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Showing posts from April, 2021

From RussiaGate to UkraineGate: Route to Apocalypse

Corruption and supposed efforts to reduce it have become a neoconservative weapon of choice with which to operate the controls on the funding sluice gates to acolytes of the U.S.-led international neoconservative empire.   by Oliver Boyd-Barrett   Part 1 Within three months of the ascendancy of Joseph Biden to the presidency of the United States, the world teeters on the edge of nuclear war, whether by design or accident, as Russia reports that the U.S. is placing considerable pressure on Ukraine to attack the independent republics of the Donbass for which Russia provides logistical support. The U.S. European Command has raised its alert status to the highest level and warned of a “ potential imminent crisis. ” Mounting tension is an entirely foreseeable outcome of the sludge-like flow over the past four years of Democratic Party fables about Russia, RussiaGate, Ukraine, and U.S. national security, on behalf of the Incubus, a sordid network of military, defense and surveillance industr

Will Lula make a comeback? Global imperialists and resource extractors shudder at the prospect

With the potential comeback of Lula da Silva, Brazil may once again be on a path away from fascism and one that puts economic justice and anti-imperialism first.   by Alan Macleod   Part 3 - A towering figure Despite being coy about next year, Lula is behaving as if he is already president, releasing statements urging his countryfolk to wear masks and inviting U.S. President Joe Biden to an emergency coronavirus summit on vaccine equity. A towering figure in his homeland, the former street urchin and shoe-shine boy turned union leader was elected president in 2002 and served until 2011, leaving office with an 83% approval rating.    The economy grew steadily and poverty was halved under his stewardship. While the U.S. was invading Afghanistan and Iraq, Lula declared his own domestic war — against hunger. His signature policy was the Bolsa Família package; a deal whereby mothers were given cash transfers of up to $150 per month if they enrolled their children in school and ensured they

"The prices are going up quickly": Bulgarian PM reveals huge scandal around the negotiations between EU and Pfizer for the price of the COVID-19 vaccine

globinfo freexchange   It should be a big headline in every major media outlet. Yet, in the era of corporate feudalism (where the mainstream media are bought by big corporations), this story has passed almost unnoticed, despite the fact that it has been brought to light by a Prime Minister of a European country.   Almost buried in a "corner" of the Reuters website, the short report reveals that according to the Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, the EU is about to make a new deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, at a significantly increased price:   The bloc is seeking the new supply deal with the two companies for up to 1.8 billion vaccines, of which is 900 million optional, to be delivered in 2022 and 2023, Reuters reported on Friday. Borissov, speaking on Sunday, said the EU was negotiating the new contract at a price of 19.5 euros ($23.22) per dose. “The prices are going up quickly,” Borissov said during a trip to a village in southern Bulga

Former hostage responds to top diplomat calling Al Qaeda a US 'asset' in Syria

The Grayzone   Amid a public relations campaign to rehabilitate the Al Qaeda franchise in Syria -- which rules Idlib, Syria's last militant-controlled province – former top US diplomat James Jeffrey has called the group a US "asset." Lindsey Snell, an independent journalist who escaped captivity by Al Qaeda in Syria, responds.  

US intelligence thinks you’re stupid: ODNI report blames Russia, ignores Colombian election interference

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a report alleging Russian interference in the 2020 election, contradicting November statements that there was no meddling, while ignoring documented interference from top US ally Colombia.   by Dan Cohen   Part 4 - US ally gets a pass   But maybe what’s most remarkable is not what’s in the ODNI report, but what isn’t. By the standards of the U.S. government, multiple elected officials in the party of Colombian President Ivan Duque brazenly interfered in the election against Biden. Senator Carlos Felipe Mejia tweeted this video of a Trump speech attacking Biden. Congressman Juan David Velez quote-tweeted Trump saying “ We will make Colombia great again. ” Or Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal, who in one blog post heralded Trump as leader of the never-ending struggle against socialism and wrote that Biden is leading the way towards the radical wing of the Democratic Party’s socialist vision. On her Instagram, she posted a carto

