Bulletin N° 836
“Cool Hand Luke”
Subject : A CEIMSA Retrospective on ‘The New Authoritarianism' and 'Illegitimate Dependent Power Hierarchies'.
3 March 2019
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
“Opinions are like assholes,” a neighbor of mine once told me; “everybody’s got one.” I was speaking about my opposition to US massacres in Vietnam, and he wasn’t interested. He was a convinced individual, fending for himself in shark-infested waters. I don’t know if he is still alive. His only real love was for his dog, and that same evening he was grief-stricken because of his loss. He had driven off in his pickup truck with the tailgate down and had forgotten to secure his dog with the leash in the back of the truck. The terrified animal soon tumbled out the back of the speeding truck onto the road; he was badly injured, and Big Al, my neighbor, had to shoot him right then and there. It left a hole in Al’s soul, he told me; he had killed his best friend.
As the proverbial noose tightens around the neck of society, the concept of “illegitimate dependent power hierarchies” appears once again in the limelight of the capitalist drama. The centers of power in late capitalism include, beyond any doubt, the financial industry, the military/prison industry, the education industry, and the corporate media. Without these four pillars of today’s political economy, power would be dispersed naturally into the hands of informed citizens who are collectively concerned with public good rather than the private accumulation of wealth.
Authoritarianism continues to palpably increase in the daily relationships around us, and the race to dumb down the general population has begun before they recognize the need to organize and protect themselves against the forces of monopoly capitalism and the hegemonic militarized culture that is being imposed on us all. Some have called it “oriental despotism,” but in fact it is home-grown tyranny put into effect through coercion, fearful collaboration, and bad habits of mindless conformity that have developed in the recent decades of late capitalism, where private wealth has grown to dominate the public domain.
Meanwhile, the development of Artificial Intelligence and the algorithms of incremental delusions have sped up this process of general stupefaction in recent years, until we now stand on the cusp of real dystopia.
I recently went through some of the CEIMSA Bulletins from past years and came across several brief theoretical sketches introducing weekly topics that have appeared again and again, and have remained in the headlines of our daily English-language social media news outlets. Below are several examples taken from past Bulletins that illustrate the old French adage: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!”
A study of illegitimate dependent power hierarchies and the method to test “legitimacy” was discussed in Anthony Wilden’s book, The Rules Are No Game (1987). [See also the discussions of “corporatism” and illegitimate dependent power hierarchies @ http://ceimsa.org/ateliers2/a0/art0-22.html and @ http://www.ceimsa.org/archives/bull-286.html, “ON HIERARCHIES, DEPENDENT, ILLEGITIMATE AND IMAGINARY” (20 January 2007) and @ http://www.ceimsa.org/archives/bull-399.html, “ON LEARNING RHETORIC AND NEW CLICHÉS WHILE DYING TO KNOW THE TRUTH” (14 March 2009).]
We, also, invite readers to visit CEIMSA Bulletin N° 300, “POWER PYRAMIDS AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF STRATEGIC THOUGHT” ( 1 May 2007) :
New analytical methods provided by contemporary
communication theory allow additional insights into how social hierarchies are
maintained. As opposed to natural
hierarchies are man-made. Sometimes they are entirely imaginary (as when "the tail wags the dog") and
sometimes they are real but illegitimate (as when production determines human needs), which
is a familiar reality in the system of monopoly capitalism, an economy which
relies increasingly on the use of violence, including artificial scarcities.
Often, however, social hierarchies exist in our daily lives as legitimate interdependent relationships which have come
together because of perceived mutual benefits. These latter hierarchies are
characterized by a fluidity and an openness that benefit from new information
flows which may dissolve relationships or inspire new political alliances,
according to felt needs. Legitimate
hierarchies require democratic-friendly environments which
generate diversity and which nurture a love for intellectual freedom and
discovery (in contrast to authoritarian environments which impose a
mind-numbing variety of choices from the top down, choices that make little or
no difference, and where the love of power over others and the thrill for
contests of domination/submission surpass most other feelings, including
intellectual curiosity and kindness.
Learning to decode behaviors in the social reality of which we are a part is called social literacy, and it is upon this skill that our survival and the survival of many other species depend. But our education is largely occupied with teaching us to ignore the violence of the illegitimate hierarchies around us and (as long as it is not our ox that is being gored) to remain functionally illiterate, unable to read the systemic meaning of violence, as a necessary support for illegitimate hierarchies. The symbols from the reality around us are not decoded and instead of examining the context of these expressions for important meanings, we are educated to act in just the opposite direction, to interpret abstract references to abstract references to abstract references . . . ad nauseam, and to the total exclusion of any references to our immediate reality. This existential vocation of identifying the significance of symbols referring to symbols, referring to symbols . . . is like sitting in a barbershop chair and looking at the series of reflections from mirrors facing one another from opposite walls. But it is not only our hair that is being cut while we are lost in this seemingly infinite regression . . . .
The simple Rule of Extinction is a handy test to determine if a dependent hierarchy is legitimate or not, but first we must be able to identify the hierarchy. By imagining the removal of one or more levels from a power pyramid, we should be able to logically determine if the other levels are essential (i.e. legitimate). Thus in a natural dependent hierarchy of Sun - Earth - Moon, if we remove the Sun do the other levels become extinct, and so on and so forth . . . ? And likewise in a dependent social hierarchy of Boss/Man or Woman - Worker/Husband/Father - Worker/Wife/Mother - Son or Daughter/Sibling, if we remove the Boss/Man level of this dependent hierarchy do the lower levels disappear, etc . . . ? Or, to take a third example, with the temporary dependent social hierarchy of Bus Driver - Passenger, if we remove the Bus Driver, does the lower level still have meaning, and vice versa . . .?
Being socially illiterate is like looking at a book in a dark room, a book written in an unfamiliar language, where we see only the vague features of various letters from a foreign alphabet, letters strung together in what appears to be an arbitrary series of signs, one after the other, without pattern and ultimately without meaning. We cannot decode the symbols to understand the significance of the sentences, the paragraphs, nor of the text that is in front of our eyes, nor can we discover in this opaque environment any meaning, not even an explanation for why we cannot understand. When one is socially illiterate, one sees each event in isolation from other events. One cannot decode the significance of events and one cannot derive meaning from an experience when it is abstracted from its real context. No systemic understanding is possible, and we remain mystified.
