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Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
Preparing for Total War and the Social Engineering of Human Instincts
26 April 2019
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The morbid obsession of our political leaders with the instruments of social control and the pathological fixation of corporate capitalists on the maximization of profitable investments are unsurprisingly causing much death and destruction around the world. This is the world that Freud’s psychoanalytical theories attempted to explain. In Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), Freud describes the human being’s role in the world as a life of never-ending conflict between “the individual’s claim to freedom and the demands of society. The theme of this book is that “civilization is only made possible by individual renouncement. Man’s instinctive life is aggressive and egoistic, seeking self-satisfaction; the structure of culture is designed to curb and prohibit his instinctual drives; the sense of guilt has become the maker of civilized humanity.”
This Promethean vision of superhuman results produced by the eternal struggle against instincts is examined by Herbert Marcuse in the first chapter in his 1970 book, Five Essays (1970). He begins this book with a discussion of “freedom” as presented in Freud’s theory of instincts. (See items q. & u. below for more on the practice of social engineering and human instincts.)
A discussion of Freudian theory from the standpoint of political science and philosophy requires some justification – in part because Freud repeatedly emphasized the scientific and empirical character of his work. The justification must be two-fold: first, it must show that the structure of Freudian theory is open to and in fact encourages consideration in political terms, that this theory, which appears to be purely biological, is fundamentally social and historical. Second, it must show on the one hand to what extent psychology today is an essential part of political science, and on the other hand to what extent the Freudian theory of instincts (which is the only thing we will be concerned with here) makes it possible to understand the hidden nature of certain decisive tendencies in current politics.
We will begin with the second aspect of the justification. Our concern is not with introducing psychological concepts into political science or with explaining political processes in psychological terms. That would mean attempting to explain what is basic in terms of what is based on it. Rather, psychology in its inner structure must reveal itself to be political. The psyche appears more and more immediately to be a piece of the social totality, so that individuation is almost synonymous with apathy and even with guilt, but also with the principle of negation, of possible revolution. Moreover, the totality of which the psyche is a part becomes to an increasing extent less “society” than “politics.” That is, society has fallen prey to and become identified with domination.
We must identify at the outset what we mean by “domination,” because the content of this notion is central to Freudian instinct theory. Domination is in effect whenever the individual’s goals and purposes and the means of striving for and attaining them are prescribed to him and performed by him as something prescribed. Domination can be exercised by men, by nature, by things – it can also be internal, exercised by the individual on himself, and appear in the form of autonomy. The second form plays a decisive role in Freudian instinct theory: the superego absorbs the authoritarian models, the father and his representatives, and makes their commands and prohibitions its own laws, the individual’s conscience. Mastery of drives becomes the individual’s own accomplishment – autonomy.
Under these circumstances, however, freedom becomes an impossible concept, for there is nothing that is not prescribed for the individual in some way or other. And in the fact freedom can be defined only within the framework of domination, if previous history is to provide a guide to the definition of freedom. Freedom is a form of domination: the one in which the means provided satisfy the needs of the individual with a minimum of displeasure and renunciation. In this sense freedom is completely historical, and the degree of freedom can be determined only historically; capacities and needs as well as the minimum of renunciation differ depending on the level of cultural development and are subject of objective conditions. But it is precisely the fact of being objectively, historically conditioned that make the distinction between freedom and domination transcend any merely subjective valuation: like human needs and capacities themselves, the means of satisfying the needs produced at a particular level of culture are socially given facts, present in martial and mental productive forces and in the possibilities for their application. Civilization can use these possibilities in the interest of individual gratification of needs and so will be organized under the aspect of freedom. Under optimal conditions domination is reduced to a rational division of labor and experience; freedom and happiness converge. On the other hand, individual satisfaction itself may be subordinated to a social need that limits and diverts these possibilities; in that case the social and the individual needs become separate, and civilization is operating through domination.
Hitherto existing culture has been organized in the form of domination insofar as social needs have been determined by the interests of the ruling groups at any given time, and this interest has defined the needs of other groups and the means and limitations of their satisfactions. Contemporary civilization has developed social wealth to a point where the renunciations and burdens placed on individuals seem more and more unnecessary and irrational. The irrationality of unfreedom is most crassly expressed in the intensified subjection of individuals in the enormous apparatus of production and distribution, in the de-privatization of free time, in the almost indistinguishable fusion of constructive and destructive social labor. And it is precisely this fusion that is the condition of the constantly increasing productivity domination of nature which keeps individuals – or at least the majority of them in the advanced countries – living in increasing comfort. Thus irrationality becomes he form of social reason, becomes the rational universal. Psychologically – and that is all that concerns us here – the difference between domination and freedom in becoming smaller. The individual reproduces on the deepest level, in his instinctual structure, the values and behavior patterns that serve to maintain domination, while domination becomes increasingly less autonomous, less “personal,” more objective and universal. What actually dominates is the economic, political, and cultural apparatus, which has become an indivisible unity constructed by social labor.
To be sure, the individual has always reproduced domination from within himself, and to the extent that domination represented and developed the whole, this reproduction has been of service to rational self-preservation and self-development. From the outset the whole has asserted itself in the sacrifice of the happiness and the freedom of a great part of mankind; it has always contained a self- contradiction, which has been embodied in the political and spiritual forces striving toward a different form of life. What is peculiar to the present stage is the neutralization of this contradiction – the mastering of the tension between the given form of life and its negation, a refusal in the name of the greater freedom which is historically possible. Where the neutralization of this contradiction is now most advanced, the possible is scarcely still known and desired, especially by those on whose knowing and willing its realization depends, those who alone could make it something really possible. In the most technically advanced centers of the contemporary world, society has been hammered into a unity as never before; what is possible is defined and realized by the forces that have brought it this unity; the future is to remain theirs, and individuals are to desire and bring about this future “in freedom.”