The greatest debt crisis in history is upon us

The debt burden crushing poor countries will not be alleviated until creditors in rich countries are made to give up some of their wealth   by John Smith  Part 4 - What about the rest? The debt crisis facing the poorest countries is one facet of a colossal global debt crisis. Including the private and public debt of middle income and rich countries, global debt now totals $277trn. This increased by $6trn between 2012 and 2016, and by $52trn from 2016 to the end of September 2020, and is now equal to 365% of global gross domestic product – up from 320% at the end of 2019. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the global capitalist economy was in intensive care, staving off depression thanks to extreme monetary policies such as negative interest rates and ballooning debt. Only a return to strong and sustained economic growth can avert a crisis qualitatively more profound than anything experienced in history, but there is absolutely no reason to expect this growth to materialise. Six poo

CIA whistleblower: “Julian Assange will not receive an impartial jury”

An interview with Jeffrey Sterling    Jeffrey Sterling is a former CIA officer, whistleblower, and graduate of Washington University Law School. After he had filed a discrimination lawsuit against the CIA, Sterling was controversially tried and convicted in 2015 under the 1917 Espionage Act in the Eastern District of Virginia. This same act is now being used to target publisher and journalist Julian Assange. Should the WikiLeaks founder be extradited to the United States, he, too, would face trial in this same district.  A Farsi speaker and clandestine operations officer specializing in Iran, Sterling participated in Operation Merlin, a CIA effort ostensibly aimed at undermining that country’s nuclear program. But when he became convinced that safety protocols were not being followed, Sterling brought his concerns to members of the Senate and House intelligence committees. While Sterling acted in line with whistleblower procedures, representatives failed to act on his disclosures. Yet

EU more worried about Parma ham branding than COVID vaccine patents

How did EU governments decide to oppose a global measure that could boost production of COVID vaccines and medicines for the global south? You won’t get the slightest hint from official EU sources. But leaked documents reveal that the Commission and member states see the real problem as a mere PR issue of how to deflect criticism. Given the pandemic, their position seems indefensible.   Corporate Europe Observatory   Part 5 - Below standard   To suggest voluntary licensing as a solution is tantamount to relying on the good will of patent owners, the big pharmaceutical companies – a rare commodity, and certainly not a solution. So in sum, the minutes show an EU with no intention to waive intellectual property rights.    Moreover, it shows the Commission and member state representatives perceive the criticism from the global south and from civil society as a mere PR problem, rather than posing a genuine challenge with logical, economic, and moral force behind it that should provoke real

Αν είσαι Κούλης ...

globinfo freexchange Δεν παραδέχεσαι πότε, ούτε εμμέσως, ως πρωθυπουργός μιας χώρας, ότι η χώρα αυτή είναι προτεκτοράτο. Εκτός και αν είσαι ... Κούλης.   Όχι βέβαια ότι δεν το ξέραμε. Ότι δηλαδή η χώρα είναι εδώ και δεκαετίες Αμερικανικό προτεκτοράτο και πιο πρόσφατα, Γερμανική αποικία χρέους. Αλλά ένας πρωθυπουργός υποτίθεται ότι δεν πρέπει να τα λέει αυτά (ούτε άμεσα, ούτε πλαγίως, ούτε με κανένα τρόπο), γιατί είναι σαν να δηλώνει υποταγή με τον πιο επίσημο τρόπο και να παραδέχεται ανοιχτά ότι δεν πρόκειται να αλλάξει ποτέ αυτή η κατάσταση.  Αλλά είπαμε. Όταν είσαι Κούλης και θεωρείς τη χώρα τσιφλίκι που κληρονόμησες απ'τον μπαμπά για να το παραδώσεις βορά σε ντόπια και ξένα συμφέροντα, δεν δίνεις σημασία σε τέτοιες "λεπτομέρειες". Αυτά είναι ψιλά γράμματα για το Πριγκιπόπουλο του Μητσοτακιστάν. Λόγω αλαζονείας, λόγω αμετροέπειας και τελικά λόγω ... βλακείας.   Ο Κούλης, λοιπόν, κατηγόρησε τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ για "σατανικό σχέδιο" (εδώ γελάνε και οι πιο "ψεκασμένο

End of the Megamachine: How capitalism & its crises have turned us into a failing civilization

Going Underground   Fabian Scheidler, author of The End of the Megamachine. A Brief History of a Failing Civilization ( https://www.megamaschine.org/en/​ ), discusses why capitalism is in terminal crisis due to its continuous growth model. Why he classifies human civilization as a failing civilization. How capitalism will likely not go through a sudden collapse but rather transition into something else. How crises such a climate change and coronavirus continue to break capitalism. The role of neoliberalism in accelerating capitalism’s collapse. Capitalism’s reliance on 70% of the world being cheap labour. The role of regime change and debt in keeping nations poor.  