We can identify an almost infinite number of illegitimate hierarchies in the daily lives of Americans and each one is necessarily located in a matrix of violence. Below are four cases illustrating this culture of violence and the structures it serves to reinforce. [click here to read more. . . . ]
Also, readers are invited to peruse the following CEIMSA Bulletin links below which offer critical texts and the opportunity to separate “the wheat from the chaff.”
1. On the Financial Industry see recent essays from CEIMSA Bulletin N° 834, February 12, 2019:
· “The Federal Reserve Conspiracy,” 145 pp. (1954) .
by Eustace Mullins
[Plus Eustace Mullins – “Monopoly Men” @ 1/5= https://youtu.be/yjwm8SKnFjQ ; 2/5= https://youtu.be/nTwLFLHZ-Cc ; 3/5= https://youtu.be/YyebtfbYS5E ; 4/5= https://youtu.be/LBDiRMf34pw ; 5/5= https://youtu.be/OqbfFeQt9bA .]
· “The Creature From Jekyll Island,” 611 pp. (1994) .
by G. Edward Griffin
[Plus The Creature From Jekyll Island – video with G. Edward Griffin @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu_VqX6J93k&feature=youtu.be, published on January 28, 2010.]
· “A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind,” 226 pp. (2014) .
by Stephen Goodson
[Plus Fredrick Töben’s Review of Stephen Goodson’s book @ http://www.toben.biz/2014/10/a-history-of-central-banking-and-the-enslavement-of-mankind/ ]
[Plus Mathew Johnson’s book review @ https://www.sott.net/article/291745-Book-review-A-History-of-Central-Banking-and-the-Enslavement-of-Mankind ]
"The Secret of Oz and The Curse Of Central Banks," video, 1h 50min. (April 2013).
· Deutsche Bank Crash- Germany Will Set Stage For Global Financial Collapse Feb 2019
with Richard Wolff
(audio, 35 min.)
· Goodbye to the Dollar
by Chris Hedges
The inept and corrupt presidency of Donald Trump has unwittingly triggered the fatal blow to the American empire—the abandonment of the dollar as the world’s principal reserve currency. Nations around the globe, especially in Europe, have lost confidence in the United States to act rationally, much less lead, in issues of international finance, trade, diplomacy and war. These nations are quietly dismantling the seven-decade-old alliance with the United States and building alternative systems of bilateral trade. This reconfiguring of the world’s financial system will be fatal to the American empire, as the historian Alfred McCoy and the economist Michael Hudson have long pointed out. It will trigger an economic death spiral, including high inflation, which will necessitate a massive military contraction overseas and plunge the United States into a prolonged depression. Trump, rather than make America great again, has turned out, unwittingly, to be the empire’s most aggressive gravedigger.
WARNING TO MILLIONS
OF AMERICANS! The Great American Purge Coming in February
audio, 30 min.
with Richard Wolff
· "2019 The American Collapse and Bankruptcy Begins"
audio, 60 min.
audio, 37 min.
audio, 31 min.
with Paul Craig Roberts
2. On the Military Industry see CEIMSA Bulletin N° 215, November 26, 2005.
4. On the Corporate Media see “PREDATORY CAPITALIM REPRODUCING PREDATORY RELATIONSHIPS THROUGHOUT SOCIETY, AT EVERY LEVEL . . . .” @ http://www.ceimsa.org/archives/bull-786.htm and “Corporate Censorship : ‘There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits’ @ http://www.ceimsa.org/archives/bull-668.htm.
And for a general discussion of political power, see CEIMSA Bulletin N° 665, @ http://www.ceimsa.org/archives/bull-665.htm, “Political Power and Submission to the Beneficiaries of Imperialist Law and Order,” (4 October 2015) including a brief discussion by the late Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith, in his book, The Anatomy of Power (1983).
The 17 + items below offer readers a sample of critical articles and essays published over the past several days which invite analyses in the framework of both class theory and elitist theory. As usual, the proof is in the pudding . . . .
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
Scientists' AI poll points to dystopian future,
less control & a high chance of mistakes
Over 80 percent believe there’s a medium to high chance of things going badly wrong with Artificial Intelligence (AI) according to a poll of concerned scientists conducted by Scientists for Global Responsibility, while 96 percent say AI needs more regulation, and 82 percent thought that AI was most likely to create a dystopian rather than a utopian future.
Media release: 3 November 2018
A new briefing and survey, Artificial intelligence: how little has to go wrong? Autonomous weapons, driverless cars and friendly spies in the home (download available) - explores a range of both obvious and more subtle threats and raises stark warnings from across scientific disciplines. It looks at questions such as, is artificial intelligence evolving quicker than the regulation to manage it? And, are we sufficiently able to imagine what major problems may emerge, and can AI even be effectively regulated?
The briefing, published to coincide with the annual Responsible Science conference in London on 3 November, 2018, organised by SGR, questions the current introduction of AI in these terms:
The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded,
Bought and Sold for Our Data
by John W. Whitehead
“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about… Your digital identity will live forever... because there’s no delete button.”—Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt
Uncle Sam wants you.
Correction: Big Brother wants you.
To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data.
That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the government and Corporate America: data bits and economic units to be bought, bartered and sold to the highest bidder.
Those highest bidders include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns.”
Your phones, televisions and digital devices are selling you out to politicians who want your vote.
Have you shopped at Whole Foods? Tested out target practice at a gun range? Sipped coffee at Starbucks while surfing the web? Visited an abortion clinic? Watched FOX News or MSNBC? Played Candy Crush on your phone? Walked through a mall? Walked past a government building?
That’s all it takes for your data to be hoovered up, sold and used to target you.
This is the age of surveillance capitalism.
Incredibly, once you’ve been identified and tracked, data brokers can travel back in time, digitally speaking, to discover where you’ve been, who you’ve been with, what you’ve been doing, and what you’ve been reading, viewing, buying, etc.
Once you’ve been identified in this way, you can be tracked endlessly.
“Welcome to the new frontier of campaign tech — a loosely regulated world in which simply downloading a weather app or game, connecting to Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or powering up a home router can allow a data broker to monitor your movements with ease, then compile the location information and sell it to a political candidate who can use it to surround you with messages,” writes journalist Evan Halper.
No one is spared.
