Bulletin N° 817
Living Off The Bodies Of Dead Yemeni Children
A report on the genocidal policy of US-Saudi attacks on Yemen,
with a short video: "Black Sabbath ~ War Pigs"
Subject : LATE CAPTIALIST “REFORMS,” LIKE A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL . . . .
29 September 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The proverbial paradox of counter-revolutionary “Reforms” – which make some lives better by making other lives worse – is a historical fact of life, undisputed in knowledgeable circles. The trick is to secure within a sector of the public assent to such “reforms” by soliciting reliable “leaders” who will cooperate with this ruse. The necessary illusion is easily manufactured by the architects of any over-centralize political economy. Centuries of capitalist growth has produced a mountain of documents which substantiate the fact that periodic crises are followed by “reforms” which usually involve removing extreme violence to other geographical regions, so that the appearance of “progress” can be maintained, while at the same time class warfare is muted, hidden by other paramont concerns.
Thus the very fabric of capitalist civilization, of which we are an integral part, is based on the profitable returns of private capital investments. Sometimes, this may entail low wages and high unemployment; other times, higher wages and lower unemployment - when, for example, it becomes necessary to invade foreign nations in order to secure profitable returns on investments. The real nature of our political economy can be seen in its entirety only when we focus on the exploitation of alienated labor and the methodical extraction of surplus value from this labor. Any other focus, no matter how informative it might be, can offer only a partial understanding of the workings of the system.
William Morris was aware of the charade of “civilization” in Victorian England that was created in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, and, in April 1889, he responded to a Spanish “Anarchist-Communist” tract that espoused the ideal of “a social state in which there is no necessity for government . . . .” and that acknowledged tactics in which “we must also recognize as a guarantee of liberty the abolition of the principle of private property and of the exploitation of man by man . . . .” Morris restated his belief that class-conscious struggle was the necessary engine for fundamental social change :
‘I will begin by saying that I call myself a Communist, and have no wish to qualify that word by joining any other to it. The aim of Communism seems to me to be the complete equality of condition for all people; and anything in a Socialist direction which stops short of this is merely a compromise . . . a halting-place on the road. . . . Communism also will have to keep itself free of superstition. Its ethics will have to be based on the recognition of natural cause and effect, and not on rules derived from a priori ideas of the relation of man to the universe or some imagined ruler of it; and from these two things, the equality of condition and the recognition of the cause and effect of material nature, will grow all Communistic life.’(cited on p.639)
Thus Morris held that Communism was the “necessary development of Socialism,” and, while acknowledging his sympathy for the “Anarchist-Communist” position, he nevertheless insisted on “the necessity for individual submission to collective decisions.”
‘I have always believed that the realization of Socialism would give us an opportunity of escaping from that grievous flood of utilitarianism which the full development of the society of contract has cursed us with; but that would be in the long run only; and I think it quite probable that in the early days of Socialism the reflex of the terror of starvation, which so oppresses us now, would drive us into excesses of utilitarianism. . . . So that it is not unlikely that the public opinion of a community would be in favour of cutting down all the timber in England, and turning the country into a big Bonanza farm or a market-garden under glass. And in such a case what could we do, who objected ‘for the sake of life to cast away the reasons for living’, when we had exhausted our powers of argument? Clearly we should have to submit to authority.’(cited on p.640)
William Morris’s close associate Frederick Engels warned against “hot-house” theorists, those intellectuals who worked outside the working-class movement: What they produced was sometimes attractive, but their ideas had little chance of survival, as the roots had not developed in the turbulent milieu of massive class struggle experience. History showed such ideas were little more than belles lettres, with no hope for longevity and utility. Experience of close relationships with the real actors on the front lines (with all the contradictions it would involve) was a pedagogical requirement for the development of revolutionary theory, according to Engels.
The Socialist League was formed on December 30, 1884 by William Morris, Eleanor Marx-Aveling, Edward Aveling, and Belfort Bax with a program which advocated “international revolutionary socialism.” It’s monthly publication, Commonweal, first appeared in February 1885 ; it was financed by Morris, who also served as chief editor, whereas Aveling worked as the assistant editor. In his “Farewell,” written for Commonweal at the end of 1890, Morris wrote:
‘Men absorbed in a movement are apt to surround themselves with a kind of artificial atmosphere which distorts the proportions of things outside, and prevents them from seeing what is really going on. . . .
What was it which we set out to accomplish? To change the system of society on which the stupendous fabric of civilization is founded, and which has been built up by centuries of conflict with older and dying systems, and crowned by the victory of modern civilization over the material surroundings of life.’(cited on p.663)
The effective birth of modern Socialism in Britain was in 1883, and the pioneers of English Socialism were no more than a “band of oddities.” “[They] were there, he wrote:
‘by dint of their special intelligence, or of their eccentricity; not as working-men simply. . . . As a friend . . . once said to me, We are too much a collection of oddities. . . .’ (cited on p.346)
And yet their conversion to the Socialist cause must be explained by the deep economic and political upheavals in British life, when the economic boom of industrial supremacy for two years following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, entered a phase known as the “Great Depression”, lasting more than twenty years, when American and German competition challenged British manufacturers in the world market. It was a period when industrial productive capacity increased, while prices fell and profit-margins were cut. The British economy was facing severe problems of readjustment as unemployment grew and the symptoms of overproduction appeared.