Meet the radlib academics using woke post-modernism to defend imperialism

Moderate Rebels   Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by Aaron Maté to discuss the radlibs in academia who pretend to be radical but use anti-materialist post-modern philosophy and neoliberal identity politics to defend Western imperialism, from Ecuador to Syria, China to Venezuela. We also make fun of Bernard-Henri Lévy, who has never seen a US war he didn't love. 

Will Lula make a comeback? Global imperialists and resource extractors shudder at the prospect

With the potential comeback of Lula da Silva, Brazil may once again be on a path away from fascism and one that puts economic justice and anti-imperialism first.   by Alan Macleod   Part 2 - A massive turnaround “ There is a sense of elation for [Lula’s] supporters and those that stood by him for so many years, ” said Michael Fox, a filmmaker based in the southern city of Florianopolis, who likened following Brazilian politics to a ride on a rollercoaster:                            In just a few weeks, Lula’s charges have been annulled and now the once super-star judge Sergio Moro is under formal investigation for judicial bias, a felony charge. It’s a massive turnaround and it can’t be understated. “ This is victory for democracy. We again have hope of a better Brazil with Lula free, ” one jubilant supporter of the former president told Fox. Lula was the runaway favorite to be re-elected in 2018; just six weeks before the election, polls showed that more than twice as many people int

Γκάλοπ πρόωρων εκλογών

failed evolution survey software * Η σειρά με την οποία έχουν τοποθετηθεί τα πολιτικά κόμματα έγινε με βάση το αποτέλεσμα των τελευταίων βουλευτικών εκλογών του Ιουλίου του 2019.  * Αν προτιμάτε άλλο κόμμα από αυτά που εκπροσωπούνται στη βουλή, υπάρχει η επιλογή "Άλλο", ενώ μπορείτε, αν θέλετε, να γράψετε στα σχόλια το όνομα του κόμματος.  * Παρακαλούμε κοινοποιείστε για καλύτερο δείγμα.

The disarticulation of pandemic war propaganda

An investigative analysis takes apart a hackneyed piece of propaganda authored by an international alt-right clique with links to the Pentagon.   by Raul Diego   Part 9 - A classic case of projection The remaining points are remarkable on several counts. One is how the already copious amount of references increase in frequency and the other is the sheer mendacity as the authors engage in the tired and familiar pattern seen in 2016 when Russia was alleged to have carried out a massive social media campaign that threw the election for Donald Trump. Furthermore, the authors not only accuse China of the same type of meme bombardment capable of turning water into wine but also have the audacity to portray the giant mainstream news outlets – from the New York Times to the Washington Post – as helpless victims of a vast Chinese state propaganda machine. By and large, the document concludes by listing scientists, politicians, and a few advocates, who they consider to be either unwitting acco

US intelligence thinks you’re stupid: ODNI report blames Russia, ignores Colombian election interference

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a report alleging Russian interference in the 2020 election, contradicting November statements that there was no meddling, while ignoring documented interference from top US ally Colombia.   by Dan Cohen   Part 3 - When Russian “propaganda” happens to be the plain truth   The report says that Russia’s primary effort was “ alleging corrupt ties between President Joe Biden, his family and other U.S. officials in Ukraine. ” Clearly, that’s a reference to Biden overseeing the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine and then putting his son Hunter on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where he collected an $80,000 paycheck every month despite having no background in energy. That’s right, if you think that’s corruption, you’re getting played by Putin. The report also claims that Russian online influence actors played a tricky double game. Not only did they “ promote former President [Donald] Trump and his commentary… At th