Labour faces new row over efforts to curb anti-Semitism
Top party officials disagreed with recommendations to suspend members, emails reveal
Members of Labour’s high command opposed recommendations to suspend several party activists accused of antisemitism, according to internal emails seen by the Observer.
The correspondence, dating from March to May last year, covers a period immediately after leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to be a “militant opponent of antisemitism” and to have “zero tolerance for antisemites”.
It reveals that an official acting on behalf of general secretary Jennie Formby opposed recommendations from the party’s investigations team to suspend several members accused of antisemitic behaviour. In another case, Andrew Murray, a Corbyn adviser, argued for more lenient action to be taken against a member accused of defending an antisemitic mural.
Tom Watson, Labour deputy leader, last night said it showed that processes for dealing with “racism and abuse had failed”.
How Labour has fought to gain control of the antisemitism issue
"George Galloway takes on the media!!!”
Sky presenter schooled by George Galloway on anti-Semitism.
Listen to Tucker Carlson Flip Out After Being Exposed by Dutch Historian
How Wall Street Gave Us Trump
The Words and Deeds of Social Imperialists
by Glen Ford
The US left makes celebrities of self-styled “socialists” that have no solidarity with real strugglers against imperialism in the world.
“Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez make weak noises against military action while accepting the rationale of the aggression.”
The best evidence of the profound weakness of the “left” in the United States is that it is necessary to credit Bernie Sanders with making “socialism” a benign term in national political discourse. The price of socialism’s admission to polite conversation here in the belly of the hegemonic capitalist beast is that it must always be chaperoned by the word “democratic” so as to distinguish it from supposedly “authoritarian” ideologies of the same name. The “democratic” modifier works wonders, magically enlarging the historical “socialist” camp to include President Franklin Roosevelt, a wealthy guy that never thought of himself as a socialist but whose 1944 Economic Bill of Rights is the verbatim source of Bernie Sanders’ brand of socialism. At the same time, almost all the actual socialist movements and governments in human history are demonized.
Under this “democratic” form of socialism, the capitalist ruling class is never overthrown, but nevertheless acquiesces to reforms that grant working people basic economic and political rights. Seeing no necessity to overthrow the Lords of Capital at home, the Sandernista socialists have no principled objection to the military-political-economic structures of global capitalism -- a system most people in the world call imperialism. But American “democratic socialists” don’t like that word because it tends to upset the U.S. ruling class. Moreover, Bernie’s brand of “socialists” carry around much the same list of enemy nations as their right-wing and “centrist” corporate comrades: Libya, Syria, and now Venezuela – the “authoritarian” socialists.
The “Permanent War State” Aims to Plunder Venezuela
with Paul Jay and Larry Wilkerson
Trump promises “democracy and freedom” to Venezuela, delivered by Elliott Abrams who brought you illegal wars, coups, and support for dictatorships; and Mike Pompeo and VP Pence, both with deep ties to the Koch brothers who need Venezuelan heavy crude to feed their Texas refinery.
Bill Gates Depopulation Plans Caught On Camera MONSANTO, FOOD RIOTS, EUGENICS
THE ART OF ANNIHILATION
Sealed Testimony Reveals Extent of Sackler's Complicity in Opioid Crisis
Opioid Crisis Engulfs Gaza as Poverty Soars
Blockade, high unemployment and never-ending conflict with Israel have caused 'widespread' Tramadol abuse,
World Health Organization says.
Freedom Rider: Venezuela Reveals America’s Sickness
by Margaret Kimberley
The Democrats agree with Trump that Venezuelans have no rights that need be respected by the United States.
“Like a pack of predators they have lined up to assist in the kill.”
Does the United States have the right to decide who governs Venezuela? The answer is a simple and resounding “No.” Those who respond in any other fashion are followers of the discredited doctrine of Manifest Destiny and are equally discredited themselves. Reactions to the Donald Trump coup attempt are quite revealing and prove that this country is indeed very, very sick. We can now see that most politicians are either cynical cowards who will go along to get along, or are true believers in imperialism like Trump and his presidential predecessors.
The regime change effort against Venezuela is anything but new. It is the latest in a long line of crimes that have taken place not only in the distant past but repeatedly in the 21stcentury. All have been carried out with a variety of results, but it is significant that the lies don’t change,corporate media carry water for whomever sits in the oval office, and both Democrats and Republicans assert rights that their government doesn’t have.
“This country is indeed very, very sick.”
In 2003 the Bush administration insisted that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was a tyrant with an arsenal of chemical weapons to be used against his own people and against us too. The U.S. invaded Iraq and killed up to 1 million people but the dreaded weapons of mass destruction were never found.
Those lies didn’t stop Barack Obama from using similar arguments against Libya in 2011. This time Muammar Gaddafi was the villain and we were told that he was planning a massacre. Obama’s colluders included the human rights industrial complex, the corporate media, and his fellow Democrats. The only massacre that took place in Libya was carried out by U.S. jihadist proxies.
Flush with success after that war crime Obama moved on to Syria. Once again there were tales of mass murder and this time the partners in crime actually killed civilians and tried to finger Bashar al-Assad for the crime.
“Obama’s colluders in Libya included the human rights industrial complex, the corporate media, and his fellow Democrats.”
Anyone who repeats the Trump administration talking points about starvation and tyranny in Venezuela is not to be trusted. The rationales for promoting a war crime may vary. Florida senator Marco Rubio intersperses his bible verse posts on twitter with threats to murder Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Rubio is a dyed in the wool fascist and doesn’t shrink from proving it on a daily basis. Rubio is joined by Democratic colleagues like Chris Murphy, who called Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro an evil man and who criticizes Trump for style points only. He wants a more elegant intervention but he is no better than his Republican colleague.
All of the criminals have joined in the attack. Like a pack of predators they have lined up to assist in the kill. Democrats Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Durbin have all repeated Trump’s assertions. Hillary Clinton may give Trump side eye in public, but she goes along because she agrees with him that Venezuelans have no rights that need to be respected.
“Senator Marco Rubio threatens to murder Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.”
Beware of gringos bearing gifts
Venezuela: A Collective Victory for a Collective Future
by Chris Gilbert
It was George W. Bush who invented the term: misunderestimating. And it’s what imperialism continually does with Venezuela.
I recall an Aló Presidente program in which Chávez was talking about the 2002 coup attempt. He said that the US thought it could easily replace him. “As simply as this,” he said and demonstrated by moving a glass of water across the table where he was seated.