“In freedom” – for compulsion presupposes a contradiction that can express itself in resistance. The totalitarian state is only one of the forms – a form perhaps already obsolete – in which the battle against the historical possibility of liberation takes place. The other, the democratic form, rejects terror because it is strong and rich enough to preserve and reproduce itself without terror: most individuals are in fact better off in this form. But what determines its historical direction is not this fact, but the way it organizes and utilizes the productive forces at its disposal. It, too, maintains society at the attained level, despite all technical progress. It , too, works against the new forms of freedom that are historically possible. In this sense its rationality, too, is regressive, although it works with more painless and more comfortable means and methods. But that it does so should not repress the consciousness that in the democratic form freedom is played off against its complete realization, reality against possibility.
To compare potential freedom with existing freedom, to see the later in the light of the former, presupposes that at the present stage of civilization much of the toil, renunciation, and regulation imposed upon men is no longer justified by scarcity, the struggle for existence, poverty, and weakness. Society could afford a high degree of instinctual liberation without losing what it has accomplished or putting a stop to its progress. The basic trend of such liberation, as indicated by Freudian theory, would be the recovery of a large part of the instinctual energy diverted to alienated labor, and its release for the fulfillment of the autonomously developing needs of individuals. That would in fact also be desublimation – but a desublimation that would not destroy the “spiritualized” manifestation of human energy but rather take them as projects for possibilities of happy satisfaction. The result would be not a reversion to the prehistory of civilization but rather a fundamental change in the content and goal of civilization, in the principle of progress. . . . [T]he realization of this possibility presupposes fundamental changed social and cultural institutions. In the existing culture that progression appears as a catastrophe, and the battle against it as a necessity, with the result that the forces tending toward it are paralyzed.
Freudian instinct theory reveals this neutralization of the dynamic of freedom in terms of psychology, and Freud made visible its necessity, its consequences for the individual, and its limits.(pp.1-6)
. . .
The organism develops through the activity of two original basic instincts; the life instinct (sexuality, which Freud for the most part not call Eros) and the death instinct, the destructive instinct. While the former strives for the binding of living substance into ever larger and more permanent units, the death instinct desires regression to the condition before birth, without needs and thus without pain. It strives for the annihilation of life, for reversion to inorganic mater. The organism equipped with such an antagonistic instinctual structure finds itself in an environment which is too poor and too hostile for the immediate gratification of the life instinct. Eros desires life under the pleasure principle, but the environment stands in the way of this goal. Thus as soon as the life instinct has subjected the death instinct to itself (a subjection which is simultaneously with the beginning and the continuation of life), the environment compels a decisive modification of the instincts: in part they are diverted from their original goal or inhibited on the way to it, in part the area of their activity is limited and their direction is changed.* The result of this modification is gratification which is inhibited, delayed, and vicarious but also secure, useful, and relatively lasting.
Thus the psychic dynamic takes the form of a constant struggle of three basic forces; Eros, the death instinct, and the outside world. Corresponding to these three forces are the three basic principles which according to Freud determine the functions of the psychic apparatus: the pleasure principle, the Nirvana principle, and the reality principle. If the pleasure principle stands for the unlimited unfolding of the life instinct, and the Nirvana principle for regression into the painless conditions before birth, then the reality principle signifies the totality of the modifications of those instincts compelled by the outside world; it signifies “reason” as reality itself.(pp.6-7)
* Note : The “plasticity” of the instincts which this theory presupposes should suffice to refute the notion that the instincts are essentially unalterable biological substrata: only the “energy” of the instincts and – to some extent – their “localization” remain fundamentally unchanged.(p.7)
In 1931, one year after the publication of its first edition, Freud added a final thought to the conclusion of his analysis in Civilization and Its Discontents. In the context of the beginning of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, he offered a more optimistic view, that the epic battle between life and death will be won eventually by life forces (as it should have done long ago).
Men have gained control over the force of nature to such an extent that with their help they would have no difficulty in exterminating one another to the last man. They know this, and hence comes a large part of their current unrest, their unhappiness and their mood of anxiety. And now it is to be expected that the other of the two ‘Heavenly Powers,” eternal Eros, will make an effort to assert himself in the struggle with his equally immortal adversary? But who can foresee with what success and with what result?(Civilization and Its Discontents, p.92)
The 24 + items below offer insights into the social control methods that now dominate our lives and the logical outcome of these capitalist monopoly political manipulations.
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
April 25, 2019
by Jim Kavanagh
The United States government is seeking to extradite and prosecute Julian Assange for one reason: to punish him for publishing true and embarrassing information about US crimes and intimidate every journalist in the world from doing so again.
If the US government succeeds in doing this, it will strike a devastating blow to the fundamental elements of democracy throughout the world—the freedom of the press and the related ability of citizens to know what their governments is doing.
I say “throughout the world” because It’s important to understand that the US government in this case is asserting its prosecutorial authority over someone who is not an American and whose journalistic activity took place outside the United States. The United States is demonstrating its ability to get a foreign government to arrest and extradite journalists who are neither Americans nor citizens of its own country and send them off to the United States to face charges under American law. It’s not only a brazen attempt to quash press freedoms; it’s a further extension of the United States’ arrogant assertion of extra-territorial—indeed, universal—jurisdiction of its laws.
As Jonathan Cook says, those who accept this have “signed off on the right of the US authorities to seize any foreign journalist, anywhere in the world, and lock him or her out of sight. They opened the door to a new, special form of rendition for journalists.”
The Orchestration Of Russiaphobia Is The Prelude To War
(April 24, 2019)
The Orchestration of Russiaphobia Is The Prelude To War
Paul Craig Roberts
Every person, government and private organization that supports Washington’s Russiaphobic policies is contributing to the growing threat of nuclear war…
The Russian Embassy in Washington has prepared an accurate 121-page report, THE RUSSIAGATE HYSTERIA: A CASE OF SEVERE RUSSOPHOBIA.https://washington.mid.ru/upload/iblock/3c3/3c3d1e3b69a4c228e99bfaeb5491ecd7.pdf
Everyone should read this report. It documents the fake news, lies, violations of diplomatic standards and international law, and gratuitous aggressive actions taken against Russia during the period beginning May 18, 2016 and continuing through the issuance of the Mueller Report.
