Bulletin N° 838
This film opens with Costa-Gavras' statement that the events of the film are true.
Subject : « Resisting ‘Junk Analyses’ by using Reliable Information & Experience »
22 March 2019
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The Paris Commune began almost 150 years ago, on March 18, 1871; it ended in a blood bath, during what is now known as “Bloody Week,” the period of eight days, from Sunday May 21st until Sunday May 28th . In this short time, French troops killed 30,000 citizens, thus putting an end to the revolutionary movement and in its place establishing a bourgeois republic.
In our own period of renewed counter-revolutionary violence, I picked up my old copy of Eros and Civilization, first written by Herbert Marcuse in 1955. This book, subtitled “A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud,” examines the basic nature of Freudian psychoanalysis – as ideology, dogma, or science?
In his 1966 preface to this inquiry, Marcuse emphasized the original optimism of his endeavor to reexamine Freud’s “proposition that civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of the human instincts”. Science and technology, he thought after the Second World War, offered a profound liberation to mankind because of the “unconditional” defeat of the Fascist experiment.
He had revised this optimistic appraisal by 1966, in the midst of the Vietnam War:
Eros and Civilization: the title [in 1955] expressed an optimistic, euphemistic, even positive thought, namely, that the achievements of advanced industrial society would enable man to reverse the direction of progress, to break the fatal union of productivity and destruction, liberty and repression – in other words, to learn the gay science (gaya sciencia) of how to use the social wealth for shaping man’s world in accordance with his Life Instincts, in the concerted struggle against the purveyors of Death. This optimism was based on the assumption that the rationale for the continued acceptance of domination no longer prevailed, that scarcity and the need for toil were only “artificially” perpetrated - in the interests of preserving the system of domination. I neglected or minimized the fact that this “obsolescent” rationale had been vastly strengthened (if not replaced) by even more efficient forms of social control. The very forces which rendered society capable of pacifying the struggle for existence served to repress in the individuals the need for such a liberation. Where the high standard of living does not suffice for reconciling the people with their life and their rulers, the “social engineering” of the soul and the “science of human relations” provide the necessary libidinal cathexis. In the affluent society, the authorities are hardly forced to justify their domination. They deliver the goods; they satisfy the sexual and the aggressive energy of their subjects. Like the unconscious, the destructive power of which they so successfully represent, they are this side of good and evil, and the principle of contradiction has no place in their logic.
As the affluence of society depends increasingly on the uninterrupted production and consumption of waste, gadgets, planned obsolescence, and means of destruction, the individuals have to be adapted to these requirements in more than the traditional ways. The “economic whip,” even in its most refined forms, seems no longer adequate to insure the continuation of the struggle for existence in today’s outdated organization, nor do the laws and patriotism seem adequate to insure active popular support for the ever more dangerous expansion of the system. Scientific management of instinctual needs has long since become a vital factor in the reproduction of the system: merchandise which has to be bought and used is made into object of the libido; and the national Enemy who has to be fought and hated is distorted and inflated to such an extent that he can activate and satisfy aggressiveness in the depth dimension of the unconscious. Mass democracy provides the political paraphernalia for effectuating the introjections of the Reality Principle; it not only permits the people (up to a point) to chose their own masters and to participate (up to a point) in the government which governs them – it also allows the masters to disappear behind the technological veil of the productive and destructive apparatus which they control, and it conceals the human (and material) costs of benefits and comforts which it bestows upon those who collaborate. The people, efficiently manipulated and organized, are free; ignorance and impotence, introjected heteronomy is the price of their freedom.
It make no sense to talk about liberation to fee men – and we are free if we do not belong to the oppressed minority. And it makes no sense to talk about surplus repression when men and women enjoy more sexual liberty than ever before. But the truth is that this freedom and satisfaction are transforming the earth into hell.
. . . .
I hesitate to use the word – freedom – because it is precisely in the name of freedom that crimes against humanity are being perpetrated. This situation is certainly no new in history: poverty and exploitation were products of economic freedom; time and again, people were liberated all over the globe by their lords and masters, and their new liberty turned out to be submission, not to the rule of law but to the rule of the law of the others. What started as subjection by force soon became “voluntary servitude,” collaboration in reproducing a society which made servitude increasingly rewarding and palatable. The reproduction, bigger and better, of the same way of life came to mean, ever more clearly and consciously, the closing of those other possible ways of life which could do away with the serfs and the masters, with the productivity of repression.
Today, this union of freedom and servitude, has become “natural” and a vehicle of progress. (pp.xi-xiv)
. . . .
In the meantime, there are things to be done. The system has its weakest point where it shows its most brutal strength: in the escalation of its military potential (which seems to press for periodic actualization with ever shorter interruptions of peace and preparedness). This tendency seems reversible only under strongest pressure, and its reversal would open the danger spots in the social structure: its conversion into a “normal” capitalist system in hardly imaginable without a serious crisis and sweeping economic and political changes. Today, the opposition to war and military intervention strikes at the roots: it rebels against those whose economic and political dominion depends on the continued (and enlarged) reproduction of the military establishment, its “multipliers,” and the policies which necessitate this reproduction. These interests are not hard to identify, and the war against them does not require missiles, bombs, and napalm. But it does require something that is much harder to produce – the spread of uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge, consciousness, and above all, the organized refusal to continue work on the material and intellectual instruments which are now being used against man – for the defense of the liberty and prosperity of those who dominate the rest.