Replacing Chávez wasn’t easy at all, as everybody knows. Pedro Carmona, the usurper, was quickly forgotten, whereas Chávez lasted another decade, and his movement is still in power today.
Something very similar may have happened on Saturday, as Maduro resisted a concerted international effort to bring him down.
What makes it so hard to replace Chávez and now Maduro? Certainly it’s not merely a question of leadership, since Maduro’s is middling at best. So, it must be something else: some quality or substance that generally goes unperceived on the political radar.
On Saturday, the opposition thought they could incite the Venezuelan army to rebel. They staged “desertions” to encourage the process. (I use the word “staged” advisedly. In the videos of the three National Guardsmen who crossed the bridge in Tachira and “surrendered themselves" to Colombian immigration, you can hear them saying very clearly “Somos nosotros!” ie. “It’s us!”.)
Trump and Marco Rubio view this is an example that should inspire other soldiers to rebel, but Venezuelans see it as something completely different. They view the deserting soldiers as traitors, to say nothing of being simply ridiculous.
An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela
Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas Expose Coup
Venezuela set for more false flags…
US puppet Guaido better watch his back
by Finian Cunningham
The much-hyped “aid weekend” involving a US Trojan Horse fell at the first hurdle. Venezuelan government forces averted the provocation intended by US aid convoys from Colombia and Brazil.
However, increasing frustration in Washington beckons more false flags.
Something shocking is “needed” in order to jolt world opinion into acquiescing to Washington’s criminal agenda of “all options.” In the fiendish mind of American imperialism, it is also prudent to consider “all options” as meaning more than military aggression. The foulest moves.
The torching of trucks purportedly ferrying US food and medicines across the border from Colombia was patently a planned provocation. Credible video footage and witnesses attested to the arson being carried out by supporters of the US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido.
The vehicles never even made it to the crossing point where Venezuelan national guards were deployed.
Yet, at the Lima Group summit held – no coincidence – in the Colombian capital, Bogota on Monday, Guaido and US Vice President Mike Pence brazenly spouted lies that the “sadistic” Venezuelan military under President Nicolas Maduro had caused the destruction of vital aid supplies intended for “suffering people.”
It seems obvious the whole scenario of delivering US aid into Venezuela from neighboring countries was really intended as a pretext for military intervention by Washington. The government in Caracas had warned of such a contingency in advance, as had Russia, which is allied to President Maduro’s administration. Moscow’s experience in Syria has no doubt given a lot of valuable insights into the American playbook of using false flags for justifying military aggression.
From: Monty Kroopkin
Subject: Re: Saturday, February 23, 2019 - ! Venezuela !
PRESS ADVISORY: RALLIES. HANDS OFF VENEZUELA! NO WAR FOR OIL!
contact: Monty Kroopkin, IWW, (858) 373-7018, email@example.com
San Diegans are responding to the new threat of war and to the Veterans For Peace call for an international day of locally organized protests.
Two protest rallies are planned.
Friday at 4:30 PM – 6 PM
San Diego Federal Courthouse
333 W Broadway, San Diego, California 92101
Saturday at 1 PM
County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, California 92101
Background, see report by journalist Greg Palast:
War On Venezuela Is Built On A Lie
by John Pilger
February 22, 2019 - In this analysis, John Pilger looks back over the Chavez years in Venezuela, including his own travels with Hugo Chavez, and the current US and European campaign to overthrow Nicolas Maduro in a 'coup by media' and to return Latin America to the 19th and 20th centuries.
Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela. At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humor in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto.
"What did her words say?" I asked.
"That we are proud," was the reply.
The applause for her merged with the arrival of Chavez. Under one arm he carried a satchel bursting with books. He wore his big red shirt and greeted people by name, stopping to listen. What struck me was his capacity to listen.
But now he read. For almost two hours he read into the microphone from the stack of books beside him: Orwell, Dickens, Tolstoy, Zola, Hemingway, Chomsky, Neruda: a page here, a line or two there. People clapped and whistled as he moved from author to author.
Then farmers took the microphone and told him what they knew, and what they needed; one ancient face, carved it seemed from a nearby banyan, made a long, critical speech on the subject of irrigation; Chavez took notes.
Wine is grown here, a dark Syrah type grape. "John, John, come up here," said El Presidente, having watched me fall asleep in the heat and the depths of Oliver Twist.
"He likes red wine," Chavez told the cheering, whistling audience, and presented me with a bottle of "vino de la gente". My few words in bad Spanish brought whistles and laughter.
Watching Chavez with la gente made sense of a man who promised, on coming to power, that his every move would be subject to the will of the people. In eight years, Chavez won eight elections and referendums: a world record. He was electorally the most popular head of state in the Western Hemisphere, probably in the world.
Every major chavista reform was voted on, notably a new constitution of which 71 per cent of the people approved each of the 396 articles that enshrined unheard of freedoms, such as Article 123, which for the first time recognised the human rights of mixed-race and black people, of whom Chavez was one.
The Coup Has Failed & Now the U.S. Is Looking to Wage War:
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Speaks Out
with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza
Pence threatens war in Venezuela at Colombia summit:
“There is no turning back”
by Eric London
US Vice President Mike Pence delivered a bellicose speech before representatives of 14 Latin American countries at a meeting of the Lima Group in Bogotá, Colombia, yesterday. The remarks were timed to coincide with the US-orchestrated provocations at the Venezuelan border over the weekend, resulting in clashes that left several people dead.
Pence rehashed phrases plagiarized from speeches given by George W. Bush in the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, combining them with denunciations of socialism.
“There is no turning back,” Pence said. “All options are on the table.”
“A new day is coming in Latin America,” he continued. “In Venezuela and across the Western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn before our eyes.” Pence issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan military, threatening that if it did not overthrow Maduro, “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, no way out. You will lose everything.”
Pence announced that the US would place added sanctions on officials in the Venezuelan government and called on the right-wing governments of Latin America to “transfer ownership of Venezuelan assets in your country” to the government of US puppet Juan Guaidó.
In other words, the US is conducting cross-hemispheric highway robbery.
In his speech, Pence gave several justifications for intensifying US war threats against Venezuela. Venezuela exploits indigenous tribes, damages the environment through oil exploration and impoverishes its population, Pence said.
These claims would be laughable were it not for the seriousness of the threats. The United States is the world’s worst offender in each of these departments.
