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Venezuela:  A Tribute for Her Endless Pursuit of Democracy

Venezuela is again the shining light of Democracy – pushing ahead with the 6 December 2020 National Assembly (NA) elections despite the endless challenges of covid, of sanctions, of embargos, of confiscation of foreign assets, and even of a totally illicit blockage of reserve currencies – Venezuela’s gold – naturally in the world’s protectorate of international financial fraud, The City of London.

This unique drive for democracy against all odds succeeds to a great degree thanks to President Maduro, who relentlessly resists not only the attempts against his life, but the lies and vilifications about Venezuela from most of the western …

Assange’s Ninth Day at the Old Bailey: Torture Testimonies, Offers of Pardon and Truth Telling

September 18.  Central Criminal Court, London.

The extradition trial of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey moved into a higher gear today.  Testimonies spanned the importance of classified information in war journalism, the teasing offer of a pardon for Assange by US President Donald Trump, torture inflicted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, the chilling effect of indictments under the Extradition Act and the legacy of the Collateral Murder video.

Hager, war and journalism

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager did some dusting and sprucing of the image of Assange via testimony given on videolink: not the “difficult, awful” individual discussed in standard media …

Empire’s Mask Slips at Julian Assange Trial

A billboard van calling for an end to extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange waits at traffic lights in Parliament Square in London, England, on September 14, 2020. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto)The concept of “History in the making” has been pushed to extremes when it comes to the extraordinary public service being performed by historian, former UK diplomat and human rights activist Craig Murray.

Murray – literally, and on a global level – is now positioned as our man in the public gallery, as he painstakingly …

Neoliberal Death Knell for Indian Agriculture

In a 2017 article, I asked what might a future India look like and concluded that, if current neoliberal policies continue, there could be dozens of mega-cities with up to 40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. And it could also mean hundreds of millions of displaced rural dwellers without any work.

The policies referred to have not only continued but have been given a massive boost in the form of three parliamentary bills: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) …

The New Global Medicine

Review of Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution by Don Fitz

Don Fitz’s new book Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution was going to press at Monthly Review in early spring, as the pandemic was ramping up, so he had just barely enough time to slip in a postscript teasingly titled, “How Che Guevara Taught Cuba to Confront COVID-19.” The postscript puts an exclamation mark on the medical history of Cuba that Fitz takes us through in the 240 compelling pages that come before. Based on that history, one would have expected Cuba to take early, decisive actions to …

Changing the Washington Guard: What a Democratic Sweep in November Portends

At the risk of counting chickens before they hatch, what would the return of Team Blue portend?

As is patently obvious, the US is in trouble. Climate driven heat waves and fires grip the nation. An already faltering economy with deep contradictions could only tank given the shock of the pandemic that has necessitated varying degrees of sequestering. In fact, the downturn had already started before COVID-19 hit. An already largely privatized healthcare system run for profit and a social ethic that rejects “socialized” public health measures could only have proven inadequate. Added to this mix, an historically racist

Assange’s Eighth Day at the Old Bailey: Software Redactions, the Iraq Logs and the Extradition Act

September 17.  Central Criminal Court, London.

The extradition trial of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey struck similar notes to the previous day’s proceedings:  the documentary work and practise of WikiLeaks, the method of redactions, and the legacy of exposing war crimes.  In the afternoon, the legal teams returned to well combed themes:  testimony on the politicised nature of the Assange prosecution, and the dangers posed by the extra-territorial application of the Extradition Act of 1917 to publishing.

Assange the discerning publisher (for the defence) or reckless discloser (for the prosecution) were recurrent features.  This time, it was John Sloboda, co-founder of …

Wise People Know That Winning a War Is No Better Than Losing One

Liu Bolin (China), Guernica, 2016

Dedicated to Soni Prashad, 1929-2020, who spent her life looking for a better world.

US President Donald Trump and his ‘war council’ – led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – have amplified their aggression against China. What began as a trade dispute in the 1990s has now escalated into the United States making an existential challenge against China.

The threat against China is made not for irrational reasons, but for perfectly rational ones, which are laid …

Assange’s Seventh Day at the Old Bailey: Diligent Redactions and Avoiding Harm

September 16.  Central Criminal Court, London.  Proceedings today at the Old Bailey regarding Julian Assange’s extradition returned to journalistic practice, redaction of source names and that ongoing obsession with alleged harm arising from WikiLeaks releases.  John Goetz of Der Spiegel added his bit for the defence, making an effort to set the record straight on the events leading up to the publishing of un-redacted US diplomatic cables on September 2, 2011.

The picture that emerges from Goetz is not Assange the reckless cavalier indifferent to human life but of a …

How USA and Turkey Plunder and Loot Syria with Impunity

While President Trump lashes out at rioting and looting in Portland and Kenosha, half way around the world, the USA and Turkey are plundering and looting Syria on a vastly greater scale with impunity and little publicity.

