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Showing posts from April, 2019

Amazing: the real story about Cold War 2.0 in less than 14 min.

The Grayzone
The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal explains the history of the new American cold war with Russia in 13 minutes, from the overthrow of the USSR to CIA-backed color revolutions, from Yeltsin to Putin, from Ukraine to Russiagate.

Joe Biden launches campaign with Charlottesville condemnation after supporting neo-nazis in Ukraine

While working behind the scenes to shape the post-Maidan Ukrainian government to their liking, powerbrokers in Washington — Biden included — have done all they could to downplay the U.S. role.
by Alexander Rubinstein

Part 1

Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his candidacy for the American presidency on Thursday morning with the release of his first campaign video, ‘’America Is An Idea.’ The first word from the candidate’s mouth — “Charlottesville,” a town now synonymous with neo-Nazi hate in the U.S. — is the overwhelming focus of the ad, which attacks Trump for his widely criticized “moral equivalence” between neo-Nazis and anti-fascists.

Biden argues that “We are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” after bloviating over b-roll of the infamous torch-lit march the night prior to the murder of activist Heather Heyer by a supporter of Adolf Hitler. “Folks, America is an idea,” Biden says.

Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, seemingly condemned the exploitation of her daughter’…

Economic sanctions as collective punishment: the case of Venezuela

Mark Weisbrot / Jeffrey Sachs
This paper looks at some of the most important impacts of the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the US government since August of 2017. It finds that most of the impact of these sanctions has not been on the government but on the civilian population.
The sanctions reduced the public’s caloric intake, increased disease and mortality (for both adults and infants), and displaced millions of Venezuelans who fled the country as a result of the worsening economic depression and hyperinflation.
They exacerbated Venezuela’s economic crisis and made it nearly impossible to stabilize the economy, contributing further to excess deaths. All of these impacts disproportionately harmed the poorest and most vulnerable Venezuelans.
Even more severe and destructive than the broad economic sanctions of August 2017 were the sanctions imposed by executive order on January 28, 2019 and subsequent executive orders this year; and the recognition of a parallel government, …

Americans defend Venezuela’s embassy in DC from takeover by coup forces

Anya Parampil
An inside look at the grassroots Embassy Protection Collective comprised of Americans who have gathered from across the country to defend Venezuela’s embassy in Washington DC – and international law itself – from a brazen takeover attempt by Juan Guaido’s US-backed coup administration.

Οι αμερικανικές κυρώσεις σκότωσαν 40.000 ανθρώπους στη Βενεζουέλα

Συγκλονιστικά είναι τα συμπεράσματα των γνωστών οικονομολόγων Μαρκ Βάισμπροτ και Τζέφρι Σακς για τις επιπτώσεις που έχουν οι κυρώσεις εναντίον της Βενεζουέλας τα τελευταία χρόνια.
Σε έκθεσή τους αναφέρουν ότι οι κυρώσεις έχουν προκαλέσει τουλάχιστον 40.000 θανάτους από το 2017 και αποτελούν μορφή συλλογική τιμωρίας του πληθυσμού που παραβιάζει τη συνθήκη της Γενεύης, αλλά ακόμη και την αμερικανική νομοθεσία.
Όπως αναφέρουν «οι κυρώσεις έχουν μειώσει την θερμιδική κατανάλωση του πληθυσμού, έχουν οδηγήσει σε αύξηση των ασθενειών και της θνησιμότητας (τόσο σε ενήλικες όσο και σε νεογνά) και έχουν αναγκάσει εκατομμύρια κατοίκους της Βενεζουέλας να εγκαταλείψουν τη χώρα τους».
Σε οικονομικό επίπεδο, γιγάντωσαν την υπάρχουσα κρίση καθιστώντας αδύνατη κάθε προσπάθεια εξόδου από αυτή, γεγονός που αύξησε περαιτέρω τον αριθμό των θανάτων στο εσωτερικό της Βενεζουέλας. Τα αποτελέσματα των κυρώσεων, αναφέρουν οι δυο οικονομολόγοι έπληξαν δυσανάλογα τα πιο φτωχά και ευάλωτα τμήματα του πληθυσμού.
Ο Μά…

Sell Out: how corruption, voter fraud and a neoliberal turn led Ecuador’s Lenin to give up Assange

Desperate to ingratiate his government with Washington and distract the public from his mounting scandals, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has sacrificed Julian Assange – and his country’s independence
by Denis Rogatyuk
Part 2 - The INA Papers scandal and growing political instability
WikiLeaks’s decision to re-publish the details of Moreno’s use of off-shore bank accounts in Panama, infamously titled INA Papers after the name of the shell corporation at the centre of the scandal (INA Investment Corporation) appear to be the main cause for the president’s decision to expel Assange from the embassy.
Ecuadorian Communications Minister Andrés Michelena event went as far as claiming that the INA Papers were a conspiracy plot between Julian Assange, the former president Rafael Correa and the current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
The INA Papers scandal has cast a long shadow on Moreno’s regime and shattered its pledge to fight against institutional corruption. The scandal reveals that …

After Assange’s arrest, Ecuador’s creep towards authoritarianism becomes a sprint

The recent violation of Assange’s rights as both political asylee and citizen of Ecuador sends a chilling message to Ecuadorians who are being increasingly targeted for their political views both within Ecuador and abroad.
by Whitney Webb
Part 3 - Spreading the net
In addition to Bini’s pre-trial detention based on nothing more than questionable evidence, an Ecuadorian lawyer and supporter of former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, Viviana Paredes, announced on Friday that she had been informed she was the likely object of an investigation by Ecuador’s Interior Ministry triggered by her participation in a 2012 event along with Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, where they — among others — urged the then-Correa-led government to offer Assange asylum.
Furthermore, several protesters were arrested in Quito for demonstrating against Moreno’s decision to revoke Assange’s asylum and his corruption scandal.
Two of those detained were forced to publicly apologize to Moreno and sentenced to …

US military attack on Venezuela mulled by top Trump advisors and Latin American officials at private DC meeting

Away from the public eye, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank hosted a top-level, off-the-record meeting to explore US military options against Venezuela.
by Max Blumenthal
Part 3 - A Who’s Who of Trump Administration Coup Advisors
The CSIS check-in list not only confirms that the Trump administration and its outside advisors are mulling options for a military assault on Venezuela; it also outlines the cast of characters involved in crafting the regime change operation against the country.
Few of these figures are well known by the public, yet many have played an influential role in US plans to destabilize Venezuela.
The complete check-in list can be viewed at the end of this article. Below are profiles of some of the more notable figures and organizations involved in the private meeting. (Names of attendees are in bold).
Admiral Kurt Tidd, Former Commander of US SOUTHCOM: From 2015-18, Tidd was the commander of the US Naval Forces Southern Command, overseei…

Fox clowns committed suicide by bringing Bernie Sanders inside their nest to destroy them

... and the liberal centrists must be really pissed off
globinfo freexchange
It was epic indeed. The moment where the crowd inside the Fox ultra-right nest enthusiastically cheers in favor of a government-run healthcare system, could actually be considered a historical moment, thanks to Bernie Sanders.
The moment clearly depicts and officially marks the end of controlled audiences in controlled MSM environments. It shows that the well-paid MSM pundits and their producers are finding increasingly difficult to set up the scene according to the desirable agenda. Therefore, audience reactions can't be directed, or predicted in many cases by the MSM 'experts'.
The shock for the MSM tools was inevitable. It shows that they are now completely detached from the ordinary people and their problems.
But the whole thing highlighted something even more fundamental. It was another loud evidence for the fact that the BS neoliberal narratives don't work anymore.
And even more remarkably, th…

Secret report reveals Saudi incompetence and widespread use of US weapons in Yemen

Since the brutal murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi last October, Congress has increasingly pressured the Trump administration to stop backing the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen and halt U.S. arms sales to Riyadh. In response, President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that if the U.S. does not sell weapons to the Saudis, they will turn to U.S. adversaries to supply their arsenals.
I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States,” Trump told reporters in October, referring to a collection of intent letters signed with the Saudis in the early months of his presidency. “You know what they are going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China or someplace else.
But a highly classified document produced by the French Directorate of Military Intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems…

'Creepy uncle Joe' launches presidential bid with fundraiser filled with corporate lobbyists and GOP donors

