Bulletin N° 827
« Silkwood »
Subject : Boétie vs. Machiavelli: Self-Determination vs. Social Control.
16 December 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
A good friend of mine frequently tells me that for every negative idea I express, I should come up with three positive ideas. It’s a folkloric idea that probably has some scientific truth to it, in the realm of neurobiology and biochemistry [see CEIMSA Bulletins n°369, n°371, n°447, & n°565] and quite possibly relates to the theoretical principle known as Maxwell’s demon in particle physics. My friend came up with this insight by way of her musical studies.
Upon reflection, it seems evident that a positive attitude is more than simply Pollyanna thinking; it is required for undertakings of any project anchored in self-determination. We could use the mechanical analogy of two kinds of transportation: a locomotive and an airplane, both of which depart from the one dimensional pathology of freezing on some stationary point in space and time. The movement of the locomotive requires that two dimensional linear tracks be laid down in advance, analogous to a hypothesis or a theory that must be followed closely if one is to move forward from A to B; the airplane, by contrast, represents three dimensional mobility with greater flexibility for maneuvers. (Perhaps there is a fourth dimensional mobility of which I know nothing.)
In the age of “collective self-determination,” we might expect greater flexibility and voluntary cooperation in decision-making processes chosen to advance our collective security and well being, without compromising our self-fulfillment. To arrive at this state of competence, however, we must unlearn the acquisitive individualism with which we have been carefully indoctrinated since birth, and we must embrace the conviviality of collective action, which includes the pleasure of sharing, the comfort of solidarity, and the satisfaction of collective accomplishment - all in real time, as opposed to virtual investments.
Indispensible readings to disabuse ourselves of our capitalist miseducation in acquisitive individualism include Nicolai Machiavelli’s essay, The Prince (printed posthumously in 1532), and Etienne de La Boétie’s The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude(1552).
For past CEIMSA references to the political philosophy of Boétie (1530-1563), please see the 7 ceimsa links below:
Bulletin #712: 'REVOLUTIONARY CAPITALISM' AND ITS EFFECTS AT HOME AND ABROAD, Sept. 5, 2016.
Bulletin #713: Conspiracies & “CONSPIRACY THEORIES,” Sept. 11, 2016.
Bulletin #718 : LIKE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER . . . ? , Oct. 15, 2016.
Bulletin N° 794 : The economic, political and ideological debacle of capitalism now underway . . . , April 21, 2018.
Bulletin N° 798 : PALESTINE : PRESENTE ! , May 13, 2018.
Bulletin N° 800 : Up Against the Wall in the Gaza Concentration Camp: the freedom to choose how to be murdered by Zionists ! , May 16, 2018.
Bulletin N° 801 : Palestinian Freedom Fighters against Imperialist Hand Puppets, May 19, 2018.
And for past CEIMSA references to the philosophy of Nicolai Machiavelli (1469-1527), please see the following 6 ceimsa links:
Bulletin N° 215 : ON LESSONS FROM THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF WARS : FROM THE CENTER FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, GRENOBLE, FRANCE, November 26, 2005.
Bulletin N° 346 : ON 21ST CENTURY WARFARE - TACTICS, STRATEGIES, AND LOGISTICS, March 18, 2008.
Bulletin N° 371 : ON MORAL BLINDNESS IN THE LABYRINTH OF PAIN AND PLEASURE, October 11, 2008.
Bulletin N°507 : ON RECOGNIZING PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, Nov.13, 2011.
Bulletin N°525 : ON HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS WITHIN A DEGENERATE POLITICAL ECONOMY, April 6, 2012.
Bulletin N° 749 : VIBRATIONS ON THE ‘SOUNDING BOARD’ IN TIME : WHERE TO BEGIN? WHERE TO END?, April 27, 2017.
The 24 + items below offer readers a look at a veritable collage of scandals that have surfaced recently across the world. It would be perilous to ignore the ruling-class ideologies which govern policy at this moment. This menace is stated implicitly in the articles and essays below, leaving each of us with one inescapable question: Which side are you on?
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 antidote to civili$ational collap$e
8th December 2018
Interview with the documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis @ The Economist
"We live in a world where the powerful deceive us. We know they lie. They know we know they lie. They don't care." ::
"It's 'fuck off' to everything," says Adam Curtis, describing public sentiment today. The British documentarist sees himself as an optimist amid dystopians, and as a classical journalist whose medium happens to be film. For 30 years he has produced a rich body of documentaries on politics and society for the BBC—and in the process, has emerged as a cult-hero to young thinkers trying to comprehend a chaotic world.
The films themselves are a collage of archival footage, words on screen and fast montages that create sprawling, idealistic-yet-dark narratives on the changing relationships among people, politics, philosophy, psychology, economics and power. They cut quickly between different tones and topics to resemble a train of thought or a rich conversation between friends. The mirror he holds up is disturbing: a reality that is freakish, demented, deformed.
Averting World Conflict With China,
The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos
As most readers know, I’m not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them.
Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer. While flying from Hong Kong to Mexico, Ms. Meng was changing planes in the Vancouver International Airport when she was suddenly detained by the Canadian government on an August US warrant. Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America’s unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.
Although our mainstream media outlets have certainly covered this important story, including front page articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, I doubt most American readers fully recognize the extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history. As one scholar noted, no event since America’s deliberate 1999 bombing of China’s embassy in Belgrade, which killed several Chinese diplomats, has so outraged both the Chinese government and its population. Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs correctly described it as “almost a US declaration of war on China’s business community.”
From: Paul Thom
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018
After reading ceimsa bulletin n°827, I'm sending you a TED talk on Douglas Rushkoff that has a good and positive visions.
It's nice for the positive ideas and positive thinking.
Humans are no longer valued for our creativity, says media theorist Douglas Rushkoff -- in a world dominated by digital technology, we're now just valued for our data. In a passionate talk, Rushkoff urges us to stop using technology to optimize people for the market and start using it to build a future centered on our pre-digital values of connection, creativity and respect. "Join 'Team Human.' Find the others," he says. "Together let's make the future that we always wanted."