Turkey Loots Syria, then Disrupts Safe Water Supply  

Turkey has been plundering the Syrian infrastructure for years.  Beginning in late 2012 and continuing through 2013 some 300 industrial factories were dismantled and taken to Turkey from Aleppo, the industrial capital of Syria. “Machinery and goods were loaded on trucks and carried off to Turkey through the Cilvegozu and Ceylanpinar crossings. Unfortunately, ‘plundering’ and ‘terror’ have become permanent …

Why the US Can Keep Increasing its Debt and not Suffer Inflation (Part 2)

The US Still Dominates the World Economy

The US ruling class has dominated the planet since the end of World War II. Key elements of this control include its military superiority in nuclear and conventional weapons, and the stationing of over 900 military bases around the world. In addition, the US presides over the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It upholds the US dollar as the global currency, and it controls much of the world’s resources, particularly oil.

These factors provide the background to why the US can print, or create, billions and trillions of dollars, …

The ‘Desaparecidos’ of Palestine: Gantz Escalates Israel’s War on the Dead 

On September 2, the Israeli government approved a proposal that allows the military to indefinitely withhold the bodies of Palestinians who have been killed by the Israeli army. The proposal was made by the country’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz.

Gantz is the main political rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also serves the role of the ‘alternate Prime Minister.’ If Netanyahu does not renege on the coalition government agreement he signed with Gantz’s Blue and White Party last April, Gantz will take the helm of Israel’s …

Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of their …

Trump “Wanted to Assassinate” Assad

In a new interview, Donald Trump has confirmed “he wanted to assassinate” Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad despite 2 years of flat-out denials the option was even discussed.

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the Power of the US Dollar in the World Economy (Part 1)

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has become popularized by some of the liberal-left because it offers an explanation how to achieve full employment, national health insurance, free college education, and the Green New Deal without raising taxes. Political leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders have espoused MMT. Economist Stephanie Kelton, a leading spokesperson of the theory, served as chief economic adviser to Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign.

We summarize the basics of MMT on the significance of a “sovereign” currency and consider which currencies meet the conditions of being sovereign in the existing structure of the world economic system.  This requires …

Guo Wengui:  So Anti-Chinese that even U.S. Establishment cannot stomach him

In some very rare cases, it is better to read British conservative, right-wing press, like The Economist or the Telegraph, instead of the mainstream liberal sheets like The Independent or The Guardian. That is if one wants to come somehow closer to the truth.

The Economist is extremely biased; it is pre-historically conservative, anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, and laughably cold-war-style, anti-Communist. But it has some breaks and limits, which the liberal mainstream media already lost many years ago. And it does not forgive what it considers ‘bad manners’ and ‘bad taste.’

Recently, an on-going saga which involves a notorious right-wing ‘couple’ – Guo Wengui …

A “Persistent Eye in the Sky” Coming to a City Near You?

“Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we’re looking at, and we can see everything.” That same persistent eye in the sky may soon be deployed over U.S. cities.

At the time he made that comment about surveillance drones over Afghanistan, Maj. General James Poss was the Air Force’s top intelligence officer. He was preparing to leave the Pentagon, and move over to the Federal Aviation Administration. His job was to begin executing the plan to allow …

Assange’s Sixth Day at the Old Bailey: US Prison Conditions and Politicised Prosecutions

September 15.  Central Criminal Court, London. Today, witnesses appearing in the extradition trial of Julian Assange fleshed out some points touched upon the previous day: the fate awaiting the WikiLeaks publisher in the US prison system, and the political nature of process.  Before commencing, Judge Vanessa Baraitser was a touch peeved.  She noted that one defence witness who took the stand last week, Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, had been drinking coffee during his testimony.  Such behaviour was “inappropriate” and future witnesses would be disallowed to do so while her court was in session.

Coffee-less, defence …

The Hazards of a Police State Education During COVID-19

Virtual School Dangers

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
— George Orwell, 1984

Once upon a time in America, parents breathed a sigh of relief when …

Kevin Zeese: His Last Words for the Movement and Carrying on

As I wrote last week, Kevin Zeese died unexpectedly in his sleep, likely from a heart attack, early in the morning on September 6. He had not shown signs of illness and was working until the end.

Many of you know Kevin from Popular Resistance, from his writing and podcast Clearing the FOG. He had a deep knowledge of history and the issues. He often spoke of his time working for Ralph Nader in 2004 when he wrote policy briefs as a “PhD in public policy.” Kevin understood how …

Assange’s Fifth Day at the Old Bailey: Supermax Prisons and Special Administrative Measures

Having had a coronavirus scare towards the end of last week, necessitating a brief suspension of proceedings for September 11, the extradition proceedings for Julian Assange resumed with Eric Lewis.  The chairman of the board of Reprieve, who has cut his teeth on representing Afghan detainees in US custody and those in Guantánamo, has not been shy in arguing against the extradition of Assange to the United States.  In 2019, he warned in The Independent that one did not have to swoon over Assange’s politics or embrace his personality “to understand that if he is extradited to the United …

The Truth Behind Netanyahu’s Admission that Police Killing was a Cover-up

Apology over portrayal of Bedouin citizen as a terrorist in 2017 incident does not just expose police crimes, it deepens the deception

It is unprecedented. Three years after the Israeli government first began vilifying a Palestinian teacher to retrospectively justify his murder by Israel’s security forces, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a public apology to his family last week. Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan was not a “terrorist” after all, the Israeli prime minister conceded.

