In what should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Syrian crisis, the top US commander in the Middle East, General Lloyd Austin, has apparently recommended that the US military “shield” the new death squad terrorists being trained by the United States who are soon to be deployed across the country.Surely, they must be good terrorists and not the evil-doers who fight against the US and its Medieval allies. (sarcasm)
Gen. Austin told Congress on Thursday that he was currently waiting on the White House's response to his recommendation.
The US has been supporting terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the crisis in late 2010 by a variety of means, most notably military, political, and financial. However, the US recently announced that it is going to openly train several thousand jihadist fighters to be deployed against the Syrian government.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Saturday, March 28, 2015
A delegation from the International Action Center headed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark traveled to Syria in late February to present a different message.In addition to former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the delegation included:
Visits to hospitals, centers for displaced families and meetings with religious leaders, community organizations and government officials conveyed the IAC’s determination to resist the orchestrated efforts of U.S. imperialism acting through its proxies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Israel.
...Cynthia McKinney, former six-term member of the U.S Congress; [co-author of the report] Lamont Lilly, of the youth organization FIST – Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; Eva Bartlett, from the Syrian Solidarity Movement; and [co-author of the report] Sara Flounders, IAC [International Action Center] co-director.Eva Bartlett also authored a lengthier report entitled "excerpts from US delegation visit to Syria, Feb 2015" posted in In Gaza.
(Note: According to Paul Craig Roberts, McKinney is a former Congresswoman because of opposition by the powerful Israeli lobby.)
We all know about of the fog of war, but the current coverage and commentary on the crisis in Ukraine arguably takes wartime disinformation to new levels. Richard Sakwa's new book is a rare and precious exception. It is clear and measured and carefully researched and it shows that the story we are told in the West about events inside Ukraine is deeply flawed. More generally, it exposes the idea that Russia is the aggressor and the West the protector of Ukraine's democratic will as a travesty of the truth. In short, Sakwa's analysis is diametrically opposed to what passes for an explanation of the Ukraine crisis in the mainstream.
This is an excellent followup report on his posting on the 24th of March, and the headline refers to that hilarious interview with Patrick Moore, an advocate of GM golden rice.
Unsurprisingly, Monsanto has wasted no time in trying to rubbish the WHO findings. The work of cancer specialists from 11 countries was speedily dismissed by Monsanto. In a press release, the company argued the findings are based on ‘junk’ science and cherry picking and are agenda driven.
Philip Miller, Monsanto's vice-president of global regulatory affairs, said:
"We don't know how IARC could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe."
Miller implies that regulatory agencies used objective reason supported by credible science when sanctioning glyphosate. Nothing could be further from the truth.Also, you might be interested in a post from Ecologist in August of 2014 entitled "Cancer deaths double in Argentina's GMO agribusiness areas".
This is another contribution to my occasional practice on Saturdays to run articles about lifestyles of the rich ruling classes also known as the One Percent (actually .01 of the 1%, or one out of every 10,000 of us) who, under the rules of capitalism, essentially "own" the economy in which we work--in effect, we all work for them to support their lifestyle. I hope that by doing this that we don't lose touch with their world and their concerns--you know, to promote better understanding. It is important that we become better acquainted so that we can serve them better and make it easier for them to carry out the daily burden of making important decisions, decisions which affect whether we go off to war in foreign lands to kill their enemies, if we have jobs, if we live in a home or under a bridge, if we can afford their health care services, education, etc.
Unfortunately, for some reason they tend to hide their lives from the rest of us behind walls of secrecy, literal walls of guarded gated communities, private clubs, esoteric publications, by traveling with private jets, etc. We should not let that deter us.
I've often wondered how the rich, who are constantly getting richer, spend all the money they have. I think it would be a challenge for me to spend more than a million dollars a year. I imagine I could exceed this by buying my own jet, buying homes in various parts of the globe, buying a super-yacht, and hiring all kinds of people to attend to my every need (including dressing myself). But then how does a billionaire (a thousand million dollars) spend all their money? That I can't comprehend.
Today, more New York real estate than ever is held by absentee owners, and in at least five large Manhattan condominiums most units are not primary residences. Although many such pieds-à-terre are doubtless used by Americans, they are most attractive to foreign nationals eager to secure a foothold in the US in the event of trouble in their homelands. International capital flight has thus been the decisive impetus in this booming sector of the New York property market, as people from all over the world seek a politically stable and financially secure haven for themselves and their assets.However, we learn from this source that the US's favorite Arab oil monarchs in Middle East are not only buying property in New York, they are apparently buying expensive homes for their many wives all over the world.