To the degree to which organized labor operates in defense of the status quo, and to the degree to which the share of labor in the material process of production declines, intellectual skills and capabilities become social and political factors. Today, the organized refusal to cooperate of the scientists, mathematicians, technicians, industrial psychologists and public opinion pollsters may well accomplish what a strike, even a large-scale strike, can no longer accomplish but once accomplished, namely, the beginning of the reversal, the preparation of the ground for political action. That the idea appears utterly unrealistic does not reduce the political responsibility involved in the position and function of the intellectual in contemporary industrial society. The intellectual refusal may find support in another catalyst, the instinctual refusal among the youth in protest. It is their lives which are at stake, and if not their lives, their mental health and their capacity to function as unmutilated humans. Their protest will continue because of biological necessity. “By nature,” the young are in the forefront of those who live and fight for Eros against Death, and against a civilization which strives to shorten the “detour to death” while controlling the means for lengthening the detour. But in the administered society, the biological necessity does not immediately issue in action; organization demands counter-organization. Today the fight for life, the fight for Eros, is the political fight.(pp.xxiv – xxv)
Marcus's inescapable conclusion from this critical evaluation of Freudian theory in the face of current events at that time was that we gain nothing by throwing out the baby with the bath.
The 18 + items below offer readers more articles and essays which challenge corporate junk analyses of politics, society and the economy. With these alternative news reports, readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions by comparing and contrasting information reported here with that which is reported daily in the corporate media, reports which continually nurture the cultural hegemony of the ruling class.
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 Difficulty of Writing for Americans
by Paul Craig Roberts
Writing for Americans, unless for their entertainment, is a challenging undertaking. One reason is that many, especially of the younger generations, no longer have a concept of objective truth.
For them “truth” is simply a bias reflecting one’s race, gender, upbringing or predisposition. Emotion overwhelms fact. Biases are not considered to be equal. Some are worthy and some or not. The biases of white people are defined as “hate speech,” “white supremacy,” and “hate crimes.” Today America has many self-hating whites, especially in the media and Democratic Party.
Another reason is that many Americans confuse an explanation with a justification. An explanation of an event is seen as a justification of the event. For example, if one provides an explanation of slavery the assumption is that the writer approves of slavery. A defense of a disapproved category is taken as a demonstration of your own unworthiness. For example, if you defend white people from the propagandistic accusations leveled at them by Identity Politics, you are a “white supremist.”
Yet another reason is that some races and genders have succeeded in defining any criticism of themselves as an expression of bias. For example, criticism of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians or of the Israel Lobby’s power makes one an “anti-semite.” Similarly, if you criticize a black person, you are a racist and your argument is dismissed as an expression of your bias. If you criticize a woman, you are a misogynist, and your criticism of a woman proves it.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Monday, 18 March, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Why even lefties want to see Assange in chains (MUST-READ)
This piece, and Lisa Johnson's whole series, is a must-read on how propaganda works (and so applies to Russia-gate as well).
The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange, Part 4:
Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang
Convinced Julian Assange handed Trump the election? Certain he raped two women in Sweden? Want to see him rot in jail? The fourth in a five-part series by clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the science behind smear and propaganda, and how and why it works.
On Sunday March 3rd and 10th, hundreds attended rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, demanding that the Australian government secure freedom for Julian Assange.
Acclaimed journalist and film-maker John Pilger spoke at the Sydney rally along with founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Professor Stuart Rees AM, and editor-in-chief of US news website Consortium News, Joe Lauria.
The rallies called for the Australian government to intervene to protect its citizen, Julian Assange, who has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012. Assange is suffering arbitrary detention according to two UN rulings. Should he leave the embassy he is expected to be extradited to the United States and prosecuted for his publishing activities, most likely over 2010 disclosures of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Chelsea Manning’s Refusal to Testify Against WikiLeaks
Will Help Save Press Freedom"
with Glenn Greenwald
Sent: Thursday, 14 March, 2019
Subject: News from the year 2119
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The Future Historians International Study Group and Writing Project has again received (via a technology our scientists cannot grasp) a communication from a committee of historians in the year 2019. It contains another excerpt from Then, Now, and How, a history book they are writing for the young people of the 22nd century.
“Introduction: The Great Collapse, as you already know, was not a single event, but rather a concatination and culmination of a number of intersecting crises: including an energy crisis, a climate crisis, an ecological crisis, a refugee crisis, a financial crisis, a food crisis myriad social crises, and crises of inequality, government legitimacy, continuous wars, nuclear profusion, all rapidly reaching their limits. Disasters and catastrophes abounded, each aggravating the others. There were tornados, wildfires, floods, nuclear accidents, food and energy shortages. Climate refugees fleeing zones of flood, fire and unlivably hot temperatures carried with them epidemic diseases which spread among the inhabitants of more clement zones and became pandemic. Famine weakened the resistance of whole populations while blatant inequality between rich and poor aggravated tensions.
Global warming, the result of carbon-capitalism’s accelerating injection of greenhouse gasses into the earth’s thin atmosphere, was approching its irreversable tipping point. If it had continued for another decade, we would not be here now, students and teachers, studying our planet’s history while at the same time struggling with all our collective energies to survive the results and mitigate the damage. A struggle you were born into and know will last for centuries.