The Buried Maidan Massacre and Its Misrepresentation by the West
The West's irrational fear of Iran
disaster waiting to happen
by Seyed Mohammad Marandi
If the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head
While western regimes craft a fresh humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, their corporate and state-owned media and corrupted think-tanks embody what Shakespeare's Lorenzo describes as "this muddy vesture of decay" – and, true to form, frustrate attempts to provide voice to their latest subaltern victims.
Increasingly vitriolic voices, from Paris to Washington, reveal exasperation and express a need to intimidate and justify the eviction of the many increasingly difficult tenants of the Fifth Estate.
Just as advanced capitalism has successfully transformed the first four estates into an almost homogeneous, postmodern utopia for well-heeled Wall Street and Ivory Tower dwellers – amid a deluge of conspiratorial narratives of existential threats – western regime-affiliated intellectual elites vigorously promote a "benign" monopoly in this lucrative piece of real estate.
As in Palestine, excavation and construction can only begin with a purge of "inferior" races, religions and social classes, as well as other "malign" influences. After all, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminds his European and North American allies, there is no place for the weak, who are destined for slaughter, while the strong survive.
Based on this Eurocentric, clinical diagnosis and ethnocentric worldview, language is reformed and policed so that anti-apartheid now means racism. When it is stated that Palestinian medics, reporters and children have been killed or maimed in "clashes", it means that Israeli regime soldiers have targeted unarmed civilians.
In this brave new world, Humpty Dumpty linguistics and semantics are key to "civilized" conceptual understandings. Al-Qaeda are "freedom fighters" and "rebels" in Syria, but terrorists in the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
US President Donald Trump is condemned for his slurs against Hispanics and Latinos, but praised for his tangible acts to starve Venezuelans. The US-Saudi-imposed mass starvation and genocide in Yemen was entirely acceptable for western pundits, while a clear schism exists in relation to the Jamal Khashoggi killing.
Now that Iranian, Palestinian, Venezuelan, Russian and even Western detractors – among others – are being purged from the public sphere and even social media platforms, controlling and manipulating the public discourse may seem much more undemanding in the corridors of power.
However, as the power and fortune of the US and its European allies continues to decline, their response to events appears increasingly frantic and crude. They appear to be engaged in imperial overreach.
Trump's Latest Iran Sanctions Show an Unraveling of US Foreign Policy
with Mark Steiner and Lawrence Wilkerson
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says unilateral sanctions against Iran are illegal, and show the ascendancy of John Bolton; they intensify tension with China and threaten our international position.
Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?
Then President George W Bush is seen addressing the US Army soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas about the possibility of military action against Iraq in January 2003
by Ahsan I Butt
No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.
"I Was The CIA Director - We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole"
by Tyler Durden
"I was the CIA Director; we lied, we cheated we stole. We had entire training courses."
Former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long accused WikiLeaks of being a “non-state hostile intelligence agency”, usually manipulated by Russia. Since Pompeo first made this claim as CIA Director in April 2017, countless major US news sources from NPR to CNN to the Washington Post have uncritically repeated the line, smearing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as "Russian agents," and more broadly using the narrative to stifle independent journalism and government whistleblowers.
But whether Pompeo or any other current or former CIA director makes such a bombastic claim without offering evidence — such as more recently asserting that China and Russia have "helped destroy" Venezuela through faltering investments, should anyone ever believe a high CIA official? Certainly the mainstream media routinely takes intelligence officials simply at their word, but Pompeo himself recently admitted the CIA is in the business of lying, cheating, and stealing.
Last week Mike Pompeo spoke at Texas A&M University, itself long known for being a favored recruiting ground of the CIA, considering too that one of the university's last presidents, Robert Gates, was CIA chief and later served as Bush and Obama's Secretary of Defense.
During the Q&A session, Pompeo boasted that in the CIA both the training and culture are geared toward the following:
"We lied, we cheated, we stole."
Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster was the only media that seemed to pick up on Pompeo's words last week, and described it as follows: "that's not the resume of the Secretary of State... that's the resume of Satan."
history of America's defeat in Syria
by Patrick Lawrence
After years covering the "main battlefield in World War III," Narwani says everything you think you know is wrong.
When the war in Syria was recently declared decisively over, there were few correspondents or witnesses to turn to for a credible look at exactly what happened during eight years of conflict. The questions were many, but I could count on one hand those worth putting them to. Among these was Sharmine Narwani, whose work I have long counted distinctly thorough and honest amid coverage that — in her view as well as mine — hit a new low by way of collapsed professional standards and abandoned ethics. Narwani’s pieces, written for a variety of publications, consistently reflect her hard work on the ground — work nearly no one else did. She is eyes wide open and beholden to no national interest or media slant.
Narwani brings impressive credentials to the craft. After earning a masters in journalism from Columbia, she was for four years (2010–14) a senior associate at St. Antony's College, Oxford. It was during those years that she began to make her mark covering the Middle East from her bureau-of-one in Beirut. Her accounts of the war as it truly unfolded have opened many eyes over the years, mine included.
Having witnessed the Syrian war from start to finish, she now casts it in a usefully broad context. “The Syrian conflict constitutes the main battlefield in a kind of World War III,” she said during our lengthy exchange. “The world wars were, in essence, great-power wars, after which the global order reshuffled a bit and new global institutions were established.” This, in outline, is what Narwani sees out in front of us, now that the Western powers’ latest “regime change” operation has failed.
Narwani and I conducted our exchange via email, Skype and WhatsApp over a period of several weeks in late March and early April. In this, the first of two parts, Narwani dissects the role of various constituencies — radical jihadists and the nations that backed them, the Western press, the NGOs — in prolonging a war that, in her view, could have ended far sooner than it did. I have edited the transcript solely for length. Part 2 will follow.
