possible parce que ni les autorités 
françaises, ni la presse n’ont bougé nettement pour la libération de 
Salah Hamouri. Pourtant la liberté est indivisible ou bien elle n’est 
pas. Ce double standard concernant une situation identique sur le fond 
ne peut que heurtertous les démocrates et faire monter l’exigence d’une 
intervention du Président Macron à l’endroit d’Israël qui ne peut être 
traité autrement que tout autre Etat. Ce qui a été possible en Turquie 
doit l’être pour Israël, personne ne comprendrait que le silence 
français – aussi bien de l’Elysée que du Quai d’Orsay – continue au 
point d’en devenir assourdissant.

Nous demandons donc solennellement aux autorités françaises compétentes 
de refuser le « deux poids, deux mesures » et d’intervenir en urgence 
auprès de leurshomologues israéliens. Nous demandons que le Président 
reçoive la femme de Salah Hamouri. Nous demandons, enfin, que les médias 
estiment que l’internement arbitraire d’un journaliste n’est pasplus 
grave ou important que l’internement d’un avocat. La liberté ne peut 
connaître aucune distinction ni de frontières.

Nous affirmons, enfin, forts du soutien d’une multitude de personnes 
venues de tous les horizons, que plus que jamais nous entendons faire 
prévaloir la justice et le droit ; que plus que jamais nous sommes aux 
côtés de Salah Hamouri et de sa famille si durement éprouvés; que plus 
que jamais nous entendons faire faire aboutir cette exigence dont la 
justesse est indiscutable : Liberté pour Salah Hamouri !

Paris, le 18 septembre 2017

Voir aussi :





The Neocons overthrew Trump and made him what is colloquially referred to as their “bitch”




Late this morning, outraged emails started pouring in.  My correspondents reported “getting sick” and having their “heart ache”.  The cause of all that?  They had just watched Trump’s speech at the UN.  I sighed and decided to watch the full speech for myself.  Yeah, it was painful. You can read the full (rush, not official) text here or watch the video here.  Most of it is so vapid that I won’t even bother posting the full thing.  But there are a few interesting moments including those:

We will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been





Jeff Sachs Warns "Nuclear War is a Real Threat" as Trump Threatens to "Totally Destroy" North Korea

S3 trump iran2









Syria - Russia Accusing U.S. Of Attacks,

Abduction Attempts, Team-play With Al-Qaeda


by Moon Of Alabama

The situation in Syria is reaching another critical point. There is an increased possibility of a large scale clash between U.S. and Russian forces. We had warned of such a clash over control of the rich fields east of Deir Ezzor. At least three incidents over the last days point to more significant escalations.


On the 17th the U.S. accused Russia of a light air attack on its proxy forces north of Deir Ezzor. Russia denied that it had attacked those forces.


On the 18th and 19th large contingents of Russian and Syrian troops crossed the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor in east-Syria. The U.S. Kurdish/Arab proxy force in the area actively tried to hinder that movement.


In parallel a large al-Qaeda attack was launched in west-Syria. The Russian forces accuse U.S. intelligence services of having initiated that campaign. (The Syrian-Russian forces defeated the attack.)


Today the Russian military accused the U.S. Kurdish proxies near Deir Ezzor of firing artillery on its forces. It threatened massive retaliation.





From: Jim O'Brien via H-Pad
Sent: Thursday, 21 September, 2017
Subject: [H-Pad] H-PAD Notes (formerly HAW Notes).


Links to Recent Articles of Interest

The articles marked with asterisks are critiques of the PBS Vietnam series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

“Give Peace a Chance”

By Maurice Isserman, Dissent magazine, on-line preview of Fall 2017 issue

The author teaches history at Hamilton College. This is a critique of the PBS Vietnam documentary’s treatment of the antiwar movement.


“Burns’ Vietnam Episode 3 Should Have Addressed Human Costs of Bombing the North”

By Jeremy Kuzmarov, Huffington Post, posted September 20, 2017

The author teaches history at the University of Tulsa.