Particularly disgusting was Pence’s attack on Venezuela for refusing “shelter for those displaced” immigrants along its border.
The Washington Post wrote that Pence “embraced a sobbing elderly man,” an immigrant waiting to enter Venezuela. The Post reporters, tears welling in their eyes, wrote that Pence “told the man in English, ‘We are with you.’”
The Post report made no mention of the thousands of immigrants currently sleeping on the streets in Mexican cities along the US-Mexico border after the US barred them from entering the country to apply for asylum.
Trump’s Democratic Opposition Endorses His Coup Attempt in Venezuela
by Alexander Rubinstein
Illustrating that the exception only proves the rule, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard stood virtually alone, tweeting: “The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders — so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.”
Maduro wins the first round
by The Saker
The standoff between Venezuela and the AngloZionist Empire last week-end has clearly ended in what can only be called a total defeat for Elliott Abrams. While we will never know what was initially planned by the demented minds of the Neocons, what we do know is that nothing critical happened: no invasion, not even any major false flag operation. The most remarkable facet of the standoff is how little effect all the AngloZionist propaganda has had inside Venezuela. There were clashes, including some rather violent ones, across the border, but nothing much happened in the rest of the country. Furthermore, while a few senior officers and a few soldiers did commit treason and joined forces with the enemy, the overwhelming majority of the Venezuelan military remained faithful to the Constitution. Finally, it appears that Maduro and his ministers were successful in devising a strategy combining roadblocks, a concert on the Venezuelan side, and the minimal but effective use of riot police to keep the border closed. Most remarkably, “unidentified snipers” did not appear to shoot at both sides (a favorite tactic of the Empire to justify its interventions). I give the credit for this to whatever Venezuelan (or allied) units were in charge of counter-sniper operations along the border.
Outside Venezuela this first confrontation has also been a defeat for the Empire. Not only did most countries worldwide not recognize the AngloZionist puppet, but the level of protest and opposition to what appeared to be the preparations for a possible invasion (or, at least, a military operation of some kind) was remarkably high, while the legacy corporate Ziomedia did what it always does (that is whatever the Empire wants it to do), the Internet and the blogosphere were overwhelmingly opposed to a direct US intervention. This situation also created a great deal of internal political tensions in various Latin American countries whose public opinion remains strongly opposed to any form of US imperial control over Latin America.
In this respect, the situation with Brazil is particularly interesting. While the Brazilian government fully backed the US coup attempt, the Brazilian military was most uncomfortable with this. My contacts in Brazil had correctly predicted that the Brazilian military would refuse to attack Venezuela and, eventually, the Brazilians even issued a statement to that effect.
Rubio Posts Graphic Image of Gaddafi’s Murder
in Apparent Threat to Maduro
by Colin Kalmbacher
From: "ana hona" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, 24 February, 2019 4:54:20 AM
Subject: They killed one of our children and we need you not to leave us and do not ignore us. I beg you this time
We need you and need you now
We are in a state of emergency now that the child Yusuf Al-Dayya was killed when a bullet hit his chest
The Israeli occupation forces also wounded hundreds of young demonstrators and women in the eastern Gaza Strip
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The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles
by Ed Curtin
The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: Weltanschauungskrieg– “world view warfare.” As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.
In 1941, U.S. Intelligence translated Weltanschauungskrieg as “psychological warfare,” a phrase that fails to grasp the full dimensions of the growing power and penetration of U.S. propaganda, then and now. Of course, the American propaganda apparatus was just then getting started on an enterprise that has become the epitome of successful world view warfare programs, a colossal beast whose tentacles have spread to every corner of the globe and whose fabrications have nestled deep within the psyches of many hundreds of millions of Americans and people around the world. And true to form in this circle game of friends helping friends, this propaganda program was ably assisted after WW II by all the Nazis secreted into the U.S. (“Operation Paperclip”) by Allen Dulles and his henchmen in the OSS and then the CIA to make sure the U.S. had operatives to carry on the Nazi legacy (see David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA, and The Rise of America’s Secret Government, an extraordinary book that will make your skin crawl with disgust).
This went along quite smoothly until some people started to question the Warren Commission’s JFK assassination story. The CIA then went on the offensive in 1967 and put out the word to all its people in the agency and throughout the media and academia to use the phrase “conspiracy theory” to ridicule these skeptics, which they have done up until the present day. This secret document – CIA Dispatch 1035-960– was a propaganda success for many decades, marginalizing those researchers and writers who were uncovering the truth about not just President Kennedy’s murder by the national security state, but those of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. Today, the tide is turning on this score, as recently more and more Americans are fed up with the lies and are demanding that the truth be told. Even the Washington Post is noting this, and it is a wave of opposition that will only grow.
Former Israeli Defense Minister Confirms Israeli Collaboration
With ISIS In Syria
by Richard Silverstein
In the midst of complaining about the Islamist threat to Israel and the world, Bibi Netanyahu conveniently forgets that his own country enjoys a tacit alliance with ISIS in Syria. It is an alliance of convenience to be sure and one that’s not boasted about by either party. But is not terribly different from one than Israel enjoys with its other Muslim allies like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
The Growing Anti-Semitism Scam
by Philip Giraldi
“An anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews. Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.”– Joe Sobran
In his novel 1984 George Orwell invented the expression “newspeak” to describe the ambiguous or deliberately misleading use of language to make political propaganda and narrow the “thought options” of those who are on the receiving end. In the context of today’s political discourse, or what passes for the same, it would be interesting to know what George would think of the saturation use of “anti-Semitism” as something like a tactical discussion stopper, employed to end all dispute while also condemning those accused of the crime as somehow outside the pale, monsters who are consigned forever to derision and obscurity.
The Israelis and, to be sure, many diaspora Jews know exactly how the expression has been weaponized. Former Israeli Minister Shulamit Aloni explained how it is done “Anti-Semitic”…”its a trick, we always use it.”
If one were to read the U.S. mainstream media, reflective as it nearly always is of a certain institutional Jewish viewpoint, one would think that there has been a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism worldwide, but that claim is incorrect. What has been taking place is not hatred of Jews but rather a confluence of two factors. First is the undeniable fact that Israel has been behaving particularly badly, even by its admittedly low standards. Its slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza has been unusually observable in spite of media attempts to avoid mentioning it, plus its support of terrorists in Syria and attacks on that country have also raised questions about the intentions of the kleptocratic regime in Tel Aviv, which is currently pushing for an attack on Iran. That all means that the perception of Israel, which boasts that it is the exclusively Jewish state, inevitably raises questions about the international Jewish community that provides much of its support. But the shift in perception is driven by Israeli behavior, not by Jews as an ethnicity or a religion.