From: "ana hona" <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:00:03 AM
Subject: Burning himself because of the treatment of an injured person for almost a year lies in the care of the condenser and waits for someone to help him
Bilal Masoud, 27, was injured on the second Friday of the return marches almost a year ago. Bilal was hit by three bullets in the foot and one in his shoulder. These bullets were to kill him at the time, Bilal had platinum nails in his feet because of a bone fracture. It is 3 centimeters in the left foot and needs several operations. He went to the operating room 3 times and there was no improvement. The doctor told him two days ago that he should perform an operation that requires a large sum or loses one foot.
After returning home, his mental state worsened and he burned himself with gasoline. He is now in intensive care at Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He has been unconscious for two days and is waiting for anyone to help him if he gets out of the hospital to return his feet.
Bilal is also our friend and lives in the neighborhood near us and we are aware of him since his injury and I sent his picture almost a year ago to you.
Our group is taking care of it so far, but we can not do anything to it now because of the difficult economic conditions we live in. This is your distress call to bring Bilal out of the Gaza Strip and bring him into a hospital that can save him.
I hope you understand this seriously because the situation is really difficult. There are big appeals in Gaza to get him out, but we have not been able so far.
I would like you to donate via the new link due to the closure of the previous account due to PayPal policy and donation sites
America’s Bitch - Honest Government Ad | Julian Assange
(April 22, 2019)
The British, Australian, Ecuadorian and US Governments have made an ad about Julian Assange’s arrest and it’s surprisingly honest and informative!
"You Are Being Lied To About Julian Assange!"
with Lee Camp
WHOLE WORLD Must Focus on Julian Assange Arrest!
with Roger Waters
George Galloway on Julian Assange: "Brits know something's wrong here"
"The British public know there is something wrong here when the whistleblower is in jail while the perpetrators are on TV" says former MP George Galloway who talks to In Question's Manila Chan as many in mainstream media stay mum on press freedom in Julian Assange case.
New CN Series: The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 1—The Video that Put Assange in US Crosshairs
April 23, 2019
“Collateral Murder” created a media sensation in 2010 and led to Chelsea Manning’s imprisonment and to a DOJ investigation of Julian Assange, reports Elizabeth Vos. But the war crimes the video exposed got no one else in trouble.
Consortium News today begins a series of articles, “The Revelations of WikiLeaks,” that will look back on the major works of the publication that have altered the world since its founding in 2006. This series is an effort to counter mainstream media coverage, which is ignoring WikiLeaks’ work, and instead is focusing on Julian Assange’s personality. It is the uncovering by WikiLeaks of governments’ crimes and corruption that set the U.S. after Assange and which ultimately led to his arrest on April 11. The “Collateral Murder” video was just the first of many major WikiLeaks revelations that made the journalist one of the world’s most wanted men, simply for the act of publishing.
that Put Julian Assange
in the Crosshairs of the United States
by Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News
WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, but it was the April 5, 2010, publication of “Collateral Murder” that made the whistleblower-publisher a world-wide phenomenon, attracting admirers and enemies.
WikiLeaks wrote of the film: “The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.”
WikiLeaks noted that Reuters had unsuccessfully attempted to gain access to the video through the Freedom of Information Act in the years after the strike.
The day after the release of the footage, The New York Times described WikiLeaks as a once-fringe website that had moved into the big time. “The site has become a thorn in the side of authorities in the United States and abroad,” it said. “With the Iraq attack video, the clearinghouse for sensitive documents is edging closer toward a form of investigative journalism and to advocacy.”
Before 2010 WikiLeaks received a few high-profile journalism awards. But in the years since the publication of the video, it has received a slew of honors, including The Sam Adams Award for Integrity.
On April 16, WikiLeaks announced a fresh award for its founder, Julian Assange, even as he remains isolated in a London prison.
Julian Assange exposed the crimes of powerful actors, including Israel
by Alison Weir
Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange has finally been imprisoned, an objective long sought by powerful parties he helped to expose over the past dozen years.
Assange’s “crime” was revealing deep, embarrassing, sometimes deadly, malfeasance by numerous actors, including the U.S. government, the media, the Democratic Party-Clinton machine, and Israel.
Wikileaks revealed the U.S. government’s cover up of torture, cruelty, the killing of civilians, spying on its own citizens and others. It exposed Democratic Party cheating and manipulation, the fraudulence of “Russiagate.” It unmasked Israeli plans to keep Gaza on the brink of collapse, to use violence against Palestinian nonviolence, to make war upon civilians. All of this will be detailed below.
Without Wikileaks’ exposés, many of these actions would quite likely have remained hidden from the general public, as the perpetrators hoped.
The actual charge against Assange is allegedly conspiring with Chelsea Manning “to commit computer intrusion,” violating a somewhat problematic law with what one expert terms “overly expansive wording.”
The government seems to have resorted to this charge after the Justice Department had concluded in 2013 that it could not charge Assange for publishing the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs (which revealed various U.S war crimes detailed below), because government lawyers said this would also require charging various U.S. news organizations and journalists.
The Washington Post reported that Justice officials “realized that they have what they described as a ‘New York Times problem.’ If the Justice Department indicted Assange, it would also have to prosecute the New York Times and other news organizations and writers who published classified material, including The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper.”
Even the current charge, when examined closely, turns out to be problematic on free press grounds. As Glenn Greenwald notes: “Assange is charged with helping a source preserve anonymity, a common practice by investigative reporters.”
Assange’s recent dramatic arrest in Britain has elicited excellent articles by a number of writers – including Chris Hedges, Jonathan Turley, Pepe Escobar, Ray McGovern (also here), John Pilger, Jonathan Cook, David Swanson, and Paul Craig Roberts. Many of these were published by Consortium News, which, unlike mainstream media and journalism organizations, has been regularly covering the escalating persecution of Assange for his Wikileaks revelations.