Chers/chères ami.e.s de la paix de l'Isère et des environs,
Le Mouvement de la Paix suit naturellement le mouvement des gilets jaunes avec la plus grande attention. Cette initiative spontanée est l'expression de nombre d'insatisfactions, voire de souffrances, bien réelles, qui se manifestent de façon encore désordonnée. Notre Mouvement a jugé opportun de l'accompagner par une réflexion générale sur l'emploi qui fait de nos impôts et, en particulier, sur les 37 milliards d'euros qui seront prochainement affectés à la modernisation de l'armement nucléaire de la France. Cette dépense énorme et inconsidérée (réfléchissez à tout ce qu'on pourrait faire avec ce montant en matière de politique sociale, sanitaire, éducative; etc...ou allègements d'impôts) nous apparaît non seulement comme un gaspillage inouï des deniers publics, mais aussi comme totalement contraire à la véritable politique de paix et de sécurité dont notre pays a besoin. Ces 37 milliards de dépense insensée doivent être politiquement combattus par tous les amis de la paix, y compris par les gilets jaunes.
37 milliards d'€ sur 6 ans pour les armes nucléaires NON
37 milliards d'€ pour la justice sociale et la justice climatique OUI
signez la pétition https://www.mvtpaix.org/wordpress/petitions/
Ci-joint: la déclaration correspondante du Mouvement de la Paix.
* Nous voulons aussi rappeler que nous tenons un stand aussi souvent que possible, en particulier le samedi après-midi, Place du Dr Martin à Grenoble, sur le Marché de Noël solidaire. Nous y proposons livres et brochures, et notre Agenda de la Paix 2019 (beau et indispensable). C'est surtout l'occasion d'engager le dialogue sur la politique de paix dont notre pays et le monde ont besoin en urgence.
le bureau du Comité de l'Isère du Mouvement de la Paix,
Why Can the CIA Assassinate People?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Given that we have all been born and raised under a regime
that has the CIA, hardly anyone questions the power of the CIA to assassinate
people. The CIA’s power of assassination has become a deeply established part
of American life.
Instead, the delegates came out with an entirely different
proposal, one that would call into existence a federal government that had more
powers, including the power to tax.
Americans were leery. The last thing they wanted was a powerful central government. They had had enough of that type of government as British citizens under the British Empire. They believed that the biggest threat to people’s freedom and well-being lay with their own government. They believed that if they approved a federal government, it would become tyrannical and oppressive, like other governments had done throughout history.
They were especially concerned with the power of the government to murder people, including citizens. They knew that state-sponsored murder was the ultimate power in any tyrannical regime. When a government can kill anyone it wants with impunity, all other rights are effectively nullified. And our ancestors were sufficiently well-versed in history to know that tyrannical regimes were notorious for killing their own citizens, especially those people who challenge, criticize, or object to the tyranny.
The proponents of the Constitution told Americans that they had nothing to be concerned about. The Constitution wasn’t calling into existence a government with general powers to do anything it wanted. Instead, by the terms of the document that would be calling the federal government into existence, its powers would be limited to the few powers that were enumerated within the document. Thus, if a power wasn’t enumerated, it didn’t exist and, therefore, couldn’t be exercised. Since the Constitution wasn’t giving the federal government the power to murder people, it couldn’t exercise that power.
On that basis, our American ancestors approved the deal, but only on the condition that the Constitution would be immediately amended after approval with a Bill of Rights. To make sure that federal officials understood that they didn’t have the power to murder people, the Fifth Amendment was enacted. It prohibited the federal government from killing people without first according them due process of law. It’s worth noting that the protections of the Fifth Amendment are not limited to American citizens. The Amendment prohibits the federal government from murdering anyone, including people who are not US citizens.
If There's A Hell Below, That's Where He'll Go: The BAR Obituary on George H.W. Bush
by Bruce A. Dixon
Don’t Forget George H. W. Bush’s War Crimes,
from Iraq’s ‘Highway of Death’ to Panama
As US president, George H.W. Bush invaded Panama and waged the barbaric Gulf War, in which the American military devastated Iraqi civilian infrastructure and massacred thousands of fleeing soldiers
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
by Jeffrey St. Clair
At the close of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was denounced as a ferocious villain for ordering his retreating troops to destroy Kuwaiti oil fields, clotting the air with poisonous clouds of black smoke and saturating the ground with swamps of crude. It was justly called an environmental war crime.
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
by Nick Alexandrov
The story was almost over even before it had fully begun. When Keith Jackson, a black eighteen-year-old from Anacostia, heard where the men wanted to do the deal, he grew skeptical. “Where the fuck is the White House?” he asked. Yet the buyers persisted. They got Jackson to Lafayette Park on September 1, 1989, purchasing three ounces of the drug off him for $2,400. “This is crack cocaine,” President Bush told the nation evenings later, flashing the bag the teen sold, “seized a few days ago by drug enforcement agents in a park just across the street from the White House.”
Only the bag was part of a set-up. Presidential aides, vacationing at Bush’s Kennebunkport compound, dreamed up the plan. Buying crack near the White House would show how bad the drug problem was, would justify Bush’s escalating Drug War. But DEA agents failed to find dealers lurking in Lafayette Park. So they focused on Jackson some distance from downtown.
Ensnaring the young man was not easy. “We had to manipulate him to get him down there,” one agent admitted. Jackson was soon deemed guilty—hearing the verdict, he wept so violently “federal marshals subdued him with a straitjacket”—and serving a ten-year prison term. President Bush was unmoved. He felt no weight of responsibility for the teen’s fate. And he never wept, as far as we know. But the story, Bush’s and ours, would go on by God’s grace.
Through the following years, President Bush would frequently prove, nearly daily, that his ruining Jackson was no accident. In a sense, the rest of his presidency was a perennial effort to prove his callousness, to intensify human suffering. There were always more armies to fund, more countries to bomb, more lives to terminate. And what a headlong race he made of it all. He never slowed down.
George H.W. Bush’s Bitter Legacy in the Middle East
All US Presidents, Living and Dead, are War Criminals
by Glen Ford
How George W. Bush Invented the Global War on Terror
(Just Like the Banks, War Itself Has Become Too Big to Fail)
by Peter Isackson
In US policy, business almost always trumps democratic aspirations, human rights and the needs of the environment. This is the second of a two-part series.
George W. Bush, the president, solved the problem Bush, the candidate, had highlighted: his ignorance of the identity of “them.” Instead of an ideology (communism), he designated a method of political expression: terrorism, or violence with a political purpose aimed at creating a climate of fear. Bush boldly declared that the US was engaged in a war not on a nation or a group of people, but on terror itself. This enabled him to avoid the more accurate perception that the US was surreptitiously engaged in a war on the Muslim world, fulfilling the prediction of Samuel Huntington in his 1993 Clash of Civilizations.