The Great Collapse marked the dividing line between Then and Now. It was the global crucible in which our cooperative, egalitarian, peaceful and democratic societies were forged. Although it entailed the suffering and death of billions of humans along with the extermination of many other creatures, in hindsight we are obliged to look upon it as a “fortunate fall.” Not only did the Great Collapse prevent accelerating Climate Chaos from exploding into total appocolypse, it released the human powers of caring, solidarity and mutual aid from which today’s societies emerged….”
For more, please go to http://futurehistorians.org/doku.php?id=catastrophes#the_great_collapse
For more information about Future Historians, please go to http://futurehistorians.org/doku.php?id=about-us .
To discuss this evolving, collective text, please join our international online seminar this Sunday from 16-18 hours UTC in your time zone, please email us at AnotherWorldNYC@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, 15 March, 2019
Subject: Things are going our way
On Contact: Extinction Rebellion
with Roger Hallam
Some environmental activists argue the only way to stop the impending ecocide is to 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 measure to halt carbon emissions by 2025, and empower an independent citizens committee to oversee the termination of our 150-year binge on fossil fuels. 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.” Joining Chris Hedges in the second part of a two-part discussion from London is Roger Hallam, the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.
Union Busting on Campus:
Jackson Lewis and Higher Education Anti-Unionism
by David Correia
The truth is out about Israel’s lethal actions in Gaza.
Will the world listen?
by Saeb Erekat
The UN’s damning verdict on the 2018 Gaza protests should prompt the international community into ending Israeli occupation
A UN investigation into the 2018 Gaza protests has concluded that Israeli officers and their leaders may have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity. The human rights council’s commission of inquiry found that soldiers intentionally used live ammunition against civilians, who included children, women, journalists, health workers and people with disabilities.
The figures are telling: more than 6,000 people injured by Israeli bullets, with 183 killed. Renowned human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem and Al-Haq had already denounced this policy, with B’Tselem calling on Israeli soldiers not to follow orders to shoot civilians. The people of Palestine still wonder whether such findings will be used by the international community to implement policy aimed at ending the Israeli occupation, or whether it will be business as usual.
The killing of Palestinian civilians during 2018 is part of a long list of ongoing Israeli crimes and violations. Israel, the occupying power, often denounces any reporting on its treatment of the people of Palestine – going as far as pushing for the expulsion of the representative of Human Rights Watch and refusing UN commissions of inquiry or special rapporteurs access to the occupied territories.
Israel has long been targeting Palestinian civil society organisations and human rights activists for exposing its ongoing policies of colonisation that deny the right of the Palestinian people to be free. Sadly, if members of the international community don’t act, the results of this commission of inquiry will eventually be added to other investigations – including the recently released EU report on Israeli settlement construction – and Israel will continue to violate international law and UN resolutions through the complicity of a number of UN member states.
Israel’s Stranglehold on American Poltics
by Chris Hedges
The Jewish Lobby
with Noam Chomsky
Changes in the Israel Lobby
with John Mearsheimer
The UN Refuses to Name and Shame Firms
Aiding Israel’s Illegal Settlements
by Jonathan Cook
Trump says time for US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan
Russia, Iran and Syria slam Trump's Golan Heights comments
A statement by President Donald Trump that the US should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is likely to stir tensions. Europe alongside Russia, Syria and Iran warned against any unilateral moves.
A host of countries on Friday criticized President Donald Trump's announcement that the United States intends to unilaterally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied-Golan Heights.
The move comes as Israel has been pushing the Trump administration for recognition and some members of the Republican Party are backing the idea.
Russia, Syrian and Iranian positions
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said changing Golan's status would violate UN Security Council Resolutions.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the move showed "the blind bias of the United States to the Zionist entity," in reference to Israel.
Damascus added that Trump's statement won't change "the fact that Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian."
Iran's Foreign Ministry said the "illegal and unacceptable recognition does not change the fact that it belongs to Syria."
Chasing Mirages: What Are Palestinians Doing
to Combat the ‘Deal of the Century’?
by Ramzy Baroud
"ana hona" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, 16 March, 2019 3:37:49 AM
Subject: Preparing for the demonstration of millions on the borders of Gaza .. A year after the beginning of the march of the Great Return..Urgent appeal
In a week described as violent in the Gaza Strip .. When the Israeli occupation forces began shelling Gaza daily heavy missiles and the occurrence of a large number of casualties
The Palestinians are preparing for the start of the anniversary of the start of the major return marches and here we are preparing ourselves for this day. We believe that Israel will practice its policy against peaceful demonstrators, as it did a year ago. One thousand people in one day was a bloody day for us
From here we are the group of nurses in the Gaza Strip. We will do our utmost to obtain all the first aid, medicines and appropriate treatments for this day. We believe that the number of participants will be more than half a million people on the borders of Gaza, demanding the lifting of the siege on them and their country.
And we can not work without your support because we need a large amount of gauze and iodine may exceed 100 laps and a hundred tubes of iodine only in one day we mention that we use in a month full of normal days
We will need more than 50 brine solution tubes and lots of first aid kits
We hope that nothing will happen, but this is our reality. We have started the countdown for this campaign and we are working more than 16 hours a day to meet all the requirements.
We will not be able to complete a quarter of these requirements without you.. I hope that I do not bother you. But this is our life and you must stand with us. We need your suppo .
Thank you very much
A group of nurses in the Gaza Strip
Please support us via the following link
News, commentary and analysis from the black left
The Imperial Racist Saga Comes Home, Where It Began
by Glen Ford
“Imperialism permeates U.S. culture, infecting most American brands of leftism and even ‘socialism.’”
