Bulletin N° 807
Subject : Listening to the Opposition and Unplugging “HAL”.
20 June 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
I was recently invited to view the 50th-anniversary showing of Stanley Kubrick’s famous science-fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey [or also available at : https://www.cda.pl/video/17461305a]. For me it was a time-travel back into the Anti-Vietnam War era of 1968, back to a time when “the Best and the Brightest” in the United States government were said to have run amok and were no longer intellectually reliable. In this film, the mission was compromised when “Hal 9000,” (the Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) which orchestrated the operation was suspected of having made a miscalculation and found itself threatened with extinction for being unreliable. The computer served as a fictional character and main antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series before appearing in Kubrick’s A Space Odyssey film, as a sentient computer (or artificial general intelligence) that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew.
This computer of unerring intelligence was thought to be infallible until it made an apparent error and eventually had to be disconnected, but only after Hal had caused the annihilation of the entire spaceship’s crew, except for one survivor who lived to complete Kubrick’s odyssey toward self-discovery. This film depicts how humanbeings risk becoming victims of their own inventions, which, in fact, only serve to amplify their innate all-too-human characteristics, in this case the insatiable quest for power over others. This mere extension of the human character is enough, however, to wipe out the entire species, and many other species as well. Kubrick’s account is an ahistorical depiction of the human condition. It is rich in symbols and makes intuitive leaps with the help of a stunning soundtrack which skillfully conceals the overall lack of verisimilitude in his story. The non-verbal message in this film is unmistakable: the hubris of mankind will be its undoing! (Full stop.)
There is no mention of social class conflicts, nor of economic exploitation and the private profit motive.
At the time of the Vietnam War, one critique of Kubrick’s new film was that it ignored entirely capitalist relationships at home and abroad, and instead seemed to celebrate advanced technology and superior intelligence, until the collapse (and rebirth?) appeared in a final mystical episode of the film, which he entitled “Beyond Infinity.” This artistic production was created in the real social context of violent imperialist war and brave resistance, causing the death and suffering of millions of people. Kubrick, at the time, seemed to be indulging in intense “navel gazing,” suggesting no real solution to man’s imperfections other than perhaps the drive to create better and brighter leaders.
The common coin on American campuses at this time, however, was the belief that the various forms of violence in the capitalist system could be brought to an end only by the concerted actions of the well-informed victims of this violence themselves, by use of revolutionary force; that benevolent and enlightened leaders living privileged lives could not be entrusted with this important task, no matter how intelligent they appeared to be.
This is the difference between bourgeois ‘Humanism” and Marxist humanism . . . .
The 25 items below reflect the injustices that have given rise to mass movements in the United States and abroad and the growing solidarity of these movements despite the various efforts to subvert them with divisive tactics and distractions such as scapegoating.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
The Real Results Of The Trump-Kim Summit
– Freeze For Freeze (And Some Amusement)
by Moon Of Alabama
The aftermath of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore confirms my early take on the talks. What both sides committed to is the "freeze for freeze" agreement North Korea had offered since at least 2015. The U.S. stops its threatening maneuvers while North Korea stops missile and nuke testing. Both sides further committed to future talks about a peace treaty in exchange for some nuclear disarmament
Under pressure from hawks the Trump administration tries to spin additional Korean concessions into the summit declaration. It claims that North Korea committed to "verifiable and irreversible" steps. It is a bad move as that is not the case. Only the written words count. "[T]he DPRK commits to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" is the binding wording.
In 1970 the U.S. committed itself to its own complete nuclear disarmament in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT):
Article VI - Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Both statements are aspirational. "To work towards" and to "undertake to pursue negotiations" are both intentionally vague and of equal determination.
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
by Ajamu Baraka
The critics had already signaled their strategy for derailing any meaningful move toward normalizing relations between the United States and North Korea. Right-wing neoliberals from CNN, MSNBC and NPR are in perfect alignment with the talking points issued by U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Democrat Party that took the position that anything short of the North Koreans surrendering their national interests and national dignity to the United States was a win for North Korea.
For much of the foreign policy community, corporate media pundits and leaders of the two imperialist parties, the issue is North Korean de-nuclearization. But for the people in Korea and throughout the global South, the real issue has always been the unfinished business of ending the war and beginning the de-colonization of the Korean peninsula.
The interrelated issues of respecting the dignity and sovereignty of the North Korean nation and engaging in an authentic process of de-colonization are precisely why the U.S.-North Korean initiative will fail without a major intervention on the part of the people in the United States demanding that their leaders commit to diplomacy and peace.
There should be no illusions about U.S. intentions. If U.S. policymakers were really concerned with putting a brake on the North Korean nuclear-weapons program, they would have pursued a different set of policies. Such policies would have created the necessary security conditions to convince the North Koreans that a nuclear deterrence to the United States was unnecessary.
What's in Trump's 'Deal of the Century'?
The Answers are in Plain Sight
The White House's peace plan is said to be days away. Meanwhile, Israel is getting a US nod as it carries on seizing Palestinian land.
by Jonathan Cook
There are mounting signals that Donald Trump’s much-delayed Middle East peace plan – billed as the “deal of the century” – is about to be unveiled.