Despite the inclusive label, the US was not taking arms against any and every perpetrator of terror — a list that could include many of its allies, and even America itself — but against specific groups or nations accused of harboring or abetting those groups that challenge the principles of Western civilization. The techniques used to combat this terror resembled less and less conventional warfare, and increasingly terror itself. With the development and massive employment of drones, the war on terror became a war of terror.
The military-industrial complex had provided the commanders-in-chief with a new technology designed less to effectuate the “surgical strikes” the Obama administration later claimed as its absolution than to spread terror in the targeted regions. Any honest observer should acknowledge, as does Conor Friedersdorf, writing in The Atlantic that “the spread of this characterization is a triumph of propaganda.” Some people have pointed to the terror that would result if drones were to be launched on Western cities. But that fear doesn’t appear to have convinced them that’s precisely what their own government is doing, and on a grander scale, in at least seven different nations.
Making the Most of Terror
Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes
What Hillary Clinton Really Represents
Digging deep into Hillary's connections to Wall Street, Abby Martin reveals how the Clinton's multi-million-dollar political machine operates. This episode chronicles the Clinton's rise to power in the 90s on a right-wing agenda, the Clinton Foundation's revolving door with Gulf state monarchies, corporations and the world's biggest financial institutions, and the establishment of the hyper-aggressive "Hillary Doctrine" while Secretary of State. Learn the essential facts about the great danger she poses, and why she's the US Empire's choice for its next CEO. http://multimedia.telesurtv.net/v/the...
Roger Waters: Neoliberalism Is Fueling the Flames of Fascism
The Donald Undone: Tilting at the Swamp,
Succumbing to the Empire
by David Stockman
You can’t build the Empire and drain the Swamp at the same time. That’s because the Swamp is largely the fruit of Empire. And it’s also the reason that the Donald is being rapidly undone.
Indeed, it is the Empire’s $800 billion national security budget which feeds Washington’s vast complex of weapons suppliers, intelligence contractors, national security bureaucrats, NGOs, think tanks, K-street lobbies, so-called "law" firms and all-purpose racketeers. It’s what accounts for the Imperial City’s unseemly and ill-gotten prosperity.
It goes without saying that the number one priority of these denizens of Empire is to keep the gravy train rolling. That is accomplished by inventing and exaggerating threats to America’s homeland security and by formulating far-flung and misbegotten missions designed to extend and reinforce Washington’s global hegemony.
As we demonstrate elsewhere, a true homeland security defense budget would consist of the strategic nuclear triad and modest conventional forces to defend the nation’s shoreline and air space; it would cost about $250 billion per year plus a few $10 billion more for a State Department which minded its own business.
So the $500 billion difference is the fiscal cost of Empire, which is pushing the US toward an immense generational fiscal crisis. But it’s also a measure of the giant larder that fills the Swamp with the projects and busywork of Washington’s global hegemony.
In fact, it is the vasty deep of that $500 billion larder which gives rise to the forces that not only thwart the Donald’s desire to drain the Swamp, but actually enlist him the cause of deepening its brackish waters.
Moreover, these missions encompass far more than direct military occupations, such as in Afghanistan and Iraq; or indirect aggressions, such as in Washington’s arming of antigovernment terrorists in Syria and facilitating and supplying Saudi Arabia’s genocidal bombing campaign in Yemen; or even the kind of rank provocation implicit in the 29,000 troops Washington still bivouacs on the Korean peninsula 65 years after the war there ended and the thousands of US and NATO forces which conduct virtually constant maneuvers and war games on the very borders of Russia.
Understanding the Collective Rage of France’s ‘Gilets Jaunes’
by CORA ENGELBRECHT, EMMA COTT, YOUSUR AL-HLOU and ANNA PRICHARD
Shuttered shops, burning cars and tear gas. We were on the ground in Paris with the “Yellow Vests” protesters as they took to the streets for the fourth week in a row.
Politics & Policy
Macron Just Doesn’t Get It
He and others on the left are being swept along by world-historical forces they do not fully understand.
by Tyler Cowen
Richard Wolff | Masterfully Explains France's Yellow Vest Movement
Round five: Yellow Vests gather in Paris for ‘Macron resign’ protest
(December 14, 2018)
Paris is bracing for yet another round of Yellow Vest protests, with demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital. More than 10,000 are expected to join the march, with the slogan ‘Macron resign’.
Protesters are gathering on the Champs-Élysées, which has seen four weekends of violent clashes between rioters and police. The organizers, consisting of some 15 groups, have outlined their list of demands on Facebook, saying they will continue their action against Macron until all their demands are met.
“Our organizations support the demands of tax and social justice brought by the movement of yellow vests. They call for demonstrations Saturday, December 15, for social justice and tax, for a real democracy, for equal rights, for a true ecological transition…” the planners said in a statement, as quoted by Le Parisien.
Similar demonstrations are also expected to take place in other cities across the country.
THE DEMANDS OF THE YELLOW VEST MOVEMENT
ARE GROWING INTO REAL SYSTEMIC CHANGE
December 14, 2018
Billionaires Are the Leading Cause of Climate Change
by Luke Darby
This week, the United Nations released a damning report. The short version: We have about 12 years to actually do something to prevent the worst aspects of climate change. That is, not to prevent climate change—we're well past that point—but to prevent the worst, most catastrophic elements of it from wreaking havoc on the world's population. To do that, the governments of Earth need to look seriously at the forces driving it. And an honest assessment of how we got here lays the blame squarely at the feet of the 1 percent.
Contrary to a lot of guilt-tripping pleas for us all to take the bus more often to save the world, your individual choices are probably doing very little to the world's climate. The real impact comes on the industrial level, as more than 70 percent of global emissions come from just 100 companies. So you, a random American consumer, exert very little pressure here. The people who are actively cranking up the global thermostat and threatening to drown 20 percent of the global population are the billionaires in the boardrooms of these companies.
There are probably no individuals who have had a more toxic impact on public and political attitudes about climate change than the Koch brothers, and it would take an absurd amount of space to document all the money and organizations they've scraped together for that purpose. (Investigative reporter Jane Mayer's groundbreaking Dark Money does basically that.) And they have every reason to: In her book, Mayer notes that "Koch Industries alone routinely released some 24 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a year."
But the scope goes far beyond merely sowing dissent and skepticism. While billionaires and the companies they run have spent years insisting that climate change either doesn't exist or is overblown, they've known the reality of the situation for a long time. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, for example, used to donate to the Seasteading Institute, which aimed to build floating cities in order to counteract rising sea levels. And Exxon Mobil allegedly knew about climate change in 1977, back when it was still just Exxon and about 11 years before climate change became widely talked about. Instead of acting on it, they started a decades-long misinformation campaign. According to Scientific American, Exxon helped create the Global Climate Coalition, which questioned the scientific basis for concern over climate change from the late '80s until 2002, and successfully worked to keep the U.S. from signing the Kyoto Protocol, a move that helped cause India and China, two other massive sources of greenhouse gas, to avoid signing.