‘Who were the statesmen who took up the momentous questions laid before England of the nineteenth century by the English Socialists? Who were the great divines who preached this new gospel of happiness from their pulpits? Who were the natural philosophers who proclaimed their hope and joy at the advent of a society which should at last use their marvelous discoveries for the good of mankind?
'There is no need to take pen in hand to write their names. . . .
‘There has been self-seeking amongst us, and vainglory, and sloth, and rashness; although there has been at least courage and devotion also. When I first joined the movement I hoped that some working-man leader, or rather leaders, would turn up, who would push aside all middle-class help, and become great historical figures. I might still hope for that, if it seemed likely to happen, for indeed I long for it enough; but to speak plainly it does not so seem at present.’ (cited on pp.663-664)
From a historical perspective, the movement had grown over the years and had evolved into a qualitatively different experience.
‘When we first began to work together, there was little said about anything save the great ideals of Socialism; and so far off did we seem from the realization of these, that we could hardly think of any means for their realization, save great dramatic events which would make our lives tragic indeed, but would take us out of the sordidness of the so-called ‘peace’ of civilization. With the great extension of Socialism, this also is changed. Our very success has dimmed the great ideals that first led us on; for the hope of the partial and, so to say, vulgarized realization of Socialism is now pressing on us.’(cited on p.664)
In this social context, Morris criticized two distinct tendencies within the movement both of which he deemed to be counter-productive for any Socialist advance: the anarchist “bluster of riot and partial revolt” and the “our old acquaintance, palliation” promoted by the reformers and opportunists. True to character, Morris, turned his attention toward the latter and criticized those who espoused relief in place of revolution:
‘The whole set [of] opinion amongst those more of less touched by Socialism . . . is towards the New Trades’ Unions and palliation. Men believe that they can wrest from the capitalists some portion of their privileged profits . . . . That [this] could only very partially be done, and that the men could not rest there if it were done, we Socialists know very well. . . .’(cited on pp.664-665)
He used the struggle of the 8-hour day as an illustration of this illusory victory: “No permanent material benefit can accrue to [the workers] until Socialism has ceased to be militant, and is merged in the new society.”
‘For the rest, I neither believe in State Socialism as desirable in itself, or, indeed, as a complete scheme do I think it possible. Nevertheless some approach to it is sure to be tired, and to my mind this will precede any complete enlightenment on the new order of things. The success of Mr. Bellamy’s book, deadly dull as it is, is a straw to show which way the wind blows. The general attention paid to our clever friends, the Fabian lecturers and pamphleteers, is not altogether due to their literary ability; people have really got their heads turned more or less in their direction.’(cited on p.665)
Morris insisted that as material conditions changes, the mass of workers would become increasingly favorable to a Socialist consciousness of what changes would be desirable.
‘This time when people are excited about Socialism, and when many who know nothing about it think themselves Socialists, is the time of all others to put forward the simple principles of Socialism regardless of the policy of the passing hour.
‘. . . In saying this I am speaking for those who are complete Socialists – or let us call them Communists. I say for us to make Socialists is the business at present. . . .’(cited on p.665)
Social agitation was not enough, in Morris’s opinion; nor was the demand for social reforms and electoral campaigns going to produce a Socialist society:
‘Our business, I repeat, is the making of Socialists, i.e. convincing people that Socialism is good for them and is possible. When we have enough people of that way of thinking, they will find out what action is necessary for putting their principles in practice. Until we have that mass of opinion, action for a general change that will benefit the whole people is impossible. Have we that body of opinion or anything like it? Surely not . . . . Though there area great many who believe it possible to compel their masters . . . to behave better to them, and though they are prepared to compel them . . . all but a very small minority are not prepared to do without masters. They do not believe in their own capacity to undertake the management of affairs, and to be responsible for their life in this world. When they are so prepared, then Socialism will be realized ; but noting can push it on a day in advance to that time.( cited on pp.665-666)
‘Therefore, I say, make Socialists. We Socialists can do nothing else that is useful, and preaching and teaching is not out of date for that purpose; but rather for those who, like myself, do not believe in State Socialism it is the only rational means of attaining to the New Order of Things.’(cited on p.666)
E. P. Thompson, at this point comments on Morris’s “pure” Socialism “outside the mass labour movement, rather than a propaganda of both theory and practice within the worker’s own organizations.”