And there was more. Israeli police, said Netanyahu, had portrayed 50-year-old Abu al-Qiyan as “a terrorist to protect themselves” and stop their crimes being exposed.

They shot him even though he posed no threat to anyone. Abu al-Qiyan was unarmed and …

Rio Tinto turns Cultural Vandal: The Destruction of the Juukan Gorge Caves

It was a calamity in cultural terms likened to the destruction of the Buddhist statues of Bamyan and the ancient city of Palmyra.  The explosive eradication of two Aboriginal sites in West Australia’s Juukan Gorge in May, said to be 46,000 years old, moved Peter Stone, the UNESCO chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace, to call it “a black day for us all”.  This was not the dirty handiwork of Taliban zealots or Islamic State fanatics: the blasting had been an act of callous corporate desecration, a molestation of country, a renting of the earth.

These sites in the …

America’s “Good” Wars

Germany

On December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the United States.

Even within the most avowed Leftist anti-war activist there exists a belief that the Second World War was fully justified in stopping Hitler’s Nazis. They claim it was a just war for freedom and to halt the Holocaust. The position of the World Socialist Party was that we considered it little different from any other war for capitalist interests and as such deserving our condemnation and opposition. Over the years ample evidence has been produced vindicating the stance taken by the …

The Second Installment of The Confessions and Polemics of Esmeralda “The Red” Chang

Excerpts from the writings of Esmeralda Chang from her forthcoming book Tracking the Feral Hog: The Confessions and Polemics of Esmeralda Chang.

In this segment of my confessions and polemics I discuss the following topics: Attending the Jimmy Dore Show, The 2020 Democratic Convention, and Daoist Anarchism.

Attending the Jimmy Dore Show

As someone in her early 70s I don’t get out much, especially during the COVID quarantine. But last February before the stay-at-home orders my cousin, Robert, bagged a couple of tickets to the Jimmy Dore Show in Sacramento. So I hopped on my motorcycle and made the trip. I came back the next morning.

Robert and I are the same age. We were at Cal at the same time and we’re close. But …

Lockdowns, Coronavirus, and Banks: Following the Money

It usually makes sense to follow the money when seeking understanding of almost any major change. The strategy of following the money in our current convergence of crises in late summer of 2020 leads us directly to the lockdowns. The lockdowns were first imposed on people in the Wuhan area of China. Then other populations throughout the world were told to “shelter in place,” all in the name of combating the COVID-19 virus.

Understanding of the enormous impact of the lockdowns is still developing. The lockdowns are proving to pack …

Julian Assange: The Trial of the Century

George Galloway makes cystal clear what is a no-brainer: Julian Assange revealing war crimes is the real reason for extradition.

Unable to be convicted for journalism, he stands accused of trumped-up charges in what is the trial of the century.

Now West should sit on its backside, shut up, and listen to “the others”!

We were always told what to think; what is correct and what is wrong. By the white dudes living in or coming from Europe and North America. They knew everything. They were the most qualified.

When I write “white,” I don’t mean just their race or color of their skin. To me, “white” is their culture, where they belong. Yes, their identity.

We Russians, Cubans, Venezuelans, Chinese, Iranians, Turks are not really “white,” even if our color of the skin is. Not that we are dying to be white, really! We have our own way of living and thinking, and most of …

Russia:  Nord Stream 2 vs. Poisoning of Alexei Navalny

Wednesday, 2 September, all German TV channels, mainstream media were focused unilaterally on the alleged Novichok poisoning of Russian opposition critic, Alexei Navalny. This “breaking-news” poison discovery was made in Germany two weeks after he has been flown from Tomsk in Siberia to Moscow, when he fell ill on the plane and the airliner had to return to Tomsk for an emergency landing.

Navalny was hospitalized in Tomsk, put in an artificial coma and closely observed. His family wanted him immediately to be flown out of Russia to Berlin, Germany, to get western attention and western treatment. So, the story goes. …

Rogues in the Ranks

On May 25, 2020, African American George Floyd, was arrested and killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt forcefully on Floyd’s neck, and in effect, crushing Floyd’s wind pipe. Three other officers were involved, two helping to restrain Floyd, and another standing guard between witnesses and the actual killing. Eight minutes passed and Floyd was dead. Video taken by onlookers was posted world-wide which led to protests and riots in Minneapolis and throughout the United States. Protests also broke out in countries around the world, most notably Europe. Absent the video, the question being asked …