Even when Republican lawmakers show flashes of willingness to get something done, they're swiftly swatted down. There are myriad examples, but one example comes via Dark Money, where Mayer describes an incident in April 2010 when Lindsey Graham briefly tried to support a cap-and-trade bill: A political group called American Solutions promptly launched a negative PR campaign against him, and Graham folded after just a few days. American Solutions, it turns out, was backed by billionaires in fossil fuel and other industries, including Trump-loving casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Black Agenda Report
News, commentary and analysis from the black left.
Julian Assange: No Surrender
by Ann Garrison, BAR contributor
Supporters of the Wikileaks founder say he won’t leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London unless the British police drag him away.
“If you look at his enemies, and you look at who wants to lock him up forever, it's clear that we have to defend him.”
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears to be one step closer to forcible removal from Ecuador's London Embassy, most likely to be extradited to the US to face charges in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, which is commonly known as “the espionage court.” If UK police have to go in and remove him by force that will of course demonstrate the brutality of the state in the Gandhian tradition.
The US and UK governments may nevertheless be in a hurry to get hold of him however they can, with Theresa May's Tory government so close to collapse and Jeremy Corbyn's Labor Party so close to power. Given all that Corbyn has said about protecting journalists who take risks to reveal the truth about power, it's hard to imagine him extraditing Assange in response to US demands, even though refusal would no doubt damage the longstanding Anglo-American alliance.
‘Spying & threats’: Assange complains
of ‘more subtle’ silencing than Khashoggi
Julian Assange has accused his Ecuadorean hosts of spying and feeding information to US authorities, and slammed attempts to block his journalistic work as a more subtle way of silencing than the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Suggesting there were “facts of espionage” inside the embassy, the WikiLeaks co-founder expressed concern during a hearing in Quito on Wednesday that Ecuadorean intelligence is not only spying on him, but sharing the data it has harvested with the FBI. Ecuadorean intelligence clearly spent a sizable amount of money equipping the embassy for surveillance, Assange added.
He accused Ecuadorean authorities of “comments of a threatening nature” relating to his journalistic work and compared attempts to silence him to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured and cut up in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in October, but “more subtle.” The comparison elicited a harsh reaction from Ecuadorean Prosecutor General Inigo Salvador, who accused Assange of biting the hand that feeds him.
Assange told the Ecuadorean court that the living conditions in the embassy were so detrimental to his health that they may put him in the hospital – and suggested that may be the point, because once he leaves the building, he’s fair game for UK and US authorities.
US prosecutors accidentally revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against the whistleblower last month and have since stonewalled reporters’ inquiries into what the indictment might contain.
Julian Assange denounces his illegal detention in Ecuadorian embassy
by Oscar Grenfell
Integrity Initiative: Spanish Cluster
Misled UK Parliament Over Assange, Russia
Research into members of the Integrity Initiative's Spanish 'cluster' has led to some extremely troubling conclusions.
On December 19 2017, the House of Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee convened its ‘fake news' inquiry's first oral evidence session, hearing testimony from a number of witnesses.
Among them were David Alandete, Editor of El Pais, Francisco de Borja Lasheras, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relation's Madrid Office, and Mira Milosevich-Juaristi, Senior Fellow for Russia and Euroasia at Elcano Institute.They'd been invited to discuss an alleged Kremlin effort to interfere in the October 2017 Catalan independence referendum via a dastardly nexus of social media, bots, trolls, Sputnik News and RT — and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
What the trio failed to disclose, and are yet to acknowledge publicly almost a year later, is they are both directly and indirectly connected to the Integrity Initiative — an "information war effort" based in London that has received millions in UK government funds and is subject to more than one official investigation into its activities.
Even more troublingly however, their testimony — which may have contributed significantly to Ecuador's March 2018 decision to cut off Assange's access to the internet, and bar him from receiving any visitors other than his legal team — has been condemned as "exceptionally misleading" an independent data analyst, who also submitted expert testimony to the Committee.
The real reason Western media & CIA turned against Saudi MBS
Forces are aligning against Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, lead by elements within the CIA and strong players in the mainstream media. But what is really behind this deterioration in relationship, and what are its implications?
Following the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, western media and various entities, including the CIA, appear to have turned their back on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). In response to the scandal, the Guardian released a video which its celebutante, Owen Jones, captioned“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest threats on Earth. Time to stop propping up its repulsive regime.”
The Guardian was not alone in its condemnation. “It’s high time to end Saudi impunity,” wrote Hana Al-Khamri in Al-Jazeera. “It’s time for Saudi Arabia to tell the truth on Jamal Khashoggi,” the Washington Post’s Editorial Board argued. Politico called it “the tragedy of Jamal Khashoggi.”
Even shadowy think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Atlantic Council released articles criticising Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s death. A number of companies began backing away from Saudi money after the journalist’s death, including the world’s largest media companies such as the New York Times, the Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Arianna Huffington, CNN, CNBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Google Cloud CEO, just to name a few.
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
by Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
From: Margaret Atwood, PEN America <email@example.com>
To: Francis Feeley <Francis.Feeley@u-grenoble3.fr>
Sent: Thu, 13 Dec 2018
Subject: Defending the sanctity of truth and the role of the press
Join me in defending the role of the press in the United States and around the world.
View this email in your browser (https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=0809b771ad9123934911c8d9b&id=41e08a1d54&e=28a9e0f4d0)
When democracy is in retreat, the first thing authoritarians do is imprison, exile, or kill those who are telling stories about them that they dislike.
This year, I had the honor of presenting the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award to imprisoned Reuters’ journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were recently sentenced to 7 years in prison in Myanmar for reporting on a massacre of 10 Muslim Rohingya men in the country’s Rakhine state.
The number of journalists jailed worldwide has recently hit an all-time high. And many journalists are not even jailed: They are simply murdered, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo, Jamal Khashoggi, and other targeted journalists were just honored this week with Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year.
We may comfort ourselves by believing that this kind of persecution happens only in distant countries, and so far that is fortunately true. But the tactics of the current U.S. Administration are dangerous in their own right. They include attacking and discrediting reporters by name, threatening to punish unfavorable coverage, trying to convince the public that reputable and accountable news outlets cannot be trusted, and branding certain news organizations as the enemies of the American people.