Engels’s advice throughout these years was different in emphasis: he urged the Socialists. . . to carry on their activities ‘right in the heart of the proletarian masses’, to ‘throw off their narrow sectarianism at all costs and affiliate to the labour movement in order politically to shake up the proletariat’. . . . [Morris] was still placing too much emphasis upon the inculcation of Socialist theory in the abstract; far too little upon the educative role of the struggle itself. Engels, by contrast, stressed repeatedly the importance of practical experience. He and Marx (he wrote in 1888):
‘entirely trusted to the intellectual development of the working class, which was sure to result from combined action and mutual discussion. The very events and vicissitudes of the struggle against capital, the defeats even more than the victories, could not help bringing home to men’s minds the insufficiency of their various favourite nostrums, and preparing the way for a more complete insight into the true conditions of working class emancipation.’(cited on pp.667-668)
Engels developed this thesis in a letter to H. Schlüter, written on January 11, 1890, in which he commented on English and American workers:
‘. . . they go their own way. One cannot drum the theory into them beforehand, but their own experience and their own blunders and the evil consequences of them will soon bump their noses up against theory – and then all right.’(cited on p.668)
In Thompson judgment, Morris was misguided in his efforts: “To ‘make Socialists’ while remaining aloof from the New Unionism was simply a policy of self-destruction. If reformism was to be fought, the place to fight it must be within the people’s mass organizations. . . .”
The source of Morris’s strength and inspiration was at the same time a cause of his political weakness. The depth of his hatred against capitalism made him inclined to denounce all partial reforms as compromises or betrayals. The clarity of his vision of Socialist society made him impatient of any advances which savored of the re-organization or ‘improvement’ of capitalism. Above all, he feared the penetration of the Socialist movement by the values and outlook of the middle class.(p.668)
Engels had made the same observation in a letter to the German-American Socialist Friedrich Sorge dated December 1889:
‘. . . The most repulsive thing here is the bourgeois ‘respectability’ which has grown deep into the bones of the workers. . . . I am not at all sure for instance, that John Burns is not secretly prouder of his popularity with Cardinal Manning, the Lord Mayor and the bourgeoisie in general than of his popularity with his own class. And Campion . . . has intrigued for years with bourgeois and especially conservative elements . . . . Even Tom Mann, whom I regard as the finest of them, is fond of mentioning that he will be lunching with the Lord Mayor. If one compares this with the French, one can see what a revolution is good for after all . . . .’(cited on p.668)
Thompson concludes this discussion in Chapter VI, “The Last Years of the Socialist League,” with the following judgment:
Certainly Engels was right that the real way to make Socialists and win theoretical clarity was for the existing Socialists to carry on the struggle within the labour movement itself. But Morris’s purism should not be confused with preciousness. In the last years of his life, when he had broken with the League, he was to show himself still capable of further ‘education’ – ridding himself of many of his errors, while never abandoning for a moment the fight against Fabianism. And at the same time he was to become increasingly preoccupied with the problem which Engels, too, regarded as central: [viz.] the creation of unity within the movement, and the building of a united Socialist Party.(p.669)
The 28 + items below will serve to inform readers of the powerful contradictions that are governing our political economy and the increasingly sharp focus that social class antagonism has come under in recent weeks. The traditional socialist question – Which side are you on? – has taken on new importance in these days of universal crises . . . .
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
In Yemen and Beyond, U.S. Arms Manufacturers Are Abetting
Crimes against Humanity
by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies
Our leading weapons dealers have developed a business model that feeds on war, terrorism, chaos, political instability, and human rights violations.
The Saudi bombing of a school bus in Yemen on August 9, 2018 killed 44 children and wounded many more. The attack struck a nerve in the U.S., confronting the American public with the wanton brutality of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. When CNN revealed that the bomb used in the airstrike was made by U.S. weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the horror of the atrocity hit even closer to home for many Americans.
Hold the Front Page: The Reporters are Missing
by John Pilger
The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was "a trailblazer for independent journalism", wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.
Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.
Driven from the "mainstream", Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism's veneration of "approved opinions" while "unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality."
Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new "groupthink", as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.
Witness the witch-hunts against refugees and immigrants, the wilful abandonment by the "MeToo" zealots of our oldest freedom, presumption of innocence, the anti-Russia racism and anti-Brexit hysteria, the growing anti-China campaign and the suppression of a warning of world war.
With many if not most independent journalists barred or ejected from the "mainstream", a corner of the Internet has become a vital source of disclosure and evidence-based analysis: true journalism. Sites such as wikileaks.org, consortiumnews.com, ZNet zcomm.org, wsws.org, truthdig.com, globalresearch.org, counterpunch.org and informationclearinghouse.info are required reading for those trying to make sense of a world in which science and technology advance wondrously while political and economic life in the fearful "democracies" regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle.
Assange Reveals Biggest Threat to Humanity in Latest Released Recording
Noam Chomsky - The Future of Capitalism
Prof. Richard Wolff: Capitalism on the Brink of Collapse
"The Rich depend on the poor"
Sent: Friday, 21 September, 2018
The Anti-Empire Report #160
William Blum takes on the Washington Post again, in the person of columnist Max Boot, formerly of the Wall Street Journal
by William Blum
Dear Mr. Boot,
You write: “Every administration since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s has tried to improve relations with Moscow.” . . .