Friday, March 27, 2015
I think that this Irish journalist, who has lived in the Middle East for a number of years and specialized in reporting on issues there, offers one of the best assessments of what is currently going on in Yemen.
The crisis in Yemen is the latest manifestation of the old order desperately trying to cling on to a dwindling power base. That old order has been backed by the United States and its allies among the Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships as a bulwark against a popular uprising that could lead to democratisation in the poorest Middle Eastern country. If such an outcome were to succeed, the repercussions for the autocratic Gulf monarchies would be deeply destabilising. Saudi Arabia, which shares a southern border with Yemen, is the primary concern for this spreading "instability".
MacMillan provides many interesting details about this propaganda war launched by the US and its European vassals, and the efforts of Russian authorities to defend themselves. Because I have been following the efforts of US operatives to subvert Ukraine from authentic and independent sources from the beginning while, at the same time, viewing US corporate media coverage, I am decidedly taking this point of view.
This week the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID hosted a meeting in London with big agribusinesses to discuss strategies to increase corporate control over seeds in Africa. The location of the meeting was secret. So was the agenda. Attendance was strictly invite-only and nobody who even came close to representing African small farmers was invited.
Meanwhile, farmers and food sovereignty activists met at the World Social Forum in Tunis to discuss their solutions to the problems of our food system. These two meetings represent not just two different types of meeting – a closed, secretive meeting of the powerful versus an open, democratic meeting of grassroots activists – but also two radically different paths for the future of our food. One is based on corporate control and would generate vast profits for a small elite; the second is centred on sustainable, democratic, local food production.
This article contains an outline of specific topics from which their PDF document provides more details based on the investigations about the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty by the research staff of the Transnational Institute.
The [TTIP] is a comprehensive free trade and investment treaty currently being negotiated – practically in secret – between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (US). It could have massive implications for people and the environment on both sides of the Atlantic.Their findings in the PDF document clearly suggest that this treaty benefits mostly the multinational corporation based in the US, Canada, and Europe; and many of its proposed provisions provisions are in conflict with other legal documents of the European Union.
The stakes couldn't be higher, and not only for Europeans and Americans, but also for the rest of the world, which would be affected in many different ways by this agreement between these two superpowers of trade.
Also, this is the first time that I've seen it viewed as a geopolitical strategy to confront a growing multipolar world. If this is correct, then it is another weapon designed to prevent the growing influence of Russia, China and the other BRICS countries.
...the objectives of TTIP go well beyond the intentions to solidify the Anglo-Saxon neoliberal model. It is first of all a geopolitical strategy to confront the emergence of a multipolar world. This is why the former Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton has described TTIP as an “economic NATO”.See also what Wikileaks has uncovered about the other infamous neoliberal trade proposal--the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal at this post entitled "TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab"--from Raging Bull-Shit.
This Dutch political philosopher and economist dissects Human Right Watch organization to see that it often serves as an instrument of US imperialism.
HRW itself is an almost exclusively US-American organisation. Its version of human rights is in the Anglo-American tradition. It too is 'mono-ethical'--recognising no legitimate ethical values outside its own. Attitudes to redistribution of wealth illustrate the limited nature of human rights ethics. In the Anglo-American human-rights tradition, seizure and redistribution of the property of the rich is unethical. The human-rights tradition recognises no inherent value in equality itself, and does not recognise many other ethical values. The human-rights tradition is not, and can never be, a substitute for a general morality.
...it is important to note that human rights can serve a geopolitical purpose, which is unrelated to their moral content. It is not possible to show that 'human rights' exist, and most moral philosophers would not even try. It might not be a very important issue in ethics anyway - but it is important in politics and geopolitics. And that's what Human Rights Watch is about--not about ethics.
Grandin lists some of the practical adverse effects that such a declaration may cause for Venezuelans and some information about the economic realities of life in Venezuela.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
I, and many others, have often referred to a "deep state" or "shadow government": people who constitute the core directorate of the ruling capitalist class. For obvious reasons this knowledge is well hidden far below the official "democratic" mythology foisted on the American people via their control of all institutions of society. The "Saker" attempts in this interview to elicit from Paul Craig Roberts, as a former conservative participant near the corridors of power, his knowledge of this core directorate, and other important issues such as Israeli influence in US affairs and the prospects for a nuclear war with Russia.