This article will quote from these valuable articles and others, and will also present additional information about Wikileaks’ exposés on Israel, which have largely gone unmentioned.
Julian Assange: The 2011 60 Minutes Interview
The Truth about Comrade Julian Assange
by Norman Finkelstein
Assange with Vijay Prashad
The arrest of Julian Assange eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. Joining Chris Hedges to discuss the arrest and pending extradition of Julian Assange is the historian Vijay Prashad.
Ambassador Says Trump “Deal of the Century” Is DOA, Calls Israel ‘Apartheid
by Whitney Webb
“[Kushner] is so rational, and he is so pro-Israeli also, that he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.” — French Ambassador Gerard Araud
In an interview with the Atlantic last Friday, outgoing French Ambassador to the United States Gerard Araud made headlines after emphatically stating that Israel is already “an apartheid state” and that the Trump administration’s so-called “Deal of the Century” aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict is “99 percent doomed.”
Araud — whose first government post was in France’s Tel Aviv embassy, and who was the French ambassador to Israel from 2003 to 2006 — made the claim after being asked about his views on the Israel-Palestine “peace process.” After stating that he enjoys a “close” relationship with Jared Kushner — Trump’s son-in-law who has spent the last two years drafting a “peace plan” for the Trump administration — Araud noted that Kushner’s “proposal is very close to what the Israelis want.”
This outcome has long been noted by many media outlets based on Kushner’s close ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his family’s role in funding illegal West Bank settlements; and, more recently, statements made by those familiar with the negotiations and the fact that the Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Kushner’s team since the Trump administration decreed Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital in December 2017.
“Smart, no guts”
Araud, who first became France’s ambassador to the U.S. in 2014, later described Kushner as “extremely smart, but he has no guts. He doesn’t know the history.” While Araud posited that there may be an advantage to not knowing the history of the conflict, he also noted that it was a double-edged sword, stating:
[Kushner] is so rational, and he is so pro-Israeli also, that he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that.”
Like other politicians who have recently spoken about the “peace plan,” Araud has not seen the plan but was told that it was around 50 pages and very “precise.” Yet, drawing on his closeness to Kushner, Araud stated that the plan had been created based on three assumptions or “bets” made by Kushner, the first of which was that Trump would be “uniquely able to push the Israelis, because he is so popular in Israel.” The second bet, according to Araud, was that “the Palestinians may consider it’s their last chance to get limited sovereignty,” while the third element of the plan is “Kushner is going to pour money on the Palestinians.”
Despite the fact that Araud clearly likes Kushner and parts of his approach, he said that the plan was almost guaranteed to fail: “Is it doomed to fail? I should say 99 percent yes, but 1 percent, you never forget the 1 percent.”
UK Israel Lobby Adds Muscle as US Counterpart Weakens
(April 25, 2019)
British politics are being plunged into a stifling silence on the longest example of mass human rights abuses sanctioned by the West in modern history, writes Jonathan Cook.
For decades it was all but taboo to suggest that pro-Israel lobbies in the United States such as AIPAC used their money and influence to keep lawmakers firmly in check on Israel-related issues — even if one had to be blind not to notice that that was exactly what they were up to.
When back in February U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar pointed out the obvious – that U.S. lawmakers were routinely expected to submit to the lobby’s dictates on Israel, a foreign country – her colleagues clamored to distance themselves from her, just as one might have expected were the pro-Israel lobby to wield the very power Omar claimed.
But surprisingly Omar did not – at least immediately – suffer the crushing fate of those who previously tried to raise this issue. Although she was pressured into apologizing, she was not battered into complete submission for her honesty.
She received support on social media, as well as a wavering, muted defense from Democratic grandee Nancy Pelosi, and even a relatively sympathetic hearing from a few prominent figures in the U.S. Jewish community.
The Benjamins Do Matter
The Three Purposes of Russiagate
by Paul Craig Roberts
Russiagate has three purposes.
One is to prevent President Trump from endangering the vast budget and power of the military/security complex by normalizing relations with Russia.
Another, in the words of James Howard Kunstler, is “to conceal the criminal conduct of US government officials meddling in the 2016 election in collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign,” by focusing all public and political attention on a hoax distraction.
The third is to obstruct Trump’s campaign and distract him from his agenda when he won the election.
Despite the inability of Mueller to find any evidence that Trump or Trump officials colluded with Russia to steal the US presidential election, and the inability of Mueller to find evidence with which to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice, Russiagate has achieved all of its purposes.
Trump has been locked into a hostile relationship with Russia. Neoconservatives have succeeded in worsening this hostile relationship by manipulating Trump into a blatant criminal attempt to overthrow in broad daylight the Venezuelan government.
Hillary’s criminal conduct and the criminal conduct of the CIA, FBI, and Obama Justice (sic) Department that resulted in a variety of felonies, including the FBI obtaining spy warrants for partisan political purposes on false pretexts from the FISA court, were swept out of sight by the Russiagate hoax.
The Mueller report was written in such a way that despite the absence of any evidence supporting any indictment of Trump, the report refused to clear Trump of obstruction and passed the buck to the Attorney General. In other words, Mueller in the absence of any evidence kept the controversy going by setting up Attorney General Barr for cover-up charges.
It is evidence of Mueller’s corruption that he does not explain just how it is possible for Trump to possibly have obstructed justice when Mueller states in his report that the crime he was empowered to investigate could not be found. How does one obstruct the investigation of a crime that did not occur?
'Operation Blackout is underway':
Russia blames US for Venezuela power crisis
by Tom Phillips
Deputy defence minister says US using a ‘broad range of techniques’ in bid to oust president Nicolás Maduro;
Russia has accused the United States of deliberately causing a succession of crippling power cuts in Venezuela as part of a plot to topple its president, Nicolás Maduro, dubbed “Operation Blackout”.
The crisis-stricken South American country has been rocked by a series of nationwide power outrages since 7 March, which Maduro’s government has blamed on US-backed saboteurs and snipers but most experts attribute to poor maintenance and a bush fire that destroyed a key section of Venezuela’s power grid.
In an interview with the Moscow-funded broadcaster RT, however, Russia’s deputy defence minister, Alexander Fomin, backed Maduro’s version of events.
Fomin claimed Washington felt reluctant to launch an outright military operation against Maduro, fearing it “might rally the nation behind the current government” and anger other Latin American governments.
But the US was not a country to “sit idly [by]”, Fomin added. Instead, it was “employing … a broad range of techniques” in its effort to remove Maduro, including a “man-made shutdown of [Venezuelan] energy facilities”.
“Operation Blackout is underway,” Fomin was quoted as saying.
Russia Warns Bolton: ‘Monroe Doctrine’ Remarks Are Insulting to Latin America
by Andre Vltchek
What is the ‘Monroe Doctrine’? In brief, it is a document which defines the entire Western Hemisphere as a ‘backyard’ of the United States. It ‘philosophically’ justifies Washington’s neo-colonialism, and the most barbaric coups it has been triggering, as well as covered and open interventions in the Caribbean, and in Central and South America.
And now, National Security Advisor John Bolton, is using this term in connection with Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, outraging those who are opposing the US foreign policy in the region. What he means is clear, although it is never pronounced as bluntly as that: Countries in the Western Hemisphere should never be allowed to go socialist, and they should be prevented from disobeying Western dictates.
In Doha, Qatar, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, expressed his outrage over Bolton’s evoking of the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ now, when the West is doing all in its power to overthrow the democratically elected left-wing government of Venezuela:
“The theory and the practice of “backyards” is generally insulting…
Sergei Lavrov also added that:
“Since 1945, when the UN was founded, the international law is being regulated by this universal and the most legitimate organization.”
This is, obviously, not how the United States sees the world. Maybe it never even considered such an approach.
But back to the ‘notorious’ Monroe Doctrine.
Surprisingly, it was not always intended to intimidate and brutalize independent and progressive Latin American nations.
According to the definition of the United States Department of State:
“The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”
So, in theory at least, this policy was supposed to be putting the brakes on European colonialist expansionism. This may sound almost unbelievable now.
How very unfortunate that it has evolved into one of the most unscrupulous tools of oppression in modern history!
PEPE ESCOBAR: War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff
by Pepe Escobar
(April 24, 2019)
Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow, writes Pepe Escobar.
The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead.
As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.
First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.
The eight nations are a mix of Eurasian powers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
Apart from the trademark toxic cocktail of hubris, illegality, arrogance/ignorance and geopolitical/geo–economic infantilism inbuilt in this foreign policy decision, the notion that Washington can decide who’s allowed to be an energy provider to emerging superpower China does not even qualify as laughable. Much more alarming is the fact that imposing a total embargo of Iranian oil exports is no less than an act of war.
Ultimate Neocon Wet Dream
Those subscribing to the ultimate U.S, neocon and Zionist wet dream – regime change in Iran – may rejoice at this declaration of war. But as Professor Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran has elegantly argued, “If the Trump regime miscalculates, the house can easily come crashing down on its head.”
Reflecting the fact Tehran seems to have no illusions regarding the utter folly ahead, the Iranian leadership — if provoked to a point of no return, Marandi additionally told me — can get as far as “destroying everything on the other side of the Persian Gulf and chasing the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan. When the U.S. escalates, Iran escalates. Now it depends on the U.S. how far things go.”
Yemen: The Triumph of Barbarism
by Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s recent veto of a bipartisan resolution to force an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen reminds me of some words by V.S. Naipaul, the Trinidadian author. In his book “A Bend in the River,” Naipaul says, “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.”
The war in Yemen has reached a level of barbarism as few wars in recent history. It has become a humanitarian nightmare that only a cessation of hostilities by Saudi Arabia and the provision of immediate assistance to the people in Yemen can help solve. The Trump administration, however, has chosen to continue supporting the Saudi regime.
U.S. military assistance takes several forms. It goes from refueling Saudi and Emirati jets leading the bombing campaign in Yemen, to providing targeting and military advice to the Saudi forces, and providing fuel and armaments, including precision-guided missiles for use against the Yemeni Houthis.
The war against the Yemenis by Saudi Arabia flaunts international law and basic humanitarian principles. Years of conflict have all but destroyed the country’s public health system and fueled a humanitarian crisis of dramatic proportions. Since the escalation of the war in 2015, medical personnel and health facilities have been attacked and destroyed. As a result, thousands of people have been cut off from essential services.
Yemenis are forced to travel long distances to reach the few remaining health facilities. As a result, pregnant women with complications arrive late, and those suffering from serious injuries lose precious minutes of care. In addition, the destruction of the health system has led to outbreaks of diphtheria, measles, and cholera.
According to the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment report –which reflects the insights of the U.S. Intelligence Community, including the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI, as well as many other federal agencies- of nearly 29 million people in Yemen, about 22 million need some form of humanitarian assistance.
Among them, 16 million don’t have access to food and drinking water, and more than one million Yemenis –mostly children- suffer from cholera. In addition, 5 million people are at food “emergency” level, just short of famine, and there are 2.8 million internally displaced people. In the meantime, emergency life-saving medicines, trauma kits, diarrheal disease kits, and blood banks are urgently needed, while the public health system is under collapse.
The war in Yemen is a flagrant violation of the principle of proportionality. According to this principle, “The harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not ‘excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated’ by an attack on a military objective.” The Saudi attacks on Yemeni civilians and military targets make a mockery of this principle of international law.
wounded and grief-stricken tell a disturbing tale of a divided country after
the ‘defeat’ of Isis
by Robert Fisk
The men of the Shia militias who helped rescue the Iraqi government army as Isis advanced on Baghdad complain bitterly that their government cares little for them
The moment the 54-year-old walks up to the car, it is obvious something is terribly wrong. The way he drags his feet, then stamps them on the ground and marches forward like a toy soldier, head lowered; then the way he looks up at you from beneath dark brows, in both greeting and concern. Taamy Wahab Mohamed al-Yasaari should have returned from the Isis battlefront to a land fit for heroes.
For the Shia Muslims of southern Iraq, he counts among the heroes. When I ask him when he was wounded, he looks and stares at the wall in a distressed way, dark eyes framed by thick black hair but white beard. “Several times I was wounded,” al-Yasaari says. And you can tell that the bullets and shrapnel have framed a diary in his mind. “On 28 April 2015 at Bayji, on 3 July 2015, again at Bayji, on 5 May 2016 on the Makhoul mountains near Tikrit, then on 3 July 2017 at Khalidiya in Anbar province.” It was the last wound which did for him.
“I was leading a company of the Ali Akbar brigade into an attack on the enemy, and an Isis sniper shot me in the head. His bullet hit me in the back of the brain.” And here al-Yasaari puts his left hand to the back of his head. “I lost part of my skull and words are very difficult for me now. My memories are very difficult. I regret nothing. I followed the fatwa of our leader [ayatollah Ali al-Sistani]. Look, here are my wounds.”
And the staring eyes of al-Yasaari look at me as he rolls up his trousers to show scars and great searing cuts across his legs. There is a terrible mark on his calf, as if someone has sawed away at the flesh. He had paid the price of following Sistani’s fatwa – to fight a “defensive war” against Isis after the Islamist capture of Mosul in 2014 – and it is clear that today he thinks of little else.
He is still dressed in military uniform, constantly stretching his legs in pain, and in the little “diwaniya” reception room of his home on the outskirts of Kerbala there is a display of coloured photographs of a smiling, younger al-Yasaari, arms round friends at the war front, one of the pictures showing him firing a rocket-propelled grenade. He keeps looking at a camera video of the same scene. He lives in his own war museum.
“I thought I was dead,” he says. “So did my comrades. The back of my head was blown away. They called my brother Jassem, and said to him, ‘Your brother has been martyred’. Jassem asked them, ‘Are you sure?’ They said, ‘What do you expect us to say – he was shot in the head!’ I was left for dead but two hours later they noticed my pulse. Jassem was asking if he could come and get me but they said the fighting was too bad.
“Eventually, they got me onto a helicopter and to the Kadimiyeh hospital [in Baghdad]. Then they took me to a Kerbala hospital where an Indian and Iraqi doctor told me that I had to sign an indemnity for an operation – because there was only a 1 per cent chance of success. The bones at the back of my brain had to be taken out and replaced with titanium. There were no more bones behind my brain. I signed.”
Incredibly, al-Yasaari asked to return to the battle until another holy fatwa was given to leave, because “I had to be with my comrades, even if I have to clean the lavatories to be with them”. He was not granted his wish, but instead driven to his tiny house with its palm tree in the drive, receiving financial help from the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine group, a Shia organisation, as well as a pittance from the government. Suddenly, he stands up and begins stomping up and down the little room, a toy soldier again. “He does not change,” one of his relatives says.
“The Daesh [Isis] were all brainwashed – all of them,” he shouts. “Saudis, Chechens, Turks, yes, there were Iraqis too. Their Islamist beliefs are corrupted by something that comes from the time before Islam – from the time of the ‘jahaliya’, the time of ‘ignorance’ before the Prophet. They want to push us back to that.”
Al-Yasaari knew who his enemies were. And his friends. But – and this is a common theme in the Shia south of Iraq – does his government care enough for him? The men of the Shia militias who helped to rescue the Iraqi government army as Isis advanced on Baghdad complain bitterly that their government cares little for them, that the most many families of “martyrs” received is a patch of land far away from the rivers of Iraq where nothing would grow.
Yellow Vest Movement Struggles
To Reinvent Democracy
by Richard Greeman
(April 13, 2019)
Act 21 While Assembly of Assemblies Meets, Macron Cranks Up Propaganda and Repression.
After five months of constant presence at traffic circles, toll-booths and hazardous Saturday marches, the massive, self-organized social movement known as the Yellow Vests has just held its second nationwide “Assembly of Assemblies.” Hundreds of autonomous Yellow Vest activist groups from all over France each chose two delegates (one woman, one man) to gather in the port city of St. Nazaire for a weekend of deliberation (April 5-7).
After weeks of skirmishing with the municipal authorities, the local Yellow Vests were able to host 700 delegates at the St. Nazaire “House of the People,” and the three-day series of general meetings and working groups went off without a hitch in an atmosphere of good-fellowship. A sign on the wall proclaimed: “No one has the solution, but everybody has a piece of it.”
Their project: mobilize their “collective intelligence” to reorganize, strategize, and prolong their struggle. Their aim: achieve the immediate goals of livable wages and retirements, restoration of social benefits and public services like schools, transportation, post offices, hospitals, taxing the rich and ending fiscal fraud to pay for preserving the environment, and, most ambitious of all, reinventing democracy in the process. Their Declaration ends with the phrase “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” I often wonder if they know who coined it.
Yellow Vests news coverage: Are recent journalists arrests an attempt at intimidating press?
Journalist organisations have condemned French police after 2 reporters were detained on Saturday - during the 23rd consecutive weekend of the Yellow Vest protests. ‘There’s a question emerging: is there a determination to intimidate journalists? We have an impression some of them are being targeted’ - Vincent Lanier, The National Union of Journalists ‘Since the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement appeared, the number of incidents targeting journalists... when they are filming or photographing, hampers the work of the press and limits the coverage of events which represent crucial public interest’ - Catherine Monnet, Reporters without borders
The French Revolution: Part Deux
Top advisor Jared Kushner, his wife Ivanka Trump, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sulman at the White House in 2018. (Photo: The White House/flickr)
by Eoin Higgins
Washington's Gulf Institute director Ali Al-Ahmed called the killings "the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom's history."