That is why PEN America, this fall, brought a lawsuit against President Trump—to stop him from using the machinery of government to retaliate against the press for coverage he doesn’t like.
Please join me in supporting PEN America in defending the sanctity of truth and the role of the press right here in the United States and around the world. (https://pen.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0809b771ad9123934911c8d9b&id=271918b4e9&e=28a9e0f4d0)
The systematic effort to drive a rift between access to knowledge and the citizens of a country has a familiar ring to this dystopian novelist. When I wrote The Handmaid’s Tale, I made sure that nothing went into it that had not come from somewhere in history. I used journalists, historians, and other nonfiction writers as my sources. Because when you publish such a novel, you hope your work will remind people that "It can’t happen here" has simply never been true.
The U.S. Administration’s calls of "fake news" have become an international knee-jerk response by strongmen and dictators seeking to discredit accurate reporting and valid criticism, and to undermine democracy in the process.
I hope you will make a year-end contribution to PEN America to defend freedom of the press, free expression, our right to information, and democracy in the United States and around the world. (https://pen.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0809b771ad9123934911c8d9b&id=a9a9ba92a4&e=28a9e0f4d0)
Saudi crown prince considering 'game-changing'
handshake with Israeli PM: Report
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seriously considering a summit meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with US President Donald Trump playing host, a report says. The meeting between bin Salman, also known as MbS, and Netanyahu is to be a “game-changing” Camp David-style one, the Middle East Eye said in a report.
Bin Salman has asked an emergency task force dealing with the fallout of the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi to study the idea of a meeting with Netanyahu, sources in the kingdom with close knowledge of the discussions told Middle East Eye.
Israel's Maariv newspaper reported in June that bin Salman and Netanyahu had held secret meetings in Amman both with and without the presence of Jordan’s King Abdullah.
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
by Lawrence Davidson
There are many things wrong with ideologues. Here I mean those who see the world through a narrow dogma. It is as if they wear figurative blinders, like those real ones placed on draft horses, so as to prevent their gaze from wondering away from a designated path. As a consequence ideologues can sometimes be embarrassing—making gross general pronouncements based on the narrowest sets of beliefs and expecting the world to go along. Often they are just boring. However, give them a modicum of power and they can become downright dangerous.
For instance, take the recent dustup at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It started when Marc Lamont Hill, a tenured professor holding an endowed chair in the School of Media and Communications, gave a speech at the United Nations. The occasion was the U.N.’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Hill, who is a longstanding critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, summarized the official discrimination practiced by Israel against the Palestinians—that is he laid out examples of Zionist Israel’s racist nature and practice—and then “endorsed a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
It was at this point that local supporters of Israel, specifically the ideologues who see things through the lens of the dogma of Zionism, went on the attack. Their claim was that Hill was “calling for the end of Israel.” Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, claimed Hill’s endorsement of a “free Palestine” amounted to the “violent genocide of Jews in Israel.” Leonard Barrack, “a major donor to the university,” accused Hill of calling for “the destruction of the State of Israel” and said “I think it [Hill’s speech] was anti-Semitic.” And then Patrick O’Connor, the chairman of Temple University’s board of trustees, called Hill’s remarks “hate speech” and “disgusting.” He went on to claim that “no one at Temple is happy with his comments.” By the way, Temple has a student enrollment of over 30,000, so how can the chairman be sure? O’Connor has instructed the university’s lawyers to explore ways to punish Hill. In the meantime CNN, obviously responding to Zionist pressure, immediately fired Lamont Hill from his position as an on-air commentator.
Here are some clarifying, non-dogmatic points relevant to this situation:
—The phrase “a free Palestine from the river to the sea” has long been understood by supporters of Palestinian rights to be a call for democracy. That is, a call for a state that represents and treats all its people as equals. It is not proposal to purge all the Israeli Jews. However, it is undeniably anti-Zionist. Why? Because Zionism ultimately insists on a state with full rights for only one people (Jews), and this essentially denies full rights to 20 percent of its population (Palestinians). Both in theory and practice, it is present-day Israel, and not a proposed “free Palestine,” that is demonstrably racist.
—There is a clear difference between Israel and the Jewish people. Israel is a recently created (1948) political state that falsely claims to represent the entire—that is worldwide—Jewish people. By doing so, the Zionists set up the false relationship that allows them to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Yet the claim is not sustainable, for there have always been Jewish opponents of Zionism. Today this tradition of opposition continues, and a large segment of those, worldwide, opposing Israel and its racist practices, are Jewish. However, the Zionists, having been indoctrinated with the belief that Israel and the Jews are one, cannot face this truth. It may be the case that their fear and dislike for the numerous anti-Zionist Jews (the so-called self-hating Jews) is as great, or greater than, that for Palestinians.
—Zionist consciousness requires a denial and distortion of history. The reality of the Zionist movement’s link to British imperialism; the subsequent fact that the Zionist intrusion into Palestine constitutes a history of a European settlement project in a non-European land; the Zionist complicity with at least some of the forced displacement of Jews from Arab lands; the reality of the Nakba—all have to be denied or reinterpreted. As is the case with most dubious moral behavior, rationalizations and denials become key to the perpetrators’ own self-image.
Typhoon Haiyan Survivor: Fossil Fuel Companies Killed My Family by Hastening Climate Change
“From the biggest of tragedies, hope can be found. My name is Joanna Sustento. I had a happy life, a good job, great friends and a wonderful loving family. But in a matter of minutes, all of that changed.
“For those who experienced Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded, it was apocalyptic. I witnessed my mother, my father, brother, sister-in-law and my 3-year-old nephew being swept away by the storm surge. It left my brother and me to search for our family’s bodies in the aftermath. We never found our father and our nephew. It’s difficult to be the one left behind. We have to deal with all the questions, the grief, the pain and the regrets.
“Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people and left over 14 million people homeless. But it’s not just statistics and numbers in a news report. This is about us, the people.”
Current Climate Targets Put Us On Track For 3.0˚C Of Warming
by Joshua S Hill
The current state of global climate policies has the world on a path to 3.0˚C of warming by 2100, twice the 1.5˚C limit agreed upon in Paris three years ago, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s annual update which was published on Wednesday at the COP24 United Nations climate change talks currently underway in Katowice, Poland.
According to the Climate Action Tracker’s latest update, current warming in 2018 has reached 1˚C and, while current pledges and targets are currently leading us to a 3˚C warming, current actual policies in place have the world on track to warming of 3.3˚C by 2100.