The never-ending wars perpetrated and/or backed by the Empire and its Medieval kingdom allies in the Middle East have just increased by one in Yemen.
Airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by other members of Gulf Cooperating Council and the U.S. government, continued to hit Yemen on Thursday as the situation in one of the world's most impoverished, yet strategically important countries continues to unravel amid what can only be described now as all-out war.
Reports indicates that a first wave of bombings overnight which resulted in a number of civilian deaths—including entire families trapped in flattened houses—have spurred widespread anger in Sanaa and other targeted cities, even among members of the population opposed to the Houthi rebels....
I was very pleased to see this pitch for serious revolutionary change from a British left website. The British are famous for their watered downed versions of revolutionary struggles as manifested by their Fabian socialists in the early 20th century and the utopian socialists in the 19th century. The failures of these movements to change anything has caused some people to rethink revolutionary efforts. Graham-Leigh is one such person.
There can often be a reluctance in green circles to talk explicitly about revolution, but ultimately that is what full-scale system change is. Calling it system change may allow the implication that we can get there one food co-op at a time, but this just hides the size and nature of the task we face. If we understand that what we are talking about when we talk about system change is, necessarily, overthrowing capitalism, then it follows that what we need is organisation: to think strategically about where the system is weakest, to make connections between different aspects of the struggle and to grasp the key link in the chain, the point at which we can make the most difference. Only then can serious changes be imposed upon capitalist interests.
This is a brief, but to the point, explanation of Merkel's ambiguous performance as Germany's chancellor who represents their capitalist class.
Last I heard from Hathaway, he was teaching at a German University. Hathaway has deep roots here in the Northwest region of the US.
The first video, “The Death of Democracy”, is a lengthy but very important explanation to a thinking general audience what the new neoliberal treaties, that are currently being negotiated in secret among various key figures in capitalist ruling classes, are all about. Hence, it is very important that we the people become informed about these new treaties which will likely have, if they are passed, a profound impact on ordinary working people throughout the world.
The title, "Death of Democracy", I interpret to mean the death of what little democracy already exists, at least for ordinary people. Democracy, which I take to mean as a participation in decision-making, largely exists among local capitalists; and their role as decision-makers is being challenged by transnational capitalists who are increasingly shaping the world of today.
[“The Death of Democracy”] is a public talk I gave recently on the TTIP trade agreement and its Investor State Dispute Settlement ISDS. I have been giving this talk up and down the country for most of the last two years, updating it as events have unfolded. Most of what I say is about the way Arbitration works, who the arbitrators are and what power arbitration gives to corporations.
I listened to very little of the second shorter video which featured a debate among a panel of three, one of which was David Malone, on the subject of science and its future in society.
Dolack is always thinking, and this time offers an idea that could be the start of something big. However, because of that it will take a huge public effort to overcome opposition by our capitalist masters.
A Postal Service bank — a model that is successful in several countries around the world — would not only provide the post office with a reliable source of income, it would provide badly needed basic, inexpensive banking services for underserved populations.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I hesitate to be critical of Petras who has written extensively on political subjects that have shed much light on what is happening across the world. But in this piece unfortunately for the average reader Petras introduces a lot of confusion about the political choices that citizens in Greece, France, Brazil are facing. Mostly this has to do with the blurring of political parties under the post-WWII hegemony of the US Empire whose ruling class has done everything in its power to insure that choices people have are strictly within limits acceptable to capitalists. The "left" prior to this period meant anti-capitalist or advocates of public ownership of the economy.
This development was also aided by capitalist ruling class directors who had no compunctions about renaming parties to deceive people into thinking that they were pro-worker or even socialists advocating public ownership of the economy. (Keep in mind that even the right-wing fascists of German capitalists used the term "National Socialist German Workers' Party" as a label for their Nazi party.) Hence, the deliberate confusion spread about political terms used to describe parties and programs. Aside from naming parties "socialist" and making all kinds of promises that they never intended to keep, left bourgeois (capitalist) parties, with considerable support from the hegemonic US Empire, have been able to move the entire political spectrum from left to right by eliminating outright anti-capitalist parties.