What makes US progressives think that the Lords of Capital will be more tolerant of austerity-busting ‘socialists’ here at home than they are with Venezuela?
The historical U.S. embrace of apartheid Israel is rooted in much more than “the Benjamins” wielded by Zionist lobbies. The two most lawless states on the planet revel in their shared roguishness, bound together by race-based colonial ideologies that sanction and celebrate their crimes against humanity. Were it not for the U.S. superpower, there would be no State of Israel, an outpost of Europe in Arabia that most white Americans perceive as inhabited by kindred souls surrounded by savages, like the settlers of American mythology. It is the United States’ “exceptional” duty to arm and protect the “chosen” people of Israel, whose expansionist imperatives are perceived as benign and defensive, mimicking American Manifest Destiny.
This Year's Coup
by Raymond Nat Turner, BAR poet-in-residence
Venezuela's fantasy president Juan Guiado
five days ago?
Today, he’s Play Dough—
in handlers oily hands…
Brazen 1% switcheroo,
another king nobody knew—
rosy World Bank worldview
Championing the well-to-do…
knew they’d install him?
Or, just what they’d call him?
Maybe he’d be called “the law?”
Maybe he’d be crowned “Shah?”
Or—just for a sense of déjà vu—
Maybe “Mobutu” might do…
for a name in this year’s coup?
War Against Venezuela Is War Against Us All
by Christopher Black
The American war on Venezuela continues to escalate with the sabotage of it’s electricity grid, the most serious action of all so far, which was not only an act of terrorism against the entire civilian population but also an attempt to shut down exports of Venezuelan oil.
This is part of the American hybrid war strategy. Hybrid warfare is warfare that uses all domains of life and society to hurt and damage the targeted nation. It was best defined by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiansui, two senior colonels of the Peoples Liberation Army in their famous book titled, Unrestricted Warfare, published in 1999 which proposed strategies and tactics that could be used by developing countries to compensate for their military inferiority vis a vis the United States during a high tech war.
Published prior to the American cruise missile attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, the book drew a lot of attention in the west for its proposition that a multitude of means, military and non-military could be used to strike at the United States in a conflict; hacking into websites, targeting financial institutions, terrorism, using the media, urban warfare, sabotage, crippling infrastructure, subversion, all the methods of what the Americans term hybrid warfare.
The Chinese colonels stated that the first rule of this type of warfare is that there are no rules, nothing is forbidden. But they made a fundamental error when they also stated that “strong countries would not use the same approach against weak countries because strong countries make the rule while rising one break them” and, though admitting that the US breaks the rules of international law and makes up its own law when it suits their interests stated that it “has to observe its own rules or the world won’t trust it.”
Well, the colonels seem to have ignored the long history of the United States using exactly these types of methods against all its enemies weak or strong, of using unrestricted warfare, without limitations, in effect, total war on nations and peoples they target. They did not seem to understand that the Americans don’t give a damn what anyone else in the world thinks or whether anyone trusts them, which makes them all the more dangerous because peaceful settlement of disputes with them on an equitable basis is next to impossible. They are currently using these methods against Russia, Iran, China, Syria, DPRK, and of course Venezuela.
All these tactics are, of course, elements of a war of aggression, which is the fundamental war crime, and now a crime at the ICC for which they could, in theory, be prosecuted. Yet, the ICC prosecutor sits at her desk, as his her custom, drinking tea while collecting a large salary and instead of stating that the US and its allies are committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Venezuelan people entertains a Canadian request on behalf of the Lima Group to investigate the Venezuelan government for “crimes against humanity.” We have to suppose for not giving all its oil to the Americans.
Max Blumenthal debunks corporate media lies about Venezuela
at United Nations
Citigroup to sell Venezuelan gold in setback to President Maduro
by Mayela Armas, Corina Pons
CARACAS (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc plans to sell several tons of gold placed as collateral by Venezuela’s central bank on a $1.6 billion loan after the deadline for repurchasing them expired this month, sources said, a setback for President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to hold onto the country’s fast-shrinking reserves.
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
by T.J. Coles
The US is formally committed to dominating the world by the year 2020. With President Trump’s new Space Directive-4, the production of laser-armed fighter jets as possible precursors to space weapons, and the possibility of nuclear warheads being put into orbit, the clock is ticking…
Back in 1997, the now-re-established US Space Command announced its commitment to “full spectrum dominance.” The Vision for 2020 explains that “full spectrum dominance” means military control over land, sea, air, and space (the so-called fourth dimension of warfare) “to protect US interests and investment.” “Protect” means guarantee operational freedom. “US interest and investment” means corporate profits.
The glossy brochure explains that, in the past, the Army evolved to protect US settlers who stole land from Native Americans in the genocidal birth of the nation. Like the Vision for 2020, a report by the National Defense University acknowledges that by the 19th century, the Navy had evolved to protect the US’s newly-formulated “grand strategy.” In addition to supposedly protecting citizens and the constitution, “The overriding principle was, and remains, the protection of American territory … and our economic well-being.” By the 20th century, the Air Force had been established, in the words of the Air Force Study Strategy Guide, to protect “vital interests,” including: “commerce; secure energy supplies; [and] freedom of action.” In the 21stcentury, these pillars of power are bolstered by the Cyber Command and the coming Space Force.