“Two months ago the world received a strong message from the scientific community – that it’s possible to keep warming to 1.5˚C,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of three organizations behind the Climate Action Tracker, along with NewClimate Institute and Ecofys. “But we have yet to see this translate into action in terms of what governments are prepared to put on the table.”
Right to end life on Earth: Can corporations
that spread climate change denialism be held liable?
If a corporation’s propaganda destroys the world, doesn’t that conflict with our right to live?
From: Monty Kroopkin
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2018
Subject: Greta Thunberg calls for Global School Strike for Climate on Fridays
Fellow Workers, Friends,
Greta Thunberg's speech today to the United Nations climate change conference in Poland.
She calls for a Global School Strike for Climate on Fridays.
"You Are Stealing Our Future: Greta Thunberg, 15, Condemns the World’s Inaction on Climate Change"
Background on School Strike for Climate
Our plan to revive Europe can succeed where Macron and Piketty failed
by Yanis Varoufakis
Black Agenda Report
News, commentary and analysis from the black left.
Study Shows US Has Caused the Death of Millions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan
by Murtaza Hussain
Study Shows US Has Caused the Death of Millions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan
By conservative estimate, the US has directly killed nearly half a million people, and doomed millions more, in just three of the countries it is attacking.
“If the conflicts in Libya, Yemen, Somalia, or Syria had been included, the death toll would likely be significantly higher.”
How many people have been killed in the post-9/11 war on terror? The question is a contentious one, as there has been no formal accounting for the deadly cost of the initial U.S. interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the secondary conflicts that continue to wreak havoc across the Middle East and the opaque, covert war still expanding across Asia and Africa. But even as the U.S. government evades responsibility for the human cost of its overseas endeavors, some researchers are determined to keep count. Brown University’s Costs of War Project this month released a new estimate of the total death toll from the U.S. wars in three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The numbers, while conservatively estimated, are staggering. Brown’s researchers estimate that at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of these conflicts, more than 244,000 of them civilians. In addition to those killed by direct acts violence, the number of indirect deaths — those resulting from disease, displacement, and the loss of critical infrastructure — is believed to be several times higher, running into the millions.
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
by Jacques R. Pauwels
All over Europe, the First World War had brought about a potentially revolutionary situation as early as 1917. In countries where the authorities continued to represent the traditional elite, exactly as had been the case in 1914, they aimed to prevent the realization of this potential by means of repression, concessions, or both. But in the case of Russia, the revolution not only broke out but succeeded, and the Bolsheviks began work on the construction of the world’s very first socialist society. It was an experiment for which the elites of the other countries felt no sympathy whatsoever; to the contrary, they fervently hoped that this project would soon end in a dismal fiasco. (It was also a revolutionary experiment that would disappoint numerous sympathizers because the socialist Utopia failed to spring whole, Athena-like, from the brow of the Russian revolutionary Zeus.)
In elitist circles in London, Paris, and elsewhere, they were convinced of the ineluctability of the failure of the Bolsheviks’ bold experiment but, just to be sure, it was decided to send troops to Russia to support the “white” counterrevolutionaries against the Bolshevik “reds” in a conflict that was to morph into a great, long, and bloody civil war. A first wave of allied troops arrived in Russia in April 1918, when British and Japanese soldiers disembarked in Vladivostok. They established contact with the “whites,” who were already involved in a full-blown war against the Bolsheviks. In total, the British alone would send 40,000 men to Russia. In that same spring of 1918, Churchill, then minister of war, also sent an expeditionary corps to Murmansk, in the north of Russia, in order to support the troops of the “white” General Kolchak, in the hope that this might help to replace the Bolshevik rulers with a government friendly to Britain. Other countries sent smaller contingents of soldiers, including France, the United States (15,000 men), Japan, Italy, Romania, Serbia, and Greece. In some cases, the allied troops became involved in fighting against the Germans and Ottomans on Russia’s frontiers, but it was clear that they had not come for that purpose, but rather to overthrow the Bolshevik regime and to “strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib,” as Churchill so delicately put it. The British, in particular, also hoped that their presence might make it possible to pocket some attractive bits and pieces of territory of a Russian state that seemed to be falling apart, much like the Ottoman Empire. This explains why a British unit marched from Mesopotamia to the shores of the Caspian Sea, namely to the oil-rich regions around Baku, capital of modern Azerbaijan. Like the Great War itself, the allied intervention in Russia aimed both to fight the revolution and to achieve imperialist objectives.
In Russia, the war had spawned not only conditions favourable to a social revolution, but also — at least in some parts of this gigantic country — to national revolutions among a number of ethnic minorities. Such national movements had already reared their heads during the war, and they generally belonged to the right-wing, conservative, racist, and anti-Semitic variety of nationalism. Germany’s political and military elite recognized close ideological relatives in these movements and potential allies in the war against Russia. (Lenin and the Bolsheviks, on the other hand, were considered useful in the war against Russia, but ideologically these revolutionary Russians were antipodes of Germany’s reactionary regime.) The Germans did not support the Finnish, Baltic, Ukrainian, and other nationalists out of ideological sympathy, but because they could be used to weaken Russia; they also did it because they hoped to stamp German satellite states out of the ground in Eastern and Northern Europe, preferably monarchies with as “sovereign” some scion of a German noble family. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk proved to be an opportunity to create a number of states of this type. From July 11 to November 2, 1918, a German aristocrat named Wilhelm (II) Karl Florestan Gero Crescentius, Duke of Urach and Count of Württemberg, could thus enjoy being King of Lithuania under the name of Mindaugas II.
With the armistice of November 11, 1918, Germany was doomed to disappear from the scene in Eastern and Northern Europe and that put an end to the dream of German hegemony over there. However, Article 12 of the armistice authorized German troops to remain in Russia, the Baltic lands, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe as long as the Allies deemed it necessary; in other words, as long as they remained useful for the purpose of fighting the Bolsheviks, which is precisely what the Germans did. In fact, British and French leaders such as Lloyd George and Foch henceforth considered revolutionary Russia as a more dangerous enemy than Germany. The national movements of Balts, Finns, Poles, etc., were now totally embroiled in the Russian Civil War, and the Allies replaced the Germans as their supporters, also militarily speaking, as long as they fought the “reds,” rather than the “whites,” as they also often did, since much Eastern European real estate, formerly part of the Czarist Empire, was claimed simultaneously by the Russian “whites” and by Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and other nationalists.