The Surest Sign Yet Billionaires Are Building an Oligarchy
by Jim Naureckas
The announcement that Time magazine would be bought by software CEO Marc Benioff highlighted the growing trend of billionaires buying up media outlets.
While media moguls have always been wealthy—with press barons (Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Donald Newhouse, etc.) still well-represented on Forbes’ running list of the world’s billionaires—what distinguishes this new breed of press magnate is that they bought their media properties with fortunes made in other industries.
Some, like Benioff, come out of the tech industry; tech tycoons like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar and Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, have profited from a tech boom (or bubble) that gives them plenty of cash to spend. Others come out of the financial sector, which has doubled its share of the US economy over the past 70 years. Real estate developer Mort Zuckerman—who owned The Atlantic from 1980-99, the Daily News from 1993-2017, and still owns US News & World Report, which he bought in 1984—was a harbinger of non-media money coming into the media sector.
Wherever their money comes from, the new moguls’ interest in buying up outlets is generally less the direct profit involved—media profits are typically declining as the old local monopoly model erodes—and more the power that comes with control of the public conversation. Being a latter-day Citizen Kane is a personal ego boost, to be sure, and provides a platform for an individual ideology—whether it’s Philip Anschutz’s social conservatism or Omidyar’s civil libertarianism.
Michael Moore vs. Donald Trump in “Fahrenheit 11/9”:
New Film Warns Our Democracy Is At Risk
“Fahrenheit 11/9”—That’s the name of the new documentary premiering today by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, a stunning retelling of the 2016 election and its aftermath. 11/9. That’s November 9, the day Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. In the film, Michael crosses the country, documenting not only the rise of Trumpism but also the teachers’ strikes sweeping the nation, the “blue wave” of progressive candidates in the 2018 primaries, the rise of student activism after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the water crisis in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Moore spares no one in the wide-ranging documentary, which takes aim at the Democratic establishment, The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets, the Electoral College, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and even himself. Michael Moore joins us in our studio to talk about the film and much more.
In Viral Video, Medea Benjamin Confronts Trump Official on Iran
At a public event in Washington, DC, CodePink's Medea Benjamin confronted Brian Hook, the head of Trump's Iran Action Group, over the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and re-imposing crippling sanctions on the Iranian people. Benjamin joins us to discuss her action, which went viral online.
Terrorists kill Iranian children and soldiers in military parade attack
“WARNING: DISTURBING FOOTAGE”
Islamic State and an Arab nationalist separatist group, called the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz, both claimed responsibility for the attack.
Islamic State said via Amaq, the news outlet linked to the group, that “Islamic State fighters attacked a gathering of Iranian forces” in Ahvaz.
Isis wrongly suggested the Iranian president was speaking at the parade. Hassan Rouhani was speaking at a parade in the capital, Tehran, instead.
Iran called on Denmark and the Netherlands to extradite the attack’s “perpetrators and their accomplices” to stand trial, Irna said, citing foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi.
“It is not acceptable that the European Union does not blacklist members of these terrorist groups as long as they do not perpetrate a crime on ... European soil,” Qasemi was quoted as saying.
The British charge d’affaires, summoned in the ambassador’s absence, was told it was unacceptable “that the spokesman for the Al-Ahvazi terrorist group was allowed to claim responsibility of the attack through a London-based TV network”, according to the news agency. Tehran claims the group is backed by its arch-rival Saudi Arabia.
Ahwaz Attacks: Is Saudi Arabia Taking the War Inside Iran?
by Shireen T. Hunter
Less than a month after Iran’s consulate in Basra was attacked, a group of terrorists claiming to be members of the Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz attacked a military parade in the capital of Iran’s Khuzestan province, killing 25 people and wounding many more. When the Basra consulate incident took place , some commentators in Iran speculated that the attackers also wanted to target Khorramshahr and Abadan. Now it seems that they were not too wrong.
The Ahwaz attacks also occurred shortly after operations by Kurdish insurgents belonging to the Iranian Kurdish Democratic Party in Iran’s mostly Kurdish inhabited regions in the country’s northwest. These attacks prompted the revolutionary guards to target the bases inside Iraqi Kurdistan from which they were operating. These back-to-back attacks raise the question of whether the United States and its regional Arab allies have adopted a strategy of besieging Iran in many of its vulnerable provinces, possibly as a prelude to more direct and large-scale military operations against Tehran.
Iran on Brink of ‘REVOLUTION’ in Wake of US Sanctions,
claims Rudy Giuliani
by Geroge Cook
DONALD Trump’s personal lawyer has said the US’s sanctions on Iran are causing the Middle Eastern nation economic pain, and noted there could soon be a “successful revolution”. Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, made his comments to a crowd at a hotel in Times Square where he was attending the Iran Uprising Summit held by the Organisation of Iranian-American communities, which opposes the current regime in Tehran.
He said: “I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them.
“It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen.”
However, John Bolton, Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, has stated it is against US policy to seek “regime change” in Iran.
Mr Giuliani nevertheless praised the sanctions and stated that they are “working”.
He said: “The people of Iran obviously have had enough now.
“The sanctions are working.
“The currency is going to nothing; these are the kinds of conditions that lead to successful revolution.”
The US State Department has reiterated that Mr Giuliani does not speak for the US administration.
Trump is nevertheless aiming to persuade Iran to curb its nuclear program and support for militia groups across the Middle East by virtue of his economic sanctions.
The US administration intends to implement further tariffs on the country’s oil industry on November 4, after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in May.
Iran has claimed is has not broken the 2015 accord, and stated it has complied with the agreement between Tehran, the US and five other world powers.
‘We’ll overthrow them!’
Trump’s lawyer stirs up ‘Iran Uprising Summit’
after deadly terrorist attack
White Helmets Volunteer Caught With Rebels Dumping Beheaded Bodies
Impartial and humanitarian White Helmets participating in the beheading and throwing of Syrian soldiers bodies at a dumpster in Daraa today:
(Warning: Extremely graphic video)
The Fakest Fake News: The U.S. Government’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
by Edward Curtin
A Review of 9/11Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth.
If you want to fathom today’s world, absolutely nothing is more important than to understand the truth about the attacks of September 11, 2001. This is the definitive book on the subject.
For seventeen years we have been subjected to an onslaught of U.S. government and corporate media propaganda about 9/11 that has been used to support the “war on terror” that has resulted in millions of deaths around the world. It has been used as a pretext to attack nations throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.
It has led to a great increase in Islamophobia since Muslims were accused of being responsible for the attacks. It has led to a crackdown on civil liberties in the United States, the exponential growth of a vast and costly national security apparatus, the spreading of fear and anxiety on a great scale, and a state of permanent war that is pushing the world toward a nuclear confrontation. And much, much more.
Battle for Idlib
What does Iran want in northern Syria?
by Hassan Ahmadian
Iran seeks to increase pressure on the US in Syria and portray its military presence there as an occupation.
Iran summons UK, Dutch and Danish envoys over attack on military parade
Iranian soldiers run for cover following the deadly attack on a parade in the south-west city of Ahvaz. Photograph: Morteza Jaberian/EPA
Iran has summoned envoys from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark over Saturday’s deadly shooting of 29 people at a military parade in the south of the country, state media has reported.
The British charge d’affaires, along with the Dutch and Danish ambassadors, were “informed of Iran’s strong protests over their respective countries’ hosting of some members of the terrorist group” which carried out the attack, the official news agency Irna said.
Gunmen sprayed a crowd with bullets in the south-western city of Ahvaz, at a military parade in the in oil-rich Khuzestan province. Members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and soldiers from the country’s army, as well as civilians, including children, were among the victims.
Published: 23 Sep, 2018 @ 08:21
‘Criminal negligence’ or disregard to Russia-Israel ties:
MoD details chronology of Il-20 downing
Misinformation & 'criminal negligence'
On the evening of September 17, the Russian Ilyushin IL-20 with 15 crew on board was circling over the Idlib de-escalation zone on a special reconnaissance mission, when four Israeli F-16 fighter jets left their country's airspace and flew over the neutral Mediterranean waters towards the Syrian coast. The Israeli Air Force gave the Russian side less than a minute's warning before dropping the precision-guided glide bombs, leaving virtually no time for any safety maneuvers, Konashenkov said, calling such actions "a clear violation of the 2015 Russian-Israeli agreements."
Moreover, the Israeli military failed to provide the location of their jets or properly specify their targets, claiming they were going to attack several 'industrial facilities' in northern Syria, close to the Il-20’s area of operation. The misinformation prompted the Russian Command to order the recon plane back to the Khmeimim air base. The Israeli jets, however, instead almost immediately attacked the western Syrian Latakia province
“Can Russia Survive Her “Partnerships”? Has
Putin Made A Strategic Miscalculation?”
In an act of intentional deception, Israel used a Russian airplane to cloak an Israeli attack on a Syrian ground position, with the consequence that Syrian air defense missiles downed the Russian airplane with the lost of 15 Russian military lives. In the words of the Russian Ministry of Defense: “The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the [Israeli] F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.” Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said: “The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies squarely on the Israeli side. The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.” https://russia-insider.com/en/russian-military-says-holds-israel-responsible-deaths-15-servicemen-reserves-right-respond/ri24780 See also: http://tass.com/defense/1022123. For a few minutes it looked like Israel was finally to be held accountable for its reckless and irresponsible actions, but it was not to be. Russian President Putin contradicted his Defense Minister by declaring the loss of Russian lives to be “accidental,” a result of a “chain of tragic circumstances.”
One wonders how Israel does it. President Putin covered up for Israel’s destruction of the Russian IL-20 just as President Johnson covered up for Israel’s murderous attack on the USS Liberty that resulted in 208 US Navy casualties. https://www.rt.com/news/438728-putin-israel-syria-plane/ As Israel gets away with everything, including routine massacres of unarmed Palestinian women and children, there is no reason to expect Israel to change its behavior.