The use of the Army, Navy, and Air Force—the three dimensions of power—means that the US is already close to achieving “full spectrum dominance.” Brown University’s Cost of War project documents current US military involvement in 80 countries—or 40% of the world’s nations. This includes 65 so-called counterterrorism training operations and 40 military bases (though others think the number of bases is much higher). By this measure, “full spectrum dominance” is nearly half way complete. But the map leaves out US and NATO bases, training programs, and operations in Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Ukraine.
As the US expands its space operations—the fourth dimension of warfare—the race towards “full spectrum dominance” quickens. Space has long been militarized in the sense that the US uses satellites to guide missiles and aircraft. But the new doctrine seeks to weaponize space by, for instance, blurring the boundaries between high-altitude military aircraft and space itself. Today’s space power will be harnessed by the US to ensure dominance over the satellite infrastructure that allows for the modern world of internet, e-commerce, GPS, telecommunications, surveillance, and war-fighting.
Chief French Artillery Colonel in Syria Slams US for Cowardly Civilian-Killing Tactics, Prolonging the War vs ISIS
Faces punishment for saying US focus on limiting risks to own troops drove up price for civilians, allowed ISIS to survive longer, prolonged the war. (Middle East Monitor, March 17, 2019)
A senior French officer faces punishment after publicly condemning the US-led coalition’s military tactics against Daesh in the east of Syria, accusing Washington of prolonging the conflict and disregarding a growing civilian death toll, the army said on Saturday.
Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier – who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October – said the coalition’s focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians, as well as raised the level of destruction.
Protests in Kiev, as extreme nationalists turn against Poroshenko
A chaotic Brexit is part of Trump’s grand plan for Europe
by Natalie Nougayrède
The president and his outriders want Europe weak and divided. Brexit will deliver some of that
"CrossTalk: Brexit On Life Support"
with George Galloway
'Alliance should be unconditional': NATO under pressure from Washington to buy US weapons
with Florence Parly
France's armed forces minister has attacked the Trump administration for putting pressure on Washington's NATO allies
to buy U.S.-made weapons.
Ilhan Omar Exposes US Hegemonic Positioning and Takes on Both Political Parties
with Richard Falk & Daniel Falcone
Somali-American Ilhan Omar is a member of the US House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th district. Elected to the United States Congress in November 2018, Omar is a critical and strong voice that advocates for progressive policies and lawmaking in regards to housing, a living wage, student debt forgiveness, and the protection of immigrants.
Since February 2019 Omar has come under attack for tweeting, retweeting, deleting, stating and restating, a number of positions, including of course that financial resources generated by pro-Israel lobbying groups served as motivation for American political support of Israel. Omar is currently facing another onslaught by high powered Democrats for subsequent comments she made regarding Israel. This after a recent racist depiction of Omar by the West Virginia GOP in a poster linking her to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Since these more recent developments, House Resolution 183, in historic fashion, issued the word “Islamophobia,"
(deeper in the text) and was to many, a sign of progress in marking the first time there has been a formal condemnation of this term. Furthermore, the three leading Democratic nominees for 2020 all issued defenses of Omar, showing that the bottom up defenses of Omar has reached the mainstream and political center.
Can it really be believed that Omar is a bigot that demonstrates a bias? Likely no, but in some ways imagined antisemitism is no match for real Islamophopia within the Democratic Party.
In this interview, I spoke to Richard Falk about the history of Zionism, Islamophobia and the pressure and vulnerability pundits, authors, academics (including himself) and elected officials like Congresswoman Omar face when they take on machine politicians and the established order especially in the American foreign policy arena.
Daniel Falcone: Going back to when this all started about a month ago, can you briefly remind readers of what your initial reactions were to Ilhan Omar’s tweets and to the course of events that quickly followed soon after? Did she misspeak? Isn’t the Lobby (or AIPAC) “small potatoes” compared to other groups or official US policy in the first place?
Richard Falk: When I first heard these comments by Ilhan Omar I was glad that there was a new voice in Congress that would speak up on behalf of the Palestinian people so long subjected to a daily ordeal whether they are living under occupation, as a discriminated minority in Israel, or in refugee camps in occupied Palestine and neighboring countries, or existing in involuntary exile.
Although I welcomed her critical remarks on AIPAC, and later on the dual loyalty of some Americans when it comes to Israel, they struck me as familiar and reflective of reality as to have become almost innocuous truisms. How wrong I was! On further consideration, it became clear to me that her remarks (of course, exaggerated in their intended meaning by being torn from the wider context of the full statements) were treated as so inflammatory not so much because of their content, but because of their source, a black-Muslim-American woman, and her status as a newly elected member of Congress.
The essence of what she had to say was hardly the stuff of fiery radicalism. After apologizing for what might have unintentionally been hurtful to Jews, convincingly distancing herself from real anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews) her message was true but important only because she as a newly elected congressperson was willing to declare her concerns in high visibility settings:
“I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry…It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.” And “I want to talk about political influence in this country that says it is O.K. to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
The overblown response to these Omar tweets had the effect of mobilizing the liberal and Christian Zionist establishments in and out of Congress. These groups pressed Democrats in Congress to give concreteness to their allegations by their angry calls for apologies, retractions, and censure. Those outraged insisted that the truths Rep. Ilhan Omar dared speak were nothing less than ‘familiar anti-Semitic tropes.’ This expansion of anti-Semitism from its base meaning, the hatred of Jews, is a tactic used to spread the net of anti-Semitism much wider. This referral to ‘tropes’ is an insidious way of substituting ‘political correctness’ for the transparencies of truthfulness.