Another source of confusion is the change in meaning of "liberal". In the classic sense derived from the early history of capitalism, the term was a synonym for capitalist. The generic meaning of "liberal" is freedom from restrictions, and naturally early capitalists strove to free themselves from restrictions on their economic activities by monarchical regimes. (This is precisely the reason that the term "neoliberalism" is used today to denote the supremacy of capitalist interests to override national boundaries--freedom from the restrictions posed by national governments.) Since then the term "liberal" has changed to a contemporary meaning to denote a much narrower sense: freedom from restrictions on the civil rights of citizens and the promotion of the welfare of citizens under capitalism. The only way one can distinguish the two meanings (classic and contemporary) is in the context which the term is used. I think that Petras in this piece adds to this confusion if one is not already aware of such capitalist deceptions and the changes of meaning of the term "liberal".
With this confusion cleared up, we now see that it is liberal (contemporary meaning) middle class people that constitute the "left" in these countries that he describes, and these people never were "left" in the traditional sense of being anti-capitalist advocating public ownership of the economy.
Glyphosate "Probably" Causes Cancer: But Patrick Moore Says Drinking A Quart Does No Harm (Before Storming Out Of TV Interview)
On Friday 20 March, the World Health Organisation stated that the world's most widely-used weed killer can "probably" cause cancer. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said that glyphosate was "classified as probably carcinogenic to humans."Be sure to watch the hilarious interview on French TV with Patrick Moore who is an advocate of GM golden rice.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Chapter 1: How Did the Common Good Become a Bad Idea? The Eco-suicidal Economics of Adam Smith [June 2007 from the CNS Journal]
Chapter 2: Beyond Growth or Beyond Capitalism? [originally published in Real-World Economics Review in June 2010]
Chapter 3: Green Capitalism: the God That Failed [Jan. 2014 Truthout]
Chapter 4: Climate Crisis, the Deindustrialization Imperative, and the Jobs vs. Environment Dilemma [November 2014 Truthout]They are all excellent articles which focus on one of two central themes of my blog which is the fundamental conflict between capitalism and a sustainable biosphere--the other being that the operations of capitalism create wars, gross inequality, poverty, and all the various forms of the degradation of human life.
Chapter 5: Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth: Six Theses on Saving the Humans [July 2013 Real-World Economics Review]
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
My, how times have changed! Back in the Vietnam War days we Americans were constantly hit by propaganda that portrayed Vietnam as only another domino that would fall to the "Communists" if we didn't stop them. This, of course, ignored the long history of acrimonious relations between China and Vietnam. And, it ignored the right of other countries to decide their own type of economy and government.
The Vietnamese won their war of independence from both France and the US--so what happened? Well, there is no communist government in Vietnam. As the truth about Vietnamese struggle for simply independence was completely overwhelmed by US capitalist ruling class propaganda, young American men and some women immediately signed up and went off to war, and all the atrocities and war crimes soon followed. (As I wrote this, I heard strains of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?".) After being over there, many soldiers turned against the war. But, when will people ever learn not to trust ruling class media as the American people are now doing with regard to Ukraine, Russia, and the endless wars in the Middle East? How many lies does it take for my countrymen to not believe, not even listen to, such war propaganda?
Meanwhile we see that the corporate-funded Congress is "buying into" the Ukraine war effort.
On Wednesday morning (3/18/15), Google AdSense suspended ad delivery to Antiwar.com demanding that we remove our 11-year-old pages that showed the abuse by US soldiers of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. We publicized this and got a bit of coverage.
Yesterday (3/19/15) Google contacted us and told us that they had given in and would be restoring ad service to Antiwar.com shortly.
However, this morning they contacted us demanding that we remove this article.
We are destroying nature’s ability to help us stave off catastrophic climate change. That’s the bombshell conclusion of an under-reported 2014 study, “The declining uptake rate of atmospheric CO2 by land and ocean sinks,” as coauthor Dr. Josep (Pep) Canadell recently explained to me.
Monday, March 23, 2015
I think this and other developments that indicate a decline in the hegemony of the US dollar and the US Empire is sometimes written about in a much too casual way.