"The New Series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Is Mesmerizing, But It Doesn't Answer the Questions about the Vietnam War That Many Are Still Seeking”

By Andrew J. Bacevich, The Nation, posted September 19

The author, a Vietnam veteran, is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University.


"The Insidious Ideology of Ken Burns's The Vietnam War"

By Alex Shephard, New Republic, posted September 19

“A Negotiated Curbing of North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities Is Good, But Not Good Enough”

By Lawrence S. Wittner, History News Network, posted September 19

The author is a professor of history emeritus at SUNY Albany


“Why Would 58% Favor U.S. Bombing of North Korea?”

By Gary Leupp, CounterPunch.org, posted September 18

The author teaches history at Tufts University.


* “Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing”

By Jerry Lembcke, PublicBooks.org, posted September 15

The author is a Vietnam veteran and sociology professor whose books about the war include The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam..


“The United States Was Responsible for the 1982 Massacre of Palestinians in Beirut”

By Rashid Khalidi, The Nation, posted September 14

The author teaches Arab Studies at Columbia University.


“The Birth of ‘Illegal’ Immigration”

By Becky Little, History Channel website, posted September 7


”Don’t You Hear Her? The Enduring Korean War”

By Jessie Kindig, n + 1, posted August 18

The author has a PhD in history from the University of Washington.


Thanks for Rusti Eisenberg, Mim Jackson, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles for the above list. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.





The Killing of History

by John Pilger




One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.







William Blum on the Korea War



Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II - Chapter 5
by William Blum

To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble.

But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true. 

H L Mencken, 1919


How is it that the Korean War escaped the protests which surrounded the war in Vietnam? Everything we've come to love and cherish about Vietnam had its forerunner in Korea; the support of a corrupt tyranny, the atrocities, the napalm, the mass slaughter of civilians, the cities and villages laid to waste, the calculated management of the news, the sabotaging of peace talks. But the American people were convinced that the war in Korea was an unambiguous case of one country invading another without provocation. A case of the bad guys attacking the good guys who were being saved by the even better guys; none of the historical, political and moral uncertainty that was the dilemma of Vietnam. The Korean War was seen to have begun in a specific manner: North Korea attacked South Korea in the early morning of 25 June 1950; while Vietnam ... no one seemed to know how it all began, or when, or why.





North Korea Addresses United Nations Responds to US President Trump's Speech


Must Watch





Trump and Netanyahu Made A Complete Fool of Themselves in Front of World Leaders



by David Macilwain


Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly of September 19th 2017 will surely go down in history as marking the final collapse of a terminally corrupt regime, where any pretence of cooperative co-existence with the world has given way to the logic of the battlefield.





Russian Special Forces Repel a US-planned Attack In Syria

Denounce the USA and Issue a Stark Warning
by The Saker


Something rather unprecedented just happened in Syria: US backed “good terrorist” forces attempted a surprise attack against Syrian government forces stationed to the north and northeast of the city of Hama.  What makes this attack unique is that it took place inside a so-called “de-escalation zone” and that it appears that one of the key goals of the attack was to encircle in a pincer-movement and subsequently capture a platoon of Russian military police officers deployed to monitor and enforce the special status of this zone.  The Russian military police forces, composed mainly of soldiers from the Caucasus region, fought against a much larger enemy force and had to call for assistance.  For the first time, at least officially, Russian special operations forces were deployed to rescue and extract their comrades.  At the same time, the Russians sent in a number of close air support aircraft who reportedly killed several hundred “good” terrorists and beat back the attack (Russian sources speak of the destruction of 850 fighters, 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points; you can see photos of the destroyed personnel and equipment here).  What also makes this event unique is the official reaction of the Russians to this event.





Bernie Sanders Calls Out 'International Oligarchy'




After mobilizing millions of supporters around progressive policies at home, Senator Bernie Sanders unveils a foreign policy vision that criticizes US militarism and 'international oligarchy'