Once this enlarged anti-Semitic card is on the table, the accuracy or inaccuracy of Omar’s statements becomes irrelevant, and any attempt by the person so accused to justify their assertions by pointing to the facts only aggravates the sin, and reinforces the allegation. In effect, freedom of expression takes a back seat when an anti-Semitic trope is invoked by defaming critics.
This dynamic is even more problematic when the speaker has a status that bestows prestige and is capable of wielding influence. It has been extremely helpful to Israel over the decades to have virtual unanimity in the U.S. Congress on any agenda item that touches its interests or assesses its behavior. It puts critics of Israel in the larger society on the defensive, and makes support for Israel so bipartisan as to become virtually absolute – and making opposition to any important pro-Israel initiative, for instance annual military appropriations, becomes politically untenable.
Such a tactic has been highly effective in the past. It has made anyone politically foolish enough to defy this overarching consensus exceedingly vulnerable to political defeat in the next scheduled election. Such a person is clearly targeted, and yes, by AIPAC, rich Zionist donors, and pro-Israeli Christian lobbies and likely the lucky opponent will have trouble spending all the money pouring into his or her campaign coffers.
Is Israel An Apartheid State
US Threatens Ireland Over Israel Boycott & Netanyahu’s Slide Towards ‘Jewish Fascism’
Freedom Rider: Justice and Paul Manafort
by Margaret Kimberley
Now that Trump’s sleazy associates are facing prison, lots of Democrats that never gave a damn about mass Black incarceration are self-righteously blasting the criminal injustice system.
“White people suddenly claiming concern about the racist criminal justice system should have to prove their sincerity.”
By every measure black people are the most oppressed of any group in the United States. We consistently rank last in every positive outcome and first in every one that is negative. The mass incarceration system exemplifies this dynamic more than any of the other woes we face. Black people are a mere 13% of the population yet make up half of those held behind bars. Incarceration is the norm for minor offenses and sentences are usually as draconian as possible.
So it is understandable that the 47 month sentence handed down to Paul Manafort would elicit so much outrage. The man who briefly served as chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential chairman was found guilty of tax and bank fraud. Robert Mueller recommended a 19-year sentence but judge T.S. Ellis decided otherwise.
“Manafort was a hired gun who worked all over the world to further the corrupt interests of United States foreign policy.”
Ellis can be taken to task because he is the hanging, maximum sentence judge for black defendants. He sentenced former Congressional Black Caucus member William Jefferson to 13 years for bribery, the longest sentence ever handed down to a member of congress for crimes committed while in office. Manafort did not lead “an exemplary life” as Ellis claimed. He was a hired gun who worked all over the world to further the corrupt interests of United States foreign policy.
But the response to Manafort’s sentence should not go unexamined either. Manafort has become synonymous with Trump and much of the anger directed at him is not based on the seriousness of the offense he committed. Instead it is based on a need to punish someone, anyone for Trump becoming president in the first place.
The Russiagate faux scandal plays a large role in turning millions of people into a mob demanding a harsh sentence that is often applied to murderers and other violent criminals. Most of what the public have been told about Manafort is untrue and the anger is misplaced. His consulting firm operated in Ukraine, not Russia. Like every other lobbyist doing business there his goal was to pull Ukraine away from Russian influence and toward Western Europe. He advised president Viktor Yanukovych to do just that and to seek out membership in the European Union.
“Ellis sentenced former Congressional Black Caucus member William Jefferson to 13 years for bribery.”
Manafort didn’t give polling data to Russians. He gave it to Ukrainians and he was hoping to drum up business by showing them that his guy was going to win. His business partner Konstantin Kilimnik is said to have connections with Russian intelligence agencies but that charge is unproven. However Kilimnik does have a proven relationship with the United States intelligence state. He worked for the International Republican Institute (IRI), an organization founded by the late John McCain which among other things is dedicated to bringing about pro-western regime change to Ukraine.
The virtue signaling created by the Manafort sentence should be called into question. White people suddenly claiming concern about the racist criminal justice system should have to prove their sincerity.Are they willing to make the necessary political demands on their own people in order to tear down mass incarceration? Social media posts directed against a Trump crony are a poor substitute for the hard work of ending this worst and most durable manifestation of white supremacy.
“Manafort advised Ukraine’s president to pull away from Russia do and seek out membership in the European Union.”
As for black people, we should not allow ourselves to be fooled, not by Russiagate and not by liberals crying crocodile tears. Anyone using our suffering in order to make the case for their own political agenda is a questionable ally at best.
The anger at Manafort and the other Trump affiliated charlatans and crooks should instead be directed at the people who brought this dangerous farce to the public. Perhaps it is time to finally dissect the Democratic Party wrong doing and missteps which led to the Trump presidency. This examination will be particularly difficult for black people. The justifiable fear of Republican Party rule distorts our politics and turns us into dupes. The supposedly inevitable Hillary Clinton victory led us down the path to Trump, a man the democrats determined was the easiest to beat.
College Bribery Scandal Highlights How America
Is Rigged for Wealthy & Powerful
with Anand Giridharadas
As the fallout continues over the elite college admissions scandal that investigators nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” we speak with journalist Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” His book examines how the so-called elite class of America have worked the system to maintain and consolidate power and wealth, even while claiming to help people and “change the world” through charity. On Wednesday, Giridharadas tweeted: “The college bribery scam is not a college bribery scam. It is a master class in how America—governed by a cheater, ruled by rule breakers, managed by a class that confuses its privilege for merit—functions.”