In all the countries emerging from the clouds of dust rising after the collapse of the czarist empire, there were basically two kinds of people. First, workers and peasants and other members of the lower classes, who favoured a social revolution, supported the Bolsheviks, and were willing to settle for some sort of autonomy for their own ethnic-linguistic minority within the new multi-ethnic and multi-lingual state — inevitably dominated by its Russian component — that was taking the place of the former czarist empire and would be known as the Soviet Union. Second, the majority, though certainly not all, of the members of the old aristocratic and bourgeois elites and of the petty bourgeoisie, who were against a social revolution and therefore detested and fought the Bolsheviks and wanted nothing less than total independence vis-à-vis the new state being created by the latter. Their nationalism was a typical nineteenth-century nationalism, right-wing and conservative, closely associated with an ethnic group, a language, a religion, and a supposedly glorious past, mostly mythical, that was expected to be reborn thanks to a national revolution. Civil wars also erupted between “whites” and “reds” in Finland, Estonia, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
William Blum, Renowned U.S. Foreign Policy Critic, Dead at 85
By Chris Agee and Louis Wolf
William Blum died in Virginia on December 9, 2018. He was surrounded by friends and family after falling in his Washington D.C. apartment and sustaining serious wounds 65 days ago. He was 85 years old. Bill was born March 6, 1933 at Beth Moses Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. and became an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy. He worked in a computer-related position at the United States Department of State in the mid-1960s. Initially an anti-communist with dreams of becoming a foreign service officer, he became disillusioned by the Vietnam War.
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
by Binoy Kampmark
In the incessant self-praise of the US imperial project, kept safe in a state of permanently enforced amnesia, occasional writings prod and puncture. Mark Twain expressed an ashamed horror at the treatment of the Philippines; Ulysses Grant, despite being a victorious general of the Union forces in the Civil War and US president, could reflect that his country might, someday, face its comeuppance from those whose lands had been pinched.
In the garrison state that emerged during the Cold War, the New Left provided antidotes of varying strength to the illusion of a good, faultless America, even if much of this was confined to university campuses. Mainstream newspaper channels remained sovereign and aloof from such debates, even if the Vietnam War did, eventually, bite.
The late William Blum, former computer programmer in the US State Department and initial enthusiast for US moral crusades, gave us various exemplars of this counter-insurgent scholarship. His compilation of foreign policy ills in Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, was written with the US as sole surveyor of the land, all powerful and dangerously uncontained. To reach that point, it mobilised such familiar instruments of influence as the National Endowment for Democracy and the School of the Americas, a learning ground for the torturers and assassins who would ply their despoiling trade in Latin America. The imperium developed an unrivalled military, infatuated with armaments, to deal with its enemies. Forget the canard, insists Blum, of humanitarian intervention, as it was espoused to justify NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
His Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II, remains his best and potently dispiriting affair, one in which Washington and its Christian warriors sought to battle the “International Communist Conspiracy” with fanatical, God-fearing enthusiasm. In this quest, foreign and mostly democratically elected governments were given the heave-ho with the blessings of US intervention. Food supplies were poisoned; leaders were subjected to successful and failed assassinations (not so many were as lucky as Cuba’s Fidel Castro); the peasantry of countries sprayed with napalm and insecticide; fascist forces and those of reaction pressed into the service of Freedom’s Land.
Oliver Stone Remembers Anti-Imperialist Journalist William Blum, Chronicler of CIA Crimes
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone speaks about the life and legacy of dissident journalist and historian William Blum, who documented US war crimes and CIA interventions across the planet
The Narrowness of Mainstream Economics Is About to Unravel
by Richard D. Wolff
Recent extreme volatility and sharp drops in US stock markets underscore the instability of capitalism yet again. As many commentators now note, another economic downturn looms. We know that all the reforms and regulations imposed in the wake of the Great Depression of the 1930s failed to prevent both smaller downturns between 1941 and 2008 and then another big crash in 2008. Capitalism’s instability has, for centuries, resisted all efforts to overcome it with or without government interventions. Yet mainstream economics mostly evades an honest confrontation with the social costs of such economic instability. Worse, it evades a direct debate with the Marxian critique that links those costs to an argument that system change would be the best and most “efficient” solution.
In economics courses these days, most US professors praise the “free market.” They insist that its outcomes (prices, incomes, interest rates, and so on) flow from self-interested individuals bargaining freely over their economic interactions (buying, selling, borrowing, lending, working, and so on). Market outcomes, they teach, are uniquely stable, efficient and, indeed, optimal in some overarching social sense (or at least in Vilfredo Pareto’s sense). The economy works well if we let markets work their magic, according to this ideology.
Good teachers explain that many assumptions are required — about social conditions that need to be in place — for free markets to have these wonderful outcomes. But the vast majority of students walk away from their economic courses with little more than free-market ideology. They walk away believing that the market works badly when governments interfere by influencing prices, incomes, interest rates and so on.
Free-market ideology took a big hit in the 1930s. That was because the years before the 1929 crash had seen that ideology in full bloom taking credit for the “Roaring Twenties.” The horrendous Great Depression that followed for over a decade after 1929 saw blame replace adulation. Private, unregulated capitalism was seen as the problem for which government intervention was the necessary solution. A new economic paradigm pioneered by John Maynard Keynes displaced the free-market ideology from the 1930s to the 1970s. (My graduate professor of macroeconomics, James Tobin, was an enthusiastic Keynesian. He peppered his lectures with hard jabs at free-market “orthodoxy” and its doctrinaire proponent, Milton Friedman.)
Crispin Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "newsfromunderground" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, 15 December, 2018 4:43:37 PM
Subject: [MCM] The New York Times slimes William Blum in its obituary
Let's note that Jim Naureckas—like Bill Blum himself—doesn't dare extrapolate from
Zbigniew Brzezinski's shocking boast, in Le Nouvel Observateur, that the CIA had
actually, deliberately brought on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, by sending the
mujaheddin (led by Osama bin Laden) to provoke it at the border. (You can read the
interview at https://dgibbs.faculty.arizona.edu/brzezinski_interview.)
That it was Bill who "spotted and translated" the Brzezinski interview, as Jim notes
here, and yet would never dare infer (at least in public) that the "terrorist attack" on
9/11 may have been another US provocation, to bring on a far larger, longer war—
and that Jim too doesn't dare infer it—tells us just how hard it is to cross that line,
even for the best and brightest on the left.
And yet we have to cross it, if we're ever going to clean the wound that's all but
killed American democracy (and that was first inflicted back in 1963, and deepened
many times thereafter).