Jared Kushner's Multibillion-Dollar Plot to Give Saudis Nukes
by Juan Cole
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform has issued a report on a plot to make billions of dollars by selling Saudi Arabia sensitive American nuclear technology that could allow the Kingdom to develop nuclear weapons. The scheme required breaking US law, which forbids technology transfers that might allow nuclear proliferation.
The plot was pushed by a “company” formed for this express purpose called IP3 International, which doesn’t seem to have actually existed except as a sort of shell for lobbying the Trump administration. IP3 was, according to the committee, helmed by “General Keith Alexander, General Jack Keane, Mr. Bud McFarlane, and Rear Admiral Michael Hewitt, as well as the chief executives of six companies— Exelon Corporation, Toshiba America Energy Systems, Bechtel Corporation, Centrus Energy Corporation, GE Energy Infra structure, and Siemens USA—“ All “signed a letter to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The letter presented ‘the Iron Bridge Program as a 21st Century Marshall Plan for the Middle East.’”
Bud McFarlane? That is Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor who was up to his elbows selling arms to Khomeini in the Iran-Contra scandal, and thought up the idea of sending Ayatollah Khomeini a cake shaped like a key and a Bible (along with a few T.O.W. anti-tank emplacements)! Like Elliot Abrams, he was pardoned by George H. W. Bush, who seems to have created a factory for 21st century further scandals.
The point man for the plot was General Mike Flynn, who called for Hillary Clinton to be locked up at the Republican National Conference in late summer of 2016 and glommed on to Trump, becoming his first National Security Adviser. Flynn had visited Saudi Arabia in connection with the IP3 plot to transfer nuclear technology to that country that could help Riyadh make a bomb if the royal family felt they needed to do so to remain safe (e.g. if Iran went in that direction or if relations with nuclear-armed Israel tanked). The cover story was that the US corporate front would just make 6 nuclear reactors for electricity generation.
Derek Harvey, the Senior Director for Middle East and North African Affairs at the National Security Council in the first half of 2017, is alleged to have adopted the IP3 plot as US policy, dubbing it the “Middle Eastern Marshall Plan.” Mr. Harvey seems confused. The Marshall Plan was an aid program where the US gave out hundreds of millions of dollars to poor societies after WW II to promote prosperity and fight Communism. It wasn’t a money-making scheme whereby we would sell nuclear weapons technology to an absolute monarchy that uses bone saws on journalists in return for vastly enriching private individuals and a handful of corporations.
Remember, all these retired generals and CEOs and Republican bigwigs were calling for Iran to be bombed back to the stone age on the pretext that it had a civilian nuclear enrichment program that was potentially dual use and could maybe someday perhaps lead to an Iranian Bomb (the Iranians never decided to go in that direction and in 2015 mothballed 80% of their program). Apparently what the US economic elite really minded was not so much possible Iranian proliferation but that they would not get a few billion dollars as a payday for being the ones to supply the technology.
IP3 was not in a position to do an end run around the Atomic Energy Act, the law preventing an administration from handing over top nuclear secrets to another country without congressional approval. But the National Security Council could be a vehicle for secretly making such a deal.
The Congressional report says that the IP3 plot was closed down at one point but that NSC whistleblowers are afraid that some Trump administration personnel in the NSC and elsewhere may still be working on the illegal technology transfer.
Israel is playing a big role in India’s escalating conflict with Pakistan
by Robert Fisk
up to the ‘war on terror’ – especially ‘Islamist terror’ – may seem natural for
two states built on colonial partition whose security is threatened by Muslim neighbours
When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist camp” were the first words. A “command and control centre” destroyed, many “terrorists” killed. The military was retaliating for a “terrorist attack” on its troops, we were told.
An Islamist “jihadi” base had been eliminated. Then I heard the name Balakot
Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.
For months, Israel has been assiduously lining itself up alongside India’s nationalist BJP government in an unspoken – and politically dangerous – “anti-Islamist” coalition, an unofficial, unacknowledged alliance, while India itself has now become the largest weapons market for the Israeli arms trade.
Not by chance, therefore, has the Indian press just trumpeted the fact that Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” were used by the Indian air force in its strike against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) “terrorists” inside Pakistan.
Like many Israeli boasts of hitting similar targets, the Indian adventure into Pakistan might owe more to the imagination than military success. The “300-400 terrorists” supposedly eliminated by the Israeli-manufactured and Israeli-supplied GPS-guided bombs may turn out to be little more than rocks and trees.
From: Jim O'Brien
Sent: Fri, 22 Feb 2019
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 2/22/19: Links to recent articles of interest
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
"America: 'Indispensable Nation' No More"
By Andrew J. Bacevich, The American Conservative, posted February 22 . The author is a professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University.
"How the Failure of Our Foreign Wars Fueled Nativist Fanaticism"
By Greg Grandin, The Nation, posted February 21. The author teaches history at New York University.
"Should the U.S. Government Abide by the International Law It Has Created and Claims to Uphold"
By Lawrence Wittner, CommonDreams.org, posted February 20. The author is a professor emeritus of history at SUNY Albany. This article critiques US policy toward Venezuela.
By Mike Ferner, OtherWords.org, posted February 20. "I treated wounded GIs from Vietnam. I saw carnage that seldom makes its way into harrowing war stories like ' They Shall Not Grow Old' [about World War One]."
"Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies"
By Matthew Hoh, CounterPunch.org, posted February 15. The author served as a Marine in Iraq and as a State Department political officer in Afghanistan until resigning in 2009 in protest of US escalation of the war.
"This Is How AIPAC Really Works"
By M. J. Rosenberg, The Nation, posted February 14. The author is a former staff member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
"After the Trade War, a Real War with China?"
By Chas W. Freeman, Jr., ChasFreeman.net, posted February 12. A lengthy, historically informed analysis of the relative positions of China and the U.S. and their interrelationship. The author is a longtime U.S. diplomat and official with the State and Defense departments and is currently a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
"What's at Stake in Venezuela"
By Greg Grandin, London Review of Books, posted February 8. This article includes valuable historical background. The author teaches history at New York University.