Russian-Israeli Conflict in the Skies of Syria
by Paul R. Pillar
The sudden ruffling of Israeli-Russian relations over the accidental shootdown by Syria of a Russian surveillance aircraft, killing 15 crew members, is the sort of incident apt to happen when a modus vivendi joins parties with much different perspectives, one of them broad and the other narrow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has the broad perspective. His policies toward both Syria and Israel are part of a strategy of making Russia an important player throughout the Middle East. It is a good realist strategy, worthy of emulation, in which Russia talks with everybody and does not allow any rigid division of the region into friends and foes to constrain its diplomacy. Putin has played his cards skillfully and has made his government a more broadly influential interlocutor in the Middle East than the United States despite having expended far fewer resources in the region than the United States has over the last couple of decades.
US-led aircraft evacuate Daesh commanders from eastern Syria: Report
The US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has airlifted to a safe sanctuary several commanders of the foreign-sponsored terror outfit from a region in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, where government forces and fighters from popular defense groups are tightening the noose around the extremists.
Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that two US-led military aircraft conducted the operation on the outskirts of al-Marashida village, and transported the Takfiris to an unknown location.
SANA, citing information received from local residents, reported on December 29 last year that American helicopters had evacuated Daesh commanders from several districts of Dayr al-Zawr province two days earlier.
Earlier that month, the Syrian government had sent a message to the United Nations, accusing the US-led coalition of reaching deals with Daesh and coordinating its actions with the terror group’s commanders.
On September 10, 2017, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the US-led coalition was trying to destroy the Arab country and prolong the armed conflict there.
Putin’s Hesitation Has Lost Syria’s Idlib Province
by Paul Craig Roberts
Analysis //Russia's Claims on Downed Plane Over Syria Are Dubious, but Will Usher in New Reality for Israel
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: It is Outrageous that the US is Supporting a Genocidal War in Yemen
Over 5 million children are facing starvation and a cholera outbreak is raging in Yemen, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, yet the US continues to support the Saudi bombing and destruction of the country, says Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Economics, September 21, 2018
Putin’s Government Is Fuming After First Rate Hike Since 2014, Sources Say
by Evgenia Pismennaya and Ilya Arkhipov
Ten years after the fall of US-based investment bank
The Neoliberal Order Is Dying. Time To Wake Up
by Jonathan Cook
In my last blog post I argued that power in our societies resides in structure, ideology and narratives – supporting what we might loosely term our current “neoliberal order” – rather than in individuals. Significantly, our political and media classes, who are of course deeply embedded in this neoliberal structure, are key promoters of the very opposite idea: that individuals or like-minded groups of people hold power; that they should, at least in theory, be held accountable for the use and misuse of that power; and that meaningful change involves replacing these individuals rather than fundamentally altering the power-structure they operate within.
In other words, our political and media debates reduce to who should be held to account for problems in the economy, the health and education systems, or the conduct of a war. What is never discussed is whether flawed policies are really the fleeting responsibility of individuals and political parties or symptoms of the current neoliberal malaise – manifestations of an ideology that necessarily has goals, such as the pursuit of maximised profit and endless economic growth, that are indifferent to other considerations, such as the damage being done to life on our planet.
"Agence Media Palestine" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, 21 September, 2018
Subject: Eva Illouz : L’état d’Israël contre le peuple juif
From: "FREE PALESTINE" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September, 2018
Subject: Gaza under death .. I talk to you from the hospital .. The nurse Amal Arafa
I need you and your donation. I know that it has become very difficult and difficult
We are now suffering from death
Gaza under death
I need you help us
I beg you
I do not want to talk a lot. I'm in a difficult situation
My nurses and nurses need you
Do anything you can do
The nurse Amal Arafa
Please stand with us, we need you
Cash investigation - Plastique : la grande intox (Intégrale)
Black Agenda Radio, Week of September 17, 2018
with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford
New Allegations Against SCOTUS Nominee Brett
Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his days at Yale University.
Report: Senate Aides Knew of Second Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Claim & Tried to Rush His Confirmation
#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke on Sexual Assault Allegations
Against Kavanaugh: “We Believe Survivors”
Tulsi Gabbard on the Administration’s Push for War in Syria
by James Carden
The congresswoman has accused President Trump and Vice President Pence of protecting “al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria.”
On September 13, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard took to the floor of the House to rebuke the administration, accusing President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of protecting “al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces in Syria,” all the while “threatening Russia, Syria, and Iran, with military force if they dare attack these terrorists.”
“This,” continued Gabbard, “is a betrayal of the American people, especially the victims of Al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11 and their families, first responders, and my brothers and sisters in uniform who have been killed or wounded in action and their families. For the President, who is Commander in Chief, to act as the protective big brother of al-Qaeda and other jihadists must be condemned by every Member of Congress.”
I spoke to Gabbard earlier this week about her opposition to Trump’s Syria policy :
James Carden: In June you and Republican Congressman Walter Jones introduced HR 922, the No More Presidential Wars Resolution, which would both define presidential wars not declared by Congress under Article I, section 8, clause 11 as impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” as well as prohibit the president from perpetuating ongoing wars or from supplying, among other things, war materials, military troops, military intelligence, and financial support without first receiving congressional authorization.While the policy of attacking Syria clearly fails on a moral, legal, and consequentialist grounds, it also will likely backfire on realist grounds. What is your view in terms of who would benefit and who would suffer from a US-led attack on Syria?