DEC 14, 2018OPINION
The New York Times' Shameful Obituary of Historian William Blum
by Jim Naureckas
From: Mark Crispin Miller
News From Underground
by Massimo Mazzucco
A new documentary which examines the photographic record of NASA's Apollo missions.
(I strongly recommend Mazzucco's previous masterpiece, “September 11—The New Pearl Harbor”.)
This is a freebie; so you might either buy Mazzucco's new doc, via Amazon or whatever other vendor sells it, or donate to American Moon's GoFundMe campaign :
And after watching it, consider taking part in this quite brief anonymous survey :
Russia to Set Up Military Base in the Caribbean
Moscow is gearing up to establish a long-term military presence in Latin America and the current mission of the Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela is part of this plan, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.
According to military envoys, Russian authorities have made a decision (and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro did not object) to deploy strategic aircraft to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea, which has a naval base and a military airfield. Ten years ago, Russian experts and Armed Forces commanders had already visited the island of La Orchila, located 200 kilometers northeast of Caracas. Venezuelan laws prohibit the setup of military bases in the country, but a temporary deployment of warplanes is possible.
"It is the right idea to include Venezuela in long-range aviation missions," military expert Colonel Shamil Gareyev told the newspaper, adding that it was also economically reasonable. "Our strategic bombers will not only not have to return to Russia every time, but also won't perform aerial refueling while on a patrol mission in the Americas. Our Tu-160 aircraft arrive to their base in Venezuela, conduct flights, execute their missions and are then replaced on a rotating basis. This is how it should be done," he said.
Colonel Eduard Rodyukov, a
Corresponding Member of the Academy of Military Sciences, in turn, told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that
"the arrival of Russia’s Tu-160 strategic bombers to Central America is
kind of a signal to Trump to make him realize that abandoning nuclear
disarmament treaties will have a boomerang effect."
According to Kommersant’s sources in Russian military management agencies, the Russian-Venezuelan agreement on the flight of two Tu-160 strategic bombers is mutually beneficial, since Caracas got a chance to exhibit its independent military policy and Russian pilots performed not just a simple training flight but covered a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean, the Barents, the Norwegian and the Caribbean Seas.
We are clearly helping the Venezuelan government stay afloat, Research Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Emil Dabagyan told Kommersant. "Since Russia benefits from oil exploration, it wants the Venezuelan regime to stay in place," he added. As for Caracas, joint military drills with Russia and other activities of this kind are very important for it at the moment. According to the expert, Venezuelan authorities "seek to show their determination to protect the country from the potential aggression of the United States, who has been labeling the Maduro regime as illegitimate."
From: Mark Crispin Miller
News From Underground
The Clinton Foundation operated as a (highly profitable) foreign agent, NOT a charity. It makes the Trump Foundation look like a pickpocket ring.
Financial Bounty Hunters Testify: Clinton Foundation Operated As Foreign Agent
by Sara Carter
The Clinton Foundation operated as a foreign agent ‘early in its life’ and ‘throughout it’s existence’ and did not operate as a 501c3 charitable foundation as required by its and is not entitled to its status as a nonprofit, alleged two highly qualified forensic investigators, accompanied by three other investigators, said in explosive testimony Thursday to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
John Moynihan and Lawerence W. Doyle, both graduates of the Catholic Jesuit College of the Holy Cross and former expert forensic government investigators, gave their shocking testimony before congress based on a nearly two-year investigation into the foundation’s work both nationally and internationally. They were assisted by three other highly trained experts in taxation law and financial forensic investigations. The forensic investigators stressed that they obtained all the documentation on the foundation legally and through Freedom of Information Request Acts from the IRS and other agencies.
The investigation clearly demonstrates that the foundation was not a charitable organization per se, but in point of fact was a closely held family partnership
Former Utah U.S. Attorney General John Huber, who resigned when he was appointed by former Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the Clinton Foundation and the issues surrounding the approval to sell 20 percent of U.S. Uranium assets to Russia, declined to attend the hearing. Chairman Mark Meadows, R-NC, who oversaw the hearing stated that it was disappointing that Huber declined, leaving Congress in the dark regarding the DOJ’s investigation.
Investigations into the Clinton Foundation have always been plagued by politics but Moynihan wanted to make clear in his opening statement that this investigation was one of many his firm has conducted on nonprofits and had nothing to do with politics.
Doyle and Moynihan have amassed 6,000 documents in their nearly two-year investigation through their private firm MDA Analytics LLC. The documents were turned over more than a year and a half ago to the IRS, according to John Solomon, who first published the report last week in The Hill.
“The investigation clearly demonstrates that the foundation was not a charitable organization per se, but in point of fact was a closely held family partnership,” said Doyle, who formerly worked on Wall Street and has been involved with finance for the last ten years conducting investigations. “As such, it was governed in a fashion in which it sought in large measure to advance the personal interests of its principles as detailed within the financial analysis of this submission and further confirmed within the supporting documentation and evidence section.”
At the onset of the hearing, Moynihan wanted to make perfectly clear that the intention to look into the Clinton Foundation was not political but based on their work with the firm.
“At this point, I’d like to answer two questions, who are we? We are apolitical,” Moynihan told the committee. “We have no party affiliation to this whatsoever, No one has financed us… we are forensic investigators that approached this effort in a nonpartisan profession, objective, and independent way…we follow facts, that’s all.”
“We have never been partisan,” he added, speaking on behalf of all five members
of his group testifying to Congress. “We come from law enforcement and wall
street where each of us has dedicated our entire lives and praised the rule of
law doing the right thing pursuing facts. we follow
facts. that’s all.”
“None of this is our opinion,” he went on state: “I emphasize none of this is our opinion. These are not our facts. They are not your facts. They are the facts of the Clinton Foundation.”
He disclosed the reason his firm decided to take on the Clinton Foundation and the fact that they paid for the investigation out of their “own pockets.”
“Are you doing this for money,” said Moynihan to the committee. “Yes, this is how we make a living.”
Moynihan and Doyle swapped back and forth between there testimony and opening statement, making it clear they were working as a team. But the most shocking statements came from Moynihan’s statement as he read the laundry list of violations by the Clinton Foundation.
Moynihan stated “Foreign agent,” as he began to read from a long list of violations discovered during the course of their investigation.
An online vigil for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange was broadcast live on Consortium News on Friday night. If you missed it, watch the replay here.
Among the featured guests were famed whistleblower Dan Ellsberg, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, columnist Caitlin Johnstone, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and more: