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Showing posts from December, 2018

Jan 2018 picks

Luis Almagro’s one track mind

Luis Almagro is the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose tenure is best defined by the quasi-evangelical zeal with which he has condemned and sought to delegitimise the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro.
On 15 December, Uruguay’s Frente Amplio (Broad Front) government announced it had finally had enough after Almagro had advocated Maduro’s removal by any means necessary, including force. Almagro was previously Uruguay’s Foreign Minister from 2010 until 2015 under the Frente Amplio government of José Mujica.
For the Frente Amplio, a long-standing ally of Venezuela, the final straw was a press conference on 15 September. ‘With regards to military intervention to overthrow Nicolás Maduro, I believe that we must not rule out any option’, Almagro said then. He doubled down in an interview published five days later, offering the Rwandan genocide, in which around 800,000 people were killed, as a comparable example of what inaction can produce.
Almagro’s i…

Former Pentagon official confirms: Trump prepares for war with Iran

globinfo freexchange
Right after Trump's sudden announcement that he will withdraw the US forces from Syria, we had some mixed reactions. Some liberals reacted angrily, but most of the reactions from the liberal machine were rather moderate, or at least not as intensive as someone would normally expect.
On the other hand, Trump's supporters and all those who had enough of the pro-war neoliberal establishment, felt a kind of vindication, as it appeared that Trump would eventually keep its promise for an 'anti-interventionist' policy.
But the blog wrote immediately a 'not so fast' article to explain that most of the Americans and all those who are tired of the US endless wars, should not rush to celebrate. We estimated that Trump's move is probably a sign that he is going to re-organize troops and go after the big target called Iran.
Indeed, shortly after the move, Trump, suddenly again, announced that he will also pullout troops from Afghanistan.
And then, about…

Senate report on Russian interference was written by disinformation warriors behind Alabama ‘false flag operation’

On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week’s worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party’s Jill Stein to Instagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.
Nevermind that 56% of the troll farm’s pages appeared after the election, that 25% of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.
According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were “a wa…

The Guardian’s vilification of Julian Assange

The Guardian did not make a mistake in vilifying Assange without a shred of evidence. It did what it is designed to do, says Jonathan Cook.
by Jonathan Cook
Part 7 - Heroes of the Neoliberal Order
Equally, The Guardian has made clear who its true heroes are. Certainly not Corbyn or Assange, who threaten to disrupt the entrenched neoliberal order that is hurtling us towards climate breakdown and economic collapse.
Its pages, however, are readily available to the latest effort to prop up the status quo from Tony Blair, the man who led Britain, on false pretenses, into the largest crime against humanity in living memory – the attack on Iraq.
That “humanitarian intervention” cost the lives of many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and created a vacuum that destabilized much of the Middle East, sucked in Islamic jihadists like al-Qaeda and ISIS, and contributed to the migrant crisis in Europe that has fueled the resurgence of the far-right. None of that is discussed in The Guardian or considered…

The IMF is dismantling Argentina all over again

Part 2 - Argentina’s Long Relationship With the IMF, From 1976 to Today
The IMF has a long history of strong-arming the direction of Argentina’s policies and economy, beginning with the military junta in 1976 that tortured, killed, and disappeared 30,000 people in the span of six years. The junta largely targeted the left and the country’s poor and working class as they implemented a series of neoliberal policies, a tactic that journalist Naomi Klein discusses in depth in her book, The Shock Doctrine.
Despite the human toll of Argentina’s genocide, the IMF was willing to look the other way as long as the junta followed their policy prescriptions. As Paul Cooney explained: “just one week after the military coup of March 1976, and without having to negotiate or send a delegation, the Argentinian junta was able to obtain over US $100 million from the IMF. In addition to this show of support for a government willing to implement and impose neoliberal policies with an iron hand, the IMF cam…

Both leading candidates to replace Mattis are maximum war hawks

While “Mad Dog” Mattis was by no means a “hero,” it is almost a given that his replacement will be far more pro-war and pro-intervention than the outgoing secretary of defense.
by Whitney Webb
Part 2 - The lesser of two very evil evils?
Tom Cotton, in his relatively short time as a senator, has gained a reputation for being extraordinarily hawkish, particularly regarding Iran. A long-time critic of the Iran nuclear deal, Cotton was one of the authors of a controversial letter to Iran during negotiations that was described by the Baltimore Sun as telling Tehran “to prepare for war” because the agreement could be nullified by the subsequent president. Since then, Cotton has repeatedly called for the unilateral bombing of Iran, which he insisted would only take “several days” and would not lead to a wider war.
Cotton is also markedly pro-Israel and received over $700,000 from the Emergency Committee for Israel in 2014 and nearly $1 million from that same group a year later. That same year…

Labour and anti-Semitism in 2018: The truth behind the relentless smear campaign against Corbyn

Bombarded by disinformation campaigns, many British Jews are being misled into seeing Corbyn as a threat rather than as the best hope of inoculating Britain against the resurgence of right-wing anti-Semitism menace
by Jonathan Cook
End-of-year polls are always popular as a way to gauge significant social and political trends over the past year and predict where things are heading in the next. But a recent poll of European Jews – the largest such survey in the world – is being used to paint a deeply misleading picture of British society and an apparent problem of a new, left-wing form of anti-semitism.
Part 1 - An anti-Semitism problem?
The survey was conducted by the European Union's agency on fundamental rights and was given great prominence in the liberal-left British daily the Guardian. The newspaper highlighted one area of life in which Britain scored worse with Jews than any of the other 12 member states surveyed.
Some 84 per cent of Jews in the UK believe there is a major problem…

Ο φασισμός δεν είναι ιδεολογία, αλλά πολιτική πρακτική

Ο φασισμός είναι παιδί του καπιταλισμού και αδελφός του νεοσυντηρητισμού όσο και του νεοφιλελευθερισμού. Επί της ουσίας φασίστες, νεοσυντηρητικοί και νεοφιλελεύθεροι, έχουν παραπλήσιες αντιλήψεις για την κοινωνία, όσο και αν επιφανειακά διαφέρουν. Θέλουν μια ζούγκλα, όπου οι αδύναμοι καλώς μένουν απροστάτευτοι και οι ισχυρότεροι δίκαια τα παίρνουν όλα. Όλοι τους συμμερίζονται τη θεώρηση του κοινωνικού δαρβινισμού.
του Σπύρου Μαρκέτου
Μέρος 3ο - Μεταφορά πόρων από τους πολλούς στους λίγους - Ο φασισμός επιδιώκει να συγκροτήσει μαζική βάση
Τις κύριες εκδοχές του φασισμού εξέτασε συγκριτικά ο φιλελεύθερος αμερικανός ιστορικός Ρόμπερτ Πάξτον, προσπαθώντας αρκετά διαλεκτικά να δει «τον φασισμό σε δράση», ως μια σειρά διαδικασιών που εκτυλίσσονται ιστορικά.
Ο Πάξτον παρακολουθεί τις πρωτεϊκές μεταλλάξεις των φασιστών καθώς αυτοί προσαρμόζονται – ή αποτυχαίνουν να προσαρμοστούν – για να καταλάβουν τον διαθέσιμο πολιτικό χώρο.
Τονίζει πως ο φασισμός δεν είναι ιδεολογία, αλλά πολιτική πρακτική που…

How neoliberalism manufactured consent to secure its unlimited power

From David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism
Part 11 – The Reagan/Thatcher neoliberal legacy: a bizarre form of a sinister political doctrine from which it would be difficult one to escape
But Thatcher had to fight the battle on other fronts. A noble rearguard action against neoliberal policies was mounted in many a municipality –– Sheffield, the Greater London Council (which Thatcher had to abolish in order to achieve her broader goals in the 1980s), and Liverpool (where half the local councillors had to be gaoled) formed active centres of resistance in which the ideals of a new municipal socialism (incorporating many of the new social movements in the London case) were both pursued and acted upon until they were finally crushed in the mid-1980s.
She began by savagely cutting back central government funding to the municipalities, but several of them responded simply by raising property taxes, forcing her to legislate against their right to do so. Denigrating the progressive…

Yellow vests rise against neoliberal ‘king’ Macron

For centuries, the “left” hoped popular movements would lead to changes for the better. Today, many leftists seem terrified of popular movements for change, convinced “populism” must lead to “fascism.” But it needn’t be so, says Diana Johnstone.
by Diana Johnstone
Part 5 - The Weakness of Macron
The Yellow Vests have made clear to the whole world that Emmanuel Macron was an artificial product sold to the electorate by an extraordinary media campaign.
Macron was the rabbit magically pulled out of a top hat, sponsored by what must be called the French oligarchy. After catching the eye of established king-maker Jacques Attali, the young Macron was given a stint at the Rothschild bank where he could quickly gain a small fortune, ensuring his class loyalty to his sponsors. Media saturation and the scare campaign against “fascist” Marine LePen (who moreover flubbed her major debate) put Macron in office. He had met his wife when she was teaching his theater class, and now he gets to play Presid…