Over the last few months, David Cohen, a Comcast executive who oversees the telecom giant’s lobbying operation, has cut big checks to Republican candidates while pushing to advance his company’s regulatory agenda.
On Thursday afternoon, however, Cohen will open his Philadelphia home to host Joe Biden, helping the Democratic former vice president kick off his bid for the White House.
Biden, who announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday morning, has depicted himself as the party’s standard bearer. But he’s planning to roll out his campaign at an event filled with others like Cohen, namely GOP donors and corporate lobbyists.
Like other Democratic candidates, Biden is launching his presidential bid with a pledge to reject federal lobbyist cash. But the lobbyists attending his Thursday fundraiser are either unregistered or registered with state entities, not the federal system. As The Intercept previously reported, Democratic contenders Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris…

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

John Pilger
The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might against right. Muscle against the law. Indecency against courage. Six policemen manhandled a sick journalist, his eyes wincing against his first natural light in almost seven years.
That this outrage happened in the heart of London, in the land of Magna Carta, ought to shame and anger all who fear for "democratic" societies. Assange is a political refugee protected by international law, the recipient of asylum under a strict covenant to which Britain is a signatory. The United Nations made this clear in the legal ruling of its Working Party on Arbitrary Detention.
But to hell with that. Let the thugs go in. Directed by the quasi fascists in Trump's Washington, in league with Ecuador's Lenin Moreno, a Latin American Judas and liar seeking to disguise his rancid regime, the British elite abandoned its last imperial myth: that of fairness and just…

This is why every real progressive should fight to stop US imperialist wars - Tulsi Gabbard knows better

It was the video that put WikiLeaks on the map: "Collateral Murder" turned the tide of war in Iraq and landed Chelsea Manning in military detention. The army veteran Ethan McCord, is just one of the thousands ruined lives and one of the many devastating effects of these wars.

What is the 'AI agenda,' who's pushing it and why?

by Jim Hightower
The great thing about corporate giants is that they are such amazing business innovators. Look at the Big Four airline oligopoly, for example. They've perfected the unique business model of the "double-squeeze": squeezing more customers into ever-smaller seats while simultaneously squeezing more money out of customers' pockets. What genius!
But in the category of "wheel-spinning" innovation — i.e., trying to change a corporation's course without actually changing anything — it's hard to top McDonald's. For several years, the fast-food chain has been losing customers to younger chains with healthier, more stylish offerings. So, its CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has tried again and again to recoup the losses by tinkering with the menu, calling it "healthy" and "fresh." But McNuggets and fries are still what they are, so people have not bitten the PR bait.
So the burger boss looked out at his 38,000 chain stores, and he …

There is something fundamental missing from Bernie Sanders' new ad

globinfo freexchange
Several progressives expressed their enthusiasm about Bernie's new ad. However, if we examine it closely, we will find that it is quite far from describing an effective progressive strategy that Bernie Sanders should follow.
The ad successfully highlights the complete failure of Donald Trump to secure the jobs of the American workers, and more specifically, his evident unwillingness to fight against the corporate beasts in order to protect workers' jobs and interests.
At the end of the ad Bernie tries to send a clear message to the corporations: “If you are not a good and responsible corporate citizen, do not think that you will get Federal contracts.

What's wrong here?
First of all, only through a miracle we could see the parasitic corporate beasts behave responsively. We know, and Bernie knows, that they don't care about workers' rights and working conditions. They don't care about giving decent wages. They only care about maximizing profits …

Sell Out: how corruption, voter fraud and a neoliberal turn led Ecuador’s Lenin to give up Assange

Desperate to ingratiate his government with Washington and distract the public from his mounting scandals, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has sacrificed Julian Assange – and his country’s independence
by Denis Rogatyuk
Part 1
The images of six Metropolitan police officers dragging Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London have provoked rage by citizens around the world. Many have warned that his extradition to the US for trial on conspiracy charges – and possibly much more if federal prosecutors have their way – will lead to the criminalization of many standard journalistic practices.
These scenes were only possible thanks to the transformation of Ecuador’s government under the watch of President Lenin Moreno.
Since at least December 2018, Moreno has been working towards expelling Assange from the embassy. The Ecuadorian president’s behavior represents a stunning reversal from the policies of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, the defiantly progressive leader who first author…