Tulsi Gabbard: In the short term, President Trump would benefit the most. The president loves being adored and praised, and despite his rants against them, he especially craves the favor of the media. Trump remembers very well that the only times he has been praised almost universally by the mainstream media, Republicans, and Democrats, was when he has engaged in aggressive military actions. Brian Williams, Fareed Zakaria and others could hardly contain their delight. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said, “Donald Trump became president of the United States” the moment the bombs started dropping. MSNBC’s Brian Williams praised the launching of US missiles, saying, “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.” The Washington Post’s David Ignatius said that he thought that by taking this action, Trump “restored the credibility of American power.”Right now, President Trump’s approval ratings are dropping, and he craves positive reinforcement. He and his team are making a political calculation and looking for any excuse or opportunity to launch another military attack, so that Trump can again be glorified for dropping bombs. Others who would gain the most are Al Qaeda and all the terrorist organizations who are wanting to keep alive the regime-change war against Assad. Their war to overthrow Assad is about to end. They’re finally facing defeat. A US attack that significantly weakens the Syrian military and would be a gift to these terrorist groups who want to overthrow the government and set up a Sunni Extremist theocracy in Damascus. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar would be the beneficiaries.
From: "World BEYOND War" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, 25 September, 2018 5:26:49 PM
Subject: World BEYOND War News: Videos from #NoWar2018
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
by Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
A CIA lucky break? How the death of the 'Smiling Pope' helped Washington
win the Cold War
by Neil Clark
The sudden death of Pope John Paul I, exactly 40 years ago today, stunned the world. The 'Smiling Pope' had only served for 33 days. His demise and replacement by John Paul II marked an important turning point in the old Cold War.
The year 1978, as I argued in a previous op-ed, was the year today's world was made.
There was nothing inevitable about the ascendancy of Reagan and Thatcher, the rise of groups like Al-Qaeda and IS, and the downfall of the Soviet Union. The neoliberal, neoconservative world order and its associated violence came about because of key events and decisions which took place 40 years ago. The Vatican was at the heart of these events.
The drama which unfolded there in the summer of 1978 would have been rejected as being too far-fetched if sent in as a film script. In a space of two and a half months, we had three different Popes. There was no great surprise when, on August 6, the first of them, Pope Paul VI, died after suffering a massive heart attack. The Supreme Pontiff, who had served since 1963, was 80 and had been in declining health. But the death of his much younger successor, John Paul I, a radical reformer who wanted to build a genuine People's Church, has fuelled conspiracy theories to this day.
1978: The year today’s world was made
Cardinal Albino Luciani, the working-class son of a bricklayer (and staunch socialist), from a small town in northern Italy, was a Pope like no other. He refused a coronation and detested being carried on the sedia gestatoria – the Papal chair. He hated pomp and circumstance and pretentiousness. His speeches were down to earth and full of homely observations, with regular references to popular fiction. He possessed a gentle humor and always had a twinkle in his eye. He was by all accounts an incredibly sweet man.
But there was steel there, too. Luciani was determined to root out corruption, and to investigate the complex financial affairs of the Vatican's own bank, and its connection to the scandal-hit Banco Ambrosiano.
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
by Jonathan Cook
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
by Max Wilbert
The United States is a military empire that was built and is maintained by organized violence.
The origins of this country lie with the military conquest and either destruction or forced resettlement of indigenous people. Today, the modern American lifestyle is maintained, as Thomas Freidman (someone with whom I agree on very little) writes, by the “hidden fist” of the military.
“McDonalds cannot flourish without MacDonald Douglass,” Friedman wrote. “And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.”
I am reminded of this fact every August. August brings Seafair to Seattle, and with Seafair comes the Blue Angels, a Navy/Marines squadron of F/A-18 fighter bombers that travels the US each year, entertaining the public for an annual cost of $37 million.
As these jet aircraft roar overhead, I cover my ears and wince at the spectacle of widespread public adulation. These war machines are worshipped. Earlier today, I watched a five-year-old boy cheering and yelling “yee-haw” as the fighter formation shot overhead. Out on Lake Washington, a toxified remnant of what was once an ecological paradise, other Seattle residents on boats and rafts raised their hands towards the jets in supplication. As five aircraft passed directly overhead, I watched one white American man hold a can of beer above his face and pour the liquid directly down his throat.
For thousands of people, the roar of an F/A-18 fighter bomber is the last sound they ever heard. The F/A-18 aircraft played a major role during the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Between these two conflicts, more than a million civilians were killed—many of them in bombings. The same jet continues to be used in Syria, in Yemen, in Somalia, and elsewhere all around the world.