Just as Jared Kushner answered questions about the close ties between the White House and Saudi Arabia in New York on Tuesday, the Middle Eastern kingdom beheaded 37 people in its largest mass execution in at last three years.
The executions, of mostly Shiite men accused of terrorism related crimes, were part of what Washington's Gulf Institute director Ali Al-Ahmed called "the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom's history."
Al-Ahmed identified 34 of the 37 victims as Shiite.
According to reports, Saudi Arabian security services nailed one of the heads to a poll as a warning and one victim was crucified after his execution.
The killings were announced by Saudi state media Tuesday morning, Eastern time, right before Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a senior advisor to the president, took the stage at the Time 100 Summit event honoring the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The Destruction of the Palestinians Will Be Israel’s Undoing
by Robert Scheer
The Israel-Palestine conflict is at the heart of politics not only in the Middle East, but in the United States. As the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu moves further toward the hard right with the support of U.S. President Donald Trump, the plight of Palestinians is reaching a new level of urgency. Journalist and filmmaker Mariam Shahin, the daughter of Palestinians, has dedicated much of her life’s work to documenting Palestinians’ stories through film as well as in her book “Palestine: A Guide” (Interlink Books, 2006). Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer describes Shahin’s films as poignant portrayals of “the forgotten people of every intrusion, every war.”
by Marwan Bishara
What an old Hebrew parable can tell us about Kushner's strategy and the deal of the century.
Over the past two years, the Trump administration has launched an all-out diplomatic assault on the Palestinians, while preparing a new initiative to resolve the Middle East conflict. It has claimed its plan is different from any other, downplayed anything said about it as wild speculation, and accused critics of rushing to judgment before they have seen it.
Indeed, the Palestinians have not seen the actual plan, but they have a pretty good feeling about what it will involve. They have watched closely as the Trump administration has spat out one policy after the other with the clear intention of humiliating and subduing them.
From: Mark Crispin
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Subject: [MCM] The US military's 36 code-named operations in Africa
by Nick Turse and Sean D. Naylor
Many Americans first became aware of U.S. military operations in Africa in October 2017, after the Islamic State ambushed American troops near Tongo Tongo, Niger, killing four U.S. soldiers and wounding two others.
Just after the attack, U.S. Africa Command said U.S. troops were providing “advice and assistance” to local counterparts. Later, it would become clear that those troops — the 11-man Operational Detachment-Alpha Team 3212 — were working out of the town of Oullam
with a larger Nigerian force under the umbrella of Operation Juniper Shield, a wide-ranging counterterrorism effort in northwest Africa.
Until poor weather prevented it, that team was supposed to lend support to another group of American commandos who were trying to kill or capture Islamic State leader Doundoun Cheffou as part of Obsidian Nomad II.
Juniper Shield and Obsidian Nomad II were not isolated efforts but part of a panoply of named military operations and activities U.S. forces have been conducting from dozens of bases across the northern tier of Africa. Many of these operations are taking place in countries that the U.S. government does not recognize as combat zones, but in which U.S. troops are nonetheless fighting and, in several cases, taking casualties.
Between 2013 and 2017, U.S. special operations forces saw combat in at least 13 African countries, according to retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who served at U.S. Africa Command from 2013 to 2015 and then headed Special Operations Command Africa until 2017. Those countries, according to Bolduc, are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan and Tunisia. He added that U.S. troops have been killed or wounded in action in at least six of them: Kenya, Libya, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan and Tunisia.
Yahoo News has put together a list of three dozen such operations across the continent.
Click on the link for the rest:
Obama & Hillary Easter tweets cause outrage,
as media supports genocide of Christians in Syria
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss tweets made by former US President Barack Obama and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, which left 290 dead and more than 500 injured on the South Asian island, targeted Christian churches and functions in the country's capital. Conservative media slammed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Sri Lankan terror attacks, but that very same media has pushed for regime change in Syria and the overthrow of Assad, whose secular government has protected Christians in the region. Only Fox News' Tucker Carlson was brave enough to call out the media hypocrisy, in what has become a war against Christianity from both the establishment, neocon right and neoliberal left.
The National Security State - Gore Vidal 03-18-1998
Democracy Now: Noam Chomsky, April 12, 2019
Chinese Cameras come with Chinese Tactics
by Jonah M. Kessel, Melisa Chan, Paul Moser, & John Woo
Chris Hedges - The American Empire Will Collapse Within a Decade,
Two at Most (11-19-18)
Here, Chris speaks with CBC Radio about his new book and predicts that the US empire will collapse within the next 20 years, probably within the next 10.
RT America: On-air livestream 24/7
Julian Assange in conversation with Slavoj Zizek
by Frontline Club, Published on Aug 1, 2012
02/07/2011 - Frontline Club Exclusive: Julian Assange in conversation with Slavoj Žižek moderated by Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman Last year, whistleblower website WikiLeaks released three of the biggest ever leaks of classified information in history: the Iraq War Logs, the Afghanistan War Logs and Cablegate. Since then the world has undoubtedly changed. Ambassadors have resigned amid scandals exposed by leaked cables; the UK government has ordered a review of computer security; and, at the same time, a huge wave of protest has swept the Middle East and North Africa -- in part fuelled, some believe, by WikiLeaks revelations. Discussing the impact of WikiLeaks on the world and what it means for the future, for this very special event WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange will be in conversation with renowned Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek. Focusing on the ethics and philosophy behind WikiLeaks' work, the talk will provide a rare opportunity to hear two of the world's most prominent thinkers discuss some of the most pressing issues of our time. It will also mark the publication of the paperback edition of Living in the End Times, in which Žižek argues that new ways of using and sharing information, in particular WikiLeaks, are one of a number of harbingers of the end of global capitalism as we know it. The event will be chaired by Amy Goodman, the award-winning investigative journalist and host of Democracy Now!, a daily, independent news hour which airs on the internet and more than 900 public television and radio stations worldwide.
60 Minutes: Julian Assange's father reveals secrets
from inside the Ecuadorian embassy
by Liz Little