“Do the super-rich want the rest of us to be economically uncomfortable?"
with Richard Wolff
Charity to opioid billionaire: “We don’t want your money!"
Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, 15 March, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Mueller's team did NO forensic study of that "Russian hack," nor would he talk to those who really did some. (Why?)
CAMPAIGN 2016, INTELLIGENCE, RUSSIA, RUSSIAGATE, VIPS MEMOS, WIKILEAKS
VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings
March 13, 2019
final Mueller report should be graded “incomplete,” says VIPS, whose forensic
work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by
WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings
Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his “completed” report anytime soon, it should be graded “incomplete.” Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help.
We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.
There is an overabundance of “assessments” but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of “evidence,” particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well — and did our best to expose — how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
We have scrutinized publicly available physical data — the “trail” that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media — an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.
This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below — as a kind ofaide-memoire— a discussion of some of the key factors related to what has become known as “Russia-gate.” And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data associated with WikiLeaks’ publication of the DNC emails.
We do not claim our conclusions are “irrefutable and undeniable,” a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments, however, are based on the scientific method — not “assessments.” We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring that you hear that directly from us.
If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work — or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham.
In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to ensure a full and thorough investigation,” when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again, we are at your disposal.
"Secret deal between DOJ and Clinton lawyers exposes Deep State corruption"
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss newly released transcripts from disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok that reveal the US Department of Justice and the Clinton Lawyers struck a secret deal that blocked the FBI from accessing Clinton Foundation emails, during the Hillary home server "investigation".
Trump and GOP Steeped in Corruption,
as Corp. Dems Push Cold War Fever
Our weekly roundup panel looks at the fracture lines in the Republican Party and the corporate Democrats continue their frenzy about Russia - with Jacqueline Luqman, Jeff Cohen and host Paul Jay
What will crash US economy
with Richard Wolff
Private corporate debt in the US stands at $9 trillion. Economist and co-founder of “Democracy at Work” Prof. Richard Wolff joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the dangers of such an astronomical sum to the US in the event of a deep recession.
"Richard Wolff Reveals How Empires End"
Economic recovery talk is smoke & mirrors as corporate debt bubble ready to bust
with Richard Wolff
The Conditions of Labor in China
with David Harvey
"Global Capitalism: US and China - 1 Global Economy, 2 Giants”
with Richard Wolff
The Rules that Govern Life on Earth
with Sean B Carroll
You can also listen to this event on our new podcast! List here, or searh 'Ri Science Podcast' in your app of choice: https://soundcloud.com/royal-institut... Evolutionary biologist Sean B Carroll reveals how a few simple rules govern all life on earth, from the cells in our bodies to populations of animals on the Serengeti. Subscribe for science videos every week: http://bit.ly/RiSubscRibe Watch the Q&A that followed this talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Oh8... From revealing how inheritance works and developing evolutionary biology to manipulating viruses and bacteria to create products humans need, 20th century biology has been a revolution. In telling the stories of some of the greatest discoveries of 20th century biology, Sean B. Carroll reveals how a few simple rules govern all life on earth, from the cells in our bodies to populations of animals on the Serengeti. A talk to show you why modern biology holds the key to remedying our greatest medical and ecological challenges. Sean B. Carroll is an internationally-recognized evolutionary biologist whose research has centered on the genes that control animal body patterns and play major roles in the evolution of animal diversity. He's also an award-winning author, educator, and executive producer as well as the Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin.
From: Richard Greeman
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Subject: Convergence à Montpellier : le « Serment du Peyrou »
La convergence syndicalistes-Gilet Jaunes était bien visible à Montpellier pendant la manifestation de 2 à 3.000 travailleur/euses appelée par la CGT et l’intersyndicale le 19 mars, comme le montre ce vidéo.
La marche se termina à la Promenade Royale du Peyrou, et cette place s’est transformée en une véritable tribune populaire. Des centaines de manifestant.es, Gilet Jaunes et syndicalistes, se sont regroupé/es autour de la statue équestre de Louis XIV pour se présenter les un/es aux autres, exprimer leur revendications et leurs espoirs mutuels, et se solidariser au nom de la Convergence des luttes.
Il y a eu, de part et d’autre, des prises de parole émouvantes sur des conditions de travail invivables, les privatisations, les sévices de la police, les lois liberticides, l’arrogance du pouvoir. Surtout on a exprimé une détermination révolutionnaire de bloquer le pays pour changer le système. Les manifestant.es ont terminé cette assemblée en jurant de “rester ensemble” et de se battre pour mettre STOP à l’offensive néo-libérale du gouvernement et du patronat.
Voici le texte d’un appel à l’unité que j'ai présenté à cette assemblée qui l'acclamée par des cris de “Restons ensemble!”
« Nous voilà pour la première fois ensemble, militants syndicaux et militants Gilets Jaunes, enfin libres de parler entre nous ! Libres de forger une convergence réelle, pour unir nos forces en opposition aux contre-réformes de Macron destinées à nous enlever nos droits gagnés chèrement, par nos ancêtres, pendant les luttes de 1936, 1945 et 1968 ! Profitons de cette rencontre inédite pour mieux nous comprendre et nous unir dans un combat contre nos ennemis communs. C’est un moment historique, nous le sentons tous.