Even though Trump’s officials have given away nothing publicly, the plan’s contours are already evident, according to analysts.
They note that Israel has already started implementing the deal – entrenching “apartheid” rule over Palestinians – while Washington has spent the past six months dragging its heels on publishing the document.
“Netanyahu has simply got on with deepening his hold on the West Bank and East Jerusalem – and he knows the Americans aren’t going to stand in his way,” said Michel Warschawski, an Israeli analyst and head of the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem.
“He will be given free rein to do what he likes, whether they publish the plan or, in the end, it never sees the light of day,” he told Middle East Eye.
Eran Etzion, a former Israeli foreign ministry official, agreed: “Israel has a much freer hand than it did in the past. It feels confident enough to continue its existing policies, knowing Trump won’t stand in the way.”
From: "IAK Blog" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, 14 June, 2018
Subject: Shoot-to-cripple policy, Mueller targeting Trump's Israel ties, surveillance, and more...
Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical.
And He’s Taking It Mainstream
by Aiden Pink
Why is the Palestinian Authority attacking Palestinian protests?
by Yara Hawari
16 Jun 2018
The Palestinian Authority is struggling with its loss of legitimacy as it clamps down on anti-Gaza-sanctions protests.
Acts and Omissions:
The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Paris, le 14 juin 2018
de la Flottille de la Liberté
venus d'Europe du Nord vont tenter à
nouveau de briser le blocus de Gaza, par mer et voies fluviales.
Après quelques contretemps, deux bateaux de la Flottille de la Liberté
2018, la /Falestine/ et la /airead/, accosteront
dimanche 17 juin à 14h00
En bord de Seine, jardins Tino Rossi
Sous le quai Saint Bernard, à hauteur de l'Institut du Monde Arabe
La presse est chaleureusement invitée et pourra rencontrer l’équipage
ainsi que des élu.e.s, personnalités, associations et citoyen.nes.
Le Bureau national de l’AFPS, 17 juin 2018
Des bateaux pour Gaza interdits à Paris
Voir vidéo sur Orient XXI :
La Flottille de la Liberté empêchée d’accoster à Paris : une honte pour
la France et pour Paris
Communiqué de l’AFPS, 17 juin 2018
A retrouver avec photos sur :
Cette image restera pour longtemps une honte pour la France et une honte
pour Paris. Non, ce n’est pas la marine israélienne qui cette fois
s’attaque à la Flottille de la Liberté pour Gaza, c’est la police
fluviale de la Préfecture de police qui l’empêche par la force
d’accoster à Paris, alors qu’elle avait navigué sans encombre aux
Pays-Bas et en Belgique.
Ce sont deux petits bateaux suédois de la Flottille 2018 qui traversent
cette année l’Europe avant de rejoindre en Méditerranée deux bateaux
plus importants également partis de Suède. En juillet, ils feront route
ensemble vers Gaza pour dénoncer le blocus inhumain de la Bande de Gaza
et apporter leur soutien aux pêcheurs de Gaza victimes des exactions
quotidiennes de la marine israélienne.
300 personnes étaient venues sur les bords de Seine à deux pas de
l’Institut du Monde Arabe pour les accueillir, les soutenir et les
saluer. Le président de l’IMA, Jack Lang, a pu accéder aux quais pour
tenter de les saluer, accompagné de l’ambassadeur de Palestine en
France, Salman Al-Herfi, de Leila Shahid et de Esther Benbassa,
sénatrice de Paris. Et alors même qu’ils avaient à leur bord Raphaëlle
Primet et Jérôme Gleizes, deux élus.e.s du Conseil de Paris, et Claude
Léostic présidente de la Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la
Palestine, les bateaux, cernés et poussés par les vedettes de la police
fluviale, n’ont pas pu s’arrêter ni même ralentir.
C’est une grande colère qui s’est exprimée ensuite par les interventions
de Bertrand Heilbronn, président de l’AFPS, Sarah Katz pour l’UJFP, Eric
Coquerel député PG (groupe France Insoumise), Jean-Guy Greilsamer pour
BDS France, Esther Benbassa sénatrice EELV de Paris, Christiane Hessel,
Camille Laîné secrétaire générale du MJCF.
Nous savons que l’ambassade d’Israël est intervenue partout pour
empêcher que l’accueil de ces bateaux puisse se dérouler librement :
c’est déjà en soi un scandale. A La Rochelle, cela n’a pas empêché une
mise à quai du bateau dans de bonnes conditions.
A Paris, nous sommes obligés de constater que les autorités françaises
se sont objectivement rangées du côté des agresseurs. Après le tapis
rouge déroulé le 5 juin par le président de la République sous les pieds
de Benyamin Netanyahou, criminel de guerre, ce sont des attitudes que la
grande majorité de l’opinion française, révulsée par l’ampleur des
crimes commis par l’armée israélienne contre la population de Gaza, ne
peut plus supporter.
Jusqu’à quand et jusqu’où les autorités françaises comptent-elles
assumer une telle honte ?