Under above scenarios, the 40 years of political and economic marriage of convenience between Saudi Arabia and the US would likely change. Iran could well emerge as the regional Middle East superpower and a close Chinese and Russian ally under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – a new OPEC with nuclear bombs as suggested in brevity by Professor David Wall in Matthew Brummer’s Journal of International Affairs The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Iran: A Power-Full Union. Could that well lead to World War 3 or history may refer to it as “the petrocurrency war”?By the way, a key reference link is missing for the Reuter's article from which Mitha extracts some key quotes:
As per a Reuters report of 9 March 2015 “the launch of the CIPS will remove one of the biggest hurdles to internationalizing the yuan and should greatly increase global usage of the Chinese currency by cutting transaction costs and processing times”. Reuters mentioned that “CIPS will become the superhighway for the yuan”.
There has been so much re-formulation of the history of the Nazi party, Hitler's regime, the worldwide class war during the 1930s, and the collaboration of many capitalists throughout the West with the re-born Nazi regime after it obtained financial backing of German industrialists in 1933. Most histories would have you believe that Hitler magically went around hypnotizing people into following him.
|Millions are behind me!|
The facts are that German capitalists and aristocrats finally decided to back Hitler and the Nazi party due to a combination of factors: ruling class fears of a worker's revolution, to cover up a scandal of major proportions involving the German aristocracy including the president of Germany Paul von Hindenburg, but most especially because of the backing of many German capitalists such as steel magnate Fritz Thyssen, major media owner Alfred Hugenberg, army generals such as Kurt von Schleicher, aristocrats such as Franz von Papen, many foreign capitalists consisting of bankers and industrialists such as W. Averell Harriman and Henry Ford from the US and other countries. Yes, even the father and grandfather of our two presidents--Prescott Bush! This information is well covered in chapter seven of a book entitled Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler by Antony Sutton.
German radicals had it right in this poster to the left which showed Hitler being backed by millions of dollars and German Reichsmarks.
This former Site Manager for the environmental testing division of Underwriters Laboratories has chosen this selection as the most important among many articles that make it into the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
I promised in a posting last Tuesday that I would follow up on this new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank that has been organized by China as an alternative to the US dominated World Bank and the IMF. Here in these interviews Hudson offers his views on the significance of this new funding organization. I promise to continue to post articles from different credible sources on this subject.
I remain convinced that in the long range, capitalist ruling classes in China, Russia, etc. are only offering a more attractive model for funding development projects as a means of competing against the dominate capitalist gang in world affairs. So, what could be wrong with that? Well, the current top dog, the US Empire, in this vicious struggle for world dominance is baring its fangs in what is likely to be a fight-to-the-death. This is hardly good news for a peaceful world that desperately needs to devote all of its attention and resources toward weaning the world off of fossil fuels and creating economies that can function in harmony with a stable biosphere.
Also, Hudson apparently wants us to believe that the Chinese capitalist gang has some special virtues that the US capitalist gang lacks. I might grant this as a temporary phenomenon, but I remain solidly unconvinced that the Chinese gang or any other capitalist gang will function any differently in the long-run than the US led capitalist gang. Here is the way (which I believe is accurate) he describes the US gang's funding organizations:
...the purpose of the World Bank lending [is] essentially for plantation export crops, for export crops to make countries avoid producing anything that might compete with American exports, above all grain, although every single mission of the World Bank, country mission, has recommended that countries undertake land reform and agricultural extension to help promote family farming and countries to feed themselves. The World Bank has not made loans for this.Now compare that with his view of the Chinese gang's funding organization:
The World Bank, under U.S. congressional pressure, has said, look, we're not going to finance countries becoming independent of the United States; our function is to make them export more to the United States and to buy from the United States.
...the Chinese Development Bank is to help make other countries get independent of this sort of neocon, neoliberal, right-wing economic philosophy and work government-to-government, help governments develop infrastructure, so that they can provide basic services at a lower cost or a subsidized cost, or even freely to the populations.Although he didn't present much evidence to back up this view, I have seen some that does. However, I don't for a second believe that Chinese capitalists are doing this for anything like altruistic reasons.
[Sayer] expresses the supreme challenge of our times in stark terms: ‘capitalism is incompatible with saving the planet’. The title encapsulates the author’s conviction that capitalism has outlived any progressive tendencies it might have generated in the past in terms of revolutionising humanity’s productive capacity. The super-rich have jettisoned any form of useful economic agenda that might have had beneficial side-effects for the bulk of the world’s population, and are now blindly pursuing a tunnel-visioned stampede for profits.