Comme le Tiers État en 1789, ensemble nous représentons la majorité du pays qui travaille. Vous qui êtes des travailleurs/euses des grandes industries et des métropoles qui peuvent se syndiquer et faire la grève. Nous, Gilets Jaunes, nous sommes pour la plupart des travailleurs indépendants, retraités, chômeurs, travailleurs précaires, artisans et employées de petites entreprises dispersées. Ensemble nous faisons tout le travail du pays et ensemble nous pouvons le bloquer et enfin nous faire entendre.
Comme le Tiers État en 1789, bien que fortement majoritaire dans le pays, nous ne représentons RIEN dans l’ordre politique. Comme le Tiers État nous avons en face de nous un Roi, Emmanuel 1er, qui ne veut rien céder sans que nous l’y obligions.
Comme le Tiers État, nous avons en face de nous une noblesse d’argent, le MEDEF, qui vit de notre travail et qui cherche à nous voler le peu d’acquis qui nous reste.
Comme le Tiers État, nous avons en face de nous un Clergé médiatique et syndical de collaborateurs qui nous promettent un paradis, nous prient de prendre notre mal en patience, et nous divisent – afin de garder leurs places à la table du Monarque et de sa Noblesse.
Aujourd’hui notre République est entre les mains d’une nouvelle monarchie, avec une Noblesse financière et un Clergé syndical qui mange à sa table, en égrainant un chapelet de grèves perlés et d’actions isolées : tactique défaitiste faite pour égarer ses brebis et les servir en pâture aux loups de la finance avec qui ils s’attablent.
Or, en ce moment même, cette Monarchie concocte de nouvelles lois liberticides, qui rendraient les manifestations pratiquement illégales. Elle renforce son appareil répressif avec des armes de plus en plus dangereuses, au grand dam de l’Europe des Droits humains, choquée. Ces armes, c’est contre nous, les Gilets Jaunes, que le pouvoir les essaie d’abord. Mais c’est en fin de compte contre vous, les syndicalistes de combat, qu’elle les forge.
Voici quatre mois que nous, les Gilets Jaunes, nous luttons, seul.es, de toutes nos forces pour freiner le rouleau compresseur néo libéral de ce gouvernement autoritaire – au risque d’arrestations, de blessures, et même de mort/es. Malgré la répression et les calomnies que le gouvernement et les médias déferlent sur nous semaine après semaine, nous continuons à tenir et le public continue à nous approuver nos buts. Mais pour combien de temps encore ?
Aujourd’hui est arrivée l’heure de la “Grande Convergence”. Il est temps que tous les travailleur /euses qui peuvent faire grève se joignent à nos contestations des ronds-points et places. Ensemble, nous pouvons bloquer le pays jusqu’à que le pouvoir cède. L’unité fait la force. Battons-nous uni.es, car nous avons les mêmes ennemis et les mêmes objectifs.
Tous ces valets des riches craignent notre pouvoir. Celui du Peuple souverain. Rien ne fait plus peur au Monarque « élu, » à la Noblesse financière et au Clergé bureaucratique, que le cauchemar d’une véritable grève générale soutenue partout par les blocages de Gilets Jaunes et par le public, qui en a marre depuis longtemps.
Le 20 Juin 1789, le Tiers État, interdit de séance officielle des États Généraux, a occupé un bâtiment vide, le « Jeu de Paume » (salle de sport royale), pour discuter de leurs droits, entre eux, comme nous ce soir. Et ils ont fini par prêter serment de ne pas se séparer avant l’élaboration d’une Constitution. C’est l’origine de la Première République.
Faisons comme nos ancêtres ! Prêtons serment de ne pas nous séparer avant d’avoir mis FIN aux attaques contre notre bien-être et nos libertés. Jurons de rester ensemble pour nous battre et pour gagner! Ne lâchons rien ! » (Acclamations)
Cette “Grande Rencontre (avec apéro festif)»avait été proposée aux syndicats du 34 et à leur membres par les Gilets Jaunes du Peyrou (GJ34). Plusieurs syndicats avait répondu positivement, entre autres FSU (SNESUP), Solidaires (Sud Education), CGT (SNTRS), et FO ESR. En revanche le Secrétaire départemental de la CGT, l’Évêque Serge Ragazzacci, tout en appelant à la lutte et à la convergence, a refusé de venir à la Rencontre et, le lendemain, a remis au 9 mai la prochaine mobilisation.
"A Message to the World from The Yellow Vest Movement (France)"
"The Birth of Patrice Lumumba and the Assassination of a Free Africa"
From: Jim O'Brien
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019
Subject: [H-PAD] H-PAD Notes 3/22/19: Links to recent articles of interest
The author teaches Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan.
The author is a visiting assistant professor of history at Columbia University.
The author is a professor emeritus of history and International relations at Boston University.
The author is a professor emeritus of history at Princeton University and New York University. He argues that reckless Cold War rhetoric in the US poses the danger of a shooting war with Russia.
An acerbic historical overview of the US war in Afghanistan.The author is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who taught history for fifteen years in military and civilian schools.
The author is a former editor of the American Historical Association's magazine Perspectives on History and is the founder and editor of the Political Uses of the Past Project (historychecked.com)
A disturbing in-depth analysis of early twentieth century American racial theories and their influence on Nazi Germany.
Based on interviews with medieval historians
On Britain, Egypt, and the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of World War I. The author teaches history at Harvard University.
By Mary L. Dudziak, Washington Post, posted March 1
About the erosion of Congress's power to declare war. The author teaches law at Emory University and has written War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (2013) among other books.