"How the Neocons Captured Donald Trump"
By Brian D'Haeseleer, Washington Post, posted February 5. "The return of Elliott Abrams puts the movement back in the White House."
The author teaches history at Lyon College and has written a book on counterinsurgency in El Salvador from 1979 to 1992.
"Don't Let Democrats Become the Party of War"
By Trita Parsi and Stephen Wertheim, Foreign Policy, posted February 4. Trita Parsi is the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy and Stephen Wertheim is a visiting assistant professor of history at Columbia University.
"Why Elliott Abrams Is the Right Man for the Job in Venezuela"
By Teresa Meade, History News Network, posted February 3 "Abrams is an apt choice for the job, as his career stretches back through some of the most sordid instances of US intervention and brutality." The author teaches history at Union College.
"The U.S. War in Afghanistan, 1999-2018"
By the Council on Foreign Relations, posted [February 1. A useful, detailed timeline going through January 2019.
Thanks to Roger Peace, Rusti Eisenberg, and an anonyous reader for suggesting articles included in the above list. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com
The End of the American Republic
by Jacob Bacharach
‘Embrace democracy, Venezuela!’ Bolton threatens new sanctions,
Pompeo vows ‘action’
Everyone has fallen for the lies about Venezuela (by Lee Camp)
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Defends Julian Assange
Elizabeth Vos, editor-in-chief of Disobedient Media, urges support for Free Assange demonstrations in Australia
Attend March 10 Solidarity Vigil in London for Julian Assange
by Robert Stevens
The Socialist Equality Party (UK) calls for maximum participation in the “Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange” outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Sunday, March 10.
The Julian Assange Defence Committee has organised the vigil to complement the rally the same day in Melbourne, Australia, called by the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). A week earlier, Sunday, March 3, the SEP is holding a rally in Sydney to demand Assange’s freedom. Both rallies will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan.
John Pilger, journalist, filmmaker and outspoken opponent of militarism and injustice, will speak at the Sydney rally, along with well-known academic and human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees.
The Julian Assange Defence Committee has maintained a regular vigil outside the embassy since 2012, when Assange was forced to take refuge after the British judicial system trampled over his democratic rights in a series of perverse and arbitrary rulings.
by Robert Sheer
The Beat movement, synonymous with now-household names such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Dennis Hopper, is what Tosh Berman, son of Beat artist Wallace Berman, calls “a collection of misfits.” In his recent book, titled “Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World,” Berman details what his childhood was like surrounded by the rebel artists that shaped a generation.
“I was a kid running among … these, quote unquote, giants of culture of that time,” Berman tells Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer in the latest edition of “Scheer Intelligence.” “The fact is, through my eyes as a child especially, it was really just a collection of misfits of sorts. All artists, or poets and writers, who somehow did not fit into, at the time, the mainstream America at the time.”
Throughout the engaging conversation, Scheer, who once worked at City Lights, the independent bookstore that published Berman’s book, reminisces with the writer about this concept of misfits and how, despite often contradictory political views, these artists came together with the determination not to “sell out” at a time when they felt increasingly marginalized from American society in one way or another. Ginsberg, for example, wrote about being openly gay during an epoch in which being gay was considered a crime.
by Wayne Madsen
Millennials demand the rich pay taxes
Who should pay more to provide for our society? Your viewpoint may have to do with your age, with millennials and the youth tending to favor more progressive taxation. RT America’s Michele Greenstein joins Rick Sanchez to explain that “the American Dream is dead” and to argue that wealth stagnation and falling standards make such changing attitudes inevitable. Then economics and co-founder of Democracy at Work Prof. Richard Wolff joins to share his insights.
with Richard Wolff
with George Galloway
by Chris Hedges
There is one desperate chance left to thwart the impending ecocide and extinction of the human species. We must, in wave after wave, carry out nonviolent acts of civil disobedience to shut down the capitals of the major industrial countries, crippling commerce and transportation, until the ruling elites are forced to publicly state the truth about climate catastrophe, implement radical measures to halt carbon emissions by 2025 and empower an independent citizens committee to oversee the termination of our 150-year binge on fossil fuels. If we do not do this, we will face mass death.
The British-based group Extinction Rebellion has called for nonviolent acts of civil disobedience on April 15 in capitals around the world to reverse our “one-way track to extinction.” I do not know if this effort will succeed. But I do know it is the only mechanism left to force action by the ruling elites, who, although global warming has been well documented for at least three decades, have refused to carry out the measures needed to protect the planet and the human race. These elites, for this reason alone, are illegitimate. They must be replaced.
“It is our sacred duty to rebel in order to protect our homes, our future, and the future of all life on Earth,” Extinction Rebellion writes. This is not hyperbolic. We have, as every major climate report states, very little time left. Indeed, it may already be too late.
In Britain, Extinction Rebellion has already demonstrated its clout, blocking roads, occupying government departments and amassing 6,000 people to shut down five of London’s bridges last Nov. 17. Scores of arrests were made. But it was just the warm-up act. In April, the group hopes, the final assault will begin.
If we do not shake off our lethargy, our anomie, and resist, our misery, despondency and feelings of helplessness will mount. We will become paralyzed. Resistance, especially given the bleakness before us, is about more than winning. It is about a life of meaning. It is about empowerment. It is a public declaration that we will no longer live according to the dominant lie. It is a message to the elites: YOU DO NOT OWN US. It is about defending our dignity, agency and self-respect. The more we free ourselves from the bondage of fear to throw up barriers along the forced march toward ecocide the more we will be enveloped by a strange kind of euphoria, one I often felt as a war correspondent documenting horrific suffering and atrocities to shame the killers. We obliterate despair in our acts of defiance, even if our victories are Pyrrhic. We reach out to those around us. Courage is contagious. It is the spark that ignites mass revolt. And we should, even if we fail, at least choose how we will die. Resistance is the only action left that will allow us to remain psychologically whole. And it is the only action left that has any hope of halting the wholesale extinction of the human race, not to mention most other species.
by Yves Engler
Canadian troops may have recently been deployed to Haiti, even though the government has not asked Parliament or consulted the public for approval to send soldiers to that country.