The greatest debt crisis in history is upon us

The debt burden crushing poor countries will not be alleviated until creditors in rich countries are made to give up some of their wealth   by John Smith  Part 3 - Ask, and thou shalt receive… a kick in the teeth So far, 44 countries have applied for relief under the DSSI, and a total of $5.4bn in interest payments have been postponed, to be added to their total outstanding debt, which stood at $477bn in 2018. These savings are equivalent to 2.2% of gross domestic product, or about a tenth of the fall in their tax revenues resulting from the pandemic. To receive relief, DSSI countries must request a suspension of their interest payments, even though the act of making this request brings their creditworthiness into question and invites credit rating agencies to consider downgrading their debt, as has already happened to Ethiopia, Pakistan and Cameroon. Instead of getting debt relief, their borrowing costs have jumped, thereby increasing their debt burden. According to Eurodad’s Daniel M

How endless wars and interventions helped create the assault on the Capitol

by Kevin Tillman   Part 3 - End the Tradition   To be sure, this has been a bipartisan pattern, as the administrations of president after president, Democrat and Republican, engaged in it. Even if we were to take the position that some of those interventions were somehow legal, moral, or necessary, the behavior itself has become completely normalized as a crucial go-to option for any president. It’s also worth noting just what types of nations have typically been targeted for such interventions — usually vulnerable states with weak economies and frail institutions. Whether democracies or dictatorships hasn’t seemed to matter. The populations of such countries have, however, almost invariably been nonwhite. Putting aside the obvious illegality, immorality, and even cowardice of picking on vulnerable nations, such acts historically have probably exacerbated the role of jingoism and xenophobia, as well as cultural and racial superiority in this country, just the sort of thinking so eviden

EU more worried about Parma ham branding than COVID vaccine patents

How did EU governments decide to oppose a global measure that could boost production of COVID vaccines and medicines for the global south? You won’t get the slightest hint from official EU sources. But leaked documents reveal that the Commission and member states see the real problem as a mere PR issue of how to deflect criticism. Given the pandemic, their position seems indefensible.   Corporate Europe Observatory   Part 4 - The world needs to understand the EU better   To almost anyone, to the public, that would be where the story ended – with no insight into how the EU’s decision to oppose the India/ South Africa proposal was made, nor into what arguments were considered. But then sometimes, with a stroke of luck, documents are leaked. And in this case, documents from a German Ministry ended up with Corporate Europe Observatory (unfortunately they cannot be made public). According to those documents, the proposed India/ South Africa waiver was discussed on three occasions in the Tra

QAnon and Russiagate: How the capitalist elites produced a mass conspiracy hysteria to maintain power

globinfo freexchange   In his new documentary Can't Get You Out of My Head , Adam Curtis traces the origins of popular conspiracy theories that survived up to our days and spread rapidly due to Internet. As a result, Curtis finds that Trump election and Brexit triggered a conspiracy paranoia that took over both the liberal establishment and the ultra-conservative camp. The story begins in the late 60s, when Kerry Thornley and his friend Greg Hill had started what they called Operation Mindfuck . They had spread the conspiracy theory that the Illuminati were really the secret rulers of the world. They had done it to parody and ridicule all conspiracy theories because they thought that they undermined the confidence of individuals and made them easier to control.    But now, in the mass of data online, those stories about the Illuminati got mixed up with other conspiracies, both true and false, and out of it came extraordinary dreamlike stories built out of fragments of truth and fic

April 1st 1957: the day Western mainstream media officially became masters of propaganda through a seemingly innocent April Fools' Day joke

globinfo freexchange  In 1957, BBC conducted a very interesting experiment. The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs programme Panorama , purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so that many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. Decades later, CNN called this broadcast " the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled ". This "innocent" farce showed dramatically the unimaginable power of TV and the mainstream media to shape massively the minds of millions. Earlier, Freud's young nephew, Edward Bernays, had set the foundations of modern propaganda. It is worth to add that the te

As US continues New Cold War, Russia and China forge new ties

The Grayzone  In its opening months, the Biden administration has targeted Russia and China with belligerent rhetoric, new sanctions, and continued military provocations. Lyle Goldstein of the US Naval War College discusses how the US is inflaming the key flashpoints of Taiwan, Xinjiang, the South China Sea, Ukraine, and nuclear weapons, and how Russia and China are deepening cooperation in response.