The US military uses its power to promote and protect a certain vision of prosperity and societal development. In 1948, George Kennan, then the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, wrote in Memo PPS23 that “[The United States has] about 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population… Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…”
In the 70 years since Kennan wrote that memo, that “pattern of relationships” has been successfully devised and maintained. The US military is the largest in the world by expenditure, with more than $600 billion in annual funding and more than 2 million personnel (including reservists).
The true costs of this are incalculable. They range from the ecocidal, genocidal destruction of Vietnam and Cambodia to the horrors of Gulf War Syndrome to the toxic remnants of weapons manufactories in cities across the country. In Guatemala and El Salvador, the legacy of US-sponsored right-wing terrorism still echoes through a shattered society. In Nevada and across oceania, indigenous lands remain irradiated from decades of weapons testing, and nuclear waste which continues to leak into groundwater and seep into soils will remain deadly for hundreds of thousands of years.
As Friedman reminds us, military might and corporate power remain inextricably linked in creating consumer culture. We are reminded of this at Seafair, where sponsors include 76, Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Oracle, Microsoft, LG, Samsung, CapitalOne, and many others.
Each F/A-18 costs about $29 million, and is produced by Boeing, the second-largest weapons manufacturer in the world, one of the 100 largest companies in the world, with just under $100 billion in annual revenue. Seattle still fawns over Boeing, which brought so much wealth to this region, just as it now fawns over Amazon and Microsoft. Their digital products colonize our minds, just as Boeing’s weapons help control territory.
Sent: Wednesday, 26 September, 2018
Subject: Thank you for signing our petition to the media!
Dear Peace Activist,
Thank you for signing our letter to the New York Times and Washington Post asking them not to be complicit in a war with Iran. Please also join us in supporting the Iranian people by recording a video of yourself sending a message of friendship to the Iranian people. Go to our We Love Iranians page for details.
Please forward this email to others who may want to sign:
Here's the full petition:
Don't Iraq Iran!
Dear Editorial Board,
President Trump gave an inflammatory speech this morning at the United Nations General Assembly calling for member states to isolate and punish Iran, after accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorists and exacerbating tensions in the region. We urge you as respected journalists to hold the Trump administration accountable for this rhetoric, for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, for violating the diplomatic efforts of our European allies, and for making life miserable for ordinary Iranians through draconian sanctions.
We do not want another war in the Middle East. The media must not be complicit in selling a war with Iran the way it did with Iraq 15 years ago. You have the power to tell Americans the truth by providing them with facts. We ask that you do not give credibility to the distorted lies coming from the Trump administration, and instead hold them accountable for their dangerous imperialistic policies. We urge you not to help the government sell another devastating war to the American people, but instead bring to light the administration’s hawkish policies towards Iran.
We don’t want another Iraq.
P.S. Your friends can sign here: http://www.codepink.org/dont_iraq_iran?recruiter_id=734269
by Chris Hedges
Trump Calls Hearing 'Brutal,' Praises Kavanaugh (Video)
Why Lindsey Graham (Rep. Senator - FL) decided to "explode"
From: Jim O'Brien via H-PAD
Sent: Friday, 28 September, 2018
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 9/28/18: Okinawa statement; links to recent articles of interest
Note: Over a hundred scholars and activists have issued a statement opposing plans for a new U.S. Marine base in Okinawa. Historian Peter Kuznick of American University (email@example.com) is one of the coordinators of the statement.
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Caroline Tervo, and Theda Skocpol, The Guardian, posted September 26
A detailed history of the extremely well funded Americans for Prosperity
Emery University press release, posted September 24
Carol Anderson teaches Afrjican American Studies at Emery University. Her new book is One Person, No vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.
By Stephen F. Cohen, The Nation, posted September 20
The author is a professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and New York University.
By Rajan Menon, TomDispatch.com, posted September 18
The author teaches international relations at City College of New York and is a senior research fellow at Columbia University. The article gives background on the war in Yemen and the U.S. role in it.
Interview by Patrick Lawrence, The Nation, posted September 17
A wide-ranging interview with a leading historian of the Pacific War uses past wars to illuminate present-day issues of imperialism and race.
By Daniel Bessner, New York Times, posted September 17
Argues that progressive politicians should pay more attention to the need for major changes in the U.S. stance toward the world.. The author teaches foreign policy at the University of Washington.
By Seth Anziska, NYR [New York Review of Books] Daily, posted September 17
Excerpted from the author's Princeton University Press book Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo.
By John Maxwell Anderson and Meghan Menard McCune, The Conversation, posted September 13
On the use of forged documents to justify intervention in Russia toward the end of World War I.
By Rashid Khalidi, The Nation, posted September 13
The author teaches Arab Studies at Columbia University.
By Jonathan Cook, View from Nazareth blog, posted September 13
The author is a British journalist based in Nazareth, Israel, since 2001.
By Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy, posted September 7
"America's newest live-streaming reality show features the foreign-policy establishment fighting for its life against Donald Trump." The author teaches international relations at Harvard University.
Thanks to Jerise Fogel, Margaret Power, Steve Gosch, and an anonymous reader for suggesting articles in the above list. Steve Gosch also consulted on which articles to include. Suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.