Last week the Haiti Information Project photographed heavily-armed Canadian troops patrolling the Port-au-Prince airport. According to a knowledgeable source I emailed the photos to, they were probably special forces. The individual in “uniform is (most likely) a member of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) from Petawawa”, wrote the person who asked not to be named. “The plainclothes individuals are most likely members of JTF2. The uniformed individual could also be JTF2 but at times both JTF2 and CSOR work together.” (CSOR is a sort of farm team for the ultra-elite Joint Task Force 2.)
What was the purpose of their mission? The Haiti Information Project reported that they may have helped family members of President Jovenel Moïse’s unpopular government flee the country. HIP tweeted, “troops & plainclothes from Canada providing security at Toussaint Louverture airport in Port-au-Prince today as cars from Haiti’s National Palace also drop off PHTK govt official’s family to leave the country today.”
Many Haitians would no doubt want to be informed if their government authorized this breach of sovereignty. And Canadians should be interested to know if Ottawa deployed the troops without parliamentary or official Haitian government okay. As well any form of Canadian military support for a highly unpopular foreign government should be controversial.
Two days after Canadian troops were spotted at the airport five heavily armed former US soldiers were arrested. The next day the five Americans and two Serbian colleagues flew to the US where they will not face charges. One of them, former Navy SEAL Chris Osman, posted on Instagram that he provided security “for people who are directly connected to the current President” of Haiti. Presumably, the mercenaries were hired to squelch the protests that have paralyzed urban life in the country. Dozens of antigovernment protesters and individuals living in neighborhoods viewed as hostile to the government have been killed as calls for the president to step down have grown in recent months.
Ford production crippled by Mexican workers’ strike
by Jerry White
The strike by tens of thousands of maquiladora workers in Matamoros, Mexico, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, has had a crippling effect on production at major auto assembly plants in the United States and Canada, which are owned by Ford and other automakers.
After concealing this fact for more than six weeks after the January 12 strike began, the news media in the US is finally acknowledging the impact of the walkouts by 70,000 Mexican workers at foreign-based companies that supply steering wheels, seat belts and other parts to the Detroit automakers.
This impact on production was first reported by the World Socialist Web Site on January 19, based on reports from workers at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant in suburban Detroit. Workers told the WSWS that the company was temporarily suspending production due to a shortage of steering wheels caused by the walkout in Mexico.
On Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press, which has very close ties both to the auto companies and the United Auto Workers (UAW), wrote, “A labor strike in Mexico forced Ford Motor Co. to build Mustang cars and Explorer SUVs with temporary steering wheels and hold thousands of the vehicles in nearby parking lots awaiting parts, the Free Press has learned.
Sabotages North Korea Summit to Appease the Hawks
by Mike Whitney
"The evil that men do"...
“During the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to win the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry…. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” ..The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…” (“Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea“, Vox World)
The US-North Korea Summit in Hanoi has ended in failure just as all previous attempts at peace have ended in failure. This is by design. Washington has refused to incrementally lift the sanctions on the DPRK because sanctions are Washington’s way of prosecuting an economic war against an enemy who, for the last six and a half decades, has been the target of US hostility. In case you hadn’t noticed, US policy towards North Korea is regime change, the same as it is towards Iran, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and any other country that doesn’t accept Washington’s moral superiority and divine right to rule the world. Economic strangulation (sanctions) is just one way that Washington cracks down on the dissidents and imposes its will with an iron fist. But don’t kid yourself, this isn’t about nuclear weapons, in fact, the Trump administration hasn’t even bothered to assemble a team of weapons inspectors to investigate probable nuclear sites. Why? Because it isn’t about nuclear weapons, it’s about regime change, it’s about inflicting maximum pain and suffering on the Korean people so they take up arms against the government and violently depose Kim and his cabinet. That’s the goal. That’s always been the goal. The blocking of heating oil, essential medicines and vital food supplies are all being used to promote social unrest, fratricidal warfare, and political anarchy. Sound familiar? It should, Washington has it down to an art.
Kim Jong Un attended the summit in Hanoi hoping that Trump could be persuaded to keep up his end of the bargain. He hoped that Trump would overrule the warmongering political class and honor the agreement he made in Singapore in June, 2018. Here’s a summary what took place at the first Summit:
“In June Kim Jong-un met U.S. President Trump in Singapore. A “freeze for freeze” – the stop of nuclear and missile testing in exchange for a stop of military maneuvers – was agreed upon. A Joint Statement was signed with a list of future tasks in similar chronological order as in the Panmunjeom Declaration (numbering added):
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to
1. the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and
2. the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed
3. to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un [3b] reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang Talks – How Pompeo Put The Cart Before The Horse
by Moon of Alabama
Update and Correction
“Is Neoliberalism Killing Russia?”
by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson
I have learned from Andrei Martyanov that southfront.org’s report misinterprets the Russian VCIOM poll. The poll asked who is the most trusted politician in Russia. Putin was first according to 32.6% of respondents , Shoigu with 15.6% of respondents, and Lavrov with 13.2% of respondents. These percentages are not approval ratings of the individuals. The percentages represent the share of the respondents who chose them as the most trusted politician.
If you add these percentages, it shows that overall the three most trusted politicians account for 61.4% of the respondants. As these three individuals are the most visible members of the Russian government, obviously there is high confidence in the government.
Although Putin’s approval rating has been hurt by the “pension reform” and value added tax, his approval rating has declined but is still high.
With this correction, we have decided to leave the article up for now as the article is about the damage done to Russia by neoliberal economics. Our title is “Is Neoliberalism Killing Russia?” and not is “Putin’s Approval Rating Killing Russia?”
We might edit the article and repost it in order to correct the southfront misinterpretation of the poll.
Is Neoliberlism Killing Russia?
by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson
Southfront.org reports that according to polls by VCIOM, a state pollster, the Russian public’s confidence in Putin, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian cabinet has dramatically declined over the past year.
is related to domestic, not foreign, policy. Apparently, the public perceives recent Kremlin economic
policy as a continuation of the disastrous policies that Washington imposed on
Russia in the 1990s when Russia was loaded up with foreign debt while state
assets were privatized and plundered by oligarchs sponsored by the West who
“cashed out” by selling the assets to foreigners.
with Richard Wolff
Ralph Nader with Nomi Prins & Marc Rotenberg
Ralph talks to former financial insider, Nomi Prins, about what central banks are and how much power they have to shape our world. Plus, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Marc Rotenberg, tells us how Facebook uses our information for good or ill.