From: "World BEYOND War" <email@example.com>.fr>
Sent: Thursday, 14 June, 2018
Subject: Getting corporations to oppose war
White Helmets: A tool for ‘regime change’ in Syria
that’s too important to stop funding?
Truth, Lies and Propaganda
US to Send USD 6.6 mil to While Helmets
President Donald Trump authorized the release of approximately USD 6.6 million on Thursday for the continuation of the "vital, life-saving operations of the Syrian Civil Defense, "commonly known as the White Helmets, and the UN's International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM). "The United States Government strongly supports the White Helmets who have saved more than 100,000 lives since the conflict began, including victims of Assad's chemical weapons attacks," said a statement from State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert. "These heroic first responders have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and continue to be deliberately targeted by the Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes.?" She added, "The IIIM's work is vital to assisting the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in Syria since March 2011. " Nauert affirmed: "Their mandate, collecting and analyzing evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses? will help ensure those responsible for these crimes are ultimately held accountable." (end) ak.msa
Black Agenda Report
Chaos in the Imperial Big House
by Glen Ford
Trauma at the Texas-Mexico Border: Families Separated, Children Detained & Residents Fighting Back
Video and Transcript
We look at growing outrage over the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families who cross the U.S.-Mexico border, many fleeing dangerous conditions and seeking asylum. At least 600 immigrant children were removed from their parents last month, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new rule.
Rev. William Barber: U.S. Policies on Healthcare, Poverty Are Immoral & a Threat to Democracy
Blistering U.N. Report: Trump Administration’s Policies Designed to Worsen Poverty & Inequality
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Propaganda, la fabrique du consentement
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
How the Last Superpower Was Unchained
American Wars and Self-Decline
by Tom Engelhardt
Think of it as the all-American version of the human comedy: a great power that eternally knows what the world needs and offers copious advice with a tone deafness that would be humorous, if it weren’t so grim. If you look, you can find examples of this just about anywhere. Here, for instance, is a passage in the New York Times from a piece on the topsy-turvy Trumpian negotiations that preceded the Singapore summit. “The Americans and South Koreans,” wrote reporter Motoko Rich, “want to persuade the North that continuing to funnel most of the country’s resources into its military and nuclear programs shortchanges its citizens’ economic well-being. But the North does not see the two as mutually exclusive.”
Think about that for a moment. The U.S. has, of course, embarked on a trillion-dollar-plus upgrade of its already massive nuclear arsenal (and that’s before the cost overruns even begin). Its Congress and president have for years proven eager to sink at least a trillion dollars annually into the budget of the national security state (a figure that’s still rising and outpaces by far that of any other power on the planet), while its own infrastructure sags and crumbles. And yet it finds the impoverished North Koreans puzzling when they, too, follow such an extreme path.
Clueless is not a word Americans ordinarily apply to themselves as a country, a people, or a government. Yet how applicable it is.
And when it comes to cluelessness, there’s another, far stranger path the United States has been following since at least the George W. Bush moment that couldn’t be more consequential and yet somehow remains the least noticed of all. On this subject, Americans don’t have a clue. In fact, if you could put the United States on a psychiatrist’s couch, this might be the place to start.
A Mysterious Silence Has Surrounded Julian Assange
by Tyler Durden
Julian Assange remains cut off from the world in Ecuador’s London embassy, shut off from friends, relatives and thousands of supporters, leaving him unable to do his crucial work...
The Anti-Empire Report #157
by William Blum
by Chris Hedges
Seventeen years of war in the Middle East and what do we have to show for it? Iraq after our 2003 invasion and occupation is no longer a unified country. Its once modern infrastructure is largely destroyed, and the nation has fractured into warring enclaves. We have lost the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is resurgent and has a presence in over 70 percent of the country. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after three years of relentless airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The 500 “moderate” rebels we funded and armed in Syria at a cost of $500 million are in retreat after instigating a lawless reign of terror. The military adventurism has cost a staggering $5.6 trillion as our infrastructure crumbles, austerity guts basic services and half the population of the United States lives at or near poverty levels. The endless wars in the Middle East are the biggest strategic blunder in American history and herald the death of the empire.
Et Tu, Bernie?
by Chris Hedges
Democratic Lawmakers Join Family Separation Protests at Detention Centers from Texas to New Jersey
Protests have erupted nationwide against the Trump administration’s new policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most of the parents apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol are now charged with criminal entry—and, in many cases, criminal re-entry—then taken to jails or prisons to serve their time before they are sent to immigrant detention centers. In the meantime, their children are being sent to shelters and foster care programs around the country. The Associated Press reports that between April 19 and May 31, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents. Hundreds of protesters also met at a family processing center in McAllen, Texas, where nearly half of all children have been removed from their parents. And in New Jersey, a group of Democratic lawmakers visited a private immigrant detention facility in the town of Elizabeth to speak with asylum-seeking parents held there after they were separated from their children. Meanwhile, on Sunday, in Houston, people marched in the rain outside a former warehouse and homeless shelter where the government plans to detain hundreds of separated children, including many who are a so-called tender age—children who are younger than 12 years old.
America’s ‘War on Terror’ Has Cost Taxpayers $5.6 Trillion
And it’s earned us absolutely nothing.